--This is the spiel of where punknames come from. Back when the sun showed through every day, we were all lots drier. Yeah the streets still had palmtrees, but perma thirsty ones, with pipes underneath. Sometimes they’d burn down like smokes and get ash on dog walkers anyway. But back then nobody could handle the rain.

The sky was paint blue back then. White clouds that never came down. Sometimes they broke, but not to bleed, just sweating out the heat. There was this shit then called water, it looked like spit with no bubbles. It poured like blood, it felt like tears, it had no taste at all. Water rained stead of blood and water beat their hearts, you even had to drink it, so being punk was tough. Sure sweet fuckall pushes from the center of everything, that’s the way shit comes alive, but they still hid indoors from the rain. You would too. Water never bothered wearing a face.

So this crew we all know, they sat through a hard rain afternoon. Their noses on the basement windows, heads poking over the lawn like whacka moles. They slugged beers from beercans and pitched empties out the window, and a stream sailed them down to the park. You weren't there.

But the fridge beer ran out, and then the halfdone diy brew in the closet. The rain made jail bars on the window and it wasn’t even dark yet. Down the block the beer sign lit up like a squinted candle. They did rock paper scissor, all the rocks were punches. They played shots and the shots settled nothing.

Some punk got the red wagon from under the couch. She wrote Beer pleaz and IOU and put it on the wagon bed. She stepped out and pushed the wagon downhill at the beer store. You could see some asshole take it inside.

The wagon came back after a TV show. They hauled it in with a fishingrod. It was full of rain and a nother note. Must be your lazyass fate to starve to death sober. This morning I drove six blocks in the rain cause I got principles. Anyhow this is a beer store. We don’t do delivery.

Somebody said, punks aren’t lazy. They just don’t got principles. He was looking out the window when he said it. Then he got a broom and swept a heap of bike parts and beercans, made room to spread stuff out. They said, first one to sweep loses, remember, and he said, help me build a robo to get beer in the rain.

Yuppies used to talk, right. They talked fate and principles. Fate was knowing you’d get somewhere whether or not you diyed on the way. Principles was when you made somebody’s idea your authority. This house was lergic to fate and principles, they had hardcore instead. Hardcore lives in the future, same way ego can’t break from the past. It burns ideas for fuel and what comes doesn’t matter. Your hardcore’s already gone by. It’s not part of you, it’s not yours, it’s in front, dragging you on, and it can’t give a fuck.

Whatever. The wagon made a nice exoskeleton. They found it a beer compass to track beer with. For the brain they put an upsidedown blacklight in a coffeecan. They diyed treads round the wagon wheels, zapstraps and a million popsicle sticks, and fryingpans for hands to hold the beer. Each side of the heart was the motor from an old tapedeck. The left side was jammed, and the right was stuck in rewind perma, but that just means it had a heart.

Last thing, it needed hardcore, but nobody knew what to use. Probably your hardcore’s in your brain, but who’s donating that shit for wagon grease. To compermise they gave it fate and principles. The principles was to do what punks wanted forever, and they figured all the basement garbage had the same fate anyway.

Somebody said, look, it’s not working, told you it needs a calculator. He booted the robo and its eyesockets lit up black. It ground across the floor.

Thanks, said the robo. It talked with armpit squeakers, stuck out a handshake.

Some punk said, come back with beer. They gave it a tendollar bill and some ones, and stuck water wings on it. Somebody was like, bring chips too, but the robo said, I don’t have a chips compass.

So it rolled down the hill with water pinging its flat top skull, and waited outside the beer store til some asshole brought it in. The rain went down, the sun came down, the TV went off the wire cause the frequency got wet. The robo never came back.

In that case they diyed rain armor with plywoods and a tarp, they made it halfway to the store. But they were broke again anyway, and anyway the store guy shot at their armor. The bullets skipped, but when they got back their roof had rain holes.

Water crawled into the cornflake bag and made porridge in the night. Next morning they ate cornflake porridge by hand. They ate dry coffee cause at least it was dry. It was a no robo morning and the rain hit the floor like piss. So they figured they’d trick the beer compass.

