TheWVSR.com

Pr
evious Notes

2003

March
February
January


A bowl of corn, motherfuckers.

2002

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


Is that an erection I smell?

2001

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

I'm loaded with tumors darling, and I don't even know it.

2000

December
November
October


Friends of TheWVSR
Advertisements!
Electronic Mail

    Free shipping offer

    

   The State of My Fat Ass                                         April 2003

April 28, 2003

-- The inevitable has happened, and the fact that I predicted it months ago brings me no satisfaction whatsoever. Sunshine had a mini-meltdown over the weekend (aka a theatrical spoiled brat bitch-tantrum) over the depressed state of the shithole campground where they're staying -- and asked Toney if she and Mumbles could "stay" at our house instead.

Toney says "stay with us a while," I say "move the fuck in." My wife likes to play games with words to soften the blow. I told her yesterday she should've worked for Clinton, and that didn't seem to go over too well.

Anyway, my first reaction to this news was to holler and wail like a mental patient, but there's no point in fighting it. It's a lost cause, so why waste the precious energy? Sunshine and Mumbles are going to be staying with us for a while. Like for six goddamn months, or something.

Would somebody drive up here to Scranton and kick me in the nuts, please? I'd really appreciate it.

-- Sunshine was at our house most of the day on Sunday, and I think she's actually getting crazier. She wanted me to check on the fate of the Los Angeles Lakers on the internet "because they don't report on out-of-state teams on television here." She gets about 75 cable channels, including ESPN, Fox Sports, and CNN Headline News. But, whatever. I checked for her, and told her they were down two games to one, and losing in the third quarter of Game Four. "They're playing now?!" she bellowed. "Oh, I really wish they showed games with out-of-state teams here!"

The hell?

Mumbles found the game on TV, within seconds, and instinctively held down the volume button until it was cranked all the way up to Cheap Trick levels. I felt like I was at the game. Then Sunshine began yelling and jumping around the living room as if every turnover of the ball had some direct impact on her continued existence here on Planet Earth. This is a woman who claims to have one teabag-sized lung, or something. She was getting red in the face, pumping her fist in the air, and spewing a litany of obscenities. At one point my mother-in-law screamed, "Jesus Christ! Please tell me that wasn't Kobe Bryant who just threw up an air ball!" I couldn't believe what was going on before my eyes. I whispered to Toney, in the kitchen, "What is this, Hooters?" All that was missing was a basket of hot wings, orange shorts, and celery.

Then at dinner she started talking about the war (!?!) and said something along the lines of, "So what if it's all about oil? We're the biggest and the baddest, we should control all the oil! Why is that a bad thing?" And she continued about how this country was formed with violence and guns, and "that's the way we all are." She pointed a menacing dinner roll at me and Toney and predicted that we'd both fight hand-to-hand if it came down to it. Because we're Americans. I buttered my corn and said nothing, because she's clearly an insane woman. Just a couple of days ago she was pontificating loudly about George W. Bush and his cowboy ways, and how he'll surely lead us down the path to nuclear war. She's like Hannity and Colmes.

-- A new prediction: by fall I will have withdrawn to the point that I never leave the bunker. I will be unemployed and bearded. There will be a hole cut in the door through which bedpans and sandwiches will be passed. Stay tuned for the sad decline.

-- On Sunday we went to the park and walked around, because it was just so incredibly nice out. It was a perfect day, weatherwise, and the park was slammed with questionable people. Andy was acting like his normal self and pulling at his leash, forcing me to walk with my left arm sticking straight out and struggling not to fall down -- as I slalomed through the white trash, fresh from their winter slumbers.

I saw a teenage girl with a kid hanging off her like a koala bear, smoking and sporting a skimpy shirt with the word HOT written across the chest in sparkly letters. I thought about trying to take a picture of her, but her boyfriend, or whatever, looked like he was capable of snapping my spine in two. One got the feeling that he knew his way around the world of bare-knuckles park fighting. And I heard a woman yell, with a gravelly bourbon and Winston voice, at a tiny kid: "If you don't start minding me, your ass is mine!" I also saw a couple of humorless lesbians (once again, capable of dividing my spine) walking matching bulldogs. You can make up your own jokes about that one; it's just too easy to bother.

