Young people are always asking me if I ever saw the Beatles, or the Doors, or the Glenn Miller orchestra. And whether calculators had been invented by the time I was in grade school. What about toilet paper?
Soon I’m rubbing my temples, irritated as hell. I inform them that I was born in “the sixties,” which means Glenn Miller had been dead some 20 years and Jim Morrison was already three-quarters of the way through his short life, which would be over before I was 8. Not to mention that toilet paper had been clogging up toilets for centuries prior to that.
And believe me, no one saw The Beatles.
A more apt question is “Did you ever see Rush?” In fact, I didn’t. And no, I don’t have a good excuse. Among my earliest LP record purchases, probably via the ubiquitously advertised “Columbia House 11 LPs for a Penny” deal, was the Rush album 2112, which I quickly wore out, playing songs from it like Passage to Bangkok over and over while I pretended to keep up with the drumming of Neal Peart.
Suddenly it was 2020 and Neal Peart was no longer with us, as they say, and my chance to see these rockers and all their odd Canadianisms had vanished like moose into the woods of Ontario.
So heap your derision on me, for this was indeed among the great failures of my rock life.
I don’t lie very often, but I’m thinking I should start. Lying is getting to be a more and more accepted communication device, and I feel like I’m missing out on the enjoyment of it all.
I’m not saying I’ve never lied. As a bona-fide Catholic boy I went to confession as required, and I always confessed that I lied, so I must have. On the other hand, that was an easy way to get in and out of the confessional box in short order. And what else was I going to say? “Bless me father, for I have sinned. And I coveted my neighbor’s wife”? I didn’t covet any of my neighbors’ wives, and had I said that it would have been a bald-faced lie, requiring yet another confession.
However, I did tell little white lies here and there, like the time my Dad asked me if I had brushed my teeth before going to bed, and I said “yes,” at which point he pulled out my toothbrush from his luggage, where it had been since we left that morning from our beach vacation.
Kids in grade school told much bigger lies than anything I could muster, and I wonder if they are now succeeding in life better than I am, thanks to lying. One classmate claimed that he looked in the mirror in the boy’s room and his face was covered in scars and huge stitches, the result of some tricks played by Satan (or else he had recently seen Poltergeist). Another time this same boy claimed that he’d ingested mercury. How we young kids came into possession of a bottle of this liquid lead (did someone bring it in? Was it the school’s supply?) is unclear, but I remember its unbelievable heft compared to a similar volume of water. We spilled it onto the floor and watched it bead up, and someone told the nuns that a boy had licked the mercury. Our mothers were constantly warning us against licking mercury (“You’ll lose your penis if you lick mercury!”).
OK, that was a lie. My parents never told me I’d lose my penis.
Anyway, the nuns were ready to haul his lying ass off to the hospital so he could have the mercury eliminated, so he suddenly had to shift gears and admit to his unlikely yarn.
Nevertheless, lying to my fans and supporters is always an option.
I don’t tweet very often, but that’s going to change. Soon I’m going to tweet the bejesus out of you and everyone else, and when I do it’s going to be tremendously interesting and also good for America. My friends are going to love it, even as I humiliate them. I’ve already got a few tweets cued up.
- Hilarious that “Scrambly” Bob is keeps tweeting out the false claim that I like scrambled eggs. I’m not the scrambled one, he is! Do you see the way his handlers refuse to allow him to talk about scrambled eggs? Probably afraid that he’s going to scramble his way through the conversation. Really sick.
- I mention that I’m golfing and now old More Salt Than Pepper Steve starts blabbing about his golf game. “Shot an 82.” What, nine holes on a par 3 course? Play one of my courses and see if you can break 100, Old Salty. (And then have a meal at one of my fine restaurants.)
- “Veggie” Tim goes on the record as saying that I eat too much meat. Even though my meat eating is partially fueling the cattle industry’s economic recovery. IT’S BEEFY ECONOMIC PATRIOTISM TIM! Meanwhile Tim doesn’t eat his allotted portion of meat, causing a drop in demand and a drop in prices. And there are stories out there – some good people claim they have first-hand knowledge – that he’s hunting exotic animals with a chef hiding in the shadows to butcher and serve the delicacies he shoots up. Vile!
- Dirty Howard’s going nuts! He calls me dirty because I dig holes in my yard, while he spends his days up at the cabins riding jet skis, and by night he sits in the shadows and stares into the fire. Like baiting hooks with LEECHES and hauling in crappies is “clean”! Get a life, you dirty loser!
- Failures like Mark keep promoting TOTAL HOAX BS STORIES claiming that I disparage military veterans. We all know that he’s disgruntled because he wanted a job and I wouldn’t endorse him. TOTAL SUCKER!
I think this will be really good for our relationship.
Isn’t it good just to press the reset button sometimes? Maybe work is stressful, or you’re having trouble with that old jalopy of a vehicle that’s been held together with rope and duct tape for years. Or maybe there is suddenly a pandemic and the globe is awash in disease, except in places where it’s not an actual disease but a concept made-up to wreck the economy and many people’s lives (wait – who does that?!).
Perhaps people are having massive eating and drinking orgies during the economy-wrecking hoax, and that unnerves you. “Why aren’t you guys wearing masks while eating and drinking?” you call out to a crowd of people you encounter at a pop-up restaurant, and then realize how stupid you have made your cause sound.
This is when it’s time to pick up your beer grain scale in such a way as to be holding the “units” and “on/off” button at the same time, inadvertently causing the device to enter “calibration mode," from which there is no return. No “exit” button. No “back.” From here until you can find an “accurate 10 Kg weight” to properly calibrate the device, you cannot use it.
OK, no problem. A guy like me who has paddled the Allagash Wilderness Waterway can figure out how to obtain a 10 Kg weight. Those must be everywhere!
What about at the university gym you belong to? Never mind!
Maybe a neighbor has purchased used barbell weights via a Craigslist posting in a country that once hosted the Olympics, and you could borrow a couple.
Heck! You might as well buy a new scale. It costs twice as much to purchase a 10 kg. weight and have it delivered to your home.
Now what are you supposed to do when your wife asks you to weigh the zucchini? You’ve had too many defeats already this week to find yourself unable to determine if the little piglet sized vegetables she has pulled from the garden weigh 1 pound or 10.
Another option is to visit Tim’s kitchen, where there is a mini scale, and where Lily the cat can watch you weigh beer grains into a plastic food storage container until Tim’s mini scale reads 451 grams, which, when added to 2 10 lb. sacks of grain plus a few hundred grams to account for the weight of the bucket, results in a weight of, more or less, 10 Kg.
Grain scale now recalibrated, life can get back to (relative) normal.