Saturday, November 14, 2009

Plumbing The Debts

Here then, for edification & edutainment, is a brief character sketch of Floyd Flapp, eminent hair economist & hermit divorcee:

Dr. Flapp was born with a PhD in Flying Buttress, Illinois, a small community which inaugurated Blood Sports Month in 1925 to take advantage of the successful importation of medieval ideas to the American midwest. Flapp's father, a winsome lass named Jerry who would attempt to use grape jelly as an auto part throughout his four-storied career, disinherited the boy when he noticed the screaming child had not been born, as had all the Flapp men & women, with a handlebar moustache. The mother followed suit, as did the hospital staff, & most of the town, until kindly Mr. Jackanape, the neighborhood interrupter, took the boy in & raised him as one of his own cats.

Flapp was unemployed during his childhood, a fact that did not escape the Internal Revenue Service, which was astonished by the boy's annual income of $40,000 a year, which was an enormous amount at the time &, for a tween, still pretty impressive. Flapp published his first self-help book before he hit puberty, which was titled "Be Rich By Being Like Me!" The book was not successful, as most people wanted to be rich but no one really wanted to be like Floyd. However, the book remains notable as the introduction was written by none other than future President of the United States Laura Ingalls Wilder.

After spending time in a tax shelter in the Maldives, Flapp taught burger flipping & fry-o-lating at several fast food chains before being asked by the faculty of Harvard University to please stop calling in the middle of the night. Flapp's next series of papers, published disrespectfully in Modern Economics & Highlights For Children, established him as virtually alone in his field in believing that the ratio of debt to earnings is proportional to the amount of hair on one's thighs (pre-shaven) minus how much money one thinks one could win on a game show selected from a list. Still, for brief window of opportunism, Flapp's crazy theories were discussed on television morning programs & in editorial pages on slow news days.

But Flapp continued to be excused from mainstream acceptability. His marriage to infamous fashion model/guerilla warrior Scam was scheduled to happen on a late-night talk show but was moved instead to a segment on the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour to be shared with a Maya Angelou poetry slam report. When his wife left him shortly thereafter to become a concubine of Melvin Adenoid, the inventor of post-nasal drip, he was inconsolable. He toilet-papered the smallest church he could find in Alabama & fled the jurisdiction with a knapsack full of forty pounds of assorted coins.

Establishing a hermitage in the popular caverns in & around New Miami, Nebraska, Flapp would have been all-but-forgotten except several record albums he recorded in the mid-fifties to explain his theories were sampled by underground hip-hop & classical musicians like Humpa Humpa & the East Garland Half-String Quintet. Inexplicably smelly appearances on college & community radio followed, & a "Flapp For Vice-President" campaign attempted to get him on the ballots of every presidential ticket since 1980, when Ronald Reagan, upon meeting him, thought Flapp had been cast as President instead of him, & almost left the Republican National Convention to audition for a role on "Dallas."

Flapp is incredibly old &, by most accounts, a little weird about it. Yet his cult of personality continues to grow, & he continues to publish increasingly obscene economic treatises that are posted to blogs along with celebrity bikini photos. This may be because the treatises increasingly sound like blurbs for celebrity bikini photos. He has gone mad? Or is he speaking now exclusively in metaphor? Or does he spend a lot of time on the internet looking at paparazzi photos of celebrities in bikinis?

What's clear is that Flapp's influence may yet one day be felt, & this, above all else, is what his fans & admires most dread.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Radio Show Happened & Nothing Exploded

Whew! There's always the chance something might explode, but nothing did. How lucky is that?

Self Help Radio's continuing coverage of the indiepop scandals (these involving bands who, when arranged alphabetically, appear to all begin with the letter E) is now available for your listening scrutiny at Please remember, you're not under oath.

Your robot friends might enjoy this week's episode of Dickenbock Electronics, available on the same site but with a different link, as it is a different show. Do not let your robot friends tell you any different.

As always, don't sneak up behind people & say "KA-BOOM!" It makes them think things explode more than they do.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Let's Collate!

