Friday, December 30, 2011

No. 888 – Muzzle

Performer: Smashing Pumpkins
Songwriters: Billy Corgan
Original Release: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Year: 1995
Definitive Version: None

Every once in a while, I get things right. That was truly the case with Debbie’s birthday in 1995, shortly after this sprawling album had taken over my stereo and Walkman.

If there were a signal from the Cosmos that Debbie and I belonged together, so we thought, it was in the birthdays. Every person of significance in her life had a birthday that was at most two days apart from someone of significance in mine.

Debbie’s birthday is two days after Scott’s, and in 1995, we made plans to have him and Shani, who had moved down to Cincinnati to be with him, up for a birthday bash that would consist primarily of going to BW-3 for wings, tunes and brews.

However, shortly before Scott came up, I learned that the Art Institute in Chicago was going to hold a massive Monet exhibit. So, I set the gears in motion: I bought plane tickets, made hotel and dinner reservations and, yes, secured tickets to the exhibit—all without telling Debbie. I alerted Scott that there would be a slight change in plans, so we would have to cut the evening short, and to his credit he was cool about that. Now for the piece de resistance: I got a birthday card and put the tickets to the exhibit inside. At the right moment, the big surprise would be revealed.

Sure enough, at BW-3, Debbie gave Scott our present. Whereupon at the conclusion, I said, “Speaking of birthdays …” and produced her card. Debbie opened it and pulled out the tickets without saying a word but a very confused look on her face. When I asked what was wrong, she said, “These are for tomorrow.”

“Well, then, it’s a good thing I bought us plane tickets, isn’t it?”

Wait, what? When the realization of what was happening finally hit her, she was beside herself with excitement. Like I said, nailed it.

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