"I don't know this stuff. My sphere of knowledge? $5 footlongs at Subway. That's the stuff I know. Where to get cheap gas." -- The streetsmart Tom Scharpling, explaining his inability to translate the Brit-tish name of Graham Day's backing band
"We're caught in a trap/We can't get out/Because I liiiiike you too much, baby." -- Tom, singing about his dysfunctional relationship with the rut-plagued Spike
"Why, Mike's a drug addict, too?" -- Petey, wondering why Tom wants to stage a joint intervention
"You know what, I apologize. I thought I was gonna hear some heap of garbage that you put together in 15 minutes on your $400 Dell." -- Tom, retracting his advance negative review of Fredericks's top-notch "Judo Chop" remix
"They'll think it's a planet of Emilio Estevi. 'Cause that's the plural of Estevez, right? Estevi?" -- Tom, stating one of the many perils of screening Repo Man for alien audiences
"But you know, as dirty as it gets, in other cultures, that water is considered Holy Water." -- Barry, revealing the hot dog liquid's sacramental standing in various world religions
"Yeah, so it's like classical music without Bev Bevan. Yeah. I dropped a little ELO science on your bottom." -- Barry, describing the drum-free sounds that greet his high-end clientele
"I don't think you do. I mean, maybe back in your homeland of the Soviet Union you need one, but here we have something called freedom." -- Barry, informing his comrade that he doesn't need a liquor license to serve red wine
"It's kind of like a cross between a hot dog and a real healthy banana split." -- Barry, promoting his new line of eccentric "veggie dogs"
"What?! No! He's a politician. One of our best!" -- Barry, denying that frequent customer David Duke is a "hatemonger"
"I'm sorry, what was that? It sounds like you dropped your phone." -- Tom, struggling to comprehend the clickety-click name of the greatest supergroup that has ever converged together
"It looks great on paper, but in reality it actually sounds like a herd of goats eating a rubber raft." -- Barry on the harsh, masticating sounds of MickNick PickMickNick's democratic racket
"Why are you grilling me? I don't like this. I'm the one that does the grilling!" -- Barry, unleashing another hot dog joke to thwart Tom's GNR inquisition
"He keeps the wheels super-oiled, so it doesn't make that much noise unless it topples over and spills horrendously dirty water everywhere." -- Barry, noting his protagnasist detective's precautions when peeking into boudoirs with his cart in tow
"Well, it's very tasteful. Even the XXX footage, which I have to say is both tasteful and spanktastic." -- Barry, touting the classy eroticism of his stealth documentary
"I'm gonna encase you in something. Paul's skin. I'm getting both of you guys. Yeah. Look out." -- Barry, delivering a delayed threat to turn Tom into the world's largest and dumbest hot dog
[More quotes to come.]
Graham Day and The Gaolers - "Begging You"
( Click here to buy Triple Distilled)
Brutal Knights - "Support Me"
( Click here to buy Living By Yourself)
The Heartaches - "Teenage Hypochondriac"
( Click here to buy Too Cool For School)
The Lids - "Start The Party"
( Click here to buy The Lids)
The Fastbacks - "Time & Matter" (U.K. Submarines cover)
( Click here to buy Home Alive - The Art of Self Defense)
The Golden Boys - "Mine Like A Diamond"
( Click here to buy Goodbye Country)
Robert Pollard - "By Silence Be Destroyed"
( Click here to buy The Crawling Distance)
Lemuria - "Pants"
( Click here to buy Get Better)
- Tom from Buffalo says he doesn't know anything about the theory, playing, or reading of music, but he's still really picky about what he listens to. Comedienne Paula F. Tompkins points out that this is an acceptable blind spot because only a select group of people crack that kind of stuff. TfB says his girlfriend, a vocalist and music theory major, makes him feel stupid for his lack of knowledge. PFT suggests that TfB is actually stupid about his relationship because his girlfriend sounds like a controlling, castrating monster. Tom Scharpling is very amused by this analysis. TfB threatens to bench press his 98-pound partner as retaliation for her emotional bullying. TS regrets that TfB made a physical threat, and PFT says he's now compelled to contact the authorities to thwart a domestic dispute. TS envisions TfB pacing around his residence with a closed fist, and PFT compares the dynamic to the verbal gamesmanship in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. TfB says it's kind of like that and admits that he's not that much of an intellectual guy. TS is not surprised to hear this and GOMPs TfB for acting like Stanley Kowalski.
Yes! Indeed. Please, stay where you ah and stay tooned for another Tuesday night installment of The Best Show on WFMuuuuuuuuuu. Host Tom Scharpling is ready to delivuh an excitin' three-hour chunka mirth, music, and mayhem featuring an in-studio visit from Paul F. Tompkins. The popular female comic will regale listeners with his stories of laughter. It'll be Twitterkininny! Tom's first guest of the evening is the security guard he hired to protect his rare vinyl copy of Morgen, currently valued at $94,000. While the dregs of society pull the psychedelic "Of Dreams" from the 30 Seconds Before the Calico Wall compilation, Tom played the obscure gem from the original self-titled album. He announces that the price tag of the record jumped to $95,000 while he was talking about it.
