Halloween Blues and Boogie Shoes.
"Something tells me Mike will not want for saving accoutrements." -- Tom on Mike endearing himself to the Mennen executives
"You're about three notches past 'kinda sad'." -- Tom on a caller's attempt to recapture his youth by throwing candy at cars
"Hit her with a pillow!" -- Tom, giving Weirder Jon a tip on how to wake his sleeping daughter
"Even the worst people think they’re good." -- Tom, trying to instill some more confidence in a Canadian drone musician
"I’m not educated. I just do whatever they tell me." -- Tom on his blind loyalty to his Republican masters
"Were you playing your guitar like Ozzy plays it?" -- Tom, inquiring about the authenticity of a caller's Halloween costume
"Summertime and the leaving is easy.” -- Tom, rewriting The Zombies' unpleasant, room-clearing dirge
"It was like finding an oasis in the desert." -- Tristan on having two people recognize him as Mad Max
"I'm not Ribbon Man anymore. Yeah, Ribbon Man just threw his costume away." -- Tom on the brief life of his homemade superhero
"It’s not the old days!" -- Tom, responding to Terre T's concern about the rise in hott Hallowen moms
"Man, I want to smash Pete Seeger." -- Tom, still targeting his cowardly nemesis
"Yoga’s a form of … you know what Yoga is, how could anyone on this continent not know what Yoga is?" -- BT, refusing to believe that Tom's is unfamiliar with this cooking discipline
"All this Yoga talk is making me hungry." -- Tom, craving some General Tso's hot dogs
"So the two things you like are coconut and ruining my show!" -- Tom, scolding an Almond Joy fan
"Yeah, I think I understand where Ian Curtis was coming from." -- Tom on the suicidal powers of Werner Herzog's Stroszek
"Kid's got work to do if that's the state of affairs!" -- Tom, getting refueled by bad comedies
"Barry, there is no next movie." -- Hollywood executive delivering some bad news to Mr. Levinson
"That looks like water torture." -- Tom, requesting $17,000 to watch a full season of Farscape
"I would either emerge stronger than ever or completely ruined." -- Tom on his alone time with the cover art for Lenny Kravitz's Baptism
"That Tony Randall album clobbers this." - Tom on Vo Vo De Oh Doe's old-timey takedown of Modern Times
Tom Waits - "What's He Building In There?"
( Click here to buy Mule Variations)
Black Sabbath - "Cornucopia"
( Click here to buy Vol. 4)
Helloween - "I'm Alive"
( Click here to buy Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part I)
Smashing Pumpkins - "Siva" (from 9/8/91 Peel Session)
( Click here to buy Peel Sessions)
Iron Maiden - "The Wicker Man"
( Click here to buy Brave New World)
Danzig - "Left Hand Black"
( Click here to buy Danzig III: How The Gods Kill)
Annotated highlights of a come-from-behind W:
Tom wanted to talk to the mischief nighters, trick-or-treaters (they turned out to be either asleep or too busy sorting through their stashes; rumor has it that August went as Jean-Paul Sartre, but was prohibited from eating any candy due to parental concerns about a sugar high), or some regular callers who donned an “audio costume”, an idea presented by Mike the Associate Producer in The Best Show pre-show staff meeting. Mike was extremely nervous as he made the suggestion in front of the powerhouses in attendance: Donald Trump, Jr. and several Mennen executives. Trump, Jr. was brought in to speak about what it takes to be a success in the business world. Tom found it very insightful and was particularly inspired by one page in the book of his life: the one that mentioned having Donald Trump as a father.
A couple of Mennen executives were in town to review the show and make sure Tom was properly promoting the Gillette Quattro razor on the air. (There has also been some chatter on the Mennen.com forums about the company wanting Tom to start using some new catchphrases. The marketing department is pushing hard for “Nuts to you, McGillicutty!”) Tom invited some women from Scores to come to the studio and demonstrate the smoothness of the Quattro by shaving a balloon slathered in shaving cream without making it pop. The Mennen guys loved Mike’s idea so much that they invited him to travel with them via corporate helicopter to catch the Rolling Stones in Atlantic City on November 17th.
- A caller from Montville references (starts at 26:51) what sounded like "Narth Vader" as an example of the brutal trick-or-treaters roaming the streets. He nearly got beat up by some seven- and eight-year-olds. The caller is 23 and has no children, so he's out causing mischief with friends to relive their glory days. Their rekindled reign of terror includes soapings and stealing candy from children. Tom thinks he’s lying because he can hear it in his voice. The caller says there’s nothing wrong with stealing candy from children, but Tom was not passing judgment on the act. He was simply stating that the caller was not doing it. Tom also believes he’s a coward. The caller says there is heavy traffic in Montville, and his crew is throwing candy at cars on Route 46. Tom thinks he’s confused about the basic tenets of Halloween that say you acquire and keep the candy. The caller claims they are playing a game in which the candy bounces off the cars and they attempt to catch it on the rebound. He declares this new twist on the holiday to be a “Situationist Situation of the Halloween Anticipation.” The caller thinks it’s kinda sad that he’s doing this stuff at his age, but Tom thinks it’s three notches past kinda sad. The caller believes he is acting on a need to be experimental and give some juice to a tired holiday as long as nobody gets hurt. Tom doesn’t see how throwing stuff at cars in the pitch dark could possibly result in any injuries. Speaking of cars, Tom hopes he gets run over as punishment for his toilet talk. Tom had his finger on the button the whole call. He knew it was coming.
