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fEBRUaRY

(most of it, and some of January)

TEENS:

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

If we print your conments. you'll win the ~resh Voices" T-shirt-and we'll also send a T""'!ihirt to every teacher whose students we feature.

Jan.

20,

1992

(. I\. r.J.

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Wednesday, January 26
Dick's birthday party is tonight, and it sounds like a sorry affair. Last week some of Dick's coworkers bound him in duct tape and carried him to his own birthday party, but tonight is just a normal evening, no big celebrations planned, I am just to meet up with him and Paul and Spencer after work at JJ Foleys, their favorite downtown bar. Dick brings along two folks from work, a guy and a gal, both of whom are so dull and uninteresting that I promptly forget their names. The guy doesn't speak much, but at least he seems amused listening to us talk. The girl, on the other hand, is not o~ly boring, but also blatantly bored with her surroundings, with her whole damn world. She just stares at the table and ignores pretty much everything. Dick is fawning over her as much as he can, because of course she is along thanks to another one of his unremarkable crushes on a bland disinterested girl. Watching their nonexchanges is rather depressing. Poor Dick, he is so boring. Paul says that this makes him happy, th~t he is never more at ease than when his life is one long string of yawn. I guess he would be content with the quiet life, going off each day to an unchallenging boring job, coming home every night to a boring quiet girl, sipping Guinness in front of the TV all night while watching his ever growing collection o!. pornogr~ph:y not even jerking off or projecting himself into the' sex scenes, just watching it. Sad really, but to each their own, I suppose. I like Dick, really, but do I have to sit here and watch this? The presence of Dick's dullard friends puts a heavy damper on things, and we can't even carryon our usual levitous conversation amongst ourselves. We just sit here in virtual silence and sip at our beers - itching to be anywhere but sitting here in virtual silence and sipping our beers. Finally, the girl leaves, and the table becomes more manly, Dick a bit less reserv~d, and I suggest we get up an? fucking do something. Usually this would mean that we all start shouting about strippers and start to hoot and holler and head over to the Glass Slipper and nurse some nine dollar Budweisers just so we can watch. some youn~ but rather unattractive girls take their gstrings off. But the last time we did this Paul was rather frightened, as he was convinced that this one stripper who had been dancing right at him was the same girl that used to come into Borders and make lascivious little passes at him, and who one night asked him to come back to her place after they 'coincidentally' met up on the T. So Paul, much to Spencer's and my disgust, refuses to go back to the Slipper for fear that this cute yo~ng naked girl will try to rape him. Whatever. We decide instead to go to Tim's Bar in Back Bay and eat some hamburgers. . Tim's is all black. The staff IS black, the clientele are black, the jukebox is soul all the way. It is also rumored to have the best damn burgers in town. The place is a typical crappy bar (not a pub, a nice s~itch for this town) with bad decor, a filthy toilet, and there in the back, the kitchen, a 20 foot square area containing a giant grill, a fry vat, and two greasy looking ~uys. I am alm~st disgusted by how dirty the place I~, except for the fact that everyone IS black. I find this very endearing and somewhat comforting. And then the burger comes. The burger comes, I

take one bite, and I taste pure beef and fatty juice and greasy, dripping goodness. Goddarnn, I fall in love with Tim's on that first bite! God bless you, Mr. Tim! Delicious burgers aside, the overall lack of enthusiasm still does not dissipate. Dick's remaining boring friend fmally goes home, Spencer is long gone, having deserted us on the way to Tim's due to lack of funds, and my drunken proclamations todo something are getting weaker and weaker. We go to a liquor store and drink a bit more on the way to another bar where we drink a bit more, but no amount of alcohol can relieve these doldrums. Dick keeps complaining about his stomach, which he says has. been hurting ever since he ate his burger (my stomach feels delightfully full. What the hell is he going on about?). We decide to just go home, and on the way to the T Dick pukes into a snow bank on the sidewalk. Even that isn't very exciting. Yawn. Why do I bother to leave the house for this?

How to attack the groin with the razor.

Thursday, January 27
In contrast to Dick's birthday party, tonight I do something rather boring and insignificant, and am very much charmed by it. Spencer and I were just getting off work and the whole idea of going straight home seemed rather unappealing. So we pooled our funds, a total of all of ten dollars, and we head to the Deli Haus for dinner. And now we are sharing a large plate of fries and two cups of coffee. Now, this is no momentous occasion, I have done this sort of thing many many times before, but it has been a very long time since I've just sort of 'hung out' like this. It reminds me of being in Denver and spending hours sitting around Paris on the Platte or Muddy's or Slims' or Reese's, or being in Bangor and sitting at the Bagel Shop or the West Market - in any case milking a cup of coffee and an appetizer for as long as I possibly can, chatting and idling, just being young and bored. I haven't felt young and bored in a long long time. Most of my going out since moving to Boston has had a point, a destination, or at least an activity. I just don't do the hanging out in diners and coffee shops with pals thing much anymore. Granted, there are bars, but that is a completely different vibe, an adult vibe, an expensive vibe, usually leading to drunken night long 'events', and rarely to a quiet time with a pal. So here are Spencer and I dipping fries in coffee and not .doing anything in particular, much to the waitress' dismay. And I kind of miss this.

Sunday, January 30
I finally decided to get up in front of people and read poetry again. It's been what, a year, since I last wandered out to the Lizard Lounge? It's not that I haven't wanted to, it's just that something always comes up. Christ. A year. That's just sad. So I go back tonight and I find that it is still the same exact group of "poets": the incredibly huge fat guy (calls himself "Buddha") who thinks that he is some sort of Beat because he smokes cigarettes and writes poetry about poets, the pretty boy Spanish kid whose poems are all about the girls he has fucked, the two white suburban dorks who rap, swear to God, they rap about Beavis and Butthead and Ren and Stimpy. There is the occasional good poet, but on the whole it is just plain sad. I feel sorry for the Jeff Robinson Trio, the improv jazz band that has to be here and witness these same people week in and week out. How the hell do they do it? There is a featured poet this evening. She is an older woman, some sort of "open" minded pre-school teacher, and she decides that instead of reading one of her awful poems, that we should all write a group awful poem. Swell. She pulls out this book called Sunshine and Rainbows or something, and it is full of poetry "exercises" for grade school kids. It is just plain ridiculous. She reads us one example of a group poem wherein each line starts with "Once 1..." and then contains a color, a place, and a cartoon character. This is meant as a useful and mind expanding exercise. I've always hated this "talking down" kind of shit. I hated it when I was a kid, and I still hate it. I just disagree with all that whitebread

