Monday, December 12, 2011

The Lowdown

I was recently listening to this CD and this particular song is one of the coolest that I've heard in while. I also think that The Lowlifes is a cool name for the band and all the images that it evokes, so much so in fact that I bought the T-shirt. Like many Rock n' Roll idioms, just because you're wearing a t-shirt that says "lowlife" it doesn't mean that you are one. I just liked the graphics and the tongue-in-cheek aspect of it. The name of the band is also not meant to be taken at face value, it is meat to conjure up images of dirty lowdown greasy Rock n' Roll. I have met Nick on a few occasions and he is one of the nicest and most down to earth cats that you could ever meet; anything but a lowlife.

This brings to mind the use of the word low in the English language. Many use it because because it certainly has some rebelious connotations, others use it because a lot of stuff looks way cooler when it is low. Here's the lowdown on some low stuff.

1. Lowlife.

Over the years this has been used to describe people of questionable morals and possibly hygiene as well. A true lowlife is just as likely to snatch your grandma's purse or steal your car. The word has given way to other more descriptive terms which are more specific. These days the term lowlife has become a little more innocuous. A lowlife might be the stinky bum who just mooched a free ride on the bus. It may be the dude that dove right into a dumpster.

Sometimes regular folks can be lowlifes. Let's face it, if you've had fifteen beers and staggering home after seeing a show, regular folks could easily mistake you for a lowlife. Your clothes will be disheveled, you're hair (maybe yours, but not mine) will be messed up, you will stink of booze and you will at some point, pee in an alley. Yep;lowlife. If you drank some really cheap whiskey you may end up talkin' shit and intently staring at strangers wanting to pick a fight for no reason, that too can be interpreted as lowlife behavior. These are hypothetical situations... none of these things ever actually happened to me... moving on.

2. Lowdown.

Lowdowns are as far down the evolutionary scale as lowlifes, just misguided. A lowdown will indeed drink your last beer, but he'll buy you one next time. Say there is a twenty dollar bill on the floor at the local 7-11, the lowdown will simply put his foot on it and pick it up when no one's looking, He may also rope you into helping to fix his car on a sunny Sunday afternoon, but he might have some beers on hand.

Sometimes lowdown behavior is necessary and amusing. Let's say some fucking self-righteous hippie is constantly annoying all the smokers at a nearby coffee shop. A punch in the head might be good, but the cops frown on that. Instead when you see the hippie going into the liquor store next door, you follow the brazen hippie and tell security guard that you saw the hippie pocket a bottle of booze. Lots of free chuckles and sweet retribution.

Another necessary lowdown action could happen at the same coffee shop. I think that we can all agree that bike thieves are some the lowest life forms around. It's an easy crime and it happens all too frequently in our cities. It may not be high on the list of despicable crimes, but damn it's infuriating. If you were so inclined to be lowdown, maybe you could leave an unlocked bike in plain view and watch from afar. What you have to do first, however, is loosen every nut and bolt on that bike. As an unlocked bike would soon attract the attention of the thief, it would be unbelievably hilarious to see him go flying as he tried to rapidly abscond with the bike,

3. Low I.Q.

Judging by the way that the vast majority of people drive, one could easily surmise that we live in a collectively retarded society. That is not the case because a lot of these people are nice, well-adjusted folks and can be quite intelligent. Their only problem is that they can't drive worth a shit; must be a left-brain right-brain thing. On a day to day basis I see people do many stupid things which constantly cause me to ask myself if they are truly stupid ore just inconsiderate assholes.

In a rainy city such as this one, I am often perplexed that a lot of people haven't mastered the fine art of using an umbrella. I have nearly lost an eye one more than one occasion and was perceived as being a lowlife for loudly admonishing the perpetrator of the eye-gouge.

I have mentioned on more that one occasion about dudes sporting all that glittery clothing. Their sartorial choices often leave me wondering about their I.Q.  because I fail to understand the aesthetic appeal of Affliction or Ed Hardy. There has to be something wrong with a dude who will walk into a store, look at these abominations and think to himself " Coo-ool" The glittery hats that are sometimes worn with these get-ups seems to say " I just got out of the institute today."

I tend to avoid musical discussions with non-greasy people because they never end well. The classic rock crowd are the worst, and it is always ironic to be accused of being close-minded because of my love of Rockabilly by these sadly misinformed rockers. What could be more open minded than listening to same 500 tired old rock songs ad infinitum every single damned day?  If that isn't an I.Q. issue, then I don't know what else it could be.

