Go crazy with me
Pretend we’ve just had six beers apiece. Pretend we’re sitting in a bar where you can actually hear me talk and the only one interrupting us is the bartender, and he only wants to know if we want more. And we don’t have to really answer. We just tap the side of our bottles and nod. It’s a given we want another, because we’re not going anywhere tonight. We will sit here until the bartender wipes down the bar and tells us it’s time to go. We’ll probably call a cab, because that’s what you do when you live in a place like this. But, as long as we’re pretending, maybe we can just walk out, say seeya later, and walk a couple blocks to our houses. It doesn’t matter, because that’s still a few hours away.
So, you signed up for Facebook? You really didn’t want to, did you? Makes you feel like you’ve sold out, bought in, become part of the machine. In the end, you felt like you had to, didn’t you? Don’t feel bad. I did it months ago. Felt like I had to, no matter how much I was selling out, buying in, or becoming part of the machine. I live in a world in which Google can actually control my mood on any given day. If that isn’t a signal I’m not real or well, I don’t know what is. At least now people I haven’t seen in 20 years know I am a complete sell-out. But a successful one! Right? Am I right?
It’s not all bad, though, huh? Digital jukebox over there is just about the best thing to happen to barrooms since pretzels and redneck divorcees. It’s like being able to force an entire bar to listen to your iPod. Sure, the guy drinking whiskey neat at the end of the bar may not want to hear Rodrigo y Gabriella, the Avett Brothers, and Reckless Kelly on repeat for six hours, but he’s not putting his money in, so he can pound sand. Here’s the thing, though, and you can tell me if you disagree. I won’t fight you too hard. But, I don’t think jukeboxes should have any music that isn’t off a live album. If we wanted to listen to studio music, we could just go sit in our cars. If we’re going to be, you know, out of the house and all, there is no reason we should be subjected to the whims of some recording engineer who thought Tom Petty seemed a little nasally that day in the studio. Oh, sure, I know, live songs don’t chart well. The kids don’t get it. Here’s the thing. You know that live Elton John song “Bennie and the Jets?” Thought it was live, didn’t ya? Nope. Sound engineer got bored or something and started adding in crowd noise. “The Load Out” by Jackson Browne? Yeah, that was actually live. See what I mean?
Oh, let’s not get started on the top five singer-songwriters of all time. Let’s just not. We do that every time and you always end up making fun of me. It always devolved into a conversation about whether it should be gauged on commercial success or subjective talent. I don’t want to talk about it. At least we can agree on Willie Nelson, right? Wait, don’t even answer. Let’s just talk about something else.
My job? You actually want to talk about that? How about this? Why don’t you stand up, grab that barstool and knock my teeth out? Let’s do that instead, okay? No, I haven’t had too much to drink. Have you? Then let’s talk about something else–Willie Nelson, that blonde chick that just walked in the door, or what style of underwear the bartender wears.
It’s a trick question, man. You’ve been drinking here long enough to know Guy doesn’t wear underwear.
I will agree with you on this, if you really want to talk about Willie. He is the musical equivalent to drinking beer on a summer night.
You know, I thought some of the other guys might join us tonight. I always feel better about a night of drinking if it’s three or more guys. I don’t know why, so don’t ask. No, it’s not a homophobia thing. I said not to ask, because I don’t know and it’s not worth exploring. Regardless, it’s just us. Christ, we’re old. Really, there are things that I used to do every day that I haven’t done in five years. Five years? What the hell happened to that time.
Okay, you’re right. I’m sounding a little drunk. Let’s just pretend I didn’t go down that road. Let’s talk about something else. No, we already talked about Guy’s underwear. Remember? None. Right. The blonde? No, she is with the guy who is pissed off I keep playing Uncle Tupelo on the digital jukebox.
What do you mean shave? Oh, this? Yeah, I never can decide to do with my face. Ever since I fell on my face five years ago, I’ve worn some sort of facial hair. I think I do it to remind myself that I still have some modicum of control over my life. Tattoos? Nah, none of those. You should know that by now. No piercings either, if you care.
Is this really all we have to talk about? Whether I shaved this morning and why I don’t have a tattoo on my ass. Guy does. Just ask him. He’ll show you. It’s a pretty good replica of the Sistine Chapel. No, not the whole thing. Just God and Adam’s hands.
Yeah, you’re right. Let’s just sit and not talk for a while. I’ll go put some Neil Diamond on the jukebox. Maybe that will inspire us to greatness.