Cheesy Supercharged Lawn Parties

We are given a queasy glimpse into the despicable motives of the Kalabrashion crowd as they prepare to invade the depressing town of Silt Ridge. Toby Klabenschattz, local beat writer for the Times Herald Chronicle, outlines the band of jackals’ desperate game plan. They will smile in your face while pretending to be respectable landscapers. Then, the minute your back is turned, the hooliganism explodes into “Full-Jackal Frenzy.” Instead of showing up before your garden party, they show up DURING the affair. You think they have mufflers on those thundering air-cooled, supercharged power plants? Think again. But the deafening racket is the least of the homeowners’ problems. Then we have the cold-blooded proposition of the mower blades. They are horrendously prominent on the front ends of these customized contraptions that are designed to do more than cut grass. And then there’s the issue of artificial turf. Word has it they’re hatching a vile plan to invade the town’s stadium during the middle of a high school football game, where they are guaranteed to make mincemeat of the down markers, and everything in between . . .

Lawn Mowing to Make Your Armpits Pucker

Shades of Evil Invade Lawn Mowing Proposition

It has come to my attention that we have some real hard-bitten shenanigans afoot, and the whole kit and caboodle might be coming to the idyllic shores of Silt Ridge. By that I mean the Kalabrashion crowd, and their reckless brand of hooliganism that will make your armpits pucker and your toenails curdle.

Somehow, these spiritless heathens have figured out a way to pervert the age-old pastime of mowing the lawn. I’ll give one for you, and I’m sure a lot of you out there can relate. Remember as a kid, going to a night game at the pro baseball park? Remember going up the steps and then looking down the main part of the stadium onto the field? Remember how magical the whole thing looked – the verdant, manicured grass bathed in incandescent brilliance? Well, take that precious vision, and then besmirch it with the onerous antics of the Kalabrashions.

Lawn Mowing Advisory – Watch the Jackals You Hire

The jackals’ latest stunt (and I mean stunt in a childish, awful and perverted way) is in direct opposition to the purity of a new display being mounted by the folks at Hyper-Citation, Inc. Being from Silt Ridge, you should know that Hyper-Citation is the proud owner of WXX-TV, as well as the Graphite County Opera House. The legendary Morris Crimpanfortis IV is still, to my knowledge, calling all the shots. But we in Silt Ridge are privileged to have the son, Morris Crimpanfortis V, as General Manager of the television station. I have found Mr. Crimpanfortis to be more than generous with his time in discussing the various affairs of our fair community.

But here’s what you need to watch out for: do not, and I repeat . . . DO NOT, under any circumstance, outsource your lawn mowing needs to strangers. My sources tell me that the Kalabrashions are literal wolves in sheep’s clothing as they infiltrate other communities across this great country. They appear all sweetness and light at first, and sign up customers like they’re the friendliest chaps you could ever do business with. And they maintain that sunny disposition for the first couple of cuts. Then LOOK OUT! The tide will turn, and not for the best. Instead of affable, likeable landscapers, they will don the typical fright gear, including the menacing masks, and their lawnmowers will sprout fangs. I mean LITERALLY SPROUT FANGS!

No Sissy Riding Mowers for this Crowd

Don’t think for one minute the Kalabrashion cabal goes in for riding mowers. No, they accomplish all of their treachery on foot, behind push mowers. What better way to sneak up on unsuspecting souls than with a push mower? Huh? Try that one on for size.

Listen to me while I tell you how they operate. They finagle their way into your life, they get you feeling all warm and fuzzy about their existence, and then WHAM – here they come to make your life a miserable pit of despair. Do you have a garden party coming up? How about an outdoor wedding? Maybe your high school is having a homecoming football game. Leave it to the Kalabrashion crowd to work its bubbling cauldron of despicable treachery into every last crack and fissure of your pursuit of good times.

Their machines of destruction will appear as the heads of ravenous beasts as their grinding blades, sharpened beyond any measure of well-intentioned reason, are poised to make you think twice about ever going OUTSIDE AGAIN! Hear me people as I warn you, this pack of wolves is out for your complete, wholesale destruction. And if you give in to them the first time, they will come roaring back for more and MORE AND MORE!

Artificial Turf Need Not Apply

Finally, woe to any of you high schools with artificial turf. The band of blistering jackasses will put the blades down low and shower the premises with ersatz grass blades, not stopping even if there’s a play going on in the middle of a football game! And here these babbling cretins are running ruinous lawn mowers through your peace-loving lives and leaving a swath of devastation that has no right, no rhyme or reason of being part of our communal vernacular.

