22 August 2005
View from the Cul-de-Sac
(photo: The Today show's "surburban correspondent" would uncover controversial slices of suburbia like this nail-biter of a pinata bashing somewhere in middle America)
In its search for a surburban correspondent, the Today show is asking suburbanites to submit a videotape detailing the "dish" going down in their neighborhoods -- be it the poignancy of a lawn tractor or a couple of soccer moms kicking the crap out of each other. Since it's unlikely neighbors will willingly air their dirty laundry on national television to satisfy somone else's narcissistic aspirations, this endeavor is the equivalent of upskirting your cul-de-sac with a camera phone. The suburban dweller chosen as the Today show correspondent will likely be exiled from the community by an angry mob of neighbors wielding pitch forks and flaming bags of dog poo.
Personally, I'd enjoy a fly-on-the-wall peek into some of the quietly-twisted neighborhoods out there, ones like Lisa K's whose residents include a relentless trash picker and cat leasher, as well some aberrant casserole enthusiasts under age 30.
In my neighborhood, it's unlikely I'd find any clandestine key parties or dog brothels. We do have Lou and Nancy who go out EVERY SINGLE NIGHT but that's about it. I've come to the realization that if someone in our neighborhood tries out for this Today show gig, my family will be central casting. Our neighbors who live a few doors down passed our house in their green SUV three times today, growing more perplexed with each drive by. The first time, Caroline and I were doing jumping jacks on the front lawn, warming up for extreme, high-impact Ring around the Rosie. The second time they drove by, Caroline was wailing and pointing at the mailman's truck. She'd mistaken him for the ice cream man and had come up empty after requesting a Hoodsie. The third time, I was walking back and forth across the electric fence boundary with Vito's PetSafe collar in my hand. I wanted to make sure James hadn't cranked it up unnecessarily. James, in turn, asked me if I was auditioning for Jackass. The neighbors pretended not to see us.