I know one thing! I was takin’ a shower the other day, I got out, I was brushin’ my teeth, I looked up on the little shelf that’s to the left of the… bathroom sink, and I noticed that Anastasia is [stifled laugh] using a hair product called “Gold Lust.” And I thought… Is this the emblem of our times?
I’m sure the Gold Lust brand has been around… for untold eons.
But to me [short laugh] it sounded like, and this is a fanciful… digression.
“Hey. Trump is president now. We can call our product ‘Gold Lust.’ People love gold! They love lust! And they love lusting for gold in these dark times. What better name for our…” And I believe the… what does it say on the bottle? It says, let me think. “Hair…” No, no! “Nourishing Hair Oil.” [Laughter.] “Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil.”
“It’s a perfect time for us to launch our Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil brand.”
Gold… Bond. I get Gold Bond and Blue Star mixed up. I believe both of those are brands meant to soothe a gentleman’s more private complaints. I can never… I always call Gold Bond “Gold Star” by mistake.
[Bird tweeting. Coffee drinking. Sigh. Long pause. Bird tweeting. Sniff.]
Oh! You know, I’ve been eating more vegetables… because our visitor Tex doesn’t eat meat. So that’s been good. Just as a side effect.
[Bird tweeting. Coffee drinking. Long pause.]
I was on the phone with Mom, telling her about Tex’s brother, who has a ranch where he takes care of giraffes! Giraffes, I suppose, who have been abandoned or [laughter]… or, uh, I don’t know. Sick? Are they sick? I need to get more information. They’re just giraffes with nowhere else to go, and Tex’s brother has a—makes a, makes a living, I guess. [Laughter.] Why else would you do it? Why would you do it? I mean, of course you would do it, do it for the giraffes. Do it for the giraffes, I say.
And then I told Mom that Tex’s brother’s other h—hobby is shooting wild hogs! And Mom, for some reason, boy! She really went off about wild hogs and how dangerous they are, and… and, uh… “I’m worried about Tex’s brother,” she said. And, uh [laughter]… she thought… She misunderstood me and thought that he has a ranch where he keeps giraffes and wild hogs, and she was worried that the [laughter] wild hogs were gonna attack the giraffes. She had a lotta thoughts.
[Throat noise. Lip noise.]
What was I gonna say about that?
By the end of the conversation, well, she told me she used to take a Girl Scout troop out camping and you could hear the wild hogs running through the woods. And then she said that they got really big. And then she said [stifled laugh] they got as big as elephants. [Laughter.] And when I pressed her on that description, she said maybe a baby elephant.
We went over to Mirabeau and Liv’s for dinner. Anastasia and Tex and I. It was, uh, delicious. Uhh…
Mirabeau started right away ab—I don’t know how ghosts came up so fast. No sooner were we in the door than he was debunking the idea that there could ever be ghosts, because there would be too many of them is one of his points. How many people have died over the years? “We’d be surrounded by ghosts!” [Laughter.] He seemed to be really upset by that idea.
They have a nice porch.
Sat out there and watched hummingbirds, and…
Watched it get dark. The whippoorwills came out. We listened to whippoorwills.
Well… Tex stayed for more than two weeks. He… I was sad to see him go. He went up to Nashville. He had a… text from a friend who needed a ride from Nashville to Chattanooga, so he headed up that way.
When Tex was here, uh, he wanted to listen to records. He had picked up…
And then we started, uh, listening to lots of records again, which was, was fun.
He had picked up a lot of, or a few… records on his drive across the country, which were perhaps a little bit warped from being in a hot car for so many miles. Some Star Trek narrative story records, which he… was disappointed to discover—although I warned him that they wouldn’t be the original cast members—they were just cheap, ch—who… back in those days we didn’t care what children… wuh-we liked to rip off children. And children enjoyed being ripped off!
And I was one of those children.
[Sniff. Throat clearing.]
But I started thinking… dull, no doubt hackneyed thoughts about how you can listen to records. Nobody—you know, I’m still on iTunes. Other people have moved on to streaming music. Young, vibrant—the future. The, luh, tomorrow’s leaders are listening to streaming music. But any of these digital services, uh… they’re logging everything you listen to! [Stifled laugh.] Not that… who cares? But we used to care! And, and I think records are interesting because you just put ‘em on, there’s nobody logging… it’s not going into some weird database. It’s… just an object. It’s, it’s this discrete object. Discreet in every sense of the word.
I’d go to the Metronome in New Orleans, say when I was [lip smack], you know, eighteen. A sprawling, uh, paradisiacal record store that’s no longer in existence. They don’t have records of what anybody—aghhhhhh! Goddamnit. I should stop saying “records” when I mean the recordings. I should say LPs [coffee being poured] to distinguish it from the kind of recordkeeping I’m talking about. Bookkeeping! And besides, in those days we paid cash for most everything. I’m not a crazy [short laugh] paranoid conspiracy theorist. But it—wuzzah—it’s comforting! You know, it makes ya nostalgic to think about… the times when everybody paid cash for everything, took these objects home with them, and then they’re your thing and it’s nobody’s business!
Books are the same way.
Paid for in cash.
Filled with… you know… devilish ideas.
Please come along to the next chapter.
Jack Pendarvis has written five books. He won two Emmys for his work on the TV show Adventure Time. During a period of light employment, he spoke into a digital recorder whenever the mood struck him and transcribed the results, accumulating the two thousand pages from which this column has been extracted.