Letterpress List No. 79: Hedge Your Bets

Don’t they know who I am?

Yes, apparently they do. At least, they know my truck.

Which means there’s no place to hide.

Look if I was truly putting somebody out, I’d address that. “Parking for PK” painted on the wall? I’d never park there. Paulina, a treasured lifetime employee of Fox Industries, gets a pass. Besides, she’s mostly nice.

In fact, Shop Boy so hates inconveniencing people that wherever the truck must travel, you should look for it in the space that’s least ideal and least convenient. Which is how I got crossways with the Hedgehog. This is what Mary started calling her because of her amazingly high, spiky hair. Mary and spiked hair … you should see the big dude at the hardware store. She has got to pat his head every time we go in there. It’s obscene. So “Hedgie” isn’t necessarily an insult. Unless you smoke messily on the loading dock, act surly … and jump on Shop Boy for accidentally parking in your spot.

I didn’t notice the “Parking for Hedgehog” sign. And why did she want to park there everyday? Major bird poop zone. But after I’d used the spot for a few days, word got around that whoever the hell owns that black truck better move it out of my spot.

Shop Boy can take a hint. But she could have been a bit nicer. Mary, of course, thinks she’s too cool for school. Harrumph.

One reason I leave my truck at the shop so often is that we’re there so late many nights that either I’m too tired to drive home or Mary’s too tired. So we take one car. And we take a really sketchy back way home from the Hampden neighborhood. Along the river. Right by the old mills. Murderville at that hour. I mean, we left the studio at 3:30 a.m. the other day and bicycling past us was a pretty young woman on a bicycle. “Oh, honey …,” Mary and Shop Boy said at the exact same time. Bet she never forgets to arrange a ride home from the bars again.

Anyway, my Ford Ranger has been a huge boon to Typecast Press, which wasn’t even a twinkle in Mary’s eye when Shop Boy talked her into letting me buy it brand new. But we just don’t drive very much, period. So it sits a bit, which hasn’t been much of an issue with most of the Fox Industries building’s occupants.

Yet the parking issue has come to a head again recently because our studio’s neighbors, the furniture people, have been importing tons of pieces — and some scary insects — from some factory or another in Indonesia or Malaysia.

OK, enough with the bugs, Shop Boy. But this one flying dragon Mary found dead by the studio door was unimaginably terrifying. I was worried for the local rat population. Between the creepy crawlies inside the factory and the ones waiting outside the door each night … ugh.  Shop Boy made Mary promise the other night that, no matter how much I beg, do not buy me a flamethrower. It won’t end well for the vermin, or most of the surrounding neighborhood.

With their apparent success, the furniture folks now take up way more room inside and outside the building than they had. Parking is thus at more of a premium. And last night, Mary started fretting that my little old pickup truck was beginning to get more notice. Sigh. Time to take it to our Bolton Hil neighborhood and park it on the street, where the residents are always complaining about … the parking shortage. (Maybe if they were a little better at it? Hmm?)

So the lone, proud sentinel of the wee hours at Fox Industries — Shop Boy’s cute little truck — has to call it a night.

And it’s too bad.

The vandals are really going to miss it.

Maybe Shop Boy will sneak a “Graffiti Artists Suck” or “Hampden is for Hillbillies” bumper sticker on Hedgie’s ride.


Letterpress List No. 79

Yes, I had to look up what number we’re on. It’s been a while. Just this once, Shop Boy will spare you the details. Anyhow, here’s about an hour’s of music to celebrate one of Mary’s favorite times of the year: Baltimore’s Artscape weekend, this time featuring one of Shop Boy’s favorite bands (in case you haven’t yet guessed): Cake. Oh, there’ll be tons of other bands of all shapes, sizes and styles on three stages — and all within footsteps of our front door. You think the Bolton Hill residents complain about parking in normal times? Invite a million or so guests over a three-day period. Whee!

(And did I mention it’s always the steamiest weekend of the Baltimore summer? Oh, yes, there will be sweat.)

Alpha Beta Parking Lot Cake (The lines are there for a reason, pal.)
Are You BadGlitter Mini 9 (Totally rocks. Mary’s over the moon about this song. I just hope Courtney Love doesn’t hear it and go beat up the whole band — and its management, and its fans …)
Dancing in the Street
Martha & the Vandellas (You betcha.)
Regina Spektor (OK, Shop Boy’s late to the party on this singer. The first time I heard her music, I wrote her off as a weirdo. Now, she has eaten my brain.)
Re: Your Brains
Jonathan Coulton ( ;-) )
Smoke Detector
Rilo Kiley (Tobacco kills, folks.)
The Blues Are Brewin’ Billie Holiday (Baltimore’s own. Artscape has a singing competition in her name each year.)
Never ThereCake (Shop Boy’s favorite from the band. Hey!)
Sunshine in the Shade the Fixx (Oh, boy. One of those MTV moments we’d all like to forget.)
Mr. Blue SkyELO (But don’t forget the sunscreen.)
Summertime Girls Y&T (Total cheese, street vendor style. Hot peppers with that? Why not? It’s Artscape.)
SmartbombBT (Make that gut bomb.)
Please Don’t Bury MeJohn Prine (“Give my stomach to Milwaukee if they run out of beer …”)
(Love Is Like a) HeatwaveMartha & the Vandellas (Again, why not? Check out the dogged reporting by the emcee. Dude, let it drop. I half expected him to scream: Tell me what “Vandellas” means or you’re not going on stage!)
Satan Is My MotorCake (For Chub — hope he makes it with his crazy car and heaven-and-hell art this year.)

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