Posts Tagged Atlanta

Desperately Seeking Stupid

“Beware of the hobby that eats.”  -Benjamin Franklin

The modern world can easily be a paradise for the highly committed and deeply disturbed among us.  A person can amuse themselves endlessly with useless acts of rebellion meant to add luster to the dreary, humdrum, day-to-day flatness of life.  Abbie Hoffman once figured out how to obtain a free buffalo from the Department of Interior.  He was a bit more creative than I am.  Having become sick of ending up with piles and piles of junk mail I set my sights on turning this annoyance into an affirmation of the uniquely twisted nature of today’s world.

It all started at Kroger on a rainy Friday afternoon many Octobers ago.  Kroger is a supermarket chain that exists down here in Atlanta, Georgia so that people have a place to go if Publix is too crowded or closed.

I had recently been forcibly removed from the place for getting into a shouting match with three employees over my belief that they were intentionally overcharging me for the 35 boxes of store brand pudding I was trying to purchase.  I was in the mood for mischief, but not the type that would again lead me to being tossed onto the ground and called a “pudding hoarder” by an overzealous store security guard.

At Kroger, you can get a card that, in exchange for surrendering loads of personal information, can help the cagier shoppers among us to save lots of money through special discounts.  Of course, once your information is in their hands who knows where it ends up.  They can sell it to anyone they want.  They can give it to the KGB for all you know.

For fun, I decided that if they were going to get someone’s name, it ought to be The Boston Strangler’s.  So, now when I look in my mailbox and some company is trying to send me coupons for, say, diapers, those coupons are addressed to Mr. Albert DeSalvo.  Kroger and the other litany of corporate octopi that spend thousands of dollars to figure out whether I might buy more or less than 100 dollars worth of Kleenex per year are actually trying to appeal to a maniac who terrified the people of Boston for months on end.  Cracks me up every time.

My fake criminal spree continued at CVS the next day where I signed up for their consumer rewards program as Dr. Jack Kevorkian.  The following is a re-creation of an actual conversation that took place.

CVS Customer Service Agent:  Do you have a CVS card?

Me:  Sure.  Here it is.

Agent:  (swiping card) You saved $3.52 on those cans of formaldehyde Dr. Kevorkian.

Me:  Thanks!

Agent:  Hey.  You are not the famous Dr. Jack Kevorkian are you?

Me:  No.  That’s my brother.

Agent:  Your parents named you both Jack. 

Me:  Yes.  And we are both doctors. 

Agent:   Oh.

If you were to ravage my mailbox, you’d see a regular who’s who list of famed murderers.  Target knows me as Ted Bundy, Hobby Lobby calls me Ed Gein, Iams Dog Food thinks I’m David Berkowitz and The Omaha Steak Company sends their annual Steak of the Month mailing to a connoisseur named Jeff Dahmer.  It’s really rather a strange feeling to see pictures of smiling, deeply contented people in a Macy’s catalogue that has just been sent to Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez.

Why does this make me laugh?  I’m not sure. It’s childish, insensitive and really asinine.  Murder is certainly not funny, particularly the sheer perversity of the acts committed by my alter-mail-egos (except, of course, Kevorkian, who really doesn’t belong in this group of sickos).   Maybe it’s a way of trying to make sense of the perpetual flow of slickly produced come-ons that follow me around where ever I look.  Maybe it’s an indicator of my inability to understand the nature of evil.  Maybe I just need another hobby.  It’s hard to say.

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83-Year-Old Ida Mae Thrasher Reviews In Solitude “The World, The Flesh, The Devil”

The new In Solitude album “The World. The Flesh. The Devil.” is simply remarkable.  Since I first heard it, I have been on nearly a non-stop In Solitude binge.  I’ve listened to it from beginning to end somewhere in the neighborhood of five times a day.  Whether I’m vacuuming, making dinner, or putting all of my issues of Boys’ Life magazine in alphabetical order, the album has been my constant companion.  I had a plan to review it, but I feel like I have lost all degree of journalistic objectivity.  The only way to truly get a fair assessment of this album is to turn it over to a stranger and see what they think.

This was not a simple task.  I live in the American South and, for the most part, strangers are to be feared.  I spent all day Thursday walking around the North Dekalb Mall in Atlanta asking people to sit with me for an hour listen to the record and answer some questions but was refused over and over again.  I even had a woman threaten to get her husband and have him “give me a beating”.  Six hours of rejection and nothing to show for it.  I needed a new plan.

Friday, I went to the park near the local Senior Center.  I immediately descended on a seemingly good natured woman sitting on a park bench who looked like she needed company and, more importantly, seemed like she’d have difficulty getting away quickly.  I spent 10 minutes talking to her about her life and her allergy to penicillin.  Her name was Ida Mae Thrasher.  It was too perfect!  This had to be the one!  I made the offer, but this time I had figured out how to seal the deal.  I offered her a 50-dollar gift card to the local Rite Aid.  All she had to do was listen to the album and answer my questions.  She tentatively agreed to do it and I quickly slapped a pair of headphones on her.

Our conversation after listening to the album went like this:

Keith:  Well…what did you think?

