Thursday, January 31, 2008

Closer to the bone

Clifford "the Shiv" Norton: Was an early favorite to win it all, but in his last contest forgot to remove the chicken from the bone and punctured his right cheek. His injury has not fully healed and the Shiv may end up losing more wings out his cheek hole than he can swallow.

Coleman "the Zombie" Clark:
No one is sure if this guy's living or dead. Either way unless brains are on the menu, Zombie's chances are slim and none. And slim is in the back room with hookers and blow.

Ellena "Mama" Ragutzio:

Don't let her diminutive motherly appearance fool you. She can eat. She won the National Pasta Eating Championship by ingesting 22 plates of spaghetti and then hit her fellow contestants over the head with a wooden spoon for not clearing off their plates.

Plaxico "the Bone Collector" Johnson:
Who in their right mind names their kid Plaxico?....Wait.....Isn't there a wide receiver on the Giants named Plaxico Burress?.....Never mind.....Any way, the Bone Collector has as much of a chance of winning this contest as the Giants do winning the Super Bowl.

Friar Lansky: Grandson of the infamous gangster Meyer Lansky, Friar is a dangerous competitor. If he doesn't win he has friends who'll make sure he does. Once ate a bag of cement to prove his abilities- the body had to be dumped elsewhere.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One wing leads to another

Wasn't that a song by the Fixx?

As many of you may know, this Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday.
However, many of you may not know it is also the second annual Wing Eating Contest in Durham taking place at the beloved Wing Shack in Whitby.

Today I would like to introduce you to some of the 14 gladiators who will do battle this coming Sunday. These are the competitors the bookies are calling the long shots to even place in Sunday's wing-ding.

Billy "the mooch" Mergatroy: Known as "Heavens" to his friends, he has a voracious appetite but,suffers from narcolepsy and will probably be asleep by the 10th wing. (100-1)

Chris "the head" Beauregard: Once ate 75 wings in 4 minutes. Too bad he stuck his face into a deep-fryer to do it. He now has nightmares of the event. Expect him to freak out before the contest begins when the trays of wings are brought in. (200-1)

Delilah "the bush" Donjuanagus:
And please don't ask how she came by that nickname. Delilah, once a formidable foe who had her face tattooed with the remaining wing sauce after her victories has lost much of her wing eating potency after a bitter breakup with a fellow competitor "Wolfman" Eddie.

"Wolfman" Eddie:

No need to go into the back story here, but it could be good news for Delilah. Judges for this Sunday's event are still trying to decide if Wolfman should be disqualified for eating the knees of some homeless dude this week. (500-1)

Munroe "hairdresser" Dwiesellee: The hairdresser can eat a lot of wings- 287 wings Austin Wing-Off 2004 to be exact. Except it took him four days, and three cans of hair spray to do it.

New parenting guide lesson #1

Today Old Strange is starting a new feature to help those in need of parenting skills. What makes me qualified? Well since, at one time, I raised a rug rat in my own image, I guess I consider myself qualified.

So.....You've squeezed a small version of you out of your puffy sausage wallet and now you're being told you must take this tiny being home. Now what? They don't give you instructions, there's no "baby just spit up yam on my $500 sweater" hot line, there's no diaper fairy to magically show up and take away the foul smelling green shit now permeates the household.

You just have to deal.

Hopefully together, you and I will work through potential problems and you might be one of the successful parents who actually sees his child reach the "Terrible Twos".

We'll create our own instruction manual for new parents:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Checking in with the Japanese

I believe this is how everyone gets to work in the morning......

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dad's desert Island record collection #4

I'm pretty sure this is an album Dad picked up on a trip to Bogota- a holiday he never spoke of, but left a strange hint of a smile at the corners of his mouth.

Friday, January 25, 2008

HMH #27

Chapter Twenty-seven- Ten minutes to midnight

Was Wires really going to step out like I had envisioned and tell us this had all been a good giggle? Would he expose Tiny, Suds, and Miss Agnes as actors, hired to bring us to a boil? In retrospect, I would have preferred my scenario to what actually happened next.

Doc and I went to the window to join Wally as the black sedan coiled up the driveway like a snake. It pulled up and halted next to the Honey-wagon, dwarfed next to the truck’s main tank. There it continued to cough exhaust for eight minutes. No one got out, no one seemed to move inside. Although, in the darkness and through the smokey tinted glass of the vehicle, it was hard to tell. The headlights brought temporary daylight to the bible town from two beast-like eyes, sending thin fingered shadows across the lawn melting into the darkness. It seemed more like a getaway car and I began to wonder if it weren’t here for Miss Agnes, or her sister Florence.

Finally the lights shut off, and the driver door swung open. I kept my thoughts about Wires to myself. I’d been made a fool of more than I cared this weekend.

A huge figure, too dark to recognize, emerged from the driver side— a tall dark scruffy figure, ominous and foreboding, dressed in black leather. He looked almost wet as his clothes glistened in the moon’s luminescence. The fluid light shifted as he adjusted himself and headed in our direction with a deliberate conviction. Within the soundproofed walls of the studio, it was like watching a movie before the advent of talkies, as the man continued his dirge-like march to the door. The visible train of his menacing shadow grew as he approached, stabbing off into the blackness.

“Who the hell is that?” Doc whispered, as if he might be overheard by the leather clad nemesis.

The man strolled now— more of a swagger really. As he came closer, I recognized him instantly. How could I not? It was the associate Griffin Alexander had sent to me with the contract. Why is he here? It seemed like a different lifetime, but I remembered the face, unshaven and hard, with the scar across the chin, and the impenetrable angry glower emanating from his dark-skinned visage in candid simplicity.

“It’s Griffin’s lawyer-henchman friend. The one who delivered the contract.” I said more to myself than answering Doc’s question.

“Which one is it? Lawyer, henchman or friend?”

“My money’s on henchman, Wally,” Doc said as we slowly backed away from the window. We heard him as he entered without knocking and deliberately ascended the stairs at a snail’s pace. Each footfall was like the pounding of a hammer mashing the final nails into our coffin. The leaking vessel of my heart sank once again.

“What’s he doing here, at this hour?”

“I have no idea Doc, but somehow, I don’t think he’s here to put in a back-up vocal.”

We stood silent and waited for this new intrusion to present itself. The crowning hulk of a man reached the top of the stairs and without a word to any of us, melted with a farting squeak into a leather chair by the railing close to the exit. It enveloped him, black on black, nothingness into a void, as if he had somehow fused to it. Although he knew our eyes were on him searching for some clue to his presence, he crossed his legs and threw his arms back over the edges as if he were in the company of old friends. He made himself completely at home like he owned the joint. Did he? Maybe this was the son of Ned Cooley? But if so, wouldn’t Suds recognize him? So may questions and thoughts raced through my mind, searching for some in explicit way out of this, as the man studied us with a fathomless deep of a shark’s empty eyes.

Finally Suds spoke. “Can I help you?”

OK, not the son of Ned Cooley. Cross that off the list.

The man did not speak, but his steely gaze continued to penetrate and make us all uneasy.

“Who are you, and what brings you here?” Suds asked again with a more demanding tone. Tiny stood up and cast a sinister vestige in the man’s direction.
Still, the man remained relaxed and unmoving. He reached into a coat pocket and withdrew a small cigar, and a metal flip-top cigarette lighter.

“There’s no smoking in here.” Suds warned.

The man looked up directly at Suds and Tiny, clicked open the lighter, and addressed the flame to the cigar now protruding from his pursed lips. He blew out a cloud of grey smoke. It curdled and drifted about the room in defiant, lazy wisps, with a smell potent, yet enticing. The man glanced at his watch and finally spoke in the raspy baritone I had fought so hard to forget. “Mr. Malveen It’s for you.”

“What’s for me?”

“The phone.”

Like clockwork the control room phone began to ring. I felt an eerie tingling begin in my finger tips and scrotum. It spread quickly like the plague to infect my entire body with dread. Something was not right here, and I had a feeling it was about to get much worse. What’s going on here?

Suds went to answer the phone.

“I said . . . it’s for Mr. Malveen!”

“It’s OK Suds. I’ll get it.”

Reluctantly I picked up the receiver and uttered a weak greeting. A voice commanding and solid answered. “Mr. Malveen, Griffin Alexander. How are things?”

“You know how things are.”

“Is that anyway to greet the gift horse?”

“You lied to me about trying to warn us when we got the wrong directions.”

