Thursday, December 29, 2016

Nurse the Hate: There Is No Choice

I walked in Whole Foods, America’s most expensive grocery store.  I was really in the mood for free range vegan thoughtfully farmed organic apples at $2.69 per.  I was very much lost in thought working on a song in my head.  I've had a very prolific period of late.  Songs are pouring out of me.  Two teen girls walked out of the store arm in arm through the door that I entered.  They had manic plastered on smiles and were talking to each other out of the sides of their mouths.  They practically crackled with electricity.  There is something about that age with women where the intensity of the “best friend” relationship is combustible.  Everything is a hilarious or dramatic secret.  Wild giggles could explode in any moment about shared private jokes meant to exclude others while defining their special bond.  Everyone is out of the joke but them.  They spoke to each other like ventriloquists after seeing me and then exploded in giggles they were trying to hide.  Hmmm…  I wonder what’s wrong with me?  Suddenly I heard my name.

“Hey Greg!  Greg!  Dude!  Are we running with the bulls this year?”  I had completely forgotten about shooting my mouth off about that two years ago.  I liked the idea of participating in this horrible festival of sprinting down vomit and alcohol slick cobblestone streets trying to outrun monster bulls bred for the ring in the midst of a crowd of staggering drunks.  There was one unavoidable problem.  Already a painfully slow runner, I had been plagued by nagging heel and knee injuries.  I had gone from running 25 miles a week to hobbling around in a walking boot.  Then I tore my meniscus.  Let me put things in perspective.  As a teenager I may have logged the slowest 100-yard dash time in the region.  I finished last in every race I ever entered.  I'm sloooowwww.  25 years of leaping around in Spanish cowboy boots while drunk on beer didn’t help matters.  Prior to my various leg injuries there was a very real chance of me being gored by the bulls.  Now it was almost a certainty.

I will admit a certain tragic lust for the idea of international media coverage of being impaled by a horn.  I like to think of various friends of mine sitting absentmindedly in front of a TV at a pub or hotel lounge and looking up at CNN to see “…and today in Pamplona this rickety American man was impaled through the scrotum during the 117th annual Running of the Bulls…” I would imagine a gif of me being speared would be quite popular.  If this “Good Fight” record doesn’t take off, it could be my last chance of going viral for God’s sake.  How can I get a reality TV show career started as “The Horn Through The Scrotum Guy” on the Spanish TV version of “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” if I don’t go viral? 

“Hey man… yeah… We gotta do that…”  I am fairly certain that this guy doesn’t want to actually do it either.  I think that Running With The Bulls has become “our thing”.  For example, I have people that come up to me all the time that never under any circumstance go to see live music.  They will then put a pained expression on their face and say “When are you guys playing again?” as if this particular time frame will somehow be different than the last 17 years of opportunities.  They haven’t gone to see Billy Ray Shelton or Guns N Radiohead, so they sure as hell aren’t coming out to the Beachland to see us and the D-Rays (though they should).  I can’t stop it though.  Asking me about the band is “our thing” now.  It’s the go-to conversation topic for chance meetings with these acquaintances.  Now I think running with the bulls is “our thing” with this guy.  Dammit.

The only solution of course is to call his bluff.  Let me be clear about this.  I am willing to risk being trampled or impaled.  I will put up with the claustrophobic crowds of drunk American and drunk Australian assholes barfing on drunk German and drunk Spanish assholes.  I will pay exorbitant rates for a hotel room that can best be described as “a toilet they decided to add on to”.  I will overpay for lousy deep fried food that is being positioned as “authentic”.  I will wear white knickers and a red neckerchief as an attempt to “go local” which will only solidify me at first glance at being a loser tourist.  I will park my shitty rental car miles away from the city center where it will be broken into by drug addicts to steal an almost completely worthless FM radio which will cost me 700 euros when I turn the car back in.  I am willing to be gored though the scrotum and almost bleed out on a primitive Spanish operating table as the surgeon botches the procedure.  I am willing to leave that hospital without testicles and having to spend my life emptying a colostomy bag after complications set in.  I will do all of this just to avoid having to have “our thing” for the rest of my life be that conversation.

God help me. Time to book a flight.


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