The Ever-Loving Virgin Prince
Monday, February 27, 2006
Remember yesterday when I was all bummed out because of the loss of one of my favorite actors and heroes? Remember how I said that though I’d been expecting it, he was the one I least wanted to see go? Well there was someone else I forgot.
And today he’s dead.
Much to my dismay, and with a heavy air of sadness, I must report that Darren McGavin has died. Darren McGavin, the great character actor. My father, I assume, surely loves him for his part as The Old Man in A Christmas Story, his favorite film. I, myself, of course favored McGavin as Carl Kolchak, the Night Stalker, a character of which I’ve spoken several times on this fine site. You may even recall I dressed up as him during the last Bay To Breakers.
In fact, Kolchak the Night Stalker, that is… Kolchak as Darren McGavin portrayed him, has been much on my mind recently. For one, both Kolchak movies and the entire run of the subsequent show have been recently released on DVD; I wasted no time in requesting them for Christmas. Secondly, having finally attended Wondercon once more in the past few weeks, I came away with a new Kolchak book, certainly one of my more prized finds. You see, without question, McGavin’s Kolchak is by far one of my all-time favorite characters in entertainment.
There’s a brilliance in the design and portrayal of Kolchak as a character. Much as the original author of The Kolchak Papers deserves credit, this is one case in which Darren McGavin played every bit as important a role. From mannerisms to wardrobe, McGavin made the character the cult favorite that it is today.
To give you a brief overview, Carl Kolchak was a down-on-his-luck reporter, with little in the way of fame, fortune, or even a decent wardrobe. Not much respected in the world of journalism and always struggling for a good story, Kolchak roamed the land in his old seersucker suit and porkpie hat, bluffing his way into places he didn’t belong, stumbling upon threats of a supernatural or incredibly weird nature, and getting harassed and threatened at every turn by the police and most other public officials he encountered. What makes Kolchak a far more entertaining hero than most was the fact that he was far from superhuman, and in fact, decidedly mortal, physically average, and out of shape. When encountering a vampire, malevolent Native American spirit, giant lizard man, or Hindu monster, Kolchak could be COUNTED ON to scream like a girl and run.
But here’s the thing: Kolchak always saved the day. He didn’t do it because he was paid, or because he was fearless; he didn’t do it for any sort of reward or even any recognition from the public. In fact, the public rarely even knew of the menaces he faced, let alone of some scruffy reporter for a second-rate paper. No, he did it every time simply because he knew it was right. Where the police and the military always failed, he succeeded, never having been limited to thinking merely in normal terms. There was one other thing which drove him to constantly place himself in such circumstances of high danger: the truth. Regardless of his lack of physical advantage, his high capacity for fear, and the lack of friends and aid in his adventures, Kolchak strove on, unstoppable in his mission to find the truth.
To you, I recommend you go out and find out absolutely everything you can about Kolchak the Night Stalker. In fact, rent the first film, The Night Stalker, for you will certainly be pleased. It was the highest-rated television-movie ever in its day, so that should say something to you of the quality inherent in the piece. Beyond that, I recommend you check out all the performances of Darren McGavin in general, the man never gave a weak performance in his life. He simply wasn’t capable of it.
Here’s to Darren McGavin: a fine performer, and one we’ll likely never replace.
The Virgin Prince
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Barney On the Fourth of July
Mediocre mush-heads of Mayberry,
I had intended on following up on the previous post with a continuation of sorts: something to further explain why I haven’t written at all within the past two months. A bit of catch-up; a retelling of the things I lived through, a listing of the highs and lows. But my discussion of the recent events in my life will have to wait. Something more important has come up.
The day I’ve long been fearing has finally arrived: Don Knotts is dead.
I knew it was coming; this thought has been recurring in my mind for the past few years. Having already lost Jonathan Harris, Roddy McDowall, Tony Randall, Anthony Perkins, and countless valuable others, we are at the end of an era. Barring friends and family, I can honestly say that Don Knotts was the person I most singularly didn’t wish to see die. Who’s left at this point? Jonathan Winters, and I won’t be much happy to see him go either, being that in addition to his magnificence as a performer, he was also a childhood friend of my recently-deceased grandfather. Add in the fact that he’s one of the few people left to have met the Wright brothers and there’s a further element of tragedy, the simply cruel element of time.
But as saddened as I feel, I don’t wish to bum you all out. In fact, I wish to impress upon you the greatness of Don Knotts. This tiny man, this small, and unimpressive-seeming man had the pure stuff of greatness. I ask you all to go and see The Ghost and Mr. Chicken or The Incredible Mr. Limpet. Heck, just see anything with Don Knotts in it (besides Pleasantville, which was a rotting, stinky pile of crap) because his acting was always brilliant. Even his short appearance in It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World is easily worth it.
Yes, I am sad to see Don Knotts go. He was quite a singular talent; unique and never matched. Godspeed on your journey to comedy heaven old bean! Give my regards to Vincent Price, Johnny Cash, Boris Karlov, and Jim Henson. I’ll certainly be glad to see you all when I get there. My, how I miss all you old greats. I truly hope that if there is a heaven, if there is a better place, that Don Knotts is in it. He certainly earned it.
The Virgin Prince
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Holy Freakin’ Shit!
To you, my new-years nogoodnicks,
This seems the title that feels most appropriate right about now. After my prolonged literary absence from your dull and dreary worlds, and two weeks of intensity and exhaustion, the title rolls off my lips like a gentle exhalation. Like a sigh of relaxation, really. There are a score of other titles I’d kicked around and thought of using, alongside relevant subject matter that’d been on my mind, some of which were “Ketchup, Country Music, and Other Symptoms and Causes of Republicanism”, “Don’t Blame Me; I Voted For Gary Coleman”, “I’d Call That A Bargain; the Best I Ever Had”, and of course, “M Stands For Monster”. Some of the corresponding subjects I may touch upon tonight, though far too much has happened within the past two exhausting weeks for me to recall it all now. A beginning, I need a beginning.
I woke up on New Year’s morning alongside a beautiful, naked girl, and finding myself in the same state, found myself wondering just how exactly I’d gotten here. Not that I’d had a single lost memory of the preceding hours or the night before, and to be truthful, it wasn’t morning, it was afternoon; we hadn’t actually gone to sleep until late in the morning, but the simple fact remained that I was absolutely bewildered at the fact that I had completely found myself in this situation, such a pleasant way of waking with lusty and romantic feelings fresh, without having gone out with any expectation of such, nor intention, nor even the slightest hint of what was to happen.
New Year’s Day I’d been anxiously awaiting, knowing very well that it would be my first chance to catch up on the sleep I’d been missing; finally, a day off in which I could sleep in and escape the torment of the constant pummeling of 3, 4, 5, and 6 hour nights (the 6 hour nights were a rarity, the 5 hour nights the most common). I realize that those serving in the military generally sleep 4 hours nightly themselves, but then, I also realized that it’s a known fact that military service takes years off a person’s life, and furthermore, I was at the absolute height of exhaustion. I’d been falling asleep in strange places, waking up disoriented and confused, and consciously wandering in and out of dreams in my waking hours.
Christmas was the culprit to begin with. I’d started out the month completely broke, having finally saved enough to pay off the medical bills I’d accrued months prior due to my damaged ankle, the doctors visits, and trips to the X-Ray machines, and what money I had left after paying off the doctors, or hospital, or whoever I paid, was spent on rent. No longer drinking, I found spacing out my spending considerably easier, and the lack of spirits in my life made it considerably easier to keep my fingers clutched firmly on my money, now that I’d had a serious expense cut out of my spending budget.
Feeling rather benevolent near the beginning of the month, and deciding not to repeat the mistakes of the past (this brought on by thoughts of forgiveness and the gained wisdom of maturity) I decided to give the Magnificent M a phone call. She may have been altogether lacking as a female love interest, but I figured there was no point in not trying to rekindle a friendship between us. Friends are quite the valued commodity to me, and I appreciate every one of them, so rather than waiting for M to come around, I swallowed my pride and gave her a call.
The conversation was subdued and a bit awkward, and as I made my apologies and told her I forgave her, I found myself quite shocked to be receiving nothing but overt hostility from her end. I instantly regretted having made the effort, realizing once more that she was incredibly immature and carried a big chip on her shoulder, a chip far too large to ever be brushed off. Still, I kept my cool, didn’t respond in kind to her attacks, and ultimately, ended the conversation by giving her a simple choice. In short, I told her if she ever did decide she wanted to be my friend, I’d be around, otherwise, she’d not be hearing from me again.
Following a few days from that, my second paycheck of the month finally came in. Finally, I had the cash to go out and get presents for my friends and family, those ungrateful scoundrels. I, already exhausted from overwork, sacrificed my last free hours before Christmas in doing a last-minute present grab for the members of my family. Immediately following the end of my shift, I’d head out to the madness of the malls and search and scour for things that were just perfect for those members of society that share a sizeable chunk of my genetic code. I’d then head home, tired and exhausted, crashing on my bed for another scant 5 hours of sleep so that I might wake up and begin the process again. One thing was made clear to me through this repetitive sequence of events: I HATE the mall.
I finished work on Christmas Eve, exhausted and passing in and out of consciousness. There was no time for rest however, because upon reaching home I had to wrap presents and pack my things. Finishing that, I was granted enough time to shower and shave; then I was crammed like a kipper-snack into an overloaded car and headed off on a three-hour trip to the backwoods of California to visit family. Tired and frustrated, there was little to calm my spirit and soothe my nerves along the way, save for the Broadway Cast recording of Pirates of Penzance, which I listened to along the way. I can still sing the song of the Modern Major General as well as any of the professionals, I’m proud to say.
We arrived late, I was afforded an inflated mattress on the floor, and then I passed out, but it was hardly a steady and restful sleep. In years past, a tradition of sorts has been begun in which never do I get to sleep in on Christmas day. In fact, never even do I ever get to be well-rested on Christmas Day. This year would be no exception, for only a scant few hours after going to sleep I was awoken by the mewing of a hungry cat. Prior to that I’d been constantly awoken by the sagging of my mattress as I found myself resting firmly on the floor, and following not that long thereafter, I was awoken fully and without return by two hyper and destructive children that were accustomed to waking at 4 in the morning, and busy in tearing apart the presents that had been left for them by the fireplace, conveniently not three feet from where my designated resting place had been.
By this point I had also firmly determined that I hate Christmas. I hate this wretched holiday. I’m reminded now why I started celebrating Festivus instead several years ago.
Christmas SHOULD be called, “no-sleep-for-me-day”.
I got up, grumpy and with irritated eyes, and threw on my coat and headed outside for a Christmas morning cigarette.
“Merry fucking Christmas,” I told my lungs.
An hour or two later we were on my way to see my sister, her husband, and my niece and nephew. As I stepped out of the car on that rainy Christmas morning, the humidity was heavy, the sky overcast, and raindrops pelted the brim of my green derby. Passing my brother-in-law making pancakes on my way inside the house, I tossed my hat down onto the small, but suitable head of my nephew. Better that the boy looked classy on this day of all days, and being that this was one of the few moments in which he wasn’t trying to gain access to his penis, nor walking around with it exposed, he made a suitable hat-rack. He looked positively Dickensian. Thank goodness the lad had learned to walk.
