Stream of Something from the Boombox of My Brain

Anti-Warhol or Ante-Warhol, I wasn’t sure which it should be. Finally I settled on “Anti-Warhol,” “anti” as in opposite more than “against,’ and began daydreaming about a short film where this little guy in a white mop would show up on Letterman or something and do an interview. At the time it seemed very very funny, and my friend Greg and I used to brainstorm about this film pretty often, but we never made it. Somewhere, though, is a story board…

Some of the people of the opposite sex in our lives are not meant to be fallen for. Some of them are meant to be buddies, pals, friends, co-conspirators but not lovers. Greg and I tried to fall for each other but it just turned out to be hilarious. Ultimately he fell for a girl who drove through his fence in a Suzuki Samurai. Somehow, I never met her and that puzzles me if I think about it which is almost never. Guys are like that. A lot of times they don’t want to introduce their girlfriends to their female friends. It’s happened often in my life.

Where was I going with that? No idea. My stream of thought got interrupted by two major morning events. I finished my coffee (dark times) and a song came on the radio that reminded me of Mindy T. Dog, RIP. Mindy had “her” song — “Jump Around” by House of Pain. And why? Well here’s the deal. Mindy was one of those dogs who, when she saw people she loved, jumped around in circles. Inevitably I sang, “Jump around! Jump around!” and that’s how that happened. Everyone needs a little Boston Irish Hip-hop in their lives. Once it played in the car while we were on our way home from Colorado Springs. Mindy got excited and I think she wanted to “jump around.” Luckily, she was the only dog I was traveling with so she got to do a little something in the back of the hatchback Focus while I sang along with the radio.

I have to say, hip-hop music from that period (early 90s) is among my favorite, and besides House of Pain, I loved Cypress Hill, and once I got to know Eminem, yeah. Once, outside my house in the “barrio” I heard classical waltz music coming from a boombox in my neighbor’s front yard. Very strange. Even though their mother didn’t like them broadcasting songs with the refrain “Motha fokka,” it happened often enough that Strauss was a big surprise. “WTF?” I thought. I went out to see and there, clad in grunge-worthy over-sized flannel and baggy jeans, my neighbor’s daughter and her friends were all practicing for her Quinceañera. Strauss blared from the boombox set on the hood of mom’s car. It was a sight more beautiful and more ironic than any movie I could make up in my head.

The funny thing about Eminem and music from the early 90s is that the kids of the time are the teachers of today. Last spring, a month or so before school was out, I was walking the dogs behind the high school. I heard music over the loudspeaker, music a coach would use to motivate his athletes. In Dead Poets Society Professor Keating played Beethoven’s 9th. At the high school in Monte Vista, the coach was playing Eminem. Great song, too. It’s on my old iPod that I used to listen to riding the Bike to Nowhere. What would the kids on that track running those hurdles think if they knew that?

6 thoughts on “Stream of Something from the Boombox of My Brain

  1. It is so neat how music will bring up great memories,. Thanks for sharing your experiences with Eminem, Mindy T and Strauss. They connected up for an amazing morning of time travel.

  2. I don’t know why but I feel embarrassed about the popularity of that House of Pain song and the group’s moment in the sun. It was catchy as hell though–surely I’m one of many whose mental boombox can “play” that song at any moment.

    I actually had two snippets of music floating around my head lately. Dave Brubeck and Ice Cube (not Dr Dre like I thought) made a rather unusual pair, but it worked somehow.

    Suzuki Samurai through a fence–thanks, I’m taking notes on how to form and maintain a relationship. 🙂

    • I don’t know why, but it worked for that chick, though getting a Suzuki Samurai now might be tricky.

      I love that House of Pain song and the video that goes with it. I don’t know why — for itself and for the moment of life it conjures. I lived in a neighborhood that could have been Cypress Hill’s neighborhood so they were my favorite hip-hop band. I never really got into Dr. Dre and Ice-Cube etc. They didn’t do it for me — but Cypress Hill definitely did. One day I was sitting outside at the school cafe with my CD player and earphones and a student sat down with me and suddenly, “Whoa, professor, is that Cypress Hill?” 95% of the students there were Hispanic and there were a bunch of white teachers (naturally) and he thought we all taught there because of the “diversity.” I was like, “I’m the diversity.”

      I dunno — I liked the fashion from then, too. I had ox-blood, pointy-toed Dr. Martens, tight black jeans, a denim shirt and a leather jacket. I’d have stuck with that forever.

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