I don’t remember how I heard about them but I was in high school, trying to scavenge for what bits of cool I could (I wore Walmart knockoffs of Airwalks until I could weasel my way into a real pair) when I heard about the Toadies. One day I found myself with my grandmother at the Old Hickory Mall in Jackson, in Camelot Music (which is now FYE, I think), with Rubberneck in hand, heading for the checkout counter. My grandmother looked at the album and the song names and asked me what kind of music that was.
I came from a household where Hells Bells was required viewing and Depeche Mode’s Violator had been summarily removed from my sister’s tape deck and destroyed because it contained a song called “Personal Jesus.” And Aerosmith, despite my dad having loooved that band as a teenager/young adult, was frowned upon in all its iterations.
So I told Grandmaw, while skimming the band thank-yous in the liner notes and pointing out that they had given thanks to a pastor, “They’re some kind of Christian band, see?”
Here it is, more than 12 years later, and I still love this album like the first day I heard it. I find it impossible to listen to Rubberneck‘s songs without thrashing about a bit. Visual aid:
Back in my day, you could elect to carve a pumpkin and it would stand tall (if somewhat increasingly moldy and smelly) for weeks. Sure, the sheer force of gravity and effects of oxygen would eventually turn the jack-o-lantern in on itself, turning its face into something resembling a toothless old man, but you felt like you got your money’s worth out of him at least.
They just don’t make jack-o-lanterns like they used to, I guess. Case in point: Congressman Cackleface’s swift collapse this week. He was unveiled to the public in the wee hours of Sunday morning, and I found myself scooping him up and disposing of him Thursday afternoon. That’s five days! Five! Was it political pressure? Was it the unexpected rain that poured into and filled his gourd TWICE in two days? Was it the slug I found perched on his crown Wednesday night? Was it karma for the amount of salt I dumped on the slug I found on his crown Wednesday night? I’ve got my eye on Pumpkinlitico to answer these questions, and maybe Gawker will one day publish a chickenshit article by some anonymous brah bee who tried to pollinate Congressman Cackleface’s parent flower but was turned off by the furriness of its pistil.
Anyway, both Councilman Chuckles and Congressman Cackleface enjoyed your support and — especially — the PayPal slush fund they used as petty cash to fund their tea-light addiction.
There are times, internet, when I can’t turn my brain off and it feels like maybe I don’t need to anyway. Times when I think if I just stick it out until the sun comes up, I can get started on a new day without worrying about sleeping at all, and gain so many hours of productivity.
Right now, this second, is one of those times. I have so much to do tomorrow — late April is and has been for four years without question the busiest time in my life — yet it is so late that if I go to bed any time within the next hour or so, I will sleep until noon. Just because my body will demand it when I enter that first REM cycle at 7 a.m. So. Do I wait for the sunrise with the knowledge that my crash with come in the afternoon? Or do I trudge into the dark and empty bedroom with the knowledge that I won’t be able to wake up when I need to?
I tell you, as natural as being a night owl comes to me, I would give just about anything for a normal schedule. These hours? Well. They are more or less ruining my life.