I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh man manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, as a sports fan paying attention to all the blather about the Milwaukee Brewers facing baseball’s trade deadline, Our Town gets constantly hammered with the label “small market,” and gosh darn if I, your personal essayist, haven’t come down with a case of small market-itis, what the fock.My doctors say small market-itis is a condition a guy gets susceptible to when he’s exposed to an infected agent like a small-market city in a small-market state in a small-market area of the US-focking-A. Swell. So how the heck can I possibly even commence to hope to compete for the really major-league ideas I can write about when I’m stuck in from-what-I-hear is a cheap-ass dink market like this one? Hey, you tell me.
And then I’ll tell you that I may as well just give the fock up right now. All the hotshot ideas end up in the heads of large-market guys and the smart get smarter. As American philosopher Daffy Duck once said: “It is to laugh.”
Cripes, I’m into my 32nd year with this newspaper, and I have yet to hear from any of our Beer Town officials about the declaration of an Art Kumbalek Day. Yeah, “Art Kumbalek Day,” and it doesn’t necessarily have to be anything majestic. How ’bout maybe a few banners up and around; a one-day ban on any and all restrictions that limit tavern hours; a couple, three grand parades down the avenue (can the clowns and marching bands, I’ll just need a bevy of gals in those baton-twirl outfits); 24-hour TV coverage of all simpatico events and a key to the city that’ll actually focking open something, like a bank vault maybe.
But I will insist that the whole metroplex kit-and-caboodle plus business industry plus every man, woman and child not only provide a little lip service to the big day, but also pony up some big-time gifts for christ sakes—gifts at least on the scale they hand out to our revered athlete jocks every goddamn time one decides to hang up the strap and pop into town for a brief appearance at the booty ceremony.
Gift items should include (but not be limited to) a focking four-door Cadillac, a nice portable bar, helicopter, furniture, tricked-out golf cart, new shoes, personal ambulance, boat and motor, 25,000 square-foot condo with house maid, and a radio station.
And let me add that if Art Kumbalek Day doesn’t come together and the town can’t come up with the goods, I’m as good as out of here, vaya con focking dios. And that’s ’cause I only see red when I project my “revenues” I’m expecting for the year ahead. I take that as a kick to my dupa meant to tell me that no longer can I get by in a small-market tin can. Either our town gets more people into the population so that it becomes big-market, or I will be forced to drive a stake through my Milwaukee County picture I.D. and go strolling a bigger green road, I kid you not.
Where? You tell me—Berlin, Bangkok, Rio, Hong focking Kong, fock if I know, but anywheres they got people with deeper pockets and more of them. Yes, ’tis a pity that putting palaver to paper is all about “the business” nowadays. It’s not like years ago when every kid in the whole damn country dreamed of one day becoming the kind of newspaper guy who’d write down the first focking thing from off the top of his head just for the sheer love of getting finished writing as fast as possible so there’d be more time for tossin’ ’em back at the nearest tavern. But today is a colder, crueler world. Those cocktails cost more than they used to.
And what am I to do about the fine line of Art Kumbalek merchandise I’d like to market but can’t ’cause of the pissant profile of area consumer numbers—stuff like the Art Kumbalek Safety Drinking Helmet, Art’s holiday mistletoe belt buckle, the Art Kumbalek action figure for kids, the line of AK apparel and accoutrements (I’m especially excited to get into ladies undergarments one day) BUT I CAN’T FIND THE FINANCING. There’s simply just not enough cowboy, maverick yahoo knucklehead high rollers around our part of the Upper Midwest ready to toss big dough my way for the sheer hell of it. And is that supposed to be my focking fault?
Hey, you tell me ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.