- Josh in Miami calls (starts at 31:34) to reprezent for the absentee Laurie, who is off gallivanting in NYC for the big WFMU Record Fair. Josh will be there in spirit form. He’s got a Halloween Good/Not So Good: the coffee shop next to where he works. They told a new employee last week about their tradition of working in costume on Halloween. As a result, she came to work in full geisha regalia -- white face paint, chopsticks in the hair, and a kimono. But nobody else was in costume. It was a trick. They got her. Tom thinks the ruse is horrible in theory, but she deserves the embarrassment for dressing up like a geisha. Due to Josh’s delay in responding to queries, Tom thinks he may be on a spaceship orbiting Earth. Josh says he’s still on the ground, but I suspect he was getting baked with Neil Armstrong on some secret mission. Josh says he’s just nervous about calling for the first time. Tom tells him to shake it off by jumping up and down. Josh obliges and returns all loosey-goosey. Tom wants to know about the Miami Halloween scene, and Josh reports seeing kids in costumes, flashlights, and grandmas handing out candy. He has not seen much mischief, which usually takes the form of toilet paperings of the palm trees (for shame) and egg tossings. Mike tells Tom that he has a hot call on line 2, so he has to let Josh go.
- Get Off My Bone calls (starts at 34:46) to get Tom’s pick for the “worst” (as in not scary) horror movie character ever. Tom goes with Dr. Giggles, and GOMB is not familiar with the character. Go back to horror school, son! He then pauses to attend to some trick-or-treaters at the door, screams, and hangs up. Tom is not impressed by the bit. He imagines GOMB dripping with sweat and wondering how it went. Tom’s verdict: not that funny.
- Weirder Jon calls (starts at 36:26) to say that he wanted to put his daughter on to tell Tom about her candy haul, but she just fell asleep. Tom wants WJ to wake her up. WJ says he can’t do that, so Tom gives him some help: hit her with a pillow. WJ actually does know how to do it, but he doesn’t want to unhinge her wrath. Tom thought his weirdness would make him prone to do such a thing, but he’s afraid of his kids. They’re brutal and get very cranky if jarred from bed soon after they fall asleep. Tom believes he’s a chicken and makes clucking sounds to taunt him. He dismisses him because he talks to humans, not chickens. Tom, who knows the dangers of parent-child power dynamics from his chats with Philly Boy Roy, suspects that WJ's kids are bullying him around. When they demand a trip to Toys-R-Us, WJ responds with "Yes, master." Tom thinks that, like Roy, Jr., his kids probably call him by his first name: "Hey, Jon, we're going to Toys-R-Us."
- Colleen in Canada laments (starts at 37:32) the quality of the previous callers, but says they are not as bad as Spike's recent output. She thought he was awesome when he first burst onto the scene, but has now run his course. She still listens to his calls for a few gems, but doesn’t think he brings it hard enough anymore. She wanted to know the scariest thing listeners ever found. She and her friends once found a scary object that she doesn’t think could be topped. She wants Tom to guess, but he fears that he will says something so scary that her thing will pale in comparison. She says it’s not a human body, and Tom says he would have guessed a torso. She used to work in a lab overrun with rats and gerbils. It was not approved for primate research, but once they were looking for something in the back of a cupboard and found a dried-up monkey head. Its brain had been removed, so the cranial case was open and the skin had dried away from it. Tom GOMPs her for scaring him and giving him monkey head nightmares.
- Hank from Monroe, NY, calls (starts at 40:17) to talk about "this mischief stuff", but Tom cans him. He could feel that he was going somewhere he’s not supposed to go. If nothing else, he was likely about to say “fugettaboutit”, which is an automatic GOMP.
The one and Only and definitely not from Olney: The Misfits -- with American's favorite erotic fiction writer on drums -- rock for snowboarders
- An 18-year-old caller from Alberta, Canada discusses (starts at 40:47) his boring Halloween because he retired from the trick-or-treating game three years ago. He’s living in a basement apartment so he’s completely severed from the holiday festitivies. Tom serenades him with a verse from what appeared to be a nice little ditty: “Baaaasement apartment, how did you fall so far?” Tom wants to hear more about his subterranean living quarters, specifically if it floods every time it rains. The caller has not experienced any flooding, but he can see it coming soon. Tom takes back his mocking tune because he realizes that the kid is only 18 and fresh out of the coop. Tom applauds his efforts to strike out on his own and continue his schooling at the University of Lethbridge. When he grows up, he wants to be a rock star, but he doesn’t shred and his lyrics lack emotional potency. Tom says he must have confidence because even the worst people think they are good. If he can’t summon that mindset, Tom advises that he get out of the rock star game.
The caller thinks he’s better than most musicians, but he also believes that if you are going to be in music these days, you should be really amazing. Tom adds another option: really terrible. The caller is currently working on a drone project that he compares to a fun version of Earth. Tom doesn’t like it. He loves it. He’s also currently in a Misfits cover band that makes all their lyrics Christmas-y. Hence, the fun party band is called The Chrisfits, who are not slick like their inspiration. Tom doesn’t like it. The caller boldly besmirches the present-day Misfits, and Tom wants him to take it back because he thinks they’re better than ever. The caller’s drummer agrees with Tom. Tom played “Horror Business” in his opening set, and while that’s good, it is a notch below the current version of the band. To prove it, Tom plays a snippet of the Jerry Only-fronted lineup tearing through a cover of the Drifters’s “This Magic Moment”. Tom mentions that this track is the connection between the caller and Spike.
The caller thinks Only still retains a little bit of cred, but he’s completely soared on Michale Graves because he’s a Republican. Tom wants to know why that's a problem. The caller says he doesn’t think Graves is an educated Republican like Tom. Tom points out that he’s not educated and will do whatever the party officials tell him. He got an e-mail today about his next mission: protest outside the house of stem-cell enthusiast Michael J. Fox. Tom doesn’t know why, but he will show up. The caller says that Spin City was liberal hogwash/propaganda. Tom didn’t see that movie. The caller says it’s the one where MJF turns into a werewolf and plays basketball, but Tom catches him being silly because everyone knows that’s Teen Wolf. The caller was hoping to riff with Tom, but instead he was GOMPed.
