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!!EXCLUSIVE!! REVEALED HERE: THE PLANET’S SECRET PLAN TO PUT THE PITTSFIELD FOURTH OF JULY PARADE ‘DOWN FOR THE “COUNT”‘ or, THEY DIS-INVITED US, SO NATURALLY WE’RE ATTENDING … THE “COUNTDOWN” IS ON!!!

By DAN VALENTI

‘GUESTING’ WIH THE ‘BESTING’ THIS AM ON “GMP”

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, Friday, July 1, 2011) — THE PLANET starts with thanks to our Right Honorable Good Friend, John Krol, for his call yesterday. “Good Morning, Pittsfield,” needed a last-minute guest to fill the hour today. Krol called, and THE PLANET answered. We also thank Shawn Serre for hosting. Serre does an excellent job in the host’s seat, bringing with him a combination of intelligence and presence that makes filling the hour unscripted a breeze. You can catch the re-broadcast of the show tonight at 11 p.m. on PCTV and also online at the station’s website.

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Numbers Racket, OR, Count Me In

One of the biggest laughs associated each year with the overblown, over-budget Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade is the “crowd estimate.” The Boring Broadsheet, feeding on GOB pap as it does, runs with the wildly inflated numbers provided by …. THE PLANET doesn’t actually know where the number originates. We only know that the 125,000, or the 100,000 they are using this year, will be off by factors of AT LEAST two. Again, the tendency to inflate the number as it they were a Macy’s hot-air balloon proves laughably embarrassing for all connected with this event in its present form.

Several years ago, when the 125,000 guesstimate went unchallenged and THE PLANET still hosted the long-running morning-drive talk show “The Dan Valenti Show” on WBRK, we assigned one of our engineer friends to calculate a more accurate number. He came up with “no more than 60,000,” basing his estimates on such factors as length of parade route, depth of bystander lines, and tau (2 pi).

Bringing Science to Bear on the Count

This year, THE PLANET gets more scientific. We’re going to put an accurate number of hte parade once and for all.

Our column yesterday explained how the current version of the Fourth of July Parade is a two-hour $90,000 exercise in excess full of ringers and other imported talent having practically nothing “Home town” about it. We riled the right people and affirmed what the vast majority believe: that the organizers should reel in the paunchy promenade and put in its place a much more modest, down-home style event.

Our critics have issued an invitation for THE PLANET not to attend the parade on Monday. Actually, we hadn’t planned on it, but the dis-invitation changed our plans. We will let James Taylor and Deval Patrick breakfast alone with Mrs. Planet and their two respective and respectable wives. We have other plans.

We’re going counting. Call us Count Planet.

Count Planet Will Take A Bite Out of the ‘Guesstimate’

Here’s the deal. On Monday, Count Planet will be in full attendance at the Pittsfield Fourth parade. We will be in disguise. We shall adopt a principle of concealment outlined by The Divine Edgar in “The Purloined Letter.” That is “their” clue of “they wish to find The Count. He shall be hiding in plain view! Throwing down the gauntlet, we challenge — nay, we DEFY — anyone on the parade committee or in attendance to uncover us.

Our disguise, shared with a handful of people who also will be at the parade, has been called “brilliant” … “worthy of a mastermind” … and “Genius. Good thing you’re on the side of the law,” a fact which my good friends in the Pittsfield Police Department appreciate more than anyone.

Here’s another clue. Those who attend with Count Planet are actually ad hoc members of THE PLANET’s famed Secret Squadron. They will look like they’re enjoying the parade. Actually, they will be working. Their job: do the leg work that will supply the most accurate number on crowd size. This effort shall involve a sophisticated count based on solid science by a coupla-three people who know how to do it (and a generous friend who has the proper training and equipment).

Here’s How It’s Done … Sort Of

We can’t reveal the method, except to say it involves:

* Aerial photography, computers, a 3-D grid system, and certain, let’s call it “tethering” that will be in operation along selected locations of the parade route. This methods compares “regions of similar density” then calculates the number of people included in an extremely accurate and eerily similar “regional estimate” stored in a database. One of our tools, on loan, will be a 360-degree camera lens that can get shots of the crowd in all directions, in real time, during the peak of the parade.

There will be some grid work involved (easy because the crowd-depth won’t be that “deep”) and difficult because of the snake-like shape of the parade route (as opposed to counting people who are contained within a rectangular shaped space). Another factor, say THE PLANET’s experts, that will make this number accurate to within a couple hundred is the fact that while the parade route is spread out, the people at any given point will stand or sit close to one another, giving what all good estimators want: density.

You Told Us Not to Attend, So Naturally, We’re Attending!

This isn’t a hoax. We will be there, with out team. Count Planet, himself, won’t be involved in the numerology. We shall be, uh, having fun. We shall also be openly in disguise. Ah, but we’ve said too much already about our fiendish plan to put the parade “down for the Count.” We shall report the number, whether it’s 125,000, 25,000, or 25.

