Saturday, March 7, 2009

How Frank Zappa helped transcend class differences, avert mob justice and apprehend the drunken dipshit who whizzed in our elevator – March 7, 2009

Why did it hurt when this guy peed?

Some of you may know that the tango, which is not a very popular dance anymore, was at one time reputed to be a dance of unbridled passion. You may also know that I write the Police Log for the Arcata Eye newspaper.

The coplog has gained some well-earned disrepute for its rhetorical excesses, which sometimes work and sometimes don't. Any creative writer (or musician or painter for that matter) can attest that there are times when the muse is present and others when you have to fall back on mere technique.

Maybe it's the water, mama, maybe it's the tea. Or maybe it's the fact that there was incidental Zappa content to an item I was writing up this morning that made me go off on a big old tangent. Actually it was probably just that I experienced the incident – a relatively minor one of some boozed-out schlub pissing in the elevator at the building I work in. I'd like to point out that despite this infraction, he's probably a very nice young man on some level, his mom probably loves him and that one day, he'll make a fine loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care.

So I had a grand time writing this thing this morning (with coffee as my sole trendy chemical amusement aid). That doesn't necessarily mean that it will be any fun to read, in fact getting through the grating grandiloquence and annoying alliteration will probably be work for most people. But like Frank always said, if two or three people get it, it's worth everyone else not.
• Tuesday, February 17 2:55 p.m. When the elevator doors opened on the fourth floor of an historic Plaza storehouse, a baked, boozed or both young man clad in today’s exciting falling-down-pants fashion was, unfortunately, observed peeing in the corner as he slumped against the wall of the lift.

As he struggled with the daunting logistics of zipping up, the potted pisser undertook a half-hearted psyops effort intended to distance himself from culpability for the still-spreading pool of urine rapidly overtaking the elevator’s floor. “That’s gross... mmgmshnhff, man... like, mmffgmmn,” he slurred with unconvincing moral outrage in fluent dipshitese, as though the shimmering sewage had been unleashed by some other drunken schlub and he just happened to be standing in it with his Johnson deployed.

As the door opened on the second floor (the lobby of which was full of little kids running around and eating ice cream during their President’s Week school break), a crisply attired and well-groomed young woman began to enter, but was warded away from the tepid tidepool by the well-meaning witness, lest she befoul her footwear in the piquant pee-puddle.

Meanwhile, the confused culprit mounted a low-velocity getaway effort which was hampered somewhat by distracting technical difficulties with his zipper and with maintaining fashionably sub-nominal trouser elevation. Staggering down the hall and then stumbling down the stairs as the witness described him to the police via cell phone, the saggy-clad lad first offered to bash the witness’s fucking head in, then proceeded eastbound through an alley and then on a northbound course through the Plaza.

With police on the way, the enervated elevator effluator struggled mightily to shed outer layers of clothing so as to confound the description phoned in to police, though the newly exposed underlayers were just as easily described real-time to the APD dispatcher, who relayed the info to the officer en route.

Approaching a gaggle of goodtime gadabouts at the Plaza’s center, the low-effort liquifier motioned back to the persistent pursuer, painting him as an oppressor or stalker of some sort (“That mo-fo’s following me!”), perhaps hoping to rouse the rabble to a street-justicey intervention that would cut off the chase.

However, what the wee-wee wanderer wasn’t aware of was that, as fate would have it, the crimefighting cop-caller and the putative Plazoid posse had already set aside both class and lifestyle differences and male-bonded in deep and lasting fashion in days past over matters of profound common musical interest.

In spotting the vigilant witness that fleeing pee-boy had pointed out, the agglomerated idlers recognized him and began bellowing with animated glee and bursting into song, even.

“ZAPPPPAAAA!”
they howled, invoking selected titles of the musical titan’s masterworks in spontaneous joy. “Dinah-Moe Humm! Suzy Creamcheese!” the Zappaphile ’Zoids howled, dancing in circles, riffing on air guitars and high-fiving the self-appointed central scrutinizer’s free right hand as he passed by, while he continued tracking the fleeing pissant’s journey via cell phone with the other. (Had the drippy dimbulb ever attained sufficient musical erudition to appreciate the broad-ranging and eclectic repertoire of Frank Zappa, he might have joined in the lyrical merriment with an ironic excerpt from “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?” off Joe’s Garage, but alas, it was not to be.)

As the urinary incompetent meandered toward Tavern Row, police cars closed in, eventually encircling him at Ninth and H streets. On asking the witness and suspect what had happened, an officer’s investigation was interrupted by a cameo player in the drainage drama: an emaciated, prematurely wizened-looking traveler who had tagged along from the Plaza’s center. Volunteering to “mediate” the situation with his abundant spare time, the diminutive diplomat was sternly commanded to mind his own business by the officer. At this, the uninvited sprite dutifully reversed direction to rejoin his colleagues, still cavorting ’neath the stolid flanks of a battered Plaza statue.

Meanwhile, bladder boy continued to claim that he was the wronged party, sitting on the curb and sputtering out a spittle-flecked legal analysis to the effect that the witness’s reporting of his hoist-moistening misdeed was “illegal” and by extension, presumably inadmissible. Police weren’t swayed by the pro-bonehead legal advice from the curbside witness stand, and the vitiated varlet was soon in shackles, being chauffeured to a steel-and-concrete facility featuring more-than-ample modern conveniences to accommodate any further waste disposal imperatives, assuming the percolating poltroon can master the elusive intricacies of mechanical operation of the flush handle, which may be a leap of faith. There, he was booked on a public drunkenness charge.

The witness then returned to the storehouse with the intention of eradicating the fetid pool from the elevator, but a business there inexplicably refused to loan him their mop and bucket. This reversal was all the excuse the sewage Samaritan needed to give up on that distasteful chore and go about the non-urine related business which had been interrupted 10 minutes previous and four floors up, relevant passages from certain special songs still swirling through the canyons of his mind. Knirps for moisture.
Yes, this actually will appear in a community newspaper Wednesday, March 11, 2009.