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Monday, July 10, 2017

BELOIT 2017 Just a typical Long Weekend in Boardville

GOT ANY DRUGS?

or Mykel's 45th Beloit Reunion

by Mykel Board


I hate it when things go right... especially before an out of town trip...Smooth packing, not forgetting anything.... quick subway connections... sailing through security... plane on time... Waiting seat next to a working socket.... beautiful passenger sitting next to you in the waiting area... thrilled that you speak the exotic oriental language... and you're going to Chicago...
私もそこに行くよ! セックスコンベンションのために。 あなたは滞在する場所が必要ですか?

Those perfect leavings use up my entire stash of trip good luck... leaving nothing but broken mirrors, black cats, and inside opened umbrellas for the rest of the journey.

I write this from Gate 37 at the American Airlines terminal at Kennedy Airport in New York. From the way things have been going so far, this will be a great trip. An unclaimed backpack sits ominously alone by the window. I reported it an hour ago... no one has come to look at it. That's the least of my problems.

But let's begin at the beginning... this morning? Last month? 45 years ago? 72 years ago? 5777 years ago? Okay, forget that. Let's jump around like an avant garde novel.

1972: I graduate from Columbia College in Chicago. I've only been there a year and a half, but that's where my BA is from.

1991 It's the SPEW festival of fanzines in Chicago. I'm there as an observer, trading my just budding underground notoriosity for some free zines and beer where I can find it. What a crew. I meet Larry Bob, Dennis Cooper, the editors of a bunch of zines, including the best sex journal BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED. (He asks me to write for him.)

Then, there's this guy, somewhat shlubbish, somewhat just over the edge... on my side of that edge. He hands me a folded zine, xeroxed... so DIY-looking it reads itself. COPS HATE POETRY is the name.

Hi,” he says, “I hear you're Mykel Board. My name is Charles.” We shake hands.

1968 I travel from the riots at the Chicago Democratic Convention to my first year at Beloit College... a small mid-Western liberal arts college that has yet to see the likes of me... or the dozens of others fresh-from-Lincoln-Park warriors. Though I wanted to go to NYU, my father said NO!

If you go to school in New York,” he said, “you'll think the whole world is New York... you'll have no idea what the real world... or even America is really like.”

So I go to Beloit.

I spend three years there... including a 6 month “working experience” term in London, where I write for an Anarchist newspaper. I return to New York in 1971, quit Beloit and move on to Columbia College in Chicago.

2016 I get the notice in the mail... Time for your 45th College Reunion. It's a big one, Mykel. If you knew how few times in my life I've heard It's a big one, Mykel You'd know how enthusiastic I was in reading it. Even though I didn't graduate from Beloit I feel closer to it because I made more friends there and it was so isolated from urban America during my time there...except for the occasional riot in Madison. Plus, I can fly to Chicago, see Sid Yiddish who used to be Charles Bernstein, who I met all those years ago at the Spew fest and who I've stayed in touch with, traveled with, adventured with through the 25 years since.

2017 January or so. Arrangements are made. The plan: Visit Sid on Thursday June 8... He meets me at the airport around 7 and we go out Thursday evening. I rent a car on Friday. Drive to Beloit... Couch-surf there then go back to Chicago for a day the next week. Smooth as an Oriental's leg. Yeah, right.

2017 Thursday June 8 10:30PM: I now sit at the WORLD OF BEER in Evanston IL. I'm drinking a Sweetwarder Hash Session beer that that one of the Beer Citizen reviewers says has “definite notes of week.” It's not as good as my first beer here, the Ale Asylum Madtown Nut Brown (misspelled Adtown Nut Brown on the menu)... but it'll do. I arrived at 9:30. Sid's last text was he'll be here at 11.

June 7 earlier today: Packed, just leaving home... I check the gas on the stove... all burners off. I rap my knuckles on the wall. The pain will insure that I checked. I pick up my bags, struggle to turn around in the narrow hallway. Then go out the door, locking the door behind me , this time biting the middle nuckle of my right hand to remember the action.

I go down to the street. Cross the street. Still feeling the pain of the stove and door lock.... FUCK!!! I forgot the folder full of stuff I had for the library. Old papers, threats of expulsion.. clippings of condemnation from the dean...

Should I get the folder.. or just go to the airport... I still have time and I do want to bring that stuff.... Damn... I turn around and go back.... Crossing the street... up the agonizingly slow elevator unlocking my apartment door... suddenly overcome with the ferocious stench of natural gas.

I check my stove again. One of the burners is on... unlit and leaking gas into the apartment. I must have brushed against it when I picked up my bags. If hadn't gone back... who knows?

Gas turned off I go look for the folder for the archives. I find it. It is empty.

Sid's Mom
2017 January-Feb: I'm in Arizona visiting Sid's parents with him. He's become a part of my family over the years and met my parents shortly before they died.. He's friends with my sister, my cousins, their kids... one of the family. Now it's my turn.
Sid is a big guy but his parents are not. They small... fragile... look to be in their mid-80s. Dad walks with a cane... Mom seems in better health with a loving sense of humor. Her Spanish isn't bad either, though I was forced to go to Walmart to help her shop. She made a cake for Sid's and my birthday... close on the monthly calendar... about a decade on the yearly one.

