"Whaddya got some nougat? Chompin' away up there? Sounds good." -- ScharplingTron 3000®, longing for some of Scratchy Record's snack
"It's all or nothing in this life. It's all or nothing. Champs like me can relate to that stuff." -- Tom, dipping into the bottomless ABBA box for "The Winner Takes It All"
"I think managing a baseball team is about as hard as ... I don't know ... as hard as ... ehhhhhhh ... opening a Hotmail account?" -- Tom on sleepyhead Joe Torre's undemanding job
"Did they recover her stuff yet? Any of it? -- Tom, after hearing that Martha from Knoxville stayed at a Holiday Inn in Jersey City
"It's shameful. You're a professional. Don't cry. It's not like they're barging the guy -- it's not Newbridge." -- Tom, trying to give Suzyn Waldman some perspective on her 110-year-old buddy's imminent firing
"No, Mike, the guy looks deranged, though. Are you sure you don't wanna see it? Guy doesn't look right. I think he's got mental problems." -- Tom, confirming that Mike has no interest in Lars Ulrich and the Real Girl
"My favorite part was when the kid kept kicking my seat. And since it was my favorite part, I'm glad he kept doing it for five hours." -- Tom on his turbulent flight from Newbridge International to Weird-O-Wood Intranational
"I've heard people rave about the beauty. They say it's got like the charm of an Italian village." -- Tom on the idyllic terrain of Houston, Texas, the pre-fab home of oil tycoons and obese cowboys
"Mmmmm, bubble tea. Are there any made with wax?" -- Tom, asking Laurie about the mixology of P*ong's $14 cocktails
"A hundred listeners. I light cigars with a hundred listeners!" -- Tom, hurting the Guys With Feelings
"This is actually the drainchild of Radio Hut co-founder Reginald Cooper and pharmaceutical empress mario Maurice Kern." -- Tank, explaining the origins of Deltoid Airlines
"Yes, they have a cow-slapping competition there every year. It's great." -- Tank on the attractions in the party town of Metzger Falls, Idaho
"It was over whose quads were more defined. Why?" -- Tank on his falling out with Horse from Jock Squad
"My first act as may-ore will be to crush your head between my calves in public." -- Tank, promising a violent start to his administration
"I mean, there aren't that many signatures you need to get in there." -- Mike, The Reluctant Candidate, on the lax requirements to get on the ballot in the Newbridge Mayubernatorial race
Nellie McKay - "Oversure"
( Click here to buy Obligatory Villagers)
XTC - "Life Begins At The Hop"
( Click here to buy Drums and Wires)
Fastbacks - "Run No More"
( Click here to buy The Question is NO)
The Motards - "Girl Like You"
( Click here to buy Saturday Night Special Ed.)
Eater - "Room For One"
( Click here to buy The Complete Eater)
Githead (ft. Wire's Colin Newman) - "These Days"
( Click here to buy Art Pop)
Robert Pollard - "I Clap For Strangers"
Robert Pollard - "Spider Eyes"
( Click here to buy Coast to Coast Carpest of Love / Standard Gargoyle Decisions)
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
Tom's still en route to the studio via his car service, so the ScharplingTron 3000®, Tom's automaton manservant, ably fills in for the pre-themes opening -- the "teaser", as I like to call it. The ST3K mentions the sponsorship by Mennen's Mach IV razor (with protective strip), available in stores right now.
Beep. Boop. /endline
The human version of Tom Scharpling arrives to launch the eighth season (wow!) of The Best Show. Could October 2007 to June 2008 be the final run? Tom says he may want to end it early and go out on a high note like the great Gunsmoke's lean and mean 38-year campaign. Tom is excited about going to Best Buy tomorrow to pick up the Gunsmoke complete first season DVD set (14 discs, 47 episodes). While he's there, he'll also grab the first season of WABC-TV's Eyewitness News. The 412-disc, $14,000 box (felt-lined?) includes audio commentary from Bill Beutel and a behind-the-scenes featurette from Roger Grimbsy. I hope he tells some good antidotes about being on the set of Turk 182. Last week, Tom assumed the role of a "Super Trouper" for his commitment to bringing it every week, and tonight he selected ABBA's "The Winner Takes it All" for the opening music set because champs like him can relate to the all-or-nothing approach to life. He enjoys staring down at people and watching them fold like a cheap camera. Tom feels a kinship with triumphant class acts like Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch, and George Steinbrenner.
