Where's the Beef?
"Don’t ever have anything to ever do with your life ever on a Tuesday night." -- Tom, appreciating Mike the Associate Producer more than ever upon his return
"You’ve got the stink of laziness all over you." -- Tom on Wet Rat's continued failure to send him any music
"Roy, Jr., that is unacceptable." -- Philly Boy Roy's father on the Eagles' woeful 1975 season
"Not a whole lot of floor left in it. Kind of Flinstonian sometimes." -- Philly Boy Roy on the family's rickety 1976 AMC Pacer
"He needed that energy." -- Philly Boy Roy, explaining why his father did cocaine prior to his Eagles tryout
"It looked just like one of nem guys in the band was shootin' fire out of his mouth." -- Philly Boy Roy, thinking he was hallucinating Gene Simmons' stage theatrics
"Do those rocks look sharp enough down there? Will I definitely get killed?" -- Tom, considering diving off the lighthouse to his death
"I once got left by a bus and I sworn I wouldn’t never see it happen again." -- A good samaritan, somewhere between Mississippi and Louisiana
"Let me play some of that stuff for the ghost of John Coltrane." -- Tom, suggesting an authenticity test for Steely Dan's fake jazz
"Oh, I do not envy thou.” -- Bryce on Tom's impending meeting with Rutager
"What are you, Robert Goulet just walking on The Tonight Show?" -- Tom on a caller who immediately launched into song
"You might as well eat that in the emergency room." -- Tom on Joey's not-so-balanced dinner
“Take that Langley Schools, with your dumb chimes.” -- Tom, on the commentary track during his spin of Wings' "Venus and Mars"/"Rock Show"
"I remember more about your life than you do, it seems. Get off the weed, I guess." -- Don Klausmenser on Tom's inability to remember obscure details from a five-month period during fifth grade
"Do you still have that shirt?" -- Don Klaumenser, wondering if Tom still owns the classic Wendy's gear
"I’ve always been of the opinion that food should be free." -- Don Klaumenser, stating the guiding belief of the Freedom Eaters
"When things are too pleasurable, you get complacent." -- Don Klaumenser on why he prefers to drink warm water with his free food
"Oh, that damned device." -- Don Klaumenser on the perils of his uncle's mechanical nemesis
"On the one hand, I want to live; on the other hand, I want more of those cookies." -- Don Klaumenser on Werner's addictive treats
"You seem like a nice gentlemen." -- Nicole, on the road to becoming a full-fledged FOT
( Click here to pre-order If Thine Enemy Hunger)
The Heads - "Embryonic Lizard"
( Click here to download Under the Stress of a Headlong Dive from eMusic)
Ben Kweller - "This Is War" (from the forthcoming Ben Kweller; 9/19/06)
( Click here to buy Benjamin Kweller recordings)
( Click here to buy the band's previous LP, Some Wilderness)
M. Ward (ft. Neko Case) - "To Go Home" (Daniel Johnston cover)
( Click here to buy Post-War)
Annotated highlights from Abba to Zappa of a show subsidized by the Mennen Corporation:
Kern Pharmaceuticals Presents: YAON #5. (This installment did not filter through Mr. Kern's editorial pen. He was in Pennsylvania for a "dirty tricks" brainstorming session to thwart the re-election of cowardly Democratic Congressman Jack Murtha. During his visit, Kern got into a heated argument with Max Cleland, a former Democratic Senator and Murtha supporter. Kern eventually tipped over his wheelchair, and the disabled veteran spilled out onto the street. When asked about the incident, Kern said, "I did what any upstanding patriot would do."
- Mike from Wet Rat returns (starts at 23:55) with a greeting of "What's up, yo?!" that has Tom rethinking his prediction of a blowout "W". He heard that Tom didn't like Kevin Smith, but he thinks he's a really good guy. Tom wants to know if he has any other old topics he wants to rehash, such as the presents he received last year for Christmas. Mike doesn't believe in the holiday, preferring to believe in "other stuff". While his reasons were not entirely lucid, he appeared to object to the increasingly materialistic nature the Christmas season, as well as a society that is content to sink deeper into the abyss of bad television, wasting its collective mind on nothing but garbage. He believes that humans can achieve something much greater. For example, the spontaneous music of Wet Rat, a band that writes songs poking fun at any situation. He claims that if Tom proposes a scenario, he'll send him a tape of a Wet Rat song based on said scenario. Tom doubts it because despite the promises, he never actually receives any Wet Rat material. Mike offers a weak excuse about having difficulty tracking down friends who have the band's only CD and the ability to record their tunes. He says he will get ahold of the music and send it to WFMU this week.
Mike believes the band is striving for excellence, but Tom seems to suggest something incongruous about the quest for excellence and not being "down" with the birth of Christ. I think what Tom was really saying is that Wet Rat is no Stryper. That's a band that gets things done. The Yellow 'N Black Attack bring the rock and celebrate the Lord's bday. Tom tells Mike that Wet Rat blew their momentum -- they were a known Best Show commodity, and then fell off the face of the Earth. Mike says he couldn't call the show because he went on a vacation to Sierra Vista, Arizona to get away from his hometown. Tom speculates that he’s a rich kid. He disputes it, saying he worked hard to earn the money for the trip, completing tasks such as washing his father’s Bentley. Tom's had enough and notices the stink of laziness all over him. He couldn't get him a CD and that is the behavior of a soft-serve kid. He's GOMPed because there's no room for young flab on the show. Tom saw enough of it when he was on the boardwalk a couple of weeks ago. All the kids had rolls of flab cascading down their midsections, stuffed full of the McDonald's quarter-pounders and vending machine filth so readily available in their high schools.
“It takes a nation of Augustus Gloops to hold us back.” -- Chris L on the FOT Chat.
The Wipers - "Return Of The Rat"
- Charlie in Seattle calls (starts at 27:10) to check on the status of the struggling podcast. Tom tells him that there are 52 subscribers, but Charlie thinks this is one of Tom's joke numbers. Tom says it's a legit count based on the July 2006 numbers he got last Friday from the guy who runs the website. Charlie is originally from New Jersey, but now the podcast is his only way to partake of the show -- if it goes away, he's dead in the water. Tom says he has to do his part, which brings Charlie to the not-so-nice portion of his call. As a loyal listener, he feels a bit defensive when Tom cites the low numbers and calls for the promotion machine to launch into action. Charlie thinks that the existing subscribers are doing their part (e.g., he's been spreading the word up and down the West Coast), but Tom says that the numbers don't lie. Charlie thinks Tom should focus his energy on the non-listeners, a tricky task considering that they are not listening to the program. Perhaps this is a job for Petey as he fulfills the requirements of his sentencing. The bottom line is that Tom has to beat the drum any way he can to avoid cancellation.
Charlie is double-dipping by subscribing on two computers, so he accounts for 1/26th of the subscriber base. He thinks that Tom needs an international task force to promote the podcast. Tom decides to put together a street team called Team Scharpling. Charlie agrees to wear a golf shirt with that name embroidered on it, and Tom will also make stickers featuring the podcast URL. Charlie recommends a catchy logo that is internationally recognizable. Tom likes Charlie's oomph and wants him to send an e-mail to receive more details about his role in Team Scharpling. Charlie is dedicated to the cause and is willing to participate in a variety of entertaining "-thons" -- walkathon, jogathon, and skipathon. What about a railathon? Or even better: DEVICE-A-THON!!!!!!
Vince Papale on the casting of Mark Wahlberg: "Who?"
