Tales of Rock – Badfinger

Badfinger should’ve been a huge success story, but instead became a cautionary tale for the myriad ways the music industry exploits and throws away so many talented but naive artists.

Possibly the most heartbreaking story in rock and roll happens to have happened to one of the best bands in its history.

Badfinger should’ve been a huge success story, but instead became a cautionary tale for the myriad ways the music industry exploits and throws away so many talented but naive artists. After supporting major outfits including The Yardbirds, Pink Floyd and the Who, the band — then named the Iveys — was picked up by manager Bill Collins in 1966. It was a move that would help them reach early stardom and contribute heavily to their downfall. Ray Davies of the Kinks recorded three early demos, which Collins managed to get to Apple Records; Badfinger signed with Apple in 1968, making them the first band that wasn’t the Beatles on the label. After a lineup and name change to Badfinger, Paul McCartney penned their first hit, the timeless power pop classic “Come and Get It.” (Written for the soundtrack of The Magic Christian, a loopy, cameo-filled British comedy starring Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers that’s worth watching for the sheer absurdity of it all.) The song became an international hit. The band’s two primary songwriters, Pete Ham and Tom Evans, also wrote “Without You,” a standard since covered by more than 180 artists, including Shirley Bassey, Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra and, perhaps most famously, Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey.

George Harrison had them play on his 1970 album All Things Must Pass and featured them as part of his backing band at The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. The point is, Badfinger should’ve been rolling in dough, their names solidified among rock’s most important acts. But taking manager Collins’s advice, the band trusted their money to an American businessman named Stan Polley who absconded with their funds, leaving the band in contractual binds that made it virtually impossible to continue on their own.

Lead singer Ham — by all accounts, an incredibly sensitive, sweet man who believed to the very end in Polley’s honesty despite all indications otherwise — hanged himself shortly thereafter. (Polley, in a move that even most scumbags would be disgusted by, tried to cash in on Ham’s life insurance.) Inconsolable and unable to restart his own career in music, Tom Evans — who reportedly said numerous times over the ensuing years that he wanted to be “where [Pete] is” — also hanged himself eight years later. Badfinger finally got a sliver of the rediscovery they deserve when their 1972 song “Baby Blue” was used in the series finale of Breaking Bad. The nod helped the song’s Spotify streams jump an astounding 9,000 percent in the hours after the show ended, and to sell 5,000 copies of the single on iTunes in a single night.

 

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Mary – 2014 to Present – Chapter 2 – New Years Day Brunch 2016 – Part One

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

Normally, a dating post like this one would appear on a Monday. But since I’m publishing three days a week now, to preserve continuity with the events of New Years weekend, this is technically the third installment of the events that occurred over my New Years weekend. Clarice, Carly, and Mary is a trilogy that should be together.

Since our first date Mary and I have met for lunch at Capital Grille and also at Square 1682 again for drinks. We went to Capital Grille because she said she’s known the bartender for fifteen years. She says she gets the hook up. I dig the hook up when I get it so I was down. The lunch was delicious and the company was good. Poor Mary, was having some oral pain for some dental work she needed done, so instead of steak she went with the salmon. But at nearly sixty-nine years of age, she’s hanging tough and looking good doing it. I did the burger to keep the cost down, but in the end we didn’t get any hook up. Good news is, Mary kicked in over forty dollars towards the bill, so Mary is clutch. The moral of this story is, if your name isn’t Phicklephilly or Church, you don’t really get the real hookup.

So this would technically be our fourth date. Mary’s cataract surgery was complete and the vision in her right eye is now clear again. After my date New Years Eve brunch with Clarice, (See: Clarice – 2016 to Present – The CEO – New Years Eve Brunch) and the wedding set up with Carly, (See: Carly – 2014 to Present – New Years Eve) I was ready to spend New Years Day with Mary.

These have been my kind of holidays and I think I finally got it right. In December I saw my family in the middle of the month at our annual holiday party.

Fantastic.

Like I’ve said before I’ve never been a fan of New Years because it’s drunken amateur night. Just can’t do it. So this year, I’ve managed to build these little meetings around the holiday, without actually having to participate in said holiday.

I decided to take Mary to brunch at the City Diner at Broad and South. It was formerly Juniper Commons. A Kevin Spraga restaurant. It was an abject failure. They had eighty different gins. You could pick your club soda from a load of different flavors. It had a diner decor and played 80’s music throughout. I had brunch there when it first opened. I had this magnificent pancake concoction. Best ever. The two times I went back my buddy Church said the burgers were sub par, and another time I had brunch with Trish there, the food outright sucked. Who wants gin, let alone eighty different kinds?

