Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Twenty % Tippers - Part 2

This is another Twenty % Tippers flyer I found on a C line subway platform, promoting their free CD. Once again I'll write it out so that you can enjoy the text:

"The best time of your life," the parents kept whispering as we nervously scanned the local playground, vaguely aware of the strange world awaiting on the periphery: gangsters in snappy clothes lying at the bottom of the East River, Portuguese sailors in the Indian Ocean driving the dodo bird to extintion, Japanese soldiers torching the Shanghai Commercial Press Company, China's largest repository of classical history and literature, epediomologist Ernest Wynder painting the backs of mice with cigarette tar distillate to see how many would develop cancerous tumors. Autumn came and saw us dressed in bizarre tin foil and macrame outfits and deposited into the Third Avenue Ragamuffin Parade. Sometimes a creaky old black and white movie came on tv, pale lovers rendezvousing under the gazebo at the chime of midnight. Gee, maybe adult life wouldn't be so harsh after all?

Soon we were hustled through a series of antiquated brick schoolhouses to receive a lopsided education stressing home economics, jumping jacks, long division, driver's ed, and upon graduation found ourselves working a series a dreary day jobs in places you'd refer to as nowhere or nothing, taking orders from a boss always named Mr. Paris or Mr. London, unseen behind a frosted glass door, discussing revolving letters of credit with smiling bankers, screaming furiously into the telephone at ungrateful family members. On lunch breaks we spoke over and over of being born at a very fortunate sliver in time and narrowly missing compulsory military conscription, marvelling at our dumb luck again and again , our cheeks bulging with turkey meatballs, cheese triangles, sausage roll-ups, pickled eggs.

Outside of these day jobs, we drifted in and out of relationships with those as emotionally blindsided as ourselves, and upon reaching a certain age, married whoever we were keeping company with, like musical chairs when the recording stops. Due to our marked weaknesses and the absence of adults to ask a single question of, those who became closest to us were hurt profoundly.

But then there was the music, which was totally our own, distant from that was referred to as the music business or the business of music. We came up with original songs, slowly, cautiously, in one instance taking seven years to complete a four-line stanza. the music had to be good as it was the truest part of ourselves, the part we hoped would stanch a culture forced upon us without consent - cheap credit cards, breast implants, tuna salad without a trace of tuna, hysterical canned laughter, corpses floating down the Euphrates, university accreditation, bench-clearing brawls, an entire society of sore winners and sore losers.

We didn't know how to reach you, but hoped you might feel the same way. Meanwhile, we constantly scribbled notes on the backs of fast-food napkins and gas station receipts and in the patches of white-space from trash magazines, practicing what we'd tell you if and when we were to ever meet up.

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