Day Something


I realised some time earlier this week that when I tried to remember how many days it had been since I had a cigarette I couldn’t come up with the number instantly. Numbers aren’t really my thing, and right now I’m not going to be able to sort it without some serious finger waggling and moving my lips and no noise coming out.

And unfortunately I’m too busy for that because I’m five seconds in to Mean Johnny Barrows and some honky has already tricked Fred Williamson into stepping on a live mine. That’s Fred fuckin’ Williamson, honky! He’s going to punch you in the face for that!

Man, wouldn’t you know it — honky got punched in the face, but Mean Johnny Barrows is the one that got a dishonourable discharge. I hope he doesn’t wind up working for the mob, just trying to get by.

Also, it’s day 14. I got a pretty bad pang today, on the bus to work. I just… I realised I might have had some grains in an old pouch in my bag — I still don’t know if I do, I haven’t looked, but I got the first real pang. PANG. Good word. I just really felt like I had lost something. I get myself in to a real state sometimes, but I talked myself back down.

Oh man, now two punks have just wailed on his kidneys and taken his cabbage AND now he’s getting hasseled by some hilarious Irish cops. He’s a fucking Vietnam Vet, show some respect! Stop calling him boy! Lucky the Police Chief remembers him from his old football days — promising football, problem with a co-ed, off to ‘Nam and then… nothing.

I got another pang after work, because I’d eaten all of my craving chocolate and fruit. I needed something to look forward to, that I could have the second I stepped out the door and locked it behind me, which wasn’t a cigarette anymore.

Listen — Johnny. J. Barrows, esq. I know this dude in the suit in a kitchen who just gave you some food seems like a good guy, and I know you’re trying not to judge him just on the fact he has an Italian name, because you’ve been constantly judged all movie, but you know… not to indulge in steretypes, that’s not what Blaxploitation is about, but…

But I think the dude offering you work might be in the Mafia.

Quickly! Name your favourite ex-football playing Vietnam veteran trying to adjust back to life in America looks for a job but is turned down by everyone, even the Supervisor at the Bin Fire, set to some bass-synth heavy, ultimately forgettable soul music montage in a movie made since 1976. Because I don’t think anyone did it better than Mean Johnny Barrows.

Now, if you’re watching Mean Johnny Barrows along with me, you’ve probably just realised that this flamboyantly dressed white boy is being played by Elliot Gould. Savvy viewers among you may notice that the dialogue has just gotten marginally better and weirder, which is because according to IMDB Gould did the movie as a favour for his pal Fred Williamson, and improvised all his lines.

Which is great, right up until the point he tries to talk to an extra — the extra, not used to people improvising around him can’t really do anything but grin and stare blankly at a wall. He’s either an actual homeless man who doesn’t know there’s a camera there, or,  the movies writer/director in the worst attempt at a Hitchcockian cameo since Tarantino did anything ever, or, an extra who is especially shit at his job.

Meanwhile, there are some more well dressed Italian Americans with amazing hair, discussing problems they’re having problems with other families and I still can’t help but feel maybe these guys might be in the Mafia, and not the flower selling business as they keep emphatically claiming.

Hold on, I take it back! I get it now — all of the extras are shit at their jobs. The guy who offered him a job in the kitchens girlfriend — apparently played by a teenage boy in a Farrah Faucet wig — has pulled over, and called out to Mean Johnny Barrows while he’s in the soup line, causing the extras playing bums to say the following lines:

Hobo One

oh ho she mus be out doing her shopping today man

Hobo Two

looking for that turkey

Pretty great work, guys. Anyway, now he’s got a job scrubbing the john for a jerkwad at a gas station — at least he’s not a racist jerkwad. He hates Fred Williamson because he went to college, not because he’s black. We kind of keep jumping back to these two warring Mafioso families, and it’s really not holding my attention asides from the amazing, wide lapel herringbone suit jackets, cravats and great hair.

Something something, human heart in a bouquet of flowers, etc etc.

These guys in nice suits REALLY want Fred Williamson to ditch his job cleaning servo toilets and come and kill some motherfuckers for them, but he’s just not in to it.

Meanwhile: No, sorry, I can’t find a youtube clip of that is one of the worst gun fights I’ve ever seen on film, which is weird, because there are so many amazingly bad fight scenes and shoot outs on youtube. By way of apology, here is some music from the movie. I think you’ll find it exactly what you expect.

Meanwhile, the guy in the nice suit from the kitchen who is now shot and his dad is dead and these guys are DEFINITELY the mafia have gotten Johnny Barrows out of jail after he punched out the servo boss and he just said ‘do it for your people’ and at this stage I am wondering does he mean black people, or men, or ex-football stars, or Vietnam veterans, or people who went to college, or ex-servo employees? Because there’s probably lots of people who can tick all those boxes, but its still weirdly specific.

Other than the pangs, it’s been weirdly easy. I just don’t smoke anymore. I still have cigarette dreams, I still feel like I smoke. I still feel like it is inevitable, but okay that I am going to relapse. Maybe I won’t relapse for years, who knows?

Meanwhile — Johnny Barrows seems to have taken on the job, and despite being a homeless Vietnam Veteran forced to clean toilets he has gotten his hands on the most amazingly boss white pin stripe suit:


Now, there has been some fairly clownshoes double crosses and dealings that mostly resolve around the only woman in the entire movie playing people off against each other and now her boyfriend is on a boat? And then he gets on the boat and the Captain — its like a tiny yacht thing — the Captain is wearing a white Captains Hat, aviator sunglasses and is smoking what appears to be a corn cob pipe.

Despite the fact that he then takes part in a shot — that lasts for like two fucking minutes — noodling around with a compass as if he’s trying to look like a real Captain, and then gets punched out by Fred Williamson, and it’s fucking lucky, because this joker has clearly been cutting out on Captain class to go and fucking chat up the girl behind the counter at the pipe store or some shit. I would never get on a boat with a guy with a corn cob pipe and Captains hat, much like I would never got on a plane being flown by a guy in a leather flying cap and goggles, nor would I get in a car driven by someone who keeps screaming at his horse. What?

Meanwhile I may not be smoking anymore, but I am eating a fucking shit load of ice cream.


2 thoughts on “Day Something

  1. It’s been over 12 years and I still have dreams about smoking. Not very frequently, and these days I remember in the dream that I don’t smoke anymore so the dream quickly fills in some back story about how I just had that one packet because I was on holiday/the world was ending/something stressful was going on/some other bullshit excuse, and then it gets so convoluted that I’m all “I’m onto you, dream!” and the dream is all, “well, bitch, if that’s how it’s gonna be, I’m going to make you wake up.” And then it’s 5 in the morning and I’m awake for no reason.

    In fact all of those scenarios have happened in the last 12 years and none of them resulted in me taking up smoking again. On the other hand, I do eat a lot of ice cream. Because it’s fucking delicious.

    Fred Williams looks great in that white suit. He should never wear anything else.

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