Email Exchanges 1999

JANUARY 1999So, how's about meeting next wed
Mark What do you all say to getting together next week to talk about "our future"? I have a dentist appt Monday night the 11th, but I think I'm free the rest of the week. Any interest? If Monday is the only good night we could maybe meet at my dentist's office if he doesn't mind.
Hugh Yes, meeting. I think we're due. Next week works for me. I'm sure Mark's dentist is a very nice man and has a very nice office, but I suggest meeting Tuesday or later at another locale -- unless we can get some nitrous oxide. Any night works for me. Mandible, Hugh P.S. Have any of you seen those new commercials with Ed McMahon's disembodied, smiling head? They even specifically refer to it as "Ed's head." Most disturbing...
Anne I can meet next week, during the week, as long as it involves being able to eat, drink and smoke. Laughing and crying are ok, too. But no hitting. I will happily come to SF for this.
Hugh Meeting here in the city works for me. I second the eating, drinking and smoking part (yum yum). There are several places in my neighborhood where these three activities may be accomplished and my apartment is open as well. Still enamored of the pork spider's eye stalks, Hugh
Jay Yes, that would be lovely. Unfortunately, meeting Monday night at the dentist office won't work for me; I'll be in a LA for work (yay!) Monday and Tuesday--not returning until late in the evening. So, Wed night would be okay and Friday--Thurs. I have school. Where shall we meet, a restaurant/cafe or someone's house? I think I'd prefer a cafe. OR maybe we could grab a bite to eat, talk a bit, then go to a cafe, talk some more, then go to a bar, and speak loudly over crappy music, then go for a walk, and cry and laugh, then go home.
Anne Shall we be a meetin' next Wednesday night (1/13)? how's about 7:30ish at some food place in thee mission? What about Sunflower on Valencia near 16th. It has all types o asian food.
Hugh Sunflower is an excellent choice. They have very good meat and vegetarian dishes. I eat there frequently (once or twice a week), have tried a lot of things on their menu and so far everything I've had has been quite lishy indeed. 7:30 next Wed. works for me. Ta-ta, Hugh
Brian I really think we should all meet this wednesday as well. I think the Mission stinks because its too easy for Hugh. I think we should meet in this 55 gal. drum I saw last week while patrolling the Atlantic coast with some Nazi buddies of mine (you remember Kraus unt Mueller - don't you?). The barrel is beached north of Oyster Point, ME, or thereabouts. We can eat what's in the barrel and there's no problem with smoking ! I've warned Kraus unt Mueller not to shoot at it. How does 3:30 a.m. sound?
Mark I hope this isn't an oil drum because oil makes my skin greasy, and it's stinky too. Also, the Atlantic has that "fishy" smell that I don't like. Couldn't we meet in a field of flowers on a summer's morn, or on a misty mountainside awash in jasmine and pine and cedar? If you really need Nazis I think there are lots of beautiful natural wunderlands in Germany itself that we might consider.
Hugh I think both Brian's and Mark's ideas are dumb. That's because they're stupid ideas. I think we should meet where they do triage for the SF General emergency room. We can take turns giving eachother gurney rides. I'll go to McDonald's first and get the hamburgers. Let me know if you want fries and shakes. Mmmmmmmmmm, Hugh
Jay I'm hungry now. Do you think we could push the meeting up a bit? Let's say at noon today? If I don't hear from you all in the next 5 minutes or so I'll assume everything is okay with my plan and the meeting is rescheduled from next Wed eve to TODAY. Great. See you in 45 minutes. I'll save a table if I get there before you.

FEBRUARY 1999Street cred
Anne wut tyme r we gunna play Sundee? We done bandied about the pissable tymes of 4 or 4:30. Iz zat OK please reply to my work email, OK?
Hugh My personal scryer informs me that 4:30 Sundie is a most propitious hour, and as you all know -- the chicken entrails never lie. My social secretary has opened up a slot in my calendar for that evening. Of course, that means having to cancel a dinner date with Cher, Whoopie Goldberg, Robert DeNiro, Jim Carey, et al, but those celebrity types are just trying to glom onto my street cred since I haven't sold out to Hollywood yet, so it's their loss.
Jay I would prefer to start practicing at 4:29.
Mark 4:30 is fine. If your friends really want some street cred, why don't you bring them along to practice, then we can tie them up and drive them down to E. 14th street somewhere, drop them off, beat them up, and then leave them for dead and drive off. It'll be great publicity for them, plus new experiences for them to draw on for their future acting assignments.
Hugh I've kicked DeNiro's ass and left him for dead in bad parts of Oakland so many times it's beginning to lose its efficacy. Maybe we've both grown a little tired of it. The swine gives me some of the credit due for helping him get the life experience necessary for his "edgier" performances, but do you ever see MY name up there on the marquee? Or even buried in the credits somewhere? And what kind of thanks do I get for dunking Harvey Keitel's rump in a deep fat fryer? A big, fat paycheck -- that's all. What an ingrate. Same goes for all those other Hollywood weasels. I think we should modify your plan slightly. I'll bring my celebrity hangers-on to the practice space, we'll kick their asses, then kick their asses with our music. Acting is for pussies! Rock or die, Hugh
Jay Seeing that there's such a chasm between our times of arrival at the rehearsal space on Sunday, maybe we could compromise. While you guys are driving around E Oakland titty-twisting DeNiro's headlights until their black and blue, perhaps, I could be preparing the space for some fun and games with the other "stars" that are due to arrive with you at 4:30 (I can only hope you bring Matthew McCoughnahey). as thinking since the space is relatively small, and there's tons of that idle useless musical equipment lying about, what I'd like to do is to junk-pile it in one corner so we can have one big open space in the middle of the room. When you guys arrive, I'll pour lighter fluid all over the rug so after you yank their pants down and we start dragging them by the ankles back and forth across the floor, the rug burns and raspberries forming on their heinies will cause the rug to burst into flames-burning them alive!! Ha ha. That should teach them not to make dumb-ass movies anymore.

