John getting Slim Jims from a guy on an airplane (RL38)

The other day John was on an airplane and the guy next to him asked him what he does. John said ”I’m a musician!” - ”Oh really, what kind of band are you in?” - ”It is a Rock’n’Roll band” - ”You mean like The Boss?” John got on the wrong fucking airplane and that conversation was right away at the beginning of the flight. The guy was with his 13-year old daughter who looked out the window the whole time.

He dug in his backpack, produced a fist-full of Slim Jims and asked John ”Want a jerky?” John felt like he had to take a jerky off this guy because to offer somebody a Slim Jim on an airplane is a human gesture. It was a proper full-of-chemicals standard-form nitrate-impregnated jerky and John ate a half a dozen of them because every time he kept finishing one the guy asked him if was wanted another one.

The guy was talking about The Boss in the way people who are into The Boss always do: They talk about The Boss as though they were Mormons and you were a Mormon, but you had never heard of Mormonism. They understand that you are obviously just as big a fan, but they still repeat everything, just in case you didn’t know that Nebraska was his best record.

He was a perfectly nice guy and John was trying to steer the conversation to Dylan because the guy also wanted to talk about Dylan, but he kept bringing it back to The Boss and John just doesn’t have that much to say about The Boss. He is not opposed to The Boss, but he is opposed to The Hold Steady, though (see RL318).

Merlin was on a plane this past week as well. It is super-important, especially in the period before the food, and really up until just the point right before landing, to throw a shape that you are not going to be the talky person and you are not going to be receptive and when they go: ”Huh, Sky Mall!” you are not going to respond or move, you are not there.

John’s flight was to San Diego and he made the category error of thinking that West Coast flights are all really short for him, like walking through a door onto a fart tube full of Longpigs, be on there for a few minutes and go off the other side being somewhere else. San Diego is 2.5 hours away and it might as well be Mexico, but with Volleyball. It is not only boring, but also grotty. You walk past places that make you think: ”There are still bars like that?” People in San Diego are seedy and boring, which is a terrible combination. Seedy is often in the foyer of interesting, but those people are like people who steal cheap things.

Stealing little is like loving your wife and still necking with somebody, which is gross! Merlin couldn’t live with himself if he did something like that, but if he were, he would fucking blow it out! If you are going to cheat on your wife, it has to be at the Playboy Mansion and it has going to be three days. At the Playboy Mansion they could make Merlin’s pants move, it would be a lot darker. Would it be a Donkey Show in TJ? That is Merlin’s favorite The Hold Steady record! Merlin thinks people who steal cheap things are tedious. You got to really steal big to earn John’s admiration.

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