Do I make myself abundantly clear about keeping this horrific band of landscapers from taking over our beloved American towns?

Did You Catch the Grass Stains on those Fangs?

Salty McStarryffar, the acerbic beat writer for the “Millennium Mercury,” goes on a rant about what she considers the “cheesy outdoor displays” staged by the Crimpanfortis crowd. She assaults the Crimpanfortis contingent for lacking “real-world sensibilities,” decrying the fact that they miss the point of real life because they are not in touch with the grit that makes up the lives of real, ordinary people. She then lauds the Kalabrashion crew on their ability to mow a lawn in record time, with maximum efficiency. Ms. McStarryffar conveniently downplays the fact that the Kalabrashions show up like a hungry pack of wolves to mow your lawn in the middle of a garden party or outdoor wedding – at a time most inconvenient to your schedule. Ms. McStarryffar tries to lay out a compelling argument that the equipment used by the Kalabrashion scoundrels is a “cut above” (no pun intended, and you can take it up with Ms. McStarryffar if you feel overly offended); but even the stunning equipment gets old after your property has been ground into an unsightly, barren wasteland . . .

You’ll Never See Another Lawn Party Quite Like This!

Forget those Corny Grass Blades on Bungee Cords

A lot of trash has been talked about the cutesy displays that the Crimpanfortis family stages across America. Well I’m here to tell you, those billboards are nothing but a joke! And the odds are stacked against the noble Kalabrashion contingent, because old man Crimpanfortis has a stranglehold on the lobbyists in DC.

There! I said it! Is everyone happy now? I feel like some kinda lone wolf out here howling in the gale-force annals of time. But you know the score, I can only hold back for so long. Take for instance that dumb display the Crimpanfortis jerks are staging on the Jersey Turnpike. You know the one I’m talking about. Gimme a break, it’s the one up by the Alexander Hamilton service plaza! Pay attention, people! PLEASE!

I can’t comprehend it. They’re all gaga over their corny grass blades on bungee cords. Let me say that once again to let it sink in: “CORNY GRASS BLADES ON BUNGEE CORDS.” Do you know how stupid that sounds? Only a fool would fall for that tripe. And I know there are millions of fools out there who make it a point to go out of their way to experience one of those displays. I have just one piece of advice for all of you yokels: GET A LIFE!

More Erratic than a Bucking Bronc with Hemorrhoids

Now let’s talk about the real world – the world inhabited by the Kalabrashions. You want to talk about lawn mowing? The Crimpanfortis crowd can have their undulating sod bridge above the Jersey Turnpike all they want. Have you ever heard of something so stupid in all your life? Who is going to mow their lawn on a sod bridge that jerks up and down and squirms around with more intensity than a bucking bronc with hemorrhoids?

But the Kalabrashions have the answer: they attack the real-world sensibilities with real-world solutions. Their lawn mowers do not perform “tricks” 250 feet above a busy roadway. Not on your life. The Kalabrashion lawn mowers do exactly what they’re made to do: mow lawns with a flourish! With a FEROCIOUS FLOURISH, might I add?

You Got a Problem with Spilled Motor Oil on Your Front Lawn?

If I may be allowed to bend your ear, watching a well-oiled Kalabrashion crew is like witnessing art in action. They show up to mow a lawn and they mean business. It doesn’t matter what kind of event you’re staging: a lawn party, outdoor wedding, lawn bowling or your garden-variety sporting event – when the Kalabrashions arrive, things get done.

What’s that? Did I not explain myself properly? Well you’d better listen up and start paying attention then! You might think I meant that the Kalabrashions show up to spiff up your property BEFORE the event . . . wrong! They arrive DURING the event, with fire-breathing blade-grinding machines capable of tackling the toughest foliage and tallest weeds, before turning their focus squarely on the GUESTS!

Shut your pie holes and gather around. It gets even MORE RIVETING. Every last bit of it is recorded on video – all the shock, awe and outrage – and it’s then fed across digital billboards so that all of the passing motorists can see the stunned reactions.

Pomp and Circumstance Plus Pure Chaos

Dig this, you gummy batch of hamstrung yokels: we’re not talking about any lawn mowers . . . we’re talking about the storied line of “Critter Cutters.” These works of art feature the heads of wolves, tigers and badgers. I don’t need to tell you how sharp the blades are – and where they are located. Unlike normal lawn mowers, the “Critter Cutters” brandish exposed blades – you guessed it . . . just like grass-stained FANGS. And wait ‘til you see the looks on some of these people when the Kalabrashion crew slashes valiantly through their precious event – BLAMO-WHAMMY! It’s a priceless co-mingling of pomp and circumstance and PURE CHAOS!

