Sunday, April 29, 2007

SIS #24

the limits of respectability
chapter twenty-four - hanging on the line


Journal entry- Day 43- This is the beginning of the Walden era. We have come out through our wilderness of forty days and forty nights waiting for something to fall into place. Now we can breathe easier. Ahh! So long pestilence, hello sweet air of freedom.

I put the last of my change into the coin slot and the dial tone changed to a muffled ring. Lorraine answered hesitantly. “Hello.”

“Hey Lorraine.”

“Johnny?”

“Who else were you expecting?— Lorraine, our tour has been changed. We’re in a town called— What’s the problem?”

“Strange name for a town. Are you in Iowa?” She said almost despondent.

“No....NO! I meant what’s the problem with you? I can hear it in your voice.”

“I just wanted to give their kids some ice cream.”

“Yeah so? Kids like ice cream don’t they?”

“They kept asking me, ‘Is it kosher?’ In fact, the littlest one kept repeating it over and over. ‘ Is it kosher? Is it kosher? Is it kosher?’ God, Johnny, it was horrible. I still have it ringing in my ears. What the hell does that mean any way?”

“I think it means a Rabbi has to be present when the pig is killed.”

“There’s no pork in ice cream— is there?”

I looked around the lobby of the Spruce Falls Hotel. The sun was shining brightly through a skylight of glass decorating the entrance. It was so peaceful, so serene. It was a beacon I desperately wanted to get to. Away from the umbilical of the phone line, as if, it would somehow release me from the mundane home-life and Lorraine’s maudlin madness, half-a-world removed.

Now an upset Lorraine started to whimper over the phone. “I think their mother is very angry with me.”

“She probably thinks you’re trying to convert her kids.”

“Convert them into what?”

I sighed. “Oh for Christ’s sake Lorraine. If you can’t deal with this, how are you ever going to deal with Passover?”

“Pastover?” She sobbed. “What’s that?”

“It’s a dinner to commemorate the uh....Angel of Death or something. It’s in April I think?”

“An Angel of Death will be coming here...to the house?”

Did I mention Lorraine wasn’t very bright? “Do you know Charlton Heston?”

“Charlton Heston’s coming to dinner?” She sobbed harder.

“The Ten Commandments! The Ten Commandments! Just go rent the damn movie and
watch it. It’s all in there— Mosses, locusts, death, Passover, GOODBYE!” I yelled and slammed the phone down.

Wires was walking through the lobby and I met up with him. “Problems at home Sparky?”

“No more than usual.”

“Good. You had me worried for a minute there.”

Together we headed for the hotel coffee shop and saw Doc. He had his face buried in a menu when we approached. “Gentlemen,” he said, laying the laminated placard on the table.

We greeted him and took seats next to a window across from our keyboardist. Wires took out a few folded, half-finished drawings and began to scribble on them between the scraps of verbal chin-wagging. My conversation with Lorraine, was fading to black fast. The waitress came and we ordered coffee as our jabbering segued into the problems we were having with Space.

“He thinks he’s so big. What are we going to do with him? He treats us like garbage and I don’t think Wally’s self-worth can get any lower than it is. Is Space even aware Bronson could kick his ass if he pushed the wrong buttons with him? The only people unaffected are Spike and Casey?”

“Give it time Doc. I’m sure Space will find a way to alienate them too.”

“That’s the problem Wires. We’re giving him too much time to do and say whatever he wants.” Doc paused, and glanced at his menu. “Nothing here but rice pudding and jell-o.” Doc gripped. He smacked the carte du jour with the back of his hand. “Do you know what jell-o is Sparky?”

“Even if I said I did, you’d tell me anyway Doc. So, go ahead.”

“It’s a gelatinous goop made from the reconstituted bone marrow of animals. Horses hooves, pig snout, beaver spleens, that sort of thing.”

“Here we go.”

“What do you mean by that, Wires?”

“Look Doc, I’m here to eat OK, not hear another story about how coffee’s made from shit.”

“This isn’t about that, Wires.”

“I don’t care. I just don’t want to hear it.”

“Can I finish?”

“Whatever Doc.” Wires turned his attention to his pencil and the drawing now being created.

“Anyway Sparky . . . where was I?”

“Jell-o from reconstituted animal marrow.”

“Right! So they grind it up into a fine powder. Then you add water and it’s transformed into a woggly purple, blue, or red mass. Think of it as the hotdog of the dessert world. There could be cat, or pigeon, or rodent in there for all we know?”

“Thank you, for turning me off eating jell-o ever again, Doc. But what’s it got to do with Space?”

“I don’t want to talk about him anymore, Sparky. Space doesn’t deserve the time of day from any of us.”

“Well at least were playing better rooms.”

“Don’t defend him. Shit you’re beginning to sound like Wires.”

Wires spoke without emotion. “Yes Doc, that’s right. I love Space. I want to have his babies.”

I couldn’t help but laugh as Doc continued. “I’d still like to take him down a peg or two with the way he’s been treating everyone. Snuffed muffins! You know, he hasn’t said one word to me since Effington.”

“I thought you didn’t want to talk about it Doc?”

“Sparky got me started Wires. It’s his fault.”

“Maybe he’s a little pissed about the financial Spanish Inquisition you gave him,” I reminded.

“He’s pissed? He’s pissed, Sparky?”

The waitress came to take our food order. Even with Doc’s gelatinous tale, I was famished. The smells of various foods drifting in from neighboring tables had made me so, but I picked something inexpensive. Wires told her, “Just more coffee thanks. I’m not hungry anymore.” He looked up at Doc.

The girl left and Doc continued his rant. “You know what I think Sparky? You’re idea to get back at him is too good for that asshole. If I had my way, I’d string him upside down and shove lit fire crackers up his arse while we rubbed his nipples with high-grade sandpaper. --- No wait! We make him drink cricket piss through a sock full of sand, or . . . or . . . or take the underwear he obviously stole from his Grandmother— you know, the stuff he hangs from his
drum kit . . . the twit. We could wait til he falls asleep and then fill his mouth with those panties and set them on fire.”

“You know what Doc? You’re starting to scare me.”

“I’m anxious to hear where Doc plans to get cricket piss,” Wires said, as if he was talking directly to his pencil.

“That would be Wally’s job,” Doc snorted.

I had the vision of Wally performing the act of milking the poor crickets while he grumbled and cursed Doc's name, and I must tell you my reader, although humorous, it wasn’t a pleasant one.

Wires continued to draw. Without looking up he spoke. “Sounds like you’re planning a little surprise intervention for Space?”

“That’s right Wires. But with more impact than what happened yesterday when we unloaded.”

“I know that wasn’t your handy work Sparky. No, I give you more credit. The only one who was freaked out was Casey.”

The event we were speaking of, occurred during set-up. Casey, Wires and Bronson had been lifting one of the bass-bins out of the van, when a severed leg had tumbled out from the inside. Casey had screeched in terror as it flopped in front of her. She dropped her end, and the bin had crashed to the ground narrowly missing Bronson’s foot. There had been a lot of yelling and screaming littered with expletives. On closer inspection we noticed the leg was a prosthetic and must have belonged to Short-arm.

“Someone snagged it from him at the biker boogie and tossed it into the bass-bin as a joke I’ll bet.” Space had said.

The poor bastard was probably still hopping around wondering what had happened to his appendage. Casey was long gone by the time we made this discovery. Wires had been prompt and had mailed the leg out early this morning to its owner, but Casey had not been seen since. She was holed up in her room with Spike and had not yet appeared.

Doc was serious in his assessment. “If she’s not at the side of the stage tonight, it won’t bother me. The only reason I agreed to it in the first place was to keep Spike from going bonkers.”

“He wasn’t too pleased about the leg either remember. Said, it was a bad omen, a sign of shit coming our way.”

“You know in India they believe— ”

“— I’m not interested Doc, neither is Wires.”

Wires grunted and continued to draw, pausing only to light up.

“Yeah but Spike thinks everything’s a bad omen,” Doc said, as he came back to the present conversation. “He thinks the world is ending when he gets French instead of Thousand Island on his salad, or when the sweet-n-low is empty. He even thinks Weather Men are evil and part of a secret brotherhood bent on dominating the world. He’s looped! Only my hatred of Space keeps me from wanting to toss Captain Keister out of the Ghost between gigs.”

“So if he’s so worried about karma, we don’t tell him what we have planned for Space. We don’t need him to pull it off anyway.”

“I get worried when your mind starts to crank up, Sparky.”

“Don’t worry, Wires. You won’t have to bail me out this time.” I held my hand up. “Scout’s honor.”

Wires continued to shade in between lines. Doc was still trying to sort out his dining options.

“You gonna order Doc or just look at the menu all day?”

Barlow trumped the menu down in disgust. “I’ve suddenly lost my appetite too.”

I turned to see Space walking into the coffee shop. He had his sunglasses on and his shirt collar up as if he was trying to dodge the detection of autograph hounds. He was with a girl he’d met yesterday after we’d unloaded. She was an employee of the hotel staff and the smart ass had asked her if she’d like to see his third leg before whipping out Short-arm’s prosthetic and twirling it around his thighs for a few laps.

“Excuse me boys.” Doc got up and walked briskly toward the door. Space and the girl sat at a table near the entrance and Doc passed them without any acknowledgment. I got up and took Barlow’s empty seat so I could look at Wires.

“What?” He said, as he carefully completed a caricature.

“I was just thinking about our conversation back . . . I don’t know . . . seems like months ago now." Actually it was more like eons and I was sure continental drift had taken place in the process. "Back when we were deep in the shit.”

"We're still in the shit Sparky. We've just been given hip waders."

“You were telling me about your aspirations in music but you never finished recounting why you didn’t pursue them.”

