Stuff and Junk.
"If I walk outside, it's like a museum of rednecks, but we don't have a museum of cigarettes." -- Andy from Knoxville, filling Tom in on the local tourist attractions
"I hate men, and if I am President ..." -- Hillary Clinton, addressing primary voters last week outside a Wawa in Roxboro, PA
"Someone might want to check the books. Hoboken might be bankrupt." -- Tom, blowing the whistle on the city's corrupt comptroller after Mickey Dolenz was announced as the headler for the Arts & Music Festival
"You better not show up here next week in a Sgt. Pepper's outfit. I'll throw you off the roof." -- Tom, threatening Mike with bodily harm if he dons the blue satin suet
"Jersey comes though like an ink stain sometimes." -- Tom, spotting a woman wearing a Bon Jovi jacket at the NY Metro Beatles Fest
"I literally think I saw a guy with two heads walking around at this thing. I think this might have been some nuclear testing ground." -- Tom, mixing it up with the mutants at the Englishtown Flea Market
Oh, Tom. All you wanted were bootlegs. Is that so much to ask for? I thought this was America? I got three copies of Gone Troppo, that doesn't entitle me? Bootleg guy got raided." -- Tom, lamenting his failure to score the good stuff
"My flame wasn't as big, but it had a bigger impact ... on my brain, anyway." -- Bryce, noting the potency of his alternate Olympic torch/bong
"Oh my God, now you're pointing a gun at me! Oh my God! No!" -- Bryce, begging for mercy from an old, white-haired man who is not Tom Scharpling
"Maybe he appreciates pageantry!" -- Tom, suggesting an alternative reason for Doddy's enjoyment of Busby Berkeley musicals
[More to come.]
"I said like 'damn' and stuff." -- Pudge, losing his cool after hitting his thumb with a hammer and stuff
"Well, it's like, it's like the seventh note of like this, I don't know, it's like, you know, of this scale, and there's like, you know, after like that note happens, there's like this, I don't know, there's this big desire like to kinda resolve to the tonic. You know, the tonic and stuff." -- Pudge, explaining a crucial fakeout in the second movement of Gustav Mahler's "Symphony No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor"
"It's just kinda like stupid stuff I do and stuff." -- Pudge, downplaying his renowned composing career
"Like a baby could run and stuff. I 'unno, I mean, if it, I 'unno, I guess if its dad said it was OK and stuff? Or its mom and stuff? -- Pudge, wondering if a Newbridge newborn could run for mayor with parental consent
"I don't know, probably like have you put to death and stuff." -- Pudge, tentatively announcing his first act in office
Lost Sounds - "Future Touch"
( Click here to buy the Future Touch EP)
Bad Times - "Listen to the Band"
( Click here to buy Bad Times)
Game Theory - "24" (from Real Nighttime)
Game Theory - "Make Any Vows" (from The Big Shot Chronicles)
Game Theory - "Chardonnay" (from Lolita Nation)
Game Theory - "Room For One More, Honey" (from 2 Steps From The Middle Ages)
( Click here to buy OOP Game Theory things)
The Pastels - "Empty House" (from the "Crawl Babies" 12")
( Click here to buy A Truckload of Trouble: 1986-1993)
Eat Skull - "No Intelligence"
( Click here to buy the "Dead Families" 7")
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
- Brian the Hypnotist announces that he's been holding, and Mike erupts in hearty laughter. Tom issues a swift GOMP!
The Best Show is back for another Tuesday night extravagonza featuring the traditional triumvirate of mirth, music, and mayhem. Tom treated listeners to 21 minutes of the music portion of tonight's entertainment, opening with a track from Kelley Stoltz and ending with a double dose of The Dirtbombs. He saw the same configuration this past Sunday night, and The Dirtbombs were so fired up that they had no problem delivering the classic 1-2 punch of "Underdog" / "Ode to a Black Man" early in their white-hott set. Since the ABBA box is still on vacation, Tum pleyed Agnetha Fältskog's "Oom terer fure-a goold" frum zee Sum jeg er elboom. He rounded out the set with Small Faces's "Tin Soldier". Tom commends the band for seeking out the more modest Rod Stewart to replace egomaniacal frontman Steve Marriot after he left to form Humble Pie. He's not sure if it's Open Phone Tuesday, but he does know that anyone who calls pre-topic will be on the 30-second (Colgate?) clock.
The young gentlemen pictured above is NOT Andy from Knoxville
- Supercaller Dave from Knoxville escapes the tick-tock because his elite status grants him the eternal greenlight. He always felt that the remaining Small Faces gave Marriot, who was 4' 8" and weighed 72 lbs., an intentional slap to the face when they dropped the "Small" from the band name. Tom points out that the rest of the band were not exactly Brad Garrett-like giants. Dave says that Stewart is a fairly small man, but they still ditched the adjective. Tom agrees that it was probably a stinging message to their former singer. Dave wants to call Marriot to confirm his theory, but he died in 1991.
