An Apology, A Quickie, A Thank You, and a Please, Please, PleaseBy Joe Daly
March 18, 2010
Long overdue correspondence from yours truly.
Remember me? It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? About thirty years, actually, since I bought your self-titled cassette after hearing your moody gem, “Harden My Heart” on the radio. I was 12 years old, and having only a limited personal music collection, I listened to your tape nonstop, removing it from my poor excuse for a boom box only long enough to turn it over and pop it back in. In my opinion, it was filler-free. Each synthy cut stood out as an unappreciated classic. I took you to bed with me each night, and in the morning, you delivered papers with me. Remember?
Then one day the tape wore so thin that it became unplayable. Instead of replacing your album with a newer copy, I bought the new album by Pink Floyd called, “The Wall.” A lot of things changed after that. Do you guys know them? They seem pretty moody too, between you and me.
Just so you know, I’ve always treasured those nights lying in bed together, the massive Koss headphones wafting your smooth jazz into my mind, pretending that singer/saxophonist Rindy Ross had written these songs for me. I imagined that it was after a tempestuous argument between us that she sat down and penned the fist pumper, “Find Another Fool.” In my Quarterflash fantasy world, she always took my 12 year old ass back. By the way, it never struck me as odd that Rindy would sing a romantic song to another girl (“Valerie”). I just figured that the song was simply… well, I have no idea how I missed that, now that I think of it.
I write you now because I must come clean and admit that I have denied you several times. In fact, I have spent most of my life not mentioning to anyone that I owned your album, let alone that I obsessed over it. I listen to lots of death metal now. Have you ever heard of Emperor? They’re really good. Check them out- they sing a great song called “I Am the Black Wizards” that I listen to when I go running. Were any of your songs Satanic? A lot of theirs are. But unlike you, they don’t have a saxophone player. So you’ve got that on them.
Anyway, although I haven’t listened to you in three decades, and though I am now a tattooed, jaded misanthrope, I will always secretly be your biggest fan. Could you please send me an autographed picture of Rindy? And please make it to, “My boyfriend Joe, who is the coolest kid at May Street School and the best boyfriend ever, love always, Rindy.”
Dear Jay Leno-
My name is Joe and I grew up in Worcester, not far from where you grew up. Hey, I know you’re super busy and I don’t want to take up too much of your time. I was just wondering- how much money do you really need?
Thanks and have a great rest of the day,
Dear Copenhagen (Denmark) Marriott-
I just wanted to send a long overdue letter of thanks to your staff for not telling on me when I stayed at your hotel five years ago and precipitated that rather anxious morning for a lot of people. As you can see, I’m still alive! Is there a word for “lol” in Danish? If so, I’d use it right now! lol
Thank you for calling my room so many times that morning to make sure I was OK, even though I did not pick up the phone. I don’t know which attempt finally worked, but I’m deeply appreciative that you stuck with it until I finally answered. Because of your Danish stick-tuitiveness, I made it into work by 1 p.m., thus avoiding a dreaded no call/no show at the office that day. Can you imagine what people would have thought?
I also appreciate you not sending a letter to my company explaining how and why you kicked my door in. As a testament to your customer-friendly attitude, you didn’t even charge me for the repairs. In fact, had you not called me to confirm that the repairs to the door, post-kicking-in, were to my satisfaction, I might never have known of all your hard work.
I hope you enjoyed my gift this past summer and that it came as a nice surprise when you learned that while in your city for a whole week last July, I stayed at another hotel.
Dear American Lung Association-
What’s going on? How are everyone’s lungs today? Hah hah… Hey, I was just wondering what I might be able to do here on my end to get you to stop bothering me. Any suggestions or direction you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
By way of background, my friend did some sort of cycling event a couple years ago. He agreed to raise money for you and you in turn, gave him a snazzy-looking web page where he could direct all of his friends to donate money. It was so cool! His name is Brian, by the way. Ring a bell? There was a little graph that showed how much he had raised and what his goal was. I think it was a giant lung. Well played, ALA! What will you guys come up with next??
Anyway, I donated some money, mainly to help him out, but I do agree that lungs are important. I use both of mine everyday! I guess lungs are to me what phones are to you, because since I gave you money, you guys now call me what seems like everyday, asking how much more I would like to donate to your organization. I sort of feel bad for reminding a recent caller that I subscribe to the “Do Not Call” registry of the United States of America. I must have caught them after a dentist appointment or something because that caller became irate and angrily advised that charities are exempt from that list and then again inquired how much would I like to give?
