« Punching Pilate. | Main | Give the People What They Want. »

Snobs vs. Slobs.

"Kneel before Zod." -- Mutant Tall Biker, ruining Tom's Mother's Day meal
"I’m giving you $2.75 for you to fill a mug!" -- Tom, baffled that Evan isn't giving him a free drink
"Count your parents' money, Richie Rich." -- BoboKick, bringing it to Shael
"That’s the problem with open phone Tuesday -- it’s open." -- Tom, after a second helping of Loomis
"I’ll have the steak au poivre, please." -- Orson Welles, circa 1975
"You don’t have too many ideas tonight, do you?" -- Seth, boldly questioning Tom's movie building skills
"There’s very little threshing done in modern Hong Kong." -- Josh, taking a break from promoting his travel book to drop a little tidbit
"DJs are human, too." -- Tom, taking a stand against stalkers
"You play basketball?" – Paycheck’s high school classmates
"Come on, nerds. Give me a break. There’s only so much of The Kid to go around." -- Tom, grappling with high school fame
"Oh, Dirt Boy. It's called dignity, find some." -- Tom on Lodi's finest

[TBSOWFMU - 5/16/06 / Podmirth [subscribers = 17; still in "serious jeopardy"] / Jingle Jams / Myspace / Headquarters]

Keene Brothers - "Heaven's Gate"

( Click here to buy Blues And Boogie Shoes) [Douchefork gives the album a 6.3 in one of their tossed-off reviews that reads like something out of The Patriot Press.]

El Madmo - "Carlo"

( Click here for more information on El Madmo)

Sonic Youth - "Eyeliner"

( Click here to buy the "Helen Lundeburg"/"Eyeliner" 7") [Fork likes this one.]

Saturday Looks Good To Me - "The Girl's Distracted (First Version)"

( Click here to buy Sound On Sound)

Jucifer - "Fight Song"

( Click here to buy I Name You Destroyer)

Annotated highlights of the show that roams as free as a valence electron:

- Tom addresses (starts at 18:19) some e-mails inquiring about the escalating high costs (now up to $510/call received) for the exclusive Best Show phone number. Tom explains that he set up a high-optic cable that goes through the floor of the WFMU building right up into “Old Faithful” -- the Audioarts Engineering R60 mixing board. If Tom gives the R60 a friendly tap, it will malfunction.

- Evan from sunny Providence, RI., checks in (starts at 25:32) to support the podcast (he was the third subscriber out of 17), which he's been promoting to friends and family. He got his younger twin sisters to sign up, but has yet to check back with them for a review. They share his sensibilities and he’s competent (mush mouth on the radio!) that they will dig it. He does confirm that an L.A.-based friend subscribed and enjoyed it. An evening off is giving Evan a rare live taste of the show since he's usually bartending, to go along with his work for a catering company, a furniture company, and his cartooning. His work will be published this summer in the Project Romantic compilation. Tom promises to plug it to help ease him out of the food industry and into his dream: full-time doodling.

The discussion shifts to bar-patron etiquette, and Tom supports a tip-early approach. Evan agrees, and recommends that customers be entertaining and not expect the same antics from their bartender. Tom initiates a role-play scenario to illuminate the issues:

Players: Customer (Tom Scharpling) Bartender (Evan from Providence)

Bartender: Hey! What can I getcha this evening?

Customer: I’d like two uh … do you have Michelob Genuine Golden Draft?

Bartender: Uh, Michelob Geniune Golden Draft? Of course! On tap. Do you want a pint or a bottle?

Customer: What do you have on tap tonight, barkeep?

Bartender: Tonight we have Heineken, we have uh …

Customer: Mmmmmmmmm.

Bartender: We have Newcastle, Guinness…

Customer: Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Bartender: Mmm Hmm. Uh, we’ve got uh, we’ve got uh uh… let’s see -- Sam Adams

Customer: I’m gonna get a Newcastle and a Sam Adams, please.

Bartender: Ok, two pints, coming right up. [Makes the dispensing sound after Tom's prompting. Sounded a bit more like he was applying whipped cream to these ears, but it was passable, especially within an improv scene. ] There you are.

Customer: How much will that be?

Bartender: That’ll be … let’s see here … uh, $8.25

Customer: $8.25? Uh, here’s $10, keep the change.

Bartender: Well thank you very much!