Dave informs Tom that his son, Andy from Knoxville, wants to share a big announcement with the Best Show audience. He passes the phone to Andy, who
throws his hat into the ring reveals that he will be in NYC this Friday as part of a chorus trip. Andy can be a tenor or a bass, and Tom wants to hear a sample of either octave range. Andy regrettably declines because of a sore throat, and his gruesome coughs a bit later in the call confirm his illness. Tom supports his decision to save his voice for the trip, but Andy says the choir will not be performing in the city, which is a shame because many tri-state prog enthusiasts were looking forward to their legendary rendition of Yes's "The Ancient (Giants Under the Sun)." They will, however, get their musical fix by seeing Wicked, Mary Poppins, and Phantom of the Opera. (I guess High Fidelity was sold out?) Andy is excited about the theatrical trifecta, but Tom wonders if it's punishment for setting fire to the school. Andy says their strict teacher often takes out his anger by subjecting mischievous students to opera and classical music. Tom points out that people in the NYC area take the vast Broadway options for granted, while those in Knoxville have to settle for local productions of Glengarry Glen Ross starring Dave. Andy laughs at the thought of his dad acting in general, let alone in a profane Mamet piece. I could see Dave pulling off the swagger and soliloquies of Richard Roma.
Andy will become the second member of the family to set foot in NJ (Martha from Knoxville beat him to it last September) when he arrives in Jersey City around 4 p.m. on Friday prior to setting off for a tour of the Statue of Liberty. Andy says he's frequently been told that he raced up and down the entire structure in an ADHD-aided 10 minutes when he was younger. He dismisses it as "boring tourist stuff," but Tom thinks it's good to honor America by checking it out. He compares it to him going to Knoxville for a tour of the cigarette museum. Andy says there is no cigarette museum (yet), but there is an open-air redneck museum to enjoy if you walk around anywhere outside. Andy is not too enthused about the rough, 17-hour bus trip that awaits him, although he'll pass the time by watching Monty Python films. He's used to 12-hour car rides to the beach, so this is just another five hours with a stop halfway in Harrisburg, PA, on Thursday night. Tom thinks his teacher must really be mad at them. He salutes Andy and wishes him a safe trip.
- Spike calls on what appears to be a Dixie Cup wired with dental floss, but he claims he's using a cell phone in his kitchen. Tom assumes he lifted it from someone's office while they were at lunch. He imagines a victimized co-worker suspecting the weird guy wearing a CBS-FM "Doo Wop Shop" satin jacket and a Chucky t-shirt as the likely culprit. Spike says he needs to get one of those shirts. Tom can't believe that he's still thinking about the Child's Play films. He's even more surprised to find out that Spike enjoyed watching Bride of Chucky just last week. Tom doesn't need to ask if he was alone because he assumes that Spike is always alone unless an unfortunate client is trapped in the dungeon. Spike says he doesn't tolerate any interruptions when he's watching his movies and stories. Tom thinks Spike sounds like a grumpy 85-year-old. Spike says he doesn't want any grandchildren running around the dungeon because he's irritated by anyone under the age of 25. Tom compares him to W.C. Fields. Spike understands that he was not a big fan of the kids, either. Tom has heard the same thing, although he wishes there was some documentation of it in everything he ever said. Spike is not interested in cleaning up after kids make a mess.
Tom wants to find a new angle to explore, and Spike jumps right into the Presidential election. He says that he doesn't want John McCain or the man-hating Feminazi Hillary Clinton to win in November. Tom requests one sliver of proof to back up this accusation. Spike says that Hillary wanted to castrate her husband, and Tom agrees that she was completely out of line for being mad at him after he committed adultery with an intern. Spike claims that Hillary also blames all men for the ills of the world. Tom has no idea where Spike is getting this information. I think it may be Scooch's new 2008 Primo Presidential Pamphlet, currently available at Bryce's lean-to and Das Sieben Und Der Elf and now expanded to four full sheafs of notebook paper with cover art by Charles Burns. Spike says he got it directly from Hillary in her campaign speeches. Tom would love to see the world through Spike's eyes a la Being John Malkovich. Spike wasn't a fan of the film because none of the characters got their throats slit or run over by a demonic doll driving a Tonka truck. Tom GOMPs the hatemonger. He thinks Spike's assertion is absurd because it's unlikely the media would let Hillary slide if she was on the record declaring her hatred for men. He calls Spike a grade-A sicko for his outrageous spin-doctoring.