“A necessary evil I assure you, but now everything is close to the end, I feel I can be straight up with you. Get everything out in the open . . . so to speak.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You will. Perhaps I should speak to all of you as it does concern everyone. Put me on speaker phone.”

I looked down and searched the switchboard of buttons. I punched the appropriate knob. Griffin’s voice sprang to life in the control room. “Gentlemen, greetings. I’m Griffin Alexander. Been working hard this weekend? I trust you’ve all met my associate? We’ll refer to him as Mr. Black shall we?”

Doc mumbled. “How original.”

“Some of you may want to know why I’m calling at this late hour and why Mr. Black has decided to graciously be a physical presence . . . Who am I kidding? You all want to know, right? Mr. Black and I have been working exceptionally hard to make this occur, or not, depending on your perspective, but you have all demonstrated remarkable resiliency each time. You’ve overcome many obstacles. Bravo gentlemen. Bravo!” There was a faint slapping of clapping hands from the speaker. “Mr. Whitmire would have been quite proud. It has been difficult and stressful for us as well, you understand. There have been times when it looked, you might actually pull this off.”

“We have pulled this off Alexander.”

“Really? Then you won’t mind handing over the finished copy of the song to Mr. Black here and he will take it to be adjudicated.”

“It’s not done yet.”

Alexander continued in his angelic, yet pompous tone. “Really? That’s funny, I could
have sworn you just told me you pulled it off. That insinuates the song is complete, does it not? Mr. Malveen, my associate is here to retrieve the song. Please don’t tell me it isn’t finished? That would be a terrible shame after all you’ve been through.”

What’s he talking about? Here to retrieve the song? Now?

“Now wait just a damn minute!” Doc implored. “You’re early. We have until tomorrow
to get it done.”

“Who’s speaking?”

“Reg Barlow.”

“Ah, Mr. Barlow. I don’t believe we’ve met. How nice to finally talk to you. Let me inform you Mr. Barlow. In exactly . . . 18 seconds, it will be Monday.”

“This is fucked!” Doc howled.

“Gentlemen please be civil. There is no need for obscenities. Mr. Malveen has already used enough of those today for everyone, am I correct? The contract specifically stated you had until Monday to complete your work for submission. By my watch, it is now . . . Monday, August 31st. Unless you have something for Mr. Black to take at this moment, and I do mean right at this moment, you fail to meet the requirements set out in the contract and forfeit any further entitlement. The money allotted for this little venture will find a more suitable home at Tykes to Titans, a very worthy organization if I do say so.”

Wally seemed to turn seven shades of red. He looked mortally wounded. “Oh this is just great! I’m too ti—tired to stand here and listen to this crap Sp—sp—Sparky.” He always stuttered when he became really angry. He’d been sitting quietly with his guitar, but threw it down in a fit of rage, stormed off past Mr. Black, and stomped down the steps. Skunk sat with a sad vacant look on her face. Doc plunked himself into a chair and dropped his head into his hands. Grub remained expressionless as he sat sipping his tea with his one good hand. Even Suds and Tiny looked dumbfounded by what they were hearing, but said nothing, preferring to stay out of the conflict.

“How about the rest of you? Are you too tired as well? Are you finally going to quit this time? It seems I asked a question I have yet to receive an answer to, although, I already know what it is. Is the song ready?”

“It’s not finished. We need more time. We need until tomorrow night. Then if it’s not done we’ll admit defeat happily and you win Alexander.”

“Mr. Malveen, am I not speaking English? You don’t have until tomorrow night. You have until right now. Either Mr. Black leaves with your tape or he leaves with nothing. Those are your two options.”

“But there have been circumstances beyond our control.”

“Yes I know, and neither I, nor Mr. Black, are concerned with your circumstances.”

“This is not fair!”

“Life’s not fair Mr. Malveen. Mr. Whitmire found that out. Obviously, you have failed to meet the demands set out in the contract. I will inform the adjudicator of the situation. There will be no need for his services.”

“Suppose the tape was ready. What would happen then? Would it get conveniently lost, destroyed, given to monkeys? What?”

“No, It would be adjudicated.”

“You keep saying that. Adjudicated by who?”

Whom Mr. Malveen. Whom. It would be adjudicated by a man named Blake Cole . . . oh is that silence? . . . You’ve all heard his name before haven’t you?”

“Blake Cole? Blake wouldn’t give us the time of day. He washed his hands of us long ago. You set us up to fail!”

“Failure is a realistic expectation.”

“Especially when it’s caused by greed.” I seethed.

“As I’ve stated before Mr. Malveen, other than the executor of Mr. Whitmire’s estate, there is no financial gain for me in this venture. The money goes to charity. I believe I’ve made myself clear on all accounts and have the answers I need to close the book on this. All that is left for you Mr. Malveen is to pay the studio bill.”


“The studio bill, for recording. I wasn’t aware I had to hold your hand for this entire process.”

“You said I wouldn’t be held accountable.”

“And you wouldn’t if you hadn’t recorded. You weren’t supposed to make it as far as the studio, but you did, and now the bill has to be paid, by you.”

“You said Wires’ estate would pay the expenses.”

“Yes, I did, and it has. I said, representation would be made available to you at his expense. I didn’t specify the studio time and neither does the contract. Mr. Cole would have been adequately compensated for his time and critique had it been needed. However, we all know he is no longer required. Not that he’ll be surprised, I’m sure, when he hears it was you. He’s always viewed you as losers, has he not?”

“You fuckin liar!”

“No need to get testy Mr. Malveen. It’s not my fault you read more into it than was actually there. That you failed to notice the fine print in the contract you signed. You were in the music business at one time weren’t you?...”

“Patronizing son of a bitch!”

“...You of all people, should know not to take the word of someone until you’ve read the smallest details. Mr. Whitmire wished to help you. I have interpreted and carried out his last wishes to the letter. But even Mr. Whitmire did not wholly understand the words of the law. He specified the money allocated should be used to the best of my abilities. Well I’m a busy man and I have given you time to the best of my abilities. He should have worded it best efforts. They are two different things. Do you see where I'm coming from?”

“I don’t believe this.”

“Believe it or not, that is your choice, but you will eventually have to deal with it. I am now confident our venture has concluded.— Mr. Black you may depart at your leisure.— Goodbye gentlemen . . . oh and another thing Mr. Malveen . . . I don’t like homosexuals.” There was a click and the hollow emptiness of dial tone.

Doc looked up at me from his cradling hands. “Homosexuals?”

“Alexander thought I was gay. I’m not getting into it. It makes no difference.”

Mr. Black butted his cigar out on the arm of the chair with a hiss. He got to his feet and shook his clothes. Without further word he headed outside to his car and got in, but he did not leave. He drifted up to the front door in the vehicle and left the engine idling.

“That was a bunch of shit!” Doc babbled.

I was still stunned. “What I don’t understand is how Alexander seemed to know so much about what went on here this weekend?”

“You’re right. He seemed so cocky, like he knew we weren’t finished all along . . . and he made that comment about you losing your temper this morning. How would he know that?....unless...”

I finished Doc’s statement. “...Someone here told him.” I looked around the room in disbelief, scanning the faces of people who were very close friends at one time.

“Sorry Sparky.”

“Grub? It was you?”

Grub put his empty tea cup on a nearby table. “I told you I didn’t want to come. Why didn’t you listen to me? If you had, none of this would have happened.”

“How could you do this?”

He took off his sling and started to unravel his bandaged hand. “I never thought it would get this bad. We’re too old to be doing this anyway.”

“Wires didn’t think so . . . oh and I see your hand isn’t damaged.”

“You should have listened to me Sparky. I am sorry it had to happen this way, but I have to go now. My ride is waiting.”

Doc questioned. “You’re leaving with Lurch? Mr. Personality? What about your drums?”

“It’s being taken care of.”

“I’m glad Alexander’s doing something for someone.” I said. “Did he tell you to try and delay us by any means necessary so we wouldn’t finish on time? What, is he giving you Blake’s cut?”

“This wasn’t about money Sparky. As I told you, I have enough. This was about you holding that damn incident with your ex-girlfriend over my head all these years. We were young. We did stupid things back then.”

“You’re doing something stupid now.”

“What you did to get me here was underhanded. I was hurt and angry. So when Alexander contacted me it was already a done deal. You betrayed me first. How does it feel?” Grub said nothing more. He flexed his hand over the small pile of bandages and left us behind, shocked and shit-on. Wally reemerged, passing Grub on the way. He was grumbling inaudible gobble-de-gook. Huffing and puffing, he dropped into a bean bag chair and folded his arms. “What did I miss?”

