Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tired of being punching bag...

No bright and cheery post today, folks. No. My optimistic days are over. My smile is upside down and my gout is acting up in my big toe that now looks like it got run over by a herd of elephants. If you want laughs then go read the Onion. I'm pissed and I'm swinging. You've been warned.

First of all, the pro garage shop "Performance (i.e $80/hr) Auto" over behind Jittos took my frozen bearing off my axle and installed the new one. Glad they could fit my humble van in between their vintage restore projects. There were no vinyl banners there and even though I would've felt better if I'd seen a Playboy calender on the wall the man I gave the axle to had forgotten more about auto mechanics than I'll ever know. His shit could change a tire better than the assholes at NTB. Unfortunately, he didn't know that his shop only took cash so when I rushed over there exactly as they closed I was totally out of luck. Translation: lots of driving with absolutely no results. Yes, the axle is finished and yes it's safe in their garage because they didn't trust me to pay them tomorrow after I planned to spend all day today working on the van. Incremental steps toward completion to make me bite my nails and think the pain in my leg is a blood clot. It's easy to say bring the whole project to a shop but as I've said, this is a 5 hour job that will cost $400-600 plus parts at a shop. I'm trying to do it for just parts but they've got my axle in hock now for $100 all because I didn't know to stop at the bank on the way there. These are the details that get left out of most home mechanic anecdotes. Passed a guy in a motorized wheelchair who collects aluminum cans. I wanted to stop and interview him and plan to do it when I get a chance. He hauls a trailer...and there was so much traffic at the corner of south and route 1 that he had to wait. In fact, traffic on 236 in Eliot is horrible and traffic everywhere is very very bad. We're really fucking shit up, people. Anyone but a corporate slave/media drone could see that this is a completely insane way of life.

Anyway, all this driving around, seething because this simple fucking task now requires three trips to Jittos whose steak bomb is gross and whose pizza sucks and just teases me, and all this driving next to Walmart and Big Lots and one after another disgusting store made me realize something I must now bring to your attention...

Something horrible happened between 1975 and 1985 in Portsmouth. What happened was a centralized, bike friendly town got sold to the tycoons in Newington and is now a sprawling asphalt ridden jungle with million dollar downtown sidewalks that lead nowhere except to a soulless vacuum of expensive coffee and designer jeans. I'll tell you how that happened: every adult who lived in Portsmouth in that critical decade of 1975-1985 completely whored themselves out to Chinese made super crap that could only be marketable in truck-friendly big box malls outside of town. How they look themselves in the mirror now is a mystery. Maybe the wrinkles and dementia and senility make their sleep more restful, but that will not prevent my accusing them of a horrible crime. They sold out the soul of this town to where it resembles some kind of miniature Van Nuys to me and nothing is cheaper outside of town now except bulk buckets of cheese filled pretzels and Chinese made computers. That's what The Little Store got destroyed by. I admired one or two adults back then but I see it was only because I was childish. There were no real men and women who tried to protect the soul of this town. None. We needed a Braveheart and we got Longshanks. The King of England. They laid down and hoped their cowardice would be lost to the sands of time. Mostly, it has been. My generation is so soaked with alcohol and divorce regrets that the blame game never gets to the vicious and unforgivable crime that was committed and that I see now as cataclysmic and irreversible. This is not a town I can live in. It is the New England equivalent to Taiwan. We manufacture junk, sustain ourselves off Taco Bell, drive twenty miles to buy cheap electronics and pat ourselves on our backs because we think we're pretty smart. Well, that's a total load of shit. No, most people don't remember 1983 Richards Ave but I can say that the rusted ghetto doors of the JFK racquetball courts didn't cost the city a penny while the ten million dollar brick sidewalks that will buckle with the ice and crumble when roots push them up are a pure money pit...and who the fuck is walking downtown except the piss drunk college students (1 liquor license per 4 people) and the goofy merchants of expensive clothes and trinkets. Fuck all of you. Go home to your Rye mansion and get off my street!

So, you know who you are, thanks for laying down like a paid-off undercard fighter when push came to shove. Thank you for allowing my home town to become a faceless sprawl of Chinese junk. I thought about buying a mobile home here but I might as well throw a dart at a map and pick anywhere on earth because that's what Portsmouth is. Gentrified and fucked up, soulless and empty like a pauper's wallet.

This all leads me to my renewed faith in my decision to DO WHATEVER I WANT. I have heard the advice of others and I have seen where their wisdom led this town and I can confidently say that no one has any idea what they are talking about. You sell out my town for cheap bags of pretzels? Good. Go eat them. Go fill your vapid veins with brewed poison. But take your advice and bury it under the State Street Saloon because this town is a fucked up mess now, the frogs are boiling in the water and you are telling me I've got to change my ways? Seriously? An iceberg the size of Manhattan is floating south from the North Pole and I don't know what I'm doing by living in a van down by the river? Really? You've either got a lot of nerve or you're as stupid as the cell tower disguised as a pine tree. If I told you I was going to get naked and sprint backwards down Congress street singing the Star Spangled Banner that would not be as insane as if you told me in 1978 that I'd have to DRIVE TO A FUCKING CORPORATE TIRE SHOP IN NEWINGTON TO HAVE MY VAN DESTROYED FOR THE LOW PRICE OF $300 in 2010. I would've told you to have your head examined! And if you told me I'd stop at two hundred lights on the way down route 1 to Heritage Ave I would've asked you why you hated me so much. Why did you hate the town the way it was? What was wrong with having a hardware store downtown? Why do I need a car to buy a book? There were lots of questions you didn't ask in 1978. I guess everyone was too busy at the divorce lawyer to give a fuck what was happening to their culture. Well, just remember this rant when you've got some stale advice for me.

You have to earn a good reputation, you have to earn the right to be listened to, you have to earn respect and from what I've seen of this town you've earned my disgust and resentment. Portsmouth is fucked. I'd like to think that the good guys lost to the bad guys but what really happened was there were no good guys. There were just selfish losers and if living in my van at the Park 'N Ride or by the millpond is my way to save money so I can leave this gentrified copper mill then that's what I'm going to do. I will wallpaper my ceiling with parking tickets and dig a latrine at the Central Little League field. Fuck everyone if they think cleaning the mill pond is cleaning up this town. Your preacher is Steve Jobs and your daughters are Britney Spears. Call them up on their birthday because that's the family you bought with your pickled pride.


ed said...

what is chinese made super crap? where is this being built?

Lyle said...

I heard Portsmouth didn't even backfill Pickles when he passed. Where did my hometown go?!?!?!?!

Oggy Bleacher said...

They cremated Pickles and sprinkle him on the fried dough at Leary Field.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.