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Contest, 7-25 - Potpourri


Holy cow. Today's contest winner gets an amazing potpourri of prizes:

"Andrew Sings" CD (MP3 download - "I Can't Help Fallin in Love"
Hollow Men Episodes 101 and 102 VHS
Rich Kronfeld's "Factory Accident Sex" DVD
Sega Tennis 2K2 for Dreamcast (sweet game, btw)
Prime Time Sublime's "Songs That Will Never Win a Grammy"
Modest Proposal's Sweet DVD
Tony Goldmark's "Rage Against the Mundane" CD
Judy Gold's "Judith's Roommate Had a Baby"

Just tell me a sweet dream you had. Email it to contest@maximumfun dot org, and put your name and address in the body of the email. If you don't wanna be on our email list, make mention of it. Ready, set, go!


Congrats to our winner, Christian!

"I Had a Dream..."


Yesterday, I asked Sound of Young America listeners to share some sweet dreams they've had. Back in the Olden Tymes of the Sound, I did a regular feature called "American Dreamers," with folks recounting bizarre dreams. Like this one, in which my friend met Springsteen. Anyhoo, here's what you came up with:

"Around the fourth of July I had a dream about George Washington. My dream was that it was my job to gather food for the Continental Army. So, my mother and I went to the grocery store and got food. Then, we used the self-checkout line, which was really inconsistent with the time period, seeing as my dream was taking place over 200 years ago."

"Two weeks ago, I had a dream I was at a water park with *the Shins*! I was dressed inappropriately (i.e. t-shirt and shorts instead of a bathing suit), but so were they, so it was cool. We were on one of those log rides, at the tippity top where you just plunge straight down. James Mercer (lead singer) was in front. I remember he was scared to go down; nobody wanted to get in front. I was sandwiched between him and this other guy, who in my dream was the drummer for the Shins, but, in retrospect, looked nothing like Dave Hernandez. The drummer guy and I hit it off and after we got off the log ride, we were just talking and laughing. I remember being so happy, only slightly bothered that Marty Crandall (keyboardist and my fav member) didn't really seem to care one way or the other about me. Then, I woke up. Dammit."

"I had this dream when I visited San Francisco a couple of years ago. It starts off with me walking through a downtown area of SF that I don't think really exists. I walk up to someone selling ice cream cones and run into Conan O'Brien. Of course I buy a cone for each of us and he asks me to carry a large package with him to his studio. I think the box had some kind of live animal inside of it for use in a sketch. I never see the animal, but I think it was supposed to be a ferret or something. Of course it gets out of the box and Conan and I chase it, then he decides to shoot it. And Conan and I find this hilarious. We start laughing, we hug and he invites me to come on his show (presumably to fill the time of the sketch we've now ruined). Unfortunately I woke up before my appearance, but chumming it up with Conan
was awesome enough."

"I'm not sure the dream would be called sweet, but then again, I'm my own harshest critic. Especially when it comes to my sweet dreams. But as to the dream. I can't believe it even happened. That's how sweet it was. Anyways the dream went something like, some incarnation of me becoming a super villain with superpowers because previously all the other super villains before that had only uncanny powers. In this dream world the villains were the socially acceptable bunch while the heroes were shunned from society. I will say though, that the dream seemed like it went 45 mins too long. It didn't even have people fighting just a lot of flying and catching things from falling. Actually I retract my earlier statement of this being a sweet dream. It was more of a mediocre at best dream."

"Last night I had a dream that I was mugged in a subway station. There were two muggers. I reached into my pocket and gave them $75. They looked me up and down and gave me $40 back."