I had my camera, but I was too intimidated to take many pictures. Hell, I didn't even want to make eye contact with most of those people. Usually that park is calm and quiet and soothing, but not yesterday. I'd be willing to bet the profits at the local Wal-Mart were way down on Sunday.

I did manage to capture this scene from a picnic featuring a couple of portly Scrantonians, and their portly beagle. Please note that the animal is standing in the middle of the picnic table during lunch, and barking at me. It was a close call, but I slipped away unnoticed. The two owners weren't able to swivel their heads around on their sluggish beef necks fast enough to catch me in action. Hooray for blocked arteries!

-- I called my brother on Sunday with my cell phone (free nights and weekends!), and got Willie Jackson's answering machine again. This is the third time I've activated Willie Jackson's answering machine during the past month or so; apparently I didn't program my brother's number correctly into my new phone. "Yes, you have reached the answering service of Mr. Willie Jackson. After the beep please speak into da phone!" I fixed the number, but I may call ol' Willie's answering service every once in a while, anyway. I feel like I know the man.

-- I listened to a metric shitload of drivin n cryin this weekend. It's one of those things that just happen. You can't fight it. I also watched The Sum of All Fears. It's a movie where an atom bomb goes off at the Super Bowl game, but still manages to have a feel-good ending. The 100,000 or so people whose skin flew off their bodies are just kinda secondary to the story. Ya know? Right. And Toney and I watched Trading Spaces Saturday night, as usual. In one episode they were in Florida, and Frank was one of the designers. We always comment on the fact that he's constantly sweating like a sow, and I questioned the wisdom of sending him to such a hot climate. By the second scene, right on cue, he had pit stains so enormous Toney said it looked like he was wearing a vest. The man needs to see a physician, and quick. Holy crap.

-- Here's a glamorous Hollywood actress, fresh from a successful lawsuit against a British tabloid for publishing unflattering pictures of her!

-- I was listening to talk radio from Atlanta the other day at work, Neal Boortz to be precise, and he said that the only way George W. Bush will not be re-elected is if he's caught in bed "with a dead girl, or a live boy." I thought that was pretty funny. Boortz is also the person who introduced me to the phrase "Build a man a fire and he'll stay warm for one night. Set a man on fire and he'll stay warm for the rest of his life."

-- A reader named David sent me a note last week, which must be excerpted here. So here goes:

Hi Jeff,

Loyal reader here. Since the subject of public toilet problems has come up again in your musings, i.e. the man having to take a dump at the Baseball HOF, the presence of e-coli on public toilet seats, and other related problems like the fat, dick-peeking kid at Cracker Barrel has prompted me to write of my own adventures with public defecating...

I was with my wife in Colonial Williamsburg a few years back and the "urge" came upon me while we were in the historic area. My wife rolls her eyes around because she knows that now she must find something to do for the next 20-30 minutes while I do my thing.

They had clean public bathrooms in a small brick structure near their shopping area and I went for it. It was while I was in the stall and after I had done my business that the incident occurred. I know I'm giving you too much information about myself but when I wipe I lift my butt off the seat and go in from the back with the wad of paper. If you can visualize, I'm in a squat position. At some point in this process I'm looking down at the ground, and in the process of a wipe, when I notice a hand from the adjoining stall down near the ground, and in the hand a small mirror positioned so that the person holding it can get a beautiful view of my shit-caked butthole.

I was put in to a complete state of shock. I couldn't quite process what was happening. Violated. I think he must have seen that I saw him but I don't quite remember all the details after this point. I must have sat back down. He jerked the mirror back. I hurriedly completed my task in a fog and got the hell out of there.

After I got outside I found my wife and plopped down on a bench in state of disbelief and told her my story. All the while I was on the lookout for for someone with leather dock shoes and no socks to come out of the bathroom. I never did see him come out.

I'm not the violent type but I felt like I was supposed to go back in there and kick the shit out of him or something. At the very least tell him what a disgusting freak he is. But I did nothing, mostly because I was in no state to do anything for awhile.

