Cummerbund

Cummerbund: (n) a wide sash worn at the waist

Tears of anguish flow to my eyes frequently when I consider all the various ways that the makers of cloth and the producers of clothing have found to take their products and pinch me at the waist, constantly reminding me of how goddamn fat I am.

When the junior prom came around back in high school, I was intimidated by many the aspects rising up to demolish my already fragile ego.

First—it was terrifying to invite a girl to a dance, knowing that the possibility of “no” was likely and then having to calm my ego by believing that maybe she just didn’t like dancing.

Then there’s the planning, the procuring of funds for things like corsages. And finally, the rental of the tuxedo—which immediately became problematic (because I long ago ceased to be comfortable in a thirty-eight regular suit jacket).

The coat was a problem.

The pants, an even tighter twist.

The shirt pinched me at the top of my belly and refused to let go.

And then, the introduction of a cummerbund to go around my waist, to more or less act as a spotlight, informing people that my belly was due to arrive soon.

It left me completely befuddled and nervous beyond all reason.

I finally discovered how to place it around my waist and smoothed down. Then I went to the car, got in, and upon sitting, it sling-shot its way off of my tummy, striking the front windshield.

Realizing this was going to be a problem, I had my friend pull it really tight around my stomach—and then, instead of hooking it with the available brackets, I had him tie it in a knot.

It had no place to go.

Of course, all night long, it kept trying to slide up (several times coming very near my throat).

It was a mess.

Humiliating.

At no time did it ever look good—not even when the photographer tried to re-situate it for picture-time.

So my prom picture looks like I was dressed up in a tuxedo too small for me, held prisoner, and tied up with a cummerbund.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Album

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Album: (n) 1. a blank book for the insertion of photographs, stamps or pictures 2. a collection of recordings on a long-playing record, cassette or compact disc, which then is issued as a single item.

God, I wanted to make an album.

I was twenty years old and obsessed with the idea.

There was something about the final front cover, backliner notes and the whole idea of being in a recording studio that just rang my bells and clanged my cymbals.

There were a few problems:

  • First and foremost, I suppose, was that I was broke.
  • Second was the absence presently of the major talent to warrant such a maneuver.
  • Third and most pronounced was that I didn’t have a group.

Being extremely immature, I opted to address the third problem while ignoring the other two.

I started a band with members who were just as possessed as I was with the notion of “going vinyl.” We rehearsed for twenty minutes and for forty minutes talked about how much fun it was going to be to be famous. We finally put together the magic number of ten songs, and begged and pleaded with relatives for donations for our project.

We finally pieced together enough money to pay for the first ten hours in a studio, with no idea how we would pay for the rest.

It seemed like a good plan–mainly because we were crazy.

There was a studio in our town that not only recorded records, but had a plant which pressed the final product right on site. We acquired a very reasonable photographer (free) who shot our cover and back cover, and we spent all of our time writing the liner notes instead of rehearsing for the session.

So when we got in the studio and they played back what we sounded like, we were convinced that the tape they had used was warped–causing our voices to go flat.

We got better. Of course, it cost studio time. So at the end of the session, we had a pretty decent record, but owed $723 to get our magical mission released into our greedy paws.

Now, $723 to us was either going to be achieved by killing off all of our parents and inheriting the money, or breaking into the recording studio and stealing our record. After about two weeks of nasty phone calls from the studio, they finally negotiated a deal so that we could pay off our album in installments.

We finally had it in our hands. It was magical. It was the Holy Grail.

It didn’t sell.

So not only did we never pay back the studio, but we eventually had to give away all of our albums to people who kept insisting they already had one.

My fortunes in the recording industry have improved over the years, but I will never forget stalking my first album. It was like the night of your honeymoon, mingled with your first trip … to Baskin Robbins.