“I don’t think you really want to know.” Doc reported, then moaned. “I never even got to swim in the pool.”

“Ned Cooley died in that pool Doc. Are you really going to miss it?”

“That’s what chlorine is for isn’t it?”

Wally stopped his grumbling and looked up. “Where’s Grub going?”

“The same place we all are . . . home.”

There was a long silence. We didn’t hear the car leave so much as we saw the headlights disappear down the dirt road and fade from view with our drummer behind the dark glass of the car’s interior.

“Great! Just fuckin great! So what now?” The guys began to jabber at one another.
My hands fell into my pockets and fumbled with the contents. Some loose change, a down payment for the money I now owe the studio perhaps? Keys to my apartment, a bottle cap, crumpled receipts, a business card . . . a business card?

I pulled the small square from my pocket. It was dog eared and folded. I pried it open. It was Apples’ card with his personal number on it. It also bore a name scrawled in pen. The name of Chico Savarious. Amid the swirling controversy of adversarial voices I blurted out the name. “Chico Savarious!”

“What did you say Sparky?”

“Chico Savarious. Chico Savarious Doc!”

“What the hell does a baseball player have to do with all this?”

“Chico Savarious is the guy who manages Apples and Oranges. Apples said when we were done to give him a call and he’d make sure Chico heard our stuff.”

“You’re kidding right? This is just a trick to try to make me feel less shitty than I already do.”

“No Wally. Apples was very sincere in his offer. I’m sure of it.”

“Hello . . . Sparky . . . We’re not finished. We need vocals. We need to mix.”

Wally snapped to attention. “Then it’s simple Doc, we finish the song tomorrow and get it to him.”

I could hear Alexander’s voice ringing in my ears. I didn’t specify the studio time . . . the bill has to be paid by you. My momentary candle flame of hope was blown out. “Doc’s right, Wally. Here’s a news flash. I have to pay for all of this. I can’t afford the studio time, and certainly not another day of it. I can’t afford anything. Even if we could finish and get it to Chico there are no guarantees No. Alexander’s won. It’s finished. I don’t want to do this anymore. We leave in the morning. — Suds I’ll make good on what I owe you, just give me some time.”

Suds nodded and continued to shut down the console. “We’ll work something out,” he said. He looked almost as sad and frustrated as I felt.

Wally wouldn’t let it go. “Sparky, you’re telling me, you’re going to let some smug fuck come in here and tell us what to do?”

“Yes Wally, I’m going to let some smug fuck come in here and dictate what to do.”

“We have to make a stand!”

“Wally! This is not rock n’roll anymore. The days of demonic lyrics, throwing shit out of hotel room windows and raging against the machine are over. We’re middle-aged men with shitty day jobs, no pun intended. That’s the reality. Like Alexander said to me, eventually we have to deal with it. Shit! I didn’t want to do this in the first place. I should have listened to my conscience. I should have listened to the Mayor. I should have listened to Grub. I just wanted to write. Be an author like John Grisham or even John Kennedy Toole.”

“Why would you want to be an assassinated president?”

“Not John Kennedy, Wally. John Kennedy Toole, ya tool. He wrote A Confederacy of
, committed suicide and won a Pulitzer prize for his work.”

“Sparky why would you want to be a dead writer?”

“Forget it Wally. I’m going to bed.” I crumpled the business card and tossed it into a waste paper basket at the foot of the sound console. I shoved the lyrics for the song we’d written over top of it in a fitting burial. “If anyone has a match, feel free to torch it. This is over. We’re done.”

Return of the Pit

The game is set, the outcome hardly in question, another mindless distraction to take you five hours closer to death.

That's right children. I'm taking about another ho-hum Super Bowl between the Patriots and the Giants. Perhaps the biggest mismatch of the playoffs- David vs Goliath, Roe vs Wade, that annoying rash vs your scrotum. Use whatever analogy you want it won't change the final result. Super Bowl Sunday will be a yawn fest.

However, from the ashes, rising like a phoenix, a shadow is emerging, hope is glimmering, children are crying- the return of the Pit is imminent.

On Super Bowl Sunday, the greatest man-eating machine ever will return to the Wing Shack in Whitby to take what should have rightfully been his last year, (if not for some scag-tagged, large-breasted harlot), the Chicken Wing Eating crown.

Finally there is now a reason to scream with joy, to gape in awe at the remorseless mastication, to wake up at half time, for the Mighty Pit has returned.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jeudi par les nombres

10 badass moments from 10 of the wussiest characters in film.

The 5 wimpiest sports injuries of all time.

10 great wedgies.

The 10 greatest moments in toilet humour.

Yesssssssss! The 11 most absurd "Nooooooooo!" scenes from cinema.

and before you Hobbits and Wookies can lay a beating on my ass, just remember, I'm only the messenger.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger's dead.....

But you need to know where to find 50 animals with day jobs. Like "Chuckles the Cat" here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Oscar nominations were announced today

But you need to know where you can see a video of the guy with the biggest mouth in the world.

Next time a child goes missing they should look in this guy's mouth first.

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's really cold out side....

But you need to know how to make a stun gun out of a disposable camera. - Watch more free videos

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dad's desert Island record collection #3

Is that where GIGC gets that saying from? I always thought it was sexual.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

HMH #26

Chapter Twenty-six- In Rod we trust

The world stopped on a dime, all time ceased, suspended in mid-tick. It was a grinding halt into air so thick it could’ve hung in sheets like laundry on the line. Except for the thumping of my heart hitting my Adam’s apple with pounding force, it did seem all around me was frozen waiting for a spring thaw, never to come.

Then Miss Agnes spoke, signaling motion and the world began to turn again at an alarming rate.

“Good gracious! Sweet Jesus! What is all the commotion over? Someone better explain what’s going on here. And you . . . ” She wagged a threatening finger at me, while her white, floppy brimmed hat jiggled up and down on her head in compliance. “You should be ashamed of yourself! Talking that way. It’s condemnable. It’s too bad you’re too big to take over my knee, or wash your foul mouth out with soap, because it’s exactly what I’d do young man.”

“Young?” Doc interjected. “He’s forty-two!”

I ignored Doc. “Miss Agnes, I most sincerely and deeply apologize for my language just now but— ”

“— The Lord God Almighty didn’t place us on his good green earth to stand for such crass words of disrespect from the youth of this world and neither do I.”

Doc held up his fingers in the form of a four and a two, once again gestured in my direction.

“It’s bad enough a dreadful Australian man was turning the air blue with insults when I arrived. Then I come in here and you’re blazing on like a hellcat in a pit of pariahs . . . Oh St. Heavens!” She surveyed the damaged room as the furrow across her brow deepened turning her forehead into a prune like wrinkle. “What happened here?” She scolded. She twisted a picture frame of Old Man Cooley hanging askew, back to its original rectangular formation. “It looks like the raccoons have been here during mating season. Was there a scuffle?”

“Yes sorry. We’ll clean it up. Like I said— ”

“— Not before I get an explanation of what’s going on under my roof!”

“A misunderstanding Miss Agnes. I didn’t mean any discourtesy. Really. It’s just that— ”

“— I’m waiting!”

“Yeah Sparky, Miss Agnes is waiting. Explain yourself.” Doc said. He slid in between our matriarch and the deaf gargantuan, Tiny. I was on the spot and the guys seemed to be loving the moment after I had gone off on them.

Miss Agnes’ scowl was transforming into something hideous behind the pristine white of her Sunday attire. There would be retribution from someone. She would see to it, and that someone was going to be me. Was she going to condemn me to purgatory or cast me into the fiery depths of hell itself. It would all depend on what I said next.

“It started when our drummer hurt his hand, remember?”

Grub raised his slung arm as if I had just performed roll call.

“Yes, I remember. The little fellow,” she said, as if Grub wasn’t in the room. “What’s that got to do with your foul mouth and all this mess?”

“He can’t play the way we need him to. We tried to find a suitable replacement to help . . . ” I chose my words carefully. “ . . . you know . . . guide us down our chosen path.”

Her sour expression softened, what I might call a smidgen. Perhaps purgatory it is?

“The only guy we could get to help us was the, 'dreadful Australian man', as you refer to him. He has a somewhat sordid past with our guitarist here and . . . um . . . he . . . ” The words drifted to silence as if I was suddenly struck mute. For all my rambling earlier I was abruptly at a loss for words now. No more bullets left in the verbal chamber. Move over Tiny, here comes speak no evil.

