Bruce Carleton, mandarin, points the way.
I've pretty much managed to blot out most of the memories of the events surrounding the ill-starred First Annual Punk Awards Ceremony. But I've been suffering from a little bit of constipation lately, and my spiritual advisor has indicated that some cathartic therapy may be in order. I should add a little about my spiritual advisor. He's former U.S. Marine Corps PFC G. Pyle. (SEE HERE.) Whenever you need his council, all you have to do is follow this simple procedure:

(1) Decide on your two options (two's all you get).

(2) Assign one to the index finger and the other to the middle finger of the right hand. (It has to be the right hand, even if you're left-handed. Otherwise the stimuli will go to the posterior part of the superior convolution of the right temporal lobe, and then you'll be getting your communications from the wrong channel altogether.)

(3) Extend these two fingers.

(4) Hold them about five centimeters above a flat, even surface.

(5) Raise them a bit and bring them down fairly hard in a tapping motion. Try to keep the contact as even as possible, not favoring one finger or the other.

(6) Determine which finger "tingles" the most. That's your answer.

It's true that this is a black/white, on/off kind of thing, but that's part of what makes it so beneficial. Besides, nobody using a computer, which most likely includes you if you are reading this, should knock the binary concept of on/off. Anyway, the Pyle Method is a particularly good tool in places like Vietnam that don't have coins.

But I'm getting off the subject. (Which was the idea.) Okay... the Punk Awards. I remember John coming up with the idea. He was pretty excited... but then John's a naturally enthusiastic person. It would be a gala evening, we'd make lots of money and have lots of fun, publicity for the magazine, hang out with the stars, etc. As he talked about it I kind of slouched down in my chair, the way you do in school when you don't want to be called on. I'm not much of a guy for this kind of thing... I don't think I've even had a birthday party since I was eight or so. This sounded too much like "Let's put on a show." Which, of course, is exactly what it was. But I knew then, as I know now, that it could have worked. (You'll have to refer to the other reminiscences for why it didn't... I wasn't really a general on this thing, or even a front-line soldier... more like an REMF supply clerk... so I can't talk about strategy, or come up with any combat stories either.)

Well, plans went ahead, of course. I drew a poster showing a lady walking down some steps while buildings fell down around her, and made a ticket with a picture of lifeboats pulling away from a sinking ship and the words "A Titanic Evening" written above it. But I swear, I didn't mean anything by it. It must've been subconscious (although I hadn't become reacquainted with my spiritual advisor yet at that point). And none of us thought about the significance of these portents until later.

I don't recall any of my pre-festivity duties. Putting up some posters is all I can remember doing. But somebody must've done something, because it began to fall together. Then, of course, Sid killed Nancy, and nobody wanted to be associated with "punk." People who had said they would participate didn't return phone calls, etc. Or maybe they had an inkling.

I got to the venue early to help set up, and was nestled into the back room by the time people started arriving. And for the rest of the night, as things seemed to get worse and worse, I never left that friendly confine, except maybe to peek around a corner once or twice. We just sat and drank beer (Elin, Patricia, Spacely, when he was still cool in his junior-Mafioso three-piece pinstripe suit and had two eyes, and Cindy, his down-to-earth gal, and who else I'm not sure... anybody that could escape the front). I sat there feeling grateful I wasn't Jolly, and slouching even more when harried-looking John would come back searching for somebody to do something.

I'm told it wasn't as bad as all that. I'm told there was a party afterwards, and that it was a lot of fun, and I'm told I was there, but I have no memory of it at all. I wasn't that drunk, so this has to be a psychological block. Unfortunately, Gomer only answers yes/no questions, so dredging up any kind of detailed recollections would be very painstaking. And enough pain has been taken already.

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