the band has returned from its first out-of-town performance, in philadelphia. thanks to the fine work of our pals tom, randy and the crew as well as john the gallery owner, our debut was just blocks away from benjamin franklin’s tomb. another first: we brought movies.
it so happens that the music of the san andreas fault goes down very well with the 1960s-era children’s animation work produced by soyuzmultfilm, the official state animation studio of soviet russia. we had a chat with the images, if you get me. they’re going to keep us around. courtesy of randy, a gnarly trobmone accompaniment on “you only live twice” rocked the house.
personal highlights for me included james and i watching the cubs blow the NLCS game 7 in a philly irish bar. we explained to the phillies fans present what a “goat curse” is and why it was to blame for the loss. we were issued sympathy bourbon in great quantities, which led to some odd behavior later.
i read the newspaper to ben franklin (deceased) at his tomb. when i got to the the story about the pentagon sending fraudulent form letters from soldiers in iraq to the us newspapers, i could hear a faint whining sound coming from beneath the headstone. this sound confused me until i realized that it was the sound a buried corpse makes when it spins at 7200 rpm.
after adorning 2nd street’s sidewalk with my bourbon-numbed, bulky frame (photo coming, regrettably) it was time for cheesesteaks. lots of questions here. where? which place? what sandwich? wait, did the cubs just choke? it was up to me to bring back the goods to tom’s place. after a briefing by john, i float confidently up to the window. below, a symphony in grease drones from a vast, beef-laden griddle. an italian guy in a t-shirt looks at me expectantly.
“whaddayou want, cuz?”
casually, like i’ve done this hundreds of times, i reply;
“lemme get three prov, with.”
i even threw in that disinterested, yeah-i-seen-you-around tick of the shoulder favored by urban white guys everywhere who are trying to look cool. or maybe it was the up-nod of the head, i forget exactly. the fumes were overpowering.
when i got back, i was heralded as a hero by the guys until it became apparent that i ate the sandwiches while driving back to tom’s place. further, i actually had ordered the wrong thing. “prov, with” means “a steak sandwich, provolone cheese with onions”. what i should have done was ordered “three whiz, with.” incredibly, i was instructed that provolone=bad. cheese whiz=good.
ever the diplomat, i lashed out. “nobody eats cheese whiz, not even in wisconsin, you savages,” before collapsing in a heap, serenaded to sleep by the whirring of ben franklin’s distant, rotating remains.
return trip was uneventful except for almost running out of gas on the ohio turnpike. in the rain and the fog. my only regret was not seeing more the set from the other guys playing. it was the 7th inning, i apologize.