Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Grand Illusion: Sure, I Work Here, and I Can Pass For Your Kind, But I Will Never Be One of You.

Sarah wasn't actually asking me this question. She just happened to be standing in front of my desk while she was asking co-worker Caroline. I'm not surprised that she didn't ask me. We don't really get along.

It's not so much that we don't get along, I guess. I like them a lot, they're all very enjoyable people despite the fact that they'd never heard of Kurt Vonnegut (which is like saying you've never heard of goddamn Mickey Mouse). But we aren't friends outside of work, even though we're all roughly the same age. And this is why:

"So guess who's playing at School of Rock this year?" Sarah tags Caroline.


I watch them, interested.

"You're never going to believe it."

I raise my eyebrows and totally interrupt. "What's School of Rock?"

"It's that fundraiser SM High School has at the House of Blues every year. Wait, didn't you go last year?"

"Nah, prolly not." We here at Save the Underprivileged Students of Chicago have so many fundraisers to hit up it's hard keeping them lined up all nice and pretty. But I'm sure I didn't go, because the price of beers at House of Blues exceeds $5, and that's $4 too much for a shithole venue like the House of Blues.

Besides, like I said, the coworkers and I don't see eye to eye. (As an aside, I'm trying to think up some clever Title for "my co-workers", but the only thing I could come up with is "The CoWoks" which sounds regrettably similar to "The Ewoks," and I don't want to give the impression that the CoWoks are comparable to big fat two-legged shitzus with crude spears and treehouses, mostly because these CoWoks are far more intelligent than I am. Plus that name sucks. Suggestions welcome.)

"Okay, whatever. Well, last year it was the Lovin' Spoonful, and it was horrible."

I want to argue with her just to be contrary, and show my unswerving support for "Do You Believe In Magic?" but then I remember that I don't really like that song very much, and just nod in understanding.

"But this year? Guess who's playing?"

Caroline jumps in. "Journey!"


"GET RIGHT OUTTA TOWN." I am in awe.

"You know who they are, right?" Sarah asks, excited. "They're the band that plays that one song, you know, Come Sail Away."

My awe swells to straining proportions as the CoWoks struggle to sing the chorus. Sarah is very proud of herself for this name drop, beaming like a beauty queen.

"Djyeah," I stutter breathily, which is actually a superfancy, highly applicable combination of the abbreviation for "Didja really just insinuate that my ridiculously hefty familiarity with rock and roll history was too base to recognize the crazy famous band to which you refer?" and "yeah." And then I started laughing hysterically.

"Isn't it insane?" she adds. "How did they get them to play?"

"Well, Styx is from the South Side."

"Are they really?"

"Yeah, and I think one of them went to seminary. I wonder if they went to SMHS?" That would certainly be logical, since SMHS is a Catholic school, and the only people that hit up seminary are those crazy Catholics.

"Wait, what else do they sing?" Caroline asks.

"Duh, like, Grand Illusion. And Lady. And Lorelai. And Renegade."

They look at me blankly, so I urge them with a flawless singing rendition of, "Oh mama I'm in fear for my life from the long arm of the laaaawwww..." recognition shines on their faces, but only slightly, so I skip ahead a couple lines, "Hangman's coming down from the gallows and I don't have very loooongg...WAAAHHHHH!" (CLOSED-EYED AIR PUNCH). "The jig is up, the news is out, they finally found me. A renegade who had it made, muh-nah-nuhnuh-nuh-nuh..." (whatever, you can't expect me to know all of the lyrics).

"Buh-duh-duuuhhhhduh maa-aaan," Caroline chimes, skipping to the last line of the chorus.


"You have way too much free time on your hands."

"Not really."

"Why do you know all of this?"

"Because while you guys were studying in college, I was memorizing liner notes and lyrics to dumbass rock songs. Hence the C+ average. And one D. Which was horseshit, because that bitch professor was totally gunning for me."

They both scoff, smiling, and Sarah shakes her head. "You're so weird."

There's a pause, and I retort brilliantly, "Whatever, I think you guys're weird."



Anonymous said...

you serve a truly important purpose in the office... rock historian. even with the internet, every organization MUST have a Rock Historian In Residence.

Yes. in capital letters.

Rassles said...

I would be way cooler if I was up to date on what the kids were listening to these days. Because anything that happened after 2003? I don't know about it.

nursemyra said...

weird is good

Rassles said...

You know, I don't think weird is, really. People don't like that "I can't believe you don't know this" attitude.

But it doesn't stem from snobbery - I don't even nearly assume I know everything. But I always assume that whoever I'm talking to knows everything I know. I never want to undermine their intelligence.

More than anything, I'm always shocked at the differing interests between people.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Good that you were able to salvage that conversation. I was a bit worried as read towards the end. :)

Elizabeth D. said...

Cow Orkers

Schmee said...

do you not remember the famous quote of, "I'm juli rossi and I know everything" ? haha. these girls sound like dumb bitches though. how have you not heard of renegade?? Blasphemers!

renalfailure said...

What? No Mr. Roboto?

M. said...

Wait how is that you being WEIRD? I thought that made you all kinds of awesome.

I am going over there, and i will befriend you goddamit.

Although you would think i'm a loser because i don't know the music you know.


Blues said...


Without this important visual detail, this post would not have been the same.

Red said...

They also sing "Babe."

I had a very solid GPA and my job is crappy, too. And not fantastically lucrative.