It’s one more random than 10!
I had my fantasy football draft last weekend (well, my main fantasy football draft). I’ve been in this league since 2006, and most of the other nine guys have been in it that entire time as well.
We met at the league commissioner’s house, located in a small Illinois town for the beginning of a guy’s day. We played basketball for a couple of hours, then poker, before we headed into our draft. We drank and grilled and generally indulged in alcoholic and digestive gluttony. Once the draft ended, we headed to a townie bar where the female bartender plied us with a shot called an Apple Pie that indeed tasted just like apple pie. We drank a whole pie's worth. We capped off the night when my brother Tickle bought a tight pink tank top that had the bar’s name on it and we all took turns wearing it. I suspect a picture of me in that item of clothing will surface at some point (I’m surprised it hasn’t been posted to my Facebook page yet).
The funny thing about this group is that four of the ten guys work in secondary education. The commish who hosted is actually the principal of the local high school. Three of the other guys are teachers. And here they were, drinking like fish, acting like fools in a bar, and revolving an entire day around building a pretend football team.
When I was in school, I never would have imagined my teachers and administrators doing this, because I never imagined them having lives. They seemed like animatronic figures in a museum who only came to life when the school bell turned on, and then shut off with the final bell of the day. They didn’t need companionship. They didn’t spend their weekends getting plowed with their friends. They were just teachers. In my mind, that was all they did. Even being married to The Lovely Becky didn’t change that perception—her father was a teacher, but he spent most of his free time talking about what happened in school (or Vietnam, which sometimes sounded less scary than the school).
I would have been shocked to find my teachers engaging in drunken shenanigans, wildly inappropriate humor, gambling, and idiotic hobbies. If I had walked in on a group like those present at the bar the other night, I’m not sure what I would have made of them. On the one hand, I might have thought it was the coolest thing ever and seen them as real people with lives outside of school.
More likely, I would have snapped a pic of the principal in a skin-tight pink tank top and kept it as my get-out-of-jail free card for the rest of my school career. Lucky for our commish that none of his students were out bar crawling with fake IDs that night.
1) “Can’t Buy Me Love,” The Beatles. I appreciate the late Beatles more—the adventurousness, the way they shattered the boundaries of pop music so much that they still sound like one of the most experimental groups in history—I like the early Beatles more. Those early songs are like perfect diamonds. It was interesting to see what strange jewelry they would later craft, but there’s such a simple beauty in holding a single, flawless gem in the palm of your hand.
2) “Mamma Mia,” ABBA. Fucka mia.
3) “Since You’re Gone,” The Cars. I have always loved the interplay between the click track and the drums that drive this song. Also, Ric Ocasek is 62, which seems almost as unbelievable as his still being married to Paulina. I saw him on Colbert when the Cars played, and I will say that he is like Geddy Lee in that he looks better now that he’s older. Neither of them will ever be considered good looking, but they don’t seem quite as ugly as they did when they were younger. That’s a benefit of having the looks bar lowered as you age. You can be an ugly-ass 35-year-old, but if you still look a lot like that ugly-ass 35-year-old when you’re 55, people will say, “Hey, he looks so much better than he used to.” That’s one of the only things about aging that I’m looking forward to.
4) “Set Yourself on Fire,” Stars. Self-immolation has got to be in the top five for awful ways to kill yourself. In fact, I’d go so far as to put it at number one, above jumping out of an airplane (at least you get to enjoy the rush of the fall) and having sex with Anne Coulter (she always feeds after she mates, so it’s basically a form of suicide). First, there’s the buildup to immolation. You’re pouring gasoline or charcoal fluid on yourself, or wearing your best little black Kingsford Match Light Molotov Cocktail dress. There’s the anticipation that pretty soon you’re going to look like the cover of the Wish You Were Here album. Then there is the obvious pain of being on fire. A lot of times I microwave dishes and then, like a dumbass, take them out of the microwave without using any protection for my hands. Two seconds of touching hot glass after two minutes on high and I’m screaming like I just dipped my fingers in acid. How could anyone volunteer for that feeling? Sure, self-immolation makes a dramatic statement about killing yourself, but so does taking a vial of pills and hiring a skywriter to trace your suicide message above your ex’s/boss’s/dictator’s apartment/office/palace.
