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40 Ounces of Hell: Friends With Painted Faces

By Jeff Kerby, Contributor
Tuesday, January 23, 2007 @ 3:42 PM

"Thatís awful. What if you ha

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Looking back, I guess it was that fuckiní Gene Simmons reality TV show that started it.

I have to admit, I probably wasnít in the best frame of mind anyway when the phone messages began. See, the latest in a long line of time-battered females who have at one time or another graced the threshold of my trailer, had recently left me for the moob rich plumber who resided four lots away. If that wasnít enough, the roof of this den of sorrow was constantly leaking like a bastard from the melting snow that never seemed to end. Drip, drip, dripÖ.all I wanted to do was drink. Big shocker. I didnít even want anyone else around. I never do. All they do is talk, and that only serves to fuck up the continual dialogue in my head. Hell, I didnít even need her anywayÖor the plumber---I didnít even need a roof without a hole. All I needed was some malt liquor and some perspective. I decided I could wait on the perspectiveÖI had no sooner twisted the top off a 40 of St. Ides, when the phone started ringing. I let it goÖspeaking to people on the phone is worse than dealing with them in person. I let the old mini-cassette recorder pick up.

    "Kerby, this is the Phantom and I must enlist your services. There is a dark force afoot in the land of Kiss. No sooner had you recognized me as the preeminent leader in the Kiss Army, than an imposter materialized who is attempting to usurp the title that I alone so richly deserve. This Bob Brunson character from--"
Beep. Of course, he called back right away.

    "What I was saying was that this guy is calling himself the No. 1 Kiss Fan on Gene Simmons reality show--Iím sure youíve heard of it. Itís called Family Jewels. Anyway, if this atrocity against all mankind wasnít enough, he is now attempting to record the ultimate--"
Beep. You know he rang again.

    "Heís recording the ultimate Kiss fan tribute song. He has asked for Kiss fans from all over the world to tell why they love the band, and then he is supposed to craft the input into the be all and end all of Kiss tributes. Ker--"

Beep. Fuuuckkk.

    "Kerby, Godammit!! I need your help. This is insane. Just because this guy said he would get a Kiss tattoo on his penis, doesnít make him the No. 1 Kiss Fan! I have already even written a song. Please, you must help spread the word! Gene didnĎt even like this guy."
I took another drink. Fuck the Phantom. Fuck Kiss. I just wanted to be left alone.

Well, that was my initial sentiment. Then, that bastard proceeded to call every goddamn hour for about three days straight. The messages kept getting more and more lengthy and desperate, and that combined with the drinking while listening to the defective roof all served to bring me just a little bit closer to hell. At 11 P.M. one night, I decided enough was enough. I called him.


KNAC.COM: Yeah, hey, I need to speak to the Phantom. Is he available?


KNAC.COM: The Phantom.


KNAC.COM: Yeah--the forty year old appendage who lives in your basement. Is he there?

PHANTOM'S MOM: Oh my, let me check. Itís a little late, but you seem sort of nice enough andÖhe doesnít have too many friends. I really do worry about him.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, ok. Much obliged for the help, maíam.

PHANTOM'S MOM: Itís ok. Hang on a minute. HAAARRRROOOLLLDDD!!!!

(The PhantomÖer, Harold could be heard in the distance whining, since he had undoubtedly already turned in for the night having just bedded down on his vintage Star Wars sheets.)

PHANTOM: This better be Kerby.

KNAC.COM: Ok, Harold. Whatís with calling me fifteen fuckiní times a day?

PHANTOM: Desperate times call for desperate measures. Iím really sorry to be cutting into your whoring and boozing time, butÖ.well, this is important.

KNAC.COM: Well, so is whoring and boozing, pal. Whatís this about a song?

PHANTOM: Yes, yes. I have decided to go toe to toe with this Bob Brunson character once and for all. He can have his little tune. He can even have his big money producer and his spot on the reality show. I, on the other hand, have the heart of Kiss on my side.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, alright. Uh. Hmm. You wanna play this thing for me or what?

PHANTOM: Certainly. Letís let the fans decide. Obviously, this isnít professional production, but I want you to use your imagination. I want you to set the following music to a melody. The melody should sound sort of like "Stairway To Heaven"Öyou know, combined with "Sweet Leaf."

KNAC.COM: You donít say. Those arenít Kiss songs though.

PHANTOM: Gee, like Iím not aware of thatÖduh! The music is intended to be different. We donít want to be predictable, butÖwell, the lyrics are 100% Kiss inspired.

KNAC.COM: Oh, so you mean there are no words over two syllables and no sentiment deeper than a mud puddle? I gotcha. Hmm, probably a lot of stupid party references too, right? Ok Phantom, rock your shit.

PHANTOM: (Clears his throat fifteen fuckiní times)

    "Kiss, Oí Kiss, you wear the crown.
    Kiss, Oí Kiss, we will lay our money down.

    Gene, you are the vampire--so pure in every way.
    Paul you are the lover--fuck Kerby--youíre not gay.
    Guitar guy, Iím sorry I donít exactly know who you are.
    Drummer either, but Iím sure youíll go far.