More coffee arrived with my rice pudding and Wires still with his head bowed, took a sip. He set it down next to the ashtray where his cigarette smouldered. “I just didn’t have what it takes, let’s leave it at that.”

“Come on, Wires. There has to be more to it than you’re telling me?”

He stopped drawing and glanced up at me. He brushed his bangs to the side so I could see his eyes. “I can’t perform in front of people. I freeze up. It’s severe stage fright. I can’t shake it.”

“Everyone has stage hee-bee-gee-bees at first Wires. It goes away.” Then I thought of the Styx girl and how traumatized she’d been. I thought of her, to this day, probably raising a family, baking cookies and brownies, packing lunches for her two-point-three kids, and sending them off to school, but seldom summoning the courage to leave the house herself. All because of what happened all those years ago on a fateful night, when we thrust her front and center against her will— a figurehead to a hostile crowd.

“I’ll tell you Sparky. For me the feeling won’t go away. I can get up in front of an audience, far as the eye can see, and introduce you guys. But put a guitar around me, and ask me to perform for the same people, and I just can’t do it.”

“Wires, I’ll tell you, the first time I was on stage I was performing with the Jazz Band in front of my entire highschool, playing Benny Goodman and Glen Miller. You know, lots of walking bass parts. Christ, there must have been forty other people up there with me for gawd-sakes, but I was convinced the audience had their eyes trained on me. Yeah that’s right. They wanted me to fail. I was so nervous and shaking so badly, I thought I had the onset of Parkinson’s. Of course it’s all madness, but I was sure at the time they were just waiting for me to blow it. It messed with my mind big-time. Halfway through our performance, I couldn’t take it anymore. I turned down the sound and acted like my amp had cut out. I was just pretending to play. With the sound off I turned back to my audience just in time for my solo and went crazy flailing my fingers up and down the fret board. Occasionally I’d get a frustrated look on my face and turn around to jiggle my bass cord. When the song ended everyone went nuts, not because of my playing they never heard, but because I had rocked out to Pennsylvania 6-5000. It was an exhilarating feeling. I fooled them and if you’ll remember I did the same thing at the biker boogie when I was on keyboards. Where do you think I got the idea? But each time I got up there it was easier not to freak out. Now I don’t even think about it. I just do it.”

“That’s great Sparky but with me it’s much worse. I’m paralyzed. I can’t move my fingers on the strings.”

“Everyone in this band has overcome things to get to where they are musically, Wires. You could too. Take Wally for instance. Did you know as a child his family would only let him play religious music on his acoustic guitar; Jesus loves me, that sort of crap? They wouldn’t allow him to get an electric guitar. They said it was the tool of the Devil. So little Wally just played the songs his family would allow, slowly getting better and better. And you know what
happened next Wires?” Wires starred at me, his head propped up by his wrist and forearm. “The neighbors’ kids tackled him and crucified him, literally. Tied him to an old wooden clothesline his parents had in the backyard. That’s where his mother found him. Yelling for help, his guitar busted in two at his feet, and Wally in, Christ pose, hanging on the line with his feet and hands tied with pink and white skipping rope. Yet, Wally overcame, Wires. He persevered. He got himself another guitar and kept at it and now he’s here.”

“Yeah playing the Devil’s music.— Who told you that story? Doc?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s your first mistake Sparky. You know Doc likes to spin those yarns. I understand what you’re trying to do and I appreciate it. I really do. But my place is here behind the lines in the trenches. My time to be successful at this has passed.”

“Successful at what Wires?” It was Space. He was standing at the side looking down on us. His eyes were hidden behind the sunglasses, but his smug grin was unmistakable. He placed his hands on the table and leaned down. “Successful at what? I want to know?”

“It’s nothing. Forget it,” Wires retorted.

“Playing music? Is that what fuels your dreams? Getting on stage like us . . .oh man, is that ever rich. Take my advice Neville, stick to what you’re good at . . . fixing things. I think you have enough trouble being a good sound-man, without trying to follow delusions of being a rock-star. Leave the music to the people with talent and the balls.” He patted Wires lightly on the shoulder.

“Space! For Christ’s sake. Lay off!”

“No Sparky. Neville likes when I tell it like it is. Don’t-cha Mr. Whitmire?”

“It’s ok Sparky. It’s nothing I haven’t heard before.” Wires truly seemed unaffected by Space’s words.

“The reason I came over here Neville, is to tell you to look into the drum monitor. I’m still having problems hearing the vocals. I want you to fix it today. Is that clear?”

“Crystal. I’ll get on it.”

“Make sure you do. We have to be tip-top in all areas by the time Gary sees us again at The Matador.”

“Hey Space,” I said. “You should really try the jell-o here. It’s outstanding.”

“Looks like you’re eating rice pudding?”

“I know and it sucks. I should have got the jell-o. Doc raved about it.”

“Doc! What does he know? But . . . thanks Sparky, I believe I will.” Space returned to his seat across from his chick and picked up his menu.

Wires returned to his sketches. As he focused on them he spoke. “So Sparky, this prank you have in mind for Space, tell me more about it.”

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Unimpressed with the week

It was a real blasĂ© week for news. So much so I won’t be cross posting on Mitchieville. I’d be embarrassed.

Sure, if I thought hard enough I could come up with something witty to say about the sportscaster who admitted to his fan base he really is a transsexual, and is switching teams, or how we’re killing honey bees every time we use our cell phones, or how it’s now appropriate to cry at work- hell, I’m crying as a write this- I might even have a word or two to say about Toronto being chosen as the 2nd best “City of the future”- what with the transsexuals crying on cell phones as they kill off the bee population, but I’m unimpressed.


I’m unimpressed that Spinal Tap will reunite to turn it up to 11 and help fight climate change.

I’m unimpressed that there is talk of putting a giant reflective umbrella in space to help shield us from the now deadly sun and fight global warming. I mean what about the people with S.A.D. do they not care?

I’m unimpressed they found a new Earth-like planet we can’t get to, called 581C. Who cares? I saw Aliens. I already know there are eggs with face-huggers just waiting there for us to find in some derelict space craft.

I’m slightly interested, but still unimpressed that criminals are doing their laundry by buying ATM's, filling it with dirty money and getting yours in return every time you complete a transaction.

I’m unimpressed that fat guys take more sick days and injure themselves more on the job than there svelte counterparts....mainly because I am one of those fat guys.

I'm not sure I care that cancer is poised to surpass heart disease as the number 1 killer....I mean either way....you're dead, right?

I’m even unimpressed that Stephen Hawking is weightless at 30 second intervals and in his monosyllabic, computer voice is repeatedly saying, “wooppeeeeee”, or "A sphincter says 'what'".

I’m unimpressed because I've just learned that BBQ, boiled, or deep fried food is killing me slowly with emissions called A.G.E.....yeah that's right....no link.....cause they don't want you to know......muthafuckas! I suppose next they'll tell you sex causes cancer? Not that I have to worry about it much.

Friday, April 27, 2007

New release this week

But what to pay tribute to? Scotty beams up tomorrow along with the ashes of astronaut Gordo Cooper and a 100 others, yet Boris Yeltsin died this week. You can see my dilemma.....Perhaps there's a way I can pay homage to both....hmmmm. I recommend: Ferrante and Teicher- Blast Off!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Last Thursday of the month by the numbers

What a shitty month this was. Now it's time for some kick ass links to the numbers.

The top 10 kick ass mainstream lesbian scenes. OK I'll admit not exactly the link to start off with when you want to kick ass, but it does gets better. This link is for GIGC.....enjoy, baby.

The top 10 bad ass movie chicks. Now if this could be combined with the first link then we'd be talking'!

The top 10 embarrassing ways to die in real life, except these are fictitious, but if they weren't, boy would they be embarrassing except they're not......Am I getting cyclical?

And.....15 "Holy shit!" moments.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Karaoke

Went out for some B-day celebrations last friday. Friends, food and Karaoke. Too bad these idiots wouldn't get off the stage.

Monday, April 23, 2007

They sure didn't make toys like this when I was a kid #5



I hear they're building a Harry Potter theme park in Fla. Looking at this toy, I'm wondering....is that such a good idea?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

SIS #23

the limits of respectability

chapter twenty-three - warp speed in effington


Journal entry- Day 35- Maybe it’s relief for escaping the near fatal situation at the biker boogie, I don’t know, but it was nice to have a day off to do absolutely nothing after the gig. The only thing still troubling me is my conversation with Doc when we got back to the hotel. I told him I needed time to digest what he told me and I would give him an answer in Effington. Since we arrived at the Atha B four hours ago, I guess he’ll expect me to talk to him soon. Maybe we should talk to Wires? He’d know how to handle it.

At first, I thought I’d been dreaming, but as I listened to Doc I realized I wasn’t. What he was saying to me was a harsh reality, as he saw it. I listened to him, slowly lowering the covers from my head and propping myself up on one elbow. “So let me get this straight Doc. You believe Space is stealing money from the band? What kind of money are we talking here? Two hundred for passing go money? You landed on Boardwalk with a hotel kind-of-money? What?”

“Free parking, you win the pot kind-of-money!— Do the math Sparky.”

“I can’t. I’m too friggin’ tired. What proof do you have this is going on?”

“I don’t have any yet, but explain to me why we only get three hundred apiece this week? We’ve had no traveling expenses, no agent fees, and we just cleared twenty-eight bills for one night. It should be closer to four hundred each, by my calculations.”

“I can’t explain it. Look, we’ve had unforeseeable problems on this tour Doc, or were you in another band? These things cost money, and the money has to come from somewhere. That somewhere is Space. Of course he should be reimbursed for it.”

“I agree Sparky, but he’s taking more. I did some investigating. Space told us the truck cost eight hundred, but Wires felt it was extremely high, even for a mechanic gouging a band in a tight spot and remember, Wires did much of the work himself. The bus for Thumper and Spike, even the train for Magic were all fifty bucks less than what he said they were.” Doc was counting on his fingers, something he always did when he was laying down the facts. He had to be serious about this.

