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Definitions (IE, how to be 'cool' like Then Again)
[ Apr 4, 2006 ]
cowboys.jpg Glossary of Terms:

Amytron: Joe's robot girlfriend he built from spare parts of other robot ladies and an industrial vacuum cleaner. She chews tires like licorice.

Airplane Bottle: A 5th of Jack Daniels, only appropriate for short flights.

Alley Bar: Where you left your 3rd and 4th credit cards.

Asian Assassin: Lyrical poet from Northern Illinois University. Arguably the greatest rapper in the history of the world. Hits such as 'Alcohol Time' and 'Shady Women'.

Battle Axe: The correct size of Jack Daniels- as opposed to Airplane Bottle.

The Big Bite: This is the finest dish on the Joe's menu. Well, not on the menu. 26,450 calories and 900 grams of fat. But lots of carbs.

Buddies and Jokes: Buddies are for fun havin and jokes. Jokes are for buddies and havin laughs and good times. I love jokes.

Burrito Place: Some joint inordinately far away that Tank insists on going to even though it means passing 10 other burrito places and waiting in line. Bullshit.

Captain S.N.A.C.K.: Major super-hero worshipped by TA. Has the power to battle hunger. Sidekick: Napboy. Arch-Enemy: Old Salty.

Cases: The things you put equipment in. But no matter the cost or quality, they are total crap if they arent built by two hillbillies from Southern Illinois who incorporate reinforced steel beams, military strength rebar, and thermal reentry tiles. Revis.

The Cat's Meow: Joe's custom designed bass which incorporates some 37 strings and a chicken bone.

Cement Factory: An ideal place to Start Over. Demand the lowest entry level position available. Deny being overqualified. Rent a room above the local greasy spoon.

Circle Bar: Where you left your second credit card.

Crazy: Man, you all's crazy.

Dead to Me: You have somehow angered the Tank. This quote comes to mind "Fredo, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother, you're not a friend. I don't want to know you or what you do. I don't want to see you at the hotels, I don't want you near my house. When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there. You understand?" If the Tank says this to you, and then asks you to go fishing, avoid at all costs.

Desert, the: Mainly a state of mind. Very important for several reasons: 1. easy place to dispose of 'accidents' 2. where The Snake resides 3. where Las Vegas is located. And Old Mexico.

Dumpster: Another good place to Start Over. Try to find several in a row to house your friends. Many of the best ones are occupied, so excercise caution.

Dusty Russle: A treat made by Fred with the help of Betty Crocker and a coke mule.

DWF, the: The Drunken Wrestling Federation.

El Fantastico: Infamous Mexican wrestler. Translated to English: The Fantastico.

Egg Tree, The: U2's new project dedicated to growing enough eggtrees to feed the world and selling enough new albums to buy it.

Falco's: Last stop on the TA train. Via con pizza.

Farmhouse Massacre: This occurs the night that the decision is made to 'start over' and get jobs at the cement factory. Allegedly.

Fetch 'Chete: You look dirty. Maybe you need a Nicaraguan Shower?

Fridge: Tank's ridiculously overpriced rack-mounted guitar effects that never work properly.

Front Bar: Where you left your first credit card.

Funnin: Jokes, buddies, all about fun havin.

Gig: That which pays for booze.

Green Room: Imaginations run wild about all the shananigans and goings on in bands Green Rooms. Maybe Hairbangers or M&J have a constant Studio 54 rockin in their Green Rooms, but T.A. almost uniformly consists of a bunch of dudes fighting over chicken strips, sleeping, butchering Over the Hills and Far Away on an accoustic, and/or watching really Important Sports on the tv. The dream is dead.

GPFCH: Giant Pink Foam Cowboy Hat. Speaks for itself.

Helmut Gold: The most precious substance in the universe. Its atomic number is infinity, that's how rare it is. Now if you can record to it you're on to something.

Hightower: Very, very large individual who is perplexed by cracker ass crackers who elect to move his vehicle by picking it up and moving it by brute force. This situation involves Tank running away in fear squeeling like a little girl. War Hero 88 stands his ground.

Hippies: You know what a fucking hippy is. Dirty treehugging stinkers. See Side Street Saloon.

Hockey Bar: Hang out here whether or not you have just played hockey.

Horse Apple: Eat here when the sun is coming up and you havent slithered home yet. Order the most expensive dish. Eat nothing, but destroy your food. Try to order the waitresses teeth. Do not engage the local WW2 vets in conversation about catching syphalis at Palermo.

Insane Llama: Famous Luchador that occasionally sits in on bass.

Intervention: A surprise party where all your friends and family try to ruin your life. Has to be done while you are sober so try not to let that happen. See: Rehab.

Jager Bombs: Combines well with RBV. This is usually the point where things get hazy and awesome.

Joe's Dad's Basement: A land of mystery, history, and yellow.

Joe's on Weed: Home.

