social butterfly

On quite a roll this past month with seemingly a concert or show or holiday party to attend each week, including the now famed and cemented (like stars in a Hollywood sidewalk) Gentlemen’s Shopping Day… which is in danger of becoming the only time each year my oldest friends can all get together, life/family/work/geography having weakened our compatriotic glue.

We set out with canes and top hats to Newport, RI, where there is much shopping, culinary fare and bolstering spirits to be had, most of us gravitating, and later listing, a bit more towards the latter of those amenities. I was greeted by this year’s GSD with a cup of delectable chowder and a bloody maria, which is a bloody mary made with tequila. Dee-lish! The next thing I remember there was a heated argument at the police evidence window over the rightful place for the harpoon I had been caught wielding at a horribly out-of-season and unlucky tourist. I graciously ceded my claim to the restaurant owner and Newport’s finest and let them throw their respective weight around as I slunk out under the protective wing of our lawyer friend. Let the record show though, I had a holding cell full of minor Newport crackpots convinced I was the last Mexican whaler on planet earth. Named Juan Consalvo. Three years of high school Spanish just needed the right trigger…

But rejoining reality for a moment, I’m taking a moment to reflect as I hang on here to my extremely late thirties. Yes, I’ll be 41 tomorrow. Which after the kick in the *$%#! of turning 40 is really just like another minor toe-kick to the temple. No, so one of the recent outings — as I desperately try to remain alive and relevant in the world — was going to see Norm MacDonald perform at the Wilbur theater. He is 51 years old, and while he was hilarious at times I couldn’t help but instantly become terrified at what the next 10 years hold in store. At first I thought he was doing his Bob Dole impression. But it wasn’t an impression. But before I start wallowing here, I should say that all I have to do is think about what 70-year-old me would say to me now… “Forty-one… I’m wearing socks that are older than you!” And really, worrying about growing old or worrying about death is a very poor use of our time being somewhat young and somewhat alive, no?

That said, with age and experience comes some wisdom… and maybe some curmudgeonliness. Another show I was at recently was at the House of Blues, after watching my brother play with the first band — which was a lot of fun — I thought I’d stick around amidst the young and decidedly pushy crowd for the final act, Trombone Shorty. More like Trombone Shoot me. It was like this roomful of people, including the musicians, had just discovered funk music. And to be fair, maybe they had and the fanfare and assaulting light show seemed appropriate to others in the room born a couple decades after the ’70s. I was also in a bad mood because moments before they came on, I was standing in a decent spot on the floor with nice little buffer zone in front of me… and some oblivious group comes and stands right in that space with the tallest dude directly in front of me. So having not moved myself, I’m now staring at the back of his neck. Seriously? Luckily, I still had the harpoon from Newport…

So Chanukah is here and Xmas approaches… I think I handled the bulk of my Xmas shopping in a couple of deft maneuvers on the wife’s Amazon Prime account. “Free shipping!! By oppressed factory workers… all of labor’s gains, forgotten!!!” But is there enough time to organize Walmart and Target and Amazon workers before automation takes over and drones are delivering everything we need to our doorsteps? One of my non-starter recent business ideas is called Drone Me. Basically you can send yourself anywhere by renting out a drone from a zipcar-like hub nearby to wherever you need to go — for a business meeting or to climb Mt. Everest, say. A little helicopter drone with a camera and screen and speakers would transport your image and voice to wherever you need to go, allowing you to see and hear and maneuver around the location. For business meetings, a little necktie would be deployed to hang below your face on the screen. Now sure, we have some hurdles with the FAA to clear… and we’d have to get past our contributing to the seclusion of society behind distancing technology. Or would this really be the technology that brings us closer together, allowing us to be in more places at once… everywhere and nowhere?

Bah, we all know the personal drone thing would quickly devolve into chaos. The legal system would be struggling to keep up with the rash of human-on-drone violence. “Daddy, you said you’d be at my recital!!! ***WHAPPP*** ***Bxzzzzzzttt**” “Oh I see… it’s not me, it’s you?? THHWUNKK!” Drones at a party would be constantly and obviously scanning the room at other drones and non-drones alike. “Don’t think I didn’t see you maneuver your drone when that girl walked past and bump into six other people as you tried to follow her for ten feet… I may be here as a drone too but I did not miss that, Henry T. Sampson!! ZAAPPP!!” The drones would be equipped with small lasers that would inflict only a small shock on humans but would be enough to fry and disable other drones. Laser tag would be epic.

Investors are lining up. Ok, so I hope the holidays are finding you well, healthy, content, still interacting with other humans on a semi-regular basis. I mean not so much that you question why the Earth and all animal and plant life have not joined forces against us already, but enough to share a laugh, a thought or a feeling, as only we humans can do! Take that, dolphins!! What? Ok, until next time, I’m secularly and humanly yours…



About ericf73

A modern-day combination of Noah, Godot and Clark W. Griswold.
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