AAG Returns -ZOMBIES IN PARADISE

We’re baaaaa-aaack!

CoarseYoungCannibals_thumbnail

Some things never change, like that stupid expression.  But mostly things change all the time. I just changed my mind about that last sentence.  Life is change.  Two quarters and a penny are change.   We have changed.  You have changed.

We are bodhisattvas who died a million times on our spiritual quest, only to re-emerge smellier and covered with dirt.   Like Zombies, but smarter.  And with better skin.  We don’t really eat brains either, although that would mesh well with our current paleo diet.

But that’s enough about us.  Where have you been?  Wait.  We don’t give a shit.  

Let’s stick to the facts.

Fact:  We are both here now.

While we are tinkering under the hood, updating the live streams, playing with our noodles, whistling dixie–or is that now considered racist?– we thought we’d treat you to a little Austin way above ground:

 

AxA – Austin by Air: An Aerial Documentary from iMaerial on Vimeo.

You’re welcome.

A Piss Perfect Evening

Chillaxing with old and new friends at Icenhauer’s on Rainey Street, when Ree-chard shows up on an injured bicycle. “One of my pedals just fell off.”   He held up the severed bike wrist like a trophy.

We  settled into a chummy hubbub of patter-babble and fifteen minutes later Richard got up and left.

Naila held up a $20 bill and said:  “Richard just offered me $50 to pee in my shoe.  I told him I’d let him do it for $200.”

“What’s the $20 for?”

“It’s a deposit. Earnest money. He went to the ATM.”

Ree-chard is Chasing the Weird! 

When he returns, Naila balks at the offer.  “Breach of Contract,” is how Ree-chard described it later.  “I paid her escrow.  We had a verbal agreement.”

“I was just calling his Bluff,” countered Naila.

 

Fortunately for Ree-chard, AAG’s own KT inexplicably offered up one of his $75 pair of black gum-soled Converse skate shoes. He somehow agreed to let Richard soil the sneakers for $7.42. because…because… he wasn’t serious, was he?

“I definitely got the raw end of that deal.” Kevin declared later, gingerly walking back to the car in stocking feet.

Ree-chard took possession of the urine-free shoe and in true Cinderella fetish style, placed it on his left foot and proceeded to demonstrate that this was exactly the shoe he needed to work the broken pedal on his bicycle.

Then he threw the shoes on the roof.

Where they sit.

To this day.

It’s like a perfect evening.

Video has been removed to protect the identity of the guilty.  Too bad. If you were one of the 45 people who saw it before we pulled it, you’re welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disguise is Falling

Hat Trick

First thing I did this morning was shine my shoes.  It set the tone for the entire day.  I remembered an old tin of Kiwi that had been sitting under the sink since forever and pulled a tattered poplin shirt off a hanger and went to town rubbing and buffing my black leather Birkenstocks.

Next I attacked my mop of hair with a tiny curved pair of grooming scissors.  I lopped off several erratic patches and stared down at the salt and pepper mess in the sink.  The pattern of hair in the bowl framed around the drain gave me an idea.   I dug around in the drawer and found a tube of makeup glue.  Dabbing a bit on my upper lip I fashioned a thin pastiche of a mustache.  It took a while to get all the hairs going in the same direction but it still ended up looking more like the frayed ends of the toothbrush I used to buff my shoes.

I pulled on a pair of baggy dress slacks and an oddly iridescent blue and gold sport coat picked up from a vintage shop that I’d never managed to wear–primarily because it looked ridiculous on me.   For good measure I knotted up a bright red bow tie and tossed on a gray fedora.  I slung my Nikon over my shoulder and slipped out of the house without saying goodbye to Egoyan–my temperamental tabby cat.  We were still feuding over a salisbury steak incident and I wasn’t ready to forgive her just yet.

February in Austin is as mercurial as a teenager.  You could get pelted with hail one day and later in the week temperatures could hit triple digits.  On this morning, a whispering fog settled over the green belt, red-breasted robins bobbed along the ground pecking for worms, a pair of cardinals belted out a persistent high pitched syncopated trill–a plaintive melody against the distant rumble of a freight train carrying goods from Laredo all the way up through Missouri.

