Some might regard me as an irritating asshole now, but I was a much more irritating asshole when I was 15 and 16.

Here’s an example of my behavior: A friend (Jack) and I were in a diner near the Jersey shore on a hot day, and we thought it would be be hilarious to slam one of those soft plastic mustard dispensers on the table top while simultaneously squeezing it. This sent little micro globs of mustard flying into the air, you see, and the goal was to hit the ceiling with a glob or two. We were red-faced with suppressed laughter. I hadn’t laughed like that in years, and that meant something at my age.

Things got even more hilarious when we both simultaneously realized that a white golf shirt worn by a middle-aged guy sitting in a booth behind ours…we split an even bigger gut when we saw that his shirt had been hit by five or six globs. The guy’s wife or son eventually noticed what had happened (or the waitress had told him or something) and he stood up, purple-faced and fuming and threatening to beat the shit out of us. His wife or son begged him not to get violent as Jack and I bolted out of there. A few minutes later Jack and I had decided that despite the trauma the episode was worth it for the laughs.

It was this episode that led me to title a short, decade-old riff “Mustard Droplets.” It was about the various names of a rock band that I’d drummed with. I was a mediocre drummer of the first order. Here’s the 4.23.12 item:

As I mentioned the other day, I once tried to play drums (i.e., none too successfully) in a semi-conflicted Connecticut blues band. It was fun but I was the weak link. The band had five names at different stages of the game — the Golden Rockets (which I hated), the Sludge Brothers, Blind Pig Sweat, Amos Bouldcox and Dog Breath. My problem wasn’t a lack of joie de percussion, but that I was obliged to bang it out on a conventional drum set when my true gift was in the realm of thigh-slapping and coin-jingling and simulating bass riffs in my throat. Today we have sensitive-enough microphones that would permit me to do that.