Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: bill walton (page 1 of 7)

Beam Me Up, Mickey

One of these days, Mickey and Bill Walton are going to have a Dead shirt-off, and I don’t think both of them will survive the ordeal.

OR

In Donald Trump’s dreams, his hands are the size of Bill Walton’s. (Holy shit, look at those paws.)

OR

What’s the doohickey? Bottom right on the near side of the Beam. It looks like a coin slot. Does the Beam take quarters? If someone is playing the Beam and you put your quarter down, do you get next?

OR

Is Mickey about to perform? Or–and this is my guess–has he begun wearing those sweatbands at all times?

March Madness Without Research

  • I know I usually cheat a little on the tenets of Without Research, but I promise not to this time, mostly because I sincerely don’t give a shit.
  • It is a basketball tournament, but LeBron is not in it.
  • Florida is (was?) in it, and number 11 on that team is a young man named Josh Jackson who has an immense upswoop of afro; he looks like Huey from The Boondocks.
  • Brother on the Dead went to U of F, so I root for the Gators when it comes to college sports.
  • My alma mater did not have sports, unless you count experimenting with heroin and homosexuality a sport.
  • So I just root for BotD’s school, and I noticed Josh Jackson on the teevee; I was like “Yay, Josh Jackson,” and then I saw something about him the internet and I think he may have shit on the hood of a woman’s Kia.
  • I have remained a fan of people who have done far, far worse things than that.
  • First there are 64 teams.
  • Then, 32.
  • After that is the Sweet Sixteen.
  • I think they want us to call this round the “Elite Eight” but that’s just horrible.
  • Finally, four.
  • The NCAA tournament is a reverse logarithm, if you think about it.
  • Did Bill Walton win it?
  • I’m going to assume that Bill Walton won it.
  • Duke.
  • Wow, am I not even going to attempt the coach’s name Without Research.
  • You know who I’m talking about.
  • University of North Carolina.
  • They are the Tar Heels, but I think they’re also a goat.
  • Xavier and Gonzaga.
  • Every fucking year with Xavier and Gonzaga, and I have absolutely no idea where either of them is.
  • I mean to look it up every year, but then I don’t because I just don’t care.
  • I do know that “Xavier” is not pronounced like Professor Charles Xavier, but like Xavier Cugat.
  • The X makes a Z sound.
  • Which is silly: just be Zavier, Xavier.
  • Stop confusing comic book fans.
  • There are seedings, and sometimes teams can be overseeded or underseeded, even though neither of those words are words.
  • A team will be deemed the Cinderella Story.
  • College basketball is broken into geographical groupings called “families;” and coaches have to swear a blood oath, or omerta, to the family and regularly kick up cash and teenagers’ knees.
  • I have been informed I am sort of talking about the mafia; I apologize for the mix-up.
  • There’s the SEC, which is in the South, and the ACC, which is not.
  • And the Conference of Champions, which is in the West.
  • (The conference probably isn’t actually called that, but I don’t know the real name of it and that’s what Bill Walton calls it.)
  • Is there a Big 10 for basketball, or is that just a football thing?
  • The tournament takes the best teams from each conference and pits them against each other in gentlemanly, amateur competition until we know who the victor is; sport at its purest.
  • Nah, just shittin’ ya: the whole shebang is just a reason to gamble.
  • You fill out your brackets, which are decision trees made up of the dreams of teenagers, and then you got yourself a one-in-a-quadrillion shot of getting it right.
  • Wait, I was wrong: one-in-14-quadrillion.
  • (Yeah, I cheated. I don’t care about the basketball, but the corruption and money are interesting.)
  • $10 billion every year, and here’s the fun part: only a quarter or so of that goes to American bookmakers; the rest leaves the country via the internet, and I’m positive that it only goes to the nicest people.
  • Obama used to love the tournament, and he would do a spot on ESPN every year about his bracket and what he thought of the teams.
  • He was witty and charming, and he could tell a joke or take one.
  • When they asked Trump to fill out a bracket, Kellyanne Conway stepped in front of the president, and then her face split open lengthwise and cancer flew out, and tuberculosis, too; all the pestilence of earth, foul and roaming, and Kellyanne shrieked Bii-YAAAAAALLL and the ESPN reporter was never seen again.
  • If you stop dribbling the ball, you cannot start dribbling it again or the ref will call you for a double-dribble, which is the least-imaginatively named penalty in sports.
  • (High-sticking is pretty on-the-nose, too, now that I think about it. TotD prefers that fouls be described more abstractly. “Icing.” That could mean, like, anything. Everyone’s on the ice at all times. “Balk” is a good one. Balk is an obscure verb, and it gets bonus points for being awkward to say.)
  • Is there a Final Four for Quidditch?
  • Fuck, I hope not.
  • You know people play Quidditch, right?
  • I despise these screeds from the pasty patsies at the Times (that useless Frank Bruni did one this weekend) about “the terrible state of our students.”
  • The kids are all right.
  • They got a reason to be pissed.
  • But when I see those little shits waddling around on broomsticks pretending to be wizards and shouting dog Latin at each other, I want to get the Time Sheath and have President Nixon call in the National Guard to their campuses.
  • Stop playing Quidditch, children.
  • If you want people to know you’re from the suburbs, then go buy yourself a frisbee and start an Ultimate team.
  • Do not Quidditch, children; we will not defeat Radical Islamic Terrorism that way.