The place went under in less than six months. Bitch, please.

A Greek family came in and turned the place into a twenty-four hour diner. Crushing it. perfect spot and perfect idea. Like my partner Achilles over at the salon, the Greeks just know how to get it done. Wait until some big shot goes in and does the whole build out on the restaurant and wait for it to fail. Then go in and open your restaurant and all of the stuff is already there to make it work.

Genius.

I meet her there and we’re all set. I called a few days before and made a reservation for a window booth on the Broad street side. The mummers parade goes right down Broad street all day on New years. Perfect vantage point to dine while watching the parade go by. Mary is impressed. It’s what I’m good at. Being at the parade can sometimes be a shitshow, but being behind glass and away from the crowd and noise, it’s a delight.

We have a really nice Irish girl who will be our server. It’s about 1:15pm at this point. I order a Yards Pale, and Mary goes with the prosecco. How about that? Two different dates in two days, and they order the same thing. Just goes to show, ladies dig bubbly when it comes to day drinking. Place is swinging. Very busy. Juniper Commons was never like this.

Mary and I are chatting and catching up on what’s been happening in our lives over the holidays. The server comes by and we’re not ready. That always happens. I get chatting with someone and forget to look at the menu. She returns in a bit and we’re ready. Mary goes with the Eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon, and I have the french toast deluxe. Deluxe means they give me a sizable slice of ham, two pieces of bacon and a single sausage. Just a glorious brunch item. Order is in, and now it’s maybe 1:40pm.

We chat away, and order another round. The diner fills and several large parties come in. We’re laughing and talking as the parade rolls by. The people watching alone is almost better than the parade, and we’ve got a court side seat.

Time goes by.

More time goes by.

And even more time goes by.

We’re not starving but it’s been an hour and no food.

An hour!

At a fucking diner!

At Midtown diner they crack that food off to you so fast you barely tell them what you want and it’s in front of you. And Little Pete’s? Lightning. We can’t figure out what’s wrong. The server comes over and apologizes, several times. We’re not angry because we’re enjoying each others company the time sort of just rolls by. But we should be a little cross about this situation. The server tells us it’s the kitchen’s fault. They have had a few large tables come in and they are in the weeds. But that’s not our problem. I understand the challenges of the service industry and so does Mary…first hand.

Once it’s an hour and a half, and we’re about to order our third round, the server returns once again. She apologizes and is really sweet. We tell her it’s not her fault. I suggest that we pay for our drinks, and when our food eventually comes out after two hours, we eat it and tip her up to what the whole meal would cost, but the manager or owner comps our lunch. In theory this seems fair.

But the server tells us that they are Greek. (we know this) Any shortcoming that occur in the diner are the fault of the server. But we tell her she is completely innocent in all of this. She insists they will take it out of her pay and she’ll get in trouble.

Well that sucks. I can’t let that happen. We tell her we’re rescinding the offer and to forget we ever said anything. We express this with great earnest because she’s under enough stress, running around all day serving hungry cranky customers. I drop the idea.

Mary agrees. We’re cool. The server tells us just two more orders ahead of us and they’ll bring us our food. We’re both a little buzzed at this point and are still having a lovely time.

A few minutes later our orders from nearly two hours ago finally arrive. Fresh and hot just as if they were delivered minutes after we ordered. Presentation looks solid, and we’re both satisfied. We tear into our platters like hungry children. (#firstworldproblems) it’s all delish!

The server comes back and tells us if we want another round it’s on them. I think we’re square. It really wasn’t bad sitting there with Mary chatting away on a beautiful day. We’re finishing up and she gets a glass of wine and I go with a cocktail. The Scofflaw. It contains Crown Royal, dry vermouth, grenadine, orange bitters, and an Amarena cherry. Not a bad, spirit forward drink for a diner at 4:30 in the afternoon.

We’ve been here all afternoon!

We enjoy our free drinks and I pay the bill, but I told Mary that since she’s had so many medical woes lately, I wanted to do something for her. She’s been paying dutch normally when we go out, and I appreciate that. It’s New Years day of 2017, and I enjoy her company. I want to do something for her.

Tune in tomorrow to find out where these crazy kids end up next!

 

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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 3 -First Date

What if I’m not falling for her at all? What if I’m simply in love with the idea of love, and not this woman?

