Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I´m not sure who wrote this tune. But I know I´m pretty dissapointed in the playing. I simply haven´t figured out what to do here. It´s sloppy because I´m still practicing. But I have to post it or else there will be nothing to compare to my next video in a year or so. This is where I am at right now with this song. The only way to know I have improved is by seeing where I came from.

Breezin by George Benson

Never underestimate the power of ´70s era instrumental pop. This gem by George Benson reminds me of plaid pants and disco balls. Roller skates and permed hair. Tank tops and swimming holes. Although my performance is cut short due to time limitations it is a bit too modern for this nostalgic tune. But there are some moments of clean playing of good ideas.


Finally, another take on this tune. I´ve only played it a million times but still this has got me going one direction when I should´ve gone another.

Bad Clutch

"She stole the used rubber?"

I asked this question both because you don´t get to say a sentence like that every day and also because I really needed to understand what Ron was saying, or if he was so stoned that he was no longer making sense.

"That´s what got me worried. I looked for it everywhere. She stole it off my cock while I was passed out."

Ignoring the horrible image now developing in my head I ask, "Why would she steal a used rubber?"

"To tell the police that I raped her. You know whores. That´s how I got run out of here five or six years ago. I started getting nasty looks from the taxi drivers and then the sheriff pulled me over in my RV and said, ´drive north.´I didn´t need to be told twice. But on the way north I started hearing this popping sound and I looked behind me and three taxis were chasing me and the motherfuckers were shooting at me with pistols. You know the taxi drivers are the unofficial posse in this country?"

I am under Ron´s dashboard examining his clutch cylinder that totally fell apart this morning. It is a 2003 Ford Focus and 80% of it is plastic. The remaining 20% is aluminum. I am so disgusted that I don´t even care Ron was at one point being chased by taxi drivers shooting at him. The funny thing is that he doesn´t care that I don´t care. I´m not even sure he cared at the time he was being shot at.

"I out ran them for a while but they had called ahead and it got real fucking messy in Loreto. I ended up hiding on top of my RV under a bridge. They had shovels with them. Turns out they thought I was raping girls in La Paz. Why would I rape girls when I can rent their pussies for so cheap? The word got around and they were going to kill my ass. But I got away. How is it looking under there?"

"I can´t believe this car was allowed to be driven. I can´t believe the engineer went to school first. A fucking child who owns a go kart would design a better car. At what point are resources so scarce that people just decide to refrain from manufacturing disposable shit?"

"That good huh? Can you fix it?"

"Give me some fucking credit."

I can fix it. It´s built like a car made of Styrofoam. Awful, but Ron is nevertheless comforted.

"Well, even if you can´t at least I got my shopping done. I got beer. I got a pound of pot. You want some?"


"You want a whore? I´m thinking about buying one. I´ll just get two. You can get a price break that way because they share the taxi."

"That´s all right."

"No? How is it going with your girlfriend?"

I´ve already explained that the girl he is talking about is not my girlfriend, but he calls her that because it is easier, I suppose, than saying "the girl you want to bang"

"We´ve got some bad chemistry." I say simply, though the truth as I interpret it is too complicated to discuss, involving not just chemistry but also emotional security and relationship roles and philosophy and geometry and language.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean I say absurd shit, she takes it seriously and uses the opportunity to scold me and feel superior. Then I defend myself and we argue over nothing. I don't think I've told one joke she thought was funny."

"What did you say?"

"I said I was going to sell a kidney and join the Mexican circus. I said I wanted to manage the game where you throw a ball at a stuffed monkey. I was going to be the stuffed monkey wrangler. "

Ron crushed his cigarette and immediately lit another one.

"How much you going to get for the kidney?"

"See, if she had responded like that we probably would have ended up fucking," I say laughing. "God damn it! No. She has to take me seriously? Over something absurd like a stuffed monkey? She says one absurd thing after another..´I want to sniff glue, I drank tequila for two straight days, how does my hair look, I like that dress but not that one. I like shoes with straps...´bullshit. Absurd bimbo bullshit. Do I take her seriously? No. Do I define her by these random statements? No. But I say I want to go to Honduras and die in a revolution and she goes berserk. It´s like my fucking childhood all over again!"

"I thought you said you were gonna wrangle stuffed monkeys."

Sometimes Ron actually pays attention, which keeps me on my toes.

"Well I say a lot of absurd things. I can say whatever I want and sometimes I say absurd things, but people take me seriously. It isn´t fair. Did you see many cases of plastic explosives in my van? Or AK-47s? Or hand grenades? Or stuffed monkeys? I mean, if I told you...like...I was going to Russia to marry a woman I had never met what would you say?"

Without hesitation Ron says, "Don´t do it. DO NOT FUCKING DO IT! Those Russian mail order broads are completely insane. You´re better off adopting a pretty Russian girl and raising her to be your wife. You´d be guaranteed pussy then. Believe me, the adult women are beyond repair."

I wince as I don´t know how to respond to this response. I went from trying to prove a point by saying something insanely absurd to hearing something insanely absurd...but dead serious. This is a classic conversation with Ron.