- Get Off My Bone calls (starts at 47:28) to man up and apologize for the scream. He attributes the scream to his daughter, who was going out as Macaulay Culkin. Tom accepts the apology, but GOMB already blew it.
- A caller from Garfield thinks (starts at 48:15) he’s calling Total Request Live. He wants to top Colleen’s monkey head find, but he doesn’t get a chance.
- Dylban from Monroe makes (starts at 49:23) the high-pitch sounds that accompany the shower scene in Psycho, which he believes is the best horror movie ever. Tom gets rid of him and thinks that this show is shaping up to be his own horror movie. Weirdos who are stuck home without an invite to a Halloween party are taking it out on The Kid.
- Dennis, an actual kid, gets (starts at 50:31) Tom by answering "the sky" when asked what was up. He says he’s from Paramus but the doubt in his voice leads Tom to ask if he’s been kidnapped. He repeats that he’s from Paramus with more confidence, indicating that it's his legit hometown and not one he's adopted in the course of an abduction. He did not trick-or-treat this year because he’s getting too tall and is intimidated by the reactions he gets. He's only 10, but since he looks older, people either don’t answer the door or treat him “funky”. He didn’t really want to go out anyway because sticking out a bag and saying “trick or treat” is disrespectful, akin to rude demand of “give me the candy”. Tom appreciates his good manners and morals. He did, however, go to school dressed as Ozzy Osbourne. He even brought his guitar to complete the authentic Ozzman look.
Tom thinks Ozzy’s a good guitarist (Dennis claims he’s a singer) and does a rendition of his guitar and vocal intro to one of his more popular songs. Dennis forgot the name of the song. Tom can’t place it either, but he thinks it might be “Boogie Shoes”. I was stumped for days, but after nearly giving up, it came to me: “Mr. Crowley”. Tom wants to know what other cool costumes he saw at school. He saw someone dressed up like a nerd with a bloody pencil lodged in his skull and fake buckteeth. This was enough to win the best costume award. Dennis won nothing, although he didn’t expect any honors. He votes for himself as the dumbest costume. Tom gives him a prize, but it’s yet another dumbest costume award.
- 26-year-old Dan in Bloomfield calls (starts at 54:10) to say that he's waiting to pillage his younger sister’s loot. She’s 13 and went as some sort of princess/witch amalgamation. Dan’s hoping for a good haul. I think Dan's audio costume was a bit too much Joe Torre and not enough Lou Pinella.
- Dave in Manhattan calls (starts at 55:01) with some insight into Halloween in Puerto Rico. He just got back from a trip to see his wife, who is still there visiting her parents. Dave discovered that the kids down there take Halloween a lot more seriously than their US and A counterparts. His father-in-law is a real cranky old man who keeps the lights off. The kids knew he was home, but he doesn’t give out candy because he doesn’t want them on his property. He got an update from his wife, who told him that kids threw two dozen rotten eggs at the house. She had to close the windows to avoid vomiting from the foul odor. They don’t have any air conditioning, so now she’s dying from the heat. Tom doesn’t think his father-in-law is much of a prize with his lack of AC and refusal to buy $3 worth of candy to stop his house from getting attacked with rotten eggs. Dave and Macchiavelli agree. Mike tells Tom that Dave’s father-in-law in on line 4. Tom tries to take the call, but the line gets disconnected.
- A caller asks (starts at 56:49) about The Zombies show Tom went to a few weeks ago as part of the Little Steven’s Underground Garage tour. Tom says that while Colin Blunstone still has a good voice, he thought the band members took the stage as actual zombified remains. The caller saw them in another city on the same tour and thought they were about what he expected for a collection of old guys. Little Steven did the band intro (“We’ve got one of the coolest bands in the planet"), which was along the same lines as his recent hyperbolic praise of one-hit wonders Shadows of Knight that Tom viewed online. Little Steven argued that none of them would have been there without the influence of Shadows of Knight, so now Tom knows who to hate.
The caller says that Rod Argent dropped a lot of names during the show, trying to impress the crowd with stories about talking to Tom Jones. He did the same thing at Tom’s show, noting that one of the band members played with Nik Kershaw at Live Aid. Tom points out that Kershaw is terrible. The caller said his audience was filled with clueless hipsters in their 20s who were likely unable to make sense of the banter. Tom thought the song selection was terrible. It started off with Motown songs like “What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted”, a song that Tom does not recall from The Zombies' catalog. Then they did Argent’s “Hold Your Head Up”. Tom thinks that track should be deleted from the set list until the Argent reunion hits the road. Tom was about to walk out, but then they started a few good songs. The caller’s show ended with “Summertime”. If Tom heard them launch into the slowest dirge ever, the leaving would have been easy. He got “Time of the Season” and took off during the 2006-style guitar solo that never existed on record.
- Jeff calls (starts at 1:02) to say that he was turned off by the slutty Halloween outfit worn by a girl he likes. Tom was turned off by his call to the program.
