...Hope I Die Before I Get Old

As the first and second wave of rock 'n rollers reach their twilight years, it raises the question, should there be a mandatory retirement age for rock musicians? If Elvis Presley hadn't sh*t himself to death 29 years ago, he'd be 71 years old. Roger Daltrey, the man whose lungs belted that mantra 40 years ago is now 61 years old. The former is currently making secret appearances at bowling alleys in Macon, Georgia while the latter is hawking golden oldie compilations on TV.

Culturally, we Americans give the venerable and primordial very little regard. Old buildings are abandoned in grand old cities as cheap, sh*tty office centres spring up in the suburbs. Our parents and grandparents are shoved into nursing homes. The perfecly good 32" Magnavox television that's provided our family countless hours of entertainment for the past 11 years is donated to the Salvation Army as the new plasma flat screen is delivered. Out with the old is the norm, here. So shouldn't this apply to geriatric rockers?

The past two Super Bowls, for instance, have featured Paul McCartney (aged 64) and the Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, both 63, Charlie Watts 65 and Ronnie Wood, a sprightly 59). Of course, this was likely in response to the exposure of Janet Jackson's 39 year-old t*tty, but regardless, when should these old horses be put out to pasture? I for one did not particularly give a flying rat's ass whether or not Jagger could get 'satisfaction'.

The argument could be made that these 'artists' still have a lot to offer. I'm sure they do, but very little in the way of the visceral, the disquietude and the bawdiness that are the essential elements of 'rawk.' When Elton John (57) sings about cartoon lions instead of kickin' ass and drinkin' beer ("Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting") a red flag goes up.

When the majority of your live repertoire is ten years older than your supporting tour guitarist, it's time to hang them up. When your children have voted in the past four presidential elections it's time to throw in the towel. When your daughter sees you in your leather pants to pick her up from middle-school, lowers her head with her hand on her forehead, while giving an embarrassed, "Daaaaaad...", it's time to head towards Exit Stage Left.

When you fall out of a coconut tree...

Eventually, all good things must come to an end. Sure there's money to be made in the county fair circuit (Styx's J.Y. 'Not-So' Young, 57 - REO Sh*twagon's Kevin Cronin, 56), but wouldn't it have been more dignified to burn out than to slowly fade away? I'm talkin' to you, Steven Tyler (56), and you, Def Leppard (Joe Elliot, nearly 47) and you, Brian May (59). Thank you for making my Jr. High School days rebellious, but I have a family to raise now, and you've got grandchilden to visit.

Then again, we should also establish an exam akin to law's Bar Exam to determine if some tuneless hack should even become a rockstar.

"Explain how each drummer in Spinal Tap perished?"
"During which interview did Gene Simmons use the word
'timbre', and in which context was it used?"
"Name at least six current artists who you might consider heavily influenced by Gram Parsons. On what basis have you drawn this conclusion?"
"When is it not okay to throw a groupie off the bus in Wisconsin?"

Perhaps then we could weed out sh*theels like Rob Thomas, James Blunt and Dave Matthews.

Rob Thomas: Um... Gene Simmons was interviewed by.... ummm. Oprah Winfrey?
Assessor: Eeeerrrrnnnnt. Sorry. Go back to Florida, you p*ssy.
Rob Thomas: Uh... but I can sing!
Assessor: Mmmm... no you can't. Isn't that right, Bono?
Bono: What did you shay, shonny?
Bono: Shing? Shure... "I know a girl... a girl named paaah-ty. Party girl..."
Assessor: (Aside) Can somebody please get this old f*cker out of here.


Blowing My DaVinci Load

I know common courtesy dictates that when writing about a film or novel one must daren't divulge the surprises -- like the fact that the chick in 'The Crying Game' had a schlong bigger than yours, that Bruce Willis didn't know he was 'Patrick Swayze'd' in The Sixth Sense or that Jesus dies at the end of the story.

Then again, I never had much common courtesy. If you hate 'spoilers,' then, bail now.

