So I called Fast Eddie on the way to The Airborne Toxic Event show this past week, just to rub his nose into the fact that I was going, and he would not be attending.
Fast Eddie: I turned you onto those guys, remember? I took you to Spaceland to see them —
Me: It isn’t Spaceland anymore. It’s The Satellite.
FE: Typical Silverlake bullshit. Candyasses probably thought that sounded more hip. Anyway, I have turned you onto any good band you have ever listened to.
Me: Sure thing.
FE: It’s true. When have I ever steered you wrong?
Me: When you said Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw would have bigger solo careers than what they did with Styx.
FE: My God, that was almost thirty years ago. Let it rest, man.
Me: You said Soul Asylum would be bigger than Radiohead.
FE: That isn’t what I said. I said Soul Asylum could hang on The Strip, and Radiohead was one of those bands that would get their heads stomped in —
Me (trying to avoid FE’s patented rant): Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ve heard this many times. Spring Training starts early this year.
FE: Are those two crazy dudes coming?
Me: No. One tries to forget that it ever happened so he doesn’t lose his mind, and the other already lost his mind. He might be dead.
FE: Jolters? No, I see him on Facebook. That dude got himself cursed by the priest when he tried to put the Cleveland Stadium Mustard on the Holy Eucharist. “Mind if I put this on Baby Jesus to appease my palette?” Funny shit, except for the curse.
Me: You and your curses.
Flashback to 2001: We are driving to Peoria to see an Arizona Fall League night game, filled with euphoria because we are on our way to see live while most of the country can only watched the bloated playoffs on television.
Fast Eddie: What is this we are listening to, man? Alternate rock, my ass. These are talent lacking pukes who hope they can score one hit like Big Country or Men Without Hats. These guys would get crushed by the Punks on The Strip.
Me: Oh, not this again! The only thing you know about the punks is what you learned from Repo Man
FE and Sir Jolters (in unison): The lights are growing dim, Otto. I know a life of crime has led me to this sorry fate, and yet, I blame society. Society made me what I am.
FE: Whoa, dude. Get out of my head.
SJ: I’m not in your head. Suppose you’re thinkin’ about a plate o’ shrimp. Suddenly someone’ll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o’ shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin’ for one, either. It’s all part of a cosmic unconciousness.
FE: You know, I was thinking you were kind of a prick until now. I’m going to have to re-evaluate that. We should play Gypsy Curse.
Me: Absolutely not.
Yard Gnome: What is Gypsy Curse?
FE: We can only talk using pop culture references — music movies, TV shows, etc. If someone can’t figure out your reference, you do a shot.
YG: That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
FE: You wouldn’t be good at this game.
Me (to YG): He’s right. You’d have a better chance if the rules were “Everyone under 5’6″ has to drink a shot.” Maybe you could will yourself to grow.
YG: Your eyes get a twinkle when you think you are funny. I bet the women used to think that was attractive. Too bad you root for losing sports teams that crush your soul, so you walk around all the time looking like you just ate a bowl of steaming phlegm. Now you are old, ugly and go around mumbling, “RED RIGHT 88!” Only your wife will sleep with you, and she does that out of pity. Anyway, I am nothing but 175 pounds of romping, stomping tiger meat. I’ll chew your ass up, then spit it out because it is too cantankerous for my all meat diet.
Me: Can you spell that big word?
YG: Sure, T-I-G-E-R.
And so continued our little game of one upmanship. By time our last ride came around, the ritual would have become a vicious game of King of the Mountain being anally raped by Three Billy Goats Gruff. Being the civilized men we were, we would develop strict rules, and any transgressions would earn STRICT PUNISHMENTS. But that night, none of those rules were in place, and all we were worried about was going to a baseball game and the outcome of Sir Jolters and Fast Eddie’s game of Gypsy Curse.