Friday, August 9, 2013


     The video starts playing.  A man sits down in front of the camera he has just turned on and looks squarely at the viewer.
     “Hello” He begins, “my name is Brian Cole.  I am making this short video to explain my actions to any people that I leave behind so that they understand why I am doing this.”
     He seems scared, clearly agitated as he sits in his bedroom, uncomfortable even in the midst of all his possessions, things meant to bring him comfort.
     “ I want it known that I am doing this for the better good, so no more have to suffer because of  my pettiness and lazy attitude towards life.  So you will see the tragedy I have caused on a whim, the pain and suffering I have inflicted on people for the tiniest of desires.”
     He looks as if he might cry for a moment, and he stops to compose himself.  He takes a deep breath, exhales loudly and continues.
     “I didn’t realize what damage I was causing until recently.  Thinking back now, the evidence was all there, I just didn’t see the big picture until now.  The first incident I can think of was in third grade.  Anthony Buscianno was a bully that started picking on me when the school year began.  He picked on several kids, but I seemed to get the worst of it.  Two or three times a week he would embarrass me in front of the other kids, take my lunch money, give me wedgies or just tease me mercilessly.”
     “This went on for months, and I hated him.  School was becoming a nightmare, my grades were suffering, and I was starting to fake illnesses just to get out of going.  I would lie in bed at night, wishing Anthony would move, or get sick or just die already.  I felt it was wrong to wish those things on someone, but I couldn’t help it, he was making my life that miserable.”
     “I was thankful for Christmas vacation that year, more relieved that I wouldn’t have to see Anthony for almost two weeks than excited to get presents.  When vacation was over and I returned to school I was happy to see that Anthony was not there, out sick with some illness he caught over the holidays.  A couple of days later school was cancelled for three days, and it turned out it was because it was discovered that Anthony had contracted meningitis.  School resumed when it was determined that there was no danger to any of the other children, but Anthony never recovered and he died in his hospital bed.  I felt guilty, not because I thought it was my fault, but because I was so happy he was dead!”
      “When I think back on my life as I was growing up there were plenty of other times things just like that had occurred.  My sister broke her leg after I had been so mad that she would get to go skiing with her friends and I couldn’t go.  My aunt dying soon after my cousin got a mini-bike and I wished something bad would happen in his life.  Coincidences, I assumed.”
      At this point in the video he stops talking and puts both hands on his face and runs his fingers up through his hair, then rubs his eyes with the heels of his palms.  He moves his hands to the back of his neck, laces his fingers together, and sits that way, his elbows framing his face, pointing towards the camera.  He keeps them there as the narrative continues:
     “Then there was my girlfriend Susan while I was in college.  Things hadn’t been going well after 6 months and I really wanted to break up with her, but I didn’t have the courage.  I would find myself wishing that there was any other way to move on without having to deal with the hassle of ending the relationship, without being the bad guy and breaking her heart.”  His hands now drop back down to his sides, out of the frame.  “Any way to avoid that uncomfortable feeling I would have to endure.”
     “Then, while she was home visiting her parents she died.  The bathroom in her parent’s house was situated over the garage and they had some kind of heater that malfunctioned and produced carbon monoxide fumes that filled the bathroom and killed her.  Just like that.  Tragedy for her and her family; but an easy way out for me.”
      “There were many other times that my unspoken wishes caused people hardships and misery.  Many times, I simply didn’t want to go somewhere or do something and occurrences would come up to alter plans and get me out of it.  Rain ruining an outdoor event I wanted to get out of, someone’s car broke down and they couldn’t make it, a sickness or death in someone’s family that cancelled plans for something I didn’t feel like doing.  Sometimes big, sometimes trivial but they would happen, and I would get out of fulfilling my social obligations due to unhappiness inflicted on a person I cared about after I wished for something to get free of my obligations.”
     “And then there was yesterday.  Last week my boss informed me that I would have to fire one of our workers.  Joe was not a great employee, he seemed to do the minimum amount of work possible, and what work he did manage to get done would always be done in the most inefficient manner.  He was a decent guy though, and I was not looking forward to firing him.  I had never had to let anyone go before.”
     He was looking very distressed now, as if he might start crying any minute.
     “I mean, the guy had a wife and kids …” Now he was crying.  “So of course the night before I lay awake in my bed just wishing I wouldn’t have to do it, that there was some way I didn’t have to call him into my office and fire him.”  He paused to blow his nose and wipe the tears off his face.
     “So when I get to work yesterday, no Joe.  So what, he’s frequently late, another reason he needed to be fired.  Two hours later the news comes to me that Joe died in a car accident on the way to work.  It suddenly dawns on me that it was my fault, just like it has been my fault my entire life.  So many times I wanted to get out of something the easy way, and so many times other innocent people had to suffer.”
     He takes a very deep breath.
     “So I have decided to end it.  I can’t go on causing all this pain and suffering on others.  I can’t live with the pain and suffering I’ve already caused.  I just wanted you all to know why I am doing this.”
     With that, he gets up, exits the frame to the left and you hear the gunshot that kills him.
     That was my best friend, Brian Cole.  He killed himself needlessly, just for a string of occurrences that he had no control over, but he assumed it was all his fault.  It was not his fault, of course, that would be ridiculous.
     You see, Brian and I were supposed to go to a concert the night after he committed suicide.  I really didn’t want to go, and I wished that something would come up so we could skip the concert.  Now Brian is dead.
     I now see that everything that happened in Brian’s life was a complex machination to arrive at the point where he would kill himself the day before a concert that I wished I could get out of seeing.  I killed Brian, and all the people for whom he thought he bore the responsibility. 
     I cannot live with this knowledge, please forgive me.

