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Current Events Suggest It's Now Christmas in July
Wow, it’s Christmas in July and we didn’t even know it.
Last year during the holiday season I brought you all the exciting news about the Knightstown Players, a local group of aspiring actors and actresses who never got their big Hollywood break. They had announced there would be performances of localized Christmas season movies at the Knightstown Opera House. Those plays would be loosely-based on actual movies produced by Hollywood-types, but the actors and directors would be Knightstown people, and the plays would have much more local flavor.
So now you are probably asking, why is it Christmas in July?
Well, those performances were apparently a success and have had a pretty dramatic impact on the community. A lot of things have changed in the last seven months. Believe it or not, the majority of those performances have evolved into significantly different storylines.
Let’s revisit them as they were presented last November, take another look at my personal critique, and explore the enhanced present-day performance. You might be a little surprised.
Plot: A guy thinks his life is pretty crummy and he wishes he was never born. He's then shown what would have been different if he had in fact, never been born.
Plot: An old superintendent gets replaced by another superintendent, who then gets replaced by another superintendent, who is just temporary, and by now, probably wishes he had never taken the job.
Critique: A long, drawn-out melodrama that lacks plot and direction and makes no sense until it wraps up nicely in the end, which never comes.
It’s a different Storie today. We have, we hope anyway, a long-term superintendent who will move everything in the right direction and finally bring an end to this drama that has been playing, non-stop, for too long.
Plot: Charlie Brown tries to kick a football and Lucy pulls it away, causing Charlie to fall down and buy a ridiculously-pathetic Christmas tree. All is well when they decorate it and cover up the bad parts.
Plot: Kevin Knott wants to see a document and it's pulled away, and the bad parts are covered up. Kevin then hears a ridiculously-pathetic excuse as to why he can’t see it.
Critique: Original full script would have probably drawn sold-out performances, but it was redacted at the last minute.
Knott and the other board members who were interested have now seen the documents despite efforts of the CAB administration to deny them access. That has opened some eyes very, very wide. The new school board is demanding never-before seen access to records they should have been seeing all along. I’ve got five bucks that says this performance will become a classic.
Plot: All little Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB Gun. He gets it, but also gets shot in the eye.
Plot: All Chad Leakey wants for Christmas is a legitimate chance to bid on an insurance contract. Instead, he gets poked in the eye.
Critique: Unrealistic and simply couldn't happen in 2007. But this play should be viewed closely by everyone.
One year and three new school board members later, Leakey got the insurance contract back, which was justice being served. But there’s still the unexplained reason for changing the agent of record in the first place. I’ve got five bucks that says somewhere, there’s a gun with smoke coming out the end of the barrel.
Plot: Tim Allen puts on the Santa Clause suit and becomes Santa, although the suit doesn't fit because it's been worn by so many different people over the years. Despite being ridiculed by everyone, he wears the suit anyway.
Plot: Danny Baker puts on the police chief's suit, realizes it's been worn by a gazillion people over the years, and wears the suit anyway. But in a twist, he fits the suit.
Critique: Andy Griffith would be proud.
Chief Baker still wears the suit. The good news is, as far as we know, his department hasn’t been sued under his watch. His officers won’t be asking for a driver’s license and a major credit card during traffic stops, and so far, things appear to be going a lot better than they have in years. But, like in every police department, there are still problems. The newspaper still doesn’t get copies of all of the police reports, and it’s not my department, but I’ve got five bucks saying that’s going to quickly become a problem.
Plot: Three ghosts from the past, present and future, visit an angry old miser and convince him to spread the wealth and look out for the best interests of the community.
Plot: Three men from the present are visited by an angry town and ordered to serve on the council. They are warned to look out for the best interests of the community, or else.
Critique: The performances have not yet started.
We’re seven months into the new town council administration and it’s a different world. Early reports indicate they are doing a good job of governing the town with a no-nonsense, let’s-get-it-done-right approach. There’s still a lot of work to do, but they appear to be up for the challenge.
Plot: A magic hat on a snowman brings him to life, although he melts. But he returns in dramatic Hollywood fashion.
Plot: In a dramatic chain of events pulled from today's headlines, a terrorist attack on a bakery results in a recipe change in the doughnut frosting. Unbeknownst to the owner or customers, the ingredient in the frosting is Rumorkill, a rare syrup recently discovered in the jungles of the Congo. Once the Rumorkill takes hold, the play is reminiscent of Hollywood's One Million Years B.C., in which nobody says anything.
Critique: Absolute silence in such an arena would be golden.
Nothing’s changed, so Rumorkill doesn’t work. But Cambridge City, Centerville, Fortville and just about every town this size has one of these rumor mill launching pads, so maybe it’s just part of the small town charm.
Plot: A little girl wants a house and wants to believe in Santa Claus. There's a big parade. She eventually gets the house and believes in Santa.
Plot: Local government leaders suddenly start doing everything by the book, changing the face of the community, the front page of the newspaper, and causing everyone to believe in Santa Claus.
Critique: A feel-good drama with an unexpected twist that is spell-binding.
Not everyone is doing everything by the book, but there are a lot more people reading it. The new town and school governing bodies appear to understand that open records and communication is what the taxpayers want and not just what the newspaper has been demanding. Things are getting better, and that fact has been reflected on the front page of the newspaper as well.
In just about every case, we’ve seen wrongs being righted and a surprising level of improvement, cooperation and open communication.
So maybe it is Christmas in July, and just maybe, there is a Santa Claus.
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