Who's that?: Next year, Tristan will go as Feral Boy, but he'll be mistaken for a hobbit by his classmates
- Tristan calls (starts at 1:03) to offer Tom some camaraderie since he, too, was a little let down by his peers on Halloween. Despite having a lot of work to do, he spent all last night working on his costume to ensure its awesomeness. He turned 20 a couple of weeks ago, so he's not trick-or-treating -- he just likes dressing up and enjoying the holiday. Tom says it ain't no crime to like Halloween. Tristan thought that he put together a killer Mad Max costume, but nobody in his college knows who that is because they never saw the film series. Some of them could not even place the character in the realm of cinema. Other costumes included weak efforts like a girl in cat ears and a guy wearing a yellow leotard. Tristan's position is that if people are going to dress up, they should have some pride and put in the requisite time. He did eventually get properly identified by two people, which was like finding an oasis in the desert.
Tom almost got beat up one year because of his choice of costume. He got two magnetic "Support Our Troops" ribbons, stapled them together at the ovals, and ran a string around the back. He put it on like the mask worn by Robin (Tristan wanted to sound smart, so he says he was told that is called a domino mask) -- each eye peered through the opening in the ribbons. Then he put on a black shirt and stapled another ribbon to the front of that. Then he put on a pair of yellow dishwarshing gloves and stapled two tiny ribbons to each glove. And with that flourish, Ribbon Man was born. Tom didn't realize how seriously military men took the patriotic ribbons. Tom announced his presence, but he was not well received and quickly discarded his costume. Ribbon Man was dead.
- Officer Tom calls (starts at 1:08) from the squad car as he prowls around sort of looking for mischievous kids. He’s employing a semi-blind eye and just trying to keep the peace and keep the youngsters moving. He did get a call from a woman after someone in a purple gorilla suit threw a bunch of bananas at her and ran away. Tom would call the cops in that scenario because he’d be terrified of waking up at 3 a.m. and seeing the purple gorilla staring at him through the window. OT brought the underling out earlier this afternoon as they chaperoned a trick-or-treating jaunt. She made her own superhero costume complete with a cape, calling herself SuperAlex. Her powers remain undetermined.
OT will attend the WFMU Record Fair, which will feature pizza and alcohol for the obese and liquor-plagued. I'm assuming that there was a steady flow of pies at Zachary Brimstead, Esq.'s table. A few years ago I bought some really rare Dapper Dans and Legendary West Hoover Barbershop Sparrows vinyl from him. OT hopes to see the FOTs he likes at the Record Fair and plans to bring an extra OT bobblehead doll to auction for charity.
He switches the topic to cinema since he saw the new cop movie with Leonardo Dicaprio, which he gives 6 out of 5 bullets. His partner, Rick, informs him that the film was called The Departed. He also blasts the sireen per OT’s request. OT says that Rick often works on the rescue squad in JC, and Tom wants to know why. OT offers to put him on, but Tom is afraid of him. He doesn’t want to incite some kind of “cop rage” like Ray Liotta in Unlawful Entry. Mike did not like The Departed, and a surprised OT wants an explanation. Mike says the story didn’t make sense and anybody who likes it is stupid. OT promises to work up a year-end cinema wrap-up for The Best Show.
- DJ Terre T from WFMU gives (starts at 1:15) Tom an enthusiastic booya in honor of his new hero. Tom says that he wishes he was going as Jim Cramer for Halloween. Tom mentions that Cramer will be one of the keynote speakers at the Learning Annex's Real Estate and Wealth EXPO in a couple of weeks. Other speakers will include Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki, who wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Tom bought it at the airport and thinks it’s one of the three most offensive books ever. Terre T also thought it was dreadful. Tom was disgusted by Kiyosaki's decision to throw his "Poor Dad", a PhD and respected educator, under the bus in favor of his surrogate "Rich Dad", his best friend's father who dropped out of school in eighth grade and became a self-made millionaire anyway. Tom imagines his real father discovering the book, getting light-headed, and sitting down in the Barnes and Nobles in a state of shock. As he flipped through its pages, he'd wonder what he did to deserve such treatment by his son. All he did was teach kids and never once murdered anyone with an ax.
Terre T shifts the conversation back to Halloween by asking if anyone else noticed a trend she observed in Newbridge Heights: really, really hott moms out with their cute kids. While the kids were dressed as dinosaurs, pumpkins, or tiger, the moms are rocking hott costumes like a foxy witch thing or bunny ears. Tom says it’s not the old days, but Terre finds it disturbing to have your mom all hotted out. Tom believes the moms should do and wear whatever they want. Terre T got no trick-or-treaters at her abode in Newbridge, although she may have missed them due to a late return home from work. Tom thinks her bad, MIA form makes her a prime candidate for an egging. Tom has a system in place at his house in Natas Acres. When he’s not there, he mounts a bird feeder (hopefully with a high-end, Keith Kincaid-approved bracket) on the door and fills it with candy. It dispenses one piece at a time. Terre T used the honor system one year and it worked because all the hott moms prevented a raid on her unguarded stash.
- Petey calls (starts at 1:22) with slurred speech that prompts Tom to ask him if he's recovering from dental surgery. Petey went trick-or-treating with a toy apple and gives a sample of it's ring. It did yield him some candy, although he decides to eat some Doritos. Petey wonders why Tom did not go trick-or-treating with friends. Tom says it’s because he’s not friendly with any nine-year-olds, but Petey suggests that he could have gone with Mike. Tom tells Petey that a solo adult is bad, but two adults trick-or-treating together is even worse. Petey got a tube filled with stained mini-Chiclets. He threw it out. Tom tries to get Petey to admit that he partook of a little side salad in the bushes. Petey denies it and says he's not even familiar with weed. Petey continues to eat Doritos, so he’s GOMPed. Tom does not believe that makes for great radio -- having a snack is not a valid performance piece. Sometimes eating Doritos is just eating Doritos. If Tom was Petey, he would have gone out as punk hero Pete Seeger. Tom imagines the skin of Seeger's banjo ripping when he smashes it over his head. As The Gorch might say: Pete Seger = Beat Up.