I could go on and on about the reactions of stupid fools who get nearly run over by the chop-chop-chop of the beautifully chopping blades. Just check out the video catalog, or better yet, take a gander at a billboard down the block. You might just see your neighbor bust a move trying to get out of the way of a snarling Bengal tiger. I have to tell you, that that alone is worth the price of admission.

So get with the game plan, people. Realize that the Crimpanfortis crowd is a bunch of gilt-edge losers. If you want to ride with the winner, you gotta hop aboard the Kalabrashion Express.

Political Perp Walk

Salty McStarryffar, emboldened reporter for the Millennium Mercury, chides timid readers who object to the Kalabrashion’s queasy display in Carlsbad, CA that turns a billboard into a prison for disgraced politicians. But wait, there’s more! Playing on the “stool pigeon” aspects (because you know these nitwits would sing like canaries in order to reduce their well-deserved sentences), we transition to “stool softeners.” So these arrogant fools are now the unwitting spokespersons for laxatives – in what amounts to the EXACT OPPOSITE of what a well-choreographed Crimpanfortis display would evoke.

You Got a Problem with Convicted Politicians on a Billboard?

How’d They Get up there in the First Place?

So I ask you: what’s wrong with a billboard doubling as a federal maximum-security prison for disgraced politicians? I mean really . . . what’s the big stinkin’ deal?

I’m so sick and tired of your pansy-cake people moaning and groaning about Paymor Kalabrashion’s latest work of art. Yes, that is correct: he has elevated outdoor advertising to an art form–unlike that cheapo Hyper-Citation outfit you always hear about that think they’re king of the hill just because they love the bungee cord. I’m talking purebred creativity with the Kalabrashion crew, the family dedicated to outdoor excellence. They make it real with all of their downtrodden themes. Who could ever forget the raingear display where the billboard contingent carried umbrellas that opened up as buzz-saws? BLAMO-gee-oh-whiz, what a gut-wrenching display, filled with hypersensitivity and American angst. Will you ever forget the name of Caesar’s Tool and Supply based on that award-winning campaign, the best diamond-tipped saw blades in the free world?

What’s your Beef with the Carlsbad Display? – Jerk!

Now, my latest beef is with you bleeding hearts who take umbrage with Paymor Kalabrashion’s display in Carlsbad, California. Welcome to Death Valley, you pampered fools. What did you expect: cherry blossoms and kitten whiskers? So you’ve got some politicians gone bad wearing prison puce atop a billboard towering above the desert. Excuse me, is anyone judging these sad sacks? Are you telling me the same thing couldn’t happen to you, given similar miserable circumstances? Then just shut up and go back to your corner you blithering wine-sucking morons.

Excuse me, does anyone have a problem with these crooks promoting a dietary fiber product? Our resident genius, Paymor Kalabrashion, has hit gold in so many winning ways across all platforms. First of all, you have the stark visuals. Imagine yourself, average motorist–that would be you, fool–tooling through the desert, wondering if it is ever going to end, then BLAMO-gee-oh-whiz, you come upon this mammoth billboard with the cutaway cell doors and ball and chain and puce-suited celebrity politicos. You know all their names, you’ve ogled them on the tube before. As a sidebar, they could even stage fights with their lawyers who couldn’t figure out how to get them off for good behavior. You know those lovable politicians, always angling to stage something salacious, heh-heh.

Stool Pigeons Get a New M.O.

Then you’ve got the added bonus of them promoting the benefits of a bona-fide fiber product. Think about this: how revolutionary is it to utilize hardened criminals, former career politicians, to talk about stool softeners? You’ve heard of stool pigeons in the incarceration vernacular; I guess stool softeners fits right in with that jargon. So you see the softer side of these crooked politicos–I’m talking both in the figurative and literal sense here (more pure genius from the copy staff of Paymor Kalabrashion)–and it’s supposed to register with you and ideally make you feel all warm and fuzzy.

Are you telling me you have a problem with this whole package? Are you saying that Kalabrashion is exploiting these poor saps, playing off their unfortunate captivity to order them around and dictate what they consume? You got a problem with that, you tree-hugging vermin? For one thing, you’re downright un-American if you don’t see the economy of scale in this beauteous economic model. Why pay for actors when you can get them for free? Why pay stunt people and all the ancillary insurance when you’re dealing with talent that looks upon these adverse conditions as further exposure to promote their oversaturated egos? I know, win-win-win all the way around, right?

