A little over a week ago, in a matter of five days, with no notice or advance planning, I whined, cajoled, guilt tripped, and shamelessly bummed over $5,000 from friends, family, fans, and strangers over the Internet, donned my kilt, a hot pink t-shirt about two sizes too small, and a smashing new two-toned feather boa, smeared pink and white corpse paint on my face, spray painted my hair bright pink, and set out with no sleep or training whatsoever to walk sixty miles around Washington, DC in three days. (how ya like THAT for a run on sentence?)
I looked like a flaming Scottish black metal tranny in severe need of a sandwich and some pretty stern reprimands from the fashion police.
I am no stranger to doing utterly foolish things, often in public, in front of literally tens of thousands of people. I’m usually smashed far beyond the constraints of a mere puny human’s capacity for intoxication on a variety of alcoholic beverages and other, slightly less legal, substances when I do these things. But I’ve been sober for a good while now, and have managed not to make too gigantic of an ass of myself for a significant amount of time. What on earth could possess me to pester and then relieve hundreds of people of their hard earned cash, put on that ridiculous outfit, and walk around for three days in the home of our nation’s political movers and shakers (most of whom I consider mortal enemies), if I WASN’T drunker than Shane McGowan and higher than a giraffe’s cooch?
What IS it exactly about breasts that drive us men so wild and lead some women to have silicone implanted under their natural fun pillows to make ‘em even more prominent? I don’t know. I don’t care. I LOVE BOOBS. I want to do my best to ensure that all women get to keep theirs, large, medium, or small, God given or store bought. That’s why I donned my bizarre get up and trudged around DC- I was trying to save the boobies (God bless ‘em and long may they reign supreme as beautiful pillars of- nay, the very SACRED FOUNDATION of our modern society).
My wife Cindy’s best friend is a sweet gal from Northern Virginia named Kati. Kati’s Mom Carolyn was a two time breast cancer survivor, and went through a double mastectomy. She beat breast cancer like a rented mule and remained cheerful despite the loss of her breasts. Kati and Cindy decided to participate in a sixty mile walk to benefit breast cancer research called the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure. They wanted to help end this terrible disease. Carolyn was proud and well pleased.
Tragically, even though Carolyn stared down breast cancer and won, pancreatic cancer would take her away from her friends and family in the end. Cancer is a real motherfucker. The walk became even more important to Kati after the passing of her mother, so she and Cindy trained and started raising money. Then some drunk asshole injured Kati’s foot a week or two before the walk. Utter disaster. She was confined to crutches or a wheelchair most of the time, and told by her doctor she should not attempt the walk. My wife doesn’t let much of anything stop her if she wants to do something, and she sure as hell wasnt going to let a hurt foot stop her friend from honoring her mother in such a noble way. So she decided she would just push Kati the sixty miles in her wheel chair.
Now THAT is a REAL friend. But I consider myself a REAL man, a MAN’S MAN (to a degree that annoys the crap out of the wife at times), a good husband, and a friend to Kati as well. What kind of man lets his woman push her gimped out best friend in a wheelchair for sixty miles, alone?
Not THIS man. (beats hairy chest and clubs nearest available food item to death)
And being a REAL MAN sometimes requires pink makeup and hair, a kilt, a feather boa, and a long walk through the Metro DC area in the company of about 40 other men and 3,000 screaming women pumped up to fight breast cancer. So that’s what I did. Kati had told Carolyn before she died that I was going to bomb Twitter with news about the walk and request money, so I wrote a long, elaborate and (at first) treacherously deceiving series of tweets in order to entice my fans and followers there to donate to my wife’s fund raising goal of $2,300. I promised to post pictures of myself in my ridiculous outfit, I begged and pleaded, I pointed out the huge economic expenditure and large amount of cash generated by boob-related products and services such as the purchase of bras and patronage of strip clubs, I promised to pledge $1,000 myself when we met my wife’s goal.
Within three hours of me posting the tweets, we had raised 2,000 of the $2,300. Within five days, we had SHATTERED her original goal and raised over $5,000.
The generosity of these friends and strangers was both astonishing and DEEPLY touching to myself, my wife, Kati, and her family. I was moved to tears on more than one occasion by the messages these people were sending us along with their money. Messages about how breast cancer or cancer in general had affected them and their loved ones, messages about how they were sorry they couldn’t give more, messages about how they decided not to buy cigarettes and that twelve pack of beer this weekend in order to send us the last few bucks in their wallet to get us on down the road. Most of the people who follow me on Twitter and are fans of my band are not exactly what you would call the “high society” type of folks. They are metal heads, punk rockers, artists, musicians, weirdos, geeks, and just flat out freaks of nature (like my own humble self). A lot of these people aren’t “the beautiful ones” and probably didn’t win any popularity contests in high school (once again, like myself). They aren’t gonna be greeted with open arms by a mustachioed French waiter and swept away with a flourish of sexy sounding Franglish to the best of tables at the local fine dining establishment any time soon. And they probably have been judged by “normal” (whatever that means) people at some point in their lives as being LESS-THAN. “Ewwwww, get away from me, you fucking loser…”
For those people who would judge these less-than weirdos I have but two loud, thundering, RESOUNDING words:
My people are good people, THE BEST KIND OF PEOPLE. People I have never met and probably never will showed my wife and I a whole lot of love in a very short time. Even the ones who couldn’t afford to send us cash sent us heart felt wishes and tons of encouragement. Try buying that as an add-on with your local country club membership fees. You can’t. You can’t buy HEART, and my people have it IN SPADES, motherfucker. We have a REAL connection through this music that most people consider a bunch of screaming, unlistenable, noise, and I really felt that connection as I set out to walk.
