Heavy Metal Made Me Do Bad Things

Children are fragile and impressionable beings. It is important to take caution when it comes to what we expose them to. When I was 11, I convinced my mom to buy me my first heavy metal album; the album was Kill Em’ All, by a band named Metallica.

My favorite song on the album was Jump in the Fire. Even though I was obsessed with it … not once did I attempt to jump into a fire.

Overly protective parents everywhere are deeply concerned about how heavy metal is a bad influence on children. If there ever were events that might have tarnished heavy metal’s stellar reputation, it would be these:

In 1981, recording artist, Ozzy Osbourne, bit the head off of a pigeon at a meeting at CBS studios. He regretted the incident, but did say that the bird might have tasted better dipped in Ranch.

In 1985, two teens attempted suicide after listening to a Judas Priest album. The teens families believed the band’s lyrics pushed the boys over the edge. Some of the parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the band, but lost.

Ozzy is a devoted family man with his own children. Judas Priest has the word “Priest” in the title … how bad can they be? These heavy metal artists are decent people that just happen to play music that attracts deeply troubled people.

I was one of those troubled people. I am not proud to admit it, but I put our family cat in the clothes dryer once. I never heard lyrics in a song telling me to torment animals.

I also threw bottle rockets at someone’s home in the middle of the night. Even though I loved the Megadeth song Set The World Afire, I didn’t want to burn any houses down.

As a teen, I found a motorcycle and neglected to turn it into the authorities. It surely wasn’t the satanic band, Danzig, that told me to break the law.

In each of these cases, I simply needed a slap upside my head from an adult.

People should lay off of heavy-metal bands. They’re just trying to earn an honest living by singing about anger, drugs, sex, violence, and demonic entities … They’re mostly innocent.

People Like Comedians More Than Engineers

I want to become a stand-up comedian, but there’s a small problem — I am an engineer.

People love laughing and comedians. People don’t like engineers very much. I only know this because my friends don’t call me back or invite me to do stuff.

In my early 20’s I wanted to be a rock star. I converted my bedroom into a recording studio. My father suggested I make getting a degree my “plan B.” I’m SO glad I listened to him. Of course I can’t speak to him about this comedian dream, because I couldn’t bear for him to be “right” again.

The career path of a comedian stinks, so I keep asking myself “why the hell I’m doing this?” In the beginning, you have to go to open-mic’s and practice, for no pay. Then once you start getting gigs, the pay, supposedly, usually doesn’t cover your travel costs.

So far, I have not stepped onto a stage to tell a joke. I can get up in front of people and talk, but doing stand-up in front of a crowd scares me.

Homeless Bastards Scare Me

Despite having nothing going for them, I find that most homeless people are TREMENDOUS conversationalists.

As I was riding my bike to work, I ran into a group of homeless men on an abandoned bridge. One of them, with a beer in his hand, hollered “Where do you work?”

I felt uncomfortable admitting that I owned a business. I worried that one of them might ask me for a job, then I’d have to tell them “no.” So I just told them I worked downtown.

The angriest fella aggressively asked “Do they pay cash the same day?” I said, “no they don’t … sorry.” Then he exclaimed there was NO WAY he was going to work anywhere that doesn’t pay cash the same day. I was a bit scared after that.

Regardless, out of concern for my safety — I tightened my backpack straps — I needed an immediate exit strategy from this conversation.

My heart goes out to all people in struggle … when I’m in a safe space like my home. But when I am vulnerable on the streets, I am an “expect the best, but be prepared for the worst” kind of guy. The root of that, I realize, stems from having seen too many movies. But isn’t that how we learn? Hollywood teaches us life- lessons so we don’t have to experience hardships first-hand? Thank you Hollywood with all of your INFINITE WISDOM!

From what I’ve experienced, most homeless people are docile. If you ever happen to stumble across a scene where you are surrounded by scary homeless dudes, here’s my advice; make eye contact and agree that their anger is everyone else’s fault.

And yes — it appears — the homeless do enjoy getting drunk and high.