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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before

I complain a lot. I mean, Jesus-- look at yesterday's post.

You like it when I complain. I know you do. It's the main reason you stick around here, isn't it? That, and I use words like "burgeoning" and "dildo-face" in the same post-- so you can feel sophisticated and immature all at once around here, and nobody's going to judge you. Least of all me.


If you start to think about it, there's a lot of shit in this world to complain about. The padding on the seat of my wife's car, for example-- it's too thin. This brotha just needs more cush for his tush, n'yah mean?

While we're on the subject of complaints, I drove past a guy today who was walking along one of the main drags out here, and I feel the need to create a formal complaint against him. See, he was wearing dressy trousers, wingtips, a blue Oxford button-down shirt, a navy blazer, a red and blue patterned bowtie... and a baseball cap.

Call my reaction to this sight disproportionate, but I was outraged, such that my eyeballs popped, I did a double-take, and I actually hit the steering wheel with my fist out of sheer frustration and disbelief. I mean, get a fucking fedora, man. You look like a baseball umpire from the 1930s. I just didn't understand what would have inspired this man to top of his otherwise smart ensemble with the symbol of don't-give-a-shit-Americana: the baseball cap-- the ubiquitous skull-toppery of the given-up class. This man is about two steps up from sweatpants. And we all know that, once you go out in sweatpants, you are two things: 1.) truly a Philadelphian and, 2.) never having sex that doesn't involve a five dollar bill and/or feces ever again.

I could fill a book with complaints about America's obsession with professional sports, but, instead, I think I'll just devote a paragraph to it in this blog-- because people don't actually read books anymore, they read blogs, which is a good thing for me, since I haven't had a book published since I was a junior in college. And nobody read that either, even back when people were reading books, or at least pretending they were.

I don't mind that people go to sporting events-- that's their thing. What I do mind is the incessant yammering on about sports as if the outcome of a sporting event somehow has some importance to the rest of the world. I'm never more outraged than I am when I see a headline about how So-and-So linebacker has a sprained ankle, or Thus-and-Such pitcher has a jammed index finger. This is news. I'll never forget, back in 1995 or 1996 I think it was, one Saturday night three Philadelphia police officers were shot in separate incidents, and what was the headline on the front page of the "Inquirer"? Some d-nut on the Eagles hurt his ankle.

For realsies.

Oftentimes I'm tempted to complain about the music at the gym. If I had a portable music device, I would bring it, and elliptical myself to death to the music of "The Yeomen of the Guard" or perhaps some celtic folk ballads, but I don't. Actually, my wife has an iPod, but we mostly use it for long car trips, so, when we're not on a long car trip, I tend to operate as if the iPod doesn't exist.

At the gym, they play a Philly station that plays what I guess is popular music. There's that song that uses the music from "There's a place in France, where the naked ladies dance"-- I don't know what it's called, but it's on all the time. And the one with the chorus, "I'm going solo, going solo, going solo." I don't know what any of these songs are, but they're always on. Always. And there's one about having sex or something. They're probably all about having sex. Well, except the "going solo" one-- that's obviously about masturbation.

Of course, the more I thought about these stations that play the same song six or seven, make it inordinately popular, and then drop it like a cold dog turd, the more I realized that I would be a bit of a hypocrite were I to complain about the music at the gym if I did not identify myself as an equal perpatrator of this very practice.

See, it's all Pandora's fault. It really appeals to my perseverative nature in that, once I find a station I like, and have selected twenty or thirty songs that I like affiliated with that artist or station, every time I am at the computer for an extended period of time (usually blogging) I subject myself, and my wife, who is often up here sewing sock monkeys or tea wallets or clothes, to the same twenty or thirty songs.

And lots of them are old maritime songs. "Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her," (Stan Rogers) "Mussels in the Corner" (Gordon Bok), "Lullaby for the Times" (Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger), oh, and there are lots of others. Playing over and over. And I could complain about that, too, but I'm far too busy reaching out to you.

And enjoying my mussels in the corner.


  1. (blogger ate my comment!!!)

    I said something to the effect of I like that the title of your post is a reference to The Smiths AND that I read your blog because you berate us by calling us dildo-face, but also because it's like walking into a time warp. In a good way :)

  2. Dildo-Face:

    Who the hell are The Smiths?



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