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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Wild Card for Saturday May 17, 2008

Good morning, Netizens...

All this discussion about Tom Robbins' penchant for writing about the 70's, in particular “Another Roadside Attraction”, suddenly thrust one of my favorite characters back into my heart. Sissy Hankshaw and her marvelously-develop thumbs spoke to me in ways that are too graphic for this Blog, since I was briefly enamored of her real-life counterpart at a previous time. However, it was Robbins character from yet another of his books, “Still Life with Woodpecker” that later in my life absolutely sets me off to laughing. In Still Life, we have King Max, a former gambler and poker player whose prosthetic heart valve makes a loud scraping noise when he gets excited.

Yes, I am a former gambler, although I have taken the oath and do not do that anymore. Also I have a pair of heart stents (the first one caused the second one) that uncontrollably begin playing episodes from Wagnerian opera or select portions of Mozart's The Magic Flute when I get excited. SSSH! No one, save my Prom Queen knows about this. Granted she is as seditious, as glowing and ravishing as she was the day we wed in a friend's rose garden, but still first I have to catch her to get excited these days, and considering how fleet she can be, not to mention my advancing age, my stents do not warble and sing opera of any kind these days as often as they once did.

Perhaps one of Robbins' most-applicable quotations relating to life in Spokane came from Woodpecker. “Society had a crime problem. It hired cops to attack crime. Now society has a cop problem.”

Do we or don't we?

I'm going outside today to plant a huge garden with the founding member of Cutting Edge Communications. Al Grope may have invented the Internet, but Rusan P. Green brought it to Spokane and put it into our collective brain pans. Of the original handful of Internet Service Providers in Spokane at the advent of the Internet, she is the only ISP still in continuous operation owned by its original owners.

From Tom Robbins and an overview of the Internet, we descend into the strange gestalt of today's Wild Card. Oh, bless my heart! There goes that music from the Magic Flute again! Please excuse me while I tend to something.


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.