Sometimes I don’t pick up, but then you don’t leave a message, so I figure that it can’t be too important, right? I assume that if the doors were about to close for lack of funding, you guys might leave a message at the beep. And then you send me those emails every couple of weeks, asking me to join your fight by sending you money. But I’m a lover, not a fighter! Can’t I just send some love your way? Make lungs, not war! You can use that last one if you want.
So it would mean a lot to me if you could please, please, please stop making me view charity as a sucky and heartless game for relentless people with no souls. I’m going to continue to ignore your calls and mark your emails as spam but please don’t take it personally! My lungs and I still love you- we just feel like our relationship has sort of, well, run its course, yanno?
Thanks and keep those lungs clean!
Wait….how can this be? All songs are written for me……..not you! Hmph.
We never answer our home telephone anymore!. If they don’t have our cell number, they must be a solicitor. There are way too many exemptions on that Do Not Call list.
Good read. Thanks.
Wait. No, that can’t be. That whole album is about you? We may have to have Rindy come in and clear this all up. No way I’m getting any food down until we do.
I hear ya about the home phone! Mine is strictly for write off purposes, which is why I used that when I donated to the AMA. Still, I enjoy a good resentment just as much as the next guy, so sometimes it’s hard not to answer and pretend like I’m in the middle of heart surgery or something and don’t they know that the fate of humanity depends on them not calling me at home?
You sort of have to give money anonymously to charities you’d like to support.
If you give them any information whatsoever, they will hunt you down!
Trust me on this.
Consider yourself trusted. I wouldn’t be surprised if they hired the Hell’s Angels to man their phone room. It’s sort of funny that to contribute to a charity these days, you have to go to extraordinary lengths to cover up your tracks.
Sometimes the code works and sometimes it doesn’t.
This here is an example of when it doesn’t.
Quarterflash? That’s almost as good as my ‘Promises’ tape – Baaaaaaby it’s Yoooooouuuuuuuuuu. LOL.
If I end up tracking down a copy of “Promises,” you will be responsible for any and all consequences!
Here’s a little treat for you..
Shiza Minelli! That is an amazing piece of video on so many levels… From the smoke and synthesizers, to the shirtless and suspendered keyboardist, to the lead singer, it really encapsulates all the elements of 80s music videos. I also love the list of related videos to the right. There are four videos of the band, and then inexplicably, “MILF with Big T*ts.” Ah, the internet!
Zara, you need to get either an exterminator or an animal trainer to get rod of that weasel on your head.
A request for your next column: please detail that dark Denmark night.
Thanks for reading. When I have less to lose, I promise to address the topic of “What Happened Because of and to Joe in Denmark.”
“Make lungs, not war!”
HA. I hope they use it.
I loved “Harden My Heart” so much. Totally in my alto vocal range. I would karaoke the SHIT out of that song to this day. No shame.
But I think Rindy is possibly the weirdest name I’ve ever heard. And my name is Tawni. That’s a really weird name, when a chick named Tawni thinks it sounds strange, right?
I loathe Beige Leno.
Looking forward to “What Happened Because of and to Joe in Denmark.” (:
“But I think Rindy is possibly the weirdest name I’ve ever heard. And my name is Tawni.”
That rocks! Yeah, Rindy almost sounds like a mistake. Like the mother was still cracked out on painkillers, post-delivery, and torn between Rebecca and Mindy, and just slurred out “Rindy” when the nurse asked for her final answer.
What spins me out about Leno is that he’s greedy AND unfunny. To me it’s like Oprah Winfrey demanding a spot on the US 100 meter relay team.
i loved that quarterflash video!
once i donated to PBS and they hounded me for months, maybe years afterward, asking for more money. ditto the red cross. i donated blood once and almost passed out, and really didn’t want to again.
Angela- a sad state of affairs when giving blood until you pass out isn’t enough. And PBS is straight up ballsy! They don’t just ask for donations- they tell you what you should give! “Just five dollars a day for a whole year will continue to support exciting programs such as ‘Sew’s Your Mama’! and ‘Dr. Wayne Dyer Teaches Scrimshaw!'”
