Monday, July 28, 2014

"the family" funeral, part uno: the preview.

“When are you gonna come down?
When are you going to land?
I should have stayed on the farm;
I should have listened to my old man!

You know you can’t hold me forever –
I didn’t sign up with you.
I’m not a present for your friends to open;
This boy’s too young to be singing the

Blues …

So goodbye yellow brick road!
Where the dogs of society howl.
You can’t put me in your penthouse!
I’m going back to my plough!

Back to the hallowed old owl in the woods,
Hunting the horny back toad.
Oh, I’ve finally decided?  My future lies?
Beyond the yellow brick

Road …

What do you think you’ll do then?
I bet they shoot down the plane!
It’ll take you a couple vodka and tonics,
To set you on your feet again!

Maybe you’ll get a replacement –
There’s plenty like me to be found.
Mongrels who ain’t got a penny,
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the

Ground …

So goodbye yellow brick road!
Where the dogs of society howl!
You can’t plant me in your penthouse –
I’m going back to my plough!

Back to the hallowed old owl in the woods,
Hunting the horny back toad.
Oh, I’ve finally decided?  My future lies?
Beyond the yellow brick

Road!!!!!! …”

-- “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John.  It’s not only my favorite song by Mr. John … but if you read the lyrics, there’s a specific reference to all four members of “The Family” in there.  And there's one line, that perfectly describes, how I feel at this point … and it’s not the one you’d think, on first glance … or even the second one you'd think, on first glance ...

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August 15th.

Five years ago that weekend?  “The Family” was truly forged (and I’d argued saved), by the 300,001st Ounce Tailgate.

Three years ago on that weekend, a collection of four friends known as “The Family”, enjoyed their last truly great moment, of that relationship. 

Two years ago on that (exact) day, the “Text Heard Round the World” set off the events that eventually murdered the friendship, even if it limped along for a few more months, until it was all but utterly massacred on Easter Sunday 2013. 

Massacred, via the ultimate disclosure – the admission by one member of the friendship, that everything they’d pledged to do, to save it? 

Had all been a lie.

A betrayal at Easter time that results in "death"? 

Remind me again – who is the one person you’ll ever know, who does not believe in coincidence?

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I believe in honoring the past – both the good, and the ugly – because it happened.  If it was great?  No wonder I’d want to honor it.  If it was ugly?  Then remember if only to learn from the mistakes.  And if it was some of both? 

Well, isn’t that what life is all about?  I believe a horrific television show noted that years ago:

“You take the good!
You take the bad!
You take ‘em both,
And then you have

The Facts of Life!”

(Pause).  Allow me to offer my profound apologizes, for putting that theme song, in your head … and also allow myself the opportunity to point out, to those of you who believe there are people who never, no matter what, make mistakes in life?

George (bleeping!) Clooney?


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I choose to look back, and honor what was, I have no doubt, the greatest friendship I will ever enter into in my lifetime, in these six posts:

* Part Uno (this post) sets the scene to come.





* And Part Ocho, is my final comments, regarding this once-great friendship.  Which most people would call, a "eulogy".  

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Most of these moments will be funny, or emotional.  A few won’t be pretty, but because I’m me, they mattered to me*.

And because all of them mattered to me?

That makes them memorable.

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(*: I know, I know – I’m just building the case against me, before the state steps in, and assigns me to my new home at Two Rivers Psychiatric.)

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The forty-four(ish) moments** to be fondly (or at least semi-fondly …) remembered, are as follows.  

And like ESPN Insider?  I'll give you a free look, into six moments, to be shared, via this neat little deal known as a "link", in the moments mentioned below ...

“The Chica”:

11: (The Chica Voice) “So My Mom Found Your Site …”
10: (The Chica Voice) “I Want To Talk.  Can I Come Over?”
9: (The Chica Voice) “Bring The Lil’ Scoops.  I Love The Lil’ Scoops!”
8: (The Chica Voice) “I Haven’t Watched It Yet!  I Waited For You!”
7: (Stevo Voice) “Wait – You’re a NASCAR Fan!?!?!?”
6: (Stevo Voice) “Wait – You’re a denver broncos Fan!?!?!?”
5: (The Chica Voice) “Now, Since Your Mom Clearly Didn’t Teach You Certain Things …” 
4: The Last Moment I Believed “The Family” Was Capable Of Being Saved, The Chica Edition.
3: (Stevie Wonder Voice) “Someday At Christmas …”
2: (Stevo Voice) “Oh Come On!  It’s Not Like I Haven’t Ever Seen Them Before!”
1: The Interview.