- Frank from Weehawken sneaks into the opening slot to collect some data for a radio experiment. He wants to gauge Tom's vibe at the beginning of the show, before he gets bummed out about a total flop or starts stretching for his victory lap. Frank theorizes that if Tom goes in with a positive vibe, the show may end up being even more awesome than usual. Tom points out that the show usually goes off the rails when he's all fired up and ready to go. He shows up early, calibrates the voice modulator, ensures that Mike has emptied the trash bins, and reviews the playbook for his A-game only to spiral down the turlet in the tricky first hour. Frank realizes that a string of bad callers will often foil Tom's well-laid plans. He wonders if this is a call that is having the same negative effect. Tom assures Frank that he's doing fine and advises against tangling his britches because it will be a Big Show.
Frank says he's in a panic after getting called out in the FOT Chat. Tom reminds him that these lions are ready to pounce at the first whiff of weakness. Franks admits to reeking of defeat. Tom instructs him to splash some cold water on his face and settle in for a long night. He gives Frank the Heave Ho for trying to analyze the show before it happens. Tom never knows where the show will go because it's like jazz, man. He skillfully performs a duet of Fredericks of New Port Richey's jaunty trumpet and Spike's sad trombone to illustrate the show's wandering rhythms.
- Spike delights Tom with the debut of a new "Ohhhhh, Scharpling" greeting and then not-so-delights him with the cackling he's been honing for the past year. Tom asks Spike if he can figure out what the following things have in common:
Spike extracts himself from the mix and concludes that the remaining four things are irritating. Tom thinks this is a good point because he considers Spike to be a charming young man who is incapable of irritation. However, it's not the correct answer, so he asks Mike to assess the same quintet. Mike believes they are all boring. Tom says the severed husband, celebrity judge (a big-time device user, by the way), dungeon master, televised newlywed, and domesticated stone all had their moment in the spotlight before fading away. Tom calls on God to help him grapple with his desire to retain Spike as a regular caller. He thinks Spike can sense that he's in an unhealthy spot on the spectrum of things. Spike interprets this as a reference to his moldy dungeon, but Tom defines the residence as The Rut. Spike denies ever living there. Tom cites conflicting evidence, such as the exclusive reliance on the same stable of topics: Barack Obama replacing the Village Idiot, slasher cinema, doo-wop, and his growing disdain for pop culture figures like Jennifer Lopez.
Spike says that tonight he was actually calling to talk about Paul F. Tompkins. Tom gets very excited about this new direction until Spike starts cackling again. He isn't sure if he can handle much more of that laugh. Tom prefers that Spike channel this creepy enthusiasm into reviving himself with some focused segments. He suggests an official launch of regular movie reviews with a rating scale of 1 to 5 leather masks, a long overdue follow-up to Spike's positive notices for The Devil Wears Prada and Little Miss Sunshine. Spike, of course, finds the latest offer "interesting," which means there is a good chance he will never accept it. Tom bills it as a promotion to a full-fledged Best Show correspondent to help him break out of the slump. He serenades Spike with a less-amorous version of "Suspicious Minds," indicating his odd attachment to his unlikely buddy. Spike knocks the performance for not sounding like David Cassidy. He mentions that he was planning to see the new Will Smith drama Seven Pounds of Flesh, a great opportunity to transition into his new role. Tom says it's been sold out every time he's tried to see it. He puts Spike on the books for a review next week as they start working hand-in-hand to get through 2009. Spike adopts the Obama-inspired "Yes we can" as his mantra for success. Tom warns Spike that the rising soundboard star Fredericks of New Port Richey has been consistently mopping up the floor with him in recent weeks. Spike is determined not to let that happen. Tom wants Spike to FIGHT. He claims to be ready for battle.
TWITTER WAR UPDATE
- Scott from Weird-O-Wood says the New Year brought him a New Fear that parallels the plot of Galaxy Quest. Tom confirms that he's seen the parodic laffer. In a mollusk shell, the basic premise is that an alien race picks up a broadcast of the titular, Star Trek-style space opera series, which they believe is an actual historical document of life on Earth. Scott fears that Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, which he watched this past weekend, will attract a similar extra-terrestrial following and position Earth as the laughingstock of the galaxy. Tom asks him to name a movie that better represents the planet. Scott picks another film released in 1984: Repo Man. Tom says this is an improvement, but his immediate Heave Ho suggests otherwise. He doesn't want aliens to watch Alex Cox's cult film and think it is us. He points out that B2:EB explored heroic themes with the dancers standing up to an evil developer who was plotting to bulldoze their beloved recreation center. Tom appreciates the film's strong moral code compared to Repo Man's anarchic vision of an urban wasteland.
