Folks Press Magazine
An archeology of living people
cover table of contents hell weather awards rococo hide nothing funnies coracius topsy-turvy
Lead Feature
The Encyclopedia of Death
Go To Hell
Triptych Vid of Verse and Vice
Features
First Ever Weather Awards!
We Got This Under Control.com
Whelping Weather, Batman
It's New!
Rococo Fit™
Feed Your Inner Dandy
Getting To Know Your Local Police
Nothing To Hide
Adventures Abroad
Paperless Funnies
Web, Hipsters, TV, VOX
Stupie Stuff



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Issue 14 - November/December 2014
Serials
The Interview Project
Three For Silver: Coracius
Top 40 Music From Another Dimension
Modern Monsters
Topsy-Turvy
Bringing Down The Hammer
New!
November 19th
Greg Allison Benefit Show
7-10pm At The Raven & Rose
Word, Phrase, and Fable
Folks Press Almanac
Down The Rabbit Hole
Cover
Photograph by Arthur Chang
From Three For Silver: Coracius
Story Tellers
A/V & Editing by Arthur Chang
FP CPO - FP DP
I'm chief publisher and assistant editor for Folks Press.
Starring & Written by Colin Green
artist - photographer - writer
I'm the instigator of Folks Press. As well as a person who dons many hats: founder, publisher, editor, writer, musician...
Waltz of the Coroner by Courtney Von Drehle
musician
Since 1980, Emmy nominated composer Courtney Von Drehle has worked extensively as a composer, band leader and multi-instrumentalist...
The Encyclopedia of Death
Go To Hell
Triptych Vid of Verse and Vice

A joke that blurs the distinction between life and death and sex and love. A book that most people wouldn’t dare display. A Latin phrase about death that won’t die. A trip to hell where they serve donuts. Feeding the dead on the Day Of The Dead. Eulogizing living friends. It’s a joke—and no joke.

Go To Hell is a short film about jokes and death. And life. …It’s about a strange book and a curious festival. It’s about remembering.

Anything is funny if presented in the right way. Few subjects are taboo as long as the audience has a funny bone.

Enjoy the Folks Press short film: Go To Hell.

T

Perishable

That jar should’ve had a label.
Garden grown,
the green tomatillos are roasted
but never fully cooked—they don’t
last.
Eat this right away, Hugo said,
handing over the jar of his own
salsa verde,   still warm.
And for those who didn’t
listen well,
the sauce did spoil. To the other
–good eats. It’s an old family
recipe, he said.
Enjoy.


Folks Press Videos cover a vast range of topics. Anything we can dream up, technically execute, in any style that we can get away with, as long as it is befitting the subject. Enjoy! And look for more of FP Videos in the coming issues!

FP
Story Tellers
Photographs & Story by Colin Green
artist - photographer - writer
I'm the instigator of Folks Press. As well as a person who dons many hats: founder, publisher, editor, writer, musician...
First Ever Weather Awards!
We Got This Under Control.com
Whelping Weather, Batman

www.wegotthisundercontrol.com

Weather. Weather. Weather. It’s everywhere.

There’s no escape. Even indoors the home heats up or cools down, grows damp or dries out in lockstep with unruly weather. We do battle against such waywardness with home technology. Heaters. Air conditioners. Insulation. Hot water tanks. Blankets. Cotton and flannel sheets. But weather creeps in, regardless. The seasons are helpful indicators of what’s to come, but they are simply blueprints for the citadel. What’s really gonna flood the river is anybody’s guess. So we put up with it, enduring weather’s vicissitudes as one might tolerate a roller coaster ride without an exit.

The day will come, however, when we see technology that controls weather itself. This will be the birth of Weather Management, Inc. “Management” being the euphemism humans ascribe to any immoderate influences over life. No more unpredictable climate patterns, no more unruly days. This year’s weather is conveniently posted on a splashy, graphics–burdened web site—www.wegotthisundercontrol.com—sponsored by TechnoXTemperature. The presiding corporate weather utility, TechnoXTemperature is a for–profit institution hawking climate to the highest bidder. Some like it hot, says their thirty second television spot. Some like it cold. Children run amongst cornstalks beneath a regal sky, laughing and smiling. The sun shines above, a perfect circle.

