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Monday, October 17, 2005

Will Wet Nurse Never Cease?

Jeff Schmitt

I often think about starting a wildly prolific rock band and naming it Wet Nurse, simply for the chance that after releasing nine LPs and six EPs in a two-year span, Spin will run a blurb about my tireless efforts entitled, “Will Wet Nurse Never Cease?”

Five years later, my band will announce that we are calling it quits. This will be followed by our final farewell tour. It will be our fourteenth “Final Farewell Tour.” In fact, our first tour was called the “Final Farewell Tour.” Blender will run a story about how this now tired practice of ours has lost both the playfulness and satirical edge that buoyed the first ten or twelve tours.

An editor at Blender will make a smug comment to his colleagues in a story meeting that we have become a self-parody. This editor does not realize we’ve been a self-parody the entire time. Without doing the proper research—a simple LexisNexis search would have pulled up the Spin article—they too will run a piece called “Will Wet Nurse Never Cease?”

It will have no effect on my self-esteem, or my band’s career.

I will frame both articles and hang them next to each other in my treehouse.

I invite Bob Pollard over for a celebratory booze blackout party. He will ask if he can bring friends, and I will be red-faced with embarrassment. He should know I’m in no position to tell him how to run his life. He brings thirty people with him, all middle-aged rocker-types. We drink eleven kegs of Budweiser in just over an hour and a half. The weight of us all, plus the beer, is enough to destroy the treehouse, and even the tree.

As we sort ourselves out among the wreckage—comparing scars and broken bones, and vomiting all over one another, I tell Bob and the rest of the crew that this was my best birthday ever. Later, I regret the lie and chalk it up to extreme drunkenness and shock. It was not, in fact, my birthday.

We are shuttled to the emergency room by an intern from Magnet, there to cover the party from the ground. He takes the wounded in his Civic hatchback, three of us at a time, in order of rock relevance. This gives me time to clean up the mess a little in case my mother came home while I was still in post-op. When it is my turn to be taken to the E.R., I make my best attempt to rally the remaining troops: a down-on-his-luck lighting designer who swears he’s seen Kim Deal in various states of undress, and Evan Dando’s cousin, who has lost a lot of blood; I have at least a concussion, and will walk with a limp for months, I am sure.

You may think this will slow down my band, Wet Nurse, but of course, short of death—there is no stopping us. We will be prolific as ever. Within a week, we’ll release the album, Live from the Triage: The Final Farewell Tour. By this time, the Magnet intern will be a contributing editor, thanks almost entirely to his heroism in saving Pollard and three former Breeders drummers from certain death, his article, and the accompanying photos.

His feature on our live album will be called, of course, Not This Time, Wet Nurse, I Did My Homework.

Jeff Schmitt totally just stole your parking space. And he's getting away with it.