October 31st, 2006
The Vanishing Date
I wrote one of the many ghost story endings appearing in The Morning News today.
Encyclopedia Brown For District Attorney
Speaking of The Morning News ..
TMN and I are holding a contest, in which we’re asking participants to make a display campaign paraphernalia for fictitious candidates. And while the event has attracted considerable notice on Teh Intarwebs, it grieves me to report that submissions have been scarce.
The deadline for submissions was supposed to be today, but they have extended it to November 3rd. Also, all participants now get buttons!
I’ve heard a few people say that they would participate, but they lack a “large-format printer.” The assumption, apparently, is that I used one of these new-fangled contraptions to print out the examples. Honestly, I don’t even know what a large-format printer is. My signs were mocked up in Microsoft Publisher; printed out, section by section, onto normal-sized pieces of paper; and then taped onto a real political sign that I had appropriated from a local median. (Fun fact: in Seattle it’s illegal to place political signs on medians, traffic circles and other conspicuous roadway locations, so if you filch one from one of these locations, you are actually enforcing the law.) I realize that sounds like a lot of work, but, honestly, I made all three signs shown in less than an hour. And you don’t even have to go this route, if you don’t want to: handmade signs are welcome. In fact, my favorite of the signs we’ve received thus far is a pen-on-posterboard affair.
Also, you are not limited to political signs. Although that’s what I made by way of example, the contest calls asks you to create a “sign, banner, flier, etc,” so less ambitious stuff is certainly acceptable.
Anyway, I know you guys are a literate bunch, so please send something in if you have the time and inclination. Plus, TMN gets a lot hits and they’ll include a link to your site along with your entry, so this is a perfect way to simultaneously showcase your creativity and drum up traffic.
A Modest Proposal
Last week I heard a radio commercial for Fred Meyer advertising Christmas decorations. They spent most of the 30 seconds justifying their decision to unleash the yuletide juggernaught in October. “As you get older, your family gets bigger,” the announcer said. “Which means you need more time to prepare for the holidays. So, see? We’re only hawking these dancing Santas nine weeks early as a favor to you!”
Sure enough, I stopped by Fred Meyer this morning to grab another bag of candy (I ate all the ReeseSticks — saw-whee), and found the “Seasonal” aisle cram-packed with wrapping paper, artificial trees, and wreaths — and no candy, except for a few picked over bags of sugarfree gum and Hershey BigYuk Bars (semi-sweet chocolate with creamy asparagus filling).
American holidays have become like suburban strip malls, expanding outward to the point where they’ve merged into one continual year-long festivity. I have no doubt that the Fred Meyer guys have Peeps and Easter Basket grass all queued up, ready to put on display come November 12th.
Why don’t we just make up a new holiday: Tomorroween. Tomorroween is the holiday which, regardless of the date, falls the day after today, the one where people exchange gifts, eat candy, send cards, drink alcohol, bake pumpkin pies, set off fireworks, plant trees, put colored lights on the eves of their house, wear costumes, buy roses for their loved one, and fly the flag. Stores could just have an aisle devoted to Tomorroween merchandise, and never have to rotate their stock; the guys who make M&Ms could stop changing the color of their candy every three months (black & orange in October, red & green in December, shades of pastel in March).
And maybe, in exchange for Tomorroween, we could ask the stores to keep their mitts off our Holidays. Wouldn’t that be a treat?
Squirrelly in the Punk’in Patch