Oh! But I made Frankie… oh, I milked. I, errrrrrr, what am I? I just want approval, I guess. I start makin’ Frankie Gun laugh. He’s an easy… he likes… he likes to laugh at my dumb phrases.
I was… imitating, like, the title of a Jonathan… what’s that guy’s name? Jonathan Safer… that’s not it. Jonathan Saffro… [laughter]. I know it’s not Saffron. Jonathan… I’m gonna get as close as I can. Jonathan Saf…fnn… Saf. [Sigh.] Jonathan Safan Foer? [Laughter.] Not Saffron Foyer. But, uh… I believe it’s S-A-F-R-A-N and then his last name is F-O-E-R. Anyway, I was making fun of his kind of titles and… I was sayin’ somethin’ like, Hey, Look. [Laughter.] He—here’s one of his titles: Hey, Go Around There, What Happened? Hey, Come Back With My Wallet, You! [Laughter.] I know that’s not what his titles are like.
But it made Frankie Gun laugh! So I just kept doing it.
Feeding these cats! As we speak. Uh, they seem happy. You know, when I—last time I went to the store I bought a… a cardboard box with, I believe, twenty-four little cans of cat food in it, and… [laughter; throat clearing] it purp—purported to be… I can’t remember h-how they put it. Uh, you know… “The Variety Seafood Package” or something. Lots of different kinds of—well, three, at least, flavors of seafood… [lip noise]. And yet, upon opening the box, all twenty-four were… Ocean Whitefish and Tuna Feast?
[Throat clearing. Throat noise.]
I’m gonna give you a little more, Big Boy. Whoops. Uhhhyyyyuh! I just put down this recording device in a puddle of water! That can’t… boy, if I lost this, what purpose would I have?
Where ya goin’, G-Man? Here. Sure you don’t want some more? Mm-mmm! [Throat clearing. Unintelligible words.]
Let me stir that up for you! I’m only too happy to oblige. Okay, maybe… whoops! Did I put my finger in something? Here you go. [Unintelligible.]
I wonder if you want some dry… dry food [unintelligible].
Hey, you’re doin’ great!
Ocean whitefish! What is that a code word for? Who knows?
I’ve had whitefish! Whitefish…
I remember a restaurant in Los Angeles called Jones. Many… years ago. Whitefish on a plank. They cooked it on a little plank. For extra plank… [laughter].
Extra planky goodness. And… yeah, they rushed us in… they were a hot spot. Pauly Shore… Dirk saw Pauly Shore walking in once, I think.
And this was, you know, at the height of his, uh…
We were at peak Pauly saturation at the time. So that’ll… put that in your Wikipedia.
I mean by “put that in your Wikipedia” I mean… [clinking] you know, check Wikipedia and see… and read about the history of Pauly Shore. I’m gonna do that. Right after I finish talking into this thing. ‘Cause now I’m curious. [Pedal-operated trash can lid going up. Squishy trash sounds.] So go look on Wikipedia about how… whatever year it was that Pauly Shore was… marching to and fro. [Laughter.]
What does it say in Job about Satan?
Does he say he was walking to and fro?
Anyway, that’s what Pauly Shore was doing back in those days, just like Satan in the book of Job, he was walking to and fro.
And, and, furthermore…
[Trash can; clinking; clattering. Violin.]
[Loud clanging. Water running.]
Just like Satan, Pauly Shore roamed the earth. And… this would b—have been at the same time, for your cross-referencing, when you’re doing your research, when you’re triangulating, you can also plug in the fact that it was a time when people served fish on a wooden plank ‘cause they thought it was fancy.
And where are they now, these plank-serving connoisseurs? [Laughter.]
You know, who knows? Maybe planks are still a big thing. I don’t remember… I haven’t seen a plank… I haven’t been served anything on a plank… well, you know what? I think I’ve been locally served something on a plank. [Laughter.]
Ah, that’s a great word.
Anyway, Pauly Shore, fish on a plank, you got… uh… oh. One time we went to that restaurant and they said, “Well, hurry up.” [Laughter.] The waiter was like, “Yeah, okay, you can eat but hurry up. We have other people coming in.”
And I—and that, uh! You know, they really made me—I had to eat my fish on a plank. I really had to… I was like a beaver on that plank!
We had to get in and get out.
“Yes, sir! Right away, sir!”
And then, where are they now?
See? What better… what better vision, what better illustration of life? What happened to the Pauly Shore, the Tony Danza, the Loni Anderson whose impending arrival could rush other diners through their whitefish on a plank? I’m no Anne Brontë… Damn it! I just put that recorder down in that same puddle of water. I’m—maybe that’s what… maybe Freud was right.
Now, Anne Brontë, man, she’d give you a good lesson on birds and toads. And… the glowworm and its… romance with a… with a fly. I don’t understand… maybe… I need to read up on glowworms. And…
Actually, and I’m not kidding, there’s a new book called something like Glowworms and Fireflies, that, uh, the author is coming to read from at our local bookstore soon. I noticed when I was in there the other day.
Maybe I should go and ask questions about the sex life of the glowworm. But if I’m understanding Anne Brontë—and I’m just gonna take her word for it…
[Loud stomach growling.]
The female glowworm is courted by something with wings.
Jack Pendarvis has written five books. He won two Emmys for his work on the TV show Adventure Time. During a period of light employment, he spoke into a digital recorder whenever the mood struck him and transcribed the results, accumulating the two thousand pages from which this column has been extracted.