RL14 - Big City Apology

This week, Merlin and John talk about:

The Problems: all things golden, antiqued, chocolatey, and considered; public radio murmuring; tales of fraud and malfeasance in Adam Ant wallet licensing; thwarted love in a 6-story wooden bookcase; tea taxonomies; The Dustin Hoffman Scenario; hats off to the Confident Delivery Guy; the scotty that nails 3-pointers; Blackie chases Blackie; still working on dialing down the ping-pong talk; getting one’s hands around The Ladder of Enlightenment; John’s Aerostar residency; taking Clydesdales to the Prom; long con involving a sailboat; shtupping the honey bear; pony keg of Axe; JFK’s struggle with Hodgman’s Disease; Busch v. Anheuser feud; the box in Geneva holding a Glock and 7 passports; disputes in international band nomenclature; the old money of Canadia; Bob’s Dad was such an asshole; the thing about the Village People; a thread on the Buckaroos (not the pipe guys); the jailer’s keychain surrogacy; anxious Bonobo regret; going Dutch—again; Lapsang Souchong is NOT the lady from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma); the inescapable dander of the compulsive onanist; some followup from Merlin’s Other Program; why John can’t go to Tonga; the thing about deer at a watering hole; and, that one time a steely-eyed yeti with twigs in its fur demanded satisfaction.

The show title refers to a kind of apology where the person just says ”I’m sorry that you are unhappy!”

Merlin got a perfect storm of nose today. He is sniffing because of allergies and on top of it he sounds like a drag time DJ, like a Sophia Loren. John had turned up his headphones, but now he is racing to turn them down because Merlin’s voice is doing some deep cuts!

John’s signature phrase is ”The thing about… X”

John was helping somebody on Twitter the other day by explaining that phlegmatic does involve phlegm. John wanted them to understand that if they don’t understand something, they could look things up on Google.

Merlin checked the mail today and his neighbors, those fucking moogs, seem to have spilled a pony keg of Axe body spray. At least his upstairs neighbors are gone and they are still literally the only people in the world he hates. He doesn’t want to talk about it too much on the podcast, but he bought all their names as domain-names!

Merlin has a passing interest in a lot of things, for example in cons. Sometimes you do the short con to get the long con, which people don’t understand. John does know it, he has gone to U-Dub (University of Washington), but the con is confidence. Did this start with watching The Sting? Merlin discovered The Sting after watching Law and Order. It is okay, but it looks like a TV-movie, except that any time Paul Newman is on the screen you are looking into the face of God. Merlin is a big Roger Shaw fan, too. He is great in Jaws and he is great in The Dirty Dozen (he did not star in The Dirty Dozen), which is a better movie than you think! He is also really good in Force 10 from Navarone, the one with Harrison Ford.

Merlin is just saying this phonetically, he has it written down in a little spiral notebook. He is literally stealing this Kids in the Hall joke right now. This is the secret to a happy relationship or marriage in general: Try to minimize the number of things that only you are allowed to be right about. John is right about everything, are you kidding me? How is that going to him?

Draft version
The segments below are drafts that will be incorporated into the rest of the Wiki as time permits.

Golden Earring, the band (RL14)

Uriah Heep is one of those bands like the Dutch band Golden Earring, or Gold Earring. Is there a difference between gold and golden, like there is between antique and antiqued? Isn’t golden a weasel-word like chocolaty? John is already going Ping Pong on Merlin 30 seconds into the show! Gold is made out of gold, but golden is just gold-colored. Antique is older than 75 years, but antiqued is when you make something look old. Your eyes can be milky, but there is no milk in them. There is the Milky Way, but Merlin likes a Snickers. Merlin thinks this is a case like for English Beat and Wham UK. In England they were called The Beat, but there was already a band called The Beat in America so they had to be the English Beat. There was already a band called Wham in America, so they had to be Wham UK. It is like buying a domain name!