“What do you want to do about it Doc, confront him? We don’t have any evidence. We don’t have access to the books. There’s just– no– proof.”

“We have to say something. We can’t go on starving while he continues to eat in restaurants everyday on the band’s money, and treat us like insignificant underlings.”

“Let me think about this. I’ll discuss it with you more, when we get to the Atha B. — Have you talked to anyone else yet?”

“No just you.”

“Then let’s keep it between you and I for now. We don’t want to rock the boat until everyone’s wearing life preservers.”

***

When we arrived in Effington, we checked in and acquainted ourselves with the surroundings, while Bronson and Wires set up the stage equipment. For the first time on this tour we all had our own rooms. The club was nestled off the main lobby of the hotel. The hotel was Victorian in design and paraded upscaled opulence. It was in the cradle of a valley between ascending hills littered with ski-lifts and zigzag snow-laden paths cascading down the sides. It was hard not to be overwhelmed by the change of venue from what we’d been used to on this tour, or any other.

I was heading down for sound-check when Doc caught up to me in the hall. “So?” he said. “You’ve had time to think. What’s your take on what I told you?”

“How about our rooms. Nice huh?”

“Yeah, yeah. They’re nice. You’re avoiding my question Sparky.”

“Ok Doc. You want to know what I think? I think we should watch him closely. Maybe question some of the financial issues? You know, let him know we’re being vigilant without being suspicious. But lacking concrete proof, I’m wary of confronting him and causing a ruckus, especially with this new agent on the horizon.”

“Sparky, shit! He’s stealing from you too.”

“Doc! We’re at critical mass here. We have a real chance to move ahead with Walden. What do you think is going to happen if we start questioning our drummer now, over money issues? What kind of message does it send out? I don’t know about Walden, but if I were in his shoes, and there was a negative vibe coming from the band, I’d be seeing serious red flags. Maybe I’d think twice about signing us up.”

“Ok Sparky, I’ll hold my tongue a while longer...for the greater good.”

We walked into the bar. It was very grandiose and elegant. “Hoity-toity,” Doc had said. It had a high ceiling from which hung banks of flood lights aimed strategically at the stage in a spectrum of colors. The House P.A. was expansive and state of the art. Wires was still cooing over the sound console as he adjusted the knobs, while Space rapped away on his drum kit. The stage itself was plush with black velvety curtains in a back-drop to a huge multi-tiered platform. It had a rounded front marked with ramparts of monitors and microphone stands. The dance floor was sunken and a good four feet below the stage. It had stairs at three points, leading out of the pit to a hundred-or-so tables, serviced by three bars. There was a railing mesa running the circumference of the dance floor with swiveling leather captain’s chairs posted along its length. Doc sighed as he jumped into one of the chairs and began to swivel back and forth. “Do you believe this place Sparky? Give me warp speed Mr. Sulu!”

A voice spoke, behind Doc Barlow. “I take it you like the club?”

Doc spun around. “You bet your ass . . .”

There stood a man of Asian decent. “Good,” he said. “I’m Gary Walden, and you are...” He held out his hand.

“Extremely embarrassed,” Doc responded, shaking Walden’s hand weakly.

“Nice to meet you Extremely. Don’t worry about the Sulu comment, it happens all the time. I’m a big fan of Star Trek too. Now where’s your drummer? I need to speak with him.”

“He’s over there.” Space had finished his drum check and was standing with Wires in front of the stage, pointing to a drum monitor. Walden went over to meet him and the two wandered off to discuss business out of earshot.

“Seems like a nice guy that Mr. Sulu?”

“God! Do you believe I said that, with him standing there? Here Sparky, help me get my foot out of my mouth.”

“Better than his foot out of your ass Doc.”

“We’ll have to wait and see on that one.”

Wally joined us. “My room has a Jacuzzi tub?”

“Are you sure you weren’t just farting in the bath again, Wally?”

Wally ignored me. “And the view. Shit. I’ve never seen the Rockies this close before. It’s almost better than— ”

“— Sex Wally?”

“I was going to say food Sparky, but sex will do.”

When we took the stage, our performance was flawless and the few people who occupied the bar on a Monday night seemed to enjoy themselves immensely. Walden expressed his delight and we drank well into the night with him after the bar closed imagining possibilities and mapping out scenarios. As the week progressed, we continued to play well and Walden booked a photo shoot in town, for us to do new promo. It hadn’t occurred to me until then, Thumper was still on all the 8X10's, and Spike was nowhere to be seen. After the shoot we all sat around some quaint old-timer’s bar, nestled between ski shops and a host of gift boutiques, in the tourist heart of Effington. It was time to discuss what was happening with the contract end-of-things. We’d tried approaching Space earlier in the week but he’d been less forthcoming than we’d hoped— if you can call "fuck off" forthcoming? Now in his own time, as usual, he was ready to fill us in on the details.

“Gary’s very pleased with what he’s seen this week. Although, he’d like us to get a little more sequenced musically. You know, rely more on a keyboard sound. Gary says guitar bands are dead. Synthesizers and sequencers are here to stay. Mark his words guys. This band’s in a position to take advantage of the future.”

Spike grumbled under his breath. Something about, “No guitars over his dead body.” The rest of us remained silent.

Space continued. “I have in my hand a schedule for the next two months, of gigs Gary has booked for us.” Space held up a sheet in his left hand and shook it around, like he was buying commodities on Wall St. “It starts next week in Spruce Falls, and then to The Grand Passaglia in Spuzzum.”

“What’s a ‘Passaglia?’ It sounds sexual?” Wally said.

“It’s an Italian dance. There’s a lot of twirling involved.”

“Shit Sparky! I was expecting Doc to answer, not you. How do you know?”

“I used it in the lyrics of a song once, Wally.”

“Are you guys through discussing two-steps and other nonsense? Can I continue here? This is more important than Wop waltzing rituals.”

“Sorry Space. Go ahead.”

“The band works its way south from here and then north east, and so on, until the final date at The Matador. It’s all here if you want to take a look? All of the gigs are ‘A’ rooms, Doc,” Space glanced at Barlow. “They’re all within two hours drive of one another and they all pay twenty-eight hundred a week to start.”

Doc inquired. “Gross or net?”

“Gross.”

“So after expenses it would be how much?”

“I don’t know Doc? I don’t have all the figures with me right now. If all goes— ”

“— How much does Walden get?”

“Gary gets twenty-percent for now until he sees the potential. Then he’ll drop it to fifteen-percent.”

“Twenty-percent?”

“He’s acting in an agent, ‘slash,’ managerial position Spike, so it’s not a lot to ask in my opinion. Now if all goes— ”

“— So after agent fees, gas, crew, rentals, that’s— ”

“— Barlow! Since when were you so concerned about the expenses? Just worry about your pay. Occupy yourself with the bottom line. Christ! Can I finish here?”

I shot Doc a nervous look pleading for him to take it down a notch.

“I was just wondering what the difference per man would be, from what we were making before. So . . . in essence, I am inquiring about the bottom line Space.”

“Shit Barlow, I feel like you’re living in my back pocket. Step off! You’ll get paid. Everyone gets paid, but I suggest things continue on with the same pay schedule for now.”

Doc turned his head to the side and spoke to an imaginary band member. “Great! So we continue to make next to nothing.”

“Just for now Barlow, so there can be a build-up of a financial cushion. We don’t want to run into problems and not have money.”

Doc quoted the air each time. “We have money problems Space. You always have money. How do we know how much we have in the, cushion?”

Space was becoming angry. “Because I’ll tell you, and you can keep track!”

Wires lit up a cigarette and Casey coughed and said, “Sorry.”

“Is anyone else here concerned about the details of the fuckin’ money?” Space looked around but no one spoke. Wally scratched his nose and Wires’ head slowly disappeared into a cloud of smoke. “All right! If all goes— ”

“— Uhh...”

“— Fuck Barlow! What is it now?”

“I just wanted to say I was done and you could continue.”

There was a moment of silence as the two stared at each other, an ocular Mexican Stand-off, if-you-will. Space was the first to blink and Doc leaned back in his chair folding his arms across his chest, somewhat satisfied after his interogation.

“Get on with it!” Spike shouted, adding his impatience to Space’s.

“IF!...” Space paused. “ . . . all goes well.” He glared at Doc again. “ . . . there will be another month and a half tacked on to the end of the tour at thirty-two hundred a week. Gary will meet us at The Matador and I’ll sign an exclusive contract with The Supreme Agency. If, all goes well. There has been a lot of effort and hard work into getting the band to this point, so no fuck-ups. Is everyone cool?”

We all nodded. There was a squeaking of chair legs as we started to disperse. I finished the coffee I had been nurturing in front of me. Five weeks to the day since I started drinking it black. Just like Doc had said, I was now accustomed to the taste, and adding cream and sugar made me nauseated.

“Way to hold your tongue Doc.”

“Maybe he’ll think twice about how he handles the money, now he knows there’s someone watching. Huh? — He’ll sign the contract? What about the rest of us?.... and– Gary, Gary, Gary! When did Space stop calling him Walden? It’s like they’re lovers, or something. I always new he was on a two-way street, dining on trucker thighs and cock sausage.”

“I know, Space’s asshole factor is definitely increasing again. I feel like I have to book an appointment with his highness just to say, good morning. Not good for band unity.”

“Ah fuck’im! It’s like Wires said. His head has gotten bigger. I’m sure when he pointed out the ‘effort,’ and ‘hard work,’ it took to get Walden booking us, he was blowing his own horn. ‘WE’ doesn’t seem to be in his vocabulary anymore. Do you notice, Sparky?”

“Sadly I do, big D.”

