I did some catching up on my musings in UVA's Cocke Hall. But I'm still behind. I notice that Webcrawler has been busy indexing my site of late. Suddenly there is a huge influx of traffic to my pUnK rOcK sItEs page from people doing Webcrawler searches. I can't believe that anyone would use Webcrawler as their main search engine, but apparently a lot of punk rockers do. I'm talking here about stupid punk rockers, the sort who send me the email like you see on my punk rock hate mail page. I've stopped collecting it; to do so would be like chewing the same piece of gum for two days in a row.
Yesterday Jessika loaned me a polaroid of her face which was taken shortly after the accident on Carter's Mountain (see the December 23rd entry). I have scanned it for the enjoyment of all. The picture at left is how her face looked a year ago; I have included it for comparison. Click on the image at right for a nice big gory version of her post-accident face. In those days she really lived up to her email address of firstname.lastname@example.org.
I took a good long nap in the afternoon and was awaken by none other than the familiar giggly goading of Sara Poiron. She and the other Malvernians had just arrived. They all had beers in their hands. I started drinking bourbon instantly.
back to the top
I went on to repeatedly use "ham sandwich" as a pronoun to mean anything at all.
ham sandwichI was in a giddy mood, and I recalled something funny that Ches had said recently, that stale old beer smelled like "ham sandwich." I thought the unpretentiousness of the word "ham sandwich" to be hilarious, and started using it for today's major non-sequitur. I wrote about the smell of ham sandwich on the Dynashack kitchen's messageboard, and I went on to repeatedly use "ham sandwich" as a pronoun to mean anything at all.
the pus disease
They all wanted to go to the Shaque in Staunton, but when we considered how late it already was, we decided upon other plans. We went instead to Farrell's apartment in the Altamont. We sat around gossiping about Monster Boy's drug experiments of yesterday. We quickly turned to the subject of the sickly girl from whom the drugs had come. When I mentioned that her face was eaten up with leisons, Sara quickly diagnosed her as suffering from "the pus disease." "The pus disease" is usually the result of the practice of injecting cocaine into ones veins. Sara has a friend named Punk Rock Jay who suffers greatly from the pus disease. Whenever he visits her he spends hours in the bathroom singing little songs whilst popping his zits. One day Sara confronted him on how disgusting this all was and he matter-of-factly showed her his torso, all covered with pus-filled sores. The pus disease. Well, the sickly girl who gave Monster Boy his drugs may not suffer quite as much from the pus disease as Punk Rock Jay, but she still requires a good constitution to behold. I told the others a somewhat fictionalized account of how she once took a sip of my coffee and I discretely threw it out instead of drinking any more. Or that once I nearly threw up from having witnessed the cellulite on her upper thigh. I can't believe people actually have sex with her, but a lot of boys have. And so have some girls.
Whenever he visits her he spends hours in the bathroom singing little songs whilst popping his zits.
While we talked, I chain-smoked some Bidis that Farrell had given me. They're little spicy cigarettes wrapped in Eucalyptus leaves. As a nonsmoker, I only smoke exotic things.
let's form a cultWe also discussed the similarities between the Heaven's Gate cult and the local Nelson County cult known as "The Gathering." Both are/were preoccupied with the idea of aliens, both live/d in a communal mansion, both have/had members averaging about 45 years of age, both advocate/d celibacy for their members, both have/had members who specialize in the publishing industry, and both have/had charismatic male-female couples as leaders. Creepy, huh?
The Malvernians and I walked down to the Downtown Mall and went into the Escafé bar to hear Jamie Dyer and friends playing that folksy music they play every Sunday night. Jamie was sort of slow in arriving, though, so we wandered around to the Mudhouse (email was checked by all) and then to the Lucky Seven to buy junkfood. I also bought a copy of the latest Newsweek, which is chock full of stories about the Heaven's Gate cult. When Jamie finally started playing, we sat in a booth and looked over the Newsweek. Sara Poiron was fascinated by the idea of a cult, especially one as intriguing as Heaven's Gate. They have it all: a Comet, UFOs, web pages, castration and celibacy. A constantly recurring theme the rest of the evening was one of "Let's form a cult!"
The Escafé soon proved boring to Jessika and myself, though Sara Poiron and Joanna seemed to be having a blast. Joanna was seated at a booth with a group of suave young men she'd just met and Sara was convinced that she was making a show of her cleavage.
Johnny Boom Boom went with Jessika and me back to Joanna's van on Altamont Circle and sat drinking beer and boxed burgundy while waiting for the others to materialize. Johnny Boom Boom said almost nothing the whole time. We were soon joined by Sara Poiron, Wonderboy Neek and Raphæl. Later Joanna finally arrived. She was in a foul mood, though she had been enjoying herself.
We drove to the Dynashack and added Monster Boy, Cecelia the Brazilian Girl and Angela to our contingent.
