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OFFSIDES : “SUPERBOWL” JIM BRIDGES

If you will indulge me for a moment, I have an announcement to make. If you are reading this before The Super Bowl, Rank and Revue’s own Slander Bob and I plan to be broadcasting live play-by-play action over the Internet during the game on kaos959.com (possibly KAOS959.com) for your entertainment. Be sure your computer has Real Player or WinAmp and feel free to turn down the volume on your television at your Super Bowl party and listen to us stumble through what promises to be a huge setback for mankind, professional sports, and the civil rights movement.

Now that that little bit of unpleasantness is behind us, I would like to tell you about my favorite Super Bowl hero of all times, Jim Bridges. Hailing from the humble beginnings of the Clute Cougar football program, Jim went on to become the MVP of Super Bowls XXVI and XXVII. This is his story.

You see, Jim has always been the flighty type. To give an example, I just ran into him at a wedding down on the coast during the holidays. I hadn’t seen him in several years and we were doing some catching up. He told me he had actually moved to Colorado for a while, and then returned to Texas. I asked him if he went up there for a job, or a girl, and he told me, “No, it just got really hot at work one day, so I left and moved to Colorado.” This was particularly funny for him, because he’d always had this fixation with going to Alaska. For years and years, he’d always tell us about how, someday, he was going to just up and go to Alaska, leaving all of his troubles behind. One day, Jim surprised us all and joined The Army. Guess where they stationed him? Yes, in the frozen tundra of Alaska. In a matter of months he went both stir crazy and AWOL, returning to Texas in triumph. This was after his days of Super Bowl glory, which we will examine at this time.

Everything started on the weekend of Super Bowl XXVI, Redskins/Bills. Jim came up to Austin for the first time in his life with Jesse Miller (Frunttbutt/Shutterbutt) and Melanie LaFleur. Greg Pearce (long time crime partner and maniac previously mentioned in other articles) had come into town from SWT and we were all partying together, having an unusually hard time finding weed. Things got so bad that we decided turn to harder drugs for recreation. This was back in the days when you could walk up outside any dance club downtown and just buy acid from the first person you talked to. Have the times changed, or have I? Hopefully both, probably neither. We bought acid from this fine ass girl and absconded back to my condo on campus to get fucked up. On the way back, right in front of the State Capitol, this guy and his girlfriend pull up at the light in a big muscle car. The guy stared us down for a moment and then goes, “Hey, y’all want to buy a bag?” This was back in the days when people would just pull up to you at a red light in front of the Capitol and sell you weed. (Hopefully both, probably neither.) We returned to my place after what, needless to say, was quite a productive trip downtown.
Ok, some of you may remember me writing about Jaturon Chattrattichatt, the guy from Thailand who lived with me my freshman year in college. For those of you unfamiliar, basically this guy emigrated from Thailand and immediately moved in with me, sending us both into terrible culture shock. Jaturon Chattrattichatt, or Jat as he preferred to be called, was my roommate at the time. Upon our arrival at the condo, he scurried upstairs and hid in his room, as he was prone to do. Not giving him another thought until early the next morning, we got down to partying.

Turns out, the acid was really good. It was the type that fucks you up for like two days, you know? It was the type that makes you cry and shit, then shit and cry. It was the type that makes Jesse Miller wipe his ass with a towel instead of toilet paper, that sick fuck. Sad thing is, I don’t think you were even on the acid when you did that, were you Jesse? Jesus Christ, we were fucked up. There are fragments of my mind from which I can recapture the height of our trip. I remember that I had scapegoated Melanie LaFleur for no reason whatsoever. You know how sometimes on acid or mushrooms you’ll just get so fucked up that you decide someone else is the cause of all your problems, and freak out on them. I had chosen Melanie for this role, and grew terrified of her, convinced she was evil. Jim had adopted my toilet plunger, and absolutely refused to put it down, or let anybody touch it. Greg was crying about Chuck Smith (Frunttbutt/DKB) joining The Marines and didn’t even realize it. He just thought he was talking about it in a normal tone of voice, without tears running down his face. Jesse was wiping his ass on the linens. Jat was hiding in his room.

Somewhere along the way, Jim had enough and ran out the door of the apartment into the neighborhoods of West Campus, toilet plunger in hand. This proved to be a terrible mistake, seeing how he had never been to Austin before and would be completely lost in a strange city on acid for the next 18 hours. It wasn’t until Greg and I saw Jaturon Chatrattichatt shinnying down a drainpipe on the side of the building that we even started to grasp the situation as a whole. (See, rather than walk through his own house and face us, Jat had decided to leave through the second story window in his bedroom.) Seeing this gave Greg and I enough of a bad trip that we took the discovery of Jim’s disappearance really hard. The last time I had seen Jim, he was standing in the middle of my living room with the plunger on his head. He had the top of the handle dug into the sheetrock of the ceiling, and was spinning around like a top.