“But enough about Space! I’m getting pissed off, and I don’t want to burst a brain vessel. I see you made it. Still drinking it black you little bugger. I’m proud of you Sparky.”

“Yeah, but I think my urine is starting to smell like Columbian Roast.”

“Come on, Looks like I owe you dinner. Did you know you could drink your own urine?”

“Are you trying to turn me off from ordering too much Doc? Because it’s not going to work.”

Doc and I found a small cafĂ© down the street from the Atha B, and true to his word, he bought me dinner, while he serenaded me with the logistics of ingesting one’s own pee. Later, when we returned to the hotel to get ready for our performance, we found Wally sitting with Bronson in the foyer. They were between two potted palms, on a puffy couch which practically engulfed them both. Our guitarist seemed rather upset about something and Bronson was trying to comfort him. Doc huffed, “Jesus Wally, what on God’s green earth’s got your shit twisted now?”

“Damn Space!”

“Space? Really? Why, how’s that possible my rollie-pollie friend? I refuse to believe it?”

“Your sarcasm’s lost on him Doc. He’s really upset,” I said.

“I had a great chance to catch up to him and he’s spoiled it. That egocentric ass.”

"Egocentric? Such big words Wally. You must really be off your tea cozy? You’re not still on about that ridiculous Chub contest are you?”

I said, “Hey Doc, there are some really luscious looking ladies in this town. Perhaps Wally has a point?”

“It wasn’t anyone in town. I was approached by a guy.”

“A guy? How many points do get for homosexual activities Wally?”

“This has gone too far,” I said appalled.

“No, no, no! The guy wanted me to come to his settlement and have sex with some of the girls there.”

“It’s known as a brothel Wally, not a settlement, and you do have to pay.”

“No, you don’t understand!”

Bronson stepped in to save the day. “There’s a Hutterite community outside of the city limits. They’re afraid there’s been too much inbreeding and they need outsiders to come in and strengthen the gene pool.”

“Wally?” Doc gasped. “Are they sure they know what they’re getting?”

Bronson continued. “They want someone with blonde hair, Doc.” He popped his thumb toward our downtrodden band-mate. “That’s him as far as they’re concerned.”

“Wally?” Doc repeated shaking his head.

“And Space said I couldn’t. Said it would jeopardize things with Walden. I just wanted to see how they lived. Fuck! I hate his guts.”

“How many women?” I was interested now, and wondering if maybe I should dye my hair.

“I don’t know. He just wanted to know if I was interested. Said he’d pay me and everything.”

“How much?” I inquired. I could pay for the hair dye.

“It never got that far, because Space told him no way. Didn’t let me answer or nothin’ He doesn’t own me. HE DOESN’T OWN ME!” Wally’s outburst caused a few hotel guests and counter staff to stop what they were doing and turn their attention to us.

“It’s Ok,” Bronson assured them. “Our friend here, is a little upset, but everything's fine.”

Doc looked at me. “Wally? To strengthen the gene pool?”

I still wanted details. “So would the people have to watch while you did it? Do you have to do it through a sheet with a hole in it?”

“Doesn’t matter Sparky cause it’s not going to happen.”

“Let me get this straight Wally.” Doc had regained command of his senses. “Some Amish pimp— ”

“— Hutterite,” Bronson corrected.

“— Some Hutterite pimp came rolling into town with his horse and buggy looking for you? I think Space may have done them a favor by saying no. I can’t imagine a gaggle of diaper clad Wallys hanging off their mother’s teats and living off the land, harvesting potatoes, corn, and non-such.”

“Man! You would have made moocho Chub points Wally, all those young virgins. Shit! I’d be pissed too.”

Wally’s eyes pierced me. “You’re not helping the situation, Sparky.”

Doc jested, “Way to through a log on the fire there, Sparky old boy.”

“You know what’s funny guys?” I observed, “You never see Mennonite porn.”

“HUTTERITE,”Bronson corrected again.

“Can you imagine getting excited over the size of the hole in the sheet? ‘Unclench thy legs, my beard doth be caught!’”

“Sparky, I’m not sure you’re being accurate.”

“When did you become such a historian?”

“It’s an historian Sparky,” Doc added.

“Why is everyone correcting me?!”

Wally interjected. “Guys! Can I say something?” There was a pause in the fracas and Wally continued. “I’m really getting tired of Space calling all the shots. Something has to be done about him. And I’m not just saying this because I’m mad about the Hutterites.”

Bronson spoke. “We’re all tired, Wally.”

“Geeze! You know something’s gone wrong when Bronson’s had enough,” Doc pondered. “You know, I believe, by the end of the tour we’re going to need bigger doorways just to get Spaces’ head into the clubs. He’s drunk with power, just like Wires said.”

“Maybe instead of increasing the size of the doorway, we should concentrate on deflating the size of the man’s head?”

“Oh and how do you propose we do that, Sparky?”

I looked at Bronson. “I’ve been giving it a lot of thought Doc, and I think I have an idea how we can accomplish our objective and have a little fun in the process.”

“I’m all ears.”

“Listen up guys and I’ll tell you what we’re going to do.”

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Keeping things low tech

I guess it's "I don't like Monday's" again? OK....FINE! Let's just get it over with off the top. But....I'm not mentioning names, posting pictures, or making references to 8 year anniversaries of similar events. However, I will say, "Way to go Virginia!" *clap,clap* "Way to sell tourism.....for psycos and degenerates!"

Come to Virginia. We have the most lax gun laws in the U.S. Take home a souvenir fire arm. All you need is I.D. and a credit card.

Brilliant.....bloody brilliant.


While we're at it. "Way to go NBC! Thanks for sensationalizing everything. Wow! And only one week after firing Don Imus for inappropriate comments.

Yup! No hypocrisy there.

Beating around the Bush

This week President Bush said, "It's hard to make sense out of such tragedy and human suffering."

Finally! He's admitting Iraq was a mistake. Good for you George W.

No Bones about it

Meanwhile in T.V. land, crime drama Bones which stars David Boreanaz.....

Wasn't he that vampire guy Angel from Buffy?

....had an episode pulled this week because the subject matter was too close to the bone- if you'll excuse the pun- to recent events.

Can't say it affected me much....I don't watch Bones...or Buffy and Angel when they were on for that matter...too girlie for my liking. Now let's get back to discussing subjects like: Why are they making a theatrical musical for Dirty Dancing?

Middleton of the road

Prince William and Kate Middleton ended their relationship this week. The royal relationship is by far the most talked about break-up in recent memory. Almost every publication in the UK had an opinion as to why they ended their long-term union. In fact, several publications claim to know the so-called "real story" behind the break-up. Some claim it was Prince William's time in the military, some say it was his philandering ways, and another popular rumor claims it has to do with Kate Middleton's commoner status in the socially-stratified nation.

The real reason? To keep every boy's hope alive of one day becoming Queen of England.

Fruit or vegetable?

The debate rages on: Is the watermelon a fruit or a vegetable? Some say because it's a member of the cuck family, thus it should be considered a vegetable. But it's so sweet and tasty, others say fruit.

Imagine the poor people of Alabama who have Watermelon as the official state fruit. Losers! Should have followed Virgina's lead and made guns your state fruit.


Tooth? You can't handle the tooth!

It may stand upright in a glass or lie on a counter, barely noticed until we need it. But that ubiquitous bathroom standby -- the lowly toothbrush -- is likely giving houseroom to some pretty nasty inhabitants.

We're taking germs here, folks. Microscopic bacteria, viruses and fungi -- and you're putting them daily into your mouth.

This warning brought to you by toothbrush manufacturers.


It is said you should change your toothbrush every time you get sick, after illness, before long bus trips, when visiting the zoo, during pregnancy, before and after sex and when logging on to Strangedaze, (or in other words once every six months or so).

I should also add, you should change your toothbrush every time you get a picture in the mail of some guy with your toothbrush stuffed up his ass. It happens more that you would suspect. Believe me.

I guess next they'll be saying we pay too much in taxes?

We pay too much in taxes. 45% of your income goes to paying the government in some form or another in tax. In fact, the average family pays more in tax than housing, food and clothing combined.

In my household I think what I spend on porn would meet the percentage.

A.B. on A.I.

With the help of the greatest actor on the planet, Alec Baldwin, I'd like to comment on American Idol's Sanjaya.

Strange: Finally! Sanjaya Malakar got voted off American Idol. The guy sang like my
ass chews gum.

Baldwin: What is he, 12 years old, or 11 years old? He didn't have the brains or the decency of a human being. He's insulted me for the last time.

Strange: Well said Alec, yet he may not be the next American Idol, but Sanjaya has been invited to be a guest at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. A guest list including the likes of Jane Fonda, Teri Hatcher, John Cusack, Sheryl Crow, Dennis Hopper and Morgan Fairchild. Among the politicos expected are Condi Rice, Robert Kennedy Jr. and Henry Kissinger. Are you upset with the White House for not being included? What would you say given the chance.

Baldwin: I am going to get on a plane and I am going to come out there for the day and I am going to straighten your ass out when I see you. I'm going to let you know just how disappointed in you I am and how angry I am with you that you've done this to me again. You've made me feel like shit and you've made me feel like a fool over and over and over again. You have humiliated me for the last time. So I'm going to let you know just how I feel about what a rude little pig you really are. You are a rude, thoughtless little pig, OK?

If you'd like a phone call from Alec go here.

Happy natal day

If I'm not mistaken, The Little Danish Girl has a birthday coming up. So, happy B-day to you. I know how fond you are of kitchen appliances and I'm sure the Mayor's going to get you the new oven you wanted.....of course it is a Dutch oven, but remember, it's the thought that counts.

Cross posted on Mitchieville

Friday, April 20, 2007

New release this week

All you loners have had a tough week under the microscope. For you I recommend: Joe Henry- Trampoline.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What's the story Blades of Glory?