From there we set off to Raphæl's practice space in a wharehouse on the edge of Belmont by the railroad tracks. On a side set of rails was an old steel Caboose, covered with graffiti and rust. It's another one of those familiar relicts of industrial society so appreciated by my compatriots. Its doors were unlocked, so we soon found ourselves climbing around inside. In the middle section was a space that resembled a jungle gym. Here we congregated and looked out down the rails through bullet-cracked windows that could be cleared with manually-operated windshield wipers should rain have started falling. The caboose was so spacious and cozy inside, we all entertained fantasies of moving in or else just spending the night. But then everyone became overwhelmed with excitement and started screaming and we were forced to flee by the possibility that the neighbors would call a complaint.
The caboose was so spacious and cozy inside, we all entertained fantasies of moving in or else just spending the night.
We sat around near the practice space, drinking vino and carrying on. One moment Sara would suggest that Monster Boy had contracted the pus disease and the next moment she would suggest that we "shed our containers" (that's Heaven's Gate-ese for doing away with ourselves).
Suddenly Peggy and Zach arrived from distant Malvernia. It was as close to a Big Fun reunion as you're likely to get in modern times.
Peggy is looking kind of ...er... "with child" these days. Rumour has it that the little beast will be called "Mouth" as in "another Mouth to feed." This was apparently Zach's idea.
Boredom gradually overtook us again. Normally I'm okay with boredom. Sometimes it leads to conversation. Sometimes it gives me a chance to pass out. But Raphæl seems to feel that it is his duty to do something about the evil boredom whenever it descends. He finally siezed the initiative and declared that tonight was to be the night of the Ramathon. What is a Ramathon? It is an ramen eating contest, an idea I'd floated humourously at Raphæl's house some months ago. To hold an eating contest with a bunch of big-eating friends would normally be prohibitively expensive, but not with ramen, which typically retails for less than 20 cents per serving.
To hold an eating contest with a bunch of big-eating friends would normally be prohibitively expensive, but not with ramen, which typically retails for less than 20 cents per serving.
We set off in separate vehicles for the Barrack's Road Super Fresh, and once there, raised the meagre funds necessary (maybe $8) to buy two cases of ramen in a variety of "flavours." Also a blank videotape was obtained in an illegal fashion.
I was in Monster Boy's car along with Angela, Jesse and Cecelia. He drove us back to the Dynashack so I could pick up my videocamera. As we went down Wertland from the west, we passed none other than Angela's boyfriend Aaron in the general vicinity of Dead Man's Curve. He came to the door of the Dynashack and clearly looked miserable. He asked if Angela was in the car and I said she was. So he walked over and talked to her. It was an awkward scene, with Monster Boy at the wheel and Angela sitting shotgun. She didn't want to go home with him, and he seemed as if he was in a fugue state. Once we drove away and left Aaron standing on Wertland, she began referring to him as her "former boyfriend." We stopped along the way at a graveyard and smoked some pot. Cecelia hoped the subsequent munchies would give us the advantage.
may the games begin
I began videotaping outside Raphæl's house and then came inside to reveal the pre-gluttony preparations, giggles and boastings. Fugazi was playing loudly on the stereo. A ridiculous red cardboard "belt" (similar in shape and function to the belt that constitutes the award in men's wrestling) hung prominently over a doorway. Depicted on either end of the belt were cartoon characters demonstrating both physiological aspects of the Ramathon: the rapid devouring of the noodles and the subsequent puking.
Depicted on either end of the belt were cartoon characters demonstrating both physiological aspects of the Ramathon.
Raphæl brought everyone to attention so he could announce the rules:
- anyone who pukes is disqualified.
- anyone who shares his ramen with another person is disqualified (this is the first time I have ever known there to be any rule against sharing food among my friends).
- anyone who wakes the neighbors is disqualified.
- large multi-package portions of ramen must be eaten in total or they add nothing to a person's score.
The first ramen package was devoured by Sara with the entire flavour packet. That was a promising start, but then she ate no more. "I'm done!" she announced matter-of-factly. No one had expected her scrawny gastrointestinal tract to win, after all. I felt rather ill after my first ramen package. The flavour package had set my constitution on its side with its saline excess.
Raphæl and Zachary ate their first ramen packages dry. I was amazed. I hadn't thought that was possible.
Joanna was being her typically cranky self, alternating between mild exhibitionism and self-consciousness. She seemed to be simulataneously pleased and perturbed that so many people had brought up the subject of her breasts tonight. She eventually became infuriated for being "disqualified" after sharing or attempting to share some of her ramen (a violation of the rules) and she stomped off to sleep in her van.
Angela was pretty drunk, as usual. She wasn't hungry, apparently, so she didn't participate in the Ramathon. She focused instead on another thing that's long and stringlike: her hair. When she arrived at the Ramathon tonight it hung all the way to her butt. But she seemed to be going through a kind of metamorphosis tonight, especially after having seen boyfriend Aaron on Wertland. She may have felt constrained and wedded to the past simply by having far and away the longest hair of anyone present. It's important to remember that the tips of her hair emerged from her scalp sometime before the Berlin Wall fell. I'd like to delve further into the psychology of her decision to cut her hair if I could only understand it better.
