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Tuesday, 30 March
Absent Friend

In high school, everyone's gotta have a best friend. Especially if, like me, you were a dweeby, skinny kid with glasses who listened to awful, pukey bands like Sigue Sigue Sputnik and the Woodentops--because without a best friend, you're kind of just getting beaten up and then going home every day, which gets pretty old pretty fast. At least with a best friend you can commiserate: "J.B. hit me in the nuts today." "J.B. is a fucking fag." "I know. I hate that fag." (Pause.) "Fag." Leaving aside that adolescent boys aren't known for either their sensitivity or their sparkling conversation, I should just point out that in Idaho, "fag" was the definitive utilitarian insult. For a long time, I didn't even know that it carried an actual meaning; I regarded it as another sort of generic profanity, like "fucker." I even remember this exchange, in junior high, between two other (female) parties, and being wholly mystified by the levels of subtext that I was obviously not getting: "You're a total fag!" "Oh, yeah? Well, you're a fag-GET!" (Her pronunciation.) I stood there wondering what the hell the distinction could mean, but there was nobody I could ask; I hadn't met B. yet.

B. and I were in many ways total opposites. Where I listened to bands nobody had ever heard of ("Who in the fuck is Love and Rockets?"), B. listened to bands nobody else wanted to hear: he was an avowed metalhead. Interestingly, he was also a strangely self-aware metalhead. Remember that this was the mid-to-late 80s, the age of hair metal, and so we would drive around listening to horrific garbage like Poison, Whitesnake and other forgotten wretches like the BulletBoys. B. would comment, "Jesus, these guys really stink." I would enthusiastically agree: "Why do you listen to this fucking shit, then?" He didn't know. "It just rocks, you know?" I didn't know.

His favorite bands were a real mystery to me, too: he had a deep reverence for the band Ratt, a thoroughly unremarkable metal band if there ever was one; Ratt was to metal as Sheryl Crow is to pop music--inoffensive pap that your brain barely registers. B. also revered Dokken, horribly enough, mainly for their startlingly ugly guitarist George Lynch, who played the guitar as if he were renting it by the hour: every solo was blindingly fast, and Dokken's videos would all inevitably feature loving closeups of Lynch's terrifying imp-fingers, which was actually a real pleasure, given that the alternative was looking at his dreadful face, peering out ghoulishly from behind a nimbus of tortured bleached hair.

We did have moments of agreement: we both thoroughly enjoyed the Def Leppard album Hysteria, and tirelessly played it over and over one summer, pausing it only to fast-forward past the deeply lame title track, one of those appalling metal ballads, all caramelized ennui and husky "I wantcha" moanings. Another interesting discovery was this mysterious bunch of apocalyptically gloomy death-pigs named Metallica, whose Master of Puppets album made us wide-eyed. They played every song as if their nuts were on fire, and shrieked out incomprehensible banshee babblings; this was music to kill dogs with a hammer by. In other words, pretty good fare for the average teenaged boy.

But for all his metalhead posturing, B. was a pretty hilarious fellow. Here's a few of my favorite schticks he pulled. (Note that these anecdotes will serve to refute those who would like to deny the homoeroticism that inevitably exists amongst your average teenaged boys.)

1. At B.'s house, watching videos, bored. B. suddenly announced that he was hungry, so he wandered into the kitchen. "Hey, I'm going to make a hot dog. You want one?" "Sure," I said distractedly. He rattled around in there for a while, fixing things up. Finally he emerged from the kitchen and walked over with a plate. "Here you go," he said. I turned to him to take the plate and discovered that he was holding a plate with a bun on it; the bun contained his penis. He hovered there with an enormous grin; I noticed also that he was holding a big squeeze bottle of French's in his other hand. "Mustard?" he asked quietly, like a good waiter. My reaction was sadly predictable: "You fag! Get away from me!" B. cackled and ran back into the kitchen. I sat there feeling a little disconsolate. First of all, the hot dog had sounded really good. Second, I had noted clinically that B.'s dick was absolutely huge. Nothing was fair!

2. B. and I, hanging out at my place, probably again watching videos. Ding-dong! The doorbell. I shuffled over to answer it and was confronted with that most horrifying of situations, the Jehovah's Witnesses, apparently there to try and convince me that true salvation lay in getting eight million doors slammed in my face. They started into their spiel, and I stammered politely, because while I certainly didn't want to talk to these poor bastards, I was raised not to do rude things like slam doors in nice people's faces. (I have since gotten over this.) B., however, had a solution. He crept up behind me and looped an arm over my shoulder suggestively. "Lover, come back to bed," he crooned, "I miss your butt." The JWs practically dropped their Watchtower on my shoes in an effort to vacate my doorstep.

3. This might be my favorite. And I doubt that any of these are terribly original, you know, but that's hardly what old memories are about. This one, in fact, just made me laugh for a few minutes before I could type it up.

Anyway. B. and I were hanging out at our friend K.'s place. K. and I were in the kitchen preparing for a party later at the place, as K.'s parents had stupidly gone out of town. They had sternly told K. that C., his older sister, was firmly in charge, which was even stupider than leaving town, since C. was a college student who immediately endorsed the party idea with both thumbs. So K. and I were trying to ram a vodka bottle into a watermelon for later consumption. From behind us, we suddenly heard B. call out, "Hey, guys! Check it out!" We turned around and beheld B. with his pants around his ankles. He had discovered a particularly tall, phallic cactus and had placed it below his ass, and was straddling it, moving his ass up and down, miming butt-cactus sex. He grinned enthusiastically over his shoulder at us as he continued his gyrations. Again, we were totally predictable: "You fucking fag!" B. continued happily, his ass mere inches from the awful cactus. Then K. went quiet and turned a bit pale. He said, "B.--your leg. Your leg is . . . " he trailed off. Then I saw what he saw. There was a tiny thin line of crimson liquid that was leaking out of B.'s ass, running down his leg. It was chilling. Did he accidentally get himself caught on the cactus? How could he not notice? Was something . . . else wrong with him? B. never stopped his faux-humping for a minute. K. and I couldn't do anything but stare at that red liquid, that languidly bobbing ass.

Then B. unclenched his ass a little bit. And let a maraschino cherry fall out from between his cheeks. K. and I, unable to fully process this fresh horror, screamed like murder victims while B. yanked up his drawers and ran snickering into the bathroom.

Like a lot of old friends, B. and I went our separate ways, and gradually lost touch, bit by bit. Hey, it happens. But here's to B. and to all the best friends we can find.

Salut, B.!

You fucking fag.

Summary | Skot | 30 Mar, 2004 |

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.

Comments

Dog, I love you Skot.

Come back to bed. I miss your butt.

Comment number: 003016   Posted by: TheBrad on March 30, 2004 11:13 PM from IP: 66.143.145.144

Good God.

That last story. Lord.

THere's a sort of 20th century-Chaucerian ring to it...

I think you should track this guy down, and find out what he's doing, so you can tell us all.

Surely such over the top originality isn't getting wasted. That would be wrong.

Comment number: 003018   Posted by: Anne on March 31, 2004 05:22 AM from IP: 24.53.254.79

Mmmmmmm...As a young-in, I ate maraschino cherries by the jar - my hand getting all sticky with their delicious red juicyness...It is truly refreshing to read of their employment in social scenarios.

Comment number: 003019   Posted by: yezbick on March 31, 2004 08:01 AM from IP: 209.86.129.1

That was classic! I bet B. is a successful attorney now who hires dominatrix services.

Comment number: 003020   Posted by: Stacey on March 31, 2004 08:01 AM from IP: 129.106.21.180

I love you too, in that manly punch-on-the-shoulder way of course. That was hilarious.

Comment number: 003021   Posted by: senn on March 31, 2004 08:02 AM from IP: 137.53.85.134

Oh my god... You must warn us before reading these things at work! My ass is SURE to get fired now, for hysterically laughing myself into tears on company time...

Comment number: 003022   Posted by: Ryan Waddell on March 31, 2004 08:39 AM from IP: 206.47.252.98

Brilliant, as usual.

Comment number: 003023   Posted by: Tracy on April 1, 2004 12:08 PM from IP: 152.15.164.144

Oh my god, that is the funniest thing ever.

Comment number: 003024   Posted by: selzach on April 2, 2004 09:42 AM from IP: 169.139.247.9

Ratt fucking rules. Man. God. You don't know anything.

Comment number: 003029   Posted by: i on April 3, 2004 11:09 AM from IP: 141.156.161.78

Well, I stumbled across this story in a search for a comprehensive list of all songs ever recorded(don't ask), and I must say that it was a great read and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I was a HUGE Love and Rockets fan.

Comment number: 003083   Posted by: dan on April 16, 2004 11:29 PM from IP: 12.222.194.25

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