Blades of Glory is no longer #1 at the box office. It fell to Disturbia last weekend. So now it's time to put Will Ferrell back where he belongs.....on top. Go to the Will Ferrell movie generator and come up with a new idea for a Will Ferrell film; pitch it to a major studio; see the expected first week box office gross. You can even give Will his big catch phrase...well.....what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Are you sure you really want to know?.....

.....how to masturbate an elephant

Monday, April 16, 2007

Forget hump day, worry about mound day

So winter is sucker punching your spring on the east coast. It's another Monday and a work week ahead. If you didn't have to contend with the word "Ho" so much from Don Imus last week, now Don Ho is dead and the horror begins anew. You'll never be able to hear "Tiny Bubbles" again without weeping uncontrollably.

In fact, you're in such a bad mood you'd probably kick the hell out of a dead hooker. In all you're probably wondering how this day can get any worse?

I have three words for you my friend: Pubic mound pulling. Go here and see what I mean. Your day just got worse.....Yeoooch!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

SIS #22

the limits of respectability
chapter twenty-two - short arm tactics


I was in shock. I couldn’t believe this was happening. How could you start a set with a solo? It just wasn’t done. Not even the greatest musical acts did it. Now I had no time to hide. I looked around frantically, but could see no one from my band. Wires, Bronson, Doc, they were all somewhere else. I’m sure they didn’t expect the solo to be first either.

Vier continued to flail away on the stings. The guitar buzzed and squealed much to the delight of the drunk hoards. He held the drill to his ear, “I can’t hear you.” The audience screams soon followed, urging him on. He returned the drill to the pickup across the guitar bridge, and thrashed madly on the strings.

I could see the rest of the band pairing off and commencing their way through the crowd. Benton and his bass player pushed people aside, quickly working in my direction. Their searchlight heads scouring the faces for their intended target. Two of the road crew were operating from the grill where turkey legs still smoked, despite Wally’s best efforts to put them out of business earlier. Badd Kredytz’ keyboard player along with the drummer, had started around the back of the stage, and came through the crowd from the far end of the field. I was slowly being cornered. There comes a time in some people’s lives, when you have to give up on
the maintenance of calm and cool with the reality of your surroundings. My calm and cool were about to abandon ship, not to mention whatever was in my small intestine.

Vier played on with his drill. It went to his ear again for a response from the audience. “I can’t hear you. I can’t hear Sparky screaming for mercy. Scream louder if you want blood. Let’s all watch as he shits his pants.” The audience reached a fevered pitch.

I began to back away from my hunters advances, but felt the overwhelming heat from the bonfire behind me cutting off my retreat and choking my lungs with smoke. I was doomed. Soon, I’d be spotted and it would be all over for me. So this is how it ends? Like T.S. Elliot stated, ‘Not with a bang but a whimper’, Next to a bonfire, surrounded by bikers, my friends nowhere to be seen, as I get my face kicked in. I never even got to try the turkey legs. Damn it Wally!

I could see the plumes of my big haired adversaries above the crowd, getting closer and closer. Benton spied me standing in the glow of the flaming funeral pyre. He nudged his bass player and the two quickened their pace heading for me undeviating. At the same time, Gravy, Short-arm, and a throng of their biker buddies rushed onto the stage in a drunken stupor and grabbed microphones. They nudged Vier as he held the drill aloft to his ear and his hair became entangled with the drill bit twirling and twisting around the end like cotton candy on a cardboard tube. He screamed in pain— well, as much as someone who has their mouth wired shut could scream. As he was pushed aside, he fell into one of the stacks of Marshall amplifiers. They tumbled back off the stage like dominoes, dying in a puff of smoke somewhere out of sight and like Jack and Jill, Vier came tumbling after. Benton and his three squads of assassins stopped suddenly and swung toward the debacle on stage. Horror and panic must have suddenly filled
their faces, as they raced back to their precious equipment abandoning their thirst for revenge. If ever there was a day for me to start believing in a god here it was; saved by the bell; a hair’s whisper away from certain annihilation.

Bikers now crawled all over Badd Kredytz’ side of the stage like ants in a virtual picnic infestation. At this pace, there weren’t going to be any bikers left in the audience. Gravy’s slurred voice came over the P.A. in a howl of feedback. “OK– Ok! Shushzzz,” he said. He wavered back and forth, a finger pressed to his lips. “We’re startin’ the festiv-viv-ities.” Massive wails of approval from the audience. “All girls on stage who are in the Wet T-shirt contest. Now!”

The already packed stage increased threefold, as women of all shapes and sizes, climbed, hopped, and were lifted onto the platform, some were already removing their tops. Benton and the boys tried frantically to get back to their equipment but couldn’t fit with all the people in the way. There was a crash of cymbals falling over. By the sound of it, one went right through the snare drum. Another biker fell backwards and his butt went through one of the pie-wedge monitors at the front of the stage. There was another yowl of feedback I began to run to our soundboard as fear gave way to relief. There I found Space, Doc and Bronson.

“Sparky! What the fuck’s going on?” Space got rather upset when he had no control over things.

“I don’t know?” I responded almost gleefully. “Just be thankful they didn’t decide to do this on our side of the stage.”

Doc added, “Amen brother!” We were now joined by Spike and Casey who were also in the dark as to the rationale for the sudden surge of bikers on the stage.

“Where’s Wires?”

“Right here,” Wires mumbled. He swaggered up to us, a fresh cigarette hanging from his lips. There was another crash and a gentle puff of smoke ascended into the night sky, a backdrop to Wires’ own smoke signal.

“Holy snappin’ arseholes! I think that was the bass amp?”

“I think you’re right Doc?”

Gravy’s voice came through the P.A. “Careful, careful guys. I don’t want anyone of yous to get hurt. All right! Who wants to see some tits?” Big cheers from the crowd. Benton and the boys had given up their quest to protect their equipment. They were focusing their attention on a woozy Vier. He had a balled-up towel pressed tightly to his head where the drill still hung amid clumps of follicles. One of the roadies was carefully trying to carve it out from the tangled mess of black hair, with an exact-o-blade. The band’s remaining road crew, were trying to drape their bodies across what equipment they could reach, in a feeble attempt to act as human shields.

“Will someone please explain to me what the fuck is going on here? Wires, do you know anything about this?”

“Gravy and Short-arm had some contests they wanted to do Space. I just suggested they’d have more room on Badd Kredytz’ side of the stage. It was getting late, and people were getting loaded and stoned, so I told them they should probably do it while everyone was still standing. I didn’t expect them to be so proactive. But Short-arm seemed pretty anxious to get things going.” Wires looked at me and winked.

Son of a bitch! He knew exactly what he was doing and how Short-arm would react. Wires had just saved my ass. I had an epiphany that night. Wires could fix more than just equipment, but to what extent was not evident to me, until that moment. Apples and Oranges were so right about him. He was the man!

There was another crash as more cymbals toppled over. “That was good thinkin’ Wires. Well done.”

A complement from Space? That was rare. I guess he figured if not for Wires it could be his cymbals falling and our equipment getting wrecked.

The proceedings were well underway on stage as more clothes came off with each round of the contest. Badd Kredytz had given up the battle and retreated en-mass to their bus, occasionally peering out from drawn curtains at the restless natives slowly destroying their livelihood.

“Isn’t a Wet T-shirt contest, supposed to have water and . . . well, . . . T-shirts? I don’t see any evidence of either?”

“I guess this is Wet T, biker style Spike?”

“Bikers always have such hot chicks for girlfriends.” It was Wally. He had calmed down and joined us, but still looked out of it.\

“What did you say about my girlfriend?”

“I said bikers, not Spike, you ass. I’m in no condition to argue with you Hellfield so lay off.” Wally was right his eyes looked like, as my father would have said, “Two piss holes in the snow. Damn those drugs. Damn those Nazis.”

“If it isn’t Mr. Blueberry.”

“Fuck off Doc.”

“You good enough to play in the next set Wally?”

“Just get me a chair to sit in Wires. I took a lot of ludes, but I should be rock n’ roll.”

It came down to two nude girls on stage. A winner had to be picked. Gravy plopped an empty wine bottle down in the middle of the stage. “First girl ta pick this up without usin’ her hands or mouth is the winner.” Resounding cheers from the crowd.

Spike spat in disgust. “That’s it! I’ve seen too much.”

“And I haven’t seen enough. What elks did I miss?” Wally suddenly seemed less comatose.

“Come on Casey. I’m not watching any more of this.”

Spike covered her eyes and hauled her away amid her protests. “ . . . But I want to see her pick up the bottle with her knees!”

“She’s not going to use her knees. Come on!”

There was relentless cheering as the first girl had no problem engulfing the neck of the bottle and hoisting it off the stage. The second girl bowed out and the winner was crowned. “All right let’s hear it for Wild Wendy.” There was rousing approval.

Doc nudged Wally. “That’s the baked potato girl I was telling you about. Apparently she’s gifted at both ends.”

Gravy continued. “And now for the guys and the, Short arm competition.”

Wally inquired, “You suppose they’re going to arm wrestle Short-arm?”

“We can only hope,” Bronson added. Suddenly the bikers on stage, including Gravy and Short-arm, were unbuckling and dropping their pants. “So one of Short-arm’s legs is a prosthetic? That explains the limp.”

“Yeah, what about the other two?”

“Holy shit! Well I’m not sure he’s aptly named,” Doc said, astonished at Short-arm’s girth. In fact we all were.

“I’m not sure the fake leg’s the cause of his limp guys. Look at that thing! I now see why Short-arm’s the leader of their club.”

“I thought it was always the guy with the biggest knife, Space?”

“Now, you know better, Wally.”

I summed up in disbelief. “Wow! That thing probably has its own zip code?”