But she seemed to be going through a kind of metamorphosis tonight, especially after having seen boyfriend Aaron on Wertland.
She started out conservatively snipping the ends of her hair. That's not a radical thing. Every girl has to manage her split ends after all. But then, with the hooted drunken encouragement of others, she had Raphæl fire up the electric hair clippers.
Monster Boy and I couldn't watch. It was just a little too horrifying to see her shave her head tonight. We didn't know how drunk she was and to what extent she'd regret this in the morning.
She panicked and had Raphæl stop once he'd shave about three inches up from the back of her neck. But then, after Raphæl had completely shaved Wonder Boy Neek's head ("Marshall Applewhite!" Sara declared), Angela wanted to cut her hair even more. Soon her hair was a simple moppy bowl over her head. The hair lay orphaned in the trash can and and as a mock choker around my neck.
She immediately had second thoughts. Where could she hide now? Nowhere: she was completely exposed. Oh God! and what of the job interview tommorrow as a hostess at a conservative Country Club? Surely her hair would have been better than any resumé she could have submitted. And what was her distinction from all the other girls in Charlottesville now? Everyone has short hair in this town, and it used to be that her fabulous long hair set her apart.
We honestly told her that she looked good, if not better, without her hair. She's a very pretty girl after all.
All the talking about and giving of haircuts soon yielded an amusing new subject for Sara Poiron to obsess over: mullets. I'd never heard them given a name before, but apparently the stereotypical redneck haircut -short on the top and in the front and long in the back- is called a "mullet." That word is so fun to pronounce! And people with mullets are so fun to ridicule! No one we know in Charlottesville has one, but we have seen plenty of them in our time. Sara and I soon were bubbling over with giggles as we suggested ways to promote the humble mullet. We could have "mullet fests" in which free mullets could be given to all who want them. We could have mullet rallies. We also thought about what friends and acquaintances were most likely to end up sporting a mullet on some future day. Perhaps Eric the Huffanator Huffman. Maybe Bad Beef. In truth, though, Joanna is kind of growing a mullet. She really needs to cut the hair behind her ears.
We could have "mullet fests" in which free mullets could be given to all who want them. We could have mullet rallies.
down to the wireNow let us rejoin the Ramathon. The music was by now early Rolling Stones. We listened to the same album twice in a row, and Zachary would not allow anyone to change it. He's so punk rock that now he listens to classic rock. The score stood at four packages each for Raphæl and Zachary, with Johnny Boom Boom having abandoned his last three packages (cooked simultaneously). Cecelia had eaten three packages. The others lagged considerably behind. Jessika can pack away the food better than most members of her gender, but she'd long since passed out. And Monster Boy wasn't participating. Everyone had pretty much given up on me. My score still stood at one measly package. But then I took a gamble and cooked up four packages simultaneously. I wasn't going down without a fight.
Somehow I managed to eat it all and keep it down. I used a minimum of flavouring and I think that's what saved me. My score stood at five packages and I was in the lead!
Raphæl couldn't leave my amazing come back stand unchallenged, and he cooked up another package and somehow managed to suck it down. He had a miserable look on his face. Soon he came in from outside and said he had disqualified himself; he'd puked. He said the noodles had swelled up to resemble earthworms while bathing in his digestive juices.
He said the noodles had swelled up to resemble earthworms while bathing in his digestive juices.
So now it was down to me and Zach, but I still had a one-package advantage. Could Zach possible eat another package? He started one cooking while a hush went through the room. Perhaps using a shoe horn, Zach managed to cram the entire thing into his constitution.
It seemed that Zach and I were tied at this point, since it was unlikely that either of us could eat any more. Raphæl started casting about for a solution, proposing that whoever could do the most sit-ups or push-ups would win. I didn't feel like moving; I had a sack of worms in my gut after all. My abdomen was already visibly distended. But still I suggested that I would be willing to attempt to break the tie by eating yet another package. I made the mistake of having Sara prepare it for me, though, and she flavoured it with an entire flavour package. Just the smell of it revolted me, and I waved it out of my face. For this reason, Zachary was declared the winner, even though he hadn't eaten any more ramen than I had.
We'd been sober for hours and the sun had come up. I have to say that the Ramathon had been some of the most entertaining socializing I have ever done while sober in recent memory. We watched some videotape of the evening, giggled some more, talked more about the pus disease and mullets, shifted on our asses, and wondered what to do next. Angela and Sara were thinking we should go pick up some more vino (since we'd made it through the prohibition hours). But all I wanted to do was sleep. Crammed as I had been all night, between Cecelia and Sara Poiron on the couch, and as full as my stomach had been, the idea of laying by myself in my own bed appealed to me greatly.
Monster Boy drove Angela and me back to our respective homes and Sara rode along. She claimed she wasn't tired in the least.