“The Ex”:

HM: (Simon Cowell Voice) Pauler Abdul Night.
10: (“Seinfeld” Voice) “They Aren't Real … But They Are Spectacular!”
9: (The Ex Voice) “Yeah, Right.  Another Overtime?  Worst!  Excuse!  Ever!”
8: (The Ex Voice) “Wait – Are Those I Heart Beer Boxers You're Wearing?"
7: The First – And Only – Time In My Life, I Decide It’s Too Hot, To Be Outside.
6: The (Nearly) Fatal Conversation.
5: The (Totally) Perfect Saturday.  (Editors note: the link?  Is maybe my fifth favorite memory, of that day, at best.  The day was so damned perfect, the link, is at best, the fifth best part of it ... and those of you who know me even remotely, know how much seeing the performance I linked, meant to me, as I recorded it ...)
3: A Birthday Party Where the Guest of Honor Was Gavin DeGraw.
2: (Stevo Voice) “There!  It’s (Bleeping!) Done!  Are You Two (Bleeping!) Happy Now!”
1: (Maureen McGovern Voice) “There Has To Be A Morning After …”

 “The Champ”:

(Editors note: this might get updated, and elongated.  In the words of “The Champ”: “deal with it!”)

HM6: (The Champ Voice) “We Need Brown Sugar.”
HM5: (The Champ Voice) “Do You Think You Can Clear The Bar Out?”
HM4: Good Friday 2005.
HM3: (The Crush Voice) “I’m Going As The Office Slut!”
HM2: (The Champ’s Mom Voice) “You Can Drive A Stick!?!?!? / (Stevo Voice) Sure!”
11: (The Champ Voice) “Why Don’t We Meet Up At Hooters?”
10: (Stevo Voice) “Hey, Are The Royals Playing Today?”
9: (Matt Saracen Voice) “My Eyes Were Open Coach!  They Were Wide Open!”
8: (Mary Felix Voice) “You Have To Hire Him!”
7: The Last Moment I Believed “The Family” Was Capable Of Being Saved, The Champ Edition.
6: (Stevo Voice) “So, What Are You Doing Friday Night?”
5: (The Champ Voice) “So It Says To Freeze Overnight, Then On Your Drive In, To Crank The Defroster Until The Temperature Reaches …”
4. Projekt Revolution.
3: The Best Weekend Of My Life, That Didn’t Involve A Member Of The Opposite Sex.
2: The Blackout.
1: Friday, November 20, 2009.

The (Meatloaf Voice) “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” Honorable Mention:


The (Don MacLean Voice) "Day The Music Died" Honorable Mention:

1. December 14, 2012.

“The Family”:

11: (Advertisement Voice) “Asian Massages!  On (The) Second Floor!”
10: (The Champ Voice) “I Need You!  Now!  They’re Driving Me Insane!”
9: (NSYNC Voice) “It Ain’t No Lie!  Baby, Bye Bye …”
8: One Last Bonfire At The OK Corral Known As Stubbs …
7: (Stevo Voice) “Why Do We Need A Kid’s Chair?” / (The Champ’s Mom Voice) “She Has My Permission To Use (His) Full Name!”.
6: (The Ex Voice) “Really?” / (The Chica Voice) “Why Am I Not Surprised?”
5: (The Chica Voice) “I Thought He Wanted To Give Me The Business!”
4: The Actual First “Date”.
3: The First “Official” Date.
2: The Last New Year’s Eve, Of Life As It Was.

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(**: there's only one serial killer(s) I've ever been fascinated by, in my life.  David Berkowitz.  The Son of Sam.  The .44 Caliber Killer.  No, I do not believe in coincidence, in picking 44 specific moments, in this murdered friendship, to fondly recall.  Oh, and go figure, that figure of 44, checks in at closer to 60, than 44.  Uum, you're welcome?)

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Part Dos, my favorite memories of “The Chica”, will be up mid-week.  As Mr. Hoduski would note: “stay tuned” …

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