Thursday, March 26, 2009

you're gonna be a star (all the way to reno)

Whenever I meet someone new, at a party, or a dinner, or a dinner party for example, inevitably the conversation will head towards, "So... what do you do?" And when I tell them about my boring-ass job and how I'm not a huge fan of doing it, they tell me that I should quit my job and follow my dreams. "Work to live, don't live to work! Make work your passion and you will never work again!" they'll say, and possibly give me the 'stink-eye' because I, you know, hold down a 9-5 job. Sorry champ, but unlike you, I can't pay rent with mottos, fill my fridge with sunshine and get drunk on my own non-conforming ways.

Do what I'm good at? Make a career out of my passion? Stabbing hippies fits both of those categories. Pass me your butter knife, pally-boy.

Here's a list of other (non-violent) things that I am good at:

Taping songs off the radio

I was seriously awesome at being able to avoid the DJ's back-announce while I was creating the perfect mix tape to listen to in Year 10 maths. There is a skill, my friends, in capturing the intro and the complete fade-out of a song on the radio and not have some spazzo ruin it with his spiel about the Countdown being brought to you by a mattress company. Of course, now that you can burn CDs and download any song you want for free, this art form has been somewhat lost. I mean, I could still do it by holding up my MP4 recorder to my computer while I'm streaming the local radio station, but it's just not really the same, is it? Also, I have no idea what an MP4 is.

Liking movies for no reason

I hate movies for a million reasons. Plot, acting, shit characters, boom microphones being caught in frame... but I also have a terrible habit of liking movies for no apparent reason. A friend asked me which version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory I preferred - the old Gene Wilder musical one, or the new Johnny Depp-Tim Burton effort. My answer was the new one. He asked why. After stuttering for a while, I told him that I had to go and see a man about a goat and never got around to explaining myself. About a year later, I still don't know why I prefer the new one. There's a lot NOT to like about it, such as the scenes where Charlie and Wonka go to visit Wonka's dad to try and resolve the family tension. This rates as probably the worst movie scene ever (possibly except for all of Transformers). But then, I didn't rate the scene in the original where Charlie dances like a dick and sings his songs with his oldies; it annoys me like an octopus with tinea. I just liked the new one better; I really don't have an answer why. I'll just say that I thought Depp played Wonka closer to the character in the book, and Gene Wilder fucking scared me. So there you go, Azz. (Oh, and thanks for the vid of the fat kid! Happy new year to ye!)

Picking songs that people are singing in their car

Whenever I stop at a red light, I can't help looking at the people in the cars next to me. Some are deadly serious, eyes straight ahead and ready for the green light, others fiddle with stuff in the back seat or glovebox, some are having a good ol' dig around in their nose. Most, however, are tapping away and singing to whatever they're listening to on their stereo. Back in the day when most cars only had a tape player (at best), people would bop away to songs on the radio; and I would make it a mission to join them. A few quick spins of the trusty tuning knob (and then I’d change the radio station) and I was on their wavelength and I’d be able to provide back-up for them or take over the drums so they'd be able to concentrate on hitting the high notes. And then we'd join together for a guitar solo. Obviously this has the tendency to make a lot of people a bit self-conscious (and a few times downright violent), but on the whole, it was appreciated. As far as I know, I was the only mobile one-man-red-light-band in the world.

Working out mobile phone numbers

You know when you give someone your number, and you ask for theirs in return, and they take the quick option and call you so your phone has a record of the number? It comes up with the international code in place of the 04blahblah numbers. Down the track, someone might say, "Hey man, do you have Hambone's phone number?" And you'd flip through your phone and say, "Yes. It's... uuuh... 61... 44... no wait. That doesn't make any sense." And then your brain would start to melt because you can't work out how many digits this stupid number is meant to contain. And in the end, no-one gets Hambone's number. Poor Hambone.

I am excellent at doing it, however. So if someone asks you for a number and you can't work it out, give me a bell on +61414934286 and I'll come and give you a hand.

Having a dream and ambition is fine - I've got mine (they usually involve crowbars) and you've got yours. But we can't all be rock stars, or there'd be no-one left to listen. If everyone was writing books, there'd be no-one reading them. We can't all make a living of taping Rick Dee's Weekly Top 40 show for a tape to listen to in Year 10 maths, or there'd be no-one left to work in the tape-making factory. And let's face it, after a few years of being a professional mobile one-man-red-light-band, I'd probably start wondering if it would be possible to sit in an office and write reports and file papers as a job.

And for the record, it's not really that hard to do the mobile phone number thing. Just work backwards if you get stuck.

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