- BT calls (starts at 1:25) in the midst of a giggle fit (thus earning the demented moniker of "Dr. Giggles") from Tom’s Seeger remarks. He can’t believe Tom hates the nice old guy. Tom thinks he’s a coward for running from the authorities by singing benign fluff like "Frog Went A-Courtin'" while Woody Guthrie stuck to his guns and went down hard. Tom likes BT's laugh, so he wants to play a round of “Make Me Laugh”. BT tells an awful, North Carolina-based “joke” featuring Deadwood vocabulary like “ornery”. After what was apparently the punch line, Tom is silent and thinks there’s more. That was it, and BT orders Tom to laugh. Tom wants to know what he’s supposed to laugh at, so BT tells him that a joke has been unfurled. Tom wants to know what the joke is. BT repeats the punchline: “God’s gone missing and they think we’ve got something to do with it.” Tom’s still not laughing. Tom wants to find out if he could make BT laugh by simply making a sound. BT compares the noise Tom emits to a zen koan Mu (I was thinking the same thing!), but doesn't laugh. As he suspected, Tom then gets BT to laugh by saying that he laughed at the sound.
Tom wants to know how he conducts his trick-or-treating business since he’s required by law to be 50 feet away from anyone under 18. BT says nobody comes to his house because the kids know to avoid that house. He’s the resident scary dude in the neighborhood, and he starts scaring Tom by suggesting that he’s building something evil in his lair. Tom begs him not to kill him, but BT says he’s actually harmless because he teaches yogurt and meditates.
Tom: You teach yogurt?
Tom: Yoga? What’s that?
BT: You don’t know what Yoga is?
Tom: Is it like a fat-free yogurt?
BT: Yoga’s a form of … you know what Yoga is, how could anyone on this continent not know what Yoga is?
Tom: I don’t know what it is.
BT: Well …
Tom: What is it?
Tom: Y-O-G-A. Ok, well tell me about YOGA.
BT: Well, Yoga’s a practice, most commonly, it’s a practice of exercise and meditation.
BT: It’s a class you take. Yoga classes, they offer them at all the gyms.
Tom: Like a cooking class?
BT: No, it’s exercise.
BT: It’s exercise and meditation and breathing.
Tom: Ahhh … so you have to be pretty patient, otherwise you’re gonna burn the stuff.
BT: Well, Yoga can be pretty fast-moving, it can be a pretty good workout.
Tom: That’s like when you’re fryin’ something?
BT: Yeah ... that’d be the Yang side of it. Then you have the Ying side, which is very soft and gentle. The Ying and Yang.
Tom: The Yin and Yang? So you make Chinese food or something?
BT: Uh, yeah … mostly Japanese.
Tom: What is … like what, eggrolls?
BT: No, um … brown rice, shiitake mushrooms, scallions …
Tom: Let me get this … hold on … so you teach a cooking class, like Japanese food?
BT: Well, I do teach a cooking class, and I also teach Yoga. We started off talking about the Yoga.
Tom: Yeah, which is what I thought we were talking about.
BT: Well, Yoga is a natural, hygienic health care system.
Tom: So you keep a pretty clean kitchen when you teach your Yoga class.
BT: Yes. Absolutely.
Tom: Okay. I’d be interested in trying some of this Yoga.
BT: You should look into it.
Tom: Like what is your favorite dish to make?
BT: My favorite dish? I’d have to say is brown rice with uh …
Tom:What happened to the rice? Why is it brown? Oh, I know: soy sauce.
BT: No, no … it’s a variety of rice.
Tom: I like soy sauce also.
BT: Pardon me?
Tom: I like a lot of soy sauce on my rice also.
BT: No, you don’t put the soy sauce on the rice.
Tom: You don’t?
BT: Maybe you’d come up to our class. I’d invite you as my guest.
Tom: Like your Yoga cooking class.
BT: Yeah, we have a class called “Vegetarian Cooking Workshop”.
Tom: Which is Yoga.
BT: No, Yoga is the class that is primarily focused on the exercises of Yoga, the postures.
Tom: Ahhh … I … you … I’m really confused now.
BT: Yeah …
Tom: Somebody on the chat is saying that Yoga is a form of cooking.
Tom: Yes, that’s what we’re talking about.
BT: No, no. I mean, good diet is part of Yoga practice. Vegetarian diet is part of the Yoga practice.
Tom: Somebody is saying Yoga is a form of cooking which incorporates Japanese food and Japanese vegetables. Like what are Japanese vegetables?
BT: No, that’s totally a misconception. Y-O-G-A, Yoga?
Tom: That’s what they’re saying.
BT: It comes from India, not Japan, and it’s a practice of meditation and physical exercise.
Tom: I don’t know who to believe.
BT: Well, you can believe me because I’m a certified Yoga instructor.
Tom: Well this guy’s saying he’s a certified Yoga instructor.
BT: Well, you better question him.
Tom: Or you.
BT: Well, you can question me.
Tom: I feel like I’m like in a situation, everybody’s got a gun pointed at each other.
BT: No, Yoga is a practice, it’s called the Asanas, the Asanas are the postures or the physical movements of exercise in a Yoga class.
Tom: He’s saying this guy is a fraud, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
BT: He’s just trying to stir up trouble, I guess, because … I don’t know, look it up for yourself.
BT: I’m not gonna debate with him about that. That’s ridiculous.
Tom: He says that this guy’s a liar. He knows nothing about Yoga.
BT: I’ve been teachin’ it for 10 years.
Tom: his guy says he’s been teaching it for 12.
BT: Cooking classes?
BT: Definitely diet is part of Yoga.