It was a hot day in July of 2013. I remember that summer being especially humid. I didn’t want to get all sweaty before my date with Annabelle. So I took a taxi up to the Barnes Museum. But sadly, many of those cabs are still hot as hell in the summertime. I went inside, told them I was on the guest list and that I was waiting for my plus one.  The girl at the counter tells me it’s cooler downstairs. I head down to cool off and dry out. I was heavier back then, (36 waist!) so maybe that’s why I was sweating more. I get some water and have a seat.

I get a text from Annabelle that she has arrived. I tell her to just let them know who she is and they’ll let her in. She comes downstairs to get me. She is wearing her hair up, and has a black top and matching black slacks that just cover her knees. Is that called Capri pants? She is also wearing heels so she towers over me. I don’t care. I’m Phicklephilly. I cast a great shadow across this city. She goes to use the restroom, and I chill out looking at little models of what the building looked like when they were designing it. The are all in different stages under glass.  I’m looking at one of the tiny models very closely when she returns. She comes up behind me and I just feel her presence. I turn around and she is over me looking at what I’m looking at. I tell her it felt like I was being stalked by a raptor from Jurassic Park. She laughs and does this little impression of a raptor. I find this funny and ask her if she liked the film  Jurassic Park. (One of my favorite movies)

“I love Jurassic Park.”

“Okay….okay” I reply.

We go upstairs and into the main ballroom. They are having a little first Friday celebration. A live band plays some sweet jazz. For whatever reason we’re both starving. I get us high top with a pair of chairs, and tell her I’ll go fetch us some snacks and wine.

I head over to the bar and all they have is overpriced everything and some cheese and chips. It’s the Barnes for God’s sake. Can’t they afford any decent chow for the guests? I gather up two bags of chips some cheese and a couple of glasses of wine. I’m not even gone for five minutes, and some old codger has already swooped in and started talking to my date. This guy is easily twenty years older than me. I approach, drop the food on the table and hand Annabelle her wine.

“Really dude? I was gone all of five minutes. Get your own girl.” I joke.

We chat with the old guy. He seems charming and harmless. After a bit, Annabelle and I go over to tour the collection. Apparently, that wasn’t part of the passes I was given. I simply drop a name and they let us in. I had never seen the collection before so it was a real treat for me to see what a billion dollar art collection looked like.

The collection includes 181 paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 69 by Paul Cézanne, 59 by Henri Matisse, 46 by Pablo Picasso, 21 by Chaim Soutine, 18 by Henri Rousseau, 16 by Amedeo Modigliani, 11 by Edgar Degas, seven by Vincent van Gogh, and six by Georges Seurat. Other European and American masters in the collection include Giorgio de Chirico, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, Paul Gauguin, El Greco, Francisco Goya, Édouard Manet, Jean Hugo, Claude Monet, Maurice Utrillo, William Glackens, Charles Demuth, Jules Pascin and Maurice Prendergast. It also holds a variety of African artworks; ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art; and American and European furniture, decorative arts and metalwork. The museum also holds several significant works by cubist sculptor Jacques Lipchitz.

It was pretty amazing how one guy was able to collect this many fantastic, priceless pieces of art. We walk from room to room, looking at everything. At one point she says, “Out of everything in this room, which is your favorite?”  Then I would choose the one I liked the best. I would do the same to her. We did this enough times, until finally she asked me what was my favorite in the last room.

I simply pointed to her.

She smiled.

We then went downstairs to the rum tasting. We were all in a room and they gave us three different rums to try. The guy that was running the tasting really knew a lot about each rum and what made them different. But the weird part was, they were comparing the taste and look of the rum to different paintings in the collection. They had the images on a video screen on the wall. I’ve never seen this done, and I don’t even think it’s a real thing. But free rum is free rum. I remember the person talking about the mood of the paintings and the taste of the rum, and I was into it. there was a moment when my eyes drifted away from the host and onto Annabelle. I was looking at the painting and then my gaze passed over to Annabelle. I looked at her profile and neck. Was I falling for this girl? I took girls to events all of the time. What was it about this one? There’s nothing special about her really. It’s been two years since Michelle. I’m really taken with her. Has it just been too long since I’ve fallen in love that I just want that feeling again?

What if I’m not falling for her at all? What if I’m simply in love with the idea of love, and not this woman?

After the weird art/rum tasting we headed back upstairs. We probably shouldn’t have had all that wine and rum with so little food. I can handle it but it could be a bit painful for Annabelle tomorrow.

We leave the museum. It’s located in an area where it would be difficult to catch a taxi. I decide we should walk up to Spring Garden. We reach the corner and flag one down. We share the perfunctory hug. Dating’s funny. So much of it is tied to timing and ritual. I put her in the cab and ask her to text me that she has gotten home safely.

