Posts Tagged ‘Was (Not Was)’

Heidi Ho

June 12, 2013

Monday June 10th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   Once, maybe twice a year – if that – I’ll get an especially dark, nasty, venom soaked email from out of the blue. It usually has misspellings of easy words and embarrassingly poor grammar, and without exception gets sent under a made up email address that of course won’t allow responses.

   It usually prattles on about how I’m ‘going to get what’s coming to me’ and ‘how unfunny and lame I am’ blah blah blah. Most of them are pretty disjointed, and difficult to read because of the mangling of the English language. I might not be Shakespeare, but I try to make coherent points.

   I started getting them in 2004 when I was working at 97.9 ‘The Loop’ in Chicago, and I talked about it on the air. I have no problem if someone doesn’t like me personally, but I do find it very cowardly that they won’t sign their real name and give their contact info to allow me to retort.

   If I legitimately wrong someone, nobody feels worse about it than I do. If someone should tell me to my face something I did irritated them, I’ll be the first one to apologize sincerely and try to do whatever I can in my power to make it right. It’s never possible to please everyone, but I have no desire to have issues with anyone. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work as smoothly as I’d prefer.

   There’s always some snaggletooth self appointed crusader with a flaming bug up their keester that feels a need to “put me in my place.” Really? I matter that much to some anonymous scrub that they’d take time and effort to peck me an email hoping I die soon? Now that’s motivation!

    I hadn’t had one in a long time, but a couple of days ago a new one came. I could tell right off the bat because it was a comment on something I wrote and the person making the comment had the user name ‘heidithinksusuck’. It went on to ramble and babble as I’ve come to expect, and of course there were wishes that I ‘get what’s coming to me’ and the usual psycho claptrap. Yawn.

   Who the hell IS this? I can’t think of anyone I know now with that name. I used to work with a war pig named Heidi at a day job years ago, but we never had issues. Even if we had, it was long ago and I can’t believe she or anyone else would just pop up out of nowhere and spew such hate.

   There’s a deeply dented can here, no matter who “Heidi” is. Maybe it’s a ‘touched by an uncle’ situation or she knows someone who hates my guts. Who can say? As far as I’m concerned she’s some hose bag I don’t know personally. Or maybe it’s a poison pen name of someone I do know.

   I must say, in a warped and twisted way her laughingly feeble attempt at cyber scolding me for perceived sins really cheered me up. I’ve been struggling extra hard lately, but knowing that my survival pisses off pinheads I don’t even know makes me feel like I’m finally starting to make it!

  One of my all time favorite obscure bands Was (not Was) has various versions of the same song on a few of their albums. It’s titled “Woodwork Squeaks and Out Come The Freaks”, and I never get sick of hearing any version of it. This world is full of freaks, and now they’re seeking me out and sending caustic emails. How sad and meaningless are their lives if hating me is their hobby?

   My skin is as thick as a watermelon rind when it comes to stuff like this. I have stood toe to toe for decades with boozed up psychotic hecklers – and won, why should a rambling email make me do anything but laugh? Knowing I piss someone off that badly is a great boost to my self esteem. It gives me hope! If I affect idiots like this, I can affect others positively. Take your pill, “Heidi”.


Facing The Music

May 15, 2013

Monday May 13th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL  

   Here’s another major life’s regret to toss on my ever growing pile: I never made the investment of time and energy to create music. I really wish I would have taken an opportunity at some point to at least learn the basics of music so I could have added it to my repertoire of creative outlets.

   I’m not saying I would have made a career of it or even attempted to, but I really think it would have added all kinds of interesting angles to everything I’ve already done. It would have been the perfect fit for my already ‘out there’ left handed creative mind set, and I think I missed the boat.

   I can’t sing a lick, and I know it. That’s just not in me, but I think playing some instrument and especially writing songs would definitely have been for me. It’s a craft and art form just like joke writing is, and I think a lot of the same brain cells are used to create each. I live for that process.

   I remember reading somewhere that Steve Allen had written thousands of songs throughout his life – even though I can’t think of even one hit. It doesn’t matter I guess, the process is rewarding if nothing else. It can be financially lucrative too, I suppose. Hit songs are what pay royalties for a lifetime. People want to hear them over and over and over again. Who ever wrote a ‘hit joke’?

   The creative side of the music and comedy crafts may be the same, but getting one’s chops are completely different. A comedian has to go up and suffer constant pain in front of live audiences for years until he or she learns the ropes. A musician can haul out the old bassoon or piccolo and practice alone in the privacy of his or her own room. It’s still difficult, but not nearly as public.

   As a kid, I don’t remember being around live music at all. Nobody in my family plays anything but the radio, so it’s not like I was born into the Jackson or Osmond clan and given a tambourine for my first birthday. Plus I’m very Caucasian, so that may have impeded my progress as well.

   My natural inner rhythm may not be there from the start, but I bet I could have learned the craft and fit in on some level had I been offered more of an opportunity. I remember farting around on a cheap used guitar when I was around ten years old, and then my grandfather bought a keyboard organ from Kmart for some reason. I aped around on that too, but never had any formal lessons.

   Being left handed didn’t help with any dreams I may have had of becoming a guitar hero. Left handed guitars are like left handed golf clubs. They’re out there, but really rare. I never did have a chance to even see if I liked it or not. Maybe I would have hated it, or maybe I’d be a star now.

   One thing I would have been is eccentric and eclectic. I’m already that now, but it’s not a bad thing in the creative arts. I adore artistic kooks, and always have. George Clinton is one of those, and I mean it as a sincere compliment. He’s brilliant, but out there. Other names that pop into my head that did or do their own thing are Sun Ra, Frank Zappa, Alice Cooper and Thomas Dolby.

   I bet I would have written some interesting songs by now to say the least. I have a comic style, and I’m sure I’d have a music style as well. I love a well written song, especially one that tells an interesting or unique story. Was (Not Was) writes a lot of songs like that, as does Bernie Taupin.

   I suppose I could start taking some lessons now, but I think it’s way too late to make any noise on a serious level. I’d be just another half baked hack hobbyist, but I don’t need any more speed bumps in my path. I did what I did, now I have to live with it. Comedy keeps me busy enough.