In a world of weather management, planning is a breeze. One can run a finger over the digital calendar and plan the entire year, each day’s temperature and humidity calibrated in advance. No more worries about whether to bring the overcoat or the bikini. Simply click thru to purchase appropriate clothing, custom tailored for the day. Next year’s weather is sponsored by Big Ag, who phoned in the order from offices orbiting the planet, the precise temperatures set for carpets of genetically modified crops blanketing the heartlands. Our weather is your weather, proclaims the Big Ag banner. City and country folk love it!

Admittedly there are a few kinks in our utopia. The previous year, small farmers with rain dependent crops on the Mediterranean lost out to sailing and sunbathing weather. That year was dry and sunny on the coast, thanks to weather purchased by a consortium of beach–oriented tourist agencies, the king and queen of England, and a Hollywood Studio actors guild, featuring name brand stars. But even that ended well, as the farmers found a new home, successfully serving artisan fruit and vegetable cocktails underneath beach umbrellas; the very same umbrellas beneath which consortium members lounged, the marketplace readjusting with an invisible backhand. And then there is the occasional bizarre anecdote, such as the case of Marty Belfire. A CEO who famously saved for a lifetime, Belfire used his savings to secretly purchase a temperate day from Monsanto, a surprise for the wife’s retirement party. The wife, however, was unable to attend, having consumed too many artisan cocktails while on a beach in the Mediterranean. Belfire’s day and lifesavings were for not. On the whole, mostly positive weather notes abound. For instance, Google, Coke, and Disney have teamed up to guarantee winter months of 70° temperatures for the year following. These moderate days are to coincide with big tent virtual amusements, designed by Disney, engineered by Google, and companioned by an array of interactive flavors choices of corporate sodas. All in weather specific flavors.

It’s the future, folks. Be prepared to toss out the furnace. Don’t doubt it, for there is someone, somewhere, out there in the world, at this very moment, at work on a dream of weather management.

Bet on it.

helter–skelter

Meantime, contemporary weather talk is largely relegated to the work commute and references to one’s vacation. That’s about the long and short of it. Turn on the television and there’s some woman in a weird pantsuit trying to put a smile on ugly commuting weather. It’s called news. Similarly, a pit–stop at the water cooler affords the usual snippets of how it’s a great day for a lake trip, if only we weren’t chained to a desk and the vacation pay would somehow allow it.

Taken as a whole, the weather of the nation appears to be:
1. 70° degrees and sunshine;
2. Rain on the drive home;
3. Minus 12° and snowing.

Over and over the same news, brought to you via the traffic cam and the pantsuit. Then along comes a storm… and everyone runs to the window. Faces pressed against the glass, our hearts pound before the earth in a lusty act.

Which is why we are here today.

One of the unrecognized benefits of unruly weather is, well… its inconstancy. Its helter skelter. Its madness. A future of predictability aside, weather is grand dramaturgy. It’s a performance. And the time has come to recognize weather’s matchless achievements in theater. There is no greater actor, dramatist, and storyteller. Spanning all of world history and the full spectrum of emotion, from lightning cracks to parching droughts to subtle sunsets to eroding rains, weather phenomena has literally shaped the world and made it what it is today. As difficult as it might be, there is something reassuring in the vicissitudes of weather, its variety, its nomadic bearing, its moodiness. There’s no denying it. The weather puts on a damn good show.

Awards are in order.

the 2014 awards for best atmospheric conditions

Presented here for the first time are awards for categories of weather: The 2014 Awards For Best Atmospheric Conditions. Included are acknowledgments of previously unrecognized yet valued weather patterns, representing new inductees into the canon of weatherspeak. Alongside these youngsters—new patterns such as Lone Airplane—are old favorites—such as Thunder and Lightning Storm—which are finally receiving their due.

Pass the envelope, please.

