Sick leave

David Thorpe: The early writings
By DAVID THORPE  |  June 10, 2008

Because of an unforeseen medical emergency and resultant procedure (spleen removed, more spleen installed), “Big Hurt” columnist David Thorpe was unable to furnish his regularly scheduled column to the Phoenix this week. In its stead, the editors have opted to run a small compendium of assorted early writings and juvenilia culled from an archive kept deep below our headquarters (in a steamer trunk once used to protect Ric Ocasek’s many identical wigs from moisture).

It is our hope that, from this glimpse of the writer’s earliest output, readers will gain a clearer understanding of his æsthetic and be able to approximate more closely for themselves the unique critical perspective he brings to the world of contemporary music. Our best wishes for your speedy and full recovery, David.

“i have a dog. our dog is named yazz. he is brown and likes to run in the park. i love my dog yazz because we play together and when kokomo or johnny hates jazz comes on in mommys car he barks real loud so i never have to hear kokomo or johnny hates jazz. when we go to the mall he gets mad and growls at the scary dead lady at sam goody so i know never to go to sam goody or listen to nitzer ebb or something bad will happen. i miss yazz because mom says he went away last week when he tried to eat the long box that her bon jovi cd was in. i hope yazz never hears new jersey or kokomo in the dog heaven or he might growl and get in trouble for growling in heaven.”

— excerpted from two-page handwritten report titled “My Pet,” September 1988

“Dear Principal, I want to say sorry for what I did in school today. I didn’t know the divinyls song was about what Nurse Kathy said it was about until she told me when I was waiting outside your office and now I think I know and I’m super sorry. I also am sorry for wearing my pants and shirt backwards because I thought that was allowed in school. I am also sorry that my backwards shirt said Kill Uncle because I like my uncle and I didn’t know what that meant. I am also sorry for yelling A MOSQUITO MY LIBIDO at Mrs. Carruthers when she asked what my family’s summer plans are because I didn’t know what that meant either. Today is the worst day. I’m sorry. P.S. Is your son named Jesus?”

— from an apology letter to Principal Edward Jones, September 1991.

dear kelly, do you not want to talk to me anymore because i sent you another email after you got mad at me for trying to feed your dogs the oasis cd and you never responded and I just wanted to see if you were still mad at me. i didn’t mean for snoop to cut his mouth on the jewel case and my dog died that way so you gotta believe i didn’t mean it. i thought maybe if snoop ate wonderwall maybe later it would come out better. i feel really bad, worse than when mom told me madonna was gonna be eva peron.

— from a Hotmail message to Kelly Davis, September 1996

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