(I just hit 27 last week, so I'm old and entitled to feel a little salty.)
At work, the one and only Chocolate T Money and myself were talking about why we barely listened to hip-hop anymore. After a few minutes of pretendedly-unmonitored-by-supervisors conversation, we came to the conclusion that it sucks right now because it's all geared toward 14-year-0ld girls. We're probably just bitter dudes who are getting older, but seriously, can you tell me anything L'il Wayne or Drake could ever come close to this...
You fucking disgust me... No, not you... just that thing on your hip... No, you're good... Real good...
I'm a little worried about what you are becoming, best friend of man.
Before I get started here, and because it might get a little heated and I don't want you to think I'm shitting all over you, I want to tell you that I am saying this because I truly do care about you. You are man's best friend. And I mean, if you're friend is turning into a totally pussy, you have to tell him, right? That's what best friends do, isn't it?
Dogs, you and I have shared some intimate and also not-so-fond times. I've been greeted countless times, when walking into a home, with your nose in my crotch. Have I scolded you or shamed you? No, I've laughed it off and even encouraged you to sniff others. I have had my leg defiled and treated like a new rubber sex doll in Davecat's homeby some of you. Did I blow my whistle, kick you off and call the cops? No, I washed my pants. I've scrubbed your shit out of the floor, while you watched me with a puzzled and almost satisfied look on your face. Did I freak out at you? Yeah, I did. But those were the bad times and I've moved on.
What I need to tell you is important. Very important. Rexy, the time has come. Go grab some kibbles, drag your ass across the floor a few times and then come over here. We've got something serious to discuss.
You see, there are a number of your 'brothers and sisters' out there who are behaving in a very non-dog fashion. They are divas and pansies and it's getting downright embarrassing.
In case you have also become wussified, here is a brief history lesson. Your forefathers were wolves and foxes. They were hunters. Cunning survivors in the harshest of landscapes. They stayed alive through sheer intelligence and skill. Your more recent ancestors like huskies were some of the hardest-working, determined and noblest creatures to ever walk the Earth. St. Bernard's command respect in the Alps for saving people after avalanches, so cartoons tell me. Sniffhounds risk life and limb to put fugitives back behind bars. Speedy greyhounds give it their all to entertain our alcoholics, gamblers and degenerates at the races. Even coyotes and jackals are sly and resourceful creatures that have to hustle to put food in their mouths.
How far you have fallen...
Last week, on a walk home from work, I twice witnessed 'dogs' being pampered and treated in such a fashion that it would have made Old Yeller preempt his master and himself ask to be put down with the shotgun behind the barn. In one instance, a very unhealthy - read: through-the-floor-morbidly obese - lady was pushing her tiny dog in a homemade, customized dog stroller. This dog has a rich kid smirk on his face as he watched other dogs walk by. Just a few seconds later, another woman came cruising by on a motorized scooters, with one of those stupid, brainless fluffy white poodles in her lap. I haven't seen entitlement like I saw in that pooch's eyes since we drove through Malibu three years ago.
It made me think back to when I was in Baie St. Paul a few weeks ago and I saw this tiny little wiener dog shivering in this young chick's arms. I walked over to her and asked her what was wrong with the pooch.
"He doesn't like being outside."
He doesn't like being outside? You're talking about a dog, lady. How long has there even been such a thing as 'inside'? Shouldn't a dog's intrinsic essence predate the notion of 'inside'?
What would a Husky say to this dog? (Probably what a normal human would say to Davecat, I suppose.) He'd probably call it a brat, if he didn't eat it first. (I'm hoping no normal person would eat Davecat, lest you choke on his ponytail.)
And that's it. These dogs have degraded the term dog. When people think dog now, they don't think hard-working, regal, noble. They think cute, fragile, primp.
This is the reality of the situation, dogs. You have to share your namesake with these do-nothings that don't like being outside.
The dog is being besmirched. I blame it on the Taco Bell Dog. Ever since that little wiener started popping up on the TV slingin tacos, people have started to find these tiny dogs adorable. Nowadays, you turn on the television and you don't find a Lassie, you find Paris Hilton's purse-lacky wearing a pink tutu. They don't make Homeward Bound movies anymore. They make Beverly Hills Chihuahaus.