 hey, remember me?
Jay Haay.....Due to my teacher's assholery, I have to complete a take home final and research paper by next week. This means that I'll be sitting at home telling everyone, including myself, that I'm studying when I'm really walking from the bedroom, to the refrigerator, back to the bedroom, oh, look at this magazine, gotta go poo, back to the kitchen.....etc-- for about a week, then scribble something down on wed night to hand in thurs. As far as practicing/drinking beer/ reading Cosmo/ gettin' faced this weekend goes, it doesn't look like I'll be able to partake. But the following Sunday is fine... Submitting something to the CD zine sounds very positive and creative. first inclination--since last week we did the computer thing and seeing that I have such a short attention/interest span--is to play heavy speedcore death metal. Flying Vee axes, double kick drum sets with 40 spinning toms, show stopping crotch moves, high steppin' drunk magik spells, and fucking hair hair hair ! Hopefully by next week I'll have my gothic-font forehead tattoo that says NOXIOUS finished. Onerously yours, V. Nom

 hot fill
Jay Last night I had a dream where I was sitting in the back seat of a car. In the front were 2 incredibly obese people--a man driving and a frizzy red headed woman in the passenger's seat, both were dressed in black with thick arms and necks and pasty white skin. On my lap and chest was a large mylar bag about 15 inches square filled with peanut butter and jelly. Through the spigot at the top of the bag, I loudly sucked and slurped out the contents. I knew the 2 in the front were irritated with me, yet, I kept making these hideous eating sounds as the jelly squirted and the bag crumpled. I couldn't stop. The woman turned and with her massive arms started attacking me. Then I woke up.

 Our Fair State
Anne It's 3:30 and I'm listening to NPR All Things Considered. The little teaser at the beginning of the half hour says there's going to be a story on this half hour about the Iowa "You Make Me Smile" slogan and the governor's quest to change it. If you get this message quickly enough, you can listen in
Mark Here are a few welcome mottos:
Iowa: Bordered by Other States
Iowa: Narrow Minds Tempered by Enthusiasm
Iowa: Stands To Reason
Iowa: Where This Little Piggie Went "Wheeeeeee" All the Way Home
Welcome to Iowa: Now Go Fuck Yourself
Iowa: We Put the "Hog" in "Hogs"

 Do You Feel Old?
Mark Today is the 14th anniversary of the first Total Fools show.
Anne I feel more fabulous than ever before, darling. As I recall, I celebrated my initiation into rock superstardom thusly: That afternoon I got another hole pierced into my ear, that night after the show I puked and the next day I laid on the couch in a depressed state, knowing that nothing would ever be better than being on stage. telling, huh?
Hugh I don't know the meaning of the word "old." I will say this, though - time sure does fly when you're kicking ass with your kick-ass rock-n-roll. (Fuckin' shit up, fuckin' hell yeah.) I remember the gig itself pretty well but I don't remember what I did the day after. Since I liked beer at that time, I'm sure I would have been hung-over. I probably had to put on my little red vest and go work at Randall's Mini-Priced Foods, knowing nothing would ever be better than sorting returned bottles, stocking, facing shelves and bagging groceries. Those WERE the days, my friends.
Anne You know what's interesting is that when I was 20, living in CR and going to Kirkwood I thought my chances of being in a band and playing music were over. I remember standing in the living room of that house I shared w/ Kelly and Jason, staring at my piano and thinking "Well, I can't see anything like that happening now. I'm too old to start now." So, now I know I'm NOT too old to start my "intellectual cock rock" band, and play really abrasive, balls out, take no prisoners, hardass music and sing about severed heads and getting wasted. YAY!

MARCH 1999Mixing
Hugh Well, here's what I think we should do... and since the Catholic Church declared me infallible back in the 19th Century and I've been that way for well over a hundred years (or since 1958, really), it's obviously the one true and correct way to go about this... so listen up... Oh, wait... that was the Pope. I got the 2 of us mixed up again, which is understandable and not at all surprising when you consider we're both old, unmarried Polish guys who like to wear big, funny, pointy hats, loose-fitting ceremonial garb to hide our boners, and are commonly referred to as The Vicar of Christ. Since I may not be infallible after all (hard as that is to imagine), what follows could be "considered" just a "suggestion" and not necessarily the one true and correct way to go about this (hard as that may be to imagine too). ahem... my idea about mixing, which belongs to me, and which is mine... I think we should start mixing at the small end, work up to where it gets much, much larger in the middle, then keep on mixing until it gets smaller again at the other end. In this way, we will cure all known diseases. Helpfully in Christ, Pope Hugh I P.S. Fuck off. P.P.S. Actually... here's my real idea, which came to me last night in a dream after I drank five bottles of peach schnapps and passed out in a rather large-ish puddle of my own (and possibly somebody else's) "puke." I think we should sub-divide the album into sub-groups of songs, which for ease of use and efficiency's sake we will refer to simply as "groups". Each sub-group will have a "group" name; a designation based on the name of the person(s) mixing the songs in that group, which will serve to identify that group. The first group will be called "The Geggy Peeman Group" of songs. The second group will be called "The Scott Colburn Group" of songs. Then, there could be an "optional" third sub-group ("group") if there are specific songs we'd like to have BOTH Geggy Peeman and Scott Colburn take a stab at. This third/"optional" group of songs could be called "The Peeman/Colburn Group" or "The Colburn/Peeman Group" of songs. Such a third/"optional" group is "theoretically" possible, according to some drunk physics majors and cheerleaders I met at a party at a large university sometime in the past. Once the sub-groups have all been sub-divided from the (erstwhile) whole and given their proper designations, we could jolly well find out when each of the "mixers" is available, book studio time accordingly, and have Geggy Peeman mix the "Geggy Peeman" batch of songs and have Scott Colburn mix the "Scott Colburn" batch of songs, and have them BOTH mix the "Peeman/Colburn" batch. (The word "batch," in the instances just above, is synonymous with "group," the word previously defined as synonymous with "sub-group.") P.P.P.S. Eat me. (By the way, this is another thing the Pope and I have in common -- we both like to say "eat me." The difference is, I say it because I have Tourette's Syndrome; the Pope says it when dispensing or partaking of the eucharist, since he's senile and thinks that's what Jesus must be thinking since it's his body that's being eaten, both symbolically and literally.)
Mark I can't substantiate your ideas on transsubstantiation, but I can attempt to elaborate on some of your points, or sub-points, in order to further elucidate a finer organizational structure within which to manifest the potentialities forwarded in your treatise. Suppose we abbreviate the Geggy Peeman Group as GPG, and the Scott Colburn Group as SCG (note that not only does SCG also stand for Sun City Girls, but GPG also stands for Goddamn Pregnant Gorillas), and furthermore, denote their union as CPG (suspiciously similar to the abbreviation for Cock-Prick-Gonad). Insofar as said subgroups coincide in simultaneity (solidarity-wise), it is reasonable to assume that non-distinct output may result, thereby invalidating the necessity for such obfuscation of intent and process. Were we to proceed along multiple (i.e. three) differentially-oriented paths, the probability of a lack of clarity in purpose and desired outcome may increase exponentially, resulting in disorientation and distortion of purpose. Or, in other words, my head's got a owee, I dunno what to do...