Ozone

winner: most electrifying opening act

In the minutes before the rowdy ruckus and the arrival of rain, the air transforms. It becomes electric. City and forest and ocean aglow in fantastic colors, lit by the grand theatrical gels. It’s this unusual aspect, uncommon and uncanny, that grabs the attention. But what makes this scene truly celebrated is the scent, a fragrance of musk and peat, materializing from thin air. Only the most disenfranchised souls fail to point their snout and gather the airborne nectar. This is Ozone, the messenger, arriving on a gusting chariot, announcing the upcoming storm, and whisking off. Disappeared completely.

Not since Mercury has a messenger so consistently succeeded in stealing the show.

muscle car blue

winner: best sky resembling a paint job

It’s sky like a muscle car, bright blue and shinning from a fresh wax. Cloud–free, blue–domed, a daytime phosphorescence, luminous, this weather tours the boulevard, cruising the streets from horizon to horizon, cool baby. A yellow ball arches across the dome, tracing its curve like a finger passing over the hood of a fastback. It’s a carefree show. Points for understated glamor.

raindrops keep falling on my head

winner: most consistent performance from an inconsistent player

Unending, relentless downpour must needs be recognized for it constancy, ever ready for a supporting role to our everyday acting. This special weather pattern is as regular as a laxative, and as annoying as a friend who comes around too often but whom you’d miss if they moved to the country to become a beet farmer. Among its attributes, this weather makes one grateful for shelter of almost any kind. A newspaper atop your head, for instance. While Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head can be exceedingly romantic, it is likewise known to cause of various maladies, including, but not limited to, the self–explanatory Wet Cat Syndrome, once suffered by an entire town. The town withstood thirty–eight straight days of rain, just two days shy of the end of the world. At some point you just stop bringing the umbrella.

contrails

winner: best one man show

A single streaking line, white across the blue sky. The line left by an airplane. The line gradually drifting into dissolution. A sidewinding snake, soundless. Its audience complains of loneliness. Contrails.

This weather maintains a high standard for feeling: a solitary feeling.

the apocalypse

winner: most dramatic for a cloud formation

A black blanket of low cloud ceiling, hanging overhead, stretching all the way to the horizon, where a sinister gap opens between earth and sky. In the yawning gap, sunlight bombs through, a blinding glare, the thousand suns of an atomic blast. Yet with a twist. The sensation for the sidewalk denizen is somewhat more like a bomb and more like lying in bed in the dead of night, eyeballing suspiciously a partially open door, through which passes a chink of stark light. This is none other than dread. This weather drama, morbidly costumed and psychically dangerous, is a big budget production peopled by countless histrionic characters that flail, keen, wheedle, and wail. Each and every one in a panic.

Points for being at–once frightening yet exhilaratingly operatic.

thunder and lightning showboat

winner: most classic display

As with any awards, it’s only right to honor an old timer. This weather keeps faces pressed against the window glass. Terrifying and thrilling in equal measure, this is a mad Zeus tossing bolts of lightning and thundering on his drum, fissures of electric spark caroming off a roiling black background in sweet fury. A favorite through the centuries, an entertainment staple that never grows old, it’s a 100% fireworks. Despised by dogs.

How High the Moon

winner: most romantic weather while remaining a clichÉ

A sparklingly clear night, capped by a full moon’s corona, which happens to be both a halo of upper altitude ice crystals as well as a grand circle surrounding the white orb of our own night sun. This subtle performance is often overshadowed by the antics of revelers in the street, noisy and daft, putatively propelled by exactly that which they overlook, moonstruck. The night performance of How High The Moon is at times misunderstood, marred by romantic clichés of the full moon itself. Those blinded audiences see only the idea of the moon, which appears in the mind like a paper cutout. Most likely to be thrilled by this performance are those awoken in the night. An eerie pallor cascades through the curtains and carves shadows upon the wall. High above, the brilliant orb has pledged to romance you, though this is not love in a rumble seat. Seats for How High The Moon are royal boxes, poised and overhanging the love object at the just proper distance for admiration and applause.

