There’s this girl I know who’s from space. She has been a visitor here on earth for lord knows what reason, or how long. She claims to be about thirty two, but she looks maybe nineteen. She dresses like Punky Brewster and when certain songs come on the radio, she makes great effort to contain herself, but she ends up pogoing around the room in spite of herself, regardless of the situation. I work with her. I’ve seen her with a pained, embarrassed expression on her face, involuntarily bouncing around a crowded bar to the dulcet tones of “Boom Boom Pow” before. Once, our manager had to call her about something and was surprised to find that A) she had no cell phone, and B) that her answering machine asks you to wait for after the howl, and then she (SHE!) howls loudly to signal when the machine starts recording.
She’s from space. She’s here for some reason I don’t want to know, and whoever trained her to fit into the American-white-people-service-industry society back on her home planet did a commendable job, but uh…the human lady is like an onion, er…uh. No, okay, the human female is like a house of cards. Urgh…mmmm…Look, it’s close but no cigar with this crazy bitch, kay? She’s got the right idea and if I ever went undercover on her planet, I’d love to hope that I could fit in as well there as she does here, but she’s missing some stuff, and she’s got some extra stuff. I don’t know. She’s from space.
Here’s what happened yesterday that kind of sealed the deal:
There’s a new girl at my work who’s from Oklahoma. She’s 22 and just arrived in the big city. (This would be a good time to point out that this girl is pretty hot and probably into getting wasted and making bad decisions, since, well, she’s from Oklahoma City, where in my experience people just get wasted and make bad decisions all day long, and here she is in the big, cosmopolitan city, where people are new and exciting and sophisticated and all that…so yeah. I dunno. Maybe you guys should come down to my work and ask her if she wants to go on a date or something. She don’t have lotsa friends yet, y’all!)
Kay, so yesterday I worked with Oklahoma and space alien. It was just the three of us. Oklahoma was asking questions about what was cool in the city, where to go and shit like that.
I mentioned that there was a lot to do here, definitely more than in OKC, although, I told her, last time I was in OKC I celebrated St. Patricks day at a street fair by eating five feet worth of corn dogs (true story. Sean Nader was there). When she asked why I’d been in OKC, I replied that in my other job I had to take lots of business trips. I know, kind of dorky sounding, but hear me out.
I’m an old guy at a bar talking to some wide eyed “fallen angel” type young pretty girl and the LAST thing I want to do is come across as some dildo flexing my dick about how radical I am and inserting that I’m in a band into conversations unnecessarily. That’s just gross, you know? So yeah. I said that at which point Oklahoma said, “business trips? What are you, in a band?” and my plan of not looking like a creep unraveled. I said ‘yeah,’ and kind of stopped the conversation, but it kept on going.
“That’s cool that you traveled with a band.” She said.
“Yeah, it’s a great time. I have a kid now and another one on the way so these days I kind of…”
here comes the space girl, who’s getting very interested in all this. She busts in with:
“So, when you do that stuff, do you guys just set up on the street anywhere and play? How does that work?”
Now, okay. I can forgive this, I guess. I mean, she’s from space. She has no idea what’s going on, and I’ve also noticed in my years on this (my native) planet that people who are really disconnected from the world of entertainment tend to think of concepts like “getting shows” and “going on tour” as impossible tasks on par with harnessing the sun, cold fusion and sucking your own dick. So, whatever. I asked her if her question was serious, and she assured me that it was. At which point I said, “no, we have an agent and she books us in clubs and bars and shit like that,” And I thought that would be kind of it. But THEN, Oklahoma asks me “Oh, you’re into the scene here. Where are some cool places to check out local music?”
Now, this question, to me, is kind of a tricky one, because with very few exceptions (and even then only if you’re the right kind of person) a club is only as good as the show that’s going on there. Okay, sure there are clubs that are always terrible, but even a great club sucks if Ultraviolet Hippopotamus is the headlining act. Sometimes you get a Fireside Bowl or something where there’s a real community sort of vibe and it’s more of an attraction than the bands, but again, that’s really rare, and lemme tell you, this chick wouldn’t have liked hanging out in the freside bowl. This I know.
SO, I’m trying to think of how to answer this question when space girl pipes in and says (I swear this is true) “The United Center has some pretty good shows.”
I mean, what? That’s where the Bulls play. The United center is a gigantic, 21000 capacity indoor stadium. When someone “plays a show” there, it’s like Madonna or Lady Gaga or Hootie or someone like that. (well, hootie’s not playing any stadiums these days, but you get what I’m saying.) Who in the world would EVER suggest a goddamned stadium as an answer to the question “what are some cool places to check out local music?”
Space person. It’s the only fucking answer. I’ve been trying to think of an analogy that encapsulates this amazing disregard for everything I know about society and I can’t. It’s too fucking out there. Now, this may come as a shock to you people but I usually find analogizing things to be almost instinctive. The fact that this particular BIZARRE little exchange is completely shorting my analogy circuits is evidence enough that this is other worldly shit we’re dealing with here. I mean, the United Center? Really? REALLY?
Well, whatever. She quit. Yesterday was space girl’s last day. Probably getting transmissions from the mothership or something. I asked her though. “Where are you from?” and she got all weird. She mumbled around how she’s from the suburbs of Chicago, mentioned a few towns and then looked at me and asked “why? Does it seem like I’m from really, really far away or something?”
I’m telling you. District 9. They Live. Alien Nation, erm…uh, V. Battlefield Earth. All that shit’s real man.
Be careful out there.