Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

It’s In The Details

Fine, just talk about it.

“Today’s toppermost was made by a Japanese man named Akira Yoshida. He’s an artisan/courtesan.”

What is that?

“Sewing in the day, fancy-fucking at night.”

Courtesans are very fancy.

“Right? If you made a bell curve of prostitute classiness, courtesans would be all the way to the right.”

And crack whores to the left?

“Yeah.”

I can see it.

“This is his masterpiece. The toppermost originated in Japan, y’know.”

I didn’t.

“Somewhere around 800 AD, a shogun named Suzuki Nintendo–”

Nope.

“–awoke from a dream on his tatami mat. He went to the window and arranged some flowers. Then, he had tea.”

We get it. He’s Japanese.

“His servant brought in his kimono for the day, and Suzuki refused it. The servant asked what he wanted to wear. Suzuki pointed at the kimono and said, ‘That, but not quite.’ Then Mt. Fuji gave birth to a dragon, and the toppermost was born.”

Uh-huh.

“It’s like this mash-up of art and religion for them. Very spiritual, very inspiring. They give their lives to the clothing. You know how it takes forever to become a sushi chef over there?”

Yes.

“Well, that’s lunch. This is toppermost, man. My guy does pieces for the Emperor.”

Japan still has an Emperor?

“Japan’s got, like, nine or ten systems of government going at the same time. It’s impenetrable.”

True.

“Decades. It takes decades to become a master. My guy Akira? First three years was just threading needles for his master. Nothing else. Threading needles all day. Master never talks to him. Finally, after a year he says, ‘Master, don’t I get to do anything else?'”

Ooh, what did the master say? I bet it’s all wise and shit.

“No, he just beat Akira senseless. These were the old days.”

Sure.

“But now? Look at this sleeve.”

Which one?

“Either one.”

I don’t wanna choose. You pick for me.

“Left.”

What am I looking at?

“Quality!”

Stop making me look at your clothes.

“Now we move on to the hem stitching.”

CELL PHONE NOISE

“You suck.”

I know.’

“What’s up, player? It’s John Mayer.”

“No one answers the phone like my Johnny!”

“I told you to stop calling me that.”

“We are making moves out here, baby. You would not believe the business I’m drumming up for you. You know those parks where they got the birds in cages, and rich assholes come out with shotguns and kill a whole bunch of ’em?”

“Like where Dick Cheney shot that guy in the face?”

“Exactly. It’s like that. These deals are just flying out in front of my face and I’m taking ’em down. Bing bing Benj.”

“Great. Whatcha got?”

“Nike.”

“Nike? That’s awesome!”

“You didn’t let me finish.”

“Dammit.”

“Nikehitsu. They’re Japanese.”

“Oh, we were just talking about Japan. What are they? Energy drink? Clothes?”

“It’s a consortium of salarymen who want to pee on you.”

“You’re killing me, Benjy.”

“It’s a lot of money for not a lot of pee!”

“Pass.”

“I got an offer for you to play the President of Turkmenistan’s birthday party. $1.5 million for an hour.”

“Wow. That sounds okay.”

“And, you know, it’s a party so there’s gonna be chicks.”

“I figured. Who’s the President of Turkmenistan?”

“Great guy. Don’t look him up. Wonderful man.”

“I’m gonna look him up.”

“Pass, Benjy.”

“The people love him! He won the last election by 96 points!”

“No.”

“I have a firm offer on the table from a Broadway producer to do a jukebox musical based on your songs.”

“Huh. That’s interesting. Maybe I could do that. Who’s the producer?”

“Jeremy Piven. He’s switching lanes.”

“Pass. Benjy, find me something that’s not weird or damaging to my career, please.”

“Working for my guy!”

“And why are you still at the racetrack?”

“Remember that sponsorship deal I told you about?”

“The one where I would be the sponsor? Yeah. We’re doing the other thing. Where people give me money instead of the other way around.”

“Right. Except you gotta spend money to make money, buddy. This is great publicity!”

“Pass.”

“You already took the deal.”

“Excuse me?”

“I have your power of attorney. We signed the deal. Six months of the Mayermobile.”

“How the fuck do you have my power of attorney?”

“You do remember when I brought you back from the dead, right?”

“Uh-huh.”

“And the management contract you signed?”

“Shit.”

“You should have had a lawyer look that over.”

“Fuck.”

“I want you to think about the Broadway thing. Piven’s a dick, but he’s got a vision. I saw him do Troilus & Cressida way back in Chicago. Brilliant mind. Okay, they’re calling me back to the track. Later, Johnny.”

DIAL TONE NOISE EVEN THOUGH PHONES DO NOT DO THAT ANY MORE

“Hey!”

Yes?

“This is not funny, and it’s not cool.”

It’s a little funny.

“I’m thinking about pulling a Gawker on you.”

Feeling froggy? Leap.

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