August 11th, 2003: The Day Bruce Springsteen Ran Out of Inane Childhood Stories to Talk About Before Starting a New Song
Good evening, good evening. I remember standing on the corner of Kingsly Ave. and I was just 17 years old and man it was hot, and there were these girls lying out on the beach. So fine man, and you know just out of my reach. We used to call them Pretty Flamingos, you know. Like one of the guys would come by and I’d say hey Clarence, check out those Pretty flamingos and he’d say something like “Shut the fuck up Bruce.” HeHehe, but that was Clarence man, HEheeheHE. Anyway, my old man wouldn’t let me have sugar as a kid and he’d always be yelling at me, “Bruce” he’d say “I better not catch you with any sugar.” You know? He’d be down in the kitchen eating his baloney and cheese on white bread and I hear him yelling up to me, “You better not be eating any god damn sugar up there.”
And there was this old place back then, that we used to play at called the Gaslight, it ain’t around no more, and man we’d be there ’till four in the morning some nights you know, just playing. They had this Mr. Softy soft serve ice cream in the back. Man, sometimes it be all I’d think about. Mr. Softy man, I just couldn’t get him out of my head. Both flavors man, vanilla and chocolate. And there was this bin with that stuff you put on top, Jimmy’s. We used to call them Jimmy’s but I’ve heard them called sprinkles too. Rainbow Jimmy’s man HeHeehe. And I’d be playing up on stage with the guys but I’d be thinking, you know, maybe I could just sneak a cone you know, the old man wouldn’t find out. Or maybe, just maybe, I could stick my head under the tap and Steve could pull the handle, I wouldn’t even need a cone.
But I never did it man, I never did it. I always thought the old man would jump out from somewhere, you know, no matter how late it was. I kept thinking he’d just pop out of nowhere and stab me in the neck with a Spork and yell “I told you no god damn sugar, kid.” You know what a spork is Clarence? It’s like spoon and a fork together in one utensil; it’s good for eating chili and stew, HeeHeehe.
So around this time we started making a little money with the band and I got my first car, a ’57 Chevy, thirty miles highway, and a Hurst on the floor. It had Flames on it and everything, man it was hot! Twenty five city. And once I got that thing going man I just drove and drove you know, I didn’t care where I was going. Days went by, I’m telling you, I just drove, didn’t stop for anything, not gas or food, I didn’t even stop for the bathroom, I just went in the car. HeeheHee. So I found myself at this little ice cream place in the middle of nowhere. And I just knew the old man couldn’t find me out there. And I went up to the lady at the stand and I said ‘I’d like a Mr. Softy’ and she said to me, she said ‘son, the machine’s broke.’ This song’s called The River.
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I’m a big-time Bruce fan, but this was hilarious! Nice job. I think some of my fellow Bruce tramps will enjoy it as well.
“Remember me?” Wouldn’t know ya if I fell over ya. Decidedly, “no.”
I liked the Springsteen piece so much, I can’t begin to tell ya. Heeheehee. Stand-up comedy without punchlines. Cool, man. I mean, it’s like chewing without swallowing, or –heeheeheeheehee– ****ing without coming. Ahaw-ahawhaw. Ya know what I mean (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)? ‘Nough said!, ‘nough said. I can like really relate to TheBoss because like you know… We used to check out pretty girls, too. We used to call them “babes”…
But seriously, folks, that’s not what I came here to talk about. I came to talk about yer carbon footprints. Carbon footprints — yeah! How many of you know what that is? Carbon footprints… Well, if you could get 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway from a ’57 (undisclosed model) Chevy, — if you could get 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway from a ’57 Chevy, let’s just say Impala–
Chorus: IMPALA –
ya really could just drive without stopping for gas or food — ’cause ya’d be dreeeamin’! Ahaw-ahawhawhaw!!
Anyways: [clears throat] speakin’ of chewin’ without swallowin’, well: like when I was in the 7th grade, man — hey! Lenny, like remember the 7th grade? –
Chorus: [laughter connoting that, yes, indeed, the audience vaguely recalls the 7th grade]
[savoring the moment of shared regognition] oh, man, don’t get me started! [shuffles mic stand around the stage] Well, like this one time the teacher came up to my buddy Ralphie, who was just chewin’ away on his JuicyFruits — ‘member JuicyFruits?
Chorus: [laughter connoting that, yes, indeed, the audience vaguely recalls JuicyFruit gum]
Yeah. We usedta chew that gahbidge all the time — and — ahawhawheheheh… the teacher puts out her hand and says to Ralphie, “Let’s have that gum, Mr. Haskell!” So, like Ralphie takes the gum out of his mouth and like puts in in ‘er hand!! Heeheehee. He puts it in her god damn hand, fer chrissakes!! Anyways, this next song’s called, “Mr. Softy Remembers When He Was Young an’ Hard Blues,” A‑one and-a-two…
Perfect — I think I heard that story in 1979 — he was done with the “draft” story by then …
Perfect … restrained and dead on. I’ll remember this one.
Very funny and more than a little clever 🙂
Just god awful is more like it.