Tom doesn't have a strong rooting interest in the Mets or the Yankees, so he can revel in both of their recent misfortunes. The Mets humiliated themselves last week by ending the regular season with a historic collapse, but the Yankees had their own little meltdown last night when they were eliminated from the playoffs by the Cleveland Indians, capping their seventh straight season without a World Series championship. Tom pins the defeat right on their bum manager, Joe Torre. Tom wants Torre to splash some cold water on his face and wake up. He thinks his dugout demeanor is more suitable for slinking along the buffet line like a zombie than managing a must-win MLB playoff game. Tom recommends that the Bigelow Tea pitchman drink a hot cup of coffee to raise his alertness level and get more into the competitive spirit of professional sports. He then expresses a desire to dump a scalding cup of Bigelow Tea on Torre's head to rouse him from his chronic on-the-job napping. He begs the Yankees to terminate his employment.
If The Kid was "The Boss", he would have sent three security guys to the post-game press conference to inform a bleary-eyed Torre that he had five minutes to collect his belongings and exit the stadium. They would each give him an old hot dog bun box with the top flaps ripped off -- a far cry from the sturdy, spacious CC "El Grande" -- to fill with his office items. Anything he couldn't squeeze into the boxes (e.g., his Rescue Me action figures, the Bronson Pinchot-autographed copy of the Perfect Strangers pop-up book that Bob Tewskbury gave him for Christmas in 1991, his custom-made Blue dispenser, etc.) would become the property of the New York Yankees. Tom would forbid Torre from soliciting anyone's help to carry the boxes to his car and then have a security guy heave him out of the stadium like he was ejecting an unruly patron from a bar. Tom does an impression of a sleepy Torre trying to explain the loss, and Mike compares his lethargic responses in interviews to those of a "slightly-animated mummy." Tom has no doubt that if he dedicated himself to the sport for 10 days, he could probably earn the starting left field job for the Yankees. He may not be an MVP like A-Rod, he's confident that he'd be able to hold down the sixth slot in the lineup. Tom points out that if playing baseball is relatively easy, managing a baseball team is the easiest thing in the world, especially when you're given a roster loaded with star players. He believes that managing a baseball team is about as hard as opening a Hotmail account. Tom's passionate Torre exit strategy clearly indicates that he would have been a far better choice to take the reigns of the franchise than the ectoplasmic handover to Hank and Hal.
- Chris aka "Highrise Fanboy" informs Tom that he was the guy who called last month to complain about the "crust punks" that were running wild in West Philly. Tom wonders who could possibly forget that exciting call other than him and Mike the Associate Producer. The pre-topic clock runs out just as Chris starts flaunting his complete lack of knowledge about baseball. Tom's not sure if the call should continue, but he resets the clock because Chris has that awesome story about the Philly crust punks on his Best Show resume. While he's no fan of the diamond, Chris was caught in the middle of the recent hysteria over the Phillies' first NL East pennant in 14 years. The celebrations ranged from Phanatics supporting their team by donning their regalia and doing The Bristol Stomp in the streets to frat dudes pouring beer on each other in bars. Local news crews set up live remotes throughout the city to get the perspective of the common man. Tom approves one more 30-second round to see if this tale is going anywhere. Chris seems confident that he's heading towards an electrifying conclusion: "Yeah yeah yeah, it is."
He swears to God that he saw a clip of a 60-year-old guy from South Philly wearing a jersey and cap while ranting in a thick accent about his plans to purchase a commemorative t-shirt just like he did back in 1993. Chris swears to God again before revealing that a caption identified the man as "Ron Ziegler." Tom's not too impressed by this sighting. He thinks it was probably one of Philly Boy Roy's relatives, but Chris is convinced that he saw PBR's father on the news. Sorry, son. PBR's father is Ray Ziegler, and he's dead. After the Phillies clinched the division, WCAU-10 did a moving story about PBR visiting Philly Boy Ray's gravesite to pour a Yuengling Black & Tan on his tombstone and lament that The Swarm 2 has still not aired on network television. Tom wonders if Chris spends time in museums (I hear Philly has a good one with pictures and stuff in it) instead of following the Phillies. He says he prefers museums and music to baseball. Tom wants to know what the snobs were doing while the slobs were rejoicing in the streets, and Chris admits to slumming it at home by watching the television coverage of giddy frat guys. Tom welcomes him to the lower class and then GOMPs him. He wants the blowhard/windbag banned from the program.