Beacon in the Shire

winner: most likely to bust out the liquor

To say that one has a cloud over one’s head is correct. Specifically, this cloud is never white or black. Instead it is always shades of grey, restless and relentless. It hangs atop the head and lasts for weeks and weeks and weeks. Without variation. Monochromatic. Laconic. Crushing. This weather is a leading cause of drinking in small towns. Also known as Olympia Grey, for its namesake, Olympia, Washington. Olympia being an archetypal location to own a bar, a beacon in the shire, where folks are soaked to the gills. Everybody knows your name.

Lone Airplane

winner: best angst

Blue sky, small clouds, and the sound of a lone airplane.

FP
Story Tellers
Anna Beaty
writer
Anna is a native Oregonian who somehow, somewhere, acquired a 19th century gentlewoman's skillset...
It's New
Rococo Fit™
Feed Your Inner Dandy

Prologue

It seems to be the fashion of late to mine the distant past—from prehistoric preambles to Garden of Eden edicts—for our present diets and fitness fads. And, yet, in doing so, we bypass perfectly delightful, civilized ages which could hold the key to the edification of our bodies and minds. I propose—a very modest proposal—that we turn our fitness sights and senses to that most elegant and charming era of 18th century European art, the Rococo. What better period to inform our figures and our feasts!

q

For, ultimately, we must ask ourselves: Why eat like a caveman, when you can dine like a Queen?

FP
Story Tellers
Courtney Von Drehle
musician
Since 1980, Emmy nominated composer Courtney Von Drehle has worked extensively as a composer, band leader and multi-instrumentalist...
Getting To Know Your Local Police
Nothing To Hide
Adventures Abroad

In retrospective view, the events of our lives are transformed, the sharp edges worn down, the fear burnished out and our personal histories take on a comfortably well–worn patina. The years go by and the exactitude of memory is replaced with lines like, “as I recall,” or, as we frequently hear in political testimony, “I cannot recall.” Time and will turn the well calibrated megapixels of our memory into a thin wash of cross–fading watercolors, delicate pictures with burnt and crumbling edges. Thankfully so. When I was detained for streaking, the first time that is, sitting in the back of a police car as it approached my home and my unknowing parents, my thoughts were not focused on what a great story this was going to make in years to come. Oh no. I was worried. I had no idea how this was all was going to play out. I was naked in the back of a police car and frightened. I felt exposed. It was 1973, and although the streaking craze was going full bore in the United States, in England, where I lived, social mores were more demure, as one would expect, and streaking had not yet caught on. I was twelve years old.

5

At our house, we subscribed to an English tabloid paper, The Daily Mail. It contained the unavoidable serious news of the day, but a large portion of it was devoted to sports and another portion catered to light weight “news items,” such as how Americans were throwing off their clothes and running naked through public events, not in protest, but in fun! As Americans overseas, my family read these reports with amused interest. Some members of the family may have taken more interest in them than others. I’m pretty sure it never occurred to my father to go to the office wearing nothing but the birthday suit that he was born in. I, on the other hand, at the tender age of twelve, had fewer concerns and the performer in me was taken with the idea of streaking. Around the same time, my eldest sister, Carin, had recently passed her driver’s test and was excited to be driving and frequently engaged in excursions through the small village in which we lived. I don’t recall us having an actual discussion or planning session, but we must have, as one clear spring Sunday afternoon, I was sitting in the passenger seat of the car, wearing nothing but my red bathrobe, as Carin drove from our house to a small section of our local High Street, lined with sweet shops, news agents, a small hardware store, doctor’s offices, and a few houses. We came upon the idea that she would drop me off at one end of the collection of shops and while I streaked down the street, she would turn around and pick me up at the other end. A Sunday afternoon, not many people around – it wasn’t exactly a bold embrace of streaking, more like streaking–lite – but it was my first time. It seemed daring enough.

I spotted the pole and decided that I would go stand behind it and give myself just a little bit of coverage

Things began as we imagined, with my sister stopping the sporty Ford Capri at one end of the street and I exiting the car, sans bathrobe. I had never before run naked in public. As I started jogging to the other end of the street, I was surprised how natural and freeing it felt. By running naked, I was making a direct connection back in time to a more primitive version of man, a homo sapiens who felt no embarrassment at being seen without clothes. In fact, at that earlier stage in human development, a guy would have had a lot explaining to do if he was seen wearing any clothes at all while attending one of the monthly paleo feast and cave painting sessions that served as neanderthal meet and greets.