So thanks to all y’all that sent money or encouragement or even just thought good thoughts for us on that walk. The first day it rained like crazy, and our gear was soaked the whole weekend- we had smiles on our faces the whole damn time anyway. It was an amazing and humbling life experience for the three of us. And you people made a real difference in this world by doing something positive and selfless. I salute you! So to you people, MY PEOPLE, I present my list of the bad and the good from our walk around DC and Maryland to fight breast cancer. I know you were walking with us in spirit, because I FELT YOU THERE. Here we go.
5 THINGS I WILL NOT MISS ABOUT THE SUSAN G. KOMEN 3 DAY FOR THE CURE:
#1. THE MAKE UP.
I will DEFINITELY NOT miss rising early with the sun, rolling out of my sopping wet bright pink tent, slapping some powder on my soggy balls and feet, then rushing down the muddy hill at the campsite with no time for breakfast, coffee, the paper, or anything else I would normally prefer to do when (God help me) I have to get up at that ENTIRELY UNCIVILIZED hour of 6 am to get in line at the portable sinks to do my fucking make up. You will NEVER see me moonlighting at the Estée Lauder counter in your local mall when the lamb of god thing doesn’t pan out, nor will I be adopting some ridiculous evil name like “Satanicus Power Drill Rex” and moving to Norway to play grim, cvlt, black metal in an attempt to salvage my career and burn down churches in my spare time. I fucking SUCK at applying make up, I don’t like wearing it, and I don’t like the sticky pink rings it leaves on my cigarettes. Speaking of which…
#2. NOT BEING ABLE TO SMOKE OPENLY.
The Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure is a strictly non-smoking event. I COMPLETELY understand this, and totally get why it’s a policy- who wants to smoke in front of a bunch of cancer victims and others trying to eradicate a form of it from the planet? Irregardless (yes, I know it’s incorrect- I just don’t give a shit), I fucking smoke like a chimney in a Charles Dickens novel on Christmas Eve, and I get antsy when I can’t smoke every, oh say, three minutes. In fact, I get down-right IRRITABLE when my nicotine levels get low. And an IRRITABLE, UNSTABLE, SOAKING WET, CIGARETTE CRAVING, PINK MAKE UP COVERED Randy is a DANGEROUS Randy. The Sponge Bob Square Pants looking woman who chewed me and Kati out for sneaking a cig out behind the port-a-john in the parking lot of St. Jude’s Chapel of the Blessed Redeemer at mile 43 has NO IDEA of how CLOSE she was to being strangled to death with a pink feathered boa. I know I need to quit, it’s terrible, I’m ruining my life, blah blah blah, WHATEVER. Im a 40 year old grown man, not in Junior High School. I smoke when I want to, ok? Back off lady, before I give you the ultimate cure.
#3. THE FUCKING BLACK EYED PEAS, “I GOTTA FEELING”.
I, for the most part, live in an awesomely blissful state of pure ignorance in relation to what is called “popular music”. I don’t know what gets played on the radio, I don’t watch tv so I don’t hear the latest hits in commercials, when I’m in my truck I crank brutal fucking metal or blistering punk or soothing roots reggae or trunk thumpin’ underground hip-hop. I don’t know what most people are listening to, and I don’t care. Why? BECAUSE I FUCKING KNOW BETTER. 99% of what is on the radio is PURE, UNADULTERATED, AUDIO POLLUTION. Its GARBAGE. But I can’t expect all three thousand women and forty men who were walking with us for this great cause to be as wise, enlightened, and musically fucking privileged as me. I forget sometimes that apparently, to most people, music is just an inane background noise they are fed by major media outlets. Nowhere else in a long time has that been made as clearly evident to me as at The Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure, and no other song has made me want to kill myself in despair over the state of modern music more in recent years than “I Gotta Feeling” by the ear terrorists known as the Black Eyed Peas.
I had heard of this band, but had never, to my knowledge, been subjected to the brutal aural torture that is one of their songs until “I Gotta Feeling” was pounded OVER AND OVER into my cranium at what seemed like every stop that had a sound system on the 3 Day. It was HORRIFYING. “Ooooh, I gotta feeling, that tonight its gonna be a good night…” FUCK. I would rather dump a full bucket of old man diarrhea in my ear than EVER listen to that song again. The Black Eyed Peas should be reported for human rights violations and tried by the United Nations as war criminals.
