Monday, June 09, 2008

I Have No Clue What To Tell You

Click Here.

You know, I tried to come up with a title for this blog entry that sums up what I found in the linked article perfectly. No matter what, though, nothing I could put together in words communicated it succinctly enough.

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

I'll summarize the article for you because the article itself is pretty short and easy to follow. Basically, in Vancouver, the police department has patted itself on the back and said, "Hey look at us! We're a bunch of clever shits!" Well, kind of, but what they did do was, get this, start deploying life-sized cardboard traffic cops on city streets to trick drivers into thinking that their speeds are being clocked. Hey! Look at us! We've irritated drivers without even having to physically be present on the city streets! We're fucking awesome! High Five!

And you know what? Good for them. I think if a person can find a way to accomplish all his/her goals at work by deploying a cardboard cut-out, that person is far smarter than me. I know that when I am at work there are times when I wish I had a cardboard doppelganger to stand in for me and have irrational insults thrown at it in endless barrages that seem to always reach the same points: I'm a crook and casino games are rigged and it's not even gambling unless the player makes money 100% of the time. If the cardboard Michael Appleby, superstud, could just stand there and take the verbal assault on the chin for me I could at ,the very least, double my productivity.

Really, though, I'm not too concerned with the police dotting the landscape with carboard cops. It's a proven fact that cardboard cut-outs increase urban tourism by 1.7% and provide much needed kindling to city transients. What I wanted to really get at with this little tirade of mine, is a quote from the article, which is as follows:

And these mock-ups are so realistic that while being tested on a Vancouver street this week, "a tow-truck driver pulled up and started talking to it," Staff Sergeant Ralph Pauw told a press conference on Thursday.



You're a tow-truck driver and you see a realistic cardboard mock-up of a police officer, drive up to said mock-up, and just start conversing with it? At some point during that conversation, which undoubtedly would be one-sided, if that sided at all (I like to imagine that the word "talking" referred to monosyllic grunts and the possible flinging of one's own feces), would you or would you not notice the total lack of a third dimension in the person you're "talking" to?

As a Canadian, one thing that I took pride in for a great number of years was our education system. I stood proud as a educated member of society and, given, the proper platform, I would boast about how intelligent and cultivaed we were as a nation. Then I read an article in which an authority figure describes how an average tow truck driver tried to strike up a conversation with what is, for all intents and purpose, a piece of fucking cardboard!

Hey Joe! Long time, no see! How are the wife and kids?

-Distant, blank stare from an image pasted to a sheet of cardboard.

What? Why aren't you talking to me? Was it something I said? Oh my god, it's your wife, isn't it? You got a divorce and it's still a really hard thing to talk about? Oh my god! I'm so sorry man! I had no idea! I feel for you. I went through the same thing not three years ago almost to this very day. It still pisses me off sometimes when dudes are coming up to me at parties without having been in touch with me for so long and they're all like, "Dude, man, how's the old ball and chain lifestyle treating ya? You must be having crazy married sex every day?" And seriously, when they say stuff like that it hurts me a lot. Even talking about it now gets me a little choked up. I'm so glad to have people like you around because you really no how to listen.

-Distant, blank stare from an image pasted to a sheet of cardboard.

Well, aren't you going to say anything? Look man, I apologized for bringing up the subject of your wife. She was no good for you anyway. She was a total tramp. I saw her whoring herself out at that party that one time, going up to guys and like rubbing herself all up in there, you know? I was going around and I was all like, "Hey dude, don't be lured by the va-jay-jay, you know what I'm saying? She's married to Joe! And fucking around behind his back? That ain't right, man! That shit just ain't right! No way! No how! If Joe don't fuck your shit up with some traffic citations I'll fuck your shit up because I'm loyal to Joe!" I did my best, dude, but I mean there's no way for me to be watching out for your lady twenty four seven because I mean I got shit to do sometimes. That's just how it is. But I was looking out for you when I could. I really was.

-Distant, blank stare from an image pasted to a sheet of cardboard.

Goddamn it Joe! Say something! We're bros! Amigos!

-Distant, blank stare from an image pasted to a sheet of cardboard.

Fine be an asshole! You know what? You're a piece of shit! I fucking hate you. No wonder your wife practically raped me at that party! All you do is you sit there what with your radar gun just aiming all the time! I mean, when the fuck do you ever just put the radar gun down and interact with people? Huh? Seriously! This whole stoic officer of the law schtick? It gets fucking old real fucking fast!

-Distant, blank stare from an image pasted to a sheet of cardboard.

I fucking hate you! I don't even know why I took the time to pull over to talk to you. Listen to all these people honking their horns because I'm slowing them down just so I can find out what's happening with big city cop Joe. And what kind of appreciation do I get? None. You, sir, are a big bag of dirty douche! Fucking fall on your taser, you piece of shit!

Then the tow truck driver speeds off and the gust of wind that the sudden departure of his tow truck creates blows over the cardboard cut-out.

And... end of scene.

I don't know exactly where I was going with that one, but I think I threw it out there and somehow managed to bring all right back in at the end. Kudos to me.

I suppose I shouldn't abandon all hope when finding out that a tow truck driver can try to have a conversation with a piece of cardboard.

No wait. Before I continue I just have to say this again: Really? Seriously? A piece of cardboard? And you stop your truck to talk to it? Which cereal box did you get your driver's license from? What was the inanimate object saying back to you? Really? Seriously?

But, like I said, I should be able to salvage something out of this new-found knowledge about where we stand in the scheme of things. Canada against the world. All that sort of mumbo jumbo.

And I guess it's this. Maybe the idea of a cardboard cut-out of Michael Appleby, superstud, isn't such a wacky idea after all.