Tom asks Mike for a good call. Mike says there's a new guy on Line 3. It's Fat Freddie from Maine. Tom doesn't like Fat Freddie at all. Mike cackles like Spike.
- A young man named Petey claims to be a first-time/longtime because everyone is reborn every time they call The Best Show. Tom is not thrilled to hear about his program's supposed powers of renewal. Petey reports that he finally got his driver's license and wants Tom to guess the other milestone he reached since his last call/rebirth. Tom guesses that an intervention took place and considers staging a multigenerational session to try to rescue Petey and Mike at the same time. (Hopefully the A&E cameras will roll.) Petey asks Tom if Mike is also a drug addict. Tom notes that Petey appeared to just admit to having a drug problem.
Petey says he recently turned 18, so he started legally buying some
weed hash pipes tobaccos. Tom, who often uses his radio pulpit to counsel wheezing smokers, is disappointed to hear about Petey's new vice. After some confusion Tom determines that Petey wants him to guess his daily habit. He goes with five cigarettes, but Petey says he smokes 10 cigars every day. Tom doesn't like it at all. Petey believes that cigars are healthier then regular cigarettes because you smoke less of them due to their larger size. Tom compares this argument to the relative benefits of getting hit by a motorcycle instead of a bus. Petey says he never thought of it in that way. Tom urges him to take a good look at some of his fellow cigar aficionados like Peter Weller, Jim Belushi, and Rush Limbaugh. Petey accuses Tom of solely focusing on undesirables, but he can only offer Prank Patrol co-host Andy Breckman as an example of a "cool" cigar smoker. Tom gives him the Heave Ho.
"Oh, hello, brother. How are you?"
"Uh, I didn't say, 'Hello, brother,' I said, 'Oh, brother."
- Fredericks asks Tom if he needs to start calling at 8:20 p.m. to remain on his good side and fend off a resurgent Spike. Tom semi-jokingly questions whether Fredericks is currently in positive territory. He's pro-Fredericks, but he also thinks the guy is running way too hot. Tom retrieves a package containing another Fredericks remix CD attributed to a group called Sick Tom and the New Port Richeys. The cover features a bearded Tom wearing an eyepatch. Fredericks says it's fit for radio play and will not upset grandmothers or little kids. Tom compares Fredericks's weekly album releases to the prolific output of former Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard. Fredericks thinks that Tom meant to reference Neal Pollack. Tom says that he's right because everyone knows Pollack for his vast catalog of recordings. Fredericks announces that he prefers the alternadad scribbler to the singer-songwriter. Tom questions whether Fredericks realizes that he's landed in a very dangerous place after biting off more than he can chew. Fredericks says he purposefully called pre-topic to further test the turbulent waters.
Tom reluctantly agrees to play a killer tune titled "Judo Chop," a reference to the catchphrase Rajamoore used when dispensing of villains in the James Bond franchise. As he plops the disc into the player he wonders why he's doing it. Fredericks attributes it to Tom being an adventurous and good fella. Tom plays album opener and immediately apologizes to Fredericks for doubting its quality. While he expected to hear a heap of garbage constructed in 15 minutes on a $400 Dell or during a session at the public library, it was actually an impressive composition. Fredericks hangs up after hearing the positive review. Tom says it was the worst thing he's ever heard.
- Julie from Cincinnati calls because it sounded like Spike was crying when Tom told him to step it up. Tom says he was just issuing a challenge, but JfC doesn't hear him. Tom wonders if this fractured banter is really what the first hour of the show has become. JfC says she just wanted to warn Petey that half of his face will fall out when he gets cancer. Tom decides that he can't do this anymore, but he still has two hours and 15 minutes of airtime to fill. He laments that Spike, Fredericks, and JfC now foncy themselves an All-Star crew with the eternal greenlight. Tom wants Mike to keep them as guests on The Mike Show, the competing program he broadcasts from the same studio . Mike says his show is going pretty well so far. Tom mentions that Mike has attracted a radio audience by exploring the same skewed worldview that informs his Tweets. He suspects that Mike's growing roster of followers includes non-Best Show gawkers hoping to see some kind of live Twittercide: @APMike I am dead.
- Scott in W-O-W calls back to provide some additional insight to his controversial programming of Repo Man. He's concerned that aliens will invade Earth because they think our best line of defense is an army composed entirely of breakdance fighters. Scott argues that Repo Man would convince them to avoid any military interaction with a creep-filled urban wasteland. Tom says the aliens would likely be reluctant to engage a planet full of Emilio Estevi, the correct plural form of Estevez. Scott makes it clear that Repo Man is not necessarily a better movie, just a more effective deterrent to intergalactic warfare. He simply doesn't think we are equipped to handle this potential conflict. Tom vows to fight the aliens in the streets. Scott says he's down with hand-to-hand combat, but he prefers to stem the surge with repo men instead of breakdancers. Tom does concede that the aliens would get very scared when confronted by commander Harry Dean Stanton. Scott earns the rare double Heave Ho.
