4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

It's a Trap

Ryan and John, caught in a Chinese finger trap, endure an extra measure of torture.
Ryan and John, caught in a Chinese finger trap, endure an extra measure of torture.

After first hearing Interrobang’s set at O’Connell’s a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but suspect occult affiliations. The quartet sounded like Tortoise loosely covering Jobim tunes for a traveling freak and medicine show somewhere in Eastern Europe. Probably their jam sessions were fueled by cold shots of armadillo blood while chanting incantations from Rasputin’s personal notebook. Possibly they were high-ranking officials in the Golden Dawn. At the very least they worshipped Moloch.

So, it came as no surprise when, upon arrival at their City Heights house party the following night, I was subjected to a rigorous initiation process. Like the others present, I was made to take the mark of the beast by choosing from a basket of temporary dinosaur tattoos. The birthday girl, Caroline, had gotten engaged that afternoon to Interrobang guitar/keyboardist Matt and proudly displayed her ring as she seared the terrible lizard onto my arm. As I write this several days later, the grinning purple triceratops on my right wrist shows no sign of fading. To further complicate the hex, several of my fingers were bound with woven Chinese handcuffs, exacerbating the boozing process while my inner Admiral Ackbar could only look on screaming, “It’s a trap!” A quasi-drunk initiate appeared in the kitchen with four crucifixes drawn in Cholula hot sauce on his cheeks and forehead. Clearly, the human sacrifice would be coming soon.

Art and Caroline register for the dance party.

Instead, a dance party erupted to “Stayin’ Alive” in the dining room. The shimmy was short-lived but intense, the kind of outburst I’d pictured when I first registered to vote years ago. I had selected “Other” for political alliance, penciled in “Dance Party,” and was forced to settle for “a real party” if I intended to cast my ballot. What other party is there?!

Sponsored
Sponsored

On the porch, several people smoked and talked. “You look like that one guy!” a girl told me. “You know, from 101 Dalmatians. Daniel something...” “Jeff Daniels!” someone interjected. “Like from Dumb and Dumber.” It wasn’t the most flattering or even accurate likeness I’ve been accused of, but then, neither is the usual “that one guy from Lost.” “The only person I’ve been compared to is a character in Apocalypto,” said Art, Interrobang’s marimba player. “And here’s why.” He showed us his driver’s license photo. “You look like Mogli,” someone said. In long hair and dark skin, he certainly could have passed in the right light for a blood-thirsty, baby-killing Mayan warrior. But was Art honestly suggesting we cut to the sacrifice already? Before the birthday song? While we still had whiskey left to drink?!

Luckily, Caroline shifted the subject with a brief history of the interrobang. “It’s a combined question mark and exclamation point that was available on some typewriters in the ’70s,” she explained. I felt alarmed that the university which had given me a degree in English never felt the need to mention it. Did this reflect on the dismal state of the American education system or my own ineptitude? Did they believe I could make it in this world without the dual “WTF? WOW!” of the interrobang?!

Inside, Caroline ignited the sparklers on her birthday cake and everyone sang the song. A handful of friends broke into a perfect barbershop harmony on the last line followed by a chant of “Shot! Shot! Shot!” After several ounces of the sacrament, we made our way outside to continue the smoking rituals. Sate with vice, we took up instruments in the living room and proceeded to invoke Baphomet with angular, improvised jams. ■


Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Chad Deal.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Savon, AbJo, JR Jarris, Circus Vargas, Mardi Gras at SeaWorld

Events February 9-February 11, 2023
Next Article

Trump Trumps Love

Fractured friendships following 45
Ryan and John, caught in a Chinese finger trap, endure an extra measure of torture.
Ryan and John, caught in a Chinese finger trap, endure an extra measure of torture.

After first hearing Interrobang’s set at O’Connell’s a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but suspect occult affiliations. The quartet sounded like Tortoise loosely covering Jobim tunes for a traveling freak and medicine show somewhere in Eastern Europe. Probably their jam sessions were fueled by cold shots of armadillo blood while chanting incantations from Rasputin’s personal notebook. Possibly they were high-ranking officials in the Golden Dawn. At the very least they worshipped Moloch.

So, it came as no surprise when, upon arrival at their City Heights house party the following night, I was subjected to a rigorous initiation process. Like the others present, I was made to take the mark of the beast by choosing from a basket of temporary dinosaur tattoos. The birthday girl, Caroline, had gotten engaged that afternoon to Interrobang guitar/keyboardist Matt and proudly displayed her ring as she seared the terrible lizard onto my arm. As I write this several days later, the grinning purple triceratops on my right wrist shows no sign of fading. To further complicate the hex, several of my fingers were bound with woven Chinese handcuffs, exacerbating the boozing process while my inner Admiral Ackbar could only look on screaming, “It’s a trap!” A quasi-drunk initiate appeared in the kitchen with four crucifixes drawn in Cholula hot sauce on his cheeks and forehead. Clearly, the human sacrifice would be coming soon.

Art and Caroline register for the dance party.

Instead, a dance party erupted to “Stayin’ Alive” in the dining room. The shimmy was short-lived but intense, the kind of outburst I’d pictured when I first registered to vote years ago. I had selected “Other” for political alliance, penciled in “Dance Party,” and was forced to settle for “a real party” if I intended to cast my ballot. What other party is there?!

Sponsored
Sponsored

On the porch, several people smoked and talked. “You look like that one guy!” a girl told me. “You know, from 101 Dalmatians. Daniel something...” “Jeff Daniels!” someone interjected. “Like from Dumb and Dumber.” It wasn’t the most flattering or even accurate likeness I’ve been accused of, but then, neither is the usual “that one guy from Lost.” “The only person I’ve been compared to is a character in Apocalypto,” said Art, Interrobang’s marimba player. “And here’s why.” He showed us his driver’s license photo. “You look like Mogli,” someone said. In long hair and dark skin, he certainly could have passed in the right light for a blood-thirsty, baby-killing Mayan warrior. But was Art honestly suggesting we cut to the sacrifice already? Before the birthday song? While we still had whiskey left to drink?!

Luckily, Caroline shifted the subject with a brief history of the interrobang. “It’s a combined question mark and exclamation point that was available on some typewriters in the ’70s,” she explained. I felt alarmed that the university which had given me a degree in English never felt the need to mention it. Did this reflect on the dismal state of the American education system or my own ineptitude? Did they believe I could make it in this world without the dual “WTF? WOW!” of the interrobang?!

Inside, Caroline ignited the sparklers on her birthday cake and everyone sang the song. A handful of friends broke into a perfect barbershop harmony on the last line followed by a chant of “Shot! Shot! Shot!” After several ounces of the sacrament, we made our way outside to continue the smoking rituals. Sate with vice, we took up instruments in the living room and proceeded to invoke Baphomet with angular, improvised jams. ■


Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Chad Deal.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Escondido Chocolate Festival, Jewish Film Festival

Events February11-February 15, 2023
Next Article

The $100,000 gamble in Mission Hills

Editor's picks of Reader stories by David Steinman
Comments

The first caption should read: "Ryan and Mat..."

Sorry Mat!

-Chad

April 28, 2011
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close