There’s Only Music So That There’s New Ring Tones
This refreshing display of unfettered ethnocentrism has moved us to get off of our metaphorical duff and actually, you know, update this cocksucking blog of ours, which lately we’ve been neglecting like we imagine John Popper neglects his asshole, vis a vis Wiping Properly. And no, we have no empirical knowledge of the state of the Blues Traveler frontman’s gooch grotto, but even the most cursory glance at the man’s physique suggests that you wouldn’t exactly want to go around sniffing the seat cushions in his harmonica-and-Twinkie™ strewn apartment.
(On a related note, here is a picture of John Popper with a matched set of celebrity gonococcus incubators.)
Anyway, Dana’s post reminded us of the three supers we’ve had in our decade-long New York tenancy, each of whom were remarkable for their non-traditional use of the King’s English and an almost feverish inability to fix anything or otherwise see to the sort of duties one normally associates with the station of building superintendent. My first super, a wonderful and shy Puerto Rican gent name of Juan Soto, was a never-ending source of mirth, as he would grimly assess any property malfunction with the eternal vow, “I fix now.” Peering seriously at an always-flushing toilet or an unbudgeable radiator valve, Juan Soto––and we never referred to him as anything but his full name; he was like Johnny Cash in that respect––would brush his hands together as if relishing the work he was about to undertake, utter the declaration, “ I fix now,” and then trudge down the five flights of stairs to his office/apartment, in order to retrieve the requisite tools. And then we wouldn’t see him again until the next thing broke. Needless to say, we absolutely loved this, and we used to use those three words to get out of any task assigned to us by the Girl Formerly Known As The Girlfriend of Sakebomb.
“Hey, can you go downstairs and grab some bagels?”
“I fix now.”
Saying that gave us carte blanche to remain seated at the kitchen table, feet up on the bathtub (it was that kind of apartment), reading the paper. When the Juan Soto vow was made, no one could get angry about blown-off errands, lightbulbs that were supposed to be bought and changed, shower curtains that were to be replaced, rent to be paid, letters to be posted, all of it, all of the minutiae of ordinary life which when left unattended generally drives half of a couple absolutely batshit crazy with resentment, all of that stuff could be finessed and forgiven by simply saying “I fix now” in a solemn voice, followed by a whole lot of nothing.
Unfortunately, we had to move and thus ended our enchanted time with Juan Soto, although not before he actually attempted to repair something in our apartment. With our boxes packed and the moving van on its way, Juan Soto appeared at our door on the last morning we lived on E 99th St, an absurdly long monkey wrench in his hand and a cryptic smile on his face. “Toilet?” he asked, gesturing toward the tiny room at the back of the flat that held the crapper and nothing else. “I fix now.”
That made the Girl Formerly Known As The Girlfriend of Sakebomb cry for a moment, the way she always does when an emotion hits her sideways, tears flying laterally out of her head like something out of a cartoon, while laughing at the same time. This is known as Projectile Weeping. It is one of the things we have always found most endearing about GFKATGoS, and the absence of it and her is what’s making us drink ourselves to death, more or less.
Six blocks up the Avenue, we lived in a homey little dump populated by wife beaters, a disproportionately high number of mental defectives and a sullen, crabbed Dominican super who we alternately referred to as Useless Pepe or Pablo the Fuckass. We hated the guy because he was the Bizzaro World Juan Soto, gruff and lazy and stupid and contemptuous. Useless P responded to calls for service in two distinctly shitheaded ways, electing either to ignore our calls/pages/door knockings altogether, or to direct us to put a request through the building’s owners, a fly-by-night group of troglodytes whose primary function was to mimeograph poorly-spelled bilingual missives about garbage collection and general recycling policies and then stuff them under their tenants’ doors EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY OF THE WEEK, without fail. Of course, much of our disdain for Pablo the Fuckass had its genesis in a bit of personal animus born of our knowing what Spanish words mean in English when spoken aloud and his using Spanish words aloud to refer to us once, on the sidewalk outside our building, as “Mericon,” upon which we told him, in our mother tongue, “Watch who you’re calling faggot, Fuckass,” which served as a) The first time we used his second secret sobriquet in public, and b) probably the last time we had to go all Bob De Niro up in some motherjumper’s scenario.
Later, right before we moved out for good so that we could devote the rest of our days preparing for the inevitable day when our corpse gets discovered by the Con Ed guy, Useless P Fuckass was fired for unspecified reasons. He was replaced by a kindly Vietnamese man named Phil. In retrospect, we’re guessing that Phil was not in fact Phil’s actual name, but rather something he heard on drive time radio (Phil Collins? Phil Lynott?). He was a good egg, was Phil, although he could be a little rough on the garbage cans down in the airshaft at the crack of dawn, as his commendable zeal for hunting down the building’s rodent population often too the form of throwing the metal cans around like Donkey Kong suffering from late-stage Asperger’s Syndrome. (Normally, our bedroom wouldn’t have been within audible range of the airshaft, but by then we had been remanded to the couch, where we spent our nights gnashing and writhing and marinating in our own sick stew of booze and teary regret.)
Jesus, that particular trip down Memory Lane was fun. The holiday season really puts us in the kind of mood where we want to reenact the last few chapters of Go Ask Alice, minus the made-up parts, which is all of it. Moreover, the flaming Yule Log that is our joy is stoked by the bellows of today’s snow/slush, which is beautiful until you see a homeless person take a dump in the middle of Broadway, wisps of infernal steam and a small, brown hole in the snow the only evidence that a human gastrointestinal system had been thrown into overdrive right in front of the comic book store where prematurely middle-aged dudes dressed like Tron load up on Aeon Flux stroke books. Also, it was a pain in the cock to walk around this morning. Until people shovel the sidewalks, you kind of have to pick around the slushy parts, like digging out the creepy little fetal ears of corn that sometimes unexpectedly come with bad Chinese food.