Thursday, November 29, 2012

Surviving Shreveport: An Anthropological Analysis

The post title is far more academic sounding than this post, really.

I did think, however, that this year I might approach Shreveport as a cultural anthropologist, a 51-year-old male, broken-down verion of Margaret Mead, studying Shreveport instead of Samoa.

Please note that I don't mean Shreveport as it appears on a map. I mean the intricate, densely layered version of Shreveport that exists for us when we visit Gloria's family. It's a compressive, suffocating environment, full of internal logic that breaks down the moment anyone exits the diving bell.

What I discovered, using this approach, was quite surprising: having the least personally damaging time in Shreveport relies upon techniques and rules that are also used to survive assassination attempts.

Four, in particular:
1. Vary your routine.
2. Never stay in one place for very long.
3. Remain as inconspicuous as possible.
4. Check your car frequently

As unlikely as it might seem, it all checks out. One, doing the same thing every day (going to "the house" and sitting in the living room for hours) is a 50-kiloton nuclear payload delivered to your emotional well-being. That's why, at all costs, it must be avoided.

Doing anything for very long, in fact, must be avoided. And stationary activities must be avoided as well. Be moving at all times, if possible. Go, go, go!

Remaining inconspicuous? That goes without saying and needs no explanation.

#4, checking your car frequently, was added during this last trip after three dashboard lights flashed unexpectedly. It was at that moment I realized that if the car was broken, we couldn't get out. Our stay might be extended.

If you're avoiding an assassination attempt, you check your car frequently for bombs. An extended stay in Shreveport can cause roughly the same damage.

I'm writing about this today because, over the years, you've sent me some incredibly stories about your own families and holiday trips (and please, keep sending them). I'm only hoping that the set of guidelines I've developed might be of some use to you this desperate holiday season.

Site Meter