I took the back way, through Mary Moore Searight park and made my way north towards downtown through the funky neighborhoods between Stassney and Ben White.  The neighborhoods in this part of town deserve to be walked through with their chaotic landscaping, funky yard art, huge arthritic live oaks and mailboxes with character.

south austin walking tour

After a solid hour and a half of walking, I stopped in at Hill’s Café  on south congress for breakfast.   Although I recognized no one in the cafe, I took delight in travelling in-cognito.   I was just somebody.  Anybody.  An awkwardly dressed freak with a ratty mustache.  Those furtive glances and bemused looks rolled off me as I reveled in the fearlessness of anonymity.

“Can I take your um…”  the waitress frowned and looked at my upper lip, “…order.”

I tilted my head like the Victrola dog and raised my eyebrows expectantly.

“It’s kind of obvious,” she continued, “your….” she pointed at her lip.   “Are you an actor?”

That’s it.  I’m an actor.  Studying for a part.

“I’m a Private Detective.  I mean, you know, that’s my role. “   Dammit.  I never could think straight around beautiful women.  “I’d like some coffee, a short stack of buttermilk pancakes and an order of home fries.”

She giggled.  “Ok.  But I don’t believe you.”

I winked at her.  My first real wink as far as I can remember.  Winking belongs to the 50’s and 60’s, when white males had all the power.  A wink was a power play, a subtle acknowledgement of benevolent superiority between the winker and the winkee, a gesture of intimacy, wisdom and sardonic wit.  I decided I was going to wink at everyone today.

By the time I made my way down to Magnolia Café on SoCo, the fog had burned off  and traffic was fairly heavy on the wide asphalt with a postcard view of the Capitol.   Four beverages flashed through my mind in quick succession: Coffee, Iced Coffee, White Russian, straight tequila.   This day was not going anywhere.  I’d been walking for 3 hours and only taken a handful of pictures, none of which had anything to do with the case.   My upper lip itched like a disease.   I felt uncomfortable in my clothing and I hadn’t had nearly enough human contact to justify the disguise.

 

The bar in Magnolia Cafe is terrible. Only 3 uncomfortable stools so close together you have to read the paper with your elbows tight against your ribs.  If you sit one way you’re looking into the kitchen.  Face the other way and you’re just in the way of the very busy wait staff.  I chose one of the “aisle” seats and swiveled half way around to look out across the pond of bobbing heads and made direct eye contact with Kristy The Screamer McGuffin.

Kristy and I’d had sex one time about 11 years ago.   Her face was rounder and her blond dreadlocks were gone.   But there she was sitting alone, arms folded over an army green file folder looking right back at me.

Kristy was a screamer.  And you never forget a screamer.   “OHFUCKMEFUCKMEFUCKMEYOUBASTARDYOUCOCKBOYSUCKMYTITSYOUTITSUCKER..YES…YES…YES!”  For about 15 minutes at full volume.  Surprised the hell out of me really.  I laughed all the way through it and I guess the convulsions gave her the idea that I was into it and it spurred her on to greater heights:  “YOUKNOWYOUWANTTHISPUSSYYOUTITSUCKERFUCKMEFUCKMEFUCKMEDEEPERHARDERFASTERWHATSWRONGWITHYOUFUCKMEHARDERHARDERHARDER!”  It was like being strapped to a mechanical bull with turrets syndrome.

We locked eyes, then her brows did a little dance and panic set in.    I imagine this sort of thing happened to her all the time.  Running into old one night stands.  Enduring the confused stares, shifting to recognition followed by that light bulb moment—eyes widening, grin spreading like wildfire and immediately the breaking of eye contact as the victim relived the vivid details in stereophonic memory surround sound.

So what I did was this.  I jumped off my stool, walked straight over to her table and began writhing and rubbing myself and screaming:   “OHFUCKMEFUCKMEFUCKMESUCKMYCOCKSUCKMYCOCKYOUCOCKSUCKINGCOCKSUCKERDEEPERSWALLOWMESWALLOWME…YES…YES…YES!”  When I had the full attention of everyone in the bar I tipped my fedora, winked at Kristy McGuffin and bolted for the door like I had the 20 second shits.   I hit the parking lot so fast I lost my hat. But I didn’t care–I was on an adrenaline high–free and wild– leather soles slapping the pavement, laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, winding through the backstreets of SOCO residential area, slowing down now, holding on to a street sign, bending over catching my breath, heartbeat pounding in my ears.

