Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vox in the Box (26): A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall


Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son ?
Where have you been my darlin' young one ?


I've been looking out my bay window, too blind to see the rain. Watching the sidewalk for puddles, for proof. Hiding in my room from the empty refrigerator. Checking my Twitter feed after midnight for breaking news, as if I'm the only one in the world awake to digest it. Reveling in Wahoo Baseball; they say pennants aren't won in April, but I do the math in my mind after every victory. Better yet-- dicen que banderines no son ganados en abril, pero hago las matemáticas en mi mente después de cada victoria!

I've been swearing at the television; sweating to the Wii with my five-year old, as she destroys me in Just Dance, time after time. I try to bargain with the Goose: Sure, you've mastered Katy Perry's "Hot n Cold," but betcha I win if we try "Groove is in the Heart?" (That song was popular when Daddy was in high school!) No matter, I lose again. I can't dance. Wait until Rock Band: U2 Edition is released, I tell her. Can't sing, but I've got soul. Goose shrugs, unimpressed. My three-year old declares she's going to marry Bono. I smile and wonder if I've officially over-exerted my fatherly influence.

I've been van-surfing. Struggling to get a hold of it, like Scott Howard when he first became the Wolf. The waves on Som Center Rd. are mine, until I wipe out near the Village Mart. You know the clerk that works the night shift? He's my Stiles. If he ever asks me to run away with him, I'm pretty sure I'll say yes. After all, he individually bags my Liptons. Charges me for two krispy kremes, then implores me to take a third. Listens to Smashing Pumpkins, Talking Heads and Lionel Ritchie. Likes my kids. I'm easy, you know.

I've been decompressing. Trying to make sense of twenty eleven. So, please, let me get all of this straight: bin Laden is dead, and his collection of porn was "extensive" and "modern?" A defiant and televised Charlie Sheen has the biggest public meltdown since Britney Spears shaved her head and lost her kids, and the joke is on us? In the history of pop culture, have we ever seen a celebrity go off on such a berserk, delusional rant...and, all the while, masterfully manipulate the message? Shin Brew-Choo is hitting .222, Carlos Santana is right behind him, and our Cleveland Indians are pacesetters for all of MLB? Call me gay for waking up at 5am for the Royal Wedding, but Pippa Middleton's ass made it all worthwhile. How does Kate let that happen? You know I'm not into fantasy...I hated every minute of Harry Potter, fell asleep during Lord of the Rings, and I weep for the future every time I read the jacket copy for one of those Twilight books. So why the hell am I so enthralled with Game of Thrones? And, yes, it's more than just the midget in the brothel. But that surely didn't hurt.

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Oh, what did you see, my blue eyed son ?
And what did you see, my darling young one ?


I saw a giant mouse bust out of the dining-room wall and sing a haunting, almost country-flavored version of Cameo's "Word Up." In a New York accent. Bring on the rancid pizza.

I saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night.

I saw Marsellus Wallace throw Tony Rocky Horror out of a four-story window. Wait, no I didn't. But that won't stop many of you readers from treating everything I write in this column like the fucking gospel. You have to learn to separate; know when to run with it and know when to just run. There's Sam, and then there's SamVox. Just like there was John Lennon & the Walrus, David Bowie & Ziggy Stardust, Latka Gravas & Vic Ferrari, Beavis & Cornholio, etc.

I saw a glimpse of the future watching 'tape' of Kyrie Irving (iconic spelling of 'Kyrie'- he's named after the Mister Mister song, right?). I'm feeling optimistic today, so indulge me when I say KI reminds me of Isiah Thomas. Next to Michael Jordan, Isiah was the best basketball player I've ever seen. Zeke likes to say he'll "fuck you up with facts," so here you go: Consider that Isiah had a winning record in the playoffs against Jordan, Bird and Magic. He won two championships without any players as talented as Pippen, McHale or Kareem. He was every bit as competitive as MJ; Isiah probably would've done illegal shit to win games if he could. Had he been 6 inches taller, he may have emerged as the greatest ever. There are many dominant point guards now, but Isiah played in the hand-check era. With the rules today, you couldn't stop him. Yes, it's lofty praise I'm throwing at Kyrie. What's not to like? Nothing, expect for Terry Pluto's Dr. Seuss column the next morning.

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And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son ?
And what did you hear, my darling young one ?


I heard the only voice I've ever known for my beloved Cavs call his final game. The last few years, Joe was as cranky and unlistenable as he was descriptive and brilliant in the early 90s. But why in the World B. Free was he sharing the mic with Jim Chones? Another poor PR decision from your Cavalier brass. And not surprising-- this is the same organization that couldn't wait to hire a homeless man with no references.

I heard, that same week, All My Children was cancelled. 1:00pm weekdays, ABC-- I could count on it when nothing else in my television history could truly be counted on, minus Dick Clark, Fred Griffith, and that ditzy Cash Explosion show. I watched it from 1983-1998, religiously from '89 to '93. My Dad was a fan while he was an undergrad at OSU and AMC first debuted in 1970. He got my Mom hooked, shortly after they met in her dorm room at Baker Hall. I sometimes think I owe my life to that show, as it was surely the only thing my parents ever had in common. Planned on passing it down to Goose & the Deuce; by that time Erica Cane would be plowing through suitors at the Pine Valley bingo hall.

I heard Bob Frantz spewing his usual con-bullshit on WTAM, complaining that Obama took too much credit for Osama's death. I'm open minded enough to realize the president's speech may have been slightly political, but Frantz is the biggest hypocrite on a station full of them. Had Bush initiated the kill-mission and serenaded us with his "mission accomplished" bravado, Frantz would have been leading the cheers, jacked up on propaganda-patriotism for five hours. Some moments just aren't partisan, Bob. Then again, he's probably just following orders. Clear Channel's MO is to blame BO for anything and everything. It's good business for them; I get that. But I'm one of those fence-listeners that demands objectivity over agenda . So I turned on KNR instead. Guess what? Chris Fedor was just as nauseating, for altogether different reasons.

I heard Fedor, educated at the University of ESPN and the poster boy for GenY arrogance, informing us in usual condescending tone that the Miami Heat have guaranteed reservations with the 2011 Larry O'Brien trophy. And Fedor may relish the role of sports-talk heel, but anyone with even a modest grasp of the NBA knows that you can't win a championship with 2.5 players (and the point five belongs to Udonis Haslem; I don't even rate Bosh.)

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Oh, who did you meet my blue-eyed son ?
Who did you meet, my darling young one ?


I met the evil High Street Dwarf in September of '93, drinking 40 ounces from a brown-paper bag. Called me a 'tall-motherfucker,' harrassed some co-eds and warned us about the end of the world. I liked him immediately. He was no Mr. Wendal, but at least he never panhandled.

I met Ramona Robinson two weeks ago at the 9th Annual Diversity Run. Hey Dwarf, she is tall.

I met Girl6 at Golf N' Stuff in one of my better daydreams. It went something like this.

I met Mrs. ExVox at her storage locker. Helped her unload the stuff that won't fit at my place. It was a classic post-9/11 compromise, but the ultimate act of vision over visibility. Under the same roof, we are now the modern day Jack Tripper and Janet. The blame game is for married couples, and, while Rob and Fab so eloquently lip-synch, I try and laugh off the mess we're in.

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And what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son ?
And what'll you do now my darling young one ?


I'm a-goin back out 'for the rain starts a-fallin.'

To the playground, with my girls.
To the pavement, with only a pair of FILAs and my God-given limitations.
To the promised land, with my box full of rain.


I am freewheelin' Bob Dylan in the Box.
Parting is...inevitable.