Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: bill walton (page 1 of 9)

Hard In The (Face)Paint

“Hi, there. You must be Vinnie Vincent. My name’s Bill Walton, and I’m in multiple Halls of Fame: NCAA, NBA, and loving life.”

“There’s a Hall of Fame for loving life?”

“Yes, and I’m in it.”

“Great. Anyway, Bill, I’m Oteil Burbridge, not Vinnie Vincent. We’ve known each other for years.”

“You fooled me with your makeup. As I mentioned, I believed you to be erstwhile KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent. That young man simply couldn’t get out of his own way. Of course, both Paul and Gene are tough to deal with. Rambunctious spirits with mean holds on their wallets. I barely lasted six months with them.”

“You were not in KISS, Bill.”

“No, not in the band. I was in the KISS Army. This was during the Dead’s hiatus, and I needed a band to follow around so I would have a new place to take drugs and noodle-dance every night.”

“So you went on tour with KISS?”

“I did! Poor decision. Musically, at least. They’re not very good at playing their instruments, or singing, or writing songs. Skilled at wearing wacky get-ups and selling tee-shirts, but not top-shelf musicians. Little to no jamming, either.”

“Yeah, they’re not great.”

“And I was not befriended. The members of the Grateful Dead have become like brothers to me, sharing their hopes, dreams, and skank as we wandered across this bright blue ball just spinning free. Whereas KISS was, in turn, predatory and downright hostile towards me. Ace puked on my shoes and mistook me for someone of Polish-American heritage.”

“How do you know he thought you were Polish?”

“He kept calling me a Polack.”

“Sure.”

“Gene tried to sell me a Camaro. He said that it was a collector’s item, limited-edition KISS Kamaro, but I could spot no modifications or alterations to the vehicle. It was just a Chevy. Later, I learned that Gene didn’t even own the car.”

“Bill, I gotta get ready for the show.”

“Mickey once sold me an MG that exploded as I was driving it home, but it wasn’t like he was swindling me. That’s the MG nature. You’re buying a series of breakdowns. I still have the car. Let’s road trip, Oteil. You and I, cruising across California and the rest of America in my MG. We can discover the wonders of nature, and get truly authentic Tex-Mex.”

“Can we discuss it during the set break?”

“I call it halftime.”

“Awesome.”

Tall, Dark, And Handsome

Hey, Bobby. Hey, Bill Walton. Whatcha doing?

“Looking up. Pointing.”

“My friend, I am witnessing an event of great and noble import unfolding before my eyes, a phantasmagorical scene that rivals any vista taken in by Buzz Aldrin or Neil Armstrong, and sharing the moment with a man who is not just a legend of music, but of life and beardiness. Every day I’m alive is the greatest day of my life. And I’m also pointing.”

Sure, okay. What are you looking at?

“Not Gary Coleman. For several reasons.”

“That little fella got screwed. Reminds me in many ways of Greg Oden. More talent than the E Street Band, but the man’s bones were made of Play-Doh left in the fridge overnight. Can’t choose your DNA! Unless you’re a mad scientist, and I’m relatively certain neither Gary Coleman nor Greg Oden were scientists of any sort, let alone mad.”

Seriously, what the fuck are you two doing?

“It’s Pippi Longscotting.”

No.

“Pippa Middleton.”

Nope.

“Suzanne Pleshette.”

“Bob, my compadre, this is Scottie Pippin. The Sancho Panza of the NBA! The Tonto! The Otis Toole!”

That last one was a bit inappropriate, Bill Walton.

“We’re all grown-ups here. In fact, two of us are far more than grown. Look at Scottie and my paws.”

Jesus.

“That’s why I live in San Diego! If I lived somewhere cold, I’d have to buy custom-made gloves, and they’re stupidly expensive.”

Stuck Inside A Giant Teeth Sandwich With Those Memphis Blues Again

“Well?”

“Bill, I gotta tell you: I thought you were overselling the dongs. But, uh, you were not. You were not at all.”

“Each dong its own little universe. Possibly conscious, too. Several NBA players, both former and current, have told me in confidence that their dongs could think and feel and even communicate.”

“How do they communicate?”

“Pointing, mostly.”

“Ah.”

“Bill, question.”

“I can’t wait to hear it, I can’t wait to think about it, and you better believe I can’t wait to completely ignore it and talk about whatever the hell I want.”

“Who’s the big fellow?”

“First of all, my choogly chum: thank you for not calling him Branford.”

“Sure, yeah. The kids have been on me about that.”

“And, second: that is 6-time NBA champion Scottie Pippen.”

“Ben Vereen looks incredible.”

“You’re thinking about Pippin.

“I was offered the part of the Leading Player at least five times throughout the 80’s. Eventually, I just told Hal Kant to stop telling me when they’d call.”

“We live within a tangle of realities, Bob. What you’re describing is truth somewhere. And in that iteration of the universe, I attended your premiere and kept my hands up for the entire performance. And blew out a knee. But the guy you’re standing next to is one of the all-time greats. Tremendous ballplayer. In a lot of ways, Scottie is the NBA version of you.”

“How so?”

“He had a Garcia.”

“Ah.”

Beaming Woman

“Bob, my legendary friend, take my freakishly large hand and let me lead you to the sanctum sanctorum.”

“Sizzler?”

“Not yet, Bob. We’ll stop at Sizzler on the way home, I promise.”

“I’m holding you to it.”

“I speak of a holy place, perhaps even quasi-mystical. A space of plans and dreams and the worst-looking feet you’ve ever seen in your life. Did you ever see The Red Shoes?”

“All over the place.”

“Not actual red shoes. The movie.”

“Ah. Was that the one with Peter Boyle?”

