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And on the 8th Day | PJ Newman

And on the 8th Day …

Before I black out.
Finished Day 4 of Festival of Trees.
I feel sorry for the trees.

On the other hand, when we lost our tails and fell out of the trees, the trees could breathe easier.

Let’s see if I understand this festival. We like the trees. We worship the trees. We perform yearly acts of genocide on the trees to show them how much we adore them. We have a festival for them and then drag the carcasses to the curb or burn them. Oh Praise Be Baby


My back is feeling the past 4 days of walking on concrete floors and sleeping on a hotel bed.

My brain is feeling 4 SOLID DAYS OF XMAS MUSIC.
Saturday Midnight.
Back at the hotel.

Broadcast latest developments from my assignment to headquarters.
Went in search of mind numbing agents, delivered to the bar next to my motel.
Greeted by the sounds of Karaoke from the bar. Maybe greeted isn’t the word I’m looking for. How about assailed? Close enough.

Dregs. Denizens from Hell. Soft white underbelly. Lowest common denominator.

Procured beverage. Sat.

Here’s what I know:
Publicity photos lie. Or maybe the photos told the truth, but the subject lied. Closer to the truth.
Case in point
My karaoke Mistress goes by the handle of Candy Lynn. The photo shows a stunning Gypsy hiding my future and her past. Her past was svelte. Her present is dumpy. As I settle into my drink, there is a short black man singing Sex Machine and attempting to put himself into traction. My back hurts just watching him. Candy is hiding behind her Karaoke console like Oz behind the curtain. Unlike Oz, though, Candy is playing tambourine to the song. Double interactive karaoke, double negative. Next up is Sarge, older white trucker looking mesh baseball hat probably with a colostomy bag. Fucker is singing Have a Jolly Jolly XMAS. I’m through with XMAS songs for the day. Please.
Back in the motel, writing this, television on. PBS is playing Concert for George. Where is my copy? Who did I lend it to? Find Jeff Lynne mildly annoying, Tom Petty, who I used to like, now a waste of vital human foodstuffs. Ringo remains a caricature of himself but is still the greatest rock drummer ever. Paul was less cloying than at other benefits and Rock Star-A-Paloozas as of late.
Sleep. Sleep now.

It is Sunday. It is sunny (sic). It is Tacoma.
The restaurant is not called the Market Cafe as previously report in these pages. It is the Renaissance Cafe.
Great coffee. Must drink less (as I pour myself another). No more ginger cookies either.

Hawaiian dancers for the lord. Hula Against Hell?
Look, before I offend everybody, try to see this my way. A Jewish atheist listening to contemporary Christian music being hula danced to in a 150,000 square foot concrete box that’s reverberant as Hell, surrounded by dozens and dozens over heavily made up pine and fir trees cut down before they could reach their full potential constantly being spied upon by minions of the dark side wearing costumes (or maybe not!) of McGruff the Crime Dog various colored Hershey’s kisses CLOWNS CLOWNS CLOWNS a scary snowman Smokey the Bear (I’m ok w/ Smokey). Opulently wrapped unwrapped presents that nobody but nobody in their right minds would ever need let alone use and then Porsche Boxter Harley Davidson XL1200 jet ski x-box Rolex oyster watch full carat diamond earrings flat screen dvd trips to Arizona Montana Hawaii Florida football box seats autographed multi-million dollar baseball bats 300 cases of candy cane flavored wine chauffer driven day spa being written into a murder novel 5 foot crystal tree breakfast brunch lunch dinner poker party bed of roses bistro sipping Maori warrior threatening smiling now week in New Zealand upgraded to business class Disney Land cuts in line to see the Lion King for the umpteenth time. On the other hand, watching a couple million raised for a wonderful children’s hospital, which, if we were still in the trees, would be rendered useless because the defective chimps would be tossed down to the ground to feed the tigers and cheetahs.

Back to work. The band which wanted more stuff showed up and after confirming what we agreed to, in the same breath, asked for twice as many channels. Ummm … How about “NO.” I warned the emcee that it would take a few minutes to turn the stage over. It was 15 minutes. Emcee Ken tells them to cut their set by 15 to stay with the schedule. They cut 30 out of sheer spite. The act was a family fiddle troupe. Imagine cross breeding of the von Trapp family and the Jacksons. I’m imagining rehearsals under grueling conditions, forced marches, cold water tossed on sleeping bodies, starvation, electric wired attached to adolescent body parts … typical show biz parents. Now 25 dancers of the children variety. I made a motion to bitch slap the emcee as he walked away after saying something stupid … again (him, not me). One of the dance parents is with me in the booth directing the music. Very nice guy. Chuckled when I did the bitch slap thing. He’s the emcee’s brother-in-law. Fuck.


It’s been revealed that this is Ken’s first year as an emcee. No Shit! He knows the acts and knows the hospital, but introduces the bands while I’m still onstage. I had a little chat with him and explained what I thought he could do to make things a bit easier next year.

For the most part, besides the insidious nature of the fucking Xmas tunes ingrained in my psyche, a good time was had by all. We need to rethink the deployment of sound in the room. The room needs a few things, such as acoustic treatment, free wi-fi, more comfortable concrete to nap on and something else that I can’t remember.

At this moment, after picking up Jazz, seeing my favorite server on the planet and thoroughly stuffed with Mexican food, I choose to forget the last week of my life until payday, at which time I shall rejoice and drink and buy little somethings for the little nobodies in my life.