I gotta feeling too. It’s called EXTREME NAUSEA MORPHING INTO UNCONTROLLABLE RAGE. TURN THAT SHIT OFF NOW before somebody gets hurt.
#4. THE DUCK DUDE.
The fine people who volunteer at the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure are almost WITHOUT EXCEPTION some of the greatest, kindest, most selfless generous folks I have ever met. They are FUCKING AWESOME WARRIORS of human beings, who help run the thing and get everybody where they are supposed to be safely and with a full belly of yummy grub. I LOVED ‘EM, and cannot speak highly enough of them.
Except the Duck Dude.
As there were about 3,000 of us walking through the streets of the DC Metro area, the 3 Day people (very wisely) provided crossing guards at major intersections. Most of these crossing guards were dressed in ludicrous outfits (I’ve never seen so many men in frilly pink tu-tu’s in my life), and many had radios playing inspirational “walking” music (thankfully, none were blastin’ “I Gotta Feeling”), such as “Walk Like an Egyptian” (a song that was once stuck in my head for three solid days- I was loading the shotgun when it mercifully exited my consciousness). They were cheery people, and encouraged us with words and goofy dances.
Once again, except the Duck Dude.
The Duck Dude was a late-fiftyish rotund gray bearded little ball of a man decked out completely in bright yellow bathroom rubber ducky apparel. His orange safety vest had “The Duck Dude” scrawled in Sharpie across the back in a strangely sinister, hurried hand writing. The first day of the walk, I thought he was just a harmless, jolly little yellow man with a penchant for duck accessories and talking too much to the walkers. But the second day of the walk, the Duck Dude showed his true colors.
As a bunch of us approached an intersection, I saw the Duck Dude standing on a traffic island, waving us toward him. He looked a little sweaty and slightly grumpy beneath his huge yellow baseball cap, the bill of which was, of course, a gigantic duck’s bill. We walked onto the traffic island.
“Hey Duck Dude, what’s poppin’ big daddy?’” I said.
“Oh nothin’, just out here directi- hold on a second. Gotta yell at these STUPID walkers.” he replied, with genuine malice in his ducky little voice. I looked behind me and some of the walkers approaching us had stepped off the crowded sidewalk and were walking on the edge of the completely deserted street. “SIDEWALK. NOW!!!” the Duck Dude screeched, causing the offending walkers, which included a group of little old ladies huffing up the road, to nearly jump out of their pink walking pants and New Balances. “STUPID WALKERS,” he growled again, “no matter HOW MANY times you tell them, they just don’t seem to get it.” He continued, pointing a stern finger at the approaching walkers “I’m REALLY gonna let ‘em have it when they get on MY traffic island”.
Jesus H. Christ. The Duck Dude was a sociopath who was here for one reason and one reason only- to be the boss of the breast cancer walk and yell at little old ladies. We crossed the street in a hurry, leaving the Duck Dude behind to vent his terrible duck wrath on the offending grandmothers. “Bad walkers, BAD walkers!” we heard him scolding them as we marched on.
Later that evening back at camp, I noticed the Duck Dude waddling around the chow line, trying to talk to people (probably to tell them they were lining up wrong for dinner). He was still decked out in his duck duds, and nobody seemed too interested in chatting with him. Hmmmm, I wonder why?
The next day was the final day of our walk. I was in a great mood, stomping along merrily in my kilt, running ahead to every Starbucks I saw to get coffee and sneak a cig. Like I said, I didn’t train for this, but I’m a pretty fit guy for a 40 year old dude who has drank, drugged, and smoked for some twenty-odd years on a level that Keith Richards would deem respectable. I was just a little sore- that’s it. Not so for many of these ladies, some of whom were in their late sixties and early seventies- walking sixty miles is NO JOKE for an elderly woman. These ladies were ready for a ride home, a nice dinner, and then a hot bath and perhaps an episode of Golden Girls before they went to sleep. They just wanted to be done and get those damn shoes off as soon as possible. Of course the Duck Dude sensed this, and had other ideas.
At about 3 miles from the finish line, I saw the Duck Dude standing guard ahead at a deserted intersection, just waiting for one of us to fuck up and step out of line. I did a quick perimeter check- nah, we were all walking quietly in a single file on the side walk. The intersection was completely empty with no cars visible in the upscale residential neighborhood we were in. F the Duck Dude, we were going home.
