GOD SAVE THE QUEEN (I MEAN IT, MAN)
Labor Day weekend is when we're supposed to honor the American working person. Instead, all we heard about was someone who was neither an American nor a worker.
I was proud of the way my buddies up and down the line reacted to the news. Our response to this situation was the rational one: "She died? Man, that's too bad - she was kinda cute. Hey, it's not as sad as when Kirby Puckett retired. Yo, toss me another beer ... Griffey get any homers tonight?"
Women, on the other hand, were telling me details of the Charles and Diana wedding from fifteen years ago. Apparently, lots of girls were up at four a.m. to watch that one. I've been in six weddings in my life and they're all one big blur. All I remember is that the Catholic ones were long and the Lutheran ones were short.
I just don't get the fascination with royalty. Someone is born into or marries into a certain family (who does nothing but extravagantly sponge off of taxpayers anyway) and they're better than the rest of us? I don't think so. Why these moochers haven't been thrown out into the street long ago is a modern mystery. And "Princess of the People" has got to be one of the biggest oxymorons ever, although I'm sure Diana saw plenty of people through the window of her limo over the years.
I could just imagine if they tried to have royalty in my neighborhood: "Prince of Wales, huh? I'm happy for you. And I've got your crown jewels right here." or "You rule over me? Yeah, right. No I'm not going to bow to you, Prince Boy. No, I'm putting you on workfare. You start work tomorrow, Charlie."
A drunk driver speeding at 100 mph killed Diana and everyone shrugs and still blames some photographers. But if no one cared about the royalty, they wouldn't be used to sell magazines, and then maybe she'd still be alive. And hopefully working an honest job somewhere. Though an occupation of jet-setting with ultra-rich guys is a good gig if you can get it. As Dan "The Common Man" Cole pointed out on KFAN: "There's nothing wrong with setting your goals high." So I'm patting myself on the back. I've never given a damn about those royal inbred bluebloods so I guess in a way I was a good guy by trying to give the royalty the privacy they claim to value so badly. And now the media spotlight can go back onto athletes and the stars of stage and screen where it rightfully belongs.
(I realize I come off as callous here, but the concepts of nobility and royalty make my skin crawl. Always have, ever since I heard Jefferson's words about "all men are created equal." Learning about the carrier of the American flag in the first modern Olympics, who refused to bow it to some monarch during the opening ceremony and set precedent for future Olympics, helped shape my attitude. As did Jim "Thanks King" Thorpe and the Sex Pistols. When Windsor Castle had a fire back in '92 and I said "burn, royalty, burn," somebody at work called me a "communist" and I pointed out that I was exhibiting the same fuck-the-royals spirit this country was founded on.)
The way I see it, if Carl Pohlad gets any handouts from the public for a new baseball stadium, the Twins should have to change their name. They will be renamed the Minnesota Carl Pohlads. That way when they're playing their .404 ball outdoors instead of indoors, we can gather around the water or beer cooler and bitch about how the lousy Carl Pohlads suck. It'll serve Mr. Cheap right, as you know damn well he isn't going to spend any more money on payroll then he is now.
DEAR BUD GRANT,
All of you sportsmen whining about the possibility that the Indians will deplete the fish population in Mille Lacs Lake should think hard about who depleted the North American bison population.
AN EVENING IN THE LIFE
On Thursdays after four, we temps can go over to the agency and pick up our paychecks from the previous week. I did so today and they had official Big Temp Agency coffee mugs filled with Hershey's Kisses that it looked like they were giving away. Nobody said "hey Bill, have a coffee mug", and I didn't ask, so I didn't get one. Not that it would have gotten much use anyway, my mug depth chart is currently 1) plain ol' green mug; 2) UND mug; 3) Martin Guitar Co. mug (the only Martin I'll ever own); 4) a mug from one of the Big Six accounting firms, whose football teams are on the same level the WAC's; and 5) the "I Heart My Attitude Problem" Mug, which I brought to my Real Job once as a goof and on the first day I had it in the office I got lectured because of my attitude.
So I thought I'd write tonight, but I went and worked out, and then came home and ended up calling my buddy Hammer, who had left a message for me. He was the last one working at his office and didn't have keys to lock the door behind him and was trying to get a hold of his boss at home. This was the first time I'd heard of anyone being unlocked in an office. I offered to bring some beer over and keep him company, but he said that might look bad. So I ate supper and the next thing I knew it was nine o'clock. Then I realized I better get my ass down to First Avenue to get a refund on my Morphine ticket, who canceled their November show. Don't wanna head down there this weekend with the parking and all, as their box office isn't open until eight in the evening.
I get to the club and immediately forget how to speak. The doorman checks my ID. I show it and say that I just want to go to the box office. You getting tickets, he asks. No, yeah, getting a refund and yeah maybe getting tickets I say all confused suddenly. More info then he wants, Bill, you idiot. He smiles and points me to the box office. I know where it is anyway, but smile and say thanks for your help. Hey a correct sentence! I'm on a roll but then the gal at the cash register looks at me and I start saying I want to conduct a transaction at the box office, but where the hell did that come from? I never ever use the word transaction. She looks at me puzzled, then says not a ticket for tonight's show? I nod, and make a mental note to get a teeshirt that says ENGLISH IS MY SECOND LANGUAGE.
A bouncer guides me on my way around the corner to the box office. What service, damn the people here are friendly. Then the gal selling tickets says hi. La de da, she's wearing leather pants, a white tee-shirt and orange hair. Only two people could pull off wearing this outfit. 1) Iggy Pop twenty-some years ago, and 2) her. She is pretty pretty pretty with sparkling eyes.
Semisonic on sale, I ask. She says not yet. How about Wilco? Yes. Okay. I pull out my Morphine ticket and ask did they cancel? Yes. Can I get a refund and then a Wilco ticket? Yes. She goes to the cash register and gets me fifteen bucks. Then she goes to get a Wilco ticket. She holds one up and begins to bring it over to me. What show is that for? She can't hear me quite right (sound system's fault, not mine for once) and says do you want an all-ages ticket? No the drunk show, I say. She looks at me. Drunk show! I say a little louder. She smiles and brings me the ticket. Got it, she says, showing me the ticket. Not that all people who drink are drunks, I say thinking of me, I just love that phrase. She laughs like Stacey Hamilton in Perry's Pizza. Wow, and that wasn't even my 'A' material.
The Wilco ticket is ten bucks, so now I'm five dollars ahead. Not really, I know, but it feels like found money and will almost buy me lunch tomorrow.
FORTUNE COOKIE UPDATE
The fortune I got a few months ago from a fortune cookie said "you will attract cultured and artistic people to your home," which was actually true. Each person that's been to my place this summer is an artist or plays a musical instrument of some sort. It was weird seeing the words "you" (meaning me) and "attract" in the same sentence, though.
Last year in my zine I bitched because the fortune in my fortune cookie said "a product is merely the physical representation of an idea." Last week I got one that was even worse: "Be proactive, not reactive." Huh? Looks like corpspeak is beginning to dominate the fortune cookie industry. What's next? "Seek to win-win"? "Strive to be a team player"? "Discourage unions in the workplace by encouraging workers to be part of the corporate team"? Maybe I'm asking too much by wanting a fortune cookie to actually deliver a fortune instead material for Successories.
Be proactive. Get things done. Go for it. Just do it. Go for the gusto. Kick ass. Get psyched. Get keyed. Fuck it - I'm going to take a nap and I'm sure everything will work out eventually.
Everything written by me, except where noted.
Paula wishes to acknowledge Bob Dylan for the line "give the anarchist a cigarette."
Thanks to Randy (aka The Problem Solver) Tuomala for his help with
Olympic Games research.
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