- Fredericks returns to apologize for hanging up on Tom. He actually thought Tom hung up on him. Tom asks him to repeat what he thought happened and then cuts him off in mid-sentence. It will never ever ever ever ever get tired.
- Quality Caller Mike from Chicago shakes off the first-time nerves to follow up on the debate over sending Repo Man into space. Tom is glad the terrible film has become a temporary topic. Mike says that 20th Century Fox promoted the release day of The Day the Earth Stood Still remake by projecting it from the John Kennedy Toole Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL, to the Alpha Centauri star system. Tom salutes Hollywood for spending $800,000 to launch Keanu Reeves into space amidst a recession that prompted the industry to jettison 15% of its workforce. He also welcomes Mike to The Best Show fold.
- Tom denies a caller's request for Led Zeppelin's "Hot Dog" because he isn't playing records right now. The caller informs him that In Through the Out Door is also available on CD. Tom explains that he's not playing music on any format during this call-in segment. The caller really wants Tom to make an exception for him because "Hot Dog" is very apropos of what's happening in Newbridge.
Tom isn't sure what makes the tune so topical, and the caller wonders if he ever cracks the newspaper. Tom does recall reading about a big zoning fight between the local hot dog vendors and the Chamber of Commerce, whose members are trying to ban the carts from certain areas. The caller says they are trying to keep us out of there. The pronoun gets Tom excited about talking to one the participants in this heated dispute. The caller is excited to be involved, but he's also frustrated by the efforts to keep his eight carts 150 feet away from Gortner Circle, the main drag that runs through downtown. Tom wonders why officials object to their presence. The caller quotes their wordage, which claims the initiative is part of a plan to make the area less sleazy. He doesn't know why they would think the hot dog carts are part of the problem. The caller assumes that Tom has had one of his hot dogs because everyone in Newbridge has had one of Barry's hot dogs. Tom says he isn't much of a hot dog eater these days.
Barry, who has operated the carts for nine years, believes the exiting mayoral administration is targeting the merchants to help put a positive spin on their legacy, much like George W. Bush's recent attempts at damage control. He's been trying to get Mayor-elect Roydon Ziegler to weigh in on the issue, but he's been busy with what he's calling "nem Eagles Super Bowl drive." Barry says that Ziegler is even considering delaying next Tuesday's inauguration ceremony until after nem Eagles win the championship on February 1st. He hoped that "Hot Dog" could serve as the perfect lead-in to something he wants to asks Tom, but it doesn't sound he's willing to play ball. Tom reiterates that he just isn't playing any music right now, regardless of any thematic tie-ins.
Barry says he wants Tom to be one of the guest speakers at a small rally he's organizing outside of Town Hall. Tom appreciates Barry's plight, but he's uncomfortable about participating since he's not a hot dog consumer. Barry says Tom just needs to speak from his heart and focus on fighting an unfair proposal. Since Tom is known as a "creative" in the entertainment industry, he would at least like his help in crafting some chants that will get all the protesters hot, bothered, and juiced up. Barry wants to add to the four good chants he's already developed:
1. "HOT DOG SELLERS ARE REALLY GREAT FELLERS!"
2. "NO JUSTICE, NO LINKS!"
3. "KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY WEINER!"
4. "FRANKS A LOT FOR TRYING TO RUIN MY BUSINESS!"
Tom dismisses the first two as flat, stiff, or too vague, and he rejects the horrible double-entendre that informs the third. Barry thinks "KYLOMW" will have broad appeal since everyone knows about laws. Tom says that while the laissez-faire sentiment is universal, the chant is marred by a dirty hot dog joke. He does praise the final entry for being "not horrible." Barry is pleased that Tom liked three of his four chants. Tom clarifies that he liked one of them a little bit.
Barry says he has room to squeeze Tom into a hott lineup that already includes Zachary Brimstead, Survivor spankathoner Reggie Monroe, and Bill. Tom knows the first two all too well, but he can't place Bill. Barry says he ran for mayor and appeared on The Best Show. Tom can't remember what Bill was about, and Barry isn't sure if Bill even knows. Tom thinks he was the guy who played tapes during his calls. Barry says it appeared that a nervous Bill played a tape when he talked to him about the rally. Tom understands that some people get rattled when speaking in front of others. Barry notes that some people deal with these fears by using a voice modulator. He chuckles at the zing, and Tom lets it go without comment. (NOTE: Bill is actually Tom's Consolidated Cardboard co-worker with a penchant for escalating lies and eccentric autographs. Bob pre-recorded his takes on misbehaving starlets, the Persian Gulf War, and the Blue epidemic.)