Tom: He says the thing that he makes the best in his Yoga class is General Tso’s hot dogs.
BT: [giggling] Okay. [more giggling]
Tom: What is that like? Do you make that?
BT: No … no.
Tom: Do you like hot dogs?
BT: You know, I ate a hot dog about five years ago, and I really liked it. But it’s not something I would eat.
Tom: They don’t have them down there?
BT: Up here.
Tom: Up here? Where are you?
BT: Sussex County, New Jersey.
Tom: Oh, man, I thought you said you were in North Carolina. Now I’m scared -- your close. Eww, boy.
BT: Oh, yeah, I’m close.
Tom: Don’t kill me. Please.
BT: Why’d I say North Carolina, we were talking about …
Tom: Oh, I think it was in your terrible joke. The joke took place in North Carolina.
BT explains that it was joke told by Doc Watson, who is the best flatpicking guitarist in the country. When he plays live, he always stops and tells a little joke, and BT plucked this one from one of his CDs. Tom says it was not a “little joke” since it took four minutes to tell. BT says he tried to make it quick. Tom thinks that stuff might fly in his Yoga class when he’s manning the griddle, but it’s not worthy of The Best Show. BT says he usually gets a laugh out of it, but speculates that something was lost in the translation over the phone and on the radio. He says it’s better in person, but Tom says that’s because his audience is afraid of him and laugh out of fear of being killed in the parking lot. BT giggles at Tom’s suggestion that he’s a murderer. Tom tells him to have a good night and lets him go, presumably back to his devilish workshop to continue fashioning Belty-grade weaponry.
- Sam from Milburn, NJ, calls (starts at 1:37) on his 18th birthday to point out that all of the Yoga talk is crazy because it has
Tom thinks the show is still stalled on the runway awaiting take-off. He now knows how the astronauts feel when NASA postpones a launch for 10 days due to bad weather.
- Jim E. from Louisville obeys (starts at 1:39) Mike's command to talk about Halloween by picking a topic called “Why Aren’t Kids Trick-or-Treating Anymore?” He lives in a rich neighborhood with all the good candy, but nobody showed up. When he was a kid, the neighborhood was flooded with kids, but they’ve all evaporated from the scene these days. He also wanted to ask Tom about Dane Cook’s recent Home Box Office special, Vicious Circle. Tom immediately starts laughing because he thought it was a fun special. Jim E. thought the Lenny Kravitz-style stadium that was erected for the show was like a crazy God/Pharaoh thing. He suspects that the craftsmen were not thrilled about having to build the elaborate set for something like Dane Cook. Tom actually doesn't like Cook, and Jim E. mentions the excessive use crazy camera cuts during the show. Tom thinks those are a great way to put people in a laughing mood. Jim E. was pleased that Cook helped him relate to what it's like to lie down on a couch by replicating the act on the surface of the stage. Tom's bummed out by the lack of kids calling, so he's moving on. Halloween is over. Tom blames the parents.
- Matt from Burlington, Vermont, calls (starts at 1:44) to talk about the best part of Halloween. He’s excited about tomorrow when his alarm clock sireen blares at 6:00 a.m. sharp, and he races out to buy up all the half-price candy. Matt loves candy, and his favorite is Almond Joy. He likes the coconut, which is not as prevalent outside the realm of chocolate samplers. Tom sums up the call by saying that the two things Matt likes are coconut and ruining his show. He’s GOMPed. Tom wants to get a new game rolling, not talk about coconut.
- Since the show was stalled, Tom launches (starts at 1:47) a new game called Pay Me. It’s based on the notion that one would require monetary compensation to see a particularly bad moviefilm or do something unpleasant. Tom wants to put an official price tag on these torturous acts. For example, Tom would need $30 to sit through Clint Eastwood’s Flags Of Our Fathers. Here's a rundown of the Pay Me pilot:
* The first player proposes seeing Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. He would want $15 on top of the ticket price. Tom was thinking of the same number. Tom throws one at him: The Last Kiss, the recent Zach Braff vehicle. The caller would do it for a mere $9. Tom wants $80 on top of the ticket price based on his displeasure with Garden State.
* A caller wants Tom to pay him $200 to rent Steel Magnolias and watch it twice. Tom thinks it's a little steep, but the caller won't do it for anything less than that. Tom would do it for $25.
* Jeff from Middletown was wondering how much he'd have to pay Tom to acquire Clerks II on DVD. Tom clarifies that he's really talking about the indignity of walking up to the counter at a retail outlet. Jeff allows Tom to purchase other DVDs to apply the cloaking "sandwich move". The most embarrassing scenario for Tom would be to go to Best Buy at 10 a.m. on the Tuesday of its release, run in as soon as the sliding doors are activated, grab only Clerks II, and dart towards the cashier. The only thing that would top it would be buying it at midnight at a Virgin Megastore. Tom would need a full $100 for that, but would do the sandwiching for $10. He's not concerned what the Best Buy employee will think of him, and, if asked, he will say he's buying Clerks II for his cousin. Tom throws one at Jeff: he has to watch Scrubs season 3 in daily, four-episode sessions until it's completed. Jeff would charge $75.
Despite all my rage, I am still just a chicken in a really weird Herzog film
* Chris L wonders how much it would take for Tom to sit through a marathon of the Saw horror series. Tom moans at the thought of it and charges $300 for the trilogy. He can also look forward to more Jigsaw antics in Saw 4 next Halloween. Tom thinks the franchise will finally fizzle out with the seventh installment. (Tom later reveals that Hostel would cost $150 and three of them would rise to $500. Tom will get closer to that payday when Hostel, Part 2 is released in January.) Tom asks Mike if he's seen any of the Saw films, and he responds by saying, "Are you kidding me?" Tom's not sure if that means yes or no. Mike lent Tom Werner Herzog's depressing Stroszek, and he's still a bit disturbed by having to endure a chicken jumping around in a cage for five minutes. Mike touted it as the film that pushed Ian Curtis to hang himself. Tom can understand where Curtis was coming from.
