If I Had a Hammer!

Good times at the NAMM show

An artist friend once told me that the kids in the Artists Village were making bets on whether I was getting hot, sloppy loving in any particular week. The basis for their pool was the acidity of my art columns. Too nice, and it was immediately clear to everyone that I was getting lucky, if you know what I mean, which I certainly hope you do because it's not a very difficult euphemism, and it would be a pity if my readers were complete morons.

Right. So. Sex and me having it. Oh, yes. My bean could be getting diddled seven ways to Sunday—and come to think of it, it is—and that wouldn't have made me feel any less snarly when I finally got my fat ass through the door at the NAMM show at the Anaheim Convention Center this past week. NAMM, for those who don't know, stands for the International Music Products Association. And even that's pissing me off. Who taught these people how to make acronyms? Where's the "N"? Where's the second "M"? Where the hell did that "P" go? Sure, they're also the National Association of Music Merchants, but you'll never hear them say so! I hate people. What they need is a lesson from Dan Savage—whose sex-advice column can now be found in this very paper's sometimes-savage personals section!—on how to sign a letter so that one's signature becomes a clever acronym like "FUCKBEAN" or "TITTYWAD." His readers are really quite exceptional at it.

So. NAMM. Yes. I blame NAMM. I blame it for everything. It may not have killed Kennedy, but it did make me park more than a mile away from the convention center and charged me $7 for the pleasure of doing so. This may not sound like much to you, but it is something I will never get over. I will be on my deathbed a hundred years from now, bitching about my NAMM parking spot and also about that time Goldenvoice lost my tickets for the Hootenanny and I had to go see Van Halen instead—in Riverside.

But that's not NAMM's fault, you're saying, because you're so fair and just and all. Okay. Then the city of Anaheim is culpable. After all, the city was thrilled to its very marrow to get more than 65,000 music geeks in town, bringing an estimated $86.8 million to the area (at least according to The Orange County Register, and you're just going to have to believe them because otherwise I would have to do my own research, and I don't want to). Yes. Anaheim. I blame Anaheim.

But surely not everything in this column is going to be about my bad parking spot? Oh, I could bitch about it for days. Why won't they let me be Gordon Dillow? All right. Let's move inside the cavernous convention center. Who's there? Nobody—and by that, I mean Aerosmith, but, like, the drummer and bassist. I spotted Linda Jemison, and she spotted Stuart Copeland, and my homegirl Arrissia spotted Korn, and I don't care. Why? Because I was still in a foul mood, and no amount of lap-lapping would have changed it. (However: had I been lucky enough to see Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder, like Roland Corp.'s Handsome, Handsome Erik did, I might have changed my tune. At least for a minute.)

Let's see. What else did I hate about NAMM? Well, the people in the trade-show booths ignored me when I tried to catch their attention to ask if I could play their sparkly guitars (Pretty! Shiny!), and I'm totally sure it's because I'm a girl. And I didn't get any free stuff—not even stupid plastic guitar picks. And there were a whole bunch of dickweeds sitting around pounding on drums, and there was a band of guys dressed in Ren Faire outfits, which was funny for a second until I saw how bad the puns were for their names (the band was called Bone, and the members' names were, like, "Tyboneious," which just sucks). And nobody was trying to make time! It was definitely no Action Sports Retailer, at which the halls were jammed with tanned surfers flashing megawatt smiles at the tanned betties who stood around posing and spilling their margaritas on people. Now that's a convention. No, at NAMM, I saw a willowy brunette who looked like she could have starred in a Whitesnake video had she just taken off a few pieces of very stylish clothing. She lingered in the doorway of the Hilton's sports bar for about 10 minutes, trying to decide if there was a seat, or maybe if her friends were there. Who else saw her? No one. Not a head turned. Music geeks are worse than Trekkies. Trekkies at least want women; they just can't figure out how to stop being Trekkies.

Six hours after the parking fiasco, I was finally beginning to thaw. On the mile-long trek back to the car, I began chatting with a friendly black guy (he kept calling my son "Honey," which is just so damn great!) who looked like a compact Cuba Gooding Jr. Then I began feeling guilty for only having, like, three references for black guys to look like: Cuba Gooding Jr., Eddie Murphy and Will Smith. (I swear, there are at least three separate Lakers who look exactly like the Fresh Prince.) But then I realized that our new pal didn't look a thing like Cuba Gooding Jr.; he looked like a young George Foreman, and how could I have confused the two, who look absolutely nothing alike? So I was feeling better again, having found a fourth reference instead of just the three, which is like thinking that all Asians look like either Jackie Chan or Chow Yun-Fat(rrrrowr!), but then the pedestrians were jaywalking in front of me even though it had taken me more than seven minutes to get the damn light to turn green, and they just kept walking, and I began screaming and hollering and laying on the horn and yelling, "FUUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKK!" and trying to run people down, and I was real mad! And then I finally skidded through all the people just as my light turned red (and I was the first car in the queue!), and my son was scared because I was acting like Mo Vaughn in a strip club or Ted Crisell any time, and then I finally got out of the intersection, and as I was about to get on the damn freeway, there was a sign that read, "DRIVE CAREFULLY," as if the city of Anaheim wasn't responsible for my breakdown in the first place, and my God, if I'd had a hammer, I would have smashed it through somebody's skull, and I feel nothing but sympathy for those people who wake up one day and decide to shoot up a McDonald's.

By the way, congratulate me! It's been six days since I had a cigarette!

Rschoenkopf@ocweekly.com. Thank you!
 
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