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6:19 a.m. - 2006-01-09


Naturally, everyone remembers my beef with the British guy across the street, but I'll recap it for the less intelligent folks reading today.

We were planning a block party which we cancelled due to lack of interest. The British guy basically FORCED us to reconsider and said they already had a bunch of people coming to the party. We went on with the party and nobody came except for the lady next door while the British guy's wife came over to say they weren't coming because "a bunch of people" were coming to their house to grill hamburgers ... which is what we had planned to do in the street and blah blah blah I'm over it now.

Anyway ... big moving truck in British guy's driveway this weekend.

Lotsa stuff hauled off. Several big moving truckloads.

Yet ... British guy still there this morning. Just saw him getting his morning paper.

What up, British Guy??

The plot thickens.

Actually ... the plot's barely simmering.

I filled in for Mattie Gee at his nightclub on Saturday night as he and his little Spicoli brothers are conducting band practices and getting back together to dominate the south with their unique brand of rock and rollllll after a lengthy absence.

I was nervous about doing his club because A) I've never DJ'ed in his club before and from what he's told me ... the patrons can be a wee bit difficult to work with.

The owner of the bar said they play "oldies" early in the night and change to "booty" music late in the night.

The house DJ says she plays country early in the night and switches to booty music late in the night.

So ... even though I'm well versed in oldies, country and booty music ... it's tough to try and please these three different varieties of music fans.

Thus ... my nervousnessness.

Yet somehow ... I pulled it off.

What blew me away was just how nice everyone was. From the bartenders to the doorman to the freakin' drunken customers ... everyone was just so damned nice to me.

Usually, a substitute DJ gets the same respect as a substitute teacher. Nobody pays attention to them and if they do, it's with bitterness.

I had one woman come up to the booth within the first hour as I was playing the second slow song of the hour.

"I've got some advice for you," she started which made me cringe because I really really really HATE when people try to tell me how to do a job that I've been doing off and on for 21 years now.

"What's that?" I said, giving her all the respect I usually reserve for a substitute teacher.

"Keep the music upbeat," she said.

"I've been playing for an hour," I said. "This is only the second slow song I've played."

"My husband's getting pissed with all this slow music," she said.

"IT'S ONLY THE SECOND SLOW SONG I'VE PLAYED," I said with my tone of voice in all caps because I speak in all caps when someone has gotten on my last fucking nerve. "TRUST ME ... THE NEXT SONG WILL BE MORE UPBEAT."

"Okay," the lady said. "I'm just giving you advice."

I smiled a very strained smile.

"I've been doing this for over 20 years," I said. "I know what I'm doing."

She walked away.

As I made last call at 1:30, she came back up to the booth.

I cringed again.

"I just want you to know that you did a fantastic job tonight," she said.

That made me feel so damned good. The only person who had criticized me all night long came up to compliment me at the end.

She then proceeded to inform me that she was very very drunk right now, but that her husband had a great time (he was way too drunk to talk coherantly) and that they danced a lot and loved the music.

We then talked for 15 minutes while I tried to explain the psychology of being a club DJ and how at least once an hour, you have to play at least two slow songs because many people don't have much faith in their ability to dance fast in public but everyone feels comfortable with hugging a person and turning around in slow circles while Eric Clapton assures them they look wonderful tonight several times in the timespan of three minutes and fifty-two seconds.

And once they're out on the dance floor slow dancing ... you give them another song that's just a wee bit more upbeat. Then another ... just a wee bit more upbeater. Then another ... even more upbeater. Until before they know it ... they're out there thrashing around to the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" with reckless abandon.

The woman's husband finally walked up to the booth and slurred "great job tonight" before trying to communicate to his wife that the club was closed and it was time to go ... which took him about two minutes to form into a sentence.

The woman then HUGGED me for a long extended period of time. Long enough for me to determine she had been smoking Marlboros all night as confirmed by the strong overpowering stench of her badly permed hair.

I stopped the music, thanked everyone for coming out and for having me as their DJ tonight ... and people freakin' APPLAUDED me.

Not everyone.

But out of the 20 or so people left in the club ... probably half of them applauded.

What a fine freakin' bunch of people there.

Mattie Gee is one lucky assed DJ.

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