Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Grumpy In May

This is my latest Grumpy column for Tsunami mag. Inspired by a real conversation.


Grumpy

Guy I’ve known in the doofing scene for a couple of years asks me how my shop is going. I say fine. He asks what it’s like working there every day. I tell him I hardly ever work there and that I have to have other jobs because the truth is the shop is like an expensive hobby. It’s shitloads of fun, but it’s not making me rich. He seems pretty stunned by this. Tells me he assumed that all three partners worked in there fulltime. He asks what else I do. I tell him I’m also a chef and a writer and a theatre critic. He’s blown away by this. Not because it’s particularly amazing, but because he had absolutely no idea. Fucker obviously hasn’t been paying attention. I ask how the record label is going. He asks what record label? His record label. He tells me he doesn’t have a record label and that he works for a telco. I can’t believe I got it so wrong so I ask if he ever had anything vaguely resembling a record label. No, but he has some pretty good CDs. Curious, I turn and pick someone else I have spent many doof and club hours getting to know over the past few years. I ask them how the landscaping business is treating him. He tells me that it’s wrought iron and it’s doing okay. He asks me if I’m still enjoying being an editor. Dude, I tell him, I quit my job at the mag a year ago. Really? Tells me he didn’t know that. He asks what I do now. I count monkeys, I tell him because really, what’s the point? What’s the point of spending time with monged friends and talking with them if we can’t be bothered remembering the important bits?

“So, is that, like, with the zoo?”
“What?”
“The monkeys.”
The guy looks like he’s never heard of such a totally cool job, and I don’t want to ruin his day because I am a nice person.
“Yes,” I tell him, “it’s with the zoo. They employ professional Monkey Counters to count the monkeys because sometimes a monkey goes missing and we have to file a Missing Monkey Report.”

His mind is clearly filled with speculation about where the monkeys go, and I think I have some idea of the kinds of things we have been talking about over the years.

7 comments:

lady macleod said...

I have been on the tossing end of the "monkey" conversation. Whoosh, right over the head.

Kathryn said...

It's funny how you can feel so connected with a person under the guise of wicked music and a great venue but then come bright daylight and the outside world the person you've been connecting with all night is a stranger and no longer interesting in the slightest. Don't have to be on something either for this type of thing to happen. Kinda reminds me of a scene from Human Traffic.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Another great piece of writing, Lee. Reminds me of a short story I once read, I think it was James Joyce, about the non-communication between husband and wife.

It's you guys, man, you guys, you don't listen :-)

Quick said...

Hello Lady MaLeod. I went through a period of totally fucking with people's heads. It was kind of funny, but I kind of stopped it. Not sure why I stopped because bloody hell it was funny.

Kathryn - yes, the special connection thing. Can be real and can be mirage. Funny. And sometimes awkward.

Hey GG - James Joyce? Fucking hell. I just don't get that at all. I thought I was more like Hemingway :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Not the style man, the theme. hahaha, see? You didn't hear me right :-)

Birdyyy said...

my old flatmate once convinced the girl next door he was a frog measurer , even feigning anger when she mentioned toads. Subsequently, they had sex. Weird chat up line.

Quick said...

Heard you GG, was just enjoying being delusional.