- A caller peforms (starts at 31:10) the opening synth line of The Who’s "Baba O’Riley" -- it's Philly Boy Roy doing the theme music for Invicible, the greatest movie of the year, which opens on Friday. Tom thinks it might be the new Jet Li movie, but it's a film about former Philadelphia Eagles player Vince Papale. Tom now recalls that it’s the film starring Mark Wahlberg, who PBR knows from the Overnight, the documentary about Boondock Saints writer/director Troy Duffy. Tom's seen the film, but cannot recall seeing Wahlberg. PBR reminds Tom that Wahlberg appears in the film for a couple of seconds at the cookout after Troy signs his deal with Miramax's Harvey Weinstein. For PBR, this is a Wahlberg movie. Tom says Boogie Nights is more immediately considered a Wahlberg vehicle by most film fans, but PBR didn’t see that film because parts of it hit too close to home. PBR says it would be best not to go into it, and Tom says he’s 100% right to stay away from further discussion.
PBR wants to know if Tom’s excited about the film, but Tom doesn’t know the story that well. Tom gives PBR the go-ahead to “fill youse in”. Papale was working as a bartender in Philly during the 1975 NFL season where the Eagles stunk up the Vet with a 4-10 record. PBR's dad used say, “Roy, Jr., that is unacceptable", and PBR would respond with “Dad, you’re right.” PBR does note that wide receiver Harold Carmichael was pretty good that year. He asks Tom if he remembers how bad Keith Krepfle was. Tom doesn’t recall Krepfle. Ditto John Bunting.
The next season, they got Dick Vermeil as their coach and held open tryouts. Papale, who ain't never played football except for a little bit in high school, came in and landed a spot on the team as a wide receiver. He played a little bit in every game from 1976-1978, but didn’t do a whole lot in his run other than one fumble recovery. The Zieglers are so excited about the movie that they painted their souped-up 1976 Pacer just like an Eagles helmet, and Roy, Jr. drives it all over the city blasting nem O’Jays. Tom is not surprised to learn that the car doesn't have much floor left in it -- like the Flintstones, you can see the Zieglers' feet when they drive around Philly.
Tom wants a mileage count, and PBR says it had 780k at the time of its last oil change. It also has the original engine and nem rubber bands get kinda melted sometimes. Tom wonders why they don’t spring for a new ride, but PBR says that the Pacer has become a meaningful heirloom of sorts. They simply can't bear to part with it. Plus, they need to keep it on the road because Roy, Jr. uses it to take all the people who can’t make it out of Hooterville, their basement speakeasy, home at the end of the night. Roy, Jr.'s payment is that he gets to rifle through the pockets of the inebriated patrons per the principle of "finders keepers". Tom rejects the maxim, saying that it’s people’s stuff -- that’s why it’s in their pockets. PBR is unmoved by the dissenting opinion, but does start to get sad because he knows that he won’t be able to make it through the movie on Friday without crying. When he sees a Philly sports hero on the big screen, the tears will flow.
While he was a little apprehensive about seeing Boogie Nights, Invicible is gonna hit even closer to home. Tom assumed it was because this film is Philly-based, but there is an even more personal connection to the story. When they had nem tryouts that summer, PBR's dad and 14 of his buddies tried out, too. Tom correctly assumes that nobody made the team. PBR says it was still a fun day with the entire gang driving to the Vet for a rare opportunity for football glory. PBR served as their beer boy, pulling a keg of Schmidt's through the stadium in his little red wagon. PBR watched from the sidelines as his dad did the most push-ups out of anyone in his group of friends. He completed a half push-up. Tom’s not impressed. PBR explains that they were all big guys, and when he says big, he means overweight, not like tall and buff. Considering that his dad was the top performer out of 15 with a measly half, Tom is not surprised to hear about the troupe’s excessive girth. His dad ended up getting thrown out of the tryouts for doing rails. Tom wonders why he would do coke before exerting himself physically -- something that he was not accustomed to doing -- under the watchful eyes of professional football coaches. PBR says he needed the energy.
All too real: Kiss convert the Spectrum into Hell on Earth
He needed it because he was up all night trying to talk PBR down from the Kiss-induced freakout he suffered after seeing the band at the Spectrum. Tom asks if it was because the show was so good. In fact, the performance made PBR think that he was in “deepest Hades”, which he at least partly chalks up to the ‘cid he dropped before the show. It was so scary that at one point, it looked just like one of nem guys in the band was shooting fire out of his mouth. Tom says that probably did happen as part of the standard Kiss theatrics. PBR wants to know about when the same guy started bleeding out of his mouth. Tom says that was Gene Simmons engaging in antics that were also part of their act. PBR is certain that this part didn’t happen: they played a song called “Ladies In Waiting”, the worst song he’s ever heard in his life. Tom tells him that’s a real song, not some drug hallucination.
PBR now thinks that instead of actual acid, he may have just licked an old, non-narcotic postage stamp. Tom says all that stuff happened; PBR thinks it’s pretty freaky. PBR hopes that he didn't ruin his dad's chances for nothing because he probably would have made the team with a decent night's sleep. Tom thinks that since he could only muster a half of a push-up, it’s not likely he would have made the cut. PBR admits that he fudged the push-up total -- it wasn't even a half. Tom doesn’t see how anyone could do less than a half, and PBR says that technically he never got down. Tom says that anyone can get down since it’s basically just falling. PBR reminds Tom of the girth impairment: “Not with nem fat rolls.”
Speaking of roles, PBR wants to know if Tom’s heard of the word-of-mouth, buzz sensation, Snakes on a Plane. Tom says that everyone on Earth has heard of it by now, although based on its disappointing opening weekend haul, not a lot of people are actually seeing it. PBR didn’t see it neither, and he tells Tom that he’s talking to the co-author of Snakes on a Steak. Tom wants to know what it is, and PBR tells him: “It’s a movie, you dummy.” It’s just like SoaP, but it all takes place at Jim’s Steaks on South Street. PBR doesn’t want to give away too much because he fears that Tom will plagiarize the script. Tom says he definitely won’t. In a nutshell, the ground under Jim’s turns out to be under a Viking burial ground. There’s a big rock show on South Street called Brenner’s Street Soiree, a take-off on Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. As the name suggests, it's hosted by Philly's only comedian, David Brenner. PBR wants Tom to guess the musical lineup, which he doesn’t think he’ll be able to do. Tom correctly guess The Hooters, Robert Hazard, Teddy Pendergrass, and Hall & Oates. Tom did forgot the big one, the final band of the night: Dead Milkmen.
Tom knows of at least one other comedian from Philly -- Paul F. Tompkins. PBR doesn’t know him, but wants to know his story. Since PBR only watches cable from the parking lot of Circuit City, Tom says that may have seen Tompkins without any audio. Tom thinks he’s funny, so PBR will get Roy, Jr. to Google him for more information.
When The Hooters break into “And We Danced”, something strange awakens Viking snakes, who start causing “max havoc”. Roy, Jr.’s writing most of it, and he wrote Tom into the film. Knowing PBR's feeling about him, Tom goes out on a limb and asks how he dies. Before answering, PBR wants to give some backstory on Fudge, the name of Tom's character in the film. PBR explains that everyone hates Fudge, but they keep him around because he’s so gross looking that people give his friends free stuff because they feel sorry for them for knowing him. One day, Fudge is in Jim’s to try to break his own record of consuming 42 cheesesteaks. He’s halfway done with the 42nd sandwich and knows he can eat more, but then the snakes come up. It’s particularly gross because Fudge is fluffing a lot and people can’t stand to be around it. A snake smashes Fudge's face against the grill. Fudge then gets a huge spray of "snake juice" (aka venom) in his face, which then gets peeled.