Tom asks Evan what he’s looking for tip-wise, and he said $1/drink is pretty generous in most places, so Tom’s $10 is acceptable. Tom wonders if he should get change and toss him a quarter, but then decides that he’s no cheap skate and would give him $11 for this drink order.

30 MINUTES LATER

Customer: Yeah, I’ll get two more of those, please.

Bartender: Right, uh Sam and a Newcastle coming right up.

[The Customer gives the Bartender $10]

20 MINUTES LATER

[At this point, Tom is disheveled and has a bloody nose from getting into a drunken fight with another customer over the merits of TVT-era GBV.]

Customer: Yeah, two more.

Bartender: Uh huh.

Tom asks Evan when it happens, Evan’s not sure what he’s talking about and Tom reveals: FREE DRINK! Evan disqualifies Tom from free drink status, saying that he needed to slip him a $5 earlier in the night. Tom believes this would simply be an act of pre-payment. Tom points out that he’s not ordering mixed drinks that require 30 minutes of shaking and equates the non-strenuous work required to fill his order to moving a gear shift. Evan says that if Tom had remained near the bar and chatted him up, the personal connection could have yielded a freebie. Tom prefers to stay out of the barkeep's way and not bore him. Loyal, frequent patronage could also help, but Evan interpreted the scenario as being Tom’s first visit to his bar. Evan admits to being tight with the lever, but will often put his own money in for friends' drinks. His biggest tip ever was $20 on a $4 tab.

Evan advocates always tipping bartenders, waiters, waitresses, etc. because they tend to get shafted more than they hit a big tip. Tom thinks people should also tip their DJ. He then tells Evan that in the FOT Chat, Klak cited an unwritten law in NYC stipulating that the fourth drink is free. They don’t roll that way in Rhode Island and Tom speculates that Evan serves mostly farmers. Evan says that he tends bar in a “fine dining” establishment with customers who can easily afford their drinks. Tom thinks that sounds like he's playing the Snobs vs. Slobs card, and BoboKick wants Evan to get a new job.

kneel_before_me.JPG

- Tom talks (starts at 38:31) about his rough week that resulted from his Mother's Day being ruined. Tom correctly notes that the beauty of Mother's Day is that you eat where mommy wants, so the Scharplings were eating at Bennett’s “pizzeria” (pronounced with nice Italian flair by Tom), which is the currently-approved nomenclature, replacing the outdated yet-- in my opinion -- preferable “pizza parlor”. A parlor! For pizza! My all-time fave name for a pizza-based restaurant is a hybrid once coined by my grandfather while in his mid-70s, placing his first-ever phone-based order for a pie. His first words were: "Hello, is this the pizzerino?" This caused an eruption of laughter from observers, which he did not appreciate one bit.

So they were eating a pizza pie at the pizzeria (someone at the table had a calzone; a bevy of unruly neices were having a grand 'ol time) and then it started. All of a sudden, people on the sidewalk were nervously shuffling out of the way of a three-man tall bike gang who had invaded New Jersey. Tom proposed a Mother’s Day truce, but one of the bikers (the one who knocked Tom unconscious in the abandoned Two Guys resulting in his waking up in front of Northsix) wanted to proceed with the battle despite the holiday.

Tom agrees and does the requisite stretching exercises to avoid blowing out his back fighting the goofballs. One of the guys had the familiar “Bike Culture Not For Sale” sign on his bike with a Bush/Cheney sticker underneath. Tom thought these guys were radicals, but they apparently support the status quo and lean right. Tom was fully stretched, cracked his fingers, and squared off in the middle of the street. He picked up a 2 x 4 to prepare for their charge, and he whacked the first guy in the Adam’s apple, knocking him off his tall bike. A second guy pulled a sawed-off shotgun from underneath his cheap leather jacket. Tom tried to calm them down (“Come on, guys. No gunplay”) and suggested that they settle it like grown-ups. The gunmen informed Tom that he wasn’t a grown-up and did not care that Tom’s family was witnessing the attack. He cocked the sliding barrel and told Tom to get down on the ground and eat curbside gravel. This was not just a cool catchphrase -- it was a legit culinary directive. Tom ate a couple of handfuls of gravels and began crying. They laughed at him.

Tom thought they were done, but one guy pulled out a Molotov cocktail and threw it at the pizzeria. Another guy swiped Tom’s 2 by 4 and jammed it into the door so his family could not escape. The pizzeria is in flames, and Tom hears his family crying for help. One of the tall bikers started calling himself Zod, ordering Tom to kneel before him, and, presumably, shot lasers out of his eyes.