Joe, you drive me laff-insane! Especially the whole lung letter thing. And this comment to angela: “And PBS is straight up ballsy! They don’t just ask for donations- they tell you what you should give! “Just five dollars a day for a whole year will continue to support exciting programs such as ‘Sew’s Your Mama’! and ‘Dr. Wayne Dyer Teaches Scrimshaw!’” A whole nother piece in this, Joe!!! Quit it now so I can breathe!
Thanks Judy! We should come up with a proposed list of new PBS shows!
“What Happened Because of and to Joe in Denmark.”
The staff at the Copenhagen Marriott sound like a swell bunch of guys.
And what big shoes they have!
If your lotto fortunes endure, maybe you could buy the place so I could go back? Just a thought. Selfish as hell, but a thought, nonetheless. 🙂
Sorry about just now getting to this; busy weekend took me away from the computer for the last couple of days.
Remember Kriss Kross? The adolescent rap duo who wore their clothes backwards? I played their debut (sole?) album so much it wore down. I look back on that now and ask myself what the fuck I was thinking?
It’s taken me years to forget those braided hipsters and their reverse sartorial splendor. I just remember that video on constant rotation everywhere. Can you still recite the raps?
Ahhhh! Joe, this is so funny. Love it, man!
“Is there a word for “lol” in Danish? If so, I’d use it right now! lol”
As I read that, my coworker just asked if I was ok. “Yeah, I’m just … reading this article… it’s really funny.”
Thanks, Mary! I was cracking myself up when I used the second “lol” as well. I appreciate you taking the time to read my literary therapy!
[…] The Nervous Breakdown, and I have to tell you, I love these folks. There are a lot of great pieces up lately, so go check them […]
Not to open up the whole Leno/Conan debate, but I could not agree with you more about Jay Leno.
Yeah, it really came across as more than selfish. It seemed pretty narcissistic. I mean, money can’t be an issue for him, but I do get that some people like to stay active and need a creative outlet. But come on- out of all the opportunities available to someone with his experience and connections, he had to go after THAT job?
I can hardly speak of what I would do in his position, but I would like to think that I might be prone to pursue something a little more challenging. He had already conquered this little niche, why not try something new? Especially if money is no longer an issue…
Also he sucks. I assume. I haven’t watched him in years. I always felt he was just a poor imitation of Johnny.
You’re a funny guy. When will you have less to lose so you can reveal more details about the Copenhagen Incident? I look forward to that.
I really enjoyed your letter to The American Lung Association too. I haven’t answered my phone in 2 years without checking caller id because they and their ilk are so freaking annoying. How about we turn your letter into a massive forwarding campaign and ask folks to forward it to fund raising chairs of non-profits.
As always, thanks for writing!
Thanks, but looks aren’t everything, yanno…
Not sure when I’ll have less to lose. Either when I hit the lottery or I’m living in a box.
And yeah, I’d love it if my letter had the power to stop these pernicious charities in their tracks, but I fear only a meteor could stop them. A really big meteor. With bumps and rocks and stuff. AND METEOR PEOPLE!!! Ok, I need coffee…
“how are everyone’s lungs today”
leno needs lots of money, so he can buy more classic cars and put them in that airport hanger he has. right? if he weren’t buying all those cars, they’d be homeless. also, he needs lots of money in case he ever wants to give it to me.
Lenore, you’re dead on. Not only would the luxury cars be homeless, but the magnates who sell them (to themselves buy better cars) would likely experience a diminished enjoyment of their riches as well.
So you’ve answered the question I put to Jay- how much money does he need? As much as Lenore wants!
how much did leno say?
I never heard back from him. Instead I got a letter from Brad Listi saying that while he’s sure that there’s an audience somewhere for my writing, they think that it’s in the best direction of The Nervous Breakdown for Jay to take over my slot here. Jay assures me he had nothing to do with the decision. In fact, just five weeks ago, he was saying how happy he was for me to be writing here and how he was looking forward to going in a different direction. Oh well.
cool…I’ll probably start reading this page again. it’s been seeming so odd lately. I don’t always know when to laugh. hey, if you talk to him, see if he can get dane cook to do a guest video. in fact, you should make the suggestion that this whole site switch to video. it’s faster than this reading stuff. plus, it’s called a site, not a read. it’s supposed to be for videos. if they meant for us to read, they would have named it after a different sense.
thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation,
sean p. publicio
love your work.
long time reader, first time poster.