Highrise Fanboy made a bad call
Highrise Fanboy had a great fall
All of Philly's crust punks and all of Philly's frat men
Couldn't put Highrise together again
- Supercaller Dave from Knoxville offers his condolences for the baseball meltdown in the Big State, but Tom doesn't care about the fate of the local teams. Dave doesn't care either -- he's on record as being a loyal Atlanta Braves fan. Tom believes that some Mets fans have a fatalistic streak that leads them to secretly hope for the team's demise. They can then commiserate with each other about how a particular season's failure fits within their larger history of loserdom. Yankees fans, however, view anything less than a Word Series championship as a total defeat. Tom thinks both outlooks are misguided, but he's closer to the spirit of the Yankees fans' mentality. He approaches each installment of The Best Show as a quest for a title on the radio battlefield. Then again, as long he shows up, it's a big-time W. Dave has three quick things to discuss, including some dated material because he's been having trouble getting through in recent weeks due to the show's enormous popularity. The latest Arbitron book shows huge overall rating bumps for The Best Show in 12+ cume, AQH, and TSL, especially in key markets like Spokane, WA, Waco, TX, Toccoa Falls, GA, and the Upper Southeast Delaware.
1. Three weeks ago today, Dave's mother, Martha from Knoxville, was in Jersey City, becoming the first member of the
kclan to set foot in New Jersey. Dave says she did a bus tour of NYC, but the driver wouldn't let the tourists get off to traverse the city as pedestrians. Tom, who knows a thing or two about driving a bus, thinks this was a very smart move. Dave's not clear on the local geography, so Tom confirms that JC is just one Holland Tunnel ride away from NYC. Martha stayed in a Holiday Inn in JC, and Tom wants to know if she has been able to recover any of her stolen property. Dave says his mother has not reported anything missing. He also points out that hillbillies don't have that much stuff. Tom asks Dave if his mother went to a nearby Target to buy new clothes. Dave says that Martha was able to patch together a garment by using her color-coded sewing techniques and some old rags -- a skill set deeply embedded in Tennessee lore. Tom says that the people of the South are industrious, if nothing else.
2. The same night that Martha went up to JC, Dane Cook and Jessica Alba went down to Knoxville to present their new romcom Good Luck Chuck at the annual benefit screening hosted by Variety of Eastern Tennessee, a children's charity founded by Regal Cinemas. Previous fundraising events have featured Will Ferrell for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky and Bobby and the trio of Jessica Simpson, Seannnn William Scott, and Johnny Knoxville for their smash adaptation of The Dukes of Hazzard, a box-office juggernaut that completely overshadowed that summer's poorly-promoted gem, President Baseball. Tom had a shot at two tickets (not together) for a Good Luck Chuck screening last Thursday at 11:45 p.m., but the opportunity vanished. A scalper outside the theater was asking for $250 per ticket. Dave's inside sources reported that tickets to the special screening were $75, and guests could drop another $100 for the privilege of sharing hors d'œuvres with the stars later in the evening. He says the local buzz is that the event organizers ended up giving half of the tickets away to fill the house. Tom imagines that people wanted to help kids in need, but not by paying $75 to endure a Dane Cook vehicle.
Tom saw the box art for the digital versatile disc of Waiting..., and he thinks the cast can hold its own with the Smokin' Aces creep contingent of Ryan Reynolds, Jeremy Piven, Peter Berg, Andy Garcia, and Ben Affleck. Waiting ... also boasts Reynolds, along with Dane Cook, Andy Milonakis, and the Macintosh computer. Tom wants to smash that mutant with his G4 laptop that still has a faulty screen. He considers this Jock Squad-y move a more fulfilling customer service experience than visiting the "Genius" Bar so they can hijack his machine for three weeks. Tom speculates that an "awful magnet" was used during the casting process for Waiting ..., and Dave is surprised that Anthony Kiedis was not pulled into the production. Tom suspects the film contains more creeps in cameo roles, but he never reports his IMdB findings. I checked the full cast listing, and the only real potentials are David Koelkchiner (for nicking Tom's trademarked "I don't like it ... I LOVE IT" in The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show), Wendie Malick (Dream On), and maybe Luis Guzman for his association with John from Cincinnati. The presence of Sam Weir does alleviate some of the creep factor.
3. Dave first discovered the professional comedian Paul F. Tompkins from his work as a correspondent on the first season of Home Box Office's Real Time with Bill Maher. He didn't expect the comedic partnership to last because Maher's ego wouldn't grant a permanent spot to someone who is funnier than him. Dave wants Tom to weigh in on VH-1's I Love the [insert decade] shows that PFT frequents. He references a span of the 1950s to the 1970s, but Tom hazards a guess that PFT didn't participate in I Love the 1950s. Dave revises his range to the 1970s and 1980s, but he would like to see the network tackle the 1930s. I'd certainly like to hear Patrice O'Neal's take on The Wizard of Oz.
