‘Little Mort’ ruined my life(?)

 Ok, lately my professional success-rate seems to be on an ever-steepening descent-vector.
It’s entirely possible, however, that any American drama in Tonawanda, NY is doomed to be, as someone once  observed, a one-act play.

Contracted to the parent company for the ‘Dextro-mart’ chain of convenience-stores, my task was simply to organize a real-or-engineered community out-pouring of support for building yet another of the familiar red-and-yellow Dextro ‘Quikee-marts, in this heavily Italian-Catholic suburb of Buffalo. NY. An area where I’d thought I had a feel for the locals, despite my obvious religious and cultural ‘understanding-gap’.

(And in fact only my more ‘veteran’ neighbors show a smile of recognition when I recount having spent hundreds of hours glued to The Joey Reynolds Show’ on WKBW ‘1520 on your radio dial’ as a young pup in far-off PA)
And so again this time, based on a record of previous victories, I elected to enlist my big-shot friend, Vasco Santino, for the effort. Fifty-something+ by now, but looking all the part of ‘one-of-us’ in the ‘hood’, he quickly agreed to sub out the chores of collaring ‘demonstrators’:
“Yo, ‘Da Gamma’, I’m’a not-a gonna ask ‘how you done it?” I joked when we met. (Oy, he has never yet shown any reaction to my calling him ‘Da Gamma’ I always wonder why not. And in fact, all the true homies call him ‘Santa‘. More on that later.

So ‘Santa’, whose friendship I consider a gift here in a locale I will never truly comprehende, swung into action, and the late-afternoon gathering, painted signs held aloft, was a joy to see as I approached the scene, trying to stay anonymous.
(OK, I must admit that ‘Dextro-mart’s success in the tight market owed me at least a complimentary large pizza or plate of ‘to-die-for’ Lasagna . Having come up with their constantly-repeated blurb: “Dextro-Mart: Right there when you need us, and on the right side of the road!!’, I felt rightly proud of my ‘clever-but-probably un-appreciated’ coinage. Kinda like Maine’s Dexter Shoe Company’s famous (?) “Dexter; We make the right shoe for both feet!” gem. But having busted my ass this time only to fail, I do need to realize that there’s a clever word-smith born every Tuesday; to wit; ‘Fractured, but whole’: If my modest slogan was an industrial diamond, the above phrase is, to it, the “Great Star of Africa”.
Anyway, ‘Santa’ pressured/ blackmailed over a hundred ‘eager shoppers’ to line the street last Thursday, (at the corner of Colvin Blvd and Woodcrest, where Wolf Blitzer went to high school hoping to be a journalist, or at least a celebrity long ago.)

One of them, unfortunately, was his wife’s hairdresser’s cousin, a ‘screw-missing’ probably Trumpf-wanna-be named Morton. Now it’s difficult to remember in these election-season dystopian latter-days how public discourse was once the provenance of reasoned logical thought. Mea culpa; I had no premonition of how ‘Mort’s ‘traitor among us’ crude sign blaring the message “SANTA is SATAN BACKWARDS!” could so quickly foment a sea-change among the purported fans in the crowd. These are ostensibly normal citizens, with jobs and a high-school diploma, albeit living in 2-room row houses with twice as many Velvet-Elvis pictures of Jesus and the Virgin Mary on the walls as electrical outlets.

I’m tempted, but will resist the temptation, to detail the micro-course of mob-mentality over the three-hour event here. Culminating in ‘Santa’ being helped into his Volvo sedan, knees a bit shaky, and my own incognito but shaken exit, having pretty much declared failure. Whether I will be paid for this fiasco is only a private concern; no, the greater message is that one un-principled bozo-idiot-charlatan can destroy ‘life-as-we-knew-it’ in this low-info climate which we had plenty of warning was on the horizon.

The vote at City Council in November on the store is pretty much a lost cause at this point.
And I’m left ‘twisting on the bed‘ with this cyclic ‘backwards-or-forwards’ Mantra running endlessly through my sleepless brain:

I PUT SANTINO ON IT, ‘N A STUPID ‘EXTRA’, ‘MORT’ X-ED A DEXTRO-MART. X-ED! I PUT SANTINO
ON IT, ‘N A STUPID…
You ‘normals‘ have no idea what it’s like to hear this on ‘Repeat’ at 3AM.

I also ponder whether anyone in fact ever reads my ‘creations’.

I do work hard to make them coherent, captivating, and instructive.

But ‘any major dude’ will probably tell me I’m doin’ it for me-self alone. Like with my last couple posts. At least it’s documented on my ‘permanent’ record./ JS

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14 thoughts on “‘Little Mort’ ruined my life(?)

  1. happierheathen

    l’d been eagerly awaiting the next fresh one so I’m glad you took the time to hang it out here on the weird world web. 🙂

    If unprincipled bozo charlatans running the show bothers you, you were born about ten thousand years too late, my friend.

    Reply
    1. solberg73 Post author

      As usual, HH, you bring up a subject dear to my heart; Having crossed the newly-exposed Bering Strait together, and grafting our stellar IQs, for the sake of argument, into mammoth-hunter bodies of yore, what would we have ‘chatted’ about.
      OR: should present-day technological understandings have been apparent or accessible to the gifted thinkers of the ‘Pleistocene’ ?
      I’m serious in asking; I can code a decent IF/THEN LOOP/ JUMP TO SUBROUTINE/ RETURN program with a pile of pebbles on a glacial-retreat shoreline. And even assuming a pre-literate vocab of say a hundred utterances, I could have ‘Von Neuman-ed’ the unwashed into a brave new world?