"My point," I say, "is that I think out loud sometimes...and my thoughts don´t come out sounding completely normal. People just have to translate. Why is that hard? I don´t speak English. Only two people in my life have figured that out so far. My best friend...who is now dead. And an ex-girlfriend who now dates women. This girl here, she hasn´t figured that out yet. When I say I want to sell my kidney I just mean that I am bored with life...that I want her to make my life more interesting. That, in fact, wrangling stuffed monkeys in a Mexican circus is the philosophical equivalent of being a supreme court justice. See?"

"Jesus Christ, Oggy, you´ve got some admirable traits but sometimes you make no sense at all. Men are supposed to be the ones who speak directly. Don´t be obtuse. Tell her what you mean. Anyway, the way to impress a girl is not to say you would be happier tending a stuffed monkey...under any circumstances...with or without both your kidneys. I mean, think about it."

"Yeah, yeah. You think I haven´t thought about it? That´s all I do. Give me some fucking credit."

This is my new catch phrase. I look back under the clutch pedal, at a world I understand.

"How much does she charge?"

"She's not a hooker, dude."

"It sounds like she's a hooker to me. Maybe she's playing the long con."

"Well, then she's busting my balls for free."

Ron made some guttural sound. "You see, Oggy, I just like fucking regular young girls who want to make some money on the side. I don´t have anything to offer a girl except wisdom, experience and good conversation."

This is Ron's catch phrase and it never ceases to annoy me. He thinks it is funny because he's understating his qualities and sort of being self-pitying but I have yet to find a good response to it other than indifference. I reach under the clutch pedal and feel around the master cylinder. It is in two pieces but all the pieces are connected to a rod that can only be removed by unscrewing the whole pedal assembly. That´s going to suck.

Ron says, "Hey, I actually know a guy who will buy your kidney."

I throw the wrench down and yell, "I´m not selling my kidney! I´m not joining the circus. I´m not joining a revolution. I just like saying it. It sounds good to my ears. It just sounds good to say, ´I want to manage a stuffed monkey game in a Mexican Circus.´That sounds interesting...but I would hate it after five minutes. So I´m not going to do it. It´s absurd. I know it is absurd but saying it is how I cope with my crummy life. Alright? Give me some fucking credit. I like fixing cars and playing guitar. That´s probably what I´ll do for the rest of my life. But that doesn´t sound as good. So I don´t say it as much. If people would just pay attention to what I do and not what I say then there would be no problems."

Ron laughs. "I was just kidding. Jesus. I can see why you two like to argue. You say one thing and mean another. She says one thing and means another. You´re right about the bad chemistry. Although, usually women who argue are the best fucks."

I groan as I look back under the dashboard.

"Yeah? I argued with my last girlfriend all the time and she fucked like a rolled up carpet."

"Well, Oggy, you don't exactly strike me as a cocksmith.


"I mean, you can probably entertain a girl, charm them, make 'em laugh, sing a few songs, fix their car's brake pads, but when it comes time to fuck 'em, eat their pussies, pull their hair, spank 'em, you're probably no stallion. That's just my impression."

"Can I please try to fix this fucking worthless clutch?" I say shortly.

Ron shrugs. "You can't fuck with metaphors, champ."

"Thanks for the tip. One time..."

"Hey, I´m gonna get a whore. You want one or not?"

After my silence Ron continues, "Fuck it. My back is killing me. I could use a blowjob. You gonna fix that thing or what?"

"I´ll do what I can to this plastic piece of shit."

Ron is already on the phone to his pimp.

"Yeah, make sure she doesn´t have a fat ass this time. OK?" he says loudly into the phone. "NO FATTIES...yeah, that´s what you said last time. Now I mean it. I want her young and with little titties and a tight ass."

He looks at me.

"Big tits just get in the way. Right, Oggy?...No, I don´t care what color her skin is. Just as long as she´s clean and has a tight pussy! I don't care if she's had one or two kids but not a whole litter. The last one you sent was so loose it was like fucking a plastic grocery bag. I...mother fucker!"

Ron looks at his phone and then at me.

"Man, can I use your phone? I just ran out of minutes. I put time on it the other day. I...Goddamn it! I bet that whore used it to call her man last night. The one who stole the used rubber off my cock! Son of a bitch!"

I hand Ron my cell phone and say, "You know what´s getting in the way? This fucking dashboard. Can I take it off?

Ron rips the cap off another beer as he dials his pimp.

"Do whatever you fucking want. You´re the monkey man. I...hey, it´s me...yeah...are we clear? No fatties with loose pussies!"

I cram myself under the steering wheel again. It´s uncomfortable as hell and my neck is going to be sore from holding it at an angle sideways. As I grab a greasy wrench and begin to dismantle the flimsy soybean fiber dashboard of Ron´s Ford Focus I whisper to myself, "I´m gonna be a stuffed monkey wrangler in a Mexican circus. I´m gonna raise sheep in Nepal. I´m gonna be a professional baseball player. I´m gonna ride a motorcycle across the continent. I´m gonna die in a Central American revolution. I´m gonna join a gypsy caravan in Africa. I´m gonna be an astronaut and fly a rocket ship to Mars. "
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.