Pack Up Your Life Again

Be careful, Bill Walton. Leaving that van door open is an invitation for–

“Heeeeey, man.”

–Soup to show up. Hey, Soup.

“Oscar night glamour, man.”

You’re watching the Academy Awards?

“No, this is the night that my buddy Oscar comes over. He’s a snappy dresser, man.”

Sure. You’re living in Bill Walton’s van in 1978 now?

“Just for the weekend. I’ve been surfing these past few months, man.”

Yeah?

“Well, you know need a place that’s available, right? So I been staying at the White House on weekends, and Mar-A-Lago during the week, man.”

There is an open bed at those places at those times. Good thinking, Soup.

“Nothing gets by me, man.”

Mid-Yoink

Hey, Bill Walton. Question.

“Shoot.”

Why?

“Someone threw me a tee-shirt.”

And?

“And I’m putting it on. Never turn down a free tee-shirt.”

Did Mickey teach you that?

“When it comes to free tee-shirts, Mickey is my Coach Wooden.”

He’s the best at what he does. Lady behind you doesn’t look impressed.

“How many rings she got?”

Can’t argue with that logic.

Bob And His Uncle

Get your feet off the couch, mister.

“It’s a green room couch. Worse things than feet have been on it.”

Yeah, sure. You see the game?

“Huge. Comeback of the century.”

How about it, huh?

“No one thought the Chiefs had it in them. Gave everyone a little surprise.”

The Chiefs? Kansas City wasn’t in the Super Bowl, Bobby.

“Tamalpais Chiefs. Marin County touch football championship game today.”

Oh.

“We played the Stinson Beach Marauders. Kind of a grudge match. Ran for two touchdowns, threw for one.”

In those shoes?

“Course not. I had on my football sandals.”

Makes sense. Who’s on the Chiefs? Just guys from the neighborhood?

“Used to be, yeah. But, uh, this is a big game. I called in some favors. Got some ringers.”

Ringers?

“I know some guys.”

Who?

“I had my hands up on defense, but apparently you don’t do that in this sport.”

Hey, Bill Walton. You’re Bobby’s ringer?

“For the first quarter. Then both my shins exploded, and I had to miss the rest of the season.”

Sure.

A Change, In Plantain

“How the hell did we get back here?”

“NIX, YOU CAN’T HOLD YER LIQUOR.”

“How many Chinamen did I karate?”

“ALL OF ‘EM, SEEMED LIKE. AH WAS PROUD OF YOUR MARTIAL ARTS SKILLS. YOU HONORED YOUR SENSEI.”

“Huh. Wonderful. Good to hear, Elvis.”

“ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU KICKED CHOU EN-LAI IN HIS FACE.”

“That’s regrettable.”

“HE TASTED BOTH YOUR POWER AND YOUR FLORSHEIM.”

“Between you and me, Elvis? I am not a good drinker.”

“THASS WHY AH NEVER TOUCH THE STUFF. MAN’S BODY IS HIS DOJO.”

“Excellent thinking.”

“DEMEROL?”

“No, thank you. What about the deal? Are the Chinese still on our side?”

“DEAL? MAN, AH HAD TO TALK MAO OUTTA LAUNCHIN’ HIS DAMN NUKES AT YORBA LINDA.”

“Whoa. Good work, Elvis. May I ask how you accomplished that?”

“TURNS OUT THAT ME AN’ OL’ MAO HIT IT OFF.”

“Really?”

“WE BOTH STAY UP ALL NIGHT; WE BOTH ALWAYS GET OUR OWN WAY.”

“Sure.”

“BOTH CRAZY AS A FERRET IN A MONGOOSE COSTUME.”

“I understand the gist of that saying, if not the particulars.”

“HE GOT HISSELF A DR. NICK, TOO. AH DID NOT KNOW THE HEEBIE-JEEBIES AFFECTED THE CHINESE SOUL.”

“Sounds like you two had yourselves a time.”

“HE PRESENTED ME WITH MANY SMALL WOMEN WEARIN’ PANTIES MADE OF COTTON. AH ASSIGNED CHARLIE HODGE TO BRING HIM SCARVES AN’ WATER FOR THE EVENING.”

“Good to hear.”

“HE IS A FINE MAN, MAO. AH LOOKED DEEP INTO HIS EYES AN’ SAW HIS SOUL.”

“Well, as deep as you could look.”

