Monthly Archives: June 2005

Front page of the Bismarck Remarker

Mandan, ND – Sally Worth

A state trooper caught a naked man crossing I-94 west of Sunset Drive late Saturday night. The man’s only possesions were what he had in his hands: a deerskin bag full of tinder and a makeshift knife made out of wood and broken glass.

The trooper, Sergeant Charles Plimpton, hypothesized that the man, nicknamed “Adam” because he lacks ID and hasn’t yet spoken a word, must have a camp somewhere nearby. “You don’t just sleep out under the stars every night without some shelter,” he said. “The elements out here would kill a man on three nights out of the week.”

Plimpton was pulling his cruiser into the westbound speed trap when he discovered Adam lying flat in the tall grass of the median. Apparently the man had been trying to escape attention as he crossed the road. The trooper called out to the naked man, asking him to come forward, but there was no motion so he approached him with his baton extended.

“I couldn’t tell if this guy was dead or if he was playing dead. He might have escaped from prison for all I knew, so I called for backup,” Plimpton recalled. “He was wise not to resist when I arrested him. It’s not fun chasing a naked man through the prairie.”

“Adam” has been very docile, according to the psychologists that have kept him company since his detainment Saturday. Prof. Jules Bernville notes that the man shows understanding of the English language: “When we present him with a choice of foods and ask his preference, he points. Asked which he dislikes, he indicates something else.” Bernville thinks the man is “probably just some guy who got fed up with his wife and kids and the system and took off… everything.”

Local authorities are bewildered as to how to handle the issue. Meanwhile, a small band of protesters have formed outside of the building where Adam is being held. People of all faiths have come together to demand his release into the wild.

“Adam is the real deal,” preaches Gloria Franken of the local Interfaith Union of Ministries. “Everyone here agrees that his detention is a sin against the Higher Authority. We won’t quit until he’s free again.”

Franken was also overheard ordering another protester to drive to the Best Buy in Fargo and dictating a shopping list including GPS receiver, night vision goggles and a tranquilizer gun. She refused to answer any questions about the matter.

Plimpton remains hopeful that Adam will be rehabilitated into society. “I’ve wanted to do that: to run away from it all and live in the woods. I even think I’d look good with a long beard.” A local barber, who asked to remain nameless, estimates from a photograph that Adam has not cut his whiskers in fifteen years.

Portable digital home recording

The first song I ever wrote is called Outsold. I sat on it for seven years. Tonight, because of a wild hare you-know-where, I finally recorded it with help from a Dell Latitude D600 laptop, FASoft’s n-Track Studio software, a Tascam US-122 USB Audio/MIDI Interface, an Audio-Technica P48 condenser mic, Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones and a Taylor 310-CE acoustic-electric guitar. My mouse is glaring at me so I had better mention it: Logitech V500 Cordless Notebook Mouse.

The whole process took about six hours: setting up my studio (my hotel room), preparing the recording booth (clamping the microphone gooseneck to the desk), recording the main guitar part (15 takes, two tracks), eating at Red Lobster (fish and chips, two martinis), recording the vocal track (40 takes, one track), recording the soprano guitar part (five takes, two tracks), mixing (five tracks, two sends, nine effects), mastering (one effect) and mixdown (two WAV files, one MP3 file). I hope you enjoy it (3 minutes, 6 seconds).

Thunk-thunk. Thunk-thunk.

Life wasn’t looking so bright this morning for the field mouse. This year’s litter had all grown and gone looking for mates in neighboring fields. Yesterday, the last of his old cow friends had just been loaded into the slaughterhouse trailer. An hour before sunrise, a barn owl had scooped up the mouse’s last living relatives and carried them shrieking into the night.

This left him with nobody but his wife, whose cute figure had packed up and left with her sense of humor last summer. She had just sent him out for some nuts and seeds, complaining that the pile he’d collected last night was already stale. “And hurry up, slim,” she cackled, “I’m starving here!” This field mouse had had enough.

He was walking along the road to the farmer’s storehouse, enjoying the wind from the rushing cars, when he got a bright idea. “If I could just get a ride to the next county,” he thought, “I could find a new girlfriend and forget about my fat, bickering wife!”

The little mouse spent an hour trying to thumb a ride but nobody seemed to notice him there by the road. Was it his size? There was a prison nearby; maybe it was that nobody wanted to pick up an escaped convict by mistake. The cries of his wife, which had been carried faintly on the wind a few minutes before, were growing louder. She must have tracked him!

Desperation gripped the little mouse. He leapt into the road to evade his wife. A car was rolling toward him in the opposite lane; it seemed low enough that he could grab hold of some part of the undercarriage and speed away from his mate. Hadn’t he seen it done on TV? He darted into the path of my car and was squashed under the left tires. The next car hit him, too.