"I could've sworn that you were an angel

Cause you're a sweet, sweet, sweet, divine thing

But I should've known that you were the devil

Dressed like a sweet, sweet, sweet, divine thing."

"Divine Thing"

~ Soup Dragons ~

Saints and sinners, please reminisce with me back some 20 years ago today, and let me know that I wasn't the only person in the world that added Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A." and Sheila E.'s "The Glamorous Life" to their music collections.

In fact, I had the pleasure of meeting Sheila E. at her family's bar in San Francisco in 1985. Sheila's brother, Michael Paul Escovedo, who currently is the bandleader for "The Wayne Brady Show," used to perform every weekend at the bar. One night I was hanging out there, drinking up a storm and enjoying the atmosphere, when lo and behold, Sheila E. made a surprise visit. Very cool! Played everything from "The Glamorous Life," including my favorite, "Love Bizarre." Thanks to some liquid courage, I managed to speak with her at the end of the night, and fought the urge to pledge my undying loyalty. She was so awesome and down-to-earth.

Anyway, I figured this would be a decent way to segue into another week's worth of Write-Offs:

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Write-Off: First and foremost, I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome the latest addition along "Reporters Row" here in The Phoenix newsroom, Kelly Devine. What a welcome sight after these past few months of only having two reporters cover everything and anything in the area! She's a graduate from Penn State University and she'll be covering a lot of the township meetings from now on. She'll be doing the FAME Festival coverage tomorrow, so if you see her out and about, say "Hey there" and make her feel welcome. By the way, she's already confessed to me that she's a sinner! Yes, another one amongst the ranks! In fact, she's already done such an awesome job this week, that she's the honoree of this week's lyrics. Go figure! It is so cool to have a full "Reporters Row" for the first time in two months. Now I'll have my Sundays to myself again.

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Write-Off: Let me see, if given the choice of getting sprayed with pepper spray, getting struck in a non-vital area by a baton, or hit with a TASER gun, I choose the TASER gun. That's exactly what I did this past Sunday morning during a police training session. It wasn't as bad as the shock I received from the electric fence several weeks ago, but it still curled my toes and arched my back a bit. Once I got hit, I fell forward and yelled out a manly yell, but I did survive.

In an effort to find an alternative way of handling situations, the Phoenixville Police Department purchased three of these X-26 TASERs, and let me tell you, they work. Trust me, if you happen to find yourself in a situation where an officer has a TASER pointed and you, and is telling you to comply with what they say, simply do as they say. Unless you really wanna flop around on the ground for a full five seconds, with 50,000 volts racing through your body, then comply with the police. You'll save yourself a lot of grief, because getting sprayed with pepper spray isn't a picnic as well. As least with getting hit with the TASER, the effects are momentary, while you'll still be rubbing pepper spray out of your eyes 45 minutes later. Plus, a good strike or two from a baton could break a bone, or leave one healthy bruise. However, don't take the TASER lightly. The police do carry them for a reason, just don't give them a reason to use it.

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Write-Off: Okay, is it me or has anyone noticed the plethora of things to do this coming weekend? Where do we begin? Let's start with tonight, as the downtown district debuts their inaugural First Friday, which looks to be a monthly event. Then, tomorrow will be FAME Festival, which when the weather is cooperating is one heckuva good time. Tell me that there isn't something cool going on during FAME that doesn't interest you. Whether it's buying stuff from vendors, checking out the cartoons at the Colonial Theatre, making puppets with Lynn Miller, enjoying life at the beer garden, or watching yours truly help judge the rib cook-off at the Main Stay parking lot, there is definitely something for everyone. And if you think there isn't, then you aren't trying hard enough, and that's simply on you. Take the time and enjoy the downtown area for all it's worth.

Then if you're in a sporting mood, come check out some awesome Police Athletic League (PAL) Boxers at the Civic Center. These guys develop quick and move on to bigger and better things in no time. See these young boxers while they're still in Phoenixville.

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Write-Off: With a new month comes new birthdays and celebrations, so if you'd like me to acknowledge your special day, then contact me and I'll certainly be glad to do that. Each of us only get so many special days in our lifetime, so it's only fitting to let the world know about them, or at least our reading area.

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Until then, some final words of wisdom to "write-off" to - in my warped mind, I'm working on a special project that I'll be sharing with everyone in this very spot in the weeks to come. Just as a bit of forewarning, those who are in the customer service profession, keep on your toes. The big PITA (and a friend or two) are on their way.

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Dennis J. Wright can be reached at dwright@phoenixvillenews.com.

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