PBR doesn't think Tom will ever guess who they want to direct the project. Tom says John Avildsen, who PBR doesn't recognize despite being the director of Rocky. They’ve got someone else in mind: TLS, “the one and only, and he’s definitely not from Olney.” Tom asks PBR if he's even alive. PBR thinks he is, having read something about TLS in Viority [sic] magazine. Tom doesn't know what that is, and PBR tells him: "It’s a film trade, you dummy." Tom spells it: V-A-R-I-E-T-Y. PBR confirms that is the publication's title, which he's been saying wrong all the years he’s been a subscriber. Tom says that he has some nerve calling him a dunce and a dummy considering these kinds of errors. PBR says that if the name fits, wear it. Speaking of wearing stuff, PBR is wearing Roy, Jr.’s Eagles uniform. He can sort of fit into it, but the pants look more like short-shorts and they're kinda binding him, so he may have to hang up in a second. He’s wearing a child’s uniform to psych up for the film, and the Zieglers haven’t eaten since Saturday because they are too excited.
Tom thinks Snakes on a Steak may sound so bizarre because they are starting to hallucinate due to nem hunger pangs. They are taking in fluids in the form Frank’s Grape soda, which PBR believes contains nem nutrients. Tom sarcastically agrees about the nutrient content in the drink. As a result, PBR might get Roy, Jr. to write Fudge out of the movie. He thinks Tom will be sad, but Tom doesn’t care because he would never perform in the movie. PBR says they will just recast the role with someone who looks like him, such as a monkey down at the zoo. PBR cackles at the thought of replacing Tom with a primate. Tom brings the conversation back to the earlier comment about Roy, Jr driving a car all around Philly at age 14. PBR says he’s better at driving than his father. Tom points out that he has no license, but PBR says that he was driving at age 7 -- he acutally drove his father and friends to the Vet for the tryouts.
Tom says that PBR is a horrible parent; PBR disagrees. PBR wants to call next week and give a film review. Tom likes the idea and hopes the film is good. PBR can't imagine how it wouldn't be considering it takes place in Philly. PBR then becomes extremely giddy and ends the call by telling Tom to "Fudge off."
- "Tom" calls (starts at 55:18) with a Lighthouse Confession and uses a Fred-ish voice to avoid being figured out. Tom fires up the foghorn, and "Tom" says he's cheating on his wife. Any further details of the infidelity are drowned out by the sound. "Tom" thinks this is terrible -- he's trying to make a real confession and Tom is blowing a horn in his ear. Tom pushes him out of the lighthouse because he couldn't roll with it. Tom then demonstrates how easy it is to confess using a start-stop technique to get your story heard in between the sireen blasts.
- Aaron calls (starts at 58:44) on the worst phone connection of all-time, though he improves it enough to tell Tom that he called a long time ago to argue about Steely Dan, a not-rock band that are currently working as full-time Owen Wilson/Wes Anderson agitators. Tom tells him that they are terrible, and Aaron wonders how he could not like them. Tom wonders how he could like them. Tom determines that there is no chance of a middle ground on the topic, so it's time to move on. Besides the fact that Tom doesn’t like Steely Dan, Aaron thinks he’s funny and enjoys the show. He wishes his friend a Happy Birthday over the airwaves.
- "Tom" climbs back up into the lighthouse (starts at 59:53) after learning the technique in Tom's tutorial. He repeats that he's having an affair. Tom doesn't believe it. "Tom" says he won't believe the identity of his mistress: his wife's father. The revelation has Tom thinking about committing suicide by jumping out of the lighthouse. He's concerned that the rocks may not be sharp enough to definitely kill him. The caller claims that the husband/wife's father coupling happens more often than Tom knows. Tom couldn't be more skeptical, and wants to hear more about it. "Tom" starts his story with "it started really slowly ...", but Tom has no time for cartoon stuff and made-up premises better suited for the likes of Jerry Springer. After "Tom" bored up the lighthouse, Tom is there all alone, drinking a soda. I'm sure Jimbo was hanging around there somewhere.
- Jeff from Middletown calls (starts at 1:04) to start the search for the worst of the 1. 9 billion bands on Myspace. Tom was not after limp indie rock or ineffective folk -- he's talking about the absolute drugs of music. The kind of stuff that makes your head hurt. A level of talentlessness normally only achieved by Doctor Stupid. Tom does say that if a band has him in their Top 8, they may get an exemption because sometimes you can judge a band by the friends they keep.
Jeff's entry is Edmond, Oklahoma’s Tears of Blood for This Broken Heart. Jeff skipped the first track that played automatically (“Blood Confession”) and opted for “Cinco De Alone”, which he cleared for toilet talk. Tom plays the track and believes the somber, gentle guitar strums are coming from a bunch of depressed kids. He calls for them to not be so sad. Lyrical highlights includes a line about eating mushroom and Chef Boy-Ar-Dee all alone in a bedroom. Tom says it’s not his cup of tea, but not the worst the band.
- Jim calls (starts at 1:07) to promote his new documentary, The Long Walk to New York. The film will document a 20-mile jaunt from Vernona, NJ, to NYC. Jim offers Tom an opportunity to join the cast, which is open to everyone. Tom wants to know the point of the project, but the filmmakers don't even know what will happen on the wild adventure. Jim is an accomplished documentarian, having directed a film about a baseball coach called -- you guessed it -- Coach. Jim says the walk will happen within the next month and believes it will be an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. Jim provided an e-mail address for listeners to contact him about his other work and information about joining the cast of The Long Walk To New York. Just a hunch: if you e-mail Jim, you will probably regret it. Tom doesn't think he'll be in attendance. Well, maybe he will. There's a good chance. Possibly? Jim may seen Tom in Verona, decked out in shiny New Balance kicks and DC Snipers sweatbands.
(Tom's never going there.)
- Eli calls (starts at 1:10) with a family-friendly, farmland Lighthouse confession. Eli bolsters his family-friendly claim by noting that he's calling with his daughter in the background. However, Tom's not privy to Eli's family life and thinks it's possible that he's raising them like a weirdo. Eli denies it, saying he raises his family on a farm. This doesn't really sway Tom: “Yeah, nothing weird ever goes down on farms.” Eli says he has a good, organic farm, currently boasting seasonal produce like tomatoes, peppers, and corn. Other than his Internet connection, he’s self-sufficient and lives almost entirely off the land. Tom likes what he hears.
Before he was tied to the land, he was taking a bus to Texas. Somewhere between Mississippi and Louisiana, the bus stopped at an establishment called Mama’s. Everybody got out to have something to eat. Jim was unimpressed with the menu, so he skipped nourishment and went to the bathroom. En route, he saw the bus driver eating a sandwich. He figured he’d have more than enough time to complete his business before he finished his snack. He comes out, and the bus driver is gone. He walked outside and sees the bus pulling away. All of his stuff is on the bus, and he doesn’t even know what state he’s in. He’s terrified. He runs after it as fast as he can, but realizes that the bus is pulling further away. He will not catch it. He will be stuck in the middle of nowhere.
At this moment of realization, a pickup truck pulls right in front of him. The driver throws open the door and yells, “Get in!” Eli jumps into the truck, and they race after the bus. While in pursuit, the pickup driver reveals the motivation for his friendly actions: “I once got left by a bus and I sworn I wouldn’t never see it happen again.” He flags down the bus by flashing his lights. The bus stops, and Eli gets on. He did not have any other problems for the rest of the trip. The confession: he never thanked the guy. Eli feels bad because if not for him, he'd probably still be stuck down there. While the failure to offer thanks is not right, Tom says the omission is fairly understandable because he was in a state of panic and caught up in the moment. Eli wanted to confess on the air because he thought the guy might be listening to the show. Tom thinks there’s a very good chance he’s listening because a very high percentage of good samaritans enjoy listening to the show while performing good deeds. Tom says Eli has to do something good. Eli will try.
