Friday, June 30, 2006

In which Birdmonster remembers the outside world, plays the City That Reads, and takes far too long to talk about it

Children and animals: we don't see much of either
these days. Not that we see many of the latter in
San Francisco; in fact, we boast the lowest
percentage of whippersnappers in the entire
country. But that's the thing about living in bars:
your life is twenty-somethings, Pabst, ringing
ears, and the ocassional moron who really, really
wants you to understand how black metal he is.
You forget that children exist anywhere besides
gas stations, obviously their natural habitat. Kids
love petrol. It's a proven fact.

Yesterday, though, we saw a few. In Baltimore
(The City That Reads, they say), we had a few
hours to do the tourist thing, eat food that wasn't
battered or covered in cook's hair, and just
casually cruise the harbor. In other words, we
returned to the normal world, where there are old
people, dogs, children, and sunlight not filtered
through the windshield of the Whaleship Essex.
Glorious stuff, the outside world. Almost makes
you want to pull a Thoreau before you remember
he was a tool and a fraud and a member of the
monied leisure class who just went camping for a
few months and got famous. Johnny Appleseed:
such a better outdoorsman idol. He wore a
gunnysack, you know. And he was basically just a
frontier bartender, since all those apples were
just for cider in the first place. Now, that's a
higher calling. I think I'll wear a gunnysack for
tonight's show. You have to make a fashion
statement in New York, right? Tonight: a
gunnysack, red galloshes, powdered, British judge
wig. Be there.

Anyway, I digress. As usual. Let's talk about
Baltimore. After an early soundcheck (so as not to
interrupt Jello Biafra's ramblings next door), doing
the tourist thing, we played a show that's
certainly a tour highlight thus far. There were
youngsters there too and by God, they rocked out.
An enthusiastic three or four dozen is far superior
to hundreds of arm-crossed, grimace-sporting
scowlers who aren't quite sure if you're cool
enough to enjoy. It was one of those feel-good
evenings where I end up limping and grinning like
Kirk Gibson in '88 and they end up throwing
everyone out because nobody's left by the time
last call's expired. Thanks Baltimore. That was
fun.

I'm navigating the Whaleship today, so I'm going to
split rather abruptly. Until soon.

2 comments:

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snoflingor said...

My grandpappy used to catch snakes in a gunnysack. He sold them to a guy who milked the snakes for their venom. He also used gunnysacks to catch frogs to sell to French restaurants for frog legs. He farmed, was a commercial salmon fisherman and abalone harvester.

Did I mention he only had one hand?