Tom’s family is screaming as the pizzeria continued to burn. Tom stopped eating gravel, got up, and said: “Bring it on, tall biker!” Tom then ripped his shirt like a pro wrestler and twiddled his fingers in the air suggesting he was ready for action. Tom boarded the vacant tall bike and peddled it right into the window of the pizzeria, shattering the glass. Scharplings came pouring out. The owner pulled a machine gun out of his cabinet and told the tall bikers to go back to Brooklyn. They retreated but said “This is not over”, so Tom remains a bit scared. Tom thanked the owner for scaring them away, but he’s concerned that he had an automatic weapon on hand.

Bottom line: Tom will not back down.

- Tom’s tall bike tale made Jerry (starts at 51:49) think of his friend who just bought a motorcycle. He’s worried about his friend and all motorcyclists, who he believes are maniacal adrenlin junkies only content if they are going 100+ mph. His friend, who has a penchant for joy riding from Clifton to Point Pleasant or that military place, is due for a court appearance and may lose his license for getting so many points this year. Tom wants him to call back to stage an intervention but it never materialized.

- Shael returns (starts at 53:56) for a round of Ask Tom, his last call coming about a month ago as part of the "Eccentric Emotional Moments" game. You may recall that a 13-year-old Shael was devestated by the "Presence" segment of the Japanese anime collection, Robot Carnival. Anyway, Shael recently moved to NYC to further his music career by finding some live gigs, and he came home to Middletown, NY., for Mother’s Day. He was recently informed of an opening in van for a big concert/party in Arkansas to honor the last show for his friend’s band. His dilemma is that he does not have enough cash to return to NYC for a week and then return to go on the jaunt, but he does not want to wait around for a week at his mother’s house. Shael has no friends there and is unenthused by the prospects of chain restaurants, but he's considering using ther time to work on sequencing some tracks on his computer. He’s easily distracted by the likes of house painters and also seems uninterested in reading.

Tom tells him that the quiet time is a gift, but Shael has some time management and motivational issues. He’s been stuck for two days with a pad of unfinished lyrics and half an instrumental, walking around the house humming to himself. Tom asks him if he’s soft-serve ice cream; Shael is flustered by the query and denies it. Tom tells him he can’t wait for The Perfect Storm of songwriting inspiration so he should splash some water on his face and get to work. Shael is not sure why he can’t get it together, denies being rich, and calls Tom "Sir", which is reasonable because at 24, Tom's a little more than twice his age. Tom's had enough and gives him a low-grade GOMP.

BoboKick, however, is just getting started, and launches an assault on the rich in the chat, suggesting that Shael owns a $2,000 Martin acoustic guitar but only knows three chords. Shael calls back to confirm that he does have a Martin guitar and claims to know more than three chords. Tom tells BoboKick to call in to settle the dispute and tells Shael to turn down his Hammacher Schlemmer radio, which he’s listening to in his kitchen while drinking some hot cocoa. Tom considers declaring BoboKick the victor before he calls as a result of Shael's soft-serve beverage choice. He reiterates that he’s far from rich, with his mother making just enough to get by as a social worker. Shael was an English major at SUNY-Oswego and is straddled with student loan debt.

Bobo calls (starts at 1:03) and Shael shares some details on his guitar: it’s a Martin Acoustic/Electric that he bought five years ago for $500, using half the money he made working as a counselor at a 4H children’s summer camp. Bobo thinks that’s fantastic, and Tom presses Shael on the number of chords that he knows. Shael says he knows “a lot” or “most of them”. BoboKick thinks Shael is getting defensive, which prompts Shael to provide the link to his web portal where people can sample his "largely electronic vocal pop" noodlings. Upon landing on his site, Tom notes his pricey Pac-Man cap and, seconds later, Shael’s British butler picks up the phone, unaware that it was in use. I couldn't quite make it out, but I think I heard the butler say something like: "Oh, dear. So sorry for the intrustion, Master Reilly. I hope the cocoa is up to your standards this evening. I added a few shavings of fresh nutmeg!" Later in the call, his chauffeur picked up to ask him if he was ready to go to "Sexapades". Shael angrily informed him that he did not need a ride there until midnight.

