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Saturday, June 30, 2007

À la Recherche des Disques Perdus

I am a man of many, many petty and annoying neuroses, deprecated as the term may be. As with all such, the tiniest infraction causes unseemly distress; always real, and always way out-of-proportion to the [very] particular complaint. My kids have long known, for example, that the easiest way to Off The Old Man Without Being Caught would be to arrange for something sticky to fall onto his fingers while he is driving. I wouldn't think to stop the car, or pull over to the verge - I'd be so lost in eliminating horrorstory tackiness that I'd be over the cliff and into the sea before I knew it. Although it's entirely possible I might have signalled first.

One of those neuroses manifests as a need to have disky things - CD's, DVD's, records - kept well-ordered and pristine - a case for everything, and everything in its case, says I.

My belovèd family, other hand, are total anarchists when it comes to the orderly maintenance of Home Entertainment media. Worse: they're animals, I tell ya! Not only do they not put disks away, they'll leave them lying around unprotected, where the dust and detritus and jam can eat them. They trash a case, they don't care: throw it under a bed, or - grraaagh! - stuff a half-case, empty, back in its place where Pops won't notice until he goes to pull it out one day to play in the car on his way to work.

But worst of all, worse even that the sly culling of my collection that leaves me tearing around headless after Exit Stage Left (I'm on that CD, you bastards, singing along to Closer to the Heart, from wenawiz your age!) or La Damnation de Faust - worst of all is that often they do appear to play the game. They do put them back, but they put the wrong disk in the wrong case. So you're in the car, you think you've just put Bach in the player, but what flies out the speakers is some shite like Bananafeckinrama or Disco Doozies! And that just drives me mental.

Anyway. So we're remodelling, still - the other rooms, remember? New floors and new paint in the computer room where my CDs live, and this morning I'm emptying the bookshelves so we can paint the shelves and finish the room. I'd emptied the book half of the shelves the other week, and today I've been emptying the CD side: loading the remnants of my music collection, and a gazillion old computer games, all into boxes. Take each CD in turn, dust it, open the case, check contents for correctness. This way, I figure, I stand a chance of making things right again before they're dropped in the box. I'll sort them later, says me, when I put them back on the shelves after the room is done, when I'm sure no-one is looking. They'll slag me rotten if they see me doing that.

So, picking through the piles, semi-sorting into Classical, or Opera, or Rock, or Wierd, or Mom's - the better to pull them out later - when I hit upon this one that I'd totally forgotten I'd bought. Must be twelve, fifteen years old, because it came from the Marconis era. And right there, right then, like some erstwhile reprobate Proust, it took me back to all those drunken parties where everyone, at some point, did this:

My pal Iain had the face - the rest of us just clumped around like gormless pratts. Which of course, we were.

It also brought back my first ever trip to America, and my horror at how they poured Guinness, which was to skoosh it straight out the tap and into the glass like it was Miller-Lite or some other such fizzy dross. No delay; no two-minute careful pour, no three-minute desperate wait watching it settle; just straight-out Splat! This was in Boston, too, where you'd think they'd know better.

This in turn prompted an internal debate, which I won't bore you with, discussing the question: Why Are American TV Commercials So Crap? They're not, of course - just mostly crap. Same in Britain: but good commercials in Blightey are, on-the-whole better, than good commercials here. And Guinness has always been particularly good.

I found the case for Exit Stage Left. It was empty.



Blogger DarkoV said...

That 2nd Guinness commercial explains why your basic Fundumbentalist American beer drinker would never drink anything but that horse-pissy Budweiser.

That 1st commercial? The beer-dancer looks (and acts) like a very young Rowan Atkinson, doesn't he? Mr. Atkinson have a beer-loving son?

11:52 AM  
Blogger DarkoV said...

"..gormless pratts"

Your gift for adjective-noun combinations know no bounds.

Your ability to confess to your still owning Pérez Prado's "King of Mambo" knows no hubris.

You, sir, truly are a man onto your own world, irregardless of whether you'll ever find "Exit Stage Left". (Pssst, i'd check to see if it's in this box)

12:03 PM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

Completely defeated, I bought "Exit Stage Left" again - for the third time - on iTunes. Just as I gave-in and bought "La Damnation de Faust" all over again.

I do hate to cave like this: it means the terrorists have won.

8:01 AM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

Ah buggery bollocks.

I found the damned thing this morning - bare, on the floor, under a pile of boxes.

All it took was me buying the album off iTunes. Which leads to another train of thought that I might explore later...

6:26 PM  
Blogger DarkoV said...

"..bare...on the floor, under a pile of boxes..."

I'm assuming that it wasn't playable having been thusly placed and then moved about the room as if it were a floor sanding disk.
Or, maybe it actually sounded better, a more gritty version of "live" and perhaps closer to your memory of what it sounded like in the total humanity of the concert hall?

6:29 AM  
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