"My friend ty and i were walking down the cereal aisle at a grocery store. he was going to buy me an engagement present (i assume i was engaged to my current girlfriend, but it was never explicitly stated in the dream) of three boxes of cereal. i picked up a box of honey bunches of oats first. ty then pointed at a box of honey nut cheerios and said "you like those, right?" i said "no, those are gross." "well, what about the flakes?" he said, pointing at a box of honey nut cheerios flakes. i was too confused to respond at this point. i was looking for a box of spider-man cereal when ty asked "so what did father courville (the priest at my girlfriend's church) say to you?" "uhh..." i said, "i dunno? flush twice? he didn't really say anything to me." it was at that point that i realized the boxes of cereal ty was buying for me were magic boxes that would never be empty. this made his gift seem a lot less chintzy. then i found, on the bottom shelf, a cereal called "BULLSHIT." the front of the box looked like this:

the back of the box had little pictures of the cereal pieces, which looked like cyrillic alpha bits or something. there was also a little sidebar that said "BULLSHITS breakfast cereal contains little bits of oaty crap, which are of no nutritional value whatsoever." i showed it to ty, who said "that's not a nice cereal," and went to peruse the ground beef in the meat freezer. i was just about to settle for a box of lucky charms when i woke up."

"I had a dream that I was on a train. Each time the train came to a stop, we would discover that we had all mysteriously gone back in time several days. There was a soda machine on the train labeled "Diet Choke" instead of "Diet Coke". Assuming it was just a typo, I took a drink. I promptly choked to death."

"The other night I dreamed I went to my sister and brother in law's house. The house was bulging at the seams from the outside, as though the walls were made of a rubbery substance. My curiosity was piqued to say the least. I asked my bro-in-law as to what was making this occur. he said "Dubloons, lad, mad , filthy dubloons!" We walked into the house, and the living room had morphed from a modest, tastefully decorated space into a large church like space. My seven year old niece was playing a large church organ; the tunes were a medley of this commercial (shown regionally I think) from Dunkin' Donuts. Every time a certain chord was hit (usually a minor chord) scads of gold coins would shoot out of the organ pipes and shower down on us. "This is the last room. All the others are filled with cash. I've hit the mint with this talented little scamp", said my brother in law. My two year old son picked a coin up off of the floor and bit into it, testing it's validity, much the same way "Underdog" did as Shoeshine boy. "It's all his!" said my bro-in-law, now morphing into the "monopoly man", monocle, top hat, and all. I woke up feeling woefully inadequate as a dad. Still, it was a sweet dream. My family was doing pretty well, and my boy got a gold dubloon."

Is George Pelecanos ready to be a star?


George Pelecanos is the subject of a feature in today's Times. No one doubts the quality of his work -- he's been a critical favorite for years. But he's never sold more than about 20,000 hardcover copies of any of his books. His publisher is preparing a marketing assault that they believe will push him to the next level. Can he do it? I worked in a Borders in downtown DC for a while, and people were overjoyed when I reccomended his books -- there's got to be a market for smart, exciting fiction like his.

Here's George on The Sound of Young America -- an amazing guy.

Today's Contest: Paging Mr. Herman


Today's Sound of Young America contest is for a talking Pee-Wee doll... his talk-box is a bit the worse for wear, but he still looks sharp. All you have to do to enter to win him is email the names of FIVE residents of or regular visitors to the Playhouse. Email your answer to contest at maximumfun dot org and include your name and snail mail address in the body.

Inside The New Yorker


I'll admit it: I read the New Yorker. I even laugh at the cartoons.

I gave it up for a while, because it was so expensive, but once I realized you could get a subscription on Ebay for like $10, I started taking it again. Actually, I bought it for my girlfriend as a "present." (A bit like that bowling ball Homer bought for Marge... the one with "Homer" written on it). Anyway, point is that while I'm not ready to make my show the broadcast arm of the New Yorker empire (coughFreshAircough), I do read it.

One of our most loyal listeners, Emily Gordon, also reads the New Yorker -- and she loves it so much that she writes a blog about it... even though she works for another magazine.

Anyway, Emily's just launched a new monthly feature on the blog, called "Ask the Librarians." Here's the first one. You, the public, can ask the librarians of The New Yorker anything you want -- and they will answer. For a publication that's been as internet-resistant as The New Yorker, that's big stuff. I learned, for example, that the CARTOONS in the New Yorker are fact-checked. I don't even fact-check my own address, and I get that wrong ALL THE TIME.

Scritti Pollitti in the New York Times


Green Gartside, the man behind Scritti Pollitti, is the subject of a profile in today's New York Times.

