All day today, I will be listening to 'Streams of Whiskey' by The Pogues for 24 solid hours.
Let me start this off by just saying that I do not hate myself. I doubt you believe that, but It's true. I've done this once before by listening to 'Christmas in Hollis' by Run DMC all day on Christmas, and the experience was one that I'll likely never forget. I'm not sure if any of you have ever pushed your brain through those particular fringes, but it's quite a unique ride. I saw some pretty cool shapes after about hour twenty, and I would not mind seeing them again.
I suppose stuff like this is one of my only vices. I don't really drink, I don't do drugs, but I do seem to be drawn towards putting myself and my mind through experiments like this. It's a lot like my stand up, it's a lot of pain and repetition with brief moments of glory and the occasional nervous breakdown.
Perhaps I do it because I want to see how long and how far I can go. Perhaps it's because I like saying I've done things I know nobody else can claim to have done. Perhaps I lied, and I actually do hate myself. Either way, I promised myself I would do it, and the hardest promises to break are the ones I make to myself. Let's do this...
2:00am - It begins. I've just returned from seeing the Electric Six in concert, and I am quite sweaty and dinged up from that experience. The way I've timed it out, I'm starting at 2am and going until 2am on the 18th. It probably would have been a wise move to have slept in until the moment I started this, but then again, this is not likely to be a day that will be remembered by my wise moves.
I'm listening to the song via my computer speakers, but I am equipped with portable speakers to take this on the move, should I decide to leave the house. I'm just going to sit here and soak it in for the first few hours, let the song burrow its way into my skull quick and early.
The whole Run DMC thing was born out of desperation. I was unable to go home to visit my family, and was already planning on being alone and having the entire house to myself all Christmas Day. The idea struck me, and for some reason I was not able to talk myself out of it. With this one, I have no real excuse to pin that on. I never really celebrate St. Patrick's Day, and there are probably a lot of more productive things I could be doing today. However, I doubt very highly that I'm going to be the only person making bad decisions today.
The song just repeated for the first time, and for the briefest moment after that happened, my mind went, "Huh, that's weird. This sounds a lot like the last song." Not a good sign.
3:48am - First video is up. I'll be posting videos all day. These force me to be active and to help me take my mind off the song. So far, I'm only moderately annoyed. It probably helps that I like The Pogues. People have told me that it's cheating that I pick song that I like to do this to. I'd argue that I'm sure that they love ice cream, but I doubt they would still love it after eating a lifetime's worth of it in one day. I have not listened to Christmas in Hollis again, and there are no immediate plans to. I imagine I'll hear it in a restaurant or something at some point, and I'll just start laughing and crying at the same time.
I should also mention I had my wisdom tooth pulled out yesterday. I'm fine, but I still kind of have the open gaping gum hole in my head giving my grief. I didn't even know my head had that much blood in it. It's up in the air how that will play out as the day rages on.
4:45am - My roommate just came home, and stayed up with me for an hour to level me out. Yeah, that's right, I'm doing this when there are other people in the house. Never meet new roommates off the internet, folks.
6:01am - Made new video. I look like I've just lived eighty really difficult lives. Crashing seems imminent, but I must endure.
I did some research on Shane MacGowan, the lead singer of the Pogues, to occupy myself. According to his wikipedia entry, "MacGowan claims to have been introduced to alcohol by his aunt on the promise he would not worship the devil."
9:15am - I've kind of just been staring into the middle distance for the past three hours. My friend Dan wanted me to send all the people in his program a message, and I just posed a video saying I would not. It took more effort to do that than it would have to just the message. Dan would understand though. My current physical condition, juxtaposed against this song, seems to be making me very angry. This does not bode well, so for the sake of the rest of the day, I'm going to sleep for an hour.
I will, of course, keep the song playing while I sleep, to ensure that my dreams will still have me enjoying the ride.
10:24am - You ever wake up from a nightmare to a reality even more horrific than your imaginary one? I'm now just trying to convince myself that Shane MacGowan does not really exist.
11:55am - I've burst through the wall. This is similar to how it happened last time. The first six hours are the worst, then the song and you kind of join together like an Irish Voltron, ready to do battle with your equilibrium and personal hygiene.
I attempted to shave my beard, but I quickly put a stop to that, remembering that moments earlier I had a less than successful time trying to shovel Lucky Charms and Red Bull into my mouth. I just wish I would have realized that before covering my face in shaving cream. I now smell like a barbershop made of sugar and douche bags. Faith and Begorrah to ye'.
2:03pm - Just passed the half way mark. My friend Cathy just came over to show me pictures of her transcontinental vacation. She has pictures of beautiful vistas and historical buildings from Europe and South America. I'm just hoping she does not notice the overturned bag of chips on the floor that I've been aggressively ignoring for hours.
She tells me that it would probably help me if we left the house for a bit, so I load up my Ipod and portable speakers and set sail for the bank. I had a cheque to cash, and I never say no to a free ride. The teller seems amused at the music coming out of my pocket, but is not inquisitive enough to ask me why it's there in the first place. I still smell, and I must remember to give her a Christmas card next year for not saying anything about it.
Cathy and I then got Shamrock Shakes and went our respective ways. I can see now why McDonalds does not keep this on the menu all year long, these things taste awful. It also reminds me of something, when the last Shrek movie came out, there were billboards all over the place that were selling a Mint Oreo McFlurry, but the billboard called it a "Mint Ogre-load". I heard this on a podcast, and remembered that one of those billboards was close to my house. I went to it soon after to see if it was still up so I could take a picture of it, but when I got there it had been taken down.
Second only to listening to this f---ing song for 24 hours, that's probably my biggest regret in life.
4:25pm - While waiting for a video to upload, I finally got around to cleaning my room. I'm cleaning and dancing, because part of me thinks that if I don't the song will hurt me. I then sat on my couch and started reading a book called EATEN ALIVE, a novel about a homicidal grizzly bear and his various adventures. It's essentially Kill Bill with bears. I bet you anything that that is how the book was pitched, too, because be honest, if there was a movie coming out, and it was billed as "Kill Bill with bears", would you not be first in line to buy tickets on opening night? The only way they could make it better is if they actually just straight up called it "Kill Bill With Bears". Starring Jason Statham.
You might not expect a book like that to be a good companion to the already trying mental roller coaster I've put myself on, considering I'm now on hour fourteen and should probably be meditating for rinsing the rest of that shaving cream off my face or something. However, I find the book surprisingly soothing. This bear and I have a lot of the same hopes and dreams, I've come to realize. I envy him for being so effective at getting the job done.
After eating Lucky Charms, Red Bull, a Shamrock Shake, and the remains of a bag of Onion Ring and Ketchup flavoured Doritios, my internal organs sound like they are in the final negotiations before declaring they want a referendum from the rest of my body. Can't blame them, I wouldn't put up with those shenanigans either.
5:31pm - Forgot to mention that I found out Shane MacGowan is not on twitter. Which is a shame, because if he was, I would have quit my job by now and devoted my life to making t-shirts and inspirational posters of his tweets.
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J.D. Renaud is a writer, comedian, producer, and visual artist originally from Oakville, Ontario. You can follow his weird thoughts on Twitter at @jdrenaud.