I know you follow this blog on a daily basis from your outpost in southern Rhode Island, the twin cities, San Diego, etc., and so you’ll fondly recall my blog post from November, 2013, in which I talk briefly about a certain portly, aged gentleman clad only in a loincloth, who rides up and down the streets of greater Boston on a scooter. I’ve caught sight of him in Harvard Square, in Brookline, in West Roxbury, and just last week spotted him motoring through Cleveland Circle in Brighton. He’s unmistakable, an aging Sasquatch of a man, mostly nude, riding around on secondary roads with his baggy white flesh exposed. It’s like this is the only way he can cool down during the hot summer months. Hey, I get that. It’s why I ride my scoot.
Of course, I don’t ride nekked.
I can’t tell you his brand of scooter because I’m always caught unawares by his sudden emergence, riding across my field of vision. And then he’s gone. He’s like a rare bird alighting in your backyard maple tree long enough for you to spot him and yell for the kids, but not long enough for them to see him too. In those few seconds, it’s impossible to pull out my smaht phone and git me a pitcher. Perhaps if I spent more time staring at my phone whilst driving I’d be at the ready when the naked scooter man happens by. Of course, then I probably wouldn’t see him.
Truth be told, he’s not totally bare; he does us the favor of covering up his groinal region – previously employing a loincloth, and last week opting for something more Speedoesque – but otherwise he hasn’t changed: still plump; still with thin wisps of gray hair sprouting from the sides of his helmet; still on that scooter.
The first time I saw him was so long ago (like decades) that I should be forgiven for assuming that he must have passed on to the next life by now. The naked scooterist is a survivor.
I’m suddenly reminded that in the late 1980s, when I worked at Mass General Hospital, there was a guy who used to roam around the Charles Street area wearing nothing but a speedo and a little holster for his essentials (keys and a few bucks?). Short, sinewy, with black hair in tight curls, he seemed perfectly normal but for the lack of clothing. I imagined back then that he must have had a mental illness. Perhaps exhibitionism is the word.
You’re probably wondering if I ever roam the streets similarly scantily-clad. The answer is no. It turns out I’m not one of those very few (if any) people who look good in a speedo. (Or a loincloth.)
Have you met any of my friends? Let me tell you something, they’re a bunch of real jerks!
Between Tim, Mark, Todd, and Eric, you’d think one of them would shoulder some of the group’s emotional baggage, but no. All that baggage has to fall on my shoulders.
Then there’s Bob, who’s constantly contributing emotional baggage to the mix and is rarely shouldering it. Meanwhile, he has Howard, Steve, and Chris as his trusted lieutenants, willing to take a bullet for him, willing to shoulder great heaps of emotional baggage on his behalf, and still he is running a deficit between the emotional baggage he contributes and the amount he and his team shoulder.
This drives me bonkers! Get your shoulders into it if you want people to identify you as someone who has both give and take responsibilities, in terms of baggage that’s emotional in nature.
Meanwhile, I asked a couple of my enemies (you know who you are) about the fake emotional baggage they’re allegedly – and I do mean allegedly – contributing to the community, and it turns out they don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. It’s so refreshing! They’re extremely strong and powerful in their denials. They tell me that they are actually contributing emotional energy, not baggage. That’s the kind of attitude I wish some of my friends would have. Instead, they are meek and mild and friendly.
The reason that you can’t understand the dichotomy between my friends and my enemies is that I have a kind of a double-negative sort of thing going on.
Score one for my enemies.
My friend Tim broke his pelvis a few years ago, when he was in his mid-late-70s. We had been playing bocce and he just twisted the wrong way and…snap! That’s what happens when you’re in your mid-late-70s.
Actually, he was in his very late 40s. Like, he was about a week away from turning 50. Or maybe he had already turned 50 but was just days away from his 50th birthday party. Anyway, he fell off his bike and broke his pelvis, and naturally I was called. That’s very common in my world: whenever someone breaks his or her pelvis, I immediately get a call.