“Out with it!”

“Um . . . ah. I— ”

Skunk spoke up suddenly.“That Australian man murdered my mother!”

“Lord Jesus! Good gracious me! Murdered your mother? I’m so sorry. What an awful thing to have happen. You poor girl.”

"Poor girl?" Doc threw his hands up in frustration over the constant dismissal of everyone's age correction.

Tiny still stood with his hands ground to his ears as if he were terrified they’d fall off his head if he were to let go. Miss Agnes’ stormy temperament suddenly gave way to a wave of calm. The hurricane eye passed over us. Her face melted into a somber pool of empathy. “Sweet child, how did it happen?”

“Child now?” Doc mumbled.

Skunk looked down, a tera escaping from her right eye in a gentle slolom down her cheek. “I’d rather not say. To this day it’s still too painful.”

“I understand.” Tenderly she reached out and placed both of her hands on Skunk's arm as if they were the hands of healing. Skunk accepted her touch.

“John here, was just defending my honor Miss Agnes. So you can see why he was so upset when you came in.”

“You should have heard him before you got here.” Doc offered.

That’s not going to help Doc.

Skunk continued. “If he’d let me go, I would have killed that man with my bare hands. There is enough of a mess in here without shedding any blood, especially in front of Mr. Cooley.” Skunk nodded to the picture with respect.

“Vengeance is the Lord’s to see fit. Yes, yes.”

“I know Miss Agnes and perhaps John had those words in mind when he decided to speak? It kept me from further physical confrontation. I was very upset.” The tears now poured freely.

Miss Agnes clasped her hands together and closed her eyes as if praying silently for my soul. “I understand. Pastor Dave gave a wonderful sermon on forgiveness today. If only you had all heard it. It appears the Lord is putting me to the test right away. Perhaps I can overlook this indiscretion. After all there are many sinners in the world who need his immediate attention. That dreadful Australian man being one of them. I can’t believe they let him out to walk the streets after what he did.”

Skunk spoke softly, as she looked away. Her fingers brushed at the moist corners of her eyes. “He served his time in the eyes of the law, I guess.”

Christ. Academy award nomination here I come.

“Yes, and our justice system is extremely flawed when a convicted killer is allowed to go free.”

“And now our killer . . . I mean last hope just stormed off.” Doc added sadly, from his roost behind Miss Agnes’ shoulder. “The weekend is lost.” Doc could feel Miss Agnes’ eyes searing into him as she turned her head upward. She must have regarded his words as extremely insensitive. “What?....I don’t see how we can continue?” Doc lamented. “In fact, we were just discussing our plans for calling it quits when you came in Miss Agnes.”

“Well heavens. Is that what all this is about? You must show more faith in yourselves, in each other, in the Lord. Don’t let the Devil’s minions take you. If not for yourselves, for the dearly departed.” She again laid a caressing set of fingers on Skunk’s arm. “There are always other options.”

“Unfortunately, we can’t see what they are. Other than the obvious . . . admit defeat. We don’t have anyone who can play drums and time is against us.” I said.

“Get Rodney to play drums. He plays at the church for Pastor Dave. He’s quite good.”

Doc’s eyebrows raised. “Who the H E double hockey sticks is Rodney? It sounds like a pet rabbit.”

“I’m sorry. You don’t know him by his Christian name. You know him as Tiny.”

Tiny still stood with his hands over his ears watching the verbal exchanges but unable to hear what was being said. Miss Agnes looked up thoughtful from our shock and gently coaxed Tiny’s fleshy mitts away from the side of his head.

“He plays drums?” Grub mumbled in disbelief. “The guy who almost single handedly obliterated them in the first place?”

“Balderdash!” Doc added.

“But how?...” I couldn’t fathom the logistics.

“Fiddle-faddle,” Doc spouted.

“Oh he’s a fine musician, Aren’t you Rodney?”

“Sure Miss Agnes. Tiny likes to help but . . . ”

Miss Agnes dropped her voice to a barely audible whisper. “The sweet little girl lost her mother tragically Rodney. You can help them out by playing with them now. I know Pastor Dave would look kindly upon such a deed. It’s a very Christian thing to do.” She turned to us awaiting our confirmation. One by one we all weakened under her gaze. My volcanic rant had totally subsided and we all seemed receptive to trying this one last time, however absurd, with Tiny behind the kit.

Miss Agnes seemed pleased she had done the Lord’s work, and smiled warmly. She left us to tend to her other Sunday business whatever it might be. Tiny went to work on righting the microphones and instruments. He started to set the kit up to handle someone of his size.

Doc reminded us, if we were to do this we shouldn’t stand around, “lollygagging.” The four of us headed back to the control room to wait for Wally’s return thankfully, minus one Arsehole Party.

Grub grabbed me to the side and we lagged behind the others. “Is that true about Skunk’s mother? Son-of-a-!... No wonder she went ape-shit. And you guys brought him in here knowing that! I knew she hated the guy but you never told me— ”

“— Grub, Skunk’s mother is fine . . . she was talking about her other mother.”


“Remember the guitar she made from scratch. Took her months. She carved it from mahogany. It had a cherry wood bridge with mother of pearl inlays, custom pick-ups.”

“The one with the skunk tail head stock?”

“None other. She loved that guitar like she's given birth to it. She probably would have slept with it if it if she’d carved it into a penis. She used to call it mother. It was her favorite of all his guitars, but when Alistair came into the band he destroyed it.”


“He was drunk at rehearsal and fell on it. Snapped it in two like a twig two nights before our major showcase. Skunk was crushed and as you can imagine mad as hell. She never forgave Arsehole Party. Personally I’m surprised she didn’t kill him all those years ago at Slowhands.”


“I know it was an incredibly stupid and insensitive move on our part to bring him here. But you couldn’t play and we were desperate. I just thought . . . shit! I can’t believe Skunk saved my ass in front of Miss Agnes. I feel like a complete— ”

“— Insensitive fuck-up?”

“I was going to say ass.”


Tiny sat awkwardly behind the drums as if they were nothing more than a child’s toy of cheap plastic with paper thin skins. He was on his third podium as the other two seats we’d provided collapsed beneath his weight. Finally Wally helped Doc roll in a wooden barrel from the barn and it seemed to provide adequate stability while filling the room with a musty, wet apple smell. There he remained in his Sunday white shirt and black stretchy pants with a thin black tie — nothing more than a stain down the front of his shirt. He listened repeatedly to the track through one head phone as the set would not fit over his cranium comfortably. We were beginning to lose hope in our massive percussionist, but he came through and complemented everything Grub had laid down. "Tip-toe percussion," Doc called it, for one so big.

The day was nearing an end and finally we felt we had made real progress. The bed tracks and over-dubs were complete. With one more day remaining we had to lay down a solid vocal and finish the mix. I had worked on lyrics and melody lines with Doc. We had a finished draft of what we thought would make a damn good song. Although Skunk remained silent and did not speak to Doc or I, the fingers of optimism were beginning to creep back into the fold. We felt with one more day, the finish line was finally attainable.

With the clock nearing the witching hour Suds motioned to us we should probably shut it down for the night. “We can get a good start in the morning with fresh ears.” He was right it had been another day of oil change emotions and we could all use the break. Suds began to switch the system off. “I never thought I’d say this given everything you boys have been through this weekend, but it looks like you’re going to make it. With a good day tomorrow we can probably finish this demo.”

“Do you think the song’s good enough Sparky?” Doc said, looking for reassurance.

“It has to be. It’s out of our hands now. Too late to fix it in the mix.”

“As Miss Agnes would probably say, Wires has got to be smiling down on us right now.”

“I’m just glad this is all going to be finished soon.” Grub said. He’d been scouring the house for tea bags and had finally returned to the control room, after a long absence, with his steeped prize. He gingerly slid onto the couch and began sipping.

“Guys, there’s a car coming up the driveway, ” Wally informed from his lax position near the window.

“At this hour? It’s quarter to twelve. What kind of car?”

“A black sedan Doc.”

“Are you sure?”

“Four wheels, black, two headlights, coming toward us. No, I’m not sure.”

“Well, aren’t we a bit snippy.”

As Wally and Doc continued their playful banter, my thoughts returned to this all being a cruel joke. How Wires was going to march in at the eleventh hour, or in this case quarter to twelve. He’d be laughing and expose the ruse. Wires? He’s alive? I don’t know whether to kiss him, or punch him in the mouth.