    Kiss Army! Weíre coming to your town!
    Kiss Army! We never wear a frown!
    Kiss Army! We love to party hard!
    Kiss Army! We carry all the cards!

    KissKiss, I lost my virginity to you.
    KissKiss, my poster was covered in goo.

    All my life Iíve waited to proclaim my love to you.
    Now, that Iím doing it, my saddest days are through.
    I want to paint my face, writhe around in your sweat.
    I donít mean that in a gay way, but Iíll take what I can get.

    Kiss Army! Teariní Shit Up!
    Kiss Army! Shut the Fuck Up!
    Kiss Army! Weíll Always Be True!
    Kiss Army! Weíre Never Through With You!

    Never through with youÖ.never through with youÖnever through with youÖ.(whispers, then fades out.)"


PHANTOM: Well!?!?

KNAC.COM: Boy howdy. Do you want a little creative criticism?

PHANTOM: If you must, but I have to say--I think your caustic remarks will simply stem from jealousy.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, Iím sure youíre right. Iíve got to tell you though. I think the delivery was a little subdued. I think you need to BAZ it up a bit.

PHANTOM: "BAZ it up? Whatís that?

KNAC.COM: You know, as in ex-Skid Row vocalist and currentÖ.uh, I dunnoÖsinger guy, Sebastian Bach. I think he leads some vaudevillian troupe now.

PHANTOM: You mean I need to get a wife who makes all of my decisions for me and basically acts like a surrogate mother? Why do I need that? I already have a real one--you know, the one who owns my house.

KNAC.COM: Mmmm, no, but I get what youĎre saying. I just mean be expressive. Throw your arms around like you drink bug spray or something. Warble a lot. Kinda act like you have a nervous disorder.

PHANTOM: You think it would help?

KNAC.COM: Hell, I donít know, but that fucker always makes me laugh. Heís sort of like David Lee Roth with water on the brain.

PHANTOM: You think itís easy to create, donít you? All you ever do is criticize. I think you are an intrinsically dissatisfied person.

KNAC.COM: That may be, but Iíve got my own Kiss tribute, buddy. Bet you didnít know that, did you?

PHANTOM: It couldnít possibly be good.

KNAC.COM: No, it could beÖand it is.

PHANTOM: Prove it.

KNAC.COM: You sure? My song is rap though--you still down?

PHANTOM: Oh dear lord. I can already hear all the poor souls currently resting in Kiss coffins churning in their graves. Is this some kind of Martin Luther King tribute in honor of the holiday?

KNAC.COM: No, this one goes outÖto my dead homies. Donít kill the vibe, P. Iím about to rock this bitch like Ike rocked Tina. Iím about to keep my pimp hand strong on this bad boy. Give me a beat!

PHANTOM: A what?

KNAC.COM: A beat! A beat! How white are you? Fuck it, Iíll do it myself. Everyone, this one should be performed to the backing track of the Beastie Boysí "Brass Monkey" combined with N.W.AĎs "Fuck Da Police." Got it?

PHANTOM: Iím scared.

KNAC.COM: You should be.

    "Yo Gene, Yo Paul whereíd you go?
    Yo Gene, Yo Paul letís bum rush this show!

    Whereís dat fool Ace? Is he out drunk?
    Geneís solo album, fuck, that stunk.
    Peter Criss, you get--a shout out too--
    Youíd still be playing drums if you hadnít sniffed glue.

    Kiss ARMY! Weíre a buncha fuckiní tards.
    Kiss ARMY! We rock a lotta lard.
    Kiss ARMY! We love chili cheese fries.
    Kiss ARMY! Why the fuck are we all guys?

    I live in my basement, whatís the bitch?
    I fucked Geneís ho, and now all I do is itch.
    Is Paul in the closet? Nope, heís out.
    Sexiní girls? What the fuck was that about?

    Kiss ARMY! We buy a buncha shit!
    Kiss ARMY! Iíd pay to touch a clit!
    Kiss ARMY! We rock night and day!
    Kiss ARMY! While our momís away!

    While momís away. While momís awayÖwhile momís away. (Whispers and fades out.)"

PHANTOM: That was disgusting.

KNAC.COM: Why? I thought it was colorful.

PHANTOM: It was offensive. Did you say ďtardĒ?

KNAC.COM: Yeah, see I have this theory. The theory requires that you go to the homes where they stick all the really retarded folks--I donít mean like the kinda subnormal ones like that Corky guy on TV a few years ago. No, Iím talking about the ones that throw shit and make noises and scratch themselves and eat soggy pickles. Anyway, my hypothesis is that if you paint a buncha these twitching fuckers up and make them look like the guys in Kiss and drop them in the middle of an arena where Gene and Paul are playing, that no one would ever be able to tell them apart from the regular Kiss fans. Hence the line "weíre a buncha fuckiní tards."

PHANTOM: Thatís awful. What if you had a retarded child?

KNAC.COM: Thatís easy. Iíd paint him up like Gene Simmons and hand him a pickle.

PHANTOM: Itís just disgusting anyway, and you song isnít even in the true spirit of Kiss. Mine was.