     I found this note with the body of a suicide that I responded to the other night.  My name is Jerry Haring, and I am a police officer here in Los Angeles.  Everyone knew about the Brian Cole suicide, he posted the damn video on Youtube.  Now here was his best friend, hanging from a rope.  Tragically, he was also dead for something that was out of his control, something that he was not responsible for but his confused mind told him he was.  It’s so very sad.
     You see, like many other people in L.A., I am an aspiring screenwriter, and for so many years I have been struggling to come up with a story idea good enough that I could sell to a movie studio. I have spent the last year hoping and praying that I would get a call to a murder or accident that I could turn into a screenplay, a screenplay that would make me famous.
     I know realize that I am the one responsible for this man’s death, as well as Brian and all the people he left dead or maimed in his wake.  All of it was leading up to giving me a great story for a movie script.  So many people dead because of me!
     To my family, and especially my loving wife Cindy, I am sorry, but I cannot live with this any more than the other two could.  Goodbye.

   I found these papers along with my husband Jerry’s body when I got home today.  He shot himself with his service revolver.  He was a good man, and like the others, he died needlessly, for some delusional idea that he was somehow responsible for the death and suffering of so many.
     Jerry was a good man, and a good cop and he deserved so much better.  You see, I have been having an affair for six months now.  We had our troubles in our marriage, but I won’t go into that here.  Last week I started to catch myself thinking that if Jerry died, got shot on the job or something it would make everything so much easier.
     So you see, I am the reason al these good people are dead.  My selfish, petty thoughts killed so many, and now I will join them.  Goodbye.

 A white Persian cat, Snowball, sits looking at his owners bodies.  Jerry, who he had watched shoot himself in the head a few hours ago, and now Cindy, bled out from the cuts on her wrists, laying next to him on the floor.
     In his small but acute feline mind, he remembered how they got home late the other night, two hours after his feeding time.  They cooed and apologized to him, and gave him extra treats with his regular food, but he still wished they were dead.  And now they were.
       Snowball assumes it was all his fault, all of it, even the deaths and pain he doesn’t know about. 
      “Oh well,” he thinks as he goes back to licking his own ass. “I wonder which one I’ll eat first.”