Merlin thinks that they were probably already known as Golden Earring in Dutch, but then they came over to America and all iterations were already taken. Everybody in the Netherlands is speaking English better than John and Merlin do, so they would not call their band in a Dutch name first, but they would call it Golden Earring initially. Even the Scorpions didn’t have a ”k” in their name in Germany and a ”c” in America, but It was always spelled Scorpions with a ”c”. The songs by Golden Earring are in English because they intended to be big stars from the beginning. They didn’t start out playing Dutch songs for their Dutch friends, but they were going to the show! If you sing in Dutch, you have quite a limited maximum reach. You could be big in Suriname. It was called Suriname, but then people called it Dutch Guiana because they found that easier to say than Suriname.

Merlin really hates it when they say Myanmar, formerly known as Burma on NPR. He has so many problems with public radio and doesn’t even know where to begin. John doesn’t listen to public radio because of this and because of so many other things. People are murmuring in his ear and he doesn’t want people murmuring. On the vast majority of podcasts, people are shouting or they are emphatic, but on public radio, people are just murmuring. It is a straight-to-the-fleece problem, the way that they stress every second, third and fourth word.

Encyclopedias (RL14)

John's parents bought a set of encyclopedias for the year 1968 when he was born. It was at the very tail end during the weaning days of the Johnson administration when America was great. Johnson's balls were probably each one the size, hardness and weight of a medicine ball and Merlin can see him being very inspirational to John. He got a really bad rep because of Vietnam and because he was a dick. He was like the Steve Jobs of America back then because he was such a whip and was great at scaring the shit out of everybody to get them all in line for votes. Unlike Steve Jobs, he was not a completely autistic retard. When John was a kid, he would sit Indian style in front of the encyclopedias, pull them out and go on a little chase through the books. You would start reading something, you find something you don’t understand, you would pull another book out and figure out what the thing was you didn’t understand in the last entry, and pretty soon you did have 10 encyclopedias all open on different pages. Other kids were throwing baseballs, but there was nothing John liked better than sitting in front of the books on a rainy afternoon. He had a pair of orange denim jeans and a baseball shirt with orange sleeves that had a photograph of a baseball game printed on it. It was the sartorial version of Gutenberg! Before that, everything was just hieroglyphics on our clothes or people were sowing fabric letters on it saying ”King Tut’s Hurricanes” or whatever.

Merlin's name and The Buckaroos (RL14)

Merlin was huge on the iron-on shirt with his name on the shoulders. Although John thinks that "Merlin" is a killer-name, he was always called ”Merl” back then. He had a shirt with the Star Wars picture showing Han and Chewbacca with blasters, holding princess Leia behind him. His name ”Merl” and his age ”10” was on the back. He always had his age! Merlin does not think that Merle Haggard’s real name is Merlin. He and Buck Owens are associated with the Bakersfield sound. There is also Don Rich, the high harmony guitar player in the Buckaroos. He who wrote all the songs, but he also died in a motorcycle crash and ruined Buck’s life. For John, the Buckaroos are just some guys in suits behind Buck Owens, which is like saying Peter Criss is just some drunk with some pearl drums. They put him on a stool with no arms or back, which seems like a terrible idea. Peter Criss was just in that band for the interview sessions because he was so articulate. Have you ever seen the Tom Snyder interview?

If you search for Buckaroos, the first return says ”Welcome to Buckaroos, the leader in pipe installation support systems”, which is really strange because there is a bar in Seattle called Buckaroo and they are the leaders in pipe installation.

Kiss (RL14)

Here is John’s thing with Kiss: He devoted some small amount of his attention to Kiss in 1977 while he was 8, but this was post Destroyer and they had already jumped the shark by then! Some part of him kept one eye on Kiss, because maybe that was the direction that being an adult was going to take. For the same reason he had another eye on Queen. He was right to follow Queen, but after that time he has not given one more flying fuck about Kiss. When they came back in 1990-whatever, all John's peers pulled out their Kiss Army patches and started waxing philosophical about how important Kiss was, but John would not cross the street to save Kiss from a fire that was probably intentionally started by Gene Simmons spinning just to get attention. Even if he had a cup of water he would not walk over and throw it on the fire that was burning Kiss. Merlin has two bullets on this: 1) Twin guitar attack, 2) In it for the money. If you took every cool riff and every cool solo i Kiss and compact them down, they would fit inside of John’s wallet!

