Monday, June 15, 2015

My Nephew Is a Genius

Last time I went to Atlanta I forgot to bring my little jotting notebook in which to jot my little notes. You won't catch me making that tragic mistake twice. 1. On the drive to Atlanta this weekend, "Jokerman" by Bob Dylan played. Some particular lyric - I can't recall which; by necessity, one cannot jot while driving - made me think for a split second, "Maybe this song is about Jerry Lewis!" (You may "click" here to refresh your memory about the time Bob Dylan got obsessed with Jerry Lewis.) It did have a "sad clown" vibe. But it also has a bunch of mystical stuff about "kings dressed in scarlet" or something. So never mind. Or, wait! THE KING OF COMEDY. I believe he dressed in scarlet. I don't really think "Jokerman" is about Jerry Lewis. But I was driving alone and had time to think. 2. The occasion of the drive was Barry Mills's birthday party. Who should be there but Craig "Sven" Gordon. We reminisced without irony about the old band we used to be in together, just like a couple of living relics from the cliché museum. 3. Somehow the band Kansas came up, prompting Sven to reveal that the lead singer of Kansas moved into his neighborhood for a time and could often be spotted jogging! 4. Chris Lopez came to the party. An interesting beetle landed on his arm. It looked just like a piece of popcorn. 5. Last time I saw Barry's daughter she was two years old. Now she's nine. Barry told her how when she was two, she liked it when I made crazy trumpet noises, it would really make her laugh. So once I was doing that and Dr. Theresa encouraged me like so: "Work it, Jack!" And Barry's two-year-old daughter suddenly shouted, "Work it, Jack!" Ha ha ha! Barry's daughter bore the retelling of this story with good grace uncommon in one of her age. She was thoughtful and polite about the rambling of her elders. 6. Look!
Barry's birthday cake, of admirable fluffiness, was decorated in remembrance of that kids' show that Barry and I used to make. 7. I met a guy who is working on a feature film about the founding of McDonald's, starring Michael Keaton and Laura Dern. He showed me a picture of "the first McDonald's" building and set that he had helped construct in a town north of Atlanta. "It'll be there a few weeks and then it will be gone, like it was never there," he said. I probably said, "I just had a dream about Laura Dern!" I probably said, "Tell her!" 8. I met a woman named Jenny who I thought said she was "as culpable as any vicar." I asked her, "Did you just say you are as culpable as any vicar?" She replied, "No." She also wanted to know what Lopez and I were like when we had "velvet nubs for horns." Or did she say "fuzzy nubs"? My jotting is unclear on this point. Perhaps she said both. She meant to ask what we were like when we were young. Lopez said, anticlimactically, that one of us would generally walk into a bar and the other one would be there, and one of us would say, "Are you gonna finish eating that?" Jenny asked whether we would sit across from one another or on the same side of the booth on such occasions, and the conversation dwindled. 9. Hey! Remember when I was amazed to learn that there were chickens living on the roof of Manuel's Tavern? I finally got to eat some of those eggs, "rooftop eggs" they were called on the menu, when my sister and brother-in-law and nephew Jasper had brunch there. Jasper wanted a pancake and some French fries. My sister was hesitant! But I was a strong advocate for this hugely appealing and innovative idea. I couldn't believe I had never thought of it myself! French fries are a perfect breakfast food. Why doesn't everybody serve French fries with breakfast? They are not that much different than so-called "home fries." My sister finally said okay, and I like to think my relentless nagging had something to do with it. 10. On the drive home, I saw a coyote run across the highway! I don't think I've ever seen one in person before. I know Melissa and Chris have some living out near their place, but coyotes strike me as exotic in our region. I guess they're not. I have to remind myself about the time I was so excited to see some wild turkeys on the side of the highway, and every person I know told me it's no big deal to see wild turkeys and that I was a sucker for being excited. And now I suppose you're all going to tell me that everybody has French fries for breakfast where you come from. Liars!