While PFT is a skilled improv guy, Dave gets the sense that about 2/3rds of the guest commentators were informed about the topic 10 minutes prior to the taping. He's not sure how a 20-year-old comedian can pontificate on the plotlines of Gilligan's Island. Tom tells Dave that residents of the north have access to something called "reruns". He explains that networks will often dip into their back catalog and rerun previously aired programs. Dave says he has those in Knoxville. He can understand that a younger generation is familiar with older shows, but he thinks it sounds like they are reading commentary written by the same person. Tom's sure that some of the talentless clowns require pre-written quips, and a world-class, Top 3 (2) all-timer like PFT can just riff off-the-dome and carry the show on his back like Michael Jordan. Dave also can't figure out why many people are compelled to litter their material with pottymouth on these pop culture retrospectives. He wonders if viewers drawn to this kind of filth are puzzled by PFT's family-friendly material. Tom doesn't want to know these people. He tells Dave that he once again lived up to his Supercaller status -- his inquisitive mind and thoughtful repartee are as reliable as the seasons.
- A caller plays the first verse of The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations", but Tom dumps him after he begins singing in a dumb voice. He wasn't going to risk hearing some kind of X-rated "Weird Al" Yankovic sync up the tune to his adapted chorus. Could this be the Mr. T guy going pop? The caller told Mike that he wanted to talk about Cavemen. Tom was unable to get a TV in the studio tonight for a live commentary of the second episode, but he might try again next week unless ABC is airing a test pattern to boost their Nielsens.
Tom saw the trailer for the quirky independent feature Lars Ulrich and the Real Girl, and the first thing he thought of was Mike. The film depicts the non-traditional relationship between Ulrich (Ryan Gosling) and a porno doll named Bianca (herself). Tom assures Mike that Lars appears to be mentally deranged, but he's still not interested in seeing it. The man has his limits. Tom concludes that Mike's operates within a wide cinematic spectrum considering that he cheers at the ski-lift suicide of Bruno and the dancing chicken in Strotesick like he's watching the climax of Footloose or Rocky Balboa knocking out Clubber Lang. Tom's glad that that the edges of Mike's universe are finally in sight. Check the Friends of Tom website for more information about Tom's protests of this sick movie. He wants to strike back against the Weird-O-Wood filth machine and shut down the release of Lars Ulrich and the Real Girl.
Tom discusses Suzyn Waldman's breakdown during last night's Yankees post-game wrap-up. After emerging from a somber Yankees clubhouse, Waldman warned listeners of her impending waterworks, noting that she's even been known to cry at Cinderella concerts. There's no shame in that -- I still get a little misty when I listen to "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)" and "Heartbreak Station". She got choked up because her buddy Joe Torre is on the ropes and everyone was saying their goodbyes. Waldman compares the wrenching experience to the 1995 flight back from Seattle after the Yankees blew a 2-0 lead and lost Game 5 to the Mariners in Don Mattingly's last game. Her broadcast partner John Sterling had to console her by touting the successes of Torre's tenure and putting a positive spin on the team's future. Tom types "Suzyn Waldman crying" into Google and finds the clip. He thinks a professional announcer should show some dignity and hold it together.
While the Torre era is likely over after 12 seasons, Tom points out that it's not like he got sentenced to death by barging, Newbridge's preferred punishment for troublemakers like Jeff Cooper and Power Pop Pop-Pop. However, he decides that Torre does deserve to get barged. Tom would escort Torre into the back of a car in the stadium parking garage. Torre would then realize there's no driver just as the car rolled right onto a barge that's kicked out into the Hudson. Tom plays the clip, reminding listeners that it's from an actual Yankees post-game show on WCBS-880, not a low-rent, fan-created podcast. He moans as Waldman slurps back tears. Tom declares the clip the most embarrassing thing he's ever heard. He can't justify the emotional outpouring because the 110-year-old Torre was paid $7 million to fall asleep in the dugout with Bigelow tea spilling out of his cup. Tom can't even listen to the blowhard Sterling trying to entertain Waldman's crying. He thinks the segment is an example of a sick, sad world where nobody is a professional anymore. Tom does his part by doing wearing a suit to the studio.
