Greetings from the tiny island nation of Provincetown, Mass.
Provincetown is the town that theme weekends built. Thematically, we have already cycled through Film Festival, Portuguese Festival, Circuit Party/Fourth of July, and Bear Week. Of course while famous for our separatist-crowd-pleasing theme weeks, we have also been cycling through many other phases.
Florally, we have cycled through crocus, daffodils, tulips, lilac, wisteria, iris, rose, day lily, and hydrangea. Maritimely speaking, if seal-shark-orca is a food chain cycle, we are in its jaws. Heartbreakingly, we have cycled through the caterpillar-pupa-gypsy moth life cycle. In spring, caterpillars defoliated wide swaths of mid-Atlantic and Cape trees. Naturalists blame the devastation on the lack of moisture that is essential to grow a caterpillar-killing fungus. Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort blames it on Hillary Clinton.
Last week’s theme was Girlsplash! And yes, the organizers trademarked the exclamation point before poor Jeb! even thought of it.
For some of us, it was an unfortunate bit of planning that the joy and fun of having lots of scantily clad younger women in town for Girlsplash! might be overshadowed by news from the Republican National Convention. Hillary Clinton managed to unite the convention and yet ungrateful delegates wanted to burn her at the stake. They should have called the convention Burning Woman.
For most, it’s time to be on vacation, unaware of and uninterested in politics. Good times.
Their off-the-grid liberatory joy and a love for my town, inspired me to pitch an idea to the Provincetown Business Guild for the last theme-less week of the summer. It would be called Analogue Week.
When you come to town, you surrender all your devices — iPads, iPhones, computers, avatars, light sabers etc. The border guard will put your gear in a zip-lock bag and label it. Of course we’ll have to put up a wall between Truro and Ptown and make Truro pay for it. If you come by ferry, you turn it all into the Town Crier at the pier. If you fly into Ptown Int’l Airport, the TSA people will collect and tag your devices. It won’t take long because there are 120 TSA people at our little airport. That explains why there are only three at O’Hare.
During Analogue Week, organizers encourage visitors to have experiences that involve at least three senses. Words with friends actually involves talking. Chiropractors and free neck collars will be available to adjust necks to an upright position. Organizers envision creating a troll-free space, a Shamecation for all. For one week you’ll be able to have a thought and not feel compelled to share it online.
The PBG seemed especially excited. I was this close to sealing the deal. Then along came the damnable augmented reality of Pokemon Go and the deal was off. I’m not giving up.