After we’d been fed a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, and Tapatio hot sauce, we got to the traditional activities of Christmas morning. In opening presents, I was quite pleased to find that the high point was when my niece received the green Care Bear with the shamrock that I had bought her. Not long thereafter I passed out from exhaustion on the couch, and my niece and brother-in-law delighted in placing things upon me as I slept and otherwise harassing me until I was forced to fully awaken once more.
The rest of my memories of the Christmas weekend beyond this point are a blur to me; a ragtag collection of images and sounds involving screaming kids, drinking family, cigarettes, eating Mexican food, football games on television, vaguely-Christmas-related movies, and more screaming kids. As night approached, family went to sleep and I found myself watching TRON on the inflatable mattress alongside the daughter of my uncle’s wife. I’m not sure what that makes us, but as we were laying there together in our pajamas on the mattress, there was a strange energy present to be sure. As feelings of confusion washed over me, she became tired and headed off for bed, which I strongly suspect was for the best.
The next morning I was woken up much too early again by screaming kids, and promptly forced up from my sagging, deflating bed. Never having been one for coffee, I woke myself with cigarettes and fed myself the remains of my leftovers from the Mexican restaurant. After a quick shower, we headed off once more, to see my sister and her children once again before the end of the holiday season and the return of the normal work-week caused us to once more put an end to our trip and return to our humdrum day-jobs.
I don’t really remember much past that, except to say that I recall sharing a sandwich with my nephew, and that like all the other children who had come before him, he quickly took to liking me very much. It was one of those little things that made me glad that coherent thought was finally starting to occur inside that tiny little man-head of his. I should have been a piper.
Heading back towards home, my ears were assaulted and I found myself utterly disgusted and irritated at having to deal with the one inconvenience I had specifically made clear that I absolutely, under-no-circumstances had wanted to be faced with. Sitting in the car, trapped by locked doors and seatbelts held firm, my ears were stabbed at and my sanity challenged by the sounds of Keith Urban. I hate country music.
I had specifically stated prior to beginning the trip that I had absolutely no intention of listening to modern country music. The hillbilly, sister-humping, queer-negro-and-Mexican-bashing, truck-driving likes of Toby Keith are simply unacceptable and would not be tolerated. I’d gladly tolerate a few hours of Barbara Streisand singing ballads, or Celine Dion, or Stevie Nicks, or even the testosterone-and-life-energy-draining wailing of James Taylor. I’d even take the hell-on-Earth suffering of endless easy listening, the pointless meandering of jazz, and I’d suffer through just about everything short of Gwen Steffani pop-hits to just have this one convenience and courtesy. But I was stuck; forced to endure modern country music for the hours remaining in my return trip home.
It’s not even that I have a problem with all country music; far from it. I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of country-infused rock in my time, along with modest bits of honky-tonk, rockabilly, bluegrass, jugband, folk, traditional ballads, and even the occasional bit of gospel and even OLD country. But new country? No deal! I don’t think there’s a single talent performing country music in the form it exists in today. Dixie Chicks, Toby Keith, Faith Hill, Big and Rich, Cowboy Troy… they all suck. Heck, the biggest guy they have representing country in its current form is Garth Brooks, and even he tried to reinvent himself as a pop star. Don’t even get me started on Shania Twain and her attempts to break into the realm of bhangra.
Oh, those bygone, halcyon days of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis are long gone. So I say, if it’ll spare my ears any more assaults by country music (not to mention further Republican rhetoric) then next year, fuck family! I’m staying home and sleeping for Christmas. Bah fucking hunka-hunka-burning humbug!
Upon finally returning home from my traumatic trip home and the depleting experience of enduring family, I still had no time for rest. Nope.
My chum, The Castle, had returned from the Airforce for a visit. I hadn’t seen him for a few years, not since before he’d moved down to Florida. We’d kept in contact by phone, talking every few months and keeping track of every female that had come through our lives, for good or bad. He tried his hand in Florida for a long while, having poor luck with jobs and women, and surviving many tropical storms along the way, before finally opting to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the Airforce.
Friends come before sleep, always. So upon reaching home I gave my old chum a call to see just what exactly he wanted to do, now that we were both able to finally to see one another once more after a gap of several years. I didn’t know what to expect exactly; in our long-gone days together things had been decidedly simpler, less difficult, less adult; just a couple of young happy-go-lucky kids hanging out with innocent-but-curious minds, full of hope and spunk. In those days we were contented to smoke cigarettes and watch Spice World and do whatever drug was available, be it pot, or Ritalin, or once ecstasy, followed by once speed for the day at work thereafter.
The Castle is a military man now, and of course, he just wanted to go to a bar. One thing I’ve noticed about the military from all my friends who’ve joined it, is that if there’s one thing the military trains you in, it’s a beginner’s course in alcoholism. Every single one of my friends that I’ve seen since returning from the military has had a serious love for the bottle. Though not drinking myself, I felt in no position to argue, so I suggested that we hit up The Four Provinces, one of my favorite little Irish pubs down in the sleepy little town of Pacifica; not too far at all from the beach. The Four Provinces has always held a special place in my heart ever since my Irish friends and myself were invited there some years back, after-hours, to watch Ireland’s soccer team compete in the World Cup competition. Ireland lost, but it was close, and it certainly was a treat to feel such unexpected comradery and unusual revelry, all while Pacifica’s finest watched us like hawks to make sure not a single one of us had a nip of anything to drink. My, that was a fun year, filled with rum, Johnny Cash, and zany Irish antics. Those halcyon days.
As it worked out, Foxy Valentino and Mr. Mystere also both called me, looking to hang out, and so Foxy and myself resolved to go down to The Four Provinces to meet up with the Castle, while Mr. Mystere ended up ducking out, as he tends to do a lot these days. Upon reaching the pub, we found the Castle hanging out with Desi Delirium, his ex, which I must say, surprised me a bit. We’d gone to high school together and I’d found her cute myself, though my chum eventually found himself involved in a rather lengthy relationship with her, which he’d ended once he’d determined that she was crazy. It actually wasn’t that long thereafter that he’d moved to Florida.
As we sat at the bar, Mystere called us up and told us that he’d decided to join us after all, and so we waited for him to join us. And though I wasn’t drinking myself, I decided I didn’t want my chum, the Castle to be deprived of the experience of tasting the finest whiskey ever crafted, especially considering the fact that he was now serving in the armed forces, and with a Republican president in office, his chances of living long enough to try it for himself were considerably reduced. At the very least, I could enjoy my favorite Irish whiskey vicariously through him. Middleton’s Irish whiskey is reserved for the absolutely most special of occasions, and so I slammed down the $12 dollars on the bar top (which is a much better price than you’ll find at most places sophisticated enough to carry Middleton’s) and bought my chum a shot of the finest spirit ever to befall a mortal tongue.
Not too smoky, and with just the slightest hint of peach, the Middleton’s suited my chum magnificently, warming his stomach and spirit along the way. As I reacquainted myself with friends long not seen, Mystere arrived. We all hugged the bar and chatted, enjoying a simple night in the company of friends. Caught up in one of the simple pleasures of life, we stayed and chatted until the bar closed and we had to leave.
In the parking lot, following our pubbing experience, we all quickly realized that we wanted to continue hanging out, though we all had very different ideas of just what to do. There was talk of beaches, Mystere’s place, and of course, our favorite dive, The Surf Lounge. The dive eventually won out, and so Mystere took his leave of us, but as we reached the dive, we quickly realized that we had no overwhelming desire to sit in the Surf Lounge ourselves, and so we headed over to Safeway for a bottle of Jägermeister and a fire log or two and then were off on our way down to a secluded little beach in Pacifica where we had spent much of our youths.
We sat by that stinky burning fire for several hours, smoking cigarettes and catching up on old times. Things were invariably thrown on the fire that shouldn’t have been and we told one another many a thing that not a one of us would have ever expected to hear. We were out late on that fine old night, and I spent far longer than I should have on that familiar old beach under the cliff. I went to work after only a few hours of sleep the next day, and I stunk of bonfire.
The next few days are a bit of a blur; a mixture of work and exhaustion. Somehow along the way I never caught up on sleep. This was all well and good until Thursday when the Castle recruited me once more to go out into the city with him and his father. We were going on a last-minute whirlwind tour of the hottest hotspots; something which my chum would recall on those long exhausting days back in his air-force dormitory. I was instructed to dress up, and so I threw on the shirt which the Magnificent M had made me, and my green derby and jacket. As I hopped into the car, I was met with one warning, “okay boys, we’re going into the city. Prepare to be assaulted.”
“In a good way or a bad way?”
“I don’t know.”
As we flew down highways and city streets, the Castle’s father chugged from a flask of rotgut he’d kept at his side and I knew I was in for a night. Life is short, friends are number one, and sleep is for pussies, three facts I kept reminding myself of along the way, though even in bracing myself for the events to come, I really had very little idea of what to expect. Parking the car in one of the worse areas of San Francisco, I was informed that we were hitting up one of the best Goth clubs in town. Though I’ve never thought much of Goth culture (or lack thereof) I was up for anything. In my opinion, life’s too short for such pretense as dressing all in black, acting depressed, and killing my brain cells to the sound of Bauhaus and The Cure, but as a casual observer; as a tourist and not a permanent resident, I saw no harm in taking in another a new experience.
Having already braved through encounters with unscrupulous homeless thugs and various other riffraff, we waited outside the club smoking cigarettes and chatting and laughing until the doors were officially opened and we were allowed inside. I’ll admit, waiting outside, under rainfall amidst a bunch of unimpressive seeming youths, I was feeling a bit cynical and skeptical of just how entertaining this spot would actually be. Upon making it inside, I realized that the place might actually have some potential.
MEAT was the theme of the evening, and fittingly so; there were chunks of meat about everywhere. There was a Christmas tree covered in meat-based ornaments in one place, a semi-dissected cadaver in another, as well as a black and white film being projected which showed the meat-making processes that occur at your standard slaughterhouse But by far, the best aspect surrounding us was the gaggle of half-naked Goth-girls stamped with “Meat” running all about us. There was even a girl or two amongst us with a Flock of Seagulls haircut, and though I found the hairdo to be rather unpleasant, their barely-their outfits and particularly provocative dance moves left me drooling all the same.
Dressed up as I was in my suit of clover and in my green derby as my friend the Castle had suggested, I found myself feeling a bit out of place. This feeling soon went away upon seeing a Goth lad in the club walking around in a kilt. I eased into a feeling of comfort with the Castle and his father as we sat at our table and they knocked back beers. We sat chatting, observing the girls surrounding us, watching the projected displays, ogling the dancing girls on their platforms with chains, and at regular intervals the Castle’s father would cry out with his rendition of the villains theme music from the 60s Batman, as if to punctuate the fact that I was there among them.
Before too long I was randomly sighted by two friends I hadn’t seen in years, and they came over and reacquainted themselves with myself. The one I’d seen most recently, a Native American princess, was the one that had spotted me, recognized me, and sought me out. She did most of the talking, catching up as she did, and slipping me her phone number. The friend that was with her, Wild Wes, I hadn’t seen in many a year, not since he’d moved away to Los Angeles. To see these chums at the height of my exhaustion, while I was already in the presence of two others I hadn’t seen in many years, was quite a shocking thrill indeed.
