There's nothing like being neutered.
Last week, en route to my bi-weekly estrogen injection, I stumbled on a flier exposing my recent emasculation. Talk about a manic Monday! Thanks to some expert sleuthing by the crack investigators in the Blister 66 organization, I've now been outed. And as if that weren't enough, my real surname was also made public. Needless to say, with the number of F-bombs I drop in this space every week, Mrs. Handjob wasn't so thrilled about that. In fact, there's now talk among the rank and file in the Harper Valley PTA about organizing a recall election, simply because of my matrimonial connection to its president. It's that whole guilt-by-association thing. And it's just plain silly, because I've never heard my wife utter a single dirty word. Besides, she has to put up with a man who's, well, not being all that he can be, if you catch my drift.
This sad fact would have stayed Mrs. Handjob's and my little secret if Chris Dellinger hadn't decided to make my parts (or lack thereof) part of the promotional blitz for his band's annual White Trash Christmas festivities this past weekend. "Local journalist suffers from penis envy!'' the flier proclaims. "It has been reported that local journalist Dave HandJob from BeatOff has blamed his recent less than factual columns on the fact that he has no penis. Another allegation states that it could be possible Mr. HandJob suffers from a rare but curable condition called Man-gina. This would explain an uncontrollable urge to gossip like a school girl without considering the source!"
Looked like Dellinger's panties were in a bunch because in my November 13 Beatdown about the Riff debacle, I pissed on his squeaky-clean Mr. America image. No matter that the source I was quoting was a Jefferson County Sheriff's Department report on a not-exactly squeaky-clean incident at Fat City early on the morning of November 1.
It's not like I accused Dellinger of shamelessly aping every trend for the past decade. It's not like I said he was beating the Zombie-Korn-Bizkit horse to death. I didn't even take a potshot like this: "Vanilla Ice and Jonathan Davis called -- they want their collective personas back." No, those words did not appear. Now, if I had said some shit like that, things I've thought about his music privately, then I could see the guy getting his feelings hurt. But I've never said any of that stuff -- not until now, anyway. Why? Because I respected the dude, respected what he'd accomplished over the last seven years on the local scene -- from the consistent sellouts at the Ogden to being inducted into the Westword Music Showcase Hall of Fame after winning five consecutive awards. I've always hated Blister 66's music, but I've always shown the band love. Dellinger's old-school, like me. I've always thought he was cooler than the other side of the pillow. But now that I think about it, he's right: I did give my man a serious hand job.
Fortunately, Dellinger's flier didn't say anything about my premature baldness or ejaculation, the chronic halitosis or my little bed-wetting problem. And it's probably a good thing he doesn't know that I've cheated on my wife, sacrificed puppies and like Barry Manilow. At least I still have a few skeletons left in my closet.
Stiffed by Riff: In last week's Letters column, Andrew Erich of Reno Divorce revealed that he's still waiting to be paid for his band's stint at Riff magazine's Rock N' Freak Fest. His wasn't the only letter we received -- and Reno Divorce isn't the only band getting screwed. In fact, my phone has been blowin' up non-stop with the same hard-luck stories. No one, however, has articulated his frustration quite as well as my man Ukulele Loki of Crispy Family Carnival, "Colorado's only ten-in-one sideshow," as he puts it.
Of the Riff representative who reportedly got clocked after he failed to make good on promised payments: "Darrell Hughes may have left the event with a headache after allegedly being socked by KBPI DJ Uncle Nasty," Loki says, "but our main performer, Crispy, left the event in much more pain. Part of our show involves laying Crispy on a bed of nails. Additionally, he walks on broken glass and pushes six-inch hat pins through his flesh."
Holy crap, that's worth some bucks, right?
"Crispy is a trained professional," Loki continues. "He doesn't mind the pain. What he does mind is getting the shaft."
Last Friday, I finally got ahold of Hughes. And while he once again declined to comment on the situation, he did confirm that his fish wrap is now sleeping with the fishes. Sometime very soon (in fact, it may have happened by now), Hughes's lawyers will be filing bankruptcy for Riff, he says.
The moral of this story: In God we trust. All others must pay cash.
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Upbeats and beatdowns: Here's some news to add to the "Fuckin' Right On!" file. On Friday, December 19, and Saturday, December 20, longtime local enthusiasts Bryon Woodard and Chris Rawles will celebrate their purchase of Cricket on the Hill. After more than a decade of managing and bartending at the Cricket, Woodard will have a 40 percent share in the joint. Rawles, who tended bar at the legendary dive for twelve years, will own the other 60 percent.
The two had talked about buying the place for some time and had even approached then-owner Thom Salturelli a few years ago with the idea. Back then, Salturelli -- who'd acquired the spot at 1209 East 13th Avenue in 1978, when it was known as the Light House -- told the duo that the Cricket wasn't for sale. But he promised that if it ever were, they'd be the first to know. And true to his word, when the time came, he told Woodard and Rawles, who officially assumed ownership on Monday.
According to Rawles, no changes will be made at the venue, which will keep pouring out the beer and music without missing a beat. "I've been anxious about this for quite some time," he says. "I'm just excited to get it all settled."
On hand to help Woodard and Rawles celebrate Friday night will be Baggs Patrick, the former host of the Cricket's open stage, as well as current host Tony Medina; Denver Joe, who's as much a part of the place as the address on the front door; Matt Barnes; Sweet Williams and the What Nots; Love.45; Rubber Planet; and Babihead. The Swanks, Dead Heaven Cowboys (featuring former members of the Dogs of Pleasure, a Cricket staple in the late '80s), Black Lamb and Buck Wild will all be on Saturday's bill.