Mr. Tan: Another major super-hero. Since being exposed to mysterious "U.V." radiation, Mr Tan has the power of a neverending tan. His alter identity doesnt wear sunglasses, the perfect disguise. Arch-Nemesis: SPF Infinity.

Nicaraguan Shower: Similar to the Columbian Necktie- the victim is made to "fetch 'Chete", after which his hand is hacked off and he must hold the arterial blood squirting out over himself and wash with the remaining hand.

Pot of Gold: That which comes out when you kick a leprichaun in the ass. Also Bono's greatest obsession outside of feeding the oppressed with the Eggtree.

Old Salty: The S.N.A.C.K. Crusader's mortal enemy. He was once a pirate but got kicked off because everytime he touches water he soaks it up. Thats what happened to the other Atlantic Ocean, OS fell in. Now he is bitter because he cant be a pirate and takes it by oversalting delicious munchables. And murder.

Ponies: Beers shrunken down to novelty size.

Rehab: A vacation. But a vacation in Harvard Illinois. In other words, one of the circles of hell.

Redrunkening: That feeling where you wake up woozy and have one sip of alcohol, suddenly you are wasted again.

Rider: The list of unreasonable demands submitted by a band to a venue. Most bands' riders consist of things like bottled water, towels, fruit, a brandy glass of brown m&m's, etc. To my knowledge T.A.s rider has never in its history contained anything but booze.

Ride the Snake: A binge of drunken hedonism lasting for days, months, or years. Ideally carried out in the desert or anywhere else.

Ridin' The Wind:Is what I do. Buddy.

RBV: Red Bull and Vodka. Ketle One being the vodka of choice. Make friends with it.

Road, The: Out there man. Doin it, living it, layin it all on the line. Life on The Road is known to be Tough.

R2: Heavy, rectangular peice of gear never having been known to accomplish any useful function.

Side Street Saloon: We used to hang out there until it was infested with hippies. High probability of a Level V Drum Circle breaking out.

The Snake: The noncorporal entity that must be both appeased and angered by riding him in a drunken and irresponsible manner. Warning: The Snake is long. 7 miles.

Sports: Really important Sports are happening all the time. It doesnt matter who wins, because just the good natured spirit of competition means we're all winners just for having played/watched/not watched but thought briefly about. Go Sports!

Song: That which is created by Tube.

Starting Over: Sell the house, sell the cars, sell the kids. Never go home. Basically stopping wherever you happen to be and aquiring the most mundane job possible. See: Cement Factory

The Teapot Dome Scandal:Political scandal circa 1922 involving oil wells, bribery, conspiracy, and a stone cool groove.

Tube: That which creates Song.

Wake and Bake: Thought you had me, didnt you hippy? Stay off the grass kid. And get a haircut.

VIP Bar: Where you complain loudly someone stole all your credit cards.

VIPS:Soveriegn nation located adjacent to Joe's on Weed. Population: 184. Native currency- The Stripperbuck. Major exports: %$#^&.

Yellow:Its wet, its yellow, and its almost ready for shot time.

Cost of eternal Glory $160 + tax Part II
[ Mar 27, 2006 ]
towyard.jpg -continued

We decided to leave the hockey bar shortly after we were tossed out. Being a responsible citizen i decided to leave my car at Johnies. This would have serious repurcussions later on. By some strange chance everyone ended up at Joe's (on Weed for those who havent been paying attention).

Drinks flowed, bands played, fun was had. Thanks again to all our friends from Joes for babysitting us: Kyle, Janice, Bob, everyone else. Tank was busy lighting 6 cigarettes similtaneously when a stranger approached and asked for one. Tank replied he had none to spare. Later Tank poured a candle full of wax over the pizza he had ordered. Joe was trying to close out his tab with Bob and couldnt manage to perform simple math, so he tipped him with a drawing of some eyeballs. Classy. Gina talked to her cousin while Julie and I made lovey-dovey faces at each other and rocked out to the frat band in the front room, which i dubbed Then Again c. 1998.

Eventually everyone faded off into their respective dumpsters to pass out. Joe and Gina agreed to meet Julie and I for breakfast (i enjoyed the greek omelette) which took about 4 hours between Joe not being able to find parking and our waiter not being able to find our table. Joe then drove us back to Johnnys to retrieve my jeep and Gina's truck. Aha! They were gone. Towed away by the forces of evil.

Further investigation led us to locate some tiny posters plastered to the local folliage announcing no parking on Madison for the next couple days due to snow removal. The fact that it was 50 degrees and sunny tickled something in the back of my head vaguely akin to skepticism. A short (not that short actually) time later we managed to prise the location of the tow yard from a progression of government buearocrats. Few seemed concerned with our plite.

Eventually we made our way to a grim looking yard on the West Side where the howls of coyotes and lost lost souls echoed through the wasteland of broken cars and broken dreams. Steel gates greeted our arrival and we were ushered uncerimoniously down a wooden gang plank to a door that i could only assume contained the killing floor. Just then a familiar silloutte appeared on the other side of the fence. Mocking laughter rang out and my heart leapt as panic gripped me. What manner of creature dwelt amongst the rust heaps and tire fires that could possibly recognize me, clueless surburban white boy that i am? But it was just Tank, come to reclaim his vehicle unjustly confiscated by The Man.

