Once again, it is raining. We have gotten 8 inches of rain since the weekend. 30 streets in my city are closed due to flash flooding, as are local highways, and manhole covers are EXPLODING INTO THE AIR. There are large pieces of FURNITURE floating in the streets, occasionally butting up against water-logged AUTOMOBILES. One of our living room windows is dripping as I write this, and my dog is going absolutely out of her mind at the thunder and lightning. My husband is somewhere out there investigating the flash flooding with a friend--perhaps he too has drifted away, leaving me with nothing but a barking, insane dog as a consolation prize. As local meteorologist Cameron Moreland said on the news, "Turn around. Don't drown."
The times? Oh, so good.
I didn't set out to write a final, desperate post before my house was washed away by the Fox River--I actually wanted to complain about something that has truly been bothering me lately.
And it is this: Joe Francis? Damn you to hell for ruining the kettle drum for me. Local commercials touting hot tub & spa vendors or weight loss products have been airing recently, and this I have no beef with. But they use the KETTLE DRUM in the background music. And what do I think of when I hear the kettle drum?
That's right. The Girls Gone Wild videos.
The kettle drum has forever been ruined for me.
Thanks alot, Mr. Smut Peddler. Do yourself a favor and stay away from the oboe. I'm just saying.
Also, you've seen Juno, right? Most excellent work, that. Talented & gorgeous screenwriter Diablo Cody was in the latest issue of Writer's Digest (the cover story no less!) discussing some upcoming screenplays, including one for Universal called Girly Style. What is it about, pray tell? A raunchy women's road trip.
*Sound of my head hitting the keyboard*
It's a good thing the new issue of Mother Jones came today to distract me. There is a special section on the prison industry in America, and since my next novel features characters who work in a prison, I read it eagerly. I wanted to share my favorite highlights of the bit on prison labor with you. Not only are some of America's 2.3 million inmates making human-silhouette targets and custom dentures, but:
"Starbucks subcontractor Signature Packaging Solutions has hired Washington prisoners to package holiday coffees (as well as Nintendo Game Boys). Confronted by a reporter in 2001, a Starbucks rep called the setup 'entirely consistent with our mission statement.'"
"Boeing subcontractor Microjet had prisoners cutting airplane components, paying $7 an hour for work that paid union wages of $30 on the outside."
"Texas inmates produce brooms, bedding, toilets, sinks, showers, and bullwhips. Bullwhips?"
"In 1997, a California prison put two men in solitary for telling journalists they were ordered to replace 'Made in Honduras' labels on garments with 'Made in the USA.'"
"Its inmate call centers are the 'best kept secret in outsourcing,' Unicor (Federal Prison Industries) boasts. In 1994, a contractor for congressional hopeful Jack Metcalf hired Washington state prisoners to call and remind voters he was pro-death penalty. Metcalf, who prevailed, said he never knew." --Caroline Winter for Mother Jones
PS: I'm happy to report that my husband has safely returned from his Adventures with the Flood. The dog? Still going out of her mind.