“There’s more than one way to get noticed,” says the man smoking a bubble pipe.
One of the first things women notice in a man is his shoes, so says the round table of talking heads on day time television. Shoes are a window into a man’s wallet. What better way to put his best foot forward than to have the right kicks on? What better place to evaluate him then from the ground up? Of course, if there are suds dripping down the tongue of his loafers, you might want to pan up to see their source.
There’s something about a bubble pipe that makes you forget about a man’s footwear.
Watching the foam spill over his timepiece, you can’t help but wonder what makes this man tick. The pipe might make him look psychotic, but that soapy water is very hygienic. Mayhaps he’s giving his face a bubble bath. You’ve got to love a man who can luxuriate in public. That prop makes him such a mystery. Even his body language seems foreign.
Why would someone bring a bubble pipe to a champaign party? Maybe he’s just that confident. Maybe he’s crazy. Maybe you’re being pranked on national TV. You dare not ask, for fear the answer could never live up to your expectations, but still, you have to know before the night ends.
Watch another desperate boy work his tired sad little ploy, while just over his shoulder Professor Bubble Pipe is waiting there. You find yourself abandoning your companion mid-come on line. There’s something, someone else, that has your attention. He’s blowing you a path. Standing center stage, he plays his instrument, all tall dark and random.
Sure, he looks like a lunatic, but he’s a lunatic with a secret
Bubble Pipe was one of those pieces from the archives that had me thinking, “I don’t need to share that on the internet,” but I kept coming back to it. It was an inside joke that I was the only one snickering at. People watching at parties, I wanted to mock the mating ritual. I wanted to confuse everyone.
Bubble Pipe is a piece in the spirit of that tao of fuck it. That go for broke attitude that says this is me as I am, take it or leave it. Watch me eat junk food. Watch me sleep until noon. Watch me mock social mores. If you don’t like my attitude, then that’s your problem.
It’s about spending three hours putting an outfit together, only to say, “Screw it, I’ll just wear the sweat pants with the mustard stain again.”
It’s about dropping your flowers on the way up the steps, leaving you to present your date with a bouquet of bent stems. “They’re perfect, you love them.”
It’s about giving up the pretense, but not the ambition.
I’d rather stand out as an honest lunatic than go along with a heard of straight faced liars. To steal a line from The Twilight Singers, “A lonely boy will stand when others crawl.”
So to my fellow lunatics, with pipes leaking soapy water in your breast pockets, I say, “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.”
The voice I used in this recording is a sad attempt at a posh accent, if anyone asks I’ll say, “Oh, that? That’s just a typical midwestern dialect, it is no way a piss poor attempt at replicating the tone of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Star Trek: Into Darkness monologue.”
I chose flute sounds for the musical accompaniment because, like bubble pipes, they’re wood wind instruments. I used distorted hip-hop beats to add some weight to my thin premise, a little badassery to go with my B.S.
As for the poem itself, it’s one of those things I had to get out of my system. I wrote it when I was 22. I still think it’s funny, and as it’s turned out, I still have a lot to say about the subject. My original artist description for this poem became a companion piece, called 11th Hour Valentines, if you liked this, then you’ll love that. Check it out.
I could do it your way
Wait for her boyfriend to hit the John
Then slide into his seat
In a strategic game of musical chairs
I could put Nina Simone on the juke box
Amble around the room
Looking for the first girl that says
“I love Nina Simone”
I could cast the role of wing man
Talk about how we hopped that train
About our extensive work with Green Peace
About that village in Africa
I could send anonymous drinks
“Care of that man tipping his hat”
I could wait on the porch with a zippo
Offering a light to any girl that crossed my path
Or I could do it my way
Reach into my breast pocket
Withdraw my plastic pipe
And slowly start blowing on it
Making my presence known
As far as my bubbles can float
Because any chump can order a girl a shot
But it takes a real man to smoke a bubble pipe
It takes the kind of man
That doesn’t hide behind a wad of bills
Doesn’t hide behind the keys to his Mercedes
It takes the confidence to just pucker up and blow
When my future children ask my wife
How she knew it was love at first sight
She’ll shrug, smile, and say
“Well, he had this bubble pipe”