Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Dispatch From Escalatorville: And I've Got More Hits Than Sadaharu Oh

Amok. Turtles. Oops.
On a recent trudge, I happened upon a local lake chock full of area wildlife.
Cranes preened from mid-water stones while screeching their songs to any being with ears. On the near bank, a plethora of turtles - one big guy lazily fanning himself with his giant paws. Or so I thought.

Taking a closer look, I found that low tide had left the large one stranded. Belly stuck on a hump of mud, he paddled the air. I was on a dock 10 feet above, heeding the "Gators In Lake" sign - and opted to take a picture of the fellow, figuring he'd be perfectly fine in a half hour when the tide came in.

I got out my photographic device, bent down to aim, and then - "WHOOOSH!"
some massive, unseen force launched the turtle off the bank - swiftly diving through the ripples at waters edge, only to resurface a half minute later - and 20 yards out.

There are a number of reasons for his rapid escape; electroshock mine planted by those wily cranes, massive buildup of reptilian methane, or what have you. Of course, my theory is that he was in some sort of Lake Dwellers Witness Protection Program, and was fleeing the camera for fear of having his photo seen by angry members of the Turtle Mafia.

Oh, IT exists. Everyone knows you sleep with the fishes if you cross Don Tortuga.

 "Accidental, Tourist?" vs. "Drunkards Lullaby"
A former drinker myself, I've indeed navigated the streets of this ancient city with an inebriated, slightly incoherent, charm. Having that experience amped up my humor intake on a recent stroll. A couple headed toward a nearby vehicle, the potential passenger already on the road to Schnokker-Town. Her Royal Drunkenness whoopsilly avoided hitting a parked car, and me, as she excused herself off the sidewalk.

"Babe," spoke her companion/chauffeur, opening a door to the aforementioned car, "This One's Us."

"Oh, right," she clumsily slurred, "that's right because that's the one that's it."

Her phraseology reminded me of a piece I'd written years ago to describe a familiar old town evening that so many of us now fail to remember:

Drumble Home Stunk (writ by z.f.lively)
Twas late, no, early evening-
a misty night in town.
We'd foregone dinner once again.
Yet, still, we washed it down.
At a local Irish saloon,
The ale steadfast was poured.
A pint, a quart, a gallon?
No one can be quite sure...
"One more, barkeep!" our battle cry
before the trek to meet Queen Mab.
"All right, just one," answered a sigh,
"and then, you'll pay your tab?"
Through night air tower bells would ring,
like echoes from a tomb.
We talked, and laughed, and tried to sing
on that awkward stumble home.
A cryptic phrase from someones lips-
twas pointed out as words were spent-
"This is grass. That is brick. And There, is just cement."
Despite our froth, I'd not forget
thoughts of her that filled my head.
So, I snuffed another cigarette -
and took myself to bed.
Takin' It From The Streets
Feeling, as Eeyore might say, a little "un-cheered" the other night - I embarked on a hike around the neighborhood. Sure enough, three minutes later, I was a bit uplifted.

I passed local legend Carrie Johnson's house. Emanating from the backyard, a Doobie Brothers classic. I walked along, bobbing my head - as I heard voices from other houses begin to chime in:

"I'd like to hear some funky Dixieland
 Pretty mama come and take me by the hand
 By the hand (HAND), take me by the hand (PRETTY MAMA)
 Come and dance with your daddy all night long
 I want to honky tonk, honky tonk, honky tonk
 With you all night long..."

You don't get to see to many spontaneous community sing-alongs like they have in the movies, but I reckon this one was close enough.

I saw the Beastie Boys in 1985 as the opening act on Madonna's 'Virgin" Tour.
I had no idea what to make of them: they entered on skateboards, looked like street thugs, and played a really loud mix of punk and hip-hop.

They were awesome. I was a fan.

Some months later, I was sitting in a parked car waiting for my dad to get back with a pizza for the trip home when the radio had a "Smash It Or Trash It" poll for the single of "Fight For Your Right (To Party)." Alas, the listeners of the local classic rock format voted to Trash It.  As soon as we got home, I rushed to the phone and called the station - "Um, if y'all aren't gonna use that song - uh, can I have it?"

The answer was No.

Soon enough, however, the album 'License To Ill' was on top of the charts and was the soundtrack to summer school. Their videos were all over television. They were cool. They were rowdy. They were controversial. They were genius.

They began to evolve. Began to play their own instruments, Founded Record Labels and Charity Groups, Organized Benefit Concerts and Festivals. They made Jazz records (!) - good ones.

Then, in the ultimate act of maturity, founding member Adam Yauch passed away from cancer at 47.

Death is a bit more of a shock when it strikes someone whom came to prominence for youthful and juvenile behavior. Adam Yauch - along with his cohorts Adam Horowitz and Mike Diamond - became an example of what it means to actually grow up and still retain your cool.

He may have left the planet, but his influence remains global.

If you can feel what I’m feeling then it’s a musical masterpiece/
If you can hear what I’m dealing with then that’s cool at least/
What’s running through my mind comes through in my walk/
True feelings are shown from the way that I talk
Pass the Mic
The Dispatch From Escalatorville
Z.F. Lively, Proprietor/Science Dropper - complaints/compliance/compliments & condiments

1 comment:

Lively 2 said...

Awesome job yet again, brother!! You are a fantastic writer...keep 'em coming. Also, write some more songs, too...PLEEEASE!!!

Love ya,