And speaking of holidays, the venerable Uptowner tavern/charm celebrates its 130th anniversary Saturday, Sept. 20, all day, all night, over under sideways down, I kid you not. So no essay this week, since I got to get up by the majestic corner of Hysteric Center Street & Humboldt to confab with the fellas and reserve our stools. Come along if you want, but you buy the first round. Let’s get going.
Julius: I shit you not. That’s what they said on this documentary I was watching: “If you remember the ’60s, you weren’t there.”
Emil: What the fock. That’s like saying if you remember what you had for breakfast, you didn’t eat it.
Herbie: Whoever said that, you think they meant the ’60s specifically, or remembering things in general? ’Cause what about Marcel Proust, the guy who remembered every focking goddamn thing about his life when he wrote Remembrance of Things Past? So if he remembered stuff, that would mean he wasn’t there, which then means all he did in a so-called great work of literature was to make up a bunch of bullshit about what he remembered.
Ernie: Yeah, but there was a lot of bullshit made up about the ’60s, too, like that the Grateful Dead were a great band. Blow me. Give me Quicksilver Messenger Service any day. They were like way better, man. And to prove it, I can tell you’s that I can’t remember a single focking tune they use to play.
Ray: You’re a fool.
Little Jimmy Iodine: I remember the ’60s, but I don’t remember what I had for breakfast. So maybe it’s like I’m in the fifth dimension or something, ain’a, ’cause I know I was at both places in points of time. Breakfast today, ’60s yesterday.
Ray: Groovy, man. “5D (Fifth Dimension),” greatest song by the Byrds ever written.
Herbie: Bullshit. “Eight Miles High” was. Then, maybe “Everybody’s Been Burned.”
Little Jimmy Iodine: Hey, Artie! Over here. Put a load on your keister.
Art: Hey gents. What do you hear, what do you know.
Emil: I heard Marcel Proust made up a lot of bullshit for his books.
Art: So? He was French, what the fock would you expect? Bullshit runs hands-up with the territory.
Little Jimmy: Do you remember the ’60s, Artie? Like, do you remember where you were when those guys got out on the moon 45 years ago in 1969?
Art: You betcha, I remember. I was in front of the TV watching a guy walk the moon ’cause back then there was nothing else to watch on TV ’cause there were only three focking channels and they were all showing the same damn thing, what the fock, are you kidding me? But what I really remember from the broadcast is all those mission-control geeks sitting around in the Houston central headquarters and that I’d never seen so many bad haircuts in one focking room before.
Ernie: That was a big focking deal back then—a guy on the moon, who didn’t find anything while there, you know, like a cure for cancer or something. No, he was just there, in space, like the last time I was in Kenosha.
Julius: And I remember asshole gym teachers with Napoleon complexes; and us guys trying to sneak into the so-called adult Princess Theater Downtown on Third Street ’cause the photo of the bare-breasted native-Nigerian woman in the World Book Encyclopedia wasn’t cutting the mustard anymore for us 17-year-old jet-setting playboys; and that Richard Nixon got elected president by a nose-hair in 1968 so as to pretty much usher in a 40-year reign of fockstick knobshines in suits picking the workingman’s pocket. Yeah, the Wonder Years. I remember, some.
Ray: Goddamn it. I had big high hopes the president would figure a way to raise the spirit of the ’60s. That’s why I voted for him and he really missed the boat on his second Inauguration Day. He should’ve come out sporting a big-ol’ Afro and wearing a tie-dye dashiki, background music being the national anthem by Jimi Hendrix cranked to 11. And for the finale, right after being sworn in, he’d proclaim Frank Zappa’s birthday to be a national holiday, then light the Bible on fire and declare that tyranny in any form will not stand in this country, and then defunctify the Democratic Party by changing its name to the Volunteers of America ’cause we got a revolution, and he would tell the Wall Street rich bastards that your private property is target for your enemy, and your enemy is WE. Tear down the Wall, motherfockers, tear down the Wall.
(Hey, I know you got to go, but thanks for letting us bend your ear, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.)