Sunday, September 14, 2014

The great omission of Tom Wopat

On September 9th, 2014, small screen legend Thomas Steven "Tom" Wopat celebrated his 63rd birthday.  Yet in his hometown of Lodi, Wisconsin, there was no celebration.  Not so much as a mention of what surely should be its favorite son.  For in Lodi, there is no roadside marker, no memorial bridge, no sign whatsoever designating it as Wopat's hometown.  In fact, a cursory check of the city's website instead proudly proclaims Lodi as the "Home of Susie the Duck."

Barely esteemed, yet erratic, blogger Bone set out to investigate this, one of the great injustices of our time.  He (almost) contacted Lodi, Wisconsin, Mayor (name redacted).  Their conversation (had it occurred) could have been as follows (but most likely would have gone nothing like this at all).

Judge for yourself.

Mayor: "Mayor (redacted).  May I help you?"

Bone: "So you say."

M: "Excuse me?"

B: "I'm going to ask you a couple of questions to prove that you are indeed the Mayor of Lodi."

M: "....OK?"

B: "Where do the Packers play?"

M: "Lambeau Field."

B: "Wrong.  We were looking for the frozen tundra.  We also would have accepted Green Bay.  Or, Earth. Question two, foreign policy: What is the capital of Uzbekistan?"

M: "Tashkent."

B: "Wow.  I have no idea, but that sounded like you really knew."

B: "Is it or is it not true that Adele works in your office?"  (According to the Lodi website, the City Clerk is Adele "Van Ness.")

M: "...Yes.  But how do you know Ms. Van Ness?"

B: "Van Ness?  I thought her last name was Blue.  Or Violet.  Or something."

M: "Van Ness is her married name."

B: "Adele is married?!?!"

M: "I'm not sure we're talking about the same person."

B:  "Does she sing?"

M: "I hear her singing sometimes when she's in the restroom."

B: "Are you admitting you have surveillance equipment in your employee restrooms?  I believe this violates Code of the Wisconsin Statute of Limitations.  I can also cite the legal precedent set in the case of Tommy Lasorda v. the state of California."

M: "My secretary said you were with the IRS."

B: "Wow.  Really?  She bought that?"

M: "Excuse me?"

B: "Oh, uh, Mister (redacted), if that really IS your name, is it true that you hate Tom Wopat?"

M: "Why would you say that?"

B: "How else do you explain the fact that there is no historical marker, roadside sign, or other apparatus designating Lodi as the birthplace of Mister Wopat?"

M: "I guess it's just never come up."

B: "Oh, it's never come up, you say?  Yet what HAS come up is a huge-ass sign designating your fair city as the home of Susie.  The duck."

M: "People love Susie."

B: "That's not even a duck name.  Donald.  Daffy.  Howard.  Huey, Dewey, Louie.  These are duck names."

M: "Those are all fictional characters."

B: "Your momma's a fictional character!!!"

M: "Are we about done?"

B: "What about Daisy?"

M: "Daisy?"

B: "Yeah.  Daisy Duck.  Has a nice ring to it."

M: "I don't think so."

B: "Do you even know who Tom Wopat is?"

M: "Of course."

B: "Well allow me to refresh your memory.  According to IMDB, Tom Wopat is, and I quote, a virile, blue-eyed, dark-haired, plaid-shirted rascal on the rough-and-tumble bucolic 80s series 'The Dukes of Hazzard.'  Unquote!  Kinda reminds me of myself, actually."


B: "What is it, Mayor (redacted)?  Is it a North-South thing?  Is there still a Civil War raging in your mind?"

M: "That's ludicrous!"

B: "And is it true that you are such a huge John Schneider fan that you have every episode of 'Smallville' recorded on VHS and always preferred Bo to Luke Duke?  Is it? Is it?!?!"

M: ".......Maybe."

B: "Ah-HAAAA!"

M: "Well, Bo did always drive.  And that hood slide was awesome."

