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Location: Long Beach, California, United States

Music Geek - Rock & Roll Jeopardy Champ Certified!

Poop Culture

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Tuesday, October 05, 2004

You're not fooling anybody, you know.

I mean, we're not retarded. That whole thing when you come into the public restroom, see that someone is already taking a dump in the single, solitary stall, and you go to the sink and do that whole "I'm just here to wash my hands, la, la, lala, la" thing, then leave? You're not foolin' anyone, missy.

We totally know you wanted to take a dump, too. You should be proud and own that shit, pun intended. Just knock on the stall door and let us know you're waiting.

Right there.

Until we're finished.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Bittersweet Sixteen

1984. Elyria, Ohio. Fifteen years old. Paper route delivering the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram on a $100 used moped. Days are a cycle of school, comic books, TI-994/A, Atari 2600, LPs, 45s, cassettes, making homemade radio DJ shows on tape, drawing, drawing, drawing, up in the bedroom alone for so long parents order the boy down to the living room against his will to watch “The Dukes of Hazard” with the rest of the family.

You make about $80 a week on the paper route. That’s good money for a 15-year old. Each Wednesday, you putt along Lake Ave. on your aging moped to what passes for downtown Elyria to stock up on old sixties and seventies Marvel Comics at the Elyria Bazaar, a run-down used bookstore run by a run-down old man who is quite possibly the sweetest man on Earth. Then it’s off to Kamm’s Record Shop, a struggling mom and pop record store run by an actual mom & pop. As the months pass, they grow to know you by name. They are impressed with your knowledge of current and past rock.

One day, a man in his thirties asks the Kamm’s woman who sings that song that goes “It’s a fine, fine day, da da dada…” She has no clue. You pipe up, “That’s Tony Carey, ‘A Fine, Fine Day.’” The man’s face lights up with recognition. That’s it! But you knew that. The man gets his cassette, pays and drives off. The Kamm’s woman offers you a part-time job at the record store, minimum wage, $3.35 an hour. Good money, no collecting for the paper from deadbeats who would cheat a 15-year old for a newspaper, inside, no weather concerns. 15% discount on all employee purchases! You take the job. It just may be the best day of your life.

Life at Kamm’s Record Shop is different as an employee. During your four-hour weekday shift, you notice there aren’t many customers, sometimes as few as one an hour. They don’t buy much except for singles. There’s not much foot traffic in downtown Elyria after business hours. You spend the time like you see everyone else doing…listening to new albums, talking about music, reading Billboard to see the charts. Every so often, the owners ask you to vacuum or dust, which you do gladly. After all, it’s your first real job and you lucked out – it’s your dream job.

A month passes. The spring thaw has given way to an early summer. You work three or four weekdays and six hours on Saturday. Things are going well. Then one Tuesday, Kamm’s woman calls you into the back office.

You’re being “let go.”

The one-sided conversation is a blur. You hear snippets such as “not enough time to train you”, “spend most of the time standing around instead of cleaning,” “not enough business.” You try your best not to cry, but the stinging tears won’t listen. You struggle to not break down as you walk out to your moped and putt home.

As you navigate the suburban streets, the tears come a little more freely. You’ve lost your dream job, your first job, and you don’t understand why. You feel embarrassed, not just because you got fired from your first job, but because you’re crying like a little girl. And because it happened on today of all days. You’re a 16-year old man today.

That’s right, you got fired from your first job on your sixteenth birthday.

You make it home, park the moped in the garage, walk up the back steps in your kitchen. No one is there to greet you or, luckily, see your tears. You head towards the living room. There’s no sound of a TV or voices. No one is home. You enter the living room.


Your family and friends leap out from behind chairs, the couch, doorways, closets. It’s a surprise party for your sixteenth birthday. Everyone from school is there. All your relatives are there. And your eyes are red and swollen, your face wet with tears.


Explanations are given. Hugs are shared. Presents are opened. Cake is eaten. Teasing from friends is heaped on. You’re feeling much better.

Four years pass and Kamm’s Record Shop goes out of business.

Twenty years pass and you have never been fired from another job.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

"OMG! You totally made your first joke! HUGZ!"

I like Amy Poehler.

I like Tina Fey.

But when they're together doing the new, "improved" Weekend Update, it's so girly girl cutesy-poo I can't decide whether to vomit or donkey punch them both. To quote the immortal Rod Rooter (manager of the hottest heavy metal band around, "The Evil Clowns"), "Thumbs down, lambpit."

It shoulda been Seth Myers or Fred Armisen up there. I'm just sayin'.

Fine Folks

"...and by hubris, I mean overweening pride!" - Johnny's Greatest Hits

25 Year Loop
Fucking Woof
David Live
The Night Before
Jobriath Was First
She's in Parties
She's in Parties Pt. 2
Tales From the Dragon Club
Tales From the Dragon Club Pt. 2
Okay, California...You Win
How to Sell Used CDs

Previously on "Johnny Is a Man"...

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