Back when a band called Chicago had some balls, a guy named Terry Kath had a song called “An hour in the Shower” and it spoke of how the water cleared his head and made him notice things he might normally let pass by. In my morning shower, I couldn't help but notice that my shampoo smells like cherry Popsicles. Popsicle brand popsicles. Not the cheap imitations with corn syrup boogers hanging on to the wrapper for dear life. I really miss quality popsicles, more so here in Sacramento where it's been hot every day of the year so far. I've decided not to lay out in the sun anymore. I met a lady with skin cancer today. It looked like someone hurled Milk Dud's on her. I remember when I was in the first grade, a kid named Lewis I didn't like very much asked me to stick out my hand. So I did. And he spit his caramel in my hand. I threw it at him. We fought. Twenty years later, I think that old lady must have crossed paths with Lewis somewhere. Lewis' dad used to say "listen son..." all the time. Skin cancer is caused by the "son" (well, if you say it, it works). I went to the first grade with the man responsible for skin cancer, the incubus of the Milk Dud Disease. I should have killed him when I had the chance. I couldn't have used the scissors though. We had the kind with the rounded tips, and only lefties at that. Toxic poisoning may have worked, but the paste always smelled so good, I ate it myself and it didn't work, cause I'm still here normal as anyone... ahem. I had a gun, but my mom wouldn't let me take it to school. My hands weren't big or strong enough to choke hold, and we didn't get compasses until the fourth grade. What could I do? Skin cancer is partially my fault. I didn't even want the burden to begin with, but, well, I'm trying to live with myself.
I got so carried away with my skin cancer theory, I started sucking the shampoo running down my face into my mouth because it smelled so good and felt like the snot I suck down during solitary moments on ski trips. This didn't last long, for like coffee, gasoline, and toilet deodorizers, none taste anything like they smell. That's why I've stuck with paste all these years (no pun intended). I had half a bottle of the red cherry shampoo left and half a bottle of the blue aloe vera stuff. I mixed them together and turned my popsicle mixture purple. It looked like a lava lamp at first and to get myself in the mood, I ran to the living room naked and dripping wet, knowing full well I'd probably step on the wet spots in my last clean pair of dark business suit socks but I had to seize the moment in its most climactic moment. I put on an old Jefferson Airplane tune loud enough to hear in the shower and ate the mushrooms from an old Pete's Pizza that had molded in the back of the refrigerator. Even though everyone knows I hate mushrooms, I was feeling experimental at the time (and acting just plain mental). I didn't have the "real" kind of mushrooms that go with the song and lava lamp shampoo bottles and the guy down stairs wasn't home, so I was forced to improvise.
I ran back into the shower still wet, half deaf, and with a really bad taste in my mouth from the bogus ‘shrooms. I took a mouthful of water and erupted upward, making exploding noises like an insane Gilligan giving Mary Ann "elephant baths" alone in the lagoon. I stuck Noxema over the length of my body to keep me cool in case any of the purple lava should fly out of the bottle. I was doing shampoo chemistry. I noticed as the molten-room temperature purple pumice poured from the bottle onto body that the bottle says "lather, rinse, repeat". I've never washed my hair twice in one day (one week?) let alone twice in one shower. What am I supposed to think when I read this? I've come to basically three conclusions:
1. The shampoo guys need more money for the 60,000 mile
tune-ups on their 944's.
tune-ups on their 944's.
2. Shorter people get dirty hair easier than I do.
3. The guy that owns the shampoo place owns the Popsicle
company as well and wants you to crave Popsicles.
company as well and wants you to crave Popsicles.
My dad's one of these guys who follows directions to the "t". I remember it well, although I was only three. We were showering together as father and son do and he started reading the shampoo bottle to me: "lather, rinse, repeat". After rinsing me off, I jumped out of the shower, because mom only made me wash my hair once, even though I was short myself at the time. Dad stayed in to finish according to the instructions. Three days after the missing persons report was filed, and many calls from the office wondering if he'd quit, there was dad, still in the shower, lather, rinsing, and repeating, complaining that the hot water had run out. Outside the shower door lay sixty two bottles of shampoo. I know, you're thinking "He's making this up. This didn't really happen. Nobody keeps sixty two bottles of shampoo in the house." My mom's Polish and she had a coupon. Enough said.
I left Paul Mitchell's Awahpuhi out of it. With a Hawaiian name like that, the whole bathroom may have exploded. You know, is this guy fascinated by watermelon or what? All his shit smells like watermelon. I'll bet even his shit smells like watermelon. I'll bet he chewed Watermelon Bubs Daddy as a kid, dated women with big melons in school, and studied melon agriculture before becoming a hair dresser. A natural professional transition, no? I mean, if you work around fruit, then you're bound to work around animals. Watermelon Farm dogs, cats, horses, rattlesnakes (they love watermelon patches for those who don't know). So naturally, when it comes to cosmetology, watermelon smelling, shampoo making, animal testing hair production, it's a natural transition.
