After a random ride through a very upscale part of of town, I began to ask myself a fundamental question; " Why would anyone want, or even need, a house that big?"
Through work over the years, I have had access to some of these gargantuan abodes, and I realized that the bigger the house, the desire to fill it with more and more stuff arises. Items are displayed museum-like in the labyrinthine array of rooms. Their careful placement tacitly implies that one shouldn't even think about touching them.
Many of these overly-rich people seem to spend a lot of time just managing their homes and keeping track of their myriad possessions. Just the thought of that stresses me out, I couldn't imagine having to think about all my shit all the time.
One particular house has been under construction for the last 4 years and is far from done. This all concrete house prominently features its own tower crane. I had a quick glance at the blueprints and saw that it is being built in five tiers on a hillside that had to be excavated. There is an interior squash court, swimming pool and other things that I could not identify. The one strange feature that stuck in my mind was a car turntable just like the one Batman had in the Batcave. I guess rich people don't like driving cars in the reverse.
The obscene amount of money being spent on the construction of this house brings to mind the fact that, once completed, it will have to be filled with stuff. Lots of stuff. Shitloads upon shitloads of over-priced stuff. Small armies of delivery personnel will be laboring as they haul all that, undoubtedly very heavy, stuff up the stairs to the multiple levels of this architectural monstrosity. Other people will be employed to move the stuff around and more people still will be employed to keep all that stuff clean.
I needed a drink that day, just to erase the visions of all that ugly post modern shit that will occupy those premises. Tons and tons of ugly, ostentatious furniture, garish statues, fake heraldry, oversized vases, tacky chandeliers and really big ass TV's swimming around my mind clouding my vision.
As I sat a some local skid bar and partook in a few cheap beers, the utter simplicity of the life of a greasy boozehound was indeed liberating. It just doesn't take much to make for a good life. Here are the essentials.
Yer gonna need booze. Not that expensive Chateau Migraine that rich people are always so willing to prattle on about, just plain ole booze. I am not fond of wine on a good day, and the imbibing of a 200 dollar bottle of wine makes no sense to me. They may be richer, but they will be just as hammered as you in the long run.
My American friends should consider themselves fortunate, the can go to the local Chevron and get 24 PBR's for $10.99. Here in Canada, we ain't so lucky, and we have to be creative.
Once you have secured the locations of all the nearby cheap booze sources, you're ready to roll and never further than a short stumble away should you happen to run out in mid-drinking session.
You will require a refrigerator that is in good working order and a friend with a pick-up truck to return the empties once in a while.
2. A Decent Stereo and An Old Guitar.
Nothing can turn an introspective piss-up into a raging party quicker than having some good tunes on hand. This applies whether you are alone or with friends. Having lots of good tunes on hand goes without saying, but blaring a bunch of mp-3's through some crappy Wal-Mart computer just ain't gonna cut it and just raises people's blood pressure. Do yourself a favor and buy a real stereo, the best you can afford.
If some of your friends play, they can bring along some guitars and a jam is sure to ensue. Stick to Rockabilly friends though, because some of these jams can be a recipe for disaster and usually end with at least one person getting a guitar smashed on their head.
If your neighbors complain, invite them over and appease them with beer ( see #1: never run out of beer).
If the cops show up, the party is pretty much over. Everybody is probably fairly liquored at this point so an air-upright bass contest will seem real funny at this time.
3. A Computer.
As un-Rockabilly as this seems, in this day and age, it is a necessity. It's a good way to stay in touch, discover new music and read all kinds of nonsense when you have nothing better to do. Hell, I couldn't be spouting all this if I didn't have a computer.
A word of advice; get a Mac. A PC ensures that you will be cursing, have drunken fits of rage and quite possibly end up hurling said PC out of a window. I know some cats that can rebuild a carb while blindfolded, but like myself, the finer intricacies of the computer eludes them.
Computers are so ubiquitous, that not owning one arouses suspicious looks and makes people think that you may own a tin-foil hat. Then again, some of the craziest people are on-line.
4. Greasy Shit.
As a greasy boozehound you will require a few greasy items. Various types of hair grease for different types of weather conditions are a basic requirement.
Some nice vintage threads are good to have.These are usually reserved for going out so that you can dazzle your greasy friends by how little ( or how much) you paid for them. You will spend Saturday night trying to out-rockabilly each other with the tales of varying difficulties encountered obtaining said clothes.
Weekdays are not so competitive as all you need are a whole bunch of cool t-shirts. Even older greasers such as myself still enjoy rude t-shirts. They always seem hilarious to us and have a bonus effect of scaring squares. A small dose of immaturity is good for the soul and it keeps you young.
Even the staunchest minimalist requires some basic furniture. The greasy folk usually find theirs in thrift shops or specialty stores. There is still a competitive edge as we all try to find cool fifties shit at a reduced price.
You will need a couple of couches for all your greasy friends to sit on. You can almost guarantee that there will be one of your friends crashing on that couch at any given time. Get ones that are grease and beer resistant. Bonus on Monday morning when you find about ten bucks of spare change in the cracks.
You will also need a big ass coffee table. One that holds roughly 100 beer cans at the very least. Best not to have that fancy 50's teak table out when your friends arrive. The famous wire spool table is perfect for these occasions and a bunch of milk crates with a slab of plywood will do in a pinch.
Futons are OK for students and crackheads living in the alley, but a boozehound needs a good bed to sleep off that boozy debauchery in a comfortable manner.
While I have many friends that have cool hot rods, the draconian drinking and driving laws force them to leave them at home, or worse yet, go out to see a show and drink water. Some of those rods are beasts to handle on a good day, so it's probably for the best.
Late night public transit is an adventure in itself. As I have stated in the past, no matter how drunk you are, everyone else is drunker than you. Getting into a fight is a definite possibility as the booze fueled testosterone and over-crowded situation are shaken together in a volatile mix only made worse by the bus driver's indifferent lurching of the bus.
I recommend a booze cruiser. Riding a bike drunk takes a little practice, but is all a matter of very simple physics. When you ride a mountain bike, you are hunched over and your weight is concentrated directly above the axle of the front wheel.
This makes for a very wobbly ride and you will end up ass-over- head. You will crash and lose some teeth. Think of the physics; your ass is up, your head is down, you can't see forward, your front wheel is wobbling and your hammered.
On a cruiser bike you are riding upright. The long, gentle curve of the handle bars swoop back to embrace you. I put a laid back seat post on all my cruisers. It is a curved piece of metal that throws your seat back about three inches, thereby lowering your center of gravity by three inches.
You will feel like you are riding a lowrider as you cruise home low and slow. You might want to carry around a 12-beer helmet until you gain more brazen booze confidence.
The simple pleasures, life is good when you are boozy and greazy.