So, here I am walking down Queen St. right after the big Marilyn’s Vitamins ‘Squeegee Girl’ 7” release party, and up to me comes this ‘street punk’ lookin’ guy... Leather, Spikes, chains and visible tattoos. The complete entourage.
“Spare some change, man?” He says to me. Checking my pockets thoroughly, I find nothing but a sweaty, recently used guitar pick.
“Sorry brother, I only got subway fare... Good luck though.”
“No prob. Thanx anyway,” he says, returning to his buddies, who’re leaning against a store window. Continuing on my way to the subway station, I suddenly hear from behind me,
“Heeeeey! Dan! Dan my man!!!”
I turn around. Towards me walks one of the dude’s friends, sporting a very large grin.
“How ya doooooin’?” he asks me with enthusiasm. I look at him, quickly scan my memory, and realize I have no idea who he is.
“Hey! Not bad, man! Long time no see, brother!” I reply. Being anti-confrontationalist and all, why should I insult this guy by telling him I have no idea who he is? He says he knows who I am, and so, by that standard, I probably knew him sometime as well. Through deftly guided conversational topics and vague trail-offs I could probably find out who this guy was without any awkwardness.
“Heeeeey man,” he goes, “spare some change for a brother?!” Hmmm, I suppose his friend hadn’t yet given him the gist of my current financial situation.
“Sorry man, no dough. I only have enough to-”
“Heeeeey man,” he interrupts, oblivious of my reply, “I’m listening to you guys right now, man!” Gesturing to his clipped-on walkman, he proceeds to sing. I catch a whiff of his breath. Heavy with alcohol. “WHAT WOULD YOU DO THEN,” he screams, “WITH NO HELP FROM YOUR WEALTHY FRIENDS...” Ahhh. ‘Bread And No Butter’. A song off of our full-length, ‘In These Shoes’. His imitation of Colin (our singer) actually isn’t that bad.
“Cool!” I say, probably somehow insulting him in the process. I never know how to reply to compliments. Perhaps one day I’ll learn before people start labeling me a rock-star. Or something.
“So heeeeey man!” He continues. Combining the horrid smell of his breath and his exaggerated slurs, I put two and two together. “Spare some change, man? It’s two ffff-ifty fer a pint at the Horseshoe, man! Sign’s right there! Can’t beat that price, man!” Hmmm, no. Somehow I bet you couldn’t.
“Sorry, man... Seriously, I have only enough for the sub-”
“What the fuck?!” he interjects angrily, “You call yourself a Punk and you won’t even gimmee enough for a beer?!”
Wha? Call myself a Punk? Jah?
“Whoah, whoah, whoah...” I stammer, suddenly becoming annoyed at this fella (who still doesn’t ring a bell upstairs), “I don’t call myself a Punk! I do the things that I do as an individual, not a Punk! And even if I did label myself a Punk, I’m sure that doesn’t mean I have to give up what little money I make to people who want cheap beer!” Heh, I think, I sure told him! I mentally pat myself on the back. Dan 1, Punk 0.
All of a sudden, up to us comes these three dance-club-lookin’ shade-wearin’ Italian slicksters.
“Does anyone here have cash?” One of them (the physically largest one, actually) asks. Wha? Cash? Again?
“Yaaaaaa, man,” goes the punk, seemingly forgetting about me, “what for?”
“I have a paycheque here that I need cashed, and all the banks are closed! It’s a legal, authentic cheque, man! I need cash for it right now, desperately!” As he says this, he looks at me.
“Naw, man, I don’t have anything.” I tell him. This is getting weird.
“You do too,” goes the punk. “my buddies and me need beer, man!” The Italian guy looks my way again.
“Look, man, I swear to GOD that this cheque is good. I’ll put my phone number and address on the back even.” He seems to think I’m lying to him.
“No, man! I don’t have a cent!” I plead, pulling the lining out of my pockets as proof.
“What about your wallet?” Goes the punk. The 3 slicksters start to walk away. They obviously didn’t have time for this, and thinking then of it, neither did I.
“That’s none of your business, man!” I go, feeling all cool again, “I’m telling you I have no money, so I have no money! Jeez!” Heh, I think, snappy replies rule! Score: Dan 2, Punk 0!
“Heeeeey guys!” Yells the punk (quite ignorant of my snappy reply) to the 3 slicksters walking away, “Come back! We can help ya out!” This is getting weirder. The 3 slicksters turn around and start walking back towards us. I notice that the big guy doesn’t look as friendly as he did before.
“Are you joking? Because I hope you know I have no time for jokes, man.” He calls back. The Punk (quite ignorant of the big slickster’s angry tone) turns towards me, an angry expression forming on his face.
“You spike your hair (he gestures to my hair) and you wear army pants (he gestures to my pants), and you won’t even gimmee enough for a beer?! Who do you think you are, man?” Wha? Ja? Who does he think he is?!
“YOU’RE NOT A PUNK, MAN!!!” he proclaims fiercely, “YOU MAKE ME AND MY PUNK BROTHERS SICK!!!”
“I really don’t have to listen to this,” I say, wary of the reproaching slicksters behind me, “I’m leaving.” And I left. Whew, I think, glad that’s over with! About 10 seconds later, I hear from behind me...
“WHAT WOULD YOU DO THEN, WITH NO HELP FROM YOUR WEALTHY FRIENDS...”