When I was a teenager, I used to watch The Rosie O'Donnell Show several times a month.
I saw this Beck interview in 1997 when it originally aired on the show, and then I never saw the interview again — until today, when I googled "Rosie O'Donnell Beck."
I've always vividly remembered the part where Beck perturbedly tells Rosie that the song "Loser" is his "old jam." After I found this clip today and pressed play, I eagerly awaited that moment (at 2:25) where he gets all pouty on Rosie and says the phrase "old jam."
I'm trying to think of why this TV moment — Beck talking to Rosie O'Donnell about his "old jam" — has remained so personally memorable for so many years. My best guess is it's because this was the first time I'd ever heard anyone refer to a song as a "jam."
I also remember feeling disappointed in Beck when he made Rosie stop playing "Loser." It seemed impolite, to me, for him to do that. ("Who does this guy think he is?," I think I thought.) Whether I was right or wrong to feel disappointed in Beck is another question, and up to you to decide.
My pal SAL caught us a crud we could slaughter together. Here we are now on a sunny evening, a couple of reunited friends. We're two CRUD BUTCHERS. We're two dicing and crud-slicing crud choppers; we're a pair of laughing huggers, a cleaving couple — the Crud Butchers. That's me and Sal tonight, in a local restaurant, sitting next to each other at the unbusy bar....
SAL, CRUD BUTCHER: Being here with you makes me happy.
ME, CRUD BUTCHER: I love you. If there's a way to love you more, I don't know how to do it.
SAL: It's prejudice, the way I feel about you. You are always, to me, the levity generator I've long believed you to be.
ME: It's not a bad prejudice. As far as prejudice—
SAL: In a world of familiar hurts, you remind me of unexpected potential.
ME: Now let's butcher some crud!!!!
SAL: I'm drinking a "Subtle Diagnostics." You?
ME: Make mine a "Hotdog Bun–Borne Mustard-Slathered Wrench."
SAL: Do you mind eating in the restroom?
ME: Don't mind if I do. As a matter of fact, I do mind if we don't.
SAL: [rising with drink in hand; standing; stretching] I figure we can score adjacent johns, unzip these Ziplocs [pat-pat-patting sportcoat chest], and tuck into the salami-on-smashed-wheat sandwiches I made for us yesterday and then left sitting out on the kitchen counter all night. They're body-warm. [making moves toward restroom] Mushrooms OK?
ME: [following Sal to restroom, opening "Gents" door for both] I'm fine with mushrooms. I love being here.
SAL: Me too. With drinks.
ME: You could barf into my mouth tonight and it wouldn't faze me. I'd probably laugh. Imagine the sounds we'd bounce together off the restroom tile. Sometimes you're just happy, you know?
SAL: I know the feeling. I love books, and books make me happy, but happiness of the type you're describing isn't something I learned from books.
ME: I feel you. I fill you.
SAL: To say the least.
ME: How's your wife?
SAL: That's on a need-to-know. She's good. She's for my eyes only.
ME: And the kids?
SAL: They're perfect. Even when it's time to brush teeth and they shout YOU'RE NOT MY DAD ANYMORE, I know they love me. These angry moments come and go. Everyone's very healthy.
ME: I don't know why, but you talking about your kids reminded me of the phrase [making air quotes with pairs of fingers] "...and its frustrations." There was this recent day in the library when I found myself paralyzed, unable to read a full sentence. I had that phrase [air quotes again] "...and its frustrations" stuck in my head all day. It was so bad that I couldn't look at a word in a book without mentally tacking the phrase [air quotes] "...and its frustrations" to the word.
SAL: Weird. Give me an example.
ME: So for example, I'd look at the word DOG and I'd say to myself, in my head, DOG... and its frustrations. Or I'd see the word GRAPE, or BIOGRAPHY. And I'd think GRAPE... and its frustrations or BIOGRAPHY... and its frustrations. It became a frustrating, repetitive, terrible pattern. One had to go have sex with one's hand, if you know what I mean, to relieve the stress. Reset the console.
SAL: Yucky. Get ready for me to barf into your mouth. Ready set?
ME: [opens mouth wide] Ahhhhh.
SAL: [enters toilet stall, closes door] Barfing into your friend's mouth and its frustrations. [sits down, gets comfortable]
ME: [enters adjacent toilet stall, closes door] Frustrations are everywhere. Free dessert and its frustrations. Perfect love and its frustrations. [sits down, gets comfortable] Joy and its frustrations.
SAL: Temple Grandin and its frustrations, or—
ME: Rope fence and its frustrations. Licked bullethole. Shot potato. Semi-broken. Can you still hear me okay?