I'm sure that must have been traumatic David, but I have a feeling it was just part of the whole Colonial Williamsburg experience. It's well-documented that the early settlers were made up largely of perverts and sex freaks. In fact, Ben Franklin supposedly polished the buckles on his pilgrim shoes so that he could sneak peeks up the dresses of unsuspecting maidens throughout the colonies. I'd be willing to bet the Williamsburg people were just trying to offer an authentic experience, when somebody thrust that mirror under your toilet stall and watched you wipe your ass. Just a theory, mind you.

-- Finally, I'm sad to report that Chris from Boone's excellent Bob Evans adventure is coming to a close. This is the final episode. Chris, thanks for taking the time to write all this stuff down for us. And congratulations on still being alive, against all odds.

More of this stuff on Thursday...


April 24, 2003

A few things:

-- I'm starting to get irritated about the working conditions at my job. They won't let me surf the Internet in peace anymore. They've always had a filter in place that won't allow us to visit anything sports-related on the web, like ESPN.com or whatever. A big red hand pops up on the screen, with the words ACCESS DENIED! written below. It has a slight Soviet feel to it, and makes me uneasy. Sports, cars, and porn seemed to be the subjects that triggered the hand, but everything else was apparently just fine and dandy. Sports, cars, and porn. Since those are not exactly my favorite subjects anyway, it didn't bother me that much. Some of the others bitched about the sports thing, but fuck 'em. Don't they have work to do? The whiny bitches. But now the red hand is starting to get carried away; it's building strength and engaging in an alarming policy of expansionism. This past week I haven't been able to go on eBay, for god's sake, and half.com. How am I to do my shopping? If a rare piece of vintage Burger Chef memorabilia gets past me because of this, I'm going to be really pissed. I'll go all the way to the CEO. This is not right. How can they expect us to work under these conditions?

-- Whenever I see somebody backing into a parking space, I think less of them. I instantly go from the default setting of giving people the benefit of the doubt, to a genuine dislike. I don't think I could be friends with a person who backs into parking spaces. In Atlanta I asked a guy why he did it that way, and he said it was so he could make a quick getaway. See what I'm saying? It's a sure sign of douchebaggery.

-- It snowed here yesterday, on April 23rd. Nothing major, but it snowed nonetheless. It's crazy. I've been thinking about this for a long time, but I might look into the possibility of buying our dog Andy a penguin to play with next year. Since the winter lasts so long, and penguins are seemingly low-maintenance, I think it would be the perfect match. Can anyone help? Where does one purchase a penguin? Can they be shipped? Will I need to store baskets of dead fish in the garage? I'll do some research today at work. If I can stay one step ahead of the Red Hand.

-- I'm pretty addicted to caffeine. I get up early every day during the week, and immediately start in on the stuff. Then I usually sleep a little later on Saturdays, and when I wake up my brain is always pulsating and throbbing, crying out for relief. It feels like my head is actually larger than normal, and it rolls around on my shoulders like a mongoloid's. The pain only subsides after I've had two or three cups of coffee. I should probably be concerned about this, but, truthfully, I don't give a shit. They'll never stop making Eight O'Clock Bean Coffee, right?

-- I'm a little saddened that so much attention has been paid to the war during the past few months, while Cher's Farewell Tour winds down and is hardly even discussed. Do you people know what farewell means?! We may never see her again!!

-- I've been using the word "retard" a lot lately, in these updates. I don't really like using it, to tell you the truth. It's a word that makes me cringe a little, for some reason. Others in this category are fart, cunt, underpants, deodorant, and supper. Make of that what you will.

