Young Buck at Midtown
Chinese Democracy Ruins My Week, and Possibly My Life
This week, Axl Rose and his nearly mythical Guns N' Roses announced that the band will be releasing its album Chinese Democracy on November 23 - after almost a decade of telling fans the record was in the works. While GNR enthusiasts are either jubilantly tearing through their closets looking for those acid-washed jeans from the peak of their GNR days or in the hospital after suffering massive cardiac arrest upon the announcement, I find myself in a different predicament.
I've used the incompletion of Chinese Democracy to predict the unlikely chances of other events like Ticketmaster easing up on service charges, Fox News embracing journalistic ethics, the Seattle Mariners playing in a World Series and well, actual Chinese democracy. So, there could be some upsides to Axl Rose's seeming interruption of the space-time continuum.
But there are also some downsides to the release of this fabled album, at least from my perspective, and that's been the countless definitive and half-drunken bets I've made with everyone from siblings to barroom strangers that Chinese Democracy was not a real album, but rather akin to other never-to-be-seen things like the Fountain of Youth, Santa Claus or Dick Cheney's smile. A rough estimate would say that I owe the following to an array of strangers and close friends and relatives due to the bets I've made over the past nine years: an estimated $3,000 in straight cash, my entire baseball card collection (including my Edgar Martinez rookie card) two since-disposed of bottles of real absinthe, a pair of twice-worn roller blades, and a yet-to-be calculated amount of bar tab reimbursements.
But hey, if corporate giveaways are any barometer of reliable betting strategy, the people at Dr. Pepper make me feel a bit better. The company promised a Dr. Pepper to everyone in the US (former GNR guitarists Slash and Buckethead begrudgingly excluded) if the album was ever released. And believe it or not, the soft drink company is making good on its audacious bet and is offering coupons via its website on the release date of the record.
While I await my free soda, I will sit hoping that some magnificent act of God keeps the album from dropping on November 23 - or else I'm going to need to go into Axl-Rose-like hiding.