Many of my friends are aware that I'm deeply concerned about the potential for human stampedes related to outdated stadium emergency evacuation protocol. I know... it's something that concerns everyone round deez parts.
It's a touchy subject but I'm in the process of launching an "awareness foundation" designed to bring attention to this matter. At some point I imagine I'll come under scrutiny and wish I hadn't been so vigilant. Regardless, it's the path I have chosen and I won't back down.
Yesterday morning I emailed my superior brother a pic of the finished logo and asked for his input. He has been instrumental in guiding me and has a keen understanding of the issues that surround the artificially generated stampede.
In the logo, there's a phrase which embodies the mission statement. I'd love to share the pic but I'm not gonna do it. Nope. Not gonna do it. Just wouldn't be prudent... at this juncture (Dana Carvey impersonating George Bush Sr.).
So yesterday, I decided to change the script. We had a mild disagreement regarding the caption reflecting the mission statement. Originally, I wanted it to be "discussing the indiscussible." But he thought "undiscussable" was the better term. Of course, it made me rethink everything and try to devise an all-new encapsulating phrase.
Last night, I had this crazy dream which echoed the thoughts swirling in my head. I was back in the Oglebay Village apartment complex. I spent about 10 years of my life (1992-2001) in a single bedroom apartment. In my dream, the main office had this giant staircase. Not the case in the real Oglebay Village "chamber of judgement." The late Carol the Cunt, our ultimate landlord and overseer, would often make me beg for forgiveness. I'd literally have to repent for my sins (handing out matches on Halloween, parking violations, disrupting the sanctity of the neighborhood - repeatedly kicking a soccer ball into a defenseless dumpster, disturbing the peace, unsanctioned pets, espousing acts of satanism, housing 5 people in a 1-bedroom apartment, etc.). My complaint file was the size of the Book of Job. Remember Job (Cliff Clavin - Cheers).
Anyway, about 20 people were crowded near the top of this massive staircase. I was in the middle of the fray. A giant, ginger woman with a completely bandaged leg was near the front. She bore a striking resemblance to a 40 year old version of Honey Boo Boo.
But her entire left leg was covered in bandages. Some of the gauze was bloody and stapled. This woman desperately needed to get to the bottom but was incapable of walking. And because of the girth factor, she was far too heavy to be offered assistance.
So she began in a seated position carefully trying to slowly "butt-descend" each individual step. But the momentum was too great. She began to succumb to inertia. She cried out in terror reminiscent of the anguished oink of pigman (Kramer).
I needed to act quickly or she would surely perish in this massive free fallin' spectacle.
Somehow, I managed to thrust myself in front of her. As the Village and Station residents screamed in the background, I became sandwiched... fully engulfed between her legs and gunt. (I've often thought that an ideal name for a Led Zeppelin cover band is Trampled Under Gunt. Now here I was... fulfilling this gritty, musical prophecy). We were both utterly helpless in a dual stairwell stampede.
I figure it's curtains for the "Saffy-Boo-Boo hurling entity." We'll surely be killed when we impact the cement wall. Suddenly, Al Roker (the fat version... and no I'm not kidding) appears out of nowhere and brazenly jumps in front of us. Roker had this incredibly warm smile.
He had no fear of death. He burst into song...
... with the exact same vocal inflection of Mighty Mouse.
Suddenly, Saffy Boo-Boo slams into Roker. But he was completely unfazed. He defiantly stood his ground. The Boo-Boo component... her tears of pain quickly morphed into cries of relief. At this harrowing, epic moment in time, I thought I was going to be squished to death. Turns out I didn't feel a thing! The collective blubber of both gock and gunt actually saved my life. The crowd of Villagers and Stationites erupts in jubilant celebration. I surveyed this one face in the crowd. In the movie Braveheart, does anyone remember when Mel Gibson gets tortured at the end (racked, roped, castrated and eventually chopped into pieces)? ROPE !!! The executioner wraps the rope around his head. William Wallace looks out at the crowd. He makes eye contact with this little boy who has this expression of calm exasperation. Then, he gets hoisted in the air. I looked out too, just as he did. And I saw some young diaper-clad infant. This kid... we'll assign him the name Ethan. Well, Ethan gave me that same damn look of humble despair. Not sure how any of that translates, but that's what happened.
At this moment, I wake from my dream. Others would probably term it a nightmare. But I was overcome with this strange, glowing sense of calm. And it came to me... instead of the paradox "discussing the indiscussible" I'm going to use the phrase "staring down the future"
I love the symbolism. The manner in which it incorporates the notion of "staring down the barrel of a shotgun (or the barrel of a cell phone)." More importantly it implies the consensus motion of the last decade... everyone staring downward into their cell phones. Take an objective look around you. The entire population is staring down, almost as if they're bowing their heads in prayer. This never happened until the past 15 years. It's an entirely new phenomenon. Nobody looks up anymore. There's no BALANCE. If you don't believe me, place your trust in the late Pat Morita. The world needs balance.
During the last 9/11, everyone looked UP to see the planes crash into buildings. This time, they'll likely be looking down into their phones right before the implosion of total chaos. They will look down right before they look up.
And another thing... "staring down" implies focusing on something that is imminent or unavoidable. The enemy, tragedy, bankruptcy, etc. Trying to eradicate a future disaster BEFORE it happens. That's what I'm talkin' about.
What's really crazy is that I usually forget my dreams. Obviously, this one had some powerful significance. It sent me scurrying to the kitchen where I jotted down the words "staring down."
So that's that. And I hope you enjoyed the subtle Tom Petty references. He's coming to Consol Energy Center on June 20.