The only good thing about Kiss is the logo! As Merlin got older and understood a little more about guitars, he realized how much he really was borrowing from Jimmy Page. John watched a video recently that was absolutely certainly produced by someone in Germany, comparing and contrasting the guitar-playing talents of Jimmy Page and Rainbow’s Ritchie Blackmore. The video was conclusive that Ritchie Blackmore is by far the better guitar player, but who cares? If you watch live performances of Jimmy Page, it is beyond sloppy because he is so gacked out on smack. ”Chasing the dragon” means that you are always trying to recapture the initial high that you will never be able to capture again.

John’s wallet with $20 in every currency (RL14)

John doesn’t have his big chain wallet anymore because driving 300.000 miles a year in the van while sitting on this wallet the size of a cook book was causing him back problems. At a certain point, John thought he needed the equivalent of $20 in every one of the world’s currencies. He would fold those bills down until they were the size of Chiclets and he would tuck them inside one of the compartments in his chain wallet. A couple of years later he had probably $600 worth of world currency in a whole lot of different denominations. Like the scene in the first Bourne movie when he goes into the bank in Switzerland and he got all this stuff in the box, like 12 passports and money in all those different currencies. John can’t think of a thing that he wants more in life, including happiness in life and health. He wants to need it and then have it. His understanding of really good insurance is a safe deposit box in Geneva with a Glock and 7 passports in it. There is no thing that this wouldn’t be the cure to.

John’s version of that was a $20 bill from Slovakia and a $20 bill from Cuba in his wallet, just in case he would ever wake up on a plane that landed in Havana. If he were to land in Istanbul, pulling out his housing-red-brick-sized wallet full of international currencies would not seem suspicious at all! They wouldn't even bother to check his ass for heroin, just pass on through! It would be one thing if he was the type of person who would sit backstage trying to impress a girl with all the different kinds of money he had in his wallet, but he would never tell anybody that he had this money in his pocket. He didn’t have any tuppence, but he did have pounds from the Bank of Scotland. They don’t have a different value, but they say Bank of Scotland on it. He had an English 20 pound bill and a Bank of Scotland 20 pound bill, because he didn’t want to be caught with his pants down or with his kilt up in Scotland.

Merlin had a wallet problem because every wallet he had until 1999 was silly. He had for example an unlicensed velcro Adam and the Ants wallet. His mom washed it once and afterwards he found every single thing that he had in his wallet on a beautiful white towel, except the really old condom that she apparently hadn't noticed. Can you imagine being a lady and knowing that there are a bunch of dickless wonders like Merlin carrying around condoms in a hot moist wallet for years? For a while he even carried a Shuriken in his wallet, but it was very small and not very sharp.

The optimum number of computer monitors (RL14)

Merlin has two computer monitors in front of him. What is the maximum amount of computer monitors that he can handle if he walks into somebody’s computer station area before he starts to feel like the person is a lunatic? The conventional wisdom is that you are supposed to have two or three monitors of exactly the same size and brand, but Merlin has one big one and one little one. He has seen some nerds having up to six, but then you have to get a stand. There is data backing up the theory that the less you have to scroll and the more you see, the more you get done.

Large key chains and mobile phones as signs of power (RL14)

There is always that guy with all the holsters on his belt or the lesbian with all the keys on her keychain. What is it with lesbians and keychains? Is that a thing? It is not a hanky code, but rather a penis envy thing showing her package made of keys.

It has taken Merlin 45 years to get his keychain down to an aluminum bottle cap opener and two keys. He doesn’t usually keep his car key on there. John had no keys during his drinking years because he had no home and nothing to put a key in which felt like a minor triumph. He was almost like a drunk Buddha, imagining that through being fucked up all the time he was climbing the ladder of enlightenment, but it turned out he was not even holding the ladder of enlightenment! He remembers his first key when somebody gave him the key to their place for him to use the bathroom and shower. This was at a time when he didn’t have an ID and having a key reconnected him to the larger world. John's second key was to a Ford Aerostar Minivan that a guy let him crash in. He couldn’t crash in their house because the guy and his roommates were all paying rent, but he could stay in their van that was connected to a battery charger so the light would stay on and John could read.