After much screaming and hollering, Short-arm was once again declared the winner of his namesake competition. He took off his prosthetic leg and swung it around over his head in triumph, as he jumped up and down on his good leg, which made his exposed penis flop around like a bungee jumping apple. A few of the half-naked girls from the Wet T-shirt contest tried to grab it. One of them even had a tape-measure. He beat them back with swings of his leg.

Gravy was back on the microphone. “Congras-tula-lations to Short-arm who seems to win every year and now let’s get back to more moo-sic.” However, performing was impossible as far as Badd Kredytz were concerned. Their equipment lay in shambles. Only their P.A. still worked properly. The drums were askew and irreparably damaged. The keyboard was off its stand and lay face down with a few white, busted teeth peeking out. The road crew had taken the stage, as the bikers slowly cleared out of the war zone, and began to delicately collect the trashed gear like forensic scientists. There was no way they could continue, and even if they could, they would have a hard time convincing Vier to get on stage again in front of this crowd. No. There would be no more Deep Purple. No more Lynard Skynard and Motley Crue. No John Cougar and no Steppenwolf. What were we going to do? We didn’t have enough material to finish the night on our own. We were all convinced, there was only so much Flock of Seguls these bikers would tolerate before they rushed the stage and destroyed it much as they had done to Badd Kredytz, except this time with malice and foresight.

It was here Space came up with the bright idea we should start playing songs we hadn’t even rehearsed. Stuff like, Born to be Wild. Doc and Wally knew it from their duo days, and coached everyone else through some minor key changes. I was stuck on keyboards while Doc played bass. Despite what my Granny may have thought, keyboards were not an instrument for me to fake my way through a song I’d never played. I began to protest I was being put in a precarious position.

“Oh, Je-sus Sparky, just hold down an E triad chord, and punch it in the verses. I’m sure it’s preferable to getting your ass kicked?”

Doc had me there. “And when I get to the chorus?”

“You’ll think of something.”

“You’re a great help as usual Doc. But I don’t think— ”

“— Sparky look at these bikers. They’re drunk. They don’t care how much time we’ve had to rehearse. They just want to hear noise.”

Still wearing my best sulky face I relented and we took to the stage. Wally plunked himself down lethargically on a stool as the rest of us started into the song. I played my ‘E’ right on cue and in the chorus I shut the sound off completely and jumped around like a madman. Occasionally I’d grimace and wiggle my cord, smacking the side of the amp as if I was having trouble with the sound. Hey, It must have been damaged in the short-arm competition? The bikers went crazy. Doc had been right. They just wanted noise. We played the extended twenty minute version of, Born to be Wild, convincing our audience it was from a rare bootleg recorded live at the 72' Harley convention. They ate it up and we actually repeated the song later in the night with a middle section containing fragments of verses from as many biker anthems Doc could think of.

Badd Kredytz left in their bus somewhere in the middle of our set and their road crew were packed and gone before we finished the night. As we played on, the crowd slowly dispersed. Many passed out, or went on to pursue more pleasurable activities. By the time we ended the night, we were left with the glow of the coming dawn out of the east and the smouldering remnants of two bonfires still smoking at midfield. There was a couple huddled together beneath a blanket on a nearby picnic table. I was convinced they were sleeping sitting up, much the same way Wally now slumbered against his amp on stage. A lone biker, his beard singed at the ends and missing the right pant leg of his dungarees, -must have been ripped from him at some point in the night, -stood with a beer in his hand to the left of the stage. He was surrounded by a minefield of debris and was standing with half-lidded, bloodshot eyes gazing in our direction. He swayed from side to side until he simply fell forward, face first into the dirt. We didn’t even finish the song we were playing. Space relayed his usual words of. “Thanks for coming. See you again soon,” and “Goodnight!” We were done. Silence finally. The camp was asleep.

Quickly we packed up our personal instruments and placed them next to the Ghost for loading. It was possibly, the quickest we’d ever torn down and loaded except for Nasty Tree. Exhausted we piled into the truck and bade farewell to the Biker Boogie. All I could think of was getting back to Buddy Bob’s and crawling into bed- no shower- no food. I wasn’t even going to take my clothes off, just bed, and soft, warm, inviting sleep, carving a path into slumber-land.

I must have slept most of the way back to the hotel because it seemed instantaneous from my thoughts of bed to the reality of it. As I climbed in and nestled between the sheets in an ultimate surrender to comfort, Doc sat on the edge of his bed facing me. “Sparky I need to talk to you.”

“Can’t it wait? I’m tired Doc. I just want to sleep forever.” I pulled the covers up and over my head.

“It’s important. I need to tell you what I saw tonight. I can’t sleep until I get this off my chest. It’s very disturbing.”

“Ugh . . . What’s so urgent Doc?” I pulled back a corner of a sheet and peered out at him with one eye.

He returned my gaze through the dim light of morning, a look of angst spread across his face. “I need to talk to you about Space and what he did.”

Saturday, April 14, 2007

This week brought to you by the letter "B"

B-Leaf

B- is for Blubbering: It’s almost been a week, yet I’m still hearing the whining from Leaf fans on how they were screwed by the New Jersey Devils who elected to not play star goaltender Martin Brodeur.

B- is for Brodeur: Instead the devils played their backup in the last game of the season against the New York Islanders who happened to need a win to climb past the Leafs into the final playoff spot.

B- is for B-game: However, had the Leafs brought their A- game to the Island the previous Thursday, they wouldn’t have had to watch last Sunday’s contest amid chewed finger nails. It wouldn’t have been an issue.

B- is for Buffalo: Neither would it have been when a few weeks earlier, the boys in blue, blew by blowing a 4-1 third period lead in the unholiest of holes- Buffalo.

B- is for Bower: In fact the only way Toronto is going to get a Stanley Cup ring in the foreseeable future is to find Johnny Bower’s when he loses it again in a Tim Horton’s near you.

B- is for Boo-hoo-hoo: So cry on Leaf nation and dare to dream of next year. Remember you’ll have to do it from the golf course. Oh yeah. B- is for Ball-washer.


Liver and onions with kidney pie Bueller? Anyone?

The Ontario government is considering following B.C. by paying $5,000 to people who are willing to be living donors and handing over their livers and kidneys. Nay sayers predict the implementation of such a plan will target the poor.

I tend to agree. I mean five grand?- There’s a couple of cartons of cigarettes, a case of beer, half a tank of gas, and a week’s worth of lottery tickets.

Although it's a good thing the government don't want hearts. We'd have to take the the Toronto Maple Leafs off the list.......*snap*


Bold move from down-under

After the tragic death of six Canadian soldiers this week in Afghanistan, Australia showed its support by vowing to double it’s forces to help against the Taliban.

The guy left Sydney on Thursday and should arrive in Afghanistan today.

Budget Air

RyanAir touted as the Walmart of Europe is coming here...eventually. With international destinations for as low as $14 bucks a ticket.

Of course you'll probably have to stand and it will be next to sweaty fat guys and crates of chickens, but none the less--- $14.00! Wow! I bet my son would still rather have the pack of cigarettes?

Babies for sale?

A guy has been approaching nannies at a park in Encino and asking if they would be willing to sell the babies they are looking after. So far no one has complied.

I'm sure police fear it’s only a matter of time before he tries to steal a child, or God forbid, tries to eat one. I've seen his picture and he looks like a man who would dress up as a dingo.

Butch Bomber

A female suicide bomber left 20 people dead in Iraq after detonating a bomb on Tuesday. Now she's off to see Allah and those 72 virgins.

Does that mean she was a lesbian? How long before the porn industry manipulates this into a feature? “Lauren of the Labia”.

Blight of the Imus

Don Imus was let go by CBS this week for his inappropriate comments.

Haven’t we heard enough about that nappy-headed ho?

Black Rappers 1 Imus 0- no overtime needed.


Blowing less smoke

New research shows people who are trying to quit smoking should eat more cheese and broccoli as it helps to make the taste of cigarettes less desirable.

I don’t care what they say, you won’t get my kid on that flight to Europe.
Personally, you want to quit smoking? Eat dog shit until you do. I can guarantee you’ll quit after a few days. Then you can spend your money on better things....like mouthwash.


cross posted on Mitchieville

Friday, April 13, 2007

Unlucky new release this week

Friday the 13th. You should have stayed in bed, or road your hog to Port Dover. How can it get any worse? Oh yeah! I recommend: Crying Demons.....It just got worse.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

They sure didn't make toys like this when I was a kid #4



Just don't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fu Man Tuesday

My buddy Bob Noxious sent me this, he thought it was hilarious. So I watched it and I thought it was hilarious. Now it's your turn to watch 500 Impressions (in 2 Minutes)

Monday, April 09, 2007

They sure didn't make toys like this when I was a kid #3



Dora needs an orgasm. Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

SIS# 21

the limits of respectability
chapter twenty-one - blueberry, blueberry



Journal entry- Day 33- Oh this is just great! Badd Kredytz, the band I sent to Nasty Tree for an inescapable ass kicking, are performing with us at the Biker Boogie tonight. Benton D. Struction and the boys will be bent on my destruction when they find out it’s me playing in the other band. How do I get myself into these situations? But more importantly, how do I now get myself out?

Currently, Doc and I stood behind the protective covering of an old rounded trailer. There was a rusted propane tank on the front, and the hitch was still attached to the pick-up truck that had hauled it in. The tires were mud-caked and slightly sunken into the earth. There were several stickers, sun bleached and peeling, adorning the bumper: “Don’t come a knockin’ if this trailer’s rockin,” and “This trailer climbed Mt. Washington,” that sort-of-thing. It gave us shelter from the biting wind, but more importantly for me, it hid my face from view.

“Doc, help me. What do I do? I’m totally screwed. Shit! Me and my big mouth. Badd Kredytz are going to want to carve me a new asshole- tear my heart out and have it for lunch.”

