The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #88, January 2009

I have a friend who worked for a (now defunct) company that was trying to launch an all new computer operating system. His title, as it appeared on his business card, was "evangelist." In this context the term was stripped of any religious context and simply referred to "someone who enthusiastically promotes something". With no disrespect intended to anyone, I'll admit that for me the word evangelist also suggests a bit of a pest or an annoyance.

When people first develop a passionate interest, they often go overboard in sharing their new discovery with others. The scope or breadth of the object of their passion doesn't seem to matter; it can be as big as a path to the afterlife or as seemingly insignificant as recumbent bicycles. Somewhere in the middle of this continuum is parenthood, a common source of evangelism. Some folks, upon having a baby, subsequently think that everyone should have a baby and they feel sorry for anyone who doesn't. While I love being a dad, and feel sorry for folks who don't have kids, I don't feel sorry for them because they don't have kids - I feel sorry for them because they have to listen to people like me prattle on about every cute thing my kid does. With that caveat, I'll proceed.

On Christmas Eve we visited my stepmom's church with her. In the silence that followed a solemn hymn, Erik stood up and loudly exclaimed: "I don't like this church - I'm going to turn it into a jungle!" I knew he was thinking of how Curious George mischievously painted jungle scenes on the rich lady's walls, but I worried that other parishioners might not have put his comment in this context.

In preparation for another family holiday get together, Becca had styled her hair, and as we drove to the party she began to apply makeup in the visor mirror above the passenger's seat. After watching her intently for a minute or two, Erik requested we sing "Ruby." In case you don't recall the Kenny Rogers hit (or the cover by Cake which Erik knows), the song's protagonist is a disabled man who pleads with his wife not to cheat on him:

You painted up your lips and rolled and curled your tinted hair
Ruby are you contemplating going out somewhere?

Naturally we sang the song for him. Does this make us bad parents?

The Family Circus comic strip has never been one of my favorites. Becoming a parent hasn't made me like it any better, but now I can sympathize with its creator Bill Keane. If I had five kids I wouldn't find any time to think of anything uniquely funny either. So far there's just one little guy in our house and I'm already tempted to follow in Bill's footsteps by trying to pass off the funny things Erik does in lieu of creating my own witticisms.

I dunno, maybe the "laziness" I attribute to Bill Keane (and myself) has less to do with kids and more to do with ageing. I know younger musicians who regard a gig as a good one when afterwards they go home with a lady. For me, a good gig is where I don't forget, misplace, or lose a cable, microphone, or guitar, and actually go home with the stuff I brought to the gig.

The latest challenge to my gear-toting memory will occur this Friday, January 9th at the Minneapolis Eagles Club #34. We'll be wishing our keyboardist and friend Greg H. Smith the best as he leaves the band to travel the world. Greg will pick his favorite Auto Body songs, so expect two mad scientist-approved sets. Greg's successor, Doug Rhode, will play a few tunes too. This will be our last gig until March, so don't miss your ABE fix and the chance to send Greg off in style! We'll start a little after 9:00 PM at 2507 E 25th Street in Minneapolis. And as always, there's no cover, free parking, and cheap drinks.

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

PS: Check out Dale Connelly's new radio show (which actually played the Auto Body Experience this Monday morning) at:

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