Tuesday, September 15


It’s a well known fact that I hate hippies. I hate their clothes (seriously I don’t want to see your side boob) and their smells (this includes the BO, Nag Champa and that stinkweed, Patchouli). But most of all, I hate their music. I would rather have pins in my eyes than listen to the Grateful Dead or Widespread or The String Cheese Incident or any other jam bands. However, the worst offender I can think of is Phish. I really, really hate that fucking band. And no, I’m not passing judgment based on their fan base, although I could, ‘cause it’s easy.

Thanks to an ex-boyfriend of mine, I’ve put in my time with Phish. I even went to a show – and blacked out. I will admit, not my finest moment.

Now, some might argue that despite my feelings, they are a good band. Oh, I don’t disagree that the members of the band are good musicians. They seem to be perfectly capable of handling instruments in a professional way. It’s just that I don’t like the sound they make when they play together. A friend of mine once summed up jam bands by saying that whenever a song hits the 2:50 mark, he starts thinking to himself “let’s bring this on home fellas."

Maybe it’s the ADD, but after awhile “the jam” starts to wear on my nerves, even if it’s my favorite band. Recently when I saw The Dandy Warhols, they started some trippy jam and I turned to my husband and said, “This needs to end soon, or I’m going to the bathroom or something until their done.” I don’t care how much you like to play the bongos, do that shit on your own time.

But sometimes, due to circumstances beyond my control, I get trapped into listening to filthy hippie music. This was the case the other night when we ventured into my favorite pizza place. Everything started out normal enough. I ordered more pizza than I could eat and somehow Piper wound up with ice cream. When we first walked in, we were lulled into a false sense of security by the CD player that was set on shuffle. It just as we sat down to eat when it happened. The Phish kicked in.

At first, it was funny. Mark sat there with a tortured look on his face and Piper started to dance. I confess, I encouraged Piper thinking it was one of the most amusing things I’d seen in awhile. I mean a two-year old doing a shimmy to Chalk Dust Torture is pretty freaking funny, right? Mark looked at me and said, “don’t encourage her,” and then leaned over to Piper and told her “this is the worst kind of music in the whole world.” At that moment, I got a glimpse 11 years into the future when she ignored him and just kept dancing.

But the funny didn’t last. No sooner did that song end, when another Phish song started up. I looked over at Mark and said “another one?” He glared back at me and through gritted teeth informed me “it’s an entire CD.” Oh God, we’d just started to eat. The Phish CD had just started to play. That meant we were going to have to listen to this crap throughout dinner. It finally got to the point where every new song that started sent me into fits of laughter. However, I guess since they were the ones that put the CD on, the staff didn’t find it at all humorous and kept shooting us the stink-eye.

Unbeknownst to me it was about to get worse, or better depending on how you look at it. A dread-locked guy strolled in from the back door and spent about 10 minutes bullshitting with one of the cooks. While talking he decided to freestyle to the Phish with the patented doggie paddle dance. Then defying all logic, he added a Michael Jackson spin. It was awesome, but it did nothing for my case of the giggles. After the private dancer dude received his free bread sticks, he moved his picnic to the front counter to hit on the cashier and block the path of customers to the soda machine. Fear not, for while his amour took orders, he continued his doggie-paddled-spin while eating a smoking hot bread stick. Now that’s what I call multi-talented.
At the same time, there was a guy who looked like one of those sketches of the Zodiac killer waiting in line with his Mom. Buzzed hair, glasses with thick black frames and womanly hips that spilled out of his Dockers. As if the situation wasn’t weird already, I saw him adjust his junk (holding onto it just a little too long) and lightly squat down over and over.

I assumed that he was mentally challenged until I realized that he was trying to dance. This went on for a couple of minutes: adjust, squat, adjust, squat. It was about this time that the dread locked bread stick eater started up his routine again, except he’d added some gun slinging finger pointing in there. Doggie paddle, adjust, spin, squat, gun fingers - It was like the most surreal ballet ever with the dancers keeping in perfect time.

We decided that between the twirling and crotch grabbing, it was time to make our break for it and leave. Although we were glad to finally get away from the music, I have to say that I think that it’s the first time in my life that I really appreciated Phish.

** Last week Mark and I went to lunch (not at above pizza place), and as we were getting our drinks, he stopped cold and looked at me and said "oh no, not again." I didn't understand what he was trying to tell me until he snapped "LISTEN!" And damned if it wasn't Phish. Again, throughout the entire lunch, Phish. Phuck.