by Harvey Pekar
& Tara Seibel
Easton Town Center
* * * * *
by Rick Brown
mere two years after the release of religious themed rock opera
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, composer
Andrew Lloyd Webber (along with lyricist Tim Rice) struck gold
with Jesus Christ Superstar. Despite controversy …it
was after all 1970…J.C.S. is a pretty sedate
Using Pete Townshend’s groundbreaking Tommy as
a template, Webber utilizes 8…maybe 9 melodies with infectious
pop hooks to string together his rock and roll passion play.
I could easily make the argument that this is the formula for
everything Webber has ever produced. But that’s another
Man Grows Gargantuan Mushrooms in Basement!!
Ohio – Local resident Rick Brown has shocked the world
by growing what can only be described as “gargantuan mushrooms”.
Using a mail order mushroom kit, he has successfully cultivated
fungi for the ages. Beginning with a 24-hour soak in non-chlorinated
water, and with hours and hours of misting, Brown has been almost
able to watch his mushrooms grow.
Are These Baptists Doing on My Porch?
didn’t get Henri specifically because he’s a babe
magnet. My wife is allergic to dogs and the Bichon Frise is
as non-allergenic as any breed of dog. The babe magnet thing
is just an appealing benefit to the deal. Translated from the
French, “Bichon Frise” literally means “allurer
of the femme fatale\”. Oh sure...it’s a little hard
to believe. In fact, I first incorrectly assumed “Bichon
Frise” must mean something like “magnet of the freezer”,
or as it’s known in this country, “refrigerator
magnet”. Fortunately I was way off base on this and Henri
Richard is indeed a babe magnet. Although the breed is initially
thought to have originated in Spain the Bichon flourished in
the royal courts of France. The height of it’s popularity
came in the late 16th century when King Henry III carried his
beloved dogs everywhere he went in a special basket that hung
around his neck. My conclusion? BABE MAGNET! Perhaps he was
trying to attract boys. Maybe he was just being foofy himself.
I’m going with my own mythology.
The truth of this became very evident to me on a day trip to
the college town of Athens, Ohio where Ohio University is located.
While strolling around the town’s small shops holding
Henri in my arms (This works much better for both you and doggie
if held in the arms. The breed only weighs between 14 and 18
pounds...and I’m assuming carrying him in my arms is way
more comfortable than a basket dangling from my noggin.) I was
approached by what seemed to be hoards of young co-eds. ÒOOOHHH!
Look at the CUTE little puppy! He’s so ADORABLE!! Sure
So a couple weeks ago I’m home alone with the pup when
there’s a loud knock on my front door. I’m not fond
in any way of surprise visits by anyone, especially people convinced
that I cannot live my life any longer without whatever it is
they have to sell me. I peered through the curtains to see a
portly, balding middle aged man in an ill fitting suit and spectacles
accompanied by a woman perhaps in her early 30’s. She
had blonde hair that certainly had been paid for and just a
bit too much eye makeup a la Britney Spears. She was wearing
a leather jacket, a skirt not quite short enough to be called
“mini” but certainly short enough to be labeled
“intriguing” and heels that would never ever be
called “professional”...at least not in the corporate
sense. Had this woman’s hair been “teased”
as they used to say in the early 60’s I would have sworn
I’d gone back in time. (“I met him in the candy
store. He turned around and smiled at me. Get the picture? That’s
when I fell for...the Leader of the Pack!”) Anyway, these
two certainly did not look like they were together.
I picked Henri up in my arms to quell his barking and opened
the front door. The man in the bad suit immediately greeted
me with, “We’re from the Capital City Baptist Church
and we’re visiting your neighborhood to see if people
are saved and are attending church. Do you sir, attend church
regularly?” Wow...these guys were BAPTISTS!! Right there
on my front porch!! Fond memories of childhood rushed into my
brain. Many a time my mother...in order to avoid the Jehovah’s
Witnesses...would have my sister, two brothers and I crouch
behind the living room sofa with her and pretend no one was
home. Although as a boy this made me feel a little guilty it
sure as hell was exciting! Then...after the Witnesses grew weary
of knocking and...clutching their “free” literature
in dejection...left our porch, mom would treat us all to ice
cream! I guess it was some sort of “anti-proselytizing”
celebration. More than likely...knowing my mother...it was just
yet another excuse to eat ice cream. I didn’t care.
I lied to the guy. After all...he was on MY front porch uninvited.
I told him I had been raised Lutheran (true enough) and that
my wife and I attended Clinton Heights Lutheran Church (untrue
enough). Raising his eyebrows...which had more hair than the
top of his head...he replied, “Lutheran huh? Well, at
least you aren’t CATHOLIC!” He said this as if I
somehow should be relieved. I was half okay in his book. My
glass was half full. Yet I was sure by the end of this conversation
he would believe my glass to be half empty...at the very least.
Then he went into the Baptist mantra. “We believe everyone
has to be born again.” Blah, blah.
I really don’t have anything against Baptists...QUIET
Baptists that is. The problem is...I can’t FIND ANY quiet
Baptists. And after a young Baptist minister turned my father’s
funeral into a Carnival for Christ I suppose I’m a little
defensive. But I was polite and half listened to the man’s
witnessing...after which I said, “Yes...I know that’s
what you believe.” He seemed befuddled by my comment.