It's nice to meet mom, I've been sending her my duplicate quarters for years.. and she knitted me a TUKE with my name on it. During this trip... I bought her a couple books to put the quarters in.

2017 Earlier today. I'm pissed off... I have TWO American Airlines frequent flier PLATINUM credit cards. That's supposed to be me group one booking on their flights. My Delta Goldcard gets me that... and Platinum is hoitier and toidier than gold! When I print my boarding pass from home, it comes out with the stamp GROUP FIVE.

At the airport I walk to the PRIORITY line that says its for ELITE PASSANGERS there are six attractive check-in girls servicing the fast-moving line. According to the sign, PRIORITY Includes first class, business class, and Platinum card holders. I show my drivers license and Platinum card to one of the two guards making sure only the priority-worthy can get on the end of that line.

Sorry, sir,” says the male guard. (I HATE being called SIR! It always means trouble.) “You have an ordinary Platinum card. The priority line is for Platinum SELECT members.”

“I just have an easy question,” I tell him.” I need to speak to someone about the boarding group.”

You can just go to that line next door,” he tells me. “No problem.”

(I HATE being told NO PROBLEM. Of course it's no problem for you, asshole. But it's a fuckin' problem for me.)

I move to the other line-- three people in front of me, including a lady with a small dog. . One unattractive woman at one check in counter. She's talking with a family showing their passports. She's laughing. They're laughing. They talk some more. The line grows behind me. 5 minutes in one place on line is a century. 10 minutes is an eternity. 15 minutes later they're still talking. The line has grown to half a dozen... a dozen... a dozen and a half. The man at the counter thanks the woman, the little kid... who has been passing in front of his parents like he was on line grabs his little suitcase... they're off.

Next,” she says.

This goes on for the next person... another 15 minutes. Then the woman with the dog. 45 minutes for 3 people.

The guy behind me looks like Ron Jeremy without the mustache.

Next,” she says.

One person before me, another woman comes to an empty counter. In 10 minutes I reach her.

I know it's not your fault,” I tell her, “but there has been only one person here for the past hour.”

I show her my credit card and drivers license to prove who I am. Then, I explain my group 5 problem.

The groups go up to 9,” she tells me. “Five isn't so bad.”

She pushes some buttons and prints me out a boarding pass. Boarding group 5.

Then I walk through the gate toward SECURITY. If there's anything I hate it's SECURITY. More than people who stand on the escalator walk side. More than subway riders pushing into the car before everyone gets out. More that drivers going the speed limit in the left lane... that's how much I hate airport SECURITY!!!

This time I'm prepared. I've only got a backpack and a small computer bag. In the computer bag is a folded trader Joe's shopping bag. I take it out... open it up... take off my boots (they always set off the metal alarm) and put them in the bag. Then I take off my belt... empty my pockets... wallet... keys...cough drops... ying-yang hankie... spare change... comb.. dump it all in the shopping bag.

Then I take out the computer.... the one I'm using now... a gift from Jody... a Eiiiiiiii... made it Taiwan. I put it in the shopping bag. Hah! I'm ready. I reach in the bag, pull out my wallet take the drivers licence out (ID, don't you know)... grab the just printed boarding pass (GROUP FIVE) and head for the security gate.

Excuse me Sir,” says a very butch-looking colored girl at the gate. “You can't go through security with three bags. It's against regulations.”

I don't hit her.

She looks at my boarding pass.

“And Sir!” she continues... (if she says it again I WILL hit her)... “You have priority boarding. You don't have to take your computer out or empty your pockets. You can leave you shoes on and just go through that short line over there.”

I don't cry.

They make me take off my shoes when I get to the gate... the metal sets off the alarm.

EARLY JUNE: Message from Sid. His Mom just died. She's been in and out of the hospital... had a pacemaker... “called to say good-bye”... all very sad. I was lucky enough to meet the fine woman on a trip to Arizona last year. She made a dual birthday cake for Sid and me. Now tragedy hits... and here memorial service? You guessed it... the day of my arrival... just too late for me to attend, but close enough that Sid has to be there when I arrive.

So, I just have to go to World of Beers... drink... and wait until he shows up. 

 
He shows up... things go... and here's a picture of us at the Diner the next day... with the waitress.

MONDAY JUNE 12: Back in Evanston returning the car. The Beloit weekend was over. Of course, it went well. So well, in fact, that I could stay on campus free... (a friend who didn't show up for his room). One night with a spectacular couch surfer.... and a trip to the great Rock County Beer Company in Janesville.

The highlight of the trip was on campus. I'm walking with Arthur Thexton and Jim Long... back to the dorms we're staying in... through the campus familiar to us from 45 years ago. Some girls are sitting on the wall by THE COMMONS. Their nametags say CLASS OF '07. This is their 10th reunion. They come over to us... talk to us... small talk. Then:

“We've got a little bit of money... you know where we can get some weed?”

YES! YES! YES! We're a John Holme's penis length more than double their ages... and they're asking us for drugs! WE'VE STILL GOT IT!! We still look like we could bring them drugs... or something equally alternative. YES! YES! YES! I may be old, but they still ask me for drugs!! HOOOOEEEEY!