Friday, January 18, 2008

It's the Chinese New Year but.....

You need to know where you can get vagina candles to celebrate your femininity.....and gents, if you're going to get them to have sex with, please, make sure the wick isn't lit, or stick with their fine line of vagina purses.

I thought it was called a "ham wallet"?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Some daze I got nothing to say

That's right. Today Ol' Strange has nothing to say, nothing to post, nothing to link, because I'm certainly not going to link to 1 girl 1 pitcher. Thanks unknown reader for spoiling my week.

Yet if I'm posting this, then I guess I am posting something, even if it is about my current plight in life. You see, I'm not sure if I'm just getting closer to death, or further away from any bullshit that has occurred, or perhaps both?

And by telling you that, I guess I'm saying something......oh just forget it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wednesday by the numbers

I know it's not really a numbers link, but here are the worst band names from 07 excluding Private Sector of course.

How about 8 treadmill accidents all at once?

And besides Private Sector's Tip Toe Through the Two-Twenty here are the nine most unnecessary greatest hits albums of all time.

10 things found in the human stomach.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The producer

If you ever wondered how someone would get two girls to participate with one cup, wonder no more. Everything is explained.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday morning workout

All right you fat bastards, it's almost mid January. Time to get up off you ass and gte active. Never let it be said that Ol' Strange never tried to do his part.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Dad's desert Island record collection #2

Last night I went to see Mike Wilmot perform. Mike is easily in my top 5 comedians. Perhaps it's because we share the same sick, twisted sense of humor, but I find him one of the funniest men alive. Don't believe me? Check out a tame sample of his routine.

All this got me to thinking about Dad. I mean I only saw the man smile twice in my life. Once when he'd just shoved a brick of Camembert up my Mother's dress at a Christmas party and once when the neighbor's cat got caught in our lawn mower. However, after I found this hidden in the back of his LP collection, perhaps he just did most of his laughing in private......

Saturday, January 12, 2008

HMH #25

Chapter Twenty-five- It’s all over but the cryin’

I’d been sitting in Herschel’s strip-joint for what seemed like hours- a club called Diamond Lust, serving up adult entertainment on a smaller scale than most of its competitors. This was the second consecutive night I’d been in here which was extremely rare for me. I was feeling lost, drained, weary of consciousness in the barely lit incessant flashing of strobes and flood lamps. It camouflaged my sullen nature with the fuzzy velvet glow of black lights and cheesy rope lighting.

I nurtured another beer, my fourth, tipping it and tracing the condensation in figure eights on the table. Or was it the symbol for infinity? Infinite problems, infinite bad luck, and poor decisions. Oh Wires why did you ever get me mixed up in all this? I’m sure your intentions were good but now it’s all fucked up. I wanted to fall into the stupor an alcoholic daze would certainly bring. Put the weekend not only behind me, but erase it from memory all together.

The thundering beat pounded, as one after another, women took to a small stage and removed clothing strategically during their three song sets. I found a dark corner, as unobtrusive as was available, without being in the V.I.P. lounge. However, I had been bothered all the same by the annoying gnats dressed in their Frankenstein-pumps and their barely concealed shaved triangles of invitation. “Do you want a dance?” They had all asked as if it was the first line in the, So you want to be a stripper?, handbook. I guess it was a rather polite way of inquiring if I’d like to part with my money, while they ground into my lap with nothing but a towel and some denim between me and their naked, siren flesh. I would smell the perfume, have it attach itself to me like spores, to join the putrid smell of smoke already lingering on my clothes. I would feel the bouncy clockwise rotation trying to coax an erection from my nether regions. But I wasn’t in the mood and moved to a place where I felt safer— a small table by the kitchen. My chosen sanctuary was a place where angry orientals squabbled about the overcooked fries next to a leaning tower of a Ruben sandwich, visible behind the slowing pendulum of a swinging door. I had parted with enough money this weekend; the radiator, the money for the chicken and the matches, the drum heads, the broken Jesus now flipping off the garbage men from the studio’s curb. It was all a blur and there had been far more damaging financial propositions to follow to which Arsehole Party had been only the first domino to fall.

Where the hell was The Mayor? After everything in the past few days, I needed to talk to him. I certainly wasn’t going to discuss anything with Herschel or the strippers. I needed the fresh perspective of a friend, but also, an outside view to try to put this in perspective.

“Could you have picked a worse table Johnny? I can hardly see the stage from here.” The Mayor smiled down at me and I motioned for him to sit. A server was on him as if she’d been waiting under the table and he ordered a beer.

“I needed someplace quiet to talk.”

“So you chose a strip club. Good choice.” He almost laughed.

“I think I’ve made enough bad decisions lately without you criticizing my choice of venues too.”

“Don’t get defensive. I’m here to help. Remember?”

“I think it’s a little too late for help.”

The Mayor rubbed his head which was now a short jagged patch of stubble. I watched over the years as his full head of hair had thinned and receded until he’d finally said “Fuck it,” and buzzed the damn thing to its current state, like he was sheering a sheep. It suited him, a good accent to the goatee and his skate boy motif of baseball cap, T-shirt of some obscure musical group, and shorts that exposed the Celtic tattoos. It was a far cry from his work wardrobe of charcoal suits and speckled ties and held a strange comfort for me.

“Thanks for coming. How was your trip?”

“Ah work, you know.”

I smirked. “That convention in Vegas must have just drained you physically.”

“What about you? How did the recording go after we talked?”

“Let’s just say things didn’t work out as planed. The whole world got a little out of control and disintegrated totally in just a couple of days. I don’t think this was the outcome Wires had in mind.”

“I have some news for you too, but let me hear your story first. Lay it on me my brother.”

The Mayor had always been a good listener when appropriate, I knew that. He could be the life of the party and boisterous when called for, but quiet and unassuming, reading a book cover to cover in one sitting if he felt the need. He could also be opinionated if your ass needed kicking. Right now I needed all of the above.

“Where do you want me to start?”

“Wherever you want John. The beginning, today, last week? I’m listening.”

“First, I think I should tell you, I’m not sure the guys and I are on speaking terms anymore.”

Friday, January 11, 2008

Please accept my sincerest apologies

It's two days after the big "no post" and I'm still feeling a touch of the guilt. So to make it up to you I'm posting another offensive cartoon. However my friends, be aware, this is the last of the set. If I can find more for future posting, I will. Mainly because it takes no time to blog them and I'm a lazy bastard.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's not my fault

I believe last week I made a New Year resolution to blog everyday and here it is, not far removed from that promise, I miss a day. However, you should know it's not my fault. Not only strangedaze, but Strange himself, (note causal use of third person), has been in great upheaval. This displacement has come on many fronts: mental, physical, spiritual. Suffice it to say, I am my own worst enemy, mother-scratchers.

Give me the power to change the way I deal with the things I cannot change!

Where am I going with this? I'm not quite sure other than I needed to vent, if only in obscure details.

So thanks.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Cure for a Tuesday

Here's another vid from the Sector show in November. This time it's the Cure because people kept asking, "Hey, you guys got that song? You know the one where the power went out and you had to use those flashlight thingies on your heads"......

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Dad's desert Island record collection

Having run out of "New Release" ideas, I decided to pilfer through my father's old record collection. Like an Archaeologist, many of my findings were amusing, astounding, sometimes mind blowing like this one:

I'm somewhat embarrassed that dad was deeply into the Hoff. I didn't think he was of German heritage?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

HMH #24

Chapter Twenty-four - Let’s get this party started

Arsehole Party arched his back. He looked skyward as he shielded his eyes. He held his porkpie hat in place to keep it from leaping off his head. A simple enough motion, but to me, it was an elaborate presentation. I’m here, look at me, it screamed. I’m the savior, the answer to all your problems; the genie fresh from the bottom of a bottle of Jim Beam.

I looked at Doc. “God help us. What have we done?” I felt bad about not telling the Mayor the truth, but I would’ve looked like a complete idiot after his comments, saying, “Oh by the way . . . ” And Skunk? I didn’t want to go there to imagine the possibilities, but I knew between the medication and her inherent love for sleep, she’d have to be physically wakened.

The door bell began to ring insistently. It beckoned with an urgency as if royalty were on our doorstep.

“Je-sus! He’s going to wake up the entire household.”

“Skunk included! Quick get the door before that buffoon wrecks everything.”

