The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #56, February 2004


Last weekend we attended Dave P.'s housewarming party. The fancy spread included great looking sushi rolls, complete with rice and the traditional seaweed wrapping. It turned out that what looked like cucumber inside them was in fact dill pickle, and what looked like salmon was indeed fried Spam. The flavor was unique, but the taste was questionable... (what can you expect from a guy who owns every Auto Body Experience and Crops recording ever made?) While that might not have been my favorite sushi ever, I do have a favorite kind of spam; I love receiving emails like the following:

"I am Mr. Benjamin Dover, a member of a special committee C.R.P. (Contract Review Panel) setup by the present civilian government of Turdandistan. We are saddled with the task of auditing the account of government parastatals and ministries for the past 10 years. In the course of our work in the committee we discovered this funds which resulted from gross invaluation of contracts..."

For those lucky few of you who've never seen anything like this, refers to this as the Nigerian Scam, where "A wealthy foreigner needs your help moving millions of dollars from his homeland to yours and will reward you with a hefty percentage of this fortune if you agree to assist him." While I have nothing but sympathy for the victims of these rackets (it's happened to family of friends), it is a bit exciting to know that the contact phone number provided in such an email could connect me to a real-life con artist. I'm tempted to call and just shoot the breeze about whether they've ever pulled off scams like those in the movies "The Grifters" or "The Sting". But I suppose my romantic idea of what a con man's day is like probably doesn't coincide very accurately with real life, any more than do my romantic ideas of the life of an inventor ("It's a pocket business card shredder - perfect for boring cocktail parties!").

But I should stop gabbing and return to the topics at hand. In addition to having many copies of three Auto Body Experience CDs in my basement, I now have many products by our 1980s band, The Crops (two CDs and a DVD!) as well. And I just want to give them to you, along with the sum of $25,500,000.00 (Twenty-five million, five hundred thousand) in Canuckistanian currency, and I will do so just as soon as some paperwork delays are resolved. (Imagine some time-passing segue music here). Well, it seems that a few local officials may need to be bribed, but it's really a small bribe compared to the huge sums I wish to send you - it works out to roughly $12 per CD, $14 per DVD and $2 shipping per order. Like so many things in life, at some point you just have to ask yourself the "Dirty Harry" question: "Do I feel lucky?"

Friday the thirteenth is a day of dubious significance, and not just because it's the title of the horror film featuring the slicecapades of Jason the hockey enthusiast. The number 13 itself has enough baggage from the world of superstition - there's no thirteenth floor in tall buildings, hotels and hospitals avoid naming rooms with this number, and schools refusing to teach multiplication tables past twelve are just a few examples. Add to this Friday, clearly the worst day of the week to expect any quality work to be done by any American, and a bad day for anyone in New Ulm Minnesota who doesn't like to eat fish. The origins of Friday having a bad rap may be traced in the bible – it was the day that Jesus was crucified and Eve was said to have tasted the forbidden fruit. Friday the thirteenth lore may be traced here too as Judas was the thirteenth guest at the last supper, and he sort of got busted there, then things went bad for his boss.

There are those, however, who believe that Friday the 13th is a lucky day. Okay, I can't name anyone other than myself, but I'd like to believe this because I was born on Friday the thirteenth. (My dad says he was too, but that was a long time ago, and since my lyric forgetting-memory is the product of the same gene pool, we're not putting a lot of stock in his recollections…). In order to test the pros and cons of this special day, I challenge you to come down and witness our upcoming gig at Lee's Liquor Lounge on Friday, February 13th. We hope Max (our woodwind representative) will be there, although as of this writing his wife Laura should have already given birth to their first child, and has not, so it's anyone's guess where Max will be. While we know keyboardist Trey can't be there (he'll be attending a seminar in Nigeria on how to win big in office football pools), we hope Greg H. Smith (a friend of mine from Brainerd High School) will actually show up and play in his place, and hope our trusty percussionist Kent will remember where to sing some of Trey's vocal parts. We hope you'll enjoy some of our new tunes, many of which we've never played in front of anyone but Gizmo and guest dog Bailey (who's deaf, and, untroubled by the crashing cymbals and other din will rest her chin on Tom's Akita -scented knee while he plays bass in rehearsal). If all goes well at this, of all gigs, I'd say I have some impressive support of my lucky day theory.

Best wishes, Scott Yoho, Grand Pooh Bah, Knights of The Auto Order

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