Have you ever been to a rock show where the front person spent the first ten minutes explaining, in an oddly strummy fashion, how to behave during the concert? Be courteous. Be kind. Be forgiving. And so forth.
And you’re thinking, wait, did I make a wrong turn and end up a spectator in a golf tournament?
You’re still digesting the bacon grenades you ate at Kaiser Tiger a few minutes earlier, thinking to yourself, when the heck is the music going to start? And at the same time, something tells you to let the monologue continue, as you’re not feeling so well post-grenades and a Polish kielbasa sandwich. No one wants to find his fellow rock show patron planting elbows in random eye sockets when he’s feeling ill from too much midwestern pork indulgence. And anyway, elbows in eye sockets are usually delivered courtesy large males, who have been confounding America with their girth and height for years, requiring patriots like you to wear big shoes so you can see the band.
More specifics: Patrick Stickles’ long and relatively boring diatribe to start the set of his band Titus Andronicus fell largely on deaf (large male) ears at The Bottom Lounge, a short walk from where my friends and I had overindulged on Belgian Fries, German Beer and the aforementioned pork products, such that once the band got revved up, the elbows where flying and craniums were getting flung back and forth in total disregard for my personal safety. I kept my distance from the senseless violence, lest I find myself with a case of CTE.
Despite the lecture and subsequent disregard for proper behavior, I would call this one of the best punk rock shows I’ve ever seen. Knowing almost none of the music except what I had crammed in during my long commute from the outer edges of southwestern Boston to Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, I can assure you that it mattered not, as the band’s penchant for loud and boisterous rock made knowledge of the music secondary, if not entirely irrelevant.
The show wasn't without casualties. A fellow to my left, thoroughly meaning to stay out of the mosh pit, caught a roundhouse skull to the nose and left bleeding. Poor guy.
If Mike Doughty had been on stage the music would have ended right then and there, as Doughty means it when he says no slam dancing. But this was no M. Doughty, so despite the nosebleed, Titus Andronicus played on.
Here we are, the midterm elections nearly upon us, so you’re probably wondering what I feed my campaign volunteers. They’re sitting there on the phones all day long and knocking on doors to beg for votes for my improbable candidacy, so obviously they need sustenance.
You imagine we’re doing a lot of bland pizza takeout, like in movies about improbable candidacies. Ha, what a laugh!
In the real-life front lines of bruising political battles like the one I’m embroiled in right now, well, let’s say I can’t be expected to get away with serving any old pizza. The American public is looking for my leadership, pizza-wise. It would be especially good if I could keep a constant flow of pizzas that I make myself in my backyard brick oven, my political tacticians keep telling me. “It’ll look good in photo ops!”
To hell with photo ops! Better than photo ops is getting Frank Pepe’s pizza right here in greater Chestnut Hill, MA for my campaign volunteers, who are, like, dude! Clams? On a pizza?
But that’s only half the story. The other half is the spinach, mushroom, and gorgonzola pie story. One of the great pizza stories ever invented.
And there you are in middle America thinking pepperoni is the national pizza of the USA.
See you on Tuesday.
The number of blog posts I should have but didn’t enter in the past month is astonishing. Did you know that I saw Titus Andronicus in Chicago? And no, I don’t mean the Shakespeare play.
I’ll save that for a different date, as I have photos to share.
What about the “caravan” of Latin-American “invaders” (i.e. poor people)? What about the latest mass murder via military-style weaponry, this one involving a deranged anti-Semitic psychopath? And, oh yeah, what’s the status of my home addition?
Sorry, not blogging about that today. Instead, today is all about the Boston Red Sox, who took the World Series again, beating first the hated Yankees (the only playoff series I really cared about), then the “best team in baseball” – the Astros, then dear old Dad’s Dodgers.
I blame my lack of posts on the late nights watching 18 inning games and enduring Craig Kimbrell’s myocardial infarction-inducing ninth-inning “relief” pitching as he tried and mostly succeeded in saving games. But not before making me dread the appearance of his Whoville beard.
The good news is that baseball is now over. Ergo, I get my life back.
A friendly heads-up.
There’s a lot of chatter these days about whether there will ever be a brown ale craze that matches the current IPA craze, and I can tell you with a very high degree of certainty that there will be.
You’re thinking: what, do I have a crystal ball or something? It turns out I do. I found a dirty old crystal ball in a garage sale this past weekend when we were vacationing in Jackson, NH, and as soon as I got home I set my mind to restoring it to near pristine condition. It’s not that hard to polish up a crystal ball. A little WD-40, some emery paper, some human spit and elbow grease, and, voila: a perfect crystal ball.
My investment paid off immediately: I’m already less resentful and hostile toward meteorologists, thanks to my crystal ball. I also can see the end of the hoppy ale craze, and the beginning of affection for the subtler, sweeter flavors that brown ales offer. When I look deep into the future, like three years from now, I see myself cutting deals with beer distributors for my brown ale, and imposing tariffs on those pubs that won’t play fair with brown ale.
I know what you’re thinking: any chance you can borrow my crystal ball? Sorry, I’m planning to use it this week.
However, I’ll note that you’re on the Crystal Ball waiting list.