John Walker's Electronic House

by on Apr.07, 2004, under The Rest

Coming live from Baltimore. Well, clearly not live. I’m not writing these words at the very moment you read them. It’s impractical.

I’ve so far failed to solve any Homicide: Life on the Streets style murders. But I did see the court to which the characters in the show are so often visiting, and squealed like the pathetic fanboy I truly am.

I arrived into the States on the opening day of the baseball season, which made me very happy. And saw ‘my team’, the Cubs, win their opener. However, I can’t seem to avoid the things of England that I expect to be safely far away. Turned on ESPN2 today to see if there was a ballgame on, and discovered Arsenal vs Chelsea, with British commentary. So watched a quiz show presented by Donny Osmond. Now tonight, I turn my hotel room radio on, and hear a British accent. Then realise they’re telling me British news. Currently the sport, hearing about cricket. I’m a little confused by this, unsure if I’ve uncovered a mistake in some elaborate hoax. Perhaps America is a giant version of the Truman Show, elaborate and complicated scrolling sets, on an island, probably off the coast of Scotland. Someone has left a radio behind that hasn’t been properly doctored. It’s BBC news! They just said. It must be true.

It would explain the overacting of one of the characters in this giant creation. The cab driver this evening decides to take us on an unofficial tour of Baltimore, announcing random facts about buildings as we passed. He then stopped at the top of a hill, and told us we should get out as were a few hundred yards from our restaurant, and there was a great view here. Perhaps we might want to take photos. The view was fne, but did reveal that the few hundred yards between ourselves and the restaurant was made of water. So we then had to get back in and go back the way we’d come, 45 minutes late for our meal.

Journey back, after about 50 yards, someone reverses into his van at some lights. There is a long and complicated kerfuffle as the two drivers attempt to communicate. When we finally leave, our half hour journey home is a constant recollection of this event, over and over, ever more painstaking and emotional. That we were all in his cab while it happened didn’t appear to prevent the need for this. And then as we’ve nearly arrived back at the hotel, the very best description:

“It’s like a cake. A really beautiful cake, that you’ve made. And then someone sticks a finger in it… It’s tragic.”

It’s hard to disagree.

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