"Hammer, get back to ranting
Say it ain’t so, Steve. So there I was, sitting at the Jazz Cooker, sipping my Loca Moca from the Monon Coffee Company across the street and reading NUVO. It was my usual quiet Saturday morning away from the glamour and fast-paced, high roller excitement of being a middle-school assistant principal. I turned to read how my childhood hero, Steve Hammer, was faring in his life of contrary curmudgeoness. As a youngster, others had heroes in the form of sports figures and rock stars. For me, the defining moment had come years earlier when Steve had walked out of a bar in Broad Ripple and, just like Mean Joe Green, handed me a half-empty cup of stale beer and said, “Here kid, the band sucked anyway.”
From that moment on, I set my goal on learning to read whole sentences and turning pages quickly to Steve’s column to see what new form of pain and suffering the right and powerful had inflicted upon the poor and liberal. I laughed and cried as Steve related month after week, new indignities in politics, sports and the State Fair. Whether it was George, Bart, Mitch, the Pacers, deep fried Snickers or Carmel speed-trap moms, Steve’s ragings against the machine had always been good for a thought, a revolution and a giggle.
But what was this? Instead of a story about George fiddling while Iraq burns, we got love in bloom (Hammer, “Happiness Beyond Words,” Aug. 23-30). Instead of Mitch taking over the new stadium to live in as governor, we got Oprah-tic confessions. Instead of cigarettes in his Aldi coffee, we got the poetic waxings of a love sick sophomore. I couldn’t have been more surprised if Ann Coulter had proposed to Michael Moore (a good match by the way, but she’s slightly prettier and he’s funnier). Geez, what will we have next week, gourmet cooking and a book club?
Good for you, Steve. We’re all happy for you, really.
Now eat some nails and get back to work.