(Columbus, Ohio) — According to patrons of the Clintonville Ace of Cups club, music fan and OSU undergrad Gary Snyden manages to shoehorn English music group The Specials into every freakin’ conversation in which he engages.
“It isn’t just conversations about Coventry or music, let alone the late 70s UK ska revival,” revealed acquaintance Steve Bishop. “We could literally be talking about anything: the weather, the Columbus Crew, voting booth controversies, student loans, any freakin’ thing, and Gary would steer things toward the Specials.”
Friends were quick to note that they like the multi-racial act as much as anyone, but enough is enough and could we please give the freakin’ Specials references a break.
“My favorite recent Specials-related conversational contrivance, was when Gary went from the Oscar Pistorious trial to South Africa to Nelson Mandela to, you guessed it, Special AKA’s ‘Free Nelson Mandela’,” recalled co-worker Jane Spencer. “That particular leap took less than two freakin’ minutes to achieve.”
Of course, debates centered around popular music are easiest for Snydon to shepherd Specials way: Ska, Elvis Costello, Andy Williams, new wave, Chrissie Hynde, No Doubt, the Go-Gos are but seven of the now hundreds of music-related topics that friends have learned to give a wide freakin’ berth.
Other recent tortuous gambits include comparing the black and white checkerboard vinyl flooring in a friend’s toilet to the 2 Tone Records logo and noting the similarities between the names of Neville Staple and that of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain when his history lecturer had been discussing the latter’s appeasement to Adolf Hitler prior to World War freakin’ II.
“Inevitably, any mention of the phrases ‘rat race’ or ‘stereotype’ sets Gary off singing,” reported Bishop.
Within the first minute of his discourse with Thrifty Vinyl outside the Ace of Cups, lifelong Columbus resident Snyden was able to allude to the Specials when a passing man’s smile revealed two missing front teeth: “Hmm, just like Jerry Dammers,” he freakin’ commented.