So I go rushing to Tim’s side, and as we wait for the medics, I tell him: “You got on your bike and rode it around. Look, you knew what you were getting into.” And he chuckled.
Then, as always happens, his chuckle caused a snort, and the snort sounded funny so his wife Noelle and I started laughing, and the laughing made us laugh more, and before you knew it Noelle and I and the two just-arrived medics were on the ground, doubled-over, seized with uncontrollable laughter to the point of embarrassment over the exceedingly silly comment-snort-guffaw continuum. Meanwhile, Tim was writhing in pain from a bona ride fractured pelvis.
If I had only managed to get a selfie, the juxtaposition of us laughers beside our comrade in pain would have made some seriously good art.
You’ve never seen the band Antibalas, but that’s because you’re not managing your rock show life carefully enough. A less generous person might even say that you’re being lazy. Just because you’re in your 50s, it’s a weeknight, and you have two elementary school kids, what, you can’t see a band? Sorry to hear that you’re “tired.” The rest of us are tired as well, but we’re willing to go the extra mile to see a multicultural Afro-beat group with a great vibe and not a little bit of “pay back Africa” attitude.
The way you apparently can’t go to rock shows these days reminds me of how you “can’t ride a bike to work” because you don’t want to arrive at the office sweaty. Hey, I arrive at the office sweaty all the time, and by the looks I get I can tell you that my office colleagues love it! Similarly, I see bands all the time (i.e. 3 times a year), and do you know the kind of Twitter traffic I get?
Let me put it to you this way: I have no idea. Because I don’t tweet. But, as I stated in a previous post, in the future I’m going to tweet the living daylights out of you and everyone else in the world. Kim Jong Trump and I are going to battle for tweeting supremacy, and I’m going to kick their butts.
One thing I learned from the Antibalas show: there are many more of you tired/lazy middle aged guys out there than there are of me and my friend Mark, such that Antibalas didn’t sell out the Paradise Rock Club. If I had to guess (or, rather, since I have to guess), they could have fit another 400 people into the little venue. I’m not complaining; Mark was late and the sparse attendance meant that he could slip right up front to where I was without anyone stressing out, and midway through the show I could make a beer run. Not that I drink beer.
My friend Steve wrote a dissertation (and by that I don’t mean just a long and boring ax-grinding diatribe, but an actual Ph.D. dissertation) in which he observed that racial integration in the workplace existed in the form of jazz and other bands, where there was a long history of blacks and whites working together. Antibalas is an excellent example of that kind of interracial cooperation.
Come to think of it, the racial makeup of Antibalas reminds me a little of the band Defunkt, which I saw a few times back in the day. On the very unlikely chance that you never had a chance to see Defunkt, here they playing a concert in Germany in 1984.
Trumpian Tweetage Haiku Continuum
Russia: "nothing to
do with meddling." Why isn't
Hillary looked at?
The Special Counsel
I’ve done nothing wrong
The phony witch hunt
The soon to be released book
Looks like a big hit
Fake News Media
Together with the witch hunt:
My best poll numbers
Must go nuclear option.
NO MORE DACA DEAL!
We don’t have a wall
Not going to have a country
FUND THE BORDER WALL
Trade Wars are good and
Easy to win. They get cute?
Don't trade; we win big!
Promote the Fake Book
Mentally Deranged Author
Now that collusion
With Russia: a total hoax
Kim Jong Un, I too
Have a nuclear button.
And my button works.
Tax cut/Reform bill
Massive Alaska Drilling
Sanctions on North Korea
World wants Peace, not Death
Women I don't know. FAKE NEWS!
Army Navy Game
He's bad on Crime, Life, Border.
Vets. Guns. VOTE ROY MOORE!
Time Magazine Called
Prob'ly "Person of the Year"
I took a pass. Thanks!
The Christmas Story
Mother, Father, Baby Son
Jesus Christ. Bahrain.
Matt Lauer just fired
When will top executives
Be fired for Fake News?
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