"liberal arts" crap. Art is not a right, I'm sorry, not everyone can or should be allowed to participate. That's just the way I feel. Put away your notebooks, folks, you are not allowed to share. Alright, I am being bitter here. I mean, here I am, writing a bunch of shit about my own life, and deriding others for doing the same thing. What kind of asshole am I? Perhaps I should just play along and enjoy the cheesiness of this whole scene. I don't want to seem too angsty and disaffected, and I don't want to hurt this old lady's feelings, however cheesy she may be. So I'll play along. "Once I was in Bangkok and I rubbed my Woody Woodpecker until it turned blue". Sadly, this is not used, as our host feels that these 'emotions' have. already been 'explored'. Instead, we have to write another "Once I...", this time with an emotion, a kind of weather, and a type of accident. Sigh. I don't care if her feelings are hurt or not. This. is such bullshit. No way, Grandma, I'm tired of wasting my brain of useless crap like this. I've got cable. When the strange kindergarten teacher reads the passages, she does so with a funny faux-beatnik enunciation, acting out the more active words, and whoooshing whenever someone eludes to wind or rain. It's like watching one of those bad 60s movies making fun of beatniks. And here it is - 100 % real. I get up not much later and I read my Junkies poem again, just because I am out of practice and I know that poem pretty well, so I'm less likely to fuck up. It goes over okay, no laughs, but it is a small crowd, and I honestly am. not fishing for laughs this time. My reading is a bit embittered, as my mood is perhaps

tempered by the whole sadness of the evening. At the end of the night there is time to kill, not enough poets, so the mic is passed around and, we are all encouraged to freestyle. Several guys rap. Christ, why must everyone rap? After a bit of this funkiness the mic gets passed to me. "I just got cable!" I scream. "110 Channels! All the movie stations! Full on Lesbo action every Friday night!" I can't think of anything else to talk about.

A gutter rat grabs you with two hands -- "tough guy" style.

Tuesday, February 1
I just couldn't go home after work today. That whole wasted life thing was getting to me again. I had to do something, so I wandered up Harvard Ave into Allston to visit some of the hip bars there, the ones I've heard about since moving to Boston, but avoided since I also heard they were annoying hipster hang-outs. First I go to the Silhouette, which is a tiny dark corner bar with a really neat 1960s sign over the entrance. It is dark and trashy, but has a sports theme that I just find unsettling. Sports paraphernalia on the wall, sports on the teevee, sports being talked about at the bar, and even though my book is rather manly (Fight Club), I just don't feel right sitting there and reading. There's no love for me in this room.

So 1 go up the street to the Model. I've always avoided the Model. Not only is there the problem of that name, but the Model is also an infamous pick-up joint, a meat market for hip guys with goatees in leather coats (always always a statement of rebellion) to pick up chicks in vintage clothes and horned rims. Not my scene, really, as 1 prefer a quiet place where I can ogle the girls in vintage clothes and horned rims without danger of competition. Still, 1 think 1 should at least go there once just to say I've been there. So ... What 1 thought would be a chichi club is actually a real dive. The bar itself is made out of unfinished plywood, as are the floors. The booths are shoved against a wall and can be easily moved about, thusly making them completely unstable. There are bar tables thrown randomly about the room at uncomfortable distances. This is ghetto punk rock. No frills. The bartender is about 50 and grizzled, the waitress is in her late 60s and huge and trailer trash. I am most charmed. Here I feel comfortable reading, and even though there is indeed that hipster crowd I've heard so much about, all is rather quiet as it is only a Tuesday night: I've got two hours to kill before I can head back to the theatre for the midnight staff screening of Valley Girl. So I curl up in a corner and watch the girls and read my book. The jukebox is full of good old punk and other fun music, so I drop in five bucks for 24 songs, figuring that I will be buying two hours of peace (I always get suckered into the jukebox thing. I have music control issues). I smoke cigarettes and nonchalantly order a highball from the waitress. For a while I will just be a man, in a bar, killing time like a .rnan does. Of course I spoil this feeling by spillinz my first drink all over myself, C\ .'. .iking the glass when I tip it 0\''':1 ~lIj, [he waitress is nice enough to bring me another one. There are rock stars in my midst. The two girls from Mr. Airplane

Man, my favorite Boston Band (actually, the only one I know, as I'm not as hip as r used to be), are sitting at the table right next to me. Wow. I am pretending not to notice them, though of course I am staring at them over my book, not so much because 1 am a star fucker, but because I have always had a bit of a thing for that drummer. She is a very good drummer, and really cute in a junky sort of way. Ahhh, shit. They left. A half hour or so later they have returned, and I decide that this is a sign, and a few drinks later I approach them. "You know, I am a big fan of yours and I just wanted to say that you are my favorite band, and by the way I am one of the managers at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, you know it? Yeah, so, we're having a midnight screening of that movie Valley Girl tonight. .. " "Yeah, that's a cool mo ... " "And you guys are more than welcome to stop by, seeing as you've provided me with a lot of free entertainment with your shows at Foleys and on the street sometimes in Central Square where I walked by once with my mother who was visiting from out of town and she thought you were really good ... " "Thanks. That's real ni ... " "So I just thought I'd return the favor so feel free to come by and watch the movie if you'd like and r don't wanna bother you so I'll just leave you alone now. Ok." "Great. " That went smoothly, just like I planned. Oh yes, just like I'd planned. Not creepy or anything, no sir, not me. I hiccup and shrug and stumble out the door. The screening is a blast. Mr. Airplane Man doesn't show. Bitches, they sure missed out.

Thursday, February 3
The Allston bar journey must have inspired me, for tonight I go to a Boston restaurant that I've been wanting to see since moving here, but as usual didn't have the nerve to go to all by myself. It's a place called The Good Life, right across the street from Foley's on the edge of downtown. I've always liked the sign in front of the place, a glowing red swingers sort of sign, but every time I mentioned wanting to go there in the past it was poopooed by Paul and Spencer. But this time I have the presence of mind to just insist on going there for dinner, and I insist that Spencer come with (of course I am paying so he has no case to argue). Like the Model a few nights before, I find the Good Life to actually be right up my alley. It is obviously an older establishment, as the layout and decor still has that lush 60s feel with lots of deep reds and dark browns and specialty cocktails advertised and pictured on the placemats. Of course these days it has become a bit of a hipster joint (I long to have gone there in the 80s or early 90s when I'm sure nobody thought it was cool), and they are playing mostly swing music". Still, despite the clientele (which isn't that too terribly hip, just a little bit, as most of the crowd are those annoying "I work downtown" yuppie types, though obviously the more slummy ones), the place has a certain charm and an old style that I find particularly comforting - and, I should add, not
4Can this fucking Swing trend just die already? It's been the focus of several major motion pictures. it's been an advertising theme for The Gap, it's been redone by that musical whore Brian fucking Setzer. Can you say played out?

