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22 Jun 2004

Memories Inspired by Louder than Bombs.

Written by sally @ 8:58 am — Section: sally

These random thoughts popped into my head as I drove to work this morning, listening to Louder than Bombs.

1. My friend Jason in high school woke up one morning hungover and feeling poetic, and scribbled this down on a piece of paper: I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour… and then he realized he was ripping off the Smiths.

2. My high school equivalent to Crush was named Tim Oceanberry. I spoke to him, oh, once, when I called him under the guise of writing a newspaper article about students with unusual names (I discovered that Oceanberry was not the most unusual part of his name: his middle name was Orville!). I drove past his house and stole weeds out of his yard (they are still in my scrapbook). I followed him through the lunch line and wrote down what he ate (a growing boy, he would often purchase two chocolate milks). I procured his locker combination (again, using the powers of newspaper staff) and opened it while he was in track class, and was horrified to see The Book of Mormon laying there. I took a sheet of his pictures from the Who’s Who dance and some graded journal entries from English class.

He took one of the Jarrell twins to the dance. They had dressed identically, down to their black pantyhose and gold pumps. My mom and I carefully merged Tim and the Twin’s picture with my picture of me and Jason (same Jason as above). It was eery: Jason and Tim were the same height, and even though it is Jason’s hand in the revised picture, it attaches to Tim’s wrist in the exact spot.

The journals were disappointing. They weren’t secret or private journals or anything, so please calm down. They were those compulsory journal entries one is forced to write in high school English classes: Would you rather be rich and miserable or poor and happy? Explain. or If you could be any animal, which would you be and why?

Tim’s answers were brief. His spelling was rancid, and sadly, he was not deep. He would rather be rich and miserable, and wanted to be a cheetah because they can run up to 70 mph.

Also, during this time my mother was working full-time for the first time in my entire life. She stopped cooking altogether, which I thought was great. Our food schedule was this:
Monday: Monday! Monday! pizza special at Little Caesar’s
Tuesday: $.99 burgers at Sonic after 5 pm
Wednesday: Taco Bueno
Thursday: $.99 Big Macs after 5 pm at one particular McDonald’s

The McDonald’s was right by Tim’s house, so I usually volunteered for this task. One day, as I was leaving McDonald’s, I was listening to “Stretch Out and Wait,” and I saw Tim jogging down the street. It was fate. “Stretch Out and Wait” became our song. I still don’t hear it without thinking of that moment that I saw him, out of school context.

I saw him again once out of school context. He was working at MacFrugal’s, and I was there with my grandmother. I had food on my shirt and my grandmother kept losing me and calling my name loudly.

3. My best friend in high school was madly in love with a boy named Craig Cockersmith. Unlike my crushes, she actually talked to this person and was friends with him. He even called her up and they hung out some. Crazy. Nothing ever happened, although we did attempt to crash a party at his house several years later, and could not work up the courage to get out of the car. We decided that sitting in the car was pretty good, as we could see people coming and going, which was almost like going to the actual party. Unfortunately, we had parked next to some annoying twins that we knew, and so when we saw them coming directly toward us, we panicked. I said, “Quick, pretend you’re dead!”

We slumped over in our seats and assumed the dead person stance. The twins were drunk and thought we had passed out. One actually stuck her head inside the open window and said as much. Terrible.

Actually, now that I think about it, later that night as we were dying of embarrassment and cracking up over the extremely dumb and ineffective way of dealing with that situation, we were driving around and tossing tiny meatballs Heidi’s mom had made out the window. As I cannot throw, anything I aimed at was sure to be meatball-free; unfortunately, however, fate intervened as I tossed a tiny meatball at the car next to us, which had its windows down.

Do you know whose car that was? Do you? It was Tim Oceanberry’s. No shit.

Anyway, but back to Craig Cockersmith. The last time Heidi talked to him was like 1990 or something. One day in 1996, my phone rang at 5:30 in the morning.

Me: Hello?
Heidi: Oh. My. God. You will never believe what just happened.
Me: What? Hello?
Heidi: Guess who just left my house!
Me: Um, Craig Cockersmith.
Heidi: What?! Yes!! How did you know?
Me: He is absolutely the only person you would call me at 5:30 in the morning about.
Heidi: So yeah, I was with Heather, and we ran into him at Cool Beans….blah blah blah–
Sound effect: Comically loud movie-esque fart.
Heidi: –and then Heather left and we got really drunk, and we ended up over here, and he is just now leaving and is still in the driveway.
Sound effect: Comically loud movie-esque fart.
Me: Are you farting?
Heidi: Yes, I obviously couldn’t fart while he was here!
Me: And he’s still in the driveway?
Sound effect: Comically loud movie-esque fart.
Heidi: Yeah, I’m peeking out the blinds.
Me: You better hope he didn’t forget something, because if he comes back into that fart cloud, you are in trouble.

