Thursday, June 15, 2006
I have in front of me an American Express advertisement. In it, they list 17 categories followed by dotted lines. The idea is that you fill in the blanks.
American Express sucks. For being late on a payment once by less than 48 hours (it was in the mail on time, I know that) they charge me such an exorbitant interest rate (you don't want to know, believe me) that I have no compunction about using their advertisement for my own purposes, with or without their permission. I figure this way, the stealing's mutual. So, without any further undue acrimony, here's how I filled in their shitty little self-centered yuppie scumbag list.
To get out of school, by any means possible. Beyond that, I wanted to be either a baseball player or a trolley driver.
I've been playing ball of some sort or another for over 40 years now, so that part of the ambition came true, I suppose, even though I assumed that it would involve somebody paying me to play and not me paying to play.
I did get to drive a trolley once and it was one of the nicest gifts anyone ever gave me. MY WIFE bought me a membership to the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine. As part of the membership, there are certain days during the year when they will take you out on their private tracks, give you a few lessons and then let you actually operate the damned thing for a quarter of a mile or so. I got to drive a trolley that had been in service on Boston's T during the 1940's. As with the baseball thing, I expected that I would be paid for doing this. It was great fun anyway.
Hard to put into words, actually. It's a conglomeration of sounds and smells from the house I grew up in. I can pretty much call these from memory to the extent where I can almost actually hear and smell them. Creaking stairs, doors clicking shut, the sound that the knobs on the TV made (in the days before remote controls), the sound and smell of the fan-forced heating system kicking in; they all live on to an amazing extent within my mind. I lived there 37 years, though, so I guess they damn well should be easily recalled.
Everything by Deep Purple; the first 6 Black Sabbath albums; anything by The Alice Cooper Group (that is, prior to Mr. Cooper going solo); all of the Terry Knight-produced Grand Funk and Bloodrock albums; Prokofiev's Second Symphony (my favorite is by the Berliner Philharmoniker, under the direction of Seiji Ozawa); and every last tiny bit of Tommy Dorsey. Ah, what the heck, throw in some Budgie as well.
I hit the lottery for a bazillion dollars and buy a major league baseball expansion franchise. I name myself the manager and put myself on the roster as the third-string catcher. In game seven of the World Series, both of the first two catchers go down with injuries (sorry, imaginary guys!) but we win in extra innings when the opposition's tying run is thrown out at the plate. He rams into me with everything he's got, but I hold onto the ball. With blood streaming down my face, I am carried on the shoulders of my teammates to the accompanying cheers of the crowd.
Probably when I voted for myself in 1992 for state rep in Massachusetts. Read all about it here and here and here and here and here and here and even here.
Really? Not blowing every penny I've got on harebrained gambling schemes and keeping my nose (literally) clean.
What they probably expect someone to say? Fuck knows. Something about a paradigm.
My alarm clock.
Already had it. It was my wedding day. Everything went absolutely and charmingly right. I can't think of a single thing I would have changed. I should probably write about it sometime, huh?
OK, that will be my weekend assignment. Look for it on Monday.
Paperboy. I delivered the Boston Globe and Boston Herald to houses in Milton, which is the richer neighbor of Dorchester where I grew up.
The only really interesting thing I can think of about that job was that Luis Tiant was on my route. He didn't get a paper from me; he just lived on one of the streets. Every time I passed his place, I looked for him. Never did see him.
I got a fill of gas for my car. Livin' La Vida Loca, baby!
Probably Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, but Braveheart and Blazing Saddles are real close. Oh, and the porno.
No, not the porno. MY WIFE. It used to be drugs, but she costs less and lasts longer.
What the frack does that mean? My Life? I don't know. I'm alive. Good enough, I guess.
They want you to say American Express. As if. I'll say a 1965 Topps Chris Cannizzaro.
Oh, and one more time: American Express sucks.