I didn't want to hit him. He didn't leave me any choice. But I will start at the beginning and let you be the judge. I read online that the biggest Steely Dan tribute band was going to be playing at the Le Jazz Club in West Hartford Center. They were called "Reelin' In The Years", and they were my all-time favorite tribute band. The real Steely Dan hadn't been to the area in years, and this seemed to represent the best chance for me to hear their music live. So far, so good.
The first problem was that I didn't have a working car. The second problem was that I didn't really want to go to the concert by myself. I thought that I had found a solution to both problems. I would invite my friend Keith Brazel. I knew that he was also a fan of Steely Dan, and that his car was in working condition. So far, so good.
However, when I called Keith on the night of the concert, there arose a problem. Oh, he still wanted to accompany me. But he was hiding something from me. I could hear his hesitation in his voice.
"Are we still on?" I asked him. "I've been looking forward to this all week," I told him.
"Definitely," Keith replied. "Oh, by the way," he added. "A friend of ours from the old Hall High days will be coming as well," he informed me, his voice sounding a little strange.
"Oh, no problem," I quickly assured him. "Three will be more fun than two. Who is it?" I asked unsuspectingly.
Keith paused. Then he gave me a hint of the evening to come. "It's good old Jarvis," he finally said.
I blinked my eyes. "Not...Cookie Jarvis?" I inquired.
Now perhaps I was not being fair. Keith was driving after all, and could invite whomever he wanted. But believe me, I didn't make up that nickname. Everyone at Hall High had called him Cookie Jarvis. His sister called him Cookie Jarvis. His teachers called him Cookie Jarvis. His feet were about siz eighteen. His head was gigantic; it resembled an ogre's skull, with dirty-blonde hair hanging over his eyes like a sheepdog. And then there was the matter of his laugh. Like the shrill cry of a cat gone deaf. hanging out with Jarvis at Hall invoked all the joy of a colonoscopy.
"You are kidding, right"? I asked. "Please tell me that this is a joke," I implored him.
But it was no joke. And as Keith was driving, I was left with little choice but to endure the company of Cookie Jarvis. So I reluctantly agreed. Well, we did get to the West Hartford Center on time, and walked over to the club. The band had just began their first set, and were playing song after song of my favorite Steely Dan tunes. They really sounded like the originals; I was in Seventies heaven!
But I was soon brought back to Earth by the countless questions of Cookie Jarvis concerning the show.
"Are any members of Steely Dan in this group?" he asked.
"No, it is a tribute band, Jarvis," I told him with irritation in my voice.
"Are they lip-synching?" he asked.
"No, probably not," I told him.
"I want them to play something from Chicago," he informed me. "Do you think they would play something from Chicago?" he asked.
"Maybe," I replied with restraint. "They do have horns; why don't you ask them on their next break?" I told him.
A variation of this comedy went on for the remainder of the set. The band played ten straight Steely Dan classics, with Jarvis interrupting me during every one to ask if they would play a Chicago song.
Finally, the band took a break. They were sitting at a table just past the bar, with several attractive ladies keeping them company. Cookie Jarvis prodded me again, so I decided to approach the band. "Come on, we can talk to them," I told Jarvis. "But you have to ask them yourself," I let him know.
It wasn't so easy to approach the band. I felt shy, and didn't want to bother them on their break. They looked much older than us, and I wasn't so sure that they wouldn't blow us off. But I swallowed hard and approached the lead singer, telling him how much I liked their set and how faithfull they were to Steely Dan. The singer was actually quite friendly, so I decided to help Jarvis.
"My friend here has a question for you," I informed the singer.
"Cool," he replied.
Cookie Jarvis, with his hands sticking into his front pockets, ambled over to the table with a shit-eating grin on his face.
"I just have one question for you tunesmiths," he said.
"Yeah, what can we do for you, big guy?" the singer responded.
"Do you guys play any Steely Dan?" he asked. Now, I know that the shit-for-brains had meant to say Chicago. But the singer looked confused. "Huh?" he said with disbelief.
Jarvis suddenly realized his error. I expected him to apologize. I expected wrong.
"Oh, yeah," he said. Then Cookie Jarvis turned around, stuck his fat ass out and blew a gigantic fart into the faces of the band. He then laughed that moronic dead cat laugh of his and ran, yes ran, out the front door.
The ladies at the table were laughing hysterically. The lead singer turned on me in anger. "What is your friend, some kind of re-tard?" he demanded.
I was speechless. I was too shocked and embarrassed to reply. Finally. I found my voice. "Yeah, you hit the nail right on the head," I agreed.
Keith and I turned around and walked as quickly as we could to follow our friend's path to the door. It seemed like everyone in the place was laughing at us. I promise you, I was never that embarassed.
As we exited the club, we saw Jarvis standing in Farmington Avenue. His hands were still tucked into his front pockets. And he was laughing hysterically. I approached him with quiet fury.
"Why did you do that, Jarvis?" I asked him. He smirked, and spoke in the voice of a character from the movie "The Warriors".
"No reason. I just like doing crazy shit," he replied.
I hesitated only a second. "That's funny," I answered. "Me too," I said.
And that was when I hit him. On the shoulder. Not in the face. Not even in the balls. Just a quick punch to the shoulder.
I shouldn't have done it. Especially as he was so much bigger tan myself. I expected him to punch me back. Insstead, he dropped to the pavement and began shrieking like a five-year-old girl.
"You murdalized me," he accused me. "I'm gonna sue..."I'm gonna TAKE YOUR HOUSE!" he shouted for all of West Hartford Center to hear.
"Fine," I responded as I walked away. I took out my cell phone and called my dad to drive me home.
So there you go. I stand guilty as charged. He didn't sue me. In fact, I never saw either him or Keith again. And I never got to hear my favorite tribute band play again. Yes, I shouldn't have hit Cookie Jarvis.
But I ask you. Was it me? It was him, right?