JUNE 12: 3:32PM: Now I'm waiting at Portillo's Hot Dogs in Evanston. Ten miles away from the car rental place. Sid has been taken to lunch, so I have to wait until he returns. I sit at this old-style-order-at-the-counter-but-not-fast-food place, having just finished my giant chili dog... eaten with the first coke I've had this year. I'll wait until the food moves south a bit... finishing this blog... and giving Sid time to finish his lunch.


Too not be continued now... but with new adventures soon!

if you want to read more of my writing (more political, more controversial, grosser) check out mykelsblog.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Eskimo Food & TARDCORE or Mykel's Journey to the North #8





Eskimo Food & TARDCORE
or
The Eighth Entry:
by Mykel Board


My first morning on Disko Island, Greenland: I came in last night and was treated to incredible cookmanship. My current host, Georg-- like Inuaraq, my host in Aassiaat-- is as good as any high-class chef in any hoity toidy bar in New York. My cod & rice dinner was prepared so expertly, that I felt like leaving a tip! (I didn't.) Maybe its native. Maybe it comes from the Danish FOOD CHANNEL, on TV everywhere here. But lemme tell ya... New York needs an Eskimo restaurant! Thank you Georg! You're hired!

Right now, I sit in a large livngroom on a plush brown leather couch. My computer rests on a hard wooden table... Danish design... To my right is a large screen Philips TV. It rests on a wooden cabinet with one open shelf and a drawer. On the open shelf are video game controllers, old cartridges and other-- unidentifiable-- electronics.

To my left is a bookcase.. On the lower shelves are mostly cookbooks.. Kom og Spis (Come and Eat), Supper & Grydersetter (Soup and something I don't know in English) and a few others. There's also a delux version of the Guinness Book of Records-- in Danish-- and a coffee table book of ZEN. On the upper shelves are a few family photos, what looks like a framed bedtime prayer (in Greenlandic), and some Tupilaks... a unique-- and my favorite-- sculpture style that belongs only to the Inuit people.

On the walls are paintings and prints. Possibly done by my host, Georg. Lots of orange... small brush strokes... very Van Gough-ish. In the corners are plants... two hanging, two potted. The floor is natural wood smooth as a baby's ass. Two lights hang over the coffee table. They look cheaply installed, each on a single cord with the connecting cord to the ceiling wrapped ugily in the center. But the lamps themselves are frosted glass, elegant, with silver fittings. They probably cost as much as my plane ticket to Greenland.

The whole house has an air of San Francisco suburbs about it... tasteful in an expensive way. Except the bathroom. And not the whole thing, just THE TOILET! ...

It's a camping toilet... a plastic-lined bucket in a gray casing... with a lid. When the plastic bag fills, you put a baggie tie around the top, take it out of the bucket.... take the offal somewhere, dump it and put in a new plastic bag.

Yes, it's disgusting:
To be sure, my musician pal Georg only lives here part time. It's a September rental. Though he's originally from here in Qeqertarsuaq, this town of 800 people on Disko Island, he and his girlfriend have since moved to northern Iceland. His girlfriend, who's also the singer in his band, is still in there.

I can't figure out who exactly lives in this house. I think it's Georg, his girlfriend's sister, his girlfriend's sister's boyfriend (a friendly giant of a guy), a very attractive Eskimo girl who sleeps in Georg's bed. “She's just a friend... not a girlfriend.” And me.

Various people walk in and out of the place at various times of the day. Most asking for Georg. It's something I've seen in other places in Greenland. People know their neighbors, leave the doors open, neighbors walk in and out like customers at a Korean deli... AND Greenlanders have guns! They sell 'em at the equivalent of 7-11. Wow.

I make coffee... enough for myself and the other three people who I think are living here.
Drinking the coffee I'm again reminded of my intestines. Besides the coldsore, I've been farting and shitting up a storm. I can't walk a block without letting out a blaster. It's not from the food, that I can tell you. It's been this way ever since I started taking my stomach medication again. I quit tomorrow. I can't stand 2 minutes without having to evacuate bowel or bladder or both. Hold on while I...

WOW! A monster... in this unflushable camp-style toilet. A thick brown potato soup of a turd pile-- in a black plastic bag... like being pregnant and giving birth to a huge loaf of liquifying pumpernickel. I pop an immodium. But I know I'm not done yet.

In ten minutes, I'm back on the plastic bag... neither as productive nor satisfying as the last time... but necessary nonetheless. I take another Imodium.

Still, no one around... I guess they all left for work. It's about 10AM, I want to see the town. I write a note to Georg:

I have no key, so please don't lock the door. I also don't have your phone number to test. My number is +1[sorry, private for you readers], Text me so I'll have your number. Thanks, Mykel

I bundle myself up and go outside... just a few steps... then it hits again. I force myself to go on. I find the “tourist center” Georg told me about. It's closed. A restaurant next door... closed too. Some sort of office with a sign like LYGGITEEMIT on the outside. It's open. It looks like a restaurant, with one guy in there working on a computer. A chubby native woman sits behind a terminal.

Can I get breakfast? I ask.

Until ten o'clock,” comes the answer.

What time is it now?” I ask.

The woman stares through me. I pull my phone out and check the time: 10:26. The pain in my bladder increases. I leave. I pass a several named buildings that start with the letter P. I remember that the town's supermarket (there is one) starts with P... I try the door. One opens.

It's a kind of convenience store with some supplies for the cold and some Dorito-like snacks. I speak to the woman behind the counter in bad Danish. I translate here for those few readers who don't speak bad Danish.