- Jeff calls (starts at 1:15) with a disturbing Lighthouse Confession about a summer of theft. Jeff worked as a nurse at a summer camp for kids ranging in age from going into kindergarten to going into 7th grade. His primary duty was applying BAND-AIDS® to these youngsters, and he mainly just sat around, getting bored and hungry. As a camp employee, he had access to all the kids’ lunches, so he would often steal items such as really good granola bars and chips. Tom wonders if he ever heard distraught kids ask what happened to their granola bars, but, surprisingly, Jeff never did. He estimated that he executed five or six snack heists due to hunger. Tom thinks it's pathetic that he couldn't afford 80-cent granola bars, but Jeff says that the school hosting the camp had emptied their vending machines for the summer. He also claims that the was not paid enough to be be able to afford at the convenience store to acquire his own foodstuffs like the parents who paid for their children to attend the camp.
Tom initially chastises Jeff for abusing his privileges as a camp worker, but quickly realizes that he's operating a non-judgmental lighthouse. Tom does recommend that Jeff dip into his wallt and buy some food for a homeless dude. Jeff then claims that he also works at a food bank, another site for his food crimes. Tom wants to know what kind of food he steals there, and Jeff starts giggling. He retracts his statement, saying he only steals from children. Tom says it's nice to know that he has some moral code.
NOTE: this guy’s voice had a Larry the Perv quality to it, especially when he says “exactly” towards the end of the call.
- Since his last call went so well, Aaron (aka Angry Steely Dan Fan!) is back (starts at 1:20) for another round. He still wants to know how it's possible for Tom to dislike Steely Dan. Tom’s answer is simple and direct: They stink. Aaron wants to know how Tom can say such a thing. Tom’s answer is simple and direct: because he’s heard them. Aaron resorts to a quiz, asking Tom to name the band's lead singer. Tom stumbles a bit, saying “Fager and Becker”, before recovering with “Fagen and Becker.” Aaron is amused by Tom’s failure to immediately cite Donald Fagen, suggesting that it’s evidence that Tom has not thoroughly immersed himself in the band’s history and music. Tom offers an apology: “Oh, sorry I didn’t memorize a band I HATE!”
Aaron thinks that since Tom is a DJ, he should be up on the members of such a legendary band. Tom does not think his job requires him to memorize everything about bands that he thinks are awful. Aaron wants to know if Tom has given them a fair try. Tom has sampled their music throughout his entire life, enduring the awful Pretzel Logic and Aja. Aaron thinks Tom really needs to hear Gaucho. Tom thinks it’s a dubious recommendation, sarcastically suggesting that the last album right before they break up is always when bands get hott. Aaron then wonders if Tom likes jazz. Tom does indeed like jazz, but he does not like like-jazz, the genre that Steely Dan specialize in. Tom performs a sample of their faux-jazz stylings to illuminate the awfulness.
Aaron admits that he’s not a die-hard fan, but thinks that one has to at least appreciate what they do some level. Tom does appreciate them on the level of being a showcase for showing off high-end stereos to customers because their music is recorded well. Aaron wants to hear Tom’s major grudge against Steely Dan. Tom obliges by saying that they are bad from start to finish -- completely sterile and soulless. Tom declares them the enemy of rock music. Aaron calls the review “scathing”. Tom offers a sonic syllogism to further express the band's opposition to rock:
* "If you like rock music, you can’t like Steely Dan."
* "If you like Steely Dan, you can’t like rock music."
Aaron disputes it because he loves rock music and Steely Dan. In fact, his musical interests are vast: "Dude, I love it all, dude!" In addition to Steely Dan, he likes an eclectic array of rock bands ranging from Pavement to Built To Spill to Yes to Nordic Avenger. Tom notices some problems with Aaron's claims to “love it all” while providing a quartet that does not exactly suggest a bi-polar record collection. Tom wants to know if he's one of those guys who likes it all from ABBA to Zappa. Aaron is not pleased with the suggestion: “How dare you accuse me of that.” Aaron says he mainly likes rock ‘n roll, and he also likes Steely Dan. Tom catches him in the bold lie and diagnoses him as a guy who's trying to be cool and fit in with people who like rock music. He's a pretender. Aaron wants to know what rock music Tom likes. Tom’s answer is simple and direct: Not Steely Dan.
Aaron says he’s loved rock music since he was a little kid. Rock ‘n roll is “his thing”, and he even went to music school. You need to re-enroll, son! Just as we hear the sweet strains of Bryce’s singing, Aaron shames himself by using toilet talk, so Tom dismisses him. Tom believes this is the behavior of the typical Steely Dan goon. Tom will ultimately defer to the ghost of John Coltrane to see if he recognizes the music of Steely Dan as anything resembling "jazz".
Bonus: The Making Of ...
- Bryce is back on the line (starts at 1:24) and continues his cover of Steely Dan’s “Hey Nineteen” from Gaucho. He wants to know what happened with the last caller. Tom explains the toilet mouth, and Bryce wants to make sure that Tom’s not mad at him. He gets Tom to confirm this by staing “we’re still buds.” Tom says that he is getting forced into some weird corners, and Bryce says he don’t need to know nothing about Tom’s personal life. Bryce shifts the conversation back to Gaucho, which he thinks is a great album, the title track featuring one of Porcaro’s greatest grooves. Tom thinks Jeff Porcaro is the guitarist, but Bryce tells him that he's the drummer and fills in some of the other players: Steve Lukather and Jeff's brother, Steve Porcaro, on the ivories. Tom points out that you know you're really in trouble when you're counting on the guys from Toto to deliver the rock.
Bryce sings a bit of “Babylon Sisters” to Tom’s dismay. Bryce likes that song because it reminds him of reggae and that reminds him of something else. He gives Tom four guesses. He doesn’t think Tom will ever guess it. Tom guesses a good vacation, and Bryce responds by loudly slurping on his bong, ending the mystery. Bryce is surprised Tom could hear it since he did not know how good his cell reception would be. Tom heard it and answers correctly with smoking weed. Bryce’s Steely Dan fandom even extends to DF’s first solo jam, The Nightfly. Tom tells Bryce that Fagen put out a solo album this year with perhaps the worst title he’s ever heard. Bryce doesn’t have it yet, so Tom tells him the title is Morph The Cat. Bryce loves it. Tom thinks it’s the kind of album title that could only spring from the mind of a guy in his 50s who thinks he was cool and still thinks he still has his finger on the pulse. Bryce agrees with everything Tom said except for the word “was”. Bryce thinks Fagen is still cool and considers him his spiritual guru/dad. He carries a poster of him all the time and put one up on his shack. Bryce explains that he resides in a shack, which accounted for the uncertainty about the quality of his cellular connection. Back in January, Bryce moved into the luxurious confines of the above-the-aquarium section of Upper Newbridge, a result of a massive settlement ($120k) after his neighbor's strong pet lion bit his hand off.
He had to move behind the abandoned Lady Foot Locker as part of an expense-cutting initiative after some very questionable purchases, such as spending $58,500 on what he thought was Jerry Garcia’s toilet. It was a fake. Bryce also bought some other stuff. This other stuff was not really collectibles. Bryce gives Tom six guesses this time. Tom’s first guess is nice furniture. Wrong, although one of them looks like furniture. Tom's second guess is a new refrigerator. Wrong, although one of them has a cooling element in it. Bryce got some some pipes -- hash pipes and the other kind. Tom wonders if it’s crack pipes, but it's weed bongs. Bryce was not sure if he could use the b-word on the air. Bryce also purchased the stuff you put in it, which is what necessitated the move. Tom’s not surprised that Bryce used the lion’s share of his lion share on weed. Bryce doesn’t want Tom to tell anyone that he spent all of his money on drug paraphernalia and drugs.