Dan Bodah filled in last week while Tom was in L.A. for the bi-annual meeting of the American Coaster Enthusiasts. The ACE members went to Six Flags for a sneak peek at the new Transformers rollercoaster. Tom tells California to get ready for this awesome attraction. Speaking of awesome, on the flight out of Newbridge International Tom sat in front of a great family. Tom's favorite part of his seat assignment was when a kid named Ridley kicked his seat for five hours. Ridley's father added to the fun with 12 performances of "This Little Piggy" for his younger son. Tom discovered the toddler had a low threshold for entertainment -- he emitted shocked, animal-like noises after every line and corresponding toe grab of the threadbare narrative about buying roast beef at the store. Tom preferred Ridley's incessant kick-push to the mutant he encountered on the red-eye flight back home.
Tom was finishing up his snack while other passengers began to turn off their overhead. He was simply exercising his right as a paying customer to remain illuminated, but the guy behind him asked if he could shut it off when he was done eating. Tom said he planned to read, but the guy argued that people were trying to sleep. The request was so weird and inappropriate that Tom obeyed it. He retaliated by lowering his seat all the way back, and the guy let out an "uhh" when his legs were crushed. Tom got up to stretch his legs an hour later and caught a glimpse of the guy's stupid wet ratface. The guy behind him was sleeping, so Tom pulled a ruse where he punched the head area of Ratso's seat to make it seem like the other guy bumped him while stirring about. The bottom line: Tom thinks a simple sleep mask is an affordable travel accessory.
- Susannah, The Queen of Santa Monica, calls to announce the semi-official, first-ever Los Angeles-Area FOT Meetup. She gives the amazing John JUNK from Ponce De Leon the credit for spearheading the effort. Tom initially nixes the event because JUNK & Co. didn't apply for the required licenses, but he waves his standard $450/person registration fee to allow it to go forward. Details:
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 17th
Time: 7:00 p.m. (PST)
After-Party: Match Fights at PFT's house with Craig Ferguson and the cast of One Tree Hill
Susannah's excited because she's never been to the UCB-LA, but Tom says it's kinda dumpy compared to the classic UCB-NY. She's optimistic that three people will attend the meet-up, but she hopes her call will inspire even more interest among those who want to hang out with fellow Best Show/comedy fans and meet new people. Tom thinks it sounds exciting.
- John calls from Houston, and Tom asks him if he likes his beautiful city. He's heard people rave about how it has the charm of a Tuscan village constructed in the 1970s. John says his favorite part about living in Houston is that his relative healthy lifestyle makes him appear to be a Greek god among the men in one of the country's leading fat zones. He can smoke his neighbors when running. Tom has a hard time buying that a pre-fabricated city built on the oil and pharmaceutical industries spawned an obese populace. John claims to own zero cowboy hats because he doesn't ride horses. Tom reminds him that Kid Rock has no problem wearing the hats despite a woeful lack of equestrian experience. He think Kid Rock's new album, Rock N Roll Jesus is really good, and John wants a copy. Tom declines because he's not Sam Goody. I thought RNRJ was pretty forgettable other than Mr. Ritchie's clever re-imagining of GG Allin and The Southern Baptist's "Look Into My Eyes And Hate Me" as a country ballad with really fun guest vocals from David Allan Coe.
While catching up on the recent podcasts, John heard Tom express disinterest in what Pugsley Adams was up to these days. He doesn't have any Pugsley news, but he did grow up with the kid who played him in the early-1990s film adaptations. Tom considers these the "cool" versions ("This isn't your father's Addam's Family!") compared to television serial featuring Ken Weatherwax in the Pugsley role. John calls his generation's Pugsley a punk, so Tom bids him good day before he can further besmirch the good name of young Jimmy Workman.
Supercaller Laurie calls to promote the dessert tasting party she's organizing next week during her visit to NYC. Tom continues the ABBA-fueled all-or-nothing theme with a proposition: Laurie risking it all to let listeners vote her into Supercaller status or outright banishment. The ultimate Smash or Trash. 10 votes to decide her Best Show fate. Laurie says she would take the chance. The tasting will be at the intimate P*ong (review), where diners can watch renowned chef Pichet Ong work in his cramped kitchen. Mr. Ong will prepare three desserts for a fee of $25. Laurie says that fancy-schmancy cocktails will cost an additional $14 each, and Tom hopes they are 32-oz. Big Gulps. Laurie thinks they are standard glass size, but one concoction is made with bubble tea. Tom wants to know if any of drinks are made with wax. He also wonders if Ong will be serving a selection of Drake's delicacies like Ring Dings and Devil Dogs or, perhaps, a miniature pecan pie from a nearby gas station. Laurie says Ong favors JELL-O w/ whipped cream minimalist, Asian-inspired fare, and Tom interprets that to mean that he'll be eating afterwards. Laurie recommends that guys grab a slice of pizza before dessert. She thinks she'll be the only female there because FOT tend to be male, temporarily forgetting about Susannah, Bonnie, Erika, Sarah, Swissss Missss, Fred's wife Gertrude, and Mary B from Albuquerque.
