Monday, June 12, 2006

Behind the Music: W.E.S.

As I have pointed out on numerous occasions, when not working as an arc-welder in the greater Lodi area, I do a lot of charity work with the underprivileged. However, I also like to take a little time away every now and then. So it was a couple of years ago that I started moonlighting in a local rock band. We called ourselves Wendi’s Electric Stapler and we performed every 3rd Thursday in August and November at The Salad Shooter Juice Bar & Vegan Deli. We considered ourselves a Twee pop-Gothabilly-Grebo-Jangle-pop band. And although that’s hardly original, our true claim to fame was that we only did Jim Croce cover tunes.

When I first joined the band I met the woman pictured above, and this lovely yet diabolical woman haunts my waking nightmares to this very day. Her stage name was Lori, though she also went by L-Dog, Snake, and sometimes Peaches. We soon became embroiled in a whirlwind romance and shared the kind of cosmic symmetry of spirit that you only read about in Harlequin romance novels. In the beginning I was arrogant and cruel while she was innocent and chaste and spoke with a southern accent.

I'm not sure if you can make it out in the picture, but she has a tattoo on her arm that says "Larry & Peaches Forever". Well like Prince says, forever is a mighty long time and, "when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills, you know the one, Dr. Everything'll-Be-All-right, instead of asking him how much of your time is left, ask him how much of your mind, baby". Anyway, it was at that moment, what alcoholics (and Jules Winnfield) refer to as a moment of clarity, that I realized either our relationship or my sanity was doomed.

As so often happens in the real world, everything ended in tears. My tears to be specific. She was an exacting woman, I remember a particularly nasty fight we once got into when I asked, “Where's the dog at?” and she replied, “don’t ever end a sentence in a preposition again or I’ll cut you”.

The worst was yet to come because, as with so many break-ups, politics would be our undoing. I remember the day she told me she advocated the plan for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge like it was yesterday. “You’re willing to destroy a wildlife refuge and speed up what is sure to be the coming global apocalypse for just a few months worth of oil?” I asked incredulously. She said, “I’m not planning on going to Alaska anyway, so I doubt I’ll miss it”. On the other hand she was, she assured me, against drilling in Disneyland.

I was crestfallen. I tried everything I could think of to change her. I tried Therapy (not professional therapy, rather Therapy: The board game. It's surprisingly cathartic). I tried an intervention, a seance and a Pampered Chef party...I even called her close-minded, nothing worked.

You see, Lori was the worst kind of evil: She was a Republican. You might have noticed the red eyes in the picture and assumed it was a photographic anomaly caused by light reflecting off the retina - you couldn't be more wrong. That’s her actual eye color. Her eyes burn with a fire as if from a woman possessed. Anyway, it was over for us the day she stole the keys to my Prius and tried to run me over. The band broke up a few months later, and the rest as they say, is history.

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