Friday, November 18, 2005

What's the Frequency, Brad?

The things that go on, right below the Surface, at only one remove from Ordinary Life...

I walk past this graffito each morning at work. It's on the concrete wall of the stairway that leads from the parking garage into the building proper. It's scrawled at eye height in pencil, maybe three or four inches tall -- I've put my finger in the photo to give it some scale.

It appears to be a curly right bracket, with the middle peak circled, with a line pointing at the circled area and labeled "Brad."

What is being signified here? At first glance it would appear to say that Brad is to be found at the pointy part of the bracket, but what does that mean? Bracket...bracket... Income bracket? The thing that closes an algebraic aggregation? A pair of shots fired (as in front of and beyond a target) to aid in determining the exact distance from gun to target (Webster's Ninth)? Look out, Brad!

The more I ponder it, the less I like Brad's chances. Being declared to be on the pointy part of anything is never good, and when mysterious and unseen and apparently deeply malicious messengers put your name up on a public wall in such a mystifying but vaguely threatening context, you may think about throwing in the towel and Surrendering Completely to the Forces that beset you and everything you love...

See this thing, right here, the pointy part of this thing, the part that looks like it would really really hurt if it poked you in the eye? Well that's where you are, Brad old sport, that's where you are to be found, and there ain't a goddamned thing you or anybody seeing this can do about it... And I'm putting it up right here so eeeeeeverybody who walks by will know at a glance just how deep the shit is you're enmired in today, Brad-me-lad, so don't do pissing and crying to Mommy or the cops or the Feds -- cause ain't a single one of 'em gonna believe you, chum. They're aaaaall gonna think Well, there goes Brad, poor bastard, just another victim of the Crazy Shit that takes ten-fifteen good people and true every day in this city alone, what can you do about it, there's nothing you can do....

It's be nice to think that Brad was on the peak of something, instead of sitting his sore ass on the pointy, hurty end of the bracket, yeah, that'd be optimistic, wouldn't it. Let's go with that. Brad: He's on top of things! He's a winner!

Nah, I just can't see it.

I can' t help thinking Brad's a victim here, a fellow tormented soul, another kindred spirit that The Con got its deadly meathooks into, the perennial schlub who can't stay out of the way of Vast International Conspiracies that pencil his name into Death's Dance-Card and pursue him into madness....

We Await Silent Brad's Empire.


Soundsurfr said...

Maybe someone is supposed to hammer a brad into that point?

Or maybe someone was writing the word "bracket" and had an anneurism before finishing the "k".

Either way, things are not good for Brad.

XTCfan said...

More important, Ned, is what did you do to your knuckle?

And what's with the word-verification under the horn?


Anonymous said...

Oh, Neddie! Once again you see things that aren't there.

The illustration in question is a simple diagram of an ice skating move called, appropriately enough, a bracket. Someone had an early-morning ice skating lesson in your top-secret parking bunker. Perhaps Brad is some bright-eyed Olympic hopeful. The next thingy...Scott Hamilton or Dick Button or Sergei Sakhnovski.

Brad is a happy little skater in the grand Ice Capades (TM) of life. Can't you just be happy for him?

Neddie said...

what did you do to your knuckle?

That's where the brad got hammered in. Jesus got those Mel-Gibson spikes; I get brad nails. About right.

And what's with the word-verification under the horn?

We Await Silent Brad's Empire, with the post-horn from The Crying of Lot 49. Maybe my shoes are Pynching.

Mrs. Packer; Then where is Brad now????? That's what's worrying me. Why skateth he no more?

alcgqh: Halfway through "alcohol" and splat.

Anonymous said...

Nothing sure but Thurn und Taxis. Once again, it's why I have you bookmarked. Salut!

H. Rumbold, Master Barber said...

But the post horn is unmuted. And WASBE is the World Assocition for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. The tinfoil hat previously mentioned can be useful either to mute one's trumpet or cover one's ears.

H. Rumbold, Master Barber

Anonymous said...

The point of the bracket is where the V2 will hit. Brad has had sex there.

Anonymous said...

You're adorable, Jeddie.

I think it's Brad's profile and someone is *pointing* out that he needs a nose job.


Anonymous said...

viola repairs?

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes *chuckle*, poor, poor Brad. He has no idea what's in store (although you're getting close, Neddie. But don't worry, we'll give you a 5-minute head start -- far more than we gave Jacopo Belbo).

Anonymous said...

When I was a young'un in elementary school and just learning to draw brackets, the way I drew them they looked exactly like Bob Hope in profile.

So maybe this person simply recognized Brad's profile in the bracket. The pointy bit bears a striking resemblance to Brad's nose, perhaps?