pearls and poodles

both cross the line

And like that, we’re already a quarter into the year.

So I’m driving to rehearsal yesterday and I hear on the radio, “Dude!  Can you play the new Pearl Jam song?”

[scripty]
DJ
You want to hear the new one?

CALLER
Yeah, it rocks!

DJ
Oh, does it?

CALLER
Yeah, I asked you to play it yesterday and you didn’t, so I’m a little pissed off.

DJ
Oh, are you?

CALLER
Yeah.  So will you play it?

DJ
No.

CALLER
You won’t?

DJ
No.  You’re gonna have to ask again.

CALLER
I just did.

DJ
Repeat after me.

CALLER
So, you aren’t going to play it?

DJ
I want you to repeat after me.

CALLER
What?

PAMIE
Oh, for God’s sake.

DJ
Say what I say right after I say it.

CALLER
Oh, I get it.

DJ
I

CALLER
Are you going to play it?

DJ
Not if you don’t do what I tell you to do.

CALLER
Oh.

PAMIE
Because he’s some sort of music god and only he can summon the new Pearl Jam song.

DJ
I

CALLER
I

DJ
Want

CALLER
Want

DJ
You

CALLER
You

DJ
To

CALLER
To

PAMIE
Jesus Christ.

DJ
Play

CALLER
Play

DJ
the new Pearl Jam song

CALLER
the new Pearl Jam song

PAMIE
I could have bought the CD by now

DJ
Right now

CALLER
Right now

DJ
Or I’ll kick you in the nuts.

CALLER
Or I’ll kick you in the nuts.

DJ
There.

CALLER
So are you gonna play it?

PAMIE
Of course he is, you’ve summoned the powers of radio god comedy.

DJ
Yeah, I’ll play it, dude.  All you had to do was ask.

CALLER
Alright, man.  Thanks, you rock.
[/scripty]

And the song started, and it’s “Last Kiss.”  I couldn’t believe it.  Eddie Vedder is singing, “Where, oh where, can my baby be?  The Lord took her away from me.”  It had everything but the xylophone.  And as I was driving around with my mouth agape several thoughts went through my head.  The first was Eddie driving home one day listening to the oldies station, and he hears “Last Kiss” and just pulls over his car, throws out his hand rolled cigarette and starts bawling.

“I can’t believe I’m not singing this song.  Wait a minute, I can sing this song!  Guys, I have our new single!”

Then I had this image of the old-school Pearl Jam fans (that have stuck through some pretty crappy albums because Pearl Jam wanted to see “who their real fans were.”) going “Okay, that’s it. I’ve taken enough. What the fuck is this shit?”

I could hear it from the new fans already, “Oh, man, Eddie Vedder knows how to write about pain.  His new song is so sad.” (flip back bangs and chew on end of hair with a pout)

I’ve been thinking about music lately.  I was thinking about how I thought U2 gets 16 Million dollars a song nowadays (after some research I learned it’s only 12.5 million, and it’s for three albums, but the joke still holds, so bear with me).  You get to the point where you could just press record on your jambox and run a fork over three glasses with half-filled water in it and call it “Optimism vs. Pessimism” and say, “I just made sixteen million dollars.”

You’re dialing the telephone.  “doo-do-dee-do-dee-dee-dee!”  —“Oh, man.  ‘Telephone Heartache.’  Sixteen million dollars.”

Sitting around in the car….  “What to write about today?  I need another sixteen million dollars….hey buddy!  Get out of the way!  OH!  That’s another sixteen million!  ‘Guy Who Cuts Me Off On–‘ what street is this?  Dammit!  I wish they’d start labeling the fucking street names around here.  Who’s idea was that?  Oh yeah, on National Bono Day they removed all the street names.  Bloody brilliant.”

And then the closer of the album, one solid D-Flat with the Edge chewing on some celery.  “It’s called ‘Sixteen Million.'”

Living in Austin can make you forget you live in Texas.  It’s sort of different here than anywhere else in the state.  You’ve got waiters with PhD’s here, and because it’s a college town, there’s a sort of higher standard of living.  But I listen to talk radio on my way home, and yesterday I was quickly reminded of where I do indeed live.

[scripty]
CALLER
Yeah?  Hello?

DJ
Yeah, caller, go ahead.

CALLER
I was calling about the flag burnin’?

DJ
Yeah.  We’re talking about whether or not it should be illegal to burn the flag.

CALLER
Yeah.

DJ
Yeah.  What do you think?

CALLER
Think?

DJ
Come on, Jimbo.  Help me out, here.

CALLER
Well, I know that when you own something, it’s yours and other people shouldn’t be allowed to tell you what to do with your property.

DJ
That’s a good point, caller.  If I’ve bought that flag with my own money, why can’t I burn the hell out of it?

CALLER
It’s like my dog?

DJ
Well, you aren’t going to burn your dog, or hurt it, I mean, that is illegal.

CALLER
But it’s not illegal for someone else to do it.

DJ
What do you mean?

CALLER
I have a neighbor that keeps shooting all of my dogs.

DJ
Are you serious?

CALLER
Yeah, if my dog so much as goes over to his yard he shoots ’em.

DJ
That’s terrible.  Did you call the police?

CALLER
I called the sheriff.  They are the ones that told him that once my dog steps on their property he can shoot him.  I lost a dog last week.  He shot my dog.  It was a white dog with black spots.

DJ
That’s  awful.

CALLER
Had that dog nine years.

DJ
Good dog?

CALLER
Oh, the best.

DJ
And your neighbor was allowed to shoot it?

CALLER
Because it crossed over into his yard.

DJ
Well, what happened?

CALLER
Well, I almost got arrested because I told him that I’d kick his ass if he ever did it again.  And that’s against the law, threatnin’.

DJ
But not dog shooting?

CALLER
No sir, not in these parts.  No.

DJ
Are you in Austin?

CALLER
Just outside.  But it happens all over around here.  I got friends.  They get their dogs shot.
[/scripty]

Dog shooting!  When I was a kid we used to run all over everyone’s yards, we never got shot.  But a puppy, who really doesn’t even understand where the sidewalk ends– is a moving target.  It’s like when you were a kid and you’d get into a fight with a neighborhood kid, you always tried to get the kid on your lawn so you could tell him that you didn’t want to fight him, but you’d have to if he was on “your property.”

“Get off my property!”

And now people are doing it to dogs.  “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you seven times Muffin, if your scrawny poodle ass gets over near my mailbox again I’m shooting that poof ball right off!”

And the poodle says, “Oh, my God!  I didn’t even notice that I had gotten off my property.  I am so sorry.  I was totally lost in thought.  I can’t seem to find my bone.  Have you seen it?  Perhaps your Killer may have run off with it?  I’m sorry to bother you.  I thought I was still in my yard, really I did, but– sniff-sniff!– Oh!  Look how right you are!  This just isn’t my urine over here. So sorry.  Going back over this line now.  Sorry.”

“Well, alright, but I don’t want to catch you here again.”

“Right-o.”

But we don’t know what the dog is looking for, so we have laws so you can just shoot it.  You never know when that poodle could turn.  Yippie dogs can be vicious.

2 thoughts on “pearls and poodles

  1. I was an old school Pearl Jam fan. And I liked ‘Last Kiss.’ It was a Christmas present they sent out to their fan club. Which I was a part of — the Ten Club. It was on vinyl. I liked the B side better. But anyway. They didn’t intend to make money on it. They intended to lose money on it. So the 16 million dollars, not so much. But someone played it on the radio a few months later, and it got big, so they released it as a single. And gave all the money to war refugees.

    But I got nothing on the fuckin’ dogs. That’s just terrible.

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