© 2013 David Ferraris

Monday, April 29, 2013

In Praise Of Older Women

It's always weird when I hear guys my age refer to a woman their own age as a MILF.  MILF implies that it's a woman in an age group or category that you wouldn't normally have sex with but you would make an exception for a particular one.  When you're pushing fifty it should be MIHF, as in Mom I Have to Fuck,  because you're no prize yourself and its' not like 20 year old girls are beating down your door to have sex with you.  It's odd that men use acronyms that demean women and somehow think it's a compliment.
Men have always felt entitled when it comes to women.  I’ve heard countless guys sitting around talking about women, be it someone they know or a movie star or model. They always say things like “I’d fuck her” or “She’s not that hot, but I wouldn’t kick her out of bed” in a tone that implies that they would be doing these woman a favor.  Do they really think they would have a chance with any of these women they’re talking about?  Do they think Angelina Jolie is sitting around waiting for the chance to have sex with some middle-aged, out of shape guy that spends his time talking to other guys about imaginary sex partners?  Forget Angelina, do they think some random woman they see in the supermarket would want to drop everything and hop into bed with them because they decide she’s good enough for him?  
I think men also believe that if a woman is older that she’s desperate enough to take what she can get, but I assume it’s the opposite.  Older women are not scrounging around for sexual bread crumbs, indiscriminately bedding down with any man pathetic enough to have her. When a woman is older she realizes that there are more important things in life than fulfilling men’s selfish fantasies.  In most cases I’ve found that people grow and change as they age, and their priorities change in regards to sex.  Well, women do anyway. 
If you have sex with an older woman and you’re not cutting it in the sack she won’t waste her time showing you what you’re doing wrong, she doesn’t have that kind of patience anymore.  If you’re a really hot, young, go all night kind of guy, then yeah, she’ll have the patience.  If you’re her age you’re expected to know what you’re doing and if you don’t … well, there’s a million more that look like you that do.  Older woman have shit going on in their lives and they don’t have time to waste on your sorry ass.  As much as you may think you’re doing her a favor, it’s really the other way around, trust me.
Don’t get me wrong, women my age enjoy some no strings sex also.  I always seem to notice that whenever one of these aging Lotharios go out with a woman for a fling, they are the ones that never seem to be able to handle it when it turns out to be just that.  They’re a mess when the woman doesn’t want something more, and the next thing you know they turn into borderline stalkers. 
Older women hold all the cards.  Nowadays they have even been marketed to younger guys as “cougars”.  Society has convinced young guys that they would really rather be sleeping with women twice their age than other twenty-somethings.  This, like everything else, is playing to men’s insecurities.  The whole cougar phenomenon is telling young guys that older women are desperate, a sure thing, prepared to do all kinds of wild and kinky stuff on the first date because they have to work harder just to get you to have sex with them.  That, of course, is ridiculous.  The only thing any woman has to do to have sex with any guy, regardless of age, is to let them. 
If you are a cougar, just remember: odds are that the younger guy is looking for you because he thinks you need him.  That means he is actually the one with the self-esteem problem, which means you are in the driver seat.  I think most older women understand this, and if they don’t and they’re reading this, then the cats out of the bag.
Personally, I would much rather go out with a woman my own age.  I have dated women 10, even 20 years my junior and it gets very old really quickly.  In most cases, I can sit and talk to a woman half my age for about twelve minutes before I want to stick a screwdriver through my eye and into my brain.  It’s nothing against them, but I cannot relate to their world anymore, nor can they relate to mine, and that’s how it should be.  If it were just sex and no talking that would be one thing, but I guess that would be prostitution.  Also, it wouldn’t be any fun. 
When you mature, you realize that sex isn’t only about just the physical aspect.  That part is still fun, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the only part.  Sex that only consists of the physical act and only that gets old after awhile if that’s all you have.  Sure there are people from time to time where the sex is great, but just talking to them is like nails on a blackboard.  You can try to reconcile the two, but in the end no amount of great sex can sustain a relationship if you don’t like or respect who the person is. 
As a person gets older they come to realize that having someone you can trust, or that makes you feel comfortable and sexy with who you are is a much bigger part of the equation than just getting off.  It’s all a very tricky thing for most people, which is why I suppose there are so many people still out there looking for MILFs or cougars, or boy toys or whatever. 
Maybe it’s the labels that get us into these messes in the first place.  Keep in mind, the term “older woman” is a relative term, it can mean just about anything depending on the age of the person using it.  To a 20 year old, it could mean a 32 year old woman, to a 30 year old it could mean a 36 year old woman.  To a 40 year old, it could mean a 41 year old woman. I notice that the older a guy gets the smaller the age difference he’s willing to put up with, another relative aspect.  A big part of it is that the older a guy gets the less he wants to be reminded of the fact that he’s old, I guess. 
It’s ridiculous of course.  To think that going out with a woman that’s older than you are makes you old is to ignore all the things that actually mean you’re old.  Losing your hair, your physique, dribbling when you pee, etc means you’re getting old, not dating a woman that’s your senior.
Senior.  There’s a word nobody wants to deal with, so lets just ignore that for now.
It’s even more ridiculous to think that going out with a younger woman will make you feel young.  If you really want to feel old, try going out with and keeping up with a young girl.   
I just think people for the most part would be happier dating in their own age group, if they’re serious about it. If you are attracted to an older woman that’s fine, if you are attracted to older women, you might have some esteem issues.
Of course, you can all do whatever you want.  I think we’re all just a bunch of psychotic apes that are hurtling through life with no idea what we’re doing or why we’re doing it.  We should just take care to try not to hurt the other apes feelings along the way.

