August 13, 2007

END OF SUMMER STORY-THON, Day 1 (more info on Story-Thon here)

Today's suggestion is from Phil Wittington: "Fuckparty's first gig."

Our band had its first gig on Saturday afternoon. Our band is called Fuckparty.

I spent all the spare time I had in class on Thursday coming up with a really cool flier. I showed it to Steve and Tom at lunch and they both agreed it was cool. I was going to stop by Kinko’s on the way home and get copies made but I forgot. Tom was already pissed we’d waited ‘till the end of the week to get fliers made up, so there was no way I was going to let our last possible day to promote the gig start with me showing up to school with no fliers.

After dinner, I asked my mom if I could borrow the car. She said no, but that she was going to pick up Caitlin from her playdate and would be more than happy to drop me off wherever I needed to go on her way there and she’d pick me up on the way back. I told her that was fine and really quickly sketched out a new flier. I had to hurry because she was leaving, so I drew it standing up on a piece of notebook paper on the washer by the garage door, but I think it captured the spirit of the original flier pretty well.

“A what party?”

I was sitting in the passenger seat of the Volvo with the new flier on my lap. It had everything the original flier had, pretty much, except it said ____party. Like, blank-party.

“Uhm, well, we don’t really know what kind of party it’s going to be, yet. Tom wanted a uhm. Skater party. And Steve was thinking more like…a hip hop party. This way we can get the fliers up and when we decide what kind of party it’s going to be, we can go back and fill it in.”

“I didn’t know it was going to be a party,” Mom said. “I thought it was going to be your bands’ first concert.”

“Yea, well, we decided we weren’t really into the whole band thing. We decided we’re going to get
into party promotion.”

“Well, I don’t remember giving you permission to have a party in the backyard on Saturday afternoon. I don’t remember telling the neighbors we were going to have a party. I remember telling them you and your friends were going to play for a half an hour and you were going to try to keep it down.”

“Uhm…well…this will be pretty quiet. And it won’t be any longer than the uhm. Concert was gonna be. It’s really more of like, a test party.”

“You can fill that in on your flier,” Mom said. “‘Test party.’” She smiled at me. “‘Quiet party.’ ‘Reasonable party.’”

When we got to Kinko’s she gave me ten dollars and told me to meet her out front in a half an hour.

“What the fuck is this?” Tom said in school on Friday. “Steve, can you fucking believe this?” It was Tom’s idea to call the band Fuckparty.

“I forgot to get the fliers copied on my way home,” I said, “so I had to get my fucking mom to drive me. So I had to make a new flier that didn’t say, y’know…”

“Couldn’t you just fold the flier up in your pocket?” Steve said.

“If I told her I wanted to go to fucking Kinko’s to get fliers copied, she’d say, oh, can I see the flier? And I’d have to fucking show her!” I say “fuck” a lot, but never as much as Tom says “fuck”. I think I was saying it a lot to prove to Tom that I didn’t have anything against the word “fuck.”

I told them about my party lie.

“What the fuck is a hip hop party?” Tom said. “That’s so fucking stupid.”

“It’s my mom, okay? All you have to do is say a bunch of words like ‘hip hop’ and ‘skater’ she doesn’t understand and she leaves me the fuck alone, okay?”

Tom and Steve were pissed. “The whole point is that it would be cool to hand out fliers with the word ‘fuck’ on them, and people would like, hide them in classes and be secret about them, and it would seem cool!” Steve said.

“They’re still cool!” I said. “They still have the same lettering and the same robot and everything!” I was able to draw a pretty okay version of the robot I had drawn on the original flier when I was sketching fast on the washer the night before. It’s a robot I draw a lot. It’s kind of my signature robot.

Steve suggested we write the word “fuck” in the blank on the fliers. Tom thought that was an okay idea, but the only writing utensils any of us had on us were pencils, and Tom said that in pencil on a printed flier, it might look like somebody else defaced our fliers. And we wanted to look cool, not like somebody else was cooler than us.

We kept debating and before long lunch was over and we hadn’t handed out any fliers.

“Still a pretty good turnout,” I said. It was Saturday afternoon, and there were six people in my backyard besides Tom and Steve and me. Tom’s big brother and his friend, two girls from school and two guys Steve is in the drumline with. After we didn’t get to hand out any fliers, Tom had said he’d send a MySpace message to everybody he knew on Friday night, but Tom’s profile got hacked and spammed everybody with porn two months ago, so I think people might not really pay attention to Tom’s MySpace messages anymore.

We had the amps and drums and guitars set up on the porch and had people standing in the grass. The girl Caitlin had her playdate with on Thursday night had invited her to go to the movies with their family on Saturday afternoon, and my mom was supposed to go pick her up right around the time our gig was scheduled to start, so I figured I’d be safe and all I’d ever have to tell her was that nobody showed up to our hip hop party. Or our skater party. Or whatever. We only had three songs so we’d be in and out.

It was almost four so I called Steve over from where he was talking to the drumline guys and I pulled Tom away from the girls so we could start. Tom’s big brother and his friend swooped in once I pulled Tom away.

“Fucking guys,” Tom said.

I told him it was okay, they’d forget all about Tom’s big brother and his friend once we started playing.

I slung my guitar over my shoulder. Tom picked up his guitar. Steve climbed behind the drums. It wasn’t exactly like I thought it was going to be, but I almost thought that was kind of cool. Like, “Can you believe there were only six people at the first Fuckparty gig?” I could see myself coming back to the old backyard on an MTV special: “It seems so small now.” I could hear myself telling the funny Mom driving me to Kinko’s story.

All the bands we like have really long song titles. We ripped into our first song, “I Claim This Land For Spain, Spain Claims This Land For I.” None of those words are in the song.

We reached the end. I thought I was going to do this cool windmill arm thing at the end of the song but I had been really focused on getting it right so I hadn’t. I thought I’d make up for it by starting the next song facing away from the crowd. That’s a move I always liked. I turned around and pretended to be tuning. When I looked up, I saw my mom standing inside behind the sliding glass patio door.

“We’re Fuckparty,” Tom said into the microphone. “Thanks for coming.” Tom’s brother’s friend hooted.

My mom didn’t come outside or go inside or do anything. I turned back around and started the song facing forward.

“Oh fuck, your mom was still here?” Tom said after the show when we were breaking stuff down.

“Yea,” I said, “I’d better go talk to her.”

“If she’s pissed, just say a bunch of stuff she doesn’t understand,” Steve said, “like hip hop party and skater party and stuff.” Tom laughed. He and Steve went to catch up with the girls, who’d gone around the side of the house as soon as we finished. I put my guitar in its case and went inside.

Mom was sitting at the kitchen table not doing anything. She looked at me when I slid the patio door open.

On Monday I told Steve and Tom that my mom yelled at me for hours. That she called me all sorts of names, like the stuff Tom says his stepdad calls him when he’s mad. That she said I couldn’t hang out with Tom and Steve for a week.

Really, she didn’t do any of those things.

You can still submit a suggestion of a word or phrase to dcpierson at gmail dot com with the word "suggestion" in the subject line! I'll use the first thirty I receive in the order I get 'em.

Posted by DC at August 13, 2007 01:24 AM
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