kitschy at all. And all this warm feeling, this comfort I get from this sort of groovy old place, it is just shot all to Hell when I learn that the Good Life was opened only a few years ago, cashing in on the same Goddamn swing trend that I thought it was responsible for nurturing from the beginning. Fucking .capitalism, fucking entrepreneurs, fucking swing bullshit! Spencer and I each have a French Dip, which I find unexpectedly gratifying. I haven't had a good French Dip since I moved to Boston (I find myself on occasion missing terribly the mostly pre-packaged French Dips from Paris on the Platte. Funny, that). Just the taste of it proves as comforting as being in Mama's arms, just like the burger from Tim's the other night. Perhaps this is the appeal of beefy foods, they can be calming, soothing, and yet still allow one to feel manly and alive (can chicken be said to make one feel manly and alive? I think not. For one, they are small and easy to catch. And then there is the way a piece of chicken sits so demurely on a plate, it's almost cute, and how gratifying is that, eating such a cute little piece of meat?). These vegetarians don't know what they're missing. The bill is a bit high - $25 for the two of us (though I insist on having at least one fancy cocktail - it is a cocktail bar after all). But the waitress is pretty cute. A word about the waitress. I honestly know her from somewhere. She is a hipster early-twenties oriental girl with stylishly messy hair and horned rims-', I can't figure out where
SCan the horned-rim trend fucking die already, too? I mean, they're cute glasses, I like them, I find them attractive. But why does every dumb little wannabe cool chick have to wear them? They're no longer as unique as they once were, you can get them at the mall for Christ's sake. I don't want to kiIl horned-rims. I just ask for a little variety here, please.

the hell I know her from, somewhere I have been frequently on a regular basis where she too has been. Could have been a store or a restaurant or a nightclub. This is really fucking bugging me. I keep watching her as she walks around the restaurant, trying like crazy to figure it out. And granted, I do fi.nd he.r attra~tive, which makes the view a little easier to get sucked into, but still, that isn't why 1 am staring at her. Anyway, Spencer notices my staring and m~kes a few disparaging comments and gives me that look that says "You are some kind of pervert! " Earlier this week 1 got that look, this time from Paul and Laura. We were all sitting in the living room watching TV, along with April who is sitting in the chair directly across from me. Suddenly Boogie jumps into her lap and sits on her knee, something the cat is quite fond of, but has never before done with April. April was most giddy by the eat's attentions, and 1 was surprised that Boogie allowed April to pet her and scratch her head without getting all twitchy like she usually does, and instead just looking content and purring. 1 should adm!t tha~ 1 wa~ a bit protective about Apnl, domg this, as Boogie is MY cat, but mostly 1 was just watching, looking at the kitty and noting her facial expressions and the way she moved. Then I glanced over towards Paul and Laura and there they were - giving me that look. They must have thought 1 was staring at April, her legs or her breasts (of which she has none) or something. Christ! I looked away, but then 1 was consciously looking away, trying not to look directly at April, which was just as incriminating. No matter what I did, I still felt that "You pervert!" vibe.?

Well, Dammit!, I am not some kind of pervert, and I am tired of getting that look. I am not undressing the pretty waitress with my eyes. I am not mentally masturbating to the image of April petting my cat. 1 am just vacuously watching, as I do with all sorts of things, with all sorts of people. I like to watch, and not in some sicko way, but in the more benign Chauncey Gardner way. 1 like to watch the world happen around me. It amuses me, it calms me, sometimes it even infuriates me - that's why I like it. Maybe I get this look because 1 am older than my friends and older than many of the girls I find attractive (though I get a pervert vibeeven when I find people my own age attractive), or maybe 1 am considered lascivious because 1 like to talk about rude things (I for one just feel that speaking your mind is being honest, an activity that very few people engage in), or maybe people are just afraid of me and think I'm a sexual deviant because 1 don't date much and 1 don't spend most of my time trying to get laid (in fact, when it comes right down to it, I have a bit of a problem with sex in general). And then, of course, this is probably just all in my head.
6In their defense I should mention that recently I made a confession to some of my housemates that April was recently entering my sexual fantasies. It is the kind of thing that I should really keep to myself, but that for some reason I always end up sharing (vanity perhaps, or as a plea for someone to help me understand or at least empathize with my own warped mind). Let me elaborate for a moment on the fantasies. I don't in any way find April attractive. But one night, while I was masturbating before bed, she managed to work her way into my thoughts, and everything worked out pretty well. Then a few nights later she was back. And the night after that. Frankly, I found the whole thing a Iittle disturbing, and I was trying to figure out how to get her out of there. Then one morning April was sitting around the living room with her shoes off and I got a good long look at her feet. They were bruised and awkward and dirty and her toes were all the wrong sizes and bent in awkward directions. I'm not a big foot fancier, I rarely look at the things, but her feet really grossed me out. So the next time she appeared in my thoughts I thought of her feet, and she went away, never (so far) to return.

Saturday, February 5
Another Saturday without leaving the house. I meant to go out to a movie at the art museum, or to some restaurant on Center Street for a nice lunch, or to a coffee shop to just sit and read a book. But I woke up late and I would have had to rush about and run out the door to make the early movie. All I really wanted to do was just sit in the shower and let the stearn flow all over me. So I did. Ahhhh, the warmth of the stearn is such a nice feeling. I don't understand stearnbaths and saunas, though. They take the pleasantness of a nice warm shower and make it Extreme! in order to facilitate the illusion of, I don't know, health? All I know is that I feel like I'm hyperventilating in a stearnbath, but I arn perfectly comfortable in a stearn filled bathroom - and there aren't naked middle aged men wagging their saggy nuts in my face. How unpleasant. But I digress ... Christ, what did I do all day? I watched some TV to be certain, then I sat in the living room and read the newspaper and some of my book, which frankly didn't hold my interest for very long. Books have lost their appeal for me in the past few weeks. I read one, take my time, try to savor the book, and then it just starts to get too long, like it's never going to end, and even though there are some really good parts of the book I realize that it is all weighed down by this boring muck, and then it ends, and the ending is never as satisfying as it could be, it always gets fucked up in some way, and I want to find the author and grab him and ask "Why? Why did you make me trudge through this whole book if you're just going to drop the ball at the end? Do you know how much time I wasted just trying to get to that ending? Answer me, asshole!", and then there is another one or two or million more books that I just have to read next. It's just exhausting, and more than a little sad. As usual, I digress ... I think the only thing I did today that was truly gratifying was to play with the cat. I got down on all fours and chased .Boogie up and down the hall with a paper ball. She loved it. I guess she liked that I was down at her level for a change, and we crouched and pounced and chased each other about for about an hour. She fell asleep soon afterwards and I watched her sleep for another twenty minutes. Whew. What a day. For some reason or other I forgot to eat all day. Sure,' I opened up the fridge on occasion and nibbled a bit on whatever looked interesting, but I didn't actually sit down and enjoy a decent, or not so decent meal. So when Matt? carne home around 8pm with a twelve pack of Black Label (nasty shit, but the trashy kids around here seem to like it) it only took about three cans for me to get
71 haven't really mentioned Matt have I? He's the newest housemate, replacing that God-awful dimwit Hillary. Matt is a pretty nice guy. He's only 19 and a bit hip, but he's not some dork who embraces everything about the 90s, meaning that he has an appropriate sense of bitterness and anger at the world in general. He's still young, and needs a bit of developing, but he has so far shown really good taste in what he chooses to enjoy. And we sometimes have fun drawn out conversations about stupid pop culture shit that nearly make Paul and Spencer faint with disgust (then they prattle on about superheroes (Paul) or insipid novelists (Spencer). We've all got our pointless obsessions). I am told that Matt is also in awe of my nearly encyclopedic memory for movie and music trivia, but 1 can't really take much pride in that.

