So, here is a little holiday reading for you, was going to go with something between Miracle on 34th street and the Peanuts Christmas special, but just had this conversation and it seemed like I needed to write it down....oh, and there is some shameless plugging at the bottom, as always.
Keep in mind that this is a bit long and ranty, so please feel free to delete or skip to the bottom (not that you have to have my permission)
Toby (a twenty something idealist in a big puffy down jacket conveniently zipped up to "almost" cover his Greenpeace t-shirt, and hiding his clipboard behind his back, standing right in front of my office building)
Nate (a thirty something pessimist in a big puffy amy surplus jacket zipped up to the top of his nose and thinking nasty, nasty thoughts, trying to go into my office building)
Toby: Hi! My name is Toby! What's yours?
Toby: My name is Toby (extends hand for warm and meaningful shake). What's your name?Nate: Don't do that, man.
Toby: Don't do what?
Nate: Don't be disingenuous to sell me a bunch of shit.
Toby: Excuse me?
Nate: Don't pretend that you are interested in me, just to get me to buy whatever you're selling. It's dishonest. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Toby: I'm not selling anything
Nate: Oh, really? I'm sorry, my mistake. So, you're just standing out here in front of this building in the asscold to make friends?
Toby: Yup! (extends hand again)
Nate: Cool, so we're friends now?
Toby: As soon as you tell me your name
Nate: Awesome, my name is Nate. Hey, since we are friends now, would you mind if my wife and I came over for Christmas eve? Our family isn't in New York and it would be nice to spend it with some good friends.
Toby: Oh, I don't think we're quite that close (winks)
Nate: Oh, really. I thought we were friends, maybe we are more of friendly acquaintances?Toby: Yeah, that's it.
Nate: Cool, hey what do you say we shoot the shit about girls, huh? That girl is hot, eh?
Toby: That isn't really appropriate
Nate: You're right. You're absolutely right. I guess I got carried away with some locker room talk because I was just hanging here with my friendly acquaintance Toby
Toby: Yeah, well...
Nate: So, maybe we are just acquaintances.
Toby: Yeah, it seems that way.
Nate: Right, hey, what is your last name, where do you live?
Toby: Excuse me?
Nate: Well, I know the last name and general neighborhood of most acquaintances, that's usually the first things you make small talk about
Toby: I don't really want to tell you that
Nate: Oh, I see, so you know what it sounds like to me, Toby? It sounds to me like we are strangers. Would you agree? This is fine, but you see, I don't like strangers forcing their way into my personal space in front of my place of work and trying to sell me shit. I also don't like when they try and be sly and cover up their Greenpeace t-shirt and hide their clipboard. You have to admit that that is pretty disingenuous behavior. Don't you? Don't you think that maybe all the people on this street are sick of people with fake good will trying to sell us shit, like some kind of psycho-economic bait and switch? "Here, I want to be your friend, will you sign this sheet to keep whales alive?" I love whales, but I don't want to be coerced or guilted or otherwise bamboozled into anything with the promise of human warmth. Does your grandmother know you are doing this? I bet she would tan your ass. This is not the way that people interact. I have no problem with your job, I know you probably need the bread, but don't bullshit us. Just stand up with your whale flag flying and ask if I want to give money to Greenpeace, you chickenshit.
Toby: Okay, do you want to give money to Greenpeace?
Nate: Not to you
Toby: Fuck you Nate
Nate: Fuck you too Toby.
Ahhhhh, I love Christmas. Admittedly, I may be becoming a curmudgeon. My deep apologies to Toby wherever he is.
Now, I'm going to take my own advice and say this:You should listen to Scott McDowell's Long Rally. He'll soon be posting the complete live sessions that I did with Chris Corsano and C. Spencer Yeh, including a live version of the second installment of Seven Storey Mountain. You can find him at wfmu.org
I love you guys,