One Last Times with Rob Neill
Guest Artist and New York Neo-Futurist Rob Neill has only this weekend left to perform in Chicago before he heads back to his home city. It’s been a lot of laughs and games, having Rob here. It’d be wonderful to have you – the audience – experience his work. Get a ticket!
In honor of Rob and his writing, I am going to set myself the task of attempting to write this blog post in what I might describe as “Rob’s writing voice.” If you seen/heard Rob’s work, you know he has a distinctive take on language — somewhere between a beat-poet and the weird things a toy doll might say. In the best possible way, of course.
Just to warn you, this might be terrible, which doesn’t mean Rob is a terrible writer. It’s just that I’m going to write this very quickly. Also I’m not Rob. It’s good to give ourselves artistic challenges on a regular basis.
The subject of the following story is about the time Rob was deemed “Mr. Neo.” Here it comes. My apologies to Rob in advance. –Kurt Chiang
THEY[them]CAME&THEYCALL(ed) me “MR. NEO”
Okay if you just sit there I promise to tell you this story…
When the cops came
WAIT! (before we go on)
COPS! Oh cops. No no no no no no no
Not so these cops. These cops they come. I have a bad feeling about cops. Don’t you? Can you just imagine…
Being. In a room. Filled.
I can imagine being in a room filled with cops and I can imagine touching their guns, and I can imagine asking them questions like “Have you ever really fired this?” and “What is it about you that I don’t like?” But anyway I promise you this
is not this
I was at the theater alone and I was getting something good like a chip. Or maybe I misplaced something I thought might be in my bag but guess what? sometimes things do not stay in your bag. Been there? I have. You have. We. Have.
But let me tell you I had to turn off the alarm I had to turn off the alarm because what’s there? In the theater? Things. Things that we need. But also, things that THIEVES need to TAKE. Guess what? Install a security alarm. I did it. I installed a security alarm. BUT BUT BUT but listen:
when you install a security alarm you also install a situation.
and the situation that manifestsitself is that when you enter the space alone, then you will set off the alarm. Right?
You put the code in. Right inside.
It’s what I did! I put the code inside the machine and I went to get my snack or my bag-object but the alarm it alarmed anyway and how loud it was
so when the security lady called I had had to have a conversation with her, right? And she asks me my name, yes? And I said “IT’S FINE! IT’S FINE! IT’S JUST ME! “NOT
AND MY NAME IS MR. NEILL!”
Alarm turn off yes fine good BUT I need to tell you that the
cops showed up anyway.
Conversation with cops: You work here? Ohyes I do sir. Everything ok? Ohyes ofcourse sir. Ok, let me have you sign this form telling me everything is ok. Yessir yes.
Cops looks down at paperwork to give me, and he looks at my name – this name that the security lady provided – and he says to me
YOU’RE MISTER NEO?! MISTER NEO, IS THAT YOU?! YOU OWN THIS PLACE?! YOU’RE MR. NEO!
And you know? That’s how it goes. One second, Mr. Neill. Second second, alarm situation. Third, misunderstood naming mechanism that transforms me to what you see before you:
a Neo before,