Some street hoodlum Intentions.

blocks your path with obvious

violent

drunk enough to start calling personal ads in the Boston Phoenix. What a dope. I listened to three or four different ads, left cryptic, nonsense, drunken messages and hung up wondering how much money I just blew on some stupid 900 number. Paul literally stumbled in the door not long afterwards in an incredible drunken stupor. I don't even know what he had been doing, but he was definitely beyond himself. He too called some 900 number, and he retired to his room to do so, emerging triumphantly about 20 minutes later with the proclamation that he had just called a porn line "for the first time in my life". Despite his assertion that he was too drunk to masturbate (yeah, whatever Paul), I did give him a pat on the shoulder and proclaimed that at last he was a real man ... at least until the phone bill comes and he curls into a little weeping ball like a baby.

Sunday, February 6
After last week's rather drab visit to the Lizard Lounge I am rather excited that this time I will be joined by Paul, who is planning to read a little piece. Paul is somehow instantly likable, and whenever he announces something there is a big turnout, so I know that this time the Lizard Lounge will be more active, and stacked a bit in our favor. There are several Border's alumni in attendance, including this crazed little man I used to share the art section with named Brian, who is right in the middle of what he keeps triumphantly describing as a "messy fuckiri' divorce". Also present is that sexy, smooth Negress Tracy, who unfortunately shows up with her new beau, the totally dorky Grady. 8 Also present are all of the housemates (except Matt who has yet to turn 21 ha ha), and my sort-of ex Amy, whom I have actually invited. All in all it looks like we were going to rule that mic.

8In case you are even remotely interested in the sordid 90210esque details I should point out that Grady is the same guy who had sex with Paul's underaged stalker girlfriend Sara last summer, seducing her by plying her with liquor and recommending a game of strip pool. Paul was never greatly upset by this, because he was greatly annoyed by Sara, but he still found Grady pretty creepy. Tracy, as you may remember, was involved in a threesome with "Tewksbury boy", a nipple-pierced (he showed one and all his awesome deformity) little hipster dork, as Grady listened in from the next room. Eventually these two found each other.

And yet, little to our knowledge, this is black power night. The lounge is filled with African-Americans with attitude, and it is their turn to be in charge of the stage. They are part of a poetry collective called, inspiringly enough, The Collective, and they are all race-politic poets. Many of them lecture, in precise rhythm and rap stylings, on how it felt to be a slave, and the power of knowing one's history of bloodshed. A female poet who blatantly worships Erykah Bhadu (or Badhu, or whatever) tells us abut the glory of her Negro-Earth-MotherGoddess hips, in a tale of oppression and woe called, inspiringly enough, "These Hips". As a group they scream and moan and roar and rhyme up a huge load of overstated obvious bullshit. And there is, from us, a collective yawn. Paul has to follow all of this with not only his first publicly read poem, but with one that is, for all intensive purposes, a mock Southern Baptist gospel testification. He has become a bit intimidated. How will this sit with these Black Panther wannabes? Many of them leave as soon as their turn is up, and the room loosens up a bit. A 50 year old white man reads a poem about his daughter, a few unenigmatic dorks read some of their lackluster duck poetry, and a strange young rapper by the name of VCR just talks a whole load of trash about getting laid ("Baby, you get me high on your ebony"). This definitely lightens the mood, and we are no longer afraid of being lynched. I read first, a nice little poem I wrote on the T on my way here. It's all about h",,~ and my crazed visit with him last New Year. The reading goes over well, but I've got to stop using that damn beatnik rhythm. Then Paul is up, and he approaches the mic with a sort of demureness that divulges little of the rant that is to come. And what a lovely rant it is.

"I am the greatest human being in the history of the World! I am sensitive! I am beautiful! I am clever! I am a God-damned genius! "
And that is just the beginning. It goes on as Paul describes how wonderful he is because he is a consumer, how the advertisers tell him that he is special for buying their products, how the women on the phone will describe his enormous and profane erection for a low per-minute fee (methinks he was speaking from recent experience).

I cannot live without my Ginger Root Foot Lotion. I cannot think without my Bose Wall-Mount Stereophonic Sound System. And if I do not use the Dial Soap - I will get the cancer! If I do not use the Tide Detergent - I will get the cancer! If I do not use the Downy Fabric Softener I... will... get... the cancer!
J am infinite in my spending

power! ... My Skippy Peanut Butter makes me the center of the God-damn universe!

And he ends it all with a wonderful religious parable about consumerism, telling the story of a fussy young man named Mikey who was not complete until he finally gave in and ate from the Bowl of Life. What can I say? Paul Constant, he rocked that fucking house.