It should go without saying that despite the fact that I had to work the next morning, and regardless of my tired state, we partied down well into the night. I got down on the dance floor with my Native American chum, smoked cigarettes, and headed over to a nearby liquor store with the chums I’d arrived with, at which point they chowed down on beef-filled deli food until we were kicked out by the staff and we walked back over to the DNA Lounge. Again, there was drinking, dancing, and revelry, until we were forced to leave the club as well. It was time to head home, for us all to get SOME sleep.
After a minimum of rest it was off to work once more, and upon finishing work, I found no rest at home. We had visiting family present; my uncle’s stepdaughter was staying over and she’d brought her kids with her. It’s not that I have a problem with children, and in fact I’ve always found her older boy to be quite well-mannered and sweet, and in addition to his gentle nature he is further made impressive by his quite precocious interest in the sciences. However, her younger boy I must admit I despise almost to the point of complete detestation.
The youngest child is almost certainly the product of some sort of chromosome mix-up. He’s an ugly, ugly lad with a head that is noticeably too large for the rest of his body, and a grumpy scowl permanently etched across his face. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the boy to smile. The boy, when gauged by his appearance and violent nature, seems almost certain to grow up to be a football player, though not the type of golden boy, all-American status. Nay, this one seems more suited for the ranks of the lumbering, acne-covered, thuggish ignoramuses. The type that bully the intellectuals, commit date-rape, and usually end up in prison. A modern day sort of orc.
Anyway, rest was difficult to come by. When the lad wasn’t screaming and throwing tantrums, he was silently committing acts of vandalism and engaging in all sorts of nefarious behavior. The advent calendar, which I’d purchased and not yet finished, he found and feverously tore into tiny bits which he spread all throughout the house. In retrospect, I’ve been wondering if in fact his mother swiped the chocolate herself and then left the empty calendar for him to find, and thereby destroy the evidence, since the calendar was placed much too high for the little shit to notice, and (so I thought) to reach. Whatever the case, the boy’s mother left the mess for me to find, and made no effort in cleaning it, nor did she seem the slightest bit concerned.
The boy continued in tearing up our papers, breaking our flashlight, and drawing in permanent marker all over the portrait of myself that my great-aunt had drawn many years prior. What seemed clear to me was that while some misbehavior in children is understandable and to be expected, this little bastard seemed to go out of his way to absolutely cause as much destruction as possible, quite probably delighting in the fact that no matter how terrible he chose to act, it was completely permitted. What also seemed quite clear to me was that if his mother wasn’t indeed ENCOURAGING this behavior (which at many points it seemed like, she, being a guest in my house; a feeling of envy and animosity almost seeming present) she was at the very least making absolutely no effort to stop it. Any feelings I might’ve felt during a prior viewing of Tron were completely dissolved by then.
Escaping to work in the morning, sneaking past the little screaming tyrant, I locked the door and found myself anxiously awaiting when my house would be free of visiting family again. Making it through another day at work, I can’t recall why, but yet again I received no rest. The next day was New Year ’s Eve, and upon finishing my shift at work, found myself being picked up by none other that The Red Rightwing and The Caroling Canuck. It’s always a good thing to have the pleasure of such company, and in addition to this bit of good fortune, we were off to a party. Our old pal Swee-Jee-Juevo was having himself a New Years party, and in addition to that, a grand send-off for himself, now that he was joining the Merchant Marines, and sure to be shipped off soon.
Now there were two things I was relatively certain of in the final hours of 2005: 1. that I didn’t want to be alone this New Year’s Eve, and 2. I was having some damn champagne at midnight. I’d been very good in my quest for sobriety, managed to make it through all the familial horrors of Thanksgiving and Christmas completely dry and sober, and goddammit, I was having me a damn glass of champagne at midnight. I deserved this much. I couldn’t guarantee myself a kiss at midnight, but at the very least, I could have this one small comfort. Just this one convenience; this one small perk of having made it through another year. Just this one thing I wanted.
We arrived at old Swee-Jee’s and quickly found ourselves surrounded by drunken revelry, and friendly faces galore. We got to socializing and smoking cigarettes and I worked hard at not letting my exhaustion overtake me. One of the things I quickly realized that of all my friends, those that knew me best and had the most honest knowledge and fullest awareness of my drinking habits, none actually believed that I had any sort of drinking problem. I liked to drink, indeed, none would deny that, but among the whole batch there was not a single soul with any concern about my well-being. I quickly found myself being offered drinks at every opportunity. Faced with the reality of the opinions of all those who know me best, I was in no position to argue. My bartender pal Swee-Jee-Juevo mixed me up a drink and I gladly accepted. It was good to be back.
The choice was always mine. Despite the control I’d shown in simply stopping and staying stopped, I’d been duped into doubting my self-control. It took me far too long to realize where I was really at. All I had to do was choose to be responsible. I had, quite simply, never chosen to be responsible in the past. As the Green Lantern ring around my middle finger signifies, I’ve got a lot more willpower than anyone, myself included, gave me credit for.
We partied for a good long while, and I tried calling The Castle once or twice, in an attempt to see him once more before he shipped off for good to the Airforce. He was already partying down out in the city, so I told him I might see him when we got out there. It was a bit of a funny situation for me, knowing I was losing two friends, one for the Airforce, another for the Merchant Marines. In the case of the one leaving for actual military duty, I was at least glad for the time in which I’d gotten to see him again.
After a few drinks and a few hours of fun, the Canuck, Rightwing, and myself took off, alongside Dave Cane, to head out into the city for further partying. We met up with the Canuck’s friend, The Tootherific Tiphany at her friend’s house in the Haight. I hadn’t seen her since All Hallow’s Eve, and she was a welcome sight. We also met a few friends of hers, though all that stands out in my memory is her chum Megaphone Michael, a rather charming lad that lived in the house we were in. To our good fortune, our old chum, traveler-extraordinaire The King of Asia, made an appearance, having made a short visit back from his conquest of Hawaii.
Oh we partied. And partied. And excess was the theme of the evening. I started to realize that as much as I love my chums, they may be a bit of a bad influence on me. It wasn’t helium we were huffing.
We mixed drinks and socialized, I smoked cigarettes with Michael while I discussed the finer points of Batman Begins, and how Cillian Murphy was just too damn pretty to be playing The Scarecrow, though I couldn’t recall his name at the time. The Canuck and Rightwing were the first to go, clearly the first to wear out. In fact, as I recall, they didn’t even last until midnight. I, on the other hand, had woken up completely, now fueled by vitamin A, and had no intention of ceasing in partying down any time soon.
With pots and pans in hand, we gathered into the television room to watch the final countdown until the New Year hit. As the ball dropped, we made a glorious noise, breaking a spoon or two along the way. At midnight, I pulled in Tiphany for a kiss, which she granted to me. Nice. From there well all took a short trip down onto Haight St. in the pursuit of pizza and further vice.
Dave Cane and the King of Asia were the next to leave, and as they headed out, I made no effort to join them. I was now in the company of strangers, stranded in San Francisco, far from home. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care. The streets of San Francisco didn’t scare me; my only concern was the fear of cutting my fun short. As Tiphany and myself hung out and chatted in the kitchen, mixing ourselves drinks, I took advantage of the opportunity of privacy afforded us and pulled her in for another kiss. Though in later, more sober moments I felt embarrassed at this brash action, at the time, she didn’t seem all that unhappy with my actions, though perhaps a bit embarrassed by the fact that we were so brazenly kissing in the kitchen while her friends lurked about only a few feet away, just around a corner.
Late in the morning, probably around 4:00 in the morning, Tiphany and I left together, everyone being far too exhausted to continue partying any longer. Tiphany and I hailed a cab and headed off for her place. Frankly, from there on, there is no need for details.
No, no need to tell of the lack of sleep that ensued, no need to brag about the size of my anatomy, nor need to report of yet another vocal praising of such by yet another female. No need to discuss my physical ability. No, this is not the place for that. I’m far too sophisticated for such things.
This brings us back to where I started I suppose.
I hadn’t expected this, but I suppose she’d only wanted one night’s company. This I understood, though it’s not generally my way of going about things. To her credit, I’d at least been forewarned by her early in our moments together of what exactly she was looking for. I’ve not gotten such a courtesy from any of the other girls I’ve romanced. Though I would have preferred to see her again, I understood what she wanted and respected her wishes. I, myself, tend to go for romance and longer-lasting relationships however. Ahh, women.
Whatever the case, waking up on New Year’s morning (afternoon really) in this particular situation, next to a gorgeous girl, filled me with the feeling that this is going to be one hell of a year. I’ve already gotten a proper start.
One other thing also occurred to me: while I may not slut myself around as the majority of the populous around me tends to, I am still far from virginal. Despite my heightened morality and sense of ethics, the high standards I demand from myself, and the enormous amount of self-control that I normally maintain, the simple fact is that I’m long beyond the point of being able to count all the people I’ve been with on one hand. Though my self-respect remains intact, I nevertheless think a name-change may be in order. I can’t quite keep a straight face and call myself The Virgin Prince anymore, and yet, I’m no longer quite saddled down enough with vices to go by my old moniker of King Vice either. I am something else; something different. The Gentleman Prince perhaps?
Ah, things are as I always knew they would be. Always such a preoccupation with being the gentleman. My pre-pubescent desire for a top-hat and tails comes back to haunt me. Fitting.
And so there is my tale of two weeks of complete, and maddening, exhaustion. If that all sounded like a bit much to you, bear in mind, that’s just December. We’re now nearly to March, and in the time since then, there’s been much that happened, a lot of which I probably no longer recall. Oh there’s been so much. Parties, deaths, fun, adventures, romance, love, and heartbreak. There’s been hilarity, sadness, action, things lost and things gained. And if you want to hear about it, you’ll just have to wait until next time.
Oh, and a special "get bent" goes out to the Omnipotent Poobah for linking to me without giving me a heads-up.
The Virgin Prince
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Showing, Not Telling
To all ye of soft, smooth upper-class hands and ever dainty hooves,
You see this? My swollen, bloodied, and purple foot? The bruised appendage attached to my fractured ankle? That’s what crime-fighting does to you!
The life of a mystery-man is not necessarily an easy one, and certainly not at all devoid of personal injury. Oh, there are many things to be avoided when getting tossed through windows and brick walls alike, evading stinky, ozone-smelling laser fire, and dancing toe to toe with thugs looking like they’d just stepped out of a Frank Miller novel, complete with switchblades, sais, and samurai swords. There are broken noses to be had, lacerations to be received, unintentional haircuts, black eyes, and the occasional killed sidekick (luckily monkeys are cheap, blessed be Overstock.com and you, Bobo the Virgin Chimp #4) to go along with the bloodied fingers and broken knuckles. Let’s not even get into the ruined suits.
Yes, this is the life of a mystery-man. Look at this bloodied mess of violet and puce, this inflated mass of flesh and stretched tendon, and be very glad this is not you. Enjoy your coffee from Starbucks, your fine German chocolates, and your massive helpings of mad cow steak. I’ll enjoy the cut above my eye, the teeth marks upon my neck, and the gelatinous ivory goo still in my hair. We don’t do this for the money, the fame, or the chicks (in fact we DO do this for the chicks, I lied) we do this because we were born of a nobler mindset; we were born with a grand vision, a fighting spirit, and an urge to put things right. This is why I, for many months, found myself attached to that mangled appendage.
Or perhaps it was because after I’d finished off a bottle of Irish whiskey and whatever else I’d been given by my friends at the studio, I wandered off for home; along the way hopping fences in and out of the cemetery to avoid the police. But that’s not important.
