I’ve been asked to write a column about my first year of living in Columbia by the wonderful folks here at CoMo Collective. I like Collectivism and Columbia is where I’ll be living so…Why Not!
The TEAM (TEAM=My son aka lunch box aka heavy k aka tha dude, my amazingly-splendid-beautiful partner of 7 years, and moi) moved to Columbia June 20. Our route began in Cincinnati OH and took us to Decorah IA for 10 months. Iowa was good to us. We were greeted as liberators and exited with lasting camaraderie. Cincinnati, like any place one calls home, is like an ice cream with broken glass in it. It’s comforting and makes you fat but if you aren’t paying attention, you’ll seriously get your lip busted. Columbia was a new chapter in our tour of midwesternisms. We call it a team because it sounds a lot better than family ( i.e. famulus). Plus, no one’s trying to “get back” to team values right? Mind you, we have values, but they’re galaxies away from the folks who froth incessantly about the good ole day(s).
When we got the news that we were moving here (for work as contemporary transient labor seems to do) we immediately made the trip to have look for ourselves. “College Town USA” and “CoMo” were the Wiki stickies at the top of the listing for our new base of operations and of course when we got here lots of shops, brochures, and officialdomspeak used “CoMo” rather loosely. We immediately wondered “Do people actually use this in daily conversations? It rolls of the tongue like a smartphone porno or a dime store where they only sell multi-purpose jellys. Was it an organic evolution to abbreviation of the name that locals used colloquially? Or was it one of those high-priced ad campaigns that cities use to attract corporations and the “creative class”. Everyone’s seen them because they usually have an over-priced subprime sub division with the words towne or pointe in them. Most of the public funds used in those ad campaigns go to exciting things like billboards and full color tri-folds. Or, was it an attempt by locals to say to the KC’s and STL’s of Missourah that while we may not have an arch or famous bbq, we do have a two syllable nickname that’s catchy and a bunch of keggers. Our findings remain inconclusive but the inquiry has been fun thus far.
IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHTstick.
Coming from NE Iowa where it felt like there was 11 months of saliva-freezing winter, the August heat was amplified. We’ve gotten a pretty great tour of the public pools as a result. The Albert-Oakland was recommended as the one with least amount of pee-pee in it. Total bargain for adults and kiddies as the TEAM only incurs a charge of $10. Which isn’t bad when you compare that to a country club membership or a waterpark. The pool is large, has many chairs, tight diving boards, a sweet slide, and a large kids pool. However, it does not sell beer and has a security guard. Unlike most of the public pools outside of the downtown area in Cincinnati, this pool had a nice cross section of the CoMo population i.e. it wasn’t lily white moms and a parking lot full of suburban assault vehicles. These are good things to have in your city since most U.S. Cities are segregated like Selma circa 56. After a few visits, I noticed that with more kids (adult swim was barren) came more security guards. One particular mustachioed squadron was packing serious heat in the heat. Both looked the part with guts, wrap around shades and frontin’ like they didn’t like the new Katie Perry song that much. So I asked “Hey man, you’re really prepared there. Why do you have a gun and a nightstick?” The reply was measured “Well, a couple of years ago there was a gang fight here”. A gang fight? At a public pool in the middle of the day where the theme music to incite such violence is Ke$hia? Pretty sure that may be a bit embellished on his part but what do I know, I just got here.
Next week: Shitty guitar stores, VG, and The search for a pediatrician that is accepting new patients.