Dan Bernstein – Pane & Suffering

Published by PE.com, The Press Enterprise
April 18, 2007

I never pegged March’s Joint Clown Act Authority and DHL for visionaries until Bernie Donahue sent me a copy of a postcard.

“It’s a new twist on the 3 a.m. wake-up services,” he wrote.

Soundproof Windows, a Bay Area concern, sent the postcard to Bernie’s Riverside abode.

“Don’t replace your windows. Soundproof them. Reduce noise levels by 75-95 per cent.”

Scott Ronsee, Soundproof’s marketing chief, says his company gets calls about “noise problems” ranging from parakeets to boom boxes. Planes?

“An airport changing its flight path? Yeah, there’s a market.” (The DHL flight path, now charted six nights weekly, hasn’t really changed. It’s relatively new. And, to some residents, very, very old.)

The Soundproof Windows biz has yet to shatter the Riverside revenue barrier. Just 30 inquiries since 2005. A half-dozen homeowners have bought these “secondary” windows ($260 to $1,300 each; homeowners need not rip out the originals).

But the marketing chief says LA’s market is “huge” and “Riverside alone has recently picked up.” That’s when it clicked.

I see a day when Soundproof Windows will conclude it makes foolproof sense to open a March-close warehouse to satisfy sleep-deprived locals. But that’s just the beginning. Soon, DHL’s 3 a.m. flights will be loaded to the gills with (yup) soundproof windows!

Riverside zombies — the direct casualties of DHL/Clown Act commerce — will play a key role in boosting DHL’s national/international deliveries. It won’t stop there. Because not all zombies can afford fancy windows, March will soon welcome the International Warehouse of Earplugs. This will finally enable the Clown Act to offer constructive advice to the sleepless: Stick it in your ear.

Planning a summer trip to Paris? Riverside travel tipster Paul Fick says Google can get you to there dirt cheap! No airport hassles.

Google “New York to Paris.” Click on “Maps.” The 22 directions guiding you to parkways, expressways and bridges might seem tedious, but they’ll get you to Long Wharf. The key is direction 23: “Swim across the Atlantic Ocean — 3,462 miles.”

Total trip time: About 29 days, 7 hours. (Pack light.)

Employee nametag seen in a Sprint store: “Comunications Consaultant”

“I can’t take it anymore!” wrote Marc Lucero, objecting to my repeated abbreviation (incorrect, says he) of the word “tattoo.” It’s not tats, it’s tacs –“as in tacking a picture on the wall … There are those who would like people to believe they’ve done hard time in a prison … Saying tats would give them away immediately as being what is commonly referred to as a lop. So why don’t you do yourself a favor and stop sounding like a lop and get it right?”

Marc, who explained he’s “not a hard-core,” took pains to assure me I wasn’t a lop.

“Your writing skills would keep you safe in jail. Lotta guys in there need to get a letter out real bad and can’t figure out which end of a pen to use. You would be paid in cigarettes and since you don’t strike me as a smoker maybe you could trade them for some doilies and curtains for your cell.”

Maybe there’s life after newspapers after all.

Reach Dan Bernstein at 951-368-9439 or dbernstein@PE.com.

To see the article on PE.com, please click here.