- Joel from Chicago, a new fan currently stampeding through the archives, says he had a weird reason for rooting for Kansas in last night's NCAA Championship game against Memphis. He remembered that Rock, Rot & Rule author Ronald Thomas Clontle hails from Lawrence, KS (the bulk of the tome's "research" was conducted at the Java The Hut coffeehouse), and he assumed the notorious sports gambler had a lot of money riding on it. Joel lives a mile northwest of Wrigley Field, but he's a White Sox fan. He's really a Detroit Tigers fan, having arrived from Michigan about eight years ago. His dad still lives there, so he calls him to talk about the hometown sports scene. Tom sings a bit of Terry Cashman's seminal 1981 PBS single "Talkin' Baseball" (b/w cover of Crass's "Berkertex Bride")
- Jake in Hoboken calls to alert Tom to the city's plans to throw a rope ladder into the Hate Pit for the 2008 Hoboken Art and Music Festival. He reveals that Mickey Dolenz is the headliner. Tom is not surprised. Jake was somewhat surprised because the festival has booked solid acts like the New York Dolls, I-ron's Reggae Challenge, and Patti Smith in previous years. He was disappointed that they scraped the bottom of the barrel this go-round.
Tom thinks someone needs to investigate the financial books because it appears that Hoboken is on the verge of bankruptcy. He imagines that the bookcooker is getting nervous because people will finally realize what is going on when they see Dolenz doing James Cagney impressions on stage. Tom suspects that Dolenz agreed to play the festival in exchange for two Benny Tudino's pizzas and car service transportation. Jake points out that the upcoming Big Dippah reunion show at Maxwell's will balance things out. The bottom line: Tom doesn't want the Circus Boy's Weird-O-Wood prevert filth anywhere near the 07030.
- Charlie from Dublin, Ireland, brings news of another New Jersey triumph. He reports that Dominican-born author Junot Díaz just won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Diaz immigrated to Parlin, N.J., in 1974 and graduated from Cedar Ridge High School in Old Bridge in 1987. Mike has not read any of his writings. Tom is pleased to add literary giants to the expanding list of New Jersey champions, joining the football Giants, Leotardo squishers, American gangster wranglers, and monster repellers.
- While Tom had a fun time with Spike this past weekend at the Jay-Zzzzzz/Seance wedding, the previous weekend was marred by a far less enjoyable trip to the NY Metro Beatles Fest at the Crowne Plaza Meadowlands Hotel & Exhibition Center. Tom isn't sure where to begin this sordid tale, so he warms up by singing an alternate version of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band":
It was 41 years ago today
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
Now there's fans for all the wrong reasons
Creepin' everybody out
Recontextualizing things to pretend they are the way they weren't
To fit their own limited worldview
After this musical prelude, Tom decides to begin at the beginning. He pulled into the parking garage for the Friday session and scoped out the complex for the right hotel. He was certain he was looking at the wrong building because it appeared to be hosting the To Catch A Predator convention, the latest project from the irascible Paul Higgins of Conventions, Inc. Tom saw preverty guys pouring out of the doors as though there was a police raid and expected to see Chris Hanson chasing them into the parking lot. He then noticed that these predators were wearing Sgt. Pepper's t-shirts. This was it. While some might think that Tom should have known better, he explains that he had one important mission: bootlegs.
He paid his $35 admission fee, got fitted for a wristband that was less desirable than a weird rash, and headed right for the action. Tom then made a stunning discovery -- there was not one bootleg for sale in the so-called "Marketplace" section of the festival. If he wanted to get Dogmo a Yellow Submarine t-shirt, he could have done that. He also had the opportunity to drop $1,450 for a ripped ticket stub (THE B) from a gig in Ohio. Tom doesn't want to stare at a piece of paper indicating that someone else saw The Beatles perform live. He wanted some bootlegs. Tom saw plenty of instructional videos on how to play the band's catalog, and even some satin Sgt. Pepper's suits. Tom believes that anyone wearing these outfits should be stuffed into the back of a squad car on general principle to sort out the particulars of their criminal record back at the station. Mike the Associate Producer is curious about the price tag for this ensemble, and Tom fears that he may be in the market for one. He tells Mike that if he shows up next week tooting a clarinet while wearing Paul McCartneys threads and Sharpie 'stache, he will toss him off the roof of WFMU. Tom is amazed that the band managed to come up with four different mustache styles that were all equally stupid-looking, ranging from Paul's marker flick to John's weird handlebar.
Tom breaks down the setup of the main room: memorabilia table, memorabilia table, memorabilia table, memorabilia table, memorabilia table, Butch Patrick, memorabilia table, memorabilia table, memorabilia table. Tom got mad after seeing the adult Eddie Munster. He has no idea how Patrick is connected to The Beatles other than The Munsters airing in the same decade as the band's peak years. Tom doesn't think this is enough of an overlap to warrant Patrick packing up his Eddie dolls and landing on the bill. He did not get his autograph. Tom overheard someone ask Patrick a lame question about whether Grandpa Al Lewis was always a nice man. (He was.) Tom suddenly felt sorry for Butch Patrick, who was taking up good bootlegging real estate by idly tapping his fingers on the table.
