Getting Kenny to be Kenny again

(from Suburban Misfits)

 

 

Kennyís acting queer on me.

Ever since we got this job together at the furniture factory, heís acted like he doesnít want to know me.

Heís even complained to the boss about my not doing my share of the work.

This is the hardest job I ever worked, harder than the laundry, the messenger service or even the parachute company, and I tell Kenny Iím doing the best I can. Itís just not good enough.

I tell him Iím so tired at night I donít want to go out to the bar until Iíve had a nap.

He knows all I really want out of life is a chance to sing.

I figure if I can get on stage somewhere I might someday make enough so I donít have to work in a dump like this.

Or have to put up with a boss who hates me and is looking for an excuse to fire me.

And the fact that Kenny is against me Ė after I got him a job here Ė hurts all the more.

After all, I brought Kenny here because I thought we could relive old times, singing on the assembly line the way we did loading trucks at the laundry.

But Kenny isnít Kenny anymore, harping at me about how much he needs this job to pay his rent and doesnít want me to screw it up for him.

He claims Iím too slow and the boss Ė instead of firing me Ė heaps my work on him.

As if, he says, he didnít already work hard enough with his own work without taking on mine as well.

I tell him itís because Iím so tired, getting home from the club so early in the morning like I do.

This only makes Kenny grumble more.

So I try to lighten up the mood a little by singing.

I figure maybe the old songs will help turn Kenny back into the Kenny I used to know and love.

With work all day, I donít have time to practice, so I practice at work singing for him.

And since nothing pisses the boss off more than seeing my happy, I sing loud so everybody in the factory can hear me despite the racket of the machines.

The boss knows what Iím up to, and gets even, saying that if I have energy enough to sing then I can do more work. So he ups the quota for our line.

This, of course, only pisses Kenny off all the more, and makes us both so frantic I can barely breathe let alone sing.

It is this silence Ė this world without music Ė rather than the racket of the machines that make me think Iíve died and gone to hell.

I guess I look so miserable that even Kenny feels sorry for me.

He says a factory is no place for a soul like mine.

I should be in a commune somewhere writing poetry where people can look after me.

So he goes off to have a talk with the boss.

I can see Kenny and the boss shouting from the glass enclosed office, though I canít hear what they are shouting about.

I feel bad. But Iím too tired to care about anything, life or art, and want to crawl up on the counter and go to sleep.

Then Kenny comes back, still angry, and tells me, the boss just fired us both.

I never felt so happy.

It feels like I just got a get out of jail card.

So I grab Kenny by the arm and drag him towards the door, passing the office window, flipping a peace sign at the man as we leave.

Outside Ė I figure Kenny will be Kenny again Ė so I start to sing.

Kenny tells me to shut up.

But I know he doesnít mean it.

 

 


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