BoboKick recommends that Shael spend his free time working on his music instead lounging around his mother’s house and then trucking down to Arkansas for some kind of “beer blast”. He thinks that Shael should follow the work ethic of The Minutemen and the other bands in Michael Azzerad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life. Shael feels that he’s earned a little time off after a run of low-paying office temp jobs in NYC since his English degree has made him unemployable. BoboKick says that everyone’s been down that road, and Tom’s more convinced than ever that he’s soft-serve. Shael counters that he’s hard-packed custard and Tom GOMPs him, though he first accidentally GOMPs BoboKick, in what Chris L called “collateral GOMPage”.

Tom abruptly changes his opinion and puts himself in Shael’s corner, giving him a little burn, but he can’t be sure that his tunes don't contain any toilet talk, so he cuts it short.

- A guy calls (starts at 57:54) to tell Tom that the music WFMU play is both “ridiculous” and “awesome”. He wants to know what that guy Loomis was talking about earlier. This is Loomis. Tom gives him the floor and the best he can muster is to squeal “I get the floor?”, so he's quickly GOMPed. The call is also marred by the ding-a-ling of a open car door (nicely duplicated by Tom).

- The hottest game in the land is back (starts 1:08) and Stefanos from the Isle of Staten is up first:

Genre: Black Romantic Comedy

Director: Harmony Korine

Influences: Shallow Hal

Stars: John Cassavetes, Jon Lovitz, and John Goodman

A Tale of Three Johns

Plot: Goodman plays a woman -- not a guy in drag, an actual woman. She loves the handsome fella played by Cassavettes, but he ignores her. She hires a third-rate magician (Lovitz) to hypnotize Cassavettes into thinking that the female John Goodman is the most beautiful woman alive. As a result of the hypnsois, Cassavettes thinks Goodman is a total knockout. However, when Lovitz cast the spell on Cassavettes, it was in a mirrored room, so he also got hit by the love bug. For the rest of the film, Cassavettes and Lovitz compete for the affection of the female John Goodman. Hijinks ensue.

---

Genre: Musical Comedy about the Holocaust

Stars: Woody Allen, Adam Sandler, and Bjork

Co-directors: Sidney Lumet and Matthew Barney

New York City Must Die

Plot: Woody Allen is the corrupt mayor of New York, and people are getting a bit sick of him like late-period Ed Koch. Adam Sandler is a handsome young upstart running against Woody in the primary. Sandler is a family guy with no blemishes so Woody knows that he has to discover some kind of weak link to bring down his campaign and sway a close race. Woody finds out that while Sandler was studying abroad in college, a girl (Bjork) broke his young heart. Woody brings the girl to New York and pays her to distract Sandler and throw him off his game.

---

Genre: Buddy-Buddy Action w/ International Spy Twist

Stars: Orson Welles (Tom selects F For Fake era -- cape, hat, beard, fat, still charming, etc.), Rosie Perez (second straight appearance for Perez -- she also appeared in Ted Leo’s Days of Deceit), and Paul Reubens

Director: Ronald Neame

Influences: The Manchurian Candidate

Code Word: Albatross

Plot: It's 1957. Rock ‘n roll -- Elvis, et al -- is in full swing. Paul Reubens is a failing, Brill Building songwriter who can’t place any his songs. He's watching all the rock acts take off and he's coming up dry. Orson Welles is the head of the FBI, and he's worried about The Red Menace. His top Cold War agent, who was trained Manchurian-stylee, is lost. He can't find the guy ... or girl! He knows the code word to bring the agent back in: albatross. He hires Reubens to embed the trigger in a record called “Do The Albatross”. Welles needs the song to be a hit to ensure that the agent will hear it.

An amnesiac spy named Evan (Don Johnson) has been working as a bartender in Rhode Island. Evan's the worst bartender ever -- unskilled and tight, unwilling to cough up free drinks despite generous tippage. A waitress (Perez) notices that Evan starts acting weird when "Do The Albatross" plays on the jukebox, talking of some other life. Turns out that Perez was a Cuban agent that once battled Evan. She also suffers from amnesia and is triggered out of her stupor by the Reubens tune. Love ensues.

Public Image, LTD's "Albatross" will play during the credits.

---

[via Seth]

Genre: Serious Religious Period Film

Stars: Emmanuel Lewis, Corey Feldman, Bronson Pinchot

Director: Re-animated Pier Pasolini

Influences: The Surreal Life

David and Goliath

Plot: Manny plays David, and Goliath is played by Bronson Pinchot and Feldman in one of those two-headed, old-fashioned horse costumes. That's it! Seth requests some more cinematic meat, but Tom feels that since it's a religious film, nothing more is needed to draw people to the theater. Seth says he'd see the film and asks Tom about the ideal genre for the trio. Tom declines to reveal his answer because he may have to mutate his idea for another film later in the game. Seth suggests that Tom's devoid of ideas; Tom tells him that he's just human. With his buttons pressed, Tom goes off on a pitching frenzy. First up, Bronson Pinchot plays a toymaker who's crafted Manny Lewis as a kind of ersatz Pinnochio. A few years earlier, he made Corey Feldman, who becomes jealous. Dueling Pinnochios! Tom continues with a romantic comedy featuring an inccurate Cupid (Manny, natch) who accidentally shoots Pinchot, Feldman, and a woman (Farrah Fawcet), creating a love triangle. Finally, Tom delivers a war movie, and while no plot was given, the casting is perfection: Feldman as Hitler, Manny as Goebbels, and Pinchot as Himmler. Boom. Seth is won over, declaring Tom "too good".
---

[via Dan from The Plarns, who's not mad at the ThemeWeavers for winning the theme song contest.]

Genre: Fantasy/Horror

Stars: Peter DeLuise, Billy Barty, and Tina Yothers

Director: Trent L. Strauss (I'm still holding out hope that he's alive)

Influences: The Grudge, The Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, The Hacksawist, You're Soaking In Her, The War Of The Roses

Plot: Peter DeLuise and Tina Yothers are newlyweds honeymooning at an Evil Dead-ish cabin so Peter can work on his novel. Yothers opens an old crock pot, releasing the trapped spirit of envy (Barty, complete with green, camel-haired overcoat). The green spirit emerges, swallows their souls, and makes them hate each other. The couple cavorts around the woods trying to kill each other because they are possessed. They must find a way to break that spell. With Strauss at the helm, the solution will likely involve Viking mythology and power tools.

---

[via Evan in Upper Montclair, who solicits Best Show listeners who may want to re-sod the lawn at his mansion estate this summer]

Genre: Sweeping Epic

Stars: Esai Morales, Rebecca DeMornay, and Rutger Hauer

Influences: The Beverly Hillbillies

Director: Phil Morrison

Oil!

Plot: Rutger Hauer is a European land baron who came to the United States and accumulated massive amounts of property. He bequeaths one acre to the Esai Morales family, who worked for him for generations. Esai strikes oil on the small plot! Hauer's wife (DeMornay) has a thing for Esai and sides with him in his battle to hold on to the riches of his discovery when Hauer attempts to reclaim the land.

--

[via Jack from Lower Montclair]

Genre: Black Romantic Comedy

Stars: Joey Pants, Lisa Kudrow, Peter Krause, Rick Moranis

Co-directors: Patton Oswalt & Brian Posehn

Love In Mint Condition

Plot: Lisa Kudrow thinks that her husband (Joey Pants) died in an accident and hasn't seen him in a year. She sells all of his comics to a nerd ( Rick Moranis), who lies about their value and rips her off. The collection includes Fantastic Four #1 and he gave her $2,000 for a stash worth tens of thousands of dollars. Kudrow told him she was leaving the country and needed to unload them quickly. Joey Pants returns and he's looking for his books. Violence ensues.

---

[via Paycheck in Toronto]

Genre: Gritty Cop Drama

Stars: Willy DeVille, Ghostface Killah, Elvis Presley at his absolute fattest and sweatiest

Influences: Narc, The French Connection II, Barry Bonds

Director: Amy Heckerling

King Of Scum Mountain

Plot: Elvis is the scummiest drug lord around, polluting schools with drugs by using teachers to push to their students. Willy DeVille is working for him but he’s actually a DEA guy in deep undercover. While undercover, DeVille develops a nasty smack habit and has become a filthy junkie who cannot even remember that he's actually an officer of the law. Ghostface plays a mayoral candidate vowing to rid the town of drug. Since he's invading Elvis's turf, Elvis tells DeVille to take him out. DeVille is morally scrambled because on one hand, he's a DEA agent, but he's also completely strung out and loony tunes. Deep down, he knows Ghostface is a good guy because they went to the Academy together. However, DeVille face was so mutilated in a fire that Ghost does not recognize him anymore.

Paycheck immediately greenlights it.

---

[via Michelle in Chatham 07928.]

Genre: Dramedy

Stars: Shirley Maclaine, Rosario Dawson, Daniel Day-Lewis

Director: The Wachowski Brothers

Influences: The L Word, Gangs Of New York

Plot: Rosario Dawson and Shirley Maclaine are a May-December lesbian couple. But they both fall for the hunky cobbler (Day-Lewis) who moves to Upper Montclair and fight each other. Variety says: "Domestic box office outlook is bleak".

---

[via Josh from Hong Kong by way of the Isle of Staten, amidst a typhoon]

Genre: Victorian-era Drama

Stars: Sandra Bernhard, Tor Johnson, Bobcat Goldthwait

Director: Eli Roth

Influences: Merchant-Ivory films, Shakes The Clown

The Monster in the Crawlspace

Bobcat plays a pushy author who wrote a book (Vignettes of Formosa) about his travels to the Far East. (Josh does an impromptu Bobcat impression that was somewhat frightening.) He's married to Sandra Bernhard and loses his face by falling into a thresher. I couldn't follow the rest of the plot, but I think there was something about a Bernhard affair with Tor. Since Tom owns the rights to all of the ideas in the Build A Movie Game, he also owns the rights to Josh's book. The call was dropped so Tom does not have to finish the plotting.

---

[via Theresa in LES Manhattan]

Genre: Sports Drama

Stars: Burt Reynolds, Cristina Ricci, Tom Selleck

Two Mustaches, No Waiting

Director: Jeff Feuerzeig

Plot: Burt Reynolds owns a sports franchise, and Selleck is a down-on-his-luck sports writer. They are both fighting over Ricci, so Tom Selleck writes an expose on the owner to derail his deal for a new stadium.

--

[via Karen in Chicago]

Genre: Bizarro Comedy

Stars: Klaus Kinski, Warren Oates, Harvey Keitel

Director: Werner Herzog

Plot: Written by Karen as a remake of Three Men and a Baby. It ends with all three men dragging a massive baby stroller over a mountain.

------

Genre: (Funny) Comedy

Stars: Seann William Scott, Jessica Simpson, Johnny Knoxville

Tom tells the caller that this was already a movie, which allows the caller to unleash his punchline about wanting a comedy featuring said trio. He zinged The Dukes of Hazzard! And with that, the Build A Movie game goes out like a lamb.

- Tom discusses (starts at 2:27) the recent hit that radio industry took from Power 105's Star of the "Star & Buc Wild" program, who made horrific threats against the wife and child of Hot 97's DJ Envy. While industry rules prohibit going up against another brother jock, Tom breaks ranks with his radio fraternity and condemns Star, giving him the dreaded thumbs down. Tom may lose some popularity in the tight-knit Jock Guild, but he feels that he's taking a very courageous stand and should be applauded for condemning pedophilic threats. This action is in line with Tom's track record of bravery and fantasticness.

Tom also mentions a Jersey Journal article about a NYC woman wanted for stalking a WKTU disc jockey. Tom steps out on a limb again by declaring this "not cool" and says that any listener who stalks their disc jockey is disrespectual and out of line. Tom is so committed to these positions that he is willing to risk losing his seat next to 1010 WINS' John Montone when he goes to the Golden Microphone club.

- Paycheck's white-hott, Rate Your High School Experience segment (starts at 2:33) wraps up the show in a lightning round format. The requirements are simply a 1 - 10 rating with a brief explanation. Paycheck inaugurates his own segment, noting that he was inspired by the saying "nobody cool ever had a good time in high school". He's interested to find out if the cool Best Show listening community all had hellish experiences.

Paycheck: 5/10

Maligned, but not physicaly assaulted, Paycheck was a "stone cold nerd" who eventually found a niche by playing in a punk rock band his last two years. His school was not jock-laden, but was still not that fun, especially since he was 6' 4" and unskilled on the hardwood. He was once dared into slam dunking and after executing the dunk, he landed on his side. This elicited .7 seconds of cheers, quickly followed by jeers.

---

Tom Scharpling: 9.8/10

Tom's main problem in high school was excessive popularity, which forced him to have to mix it up with nerds and dweebs who sought a piece of The King.

---

Mike the Associate Producer: 7/10

Mike fell in the middle area of the social strata.

