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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column looking for new formats to try.

We’re feeling used. We’re feeling played-out. We’re feeling stale. But we’re also sort of limited in our range of expression.

For the last 13 years for the most part, we’ve looked just like this. We blab a little bit. Asterisks. Blab a little more. Tell you about what we had for dinner the night before. Somebody sends us an e-mail. We ask a deep, albeit inane, question. More asterisks. You know if you read it.



If we were radio, we could start doing voice impressions. We used to use different characters, but then Disney, Warner Brothers and a few other companies sued us. (We settled: We agreed to stop using the characters, and they agreed to stop making sequels of movies that stunk in the first place. They reneged.)

We toyed with the idea of doing some kabuki theater. We decided that didn’t translate well into print.



We thought about doing mime columns, but the publisher looked at us like we were crazier than usual when we suggested people would still get it, even with a big, blank space on the page. We offered a compromise and suggested we could put subliminal advertising messages in the blank spot. He didn’t go for that, either, but he will as soon as we get done painting the subliminal messages on his office wall.

A modern, TV-influenced version of our column would have to be reality-based. But not even we think you want to see still shots from the live cameras that would catch us picking our nose as we tried to decide what to get out of the vending machines in the break room.

How about an opera-style column? Since we can’t transcribe that high-pitched warbling, we could make the type really tall and put little viking hats on every “i” and “j.” Yeah, you’re right; bad idea.

Ooh, maybe a Morse code column. Then maybe we’d be as popular as crossword puzzles because it would be a little game for people to decode. Then we could partner with the cereal companies and put decoder rings inside. We’d be bigger than Tony the Tiger. Oops, now Kellogg’s is going to get mad at us for using their character.

Maybe we’ll just stick to our guns, however rusty they be.

***

Linda called us Thursday to say we were right on about the noise at Keystone’s so-called “concert venue.” We wrote in Thursday’s column how the veritable bar scene of din and disrespect at the Nickel Creek show was nearly too much to handle.

“I think Keystone should get a Scum Alert!! for passing off the Park Lane Pavilion as a concert venue,” Linda said. “My husband and I went there for J.J. Cale last year and it stunk.”

Linda said it wasn’t the yapping, suburbanite conference minions who were to blame for our discontent, but the poor acoustics of a tent. “I’ll never go there again,” she said. “I felt ripped off.”

Thanks, Linda. It’s good to know we’re not alone.

***

It’s Saturday, so check both ways when crossing the street. We’re out trying to get one of these Corvette drivers to let us take a test drive …


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