Coming to a Rat Farm near You

So to all you naysayers and kneejerk pansies out there, stay in your lane. Realize that you are experiencing the raw power and majesty of a plan working perfectly, playing out across the fruited plain in such a way to make us all proud. The next time you want to put a little fiber in your diet, think of the sorry ex-lawmakers two-hundred feet above the desert floor. Realize the utter genius in using these gilt-edge losers to hammer home the message of regular bowels. Is it any wonder why Paymor Kalabrashion is taking over the world? He’s coming to a rat farm near you, and who knows–maybe the next thieving senator you see will be smiling because of the fiber in his or her diet.

Whatever it takes to push product, right?

Don’t Mess with Piranhas 300 Feet Up

Toby Klabenschattz, junior beat reporter for the Times Herald Chronicle, reports on another car dealership outside Santa Clara, CA that was tricked by the wily, despicable tactics of the greasy Kalabrashion crew. As we all know, the vaunted “Crimpanfortis Touch” represents the gold-standard of outdoor advertising. Chief among corporate dictates is the admonishment to “keep it real.” By that we mean no chintzy fake stuff. And that especially means no animatronics. So why was it so odorous and disgraceful when that shirtless salesman dove into the piranha tank 300 feet above the freeway?

Billboards: A Deadly Business

Apparently, these are not the Nicest of Folk

As our dear beloved town becomes more media savvy with the welcome addition of the Crimpanfortis Empire, including its acquisition of local TV station WVBB and the prospects of “Live-Action Billboards,” I would be remiss if I did not report on the company’s chief nemesis and arch-rival, the Paymor Kalabrashion family, otherwise known as the “Crew of Collusion,” or “Bearers of Bedlam.”

Beware of Being Eaten Alive

As my sources confirm, apparently the two families have been battling it out for generations, starting with newspaper wars and following along through radio, TV and now outdoor advertising. I have come to associate the Crimpanfortis brand as representing everything pure, wholesome and comely, whereas, to my understanding, the Kalabrashions are a brunch of crude, cheap and dastardly roustabouts who come off as smooth talkers, but who are really wolves in sheep’s clothing. Sources tell me that you don’t want to be the shepherd around this unruly flock–or should I say bloodthirsty mob? Believe me, you’ll be devoured as an appetizer.

The Death-Defying Aspects of Whimsical Billboards

You will undoubtedly be enraptured by the whimsical displays that the Crimpanfortis family stages across this Great Land of ours. I have already reported in a previous article about the intricacies and death-defying aspects of what it takes to put one of these immersive, interactive spectacles together. If you don’t believe me, just listen to Dirkie Tirk, the company’s Vice President of Stunt Coordination, as he tells us what it takes to star in one of these Interstate marvels. “Lemme tell you, son,” he says, speaking to me, your humble reporter, “you gotta have the tools that, quite honestly, I don’t think you possess. No offense intended.”

None taken, Mr. Tirk! In fact, I fully intend to interview the maverick stunt impresario for a lengthy, in-depth article at a later date when the master of billboard thrills has a little more spare time. Until then, we can only marvel at the wonders of what he puts together above our nation’s highways and byways. If only Silt Ridge would get one of these authentic crowd-stopper babies.

The Warm and Fuzzy Crowd Need Not Apply

For now, just let it be known that the Kalabrashions are not interested in scoring points with the warm and fuzzy crowd. They opt instead for the down and dirty. Even though robotics have been defunct for decades due to the solar flare fallout, the Kalabrashions allegedly are conducting advanced testing to bring back some of their animatronic applications on an accelerated, albeit a limited basis. Anything to create a perverted and counterfeit means to mimic the Crimpanfortis displays.

100% Pure, Authentic, Genuine and Guaranteed Real

I’m told that everything the Crimpanfortis family stages is real-life. There are no robotics involved. All actors and stunt personnel are one hundred percent human. This represents the purity of the bond between brand, agency and consumer.  That is a sacred bond that can never be broken. The Crimpanfortis family has been servicing clients for generations. They lift brands up and hold them high. It is imperative to present brands in the purest, most truth-serving light. Therefore, all aspects reflected in the “Live-Action Billboards” must be one hundred percent real with no fake aspects, like robots. In other words the consumer must see people–real people (we’re talking one hundred percent men and one hundred percent women here)–putting their lives on the line to promote the brand.

