Ten li'l Indians
I used to be in a band in Nashville, the main members of which are my core group of friends to this day. They're all big shots now. There's CeeElCee
on guitar, who can decide on his own whether or not to tell you what he does, because I recently suckered him into blogging. He's a big shot. There the ad agency owner on drums. He's gotten me into luxury boxes at Titans games. That's big shot. There's the Veternarian on the other guitar. He can play the "Doctor" card to get us a better tee time. That's big shot. Then there's me. OK, it's a 75% big shot rate. Not bad for a band of 20-something skirt-chasing knuckleheads whose policy was to NEVER rehearse, under any circumstance.
We played O'Charley's and Rainbow Key and Father Ryan formals and frat parties and every other stupid crappy Nashville gig that came along. We drank as much as we possibly could at every gig. We played "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Margaritaville" and "Jet Airliner" and all the other same songs that every band in America plays that has a "no rehearsal" policy. We generally negotiated $50 a man and free beer. If we had to eliminate one, we'd eliminate the $50 a man. Just becasue we never rehearsed didn't mean we couldn't play a lot of different songs. We were fearless. Mostly because of the Veternarian. He never turned down a request. No matter how obscure or inappropriate for our instrumentation.
"Uh. . . can you play "Sussudio" by Phil Collins?"
I'm thinking that song is nothing but synths and horns.
The Vet: "Sure!" Then he'd turn to us. "I think it's in G. Follow me."
From Prince to Merle Haggard to Van Halen to Vanilla Ice, we never said no to a request.
Then we got the wedding gig. Someone actually thought we were good. And she was getting married in Seattle. And she wanted us to play the reception. She provided us Airline tickets. She agreed to pay us 10 times our usual local rate. So our little Nashville cover band flew to the west coast to play a wedding.
The reception was held in a huge hall, as big as the Ryman. We were to go on right after the best man's toast. The best man was the groom's brother. He took the mic on the stage of the beautiful, historic Seattle theater. And he started talking. We were in the wings, instruments ready, awaiting our best-paid gig ever.
And he talked.
After fifteen minutes, we put our instruments down. We could pick them up and be ready to go in 30 seconds.
And he talked.
And we eventually scattered. After 45 minutes, I was standing at an open window with a beer, and a distinguished looking guest sidled up next to me, lit a cigarette, and said, "That motherfucker needs to shut the fuck up." The best man toast lasted an hour and a fucking half.
By the time the best man had plowed though his brother's toddlerhood, pre-teen, teenage and young adult years in minute detail, the band that was brought in all the way from Nashville to entertain at the reception was completely smashed. Like ten beers and twelve shots of this hundred proof schnapps crap we always drank called Rumpleminz smashed.
We were supposed to start at nine. It was ten-thirty. Many folks had left. The best man drove them out. The ones remaining had been rendered as drunk as the band by the best man. Someone requested the Macarena. The Macaraena? Are you kidding me? It's not even in English. The Veternarian looked at the requester with sympathy, and I could tell that he was going to refuse the first request in the history of the band.
I stepped in and said, "Sure we'll do it!"
You may have never noticed this, but The Macerena is the same tune as "Ten Little Indians." Rumpleminz be damned. We manufactured a groove that was as close to the Macarena as four drunk idiots could get and I stepped up to the mic and confidently slurred:
HEY MACARENA! HEAAAAAH!
We mumbled and stumbled through that one-chord crapfest for 20 minutes while the smashed guests did that hokey-pokey looking Macarena dance. They loved it.
They gave us cross-country plane tickets. They gave us a rental car. They gave us hotel rooms. They paid us $1500. And 50% of our entire set was a drunk and mumbling version of "10 Little Indians." Good work when you can get it.
called yesterday saying he had tickets to a high-falutin' charity wine tasting event last night, would I like to go? (He is giving blood today. Check it out.
) Although I don't often seek out events that require me to wear slacks and a shirt that have been to the dry cleaner, the siren call of free alcohol trumps any inconvenient dress code. I clean up pretty well. So we went.
These things are all the same. We walked in and heard that there was live jazz. Of course. There was a leggy blonde walking around wearing a crown. Miss Something-or-other. There was a chocolate fountain. There was an omlette station. There were folks carrying trays with appetizers that involved cucumbers, bruchetta, caviar, cream cheese, and other assorted high-falutin' finger foods. The lines at every wine station were 20 or 30 people deep. It took each person 2 or 3 minutes to get their miniscule serving, because it was a high-falutin' wine tasting, so everyone felt compelled to inquire as to the varietal and region of the nine-dollar-a-bottle crappy Spanish wine being served. There was a silent auction. Money was being raised for a good cause.
We bailed after 30 minutes.
But there is one thing you can always count on at those type of events.
It was a heavenly sea of cleavage. If there is an event that requires me to wear pants not crafted from denim, the implicit dress code for women is to choose from one of the following dress styles: low-cut, V-neck, scoop-neck, or plunging. Add various push-up undergarments and it is enough to make a grown man weep.
Ladies, I honestly don't know how much thought you put into your breasts. I know that you are aware of the power of your cleavage. I know you use it to your advantage on occasion, like getting out of speeding tickets, because we turn into blathering idiots at the sight of a well presented set of feminity. They turn us into fools. I often wonder about the male opinion of tits in cultures where they are out all the time, like in the mountains of New Guinea.