 It's Brian's Fault
Hugh Hi everybody, I gave official notice we can't do the show w/ the Danielson Family. I blamed it on Brian. Sorry, Brian, but somebody had to take the fall for this and it sure as hell wasn't going to be me. The email I sent is below. I'm sure everybody except Brian will approve of the way I've handled this difficult and potentially catastrophic situation. It's the old mountain climber's rule: if you're tied in with somebody who's falling, reach for the knife:
Hi Kathy,
Unfortunately, we're not going to be able to do that show w/ The Danielson family. It's Brian's fault. He insists on going through w/ this wedding and honeymoon thing, which means we won't have enough time to prepare. We pointed out how selfish he's being and tried to shame him out of it, but he just gets obstinate when cornered. He kept pointing out that Anne and Mark were allowed to get married, so he thinks that means he should be able to do it too. Otherwise, he whines, it wouldn't be "fair" to him. We thought making fun of him would dislodge his stubborness, but he just started crying and ran home. At least we had the satisfaction of making him cry -- and one of the rocks I threw hit him in the back when he was running away. (That gave him something to cry about!) I know what you're thinking: we should just play without him. If only it were that easy. We'd love to and we'd have booted his ass out of the band years ago, but he went behind our backs and copyrighted the band name, the sneaky bastard. Now we can't use it unless he's in the band, and if we use it without his permission he's promised he'll sue. If you want my advice (and I'm sure you do), give selfish, stubborn, sneaky, sue-happy sissies a wide berth. Never assume you've got the upper hand just because they're sniveling wimps. That was our big mistake. If only ONE person learns from this... I know what else you're thinking: It's 4 months away and they can't be ready? Normally that would be way more than enough time, but with Brian out of commission until after the wedding (he claims he'll be busy beforehand "planning") we wouldn't actually be able to start practicing until sometime in July itself -- and I'll be gone the first week of that month on vacation. Given how rusty we are from months and months and months and months of inactivity, there's no way we'd have a repertoire together we could play competently. So there you have it. A story as old as humankind itself: one person putting their petty needs before the welfare of the group means everybody else suffers. Please be sure to let the Danielsons know it's one bad apple that's spoiled what could have been a fun and beautiful experience for all. And that apple's name is -- Brian. Thank you for your understanding, Hugh

 What Dolly, Emmy Lou and Linda did
Anne I'm proofing this article on the Dolly Parton-Emmylou Harris-Linda Ronstadt collaboration. One song they covered was Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush." The trio decided to changed some lyrics though: " the 1970's" was changed to "in the 20th century"; also, no one wanted to sing "...and I felt like getting high." Although the producer doesn't tell us what the replacement lyric ended up being, he does say that one suggested lyric was "...and I felt like eating pie."
Mark "Well, I dreamed I saw the Armour Hot Dog comin', singin' something about a pig
There was ketchup gushing and mustard mushing all around the chosen bun
There was a hunger growlin' in my tum, and I felt like getting fries...
Look at Oscar Meyer on the bun, with some melted cheddar cheese"
Hugh Mark, Those lyrics are just plain, flat-out beautiful. I felt a pang in my heart that sent a lump to my throat and coaxed some moisture out of these tear-stingy eyes. Your words tap into that feeling of ineffable longing way more than old Neil's. Well, I hope Mr. Young will remember, hotdog eaters don't need him around anyhow. Sweet Home Oscar Meyer, Hugh