“Wait, wait, wait…” the Duck Dude said, extending his palm as we drew close. The crossing signal was green for us, with plenty of time left for us to walk to the other side of the street. Our group wheezed to a halt. Then the Duck Dude, incredibly, began directing us in a series of calisthenic stretching exercises on the empty street corner. “OK, everybody, I know your tired and ready to go home, but the Duck Dude needs you to stretch right now, so arms out, move ‘em in little circles, let’s go ladies…”
The Duck Dude had obviously gone insane. We had walked fifty-seven miles in two and a half days and now he wanted to pretend he was some sort of aquatic bird fetishizing Richard Simmons. A few tired women lifted their wrinkly little arms and began feebly waving them about. Kati, Cindy, and I stood there, arms crossed and glaring at him, as the numbers on the crossing signal ticked their way to zero and the light turned red. There was not even a toddler on a tricycle in sight. “Let’s go, let’s go…” I began muttering.
“Eyes on ME, not the traffic light!” the Duck Dude snapped. The signal turned from red back to green as he finished the stretching exercises and the poor women around dropped their exhausted arms back to their sides. We were ready to push on.
Then the Duck Dude, hand out stretched to prevent us from crossing the traffic-free street, began a long speech about how even though our long ordeal was almost over and we WANTED to just go home, bathe, then fall into bed to sleep for about three days, what we really NEEDED to do was go home and continue exercising. The numbers on the green crossing signal began to slip back down to zero again.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? These women were not trying to join the United States goddamned Marine Corps (Semper Fi and shout-outs to all our troops), they were trying to raise some money for breast cancer awareness, then go home, tell some stories to the grandkids, and maybe pen a brief inspirational letter in spidery handwriting to the local paper. EXERCISE MORE? Some of these women had walked more total in the last two and a half days than they had since the last chopper left Saigon. LET’S CROSS THE FUCKING STREET BEFORE AUNT MILDRED HAS A STROKE, DUCK NUTS. The light turned red again.
“We COULD be crossing the street right now, you know” I said as the Duck Dude droned on and on. Apparently that was not what he wanted to hear, because he ignored me and continued berating the ladies for their misguided, lazy plans to go home and rest their aching arthritic bones. Finally the light turned green again, and the Duck Dude, sensing he was about to be trampled by a herd of aging walkers and probably severely pummeled by a bizarrely clad pink haired over-caffeinated cigarette craving lunatic, put his hand down and allowed us to cross the street. I heard him clearing his throat and saying “Wait, wait, wait…” as the next group of walkers approached his tiny deserted corner dictatorship.
At the closing ceremonies when all the volunteers marched in, we cheered and high-fived and hugged our favorites as they gathered with us to celebrate. I saw the Duck Dude’s duck hat coming and looked the other way. It would be undignified to beat up an old man at a breast cancer awareness walk. But still…
Fuck that guy.
#5. WAKING UP IN A HOT PINK TENT AT THE ASS-CRACK OF DAWN IN A WET FIELD SURROUNDED BY 3,000 WOMEN.
At the very best of times, I am not what most would describe as a “morning person”. I do not enjoy rising with the sun and greeting the day with a beatific smile. I do not enjoy going cheerfully about my daily tasks immediately after my bowl of all-natural granola with fresh fucking organic fruit on top (I am not a European). And I ESPECIALLY do not enjoy rubbing the sleep out of my baby blues and then engaging in an animated discussion about anything, with ANYBODY. My own mother knows better than to try and speak to me in the morning.
What I DO like is waking up at reasonable hour (preferably sometime after 12 noon but before 2 pm) in a quiet house, then staggering to the bathroom (or backyard, it makes no difference) and pissing out all the coffee and NA beer I drank the night before. Then I stumble to the kitchen and grab either a pre-set-up-the-night-before french press full of scalding black coffee, or lately a delicious 86% less acidity ice coffee from my cold brewing toddy in the fridge. Then I go out my back door onto my new deck, collapse into my new cast iron patio chair, light a delicious Marlboro Red, and proceed to drink coffee while smoking my damn face off for at least 30 minutes. After that I usually come back inside and immediately do my best to annoy my wife by grabbing her ass and chasing her around the house until she gets actually mad at me and tells me to fuck off before she kills me. Now THAT’S the proper way to wake up.
That is definitely not how things went down in the morning at The Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure campsite. What DID happen is this- at precisely 5:27 am the morning after our first night in camp, I awoke in my damp sleeping bag to a strange sound. It was unfamiliar to me, and highly irritating to my delicate ears. I tried to figure it out, but in my groggy state I couldn’t quite place it. It reminded me of a giant chicken whispering in a basso profondo cluck as it laid a humongus egg. What in the name of The Black Eyed Peas was that noise? Where was it coming from?
It got louder and faster. It began to sound almost human. The chicken began to cluck in English. Then I realized that the racket was coming from two tents down from me. It was a rather large, deep voiced female neighbor of mine, and she was awake, happy, and laughing with her tent mate. Laughing. At 5:27 am. In the morning. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WORTH LAUGHING AT AT 5:27 AM IN ANY TENT, ANYWHERE, ON THIS PLANET OR ANY OTHER. What could POSSIBLY be funny at this hour?
