Imagine a circus procession winding its way through town, set to jolly calliope music.

Hold on a second. What is a calliope? It’s always mentioned in connection with circuses (circusi?), but what exactly is it? It’s named after the muse of epic poetry in Greek mythology, but I can’t see a line of clowns belting out stanzas about Odysseus this and Achilles that, can you? All right, scratch the calliope.

Imagine a circus procession winding its way through town, set to jolly music.

Come to think of it, when’s the last time there was a circus procession in my town, or indeed in any town? Do they even proceed (process?) any more, or do they just drive the trucks to the fairgrounds and set up? I can remember a circus once, a long time ago, but since then, nothing. I think they might be a dying art form—how will people twenty years from now relate to this nonsense about the big top? All right, scratch the circus.

Imagine a procession winding its way through town, set to jolly music.

Now, “procession” to me means either a funeral or a wedding. In neither case is jolly music particularly appropriate, unless you’re in New Orleans (which we’re not). They call for a dirge or a march as appropriate. But since we’re unclear as to which it is, best to leave off the jollyness (jolility?). In fact, best to just get rid of the music entirely. The nature of the procession will determine it anyway. All right, scratch the jolly music.

Imagine a procession winding its way through town.

Do processions really wind in any of the towns I’m familiar with? No, the streets tend to be rather broad and straight. The whole “winding streets” thing is a European import anyway. And the word “way” is too esoteric anyhow. How does one find, or lose, a way in any real sense of the word? It’s too romantic a notion for today’s edgy youth audience. All right, scratch the way and the winding thereof.

Imagine a procession moving through town.

Back to that procession again. Would a funeral or wedding really go through town in this day and age? Unless it was a particularly small town (which this isn’t), they’d only move through a part of town, not the whole thing. And, really, the town is far more important than the procession of its various motions. The town sells itself, or should at any rate. All right, scratch the procession and the moving.

Imagine a town.

That’s cut down to the bone, right there. It’s all about the town, the locality. Though come to think of it, what exactly is a town in a cohesive sense? It’s just a collection of people, buildings, public utilities, and the like. It doesn’t really say anything other than, maybe, “Hey! I’m a collection of people, buildings, public utilities, and the like!” Nothing unique in that message, or anything interesting for that matter. All right, scratch the town.

Imagine.

Perfect!