Driving home from work the other night, I passed a kid who was wearing a Slipknot t-shirt. Now, I’m not totally clueless: I realize that Slipknot is a thrash metal band whose members shout and wear masks and jump around near big fires whilst playing bass. (That’s the bass guitar, not something from the strings section of the orchestra.) And I appreciate that I’m some way off their target demographic for fandom. Not a teenage boy. Not angry*.
But that evening, what I was wondering was, Why the name ‘Slipknot’? It sounds a little… knitting-related. Or crochet. At the end of a gig, do these chaps unplug their amps, extinguish the fires, and toddle home for a restful spot of fairisle?
I’m thinking probably not.
But why ‘Slipknot’? Back when they were disaffected kids trying to form an anarchic band, was their choice of moniker a rebellion against years of watching their mums crocheting away, muttering ‘Form a slipknot then chain 60…’? And will this be the fate of my own sons in 15 years’ time? After years of being surrounded by knitting, will they go off the rails and form a wild band called Cast-Off?
Or am I over-thinking this?
Of course, the best way to prevent youthful rebellion is to do all the terrible things yourself so that your kids (i) are mortified, and (ii) rebel against you by being well-behaved**. We’ve already seen this on a small scale with the twinnage. I always try to dress them in mismatched socks, the reasoning being that as identical twins, they’re already pretty matching-looking, so adding matching socks would be a match too far. I know, I know: so very wild, so very zany. And do you know what the little rebels have gone and done? They’ve started insisting that they’ll only wear neat, perfectly matched socks. They’re only four years old! I despair.
Back to the band story. The logical conclusion of all this is that what I need to do to prevent the twinnage growing up to form an edgy band with a name subverted from a knitting book is to form a knitting-related thrash metal band myself. The Stoic Spouse is learning guitar, so he can help. We’ll need more members too, if any of you are free for band practise tonight? May I suggest The Purlz as a name? Note that rebellious little mis-spelled ‘z’ on the end. As I said, so wild, so zany. We’ll sing – or rather, growl – about how hard it is to know how much yarn to leave for a long-tail cast-on, and how embittered and alienated we’ve felt since the sale ended at the yarn shop. We’ll need to take up smoking to perfect our gravelly voices. And we’ll get properly badass tattoos:-
We’ll have wild hair and stomping boots and crazy clothes (incorporating plenty of pockets for stowing stitch markers) and we will rock! And yes, both knitting and crochet will be permitted at our gigs.
So we need some tunes, man. How about the following, shouted at maximum volume whilst head-banging?
I frogged my SOCKS
And my fairisle’s BAD
But that’s not the THING that makes me MAD.
Gotta whole lotta STITCHES
That I need to show my BITCHES
Cos my knitting is DISMAL but my yarn is RAD.
‘Rad’ means really really splendid. I looked it up in the urban dictionary. So old, so down wiv da kidz.
And one day, the twinnage will witness all this, shake their heads in despair, tell each other, ‘Mum’s having a mid-life crisis again’, and go away to do something sensible, such as their maths homework.
*Except concerning environmental degradation, political/religious extremism, and misogyny. But Slipknot aren’t primarily addressing those themes at present.
**Disclaimer: This is written with tongue firmly in cheek, not with my professional psychologist hat on. Please do not go and drop acid in front of your kids. Or subject them to you playing air guitar.