It’s Pam Anderson-hot on the outside.  Maybe it’s even Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball hot and by now, I’m doing a slow burn. I’ve just passed the Big Chicken, inexorably moving south through grudging traffic. My ‘burn’ is not due to the sweltering heat or even the rush hour traffic, though neither is helping matters.  Rather, I’ve just been told by Placemat that the person whose screen name is “Bestsellingauthor” already has 5,000 friends.

“Too many”, Placemat says. Bestsellingauthor is not allowed to have any more friends—-at least until he/she ‘un-friends’ a few people.

“What?” How the hell can anybody have too many friends? It’s like being too rich or too thin.

“But you’re on the Waiting List, Will,” Placemat consoles me.

As the woman  said the words, I could feel my “World Disillusionment Quotient” (pronounced “Dub-ya Dee-Que”) —already as high as my triglycerides–head a little further north. The meter is flashing rapidly “on” and “off”, like the “Check Engine Light” just before something underneath the hood goes “kaflooey”.

Maybe it’s the onset of ‘old fogey-ness’ but I’m a little dubious about the whole social networking ‘thing’. I confess that I am also more than a little sheepish about admitting to having joined even though Placemat is so wildly popular that membership surely must have been mandated by Congress or maybe even by the Constitution. It’s not the way we made friends back in the day.

“…too many friends, my ass.”

Merging into traffic on ’75 South’, I think “it’s been a tough few days for ‘keeping the faith’.

First, Al and Tipper make their announcement. Jeez-Louise! Certainly it’s none of my business—–maybe Tipper’s beginning to question the global warming ‘thing’…but if you can’t count on Al and Tipper to make it, well then who can you…?

It’s also Pledge Week over on PBS. The ‘Doo Wop Groups’ had a Reunion Special last evening. None of the folks in these  groups looked anything like the young, svelte, long wavy haired performers that I remember. Pot bellies and ‘male pattern’ bald heads ruled the night. Joey of ‘Joey and the Buicks’ sings an octave lower and doesn’t  hit the high note anymore.

Then there’s that ‘Larry King’ business. CNN announces that they’re giving his  old seat to some guy named “Piers”. And while I don’t necessarily hold any grudges against folks named “Piers”, the guy is from England and anyway that you look at it, it’s the outsourcing of another job. Jesus Christ, you’d think CNN would know better…would do better.

An interminable “dragon’s tail of red lights” quickly forms ahead  of me as traffic comes to a standstill just as I’m crossing the river. I feel a blast of hot air rush through as I lower the window and turn down the A/C. It’s going to be a bit of a wait.

Gawd, it’s hot!

I wonder if Al and Tipper will still be friends on Placemat?

© Copyright 2010 Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell (a pseudonym) is a writer, storyteller, and explorer of the milieu of everyday life. An aging Baby Boomer, a Georgia Tech grad, and a retired banker, Cantrell regularly chronicles what he swears are 'mostly true'  'everyman' adventures. Of late, he's written about haircuts, computer viruses, Polar Vortexes, identity theft, ketchup, doppelgangers, bifocals, ‘Streetification’, cursive handwriting, planning his own funeral and other gnarly things that caused him to scratch his head in an increasingly more and more crazy-ass world.   As for Will himself, the legend is at an early age he wandered South, got lost, and like most other self-respecting males, was loathe to ask for directions. The best solution, young Will mused, “was just to stay put”. All these years later, he still hasn't found his way but remains  a son of the New South. He was recently sighted somewhere close to I-285, lost, bumfuzzled and mumbling something about “...writing' his way home.” Of course, there are a lot of folks who think that “Cantrell ain't wrapped too tight” but hope that he keeps writing about his adventures as he finds his way back to the main highway.