He's using one of his marijuana bails as a pillow in his makeshift bedroom. Bryce says that shack is really more of a shanty, and his living conditions start to make Tom sad. Bryce wonders what he will do when it gets cold since fall is right around the corner. Tom doesn’t know what to tell him and thinks Bryce will have to deal with it. Bryce thinks Rutager may be able help him out. Rutager is one of the dudes that he deals to, although sometimes the drug dealing goes both ways. Bryce says that Rutager doesn’t like Tom. Tom says he doesn’t know him, but Bryce says that Rutager knows Tom "hard”. Bryce doesn’t even know what that means. Tom wants to know why he even cares about him. Bryce says that Rutager does not like Tom or his vibe. Tom says all he can do is apologize to Rutager and tell him that he doesn’t have to listen to the show. Bryce says it sounds like Tom will be meeting up with him soon, an encounter that Bryce is glad to not be a part of: “Oh, I do not envy thou.” Tom doesn’t know what to say, but Bryce gives him a tip: “The cuervo gold / The fine Columbian …” and goes out like a lamb.
- Joe in Kentucky calls (starts at 1:32) to report that the climate is "going well". Tom asks him if he’s off from school, and Joe says he don’t go to school no more. It was “way before my contract", whatever that means. He then mumbles something about the “bankruptcy things” and “the whole drinking thing”. He makes a comment about smoking and his big lungs. Tom believes these big lungs are filled with hot air to bore him and can't even muster a GOMP.
- A caller with a British accent (starts at 1:33) offers some insight on Steely Dan. He used to hear that the band was considered jazz for Deadheads. Tom thinks he hit the nail right on the head. The caller says that if he's in an elevator, he sort of enjoys a Muzak version of Steely Dan songs. This is his Lighthouse Confession. At this point, Tom outs the caller as The British Fred. Much like Cpt. Jack drummed up the psychotic alter ego of Louie the Liverpudlian, Fred’s psychotic British alter ego is Legion. Legion says that Tom is wrong and he’s not getting it. He's upset because Tom did not play the bong-bong-bong of the lighthouse horn and orders Tom to “get on it, already.” Legion desperately wants to make a proper Lighthouse Confession, but instead of gettting on it, Tom says that maybe he can get off it. In other words: Get Off My Phone, Mate! The first-ever GOMPM!
This call caused Mike the Associate Producer to have a conniption.
- A caller says (starts at 1:35) that Steely Dan were one of the few good things come out of California until the whole punk/new wave thing. He likes the twisted side of the band with their messed-up lyrics about meth labs and having sex with their cousins. The caller also has an opinion on the last "skit" with The British Fred: “Swing and a miss, Del Unser’s up next.” The caller is referring to Dave Kingman's Mets teammate from 1975-1976, and Tom is amazed that this guy thinks he can get mileage out of the last week's Kingman comparison. Tom has a message for him:
“You want to know what, junior? You’re sittin’ in the stands! You’re sittin’ in the stands with a hot dog and a beer. I’m on the field. I’m on the FIELD! You’re in the stands. You and 58,000 others. There’s only 18 of us down here. That’s right, you keep cheering me on. I don’t need you.”
Tom establish the caller as Enemy #43 on The Best Show enemies list, which will be released soon.
- Tommy from Basking Ridge calls (starts at 1:36) to talk about Wildwood, NJ. Tom's not much of a Wildwood man, and Tommy had a mediocre stay there over the weekend. While prowling the boards, he noticed a lot of Philadelphians who seemed like they were having the time of their lives. Tommy expected a nicer beach like those found in Avon or Belmar, and he wants to know what kind of beach Tom likes. Tom enjoys Seaside Heights, the kind of beach where you could get stabbed. You would certainly get stabbed on the beach in AC or Asbury Park, but Seaside Heights is the kind of beach that lulls you into a false sense of safety -- you can have fun, go in the water, and then come back to find that everything’s gone. When in Wildwood, Tommy and his friends were wondering if they should take their stuff when they went in the water. If Tom was there, he would take all his belongings – blanket, sandwiches, cooler -- with him if he went in the water. Tommy agrees that this is the most secure policy for the nasty shores of Jersey. Safety concerns aside, Tom loves the Seaside Heights atmosphere, especially on the boards, where people either look Danny Devito or Joe Rogan.
When Tommy was in Wildwood, he also had an encounter with an aggressive tram car that would honk and then attempt to run you over if you were still in the way. Tommy recommends that Tom check out Wildwood the next time he’s in the South Jersey area, and he very well might. Tom also likes Point Pleasant because you can get all the Staten Islanders who hopped across the bridge. Tommy mentions that if you encounter Staten Island drivers on the Garden State Parkway and accidentally change lines, you will get the finger. Tom and Tommy reclaim ownership of the state's key transit artery, and Tom sends a message: "You can tell me what to do on the Staten Island Expressway, I tell YOU how it goes on the Garden State Parkway.” Tommy points out that the Staten Island familes think they can scoot down to the beach in 15 minutes by revving their cars loaded with kids, sandwiches, and pets to 110 mph. In the end, it always takes them the usual two hours due to traffic and tolls.
- Fred from Queens calls (starts at 1:40), possibly from Israel. Tom says he might as well let this guy host.
- A caller immediately launches (starts at 1:40) into a lo-fi ditty, and Tom did not appreciate the lack of any verbal introduction that declared his intentions. Tom compares this bold act to Robert Goulet waltzing unnannounced onto The Tonight Show stage. The caller wrongly thought that the had the eternal greenlit, a prestigious right that is reserved for only Louie the Liverpudlian. (Tom will, however, hang up on him after 15 seconds.)
Dinner of Champions: A well-balanced meal, just like they taught you in school
- Joey calls (starts at 1:42) because he knows that Tom lives in the NJ area (Newbridge, to be exact) and he knows that he's a fan of Ted Leo. Therefore, he wants to know if Tom's aware of the FREE show at the South Street Seaport this Friday. Aware of it? Tom already mentioned it! Joey knows it will be good because Ted’s playing, but he’s not sure who else is playing. Tom tells him about the DC Snipers, who are also awesome. Tom played them earlier in the show, but Joey also missed that. Joey was busy having a family dinner and feels bad that he couldn’t put the show on. Joey dined at a nice Italian place in Middletown, opting for a light repast consisting of a steak sandwich, a garlic knot, and a pepperoni roll. Tom wants to know how many pounds he gained as a result. Joey is a very active person who likes to work off what he put on. Tom thinks that Joey may literally have to build a pyramid to work off that meal.
Instead of a local trattoria, Tom thinks a better venue for eating that food would be an emergency room. In this setting, the defibrillator could act as a warming plate in case any of the garlic knots got cold. Joey points out that most defibs have a sensor and won’t charge unless they are actually touching a person, which would prevent heating food on it. To combat these kinds of feasts, Joey drinks a lot of vitamin water to keep the pounds off. He likes going places and moving about so he's not concerned about developing any Gloopy flab. He's not sure if his dinner was abnormal, so he wants to know what Tom had for dinner. Tom is opting for a much lighter and healthier bowl of fruit. Joey likes fruit, but does not think it’s filling enough for full dinner. He doesn’t think it touches every section of the food pyramid and is concerned that Tom is lacking the requisite intake of protein and carbs.
