The Big Whacky

08/25/2020 1 By BuddyCushman

This is what gets called “The Big Whacky”, a lovingly way to describe our get-together every Tuesday night down in the Methodist church basement which we have rented for thirty-five dollars a month and where we gather to recollect fun stories and possibly mythologies of revolutionary acts and behaviors, well maybe they get termed guerilla theater vignettes, yes, that sounds pretty cool, and the church supports these acts of disruption against the milieu of normalcy and we are empowered knowing God is on our side. And it’s also a big plus that, for reasons none of us have been privy to, this room is outfitted with amazingly comfortable old couches and big soft chairs, and half have obvious coffee stains and maybe some cushioned blotches are from soft drinks, meaning of course it’s not the end of the world if we get super excitable and start flailing our arms and even legs around when the discussions get energetic, so called, and vibrantly electrified and something like a to-go paper cup of coffee goes flying over, someone will yell out it’s all good and we have come up with this group salute thing, not some militaristic or nationalistic or that kind of scary conformity, and surely not wanted and there is no place for that kind of shit going forward even if there are lots of dumbasses who’d disagree, see, that right there is a reason in itself for these gatherings and another reason why they feel like celebrations more than work even during times when something has happened in our community which calls for serious response, we are still cracking up with some of the creative ideas one or another of us will throw out there so we maintain a milieu of joyousness even when we are dead serious about sticking it to the man – why we all look side to side and shout out ”Yowser.”

And if you took a personal history of everyone down here’s history you’d see this is a group – there’s eight of us – who have been sticking up that middle finger to the man all along even since elementary school because some folks are blessed with “getting it” way before others and that’s most of us down here even though, yeah, we have a couple late-to-the-party people, we love them and we gush at their energy now, plus being fearless which is kind of a requirement for membership in what we call the “Save It Now, Holmes” weekly gathering which those initials if you did the initial thing wouldn’t really say anything or imply anything or remind you of anything – SINH – maybe some kind of governmental science outfit but not really plus we have added the “Holmes” part which is more lightheartedness from us and more middle fingers in the air from us and kind of a dare for all the bullies and shitheads to come up with some cool reply, which we know that’s not going to happen.

And now you have heard some of the reasons why we gather in this very comfortable room in the basement of the Methodist church here in Sandwich Massachusetts which is on Cape Cod and you may be aware of history or at least what passes for history that over the long years of paying any attention the general opinion is that Cape Cod is a place for real conservative types and crazed Republicans and people who buy as many guns as they can and then go out down the sand dunes and act like they are having war games which is truly dumbass, we all know and talk about this sometimes and Jimmy Jason, who’s an artist who grew up in San Francisco but then moved out to the Cape to attend community college (and if that sounds weird and pretty much incredible I can personally attest it’s the coolest story ever, way past once upon a time and even into the realms of good sci-fi, like Philip K Dick) anyway Jimmy always has a sketch book and charcoal pencils and he will throughout our two-hour gatherings create drawings based on the group talk or if someone has lost it into some monologue which could even be funly described as a Chautauqua and Jimmy is quick drawing and sketching and penciling what were words into pictures and during the last ten minutes before we end it for the night and head out to the Sammy Rogers café for late-night coffees Jimmy will pass around all the sheets of drawings he’s created during the meeting and this all by itself would be worth it as a way to spend your Tuesday nights, to explain, if you made a decision to come down into the bottom of a Sandwich church when there were all kinds of other great things you could be doing because Sandwich is a fabulous place in which to do things and plus you could get into someone’s fast car and punch it over to Falmouth (where I live) one way or the community college in downtown Hyannis the other but instead you have chosen to come into a church basement for almost exactly two hours and (in this scenario) you sit there for nearly all that time and no one talks and no one moves so basically your sitting there, the eight of you except in this example it’s really seven, and then in the last ten minutes the one person who was moving that whole time laughing and swinging his arms around and stabbing papers with pencils and sweating sometimes in the summer, he hands out all the drawings he’s done it, that ten minutes, that would make it so worth it you’d be saying this is the best night of the week, so imagine not only do we all get that experience every Tuesday (which hardly costs anything if you take the $35 rent we pay and divided it by eight and then divide that by four (the weeks of the month) but we do talk and jump around those two hours and also we get to take part in somewhat revolutionary and plotting and scheming and planning more guerilla theater conversations so, seriously, how about that!!

It’s the best and we all say, during the nights, hey and wow we are so lucky, each of us says that out loud during the night kind of when the spirit brings it up – it’s not like it’s on the agenda for 7:50 as an example, no like nearly all our talking it’s what you feel inside and what is dying to come out because we know, we are sure, that our Tuesday conversations make things better for Sandwich people and people from other towns sometimes too, and if you want some examples, some of our talks – which we’ve been having down here nearly three years and we only skip when a Tuesday is a big holiday – have led to a food co-op in a different church basement, the Catholic right off the common, and a face-painting free group for kids after school in both elementary schools which are taught and led and boosted by volunteers we have found at the college (Jimmy found them in some of his courses) and also we have done a voter registration drive and we have created a zine which all of us have contributed too and we can give away to anyone wanting one for free because there’s a business (I know) in Falmouth whose owner is an old hippie (and in secret he admits to yippie tendencies) who fronts us money regularly for the zine and some other stuff and also we have organized townie trips for apple picking and blueberry picking and we have been talking the last five weeks about setting up a coffee house down here or maybe another space we will find – which is a big point being that when a bunch of people come together for the right reasons which involve caring and loving and compassion and like that — then a magic happens and you can pretty much do anything and we – and we call ourselves “The Space Cadet Constabulary” – yeah, we make things happen just sitting around in comfy furniture and freeing up our minds, and tongues.