 Best Poster
Hugh I don't have any problem with Mark going out of town on business on the dates mentioned. Mark -- you can tell your fucking boss I said OK. Now that that's settled, let's move on folks. I was contacted yesterday by somebody wanting to get some TFU posters for a movie being directed by Jonathan Frears. I think that's his name. I should know because he's done some movies we've all heard of or seen (like Dangerous Liaisons, for instance, starring my gorgeous fucking wife, Michelle Pfeiffer, along w/ John Malkovich and Glenn Close). His current movie has some actor or actress we've all heard of in it -- somebody famous whose name escapes me now. Anyway, what I'm trying to convey is that this director's no small fry and this is no low-budget, bush league piece of artfuckery by some film school "auteur." No, ladies and gentleman, this is the real thing -- a Hollywood movie. And you know what that means - for starters, not only glamor, but hundreds and hundreds of buckets overflowing with tits, and conveyor belts loaded with thousands and thousands of cocks whizzing by stacked like cord wood... In short, our kind of movie, the kind of thing we've been trying to get next to since at least 1968, and it's finally arrived. What do you think? Should we let them use a TFU poster for their movie? I'll find out more when I talk to the woman who called me from the production company, but really, I don't think you need any more information than I've already provided. Remember, this is a HOLLYWOOD movie. I think that says it all. Who knows, maybe we'll even win an Oscar for Best Poster at next years Academy Awards ceremony. There's no telling how big this could get. If we decide to let them use a poster... do we have a supply somewhere? I have some at home, but I think they're all badly dog-eared and poop-smeared. The lightbulb one for "Strangers..." would be great to send. Bye for now, Hugh
Anne Obviously we must send them some posters! Everyone search around for some. I'm already picking out who's going to design my gown for next year's Academy Awards Ceremony.
Jay Playing the 17th or 18th is fine as long as everyone promises to let me put up my poster of Dolly Parton sliding a hot dog between her titties.
Hugh OK. So 4/11 is out for Mark, but 4/17 or 18 works. Either day is OK with me as long as Jay puts up his poster of Dolly Parton pressing hamburger patties. Who had a key to that outside door? I talked to a very nice young lady named Joanna today about the movie. Here's the deal: It's called "High Fidelity" and stars John Cusack as a guy who works in a record store in Chicago and there's some romantic comedy angle. (Did I not mention the buckets and conveyor belt? Huh? Huh? Did I call it or what??!!) Joanna said they can use anything we can send. Not just posters, but flats, records, stickers, flyers, tattooed babies, advertising dogs, billboard cows, flaming elephants, exploding whales, etc. -- anything they can put in the record shop. They have to get it by Fri., April 16th and I have the address. I'll see what I have chez moi because I may have lied or exaggerated about everything I have being too dog-eared or poop-smeared to be suitable. I thought we had a stash of TFU shit somewhere -- at Mark's or in Jay's basement?? -- that used to clutter up one of those old practice spaces. Do we? This is important people -- we may finally be on the verge of nosing our way through the Hollywood aperture. Speaking of John Cusack: In addition to "Dangerous Liaisons," this director did "The Grifters." I was reminded because John Cusack was in that movie too. Snootering celebrity-ward, Hugh
Mark I do have a stash I will stink around in - I'm sure there's some lishy stuff there. I put some TFUL fudgesicles in there a couple years ago, but as my closet is not refrigerated, they might be a bit messy. Did this woman say anything about whether it could be messy or not?
Hugh She didn't expressly forbid us from sending messy items (a tattooed baby would no doubt be messy, as are all babies -- to say nothing of an exploding whale!), but I think we should put our cleanest foot forward, so to speak, just to be on the safe side. No telling how these movie types are, with their big fancy incomes, catered meals and retinues of sycophants. I'd hate to blow what might be our one big chance for an Oscar if we get a finicky one who turns up their cokesniffer at less-than-pristine bric-a-brac. I say we err on the conservative side.
Jay Remember a couple years back when accessorising with a tiny turd displayed in a small jar and hung around your neck was in vogue? (God, things were great then). And remember all those times when you were taking a poo-poo on the road, and I would yell through the door while waiting for my turn , "Hey, don't bother flushing, it's okay." Well, guess what I was up to? I know, pretty good idea, huh? With the opportunity to publicly display some of our "memorabilia" through Hugh's film industry connections, I'm sensing this could be the big payback from years of surreptitiously scooping toilet contents. I literally have mounds of your excrement saved in air-tight mayonnaise jars in my basement--cataloged and labeled. One jar says "Mark" one says "Anne" etc. I go down and check on them every once in awhile, turning the jars, studying the contents--I guess it's my version of a wine cellar. I don't serve them to guests ! So, if Joanna says it's okay to send her anything, and if it's alright with you guys I'd like to submit 5 mayonnaise jars--sans labels and any icky mayonnaise--to her so people in the cast of "High Fidelity" (Oh god, I hope John Cusack) can look really cool by wearing them around their necks. You may ask, "Well how will anyone know it's a jar of Thinking Feller ass water etc." Let me just say, if you saw a film with John Cusack wearing a 2 lb. jar of 5 year old shit labeled "Hugh" around his neck, who would you think of? See what I mean. So what's her number?

APRIL 1999Contract
Mark 1. How about we get together to play on Saturday April 17? I suggest 2 pm - if any other time is better I am flexible. 2. I can't find any posters that aren't totally crumpled. If anyone else might have some, please take a look. 3. I spoke with Gary the other day. He's still into doing the record. He will pay for the mixing sessions but he doesn't want to shell out any more money until he receives the finished tape. He's a little worried that it will take us forever to finish (don't know where the hell he got that idea). He also said he hopes we will come up with some cover art that is eye-catching. He doesn't expect the album to make back more than what he is advancing us, though he feels there is still a fair amount of interest out there. We can sign some sort of contract if we really feel the need, but he doesn't think it's necessary. He's also still into putting out our soundtrack score, if any or all of us want to pursue that sometime in the next five years. 4. Geggy Peeman is back. I will talk to him about this other studio.
Hugh 1) 2:00 Sat. 4/17 works for me pracky-wise. 2) I have an assortment of posters chez moi and I'll go through them tonitee to see if I have any that are in good enough condition to send. If I don't, I'll call Rusty @ Matador tomorrow and see if she can be of assistance. 3) I too am confused as to why Gary thinks it may take us an inordinately long, indeterminate period of time to finish this record. What could he possibly be basing that on? Why is he so untrusting? He should just give us the money and shutup. Mark, maybe you should call him back and suggest that. Is it really too much to ask him to be reasonable for a change? My high-school graduation picture is pretty eye-catching. I'm not too psyched about using it for album cover art, but if you guys are really into it I'll set aside my reservations. Whatever's good for the team. :) I think we should insist on a contract to let Gary know that just because he's never given us any reason to distrust him that still doesn't mean we're not highly suspicious of him. For all we know he's been luring us into a false sense of security all this time so he can torpedo our music career when we least suspect it. Can any of us honestly say we wouldn't jam a knife into his back and twist it if we had half a chance and the roles were reversed? I know I would. Stab everybody, Hugh P.S. Bring your shoes so you'll have them.
Brian Saturday at 2:00 p.m. is ok with me. This Gary thing is way way out of control. He tells us what he's gonna do, how many records we will sell, how much interest there is still out there, and he caps it all off with his (stupid) opinion of how untrustworthy we are. No. Starting now - or probably sometime this or next year maybe (most likely)- we tell him. I recently got Bunny a job as Don Johnson and Cheech's hilariously furry and comically disruptive sidekick on their show "Nash Bwibges". She's been making contacts that will permanently remove obstacles like that bean-counting asshole, Gary Held, from our path. I've spent my best years bitterly back-biting you guys for anchoring me to the meager success we've experienced. Now when i cannot find a soul interested in the details of why I'm not hugely famous and groupy encrusted, I can see that you guys are only about 60-63% responsible. The others - Gary, Greg, Gerard, Gibbs, Geter Davis, Ghris Lombardi, Goeff Seoul, Gillman St., GAMH, Gob Geldoff, Gonic Youth, Gavement (who stole from us), and all the rest of the Goobers who've purposely mined my treasures without compensating me, will one day arrive in hell pantsless and crying. This is ok.
Hugh Brian, et al., You'll be happy to know I've taken steps to pay back those responsible for holding us back from fame, fortune and groupie-encrustedness. I mailed them extremely soft, comfortable nut-huggers w/ plutonium dust sewn into the silk lining. Just imagine the extra dimension of horror and embarrassment they'll feel when they arrive pantsless in Hell. Not content to wait that long for satisfaction, however, I plan to read their names off and disclose this fiendish plan when we're at the podium receiving our Oscars for Best Poster. By then irreversible damage will have been done. They say success is the best revenge and there's a modicum of truth to that, but whoever said it obviously never enjoyed the singular satisfaction that only radiation-bearing nut-huggers sent to one's enemies can bring.