I found a nice patch of grass and laid out flat in someone’s front yard snow angel style, looking up through the twisted fingers of a live oak at patches of blue sky and wondered why on this day when I chose to conceal my identity to the world,  I had touched some raw nerve and discovered a bizarre and profound truth:  I belong here.  This is my life.  This is my town.

But the epiphany burst  just as quickly as it appeared.  My thigh began to vibrate and the theme from the twilight zone hummed in my pants.   I squirmed onto my side and dug the phone out of my trousers.

“Where are you?”  A woman’s voice.

Where am I?  Where am I?  What a great question.

“I’m right here.”

“No.   I’m here.“  She let that sit for a moment.   “You’re late.”

“Ms. Brondelbond?”

“Albert.”

“Where are you?”

“I’m at the designated meeting place.  Waiting for you.”  She sucked in a small breath.  “Something really weird just happened in the restaurant.”

“Frans?”

“No.  Magnolia Café.”

A pinprick of fear shot up from my taint.

“Magnolia?  We were supposed to meet at Fran’s.”

“I can’t stand the coffee at Fran’s.  I stopped at Magnolia first.”

“You went to Magnolia before going to Frans?”

“What difference does it make?”

“What are you wearing?

“What?”

“Never mind.  I…I can’t make the meeting.”  I struggled to my feet and brushed the grass off of my coat.    ”Why would you go to a restaurant before going to a meeting at a restaurant?”

“I do it all the time.  What the fuck difference does it make? “

“I’m just saying…”

“Where are you?”

“I’m not dressed.  Did you bring the paperwork?”

“I thought you said you couldn’t make the meeting?”

“Exactly.”

“Then why do you care if I brought the papers?”

“Were they in a file folder?”

“Mr. Prince, I’m starting to have second thoughts about our contract.”

“Hold on.  It’s part of the job.  I’m just being cautious.  Give me thirty minutes.“

“I’ll order another milkshake.”

There was some commotion on the roof of Lucy in Disguise.  A rope was looped under the arm of the giant Carmen Miranda Zebra and some day-laborers were grunting and cursing in Spanish as they jostled it into position.  I wondered if they were replacing the zebra.  It was such on icon on SoCo.  Cleaning it maybe.  What do you do with a thing like that when a store goes out of business?

Lucy in Disguise

The costume shop was quiet and I knew exactly what I wanted.

“What’s going on with the Zebra?” I asked the raven-haired pincushion behind the counter as I was checking out.

“Some idiots tried to steal it.    All they did was cut it off the base and knock it over.  Probably didn’t think the whole thing through.”

Five minutes later I was hoofing it back up SoCo to Frans, decked out in a sky blue tuxedo and a pair of large white plastic sunglasses.     My reflection splintered into streaking blue tracers as I walked past the giant storefront windows.    Wait…wait… wait a second. I stopped in front of  Big Top Candy Store  and pressed my face close to  the window.  This mustache thingy had to go.    I began frantically plucking the stiff bristles from my upper lip.   A small child with big brown eyes inside the shop pointed up at me and tugged on her mom’s skirt.  Her mother swatted her hand away and mouthed: “No!”

“Well this is awkward.”  Kristin Brondelbond somehow looked straight through the shades into my eyes and loudly finished off her strawberry milkshake with three slurps.    “You still have some mustache on your upper lip.”

I picked up a spoon and stared at my inverted and elongated reflection.  Shit!  I flashed her my best hand caught in the cookie jar face.

“I hope your detective work is better than your…” She waggled her hand in my direction.  “…art of disguise.”

“I had no idea you were that Kristy.   We’d only ever talked on the phone.”

“I married the National Director of PETA.  Changed my last name.  You haven’t changed.”  No hint of sarcasm.

“I could use a drink.”

