Tuesday, April 24, 2012


My first band was a formed in Mom's garage in 1964. At the time The Beatles had five songs in the top ten and KRLA played them in constant rotation. A random set might be: Beatles, Stones, Beatles, Kinks, Beatles, Supremes, Beatles, Beach Boys. A transistor radio version of the good old days. I bring this up not merely because it revives wonderful memories from an innocent age, but also because the name of that band (a lip-synch act, we wouldn't actually play instruments till the next year) was The Verbs. The moniker was a clever (I thought at the time) double entendre, part reverb and part action. We were learning seventh grade sentence structure as we experimented with sound amplification in Mom's garage, making The Verbs way more than simply a totally bitchin band name, using the poplar vernacular of the time. Mom would occasionally complain about the noise, once going as far as to say that we should spend more time with sentence structure than strumming six stringed amplified instruments. 

Flash forward 48 years. 

Not much has changed.

I am still interested in action words, sentence structure and sizzling Stratocasters. The Verbs live on, as demonstrated in this special Tuesday extra-credit grammar exercise:


I do triathlon.
I am doing a brick tomorrow.
I have done over a hundred triathlons.
I have been racing triathlon for 15 years.
I did my first Ironman in 1996.
I was doing marathons before that.
I had done twenty marathons before my first Ironman.
I had been doing little aerobic exercise prior to that.
I will do another Ironman in August.
I will be doing the 30th Anniversary Ironman Canada.
I will have done 500 days of training in preparation.
I will have been doing that for what seems like forever.

Things I had learned from this exercise:
I should have listened to Mom.
I should have practiced the guitar more.
I should have kept the band together.
I should keep it in the present tense.
I should go run.

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