© 2013 David Ferraris

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Haunting

Chapter one

     Jack Riley stood outside the drab white building, wondering what the hell he was doing there.  This whole thing was ridiculous.  The building was the Ridgeway Hospital for the Mentally Insane, and it had been abandoned for years.  Unfortunately for Jack, it also sat on a prime piece of real estate right in the middle of a tract of land that his company wanted to build high price condominiums on.  He was finally on the verge of obtaining the property, but for one condition the current owner insisted on for the sale to go through.
     He had met Mortimer Tokkett, the very old and apparently very senile man that held the deed to the property a few days ago.  He was a strange old guy, hard to track down.  He had to meet him in his dark old house, with lawyers and real estate people in tow.  The creepy old guy would only sell the property to someone that was willing to spend a night in the building, and if they still wanted to buy it in the morning they were welcome to do it.
     Sure, there had always been rumors that the place was haunted, but any old building in any town always had that mystique about them.  This Mortimer guy seemed pretty sure about it though, but Jack would be damned if some bullshit urban legend told by a senile guy with one foot in the grave would keep him from getting the land.  So he agreed.  He was allowed to bring four other people with him, so he gathered some people that supposedly knew a thing or two about ghosts.  Plus, his assistant Audrey.  He was waiting for them now.  Audrey was already with him.
     Audrey Trent was wondering what she was doing here also.  She had been Jack Riley’s assistant for five years now, and it could be a very demanding and thankless job.  The long hours didn’t matter much, she supposed. She didn’t have much of a life anyway.  Only her cat Norton relied on her, and he didn’t rely on her that much at all when she really thought about it.  Jack Riley relied on her for everything and all she usually got for her help was a meager paycheck and a lot of demands and insults.  She never spoke up or stood up for herself.  She had always been that way; quiet, trying to avoid confrontation. 
     She didn’t think she was very attractive or special in any way, so she usually just went about her life, not expecting anything and not getting anything.  She wondered if Norton would even miss her tonight while she stayed in a haunted mental hospital. 
     The thought of staying here frightened her, but Jack wanted her here and she couldn’t say no to her boss.
     Jack looked at Audrey with contempt.  She wasn’t the best assistant, totally useless with other people, but she was good with errands and paperwork and didn’t cost him much money.  Plus, she continued to work for him while most people would have gotten fed up and left a long time ago.  If he had to waste a night in this place, he might as well have her here and get caught up on some work.  ‘Where were these ghost experts?’ He thought to himself, standing in the cold October air.
      Harry Watkins was running late, but wasn’t he always?  He had stopped at the convenience store to stock up on some snacks for the night and it had taken longer than he thought.  Harry was no stranger to snacks.  He couldn’t help it, when he was nervous, he ate.  When he was depressed, he ate.  Unfortunately for him his life was an endless cycle of depression and anxiety, so he was quite obese.  So he had stood in the store aisle, feeling guilty for all the high calorie snacks in his arms trying to talk himself into putting them back while simultaneously trying to justify buying them. 
      The justification won out, but now he was late getting to the building where he would be spending the night.  He wasn’t even sure why he was doing this.  He had gotten a call from some woman named Audrey, and her boss wanted to pay him $100.00 to spend the night in what was rumored to be a haunted insane asylum.  They had found him because of his website, which was all about paranormal activity in the area, with a good deal of it devoted to the Ridgeway Hospital for the Mentally Insane.  It had been closed in the 60’s, and ever since it had been the source of many stories and supposed sightings.
      They seemed to think he was some sort of expert on it, but in reality he was just a geek in his mid thirties, living with his parents and blogging about cool ghost stuff.  Well, if they thought he was an authority on the place, let them think it.  He could use the money and it would finally get him access to the place so he could get some good pictures for his site.  He pulled up in front of the building, got out of his car and made his way to the front door to meet Jack Riley and his assistant Audrey.
