Saturday, December 26, 2015

Still Life With Robin: The CP Listies Part II - The Envelopes, Please

Photo by Bill Adler
by Peggy Robin

Last Saturday we presented a Cleveland Park Listserv Year in Review in the form of an awards show called The CP Listies. So as not to have to do a long recap, I’m providing the list of nominations in the form of a link to that column:

And now it’s time to hand out the CP Listy to the winner in each of the eight categories. Now is also the time to reveal that the award is simply bragging rights. There is no golden statuette, no monetary prize, nothing of substance to put on your bookshelf. Think of the CP Listy as having the pure, ethereal quality of the virtual world it inhabits. It can look like whatever avatar you wish to assign to it. And of course it exists in words forever in the listserv’s archives at

And now the envelopes, please:

1. In the category of “Best ISO” the winner is:
“ISO Suggestions for Things to Do in Iceland” for eliciting the most entertaining yet practical answers. And not just for 2015, but since Iceland’s not going anywhere, folks, this discussion thread will be good for decades, centuries, and in the case of those recommended volcanoes and geysers, eons into the future. Can’t beat that!

2. In the category of “Best Giveaway,” the Listy goes to: the 8 Foot Ficus Tree – the gift that keeps on giving. Three times in 2015, at least. If it gets given away on the list again in 2016, it could well be a two-years-in-a-row winner! Watch this space in December 2016….

3. For ”Best Pet Starring in a Homecoming Message” it was a close five-way race. The story of Carlton, the foster dog, was compelling, especially as his successful return came about in part through tips from alert list members. Two cats, Ichibhan and Zaboo, were in the running by virtue of their unusual names. Then there was the story of Tai the Tuxedo Cat, memorable for the heart-tugging description of his condition upon his homecoming and happy recovery. But in the end the Listy goes to…..Gus, for his ingenious choice of a hiding place: He was on the roof! If only it had been summertime, this story might have been called “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

4. For “Best Non-Pet Animal Featured in a Message” the Listy goes to “Goats.” If only the goats were not hypothetical, how great that would be! Maybe some list members will be inspired to import some actual goats to deal with unwanted vegetation, replacing leaf blowers. Now that would really be a win-win (unless of course the constant bleating turns out to be a more noxious noise than the constant blasting of the leaf blower’s gas engine)!

5. ”Best Photo”: “Vultures Downtown.” Yes, this is a repost of a photo originally on the Prince of Petworth blog ( but that in no way disqualifies it from being recognized as the most noteworthy (most astonishing, actually) photo that showed up on the Cleveland Park Listserv in 2015. This award should be shared multiple ways: by the CP Listserv member who posted the message, the Popville poster who sent in the photo (not sure if it’s the same person who took it) and Dan Silverman, the Prince of Petworth himself for hosting the blog and eliciting the 14 snarky comments that followed:

6. In the category of “Best Debate Over a Minimum 5-Day Period” the winner, “Disposal of Dog ‘Do’” may not be the prettiest of subjects but it was discussed with charm and good humor and a healthy sense of the absurd. We loved the colorful use of euphemism and mock outrage. Not sure this thread has produced any actual progress toward solving the problem but it certainly contributed some lightness to an otherwise sh***y subject.

7. Next we come to “Best Dramatic Episode” -- a category with all five nominees in strong contention for the award. For mystery and staying power, the multi-year saga of "The Flower Thief" can’t be beat. Then there’s “Unwanted Profanities” – a thread unfolding in Rashomon-like dimensions, with your understanding of what occurred dependent on the perspective of the person narrating or commenting on the events. “Jaywalking” likewise began with a first-person narrated account of a conflict, which elicited similar and opposite tales about that same street corner, and later, other street corners. “Advice Wanted: Drug Dealer as a Neighbor” undoubtedly had the most dramatic plot-line of all, but it lacked the follow-up that would provide the satisfaction of an ending to the story. So we award the CP Listy to “Rudeness at Second District Police Station” a story corroborated by several follow-up posts, resulting in investigation and action from the Second District Commander. Now that’s an effective listserv thread!

8. And now for the Listy awarded to the “Best Writing in a Message in 2015.” This was a hard call, folks. Many would like to see recognition go to the Hemingway-esque “Found. Baby shoes. Have been worn.” But we must concede that the best parody is still a lesser art form than straightforward narrative. While we liked the comic styling of the “Dog Poo” poster who signed off as “Lady Baltimore of Woodley,” and admired even more the gentle satire of the poster who recommended a visit to the Phallological Museum of Iceland despite the downside, e.g, the difficulty in “finding an acceptable postcard”, we also were struck by the philosophical depth – something like a religious epiphany – of the pronouncement:“You are an evolving Buddhist!” Still, it seems credit is due in that case to the person who inspired the line, as much as to its author -- in this case, the previous poster who asserted that he had learned to smile in the face of a speeding bicyclist about to run him over on the sidewalk. And so for the final award, we decided to stick with a message that stands perfectly well on its own as bit of straight descriptive prose, leaving you with a fine and unfading impression of the cat that made his way home to his grateful, waiting family: “Wet and dirty he came home in the middle of the night.” -- Poster’s description of the cat in “Dasher the Cat has come home” (August 25). To you we give the 2015 CP Listy for the Best Message Writing of 2015.

Congratulations to all, and we hope to see more new and exciting posts in 2016!


Still Life With Robin is published on the Cleveland ParkListserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

No comments:

Post a Comment