KNAC.COM: Who is to say that? I just poured some out in honor of Geneís lost hair. Iím mourning the lost follicles. I really love Kiss.

PHANTOM: You love yourself, and that will ultimately lead to your downfall.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, yeah. Maybe. Anyway, do you want to challenge this Bob Brunson guy to a cage match or something? You might be able to take him. On his website, www.bobbrunson.com the photos make it look like he ingests liquid cheese intravenously, so IĎm guessing his stamina isnĎt too good. If that doesnít work, maybe you could comment on your dismay in one of his forums. Poor guy didnít have one damn comment on the whole website last time I checked. Iíll have five death threats within a half hour.

PHANTOM: No. No. I am going to declare war telepathically. Just like in The Elder--I believe I know exactly what that record was really about. It was about magically taking the Scepter of Intense Power and using it for good. I am going to take these principles and apply them in my own life. I have made my own scepter out of tin foil and a broomstick--Iím ready to use it. I am ready to make Bob Brunson realize that not just anyone could be the No. 1 Kiss Fan. Itís like, "you wanted the best, youíve got the best"Ö.me. I am what Kiss is all about.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, you sort of are. Itís like, "live at home?" Check.

PHANTOM: That isnít fair.

KNAC.COM: "Never been on a date?" Check.

PHANTOM: I have too.

KNAC.COM: Are you talking about your junior prom? Your mom paid that girl. Why do you think she couldnít speak English? She did dishes at the local hotel with two of her cousins.

PHANTOM: You bullshitter!

KNAC.COM: Maybe, but youíre just as bad as this contest winning Brunson guy. He spent what looked to be hours telling Gene about how he used to be a no-friend loser, but that since he had Kiss, he made it through somehow. The saddest part of the story is that the whole time he was pouring out his cholesterol-laden heart, Gene looked out the window seemingly wondering why he had to be there. That would be fine with me though if this monkey-like, wig wearing, tight ass didnít make it a point every chance he got to say some kind of bullshit like, "without our fans, we are nothing."

PHANTOM: See, he does think about his fans.

KNAC.COM: You just donít get it. Gene would never hang out with any of you unless you were either paying him a thousand bucks or offering to suck him off while he is taking a dump.

PHANTOM: Heresy!

KNAC.COM: Fact! Then, after Gene even shot down this Brunson guyís idea for the tribute "Friends With Painted Faces" and made him look like a misguided jackass, here Bob isÖsucking ass continuously anyway without a shred of dignity in his poor Cheetos-bloated body. Face it, you Kiss Army guys are like the equivalent of battered women who continually go back to their abusive, ex-con boyfriends. Gene hated every minute he spent being around this guy. He was just plain put out to have to associate and play miniature golf with this poor schlub who idolized him.

PHANTOM: Thatís just because it was Brunson. The guy is an impostor.

KNAC.COM: No, it would be the same for you too. Geneís just kind of a dick who financially exploitís the depths of the gene pool. The only way Iíd ever want to hang out with this guy is if he agreed to shave his sonís Dweezil Zappa-like eyebrows and paste them to the spine on his forehead.

PHANTOM: You lie!

KNAC.COM: No, if I wanted to go hang out with some old guy who was obsessed with money, I could find a hundred or more in any retirement home in this country. I donít even need to hear him play music that even you could perform. You can just forget about a new album too--the Kiss creative pool is about as moist as a vagina in a two thousand year old mummy.

PHANTOM: Bet you didnít know that Iím the Death Lord of the Kiss Army now either, did you? Would you like to be the recipient of my scepter? Would you, smart guy!

KNAC.COM: Gee, I dunno, but youíd better not let Gene know you have it or heís liable to sue.

PHANTOM: No, he wonít!

KNAC.COM: He has to--itís the only way he can keep his wife in handbags and cosmetic surgery. You think he really likes being a part of INDY promotions? Like he really identifies with the plight of jerky-eating rednecks all over this country. Then, agreeing to be a part of this ridiculously stupid reality TV show wherein eighty percent of the scenes appear to be scripted, is almost beyond beliefÖ.even for him.

PHANTOM: Youíve gone too far, now. You are asking for trouble.

KNAC.COM: Fuck that. Iíve already had more cellulite-endowed ragweed-smoking mommaís boys take my name in vain than you can shake a stick at. I appreciate their fury, but laugh at their man tits. It isnít going to change my mind. Look Harold, I hope you get back to the apex of Kiss sphincter licking and that people flood your email at [email protected] with supportive emails. Hell, I even hope Bob eventually gets some dignity and some rice cakes and turns his fucking life around. This is just too much for me though. All I want to do is go and drink and sleep. I donít need this shit. I need Percocet.

After hearing some unidentifiable noise on the other end of the line, I hung up the phone and finished my beer. I simply canít believe all the freak shows I associate with--no wonder my woman left me. Itís the company I keep. Fuck it, Iíd rather listen to "Love In An Elevator" while eating Arbyís than put up with any more of this shit. Bring on the Bang Tango reality show. Iíd say life couldnít get any worse, but I know myself way better than that. Finally, some much needed perspective.

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