Friday, April 27, 2012

My early days as a writer.

When I was a kid--a teenager--back in the early 70s, our culture, even in New York, was highly influenced by California. If you think about it most every TV show was set in California, or in some fantastically anti-septic and blonde place that could pass for it.

(Today of course, our culture is influenced by the black street. Dress, language, deportment and more are considered gauche if they're not "gangsta.")

But in my day, it was California. Things were groovy in Cali. Our parents drove Malibus. Even our dark and jowly President Nixon was a Californian.

As a consequence, when my friends and I greeted each other, we would often utter the ridiculous phrase "How's it hanging?"

I don't know that I ever heard a response to the question until one day an older kid, Andre, who had returned drugged and damaged from Vietnam answered "Long and loose and full of juice."

That set me off.

I would never again not have a response to "How's it hanging?"

I created: Long and lean and really mean.
Big and fat and ready for that.
Long and steady and good and ready.
Big and mean and like a machine.

And about a dozen more.

It became something of a game my friends would play with me. Who could come up with the most suggestive answer? Who would be stumped? Who couldn't keep up?

I guess this is a long way of saying that since my earliest days I have always loved words and I've cultivated my love for them.

Sometimes still, I take my hat off to Andre. And mutter, "well equipped and ready to dip."



4 comments:

Sean Peake said...

Thick as a brick and never quick

glasgowdick said...

Girthy, mirthy and earthy.
Oh wait, maybe I'm doing this wrong.

geo said...

Rich, I knew there'd be a comment from you.

Hannah said...

we got more bounce in california than all yall combined