let us ask skinner

    I just heard from Doug Skinner. Hes hard at work being the Music Director for Bill Irwins upcoming show in New York, but he told us to hold a page for his “Let’s Ask Skinner” column in the upcoming issue of Crimewave… If you’re familiar with the column, you know that Doug answers all kinds of questions from our readers. If you haven’t seen his column before, here’s an example from issue 14:

    Q: How long is cocaine detectable in the urine?

    A: It depends on the quantity of both. A pinch of cocaine, stirred briskly into a large beaker of urine, will quickly dissolve. A hefty chunk, dropped into a small glass, will enter into suspension less readily. I suggest you experiment on your own.

    So, if youve always been wondering something, nows your chance to find out from Mr. Skinner. This opportunity comes along but once in a lifetime, so dont squander it. Mr. Skinner, for those of you that dont know him is, among other things, a world-class ventriloquist, an accomplished ukulele player, and an internationally known lecturer on things Fortean.

    OK, I have to get back to working on Crimewave now. (If you want to buy ad space, or if you have suggestions as to who might, please drop me a note.)

    Oh, I dont have the time to construct a full debris sandwich right now, but heres a slice of tongue. This is a quote taken from a campaign speech given yesterday by California Gubernatorial candidate Arianna Huffington:

    It wasn’t elected officials who led the struggle for civil rights or the drive for women’s rights or the fight to end the war in Vietnam. It was the people. And without the outrage of at least a critical mass of the people we’ll never be able to take our government back.

    Now send me your questions for the great and powerful Mr. Skinner.

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    wesley willis dies in chicago

    40 year old homeless, schizophrenic musician Wesley Willis died earlier this week. He died of leukemia… I liked Wesley. It was complicated though. I kind of felt dirty for liking him. Linette and I saw him in Atlanta once and the crowd was full of people laughing at him and his antics, the nonsense that he would yell, the lyrics about fast food, the poorly played Casio organ, the way he kept his eyes averted from the crowd and shook around. After I saw the way he was treated by an audience, I had mixed feelings. I never went to see him play live again. I know that he enjoyed doing it, and that he made a living from it, but I couldnt be a part of what it had the potential of becoming I like his stuff (in small doses) because its interesting, different and completely original. More than his music though, I like his drawings. I regret not trying harder to acquire one of them from him when he was around. I should have taken a day off and driven to Chicago I had a chance to speak to him once in Atlanta. He was sitting at a bar with his headphones on, guzzling pop and drawing. As I was trying to get up the courage to go and speak with him, another person, a woman, went up and tapped him on the shoulder. He stood up (he was over six feet tall and over three hundred pounds) and head-butted her really hard. That, I would later find out, was the way Wesley greeted people. I decided to postpone our meeting His artwork, consisting mainly of pen and ink cityscapes of Chicago, is very good. You can actually see some of it right now in Chicago at the Intuit Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art.

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      cause for concern?

      Linette and I were out a few nights ago, having dinner with a friend who had come up to visit from Atlanta. While we were sitting there at an outside table, a woman came up to us and introduced herself. She said that she was a Crimewave reader and that she really liked us… She also said that her boyfriend told her not to approach us. He was standing a few feet away, trying not to look embarrassed.

      There are no celebrities in Ypsilanti. Theres a man that carries around a poodle on his shoulders, theres a woman who pushes a baby carriage full of dolls, there is Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton, theres a man with no nose, and, I guess, theres us. There may be others too, but my point is that we shouldnt let it go to our heads. Its not like people are pushing aside Andy Warhol to get our autographs.

      This was the third time weve ever been approached by a reader we didnt already know. The first time was in Baltimore, while shopping in Atomic Books. The second time was at another bar in Ypsi.

      The cool thing this time was that it kind of impressed our friend from Atlanta, who is himself a professional writer. He had his camera with him, just waiting for some Ypsi-style weirdness, and he snapped this photo.

      So, heres what I wanted to say Please download this photo to your hard drive and put it somewhere safe. And, if anything ever happens to Linette or me, forward this photo to the police. I dont have any reason to suspect that this woman would be capable of doing anything bad (she actually seemed quite nice), but it seems like a logical place to start the hunt for our murder.

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      teeth-pullin and panty-sellin

      Linettes teeth apparently come out easily. We were at the oral surgeons for less than an hour, and, in that time, they knocked her out, removed her wisdom teeth, sewed her up, had us commit one hundred things to memory, billed us and got us out the door. When I had my wisdom teeth out, about a dozen years ago, I think they were still trying to calm me down enough to get the IV in my arm at the one-hour mark.

      I dont remember many details about my surgery; just that my mom took me and that afterward I babbled a lot about how much I enjoyed the drugs that theyd given me. According to family legend, I hugged the nurses afterward and thanked them for the, best drugs I have ever taken.

      Linettes asleep right now on the couch. Shes on medication, but shes not laughably high, like I was Although Id planned to use it, theres no need to break out the video camera and conduct an interview with her.

      So, I just got back from a visit to the shop on Michigan Avenue thats selling our Iggy Pop t-shirts and Ypsipanties. I had to drop off another load. Apparently, theyre selling well. Jennifer, the owner of the store, even told me that one woman came in and bought a pair of the panties to frame. (She was too small to wear them, but really liked them.) Another customer apparently told her that she was thinking about getting a frame for the tag that wed made for them. Is that a trend that I dont know about, framing panties and clothing tags? I knew I should have been spending more time watching Cribs on MTV? Who was it, Missy Elliott? Does she have a thong under glass?

      I love the idea that somewhere in this world there is a very tiny woman with a pair of our panties on her wall.

      So, its hard to tell at this point, but it looks like Linette and I might, in the next week or so, if things keep up, make back what we invested in this little project. If so, this will be the first time in ten years of churning stuff out that weve made money, even a little. (Historically speaking, putting us on a project has been like casting Ben Afleck in a film. Its the kiss of death at least financially speaking.)

      Anyway, if we do make back our money on this project, we plan to re-invest in other stuff. I want to make a few other shirts, and just I know theres a thermal thong market out there just waiting to be tapped…

      I have to go and check on Linette now. Ill check in with you all later.

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      tonight

      Linette gets her wisdom teeth out tomorrow.
      She cant eat after midnight.
      She cant drink water either.
      I had a panic attack today.
      We just ate fish.
      I think it was perch.
      I took a nap before that.
      I never take naps.
      I want to write about the Stooges show.
      But Im too tired.
      Ill be back tomorrow.

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