The TV was still technical difficultied cause of the rain. But the beer frequency works better wet. They got a butter knife hot in stove coils and cut the side of the radio, where the pointer moves on the tuner line. They made a hole for the pointer to go past 108 to the beer frequency. Then they dripped beer leftovers on a sponge. If you dial the pointer out the radio hole, you can catch it on a beer sponge if you’re careful. Dial it cross the sponge til it shivers, and you’re broadcasting on the brown beer harmonic.

After that they itched out their rain boots til the robo came back. It had wingtip shoes full of rain stuck to its treads. On its front there was a 24K gold necktie smeared with moto grease. Hey, where’s your beer, said the robo.

No beer, said some punk. We spoofed your compass. What’s with the tie.

Everybody lected me mayor for getting them beer in the rain, said the robo.

Where’s our beer, said some punk.

I gave it to some punks, said the robo.

Our money, our beer, said some punk.

I never heard bout that, said the robo. You said come back with beer, not when. All I know is my beer compass brought me to a house of beer guts. It’s my principles to do what punks want forever. I held out twentysix beers. They gave me empties out of their happiness.

It’s got no hardcore, said some punk. Give a machine fate and principles, you get a triple machine.

Anyway, who drinks empties, said the robo. I cashed them for beer and hit up a nother house of beer guts. Then I, hey, I feel funny.

That’s cause the rain’s over, said some punk. She tipped up the wagon so the standing water poured off the bed. So you went round in the rain running beer? That’s nice of you.

It’s cause I’m a robo, said the robo. You meat punks hate the rain so much you lected me mayor of Lost Angeles. These shoes don’t fit right.

So she pulled off the wingtips and threw them over the park fence. Hey, she said, can we get that money back?

I said I spent it, said the robo. I have somebody else’s money though.

That’s probably better even, said the House of Anything Goes.

I keep my money in my shoes, said the robo. I’m a wagon. I dont have a pocket.

So they went over the fence and got the wet money. It was a bigger number. They threw the shoes again.

Do a favor, said the robo. Get me some beer from the store? I keep on getting somebody else’s beer, cause that’s how my beer circuit runs.

You owed us one, said somebody. Now we owe you two, even if it’s just your principles we owe.

So they carried the robo mayor wagon over the step, up to the sofa, and dried it with floor towels. Some punks got it beer with the sun in their eyes. They got the house beer too. Some changed the tie for a bandanna in front and a butt flap in back with BAD RELIGION written in moto grease.

It took up the whole couch and giggled its armpit squeakers. It tipped beer through its eyeholes to fry on the blacklight of its brain. But punks never have shit to say to mayors, and they already had beer and no money, so the robo followed its principles out the door.

They waved from the side yard til it was a half block away. Some other punks were crossing the street down there. They dumped their beers on the butt flap. They said Bad Religion were sellouts for the nine minute keyboard solos on their new EP, and the mayor didn’t stand for the populace no more.

I could do a beer run if you’re out, said the robo.

Some punk started kicking the robo for anarchy. He broke a bunch of popsicle sticks before the robo fryingpanned him in the knee. He fell in the street yelling while his crew scattered, and the robo backed up on his head. Then it went through his pockets.

The robo went up the new mayoral ramp to the beer store. It came out with a sixpack of sixpacks and it lay them by the dead punker’s hands. Then its beer compass spun around and it rolled down the way.

Before the law showed up they got out the house pickaxes and buried that dude in the side yard, by the septic line. No matter what’s your hardcore, it’s gone by. It’s not part of you, it’s not yours, it’s in front, pulling you on, and it can’t give a fuck.

--So what about punknames?

--What?

--You said this is the spiel of punknames.

--Oh. Well anyway, afterward they thought their old names weren’t funny enough, so they did up some new ones. I guess that spiel used to go different. Sorry. I forgot.

From a book I'm doing. Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, credit Martin Hazelbower.

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