DARRELL VICKERS – FARTING THROUGH NYLON Chapter One Compound Crud

 

In the epic pages that follow, I will weave a tale of a love so pure and transcendent, that angels will have to dab tears from your soggy cheeks as you read.   Your heart cockles may also become exceedingly warmed, so wearing a non-flammable shirt or blouse is advised.  The majestic pallets of dazzling color, that can ordinarily only be seen on the Hi-Def National Geographic Channel, may seem drab in comparison to the blindingly exotic world I shall paint with mere words.  Prepare thyself.  The powerful, nay, volcanic dénouement that I will unleash will leave you physically drained and emotionally spent.  And you might also want to procure a snack, because once you start reading this sucker, you’re not going to want to put it down. 

Okay, you’ve been warned.   My obligations, as a responsible author, have been fulfilled.

Now we can begin.

This whole adventure/love story, et cetera started quite innocently as many adventures/love stories, et ceteras often do.

It was 11:30, on some anonymous weekday morning, when an antiquated alarm clock shook me rudely from my golden slumbers.

Who the hell am I, you ask?  See, I’ve already entangled you in the sticky strands of my intricate literary web!  Good, ‘cause I can sure use the money from the sales of this towering saga.  Be sure to tell your friends about it.

The name is Zack Bramble.  On the portentous morn in question, as my alarm clock savagely plunged thousands of rusty bayonets into my aching skull and I cursed the very womb that gave me life, I was a 23 year old graduate of Williams College. (yes, “The” Williams College)  Since waving a fond farewell to that fine and prestigious institution of higher learning, I had been taking a little “Me” time to find myself.  Mostly in establishments that specialize in the sale of distilled liquids…and the occasional pretzel.  But alas, there comes a time in every young, ex-academic’s life when he decides he must give up drinking for a living and thus sets himself a new path, that will lead to a brilliantly successful and spiritually fulfilling career in some stupid profession or other.

On this particular AM, I had decided to enter a transitional period, where I was half drinking and half looking for that great fucking job that was going to have me farting through nylon for the rest of my life.  “Farting through nylon,” for those who are unfamiliar with the term, means living the good life.  I don’t know the specific etymology of this charming and colorful phrase.  It’s something my father says.  My father says a lot of stupid shit, but more about that dickweed later.  I’m far too hungover in the story right now to think about him.

Having silenced “The bells that tolled for moi” with a righteous fist, I donned my slippers.  It has been my experience, that sometimes we skip through life and sometimes we are forced by foul circumstance to crawl.  This was certainly one of the latter of those times, when even the simplest of tasks necessitated Herculean amounts of effort and pluck.  Fortunately, I minored in Pluck at Williams.  (Yes, The Williams.)

The right slipper was a relatively easy affair and only took about 13 minutes to wrestle onto my foot but the left one was a real bugger.  I don’t really like wearing slippers but the thought of attempting to put on my socks was utterly unimaginable.  Of course, I wasn’t out of the morning-chore woods just yet.  Not by a long shot.  My next mountain-heighted hurdle was getting my sad, tired, dyspeptic ass out of bed and all the way to the front door.  Why are front doors traditionally so far away from people’s bedrooms?  On days like this one, it seemed to be so architecturally arbitrary and just plain cruel.  Now, I don’t want to, in any way, diminish the unspeakable brutality and hardships suffered by those poor souls on the Bataan Death March, but man, this had to have been at least that bad.  I may have thrown up along the way.  I’m not really sure.  I do remember eventually getting to the door, taking a few minutes to catch my breath, and then retrieving the paper.  Shit, did I say it was a weekday?  It was actually a Sunday.  The paper was almost impossible to lift and the cartoons were so brightly colored that they almost blinded me.  Had my life really devolved to this?

I stood there for another second or two.  I guess it was more of a lean than a stand.  This momentary pause was mostly to get over my staggering dizziness, but also to reflect.  I was in a very dizzy, reflective mood that particular morning.  Probably 4 parts dizzy to 1 part reflective.  My throbbing mind whisked me away from that wretched but rent-controlled hovel and back to the glorious days of yore.  To the country club with teachers that was Williams College.  (Yes,…) My dear old alma mater was certainly not hard on the eyes.  If God were to crap some buildings onto his own front lawn, that’s what Williams looks like.  The leaves were just turning the color of my vomit in the bedroom as the last blush of life frolicked gaily before the oncoming winter.  Stepford students, in the very latest preppy fall fashions, exposed their perfect teeth to the world in beaming smiles as they floated to class over exquisitely manicured Stepford grass.  I’m sure the birds must have been singing.  They did it practically the whole time I was there.  Even the squirrels seemed smarter and better-furred than the mean, plague-ridded tree turds that they have in New York

I can still remember the musty, dusty smell of those proud ancient buildings of academe.  I imagine gigantic piles of cash, like the one The Joker set fire to in that Heath Ledger/Batman movie, would smell exactly like those halls and classrooms.  Everything you looked at, picked up or smashed to pieces in a drunken fit of Friday-night rage, cost oodles and oodles of jack.

