Prelude to a Lick
If We’re All Just Actors on a Stage, Can’t We At Least Get Quentin Tarantino to Write and Direct Us?
by Scott Hefflon
Illustration by Mark Reusch
Would everyone into ’80s nostalgia please raise their hand so I can downsize the niche market without accidentally wounding people who don’t suck and had to undergo intense drug therapy to leave it be all behind? Look, interviewing Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe and Jerry Only of the Misfits over the last few months was swell, as was getting more ripped than drunk rocker Chris Doherty of GangGreen (every time he leapt from his chair to call his wife, I ordered another shot. And trust me, that was a lot). Even reviewing the latest Exodus CD, a reunion with original “singer” Paul Baloff who’s been on a 12 year bender (it’s good to have goals, eh?), was alright. It tugged on those dangling loose ends we all leave as we rush through our lives. But enduring Grosse Pointe Blank and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion were pretty much the icing on the cake that makes you barf blue if you eat too much of it. That, and I lived through my own 10 year high school reunion this summer. I’d love to report that girls who stole each other’s boyfriends clawed each other’s eyes out, Macho Jocko and his merry band of letter-wearing Sportos finally got the living piss kicked out of them now that they’ve gotten fat, lost their feathered hair, and sell car insurance door-to-door, or at least some cute, platonic friends you always wished would just fuck and get the hell on with life finally did, but I can’t. Everyone was, like, nice. It ruined that whole dweeb-gets-the-cheerleader-in-the-end thing John Hughes has been feeding us for years. And that was the worst; we all played our roles. We all turned out to be what we were meant to be (a far cry from what we wanted to be, of course, but let’s temper our youthful idealism with the fatalistic compromise of realism, shall we?). I felt like apologizing for not dying in a really spectacular car wreck or ODing like most self-respecting artists of our time. But hey, I did get a few faraway smiles when I used the stock joke, “Well, I thought about going into medical research seeing as how I’ve discovered so many new sexually transmitted diseases, but then the ’80s were over, so I started my own business,” but I couldn’t top “I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How’ve you been?” That’s why those are movies and we pay to see them. That’s why we keep making those stupid mixed tapes that’re great for driving even though the tape deck broke in that piece of shit we’re almost done paying for, and great for parties even though we don’t have ’em anymore since we got furniture that actually matches. If you’re cranking The Soundtrack to my Life Volume 147 while dustbusting your CD collection and wine rack, you know life took a turn and you missed the exit. Dancing to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll” in your whitey-tighties whenever it comes on your favorite classic rock station is not expressing your wild side, it’s liable to pull a muscle your chiropractor will spend weeks (and hundreds) trying to fix. I’d like to offer some witty and wise words of wisdom, but the closest I can think of is, “Life sucks, so suck on this.” It doesn’t help, but at least you’ve got a friend in misery. And for those of you enjoying life, boy do I hate you.