The cab rolls east into the night and as I walk back down into center city. As the city rises before me, I feel a little spring in my step.

 

 

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Michelle – 2007 to Present – Chapter 15 – Everyone’s Waiting

“You can’t take a picture because it’s already gone.”

I have always struggled with this series. I really have. Beyond trying to remember all of the crazy things we did, I’ve always been wondering what it meant to both if us.  What if we stayed together? You have to be careful with that. What do you do with it? What do you put in the story? What do you leave out? My family loves her. Have I made a mistake?

I remember saying to  co-worker, ” “If I ever got Michelle as a girlfriend, I  would knock her up and marry her tomorrow.  That’s nuts. That’s how crazy I used to be back then.

I have been writing this for six months. I started this series last year, Halloween 2016. Where do I go with a story this epic?

I have left out all of the fights and anguish and drama in our journey.

Maybe it’ll be in the book, but that shit is boring. Michelle rocks and I want to tell this story in her honor. (Sue me later Michelle!)

I know there are all of the times that belong only to us that are personal and human. To anyone that doesn’t know us… it would be embarrassing. So they will never be included in anything about us!

We were always beyond social media.

Our life together was elegant and beautiful. I was amazed that I was with Michelle and we got away with all of the things we did.

But not really.

You can’t take a picture if its already gone…

We had a power together that the rich and powerful longed for but could never attain with their money and wealth. We could glide among them with ease. They accepted us as their own but we never belonged to them.

We always belonged to each other exclusively.

We enjoyed playing in their park. and walking among them but never wanted to join them.

We decided on each other and we were in love.

That was always enough.

It had been a few years since Michelle and I were a together. We met in 2007, became a couple, and moved in together in 2008. She moved out in 2010, and we remained friends after that.

Now it was 2013.

We just hung out every other weekend, and may have unintentionally cock blocked each other from getting involved with other people because of that very fact. I know Michelle had gone on some dates, but they never materialized into anything. She never really talked about them anyway.

Me either.

One day we were out somewhere. Maybe, we were sitting outside at Fado. Looking at Nicholas Cage funny videos, But I could be wrong.

Well, we were having a drink somewhere.

Michelle tells me she has reconnected with Delaware Dave. (See: Michelle – Chapter 2 – Getting to Know You)

At first I was absolutely shocked. But I did think back to the days when Michelle would be drunk and angry at me and she’d go back to the bedroom in our apartment and call him.

Hmm…

She dumped me, but kept me around and kept in touch in with Dave as well. The whole, “I want to get married and have kids” thing wasn’t happening in our fair city, so she decided to roll the dice on something else. Something familiar. Something safe. I am assuming he wanted the same but it never happened for him either.

But Delaware Dave didn’t live in Delaware anymore. He had moved to San Francisco a few years ago. He was in management at a major home improvement company out there. (Should I start calling him, San Francisco Dave?)

I told her that sort of thing never works, not even on TV, but truth is stranger than fiction, and love is the most powerful thing in the universe.

She said, “He has grown into the man I always wanted him to be.”

I suppose the guy went out there, got a real job, quit smoking dope and grew up. I admire that.

But….

Love him for who he is, not for what you think he can become.

Just sayin’…

So she decides she’s going to quit her job at the non-profit, get rid of all of her furniture, get rid of her apartment, and move out to San Francisco and move in with him.

Yea, I know. Crazy right?

But I’m rooting for those crazy kids.

Before she moved out there, I think they would speak on the phone quite often. I don’t know if it was every night, because I didn’t see her everyday. One night we were hanging out having drinks, and she had to go home and make her routine call to Dave. I walked her to her stoop and said goodnight. She asked if I was going right home, and I told her I was going to stop at the liquor store and pick up a bottle of vodka. (So what else is new?)

She asked if I’d pick up a bottle of wine for her.

By the time I returned from the store she was done with her call. I texted her that I was outside and she came down to pick up her wine. I handed the bag to her.

“Wanna come up?”

When you drink alcohol, the first thing that leaves you is your sense of time. The second is your ability to make sound decisions. I guess I was at that point.

I went upstairs to her apartment and spent the night with her. They weren’t engaged yet, so technically she wasn’t cheating on Dave with me, but she kinda was.

The next morning she felt really guilty about what she had done. She got herself together. I was just going to go my office, but she insisted I ride with her in the cab up to her work. So we hopped in a taxi and took the long ride up to her job. I got out when we arrived and told her not to worry.