     “You’re late Mr. Watkins.” Jack told him, sounding annoyed.  Harry sensed he seemed quite comfortable being annoyed.
     “I’m sorry, Mr. Riley is it?  I got tied up with something, but I’m here now and it’s still a while until nightfall.”
     “I didn’t ask for an excuse, I was simply stating a fact.” Jack shot back at him.  “So you know all about this place, huh?  Enlighten me.”
     “Well, basically it was an insane asylum built in the 1920’s.  It was originally meant to be a place for frazzled housewives and people suffering from nervous breakdowns, but as society changed it came to be used to house the criminally insane.  It got quite a reputation for cruelty and some claimed they were doing experiments on the inmates by the time public outrage had it closed down.  Of course the most famous inmate was Henry …”  Jack cut him off abruptly.
     “That is entirely uninteresting Mr. Watkins.  All I care about is spending the night so I can buy the property and build my condos.”  Jack glanced down at his smart phone and started checking emails.
     “Okay Mr. Riley,” Harry said, “but you should also know that it’s said the spirits of some of those insane criminals still reside here, angry and demented, wanting revenge.”
      “Yes, I’m very frightened Mr. Watkins.”  Replied Jack, not even looking up from his phone.  “That’s why you’re here, to save me from the bogeyman. Now where are these other two ghost chasers?  Miss Trent?”  His voice was sounding more impatient.
     “I gave them the address and told them the time to be here Mr. Riley,” Audrey said, “I don’t know why they aren’t here yet.”
     Jack stared at her for a moment. 
     “So why aren’t you calling them to find out where they are, Miss Trent?”
     “Oh, of course.” She answered, fumbling for her phone.
     Harry didn’t like the way Riley spoke to her.  She seemed very nice, and he gave her a smile as if to let her know he was on her side.  He didn’t particularly like Jack Riley.
     Audrey hung up her phone. “They didn’t answer Mr. Riley, but I’m sure they’ll be here soon.”
     “Uh huh.” Muttered Jack, more interested in his emails. 
     “I’m not even going to answer it.” Frank Newman told his wife Susan.  “How is it going to look if they know we got lost getting there?”
     “We’re ghost hunters, not explorers.  Who cares if we made a wrong turn?”  Susan snapped back at him.  “You worry about the stupidest things.”
     “Me worrying about stupid things is the only reason we have a business at all.”
     “Some business,” She said.  “A small store that sells ghost detecting supplies and an occasional job checking out supposed hauntings, and not one of those ever produced a ghost.”
     “Look” countered Frank, “We both decided to go into this line of work, don’t make it sound like it was all my idea!  Let’s not argue about this now.”  His voice trying to sound calm.  “We need to get there.  There’s 300 dollars in this for us.”
     “I still say you could have gotten more.  Why did you take the first offer?”
      “300 dollars was more than we made all last month!”  Frank shot back, “I wasn’t going to take a chance on losing out.  Now where are those directions I wrote down?  What street am I supposed to turn on?”
     Susan fumbled with some papers.
     “Left on Locust Valley Road.”  She said, “With all this electronic ghost equipment you couldn’t have gotten GPS?”
     “Just let it go, Susan!  Let’s just get there.”
     They pulled up to the building just as the sun was starting to go down.
     “Here they are Mr. Riley!”  Exclaimed Audrey.  “Now everybody’s here.”
     Jack, Harry and Audrey watched the Newmans, obviously arguing in the parked car before they finally got out and started unloading equipment from the back seat and trunk.
     “That certainly is a lot of junk you brought with you.”  Jack Riley told the Newmans once they made it up the walk to the building.
      “It’s a lot of sensitive electronic equipment Mr. Riley.”  Frank said, “We are very professional and want you to get the most for your money.”
     “About the money,” Started Susan, “It might cost a bit more than my husband agreed to on the phone, after all professional parapsychologists are not chea…”
      Jack Riley cut her off abruptly.  “You will be paid the amount originally agreed on Mrs. Newman, not a penny more.”
      Frank and Susan glared at each other, but neither said another word about money.
      They stood staring at the front door of the building until Jack cleared his throat.
      “The key, Miss Trent?”
      “Oh, of course Mr. Riley.”  Audrey had completely forgotten she had the keys to the building. She was always doing scatterbrained things like this.  No wonder Mr. Riley was always getting mad at her.  She approached the door and tried several of the keys, fumbling as she did.
