A Few Quick Things, vol. 22

This morning I listened to Get the Knack for the first time in maybe 25 years. I bought it as a new release in 1979, when I was 16, and liked it. But, for whatever reason, it’s not a record I ever think to pull off the shelf.

In any case, there’s a crazy song on that thing I’d forgotten about. Click the video above to hear it. In it, the dude is begging someone to kill his Siamese Twin.

Sample lyrics:

Please kill it for me/It’s time for a change/The monkey and me

Cut deep, do it right away/Cut clean, make a getaway/Leave it out on a highway

And my favorite:

Sits on my back!/Shits on my back!/Piss on my back!

That’s some cartoonishly dark shit right there. I’m starting to remember why I liked that album.

The Knack was almost universally hated by other artists, because they sold millions of records right out of the gate. People said they hadn’t paid their dues, and wrote them off as a joke. Needless to say, a lot of that stuff was rooted in jealousy.

That first album is a lot of fun, and I’m convinced the naysayers would’ve liked it — if it hadn’t sold a trazillion copies. All I can say is, it’s got more humor and energy in it than some horrible Eddie Money album, or whatever else was being released back then.

Anyway… I’m going to pick up our son from college on Saturday morning. I sort of agree with you guys, he shouldn’t come home for at least six weeks. But he wore us down, with a relentless campaign.

He’s doing well, though. There’s no mention of homesickness, or anything negative. He’s making friends, and the girlfriend situation seems to be a non-issue at the moment. And if we can believe what he tells us, he’s going to class and keeping up with his homework. He even went on and on about something one of his professors lectured about earlier in the week. He seems to be into it — which is something that NEVER happened in high school.

He’s also working three days a week as a lifeguard. Everything seems to be going well, knock on Ron Wood.

I’ll go get him on of Saturday, he’ll be here all day on Sunday, and Toney will take him back on Monday. It’s kind of insane that between the two of us we’ll be driving a total of ten hours to make it happen. But his campaign was effective. Plus, we want to see him. Ya know? There’s a little o’ that in there too.

I have to work on Labor Day: some cluster-copulation of a special project… There will be something like 65 people there, which is massive overkill, I think. But, nobody asked my opinion.

The good news: We’ll be paid double-time and a half, and it could last as long as twelve hours or more. So, it’ll be nice on payday.

The bad news: I have to be there at 6 a.m. Yikes! That’s a part of the day I rarely see. I’ll have to get up at 4, and almost certainly won’t sleep the night before. My internal clock is hard-wired for working at night. I’ll go to bed at 10, and be wide-awake. Then I’ll start panicking, and pacing around the house… Oh, it’s gonna be awesome.

I hope you’ll think of me while you’re deep-throating a Nathan’s Famous, hot off the grill, or whatever. Simply fantastic.

Finally, I’ve been challenged to create a video of myself pouring a bucket of ice water over my head. One of my cousins called me out, and challenged me publicly.

And here’s my official response: Not gonna happen. I don’t take orders from Facebook. and I don’t participate in fads. Yes, I’m a lot of fun to go places with… I’m aware of this.

I’ll see you guys again on Monday.

Have yourselves a great day!


  1. “knock on Ron Wood” LMAO! That was hilarious.

    About that bucket challenge… every morning for the past 30 some odd years, when I take my shower, at the very end, I twist the faucet to ice cold and stand under for a good 10 – 20 seconds. It jump starts my heart and gets me moving in the morning.

    I was so ahead of my time. Too bad I didn’t generate any money.

    Have fun with the fam! Sounds like a good time.

    And stretch that OT to the max.

  2. So are you going to make a donation?

  3. OK I’ve been ready rant about this whole ice-bucket thing. But simply do not have time right now. But it’s been welling up in me for a good while now ready to explode. I hope I can bottom line it for you now and maybe elaborate later. But here’s the thing…it’s my own goddamn business what charity I give to and why. I don’t need some person I barely know on Facebook “calling me out”. You know what? ALS is horrible and deserves money since our own government has too many mixed up priorities to properly fund research into this. But so are a shit-ton of other diseases. Diseases I have had good friends die from. So you’re going to shame me into giving to your charity by calling me out to pour a bucket of ice water over my head? F-you. I give to plenty of charities already. Privately…without announcing it on Facebook. It’s my business not yours. And wait a minute…if I understand this correctly (and I probably DON’T), you don’t have to give money if you dump ice on your head? So all those people that are dumping ice on themselves are doing it to be cheap bastards? Like I said I probably don’t understand it because it made me twitch the first time I heard about so trying to tune it out. But holy smokes, David Lynch just dumped iced coffee of his head. What the hell? In any case. Bottom line…my charities are my business…it’s private and I don’t need you publicly shaming me on Facebook to give to your charity.

