Deeeeaarrr. . .Lackey:
What a nice day it was. Boring Tuesdays got all shook up thanks to unsolicited advice from certain cashiers (hypothetically named Jessie) who rightfully assume that a shared love of metal makes for a perfect set of prereqs, huh?
Thank you for entertaining my obsession with acquiring an expose’ on the Freemason Washington D.C. Goathead layout. We just about tore up the Skylight Book Exchange for some sort of textual evidence that Bill Clinton is a third-level witch. I spent eight straight hours last night reading about this shit. You didn’t even laugh when I tried to explain that all the school shootings that have happened in the recent past line up to form demon horns. What? Oh. You were laughing on the inside? Oh, I see. Well that’s okay. It’s hard not to believe conspiracy theory when it’s 5 in the morning and you have no one to talk to but David Bay, Director of Cutting Edge Ministries and father of Seven (Fuck birth control! He’s a devout Catholic Netevangelist! Tithe directly through PayPal! So convenient!).
Of course, the foray to four separate used bookstores to find a tube amp modification handbook was fun, too. I know you explained your project to me a hundred times, but I still don’t get it. We had no luck until we hit PTA Thrift Store, which boasts a basement full of crappy used books. I wasn’t entirely sure what you were looking for, so I kept grabbing things from the shelves and presenting them to you. You would very politely take the book, flip through it, knowing you couldn’t use it, and then give me a very reasonable answer why it was useless. I appreciated that.
No dice, so we go to leave PTA and the old man sitting in the electronics section of the basement looks up from his VCR cleaning and waves to us. Behind him is a stack of donated VCRs for five dollars a pop. You wonder aloud how helpful it would be to take one apart and reassemble it. I can honestly say it has never occurred to me to do such a thing with any sort of machine, but at that moment, I decided that if you wanted to take apart a VCR, I would do it too. I was thinking I maybe could be the Label Wench, sticking identifying Post-Its on appropriate movable parts. Or maybe I could be the Snack Mistress, bringing you things like tiny crockpot meatballs or small hors douveres. Or maybe I could be the Cups for Sorting Tiny Screws Princess. Something.
Basically, I wanted to be helpful. I don’t have much to offer in general, but I can assure you I am a helpful pineapple when I need to be.
So I ask the old dude, “Do these VCRs work?”
And he’s like, “Oh yes. They will play tapes.”
He is so fucking loud in this basement and I get embarrassed because since there are books everywhere, my dignity thinks it’s in a library or a ghetto Barnes and Noble and I feel we should be quiet.
“Well what if we wanted to take it apart and put it back together again?”
Why did I ask that? Of course that would be okay. WHY did I ask that? What the fuck does this dude care about our experiments?
He goes, “Well why do you want to that?” Never mind, he obviously cares.
I realize I don’t know what this has to do with tube amps, and frankly I don’t know if VCRs have tube amps, or if tubes are even things that go with VCRs at all, so I say the first thing that comes to mind.
“We want to learn how electricity works.”
God, I’m stupid. I could almost hear you sigh.
The old guy asked if we tried the internet. Duh. Then he took us over to the section on Ham Radio Operation (there is a dedicated section for this, I never knew) and lo and behold! That’s what you were looking for! Somewhat.
Never in a million years would I have known to look there. I picked up a great book, though. It was a Jesus Coloring Book and I’m gonna give it to my new roommate when he moves in. You know him, right? James, who works at Carrburritos? The one who cannot hold a beer without saying “Shamalamdingdong,” at least three times a minute? The one who loves the word “Shamalamadingdong” soooo much that he had it tattooed on the top of his foot? Yeah, him.
I also got another book, but I’m going to have to write Billy a letter about it, which I will do in a few minutes, so you can hear about it there. You don’t know Billy. He’s awesome. I’m his Pam. (!!!)
So after that we went back to my house, where my roommate and I thought it acceptable to hold you hostage on the couch and show you every conceivable outfit with which you can dress your personalized Rock Band character. Since there are hundreds of different torsos, pants, boots, sunglasses, tattoos, earrings, gloves, hairstyles, and rings, this took quite a long time.
You left shortly after we tried to force you to play drums on mulitplayer, and I don’t blame you really. You said you had to study for Sound Recording School and that’s fine, but once again I found myself trying to come up with reasons I needed to help you. I can make little quizzes for you! Pop quizzes about sound recording! I could shout out a problem a band might have onstage and you would have ten seconds to diagnose and fix it! I could be the really demanding rockstar and you’re the overqualified sound guy and we could practice diplomacy and ethics and personality meshing!
And then I realized I should just let you go home. Thing is, you’re such a good sport about stuff. And you’re not mute, like I once thought. I was left wondering why I was so desperate to keep you around. And it’s because: You’re. . .really. . .normal! And fun and sweet and hysterical! And hanging out with you made me realize I don’t have many friends who will just walk around town with me on an Easter Egg Hunt for Illuminati propaganda and the perfect barbecue chicken sandwich. And this is why you’re my favorite.
But the main reason I held back from begging you to let me help you study? Well, see, I figured tube amps might come up in your homework and I would have absolutely panicked.
See you soon,