Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Main Street Beat

My friend, the old curmudgeon, was at Staples buying printer ink when I ran into him late yesterday morning.

He was giving the sales clerk what for about the price. “Shades of [expletive] King Gillette”, he fulminated, “sell you the razor at cost, then bleed you to death for the blades.”

Quickly surmising that if he had a printer, he must have acquired a computer, I commented on his belated embrace of 20th Century technology. Brushing off my attempt at chummy sarcasm, he cocked his good eye at me, and declared, “Sonny, you don’t know the [expletive] half of it.”

As we inched forward in the checkout line, he enlightened me.

It seems that the sudden touch of wintery chill that had descended on the Cape had forced him indoors, abandoning his usual spot on the bench across from the statue of Iyannough on Main Street. That’s where he regularly holds forth, grousing about the sorry state of things to anyone unwary enough to pause for a chat.

He’d recently read about the Internet in a 1985 issue of Popular Science pulled from the dusty stack he keeps in a corner behind his tropical fish tank. Straightaway, he’d decided it was right up his alley.

“I’m starting a blog”,  he confided, looking furtively around lest anyone else become prematurely privy to this bombshell revelation. “I was going to call it Common Sense, but I was afraid people might confuse it with the book, so I decided to call it HorSense, whaddaya think?”

Without waiting for an answer, he went on to describe how his blog would enrich the social dialog. When I inquired as to how he planned to handle inappropriate comments, he replied that he would allow gratuitous insults, ad hominems, scatological references, and comparisons to Hitler/Nazis, but only when they were employed in support of his own viewpoint.

“When the blog goes viral, I reckon It’ll draw a bigger crowd than I get on a good day during tourist season between my park bench spot and my barstool at the 19th Hole combined

By this time, we were out in the parking lot, where we parted ways. I exited and headed for Tommy Doyle’s Pub where I could contemplate this unsettling cultural development over my customary midday pint, wondering whether I should have asked him for his URL.

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