Monday, May 24, 2010


Still got the Galaxie going. Thin Lizzy just made a Jail Break. Now its an Early Distant Warning. Starting to get antsy about the game tonight. The Blog is becalming.

That talk about French and the Gentleman's Club got me thinking about all the anthropological field research I've done over the years. In one of those notebooks, there would be an entry about the behaviour of bouncers in their most natural habitat. On an Attic evening, many many moons ago, a member of the posse decided to put some money out for the "entertainer". He folded the bills into clean, crisp cones on the stage before him. Over she came, scooped them up, gushing gratitude.

It didn't take long before the environment became contaminated, and we all went from detached observation to complicit co-agency. The entertainer wasn't pleased. Nor was the bouncer. He clapped his hand on the not so generous offender, and told him, in bouncer-speak, to put his nice money away or get the fuck out. Not that the warning was heeded. A few minutes later, I rather unnimbly fell off my chair, and the bouncer put an end to the Attic evening. Good food next door, though. Sha-war-ma, Mama!

From time to time, this clown would hang around with Lauzzy and I. A lot of memories with Lauzzy. Back in the salad days. I remember the time we scouted out for a student halfhouse -- Lauzzy driving his 1979 Cordoba, Bomber in the back, and myself riding shotgun. Wrong way down the one-way. No problem, we're in the Cordoba. We found the Miracle on Concord. It was perfect, but it was currently rented to a Greenpeace family. The pungent air was going to take a while to dissipate. We reached a deal with the landlord down in the basement -- later it would be sealed over a couple of Molson Goldens from his personal stock. But that inital afternoon, as we harangued over the rent, I couldn't help but notice the videotape on top of the dryer. Right over the wildly gesticulating landlord's shoulder. While the genre was obvious, I couldn't make out the title. Using the available visual evidence on the cover, I decided that it was entitled "Anal Aggressor". An Is/Ought formulation, if ever there was one. I got a lot of mileage out of that one. Seemed the Greenpeaceniks had other interests beyond saving the whales.

Just as soon as we moved in, Bomber got sick and skipped out. On short notice, we got somebody in. Doug Carpenter's niece. It wasn't a Royal experience. By the second year, Bomber came back, and we squeezed him into the closet leading to the balcony. I still remember the early mornings. After a bacchanalian debauch, we could hear Lauzzy in the bathtub by 7 am. He usually got through a book chapter during his morning tubthumps. By the late afternoon, in a usually unsuccessful attempt to rouse me from the burnoff, he would throw a few ancient 45's on his 'family stereo unit' and turn it to eleven. Somehow, I'd manage to keep sleeping through the usual trilogy of "Video Killed the Radio Star", "Rock Lobster", and "Brown Girl in the Rain." A wiser man than I, he knew how to stop. I rarely could.

When I had met Lauzzy a few years earlier, right after I walked away from a car accident that, by all rights, should have left me in a wheelchair, I had decided to reform myself. To give it the old college try. It was the fall/winter of 1992/93. Mario and the Penguins had just won the Cup for the second straight year. We were in the same class. I was being introduced to subjects called "Historiography" and "Intellectual History". Things were beginning to come together for me -- a long held inerest in historical writing, a fascination with the 18th century and the anatomy of literary criticism. At the end of every class, I'd see him haranguing with the intellectual historian. He looked like a grunge kid, I remember thinking, emulating Eddie Vedder. That initial description baffles him now, long after ditching the plaid undergraduate hand-me-downs. He and I seemed to be the only ones who didn't hate this class. I think in our own ways, it was a refuge. For myself, it was a safe haven, away from the ahistorical excess of English literature. For him, a phalanx against the (equally ahistorical) philosophers.

That year was a fulcrum point of its own for me. I have my doubts that I would have continued with graduate studies. I got knocked down, then I got up again.

Thanks for that, Lauzzy.

I'm waiting for my signed copy of the book. Its genesis was forged in the marginalic crucible of the Concord St. tub, I think.


  1. Good memoir. Good narrative that keeps your attention. Liked the one about Greenpeace and the $%^#cking. Made me chuckle.

  2. They were Coors, FEL, not Molson's. The part of your brain with that memory must be in the jug. Everything else in the story is 'Spot' on, though you could easily have dilated that narrative - so many Talissas and Gitas, and Bickertons and Bellas (not to mention a Gagne and a Hamann or two) in the background and all(probably sagely) left unmentioned. There were Hearts, Slacks, Pennies, and plagues aplenty; crotches cut out; and, oh yeah, a rubksh pile or two set ablaze; remember? Dee Dee na na na with three prongs.

  3. Haa...Haa...oh Hamann! yes yes.

    well, now that I have the green light -- look out for the sequels, prequels and addenda, with the usual discretion -- perhaps this Saturday Night -- the air is getting hot around here, believe it or not

  4. Are you sure that was a green light? I'll book you soon. Oh and how could I have forgotten to drop the falafal van? Those were good-but-strange days that feel now like they were lived by a different people.

  5. Great writing Fish. Great insight into the past only gives one a clearer future. Keep the lens wide. Thanks again for comin to zaphods.

  6. This one reads like a diary entry. Personal memories tucked tight into a snuff tin. We are part historical, another part not. History is like a woman. She will remind you of how much she's done for you but she doesn't give a f*** whether you stay or go.