I can't wait 'till Steeplechase. It's the sun dress boob-fest of the year.
I went to China once. When I was working as a cruise ship musician. In the world of cruising, there are no days off. But on the China trip, the passengers get off for a three-day land tour. So if your job needs passengers to be necessary, and there are no passengers, you get the time off. No need to play "Tea for Two" to an empty room. So about 50 of us in the crew took our own guided three-day tour.
Our trip happened at a time when the Chinese Government was having a pissing contest with the Clinton Administration over something. Copyright infringement, illegal movies, CDs, something like that. So we all got on our tour bus, and a commie soldier in a green uniform gets on and starts talking to one of our guys. It was an Italian guy that worked in the casino. He unwittingly became our diplomat. The commie soldier and his translator asked for the Americans to raise their hands. There were about five or six of us. The commie translator said we had to get back on the ship, we couldn't go. Our Italian immediately said, "Stay in your seats, you're going." A heated discussion ensued between our Italian and the commie soldier. The discussion spilled out into the parking lot and several other commie soldiers got involved. Our Italian came back on the bus several times, telling the Americans to stay in our seats, that he was going to work it out. At one point, the soldiers walked away, I think to discuss the situation with their superiors, and our Italian jumped on the bus and barked at the driver, "Let's go, right now!"
So off we went. A couple of us had secured several cases of beer from the crew bar, so the bus was well stocked with Coors Light in a big ass cooler. We went to the Forbidden City, we had Peiking Duck in Peiking, and we went to the Great Wall. The spot they take you to see the Great Wall looks like it was built yesterday. Fresh bricks and mortar, it is an imposing fortress, but it feels artificial. However, if you're a boorish American tourist, you can load up your pockets with Coors Light, and hike to the end of the maintained tourist area, and the wall is in ruins. The good kind of ruins. The kind you would expect from a structure that was built thousands of years ago. And there are con men everywhere, selling stuff like coins "from the Ming Dynasty" and big fur hats. I bought a big fur hat for a dollar. It lasted a couple of hours before all the fur was gone.
And when you get to the end of the maintained part, and you have consumed all your Coors Light, and you are a boorish American tourist, you can relieve yourself off the edge of the Great Wall of China, and decide that your new mission in life is to piss on or near all seven wonders of the Ancient world. While wearing the big fur hat you bought from a Chinese con man for a dollar.
I have much left to do before I die.
The time I talked to Leonard Nimoy
Rex L. Camino tells a tale
of being in the presence of Leonard Nimoy, but not speaking to him. I have the opposite experience. I talked to him, but I never met him.
I used to be the Marketing Director at a live theatre. We had a series that would feature one or two person shows, done on a couple of Mondays on the stage where the main production was going on. One year, "Vincent" was scheduled. It was a one-man play about Van Gogh, written by Leonard Nimoy.
Written by Leonard Freaking Nimoy.
So I got the address of his agent from the back of the script and requested an interview. My request was granted. Five minutes before he was scheduled to call, I realized that I had no idea what I was going to ask him. I don't even remember if I had read the script. But I wanted to talk to him, it was Leonard Freaking Nimoy. So I winged it.
I took bad notes and used quotes from my completely contrived and unnecessary interview in the theatre newsletter and my press release. It was the only interview I ever did in six years at that job, for a play that was only going to run four times. But it was Leonard Freaking Nimoy.
When the theatre writer for one of the major newspapers in the area got the press release, he called to give me shit. "So, you're doing the interviews now?! You want to come down here and write my stories for me too?"
To which I replied, "It was Leonard Freaking Nimoy."
So between me and Rex, Spock is our pal.
When I was growing up, we watched Hee Haw religiously every Saturday night. My Dad is a Nashville native, and our family goes back in McMinnville for hundreds of years, but we were far from a hillbilly family. My dad was a corporate lawyer and we were living in the suburbs. Still, my McMinnville grandmother talked just like Minnie Pearl, so there might have been a connection there. But I was a rocker, living on Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, and Saturday night "Hee Haw" was my guilty pleasure.
"Hee Haw" was hosted by Roy Clark and Buck Owens. Buck played a signature red, white and blue guitar. He died last weekend. I would like to see him some more, for nostalgia's sake. He was an American legend.
Unfortunatley, we will never see him hosting Hee Haw again. Have you ever noticed that there are no Hee Haw reruns? Probably not. The reason? It's enough to start a second War Between the States.
When Viacom bought TNN, in the most egregious, arrogant, East-Coast, New-York, Cable-TV-executive ass-holery move ever, the execs at Viacom looked at the assests involved in the sale and said, "What's this "Hee Haw" shit? Some kind of hayseed, hillbilly show? Get rid of it! And change the name to SPIKE TV!"
So 25 years of Americana was burned. The Hee Haw masters were BURNED.
Fucking Stupid Yankees.
Eat your vegetables!
My kid is a terrible eater. Very, very picky. I joke that she only eats brown food. If it's crap, she'll eat it. If it's good for her she "doesn't like it." We had a major diplomatic incident at her school over her refusal to eat an apple. She eats macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets and hot dogs and crappy cereal and chocolate.
And Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches.
So I don't care. Because she eats Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches.
When she was two, I took her to a check-up and she had dropped from the 90th percentile in weight to the 10th percentile. The doctor said we should go to a specialist just to make sure there was nothing wrong. So I took her to a Pediatric Gastro-Interoligst. This guy spends all day dealing with kids and their food and digestion. So I brought up the subject of her picky eating habits.
Me: (Worried) She won't eat any fruits or vegetables.
Doctor: (Chuckles) I don't either. My wife has to sneak them in on me, in rice or something.
Me: (Miffed) But what about the nutrients?
Doctor: Does she eat Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches?
Doctor: That has everything she needs.
So the insurance company paid him $450 a visit every month for half a year for him to weigh her and tell me to buy Boost instead of milk. And she gained weight. And at her 5-year-old check-up last month she was declared to be perfectly healthy. And she just had a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich for breakfast. And now she's eating her 10th miniature Hershey chocolate of the day. And it's not even 10 in the morning. And I'm fine with that.
I stumbled across a company called Tomboy Tools
. They aren't just selling tools for women, their "mission is to empower women. We have an internal culture that supports women in becoming confident, competent homeowners by providing the proper tools and techniques to create a more beautiful and livable space."
OK, great. I thought I'd poke around a little and see how different the tools could be. The first page I clicked on featured knee pads . . .
The mom did it
When I saw the news flash that the minister in West Tennessee was found dead and there was an Amber Alert for the car and the mom and three kids were missing, I thought the worst. I thought the mom did it. Now she has confessed. At the risk of looking like a fool in a week or two, I will also admit that my first thought was that the minister, who was a "pillar of the community" was a tyrant at home and she did it in a sort of self-defense move. Or maybe there was some adultry. I didn't used to think this way. Susan Smith taught me to.
When the Susan Smith thing started, I was working on a cruise ship, and we had just started getting CNN on satellite. That was all we got, so we watched it all the time. And it was all Susan Smith, all the time. We watched her tearfully tell the cameras that an unidentified black man took her car and kidnapped her kids. I was really shaken. When the news conference was over, the girl I was dating at the time said, quite matter of factly, "She did it."
We had a heated exchange over the circumstances. I tried to explain to her some convoluted premise about how a woman in the south (my girlfriend was English) could be intimidated by a man and give up her car and blah, blah, blah. I don't even remember my argument anymore. Like everyone else in America, I couldn't even fathom the true scenario.
So she just said, "I don't care if it is in the south of America or Ethiopia, there is no way a mother is going to stand by and just let someone take her children from her. She doesn't have a scratch on her. She did it." And a week later, we found out she did. And now that I'm a father, I know exactly the undisputed truth of that argument.
I no longer assume that the "mom couldn't possibly be guilty." I can suspect a woman being involved in a heinous crime as easily as I can suspect a man.
I guess I am a feminist.
Allison, My Aim is True
It seems that Victoria Hanson has been let go and/or quit as a news anchor at Channel 2 here in Nashville. I have no opinion on that.
All I know about people in the TV news business is that Rick Sanchez is really bad and Anderson Cooper is gay. And Dan Miller was Pat Sajak's sidekick on his ill-fated talk show many years ago. And that Rudy Kalis always came off as too mild-mannered to do sports. And Dale Hansen in Dallas is the best local Sports Guy I've ever seen. And most of the male anchors have a severe part in their hair, like most politicians. And there are too many moustaches. And a friend told me that he met Demetria Kalodimos and that she has a nice ass. Really.
But generally, I just consider the person delivering the news to be a talking head. They are either unremarkable or bad.
However the Hottie That Lets Me See Her Naked has been around the news business her whole life, on both sides of the camera. She's not in it now, but her dad is, and she's always been around it. We had a conversation the other day that went something like this.
Me: "I don't know anything about news anchors, but there is a girl in town that I've actually noticed, because she is really, really good. She's young, I don't even know what channel she's on, but she just has an easy manner and her delivery is really comfortable and. . ."
Her: "Allison Hatcher."
Me: "Uh . . . wow. . . yeah that's her. She does mornings and weekends and. . ."
Her: "Yeah. She's really good. She's going to go places."
So, anyway, to the boss at News 2: I don't know if you know it, but Allison Hatcher is really good. At least that's what we think here at Knucklehead Manor. Give her that job for a couple of years before she ends up sitting next to Matt Lauer.
The Lost City
I remember as Katrina was bearing down on New Orleans, a talking head on CNN asked a weather expert "Is it possible that we are going to lose
a city?" With all the gloom and doom talk I've heard in my life over everything from the Rapture to Sars, I thought it was just another case of Overblown News Anchor Hystrionics. Well, my friend CeeElCee went to New Orleans, and he gives a pretty sobering first person account of the situation there.
Galveston used to be a major city until a hurricane, which spurred the growth of Houston. Could the same thing have happened to New Orleans?
Gay couple redux
Well, Brittney over at Nashville is Talking linked
to my little throwaway post about whether gay guys get mad when they catch each other checking other men out. The first comment asked Why would this be any different for people in a homosexual relationship than in a heterosexual relationship?