Just pretend it didn’t happen.

We slipped, and nothing happened. Obviously something had happened, but I just told her to keep telling herself that nothing happened. I knew it would be a rough day for her. She went into her building and I decided to make the long walk back to center city. It was a nice day and the exercise and sunshine would help to clear my head. (Walk of shame)

On my way home, I passed a Starbucks in Old City and I saw my friend Dina (See: Dina – 2011 to Present – Lil’ Jap) sipping coffee inside and working on her lap top. I went inside to say hello. She hits me with this chipper greeting:

“You look like shit.”

God I love her. Dina always has a nice way of being frank with me. She is my most beloved Jewish friend and confidant. Read on, and you’ll find out how she comes my financial advisor.  I told her what had happened. She giggled and seemed to enjoy the drama.

“So you’re on a ‘three-mile walk of shame’ back to the city?”

“Yea, pretty much.”

“Good luck with that.”

I fucking love, Dina.

I checked in with Michelle later and she was struggling, but I knew she’d be okay. It’s hard to leave your whole life, and move to another city to commit to someone for the rest of your life. You hope you’ve made the right decision.

We continued to hang out when all possible. But time was ticking away and the fateful day was soon to arrive. I remember we were supposed to have one final lunch before she left, but one of our investors had called a meeting and I couldn’t get out of it.

So that was it.

She was gone.

She got rid of all of her furniture, moved out of her apartment, and quit her job. She then got on a plane with what I’m guessing was her jewelry and wardrobe. It was a bold move, I’ll give her that.

Delaware Dave had finally won back his girl in the final reel.

Even if I end up as a footnote in Michelle’s life, I know I have helped and maybe even saved, or at least helped repair one person in this world. I want no credit for any of that. But if you can be something special to someone in this world and really help them to grow, then you have done something good while you are here on this speck of dust we call Earth.

I see you every day in the city, Michelle.  

But the longer I’m here you haunt me less and become a friendly spectre of what was once a magical time.

I’m just passing a tall beautiful blonde girl who isn’t you that I somehow wish was still you.

I am honored to have been chosen out all of the men in the world to love and sleep next to you Michelle, even if our time was fleeting.

The world is a better place with you in it.

And so am I, because of you.

Thank you for giving me life, romance, love and everything wonderful in my life, Michelle.

You gave me a beautiful life here in Philadelphia, Michelle. I came here from New York broken, and I was fixed by you. I know you think it’s the other way around but you saved me too, dear.

Better than I could ever imagined.

 

I continue on here in this city without you.

I miss you.

The city is not the same without you.

 

But I’ll never be without you, Michelle. I have my memories, and this tome now.

 

But I embrace my time with you.

 

And so life unfolds….

 

And off we go, my then greatest love.

 

Goodbye.

 

She always said: “I have so much fun with you, that when the day is over, I wish we could do it all again.”

 

” You can’t take a picture because it’s already gone. “

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 9am EST.

Marigold – 1997 to Present – Good German Stock

I’ve known her since she was 21 and now she’s a mom!

I met Marigold when she was only 21 years old. That was back in 97 when she worked for me as a teller in my bank branch at 10th and Snyder Aves. in South Philly. They would sometimes send her to another branch to help out, so I didn’t see her all of the time. She always seemed smarter and sharper than her peers. I really liked her. (Tall blonde. Good legs.)

We would sometimes go to lunch and it was always nice to spend time with her outside of the bank. Marigold eventually left retail banking for a better job. I remember she always dated high-end wealthy or affluent men. She wasn’t a gold digger or anything like that, just knew how to date a better class of men than most girls her age.

We kept in touch and would occasionally meet up for lunch or drinks to catch up. At one point I was living in New Jersey and she was living in the Fairmount area for Philly. I was married back then. Years later I was working in Philadelphia, and she had moved to New York. So that kept us apart except for the random visit. I later moved to New York for work and she was then living in Newark, NJ with her boyfriend of several years. That was just a few train stops beyond where I was living at the time. So we got to hang out every once in a while.

I remember attending her bachelorette party. I was the only guy invited. Just me surrounded by a bunch of women. It was awesome! She and her fiance married at city hall but then had a big reception down in the Bowery of NYC. I took my then girlfriend Jackie, who was a second generation girl from Haiti. She was a lawyer on Wall Street. She wanted to get married and have children so badly, I think she scared me off. Lorelei was enough kid for one lifetime for me.

