Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Something old under the sun

When I worked at a Sun Valley newspaper, it was often made it clear that neither we nor were any of our advertisers to infringe upon the famous copywrited Sun Valley logo. Apparently S. V. Co. even sends out covert agents to inspect various local gift and T-shirt shops to ensure nobody is pinching their logo or shielding their sun in dark shadows.
Imagine my surprise then, when I came across the exact same logo on page 170 of Graham Hancock’s anthropological tome Supernatural. It’s a woodcut from 1566 and portrays some unknown flying objects of the sky.

Mysterious hockey pucks in flight?

My first instinct was to create a fake interoffice memo regarding S.V. Company’s mission to find the descendants of this piece of art and sue them or at least force them come into compliance with their sunny rules. The memo could even include a reference to the large Hadron collider and Sun Valley’s intensive intent to transport a spokesperson back in time to straighten out things. Then some wintry Saturday before a hockey game, lay out a few copies of this phony memo on side tables outside the Dew-Daw room for unsuspecting patrons to pick up.

In the past, this strategic spot has gotten in the craw of management. The reason I say this, is that for years, our delivery crews had unfulfilling experiences with their overseers. While part of S.V. administration was constantly pleading for us to lay out more magazines and newspapers in all of their lobby locations, another faction kept asking for reductions, with Mr. A threatening to throw our publications away (not recycle them), if we continued delivering them –even though they were the best guides to activities at their own venues. After some reports from concerned citizens seeing Sun Valley’s staff actually toss some of our newspaper bundles into the dumpster, I set up next to the River Run fireplace, secretly peeking through two slits in my newspaper and when I caught a culprit throwing away our product; threatened police action if I caught him doing so again.

Once, Mr. A even read me off a list of approved magazines; so thereafter whenever I encountered a stack of non-approved magazines, I automatically relayed this important mssg to his secretary, chirping in a sincere jerky voice that I felt it was my duty to inform him of the following infractions and read off a detailed list.

One day while standing in their lobby, the idea struck me that, we should feature an article about their famous hallway. How could they deny our magazine, if it featured their precious wall of fame lined with photos of Olympic celebrities, movie stars and Presidents? I passed this on the editor and viola a few months later, our magazine came out with the tactical article. This seemed to patch things up for a bit. However, soonafter, a New York Times reporter wrote a review regarding poor bell service. Although the stinging review of the guest worker behavior was accurate, the lodge management did not find their tarnished image funny and thus began a new information clampdown.

A few months later, I wrote a column called Seriously Embracing Zany Stooges. Included was the following passage:

Recently the Farrelly Brothers (of Dumb & Dumber fame) and 20th Century Fox held some positive negotiations, enabling a new Three Stooges film to come one step closer to eye-popping reality. Some of their script was refined a few summers ago here in the serious writing atmosphere of Sun Valley, including rehearsals of an operation on a nun using an electric toothbrush and vacuum cleaner in one of the Lodge rooms. A rib-tickling scene develops with the discovery of a wishbone inside the semi-conscious nun. This ensues in a wrassling match over the examination table to break off the largest piece for good luck.”

A few weeks later, as I drove the Train Truck up to the Lodge Entrance to deliver some new magazines, Mr. A. swiftly intercepted me. As he saw the truck park next to the ducks, he started waving and flailing, “Excuse me! Excuse me! But what are you here for?” I showed him the new guidebooks to which he replied, “We already have some!” This of course was impossible, because they had just come off the press and I was the only one delivering them.

I didn’t have to deal with this nonsense much longer as I quit delivering magazines after one million. I noticed that winter that nobody kicked Mr. Farrelly off the hockey ice, for his previous smearing of the Lodge’s name, when he came to play goalie against the Suns. It must be that Sun Valley Company respects his refined approach to humor more than they do mine. Either that or he broke off the largest piece of that old nun’s wishbone. After all, his team won that hockey game, defeating Sun Valley in sudden-death.

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