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Rant #272
(published March 30, 2006)
The Most Depressing Place on Earth
by Len Baron
Feb 13, 2:08 PM EST

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) - - Local officials have unveiled plans for the transformation of the former State Theatre Center for the Arts, State Recreation Parlor into the State Theatre Solitaire Parlor.

Citing the overcrowding of the local senior center coupled with a dramatic increase of seniors to the city, Tom Wames, director of Elderly Repurposing for the City of Uniontown said at a press conference held this morning, "Since the installation of new benches along the Main Street corridor, the influx of seniors to the downtown has been overwhelming. Here at the city we've recognized the problem and are taking steps to correct it."

Explaing the choice of the disused State Recreation Parlor, located beneath the currently operating State Theatre Center for the Arts, Wames said there is "no reason to have this many elderly on the streets when a perfectly viable space exists just one flight down from the sidewalk." Wames added, "Also, the increased revenue to the State Theatre will help ensure the viability of the arts in the greater Uniontown metropolitan area."

According to a release issued by the city the "State Theatre Solitaire, Gin, and Cigarette Parlor will be a welcome addition to the already bustling Downtown Business District. For a nominal fee, patrons will receive complementary [sic] Banker's Club Gin, the rental of a deck of Bicycle Playing Cards, and a complementary [sic] pack of Pall Mall cigarettes." "However," Wames added, "patrons must supply their own means of lighting their cigarettes. We cannot be expected to supply every amenity."

When pressed by the local media as to what appeal this may hold for the local aged community Wames shot back, "Think of the atmosphere! Gin-stained, folding banquet tables as far as the eye can see, choking cigarette haze - The stench of urine and self-loathing. The only sounds would be those of shuffling cards, gin sucked through swizzle sticks, the mournful cries of 'What has my life become', the occasional decorative-pillow-muffled gunshot to the head - Much like the ambience of a personal care home or Guy Lombardo concert. What's not to love?"

"I understand your skepticism." Wames continued, "What sort of person would come to such a place? Let's just say that senior's presence at the parlor will not be compulsory — Strongly encouraged but not compulsory. The city has secured the enthusiastic support of local law enforcement, the state legislature, and the coroner."

Mayor Vincent Mitchell interjected, "All of us have every confidence that Tom will make this civically beneficial venture not only popular but financially successful."

Wames, questioned on the fiscal viability of the proposal admitted, "The major portion of revenue will be obtained through admittance to an observation gallery. We suspect this to be of great interest to sociologists, college philosophy students and the errant mean-spirited hipster."

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