Dog and Cat. Coffee and Tea. Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. Everyone knows there are two types of people in the world. What are they?—
The plaid and the beleaguered. Rotarians, mind your plaid, mind your fairways, mind your S&H stamped portholes. We knew ye when: when plaid was not yet a physical manifestation of your wafflemind, but your bottles were full of plaid milk (never a plaid breast against that nuzzling cheek), plaid was your Gerber-fave, plaid the Melba, plaid those purple Rotarian dinosaurs, plaid your Duplo megamind, plaid your rulers, your Elmer’s, your bean and cheese tacos, your Chef Boyardee, your cinnamon toast, your Underwood’s deviled ham, your spam and jamalot, your High Rotarian pizza rolls, your chicken fried chicken fingers, your Notarian underpants. The Captain calls you by your middle name, the High Priest coos in your wet behind the ears, drools just a tad down the front of your Big Bib’s Bar-B-Q big bib, and the Svengali of your plaid dreams has plans for you and Susan Boyle that would make even Casey Kasem blush and swoon.
Such are your plaid American dreams.
The plaid Rotarian lit out for the plaid Nebraskan territories in the plaid days of the plaid supermoon, plaid Four Freshman in his plaid Walkman, plaid fields of plaid wheat swaying in the plaid breeze. For one nanosecond of his Itchycoo adolescence, in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, stealthstalking the swarthy Hughen coo-baby twins down the hall of Hopkinsville High, he strayed from his plaid Optimist Oratorical Contest doom into the waystations of the beleaguered, the infernal victims of his endless and sycophantic pabulum (no Cthulhu on that flagpole), the nodding-off to his clanging oratory, straying for that mighty nanosecond into an almost nether, Excalibur’d finesse almost at his fingertips, neon-flavored filter tips at his disposal, he was for that moment almost a multitude unto himself, a Whitman Sampler of fireballs, nursemaid to the blimey boys, wee Camden aristocrat picnicking with his Widow Hudson, nursing fantasies of her as his empyreal Dorian, call it the park, call it the trampoline, call it the coffee-colored kisses, call it the last train, the don’t know what / it’s all about . . . whatever it was, it came this close to the final abduction and not invite Christian . . .
Dark shadows all about. Plaid recedes, satori advances. If not satori, then at the very least, B-side Steely Dan, pre-Aja, without all that post-Aja, Wayne Shorter faux-fusion crap. Gravely Phil Donahue Ronald McDonald: OUT. Beleaguered, folks. Post-SD is just another excuse for plaid with chocolate nibs. Ronald McDonald is to SD as Lindsey Buckingham is to Fleetwood Mac, as pretty boy is to real, only in Ronald’s case, it ain’t pretty, it’s just boy.
Cancel the night, cancel las palapas, cancel the night train to Georgia, the godspell of Kerouac’s tombstone in the Lowell rain, what a pitiful sight, Campbell’s pork and bean can in a blue flame, blue flame down the Bastrop Highway, blue flame and six-pack of ice cold ice cold “Slitz” (ice . . . cold) on summery sunny pine-baked—no—pine-scathed holocaust of a Centex dog day afternoon, scathing interrogation of the minions, the high school hall of famers’ danse macabre as they jettison all hopes and dreams, facile beliefs, and the entire ouvre of the Rotarian slipstream, to take on the dark night of the soul, the dark night of the senses, the Jim Beam Oaxacan song and dance (dark, or at the very least, dark amber), as the plaid pixilates into oblivion and the beleaguered rises, Borg-like, queen’s head settling nicely about the shoulders.
Smell of the beast.
Five & dime.
You do the math.