Multiple Choice

Formal where?Saturday, July 19 is my birthday. I’ll be infinity – or at least, that’s how it feels as one reticently wades into one’s mid-late 30s. I’m not coy enough to say, “I never thought I’d live this long,” however, I will admit that I never thought I could count this high. But then, I’ve never been one for accountability. To wit, I hope you enjoy these little missives from Nomaville.

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The Scholastic Assessment Test, or SAT as it’s more commonly known, recently featured this multiple choice analogy problem: “Napa is to Bordeaux as Sonoma is to ______.” The choices included “Burgundy,” “Burgendorf,” “Wine City,” and “None of the above.” Many assumed that the correct answer was “Burgundy,” because, like Napa, Sonoma and Bordeaux, it is a lauded wine region. However, the correct answer was “None of the above.” When questioned about this choice, Casper Gaperton of the New York-based College Board, which administers the SAT, explained “‘None of the above’ is to Sonoma as ‘Free publicity’ is to “Send wine to Casper Gaperton, The College Board Headquarters, 45 Columbus Ave., New York, NY 10023-6917.”

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A man plastered into a wall of a Sonoma-based patient residence facility was finally discovered by a demolition crew last week. Sherman Escoban had been missing since November, 1937, due to a soured business venture with local mafia. Moreover, he was alive. And angry. Apparently, Escoban has been knocking an SOS signal from inside the wall, but unfortunately, he was at a home for the deaf. Once freed, Escoban asked for a shot of whisky to, quote, “get rid of the taste of rat in my mouth.” Apparently, the rodents were the only source of nutrition for Escoban, who oddly followed his whisky by requesting a plate of rat. “Old habits die hard,” said Escoban with a smile, then promptly shimmied behind a refrigerator.

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A piece of the sky fell near Vineburg last week. The large blue shard plummeted to earth sometime in the early hours of last Friday morning and landed in an empty lot near Eighth Street East. Though it leveled a panel truck that was used to collect cardboard, no other damage was reported. The sky fragment is nearly three-and-a-half meters long and is a meter across at its widest point. Astronomers and meteorologists alike are not surprised by the phenomenon, though this is the largest portion of sky to land on earth in recent history. When asked if global warming might have precipitated the fall, Sonoma State University researcher Bruce Miles explained, “The sky is constantly shedding and renewing itself. It usually happens at night so we don’t see it as often, plus it usually evaporates by morning – leaving only dew.” Aviators are advised not to fly into the hole left in the sky as it might shatter their illusions about the nature of our consensual reality.

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Religious scholars have teamed with a tourist bureau in Spain to create a response to the popular Shroud of Turin, which purportedly was imbued with an image of the slain Jesus Christ following his crucifixion. Organizers hope that the Shirt of Schellville, though not associated with any religious figure, will become a similar draw. Once worn by Doug Simpson, a data entry technician at Carbancle Systems in Santa Rosa, the shirt was accidentally left at AT&T Park following a baseball game. It was later discovered by a janitor and deposited in the stadium’s lost and found box where it languished for several months before being donated to a local charity thrift store. It remained on a store rack for the better part of a year before mysteriously arriving on the side of Highway 121. Schellville’s liaison to the Spanish tourist bureau described the shirt’s appearance as a miracle. And, as one tourism official observed, “If anyone comes to see the Shirt of Schellville, that would be a miracle too.”

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