Quite a bit, it seemed, because within five minutes the chicken woman was joined by approximately 2,900 other women, all of whom were apparently just full of joy to be awake in this muddy field at this unholy hour and ready to talk about anything and everything in their very rapid nauseatingly cheerful voices. The other 100 ladies either had brought ear plugs as suggested (DAMN MY MALE PRIDE, why did I ignore Susan G’s packing list?) or had unplugged their hearing aids.
It was like being trapped in a filibuster sponsored by the Oprah network in a monster truck mud bog. I had never experienced anything remotely like it before. I rolled out of bed, threw on my kilt, and tried not to make eye contact as I slid down the hill to put on my make up. Good lord have mercy, what had I signed up for?
The next morning was worse. It started at 4:30 am. There was laughter and talking and general good cheer about fuck knows what. I put in my bright pink ear plugs I had bummed from my really cool neighbor with the butch haircut from Colorado and went back to sleep. After about an hour of blissful dozing I was woken up by a very high pitched voice and a banging on the walls of my tent. “Excuuuuuuse me? Is there anyone in there? Time to waaaaake uuup!” I threw my sleeping bag over my naked crotch (all my clothes were still wet, so I was sleeping au naturale) and poked my head out of my tent. ‘WHAT?” I screamed…into the face of a twelve year old girl scout. Most of the 3,000 pink tents surrounding mine had already been broken down, and a troop of girl scouts was carting them away and cleaning up trash from the field.
The girl scout looked a little startled at first by the appearance of a filthy, unshaven, pink makeup smeared naked man screaming at her, but she quickly regained her unbearably chipper composure, and chirped “Looks like SOMEBODY isn’t a morning person. Waaaaake uuuup sleepy head, time to go for a little walk!”, then practically skipped away to finish her task of ruining any other late riser’s morning.
She could have at least brought a box of Thin Mints.
(PS- women fart and snore in their sleep just as much as dudes. Don’t let ‘em tell you any different. They are LYING. I KNOW now.)
5 THINGS I WILL MISS ABOUT THE SUSAN G. KOMEN 3 DAY FOR THE CURE:
#1. NOT BEING “THE DUDE FROM LAMB OF GOD” FOR A FEW DAYS.
NOT ONCE during my tour of duty with the walking women warriors of The Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure was I asked “Hey, aren’t you that guy from that band?” or “Dude, what was it like to tour with Metallica/Slayer/Slipknot/etc., etc.?” (it was killer, by the way). I did get asked to take a ton of pictures with a ton of people, and was even on a few news tv broadcasts, but only because I was dressed as a complete freak. NO ONE had ANY idea of who I was or what I did for a living, and not one person asked. They asked “Who are you walking for?”, which I thought was just the bee’s knees. Nobody gave a shit about anything except helping each other get to the finish line. It was completely and utterly a thing of altruistic beauty.
I love my fans. I love meeting them, and talking music and life and politics and books and our struggles. My fans were the primary sponsors of my part of this walk. Beautiful people. I owe them a lot.
But I cannot remember the last time I was in a crowd of thousands of people for an extended amount of time and the band thing didn’t come up. I walked and talked with a lot of women in those three days, and got a lot of hugs and kisses on the cheek and even got hit on a little by a cougar or two. But those women did not see or know about the part of me that gets to travel the world, play music in front of thousands of people, sees my band’s logo, lyrics I have written, and sometimes even pictures of myself tattooed forever into folk’s skins. They didn’t know that I should buy stock in the Sharpie corporation after all the autographs I have signed. They had no clue. It was GREAT.
Those women just saw a tall, skinny weirdly dressed guy out walking with them and fighting the good fight. That’s IT. And they LIKED me. Old, young, skinny, fat, lesbian, straight- I got along with EVERYONE. Some started calling me Braveheart because of the kilt, and would wave and smile at me when they saw my lanky ass loping toward them. It was nice to be liked by strangers who didn’t associate me with lamb of god, for a change. I had almost forgotten what it was like.
About three minutes after we had crossed the finish line beneath the Washington Monument, a dude walked up to me and said “Hey, you’re the singer from lamb of god, aren’t you?” Yup. “I’m the hockey writer for Yahoo, and someone on my Twitter feed told me you were walking around DC looking all crazy.” He was a nice guy and we chatted briefly before we headed to the finishing ceremonies. I had made it all three days and sixty miles as just Randy, not Randy from lamb of god. It was kinda ironic to be reminded of that part of my life immediately after finishing the walk.
I love my job, I love my fans, and I wouldn’t trade either for any other life in the world. But it sure was nice to take a three day walking vacation from the band thing and just be plain ol’ me.
#2. BEING ABLE TO YELL ABOUT BOOBS AROUND WOMEN IN PUBLIC ANYTIME I WANT AND NOT GET SLAPPED OR ARRESTED.
