We return from Summer hiatus only to find the CH3 headquarters a shambles.
The copywriters’ desks are littered with empty vodka bottles and crumpled empties of Parliaments, the staff lounge is a ruin.
The blackened walls of the galley tell of several recent grease fires, and there, up high on the wall, could it be?
Twin hand prints, apparently dipped in human excrement, slapped up high and sloped down the wall, like the end quotation marks to a desperate and bizarre paragraph of dialogue.
And the blog?
The once mighty CH3 blog has been hacked by yet another Russian Bestiality site…
Goddamnit! what have you people been doing?
We leave for the season and the world has, apparently, gone mad.
As usual, we were lulled into a near comatose state by a season off the stage.
It was a, yes, long hot Summer, bookmarked by the twin tragedies: The graceless Miami Heat winning the NBA title and the passing of Phyllis Diller.
The Olympics come around, and our twitchy National attention shifts yet again: suddenly every drunk in the bar is an instant expert on the Pommel Horse dismount.
Miles above us a billion dollar RC car wanders aimlessly along the red clay of Mars, while here on Earth we lose a man who actually put foot upon moondust.
And you tell me Russian girls languish in prison?
Their crime– playing mediocre punk rock in a public arena?
Heh- Let’s take a moment to thank our stars that’s not a crime here, brother!
I propose a hostage trade: get those chicks over here for a month-long residency at the Juke Joint, and we’ll send ya a half dozen Long Beach bands that would be better off behind bars!
And when the Dark Knight opens to strong reviews and-truly!– crazed fans, we will from now on watch a movie with one eye on the Emergency Exit, wondering what terrors lurk on just the other side.
But beyond these atrocities, the Summer was long and luxurious, warm gentle nights filled with sweating tumblers of gin and tiki torches flickering down to the wick.
The late night in the backyard with nothing to do but comtemplate the lazy trail of Ursa Minor pawing its way across a purple sky, the lonesome electronic beep of the cricket in duet with the tinkling song of the ice cube kissing the highball glass.
We were only roused from this lethargy by the sight of the once noble Clint Eastwood babbling to an empty chair: The Outlaw Josey Wales, reduced to the crazy man in the subway station, all spittle at the mouth corners and urine soaked trousers.
We’ve spent the last few months underground, save a couple wacky adventures we’ll get to later.
Oh sure, in the past a whole Summer off would’ve driven us to madness.
We should be out there, shouldn’t we?, touring the country in a smelly van with no air conditioning, showing them we can still take it!
Playing for slim crowds of kids who can finally cross another name off their bucket list of oldies acts, eating the terrible foods that are offered to the side of that black stream of highway.
But this Summer, as we read about The Adolescents going on day 79 of their tortuous European tour, we only sigh with contented comfort, and toss another bratwust upon the Weber in the style of every other Suburban dad on a Thursday evening.
Away from the strains of being that guy from CH3, we were allowed to let the hair gray and add a dozen luxurious pounds of carbohydrate-derived calories.
And the days, they passed.
Alfie truly becomes the gramps we always jokingly called him anyway.
Ant, confounded by our laziness, starts a new band.
Kimm and I disappear entirely into the woodwork of family and mundane work, letting the guitars gather dust and the messages pile into post-it note pyramids, although the rare sighting is reported breathlessly on facebook:
But now, as the days have finally started to shorten and the goddamn shadows are finally spilling across the yard by 7pm, it is time to get back at it.
Oh, you’ll be sick of us in a month or so, as we gear up for the promo push for the new record, and you’ll be suddenly assaulted by shameless promotion at every level.
Gigs are booked, artwork is finalized, and we grudgingly go back on our cabbage soup diets, for this vacation is just about over.
But the days are still warm, aren’t they?
And we still have time- don’t we?– to sit in the backyard again, and drain the last of the clear alcohol in the sideboard.
We can use the plastic tiki tumblers once more, before packing them away and getting out the crystal bourbon buckets for Fall.
And we can stare into the purple dusk one more time, thinking of nothing at all, just waiting for the next creature of the constellation to crawl across the sky.