Don Slater’s Pork Chop Express: All Good Things…

The Battlecross bassist checks in one last time with a column about wasted opportunities, change, and perseverance

Don Slater's Pork Chop ExpressDon Slater's Pork Chop Express

Don Slater’s Pork Chop Express

“You just listen to the old Pork Chop Express here now, take his advice on a dark and stormy night when the lightning’s crashing, the thunder’s rolling and the rain’s coming down in sheets thick as lead. Just remember what ol’ Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, the poison arrows fall from the sky and the pillars of heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol’ storm right square in the eye and he says, ‘Gimme your best shot, pal. I can take it.’”

Allow me to begin by giving a huge thanks and a sincere apology to Chris Harris, the founder of GunShyAssassin. He allowed me the incredible opportunity to write for his website, and I regret not taking more advantage of this opportunity. I wanted to do a strict monthly column — I really did! However, storytelling doesn’t come easy to me these days. Couldn’t tell you why. What I can tell you, is that I have one more left in me before this fantastic site closes it’s e-doors for good, and it’s going to be about what the elderly love to wax eloquent and what ex-girlfriends just loooooove to bring up: The Past.

There’s this old saying: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Supposing there’s some truth to that in some instances, it’s still hard to believe.

If the three decades I’ve spent on this floating rock has taught me anything, is that change is slow, but certain. So slow that you’ll hardly notice it, until you distance yourself from an environment.

Have you ever visited a town you used to call home after several years and couldn’t believe how much it had changed? Be it the landscape, the residents…even a new stop sign. Something is going to strike you as foreign and strange. But wait! There’s your old neighbor, Wilbur Oldman, doing the same thing he does every Friday, taking an edger to his lawn.

You pull up waving to him; he squints momentarily, trying to recognize you as friend or foe, and then a smile crosses his face. “Oh, Junior! Long time, no see!,” he says. You ask how he’s been, and the typical response comes out: “Same ol’, same ol’.”

Same? On your short trip into the neighborhood you noticed at least a dozen things that have drastically changed, and he tells you otherwise.

This applies to you as well, as a person.

Chances are you’ve had an old friend accost you in the grocery store or at a concert, and one of the first things out of their mouth is “I hardly recognized ya!” “Really?,” you think to yourself. You’ve looked the same since senior year in high school, right? Same way of dress, same mannerisms, same ol’ dude. Fact is, since you see yourself every day, the change isn’t noticed, but it’s there.

Same for visiting old stomping grounds. Life is and will pass you by, whether you see it or not. It’s only natural, and there’s nothing that can be done to stop it, save for the ever-constant and reliable death.

The point of the last two paragraphs is to not fear change, but embrace it and make the most of every opportunity. This is a lesson I need to learn myself.

Too many opportunities have I squandered because of either fear or ignorance. Don’t worry; I’m not trying to preach to you and tell you “HEY! CARPE DIEM, MOTHERFUCKERS!” What I’d like is for everyone to just do what they can, learn from mistakes made by yourself and others, and not back down from a challenge. Take ol’ Jack Burton’s advice in the top quote. Trust me on this one.

I bring up the past because even though GSA is shutting down, this isn’t the end. Not for Chris, for myself, or for snarky metal journalism.

Change is inevitable — sometimes harsh and cruel, but inevitable all the same. Like the Phoenix, something will rise from the ashes. It won’t be the same, and that’s the point, but methinks Chris will not sit idly by.

He’ll take this experience as a webmaster and grow — be it with his career or a new venture — and to Chris, I wish you all the best, man. If you do anything that needs a semi-reliable writer, please don’t hesitate to call. Thank you, Chris. You fuckin’ rule.

Well, it’s been fun, guys. I regret not giving you more content over the last year, but hey… perhaps, just maybe, I can change that. Love you guys. Thanks for reading!


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