17 February, 2000

To: Joe Zina, Exeaaice Direior, Ccolid~ Corner Theatre Foundation From: Clinton McClung, Assistant to the Executae Direzor; Accountant, Memlxrship Cwnii:natar, Special E7RJ1lsPlanner, and Office Manager, Coolid~ Comer Theatre Foundation Re: My job today. Dear Sir, You are a Goddamm cocksucking son-of-a-bitch pain-in-the-ass know-nothing pig-headed ignoramus. You are also a moronic little dumb fuck, a crap-eating-jizz-gargling-butt-fucking penis head. What kind of no good ass-faced sissy-boy dickweedare you? Your mother-fucking hair-brained half-assed spur-ofthe-moment plans are not only ruining the quality of work I can ably provide for this company, but they are also pissing me off to the point where I will soon be forced to slam you against a wall, punch in all your teeth, pop your eyes out with a sharp knife, and beat your face into said wall with such force and repetition that your nose will resemble little more than a blood pancake. I will then pull out my dick and piss in your open wounds. You are little more than a 50 year old retard, a completely impractical pinhead who is also inconsiderate, socially incompetent, and a shit-faced fart of a yuppie boob. Recently I was asked to share with you any feelings of discontent or tribulation I may recently have felt towards you or my present job. I would very much like to share these opinions with you by writing them on a piece of jagged stcee-anel-shoving it so far up your ass that your head.f~ efi;. However,' I feel I must demur from your request at this time, for I do not feel that these opinions will even be regarded as you are a pea-brained ball-sack of a human being. Nevertheless, in the spirit of your inquiry, I would like to make the following suggestions: Fuck you. Fuck your mother and your father. Fuck your two precious little yapping dogs. Fuck your life-partner's Hum-v. Fuck your E-bay account. Fuck your preference for textured hand-made paper. Fuck your long-forgotten yawn of a dancing career. Fuck your socialite friends. Fuck your "very important" luncheon meetings with wrinkled old bitches who may throw some money at you because you are willing to suck the warts off their asvcs. Fuck your fondness for The T 'alerued Mister Ripley, because you jerk off thinking about that ugly linle ruck Matt Damon. Oh, yes, and fuck your fucking Palm Pilot, fuck that stupid Palm Pilot all the way to hell. In sununation, fuck you in your gaping pie hole, you piece of shit. Now, go screw yourself.

Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation
290 Harvard Street, Brookline, Massachusetts 02446 • tel: (617) 734-2501 • fax: (617) 734-6288· www.Coolidge.Org

a not for profit corporation

Wednesday, February 9
Spencer found a Boston theme jigsaw puzzle in the lost and found (who would have left said item in a movie theatre? I have no answers. Perhaps it was the same patron who left behind the set of false teeth found recently), and somehow his playing with it and us laughing at the "landmarks" on its surface becomes the catalyst for a visit to The Top of the Hub restaurant, a swanky yet touristy fine dining establishment on top of the Prudential Center (Back Bay's second tallest building) which is known more for its panoramic view than for its food. Spencer has never before showed any interest in this sort of activity, indeed I imagine that at any other time the idea would have disgusted him, but laughing at the jigsaw puzzle has made him giddy, 9 and he starts insisting that we go there for drinks. He is a bit shocked when I say that yes, we will go this very night. Amy comes along, as Spencer is planning on interviewing her this evening on her battle with Lyme Disease. She and Spencer are dressed rather shabbily , she in her usual thrift store chic, he in his usual thrift store cheap, and seem a little embarrassed about going to this fancy restaurant. But I, though having never been there myself, am pretty sure it will be okay, it is a tourist trap after all, and thinking back on "high class" joints like the Palomino Euro-Bistro and the Ritz-fucking-Carlton I remember one very important thing: nothing is really very high class. Still, I am wearing a
9Spencer became giddy this week, when he was money made off theatre used as seed money for a on another occasion promised that all the fund raisers would be field trip to Sizzler.

suit - as I just happened to dress up for work today!", so I step off the elevator first and approach the maitre d'. "Hello there. I am showing my two cousins from out of town here some of my favorite Boston spots, and we would love to stop by for drinks, but I must inquire as to whether you have a dress code." It works, or I guess it works, who knows if there was anything to worry about in the first place, and we are seated at a lovely window seat in the lounge. Amy and Spencer keep feigning insult that I would refer ' to them as my hayseed brethren, but I was thinking on my feet back there, no time for niceties. Besides, they are kind of like my hayseed brethren, even if I'm the one from Colorado. The place is indeed full of yuppies, everyone sitting at little tables and talking about deals that will make the company millions, or deals that fell through at the last minute, or that pain in the ass Richards down in Acquisitions, or the overabundance of pussy in the office these days, or how they hate it when someone says that they'll "fax it right over" and then they don't, or when some asshole doesn't check his e-mail every five seconds and the miss that really important message from me that needs to be acted upon right now. Next to us is a table full of women who obviously work together and sometimes go out for drinks, even though they also obviously hate each other. And in the middle we sit. Even though Spencer and Amy are a bit shy at first they soon join me in my
lOI do that sometimes. I can dress however I damn well want when I head into the theatre, but sometimes, I don't know, I just like feeling like a grown-up with a real job. Sad, I know.

mischievous mood (being dressed nicely makes me seem like I fit in with all these assholes, so I think it will be fun to fuck around with preconceptions, and also maybe it will help me not seem like them at all, then I won't feel so damn slimy), and we converse in loud voices (more of just a normal tone of voice, really, but this is a fairly quiet place) about retards and fisting and stealing from our employers and how I used to enjoy stalking young girls in my van with the tinted windows and "Damn! Would all these assholes around us would get off their fucking cell phones already!?" and gee, isn't that view pretty. Yup, the view is awful pretty. And in the end I pull out my credit card with my name and the Coolidge's name and announce, "I'm a-gonna pay for this with my com-pan-nee credit card. Yeeehal't l! On the way home we pass the giant fortress 0( , .! urch of Christian Science. .. \~ we walk along beside thei. ,':. iy drained "Reflecting Pool" ,I< h '. : Ike you too are walking on water, just like the Jesus!) I notice with rising suspicion that despite recent heavy snowfalls
11How I came to have my own company credit card is a long, pointless story, but I will give you the gist. It is actually a debit card. The bank rep gave it to me so I could make ATM deposits when the line at Fleet Bank goes out the door (I made a very verbal complaint to him about the horrible lack of service, so this is his compensation). The card came in the mail and when it arrived I was surprised to see it had my own damn name embossed on the front. It isn't supposed to be authorized for withdrawals or charges, but 10 and behold it is. It works at the ATM and as a credit card at businesses. I even used it to start a video rental account at Tower Records. So, completely by accident, I have a company credit card with rnv own damn name on it. Of course, we are "" :ching banks, so in about a month it won't I.lL' good for anything. Oh well.

and a thick layer of ice on the sidewalks, these cultish fools haven't shoveled or salted or anything. This dangerous cement 'park' is a slip and fall and break open your skull on a concrete bench just waiting to happen. Is it against their religion to prevent accidents? Is everything left to God's will? First they kill Jim Henson, and now this? "Listen you bastards! " I start shouting up at the buildings, "If I fall on this ice and cut open my head, then I am going to a fucking doctor! You hear me? A DOCTOR! Hospitals, medicine, x-rays, home nursing, I'm going all out! And I'm sending you the bill!" That'll teach 'em.

