Thursday, September 11, 2008

Death by Mraz (Yellow Ray Parka Junior Remix)


Alicia Sacramone Strikes a Pose
Originally uploaded by JungsPN

So I'm sick today (and yet still blogging, give that boy a medallion) but also apathetic. I'd put it down to a mid life crisis if I wasn't ill. I don't know what it's like where other people work, but for me, I often feel trapped and suffocated. If the girl from a shop I won't mention comes in, I do a little flirtacious banter, but that's only once a day. Some days are a pure version of hell, my head explodes and my body aches, and the noise that keeps me awake is the plinky white boy reggae of Jason Mraz and his song "I'm Yours" - the radio programmers seem to spin the Mraz disc and the line about scooching over dear just whenever I'm at my lowest point, it's like a horrible aching paper cut when it comes on. It's like weak tea, a night stuck looking at slides, an old woman telling you about her grandaughter - it's just so tepid, it's just apalling. In fact, as I was driving home, it was no surprise Mraz came on just as I drove past a bad car accident that left a car on an embankment. He's more dangerous than the collider. I think there's a forced jollity to workplaces at times. I saw it today as I was out for my daily walk and stalk (I'm convinced blue eye shadow girl has quit), there was some kind of team building thing going at Boost Juice, they seemed very animated and pumped up to hate the customers. As a team. I know that the entire reason I'm grumpy though is that when I'm walking about, there's all these kids running around crashing into my knees and getting in my way. I think I need to just go and find someone who is appreciative of the solo album of Melissa Auf Der Maur, and who hates kids, and just live in their attic. Again. Either that, or the next kid who runs into my kneecaps after changing direction suddenly, I'm going to get old school on them, and tell them Santa Claus doesn't exist. Maybe I'll do it while sucking on a Push Pop, just to really re-create that old school Grade 8 vibe. Incidentally, speaking of old school, what's a man got to do to get a decent lime spider in Hobart? It's a struggle I tell ya. So today wasn't quite as pointless as it seems to be being Gabriella Cilmis drummer, but it wasn't exactly a raging success...speaking of which....

I've mentioned before I've spent the last decade in a horrible Caspar the Ghost spin when it comes to friends (if you don't know, Norm from Cheers once wondered why Caspar The Friendly Ghost had tons of friends at the end of one episode and none at the start of the next) - from the "I'm incredibly cool" peak of 92 through the horrible awkward teens of 94, the epic 18th in 96, the farewell to friendship, and the horrible year of 00 when I had to go clubbing on my own through to the multi faceted interesting modelled on Shane McGowan (maybe) witty pub sage avoiding a punch in the face man about town of today, it was probably no surprise that I ended up looking pale and spooky through the ups and downs. In 2000, things were definitely grim, although I didn't quite have an Internet girlfriend, everyone I went to school with was lost in time and space, and there I was in Hobart, sitting around playing Kick Off on a vintage Amiga. The nadir of the blank faceless debacle that was 00 (a few more 0s and it's the noise a ghost makes - weird) that was my life was undoubtedly, out of sheer need to get out of the house, accepting an invitation to go to a work party at this girls house where everyone would play Trivial Pursuit and drink martinis. To show you what we were dealing with in this situation, the girl who was hosting the party (with her obsession with mock tudor - I used to think she drove a mock tudor car) once did a psychological evaluation on the staff at work, and submitted it to uni, without telling anyone she was doing it, based entirely on their penmanship (I must have been a right Veronica). Her main male supporter, a homosexualist with a Daniel Johns obsession, once gave one of his best friends a Xmas present of a box of chocolates - which was the same box of chocolates that friend had given him the year before, turning brown chocolate white through the ravages of time - and he apparently told someone he didn't fancy me because he didn't like my thighs (thank god for Kit Kats I say). Needless to say, the chance to get everyone under one roof, ply them with drink, make them play Triv, and then pick on their sobriety and dumbness was very appealing to them. They were both very ordinary people, and real middle managers. Needless to say when I think of both of them I just want to spray Mr Sheen in their eyes and get all Bing Crosby on them, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and as a result, I went, in a bright yellow parka with a copy of The Advocate under my arm no less, to the land of mock tudor, to play Trivial Pursuit.

Needless to say, the night wasn't really a roaring success. The turn out was good, but the vibe was tense, and strained, even without adding the pressure of knowing general knowledge facts about monkeys to win a wedge. She had gone to a lot of trouble, and was clearly buttering us up in that kind of "I read about this in a team building manual" kind of way. There was white wine and wood fired pizza...and a big hat with all our names in it so we could totally like pick our names out and totally get onto a team...and of course, I ended up on the same two person team as Daniel Johns biggest fan. God bless his heard for trying, he tried to strike some some conversation about The Living End, but within seconds our mutual dislike of each other was apparent. I don't expect much out of life, I'm not Robbie Williams, my weekends aren't going to be spent in a hot tub with Alicia Sacramone discussing Wittgenstein, but really, I was hoping for more than this with my life. An older woman who was there got drunk in about 20 seconds on white wine and spewed in the mock tudor toilet. I spent most of the evening trying out my new pose, world weary cynicism, but the night was just dying, as I find most games of Trivial pursuit do, even without my jokes about the Red wedge (come on? Mid 80s UK politics? Style Council? No? Nothing?). Sensing the mood, our hostess with the mostess (wood fired pizza) decided that just to make things even more fascinating, she would begin a house wide scavenger hunt for chocolate liquers. At this point, someone sang a song about a honky tonk and it was time to leave. I ended up standing on the (mock tudor) balcony, munching a canape, and talking to this really bitter woman who was telling me exactly where she wanted to shove the chocolate liquers and then went on this horrifically awful rant about how awful her kids were and how they were plotting against her, mock (wait for it) pearl (ha) earrings glistening in the night sky. And then she ran to the toilet and spewed. Meanwhile, back in the living room, the homosexualist was arguing with a temp typist as to the capital of Albania...I casually walked past, said it was Tirana, and he called me a troublemaker. Ah, that honky tonk, how loudly thee sings...

Still, I was determined, at least in my own mind, to try and show these people that I was still cool and hip. So, to leave with at least some dignity, I announced to the stragglers who hadn't jumped off the balcony that I was going clubbing. I thought that this would be a good way to leave the party, announcing so loudly that I had better things to do, at which point, not unreasonably, the homosexualist pointed out that I should probably take off the yellow parka if I wanted to go clubbing. I hadn't realised I had left the stupid thing on all night. Everyone just stared at me, but it was too late to turn back. "It's the in thing" I said, sounding like Jane Gazzo, and marched off into the night, slamming the mock tudor door behind me. For some reason, as I was walking down the street picking olives out of my teeth, my brain went a bit weird, and in my own head, I thought, yeah, why not go clubbing...on my own, what could possibly go wrong? Chicks love yellow parkas! To this day, I don't know where I went, but I remember going into this club where the bouncers had "Underground" on their T-shirts, and it was probably the first place I ever had to pay to get in, and also get a stamp on my wrist. Naturally, my yellow parka, I talked up to the girl in the pay booth as a fashion statement and she said it was rad, but I bet she said that to all the kids. I distinctly remember stepping into the club and landing on the set of the Mickey Mouse club. There was just wall to wall 14 year olds drinking mocktails, a giant video wall playing (You Drive Me) Crazy by Britney Spears, a bewildered and irritated Maori manning the cloak room trying to find a black jacket (he'd have no problem finding mine in a pile), and a Bicardi girl on the floor who seemed to be pushing a Windex flavoured Bicardi onto unsuspecting kids. I felt so incredibly old and washed up at 22, with the full stunned mullet gaze, and I didn't know what to do. At which point, the Maori from the cloak room has said to me "Hey! Nice jacket!" and given me a massive thumbs up. The Bicardi Girl has then swished past and given me an equal thumbs up for my apparel, like my own little private cheer squad. I can't remember much of that evening after that (candy hearts in a bag again? Picked up the Bicardi girl? Got mugged and dumped in the cloak room? Fled the club in panic? Who knows?)) but at least I, for once, had come through on my word and gone outside my comfort zone...it was a minor triumph in a year of mediocrity...

I don't really care about the quality of the post, I just hope someone somewhere got the Ray Parka Junior joke in the title...if you did, you get a wedge...

6 comments:

squib said...

And this is supposed to be a poor quality I'm-sick post? Damn you're good

Kath Lockett said...

Windex-flavoured Bacardi - that'd be an improvement.

Ray Parker Junior - are you sure you're only thirty?

Miles McClagan said...

Well it was written on several types of medication (I was hoping to just wing it with a pun and a photo)...

Ray Parker Jr is my generation, having done the Ghostbusters theme. Yes, I am 30, otherwise I'd know Ray Parker Sr...

Beerli said...

That was such a good read...but you are so grumpy! You must be sick and if it's the stupid virus I have had for a fortnight I can attest to the fact that computers cure it! Oddly enough I sat and computed while I felt just awful. You are a magnificent writer. It was well worth the read. Bit of a James Dean film in this.

Miles McClagan said...

I'm exceptionally grumpy at the moment...and it definitely is because I'm sick, but also because the kids are off school, and keep crashing into my ankles. Or it might just be Jason Mraz.

I'd like to try and be happier, I might make it my mission for the week! Once I'm better though...

Ann O'Dyne said...

Greetings Mr McClagan, I followed you home from your comment at my dear pal CopperWitch blog, and that train arrives first at the Profile station where I was thrilled to see you list Wisconsin Death Trip in your Books, and you are a Virgo too (more bloggers are Virgos than any other sign, I'm sure) ... wishinmg you many happy returns of the day.