Monday, December 9, 2002



When did I first become an XTC fan? I think it must have been in high school, roundabout the first time I got stoned (no, the pot did not enhance the experience; it simply turned me into a blithering idiot). Someone had made my boyfriend a mixed tape, and two of the songs of note were Dread Zeppelin�s version of �Stairway to Heaven,� and XTC�s �Living Through Another Cuba�. In retrospect I realize that this is a quintessential XTC creation, and was a perfect introduction for me.

I moved on from there. In a spirit of honesty I have to admit that I heard Sarah McLachlan�s cover of �Dear God� and the Crash Test Dummies� �The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead� before I heard the originals, but those were mistakes soon rectified.

Some of my most wonderful experiences were had owing to the genius of Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, not to mention the oft-overlooked Dave Gregory (see Chalkhills for details). I made one of my best friends by quoting

Nigel isn�t outspoken
But he likes to speak
And he loves to be spoken to!

and substituting Nigel�s name for hers. Later, she became my first roommate, in a rundown house for too much rent, and we bounced from wall to wall with Cedar Blush paint while �Senses Working Overtime� bombilated on repeat. My stars, those were the days, when I saw no impropriety at all in strutting around with nothing but cutoffs and a demi-cup bra to hide my shame. This is one life for which one cannot say �Ah, but I was so much older then; I�m younger than that now.� My creaking twenty-four-year-old bones tell me different.

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