I’d like to see you walk an hour uphill on a fractured ankle. Feh!
Anyway, today as I stood on my porch enjoying a cigarette, I noticed, as I turned my head, that there was a leprechaun in my yard, staring me down. He was hairy as a Scotsman, his eyes red and bloodshot, and his massive sideburns unruly. I was half-tempted to cuss and yell at him, and chase the little devil out of my yard, but ended up doing none of that. Once one leprechaun moves into your yard, a whole pack is soon to follow, and quite frankly, I could probably use the potential wealth of gold that this could bring in.
Not that it matters though. There’ll be no infestation of leprechauns in my huckleberry patch; a short while ago I saw the rabid dog from up the street trotting down the sidewalk with a green-trousered leg sticking out the side of his mouth. What’s worse, my cat just hacked up a hairball with a tiny green derby on it.
To get away from this rather depressing sight, I decided to go out tonight to a gathering of sorts at a bar with many of my coworkers. A sort of Christmas celebration in preparation for the holiday on which we celebrate the two-thousand and fifth anniversary of when we taught that dirty old hippy; we taught that dirty old hippy real damn good.
I stopped by my work first, where I was immediately hailed as the world’s best dressed man, to pick up another gallon of aloe vera juice and a box of Fuji apples. From there, my friends joined me in heading over to Fiddler’s Green, the Irish pub we’ve all come to know and love. Upon initially heading into the bar, we found ourselves alone amongst a large, well-dressed Irish crowd; our chums from work had not yet arrived. We headed back out to chat in the car and smoke cigarettes. As we exited the tavern, we passed aside two inebriated yuppies that were yelling loudly and causing quite the scene. They even had the audacity to point out my suit of opal and clover, which bothered me not so much, but my pal Dancing Dan was rather offended at this, and his girl, The Cheese Queen nearly flipped the lads off, before she thought better of it. These gents were no prize pigs in their own right; one was shirtless and spinning tassels on his cold-hardened nipples, the other trying to sniff coke from his bellybutton. The sheer atrociousness of this sight caused my left eye to crawl deep inside my skull cavity, seeking some refuge from this repulsive imagery. My other eye popped out of socket entirely, rolling down the sidewalk at a hurried pace, then making a 90° turn and ducking down an alleyway.
As our friends began to arrive, we headed back into the bar once more. I was the first to sit at the bar, feeling thirsty and ready to socialize. The bar had no sarsaparilla in stock, and clearly mustn’t have been serving any rum and cokes, because there wasn’t even a cola to be had. I can understand the absence of Royal Crown cola in a predominantly Irish establishment, though the absence of even a Jolt or a fine bottle of Virgil’s seems to be a bit of a disservice. I settled on the only non-alcoholic drink available, that being the appropriately Irish-titled O’Doul’s, which was actually quite refreshing considering the length of time I’ve gone without drinking a beer.
Chumming with my friends and smoking cigarettes when not discussing the finer points of Green Lantern or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I came to notice how very well some of the girls from work clean up. There were many very tempted males among my crew this night, though I must admit, I knew a bit better. I’m rather put off by the catfights I’ve been witnessing and the unfolding drama which I’m constantly aware of. Better to keep searching for the gold than allow myself to be distracted by flakes of pyrite.
Anyway, I had a fine old time though I found much of my company to be surprisingly dull this time around. Could the social order and frivolity that ensues be truly dependent on everyone’s favorite whiskey-drinking lad? I’ve often referred to myself as the life of the party, but never before been sober enough to actually witness the apparent truth in this statement. I noticed also that while many of my number respect, admire, and even occasionally envy me for putting aside the bottle as I’ve chosen, and have been quite good in offering up their support, there’s also a number of my pals that would clearly like to see me drinking again, and clearly just don’t understand the rationale behind a deliberately-self-enforced sobriety. A lot of people just don’t seem to get that I chose to do this, and that I’m actually quite happy in doing so. This isn’t hard; far from it. I could totally have a beer or a nip of Bushmills or two and be fine, I understand that about myself now. I simply don’t want to. This is easy and I’m still having a whole heck of a lot of fun.
I have to work tomorrow morning and my legs are just the tiniest bit sore from my run earlier today, so I’m going to go lay down for a while. Here's hoping that Elvira, Mistress of the Dark joins me. Be good out there.
The Virgin Prince
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Your Cue To Exit
Since I wrote my last post relating to you, you’ve checked my page no less than five times, both from your work and your home. I’m going to forgo the obvious route of asking the question of who’s really obsessed, and simply assume that you’re not going to honor my request for some peace and privacy. No doubt you’ll be reading this again some time after 1:00 PM as seems to be your custom, and now on top of that I’ve got your friends coming here too. I don’t know who your buddy is at the University of British Columbia, but quite frankly, this is getting a little creepy.
I don’t want to attack you here; I really want that to be all over. I am not proud in the least of having gotten re-involved in this feud with you over the past few days, and rather embarrassed that evidence of such a thing takes up space here. What I want to do is explain a thing or two and make one last request for some space.
When I asked you to stop visiting my site and to leave me alone, there was an implied but unsaid message that I would leave you alone and stop reading your page as well. The only reason I didn’t actually write it was because I didn’t want to feel like a hypocrite if at some point I got curious and checked on your page again, similar to how you always came back to reading my page after every time you said you’d stop reading it. I’ve been good on this matter and not checked on your page since. But please do stop coming here and reading what I write because it clearly isn’t good for you, and that, in turn, has an adverse effect on me.
Experience has shown me that you invariably take everything I write and somehow reinterpret it as an attack on yourself. I can’t write about my history, or the girls I’ve been involved with, or even admit to a single failing without you somehow taking it as a swipe at you. You consistently end up getting worked up over everything I write and then making your own subtle jabs at me. If I see this, I then get annoyed myself and the whole cycle increases in spite and viciousness and I’m sure you can see how this isn’t good for either of us.
In the hopes of ending this all I won’t be reading your page at all anymore if I can avoid it, and I’m also going to go out of my way to try to not mention you in any way, shape, or form, though I’m sure this will be hard at points as for at least a year and a half you were a very major part of my life, as I’m sure is generally the case with most males who at one point found themselves thinking they’d met the girl they were going to marry. But I am willing to do this because all this spite and hate and anger have really gotten quite tiring and annoying to me and I am further very bothered by the impact this has on our shared friends.
And yes, you are entirely right, I did at one time join you in your attacks on your friend Cat, but let’s be honest, I never got nearly as involved in it as you. I don’t think I made more than five rude comments to her site, and I grew tired of reading her page entirely fairly quickly. But yes, I did have my part in it and I regret that. It took me far too long to realize that she too was a person and that I had no right to be teasing her as I did. I did a lot of stupid things that I still regret back when I was with you, such as my part in the scene you caused at the Canuck’s party. Or perhaps I instigated it. I’m not going to make excuses for my behavior, or say that you influenced me, because the fact is that I played my part in it and that’s bad enough. I have regrets to last me a lifetime.
Before I end this, I simply want to make clear to you why I got as angry as I did and wrote what I wrote in response to your obvious attack on me. You’d made such statements before, but the way in which you unleashed this one particularly offended me. Why? Well I’m going to have to take a page from your book and do some cut and paste in order to fully illustrate my point, but I think you’ll understand.
First off, I was aware that your buddy Cat had finally somehow figured you out. I’m guessing that Google was the culprit that sold you out this time too, though I wouldn’t be surprised if in your mind you believed I had something to do with it, because it wouldn’t be that far from the sort of paranoia I’ve seen you exhibit in the past. Anyway, I saw your little comment exchange between the two of you on your page and I have to admit, I thought she showed a whole lot more maturity in the matter than yourself. As is not surprising, I suppose she was pretty hurt because I eventually came upon the post she wrote in response to your behavior, and found that she tore you up pretty good, and I must admit I thought she hammered the nail pretty much right on the head with that one. Clearly you saw what she wrote too, maybe you’d never stopped checking on her page, and you must have been pretty hurt and angry.
Now I figured at this point there were three things that you would logically do (listed in order of likeliness): 1. respond in kind with another attack on her, 2. ignore it and move on, 3. take responsibility for your behavior, and possibly even apologize. What completely caught me off-guard however, was that you responded instead with a fourth option. You attacked me instead and redirected all blame and claims of inappropriate behavior in my direction. I suppose I should have expected it, you’ve always had a magician’s skill in terms of prestidigitation.
You responded directly to your former friend’s post, writing,
"Obsessed" isn't the correct terminology. More like "grotesquely amused."
…in regards to her writing,
My childish and stupid Nadya, how you have disappointed me. You have shown your true nature with this foolishness of yours! Three years you have spent reading my blogs and leaving hateful and nameless comments. For three years you have ridiculed me on your own blogs for your silly and childish friends to read. Truly you are a pathetic and sad creature!I do not hate you, dear little troll. In fact, I feel only pity for you and for your life. How sad you must be! How truly miserable you must be to carry such venom with you all this time! This sort of obsession not only speaks of misery but it also speaks of a sort of weak mental state that I cannot imagine.
…but here’s where the slight of hand comes in. You suddenly redirected your post with,
I, in fact, know what obsession is. I wonder how fucking long it's going to take a certain someone to stop, stop, STOP thinking about me, reading about me, mentioning me, dwelling upon me, or just plain caring about anything even remotely connected to me whatsoever. This person is one of the reasons this blog is going into semi-retirement, because I don't need their probing, judgemental eyes peering into any aspects of my life. I must abandon the familiarity of this web log as an attempt to completely disconnect said individual from me.
…this was brilliant! Suddenly the bad guy in the story was none other than myself! (You did confirm this in your following post.) In one swift movement you had changed the aggressor from yourself to myself, and here all this time I thought I’d just been working on my webpage.
You keenly followed with,
I would put the offer out there to e-mail me if any of you are interested in reading my other blog, or my website, but this person will absolutely concoct a shwag e-mail address and identity in the hopes of obtaining my URL, so sadly, I cannot do this. There's always someone just ruining it for everyone else, isn't there?
The irony wasn’t lost on me that you were now describing exactly what you’d done when your friend Cat ditched her old blog site in order to get away from you.
Wow! Clever, huh? It gets even better, you nearly quoted Cat verbatim several times in your follow-up attacks on me.
My childish and stupid Nadya, how you have disappointed me. You have shown your true nature with this foolishness of yours! Three years you have spent reading my blogs and leaving hateful and nameless comments. For three years you have ridiculed me on your own blogs for your silly and childish friends to read. Truly you are a pathetic and sad creature!
Well, J___ (oh, for all interested parties, the "obsessed" individual I mentioned in my previous post happens to be a guy named J___ from my distant past; after he read that post, he revealed his authentic, malevolent nature and wrote a sort of scabrous, scathing attack on my character full of non-truths and paranoid ramblings, which he subsequently posted on his own little blog)...
How sad you must be! How truly miserable you must be to carry such venom with you all this time! This sort of obsession not only speaks of misery but it also speaks of a sort of weak mental state that I cannot imagine.
I think you might legitimately need some therapy. Not only are you unable to see anything with any shading or degree of acuracy, but worst of all, it must hurt to carry around the sort of hate you feel, the sort of venom you insist on coddling within you, that only seems to keep swelling and swelling and swelling.
