When I was five, I had a neighbor that owned an Irish Setter, a breed of dog known for being dumb as a bucket of dicks. One day, as I watched from my bedroom window, the dog, Duffy, became irritated by the shadow of some trees waving in the wind. He pulled, and yanked, and pulled some more until the rope that he was tied to gave way, and then he spent five minutes furiously attacking the ground. If you had taken that dog’s brains out and replaced them with a pound of shit, only then would the dog have had a chance to look up and think to himself, “Wait a minute, what I’m doing makes no sense.” Stupid fucking dog.
So perhaps out of a sense of shame, or more likely because beings from the 24th dimension told him to, Duffy took off running to no place in particular. Like a shot out of a cannon, just… gone. I’ve always been a sucker for dogs, so my reaction was to chase after him so I could bring him back home. I looked it up on Google Maps just now, and that dog led me on a 2 1/2 mile chase, up and down steep hills, through dense forests, along streams, and ponds, and I only caught him at the end of it because the rope he was trailing snagged in some bushes. Then I spent 2 1/2 miles dragging his stupid ass home.
By the time I reached his owner’s house, I’d been gone probably a couple of hours, and I was tired and scratched up. I rang the McSherry’s doorbell, and proudly announced, “Mr. McSherry, Duffy broke his rope, but I chased him and brought him home.”
Mr. McSherry was quite pleased that I had taken the trouble and asked me to come in so that he could reward my heroic efforts. “Here you go,” he said, holding out his hand. “I’ll give you a whole dime for that!” This was 1974, and obviously a dime back then was worth more than it is now, but a dime? That averages out to five cents an hour. Prisoners make more than that, and they get free room and board, although you probably have to deduct the constant dry anal rapes from any objective comparison.
I remember very well thinking to myself, “A dime? That’s it?” but I had been raised right by my parents and so I thanked Mr. McSherry and got ready to leave when Mrs. McSherry came in the room and asked what happened. I took the opportunity to retell the tale, making sure to stress how far I had chased Duffy, showed some of the scratches I had earned for my trouble, and it wouldn’t surprise me if I took the opportunity to throw in a couple of exhaustion-induced heart attacks for good measure.
Mrs. McSherry: Why, you are a hero, young man! John, did you give this hero a reward?
Mr. McSherry: I sure did. I gave this young man a shiny new dime.
Mrs. McSherry: Wow! That is a lot of money! You make sure that you spend it wisely, ok?
This is when God, seeing this terrible injustice, stepped in. As they opened the front door to let me out, Duffy bolted outside and ran off as fast as he had the first time. “Oh, dammit! Duffy! Get your butt back here! Duffy! Oh, that blasted dog!” said Mr. McSherry. Then he turned his attention to me and said, “Greg, I’ll give you another shiny dime if you go get him again. What do you say?”
“No thank you,” I said, and walked across the street without another word. I may have been five, but I wasn’t fucking stupid. The McSherry’s, to their credit, found my response as funny as I find it now, and called my mom to tell her. My mom, in turn, told the story at the dinner table to my dad, who was very amused.
“Do you know what you can buy with a dime, Greg?” he asked.
“Of course you don’t. You can’t buy anything with a dime. You should have told him to go get his own fucking dog.”
“Bill!” my mom interrupted. “Language! You did the right thing, honey. Mrs. McSherry said you were very polite.”
This scene replayed itself in my mind today as I drove to work and ran across an Irish Setter sitting in the middle of the road, watching with that classic, puzzled doggy expression as my Jeep got larger and larger in his field of vision. You could almost see the broken and smashed gears in his head trying to churn out an important message.
“That… thing… is getting bigger! And bigger! And it’s bigger than me! And if it gets bigger and then… too close.. Then I… It could… Maybe it might… OOH! LOOK! AN ANT!”
So I stopped short of the dog, blew my horn a couple of times, and finally had to get out to coax the dog out of the way. He rewarded my patience and kindness by snarling at me, so I hopped back in the Jeep and revved the engine to no avail. Finally, he tired of staring at the large, white, metal dog in front of him and moseyed off to the side of the road and began frantically chewing his ass.
Irish Setters are the stupidest fucking dogs on the planet.
(I just ran down to the corner convenience store to get something to drink, and Holy Jesus, it was like a fucking ugly convention in there. I usually don’t make fun of people for being ugly, but this was some seriously upper echelon ugliness. It was like Meat Loaf seduced an opossum, someone went after the resulting litter with a track cleat, and the litter showed up at a convenience store to buy some beef jerky.)
Speaking of upper echelon ugliness…
Anyone who has been following this site for a while knows that I’ve got a Rock and Roll Hall of Shame, which includes the following members:
- That mulleted collection of sack wranglers known as
Def LeftyDef Leppard
- Kenny Loggins
- Peter Cetera/Chicago
A couple of songs played back to back today on the office intercom reminded me of a couple of sorely deserving entries.