Kristy or Kirstin reached into a shaggy hemp purse and pulled out the tiniest envelope I had ever seen.  With a long shiny blue fingernail she slid the envelope across the table.   Someone pounded twice with both hands on the jukebox near the front and Beck’s Que Honda Guero started up.  A ceiling fan flickered in the reflection of her fingernail.  Funny I hadn’t noticed the fan outside of the fingernail.

“You’re going to need this where you’re going,”   She smiled and I saw the same seductive sparkle that attracted a decade ago.   Just as quickly I remembered the audio track that went with that date and looked down at the miniature envelope with a stern expression.

I had a hard time opening the damn thing.  I squeezed the sides gingerly between my thumb and index finger, turned it upside down and shook it several times.  A tiny square of paper fluttered to the table and landed picture side up.  There staring at me with his red sweater and dark glasses was Snoopy as Joe Cool.

I licked my finger, stabbed Snoopy and stuck him on the end of my tongue.

“Where exactly am I going?”

 

(To be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Hole Black Hole

Nobody can tell you exactly where that line is. You have to draw it yourself.

But I can tell you this …

You should probably forgive yourself about almost everything. You are likely a good person and you’re needlessly worried that you’re not. But you are. You are someone who would never go to those places you just can’t come back from.

Like the rape of a child. Or a murder that was in no way self defense. Or starting a war for all the wrong reasons. Sending sons of mothers … and daughters of fathers … off to the short miserable adventure of their life cut short.

You don’t just say a few Hail Marys and shake that shit off. You don’t simply pour yourself a glass of wine and tell your reflection that you’re okay, and then wait for the mirror to say you’re okay, too. You have to belch out a thick veil of denial just to keep from hurling yourself face-first into that coiled razor wire in the alley. No light from heaven is bright enough to illuminate the bottom of the black hole that is the depth of your depravity.

You are not that person. But then again, this story isn’t about you …

white hole black hole penguin fucker forgive yourself

I never intended to have sex with that penguin. It was only a laugh; a fanciful notion. I had never pictured myself as someone who could go there. But those guys had somehow trained this penguin to want  it – to really, really want it. Just the thought of it was so hilarious it gave me the shivers. And I was drunk. Very drunk. My world was spinning in several orbits at the same time and I was trying to hold on to any one of them.

Those guys were laughing with me. Who the hell were they? I had a foggy memory of the big one. I had been standing near the merch table at St. David’s and he had walked up to me and told me I had the biggest head in proportion to my body of any non-dwarf he had ever seen. I had no idea how to respond, but I was more impressed at being so easily stumped than I was offended. He then went on to tell he had heard that the starlet had dropped me because I couldn’t stay away from the needle. Now the big oaf had gone too far and I told him to fuck off. Wouldn’t you? I mean, I didn’t come here to confess my chemicals. I came here to try and shed some light on my bestiality.

The other one I had never met before. He had a crazy, monkey smile and he held his eyebrows up so high they were practically screaming “why not?” and those eyebrows made you feel like you could do anything. With no consequences whatsoever. Why not? It will be fun! He may have been actually talking to me as well, but it was those eyebrows that convinced me.

Of all the animals, who knew the penguin was the best lay? Oh, my god, who even sits around and ponders inter-special coitus preferences? Not me. Certainly not before that night. But there I was discussing exactly that with two complete idiots.

And they made it seem so harmless. Like it was just a little bit over the line. Like flipping the bird to a baby. Or like some jackass snorting hot sauce off another jackass’ ballsack or something. Wait. Is that a little over the line or a lot over the line? I don’t even know any more.

All I know is that I violated that penguin. It didn’t even seem surprised. As if it had done this a thousand times before. And we all laughed. Me, the big oaf, the little idiot, and the penguin. We all laughed. Like complete maniacs.

What the hell was I doing here? On any given night I was waist-deep in pearlescent poontang, shepherding a hottie from my sold-out show to my Tuesday caddy with the llama seat covers, sippin’ my Bacardi while my ass-kickin’ bodyguard drives. Was I that bored? Had that life become too predictable? Everything I was don’t mean nothing to me now. I don’t need your pity. Or your love.

I’m a penguin fucker. Get over it.

