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40 Ounces of Hell: Friends With Painted Faces

By Jeff Kerby, Contributor
Tuesday, January 23, 2007 @ 3:42 PM

"That’s awful. What if you ha

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Looking back, I guess it was that fuckin’ Gene Simmons reality TV show that started it.

I have to admit, I probably wasn’t in the best frame of mind anyway when the phone messages began. See, the latest in a long line of time-battered females who have at one time or another graced the threshold of my trailer, had recently left me for the moob rich plumber who resided four lots away. If that wasn’t enough, the roof of this den of sorrow was constantly leaking like a bastard from the melting snow that never seemed to end. Drip, drip, drip….all I wanted to do was drink. Big shocker. I didn’t even want anyone else around. I never do. All they do is talk, and that only serves to fuck up the continual dialogue in my head. Hell, I didn’t even need her anyway…or the plumber---I didn’t even need a roof without a hole. All I needed was some malt liquor and some perspective. I decided I could wait on the perspective…I had no sooner twisted the top off a 40 of St. Ides, when the phone started ringing. I let it go…speaking to people on the phone is worse than dealing with them in person. I let the old mini-cassette recorder pick up.

    "Kerby, this is the Phantom and I must enlist your services. There is a dark force afoot in the land of Kiss. No sooner had you recognized me as the preeminent leader in the Kiss Army, than an imposter materialized who is attempting to usurp the title that I alone so richly deserve. This Bob Brunson character from--"
Beep. Of course, he called back right away.

    "What I was saying was that this guy is calling himself the No. 1 Kiss Fan on Gene Simmons reality show--I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s called Family Jewels. Anyway, if this atrocity against all mankind wasn’t enough, he is now attempting to record the ultimate--"
Beep. You know he rang again.

    "He’s recording the ultimate Kiss fan tribute song. He has asked for Kiss fans from all over the world to tell why they love the band, and then he is supposed to craft the input into the be all and end all of Kiss tributes. Ker--"

Beep. Fuuuckkk.

    "Kerby, Godammit!! I need your help. This is insane. Just because this guy said he would get a Kiss tattoo on his penis, doesn’t make him the No. 1 Kiss Fan! I have already even written a song. Please, you must help spread the word! Gene didn‘t even like this guy."
I took another drink. Fuck the Phantom. Fuck Kiss. I just wanted to be left alone.

Well, that was my initial sentiment. Then, that bastard proceeded to call every goddamn hour for about three days straight. The messages kept getting more and more lengthy and desperate, and that combined with the drinking while listening to the defective roof all served to bring me just a little bit closer to hell. At 11 P.M. one night, I decided enough was enough. I called him.


KNAC.COM: Yeah, hey, I need to speak to the Phantom. Is he available?


KNAC.COM: The Phantom.


KNAC.COM: Yeah--the forty year old appendage who lives in your basement. Is he there?

PHANTOM'S MOM: Oh my, let me check. It’s a little late, but you seem sort of nice enough and…he doesn’t have too many friends. I really do worry about him.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, ok. Much obliged for the help, ma’am.

PHANTOM'S MOM: It’s ok. Hang on a minute. HAAARRRROOOLLLDDD!!!!

(The Phantom…er, Harold could be heard in the distance whining, since he had undoubtedly already turned in for the night having just bedded down on his vintage Star Wars sheets.)

PHANTOM: This better be Kerby.

KNAC.COM: Ok, Harold. What’s with calling me fifteen fuckin’ times a day?

PHANTOM: Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m really sorry to be cutting into your whoring and boozing time, but….well, this is important.

KNAC.COM: Well, so is whoring and boozing, pal. What’s this about a song?

PHANTOM: Yes, yes. I have decided to go toe to toe with this Bob Brunson character once and for all. He can have his little tune. He can even have his big money producer and his spot on the reality show. I, on the other hand, have the heart of Kiss on my side.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, alright. Uh. Hmm. You wanna play this thing for me or what?

PHANTOM: Certainly. Let’s let the fans decide. Obviously, this isn’t professional production, but I want you to use your imagination. I want you to set the following music to a melody. The melody should sound sort of like "Stairway To Heaven"…you know, combined with "Sweet Leaf."

KNAC.COM: You don’t say. Those aren’t Kiss songs though.

PHANTOM: Gee, like I’m not aware of that…duh! The music is intended to be different. We don’t want to be predictable, but…well, the lyrics are 100% Kiss inspired.

KNAC.COM: Oh, so you mean there are no words over two syllables and no sentiment deeper than a mud puddle? I gotcha. Hmm, probably a lot of stupid party references too, right? Ok Phantom, rock your shit.

PHANTOM: (Clears his throat fifteen fuckin’ times)

    "Kiss, O’ Kiss, you wear the crown.
    Kiss, O’ Kiss, we will lay our money down.

    Gene, you are the vampire--so pure in every way.
    Paul you are the lover--fuck Kerby--you’re not gay.
    Guitar guy, I’m sorry I don’t exactly know who you are.
    Drummer either, but I’m sure you’ll go far.

