Smile Politely

Birthday Boy

Well this week started out a little fucking weird, didn’t it? I would guess most of us will find it hard to say we have “a case of the Mondays” from now on, you know, if we don’t have a fucking bomb exploding in our fucking faces. I know it’s probably obvious, but that sort of thing really pisses me off. Yes, I feel compassion for those injured and I feel vulnerable to what the world has in store, but mostly I feel very vindictive and angry.

As I write this, they don’t know who is responsible for bombing the Boston Marathon, but whoever it is, I’m all for bringing back an Old Testament kind of punishment and I would also like to see this punishment in video from all different angles, just like the original attack. Yeah, I know, violence begets violence and all that, but honestly, sometimes a good and thorough ass kicking can really go a long way. With all that said, hey, it’s time to attempt to enjoy my funny little column. Let’s get it on.


So last Friday was my birthday. It was fun and all that, but at a certain age I think you begin to celebrate not dying so far more than the actual day itself. I am probably at that age. Regardless, it still seemed like as good a time as any to have a little fun. To help me along with that fun, I first stopped by Krannert after work with some people to see JD McPherson. It was that “Traffic Jam” deal they put on every so often. Normally, if something involves a traffic jam, it’s either an actual backup of cars or it’s a 5 p.m. rock block of terrible songs played by a classic rock radio station.

The Krannert version of the traffic jam is far more entertaining than either of those. Okay, first of all, that shit was free. Is that a big deal? I’m not sure. I would definitely have paid to see this show, but on the other hand, I have to admit I was sort of juiced that it didn’t cost me anything. You wanna know why?

Well, because it gave me that much more money to spend on $2 Coronas. I sort of look at it like, “Oh, well it’s Corona” and “Fuck yeah, it’s Corona.” It’s not my favorite beer, but it turns out I can drink a whole lot of them, so there’s a very nice blessing that goes along with the curse. You throw in that only costing $2 thing and you’ve got quite a sweet deal. So, um, everything was not pricey at all to enjoy a swell couple of hours.

JD McPherson did nothing but make all of that better. He plays a sort of old school rock and roll that really works for a happy hour, or really any hour you’d enjoy listening to fine music. My buddy, let’s call him Todd, even got me his CD for my birthday. I’ve listened to “North Side Gal” about a hundred times so far and the rest of it twice, as I often like to parcel out my enjoyment when I get new music.

After the show, we, of course, went out boozing some more. It was all going swimmingly until my friend, let’s call him Eddie, called to wish me happy birthday from California. He also called so we could do a shot together. At that juncture, I needed a shot about as badly as a rectal exam … which, um, actually, was quite a lot. The problem was that, yeah, it’s a nice thought and it’s fun to do shots with friends, but it’s not especially a birthday present when I have to buy my own shot in order to do one over the phone. Either way, it was a top-notch celebration that I’m glad only comes once a year.

Note: Also, I got a lovely video message from the three Talbott boys where they sang Happy Birthday to me. I could have done without them telling me I smelled like a butt at the end, but otherwise, quite charming.


It’s been some time since I’ve talked about the garage, so enjoy. I haven’t talked about it because it’s been full of crap for most of the winter, you know, when it’s good to have cars indoors. Well, now that it’s warmer, I’ve decided it’s time to get off my lazy ass and clean it out, you know, so we can drink in there again without running a nail into our feet. Drinking is apparently above transportation in my Maslow hierarchy.

So just cleaning out the garage will be plenty to make it wonderful, but I can’t help but imagine it being wonderfuler. Since I’m an idiot, my first thought was to put a stripper pole in there. It’s a great idea and also a horrible one. If my vision came to fruition, I could picture a bunch of my buddies sitting around sucking a Hamm’s and watching some hot little number twirling around on the pole. Ahhh, wonderful.

In reality, I can really only imagine a bunch of drunken males spinning around on it and hurting themselves quite badly. Oh sure, chicks sometimes come to the garage; it’s just that they generally aren’t strippers; so I’m guessing mostly guys would use something like a stripper pole. Trust me, this would not be sexy in any way. I would also imagine that the amount of protective gear we would have to put on to avoid paralysis would make it even less sexy … if that is possible.

My other idea is to make it into a tiny roller derby rink, but you could probably only have about two people on a team and you would always have to be turning. It could actually work as a boxing rink, but the last thing any of us need is a credible reason to hit each other. Having covered all the angles I can think of, I may just get nicer lawn chairs.


As often happens with my videos of the week, I have no idea what they are saying or what is going on. I will say that I enjoy it.

Okay, so I think they appear to be some sort of foreign and quite good dancers. If you are cutting a rug while shirtless and wearing a leather trench coat, you can pretty much bet I’ll take time out of my day to watch.


I enjoy Lemonheads, always the candy, and often the band.

Normally, I’m too flighty to even know what I’m writing about next week, let alone tell you about it, but in this case I can tell you my column is probably going to be about my new awesome tattoo. Wow, what a teaser.

Buona sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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