Seeing Is Believing

I sure have written a lot about karaoke. That can only mean one of two things

1) I love the art form and the joy it brings to all the wondrous songbirds of the world.

or

2) I want to rip the spleen out of anyone who dares utter the word then strangle them with it.

Now which one sounds more like me?

If you are one of those sadly not rare people who loves themselves a little karaoke please know these things: your friends hate you; your loved ones hate that they have to apologize to friends every week for being forced to show up; and patrons of the establishment who didn’t know what horrific events were about to unfold want to go a little number two on your ass.

So please, for the sake of your friends, for the sake of your loved ones who are losing friends, and for the sake of the poor patrons who just wanted a nice, quiet, calm after dinner drink, back off, Little Rancid.

No, you don’t sound like Bonnie Tyler when you do Total Eclipse of the Heart. You sound like a hamster who’s been taught to speak and is going through a root canal. Be delusional on your own time. Your friends don’t have time for the Freddy Mercury level showmanship projected inside your head. What they see is what’s actually right in front of them. A frumpy soccer mom having a conniption.

So imagine my disdain when what I thought was just a plethora of shitty selections from the jukebox was the harbinger of audio doom. After about an hour of random musical caca I heard these chilling words over the microphone,

“If anyone would like to sing we have some books up here.”

“Why didn’t you warn me?” I accuse the bartender. But she just smiles and walks away. Her hearing already in deaf con seven. I look at how much of my drink is left and that of my companion and see that we are not going to get out of this unscathed. I’m sure because, upon hearing the word ‘sing’ this guy, this karaoke ninja who I swear was not in the building when the karaoke Goebbels said ‘if” was already up there with a handful of slips.

“He must print them out at home to be ready.” I mutter ominously into my beer.

I keep my back to him hoping that my ears wilt and slip into my ear holes for safety. But there would be no such luck because, sadly, we have not evolved enough as a species yet. But one day, one day I still hold out a wisp of hope.

I can’t recall the song, a coping mechanism I’ve learned, but it was one of those 60′s songs that seemed like a great idea when the lyricist was on acid but now sounds like a voice mail from your great great grandmother. You know there’s an idea in there somewhere but it’s way beyond your comprehension level.

But between that there was a sound. I’m used to feedback during karaoke. I actually look forward to it. At least it’s a sound I can deal with. But this was an odd one. More a popping then a squeal. The guy may be blowing into the mic (’cause I know he’s sucking with it).

But that’s odd. He doesn’t seem to be ‘singing’ when it happens at times. There it goes again. This time it was much more rapid. A bleet-bleet bleet-bleet-bleet. So I turn around and look.

“He’s keeping time by hand farting?”

Yes, he was.

“Why didn’t you warn me?” I scold the bartender. She shrugs and says,

“Some things you just have to see for yourself.”

Because no one else is there willing to torture others Mr. Bo Farthands gets to regale us with a few Doors tunes in a row.

LA Woman.

“Fart-fart fart-fart.”

The End

“Mother? Yes, son. I want to fart faaaaaaaaaarrrttt.”

Light My Fire

“Come on baby, fart-fart fart fart.”

I’ve seen plenty of instruments in my day. I have a Diddley Bo (a homemade one stringed guitar). I’ve touched a Viotar (a violin/guitar). I’ve seen a Trumophone (a trumpet with a saxophone mouthpiece). And now I can add Farting Hands to that list.

I could have lived my entire life without seeing and hearing that.

Fuck you, karaoke.

Happy

I’m sitting im the garage reading and drinking beer. Trust me, I enjoy those two activities more than you know. The only sounds are the traffic slouching behind me, muffled by my own enclosure. And birds. Birds do go on, don’t they?

At one point I finish a chapter so I take a moment to digest. Take in the thousands of words I’ve just absorbed. Let them ruminate in my fun house brain.

While staring straight ahead, thinking of nothing, just absorbing, I hear my girlfriend. She’s come to the window for some unkown reason. I can sense her looking at me, you know that feeling, until she finally calls out,

“What are you doing? You look like an idiot sitting there.”

I slowly turn my head sipping a beer along the way and respond,

“I can see why you’d be concerned. It’s been a long time since you’ve seen me happy.”

Talking to a. . .

. . .twenty something year old friend,

“What are you talking about? I’m so old the thing you call a throwback jersey I know as a jersey.”

Definition of disappointment

Walking into a sports bar and seeing only soccer and golf on the TVs.

Storyteller

He was a corpulent cuss bloated, no doubt, on his own self-importance. He stood there, posing in studied regality, regaling me with his life’s accomplishments. He’d cured his father of cancer and was going to write a book to cure the world. A movie about one of his many harrowing (and covert) military exploits is written in his mind. He once “. . .beat off a pack of wild dogs. . .” who were attacking a defenseless woman. That sentence fragment alone leaves an image one should not have.