“White Bread Black Beer” — the title refers to his starch-and-Guinness regimen, and to the notion of “white bread” pop, which he has often defended — prompts a facile question. If the band’s early work was about dismantling pop, and then the mid-80’s phase was the apotheosis of pop, then what’s the new album about?

Mr. Gartside drew a deep breath and shifted into theory. He spoke of the impossibility of free will and truth; of neo-pragmatism, the philosophy sometimes associated with the philosopher Richard Rorty; of the unfair critical “privileging” of rock over pop, and the ways in which truly popular music hasn’t answered the logic of late capitalism in the same predictable way that the indie-rock tradition has. One glimpsed the porcupine he must have been as a younger man: combative, sardonic, high-strung.


Podcast: Rip it Up & Start Again (Post-Punk)

The Worst Thing You Did As A Kid


Yesterday's contest asked you, our beloved public, to tell us what the worst thing you ever did as a kid was. Your responses are below. If you'd like to share a story, add it to the comments!

"The most worst thing that I did as a child involved putting my hamster in a ball and rolling it down the stairs, repeatedly."
"There was a guy I didn't like when I was in the 9th grade named Donald. We found ourselves at the same bus on our way to a drum line competition. He told us all the riveting story of how, as a young child in the Philippines, he had seen his father bludgeon his mother to death, and how he'd been really messed up psychologically by that ever since. Since I really didn't like this guy, the sympathetic part of me shut down and I instead saw this story only as Donald's desperate attempt for all of us to feel sorry for him. So, I proceded to make up my own story. About how my twin bother had been hit by a car when he was a young boy. And how I was holding his hand at the time he was hit by the car. And how his severed arm was still clenching onto my hand as the rest of his body flew down the road and eventually crumpled to a heap 200 feet away. "Really?" a member of my rapt audience asked. "No!" I replied. Everyone laughed and laughed. And no one seemed to care about ol' "Bludgeoned Mother Donald" anymore, so mission accomplished! Yay!
So basically, I tried to one-up some guy's story about his mom being killed."
"Background: From elementary school through junior high, I longed to be popular. I guess that's cliche, but honestly, I was the type of kid that would betray anyone or say anything just to be popular. I didn't care. I wasn't a complete nerd; I was just this plain-vanilla, middle-of-the-road type kid, so sometimes I hung out with popular kids, but most of time, I hung out with other nerds or by myself.

And now the confession In fifth grade, I was insanely jealous of one of my classmates, Laura. She was beautiful and popular. I was actually friends with Laura. She lived near me, so we would go over each other'shouses sometimes after-school or on the weekend. At some point during the year, I got really mad at Laura (I don't remember why). I wanted to give her the silent treatment, but that wouldn't work, since she was my "in" with popular crowd. Instead, I wrote her a really mean letter. I don't remember what it said exactly, but I'm sure it involved calling her "ugly" and "stupid" and was probably a bit threatening. I forged the note as being signed by Becky, the absolute least popular, most-hated girl in class. I left the note in Laura's pencil box when she wasn't looking. Eventually, Laura found it, got upset and reported it directly to the teacher. I, then, wrote Laura a second nasty note, also signed by "Becky", about how stupid she was for tattling. The teacher, who was not a sleuth, eventually
confronted me about writing the notes. (A tip: when forging threatening notes to classmates, you should attempt to alter your hand-writing to look like theirs at least *a little*). Upon being confronted with such an awful act, did I break down crying and beg forgiveness? Absolutely not. I did break down crying, but it was to protest my innocence and offer up other classmates as potential perps. I know the teacher didn't buy my charade, but since I didn't write any more mean notes after that, she didn't pursue it any further.

So, I never got in trouble for writing the notes. Most importantly, my parents never found out. And the whole thing eventually blew over with Laura, I think. I moved to a different town the next year.

No one except you, me and the teacher (whose name escapes me at the mo) knows I did that."
"Once I gave my little brother some Wheat Thins to eat on which I had secretly spread mustard."
"the thing i got into the biggest trouble for as a kid, and did completely in the spirit of maximum fun and with no malice in my heart, was my best friend and i covered our feet in vaseline, traipsed through my carpeted house to the hardwood entranceway, and then "ice skated." it was awesome, and i got in sooo much trouble the next morning."

