Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Perverted Ghost Town

Seeing as how I’m in Arizona, and seeing as how there is absolutely NOTHING to do in this neck of the woods, I will revert to my passionate affair with a keyboard, and give you yet another blogpost. Oh, and by the way, I offer my sincere apologies to VRM Arizona Spaniard for neglecting his existence in this state. He does live within 400 miles.

Today’s recruiting journey has brought me through the lovely town of Sedona, and down to a place called Cottonwood, Arizona. Unfortunately there aren’t any psychics in this part of the great A-Z, so I asked the violet-haired hotel receptionist Kimberly what my options were for entertainment.

Purple Kimberly: “Well, do ya drink?”

Cue blank stare followed by slow negative horizontal head movement.

Purple Kimberly: “Well, there is this ghost town called Jerome, about nine miles down that way, you can always find somethin’ to do there.”

My ears pricked up. A ghost town? Like populated with ghosts? Actual floating sheets have claimed residence to an abandoned rambling of homes? I didn’t even listen to the next sentence that came out of the haggling hair-cutted hippie’s mouth, and jumped in my Rogue to see what this desolate former mining community had in store for the frightening of my life.

May I put out a disclaimer that I enjoy scary things. Wait, let me rephrase that. I L-word scary stuff. I would rather listen to a chained tale of ghost stories around a withering campfire, and then go sleep in a century old graveyard than most people would. I think it is the stories that are generated from these bewitched colonies that gets me the most intriguesd. Either way, Jerome was my place to be.

And sadly, I was let down. Cue four-part instrumental harmony of “Nearer My God To Thee” by the dead members of the string quartet as the Titanic was going down to get full effect throughout this portion of the blogpost. That was how saddened I was.

This wasn’t a ghost town! It was a tourist trap for out of state schmucks like me to wander around and buy useless stickers that say “Jerome: Population, Asylum” and magnetic jewelry bracelets that I can use to keep the negative energies away from me. This wasn’t some abandoned graveyard with eerie spirits wandering the streets. It was a Mecca for numbskulls to purchase independent oil paintings that a man who hasn’t washed his three-foot long ponytail in six months can rip you off by selling them to you. This, is NOT a ghost town!

Aside from the meager art stores every ten feet, the only other things that I saw were attempted appeals to the audience were bars, and boutiques. Holy Schnikey’s (LTT) were there a lot of those. There was a bar on every corner with a boutique right next to it. Almost as if the town mayor was saying, “Go get wasted on beer and black liquor, and then buy your wife an erotic pair of fuzzy handcuffs from Puffin’ Stuff.” Seriouly, that was a legit store, Puffin Stuff. I kid you not.
Was I the only sober person wandering around this ghost town? Were they classifying it as a ghost town because people thought they were hallucinating things left and right despite the fact that their blood alcohol level was .50? I wandered into the town museum and saw an ad for a Ghost Tour, meaning a 2-hour introduction to all of the haunted things that Jerome had to offer.

Swamp Thing: “Ooh! Sign me up for that!” I exclaimed to the second-hand smoke-smearing secretary named Evelyn.

Evelyn: lighting a cigarette. “Sorry hon, we only do those on weekends.”

Swamp Thing: confused/perplexed/WTF look across my face “Wait, so why are you advertising for it now?”

Evelyn: “Oh, just to get everyone excited for when we do offer ‘em.”

Swamp Thing: “Hmm…alright. Well, is there anything else to do in this town?”

Evelyn: “Well do ya drink?”

Cue blank stare followed by slow negative horizontal head movement.

Evelyn: “Well, there’s boutiques all around, you can always go buy somethin’ for the mrs.”

Cue blank stare followed by slow negative horizontal head movement.

I walked out of her office being let down by the fact that Jerome isn’t really a true ghost town. It was such a let down to come up here in the first place. Almost like being seven-years old, pouring out the entire box of Lucky Charms on to the counter only to find that there’s not a surprise in my bag of cereal.

As I walked past the former insane asylum now transformed into a museum, I looked in the windows at where they used to hold psychotic patients bundled up in straitjackets. Staring inside, I could see something written in the dust, almost as if a ghost had found the means to be able to communicate with us through messages in a dirty window. Squinting just a little bit harder, I made out the words, and instantly starting chuckling to myself. Cue picture:
Not only is this a ghost town, it’s a perverted ghost town. Somewhere I think Quagmire is lurking around.

What do you think?

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