Friday, April 11, 2008

L'esprit d'escalier: A musical narrative journey, or Why I'm Always So Pissy <3

Remember Dummy? The kid who is awkward beyond belief and Just Didn't Get Joe Strummer? I had another classic moment with him in the hallway the other day, and I'm still pissed off about it. So I get the knock on my door and I figured it was my friend because we were supposed to go get pancakes the next day. Lo and behold, it's Dummy, and he's standing there holding a cup of tea and asks, "Did you see 40s on 40 today?"

40s on 40 used to be a charming Senior tradition. At T-minus 40 days til graduation, the kids used to get 40 ozs and drink it on the Steps. A few years ago, cos some dumbfuck made it through four years of college without figuring out his tolerance and got alcohol poisoning, the Powers That Be decided to take over the event-- so you still got the beer, but now you have it in this hilarious penned-off area on the steps for seniors only. From what I can tell, they get sandwiches too.

Yeah, so I'm all for bringing your own forty to the steps and drinking it in broad daylight. But let's face it. We've all done that anyway. And now you get free sandwiches.

So Dummy (who is a senior) asks, "Did you see 40s on 40 today?"

I'm thinking, Oh come on, leave me alone, and instead I say, "Yeah."

And he talks about something for awhile and finally says, "So why I'm here is because I'm trying to convince all my junior friends to boycott it next year." And he says something about how it's super lame now and how it's been institutionalized. [And we get to talking also at one point about how his pops has a studio apartment on the Upper East Side. (THERE YOU GO.)]

So I don't say, Kid, there are bigger fish to fry, or anything. Instead I say, "And pass up on free beer?"

And he stares at me. And says, "Aren't you a punk rocker? I mean, shouldn't you be-- my respect for you has just gone down."

I unwisely did not say, "Boy get outta my sight before I beat yo' ass like Lee Marvin." Instead I did the blink-blink-WTF thing and said, "Did I ever say I was a punk rocker?" Because I didn't and I'm not. And then I go on this whole thing about the political efficacy of the individual and why would I boycott something I don't even care about. And he says, "Well, you listen to the music."

Oh-kay! And it gets better. This kid is a pasty motherfucker from Great Neck. (Read that as you will.) And he asks me if I like soul food. I say in a vague effort to end the conversation, "Well, I don't like the fried chicken."

"Soul food's not fried chicken."

Fine. Here we go. I don't like the fried chicken but I like the ham hocks and the greens with the ham hocks (and I specify that even though it's intuitive because I went somewhere and they said there was turkey in it but it tasted like fish), I do like fried gizzards, and mac and cheese and sweet potatoes, candied or otherwise, and BY GOD, do I love hushpuppies, and let's face it, I might not know what exactly defines soul food but I know what I Like, so if we can just put this to rest, I like southern cooking. Okay? Which is what I tell him. (I do not, however, like sweet tea. I just don't take sugar in my tea.) (Um, now I want fried food.)

And then I made a joke, "Yeah, what'd you think I was gonna say. I don't like the fried chicken but I like the watermelon?" And he just stared at me. Not because it was terribly un-PC in what I hoped was an ironic right-back-atcha diffuse-the-tension kinda way, but he didn't get it. At all. Anyway, now that Lent's over I can be mean as I want. It's just so hard to do it to their faces :p

A few minutes later he started choking on his tea while Just Standing There and Doing Nothing, which I think is proof enough of something like karma.

(I'm not. I've never read Bakunin. But Dummy is spineless; if he invests so much into 40s on 40 it means he's never gotten drunk on the steps. Yeah, you know what kid? Figure it out.) Check out The Index from whence these songs came.

Plus, some Words of Wisdom from the Silver Jews.

Silver Jews - Tennessee

Found at


Jim said...

Hahahahahaha. You know, it would have been considered a public service if you HAD pushed him of a moving train. You'd have gotten a medal n stuff.

Northern Jon said...

You are so Punk Rock.


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