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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Karl Oskar Days

Here it is again, kids, Subjective Friday! All over the world, employees at 80% time (and 80% pay) are both rejoicing and grumbling. Three-day weekend! YAY! I’m making less money! BOO!

What’s a gal to do but turn to her iPod?

The iPod divines the future from the morning’s commute.

Freewill by Rush
Tied to the Whipping Post by the Allman Brothers
Phenomena by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Blood Sweat and Murder by Scott H. Biram
Freedom Park by Marah
Hurricane by Jamie Lidell
A Perfect Twist by Mike Patton

I see funky pain in my immediate future. Is that how you see it?

Last weekend was Karl Oskar Days. Karl was a Swedish immigrant who farmed the land that would become Lindstrom.

Tortilla, a restaurant at the edge of town had hired the Boy’s band (headed by his father). My sister Karen – an attractive woman with absolutely no need for disposable diapers or gas-reducing pills – and I went there to drink, to dance in the parking lot, and listen to The Boy play.

Get it while you can, I always say.

But I wasn’t the only one with that idea, apparently.

"Hey, Pearl," Don said over the microphone. "I think you know the weirdos at this table up here."

Sure as hell. I knew those weirdos.

Have you seen the program “That 70s Show”? Well, the prototypes of that show, to some extent, were living, not in Wisconsin, but in Minnesota in 1981. And there they were, sitting at the table on the edge of the parking lot dance floor.

Over-stimulated and under-motivated, the year after high school I had burnt a lot of time hanging with a group of similarly handicapped people in a little house off a main thoroughfare eventually known as The Zoo. There were seven people living in that house, sometimes more -- the more there were, the cheaper it got. The place hadn't been decorated so much as things -- and sometimes people -- just came in and never went out. Bread Mold Contests, a giant mixing bowl as an ashtray – my tonsils occupied a shelf in their cupboard for almost a year before it dropped and smashed on the kitchen floor.

I don’t know what we were thinking back in those days; but I believe we did, occasionally.

That kind of lifestyle pays nothing, however; and eventually we were forced to go to school, get jobs, and empty ashtrays.

And so years and years and years later, what does one do when one runs, unexpectedly, into friends?

One dances.

It was the perfect night for it: clear, dry, low 80s. Classic summer parking lot dance in a small town.

What a bunch of goofballs.

The Boy had a good 10 to 12 minute drum solo at the beginning of Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll", I was as proud and drum-thrilled as I could be, we danced ourselves sweaty and grinning, and the hour-long ride back to Karen's was time well spent.

Karl Oskar would've wanted it that way.


ellen abbott said...

You actually remembered them? Wow. People from that time remember me but it takes a long riffling through the memory banks. Once a woman regaled me with tales...um, sure sounds like something I would have done then but I still don't remember, well, only vaguely.

Pearl said...

I did remember them, yes! Well, honestly, some of them I wouldn't have recognized without them being pointed out!

powdergirl said...

Ha, sounds like fun.
I grew up in a "dry" town. That's right, no booze! But we still had a house called the Zoo. It was just harder to stay unmotivated and anti-establishment as mostly sober teen-aged wastelands.
It just loses something with sobriety.
But we tried.
I never occurred to me to keep my tonsils on the shelf there, though.
What a novel idea!

Eskimo Bob said...

'I . . wanna rock'n'roll all night. .. and party everyday!!'

That is what Summer funlovin' is all aboot.

Hey Pearl - call me eh?

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wow, you're a brave girl. If I ran into the people I used to party with I'd turn the other way and R U N
Sounds like you had a blast!

Anonymous said...

What sweet memories! ;-)