Music Is My Salvation
The Carbon Daters are Awesome

I got to Denver at nine o'clock and there wasn't a anything to do so I caught on the next southbound bus, paid ten bits, and rode to the fourth circle of Littleton. I don't remember the name of the place but I remember the marquee:


I opened the cover...$1.50 GLASSES of Schlitz...the special was triple shots of peppermint schnapps. I said to the bartendtress, “I'll have four Schlitzes and a bottle of your finest paint thinner.” She said, “How do you like your paint thinner?” I said, “A pinch of sugar and a fistful of half and half.” She said, “Sit down, the band's about to start.”

Nobody knows how to talk to bartenders anymore.

The band started halfway into my second beer. A guitarist, a drummer, and an organist. The lead singer introduced the band, “We ARE THE CARBON DATERS!!!” and the drummer led them into their first tune. I remember thinking, where's the bass? And then a young(er than me) lady sat down at my table. She was smoking two cigarettes at once. She grabbed one of my Schlitzes, finished it s-l-o-w-l-y and said, “How you like the band?”

I said, “The tuba's too loud.”

She said, “That’s my little brother.” 

“No offence,” says I. We sat in silence.  There was no tuba player. 

Next thing you know she asks me to dance. I agree. We shuffle the rug for a couple of numbers. The band takes a break and I take a leak. When I come back, SHE'S STILL THERE. AND SHE'S PURCHASED EIGHT MORE GLASSES OF BEER.

It was at this point that I blacked out.

I woke up the next morning in front of a south Broadway convenience store. I had copies of the Carbon Daters' latest CD wedged into each of my armpits.  I sold them to a passing teenager for bus fare back to Ward. When I got home, I undressed to take a shower and found a pair woman's underwear stuffed down the front of my pants. Written upon the back side, in black marker, were the words, “Thanks for the great night. Call me. Love,”-- the rest was smeared beyond recognition.

If I were a betting man, I'd say I got lucky.

--Strapping Danforth, February, 2001

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