Which started a mini brouhaha, I suppose because I dared to suggest that gay couples might act differently than heterosexual couples.
Well, maybe they act the same in splitting up the chores and walking the dog and dealing with finances, but there is one place where there is a fundamental difference. That would be the sex and the feelings and emotions that go along with it. They're both men. So the answer to why would it be different than a heterosexual couple?
is this: Because they are both attracted to men. That is a huge fucking difference.
I have never in my life noticed a woman that I was with checking out another man while in my company. Am I so arrogant to think that it has never happened? Of course not. I'm just too stupid. I don't find men the slightest bit attractive. I have no idea what a "hot guy" looks like. None. So, since I don't know what a "hot guy" looks like, I have no catalyst for jealousy or suspicion.
A woman, on the other hand, is all too familiar with what makes a for good-looking woman, and if there is one within 100 yards, she will often be watching out of the corner of her eyes to check her man's reaction. So I would think gay guys are the same way. They know what a "hot guy" is, and they know their partner is attracted to the same thing. So it is a legitimate question. It is also a stupid, tounge-in-cheek question I posted to get over a mild case of writer's block. Truth is, I really don't give a shit.
I can't believe I had to explain that.
Sex, Sex, Sex, Sex
I may get corrected by some kind of behavioral anthropologist, but it seems to me that humans are the only species that has sex for recreation. Have a vasectomy? We still have sex. Hysterectomy? Doesn't stop sex. This drive can be great in the right situation, but a person's uncontrollable inability to keep his or her boxers or panties on can really be harmful. It can break up families. It can ruin lives. You have to control it.
I like sex as much as anyone. I'm not really shocked by much of anything. Anything consentual, anyway. I've known swingers. I've known film documentors. I've known couples who love porn and couples who don't. I've known the homo, the bi, the bi-curious and tri-sexuals, who'll try anything.
So, if there is something going on between two willing adults, knock yourself out. But there is a line that cannot be crossed. Ever. So to the sick fuck in Charleston, West Virginia who found this site while searching for tips on "forcing my neice" to do something I'm not going to mention here, do us all a favor and get the shotgun out of the closet and blow your fucking brains out. Right now.
You use verizon.net. I've got your IP Address. Asshole.
Check HIM out!
Many a committed relationship has been compromised by the male's inability to let a hot woman walk by without at least a clandestine glance. The trouble comes when there is an uncontrolled conversation interrupting, drooling staredown. With age, we (men) learn to hide it pretty well.
This is something I've always wondered, and never thought about asking any of my gay friends or acquaintances. When two men are in a committed relationship and a hot guy walks by, do they both hide the fact that they are checking him out, do they check him out together, or does one of them get mad at the other for checking him out?
Porn Shoots, Affairs and a Household Hint
The Idiot Drummer was kind enough to take a night off from his usual bourbon-swilling idleness, where the most important activity is finding things to burn on his patio overlooking the river, and he came to help me at work. The toilet in one of the bathrooms has been leaking, so we removed the toilet, ripped up the rotting floor, replaced it with a new sub-floor, and, like most projects undertaken by two aging knuckleheads, quit with the job half-finished. However, that is not an indictment of our work ethic. We didn't drink a drop of alcohol, which is probably a first in the 15 years we've known each other, and when we quit, it was midnight and we were at a point where a trip to Home Depot was necessary. It was truly back-breaking work. There was more grunting and groaning than a triple-intrusion gang-bang porn shoot. We both predicted extreme pain today, and that is certainly the case with me.
I share my back parking lot with another small business. At about 10:30 a couple of cars pulled in on their side. We were outside, wrangling a circular saw, two rickety home-made sawhorses, a speed square and a sharpie, trying to make an intricate cut shaped like a fleur-de-lis through 3/4" laminate wood we had miracously found in the basement when they arrived. That business closes at five. It was 10:30. There was some kind of hanky-panky going on there. They saw us and left. As someone who has been on the wrong end of an extra-marital affair, I am on a mission to stop all adultery whenever I am able! And last night I succeeded! O.K., maybe I'm not on a mission, I stay out of other people's business (including my own wife's, as I later found out) but something was going on. I'm sure some player retreated with his ring in his pocket and a hard-on he had to take home to an unreceptive wife.
So back to the pain. I am one sore sumbitch today. I just filled up the bathtub with the hottest water I could stand and soaked my achin' bones in it for an hour. Whilst shriviling, I noticed that the shower curtain liner is starting to get mildew and mold on it. Now, I spent most of my adult life living either in places that had glass shower doors or living in filth, and neither situation required attention to shower curtain liner mildew. After my divorce it became an issue because Li'l Knucklehead uses the tub too. I've tried to clean them with regular spray-on bathroom cleaner, holding it tight with one hand and scrubbing with a sponge in the other. I've taken them off and layed them in the tub and tried the same thing. One woman told me an elaborate method using the washing machine, bleach, the gentle cycle and a Haitian voodoo curse. Nothing seemed to work. But one day I discovered the secret to getting rid of the mildew on the shower curtain liner. I was in Target, and I noticed that shower curtain liners are $4.95. I guess it's time to go get a new one.
