Letterpress List No. 61: Surf and Turf

Oh, now, this really takes the cake.

It totally frosts my cookies.

Shop Boy’s persona — yes, all of the wonder that is me — has been officially subsumed beneath the Cult of Mary.

True story: Liz Brooke, the supervisor of Shop Boy’s alter ego in Washington, announced that she would be having dinner in Baltimore at Woodberry Kitchen, which — as you probably know — Typecast Press does printing work for. Well, Shop Boy decided to surprise Liz (a really neat lady who might be reading this right now and very likely disapproving of my grammar and sentence structure) and her party with free desserts.

So one day, as Shop Boy delivered menus and other paper products to Woodberry, I approached owner Amy Gjerde about setting up the freebies. She said she’d put a note on the reservation. Now, Amy’s fairly unforgettable. In fact, the first time he saw her, at a little breakfast outpost she and hubby-to-be and co-owner Spike had set up in our neighborhood, Shop Boy could no longer remember how to say the word “pumpkin.” When I returned home with a very odd order, Mary just laughed and said, “Oh, you must mean Amy.”

And if you’ve ever met Mary … well, just let every single person at Woodberry tell you: “Hi, Mary! Great to see you!” “Mary! Staying for dinner?” “Ma-reeeee!” Etc., etc. It’s kind of gross, actually.

Shop Boy? Not quite so memorable. The note put on the reservation apparently read something like: “Free desserts courtesy of the cheery but awkward fellow who delivers stuff from Typecast Press and can’t pronounce easy words … Mr. Mashburn.”

What am I, chopped liver, brick-oven roasted in a cider glaze; sauvignon-marinated, carmelized onions; pickled local beet and endive garni; and buckwheat polenta in a corn emulsion, or what?

Sigh.

Loudspeaker: “Paging Steve Mashburn, Mr. Steve Mashburn.”

Oh, he’s unavailable. Probably hanging 10 someplace.

I mean, Steve Mashburn: total surfer dude name, right?

Cowabunga.

***

Letterpress List No. 61

OK, I’m not really upset. Liz Brooke got a kick out of it. And besides, maybe Shop Boy should have changed his name when he and Mary were hitched. One day, my sister Rosemary brought home free pens that advertised her place of employment and asked if I’d like one. Sure, I said, proceeding to sign my name on a little notepad. “That is how you sign your name?” my mom shrieked. “We gave you that beautiful name and that’s how you sign it?”

Anyway, how about an hour’s worth of music to practice your penmanship — and maybe your pronunciation skills — by? Most of these tunes should be available in the usual places. Goofy or great video links courtesy of YouTube.

My Name Is Eminem (Oh, dear.)
I Make the Dough, You Get the GloryKathleen Edwards ( ;-) )
You Don’t Know MeWillie Nelson (Sad about it.)
U Don’t Know MeT.I. (Mad about it.)
Scarborough FairSimon & Garfunkel (Parsley, sage, Rosemary … and a scolding from Mom.)
Last Ride InGreen Day (Great, laid-back surfing or, OK, skateboarding song.)
Mr. IncognitoA Tribe Called Quest (Don’t know where this Q-Tip guy got that voice. He could read the phone book and it’d be hip-hop cool. Just ask the Beastie Boys. Oh, and bonus Shop Boy points: If you listen to that “Get It Together” clip and substitute the name Don Ho when you hear John Holmes, you’ll have the lyrics Mary sang one day at the printshop. I nearly wet my pants.)
Mystery ManGnarls Barkley (And where did Cee-Lo Green get that voice?)
Mistachuck Chuck D (That’s “Mr.” to you.)
Catch a WaveBeach Boys ( “Get away from the shady turf and, baby, go catch some rays on the sunny surf.” Steve Mashburn is so there.)
Come as You Are
Nirvana (Can’t remember you anyway.)
Brian WilsonBarenaked Ladies (He didn’t know his own name for a while.)
The Delivery ManElvis Costello ( “In a certain light, he looked like Elvis” … um, mature version.)
You Ain’t Seen Nothing YetBachman Turner Overdrive (Have a little fun at a stutterer’s expense, create a classic.)
Wipeoutthe Surfaris (Also has held up surprisingly well.)
Looking for a StrangerPat Benatar (For Eleanor Lewis, who has let it be known she is furious that her girl was shunned by Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. OK, you can’t win when you put one of these lists together, but please. Iggy Pop and Tom Waits — ! — are there, but Tori Amos is not? )
Smells Like Teen SpiritTori Amos (So there.)

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