It’s a lousy time, in the middle of winter and a global pandemic, but we discovered this week that our house is infested with rock stars.
These things happen in older homes. When we first moved in 25 years ago, we noticed traces of opera singers in one corner of the basement, but we quickly eradicated it by fumigating the aria. About 10 years ago, we had a spot of ska behind the sofa and worried that it might develop into full-on reggae, but it turned out to be just a fad.
Rock stars are a whole other story. Left untreated, rock stars can lead to major structural and hearing damage. Once they get into your house, they’re hard to get rid of. I know people who’ve had Keith Richards for years, and if you get The Who in your house, forget it. You think, “That’s it, they’re gone,” but The Who keeps coming back and back over and over.
One of the worst rock stars you can get is Bob Mould because there’s absolutely nothing you can Husker Dü.
For the longest time, people used to find Prince in their pantries, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I haven’t had pantry Prince in years…
At any rate, I was nosing around in the back of a kitchen drawer last week, looking for a little self-respect, when I noticed a tiny Jon Bon Jovi. Dammit, you can seal your house up as tight as a drum and Jon Bon Jovi will still find his way through the smallest of cracks. And it doesn’t take much to keep Jon Bon Jovi alive, just the tiniest bit of moisture, hair gel maybe and, heck, he could even be livin’ on a prayer.
“Okay,” I thought, “I can get rid of Jon Bon Jovi with a little bleach on a Q-Tip.” But then, upon closer inspection, I found the whole wall behind the drawer was crawling with Fleetwood Mac.
This was a bigger problem than I anticipated. I called the exterminator.
“I’ve been expecting your call,” he said.
“Did someone tell you I had Fleetwood Mac?” I asked
“I’ve heard Rumours,” he replied.
He came over to take a look.
“Yup,” he said. He peered into the space and tried attracting the rock stars by waving a lighter flame over his head. “You’ve got all kinds of Fleetwood Mac. Look, you got Peter Green in the corner over there and you’re teeming with Christine McVie. There’s even a trace of Billy Burnette, which is very rare. I better give the house a full inspection.”
I was shocked at what he found. “Look at this,” he said in my living room. “Glitter and sequins here, some spandex residue and—uh-oh.” He prodded something in the corner with his VIP pass. “Just as I thought: groupie droppings.”
Sure enough, my whole living room was overrun with 70s-era rock bands. That explained why the television kept being thrown over the balcony.
He cut open a small space in the dining room wall. Inside we found Rick Springfield, Rick Wakeman from Yes, Rick Astley, Rick Danko of The Band. Rik Emmet of Triumph stuck his head out. “I can help,” he said.
“No thanks,” I replied. “All in all you’re just another Rick in the wall.”
I wasn’t too upset because these rock stars had obviously been around a long time and hadn’t been bothering me. I mean, it’s not like the house was ankle deep in ABBA.
But upstairs, the inspector found all kinds of rock stars I’d never even heard of. In the corner of the spare bedroom, he found Lil Nas X.
“Is there a lot?” I wondered.
“Just a Lil,” the inspector replied.
In another spot, I had Post Malone. “Too bad,” said the inspector. “If we’d caught this when it was Pre Malone, you would have been okay.”
I had The Weeknd in the attic. “That’s a shme,” I said. “What can I do?”
“Well,” said the inspector, “normally with these newer rock stars you would just wait until they go on tour, but this season’s not looking good for that. If you force them to live off music streaming revenue, they might starve to death, but there’s no guarantee.”
Ultimately, we decided to take drastic measures, and that was, ironically, to introduce Talking Heads. That’s right: we’re Burning Down the House.