Friday, January 21, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: The Danni

Many moons ago, I promised a young(ish) girl a story about a six-fingered guitarist and his guitar, The Danni. Inspiration to actually write it took an age and a day. It doesn’t have the humor or the wit she probably wanted, but I gave it my best. Enjoy.

In the lull between songs, Randy wandered over to his vocalist. He spoke in a loud hush.

“This next is my last, kid. Time to find myself one of those keepers and mosey out.”

“You sure? It’s been an honor.” Vic gestured to the crowd. “I didn’t know middle-aged women had so much juice.”

“They got more than life, but I can’t play all night anymore.” He gave Vic a six-fingered pat on the ass. “You kids did fine, and you got a good throat. Just get the band to take us into Fire Itch.”

Of course he picked Fire Itch. Two bass solos guaranteed to get as many feminine eyes on him as possible. Randy left his vocalist, waving his cowboy hat to a shriek of crowd joy. He held it over the heart of his suit jacket, that pinstripe job that he’d worn ever since Secondary Colors came out.

“So this next song’s going to play our guest bassist off …”

Three thousand hitch pitched voices went, “Awww.”

“Maybe you’ve heard it. It’s about this thing you can’t scratch alone…”

Three thousand hitch pitched voices lost their God-damned minds.

Randy was laughing as he picked up The Danni, the bass guitar he’d travelled with since Secondary Colors got stale. The faceplate was painted to look like a woman’s bare bottom, her spine running up beneath the strings. The way he cradled it was downright obscene.

Vic rested his throat through the intro, since even with industrial speakers nobody could hear them play over how ovations and ovulations of the crowd. Daisies and roses bounced off Randy’s polished city slicker shoes. He just waved like he was embarrassed, and when the wave didn’t cause him to miss so much as a fret, they went even crazier. Bouquets were touching down less than sixty seconds into the song.

The lyrics were basic and the double entendre kind of chaffed, but so many people singing along gave Vic a rush. So he belted out how he itched when they met, and how he itched when she walked out, and how he itched… and stared off blankly as that first bass solo kicked in.

A pair of panties slingshotted onstage and bounced off Randy’s chest. He caught them on his second pinky and kept playing. Fingers at least fifty-five years old flew faster than Vic’s could right now.

The drummer led them into the second verse. Vic followed with his lips, eyes trying to follow Randy’s gaze. The old goat ignored sleeting wadded dollar bills and errant bouquets, staring through the glitz and making personal eye contact with everyone his glaucoma permitted.

Vic faded back as Randy rose into the second solo, trying to figure out who there was this mythical “keeper” Randy had mentioned. He seemed mostly keen on the middle-agers, old enough to have thought he was the shit when they were in high school. Seemed a shame to Vic since there was a crop of new high-schoolers staring at him right now.

Randy slammed down thrice for the last chords, reverberating through the building. He held out the six-fingered hand like Jesus on the cross, the other cradling The Danni’s bum. More flowers, more panties, and a hotel key card pinged off his chest.

“That the keeper, boss?”

“No. That’s normal.”

Randy shook his head and let the card lie on the stage. People chanted thank-you, thank-you-ran-dee, bless-the-dan-nee, and far less comprehensible but nonetheless positive sentiment. A couple more hotel key cars whizzed along. Then a long plastic tube clattered across one of his shoes. Vic grimaced.

“Is that a catheter?”

"More than that, kid.” Randy reached down and picked up the device between his thumb and second pinky. He waved it to the audience until he spied the owner. He tipped his hat. “It’s a keeper. Mostly about talking at this age, and that’s going to be a hell of a conversation.”


  1. Wow. I finally get my story and it's my bare ass being molested by an old man in public. I think I might egg your house anyway.

    winky face

    (I am The Danni, and I approve this story)

  2. Love. I keep seeing Aerosmith as the star band here. :-D

    My favorite: "...made personal eye contact with as many as his glaucoma would allow." Oh, and the catheter. Laughed. Really. Hard.

    But it's all too freaking hilarious. And I'm glad Danni approves.

  3. So much to enjoy with this story, great characters, good plot, and I love the guitar.

    The catheter line had me in stitches.

  4. Brilliant, I love it. Reminded me of a two-fingered street musician in Amsterdam: 'It's never too late to donate' was written on his guitar case.
    I agree with Gracie about her favourite sentence, mine too.

  5. *round of applause as the house lights come up*
    Just brilliant. The catheter line was inspired.
    Long live rock'n'roll.
    \m/ >.< \m/
    If you want a visual to go with this story, go to this link:
    Adam B @revhappiness

  6. What a wonderful image: Randy was laughing as he picked up The Danni, the bass guitar he’d travelled with since Secondary Colors got stale. The faceplate was painted to look like a woman’s bare bottom, her spine running up beneath the strings. The way he cradled it was downright obscene.

    To me, this is a sensitive view of aging with your own special touch of humor. It made me melancholic and laugh at the same time. Well done.

  7. This was fabulous. It helped that I was picturing The Danni's face as I read. Priceless :)

  8. Great descriptions. I felt like I was there. Hilarious too. Loved Adam's picture link, though the painted guitar in your story was much more visual for me. You must've had fun writing this one!

  9. Diagnosis: delightful. I'd want to meet whoever threw a catheter, too; that's just nuts.

    Danni should probably egg your house, though. ;-)

  10. Danni, oh, do you have some relation to this tale? I didn't know. I'll page the author about it.

    Gracie, so his glaucoma made you laugh? Or you liked that line, and laughed at the catheter? Either way, I'll take a victory.