Tom thinks the food pyramid went out of fashion 40 years ago, but Joey says that it's still taught in schools. Tom’s thinks its presence in the curriculum has no meaning because these are the same institutions that teach dubious fire safety maneuvers like stop, drop, and roll. Joey thinks Tom needs to go back to school and talk to some of his former teachers who promoted the value of the pyramid in a proper diet. Tom also points out that schools teach that pizza is the perfect food due to having dairy (cheese), vegetable (sauce), and grains (crust) components. Joey believes it is indeed the perfect food, especially with pepperoni and a soda for hydration.
Tom instructs Joey to skip the South Street Seaport show and go to Seaside Heights to watch the people eating pizzas. He wants Joey to not only observe their girth, but also take body fat measurements using skin calipers. Joey counters with an offer to swim to the seaport. Tom would like to see that and says that he can eat what he wants if he does it. Joey assures Tom that he’s in good shape. He’s reluctant to toot his own horn, but -- beep beep -- he says he’s looking good. He says he has the face of a young Tom Cruise, and a ripped, Brad Pitt body that allows him to regularly wash clothes on his stomach. Tom wants him to climb on stage at the South Street Seaport show, take his shirt off, and flex. Tom will try to arrange it; Joey agrees to do it. Tom asks him how old he is, but Joey find this too personal to reveal.
-Brett calls (starts at 1:47) with an ethical dilemma/Lighthouse Confession and gives Tom the go-ahead to fire up the foghorn.
In the time before digital answering machines, Brett scoured thrift stores in Texas and removed the tapes from all of the discarded answering machines amidst the piles of junk. He was thinking that he would use them to put together an art installation of some sort. He got a voyeuristic thrill out of discovering the moment that someone decided to go digital or get CallNotes. In one tape, it seemed like a guy just dropped off the face of the Earth -- his creditors were calling, his co-workers at Albertson’s were inquiring about his truancy, a really sad girl called to tell him that she misses him. The ethical dilemma is 1.) He’s stealing from thrift stores 2.) He used a sample of one of the recordings in the background of a song he recorded, and he feels bad about turning some guy’s misery into his own art. Tom thinks this is behavior befitting BH Surfers' frontman Gibby Haynes. Brett actually went to high school with Gibby's brother, and Tom wants to know if he is also devoid of any talent. Brett says that his brother is really cool.
Brett's girlfriend told him that he should replenish the stolen tapes with blanks. Tom doesn’t think that will cut it, and Brett realizes that providing obsolete magnetic tape will do little to clear his conscience. For starters, Tom thinks he should use his own misery to make art, as well as doing some volunteer work to truly help people. Brett doesn’t like volunteering because you don’t get paid. Tom predicts that he will keep on doing what he’s been doing, and Brett admits that he’s pretty set in his ways. He thinks he’s capable of doing the right thing and will do it for Tom because Good Guys win in 2006. He wants to be a songwriter that touches people with rock ‘n roll instead of a creepy pervert that takes people’s emotions and spreads them all over the place so people can have a voyeuristic giggle. He has an activist friend who marches around (Timmy von Trimble??), but that’s not for him. He will try volunteering somewhere for an afternoon to get back on track.
- Melissa offers a band (starts at 1:52) that's worse than Steely Dan -- ambient spazz-folksters Jim Florio & The Urban Decay. They are already winning Tom over by using former governor Jim Florio in their band name and on their Myspace page. New Jersey reprezent! Melissa recommends spinning the track “The Colossus of Rhodes” because her mortal enemy -- ukeleleist Anthony J. Decay -- plays on it. She is his friend on Myspace because she believes in the philosophy of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. Tom agrees with this interpersonal approach. While Tom plays the tune, Melissa admits that she dislikes the band because the people in it get on her nerves. Tom calls their music Sebadon’t. It's just kinda there. Tom says they are not even close to being worse than Steely Dan. For one thing, they’ve only got four songs. Melissa hangs up to go drink some beers.
- Petey calls (starts at 1:55) and it sounds like the conviction is wearing him down. His voice has all the pep of Eric from New Paltz after eating a mound of tots. Despite his lethargy, he’s ready to sing his Dylan song to fulfill one of his sentence requirements. Tom’s not quite ready to accept the musical apology, but wants a taste of the first verse. Tom says it doesn’t sound too shabby, but wants to delay the full version until next week. Tom wants to know why he's talking like he just got back from the dentist and suspects that he his high from a weed session at Bryce's shanty. Petey doesn’t know who that is, which suggests that he's only interested in his segments since Bryce has been calling for a couple of years. Tom GOMPs him and tells him to splash some cold water on his face before he calls.
- A 14-year-old first-time/long-time calls (starts at 1:57) for what is hopefully the last time. He opens with "What's going on?" and claims he will Bring It. Tom thinks he'll be bringing a whole bowl of nothing, but he says he's got a whole bowl of Tom's face. Tom mocks his weak voice and threatens to smash his face. Tom says he will fight him and any five of his friends all at once. The caller counters by saying that they will fight Tom’s face. Tom laments the multitude of soft-serve kids calling the show. He wants August back.
- A caller plays (starts at 1:58) the Good/Not So Good game with two entries:
1. Langley Schools Music Project: Not So Good
2. Snakes on a Plane: N/A. Tom hasn’t seen it yet.
The caller is curious about Tom’s opinion about The Langley Schools Music Project, so Tom refers him to the moment five seconds earlier when he said “Not So Good”. Tom says it’s just a bunch of kids playing decent music. The caller finds the music haunting and likes the story behind it. Tom's glad it got out there and everybody had a good time with it, but doesn't find their Wings covers to be the pinnacle of musical greatness. The first time the caller heard “Venus and Mars"/"Rock Show” was on the Langley album. He then heard the Wings version and thought it was terrible. He much preferred the kids singing. Tom says he is completely nuts because the Wings version on Wings Over America is a masterpiece and those Langley kids can’t hold a candle to what Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, Denny Laine, Joe English, and Jimmy McCulloch achieved on that evening. Tom also ponits out that being endorsed by the likes of Richard Carpenter and John Zorn doesn’t help the Langley cause. Tom concludes that it's nice and pleasant enough, but it ain’t the big leagues like Wings. The caller is GOMPed.
- A caller begins (starts at 2:17) asks: “Where’s the beef, Tommy?” The caller seems to expect the query to garner instant recognition, but Tom doesn’t know the beef's wherabouts. He addresses him with the impersonal “sir”, and thinks it might be Fred. It’s Don. Tom doesn’t know who that is, and Don is disappointed. He flips the cards over and reveals that he's Don Klaumenser. Still nothing. He says he’s from Newbridge Elementary, and he and Tom were best friends in fifth grade. Tom still has no idea, and Don thinks it’s a joke. Tom has a faint memory of the name and doesn't think Don was even there for a full school year. Don confirms that he was only there for five months because his dad got transferred.
Don wants to know if Tom is still with Sheila Reynolds, another name that Tom has forgotten about. Tom has parted ways with Sheila, and Don is surprised because she was Tom’s girlfriend for as long as he knew him. He thought they were a great couple, always hanging out by the monkey bars and horsing around. Don wonders if they broke up, but Tom says he doesn’t think they were ever really a couple. Tom remembers her as more of a girl that he was friends with, while Don said it seemed like there was more to it. Don remembers that Tom was the first person in their gang to “cross that bridge” (nothing dirty, of course), and they all looked up to him for that. Tom thanks Don for the complement, and says he's completely lost touch with Sheila, who may have not even gone to the same high school.