I know what you’re thinking: they could slide in a cyborg or chimera here and there. No dice. The rules of the game state that all billboards are human in every respect. It’s the only way to get the sponsor’s mention effectively out there–and to get the consumer’s abiding attention and lifelong loyalty.

You Can’t Fake Stuff with Piranhas 300 Feet in the Air

The Kalabrashion crowd, on the other hand, thinks nothing of employing robots to do the dirty work. Take the campaign they did for the car dealership in Santa Clara recently. The northern California car dealer contracted with the “Bearers of Bedlam” for a huge billboard on the 880 that showed its top salespeople diving into a clear tank filled with supposedly ravenous piranhas. The whole point of the message was their willingness to go the extra mile to make a good deal for the customer. And to prove their point, they were willing to risk being literally “eaten alive.”

But the only problem was, the piranhas were animatronic. So the whole deal was a charade, an evil fraud, just like the rest of the Kalabrashion ruse. As I, your loyal reporter, have learned time and time again, you can’t fake anything. In the time-honored, trademarked “Crimpanfortis Path to Excellence,” your goal is to create a connection between you and your customers based on one hundred percent reality. Anything less is a sham. It’s just the opposite of what you see repeatedly with the Kalabrashions who perpetrate a reality-based milieu promulgated on deceit, sleight of hand and delusion.

Woeful Truth-in-Advertising Issues

So, in the twisted Kalabrashion equation, there appears to be voluminous truth-in-advertising issues, not to mention desensitizing the public into blindly accepting the horrific consequences of a piranha-induced feeding frenzy–fake though it was.

And this is somehow supposed to sell more cars?

Give me the patented “Crimpanfortis Touch” any old day of the week, thank you very much. And I am fully confident that I speak for the majority of the American public on this score.

Coming Soon to Coal Country: Can We Handle It?

Toby Klabenschattz, junior beat writer for the Times Herald Chronicle of Silt Ridge, Pennsylvania, reports that big things are coming to the faded coal region. The city’s lone television station, WXX-TV, is being purchased by a media mogul out of Chicago by the name of Morris Crimpanfortis IV, and will be run by the son of the media titan, Morris Crimpanfortis V. Toby finds that Morris V is very affable, yet an elusive interview, who claims that he doesn’t have anything important to say. We find that to be very refreshing – and wonder why that is.

Coming Soon to Coal Country – Can We Handle It?

Possibly coming to a Town near You (Meaning Us)

Today I am reporting on a growing phenomenon known as “Live-Action Billboards,” which are rapidly becoming a staple in the lucrative outdoor advertising industry (commonly referred to as “out-of-home”). For those of you not familiar with the format, or if you’ve been living under a rock the last few years, these displays dot our nation’s highways and byways featuring stunt work and swordplay and jetpacks and all kinds of elements meant to wrest your attention from the roadway to the heavens.

Nashville Pests

The concept started a couple decades ago on the south side of Seattle, and has been gradually refined and perfected into pure visual extravaganzas. If you’re driving down the freeway and see extravagantly costumed men and women dancing on an elevated set before launching themselves into space, then you have stumbled upon one of the patented and magnificent Live-Action Billboards. For instance, I have learned of a campaign for a pest company in Nashville featuring a five hundred-foot-tall spider web with stunt people crawling to the top before an aerosol is released sending them all flying on their bungee cords to Interstate-40 below.

This is the product of the genius of mega-billionaire media impresario Morris Crimpanfortis IV. The Crimpanfortis family has long been a revolutionary force in American media, having instituted a national newspaper that thrived from the late 1800s to the early 1900s on contests and coupons. “It was interactive before the computer,” says Noreen Crimpanfortis, the Vice President of Business Affairs for Hyper-Citation, Inc., according to a recent press release (though Ms. Crimpanfortis could not be reached in her Chicago office for direct attribution). “You can’t ever sit still,” the media heiress adds. “You always need to keep grinding because you’re always looking to push new boundaries, open new doors, see expansive vistas, and routinely crush the competition.”

Coal Mining Connectivity

If you are anything more than a casual observer, you will know that the Crimpanfortis Empire is slowly but surely making inroads into our coal mining community of Silt Ridge. The Crimpanfortis Family Trust Foundation, the same entity that owns and controls all the fancy billboards across America, is the same family that owns a network of radio and TV stations coast-to-coast. And guess where one of those outlets is located? That’s right our very own WXX-TV is a part of the Crimpanfortis holdings. In fact none other than Morris Crimpanfortis V, the current General Manager, is the son of the legendary adman.