My dear little troll, you laugh at my sad and pathetic life while you bitch and moan about how yet another man ignores your drunken advances. You have wasted three years of your life hating a person who never gave you a moment’s thought - over a person who found your alcohol and pill addictions to be beneath her!
I emit a long, low whistle at that one. You just wrote a letter to someone who stopped caring about your hatred of her long ago, but caring enough to reply, because knowing that polluted individuals such as yourself are tainting humanity, further adding to its escalating indignity, saddens and alarms me. Go get help.
Now I don’t want to call you unoriginal, but the coincidences are astounding.
Anyway, that’s why I got as mad as I did. Here I was, doing nothing to you and suddenly was the whipping boy for a crime you’d committed. Rather than take any responsibility for what you’d done, you turned the attack towards me. For what? For recently humbly admitting you’d been right about a thing or two when you spent 45 minutes of our very last phone conversation together listing my every fault and failing, and generally otherwise bitching me out?
What you did was the absolute height of remorseless, petty, conscience-free, childish immaturity. Can you understand why I was angry?
I see that you or one of your buddies has just checked my page again as I wrote this, just as I knew would happen. This is why it’s imperative that I say once more what I came here to say. Stop coming here! Stop reading here! You are not welcome here! I will not read your page! I will leave you alone! What is going on here between us is absolutely unhealthy, so go your way, I’ll go mine, and hopefully from this point each one of us will be completely forgotten to the other. I am tired of this. Respect my space and my privacy and I will do the same for you.
The Virgin Prince
Friday, December 16, 2005
And the Full Moon Makes A Month
Ye of Krypton, Mongo, Vulcan, and Earth,
Hmmm… now today was quite interesting.
After fitful dreams of Adam West, sweat-pants, the girls from the B52s, and transforming robots, I woke up, once more, to the sound of my electronic chicken screaming at me. It was hard lifting my head from the pillow, harder still uncovering myself from my blankets; the night had been a cold one and my body was nearly frozen stiff. A thin layer of frost had settled upon me over the course of the night and the icicle hanging from the corner of my mouth was a telltale sign that my body’s fluids had tried to escape once more over the course of the night. At least there weren’t any patches of ice over my groin. Not this time.
Oh, it was so dreadfully cold this morning, so very difficult to rise from the warm comfort of my bed. The cold air which filled the house had even caused my nipples to surpass rock-hard and go straight into the territory of razor-sharp. I must have destroyed three of my best shirts as I attempted to dress myself this morning, three once glorious collared silk shirts of clover, magenta, and pale scarlet, now reduced to nothing more than tattered rags. Well, at the very least, three children somewhere in the third world will be much more dashingly dressed thanks to my misfortune. Enjoy it, you precocious scamps of political handicap and unfortunate borders! Prize these treasures I’ve given you! Place them in your most hallowed grounds, alongside the Commodore 64s and Betamax recorders that the Virgin Prince has deemed fit to send you. Worry not of lacking size of my tax-refunds for charitable donation, merely enjoy my benevolence. This I grant you!
The cold air made it no easier to shower, and the prospect of having a popsicle for genitalia made me no less reluctant to remove my clothes. I was unshaven, however, and my hair was a mess that no comb could fix, and so with all the same pleasure as is derived from ripping off a Band-Aid or popping a dislocated shoulder back in place, I soberly stepped into the frigid waters of my shower. Fifteen hellish minutes later I was clean as a whistle and nearly as high-pitched, thanks to the effects of the glacial water and the chill of the December air upon my man-parts. I suppose that considering the plumbing problems I’ve been having of late, I should consider myself lucky I didn’t find myself wrestling another oversized sewer-gator on this particular morning, though to be honest, on this particular morning there wouldn’t have been much for the foul beast to take a bite out of either.
Brushing my teeth to a pearly white and taking hold of my green derby, I was ready at last to head out the door. Despite the bitter cold, I decided against grabbing my trench coat, opting instead to take with me only three pieces of fruit. We growing boys do need our vitamins after all. Along the way to work I stopped to grab myself a newspaper, as is my custom, and read upon the latest political fiascos. Quite frankly, the end result is always the same, I’m simply left longing for the golden warmth of the Clinton years and oh so small-in-scope problems we used to have, minor little inconveniences we used to know, such as Monica Lewinsky being too much the dirty bus-station skank to wash a dress on occasion.
Ah, Clinton. How I miss him. That fabled man-god sent to us by rocket as an emissary of goodwill from the last of his people, the philanthropic and chivalrous race that once massively populated the technological wonder of a planet known as Arkanoid 4, in the times before an unstoppable epidemic of sterility wiped his world nearly clean. Clin, of the House of Ton, was a genetic anomaly, a man with virility the likes of which God has not seen. He would be the last hope of his kind, one potent survivor to spread the message of peace, as well as the mission of human advancement, in addition to his genetic seed.
“Clin-Ton,” the council of elders told him, “you are the greatest and most virile of us. You are the hope of our people; go then to Earth, to where you will surpass other mortals with relative ease, and advance our cause and culture. Go now with all our dreams and faith behind you. Go forth and procreate.”
Well you can’t say he fully failed in his mission.
Who knew that the higher powers in the universe would conspire to aid him in his quest, the cosmos sending him through a meteor storm that knocked his ship off course, causing for a crash landing in Sea World. The resultant sequence of events that followed, leading all the way to when he clawed himself free from the nastiest bits of Lula the Orca… left him a technical citizen of the United States, “born” for lack of a better term (at least having to suffice for us, considering the lacking Earth-human concepts we are limited to thinking in) in the mucky waters of a whale tank in Sunny San Diego. This was only the first step in his eventual rise to the presidency.
Ah, such lovely, fuzzy memories.
The Virgin Prince
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Because the Crazies Just Can't Be Reasoned With
Okay Nadya, this is what you want? A complete dismissal of all privacy? Fair enough, you were kicked out of the ranks of society’s most noble a long, long time ago, if, in fact, you ever made it in. I see you’re still the same rotten, mean-spirited person you’ve been for quite some time so let’s get some things straight.
First off, and for the record, I quit drinking of my own accord. It was my choice. It’s been my choice and I’ve stuck with it. If you want to call a casual conversation with my father at a TGIFridays an intervention, go on right ahead. As it happened though, we had a discussion, and I was smart enough to actually listen to him and think about what he said. I made the decision to quit that day myself. There was no therapy needed, no threats, no counselors, no quitting aids. Just a little thing we Americans call willpower and rational thought.
I’m not at all surprised that you’d want me to rejoin the ranks of the permanently inebriated, not surprised in the least that you WOULDN’T want to see someone else bettering their condition. It’s obvious that you don’t want to have to be the only one left wallowing in your pathetic existence as a vodka bottle-suckling drunk surrounded by empty bottles and left with the memories of your cheap encounters and the stupid things you’ve done and all the relationships you’ve ruined. I realize that you’d rather there were several other boozehounds beside yourself, others to deflect people’s attentions from yourself so that you wouldn’t have to feel so pathetic and alone when you’re left being the only lush everyone knows. I’m a month sober tomorrow. When was the last time you went two days? When was the last time you went ONE day?
I wouldn’t want to be like you: not some person that blows away all their money on booze, not some person with kidney damage so bad that a doctor can cause you pain by merely placing a hand upon your stomach. I realize you come from a culture of alcoholics and the mentally-unfit, but you would be quite lucky to get an intervention yourself.
That said, because I do love when the pot calls the kettle black, and I’m further aware that you live in the absolute biggest of glass houses, let’s get to the topic of mental illness.
Do you know what mental illness is?
Mental illness is not being able to go a day without drinking.
Mental illness is waking up someone in the middle of the night and screaming at them for several hours because they didn’t bring you a large amount of booze.
Mental illness is having an incestuous fascination with your father.
Mental illness is completely despising your sister for the way your parents have treated her.
Mental illness is harboring a strong desire to sleep with prepubescent boys, and feeling as if this is the most right and normal thing in the world.
Mental illness is believing that it’s not rape if it happens to a male, and that every time an older woman takes advantage of a younger male, it’s perfectly justifiable.
Mental illness is calling every person that hasn’t wanted to sleep with you “gay”.
Mental illness is losing contact with a friend, developing an intense personal hatred for her, checking her blog obsessively everyday, anonymously tormenting her constantly with rude comments, and when she starts up a new blog in order to escape your cruel barbs, making up a phony email address and sending her an email to get her new blog address so that you can start all over again.
Mental illness is also being friendly to her face, visiting and hanging out with her and her boyfriend on occasion, and then going home and continuing to attack her anonymously and writing over and over, obsessively about her at great lengths on your blog.
Mental illness is keeping the aforementioned up for a full three years.
Mental illness is envying absolutely every single other person on the planet for the things they have that you don’t.
Mental illness is laughing at your best friend’s expense and immediately responding with a cruel gripe about her upon learning that she’s just totaled her car in a car accident.
Not stopping to ask if she was hurt at all, that’s probably mental illness too.
Mental illness is continuing to regularly read my webpage, despite already having sworn three or four times that you were stopping for good, continuing to get worked up at the things I write and responding with further attacks on your own page, then claiming I’m obsessed with you because I occasionally check on yours.
Mental illness is believing that everyone congregates to say horrible things about you, and that everyone is constantly saying bad things about you behind your back.
In short, I have a few very justified feelings of hurt and anger in regards to you. It’s nothing unusual, and you know as well as me, you did everything to deserve it. As far as mental illness is concerned, perhaps now you’ll have a better idea of just what exactly mental illness really is.
Oh, and on one last note, deny your fascination with my ability if you will, but don’t think I’m dumb. Did you really think my former boss’s favorite quote wouldn’t show up in a Google search? It’s NOT the most common phrase in the world. In fact, I believe he’s the only one to have ever used it, that is, until you lifted it. So don’t tell me you haven’t borrowed from me and lifted from my ideas and the ideas of others when you know very well you have. And yes, you very well did borrow and alter a title from something I wrote once, something you talked to me near-obsessively about. “Poured From A Blender On A Plane” anyone?
I’m not at all surprised that one of the worst things I ever wrote is something you aspire to match.
It’s not my fault that your poetry is half-assed, your prose is whiny and boring, your song lyrics are tacky and unbelievably bad, and the last time you wrote anything remotely interesting was a few years ago. Claim all you wish of what a great writer you are and of the wealth of ideas in your head, but it simply isn’t true. Heck, “a screwdriver and some motivation” was little more than something you’d accidentally blurted out in regards to your sorry ability with tools until I caught the potential strength of the phrase and impressed upon you the great capability these words had for a potential song. So you made it into a half-assed and altogether lame poem, that’s fine. You can take full credit for the bad writing and for completely letting slip from your grasp all of the potential the piece could have had. That’s all you.
So you say my writing is boring? Is that why you’ve checked my page four times since last night?
Feel free to lift and quote me as you see fit, it hasn’t escaped my attention that you needed to take what I wrote out of context in order to support your own statements. I’m not surprised in the least that there were several things you chose to omit due to the inherent truth of the statements and the things they would force you to admit to. You’re the psycho. You’ve always been the psycho, that’s why you’ve always had such a paranoid fear of people calling you psycho. You know it’s the truth.