Make no mistake about it, boobs are CELEBRATED OFTEN and LOUDLY at The Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure. There were entire cheer leading squads of nubile young college girls at some stops, prancing and kicking and shaking their, well, shaking their assets and yelling “YAAAAAAAAAY BOOBIES!” Women would walk along and grab their breasts and squeeze them from time to time in public recognition of their glory. There were signs along the road saying “Breast of luck” to cheer us on. It was a frickin’ boob-a-palooza. I was wishing I had a pair to carry along for the ride, preferably insanely huge ones so I could motor boat unsuspecting tired walkers who looked like they needed a quick boost. Who wouldn’t feel reinvigorated after a brisk surprise motor boating from ol’ D. Randall?
I could walk up to any group of women at any time and talk, no, I could YELL about the ta-ta’s and not only would I NOT get a swift knee to the crotch, I would get a huge cheer and soon we would all be walking merrily along down the street together, chanting “BOOBS! BOOBS! GOOOOOOOOOOO BOOBS!” at the top of our lungs.
It was FUCKING AMAZING. Fellas, just TRY and tell me you wouldn’t think you were living in some glorious alternate reality if you could walk around yelling about tits to 3,000 strange women and getting high-fives the whole way. They were SO PUMPED UP about breasts and saving them that it made me wonder if that is what women do ALL the time in secret when we men aren’t around.
Ring, ring. Ring, ring.
“Oh, hi Sheila, I’m so glad you called. Guess what? I got the house to myself for the whole weekend. Fred had to go outta town on business……. Yes, yes- come on over immediately……. Of course you can bring Jane and Stacy and Tammy. In fact, invite every woman you know….. No, no- we have plenty of food…..No need to go by the store for anything…..yes, of course…. Just make sure you tell everybody to bring a megaphone and their boobs. We have a long weekend ahead of getting real stoked on breasts and yelling about them.”
Completely feasible to me after what I experienced on that walk. I LOVED IT.
The day we finished, Kati’s Dad picked us up and off we went to shower then cruised over to Golden Corral to punish the buffet. It was a perfect choice of dining establishments as we were starving from the walk, we wanted a lot of food, and we wanted it NOW. Cindy, Kati, and I also were not really fit for public yet, and the Golden Corral was just laid back enough to accommodate us. As I was finishing off my third plate of medium rare steak and mashed potatoes, my wife told me some people from the walk were in the next dining room eating. I immediately hopped up and cruised over to their table.
“Braveheart! Good to see ya! Where’s yer skirt?”
“WOOOOOOOOOOO-HOOOOOOO! BOOBIES!” I instinctively replied in a voice blown out by hollering about breasts all weekend. They yelled the same back, and then I I looked around and realized the whole dining room was staring at us. Ooops. Back to a quieter, more restrained boobie reality, I guess. We shot the shit for a little bit, laughing and joking about the walk and how cool it was. It was getting time to go, so I headed back to my table to sit down for some carrot cake. After a few minutes they left their table and walked out, but not without a quick hoot of “GO BOOBS!” directed our way.
I think the world would be a waaaaaay better place if we could all openly yell about boobs at anytime, anywhere, without fear of retribution. I know I was a MUCH happier and even a BETTER person because of loud and frequent breast-related vocalizations during those three days.
#3. SPOTLESSLY CLEAN AND RELATIVELY ODOR-FREE PORT-A-POTTIES.
It may seem strange to most of you that a port-a-potty of ANY variety, clean or not, would appear on my list of 5 Things I Will Miss About The Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure. Surely some of you are wondering “Why would he miss the goddamned port-a-potties of all things? Doesn’t he have a bathroom at home? Can’t he afford indoor plumbing along with his golden-plated helicopter and California king-sized bed made out of $100 bills? Is he some sort of temporary toilet fantasizing sexual deviant? Or does he really just prefer taking the Browns to the Super Bowl away from the home throne?”
I understand your confusion, but please, allow me to explain.
Yes, I have a toilet in my house; a rather plain but attractive enough American Standard model. I do indeed prefer to void my bowels in the comfort and safety of my own abode over any port-a-potty, anywhere (although taking a crap in the great outdoors can be a truly sublime experience- I highly recommend it). I do not associate excrement of any variety or the manner in which it is deposited in any form of receptacle with sexual arousal (call me square). I like to take a dump at home with the bathroom door shut and a good book to read, just like most folks.
The problem I face is this: I am almost never home. I make my living by cruising around the globe and fooling vast amounts of people into believing I have some sort of talent/valid thing to say by screeching at the top of my lungs about various things that piss me off and occasionally striking a passable “rock pose” or two. It’s a great way to see the world, but the bathroom accommodations can be, shall we say, “less than ideal” at times.
During the summer months (and in the past, February/March in Australia, which is summer down under, so it kinda RULES, as does Australia in general) I am most often found at various outdoor festivals on various continents doing my song and dance routine at the big heavy metal dog and pony show. These events attract anywhere between 20,000 to 100,000 people. The backstage area is generally just a bunch of tents, tour buses, shower trailers (IF you’re lucky) and…a long line of (most of the time blue colored) port-a-potties. There are never ever ever EVER indoor plumbing facilities, and you can’t crap on a tour bus, so that leaves the port-a-potty.
