Wednesday, July 11, 2007
He's a wreckin' machine.
Not him. I mean, also him, but that's not what this story is going to be about.
I haven't updated this garbage since the Truman administration.
To the point, I am continually intending to update, but never quite get around to it. So here we are. First things first, Meadville is in ruins.
And the now-famed photograph.
For those of you who aren't familiar with me, I spent four years of my life in Meadville, Pennsylvania, toiling away at undergrad, getting to know the quiet bald dude that worked the 2 a.m. - Armaggedeon shift at Wal-Mart, enjoying Hank's ice cream, freedom fries from Eddie's Footlong, making massive errors in hot sauce consumption at Compadres and weeping softly in a laboratory. Good times, despite the whole thing where there was nothing to do and the local economy was absolute garbage and everyone in the town hated everyone in the college. So I've got some attachment to the place. Apparently, they've decided that too much of Pelletier library has been hanging about town, stealing the lunch money of the nearby Language houses and intimidating the nearby Observatory-cum-security office/parking permit dispensary. The best way to take out troublesome library bits is, apparently, wrecking ball. Oh. Also, Allegheny's kind of on a big hill. The town of Meadville lays below and those meddlesome kids hang out on the hill with their book learning and their raging keggers. It's such a defining feature of the place that the Jazz House radio show was titled "On the Hill" for the years I was there. I think. Something like that anyway. It made reference to the hill. That's what you need to know.
So they're knocking bits of the library down. Good times. This would work just fine in any other North American city. No complication whatsoever. But this is Meadville. This place isn't doesn't just happen upon a Peebles no one goes to and a Super Buffet that gets to 100 items by including Gummi Worms. It earns it with strangeness. In this case, a confluence of events. First, the aforementioned hill. Second, the fact that they apparently attach wrecking balls to cranes with rope improvised by Bear Grylls out of weeds and snake innards. Third, apparently wrecking balls in Meadville are roughly spherical, rather than shaped like a propane tank, which allows it to roll. If there were, say, a slope. So yes. Cable snaps, ball starts a-rollin', and hilarity is bound to ensue.
But wait, there's more!
Enter Bob Boring, crane operator. Mr. Boring would like to stop the wrecking ball, because of his absolutely correct conclusion that this thing is incredibly dangerous. I have no clue what I would do if I were driving up the road and saw a certain adventurer who's not getting a job at the "Guess my Weight" booth and ball running at me. Probably scream some obscenities and make for the nearest side street tout de suite. See? I'm multilingual. Anyway, Mr. Boring's plan is to throw something in front of the ball, which isn't a terrible idea apparently if what he was throwing was a Ford Taurus. It wasn't. It was bricks. Now, I've already pointed out on this magical land of the internets that the point of a wrecking ball is that its motion is not impeded by freaking bricks. It has occurred to me as I am writing this that the likely source of the bricks Mr. Boring was throwing at the rolling death ball was likely the wall that was being knocked down by the ball, meaning that not only had these specific bricks not-stopped this specific ball once before, but it had gained their power by vanquishing them in battle. So Mr. Boring, despite his noble efforts to save whoever was at the bottom of N. Main from a very real danger, was injured by throwing bricks at a huge rolling deathsphere.
Mr. Deathsphere bounces off of several of the cars parked along N. Main (I almost never parked my car there, incidentally. Science building lot or the Delt house. That was it for me) and screws up the curb (which a KDKA story I don't feel like finding makes a big freaking deal out of) and ends up in the trunk of Mr. Alex Habay, a student at the college, former Gibsonia resident and former owner of at least a minimally operational Ford Taurus. Apparently the trunk isn't built to hold half-ton wrecking balls. Who knew? You can be sure that Ford will fix this oversight on future models.
So there it is. Something mildy goofy for Meadville happens in Meadville, which qualifies as incredibly wacky for everywhere else on the planet, and so Meadville gets some recognition. Some mild injuries occur, but everyone will recover. A Taurus is crushed, but it was probably a few years away from that fate anyway. The Head Shed is unharmed, and so all is well with the world. I can't begin to explain the sheer morale crushing blow that would have been delivered had the Ball of Doom continued its fatal rolling through the town, crushing cars and the baskets of puppies they use as traffic lane demarcations and into some unsuspecting groups of sixteen year olds driving around Diamond Park over and over again.
So there it is. A return to blogging and an explanation of why Meadville is briefly in the news (and with no mention of Sharon Stone, who may or may not have actually originated from Saegertown anyway. The wiki's unclear. She was likely born in Meadville, but in the same sense that I was born in Pittsburgh because that's where the hospital is). I look forward to writing about why the hell I've disappeared for so long, this mess and more in the coming weeks.
I should get some kind of award for making it through that without making a testicle joke.