Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tent city

It's ironic that the Fayetteville police tear down "campers" tents indiscrimately in the woods.
They literally rip them to shreds with their knives.
Those gnarly beasts!
But this week during "Bikes, Booze and BBQ" Dickson Street resembles "Tent City."
You bet your bottom dollar if you participate you'll be down to your bottom dollar!
The price of everything on Dickson skyrockets as the permanent merchants inflate their prices to attract huge profits from the bikers and their babes.
And an influx of entrepeneurly merchants from all over the United States of greed swoop into Fayetteville and erect tents and start cachinging their merchandise.
Is this good?
It all started when some bikers decided to have a poker run to benefit a cancer victim 11 years ago.
Year by year the event has grown by leaps and varooms.
No one really knows how many bikers blast into Fayetteville because there's no official registration. The only guesstimate is made by helicopters taking photos from above.
A good time is had by all, except for a few rowdies who get plastered and end up in Jailbird magazine.
But by and large it's a splendiferous event.
Who profits?
The "Tent City" immigrants and the Dickson Street moguls.
Everyone needs a "Bikes, Blues and BBQ" T-shirt.
Or at least that's what they would have you believe as you stroll up and down Dickson.
Ironically while I was homeless in Rogers and Bentonville a few years ago I dreamed the great American Dream and wanted so badly to come to Fayettenam for the pilgrimage.
Alas, I had no money and no ride.
Now, this week I've been enriched by a Triple Crown.
I labored 10 hours on Saturday helping supervise parking before the Razorback football debacle against Rutgers.
On Sunday I vacuumed for 11 hours cleaning up the remnants of peanuts, popcorn and other festive trash at Razorback Stadium. That job really sucked! (Pun intended.)
And, lastly but greatly I was informed our film "Why I Went to the Woods" won $400 for Sarah Moore and me.
I now have enough money to go down to "Tent City" and enjoy the festivities.
But, my heart and soul just don't feel up to the occasion.
I'd rather ruminate about how some of my brethren are just trying to survive in their own versions of tent city.
For them it's a 24-365 routine.
Just another day in paradise!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Serendipity: The faculty of making fortunate and unexpected discoveries by accident.
Whenever good fortune smiles on us, how do we act and react?
Last Friday exemplified a serendipitous weekend for yours truly.
Much to my chagrin a few weeks ago Mother Nature played a cruel trick on me as I was racing with the wind and trying to escape a torrential downpour.
Alas, when I ventured into the covered shelter at Walker Park, a library book and a DVD suffered the consequences of my misfortune and were dampened despite being sequestered in my backpack.
I meekly waited a week hoping Dame Fortune would smile on me when I submitted them back to the Fayetteville Public Library.
Whoosh! Gadzooks! Shucky darn!
I received letters from the library proclaiming I owed $5 for the DVD and $32.99 for the book.
So, I suffered the consequences and had to forgo using the computer and checking out books and DVDs.
Finally, my wheel of fortune spun in a positive manner.
A very nice lady saw me walking down Dickson Street two weeks ago and buoyantly asked me where I was headed. To the library to read she noted optimistically.
I then related my travails and revealed my library privileges had been suspended due to rain drain.
She pleasantly proclaimed she'd pay my fine. So, meekly and humbly I gave her my card.
When I next checked my library status, much to my manner of well-being I discovered she'd paid $20.
So, last Friday I summoned the courage and pled my case to Second Mile Ministries to see if maybe, just maybe, they could help me out with the remaining balance of $17.99.
The very cherubic lady from College Baptist Church in Fayetteville informed me that was the initial time anyone had made that kind of request.
After some soul-searching, she graciously requested from the treasurer that I be granted a reprieve and a check.
Miraculously, or maybe just a kind gesture of Christian benevolence prompted them to cut me a check for $17.99.
So, my sadness evolved into gladness.
Then, while still floating on Cloud Nine, I went to eat at Seven Hills.
My good fortunes multiplied when I was asked if I wanted to work Sunday helping clean up the upper echelons of Razorback Stadium.
Glory Be and praise the God above!
Saturday I worked seven and a half hours aiding Razorback fanatics park their vehicles.
And, seredipitously one of the parking attendants gave me a ticket to the game.
My euphoria lasted until the Razorbacks committed sooie-cide vis a vis, five turnovers.
Oh, well, I picked up the pieces of my disconsolated spirit after the 52-0 debacle and surged into Sunday to overcome the blow with some furtherance of my monetary gains.
For 12 hours we cleaned Razorback Stadium's plush theater seating area, sweeping up all the popcorn, peanuts and other remnants from the upper decks.
My back still aches from hauling the vac-pack vacuum cleaner, but I garnered approximately $88 which is payable via cash this Friday.
All in all, I earned $165, before taxes, to assuage my depressed feeling from the Razorbacks demise the past two Saturdays.
Originally, before looking up the definition of serendipity, I felt very blessed.
Now in retrospect and with the knowledge of the meaning of serendipity, I realize the serendipity might have been good fortune but maybe not by accident.
So, here's to you Chloe Seal, my good friend from Three Bags in Two Days!
And here's to you my providential benevolent spirit who used to work for Proctor and Gamble (who prefers anonymity)!
And here's to you Bob Wright for recommending me for the clean up job Sunday!
As we took a lunch break I told my co-workers: Once upon a time I covered the Razorbacks from the press box.
Never in my wildest dreams did I envision I would someday be on the cleanup crew!
Now I've penned the exploits of the Razorbacks as a sports writer. Ushered three years ago. Assisted in parking cars. And swept up the trash left behind in the luxurious penthouse suites.
What a roller coaster of emotions I've endured throughout all of this.
But it sure feels redemptive to be making money again.
I feel like I was in the right place at the right time.
Just another day in Hog Heaven!

And here's to you