The small-town that could (but didn't really want to)
Written by Alexandria resident, and man of the 21st Century: Alex Sandell
This is Alexandria's biggest
attraction. "His" name is
'Big Ole.' His shield reads
of AMERICA." It's a long
story. Remind me not to tell
you it, sometime.
In taking my mother's (and everyone else's) advice; I've decided to be a little more positive in my day-to-day life. When trying to out-Prozac Prozac with the power of positive thinking, I decided; what better place to start, than the place that I live? Sure, I used to think this small-town hellhole was "boring," "conservative," "stuck in the past," and "not very fun to live in." But, that was before I realized all that this small-town heaven had, and all it was going to have, in the near future.
About two weeks ago, I decided to take a reel-to-reel tape and gigantic microphone around to some (okay, "all") of the entertainment hotspots in Alexandria. In doing so, I found that a lot of interesting things, all of which I'm sure will help rejuvenate this small town, are going to take place. Here are just some (okay, "all") of my discoveries:
Bowling Alley to add pins
One of Alexandria's biggest hotspots is the bowling alley. With over 30 lanes to bowl on, a wide assortment of booze to drink, and dozens of raging alcoholics and skanky chicks to make friends with, it is no wonder why. Now, with pins being added to each of the 33 lanes, there will be no stopping the "Knock 'Er Up" (formerly known as "Roll 'Er Down") bowling center from being thee place to be. For over 20 years, Alexandria bowlers have simply rolled the ball down the lane, just to watch it come back up to them, so they could roll it back down again. "I never dreamed there could be more to this fantastic game," said Don Iverson, owner of the bowling alley, and current bowling champion, with an average score of zero. A bowling competitor from a rival league, who threatened to cut off both of my hands, if I revealed his name, is equally enthusiastic about the pins, which are set to arrive sometime around Christmas; "with the new point system, Don may finally be beaten at his own game. That's the best part. I always had a problem with the whole 'I'm the champ because I own the place' rule. Now someone can kick that fat bastard's ass!" If the pins are a success, the bowling center plans on adding gutters sometime in "the near future."
Arcade to update its games
"Put Another Dime in the Video Game Machine, Baby," the most popular, and only arcade in Alexandria, is replacing some of its older games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man with high-tech masterpieces such as Ms. Pac-Man and Space Invaders II. "Call me an optimist, but I think these sequels will be big," predicts Jules Haaven, owner of both the "Put Another Dime in the Video Game Machine, Baby" arcade and Alexandria's infamous, "Party Like It's 1988" nightclub. Haaven is taking no chances, however, and is also bringing in some alternatives to Pac-Man and Space Invaders; games he calls "revolutionary." "One of the video machines I have on order is sure to revolutionize the video game industry by letting players choose which video game they would like to play. There's a total of TWO games in one machine! It's sort of like that new book series that's due out late next year, what's it called? Choose Your Own Adventure, or something like that. The games run on the 'Neo-Geo,' and it is the most sophisticated piece of machinery I have ever seen. Even more amazing, the system is actually one that is set to go into houses. If it wasn't for the competition the upcoming 'Atari 5200' will be giving it, I'd put money on it being bigger than the 'Commodore!'" But, according to Haaven, the thrill-ride isn't the sequels to Alexandria's favorite games, or even the 'Neo-Geo'; it's the new virtual reality racing game, Pole Position. This virtual reality masterpiece promises to be so realistic players with motion-sickness are advised against playing it. "I've been in the driver's seat," says Haaven, "and I'll say to you that Pole Position is the closest you're ever going to get to racing in a race without actually racing in a race!" I'm sure hundreds of Alexandria citizens are already lining up to try out this technological marvel.
Movie Theater to add sound
Upon talking to Jon Telerino, owner of the 1 screen multiplex on the north end of town, I made a discovery that is sure to thrill all you movie-goers out there. The Cinema 1 movie theater will be adding sound! Telerino claims that attendance has nearly doubled since this time last year, when he added pictures. "Now," says Telerino, "with pictures and sound, business could go through the roof!" Telerino, who is also Alexandria's mayor, also committed to getting the theater up to current fire codes by 2007. "Hell," an energized Telerino adds, "maybe I'll even put air-conditioning in the place, and add a sun-roof!" Telerino seemed disappointed when I informed him that a sun-roof would make it hard for viewers to actually see the movie. "Only during matinees!" he belligerently yelled out, before telling me the interview was "over."
"Zap Video" may make the jump up to VHS
"Zap Video," the towns only video store, is planning on renting video cassettes as early as next summer. "It's tourist season," Cal Martin, owner of "Zap," tells me, "and those damn out-of-towners seem to have something against the Beta. Beta has been good enough for Alexandria since it was first introduced 2 years ago; but these city folk just need to keep upgrading to something they perceive as being a 'better' product." Alexandria's City Council, primarily Beta users, are debating over whether or not they should create a city ordinance banning VHS. "Alexandria is a Beta city," says Mayor Telerino, "and Beta it shall stay." "If it ain't broke," says councilwoman Cindy Hoover, "don't fix it." Braving the controversy their choice may cause, some Alexandria residents are ready to go against the grain and embrace the change. "It's a little scary," says an Alexandria resident who swore she'd kick me "hard in the ass" if I gave her name, "but it's time we caught up with the rest of the world. I have trouble believing the last Police Academy sequel was part 2. I've heard rumors saying that the series goes all the way up to a part 4 or 5. Now, why should I be missing top-notch Police Academy sequels just because my town prefers Beta? I shouldn't. Remember, if you use my name for this article, I'll kick you hard in the ass, you sunuvabitch." I think the unnamed ass-kicker makes a good point . . . if there is really more than one sequel to Police Academy, and we're missing it, there should be a VHS supporter in every home!
Pizza Hut to begin selling pizza
"Pizza Hut," the first restaurant franchise to come into Alexandria, 7 years ago, is finally going to start selling pizza. "Before it was just a hut," says Assistant Manager, Michael Hultman. "We got good business the first 5 years, but I think it was just because it was a novelty. People had heard there was a place called Pizza Hut, but they didn't know if it actually existed. When we built one right here, they were very excited. People just liked to come sit in the hut and look at the menu. Come November, they can actually order!" My stomach is rumbling already.
As you can see, Alexandria is growing by leaps in bounds. Rather than living 20 years in the past, we're only about 15 behind, and gaining! Sure, "Taco Bell" needs to get a deep-fryer, and taco-shells, and it would be nice if "Fleet Farm" actually started selling things, rather than just being a farm; but why complain, when we already have so much? This town is definitely moving forward, and I think it's time to sit back and enjoy the ride!
email alex at firstname.lastname@example.org and he might give you a tour of the town, someday!
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Copyright ©1999 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. Copy this, without my permission, and I'll suffocate you with all my used beta tapes. I can do that - I'm the Colonel!