Is there a restaurant near here?” I ask.

There's one down the street,” she replies.

Is it open now?” I ask.

She stops, seeks guidance from God and answers, “No, it isn't.”

Where can I get something to eat?” I ask. “Maybe a shop that sells wienerbrod.”

She nods and gives me detailed instructions in Danish. I understand about a third of what she's saying. I think she's directing me to the supermarket. Meanwhile, the pressure in my bladder builds. I thank her and leave. On the way out I see another door. A toilet? I try the handle. It's locked.


FLASH AHEAD TO THE FERRY FROM DISKO ISLAND BACK TO ASSIAAT: No whales, but several beautiful icebergs. I was in Qeqertarsuaq a day and a half. No aurora. No dogsled. A couple spectacular meals... a lot of shit.

Here's an iceberg while you're waiting. It's hard to get a sense of scale, though. Figure it's as tall as a 20 story building.... and they say it's only a third above water.
To be sure, my musician pal Georg only lives here part time. It's a September rental. Though he's originally from here in Qeqertarsuaq, this town of 800 people on Disko Island, he and his girlfriend have since moved to northern Iceland. His girlfriend, who's also the singer in his band, is still in there.

I can't figure out who exactly lives in this house. I think it's Georg, his girlfriend's sister, his girlfriend's sister's boyfriend (a friendly giant of a guy), a very attractive Eskimo girl who sleeps in Georg's bed. “She's just a friend... not a girlfriend.” And me.

Various people walk in and out of the place at various times of the day. Most asking for Georg. It's something I've seen in other places in Greenland. People know their neighbors, leave the doors open, neighbors walk in and out like customers at a Korean deli... AND Greenlanders have guns! They sell 'em at the equivalent of 7-11. Wow.

I make coffee... enough for myself and the other three people who I think are living here.
Drinking the coffee I'm again reminded of my intestines. Besides the coldsore, I've been farting and shitting up a storm. I can't walk a block without letting out a blaster. It's not from the food, that I can tell you. It's been this way ever since I started taking my stomach medication again. I quit tomorrow. I can't stand 2 minutes without having to evacuate bowel or bladder or both. Hold on while I...

WOW! A monster... in this unflushable camp-style toilet. A thick brown potato soup of a turd pile-- in a black plastic bag... like being pregnant and giving birth to a huge loaf of liquifying pumpernickel. I pop an immodium. But I know I'm not done yet.

In ten minutes, I'm back on the plastic bag... neither as productive nor satisfying as the last time... but necessary nonetheless. I take another Imodium.

Still, no one around... I guess they all left for work. It's about 10AM, I want to see the town. I write a note to Georg:

I have no key, so please don't lock the door. I also don't have your phone number to test. My number is +1[sorry, private for you readers], Text me so I'll have your number. Thanks, Mykel

I bundle myself up and go outside... just a few steps... then it hits again. I force myself to go on. I find the “tourist center” Georg told me about. It's closed. A restaurant next door... closed too. Some sort of office with a sign like LYGGITEEMIT on the outside. It's open. It looks like a restaurant, with one guy in there working on a computer. A chubby native woman sits behind a terminal.

Can I get breakfast? I ask.

Until ten o'clock,” comes the answer.

What time is it now?” I ask.

The woman stares through me. I pull my phone out and check the time: 10:26. The pain in my bladder increases. I leave. I pass a several named buildings that start with the letter P. I remember that the town's supermarket (there is one) starts with P... I try the door. One opens.

It's a kind of convenience store with some supplies for the cold and some Dorito-like snacks. I speak to the woman behind the counter in bad Danish. I translate here for those few readers who don't speak bad Danish.

Is there a restaurant near here?” I ask.

There's one down the street,” she replies.

Is it open now?” I ask.

She stops, seeks guidance from God and answers, “No, it isn't.”

Where can I get something to eat?” I ask. “Maybe a shop that sells wienerbrod.”

She nods and gives me detailed instructions in Danish. I understand about a third of what she's saying. I think she's directing me to the supermarket. Meanwhile, the pressure in my bladder builds. I thank her and leave. On the way out I see another door. A toilet? I try the handle. It's locked.


FLASH AHEAD TO THE FERRY FROM DISKO ISLAND BACK TO ASSIAAT: No whales, but several beautiful icebergs. I was in Qeqertarsuaq a day and a half. No aurora. No dogsled. A couple spectacular meals... a lot of shit.


Here's an iceberg while you're waiting. It's hard to get a sense of scale, though. Figure it's as tall as a 20 story building.... and they say it's only one seventh above water. 

FLASH BACK TO AARHUS

Pedro works in a home for retarded criminals. What better job for a punk rocker? But it gets even better. Denmark, being a civilized country, uses jails to rehabilitate not to punish. So, what do you do to help the inmates? You ask them what THEY want... to make their lives better... how to let them function in society so they won't get in trouble again... This would never occur to Americans who believe that torture is the way to handle transgressors.

It turns out in Aarhus, several of convicts want to make music. What better music for the aggressive retarded than PUNKROCK? Yes! With Pedro's help, they put together a band. Here's a video.

I have since found there are several other bands... one in Finland, one (the most famous, called HEAVY LOAD) in England. It's a genre, that I immediately christen:
TARDCORE.

