HARRY NILSSON: City Life
Harry Nilsson is awesome. You have already heard many songs either sung by him, or written by him, and you probably don’t even know it. At one point he was the Beatles’ favorite singer/song writer. That’s validation right there! Speaking of validation, here is another crazy tale from my time in Los Angeles. Surprisingly, I’ve told very few people this story. It involves me knocking a dude out cold, so you’d think I would tell a LOT of people. Not always how it works. The knock out stories that I’ve told to many people are usually funny because the person deserved it. Or, maybe it is about the time that I got the shit kicked out of me in 7th grade at the tennis courts. Those 80’s sitcoms are wrong; standing up to the school bully will most likely end with the smaller kid getting the unholy bajesus kicked out of him in front of his entire class. I love telling that story because Rusty Fish Hook loves laughing at himself. Or, there’s the time when I crashed a frat party then got jumped by 8 chickenshit Sig Eps (frat douches) at ISU in 2002. One of those pussies kicked me in the nuts repeatedly while I was down, and the other 7 kicked me in other places. Funny stuff? Maybe so. No worries, I was completely unharmed…but for the nutshots from that one dickhead. Plus- one of those assholes walked away with a Rusty Fish Hook souvenir around his eye, so I feel good about that experience. I would LOVE to run into any one of those guys again. The problem is that I was so drunk that I have no idea what any of them look like (and I never did get their names). I just tell myself that whatever happened, I probably deserved it. That said, if anyone has any info on those dipshits, please put it in the comments section. Moving on- not all knockout stories are funny. Having said that, let me tell you of another tale from the Rusty Fish Hook “Snarb” Chronicles # Koreatown #LosAngeles.
As I mentioned HERE, I spent my time in L.A. engaged to the devil herself; very much in love, but also very much in hate. Anyway, she had just had surgery on her thyroid. In my endless love and devotion to her, I would find myself enduring long hospital visits that were sandwiched between mind-numbingly boring bus rides in the L.A. traffic. Those few days that she was recovering sucked for both of us. One night, following an ALL DAY visit, I missed the bus home so I had to hike it. It took a LONG time. I had zero scratch back then, so hailing a taxi was not something I could simply just do. It was around midnight, and I was dead tired. I thought it would be a good idea to take a shortcut though a dark alley (yeah, I know- what was I thinking?).
I was literally listening to THIS SONG at the time, so the dark alley was transformed to a happy place in my mind. It is ironic that Harry Nilsson was singing about “city life” when out from the shadows pops a skinny, six and a half foot guy who I would guess was a crackhead! He violently grabs me by the shirt, and in doing so, my earplug gets yanked out of my right ear! I was able to hear him scream “YOU GOTTA HELP ME!!” So, without even thinking, I fire off a beautiful #OverhandRight straight to the dude’s snot box! He hits the dirt, then I hit the pavement in a flat sprint. I swear, I ran about 10 miles at full speed! I felt like I may have killed the guy, so I was basically running as though I could run myself back in time to before it happened, and not choose to go in that alley like a dumb fuck. I’ll tell you something- weird thoughts go through your head as your zipping through intersections one after the other like The Flash. Where was all this speed & endurance back in high school gym class (when I was a chain smoker)?
Anyway, I made it home alright. I was winded as Hell after the adrenaline wore off. You would think that I would have fallen right to sleep after that “10-mile” sprint, but I didn’t get ANY sleep that night, or the following night- and it was not because of adrenaline. I kept thinking of how that guy said “YOU GOTTA HELP ME!” I tossed and turned for hours. “Help you with WHAT!?” I’d scream at my empty studio apartment. What could he have needed help with? Obviously, he was in a bad way being in downtown Los Angeles in an alley after midnight, but why did he grab my shirt like that? As an expert on city life, he had to know better. He should have worked on his approach. If he had nicely asked me for help, I would be writing a different story right now. Or, perhaps I wouldn’t be alive to write one at all? That’s another thing I tell myself when guilt kicks in.
Don’t worry, the man is not dead. We just had coffee last week. We reminisce about this story quite often. He thinks it is HILARIOUS that the song City Life was playing when I laid him out. I am kidding about seeing the guy last week…and the coffee…and the reminiscing. Truth is I have no idea who the guy was, but I was on top of the news/newspapers for weeks following that incident. If there was a body found, I would be in hiding (probably in an alley somewhere). Plus, in all seriousness, I don’t think I am physically capable of killing a man with one punch…with one perfectly timed overhand right…with impeccable form. Right? But yeah, even to this day I lay awake sometimes thinking “if only he had a better approach, I could’ve helped him.” Anyway, that is a story that I wanted to get off my chest. I hope you enjoy City Life by Harry Nilsson.
For a list of more Off The Hook songs with awkward reviews click HERE