I eventually moved back to Philly and took a job at a local digital publication. I didn’t see Marigold as much as I would have liked to, but we always managed to get together at least once or twice a year. Then she moved out to Lexington, Kentucky. Her husband is a professor at the University of Kentucky, so out they went. he’s a great guy. Everybody loves Don.  Men and women alike. He’s so cool that he’s never minded me hanging out with his wife. Cassandra works as a financial broker, so technically she can work anywhere. I have known Marigold twenty years now, and I’m sure hasn’t been a fan of living out in the midwest. She’s a city cat like me and probably misses living in a metropolis. I would bet that at some point they’ll come back.

She has a little son who is now six years old and two daughters that are about two and a half. They are fraternal twins. They all have white blonde hair and look like the perfect little Aryan family. They’re all really cute. I think the son could have used a bit more discipline to keep his behavior in check, but he’s not my child. I know for a while about a year ago, cassandra was losing her shit having three little kids to take care of everyday. That was real challenge for her. I think it aged her.

I was down at our shore house a few years ago to see my father and she visited with her son. She wanted to meet my father that I always spoke of fondly to her. She wanted to see his train collection and also wanted her son to see it. It’s pretty spectacular. I’m glad she finally got to meet my dad. Her life with her father had always been a challenge. I believe he was bi polar and struggled with alcohol. I remember even in her twenties she was taking care of him. Writing out his checks to pay his bills, etc. that must have been a lot for a young girl to bear. I may have fucked up some things in my life, but I was always capable of taking care of my daughter. Girls need strong dads. I may not be the strongest father, but I was consistent with Lorelei. I also wasn’t a crazy asshole like her mother, so that’s part of the reason Lor has decided to live with me.

I am writing this because I am about to go see her and her daughter tonight. She’s visiting Philly for a couple of days to see everybody, and this must be my night.  I will finish this piece upon my return.

I got to their hotel at 5pm. They are staying at the Courtyard at Marriott. It’s a nice hotel right near City Hall. Originally that building was built in 1926 as a government annex to City Hall for over 60 years. In 1990 it was acquired and renovated by Marriott. The marble floors and three chandeliers in the main lobby are all original. It is the largest Courtyard Marriott in the world.

Just thought I’d give you a little Philly history there.

I go up to her room, and her little daughter is on the carpet playing with her maryjane shoes. She’s so cute and social. I know it’s been a stressful drive up from DC today for Marigold. They were down there visiting with Don’s family for the holidays. Marigold is happy that she only has the one child to look after for the next couple of days. She is relieved that her husband and his family will get to spend time with her son and other daughter. Three little kids are a handful, but getting a break and only having to look after one is much needed on her part.

I hand Marigold a skinny joint. She’s delighted. She hardly ever smokes weed so she says she only needs a tiny bit to get lit. She excuses herself and heads to the bathroom to toke up. I’m just chilling on the couch sipping a glass of wine. I tell her to run the fan in the bathroom to draw out the smoke. I hear the fan go on followed by coughing.

Moments later, Marigold reappears, smiling. “Thanks, I needed that. Do my eyes look stoned?”

I assure her she looks fine. We get her little one in the stroller and head downstairs in the elevator. I’ve decided to take them to Zavino at 13th and Sansom. It’s a small place but we’re in a nice little booth in the back. I had called ahead to hold a table and they were very accommodating. They take the stroller and hang it in the back.

We settle into our seats and order some wine. I know they all love pizza and that’s why I brought them here. It’s really good brick oven pie here. They have this location and a bigger one out in University City. Their happy hour is pretty solid. We got two pies (they’re small) eight bucks a piece and the wine was only five bucks a glass. For a nice place like this in midtown village, that’s a good deal.

We had a nice dinner without incident. Her daughter was well-behaved. The food was great and the service on point. I was happy to see Marigold and share this moment of repose with her. When we finished, she insisted on paying the bill. I left the tip. I walked her back to the hotel and we called it a night. It was a great two hours to catch up with my old friend. She said she couldn’t wait to snuggle up with her little one, smoke a little more grass and fall into the arms of Morpheus.

I love Marigold like a sister.

 

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Joyce – 2016 – Delaware Despair

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

Still another grinding Tinder date. Gotta keep trying. I swiped right on Joyce, and she did as well. She is 51, with blonde hair and brown eyes. Not a bad-looking lady. She lives in Delaware as you may have guessed. She had only three photos on her profile. Head shots only and no description. In two of the photos she is doing a three-quarter face and looking at the camera with a sideward glance. The third photo is black and white and she is wearing dark sunglasses and looking away from the camera.

