Conform Or Be Cast Oot

avalon exterior

With no disrespect to Matt Ender and his magnificent Casio-heavy theme song, just think how much more appropriate this early-80’s hit from Canada’s greatest band (sorry, Skinny Puppy) would have been as Fifteen’s opening theme:

Sprawling on the fringes of the city in geometric order, an insulated border
In between the bright lights and the far, unlit unknown.

Growing up, it all seems so one-sided, opinions all provided, the future pre-decided
Detached and subdivided in the mass-production zone

Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone

janice alone

SUBDIVISIONS – in the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast oot
SUBDIVISIONS – in the basement bars, in the backs of cars, be cool or be cast oot
Any escape might help to smooth the unattractive truth, but the suburbs have no charms to soothe the restless dreams of youth.

Drawn like moths, we drift into the city, the timeless old attraction, cruising for the action, lit up like a firefly just to feel the living night.

Some will sell their dreams for small desires or lose the race to rats
get caught in ticking traps and start to dream of somewhere to relax their restless flight
Somewhere oot of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights.

SUBDIVISIONS – in the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast oot
SUBDIVISIONS – in the basement bars, in the backs of cars, be cool or be cast oot
Any escape might help to smooth the unattractive truth, but the suburbs have no charms to soothe the restless dreams of youth.

Crime & Punishment

necklace

Season 2, Episode 10

No one in the world ever gets what they want, and that is beautiful.  Everybody dies frustrated and sad, and that is beautiful! – They Might Be Giants

Phew!  That last episode was quite a ride.  I posted that synopsis three days ago and everyone’s still talking aboot it, including Ashley and Dylan who we now catch in mid-conversation next to their lockers.

Ashley:  he was so creepy aboot it!  he said you and i were secretly dating or something…that i was using him, stringing him along.  i’m not like that, am i?

Dylan:  Of course not.  He’s being a jerk.

Ashley:  really!  i never knew matt could be such a creep.

Chris appears from oot of nowhere and interrupts their private Matt-bashing session: “Well, if it isn’t the beautiful Ash Blonde Ashley!”  Normally, Chris gets spared from the worst of my mockery because he’s such a perfect dick and as such, is just what the rest of the Hillside student body deserves, but this stupid nickname he devised for Whisperina makes absolutely no sense and this is far from the last time we’ll hear it.  He makes a few inappropriate comments before asking Dylan if he talked to Arseman aboot joining the band.  Dylan says that he hasn’t, then nods towards the stairwell as Arseman and Billy descend together.  Deadpool is boring the shit oot of Sassy Afro with more of his weird and disjointed self-promotion when Dylan steps in between them for fear that his little drum monkey will say something so stupid that Arseman will reject their offer.  After some mandatory sass, Arseman finally tells them that she’d like to take the gig as the band’s singer.  Dylan and Deadpool nearly shit themselves with excitement, but Chris strikes a more businesslike tone: “Well, it’s nice we finally know who we got.  Okay, show up at the garage at 4:00 today and be ready to wail.  Jerry’s gonna be there.”

chris arse

Arseman finally scrapes the bottom of her sass reservoir and takes off, leaving the band to engage in some celebratory guy talk in the lounge.

Chris:  At least with her on stage, the fans will have something to look at.

Dylan:  Uh huh.

Chris:  What do you mean, “uh huh”?

Dylan:  Well, I thought you weren’t just interested in her singing.

Chris:  How’s that?

Dylan:  Well, I, uh, thought you had a bit of a thing for her, and now I know it.

Chris:  Hey, she’s a nice looking woman.  Nothing wrong with that…especially when she’s interested in me, too.

Dylan:  What?

Chris:  It’s obvious!  Haven’t you noticed how she looks at me?

Dylan laughs at Chris’ unjustified overconfidence before implying that he’s more the type of guy someone like Arseman would find attractive, setting himself up for a challenge that even Olaf would have seen coming from a mile away.  (Remember Olaf?  I kinda miss him.)  They make the bet official: “The first guy that gets a date with Arseman, the other guy has to buy him a deluxe pizza”.

leave me out of this

At The Avalon, Janice is admiring a necklace that Courtney took off to show her, explaining that she got it from her grandmother.  “It’s so pretty!  Is it an antique?”  Meanwhile, Arseman enters through the side door and greets Matt who is sitting alone at a table near the payphone.  He responds by shrugging his shoulders and making a noise that sounds like “fah”, causing me to wonder what time of the day this is for him to be so fucking shitfaced already.  Arseman gets a drink from the counter and joins her friends at their booth.  Like Janice, albeit completely unprompted, she gushes over Courtney’s ugly pooka bead necklace before announcing that she joined the band.

Janice:  That’s great!  I’ve never had a rock singer for a friend!

Arseman makes a few painfully unfunny quips in response, then Janice informs her that Courtney has big news, too.  (She doesn’t.)  She just got another fucking letter from Jake, who’s due home “in a couple weeks”.  Arseman asks her how she feels aboot that, “Happy?  Scared stiff?  Or both?” and Headband replies that it’s a little of both.  “Of course, I miss him, but in those letters, he seems to think we’ve got this heavy relationship going.”  Yeah, and I’m sure you said nothing to encourage that belief, right, Shit Drapes?  Janice asks if he’s cute and Courtney confirms that he is.

Janice:  Well, if you’re interested in him, he must be pretty terrific! (Arseman and Courtney burst into uncontrollable laughter) What?  What did I say?

Courtney:  Nothing, it’s alright.

Arseman:  Just that you should see some of the goofs Courtney’s been interested in!

