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/// OP-ED E-MAILS TO BLIGHTY | by David Smith MEAN & SOBER | by Stad DiPonzi Holmes on Homes Attention: I am NOT Tommy Allen

I’m not. I am forced into this public denial be-


cause of Tommy’s recent meditation in Vapid Growth about the insecurity of our town. Our own happy-go-lucky GR gadfly actually wrote despairingly (for him) about our town’s mis- placed need for external validation. Tommy’s GR piece could have

been a Mean & Sober column … OK, kind of, if you read M&S through soft-focused, sepia- hued goggles with Sarah McLachlan playing in the background. But at its core, it was all Stad: an indictment of our collec- tive whiney neediness for love from the big cities. Mine is a warm fuzzy bandwagon, and late though he may be to the gate, I am pleased to have Tommy join me. The nut graf in Tommy’s piece was his

recognition that GR should “stop trying to make people love us and simply learn to love ourselves more.” Dude, I am all about the self-love, especially when I am in GR. Unfortunately, this epiphany only came to Tommy after a NYC friend wasn’t all fired up about visiting West Michigan. How Jejune! This inconvenient truth apparently led to

a stream of lights going on for TA. Reading his piece was a bit like watching hypnotized

HIS MONTH IN THIS SPACE, I find I must sincerely utter something I never expected to have to say: I AM NOT TOMMY ALLEN. Seriously.

alien abductees slowly come to grips with what really happened. No, those cuts on your neck were not from the cat. Yes, Amway is a single- word punch line everywhere but here. I know that by the time this runs Tommy

will probably have reinserted himself back into the Matrix with new pieces about our plucky, up-and-coming brilliance and pending international hugeness. He has his side of the street to work — let’s face it, the guy who points out the emperor has no clothes usually doesn’t get invited to many of the “in” parties. But I would suggest to Tommy, and to everyone else, that he not lose the thread he tripped over — the idea that maybe we need to start by pursuing contentment in our own eyes and judging

ourselves by our own measures. For every top 10 list we chase, for every passing mention on meaningless morning TV we crave, we need to ask ourselves how we could have, should have, turned that effort inward. Go meet the people who LIVE here in

every sense of the word. We have schools to fix, streets to make safe, local bands to see and countless other very real needs. n

SDP recently spent 20 minutes at an unnamed local casino and now desperately wonders what the half-life is for horrid cigarette stank on human skin.

All you need is a bit of 2x4

From TV to your front door, the yanks sell things differently. We recently wanted to get some work done on the house: new windows, new shingles, a bidet, maybe even a tea station installed – the usual stuff. However, I’ve found the whole process perturbing.

A simple call to a construction company asking about some double-hung low-e windows led me into a whole afternoon of demonstrations and PowerPoint slides. The salesperson displayed how close to dying in a tragic window-related accident I am with my current windows and how I will be able to retire soon, if only I have their special windows that are really magic portals to happy land.

Of course, my wife had to be present throughout the magic show, as I am unable to make any decisions without her. There were suitcases containing incredible fold out windows, nuclear powered convection lamps and a whole range of springs and bushels flying around the living room, all demonstrating how tragically desperate and dumb the chap was. He even tried to cuddle my baby, and even she just can’t handle that level of cheese.

Of course, being English, I never asked him to leave, but spent three hours of- fering him cups of tea and biscuits which, very rudely, he never accepted. (Never refuse a cuppa!) Toward the end, the talk came to money and he offered to cut the price by millions of dollars, if I only sign the contract, in blood, right now. Why? I think he really wanted to save me and my family from window- related death or perhaps just con me out of getting a better deal somewhere else.

My new rule is that all contractors must look like they smoked a pack that morning, drink beer, not give a monkey’s uncle about meeting my missus, fart in front of my baby (it makes her giggle), frequently tell jokes about boobs/giant thumbs and use the words “what the f**k is the Internet?” at least once.



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