The section of the High Street that I was streaking on was fairly short. I made it to the end of the street before my sister had even succeeded in turning the car around, let alone arrived to pick me up. As natural as running naked felt, standing on the grass verge, naked, waiting to be picked up, was not a natural feeling at all. As the moments of waiting added up, I become more and more aware of this.

Nearby was a footpath, a cut–through behind some houses and, like many English footpaths, it was marked with a small sign attached to a metal pole; a pole similarly sized to one of the poles used for American “Stop” signs. As I stood naked on the grass verge, I spotted the pole and decided that I would go stand behind it and give myself just a little bit of coverage, an adapted modern day metallic fig leaf. I had not been standing there long at all when I was surprised to hear the phrase “ ’ello sunshine,” and see appear before me a full–on English bobby. Oh dear. Actually, I think the bobby was as surprised as I was, as his first response was to direct me to stand with my hands against the fence as he prepared to frisk me. Upon quick reflection, he soon realized that this wasn’t necessary.

As his fellow officer pulled up the police car, my sister arrived, and while I stood by the fence, as much behind the pole as I possibly could, Carin and the policemen engaged in some chatter that I could not hear. After a short while, it was suggested that I sit in the back of the police car and that they would take me home and have a word with my parents.

I sat down on the cold blue vinyl seat. It was not a modern day police car with a Plexiglas separator between the police and the apprehended. It was more like a civilian car that had the police insignia painted on the side and a set of flashing lights attached to the roof, to be used as needed. The police did not turn on the siren or the flashing lights as they drove me home. It was quiet in the car. Very quiet. No one said a word. I was naked. I felt very naked. I imagined being offered a police coat to temporarily cover myself with, but that only happened in my imagination. I hadn’t foreseen this streaking adventure ending up with a ride in a police car. All the articles that I had read made it sound like fun. They didn’t mention that it could be frightening, too.

The police car pulled into our driveway and parked. They had arrived before my sister. One of the bobbies got out of the car and walked over to the solid wooden front door of our English Tudor house. It was 4.30 pm on a pleasant Sunday afternoon. As far as my parents knew, we had just gone out for a Sunday drive. The policeman rang the doorbell and waited a few moments until my father came to the door.

“Mr. Von Drehle, sir?” The policeman inquired.

“Yes,” my father replied.

“I’m afraid that we have caught your son streaking and we have him in the back of the car.”

Silence.

My father said nothing.

He was dumbstruck.

I did not hear this fragmented conversation at the time. It was only later, when I was told about it, that I came to realize how shocked my dad was. After a moment, my father went back into the house and after several long minutes, came back to the front door and exchanged a few more words with the policeman. He had brought a pair of my jeans with him, which he handed to the policeman, and when they were done talking, the jeans were brought to me in the back of the car. For all my then recent discoveries of the beautiful and natural feelings associated with nudity, I was very relieved to get those pants on. I exited the police car and quickly crossed the driveway and entered our home.

‘ello sunshine

I don’t have the clearest recall of what happened next. I was in trouble. My sister was in a lot more trouble. My father was concerned, in his position as an overseas executive, what the consequences of this might be. No one was having any fun at our house for the next few days. We awaited word from the police as to what was going to happen. Would it be reported in our local newspaper, The Brentwood Gazette? Only a few weeks earlier, they had had a front page article on a local resident, Mrs. Frost, who had found a rather large bee’s nest underneath a bench at the side of her house. Was next weeks headline going to be "Foreign Lad Caught Fleeing Home Without Clothes." I have to admit, in part I wanted to see that story in print.

On Tuesday evening, around 6.30 p.m., the phone rang and my dad answered it. One of the local constabulary relayed a message from the police captain: “The guvnor has decided not to press any charges, sir.” That was good news; the kind of news that years later can help turn a somewhat anxious adventure into an amusing anecdote, thankfully so. I have told this tale to a few friends over the years, but not in quite a while. Recently, I was surprised when one of them greeted me with “ ‘ello sunshine” and a cheeky knowing smile. Fortunately, at the time, I had no need for a nearby sign pole.

