Cleveland is set to host the 2016 Republican National Convention in just a matter of days and Downtown is set to be a sure spectacle from all accounts. Tourists and delegates will be pouring in from all corners of the country. It will be crowded, excited and unpredictable. For everyone else watching across the country it’s just another news story, for Clevelanders, it will be an act of survival. Presenting, The Pressure Life Top 5: Locals’ Checklist During the RNC…
5) “I’m the Earle of Collinwood and my father invented the exclamation point!”:
With thousands of strangers rushing the city limits, now would be a good time to practice that backstory you’ve always been daydreaming about. A lot of these people will be there to mingle, network, and otherwise chew the fat. By all odds, you’ll never see these people again for the rest of your life so feel free to really let the embellishments fly.
Cast a wide net and start out as outlandish as possible, insisting that it’s your face on the twenty dollar bill and that Slider is actually your disembodied spirit animal that escaped the astral plane before taking employment as the Cleveland Indians mascot. Once you settle into a groove you’ll have visiting delegates convinced that the Free Stamp is not modern art, rather, a left behind artifact from when Jebidiah Cleve first “freed” the city from the cannibal caravans of Parma.
Or maybe, tell everyone you’re former nominee candidate, George Pataki, because can anyone say with any certainty that they remember what George Pataki looks like?
4) Learn the Lingo: Now that you’ve established a proper backstory, let’s see how many incendiary comments you can get away with in ratio to the costume you’re wearing. Be sure to pepper your diatribe with a patient, “now, hear me out…”
This should serve as an accurate nonsense allowed to costume ratio:
Wearing a red baseball cap = 60 seconds
Dressed as Uncle Sam = 1 ½ minutes
Dressed as an Elephant = 2 ¾ minutes
Wearing full camos = 3 minutes
Wearing camo cutoffs with sunglasses resting on the
bill of a backwards red baseball hat = 5 ½ minutes
Wearing the same desiccated skin suit Anne Coulter uses = a weekly syndicated radio program
3) Movie Marathon: You’ll need to get into the right headspace before making your trek downtown. I suggest a rigid schedule of cinema appropriate for the event. First, start off with a double feature of New Jack City and Judge Dredd in order to get acclimated to the curious paradox of big-city blight and chaos mixing with heavily armed jackboots guarding checkpoints every three feet. Once the guest of honor, the Republican nominee, takes the stage be sure to cue up Luke Wilson’s seminal work, Idiocracy, for some insight into where this little social experiment is headed.
When the crowds get too thick and it’s time to make a break for it, you’ll be glad you rescreened Escape From L.A. for some pointers from Snake Plissken on how to beat a hasty retreat. Most will point to New York as the better of the “Escape” films but L.A. reveals that the one-eyed warrior has experience navigating the mean streets of Cleveland, where Pam Grier’s, Hershe Las Palmas, left Kurt Russell for dead. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Plissken’s unchronicled but often referenced Cleveland incident in Escape from L.A. may very well have been referencing the 2016 RNC.
Just be grateful you won’t have to para-surf home with Steve Buscemi strapped to your back (it was a messed up movie).
Downtown is going to be a chopped and screwed mess. That’s just going to be a fact of life for July 18th to 21st. While I’m assuming the Cavs Victory Party will prove the larger event per capita, the week-long political festivities will keep the area on a continued clampdown for days on end. Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with all the detours and checkpoints going into and out of downtown as well as the protests that are assuredly going to be taking place throughout. Know what you’re allowed to have on you and what over-zealous (but well-intentioned) security details will confiscate from you.
Be aware of your surroundings. Keep your purse close and wallet in an interior pocket. Enjoy yourself but stay sharp, things are bound to get dodgy at times. If you have the mixed blessing of having to work downtown at one of the bars or night clubs that are opened until 4am be prepared to make money hand over fist but you might want to leave early to get to your shift on time, like ‘leave last week’ early.
And if you really want an edge, be sure to equip yourself with an issue of…
1) The Great, Never Late, Issue Eight!:
You’re definitely going to want to check out the next issue of Pressure Life magazine, on the streets, July 15th! In addition to our normal slew of mirth and mayhem we’ll also be featuring an exclusive Republican National Convention Drinking Game for you to play along with at home, spare liver not included. You’ll be able to bob and weave through the crowds like a champ when you follow along with our RNC Survival Guide Map that will show all the best places to either avoid or sneak off to.
Our special political coverage continues in the issue with a preview and link to our exclusive interview with Green Party candidate, Jill Stein. And if that wasn’t enough, on our website you’ll be able to catch footage of our street team as they talk to random people on the streets of downtown during the convention and make out-of-towners feel uncomfortable.
Sure, that may be a bit of a shameless plug, but is it a plug if it’s really, really good?
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Robin Adam is a fiction writer and messy painter. With a background in journalism and psychology they’ve researched UFOs, Bigfoot, and other unsolved mysteries which have featured in PressureLife. They know more about Twilight Zone and R.E.M. than is actually useful. Robin Adam has created Smear and Splatter Studio, a line of original paintings, art prints and apparel. They also produce Strange City Digest, an independent arts and fiction digest with contributors from around the world. To check out Strange City Digest, visit: Facebook and Instagram @strangecitydigest Keep up with Robin and their ongoing projects, including Smear and Splatter Studio art and apparel, on Facebook and Instagram @smearandsplatter // email: firstname.lastname@example.org