November 19


A few years ago, after an evening out drinking, my friend and I went back to her apartment.  We kind of collapsed in a heap around the kitchen table and I flipped on the radio.  There may or may not have been more alcohol consumed.  As we sat there and reviewed our evening (Which, even years later, I can probably recreate for you, in 4 easy steps:  1.)  Go to bar. 2.) Drink too much.  3.)  Sit pathetically by self as friend gets hit on all evening  4.)  Leave.  Welcome to my night!) I played around with tuner, trying to find a song that didn't suck, I stopped on a station somewhere above 104 when I heard the opening to a song we all know (you know it, even if you think you don't, you do), but might not all love, 96 Tears.  Great song.  Strange, hypnotic, I stopped, happy to not have to hunt around for a station.

We commented innocuously on how much we enjoyed the song, and continued talking (which, too, I can recreate for you in 4 easy steps: 1.) Yeah, that guy was checking you out!  2.)  No way, he bought you how many drinks?  3.)  Nah, nah, that was cool.  I had that drunk woman talking to me.  4.)  Glad you didn't give him your number, he looked like a pervert).  The song ended.  Some sawing noises (from the radio station, not from us, you see) are played.  Then, the song starts up again. If you don't know the song and refused to listen to it with the extremely easy mp3 I've provided, you'll not know what I mean, when I say that the opening organ music is extremely, extremely recognizable, and we were both like "Hmm.  Perhaps they've made a mistake!"  but paid it no mind, and listened again, because it's not often a radio station will fuck up and play the same thing TWICE, right?

Imagine our surprise when, immediately after the song ended, it played again.  And again and again and again.  Without ever stopping for a commercial.  We were mesmerized as only two drunken people presented with something extremely irregular can be.  It became the only topic of conversation.  We stayed awake at least 2 hours later than normal, all because we had to, HAD to keep listening.  Maybe they'd stop?  Would it continue?  Why was it happening?  Why?  WHY??  There was no explanation.

We woke the next morning (or afternoon, remember, we were drunk and went to sleep late late) and rushed to the radio, convinced that it was a fluke.  Both of us half dreading and half hoping that we'd hear it.  And we did!! All afternoon.  I went back home that evening.  Still playing!  Over and over again, all weekend long.  Question Mark and the Mysterians, 96 Tears.

About every 45 minutes or so, they'd break for the little station ID, which was what the sawing noises were about (note:  they did, in fact, say the name of the station, I was not hearing it in the saws, heh: "Daaannnaaa...killll...") and I had the good sense to write it down, but truthfully, I couldn't have forgotten it if I'd tried.

She and I attempted to explain the phenomenon to people.  "The same song! All weekend!!"  but no one seemed to care.  That Monday, I found the station's phone number and called.  I had to know what in the MOTHERFUCK it was about.  A laughing woman explained to me that the station was doing some overhaul that  and they just weren't able to have a DJ there.  "So, we decided to make it the Question Mark and the Mysterians greatest hits weekend, but, they only had one hit, so we had to play the same song the whole time."

Heh.  It was irregular enough that I remember it to this day, and I STILL think of it when I hear the song.  Yesterday reminded me of that.  Did you all see that this weekend on Nickelodeon was The Facts of Life marathon?  It was.  Again and again and again, The Facts of Life.  Why did it happen?  I don't know.  The sad part of my story is that I didn't realize it was happening until Sunday afternoon, which was sort of far along in the history of TFOL.   I caught it when they'd all moved out of the dorms and into the room above the store.  When they all started having mullet hair and should have been too old to live together.  That's not the point, though.  The point is that I was unable to turn away.  Would the next show be TFOL?  Would it stop?  Would they throw in an early show, just to break things up?  One with Tootie in roller skates?

My hours of watching prompted me to ask a few questions that never came up as a KID watching TFOL, questions I will share with you:

1.)  Isn't it obvious that Mrs. Garrett was a gigantic drunk?  I mean, why else would she act that way?  She always SEEMED drunk, what with the shrieking and flittering around.

2.)  Jo and Blair, no lesbian action?  Oh, come ON.

3.)  Tootie? Bad hair.  Worst hair ever.  In fact, that may be what I like most about TFOL.  They all had HORRIBLE hair.  And great big titties!  Except for Jo.  She was without bosom.

4.)  As the season got on in years, why did they all want to remain in the same room?  4 adult women?  Sharing a room?  Sharing ONE bathroom?  "Oh, baby, I'd love to bring you home, but there are 3 other girls there..  Shut up, baby, we can't have a 5-some..."  The 5 some would never have happened mostly because none of them ever had sex.

5.)  Did anyone actually think Blair was hot?

6.)  Cousin Geri??? COUSIN GERI???????

7.)  If Blair was so rich, why did she even have to live with everyone else?  When it got on to the college years, why did she have to live in the dorms?  Was there no apartment in Peekskill for a young rich woman?

8.)  Why were Natalie and Tootie friends?

9.)  Why did any of them like Mrs. Garrett?

10.)  4 women.  One room.  No "experimenting"?  Oh, come ON.

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