save the date

So I’m walking down this alley, right? Walking down the alley, minding my own business mostly, and in the back of this building–it looks like it might have been a garage space at one time, or maybe some sort of small manufacturing enterprise that went toes up–on one of the boarded-over broken windows, I see this:

Save the date

Sometimes I see things and they don’t quite register in my brain until a few seconds later. I took maybe five or six steps and then my brain belatedly kicks in. Dude, my brain says, did you see that? And I’m all ‘Yeah, I saw it.” And my brain says Well? And I say ‘Okay’ and me and my brain turn around and retrace those five or six steps.

save the date2

And sure enough, my brain was right to insist we turn around. There it is. Save the date. (Okay, there’s also a cast-off blouse or jacket, stained with what appears to be blood; I didn’t examine it too closely because 1) I wasn’t about to pick it up without a pair of latex gloves and 2) I really do not want to be seen standing in an alley holding a bloody jacket in my hands.)

Save the date. I’m just taking it for granted that this isn’t like ‘Save the Whales.’ I don’t think the date is in any danger or is in any way threatened. I’m assuming whoever wrote that is suggesting I don’t make any plans for the 19th day of July because…because why?

Let’s just assume this (this what? Is it an invitation? an announcement? a command?) is a savvy niche marketing strategy, that it’s a direct approach targeting the ‘folks who wander down alleys’ demographic. And while we’re assuming, let’s also assume it’s not targeting a ‘folks who don’t mind standing in alleys holding bloody jackets’ demographic. That leads us inevitably to this question: Uhhh…what the fuck?

I realize this is a small broken window; there isn’t room to include a detailed account of what’s going to take place on that date. But a hint would have been nice.

So I go online to see if I can determine what’s happening on the 19th of July. There’s a Taylor Swift concert in Philadelphia. Wrong city, wrong demographic. Somebody named Tracy is getting married. But probably not in that alley (although that would be a wedding I’d definitely attend). There’s a synchronized swimming competition. Doesn’t sound like a likely candidate. There’s a bull riding event in Florida and a group called Train is appearing in Indianapolis on their Mermaids of Alcatraz tour. Nope, that’s not it. The Red Sox are playing the Dog-Ass Yankees at Fenway. That’s always a good time. And in Des Moines there’s a muscle car auction at the State Fairgrounds and the Civic Center is hosting a student performance of The Princess and the Pea. Probably not events you’d advertise in an alley.

I’m willing to save the date on my calendar (if I owned a calendar, which I don’t, but that’s not the point, is it–the point is this: ‘Why am I saving the date?’ A related point may be ‘Do you really think folks who wander down alleys are also folks who keep engagement calendars?’). I may have to return to the alley with a bit of paint and a brush and use one of the remaining boarded-over broken windows to request more information.

Okay but why am I
saving the date?

It wouldn’t be vandalism. It would just be an appeal for clarification. Right?

7 thoughts on “save the date

  1. I would definitely plan on being in that alley on that date – but with a group of friends. Maybe that is what they are hoping for … a gathering of interesting people.


  2. A new ad strategy by Harold Camping?

    I somehow envision you emerging from your dwelling on that day wearing a full-bodied, brightly-colored, tight spandex costume with a giant letter “G” emblazoned on your chest, a flowing red cape flapping a trail behind you, and a photon disrupter disguised as a camera …

    I think I need to cut down on my coffee intake.


    • Dude, a full-bodied, brightly-colored spandex costume is what I normally wear when I leave the house. But not with a giant letter G on the chest. That would be tacky.


  3. It’s a curiosity, isn’t it. Somebody clearly took the time to put that message there, and it must be directed TO somebody or some set of somebodies. It’s not an alley I traverse regularly, but I suspect I’ll be visiting it somewhat more often now.


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