FP
Story Tellers
Cartoon by Colin Green
artist - photographer - writer
I'm the instigator of Folks Press. As well as a person who dons many hats: founder, publisher, editor, writer, musician...
Paperless Funnies
Web, Hipsters, TV, VOX
Stupie Life

What is a funny bone, anyway? Ha ha ha! Check out the last word on the subject. Fascinating…

laugh v.

Make the spasmodic inarticulate sounds, the movements of the facial muscles, the shaking of the sides, etc., which are the instinctive expressions of lively amusement, scorn, exultation, etc., or reactions to certain physical sensations, such as that produced by tickling.

Bring into a given state or position by laughing; esp. persuade (a person) out of a belief.

cartoon n.

An illustrative drawing in a newspaper or magazine, esp. as a vehicle for political satire or humor; an amusing drawing with or without a caption.

Enjoy the spasmodic inarticulate sounds!
FP
Announcement
Greg Allison Benefit Show
November 19th
Greg Allison was recently involved in a freak accident with a piece of sheet metal. He should make a full recovery, but he will be unable to play for several months. He is now facing several months with no steady income and some not inconsiderable medical bills. This month's 3rd Wednesday show at Raven & Rose will be a benefit for Greg. Details here>>>



About
Three For Silver
musician
Three For Silver represents a curious hybrid of acoustic music. The twin melodies of Willo Sertain’s vocals and Greg Allison’s violin glide atop the chugging polyrhythms of Lucas Warford’s homemade bass...

Production
A/V & Editing by Arthur Chang
FP CPO - FP DP
I'm chief publisher and assistant editor for Folks Press.
Coordination & A/V by Colin Green
artist - photographer - writer - producer
I'm the instigator of Folks Press. As well as a person who dons many hats: founder, publisher, editor, writer, musician...
Special thanks to Reed College
The Interview Project
Three For Silver: Coracius
Top 40 Music From Another Dimension…

Reaching out to grab people, through hooks or an evocative and emotional quality of sound, a bunch of weirdoes band together to make catchy, cool music.

Inspired to take acoustic instruments into offbeat places, a folk tradition on wheels, these guys roll wherever they can fit the music. Out to the streets. Or onto a boat. Or upon the stage of a Cabaret. Wherever. It could be on bikes and in canoes. You see, it’s about possibilities, the more the merrier. And it’s just good forward thinking, giving the low prospects of peak oil and societal collapse…

ab

You can only say so much to people.

But if you can create a feeling with sound, you can be that much more understood. It’s an understanding coming from a place new and old, familiar and strange. It’s all about the connection.

In the end, what you get is Top 40 music from an alternative universe. You get a universe where the bass banjo is more popular than the electric guitar!

You get Three For Silver.

And you gotta see this video!


3 For Silver has a new recording freshly minted!

The vibe is old and new. Something missed in time and recovered in the future. It’s Three For Silver taped at Chicago’s HiSTYLE RECORDS, old analog gear and a brand new attitude. It’s an original concoction.

threeforsilver.tumblrcom

eNEW ALBUM OUT SOON!f

February 5th, 2015


FP
Story Tellers
Photo Essay by Colin Green
artist - photographer - writer
I'm the instigator of Folks Press. As well as a person who dons many hats: founder, publisher, editor, writer, musician...
Modern Monsters
Topsy-Turvy
Bringing Down The Hammer

Getting Retooled

You set the hammer down yesterday, placing it in a toolbox of handheld items.

When you return the next day and lift the toolbox lid, the hammer is gone. You spend the next few hours searching the garage. When at last you find it, the hammer is shelved with the yard tools, the leaf rakes and garden shovels. It makes no sense. A hammer is not a garden tool, a gardener doesn’t hammer flowers into the ground. It’s as if something else placed the hammer there, something not human, certainly not you.

It gets worse.

