The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #93, September 2009

One of Erik's favorite books is titled Wacky Wednesday. In it, a boy wakes up one day to find that the world has gone cattywampus. Everything - from the law of gravity to pure common sense - is backwards and upside down. It begins with a shoe on the ceiling, but goes more and more awry as you turn the pages until cows have two heads, stop signs are green, doors and windows float in the sky, and there's a palm tree in the toilet (is that what they mean by a "potted palm"?) At the book's end all is restored as Wacky Wednesday is over. Whew. The author is Theo. LeSieg. Those of you familiar with Dr. Seuss may know that his birth name was Theodor Seuss Geisel (and that Geisel just happens to be LeSieg backwards). You get the picture.

This book makes me think of one of the better stories I can recall being told in school, probably by an English teacher at Brainerd High School. Here's my recollection of how it went.

Back in Roman times they hadn't quite got their calendars to totally line up with the planets, and at the end of each year they required a few days of "wiggle room" left over -- to account for any small irregularities -- before the new calendar year began. These wiggle room days came known as the period of misrule. During this time, roles were reversed and servants would lord over their masters, who waited on them and granted their every request. Score one for the working class! There was feasting, music, dance, and debauchery, not unlike an Auto Body Experience performance (well, we have music). Sadly, over the centuries, the rough edges were smoothed out, the tradition became shorter and mellower, and it was eventually co-opted into Christmas celebrations in the form of a big meal and extravagant gift giving.

Upon two minutes of web research this morning, I discovered one aspect that I didn't recall from my school days: the lord of misrule, after being allowed to order any one to do anything, was sacrificed at the end of the festival. Dang. It would be just like me to forget that important piece of information.

Anyway, Erik was familiar with the concept of discombobulated worlds long before Wacky Wednesday, as it popularly appears in children's tales. One of Erik's favorite movies is Cars. In it, Doc Hudson tries to explain to Lightning McQueen the intricacies of racing on dirt: "I'll put it simple. If you goin' hard enough left, you'll find yourself turnin' right," to which Lightning replies: "Ooo, right. That makes perfect sense. Turn right to go left. Yes! Thank you! Or should I say,"No thank you"? Because in Opposite World, maybe that really means, "Thank you"! Tuh, crazy grandpa car. What an idiot!"

Another favorite movie is Pinocchio. There, Jiminy Cricket tries to give Pinocchio a definition of temptations: "Yep... temptations. They're the wrong things that seem right at the time. But even though the right things may seem wrong sometimes, sometimes the... the wrong things may be right at the wrong time or vice versa. Understand?"

Recent headline news have also reinforced the concept: Brett Favre leading the Minnesota Vikings? "What th' Favre?" indeed!

Earlier this month, our family spent a day swimming with Erik's Nana and cousin Ebbie. Around 10 PM, far beyond Erik's usual bedtime, Becca, Erik, PJ and I were driving home. Perhaps overtired, my crabbiness was directed toward the driver of the excruciatingly slow minivan in front of us, who seemed to slow even further in an attempt to prevent us from making the light at St. Paul Avenue as we headed north on Edgecumbe.

As the minivan barely made it through the light, and I followed, the light was significantly red by the time I crossed the intersection. A moment passed, and then Erik asked quietly from behind me (in the passenger-side car seat): "Uh, Dad? Is it Wacky Wednesday?"

I suggest it is Wacky Wednesday, for the month. September is, of course, the month we celebrate Yohopalooza, where Erik's birthday, my birthday, Becca's birthday (observed), and our wedding anniversary all happen within four days. We'll celebrate with an Auto Body Experience show at the Eagles Club on Sept 11, kind of a topsy-turvy day if ever there was one. Furthermore, the Eagles Club, where we've always had to wait until the Front Porch Swinging Liquor pigs finished their set (often after 9:00 PM) before we could even begin setting up, is totally rethinking their approach, and letting us start playing at 8:00 PM!

We plan on resurrecting (salvaging?) "Nobody's Running the Ship," our maritime tribute to corporate downsizing, which our pal Karen has been playing on KMSU in Mankato. Will there be cake? Perhaps. Will we play the Wacky Wednesday-approved song "Inside Out (and Backwards Still)"? Certainly. Since I am the self appointed Lord of Misrule, there's no telling what might happen (especially to me) next month, but for right now, our gig on Friday, Sept 11 sounds perfect. Please join us in the fun.

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

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PS: The future of music at the Eagles Club seems to be somewhat up in the air. If, like me, you dig the whole West Bank -style set up, please help support it by showing up, buying a pizza with your beverage, and considering Eagles membership.

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