“Sparky I’d be more worried about those overweight biker-chicks at sound-check, who said, they were going to drill our brains out tonight and I don’t get the feeling it’s with electrical tools.”

Wally grunted from a nearby tree stump where he gnawed on a barbequed turkey leg “I’m not worried.”

“You should be Wally. I swear I saw one of them swallow a baked potato–whole. Although, knowing you, that’s probably turning you on?”

“This is serious Doc. I’m shitting myself.”

“Stop it, Sparky. You’ll give yourself worms, or split your spleen.” Doc’s meager attempts to cheer me up weren’t helping. Neither was the constant reverberating hum of Harley’s whipping back and forth across the field behind me like angry bees. They towed topless women on sleds. Some of the girls were whipping empty beer cans at one another as they passed, in a modern version of a medieval joust. There was much whooping and hollering. Although the frivolity was full throttle, I felt isolated from their mirth.

Doc glanced at the biker activity. “Don’t you think it’s a little cold for those women to be riding behind those bikes without tops on?”

“Yeah just look at all those nipples,” Wally lamented, as he tore off another piece of turkey. “Space will be out there soon. I just know it. Rackin’ up the Chub points.”

“I hope they run him over.”

“Doc! Wally! Can we forget about Space and Chubs for a moment? I’m in a real bind and could use some input. Christ! My horoscope probably warned me not to get out of bed today. 'There is a strong possibility you will die at the hands of big-haired rock star wannabees'.”

“Sparky! Enough already. Look at the breasts. You’ll feel better.”

Wally wiped his face on his sleeve. “Hey! What do you do if you’re successful, and your horoscope tells you, ‘you need to change direction’?”

Doc Barlow shot Wally a look and shook his head in disgust.

“Just wondering, Doc?”

“Don’t worry Wally. You won’t have to concern yourself with ever being successful, or ever cleaning the grease off your sleeve, for that matter.”

Wires and Bronson approached Barlow, Wally and I.

“Bronson lend me the Ninja outfit you brought with you. I need a disguise,” I pleaded, as I continued my freak-out.

“Sparky, you’ll look like an idiot on stage wearing it,” Doc groused.

“It’s too small for you anyway Sparky,” Bronson added.

“I don’t care. I need something! I was just getting used to the idea of living my life.”

“Just when you think it’s all over and you don’t have to deal with it, Nasty Tree returns to bite you in the ass.” Wires puffed on a cigarette and blinked through the smoke, “They’re here Sparky. Badd Kredytz just pulled into the compound.”

“Christ! Doc hide me!” I stepped behind Barlow, grabbing his coat while I peeked over his shoulder.

“What did I say about this band’s ability to find trouble?”

“You know what, Wires? 'I told you so', isn’t exactly the easiest thing for me to swallow right now.”

Wires tossed me a baseball cap, sunglasses and a scarf, “Here,” he said. “Wear this tonight and keep your distance. You’ll be fine.”

I thanked Wires profusely and quickly ornamented myself with the camouflage.

“You look like Space did back in— ”

“— Don’t say it! I’ve had quite enough of that place. Thank you very much.”

“Look on the bright side Sparky. It’s not so far to drop from a trailer window.”

“Very funny Doc.”

Wires spoke. “You only have to worry about tonight. Space had the whole week. Just act cool and nothing will happen. Oh, and don’t let Wally do your laundry.”

I mumbled through the laughter. “You guys are so compassionate.” An empty, crushed, beer can tumbled into our little group, and landed at my feet.

Doc spoke. “I’d try not to take that as a sign, Sparky.” He slapped me on the back reassuringly.

I stayed out of sight until the twilight took the last of the day and the mosquito-like buzz of ghostly motorbikes continued their dance, primally circling two newly lit crackling bonfires in the center of the field. The area in front of the stage had filled in nicely with the constant arrival of bikers throughout the afternoon, and I felt it was reasonably safe to make my way from hiding. Badd Kredytz had set up and conducted a sound-check. They were currently nowhere to be seen. Perhaps in their bus applying their make-up and teasing their hair for their performance? I now found myself at our sound console, pulling my scarf tight around my neck and face. I discovered Wires there, with a logic probe testing a few cables. “What’s the word, Wires?”

“We do the first set. They go on at ten.”

“You know what I mean?”

“Yeah, I talked with Kenny their sound guy. It was bad Sparky. Their drummer looks like a racoon with his two black eyes and busted nose. Benton still has his left hand bandaged and his arm in a sling and Vier Derhaus, you know him?”

“He’s their guitarist.”

“Kenny has to sing Vier’s backups from the soundboard because he has his mouth wired shut. They had to cancel their gig the following week just to heal a little, laid up in that bus of theirs. They got messed-up huge, and they’re pretty pissed about it.”

“Hey Wires, I’m the first to admit when my practical jokes go too far. But they had it coming to them, right? – They’re so full of themselves.” Wires just shrugged his shoulders. “Wires! Help me out. I need some justification here.”

“We won’t let you stand alone, that’s a given. But let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that. Besides Sparky, take comfort in the fact one band is always playing. The chance of a confrontation with them is highly unlikely even if they do realize who you are. We finish playing before them so we can get you out of here quickly, if need be.”

“I hope you’re right but I don’t feel comforted, Wires.”

Bronson came to the sound console and took his place behind the light board. Spike was close behind grumbling as usual. “When do we go on?”

Wires looked at his watch. “Ten minutes, give or take.”

“I don’t think Wally’s going to make it that long.” He pointed to our rhythm guitarist next to the stage. Wally was pacing in tight circles. Doc was trying to catch him to calm him down.

“Did he have a reaction to the turkey legs?” I inquired. “I mean, man, he ate four of them.”

“No. He took more of those drugs Short-arm gave us, and he’s hyper as hell. He’s tried to hump my wife three times. He’s lucky I didn’t break his leg so he could limp around with that damn biker.”

“Easy Spike. It’s Wally. He doesn’t mean any harm, I’m sure,” Wires comforted.

I was starting to lose it again. “Wires, what were you saying about not bringing attention to myself? We don’t need this.– I don’t need this!”

“Yeah,” Bronson said. “That boy looks like he could run rectangles in a round room.”

“Don’t panic, Sparky.”

“I...am . . . not . . . panicking!” I said, beginning to hyperventilate. I’d never understood the mentality, the whole drug culture thing. I had no desire to partake of its industry. Sure, I had smoked the odd dube with band-mates and freebies at parties, but never did I develop a full-blown addiction by using the harder stuff. My father had warned me of the side affects of drugs. He told me, he’d once, taken a toke of the wicked weed with a fellow worker one night after his
job. The two were going out for a drink and sparked one up. As my father told it in his thick Scottish slur, he got quite stoned and paranoid. “When I got oout the car, I couldne feel my legs boy. I was taking giant steps doone the sidewalk. It was horrible my son. I looked like a was marchin’ in the Third Reich. Everyone was lookin’ at me. Bloody Nazis! Dinne’ you go near it. Ya hear me!”– and like I said, for the most part, I never did. But now, Wally was high on whatever it was Short-arm had given him, drawing attention to himself and ostensibly to me. Drugs, it would seem, would be my undoing, one way or another.

Space met us at the side of the stage as we tried to hold our guitarist still. “Everyone ready?...What the hell is wrong with Wally?”

“Took too many of Short-arm’s magic beans,” Doc offered.

“Damn it Wally! Those were for everyone later on tonight. How many did you take?”
“Looks like all of them,” Spike growled. He held up an empty roll of duct-tape and peered through the circle of it.

Wally hopped up and down nervously and mouthed the words, “Blueberry,” over and over.

“Je-sus! He’s in 3/4 time,” Doc laughed. Wally used the word blueberry, to correct his metre when we switched to time signatures involving the waltz-like rhythms.

“Great Doc, except we’re not playing anything in 3/4. Get him on stage and plug him in. — Wires if he’s fucking up, shut him down and pull him out of the mix.”

Wires blinked and drew on his cigarette. He nodded knowingly and returned to the mixing board, leaving behind a trail of smoke. He took his place alongside Bronson as we shuffled Wally onto the stage. “Blueberry, blueberry, blueberry . . .”

“Christ Doc! Listen to him. If I wasn’t so worried about getting my ass kicked, I’d be hungry.”

We plugged him in and took our places, as the intro tape played, and the clamor from the crowd increased to a boisterous din. We started into our first song, Rebel Yell, by Billy Idol, a song I sang lead on. Wally was still hopping up and down like a bird. He was moving all over the stage. He hopped by me on his way to Doc’s keyboards. “Blueberry, blueberry, blueberry.” He was up on the drum riser. He was behind Spike. He even left the stage at one point, and reemerged as he climbed back on from the front. His guitar was hanging off his waist
and scraped against the wood. Three of his strings had snapped and now flailed around wildly. Still Wally’s mouth flapped away. “Blueberry, blueberry, blueberry . . .”

I yelled at Doc, during the middle-eight of the song. “Good thing he’s got a wireless!” Through the scarf my words were garbled and Doc yelled back. “You’ll have to hold your piss til after the set Sparky!”

Wally was back on stage hopping around like a madman. He approached the microphone and began singing into it. “Blueberry, blueberry, blueberry . . . ” The audience looked at him confused. Some glanced at one another and twisted their faces as Wally continued. “Blueberry!...”

Doc yelled. “Sparky, do something! Get him off the microphone!”

I ran to the front of the stage and shoved Wally out of the way as I sang the chorus. “In the midnight hour she cried more, more, more . . . ” I could hear Wally coming back at me from behind. “Blueberry!...”
“With a rebel yell hugh!...’” He knocked my baseball hat off with the stock of his guitar and pulled the scarf right off my face as he bumped me aside and continued to blabber, “Blueberry,” through the P.A. system. Everyone was looking at this crazy buffoon running amuck and butchering Billy Idol. They must have been wondering what kind of half-baked band Gravy had hired. Everyone, that is, except Badd Kredytz. They were watching all transpire from their side of the stage, and were now focused squarely on my naked face. First, with realization and then with anger. It was an anger tinted with a seed of vengeance.

The song came to a merciful end and I took the opportunity to reapply my disguise, but it was too late. The jig was up. I had been spotted and was in a whole world of hurt. Bronson was at the side of the stage and grabbed Wally as he still hopped up and down. “Wally the song is over.”

“Blueberry, blueberry, blueberry . . .” He began to giggle hideously. He threw his head back and howled. “Bluowwweberry!”

Space hissed. “Get him off and sober his ass up! We’ll finish this set without him.” He then barked out songs Wally’s parts were not essential to, and we plugged on like true professionals. Which is hard to do, especially when people are looking at you, as they smack their fists into open palms. Midway through the set they disappeared altogether and I felt the terror rise inside, afraid they’d be waiting for me at the conclusion of our performance, lurching out of some dark shadow before I could make my escape.

At the sets conclusion, Wires and Bronson met me at the side of the stage. “Sparky, you better wait here for Badd Kedytz to start playing before you leave the stage.”

“Yeah, I know Wires, they recognized me. It’s bad.”

“It’s worse Sparky. I went back by the first bonfire to check out the sound, and I overheard the bass player, keyboardist, and Benton talking about you. They’re coming after you in their second set.”

“But they’ll be playing, Wires, how’s that possible?” I looked at Bronson with eyes of fear. “How’s that possible? Wires you said don’t worry. Even if they knew! Shit!”

“Apparently Vier has a long guitar solo planned, and the rest of the band is going to come looking for you during it.”

I put my face in my hands. “Just bludgeon me now Bronson. Put me out of my misery.” Bronson clasped my shoulder in a show of support as I sniveled. “That’s it Wires. I have to leave right now. Doc can play bass the rest of the night.”

“That’s not an option. Who’s going to play keyboards? We’re already without Wally. Do you know how extremely pissed Space will be if he has to forfeit the money from tonight’s gig? I like you Sparky. I don’t want to be driving you to the bus station to see you go. We’ll deal with this somehow. We’ve got a body guard named Bronson. Hell, we’ll even tell Spike they were looking at Casey or called him Jeremy. There’s plenty we can do. Don’t worry.”

“Ok guys. I trust you. I can do this. I just have to calm- myself- down.”

As a precautionary measure, I made sure I was on stage before Badd Kredytz finished their last song of their first set. It was, Judas Priest’s, You Got Another Thing Coming. A song Benton sang specifically to me, as he glanced malevolently in my direction. He held his slung bandaged arm up and pointed to it. “See what you did to me fucker! You’ll get yours.’” I felt sick to my stomach, the way you do, when you know you are going to face the music for something you’ve done wrong. That horrible pit deep inside, churning, and eating away at your courage as you approach the inescapable.

At the end of our second set I was emotionally drained, and wondered how I was going to get through the night, let alone Badd Kredytz’ next set. Maybe I could run and hide somewhere before Vier started into his solo?

His real name was Claude Renmark. But like Spike, he didn’t feel his name, “dragged balls on cement.” So he changed it to Vier Derhaus, which in German means, four the hate. He’d been the fourth child born into the family and felt Vier, was a suitable moniker as well as a salute to his German heritage. His look was very gothic, long, straight, black hair down to his ass, dressed always in black with tons of chains and crosses hanging about his neck. He was heavy on the black eye liner, lipstick to accentuate his, rock star pout, and black nail polish to complete the look. As much as Benton was an asshole, Vier was a real wad. He’d kept very much to himself when I’d met him at the audition and seem to complain about the littlest things. Despite his tough, demonic exterior, he was a real momma’s boy.

I knew all about Vier Derhaus’ trademark guitar solo. I’d never witnessed it, but I knew it involved him, at some point, using an electric drill across the pickups to give his guitar a unique sound. They told me the audience always went wild when he did it.

Badd Kredytz took the stage to begin their second set and Benton approached the microphone. This was my chance. Ready for a little game of a hide and seek guys? Just see if you can find me by the time you get to Viers’ solo?

Benton spoke. “All right! Legions of bikers give it up for Vier! Derhaus!”

Vier held his guitar in one hand and an electric drill aloft in the other.

NO! NO! NO! This is too soon. You don’t start a set off with a solo! I’m fucked!

Vier took center-stage and began to wail away on his guitar as he brought the drill close to the pickups creating a grinding, humming whine. The rest off the band put down their instruments and raced off stage as they were joined by two of their road crew.

They were coming for me!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

News and reviews for Gentiles and Jews

With Easter and Passover once again fighting for supremacy I thought I should structure this week's post around the two holidays. I sifted through all the events, including the one's I didn't post last week, and found most of the material- while plentiful- lacking in biblical reference. Therefore you may read on and the Easter related material will be marked with an asterisk.

But what to post?

Man arrested for drunk driving blames wife for use of vibrator in the passenger seat?

I only want to know about it if the device takes D batteries.

Walmart abandons bid to set up store in Manhattan?

Other than, "Where will the homeless work now?" Boring!

Bid on lunch with Richard Gere at Celebrity Buzz Auctions?

Why would anyone want to have lunch with someone who smells of gerbil?

Canadian Natives lumped in with terrorists in new army manual?

Who's been watching too many John Wayne movies?

*France is to hand over to Egypt a lock of hair said to belong to the mummy of Ramses II that was put on sale on the Internet last year.

Wasn't that the guy played by bald actor Yul Brenner in the Ten Commandments? Christ! they're not pubes....are they?

Alanis does "My Hump" parody.

OK, now you have my attention. I'll at least check this out.


Jesus! It's more Jesus controversy

*After the chocolate Jesus fiasco of 01/04/07 attention is once again on an artist using religion for artistic purposes.

The exhibit, titled "Blessing," shows Democratic White House hopeful Barak Obama cloaked in white and red robes with a neon halo, is on display at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


What's next a Jesus pinata? Or worse a Hillary Clinton one?
You are the 200,000 visitor to Strangedaze and you win a new car

Well, not really, but CTV is blaming Farley Flex, the music producer and Canadian Idol judge, for a mishap at Sunday night's Juno awards in which a Saskatoon couple was falsely told they had won a convertible sports car.

During pre-show festivities at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Mr. Flex called out two upper-level seat numbers to the audience of more than 13,000 people. He said the people in those seats had won the red Pontiac Solstice that was parked down by the stage.

The couple are currently taking legal action.

For all non Canadians reading this: The Juno's are Canada's version of the Grammy Awards.

For all Canadians reading this: The Juno's are Canada's version of the Grammy Awards.

In fact, this year's ratings were so low "Corner Gas" did better numbers.

For all non Canadians reading this: "Corner Gas" is the only Canadian sitcom now that the "Beachcombers" and "The King of Kensington" are no longer on the air.

For all Canadians reading this: "Corner Gas" is where you get fuel for your vehicle at a buck a litre.


Beam yourself up Scotty

Star Trek actor James Doohan, who played the engineer Scotty in the original TV series, will now have his remains blasted into space in October.
The actor's ashes were supposed to be sent into orbit last year, but the flight was delayed as tests were carried out on the rocket.
Doohan died of Alzheimer's disease and pneumonia in July 2005, aged 85.
His family will hold a service on the day of the rocket's launch for fans to pay tribute to him.

The actor's ashes will be sent into space along with the remains of around 100 other people, including astronaut Gordon Cooper, who first went to space in 1963.
After a short flight, the rocket will return to Earth, with a subsequent launch putting Doohan's remains into orbit in December or January.
They will remain there for several years, after which they will drop back towards Earth.

Anyone wishing to take out insurance for fear they might be hit with Scotty debris should get in line now.

Feeling a little testy

An Air Force veteran has filed a federal claim after an operation at a Veterans Administration hospital in which a healthy testicle was removed instead of a potentially cancerous one.

Benjamin Houghton, 47, was to have had his left testicle removed June 14 at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center because there was a chance it could harbor cancer cells.

But doctors mistakenly removed the right testicle. He still hasn’t had the other testicle removed.

But when they finally do, how long before this guy wimps out on something and is accused of having no balls?

I want to drive the Zamboni

For Canadians, the Zamboni is a never-ending source of amusement and amazement. Like the time one ran out of gas during a World Hockey Association game and had to be hauled away like a beached whale. Or the night one crashed through the ice at a WHA game while Celine Dion sang, My Heart Will Go On.

But this story is too much.

According to MSNBC, a world leader in lengthy acronyms, a 64-year-old New Jersey man has been let off the hook for driving a Zamboni while intoxicated. That's right: some guy got loaded then climbed behind the wheel of a multi-ton ice-resurfacing machine and hit the gas pedal.

Fortunately, he stayed inside the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown, N.J., likely because he couldn't find the exit. Still, John Peragallo drove recklessly around the rink and nearly crashed into the boards while hitting a top speed of … whatever it is a Zamboni can muster.

I'll try to find out what those babies will do on the highway and miles to the gallon and get back to you on it.

*Hush little baby

A Swedish couple has run into trouble with authorities for trying to name their baby Metallica.
Michael and Karolina Tomaro are locked in a court battle with the country's National Tax Authority about naming their daughter after the rock band.
The six-month-old has been baptised Metallica, but tax officials have dubbed the name "inappropriate".
Under Swedish law, both first names and surnames need to win the approval of authorities before they can be used.
Offensive, unsuitable or inappropriate names, as well as those that could "cause discomfort for the one using it" cannot be used.

Good thing I don’t live in Sweden otherwise my son would have never been named "Pisshead".

*Cross posted on Mitchieville