5) “Head Like a Hole,” Nine Inch Nails. At the age of 40, there aren’t any songs in my collection that I won’t listen to out of some sense of age-inappropriateness. I’ll rock out Whitesnake’s “Slide It In” like I did when I was 15, for example, or any number of punk anthems that were aimed at the time at people who are my age now. In that respect, I’ll channer my inner industrial rage whenever Trent Reznor makes an appearance. But what about 20 years from now (assuming a giant sausage grenade doesn’t lodge in my heart and explode before then). Will I be cruising down the street in a convertible K-car hybrid, Panama hat on my head and wearing sandals with socks, singing “I’d rather die than give you control!”? I hope the answer is yes.
6) “Skin of the Night,” M83. I loves me some electronic tom-tom beats. This song cries out for a scene where Demi Moore and Andrew McCarthy have sex on a waterbed in a room full of Nagel posters.
7) “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song),” Concrete Blonde. Count Chocula on a crutch, the vampire thing needs to fucking die. They are the least interesting of the classic scary monsters. Zombies? Always awesome. Werewolves? Not only scary, but also amazing basketball players. Ghosts? Scary enough that you can base entire shows of people on night-vision cameras going “Did you hear that?” every time a cockroach farts in an old asylum. Demons and possession? Two words: Pea soup. But vampires? Best case scenario, they seem like roadies for Bauhaus. Worst case, they seem like Keanu Reeves trying to show range. I’m hoping the next trend is a Creature from the Black Lagoon revival. What’s scarier than parking your Chevelle at Makeout Pond, only to be assaulted by a frog-man who craves man-flesh? That critter never got his due.
8) “He’s My Star,” Poster Children. A terrific specimen of 90’s alternative that was sadly overlooked. It does the quiet/loud/quiet/LOUD thing really well. Trivia: These guys once crashed at TLB’s house in college.
9) “When You Don’t See Me,” Sisters of Mercy. Weirdest tour pairing ever? These guys touring with Public Enemy in the 1990s. What would those fans have in common?
Sisters of Mercy Fan: “My father doesn’t understand me because I wear eyeliner and lace and write poetry in the style of Byron, although much darker.”
PE Fan: “My father was murdered by the Klan.”
Sisters of Mercy Fan: “Oh, how dreadful. I weep bitter tears for your loss, although there is a dark beauty in agony, don’t you think?”
PE Fan: “Why do you smell like Cinnabon?”
10) “Never Gonna Change,” Drive-By Truckers. You could use this as the theme music for a new show, The Real Dukes of Hazzard County. Bo would be a hardworking country boy caring for his cousin, Luke, who was left paralyzed after a terrible stock car racing accident. But Bo loses his job at the American flag plant after production is moved to China. He also cares for his cousin, Daisy, a single mom of two whose husband was murdered, but in caring for her, Bo struggles with his romantic feelings toward her. Desperate for cash, he turns to his Uncle Jesse, who reveals that his derelict trailer in the woods is just cover for a lucrative meth enterprise. However, he runs afoul of Boss Hogg, a crooked contractor who wants total control over all the drug traffic and rules through his heartless right-hand man, Sherriff Roscoe P. Coltrane. Hogg has it in for the Dukes (and his eyes on Daisy), but is thwarted by his deputy, Enos, whose mild-mannered bumbling is just an act to conceal his real identity as an undercover DEA agent. Enos becomes conflicted because of his feelings for Daisy and a real affinity for Uncle Jesse (the father he never had) and his duty to root out drugs from Hazzard. Will love win out, or duty? Tune in Fridays at 10 PM to find out.
11) “Purple Rain,” Prince and the Revolution. Get out your lighters, people, but make sure you keep the flame away from your lace cuffs. That shit’ll ignite faster than a feud with Morris Day.
Have a great weekend.