    Kiss Army! We’re coming to your town!
    Kiss Army! We never wear a frown!
    Kiss Army! We love to party hard!
    Kiss Army! We carry all the cards!

    Kiss O’ Kiss, I lost my virginity to you.
    Kiss O’ Kiss, my poster was covered in goo.

    All my life I’ve waited to proclaim my love to you.
    Now, that I’m doing it, my saddest days are through.
    I want to paint my face, writhe around in your sweat.
    I don’t mean that in a gay way, but I’ll take what I can get.

    Kiss Army! Tearin’ Shit Up!
    Kiss Army! Shut the Fuck Up!
    Kiss Army! We’ll Always Be True!
    Kiss Army! We’re Never Through With You!

    Never through with you….never through with you…never through with you….(whispers, then fades out.)"


PHANTOM: Well!?!?

KNAC.COM: Boy howdy. Do you want a little creative criticism?

PHANTOM: If you must, but I have to say--I think your caustic remarks will simply stem from jealousy.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, I’m sure you’re right. I’ve got to tell you though. I think the delivery was a little subdued. I think you need to BAZ it up a bit.

PHANTOM: "BAZ it up? What’s that?

KNAC.COM: You know, as in ex-Skid Row vocalist and current….uh, I dunno…singer guy, Sebastian Bach. I think he leads some vaudevillian troupe now.

PHANTOM: You mean I need to get a wife who makes all of my decisions for me and basically acts like a surrogate mother? Why do I need that? I already have a real one--you know, the one who owns my house.

KNAC.COM: Mmmm, no, but I get what you‘re saying. I just mean be expressive. Throw your arms around like you drink bug spray or something. Warble a lot. Kinda act like you have a nervous disorder.

PHANTOM: You think it would help?

KNAC.COM: Hell, I don’t know, but that fucker always makes me laugh. He’s sort of like David Lee Roth with water on the brain.

PHANTOM: You think it’s easy to create, don’t you? All you ever do is criticize. I think you are an intrinsically dissatisfied person.

KNAC.COM: That may be, but I’ve got my own Kiss tribute, buddy. Bet you didn’t know that, did you?

PHANTOM: It couldn’t possibly be good.

KNAC.COM: No, it could be…and it is.

PHANTOM: Prove it.

KNAC.COM: You sure? My song is rap though--you still down?

PHANTOM: Oh dear lord. I can already hear all the poor souls currently resting in Kiss coffins churning in their graves. Is this some kind of Martin Luther King tribute in honor of the holiday?

KNAC.COM: No, this one goes out…to my dead homies. Don’t kill the vibe, P. I’m about to rock this bitch like Ike rocked Tina. I’m about to keep my pimp hand strong on this bad boy. Give me a beat!

PHANTOM: A what?

KNAC.COM: A beat! A beat! How white are you? Fuck it, I’ll do it myself. Everyone, this one should be performed to the backing track of the Beastie Boys’ "Brass Monkey" combined with N.W.A‘s "Fuck Da Police." Got it?

PHANTOM: I’m scared.

KNAC.COM: You should be.

    "Yo Gene, Yo Paul where’d you go?
    Yo Gene, Yo Paul let’s bum rush this show!

    Where’s dat fool Ace? Is he out drunk?
    Gene’s solo album, fuck, that stunk.
    Peter Criss, you get--a shout out too--
    You’d still be playing drums if you hadn’t sniffed glue.

    Kiss ARMY! We’re a buncha fuckin’ tards.
    Kiss ARMY! We rock a lotta lard.
    Kiss ARMY! We love chili cheese fries.
    Kiss ARMY! Why the fuck are we all guys?

    I live in my basement, what’s the bitch?
    I fucked Gene’s ho, and now all I do is itch.
    Is Paul in the closet? Nope, he’s out.
    Sexin’ girls? What the fuck was that about?

    Kiss ARMY! We buy a buncha shit!
    Kiss ARMY! I’d pay to touch a clit!
    Kiss ARMY! We rock night and day!
    Kiss ARMY! While our mom’s away!

    While mom’s away. While mom’s away…while mom’s away. (Whispers and fades out.)"

PHANTOM: That was disgusting.

KNAC.COM: Why? I thought it was colorful.

PHANTOM: It was offensive. Did you say “tard”?

KNAC.COM: Yeah, see I have this theory. The theory requires that you go to the homes where they stick all the really retarded folks--I don’t mean like the kinda subnormal ones like that Corky guy on TV a few years ago. No, I’m talking about the ones that throw shit and make noises and scratch themselves and eat soggy pickles. Anyway, my hypothesis is that if you paint a buncha these twitching fuckers up and make them look like the guys in Kiss and drop them in the middle of an arena where Gene and Paul are playing, that no one would ever be able to tell them apart from the regular Kiss fans. Hence the line "we’re a buncha fuckin’ tards."

PHANTOM: That’s awful. What if you had a retarded child?

KNAC.COM: That’s easy. I’d paint him up like Gene Simmons and hand him a pickle.

PHANTOM: It’s just disgusting anyway, and you song isn’t even in the true spirit of Kiss. Mine was.

KNAC.COM: Who is to say that? I just poured some out in honor of Gene’s lost hair. I’m mourning the lost follicles. I really love Kiss.

PHANTOM: You love yourself, and that will ultimately lead to your downfall.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, yeah. Maybe. Anyway, do you want to challenge this Bob Brunson guy to a cage match or something? You might be able to take him. On his website, www.bobbrunson.com the photos make it look like he ingests liquid cheese intravenously, so I‘m guessing his stamina isn‘t too good. If that doesn’t work, maybe you could comment on your dismay in one of his forums. Poor guy didn’t have one damn comment on the whole website last time I checked. I’ll have five death threats within a half hour.

PHANTOM: No. No. I am going to declare war telepathically. Just like in The Elder--I believe I know exactly what that record was really about. It was about magically taking the Scepter of Intense Power and using it for good. I am going to take these principles and apply them in my own life. I have made my own scepter out of tin foil and a broomstick--I’m ready to use it. I am ready to make Bob Brunson realize that not just anyone could be the No. 1 Kiss Fan. It’s like, "you wanted the best, you’ve got the best"….me. I am what Kiss is all about.

KNAC.COM: Yeah, you sort of are. It’s like, "live at home?" Check.

PHANTOM: That isn’t fair.

KNAC.COM: "Never been on a date?" Check.

PHANTOM: I have too.

KNAC.COM: Are you talking about your junior prom? Your mom paid that girl. Why do you think she couldn’t speak English? She did dishes at the local hotel with two of her cousins.

PHANTOM: You bullshitter!

KNAC.COM: Maybe, but you’re just as bad as this contest winning Brunson guy. He spent what looked to be hours telling Gene about how he used to be a no-friend loser, but that since he had Kiss, he made it through somehow. The saddest part of the story is that the whole time he was pouring out his cholesterol-laden heart, Gene looked out the window seemingly wondering why he had to be there. That would be fine with me though if this monkey-like, wig wearing, tight ass didn’t make it a point every chance he got to say some kind of bullshit like, "without our fans, we are nothing."

PHANTOM: See, he does think about his fans.

KNAC.COM: You just don’t get it. Gene would never hang out with any of you unless you were either paying him a thousand bucks or offering to suck him off while he is taking a dump.

PHANTOM: Heresy!

KNAC.COM: Fact! Then, after Gene even shot down this Brunson guy’s idea for the tribute "Friends With Painted Faces" and made him look like a misguided jackass, here Bob is…sucking ass continuously anyway without a shred of dignity in his poor Cheetos-bloated body. Face it, you Kiss Army guys are like the equivalent of battered women who continually go back to their abusive, ex-con boyfriends. Gene hated every minute he spent being around this guy. He was just plain put out to have to associate and play miniature golf with this poor schlub who idolized him.

PHANTOM: That’s just because it was Brunson. The guy is an impostor.

KNAC.COM: No, it would be the same for you too. Gene’s just kind of a dick who financially exploit’s the depths of the gene pool. The only way I’d ever want to hang out with this guy is if he agreed to shave his son’s Dweezil Zappa-like eyebrows and paste them to the spine on his forehead.

PHANTOM: You lie!

KNAC.COM: No, if I wanted to go hang out with some old guy who was obsessed with money, I could find a hundred or more in any retirement home in this country. I don’t even need to hear him play music that even you could perform. You can just forget about a new album too--the Kiss creative pool is about as moist as a vagina in a two thousand year old mummy.

PHANTOM: Bet you didn’t know that I’m the Death Lord of the Kiss Army now either, did you? Would you like to be the recipient of my scepter? Would you, smart guy!

KNAC.COM: Gee, I dunno, but you’d better not let Gene know you have it or he’s liable to sue.

PHANTOM: No, he won’t!

KNAC.COM: He has to--it’s the only way he can keep his wife in handbags and cosmetic surgery. You think he really likes being a part of INDY promotions? Like he really identifies with the plight of jerky-eating rednecks all over this country. Then, agreeing to be a part of this ridiculously stupid reality TV show wherein eighty percent of the scenes appear to be scripted, is almost beyond belief….even for him.

PHANTOM: You’ve gone too far, now. You are asking for trouble.

KNAC.COM: Fuck that. I’ve already had more cellulite-endowed ragweed-smoking momma’s boys take my name in vain than you can shake a stick at. I appreciate their fury, but laugh at their man tits. It isn’t going to change my mind. Look Harold, I hope you get back to the apex of Kiss sphincter licking and that people flood your email at [email protected] with supportive emails. Hell, I even hope Bob eventually gets some dignity and some rice cakes and turns his fucking life around. This is just too much for me though. All I want to do is go and drink and sleep. I don’t need this shit. I need Percocet.

After hearing some unidentifiable noise on the other end of the line, I hung up the phone and finished my beer. I simply can’t believe all the freak shows I associate with--no wonder my woman left me. It’s the company I keep. Fuck it, I’d rather listen to "Love In An Elevator" while eating Arby’s than put up with any more of this shit. Bring on the Bang Tango reality show. I’d say life couldn’t get any worse, but I know myself way better than that. Finally, some much needed perspective.

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