Fast forward two years later, John had a job and his own place. He didn’t have a car, but he had 3 keys for the job, so all of a sudden he got like 6 keys on his keyring and started to feel dragged down by it. He now had keys to his apartment, his practice space and his job and got from zero to six keys in only four years, which was faster than Dukakis. Dukakis' wife was addicted to rubbing alcohol, which is not funny! Having a lot of keys is like compulsive masturbating. You should have as many keys as you need, but there is something overcompensating about having a giant-ass keychain like a security guard. The more menial the position, the more keys you need to have. A rich guy doesn’t carry around a big ring of keys!

That was Merlin’s second objection to mobile phones. His first objection was that everybody used them as a dick tard. Why are you talking in a restaurant? Merlin started his phone guy persona in 1997 when Startac got popular. He would take off his shoe and would talk into it really loudly. To this day he still wonders how many people are actually talking to someone on the phone. You just look like a crazy homeless person!

His second objection is that people are using their mobile phones as a signifier of power, like with the butchy keychain. If you are talking on the phone at lunch, you are not a powerful person, because a powerful person is allowed to eat without doing work. Most people’s conception of what a powerful person looks like only goes as high as middle management. They emulate the middle manager’s taste in clothes, cars, houses, music and culture because the middle manager is the aspirational unit for the vast majority. For somebody like Merlin who has a concept of what the truly rich and powerful look like, the middle manager is always going to be crass.

John’s goal is to look like somebody who has so much money that they are still driving a 1967 Volvo and wearing his grandfather’s shirt, like Carl Newman. He has Canadian money which is worth more than American money now. Merlin remembers when 1 USD was 1,66 CAD and he once stayed at a super-nice hotel in Vancouver for $50 a night. Those days are gone!

John is talking about old money. Merlin had roomed with a guy who was old money and he looked homeless. Merlin is so middle management that he would go old L.L.Bean, but it probably wasn’t. It was a bespoke Hobo-shirt, which is a classic. That’s why Merlin wants to talk to John about the Buckaroo’s.

John’s friend cleaning a sailboat in John’s yard (RL14)

John got a text message from a friend (not Duff McKagan, but he does work for Duff McKagan) who was calling in a very small favor which is not going to require any work on John’s part. If that were true, he wouldn’t need to soften John up with this literal pre-text. He had bought a sailboat for his girlfriend and wants to bring it to John’s house to clean it up in John’s yard so he can give it to her on Christmas. It was really pushing the definition of ”requires no work on John's part” It required nothing other than being in John’s yard for two days cleaning a sailboat! What are John’s neighbors going to think? How is this going to fuck with their vision of him as a guy with a sword and a bathrobe? It would go right in keeping with it, because now there is a sailboat in his yard and there is a guy covered in tattoos out there in December with a hose cleaning this thing out. He is actually on his way to John right now as they record.

Merlin doesn’t want to make John paranoid, but somebody saying ”Could you do me a favor by letting me wash my sailboat in your yard” feels a little bit like a con. Maybe it is a Nigerian thing, like if you watch my sailboat for two days, I’m going to bestow riches on you? They will tell John that they have to urinate for 5 minutes and ask him to watch the mizzen mast and John will not have any more candles tomorrow. Boat is gone, candles are gone and John will just wait for the door to knock.

Strangely, John woke up this morning and thought that he needed to pack one suitcase and leave the rest behind, burn this whole house down like a Norwegian funeral boat and just go back to one key. Then he started sorting through his coin collection, arranging his 40 cowboy boots into a new pattern based on color and age, and ”Ahhh, Merlin is calling soon” He was unconsciously picking out which pair he would wear when he would walk over to the lawyer who tips his hat with a briefcase full of passports, international currency and a Glock. Manchurian Candidate: Activate!

John got sent a picture of the sail boat as they continued recording. It looks like a fixed-keel fiberglass 21-footer. You could overnight on this boat! Merlin says that women love a fixed keel, but John doesn’t know what women want.

