The night I turned eighteen, in 1984, I was at some party, drunkenly celebrating my newly-arrived adulthood, when I beat the crap out of some Greek (as in fraternity member) from high school because he’d said my favorite band, those heavy-metal retards Skorchin, “suck donkey dick.” Five years later, during my first stint in AA, out of a twelve-steppish desire to make amends, I visited him (he still lived in town) to apologize. “Forget about it,” he said. “I love that band now. Can you fuckin’ believe it?” I fuckin’ could. Sometimes it takes time for people to appreciate retardedness.
After years of playing coffeehouses and regattas, the female alt-rock band Bitchfork scored its biggest hit ever, when the band’s 1998 song “Here Chicky Chicky” appeared on the soundtrack of that direct-to-streaming, Nineties nostalgia movie Lamestain. The residuals that Bitchfork’s lead singer and sole original member Tessa McQuade earned from writing that song helped pay for her eighty-one-year-old grandfather’s funeral. She’d never liked him, but she thought he deserved something for dying a particularly nasty death from COVID; she’d seen him wheeze like a porous accordion via Zoom as he lay in his hospital bed. Survivors’ guilt: the other pandemic.
A truck sideswiped a convertible one warm, rainless night, killing the convertible’s driver instantly. (The nonunionized trucker had fallen asleep behind the wheel after eighteen straight hours driving to meet a strict deadline for delivering overpriced consumer goods to various high-end department stores, such a literal deadline indicative of the destruction of organized labor and of the corporate world’s valuing profits over employees, including the employees who had manufactured those consumer items overseas for subsistence wages under dangerous conditions.) I suppose we need a human-interest angle here. The convertible’s driver, Jonathan Perrin, thirty-nine, liked watching superhero movies on his computer.
One night five years ago, after getting drunk at some bar, the bros and I walked up the street to a tattoo parlor, where we had our left biceps inked with the logo of Skorchin, that lame Eighties band we’d listened to in high school during the 2010s. Only, on me, that jagged, fiery, metallic-lettered logo ended up looking like a smudgy SKOBCHEN. Today, the tattoo serves as an entertaining story, turning me into a character, someone with no aspirations beyond partying. But I did have aspirations once—investment-company aspirations. That messed-up tattoo must have engulfed them, sci-fi style. Eerie.
You wanna know what excuse Benwick gave, during the Zoom meeting, for submitting those estimates an hour late? You really wanna know?
He said he’d gotten the Liberty Mutual jingle stuck in his head and needed to walk outside a while to, as he put it, “reset.” Snickering as he told us. Not even apologizing for the inconvenience he’d caused.
He should have gotten fired long ago, but being both the owner’s son-in-law and a wannabe comedian has certain privileges, such as getting away with doing stand-up routines on the job. Freaking COVID didn’t close every comedy club after all.