Don was searching around online today and didn’t see anything on Planetarium, Tom’s band. Tom said they played one time at a talent show with him on bass. Don remembers the full lineup: Tom, Jimmy Levine, Rich Shaughnessy, and Chuck Hirsch. Don thought their version of the Thompson Twins’ “Hold Me Now” was as good as the original. Tom remembers the whole thing as being kind of embarrassing and a learning experience. Don thought they were really good. Don was checking online to see if their record came out. He’s also been checking the record stores once a year because he assumed it was out based on what Tom said at Jenny Montgomery’s party. Tom said that Planetarium was going to be huge, and that one day they would be bigger than Wham and definitely bigger than The Boomtown Rats. Tom reminds Don that it was in fifth grade and he can’t recall the specific details of the comments. Don wonders if Tom ever made it to the Thompson Twins show he said he was going to see at the Capitol Theater on June 7th. Tom doesn’t think he did.
Don presses on with the stroll down Memory Lane and wants to know what Tom ended up getting on that project. Tom wants to know what he’s referring to, and Don said it was a diorama about current events. Tom has no idea what grade he received. Don is a bit baffled and mentions that he seems to remember more about Tom's life than he does. He suggests that weed is to blame for Tom's faulty memory. Tom says he doesn’t smoke weed, and Don is bringing up stuff that is not at the forefront of his mind. Don says that Tom's diorama smoked. Tom doesn’t remember what it was, but Don, of course, does. Tom’s piece centered around Michael Jackson catching on fire during the filming of the 1984 Pepsi commercial. The only thing about it that Tom remembers is that it wasn’t particularly well-received by the teacher. Don thought it was great. He wishes he got to hand in his Tom-inspired diorama. It involved Clara Peller asking “Where’s the beef?” at a McDonald’s due to their inferior patty size. Don recalls it being such a cool saying that everyone was repeating that year. He wants to know if Tom still has his "Where's the Beef?" shirt. Tom says he probably no longer owns it.
Tom wants to know what Don got on his diorama, but he never got a chance to hand it in because it was the week that his dad got transferred. Speaking of that week, Don wants to know what happened that Friday since he left on Wednesday. Earlier that day, Don says that Tom has an argument with Scott Delongpry, and they made a plan to fight after school on Friday. Tom doesn’t think he got into a fight with him, and Don is pleased to hear it. Tom was telling everyone that he was going to go all Iron Sheik on him, but secretly they were all kind of worried because Scott had that intimidating mustache, one of the few physical dividing lines in fifth grade. Don doesn’t want to embarrass Tom, but he has to ask if he still eats Charleston Chews the same way. Tom hasn’t had a Chew in about 10 years, but Don remembers that Tom used to freeze them and then fold them in half because it was “more awesome” that way. Tom does remember using that technique. Don tried it a couple of months ago and confirms that it was indeed “more awesome.”
Don’s back in Newbridge, mainly because he’s kind of persona non grata where he used to live in Western Maine. That’s where he initially moved with his dad, and then they moved to Instanbul for a few years before returning to Maine. Don says Instanbul was not so good, except certain parts were obviously cool. Tom asks if he always wanted to return to Newbridge. Don says that he kinda got booted from Western Maine over big differences with some of the local restaurant owners up there. Don has always held the opinion that food should be free, and this is generally not a belief shared by restauranteurs. Don believes that food is one of our basic needs, not unlike air, which is free of charge. Tom argues that if somebody’s running a business, they are providing a service that costs them money. Don doesn’t think it’s a big deal if one guy doesn’t pay. The main differences he had with them is that most of the time he didn’t pay. And by “most of the time”, he means all the time.
Tom doesn’t understand how this process works. Don says that some would call it “Dining and Dashing”, but the “Freedom Eaters” prefer to call it “Eat and Retreat”. Don publishes a magazine called The Freedom Eater, which has a circulation of 34,000. The magazine shares stories, tips, and highlights must-to-avoid restaurants that have a particularly vigiliant staff. Tom disagrees with the "Eat and Retreat" policy -- he thinks people havea every right to charge for their services. Don thinks that Tom might have a different perspective if he had ever seen him fake a heart attack while dining.
The Freedom Flop: Dick Fosbury's signature move is now being used to commit culinary crimes
Tom thinks it’s terrible to fake a cardiac event to get out of paying a bill. Don says he’ll mix up the health issues, which may include heart attack, kidney stones, near fatal migraines, and HS (heart stoppage). Tom wonders how one could fake HS, so Don walks him through it. First, you take pills in clear view of other people, even though they are just salt tablets. Then, you do windmills, which are then followed with a variation on The Fosbury Flop, the landmark high jump maneuver patented by Dick Fosbury. Don jumps up high in the air and lands on his back -- kinda painful, but it does the trick. Tom is still unclear about how this allows you avoid paying for the meal. Don says you either get carted off by the EMTs or while the commotion is happening, you just slink out unnoticed. Essentially, you start the commotion and then duck when it's in full swing. You can also start throwing food, glasses, or plates, and as people try to clean up and control you, you can sneak off.
Don’s problem was that the restaurant owners started to recognize him. Tom assumes that Western Maine is not that large of an area, but Don says they had a lot of great seafood places, so he had to start using disguises. He took Oldzonareveren, an aging drug that was used in the film President Baseball. Brenda Fraser took it for his role, but he got stuck due to not taking a full dosage of the reversal drug, Youngoproxin. Don would use Oldzonaravern to pretend that he had Oldtimer’s disease, and then use Youngoproxin to pretend he was a young runaway. Tom questions his use of “Oldtimer’s Disease”. Don says it’s where you forget stuff, and tells Tom to start reading the newspaper. Tom never struck Don as being aware of current events as evidenced by his diorama. Tom tells him it’s Alzheimer’s, but Don says it’s Oldtimer’s because you get it when you’re an old timer. Don declares “same old Tom!”, and Tom let’s the issue skate because he doesn’t think they will get past it.
Don says that sometimes it’s as simple as eating the food, going to the bathroom, and blowing out the window to split unnoticed into the night. Tom wonders how he can get out of the narrow emergency window that often has bars across it. Don says that most of the windows in Western Maine did not have bars, and he would strip off his clothes, oil himself up, and slide through it. It’s worth it even though your back often gets badly scraped. Tom finds it bizarre that he would endure such an escape to avoid paying for food that he ate. One time, Don was at The Crab Menagerie, and the owner was really onto him, stationing employees in front of the bathroom to block his exit. Don looked all around the restaurant and saw a guy that was really tan. He hatched a plan to pretend that he dropped his wallet under the table like he was going to pay, and he quickly called the cops on his cell phone to tell them that a Arab terrorist was in the restaurant. The authorities came storming in and Don went out the side door amidst the confusion. Tom thinks it's terrible to call in a false terrorist alert and force a guy just trying to eat to be questioned. Don says they did more than that and thinks he's still in Gitmo. Don sort of feels bad about it -- the guy was Frank Miller, who was tan after just returning from a vacation in Boca Raton. But Don justifies sending a man to prison because he did get that soup, that half sandwich, and a small, warm water for free. Tom is baffled that he went through all that trouble to avoid paying for food that must have cost about $5. Don says it was a special for $2.99. Tom wants to know why he’s drinking warm water, and Don explains that if he drinks cold water, then it’s too pleasurable. When things are too pleasurable, you get complacent, and that's when things really go wrong. His dad taught him that.
Don says the warm water is terrible, but cold water would activate the pleasure sensors and make you seek more pleasure. Warm water does not make you seek pleasure because you haven’t felt it yet. Don says he did enjoy parts of the crab bisque, specifically the crab. Tom is appalled and disagrees full-on with having someone wrongly sent to federal jail. Speaking of federal stuff, the real reason Don came back is too look after his poor uncle, Montgomery Davies, who is not doing well after getting caught doing something he shouldn't have been doing. Tom tells him that he spoke to Judge Davies about an incident that got him disbarred. Don wonders if the subject of Paul Simon came up, and Tom says he did mention Simon. Don says he’s on a total Simon kick, always humming “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard”, but he thinks it’s “Me and Julie …” He can’t wrap his mind around the fact that it’s a guy singing about a guy. Don says that Montgomery got his first device while in the Navy and couldn’t put it down. He gave Don a device made from hickory and creosote for his 18th birthday, explaining that Don couldn’t start with one of the top models because it would be too pleasurable. Don says he never got that into it, and Tom thinks that’s a positive sign.