You have to be careful where you meet your date (RL14)

You have to be careful where you meet them! It is problematic both to meet a lady at a place where you go to a lot or at a place where you almost never go to and don’t want to go to again. People don’t think about this and they meet somebody at their dive bar, maybe even - God forbid! - a bartender. First of all, all lady bartenders are crazy, which is not Ping Pong because John has personal experience of that. They are nutty like a box of chocolates! If you meet them at a place where you don’t go a lot, you will have to decide which place you will be going to go to together. Shooters or Flingers? You are going to have to have this discussion and each one has its ups and downs. At least you don’t have to see each other anymore. It has been a long time since John has met a girl in a bar.

Merlin bought too much shrimp (RL14)

Merlin had kind of a sugar drop during the recording of the show because he didn't finish his half a bowl of buttery shrimp. He had fucked up and had accidentally bought 4 pounds of shrimp which was on sale, while he thought he was only buying 2 pounds. It was a solid ice cube of shrimp and you must not refreeze shrimp, meaning he couldn't part it off, either! Therefore Merlin had shrimp in three ways during the last two days. Part of the problem is that Merlin shops too fast because he is in a hurry and wants to get home. He was running late, he is bad with time, he picks up 4 pounds of shrimp accidentally and because he doesn’t like wasting food, he is now sitting here, torpid from all of that.

At one time, John was at the Sundance film festival and the people at the supermarket in Park City had obviously felt that the film festival was coming because they had loaded up on giant tiger shrimp, the biggest shrimp John had ever seen, as big as a Stanley screwdriver! It was a mountain of shrimp covered in ice and there was a guy in a white coat asking ”Need any shrimp?” and John replied ”That’s a lot of shrimp!” It sounds like a fever dream, but it was late at night and the guy was dressed like a doctor. They said that they were letting this shrimp go at fire-sale prices because they got way more shrimp than they need and so John bought 4 pounds of those humongous shrimp. He was only there for 2 days and was not staying at a hotel, but at a time share cabin with The Long Winters and The Presidents of the USA staying together. He walked in the door at 1am with 4 pounds of tiger shrimp in a bag, like ”Gentlemen! I know what we are doing tonight!” and they had a shrimp Shoah and were covered in shrimp head to toe.

If Merlin was a better man, he would have walked with his shrimp back into the little man’s Asian store and would have said ”Listen, little man! I have made an error and I would like to return half this shrimp” (Merlin is talking like John Hodgman right now). Instead he is sitting here and literally eating his mistake. Shrimp is not a thing that you can grind up and put in your spaghetti sauce either. If you bought too much hamburger, you are just going to find different ways to use hamburger. The shrimp was not even subdivided, it was not condo shrimp, but it was just one contiguous block of shrimp that he had to thaw and cook. Merlin is basically saying that he is a dickless weasel and he wishes he had John’s certainty and ability to help himself. He doesn’t want John’s fever dreams, but he admires that about John. He has seen John argue with people about money.

Later during the recording of the show, Merlin’s shrimp got spongy.

People don’t know how to argue anymore (RL14)

The other day, John got into a disagreement with someone in Seattle. People these days have grown so accustomed to never arguing with anybody that when somebody comes to them with an argument, they are so terrorized by any conflict. In their minds they have never had a conflict with people, but what they don’t understand is that they are constantly in conflict with people. It is all resolved passively and to no-one’s satisfaction because everybody is just spinning their emotional wheels, nothing is accomplished and everybody is just gentle with each other. Oh sorry, did I offend you? Let’s agree to disagree! Nobody is getting what they want at all, but they have lost the capacity of someone come up to them and saying that they would like to return the shrimp. John would probably say to Merlin ”Salmon on special!”, but he is not only talking about grocery stores. Merlin is not just being Ping Pong, but in the olden days you would sit there until an argument was resolved to your satisfaction. John’s problem is that he demands an apology and has done so many times, but it almost never is a good strategy.