    OK so I did have time to rant after all.

  4. Steve in WV says

    Amen. I will unfriend any fucker who “calls me out”. Fuck you. I’ll donate to the charities I choose, not those that societal pressures say I should.

    Baa baa, mr. sheep.

  5. I think I have that Knack album. But – I never cared for them.

  6. One: I just flipped past that album at the record store not 30 minutes ago. Two: I am thankful no one has challenged me on this ALS thing, because they would be quite disappointed by my reaction. Three: I’m thankful that a bus route down 79 from Morgantown to Charleston has recently come about; $15 each way to see the prodigal daughter? Yes, please.

  7. I’m also in the “it’s none of your fucking business” what charities and how much I give to them. I had my VP piss on me one year for not giving to the company United Way drive (which just started up again). He called me cheap, not a team player etc. I told him I was willing to bring in my last year’s tax return and would compare mine to his in front of our whole group to see who gave the highest percentage of their salary. If his was higher I said I would donate to the United Way at the same percent as him. He of course refused saying he was not willing to let me see his tax return. Told him I never wanted to hear another word from him about that, the Fine Arts Fund and the other charities the company tries to shame us into giving.

    You should give because you want to and are able, not because someone tells you.

  8. This guy pretty much says what I think about the ice bucket challenge…..and yes, I know it’s long but it’s well worth the read!

    “Hey Mike!! Charlie Willis challenges you to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! He did it & donated so come on!!!” Posted by Mary Willis

    “We’re waiting, Mr. Rowe. You’ve been challenged over and over. What’s the hold up??”
    Posted by Maxine Allen

    “I’ve challenged you twice now. Since you have not responded by video, I certainly hope you’ve already donated.” Posted by Pia Yoacham

    “DUDE. ARE YOU GONNA TAKE THE CHALLENGE OR NOT!!!!!” Posted by Charlie Baker

    “It’s my understanding the person challenged has 24 hours to respond. Wonder why the coyness? But, maybe the coyness is the answer…and the answer is No?” Posted by Wanda Manning

    Hi All,

    Since yesterday was apparently National Dog Day, (seriously?) and since my second-to-the-last post triggered a variety of observations around my apparent failure to “rise to challenge,” as it were, I’m weighing in with another image of young Freddy, who like his master, has decided to forego The ALS/Ice Bucket Challenge.

    I mean no disrespect to the 500 or so individuals who have publicly challenged me to participate. And God knows, I’m in near constant need of a cold shower. But as a guy who has represented some rather large, profitable companies while running a non-profit foundation, I’ve got some opinions on the subject of persuasion, especially as it applies to fundraising. And I’ve been struggling with how to share those thoughts in a way that will not make me look like a douche-bag.

    First of all, I tip my hat to the marketing genius that conceived of this device. Thanks to The Ice Bucket Challenge, The ALS Association has collected $75 million dollars in donations. That’s up from just $1.9 million over the same period a year ago.That’s amazing, and totally unprecedented. And if we lived in a world of unlimited philanthropic resources, it would be fantastic news. But we don’t live in that world. We live in a world where generous people of finite means must allocate their charitable giving with discretion – in the same way they allocate all other expenditures. In this world, more money for ALS means less money for Heart Disease. More for Malaria means less for Diabetes. More for AIDS means less for Alzheimer’s. And so forth.

    It’s not exactly a zero sum game, but the cannibalism factor in charitable giving is a very serious problem. According to the experts, 50% to 70% of all the money collected as a result of the Ice Bucket Challenge will directly impact future contributions to other charities in an equal and opposite way. In other words, if The ALS Association collects a $100 million – as it’s on track to do – other charities competing for the same dollars will collect between $50 and $70 million LESS. Thus, the largest donations do not necessarily go to those charities that serve the most people or do the best research – they go to those that who market themselves in the most effective way.

    This informs the way I give, and the way I solicit. It’s one thing to sell cars or trucks or jeans or paper towels. God knows, I’ve been there, and I’m comfortable with the consequences of pushing one brand at the expense of another. But in the non-profit world, the stakes are bit higher. I’m reluctant to participate in a challenge that’s raising so much money for a small association, especially when it impacts other research that will eventually save the lives of millions. That’s the cold and shitty calculus of charitable giving.

    Of course – I understand those who see it differently. If my Dad or my brother was among the 6,000 diagnosed with ALS every year, I’d be standing under a shower of freezing water, waving my checkbook in the air and challenging the world to get on board. I remember when my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer – I would have done anything to fix it. In fact, I took off my pants and challenged the world to donate the cost of their favorite pair of jeans to help find a cure. I get it.