Don reveals that he's been sleeping under Tom's hybrid car for the past week. Tom wants to know how and why. The Newbridge Hotel Association has been mad at Don ever since he returned. Tom wants to know if their anger is based on similar actions he has taken with the restaurant industry. Don answers by saying that he also publishes a magazine called Sleep and Split. With a circulation of 43,000, it's a bit more popular than The Freedom Eater, and it features stories on the best way to sneak into hotel rooms. Don says that the best method is to hover around outside in the hallway, making yourself really unknown. When the person who stayed there comes out with all their baggage, you rush behind them very quietly (sneakers required) and stick your foot in the door. You go in, before the maid has cleaned the room. You then hide under the bed until the maid cleans up the room. At that point, you do something to mess the room up enough so that when new guests enter the room, they see it and immediately leave to request another room. Tom doesn’t even want to know what Don does to the room. Don says that you can be certain that you will have the room to yourself because "no one wants to come and clean that stuff up.”
Tom wonders how he gets in and out, and Don says you have to stay all night because you have no key. Don says you can’t watch TV because someone would know you are in there, so he just sits there in silence. Tom thinks he’s going through a lot of trouble, but Don says it's worth it becase it’s free. Tom wants to know what types of rooms he's targeting for his "Sleep and Split" tactics. Don does this at the $20/night room at the places on Motel Row. These are not top-tier accomodations, so Don mainly does it for the satisfaction of not having paid. Tom wants to know why he’s so cheap, but Don doesn't think he is.
He thinks things have changed in Newbridge, such as Muffler Row, which has gone from 10 shops to 35 shops. Tom agrees it’s more rough, but Don also thinks parts are more friendly. He met Werner, a super-nice German guy, in front the old Lady Foot Locker. Don thinks Tom probably knows him because he said he was a known guy around town. Tom knows him from the loading docks at Consolidated Cardboard. Don confirms that he looks like Rutger Hauer, but shorter with blond hair and a black mustache. Don thinks he's great, but Tom always thought he was a little scary. Don was dashing out of Newbridge Diner and ran right into Werner while he was trying to unlock a bike from a post because he said he lost his key. Don helped him free the bike, and he was kind enough to give Don some cookies he just baked. Tom thinks it’s good that Don could eat something without engaging in theft. Don said they had a special sugar sprinkled on them that Werner said he’d love. He was right -- Don felt really good after eating the cookies and got a surge of energy. Tom goes out on a limb and says the topping may have been cocaine.
Werner gave Don some more cookies, and now Don can’t get enough of them. Tom tells Don that Werner got him addicted to coke. Now Werner is telling Don that he has to buy them, but they’re really expensive. Werner says that Don can have as many as he wants if he helps his brother Rutager move a bunch of rolls of old carpet from this storage place to the dump out by Mellow Grove. Tom tells Don that in movies when you move rolled up carpet there is usually a dead body within. Don says it’s all coming together because Werner told him that one of the rolls would be really light, but it would be heavier later. As he said this, he was poking his finger into Don’s chest as if to make the point that it could be Don. Tom said he would be extremely worried by Werner’s comment. Don is torn because on the on the one hand, he wants to live, but on the other hand, he craves more of those cookes. Tom says these are the words of an addict.
Don wants Tom to do him a favor. if he doesn’t come back alive, he left some stuff under Tom’s car that he’d really rather people not find. He lied about not being into the device, and tells Tom that he left a device he crafted from crabmeat and aluminum under his vehicle. Instead of the fishing line, it uses coated, industrial-strength string, and the timer goes to 57 instead of the standard 50. In other words, it’s a good one. Don hears Rutager’s horn honking for him outside, and asks Tom to pray for him not to get killed. Tom says it was nice catching up with him and agrees to say a prayer. Don wants to make sure that Tom wasn’t lying about not having the "Where’s the Beef" shirt. He wants to go to his grave knowing the truth. Don signs off: “Hope to smell ya sometime soon.”
Bombay The Hard Way - "Theme From Don"
- Jon in Lawrenceville calls (starts at 2:49), taking a break from watching the Yankees vs. Mariners game on the YES Network. He's not particularly happy about the Yankees being down two runs, but he is excited by the much-anticipated debut of Jeff Karstens.
Jon’s a long-time fan of the show, but when he listens at home, his wife does not care for it. He’s not sure what to do. Tom wants to know what what the main objection is, and the best he can figure out is that she simply doesn’t like the program. Jon's wife, Nicole, takes the phone. She wants to attend a couples workshop/orientation to get more clued into it The Best Show univese. Tom wants to know what hits her ears in the wrong way. She loves the background music for the mic breaks as an entrée into the show, but it's hard for her to articulate the specifics of what she doesn't like. She does like Tom, who seems like a nice gentlemen. She suspects it could be Philly Boy Roy, and Tom points out that her husband is a PBR fan. As newlyweds, she needs to learn about his interests. Otherwise, he will stray and she will lose him.
She has heard many bits and pieces, although maybe not an entire show from start to finish. Having listened to most of tonight's show, Tom wants her to list things she did not enjoy about it. She did not like the lighthouse foghorn sound, and, in general, she just can’t navigate it -- she can’t go with the show and stick with it. She requests a recommendation for a show to help her get in tune with what the show is all about. She would also be interested in an online episode guide. Tom suggests that she register for the FOT board and post her dilemma to seek help from the FOT Support Network. She feels a glimmer of hope, which has since turned into some legitimate progress:
- Louie the Liverpudlian calls (starts at 2:55) from London, saying, “It’s always a pleasure to talk to you, Timothy.” He was excited to get the greenlight, but does little to justify it. Tom cuts off a story about doing crowd control for a local band and recommends that he listen to Bill Zurat so he can get healed by three hours of music. Louie says “Hey, Tommy, you know what?” and gets Tom by hanging up.
- Freddy D from Danielson calls (starts at 2:57) in the home stretch as he walks up Broad Street past the Walk of Fame. He missed most of the show tonight due to celebrating his 13th birthday. Having finished his schooling at Drexel, he's now a grown-up. He got some computer business kind of job, but it’s nothing worth discussing on the air since he can't even pretend to make it sound interesting.
Tom wants to know if he will get him into the Danielson show with the Flaming Lips. Tom is willing to wear the blue jumpsuit. Freddy wants to make a deal with Tom. He will get him into the show if Tom can fulfill his one and only birthday wish: PBR singing "Happy Birthday". Unfortunately, the request qualifies as payola, so Tom can’t accept it. Tom is not allowed to benefit from this radio program since it is on a non-commercial station and Tom is a moral man. Freddy suggests some kind of backroom deal. Tom declares Freddy the black sheep of the family and suggests that they have him run around on stage with a devil costume. Freddy wasn’t too happy about Tom ribbing him a couple of weeks ago for ditching the crud shows like Kichener, but showing up for the Lips gigs. Freddy says he would have improved those shows had he been there for he is the Danielson "X-factor".
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Tom plays Wet Rat's cover of King Diamond's "No Presents For Christmas", Legion and Louie The Liverpudlian have a lively debate on the future of the Labour party, and Werner calls to give listeners his cookie recipe.
Take a seat, Langley kids. Let the true masters do their work. I, of course, am referring to Flying Horses, a Japanese Paul McCartney and Wings tribute band: