Sunday, February 20, 2005

Kickin' It Up a Notch

During the winter, garden gnomes usually get put away. They sit in sheds, with all the other lawn appendages, and wait for spring. Except, that lately, driving around town, I have noticed that there is a new ornament on the scene, and he ain’t waiting for no spring: the ceramic donkey. It seems like every third house has a ceramic donkey, ass-deep in snow mind you, but there nonetheless. It’s an epidemic, I tell you, and there’s only one reason that I can think of for them: they’re trying to class the place up.

My home-town has never been one to put on airs. When we finally got a Walmart a few years back, people were like “Ooh, finally somewhere up-scale to shop!” East Side Mario’s is the finest dining establishment in town. The air literally stinks, although we rely on out-of-towners to confirm this since none of us smell it anymore, except on those “Danger! There may be acid rain!” days we occasionally have when the mill makes a mistake. There are pockets in town where the lawn isn’t mowed, the house isn’t painted, a car sits out front on cinder blocks, and you can tell the curtains are just towels thumb-tacked to the wall. These houses invariably have a handwritten sign on the front door asking the pizza guy to use the side door, and these signs are always rife with spelling mistakes. And it’s such a small town that if you live in a nice area like my grandparents do, for example, only 2 streets over is where all the drug dealers live. Less than two blocks, and you go from nice, clean, retirement living to the slums of the city. We have the highest unemployment rate in the country, but the bingo halls and the coffee shops are always filled to capacity. All the young bucks drive around in their mama’s minivans, rocking out and honking their horns at the hot young women who have rolls of fat oozing out of their spandex and hair teased higher than you thought was possible. Cornwall is known for only three things:

1. smuggling
2. porn rings
3. having the biggest lesbian community per capita in Canada

So when all these ceramic donkeys started popping up, I wondered why the townspeople were putting on such a show. We’re talking about people who still have rotting pumpkins on their front stoops, and a smattering of shoes, footballs, and dead birds up on their roofs. Why were they now getting all fancy-schmancy with the ceramic donkeys?

And then I heard the news. As you may have heard, Prince Charles will soon be marrying his long-time love, Camilla. I’m not sure why it works this way, nor do I care, but instead of being titled Princess, she will take the title Duchess of Cornwall. The city I live in is named Cornwall. See the connection? Yeah, I didn’t either at first, but that’s because you’re not thinking big enough. Maybe only our Mayor has the ability to think this big, but he has recently written the happy couple an invitation to come honeymoon in our fair city. He wants to make them breakfast and everything. I’m not sure where they’ll stay, we don’t even have a HoJo here! But the invitation has been extended, and the Mayor is 100% confident that they’ll come. Clean-up efforts are underway.

All the cigarette butts that usually line the streets have been pushed into one great big pile; when the snow covers it, children will be able to toboggan on it! City transit has stopped picking up the undesirable passengers, and now the buses are running empty, but spic-and-span. Smugglers have been encouraged to wear a shirt and tie to work. Oh, and if you’re going to fire your weapon at the Civic Complex, please do so at the rear of the building. The front doors were just replaced due to last month’s incident, and the backdoor already has bullet holes in it anyway.

Charles and Camilla, if you’re reading this, we welcome you with open arms. You’ll come for the mayor’s breakfast, but you’ll stay for the 50-cent steamed weenies. That’s what sucks us all in, in the end. Actually, I think Camilla and Charles will be quite happy here. He's a good-for-nothing bum who's never worked a day in his life, and she's his ugly mistress. All he needs is a rusted-out Ford Aerostar, and they'll be a perfect fit.

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