John’s broken backpack on his Big Walk (RL14)

In 1999 John walked from Amsterdam to Istanbul and in advance of the trip he bought a backpack from Northface. Growing up in Alaska, he always considered Northface to have the finest outdoor gear, at least he thought so in the early 1980s. They always want to sell you a bigger backpack, which is the wrong way to buy a backpack! You want to get the smallest backpack you can because you are going to carry all your shit on your back. About 3/4 of the way across the continent of Europe, somewhere in the mountains of Romania, the backpack failed and the material ripped. It failed because it was a shitty product and a poorly made thing. It wasn’t made to walk across Europe, but to take your books to school or to go on overnight trips. It is not a piece of hardy gear. John was forced to fix his backpack with a sowing kit and during the whole rest of the trip through Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, he has to fix it again every few days. Every time he had to do it and every day this thing was digging into his side, he was building up his fury.

At the end of the trip, his beard had grow really long and his eyes had become crystal blue like a wolf's eyes because he was out in the sun all day and it has bleached out all the pigment in his face and hair. John sounds like John Carter of Mars. Even as he came back to Seattle, he continued to save and cultivate his fury for another week. During that week he wasn’t reflecting on the experience of having walked across a continent, but he was getting ready for exactly how he was going to handle his broken backpack.

Finally, John walked into the Northface store. Their job nowadays is to sell puffy jackets to Japanese college students and their only connection to the outdoors is those giant pictures of people scaling mountains up on the wall of their stores. If you look around the store, it is all Co-eds and all Sorority Girls buying puffy jackets. As John walked in, he still had leaves and sticks in his hair and he could have cut through 3 inches of steel with his eye balls. A little sales girl walked over and asked ”Hey, can I help you?” and John said ”I just walked from Amsterdam to Istanbul with your shitty backpack and it broke halfway through in the field. I was one of these guys in the mountain like you have up here on the wall and I trusted your gear and it let me down. I demand satisfaction!” and she said ”Okay, well. Do you want to return the bag?”, but John didn’t just want to return it, he demanded satisfaction.

She called a manager who offered him a new bag, but John still demanded satisfaction. He wanted a refund for this bag, a new bag for free and an apology. He was like ”Well, we can’t do that!” and John started to rant in a louder voice: ”There was a time when outdoor gear was something you could stake your life on! When you are hanging by a thread and can’t trust Northface gear, what can you trust?” People were running for cover as John was standing there shaking the leaves out of his beard. He was there all afternoon until he got his satisfaction! He was threatening to write an article for the New York Times and he was saying that he was sponsored by the National Geographic Society. He still has the rotten bag, the new bag and the satisfaction because the manager eventually apologized to John. He would not take a wimpy ”I’m sorry you’re unhappy”, because a big city apology like that makes it twice as bad. John is sure they had tried that and he had started screaming at them even more.

Accepting a Big City Apology (RL14)

One time John was shamed him into silence by a big city apology: He had been yelling at a concierge, a 55 year old woman from Ukraine, in a hotel in New York City at 4am. For a while she was arguing with him in this kind of Slavic way, like well sir, this is just our policy, but it is a bullshit policy. All of a sudden, her voice dropped: ”I’m sorry sir, you have my deepest apologies!” It was incredible and stopped John in his tracks! This woman had probably 3 advanced degrees from the Ukrainian astrophysics lab and John was deeply ashamed because she got so old-world on him. John went like ”Well, alright then. Thank you. Appreciated.”

Merlin is very reluctant to share a couple of related anecdotes. One time, a man who had gone through Merlin’s trash and had made a mess more times than he would liked, Merlin threatened him to have him deported. Not directly, but he stood there and was taking photos of him and was acting like he was talking on the phone. That was so white! No other race in the history of the world would do that. Also, less than a week ago, Merlin was screaming at a hotel desk: ”Do you have a bank account? Do you understand what it means to have a bank account? I have the address of your vice president of hospitality, google me!”

