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Primate House (1731 11th Ave)

PRIMATE HOUSE (1731 11TH AVE) (J Neo Marvin)

Veracruz is a hopeless fuckup
But he’s better than his friend
Who knocks on my door trying to sell me shoes
He picked out of a garbage can
On weekends they bring home some working girl
And try to make her work for free
Or else they just get shit-faced and pass out
Burning cigarettes and blasting the TV
When he’s sober you can sometimes catch
A look of vacant misery in his eyes
If he wasn’t such a sad pathetic loser
He’d probably be a decent guy

The Christian thug, he’s not so bad
I don’t mind him all that much
We talk about dead wives, old bad habits
And life and fate and such
He takes me to his church where they serve free food
We try not to be the last to arrive
It’s a big group of bloated, neurotic people
Talking all about their brand new lives
I tape him some old James Brown songs
He passes on some K rations* he scored
He’s OK now, but apparently he was a real savage
Before he found the Lord.

Everybody’s got nothing to lose
Everybody’s got something to prove
Everyone is acting out
Down in the Primate House
Everyone is in a rage
Rattling the bars of their cage
Trapped in a world they can’t figure out
Down in the Primate House

(Meanwhile, just a couple blocks down the street…)
At the party the girls all work in the kitchen
While the boys all smoke in the yard
In a song in a mountain dialect
Some guys are boasting how bad they are
Talking about traditional values
In between discreet lines of speed
One guy just got back from Cambodia
Where the teenage hookers are cheap, and he says,
“Where I come from the women serve the men
And there’s nothing that they won’t do”
There’s not much I can really say to that except
“I guess that works out well for you.”

Everybody’s got something to say
Learn something new every day
Never know what might come out
Down in the Primate House
Nothing’s like it was before
Take those pictures off your door
Never want to stop looking out
Down in the Primate House

The couple in the room two doors down
Are predictable as the moon
They get the sniffles every morning like clockwork
And tie up the phone till noon
Then they disappear for about an hour
Then they shuffle back upstairs
Of course I know exactly what’s going on
But I no longer even care
Yesterday someone ripped off the landlady’s TV
Who else would have had the nerve?
Oh, I know that it’s wrong, but I couldn’t stop laughing
She got what she deserved.

The toothless woman across the hall
Is complaining about her old man
She’s sick of the way he beats her up all the time
I say well, maybe you shouldn’t go back
About a week later he’s moved in too
Soon he’s threatening everyone in sight
One morning he says to me “I hear you been talkin to my bitch”
I guess I’m supposed to cower in fright
Then she comes in screaming at me “Mind your own business, faggot!”
And they both take off with their load
Off to seek their fortune holding up signs
Along the airport access road.

Everybody’s gotta throw a fit
Everybody’s gotta talk some shit
Always something dumb to shout
Down in the Primate House
Piss and moan the same old blues
Big world’s got ’em so confused
If they cared they’d wonder what it’s all about
Down in the Primate House

This house is a house of bad luck
Filled with casualties and creeps
I feel like I need to take a shower
Every time somebody speaks
Some of us are just passing through
Some have nowhere else to stay
Some are damaged and desperate
Some just like living this way
It’s a Valuable Life Experience
That will leave it’s mark on you
Wipe that cocksure smirk off your face, my friend
You’re just another ape in this zoo.

Everybody’s got nothing to lose
Everybody’s got something to prove
Everyone is acting out
Down in the Primate House
Everyone is in a rage
Rattling the bars of their cage
Trapped in a world they can’t figure out
Down in the Primate House.

*Should have sang “MRE’s” here, but I forgot the correct military jargon when I wrote this song.

© 2002 J Neo Marvin (BMI)