- 18 years ago, my bass player took me to a VIP room in some bar. The mission was to pick up an effects pedal or something from someone. Unsure of the ways of the world, I sat for 5 minutes, observing the goings-on. The room hosted 10 zombie-like blank-faced patrons. Never before had I witnessed such boring people. Exiting the bar, I shared my observations with Mr. Bass. “Most people are like that”, he replied, “They’re incredibly boring until you’re had a few drinks. A few drinks loosens everyone up.” Suddenly, the world of alcohol made a lot more sense.
- As you may be aware, I have big plans. One plan is to take my kids for a drive around the United States of America in a van while listening to countless episodes of This American Life. In preparation, I’ve downloaded all 405 episodes. Every day I listen to archives, sorting the wheat from the chaff. Last week, while listening to a random episode, I heard a mentally handicapped dude singing about California. Sure it’s borderline exploitative, but I urge you to listen to the full 95 second clip. Even if you’re at work, you’ll have a hard time not singing along with the chorus. The dude’s total lack of inhibition is startling. I’m pretty sure I could write equally fantastic music if I could stifle my inhibitions. Is there a boozeless solution to this? I’m too old to get mixed up with booze.
When we meet in real life, don’t believe my “plans for the future”. My plans will blow you away. They’re grand! Nod politely and ignore them. It’s not that I’m trying to put something over on you. Nor am I trying to impress you. I’m simply trying to talk myself into action. The latest scheme involves moving the family to France for 6 weeks. I have my reasons. Are my kids learning anything in school? Unlikely. I certainly didn’t. But travel has a way of opening eyes and softening the hardest know-it-all. France will shake the foundation of a suburban, strip-mall shopping, video game playing, reality TV watching American to his core. And don’t forget the cheese. The cheese is alive! Layer upon layer of subtle flavors. Our cheese? Dead! The USDA killed it with pasteurization. It’s dead! I’ve spent thousands of dollars buying cheese in the US, and for all that money I’ve found exactly two pasteurized cheeses worth consuming. Wait, where was I? I get excited trying to talk myself into this nonsense.
Man oh man oh man. There ain’t nothing like working with gas. Gas is it. Gas! The stuff that makes your dryer, furnace, water heater, and stove get all warm inside. The old lady is demanding a Jacuzzi in the basement, so first things first…I figured I’d better raise the basement pipes that keep wackin me in the head. Life as a 6’6″ giant isn’t always glamorous ya know. On this cold December day, me and Asia’s ex-boyfriend’s dad set out to raise those gas pipes. I should mention that this character knows even less about plumbing than me. Here’s what I do know about gas lines: There are three possible outcomes when you work with gas…
- The pipes don’t fit back together, and your family freezes until you either figure it out, or call a plumber who takes your money and lectures you about how only idiots fool with their gas lines.
- The house blows up.
- Everything works, but your hands are completely black.
Well guess what? Everything does work. Who’s the gas man with black hands? Yeah, that’s me baby.