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' nowhere.

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 vision.

Calendar Hacksaw's e-mail addresses are <> and <> 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!

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