Barry senses that Tom objects to the way the hot dog cartmen present their hot dog carts to the town. Tom says he always thought the carts were a little dirty, specifically the notoriously gross hot dog water basin. After a moment of silence Barry admits that the meat bath can be pretty rough stuff. However, Barry claims that in other cultures the murky hot dog water is considered Holy Water and sells for untold wealths. Tom wants to know which countries use this water to worship. Barry just knows that people somewhere overseas use it to perform various anointmentments. He says it's definitely mentioned in the Bible or the Carvan, the thing that the Arabs look at. Tom informs Barry that the Koran is the religious text of the Islamic faith. Barry says there was a big article on the religious use of hot dog water the trade publication Bun Fun. Tom thinks it has a misleading title. Barry disagrees and considers suing Tom for speaking ill of his industry. Tom questions the strength of a case seemingly built around him not being a fan of the plaintiff's product. Barry says the prosecution would focus on Tom's accusations that the carts are filled with dirty water. Tom points out that Barry already accepted that as a valid criticism. Barry claims that it's not offensive if he says it because he's a hot dog vendor. Tom doesn't follow his legal argument. He knows that it's within his rights to report his sightings of grimy liquid in mobile restaurants.
Barry says he's working to change the public misconception that his hot dog stations are akin to grubby, Third World street carts. As the industry adapts to keep up with a changing marketplace, Barry is doing his part in 2009 by developing a gourmet line of hot dog stands featuring the tagline: "Where the customer is treated like an Incan God." He thinks the mission statement will look great when printed in Incan font on a t-shirt. Barry asks Tom if this font requires a separate download because he can't find it in MS Word. He pulls down his font menu and scrolls past Impact, Imprint, and Informal Roman, but then it skips right to Jokerman. Tom is not familiar with this peculiar option. Barry says it's kind of like the font used in the opening title sequence of the show starring James Carrey and the Wyman brothers. Tom identifies this as the early-1990s Fox sketch skein In Living Color. Barry repeats the title as just Living Color. Tom re-inserts the preposition, a move Barry decries as munchy. He tells Tom that the show, which was probably shot in color, definitely aired in color. Tom, who admits to being a fontadummy, says he has no information on the whereabouts of Incan, and Barry assumes he will have to purchase a font package to design his hot dog apparel. He then emphatically directs the conversation back to his new project.
Barry says the customer approaches the stand to the strains of "classical music," which he describes as kind of like Electric Light Orchestra without the drums. Tom considers this to be actual classical music. Barry redefines his dining soundtrack as classical music without Bev Bevan and celebrates dropping some ELO science on Tom's bottom. Tom thanks him for the schooling, but he was with him on the ELO skinsman. Barry asks Tom if he can name a band Bevan played in that most people wouldn't expect. Tom drops his own science with the correct answer: Black Sabbath. Barry is impressed that Tom recalled Bevan's stint with the band for the 1983-1984 Born Again tour. (Bevan also did cymbal overdubs on 1987's The Eternal Idol.) He offers Tom three free hot dogs if he can drop another drummer who served brief time behind the Sabbath kit. Tom is unable to claim the prize. Barry says it was Terry Chimes from The Clash. Tom is skeptical, so Barry wants him to Google it right now. Tom finds some information that makes him think Barry is right. Barry agrees with everything Tom said except for the word "think."
He explains that the customer must request the full gourmet experience to prompt the vendor to change out of his usual ensemble of shorts and t-shirt. By the time the customer finds a foncy one-top set with silverware and fine china, the vendor reappears wearing a tuxedo with a cloth draped over his arm. Barry says that he will eventually require customers to wear formal attire. Tom wonders if the institution of a strict dress code will yield a higher caliber of food. Barry says his regular hot dogs will remain the culinary centerpiece with the enhanced ambiance of a nice table, classical music, and the tuxedoed waiter. He will also offer diners a glass of red wine with their meals. Tom considers this an odd pairing, but Barry says the wine is actually a nice complement to the flavors of the beef. Tom asks Barry if he secured a liquor license for his stands. Barry, who is oblivious to this aspect of state law, calls Tom a munch for not understanding that dispensing alcohol is one of the perks of living in America.
Tom informs him that America is a place that requires establishments to obtain a license before legally pouring alcohol. Barry says that may be the way it works back in Tom's homeland of the Soviet Union, but this country grants its citizens additional freedoms. Tom denies hailing from the Soviet Union. Barry cites a pretty noticeable Russian lilt as further proof of Tom's red past. He refers to Tom as "son," but quickly realizes that "comrade" may be more appropriate. Barry wants Tom to turn off his voice modulator and ask call screener Jebediah to determine his nationality. Mike doesn't think Tom sounds like a Russian. Barry and Tom have differing opinions on the accuracy of Mike's assessment. At this point Barry has a sudden urge to get back to discussing his new venture. He says that he will deal with the liquor license in the unlikely event that he gets busted for not having one.
