The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tales of Salisbury madness:Part 1

In sorting out my Salisbury posts, I tried to figure out in what order to tell them, in amount of police involvement or ratio of alcohol fueled mayhem to more clinical insanity, before settling on amount of blood spilled. This one has the least. They are all true, to the best of my memory.

Brian and Cathy were a couple that were part of my Don’s Belladonna circle of friends. Unlike a lot of the others in that crowd that I had met before my Don’s days, I knew them from the bar only for a long time, but my roommate Blotto had known them for quite a while.

I liked both of them separately, they seemed like fairly normal, in comparison of what I was used to. I didn’t hang out with them as a couple, but they seemed pretty level the few times I did. But Blotto and some of their other, closer friends had some stories about them that I found impossible to reconcile with the people I knew with the same names. They had a reputation as being far beyond dysfunctional into straight up mutually physically abusive “Brian? Cathy? From Don’s?” This just didn’t make sense. Cathy chased Brian through a cornfield with his car? They got into a fist fight when he was driving and she was in the back seat? Their arguments were knockdown, drag-out in the most literal sense. I knew these guys weren’t lying about the drama that surrounded them, but I wasn’t a direct witness. That was until the day....

We were planning on having a July 4th party at my house but got the keg a day early, so we had a smaller July 3rd get together. Having a kegerator, pool and foozball table made our house popular for any instant get together, this was a good and bad thing. Having your room nearby made it extremely likely that if I were to pass out, I’d land in my own bed. However, occasional vomiting from our guests and floors too sticky to wear socks were what we had to deal with in return. And sometimes alcohol makes bad ideas seem to look like good ones.

I had just started shaving my head with electric clippers and Brian asked me to cut the back and sides short so his hair would look less like Shaggy from Scooby Doo. I’ve always been kinda nervous to cut anyone else's hair, but he wanted was pretty straight forward and the detachable hair guides guaranteed a minimum of error and he begged me to do it, so I was more than happy to oblige, but Cathy stopped me before we got to the bathroom and pleaded,”Pete, please don’t do this.”
“I’m sorry,” I told her, “This is going to happen whether I do it or not and I’m the most experienced at this and the least drunk person that’s willing to try it.”

She relented, but if looks could kill, there would be nary a survivor if they dared cross the white-hot glare Cathy aimed at Brian’s freshly shorn head.

About 15 minutes later, I was sitting in our living room with about a half a dozen guests watching TV when Brian and Cathy walked in. Actually Cathy walked in, pulling Brian backwards by the remaining long hairs he had at the top of his head. She dragged him across the living room floor, his legs flailing underneath him to walk backward fast enough to keep him on his feet.

She finally rested on an ottoman at the far end, in front of where I was. As she sat down she pulled Brian’s head into her lap and growled obscenities through her frothing, clenched teeth. Her white hot glare was replaced by twin thermonuclear explosions consuming any trace of reason or civility I may have ever seen in her. Brian turned to me and said flatly, “Pete, get this bitch off of me before I beat the shit out of her.”

This all had happened so fast I was still in bewildered mode. One thing was certain, the party was over. All nonessential personnel disappeared instantly, with not a “see ya” among them. Blotto and some of the remained pulled her off and threw her out of the house.

About half an hour later, I had mentally drifted away from the earlier excitement as I went to the bathroom. I was walking past our front door when I heard, “Pete?” I was startled to find Cathy standing on our front porch on the other side of the screen door. She said, with the relaxed smile and calm cadence of a Stepford wife,”I just wanted to warn you, I called the police and they’re going to arrest Brian for attempted fetal homicide.”

Attempted fetal homicide? She’s pregnant? They’re bringing an innocent life in to this? But the cops never came and, as it turns out, Cathy wasn’t pregnant. Yet. That would happen in a couple months.

An interesting post script: I was telling this story not so long after it happened to a friend and she said,”Wow, that sound’s like a friend of mine’s sister ” She went on to tell me about this friend’s wedding, a horrendous affair spiced up to a Springer-esque level by her sister and her boyfriend fighting. The cherry on top of this matrimonial shit sundae was the sibling (who was her maid of honor) delaying the ceremony for an hour and a half after she locked herself in the bathroom. It didn’t take us long to realize that my story sounded like her because it was her. It was Cathy’s sister and Brian was the boyfriend.

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