The dream I’ve been having always starts the same with Mr. Guilmet giving us our IGI’s (Identify and Give the Importance) for the big test on The Black Hand and ends with him and Mr. C is his matching socks and sweater yelling at me “It’s all about Vietnamization.” I sit straight up in a cold sweat screaming ‘Wha’ trying to catch my breath. How the failure of a Nixonian foreign policy concept was caused by Gavrilo Princip on June 28,1914 is beyond me but Tom Waits was right about places like this: you take on the dreams of the ones who slept here and it seems those before me failed Modern European History in high school.
So I end up wandering the upper regions of the ‘hood looking wishing the OD were around instead of in the County lock up because his latest ex found him at the local Laundromat, and finally make my way over to the Original Retro Goose, the closest gin joint to the East Hollywood Travelodge where all the “Fabulous Cocktails” have names that sound like the burned out strippers from Jumbo’s Clown Room. Of course, they also have karaoke; lots and lots of karaoke. Karaoke 7 nights a week frequented by every knucklehead in the neighborhood.
I poke my head in the door gingerly hoping to avoid some Hipster butchering ‘More Than This’ which makes me want to challenge the guy to a game of Russian Roulette with him going first and the pistol completely loaded. Things looked safe. Joe the Barman was on his third double Tito’s Madras of the night as a 34 year old Hipster in an orange stocking cap led the rest of the bar through a teary eyed rendition of ‘These Boots Are Made or Walking.’ Before I could make a discreet exit Joe motioned me to sit next to him, pulled out a Martini glass with three olives inside, a Boston shaker full of ice, a strainer and put the Tito’s bottle on the bar between us. My ennui and nightmares had helped me stumble on All Kyle Karaoke.
All Kyle Karaoke is a group of 12 Hipsters, all named Kyle dressed in the same flannel shirt because Kurt Cobain chic is back in beard and glasses, get together to murder their favorite songs in a way that would make Mrs. Miller proud. Neither Joe, the MC nor myself know which Kyle will walk up, don the orange toque and claim his chanteuse infamy. As I poured my Immaculate Conception, the the Nancy Sinatra but sounding far more like Crispin Glover wanna be finished to a smattering of applause and Kyle was called up to warble ‘Because‘ by the Beatles. He lost his mind after the first line.
“Because the world is round it turns me on…no! NO! The world isn’t round it’s flat. Earth is a disc with the Arctic Circle in the center and Antarctica, a 150-foot-tall wall of ice, around the rim. NASA employees guard the ice wall so people can’t climb over and falling off.”
“What about the sun rising and setting,” Joe the Barman asked.
“The have big planes that move the sun and moon 3,000 feet up,” Kyle replied.
“What about the stars,” Joe asked.
“They’re on a plane 100 feet above the sun and moon.” With that Kyle broke down and started crying. “They’re old and don’t get it. I read all about it in the HufPo!”
The MC stepped in to smooth over the situation. “Let’s try to shy away from controversy gentlemen. We’re all friends here regardless of whether we believe in the Reptile People but should. Ok. Up next we have Kyle with ‘Put ‘Em On The Glass.‘”
Suddenly I found myself in mind of the Once and Future ex who always claimed my small but slowly growing bald spot was due to Chemtrails.