He then spotted Sid Bernstein, the legendary promoter who brought The Beatles to America, looking inflated enough to be the Kid from Brooklyn's grandfather. Tom put the over/under for Bernstein's chair surviving the weekend intact at early Saturday afternoon. He came in towards the end of a Beatles fan delivering a monologue to Bernstein, who instructed him to purchase his book to find the answers to his questions. Tom is understandably annoyed that Bernstein is a published author. The bootlegs remained elusive. The rest of the guests were a regular "Who's That?!" of Beatles-related luminaries:
3. Mark Hudson from the Hudson Brothers
5. A woman walking around in a Bon Jovi jacket saying "Oh, s hit!" at the sight of someone named Steve.
(Tom missed the stars of Across the Universe, who were only at the Saturday session)
Tom regained his focus and started asking around for the good stuff. Someone explained that the bootlegs cannot be found on the main convention floor. The discs are kept in an undisclosed hotel room. If you find out the room number, you can meet with the dealer. (O.J. Simpson was not in attendance.) Tom wandered into the ballroom for the subpar lookalike contest, which included a 14-year-old Lennon costumed with just a t-shirt (Tom gives the wiseguy some credit for his minimalist approach) and a guy who looked like Richard Karn from Home Improvement with a Sgt. Pepper's mustache. Tom also heard some of the set from Liverpool, a Beatles tribute band featuring former Styxman Glenn Burtnik. He then found himself in the middle of the singalong jam session in the lobby as he tried to score. Tom had become the dirtbag. He says he never felt sleazier in his entire life, and he even put Jillian Barberie through the nightmare of asking for bootlegs. She found out that the Chicago Beatles Fest got raided, and the connect did not come to the NY Metro Fest because he feared John Q. Law.
Tom left the Crowne Plaza completely defeated and empty-handed. He just wanted some official bootlegs -- compressed.mp3s will not cut it -- for a project he's working on. Tom thinks he's earned the right to own these collectibles since he's paid the band up and down throughout his life, including purchasing three copies of Harrison's much-maligned 1982 album, Gone Troppo. Tom hoped to at least grab a Beatles book that caught his eye as a consolation prize, but the "Marketplace" closed an hour early. A fitting conclusion to a demoralizing festival that haunted Tom all night. He suffered a full-on nightmare, and he still couldn't shake it off on Saturday morning. It got to him. He was denied. He wasn't going to give up yet.
Tom looked in the mirror and decided to go to the Englishtown Flea Market. He hadn't been since he was a little boy, and it was bad news -- a barren, post-apocalyptic shopping mall that looked like a combat zone out of The Road Warrior. The first pieces of merchandise he saw were far from Beatles boots: weird bags of cookies scattered on the ground and scary jewelry. Tom was greeted by the sight of a woman yelling into the men's room to get a customer to pick up his bag of dinner rolls. He is pretty sure he saw a guy with two heads, the result of the nuclear testing that occurs on the grounds. Tom was mildly intrigued by a table with two music DVDs -- live concerts from Peter Gabriel and jazz pianist Marian McPartland -- and one copy of the Andy Samberg comedy, Hot Rod. No bootlegs. The rest of the vendor's selections were films of the pornographic varietay. Tom thinks he should just stick to porn since it's already 99.8% of his inventory. After seeing a weirdo selling pewter animals Tom knew that made a deal with the devil to go to this flea market. He didn't leave with any bootlegs, but he thinks he left part of his soul on the sunglasses table or with the car radios. Tom asks listeners to buy back the shreds of his dignity and send them back to him.
As we all know, Tom's a fighter, and he still wouldn't give up hope. Next stop: Route 18. Tom arrived at 4:07 p.m. and completed his search by 4:13 p.m. In those six minutes he found no bootlegs, but he did see the following items:
- Paintball equipment
- Slot machines ("I hit the jackpot! Oh, wait, I own this.")
- More pewter animals
- Karate gear
- More porn
- Worst-looking food on Earth
- Lots of stuff celebrating the violence in Asian culture
Tom got choked up passing an animal shelter, and he put a little money in the cup. He then realized that he was getting misty because people were applying shellac to paintings four feet from the dogs and cats. Toxic chemicals: yes. Bootlegs: no. Tom reminisces about his youth when the bootlegs flowed like water. You threw a rock, and you hit one. He doesn't understand what has happened to this country.
- A caller is still talking to call screener Roddy about the sweet "WRS" when Tom puts him on the air. He can't believe that Tom hosts a radio show, but doesn't know what that is. The caller says it's a jam on Road Trips, Volume 1, Number 2 from October 1977. Tom is not familiar with this release. The caller explains that "WRS" stands for "Weather Report Suet." Tom asks him to spell the third word of the title. The caller retrieves the CD packaging and says it's s-u-i-t-e. Tom informs him that the correct pronunciation of that word is "sweet." The caller is not convinced and wants Troy to weigh in. Mike agrees with Tom. The caller says the word that sounds like "sweet" is spelled s-w-e-a-t. Regardless of the grammatical confusion, the caller doesn't think Tom can deny that "WRS" jams. He says Tom is still a Grateful Dummy. Tom accepts his lack of knowledge of the band's catalog and correctly identifies the caller as Bryce.