    Sam, not bad for something that took ten months to write. Thank you kindly!

    Anneke, between your two-fingered guy and my six-fingered Randy, we almost have two properly proportioned human handlers.

    Adam and Tiffany, I'm hesitant to use the photo because it is so distant from what I imagined. All the same, it's an obscene winner of woodwork. $10,000? Anybody have that cash on them?

    Deborah, if I can be absurdly humorous while still sensitive, then I definitely did something right. Or horribly wrong. Usually right, but I'm not usually right. Thank you kindly, Deborah.

    Seleste, what was her expression, or were you mostly imagining her frets?

    Valerie, it's a joke I've had with me for years. Throwing panties at the stage is funny. What if somebody took it further? I probably deserve the egging.

  11. Just brilliant John! So many unique, original lines here - I especially like the Secondary Colors. Bravo!

  12. I could feel the bass thumping in my chest, John.

    Flowers and panties, dollar bills and hotel keys - all terrific images. The catheter? Um...

  13. I really enjoyed this. I've always heard that women like a man with a little something extra. Who knew it was a sixth finger?

    I also really enjoyed Danni's comment.

  14. I'm grateful to report I've been the bassman on stage when panties started arriving. Makes for fine memories, I can tell ya. Sometimes the wimmen throwing 'em lose their tops in front of the stage too. For real.

    Those were the days.

    Thanks for the reminder, John!

  15. Next tour, it's going to be canes and adult diapers and dentures.

  16. I suppose that would be one hell of a conversation starter. Of course that conversation would start with ewwwwwwww!


  17. Deanna, I got a little too proud of myself for the names of his albums and songs. Glad they amused you. That means I deserve just a little less condemnation.

    Tony, it's okay, I won't tell anyone you liked the last image best. I'll have the lady escorted to your suite.

    Tim, who knows what other extra things he has? Besides itches.

    Mike, thank you for providing real world empirical evidence for the veracity of my nutty make-believe fiction. I am validated!

    Raven, and the tour after that nobody will have the arm strength to hit the stage.

    Harry, I think it would start with a sanitary wipe.

  18. Middle-age rocks John, and I so want a guitar with a paint job like that.

  19. That was a fine, fine story, John. It had all the old growl you expect to hear from all of our aging guitar heroes. I could imagine Jeff Bridges playing the character, for some reason. Catching the panties on his finger while still playing was a nice touch.

  20. John, very cool. Love how you named the guitar Danni, that should keep Danni happy for a month. My face part was the desciption of playing of the music.

  21. I enjoyed the dynamic between the pair of Vic & Randy.

  22. John, you take me to places I know nothing about. I find your stories totally transporting. This definately did not happen when I saw Tchaikovsky's 5th performed last weekend. Although come to think of it, there could have been a deluge of catheters. Imagine the chaos in the Double Basses.

  23. This was sort of melancholy and a crack-up all in one...must be my age. ;)

  24. I bet Tom Jones would kill for someone throw a catheter at him!

    Loved this.

  25. Hahahahahaha Hilarious! Is it weird that now I'm torn between REALLY wanting to learn bass and swearing off live music completely? Great piece, all around.

  26. Steve, good to know. I intend to enjoy it if I make it that far.

    Cathy, Jeff Bridges was exactly who I had in mind!

    Julio, I actually named it that because of a promise to Danielle months and months ago. It took her actually writing a story with a Danni-guitar for me to finally spark up and figure out how a musical story might work.

    Aidan, I am fairly certain they both appreciated the dynamic. Vic, at least, would appreciate the crowd size.

    Scribbler, I very much appreciate that, especially attributed to one of the stories that takes place in the more realistic world. I've only ever been to one concert, a performance in a campus pub, and because of hearing problems had to have aids in my ears the whole time. So I guess this is as much a fantasy as anything I do.

    Laura, was there something in particular you found melancholy? Randy's attitude?

    Icy, it's not unusual... okay, it is unusual to throw catheters at anyone. But I like song parodies.

    Aaron, go ahead and try the bass. Picking up catheters is an entirely optional part of training.

  27. Love the tone of this, John ... had you wry wit, obviously, but it didn't seem like your average tale. You may have crossed over to the land of the seedy. At least that's how I read it. You're welcome here any time...

  28. Re: melancholy - nothing in the characters attitudes at all. It was the larger sense of the piece from the writer's perspective. ;)

    The last time, glaucoma, catheter...all are references to getting old, seeing youth fall away, a dim future filled with health problems.

  29. A hell of a conversation indeed! Gotta know what you want, right? Good story!

  30. Anthony, I'm so glad you stopped by for this. After the actual Danni herself, you were the one I was thinking of in writing it. It is up your seedier alley. How often I'll visit, I'm not sure...

    Laura, so you read the references to aging as melancholy? I can see that...

    Eric, I'm on a streak of responses ending in ellipses here, so I'm going to say thanks for the compliment, and then trail off like I'm mysterious...

  31. Excellent story John, and further proof that you deserved that award. This story really captured how it feels to perform on stage. Yeah I know, long story...

  32. Brilliant. Just brilliant. I'm still giggling at all of the imagery in this.

  33. Mostly about talking at this age...

    He must be pretty old indeed. A good story, John. You held the "keeper" out there as the carrot and kept all of wondering until the end.


Counter est. March 2, 2008