Sin City Presents Magazine August 2016 Volume 3 Issue 8 - Page 81

One of my go-to’s is a situational one-liner I stole from my brother Mike one drunken night, while we were staggering through an otherwise quiet lobby in the wee hours, shortly after (or perhaps shortly before, I forget) him pulling me out of getting my ass kicked by this maniac who's sister I may or may not have offended, when all 6'6" and 270lbs of him accidentally kicks (plows through, devastates, etc...) a mid-sized metal wastebasket and sends it loudly and violently bouncing across a marble floor, and smashing into the nearest wall of the formerly silent lobby, to which my brother, unfazed, and without skipping a beat, quips, "I'm just gonna put that over there", before the can had even stopped bouncing. I laughed so hard that night having heard it for the first time that it never occurred to me that it was stock.

Later, I'd hear it another 100 or so times, (though always still funny with proper execution and timing) and since then, (being somewhat clumsy myself) I must have used it 1000 times, as one of my "go-to arrows" in my situational comedy quiver.

I even had the chance to use it to save my own ass last year, from the potential wrath (firing) of the Demon.

We were in his suite on the KISS Kruise, doing Meet & Greets.

And unlike the informality of the typical backstage Meet & Greet where your work area is often a makeshift pile of dirty road cases, the in-suite Meet & Greets are a MUCH more posh affair, because they take place in his elegant, private, on-ship "living space", often sharing that space with his family, so there is an implied "best behavior" ethic in play, as if you were a guest in one’s home, except in a home that you'll NEVER be able to afford.

Further, the work-table is a shiny, white-enamel baby-grand piano, adding the additional "you'd better not scratch that fucking thing" pressure that is non-existent when your table is an old road case.

So anyway, long-story-longer, we are 7hrs into an otherwise perfect evening of flawless Meet & Greets, when the Demon throws a monkey wrench into the well oiled and seemingly choreographed synchronicity that we had developed in that elegant workspace.....by placing a large, full, freshly-opened bottle of Perrier on the baby grand, sometime within the 6 seconds between my removing the just-signed guitar from the previous Meet & Greet, and fetching/staging the new guitar for the next set of clients, on the piano.

I had gotten so quick and agile (cocky) in my small-space changeovers, that I no longer had to look where I was going, I just needed mere muscle memory to swing the heavy case of the next bass through the air, and land it firmly but gracefully atop the aforementioned white baby grand.

Imagine my surprise, when the irresistible force of my 22lb bass guitar in its hard shell road case, driven by the momentum of the relatively forceful swing I had behind it to hoist it up there, impacted the not-so-immovable object that was the full (1lb-ish) Perrier bottle that had magically appeared atop the piano, directly in my flight path.

Ok, here is a breakdown of the next 2.5 seconds, in slow motion......

Case strikes bottle with force, and the crack of metal buckle striking glass breaks the silence. (But thankfully, does not break the bottle) In startled reaction, clients and Demon start to whip their heads around toward the sound, but not before the bottle, now taking off like a baseball that just left a bat, starts to actually spin in midair. As its spinning, it starts spraying seltzer like a green projectile mini-geyser, and manages to strike the surface of the piano again, (louder this time), and bounce in a 45 degree, upward arc, making a beeline for the plate-glass window a scant 4 feet away, much to the shock and horror of the clients, AND the Demon, who all had eyes locked on the spewing projectile of death. (Nnnnnnnooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!)

In an instant, the heavy glass missile smacked the window with a thunder crack, and while not breaking the window (whew!!), ricocheted back in our direction.

Still less than 1 second into this, all eyes in the room started to turn to me, in incredulous wonder of what kind of monster could have committed this act of social terrorism, but were quickly jerked back into focus as the bottle loudly impacted the hard, white enamel seat of the piano bench, bouncing back up and smacking off the closed lid of the keyboard, before wildly flipping downward through the air, toward the soft safety of the carpet floor, still erupting seltzer at and around the appalled onlookers.

At around the 2 second mark, as the bottle made its meteoric descent toward the carpet, all freshly wounded eyes started to refocus on the terrorist that had committed this heinous crime, and I could swear I read "Et Tu, Brute?" in Gene's facial expression as he locked eyes on the godless animal that he was about to fire.

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