CHRISTMAS VACATION: CONFESSIONS OF A CONFUSED DOUCHE
SECTION FOUR: ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Chapter XXXIV: Boos Heard Around the World
Space Medicine was performing a show that night and I offered to be Mary’s roadie—it was the least that I could do for allowing me to stay with them. She said she generally held a feminist attitude and did not generally like guys helping her out. I encouraged her to maintain that feminist attitude and forcefully demand that I carry her stuff, like the 2nd rate gender species that I am, as a means of repaying for my inconvenient imposing.
I was only required to carry the light items and she took the heavier stuff. However, I did hang around the bar she was playing while she parked her car as if I was like a security guard there to watch her stuff—it made me feel important. She needed no assistance setting up and I told her that I would return later to watch her show.
First, I had to go back to the Greyhound Station and finally purchase this ticket. After that, I planned to visit some happening spots around town and then catch the last of the Space Medicine set. My plans for seeing the show consisted of standing in the front row, swooning at Leigh the violin player. After the performance, I was planning on following her around while throwing rose petals at her feet until she eventually elbowed me in the stomach. Once I caught my breath after having the wind knocked out of me, I would offer to carry all of equipment for her, bring all of her stuff inside for her, actually go inside her house, clean her entire house, wash all of her dishes, vacuum the rug, do all of the house chores that she needed me to do, cook her a gourmet meal, and then walk home by myself… without giving her any indication whatsoever that I had secretly developed a major schoolgirl crush on her. She would never know.
However, the bus once again was taking too long and I was tired of fucking around with the God damned bus. This time, I figured that it was being delayed because the driver accidentally drove off of a cliff due to asphyxiation from KFC gluten. I did not feel like walking there either because it was too fucking cold and 63% of America did not feel like walking the 1.5 mile distance, so why the fuck should I have to? In fact, I grew irate that I am expected to carry out useless yet hazardous troublesome missions that a majority of the world would never even attempt. Fuck it, I figured I could get the bus ticket tomorrow.
The first place I stopped was Tiger Mountain, which was the bar Kelly and I stopped to visit a friend but the private party was taking place; at least this time it was open to the public. Our friend was not there at the time, but the bartender greeted me, “Hi Tony, haven’t see you in awhile.” I had no idea who the fuck she was.
We chatted, I had a beer, whatever, it was still early, so it wasn’t very busy. But, I figured that this place would draw a huge crowd because Jamie was one of the most popular people in town. To me, he was always the epitome of Asheville. He had that renegade type attitude, was always himself, and never went full-retard.
To be honest, I wasn’t even sure if he would even remember me, but I wasn’t too concerned with that. He obviously had a lot of friends and I wasn’t essential for his happiness, which is perfectly fine by me. The last time I saw him, I was working at Shell or Bi-lo, and I wished to view his bartender skills with the perspective of a now bartender. It is important to have proper influence.
She was playing the 3rd Velvet Underground album, a record I consider a personal favorite. It made way for a nice conversation topic because surveys have indicated that people who get bored talking about The Velvet Underground usually wind up homeless. We talked about music quite extensively, which obviously made me happy because another survey had revealed that 98% of the people who do not enjoy discussing music contract hemorrhoids.
I finished my beer, Jamie had not shown, and I was debating whether to leave, or stay and have another ice cold mother fucking Pabst Blue Ribbon just to listen to The Murder Mystery. She talked me into staying for one more Pabst Blue Ribbon and to hear the #1 song of 1969, The Murder Mystery by The Velvet Underground. Simply put, this song is a sheer masterpiece. It was insanely artistic 44 years ago and remains brutally unconventional to this day. There are an extreme amount of lyrics in this song, two separate stories on either side of the headphones, complimented perfectly with a twin vocal chorus, music instrumentation that ranges from spooky to challenging, and a piano based finale that ranks in the top best in history. The finale again features two separate stories on each side of the headphones augmented with a reckless assault on the piano for the grand climax.
Surveys have shown that people who do not like The Murder Mystery are genuine fucking assholes and have a 79% chance of becoming a serial rapist.
Jamie finally arrived, equipped with Ty Seagall on vinyl. We greeted, he remembered me, I was giddy, he gave me a free shot, and all was well. When he started, the other bartender clocked out and sat next to me at the bar. Even though she and I talked, I also had to learn the skills from the master in order to compare and contrast my own. I opted for another beer and Jamie played Run to Your Mama by Goat, my favorite track of theirs, a top 10 for the best of 2012, one I had played in my own place of employment several times.
There needs to be more places like this in Milwaukee besides where I have to sneak to play this stuff and the patrons have no clue what the fuck it is. I was telling Jamie about Milwaukee and asked him what he would do if 20 Katy Perry fans walked through that door right now.
“Shit, I’d just close the bar and try to figure out a way to get them all out of here.”
If he is the epitome of the coolest bartender in history, I would like to think that on a good night I am not that far behind. The difference is that he owns his place and can do whatever the fuck he wants. The other most distinguishing difference is that he does whatever the fuck he wants anyway. You would never see him concealing his true identity in order to appeal to those with more conventional standards. As a result, he has the least douchiest image in history.
As we were talking, I told him that I was moving back to Asheville at the beginning of next month. Those words just flowed right out of my mouth and sounded so natural. It did not take long before the city of Portland became an afterthought. Right after they flowed out so naturally, I was again stricken with the thought, “you can’t be afraid to die.”