"The worst thing I did as a child was burn my neighbor's house down. I was 8 and at the age were I apparently decided it was cool to commit felonies. The house was still under construction and I put a match to the outside tyvek paper and it went up in flames quick. I had my older sister call the fire dept., and they put it out. The fire dept. interviewed me for weeks about it, but I guess I was convincing enough in my denials. Looking back, I can't see how they didn't know it was me."

"This was a tough one for me. As a kid I don't necessarily remember doing very many horrible things to people. I'm sure at the time I thought I had many horrible things done to me, but mostly the other kids ignored me. So on the last day of elementary school, as I was walking home, I decided to take my revenge on one of the kids I thought tormented me the most. I don't really remember him doing much of anything to me, he was just the most annoying about not liking me. He was a very paranoid kid, often "tattling" to the teacher for things that didn't really happen. At his most annoying, he would interupt the teacher a few times a day to tell the teacher someone had "flipped him off", though he probably didn't know what that meant and certainly no one else in the class knew. But I had decided he was the meanest kid, so on the way home from school, I spit in his hair. First I spotted him up ahead of me, started running, spit on him as I passed, and kept on going until I got home. I'm not sure if he realized what had happened, because I don't think he came after me. He was probably just confused."

"When I was about nine or ten, my friend Thomas and I were addicted to the video game Moon Buggy, up at the rec center near our house. However, being broke kids, we couldn't play to our hearts content, so employing the creativity that is the mother of all counterfeiting schemes, we wondered if xeroxing five dollar bills and putting them in change machines would give us a bounty with which we could sate our Buggy jones. After xeroxing a sheet full at his Dad's law office...LAW office, Thomas and I carefully cut up our faux cash, and took our ill gotten gains up to the rec center, put 10 fake bucks into the changer and got forty quarters! for free! We played for an entire afternoon, went home, and the next day, returning to the scene of the crime, we noticed the change machine now living behind the front desk, so no change could be made without supervision. We sweated a bit, but then figured nobody could tie us to the crime. Until Thomas' older brother, on a seperate visi! t asked about the change machine, and busted us. Our parents got called, and lucky for Thomas and I, my
parents happened to know a creepy guy who worked for the local Juvie Hall, and thought it might be fun to pull some scared straight stuff on us. We were summoned to a meeting at the rec center with two guys in suits who were from the Secret Service. Yeah, that Secret Service. We lived in the suburbs of Washington DC, so I think they were legit, although looking back, you could have put any two creepy dudes in bad
suits, and we would have thought they were superspys, but we got a stern talking to, and were told never to tell anyone how we did it, so I guess I'm screwing up my parole, but I think the statute of limitations is up after 27 years. So, yeah, the Secret Service was involved in my most embarrasing childhood prank."
"I stole a Sesame Street magazine. Honestly. The worst thing. I've been a much worse teenager and adult than I was a child."
"Once while my family was shopping at the mall, I hid in a department store just to see if my mom would panic."
"The worst thing I ever remember doing as a kid was in first grade. I drew a picture of a "naked lady" in my notebook, and started passing it around to my friends. It got snatched away by the teacher, and I ended up going home that day, picture in hand, with the assignment of getting it signed by my parents and brought back to school the next day. I was terrified of showing it my dad, but when I did, he just looked at it and laughed. Awesome."

"I was 9 or 10 years old and spending the summer at a hockey-themed camp that was run by a really scary, kind of old school Boston Irish guy named Pat that didn't really tolerate no horsing 'round. So I took all this to heart and kept tight control over my behavior, thinking I was gonna do fine. Inevitably, though, I must have done or said something to get everyone riled up, because one morning in the locker room I found myself in a screaming match with another kid. I think he was younger than me, and likely a better hockey player, none of which I took kindly to. He had really thin hair--not really noticeable if you didn't look hard, but as I was sort of scanning him for possible defects, this jumped out at me. So now we're yelling at each other and, grasping at an insult, the only thing I can think to call him is "Bald." He doesn't say anything, and leaves the room, at which point another kid turns to me and tells me that Pat is going to kill me when he hears about this. I have no idea why. Genuinely. He explains that (of course) the poor kid had some kind of disease, or had undergone treatment, which left his hair looking the way it did. I swear that the possibility hadn't crossed my mind, though it seems obvious in retrospect. I never did get in any trouble, though of course, years later, that kid probably still thinks of me as an enormous jerk or a really cruel person, which is kind of frustrating because I'm a nice guy! It actually depresses me to think about it."

