Menu of area concerns impact all ages

A note to any reader who is looking to pluck some political bias out this essay: I swear there isn’t any. So, my dear comrade, you might as well stop reading now.

There might be for others, however, an opportunity to consider the greater world significance regarding four local issues I address here, ones that have concerned me since I returned to the Motherland a year ago.

My first concern is the train bridge over Third Street in Dunkirk. The traffic lights on Central Avenue have been permanently programmed by Randy of the DPW (whose identity I won’t reveal) so that regardless of whether you are traveling north or south you must stop every single time.

There is no escaping it.

The wait time for the green light is approximately 10 minutes, and the probability of the train passing over you is 50 percent while you are stuck there under the rusty old trellis in a state of near panic from the seismic rumble above, which seems ready to collapse upon you and bury you in steel and rubble. It is believed that one of the reasons for this has to do with the bars near the bridge who benefit from the extra business of anxiety-stricken drivers who stop for a drink to calm their nerves before they face the ominous curtain.

Second on my list is the McDonald’s in Fredonia, which happens to be the world’s largest McDonald’s with the same square footage as an average Bass Pro Shop. Not long ago this place was a flowing fountain of human enterprise. Gum-smacking teenagers greeted you with calculated indifference while an overwhelmed manager bustled frantically from window to grill trying to mitigate the chaos. Ronald’s playground was teeming with shrieking and loudly whining children high on sugar and cholesterol whose parents/grandparents somehow managed to ignore them until alarmed by the overriding howl signifying a broken bone.

Today the interior of the World’s Largest McDonald’s is a virtual pre-teenage wasteland, nearly devoid of real things. Few customers venture away from their cars to enter, where just one humanoid attends an islanded cash register. It receives your orders and repeats them to others behind it who manufacture, package, and deliver promptly. The playground is gone, the Creepy Clown himself toppled in effigy and toted away in pieces like Saddam Hussein. It is a barren place. Yet the few children who wander into its recesses do not sense any absence because they are preoccupied, their necks bent down, their eyes barely blinking as they thumb-stab their devices.

Third, it is my opinion that Tim Hortons has become a public menace. I have deduced that the management (I won’t reveal Dave’s identity) is in collusion with a Canadian-Columbian mafia led by Horton himself and El Chapo-a double-dark force that has exerted some sort of mind control over the people of our region. A secret ingredient, probably part of the bean fertilizing process so as to go undetected by the FDA, has made the coffee addictive, rendering the people zombies who will sit in their cars for hours waiting for their fix. Yet it is not just a health issue. There have been traffic jams all the way from the shop on Route 5 to the one on Route 60, and with a new one opening in Cassadaga, we can expect stopped traffic from here to Gerry.

Celino and Barnes ads might seem innocuous, perhaps even pleasant with their little catchy little theme song “888-8888”. But there is more to this story. Because they are filthy rich and aspire toward ubiquity, they have bought exactly 15 percent of all television airtime. This means that you cannot watch more than 10 minutes of TV without seeing one of their ads.

What’s worse is the fallout from their message: in effect, they are inspiring people to get in accidents on purpose in order to collect millions of dollars and be happy like the folks on TV who were saved by C&B. It is estimated that 17 percent of all serious accidents are not accidents, but rather intentional acts by those who want to cash in.

Moreover, there is now mounting evidence that C&B are colluding with China in an effort to reduce the human population. Stayed tuned, because the Mueller team is investigating the firm, and it appears that Barnes is going to flip on Celino any day now (before flipping becomes almost outlawed).

I end on a positive note for all our passionate Buffalo Bills fans in Western New York. Recently an alternative truth was discovered by the Greatest Mayor in the History of the Solar System (I won’t reveal his identity). After much legal research and ingenious semantical gymnastics, Rudy has conjured up a new Truth, one which is more true than the old truth, which was based on nonfactual facts that were reported by the media. As it turns out, Thurman Thomas’ fumble in the first half of Super Bowl XXVII that resulted in a Dallas touchdown was actually ruled a result of contact with the ground and not a fumble after all. The Bills scored on that drive, then scored two more touchdowns and did indeed win the Super Bowl. A celebration will be held on Sept. 31, with all the Bills in attendance, including Ralph Wilson who has been brought back from the dead temporarily to revel in this long-awaited victory.

Pete Howard is a Dunkirk resident, writer, musician and teacher. FOCAL Point strives to make insightful social commentary through the integration of Facts, Observations, Compassion, Awareness, and Logic.