Getting Teste

July 24, 1998
  First, a few words about today's favorite CD, Barenaked Ladies' Stunt. I've been carrying it around with me for about a week now, playing it in the truck and lugging (yeah, 'cause at about 3 ounces it's sooo heavy it can't simply be carried, it must be lugged) it upstairs to play in the office while I play Fighter Ace. As was the case with their other CD I have, Maybe You Should Drive, I'm playing it to death. I'm reminded of my youth, when my younger brother Gavin used to develop musical obsessions and would play them into the ground.

There are two examples that stand out in my mind, emblematic of a broader behavioural problem. First was a Heatwave album, thank God I've finally forgotten which one. This was back in the days of vinyl LPs, and Gavin used to put it on the turntable at night, set to repeat, and go to sleep listening to it...and sleep listening to it...and wake up listening to it...and continue listening to it until he left for school. To this day I can still hear one of the songs. "Always and forever..../each moment with you...." Nails on a blackboard. Seriously. The other facet of his musical mania involved movies, usually musicals.

Grease was a big favorite, as was Xanadu (hmm... an Olivia Newton John theme), but Superman was very big on his hit parade one very long summer. It was, in fact, probably the all-time worst offender. Gavin would set himself up at the TV with a tape recorder when these movies were on and would tape-record every single second of them. And then he'd play the tape...and play it...and play it...and play it...until he knew every single damned word of dialogue and all the lyrics and music to all the songs. And then he'd follow you around the house, quoting and singing it to you. And insisting that you feed him lines so he wasn't doing both sides. And if you wouldn't feed him lines he'd do both sides anyway. This was bad enough with the musicals, but when he was on his Superman kick I seriously considered fratricide. "Hey, Gavin, here's a scene you missed. It's the one where Lex Luthor grabs a meat cleaver and does a little impromptu Gavisection. No lines for you in this one, just blood-curdling screams."

But I digress. My point is that I'm a little fixated on Stunt right now and it reminded me of Gavin's neurotic behavior way back when. Not that there's any similarity. Honest. I mean, it's not like I'm singing it to everyone I meet...although I did sit down with Beth and make her listen while I read a few of the cooler lyrics to her the other night. But, really, there's no similarity. Really.

More digression. Gavin just came by for some help on a flyer he's putting together and I played Stunt the whole time and made him read the lyric sheet. Ah, sweet revenge. But like I said, there's no similarity. Apples and oranges. Really.

In other news... I'm still waiting for a start date on the new job. They've given me a kinda sorta firm August 3, so I've given notice at Teletech, the phone center where I work. Just in time, too, because my attendance record has gone to hell in a motorized handcart. Attendance is a hot commodity there, so much so that most people who get the axe get it for "excessive" tardies and absences. With a new job looming on the horizon I'm finding it much harder to respond to my alarm clock and I'm falling in with the excessive crowd; in fact I got written up last week for being late three days running. Two minutes late, but late nonetheless. So now it's a horse race to see if I make it to my quit date before getting booted for poor attendance. I'm walking the wire now, playing their own rules against them. I actually walked in sick Thursday: I overslept - again - and when I got there I talked it over with my boss before clocking in and we agreed that I'd be better off taking the day sick then taking the hit for being tardy and getting written up again. So I went home. It was truly ridiculous.

And on the fertility front... I finally got my lab appointment, where I got to spank ye olde monkey on command. I was concerned that performance anxiety might be a problem, what with all the mood breakers involved -- having to make an appointment so a courier could be standing by waiting, doing it in a public restroom with a faulty lock, a dismal lack of arousal aids (unless you get off on tile and grout), etc. -- but I'm happy to report that I came through (ahem) like a champ. But not, unfortunately, like a stud-muffin. It seems the swimmer count is on the low side of normal. So much for my aspirations to stud service. The doc says it's low, but not abnormally so...but he said it in such a kindly, sympathetic voice that I wonder if he was breaking it to me gently. "Yes, Mr. Atkins, there's still enough testosterone for you to qualify as a man. Technically speaking, that is. But if you were the last man on earth I think that'd be it for mankind."

So now it's off to a fertility specialist, who I fear will prescribe subscriptions to Car & Driver, Sports Illustrated, and season tickets to the Monster Truck Rally circuit. I'll do it if I have to, but damn it, I'm not giving up my opera tickets or my Ladies Home Journal!

All I have to say is this: Test results aside, I'm still a manly man. Anybody who says different gets their eyes scratched out. So there.

Copyright © 1998
Chuck Atkins