ALL THE PRETTY SONGS: LAST PICKED, FIRST KICKED, AND GIVE ME MY FUCKING BOOT/CANTO #14

ALL THE PRETTY SONGS: LAST PICKED, FIRST KICKED, AND GIVE ME MY FUCKING BOOT/CANTO #14

I’m realizing as I’ve gotten older that I went through a fair portion of my younger years being naive as an absolute motherfucker. No shit, I’ve had a flood of “doing the math in my head” moments and I’ve come to the shitty-but-kinda-funny realization that I was the kid people longed to take snipe hunting and leave in the woods til they wise up or get eaten by crows. Luckily, some kind of force of good will was looking out for me and I lived to make a “less than graceful” exit from my hometown, but it was a close fucking shave.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts (you BETTER well have) you know that I was bullied pretty bad as a kid. If not, catch up here. It’s cool, I’ve worked through it and all that jazz, and in the spirit of “you gotta be able to laugh at yourself” I’m going to share some of the funnier occurrences from my awkward-as-fuck adolescence and make fun of myself a little. Why not? Life is short, holding on to anger just turns into bitterness and that ain’t a good look. Might as well laugh at shit.

If you can’t laugh at yourself, don’t worry- someone will.

When I was in the second grade there was this fucking girl named Mandy. I don’t remember her last name so I’m OK using the first. She was always a real grade-A asshole to me and I was getting real sick of it. One day, she was giving me shit in the lunchroom and this older kid came up to me and said “show her your middle finger, that’s the signal for “I’m gonna get you outside”. Then you can chase her at recess!”. Sounded fuckin’ good to me, so I stood up on the cafeteria table and proceeded to flip the bird to 12 or so kids in the crowded lunchroom. Still makes me smile when I think about it.

It was innocent enough from my perspective, I didn’t know any fucking better, and I got a pretty big reaction so I thought I was winning the day. Of course the lunchroom supervisor IMMEDIATELY grabbed me and relegated me to sitting by the wall for recess as punishment. These sixth grade girls came over to me and asked me, “Do you know what you did in there? Do you know what that means?” I shook my head and one of them said “you should go home and ask your Mommy what that finger means”. Now, I may have been a dimwitted little second grader but I damn sure knew that whatever it DID mean, I didn’t want my mom to know I had done it, so I didn’t say a god damned thing.

Spot the “too soon” joke in the next paragraph and win nothing!

More fun where that came from! Fast forwarding to fourth grade, since I was a shy, awkward, “obviously raised by his mom” kid who was as good at sports as Louis C.K. is at mentoring- the natural next step was for me to try out for the fucking basketball team. Note to mom: shoulda shut that shit down, it wasn’t the dream that would materialize. The NBA wouldn’t be drafting this bowl-cutted little fucker, not even to mop the locker room floors.

If you’ve ever been on a playground in your life, and there have been kids playing basketball, you’ve probably heard of the “granny shot”. That’s when you shoot the ball underhanded from a sort-of squatted position. You look like a real cunt doing it and everyone laughs at you. Awesome. Well, when it was my turn to showcase my free-throw prowess at my tryout, what did I choose to do? Yep. You’re god damned right, this bitch did a fucking granny shot. This little mop-top blond white kid with asthma, whom everyone had seen getting the shit beaten out of him on several occasions and most boys affectionately called “pussy”, shot the biggest fucking brick of all time. And it was a granny shot, the cherry on top of the world’s shittiest hot-fudge sundae. Silence turned to laughter, and I went back to my post as school punching bag. Good times!

You’re about to be STUNG.

This is also a 100% true story: That song “Every Breath You Take” by The Police? I know, you know the song, but I still have to make sure since some people under 30 might be reading. Well, the line where Sting says “how my fool heart aches”? I spent until somewhere in my early 20’s thinking he was saying “I’m a pool hall ace”, and since I had firmly thought this since pre-internet times I never had any need to Google it or question it in any way. Nevermind the fact that I’m a FUCKING MUSICIAN, and a HUGE fan of The Police. I always thought it was really weird too- I always wondered why, in the middle of this song about essentially stalking a woman he would suddenly shift gears into a boast about his billiards skills. But hey, us musicians can be a weird bunch, so I just assumed it was some shit I wasn’t supposed to understand.

Here’s another lyrical winner for you. George Michael’s “Faith”? The lyric where he says “I reconsider my foolish notion”? Spent until my god damn 20’s thinking he was saying “I’ve reconsidered, and my boot is yours, Son.”. I’m going to give you a second to stop laughing before you read on.

………………

Done? Ok, great! Yeah, your intrepid curator here was fucking walking around this planet actually THINKING that shit. I even remember asking my mom about it back in the 80’s (fuck you, YOU’RE old) and she must not have wanted to correct me, or she didn’t understand the shit either, and she fed me some story about how a father giving his son one of his boots was some kind of rite of passage. The FUCK? So, there I am thinking about my absentee prick of a father and silently wondering to myself, “Where’s my fucking boot?”. Mom, you did your best but CHRIST.