SAL: Yes. If my youngest was here right now he'd be screaming and crying in your face. I love him but I'm glad he's not here with us. I hate it when my child screams. I hate hearing it.
ME: Me too. Hearing your children scream — any children screaming — is no fun. I'd never enjoy that. The absence of screaming children and its frustrations.
SAL: A really loud scream. Then another. Then another. Then another. The welcome absence of skull-penetrating powerdrill screaming... and its frustrations. The frustrations of a little peace and quiet around here. A little solitude for a change... and its frustrations. Plenty of time to relax and enjoy yourself... and its frustrations. Plenty of money, too... and its frustrations. Being able to stop and think for a minute... and its frustrations.
ME: Nothing is without its frustrations.
SAL: Right, nothing. It's like when every fortune cookie talks about the things that happen in bed. We all go to bed. We're all frustrated. We all know what it's like to go to bed frustrated. We've all experienced fortune cookies. We've all experienced frustration in bed. In the boudoir.
BARTENDER: [enters restroom, whistling]
ME: There's the waiter, I think I hear him whistling at the urinal. I'm ready for another drink. You?
SAL: Yes. [raising voice] Waiter, please make mine a "Guy Lombardo Wikipedia Search."
BARTENDER: Yes sir.
SAL: Is it okay that we're using the restroom as a bar?
BARTENDER: It's fine. Unconventional, sir, but no problem. [suddenly louder] And what about you, sir? Are you ready for another drink?
ME: Yes. Make mine a Burglarita.
BARTENDER: With frozen pork-belly chunk?
ME: Sure. Can I also get it with chocolate smoke?
BARTENDER: Yes. Be right back.
SAL: I've never had a Burglarita.
ME: Bullshit. You order one every time we get together. I'm drinking this one in honor of you.
SAL: If you're doing it for me, I don't know why you want the chocolate smoke. That's what's bullshit.
ME: We're already spending a bunch of money. What's another three dollars.
SAL: I still remember when the cocktail ingredients weren't a la carte. We're getting too old. Hang on a sec. I'm gonna switch stalls. I'd like to shit in a different toilet than the one I'm using for a chair.
In the fictive space of this blog post, Crude Futures is a web-based retail business with around ten employees.
We at Crude Futures are glad to offer holiday shoppers these three great Father's Day 2012 purchasing incentives:
Spend $100 on dad at Crude Futures this Father's Day and we'll mail him a cigar that has been hand-autographed by a CF staff member.
Spend $250 and we'll increase the length of the cigar, triple the number of autographs, and tie a Crude Futures staff member's business card to the cigar with a string. The back of the business card will be embellished with an original handwritten limerick, penned just for your dad by a CF staff member.
$500 scores dad two original business-card limericks and an original knock-knock joke, each of which will be handwritten, tied to the cigar with a separate string, and illustrated. The cigar will be an Arturo Fuente Opus X, autographed by five staff members.
—Think of a dead mouse. The corpse is tucked into a mouse hole in somebody's kitchen. The mouse hole is then barricaded with a jar full of red lentils pulled from the cupboard. The next morning, the jar of lentils is rolled away by several other mice to reveal an empty tomb. The mouse corpse has vanished. Hallelujah: the door is—or was—a jar.
—Hang on, let me turn my phone off.
—Have you ever clothed a door?
—I once put a pair of pants and a T-shirt on a door, yes.
—I've done that. In my case, it was a sweater and a skirt.
—We've both done it, then. I had to carve the door to get the pants to stay on right.
—Have you ever loathed a door?
—Yes, I've hated almost every door I've encountered.
—Is there such a thing as a modest door? Would you agree that doors are immodest?
—I'm not sure. A door wearing pants is no longer naked, but I'm not sure whether every door is immodest. What do you think?
—You're asking me about the anti–drunk driving billboard, right?
—Yes. Did you ever toast a friend?
—We're talking about the billboard where it's a giant photograph of a flaming wrecked car, and the caption asks, "Ever toast a friend?" Meaning: Have you ever gotten drunk, climbed into your car, and smashed into the driver's side of your friend's car, causing his car to burst into flames and burn him to death?
—That's what I'm asking. I'm asking about the billboard we'd occasionally drive past on the outskirts of Sandusky around 1993 or '94.
—No, I've never burned a friend to death by drunkenly smashing into the driver's side of his car. I have never toasted a friend in that way.
—I didn't think you had.
—If I'd done that, you'd know about it.
—I have, however, lifted a glass of alcohol to honor a friend. I've done this many times.
—Everybody does that.