John loves the Twitter voices of Jason Sweeney (@sween) from Canadia and his wife @damselesque. She is cute as a bug’s ear and he maintains a very humorous persona online although he has a million followers and has been featured once. It is nice to follow both members of a couple on Twitter because you can see their relationship play out. A couple of months ago, she got into some situation where she went ”Do you know how many followers my husband has on Twitter? Google him!” and John thought that was so good. There are people who’s job it is to care, and then the vast majority of people is ”He what?” This is why John is a better man than Merlin: At least he has walked across Europe. As Merlin was waiting for his big city apology and to get his $950 back that they were holding on his card, he becomes a person he doesn’t want to be.

Merlin once had a call with AT&T that ended with ”You know what? 160.000 people are now going to find out how much cock you suck!” and then he felt like John with the Ukrainian conscierge.

John wanting to be the most famous person of his High School (RL14)

Part of John wants him to be the most famous person who ever graduated from his High School. He may already be, but he is not sure about it. Is it like a ginger bread little red school house type of things? Two kids with farm accidents and a girl who is eventually going to have anorexia? Was John just the star of the show? No, his High School was a massive in-city High School with 2000 kids, while Merlin had 666 kids in his entering freshmen class. For all John knows, there is a Nobel laureate who graduated from his High School. There was actually a guy a few classes ahead of John who wrote a bestselling novel. He may not be more famous, but he is certainly accomplished. Plenty of people from his High School are accomplished, but John wanted to be the slam dunk! he wanted people to think ”East High School in Anchorage? Who graduated from that?” and there would be only one name you needed to know! John is still a long way away from that and he doesn’t know how to get there. West High School is where Randy Rhoads played. It was originally called Anchorage High School when there was only one and as they built East, the second high school, they renamed the first one to West.

The Joe Kennedy bomber accident (RL14)

Merlin thinks that John's Kennedy is Edward, the little guy, but John likes to be Joe Jr. who died in a catastrophic explosion on a suicide mission in a bomber over Europe. They loaded up a B17 or a Lancaster bomber with explosives, turning the entire thing into a giant bomb. The mission was to fly it over a Kamikaze target, except the pilot was supposed to bail out. Joe Kennedy volunteered for this mission because he was conscious of being groomed to one day be the president of the United States and he was the oldest and favorite son. He was flying over the English channel, thinking that this would be looking great and he was going to bail out and fly his plane into a dam or something. Halfway over the channel, they told him on the radio to flip the primer switch, but he flipped the wrong switch or there was an electrical short and the thing blew up into a billion pieces. He had thought he was going to be back in London the next night getting toasted in the Mayfair, but instead he vaporized. Jack was like ”Who, me?” John has a model of a PT-109 in the room with him, one that is un-sunk, but he has played with it so hard as a kid that it would not float anymore and is now closer to the wrecked PT-109. John drained it of its buoyancy and it is now a replica of the one on the bottom of the ocean.

John having moles in his front yard (RL14)

John is going to wear some work boots today, not some dress boots. He is basically an extremely heterosexual version of the Village People, it is not far of. The other day John was walking out of his house and saw moles which he had been fighting for years. The moles and he had kind of come to a trust, like John understands that there are moles in the ground and he is not one of those people who are out there obsessed with the moles, but he also won’t let moles piles dirt up in their own accord. If he sees mole dirt, he is going to jump on it to let them know that John is there. They need to keep a low profile, but as he went out the other day, they had built a Chichen Itza mount like the Mayan temple in his front yard, and he was ”You bastards!” They had an agreement and John wasn’t going to come out there with mole traps, but they can’t just colonize his front yard! He doesn’t know yet what he is going to do, maybe he will stick a hose down and drown them out.

John’s thing for loincloths (RL14)

John should dress as an Indian like Felipe from the Village People, but of all the headgear John has, an Indian head dress is one that he is lacking. For a long time he went through a phase where he would date a girl and wait for this certain moment when he could ask her to dress like Pocahontas. You can’t do that at a first date or not even in the first month, but at a certain point you sneak it into the conversation. Have you ever thought of dressing like Pocahontas for Halloween or for not-Halloween? Some girls are more game than others. As time went on, he realized that it wasn’t about Pocahontas, the historical character. It was not a role playing thing, but he just likes loincloths!

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