Friday, August 10, 2007


At six o'clock, the central power to the archaic air conditioning system shut off, as it does every day, with a loud dull "clack!"

The soothing mechanical hum that seeps into the back of my mind stopped, leaving me with a clear and distractingly-obvious silence. Distinct traffic noises tooted and screeched from seven floors below, all of which was magnified when I opened the window to compensate for the lack of cool circulating air.

It was then that I heard the din, the commotion, the scuffle. There were hoots and hollers, aggressive "Arrgghhs" and timid "eeeks." Something was afoot, and it seemed to be coming from under the canopy of trees covering the park below.

It is not unusual to hear hooting and hollering in this town in the evening. We have our share of hipsters and hippies, both young and old. We have anarchists too, and a fair share of eco-terrorists. Now, while I have serious doubts about the political effectiveness of public protest, these groups do not, and there seems to be a public display of political expression every week. usually at five, in a calculated effort to tie up traffic and piss off the suits who are just trying to get home.

So, I listened carefully to the noise, trying to suss out the likely source. I poked my head out the window, and saw a flurry of activity coming from the park. Curious, I went down, staying a safe distance away, to reconnoiter.

What I saw looked fun, though I was ill prepared to participate. There were nearly 200 pajama-clad hottentots running amok, swinging pillows, spilling feathers in a plume into the air. There were tramp-stamped tarts with low-slung PJs and gnarly dudes with no shirts at all. Some folks were in flannel, and I saw a teddy or two. It was like a live-action holiday GAP ad. It was orchestrated chaos, silliness incarnate.

It was mesmerizing.

I could not stay, though, I had to go. There were things that had to be done.

This morning, however, I was amused to see the brigade of city workers, power blowers in hand, raking and scooping the thick snowy layer of down covering the park.


  1. Clearly you were just surveying the landscape, seeing which of the revelers normally slumbers in the nude...

    I'm glad that the park workers were there this morning, to validate your vision. Otherwise, I might have suggested that the nectar of the g-ds you keep in that flask in your desk might have been stronger than expected...

  2. Its really too bad that you had to go. Soon after you left, they all got naked and had a huge love making festival. Unfortunately, there was a ratio of 4:1 girls to guys and some girls had to settle for any man who happened to walk by.

    Well, I'm sure your errands were much more important.


  4. BTW someone took the bag of food

  5. Ever since I read this in the morning, I've had that commercial in the back of my mind-- the one featuring police in full riot gear squaring off with protestors, and when all hell breaks loose, it's pillows and feathers that go flying.

    But now it's bugging me because I can't remember what the commercial was FOR! Anyone else know?

  6. Anonymous8:39 AM

    Glad to see you're groovin' in the old digs. Best fire escape in the city.


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