“Forget The Red Shoes, Bob. Grasp my prodigious paw and I will take you to a land of pure imagination.”

“Y’know, Bill, I’ve been in a dressing room once or twice.”

“Not like this, my esteemed prophet. The smells alone will have your nose reapplying for grad school. The camaraderie! The esprit de corps! The joie de vive!”

“Are those French for ‘dong?'”

“No, they’re in addition to the dong. Sweet Molly McCracken’s teats, we are gonna see some dong.”

“All right.”

Bouncing Wobblers*

THUMP

“Sir.”

THUMP

“Sir?”

THUMP

“Sir!?”

“Call me Bobby.”

“Uh-huh. Can you stop bouncing your testicles against my head?”

“Well, you should know that it’s not just the testicles. I’m working with the whole potato salad here.”

“I have no idea what that means.”

“That’s okay. They do.”

“They?”

“The readers.”

“What the fuck are you–”

THUMP

“–talking about? Y’know what? I’m just gonna move.”

“Good call.”

 

*ALTERNATIVE TITLE: Rich Man’s Dong On My Poor Head

Basketball Watchers

“Bob, I cannot describe the joy that fills my enormous, broken body that you’ve joined me here at courtside to watch the most exciting sport ever invented by man, woman, or over-educated dog. I quote the philosopher Kurtis Blow when I say ‘I love basketball.'”

“Well, you know: I’m a fan.”

“Do you know where that word comes from? ‘Fan?’ In the olden days, before the advent of conditioned air, the spectators would bring palm fronds or other large foliage to wave at the players in hopes of cooling them down. Of course, since it was the old days, the fronds were also used for the purposes of racism.”

“Sure. Anything’s racist if you hit a minority with it.”

“Listen to the crowd, Bob! The excitement! The anticipation! We find ourselves as members of a proud lineage that stretches back to the Flavian Amphitheater or the Circus Maximus.”

“I was always a Ringling’s man myself.”

“And after the game, we’ll head down into the locker rooms and check out some dong. You’ve never seen dongs like these, Bob.”

“I’ve seen Phil’s.”

“It’s nothing like that. You’re comparing a golf ball to the Death Star. These are world-class athletes with world-class dongs. That’s why the shorts are so baggy nowadays.”

“Ah.”

No One Ever Called Him Unobservant

“There’s a step, Bob. I’m standing on a step and it’s making me unreasonably taller than you. If you look down, you’ll see the step I’m talking about. I don’t want you to be overwhelmed by my mass.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“Were I actually this size, I would set off primal alarms in your amygdala. All over your brain, in fact. Neurons, synapses, areas belonging to both Wernicke and Broca. Maybe even the Isles of Langerhans.”

“I went there on vacation once.”

“Bob, my friend, I just have one question for you.”

“Shoot.”

“Where’s your beard?’

ROCK STAR FACE-FEELING NOISE

“Goddammit.”

“Check the freezer.”

“Natasha!”

Bette Davis Eyes, Bill Walton Thighs

“My God, Billy, the geologic stratifications we’re looking at are some of the most spectacular in the world. Scientists from all over come to Colorado to examine these cliffs, and that adds to both humanity’s knowledge and the local economy. It’s a win-win.”

“Look, kids. Rocks.”

“Don’t undersell the wonder here, my rhythmic friend. Within this landscape is the history of our Spaceship Earth. Imagine existing at that scale, encompassing both the ferocious spin which produces the day and also the patience to grow a mountain. That’s too much for our fragile minds; it would be like a GM also playing point guard. Only Earth herself can handle such a range of experience.”

“Fix your shorts, man. I can see your balls.”

“Better?”

“Yeah. Hey, Justy: go get Dad four cans of Coors. Other Kid, go with Justy and also bring me four beers.”

Final Four

“I think we forgot to wear our Christmas outfits, Bill.”

“Mickey, my friend, Christmas is all about forgiving. No one will hold it against us, just let their aggravation flow from them like liquid mercury. Do you know we don’t use liquid mercury in thermometers any more? Poisonous as all get-out. We shouldn’t have been sticking it in our mouths and anuses. Bad societal decision, but we learn and progress.”

“Still, I feel bad. Maybe we could make it up to the team with a conciliatory drum circle?”

“Good idea. Absolutely. We had a regular circle when I played for Portland. Me, Maurice Lucas, Corky Calhoun, all the guys. We’d get into a groove with one another, and bring that groove out onto the court. Those were heady times in the Rose City.”

“Mickey, put the jersey back.”

“I yoinked it fair and square!”

“For the last time, the locker room is not a merch table.”

He’s Adopted

“Now, Luke, how has the government shutdown affected the Lakers?”

“Not at all, Uncle Mickey.”

“That’s not why LeBron is sitting out?”

“No. He’s hurt. He strained his groin.”

“Oh, I used to do that all the time. Here’s the trick: you gotta pull the chick closer to you.”

“Gotcha.”

“OUTSTANDING!”

“Speaking of which, do the Laker Girls still have to sleep with Arsenio Hall?”

“I don’t know if they ever ‘had to,’ Uncle Mick.”

“Well, no one would want to. Guy had a head shaped like a rhombus.”

“Okay.”

“He was no Bobby.”

“FANTASTIC!”

“What about the Magic Circle?”

“The what?”

“Where the players circle up and pass the ball to each other in humorous ways.”

“That’s the Globetrotters, Uncle Mick.”

“You should get the Generals on your schedule. That’s a guaranteed win right there.”

“BOMBASTIC!”

“Is your dad just gonna keep yelling positive words?”

“Yeah. He gets caught in what he calls an ‘Enthusiasm Cycle.’ Sometimes it lasts a couple hours.”

“SUPERB!”

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