     “Give me those!” snapped Jack, snatching them from her hands.  He started trying the lock, but seemed to have as much trouble as Audrey.  Harry smiled at her, but she quickly looked down at her feet, and he felt an urge to put his arm around her.
     Jack managed to get the door open and they all stepped inside.  They found themselves standing in a large entrance area, with long hallways going off in several directions, their doors long gone.  Light was still coming through the tall grated windows, throwing shadows across the trash and debris that was scattered on the floor. Rodents and other animals had obviously been residing here in the years since it became abandoned. 
      “Alright, there are cots and blankets and lanterns in the truck outside,” Jack stated “let’s get them in here and get set up before it’s completely dark.”
      They got all their belongings and set themselves up in separate rooms, other than the Newmans who set up at a desk in the entrance of the wing containing everyone else’s quarters.  They had a huge array of meters and cameras setting on the counter top.  Harry asked what they were for.
      “Well, we have basic cameras, still and camcorders.  We use them to document the area and try to capture any activity that might occur.”
      “Have you?” Harry inquired.
       “Have we what?” Frank seemed confused.
      “Have you ever captured any activity?”
      “Well, no.” Frank explained, “But cameras are just a small part of it.  We also have digital recorders to try to pick up any disembodied voices that we can’t hear normally.  We have thermal scanners to pick up on any cold spots, and of course we have an EMF meter.”
     “EMF meter? What’s that?” Harry asked
     “An EMF meter measures fluctuations in the magnetic field.  These fluctuations could be the result of paranormal activity.”
     “So have you found any fluctuations with it?”
     “Well,” Frank said, “We’ve noticed some stuff.  It’s hard to say exactly what caused it, but it’s very exciting.”
      “Perhaps you’ll get lucky tonight and we’ll see some sign of Henry.”
      “Henry?” Frank was confused, “Who’s Henry.”
      “Henry Givens.” Harry explained,  “The worst criminal occupant ever housed in this hospital.”
      “Why, uh, why the worst?” Stammered Frank.
      “Henry’s crime was that he killed several children in his neighborhood.  When the cops searched his place they found the children’s dismembered body parts everywhere. What really made them gag was that some of the flesh was in pots on the stove.  Henry had been eating them.”
      “Eating them?” Frank repeated, shocked.
      “Yes, eating them.” Harry confirmed. “They put him in here after the trial.  They say that the parents got together and paid a guard to kill Henry for what he had done, so after lockdown he slipped in Henry’s room to do him in.”
     “…And?” prodded Frank
     “In the morning they found the guard dead in Henry’s room, with half of his organs eaten.”
      “Oh my God.” Said Frank, visibly shaken.  “Well, unpleasant as that may be, Henry is long dead now, right?”
      “Yes,” Harry confirmed, “But in the 70’s some kids were in here partying and one of them passed out and the rest left him here sleeping.  The next day they found him dead, his eyes and most of the flesh on his face missing.”
      “Come on, now. That has to be an urban legend.”  Frank said, laughing nervously.
      “Perhaps it is,” Harry replied, “But legends usually have a grain of truth somewhere in them.  Well, happy hunting!” 
     He made his way back to his room, but on the way he passed Audrey’s room and stopped at her doorway.
     “Have you got everything set up okay Miss Trent?” He asked.
      Her back was to him and she jumped, startled.
     “Yes Mr. Watkins.  I didn’t see you there.”
     “I’m sorry.”  He told her, feeling foolish.  “I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
     “It’s okay.” She reassured him, “I guess we’re all a little on edge.”
     “I guess we are.” Harry agreed.  They stood there looking at each other for a moment, then it started to get uncomfortable.
     “Well, let me know if you need anything.”  Harry finally said, and hurried off to his room.
      ‘He’s a little strange’ Audrey thought to herself, ‘but he seems nice.’
      A little while later Jack called them all out in the hallway.  He stood up in the dim light from the lanterns and addressed them all,
      “Listen people, I just want to get through this and leave at dawn and go sign the papers that say this land is mine.  Do whatever you have to do to make sure nothing happens that might upset that plan.  I don’t know about ghosts or spirits or maybe some shit that Mortimer Tokken might have planned, but I don’t care.  Again, I just want to get through the night and leave in the morning in one piece.”  He looked one by one at each of their anxious faces.
        “Okay boys and girls,” Jack Riley said, “Let’s get to it.  I have a feeling it’s gonna be a long night!”

