Guts by Kirk Anderson

Originally performed at The Hideout in Chicago, April 2015.

Good God, Guts is a good word. A clean, simple combination of voiced and unvoiced consonants with a fairly unnecessary U in the middle. It doesn’t really need U. This word. It can fend for itself. Guts.

The hard hearted G is on point today, with that guttural aforementioned phoneme on his right hip, flanked by the always rough and ready plosive T and an 
unforgiving S. Guts.

Go ahead try and say that without your teeth.

Can’t do it can you? And you know why? Because you got ‘em smashed out of your face when you were busy wasting your life seeking Glory, you hounds.

I don’t mean to pick on Glory - but what the hell is that - Glory? – An empty, anonymous hole in a long forgotten bathroom stall that nobody is going to stuff the most sensitive 6 1/2 turgid inches of their person into, unless they’ve got GUTS. And a WHOLE big bunch of it too. ...No guts, no glory. (...)

What we’re talking about here is Balls. Big ones. Eggs, Courage, intestinal fortitude, backbone, viscera, the offal, the vital organs, things you must needs 
have for your actual survival.

You know that right now our squishy innards are busily processing whatever crap we forked into our gaping maw earlier today – pushing it deep into some 25 feet of velvety tubing to make ever more room for the delicious as fuck tamale that’s about to walk through that door any minute now. (I recommend it with a nice pale ale by the way.) Because your guts don’t wait for shit.They do their duty when 
called upon.
You can trust your guts. Go with em. What do they say? They say lets Do This Thing. “Yeah but what if something...? Do it now, man! 

But glory? You’re gonna have to wait for that. “Yeah its...gonna be awhile. But you can sit at the bar if you want.” We’re told that If we’re just really patient and pleasant enough and have good penmanship that a state of utter happiness, resplendent beauty and adoring praise or something is just around the corner. 

What is it, a bus?

No. Glory is Vonnegut’s Foma – a harmless untruth meant to calm the frayed nerves of simple souls. It’s biding it’s time until it can find itself, it’s time in the sun, it’s shining moment. Glory is a fiction meant for the dead, the battle field, the lord above and romantic novels. It’s the numbing head-heavy pursuit of greatness. A shallow and impossible aspiration that can only disappoint in the end because it’s fleeting, if it comes at all. Because like a bus, it’s eventually going to dump you all alone some terrible night on a marginal road in the town of Obscurity USA wearing a totally played-out feathered Givenchy number. 

“Everybody knows that sequins are back this year.” 

Glory is a presenter now and its time has past. It has a permanent seat on the Hollywood Squares. It’s Paul Lynde. (Sound) “Poor Glory.” Poor Old Glory. But Enough about Her. Lets get to the real deal.

The Gut is the meat of the thing, the heart of the matter, the important stuff, the nut of it, the middle, the best part of the play, book or document of some kind that you’ve been working on for 6 years only to have some fucking nebbish give it a cursory pass and then GUT IT! “Oh my god he cut it to pieces. It’s gutted! It’s pointless, it's sans point. I'm ruined."

And now you’re adrift. It was going to be glorious but it’s over. It’s all over. I’m done. And you want to give up, go home, snort a vat of bourbon and pass out in nothing but your slippers. But you don’t. You go for a long walk down by the lake with your dog and stare out across the water and think about moving back to the Grand Rapids area maybe. “They don’t have any REAL gun laws there do they?” 

You’re searching your soul. You’re looking for answers in the flinty waters of the sixth largest fresh water lake in the world. When suddenly it hits you squarely in the mid-section. A feeling – it’s a feeling deep down in your guts that you can’t describe. Call it a gut feelling.

But I’m pretty sure its gut check time up in this bitch. 

And right then and there, with your goofy little adoring cur in tow, it comes gurgling upward from your puckered bung hole through the middle of your being and into your chest. Just a short while ago, where there existed only the sucking metallic vapor of self doubt you find your guts – the sturdy, unflinching resolve to march right back down there, shake the sand out of your Florsheim’s and pound it straight up that gutless bastard’s ass. That Ichabod in a goddamned double windsor is going to know you today! You earned your way here man. But this... this flimsy Peter Principle sitting here married in and he’s not telling you shit on a stick. Because you’re a hard scrabble work a day, real world nut-crusher who’s never had a thing handed to her. He’s nothing. Nothing but a glorified office clerk.

And that’s how glory goes. It’s a handout heaped lavishly upon the undeserving. It’s turd polish - “Now available in new pumpkin spice scent.” It manipulates us into caring about dull things by making them shiny, smelly and new. It takes a dry, gluten-free donut and covers it with colorful candy sprinkles so that it looks good but it’s really just a circular dirt clod and no amount of coffee is washing it down. 

No. Glory is a prodigious pile of undue praise that lies there doing nothing. A falsehood. It’s a Nicole Ritchie action figure. But I don’t want to pick on Glory. Glory’s all like, “Omigod. I can’t believe he said that about me.” 

The Guts can set you free because they’re the truth. You can spill your guts in confession or pour them selflessly out through song. They come in a handy container – your person. And they can stay in there without unnecessary preservatives for a long time and still be fresh when they finally come out and when they do, look out because here comes a long held secret truth that’s been worming around inside of you for years –for years I say! 

And today at long last is the day you puke it up. Today is the day you finally say, “I hate you Kirk Anderson. I hate your guts.”