From my personal email last weekend:
It's been such a long time, but I feel compelled to let you know that Jerry passed away this evening. He had a heart attack last week, came home on Tuesday and was doing quite well. This evening he had the final one and passed very quickly.
Thakfully he did not suffer and I was with him. I would appreciate it if you would be so kind as to tell Margie. As soon as the funeral arrangements are made I will let you know.
Just a simple reminder of our mortality. We don't have much time here, so make the most of it. Hug your children. Laugh often.
On a related note, I have no idea who Jerry is. Margie, if you're reading this, Jerry is dead.
Playboy, Ratt, Kevin Bacon and Me
I am going to tell you a story. It is a long story. It doesn't have to be, but I am going to make it a long story. It is going to contain sexual references. It is going to have some coarse language. There is going to be a picture of a naked ex-girlfriend of mine at the end. And, most importantly, it is going to contain a crass, vulgar and juvenile reference to a certain wonderful part of the female anatomy. If you feel you may be offended by any of this, I'll tell you the short version, and you are dismissed:
I wrote a novel.
I named the main characters the Bacon Brothers.
Kevin Bacon came out with a band called the Bacon Brothers.
I was sad.
That's it. Go away.
Now, for those of you brave enough to continue, the reason I am telling you the long version is because of the first sentence.
I fucked a Playboy centerfold.
I like that sentence so much, I'm going to start over.
I fucked a Playboy centerfold.
Of course, that isn't technically true. I fucked a bartender who became a centerfold. That's still a fairly elite club for those not named Hefner. I was in a band. That helps. The girl, I’ll call her "Laurie" (because that’s her name) was a bartender in a club that we played in. I knew her casually, but never really thought about asking her out. Then one night, in a different club across town, we were finished playing, I was packing up my stuff, and I turned around and Laurie was standing there.
I said, "What’s new with you?"
She replied, "Well, I just found out today that I’m going to be a Playboy centerfold."
Let me tell you, that is a very powerful sentence to hear come out of a woman's mouth. So I did what any red-blooded college-aged American man with dreams of rock-stardom would do in that situation – I took her home with me.
So we dated for a few months, she eventually moved to L.A. and traded up for a real rock star, the guitar player in Ratt. (His name was Robbin Something-or-Other. He later died a tragic rock star death involving heroin a dirty needle and AIDS.) So I did what any red-blooded American man would do, I started dating her roommate.
Laurie had two roommates. First was Julie, who was really hot. Those hot chicks stick together, you know. The other was Kurt, a very flamboyant homosexual. He tinted his hair. He drove a red Fiero. He talked like a stereotypical flamboyant homosexual. It was Julie I started dating. Not Kurt. Very funny.
Around the middle of the next year, the Playmate of the Year issue arrived in Kurt and Julie’s mailbox. This is where they have a review of all twelve centerfolds from the year before, and you get to look at them all naked again and wonder who is going to be Playmate of the Year. Obviously, Kurt and Julie wanted to see Laurie win, she was their friend, and it was also worth $100,000 to her if she won. I wanted her to win too, because I knew that years later, Al Gore would have invented the internet, I would have a weblog and I would be able to tell a bunch of strangers that I fucked a Playmate of the Year. Alas, that was not to be.
So Kurt and Julie started going through each girl, criticizing. They were just brutal. "Her nose is too big." Turn the page. "Her butt is too big." Turn the page, "I don't like the shape of her nipples." I swear to God, Julie said that.
Then Julie turned the page and there was a shot of one of the girls, taken from behind and below her, with her legs apart, looking back to the camera. This was way before the Brazilian waxing that they all have now. Kurt squeals, like only a flamboyant homosexual can do, points between the girl’s legs and says, "Eeeeeewwwwwwwwww!!! I don’t like all that old . . . hairy . . . bacon sticking out!!!"
Fast forward several years. I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. But I couldn’t come up with any memorable characters. I wanted to write a mystery, but I didn’t want the main character to be a typical grizzled beat cop or a retired spy. I wanted a couple of regular guys that I could relate to, but I was stumped. My best friend at the time was the Idiot Drummer. One day, we were in my truck on the way to go camping, and he was thumbing through a magazine with naked women in it. He turned the page, and there was a woman in the same pose. I had a flashback from that afternoon with Julie and Kurt. I pointed, and in my best flamboyant homosexual voice, squealed, "Eeeeeewwwwwwwwww!!! I don’t like all that old . . . hairy . . . bacon sticking out!!!" He laughed so hard he nearly fell out of the truck. When he finally caught his breath, he said, "Dude, that’s going to be my new stage name, Harry Bacon!" (The stage name he had been using was Guy Lotromin.)
A couple weeks later, as I was trying to write again, it hit me -- a crime solving rhythm section, the Bacon Brothers. They would be Harry, a drummer, and I came up with an equally juvenile and crass name for the bass-playing twin brother, Barry David Bacon. But, of course, everyone called him Barry D. (Bury de bacon. Get it? Ha, ha ha ha ha)
Juvenile and crass as it may be, it was the inspiration I needed to start writing. Murder, mayhem and mystery began to flow from my fingers onto my keyboard. The Bacon Brothers were going to be my ticket to literary immortality. Then about a year into my writing of the next great American novel, Kevin Fucking Bacon put a band together with his brother, and they were on a high-profile publicity tour. And what does he call his band? The Bacon Brothers. I was pissed.