Laurie asks for RSVPs for Sunday, October 21st, at 9:00 p.m. Tom says he can't attend because he'll be holding a competing tasting across town at a bodega on the corner of 14th and 7th. His four-course, $24 menu will include Hostess apple pies and the prized white chocolate Kit-Kats. Laurie tries to steer people away from Tom's tasting by mentioning a recent recall of tainted white chocolate. Tom wants to know if Laurie will be signing autographs at the tasting. In additional to these souvenirs, he suggests that she get father to arrange some gift baskets so guests can draw for either $1,000 or the grand prize of a stay at one of the family mansions. Laurie mentions something about erotically-shaped pastries, so Tom GOMPs her. He says this kind of toilet mind explains why the latest
- Boring Owen calls from within a monsoon to suggest that Laurie use the money intended for the P*ong party to help replenish the warehouse of the NYC Food Bank. Owen wants to know where the event's proceeds will be going, and Tom tells him about a new business concept called a "restaurant". He explains that people enter these culinary establishments to exchange money for food. (As a Freedom Eater, I employ the "Eat and Retreat" technique to avoid paying.) Tom dares Owen to RSVP and show up wearing his Hungrrrr costume. He's pretty sure a bright orange cyclops will attract some attention at a 34-seat eatery in the West Village. Owen starts rambling, and Tom can't handle it.
- Jeremy from Portland reluctantly defies an order issued by the Guys With Feelings Krank Krew to cease calling The Best Show. Tom reminds him that he's a grown man who should not concede a part of his freedom to a bunch of podcastketeers Jeremy says he will try to stand up for himself, but he's scared because GWF is a pretty important podcast with as many as 100 listeners. Tom lights cigars with 100 listeners -- the podcast draws thousands, and tens of thousands more listen to his broadcast on an actual radio. He isn't in his kitchen looking at his cereal, pondering his stack of dirty dishes, or trying to tame Jordan Norris. The Kid enters a studio that's equipped with a microphone, a mixing board, and various other electronic devices. Jeremy misfires on a comedy routine based on feigning ignorance about all of this. Tom urges him to stop fighting with Dorvid on the AST forum because they are both on the same side. He points out the absurdity of arguing about enjoying the same radio show when they could be fighting the Good Fight to resolve the Darfur conflict. Jeremy admits to getting carried away with silly Internet disputes. Tom put him in The Best Show Penalty Box until he calms down.
[More to come, including Bill Hader, the Pride of Oklahoma, and Eddie, who turned Fontasy Football into a Rookie of the Year trophy and a temporary Supercaller Visa.]
- Tank makes a courtesy call to confirm Tom's reservation on Deltoid Flight #367, departing tomorrow at 12:35 p.m. from Newbridge International to Pittsburgh Intranational. Tom asks Tank if this is a plane reservation. Tank's annoyed by the query and confirms that Tom has a seat on an airplane that flies. Tom tells Tank that he doesn't have any airplane reservations, but Tank has some kind of documentation that suggests otherwise. Tom reiterates that he did not book any flights on Delta Airlines. Tank calls him a jerk and a creep because he's representing Deltoid Airlines. It's named after the shoulder muscle. He requests that Tom remove the dinkle from his ears to improve his hearing for the remainder of the call. Tom's never heard of this exciting new airline, which is a branch of Jock Squad, Radio Hut's computer repair specialist/bodybuilding division. Tom mentions that he's had a few run-ins with a Jock Squad employee named Horse. Tank thinks Horse is great. Deltoid is actually the drainchild of Radio Hut co-founder Reginald Cooper and pharmaceutical empress mario Maurice Kern. Tom thinks Deltoid Airlines sounds exactly like something only this peculiar pair of business partners could create.