In the 1980s, there was an American fanzine made by a Mongoloid. I read about it in Maximum Rock'n'Roll. The zine was called TARD. It was exhilerating to be so direct... so non-PC... so punk. I wrote for a copy, but never got one. (If you have one and are willing to copy it... or have any information on it, email it to me at god@mykelboard.com.)

Lately, I've beenso inspired by Pedro's work and the bands he introduced me to, that I'd love to start a network... a series of venues... that specialize in Tardcore bands. Right now, this is a side project, but anyone interested, please contact me and we can get the ball rolling. Oh yeah!

Speaking of Tardcore... Pedro has asked me if I could record a cover version of BEER with his band THE CLEAN BOYS. I've done this song so much, with so many different bands, it should be easy, right? Yeah right. I'm senile... I forget the words.

Sid Yiddish has a copy. He sends it to me and I immediately go about remembering the lyrics with all kinds of mnemonics. A beer will always give you good head. It goes down easy in bed. The label comes off with no fight. It never says “headache tonight.” Okay, I picture the label as a huge blanket on the bed, and a corpse... headless... lying bloody on the blanket... nah, that won't do it. I'll work on it.

Meanwhile, in Aarhus, Pedro talks about a guy named Ut. Strange name... though there was a band with that name in New York in the 80s. My old band, ART, was often confused with them. UT was all girls, as I remember... and they could actually play their instruments. Much different from us.

So, it's Pedro's day off., we're going with Ut to meet his (Ut's) friends in the countryside. Pedro drives... first to pick up Ut, then to Graceland. I shit you not. 

 
It's in Randers rather than Memphis (though the place calls itself Memphis). It's an augmented-reality copy of the original Elvis home. Through hidden speakers, In The Ghetto welcomes you to the place. There's a statue of The King himself in front, and a huge gift-shop as you walk in.

My sister is such an E.P. fan, that she named her daughter Presley. I've got to find something small but relevant as a gift for her. What a terrific souvenir from Denmark... something Elvis.

Ut, Pedro and I enter the gift-shop. Hundreds of records, CDs, Elvis beer, Elvis combs, Elvis condoms. Oh yeah.

I've heard about this place for a long time,” Ut tells me, “but I've never been here. It would take something really special to get me to enter this kitchy place. You did it Mykel. But I don't see any Elvis Hitler CDs.”

I smile.

After Graceland, we go to an old hippie farm to meet some of Ut's friends. The distance from Graceland to the farm is short in space, but very long in time... about 45 years... backwards.

At the farmhouse, Pedro introduces himself and me to Ut's friends... people my age... with more flannel than a pajama factory. There is a real record on the real record player. It's not punkrock... but folk music. American folk music from the 1960s.. The Weavers.

There are a few other sixties albums... mostly soft... I think they played Country Joe and the Fish. There were several albums... maybe Ut brought them... that no one had ever seen before.

See,” says Pedro, “he really is Ut.”

Okay,” I say, “now, I'm really going to ask. What the hell does Ut mean?”

The whole crew looks at me with wrinkled foreheads and noses.

It's an English word,” says Pedro. “You know it. It means strange, weird, unusual... UT.”

Holy shit,” I say. “You mean ODD?”

Pedro nods. “That's what I said: UT.”

On the farm, we take a tour of the land, share some very 1960s vegetation, then pack off. We drop ODD off, pick up Morks and Frugie and head for the studio.

The four of us drive to a studio someplace also in the countryside. It's a live-in studio, where you can work on a record for days in a row, without traveling... eat-sleep-shit-piss-record. A great way to make a record. I hear my friends in MDC stayed there when they were in Denmark.

Frugie, a big blond tattooed, jolly guy... is the drummer and youngest of our group. He may not be out of his twenties... let along his forties... or fifties... like the rest of us. He has no smartphone, no facebook page... he's the least techie of all of us.

Morks is the guitarist and engineer. He's a Polish-Dane with great technical skill and an artist daughter who's proud her dad is a punk rocker. Morks sets up the mics, and gets the sound levels. Then the rehearsal starts. I just hope I've got the BEER lyrics in the right order.

Hey guys,” says Frugie [Note: everybody speaks English... even to each other... for my benefit. It doesn't help my Danish, but it sure is considerate.], “let's forget the cover version. Let's make a completely new song.”

I'm flummoxed.

It takes a month to write a song,” I say. “I gotta come up with lyrics. You gotta come up with music. Then we have to make 'em fit. I can't stay here a month.”

Pedro laughs.

It's punkrock, Mykel,” he says.

I shrug, pull out my notebook and start scribbling lyrics. The name of the song? It's punkrock.


In the meantime, the gang is working on a suitable tune. They're working by themselves, having no idea what my lyrics are. I have no idea what my lyrics are.

When they're finished... maybe an hour or so... I “sing” along with what I have and everything matches perfectly... yeah, right.

Make that several hours.

Finally, after writing the lyrics in ever-bigger print... smoothing out a few chord changes... cutting a measure here... a measure there. We get it. As often with my songs, this one ends in a little story, the last line of which is BEND OVER BOY.