I have smells I'm infatuated with too I guess. Motorcycle exhaust from two stroke race bikes. Pine/Cedar trees. Black or Italian pussy. Puppies. Gasoline. I have a mixed bag I guess. One thing I hate to smell is apartments. They all smell the same. That brown carpet and cheap paint that runs whenever you take a shower or cook spaghetti by it must make apartments smell that way. It never leaves either. I leave the windows open, spray colognes I like (but not on me) into the air, make my girlfriend run around without underwear on three hours per visit, and air my hockey equipment out, but none of it works. I ought to sell dope. I can see them bringing in the sniff dogs now. "Aw roight boy. We know yew bean hidin' the dope in here somewheres. C'mon fella, sniff it out." Well the dog would just look at him like an idiot and say, in that doggie-look-way "All I smell is brown carpeting and shitty paint. And tell this guy he needs a new girl. Now get me a bowl of water."
Certain sounds grate on my nerves as well. Some time ago, some poor slob was crushed to death and/or paralysis by a garbage truck or some other large piece of equipment, so they put a little beeper on the back to warn the guy, and everyone within a block trying to sleep, that "Hey stupid! If you don't want to end up like your friend Squatty, then get the hell out of the way you knucklehead." Well this worked fine for a while, but then someone got used to the beeper after hearing it eight hours a day and soon again-SQUASH! Well, then some yahoo added a second sound, a buzzer to go with the beep. This too worked for a while and then, ultimately failed.
The truck that comes in here at six in the morning has three, count'em, three sounds. A buzzer, a beep, and a bell. My question is: With all that fuckin' racket, how can he hear the truck backing up? I think the best sound to mount on there would be the guy screaming who died paralyzed the first time. That's hard to ignore, unless you're Satan or something. It'd sure get the neighbors attention. "Someone being stabbed out there honey?" "Nah, it's just the garbage man." "Oh, that's right." I may kill the next one myself if they add another sound to the three they have now. Maybe I should send a list to Waste Management. "Sounds of the Landfill for the Politically Correct." How about a rooster crowing, or a giant coffee pot brewing, or a amplified bowl of Rice Crispies, or bacon sizzling? "Say honey, I hear the bacon cooking, but, eh, well, it smells like shit. Did you leave it on the counter again?" "No sweetie pie, the garbage man's here." "Ohhhh, okay. I guess that beats that guy screaming in pain. I'm glad they got rid of that. My brother made that noise when the neighbor's Doberman got a hold of him and, well, it's hard to listen to that every Monday at six a.m.." "Yes, but you must admit dear, it keeps your attention."
They have one of those cheap carnivals going in a neighboring parking lot. The kind that employs ex-garbage men who still smell like they've taken the job with them. The only advantage to these carnivals is that the help is so stoned half the time, they leave you on the rides forever, puking or not. The guys on the Matterhorn are the worst. "Man, I can't shut the ride down in the middle of Aqua Lung man. It's Tull. I just can't do that man." I remember when riding the Matterhorn was cool because the music was always new and shocking. This is why (according to my own theory carefully devised while listening to Nazareth's Expect No Mercy at the Detroit State Fair Grounds) people say "Heavy Metal makes me sick." Of course it does. "You were on the Matterhorn when you first heard that song." Snot is running down his nose! Dummmm Dum Dum Greasy fingers, smearing shabby clothes, Hey Aqua Lung. This pretty much describes the guy working the ride and taking tickets, but it's not shocking anymore. They need new programming on the Matterhorn. Cannibal Corpse, Alice Donut, Sepultura, the Didjits, Onyx, Tung Twista, voice overs of Howard Stern screaming at someone and finally, a garbage man being run over by a 10 ton truck. I came up with all this walking to my car past the fair in about fifteen seconds time. Does anyone else think this much about this kind of thing or would anyone care to recommend a good therapist?
I wonder what kind of shampoo garbage truck drivers use? I'll bet it's one of those really smelly ones like "Gee your hair smells terrific" or Flex. I bet they don't use awahpoohie. It's all the same anyway really. The first ingredient is always de-ionized water. I've never really understood this. Water has never had ionized in it to begin with. And why doesn't someone just sell de-ionized water? If we rinse our hair does it get all ionized again? And how do we know? No one in my life time has ever came to me and said "Gee Mike, your hair looks really ionized today. You better switch shampoos." I have had people come up and tell me my hair smells like popsicles though, and I always ask "The real Popsicle brand popsicles, or the cheap imitation kind with plain white wrappers, no red dot, and balls of corn syrup that attack the package?" I never get an answer. Just a scream, similar to the guy being run over by a garbage truck...