So, it's been almost a year since my beloved Grandmother (nicknamed Mimi) has shuffled loose this mortal coil and I'm pretty alright with it. I mean, I miss her dearly but the last few years of her life I was really hoping she'd just die in her sleep because she was a shadow of the woman I grew up revering. I remember when I got the news. I was at work and around 9 am my Ma called me and before I even answered I knew what she was going to tell me. I told her to just get it over with and stormed off to the toilet to sob tears of joy. My Mimi was finally free of the intense pain and You see, when I found out Mimi was about to shove off the first time Mrs. Debauchery and I were at Rudz and I knew it was the end for her. I pulled off the side of Heights Blvd. and cried so hard I thought my head would explode. That's how much this woman meant to me.
She grew up poor as shit, picking cotton in her early teens, and then married a man named John who was (also 20 years older) probably the hardest son of a bitch anyone would ever meet. My Dad might be intimidating because of his size and vocal tone and general demeanor but PaPaw was the real deal. I remember either my Ma or Mimi telling me a story about how PaPaw's crew at work on an oil rig were fucking up and he called them out on it and they tried to kick the shit out of him but he laid most of them out before they could do any real damage. He woke up bloodied but from what I've been told, he won. I'm fucking proud to be from this family and it's from my grandparents on my Ma's side (I'm sure she regrets this) where I get my attitude.
But back to my Mimi. You couldn't have wished for a better grandmother, especially if you're me. A weird, scrawny spazz who at the turn of puberty hated the sun and just wanted to stay in his room and read and listen to aggressive and violent music. Still. she supported me in everything I have dedicated my life to and in the most enthusiastic manner possible: punk rock, skateboarding, horror movies, writing, debate in high school instead of sports.You don't generally see a woman from the old South that is a hardcore baptist embrace her grandson's open rebellion against everything she adored. But she loved me anyway and if I could pull some Herbert West shit and reanimate her corpse she would tell you today that she is proud of me and is proud that her grandson is a punk rocker for life. I miss you Mimi and I hope I'm still making you happy. I am truly honored that my wife is sporting your engagement and wedding rings on her finger.
I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House - Fuck Fred Phelps and the Westbero Baptist Church Alright, so Mimi was a hardcore Baptist and even though I never told her, partially because my Ma forbid me, she pretty much knew I was an Atheist. And the only reason I bring this is up is to qualify my criticism of most Christians. Mimi was the most open, tolerant, loving and accepting human being I've ever come across and that's where I judge (not a Christian so I can do that!) hypocritical pieces of shit like Bill O'Reily...fuck it all of Fox News, Bill Donahue (I believe my wife's Irish Catholic family would love to punch him in the balls), and especially Fred Phelps. That said, Mimi (who, despite showing me anti-gay propaganda when I was about ten (obviously it didn't take hold) regarding golden showers...yeah that happened) grew way more progressive over her life.When she met the Dead Kennedy, my (gay) brother, and heard what his parents put him through she embraced him immediately. She also used to watch shitty slasher flicks with me when I stayed with her during summers that were on USA's Up All Night. I think she figured they were morality parables that should've scared me straight. Anyhoo, if she had been cognizant about the Westbero Baptist Church I guarantee you she would've had me drive her down to one of their protests so she could tell them off. Mind you, she wouldn't like the language but she would sure as shit love the sentiment! I told my Ma I was gonna lead this column off with this song and she smiled.
The Humpers- Plastique Valentine
When I was 15 my parents bailed to NOLA for a weekend and Mimi came down to stay with me. I'd just gotten Plastique Valentine on cassette after reading about the band in Thrasher so I was super stoked to get to go to a show at Emo's (RIP) that my parents would NEVER let me go to. My friend and I showed up around 8 (we were used to all ages shows at Fitzgerald's) and proceeded to get drunk as shit courtesy of the Humpers because we were the only one's there that early and obviously looked like easily corruptible teens. I remember at one point the bar refused to give the band anymore beer and Billy marched down to the corner store, copped a case of Shiner and when he was told he couldn't bring it in the bar said, "FUCK YOU! IF WE CAN'T KEEP DRINKING WE'RE NOT PLAYING!" They let him in, the show was amazing and the Humpers wrote me a note to give to my Mimi apologizing for keeping me out so late. She read it, saw how buzzed I was on beer, laughed and said, "Now, go to bed!"
Hank Williams - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Probably the only song on this list she would've really dug. Aside from the personal attachment to my grandmother over this song (she was a huge Hank Williams fan) this reminds me of being in my early 20's, drinking a bottle of whiskey a night and passing out on the couch, because I was so depressed, when GRRR was a puppy. And then when I'd drag my ragged ass off the couch in the morning with this tune stuck in my head, all I could think was, "Mimi would kick the shit outta me if she ever saw me like this!"
ALL - Breaking Up
When I was, like 14, some guy at the Pizza Hut in our neighborhood gave me a backpack full of tapes (Madness, Subhumans, Descendents, 7 Seconds, the Freeze...huuuuge influence on me) cause I wore a 30footFALL t-shirt into the store when I went and picked up our pie. Fast forward to when I was 16 and just broke up with a girl, ironically, who was also nicknamed Jay (let's not delve into the Freudian-fuckedupness of that), and man, I was devastated. Just a total wreck. So, I had to drive up to Beaumont to pick up Mimi for the holidays and just could not stop listening to this album, especially "Breaking Up." I hit that reverse button on my car's tape deck like fifty billion times throughout that trip. During that, Mimi could tell something was wrong and finally blurted out some curt advice once I told her what was making me such a mopey bastard, "Honey, she don't deserve you. Just get over it."
The Ramones - Clip from Rock 'N' Roll High School
Mimi's favorite memory of me was of us eating pizza from Domino's (hey, I didn't know that asshole CEO supported Operation Rescue when I was a kid) and grease just running down our arms. She always brought it up and it's a nice ending to this column because the last time I ate pizza with her was while watching Rock 'N' Roll High School, when I was in high school. Gabba gabba hey, Mimi. I'm sure you've already told Joey how much I adore him.