Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It was 40 years ago today, I was told to go outside and play (or to shut the hell up, you little shit - maybe both)

My thoughts are especially scattered and unfocused this week, not sure what might be causing it. Is it the fact that Nancy Botwin has packed her bags and flown south for the season? Or that age 47 is standing there waiting for me less than two days hence, the cold hand of death lurking in the shadows behind it?

Perhaps that's a touch dramatic, it's probably just the cold hand of an AARP representative lining up to welcome me to the fold. Perhaps the midlife crisis I thought I had averted has finally caught up with me?

Last night I had a dream Dr. G was chasing me around the office with her big rib separators, screaming "Time for your standard 'Y' incision, Stevie!" That's gotta mean something. Well, something besides the fact I watch way too much Discovery Health programming. Which in itself tells you a lot - I'm just prepping for my new demographic.

How the hell did September get here? Hell, it's late enough in the year that they might even be burying Michael Jackson soon. I hear tell its tomorrow, at Forest Lawn in a suitably creepy crypt beside Gable, Lombard and Harlow. Talk about rushing a guy into the ground - I guess his "Summer at Bernie's" is coming to a close. Time to take him down from out front of Joe Jackson's Used Furniture Shack, remove the "Blow Out Summer Sale" sign pinned to the back of his head, dust him off, hose him down and slide him in.

MJ gets a dignified send off and I get Dr. G hunting me down in my dreams like Freddie Krueger. Where's the justice in that?

Christ the time just flies by, what is it about this year in particular?

Maybe it's all these 40th anniversaries that have been popping up. Woodstock, Moon Landing, etc. Now we have Momar celebrating 40 years of repressing a people, terrorizing neighbors, all while looking fabulous. Seems like just yesterday he was Major al-Gaddafi with only one way to spell his name. Not sure how anyone could live like that.

Do you remember where you were when Colonel Khadafi took power? I was almost 7 but can't say where I was or what I was doing. I'm sure we celebrated as all patriotic Americans did. Lynn, you're the one with the photographic family memory - where were we when Quadafi claimed Libya as his? Say, wasn't that the time Dad got really drunk? No help? Doesn't narrow it down?

Hell, even Sesame Street turned 40 this year and I was too old to have ever watched the thing except as a goof. That's the definition of old.

Now it seems the Cookie Monster has fallen from on high. Strung out they say, freebasing Bakery-grade Chocolate-tar 'dough'. That's bad shit, flowing across our border thanks to an army of nefarious Amos Cartel cookie mules. But I have to say, it's what you get for hanging around with Amy Winehouse and Kate Moss. And Mrs. Fields. Act your age, man.

Good thing Cookie wasn't one of my heroes growing up, I'm already top heavy with self destructive role models. Hunter Thompson, Lester Bangs, Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, F. Scott Fitzgerald. And that's just the first room in the literary wing of the Buzzard hall of fame. Most of my heroes are dead, done in by their own hand for the most part (directly or otherwise). Time to hitch my wagon to a new generation of degenerates.

Of course, Cookie was hardly the first of that lot to develop feet of clay (well, feet of felt, as the case may be). Gordon, the father figure of the neighborhood ended up decked out in purple plumage and backslapping sadism as Tyrone, Donna Beck's abusive Pimp on All My Children in the late 70s. And we all know the stories circling around Ernie and Bert, not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, of all the characters, those two might be the most believable (other than the Snuffleupagus, of course). Speaking of Snuff, what the hell is the presence of this sort of character saying to kids? The horror.

Something wonderful and evil happened 40 years ago today - The first ATM opened for business in the US. Certainly the advent of the ATM opened up a world of convenience for folks who until then had go to the bank when in need of the paper stuff. But for those of us who have danced with the devil in the pale moonlight, ready access to cash at 1am on a Saturday - or a Wednesday for that matter - is usually not a good thing (well, not in the long term, anyway; it was a wonderful thing indeed 'in the moment').

We've started drawing to the end of the ATM era recently, I think - the register itself playing that role nowadays at most places. I don't carry cash much anymore. But it will be a very long, very slow death as there are still a great many places, people and things insistent on negotiating in hard currency. So happy birthday, you gloriously miserable piece of enabling technological convenience. And good riddance to bad rubbish.

Hey, Altamont is coming up on 40 in December, wonder what sort of magical reunions people have planned for that? Are the Angels going to show up there and nostalgically stab some folks?

Finally, though, I'll remember 1969 (in particular, its summer) as the inspiration for that insipid Bryan Adams song. If for no other reason than that, the year should have its calendar privileges revoked.