Prompt: Write a quirky story just for laughs. Leave the drama at the door or save it for your mama.
Word Limit: 128
This is a little different from previous F3 submissions. Mainly in the fact that it’s on my music review blog and not my short fiction blog. But I thought the prompt lent itself to the adventures of my pretend band so here is another evening with the best pretend band since Spinal Tap.
The Jam Room (546 Words)
If you will know a man see where he sleeps.
Some rooms and buildings have a character. Churches have character as do hospitals. The practice space of any band takes on the persona of the members of the band. A garage becomes not just a messy spot filled with camping equipment and yard tools but an extension of the group that creates there. A basement is more than Christmas decorations packed away in boxes; it is a studio for a collection of artists.
Ockym’s Razyr practices in Drummer Josh Randall’s two car garage. Actually, the garage is more his girlfriends because she pays the rent. One of the stalls is filled with normal garage staples: gas cans, tool boxes, a broken hammock, fishing poles. The other stall is cleared away to make room for drums, guitars and amplifiers. A dry erase board is on the wall with song titles. A table sits near the pull down door with an overflowing ashtray and countless beer cans atop it.
“We should do more shows,” says one member.
“We should do less shows,” says another.
With the constant bickering and disagreements that arise between the boys it’s a wonder that they ever get anything done. It’s surprising that they’ve managed to write most of the songs on that dry erase board and that they’ve managed to agree on covers to perform. At one point an argument over which song to play next goes on for ten minutes; roughly the time it would take to perform two or three songs. That they’re able to operate as a group is nothing short of miraculous.
“We need to write more songs.”
“We should perfect the ones we already have.”
It’s not that there is no direction; the problem is that there are three or four different directions and no one can agree on which to follow. Adam and Paul want to go one way. Josh wants to follow a different path. Matt has drank four beers within the first hour of practice and is usually worthless after ninety minutes. Hal just wants to play; he doesn’t care what. The band has considered getting a manager. Matt’s uncle Rick had performed that duty in the past. Before he went to prison for statutory rape.
“We should smoke some more pot.”
“We should drink more beer.”
A typical practice runs about two and a half hours. They go through all their songs, fiddle about with some that are in the rudimentary phases and then give up and crack open their third or fifth or twelfth beers. Adam sneaks out back for a joint.
“It doesn’t matter if we’re a mess,” Josh Randall tells me. “So long as we’re a mess together. If one of us messed up it sounds awful, but if we all mess up we can usually pull it off. That’s why we usually pace ourselves at shows. We do shots together and drink beers together so that we’re all equally fucked up.”
After watching five guys that appear to hate each other argue for twelve minutes over the length of a guitar solo then pull of a glorious renditions of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla,” I can’t argue with his logic. After all, something seems to be working for them.