Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Consulting The Popcorn Ceiling
the state of being lost in thought is called "reverie".
while it is true my career has produced extraordinary moments and fortunate events, it is equally true to say I've spent a great deal of time in reverie induced by the popcorn ceiling. in fact, I consider myself a student of the popcorn ceiling.
what is the popcorn ceiling?
in most hotels around the world and especially here in the United States builders use a technique for covering the ceiling by means of a spray which causes a bumpy erratic texture known as "popcorn" which is nearly always a creamy white in color and actually looks more like small curd cottage cheese than popcorn. why it isn't called the small curd cottage cheese ceiling is self-evident.
very often while on tour I find a small segment of my day, usually half an hour, with nothing to do. more correctly not enough time to do really anything. it's at this junction of my day I lay down on my fresh hotel bed, or more correctly a bed which smells "fresh" but is in fact saturated in microbes from perhaps a thousand other human beings. anyway, at this point 9 times out of 10 I'm staring at the popcorn ceiling. I conservatively estimate if I were somehow magically given back the time I've spent engaged in the study of the popcorn ceiling I would live a year and a half longer.
before showtime I strongly dislike being at the venue any longer than I have to be to do a proper sound check. I don't mind staying around after the show for as long as needed but between the sound check and the show I want to be anywhere but the venue. ideally consulting the popcorn ceiling. it helps clear my mind for the performance.
my dream concert would go like this: I would have a half an hour consultation with the popcorn ceiling, then take a quick shower, dry my hair (or should I say "hairs") get dressed, and walk straight onto the stage to launch into the show.
over 30 years, millions of miles, and countless hotel rooms I've grown to appreciate my time with the popcorn ceiling.
the cogitation produced by it can be curious:
"shouldn't it be called No Labor Day?"
"if fish could scream, would I still eat them?"
"gee, I wish they wouldn't play that stupid patriotic rock music during the fireworks. it ruins the whole experience. I love the sound of the rocket coming out of the shoot, the crisp crackling of the artifacts, the whistling spiraling ones: why does that pleasure have to be diluted with a simulcast of John Mellencamp bleating 'This is our country'. is it a truck commercial or a fourth of july celebration?"
"the bible says adam and eve were the first human beings in the world and eve gave birth to two sons, cain and abel: so where did the rest of us come from?"
or deeply philosophical:
"if you can't have your cake and eat it too, what's the point of having cake?"
there are some issues I may never solve:
"how DO they get those little m's on the m&m's without cracking the ever-so-thin candy shell?"
still, I often return to my most profound reflection: