The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #69, January 2007

The TCF bank that inspired the song “Waiting in Line” was torn down recently to make way for the new Walgreen’s I mentioned in my last missive. A few thousand feet south of the new building is the previous Walgreen’s site, which is now vacant. Everyday as I drive by I fantasize about what might move into the empty building. My first choice? A go-kart track!

I’ve actually raced at an indoor track located in the former home of a Kmart and it was a blast. I imagine they ventilate it sufficiently as even after an hour of racing you don’t get that feeling like you left the garage door shut while running the snowmobile. The only thing I think could improve the experience would have been to have left the Kmart stock in place. That way you could race go-karts AND pick up a few things at the same time. Imagine grabbing q-tips or a new shirt with one hand as you steer around your racing adversary with the other (before a quick hairpin to avoid the intimate apparel). That’s multitasking made fun!

I’ve just learned that the indoor track I’ve visited has moved to a location further out of town (perhaps to steer clear of legal issues) and has since added paintball to its list of activities. Now that sounds like a dangerous combination (but probably safer than combing go-karts and bowling.)

Part of the attraction for me is the recycling of the Kmart building for purposes other than its original intent. I love repurposing. I’m always scheming of ways to do this with the inventive technology used in things we get for Erik. His Diaper Genie is a clever device. It manages to hold a bunch of dirty diapers without stinking up a room. I wonder how different the world would be today if Alfred Nobel had invented a Diaper Genie instead of dynamite – but I digress. I can see repurposing a larger version for gangsters who need to dispose of rival corpses (you might call it a Body Genie or a Body Gino…)

Naming a new device is significant challenge, although sometimes it’s easier than others. One of the great toys Erik got for Christmas this year is a hoop and net that connects to the side of the bath tub by means of a suction cup. It comes with tiny basketballs that can be tossed through the hoop. I’m imagining a brainstorming session at the toy company as they tried to generate some possible names for this one. Did they even bother to write down additional names after they got to “bath-ket-ball?”

Our holiday turned a little sad this year when we learned that James Brown passed away Christmas morning. We learned of this listening to The Morning show on MPR that day, when Jim Ed Poole played one of his songs to note the Godfather’s passing. I actually wasn’t familiar with the specific song Jim Ed played, and mentioned to Becca that I questioned the choice as I didn’t think it was the greatest James Brown song. As soon as I said that, however, I recognized that better minds probably recognized that it would be a tad insensitive to play “I Feel Good” on the day the guy dies.

I’m really excited about performing our largely insensitive songs at our next gig for many reasons -- including the fact that Jim Ed Poole and his Morning Show co-conspirator Dale Connelly will host it! On Sunday, January 21 we’ll play in the historic Fitzgerald Theater from noon to 3:00 PM as part of Minnesota Public Radio’s 40th Anniversary Open House. You can find more details here.

The event is free and open to the public of all ages, and embraces an open house format, so you can feel free to stop in for just a few tunes if that’s all the longer your six-year-old’s attention span lasts. We’re really looking forward to playing in such a good sounding AND looking venue.

Thanks to dim light and the availability of alcohol we’ll probably look and sound even better on Saturday, January 27 when we return to O'Gara's Garage. Our set will begin at 9:00 and the evening should be full of surprises as I have no idea who will be joining us on stage.

Love, Scott Yoho and the Auto Body Experience

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