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MEANWHILE, OUR REVIEWERS WILL BE HOT ON THE TRAIL OF SHAKESPEARE AND CO.’S “AS YOU LIKE IT,” AND THE BERKSHIRE THEATER FESTIVAL’S “MOONCHILDREN” … THAT AND MORE, COMING YOUR WAY ON THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

21 Responses to “!!EXCLUSIVE!! REVEALED HERE: THE PLANET’S SECRET PLAN TO PUT THE PITTSFIELD FOURTH OF JULY PARADE ‘DOWN FOR THE “COUNT”‘ or, THEY DIS-INVITED US, SO NATURALLY WE’RE ATTENDING … THE “COUNTDOWN” IS ON!!!”

  1. beezer
    July 1, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Dan, you got to think the price of those fancy parade shirts have to go for at least twelve bucks? AnnnnD they’re collectors items. If you see this, let me ask you a hypotheaterical questeon? Does it really matter who are next mayor will be? Does it?

    • danvalenti
      July 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

      BEEZ
      Unless the next mayor is Dan Valenti, which it won’t be, I would answer “no.” It won’t actually matter, that is, it won’t matter in substance. None of the candidates will dare address the deep, underlying, and systemic problems that are sucking the city of Pittsfield down the whirlpool of the porcelain commode. The toilet has just been flushed. All the city’s doing now is flailing in the descending water twister.

  2. Jake
    July 1, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Who gives a dam how many people watch the parade? The people that do, enjoy it! I hear your people will be holding the strings to the Dan Valenti “HOT AIR” Balloon. It should be a big one to match your EGO !

    • danvalenti
      July 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      JAKE
      Gotta admit. That’s one funny line! Touchee’

  3. beezer
    July 1, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Actually that was quite funny Jake.

  4. Baby Baby
    July 1, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    Nothing matches the ego of a “man” (a tiny little, Napoleon like “man”) who thinks he is a god.

    • Jake
      July 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

      Touch’e

    • danvalenti
      July 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

      BABY
      I have a mold civilization growing in my office fridge. I am THEIR god. I Me they Trust, not to have the fridge cleaned. As for Napoleon, I have a statue of him in one of my offices.

  5. beezer
    July 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    pulllllleeeeeeeeeze!

  6. danvalenti
    July 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Again, as has been pointed out many times, they don’t attack my logic or positions because they are unassailable, and so they attack MOI! Is no one out there up for the challenge of finding out THE PLANET’s presence monday morning as part of the downtown Pittsfield parade. Again, it will be hidden in full view! And the counting business is serious. We will have an near-actual number on Tuesday.

  7. beezer
    July 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    I have a scanning device that can total large crowds in groups of tens. Mondee or toozeday can we compare what our composite totals are? This device can only scour once, and can only be done once. In other words, it won’t retrace actual full day activity. See you Monday or Tuesday on here with my results.

    • jethro Bodine
      July 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

      I can cipher with the best. Let’s see, Naught into naught goes naught … Uncle Jed says we ain’t going to the parade. We’re gonna have grannie’s BBQ pig jowls. Were eatin in the fancy eatin room with the pot passers, then were going fer a dip in the CEE-ment pond. Better than a fake parade that plays pretend and is afraid to be itself

  8. pjmh
    July 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I’ll attend the parade, my boys always have a good time – and then I’ll bolt, quickly.

    DV, was bummed to hear Chapters is closing, however, after walking North St. yesterday ( I was the one guy that had a shirt on) it’s pretty clear why they had to close. No vibe, but plenty of opportunity to score and get run over by scooter.

  9. Clinton Wools
    July 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    When I used to be a child and adolescent I bear in mind meeting together with my family every 4th of July and obtaining a fantastic time. Thanks for the fantastic blog post, take care

  10. jethro Bodine
    July 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    pjmh
    You got that right. Shrtless young men with baggy pants down below their cracks. The ugliest girls youd ever want to see. Crazies talking to themselves. Druggies and boozers. No cops anywhere in site. Yeah, people are going to do like you. Watch and bolt

  11. dave
    July 1, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Dan and everyone have a nice weekend keep smiling

  12. Joetaxpayer
    July 2, 2011 at 5:12 am #

    Im confused Dan heard Mayor Ruberto on local radio show making a big announcement that he is staying as Mayor, unless something exceptional comes along.Well that seems to me to leave the door open for him to leave.The host of the show seemed confussed too he kept saying the Mayor is going to complete his term,Im know philadelphia lawyer but I heard im staying until something better comes my way.Just wondering if anyone else caught this show and there thoughts.

    • Dusty
      July 2, 2011 at 11:27 am #

      you are not saying that the s o b is going to run for mayor are ya? OH MY GOD!!! say it ain’t so…people will start hanging themselves if that is the case

  13. beezer
    July 2, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    I would like to thank Betsy Bean and her late husband for all the fine work they do and have done. Godspeed Betsy, again thanks!

  14. hernando hideaway
    July 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    I recall the plantet having that story a few weeks ago, he cornered Lord Jim Ruberto and put the question to him the mayor said he’s still be mayor on Juyl 2, then pulled the “unless something should come along between now ans inuguration day{” hes got a job lined up in Lenox. I think valenti neven named the company another economic jobs creaton think tank…

  15. Allen
    July 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Thanks for making me revisit Poe. What a great short story.