Doc and I dashed to the door before it was too late. This whole venture required stealth and secrecy. Alistair had to get in, lay down his tracks and get out before anyone was wiser, especially Skunk. We had stressed the point to Arsehole Party over and over. How could he be so stupid?

Doc reached the door first and flung it open. I bumped into him from behind.

“Ello mates, long time no jabber.”

Doc mumbled through grit teeth. “Not long enough.” I needled him with my elbow.

“Looks like you fine fellows couldn’t wait for me to get here, running to the door like I was the Royal shagger of the House of Lords.”

“Alastair, didn’t we tell you not to ring . . . ?”

“Sorry chaps,” he laughed. “Forgot myself. Me noggin’s not what it used to be. Too many late nights owlin’ at the moon you understand.” Arsehole Party trudged forward, inviting himself in, and surveyed the surroundings. Time had not been kind to him and the lines of age danced on his face. They spanned out from his eyes in a road map of self abuse and hard living. Beneath dark clip-ons, hid his trademark Lennon spectacles. He had a loud striped shirt of greens, blues, ripe yellows and reds, over ripped jeans. Is he here to drum or audition for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat?

He leaned forward and sniffed a vase of fake roses on a table near the door. “You got the rest of my quid?”

“Right here,” I said, showing him the two C notes. I had ripped them in half the previous evening. I’d given him one side as a down payment and kept the others, hoping to entice him to show up. We didn’t want him drinking the money away again before he got here. Doc and I were getting too old to check trash receptacles.

I looked at him warily. “You get the other half and the scotch tape after you perform, understand? The quicker you get it done, the quicker you get a couple of Ben Franklins in your pocket.”

“Righteo mate. I’m a hundred percent on board with you captain.” He even saluted to accentuate the point. “But perhaps in the meantime you could make this poor cabin-boy a spot of tea, preferably by introducing Earl Grey to Glen Fiddich and Bailey’s Irish if you got any?”

“You want the entire British Isle in a pot?”

“Now we understand each other.” Alistair winked as he touched the side of his nose. He let out a boisterous laugh and smacked Doc between the shoulder blades. Doc looked as if he were about to return the contact to a place of greater sensitivity.

I pleaded. “Alistair keep it down please. Others are still sleeping.”

Suds came down from the control room holding the rail as he took one step at a time with his little feet. “What’s all the commotion over? Sounds like a pack of hungry dogs down here.”

“No just one dog. —Suds, this is our guest percussionist. Alistair Pare’.”

“The third,” he added.

“Alistair Pare’ III” I grumbled. To think there are two other buffoons that came before this one.

Alistair viewed our pint-sized engineer by sliding his glasses to the end of his nose. “Crikey! Lord Almighty buy me dinner and call me a Sheila. That’s the last time I freebase after I drink a forty of Rum. I’m seeing leprechauns.”

“Suds is the engineer here Alistair. Show him some respect. —Suds why don’t you take Mr. Pare’ into the booth and get him set up while we make him some tea.”

Suds looked a little apprehensive —not sure if he should step too close to this new lion in the cage— but nodded for Alistair to follow.

“Shouldn’t you be out on the lawn with the rest of your kind?”

“Alistair please!”

“Right mate. Respect, gotcha. Sorry, wee man. Nice display of dollies you have out on the yard.”

“They’re garden gnomes.”

“I don’t care if they’re guarding the grave of the Queen Mum, they look as unnatural as Churchill is Friday night fishnets.” He laughed aloud again as the two disappeared from sight.

“It’ll be a miracle if we get through this Doc.”

“I thought you said no booze at the studio this weekend?”

“You want him here when Skunk wakes up?”

Doc grazed at me in mid eye-roll. “I’ll get him his tea Sparky, but he’d better finish playing before the poison kicks in.”


Within fifteen minutes we were ready. Alistair sipped happily on his spiked tea and Suds returned to the booth shaking his head, to join Barlow, I, and a yawning Wally. Suds clicked on the video monitors revealing a grinning Arsehole Party from two different angles. His head phones were jammed on his head and divided his porkpie hat in two, like a slowly sinking dingy.

Wally locked his fingers together on top of his head and reclined. His belly threatened to bust out of his buttoned flannel shirt, and the burr of his beard looking almost reddish in the morning sun. “Isn’t that the guy you swore you’d never perform with again?”

“Yes Wally.”

“The guy who you insist to this day, destroyed the band?”

“Yes Wally.”

“The guy who—”

“— Seems the appropriate thing would be, not to call attention to past fuck-ups Wally.”

“All I was saying is—”

“— Look! Desperate times call for desperate measures, and unfortunately the temp agency was all out of repugnant drumming assholes. He’s all we have. He’s going to lay down a groove overtop of Grub’s track and do some drum rolls. Then we’ll get him the hell out of here.”

“That man is an obnoxious imbecile,” Suds scoffed. He adjusted a few levels and squirmed in his seat like he had a severe case of ass-rash.

“Tell us something we don’t know.”

Suds continued to shake his head from side to side. “I told him I was going to run a few passes of the song by him so he could familiarize himself where the holes were, and you know what he told me? He told me, ‘Poppycock’. I says to him, ‘pardon,’ and he says, ‘poppycock,’ again. Sept this time he’s wigglin both his fingers at me like he’s going to start tickling me or somethin’. So I says, ‘but I was told, you didn’t know the material.’ That’s when he says he, ‘doesn’t know the song,’ he was, ‘guessing at the size of my penis.’ That man is an ass!”

“I’m sorry Suds. Believe me, none of us need him here one second longer than he has to be.”

“No argument from me on that, and I only just met him.” Suds pressed a talk button and interrupted Alistair in mid slurp. “We just want you to listen. Get a feel for it, and then we’ll try some fills over the top.”

“Right-e-o mate.”

Suds rolled the track and Arsehole Party listened, as he poured another cup from the pot. It was the first time I was hearing what had been sculpted in our absence the night before. Skunk had laid down a tasteful melody line and Grub had done his best to navigate a solid beat. At the conclusion of the song before the fade, Suds stopped the machines and reset the computer. He pulled all instruments from the mix except for one guitar line, a simple bass line, click track, and Grub’s kick drum.

“How was that?” Suds asked him. “Any questions?”

“Yes. Just one mate.”

“Go ahead.”

“What have you done with me Lucky Charms?!” He let out a hideous cackle. Suds was visibly not impressed.

I turned to Doc. “He’s still drunk as fuck. This is bad.”

“And we’re feeding the flame. Well, you said yourself last night we had no choice and as much as I hate to agree, it’s this or nothing. I’m not letting that bastard Alexander shit kick us from here to forty shades of Friday. A couple more hours of this pain is nothing compared to an eternity of it.”

Arsehole Party interrupted the conversation as his voice cut through the speakers. “Where’s me pot o’ gold?!” It was followed by another round of obscene laughter.

“Are you done?!” Suds spat. “Times a waistin’.”

“Right-e-o mate. — Say, could someone fetch me another pot of tea before we roll? I appear to be dry.”

Doc was astounded. “He drank that whole pot already?”

“...and with a little bit more of the Scottish Major. You know heavy on the Glen less Earl.” He held the pot upside down and shook it like an empty canteen until a couple of tea bags defecated from the opening. They fell on the snare drum with a wet thwack.

Doc reached forward and pressed the button. “There is no more tea. Just do the track. Je-sus!”

Suds mumbled in disgust. “Your friend’s a real piece of work.”

“He’s here to lay down a few tracks. That’s all. He’s nobody’s friend.” I assured.

“So that’s the famous Arsehole Party. Now I see why you were so desperate to have me come.” Grub spoke as he ascended the stairs and plopped him self into a swivelled chair where he began to slouch. His arm still swung from its sling. “And who drank all my tea?” Instinctively we all pointed at the video monitor where Arsehole Party sat behind Grub’s fortress of wood and metal squeezing the hell out of a tea bag to get the last drops into his open mouth.

“Let’s try one on the track. Alistair.”

Alistair tossed the bag into a corner and picked up his sticks. “Right as rain me Ol’ Buck-o.”

Suds rolled the track as our drunken guest percussionist grooved along and started to fill the voids. “Bam! Bam! Bam!” He yelled over his snare strikes.

“What’s he doing?” Suds stopped the track and pressed the talk button. “Alistair you’re making noise with your mouth. The microphones are picking it up.”