Barry plans to convert his carts into "Starbucks on wheels" by stocking items like CDs, DVDs, and Native American jewelry. Tom is surprised that a hot dog business is branching out into this kind of merchandise. Barry stresses the importance of diversification in the tough retail landscape. He's been talking with several artists, including Styx's James "J.Y." Young, the long, white-haired guy who is not Thomas Shaw. Barry says he's excited about inking a deal to release Young's new solo CD through Hot Rockin' Hot Dog Records & Filmworks. Tom can't imagine the deal being particularly lucrative if the CD will be exclusively available at only eight Newbridge locations. Barry says it was for $100,000, and Tom doesn't believe they paid Young that much money. Barry clarifies that Young paid them to release it. The old-school guitarist doesn't count an album as a legitimate entry in his discography unless he has a physical copy for sale. Tom suggests that Barry is taking advantage of the aging musician. Barry denies it.
He reveals that another forthcoming HRHDR&F release is a CD from Gary Richrath. Tom refers to him as the "fat guitarist" from REO Speedwagon. Barry prefers to use the term "obese" and gives Richrath props for not progressing into morbid obesity. He continued to raid the classic rock rosters by signing Ross Valory. Tom can't place the name. Barry is stunned that someone with a rock 'n roll radio show doesn't know Valory, the guy who plays the headstockless and bodyless bass for Journey. Tom wonders if there is much public demand for a CD by the bassist from Journey. Barry says they will find out when it drops in two weeks. He's most excited about the debut from Warren Zanes's Del Fuegos. Barry admits that it's odd for Warren to front the new version of the band since he played rhythm guitar and never sang any leads during the original run. Tom asks him how many units he hopes to move across the eight storefronts. Barry says they are pressing 100,000 copies of each release. Tom thinks that sounds like a disastrous run.
Speaking of Boston artists, Barry asks Tom if he's heard of Merge Records. Tom is indeed familiar with the legendary independent label launched by Superchunk's Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance. Barry says Merge wants Barry's Hot Dogs to be the only outlet for physical copies of the forthcoming Scruffy the Cat career retrospective box set. Tom doesn't like the sound of that, but Barry heard he was supposed to be good. Tom says Scruffy's music never did it for him. Barry now realizes that they will sell one less 8-CD set, which includes the four studio releases plus various outtakes and demos. Tom doubts the market will support this much Scruffy the Cat material.
Image courtesy of Tool Belt Productions
Barry says there's definitely a healthy market for their first DVD release. Since it's very hard to secure the rights to movies, the filmworks division had to settle for You're Soaking In Him. Tom correctly assumes this is an entry in the extreme horror genre. Barry says it's the film Trent L. Strauss made before unleashing his breakthrough classic, You're Soaking In Her. The grisly plot of that 2002 extremity focuses on the proprietor of a New Age retreat who doubles as a brutal serial killer. He combines the mineral water with the liquefied bodies of his victims, luring hot chicks to soak in the solution. Even the usually TLS-crazed Belgium passed on You're Soaking In Her, which led to the director's expulsion from AMPAS. Barry explains that You're Soaking In Him had a limited theatrical release in Upper Spain before Mr. Strauss pulled it from circulation. The auteur felt the film was ruined by the performance of lead actor Kevin Allin, who is more commonly known by his stage name of G.G. Allin. Barry says it was the only feature film Allin appeared in before passing on in 1993. Tom agrees that was a very sad day.
Barry finally piques Tom's interest with the promise of some heart-healthy menu options, such as "veggie dogs." However, he says the new item is more of a "tropical dog," a total taste treat that's a cross between a hot dog and a real healthy banana split. Tom doesn't know what to make of this creation. Barry say it's a traditional banana split minus the ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream. Tom points out that a banana in a bun is not a proper veggie dog. Barry says it's healthy and sounds good. Tom disagrees and wonders if customers top the banana with sauerkraut and relish. Barry denounces this gross practice, noting that customers enjoy the tropical dog as is. He no longer carries relish because there isn't much call for it anymore. Tom says he wasn't aware that the condiment had fallen out of favor. Barry reminds him that he's not running his father's hot dog stand. Tom asks him which condiments are popular with modern hot dog connoisseurs.
Barry says he refuses to serve relish because it smells gross. In fact, the Incan-fonted slogan on the back of his t-shirt will be "You'll relish our lack of relish." Barry says that he'd be lying if he said all these overhauls weren't costing him an arm and a link. He chuckles at his hot dog joke. Tom guesses it's funny. Barry say it's very funny. Tom thought it was fun in a playful way. Barry insists that it's very playful and very fun and calls Tom a jerk for suggesting anything less. Tom apologizes for not sufficiently praising the play on words. Barry says it's okay to be sorry. Despite his reservations about the inflated costs, he'd also be lying if he said it wasn't working out big time. Barry is pleased that the revamped carts are now attracting a lot of the most glamorous people on Earth. Tom asks him if he cares to mention some of these luminaries.
