Now Taking Auditions for Pittsburgh's Mothman


So a few weeks ago, one of the piers on the Birmingham Bridge dropped a few inches-- the pier over which I commute these days.

Interestingly, the side of the bridge that IS currently closed to traffic is the one that… HASN’T SHIFTED.

Now I understand that SOMETHING has to be closed. Because, of course, this is Pittsburgh; unhindered movement through the city is simply not allowed.

It’s for our own good, of course. We might all get swimmy in the head from going a heart-pounding 25 miles per hour… Or for more than two consecutive blocks without stopping. You know: experience some automotive version of “The Bends.”

That’s just the city looking out for our best interests.

So, yes, something has to be closed. I accept that. But it seems to me-- and I’m not a construction worker, or a structural engineer, or a mathematician, or even very good with a slide-rule or anything-- but it seems to me, the side of the bridge that SHOULD be closed should be…

Oh, I don’t know…

THE SIDE OF THE BRIDGE THAT DROPPED SEVERAL INCHES.

But no.

Now, the bridge has been propped up with hydraulic jacks, and supports, and steel, and thirty energetic superheroes, and duct tape. So it’s perfectly safe for tons and tons of giant shiny bits of metal and people to press down on it each day. That allows them to close the bridge pier which HASN’T DROPPED, in order to “design and manufacture a new bearing system for it.”

Then they’ll attend to the dropsy side.

It makes no sense to ME. But again, I don’t construct, engineer, math-up or have slide-rule savvy.

What I DO know is that driving on Mr. Dropsy each day tends to give a person a slightly different perspective on things like, oh, traffic back-ups. I see that light up ahead on Fifth Avenue turn red, notice myself 50 cars back and idling in the center of the bridge, and I find myself thinking:

In the 60s, the Silver Bridge in West Virginia fell into the river and hundreds of people died, almost including Laura Linney, except that was in that Richard Gere movie and they’d had the Mothman to warn them. Pittsburgh has no Mothman....

Pittsburgh NEEDS a Mothman.


So I think I'd feel more confident in my commute if we could take a serious look at some Mothman-style talent for Pittsburgh.

When I say "Mothman-style" talent, I want to give the applicants a little leeway. I mean, yes, Mothman himself had merits. The legend of the creepy apparition with red eyes at the window, making prophetic telephone calls, all culminating in the Silver Bridge disaster, well, it has showmanship.

But, really, is Pittsburgh prepared for anything so convoluted, so overdone? Plus, there's that whole rotten phone reception when he calls. Pittsburghers are practical people. Instead of listening to these crackly warnings, half the city would be calling Verizon and Vonage about issues with their cellular service.

So I'm thinking if there's any local, say, Troll-lady (trolls notoriously have good bridge skills), that would be an excellent place to start. Or maybe a Gargoyle-man (also appropriate for our historical architecture). Or even, say, a turn-of-the-century Steelworker type, that's something I think the city could get behind.

The job of fortelling potential collapse, now THAT is going to have to be a little more straight-forward than Mothman's approach. Sure, the right candidate should try to make a grand entrance. The burning-eyes-in-the-dark schtick is an attention-getter, certainly, but not a deal-breaker. The applicant will want to use their own discretion about that-- and be creative!

Now the warnings, they're going to have to be easy to hear. We have a lot of older people in this city, and they have a right to hear the proclamations of potential doom as well as anybody else. So any candidates for the position-- you're going to have to remember to project. Speak up. No mumbling. You're prophecizing disaster, not asking little Suzie for a date.

With Pittsburgh's own Mothman-style entity, I think the City of Bridges can keep going safe and strong for another century. And I'll feel just a bit better on my drive home.

Applicants for the position can submit their resume, headshot and previous hauntings to the Pittsburgh Casting Office for Paranormal Phenomena and Mascots, or leave a comment with this post. We'll get back to you with an audition time.

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Recruiting for our mascot from Humor-blogs only netted us some dead roosters, pointless banter and a bunch of clowns.

5 comments:

Shabbee Chick said...

Okay, that movie really freaked me out!!!!! No Mothman!!!

Jenn Thorson said...

:) Okay, so that's one vote so far against having a Mothman... Thanks, Shabbee Chick!

Jack Payne said...

Pittsburgh should probably close the bridge entirely and put in a ferry. From what I know of the city's politics it may take forever for them to get the whole bridge fixed and seamlessly flowing traffic again. I favor a Gargoyle-man as head of your new Ferry Commission.

Jenn Thorson said...

Heh- thanks Jack for your input and insight. If it's going to be a Ferry traffic deal, then we might need to also consider The Creature from the Brown Monongohela in our talent search. :)

Greg said...

Gee, I'm gonna have to go looking for this "Mothman" movie...is that the title, actually?

Meanwhile, until the ferry gets installed, is there a *different* bridge you can travel across?

Yikes!! And I thought having a heating system possessed by Satan was scary...