 Poor Greg
Mark Hello y'all: In a rare moment of responsibility, Geggy Peeman exploited a brief window of sobriety last night and called me to talk about studio time. I told him that we probably couldn't do anything until after Brian's wedding and honeymoon, i.e. July. After he stopped bawling like a baby he informed me he was busy the first three weekends in July (yeah, right - I'm sure he has dozens of "important commitments" that he can't break). That would mean getting some sort of start around July 24. The automated studio he has in mind charges $250/day. He's not sure if they would do evening slots without charging for the whole day; his suspicion is that they do not. (Why is Greg always so suspicious?) Greg's weekdays are pretty wide open in July, so if we want to book some weekdays we could, but that seems pretty unlikely considering everyone's work schedules. Booking a Friday might work though - Greg could be setting up mixes in the afternoon, then maybe we could get off work a little early and go join him in the late afternoon/early evening. He thinks the studio's schedule is pretty open still for July. Should we book some weekends in July and August? I'm kind of thinking of taking some vacation in August, but it's all pretty vague. Do any of you have plans for being out-of-town this summer? When? I'd like to get back to Greg within the next couple days to set something up. He warned me that he would be going on a "big binge" next week sometime, and you know if even Greg is calling it a binge, it's gonna be a doozie. Let's try to catch him before he's face deep in yesterday's breakfast. Mark
Anne 1. So there's no time available in May? If not, then: 2. My vote is to get cracking! The Fridays idea is good. Just shoot for one song per Friday. Greg could spend 4 or 5 hours setting up without us breathing down his neck. Then we can show up and hang out, eat take-out food, talk, drink, smoke and tell him to change everything. I like it! Then take the weekend of July 24 and some Fridays and weekends in Aug. If we booked all the Fridays in July plus the last weekend and did one song a day we'd have 6 done by Aug! Not bad.
Hugh I second Anne's suggestion. Which studio is the Peemanator going to book mixing sessions in? Do they have puke insurance on their console?
Mark I like this idea too but I'm not sure if Greg has those Fridays open or not. He said his weekends were booked, so that might include Friday nights. I will double check that with him. Re: puke insurance - maybe we could buy a short-term policy ourselves so we're not liable. Would that be recoupable on our contract with Gary? Sounds like a negotiating point to me.
Hugh I suggest we snatch up the soonest available time slots and get this sucka mixed before Peeman succumbs to cyrrhosis of the liver. If August it must be, then that's just fine w/ me. (Sorta poetical that last phrase, what?) Rodrildodandardondo "Roy-Roy Chickenboy" von Flabben-Oben the Self-Graviating
Brian Don't let Greg fool you about being "booked" in May, June, July, or any other month of the year for that matter - unless, of course, you call working the night shift at "Rodney's All-Night Tasty Frozen Podneys" (!?!) being "booked". Don't feel bad about not guessing the real story behind Greg's illusions of grandeur. I wouldn't have known this myself but for a freak coincidence which occurred this weekend. I was drunk driving with Whitney's mother early Saturday morning. I was pretty sure who I was at the time, but you know how I get. Things were going along fine until Whitney's mom pointed out that the oncoming traffic was actually going in the same direction as us. This messed me all up. We were going about 10 mph in reverse west-bound on I-80. I thought we'd been meeting really bad drivers on a two-lane road. This really really messed me up. Later, in the ditch with Whitney's mom, I realized that I was pretty hungry so I told her I was going for help. Actually, I was tired of hanging out trying to hear the radio over her sucking chest wounds. I told her I would definitely be back later, and I waddled off - not knowing That I was heading deep into Rodeo, California - tasy frozen podney country, All-night Rodney country, Greg Free-body country. So, to make a long story briefer, I saw Greg working at the "Rodney's All-Night Frozen Podneys" in Rodeo, California on April 24th 1999. He did not see me see him. He was just sitting there sipping whiskey and diverting excess raw Podney slurry back into the bladder manifolds. I did not have the heart to approach him - that's how bad it was! Greg is busy in May alright, but its not the rich aroma of musical exploration that will be playing at his nostrils, it will be the shocking stench of raw Podney slurry rotting in a sun-baked mound of dicarded distribution bladders. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you all this.
Hugh Greg is a busy man indeed. I don't remember what town this was in, but I saw him working at a place called Captain Slubbe's Rubbe-A-Dubbe Grubbe-n-Grogge Shoppe. It's like Long John Silver's, but all they have is grease. (Even their "grogge" is just a plastic cup full of grease.) The other employees were dressed appropriately in pirate costumes, with plastic cutlasses, blunderbusses, hooks, peg legs, eye patches and parrots as accessories. Greg was clad in his most threadbare Renaissance Faire gear, slurring out Elizabethan songs about chivalry and courtly love, accompanying himself rather inexpertly on a home-made lute (actually a Kleenex box with a single loosely attached strand of fishing line dangling from it). He was obviously extremely drunk and confused, but seemed to be entirely in his element. He fixed me with an unsteady, heavy-lidded eye, called me a comely wench and invited me to sit on his "lappe" and share some mead. There was a conspicuous throbbing beneath his grease-smeared tights. Flattered and more than a little befuddled, I was about to accept when Captain Slubbe's came under attack from a rival fast-grease outlet with a pirate motif. In the ensuing melee I regained my senses and made good my escape, unnoticed, as the din of piratical swearing and clacking plastic cutlasses raged around me. Greg tried gamely, but ineffectually, to fend off a determined cutlass attack with his lute, which was promptly reduced to shreds. I sprinted to my car, pointed it in the direction of San Francisco and burned rubber. Last I saw Greg he was rapidly diminishing in my rear-view mirror, trying vainly to outdistance his pursuers.
Mark I tried unsuccessfully to connect with Greg this weekend. I guess he was busy with another session, or hawking frozen podneys, or some other mystifying confection. His wife Christine started to tell me about some dignitaries he had to meet in Paris, but I quickly stopped her and told her she could spare her breath - that I'd gotten the reports from Brian and Hugh and knew what sorts of things Greg had been up to lately. She then broke down and confessed how disappointed and humiliated she's been. Apparently, Greg has been picking weeds from a swampy culvert near their house, wrapping them up with some dirty twine he found behind a warehouse, and going from restaurant to restaurant, trying to sell them to patrons as "bouquets". He's already been booted out of several establishments, but a local street pretzel vendor took pity on him and allowed him to sit on a lopsided broken stool next to the pretzel cart, where he continues to try to sell his "floral arrangements". Anyway, she didn't expect him home until late, so I wasn't able to set up time.

