"You Don’t Need No Strength; You Need to Grow Up, Son"

This morning, I was feeling better and so I bounded into the Butcher’s room and sang for him a rocking version of John Mellencamp’s “The Authority Song,” complete with pit bull solo.

As you can imagine, the pit bull is one of the most dangerous musical instruments there is to play. Pointy teeth at one end, stinky at the other and, if you aren’t familiar with the dog, you’re taking your life into your own hands. Plus, there’s the difficulty of actually getting said pit bull to lay still while you go all John Bonham* on her. I got her to lay still, but I couldn’t both beat on her and shield myself from her tongue. It’s very hard to perform a drum solo while being licked. I suppose Tommy Lee could give me pointers, but who can wake up Tommy Lee at 7 in the morning, central time?

Anyway, it’s kind of a funny story, how the Butcher first came to live with me. Basically, the recalcitrant brother was on probation, but needed to move back in with my parents. The Butcher was also on probation and lived with my parents. However, the terms of both of their probations forbid them from associating with other known criminals.

So, the Butcher came to live with me. As a present, I had one of my co-workers make him a mix CD. On it were such gems as “The Authority Song,” “In the Jailhouse Now,” “I Fought the Law,” “Mama’s in the Graveyard, Papa’s in the Pen,” and some kick-ass old jazz songs about smoking pot. Whenever we were in the car together, I would put this CD on.

The Butcher would say nothing.

But one day I got a call from my dad in which he ordered me to stop making my brother feel bad about his “incident.”

Incident.

America, Hova and B may be a modern day Bonnie and Clyde**. The Butcher fancied himself some kind of modern day Junior Johnson. There wasn’t just one incident. There were a series of incidents and eventually they found someone to flip on him.

He’s lucky it wasn’t worse than it was.

And I was merely trying to provide him with the proper soundtrack to his life. I don’t see how that’s cause for calling up Dad and tattling.

Anyway, it’s with all this in the background that I stood at the end of his bed, singing at the top of my lungs “I fight authority, authority always wins. I been doin’ it since I was a young kid. I come out grinnin’. I fight authority, authority always win” while the dog barked and jumped around and the Butcher grumped and pulled his pillow over his head and begged the cats to attack me.

“What are you going to do?” I asked. “Tell on me?”

*This is actually possible, after enough trust and training has been established. I would never, ever recommend attempting to go all Igor Cavalera on a pit bull, though, no matter how well you know her. That’s just foolish.
**Just as an aside, I love that line “The problem is, you dudes treat the one that you lovin / with the same respect that you treat the one that you humpin.”

2 thoughts on “"You Don’t Need No Strength; You Need to Grow Up, Son"

  1. the recalcitrant brother was on probation, but needed to move back in with my parents. The Butcher was also on probation and lived with my parents. However, the terms of both of their probations forbid them from associating with other known criminals.

    You’re in the white trash part of town, right?

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