One time La Renarde took me to the DowntownOIC(R) Music Store.
“This is where you get music so you don’t have to listen to only The Radio,” she said.
The store had a lot of music in it, but most of it came in outdated forms Realities hadn’t bought for years. Many of them were out of their original packaging and looked pretty scuffed up.
“They’re not new,” I said.
“Used things are very Reality Travel,” she said. “Reality Travelers are supposed to be poor and not be able to afford new things. Besides,they’re all still perfectly alright and may even sound better.”
I looked thru the racks to try and see which albums had the most Radio Hits. U2 had one called “Greatest Hits” that was made of only their Radio Hits, and I knew like every single one of them already.
U2 is a band,from the far off and exciting Realities of Ireland,about causes. Their songs are always trying to cause Realities to care about other Reality’s problems like starving, getting sick from diseases, unfairly owing money, or dying in a War.
“Hey,” I said to the La Renarde. “Are U2 Reality Travel?”
“Yeah,” she said. “I mean, before they got on The Radio obviously.”
“I think I want to get this one.”
Then I showed her the Greatest Hits album.
“Greatest Hits albums are not Reality Travel at all,” she said. “Here, let me pick out one for you.”
Then she picked out one that said “WAR” on it, and it had a black&white picture of a little kid with angry eyes and a bloody lip. It had the Hit “Sunday Bloody Sunday” on it.
“Sunday Bloody Sunday,” is a song about blood. The best way to win a War is to remove the blood of the other Reality cuz they won’t be able to be alive without it. Sometimes a MeNotzie will use a gun to make big holes in a Reality that removes a lot of blood all at once. Like one weekend in The Northern Ireland Front of The Catholic vs. Protestant Reality War, when the Protestant Army shot a bunch of Catholic Realities even tho they didn’t have guns themselves.
“Alright, I’ll get it,” I said.
“Actually…” La Renarde said. “You know what would be even more Reality Travel? The live album. The songs sound slightly different than the studio versions, and there’s crowd noise and stage banter.”
Then she picked out another album called Under a Blood Red Sky, and that cover had the black silhouette of a singer surrounded by the blood red sky. It also had “Sunday Bloody Sunday” on it, and it said it was recorded in the far off and exciting Realities of Where-ThePlains-Meet-TheMountains.
“Ooh,” I said, “I’ll get this one then.”
Then we listened to it, and La Renarde was right, the live version of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” was actually better. At the beginning lead singer Bono goes,“This song is not a rebel song,” and in the middle he yells,“I’m so sick of it,” and you know he’s talking about War and really means it. The guitars and drums are fuzzier and louder and you know they really mean it, too. And then at the end there’s an extra round thru the chorus, and by the end you’re really pumped up to stop War forever.
I took the album with me everywhere after that, even when The General would drive me and The Admiral to school in his old minivan we called The Tank. Usually we’d just talk about War the whole way, and the only Radio on would be an AM station that had The News.
“Hey,” I said, “how come we never listen to music in here?”
“Music is mostly pointless,” The General said. “While we’re over here listening to songs, The Chinese are building a huge Army to destroy us.”
“Hahaha,” The Admiral said. “General Tso.”
“Some music is tolerable I suppose,” The General said. “Marches and National Anthems and that sort of thing. But most of them are just Love songs that make us soft and vulnerable, and don’t think our Enemies don’t know this.”
“Hahaha,” The Admiral said. “Emotions.”
“Well,” I said. “I just got this new album, and it’s so great that even you won’t be able to help liking it.”
Then I showed The General Under a Blood Red Sky.
“The album title does sound promising,” he said.
Then he put it on “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” and Bono screamed, and the snare drums charged, and the electric guitar fired right at you.
“Listen to this!” I said. “It sounds just like a battle.”
“Hahaha,” The Admiral said, “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”
And then he sang along, but it was not so he could get The Chills, but in a fake voice so he could make fun of it.
“Hahaha Bloody Hahaha,” he sang.
Then The General suddenly just turned it off.
“I’ve heard enough,” he said. “Listen to these lines. ‘I can’t close my eyes and make it go away,’ ‘I won’t heed the battle call,’ ‘there’s many lost but tell me who has won.’ Ace, this song is disgustingly Pacifist.”
“Hahaha,” The Admiral said. “Peace.”
“What’s so funny about peace,” I said. “I’ve been thinking lately War isn’t so great. I mean people die in War, and I wouldn’t want to die.”
“I knew it all along, Ace,” The General said. “It was only a matter of time before you went Pacifist on us. You’ve finally realized you don’t have what it takes to be a Great War-Man, so instead you’ll cowardly try to oppose War all together.”
“No, it’s cuz War is really bad, and it does more harm than good. La Renarde thinks so, too.”
“Hahaha,” The Admiral said. “She’s weird.”
“Admiral’s right,” The General said. “She is very unconventional. I assume she thinks more with her heart than her head, and she’s inventing fantasies because she feels insecure. You can’t let her influence you just because you want to kiss her.”
“It’s not just her,” I said. “There’re lots of other people who don’t like War.”
“Hahaha,” Admiral said. “Hippies.”
“Maybe Hippies are alright,” I said. “They stopped Vietnam, and everyone knows that was a bad War.”
“The Hippies would like to think they did that,” The General said, “but it was really President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger. You can’t stop a War unless you’re actually in power.”
“Then maybe I’ll become a Diplomat,” I said.
“Hahaha,” The Admiral said. “Dippie.”
“Really,” I said, “I’ll become a powerful diplomat, like the Secretary of State or maybe even the President, and America will never go to War again.”
“Hahaha,” The Admiral said. “Hippie Dippie.”
“How are you going to do that?” The General said. “You can’t even drive yourself to school.”
“Hahaha, Hippie Dippie can’t drive.”
“Shut up,” I said.
“Hahaha,” The Admiral said. “Let’s just call him Hippie Dippie from now on.”
“I’d have to agree,” The General said. “In light of recent developments, Hippie Dippie seems much more fitting than Ace.”
And that’s what they started calling me, and that’s when I kinda stopped hanging out with them.