Chapter two

     The night passed without paranormal incident, as there is no such thing as ghosts.  Harry and Audrey had a brief, unsatisfying sexual encounter in an out of the way room that gave a momentary anomalous reading on Frank and Susan’s EMF meter, but nothing else interesting happened.  Jack was free to obtain the property as he fulfilled the odd stipulation of Mortimer Tokken, who died a few weeks later and left everything to his small dog Mr. Scruffs. 

© David Ferraris 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Classic Rock

     I fucking love classic rock. I don’t care how you feel about it, I even loved it before it was classic!  Not so much the same songs you hear over and over again on the classic rock stations. (although those are fucking awesome too!) but the whole genre.  From the incredible opening of “Slowride” by Foghat to the lesser known gems like “Never Been Any Reason” by Head East, from heart felt ballads like “Beth” by Kiss to power rock anthems like “Teenage Wasteland” by The Who.  Did you know that it’s not really called “Teenage Wasteland”?  The real title is “Baba O’Riley”, and the fact that I know the actual title should tell you something about the level of knowledge and commitment I have to rock and roll.  You are not dealing with some amateur here!  In fact, if I’m not mistaken, I think Baba O’Riley is the name of Pete Townshend’s Irish opium dealer from the 70’s. 
     I will never stop listening to classic rock!  If you can’t handle that, you can just suck it!  Classic rock is the soundtrack of my life, and if it seems like that soundtrack has been skipping a lot like the needle in a record (a fucking classic rock record!) then so be it!  You’re not gonna change me.  I will listen to classic rock until the day I die. 
     I know some people are thinking that my parents felt the same way about their music and I’m just as lame as I thought they were for clinging to their “oldies” from their youth.  Well, this is completely different.  My parents still listen to songs from the 50’s and 60’s, where as I listen to songs from the 70’s and 80’s!  I mean, come on, my parents are like 20 years older than I am!  Plus, I even like some bands from the early 90’s, so I’m nothing like my parents!
     Unlike my parents, I also like new music. My musical tastes grow and change, and I’m open to new music and ideas. Take Van Halen, for instance.  I liked the original line-up with David Lee Roth, and I liked them with Sammy Hagar.  I also like them now with David Lee Roth back in the band again. If that’s not diversity, I’d like to know what is!
     Not that fucking rap and hip hop garbage, or electronic music, or the manufactured, auto-tuned teeny-bopper crap out there today.  I’m talking about real music, put out by classic rock bands to this day. That’s right, yesterdays classic rock bands are putting out exciting new music even now, showing how relevant they are.  Besides Van Halen getting back with Dave, Aerosmith and Kiss have new albums out recently.  These albums are amazing because (and this is totally awesome and should end the accusations that these bands are just regurgitating the same old ideas over and over once and for all) they went back and got their old producers or recorded analog or specifically wrote songs so the albums sound just like the bands early albums!  That’s right, these bands have grown and progressed so much musically that they can effortlessly recapture their kick-ass sound and material that made them classic rock superstars in the first place!  Fuckin’ A right!  Did you know that the new Van Halen album is mostly made of songs from unused demos from the bands early days!  Now that is new and exciting!
     I know some people also say Kiss is getting a little old, and that Gene Simmons has become a joke, an old Jewish guy playing bass dressed like a demon.  Who cares what those people say.  Gene still rocks!  I can picture the wild scene backstage, kvetching about putting on that fakakta make-up and schlepping around the country on tour!  Asking if someone messed with the thermostat because it’s cold in here!  Angry because he specifically asked for split pea soup in their rider!  That’s rock and roll baby!

Say what you want about classic rock, it’s way better than the garbage my kids listen to these days.  Do you see the way kids dress today?  Listening to rap with their pants hanging down!  They look like idiots!  I can look back fondly at my youth, listening to heavy metal and wearing bandanas and spandex.  Now that was cool!  My long hair full of hairspray, my awesome boots, my countless band patches and pins on my denim jacket … and my kids actually laugh at old pictures of me.  They have no taste nowadays!
     Let them laugh. I know the truth and I know years from now classic rock will still be popular and no one will remember all this rap and Britney Spears nonsense!  I’ll tell you what is strange though.  The other day on the oldies station I heard a couple of classic rock songs.  Somebody screwed up big time!  Could you imagine, confusing classic rock songs from the 70’s with oldies!  I sure hope that DJ got in trouble.

© David Ferraris 2012