Barry leads with David Duke, and an incredulous Tom wonders if he's actually referring to the renowned hatemonger. Barry considers Duke one of the country's best politicians. Tom points out that the white supremacist and former KKK Grand Wizard, who did serve as a Louisiana state representative, has since made many unsuccessful bids for public office. Barry wants to know why Stevie Wonder would write one of his biggest songs about Duke if he isn't so great. Tom has no idea what he's talking about. Barry says the song in question is "Sir Duke." Tom tells Barry that Wonder penned the tune as a tribute to the jazz pioneer Duke Ellington. Barry asks Tom if he cracks a double album much because it doesn't sound like it. He also doesn't know that woman. Tom says Duke Ellington was a man. Barry claims that Duke was sworn in with Wonder at his side, singing a chorus of "... and the king of all whites, Sir Duke!" Tom says that never happened and it's not the correct lyric. Barry has some more trivia for Tom. He says that Stevie Wonder is not the musician's real name. Tom can't remember it. Barry says it's Steven Wonder. Tom's not sure if that is correct, but Barry knows it is. (It's Stevland.)
Other celebrity customers include former Kiss guitarist Vinne Vincent, Kris Jenner, the matriarch from E!'s Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and Merle Allin, the Murder Junkies bassist and brother of the dearly-departed G.G. Tom says that Jenner is a horrible person. Barry says something about how he gives her his best hot dog, but Tom doesn't want to hear the details of this transaction. He's more interested to hear that Sam Elliot, the gravelly-voiced actor who played Gar in Mask, is also a new devotee of Barry's Hot Dogs. Barry says you haven't lived until Elliot approaches you and says, "Give me one of those hot dogs without relish." Tom is actually impressed by this one. Barry says it was also impressive when ath-e-lete John Rocker asked for a hot dog. Tom says the former relief pitcher is a despicable guy. Barry thinks Tom is nuts.
Barry says that if Tom doesn't like his clientele, he's got to love the live entertainment. He just started booking impalement artists, which Tom knows as knife throwers. Barry says that after a customer buys a hot dog they are asked to participate in the show. If they agree, they stand in front of a board while the impalement artist whips knives at them. Tom thinks this sounds pretty brutal and dangerous. Barry says they place the hot dog in their mouth to see if the artist can stab it from four feet away. Tom wonders if customers ever get hurt. Barry asks for a definition of "hurt." Tom asks him if they get hit with the knife. Barry says they often take an errant throw right to the cheek. Tom thinks it's terrible. Barry does not deny that the impalement injuries are bad stuff.
Barry says the live music they will start booking is not bad stuff, especially the greatest supergroup that has ever -- and will ever -- converge together on the same stage. He asks Tom if he wants the rundown of this historic lineup, although he's not sure if he can handle it. Tom says he's honestly excited after the buildup. Barry hits him with MickNick PickMickNick. Tom suspects that Barry just dropped his phone. Barry says he just provided the name of the newest supergroup. The first member is Mick Mars, who Tom identifies as the "creepy guitarist" from Mötley Crüe. Barry scolds Tom for judging someone who suffers from a bone disease. Mars is joined by Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes. Barry jokingly suggests that Rhodes is also afflicted with a bone disease. Tom says it's not funny. Barry knows this and apologizes. He's glad he's not on the radio. Barry stumps Tom with David "Pick" Withers. Call screener Raj can't help him out, so Barry informs them that Pick is the original drummer for Dire Straits. Tom says nobody knows that. Barry fears that Tom will next claim ignorance about the drummer who replaced Withers. Tom doesn't know that, either. He draws another blank on Mick Box, the lead guitarist for Uriah Heep. Barry is sure that Tom has heard of MNPMN's final member: Nick Hogan, the reckless son of wrestler Hulk Hogan. Tom summarizes the band:
- A guy from Motley Cure - Mick
- A guy from Duran Duran - Nick
- A guy from Dire Straits - Pick
- A guy from Uriah Heep - Mick
- Hulk Hogan's son - Nick
He thinks MickNick PickMickNick is the craziest thing he's ever heard. Barry says he's proud to be selling the debut CASSette from this great band. Despite hailing from incredibly successful bands (and one reality series), they can only afford a cassette because they work as a total democracy. Mars told Barry that they didn't want to fall into the usual trap where the primary songwriter earnsmore publishing royalties. Each MNPMN member makes the same musical and monetary conribution. Since Box recently fell on hard times and could only throw in $150, the band forwent a polished CD and created a three-song demo cassette using an eight-track recorder in the basement "studio" of Mars's nephew. Barry says its kind of amazing how each member sings and plays at the same time. Tom assumes they switch up the lead vocal duties. Barry says they actually all sing and play at once so nobody stands out. They also form a straight line on the stage during live shows. Barry doesn't think Tom will believe how it sounds. Tom suspects the honorable democratic approach would inevitably lead to some sonic maladies. Barry says it seemed great on paper, but the songs end up sounding like a herd of goats eating a rubber raft. Tom doesn't think it even sounds promising in the paper format. Barry asks Tom why he's being so mean. Tom says he's not trying to be mean.
