#77. “Connected” – Stereo MCs
Connected I was most certainly not. I lost my first real job in January of ’93 before I even worked a minute. I was all set to be a lot boy on evenings and weekends for Enterprise Rent-A-Car (drawing upon my recent experience as an employee of Stephanie’s Detail – see previous entry.) Right before I was scheduled to start, I received a panicky call from their office manager. It seems they thought they were hiring someone already in college, and a quick review of my paperwork showed I was still a scum-sucking lowly high-schooler. The job was yanked away from me without much in the way of apology, even though they were the ones who made the mistake. Who’s laughing now, Enterprise Rent-A-Car? I went on to bigger and better employment later that year in the field of home video entertainment, and your crummy rental company…is, according to my notes, still going strong in its same location. Still…I think the moral victory was mine, as I was soon able to earn my gas and CD money without having to pick dragonfly corpses out of the grills of Ford Festivas.
I think the confusion may have sprung from the fact that I told them I would need Tuesday and Thursday evenings off for my Algebra II class at Yuba College. Yes, folks, I was taking another stab at that elusive math credit, this time via night class at our local community college.
#78. “Man On The Moon” – R.E.M.
I won’t try to convince you that this was R.E.M’s best all-around song, but it’s certainly my personal favorite. A sprightly, melodically-perfect tribute to late comedian Andy Kaufman, whose provocative, confrontational anti-comedy broke barriers in the 70’s, it reminds me of the times I would try to rock the establishment boat in minor ways. I was not much of a joiner. You can page through the yearbook and not see me participating in any sport, or as a member of a club. As Groucho Marx said, “I refuse to belong to any club that would have me as a member.” That, and I valued my personal time away from school. And I was lazy. And a poor athlete.
I raised my profile by trying to be amusing in various semi-subversive ways. I was given an Opinion column in the school newspaper, which was desperate for content that year, and then had it taken away when I informed its readership that the rag they were holding was an embarrassment to student journalism, a biased mouthpiece for the administration and “popular” kids, and should be used as birdcage lining or fish-wrapping material. And I forget which student council wonk handed me a microphone and told me to drum up business for the charity snack sale one lunch period, but my remark that “whatever lucky so-and-so finds the toenail I hid in one of the Nutter Butters gets a prize” set off a mild disturbance and I was relieved of my sales duties. All of this tomfoolery eventually ended up with me onstage as Master of Ceremonies for the Senior Showcase, but that’s a story for a later entry. Continue reading This Used To Be My Playground, Part 9: What’s Up? Cereal Killers, Vampires, And 12 Inches Of Snow, That’s What