Directly across the street from our complex, we found my toilet plunger in the neighbor’s yard. Days later Jim would recall that he had walked around the streets for hours trying to find the apartment, then finally gave up, threw the plunger as far as he could, and then “headed for Alaska” on foot. He must have been within fifty yards of the condo when he lost all hope. Sometime in the hours of early dawn, Greg and I heard sirens closing in on us, getting louder and louder. We were convinced that these sirens were going to lead us to the end of the mystery. This is where the story takes a tragic turn, and I want to apologize ahead of time for anyone who is personally familiar with the following events.

We tracked the sirens down to an apartment complex about a block and a half from mine. Arriving on the scene, we saw lots of emergency vehicles... cop cars, ambulances, fire trucks, everything. I don’t have time right now to explain what acid does to you, and how the smallest event can seem like the biggest deal in the world, and even the most horrifying of situations can seem like nothing at all. I’m going to assume correctly that most of you are familiar with this phenomenon, and hope that is enough to excuse Greg and I for our following insensitivities.

There were a bunch of emergency personnel running into a unit at the complex, which by then surrounded by neighbors who had awaken to the sirens. We just walk right the fuck into the apartment, and there is a team of paramedics trying to revive a guy on the couch. We stood there in the doorway, watching them doing CPR, trying to make sense of the situation while paramedics and police ran in and out around us. I remember Greg actually stopping a fireman and asking “Is that guy ok?” Eventually, we went back out into the crowd and started chatting with the neighbors who had gathered around the scene. As far as we were concerned, we were at a keg party. Granted, there was plenty to talk about going on inside, but Greg and I were just out there “partying” with the neighbors, hemming and hawing, laughing out loud, hitting on girls and shit. Then, the roommate comes out. It may have just been the acid, but I swear to God this guy was retarded. He was obviously upset, sporting the Corky look from “Life Goes On”, and if that wasn’t odd enough for Greg and I, he starts beating his head on the apartment wall and screaming. Quite inappropriately, Greg and I just bust the fuck out laughing, and I mean acid induced hysterics. When we came out of it, the reaction on the faces around us finally broke the spell. Hey, assholes, you’re all fucked up, and somebody just OD’d inside the apartment, get the fuck out.

Anyway, that evening, the operator patches me an emergency phone call from “I’m lost and I’m cold, get me the fuck out of here!” Jim had made it as far as Burnet and 2222, headed due northwest towards Alaska. We finally get him back to my place and Jat is watching TV with a couple of his slope buddies. They were watching the end of the Super Bowl, which I had COMPLETELY forgotten about up to that point.

Shit, I’m running out of room for the Super Bowl XXVII (Bills/Cowboys) story. Ok, flash forwards a year later. Jaturon Chattrattichatt has been replaced by lovable Bruce (who is not, and I repeat, not to be confused with ex-Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Garrison, whom I have mentioned in a previous article). Both Bruce and Jim, incidentally, are huge Cowboy fans. Being from the Houston area, I was raised to hate The Cowboys, as well as several other groups of people.

Jim had just talked this poor, dear, friend of ours, bless her heart, out of two thousand dollars to fund his new business endeavor; selling weed. He had made a connection down on the border, and would be hitting town in time for the Super Bowl with enough weed to make us all rich. Well, about noon on Super Bowl Sunday, Jim pulls into our driveway in a car that dies right there on the spot. We unwrap the weed he bought and it was so old, dry and moldy that from then on out it was known as “World War II Dope”, because it looked like it had been sitting in a bunker since the forties. On top of that, we weigh it and it turns out to be four pounds. Jim had bought four pounds of weed on the border for $500 apiece, and then smuggled them to Austin himself. Even the lowliest of street dealers knows how funny that shit is.

Ok, there are two groups of people on the planet: Those who saw the “Buffalo Bud” and those who didn’t. If you didn’t, you just won’t understand. The first bud Jim pulled off the brick looked ABSOLUTELY FUCKING EXACTLY like the Buffalo logo that the Bills have on their helmet. I’m talking the front legs were even curled up in the charging position. It was a pristine replica, and I mean in three dimensions.... this thing had depth. You could see the fucking horns, ok. Had the Cowboys lost that Super Bowl, it would have undoubtedly been blamed on this atrocity, which hung on the wall over the television through the course of the game. As it was, the Dallas won and it was taken down and smoked by a pack of rabid Cowboy fans. Do yourself a favor and ask somebody about this.

