Thursday, December 6, 2001
Squid has a morning ritual and considers it a bad omen when that ritual is interrupted. It''s a cephalopod thing. Squid must have a cup of coffee in one hand, a cigarette in the other, a spoonful of Raisin Bran in the other, a banana in the other, a cinnamon donut in the other, one hand on a dictionary, another on Roget''s Thesaurus, and a pencil in the other hand, hovering over the crossword puzzle in the morning newspaper while Squid''s two free hands engage in various molluskian grooming tasks.
For the past few weeks, Squid''s ritual has been rendered impossible by the Monterey County Herald. Thing is, Squid is an early riser, and the thump of the paper on the porch has been coming later and later. It''s supposed to be there at 5:30am-that''s the deal. Lately, it''s been 8, 8:30 by the time the paper arrives. By then it''s too late. Squid''s finished the coffee, donuts, banana, cereal and grooming and heard the news on NPR.
Last week Squid put down a donut long enough to call the Herald''s friendly circulation department, where a nice lady promised-but did not guarantee-that the paper would arrive within an hour of the call, and explained that there may have been some production problems: "This time of year," she explained, "they''ve got their hands full."
Just in Time for Cold, Flu and Smallpox Season!
Stock market shmock market. All it takes to survive in this economic climate is a little entrepreneurial ingenuity. Consider Dan Sullivan, a former Hartnell College grad, who several years ago marketed his board game, Infection (originally called "Sicko"). In Sullivan''s madcap world of phlegm, gangrene and boils, players move around a board rolling di, catching diseases ("Too bad! You''ve got Hep C!"), drawing cards and receiving cures, some of dubious merit ("Voodoo Doctor says take bee pollen!").
In the "new, mutated Infection" that just hit the streets in November, diseases from Anthrax to Yellow Fever all become part of the fun. Though many of the cures are clearly gags, the disease cards actually have accurate medical information on them. So, asks Squid, What better gift for the kids this holiday season than a game that teaches them about sickness? Squid just has a couple of criticisms, though; first, in addition to making Public Restrooms and Community Swimming Pools board spaces where players can catch diseases, what about Internship at White House or Job at Post Office? And Squid would carefully submit that there are a few new diseases that Sullivan might have included. Not much is known about them, but by Jingo, they just may become the new global scourge: There''s Flag-Waver''s Elbow, Feverish Patriotism Syndrome, Bubonic Bloodlust and, deadliest of all, Bush Blindness, in which the bellicose rantings, greedy motivations and inhumane policies of conservative plutocrats are mistaken for valor and sagacity. May Squid suggest an upcoming third edition?
A Well-Lighted Place
Squid''s cohorts at the Weekly are so dang creative that it just cannot be ignored that they snagged a first place prize in Oldtown Salinas'' 2nd Annual Holiday Parade of Lights. A 1947 International Fire Truck co-sponsored by the Weekly, Meals on Wheels, Hullabaloo and One Main Street took top honors in the Most Creative Use of Lights-Vehicle category. The fire engine carried Santa, kids, a stylized lit tree and a flag made of lights. Betcha won''t read that in the, er, late edition of the daily!
Send Squid a cure: firstname.lastname@example.org