04 November 2011

Something 4 The Weekend # 225

Robyn Hitchcock: Black Snake Diamond Role: "Do Policemen Sing?" [mp3]

One of my best two or three friends (let's call him "Rocky") from 3rd grade to high school graduation ended up becoming a cop. A sheriff's deputy for the county, actually. In hindsight, I'm not surprised. His larger-than-life dad and fitter/stronger older brother were both Marines, but my friend was simply "too unfit" for the military, but nowhere near "too unfit" for the police academy. Growing up not only did he have to live in their shadows, never measuring up athletically, but he also had to listen to the both of them constantly telling him what a "fat fucking failure" he was. It was brutal.

The girls in the neighborhood called him "Porkchop". Some of the people in our circle were allowed to call him "Chunk" or "Chunks", and me or Wags dubbed him "The Sponge" at a party one night, on account of his impressive ability to consume beer, and that stuck within our circle, and expanded out into the general population at school. I can imagine he still knows one or two people who still call him "Sponge".

He had a bunch of different nicknames through the years, many of them unkind, and many of them said to initiate a kind of game = Some lame fuckstain would call Rocky "fatwad" or "enormo" or whatever, and Rocky would give chase. That was the game, and woe to those who lost, because Rocky would then beat their asses DOWN. And most people did lose that game in the end, because maybe Rocky wouldn't catch them right away, but he did have a good memory and a taste for the surprise, delayed attack. Sometimes weeks would go by, even months, and the fuckstain may have come to believe he was in the clear, that the taunts had been forgotten, and then, from around the corner, or seemingly from nowhere, there Rocky was, making life miserable for said fuckstain.

Other times me or any of Rocky's friends might simply catch the kid ourselves immediately, because really, those rotten fuckstains had it coming. GAME OVER.

Like I said, Rocky was one of my two or three closest friends, and I gave him shit the way friends do, but I never said a single word about his weight. If for no other reason than I didn't think he was fat. Sure, he was a big guy, but he was more of a barrel-chested kind of guy, you know? He was essentially a 15 year old kid stuck in the body of a 55 year old dude, and I think you get a pretty good picture of his body type.

Rocky was a decent guy, but alot of people pissed him off, and because it was so unrelenting and so cruel, especially coming from his dad and brother, I think he had an absolute right to be pissed off at these people. And so a kind of resentment built up in him. At eighteen, I would say he was already a misanthrope, and there he was, going to the Police Academy.


We were at a party at Hanson's house about a week or so after graduation. It was the beginning of our last summer before I went off to Madison and he went to Milwaukee, and everyone in our group went off in different directions, to different destinations, and I remember this conversation because it was early in the evening, and neither of us was drunk yet. There were about five of us, standing around on the driveway, passing around a joint. Rocky declined, and as I took the woolie in hand, he suddenly poked me in the chest with a bit of force behind that finger, and said "Someday I'm going to bust your ass for that shit." I started laughing, and he quickly added "I'm not joking." I continued laughing, saying "you're not serious", and he told me that yes, he was serious.

We discussed the seriousness of his statement for awhile, and suffice it to say things were never quite the same after that. What should have been a great and glorious last summer in Grafton for our group of friends wasn't all that. A slow, unsatisfying fade...Our circle losing steam... A silent collapse.

I do agree with Robyn Hitchcock - policemen do sing. In my experience, it's most likely going to be metal or country.

Hotcha! Hank

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