While listening to him prattle, for I sensed his stories were endless because his greatness and bravery knows no bounds, I noticed his right eye was slightly out of focus. As if it were on autofocus and the refracting light was causing an unsteady clarity. I wondered if that was the eye he saw his adventures through. As if his life was viewed through a gauzy halo like the soft focus of a film noir femme fatale close-up.

I could hear a slight wheeze as his stories continued. I took that as a sign the end was near. Not as in his death, but due to the exhaustion that comes from the summation of ones achievements.

He reminded me of the old Saturday Night Live pathological liar character, Tommy Flanagan, but with a smoker’s echoed breathing. He paused for a moment during his litany of self. He smiled the smile of a deathshead salesman. Part vacant, part conniving. Was he sizing me up? Am I engaged enough for him to ride on to his crescendo? Is he wondering if I think he’s gone too far? I couldn’t be sure.

It was in this moment of somewhat quiet and contemplation, the battering of his over sized heart against his rib cage and the low engine rumble of his lungs the only soundtrack, I took the opportunity to ask him the only question I’ve been dying to ask since he began his soliloquy,

“Can you cash me out now?”

During a complaint. . .

. . .session with someone who was complaining about all the stupid people he has to deal with while ignoring the glaring idiocies he leaves in his wake I said,

“Just because you’re smarter than stupid people doesn’t mean you’re smart. It means you’re the king of the idiots.”

To the Rescue

I’m in the garage gathering something for someone else. It has to be for someone else because it’s not my garage.  No, I’m not breaking into this one. It’s my girlfriends mother’s and I’m here doing work.

It’s all the early possible nice weather (I can’t say spring because I don’t believe it exists anymore) tasks of putting out the dumb shit that 1) is rarely used (I’ve asked the next door neighbor who’s always in his yard, she might use the table and chairs I’m force to bring out once, maybe twice) 2) is totally unnecessary (a ceramic shoe planter? That’s never had a plant in it? Really?  That’s going to add to the ambiance of the yard?) yet must be done.

And don’t think I can willy nilly this task. Are you kidding me? One year I put a thing on the deck that was supposed to be on the first stair where I’d put something that, to my obviously idiots eye, looked strikingly similar to the one I’d put on the first stair. Oh the gnashing! Oh the recriminating stares focused my way! You’d have thought I’d shit in the ceramic shoe.

As you can see this is possibly the most important task I’ll have this week (I’d say month but I’ve got to mow the lawn in a couple of days) so it should be afforded my utmost and more sincere efforts and concentration. At least that’s how it’s presented to me. My feeling is, if nothing broke, I’m golden.

I’m bringing a planter to the front of the house when I hear,

“Oh, I’m so glad it’s you.”

Who doesn’t like to hear that?

It’s the neighbor. He’s always trimming and moving and working around his yard. This time he’s pruning this sort of bonsai looking tree. At least that’s what he’s made it look like. He works on it a little here and there, standing on his scaffolding for hours at a time but, to this idiots eye, it looks as if he’s pretty much coming to a completion.

“What’s happening?” I ask. “Trees looking good.”

“Can you come here a minute? It’s kind of urgent.”

I put down the planters (in the exact location) and head over. Huh. Something seems amiss to me. His feet don’t seem to be on the scaffolding. That’s odd. As I get closer things start to come into focus.

And I almost bust a rib laughing.

“Yeah, yeah, get it all out. Just get me down.”

It seems that, while moving from one side of the scaffolding to the other the crotch of his pants got stuck on the cleat (where the rope ties off) of the flag pole.

I regain myself well enough (what that means is I was still laughing but could safely stand up) to lift him off the cleat and safely place him on the scaffolding.

He tells me that, to his great comfort, nothing touched his flesh.

“It might me too bad it didn’t. I would have got here sooner.” As true as that is, he said he was still happy with the outcome. He tells me he thinks he’s done for the day. I tell him I think that’s a good idea. I mention that he might wanna think about wearing tighter pants while doing this from now on. he chuckles and says,

“I bet you don’t have another stuck on a flag pole story, do you.”

As a matter of fact. When I was a kid I knew an older kid who shimmied up the flag pole all the way to the top. He hauled himself up and over it to perch himself on the truck (the topper) of the flag pole which just happened to be a spread eagle.

“He’s all happy with himself so throws up his hands while leaning back. He then started to fall. Which was bad enough. A few of us walked over to him. He’s squirming on the ground so we figure he’s not that badly hurt. You know, the way kids think. It wasn’t until I notice a ton of blood pooling on his shorts that I figured out something was wrong.” I look at the neighbor and smile. “He’d torn his scrotum in half when it got caught on the eagles wing. You could actually see his balls hanging out of there.”

He looked at me for a second before shaking his head.

“Why did I bother asking?”

“Because you wanted to know yours is a funny hanging from a flag pole by your crotch story!”

See? It’s doesn’t take much too to make someone feel better about themselves.