Saturday, December 22, 2012

Yule time ruckus

Time to break out that Yule-time Ruckus, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

In sad news, Ashton Kucher filed for divorce from Demi Moore. Technically he has to file for adoption.

A great Wisconsin runner who made three Olympic teams, Suzy Favor Hamilton, has admitted she was working as a Las Vegas escort. From Olympian to prostitute. This hasn’t happened since, well, Bruce Jenner.

The good news? The world didn’t come to an end. The bad news? You still have to listen to those Aflac and Progressive Insurance commercials. 

In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the NRA is calling for armed guards at every school in the country.  Apparently NRA stands for; Nearly Retarded Answer. 

Since you asked:

Enjoying the holy hell out of a delicious Rolling Stones insider read called “Under Their Thumb” by Bill German. German was a crazy-mad Rolling Stones teenage fan alone in a life raft in a sea of Brooklyn disco ducks in the late seventies. By sheer heart, soul, brains and huevos the size of Barbados, the guy creates a fanzine called “Beggars Banquet” and follows the Stones around Manhattan eventually gaining inside access to their insane world.

What I love about hanging with the Stones is it is exactly three things: A, way more normal than I thought, B, exactly like I thought and, C, far beyond what I thought. On the one hand they’re having breakfast at The Bagle on West Third, my favorite breakfast joint. (They served grits and shipped-in eggs laid that morning in New Jersey) The next minute they’re on their private jet to Paris sipping champagne and snorting Peruvian cocaine off a super model’s breasts.

What makes this book doubly tasty is that I was living in Manhattan at the time. Not only that, but I, without knowing any better, was tip-toeing in the same world as the coolest of the coolest people on the planet, the Rolling Stones.

The Stones frequented the Blue Note Jazz Club, which was next door to my apartment building. Nightclubs like the Palladium, the Limelight, Area, Corso, S.O.B. Restaurants like Amsterdams, Tavern on the Green, El Milino, a tiny and amazing Italian restaurant two blocks down from my apartment, Lucy’s, the greatest Mexican joint in New York on the upper West side, the Juke Box, the little, cool bar that was filled with gorgeous nurses from a nearby Lennox Hospital on the lower East side.

Once I was in the same restaurant as Mick Jagger, The Saloon, across the street from Lincoln Center, but, like German describes, Jagger put out a “don’t eff with me” vibe that Rain Man couldn’t have missed. Plus he had a bodyguard that was more menacing looking than Dick Butkus on third and forever.  (Chicago Bear legend reference, you either get it or you don’t)

All my friends had nicer apartments than did I, but mine was fine. A five-story-walk-up studio/loft with a bunk bed, it had hard wood floors and a brick wall. Compared to what Bill German was living in at the time, it was like the apartment on “Friends.”

But I was on Wall Street on the phone shuffling minimum five-million-a bundle bank bonds to the biggest a-holes god ever put on the planet who weren’t wearing a Blockbuster Video badge or directing an independent film, bond traders.

German was making his living hanging out with and writing about his favorite people in the world, the Rolling Stones. Game set and match, German.

Looking back on it, it is amazing to realize that, if asked at the time, which was my life was closer to, the Rolling Stones or some loser living in his parents basement in Cookie Cutter, New Jersey, I would have said the Jersey basement. 

Although I was paid fairly well, probably over what I deserved,  New York is wildly expensive and I was living hand-to-mouth. No summer home in the Hamptons, no private jets. Hell, no air conditioning in the summer. That sucked.

On the other hand, I was working out at the swanky Downtown Athletic Club, I was dining at these amazing restaurants and going out to these chic clubs and dating a lot of very attractive women, including one eye-melting, but certifiably insane blonde from the Ford Modeling Agency. 

OK, I went on one date with her. Several dates, though, with a professional dancer who used to dance for the New York Ballet and then did a lot of work for MTV music videos. 

So far, about 50 pages in, German portrays each stone exactly like I had thought and heard. Keith Richards and Ronnie Woods are flaky, funny and affable. Bill Wyman was nice and amazingly normal. (As normal as any man can get who sets the goal of having sex with one thousand women in one year, and achieves it) Mick and Charlie were cool and aloof, but unfailingly polite British blokes.  


Last night at an awesome Christmas party at my buddy, Kevin's house - I got to grill shrimp, drink, eat great meat and play the harmonica - I was reminded of a story I haven't told in a while.

Truth be told, I had just had a burger and a few beers at lunch, so I was feeling pretty good. What do I see, but a 50-ish attractive woman walking the cutest little yellow Labrador puppy. 

Immediately I dissolve into my goofy baby-talk puppy melt-down;

"Was 'dis my widdle wuppers, puppers? Yeeeessss, did wasses my widdles, piddles puppers, whuppers . . ."

The women then starts speaking at me in a very monotone, loud and amazingly slow speech;

"Do . . . you . . . like . . . puppies?"

"Why are you talking to me like that?" I asked.

She clapped her palm to her mouth and laughed;

"Oh, my word, I thought you were mentally challenged." 

Wasn't the first, won't be the last.