EI Gato Azul VS Pestilence
Andy introduces EI Gato as a "special treat from the badlands, a high holy whoop of Mexican joy .... presenta EL GATO AZUL!!!!!" Music plays - It IS Elvis' "Yo Quiero Rancho Grande", or whatever the hell that silly song is where he babbles in Espanol. EI Gato storms the stage screaming, gesturing, posing, showing the crowd his beautiful Pantalones Locos. There is a frenzy of whooping and hollering and great joyousness. Then quite suddenly all is quiet. EI Gato is standing contritely at the microphone. EI Gato: Hola Chicos y Chicas. Yo soy es el Gato Azul. (pause) And tonight I have a very serious announcement. You all know of the television program Spin City, and its inspiring star Michael J. Fox. Well, it was recently announced that Mr. Fox is retiring from his hit TV show to do good in the world and join the fight against Parkinson's disease. This gesture touched me very much, very much indeed. So I, the great EI Gato Azul, am taking this opportunity to announce that I to wish to make a difference in this world. I want to join the good fight. I want to join a battle that cannot be won in the wrestling ring. So I, the great EI Gato Azul, am taking this opportunity to retire from the world of Mexican Wrestling so I can join in the fight against disease and poverty. And I am starting with the immortal battle against syphilis. Syphilis is one of the greatly overlooked diseases of our time. More people are infected with this horrible affliction per year than visit .the Eiffel Tower. It's true, and It could happen to anyone, your bus driver, your milk man, even the person sitting next to you ....

Friday, February 11
Finally, El Gato sees some wresting action. We are showing this movie at the Coolidge called My Breakfast with Blassie, a take-off of My Dinner with ~ndre.' in which Andy Kaufman mterYlews blustering pro-wrestling old-timer Fred Blassie in an L.A. Sambo's (remember Sambo's, that's what Denny's used to be called. And Denny's says they're not racist). Fortu~ately for us producer, pro~restlmg manager, and psychotronic him expert Johnny Legend is on hand to introduce the film and show some wacky shorts and trailers. I've been talking to him on the phone all week s~ttin~ up his hotel room, giving hi~ directions, chatting about weird old gore movies and the beauty of The Sadist (of which he owns one of the few existing prints). I told him that we have this mascot, this sort of Mexican wrestler who doesn't speak Spanish, and he said that if that were the case there had better be some Goddamn wrestling before the movie. And so there is. The plot for the battle is Paul's idea. El Gato is to stand on stage and announce that he is .... well here's the script: '

Saturday, February 12
I'm all alone in the house and I'm watching this pretty bad movie starring Sara Jessica Parker called If Lucy Fell. I find her pretty talentless and creepy, but I get sucked into the story because its another one of those lousy romantic comedies where two platonic friends spend all their time looking for love with all these people who are obviously not right for them, only to realize in the end that they are the perfect couple and it was right under their noses all this time. Duh. Why am I watching this shit? I don't know, I guess I've always been a sucker for the stupidest of romantic comedies, and Ben'. Stiller is in it. That's enough for me. At the end the two platonic friends both suddenly get what is obvious to the audience all along, "Oh! It's her I love", "Oh! It's him I love", and they go rushing into each others arrns.l? And I start blubbering. It's not because I like the characters, like I really give a shit if they ever hook up, in fact I find them to be shallow and annoying and onedimensional and, well, Sara Jessica
120f course there is a prerequisite scene for this type of movie, The guy/girl realizes that he/she is in love with the girl/guy at the very instant when he/she is about to lose her/him due to some suicide/abortion/marriage/or other tragedy, So our lovelorn hero has to race against the clock all the way across town (usually New York), first trying to take a cab, which inevitably gets stuck in a traffic jam, so our lonely protagonist jumps out of the cab and runs the rest of the way across the city as some appropriately heart-breaking music plays and we cut back and forth between this race against the clock and whatever the person about to have the suicide/abortion/marriage/or other tragedy is doing, Our running sweetheart always makes it just in the nick of time, even if he's Woody Allen,

Parker. No, I'm not crying so much because of the touching end of the film, but because of the lie. The great big lie that I believed as a child, because I watched way too many bad movies on cable. The lie that people have moments of self realization. I was always told (by TV, never ever by a real person) that I would suddenly realize what my great passion in life is (won't happen, passion is fleeting and constantly changing and you will only be lying to yourself), that I will suddenly throw aside all the superficiality in my world and embrace who I really am (nope, you'll always be self conscious and phony, that's human nature), that I will one day be pushed to the edge and, despite my better judgment, take a stand for what I believe in and make a difference (possible, but if it ever happens to you it will be completely by accident and you'll be shitting your pants with fear the whole time), and of course that sudden moment when you realize you love someone and they realize it too and you both say, "OR! It's been him/her I love all along" and you find each other (... ). I guess this stuff does happen, despite my nay saying, but I just don't think it happens to everyone; it happens to some people, others say it happens to them though they are really only fooling themselves into believing that it does, and most of us ... to most of us it never happens at all. Life is full of uncertainty and indecision and loneliness and the lucky ones manage to find a little something more. And even though the movies tell us that we're all lucky ones deep inside, the truth is that very few of us are. And I am crying because of that. Not just for myself, but for all of the unlucky ones out there. I am crying for them.

!£:.

,

Lynn Minton Reports

"I WANT m 'BE' THM CONFIDENT, SEXY GIRL"

Voices

Fresh

IVe asked. "Does the 1\'(/,1' vou look reflect who you really are?" Here's lI'hat Nik, Burgdorf. 20. of St. LOllis said: No. At least. not always. I go to a lot of concerts and dress differently than I would at home. Most people who see me when I'm out would think I'm a slut-<ll' at least that's how people view groupies. I wear tight. dark clothes. because that's what fits in at these places. and [ want guys to look at me. I project the image of a confident woman who sees herself us a goddess and who knows just how desirable she is. But that couldn't he farther from the "real" me. I'm a 20year-old virgin. a straight-A student who has always been the perfect one. the teacher's pet. And sometimes [just get sick of it and want to express my wild side. It gives me a chance to not be me for a while and to "be" that confident. sexy girl who always gets the guys-the one that girls like rne arc always jealous of. This docs have a downside. though. Guys have judged me on my appearance. and I've been hurt because ofit-hig-time. A guy I met at one dub thought r d be cuxy, and he pressured me into doing thing, I didn't want to do. I did reap one benefit: Just by acting confident. I learned to be more confident. So. eventually, you may take on parts of your image. But you never lose who you truly are.

Some punk decides to punch your face In.

