Snake Bit in the Snake Pit

I'm not myself today. Excuse me.

I know several things. Ambient, House, Trance, Downbeat, Jungle, Turntablism. I once asked a DJ why I find Trance music so crapulescent and he said, “Because it's in 4/4 time.”

MOST MUSIC is in 4/4 time. Trance is merely 4/4 time stripped down to its bare-est metronomic thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Or TOOM ssh TOOM ssh TOOM ssh TOOM ssh.

“Yeah, Mr. Butterlick,” says the Wise Skeptic, “But look at ‘Satisfaction.' In that song, which everyone can't stop talking about, Charlie plays on every downbeat with a wham wham wham wham all the way thru just like a trance beat. What's the difference?”

I'll tell you, jacknut. Two people were playing guitars and another guy was playing a bass. And most significantly, someone was singing.

Which brings me to the reason I like rap, hip hop, and country music. It's the same beat over and over to be sure but there's a story. Hold the presses! Did Strapping Danforth just say he likes Rap? Yes he did. I like stories. I like good stories. I like vocal gymnastics and I like genuine human emotion. Yodeling and freestyling are brothers. One day, ladies and gentlemen, I'll explain, nay, PROVE to you that reggae is a direct descendent of country music (and we already know rap popped out of reggae). I'm high on drugs. I can't deny it. It's hard to focus.

Here's the story of why I'm on drugs: I went to the Snake Pit , which is on Thirteenth and Pearl approximately the other night. It was a lovely summer night full of drunken kids chasing each other back and forth across the street. Everyone was wearing tanktops. I had intended to see Denver Joe but there was a woman in the Cricket who had wronged me so I turned around. She followed me out of the bar and I ran down the street, ducking into the Snake Pit. I hid in the men's room for ten minutes and then snuck out the bar where I ordered drinks for me and my father, god rest his soul. O JEEEEEEEZUS the scene was awful. Lights, music, people trying to dance. Why can't anyone dance anymore? You either gotta know how to tango, do all that salsa crap or you get all screwed up on goofy pills and try very, very hard to look sexy but fail. Expecially the guys. Girls, they can pretty much do anything they want. Show some cleavage and boys love you ‘cause boys are stupid. And boy are they stupid.

I'm not gonna bother describing the music. You've heard it. Combined with the lights, the clothes, youthful hormones, and the energy drink of your choice, the bass grabs your vital organs and tosses them back and forth while the wacky beeping noises turn your skull into a sponge which subsequently soaks up your brain and leaves you writhing naked on the floor.

I was disrobing underneath a table when the woman from the cricket (my ex-wife, if you must know) appeared out of nowhere and kicked me near the shin. In my weakened state I would have apologized for years of neglect and abandonment had I not at that moment suffered a most fortuitous heart attack.

Now I'm in a hospital. The nurses are kind. The doctors talk to me like I'm an idiot. And I'm writing very slowly. My ex-wife pities me. I'll be all right, they say. I must stop smoking. I stopped smoking a month ago. I must stop drinking. Not a problem. I must get more cardiovascular exercise. At the mention of exercise I winked at the ex-wife who was kind enough not to rip the IV out of my arm and roll my bed into the middle of traffic. I have been an asshole for too long. Life's too short to waste on statements like life's too short. Mean people suck. Suck mean people. No, no. I'm friendly. No longer the bitter bastard. I'm the enlightened bastard. My parents never loved me.

I understand the delicate nature of life.

And with that understanding, I KNOW with every fiber in my bruised and tired heart that I'll NEVER go to the Snake Pit again.

--Strapping Danforth, July 2001

#

From: Strapping Danforth
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2001 5:11 PM
To: Lois
Subject: Health Care

Lois,

I have a question. I'm not terribly good at questions like this so I'll put it as honestly as possible. Strapping Danforth has some huge hospital bills to pay. I was wondering if, er, you would be willing to contribute between twenty and fifty dollars for this and all subsequent articles written by him or his heirs which you deem worthy of putting in Riff. You may say no and we'll keep sending you these articles and I'll understand. Strapping, however may not. His hospital bills are piling up. So are his piles, as if that's any of your business.

Sincerely,

Kevin

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