The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #78, November 2007

We had a pleasant surprise at our November Eagles Club gig when former ABE keyboardist and vocalist extraordinaire Trey ZehrGrimm stopped by on his way to the grocery store. He jumped on stage, sang on three songs (with great aplomb), then continued on his Quest for Huggies. Since he only sipped a Coke during his visit, neither a booze nor a cigarette smell accompanied him home. If he completed the rest of his errand quickly, his wife might never have to be the wiser. (Note to self -- make sure that Jennifer isn't on the email list).

In the old days Trey would have never been able to pull a stunt like this off. Jennifer, his wife, is far too clever to be fooled with hare-brained excuses like: “This smell? Huh. Must have come from the smoked fish I looked at in Cub Foods.”

I've since been pondering that with the smoking ban in place, it will similarly be much easier for all kinds of folks to make a quick, discrete stop into a bar without the tell-tale smoke smell providing obvious clues to their loved ones and coworkers. I suspect that many of these people will stop in not to sing, but to partake of one or more fermented beverages designed to diminish one’s effectiveness in all things save free-form dancing.

Perhaps I should ask Alanis Morrisette (a self-appointed expert in such things) if it would indeed be ironic if the smoking ban increased the state's rate of alcoholism and had to be repealed for health reasons.

Like me, Trey is a relatively recent convert to the brotherhood of fatherdom. He’s probably learned the most important tricks by now. Like when you realize that your wife is about to bust you for passing some unpleasant gas you look to your child and say: “Hey, let’s go check your diaper,” and carry the little guy into the next room. Genius. (Note to self – make sure Becca isn’t on the email list).

But Trey’s probably also realized that fatherdom is not all uninhibited, free-flowing fun and games. I’m sure he can relate to the many times I've already brought Erik to the ER or Urgent Care because of dings and dents he's received in his toddler shenanigans. Erik's most recent misadventure involved a toy back-hoe in a playground while within inches of both myself and his grandma: rest assured that aside from the disfiguring facial scars he's fine.

Another keyboard-playing pal of ours, Mike Dripps, ponders, in the manner of the chicken or the egg, what comes first: facial scars or a life of crime. Mike has noticed that people in the post office mug shots often have facial scars, and wonders if these villains are scarred though the course of their evil deeds, or, if, because of pre-existing scars, they were simply more easily identified and caught (or at least placed on wanted posters). More importantly, Mike wonders if Erik’s misadventures today increase the likelihood that he will be a thug as an adult, or merely increase the chances that he’ll be identified should he choose that path? I don’t know, but it’s got me thinking.

But I think a lot.

I think like bald tires spin on ice: often and to little effect. For example, I wonder if asterisks get tired of being vowel stunt doubles for those who want to cuss, but lack the conviction to really do it. What is up with that sh*t?

I also think it’s time to tell you about our last gig of the year. We’ll play one more Saturday night gig at the Minneapolis Eagles Club on December 1st. We’ll start around 8:00 and play two sets. I suspect we’ll be back to our later Friday spot next year, so if earlier on a Saturday works for you come on down and join us at 2507 E 25th Street, in Minneapolis (612-729-4469) where we’ll be joined by special guest saxophonist Amy Eisenstadt. (The faintly scarred Jason has to perform some community service work that evening as part of his sentencing -- don't ask...)

Love, Scott Yoho, Grand Pooh Bah, Knights of the Auto Order

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