Thursday, July 8, 2010

See Buffalo and Die!

I didn't do much yesterday.  Nobody in Philadelphia did.  It was a hundred degrees on the front porch!  And that's the one in shade.

But, strong of character as I am, I did get up and write today's story.  It was commissioned by Daniel Francken, who said then when when he gets anxious he rips off his pinky toes' nails and that he hails from Buffalo, which he characterized as "the armpit of New York State."  I'm guessing that Daniel is feeling the heat too.

Anyway, here's the story.  I can only hope that John Kessel doesn't see it.

Your Streets, O Buffalo!  Your Streets Filled of Light!
Michael Swanwick

These are things that Daniel Francken never says about Buffalo:

All roads lead to Buffalo, New York.  Even the neediest citizen of that happy city would scorn to leave it for all of Ted Turner’s wealth.  In the spring, the fountains run with sparkling white wine.  In the autumn, they spout dark red ale.  The building spires are all topped with gems.  Though the suavest and most agile jewel thieves in the world live there, they scorn to defile their city’s skyline by taking them.

The winters are moderated by the proximity of Canada, which softens the winds, and of the lake which gently warms them.  The summers are so clement that nobody in Buffalo owns an air conditioner, and many don’t even know what one is. The white sand beaches of Lake Erie are one of the world’s greatest secrets.  Famous Brazilian beauties come to sunbathe topless by the crystalline waters, knowing that nobody there would be so ungentlemanly as to harass them.  So much like Paradise is this great city that if a unicorn were to materialize in Delaware Park, nobody would be surprised.

See Buffalo and die!  Its streets are paved with gold.  The hearts of its inhabitants are filled with song.  The police are incorruptible and the criminals are in it only for the sport; they give away their spoils to the poor – of whom, in Buffalo, there are almost none.  He who is tired of Buffalo is tired of life.

The sports teams there always win.

Those are but a few of the things that Daniel Francken never says about his home town.  When he first read this story, he did not rip off the nails of both his pinky toes in a fit of frustration.

With apologies to Alice Sheldon and Jamaica Kinkaid


1 comment:

David Stone said...

I've been reading through Kessel's The Pure Product over here, and now I know which story I need to read next.