Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Yes, Emily, there is a Lockport Monster

A few nights ago, I took the family to Northampton Park in Monroe County. Every year, the county has a light show in the park that you drive through.

At $10 a car load, it was well worth it. I highly suggest making the trip.

Anyway, one of the displays was of the Loch Ness Monster.

My 5-year-old daughter Emily asked what it was and we told her.

"There's a Lockport Monster?" she asked.

At the time, I laughed and said, "No, Emily. Loch Ness Monster."

Then I thought about it some more.

What I should have said follows.


Yes, Emily. There is a Lockport Monster.

He doesn't hide in closets or under beds ... and he doesn't want to scare little girls.

But he does frighten the heck out of adults.

You see, Emily, the Lockport Monster is kind of like the Can't Man.

For some reason, honey, people in Lockport have convinced themselves that certain things just won't work.

"After all, this is Lockport, New York," they often say.

That's their way of saying things work different in Lockport - it's almost their way of saying things don't work as well.

Those people that say that, they've been scared by the Lockport Monster.

Unfortunately, honey, some things in Lockport haven't always gone perfectly. Some businesses have closed and some things that used to be pretty aren't as pretty as they were.

Because of that, people that live in Lockport have convinced themselves that nothing is going to go right ever again.

It's the Can't Man - the Lockport Monster - that convinces them that.

In a sense, though, sweetheart, these people in Lockport are trying to protect themselves. If they think it won't work and then it does, then they're happily surprised. But if they think it will work and then it doesn't, then they're sad.

Think of it this way: If I tell you that we're going to Chucky Cheese and then we don't, you're sad, right? But if I don't tell you that we're going to Chucky Cheese, then you're not sad when we don't, right?

That's the Lockport Monster. That thing that makes you - and everyone else - sad.

What we need is a superhero - or the Ghost Busters - to make it go away.

That way, people in Lockport can believe that things are going to work out right.

Because if they don't believe that things will work out, they won't try to make it work. And then it probably won't.

And we don't want that to happen.

After all, if there was a Northampton Park Monster, you wouldn't be seeing these pretty lights.