Happy Town

by Bryan

I know that a lot of you hit the walls of text that appear on this blog face-first; that’s my fault. I suppose if my stuff was consistently interesting — like if you knew every one of these train rides was going to end up in Happy Town — it wouldn’t be a problem. In Happy Town, the sun always shines and the coffee tastes just right without adding anything. Sometimes we do end up in Happy Town, but just as often as we do we have to ride through Sad Valley to get there, where it’s always raining and the landscape is ash-colored, and constricting. You can feel it around your neck.

The problem is that there’s no map you can study to see if the train does, in fact, end up in Happy Town. The conductor doesn’t have one and it isn’t plastered on the walls. How much better would if there was! You could be like, “Is this blog post going to be good?” and you could just check the map and it would be like: Yep, you’re going to LOVE it. And you could sit back down and enjoy the ride, confident that the seconds you spent winding your eyes over the words weren’t in vain, and wouldn’t be better off staring at the TV, or inside your refrigerator.

The thing is, readers have options, and it’s my job to keep you reaching for the string and keep pulling it away… and you’re tempted to go away now, aren’t you? I’ll admit to you: this blog post has no point. It’s about writing blog posts. I’m not sure that it’s a great subject, but it’s one I’ve been feeling as I’ve tried to up the word count around these parts. I just want my shit to be inviting. I want it to be like that person in the warm bathtub, leaning their hand over and giving the “cmere” finger, and you know that water’s all warm and stuff and it’s really about that moment of YES I AM GOING TO DO THIS. When I write a post, I want you to drop everything you’re doing, literally so, and click on the headline and be f*cking entranced, at or least interested. I want you to know this: We are going to Happy Town.

Of course I don’t really have a subject at the moment. It is not the age of the generalist, but curiously, once people accept specialists — think the Sports Guy, or Roger Ebert — they become accepted as generalists, for good or ill. In Ebert’s case, great! In Sports Guy’s case, meh. My only specialty, I think, is my penchant for having one-liners at the end of my posts, which is something I’m trying to cure. Not that they’re bad, but a sammich ain’t just about the bread. I think I stole it from Rick Reilly because he won awards. It would be better to keep things flowing in the middle — and this is my 500th word — and not use that particular crutch. It makes me cringe.

At the same time, I want there to be a promise of something “more” with every word… I want the words to snap together in your head like magnetized little pieces. I want to build a castle, and I want you to live in that castle and have a gala there, and maybe it’ll actually be the set of an action movie… the gala itself will just be a cover for an arch-villain’s master theft and your team, nattily dressed as partgoers, will be there to stop it. You’ll use really cool, virtually invisible gadgets to communicate and there will be a flowering sexual tension with everyone on your team finally bringing their “goods,” so speak. Only later will you find out that the whole thing was a setup, and there was another team there, watching your every move, thinking you were the bad guys… I want to constantly trigger mechanisms that start Mission: Impossible in your head.

But not the sequels because they stink.