Tom goes off on a mini-Fight Club riff, declaring it one of the five worst movies he's seen and vowing not to add anyone on Myspace who lists it in their profile, even if everything else is in sync with his tastes. He will also report the user to Myspace. Chris L's notes the hypocrisy of Brad Pitt's character arguing that you are not the sum of your possessions while seemingly pillaging every vintage thrift store to assemble the perfect outfit. Chris L leaves to remove the Fight Club quote from his page. The Pay Me game has the show airborne.
* DJ Terre T thinks Chris L is psychic because she was going to ask Tom about Fight Club and Saw III. Terre asks Tom how much it would take to get him to watch Spike fave Last House On The Left. Tom says there is a horror film that is even more gruesome, but he won't reveal it because the mere mention of its title will give him bad dreams. Terre guesses 8mm (incorrect, though it is one of the worst movies Tom's ever seen), Employee of the Month, The Exorcist, and Rosemary's Baby. My guess: Trent L. Strauss's Nurse Sleaze. Terre's price for Last House On The Left is $2,000 to compensate for the 10 psychotherapy sessions that would follow. Tom would see it for $200.
Tom doesn't need any cash-incentive to see bad comedies like Employee of the Month because they serve as fuel that gets him up in the morning. They offer a peak into the state of affairs in the world and inspire The Kid to get to work. Terre fires again with the 14-hour epic Forrest Gump. Tom prices it at $75, but quickly ups it to $90 as it runs through his mind. Tom dreads another viewing of the hippie rally at the Washington Monument. Tom found it difficult to decided who to root for less -- the hippes or Forrest Gump. Terre closes with any current Robin Williams movie, such as Man of the Year. Tom would need $110 to see this late-period Barry Levinson movie. Tom wonders when someone is going to tell Levinson that his career is over unless he starts paying for his films out of his own pocket.
* Mike asks about The Usual Suspects, and Tom says that while he didn't love it, he'd have no problem watching it again.
* A caller offers the 147-minute Grateful Dead: Ticket to New Year's Eve Concert, which includes a drums/space intermission. Tom imagines that an irresponsible hippie messed up and had the band start the countdown at 11:55 p.m. or 12:08 a.m. He wants $400.
* A caller wants the bill for Tom watching an entire season of The O.C. -- just the actual episodes, no DVD bonus features. Tom's only seen about four minutes of the series and wants $1,000 to watch another 20 hours. Note: While the standard is 22 episodes per season, The O.C. has bombarded the public with 27, 24, and 25 episodes in its first three seasons. I think they need the extra episodes to make good on all that indie label payola. "Hey, Josh, we're gonna need five more episodes. We just got those Rogue Wave b-sides and Saddle Creek wants Bright Eyes to do a four-week residency at the Bait Shop." The caller also wants Tom's price for Titanic, and he thinks she may have hit the jackpot. He's only seen the first 40 minutes (nothing had happened yet) and wants $200 for the rest. The caller thinks it's worth the $200 to see Kate Winslet naked. (If Winslet nudity is what you're after, then you've got about 16 films less grueling than Titanic to choose from.) The caller has seen portions of the film about 10 times and may have cried during her first theatrical viewing at age 13.
* Paycheck calls to take a break from carving the Halloween turnip, a Canadian tradition. Instead of American-style candy corn, they have leaf-emblazoned maple corn. Paycheck has a bit of an abstract twist for the game: how much would he have to pay Tom to not watch any more episodes of the Steve Coogan comedy Saxondale until 2015. Tom wants $1,500 and thinks he'll find enough other entertainment product to keep him going for the next 9 years. Paycheck also wants a price check on how much it would cost for Tom to spend a week solo in Disneyland. Tom thinks it might be fun for the first four hours, but is concerned about his mental state at day five. Tom needs $10,000, and Paycheck says the check is in the mail.
* Benjamin in Queens wants to know how much it would take for Tom to view the Firefly series, as well as the resulting Serenity feature film. The screening may take place in a geeky festival setting. Tom wanted to see it, but he got the sense that something was wrong with it. Benjamin watched it, but he got a sneaking suspicion that there's nothing redeeming about it and began to wonder about the sanity of its cult followers. Tom gives him a bargain at $40. The situation would be much different if the material in question was the full run of water torture like Farscape or Stargate SG-1. Those series would set the caller back $17,000. Tom has one for Benjamin: he has one week to jam on all 201 episodes of The Cosby Show. He'll need $7,500 to account for not being able to work, the physical discomfort of the marathon shifts, and the recovery time.
* Betsy from Queens wants to know Tom's fee for enduring the Costner-and-Kutcher vehicle The Guardian. Tom only needs $20 to watch the diving picture. Betsy would charge $200 because the two leads are like the perfect storm of not good for her.
* Christopher from Rhode Island wants to know how much he would have to pay Tom to be locked in a room for three hours with every surface covered with a wall-size posters of the cover of Lenny Kravitz's Baptism album. Tom would have to sit there in silence and contemplate that image. Tom would be up for the endurance challenge and would do it for free. He thinks he would either emerge stronger than ever or completely ruined. Christopher's money is on the latter. While he has faith in Tom's fortitude, the visuals may be too destructive. He agrees to pay Tom a $100 mechanical fee. After reviewing the cover later in the show, Tom begins rethinking his pro bono stance and eventually requests $4,000.
