Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Comfort comes from all kinds of places.

Ted Nugent isn't exactly what WB would call a reasonable or even rational guy most of the time. The hunting promotion is fine, but Ted's rabid mania for slaying wildlife crosses into a personal lunatic fringe. His politics are somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan, and the recent emergence of machine guns as stage props to accompany rants against Democrats as "pieces of shit" shows a different level of psychosis separate from hunting.

Yet for all that, WB would like to take a moment to offer warm and sincere thanks to Uncle Tedly, just for being there.

On Friday of last week, after a frightening month of emergency room visits and an endless parade of doctors, 78rpm's son underwent three hours of surgery to correct a lung problem. Thirty hours later, the boy was curled up in a hospital bed, connected to chest tubes and injected with morphine, sleeping fitfully and hurting bad. Exhaling was easy, but each inhalation generated a whimper of pain. It went like this for a couple of hours — whimper, exhale; whimper, exhale — and then, from nowhere, eyes closed and half-whispering, a question: "Dad, do you have 'Fred Bear' on your laptop?"

78 replied that the laptop had minimal music on it — the main iTunes library was elsewhere. "Why?" he asked, surprised by the song choice.

"Dunno," the morphine-dreaming boy replied, "Just wanted to hear it." And so, because WB staff strive to always carry an arsenal of technological overkill, 78 cracked open his LG Voyager and went shopping at the V Cast Music Store. Four minutes later, the opening notes of "Fred Bear" burst into the room from the phone's tiny speakers.

A big smile spread across the patient's face. "That's it," he murmured from his narcotic cloud, and then, almost imperceptibly, began to nod his head to the music, softly headbanging as the Motor City Madman sang: Fred Bear, I'm glad to have you at my side, my friend.

Mr. Nugent, you're still a strange and scary human being, but your song just got five stars added to it and we owe you a beer.

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