How to Experience Grendel
Grendel is a combination of words, images, and motion. To experience it chronologically, just scroll down the page (as you would read a book.) When you view a video, you are “transported” to another website (YouTube.com). At the conclusion of the video, YouTube tries to keep you on their website by showing you other videos that it thinks might interest you. This can be confusing, but you can continue with Grendel simply by continuing to scroll down the page. Technology … %!!$!**#
Editors have a term for the portion of a story, article, or manuscript, usually at the beginning, that wanders aimlessly before the author gets down to the business of storytelling. They call it “throat clearing.” It’s the speaker tapping the microphone and saying “Is this on? Can you hear me? Test … one, two …” It can go on interminably, or it can be as short as “ahem.”
In this case it goes on for one minute and eleven seconds. Here are the Grendel lads some 50 years later:
And, in case you’d prefer the original, by The Diamonds, here it is, courtesy of the miracle of YouTube.
The Boys Meet on the Field of Dreams
The Boys Meet
Del: We went to a private boys school called Obediah Brown. It was a very elite, expensive school. Greg was there because his father was a big shot attorney and the family had tons of money. I was there because my mom worked at an affiliated girls school that had an affiliation agreement with our school that allowed the children of employees to attend tuition-free.
Greg: Even though we went all through high school, we didn’t know each other well.
Del: That’s because you were in all the honors classes, while I was with the rank and file.
Greg: The first time I remember anything about you was on the first day of baseball practice, freshman year.
Del: Even though we were on the same team, we still didn’t talk much. But then I heard that Greg was learning to play the guitar, which I was, too.
Let’s wrap this by having Frank and Gene take us all out to the ball game.
Grendel … C, Am, F, and G
Greg: We started getting together to practice, almost always at Del’s house. His mother (“Just call me Trudy”) was cool and casual, more a contemporary than a parent. She was always charging around, putting on make-up and getting ready to go out. She was so much younger than all the other kids’ parents.
Del: That’s probably why your Dad (always Mr. Brewster) called her The Floozie.
Greg: But Trudy had a good name for him, too.
Del: Mr. Rod-up-his-ass. Your Mom was Mrs. Tight-twat.
Greg: Eventually, our noise started forming itself into songs. I think the first song we actually played through was Take Her Out of Pity. Here’s the version done by the Kingston Trio. They claim authorship, although what they really did was to take a traditional tavern song and make the lyrics even more sexist.
Del: You know, someone once accused Leonard Cohen of knowing only three chords. “That’s not true,” Leonard said, “I know five.”