It was like the village in The Prisoner, except that big bubble thing didn’t come and sit on your face every time you tried to go for a swim.  As I recall, it was nigh on impossible to get anything to sit on my face while I was there.  But more about girls later.  I think I’d prefer to wallow for a little while longer.

As I stood/wobbled there on the threshold of my shit-dump apartment, how I missed being surrounded by all that unbridled opulence.  It had been six whole months since I had decided to leave/graduate from that beauteous enclave of intellect and refinement.  The marbled floors and the ancient oak banisters were but a distant memory to me now.  And to top it off, they even made you breakfast.

What the fuck was I thinking?

I had originally gone to “you know where”, to study physics but switched to Art History when this fabulous girl caused me to reassess what dream, if pursued, would gift me with a life well lived.  When she dumped me for some asshole with an actual future, (Williams is packed to the rafters with assholes like that.) I decided to change course and get a degree in Asian studies.  This mostly consisted of me consuming Herculean amounts of Tsingtao.

So I drank, occasionally went to class and even less occasionally got laid.

As I stood there, dizziness and reflection were rapidly being replaced by regret and diarrhea.  This was definitely not going to be my morning.

The next hour was spent in the can, trying to flush ahead of the rising tide and averting my gaze from the really, REALLY vivid and head-splitting colors of Hagar the Horrible’s living room.  I would have left the cartoons out in the kitchen but I was afraid I would run out of toilet paper before I ran out of things to poop.

After nature had run and run and run its course, I made the morning coffee.  It was an aromatic blend of Nescafe instant and hot tap water.  I hadn’t gotten around to buying one of those drippy things yet.  The problem is, if you buy the drippy thing then you have to buy the paper things to put into the drippy thing and where does it all end?  I opened my refrigerator in search of sustenance.  Alas, everything in there looked far too much like Willie Nelson to be appetizing.  I scanned the first cupboard.  There wasn’t anything.  I looked in the other cupboard.  There wasn’t anything.  I checked the cutlery drawer, just in case I’d put some food in there by mistake.  There wasn’t even any cutlery in it.

So, just tap-water coffee and the morning paper.  Mmmmmmm.  And my fucking headache, of course.  Luckily, I had these overwhelming waves of nausea to distract me from my nettlesome peckishness every five or ten minutes.  God knows what I had left inside me that needed out so badly.  I mean, nothing against my own body, but the dry heaves are just stupid and self-defeating.  What was it trying to accomplish?  Yes, I was an idiot.  Yes, I shouldn’t have had so much to drink but you’ve proven your point. I had nothing left to give but here I was, retching over the sink.  It really was time to get over it and move on.  It was like living with my goddamn parents.

Anyway, it was in between two of these unreasonable and overwhelming chunkless heaves that “The Ad” caught my eye.

     It read:

College Grads Wanted now!

Great Pay!

Must have gone to college!

I had often been told that attending a prestigious place of learning like Williams (Yes…) would open up wondrous doors for me.  Little did I know how right that was.

I mean, sure it sounded like a scam.  Any advertisement or offer that says “great pay” or that mentions a plane crash in Bukina Faso is, in reality, offering to drill you a brand new asshole.  It just stands to reason.  Only a cartoon duck wearing a diaper would fall for such an obvious rouse.

Most days, I wouldn’t have given it a second glance but at that exact moment the phone rang.  It was my father.  Yeah, the “farting through nylon” guy.  I won’t burden you with his side of the conversation.  It’s bad enough I had to burden me with it.  My side was way more interesting anyway.

“Oh, hey dad.”

Not that interesting yet, but it gets better.

“No, I haven’t just gotten out of bed.”

Technically, this wasn’t a lie.  I’d already turned my alarm off, put on my slippers, thrown up (I think), made coffee, searched in vain for provender and answered the phone.

“No, I’m not still in my bathrobe.”

Technically, this was a complete lie.

“Look, I’m well aware of how expensive it is to keep me in this Taj Mahal on the Hudson…”

I looked around the room.  The rats in my building had given up fucking so they wouldn’t have to raise their children in such an appalling dump.

Then he came to the question that I knew was coming.  He’s about as obvious as an episode of NCIS.  I looked down at “The Ad” again.

“As a matter of fact, I’m going to see about a job tomorrow.”

Dearest papa requested further clarification.

“Yes, a real fucking job that pays real fucking money.  Which means that you can take your fucking money and you can go shit up a rope with it.”

He always had to have the last word.

“Yes, I’m well aware the expression is, “Piss up a rope.” But I refuse to be defined or suffocated by your smug, moribund, automaton existence.  So fuck you, you asshole rope-shitter!”

And with that I slammed the phone down.  But with dignity and sophistication.  I paused.  I reflected.  I’d been doing a lot of that this particular morning.

I guess “Piss up a rope” does make a lot more sense.  Not to mention being way more physically doable.  Tough either way if you’re a woman.  But, I digress.