But surprlsel The scumbag discovers that he's picked the wrong victim! You smash your 'ree hand quickly Into his nose to .distract:

And terminate groin.

the human mistake

with

a

knee driven Into his

Sunday, February 13
Paul has warned me about Rum 151. He said that it makes people more than a little crazed, that it can burn a hole in your gut, that winding up in the fetal position, weeping over your pitiful pitiful life was not all that uncommon after sharing a bottle among a few friends. And so of course I had to try it, I couldn't wait to try it, and I began begging to try it, suggesting dates and times when we four men, Paul, Spencer, Dick, and I, could get together and drink demon rum until we couldn't stand and had complete emotional breakdowns. Finally Dick made arrangements to come over tonight with a bottle of Sambuca, a key ingredient in the 'Flaming Sambuca'. I bought the Rum 151 yesterday, and we plan on a hard Sunday night of drinking. And a Monday off. Dick arrives with a board game his mother gave him, a local backwoods Maine version of Monopoly called 'SAD 6-0poly', SAD being shorthand for 'School Administrative District' , but the abbreviated spelling inadvertently being appropriate and poignant. We go around the board buying, trading, and mortgaging the local businesses of the boys' rural childhood (Tim's True Value, Standish House of Pizza, Richardson's Boat Yard, "Maine"ly Hair, Saco River Telephone & Telegraph (which Spencer buys early in the game and will not trade for anything, however much we offer, because he is determined to keep New England's only remaining independent local phone company out of the hands of the corporate bastardsl-j). We buy and trade the two sort-of utility companies, and the four railroads, which aren't railroads at all, but are instead represented by the Poland Springs factory (there's only one Poland Springs, yet four railroad spaces, so they are coded as 'Poland Springs (a)', 'Poland Springs (b)" etc.), a factory that hasn't yet been built, but is proposed to open sometime in 2002. Instead of buying houses and hotels for our property, we pay for 'customers' and 'clientele' for our growing small businesses. The winner of SAD 6-0poly, and thusly the monopoly baron of the whole SAD 6 area, is rewarded by being forced to stay in rural Maine with an armload of failing businesses for the rest of his natural and/or financial life. This is not a game that can be played without Flaming Sambucas. I am the first to dive into the drinks, setting the little bastards on fire and drinking four of them as fast as I can. I feel surprisingly little effect. The Sambuca makes the drink almost sickeningly sweet, and my body is a bit too busy processing my sugar rush to concentrate on the alcohol. Spencer, on the other hand, has become instantly drunk, and instantly annoying. He has stopped paying attention to the game (a Monop- excuse me, SAD 6-0poly faux pas) and instead begins giggling and ranting about the properties we are wheeling and dealing with (if he doesn't shut up about Saco River Telephone and Telegraph we may have to sock him). But it's okay, as the game pretty much peters out the same time that the Rum 151 does. None of us are feeling the least bit
13It isn't the only one, truth be told, but Spencer's assertion is vehement enough that we dare not rebuke it.

crazy, so we decide to head for a bar and drink ourselves further into oblivion. We wander up to Centre Street and find a horrible 'guy' bar - the kind of place that Massachusetts sports dudes go to, and there they are at the bar, drinking and braying and dateraping their girlfriends. We sit at a booth off to the side, Paul buys some drinks (mostly of the gin and tonic variety), Dick and Spencer discus what "good" writing is, what it means to be a writer, and blab blab blab, , same old, same old. This bores Paul and I, and we can't keep a side conversation going, so we just sit back and quietly insult the dorks at the bar, and the snobs with whom we share our table. ' . The dudes at the bar eventually notice us, so one of them bumps Paul on his way to the bathroom and throws him a threatening attitude. Then this big drunk stupid guy comes over to the table and without being invited he sits down and announces that he too is from Maine. Wow! So much to talk about! We were all in the same state once! Now get away from our table you big drunk stupid boob. The fucking atmosphere in this . bar is almost intolerable, and it has Paul and I just itching to start a fight with one of these jock assholes, a situation which both of us desire, but which neither of us have the courage nor experience for. So we leave. It is very icy out, the snow has been trampled on all day, and for the last few hours there has been a consistent rain of chunky sleet pouring from the sky. As the boys walk down the street, they are constantly slipping and falling down into a pile and ~ig~li~g. I don't feel the need to join Ill, It IS too much fun just to watch. Much too fun.

We don't really want to go home. Paul wants to walk up to the park, but with the sleet coming down we know that is just too far. Hell, even with all the drinks numbing my senses, the weather still seems pretty fucking cold, so I doubt a long walk up to the park will exactly be enjoyable. We still have all this drunken energy, remnants of our aborted board game, our want for an argument at the bar, and the bobsled giggles all the way home. So I suggest, as I have been jokingly doing a lot as of late, that we all just go out behind the apartment and fight. So we do. Even though we all like the movie Fight Club, and the book too for that matter, I can't really say that this is an influence on our decision. Fight Club doesn't really glamorize the whole idea of fighting for me, I feel that the film/book is about more t~an that, it is about the general dIscontent. we should be feeling with our sad httle consumerist lives. But don't get me started on that, I don't want to write an essay on overblown macho concepts and renegade social terrorism. I have a fondness for both of them, but no serious commitment to radical change within the male psyche, or whatever. I just want to mention that my intentions are different than Fight Club's. The real reason why I have been itching for a good fight, specifically a good fight with my friends, is because of the stories I've heard about Paul and his brothers. Paul is the middle of three brothers (and a sister too, but she is not vital to this story). His older brother used to beat up on him all the time. Paul was quite a few years younger, and he was a fat little kid so he had little chance to avenge him~elf

and had to internalize all the frustrations he received from the numerous beatings. But once Paul's little brother Mark showed up, all that changed, and a true grudge match began. Now, I can't say too much about how Paul and Mark feel about each other, I find them both a little hard to read (Mark especially, as the only voice I've ever heard him speak in, on the rare occasions that he does speak, is snotty teenage whine), but I am pretty sure that Mark looks up to his brother quite a bit. They grew up together, they're, you know, brothers, and they have had plenty of chances to bond because they used to just beat the shit out of each other. Oh, the stories I've heard of sudden provocations, wrestling under the dinner table, biting and kicking and punching and hair-pulling, and this one time when Paul was holding Mark by the ankles and slamming a dresser drawer again and again into his head. And these tales, for some reason, have always made me a bit jealous. I didn't have these kinds of bouts when I was a child. Sure, I had a younger stepbrother for a few years, but we pretty much hated each other, and our house was divided into two camps: stepbrother and step-father vs. me and my mom. If I ever hit him or picked on him he would simply run to his father and suddenly I would be cast in the role of Evil Little Ogre, which of course he was, not me. So, I didn't have much opportunity for boyish sibling roughhousing, and being a bit of a loner and a bookworm as a child, I didn't really have any friends to engage in such activities. The only people who wanted to tussle with me had a genuine dislike for me, and merely wanted to beat me to hell. So I usually avoided confrontation. And