“RIGHT. AS A CHINEE, MAO HAS THEM SLANTY EYES.”

Okay, I’m gonna need the two of you dead assholes to stop being so fucking racist. Now.

“That was that narrator fellow?”

“UH-HUH.”

“He can, uh, just throw in his two cents while we’re having a scene together?”

“THE RULES OF THIS UNIVERSE ARE OF AN IMPROVISATORY NATURE.”

“Important information. So, you calmed the Chinese down?

“YEAH, BUT LIKE AH SAID: THEY AIN’T GONNA PARTNER UP WITH US NO MORE. WE ON OUR OWN, NIX.”

“No, no. Nixon always plans for contingencies. Remember, Elvis: one if by land; two if by sea.”

“THREE IF BY ROCKETCYCLE.”

“Sure, but stick with me. Perhaps we need to take Washington from the Potomac side.”

“AH SEE WHAT YOU’RE SAYING. WE NEED T’ SPEAK WITH MIGHTY POSEIDON.”

“Boats, Elvis.”

“OR THAT.”

“I have spoken with some very dangerous men. Our attack will come by sea.”

“HOT DAMN, THIS SOME EXCITIN’ STUFF! WHO YOU GOT, NIX? CAP’N BLOOD?”

“No.”

“CAP’N CRUNCH?”

“Also no.”

“WHO, NIX?”

“The most dangerous men at sea, Elvis.”

“Billy, I don’t think this is the way to D.C.”

“Just keep rowing, Walton.”

“Why are there so many guns in the boat?”

“You gonna row or you gonna ask questions? Step on it: it’s almost the 20th.”

“What does that matter?”

“Just keep rowing.”

He’s Uncle Sam, That’s Who He Am

Hey, Bill Walton. Whatcha doing?

“Loving America at the top of my lungs!”

You rule.

“You know what’s from America? Basketball.”

Sure.

“The whole West Coast of America is in America. All of it, and it’s great. West Coast best coast.”

True.

“The Dead’s from America.”

That should end the conversation.

“I know, right? Any country that produces the Grateful Dead must by the transitive property be the best country. That’s just algebra.”

Where did you even find an Uncle Sam coat to fit you?

“Big & Tall & Patriotic shop.”

Sounds right.

Bruins

Hey, Bill Walton. Whatcha doing?

“Keeping my hands up on defense!”

Coach Wooden really taught you well.

“It was about preparation with Coach Wooden. We needed to be ready for what we would face on the court, and what we would face in life. And, you know, sometimes life contains bears.”

Have you encountered many bears, Bill Walton?

“I killed this one.”

What?

“It was him or me. This was in ’79. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which is a wonderful place to see a Grateful Dead concert. Over the years, I’ve seen them there a dozen times, and over that period I befriended several boulders.”

Okay, sure. The bear?

“So, me and some friends are biking through the beautiful Colorado scenery. Mountains, and trees. Nature at her most natural.”

Right.

“And then this hairy fellow tried to eat me.”

Out of nowhere?

“No, out of the woods.”

I meant that there was no warning.

“The bear was sneaky.”

How so?

“He was in spandex and on a bike and had infiltrated our group at the beginning of the day.”

Wow.

“He even bought breakfast. The bear gained our trust.”

Intelligent bear.

“Smarter than average.”

So how did you kill him?

“Y’know how people in stressful situations get a big adrenaline dump, and get momentary super-strength?”

Yeah.

“Well, I’m seven feet tall. I Hulked out.”

And then you had the bear stuffed and donated it to your alma mater?

“Well, first I ate his heart to gain his power.”

Of course.

“But then I had him stuffed and donated him to UCLA, yeah.”

Why?

“Why not?”

Okay.

“I named him Jerry.”

Deadheads do like naming animals after him.

Bill Walton: Simply The Best

bill-walton-shirtless-hula

Because you’re a bicyclist, right.

“Smooth as a 8-ball, but white as a cue ball.”

I don’t want to hear any of this.

“Takes a team of four to shave me down. We start at dawn, break for a nutritious breakfast, and then it’s another four or five hours. It’s like when they put Ron Perlman into the Hellboy costume.”

You know Ron Perlman?

“The Perl? Good man. Took a trip with him to Nova Scotia to see the Northern Lights in ’98.”

Yeah?

“He growled at them.”

That’s his thing. You enjoying Hawaii?

“I’m in Atlanta.”

That figures.

Relix Magazine: Insensitive Bastards

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-9-48-48-pm

In Byhalia, Tennessee, which is a small town outside of Memphis, 7’9″ Jimmy Lee Snodgrass looks at this tweet. There was a bowlful of ticket stubs on a bookshelf, and he had framed the shirts he had bought on the lot but could never fit into. In a place of pride above the stereo was a shadowbox that contained a guitar pick Bobby had given to him when they met, randomly, in a hotel in Cincinnati. A hot, giant tear rolled down his cheek and he put his phone away.

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