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Tom Chaney: Billboard Dreaming

Of Writers And Their Books: Billboard Dreaming. Tom dreams of unwritten books half read and of billboards flapping their messages in a thunderstorm of tatters. This column first appeared 28 March 2010.

By Tom Chaney

I been dreaming about reading books and billboards -- from a song my mother used to sing.
When I was walking down the street, a billboard caught my eye.
The advertisements written there would make you laugh and cry.
The sign was torn and tattered from the storm the night before,
And as I gazed upon it, well, this is what I saw re:

Smoke Coca-Cola cigarettes. Drink Wrigley's Spearmint beer.
Ken-L-Ration dog food makes your wife's complexion clear.
Chew chocolate-covered mothballs -- they're sure to satisfy.
Brush your teeth with Lifebuoy soap and watch the suds go by.

Vatican detectives riding herd on cattle roundups.

Cowboys rustling insurance settlements.

Poets singing in the electric rain.

And Judas Iscariot betrays Doc Holliday at the O K Corral.

Books are real!

Spring is upon us -- time to go to the woods in search of mushrooms and to spy the ancient whangdoodle bird whose chill trill is the first mating call of the year -- last seen on the banks of the ancient river Whiloway where it enters the river Green just east of Paradise.

And I dream of unwritten books half read; of billboards flapping their messages in the thunderstorm of adult book stores where half-clad lovers astraddle Harlequin romance novels wink at the flames of hell -- told by astonished Puritans come to scorn. And Billy Goat Gruff tosses the troll off the rackety wooden bridge.

"Hell is Real!"

"Fly United!"

Use frequent flyer points along the way. See the giant lava pits where disconsolate dinosaurs dabble all the day in a diasporic eternity and enormous Euclidean eucalyptus trees eternally shed their iridescent blossoms along the primrose path to perdition.

Patricia Cornwell rides a pale horse to Banbury Fair.

Louis L'Amour's lover gallops sidesaddle across the plain.

I awaken from the dream as the billboard flashes by to
See Shirley Temple wrestle
with a box of Oysterettes.

Baby Ruth will lecture on Seporia tonight.
Bay Rum is good for horses
It is the best in town.

Match in the gas tank -- sha boom; sha boom.


Tom Chaney can be found telling stories, planning his next meal, and occasionally selling books at
THE BOOKSTORE
Box 73 / 111 Water Street
Horse Cave, Kentucky 42749
270-786-3084
Email: Tom Chaney - bookstore@scrtc.com
http://www.alibris.com/stores/horscave


This story was posted on 2015-03-29 08:24:30
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