If you happen to be driving across northern Nevada and pass through the town of Battle Mountain, I strongly suggest a stop at Roller Coaster Fireworks Outlet. Among the combustibles there is a two-foot rocket that is shaped and colored like a massive golden phallus. It’s called The Foreign Policy Maker. Personally, I thought the naming convention was a little awkward. I would go more with Foreign Policy Implementer, or Enactor, or Utility. But then, what do I know about fireworks branding.
I was there with Mikael Lindahl, a Swedish artist and friend. We were on our way back to Oakland after installing Mikael’s sculpture at the Center For Land Use Interpretation. Upon entering the store we were appropriately profiled as not-from-around-here. Mikael has long blond hair and I was wearing an Oakland A’s hat. The shop owner, a man who looks, acts, and dresses exactly like Herman the military antiques dealer from The Simpsons promptly recounted a story to his colleague about a guy coming all the way from San Francisco to buy $500 worth of fireworks. But he said the words “San Francisco” in this way that you so rarely hear it in the bay area. It’s a way that you can say those words to denote a complete disdain for what they represent: SAN FRAN cisco. Heavy on the first two syllables, light on the last two, like you’re saying “I HATE dentists.” Yep, I get it, no sudden movements.
So after making my selections (24 roman candles, various types) I proceeded to check out. While the owner bagged my purchases he also slipped two items into the bag: these things that look like incense sticks and are used to light fireworks. I pointed to the objects and asked:
“Do you call these punks?”
Flatly he said “Yeah.”
I said “We used to call them that when I was a kid but I didn’t know if that’s what everybody calls them.” I could see a change in his composure. Somehow, my hazy childhood memory of things I associate with blowing stuff up resonated with him.
“Nothing smells like a punk.” He said.
“Yeah, you’re right.” I took the bag from the counter, and Mikael and I headed out.
Here’s some new stuff that my video club Wonderment Consortium just released. I am especially proud of these because I wrote both of them (Click To Play):
Scott V’s “Underground” Comedy Tour
And here’s some upcoming shows that I’ll be doing:
Thanks for reading and kindest regards,