Beyond Your Wildest Imagination
by Calendar Hacksaw
And so there I found myself, late at night, sitting alone in a
booth at Kettleman City's finest eatery, surrounded by a massive
collection of antique children's pedal cars of every type, sippin'
a pint and washin' down a French Dip, wonderin' how it had ever
come to this: one of the Fence Post's most revered columnists
had disclosed in print that he thinks Calendar Hacksaw
actually exists, and had gone so far as to try to insult
this imaginary figure! Go figure!
"Well, Calendar," I said, to no one in particular, "you've
got to get back to the basics; you've got to get back to your
fictitious roots, and not go diddling around in real-life affairs.
People get enough of that junk from TV and the newspapers; they
don't need your help."
So I vowed to concentrate more on imaginary happenings in 1999,
which will be a real challenge. Try to imagine an imaginary columnist
with an imagination. It just doesn't work, does it?
"Why was ol' Calendar scummin' in Kettleman City?" you
might ask, and rightly so. Just 36 hours earlier, I'd found myself
imprisoned in San Francisco with one million close friends enduring
that city's massive power outage on December 8. For a number
of hours, I was treated to a seagull's-eye view of what happens
in a major metropolitan area when it finds itself suddenly reduced
to Third World status. Not a pretty picture. But here's some
first-hand insights and observations you probably didn't read
about in the newspapers.
First of all, you can say "good-bye" to underground
parking garages. There's no back-up power supply to keep the
lights on, dispense tickets or even lift the gate arms. You ain't
goin' in, and you ain't goin' out, so forget it, you ain't goin'
There's no hot coffee. There's no hot food. And there's no hint
as to when-if ever-there will be, so all of a sudden that jar
of pickled eggs and jalapeno peppers you lugged up to your hotel
room looks awful good for dinner. Some of the finer hotels laid
out big cold cut buffets, open to all, so the homeless ate well
for a few hours. The philosophy seems to be that if you feed
the homeless first, they won't stare at the rest of us while we're
eating. Not a bad idea.
When I'm "on the trail," I always have my flashlight with me, just in case, and it might have come in danged handy had the outage persisted past sundown. What I didn't have though, and should have had, was a portable radio. Granted, most of the San Francisco radio and TV stations had ceased broadcasts due to the outage, but I could have received reports from Oakland, Marin County and elsewhere to alleviate the anxiety and boredom. I won't make that mistake again.
While I was thinking about the Big San Francisco Blackout, it
occurred to be that there hasn't been much golf played around
Twin Oaks since the Walker Basin Golf and Country Club shut down
some years back. Then it dawned on me that if 18 generous landowners
would devote a small slice of their holdings to just one hole
a piece, we'd have an 18 hole course in no time. Sure, the duffers
would have to drive from green to tee, but what the heck. Just
make sure the ninth green is close to one waterin' hole, and the
18th is adjacent to the other one.
I'd also like to see a revival of the big Twin Oaks vs. Loraine
softball game, which used to be played annually on the Fourth
of July. You may remember that the series was abandoned after
24 consecutive years, with the teams tied at 12 wins each. The
last year it was played, there was quite a ruckus raised when
it came to light that the Loraine Lariats had brought in some
"ringers" and tried to pass 'em off as locals. Heck,
everyone knew McGuire was just a weekender, and there weren't
no Cubans living in Loraine at the time.
Well, the French Dip gave out just as I finished listening to
Reba's latest ballad, "The Coast of Oklahoma Lies Somewhere
South Of Morro Bay," so it was time for ol' Calendar to mount
up again and head south to hook up again with Lonesome Betty for
some well-deserved sack time.
But as I passed Highway 58, and then Bear Mountain Road, my thoughts
drifted through the Canyon and I dreamed that 1999 was going be
a super year for our little Basin. The rains will end in just
a few months, Daylight Savings Time will return, the bicyclists
will once again park their Alfa Romeos and off-load at the Post
Office before streaming on into Twin Oaks in search of bottled
spring water and Belgian Stout. We will be whole again. They
need us and we need them. No more will ol' Calendar poke fun
at their stupid shoes and road-hoggin' ways. This world's too
small, so can't we all just get along, little doggies?
Cuz in a world where a fictitious columnist can be mistaken for
a real person, and the jukebox plays a song that's never been
written, we could all find ourselves in a heap of trouble trying
to sort out fact from fiction. But you can sure count on ol'
Calendar to do his part to keep the line as blurred as his imaginary
Calendar Hacksaw's e-mail addresses are <email@example.com> and <firstname.lastname@example.org> and he'd love to hear from you. In fact, tonight's "Hacksaw Night" at the Outback Steakhouse, and you're all invited, so pick up your free tickets at The Fence Post's corporate offices on Walser Road. Bon appetit!