—Not frequently enough, in my opinion.
—When is a door not a door?
—A door is not a door when the door is just a piece of wall that has been painted to look like a door. A trompe l'oeil door is not a door.
—In cartoons it is. In cartoons, a door painted on a wall will sometimes work like a door.
—Right, like when someone is being chased…
—Yes, someone is being chaste, and he paints a door on a wall and then runs right through the painted door. But when the chaste person's lustful pursuer tries to run through the door, the door doesn't work anymore. The pursuer just slams, cockfirst, into the wall.
—So the pursued and the pursuer are now separated by a wall.
—Yes, and the wall enables chastity. By physically separating the characters, the wall frustrates the lustful impulses of the pursuer and the pursued.
—What else do you believe?
—I believe that facts are facts. You can disagree with a fact, but the fact will not care. Facts don't feel. Facts don't care. Facts don't live active lifestyles.
—I disagree. I believe a fact must live an active lifestyle. I believe a fact must work hard to stay in shape. Historians are the personal trainers of facts. Historians do the work of keeping facts on an active workout regimen. They sweat the facts to the oldies in order to keep the facts in shape. The facts must remain as attractive as possible for as long as possible. The facts must always work to attract new suitors.
—I see what you mean.
—Facts must be sexy. Facts will attract suitors, but the suitors will always die. That's why the facts must work very hard to stay in shape: so that they will never stop attracting new suitors. When you tell me you believe that facts are facts, I couldn't disagree more. The one thing you believe most is the one thing I disbelieve most. I cannot overstate how wrong I feel your belief is. Your belief is stupid, I think and I feel.
—You've convinced me that I'm wrong. I now believe nothing. Or not nothing. What I mean to say is, I now believe one less thing.
—That's the spirit.
—What's the spirit?
—When is a door not a door?
—It's a trick question. All I can say right now is that I'm really feeling my mortality.
John Runyon: Last year, we made custom-printed tees with “UNFINISHED BUSINESS” written big on the back. This was after two straight second-place finishes at State. When we won State, someone pulled out a fat black sharpie and everybody crossed out the "UN."
Judith Morning: That's cool. My favorite tee-shirt slogan, for runners, is "Run Like You Stole It."
It's Friday night at 10:37. Katie has been asleep for over half an hour. I'm tired. I've been out of the habit of blogging for years. The house is a disaster. The blog is a disaster. The comment system has stopped working. Why can't people comment on Crude Futures posts anymore? The reason is unclear. Time has passed, and web-based interface shit should not age poorly. Surprise! It has aged poorly. What is the excuse? There is no excuse. It's a blog -- dust and rust don't live here. Try to imagine an oxidized blog post. It's not reality. Pixel patina? Absurd, like asking Google Maps for the street address of Photoshop. Jeeves: Where can Siri and I find an open, affordable Adobe Photoshop in my area at this hour? Time has passed; so what? Why should the blog care? Here at Crude Futures we're just as green and pink and white as ever. Welcome back to Crude Futures, where it's always the internet. Firefox, you haven't aged a bit. Firefox, please look at me when I'm talking to you. Is your back forever turned?
I've lost access to the master blog account. TypePad [i.e. this blog's software platform --ed.] now requires a full email address for logging into the blog, whereas it used to require just a username. The sole effect of this login paradigm shift is, for me, very simple: I now have zero access to this blog's master-account tools, whereas I used to have full access. I'm posting this blog post from my "parentally controlled" junior blog account. Suffice it to say: this is a bullshit situation. And "so typical." Typical of what? Typical of the sucky wake of the forward march of technology. 2012 don't care about 2004. 2004? Good for a joke. Things weren't as developed. I was in my twenties. I wasn't a dad. I can hear the ghost of Steev's laughter in these halls right now; I can hear Steev laughing at my tendency to quickly and firmly criticize technology. And I can take the laughter. The joke is on me: the updated blogware has worked an un-wonder. Ha ha: I'm emotionally involved. Ha ha: I'm an old grump. Ha ha the choice is easy: keep up or don't.
Harumph. Things here at TypePad have changed; why have things changed? (No good answer.) Why change what was working? This blog's backend always worked great from 2004 to 2008. I feel as though I have returned to my old home and found the front door's lock changed — a free service; an unwanted so-called courtesy. Why was the lock changed? This has always been a decent neighborhood. Nobody ordered a free lock upgrade. The old lock was great. I love my old key; I knew just how to jiggle it. Nobody called the locksmith. I've crept around back and have snuck into my old home through an unlocked window. The house is empty and quiet. Everything is just where I left it. Helloooo?