You know, I tried writing you directly. I tried settling this between us. So you’ve decided you don’t want to be civil, that’s fine. I know you’re not going to forget about me, but please, at least stop reading my webpage. Just stop. I don’t want you reading it. I don’t want you interjecting yourself into my life. Leave me alone. Seriously, you’ve already said at least three times that you were going to stop reading it. Please, finally do. I will leave you alone. I won’t try to pick fights with you, I won’t try to harass you, just leave me alone. Finally show us all some evidence of this personal growth and improvement of your spirit that you’ve long been talking about. Let’s see this “chrysalis” because I am quite tired of this, and I am quite tired of you.
You say I lost my shit? Lady, you never had your shit togther to begin with.
The Virgin Prince
Today I Think I'll Walk
Wow, both these guys are dead.
I guess I wanted to write a little bit on the passing of Richard Pryor. As most of you know, he died recently from a heart attack. Now, Richard Prior meant a great amount of things to a great amount of people. The impact of his influence is still widely felt today. Much has been said about his impact on modern comedy. I’ll not delve much into that; I’m no stand-up comedian. Let me tell you what he meant to me.
When I was young, life was simple. Stretching all the way back to my memories of my time in preschool, I remember that I didn’t know much about the world in general. I had no concept of rich and poor, no idea of the difference between Chinese and Japanese, a very far-off interpretation of Africa, and a television-inspired belief that Indians were bad guys and cowboys were heroes. Needless to say, I really had no knowledge of Hollywood or popular culture, and I had no idea who all the celebrities were. I knew about The A-Team, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, James Bond, and that was about it. My knowledge of celebrities was equally limited. I knew Weird Al Yankovic, the cast of Sesame Street, and Richard Pryor.
Richard Prior was one of my favorites by far; as a kid I absolutely adored him. I was too young to have any real understanding of racial issues, and his jokes regarding drug-use went completely over my head. All I knew was that the guy was funny.
Back in the 80’s, how could anyone possibly NOT like Richard Prior? He was great! He had all those films in which he was put in a wonderful pairing with Gene Wilder, and he had that delightful Saturday morning kids show that I watched faithfully every week, right after Land of the Lost. For crying out loud, the guy was in Superman 3, and he was the best darn thing about it! Think about how cool a guy has to be in order to be getting equal screen-time with Superman himself.
Anyway, as the years passed and MS set in, Richard Pryor stepped out of the limelight. He was seen less, spoken of less, but he was never quite forgotten. He was honored many times over; so many times in fact that it was getting pretty obvious everyone was just waiting for him to kick the bucket.
Well now the guy’s gone, but you know what? He’s still funny. Rest well Richard Pryor. I hope wherever you are you’re lighting the devil on fire and shooting God’s car full of holes.
On another note, it’s that time of year once more. That time of year where the air has a biting cold to it and everyone gets used to the sound of men in red suits ringing bells. It’s time to start getting ready for Festivus.
It’s time to start contacting my friends and compiling my list of pirate songs so that my friends and I might go Festivus caroling. Time to gather up our aluminum poles and start preparing ourselves for feats of strength. Time to collect all my gripes together for the airing of grievances. Break out your sake, rum, plum wine, whiskey, and just a sarsaparilla for me thanks. Hang the groper-toes overhead, alongside your pictures of Bill Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Pour, oh pour the pirate sherry, sing, oh sing the pirate song! Be one with the ninja, tighten up your tool-belts and ready your gun-belts. Polish up your six-shooters and tidy up your 10 gallon hats. Banish all tinsel from the kingdom! It’ll be a good one this time around.
And as the goodwill of the season sinks in, I realize in retrospect that in regards to my last post, I probably just should have said that if anyone at all has any sort of problem with me, they should address it directly with me, as opposed to through third parties and indirect means. That probably would have sufficed. Oh well, live and learn.
The Virgin Prince
Friday, December 09, 2005
Baby, I Was Sick of You A Long Time Ago
Outed obsessors and deficient detractors ,
And I thought this had all been resolved…
I start with what should be a rhetorical question: if you were to attempt to ridicule me with a 100% accurate portrayal of yourself, would I feel insulted?
Not nearly as much as I would be amused.
Would you honestly believe that I could be bothered by a hypothetical statement of what I would likely do, according to you?
Not when I know very well that I not only wouldn’t, but furthermore, you already have.
Feel free to vilify me to the public with descriptions of yourself. I, likewise, will simply allow you to be judged by your own words and actions. You are a far greater opponent and detractor to yourself than I could ever be.
In the meantime, feel free to continue to attempt to make yourself appear more talented and interesting than you really are with your feeble imitations of myself. Feel free to continue plagiarizing the titles of my works, continue cannibalizing my ideas for things to write about, help yourself to quotes from the people in my life, not yours, because you have nothing more interesting to say yourself. I can not stop you; I can only do it better.
Because with me it comes from the source, as opposed to from a hack attempting to imitate me.
So feel free to continue attempting to demonize me with descriptions of yourself and your own deeds; never take any credit for your own wrongs, always shift the focus and the blame to someone else; find yourself a scapegoat. Take every humble admission of flaws on my part as instead being a direct attack against you. Give up, because you’re a quitter. Attempt to boost your own image in imitating me as I actually am. Because truly, it’s not insulting at all; it’s the greatest compliment I could ever receive.
Perhaps you’re simply just feeling petty, angry, and jealous because I actually am improving my life and myself, where as you simply just keep saying you are. I’m sorry, but I can’t be the villain you want me to be; your problem lies within yourself. So despite what you might say, despite what I may say, what it really comes down to is simply this: we both know what the truth is, and that’s why you just won’t win this one.
Oh, and forgive me for wanting to express my personal thoughts and opinions, recollections of my life, and memories of my past on my own personal webpage. So you’ve chosen to act like a complete jackass for the past few years, petty and small, and now that you’ve been caught; now that you’ve been shown to be undeniably guilty, irrevocably unmasked, and irreparably tarnished before the public as a consequence of your own actions, you still haven’t the decency or maturity to just hone up to your own shortcomings. No, you instead lash out at someone else, someone who has done nothing to provoke you, someone who’d really rather be left alone, someone who apparently deserves to be attacked for nothing more than having once known you and having attempted to be your friend, and who still recalls you on occasion.
Listen, it’s not an attack or an insult if you really did it; it’s a memory. And if when I recall you, you don’t like the way it sounds, then perhaps it’s something you should stop doing from this point on. Don’t just say you’re going to stop doing it either, but actually do it! On occasion, I will recall memories of my past; such is human nature. If the majority of my memories of you do not sound positive in nature, perhaps it’s because you didn’t treat me terribly well, or act in a very respectable fashion. But don’t be thinking it’s an insult, simply because it’s something that really happened.
It’s not like you’ve exactly gone out of your way to be especially kind to the people from your past, and in fact, I’m relatively certain you’ve embellished a few things in your less-than-favorable recollections. I’m also fairly certain that if the people from your past read what you wrote, they would certainly find themselves aghast in disgust, horror, and shock. And you use their names. Not fair to them at all.
And maybe, on occasion, I have found myself interested in observing your breakdowns and blow-ups. Perhaps I have been grotesquely amused in observing your madness. Maybe sometimes it is fun to watch you self-destruct; it’s not like you can claim you’ve been any better, because you haven’t. That’s really what started all this isn’t it?
At least I let you know how I feel to your face, rather than presenting a kind face for you to see and then snickering and horrendously mocking you behind your back… which is what you did.
So I apologize if on occasion I’ve given into my baser emotions; it’s certainly nothing to be proud of. It’s nothing I am proud of, but it’s there; it exists. At least I can face it. At least I CAN look at myself in the mirror. At least I can admit when I’m wrong and when I’ve been wrong. At least I can be honest.
To be honest, when I quit drinking, when I admitted my failings, when I put it all out there for the world to know, what I had honestly hoped it would do would be to motivate you; to inspire you to similarly improve your life and yourself; to encourage you to finally take the first step in bettering who you are. Never would I have expected so pathetic a response.
By the way, all I’ve said here has been completely true, as least as I understand it, and can be supported with evidence. Try me.
So if you wish, you can further respond to this with an outright attack as you’ve done in the past. You can make false claims once more of how our mutual friends find me to be lacking, or pathetic, or however you wish to describe me. I’ll know it for what it is: just words; words expressed by someone that goes absolutely out of her way, and to any lengths, to cause as much hurt as she possibly can whenever the mood suits her. I have no insecurities when it comes to our friends. You may be independent, but I am rational, kind-hearted, and compassionate; I don’t throw my friends away when I no longer have use for them, I don’t treat people like a disposable commodity. That goes a hell of a lot further with people. You’d be surprised at just what the value of a good friend is.
So please, my paranoid and irrational acquaintance, queen of hypocrites, do stop accusing me of things you yourself are guilty of. Stick to your theories of how everyone’s out to get you if you will, but please leave me out of them. If you’re going to improve yourself, start improving yourself!
A week from now I will be a month sober. Where will you be? Still the same angry, spite-filled pill-head and boozehound with nothing but an overwhelming feeling of contempt towards the world? Still the same person that says terrible things about her friends, ALL her friends, behind their backs?
If you want to be portrayed better, start portraying yourself better. I’m tired of this. The past is the past; it will forever exist. But the future is yours: no one will say bad things about you if you don’t give them reason to say bad things about you. Something for you to think about.
That said, I’ll get to what I had intended to write about. I regretfully inform you all that the Magnificent M and I have parted ways.
Perhaps randomly grabbing a girl at a St. Patrick’s Day party and making out with her into the next morning isn’t the best way to start a relationship. Whoops.
It wasn’t going to work; I knew it wasn’t going to work nearly from the beginning. But at least I tried, which is more than she did, and I suppose that’s a big part of why I knew it wouldn’t work.
I’m getting quite tired of finding myself involved with girls with issues. Parental issues, gender issues, addiction issues, whatever. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of finding myself trying to have a fun time with women that hate the world around themselves. I’m tired of people that don’t see life for the wonderful gift it is. I’m tired of mentally unstable girls with short fuses that blow up at the tiniest thing and regularly cause scenes as if it were the most normal thing in the world. I’m tired of ladies with no ability whatsoever to take any responsibility for their actions or to acknowledge the existence of a single personal fault. I’d say I’m caught in a loop, but slowly and surely, each one is a step up from the last. Now that I’m sober, it’ll be that much easier to find the good ones.
M and I argued a lot. I knew that was a problem. She regularly embarrassed me in public. She blew up at me if I criticized her for even the slightest thing, be it swearing loudly in a crowded restaurant, or rudely insulting strangers around us and then expecting me to protect her. She was a handful. She strained my patience beyond my Buddhist limits. But at least I tried.
I knew it wasn’t going to work; my physical attraction towards her faded to almost nil within months, and any other attraction I might have had for her had been nearly completely destroyed due to her constant outbursts and fits. If it wasn’t for her talent, I would have found very little to be salvageable about her.
I knew things were in trouble when in the very first week of our relationship being official, I found myself in love with someone else.
Now I’m not the cheating type, and I always controlled myself; no regrets there. But there were times where I was tempted, and if The Jewel hadn’t similarly already had a boyfriend, who knows what trouble we might have gotten ourselves into.