CHAD HOLT


The following is a letter from Fed Up, a buddy of Johnny Shoplifter, and latest participant in our “Pen Pals” program, which allows prisoners to reach out to the world through Rank and Revue Magazine. Feel free to reply to our new friend, or suggest anyone you know behind bars who would make a good pen pal.

Well Shit,
Here I am in prison again. I just don’t seem to be able to get that free world thing down. Things go well for a while and then, well, to quote Keith Richards, “I don’t have a problem with drugs, I have a problem with the police!”
So here I am in Mineral Wells, doing a 4-year sentence for (another) victimless crime. I hope to go home in October 2004, but they could deny my release and make me do another year.
I was born and raised in dirty ass Houston. Early on I was into metal. In third grade, I got Black Sabbath “Paranoid” and I was twisted for life. Also, by that time I had already been taking piano, violin, and cello lessons 5 days a week. In 5th Grade I took stand-up bass lessons for a year. Then, in 7th Grade, I picked up my brother’s neglected Pan Electric Guitar and Univox 50 Watt Amp. About that time, in the early ‘80s, I discovered Houston’s Pacifica Radio and the Funhouse Show- hosted by Chuck Roast. That was the real turning point for me. Already a musician, but a beginner on guitar, I was hearing those early ‘80s hardcore bands on The Funhouse and realized that I didn’t have to be as good as Tony Iommi to have a band, and more importantly, to have fun. I soon traded in that old Pan Guitar for an Antares Bass, and alas- I had found my calling. Bass came so easily to me- I didn’t have to concentrate so much on fingering when there’s only four strings!
I started going to shows at the old Axiom in, I guess, 1985. Nothing else in my life was as exciting as going to a killer hardcore show. I still feel that way. I remember, back then, two of my favorite bands to go see were Dresden ’45 and Angkor Wat. Seeing those guys back then, I knew that that was what I wanted to do. That shit was real. These weren’t ASCAP card carrying professional musicians, untouchable beneath studio production sheen, expert technique, and egotistical attitudes. These were real guys, regular dudes doing what they loved- not for money- but simply because they loved to do it. It just struck me as honest. I knew I could do it, too. It rendered all those mainstream, corporate rockers phony in my mind. I still feel that way.
My mom made me take those piano & violin & cello lessons for 7 years, and I hated it. But, because of the experience I got from those lessons, picking up the bass guitar was a cinch. I’m sure mom pictured her son playing piano in some stuffy church service somewhere. Hah! Instead, partly because of those lessons, her son became a punk rock bass player, playing for drunken dirtbags and sleazy whores. I love it!
Problem is, I’m a sucker for the instant feel good that drugs offer, and by the early ‘90s, I was strung out on heroin (and whatever else I could find) to the point where I had pawned all my gear. Life was sucking harder than usual. I started getting arrested. Repeatedly. I only plated music sporadically for several years, then wound up in prison. Then again. Then again. Now, I’m in prison for the fourth fucking time.
Which brings me to where I am now, Mineral Wells. This place isn’t too bad, I suppose. We get to wear free world clothes, and get to move around fairly free on the unit.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of writing lately for a number of publications. I met Johnny Shoplifter here on the unit, and he turned me on to Rank and Revue. Cool publication. So I figured I’d drop a line, say hey, maybe get a free issue (hey, I can hope right?). you know, kick it for a minute.
I was talking to Johnny just today about my plans to move to Austin when I get out. Houston is just shitty. I am so ready for a change. It is really hard to keep a band together there for some reason. Good drummers got you by the nuts in Houston because they are so few. They won’t help out with studio rehearsal rent, because they know somebody will cover it. If I don’t, some other band will, and I’ll have no drummer. And then of course the egotistical guitarists. Even the most mediocre of guitarists seem to carry an air of superiority. Jackasses. And it seems that a lot of active musicians have moved to Austin, and Houston is just kinda dead, punk rock-wise. The Axiom has reopened, but its nothing like the original deal, when J.R. Delgado was running it. I miss the old Axiom of the ‘80s, dank, dirty, and dangerous. Now it’s all sterilized, painted, and furnished. They have plays(?!) in the old back room, and bands play in the front. It just ain’t right! So much in Houston has changed, and maybe I’m just being obstinate, but I don’t want to change with it. Well, ok, Lola’s is still the same (bless Lola’s little heart) and I still love that seedy joint. But I’d rather just move to Austin and start from scratch. I still have a fender Precision Special and a ’74 Fender Bassman. What else does a motherfucker need in Austin? Please write and let me know. I’ll be here for a while.
-FED UP

A.K.A.
Shannon Parker # 1159797
759 Heintzleman Road
Mineral Wells, Texas
76067

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