Friday, January 21, 2005

The Fox and the Hounded

The Way I See It by Chris Millspaugh

Chris Millspaugh

Commentary by Chris Millspaugh

You know how it is when you can't get to sleep at night because there's so much going on in your life? You toss and turn and try to figure out how you can meet all your obligations and, then, suddenly they all meld together into a mass of confusion. You can't seem to sort out what's real and what is a fantasy. I experienced something like that in a series of jumbled episodes.

The last thing I remembered before nodding off to sleep was of all the grumbling going on concerning the Hemingway House and whether or not admirers and research scholars would be able to visit the famed author's abode and what his heritage means to this valley. A couple of hundred residents had gathered at The Limelight Room in Sun Valley for the expressed reason of trying to convince neighbors of the Hemingway House and its owner, The Nature Conservancy, that the building should be saved as a landmark. The neighbors said they felt like they were being hounded into allowing all this to happen to their neighborhood, which would disturb their peace.

Then, I was in "La-La" land and the television was on. A new programming schedule for the FOX Channel was being announced by the boys in program development and they were showing a slew of promos, one after another.

The first proposed show was "Who's Your Papa?" English literature students would try to find their true writing style on a deserted island after being influenced by the short, concise style of American author and adventurer, Ernest Hemingway. The winner would become the caretaker of his Ketchum home.

Next up was a variation of the old "Gong Show" merged into a combination with "American Idol." In this case, Hemingway Stories are read by the contestants and "gonged" if they were particularly bad. It would be called, "For Whom The Bell Gongs" and prospective contestants would be voted off the show by means of Letters to the Editor of The Idaho Mountain Express.

"Farewell to Skinny Arms." a new exercise show where Mariel Hemingway would teach Yoga and weightlifting to an audience of "chicken-wing" enthusiasts.

"To Have and Have Not" has mortgage brokers competing over financing a second mortgage on the Hemingway House for The Nature Conservancy so they wouldn't have to sell and enable them to open it up for tourists.

"Indagadavida" features "Iron Butterfly" and Barbara Eden in a landscaping show called "I Dream of Ernie."

"Old Man and the 'C' Cup" has a Hemingway look alike doing a promo for the Super Bowl in which he's leaving a locker room and is detained by New York Times editorial writer, Maureen Dowd, who drops a dangling participle and they create a "Pulitzer" moment.

There were others, like "Death in the Afternoon," a matinee reality funeral show; "A Moveable Feast," a cooking show for hoboes and people on the move, and "The Killers," a tale of Orca whales in Cuba.

I woke up in a sweat. Can't we leave this poor man alone? All he ever wanted to do in this area was to shoot a few ducks, laugh with his friends and have a few "pops" at The Tram and all I want to do is to get one good nights sleep.

Nice talkin' to you.

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