Tuesday, January 6, 2009

All Night, Every Night

The lights are growing dim, Otto. I know a life of crime has led me to this sorry fate, and yet, I blame society.

—Dick Rude, Repo Man

Breathe easy, Tootsie Pop. Just close your eyes and imagine sunsets and waterfalls and rainbows and shit. Try not to dwell on the fact that it’s 11:09 AM and you haven’t slept yet. Try not to get too worked up about those three and a half hours you have to drive to get home. You might want to think, just a little bit, about the fact that you have to get your sweet rock n’ roll ass out of this hotel in exactly 51 minutes, though. That might be a pretty good idea, actually—the best one you’ve had in about, oh, maybe ten hours or so. Ever since you drove into that fucking fence. The one the city so conveniently stretched across the freeway onramp.

And where is your car, anyway, Grasshopper? Up until recently, you were pretty confident that it was in the hotel parking lot—right where you left it—but now … now that you’ve had time to think … it’s entirely possible that the police towed it away after they found your front license plate under that fence, isn’t it? Fuck. That would be a Total Drag, huh?

You do nothing to allay your fears when you call Headquarters and get Albert and Alex on speakerphone.

“Benito! How’s Fresno?”

“Awesome. I crashed my car.”

There is a brief-yet-pregnant pause.

“Are the police involved?”

“No, no—thank Christ.”

“Are you okay?”

Notice they ask this question second.

“I haven’t slept. But other than that, yeah, yeah—I’m good. But the car… the car looks like it was attacked by a mountain lion.”

“There were mountain lions involved?”

This is going so much better than expected.

“Oh, yeah … there were about half a dozen of them out on that ramp. I guess a meat truck overturned or something. There was blood everywhere. By the time I saw them, it was too late.”

One gets the sense that they’re not buying it. Or even, you know, listening.

“Great. So you’ll have the story in on time, right?”

“Yeah—of course—you know me. Just as long as the cops didn’t tow my car, we should be right on schedule.”

“I thought you said there were no cops.”

… But miracles happen on days like this, sweetheart, and it seems today is your lucky day. As it turns out, your car IS in the parking lot. Better still, both of your license plates are still attached. Yeah, your side-view has been torn off and there’s a fairly jagged hunk of metal sticking up from where the hood meets the side-panel … and yeah, the fucking thing does look like it was attacked by a mountain lion, but fuck it: You haven’t been arrested yet. So you slide that lily-white ass of yours into the driver’s seat, dial up Diamond Head’s Lightning To The Nations on the iPod and drive by that freeway onramp laughing. Like a crazy person. And then—and ONLY then—you recall why it is you do this to yourself (because it’s sure as shit not the money): It’s because you just cannot get enough. You are a glutton for punishment. And as such, punishment is almost always forthcoming. Furthermore, no good deed (or bad deed, or neutral deed) will go unpunished. So sit back and relax, Tootsie Pop. This won’t hurt a bit.

This bullshit originally published in the October 2007 issue of Decibel magazine

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