Speaking of The Boys, Bryce asks Tom if he ordered Winterland 1973: The Complete Recordings. He touts the set as "nine discs of sheer ecstasy," but Tom is not interested in that much Dead content. Bryce doesn't have the scratch for it right now, but he plans to secure a copy via a "four-finger discount." Tom inquires about the missing digit. Bryce says he would use all five fingers in the heist if he hadn't had an unfortunate meeting with Officer Harrups's dog, Lawrence, at the CD Submarine. Tom recalls seeing the large dog in the back of the squad car. Bryce says he was trying to liberate another Dead box set from the store because it looked so sad sitting on the shelf. Tom doesn't think its emotional disposition justifies stealing it. Bryce says he was convinced that it wanted to be in his CD player. Tom thinks Bryce is projecting his own desires onto the box set. Bryce asks Tom if he ever had a CD call out to him and does an impression of a lonely disc pleading with Tom to pick it up. Tom says he has not experienced this kind of interaction at a record store. Bryce says that in Tom's case it would probably be a KC and his Sunshine Band release. He finds this quite amusing. Tom admits that Bryce got him on that one. Bryce wants him to say it again, but Tom was just being sarcastic. Lawrence didn't sanction Bryce's rescue mission and tore his index finger off as he tried to leave the store.
Bryce isn't doing very well, but he couldn't visit the doctor because he's wanted by the authorities for an incident that occurred when the Olympic Torch made its way through Newbridge. Bryce asks Tom if he saw him on the news the other night. Tom heard the relay was coming through town, but he missed the segment. Bryce says that he got very excited when former heavyweight champion Ken Norton was getting ready to hand it off to Mickey Thomas. Bryce is alarmed that Tom plays rock music on the radio, but Thomas doesn't ring an instant bell for him. Tom thinks he's from Jefferson Starship. Bryce's says "duh" and adds "San Frandummy" to Tom's growing list of dummy types. He was so inspired that he knocked the Olympic Torch out of Norton's hand, replacing it with his own torch, Bruce. He then torched Bruce up. Bryce says his flame wasn't as big as the official torch, but it had a bigger impact on his brain because it's a bong named after Bruce Jenner, the winner of the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics. When Bryce was a kid, he would smoke a doob every time Jenner won an event in his quest for gold. His dad was so into the Olympics that summer that he made everyone bong out when Bruce won.
Bryce's lean-to begins to suffer from negative phone properties, and Tom thinks it's the result of bad karma from attempting to steal CDs. Bryce asks Tom if he saw Shine A Light, Martin Scorsese's new The Rolling Stones documentary. Tom hasn't seen it yet. Bryce enjoyed it and disputes the consensus that the guys look extremely old. He thinks people should consider what they're own grandfathers would look like if they were still playing a guitar now. Tom gives the band credit for still bringing it, but he doesn't think you can deny that they look old. Bryce admits that they do look old. He also thinks Tom looks old as he watches him cook spaghetti through the window. Tom says it's not him because he's on the radio right now. Bryce is looking at a man with white hair and a receding hairline. Tom says he does not fit that description. Bryce says the man is now pointing a gun at him, and he yells "Oh my God!" and "No!" before hanging up. Tom hopes that no shots were fired.
At this point in the programe Tom usually puts a topic on the table, and tonight is no exception. He provides two options:
1. If you owned a transport bean and could bean anyone to the opposite side of the galaxy, who would it be?
2. You are the owner of Willy Wonka's factory with all of its dangers. Who would you trap in which danger and why?
These are not the real topics. The real topic is Losing Your Cool. Tom came very close to losing his cool at the Beatles Fest, but he managed to hold it together. I think it's safe to say that the Crowne Plaza is lucky it was not converted into a car wash. Tom thinks that his audience generally operates within the confines of the accepted standards of a civil society, but he knows everybody loses it from time to time. He wants to hear the details of these lapses.
- The art-tist known as Scott T loses his cool when Customer Service Representatives put him on hold for 20 minutes, ask him to repeat his information, and then fail to help him. He says he has yelled at them, but it does not help the situation. Tom recommends that Scott conduct himself like gentlemen in these frustrating situations because the CSR has all the power. They are one click away from booting you to the back of the line or messing with your account. Scott says he tries to remind himself that these poor slobs don't dictate corporate policy. While they are often jerks on the phone, Scott realizes that he can't fire back because they've got him by the ... hamstrings.
- Art calls from inside Tom's head, which is currently located in Astoria, Queens. Tom thinks he may be talking to Joe Frank (Art has done some fill-ins for him) and performs some music loops under the beginning of Art's story to add to the dramatic atmosphere. Art says he was doing a long-distance thing with a woman, and they met up in Las Vegas, where she was attending a business conference. After dropping her off, an F-250 truck pulled in front of him and blocked both exit lanes in the parking lot. He began fuming with his New York State of Mind, wondering why the guy couldn't just pull over a little to allow him to scoot by in his compact rental car. Art says he honked the horn and looked at the guy, who had a woman in his passenger seat. He thought the guy got the message because he pulled up a bit. However, he came to an abrupt stop, and as Art drove around him, the truck's passenger door swung open and dinked his front-left quarter panel. Art pulled up 150 feet away to inspect the damage and saw the woman emerge from the vehicle in a frightened state. He began crazily flailing his arms in the truck's direction, and the driver kept asking him why he was looking back at him. Art says his brain was about to explode as he sped down the strip.
