Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid |

Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid

Todd Hartley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

I’ve always wanted to do one of those stream-of-consciousness-type columns that are written in one mad rush, and this week I wasn’t able to find anything in the news that I deemed column-worthy, so I’ve decided to take the plunge. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t end up quite as badly as I fear it might.

In order to do this properly, I realize I should, much like Jack Kerouac before me, take massive amounts of Benzedrine and write this on a scroll. Unfortunately, I don’t know what Benzedrine is and wouldn’t have any idea where to get some if I did. I do, however, have some Bengay, which is probably not even close to the same thing but at least starts with the same syllable, so while I might not be “high” in the classic sense, my muscles are soothed, and I smell horrible. That has to count for something.

As far as the scroll is concerned, you know as well as I do that there’s pretty much zero chance anyone will ever write something in that manner again. In fact, the chances that I’ll ever write something on anything but a computer at this point in my life are pretty slim. Of course, that does allow me to scroll up and down, which … no, that doesn’t really count for anything, does it?

Anyway, I’d love to tell you that my first thought this morning was some brilliant literary concept, but that’s not the case. Instead, I woke up with the song “Tarzan Boy” by the band Baltimora bouncing around my cranium. If you don’t remember how that one goes, here’s the chorus, sung in the way that Tarzan might sing if he were still alive: “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.” I don’t know the rest of the words, so that’s just been repeating itself over and over in my head. It hasn’t exactly been driving me mad, but it’s coming pretty damn close.

Amazingly, as annoying as that might sound, it’s actually a huge improvement over the last song that got stuck in my noggin, which was “A World Without Love,” by Peter and Gordon. If you don’t remember how that one goes, consider yourself lucky. I’d type out some of the lyrics for you, but I don’t want to risk accidentally lodging it in my brain again. Oh, crap! Too late.

Shockingly enough, things could be even worse. Someone tried to get the Lady Gaga song “Poker Face” stuck in my head last weekend, but thankfully I’ve never heard a Lady Gaga song before and was thus immune.

I was recently told that if you have a song stuck in your head and want to get rid of it, the correct thing to do is exclaim, out loud in a fuzzy voice, “I am Iron Man!” and then use your mouth to spit out the sound of the opening guitar riff from that particular Black Sabbath song. This doesn’t really work, but it does bug the hell out of people at my local library after the 10th or 11th time I try it, which I always find amusing.

Speaking of Black Sabbath, my son is just a few months away from starting kindergarten, so he’ll have to spend more time listening to Ozzy and company if he’s to realize the dream I have for him. What dream, you ask? Well, it’s long been my goal, on that first day of kindergarten when the teacher asks everyone what their favorite song is, and little Timmy says, “Old McDonald,” and little Janey says some whiny Coldplay song because her parents are new-age dorks, for my son to reply, “War Pigs,” and, I hope, get sent home from school for giving the teacher a heart attack. Man, will I ever be proud.

Actually, that’s not even true. What I really want him to say is “The Great White Buffalo,” by Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes, which truly is the greatest song ever written, but I figure that’s a little too esoteric and will probably just confuse the teacher rather than give her heart palpitations.

OK, that more or less brings us to the end of this lame attempt at a column. All that remains now is to read it to see how bad it was. Give me a sec.

All right, I’m back. That was awful, wasn’t it? How the hell did Kerouac ever pull off a whole book of such nonsense? I guess the scroll must have been more important than I realized.

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