JUNE 1999Israel
Brian Whitney and I are back from Israel. Our trip was fantastic. We went to Jerusalem, The Galilee, the Dead Sea, Masada, Gamla, Ein Gedi, and schnorkeled in the Red Sea. I plan to write a pretty long book on it, however, if you have any immediate questions about these places please do not hesitate to call or write. Whitney and I are obviously the first Westerners ever to penetrate these environs and escape without acquiring fatal amounts of personal death. We think this experience has raised us to a new level of historical consciousness. It is clear to me that I am now capable of performing valuable historical research using only my mind. Even my most vague and abstract suspicions about undocumented history can be taken as unassailable truths. The best thing about it is that all I need for this new career is a bed, a beer, a TV with remote, a pencil, and a pad of paper.
Hugh Brian -- Welcome back. Glad you had a good time and escaped any fatality of a personally lethal or mortal nature. I'm pretty amazed by your new abilities vis a vis history. I find I need at least eight beers, a bedpan and my comfort jammies (in addition to the things you mentioned) before I can even get started, let alone achieve such fantastic results. My hat's off to you. Welcome to the brotherhood of historiographers. Not to sound a sour note, but good luck getting those more orthodox sonsabithchin' bastards to publish your historical revelations, as they seem to be fixated on the silly and archaic notion of having "documentary evidence" to "substantiate" your findings. It's hard to soar like an eagle when you're surrounded by jealous, turf-protecting weasels.
Brian This gives me an album title idea: "The Turd-protecting Weasel", or, "A Well Protected Turd", or "Hey! Stop trying to un-protect that weasel-protected turd!" These all seem pretty good to me. Whichever of these you guys agree on using will be fine with me.

JULY 1999memories
Brian Last night Anne and I were walking the DOGS and talking about the latest news from Geoff of Fuck. They are on a long, breakdown-ridden, U.S and Canada tour. Their breakdowns are resulting in missed shows and soul-crushing 48 hour drives. We remembered our tour where our last show was in Morgantown, West Virginia. A night of heavy, heavy, drinking (for some) followed by three mind numbing, butt-fattening, days of interstate highway culture. I felt compelled to dig up my pile of tour diaries to look for descriptions of this drive. It seemed too distant and unlikely - I needed to be reminded of the thrilling exits, enchanting roadside markets, and colorful characters of the road. By this point in the tour, the diary is written from a pretty reptilian point of view. "I watched Hugh and Jay inspect a water hydrant at a rest stop parking lot" ... etc. I wanted to remind you guys of one morning that had taken place on the West Coast tour that preceded the national tour. In Vancouver, we stayed with some Superconducter people. All ten of us went to breakfast which was followed by crowding into pharmacies to buy pain-killers. When we were all finally in the van and ready to leave town, we noticed a teenager hanging out in the street wearing an older TFU t-shirt. We were jellified. We squirmed around in our seats, trying to get his attention with mock nonchalance and, when that didn't work, Jay got out and acted as if he needed to stretch his legs. He had his shirt open to expose his late-model TFU shirt. He kept moving around, stretching his arms to show his shirt, clearing his throat, and finally he reverted to humming "Hurricane" and sticking his butt out - all to no avail. We realized that the little bastard probably got he shirt at a free-bin.
Hugh Greetings, Thanks for the memories, Brian. I remember that fire hydrant. I've missed it terribly these last couple years. If only I'd taken a picture of it... At least then I'd have some momento, however inadequate, of the time we shared. I fear I'm destined to go through life wondering about that hydrant - how it's doing, what it's up to, etc. It might interest you to know that I am now on jury duty -- juror #7 in an asbestos-related tort case. (mmmm, tort) I've come to think of myself as juror 007 and plan to while away the hours the lawyers spend bickering and droning on and on about who hurt who imagining myself on various dangerous adventures involving sexy chicks galore and evil villains with vast underground complexes who are bent on world domination or some such. I think serving on a jury will be a gas. This case is supposed to last until about July 28th, which should give me plenty of time for many adventures and their sequels. Related to that --getting hold of me -- the court proceedings will be happening in the morning and I'll be at work in the afternoons, probably from about 2:00 or 2:30 on. Unrelated to that, the latest on studio time... We currently have the weekends of 7/31 - 8/1 and 8/28 - 29 for sure, and a choice between 9/4 - 5 (which is Labor Day) or 9/11 - 12. I'm going to tell Monsieur Freenob (the bloody French bastard) to book 9/11 - 12 because I don't want my Labor Day weekend hopelessly fucked all to fucking hell (so to speak) by having to be in the studio. If anybody has a major problem with that, get back to me so I can tell you to go to hell. I'm at home today and will be out of town from tomorrow (that's Fridee) thru Monday. I'm going camping so I can enjoy nature by blasting a bunch of unsuspecting little animals with my pellet gun. (If God didn't want me to shoot them they wouldn't end up in my crosshairs, so it'll serve the little bastards right.) Have a wonderful 4th of July and don't forget to get drunk.

