A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.
The outlook is grim, the gate already nut-breached, and I've been collecting suggestions about what we might do to improve the prospect.
I meant this to be a serious initiative — a well-considered list of things we need, and things we need to do, to get through some parlous times. But everybody wants to be a comedian now, maybe out of a sense that it's too late. When you're up to your pits in mama bears and rodeo clowns, the gallows humor kicks in.
What does this mean, for example? — We need to gather up all our excess plowshares and beat them into frying pans.
Or this one? — We need a simpler script, like the recent one that explained all the problems and crises by resort to psychoanalytic jargon — complexes, neuroses, syndromes and the like, and by such silly concepts as penis envy and rebirthing.
I don't have a clue, but nonetheless I'm duly passing along some of the other items on the what-we-need list, for your consideration, here at the portal of this season's Twilight Zone.
We need to continue with the, ahem, Hussein business. Giving it the exaggerated stress. Very clever. Very clever.
We need more airheads over there on the starboard. We've got a gaggle already, but a shitload is about our only hope.
We need more public spitting. Mostly in baseball but in other pursuits and activities as well. Chess. Bobsledding. Ballroom dancing. Weddings. Prayer meeting. Maybe not when you're cleaning out the well. Then again, who'd know? God would, but He wouldn't squeal. Did you know, according to the Book of Gabe, one of the last ones cut, there's a Celestial Spittoon?
We need more cowbell. Not just in our music, either. Some of these congressional hearings cry out for cowbell. Might lend some allure to Nascar if anything could. Could brighten a dirge like nothing else.
We need more emphasis on football, and on the life lessons that are to be learned out there on the playing field. E.g., it's they mouf posed to be smash.
We need to bring back schmoozing. We need more Cardinal pitcher goatees. We need more coaches (and more pay for them), and fewer egghead faculty types. We need more swimming holes with northern snakeheads to keep the riffraff out.
We need more semi-literate post-adolescent vampire lore. We need sidekicks. We're shorter of good ones than at any time in living memory.
We need more ECDs and more use of them by people driving cars or by grating-voiced diners beyond whose wildest imagination it is that there might exist in the world a much desired and easily shattered and then irretrievable quality called ambience.
We need the airlines to think up some additional nuisance fees. A fee for boarding shod. A pressurization fee. A deplaning fee. Landing gear raising and lowering fees.
We need more baggers jerking the chains of blue dogs. We need to make our Facebook entries a little shallower. You never know when someone with a double lobotomy or the Republican national chairman might hanker for access and feel unjustly thwarted by the depth and complexity.
We need more tuberculars hawking in the adjoining restaurant booth. We need a school textbook review board like Texas' to better the chances of our children growing up to be buffoons. We need more weasels running for Congress. We need a bigger boat.
Just in case, we need a spring-loaded Blackwater in every baptistry and a Seal covering every dunking ford. We need more counter-intuitive crapola like this.
We need to recall our senatorial team and appoint replacements more attuned to the needs of the common folk. Maybe the Koch brothers.
We need an official truck of the Arkansas Razorbacks — or we did until it was revealed last week that we already have one.
We need more of those little-miss beauty pageants that make 5-year-old girls look like bordello mascots.
We need more of inspirational Oklahomans. We need more of giving the billionaires a helping hand.
We need more golf announcers telling us more often how great they think Tiger Woods is. We need fewer killer picks by enemy corners. We need more Duggars. Nearly enough already to hold Thermopylae.
We need Stone Cold Jesus of the Aux Arcs decked for the birthday in Osborne reds. We need more of the state fleet guzzling ethyl. An example of how trash struts.
We need more butternut boy martyrs with goozles to match giraffes'.
We need a Gulf tsunami to take out our bottom third. We'd lose some deer stands and chickenhouses, but on the whole, including the esthetic, surely a net gain.
We need more Zig Ziglars to rally us through these End Times. Thrice-divorced. Van. Down by the river.
We need to just give up on tomatoes and try some other crop that will make the summer a little more bearable. I can't think of one. Not buckeyes.
We need to run more stupid and offensive provocations up the flagpole to see who'll salute. One thing you can count on around here, salutes of that kidney.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.