-- Speaking of retards, I used to work at a horrible place in Atlanta called Gemini Distributing. It was an independent record distributor that's now defunct. I ran the UPS machine in the warehouse, and my co-workers were like something off Green Acres. Every day I was there I asked myself, over and over, "Sweet Jesus, what are you doing with your life?!" When I was first hired they asked me to take a box of CDs to some outfit ten or fifteen miles away, to have them shrinkwrapped. The fact that they didn't even have a shrinkwrap machine at this place should tell you something about the quality of the operation. Anyway, as they were giving me directions to this off-site wrapping house, I could sense everyone exchanging knowing glances; they all seemed to be holding back laughter. I was being set up, somehow. But what could I do? I was the new guy. So I went to this place with my box of compact discs under my arm, and as soon as I walked through the door I was besieged by a herd of four-foot tall retarded people. They were all over me, hugging me and tugging at my clothes. The hell?! It was some kind of rehabilitation center, staffed entirely by the differently-abled. When I got back to Gemini those assholes thought they'd just pulled off the ultimate practical joke. "Did they hug you?," they wanted to know, as tears of laughter rolled down their cheeks. Yeah, they were a bunch of modern-day Jack Bennys there.

-- I was reading Esquire magazine the other day, and there was a Q & A column, where people supposedly write in questions for an expert on all subjects to answer. One question was about catching diseases off a toilet seat. The reader wanted to know if it was possible, or if it was just a myth. Mr. Know It All said that sexually-transmitted diseases are impossible to pick up from a toilet seat, but E.coli and stuff like that can easily be passed in such a manner. He went on to explain that it's not just the seat you've got to be worried about, though. Apparently when a toilet is flushed with the lid up, it launches a spray all over the room containing whatever is in the bowl at the time. So, it's probable that your toothbrush and the sink and the countertop and everything is frequently covered by a fine shit mist. Just something to keep in mind...

-- I received some spam yesterday with the subject line Bring the lube!! I didn't open it, but I assume it was from Capitol One Visa.

-- Check it out. Dan Aykroyd has come through with a contribution to my embarrassingly under-performing Autograph Project. Very cool. Rock on, indeed.

-- Here's a question I've been meaning to ask for thirty-five years: who reads this shit?

-- Finally, I'm excited to announce that the Surf Report t-shirts have been ordered. I should have them in my trembling hands late next week. I ordered three-dozen, half XL, half XXL. Stay tuned for details. If this pans out, I might conquer the beer cozy frontier next. I want to someday have a full catalog of useless shit for sale, like DEVO.

And that concludes another broadcasting day. Have a great weekend, folks.

April 21, 2003

-- Four-day weekends are great, but they really mess me up. Thursday felt like Saturday, Friday felt like I was playing hooky, Saturday felt like Sunday, and Sunday felt like Saturday again. I don't know whether to shit or go Christmas shopping. And I'm tired as hell. Aren't you supposed to come out of these things feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world? I feel like covering up with a blanket in a darkened room. I'm just not familiar with the rhythm of the four-day weekend. I'm sure I could learn though.

-- On Thursday I went to Cooperstown with my friend Steve, and you can read all about that in Friday's update, if you want. I posted it late in the day, so don't miss it, goddammit. 

On Friday Toney and I ran all over town and did some shopping. 

We went to Sam's Club and rifled through a few packets of other people's pictures in the photo department. I love those open bins they have there. You can just pick envelopes at random and check out some stranger's snapshots. We didn't see anything too exciting though. Loads of ugly kids in severe need of soap, a hair brush, and some laundry detergent, and lots and lots of shots of what looked like a military base of some sort. We walked around the store and spent roughly $10,000. In our heads. In the real world we didn't buy anything, except a couple of those big emasculation dogs on our way out the door.

Oh, I almost forgot. While we were there we saw a man wheeling around a large retarded girl on a flatbed cart. She was flailing and rolling around on the thing, and the man just ventured forward, unconcerned, as if he were mowing the lawn or something. Later we saw them again and he had store merchandise stacked up all around her. She was sitting amongst industrial containers of pickles, and large plastic barrels of cheese balls.

We got caught in a friggin' monsoon as we were leaving Sam's (probably for laughing at the girl on the cart) and both of us were saturated to our skeletons. We went to a furniture store nearby, because Toney likes to daydream about having enough money to buy new furniture. It's for the same reason people read novels, and go to movies: an escape from the harsh reality of the physical world.

