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..."


  1. As a non-Dukes fan (it's both an age and Northern thing), I was clueless as to who Tom Wopat was. I can tell you Lodi is a rather unassuming place, so I'm shocked to learn how popular it is!

    Will you please call the mayor and hold the interview for realsies? And do a podcast?

  2. Wow! Only one degree of Bacon? I'm impressed. Lodi needs to build this man a statue. #TeamLuke forvever!

    (this is the third time that I have tried to comment, so at some point my comment may pop up two more times.)

  3. Haha! I have missed you, Bone, and you are in fine form with your writing and humor, as always. I'm betting your phone call to Lodi would've been the highlight of their month...and maybe their year? :)

  4. I'm from the north and I watched the Dukes religiously as a kid. And maybe it's a girl thing, but I was fiercely #TeamBo.

  5. I think I am as confused as Mayor (name retracted). ;)

  6. Why aren't you famous?
    This was hilarious from first line to last
    Please don't ask for favorite line. There were too many
    Would you like to call Verizon for me and order and iphone 6+ for me. Your call made much more sense than my chat/

  7. Okay, I had to google Tom Wopat and he really was born in Lodi, who'd known, and now must be some nightclub singer. Good interview, Bone, way to get to the heart of the matter and sorry that she's married.

  8. PS: I forgot to mention the other day that I was really impressed that his resume includes Phineas & Ferb! #LoveThatShow #NotJustForKids

  9. You had me at Tom Wopat--definitely the superior Duke cousin. Sigh. Your whole fabulous script here has me craving some Boss Hogg.

  10. One time I met John Schneider. That's all.

  11. Will you please write something? Anything?
    You are missed!

  12. Ah, it seems we're both missing from the blog world these days. I hope you're well, Bone, and that one of these days I'll check and see a new post from you. I hope to do the same! I miss your "it-warms-my-heart-and-makes-me-smile" writing.