This girl who was now sitting next to me remained as much of a mystery as The Velvet Underground Murder. I have no recollection of ever meeting her, but was afraid to ask where we met acquaintance. Fuck it, I thought, its none of my business.
She told me she had been doing standup comedy and informed me that she was doing a performance in West Asheville and that I should come along to see her. I was hesitant and told that I didn’t have a car and have had bad luck with buses or else I would. She countered by saying that she had a car. Then ensured that series of awkwardness where she never directly asked me to go and I never bluntly refused. Instead, she suggested that if I wanted to go, she would drive me back immediately following her performance.
Whatever, she seemed cool, so I went with it.
It was at some place in West Asheville that I had never heard of and there were several comedians slated to perform. She told me that there was some dude working next door that she had a crush on and was going to hang out with him for a few. Girls do that shit a lot… and get away with it. If a dude drags some girl out with him and then goes and hangs out with some other girl, that’s usually grounds for a beating. In fact, men even glancing at other women in the company of another woman has greatly attributed to the extensive growth of cemeteries worldwide.
I was perfectly fine with it because I wasn’t attracted to this girl, even though I valued her company because she had good taste in music. In fact, I was a bit relieved because now I knew she wasn’t going to try anything funny or expect something that would only lead to an awkward situation. Intimacy with strange women was still on boycott. From here on out, two years ago, I had vowed that I wasn’t doing anything considered “intimate” (including kissing*, sex, oral sex, hand jobs, or even sitting close to one another) with anybody except for one person, and I still haven’t met her. * Making out with friends who are not going to take it seriously or make any attempts whatsoever to go to any sort of next level is moderately acceptable only when severely intoxicated.
In her absence, I met the acquaintance of her friends—the other comedians. I didn’t know any of them, and just happened to meet them while I was outside smoking. They thought I was funny, and that should have been an omen when somebody responded to something I said with, “that was the funniest thing I heard all night.” What I had said was not very funny either; the clip of what I had said was shown throughout the entire Universe, and of the 672 quadraexstatciseentialthertienzazanillion various creatures who viewed it, these people were the only three beings who laughed.
Sadly, it may have been the funniest thing said all night. Aside from Minori (who was easily the highlight of the show), none of the others were particularly funny. This place did not normally feature comedians either and none of the other patrons were interested in hearing them. It was a local dive bar and the patrons were more concerned with conversing among themselves. Aside from the two people seated at the front of the bar, nobody else was paying attention, and the comedians might as well have been house plants decorating the stage.
In turn, those on the stage did nothing but complain about the people in the bar because they weren’t listening. This is a huge pet peeve of mine and I hate it when amateur performers become irate with the audience’s lack of interest. I was torn here because they had invited me to sit with them, and I was now somewhat a part of their group. Since they constantly openly complained about the patrons not listening (this was all they discussed on stage) I felt obligated to focus my attention on their performance and not interact with the other patrons at this bar. It was a most uncomfortable situation and I was 100% positive that I was full-retard. People who have no douchy qualities whatsoever would not have stayed.
Performers should acknowledge when their act is not working and seek a different routine. People do not have to listen to shit—it’s the speaker’s job to make the matter interesting enough for people to want to listen to them. There is nothing worse than forced sympathy, and addressing the audience by basically begging for attention will only draw insincere praise. I would rather be booed, attacked, or secretly plotted against than receive insincere compliments.
In my case though, I think that all compliments directed towards me are insincere. There is no way possible that anybody could like any single thing about me. And if the compliment is sincere, then that means the person stating the complimentary praise has bad taste. Therefore, I do not expect anybody to ever listen to me when I speak, like what I am saying, or even acknowledge that I even exist. I have no right whatsoever to expect unsuspecting people minding their own business to drop their affairs and devote their attention to me. Mother fuckers got better shit to do than listen to my monkey ass… these comedians needed a bit of that same attitude and it might have helped their performances.
|The common response when I walk out the door each morning.|
The next time I went outside, everybody on the outside patio was complaining about how horrible the comedians were; even the guy working at the place was complaining and he said that he was going to have a long talk with the owner about scheduling this type of “shit.”
I couldn't wait to leave and was still hoping to get back in time to watch the Space Medicine set, even though I had already run out of time to write an entire satchel full of secret love letters to my future one-sided love affair that nobody would know anything about. My whole life is a series of one-sided love affairs. While one survey suggests that 91% of the world views this a personal problem, the 88% of the 9% who do not are regarded as badass cool ass mother fucking people because that’s how we roll. 96% of those who were both in the 9% who did not view it a personal dilemma and in the 12% not regarded as badass cool ass mother fuckers were actually in a coma and did not even bother to answer any of the questions. 62% of the world agrees with me that I could revive any person out of a coma using a self-taught home remedy or researching the instruction manual on Wikipedia.
Index: Chapter List
Chapter 34 Soundtrack Listing:
1. The Velvet Underground
"The Murder Mystery" 9:00
The Velvet Underground
The Days and Nights of Everything Anywhere
3. Ty Segall Band
"Run To Your Mama" 2:23
5. My Bloody Valentine
6. El Columpio Asesino
7. Royal Baths
"Sinister Sunrise" 5:15
"Heavy Friends" 4:49
9. Old Time Relijun
"Cold Water" 8:11
"The Human Factor" 10:29
All Sections Written, Designed, and Music Compiled by Tony J. Neal
Pabst Blue Ribbon image shared from Noble Green Wines (website appropriately named for Pabst)
Booing crowd courtesy of Kate Shaw from Ars Technica