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On the way home from work tonight I was stopped at a light and noticed a man and two kids walking down the sidewalk and this teenager walking toward them and trying to light a cigarette. As they passed, they all stopped and were chatting. I thought it seemed odd, so I watched.

Sure enough. Drug deal.

Which reminded me of a story:

When I was in high school, I lived in a house with a study that faced the alley. I spent copious amounts of time there: doing homework, playing on the computer, going online, etc. Across from the alley was a duplex owned by a woman, who lived in the front and rented the back to a young woman with two young kids.

I’m not a nosy person, but I couldn’t help but notice cars pull into the driveway all the time. Never the same car or person. They’d go into this woman’s apartment, stay 15 minutes to half-an-hour, and leave. I used to joke to people that a dealer lived there. My mom would always scold me. “Claire! Don’t tell people that! They’ll get the wrong idea.”

See where this is going yet?

One night around 10 pm, I was on the computer when I heard a tremendous crash and lots of shouting. It was coming from across the alley. So mom and I, curious, wandered outside in time to see a big paddy wagon parked in the alley, a seriously smashed-in back door, and a lot of cops. Mom asked one of them what was going on and he says (severely condescendingly and in this John Wayne voice), “Nothing to see, here, ma’am. Some bad people were living in that house. I need you to go back inside.” Side note: I’m not paraphrasing. That’s what he said: “bad people.” Like mom was six or something.

Anyway, turns out this woman’s boyfriend had moved in and was dealing out of the place. And they were both wanted in connection with a murder. The owner failed to get a background check.

Good times, good times…

Complete shift: Holy crap!! K Mart just had an ad on with an Iffy song! Wild. I’ve only seen them in concert once, opening up for Tim Easton at the 400 Bar.

Oo! Good story:

I went with Shannon to this show. We got there early so we could get a good table. Little did we know…

Iffy started. They were in a good mood and kept joking that [Jim] Boquist (I forget which brother) didn’t get the memo regarding their matching outfits. It was cute. Then in between Iffy and Tim, a couple sat down at our table and decided to chat. They were these weird, too-cool-for-school types that wore all black, smoked galoises, and were steeped in pretension. The guy told us, completely unasked, that he was a Playboy photographer. And we’re like, Um, okay. Then he gets this glint in his eye, and says, “Or maybe I’m lying. You’ll never know!” Shannon and I looked at each other. No, we’ll never care. Subtle—yet big—difference.

Anyway, Tim came on and had a great set and Shannon loved it. The couple? Not so much. Apparently they didn’t come for the music and kept trying to talk to us. Finally, in the middle of Tim, they left. Relieved, we settled in again. Tim finished and left the stage.

Then these two guys sat down at our table, raring to chat. It seems they were there for Eitzel only. Fine, whatever. I don’t even remember what we talked about. Don’t really care either. Finally Mark came on and I really wasn’t into his stuff. I’ve heard great things about him and I believe he’s critically acclaimed, but I just wasn’t feeling him.

Our newfound friends were, however. They were clapping and screaming and yelling out songs, and Shannon and I were just praying that no one thought these guys were with us. I think we even tried telling people around us as much.

Partway into the set, Mark was chatting up the crowd and said something about how great Tim Easton was and how much he was enjoying touring with him. One of our tablemates screamed at the top of his lungs, “He’s not as good as you!”

Mark stopped, stared at the guy for a second, and said, quite clearly, “Fuck you.” And proceeded into the next song. The screamer looked crestfallen. I just clapped as hard as I could for my new best friend.

And that is why I will always love Mark Eitzel.