 brown cow, indeed
Hugh I was cleaning out some old emails and happened upon this neat little conundrum I came up with a while back that continues to fascinate me, as I'm sure it will you: How much pork would a porkchop chop if a porkchop could chop pork? Not an altogether pretty picture, I'll admit, as it's rather like imagining using a chicken (the other white meat) to scramble eggs. However, I think you'll agree it's a worthy and worthwhile area of metaphysical inquiry. It's a rather obvious step from the porkchop conundrum to the following koan: What is the sound of one ham slapping? (I'll wager Cathy Kidd knows the answer to this one. Come to think of it, so do a couple dozen other people who were at that party.) This all leads ineluctably, of course, to: If a pig slips and falls in the sty when the farmer's not around, does its oink make a sound? I think we can all agree that the pork mysteries are far more interesting and satisfying than the relatively pedestrian, beef-centric "How now brown cow?" First of all, why does the cow have to be brown? It seems pointlessly limiting. What about those of us who prefer the white ones with big, black splotches? Yet you never hear anyone asking "How now white cow with big, black splotches?" which renders the whole question rather less universal than its pork-related cousins. Brown cow, indeed.
Mark Reminds me of the school cheer from my hometown: "How now Holstein?" When the opposing football team would score a touchdown, the crowd on our side would shriek in unison, "How now Holstein!" This would throw our team (the Holstein Pirates) into a frenzy, resulting in multiple unanswered points (and unanswered porks). At halftime the team mascot, a black and white cow wearing a black eye patch and biting down on a dagger, would lumber onto the field and pummel a big stuffed teddy pig into a pulp, eliciting a cacophany of crazed moo's and aargh's from the crowd. This ritual helped us to remain undefeated and full of swagger, thus preventing us from sinking into the kind of metaphysical quagmire that Mr. Swarts seems to have landed in.
Hugh A pig in a poke is one thing, but a cow in pirate regalia? That's downright unnatcherl. Next you'll be bragging about the denizens of Holstein, IA going pig-tipping and singing "Cow Pirate" lustily to the tune of Eric Burdon and The Animals' "Sky Pilot." It's a good thing your parents got you out of that accursed, cow-named burg.

 this time i really mean it
Brian How happy would you all be if we named our record "Nacho Booger", and the cover photo was of all of us with our index fingers in our mouths? I can't say, myself.
Anne well, since we're not technically "locked-in" on Trigger, we COULD go back to calling it Boobfeeler...
Brian O.K., so the "Nacho Booger" idea wasn't so great. I was pointing out to Kevin Fucking Rutherford that the Thinking Fellers current "Sprint for the Gravy" has created an atmosphere of excitement and unlimited possibilities for our society in general. "In fact", I said, "Sprint For The Gravy represents quite a major movement". Of course, one should never use the words "gravy" and "movement" in the same sentence. Album title/cover: "Runnin' with the Gravy" - picture of us running with gravy-holding looks on our faces.
Hugh In fact, "Nacho Booger" was a terrible idea. I'm a bit less put off by this whole gravy angle, unless Kevin Fucking Rutherford (he of no fan base whatsoever) thinks it's a good idea. Then I say abort it now. We could call it "Runnin' On Gravy" and try to tap into the Jackson Brown fan base, which must be getting pretty senile by now. I'm afraid the only way we're going to hit the big time is if we're somehow mistaken for somebody else.

SEPTEMBER 1999when pracky
Mark Saturdee prackee ok. 2:30? 3:00?
Hugh Jay asked if 2-ish suited me and I said sure. Then Mark sent his email asking if 2:30-ish or 3-ish is OK and again I say sure. Why don't we say 3-ish? That will give me sufficient time to sleep in and still say "turd" reverently and often before having to deal with secular matters on the holy day of Say-Turd-Day.
Mark 3:00 is good because at 2:30 I'm going to be busy saying "two turd-ee" over and over.
Brian What happens after "two-turdy"? - "Pee"! What happens after "Pee"? - "Pee-Turdy"! Ouch.
Hugh Just make sure you're thinking "two turd-ee" and not "too turdy." It can never be too turdy on Say-turd-day and you will anger the gods with such blasphemy. I know from experience, as I once made this very mistake and was afflicted with an overpowering assy smell that clung to my person for many days until I was able to propitiate them. It was most unpleasant and embarrassing. (Somebody tried to tell me it's because I stopped wiping or bathing during that period, but that is nonsense -- a mere coincidence.)
Jay In the particular sect of Excrementalism I've been practicing, everyday is Say-Turd-Day. In fact, the turd mantra isn't much of a concioius chore anymore. After many years, I've finally arrived at the point where it's running and gushing out of every pore of my being--all the time. Therefore, practicing at 3pm is perfectly fine.

OCTOBER 1999sushi sunday
Anne this sunday --10/10, my 9th 29th birthday-- come join me for some sushi at Kotobuki on Piedmont ave. at 6pm. Same place we went for Alex's birthday; sorry for the repeat but it's tasty! (But I am open to suggestions for other venues. Honestly, I am.) Let me know by Friday morning if you can come, and if you're bringing a guest, so I can make a reservation. I don't expect no presents aside from raw fish.
Hugh Since you're open to suggestions for restaurants other than Kotobuki, I'd like to remind you that McDonald's (purveyors of superior American fare for over 40 years) has a location practically on your front doorstep. I'm sure nobody would be averse to going out for a tasty Happy Meal to commemorate your ninth 29th natal anniversary. (What say ye, gang?) After all, when you think about it -- when it comes right down to it, goddammit -- isn't sushi just a Japanese word meaning "beef-of-the-sea" (or "sea-beef" or "the-cute-little-beeflings-with-gills-who-dwell-beneath-the-briny-waves") or some such? Of course it is, although the Japanese are quick to deny it. (A little too quick, if you ask me.) And aren't those little rice bricks you perch the sushi on in reality a quaint Japanese attempt to emulate the hamburger bun? Of course they are, although, once again, sadly but predictably, the Japanese are quick to dismiss this notion as absurd and fantastical -- an effrontery to both their culture and cuisine. Do we really want to eat hamburgers by proxy? Why not enjoy the real (i.e. American) McCoy? Though the above points scarcely seem to require reinforcement, I would also like to point out that it's a well-established fact that green tea is a distant, poorer, much runnier cousin of the Shamrock Shake. To say nothing of the complete absence of ketchup to help take some of the bite out of that spicy green mustard they give you. Yours informatively, Dr. Professor Larry “Donburi” Noodles P.S. I think I know what I'm talking about when it comes to Japanese cuisine, as I once subjected the Iron Chef to a humiliating, televised defeat with my peerless chili-and-cheddar-cheese-smothered, deep-fat-fried ballpark franks. They edited out the part where I taunted him, saying, "What's the matter, Iron Chef? Lose face? I got your face right here!" while pointing at my ass. Heh-heh. Showed him! Fucker.

 new name
Hugh Fuddy-Duddy? No. Funny-Bunny
Anne how about just "Fun Bun" ?
Hugh I've been conducting an informal survey lately. To the question "Which album title is more likely to catapult TFUL to superstardom and transform the band into a mega-platinum, music industry superpower: Trigger, or The People From In There?," the unanimous response was the latter. Not so surprising that The People From in There would be more popular, perhaps, but what's really weird is that all respondents also said this would happen if and only if we also changed the band name to The Porks. The hell? How did they all come up with that independently of eachother? Uncanny. I haven't had a chance to poll people about the album title 'Fun Bun' yet.
Brian I was giving Bunny some advice last night and it dawned on me that many of of our fans may benefit from it as well. I think naming our record, "YOU SHOULDN'T FILL UP ON POOP!", would be just the wakeup call that a lot of TFUL282 likers need.
Hugh Maybe "Don't Fill Up On Poop!" would be more suitable for our fans than "You Shouldn't Fill Up On Poop!" "You shouldn't" implies some degree of individual discretion and latitude, whereas "don't" is more directly admonitory and proscriptive. Our fans are manifestly incapable of acting responsibly, and even if they could think for themselves and make the right decisions, I'm sure they'd prefer to be ordered around by us instead. I'm convinced if we leave them even the narrowest opportunity to make their own decisions, our fans will run amok, gorging on poop, in an orgy of self-indulgence.
Brian I honestly thought about "DON'T FILL UP ON POOP" but I was hoping to trick our fans into thinking that we see them as being worthy of saving. Its to be read as us saying, "I don't want you, my close friend and beloved colleague, to fill up on poop ... not when you will be needing so much of room for my big dick." Obviously, the feeling is good.

 Say Turd Day
Hugh I have to make some decisions this afternoon regarding my social calendar for the weekend. Since I've not heard anybody howl in protest or suggest something else, I assume we're going with the suggestion put forth by Jay and seconded by me (aka Yours Truly Excellently)? Namely, 12:30-ish to 3:30-ish tomorrow? I know BART's always an option, but I prefer car. Car better much better good. Car yes. Vroom vroom, Caryesman
Mark 12:30 Say Turd Day good by me. When I take BART people stare at me while I am saying Turd over and over. In my car, not only can I be free in my turdsaying, but I can play a tape in the stereo of James Earl Jones and Ken Nordine saying Turd also.
Brian I'm certainly glad that someone else likes that Ken Nordine / James Earl Jones "Say the word "turd"" album! I heard the record is from last year's "Emphasis on "Turd" Competition". The nature of the competition was changed forever by those two. Before them, the heats consisted mostly of people like Peter Coyote and Helen Hunt spitting the word "turd" at one another with desparation and vitriol. Everyone left these competitions quite depressed - unbelievable, when you consider the joy even an amateur speaker can experience from just sitting and saying "turd" in the privacy of a parked car or bathtub! JEJ and Nordine unplugged the competition aspect of the event entirely and, through careful interplay, managed to construct a palpable cathedral of "turds". Nothing has been the same since.
Hugh Yeah, I'm a big fan of the whole spoken turd scene. (You might even say I'm a spoken turd scene-turd.) You can't do any better than Ken Nordine or James Earl Jones, but you have to be careful with some of the other stuff that's coming out these days. I was really disappointed (appalled, in fact) by the recent Jello Biafra/Henry Rollins collaboration album under the pseudonym James Fennimore Pooper where they tried to turn “The Deerslayer” into “The Turdsayer.” My advice is don't buy it. And if you've already bought it don't listen to it. It's really a crappy record. “Crappy”; in all the wrong ways, that is. Very disappointing.

DECEMBER 1999our rider
Anne Load in Saturday at 6:30; soundcheck immediately following. I'll find out about set times & door open times shortly. They've already sold 150 tickets on Ticket web, so if you know of non-guest-list friends, acquaintances or co-workers who say they are going to go, suggest that they buy ahead of time-- However: Ramona says they WILL hold back about 75 tickets to be sold at the door for folks who don't have credit cards, or who just like to walk up & buy. What else? We have 15 slots for guest list. Regards, your booking agent
Brian There are just a couple of other things I would like Ramona to take care of: I don't like her dictating when we're supposed to load in and sound check. Saturday is not yet born and here we are trying to tell it how it will be. I think we should let Saturday bloom in its own way. Also, it would be nice if she could make an effort to soften the atmosphere in an around the venue so that when we arrive, we can can feel like we want to be there. Some trees lining the street outside; some warm, sweet-smelling, natural fiber floor coverings, friendly helpers who smile and look us in the eye when they speak gently and call us by our names, a man in a red cape kneading his bare ass while we soundcheck - that sort of thing.
Mark I prefer to have a set of various liqueurs in president-shaped decanters to put me in the proper mood to play. The way I like it best is like this:
Fine Cognac in a Woodrow Wilson shaped flask. Chartreuse in a Harry S Truman decanter. Single malt Scotch in a two-tone Franklin Roosevelt commemorative edition fluted bottle. Peppermint Schnapps in a Gerald Ford bottle (I know that sounds a bit gauche, but it helps prepare me for some of the "grittier" moments of our performance). Amaretto in the Richard Nixon "Victory Sign" decanter. Moonshine whiskey in a Herbert Hoover shaped tin cup.
If Ramona could arrange this I would be most appreciative, and all involved would benefit from the inspired performance it will evoke from me. Thanks, Mark