So, THE BEND OVER BOYS becomes the instant name of our band. Quick! A publicity photo:


--to be continued

FINAL NOTE:

Pedro has provided several TARDCORE references for me. I think you'll agree how great they are. Here's his list:

=======================================================

John D Band, Harlev, Arhus, Denmark. 310 likes · 6 talking about this. Handicap garage-rock band fra Østjylland! Opkaldt efter en flot grøn traktor ;)
Video: https://youtu.be/_xSzID-sBe8
"Fee Fest" med handicap garagerock orkester "John D Band" Text & musik - John D Band - fra CD'en "Harlev rødderne kører uden airbag" produceret af fede Frede...



Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Finland)

Video:

https://youtu.be/v4Y0HOPL5GU
Live performance in the first Semi-Final of Aina Mun Pitää representing Finland at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.
Heavy Load (UK)
Video: https://youtu.be/fiEfkNtpYCM
Heavy Load's first single off the third album 'WHAM' - a cover of The Ting Ting's hit single changed to deal with disability hate crime. Featuring guest appe...
http://www.disabledinfo.co.uk/dis/1945-the-story-of-wild-things.asp
Heavy Load's Wild Things project - showcasing the work of musicians with learning disabilities from all over the world. The story of Wild Things
The "Stay up late" campain started byHeavy Load:
https://www.facebook.com/StayUpLateUK/?fref=ts

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Notes:

If, for some reason, you like my writing and want to see more (opinionated, political, punkrock), you can check out my other blog here.

You can also subscribe to my writings (get email when something new is posted), by sending a subscribe email to: readmboard-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Best Worst Day of the Trip or Diary Supplemental


Mykel's Journey to The North
Supplemental Entry: 

The Best Worst Day of The Trip
by Mykel Board

CAPTAIN'S LOG STARDATE 23 September 2016... Supplemental:

AASIAAT, GREENLAND

Blog entry 8 will introduce you to Inuaraq, my couch-surfing host here in Aasiaat. Right now you only need to know that he's a musician (quite well-known in the country) and an Eskimo. (Western hemisphere language police require INUIT... but the locals don't care.)

I've just arrived back on the ferry from DISKO Island. You'll read about that adventure later. First, I need to get this one out... while its still fresh in my ever more senile mind.

Inuaraq's house is close to the port/ferry terminal. Straight ahead from the boat... across the street and up the wooden staircase. It's a massive blue house, over-looking the harbor. You can see whales from his living room window.

Inuaraq gave me a key to the house, so I can let myself in... the lower entrance... closer to the room I'm staying in. I take off my shoes, as they do in Greenland.. and Japan... and France... and in an increasing number of places around the world. I enter “my” room and hear a shuffling upstairs.

A voice: Are you there?

Yes,” I shout back, “I just got back.”

Come upstairs,” says Inuaraq, “dinner is ready.”

It's muskox fajita: heated tortillas, salad, ready for self-folding. No hot peppers... but this is NOT Mexico. Best muskox fajita I've ever had.

You want a beer?” asks Inuaraq.

No, I hate beer,” I don't say.

Sure,” I say. “What goes better with fajita?”

He laughs and brings me my first beer of the evening. I finish dinner, showing my satisfaction with escaping gas... fore and aft.

Sounds like you're ready for another one,” says Inuaraq.

Before I can agree, a second Carlsberg is on the table in front of me. Inuaraq gets one for himself, and we toast to Greenland, Eskimos and Aasiaat. Cheers in Greenlandic, by the way is KAZUTA!

The second beer disappears even more quickly than the first.

I guess there's a beer surplus in town, because when I've finished that one... Inuaraq is on cue with another. He prefers a glass. Me? I'm a bottle drinker.

One more... then it's time to go to bed. Not that I have to do anything special tomorrow, though I do want to contact a great Eskimo lady I met at the local Tourist Information Center. Turns out she's Inuaraq's cousin. I want to ask her to rub noses with me. That's one of my goals in Greenland... to rub noses with an Eskimo.

After emptying the last beer, I slam the empty bottle down on the table... beer drinker talk for That's all she wrote.

Inuaraq gets it immediately.

Last one?” he asks.

I nod.

Okay, then get dressed... we're going out,” he says.

Where are we going?” I ask.

To a bar,” he says, “the one I was telling you about. The one we plan to overtake.”

You mean take over,” I say.

He nods.

Can we see it now?” I ask. “Isn't it abandoned or something?”

He shakes his head.

No,” he says, “it's just a regular bar. We plan to overta... er... take over next year and turn it into a music bar. Come and take a look at it.”

It's pitch black outside. I'd been hoping for an aurora, but so far none on this trip. Inuaraq leads me via cellphone flashlight through “a shortcut”... over ice-covered rocks, up and down rickety wooden staircases, across unlit streets. I think we're walking in a straight line from the house... any barriers... we just climb over them. A pair of very slippery boulders in the way... we climb them... a rickety wood stair case... we climb it... swamp grass next to a highway guard rail... over we go. Over to the other side of the “highway”.., there it is: TULUGAQ.... it means raven. And it's a bar. Here's the local airport ad for it:


It's around 10pm. There are fewer than a dozen patrons. The bartender is a rotund Danish-looking guy. Grey hair and beard... could be a bartender anywhere in the world. Inuaraq speaks to him in Danish. Two beers appear on the bar in front of us. Inuaraq pays for them.

