As usual, the fight started over a girl. And a Christmas gift. She gave Lash a bottle of cologne, a brand that stank so badly his own dog wouldn't roll in it. But out of blind love he kept the bottle in his pickup, and it made his truck smell better by comparison.
The following summer, in a mix of broken-heartedness and anger, he lashed out, using the bottle of Stinko as a foul bomb, causing a neighborhood incident and an environmental catastrophe. It's a long story; you can read it all here. A feud ensued.
That was a year ago. Although my grass still bears scars and my nose still wrinkles at the memory, Lash and I have cleared the air.
Every year Lash hosts a toy drive for children of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, among the poorest areas of the United States and right in our own back yard. New this year, Lash created an accompanying Christmas CD featuring artists who would be performing at the benefit. In an act of reconciliation he invited me to contribute a song. He apologized for the Stinko.
I believe in forgiveness, but I also believe in karma. Lash's dastardly act would be punished in this life or the next, so better to help him get it over with, and save Heaven itself from some future malodorama.
"I'll write a song for your CD," I agreed, "with one condition. It's going to have a solo in it."
"That's fine," he shrugged.
"A tap shoe solo."
"And you're going to perform it."
Dead air has a way of seeming interminable. "All right. . ." he squeaked thinly.
I provided the tap shoes, he provided the recording studio: Bassline, run by the incredible Tim Cich. We miked the floor. Lash took a long look at the black patent pumps, and strapped himself in.
It was suspicious from the start, how comfortable he seemed in those pumps. It was reminiscent of when he dressed as Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz—he looked a little too comfortable in a gingham dress. To everyone's amazement, Lash clacked away in a blaze, nailing the solo on the first take. I think those of you who know Lash better than I should poke around in his history—there's a telltale tutu lurking in his background. I think I've been duped.
Anyway, the CD, Christmas for Pine Ridge, is done, and it contains great original Christmas tracks from many of Omaha's finest, including Brad Hoshaw, Korey Anderson, Jeff Koterba, Lash's feet and Yours Truly. You can buy the CD at the Toy Drive this week, which starts at the Waiting Room Friday the 5th, moves to Mick's Saturday the 6th, and ends at Bar Fly Sunday the 7th.
The whole recording project was donated, so 100% of your money goes to the Pine Ridge kids, carried there in the hands of Lash Hisself.
Personally, I think the $15 cost of the CD is worth it just to hear Lash's tap dance solo. He just tickety-tacks your cares away.