When you have 500 different band members, stage hands, security guards, and backstage guests/lurkers all using the same row of portable toilets for a day, the toilets start to fill up quickly. On top of that, many of these people have been touring around the world for months, eating unfamiliar foods and introducing various micro-organisms into their gastrointestinal systems that tend to raise a ruckus in the gut. On top of THAT, many, if not ALL, of these people have been consuming vast amounts of beer, liquor, wine, and whatever illicit drugs are available from the friendly neighborhood dealer for HOURS, achieving a state of consciousness that could perhaps best be described as “paralytic”. Combine all those factors and you have a recipe for the worst bathroom experience possible. There is blood, vomit, piss, shit, and other unidentifiable fluid-like substances EVERYWHERE.
I have seen things in backstage port-a-potties that would make a Navy SEAL breakdown and weep in sheer terror, things so unspeakable that they would drive the Tidy Bowl Man to commit suicide in disgrace over the fact that such abominations could exist in a world with indoor plumbing. I am not a prissy man, nor a germ-a-phobe. I once shat on the throne at CBGB, widely regarded as the worst toilet in the northern hemisphere. But a backstage port-a-potty at European summer music festival would make even the mighty fecal-friendly GG Allin pause before entering. And that is BACKSTAGE- the ones the audience members use must be the stuff of nightmares.
The port-a-potties provided at the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure campsite were, beyond a shadow of a doubt, THE CLEANEST, BEST SMELLING, MOST COMFORTABLE, LEAST-LIKELY-TO-CONTRACT-A-DEADLY-VENEREAL-DISEASE-IN-APPEARING portable toilets I have ever had the pleasure taking a seat in. I almost cried with joy when I took my first dump and did not feel compelled to have my butt sand blasted clean after I was done. There was always toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and the floor did not look like a deadly pond comprised of urine and feces. The odor inside was not going to be marketed as an air freshener fragrance anytime soon, but I also did not pray desperately for a gas mask. It was an exceptional port-a-potty experience.
Why was this? Are women just neater in the bathroom than men? Do their assholes slam shut anytime they see a port-a-potty? Was the good vibe and we-can-all-do-this-thing spirit in the air causing them to just hold it out of courtesy to everyone else’s nostrils? Was it the lack of drugs, alcohol, and thunderous heavy metal in mind boggling proportions that created such a pristine and harmonious bathroom environment? When such a large amount of females are gathered together in one area, do they, in fact, EVOLVE and spontaneously begin taking INVISIBLE, ODORLESS poops? Or were they secretly just shitting out in the woods when I wasn’t looking? I don’t know, and I don’t care. Some mysteries are not meant to be known.
One thing is certain to me. Sometime, probably in the near future, I will be on tour with my band, playing at some outdoor festival somewhere in the world. My stomach will be upset, churning, and letting me know its time to rock the casbah. I will look to the long blue row of port-a-potties with resigned dread, and walk toward the least fucked up looking one. Before I enter, I will pause, take a deep breath, and think wistfully back to those three glorious days in port-a-potty paradise.
#4. A LITTLE GIRL, SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WALKING ROUTE IN MARYLAND.
Early on the second day, we were walking through a really nice, almost rural area in Southern Maryland. My wife and Kati had forged ahead to chat, and I was walking alone, enjoying the sound of the birds in the trees that canopied the road we were on. The solitude was extremely relaxing, and I was thinking happy thoughts as I meandered along.
After a while I saw a small girl riding her tiny bicycle up the side walk toward me. As she drew closer, I could see that she was perhaps 7 or 8 years old, with blond curly hair to her shoulders and wearing a pretty light colored dress.
As she came closer, I could see her looking at my strange appearance through screwed up eyes, trying to figure out what this bizarrely painted man in a dress was doing walking alone through her neighborhood. She stopped in front of me and stared.
“Hello” she said.
“Hello!” I replied in a cheery voice.
She stared a second more, then smiled and said…
“You have a beautiful face.”
Then she peddled away from me, off to do whatever it is 8 year old girls do on a nice day in the country.
There’s really not much more I can say about that.
#5. WAKING UP IN A HOT PINK TENT AT THE ASS-CRACK OF DAWN IN A WET FIELD SURROUNDED BY 3,000 WOMEN.
When my band is on tour, after about two weeks or so of being crammed in a tour bus with a bunch other sweaty, hairy dudes, we enter a strange fugue state where we begin to forget what women are. Sure, we see them occasionally in the crowd at our shows (lamb of god is definitely not comprised of the Marvin Gayes of the metal world, so the ladies aren’t in extreme abundance a lot of times). Maybe we’ll talk to a woman briefly at 4 am as they ring up our microwave burritos and five dollar DVDs at some godforsaken South Dakotan truck stop. And sometimes I will even notice all the guitar players gravitating to one side of the stage- that means some kind hearted girl (God bless her soul) is flashing us her tits. Amazing.
