Hola, amigos. What say? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but your old pal Jim's been thicker than a donkey's dick with problems.
First off, I got canned from my job at the California Fajita Cantina. Two Saturdays ago, I was trying to do my damn job and clear a customer's plate off a table, and this guy said, all rude like, "I'm not finished with that. Please wait until I'm done."
Man, was I steamed! I took one look at that fatty and told him he looked like he'd had enough long ago. Then he says to me, "You need to watch your mouth, son." So I say, "You gotta watch your mouth, tubbo, 'cause you got a lot more going in yours than I got comin' outta mine." He went all apeshit and ratted me out to Mr. Janoff, my manager. And you know what? That Janoff fucker wouldn't back me up! He canned me on the spot! No great loss there, though: I figure any job that doesn't allow you to be a man and stand up for yourself ain't a job for Jim Anchower.
Anyway, my new job is at a museum. I work in the coat-check room. All I gotta do is sit there and collect coats and purses and not steal anything. How hard is that? It's not challenging, but if I wanted a challenge, I'd have become a nuclear surgeon.
The whole job situation worked itself out, but that ain't the only problem I've had lately. Last Thursday, my apartment got broken into. When I got home that night, the window on my door was broken and the door was unlocked. I had to do some fast figuring to try to remember if it was me who did it. I was able to sort out pretty quick that it wasn't, so I went inside.
I ran all over the apartment, checking for the essentials. Luckily, it was all still there. My Jenny McCarthy centerfold was still on the wall. My PlayStation 2, busted though it was, was still in front of the TV. The sticker-covered boombox I bought off some dude at a NORML rally was still by my bedside. Even my stash was still in place, but that says more about my shrewd stash-hiding skills than about the crooks who busted into my pad.
The crooks must have gotten spooked by something and ran off before they got a chance to take anything. But next time, I might not be so lucky. That's why I'm thinking about getting a gun, in case they decide to come back while I'm home. For once, the law would totally be on my side if they came in and I blew 'em away. I'm not a violent man, but I'm prepared to do what I have to do to protect my home.
I guess there was one bright spot in all of this. It made me realize I need to appreciate the things that are truly important. I mean, I could have lost it all. They could've taken every last one of my things, and I'd be left with nothing. That made me appreciate my tapes all the more. I mean, I guess I could always buy more tapes if they ever got stolen, but it wouldn't be the same.
For example, I've had this tape of REO Speedwagon's Hi Infidelity ever since I can remember. It's got sentimental value. As soon as I found it after the break-in, it went straight into my boombox. Man, that Kevin Cronin knows how to knock it out. And Gary Richrath can really wail on guitar! I mean, you listen to the song "Take It On The Run" and you really get pumped. It's real rock 'n' roll, not like the crap they make today.
After that, I took out some Grand Funk Railroad. If you ain't heard them, all I can do is pity you and then tell you to get your ass to Sam Goody for a copy of E Pluribus Funk. I mean, "Footstompin' Music"? What more do you need to know? I don't care who let the dogs out, all I care is that Mark Farner and crew are keeping it real.
When that was over, I went for the Zep. I kept that going for a few hours, 'cause once that levee breaks, how do you stop the waters? You don't, hombre. You just have to ride the wave. Then I moved on to some Styx, some James Gang, and, for dessert, a little Mountain. Hell, I was up all night listening to music that could have been stolen but wasn't. That made it all the sweeter.
Every tape was a reminder that there are guys out there who know exactly what you've been going through, and they have a song for it. Nazareth, Bad Company, Journey, BTO… every one of them. They've got what it takes to keep a man going in dark times. When you gotta sit in a room full of coats for eight straight hours, wishing you could sneak out for a fast bowl, sometimes all you got to keep you sane is that Foghat song going through your head.
Actually, that coat-check job makes me go fucking nuts sometimes, tunes or no tunes. Don't let that discourage you from getting yourself some hard-rockin' tapes, though. I just wanted to be honest with ya.
Jim Anchower joined The Onion's editorial writing staff in 1993 after several distinguished years on The Come Back Inn dishwashing staff. He comments on community-affairs, automotive, and employment issues. He attended LaFollette High School in Madison, WI.