"My dad had hid the boring balloon between the mattress and box springs. What a weird thing for a six-year-old girl to find hidden. It was, after all, my parents' bed where I sensed there was little shared happiness.

I remember thinking the open loop too big for my ring finger, too rubbery for a fun toy and too small to put on my puppy's nose.

Ah, but so very fashionable!

I slipped it on my new turquoise cowgirl belt and wore it to Sunday School before anyone, especially me, understood my lack of fashion sense!

The Sunday School Superintendent apparently pulled my Mom aside after class and asked for an explanation. Not believing she hadn't noticed on the condom was there before Church, my Mom thought the woman didn't know how much about balloons and told her she'd get some for the whole class so we all could share.

Anyway, in the parking lot my Mom saw her mistake.

She ordered me to take "the balloon" off the belt and then bought me a sack of the shiniest, strongest, most expensive new mylars.

I've never seen a condom without remembering that happy Sunday afternoon when I scored the prettiest balloons of all!"

Where is Saturday Night Live headed?


For a while, it looked like Tina Fey's promising SNL-behind-the-scenes sitcom, 30 Rock, was going to be a midseason replacement, to avoid conflict with Aaron Sorkin's SNL-behind-the-scenes dramedy Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. When NBC announced their lineup, though, both 30 Rock and Studio 60 were slated for Fall premieres -- most likely because they both had exceptionally strong early buzz. One has to presume that that early buzz is also the reason she's made final and public her decision to leave the late-night show, after hinting at it late last season. Here at TSOYA, we're simultaneously hoping that her sitcom delivers on it's promise, and that fresh blood in the drivers' seat at SNL will right that listing ship.

What hasn't been discussed as much is the other changes that are coming to SNL. Lorne Michaels has announced significant cast cuts at the venerable program, which he blamed on budget cuts by NBC. Not only is Fey leaving (and taking Rachel Dratch, who co-stars on 30 Rock, with her), but so will several other castmembers. Rumor has it that Maya Rudolph, Finesse Mitchell, Horatio Sanz, and Chris Parnell will leave as well. Some might disagree, but that of that list, only Parnell will really hurt the program in his absence. That said, Fey, Dratch and Parnell are three of the program's strongest performers. The Apiary is reporting that the scouts are out looking for featured players in NYC, but who will fill the shoes of these three talents?

Here are a few more questions for next season:

Will Fred Armisen ever find an organic place in the cast, outside of his generally stellar recurring characters?

Will Kirsten Wiig fulfill the promise she flashed in her first season?

Why is Darrel Hammond still on this show?

Is Andy Samberg a real star, or is he the next Jimmy Fallon -- charming and innofensive, but ultimately a cypher?

Are Will Forte and Seth Meyers funny? (Seriously... you tell me.)

Is that the guy from Keenan and Kell? If so: how come he hasn't gotten any better since he was like 13?

Is Amy Poehler ever gonna do the weird, crazy shit that made her so funny on The Upright Citizens Brigade, or is she gonna continue to be cute or whatever?

What is your answer to these pressing questions, dear reader? Do you have questions of your own?

Today's Contest: Paul Mooney's Analyzing White America


All you have to do to enter today's Sound of Young America contest is email contest at maximumfun dot org, and tell us the two sketch comedy programs Mooney is most famous for working with, and the comedy legend who gave him his start.

As usual, be sure to include your name and address in the email, and let us know if you don't want to be on the email list.


Congrats to Paul from Philadelphia who correctly answered In Living Color & Chappelle's Show and Richard Pryor.

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