Being in sales most of my life, I am pretty good at reading facial expressions and body language. Normally, they say more than any words can express. A sideward glance shows mistrust. A woman who doesn’t do a body pic on her profile, may have some body issues. If you don’t write anything about yourself on your profile, you are either super hot and don’t have to, or you don’t have anything to say.

Let’s see how this plays out.

We chat on Tinder first. She liked what I wrote in my profile about if you don’t look like your pics you have to buy me drinks until you do. So that was good. She said she had only been on Tinder for two weeks. After two weeks she had low expectations. She said that if she actually got to the meeting stage, that would be a score. If there was something more after that, it would be an even bigger score. What she wasn’t looking for was, hookups, or weeks of endless texting with no meet up on the agenda. So that’s another positive in her favor.

I asked her is she ever came to Philly, and she says she comes all the time. I like that. But then she said Baltimore was the “New Philly.”

Strike one.

I tell her I work in business development, and am going to be opening a business in 2017 in personal fitness and tanning. I ask her what she does for a living. She says she has been a dental hygienist her whole life, but no longer practices. (Sounds grindingly horrible) It has taken a toll on her neck and back. But she has had the good fortune to manage the office. She likes problem solving and it keeps her very busy. For fun she loves to travel. Loves the beach, too. (That always worries me. Usually they are boring types that just blow their money on trips to keep their lives interesting because they themselves are not.) She also says she needs to go dancing weekly. (Again. No talking, just moving around. Troubling. No man wants to go dancing ever.) She also likes to take risks. When friends want to do something that no one else will do they call her knowing she’ll be down for it. (They call their good friends first, and settle on you because they know you’re always available because you have no life.)  I’m going to go ahead and call this:

Strike Two.

After some schedule wrangling, we exchange numbers and decide to meet up. It was a Sunday after I was finished at the salon. I liked that she drove all the way up from Delaware to meet me. I’ll give her points for that. Oh, I told her about my writing and she wanted to read it, so I sent it to her. She did read it, and liked it. More points. (It was a screenplay I wrote a century ago.)

We meet at Square 1682. It’s sort of my go to spot in Rittenhouse. I’ve had some great experiences there and dig the staff for the most part. She gets there on time. Points. We sit at the end of the bar. She is reluctant to drink. I respect that. She has to drive. But one drink? We’re going to be here for longer than an hour. But no worries.

I am talking to her and being my usual effervescent self. I’ve run this program countless times and most women find me very engaging. Most people are boring and I bring a rich history of humor and knowledge to the table. But as the time goes by I realize I’m doing all of the talking. She actually asks me if I have ADD. I guess someone with a personality and energy is alien to her. I give her plenty of opportunities to talk but that’s when the conversation falls flat. It literally goes awkwardly quiet. That never happens with me. She’s doing that sideward glance judgemental look to me. Then she wants food. Shit. She’s boring and now I gotta feed this one.

I spring for some calamari for her and I get the octopus. She asks me what my day job is. I don’t like this. I’m the VP of business development for an institute. I told her all of this. I can see why she’s alone. She’s a drag and brings nothing to the table. I am really good at striking up conversations with complete strangers. I can talk to literally anyone. But, I don’t remember much about our date or about her, because she had so little in the way of conversational skills. I don’t even remember is she’s even been married or has any kids. Normally I write notes in my phone after these date so I can write about them, but I just looked, and I have nothing!

Strike Three! You’re out Joyce.

Here’s an interesting tidbit though. Near the end of our date, I look past her and who do I see sitting one seat down from Joyce?

June! (June – 10/2016 – Runs With Scissors)

My first date with June was on a Sunday at Square 1682 two and a half months ago! She’s alone chatting with the bartender, my buddy Tusk. She says hello to me, and wave back. I almost called her by her blog name. It was awkward. She doesn’t hang out at this bar. She’s lonely and is hoping to run into me, or just to talk to hot Tusk. (He is hot, in a rock and roll way. I’ll write about him soon) Now when I get rid of Joyce, I can’t even come back here and review this mess with Tusk. Tusk later texted me, and said that June said that she was cuter than the girl I was with. Okay, for the record, June. 1. You’re not. 2. You both equally suck in different ways.

I sadly have to pay the bill. (She did drive up from Delaware) I walk her to the parking garage, and it ends in not even a kiss on the cheek, (not that I even give a shit at this point) but with the perfunctory hug. Ugh! I ask her to please text me when she safety gets home.

I just make the walk home, because there is nothing left to do.