A befuddled man in an ill-fitting suit. I told him I studied
theology in college. He became very silent...the scene awkward
and a bit uncomfortable when all of a sudden I heard.....”Your
dog is SO CUTE!! He is just ADORABLE! What kind is he? Can I
pet him?” The terribly secular looking Baptist babe had
overcome her shyness. And it dawned on me that she wasn’t
really what we used to call at church camp (where I was a counselor
during my college summers) a “P.T.” This is an abbreviation
for a word starting with “P” and rhyming my first
name (Rick) followed by what boys do to their little sisters
when they’re children (tease). P.T.s ACTED all religious
and stuff but dressed like they were “ready to go”
and on occasion they would look at you like they were “ready
to go...with YOU!!”...if you catch my drift. P.Ts could
be fellow counselors, minister’s wives or even ministers
themselves. Oh they would never ADMIT any of this lustful behavior.
That’s where the “tease” part comes from.
But this woman seemed to be merely pushing the boundaries of
submissive Baptist woman criteria. (Apparently Baptists believe
this submissive Baptist woman criteria is written right there
in the New Testament...although I’ve yet to come upon
it in my research.)
So whilst this coy, boundary pushing, attractive woman was fawning
all over Henri what conclusion could I come to? BABE MAGNET!!
The three of us spoke of nothing but Henri from that point on
and the pair soon left. I realized Henri obviously has no “religiosity
filter”. He probably has no filters whatsoever. He is
intensely, sincerely, skillfully a tried and true BABE MAGNET!
No matter their politics and/or religious views. Henry III couldn't
be wrong could he? I'm curious as to what may or may not transpire
if I get a visit from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But...just
to be on the safe side...I moved the couch away from the wall...leaving
enough room for a man and his little dog.
published in Crapshoot!
by Sue Lense
Donna Maria Distel
by Rick Brown
I heard Ted Kane (Pot Luck) was getting married this past summer,
I was excited about the opportunity to travel west. I probably
would never visit the Los Angeles area without a good reason.
And this was a great reason.
Ted got me started writing in 2000, back in the Crapshoot!
days. I don’t think I’ve seen him more than once
since he moved to the West Coast either. The fact that my wife
Yvonne was finally able to utilize some frequent flyer points
and also our friends Margaret and Craig would drive down from
Santa Cruz and spend time with us, was icing on the wedding cake!
I am swallowing
i am inward
I tranquilize inside
I pound sometimes
cowardice keeps slapping it's bitches
i could yell you out of me sometimes
always verses moving
i am creating
i am excuses
I am always starved for more
i am sliding toward
But not into you
lately I just disappoint
words become boots
kicking splintering ribs
and prisoners of the
blues become skies
i am below the curve
you shake inward
i am engines
at times you sweat mean
twist hard hands beneath
i am the orgasm
our spirits angry as bees
they are moving
they will not implode
i am pounding
Easton Town Center
* * * *
by Rick Brown
been attending and reviewing Shadowbox shows for over six years
now. And the night out begins with waiting in line, exchanging
pleasantries at the door (usually with guitarist extraordinaire
Matthew Hahn), chatting with cast members and ordering a surprisingly
delicious dinner and bottle of wine. Most times than not, during
our wait for food our table is approached…as is almost everyone…by
the “Raffle Girl/Guy”. This is the job usually given
to new troupe members. Consequently, they might or might not recognize
the “regulars”. This exchange can, depending on how
exuberant the Raffle Girl/Guy is on any particular evening, range
from fun to awkward. Since the Shadowbox people are always generous
with me I always buy tickets. But I know the experience is uncomfortable
for some, especially those on a tight budget.
Still, I know how much a hustle the entertainment/arts scene has
to be. And despite the fact I have never won the raffle
in 6 ½ years I like to support in any way I can. Yet even
my unabashed sensibilities were challenged this night…not
by the raffle…but the prizes. Again, I understand
this is an attempt to raise money with sponsor’s gifts as
the winner’s take home treasure. And I have no problem with
a sex toy party. I wouldn’t GO to one. Call me old fashioned
but sex toys are a private matter to me. But this night’s
booty went well beyond a few nice gifts with a sex toy party thrown
in for bawdiness. Dinner for me and my “guy friends”
at Hooters followed by a visit to a strip club would be my “guy
prize” while my wife Yvonne’s “girl prize”
would be three free pole dancing lessons…and of course the
sex toy party.
Beyond being totally heterocentric, I mean…who really would
want to win this stuff? How about a little balance? A
2 for 1 drink coupon good for your next Shadowbox performance?
Or a CD of house band BillWho? Or a Shadowbox shirt autographed
by the troupe’s veteran players…and of course, a sex
toy party? I’m guessing more raffle tickets might be purchased,
everyone can still make sex toy jokes, and possibly win something
they actually would like to own.
Okay, end of Reverend Brown’s sermon. The show is actually
quite good. Opening sketch “The Exorsister” leans
on a one-joke premise. But because actors Jimmy Mak (Kirby) and
his fellow “spazoid” friends utilize sight gags and
an occasional pratfall so well while tormenting his older sister,
it works. “Rosemary’s Baby Shower” follows a
similar single premise formula with less success.