Freudian Slips: February 2009

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

February 24, 2009

A Tree Grows In Bridgeton

Bridgeton, New Jersey has neighborhoods with boarded houses and gritty crime that raises its ugly head along the impoverished landscape. I always keep my eyes peeled when I have reason to drive through its back roads on business.
When I stopped at a red light with my window cracked, I heard a roaring chainsaw start up out of nowhere. I checked my rearview mirror but I was alone at the light plus no pedestrians were in eyesight. As the chainsaw revved, I looked around at a row of plywood sealed rundown houses but the otherwise quiet street did not offer a clue.
Once the chainsaw began sounding like it was having difficulty eating whatever it was being fed, goose bumps hiked on my forearms. As I waited for a green light, I became unnerved over not being able to discern the peculiar situation. Then to my immediate right, a plywood door swung open. A Mexican man walked to a curbside idle truck for tools. His egress exposed the underbelly of what was once a home for humans. Wood chips flew everywhere, raining down on my windshield like strange confetti.
I looked inside the vacant building. A lumberjack of a man worked on cutting down a huge tree that had almost outgrown the width of the building. To my astonishment, I looked up and confirmed that the tree also peeked out the dilapidated rooftop. It triumphed over its surroundings proving bigger than the house that once kept it prisoner.
I wondered what the perseverant tree must be thinking as it drew closer to its last carbon monoxide breath….humans for hire killing the only living thing on an entire block. Humm...this deeply rooted social worker drove on.


February 21, 2009

Club Ped

A Barbie Doll TV newsreporter covering the dreadful disappearance of five-year-old Haleigh Cummings tossed out a statistic too matter of factly for my liking. Without batting her fake eyelashes, she reported, “within a five mile radius of where the girl disappeared from her house, there are 44 registered sex offenders.” I don’t want to sound like an alarmist but Satsuma, Florida is described as a sparsely populated retirement community. I have never been good in arithmetic but unless they live next door to a maximum-security penal institution, this neighborhood sounds like a hotbed called Club Ped!
Take a compass and mileage markers to the scene of the crime. This means no matter which way the little girl might have tried to flee for her life…north south, east or west…a sex offender lurks within every tenth mile. Have we become that sinister of a society to prey on our most innocent and vulnerable members of the human race at such a proclivity? Maybe some ostrich people are better of not knowing the danger circling the compass. Until somebody tells me differently, I hope these numbers are outrageously skewed and not the national average. What you do not know will not kill you…until it does.


February 18, 2009

Snake Eyes

I recently returned from a two-night stay in Caesar’s casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A high roller must have canceled their luxurious accommodations because the casino upgraded us to a spacious suite with an ocean view. All the hired help from porter to maid to waitress to dealer seemed extremely friendly to see gamblers in their hotel.
Drink in hand but trying not to act hoity toity, I strolled through a number of casinos to gauge this country’s stubborn recession. Riding the escalator, I could look out and see entire sections of gaming floor empty. No gambling, no consumers, not a peep. The bus shuttles for casino jumpers was reduced to fewer runs. Counterintuitive to loose pocket patronage, nearly every television showed news coverage of the recession and debated the economic stimulus plan. Elevators were uncommonly available. Some restaurants were closed due to limited hours. Interior and exterior casino accent lighting was offed, dimmed, or only turned on during high traffic intervals.
For two days, I walked through ghost town casinos with money to burn completely unscathed and recession proof. On the third day, I returned to work and learned that my employer is imposing monthly-unpaid furlough days. If I were a betting man, I would say that the recession has finally hit home. It was only a matter of time for snake eyes.


February 10, 2009

Black Sunday

Somebody recently asked me if I ever thought I would see a black president in my lifetime.
I replied, “Yes, but I also thought I would see the Philadelphia Eagles win a Super Bowl but I have all but given up hope on that front.”


February 08, 2009

Stupid Is Award

"Forsyth County authorities say Pamela Graf had an elaborate scheme to set fire to her home for the insurance money and then blame it on her support of President Barack Obama.The scheme included spraying racist graffiti on a nearby fence and pretending to be in Washington D.C., for the presidential inauguration on Jan. 18 when her five-bedroom, 2,900-square foot house went up in smoke, authorities said late Friday."
I heard she even tried to get accepted at an electoral college. She has my vote for the Stupid Is as Stupid Does Award for 2009.


February 03, 2009

Standing Trial

Although Dudley could manage a four-pronged walker with difficulty, he preferred to use his user friendly manual wheelchair for navigation. As I read aloud his subpoena to appear in court to testify as a witness on behalf of the State of New Jersey, he stared at me from his perched position in his wheelchair. A moment of silence followed me serving him the papers.
I asked, “Dudley, do you understand your responsibility here?”
“If I am gonna stand trial, scrap this chariot. You get me new rubber tips on my walker, I’ll stand trial in more ways than one.”


February 01, 2009

Phillies Parade

-Joseph Tornatore enjoying the Philadelphia Phillies parade festivities.

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