Jesus, Eddie Money. That dude looks like something went horribly fucking wrong at a wax museum, doesn’t he? Add that to a collection of weak sauce “hits”, and mind bendingly retarded lyrics, and you’ve got a definite Rock and Roll Hall of Shame entry. Here are some of the absolute worst lyrics in rock in my book, and they come to us courtesy of Mr. Freak-show up above:
Gimme some water
Cause I shot a man on the Mexican border
You know, cause that murderin’ sure is some thirsty work! If I had a rhyming dictionary, a gallon of Robitussin, and a fresh frontal lobotomy, it would take me approximately 7,000 years to come up with two lines that incredibly stupid. I’m not saying that I’m not capable of coming up with something stupid (see: This entire site), I’m saying that I couldn’t come up with something that stupid, even if I tried very hard, and in fact, most species on this planet couldn’t. Here’s the breakdown:
7,234: Irish Setters
7,235: Eddie Money
So an Irish Setter wouldn’t have been capable of writing something as shitty as Gimme Some Water, but a Rhododendron would because Rhododendrons are really fucking stupid. This is why you only see Rhododendrons getting elected to Congress and not the Senate.
Also, Eddie Money eats like a fucking pig:
Nipping right on Eddie Money’s ugly, ugly heels:
Billy Joel had to stop using video monitors at his shows because he’s so ugly he kept scaring himself on stage. Egad, he looks like Bruce Willis melted. And I am SO fucking sick and tired of Piano Man. If I had a nickel for every time I was in a bar and some drunken 20-something year old chiquita in a skimpy black dress yelled out “Piano Man, wooooo!”, I’d have enough to buy a plane ticket to fly out to the East Coast, track down Billy Joel and kick him in the balls for writing that fucking song in the first place.
It’s not that it’s such a horrible song, it’s that it’s a very mediocre song that found an incredibly irritating niche that allows it to be played over and over and over until you’re pretty sure that given the chance you’d eradicate mankind if it meant that song would never get played again. You know, exactly like Steppenwolf’s Born to be Wild. Bar + Piano = Piano Man; Movie + Motorcycle = Born to be Wild.
It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There’s an old man sitting next to me
Making love to his tonic and gin
First of all, I happen to know for a fact that getting freaky with a drink gets you automatically 86’d from a bar, no exceptions. Second of all, you can’t reverse the ingredients just because it fits your scansion better, Billy. Here’s how you should’ve written that first verse:
It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
Everyone’s home smokin’ chronic
No one has shown up to see me
Now I can’t afford a gin & tonic
There. Much better. That makes me happy. Another lyrical crime in Piano Man is the following:
And the waitress is practicing politics
As the businessmen slowly get stoned
I fucking hate it when people use drug terminology incorrectly. It just comes across as woefully uninformed. Do your fucking homework, pal! Every time I hear that line, I think of a kid I went to high school with, with whom I once had this conversation:
Chris: My mom left a quarter bottle of vermouth out Friday night. Man, did I get high!
Greg: You got high?
Chris: Oh, yeah! Totally stoned!
Greg: I bet. Did you get that feeling like your feet were covered in fur?
Chris: Uh… Yeah! Yeah! It was crazy!
Greg: Here, tell that to Mike. He’ll love that story.
Mike: What story?
Chris: I drank about four shots of vermouth Friday night, and got really high. My feet totally felt like they were covered in fur!
Mike: Are you off your fucking meds or something? Fur?
Chris: Um, well, I, uh…
Mike: And you know that vermouth is used to water down strong drinks, right? It’s like pussy booze with training wheels. You know that, right?
Chris: Well, yeah, I’d had a bunch of whiskey earlier, so I…
Mike: No, you didn’t. Just stop.
Mike: Stop. Now walk away. That’s right… (to me) What was that all about?
Me: Who knows? Let’s go over to my place and get furry.
Another reason I can’t stand Billy Joel is that I was forced to attend one of his concerts when I was a junior in high school, and it was easily the lamest rock show I’d ever been to. My girlfriend got a neighbor to buy her two 2-liters of wine coolers (which make vermouth seem like rocket fuel), and I managed to smuggle them inside, slammed them both, and sat there for two hours bored and sober listening to Billy Joel put the motherfuckin’ hammer down on hits such as Honesty:
Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Maybe that’s so if you happen to look like a troll that was trained to play the piano, I dunno. Ugh. I can’t abide that frog-eyed looking motherfucker. Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame he goes.
Ok, my ramblings are at an end tonight. I have to go fuck a tonic and gin until my feet get furry, or I shoot a man on the Mexican border, whichever happens first (and I think we can all agree that’s a 50/50 proposition). Your nominees for the Musical Hall of Shame are welcome in the comments below.