Since his existing reservation is in error, Tank asks Tom if he would like to book a Deltoid flight right now. He says their wide-ranging destinations include all the places to be: Pittsburgh, Metzger Falls, Idaho, Lower North Delware, and El Paso, Texas. Tom declines because these are not places he would rush off to visit. (Plus, he's already been to the main attraction in The Pitts -- the Andy Warhole museum.) Tank claims that Metzger Falls, Idaho, is a "party town" known for its annual cow-slapping competition. Tom passes. He wonders if "Tank" is a nickname, but Tank reveals that his parents chose the name because they knew he was gonna be huuuuuuuge. He says the best thing about Deltoid is its mysterious itineraries. Tom assumed that passengers booked flights for a specific destination, but it doesn't really work that way. Tank says the gate signage forgoes the standard destination city in favor of a question mark and a picture of a fist. Tom's confused.
Tank says the passengers actually fight the cockpit crew to determine the final destination. The flight crew, stewards, and stewardesses are all former weightlifters. Tom tries to better understand Deltoid's eccentric approach to air travel by proposing a scenario where a customer wanted to fly to San Francisco. Deltoid's expansive list of hott destinations doesn't include SF, so Tank substitutes El Paso to give Tom a rundown of the boarding process. In a nutshell, the passenger with the most muscle "wins" a trip to their desired location. All tickets are $200, and passengers also fight for their seats, which are weight benches. (And presumably do NOT double as flotation devices.) All other passengers have to settle for the destination chosen by the one who overpowers the crew with his or her victorious hands. Tank says that Tom was theoretically supposed to go to Pittsburgh tomorrow, but that probably wouldn't actually happen because someone bigger than him would wrestle the controls from the captain, who is also a former weightlifter. Tom thinks that turning the flight route into a battle of physical prowess sounds idiotic.
Deltoid also has some exciting in-flight entertainment, such as a very informative lecture series on extreme fighting by Dr. Christian Harfouche. Stewardesses stroll down the aisles to offer a power bar snack service, in addition to weight belts, hand chalk, and free weights so passengers can work out during the flight. Tank says the more he thinks about the Deltoid business model, the more he thinks that Tom would hate the experience. Tom agrees that he'd hate it. Tanks says that Horse told him that Tom was a real pipsqueak at a mere 2' 8". Tom denies being that height. Tank asks Tom to level with him and admit that he's modulating his voice through a device to knock it down an octave for broadcast. Tom denies it, and Tanks tells him not to get lippy. He wants Tom to back off and gives him a warning: "Get ready to meet my little friend." Tom says the quote sounds familiar, and Tank says it's from Scarface. Tom informs him that the actual Tony Montana firearm introduction is "Say hello to my little friend." Tank insists that he's right and calls Tom a "munch" and a "little nub."
Tank wants to take this opportunity to announce his candyassy for the Newbridge Mayubanatorial election. Tank admits that he's reading his announcement and can't always correctly pronounce "candidacy". Tank planned to be Horse's Vice-Mayor running mate, but he got his own 37 signatures after they had a falling out over who had more defined quadriceps. Tom can see how that kind of dispute would sever their political ties. While Horse is running on the Repspublican ticket, Tank will run as part of the Democalve Party because he's the candy date with the biggest, most muscular calves. Tank thinks his party affiliation is awesome, and so does Tom. In fact, Tank's bulging lower legs will form the core of the lean Democalve platform: huge calves. Tom thought there might be a chance he'd go somewhere more substantive with his ideas/issues for Newbridge, but Tank can't imagine what other direction he would have taken. He's pretty much just running on the concept of huge calves. Tank promises to deliver huge calves to anyone who votes for him. After taking office, he will devise a leg-lift-intensive workout program for his supporters. Tank asks Tom to tell Mike that he should also prepare to meet his little friend.
Tank says that Mike told him was running for mayor at last Sunday's Mayubanadorial Pancake Breakfast for all the current candidats. Tank assumes that Mike secured the required 37 signatures. Mike is reluctant to confirm his candyassy on the air, but Tom and Tank tell him to be honest about his political aspirations. Tank says that he was really impressed by Mike's proposal to widen the mote around the old, abandoned Newbridge blimp hangar. Mike is glad Tank liked his plan. The hangar is infested by weird, scary birds, and Tank is concerned about how they continue to spawn and increase in size. Mike says he's heard the same concerns from other Newbridge residents, so he just wants to serve the people. Tank says one of these mutant birds almost carried that von Trimble kid away the other day. Tom assumed the birds tried to lift two-inch racist Timmy von Trimble, but it was actually his older brother, T-o-f-f-y von Trimble. Tom thought the first name was spelled like the confection, so Tank calls him a jerk. Tank reminds Tom that Toffy is the kid who ate 2,000 pencil erasers, which had to be surgically removed with a c-section procedure. Tank thinks Toffy is close to normal height at 4' 8" -- a lot bigger than Tom. Tom says he's bigger than 4' 8". Tank says that Toffy's dubious gastronomical feat won him first place on that one particularly crazy episode of The Shout Network's Newbridge's Most Weirdest Stuff. The pencil erasers just kinda spilled out of him. Tom recalls the episode.