* Roger in NYC wants to know how much he'd have to pay Tom to listen to every song featuring Phil Collins on lead vocals. Everything is in play -- the "Easy Lover" duet with Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind, & Fire, the Genesis stuff, the solo stuff (including, of course, the forays into horn-laded R&B), and even "Seperate Lives" from the soundtrack to White Nights. The worst for Tom would be his work on the Tarzan soundtrack. Roger says the tour through the discography would be in reverse chronological order, which means for the first time in his life, Tom would be looking forward to getting to the "Paperlate". Tom wants $7,500, and Roger says he will work hard to earn the money for the transaction. Tom's response is "please don't."
Genesis - "Paperlate"
Tom's glad the show got back on track because the increasingly rough Mennen guys wrote him on his Blueberry and told him to tell him to start bringing it. Tom observes that the chowderheads and kooks came out for the Halloween open phones, but once the breakout call-in game started, order was restored. Tom's still a bit disappointed that the empowering Turk 182 It game was a total flop a few weeks ago. He suspects people must enjoy getting crushed under the thumb of society.
- Dennis Lindsey checks in (starts at 2:35) to find out if Tom got his dates mixed up. Tom explains that he got stuck at work and then had to go straight to the station. Dennis appreciated that Tom left a bowl on his porch with a note allowing the Lindsey kids to take two extra handful. However, he was upset when his kids told him that the treats were generic Tylenol. Tom disputes the claim and says he gave out miniature Milky Way bars. Dennis doesn't think Tom has what it takes to rise to the challenge and thinks he would last four days in his office before security had to escort him off the premises. Dennis calls Tom a "sissy" for these shortcomings and would have used a more intense slur along the lines of "antique dealer" if he wasn't on the radio. Dennis hopes Tom is saving up to resod his lawn next spring because son already destroyed Tom's it with his Chevy Tahoe. After this landscaping work, Dennis and his son drove down the street to retrieve a full garbage can in an attempt to spew refuse on Tom's property. Dennis missed and ended up littering Tom's neighbor's yard. These acts were retribution for Tom breaking his promise and making his daughter to cry.
Tom says that sometimes real life gets in the way of prior commitments and wonders what Dennis would do if he had to forsake something because of a business trip. Dennis he would have one of his supervisors stand in for him at home and would have preferred that Tom hired someone to give out the candy at his house. Dennis repeats his desire for pizza or Hot Pockets, but Tom reminds him that those items were never going to make an appearance. Dennis tells him to enjoy his new erosion problem, and Tom thanks him for admitting it on the air so he has a solid case to present to the cops. Dennis views this as the start of a neighborhood war, but Tom says he's simply sticking up for himself. Dennis thinks he can talk to the cops and have the matter dropped. He threatens Tom by saying it will be a legal matter than he'll take to his grave. Tom cleanses himself with some Snapple white tea with a subtle green apple flavor. Snapple Real Fact: "Horseback riding can improve your posture."
Not so Modern Times: The making of Bob Dylban's tribute to Leon Redbone and megaphone crooning
- Tom does (starts at 2:47) a rapid-fire Unfair Record Review of Bob Dylban's Modern Times, his third masterpiece in a row. Here's a summary of its offenses:
* Lead-off track "Thunder on the Mountain" = Holy Moly in a bad way.
* "Spirit on the Water" sounds like bad Leon Redbone. Tom thought that Bob Dylan used to be good, but now he sounds like the guy doing the Mr. Belvedere theme. Tom thinks Dylan appears to be dying in this song.
* "When the Deal Goes Down" suggests that Dylan is actually pinching his nose while singing.
* Tom alternates "Someday Baby" with Redbone's Mr. Belvedere theme ("According To Our New Arrivals"), which is much preferable at only 30 seconds long. Tom was also a fan of the show and its talented young star, Bob Uecker.
* While playing "Workingman's Blues #2", Tom switches his allegiance to the people who have long complained about Dylan's nasally vocal style.
* "Beyond the Horizon" sounds like megaphone crooning; Tom thinks Tony Randall's Vo Vo De Oh Doe clobbers Modern Times, which is just a cheap Xerox.
* Tom agrees with a lyric in "Nettie Moore" that indicates that something is out of whack.
* Tom quickly aborts the jaunty, shuffling "The Levee's Gonna Break" so he's not forced to break the CD.
* Tom can only handle a few seconds of "Ain't Talkin'" because he's unable to keep pretending that it's anything other than the worst thing he's ever heard. Tom would much rather listen to the Leon Redbone (aka "The Master") song.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: The Scores ladies finally show up to shave balloons and conduct a Yoga cooking class, Tom demands payment of $500,000 to be strapped into a chair for 24 hours while a Spike-curated doo-wop mix CD and late-period Urge Overkill plays on an endless loop, and Pete Seeger calls to challenge Tom to step into the nonagon and slap it out.
Here's a classic treat from the Omar archives. When I was eight, I had a BAD Halloween. I documented my displeasure by writing a note that cited the 10 reasons why I hated it. Background: My mom and grandmother crafted a Robin Hood costume, which I was excited to wear for a day of traditional Halloween fun. I awoke to intense, flu-like symptoms, but I was determined to make a go of it. I donned the outfit, strapped on my bow and arrow set, and headed out for some swashbuckling income redistribution. Upon arriving at school, it was clear that I was not going to make it. My teacher -- the Miss Bruno referenced in the note -- got the first and only school-based glimpse of my ensemble. She praised its likeness to the real Robin Hood, and then I returned home to bed. Click the thumbnails to hear more about this sad tale of defeats, an ill-advised pass on the town parade, and a candyless fate that was even worse than attending church. (Please make note of the extremely straight lines I added to the unruled paper.)