Barry mentions the pending case involving his son, Slash. Tom assumes that Barry named his son after the GNR guitarist. Barry says it's a reference to Slash from Slash's Snakepit. He's not familiar with GNR, but he's a big fan of Slash's mid-1990s side-project. He begs to differ about namesake's origins and will research it later. Tom is amazed that he knows all about Mick Box from Uriah Heep, but he doesn't know one of the biggest rock groups of all-time. Barry says he doesn't like getting grilled because he's the one who typically does the grilling. Barry laughs heartily at how easily Tom fell into that quip. Tom doesn't find hot dog humor very funny. Barry decides to document it for later publication in a compendium of hot dog quotations.
Barry put Slash in charge of his cart while he had some links on the fire, and a lady came up to buy a frank. Slash began wagging it in front of her while repeatedly asking what it reminder her of. Tom doesn't want to hear about this disturbing confrontation. She called the cops and Officer Harrups rushed to the scene to take little Slash away in hamcuffs. Barry has a mysterious delivery planned for Officer Harrups as retaliation for the arrest. Tom thinks it sounds like Barry has a lot of projects lined up for the coming year. Barry says it's all leading to bigger, better, and more insane things. He's in the home stretch of the next phase: writing a book that follows the adventures of a hot dog vendor/detective. Tom thinks it sounds like an interesting premise. Barry says the protagnasist sees all kinds of stuff because he has his finger on the pulse of the streets. The super-exciting mystery plot spins into action when an attractive femme fatale arrives at the hot dog cart in the throes of distress.
Tom assumes that the vendor leaves his cart to investigate the case. Barry wonders what kind of sick person would imply that a hot dog professional leaves his cart unattended. He explains that the first law of the Hotdogcratic Oath states that the vendor never leaves his cart. Tom doesn't know if that's a real document of ethics. Barry says the detective takes the cart with him on stakeouts, office break-ins, and even while peeking into boudoirs. Tom thinks it sounds limiting to wheel the cart around while trying to fight crime and solve mysteries. Barry says he keeps the wheels super-oiled so it doesn't make that much noise unless it topples over and spills horrendously dirty water everywhere. Tom is not surprised to hear that the character is loosely based on Barry's life. Barry says the best part of the book is a 10-page lovemaking session. Tom asks him to stop describing the book.
Barry thinks Tom will want to hear about his true passion, a super-riveting documentary called Nobody Sees What the Hot Dog Man Knows. He made the film by aiming a camcorder into the windows of the apartments near his cart and catching people in interesting situations. Tom considers this spying and confirms that Barry did not get permission to film on location. Barry assures Tom that it's all very tasteful, even the XXX-rated footage, which is also "spanktastic." Tom asks him to stop describing the documentary. Barry believes that his film falls under some kind of grandfather clause that categorizes the street footage as public domain. He assures Tom that viewers don't really see the nuts and bolts of what appears to be a murder, although it's clear that the guy's head falls off.
Tom asks him if he filmed the decapitation from the street. Barry asks him to define "street" before revealing that he was positioned on the fire escape while Slash worked the cart. After he heard screaming he followed his documentarian instinct by climbing up four floors of the building. Tom is concerned that he kept filming without trying to help an apparent homicide victim. Barry says the guy who filmed the sheriff in Hong Kong shooting that guy in the head in the late-1980s did the same thing. Tom says the horrific execution happened in 1968 during the Vietnam War. Barry disputes this because he saw it in a movie theater in the mid-1980s. Tom is confused because Barry seems to have seen it before it happened per his erroneous timeline. Barry says the scene was in a movie starring Kevin Dillon. Tom identifies it as Oliver Stone's Platoon, a movie about the Vietnam War that was released in 1986.
Barry says he's willing to argue about film all night because Tom already showed he knew nothing about music when he failed to name Terry Williams as the successor to Pick Withers. Tom doesn't want to argue about film. Barry makes a final appeal for Tom to boost the hot dog rally with his presence. Tom declines the offer because he'd feel dishonest speaking to a crowd of supporters. Barry cordially accepts the decision and thanks Tom for his time. Tom wishes him the best of luck and bids him goodnight.
Tom announces that the moment of truth and ultimate triumph has arrived. The next guest is no second-rate, ham-and-egg comic. He's a trailblazer with a deserved spot in the pantheon of greats. Burns. Arbuckle. Lloyd. TOMPKINS. Tom declares PFT one of the funniest comediennes out there.
Barry apologizes for interrupting the guest segment, but he neglected to mention that he will turn Tom into the world's largest and dumbest hot dog. Tom was wondering what happened to the threat. He tells Barry that he will take his chances. Barry ups the ante by revealing that he will use PFT's skin as the casing for this human frank. Tom thinks Barry is gone, but he gets a jolt when the demented entrepreneur pipes back up. Barry claims that Tom is understandably scared by his presence behind him. Tom doesn't believe that he's in the studio. Barry hangs up. PFT says it's unnerving to finally be included in one of Tom's frequent death treats. Tom agrees that threats are generally not pleasant. PFT suggests that even a threat to be kissed could be unpleasant depending on the person and context. Tom thinks PFT is very wise.
[PFT / The Mike Show / "I Was Wrong" to come.]