Ida Mae:  It was…..ummmmmmmm…..it was good.

Keith:  Good???  Okay.  Can you be more specific?

Ida Mae:  It was very good.

Keith:  Ida, can you please give me something with a little more detail?  I’m trying to write an article here.

Ida Mae:  Well, I liked the first song.

Keith:  If you want the gift card, you are going to have to give me something more to work with.

Ida Mae:  Well, it was kind of….well….loud.

Keith:  Do you mean the volume?  I could have turned it down.

Ida Mae:  No, it was just….you know….loud.

Keith: (sounding somewhat offended) Listen Ida, loud is a term that applies to volume. Loud is not a valid description.  It tells me nothing.  Tell me something about the amazing guitar solos, tell me something about the raw production style, tell me that you like the interplay between the drummer and bassist, tell me you appreciate that they have taken early 80s sounding British metal and put a fresh and unique spin on it.  What the heck does “it was loud” tell me!?!?!?! 

Ida Mae:  (appearing nervous)It was fine.

Keith:  Okay, maybe I need to be more specific.  Did I remind you more of early Paul Di’Anno era Iron Maiden or Mercyful Fate?

Ida Mae:  Yes.

Keith:  WHICH IS IT?!?!?

Ida Mae:  Both.

Keith:  You are avoiding the question!  I’m seriously starting to question your commitment to heavy metal!!!!!

Ida Mae:  You said I’d get a gift card if I listened to the album and answered your questions.  Well, I did both.  Please give me my Rite Aid gift card and just leave me alone.

Keith:  There is no gift card!  Not for you.  Not with answers like that.  You just totally wasted my time.

Ida Mae:  HELP!!!  Someone get this maniac away from me!!!!!!!!!  HELP!!!!!!!!!!

I had a lot of time to reflect on things while I was waiting for my wife to arrange bail.  This experience taught me a lot.  Some people just aren’t in a position to appreciate great music.  I’m just going to have to live with the fact that the Ida Maes of the world will have to live their lives shrouded in a veil of musical ignorance.  That doesn’t mean you have to.   Buy as many copies as you can of “The World, The Flesh, The Devil”.   Quit your job and do nothing but listen to it.  Make your kids memorize the lyrics and if they don’t, refuse to let them watch television and send them to their rooms without dinner.  It is really that good.

Check out Serpents Are Rising from “The World. The Flesh. The Devil.” here.  The song is 160 percent amazing!

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Gucci Mane’s Original Version of Lemonade

Probably my weirdest hobby is rifling through the trash of my neighbors.  They seem to find it annoying and even frightening, but I think it’s important to get to know the people around you.  One of my neighbors happens to be Radric “Gucci Mane” Davis.  Mr. Zone 6 and I haven’t spoken much, although he once complemented me on the azaleas we are growing in our garden.  He tends to like to keep to himself.

I have been going through his garbage regularly for about a year and a half.  I haven’t found much worthwhile.  I can tell you he eats a good amount of pimento cheese and is a regular user of Rogaine.  Beyond that information, the only thing I ever found in there that was worthwhile was this copy of the original lyrics from his hit song “Lemonade”.  I like this version much more than the original, but Gucci knows a lot more about making hit music than I do.

Anyway, here’s a Tyranny of Tradition exclusive!  The original lyrics from Lemonade….

Lemonade

By Gucci Mane

Yellow eeerrrrything
Yellow Cars
Yellow Rims
Yellow Shirts
Patent Yellow Leather Garanimals
Yellow Teeth
Yellow Spleen
Yellow Orangutans
Yellow Baby Pandas
Yellow Dinosaurs
Yellow Fin Tuna

Bacon Lemonade in the Cheese Cup
Bag of Shoulder Blades in a Periodontal Disease Cup
Baking Lemonade in a Cheese Cup
Military Blockade of the Sleaze Pluck

The Romans invented Yellow
Yellow was a verb until 1943
Yellow is a mixture of blue and green
I painted my house Yellow
I painted my cat Yellow
My wife and I paint each other Yellow
I cleaned my sink with Yellow Drano
Donovan sang about Yellow

Bacon Flavored Waves in a Sneeze Cup
Feeling Vague Unease at Seeing My Wife’s Lung
Bag of Frozen Peas and a Pork Chop
Drinkin’ Mayonnaise from a Tea Cup

My uncle comes from a planet where all the women are Yellow  (BURR)
They ride on Yellow hovercrafts that are made of Yellow Martian flesh (BURR)
The capital of Ottawa is Yellow (BURR)
I’ve seen the greatest minds of my generation destroyed by Yellow
What rough Yellow beast, it’s hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be Born
The square root of 27 is yellow
Yellow, a priest and a rabbi walk into a bar, bartender says “Is this some kind of joke?”
Lemon Yellow sun, arms raised in a V
Yellow was the reason they passed the 28th Amendment
If it weren’t for Yellow all the settlers at Jamestown would have died (BURR)
Yellow was the third Vice President of the United States and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel (BURR)

15 General Lee’s in a Pigs Skull
I Feel No Burning Need for the Speeze Guck
Missed The NBA Because My Knees Suck
Boiling Bag of Fleas in A Pink Lung

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