Dogs aren't supposed to be this small, people. The Taco Bell Dog was a fucking junkie, ferchrisake. Why do you suppose he spoke like he did? Dogs aren't that skinny and skittish. This dog was a fiend and he became a hero and a prototype. I see grown men walking these tiny purse dogs on leashes through parks now (and I keep praying for an eagle or hawk or some sort of prey bird to swoop down and take them away.) I'm sure these dudes are probably neutered too.
I call upon dogs - and I'm talking about real dogs here - to recoup the term and relegate all pampered, thump-up-butt dogs to the doll-gs category.
I will get the ball rolling for you since I'm sure it's difficult for you to access the internet right now.
You are not a dog if:
- you are a fashion accessory.
- you don't have to be taken for a walk every day.
- you don't enjoy being outside. (Can't get over that one.)
- you wear any sort of clothing (other than boots in the winter and maybe a bandana around the neck for an older dog. Shades are cool with me too.)
- you incessantly bark at other dogs or mammals that are at least 10 times your size from behind your masters leg. (Worst dogs in the world in my humble, tear-inducing onion.)
- you are bought and sold over eBay by someone living in a big city.
The official swampy nut heat wave advisory has been lifted, but I'm still sweating my sack off down here. I can actually sleep again, but that doesn't mean I'm comfortable. I'm still a sticky mess. I still smell unsavory for large segments of the day. It's gotten to where I can't honestly say I'm chilling when I'm not up to anything because I'm not chilling. I'm sweating. So until the heat becomes reasonable again -- and I mean reasonable by my unreasonable Northern standards - I'm gonna say sweating whenever I would normally say chilling.
"What are you up to tonight, Herb?" I will be asked.
"Just sweating," I will respond.
And that's that.
I can't tell you how much heat like this affects me. I've been mindless for the past 10 days. I'm thinking some important portion of my brain evaporated out one of my ears during one of those 43C days. I haven't been sharp. I've been melted-cheese dull. There have been things I've wanted to write, but when I sat down to write them, they'd vanished. My wit is not quick right now. It's slow. I want to see a doctor about this. Ask him why my wit is not where is should be. Maybe he can hit me on my knee with that comedic little triangular-rubber stick thing and see how long it takes me to come with a joke about it.
I truly feel like there is some sort of relationship between my personality and this stifling heat that a scientiest would be able to chart on the graph.
He would point to a powerpoint slide: "...and when it reaches 38C, there is a 0.03 percent chance Herb will have sex with a woman."
I'm very worried about this.
I'm slowly going blank. My mind is eroding. It's being vacated. Clear-cut. Mined out.
I had a jar of mustard laying in the middle of my room for seven straight days. The middle of the floor. Seven days. That's longer than the G8 and G20 summits. That's longer than summer in Iqaluit. I may have covered the jar with clothes or kicked it zombie-rushing to work but I didn't once think of putting it back in the fridge. It escapes me as to how it got there in the first place.
My brain is being eaten away from the inside. It's imploding like an office tower.
At night, I lay on top of my blankets, coaxing in a breeze. I try to think off all the glorious times I'd been frozen. I dream longingly of numb toes and frostbite. In the morning, I wake up defeated, thoughtless with a plugged nose, a crusty mouth. I get up and see a sweat outline where my sad body had been. I shower. I dress. I sweat, negating the shower.
We've had a few neato thunderstorms the last few days. It's cooled things down outside a bit, but for some reason, the air in the apartment stays muggy. It's trapped. I think it's stuck to the walls. And this wet, heavy, clingy, clammy air seems to attract and trap odours and so garbage and musk and dump smells are circulated and preserved and everything just starts to develop this generic-icky stink to it. Windows are cracked, doors stay open all day and the warm, humid indoor air mass just stays inside. It's the first thing that greets me when I get home to kick it and sweat.
On the same night I sweated through a ball game under the big lights on the third consecutive over-40C day, which really just seemed cruel at the point. (You have no idea how much I've been sweating these last five days. Crude human written symbols could never do it justice.)
On the same night I got on a train and watched an old senile guy entertain himself (and myself) and the same night I learned his whole routine in 90 seconds because he kept repeating it every minute or two like he was a broken machine... ("I got off from St. Catherines. I'm not crazy. I'm nuts. HA heh heh HA heh HA!")