Min Dansk er ikke ret god,” I tell the bartender. “Kan vi snakke på Engelsk?”

Sure,” he says, “English is fine with me.”

He looks like a story-teller. He is a story teller. Telling about his hotels in Illuset and his other property here and there and how he can't wait to give up this bar... It's just too much at his age.... His wife is annoyed that he's away from home so much.

Two more beers come.

An Eskimo-looking guy-- tough oriental face, hint of a mustache, thinner than most of the Inuit persuasion-- comes into the bar and sits next to Inuaraq. It's unclear whether they know each other but they strike up a conversation... in Greenlandic.

Inuaraq tells me the guy is from Illuset and he's been hunting. He just shot 3 caribou,,, two of them died instantly, but one was hit “in a bad place.” So the hunter had to kill it by hand. He couldn't shoot it because that might scare any other approaching animal. So he slit the beast's throat... then sliced through the back of the neck to cut the head off. He says he has a video, but doesn't know if I'm... er.

I don't know the English word,” says Inuaraq.

Check squeamish in the dictionary,” I suggest.

He does.

Yep,” that's it.

No,” I tell him. “I'm not squamish.”

I order three more beers. Give one to Inuaraq, one to the hunter, and keep one for myself. I pay for this round.

Sitting at the end of the bar is a rather chubby girl, wearing an orange INUIT t-shirt. Nice design-- and I want to make conversation. Maybe get my chance to rub noses.

Nice t-shirt,” I tell her.

Thank you,” she says and smiles like a heart-breaker. She tells me her name... which I immediately forget. I tell her mine. Inuaraq taps me on the shoulder.

The focus returns to the hunter. Here's the video: A snow-covered field... two dead caribou, one other... bleeding from the side... raising and lowering its antlered head... Big doe eyes looking pleadingly as the hunter lifts that head and plunges a long knife into the spine. Then, he again plunges in the knife... slicing around, snow turning red... a full view into the throat of the almost dead animal. Like a medical textbook...Wow!

This is it! It's why I travel. I can see buildings and landscapes in photos. But I can't meet the people. I can't see saftig girls in INUIT t-shirts. I can't see homemade videos of silent caribou killings. Yes! Yes! Yes! This is exactly it! My best night in Greenland. Better than rubbing noses.

By now, I'm completely plastered. Six... or is it seven... bottles of beer in two hours. I close my eyes and begin to drift off in thoughts of bloody caribou and the terrific beer-shit I'm going to have tomorrow morning. I'm not sure I can walk.

One more for the trip home,” says Inuaraq, putting a 200 krona note on the bar. The bartender gives us one each.

We talk more about caribou hunting. I show I'm a member of the tribe... dropping big words like rifle and antler. Oh yeah, I'm in on the hunt. We three promise-- next time I'm in Greenland-- to take a hunting trip together. We shake hands. The hunter and I are almost teary in our parting. What an adventure... a drunken night with the locals... as local as you can get. Pure non-tourism, THIS is what I travel for. Oh yeah.

The only problem right now is figuring out how to stand up. The bar has started to swirl around me. The bartender has begun to look less like a bartender and more like a polar bear. I feel a pressure in my bladder, but can't get the energy to trek around the corner to the men's room. Even if I could manage that, I'm sure-- after opening my fly-- I'd be unable to find what I'm looking for.

Okay Mykel,” says Inuaraq, “shall we go back?”

I nod... I think. The trip back is a blur. Maybe we teleport. I can't remember one second between leaving the bar and arriving back downstairs where “my” room is. It's about 1PM, Iguess.

I'm ready to pass out when I hear a clumping on the spiral staircase that leads from upstairs to downstairs. It's Inuaraq.

Do you mind if I invite two girls over?” he asks.

Do what you like,” I say. “But I'm drunk. I've got to go to sleep.”

Ok, Mykel,” he says. “See you tomorrow.. ah... today.”

See you,” I say, closing the door and dropping onto the bed, fully-clothed-- except for my boots. How I found those, let alone removed them-- I don't know. I wonder if I'll be able to find them in the morning.

4AM: The pressure in my bladder awakes me... at least I think it's the pressure in my bladder... It could be the noise upstairs. It sounds like a political debate... two loud male voices... the a female's screaming laugh... more voices... another scream. I'm gonna have to walk into the middle of this. In a contest between embarrassing myself and relieving my bladder-- the bladder wins, every time.

I check to see that my pants are really still on. They are.

I pad upstairs and see the gang at the diningroom table. There is Inuaraq, two pretty Eskimo girls, a big guy I've never seen before, another guy who
may have been in the bar (not the hunter)-- and the fat girl with the Inuit t-shirt.

I wave to them and head to relieve myself. On the way to the bathroom, I trip over a case half-filled with beer. No doubt it started all-filled.

From inside the bathroom, the noise is louder now. There's some kind of sing-a-long... in Greenlandic... top of the lungs... everybody knows the words. A boisterous, drunken choral... a roof-raising worthy of a German beer-hall.

Downstairs, the sound is slightly muffled... no it's not... it echoes off the hard wood... rings like a church choir. I scramble for my toiletry kit. There are a pair of earplugs there. I'm sure.

No there aren't. There is ONE earplug.

I shove it in... deep as it will go. I pile pillows on the bed, put my plugless ear against them...pull the blanket over my head And fall asleep... Yeah right.