He decided that he would return to his hotel to calm down (cold beer?) and then find these people so he could apologize for his outburst. Art later spotted the truck in the parking lot and went inside to the room hosting Ken Rogers's "Incorporating Your Personal Values Into Making a Million in No-Money-Down Real Estate" seminar. He saw the saw the truck driver, his wife, and their newborn. Art now realized that he was a massive jerk. He came clean about the incident and attributed his behavior to having a bad day. The guy swallowed his pride and accepted the apology. Rogers praised Art's mea culpa and gave him some promotional materials for Erik Estrada's swamplands as a reward for doing the right thing. Art assures Tom that he's not really a jerk, and Tom think he sounds like a Good Guy.
- Sean from Minneapolis says he may have some Beatles bootlegs for sale. Tom suspects he's being set up as part of a sting operation and GOMPs Sean for being a cop.
- Julie from Cincinnati says she only lost her cool one time. A few years ago she dropped out of grad school because she was failing and got her first job. Her husband, Richard, was also attending school and earning about $1,000/month. He deposited his paycheque into Julie's separate account via the ATM machine. The bank claimed they never got the deposit, which led to various bounced check and late fee charges. They initially blamed Julie for failing to actually make the deposit, but they eventually found it and apologized. Julie got so mad that she kicked the door at the bank. The bank explained that The Proud Patriot Act prohibits someone from depositing a check into an account that doesn't have their name on it.
Tom assumed that justice prevailed, but Julie says she was never reimbursed for the fees, which ate up her first paycheque at her new job. Julie says that she is the type of person who should lose their call all the time, but the bank debacle was her only incident. Tom reminds her about the time she called the show and cursed like a trucker. Julie doesn't think cursing counts as anything, but Tom disagrees. However, he wants to keep moving onward and upward. Julie signs off by saying "thank you so much" in a deep voice that scares Tom. He thinks that Julie and Spike should battle it out to see who is the king or queen of that particular turf.
- Laurie from Miami and Tom have an old-timey exchange that prompts Tom to ask her who would win a fight between Abbott & Costello and Laurel & Hardy. Laurie picks L&H because they have more total body mass. In terms of their comedic stylings, Tom thinks it's a four-way tie for last. Laurie points out that the duos worked during the vadaville era, which Tom renames "the unfunny era." He wants to know when we can finally get rid of those movies. Laurie says Doddy is a fan of old movies like the Busby Berkeley musicals. His enthusiasm for these works have Laurie wondering if her Doddy is actually a gay man. Tom suggests that he simply appreciates pageantry. Laurie says that he avoids most contemporary films because they are too violent, preferring the 1940s comedies starring Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo. She plans to get him some Preston Sturges DVDs for Doddy's Day in an attempt to upgrade his movie tastes. Tom recommends just buying some original prints so he can watch them on the big screen in his home theater. Laurie says that he does not have a theater in his home.
Laurie went to the dry cleaners a couple of months ago and encountered a bunch of yay-hoo employees engaged in a discussion about Borat Oblama. One smart guy started the conversation by wondering how we could possibly have a President with that name. Laurie planned to ignore it, get her clothes, and leave, but then they started talking about how he must be a Muslim because there is so much information about it on the Internet. Tom hopes that someone will be able to find out more about his religious background, which currently remains shrouded in mystery. Laurie lost her cool and forgot to get her dry cleaning. Tom doesn't understand why people can't manage to bite their tongues at a place of business until the customers have left. Laurie returned to pick up her skirt, but they did not have it. She lost her cool again and demanded a refund. They offered her a laughable $50, which only covered about half of the value. Laurie is convinced that they intentionally lost it, damaged it, threw it out, or stole it. Tom recalls the episode of Curb that involved dry cleaning shenanigans. He doesn't like how late-period Curb just makes things up compared to the gritty realism of the early seasons.
- [Renée in Sydney, Australia TK]
- [Nate from St. Paul TK]
- [Blake in New Brunswick (from Chicago) TK]
- [Charlie in Austin TK]
- [Abraham in Boston TK]
- [Martin in Edison TK]
- [Frank in Weehawken TK]
- [Blake returns -- he likes the spinach pie at Evelyn's!]