After watching The DaVinci Code:

Mrs. Prego "What did you think?"
Me "If that was me instead of Tom Hanks, I'd have been making a few baby Jesuses at the end of the movie."
Mrs. Prego "What? What does that mean?"
Me "Come on. How hot would it be to get it on with a descendent of Jesus? Especially if she looks like Audrey Tautou."
Mrs. Prego (rolls her eyes) "Groan."

Yeah. I'm not as big a man as Robert Langdon. As soon as I figured out the fille was the great (x 900) grand-daughter of 'Jesu', the blood would surely have started rushing towards the pocket rocket.

Penis "She's what? That is so f*cking hot!"
Brain "Shut up, dude. You're gonna get us zapped by lightning!"
Prrzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt..... (sizzle)

Shit. She's the hottest piece of ass in French Christianity since Sainte Jeanne D'Arc. Hell, even if she looked like Rosie O'Donnell, getting it on with the off-spring of a deity has got to be outstanding. I thought of all the possiblilities and dirty-talk that would accompany the throes of passion. They're endless.

Of course there's the "Oh, God," and the "Sweet Jesus," which take on whole new connotations. You can, however, put a new spin on an old classic:

"Who's your saviour? Who's your saviour?"
(You could substitute "messiah," too.)

How about something a little more abstract...
"Render onto Caesar!"
"AAaaaahhh. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord"
"No. No. No. Don't take off the crucifix."
"In the name of the father (thrust) and of the son (thrust)..."
"Oh. I'm about to go Pontious Pilate on your shit."
"Daaaaaaah... Into your hands I commend my spirit!"

Then, there are the 'technical difficulties.

Is she being a little shy?
"Come on, baby Your great-(x900) grandmother used to do this to the Roman Soldiers for a couple denarii. It's in the Bible."

"Baby, you need to make with the razor. It feels like a crown of thorns down there."

"Why don't you go anoint with some Massengill?"

Of course, it'll make pillow talk interesting.
(Fweeeep.... puff) "Say, you think you could put in a word for me to the almighty to let me in for free?"
"Wouldn't it be cool to have a menáge á trois with, like Satan's grand-daughter?"
"Oh, is it 11.30 already? I've got to go. Got to get to church in the morning."
And of course, there's, "Zzzzzzzz. Zzzzzzzzzz."

Uh huh. I'd definitely have to hit that holy ass. I would name all the kids Jesus, too. That's "Hey-ZOOS", not "GEE-ZUS". I am Hispanic, you know. It be cool to see a bunch of kids running around my yard with halos on their heads.

Jesus #3 "Waaaaah. Dad. Jesus called me a blasphemer."
Me "JeSUS! Come over here. What did you call your brother?"
Jesus # 4 "He started it. He said I was a wannabe Zionist."
Jesus #3 "I'm going to tell great (x 901) grandpa."

On second thought... I don't know if I can handle those kinds of in-laws. Maybe it'd be preferable to find a Confucian descendent ("Confucius say, 'Me so horny') or Buddha's...("Nir (thrust) va (thrust) na (thrust)") or Vishnu's niece ("Take those extra arms and play with them titties... Yeah... That's what I'm talkin' about.... Now take that other hand and... ooooh.")

Oh Beautiful Lovely Comely 'cute' for Spacious Skies...

Goddamn, Uncle Sam, get your sh*t straight. We're lookin' like chumps and thugs on the international playground. Kickin' sand at your playmates apparently ain't cool. Eventually nobody wants to play with you... at least according to roundtabler Joe Wack at Hairshirt.

Get in on the heated discussion as the homes pits the "Love it or Leave it" Bloods vs. the "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" Crips. Caps be poppin'.


'This is a Monet, That's a Picasso and That There's An African-American'

Somewhere out there in the Indiana, California or Oregon there's a parent nervously nudging their kid along after Caleb Jr. or 'Kortni' just embarrassed them in front of a brother.

Caleb: "Why is that person burned, mommy?"
Nervous Parent: "Heh-heh-heh. Please don't kill us, large negro."

