Everybody loves griping about Corporate America. Hell, I do.* Wells Fargo has a small dustbuster attached to my checking account, my Chuck Taylors, after Nike bought them out, fell apart and crumbled like the Yankees this weekend, and Cingular hands me usurious bills without the ability to properly explain them ("Listen: I promise I didn't sign up for a daily Teen Flirt Horoscope Text Message. Now, the Nelly ringtones, well, that's a whole other thing.) Companies have more power than I do. Their votes count more than mine do. They have a cooler logo than I have. Then list goes on, on, on.
But this weekend, I was not bemoaning the massive bilking machine called Corporate America. No. I was applauding it. Because this weekend, instead of perpetrating horrible product placements in otherwise enjoyable movies---Ahem, Thomas Crowne Affair---Corporate America gave me free Young Frankenstein and free blueglass, both outside, on a weekend where San Francisco dressed up like Santa Barbara and hovered its temperatures in the mid 70s. All was well with the world. Or at least, my world. The world at large is never doing all that well.
When everything you do for an entire weekend is free and outdoors, all you really need is food and drink. Which, when you boil it right down, is all most humans need anyway. (Sometimes though, I kind of wish we were more...reptilian. Like a snake. Then, instead all that bothersome eating three times a day thing, you'd just eat one or two elephantine meals a month and spend the next week layed up on a barcalounger digesting. Added bonus: when driving through Ohio, we'd never have to stop at one of those frightening gas station conglomerations of Burger Kings, S'barros, and Bojangleseses, all sharing one dining room filled with astonishingly pale lardos). So, with sandwiches, chips, and beers that even homeless guys would turn their noses at**, I spent the weekend lounging in the sun, sporting a terribly embarrassing mustache & mutton chop combination that was shaved on the way to full baby face. I looked sort of like the villain in an early 1900s silent movie. Picture me tying some blonde to the train tracks, hair slicked back under a top hat, cackling, looking askance, thoroughly enjoying myself.
And you know what? It's hard to make a weekend that includes free Mel Brooks and free Emmylou Harris any better than it already is. In fact, asking for more would be greed bordering on lunacy. But sometimes, the heavens align. Sometimes, you're in a liquor store, stocking up on the aforementioned swill and snack'ems when you see it. Or rather, your girlfriends sees it. Yes indeed. The mystical, sought-after, hitherto invisible Heidi Gummi Bears. Right there. In front of the milk. I picked up a bag, smelled it through the plastic, shrieked loudly. See, this was the culmination of months of fruitless*** searching, whining both public and private, inferior gummi animals both wormlike and ursine first settled on, then regretted, and finally discarded, three quarters full. And you know what? They were even better than I remembered. Like John Lennon should have said, Happiness is a Warm Gummi.
Why I didn't buy ten or twenty packs is a question I can't answer. For now, it's fine just remembering a grassy hill, a sack of gummis, and Gene Wilder going apescat in black and white. I'm getting all cloudy just thinking about it.
* In fact, I will. Or, just did, depending on when you're reading this.
** I speak, of course, of Busch.
*** Heidi Gummi Bears do in fact contain fruit juice, which makes them even more delicious, and also, come to think of it, makes the asterisked statement a fairly awful pun.