SXSW: The Ride Goes Upside Down

SXSW staggered in this year like a drunken bear in a mosh pit; tossed us upside down inside out chewed us up and spit us out on the pavement like a day old chaw of wacky tobacky.  Do they even make that?  If they do, I’m sure someone was chewing it at SXSW.

It is over for now and the screaming throngs are fading memories, but here is a shout out to all you long time Austinites who avoided SXSW this year and stayed tucked away in your suburban bubbles doing yardwork, watching March Madness, playing with your kids,  peeking at internet porn while pretending to read War and Peace on your Kindle Fire.  You know who you are – and I feel you baby, I really do.   Every year about this time I used to hunker down and stay hidden like a shadowless groundhog.

But this southby I had something of an epiphany after a bottle of red wine and a couple of black-and-tans. Strolling with KT down East 6th, we watched bands set up on every available corner, nook and balcony playing snippets of their best song and passing out promo cards to the besotted stream of peds, like a fly fisherman casting a line.

SxSW 2012

An enthusiastic group of rappers huddled around a plush set of maroon motorcycles with pop-up DVD players and a beat box blaring on the seat, lit up when they saw my H4N Recorder.  They laid down a passionate but largely unintelligible rhyme.  I found myself talking to them in their own cadence, know-what-I’m-saying, infected by the energy of their lexicon.  A man in a white robe passed by carrying a life-size stuffed deer on his shoulder.   I was spun around and bumped into the guitar case of a tall thin guy with dark flowing locks sticking out from under a goofy, bright-green Irish Hat.  He looked and swaggered a little like Russell Brand.  I thought he told me the name of his band was Herb and Renewal.  But when I asked him that he said, “No, follow me and we’ll smoke some Herb.”

“We’re going this way.” I pointed, “But thanks.”

“I love you,” he slurred sincerely, and hugged both of us warmly.

SxSW 2012

You see, my epiphany was this.  SXSW is a living entity, a palpable energy field, supercharged by the collective DNA of artists and voyeurs from all over the world.   As with any entity, we can choose to have a relationship with it or choose not to.

In this the year of our lord 2012, I got intimate with SXSW. It was like taking an excused vacation from normalcy.   Look, the reason we take vacations is to create a parenthetical experience to our otherwise mundane lives, an experience that delivers fresh stimuli to our jaded perceptions.  We are lifted from our routine and transported into a childlike state of wonder and awe as every day presents a set of fascinating and exotic situations.   Hello?  That pretty much nails the blur that was the past eight days here in Austin.  Time wept, all attempt at discipline and self actualization were put on hold.

Saturday night downtown was a river of blood, piss and beer.  The smell of deep-fried food stung my nostrils.  An overlapping cacophony of whistles, moshed electric beats, guitars and drums, sirens, tricked-out amps, rap and country, screamed conversations, fleshy co-eds shrieking laughter and hanging on each other.  A real scene of chaos and debauchery.  Of course it’s like this every Saturday night at 2 am on Sixth street,  but there was a little extra spark of electricity in the air witnessed by the pods of important-looking black-clad hipsters, badges swinging to the rhythm of their gait as they tried to get to their circled-in shows.

Mornings during SXSW, you get to practice your hangover cures.  Each day brings a new challenge, an opportunity to hone your detox and recuperation skills.   My personal recommendation is to drink 4 ounces of bentonite clay in the evening before bed, followed by a 16 ounce glass of water.  The next day, take an infared sauna and blow a quart of organic coffee up your ass.   If that is not available to you eat an enormous breakfast, preferably the Migas at Kerbey Lane Cafe with a side of Home Fries then start drinking as soon as possible.  Nothing cures a hangover better than a little pelo del perro.