This exchange is pretty commonplace, though variations do exist:

The benign - "Why is that person brown?"
The toothsome - "Chocolate, mommy. Chocolate!"

or as my friend 'C' experienced in Disney World, The Darwinian -

"Look at the monkey, mommy."

Now my friend could have shrugged this off, as is often done. Instead she opted to glare at the kid, pacing back and forth menacingly.

Friend: "What'd you just say? Get on that ride, so I can throw yo' ass off!"
'Courtenay': "Waaaaaaaaah. Mommy!"

Nervous Parent: "Heh. Please don't kill us, Ms. Large Negro."

Fortunately for Mr. and Mrs. Wyoming, my friend lacks a mean streak and has only a phenomenal sense of humor. Courtneah was not flung off the ride - hopefully she just became nauseated and deposited Mickey Burgers all over dad's new Dodge Durango with the Hemi engine.

Usually in these cases, we attribute such inadvertent brickbats to innocence, such as when Caleb tells mom "Mommy, remember when daddy said you got a huge can? Can I put my Hot Wheels in it?"

Then there's the lack of diversity in the typical cul-de-sac, where the brownest person is Mrs. Anderson, whose leathery skin has been exposed to more sun than Ecuador.

These factors are taken into consideration when Caleb or 'Kourtenay' put their size 12 Stride Rites in your mouth. That's why you don't give get a crack of knuckles across your Botoxed forehead. We give your kid the benefit of the doubt - the first time.

What can you do, you ask? Here are a couple suggestions that might be helpful.

1. Take the kids to the 'hood for a KFC bucket. Chances are you won't get shot. (It's not like you don't run the same risk at your neighborhood Denny's or Mc Donald's). Take a few singles with you, though. 'Dre and Speed like to hang out in front and might ask you for a couple of bucks, since their car 'ran out of gas'.

2. Nothing says 'urban' more than the Complete Second Season of Good Times. Dy-No-Miiiiite! It's such a more genuine portrayal than the Cosby Show, Hangin' With Mr, Cooper or that show with Urkel in it.

3. Here's an idea: jazz. 98% of the true jazz artists are dead, so they'll never ask you to (god forbid) take them to a concert. Also, thuggish wardrobe didn't come into play until much, much later, so there's no risk of Caleb or Cortnee coming home with a FUBU hoodie, saggin' their jeans or anything.

Get with the times. You're doing your child a disservice if you wait for them to get to college to meet their first African-American friend. You never know. The next 'monkey' they meet might indeed "throw their ass" off the ride.


For Those About to Rock...

Roundtabler Lauren Poulin poses an interesting question this week. She posits that one's first concert experience says a lot about an individual.

Mine was a college show at age 17, featuring a local band called the SplatCats and a Rochester, NY band called the Chesterfield Kings. I have no idea what that would say about me, except that I was too poor to pay $19.50 for Judas Priest and instead had to settle for the $7 gigs ($5 for students).

We all know what the last concert we went to says about us, though. For example:

If you uttered the phrase,"Woooh! Play 'Whipping Post,' and I'll get my homely wife to show you her t*ts!" it indicates that you drive a rusty 1986 Dodge Charger and own the Collector's Edition of "Barb Wire" with bonus deleted scenes.

If at the last concert you attended, the words, "I was into them before they got huge," escaped your big yap, it means your mother is sick of warehousing you and your 2,302 LPs, so get them the f*ck out of what she hopes will become her sewing room.

If you used Aquanet to get ready for your last concert, Bobby Vinton thought you were 'special' and didn't tell a soul that you have 1970's bush and Metamucil breath.

Head on over to Lauren's if you like, to get in on the rock chat!


Hangin' With My Homegirls...

The fine women at Mommybloggers.com have graciously asked me to contribute to their Fathers' Day Edition. I am both flattered and humbled at... Ah, to hell with the mushy sh*t. Thanks for the nod, ladies. Happy to oblige.

They're featuring essays from some of us dads this week. Looks like I've got some good company of the sperm donor variety, so pop by and pay them a visit.


End of an Era (?)

