The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #81, April 2008

As many of you know, I have a questionable memory, hence the title of our last CD: Forgotten Lots. I forget all kinds of stuff, and what’s perhaps worse – I remember stuff that never happened. For example, I recall seeing the Twins play the Senators back in my childhood. Baseball historians confirm that only the inhabitants of my mind ever attended such a game.

So despite the fact that I’m more of an Obama supporter, I believe it’s possible that Hillary Clinton wasn’t consciously lying when she recently recalled landing in Bosnia under sniper fire in 1996. I mean, I think sniper fire would be pretty memorable, but twelve years later one recollection of landing in a war-torn area and another memory about sniper fire could have easily been become intertwined.

I’m just really glad that no one captures my every word and searches though the transcripts for errors and missteps. I seem to recall that for a while I thought it was my observation that Ronald Reagan stopped speaking in public around the same time Jim Henson died – but I’ve since come to understand that I probably heard Robin Williams say it before I had the idea. I’m okay with that. Besides, it’s a pretty disrespectful statement about a great man – Mr. Henson certainly deserves our utmost reverence.

Still, Mr. Williams’ observation is probably in the back of my mind when I sense something conspiratorial in the fact that both Brett Favre and Fidel Castro simultaneously announced their plans to retire. I wonder if they couldn’t be the same guy. I’ve spoken to no one who’s ever seen them together – and they have a lot in common. They’ve both led improbable teams of underdogs for a long time. They both have beards and wear a lot of green. Cuba has a lot of old cars – and lots of beaches – and so does Wisconsin. As a long-time fair weather Vikings fan, I hope the similarities continue, and that 76 year-old Raul Castro will eventually be named the Packers’ new starting quarterback.

Some times, my mental filing system not only mistakenly combines records, or loses files, but it fails to make obvious connections between items in an appropriate time frame. For example, last December, some kind friends invited Becca and I to join them (and a bunch of other people we don’t know) as they went caroling at a place that provides care for poor people with terminal cancer. Our singing seemed well-received and it felt like we were genuinely spreading some much-needed cheer. Then, as we stalled while deciding what carol to sing next, my brain decided it would be harmlessly funny to suggest a popular rock song to my fellow carolers. As the average singer’s age was 40-50, my brain made a split-second decision to pick an ‘80s rock radio classic, reached in for the first one it encountered, and prompted my mouth to say: “How about ‘Another One Bites the Dust’?”

I REALLY didn’t mean that. Dang, dang, dang.

Of course I felt terrible (and turned bright red) as the people around me started to move away. I knew I had to redeem myself. A little later we’re upstairs and one member of the group is preparing to accompany us on guitar. Again, completely oblivious to any context, my brain grasps for the world’s most popular rock guitar song, and I blurt out “Stairway to Heaven”.

It was at this point that the orderlies removed me from the building.

In contrast, the Eagles Club provides me with a venue where my brain’s misfirings are less likely to upset anyone. It’s where the guy in charge is wearing a t-shirt that says “Bike Week”, and when questioned about it he explains that it’s a lot like Black History Month. Only it’s bikes. And a week.

Please join us when we return to the Eagles club to play whatever Auto Body Experience songs my addled brain jettisons on Friday, April 11th. We’ll start shortly after the 9:00 PM when the fabulous Front Porch Swinging Liquor Pigs clear the stage.

And please remember that I really do mean well!

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

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