But any amount of real, prolonged contact with a woman is rare. And it is unnatural for men to be without the company of women for too long. It makes you behave in strange ways, and you start exhibiting behaviors that could be construed as, well, CREEPY. I have found myself on more than one occasion on tour standing innocently behind a woman in line at restaurant or in an elevator, thinking about the latest issue of DMZ (great comic book, by the way) when I catch myself leaning forward and breathing in the smell of her hair. Luckily I have always managed to stop myself before I bury my schnozz in her tresses, but I can foresee the day coming when, if I am not paying enough attention to my estrogen starved animal subconscious, some poor woman will suddenly have my rather prominent nose rooting about in her follicles.
When a woman walks on our tour bus for any reason, the mood INSTANTLY changes. Dudes suddenly become more articulate, manners that were thrown to the fetid touring winds a month ago return, and there is a conspicuous lack of belching and methane in the air. Every eye is on just one thing- the woman. And not just her bust or heiner. It’s her total WOMANESS. Her smell, the way she walks, the shape of her hands, the pitch of her melodious voice. It’s a foreign, wonderful thing to us men who spend so much time away from our long suffering wives back home.
The Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure was chock full of these wonderful creatures. And despite my (well justified, thank you very much) frumpiness at rising up so early to 3,000 of them all talking at the same time, after I had been awake five or so minutes, I couldn’t help smiling. Everyone was polite, called me “honey” or “sweetheart” or “sugar”, and even the bad girls I met in the woods huffing down cigs as feverishly as me before the nicotine nazis busted us were absolute treasures to be around. There were no fist fights, no one peed in the corner of my tent, and at dinner time nobody hogged all the roast pork tenderloin. It was a really nice, much better looking (and smelling) change of pace.
I walked and talked with these women for three solid days, lending a hand when I could, cracking jokes, tellling stories, pissing and moaning when it seemed appropriate for solidarity, even uttering an occasional “You GO, girl!”. They were all awesome people, even the ones who bitched and complained a lot. Why? Because they were stepping outside of their selves for a few minutes, putting aside all the good events and crappy bullshit in their day to day lives, and ATTEMPTING TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. Like Ian Mackaye of the mighty Minor Threat once howled “You tell me that I make no difference, at least I’m fucking TRYYYYYYYYYYYING!!!!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE?”
One woman who was trying very hard was a shorter, more mature black lady named Estelle. She was my favorite lady on the whole walk. Estelle was a two-time breast cancer survivor, and was walking with her daughter. She had been training hard, but this walk wasn’t easy on a woman of her age and with such short legs. The second day of the walk she was the last woman to return to the camp from walking, and all three thousand of us cheered her on as she finished her long journey.
I walked with Estelle quite a bit through out the weekend, and offered to push her in Kati’s wheelchair if she was tiring. She declined. “I want to walk every inch of these miles on my own two feet” she said, and pushed on at her slow but steady pace. I just wanted to SQUEEZE HER. On the last day, long after my ladies and I had crossed the finish line, we stood and waited and waited for the last of the walkers to come in. Towards the end, with the last walkers, I saw Estelle moving slowly and steadily to the finish line, just as she had all weekend. She saw me waving and screaming as I pushed through the crowd of cheering people to her.
“I DID IT! I DID IT!” she yelled, dancing in place.
“YES, YOU DID! YES, YOU DID!” I said, as I hugged her and tried to hide the tears running down my face
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Here's a few things you should know about about me:
1. I'm 40 years old as of 2/21/2011.
2. I'm happily married to an awesome woman.
3. Sometimes I live Richmond, VA. Sometimes I live all
over the globe. I ALWAYS reside in Randonesia.
4. I really like: books, hunting & fishing, skateboarding,
punk fucking rock (the music & the way of life- true
til DEATH!), comic books, guns, knives
whips (basically any sort of killing weapon), good coffee, & non-alcoholic St. Pauili Girl or Becks
5. I am a sober alcoholic. I don't drink or drug anymore
because it was killing me. Everybody else, by all
means, PLEASE- have a drink on me.
6. I sing for a metal band called lamb of god.
7. I say exactly what I want, when I want to. If you don't
like it, don't read this blog. I don't care if I hurt your
feelings- I speak what only what I regard as the truth,
and nothing else.
8. I tend to disregard conventional grammar & spelling
at times, not because I am ignorant in such matters,
but because this a fucking blog, not my attempt to
win the Pulitzer. When I get paid to write, I let editors
fix the details. Here, I try not to worry about it much.
9. I do not tolerate racism, religious intolerance, homo-
phobia, dogmatic political posturing, sexism, class
restrictions, or just general idiocy/assholeness from
ANYONE, OF ANY SEX, CREED, OR COLOR, nor should
you. That being said, I am definitely not politically
correct, so if it's a joke- get over yourself.
10. I do not give a fuck.
11. I am actually a nice, warm-hearted, generous,
articulate Southern Male with impeccable manners. If
ya see me on the street, come say hello!