Monday, July 08, 2002

After a lull in the action, River City News is ready to come back out of hiding and begin reporting the news of our times again. There's nothing like starting a new website and then immediately going on vacation, right? This reporter was called away to the city that never sleeps, but is happy to report that New York City did, in fact, offer sleeping opportunities and general at-rest moments of reflection.

New York is always a cool place. Once again, I am somewhat baffled by the stereotype of "rude" New Yorkers; while I think I know what people are talking about, I just don't see an extreme difference between most New Yorkers and anyone else who lives in a big city. But enough subjective rambling, let's talk about the trip.

There was the beach, the trip to the bar that plays Waylon Jennings, talk of corn-on-the-cob, music, Central Park on a glorious Sunday afternoon, gay pride parades in the West Village, freestyle rapping on the subway, and a complete avoidance of Ground Zero on my part. I saw the news, I know what destruction happened. I felt no compulsion to go see where the buildings once stood. That's a personal choice. It's not a state of denial for me; more like a decision not to visit the scene of a terrible car crash. It's all real enough without a firsthand look.

Lots of things happened while I was away. It rained for a week in Austin, and we are still getting scattered showers. This is unheard of, but you won't hear me complaining. If my house floods, however, you can expect some whiny bitching headed your direction!

We received some interesting reader mail from one Kabongo Kabila. Now, we recognized the last name right away. Kabila - isn't that the guy who got assassinated in Congo this year? Bingo! Or should we say, "Bongo!" Kabongo, that is. What a name. I'm pretty sure that, if this correspondence has no further effect on me whatsoever, I will, at the very least, have a fleeting thought about naming my first son (or daughter) Kabongo. Now, the introductory letter:

I wish to introduce myself to you first. I am Kabongo Kabila, the
second son of the former president of
Democratic Republic of Congo, who was murdered by one of his bogy(sic)
Guards

That's it.. that's where the letter just abruptly cut off. This looked serious, so we decided to respond:
Please, tell me more. Why have you contacted River City News?

Luckily, our message made it through, because Kabongo urgently replied:
thanks for your mail .
please i need your help by geting this fund out from the security
company .
because i can no travel to any part of the world now .
best regard
Kabongo Kabila

We were worried that something like this might happen. So rest assured, we have urged Mr. Kabila to provide more info, and we are prepared to dip into our River City News International Assistance Fund (RCNIAF) to get the ball rolling. As soon as he is ready, River City News will send all relevant financial information, routing numbers, social security info, etc. - whatever is necessary to help Mr. Kabila get out of this trying situation in Congo. We'll keep you posted!

On another subject, those into spiritual oddities and otherworldly parapsychology etc. etc. should check out our latest feature in River City: In Too Deep for an interesting account of an out-of-body, and in this case, near-death experience. We'll publish something like this from time to time just to give you something to dream about.