On a Game of Would You Rather: February 11, 2008

11Feb08

In which The Gay Recluse enjoys a game of “Would You Rather,” the elementary school game in which you must choose one of two offered alternatives and explain why.

The Set-up: You are at the gym over lunch, about to get on to the treadmill for fifteen minutes when you realize — fucking-shit! — that you forgot to recharge your iPod, which is totally, 100-percent, dead.

The Challenge: Would you rather: a) listen to twenty minutes of Charlie Rose and his five asshole-Republican guests on PBS talk about what a “hero” and “good man” John McCain is, how “fathers are going to be reading chapters of McCain’s book to their sons in the coming months,” how McCain should nominate Condileeza Rice for his vice-presidential candidate, because she’s one “of the greatest human beings in America” (did we tell you that this is on PBS?), and other asshole-Republican topics du jour; or b) simply watch Charlie Rose and listen to the gym’s sound system, which during the fifteen minutes in question features a “rock block” including The Allman Brothers (“Sweet Melissa”), Bruce Springsteen (“Thunder Road”), The Liverpool Band (“I Am a Walrus”), The Rolling Stones “Miss You,” and 38 Special (“Caught Up In You”)?

The Rules: These are your only two choices, no variations permitted; changing the channel or simply listening to nothing may be options in reality, but not while we’re enjoying a game of Would You Rather.

Our Choice: Option A

Our Reasoning: True, Option B offers us a certain nostalgia as we think of all the time we spent listening to WDVE in Pittsburgh, when we used to spend summers working on the assembly line in our father’s company. Such unimaginable tedium it was to use the electric screwdriver for five or six hours, to screw perhaps a million temples onto half as many frames as we bantered with the older girls — oddly, they were both named “Cindy” — from Bethel Park who ran the lens-inserting machines. How are heart would sink — even then — to hear 38-Special or the Allman Brothers, but what choice did we have? The Cindys ruled the radio, and it’s not like anything else was any better. Plus, as many times as we’ve heard these other songs, isn’t there something slightly redeeming about the fierce momentum of Bruce, the cold psychedelia of John, and the sassy disco phase of Mick, all of which in any case would be much better company for us than suffering through that windbag Charlie Rose and his asshole-Republican guests? Perhaps, but today we wanted to remember exactly what’s wrong with this picture, and how fucking hard it’s going to be to correct it, even for a little while.

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