These thoughts, which took 45 minutes to write, took 45 seconds to remember.

14 Responses to “Memories Inspired by Louder than Bombs.”

  1. gclark said:

    this might be some of the funniest stuff you’ve ever written.

  2. vendela said:

    ahhh, sally. your love for mr. oceanberry is one of the reasons i am in love with you. what’s wrong with us girls? i got busted once with my friend chrissy for picking dandelions out of our high school punk rock hero’s front yard. what is the power of yard dirt? well, we didn’t get busted picking the weeds, but i later told some sucky someone what we did, and then when i was at a party about a week later, i heard this wannabe skinhead girl (why anyone would want to be a pretend skinhead is beyond me) asking mr. punk rock hero, “found anyone in your mom’s geraniums, lately? ha ha ha!” bloody heck.

    i also remember the first smiths song i ever heard of. i say heard of because i didn’t actually listen to it for a while. i used to get star hits magazine, and they’d have these band pin ups with the lyrics to their songs printed over their pictures. i hung up the picture for the smiths’ “there is a light that never goes out.” i thought it was the most awesome dirge ever (that i’d only read the lyrics to). i totally connected with its sentiment in my tragic fourteen year old way. i waited with insane anticipation for the u.s. release of the queen is dead. then i bought everything else smiths the sadly understocked sound shop in natchez had to offer. which was meat is murder. my granny, for some reason, totally freaked about this title. go figure.

  3. Frenchie said:

    I, too, associate unrequited high school crushes with this album (and with the Smiths oeuvre, I suppose)…I used to sit next to this boy named William in my Algebra 2 class. I was a senior (in Alg 2 and not Calculus because I had failed Geometry); he was a sophomore (who was such a brain that he got to skip pre-Alg). During Glee Club tour, at least 6 weeks in advance, I asked him to my senior banquet. He said he’d have to think about it, and when I finally cornered him about it the week before — by which time he had stopped sitting next to me in class — he said no. So I went stag. And have never had the courage to ask another man out. I hear he’s an architect now, which, given his super-neat, super-small, mechanical pencil handwriting, he was clearly born for.

    But whenever I hear “William, it was really nothing” I think of him, even 16 years later.

    Don’t know what Smiths song this is from, but the line that always gets to me is “It’s over, but it never really began, but in my heart it was so real. And you even spoke to me and said: You’re so funny….” Perhaps the answer lies in the Smiths mix that I made for my desk.

  4. Sally said:

    That’s “I Know It’s Over” from The Queen is Dead.

    Vive les Smiths!

  5. Big Gray said:

    “I Know It’s Over” is my favorite Smiths song along with “Stop Me If You Think That You’ve Heard This One Before.” I mean, I know there are better songs of theirs…I just like those two a lot for some reason.

  6. herman rarebell said:

    wait a second – vendela’s in love with sally? is there a morrisey lyric to cope with confusion and pain i’m feeling now?

    that guy sure goes through a lot of heart ache for an asexual.

  7. Sally said:

    What about this one from “My Love Life”: I know you love one person so why can’t you love two?

  8. gorjus said:

    “Cisco in a Toga I KNOW, I KNOW, it’s serious . . . ” Coming home from Martin’s one night, Jaxxie was driving a very drunk Woodroe & me–and we were so trashed, we couldn’t even sing the lyrics to our favorite songs! We tried to sing “Panic” but kept getting confused.

    I must admit that the Smiths are the only band that makes me twirl.

  9. ms.comrade said:

    whoa. i totally listened to louder than bombs on the way to work today too. do you have a vacancy for a back-scrubber?

  10. bulb said:

    Personally I always preferred “The World Won’t Listen” cuz Louder retreads too much “Hatful.”

  11. vendela said:

    i remember my grandmother saying that she liked morrissey because he sounded like an “older elvis.” “huh?” i asked. “well, he sounds like how i think elvis would have sounded if he had lived.” she was commenting on “asleep.”

    my fave from louder is “sweet an tender hooligan.” wow. what other popstar can claim a song about old people being murdered in their beds?

  12. gclark said:

    oh, and sally, re last sentence: 45!

  13. sally said:

    You know I added those 45!s for you.

  14. The Oh Really » More 8th Grade Fun! Now with Cheerleaders! said:

    […] I looked it up in the OED, and apparently that pose was the inspiration for the expression “swift kick in the pants.” She had twin sisters, one of whom stuck her head in my car while I was pretending to be dead that one time (scroll down to #3). […]