After we shook off Roy the Overzealous Furniture Salesman, I collapsed a child's bed in the back of the store. Toney was sitting on it, admiring some outsized wall console of some sort, and I plopped down beside her. Nothing happened for about thirty seconds, then everything suddenly shifted left and down, and there was a loud sound of wood splitting. Toney took off, laughing hysterically, and I jumped up and was laughing as well. After I surveyed the area for signs of Roy or one of his henchmen, and saw nobody, I sneaked a peak beneath the bedspread. The shit was exploded. The wooden frame was splintered and shattered and in many distressed pieces. Goddamn. We went straight to our car, and got the hell out of there.

We drove to Wal-Mart, and I felt more at home there. I can't break anything at Wal-Mart, it's adequately outfitted for the dignity-challenged. We also spent a ton of money there. It's funny how that works: we drive all over town, from store to store, and Wal-Mart always ends up getting our money. No matter how hard we try, it can't be avoided. It's like a black hole.

-- Saturday and Sunday were basically spent with Sunshine & Mumbles. They came over on Saturday, and we went to their beautiful campground on Easter, for a cookout. Because of this, I fell off the wagon and had quite a few Yuengling lagers. I'm only flesh and blood here... On the positive side of things, Toney's mother told us a few more Nancy stories worth noting.

Apparently Nancy's so-called husband Banana Nostrils recently went out and bought the Rolling Stones CD 40 Licks and plays it constantly around the house, and sings along and shit. But... when it gets to "Under My Thumb," he's required to skip past it. Nancy feels that the song is sexist and will not allow it to be played in her house. Sunshine says he gets wide-eyed when the song starts up and practically dives for the CD player, afraid she might hear a note of it. I'm not a violent person, but one of these days I'd like to kick his ass. I really would.

Also, the whole gang was going somewhere in Nancy's hippie van, back when Sunshine & Mumbles were staying with them this past winter. As they were traveling down the highway one of the translucent child-beasts pissed all over Nancy. Apparently this is a common occurrence. Who the hell knows? Anyway, Nancy was reportedly "knee to knee" with Mumbles in this horrible vehicle, and she just casually stood up and removed her wet pants. Then she sat back down, and continued on as if everything was normal. Toney's mother began protesting, and yelling for Nostrils to pull over. She and Nancy got into an argument about it, and Nancy called her "sexually repressed" and instructed everyone to just pretend her underwear is a swimsuit. Toney's mother made Nostrils stop the van (he does what he's told), and she traded places with Mumbles, so he was pointed in the opposite direction. Sunshine said she was wearing "tiny little panties... and there was a lot to see." I don't doubt it.

-- Here are a few photos I snapped at the campground where Sunshine & Mumbles will apparently be staying for the next few months. This place is about fifteen miles from our house, but feels like a foreign country. I believe the phrase most commonly used to describe such a place is fucking dump. But, to be fair, they have their camp fixed up nicely, and if you can pretend the surroundings don't exist, it's not too bad.

Sunshine said she watched a couple of kids who live there (most of the people there are permanent residents!?) hunt for Easter eggs in the playground. Their dad went out and hid plastic eggs all over the place, then the kids ran around with their baskets and tried to find them all. The only problem is, the boy is twelve or something, and is taller and beefier than me. He's a big overgrown goofy boy, who is almost certainly semi-retarded. She said he was running around the field in his pajamas, clutching his bright-yellow Easter basket, and couldn't find shit. His little six year old sister found all the eggs, and he didn't find any. Eventually he started crying.

The little girl told me I look like the guy from The Matrix. I said, "Keanu Reeves?!" and she said yeah. So she's obviously not too bright either. I didn't tell her that I'd exploded a bed just twenty-four hours earlier; I didn't feel it was necessary. She also told me she likes the Philadelphia Phillies, and not wearing shoes.

While eating dinner Toney's mother told us the things we need to think about when buying a camper. One was bathroom size. She said that some campers have bathrooms the size of a phone booth and there's not even enough room inside to "wipe." So, when buying a travel trailer, it's important to check for counter space, bed sizes, and wiping clearance. ...Pass the mustard.

We took Andy out to their camp, and he was in a full-on frenzy most of the day. The activity, the food... it was almost too much for him. Here he is checking out my dinner. He kept popping his head out, and it eventually paid off with a sizable load of burnt hotdogs. He's been sleeping for twelve hours straight, since we got home. He can't take it. He looks like a bear rug in our family room right now.

