Recently I was playing the Tom Waits Game with Nate Flexer's deliciously deranged 'The Disassembled Man'. I counted 3 direct Tom Waits references, but I may have missed a couple. Let me know if you found more.
Maybe it's being disconnected from the constant novelty of the internet for a few days after moving apartment, but it made me reminisce about my first trip to Hong Kong. I was about as excited as I ever get for anything, but the thought occurred: What is there to actually do in HK? I mean, there's no Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Tate Modern, Secret Palace, MOMA, Empire State Buildings or anything of a par. In fact, apart from the movies and the je ne sais quoi, what is there?
As would any sane man, I asked myself the question: What would Tom Waits do?
And St Tom in his benevolence has given us the answer: Shore Leave, a Hong Kong drizzle in Cuban heels.
I don't wear Cuban heels, but otherwise I didn't do too bad on my HK/TW to do list.
in bad need of a shave - check. No problem there.
and so I slopped at the corner on cold chow mein - Oh yes. Multiple success.
and shot billiards with a midget
until the rain stopped - Ok, I wouldn't quite call him a midget. And we didn't actually play billiards. This one is harder than you'd think.
and I bought a long sleeved shirt - Yes
with horses on the front - No
and some gum and a lighter and a knife - Yes, and yes. But no knife. Too 70s.
and a new deck of cards with girls on the back - Aha. Yes, a collection of Japanese erotica playing cards. Unfortunately they were heavily censored.
and I sat down and wrote a letter to my wife - skipped this one, as S.O. and I were sharing a room there didn't seem much point.
and I had a cold one at the Dragon - Couldn't find THE Dragon, but certainly A Dragon
with some Filipino floor show - I've seen too many of those already, thanks
and talked baseball with a lieutenant
over a Singapore sling - Not a Lt. but otherwise yes. Hurray for Singapore Slings.
and I wondered how the same moon outside
over this Chinatown fair
could look down on Illinois
and find you there - Don't know anybody in Illinois. Not very well, anyway. But close enough. I think I saw the moon. Or a moon. Something round, after several or more Singapore Slings.
Other occasions Tom has helped me out: I've never fallen in love with a Gun Street girl (again), never trusted a man in a blue trench coat, dangling from a rope of sand was enormous fun, and he helped me to fall out of windows with confetti in my hair. To date, I have also never driven a car when I'm dead. Can't wait for my forthcoming trips to Singapore, Underground, and the Red Barn.
God bless our Tom.