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|Essays · Poetry · Comedy · Art · Video||summer 2021|
Papa Loves Mambo
"Papa loves mambo
That’s what Perry Como says, right? Am I right? Damn right I'm right. I know Papa loves it anyway. Don't honestly know what the hell Mama likes. Mama’s what you call inscrutable. Can't say she didn't warn me.
Nobody likes a smartass, right? That’s what my Papa always said, no-body, no how likes a man with an attitude. And I most certainly have got an attitude. I mean, seriously, though, seriously, serious as cancer, can't a guy have a hobby or two once the Mambo’s over? Is it wrong for a guy to have a hobby or two, isn't that what God gave us the internet for, so that Papa could have a couple of hobbies? I mean, sure, the Mambo used to be enough, the Mambo was plenty, but that was, what, twenty years ago? Thirty? And to be honest, was it even me that was all jazzed up about the damn Mambo?
So yes, yes I collect a few things, I have a few ‘action figures’, they're not dolls, boys don't have dolls, ‘action figures’ are not for dressing and undressing, they are for posing in realistic combat positions. Also I've got dolls. And books. Yes, yes, mostly True Crime, almost exclusively True Crime, I'll admit it’s a passion with me, True Crime, but honestly, is that a reason a guy who loves Mambo has to dance with the fucking coat rack? I mean, seriously now.
Yes, I see a newspaper and perhaps I pick it up, perhaps I bring it home for perusal and sorting and filing and keeping, is a bargain all of a sudden a sin? I'm gonna say no.
Is it obsessive to need these things, is it obsessive to see a forlorn, broken toy or piece of information and feel a need to take it home, to possess it, to catalogue all its aspects in various notebooks, to think seriously about the exact location in your own damn house this orphaned object needs? Is it obsessive to see that sometimes, often, the acquiring and placement of a new object calls for the rearrangement of many of not all objects in relation to it, is that a reason to leave someone because they see and value these relationships? Yes, Papa loves Mambo, but Papa has come to love many, many things since Papa became acquainted with the internet. Good God does Papa love the internet.
I mean the Mambo was great, the Mambo rocked, but the internet? The Internet is the Frug, the Pony, The Mashed Potato, The Watusi, The Swim, The Internet does ALL sixteen dances and Jesus would not have died to bring us its wide range of dance options if Papa was not meant to... sample them.
Recently Papa has been collecting a new thing, which is hangovers. For the uninitiated each hangover is very much like the last, but if you pay close attention, if you are a connoisseur, it turns out, like fingerprints, snowflakes and the web sites of young, Japanese women who wear beautifully hand crafted, larger than life, latex head masks... no two hangovers are exactly alike. It’s true. Each has it’s own spices; those things you are able to remember, those things you are unable to remember but are reliably informed of, those things which you may have done but seem in memory like movies you watched a long, long time ago, black and white movies your father took you to at the repertory cinema because damn it, these were important movies, Son of Kong, a Day at the Races, and how the hell was he to know Cable was coming with TCM and... and... well, TCM is all that’s left, now. So it’s good he took you to....
And then of course there are the various levels of pain and sensitivity associated with each hangover, cross cutting what you can and cannot recall, sensitivity to sound, to light, to textures. As recently as May 15 of this year I gradually came awake with a taste in my mouth reminiscent of old pennies, candy cigarettes, dust and the smell of mothballs; I could not abide the feeling of the sheets against my skin, it was as if there were thousands, millions of... coarse hairs in the weave and it seemed as if the night before I had explained at length to a small crowd of interested onlookers the near medieval barbarity of the current health care system, that I worked toward a rabble rousing finale atop a table that Paul Robeson would have wept to see and that seemingly without transition someone of an official nature was beating me with a stick. That is a very complicated, multi layered feeling to awaken with and should not immediately be dismissed as without virtue. Once, when all I knew how to love was the Mambo, I could not have appreciated that. Now I am a man of many dances. And I celebrate them all.
Perry Como knew this. His repertoire was large.
Max Burbank has been a web comedy presence for many years, gracing such sites as I-Mockery, Just Laugh, acid logic, Ape Culture, and National Lampoon. He is the author of God's Dice, a play commissioned by the Boston Museum of Science to be performed in conjunction with the travelling Einstein exhibit.Got feedback on this page? Share it with the moocat!
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