I always found it interesting how the
Colts logo looks a bit like a Crucian Hook
worn with the open end perpetually
open. No suitable suitors? It’s like a
Claddagh ring. Come again? Lanolin? As in
Sheep’s wool? No. Claddagh is two syllables
and is pronounced Claude-ah. It’s an Irish thing.
I’m not Irish, thank heaven. I’m a mutt. A
Hybrid of Indian, English, and French blood.
Claddagh: A ring is the traditional way
to wear it. There are three parts to a Claddagh:
One: the heart, representing love. “As you wish,”
and all that jazz. Mumbo jumbo. Ballyhoo.
Two: the hands, representing friendship. “I love
you … you love me.” Purple dinosaurs. E. T.
C. That means etcetera. So on and so
forth. Enough with the grammar, let’s move on to:
Three: the crown, representing loyalty. Zeal.
Faith. These rings gained popularity around
or about the seventeenth century. The
design originated in a fishing
village called Claddagh, located just outside
the city walls of a town called Galway. Uh…
ok. Anyway, look it up sometime, huh?
It’s similar in philosophy to a
Crucian Hook, as I was saying earlier.
Those look like horseshoes, sort of. They bind things to
other things. It’s like in that movie with Jet
Li, where he takes off the dog collar and kicks
the hell out of every enemy he
sees. That cat is so fast he can dodge bullets,
then destroy your face with a crushing right hook.
Back to the notion of binding one person
to another for the rest of their time here.
My Grandparents were married for fifty of
the seventy years they were alive. They slept
in separate bedrooms for all the years I
knew them. Seven kids? Dear God no. Please. All they
did was raise a family … they did it well.
I respect that more than I can say. I can’t
do it, though. I don’t want to be tied down. No
strings. No ropes. No bungee chords. No parachutes.
Still, everyone I speak with seems they want that
for themselves and for me too. “Weebles wobble.”
“One of us … one of us … one of us.” Are you
nuts? If there’s one thing I’m not it’s a helpless
pawn. If I die at this point, I was murdered
because I pissed the wrong person off. But know
this: I’m an excellent driver, so there should
be no accidents in my future, just smooth
sailing through the twins of colossus. Escape
hell with a payload of Claddaghs and Crucian
hooks. Look out of any window at this point
and you’ll see John Cusack standing there in a
trench coat like an old-school button man, in the
rain, holding up a radio boom box that’s
playing In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel.
That’s all from Say Anything. Ever heard of it?
It’s a great movie, right? John plays Lloyd Dobbler.
Brian Doyle Murray is involved … I think.
Who’s he? He’s the man ran the Caddyshack and
Noah’s Arcade. By the way, did you know he
rapped? Just ask him. He’ll show you. His wife in
Wayne’s World was the lovely Colleen Camp. Oh my!
You lovely French Maid, what may I do for you?
Back to Gabriel. Little boy blue? Are you
there? Ground Control is speaking to you from the
shores of Pensacola, like in that movie
Contact starring Jodie Foster and Matthew
McConaughey. “All right, all right, all right!” Who
doesn’t say that all the time now? You know who
made the phrase “All right” popular? Black folk. Yep
yep. “All right, now.” They created the blues. We
stole it. They changed it to R and B. We made
disco music. K.C. and the Sunshine Band?
Are you fucking kidding me? That’s almost as
Bad as Murph and the Magi-tones from The Blues
Brothers. Donald “Duck” Dunn was a great on bass, though.
Back to the phase “All right.” One of the first white
Men to popularize the phrase was a Jew
from the north country called Little Bobby Zim-
merman. This Zimmerman, of course, became Bob
Dylan when he changed his name, but Bob Dylan,
The Myth, began in Mississippi when he
had to lay down flat in the back seat of his
black host’s car, because if the K.K.K. had
seen him, he’d have been hanged before releasing
Highway 61 Revisited. And that…?
I mean … no. Like a Rolling Stone is track one.
Track two is Tombstone Blues. Mike Bloomfield’s insane.
It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to
Cry is track three, and that’s all I have to say
about that. The fourth track is From A Buick
Six. The fifth track is called Ballad of a Thin
Man and it goes, “You know something is happen-
-ing, but you don’t know what it is … do you, Mist-
-er Jones?” Mr.? Say myrrh. Gold and Frankincense.
Huh? What? That makes no sense. Sure it does, you know
the story about the star of Bethlehem.
That’s not the point, though. Back to the album. Track
six on the CD I own is called Queen Jane
Approximately. The Seventh Track is in
my top five desert island songs of all time.
Remember in The Office when Pam and Jim
stand outside listening to the same iPod,
each listening to a different speaker?
What a great show that was. Thanks for making it,
all of you people who made it. Your show is
still great, nearly a decade later. Track Eight.
What? I didn’t name the last one? My bad, man.
It’s called Highway 61 Revisited.
Eponymous is both applicable and
a damned serious album by R.E.M.