Elusive vs. Just Plain Scared

I have tried on numerous occasions to get an interview with the elusive Mr. Crimpanfortis. I realize that being part of a family worth tens of billions of dollars that consistently depends on the bleeding edge of media supremacy to advance its groundbreaking causes is a demanding job and time is at a premium. I have found that Mr. Crimpanfortis is affable enough, definitely a “hail-fellow-well-met” sort of chap.

And I must add, Mr. Crimpanfortis is quite possibly the most honest person I’ve ever met. Whenever I press him for an interview or quote, he responds by saying he has nothing interesting or important to say.

And that, I think you’ll agree, is rather refreshing.


Apocalypse Anyone?

According to firsthand accounts, Vick Banzler, our local herpetologist extraordinaire, was just stepping off the diner porch with one of his prize beauties hissing at the blazing summer sky, when the sheer magnitude of the moment came fully into focus. It just stopped everything down in the restaurant when Vick shouted, “Here we go again!” By that he was referring to a detached solar corona the size of New Jersey hurtling toward earth at 4.0 million MPH. But hey, it’s only the Apocalypse! Right?

Hey! The Posted Speed Limit is 4 Million MPH!

How Time Flies – When We’re Having so much Fun in the Sun

Hard to fathom, but it’s already been ten years since the occurrence of the Second Great Sunspot Dilemma. Of course, you might know it under a different name: the “Great Five-Points Highway Diner Sighting.” It was the day that little old us got put on the map.

It was right around high noon and the diner was in the middle of a typical lunch hour rush. The day was no different from any in the weeks, months and years that had preceded it. The world had finally emerged from the deleterious effects of the First Great Sunspot Dilemma, though that cataclysmic event had taught one irrefutable and enduring lesson: be prepared. No one knew it at the time, but history was about to repeat itself.

Can Anyone Say “Meltdown?”

The economy was humming along pretty well back then. The world had been forced to refocus on what was really essential. We were constantly evolving as a society, constantly gravitating toward what put us on solid ground and moving away from those pursuits deemed frivolous. But I digress. Our own Five-Points Highway Diner provided the early warning alert for the second bombardment of solar flares from above. And what a show. The explosion on the sun was so enormous, you could see it with the naked eye.

Even the Snakes were Squinting

According to firsthand accounts, Vick Banzler, our local herpetologist extraordinaire, was just stepping off the diner porch with one of his prize beauties hissing at the blazing summer sky, when the sheer magnitude of the moment came fully into focus.

It just stopped everything down in the restaurant because the minute Vick shouted the warning, people’s hearts sank to the floor. They realized: “Here we go again.” It’s hard to imagine something so playful and colorful being so detrimental. The dancing auroras were always fascinating to watch. They darted about the skyline in some amazingly multi-chromatic spectacles. They even made sounds as they whipped about. In some extreme cases, the sky was turned totally red. But that lasted only a couple minutes before it turned completely blue, then green and finally yellow.

Nothing Good Comes from Something at 4 Million MPH

Amid murmurs and cries of despair, people stampeded outside and saw the debilitating prospects of a pimple five times the size of New Jersey ripping from the frenzied face of the sun and hurtling toward earth at 4.0 million MPH. For those old enough to remember, they realized they had about 23.5 hours to prepare for another onslaught of electrical loss, desperation, disruption and chaos. Yes, life was going to change again. It always did when the sun smacked us around like this. And just when things were getting good on television again!

The second installment of the Great Sunspot Dilemma was not as fierce or ferocious as the first go-around. To be sure, we were far greater prepared for the second episode, though you’re never one hundred percent prepared when one of these babies detaches from the sun and barrels straight for you. But as long as you don’t get totally blindsided, you can stay ahead of the game. There were a couple years that were a little rocky, but we didn’t go through nearly the gyrations as the first time. That took literally centuries for us to climb back out of the solar hole.

But Hey, It’s Only the Apocalypse – Right?

I’m writing this commemorative article to congratulate the fine people of Silt Ridge for banding together and making it through this critical decade. It’s also important to reflect on what we learned from the first global outage and how we applied it to the second. Though we don’t want to think about it, we know that a third iteration will someday visit us and cause more havoc than the first two combined.

What has this taught us about ourselves? Are we as resilient as previous generations? Are we willing to make sacrifices? Are we willing to put it on the line to ensure survival so we’ll all live to fight another day? It’s up to us. Based on what I’ve seen, it’s going to take more than a torrent of solar flares hurtling from the heavens to keep us down for the count in coal country.