    But here’s the thing – if you decide to give charitably, it’s important to understand everything you can about the way your money is going to be spent. That’s not happening here. The spectacular success of the Ice Bucket Challenge is not the result of a conscious, collective commitment to rise up against a terrible scourge; it’s the result of a marketing campaign. Consequently, a foundation accustomed to working for decades on a million dollars or so in annual donations, will now have to manage a $75 million jackpot. That worries me, as it should anyone who has ever studied the fate of lottery winners. That’s not their fault, but it doesn’t change the situation, and I’m not inclined to challenge more people to send more money to coffers that are already overflowing.

    Some of you will remember a recent post about my friend, Jill Brown. Jill is a stuntwoman who got a brain tumor and lived to tell the tale. http://www.refinery29.com/2014/01/60263/brain-tumor-story Last year, she asked me to sponsor her in a walk to raise money for brain tumor research. She didn’t like asking, and I don’t blame her. Asking people for money is never fun. Even for a good cause. But Jill was very grateful for a second chance at life, and determined to support those suffering from the same condition that she overcame. So she personally called everyone she knew and explained why she walking, how the money that she raised would be used, and why the research was so important. Consequently, she raised a tidy sum for a great cause that was near and dear to her.

    Point is, Jill did several difficult things. She vowed to walk, at a time when walking wasn’t so easy. She committed her time, her energy, and her passion to a cause that mattered deeply to her. And most importantly, she made the whole thing personal. That made me want to help her. Not just because she’s my friend – but because she was helping herself.

    The Ice Bucket Challenge is different. Here, people I’ve never met give me 24 hours to either write a check to a charity I’m not familiar with, or dump a bucket of cold water over my head. Tell me honestly – if that precise challenge arrived to you privately, via the US Mail, what would you do with it? You’d throw it in the trash, right? But a public challenge is not so easy to ignore. Online, everyone is watching. Your friends. Your co-workers. Your clients. Maybe even your boss.

    When it comes to asking people for help, I don’t like to put them in an awkward position. So the only challenge I’m issuing today is to Freddy. If he can refrain from peeing on the floor, I’ll send a check to the local shelter. Beyond that, I’m staying dry.

    Again – to anyone who’s been affected directly or indirectly by ALS, my heart goes out to you. And to those who challenged me personally, I know your heart’s in the right place. So I’m going to reserve the right to dump various substances over my head at a future date for whatever reason I deem appropriate, and encourage you all to ignore the gimmicks, get informed about the charities you wish to support, and contribute generously to whatever cause resonates with you.

    • That’s Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs”. I just posted that to my Facebook. I follow him on Facebook — not because I’m a huge fan of his TV shows, but because he’s funny and eloquent.

      • Correct, Deb. It was Mike Rowe’s post on his Face Book page, which I shared on mine. Up until this, I had never been to his FB page.

  9. The other day I was sitting at a bar, all of the ice bucket stuff had just started and I said to know one in particular “what are the odds that lol gehrig died from that?”. My comments went over like an art gallery of failed hemmorhoid surgeries.

    Also I’ve recently started a factory job. The company makes flower pots. Thousands and thousands of flower pots. I sit at the end of a conveyor stacking these things. It’s about a 1.2 man job but there is usually 2 or last night 3 people doing it. I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I was up for about 27 hours. Blurgh. I’m not in college anymore.

  10. When I was a seventh grader, playing junior high football, there was an 8-track player in the locker room. Everyday before practice and everyday after practice “My Sharona” was blasted through locker room.

  11. Wisey in Ttown says

    The Knack kicked ass….or at least that Album did. I bought the next one too and it sounded strangely like the first one with different lyrics.

  12. I did the challenge, and actually, it was easier than I thought it would be. Go ahead and try it.
    Most of the people I challenged said “no way”.

  13. Rachael Smith says

    I dig that…how is me pouring water on my head going to cure ALS? Someone tell me!!! Now!!! No one has pledge to send money to the “cause” if I pour water on my head…so where do the funds come from to research such a disease? It would make way more sense if someone just asked me for money, the good ole fashioned way. Like my friend here, I finish my shower w icy cold water because its good for color treated/dyed hair.

  14. Just another reason why I am not on FB. Haven’t been for years. It’s just too risky if you have any strong opinion about anything. No inflection, no tone of voice and sarcasm absolutley does not translate well over the web. I was called out by just about all my employees. And they all know I am not on FB. I simply thanked them for thinking of me and told them I donate to charity’s that mean something to me and praised them for getting involved in whatever small manner they saw fit.

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