Shuuuuut Uuuuuuup

I came home to a neighbor blasting a Kid Rock song (on repeat!) through the wall of our apartment the other day.  Now, normally I’m very meek when it comes to confronting neighbors, having toiled with some particularly nasty and violent neighbors in the past, but I made it less than ten minutes before I marched over and started banging on his door.

You’re gonna play Kid Rock into my HOME?  Where I eat and sleep and expect houseplants to flourish?!

It got me to thinking that I’ve never heard someone blasting music that I would consider decent. Not once.  Not once in my life.  Not through an apartment wall, not out of a car, not from a radio on a towel at the beach.

(For the record, it was that “Sweet Home Alabama” monstrosity that Kid Rock horked up and furballed onto the radio a few years back.  The one where he rhymes the word “things” with “things” for god’s sake.  Also, he is not from Alabama, and neither is Lynyrd Skynyrd.)

I’ve never sat next to a car at a stoplight that was blasting music and thought, “Oh wow!  This person next to me has got great taste in music!”  It’s always something just absolutely terrible.  It’s like there’s a law that if a musical note is heard loudly in public, it has to belong to a musician who is no more than six degrees of separation away from Limp Bizkit.

Same goes for someone prominently holding up a book that they’re reading.  They’re never holding up something fantastic like a David Sedaris book or a Jughead comic.  It’s always something like “How To Win Bitches” or “Chicken Soup for The Precious Moments Figurine Collector’s Soul” or some shit by Ted Nugent where he’s wearing the Constitution as a loincloth. I think if I ever heard a good song blasting out of a car or saw someone holding up a decent book, I would be so shocked that I would just drive right into an embankment.

Witnesses say the last words the victim uttered as they pulled her charred, limp body from the fiery wreckage were, “Finally! Someone blasting The Ramones! Please – someone save my Betty and Veronica Double Digest on the passenger seat. Save it for the future generations.”

I’ve come to realize that the same is true for loud conversations.  As a soft-spoken type, I’m appalled at how loudly people converse in public, and it’s always the conversation that you don’t want to hear.

We were sitting in a bar the other night (big surprise there), and someone nearby was having a two hour long, one-sided conversation with the person next to them, broadcasting it out of their mouth at approximately 5,000 decibels, blasting in my ear like in the opening scene of Back to The Future when Marty McFly plugs his guitar into that giant speaker and it blows him back like ten feet.

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Actual footage from the bar

The subjects varied between a riveting tale about that time she ordered a bottle of wine at a Red Lobster in Daytona Beach in 1982, several mentions of how the Jello-shot the bartender had just given her looked like a urine specimen, her strong belief in guardian angels, and how Trump was going to earn her vote again if he levels Iran.

Basically the conversational equivalent of a Kid Rock song.

Never once in my life have I been sitting at a bar and heard someone shouting a conversation about the Abstract Expressionist movement in art, or about the best red lipstick for your skin tone, or about how every single kid on Mr. Belvedere was so ugly that sometimes it actually hurt to look at the television.  You know, stuff that I’d actually be interested in hearing about!  Never!

It’s always the person who wants to shout racial slurs and talk about the “handy” he got for half-price when he was stationed in Okinawa because she was missing two fingers.  Or the women at brunch who try to top each other’s birthing stories at full volume, making sure to really enunciate the words “…THE SIZE OF THE BLOOD CLOT THAT FLOPPED OUT OF ME…IT WAS LIKE TWO CALVES’ LIVERS, CAROL.”

Nobody’s ever like, “Let me yell my well-thought out opinion about Wendy’s versus Arby’s!”  That’s a conversation I could get into!

I mean, where are my people?  You’re probably off in the corner, like me, quietly debating the best Talking Heads song, not talking about Jello urine specimens or vag-shrapnel, and making plans to get nachos and watch Rocky IV for the fiftieth time later.

And Wendy’s is the superior option because they have baked potatoes that are actually baked in an oven, which are something that would take you like an hour to cook at home and would heat up your whole house.

And because Arby’s killed my entire family when I was a child.

Okay, maybe not.  But Arby’s doesn’t have baked potatoes.

I just looked it up and they actually do have baked potatoes.

See you in Hell.

Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Daddio

Hi frenz!  My micro-essay “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Daddio” is up at Foliate Oak Literary Magazine today.  It’s a short humor piece about how I successfully tricked a local radio DJ into playing my favorite Starship song when I was a kid.

No, really.

You can read it here: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Daddio

Foliate Oak is the literary magazine for the University of Arkansas, and the irony that I did not attend a single day of college in my entire life is not lost on me here.  This is my first publication in a university journal, which basically means I get an honorary doctoral degree now or something, so you may now commence calling me Doctor Pissypants.

I have actually been to Arkansas, though.  Right in that area where you drive over the Mississippi River out of Memphis, Tennessee and you see that “Welcome to Arkansas!” sign in the middle of a corn field and say to the person in the passenger seat, “Uh oh” and then turn the car around and drive back to Memphis for more day-drinking.

Thanks so much for reading!  I’ve just been walking around all day lately not believing my luck.

And here’s your weird boyfriend Nicolas Cage, who is also my weird boyfriend, and the universe’s weird boyfriend.

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