Saturday, March 26, 2005

703-505-4149

There it was, just sitting there, like a gift from The Almighty himself. I stared blankly at my computer screen wondering how I could be blessed with such luck.

From : bayer.johan@altpress.com
Reply-To : bayer.johan@altpress.com
Sent : Thursday, March 24, 2005 12:04 AM
To : bareboneshc@hotmail.com
Subject : automated response

Hey, I'll be out of the office March 21st and 22nd. If this is
an emergency try my cell, 216-555-12XU. Thanks, Jonah



There was immediately a whisper in my ear. "Looks like Mister 'thanks for once again reinforcing hardcore's sexist stereotypes' wants to be your new cell phone bitch, Sarge!" The source of the voice was a little devil dude sitting on my left shoulder. He looked exactly like Choke, only with horns coming out of his forehead. Apparently, he was one of my four readers.

"Call him right now! No wait, call him collect! ...say it's Ray Cappo! Cappo!! Aaaaaa-hahaha!"

He had a point. By a stroke of pure luck, I suddenly found myself with a tactical advantage. The comedic possibilities were endless. I could blog week after week on nothing more than the transcipts of the crank calls I was suddenly dreaming up for Mr. Hardcore Special. There was blood in the water. I had to take a bite, right?

There was suddenly another whisper, this time to my right. "What happened to the guy they used to call 'Ron Positive' in highschool? Hmmmmmmmm? Remember him? Remember little Ronny Positive?"

Ron Positive. Man, talk about a blast from the past. All the kids I hung out with in highschool used to call me Ron Positive, because if it was music with a good message, I was totally into it. Youth of Today. Embrace. 7 Sec--.

"Shut up, Seconds!" spat evil Choke. "This one is mine!" He waved what looked like a mini sawed-off hockey stick menacingly in the direction of the other voice. I turned to my right shoulder to have a look. Yep. A miniature version of Kevin Seconds, dressed in white robes, halo, eyeblack, the whole nine yards.

I had trouble sleeping as the fight for my immortal hardcore soul raged on through the night. Choke was very convincing, and may have succeeded in turning me to the darkside were it not for Finnegan, our cat, who had gotten to him before he could close the deal. No, in the end, my decision not to carpet bomb Johan Bayer by wireless communications wasn't decided by the cases presented by either side of my hardcore conscience. It came from a round of email correspondence with Mr. Alternative Press himself, Aaron Burgess.

I can hold my ground with anyone in an argument, but I've got to admit that when I saw an email from burgess@altpress.com sitting in my in-box, I suddenly had a lump in my throat. It felt like I was being summonsed to the Principal's office for picking a fight on the school yard. The fraction of a second that it took to navigate from the in-box to the email felt like an eternity.
To my surprise, our exchange was rather pleasant. I explained to him why I didn't like the Hardcore Special, and told him that A.P. might have a little more credibilty with the hardcore scene if the magazine would give it a couple of pages every month, instead of a couple of Hardcore Extravaganzas every 7 years. He, in turn, apologized to me for a few spit balls fired across my bow by members of his staff, which was pretty neighborly when you consider that I was the one that brought a nuke with me in the first place.

In the end, we found some common ground and agreed to end hostilities. The alert was reduced to DefCon 3, and I cleaned the shit out of my pants.

I 've decided that since I agreed not to wage wireless warfare on Johan, I'd go for the next best thing. I'll let all of you wage wireless warfare on me. Crank call me any time you like at 703.505.4149. When you get my voicemail prompt, go for it. If it's creative or funny, I'll print a transcript of your call on Barebones Hardcore. Awul impersonations of hardcore celebrities are highly recommended.

This is probably a bad idea, but there's only four of you reading this thing. How bad can it get?

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