Hippies are not known for their high I.Q. especially the new-age variety ones. Their strange blend of folk medicine, Eastern Mysticism and conspiracy theories make it very easy to delude themselves and conveniently avoid learning any scientific facts whatsoever. Like Homer Simpson once said about jazz " They make that up as they go along", it is sadly enough, too true in this case. You can say anything when you make shit up to back up some charlatan pseudo-science. Not only are these people dumb, they really make me angry with their smugness and unshakable belief that they, and only they, hold the truth. I also question the intelligence of playing bongos in a drum circle, but that may just be the direct result of marijuana burning out brain cells.

4. Lowriders.

One has to admire the ingenuity and the engineering that goes in to low riders. To think of the sheer genius that was required to think of this in the first place is impressive. As I was told, this happened in the sixties when custom car dudes began slamming cars real low. Even though this was very cool, the main drawback soon became apparent; in some cases they couldn't get the cars out of the driveway. Someone had the brilliant idea of using hydraulic cylinders from small tailgates and adapting them to the car's suspension and a whole new type of kustom was born.

The lowrider culture has evolved into a very sophisticated one, and some of the lowriders that I have seen truly are rolling works of art. A friend of mine has air-bagged a 1960 Buick and he can literally slam it right down to the ground. I never drove it but that wasn't really the point; I just wanted to mess around with the airbags.  One evening he let me do just that. The system has many switches that let you raise the front, the back or each wheel individually. I sat in that car for an hour with a couple of beers and just played with the switches. That it itself was so cool, that I did not need to drive the car. I was transformed that day and now have visions of air bagging everything I own; my bed, my chair, my bikes, even my shoes. Maybe the neighbor's dog would look cool with airbags, I''ll have to think about that one.

5. Low Risk of Precipitation.

It will definitely rain.

6. Low Interest.

You will get screwed.

7. Low Note.

Usually the lowest note on an upright bass (low E) . The note is usually lower when dome drunken fool wanders up onto the stage and knocks over said bass. The sound of the bass player's fist connecting with the drunk's face is a fairly low frequency as well.

Low notes are sometimes triggered by eating too many burritos.

Flatheads  produce interesting low notes like no other engine, but good luck finding parts.

Looking inside your wallet and realizing that you only have two five dollar bills. You will be drinking some really lowdown cheap booze on that day.

8. Laying Low

Laying low is usually reserved for people who have done something wrong or for people who owe you money. It is more than coincidental that certain people will completely disappear for an extended period after you lend them twenty bucks.

Consequently some people will lay really low if their ex happens to roll by, it's not hiding;it's laying low. Whatever the reason may be, many people just want to avoid uncomfortable situations or run the risk of loudly being called a douchebag in a public place.

Some people are just dying to try out the latest engine modification on their car. They may take it up to 100 mph just to try it out. The cops parked over at the donut shop may not understand that the boys just wanna have a little bit of fun and will give chase. Best to find a densely wooded area and lay low. Maybe for a couple of days.

9. Low Resolution.

There is no shortage of cheap and crappy electronic devices these days and the old warning of caveat emptor has never rung truer. This is what happens when you buy a 40 dollar digital camera; you will get a bunch of low resolution pictures. The resolution won't matter however because all the pictures will be blurry. Note to self; the more beers you drink, the blurrier the image will be.

Low resolution also happens every year around the beginning of February. This is usually the time when all those unrealistic New Year's resolutions begin to fall by the wayside. There is usually a spike in beer and cigarette sales at this time of year and craigslist is suddenly inundated with ads for for good deals on bicycles that were "only ridden twice". There also seems to be a bunch of exercise machines that mysteriously appear in alleys all around the city.

10. Lowball.

Craigslist can be a useful tool for making a few extra bucks or finding some free dirt. The only problem with craigslist is that when you are selling you will be assailed by a barrage of dumb questions and a lot of weirdos will be coming over to your house. I'm not sure when the ole craigslist lowball first made its appearance, but it never fails. The lower priced items will always get the most phone calls, and if you are selling something for 15 bucks you can be sure that the first person who gets there will offer you 11 bucks. You will probably waste more than 4 dollars of brain cells dealing with this inane transaction.

The higher priced items are quite a bit more frustrating, as the potential buyers make you offers that border on the insulting. They use the age old trick of bringing only the amount of cash that they plan to offer. Maybe they can't read, or maybe their brain don't work so good, but a $ 300 bicycle does not translate to $50 in the real world. Fortunately most transactions are quick and painless. The service is free and you are making tax-free dineros. You can also save yourself a few trips to the garbage can because craigslist has proven to me that some people will indeed buy anything.

There's the lowdown for you . I urge you to give a listen to that Nick Curran CD; you will dig it. I gotta go because my pomp is low and I'm running low on grease and that's a lowdown dirty feeling.

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