On the same night Lebron James told the world he couldn't win a championship by himself and crapped out to try to win one with Dwyane Wade. What a gigantic suck. I agree with Bill Simmons. Michael Jordan, Larry Bird or even Kobe Bryant wouldn't team up with his biggest rival in the league. Those guys would be more interested in dominating all their most difficult challengers and being considered the greatest. I haven't watched any of the interviews from tonight or anything yet, but I think what has happened in the NBA over the past seven days should be considered one of the most ridiculous chain of events to ever befall a league. The NBA is incredible. Not incredible awesome, but incredible in that it has lost credibility. Nothing like this has happened before and I think this whole thing is garbage. Bosh, Lebron and Wade play together in Beijing, they become friends and then they hijack the league? Miami has terrible fans. They didn't even show up to support a team with Dwyane Wade, so how do they deserve this team? I think a lot less of Chris Bosh right now. He had no intention of resigning in Toronto. I guess his team sucks because Bryan Colangelo (see Will Arnett from Arrested Development) has no idea what he is doing, but he still walked out on the franchise. I suppose he can't be faulted too much because he appears to be half-reptile, which means he is cold-blooded. (My buddy Mike thinks he is an Avatar.) I just know that I won't be cheering for Miami now. (Although, they might be the greatest team ever assembled in basketball video game history.) Who do I like? As much as it pains me to say this and as much as I wish they were still in Seattle, I'm cheering for the Thunder and Kevin Durant from now on.
On the same night all this NBA trash went down, we stumbled into a bar where the Hellbound Hepcats were playing and damn was it boss, as the hip cats would say. These guys were total throwback, with the greased back hair, stand-up bass and Elvis, Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash catalogue. The bassist was a maniac and he wasn't merely a bassist: he had this percussionist bent where he would play by slapping the strings. At one point, he broke his bridge and instead of fixing it quickly and jamming it in as fast as he could to get back with his band, he picked it up and worked it back into place with his fist to the beat of the song... buuuump buuuump... bump bump.... We weren't the only ones who noticed and a bunch of us had a laugh while we watched him knock the bridge back into his stand-up bass like bump bump bump
It was sort of a Twin Peaks night actually. The old man in the Metro - he was this guy
And I couldn't figure out whether the singer or bassist reminded me more of James, but here you go...
Anyways, if you haven't watched Twin Peaks, then do it.
If you haven't experienced a heat wave like this, then good.
And if you haven't seen the Hellbound Hepcats yet, then what the fuck are you waiting for?
I think the purpose of this post here will be to demonstrate that I really can complain about damn near anything.
It's hot out. Humid hot. Skin becomes flypaper sticky hot. As Sean Kingston would say in auto-tone, it's "cool as fire" outside. It hit 33C today, but 41C or 42C with the humidity, and I'm like a mangy dog, panting and hacking and praying for cool breeze.
I walked to work this morning and five minutes out, I looked like I'd run a marathon or through a sprinkler or just finished filming a sexy car wash commercial. I was Dame Judy Drenched. I got to the office and I was embarrassed to take off my bookbag, because I was sure it was going to look like I'd been ambushed by a platoon of Navy Seals armed with super soakers and water balloons. My ball-ometre reading was at record-levels: I believe it hit 'wetter than an actual tea bag' at one point.
So I refused to venture outdoors until the end of my shift, when I chugged back a glass of water, said a few Hail Flying Spaghetti Monster's Mothers and then got assaulted again by a wall of heat so thick it felt like water. You know when someone farts and you pull your shirt over your nose? You know how you start breathing and after maybe 30 seconds or so, the air becomes heavy and hot and musky and almost unbearable and so you tug your shirt back down and the air is fresh and cool again? Well the city is hide-from-fart humid all day.
I got home, crashed onto the couch and checked my emails on my macbook. I was dripping like I'd been playing hoops in the sun for two hours. Five minutes later, I lifted it up and there were two giant wet spots on my lap, where the computer had sat, and it looked like I'd just gotten a lap dance from a thoroughly oily, hardworking stripper. I scratch behind my knees with my fingers now but they just slide away with the sweat. I stick to the leather couch like a suction cup and the sound I make peeling from it - sort of like someone squeezing a fart out from a wet, rubber ass - makes me sort of sick. My brain feels like it's operating on safe mode and I would really shower every 30 minutes if it was possible.
I've never dealt with anything like this. I'm told it's like this all the time in Lebanon or Vietnam or wherever, but that doesn't help. I love when people tell you things like that. "It'll go months on end like this in Vietnam? Oh, I can't believe it. Suddenly my ass isn't dripping beads of sweat like it's maple syrup from a maple tree. Thanks a billion!"
It's only going to get worse. The forecast is calling for 35C on Wednesday. Might be time to break out the speedo. Would that count as summer casual?