6AM Gunshots interrupt my attempts to doze. BANG! Laughter. BANG! More laughter. I drift from semi-consciousness to full. BANG! BANG! Okay, I'll clean up the blood later. Right now, I need to get to sleep.

8AM Again awakened by my bladder. I debate getting up. The bladder, as always wins. It's quiet now. No sounds. I go upstairs and it's empty. No blood, no bullet casings. On the table is a YATZHI pad and dice. THAT was the BANG! BANG! The sound of dice being slammed on the table.

I can see into two of the three upstairs bedrooms... they're empty. The bathroom door is closed... from inside I hear the sound of running water. I'm guessing Inuaraq is trying to shower off the night's excesses. I'll give him some time.

8:15AM I try again, same sound from the bathroom. Sounds like a long shower... with a strange lack of movement.

8:30 AM I try again. The same sound. It doesn't seem like anyone is moving under the shower. The shisssssh of the water is steady... and unbroken stream. I knock on the door. No answer. I try the handle. It's locked. My bladder's gonna explode. I'm gonna die.

9 AM This is it. Do or die. Back to the silent upstairs. Everything's the same. Door locked. Water sound. Otherwise... er... the sound of silence. I don't know what to do. There are no trees in this whole country. Where can I piss outside?

I walk through the house, tracing where I think the bathroom is. Behind it, is the laundry room... makes sense because they both need water pipes. There's a window... not to the outside, but, from what I figure, to the bathroom. It's open... probably to let out the shower steam and the smell of beer shits.

The window is way above my head. There's no way I can look through it... or is there? Maybe if I climb on the washing machine, then lean way over to the left-- I can see something.

I put my palms on the washing machine and boost myself up. I see a bit of the bathroom. I can see a wall rack, and a piece of the floor. Water sloshes on the other side of the window. On the floor, lying on his side-- apparently naked-- at least from the nipples up... that's all I can see... is Inuaraq. Unmoving, as the water splashes over him. Skin pale. He's dead. Alcohol poisoned... the shower water washing away his death liquids.

Damn, I'm dealing with the first corpse in my travel career-- human corpse, that is. We're not counting caribou. Think fast. What needs to be done? I know what's most important.

I run downstairs past my bedroom... to the recycle room. There, placed neatly in a box on the floor... are various jars, bottles, other glass containers. Here's a juice bottle... maybe a little small, but we'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

I piss into it. Just make it without overflowing. Ahhh.

I screw the lid on, put on my jacket, take it outside to try to find a place to hide it. I don't want the cops to find a bottle of piss and start asking questions. I put on my coat, and walk outside, piss-bottle in hand. I walk onto the wooden porch. Shit, there's someone coming up the stairs. I gotta ditch this sucker now.

Fffftunk!

I throw it under the staircase, where it probably lies to this day.

Then, back upstairs to deal with the corpse.

I know... I'll go downstairs... stop someone on the street... ask them to call the cops for me. What do I know? I've never dealt with a naked corpse before... let alone a naked corpse in Aassiaat Greenland. They're gonna think I did it? Check fingerprints with the FBI... find my stomach medicine and think I'm a drug dealer. This is just awful! The worst day of my life.

Back at the bathroom door. I try the chain punch I learned in my Wing Chung class. POW-POW POW-POW POW-POW POW. One after the other... like a machine gun. Loud enough to wake the dead... I hope.

No response.

Ok, time to transfer this to a higher authority.... ah... there are my shoes. I put them on... hear a door open.

Hello? Hello?” It' Inuarq, leaning through the open doorway, using the door to hide his lower nuditute.

Fuck,” I say. “I thought you were dead.”

No,” he says, “just in the shower.

9:45 I go back to bed

11;30 I get up, the sun shining through the curtainless windows as it does every day. Usually at 7:30! [ASIDE: It's amazing how few people here have curtains or shades on their windows. Besides providing a show of intimate adventures, the lack of curtains is a soundless morning alarm-- in the fall (and spring, I guess). But in the summer, it's never dark. In the winter, it's never light. So how does lack of curtains help with that?

Upstairs, Inuarq sits on the couch watching a soccer game on his huge TV. The maid is mopping the floor in the bathroom. Just another quiet day in Aassiaat.

You had a wild night,” I say to him.

You could say that,” he answers.

I head for the bathroom to take care of what old men have to frequently take care of. The maid is now washing the kitchen dishes. After bleeding the hose, I flush and leave the bathroom.

A stirring comes from Inuaraq's room. I figure he's changing clothes, or cleaning up after the rough night. I figure wrong. Out of his room come two girls--- the two pretty ones-- from the party last night. They're barefoot... slightly disheveled.

Good morning,” I say to them.

They smile at me... wave... go down stairs... and before long I hear the back door slam shut.

Wow!

--To Be Continued

Special note about Inuaraq: As you can guess from reading this, he's an amazing guy! I feel like he's my long lost Eskimo brother. Besides his bar-- that'll feature live music-- he's organizing a festival-- twice a year (summer and winter)-- in Aasiaat. If you're in a band... or know a band... that'll be in Europe touring, especially Northern Europe or Germany, you should contact him at: inussuit@gmail.com

If, for some odd reason, you like my writing and want to see more (opinionated, political, punkrock), you can check out my other blog here.

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