The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #85, September 2008

With an Auto Body Estimate deadline looming, I found myself without anything new or of interest to say, so my first thought was to follow the example set by the leaders of our country and say that the entertainment portion of this estimate has been superseded by Hurricane Gustav.

Genius! But then the cold medicine began to kick in and I again became my usual chatty self.

While I donít doubt the Republicansí sincerity in wanting to make sure that their response to this hurricane season is handled better than 2005ís, I also think there were some other benefits in toning down the drunken RNC revelry. Since the residents of both St. Paul and New Orleans have been relocated leaving only police officers and first responders behind, party planners might have felt the liability too great that top-level participants would become confused as to which city they were stumbling through, and make some corresponding sound-bite blunder.

Tuesday morning I drove through the streets of St. Paul to bring Erik to school, and I became depressed. Not from the police-state appearance of our community, but by all the school buses. I lapsed into a several decade old back-to-school depression. I am continually amazed at how deeply these patterns are etched in our brains. As an adult I donít dread fall, or even winter. I wasnít on vacation all summer, so thereís no reason for my spirits to sag: but still they do. I canít even say Iím depressed that I missed the State Fair, because we spent an entire day there last week. Itís just a case of very low-level programming.

Now Iím wondering if thereís not something related to the flurry of tropical depressions that often occur this time of year in the Gulf. You know, one of those science fiction things, where a whole community focuses their minds on one thought until it manifests itself. I really do think scientists should look into the correlation between ďback-to-school depressionĒ and the hurricane season. Then again, I rarely doubted the scientific explanations Calvinís dad offered in Calvin and Hobbes.

I often marvel at how Iíve turned from Calvin into his dad, or from Dennis the Menace into Mr. Wilson. Over the years Iíve had more and more positive interactions with police officers. I befriended one policemen on a Habitat for Humanity bicycle fundraiser and another officer helped me when my car got smashed into. And so it is I begin to find myself sympathizing more with the police than with protesters. Weíve all seen how anti-war protesters today are generally careful to differentiate between anger at the administration and support for our troops, so I wonder who thinks it makes sense to antagonize a police officer, transported here from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, when youíre upset at the Bush administration. I mean, I think itís great that we live in a country where you can yell insults at a fully armed guy with bullet-proof armor on, and be confident he wonít harm you in return, but I still question the sense of it all. It kind of seems like yelling at the cashier when you donít like Wal-Martís corporate policy. Personally, Iím pretty excited about voting this fall, but I recognize that this is sort of milquetoast response.

But back to my depression. The one thing that would pull me out of the back-to-school depression as a kid was my mid-September birthday and the promise of new Hot Wheels cars and tracks, and possibly a trip with my friends to Shakeyís Pizza. And so, Iím counting on this yearís Yohopalooza celebration to lift my autumnal spirits. On Friday, Sept 12, the Auto Body Experience will play at the Eagles Club in celebration of Erikís birthday, my birthday, Beccaís birthday (observed) and our wedding anniversary, which all fall within September 12-15. We hope to have some treats, some toys, and a special set of tunes for the occasion. Clearly ďI Just ForgetĒ and ďIím Turning into Mr. WilsonĒ ought to be included, as long as I remember to put them on the set list.

But before we close, I have one final thought. As we mature, the rash decisions we make purely with fun in mind, with little or no concern of potential life-long consequences, occur less and less often. Sometimes I worry that this type of devil-may-care attitude is necessary for the creation of good rock music. With that in mind, Iím proud to announce that weíre expecting another little Yoho in February. Nothing says rock and roll like having a teeny baby in the house.

Best wishes and love to all,

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

PS: Even though Gustav wasnít as devastating as anticipated, many lives were lost before it ever made landfall in the US. While Iím eager to poke fun at Republicans (and politicians in general) Iíd never make fun of this, and encourage you to join me in supporting the Red Cross

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