Moving on forward, Track Eight is Just Like Tom
Thumb’s Blues. Great song. Listen to it on YouTube.
The ninth and final track on this masterpiece
is Desolation Row. It’s nearly perfect.
What’s that line about lucky penny-whistles?
What does that even mean, anyway? Hey Bob,
Stop beating on your trumpet and blow it. The
Blue Jays will hear it all the way up north in
Toronto. Ontario. In stereo –
full high fidelity, dolby digital
surround sound of cheering crowds just like that night
you played Track One for the 2,000th time. In
a row? No. Live, in concert. Bob’s been on
tour for … what is it now, 2,000 years or
so? Big whoop, strike up the band. Play it again,
Sam … Bill … Sue … George … Alias. Whatever you’re
calling yourself these days. Why have you opened
with Things Have Changed for the last few years? Eh? Eh,
old man? It’s not that great of a song. It’s great,
sure, but … oh shit. Bob’s pulled out his ear trumpet.
That means we have to shout IN ALL CAPS, FOR NOW.
BOB … LISTEN. I KNOW YOUR FINGERS HURT WHEN YOU
PLAY GUITAR, BUT IF YOU DON’T CARRY THAT WEIGHT
ON STAGE, YOU LOOK WORSE THAN I DID WHEN I TRIED
TO SING FOR A BAND. Hang on … he’s laughing. Oh.
I see. He could hear the whole time. Even now
the old man is still a young clown – mind sharp as
the blade of a sword made of Dragon’s Glass.
Let’s see if I can make him turn to jelly.
Remember sitting next to the big brass bed
with a Pinard Horn listening to Jakob
kick inside of Sara’s belly? Is that too
close to home for you? Forever Young, right? You
wrote that for your son. Which one, though?
This is a long poem, I know. Take a break.
Smoke a Camel cigarette. Drink some coffee.
Talk about Tesla Coils in Tampa’s ice
arena with Jack and Meg White as Iggy Pop
annoys the hell out of Tom Waits. I’ll wait here.
While we’re waiting, let me tell you a story
about Mitch Hedburg, a dead comedian.
According to rumors, one of his shows was
going poorly, so he said he had to pee
and walked off stage. The Em-cee grabbed the mic and
spit out a few jokes. The audience laughed, then
Mitch came back out, grabbed the microphone and said
Something along the lines of, “This guy just stole
all my best jokes.” The crowd guffawed and he went
on with his routine. What about Stephen Wright?
“When I was a kid I asked for a train set.
My father got me a bus pass and said, ‘Get
Used to disappointment.’” Mine did the same thing.
Are we back from our break? Good. About my dad…
stepdad, that is.
He tried to tell me I was the insane one
because I didn’t want to be like him. Now
he wishes he could be me. Young, wild and
free. A nobody. A nothing, with nothing
to lose, an eye for tradition and an ear
for the blue collar workers keeping noses
to the grindstone Monday through Saturday. I
have to work on The Fourth of July this year.
I’ll do it without whining, but it’s not fair.
Oh well. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Just
ask Kevin Malone – no not the Mailman from
Utah. The accountant from Scranton, Pee A.
Remember when Robert California thought
he was some kind of genius? That was a
good one, huh? But Kev’ didn’t do anything
wrong. He was just talking about cookies, right?
I brought up Toronto earlier. Try to
think of the night Mitch Williams gave up the home
run in Sky Dome to lose the world series for
the Phillies. What was the batter’s name? Someone
ask Adam Sandler … or better yet, ask Jon
Stewart. That gray-haired bastard has a mind like
an iron trap, doesn’t he? Sharp as a tack.
I’m sure he could shout it out like Tears for Fears.
It’s funny how 20 years after Half Baked
was released, people still ask if he’s ever
looked at the back of a 20 dollar bill …
… on weed? Then they laugh hysterically. Ugh.
Maroon Five tends to be their favorite band.
These are the same folks who approach Robin, or
Chris O’Donnell, if you prefer, and yell out,
“Hey … you! Hooo-aaahhh!” I wonder if Mr. O’
Donnell grits his teeth and mutters, “That was Al
Pacino’s character, you assholes. Go back
to Wisconsin.” Wisconsin? Oh! That’s a horse
of a different color … or … do … T.O. … huh?
Terrell Owens? Ha. Turnovers? Not in Camp
Randall Stadium, where frozen kids clad in
red and white jump around, up and down, left and
right, shaking the concrete and metal structure
to its very foundation as House of Pain
blares through the loudspeakers lining the playing
field. As the student section leaps and lands they
pretend to be coming down on Ayn Rand and
crooked, plastic politicians filled up with
avarice, greed and lust for all things, most of
all what? Money? Power? Women? Men? Girls? Boys?
Take a trip down to Patapsco Harbor in
Baltimore, point to a shipping container
and know there’s a 50-50 chance human
beings are being stored within its steel walls.
Royals? Giants? Orioles? Birds? Baseball? Hmmm….