You see, I had a dream of creating these characters, getting a book deal, getting a movie deal and having the citizens of the world read the books or go see the movies, and stand around the water cooler discussing my characters, who were inspired by a homosexual’s horrified term for a vagina. Kevin Bacon crushed that dream.
I Love the 80s
Another Year Gone
Another year gone.
I'm really getting old.
This isn't the way I pictured it at all.
Of course, look at my role models when I was a kid. There was the Dad on the Brady Bunch.
Turns out he was gay.
And the Dad on Bewitched.
Well, I'm decidedly not gay. I think I'd know by now if I was. I've even got a kid. That required having heterosexual intercourse.
Yep. Not gay.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
I have to wear those goddam half glasses to read anything.
But I have all my hair. In fact, it's longer than it's been in over a decade. Mid-life crisis hair?
Naw, just lazy. Too lazy to cut it.
I'm probably the oldest guy in the world with a blog that isn't about being pissed off at the liberals.
I guess I should use this day for some deep introspection.
Fuck that, I have a tee time out at Hermitage in an hour. They have two courses. We're playing the old course.
Vince Gill was out there last time. We made small talk about the weather.
At noon I can buy beer.
No matter how old you get, you still can't buy beer here before noon on a Sunday.
Unless there's a Titans home game.
What a stupid law.
Teri Hatcher, Charles Nelson Reilly and Me
My little diatribe against the Oscars wasn't meant to be taken that I don't appreciate the art of good acting. Teri Hatcher came out in Vanity Fair saying her Uncle sexually abused her growing up. That reminded me of a play we did called "How I Learned To Drive" by Paula Vogel. Our cast was great, and there was some very powerful acting in it.
At around the same time, Charles Nelson Reilly was preparing to do a show at our theater. Most people know him as the nutty game show guy, but in reality, he is one of the most highly respected acting coaches, directors, and Opera Experts on Earth. His best friends are people like Julie Harris, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis (now dead) and Burt Reynolds. Anyway, I told him what play we had on at the time, and he summed it up thusly: (please use your best Charles Nelson Reilly voice)"Ooooohhhh, isn't the the Uncle-fucked-the-Neice play? Hhhhnnnnnnnnnnnn!"
My other favorite CNR quote about our very straight-acting gay friend. "But he's so butch! My God, he plays golf!"
I imagine that the interest percentage of those who write and read all this blog shit in professional golf is about 2%. I am going to write about golf, specifically the Masters. You 98% are warned, feel free to leave now.
I have been to the Masters five of the last six years. I cannot go this year and I officially gave my spot up yesterday to my friend ceeelcee
. He's a bigshot international commodity broker. Or is that commode breaker? Anyway, he gets flown around the world on business all the time, and taken to all kinds of events (he really has a geisha story) but he has never been to the Masters. I am probably more excited for him going than he is. He will understand when he gets there.
The Masters is the hardest ticket to get in all of sports. Like the Kentucky Derby, the badges stay with their owners every year. The tournament has been sold out for decades. The waiting list for tickets was closed in 1978. I am lucky enough to have a friend from Georgia whose grandfather bought tickets way back in the day. His grandfather is from a line of very long-living people. He is in his mid 90s and going strong.
My friend has been going since he was a kid. Probably around 30 years. The first time I went, we were at his parents house, and his dad was telling me about how magical the place is, and he was getting visibly excited. The next day was going to be his 50th year of going. 50 years, and he was still as excited as a kid in a candy store. Here are some observations about the Masters that I didn't know about until I started going.
You would drive right by the main entrance if you didn't know it was there. There is an unassuming sign and a driveway on a busy street full of strip malls and chains like Hooters and Applebees.
It is unbelievably hilly. For instance, you can stand behind #10 tee all day, and see nothing but three woods being hit. It is a 495 par four, but it is like hitting off the top of a 15 story building. The valley on the par-3 sixth is so steep that people actully sit in it and the golfers hit over their heads.
There is a par-3 course there. It is famous for the par-3 tournament on Wednesday. I didn't know about it until I got there. It is the second most unbelievably beautiful golf course I have ever seen, right behind the other one next door.
There isn't a whiff of corporate sponsorship. There are no luxury boxes. The taps in the beer stands don't have a brand on them. Your choices are domestic or import. The water bottles have Masters labels on them. The sandwiches are wrapped simply in green paper. They don't chase any money. Everything is cheap. A sandwich is $1.25. A beer is $2.00. The souveniers aren't sold anywhere else in the world, yet there is no price gouging.
It is springtime in the South. There are lots of pretty young girls in sundresses, which is God's way of saying the South is the best place to be in the spring. There are always a few who obviously don't realize their frat-boy date is taking them to a golf tournament, and they struggle around the course in heels.
It often stinks. Really, really bad. It is the greenest, most beautiful place you've ever seen, and it takes a lot of fertilizer and manure to get it that way. If it has been raining a lot, it gets backed up and it stinks to high heaven, like following a convoy of pig trucks on the interstate. They never mention that on TV.
They talk about the different roars of the galleries on Sunday. It took a couple of years for me, but I've become pretty good at discerning them. A couple of years ago, we were in the stands at Amen Corner, and we heard a roar a couple hundred yards away. I said to my friends, "that was an eagle at thirteen." A man in front turned around and said, "no, it sounded like a birdie to me." A few minutes, Ernie Els eagle was posted on our scoreboard. The man turned back and said, "I guess you were right." I gloated.
They have manual scoreboards, where the numbers are pulled down and replaced by hand. Scoreboard watching on Sunday is unbelievably exciting. It sounds stupid, but it's true. You can only see your little part of the course, so you rely on the scoreboards to keep up. For instance, on the Els eagle, he was in contention. The blank gets removed for number 13 by his name and everyone in the stands goes silent and holds their breath and stares at the board. When the new number is put up, there are cheers and high-fives all around. It sounds silly, but it is true.
My dad got me involved in golf when I was 7 or 8. I've been watching the Masters my whole life. It always signaled the official nearness of summer and the end of school. If you're not a golf fan, but you read this anyway, you probably don't get it. The five Sundays I spent there are five of the best days I've ever had. I've seen Jack and Arnie and Tiger and Phil play. I've seen holes in one, and holed out bunker shots. I was standing right there at 16 when Tiger made his chip-in against DiMarco. I wish I could go this year. But I know my friend will love it.
To All A Good Night
There is legislation pending in Tennessee that will outlaw sex toys. Glad to see the dipshits have their priorities straight.
This is Nashville Knucklehead's ode (I use pretentious third person when speaking of my poetry) to Charlotte Burks and Eric Swafford, the two Tennessee lawmakers who have nothing better to do than to introduce legislation that would make it "illegal to sell, advertise, publish or exhibit to another person any three-dimensional device designed or marketed as useful primarily for stimulation of human genital organs."
'Twas the night before voting, in the Senate and House
Charlotte Burks was still stirring, double-clicking her mouse.
Eric Swafford was hung up, and loaded for bear,
Cleaning his gun with the greatest of care.
With Senators nestled all snug in their beds,
The men-folk all polished their little bald heads.
And the ladyfolk lawmakers muffled their groans,
While fingers were frantically honing their stones.
When out on Church Street there arose such a clatter,
They sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.
O'er Capitol Hill streaked a blinding red flash,
And the Hustler Store landed, kaboom! with a crash.
The neon and lights on the entry way doors,
Gave lustre to objects fit only for whores.
Then, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a shelf full of leather and S & M gear!
Then a young dominatrix, so lively and quick,
Unleashed a huge torrent of vibrating dick.
All turgid and phallic, the sex toys they came,
And she squirmed, and she squealed, and called them by name!
"Now Gasher! Big Daddy! Doc Johnson and Vixen!
On, Thruster! Impaler! on Niner and Sixen!
To the Top of the Snatch! To the Base of the Balls!
Now buzz away! Buzz away! Buzz away all!"
And then, in a twinkling, they saw on the roof
The man who is sneaky, but never aloof.
Flynt's wheelchair was shiny, his attitude brash,
He rolled off the roof, and came down with a smash.
He was dressed all in rayon, his head to his toes,
And pushing his ride were three skanky old hoes.
A bundle of sex toys were flung on his back,
Just like a smut peddler, he opened his pack.
The dongs and the dildos! The life-like fake cooters!
The cock rings and rabbits and double intruders!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a preacher,
And he took on the role of a masturbateacher.
"Now ladies of Congress, it's awful, I know,
When you rub on the lamp, but the Genie won't show!
There are other options when you're home alone,
Than manually dialing your rotary phone!"
"And men of the Senate, it's hot when you see,
Your willy, her kitty, and dildy makes three!
And if you impart just the right kind of buzzin'
She'll have two, three or more, maybe even a dozen!"
He was chubby and plump, a right creepy old elf,
But they stared at his toys, in spite of their self.
He held up a tool with a rotating head,
They knew then they really had nothing to dread.
Flynt made it clear, at last they could see
That dildos can't possibly harm Tennessee.
A 3-D device built for sex stimulation
Could not be the cause of the fall of the nation.
The lawmakers looked at both Swafford and Burks
And realized that they were a couple of jerks.
Then Flynt said, "I know you'll all vote for what's right
Happy Wanking to all, and to all a good-night!"
Disgusting Story of the Day
My last post about working at the theatre in Florida reminded me of one of the most distrubing images I have ever encountered.
Carol Channing was in the audience one night. A sweet little box-office girl recounted this experience at a staff meeting. She wasn't the type of girl to make this kind of thing up.
She was in the bathroom at intermission, and from the stall next to her she heard, in Carol Channing's very distinctive voice, "Corn! I don't remember eatin' any corn!"
I got your Oscar right here!
I don't watch award shows. I don't think art is competitive. I don't think those shows are any different than Firestone handing out an award for top district tire sales manager at their annual district manager meeting. The Grammys are bad. The CMAs are bad. The Oscars are the absolute worst.