I don’t even think my father ever OWNED boots.

Come to think of it, now that the mental floodgates are open, mom was responsible for a lot of these lifelong lyric faux pas nuggets I walked around with longer than anyone reading Nietzche should. I’ve suddenly remembered one I’d forgotten about- you hear it first folks! The Dire Straits song “Walk of Life” (Google it kiddos, I don’t have time to explain shit from previous decades)? When he says “custom kitchen delivery-y-y-y”? Yeah, my mother is directly fucking responsible for this one- she told me he was saying “custom kitchens and livery (pronounced liv-er-ay)” and when I asked what a fucking “liv-er-ay” was she said that it was a word some people used for “fridge”. THE FUUUUUUCK?!?!?! Look up the word “livery”? Jack SHIT about fridges. Liveray? Not a fucking word.

I wonder then, did my own mother even think I was a naive little shit and decide to have some fun with me? See if she could plant these dumb ass little seeds and watch them grow into my adulthood and have a secret laugh behind my back? I don’t know, and she plays fucking coy when I ask about it, so I guess we’ll just have to leave it to the ether where it floats. Liveray? Get the fuck out of here.

Parenting tip from the 1980’s: Just make shit up!

From there, I always seemed to end up the kid who hadn’t heard of the bands all the older kids had. I was the kid they gave too much weed to so they could fuck with me. I was the kid who ended up ditched on the shitty side of town, I was the kid that wasn’t in on the fucking jokes cause I WAS the joke. When I turned 11 and started getting into punk rock, and Nirvana, and all that jazz I was still a sweet little kid at heart. So all the little heathens I was hanging with must have smelled me coming a mile away. There were these two dudes, Rob and Tim, and they were the dudes I wanted to hang with. They had longish hair, they had guitars, and they skated real well. Me? I could get ON a skateboard and go forward, that’s about all I ever amounted to with that particular activity. I’d go, but I’d also usually just fall off and end up carrying the fucking thing. Anyway, they claimed to be in a band called “Organized Kaos” and that I should be the drummer. First thing- I can play the drums pretty well now, but back then? No drums. Nope, I didn’t have drums or know how to PLAY drums either, but I pressed on and we decided I would play a bucket. Yeah, you fucking read that right. Next, we decided to change our name to Psychotic Rooster. Nevermind the fact that I had IMMEDIATELY covered all my notebooks in our “OK” logo, how fucking stupid is PSYCHOTIC ROOSTER?! Crazy cocks indeed.

Shoulda known better, kid.

It probably goes without saying that we never played a show, and I’m realizing now that we were never a fucking band either. I was the butt of another joke. It hit me like a ton of bricks- I was the kid in Nirvana’s “In Bloom”:

“He’s the one who likes all the pretty songs, and he likes to sing along, and he likes to shoot his gun, but he don’t know what it means”

There were a lot of reasons Nirvana resonated with me as deeply as they did, but now- in the light of all the years that have passed- I realize that Kurt Cobain must have been the naive kid just like me. He was, it’s fairly public knowledge at this point. And in that song he perfectly articulated who I was back then. I wanted to be a part of the scene, I wanted to be cool, but I was the sweet kid. I was the bullied kid, and I was the kid who was raised by his mother who was herself pretty naive too. She grew up in a French boarding school and was essentially shipped over to America to fend for herself. She was figuring shit out all on her own, and after my father fucked off she was doing the best she could.

Now, I found my way of course, through metric shit-ton of trial and error as you’ve learned here. By the way, a big FUCK YOU to everyone that fucking played into that shit instead of pulling me aside and saying “hey dude, this is the real deal- you need to know this shit”. So many motherfucking assholes gleefully watching me stumble around like a baby deer, all wobbling legs and faltering confidence. You know what though? I did it, I learned to stand and these legs don’t fucking wobble anymore motherfuckers! I did it and I managed to outlive Kurt Cobain- the man everyone called “the voice of a generation” who, as it turns out, was just a naive kid at heart like me.

Was there some grander point to this one? No, not fucking really. I just wanted to laugh about this shit a little and I figured some of you guys might relate. Someone I follow on Twitter said something the other day and it jogged me into thinking about this and here I am. I guess if I have a point to make it’s this- fuck being cool. Most of the people we think are cool are complete fucking assholes. I now know it to be true that the reason I didn’t end up a total dick is because I never lost that naive little dude-he’s in here, ever-present like some kind of psychic baby deer, reminding me to keep my ego in check because I STILL hear “I’m a pool hall ace” and I think we should ALL live our lives like a pool hall ace. Sink that 9 ball, Gordon- you’ve got this. I’m fucking done, this was stupid but I spent enough time on it that I’m gonna leave it with you anyway.

“When life gives you lemons, just say “Fuck The Lemons” and bail!”- Paul Rudd as Kunu in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”

AJH

A brand new blog/website where this happily married, 30-something father of 2 little minions rants, raves, and speaks in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together!http://theghostgeneration.com

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