SxSW 2012

Here’s the real deal for all my Austin SXSW homebodies.   If you’re gonna do it, you gotta focus on the positive.  Look, this is good advice for everything:   relationships, your job, overdue library books, terminal diseases … but it is particularly true for SXSW.   Sure, traffic is heavier and your favorite haunts are crowded.   But with a little ingenuity and various combinations of cars, bicycles, pedicabs, metrorails, buses and walking, you  can suspend your routine and view the city with fresh eyes.   There is a reason why thousands flock to this event and it is not just to push you out of your favorite restaurant.  They come to immerse themselves in the synergy of talent and opportunity and creativity and raw excitement that only this city during this event can provide. What is fast becoming known all over the world through SXSW is that Austin is not just a place with weird people, Austin is an ideal; the embodiment of artistic freedom and individuality, grace and spontaneity.   So the next time SXSW comes to town, get out of your box and live a little. What the hell are you doing in a box anyway?

photos by Kevin Taylor

Duck Duck Goose

This is no child’s game. It holds the secret to the meaning of life. It is everything. And nothing. It rules!

Homeless Routers at SXSW

homeless hotspot

homeless hotspot

SXSW is in full swing and already a national controversy, nay, a broohaha (note to self:  start a brew pub called BREWHAHA) was ignited when Bartle Bogle Hegarty had the ingenious idea to pay homeless people $20 to become human hotspots.   Our question is:  What’s the big deal?

Here at AAG, we have a long history of exploiting the homeless for comedic effect.  In fact, one of our very first posts Best.ACL.Coverage.Ever, was found taped to the prosethetic leg of a dying hobo (wandering homeless who carry bandana poles).  We reserve the right to mock anyone who does not regularly read our blog.  We’re cowards like that.   Of course now that homeless people have continuous wi-fi access, we expect it’s only a matter of time before they peek over someone’s shoulder and read this blog, so we will rethink our bias on this topic.   We can still mock the criminally insane.

The fact remains, turning homeless people into routers is like throwing a man with no arms or mouth into a titty pool.  It seems like a bad idea, but look at it from the victim’s perspective.  He’s getting to roll around in a titty pool.  I’m sure there are worse ways to spend your time than rolling around in a heap-0-mammaries doing the…ahem…breast stroke.

The same could be said for the homeless, as Craig Blaha (Blaha should help us open Brewhaha) writes about in his blog Austin Homeless Hotspots .   Craig acknowledges the outrage as eloquently expressed by Jon Mitchell on his blogsite ReadWriteWeb, but suggests that the despite the symbolic slam and the linguistic faux pax (dehumanizing the homeless by having them wear T shirts saying “I am a 4G hotspot”), the intent of  Front Steps Shelter, who arranged this unique employment opportunity is benign and the homeless are benefiting not only from the employment, but the national exposure.  Craig also gets a little defensive of our fair city by pointing out that we love our homeless here in Austin, as witnessed by our outpouring of love after the death of Leslie, Austin’s favorite cross-dressing sort-of-transvestite, homeless, three time mayoral candidate.  But don’t let that fool you.  We have our share of assholes that live here too.

Craig’s suggestion is: “If Homeless Hotspots really pisses you off, protest by donating directly to Front Steps Shelter, the National Coalition for the Homeless, or your local homeless organization. Put your money where your mouth is…”

A noble thought. While you’re reaching for your checkbook, check out the Daily Show’s coverage of SXSW Human Hotspot controversy.

Authors Note:  If you find any part of this post offensive, we apologize.  Comedy can be a bitch (no offense to bitches), and we wax insensitive for a laugh.  We support and respect the homeless, Front Steps Shelter, the criminally insane, the armless and the mouthless (is this even possible?).  If you have any further complaint about the content, please feel free to voice your opinion in the comment section below.  Otherwise visit our contact page and email us directly.

SOMEDAY

Someday is an all out assault on your subconscious. Appearances notwithstanding, this sublime music video will leave your integrity intact. You could literally bring a giant projector and show this on a big screen in church on Sunday and dare anyone to find a prurient, salacious, bawdy, carnal, erotic, horny, hot, indecent, lecherous, lewd, libertine, libidinous, licentious, lubricious, lustful, nasty, obscene, orgiastic, raunchy, sensual, smutty, steamy, suggestive, voluptuous, wanton, animal, bodily, corporal, corporeal, earthly, fleshly, genital, impure, lascivious, lecherous, lewd, physical, sensuous, temporal, unchaste, venereal, vulgar image in this video. Any such thoughts are purely a creation of your imagination. We are not responsible for what you think. How could we be?