- [Sarah from New Orleans/My Dinner with Mark Ibold TK]
- [Tim from Seoul, South Korea TK]
- [Josh from Austin TK]
- [Joe from Seattle]
- [Frank from Weehawken (again) TK]
- [Officer Tom TK]
- A caller asks Tom how's it going and stuff. He thought the topic might be The Beatles because he didn't really like listen to the show in the last hour or so. Tom says the official topic is Losing Your Cool. The caller doesn't think he's ever really done that, but then he remembers helping his dad with a woodworking thing. His dad gave him the hammer and stuff to show him how to put the nail in and stuff, and he hit his thumb and stuff. The caller said something in response to the pain that he probably can't say it on the radio and stuff. Tom prefers that he keeps it to himself. The caller says he said like "damn" and stuff. Tom says that word is fine for broadcast, but he doesn't want the caller to go beyond that.
The caller requests the stupid "Symphony No. 5 in C-Sharp Minor" by Mahler and stuff. At this point Tom thinks he recognizes the caller, but he doubts that Tom remembers him. It's Pudge Palfner. Tom thought it was him at first, but then he wasn't sure. Pudge reminds Tom that he hasn't called in a while because he was shot in the leg by an errant Officer Harrups musket blast (he was aiming for Rutager) at last year's drug-crazed Newbridge Colonial Days street festival. Bryce attempted to assist him, but he became infuriated by Pudge's inability to assess his condition. Tom missed the festivities due to his tummy ache, but he does recall hearing that Pudge got wounded. For a long time Pudge wasn't sure if he was okay and stuff, but now he thinks he's fine and stuff.
Pudge asks Tom if he can cart up the Mahler piece. Tom's not sure if he has enough time to play an entire symphony, but Pudge says he kinda needs to hear it for this thing he's doing. He thinks it's stupid and tries to hang up, but Tom wants to hear more about it. Pudge says he's writing an article on Gustav Mahler, the Austrian composer and junk, for a dumb magazine called Classical Music. Tom points out that it's a pretty renowned publication. Pudge insists that it's stupid, although he does say it's the premier magazine for classical music and junk. Pudge tries to flee the conversation again, but Tom thinks his writing gig is fantastic. Pudge explains that the article is due tomorrow, and his copy of No. 5 has like a big skip on it and stuff. He needs to hear a clean version because he can't remember if the second movement is where Mahler throws in that leading note fakeout and stuff. Tom says he will look for it, but he wouldn't count on the WFMU library having it. Pudge assumes Tom knows about the stupid leading note, but he's not familiar with the concept. Pudge explains that it's like the seventh note of the scale, and after that note happens there's like this big desire to resolve to the tonic, which is the first tone of the scale. Pudge apologizes for its stupidity, but Tom doesn't mind. He says this is not his area of expertise, so he will take Pudge's word for it.
Pudge thinks Maher's an interesting guy, but he's also kinda dumb. Tom wants hear more about him. Pudge says his symphonies and stuff are kinda like divided into three or more groupings, although there are differing opinions on the boundaries between these groupings. For example, people kinda refer to his first four symphonies as the Wunderhorn song cycle and stuff because of their reliance on themes derived from Mahler's readings of the Des Knaben Wunderhorn, a collection of German folk poems. Pudge apologizes again for saying stupid things, but Tom thinks it's interesting. Pudge notes that Mahler's 5th and 7th symphonies are kinda like mature and stuff in the way he interleaves tragic and optimistic elements and stuff. He says that Mahler didn't even want to call his stuff symphonies stuff because he was superstitious -- Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert died after their 9th symphonies and stuff. Mahler didn't want to die and stuff. Pudge thinks it's all stupid, but he does have fun writing about it.
The editor of Classical Musical told Pudge that he's actually written some of the best ones of all-time. Tom assumes he was referring to articles in the magazine, but the editor was talking about Pudge's own symphonies and stuff. Pudge thinks it's stupid and wants to hang up again. Tom is amazed that he's also a composer. Pudge thinks his work is stupid, but the Newbridge Philharmonic will perform one of his symphonies in July and stuff. Tom is very impressed that an 18-year-old has achieved this much in the classical musical field. Pudge just think it's kinda like stupid stuff he does and stuff, but Tom thinks he should be very proud of his accomplishments.
Newbridge chiropractor Jim Dalrymple helps his son throw his bib into the ring at a December 2007 "Pancakes with Santa" rally
Pudge says he is sorta proud of another stupid thing he's doing. He's going to throw his hat into the ring for the Newbridge Mayubernatorial race and stuff. Pudge thinks it's a stupid idea, but Tom disagrees. He does wonder how an 18-year-old is allowed to run for mayor. Pudge says that Newbridge is one of the only places where there is no age requirement to hold political office. He thinks a baby could run as long as its mom or dad allowed it and stuff. Pudge did get his 37 signatures, and he wonders if Tom got any. Tom tells him that he's not going to run because he's not interested in serving as an elected official. Pudge thinks his candidacy is stupid, and he doubts he will win. He tries to end the call, but Tom wants to learn more about what inspired him to run for mayor.
