Here are the first demos from Who’s My Girl. It’s a work in progress and progress is happening. Thanks to Eric Stuart for a great day in the studio (and for letting me use your awesome shaker). These first two were recorded in Nashville. I’m on Guitar and Vocals. Had a great time doing it. More to come.
We begin with a butcher knife. It hung on the kitchen wall as long as my childhood lasted. To say that my brother was fond of it would be an understatement. One of Patrick’s* favorite past times was secretly removing the butcher knife from the wall and, with it held high above his head, he’d chase me throughout the house cackling in his most sinister Texas Chainsaw Massacre voice:
“I’ve got the butcher knife! I’ve got the BUTCHERRR KNIIIIIIIFE! HEH HEH HEH!
Technically it was a meat cleaver. But he called it the butcher knife. In the interest of full disclosure I should probably state that this butcher knife was a fancy “menu” from a Steak and Ale that my parents frequented for their nights out. I found it!
Dad liked it and took it home with him. It had a blunt blade. But I must maintain that it was still a butcher knife and SCARED THE SHIT OUTA ME! I always ended up behind a locked bathroom door until I thought it was safe to come out. This usually meant that my mother had somehow intervened and I could hear her voice. But if it was too quiet I knew to stay put. The Butcher Knifer was always waiting around the corner counting on my false sense of security. God my brother was a brat. I still get the heebie-jeebies thinking about that “menu.” Twenty years later he can still whisper “I’ve got the butcher knife” in my ear and I immediately turn nine years old again.
There was also a box in the attic. Every Halloween the box would come down and we’d rifle through the odds and ends of Halloween costumes of the past. Being the youngest of five there were always costumes waiting for me to be the right size. My mother sewed. She made a Matador costume for my brothers, complete with torero,
and a Geisha costume for my sisters. Well, it was a red satin kimono with long lovely sleeves and a large black (bad) wig to go with it. A picture exists of me being the last to wear it but, alas, nowhere to be found today. I wish I could remember all the costumes. It was so much fun to rummage every year through the aging fabrics trying to figure out what paired with what.
What wasn’t there? Plastic capes and insta-witch hats from the nearest Eckerd’s. It was a different time. A time when Christmas decorations didn’t go up until December 1st and pumpkins didn’t go out on the front porch until mid-October and we didn’t trace our hands in school to make a picture of a turkey until sometime in early November.
I never thought I’d be the one to get nostalgic. Isn’t that what our parents do?
What kind of nostalgia will the little gremlins and goblins trick-or-treating this week be pining for in thirty years? It won’t be how they used to go door to door and dump out their bags of candy for Mom and Dad to check when they get home. Mom and Dad would be with them… if they were allowed to knock on doors at all….
Happy Halloween! Happy costumes! Happy candy corns!
Happy trick-or-treating (at a safe party with the people your parents know.)
Happy haunted houses and scary lawns!
Happy Blunt Butcher Knives. (Heh heh heh!)
May all your bathroom doors have locks.
*Name not changed 🙂
In hindsight, my first clue to walk away should have been the sight of my brother and cousin, both three years my senior, including me in… anything.
These were the perpetrators of Tabasco sauce in the Kool-Aid pitcher, of usurping TV time by switching the channel (by walking up to it and actually switching the channel dial) then standing in front of the 13″ TV set for the entirety of Gilligan’s Island, and these were the boys who invented “Hey, c’mere and smell my hands! They smell like lemons. No really they do. No REALLY!”
They did smell like lemons. The first time. The second time they smelled like adolescent boy-ass. And I know you won’t admit it but you know what that smells like. Somehow we all have that unfortunate thing in common. Boy-ass smell gets around.
I was barely six and not yet savvy to the duplicities of persuasion.
We huddled (they huddled) in the hallway just outside my grandmother’s 1950’s style kitchen adorned with formica table and yellow floor tiles.
“Go in there and ask Aunt Betty what that is.”
They spoke of her vagina.
We understood it to be that “V” space between her legs that met her torso.
So I walked into the kitchen where my mother, my grandmother and my aunt sat talking and smoking as they did. My aunt sat casually, legs uncrossed, facing my mother. She wore polyester slacks.
I knelt before her, leaned in with my pointer finger, zoned in toward the “V” and recited my line:
Before I could finish the final “T” I felt my body flying through the air by right forearm.
I landed in the bathroom face-down over my mothers knee as she held her second favorite instrument: the pink plastic hair brush, for a hoedown swatting of the butt cheeks. First fave was the fly swatter.
There was an added cruelty in the color of the brush. Pink was reserved for princesses and party dresses. To be spanked by the back end of a pink plastic 1970’s bristle hair brush had an added touch of betrayal.
When it was over I could hear adolescent boy-snickers coming from the living room.
I’d been framed! Oh! The consequences of persuasion. Why hadn’t I read Jane Austen at six?
Truth be told, I knew what I was doing and that I probably shouldn’t be doing it. But I wanted to be one of the boys. I was the youngest. And the only little girl in the family. I wanted to play with my big brother. This was only okay when he was alone with no chance of being caught being nice to the “shrimp.”
So in part (very small part) I deserved what I got. But as far as I can remember they never got theirs. That day anyway.
I finally stopped trying to play with the big boys.
I have found playing full woman is far more rewarding.