My brother was the king of the prank calls. As early as 1979, a then 8 year-old Nano would huddle by a phone on Thanksgiving night, dial a number at random and query:

"Why do you smell like turkey?"

A series of stifled snickers would follow each successive call.

I never had his gift. When I was working at a "One Hour Photo Lab" in 1992 he stumped me with the following:

Prego: Prints Charming*
'Caller': Um... Do you guys do enlargements?
Prego: Yes we do.
'Caller': Good, because I have a really small penis and...
Prego: Click.

* (Actual f*cking name of the place)

Subtlety was the key, as was being able to disguise the voice to avoid detection. I managed to emulate his genius on his ex-wife on one occasion.

Prego: (exaggerated, effeminate enunciation) Is Nano there?
Mrs. Nano: No he's not.
Prego: Well, like this is Steffon, and he left his t-shirt in my apartment last night...
Mrs. Nano: Who is this?
Prego: Steffon. Oh and I washed his boxers, too.
Mrs. Nano: Uh...
Prego: Pfffffrtttttt! Haw haw haw haw haw....

Yeah, those were the days. Now that Caller ID is readily available and anonymity is reserved solely for rape trials, Prince Albert remains in the can and the refrigerator shan't be chased again. Technology has cheated the next generation of a coming of age ritual. O-Dog and the Fletch-monster will never be able to pull off the classic:

"Yeah. Mrs. Whitney? This is DeAundre Tillman - Mr. Whitney's son? My mom says your husband ain't sending her the child support payments for me."

(Click. Dial tone....)


Two Blonde Girls Check the Mic...

I'm not a big fan of Christina Skanky-lera... nor could I care less about Paris Hilton. Unless I corner the two of them with a video camera, cellophane, two fudgscicles and a vice grip, my existence would be just as complete without them. Roundtabler Donny B, on the other hand...

Stop by Everything In Moderation to see what D.B. gots to say about them tricks. Oh... and I hear someone actually let Paris sing. That's cute. Or is it?


Another Successful Diagnosis, Doc!

Every once in a while I have to make forth with an apology. A few months ago it was the baristas that got the p-p-p-painful "I am sorry," from me. This time around, it's my old friend, the infinitesimal c*cksucker of 'beep-beep' fame. You know the one. The goddamned "Me-first", irate, ungracious, puppy kicking tight-fartholed driver from last week's marathon. The one who was in such a hurry that he couldn't wait for the racers to pass before he crossed the light and instead decided to blare the horn and shout expletives.

It turns out he is not an ornery, mean, sh*tty old man that I'd like to put *ss first atop the slicer at the meat/deli department of Wegmans supermarket (on the wafer-thin setting). It turns out this miserable f*ck is a victim of "intermittent explosive disorder" (or IED for short). It's brought to you by the same eggheads that diagnosed ADHD.

That's right... The run of the mill a**hole no longer exists. Remember the kid who threw the football in your face during a heated argument in seventh grade? IED. That girl you dated who threw a mug of hot coffee in your direction when she found out you were only sleeping with her so you could move in on her hot roommate? IED. That ex-husband of yours that clubbed you over the head with a rubber mallet when the Buffalo Bills got bounced from the fourth consecutive Super Bowl? A**hole IED.

Let's take a second to reflect at all the injustices we've levied on these poor souls -- restraining orders, 15 day jail stints coupled with a sixteen week anger management course, lethal injections, divorces, physical retribution, blanket parties and job termination -- and give them a heartfelt apology. We're sorry. We didn't know you were a completely unbearable malcontent with a propensity for violent outbursts because of an abnormal "left hemisphere of the brain" and a couple of faulty brain cells. We just thought you were a plain ol' a**hole.

So when you call up your kid's shrink in Beverly Hills*...
You know the one... Dr. Everything'll be All right...
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby

'Cuz in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You're on your own

And if the elevator tries to bring you down...
go cray-zee....

Like all of our society's ills, 'tain't nothin' a few pills can't resolve.

* May result in rectal bleeding.


