The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #60, October 2004

I'm sure you're familiar with the "…For Dummies" series of books. Following the lesson taught by Hollywood filmmakers, the initial 1991 success of "Dos For Dummies" spawned an avalanche of sequels ALL designed to explain things in simple terms. (Who would have thought the use of the Spanish word for "two" could have warranted a whole book?) As I pondered today's immense list of "Dummies" titles (including "Home Colonoscopies For Dummies", "Space Shuttle Emergency Procedures for Dummies", and "The U.S. Presidency For Dummies") I began to wonder if this publisher wasn't taking advantage of us. Wouldn't a far more direct solution to the problem be to simply publish ONE title, called, say, "Intelligence For Dummies" and be done with it?

Then my conspiratorial mind kicked in. I'm sure you've heard variations on the story: the big three auto manufacturers learn of some small company developing a highly-efficient vehicle, which runs on some cheap alternate fuel source, and they buy out the developer, but then never seem to incorporate the acquired technology into their fleet. Similarly, I'll bet the publisher of the "Dummies" books is sitting on an "Intelligence For Dummies" manuscript, and it ticks me off, because I could really use the intellectual help. But then again, I'd certainly hate for this information to be released before I sell them the title I've recently penned: "Ventriloquism For Dummies".

Here's another thing I've been concerned about lately, perhaps because of my limited mental prowess. Some of you may have heard of Epcot Center at Disney World. This is a place where, in the privacy of your own nation, you can visit glimpses of different countries from around the globe. You can walk down recreations of a Parisian street, a Moroccan market, or Oktoberfest in Munich. What worries me is the idea that that the Disney theme parks in Paris or Japan might have similar exhibitions. What if they recreated a Minnesota community with your house in it - things could start to get a little weird. What if you went there, peeked in the window, and saw your wife and children and dog, all gleefully interacting with someone better looking and obviously smarter than you? Scary.

Trying to switch the subject to happier thoughts, I've really excited that they're releasing more and more classic TV shows on DVD. The one I'm still waiting for is a 70's classic "Alias, Smith and Jones." I hope the DVD will explain one thing I never figured out about the series: how come there was just the two guys? Perhaps Alias was killed off in the pilot episode. I have the same problem with Mary, Kate and Ashley.

Ah, but enough about me and my self-deprecating brand of attempted humor. My band, the Auto Body Experience, will be warming up The Clumsy Lovers at O'Gara's on Wednesday, October 13th. Did I mention self-deprecating? Hailing all the way from Vancouver, the Clumsy Lovers combine Celtic folk rock with clever lyrics, good singing, and enough fun to fill two large countries in North America. I believe we'll begin playing around 9:00 (and actually do an hour-plus set) and the cover is $8.

Then, just a week later, we'll be at Lees Liquor Lounge on Thursday, October 21. We're sharing the bill with Popcycle and again will start around 9:00 PM and play one long-ish set for no cover.

Need more details, direction to the gig, or low-cost psychological help of highly dubious merit? Send me an email at and I'll reply between studying chapters of "CPR Training Techniques for Dummies".

-Scott Yoho, Grand Pooh Bah, The Auto Body Experience

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