It was time for a walk.  I needed to free my mind from all of that parent-generated tension.  A little fresh air would do me good.  Besides, my apartment was smelling way too much like old vomit and I was out of everything.  Perhaps a trip to the store to buy some nutritious snacks and a barf spatula?  And maybe some beer.

On the way down one of those numbered streets they have all over the place in New York, I stopped to look at a dazzling display of cutting-edge technology in an electronics store window.  As I gazed in awe at all that shiny shit with all those buttons and crap, I pondered the concept of money and the staggering array of its uses.  Was that all there was to life?  The endless accumulation of wealth and toys?

I sighed as I gazed forth.  I’d been thinking a lot about money lately.  Certainly, a lot more than I did when I decided to major in Asian studies.

 

As I stood there ogling all those battery-powered wonderments, I have to admit that I was a tad conflicted.  I pondered thusly, “Should I really go for that job interview tomorrow?  Or should I take a stand?  Should I eschew what was expected of me by society?  Go rogue.  Say to hell with convention.  Fuck the status quo.  Should I be who I really am, no matter what the consequences, and spend my days drinking to life, love and youth in equal measure?”

As I stood there in mid-to-late ponder, perhaps even gently rubbing my chin in contemplation, a large black man grabbed both my arms and drove them up my spine and into the back of my head.  From there, it was simplicity itself to smash my face into the store window with a sickening thud and crunch.

“Where the fuck is my fucking money!  You motherfucking motherfucker?”

It was about at this exact instant that I decided I would probably go to that job interview, after all.

I attempted to answer my inquisitive assailant’s question but my words were a tad on the bubbly side due to the blood that was now gushing into my mouth from a severely broken and smooshed nose.  I posited that I had every intention of getting him his money.

“But see, fucktard, I don’t want you to fucking “get” my fucking money.  I want my fucking, motherfucking money now!”

This oh-so-eloquent practitioner of the King’s English was a gentleman by the name of Polo.  I don’t know if he had a last name.  And if he did have one, whether even he remembered what it was.  Quite frankly, between his endless streams of vulgarity, threats of unspeakable violence and uncontrollable outbursts of savage temper, it hadn’t come up.

Polo was the local source of monetary funds for those anxious borrowers whose collateral and cash flow were considered too meager or uneven to warrant a traditional bank’s involvement.  Outwardly, he was of gargantuan size and foreboding in manner.  There was no inwardly.  Legend has it; he once pulled out a man’s intestines and strangled him to death with them.  I later found out that Polo was an orphan…by choice. This made him incredibly successful at collecting from his debtors.  Only the most shallow of thinkers would even entertain the idea of borrowing funds from such an imposing individual.

Unfortunately for me, my father’s miserly stipend was enough to pay for my apartment and food but it left nary a penny in reserve for pot, beer and lap dance gratuities.  Incredibly, there was no thought given to these staples of life when the old shithead was crunching the alms-level numbers for my allowance.  Polo, on the other hand, was more than happy to make up for this minor shortfall, albeit at credit card rates of return.  I had actually managed to save a little money by bravely attempting to cook a meal or two at home, but just as I amassed the expected repayment Polo was now referring to, I also ran out of pot.  A decision clearly had to be made.  While I truly believe that I made the correct and sensible decision for “then,” it was indisputably the wrong and less than well-reasoned decision for “now”.  Luckily, it has always been my policy that, if the truth is going to get you killed, then it is time to start lying through your ass.  So, I decided to tell him a “possible” untruth in an attempt to extricate myself from this regrettable and quite probably fatal predicament.  He was not a man to be on the wrong side of.  Or on any side of, for that matter.

“But, I have a job, Mr. Polo,” I bubbled through my pooling nose-blood.

You see, this was possibly correct because I could quite possibly have a job in the future.  Tomorrow.  Perhaps.  True, it wasn’t true at that moment.  But hey, it might possibly be true soon.  Even though quite probably not.  Polo didn’t seem the sort of fellow to go in for a substantial amount of grammatical nuance, so I deemed it best to leave things as they were.

This possible but not probable truth seemed to give him pause.  A second later, he spun me round like I was a cow in a tornado and smashed the back of my skull against the window three times.  Each time with increasing force.  I took this as a hopeful sign that he was softening his position.

“You better not fuck with me!” he suggested.

I couldn’t really see because of the blinding pain in my head, and the crushed and splayed flaps of my former nose may have been pushed up over my eyes by the sickening impact with the glass, but I did managed to utter, “I’m not,” in the general direction of his voice.

“Cause you know what motherfuckers who fuck with me get?”
“Fucked up?”

He smashed my head back into the glass in the affirmative.  Unlike traditional lenders, when Polo mentions “Fucking me up”, he was not talking about my credit rating.

“GET ME THAT FUCKING MONEY!!”

One last head smash for luck and he stormed off down the street.

“Yes,” I thought, as my senses started to slowly return, “Living the life of a productive drone and adding vast swaths of vibrant thread to the rich tapestry that is the American economy might be just the thing to do.”

I then spent a considerable amount of time just lying on the sidewalk and moaning.

=DV=

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DBAWIS_ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com

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