Bird-Doggin' with the O-Dog

There are two avenues to traverse to the Prego household. One, a heavily trafficked, pedestrian friendly thoroughfare with plenty of shops and plenty of attractive 'shoppers.' The other? A quiet, tree-lined residential street with less congestion and traffic signals.

The following is a conversation between my 'almost five' year old son and myself.

Prego: O-Dog, where are all the 'hey now-hey nows'?
O-Dog: ELM-woooood!
Prego: So which road are we taking?
O-Dog: ELM-woooood!
Prego: So... which way would we take if mommy was in the car with us.

O-Dog: (Pause) ...Um... Richmond.

You're learning well, young Jedi.


Ode to the Wh*res

Years ago I affectionately dubbed the hometown Buffalo Sabres "The Wh*res." On the one hand, it felt like a logical phonetic amendment of the word "Sabres." After all, the "Sabes" or the "bres" doesn't have the same panache as "Wh*res." Additionally, I also felt that it somehow encompassed how my friends and I viewed the relationship we had with the hockey club.

Not in a literal sense, of course.

Though this relationship has spanned 30 years - from discovering NHL hockey in 1976 onward - my 'affair' with this years Wh*res was dizzying. In all honesty at the beginning of the year I didn't expect much from them.

Like a young, ugly hooker, they simply fulfilled a need. Hockey.

"Let's not kid each other. We know what this is. I need to watch a hockey team, and you fit the bill. You ain't pretty but you're wearing skates."

After a year off due to a labour related lockout, I needed it badly - but again, I didn't expect much from them at all... "Pominville? Who the hell is that?!"

(Doug Weight shared the same sentiment this week.)

At first, I only paid them a visit once in a while... Hockey Night in Canada and the occasional local broadcast.

Eventually, as they hit their stride, I started paying a bit more attention. Stringing together 10-15 wins once in a while proved that these wh*res might be worth a second glance. After all, what's more endearing than a hooker with a heart of gold? Especially a hard working hooker.

Every once in a while, though, the hooker would come down with the flu and take a couple nights off. At one point "she" went 8 or so games without a win. I started losing a little bit of faith in her, but deep down I actually cared for her well being. Well, she (they) bounced back and finished strong.

I was truly starting to fall in love. She was no longer the ugly, gangly streetwalker. She made me look forward to seeing her... she gave me comfort, goddamn it. Especially during the playoffs.

The relationship always intensifies in late spring. Sometimes things get heady, other times they're downright dull. This year the wh*res exceeded my expectations tenfold. They pounded the rough and tumble hookers from Philadelpia. They dashed the hopes of the prom queens from Ottawa and they frustrated the hell out of the Dixie Chicks from Carolina, but alas... As we all know, god hates Buffalo. The little hooker that could succumbed to a broken wrist, a broken ankle, a pulled groin, a concussion and the ultimate f*ck you? A strep infection on her left shin.

Yes... my hooker was bitchslapped by the almighty and gangbanged by Atropos and her sisters. Regardless, I really thought she'd pull through. Unfortunately the Dixie Chicks get to go to the dance with the Edmonton Oilers. Hopefully those roughnecks will bend the Chicks over in 4 or 5 games and give them an old fashioned drilling...

As for my whore? She's got the summer to recover and we can start anew next year.

I loves you, baby. You're beautiful. Don't ever change.


Dear Whores,

Regardless of what happens tonight, I'll still love you in the morning.


Form or Funk-tion?

Toilet paper is referred to as sh*t tickets in the Prego household.

Paper towels are... well, paper towels.

In either case we cheap out. We get the supermarket brand sh*t tickets and the supermarket brand paper towels. Why pay premium price for something that's going to be jammed in your *ss and soiled? Also, why pay through the nose for something that's just going to wipe up spills, messes and dust?

Roundtabler Stephen V. Funk takes a cheeky glace at the myriad of available designs and the foibles of consumerism. You've got your floral patterns, your cartoon characters, your redneck sports logos...

Until they come up with a print that resembles the Shroud of Turin, I'm sticking with the cheap, sh*tty white ones.