B: "Luke could have driven that General Lee just as well as Bo!  OK, maybe not just as well, but he could've gotten them to the Boar's Nest.  Or Cooter's garage.  Or Capitol City.  Wherever they needed to go.  Eventually."

M: "I suppose."

B: "You suppose?  YOU suppose?  Well, look everybody, Mister Big Shot Mayor supposes!  Do you SUPPOSE any of this would be happening if Denver Pyle were still alive???  Do you?  Do you???"

M: "I don't see how that would have affected anything."

B: "....Yeah, OK, probably not.  You do realize 'The Dukes of Hazzard' is not the only thing Tom Wopat has done, right?  He does those AutoTrader commercials.  He was the voice of Wilkins Brother #2 on 'Phineas & Ferb.'  And, AND, he was in the made-for-TV thriller 'Taking Chance' with Kevin Bacon.  That's ONE degree of Kevin Bacon if you're having trouble counting there, Mister Mayor.  So stick that feather in your cheesehead hat and call it macaroni!"

M: "Listen closely.  I'm going to report you to the authorities and...."

B: "What are your thoughts on Coy & Vance?"

M: "If you ever call this office again..."

B: "Thanks for your time!"

M: "You will be incarcerated."

B: "Tell Adele I love her!!!"

"Things got bad and things got worse.  I guess you know the tune.  Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again..."

Monday, September 08, 2014

Doctor-patient confidential

Setting: Examination room in a doctor's office, aka the smaller waiting room after the first waiting room.  Planet: Earth, most likely.  Date: Circa 21st Century in the year of our Lord.

A child in a man's body sits on the butcher paper, awaiting his fate, admiring the walls...

This is a nice color.  Sort of a Kelly green.  Pleasant.  Non-jarring.  Very well-painted, too.  Absolutely no bleed-over onto the door frame.  Clearly done by a professional.  No one like me could've painted this.  Oh God, is this what home ownership does to a person?  The doctor will be here soon.  Should I take off my pants, or do I wait for him to tell me?  I can't remember.  I better take 'em off, just to be safe.  No wait, that's at the masseuse where you take off your...

"Oh, hi doc."

"How are ya?"  Why are this guy's pants unbuckled?  Every day it's weirdos around here.  I should've just done like my mother wanted, and been a classical pianist.

"Doing OK."  Pretty sure I'm dying.  Please help me.  Please.

"So what seems to be the problem?"  Yeah, pianist.  For Elise versus examining someone's goiter.  What the hell was I thinking?

I just told the lady that brought me in here.  Did she not tell you?  What was that all for?  Wait a second, does she even work here???

"Well, let's have a look."  I'll stick this thing in his ear, use my trusty stethoscope, and maybe bang on his knee with this little hammer I got down at the Walgreens so he'll think I know what I'm talking about. Ankle bone's connected to the shin bone, shin bone's connected to the knee bone, the knee bone's connected to the... hmm... now what was the knee bone connected to?  I always forget that one!  "Well, that all looks fine. How long has this been bothering you?"

"Four or five days, I guess."  STILL with the stethoscope???  They were using those on Little House on the Prairie.  Have we not advanced beyond this?  And what's he doing on that laptop?  Probably on WebMD or something.

"Let me just make some notes here."  Double-you, double-you, double-you, dot, web-emm-dee, dot com....  Symptom checker, click... Hmm... Oh man, this doesn't look good.  Holy $*#&! I've never even heard of that.  Phew, am I glad I'm not this guy!

"So, uh, am I gonna be OK?"  Is it West Nile?  Mad Cow?  I thought they eradicated that!!!!  Rabies?  Is it rabies???  NoCatheterNoCatheterNoCatheterNoCatheterNoCath...

"Well, we're gonna run some tests, just to rule out anything serious."  Do you believe in miracles?

"OK.  Thanks, doc."  Somehow I'm never quite sure I get my eighty bucks worth here.

"She'll be in here in a few minutes to take some blood.  You can, uh, probably go ahead and buckle up."  Good God, they don't pay me enough to deal with this crap every day.

"Doctor my eyes / Tell me what is wrong / Was I unwise to leave them open for so long..."