Now there was a girl I liked; I’d never believed in love at first sight, I’d always found the very concept to be shallow and ridiculous, but with her, I came to believe in it for the very first time. We had a natural and undeniable chemistry. We both enjoyed having fun and loving life, and the way she could keep up with me when we drank whiskey impressed me. I’d never met a girl who could knock back the Irish whiskey like her. But then, I’d never been so incredibly attracted to anyone, or wanted anyone so badly as I had right from the first time I saw her and our eyes met.
There’s no real tangible, accurate way to describe it; I was new at work, talking to my bosses, and I looked up, and she looked up, and our eyes met. All the scenery went white all around her; there was no background. There was her and nothing else, and I was entranced, with nothing but a “wow” sensation in my mind. The feeling never faded. I tried to fight it off, but it never faded. It was a Sarah Essen /Jim Gordon kind of thing.
Maybe I’ll call her tomorrow. Can’t say.
So I was dutiful towards M. I never strayed; I tried to make it work. But it just didn’t work. I’m not terribly broken up about it. It was already over in my mind following Halloween. Any attraction I’d had towards her was completely gone after her behavior that night.
After I quit drinking, and M didn’t call me once, not to check on me, not to offer support, not for any reason at all, I knew without question that I was done with her. So when she said she wanted to talk, of course it was still me that had to make the call. I was more than willing to break off any last remnants of a relationship with her. Quite frankly, once I’d sobered up, I KNEW I could do better. I was, however, willing to stay friends. See, that’s what normal, well-adjusted people do. Too bad I’ve never gone out with the well-adjusted.
There would be no Elaine for my Seinfeld. Talking turned to arguing, and as I began expressing my frustration with her over her lack of compassion, or basic human decency, she hung up on me. It almost felt as though I felt a pattern forming. Another one simply finito. No friend, nothing great to take from the experience, just another immature girl with her fingers in her ears and a complete lack of conscience walking away, clean.
As I’ve said before, I’m not terribly heartbroken about it. Just disappointed. Very, very disappointed in her. We still could have had some fun together, as friends. Still could have enjoyed our mutual interests, listened to Queen together; helped each other out in our various fields of expertise. Again, a lack of maturity has cost me what could have been another friend. Perhaps I don’t need friends like that anyway, at least that’s what everyone tells me.
Needless to say, the girls at work are no longer safe from me; truly, they haven’t been safe from me for the past several weeks. I’ve become a notorious flirt since sobering up, and my keen British wit hasn’t hurt me in the least. It seems that in the absence of one vice, I’m finding myself needing another. Women. Is there truly any greater or more wicked or more debilitating, soul-crushing, and life-destroying vice? It’s a hard, hard thing being a good man.
So as of right now I’m trying to get Jester to go with me to see The Nutcracker. As I’ve heard and read, the San Francisco Ballet is supposed to be putting on the best performance it’s done in 20 years. It’s been on my mind a lot; I’ve really had a strong desire to see The Nutcracker again in the past few weeks. The fact that the Jester has recently broken up with old Jameson doesn’t hurt matters much either. I’ve always been a sucker for a redhead.
Anyway, I’m off to call friends and ladies, smell you later!
The Virgin Prince
Thursday, December 08, 2005
I've Got A Rhyme That Ends In A Riddle:
What's Round On the End, High In the Middle?
My dear, dear devotees and special spuds,
Three weeks sober and looky-here! I’ve found my lost post from two months back…
Oh yes, I've gone and done it. We made it to see DEVO!
As of a few weeks ago I bought the tickets to the upcoming DEVO show in Oakland and to my very good fortune The Magnificent M came along with me! There we were, up in the front row, against the stage, counting the leg hairs on Mark Mothersbaugh and so close in fact that even the lead singer from Bow Wow Wow (whom I’d prior believed to be dead, but is considerably healthier, even maintaining a fit and attractive body) was looking us in the eyes and making smiley faces at us. Indeed, we were close enough to have been able to see Boojiboy shoving forks into toasters in full detail, if only he had made an appearance; regretfully he did not, save for in the short film the band projected before the show. O, most excited was I; I've been waiting a long, long time to see DEVO. Quite a few years now in fact. I've seen Beck and White Zombie at their peak, I've thrilled to the musical stylings of Allen Ginsberg, I've rocked out with The Who twice, and seen countless other bands along the way, some good, some not so good. My only regret is that I never was able to take in a Johnny Cash performance. More incentive to go to prison I suppose. But now I’ve finally seen DEVO and now my greatest want is finally taken care of! Oh yes!
My Gomez Addams suit is finally finished as well and I'll be looking damn good for Halloween, which has always been my most favorite of all holidays. I absolutely must give complete thanks and praise to my amour The Magnificent M, who is quite the masterful tailor and seamstress. I can't wait to run around with my black combed and parted hair and mustache (and cigar), and cry "Cara Mia" to all the ladies lurking about so I can watch their hearts melt. Ah, to be young and Gomez; 'tis a good life.
But that’s not all. No no. Being that I’m always a most prepared individual, I also have a rather swinging backup costume in the form of a new and updated Riddler uniform, considerably much nicer than my Riddler costume of years past. A spiffy new domino mask, a stylin’ green tie and simply smashing new purple shirt, and of course, a sophisticated and rather debonair green derby. It goes without saying that however I may dress on this All Hallows Eve, I’ll be dressed in style and puttin’ on the Ritz. And so I give a warning to all of you: if you don’t want to look thoroughly outclassed and outshined this Halloween, you’d better shower, shave off your unwanted stubble, comb your hair, and put on your Sunday best in addition to your fright masks and devil-horns. Women go crazy for a sharp-dressed man, and The Virgin Prince is the sharpest around! Huzzah!
Ah, but I suppose you want to hear all about DEVO. Very well then, here goes.
I left work on the Friday night prior to the concert despite pleas from my friends and coworkers to stay and party with them after work. Normally, on a good Friday we all like to head over to Fiddler’s Green for Bass and Blackbush and a small bit of drunken revelry. As Irish pubs go, Fiddler’s Green isn’t a bad one, even if they don’t carry Middleton’s Irish whiskey. There’s a house band that plays every Friday that never fails to please the audio-receptors of all in attendance, and generally tends to rile up the crowd into a stomp-along of old favorites. I’ve had many a fun eve there, but this night would not be one of them. Sorry old chums, but I had to meet up with The Magnificent M so that we might prepare ourselves for the coming DEVO show.
Bobo the Virgin Chimp was of course safely locked within his cage, deep within the belly of the Fortress of Fortitude, safely incapacitated by a steadily streaming loop of Oingo Boingo videos, booming forth from the monitor of the Virgincomputer. Even if my simian pal could somehow slip free from his bonds and then manage to pick the locks to his literally gilded cage, he still had to contend with a back-up deterrent of New Order videos set to project on the walls of my lair and blast throughout the cave’s speakers. Even then, if ape still managed to persist on his way to freedom despite all these measures, he still had pass through my trophy room, The Hall of Powdered Wigs, on his way out of the Virginlair. Surely there he would be felled by a never-ending barrage of Tears For Fears, with a particular emphasis on the video in which Roland Orzabal prances around without a shirt. Ha ha, clever ape, The Virgin Prince is more clever still!
Do I need to mention that once passing that obstacle, Bobo would still have to face Gung-Ho, Bazooka, and Alpine? Probably not.
As for the Magnificent M’s sidekick, he was with us in her lair, nowhere near as incapacitated. Birdy the Magnificent Cock was happily chirping along, loudly and boisterously as the Magnificent M and I rocked out to Queen. We were all loud, and the beers we sipped and the bottle of Bushmills I polished off to numb my sore throat didn’t help matters any. Okay, so maybe we kept the other tenants of the building up until 4 in the morning. Maybe. No one said anything to us after the fact, however, so I’ll not lose much more sleep than I already did on it.
We woke up the next morning (or afternoon) much too late. Though we planned on spending the full day before the concert in preparation of total DEVO-tion, by the time we’d gone through our waking ritual and had ourselves breakfast (or lunch) it was pretty much time for us to leave. So we hopped into the M-Mobile and headed off for seedy, shady Oakland.
We had initially had a rough start as we headed off on our trip to Oakland. The streets around where M resides are winding, circling, and confusing to say the least. We must have made three different starts and then ended up back where we began before we decided to just go the way we knew best. By this point the Magnificent M was starting to go apeshit and the car was running low on gas, so I directed us towards a gas station and bought gas, in the hopes that any sort of nice gesture might calm her down. Not that it did really; I have a really bad habit of hooking up with mentally-unstable ladies with short tempers and an inability to remain calm and rational. With emphasis on the inability to think rationally.
So we headed off again, back towards Oakland, with my soothing words calming the beast beside me. I did a pretty good job on the navigation, and my tranquil-Buddhist influence helped to keep M level-headed for the rest of the trip, though by this point I was feeling a little stressed, and the inhalation of cigarette smoke had become a necessary thing. We were going to see DEVO, and NOTHING would get me down.
We made it into Oakland, located the theater and drove around until we found parking a block or two from where the show was. We paid our parking fee, and walked towards the theater to pick up our tickets, passing along the way a homeless man that cried out to us how he’d cut open his thumb on his crack-pipe upon noticing my lit cigarette. Cars passed us by playing DEVO loudly. Oh yes, I was home.
We picked up our tickets and found that we had still managed to arrive early, and so the Magnificent M suggested that we go back to bar that we had passed a few minutes earlier for drinks. I was in no position to disagree; a shot of something would no doubt completely drive any remaining feelings of tension (caused by the drive over) from me. So we went into the packed bar and restaurant and ordered two Long Island iced teas. As we stood there waiting we noticed there were a ton of DEVO-tees surrounding us, including a noticeable collection of men in lab-coats at the far end of the bar, no doubt dressed to match The Beginning Was the End.
We arrived back at the theater only to find the show still hadn’t started. There was an area set up for selling drinks downstairs and so the Magnificent M suggested we stop by there too. I was still completely clear-headed at this point and our seating was guaranteed, plus the show still hadn’t yet started so I was inclined to agree. We stood in line, amongst people in energy domes too numerous to count, until finally we were able to buy ourselves a couple of cranberry, orange, and vodka drinks. Along the way I gave M a small lesson in manners (“please” and “thank you” being some of the most unused words in the English language). It was at this point we heard music start to blast throughout the theater and so I knew that Bow Wow Wow had finally hit the stage. I wasn’t there to see Bow Wow Wow, and so I wasn’t too bothered at the thought of missing some of their performance. We stopped into a waiting room and finished our drinks, picking up along the way a small flyer for a DEVO after-party.
As we made it to the entrance to the performance, an usher took my tickets and led us by the hand up to the very front of the theater and showed us to our seats. Now I knew I’d gotten us good seats, being quite willing to spare no expense, but I had no idea just how good the seats I’d gotten really were. There we were, right in the very front row, practically pressed against the stage, close enough that I could see the drummer giving me the evil eye as we sat down. My DEVO pin was no doubt (heh, that’s an accidental pun. I’ll get to why later) quite visible to all members of this opening act.
Now I should preface this by saying that when I think of Bow Wow Wow I have but one thing in my mind: just a bunch of skinny, teenaged kids with Mohawks dancing around on the beach, as most of the world knows them due to their I Want Candy video, the only big hit they ever had. As I sat down and looked up, I noticed quite quickly that these were not teenaged children. These were middle-aged men, some mohawked and some bald, bigger and wider than their teenage counterparts, as tends to happen to men as they reach middle-age. This applied to all on stage, save the drummer, as the lead singer hadn’t yet appeared. As for the drummer, I recognized him instantly, due to the fact he was onstage in his underwear, and from the characteristic evil look in his eyes. It was the drummer from No Doubt. The bastard stared me down for a good chunk of the performance, I don’t know why, but I hadn’t received an evil eye like that since Sean Lennon had glared at me while I was dancing in the front row of a Cibo Mato show I had attended some years prior.