Do you like to collate? Alphabetize? Put things into either Dewey Decimal or Library Of Congress format? (Or both?)

Do you like gathering or arranging items in their proper sequence? Do you even know what the proper sequence is? Are you interested in finding out? Can you show others how?

If not, do you mind moving the piles of things out of the way so everyone can sit down? Do you mind if someone just maybe puts at the very least the books in an upright position on the shelf? If you don't want to collate, that is.

How do you find anything, if you don't like things in their order? Some people have their own sense of order, sure, that's understandable, but that's not helpful for anyone else but you, don't you think? Do you feel judged? Don't feel judged. It was just an observation.

Some people like to collate. Let's collate.

No? Yes? Whichever, how about you just sit here & listen to a new episode of Dickenbock Electronics as well as (of course) the new Self Help Radio? They're on right now - if right now is Wednesday morning, November 11, at 6am (SHR on at 7:30am) EST in Huntington on 88.1 fm WMUL. If that's not what right now is - but it's after Wednesday morning, November 11, 9am, then you can listen at Now THERE'S a show that likes to collate.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Whither Indiepop A To Z # 22?

Listen to me please
Radio devotees
As I sing with ease
About the indiepop E's.
As awesome as cheese
(The opposite of fleas)
You pay no fees
To hear the indiepop E's
Did I hear you sneeze
When you looked at those trees?
Did you count one two threes
For the indiepop E's?
No assets they will seize
Get up off your knees
Everyone & everything agrees
With the indiepop E's.
Why not go to Belize
To learn the trapeze
In a stylish chemise
To hear the indiepop E's?
They're not such a tease
They're on records & CDs,
Even new-style mp3s
These indiepop E's!
We scour the seas
Your curiosity to appease
Like a cool spring breeze
The indiepop E's.
You don't need any keys
Though outside you may freeze
Don't associate with sleaze -
Hear the indiepop E's!
So have yourself some teas
It's sort of like a reprise
I give you strong guarantees
You'll love more indiepop E's!

But what rhymes with "this Wednesday at 7:30am on 88.1 WMUL"?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Preface To Indiepop A To Z # 22: I Told You To Leave Jane Alone!

I may be the only person who actually looks into his or her spam folder before he or she deletes the contents, but sometimes I am glad I do. Do you recall, when spam first became a massive problem, around the turn of the century, & all the spam had weird titles like phrases spelled from refrigerator word magnets? Nowadays giving spam interesting titles is a lost art (a lot of my spam has the simple subject line "hi") (& the only person who wrote me emails titled "hi" no longer writes me emails) (though she could be my friend on Facebook - I am friends now with a person who always wrote me emails with the subject line "hey") but I did notice I got a spam today entitled "I Told You To Leave Jane Alone!"

That's rad. Did I tell you this? I was getting take-out at a place here in Huntington & when I came out, I was confronted by this very large African-American who took my hand & introduced himself. While holding my hand, he looked down at me & said, in a very soothing voice, "Your grandmother's okay." I told him, "Both of my grandmothers are dead." He said, "Yes, Susan & Elizabeth want you to know that they are all right." I didn't tell him that those weren't the names of my grandmothers, but before I could pull away, he looked at me & said, "I'm very hungry, can you help me?" So I gave him some change.

But as I went to the car, I thought to myself, "Holy spit, I don't really know the names of my grandmothers!" I was pretty sure it wasn't Elizabeth or Susan, but I didn't know. My father's mother died when he was a boy, so I never met her. My mother's mother I met a few times but she lived in Germany so all I knew her as was "Omi," which is an affectionate way of saying "Oma," which is German for grandmother.

In any event, the spam & the encounter with the hungry begging man seemed to work on the same principle: throw a name out there, hope it's common enough to get someone's attention or make you seem psychic. It's kind of bargain-basement-cold-reading type stuff.

By the way, my grandmothers' names (I have since discovered) were Eloise & Anna. Which are awesome names.