Thursday, July 5, 2007

The old spirituals work best

There is no finer way to spend the 4th of July than surrounded by friends, drinking beer or soda, and stuffed with fine food, and playing Guitar Hero. It's better yet if you are all bellowing "Sweet Child O' Mine" at the tops of your lungs, so that neighbors cannot help but join in in their own yards, as they barbecue and light fireworks.

"Sweet Child O' Mine" has a special place in my heart. I hated it when it was out because ... well, c'mon, it was Guns N Roses. It was on approximately every 2 minutes and you never got it out of your head and it suuuucked.

That, my friends, is the stuff of memory. The stuff of legend.

David Wong at Pointless Waste of Time has forever corrupted my brain with a gleeful and perverse love of this song by naming it (and by extension, all those horrifyingly saccharine hair ballads) "one of the old spirituals" in his brilliant (GO READ IT) John Dies at the End.

I said, "so, what do you suggest?"

"We screw them as much as possible. I am a retired priest. Did you know

John asked, "are you one of those priests who can shoot lasers out of their
eyes? Because that would be really helpful right now."

"No," he said. "But I can bless water to make it holy." He held up his
flask and shook it, letting the liquid splash around inside. "The ice statue, I

John's face brightened, and he said, "that's perfect!" He thrust his index
finger into the air. "Then we just have to somehow get all hundred or so of
those monsters to go lick the statue!"

I stared hard into the face of the older man, said, "okay, there is no
possible combination of English words that would form a dumber plan than that."

"We'll need to buy time, of course," he said, undeterred. "But if I'm
right, if they're doing what I think they're doing, it's most likely the only
hope we've got. The travelers out there... they do have a weakness."

John said, "we know. Chairs."

"Uh, not exactly. They're natural dischordians. It's a product of where
they're from, you see.

When you live in a world of black noise, melody is like a blade to the
ears. Angels and their harps and all that."

I said, "what does that have to do with-"

A hole exploded from the center of the door with a spray of wood splinters.
A little pink fist and a segmented leg curled through, reaching around between
John and Big Jim. John grabbed it by the wrist, pulled it straight, Jen stepped
forward with Fred's switchblade. She severed the arm to the sound of a
feline-shriek from the other side. John held the detached arm in his hand for a
moment, then turned and shoved it back out through the ragged hole.

Marconi said, "I see you have your instruments. Can any of you sing? The
old spirituals work best."

John said, "I can sing."

I said, "no, you can't, John."

"Well, I play the guitar."

"So can I," said Big Jim. "We have two guitars."

I said, "this could not be any stupider."

John said, "Dave here can sing like Axl Rose."

"Ah, once again, you prove me wrong, John."

Marconi looked down at the two carts stacked with amps and cables and said,
"I need several minutes, so play something long. Like Sweet Child O' Mine."

I smell good. Today I have barbecue smoke in my hair, all charred oak -- and am wearing Comme des Garcons' Leaves series: Lily. It smells like a lily of the valley plant, green and ozonic with sweet lily freshness brightening it. It's too sparkly and teenaged without a tiny touch of the star jasmine, magnolia, and vanilla from Monyette, so I've got on a dab of that, too.

I feel like a slightly scorched dryad in this combination of aromas, which is something, when I'm sitting at my desk trying to sort out billing snafus and talk people into maintaining their insurance policies. Unsinkable! Which is not a bad thing, when you're mildly hung over and would rather be singing Axl Rose.

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