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It’s Monday, and DJ Scratchy’s queueing up another most excellent track from the Mecca CD’s that have been providing your audio enjoyment on those shopping jaunts to hell for the past year and a half. This week, we have another personal favorite of mine from a group that before my research I had only heard of half of…
Broken Bells is a duo that formed in 2009. The band consists of guitarist and vocalist James Mercer of some band called The Shins, and renowned musical genius Brian Burton, who goes by the best nickname in the entire music business….
Burton is best known for being the creative half of a more famous duo… namely Gnarls Barkley, where he partnered with the singer who later gave us the best tribute song to an unrequited love evah…
But back to Broken Bells, they had a catchy little number that appeared on both the Winter and Fall CD’s last year that took a long time for me to really notice how absolutely wonderful it sounded to my ears. I won’t post the video to the song, because it has a lot of extraneous music before and after the main song, as well as a lot of other sound effects that take away from actually enjoying the song. But it’s pretty goofy, and if you’re into interplanetary chicks selling off fake body parts in outer space, well, knock yourself out!
But here is just the song itself, from Broken Bells’ 2010 self titled album, “The Ghost Inside”…
Like most of the songs Burton is involved in, this one has a killer backbeat that pleasures the brain rather than giving it a headache. Mercer’s falsetto singing somehow makes it even better. I don’t even know or understand most of the lyrics to the song, nor do I care… I can listen to this every day!
Meanwhile, on the subjects of ghosts….
Back when I first started at Mecca, everyone on the overnight crew loved to talk about our store’s resident ghost… simply referred to as “The Indian.” Anytime merchandise would mysteriously fall off the shelf, or something would move without explanation, or stuff would just disappear… we would chalk it up to The Indian. The Indian was borne of the belief that our store was built atop an ancient Native American burial ground… a legend which was given a hell of a lot more credence when the construction for our remodel began in 2009, and a shitload of actual Indian artifacts were found in the excavation!
That find delayed our expansion by a year and a half so the archaeologists could have a field day… but at least it gave us something solid to back up our Indian spirit story with. Our Mecca really does have a ghost inside, and we’re not about to give him up!
It just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?
You’ve probably heard that less than complimentary name applied to squirrels before, most likely by someone who doesn’t appreciate the finer points of the species like we all do. But there is certainly some truth to that epithet… after all, squirrels come from the rodent family just like rats do. One of the main things that distinguishes squirrels from other rodents are their very thickly furred and fluffy tails. Remember how sad Buster looked in my most recent comic because he didn’t have a fluffy tail like everyone else did?
Well, beneath all of that frizz, squirrels don’t look any different than Buster does. Every once in a while, I can get a good shot of a squirrel where its fuzzy caboose is much more transparent than it normally looks… and there in that picture above you can clearly see the naked little wiry tail that we so associate with the rat. You wear that cute, majestic tail oh so well, Mr. Squirrel, but sometimes, even that thick fur can’t hide the puny little wagger underneath…
That’s alright, you’re still beautiful enough to be this week’s see-through Saturday Tree R…. er, Squirrel!
Have a soft and fluffy weekend, everyone!
Live from New York, it’s Friday morning! That can only mean one thing, it’s time for the latest installment in the neverending tale known as My Millionaire Journey! Last week we had fun sitting around backstage in the green room, which was full of contestants, producers, continental breakfast delicacies, and strange phone calls. As would seem to be the theme in this story, I managed to get put on the back burner by being the last contestant whose associate producer eventually got hooked up with. But Brent did finally find time from his busy day to say hello, though it took him a while to identify his target by my nametag I was wearing…
Brent has a seat in front of me and my Dad and gives us a big friendly introduction. The first thing he does is look over the paperwork that was in my orientation packet I was given back at the hotel. I’ve already managed to fill out one of the papers incorrectly…
No need to worry about that, Brent assures me. He didn’t come by to mock my ability to fill out simple fucking information correctly. He was there to get that all important info for my blue card. No doubt you’ve seen many a game show host with these blue cards in their hand that have all of these interesting nuggets about each contestant written on them so the host can waste valuable playing time pretending they’re at an ice cream social rather than running a contest with thousands of dollars in cash and prizes at stake…
And so it was Brent’s daunting task to try to find some interesting talking points about me for Regis to use should I make the Hot Seat. Of course, no matter what was put on the card, the first thing Regis would discover about me via his own line of questioning is that I was a single guy without a girlfriend. The Reege would always give that stunned look every time one of us loners landed in the chair across from him. “Well, what’s wrong with you that you can’t find a nice girl? Are you even looking? Should I give you the phone number of Gelman’s sister?” Regis seemed to live to pick on the poor single guy.
