Let us spend some time with Eddie, as he rocks and rolls through his rollover universe…
“Ed – DIE! Ed-DIE! Make me a Sherby Special – relish and all the fixings, very well done.”
“Okay bud, one coolola burger coming up.”
“Hey Sam, a fast funky trippy monkey, Table 17”
“Right, Eddie. Hey, here comes the Old Man.”
The Old Man opens the door to his very popular restaurant, very IN with the college crowd. “Eddie, turn down that damn radio. How many times do I got to tell you, I HATE that noise!”
“Right away Old Man.”
Old Man starts lumbering up the stairs to this office, pauses, turns around, looks at Eddie. “Eddie, I hear water running. Did some drunk preppie forget to turn the taps off after finishing with his business in the bathroom?”
“No, Old Man, it ain’t the taps dripping.”
“Well, what is it then Eddie? Speak up son.”
“Well Old Man, there’s a couple up there having a shower.”
“A SHOWER! Are you nuts? This is a restaurant Eddie, not a floozy hotel.”
“Well Old Man, they just blew in from New York, kind of dusty and weary from the road, ya dig! Couldn’t refuse them. How did I know they’d start playing Adam and Eve?”
“Eddie, you are IMPOSSIBLE!”
Sound of flowing water stops.
Minutes later, Bobby and Jill come tra la lalling down the stairs, big grins all around. Old Man glares at them, glares at Eddie, sighs big sigh of exasperation, heads up the stairs to hide in his office. He can’t stand dealing with the public, takes comfort in the cold logic of what are to him very personal cash flow figures. Calls down to Eddie, “Eddie, one more stunt like this and you are fired but immediately. This floor reeks of come!”
“Sure Old Man.” Turns to face Bobby and Jill. “Well kids, what will it be? The Sherby cool ray hot dog, the madness burger, the sexomatic fries?”
“Sexomatic fries! Yeah, coolola place, this Sherby’s. Wish they had something like this in New York…”
“Hey Sam, I’m done for the day. Got to go see if there’s any apartment available at Ricardo’s building.
“That rattrap? Eddie, that’s a flopper!”
“Yeah, Sam, but a flopper is the only kind of place I feel comfortable in…”
Eddie gets into the subway, sits down, starts to dream of girls, guitars… Suddenly is woken from his pleasant reverie by that amplifed foghorn of a sound system, words loud but all vowels kind of running together like mixed oatmeal, a humorous Scottish accent…
“And then I took her to the movies, and what a pair on her she had …”
“Oh geez, the silly fuck doesn’t realize…”. And before Eddie can complete the thought he is up off his seat and running towards the conductor’s cabin located at the front of the train…
“Open up, ya silly fuck!”
“Whot? What’s that?”
“Open up fart head!”
Door opens. “Yeah, wot’s your problem?”
“You got your local mike on, that’s the problem. Everybody on the train can hear you discussing your sex life. And I, for one, am not particularly interested!”
“Yeah shivering shit jeepers”. And if it’s just mammary glands that’s got your attention, why don’t cha go back to Scotland, ya silly fuck!”
Eddie turns around to warm applause from the passengers sitting nearby who are much in favour of his quite direct approach to problem solving.
“Right on Brother!”
“Tell it the way it is, man!”
“Power to the people baby!”
… “Hey Janitor, you got an apartment I can see?”
“My name’s Ben. “You want a beer?”
“No, I want an apartment.”
“Too bad! I don’t rent to anybody who don’t drink. That’s important. I don’t trust anybody who don’t drink.”
“Is that a fact? Okay old timer, give me a beer.”
“That’s better. Come on in.”
They sit down in the pigsty of a room that is the janitors life. He is happy, he has his tv, his tenants to laugh at, his beer. He is content. He is not fooled by the TV ads telling us to buy this or go there or study that. He is a wizened old goat, well versed in the lunacy of human activities…
“Well, what’cha looking for, young man?”
“I want a simple apartment, a bachelor or studio.”
“Yeah ok, all the apartments in this building are simple. And you will be too if you stay here long enough – ha ha!”
“Never mind, young man. You got anything against green?”
“Yeah, all the suites are painted the same puke green color; you got no choice.”
“That’s ok. I got posters and crap I can cover it up with.”
“What’s your name son?”
“Eddie, come with me, I want you to meet another Eddie…”
Ben the janitor and Eddie go out into the hall, walk towards the elevators. Janitor presses the up button, smiles a bit, looks at Eddie, says “Watch your step, this elevator is sometimes ornery.”
“Ornery? What the fuck do you mean? Is the elevator alive?”
“Don’t make fun of the elevator son. You don’t know what you are dealing with.” The elevator grinds its way down from a higher floor, stops about 6 inches above floor level.
“Well, step in son, watch your step.”
Janitor presses floor 12. Elevator starts up, starts accelerating.
“What the fuck?” says Eddie, “Why is the elevator increasing speed?”
Janitor says nothing, just smiles at Eddie.
At floor 12, the elevator comes to a sudden halt, shakes, rattles and rolls. Eddie loses his balance, crashes against one of the walls. The elevator is 6 inches below floor level.
“Ha ha ha” belches the janitor.
Punches the three walls in time with his words: “Meet Eddie Van Halen. Ha ha ha. David lee Roth used to be the ceiling, floor, and 4th wall. But Eddie got rid of them ha ha ha!. Eddie the Elevator likes you Eddie. ha ha ha!”
“What’s going on here Ben?”
“The elevator is alive Eddie, alive with the spirit of rock and roll.” If he doesn’t like the rider, Eddie the Elevator plays tricks on him. Sometimes he will come to a stop 2 feet from the floor. That way I know not to rent to that guy or girl. But you Eddie, 6 inches. Wow, that’s the most affection I have ever seen him show. You can have the apartment for sure! I let Eddie the Elevator check my references for me. Ha ha ha!”
Eddie and Ben exit the ‘Eddie Van Halen’ elevator, proceed down the hall, enter the apartment which the janitor opens with his passkey.
Eddie looks around. There is a sense of something abnormal, but that’s all that Eddie needs to make a decision. He feels comfortable right away.
“I’ll take it!”
“You didn’t take it Eddie. Eddie the Elevator made you take it. Ha ha!”
Eddie rolls his eyes, whips out his soiled cheque book and writes out a cheque. Just another minute of another day in the rollover universe that is unique to Eddie, a story only he knows the ending to…
©1999 Jimfre Bacal