And that pretty much brings you up to date on the weekend. Exciting stuff, huh? 

All that's left now is Chris's Monday morning Bob Evans offering. This stuff is starting to make me a little nervous, to tell you the truth. I thought I was wild. Shit. Read it here.

Have a great week. I think I'm going to order three-dozen Surf Report t-shirts today, so pretty soon I'll have something to sell ya, like Roy. I'm pretty excited. Stay tuned for the details.

Oh, and here's something a reader sent me, with no explanation. Your guess is as good as mine.

OK, bye.

April 18, 2003

I'm going to keep this brief, but here are a few notes about yesterday's religious pilgrimage to Cooperstown, and the Baseball Hall of Fame...

-- Before Steve and I hit the road I decided I'd better check in with work to see how they were doing. It's been kinda rough sailing there recently and, try as I might, I can't really stop worrying about the crap. I figured it would make me feel a little better if the operations manager would assure me that everything was under control. Then I could proceed with the day, devoid of professional guilt and concerns. "How we doing?" I asked, after his secretary finally tracked him down. "Fucked! We're totally fucked, Jeff. That's how we're doing. Everything's really really fucked here." Well, that's just excellent.

-- Last time we went to Cooperstown we stopped at a cool old diner along the way and had breakfast. I love old diners, but neither of us could remember where it was. We were batting it back forth, theorizing that it might be off this highway, or that one, when we saw a Cracker Barrel sign. Screw the diner, I hollered. There's thick-cut smoky bacon ahead!! We don't have Cracker Barrels in Scranton, and just a glimpse of their logo triggers a Pavlovian response in me. I think I briefly lost control of the vehicle.

They seated us at a table situated in the middle of the floor, between a group of construction workers and a family of fatties. The fatties were all shaped exactly alike: perfectly round. There was Papa Fatty, Mama Fatty, and two rosy-cheeked Campbell's Soup kid boy-fatties, and they were all chewing at such a clip it seemed a shame we don't yet have the technology to harness that power as an alternative fuel source. And I noticed they were all chewing straight up and down, like ventriloquist dummies. Usually there's a slight circular motion, but these people were attacking their meals from a strictly vertical perspective. I tried not to stare, but it was fascinating.

After we ordered (I always get the Old Timer's Breakfast, but I order it as the Alzheimer's Breakfast; the waitresses seem to like this) I went to the bathroom to make room for some more coffee. While I was standing at the urinal one of the Campbell's Soup kids came in. He took a spot right beside me, and unzipped. As our culture dictates I stared straight ahead, and didn't acknowledge the fatty's existence. But I sensed something wasn't right. I finally looked to the right, out of the corner of my eye, and the kid was openly looking directly at my dick. He didn't even try to be sneaky about it. What the fuck?! I shifted my ass to a 45 degree angle to block his view, and ended things a little too abruptly, thus triggering some substantial internal burning. What the hell, man? The kid needs some concentrated home-training.

After the dick-peeking family of obese puppets left, the Cracker Barrel staff was clearing their table, and somebody dropped a glass. It shattered on the floor, and I began screaming, "My eyes! Dear God, my eyes!!" and the construction workers all busted out laughing. The restaurant workers didn't seem to enjoy it much, but I was glad somebody was there to appreciate my special brand of "comedy." It was only a few minutes later that I made the decision to end the caffeine intake. I was starting to get a little carried away.

-- Cooperstown was tore all to shit. The main drag through town was full of heavy machinery, and the pavement was all busted up. The sidewalks were lined with yellow caution tape, and there were deep holes here and there. One of the things I like about the place is the feeling that you've gone back in time, to the twenties or thirties. But that illusion is pretty much shattered when there's a goddamn endloader kicking up a mushroom cloud of dust in the middle of Main Street.

Worse, the museum itself is all screwed up. Apparently they're adding another floor to the top of the thing, and many of the exhibits are closed. Last time we were there I remember an incredible display featuring a baseball from every no-hitter game since the beginning of time. This time we couldn't see it, because that wing was closed off. They did give us a coupon good for a free ticket during a future visit. But the construction isn't due to be finished until 2005. That coupon will be long-lost by then.