---

Petey: 10/10

Tom suspects the perfect rating is a result of Petey's love of wedgies, but Petey attributes it to his increased popularity this year. Petey claims that his social standing yields 17 GFs per night He also excels in both academics (in Honors, but avoids geekdom) and athletics -- he's the star linebacker (among other positions) on the football team. Tom speculates that these tales are the results of atomic wedgie hallucinations that percolate in his mind after the principal comes into the boy's room and frees him from the coat hook to allow blood to rush back to his body. Tom GOMPs Petey since the show has no tolerance for liars and fibbers.

Doug: 5/10

Started off well, and ended poorly. Doug, one of Tom's Consolidated Cardboard co-worker, attended a coat-and-tie prep school six days a week and got kicked out two weeks shy of graduation for throwing grapefruits at a donor's house. As a result, he had to settle for a GED and became a family embarassment.

---

Kaz: 6.7

Started out great, but quickly went downhill in 10th grade when the drugs and alcohol kicked in and he tired of his small town that contained more cows than people.

--

Tristan: 7.5-8

The first 1.5 years were awkward due to puberty and nerdiness, but he was personable enough to get along with everyone and assemble a small group of friends. His current life rating is a solid 8.

--

Mark in Portland, Oregon: 3/10

In retrospect, he only learned to be cynical, smoke pot, and drink, which stunted his emotional development. Mark attended a Catholic school obsessed with football so he formed a trio of like-minded friends united by their love of horror films, Twisted Sister, truancy, and looking forward to better days in college. His current life rating is 8/10 and truckin’.

Chainsaw Kittens - "High In High School" [YouTube -- first video directed by Spike Jonze!]

Chainsaw Kittens - "My Friend Delerium"
Chainsaw Kittens - "Ezekial Walks Through Sodom & Gommorah"

( Click here to buy the masterful Flipped Out In Singapore)

--

Eric in New Paltz, NY: 8.5/10

Attended a small school with a graduating class of only 85 students and found solace in having friends dating back to the 1st grade. Situated on the outside edge of popular crowd, he was able to straddle the art world and sports world, mingling in different crowds, not unlike the nomadic, free-form valence electron.

---

John in Otisville, NY: 6/10

Since he was extremely tiny, he was picked up and thrown around quite a bit, but he was able to find some punk rock buddies and got into Lou Reed, Velvet Underground, Kerouac, etc. He became increasingly irritated that his strict parents would not let him see rock shows, thus causing him to miss stuff like The Clash's first U.S. shows and The Cramps at the Palladium on Halloween. He left home to see Elvis Costello on the Armed Forces tour, telling his parents that he was going to "the dance". The next day, he attended a rock 'n roll flea market where he saw Joey Ramone. He then returned home to displeased parents, who grounded him for the duration of his senior year.

--

Dave in Lodi: ??

Dave's turning point came in 10th grade when he started eating dirt for money and became known as “Dirt Boy”. He didn't learn anything at Lodi High School, and he now attends a bad community college and pushes carts at the A&P. He misses the glory days. Tom's too depressed to even issue a GOMP, so he just bails.

---

Michelle: 5/10

Michelle was perpetually angry and wore standard goth gear, but she's less angry now. Tom asks her what she's doing now, and she says she's in the kitchen talking.

---

County Mounty saves the day again, sweeping up the Dirt Boy detritus with the power of ROCK.

On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU:: Shael Riley battle raps MC Steinberg, Dr. Stoopid calls to explain why he's constantly trying to hijack the Best Show phone number, and Tom may have a big announcement about a project that involves the fight for Good Guy justice.

So I was dipping into the archives in the past week and listened to the 1/14/03 show, which features Tom's interview with Guitar God Alan Licht. The chat focuses on his book, An Emotional Memoir of Martha Quinn, and leads to some interesting discussions on shifting musical tastes -- at one point, Licht tells a story about being enraptured by a Peter Cetera song and then seeing a Glen Branca show (he'd been a longtime fan) that just didn't do it for him. Tom cited two seemingly disparate records that were once faves among his classmates, united by simply both being good. I dedicate this final trio to the 10-year-old Tommy and his schoolyard buddies:

The Cars - "Bye Bye Love"

Jack Albertson & Peter Ostrum - "(I've Got A) Golden Ticket" (Lyrics and music by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley)
Gene Wilder - "Pure Imagination" (Lyrics and music by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley)

Post a comment

If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.

Ad