Tank makes a final attempt to sell Tom a Deltoid ticket by offering him the current weekly special. The promotion allows passengers to land the plane wherever they want if they are able to wrestle the controls from the captain. Tank assumes Tom knows how to fly a plane, but he doesn't. Tank thinks he'll learn, but Tom doesn't understand why he would want to fight the pilot. Tank says the point is to be able to say you can do it. Tom prefers to fly safely; Tank thinks that preference is for babies. Tom correctly guesses that Deltoid's company motto is "Flying safe is for babies." Tank is impressed and thinks Tom must be some kind of adman. He says he'd love to hear some of Tom's pitches for other Deltoid slogans or anything else he might have. Tank suspects that Tom's pitches are lean, but Tom says he doesn't pitch on things like that. Tank says that he'll pitch Tom, but not that way because he doesn't go that way. He wants to pitch him through a window. Tom's not too concerned about getting pitched because he's still blown away that Mike is running for mayor of his town.
Tank acknowledges that Mike is a formidable foe, but he expects to beat him next July. He gives Mike some more kudos for embracing the mote issue. Mike says he was just throwing out some feelers at the Pancake Breakfast before making any official announcements. He was pulling his punches a bit because he's taking his cues from Newt Gingrich's carefully considered explorations into a possible Republican Presidelorean bid. Tank says Gingrich is his hero, and Tom's also a fan of the former Speaker of the House. While Tank thinks Gingrich is great, he knows someone who's not great: Tom. He says that if they were on the same Deltoid flight, he'd bench press Tom right out the window. Tank says it would be great when Tom got sucked into the plane's engine to create a Tompurée. Tom thinks Tank will have a great time running for mayor, but Tank knows he'll have a great time being mayor. Tom can understand the tough talkin' confidence because Tank's party stance on calve development is pretty intriguing. Tank says his first act as may-ore will be to crush Tom's head between his calves in public. Tom's certain that Tank will win the election. He tells Tank to have a good night, but Tank does not wish the same for Tom. He calls Tom a creep and hangs up. Tom's not sure if he can support Tank's campaign.
He asks Mike about the source of his inspiration for the surprising bid for elected office. Mike says some friends and family thought he could offer something new to Newbridge, so he was kind of drafted into it a la Democrats trying to convince Al Gore to give it another try. Mike points out that it's not very difficult to obtain the signatures required to get on the ballot. His boosters just spent a night in front of a Stop & Shop, and now he's reluctantly in the mix. Tom considers his own run for office. At least 37 people have spoken: they want Mike to be their new leader. Tom compares Mike's announcement on The Best Show to Fred Thompson entering the fray on The Tonight Show with Jay Leeno. Tom wishes Mike the best of luck.
A catchy party name is a key component to a successful candeedessy, so here's my pitch for Mike: The New New New New Newbridge Minglewood Blues Party, Man. Bryce and his imaginary, woodland friends would be down with that. Is Mellow Grove part of the Newbridge electorate? If so, Mike could gain considerable support from all the disillusioned subjects who have grown weary of Hippie Johnny's reign of terror. The mote initiative should prove to be a hot-button issue for parents who fear that their children will be attacked and kidnapped by oversized birds, but I'm not sure that will be enough to distance himself from a crowded pack. Since most candodoots will probably focus on the main residential areas surrounding Newbridge Commons, I'd recommend that Mike try to skim votes from the outlying areas that will get less facetime. As goes Muffler Row, so goes the election? If Newbridge follows national trends, the religious vote could swing the results, so it may be wise to contact Rev. Ken Miller to arrange some guest sermons at Newbridge Episcopalian. An endorsement from Bishop Pablo Fontana wouldn't hurt, either. After seeing his top-shelf Rambocky short, I bet TLS could direct some nifty animated TV spots. Final bit of advice: steer clear of Newbridge's German crime syndicate no matter how many votes Werner and Rutager guarantee to deliver.
[More to Come]
*There will be a show.
Brushing never rocked this hard!