No one wants to learn what classic party songs are about masturbation from their father. Or, any biological relative for that matter.
However, I learned about the Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun” in this exact manner.
On a trip to Chicago to see the Blackhawks with my Dad, we were moving along the highway, listening to the now-defunct Q101.
I was so excited – I was 15, I loved Chicago and longed to live there someday. I loved Q101 and I really loved the Chicago Blackhawks of the mid-90s. Yes, they were sort-of mediocre, but you took what you could get. My Dad had scored corporate tickets to a game at the legendary Chicago Stadium (in its final year of existence) from one of his work vendors. The seats were in the lower terrace with a prime view. I saved my allowance for weeks on end simply to buy a red Blackhawks jersey.
As we bopped along down the interstate, “Blister in the Sun” came on. I happily sang along in the haphazard way where you kind-of know the words, but not really.
I glance over at my father, who had a bemused expression on his face.
“You know this song is about masturbation, right?”
“What?” I was stunned.
“Think about the words,” he said. “‘Big hands, they know you’re the one.'”
Years later, I would be at a college party and “Blister in the Sun” came on the stereo. As we loudly sang and clanked our red cups full of cheap beer, I exclaimed, “this song is about masturbation!”
“How do you know that,” she responded.
“My Dad told me,” I said, as if this were normal.
Her eyes went wide. “Why would your Dad tell you that?”
It then occurred to me that I perhaps didn’t have the world’s most traditional upbringing. Which, as time would go on, would turn out to be just fine.
Eccentric is a fun way to be, especially when it’s in your genetic code.