Pamela Bambelam asked if she could borrow a sockful of marbles for to clock some fools, and I figured that would be okay, so I told her to come over and help me find it. I haven’t had the sockful of marbles out for a while, as I’ve been busy being sick and screaming at people on the bus, and to be honest I haven’t put anything back in the basement from when it flooded, so it takes a while to get at anything here at the compound, so I thought we’d make a day of it. I scheduled in time for Pamela coming over, formal introductions, preparation and outfitting (one doesn’t just stumble upon a sockful of marbles, you know, so you need to be prepared), tea break, expedition one (the above-ground areas of the compound), whiskey break and notes on prior expedition, expedition two (the basement), a speech and informal Q&A session once the SFM was recovered and farewells, and as you can imagine that can take the better part of a Sunday. Pamela arrived around two in the afternoon, bringing along a pair of walkie-talkies she got at the Bosnian flea market that only take H size batteries, so even before we began looking for the SFM we had to go out into the world (ewww) and look for these crazy batteries. I figured maybe H size batteries were a standard thing in Bosnia, so we went over to see Smiljan, who didn’t have the slightest idea what we were talking about but figured he could rig up a converter to take those big brick-size batteries like you put in flashlights, which seemed reasonable, only he could only find one, and we blew about an hour dicking around Wal-Mart looking for more, so he hooked both walkie-talkies to the same battery with about ten feet of wire, then dragging the battery behind us like a shared anchor. This seemed poetic, so we decided to give it a shot, testing the Frankentalkies at the playground. The operation was a complete success, though we learned we had to be careful since we almost strangled some kid on the merry-go-round. When we got back to the compound we found Nella sitting on the front steps splitting an ice cream cone with her cat Mr. Detective. She heard we were having a “sock finding party” and wanted in on the action, and while Nella is okay to hang out with she’s a bit of a liability on a dangerous mission like this because she always has to go to the bathroom. What if we have to fight giant leeches or something and Nella doesn’t cover us so much as finds a closet where she can go tinkle? No, Pamela and I decided, no way she could go on the mission. Nella agreed, which was suspicious, and said instead she could be Basecamp in the upstairs bathroom (the one next to the Room Of Couches) while we looked for the SFM, but we should take Mr. Detective with us because he really is a detective and can look where we can’t, and that seemed reasonable. Between negotiations and procuring necessary mission equipment it had already been a big day and so we retired to the Hookah Room for the remainder of the evening. Will post again tomorrow with all pertinent information.
(2008, at which time I was a third shift custodian)
9:25pm — arrive at work with peppy Paul Anka style song stuck in head, try to remember the title or any of the words.
9:29 — get stuff ready for work, remember title (“The Happy Vagabond”), the chorus (“Hey don’t you know me, I’m the happy vagabond/Hey don’t you know me, I’m the happy vagabond/And if you don’t know me, just listen to my song”) and the first couple verses, which are too questionable to repeat, except to say that the happy vagabond has good if unseemly reasons for being so happy.
9:35 — ask the closer (the person who closes up the building before we get to work) if he knows the words to The Happy Vagabond, get weird sideways look.
9:50 — open up the building and tell coworkers about what needs to be done tonight, suddenly realize that there is actually no such song as “The Happy Vagabond”, that in fact I’ve got a song stuck in my head that does not actually exist.
10:05 — begin game of Fugitive!, in which I play an escaped convict accused of a crime I did not commit being hunted down by corrupt and violent state troopers, played unwittingly by my coworkers — generally involves hiding on the roof, or in one of the storage closets, or in my car.
10:09 — game of Fugitive! ends when I am discovered by coworker, making this the shortest game of Fugitive! in history.
10:42 — now have thirtynine verses of The Happy Vagabond stuck in my head, which have degenerated into gibberish (“I wrestle buses, I whistle in the rain/I wrestle chickens, nobody calls me Wayne/Snorting that Drano musta rotted out my brain”)
11:20 — sneak into computer lab, send this email
The Firesign Theater reading from Winnie The Pooh, Chapter Six: In Which Eeyore Has A Birthday And Gets Two Presents, live on KPFK, 1970. I meant to post this on my birthday but was, um, distracted. One of the most adorable things ever.
“I believe in the beauty of all women, in the treachery of their imaginations, so close to my heart; in the junction of their disenchanted bodies with the enchanted chromium rails of supermarket counters; in their warm tolerance of my perversions.”—JG Ballard, “What I Believe” (read it all here)