Monday, December 27, 2010

"Dangerous Creatures Booted From Hoosier Town"

Back home for the holidays. I think I've mentioned that I grew up in Valparaiso, Indiana. If I haven't, well, that 's where I'm from. Growing up there, it's a small town. Even now, I think there's only about 30,000 people here, which makes it a small town.

Growing up in Northwest Indiana is kind of a schizophrenic experience. You've got the heavy metal industries just a few miles west of us, residing in Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago. And just a few miles east of that is the lush bucolic countryside where I was raised. As a result, I'm probably in exceptionally better health, contaminant wise, than most US citizens. True, there was a witch's brew of volatiles and heavy minerals that we were occasionally dosed with on the westerly breezes, but nothing compared to most city dwellers.

And then, given the fact that I was raised on milk from dairy cows at a local farm, with local beef and produce, living in a (then small) suburban neighborhood surrounded by woods, swamp, lakes, family farms, drank incredibly clean fossil glacier water from Lake Michigan, lived in a dead center middle class lifestyle with a minimum stress level in small town America, with an idyllic Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn childhood, I'm probably one of the most pampered, privileged, sleek, soft, stupid, happy people you could ever hope to be.

I think it shows. I seem to be younger looking than most people my age, or at least younger acting, and I have to chalk that up to having a really soft life - but not too soft. I recognize my fortune, obviously take it way too much for granted, and am finally appreciative for just how fucking LUCKY I've been. It could have gone South in ten thousand hideous ways, or four billion hideous ways, if you look at life statistics for most of the world.

So, after dealing with small, stunted, bitterly sour, withered, ruinously toxified city folk, its nice to come back to TV Land. It really is TV Land here. No difficult choices. No major crimes. Looking through the local news, its all DUIs and possession of controlled substances. Occasionally, you will see a news item like "Home Invader Eats Food, Does Dishes. (That one actually happened).

So today I am greeted with the following news item in the local paper:
"Dangerous Animal Statute Approved
Laporte outlaws monkeys, baboons, poisonous snakes, piranha, and sharks"
I see you guys hangin' around town. You just - you just get the hell right on outta here.

1 comment:

  1. When I was growing up in Houston it wasn't the 4th largest city in the US. We lived on the edge of town surrounded by woods and fields and the bayou. What a playground. No local milk or meat though. Now we have left the big city rumble for this small town, less that 10,000 people and we love it. In fact I have to go spend three days in the city this week and I'm not liking it.