I was in my local “postal” shop; the kind of joint with all the envelopes, stamps, and bubble wraps that are found these days in most strip malls. I said to the proprietor, with no small amount of naivete, “How’s it goin’ here? You must be fairly recession-proof, right?” He said not really, that the numbers were flat, compared to last year. I said something about how that’s probably OK, all things considered. And then, the light bulb went on … here in ’09, Flat Is The New Growth. For most businesses, it’s true. If your books are flat this year, you’re kickin’ ass!
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One occupation that seems to be booming in this economy is that of sign-jiggler. Anything to catch an eyeball is fair these days, and more and more businesses seem to be giving this modern twist to the old sandwich board a try. I’d dare to guess that a fair percentage of the teens who 40 years ago would have been paperboys are now out there bouncing signboards around while strapped into their IPods. If I was the boss, I’d have no quibble with my staff doin’ tunes while working this particular gig, especially if I wanted my “twirlers” to move, groove, and otherwise behoove while handling their “axes.” And if I was a jiggler, I’d check with my accountant to see if I could write off all my music downloads, headphone replacement expenses, etc., etc., since the tunes appear to be crucially important to the job. All I ask of twirlers is that you don’t freak so maniacally while jamming to your tunes as to make it difficult to actually read whatever it is you’re pushing!
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Movies and television are loaded with endless examples of truly crummy execrableness. More than ever. One of my fave cliche scenes to hate on these days are those where a man is walking away from some huge explosion he’s just ignited, like a bad guy’s truck, and he just keeps walking straight ahead, without ever looking back, the complete picture of a super cool badass. Gimme a break. I don’t care how cool and badass you are, you hear and feel a truck blow up behind you, you are gonna (1) turn around and sneak a peek. Why? Because that’s what we do in our never-ending quest to remain alive. We turn around and look at enormous sounds of great destruction taking place in our immediate vicinity. Sorta can’t help it. And then (2) you’re gonna immediately hit the freakin’ deck, in a very uncool, grovelling way, because your brain has very quickly informed you that something hot, metallic, and jagged could well be perforating your body in the next nanosecond.
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I’ve just investigated the new U2 disc, No Line on the Horizon. And all I gotta say is … when the hell is The Edge ever gonna take his damn skullcap off? This guy must have some blotchy, zombie-style haircut. That, or a truly regrettable tattoo.