She texts me later to say that she arrived home safely. She thanks me for “an evening of drinks, snacks, and witty repartee.” (Those are the exact words I wrote in my calendar invite to her about this date) Has she not a single original thought in her head?

I’m never contacting her again. I have better things to do. I should have entitled this chapter, “Delaware Dud.”

Lately this senario has become classic phicklephilly. *sigh*

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

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Spinner – 2001 to Present – The Broad Street Bullies

The funniest guy I know…

Before I start this one, I’m very proud to announce that I have reached  500 followers! That’s 500 more than when I started this journey 6 months ago. I want to thank each and every one of you for reading phicklephilly. Your comments and likes have been wonderful, and I try to respond  to all of you. I have so many more stories to tell and I hope that this blog evolves into what it ultimately should be. I’m documenting my past loves and my quest to find true and sustainable love here in Philadelphia.

But hopefully I begin to examine who I am and how I got here, and what made me into who I am today.

I’m glad you’re all on the journey with me, and it pushes me forward to continue and never give up!

Thank you one and all!

 

I have known Spinner for over fifteen years. He is the funniest guy I know. He has a brain that somehow can put together words, phrases and ideas faster than anyone I know.

He used to work for me back in 2002. He was hired as a bank teller at a branch I managed in Mt. Laurel, NJ. I started to notice how funny he was after a while. He and I developed a good rapport. One day Spinner just stopped coming to work. So our head teller fired him. I think he just hated working for the head teller who was an angry asshole. I liked Spinner, so I kept in touch with him.

We actually started hanging out. We’d go out to eat at the mall and girl watch together. He was really cool to hang out with because he had such a quick wit. He has the ability to freestyle comic bits at lightening speed.

I remember he came over to my house one time. He had a flyer that had information about an upcoming comedy show at Stockton State College. As I read it I saw that he was headlining and that it was a fundraiser for spina bifida. Then I saw that my name was on it as one of the comedians on the bill. I laughed and asked him what that was about. He simply told me that I was one of the funniest people he knew and that I would kill. I thanked him and told him there was a distinct difference between me and the other comics. I didn’t have an act!

Although I was terrified, I was still intrigued. I wrote some material and went out and did it. The thing with fear is, unfortunately you have to run toward it to overcome it, not away from it. That simple piece of advice given to me by an old friend, helped me overcome much of my lifelong anxiety disorder. Stand up is terrifying. Playing in a band is scary until you get through the first song and start rocking, then it’s awesome. But standing alone on a quiet stage with a spotlight in your face, and making people laugh is really hard.

So I did it. It was nerve-wracking, but also fun. The peals of laughter coming back from the audience from what you’re saying is similar to the cheers and applause you get playing rock. It’s just a little different high. I did well and somebody even shot a video. Spinner ended up transferring it to a VHS tape and gave me a copy. He said I was the best of all of the comics. I was so happy. But try to find something to play that tape on now!

I have since gone on to perform stand up in New York, and here at the Laff House in Philly. It’s all thanks to my buddy Spinner.

Sometimes we would go to the Tropicana in Atlantic City, and he would gamble. He likes roulette. I’m not a gambler, so I would just blow through twenty dollars and then drink and talk to women. Sometimes he would win a lot of money, but obviously, that doesn’t happen all of the time.

I moved to New York and didn’t see him as much anymore. But we always kept in touch. If I was around on a weekend to see my daughter, sometimes he’d hang out too.

But in the last year or two Spinner and I have reconnected and have been attending sporting events. I’m not a sports fan, but it’s really fun to go out with someone who is, and understands the game. Plus, as an added bonus the guy is a fucking riot.

Spinner is a huge baseball fan. He loves the Boston Red Sox. We’ve seen the Sox, the Phillies, and most recently a Flyers game. I have realized hanging out with Spinner why men love sports so much. It’s the competitive nature of the game. I love the exchange of power. If your team comes out and they trounce the other guys, it’s no fun to watch. But if we’re up and they take away our lead, it’s on! We have to fight to get it back to win. It’s very exciting to me.

I was never into hockey at all. It looked violent and moved too fast. Now, I love it. The talent of these athletes! Chasing and controlling that little puck all the while on ice skates! It’s such an intense and fast paced sport. Really good. I loved seeing that game and really want to see more. (The Flyers won after a sudden death tie. It was glorious!)

So hopefully this interesting and enduring friendship continues. I want to see more live sporting events! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been better at maintaining relationships, but in this case Spinner, he has been the one that has kept us connected over the last few years and for that I am very grateful.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

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