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Rick's List - Same Old Song and Dance Edition

Stop me if you've heard this one before ...

In June, 1982, at the Texxas Jam in the Cotton Bowl, Journey headlined a bill that included Santana, Sammy Hagar, Joan Jett, and Point Blank. I lived in a house with several other bandmates and a roadie, and some of them attended the Jam because we knew the guys in Point Blank and it was a big deal that they were on the show. I decided to stay home because it was well over 100 degrees that day.

The roadie, Larry "Crazy Larry" Rollen, was among those who attended. As Rollen came by his nickname for very good reasons, I wasn't totally surprised, a few hours later, when a stretch limousine pulled up in front of our crappy house. There was a placard on the front dashboard that read POINT BLANK, and I assume all the Jam bands had similar cards in their limos so any rock stars wandering around VIP parking would know which luxury vehicle to fall into after they finished performing.

Somehow, Crazy Larry persuaded the driver he was a member of Point Blank and needed to run a few errands. Off they went on a tour of Crazy Larry's old neighborhood to visit his parents' house, then to see a few former girlfriends. At each stop, Larry got out and paraded around so all the old gang could see they'd been wrong in their collective certainty of his uselessness. Here was Crazy Larry in a triumphant return, ensconced in a limousine that WASN'T his hearse!

HOLD ON! I've already told you this?!

Oh, hell. I'm sorry.

Y'see, as we get older, we start to increasingly share the same ol' stories over and over again. I think the tendency is threefold.

1. We're desperately trying to prove to a younger generation that we, too, were once young and vital and had great fun.

2. Each of us KNOWS that young people don't care about our memories, but there's a desperate, secret part of our hearts that clings to the hope that OUR escapades will be the ones that make the Young Persons sit up and take notice and say, "Hey, THAT oldster actually DID do some pretty cool stuff."

3. Maybe we tell these anecdotes not for the benefit of others so much as to remind ourselves that life was not always about going to bed at 8:30 p.m.

In any case, I've invented An Oldster Anecdote Device, which is sorta like one of those "I've fallen down!" Life Alert buttons.

1. The Oldster Anecdote Device (OAD) has a pre-programmed catalog of all your tales from antiquity. The OAD also has a pre-programmed list of every acquaintance, friend and relative you're likely to encounter more than once in a five-year period.

2. The OAD algorithm automatically cross-references the story you're starting to tell with the acquaintance/family database and buzzes to let you know that this particular audience has already been bored by this story.

3. The OAD has an alternative ID system for "very frequent flyers" with an automated voice that just announces, "Rick Anecdote #206." And everyone in the room can glance at the app on their cell phones and say, "Ah, got it! The Crazy Larry steals Point Blank's limo story" and you can save your breath. 


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