Whatever. It was still cool as hell. The stuff we could see was great, and fairly mind-blowing. I got to sit in seats ripped out of the old Polo Grounds (they must've had much smaller asses back then), and touch Lou Gehrig's locker door, and a bunch of other stuff that nearly made me weepy. The Baseball Hall of Fame really is one of the best places on Earth, and I mean that sincerely.

I'll use visual aids to tell the rest of the story. These pictures didn't turn out too well, they seem to tilt to the left for some reason, but you'll get a general idea.

Have a great weekend.

April 17, 2003

Instead of waiting until Friday to update again, here's a short entry, and tomorrow I'll tell you about my trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Is that OK with everyone? Excellent.

-- I just started reading Our Band Could Be Your Life, which profiles ten or twelve influential indie rock bands from the 80s, and I'm already learning stuff that makes me scratch my tiny Duke head. For instance, did you know that Greg Ginn, the founder of Black Flag, was a gigantic nerd? Apparently it's true. He was into ham radio, for god's sake, and ran a mailorder business catering to other ham radio enthusiasts. The name of that business? Solid State Tuners. SST. Incredibly, impossibly, it later morphed into SST Records, the legendary LA punk label. Completely bizarre. Just how do you go from transistors and tubes... to Husker Du and the Minutemen?

I remember seeing Black Flag on Night Flight' s New Wave Theatre a hundred years ago, and they scared the living shit out of me. The lead singer was shirtless, muscled, and bald, and they were surrounded by frightening people bent on violence. The "music" sounded like a blender full of rocks, and the bald guy was grunting and hollering like a man trying to shed his skin. The audience members were brutally hurling themselves at each other, and distorting their faces with the kind of fury I'd never encountered in my hometown of Dunbar, WV. At least not since the Dairy Queen closed. I watched, and felt highly uncomfortable. I considered waking up my parents, to see if they wanted to play a few games of Yahtzee or something.

If I'd known they were into goddamn ham radio...

I later bought Black Flag's Damaged album, and liked it a lot. And Henry Rollins (the shirtless, bald, and muscled singer) is always entertaining. But I never became a huge fan of the band. I certainly never saw them in concert; I couldn't have handled that kind of stress. I'm a lover, not a fighter -- it's well-known.

-- Speaking of Night Flight, was that great TV or what? In case you're too young to remember, it was on USA Network in the early 80s -- Friday and Saturday nights, all night long. They showed obscure videos and bizarre movies and New Wave Theatre and freaky cartoons, and all sorts of other stuff you couldn't find anywhere else. I remember seeing a science fiction film from the 50's on Night Flight that was so low-budget and creepy it's permanently imbedded in the east coast of my brain stem. The low budget somehow added to the creepiness; it felt like it wasn't even a legitimate movie, it could've been made by some crackpot with an 8mm camera and an axe to grind in Wisconsin or somewhere. Anyway, Night Flight was a show that you literally didn't know what you were going to see when you tuned in, but could be reasonably sure it would warp your mind a little more. If you have any memories of it, why not share them in the forum? I'd be interested. I'm tempted to say I wish they'd bring it back, but I can't really stay up that late anymore. So, until I get TiVo, screw it.

-- A reader had this to say about this photo I posted a few days ago:

By the way, that picture of you and Iggy was frightening. Usually he's the strangest looking person in every picture.

Frightening? Is it really that bad? Just because I required eyeglasses manufactured by the Ford Motor Company, is that an excuse for such hurtful language? I would never stoop so low. I was a young man on the town then, hanging with Iggy, and sporting a large corrective device. Is that so shameful?

-- And here's a rather interesting email I received last night:

You are uberirreverent. I guess that's your choice, but your lack of civility and taste and decorum really irks me. I believe your stock response will be, then *&#k you! and I probably don't believe you are capable of decent discourse ....for folks like you the accent is always on the "dis"...Sometimes an old fashioned phrase is the best - Shame on you. You bring us all down a peg.

I don't think she meant it as a compliment, but I kind of like being called uberirreverent. It has a nice feel to it. Apparently she's pissed about the