The Ministry of Cropaganda Proudly Presents the Official Newsletter of The Knights of The Auto Order:
Volume II, Number 8
The Auto Body Estimate Episode XXX, March 1992

Last time I started out our letter with a scheme, concerning a lawsuit I devised, in an attempt to avoid real work. Since then I've come up with another, perhaps inspired by my reading of an autobiography by Brian Wilson. This time I'm going to sue my parents for not mistreating me enough to ensure I'd become a "truly great" artist.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Brain Wilson, he is well known for the beatings his dad gave him as a kid, his schizophrenia and drug abuse, as well as for his work as the founding member of the Beach Boys: he produced and wrote all their hits, including Good Vibrations, Heroes and Villains, God Only Knows, etc... Maybe the fact that I admit to having listened to the Beach Boys as a kid and still enjoy them today disqualifies me from the "un-mistreated" category.

While speaking of marred reputations of addicted Californians, I read something interesting about Sonny and Cher. It turns out that one of their biggest tunes was, unbeknownst to me, actually about their struggle to give up cigarettes, and their poor choice of chewing tobacco as a substitute. That's right: "I've Got Chew, Babe".

But wait, this letter mentions yet another performer from the 60's! I recently flew to Boston to play with Gene "Town Without Pity" Pitney. I have a problem with flying: I'm deathly afraid of missing my flight. The cheap tickets I buy always say something like "Should you for any reason not be able to make this flight, you will not be reimbursed nor allowed on a later flight. Not only will you forfeit the price of the ticket, but one or more of our surliest employees will severely thrash you with verbal reprimands...." However, once I'm on the plane, and several flight attendants have confirmed our destination, I'm OK. And it's there I do my best thinking. Here's an example. Anyone who has flown knows the ritual of ignoring the flight attendant as he/she demonstrates how to fasten your safety belt and use the oxygen mask in the unlikely occurrence of cabin depressurization. However, this new, fancy plane was equipped with TV monitors which demonstrated these procedures on video. I figured that since statistics tell us we are more likely to have an accident in our homes than on a commercial flight, why not show a film on bathroom safety instead, complete with a "how-to" segment concerning the installation of self-adhesive, non-slip tape to the bottom of the tub.

I had another thought on the plane: When people ask me how a performance has gone, I'll often say "Well, no one was killed." This strikes me as funny; no matter what went right or wrong, lives certainly weren't hanging in the balance. Well, I read about a performer for whom this would apparently be an accomplishment. This excerpt is from the Boston Globe, Jan 26, 1992: "Coachella, Calif. - A nightclub singer pulled out a gun and started shooting into the audience yesterday after a patron leaped to the stage and shot him, police said. One man was killed and 10 others were wounded. A man shot on the dance floor died, authorities said."

On to Auto Body news. As a member of The Crops, I learned that the release of an album is a process even slower than the return of tax refund checks, and consequently, saying that your album will be out soon is the '90's version of crying wolf. With this in mind, I've kept quiet for a long time and now I can't wait any longer! Our tape is mixed, it will be edited by the time you get this, and the cover photo and most the artwork are completed. Right now we're waiting for several major labels to enter into a bidding war for our services. Should this fail to materialize, we do have a back-up plan involving the removal of credit card carbon receipts from shopping mall dumpsters. Anyone with a need for large tax write-offs should call our hotline at 699-6393.

We've also got some new tunes for you including "Near The Cheese", yet another song about strange occurrences in the supermarket. Come and hear it and others at one of these fine gigs: on Thursday, March 12th we'll be at the Cabooze. Lovers Under Pressure are first, we're second (starting around 10:30), and Tequila Mockingbird is third. We'll play all night at St. Cloud's own Red Carpet on Tuesday, March 24th. Apparently, Farm Accident's newsletter has our band listed as playing a gig with them, although no one's ever mentioned it to us, so let this be a lesson to everyone: it's always a good idea to call the club and find out who they think is playing.

Love, Scott & Erik & Matt & Tom & Gizmo & Senator Helms

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