now, 20 years later, I kind of wonder what I've been missing. The sleet is still coming down, though not hard, and everything is wet, muddy, and icy. Behind the apartment there is a large vacant lot that slopes up a rather steep and rockstrewn hill. It is grassy and filled with short bushes in the summer, and often times homeless folk will wander up there to spend the night.l" but in the winter it becomes a treacherous mountain of mud embedded with scattered garbage from our always overflowing dumpster, as well as a dumping ground for unwanted household appliances. We rarely explore the lot, but tonight we trudge bravely into the wilderness and find a nice flat muddy spot about halfway up the hill. And we tussle. There are some rules. We all want to hurt and be hurt, but nobody wants to be hit in the face or have their testicles damaged. So mostly we wrestle. We toss each other to the ground and roll in the mud and bang our heads on rocks, just like men. Just like real God-dammed John Ford-type men. And I learn something about my friends. I learn that Spencer is a wiry, slippery little fuck who is not only hard to pin down, but is quick to pin others to the ground and start biting. Still, he is quite easy to pick up and throw and will start puking when punched in the gut. I learn that Dick, who only a few nights ago I was deriding for being a colossal sad-sack of a bore, is a strong son-of-a-bitch (he works all day moving heavy boxes of old books around the Brattle Bookshop, which has given him good
14We have never seen any of these homeless, though evidence of them remains in the form of old couches, mattresses, beer cans, and the occasional stray article of clothing.

muscle tone, or whatever you call it) and a brutal, mean fighter - he nearly sprains my neck and throws me rather painfully into a chain link fence (who'd of thought that would hurt?). He also starts to get a little frightening once his testosterone starts flowing. And of Paul I learn that even in fighting he is, how shall I put it, noble? No, not noble, for I am pretty sure his only intention is to kick everyone's ass and cause some sort of pain. Fun? Yeah, maybe fun. While Dick is turning into some bullying jock and Spencer is playing his I'mso-down-and-out card (the puking thing leaves him out of the rematches, and he just sits off to the side and looks so like a scrawny wet rat), Paul is giddy with delight, giggling as we wrestle, groaning spiritedly as we try to bring Dick down, and even his screams of rage fill me with a little sunshine. He'll probably puke when he hears this, think I'm one of his crazy ex-girlfriends or something, but everything Paul does just makes him seem that much more so damn likable. That little bastard. As for me, I didn't learn much about myself that I didn't already know. 1 am a big, imposing guy, but truth be told 'I am also an incredible wimp. I tire easily, 1 don't know how to throw a punch, I avoid unnecessary stress and strain, and unless I am filled with some sort of truly unstoppable rage (which has happened once or twice - it's spooky) 1just can't fight worth a shit. However, 1 do learn one thing: maybe it's the alcohol (though by the time we head out back I really don't feel all that drunk), but being hit and slammed to the ground and even being thrown against that fucking wire fence, well, it really doesn't hurt all that much. All these years I've been, yes, 1 admit it, afraid

of pain. But it really isn't all that bad. Once you're hit, you don't really think about it, it just throbs and then you keep going. It's those long, slow pains that really hurt it life: spinal injuries, cancer, gangrene, exploding blood vessels. That kind of pain I still have great respect for. After about half an hour of body slamming and girly slapping and mud rolling, we stumble into the house dirty, battered, loud, and wake up our roommates with our howls of pain and laughter. Four filthy· screaming bleeding men sprawling on the floor of the living room at four in the morning it's enough to send everyone fearfully to their rooms where they lock the doors and hide under the covers. We are indeed men!

Monday, February 14
Today, Valentine's Day, I am in pain, but nothing horrible. I took the day off from work, more because of hangover symptoms than wrestling injuries. My head is throbbing, and noises and light disturb me, so I cover the windows in the living room with heavy blankets, curl up on the couch, and vow not to move all day unless forced. My roommate has rented the film Drunks, which I think will be real fun to watch with a hangover. It is, and even though the movie is 'serious' and 'meaningful', it just makes me laugh a lot. And then I see this scene where Richard Lewis, that annoying neurotic comedian, here stretching his dramatic chops, opens his mouth wide and sucks on a junky woman's bare tit. Ewwww. I feel sick and dirty inside. I never wanted to see that. Never.

.... -.

I

; Worcester firefighters benefit [eaturing the 1. Geils Band at the Or. pheum, Boston, last night. By DEAN JOHNSON How do you party down at a benefit concert for a truly sad event? The J. Geils Band got it just right at the Orpheum Theater last night in a two-hourplus show to MUSIC raise money for the families of the six Worcester firefighters who recently died in the line of duty. The band's pressure-cooker set began with a rollicking "Jus' Can't Stop Me." But before the show jumped into high gear, vocalist Peter Wolf asked for "a little word" with the sold-out house. 'We're all emotionally touched and hurt ... by the tragedy in Worcester," he said. "Our hearts go out to the brave men who lost their

I REVIEW

lives, and also to their families .... earlier this year, their first local gigs some of whom are here tonight. in 17 years. We're very honored to have them The night featured over two dohere." zen songs ranging from the big hits Then he thanked the. audience "Centerfold" and "Looking For a members for coming to the show Love" to the ballad "Theresa" and and contributing to the cause. Their the feroocious harmomica instrujob was done, Wolf added, and, mental 'Whammer Jammer." The multiple encores allowed the "Our job ... is to rock ... down ... group to bring original drummer this ... house!" of the auThen the band members went Stephen To Bladdout about the task of doing their jobs dience to contribute some backing and doing them well. vocals, and Wolf took another opAlong with confetti and portunity near the end of the night streamers, the band gleefully to remind everyone why they were launched plenty of party tunes into there. He introduced one of the the audience, from stompers like .band's songs about hurt and loss "Pack Fair and Square"and "Crui- thusly, "Sometimes you can't resin' For Love" to funky r&b num- place the loss you've had. , . but you can try to 'Start All Over Again,' .. bers "So Sharp" and "Surrender." The night was also a tune-up for Then, they went back to theirjob the band's New Year's Eve gig in of rocking the house down with the Motor City, and the group dis- several more numbers. played the same kind of incandesThe Tarbox Ramblers opened the cence they brought with them to show with a set of tasty acoustic the Paradise and Tweeter Center roots and blues tunes.

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The entnor, Bradley J. Steiner, Master of combat martial arts and Founder of the eclectic COMBA TO Self-Defense System. Other books by Mr. Stetner Include MANUALS ON MAYHEM, B!::LOW THE BEl.T, and THE TACTICAL SKILLS OF HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT.