I'm back nestled safely in the bosom of Cali after spending a riotous weekend with the ULA in Philadelphia. The Medusa show was a smash hit (read about it HERE, pics HERE) and i got to meet Adventures Blog legends Wred Fright and Pat King (i'm not Pat King, for those of you still clueless: my name is Pat Simonelli, and i run this here villa with Marissa Ranello--who is also not Pat King). Met Crazy Carl, who is a force of nature unlike any other (except maybe the late Chris Farley). The Crazy One has provided many fantastic blog tales over the uh, year---and his latest below is no exception. Look out for Carl's new book, Fat on the Vine, coming soon from ULA Press.
by Crazy Carl Robinson
Road trips beat real life, right?….or maybe they serve to remind you how shitty your real life truly is……anyway, I just got back from the philly show…..wred got a flat tire on the interstate, so we missed the luncheon and press conference (there were no members of the press in attendance and supposedly most of the conversation centered around a plant dripping water on papa jack saunder’s head), but I think the actual show went pretty well (if the fact that the 2 hottest girls in the club wound up smoking weed with me in the women’s bathroom is any indication)……I guess I should start from the beginning though: mama was in fine form----cooking wred food and presenting him with gifts for his new wife and mother…..and never let it be said that mama can’t put on a fine show…..to tell ya the truth, if wred hadn’t known the difference, we could have actually passed for a kind, loving family…..the only chink in the armor was when mama almost discovered the ziplock bag filled with stolen women’s panties that I had left on the bed for wred to discover after his trip to the bathroom……I heard footsteps on the stairs and when I realized that they belonged to mama, I quickly scooped up the panties and put them back in the “bigfoot giant snow monster” game…..the damage had been done though…..mama asked if I was showing wred “something dangerous” and I said “no,” but I knew then that my special hiding place for drugs and women’s undergarments would have to change after 24 glorious years as a result of my carelessness----and for that I am truly sorry, “bigfoot giant snow monster” game……let’s see…..the ride itself was pretty painful…..i love wred fright like a brother, but he drives like a lil old lady (and I guess that’s part of his charm)…..anyway, we didn’t pass another car going or coming---I swear…..wred was trying to get one last road trip out of his 1990 buick before he put the red devil out to pasture, so we couldn’t turn on the air conditioning either…..then halfway through maryland, we got the flat tire……and we’re men (albeit english teachers), so we broke out the directions and the jack and pretended like we knew what we were doing…..mercifully, a motorist assistance dude drove up with his torque wrench and we were back on the road after a 45 minute pit stop at mr tire……as soon as we got to the hotel room, I started pounding beers, pain pills and whippets……we eventually made our way to some lil pub called dirty frank’s, but the underground literary alliance was nowhere to be found…..and even in my advanced state of partying, the 6 beers I drank couldn’t ultimately overtake the day’s 5 vicodins…..wred suggested that we hit tower records on the way back, so I wandered around the store in a no-wife and no-job haze as wred bought hard-to-find records and zines……to tell ya the truth, friday kinda sucked, but saturday was still to come…..we spent the morning sightseeing and the afternoon in the hilton’s hot tub----like there were hot girls in the weight room, but the only woman who hit on me was this 45-year-old accountant from iowa who had just dropped off her daughter with her ex-husband and seemingly wanted to fuck somebody just for the fuck-of-it (and I don’t think I woulda done her divorced ass even if she had a picture of her daughter to tape on the headboard above her face)……I did tell her about my book though---and she cooed like a schoolgirl……after peeing in the hot tub (while still talking to her), I made my way back to the room to pound more beers, pain pills and whippets…..the show started at 5 pm, so I was already a lil buzzed by the time we arrived……for the most part, I think I’m gonna try to refrain from naming names since, as a general rule, if I discuss a specific person, it usually means that I plan on making fun of him/her later on and I have no desire to do that here…..i don’t mean to be sappy, but I did feel a certain kinship with the other people in the room that night---the poets who read were genuinely respectful of each other and of the poetry and I think/hope that this vibe was shared by all those in attendance…..that being said, on the nights when I’m reading or performing, I pay precious lil attention to anything else besides myself (and you know that I’m not the only one)…..like if you’ve got a nice ass or are shooting blood at the audience out of some orifice I might look up for a second, but usually, I’m mumbling song lyrics to myself along the lines of mojo nixon and skid roper’s “and the dwarfs cried giant tears/ circus my-ste-ry” as you leave your heart on the stage……to tell ya the truth, I have no clue what any of the other performer that night were talking about…..i don’t really know what wred fright was talking about either----I just instinctively know that I’m supposed to heckle shit about his wife being pregnant while throwing lil plastic pigs at his head……as for my “guide to astrology,” I think it went pretty well---just take what I said in the preceding paragraph and make it 72% nicer (ie: replace “leo is a cocky fucker that should be put to sleep like a dog” with “leo is like the lion king---destined to be king one day, but still in a clumsy and awkward stage”)……after I came off stage, the 2 girls (both geminis) at the next table started talking to me about astrology……most of the dudes in the room wanted the poet, but I thought her 6’ tall friend was sexier (both had boyfriends, but if any sign of the zodiac would leave their boyfriend-of-5-years on the spot for someone they met in a club, it would be gemini)……I chatted them both up for a while and eventually we made our way to the women’s bathroom to smoke a couple joints…..roughly 20% of my act focused on me “being too fat to even consider using my knowledge of astrology to hit on girls,” so I kept my smooooth in a lower gear with lines like: “dude, do you know of any afterparties” and “there’s a hot tub back at our hotel”----they didn’t bite, but it wasn’t like any of the other chubby, bearded dudes in the room were even trying……at one point, the poet said she “was in a scorpio mood,” but I guess it only lasted as long as my joint did…..after the show, me, wred, king karl and this kid from alabama named pat (who was making a documentary of the night’s events) decided to hit this greasy lil diner for philly cheese steaks……at that point, the 10-12 beers that I had drank began to take their toll and I invited pat (and his camera) into the women’s bathroom so he could catch me throwing up on film…..i tried and tried, but no matter how many times I stuck my finger down my throat and gagged, the corona still held (and goddammit, that’s ultimately why I drink corona in the first place---so I wont be throwing up every 15 minutes)……after the diner, me and wred invited pat to come back to the hotel with us and crash…..we drank some more beers and I eventually got on the phone with pat’s wife and tried to convince her to set me up with her soon-to-be 18-year-old sister (who also lives in alabama and who is a big fan of country music and the rodeo)…..and let me just say right now: “mandy, I love you…..i’ll drive you down to flight attendant school in florida and we can get married the next day…..i’ll be sure and wear my stetson too, just so you know I’m classy and kool”……let’s see…..the next day was kind of a blur…..pat is young and impressionable, so I made sure to start off sunday morning by doing more whippets and weed……after dropping him off at the masked professor’s house, wred and I made our way to philly zinefest 2005…..there were plenty of hot girls there, but by that time, I was exhausted and had blisters on my feet from walking around philly for 3 days in sandals…..i smoked a couple of joints in front of the building with some filmmaker dudes from delaware, but it was mainly for the effect (you know, to enhance my party reputation)…..to tell ya the truth, when no one was looking, I’d slink over to a corner to prop up my feet and chug bottles of water…..the ride home was pretty ugly as well, but we made it without any more flat tires or mechanical glitches…..mama was waiting for us on the front steps with my rejection letter from that catholic school where I’d interviewed in june----it turns out that they’d given my job to a fucking monk with a master’s degree…..and brothers, I don’t care how much of the Virginshine a fat man can recall from his 20’s, you still can’t out-shine a goddamn franciscan monk when it gets down to a job interview…..i hugged my dad and mama grunted at me that I should “run a comb through my greasy hair” before we hit the local (whitetrash) pizza parlor…..and philadelphia freedom went back to being home……