So Brent goes to work by digging out the first interesting tidbit from my questionnaire I filled out way back at the audition. Namely, the fact that I was forced to grow up with four younger sisters.
Oh yes, Brent thinks that Regis will have a ball with this fucked up factoid… right after he’s done riding me about not having a girlfriend.
So what else is there about me, Brent asks. Well, since it was brought up by my audition inquisitors, I mention how much I love baseball. I mention how it sucks a little bit that I get a trip to New York and it happens to be in January so I can’t take in a Mets or Yankees game. Brent could absolutely care less about my misfortune…
Brent’s not about to be intimidated by my lack of belief in pulling out an interesting conversational piece. This is our first time in The Big Apple, so he asks what fun and exciting things we’ve done so far. Oh dear… me and Dad look at each other and confess that the only exploring we managed to do in NYC our first day there was walk about 10 city blocks trying to find fried chicken for dinner last night.
Brent’s eyes light up and a smile comes back to his face… this is going on the card!
My picky ass trying to track down real fried chicken would be a riot of a story Brent thinks. Regis would no doubt give me some suggestions of restaurants where fried chicken is served on a silver platter with sparkling wine and a side of escargot…
While Brent’s managed to come up with a couple good between-segments bits from my dry past, the one thing still missing entirely is the one nugget that will define me as a contestant. The tidbit that viewers will always associate with me and will likely end up going on my tombstone.
Just from some of the people from my message board who made it on the show, their defining hooks included the big guy who once wore a pink tutu…
The nude art model.
The lady who wanted to build a golf course with her winnings.
In a desperate attempt to get that big story they could run with, Brent asked me about my weather background. After all, that’s what wound up getting me on the show in the first place… but I really didn’t have anything of particular interest to add about it.
Not that I wound up doing much of the talking anyway… my Dad was quite vocal during the interview. And he was the one who threw out what would come to be the main point on my blue card…
If you live in the Midwest, you have to deal with a lot of severe weather. Lightning, winds, tornadoes…
And you either learn to fear the storms, or come to be fascinated by them. With the exception of my crippling phobia of lightning, I was definitely the latter. My Dad liked to jump in the truck and check out any big storms that came through from outside the city. My Mom usually went with him, but every once in a while it was me who tagged along. And so Brent intended to round out my blue card with the legend of….
Well, Brent seems happy with what he was able to get out of
me and my Dad. Make no mistake about it… these guys are damn good at turning even the stiffest of stiffs into someone who could be the talk of primetime TV.
And speaking of primetime TV, it’s almost time for rehearsal! But before we go, we get another speech in which we are told:
1. The record for the quickest time in the Fastest Finger round is 0.87 seconds by Shannon McGhee managing to randomly luck into putting Elizabeth Taylor husbands in order. Don’t try to break her record, because it will never be done…
2. We were guaranteed that we would get at least one fastest finger question, but almost positively at least two chances at the Hot Seat. To date, there had only been two hour long shows that had time for only one fastest finger question, leaving nine unhappy campers to die in the Ring of Fire…
And 3. If there is any dialogue we have with Regis that we are so uncomfortable with that we really don’t want it to be aired on TV, just let them know, and they “almost always” could get it edited out.
And now it’s time to line up to head down to the studio for rehearsal! The line forms in front of the continental breakfast buffet, and we are told the order we line up in will be the order we are to sit in once we get to the studio. The first taping group gets called first. I already know I’m dead last in my group, so I was completely and totally unprepared when my name was called out ninth…
Oh shit…. THE CURSE!!!!
And now the survey says it’s time to close this unfortunate chapter in my Millionaire Journey. Join me again next week, as we head downstairs to the actual, real, live studio where the game show is filmed! Oh, and Seat Fucking Nine….