Friday, November 18, 2005

What Kind of Man I've Been

Look, it's easy to assume that the surly teenagers slouching and spitting concentric oval patterns on the sidewalk in front of your local convenience store don't know the lyrics to Billy Joel's Uptown Girl--or if by some freak chance do, certainly wouldn't have the mental capacity or the inclination to accompany you with Major 6th and 3rd harmonies... but how do you really know unless you ask?

You don't! You don't know. You assume they can't and/or won't, but until you ask, you can't actually know for sure if those surly, slumpy teenagers could and would sing Major 6th and 3rd harmonies to Billy Joel's Uptown Girl with you.

Resolute love in the face of seemingly insurmountable class barriers is a universal theme that speaks to us all, properly and slumpily postured alike. How do you know those surly teenagers aren't big Billy Joel fans?

Well, Latigo Flint gives people the benefit of the doubt, that's what Latigo Flint does. So today I approached a couple of those very same surly teens.

"Gentlemen, I'd like your help." I said.

"S'up." They replied.

"Gentlemen, do you know the lyrics to Billy Joel's Uptown Girl?"


"I see, and what about your friend, you sir?"


"Okay," I produced a CD from the inside pocket of my leather duster and offered it to them.
"Well, would you be willing to take this home, learn Major 6th and 3rd harmonies to track six and meet back here in a week to sing it with me?"


"I'm trying to prove a point to myself and the world about the frailty and folly of preconceived notions."

The surly teenagers thought it over for a moment; glanced at each other, then back at me.
"Sure, why not--we'll see you here next week."

"Splendid!" I shook their hands. "See you then." I turned to go but then a thought occurred to me.
"Oh, by the way--that CD has an audio watermark on stereo channel two, so don't even think about ripping it and tossing the songs up on BitTorrent you little bastards."

I immediately clapped my hands across my mouth but it was too late, the words were out. "Forgive me gentlemen, that came out wrong."

They shook their heads in sullen resignation. "That hurt dude."

I rubbed my chin apologetically. "I want to take that back. Let me take that back?"

The taller one tossed the CD back to me. "Dude, you may be right--we may be crazy. But that's all you'll find if it's lunatics you're looking for."

"Yeah," his friend chimed in. "Turn out the light dude, don't try to save us."

The two of them bumped fists, sneered at me and mumbled in unison. "We may be wrong, but for all you know, we may be right."

So I walked home then, humbled and wiser. I had nowhere else to go, and no one else to go there with.


At 6:38 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

At least they returned the CD, so you could go home and play "Captain Jack" on repeat and just cry and cry.

Not that you would ever cry. I'm afraid I may have just insulted you. May I take that back, Latty?

At 7:01 AM, Blogger slarrow said...


...hey, that last little exchange kinda sounded like some lyrics from a Billy Joel song!

Maybe there's some hope for the youth of America yet. Once the bleeding subsides, of course.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Monkeypotpie said...

You should have asked them to sing "For The Longest Time"

That's better with the harmonies than uptown girl. Then you could have lit a fire in a garbage can and sang around that.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Look at it this way, Lf. If they knew Billy Joel lyrics, they were probably queer lovers, anyway.

You're better off letting them go. They're in a New York state of mind.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Have you had your spituitary gland looked at?

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Peter said...

Billy Joel rules, even to slumpy, surly dudes on the sidewalks.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger roundelay said...

That's rough, man. I'd head to the nearest bar if I were you. You'll be sharing a drink they call lonliness, but it's better than drinking alone.

At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Westacular said...

Sounds like you need to get the hell out of LA. Not because of the kids -- because of the "you little bastards" remark. You've been hanging out with the wrong people!


Maybe if you tried something outside of Billy Joel. Perhaps they would have joined you in "Walking on Sunshine"

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Wulfenjarl said...

Obviously the youth of today have none of your class and culture.

Hats off and a round of gunfire in the air to you, sir!

May the Gods of music smile upon you more favorably in the future.

At 9:18 PM, Blogger Amandarama said...

Look, Lance'd probably tell you this - but I got here first: the only Billy Joel song worth knowing is Miami 2017.

You'll understand when you hear it.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger greta said...


J.F.K. blown away... what else do I have to say?

At 10:07 PM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

I'm sorry Dave, you may not take that back--it's untakebackable. It's true I occasionally shed a single, solitary man-tear, but I'm the only one who's ever allowed to mention it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a special island I need to go to.

But the bleeding will never subside Slarrow, because the morons can't seem to stop riding their motorcycles in the rain.

I will know for next time Monkeypotpie.

Yeah LBB, it's pretty tough to reach people when they're taking Greyhounds on the Hudson River Line.

Old Hoss, ohm in ma priiiime.

Yes he does Peter, yes he does.

Amen Roundelay, amen!

You callin' me out of town Westacular?! I can't imagine a worse mistake. I'm Latigo Flint goddamnit; I'm the grin in the dark!

Oh but in the end they had Wulf, in the end they had. And I walked away humbled and alone.

Looking forward to it Amandarama--but I can't possibly fathom how it could be the only one worth knowing.

Nothing Greta, that says it all, and it was always burning since the world's been turning.


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