Words and Music by David King


Songs, fiction and the occasional recipe by David King

I, Dirty Rat

To begin with, I’m generally regarded as a sweet fellow.  A mensch, even.  And that’s not something I cultivate; that’s just my nature.  But there’s an aspect of my personality that’s at war with my affable disposition.  Before you find yourself guilty of rushing to judgement, I should explain that it springs from an entirely innocuous source; namely crime movies of the black and white era. 

It’s not an identification with a particular star or film.  It’s just a style of aggression that set the tone of the day and which I prefer to the passive kind of aggression that I’ve always employed in my dealings wit people I ain’t so thrilled to be dealing wit, get me?    

What might seem like a more amped up presentation of myself is really just how I would sometimes like to talk to people, without having to be coy or nuanced in my communication or  maybe yiz thinks I’m gettin soft in the head or somethin!   

In any case, I feel that there’s a good chance I can accommodate the two streams.  Although I’m not so sure I can count on friends and bystanders to be kind enough not to take offence.  I assure you the warmth is still there if you look hard enough.  Or maybe yer needin to get some glasses! 

When I was a kid, I thought all gangsters talked liked that.  All English speaking gangsters, that is.  French Gangsters seemed to always have their noses in a book and confined their violence to the dance floor.   I allude to that misogynistic version of the tango known as the Apache Dance.  Ah, Listen ta you beatin your gums like some egg head.  

There does occur, at times, interface between the two streams, but I consider that a wholesome dialectic which can, indeed, comprise a system of checks and balances.  Not only can the two sides argue but they can also agree.       

I would be inclined to take caution not to reproduce this genre in the presence of authority, at persons functioning in some official capacity.  Lousy stinkin coppers, always tryin to pin the rap on me!  Trust me, I would never dream of filling anyone full of lead; but I could easily threaten such a thing.  I've heard right wing politicians threaten worse.   As for my standing with the opposite sex, I.E: dames, there’s only so much a woman is willing to tolerate before the joke begins to wear thin.  But then dey knew what I’se like when they met me!  Shoulda ditched me long ago!  Although I must say, most of the women I know, have found a willingness to play along when I slip them a C note and suggest they go buy themselves a fancy new dress.   

I’m also attracted to the sense of crisp urgency that drives films of that genre.  I understand that there’s a fine line between urgency and hysteria; but perhaps even a finer line between irony and hysteria.  I guess it’s a case of wait and see. 

I take no joy in being threatening.  I just like to occasionally break the tedium that tends to define polite society.   I really can’t think of anything I'd say to someone for the sole purpose of being hurtful.  Why say it when it’s easier just to insinuate it.