Wednesday, June 26, 2013

ZAP! #125: I'm OK, You OK?

ZAP! #125

     Ahhh...the glory days of summer.  Time for sun, fun, sand, very cold and frosted refreshments and…reading.  Yes, the CCRs staff seem to depend on the summer months to catch up on some escapism from all the local ‘cat kicking’ and cat fighting involving city hall and school board folks.

     And holding a real book -- not one of those computer pad things -- also gives you, dear readers, a respite from multiple reports cranked out in an attempting to improve your CHIQ (City Hall IQ) and SBIQ (School Board IQ) information base during these torrid summer days.

     Besides, reading in an air conditioned den while lounging in the La-Z-Boy recliner serves two purposes...reading and napping.  And nothing says summer napping better than hearing someone else zipping around the lawn with a mower and weed eater while you are checking for ‘light leaks’ on the inside of your eyelids.

     For those who might be interested in what is on the CCRs current reading list, these books are already on the shelf waiting to have their ‘spines’ cracked: Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner,” Koontz’s “Deeply Odd,” Deaver’s “The Kill Room,” Pearson’s “Choke Point,” Hiaasen’s “Bad Monkey,” and Evanovich’s “The Heist.”

     The book currently having a chiropractor performing an adjustment on its ‘spine’ is Sandford’s “Silken Prey.”  While barely into the plot, staff had to stop when they broke out into a cold sweat.  Realizing this book is a work of fiction and most authors do sprinkle a large dose of reality in the settings, techniques, equipment and characterizations, could Sanford have visited Irving to use local politicos as a model (singular or blended) for a key character in his drama?

     The realization of how the femme fatale or female antagonist (p. 44) was characterized and being portrayed in the book was so strong, that the CCR staff immediately stopped reading and Googled the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition, Text Revision)” to verify if we were reading fiction or fact.  Sadly, our suspicions were confirmed.  Sanford was documenting an actual mental disorder*.  And here is what caused our concern:

* Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder 
  • Takes advantage of others to reach own goals
  • Expects to be recognized as superior and special, without superior accomplishments
  • Expects constant attention, admiration and positive reinforcement from others
  • Envies others and believes others envy him/her
  • Is preoccupied with thoughts and fantasies of great success, enormous attractiveness, power, intelligence
  • Lacks the ability to empathize with the feelings or desires of others
  • Is arrogant in attitudes and behavior
  • Has expectations of special treatment that are unrealistic    

     Shocked, the CCR staff reviewed the causes and what possible treatments are available for this serious mental disorder.  After reviewing the materials, the CCR staff determined that Irving could not expect a ‘quick fix’ cure for any local politico who might be suffering from this malady until...subsequent city elections.  Only then might Irving be strong enough to conduct city business -- that should have already been accomplished -- after having to deal with a potential city-crippling condition.
     Thanks, John Sanford, for turning our happy summer reading program into a chilling nightmare.
     Still questioning Sanford’s characterization and wondering if the character noted in his novel was based on Irving politicos, we requested that Dylan, Executive Editor and Part-time Wordsmith for the CCR, contact the author.  However, when we asked him to do so, Dylan made a startling confession: He had met Sanford at an Irving Animal Shelter’s event (Pet Pawlooza) in March.  Having been plied with treats and tummy rubs, Dylan spilled the beans on local political happenings to Sanford.  While Sanford was amazed that Dylan was an energetic ‘cat kicker’ and not an apathetic political observer, he informed him that a future book character would be modeled on his NPD-demeanor...for the primary reason that even furry creatures are as ‘human’ in nature as any wayward politico often might be in real life.
     How does the CCR spell summer relief and NPD-weaseling?  Think Royal Canin dog chow and astute legal advice. (snicker?)

……………..Mark Holbrook