Not only is it misplaced, but the hammer itself is not the same as you left it. The tool now sports an infirmed handle, shrunken, slippery and difficult to grip, and the claw is missing, replaced by a ball peen, making it impossible to pull out a nail. Since you have no need for blacksmithing in the 21st Century, the ball peen has no need for you. Together you are useless, made so overnight, and quite without anyone’s consent. That’s when you notice that the rake and shovel have somehow become covered in electronic buttons, and are touched up in bright colors, as if to better sell the buttons. But what do the buttons do? They are mute, minus explanation. When you try to remove the rake it remains fixed to the floor. After ten minutes of experimenting, you strike an accidental series of commands and the rake comes free of the floor. Far from relieved, however, looking down, you notice that the rake’s talons are retracted.

An hour later the rake is finally working. You, however, are not.

The morning has been spent and not an ounce of work has been completed, yet you have been in struggle throughout. Anger starts to swell, your face turning hot. Things are somehow all wrong, upside down. Scratching your head, you wonder out loud, “What the hell is going on…?” That’s when you notice a sign hanging on the garage door. Printed on fancy letterhead, the sign contains the following message:

Improvements have been made to your garage. Tools updated. Locations modernized. Please remit the $250.00 charge for services. If the charge is not remitted by the first of next month, the table saw and electric drill will disappear forever and the hacksaw will no longer receive a blade.

This is the moment when it dawns on you.

9

A deeply disturbing urban monster, one that stalks worksites with mischief, a monster known as the Topsy-Turvy, has paid you a visit. It’s a deceptive creature, one considered idealistic by some, representing a bright future, yet, as others point out, somehow always associated with a bill for services. Speculation abounds, it’s in its nature for the creature to leave one guessing. For invisibility is its salient characteristic, its creed. The Topsy-Turvy is somehow everywhere, getting into everything, without the responsible animal actually ever being seen. Indeed, its principal claim to material existence is largely the ubiquitous remittance slip found in its wake. The same can be said in terms of the creature’s meaning, it’s up for grabs. Adding to this sense of invisibility, the creature is without culpability or shame, rarely commenting except to self congratulate. The Topsy-Turvy does not answer its phone, any more than it makes a mistake. It’s with a dose of tart irony that one realizes that it was the creature itself that sold you the phone in the first place, a device entirely useless for contacting its seller.

Standing in the garage, surrounded by foreign tools and bizarre taxonomies, you stare down at the phone, as if it might suddenly become helpful in this situation. And you consider that this phone can manicure your nails and summon a taxi. Yet its design appears every bit like a deodorizing insert for an athletic shoe.

It’s an unpleasant moment. You feel like a dupe.

Getting Outta Hand

Clues regarding the creature’s nature and significance do exist.

The Topsy-Turvy’s billing method is telling scat, a wicked scent worth scrutiny, a thing familiar from the recent past, something the aging will recall. Not long ago it was called extortion. Now that the practice is legal, it’s considered a form of laudable business genius, upon which the creature hangs its reputation as progressive member of society. Understanding this hints at creature’s essence, yet it’s confusing, still. On one hand, many accept the creature’s public relations and view the Topsy-Turvy as a modern convenience, a high tech can-opener-cum-juggernaut. While on the other hand, others find its practices heavy on the grease and its services suspiciously resembling a mirage. Truly it must be said that it is a creature comprised of evasion.

Given the confusion and the creature’s invisibility, anecdotal evidence can be enlightening. For instance, its invisibility strikes one woman, who spent a week locating the On switch for her toaster, as smacking of certain cowardice and worthy suspicion. Yet, in the light of criticism the Topsy-Turvy is institutionally unfazed. It is without reply. And continues regret-free to do what it does best: turn things upside down. It simply assumes its invisibility and quixotic mien as evidence of efficacy, desirability, and necessity.

Despite the Topsy-Turvy’s self-assurance, many people who enjoy working with their hands are frequently miffed. One representative with callous palms recently proclaimed that the Topsy-Turvy is more than a monster. It’s a paradigm shift. The very definition of insanity, he said, is when your experience and your reality don’t match. Mankind, once the toolmaker, is now out of his mind.

For his tools… are out of his hands.

FP
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