I worked as Marketing Director for a live theatre for about six years. I have been around plenty of actors. They are a nice bunch, generally speaking. The people I met were mostly New York and local (Florida) live theatre rats. The Hollywood types are a whole different breed. As the money and fame builds, it seems that a lot of those people visibly go cookoo. Tom and Katie, I'm talking to you. But they have the power to have their yearly meeting televised and it grips the nation as everyone wonders who's going to win "best" screenplay or lighting director.
Having been around a lot of actors, sitting on on a lot of rehearsals and seeing more live theatre than I ever expected to in my life. I can respect that there is a certain amount of skill that goes along with pretending to be someone else. But those people know what they are getting away with. They're just pretending. That's why they go out of their way to talk about their "craft" and "practicing their art" and "reaching deep." It's 99% horseshit. They get on with James Lipton and clutch their chest and talk about how Harrison is so "giving" as an artist. Good gawd, he's just pretending to be a spy.
So, considering that I am obviously a cantankerous, bitter old coot, I don't have any interest in watching them backslap each other for four hours. I hope all you fans enjoyed it. I was busy reading Jack and the Beanstalk. And reading it again. And reading it again.
P.S. For all you actors out there -- I do not keep in touch with the folks at my old job. Don't send me a headshot or resume. Unless there is nudity. And you're female.
Hear Me Roar
I haven't thought about feminism in probably 30 years. Like all big, dumb, root-of-all-evil white guys, I thought that fight was over. Boy was I wrong. Now that I've been sucked into Aunt B.
's pit of liberal feminist sparring, I think about feminism at least 2 - 3 minutes a month.
Well, I'm getting this month's time over early. As I was whipping up some bacon and biscuits for the Li'l knucklehead for breakfast (is there anything better than bacon in a cast iron skillet on a Sunday Morning Coming Down?) I tuned the TV to Comcast's 70s music channel. Lo and behold, on comes the all-time-best, say-it-loud, say-it-proud feminist anthem, "I am Woman" by that saucy Aussie, Helen Reddy. While the words will be seared into my brain until I am put in the ground because it was on such heavy rotation for so long when I was a kid, I was struck by a line in the chorus today.
"If I have to, I can do anything"
Well, that pretty much sums it up.
Today, I didn't hear it as, "If I have to, I can do anything
." What I heard was, "If I HAVE TO
, I can do anything."
"Don't fuck with me, Mr. Man! If I HAVE TO
, I can do anything! Now, take out the trash. Not that I can't, I can. I just don't want to. I want you to. But I could, because I am your equal. And pick the dog shit up in the yard while you're out there. I mean, I could if I had to, because I am your equal, but I don't want to. I just want to make sure you know that I could. And pick up that dead spider in the bathroom. . ."
Ladies, here's a secret. We really like to spoil you. Don't fuck it up.
The customer is . . . an idiot
I have a crazy house. Actually, the house is a typical 50-year-old Nashville brick ranch in a neighborhood full of 50-year-old Nashville brick ranches. The guy I bought it from lived there for 30 years, and he liked to stay busy. Meaning he built stuff. The back yard is like my own little compound. For instance, my kid has her own playhouse, with a loft bed, ceiling fan, heat, air and yes, cable. There is a full bath and a half bath on my property in various buildings that are not my house. This is all on a typical 50-year-old Nashville brick ranch neighborhood lot. It's pretty goofy.
One thing he built, which I don't care too much about, is a big-ass koi pond. The koi pond requires some maintenance, but it's not too bad. I just got done cleaning the filter, and my hands are nearly numb. So I decided to come here and type this story.
When I moved in, there were two really big fish and about a dozen smaller ones. Sometime last fall, something, probably some kind of bird, came along and gradually ate all the small fish while I wasn't looking. So I was left with two big fish.
Last spring, I looked in the pond, and lo and behold, there were a couple dozen tadpoles swimming around. Not good, thinks I. So I went to the fish store, where the conversation went thusly:
Clerk: Can I help you
Me: I have tadpoles in my pond
Clerk: We don't have any tadpoles. I think you can order them online.
Me: No, I don't want tadpoles, I said I have tadpoles in my pond.
Clerk (puzzled): Oh.
Me: Do you have anything to get rid of them?
Clerk (puzzleder): No.
Me: There isn't anyway to kill them?
Clerk: Not that I know of.
Me (flustered): Well, what's going to happen?
Clerk (look of bemused pity): Well, eventually they'll turn into frogs and hop away.
Anyway, they weren't tadpoles, they were little baby koi. Turns out the two big ones are a mommy and a daddy.
I have a very challenging dog
. I also have a very beautiful 5-year-old little girl who adores the challenging dog. And the challenging dog adores her. The dog is on anxiety medication. My vet is also my good friend, and he has doubled the dose already. He is around the dog a lot. Yesterday, the dog got out of the yard and attacked the pants leg of a man (she is a small dog) walking by the house on the other side of the street. This, coupled with aggressive behavior toward the neighbor kid and the dog has to go. I'm going to take her back to the no-kill shelter I got her from, and tell them she shouldn't be around kids.
My kid loves that dog. She is not going to be happy. I am not going to hear the end of it, and it is going to be sad for a while. But, at least I get to take her in next week to get her 5-year-old shots at the doctor.
Time to stock up on ice cream and chocolate.