What is it with no-talent hacks always staring me down when I go to see them in concert? Can they tell I see them for the mediocre frauds they are?
Anyway, to my surprise, I had recognized the drummer long before M had, which was strange in itself, as I’ve never been able to stomach No Doubt, while she, on the other hand, has idolized Gwen Steffani and her crew for years.
“Hey, is that Adrian Young?” she started asking of the ushers near us. They merely shook their heads and said they didn’t know. With good reason too I suppose: they just worked there; why should they care? We WERE in Oakland after all.
The music was good however, and I was impressed by the ability of the two guys on guitar. I found myself to be quite surprised, in fact, that Bow Wow Wow had remained only a one-hit-wonder. Before long, the lead singer had joined the band on stage, still quite attractive and in a revealing outfit. As she performed, she constantly smiled at M and myself. I hadn’t received that many smiles from a performer since I’d been in front of the stage at a Greg Kihn performance, he grinning at me with his contorted Yoda-face as I boogied down and got my groove on.
It was at this point that I started to realize that the booze had hit the Magnificent M considerably harder than myself; I, still clear-headed while she was all over me, an affectionate little monkey with roaming hands. I knew she MUST be drunk, for she was never this happy and friendly generally, and I commented on this matter. Still, I appreciated the affection and enjoyed my company; this was a definite step up from when I had to swat away the drunken, roaming hands of Rush Girl from my genitalia a year or two prior. This was nice affection, clean affection, and most of the activity that followed was appropriate in public.
As I sat with my hugging, kissing lass, Bow Wow Wow did a rendition of These Boots Are Made For Walking that completely put Jessica Simpson to shame. For that matter, Jessica Simpson isn’t all that talented and that’s not so hard a claim to make; there isn’t a song out there that Jessica Simpson has covered that someone else hasn’t done better. But Bow Wow Wow’s version was rocking and fun, and when they finally got along to doing I Want Candy, the whole audience sang, hollered, and screamed along with them. Once they were done, it was finally time for DEVO.
Sitting there, waiting, I noticed to my surprise that the Magnificent M and I were younger than the majority of people in attendance. I hadn’t expected this. Though I could understand why older members of society would appreciate DEVO, I simply could not rectify in my head just why more members of the younger generations don’t recognize good bands when they see them. Can you understand part of the reason why I despise such crummy acts as No Doubt?
After a brief wait, during which some members of Bow Wow Wow came out into the front where we’d been sitting and reacquainted themselves with old friends (which I assumed to be former groupies) in the row behind us, the lights went dark and I knew it was time for DEVO. Oh yes! The familiar DEVO theme music began playing and as the curtains opened, images from throughout DEVO’s entire musical career began being projected on a screen above the stage. There were snippets from videos and old movies, clips from Honda scooter commercials, and random bizarre imagery that DEVO had created themselves. It all began with the beginning scene of The Beginning Was the End, in which Boojiboy came running, and General Boy addressed the public. We were warned to “give the past the slip” and “eliminate the ninnies and the pins”, a message as true now as it was 20 or 30 years ago.
The members of DEVO burst out onto the stage in their bright yellow paper suits and glowing red energy domes, rocking out in full force. I knew what to expect with them, having already seen their live performance from Lollapalooza 1996, so I knew they would be older, and bigger. But to tell the truth, they didn’t look that bad. Bob 1 was still as thin as he’d ever been, Mark was still in shape and didn’t look as though he’d aged at all in the past 10 years (though bare in mind, in the 10 years prior, he’d aged a lot), though his hair had gotten grayer. Bob 2, whom age had probably most adversely affected, remained mostly quiet to the side, and still didn’t look half as bad as some of the guys from Bow Wow Wow, who were, in actuality, considerably younger. And Gerry… well Gerry I have to comment on.
This is going to be one of those “spirit of rock and roll” rants.
Aside from Bob 1, Gerry probably had the youngest face in the band. But here’s the thing: Gerry had a major back injury, a herniated L5 disc to be precise: and what’s more, he had continued to dance and perform with band up until this point, risking paralysis itself. Can you imagine risking permanent paralysis itself, merely to please the fans and rock a little ass? That IS rock and roll. Britney Spears could never touch this.
So anyway, Jerry was strapped into this giant, lit-up, monolith-looking thing that held him mobile and in place, and allowed him to continue rocking out on the guitar.
The boys came out and they performed! If they were older, they didn’t show it; they were running up and down the stage and performing like a bunch of energetic youths. Like the Who, they hadn’t allowed their age to mellow them out any, or to dull their ability to perform. They stood up there on the stage before us, rocking out, and I was before them, dancing madly, straining my muscles, singing every last lyric along with them, pounding my fists against the stage until they were sore and numb. As the rest of the audience crowded to the front, behind us, and we all danced madly, it became apparent that we could feel the floor moving back and forth. It was rocking beneath us like an old, creaking buccaneer’s ship, bouncing unsteadily beneath us in response to our movements, almost as if we were jumping on a waterbed.
It was just me, my favorite band, a few thousand like-minded people, and an affectionate girl on my arm. Life was good.
DEVO played pretty much all my favorite songs, a few from their early hardcore years (though not as many as I would have liked), and even one song which I didn’t recognize (which caught me by surprise). I called out to a few of the band members during the show, knowing very well that they heard me, and occasionally making eye contact. Mark was energetic on stage, engaging the audience and employing props when necessary. As the show went on they tore their yellow suits to bits and tossed their red hats out into the crowd. The pieces of suit were tossed out as well, and I caught the very last chunk thrown out, which was quite sizeable. At the time, I believed it to have come from Bob 1, who was the only member of the band to have much of any suit left, though I could be wrong on this one. The members of the band likewise threw out their guitar picks every time they finished playing guitar, and the Magnificent M was fortunate enough to fetch herself Bob 1’s personalized guitar pick, complete with his name upon it. This was a quite fortunate find, as Bob 1 is DEVO’s guitarist-extraordinaire.
As the show went on, the members of Bow Wow Wow kept sticking their heads out to watch DEVO perform. The Magnificent M, on the other hand, had begun making friends with some of the special spuds around us, giving one of her special home-made DEVO pins to a guy in a blue energy dome beside us. When finally the moment I’d been waiting for arrived, that being the playing of Jocko Homo, I was fully entranced. If Mark Mothersbaugh was to come anywhere near me, I would most certainly be screaming, “we are DEVO!” into the microphone. As luck would have it, I happened to be in just the wrong position and so he narrowly bypassed me, but as it would turn out, a lot of people missed their turn. As Mark moved into the row behind me and began climbing on the chairs, I suppose he didn’t realize that all us privileged few in the front row were granted fold-out chairs as opposed to stationary ones. About three chairs in, Marky took a tumble and disappeared from sight. The band kept on playing however, and Mark picked himself back up with a big, wide grin on and hurried back up to the stage.
Now I know why they wear kneepads.
O, it was grand, and I didn’t want it to stop, but eventually it was time for them to stop. They put down their guitars and walked offstage, and as they unstrapped Gerry from his platform I felt my heart sink a little. The show had been great, I had no complaints, and I had certainly received my money’s worth; it was just that I didn’t want them to stop. So as the curtains came down I made with the chants, pulling from my mental library one which they probably hadn’t heard since their days playing at San Francisco’s long-gone punk rock super-club Mabuhay Gardens back in 1977.
We love DE-VO!”
The Magnificent M quickly joined in and then so did a few others. Quickly, the band ran back out onstage, and Gerry was strapped back into his rig and handed his guitar again. DEVO began playing Come Back Jonee, one of their most punk-rock songs, but Mark was nowhere to be found. After a moment had passed Mark jumped out onstage, in a giant red cowboy hat, fake Yosemite Sam-mustache, and large stuffed red shorts. As he started singing into the microphone, he occasionally smacked himself in the groin, causing small rubber bouncy-balls to fall out from between his legs. They flew all over the stage and rolled towards us, and what didn’t come flying from his shorts, he threw out at the audience. It was a mess of rubber bouncy-balls everywhere you looked. Before long, he’d thrown out his hat too. Our friend in the blue energy dome even helped push M onto the stage so that she might fetch one of her own rubber balls.
When the show ended, I thanked our buddy in the blue hat for being so cool and helping out M. As a friendly gesture, I tore him off a sizeable piece of my DEVO suit, which I knew he’d appreciate. I didn’t need that much anyway. My large pal, on the other hand, graciously thanked me and gave me a large hug. Well, the Virgin Prince does delight in creating smiles everywhere he goes. Anyway, The Magnificent M and I headed out through the side exit, past the members of Bow Wow Wow, who were still milling about. The way we figured it, we had a DEVO after-party to get to.
Now I knew from keeping up on my reading that DEVO has a tendency of hanging out with its very special DEVO-tees after shows, and I wanted to go hang with Marky. So M and I found places to urinate, bought some water at a gas station as we were both dehydrated, and I narrowly avoided getting into a confrontation with a homeless man that M was carelessly provoking. My, it must be nice to be the girl sometimes.
Anyway, after a short bit of driving and looking for parking, we found ourselves at The Radio Bar, which was where the flyer we’d found for the DEVO after-party had directed us. We muscled our way in, and crammed through the many bodies surrounding us up to the bar. Two Coronas later, we squeezed into the back of the bar and tried to get a full gander at where we were at. There was little doubt in my mind that DEVO was not here, and fairly certain feeling that they would not be coming at all. The music being played was most definitely not DEVO, and didn’t even touch on DEVO-esque. I might very well have been completely disappointed, were it not for the bar being lit on fire. M and I danced a bit, smoked a cigarette, finished our beers, and were off.
I later found out that there had been several after-parties scheduled all in conjunction with DEVO’s performance. Don’t know why the promoters do it that way, but as it worked out, we picked the wrong one. The REAL after-party was in The Stork Club, which was also where DEVO went. I also later found out that had I just followed my buddy in the blue energy dome into the parking lot, I could have simply met DEVO there. Oh well, I wasn’t terribly broken up about it; I will be seeing DEVO again, and there WILL be further opportunities.
Tired and exhausted, the Magnificent M and I headed for a Denny’s. It was a good night; a fun night. As we sat there eating our cheese-sticks and commenting on what a great time we had, it was decided then that next time we would have to drag the Caroling Canuck and the Red Rightwing with us, as they would certainly have a time they would not forget. Around this time, we noticed the restaurant around us filling up with young kids in System of A Down shirts. Clearly we hadn’t been the only ones at a concert that night. I felt particularly bad for a kid being helped by his friends to the restroom; he’d no doubt done his ankle some damage out in the mosh pit. I know ankle injuries well, an unfortunate byproduct of crime-fighting. After our meal, I paid the bill, tipped the waitress, and we were off, once more, on our way at last to glorious, glorious rest.
See? Here’s me in the shirt that The Magnificent M handmade for me, plus the homemade DEVO pin she’d given me, and my chunk of DEVO suit in my hand. Jealous aren’t you?
The Virgin Prince