Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Tale of Three Cities

I'd like to tell you about three cities.

The first city is really more of a hamlet. It is known as Colin's Landing. Colin's Landing is a quiet place, only recently having broken ground on its important buildings. As it is in its infancy, Colin's Landing has lots of development yet to undergo. There is very little hustle-bustle, and the streets are generally quiet. Strangley, Colin's Landing seems to not yet have found a schedule. It is as likely to be busy at 3 a.m as it is at noon. And even when it is busy, not a lot gets done. And many things still need to be implemented for a smooth transition to a larger village to be complete. The sewers, for example, are still under construction. As a result, backups and leakage occur frequently. This used to be easily manageable, but as the population steadily grows the problem becomes ... less savory. Fortunately, the citizens' needs are as simple as they can be - if everyone has a warm blanket, someone to snuggle with, is able to eat every 3 hours or so, and has a few simple diversions, then morale is very high. City developers are happy that manufacturing industries have been attracted to Colin's Landing's positive economic climate. Such players as diaper manufacturers and household cleaning supply distributors seem to have set up shop quickly and effectively. Mayor Lisa played a significant role in developing these industries, and manages their growth efficiently while putting their products to use on a daily basis through favorable government contracts. Colin's Landing is a simple, wonderful, comfortable place to visit.

Our next city is Tylertown. This place is a kick. The bars stay open late, even though they only serve chocolate milk and apple juice. Dancing in the streets is not only acceptable, it is de rigeur. Founded only four years ago, Tylertown seems to have grown so fast that it faces urban sprawl soon. City planners are in a moderate state of panic about their ability to control growth while still ensuring safety for the citizenry. Some of Tylertown's most prominent citizens include the Power Rangers and Scooby-Doo (side note: recently, a crime ring was broken up that was operating out of the old cemetery. And it would have worked, too ... if it weren't for those meddling kids!) There are swingsets in every park, and the local tee-ball team, "That's MY Ball", is last in its division but having fun doing it. Despite the protestations of water-control advocates (named Steve), many residents have a permit for carrying a concealed squirt gun. Politics are blustery and over-the-top, consisting of one-man filibusters on citizen's rights to control their own property and to eat dessert for dinner. Tylertown, while very fun, is not a relaxing destination. Everything happens very fast, emotions run high - for better or worse - and chaos is the name of the game. Tylertown has a bright future ahead of it, and getting there is half the fun - just ask the citizenry.

And last, but certainly not least, is San Jason. San Jason is the oldest city in D county, and well-deserving of its reputation for serene beauty and measured pace. Though there really is no "Saint" named Jason, it was determined by city founders that the honorific would be applied due to the city's beatific nature. This city is incredible in its scope, humbling in its complexity, and somehow comforting to a degree not found in many cities its age.
When driving the streets of San Jason, two things are readily apparent. First of all are the cars. Remarkably, they resemble Lightning McQueen, 'Mater, Sally, and Doc Hudson. Not just some of them - all of them. And, what's more, sometimes they just sit there - all lined up in perfect order. Also of note is that there are no other cars - just these cars repeated over and over. A complete lack of diversity juxtaposed with an overriding sense of "rightness". Second, although the street-map seems like a perfect grid when viewed from above, in reality the streets lead you to very unexpected places. Its as if a non-neurotypical mind designed the whole plan in an attempt to confound us NT drivers. Given enough patience, you will get where you need to go. It just might take you a little longer to get there. And don't be afraid to make a few stops on the way. My personal favorites are the ice cream shop (they serve 31 flavors, all of them chocolate) and Tidmouth Station (where Thomas, Percy, Gordon, and James sleep after Very Productive days spent being cheeky and fussy most of the time). Another interesting aspect of San Jason is that the restaurants all only serve three or four different kinds of foods. Oh well, "...when in Rome..."!
San Jason has one very special feature - it is called Autism Meadows. This place is a wonder, and it is the pride and joy of the city planners. Autism Meadows sets San Jason apart from most 5-year old cities, and gives a special air, a special ambiance that other cities can't seem to match. There is a certain level of introspection, a lack of hostility, a uniqueness that is only to be found in this location. Sure, not everyone appreciates it. Some neighbors are even uncomfortable with it - they think it may reduce their property value or create "disturbances" in the neighborhood. But any real estate agent who has done their research would set them straight. Autism Meadows is a fine place, full of interest and wonder, and just about anyone I've met who has visited - despite the fact that it is not often listed in the tour guides - agrees that once you visit Autism Meadows, you realize that San Jason is one of the neatest, most special cities you could ever experience.

In summary, D County has several wonderful destinations to choose from. They all have their charms, they all have their shortcomings. I hope you will visit these interesting locations and enjoy them like I have. Touring each one is a life-changing experience that is to be treasured and cherished.
The best news is that every county you have ever visited has wonderful cities just like these. Don't focus on the road too much, or some of them will pass in a blink. Stop at each city, town, hamlet, or village and see what it has to offer. You never know what treasures you might find.


Ms. Clark said...

D county sounds lovely. I think I'm most inclined to visit San Jason. :-) (Is the "J" like the "J" in San Jose?"

hollywoodjaded said...

While reading this wonderful blogpost, I pronounced is as San JAY-SONE.

mcewen said...

We [parents] like to travel, but the car is torture, but a bike might be feasible. Fortunately in the blogosphere, you can go anywhere.
Best wishes

Another Voice said...

Steve, all three cities sound wonderful; each in their own way.

Thank you for thinking and sharing in this fashion.

kristina said...

Three more great "Autismland" places to visit---thank you for giving us a tour.

notmercury said...

That was very cool. Thanks man

Steve D said...

Ms. Clark - At the time of writing, I was just thinking of the regular pronunciation (Jay-son). Now I think I like Hollywoodjaded's version, with the emphasis on the SONE. It sounds very, I don't know, Caribbean or something.
Thank you all for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written from the heart.