BROTHER FURTHERMORE AND THE NAME OF THE GAME
The morning newspaper continues to be a source of great information and amusement for Brother Furthermore, my Masonic pet raven brother. And me, too, for that matter. Itís amazing what we learn when we study the current edition of the Arizona Daily Movement. Of course, we do have some doubts these days. If Jayson Blair can scam the editors of the New York Times for as long as he did, how hard would it be scam the editors of our local Daily Movement? Thatís a rhetorical question. Donít feel constrained to answer.
But I digress. Brother Furthermore and I didnít start out this morning to trash local journalism. Instead, we want to trash a populous Eastern state that should know better.
It seems this state is in big time financial trouble. So name one state that isnít. Okay, but Wyoming doesnít count in this case. How much trouble can you have when you only have six people and 100,000 sheep? Thatís another rhetorical question. (Just kidding, Brothers! Just kidding!)
Anyway, to offset its financial problems, this state wants to sell naming rights for local parks, highways, mountains, beaches, etc., to the highest bidder. We were surprised to read this, frankly. It sounds more like something they would do in California. Go figure.
After reading about this, Brother Furthermore flapped off into the deep recesses of the caverns before the house. After a time, he flapped back, much more slowly. In his claws was the almonerís jug. Who knew the bird even held an office? From the apex of a tail spiral, he let go and the jug hit the flagstone floor with a crash. Pennies went everywhere.
"That was bright, Brother," I observed as he swooped down and began to pick up the coins, counting them as he went. "Allow me to whisper much needed counsel in your feathery ear!"
You see where we are now? This is the point at which I lose whatever control I had of the situation. Sort of like the Master during his first time in the East. Anyway, youíd think after all these years Iíd be able to spot it coming. Thatís right. I didnít.
"What are you doing, Brother birdbrain," I queried.
"Iím counting the almonerís fund, of course," was the response.
"Because clearly a little Masonic charity is needed! We can help our government and, besides, I want to name something and I need to see if we have the money or if I need your credit card again, of course."
Still, this whole business of selling the naming rights is intriquing. Sports events have done it for years, of course. Every football post-season bowl game has been grabbed up by some corporation. Now, they have every physical feature in America to go after! Is this a great corporate country or what?!
Consider the possibilities! Welcome to the Grand Canyon, brought to you by Roto Rooter! Pepto Bismal presents Old Faithful and Yellowstone National Park! Lincoln insurance presents the Lincoln Memorial! Trojan presents the Washington Monument! DuPont Paint presents the White House! Maytag Refrigerators present Glacier National Park! Kentucky Fried Chicken presents the Texas Legislature (Democrats, only). Tidy Bowl presents Crater Lake. Amtrak presents American Airlines! Home Depot sponsors the Petrified Forest, Glidden Paints gets the Painted Desert, All-American Plumbing gets Niagra Falls (and maybe the Mississippi River), South Dakota gets, finally, North Dakota! Breck Care for Split Hairs presents the Grand Lodge of (you fill in the blank, Brothers. I know better!).
Isnít this great or what?! The possibilities are just endless. Which, I think, is what Brother Furthermore is counting on. At first, I thought heíd settle on a small stream or even a modest mountain. Silly me. I found him researching a world atlas and muttering, "If Peter Pan and Michael Jackson can have a Neverland, why not me!?" Then he stuck a claw firmly into a map of Kansas. "Why not," he said, "whoíll miss it?!"
I give up. Iíve lived in Kansas. Went to school there. I like Kansas! But I canít wait to see how this is billed on my VISA, you know?