The mindnumbing beaurocratic processing that came next is hardly necessary to describe. My only saving grace was that everything i was forced to go through including the cavity search was nothing compared to what Gina and Tank were forced to deal with, respectively.

Let me break this down for you in case you ever find yourself 'on the other side'. Tank didnt have a city sticker (plus he's Canadian raised Jewish), Gina's drivers license was locked in her car (and she's a woman), and I didnt know what my licence plate number was (white American male). I paid my 160 and skipped out of the processing facility relatively painlessly assuring the 'operatives' that i knew my car and it knew me, everything would be fine. Tank was forced by some incomprehensible ritual to pay a tow truck driver 50 bucks to drag his car 30 feet in order to be in compliance with something or other. Im not kidding. I witnessed Gina's ordeal. Being unable to prove her identity, the Patriot Act apparently rendered her persona non grata and bereft of any rights under the Constitution, UN charter, or any Geneva Convention. She was forced to wait in 'the yard' until a scuffy operative clad in overalls and dejection and driving a barely mobile Grand Marque circa 1988 drove her and a few other unfortunates in a circuit of the less savory areas of The Yard. The post-apocalyptic landscape was highly reminiscent of any Mad Max movie, and i could only hope the Marque wasnt to be ambushed by mutants during its travels and forced into some sort of Deathrace and/or nomadic caravan carrying off the women to repopulate the tow yard. Why you ask? Because those without Papers cant be trusted alone in The Yard. Apparently unless they drive the Marquee, are a mutant, or can produce a drivers license, none are allowed in The Yard. Crack security indeed.

I turned my attention back to my own ordeal (it occured to me i might not be the lucky one when i found myself halfway through The Yard alone). Only a quick trigger finger, a crazy look in my eyes (see part 1, paragraph 1), and a gift for bartering with mutants (sorry sis!) allowed me to survive to reach my vehicle. My jeep appeared in working condition, and once i made it roar to life the locals scattered in awe. I made my escape with an air of glee, knowing full well the tables had turned and that these government thugs and rejects from Day of the Dead had no way to cope with a thousand pounds of 6 cylender fury. I spun my wheels kicking up a dust storm and raced by the Grand Marque, giving a calous wave to Gina and the other unfortunates and a steely challenge to the scruffy driver. The gates shuddered open under protest but clearly wanted nothing to do with me, revelling in my glory.

I escaped The Yard, though some peice of me i think never will. Julie met me on the other side, her eyes bright with relief and awe. Joe was there as well, his hands gripping the outside of the bars as he stood on his tip toes peering futily between the heeps of derelict vehicles. I could only offer him an indifferent shrug as Julie and I motored off into the sunset, twin jeeps racing through the streets with the wind whipping through our hair. Fortune smiled on me that day. Better, perhaps, had the ordeal never occurred, but a small price to pay for eternal C2 West glory.


The price of eternal glory: 160$ plus tax. Part I
[ Mar 27, 2006 ]
hellfish_team2.jpg Saturday was a big day. My hockey team was in the Championship Game saturday night, and Joe and Tank's team was in their Championship immediately before. Why am i on a different team you ask? That will become readilly apparent.

Some nights have trouble written all over them, and this one foot the bill. The first ill omen was the fact that i had to cancel out of a work related function to play hockey. This is always difficult to explain, but happily when you look a coworker in the eye and tell them you can't do something because you're going to be playing in a championship ice hockey game there just isnt much they can say. The trick is not to blink- that makes people deeply uneasy on some primordial level.

Strike two was the fact that Tank at the last possible moment got the governors call and was reprieved from spousal obligations for the evening. This was unexpected in the same sense that it is unexpected when you are cruising along to work without a care in the world and suddenly it occurs to you that you are still a bit drunk and havent been home much less showered from the previous night (at least). These concepts are actually intertwined more often than i care to admit.

Long story short, Tank and Joe got humiliated while my team delivered. C2 West championship gold and another mug for the mantlepeice. Quick shower and up to the bar to find Tank already wasted and decrying the state of todays hockey, Joe drawing tatoos of beasts that never were for anyone that wanted them (or not), Gina sucking down vodka like the Stoley mines had run dry, and Julie with a stunned look of incomprehension at the scope of it all. In other words, the usual hockey bar.

At this point, responsible friends would have made made their way over to Club's to celebrate his birthday. We apparently are not such. My team insisted on me drinking a dozen RBVs out of my newly minted championship mug (i believe this to be true) while Tank fed me jagar bombs that technically belonged to Joe because he won them in a bet, the stakes of which are almost certainly illegal but unquestionably hot. It really didnt matter as i had been putting all my drinks on Tanks tab anyway. It was the least he could do.

-continued in Part II

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