I’m on a break! If Bert Raynes can do it, so can I. Here’s an oldie but a goodie: Clyde Thornhill, aka Mike Bressler, on the artistic side of Hog Island, Wyoming. File it under “satire,” and enjoy!
Susie came over last night in tears. “I have to break up with you,” she cried.
I considered this information carefully. Susie was higher maintenance than Lill, my redneck lover, or Alice my Republican bacchanal. However, she maintained a diverse selection of black erotic-wear, and she occasionally sneaked me a day-old bran muffin from Shades Cafe. I decided to pursue a course of reconciliation.
“How come?” I asked.
“You live in a trailer,” she said.
“I’ve always lived in a trailer,” I said. “Why is it different now?”
“Low-cost housing was once considered trendy, but it has fallen out of fashion,” she told me. “Cool people are sick of it. They want housing more in keeping with Wyoming’s rugged character. You know, maids’ quarters, swimming pools and a field for the polo ponies to frolic.”
She left my trailer crying.
I looked at truck parts scattered in my driveway, my snow machine stored for the off-season under a tarp in my front yard. Since when is a BMW more Wyoming than a Chevy on blocks?
Lill was in North Carolina at a NASCAR race, and Alice was in Louisiana trying to convince out-of-work ex-POTUS staffers that party loyalty was more important than jobs. I could go to Nikai and pick up a sophisticated dis-order girl, but I didn’t want to eat raw fish.
I decided to get Susie back. I called Tammy Christel, owner of Jackson Hole Art Tours, and told her my dilemma.
“No problem,” she said. “I have a tour group from San Francisco scheduled this afternoon, and Katy Niner from the News and Guide is coming to do a story. Why don’t you join us? Just leave the talking to me.”
We met at the Center for the Arts, loaded into a van, and Tammy told the driver to head south.
“Aren’t we going to visit the galleries on the Town Square?” one of the women asked.
“We have a special treat today,” Tammy said. “We are taking a tour of Hog Island!”
“Hog Island?” The woman wrinkled her nose. “It doesn’t sound artsy.”
“Sort of like the ‘Meat Packing District’ of New York didn’t sound artsy a few years ago; Hog Island represents the latest in contemporary innovative Western chic with a traditional flair,” Tammy said.
The excitement in the van was palpable as we turned into Evans Construction. “To our left is the concrete batch plant.” Tammy spoke with an authoritative tone. “It maintains an industrial appearance while not surrendering its obviously classic configuration and symbolic post-modern form that embraces both realism and a certain abstract nouveau. It is rumored that Dynia was strongly influenced by its concrete and sheet metal construction.
I listened to the murmurs of delight.
As we pulled into my neighborhood, I saw Kenny barbequing on his deck. “He is considered a bon vivant of the trailer park, mixing avant-garde, français de cuisine with the traditional fare of his homeland of Guernsey,” Tammy explained. “Not only does he own a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup remarkably similar to the Warhol painting, his double-wide serves as a Salon for the local art and literature community.”
Three days later the News ran a front page article about the reinvigoration of the Hog Island District. Trailer prices sky rocketed, Giorgio Armani opened a boutique in the back of a rusted single-wide, and Susie begged me to take her back.