“Sorry mate. It’s my thing. A ritual like playing Mums and Dads with the French Nanny when your Wife’s off playing Bingo.”

“Well stop doing it!”

“I’ll give it another go.”

“Sorry Suds, I guess we should have warned you about...his mannerisms,” I said. I was starting to have severe second thoughts about this whole situation.

Suds glared at us and reset the track. It rolled again, but once more Arsehole Party mouthed the beats with an audible. “Bam! Bam! Bam!”

The song ground to a whirred stop and rewound in a murmur of ghostly flutters.

“You’re doing it again.”

“Right-e-o mate. It’s just...the song’s hard to follow.”

“Its just three frickin’ instruments, Alistair. Guitar, bass and drums. Je-sus focus!” Doc babbled.

“Look you’re a professional are you not? Put the track in, and earn your two bills,capische?”

“Right my Captain.”

“This is going to be harder than I thought.” I lamented.

“Who’s making sure Skunk doesn’t come up here.” Wally said. It was an innocent enough question. After all, Skunk’s contempt for this man was well documented even if you hadn’t witnessed it first hand.

Doc and I sent glances of panic at one another. We had been so focused with trying to get this over with as quickly and mercifully as we could, we’d forgotten about Skunk as the sun climbed higher and the clock ticked away into a new day. This had been a huge gamble, we knew it, but we didn’t need to put the odds in favor of the house anymore than they already were. Dead sleeper or not, eventually our guitarist would wake up on her own accord. We needed someone to stand guard. the musical Gods would have it, they sent another icy blast our way. A groggy Skunk started to trudge up the stairs yawning. Abruptly we made Suds shut off the monitors as Skunk appeared at the top of the stairway fluffing up her short spike of hair. She chewed away the remnants of the sandman with subtle smacks of her lips. She was dressed in a silky red housecoat with her red high-tops peeking out beneath it. She sought the emptiness of a table near the back and set a full mug of steaming coffee on it. “Good morning. Early start? What’s going my gentlemen?”

Doc stood at attention. “Actually I was just coming to find you. I wanted to work on a few ideas while they finish up the percussion in here.”

Skunk glanced at Grub, confused. “Sure Doc, just let me have a coffee and get my bearings and then—”

“— But this can’t wait. I might forget the melody.”

“Yeah Doc’s old. He forgets stuff easily,” Grub advised.

“Not too old to kick your ass little bug man.”

Skunk picked up his mug again. “Ok, Doc. If it’s that important.”

Suds pressed the talk button. “We’re going to run another pass. Here it comes.” The song sprang to life as the tape tugged the musical tones to recognition. Doc gently pushed Skunk toward the stairs, following her out. The drummer began to hammer in some tasteful percussion. It looked like he was going to get through the track, then suddenly, “Bam! Bam! Bam!”

Suds shut the track down again. Skunk stopped dead and turned slowly back to Suds and I at the console. A voice came through the speakers. “I’m sorry mate but I can’t concentrate. The guitarist is stepping on everyone else’s dick on the track.”

I began chatting nervously to Skunk- gibberish really- any noise I could make to cover Alistair’s yammering.

“Let’s try it again. Right through now.” Suds said.

“Wait a minute . . . I know that voice . . . That Bam . . . Am I dreaming? I must be.”

For a minute I thought Skunk was actually going to turn around and go back to bed. Somehow she was just a victim of some repulsive nightmare and would wake to find herself under the covers with the light streaming through the curtains to the happy chirping of birds. But a haunting realization was bubbling to the surface and the awareness, this was no dream, was sinking in fast. Her facial expression started to change with time-lapsed expediency. “What’s he doing here, Sparky!?”

“It’s not how it looks.”

“What’s he doing here!”

“I can explain.”

“Never mind, I’ll find out for myself!”

“Skunk wait!”

“I’m going to finish what I should have done fifteen years ago.”

Skunk charged down the stairs and seemed to be in the room before any of us could react. Suds turned the video monitors back on in time to see Skunk toss the very same vase of flowers Arsehole Party had admired on his arrival, at his head. It missed him and smashed into the wall behind. She dived over top of the kit at an unsuspecting Alistair. Muck-lucks and red high-tops kicked violently in a tangled, unsynchronized, mess of limbs.

Quickly, Wally, Doc and I bolted down after him. We burst in on the fracas. Skunk had Alistair in a strangle hold. She had wrestled him to the floor and wrapped the headphone cord around his neck. Arsehole Party’s tea cup had dropped and shattered with an explosion of porcelain. Skunk shook him with hostile force beneath the tent of her red housecoat as she straddled him.

“What the fuck are you doing here?!”

“Get this banshee off me! Get 'er off!!!” The muck-lucks screamed, as they continued to kick wildly.

“Skunk you’re choking him!”

Skunk puffed as she tightened the cord. “That’s good, because that’s what I intend to do!”

“Agghuk!” Alistair squealed.

We grabbed at Skunk, lifting her with legs kicking and pulled her back. Cymbals, drums and microphones tumbled with crashing force in the melee. Eventually we managed to pin her to the wall while she panted in her restraint. Alistair sat like a rag-doll in the corner rubbing his wounded throat and groaned.

Skunk looked at me wounded, her eyes full of poison. “I draw the line Sparky. Get this asshole out of here! I don’t care if it cost us the recording! I will kill this fat fuck if he remains anywhere within ten miles of me!”

“Who you callin’ fat mate? You got an ass on you that could choke a hungry Chinaman.”

Skunk tried to break free for another onslaught.

“Alistair grab your shit and get out!” I yelled.

“What about my money Mate?”

“Get the fuck out of here or you won’t be alive to spend it!”

“Man hater. You’re crazy!” He said, pointing at Skunk and massaging his bruised pharynx. “You’re all crazy. Fuck me for tryin to elp. Bloody ell!”

“Wally, you’re the least likely to kill this motherfucker. Take him back to the Casino and if you happen to see Johnny or Phil tell them this ass just assaulted the blue-hairs.”

Skunk struggled. “Let me go!”

“Only if you promise not to chase after him. — Alistair get out before we let her go.”

Grub had entered the room to survey his obliterated kit once again- his arm hanging limp in his sling, he dropped to his knees. “Meyaa! Meyaa!” He wheezed.

Arsehole party corrected his spectacles. With one hand still nurturing his throat, he swept his crumpled hat from the floor in a swooping motion. He brushed off his porkpie apparel and coughed in a display of dramatic self-pity. Wally grabbed his arm and guided him to the door.

“Hey mate. I’ve heard better guitar noises coming from the ass of dying wallaby.”

“Let me go!” Skunk shouted. Doc and I had half a mind to let her go, but hung on.

“Wally get him out of here!”

Wally shoved Alistair forward and out of view or further insult. Doc and I released our grip when we were sure Wally had escorted him far enough from ground zero and the cursing was no longer within earshot. We could hear the rumble of the Hino’s diesel as Wally fired up the engine and Arsehole Party was thankfully gone.

Grub looked up from the tangled mess of equipment. “That’s it. I’m done.”

“So am I. I’m going home.” Skunk acquiesced trying to hold back the tears. She brushed herself off but was still trembling with rage.

“They’re right Sparky,” Doc joined in. “This weekend has been nothing but one disaster piled on top of another— pancaked crisis. I can’t take anymore of it either. We didn’t get any of Arsehole Party’s drumming recorded. Face it. It’s over. For some reason, this was never meant to happen. It was foolish for us to try.”

“What about not letting Alexander win, Doc?”

“Sparky, I’m too tired for pride.”

I looked at them all, a vacant stare, void of emotion. I was tired too. This had been the last straw of many last straws, and part of me wanted to admit defeat and go back to my nothing life in my basement apartment bunker. I wanted to get away from this madness, hide in the darkness, loaded with pain killers and a cold cloth across my eyes. However, something inside me stirred and began to grow with a fierceness. Like in the dream I did not take this turn of events quietly and if this was truly the end than I wanted the last word. I began to speak. Perhaps speak isn’t the appropriate word for what happened next. I rambled, I ranted, I emptied an arsenal of vocabulary I never knew I had, and it became louder with each sentence, each passing phrase. I always shied away from confrontation like it was a toothless delinquent on the opposite street corner begging for spare change. It’s not like I wasn’t sensitive to attacking comments, I was just a little slow with the sink-in process. Usually by the time I was finally irate I was screaming, “oh yeah, well fuck you,” into an empty room, but not this time. I found the anger well up inside of me. All I had been through, the rad, the outhouse, the crazy old bastard with the chicken, the accident, Arsehole Party and Griffin Alexander, those damn uncomfortable boots of Tiny’s, being accused, and poked, and prodded. I had seen enough. Johnny Malveen was about to have his moment and everyone was going to hear it, or else.

