Zeppelin Had Coda

I apologize for my recent absence from Blogville. Work has been kicking my ass lately. We’ve been busy for months, but that has really ramped up these past few weeks. Considering that the company has tripled in size in the nearly three years I have been there, this isn’t exactly a shock. Sadly, they are unwilling to invest in another copywriter at this point, choosing instead to hire more marketing staff and focus on increasing membership. Of course, more marketing staff + increasing membership = more content to write. This has all the makings of what the old-timers call a “vicious circle.” As a result, I’ve been under the gun and stressed out quite a bit over the work that has been piling up and the deadlines that are falling by the wayside. But as I told my junior content specialist, there is no use complaining about something we have no control over. If it takes a few missed deadlines to get management to acknowledge the need for help, so be it.

Fortunately, the company is still investing in fun activities for its employees, and Friday was no exception. We shut down the office at 1 PM for our annual picnic. Busy or not, there was no way I was going to miss out on the opportunity to get paid to drink down by the river on a Friday afternoon. We had reserved a picnic shelter at Cottonwood Beach in Washougal and the plan had been to barbecue, play some volleyball and kickball, and socialize. It turned out to be really hot and muggy, so most of us congregated beneath the shelter instead. We had good food, lively conversation, and plenty of booze.

And then the cops showed up.

I hadn’t given much thought to all the No Alcohol Allowed Under Penalty of Death! signs posted all over the place, figuring whoever organized the picnic surely must have gotten a permit or special exception. After all, there were cases of beer right out in plain sight. I am not a beer drinker myself, but came prepared with a flask full of vodka. It wouldn’t be a {Insert Company Name} party without a little booze, after all!

Shit just got real.

Surprise, surprise. There had been no special deal brokered, no temporary liquor license granted for our group, so when four police cruisers showed up and a bunch of sallow-looking uniformed fellas stepped out of their vehicles, the jig was up. I nervously worried about getting patted down, but luckily my flask went undiscovered. We were asked to remove all alcohol from the premises and issued a citation, and after that the party pretty much petered out. Tara and I left around 4, and ended up at our favorite bar in downtown VanWA for more (legal) drinks. We’d invited a bunch of friends to stop by, but nobody did. Lame! Fortunately, we enjoy each other’s company best of all, and had a great time anyway.

At one point we started talking about music. Tara asked me whether I thought Nirvana would still be as revered today if Kurt hadn’t killed himself. No, I replied. They would have eventually made a bad album. It happens to all bands – even Led Zeppelin had “Coda” – and that would have diminished their legacy. And then she asked about other untimely rock ‘n roll deaths. What if Jim Morrison hadn’t died so tragically young?

“It’s probably a good thing he did,” I replied (though not really). “Because you know The Doors would have gone on to release the inevitable disco album, and that would have forever tainted them.”

It’s funny, the conversations you have after downing a few drinks.

Yesterday, summer came to an abrupt end. We had a big windstorm move through, with some pretty heavy rain in the morning. Since it’s still only August I’m sure this is temporary and we will soon return to our Regularly Scheduled Program (warm + dry), but it was a nice break from the monotony and the perfect excuse to spend the day holed up inside. We made meatloaf and watched Boyhood. Usually our weekends are go-go-go, so it’s nice to chill out for a change.

It’s beginning to look like fall out there.

Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

14 thoughts on “Zeppelin Had Coda

  1. Oh man, that’s a rowdy work party! That sucks your office got a citation. Oops.

    Did you like Boyhood? I really liked that movie. Course, I’ve got a bit of a crush on Ethan Hawke. He’s a writer too you know? I think he’s got 2 books out. Ash Wednesday is on my list to read. Oh, slightly random – but you know who else I found out is an actor turned travel author? Andrew McCarthy! From Pretty in Pink! CRAZY!

    “Blane? His name is Blane? That’s a major appliance, not a name!” ~ Duckie, Pretty in Pink

    Good luck at work! I hope things settle a bit and/or you get some help.


    1. Yes, I really enjoyed Boyhood. Very interesting concept, filming over a long period of time to allow the actors to age naturally. Definitely made the whole thing more believable.

      I knew that Ethan Hawke (a fave of mine, too) was also a writer. And I’ve heard that his books actually don’t suck! Good job, Ethan.


    1. Yes!! I definitely agree with this one. Sad songs might say so much, but I’d rather hear him sing about Levon or the yellow brick road!

      BTW, I tried four different times to leave a comment on your blog. Not sure why it isn’t working for me, but if you see me in your spam folder multiple times you’ll know why.


  2. Your office party got busted? That is rather rude actually. It appears rather isolated, who busts a bunch of adults for a little beer? Besides, what kind of park doesn’t allow beer?

    Jim Morrison and the Doors making a Disco album? Noooo. You broke my heart with this thought.


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