Pudge has some difficulity giving specifics about his platform, but he does think there is maybe some stuff he could to improve things for Newbridge. For example, there are a lot of gas-powered parking meters in the center of town that cost residents $3/hour. Officer Harrups and his goons are always prowling the streets handing out tickets and beating people who have not paid. Pudge points out that nobody wants to go shopping there because they are afraid of getting ticketed or beaten with batons and junk. He found out that the city lost like $14,000 from the parking meters last year due to maintenance costs and legal fees spent defending Harrups and his goons from lawsuits stemming from their frequent beatdowns. Pudge says his stupid idea is to do away with the parking meters and stuff and give the money saved on maintenance and court costs to local businesses to revitalize the downtown area and pump money into the local economy. Pudge wants to hang up because it's stupid, but Tom likes it and stuff. He thinks free parking is a great idea, and he recommends that Pudge do some research into other towns that tried a similar initiative. Pudge says he kinda instituted the same thing in East Newbridge and West Oldbrige a couple of years ago while serving on some kind of zoning board committee/think tank. They came up with dumb ideas that worked for those towns and stuff. Tom thinks it's pretty impressive.
Pudge recalls the horrific incident where kids got trapped in the Newbridge sinkhole for a week before being rescued at the nick of time. They were starving and emerged looking very skinny. Pudge thinks it's kinda like that dumb movie The Ruins. He thought Scott Smith's novel was fun when he tore through it in 20 minutes. Pudge says that Bishop Fontana's plans for a "Bless the Sinkhole" campaign fell through because The Pope will not visit Newbridge during his trip to New York next week. It is unclear whether Fontana's special charity anthem, "This Sinking Feeling Has Got To End," that he co-wrote with The Hold Steady's Craig Finn will still be released. Pudge says Fontana's sinkhole efforts were further compromised after he was caught using an "apparatus," which is even weirder than the device favored by Judge Montgomery Davies. Tom was not aware of Fontana's activities. Pudge says that the "apparatus" is constructed from 13 lbs. of burlap, 100 lbs. of aluminum siding, and 7 gallons of canola oil. And there's also a plunger. Pudge acknowledges that it's kinda gross and stuff, but he still offers to send Tom a .jpg. Tom respectfully declines the photographic evidence. Pudge does not support Marky Ramone's plan to turn the sinkhole into an amusement park with a rolleycoaster. Tom informs him that Ramone is also running for mayor, and Pudge contemplates dropping out of the race because Marky is smarter than him. Tom laughs at this notion, indicating that Pudge should not bee overly concerned about Mr. Ramone political acumen.
Pudge also heard that Poison drummer Rikki Rockett, who was arrested last month on a rape charge in Mississippi, is going to open an amusement park in the sinkhole area. Pudge informs Tom that his real name, Richard L. Rockett, appeared on the court documents. Tom is surprised to find out that any part of his stage name is authentic. Pudge thinks the sinkhole should be filled in with something sturdier than the usual colored balls, like cement, and then paved over. Since Newbridge is located between Westbridge and New Southeastbridge on Route 732, the increased traffic would make it a prime spot for a new retail center. Pudge thinks it's stupid and wants to hang up. Tom thinks it makes a lot of sense, especially compared to the other candidate's intentions to turn the sinkhole into an attraction. Pudge thinks they are probably right and wants to hang up again. Tom says he would vote for Pudge in a heartbeat. Pudge says he will officially announce his candidacy maybe on Friday and stuff in his house, and his mom will make some pancakes for the event. Tom says it sounds like some kind of Pancake Announcement. Pudge thinks that's a cool name and writes it down so he can make some posters. Tom thinks he's off to a pretty impressive start. Pudge says thanks and junk.
Pudge offers Tom a job as his campaign manager, but Tom prefers not to work for any of the candidates. Pudge tries to think of what he would do as his first act in office, and he comes up with putting Tom to death. Tom thought he was safe from the usual violent threats, but Pudge denounces him for being kinda like a jerk and stuff because he doesn't like having community spirit and junk. Tom thinks he has a lot of it. Pudge wants Tom to ask call screener Brian about that. He says that if he were Tom he'd maybe hope that he didn't like get elected and stuff. Pudge wants Tom to state why this would not be good for him. Tom declines. Pudge says it's because he'd probably murder him and stuff. He recommends that Tom get ready and stuff if he gets elected and junk because he probably won't be alive and stuff. Pudge asks Tom if he wants to help him put up some posters. Tom asks him if it will affect his decision to kill him. Pudge says no and stuff and beats Tom to the hang-up.
- [Stephen from Boston TK]
- [Mike in Manhattan TK]
- [Ross in Detroit TK]
- [Fred from Hoboken TK]
- [Ross TK]
- [Tim from Stroudsburg TK]
- [Earl, Ross's lawyer, TK]
On the Next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Andy from Knoxville and Julie Klausner premiere their new "Theater Talk" segment, a live in-studio performance of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" from Barry Dworkin's new Beatles tribute band called Four Dumb Mustaches, and Mike shows up looking like this.
Take us out, Marian:
Eh. That was kind of low-energy. Let's try this instead: