high-minded drivel

high-minded (adjective) - refined; cultured; particularly civilized. drivel (noun) - senseless talk; nonsense.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weak tot action

The snow has now arrived in Columbus, with anywhere from 0.5-2 inches being deposited on the ground today, just eyeballing it.  I have to admit that I'm not sure how they calculate the "inches of precipitation" that is reported on the news, and I'm not interested enough to look up the real answer, but my guess would be that they have a little cup to collect precipitation with measurement marks on it.  Seems logical, right?  Thinking of the precipitation-collecting cup takes me back to the days of high school (or perhaps middle school?), when we watched the movie Sarah, Plain and Tall, featuring Glenn Close and Christopher Walken.  I think it was a made-for-TV movie, Hallmark channel-style, based on a book of the same name.  I know for a fact that I saw Sarah, Plain and Tall several times throughout my school days.  In retrospect, it was a rather subdued role for Christopher Walken.  Glenn Close was a good choice to play Sarah, because she had the valuable ability to look either plain or stunning.  As we learned from the hobbits in Lord of the Rings, cameras have the valuable ability to make you look either tall or short, but I don't think they did those kind of camera tricks when Sarah, Plain and Tall was made, and certainly not for a Hallmark movie.  So Glenn must be legitimately tall.

Oh yea, the reason the precipitation cup reminded me of the movie is because Walken plays a farmer named Jacob in the movie, and there's a drought, and there's a traumatic scene where his barn burns to the ground, and Sarah goes back to Maine because of the drought (Jacob had ordered her up after his wife died), but Jacob stays behind, and after weeks of waiting it finally rains, and Jacob has a precipitation cup.  It was a great scene for Walken.  I think the only reason we watched the movie in school, several times, was because the teachers needed to fill some busy-time.

Today marked my first trip to Sonic, the fast food restaurant.  Well, change that - it's actually a fast food establishment.  Jen and I had engaged in a conversation about Sonic for unknown reasons over the weekend, and the conversation concluded with a pact to go to Sonic for the first snowfall to see if the servers would still wear skates in the snow.  I was a bit puzzled by the appeal of Sonic, because it's like a drive-thru, except you stop.  You know, you can get food at any other restaurant and eat in your car.  If you want to eat in your car but not be driving at the same time, then a multitude of parking lots can be found.  But for some reason, eating in your car at Sonic is special.  A couple reasons why this might be the case:

Reason 1: Sonic has food that other places don't, like tater tots and cherry limeade.
Rebuttal: Granted, but they are also more expensive than other fast food, without being of significantly greater quality.

Reason 2: Sonic gives you a mint.
Rebuttal: I did appreciate the mint, but if people can truly be won over with a mint then I have been missing the boat for a long time now.

Reason 3: There is an added novelty because people skate out to your car to serve your food.

Given that Sonic does appeal to people in some way, it's easy to see why they're a successful business.  While all the other fast food places are putting their revenue back into restaurant maintenance, Sonic is putting that revenue into opening new Sonics!  Why spend money on restaurant maintenance when people are perfectly willing to pay for car maintenance made incrementally necessary by idling away for 15 minutes while tater tots are consumed?  Actually, having had the Sonic experience I'm pretty sure that the main attraction is for kids, who might think that having stuff brought to your car and then eating that stuff in the car is awesome.  My new business plan is to take this to the next level by just bringing various ingredients to people's cars and letting them make their own food.

The idea of learning to skate for a job takes me back to my elementary school days, when we watched a Hallmark made-for-TV movie starring Meryl Streep titled Jessica, the Spirit Rolls On.  Just kidding.  It actually reminds me of a school musical we did in 5th grade, for which I was given the part of some loser kid who likes some girl, and the loser kid is supposed to roller skate out onto the set and then fall down, resulting in some interaction with the girl, which leads into a song titled "I Like."  Ahh the days of innocence, when your mind wasn't prompted to think of all manner of ways to finish the phrase "I Like..."  Anyway, I had to learn to roller skate to play the part of some kid who couldn't roller skate, because before I could fall down I had to at least make it out onto the set.  I was specifically instructed to kick the stage when I fell because it would make a loud bang and make the fall seem more real.  I pulled this off to perfection, as evidenced by the exclamations from the audience upon seeing this poor elementary school kid fall down.  I count this among my real successes in life - learning to roller skate enough to make it 10 feet and then falling down on purpose.   

The arrival of bad weather in Columbus means that I'll be taking my car out of the garage even less than usual.  As nice as it is to be able to walk to mostly everything in summer, it's sometimes even nicer to be able to walk in winter, because you don't feel trapped at all when you don't need to drive to get to things.    However, our garage seems to have taken on a mind of its own, opening the door at random intervals without someone using the clicker.  Nate and I think that either the signal receiver connected to the door is malfunctioning in some way or someone else's clicker in the neighborhood has started to signal our door as well as their own.  Either way the problem needs to be fixed, as we've already had one bike stolen from our suddenly open-to-the-alley garage.  We've temporarily taken to unhooking the door from its track so that even if a signal goes to the receiver, it won't raise the door.  The long-term solution will obviously be a series of intricate booby traps to incapacitate any would-be thieves.  Trusting that you won't share the secrets and/or rob our garage, here is the short list of what we have planned: seemingly harmless garden rakes and spades, well-placed oil slicks, rabid wolves, fake blocks in the concrete wall that fall from above, blinding smoke, rabid ferrets, spinning saw blades, spiked logs, rabid deer, and of course, a door that automatically closes to shut in the intruder!  It won't just be a garage, it will be a car-nage.  Mwaha.

Although I trust those reading this blog without question, I have little doubt that word of our plans will get out sooner or later.  Everything is getting out these days.  Wikileaks is the news these days.  Not only is Wikileaks itself a big story, it also provides the big stories for the regular news outlets.  I think it's only a matter of time before Wikileaks blows up though. Either they'll pass bad information and lose credibility, or governments will find a way to shut them down.  The government route could be through some kind of legal means or some undercover means, with the two being equally likely.  You know what I'll bet is in high demand these days from the government?  A Wikiplumber.  I'm really not joking here.  If someone with the right skill set and the right mentality presented themselves to the government and said "I can fix your little problem," don't you think they'd have a good chance of some deposits being made to their bank account?  The Wikiplumber is like a Jason Bourne-type.  The funny thing is that Julian Assange already has a good amount of seediness about him, so he's a ready-made evil mastermind.  Seriously, wouldn't it be hard to have someone play Julian Assange in a movie and be the protagonist?

I was reading up on Julian Assange a bit, and apparently he moves around constantly.  He probably knows that Wikiplumber types are after him, so it's not wise to stay in the same place too long.  When you lead a life like that, you probably don't spend a lot of time out in public.  Sure, Assange makes public appearances, but it's not like he is out in the open all the time.  Showing up on the jumbotron at Lakers games, doing the talk-show circuit, even eating out at high-profile restaurants in public - these are probably somewhat off-limits for him.  You know what would be a good choice for Julian?  Eating at Sonic.  It's the ideal place for him, and perhaps one more reason why Sonic is popular.  You can stop and think like you were at a restaurant, but you can have your food served to you in your car!  This sounds great, but eventually the Wikiplumber would find him, put on a Sonic server's uniform and come skating up to Julian's window.  Unless it was snowing.

I Like fixing all your problems, and Cherry Limeade.


  1. Glenn Close is only 5'3" ... I know because I met her two years ago at a fundraiser and we're both exactly the same size (neither of us was wearing heels). Goes to show you what a great actress she is. :)

  2. Sarah, Plain, Tall, and Deceptive.

  3. The only reason to go to Sonic (other than it keeps my kids quiet) is the cream pie shakes. Oh, and sweet tea. That's nice too.

    I'm fat. :(