In beginning this effort (yes, a day late), I thought that some true, snarky negativity would be just the ticket. Ergo, this lid-lifter.
People in these modern times often ask, "What do you do?" as a conversation opener. Natch, I see little use for telling the truth. When one says "drummer" or "writer," it leads to a boatload of questions for which I usually have no time. On occasion, I have been an aesthetic optician, occult macramé guru ... and, one night amongst college pseudointellectuals, a brain surgeon. No one challenges these things. "You should see the dramatic achievements in freezing Wernicke's Area sections at Peter Bent Brigham in Boston" receives no retort, for instance.
Nope. Today, it's what I don't do.
Disclaimer: Now, I am not telling you what you should or shouldn't do. Have a ball. Go see Neil Diamond. Eat a Domino's. I mean it.
I don't stand, salute or remove my hat when the national anthem is played on TV. It's television, fer cripes' sake. Call me whatever name you wish. I don't own an American flag. Nor would I burn one. I think patriotism can be the most shallow, knee-jerk emotion.
I don't sing along. Especially not on "American Pie," even though I know the words. If people cajole me to do so, I will sing the wrong lyrics, sometimes making them bawdy.
I don't eat mint, excepting candy or gum. Put that green goo next to my rack o' lamb, and I will ignore it. Abhor it in iced tea, to boot.
I don't mispronounce words or use dodgy grammar, even when everyone else around me does so. I cannot say "crick" (sulfurous body of water) here, even though virtually everyone here in Pennsylvania does so. I might even say, "I have a creek in my neck." I don't have a "juggler" vein.
I don't dance. This brings me no enjoyment. Perhaps a slow one, with a woman who truly appreciates me. Then, it has to be body-weldingly close. Then again, this hasn't happened to me since sometime during the Carter administration. I don't watch people dance. Especially Caucasians. And while I'm drumming? Forget it. Drummers all over the world have lost the beat (and sometimes their gigs) while watching white folks dance when playing.
I don't eat chain-store pizza. This is almost a sacred issue with me. In my book, pizza should be made, one at a time, by Popeye-armed Italian women, preferably with mustaches. And discs of sausage on top? Heresy.
I don't pay money to experience non-medical fright, sickness or pain. So, no roller coasters, Concentric Wheel of Terror or tattoos for me. You do this while I get a funnel cake.
I don't drink the persimmon-boysenberry-merlot shit the peeps at Fisher-Price Winery pour into a glass. I can't believe how many people enjoy this red dreck. Or how so many "vintners" have bamboozled the general public into imbibing this Kool-Aid posing as wine.
I don't do Halloween. It's for kids, isn't it? But you have your adults, who are not one scoche funny the other 364, to dress up and announce, "LOOK AT ME!"
I don't watch reality TV. Especially America's Got No Voice Talent and its offspring. And no zombie-undead-alien crap, either.
I don't twirl my drumsticks. No one has shown me how this display of uselessness has ever helped one song sound better. Not even by Pink Floyd. Can I do it? Sure. Back when I dressed for Halloween.
I don't listen to jam bands. I used to be polite and say, "This music doesn't reach my ears." That was a lie. It does reach my ears. And, truth be told, this out-of-tune, droning, mind-numbing, noodling, monotonous, musicless pile of putrescence just plain sucks.
I don't drive fast.
I don't eat as most Americans do. A German guy talked me into just keeping my fork in my left hand and knife in my right. I don't do this to be fancy or snobby. It just makes sense.
I don't laugh at jokes that aren't funny. I've tried, with many bruised shins from significant others as a result. But when someone says, "Hold me closer, Tony Danza"—nothing.
And yes, clapping on 1 and 3, never.
More psychodrivel, every day in May. Please feel free to sling arrows at firstname.lastname@example.org .