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6:06 a.m. - 2005-01-03

THE TALE OF UNCLE BOB AND THE NEW YEARS EVE PARTY


The year was 1985.

Huey Lewis and the News ruled the pop charts, people stayed home on Wednesday nights to watch Dynasty and penises were still being shoved recklessly into vaginas and/or rectums with little fear of contracting a new disease called AIDS.

A young, naive Uncle Bob had just quit his lucrative position as a manager of a Waffle House to enter the exciting and vomit-filled world of the bar business.

Uncle Bob worked as a bouncer in a club called "Stagger Lee's". His job was an easy one ... check people's I.D.s, keep an eye out for anyone looking to cause trouble and flirt endlessly with the young women who frequented the nightclub.

One afternoon in the summer of '85, the club's disc jockey was involved in a motorcycle accident, leaving his leg shattered in roughly 63 places.

Frantic, the club's manager asked Uncle Bob if he had ever spun records before.

Uncle Bob, who admittedly had more chutzpah than brains, said "Fuck yes, dude. Point me in the direction of the DJ booth and watch MIRACLES happen."

It took Uncle Bob roughly two hours to figure out how to turn on all the equipment in order to produce sound.

But once sound was produced, it was a glorious sound, full of driving beats and screeching guitars and Huey Lewis bitching that he needed a new drug because the one he was currently abusing wasn't doing shit for his career.

For Uncle Bob went a different route than the shattered leg DJ who preferred to play Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple songs over songs people could dance to.

Uncle Bob, sticking with his instincts, chose cheesy disco songs that people were not only familiar with but could dance to as well.

The praise for Uncle Bob started almost immediately, after the initial "You SUCK!" craze that marred his first few months in the DJ booth.

A career ... and the most successful nightclub in town ... was built.

When the former DJ's leg healed completely after nearly six months of rehabilitation, he walked through the doors of Stagger Lee's and marched to his DJ booth, fully expecting the reins to be handed back to him, thus shooing Uncle Bob back to the front door to resume his life as a bouncer.

However, management stopped the DJ on his march to the DJ booth, kicked him repeatedly in his newly rehabbed shin and informed him that his services were no longer required, for Uncle Bob, King of the Impromptu DJs, was doing a much better job than the former DJ ever did.

Cursing Uncle Bob as he was escorted from the building, the former DJ swore his revenge loudly while shaking his fists somewhat menacingly in Uncle Bob's direction.

Uncle Bob, with headphones cocked between his left shoulder and ear, simply waved goodbye to his former co-worker and cued up Grand Funk's "Some Kind Of Wonderful" while tapping his foot merrily.

And the rest is somewhat exaggerated history.



Fast forward 19 and a half years.



(Are you getting excited yet? Wondering where this is going? Huh? Are ya?)



It's New Year's Eve 2004.

After a lengthy discharge from the world of disc jockeying, Uncle Bob has re-entered the business with a vengeance.

He is now sober, drug-free and has learned how to be nice to customers, greeting them now with feebly-forced smiles rather than a raised middle finger and a poorly lobbed beer bottle as he had in years past.

Arriving at the house that he is scheduled to perform in, he sighs as he finds an oversized and clean garage which he is told to set his equipment up in.

While he's putting speakers on their stands, he hears a voice.

"Mr. Stagger Lee's!" the voice booms.

Uncle Bob whips around to face a total stranger.

"Uhhhh ... hi," Uncle Bob says in a totally non-committed tone.

"I can't believe we're going to have YOU DJing our party," the stranger beams. "We used to listen to you every week for years!"

"We?" Uncle Bob asks.

"Yeah," the stranger says. "All of us used to come to Stagger Lee's back in the 80s!"

The woman who had hired Uncle Bob chirps in as she walks into the garage.

"Gah! Stagger Lee's!" she says with a smile on her face. "I met my ex-husband there! That was THE PLACE to go back in the 80s."

Uncle Bob nodded his head and flashed one of those forced smiles that he had mastered in recent years.

"Yes!" he blurted out. "Yes, it was."

As Uncle Bob began playing the music and people began entering the garage with snapping fingers and tapping toes, he noticed many familiar faces which had accumulated wrinkles and gray hairs along life's journeys.

Uncle Bob did what anyone would do in his position.

He stood there with his headphones on and repeated the phrase "Oh shit" hundreds of times in his head.

For Uncle Bob was quite the fucking asshole back at Stagger Lee's. While alcohol was the spark that ignited his assholey fire, much of the rage that lived within him stemmed from the sheer repetition of the same faces and the same music night after night after night.

After a 13 year vacation from these faces, they returned with a vengeance on this one night.

...Asking for the same songs that drove Uncle Bob away from the business in the first place.

Back in the 80s, Uncle Bob handled these problems in a different way ... as he was reminded at one point in the evening.

"Hey!" one familiar, now wrinkled face breathed into Uncle Bob's face with a gusto of Jack Daniels underlying the word. "Do you remember that time I asked you to play "Strokin'" and you took the record out and smashed it on the counter of your DJ booth until it shattered and then told me you couldn't play it because it was broken?"

Uncle Bob thought "Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit oh shit oh shit."

"Ha ha," Uncle Bob fake laughed through his faker smile. "I DO remember that! Wasn't that a hoot?"

"Can you play 'Strokin'," the Jack Daniels-breath man asked.

"Sure!" Uncle Bob chirped.

Why the difference in attitude?

Several reasons actually but the main reason being that when Uncle Bob USED to play "Strokin" ten times a night, he was being paid $6 an hour to do so.

Now, Uncle Bob gets paid $6 every time he plays the song.

It's much easier to smile and chirp with a pay increase like that.

Aaaaand ... the lack of alcohol in his blood stream causes Uncle Bob to be less abrasive than in past years.

While his initial fears of party attendees rejecting him because of his volatile attitude in the past subsided slowly throughout the night, there was one problem that Uncle Bob still had to surmount.

Yes.

The former DJ of the nightclub limped in to the party about 10 p.m.

Paunchier and wrinklier than in the past, the former DJ followed his natural instincts and looked to see who was making the music in this sweaty and whiskey-soaked garage.

Eyes were locked.

Arch nemesiseseseses drew beady stares at each other for the first time in almost 20 years.

The former DJ ... now professional gimp ... turned on his shattered heels and went back inside the house where trays of Triscuits with chipped beef and shredded cheddar cheese were being distributed with silent fervor.

Uncle Bob breathed a nervous sigh of relief.

The party continued as the patrons shake shake shaked shake shake shaked shaked their booties to KC and the Sunshine Band as if it were 1985 all over again.

If Uncle Bob's eyes are to be trusted, the former DJ did not step shattered foot back into the garage for the rest of the evening and for all intents and purposes, may have even left the premises without a word.

At the end of the evening, after "Auld Lang Syne" had been played and Uncle Bob was given the clearance to shut down the music and return to his humble abode 30 miles away, he was greeted with several positive responses regarding his daft choice in music selections.

"I can't believe you played Dancing Queen," one woman gushed. "I LOVE that song! I haven't heard it in years!"

"I still can't believe we had the former DJ of Stagger Lee's playing at OUR party!" her friend gushed equally but with a smidgen more enthusiasm.

"Thank you for playing 'Strokin' 11 times," a portly balding man belched.

"Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!" Uncle Bob said, while shaking hands and signing autographs ... even though the autograph was on a piece of paper accompanied with his phone number since he was out of business cards.

The night was a success!

The angels purred as they stroked their wings in Heaven!

Several forthcoming parties were promised to Uncle Bob for the year 2005!

Exclamation marks were distributed freely throughout his online diary!!!

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