“I just wanted to do this for Wires, for myself too, but mostly for Wires. Why? Because it was his dying wish we all make something of our lives. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean I need to be famous. To have the attention of the entire female populace wilting before me, tossing their undies at me from the hidden crevice of a twitching clitoris. No. This was to be the opportunity of recognition, for years of hard work and fortitude. Chances are, even if we were successful this weekend we’d still finish second place to the band with the gimmicks and the chipped nail polish who don’t even write their own songs. But that’s ok. We would have the knowledge, at least we tried. This business has always been a shell game. I accepted it long ago. But, it is also about perseverance and overcoming the obstacles set in front of you. Now look at us. Look at me. I’ve lied. I’ve been devious and underhanded. I’ve put us all in emotional peril and for what? My fifteen minutes? For one more chance to guess which shell the peanut is under? I suppose I wanted to feel like there is still some substance in the void of a wasted forty plus years on this planet. Christ! I just wanted an above average life doing what I loved. To finally get rid of the milk crates and get some real furniture.”

Grub whispered to Doc from the side of his mouth. “Do you know where he’s going with this?”

“No idea.”

“— Go if you want. Quit if you feel you have to. I can’t change your mind and I’m not sure I want to anymore. I can’t do this by myself. I need you all here. I thought that was evident. Perhaps it’s because it’s easier to fail when you have the support of others. I haven’t exactly had those safety nets in my relationships, my family, my friends. My association with each and every one of you, despite what you may believe, has been one of friendship and camaraderie. It has not been about cross-merchandising, or one of corporate brands and identities.”

Doc interrupted. “You know Sparky, one day a single corporation will own the entire world. I can see it now, Glop Incorporated. One big drive through.”

“Who the FUCK! cares, Doc? Why don’t you stay on topic for once in your God damn life and stop interrupting people with mumbo jumbo that has no significance to the subject . . . now where was I?”

Grub moaned weakly. “Friendship.”

“...Ah yes . . . friendship. You know what? Fuck that! Fuck friendship. It’s obvious. I’m not going to get through to any of you extending the hand of friendship. We are beyond that. I don’t profess to know what you’re thinking, or feeling, and right now I don’t care! But I’ll tell you this. Wires gave us all a wonderful opportunity to do something with our lives. To break free of the mundane, every day, bullshit, workload, of a warehouse, factory, outhouse, nothing, dot com life. And I’m not talking about paving the way to relive the past, playing in front of bunch of hacks who don’t give a fuck about who we are or what we play. Screaming at us to perform Iron Maiden or Slayer, or slowly whither away to a laughing stalk like Matt Morgolis. This was a chance to rewrite, to reinvent, to create and make something of ourselves. I can’t understand why you are prepared to walk away from that? To sit around like expectant fathers waiting for the birth of another opportunity. At our age, it may never come again. Are the words of Blake Cole so far removed, you don’t remember what he said? This was meant to be a cool breeze, the life blood, the antioxidant of essence, not this...this headache of massive proportions it has become. You know . . . People always spout how they wouldn’t change a thing in their life. Fuck them! Of course they wouldn’t. They are the successful ones with a silver spoon hanging out their puckering sphincters. Well I’m here to tell you, I would. I would change a whole heap of shit and I would start with Carolyn Iverson!”

“Who is Caro—?”

“— Let him go, Doc.”

“Man! That chick was hot with great feet! I desired her all through highschool, but I was too shy to do anything. Once after a party at her place, she invited me up to see her room. I was sixteen. She even sat on her bed for God’s sake and rubbed the quilt next to her saying what a nice spread it was. Reaching out, inviting me to sit next to her, to take her, to ravage her, and make love to her. I know that now. But you know what I did? I stood there like an idiot going ‘Uh huh?’ You know why?”


“Shut up Grub!”

“But you asked.”

“Shut up Skunk!”

“Because I was scarred. I dug her so much, I was afraid of rejection, of failure, of feeling my self-esteem drop off the edges of the flat world I had created for myself! I stood, and did NOTHING! I wanted her so bad and I did NOTHING! Do you understand? You know what I’d do if I could change the past? I would FUCK Carolyn within an inch of her life- sex beyond all sex she had ever experienced. I would take control of that situation and sit down next to her on her cheap, ass, quilt. I would put my mouth on hers with such passion she’d nearly pass-out from the heat of it. I'd eat her from the ass-end forward. But the moment is gone and I can’t change it. I chose my path and I must now live by it.”

A lone cymbal, leaning against the wall finally lost its grasp and crashed to the floor.

“What I’m trying to say, if you’ll let me get a word in edgewise, is, this opportunity before us, Wires so graciously gave us, is in essence Carolyn Iverson. She’s waiting to be fucked! But you can’t see it can you?! You don’t have the grapefruits to take it. You’re all too blind on your own pain to take control and blow your load into the inviting sweet pink."

"Where's this going Doc?"

"I think he's trying to say Skunk's a lesbian."

"So it’s up to me to take control! And I will, but not in the way you think. Forget Carolyn and forget the music! Like I said, the moment is lost! You want to quit! THEN QUIT!! Walk out that door, turn your back on what could have been! But not before me!!! I’m not going to remain here like something rotting under the couch cushions. So FUCK it! FUCK the recording. FUCK Blake Cole for turning his back on us. FUCK Arsehole Party and his fuckin’ muck-lucks. FUCK that Griffin Alexander and FUCK THAT FUCKIN” CREEPY BIBLE TOWN. FUCK! Fuck you all! Just FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK! GOD DAMMIT FUCKIN WHORE, FUCK . . . SLUT . . . FUCK MOTHERFUCKER PISS. BECAUSE I QUIT!”

Everyone genuinely looked frightened as my craziness escalated and the words flew from my mouth, no longer in a discernable order. They all stood with gapping oral voids and pie-eyed expressions.

Satisfied, if nothing more than the shock of it, I had made my point, I turned to leave. Miss Agnes stood there in the doorway, still in her Sunday best. Her hands were pasted on her hips and her mouth held a scowl of biblical proportions. She stood in front of Tiny- hear no evil- who had his huge hands squished over his ears. I don’t know how much of my tirade she heard but whatever it was, it was enough. She didn’t look impressed as much as she looked absolutely furious.

Friday, January 04, 2008

A good day to self-indulge

Even if it only involves a bunch of old guys tryin' to find their groove and failing miserably.

So if you missed the Private Sector Reverb show, here is the first of many tidbits I'm sure, will show you, perhaps you made the right decision.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Dude looks like a lady

Actually if that lady is an old lesbian then this link is appropriate.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Now serving 1000

There is no fanfare- other than the title- no blowing trumpets, no grand marshal leading a ticker-tape parade, simply me. This is my 1,000 post on Strangedaze a mere day or two short of three years here at my Mom & Pop Shop located on a small off-ramp by the information highway.

Why the Mayor over at Mitchieville reached this lofty peak his 1st week of existence.

I guess I should be posting something outrageous or shocking to commemorate this auspicious occasion, like 2 girls 1 cup. Something to burn into your consciousness not to mention your retinas, but that ship has already sailed.

So why is this milestone so important to me?........honestly I don't know other than it's a way to fill the gap between 999, and 1001.

You know what? Forget I mentioned it.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy newness

In actuality, today is just the day after yesterday. Really, how much has changed over night?

Yet, we all feel like we can start least until we fall back into the same old routine....sometime around mid-afternoon Friday.

Why, every year Ol' Strange sits down and writes a mission statement for the year and I've been good about attaining 50% of my goals.

Let's not discuss the much criticized idea for a bidet spa.

So, I thought perhaps I should set out some goals for the Blog as well.

1- Try to blog everyday- not in an effort to bore anyone but establish discipline for myself and maintain creativity.

2- More sexually charged blogs. Please hold your applause.

3- Try to maintain a fresh approach on regular features that have become tired and strained or, replace them with new, equally tired and strained posts.

I know that's only 3 things, but anymore and I might as well shut Strangedaze down and start a rival site to facebook called facebukkake.

So here's to the New Year and hoping you all attain the goals you set out for yourselves, or to mid-afternoon Friday....which ever comes first.

Well, there's one goal achieved.