      This is all false retrospective bravado, right?

      Reply
    1. solberg73 Post author

      Thanks a bunch; makes me happy to read. Confession: I write in my head the palindrome ‘mantra’ first, then carefully(?) construct the ‘back-story’ to, like, justify it. So far I haven’t yet met a cryptic construction I couldn’t kinda explain. Who knows, maybe I really do secretly believe that god enabled these ‘works both ways’ phrases in order to send us messages.
      Anyway, may the ghost of Bill Mazerowski bless you, there where the Monongahela flows. I’ve walked every street in that town

      Reply
      1. promisesunshine

        I’d be surprised if it came out the other way. This sounds like a fun exercise. I wonder if I could accomplish it (on a day when the brain is functioning).

        I’m wondering who this “major dude” is and why his opinion matters.

        Bill Mazerowski is a name from the past. Vague recollection. Sports related somehow. pretty sure.

        Reply
        1. solberg73 Post author

          ‘Say it ain’t so, Bill’ Pittsburgh Pirates, 2nd base… ‘my’ team from the ’50s and ’60s on KDKA.
          ‘Any Major Dude’ is from a Steely Dan song. But countless minor dudes have advised me not to be overly torn-up by seeing fewer than ‘100 Comments’ on a WP post.

          Reply
          1. promisesunshine

            you’ve seen more than 100 comments? ever???
            ah. I was pretty wee in his day. I should’ve googled before I commented. Sometimes I like to remember the good old days when we had an excuse for not knowing things.

            Reply
            1. solberg73 Post author

              I am seriously enjoying our chat here,
              One of today’s new challenges is replying with relevant references when one is uncertain of the ‘vintage’ of the correspondent. (Ha, or whether he/she is , in fact, a canine) And so, just because I spent my formative years in the cowshed glued to the transistor praying for ‘Bill’ to save the Pirates from another embarrassing loss does not imply that a random sweet person from the area but from a later era ought to share my memories.
              As to ‘100 comments’, yes that is my initial ‘acceptable minimum’. Of course I am willing to compromise, ha.

              And to tell the truth, your attentive…um… attention, is worth pretty-near a hundred ‘LOL’s
              (I did choose an athlete to mention, so my ‘inner child informs me, because of your recent post, which captured my attention for its ‘intentional ambiguity’? Perhaps to an American the point would have been obvious, but as much as I read nightly on all things US, I can not hope to fully grok two countries at once.
              Thanks again for being here for me/ JS Tel Aviv

              Reply
              1. promisesunshine

                You indeed used the clues available to you. If I were to be a sports fan, the Pirates and Steelers would be the only choices for me.
                Willing to compromise- that made me laugh. Also, thanks for calling me random and sweet. 😀
                Let me fully explain my “intentional ambiguity” which gives the whole sordid tale even more attention than it deserves. There are some football players (on a more enlightened team than the dear old Stillers) who have deliberately chosen to kneel for the jingoistic national anthem. I support this nonviolent demonstration completely, because it’s a right as an American and it’s right as human. So many people are bent out of shape about this. Common people in addition that well-educated ape in the post yesterday. It blows my mind that some people would think what he said was worthy of sharing, regardless of agreeing or not agreeing with the sentiment behind it.
                Alas, good old America is an interesting place these days. The disabled don’t deserve education. Women should say yes so that they don’t incite men to violence. Rape is commonplace and acceptable and her fault. A spoiled liar wants to be President so he can push buttons and sell baseball caps. Government loses money left and right. People are out of their minds.
                But I suppose things aren’t so great in Tel Aviv either.That was said tongue in cheek, lest you think me completely insensitive.

                Reply
                1. solberg73 Post author

                  Aha, I’m learning more about the rumoured sunshine-promise hourly. I do need to point out that Tel Aviv’s major issue these days is whether the new rail-system being installed should be allowed to work on Shabbat, the day-o-rest. But, larger picture, the discussion here is on a vastly higher intellectual plane than the trivial twit-echo-chamber nightmare in the States. You would have to be immersed in it a while to realize how completely we have managed to inoculate ourselves from the Banality of Evil gripping the Untied Snakes these sad days.
                  I’ve known and valued this fact for 20+ years, and it is in large part, why I don’t rush to the Departures Terminal. Ok, that plus free world-class medical coverage, child-care, and special-needs programs.

                  Reply
  2. Roadkill Spatula

    Many decades ago the renowned linguist Kenneth Pike analyzed a number of Latin American missives and came to the conclusion that, to find what the letter was about, one focused on the next-to-last paragraph. Everything before that was warm-up, and the last paragraph was closing greetings. I have discovered that a similar principle applies in reading Solberg posts: the first paragraphs make little sense until one skips ahead to the bolded part.

    In a not-unrelated comment: recently I learned that most baseball pitchers have OCD. It accounts for their genius and their eccentricities. I particularly like

    Reply
      1. johnny

        I’ll have to, then, put all the ‘zingers’ in the penultimate tense, so to speak.
        As for OCD, like they say, yer not paranoid if everyone is in fact against you; I recall my ‘windup’ as a pole vaulter. And statistically, the time I spent staring at the bar and imagining going over it before the jump paid off.
        Ha, the mental picture of that pitcher is of an Andean condor perched pre-launch on a cliff thinking: ‘Ok, got it; ,derecha, izkierda,derecha, izkierda…

        Reply

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