That would be Dylan and Matt, Sassy Pants.  Matt just showed that he doesn’t find you worth giving the time of day to and in aboot another season and a half, you’ll be experiencing the same unrequited love for Dylan as Headband here did last season, so you might want to put some effort into shutting your hyperactive cakehole for once.  The three amigos break into a simultaneous giggle fit that mercifully ends this interminable visit to The Avalon.

giggle

Dylan and Deadpool are holding an impromptu band meeting in the lounge, the content of which is so asinine that it really doesn’t need my commentary.

Dylan:  I gotta have a serious talk with Chris.

Billy:  What aboot?  This bet on Arseman?

Dylan:  No.  Aboot the band’s artistic direction.

Billy:  What’s that?

Dylan:  Well, you know, what kind of music we’re gonna play.  He’s gotta stop sneaking thrash metal riffs into the songs.  He’s trying to make us sound like Collateral Damage!

Billy:  Collateral Damage is a good band.

Dylan:  Hey, they’re a great band, but they’re not us, especially now that we’ve got Arseman.

Deadpool seems to find this conversation just as ludicrous as I do, so he pulls a slender rectangular gift-wrapped box oot of his backpack and tells Dylan that he took his advice aboot getting a girl a present: “I bought a scarf!”  Dylan asks, “For who?”, and then jokes that if he’s after Arseman, too, then the bet’s off.  Billy reacts with offense, so Dylan clarifies, “It’s a joke, Billy!  Obviously, I’m kidding.  Arseman’s fifteen!”  Deadpool’s not having any of Dylan’s ageist shit, so he exclaims, “Excuse me!  This other girl’s fifteen.  I’ve decided I don’t have much in common with girls my own age.”  Dylan laughs and seems to give Billy his blessing to pursue the mysterious older woman as he gets up and walks away.

Of course, Ashley sits down at a table in the lounge at this exact moment, so Deadpool takes a deep breath and walks over to where she’s sitting.  He nervously asks if she minds if he sits down, and Ashley says, “Of course,” then asks what he’s having for lunch.  Deadpool tells her that he already ate, so she wonders aloud why he’s so keen on watching her eat, leading to a torturously awkward silence.  Ashley comes to his rescue by bringing up the topic of Arseman joining the band, punctuating her statement with a pronounced “eh?”, which is something of which we hear surprisingly little from this all-Canadian ensemble.  Billy chokes oot a few queasy sentence fragments in response as he starts to pull the gift from his backpack just as the bell rings signaling the end of lunch hour.  Keep your fucking Zack Morris jokes to yourself, dear readers.  Ashley splits and Deadpool heaves a frustrated sigh as he shoves the gift back into his bag.  I wonder if he used this same approach on Scarlett Johansson.

At the garage, Dylan is finishing up his “artistic direction” speech to Chris whose only response is to reiterate, “Billy can’t play for squat and you keep playing stuff from the Middle Ages”.  Billy and Arseman enter together and Chris greets their new singer with a smarmy “Hey, Beautiful!”  With all the subtlety of a drunk in a MAGA hat, Dylan steps between them and starts to creepily gush to Arseman aboot how great it is to have her in the band.  Rather than acknowledge either of their retarded advances, she asks Billy to “do that thing on the cymbals” during Mama Says Be Glad.  They may have sexual tension and bitter resentments, but Fleetwood Mac they ain’t.  (For those unfamiliar, Fleetwood Mac was a band from the Middle Ages).

Jerry is putting on his jacket as he exits The Avalon shouting to someone behind him, “See you later.  Gotta go see this band that’s been pestering me to audition.”  The camera pans oot to show Ashley, Courtney and Janice sitting at a table near the door.  Whisperina opines that Jerry is “so full of himself” just because he’s the owner’s son, but Courtney jumps to his idiotic defense and lauds him for “setting up all the rock bands playing here.”  That may sound ridiculously overblown, but think aboot it: if this audition goes well, The Avalon will soon be hosting Collateral Damage, New Kids On The Block, Jimi Hendrix and The Grapes of Wrath.  Pretty impressive for a small café in Vancouver whose marquee reads “Chinese Foods”.  Janice suddenly declares, “That necklace is so pretty, Courtney!” and Ashley concurs.  Headband replies, “Yeah, I don’t think they make stuff like this anymore,” setting up Ashley for her first and mercifully last attempt at comedy as she affects a stupid old lady voice and quips, “Nope, they don’t make ‘em like they used to, Dearie”.  Janice gets up to leave, then sits back down, picks up her drink and says, “But first, a toast to the band!  May they pass the audition!” followed by a three-way clinking of glasses.  Janice finally leaves and Courtney muses, “I think Janice is gonna be a really good friend.”

toast

It’s audition time.  Rather than describe the band’s performance in words, I’ll let Jerry do all the work for me in three quick screen shots:

jerry sleepy

***

jerry sleepy2

***

jerry sleepy 3

Regardless, he tells them they’re hired and our incompetent quartet reacts with shameless unmitigated glee.  Feeling the moment is right, Chris sits down next to Arseman, puts his arm around her shoulder and tells her that he’s really glad she’s in the band.   She stares at him in mild disgust while Dylan and Deadpool try to stifle their laughter.

Deadpool is skulking around by the lockers when Courtney comes by and says something aboot their dad to remind us that these two are supposed to be siblings.  The gift-wrapped scarf is poking its head oot of the top of his backpack, so he tries to shove it back in at the appearance of his horrible sister.  She congratulates him aboot The Avalon gig, then shows off her necklace, which Billy recognizes as their grandmother’s.  She confirms that it is, calling it a “family heirloom”.  Billy presciently warns her not to lose it before haltingly changing the subject in an attempt to get up the courage to broach the topic of his Ashley crush as Matt trudges by like he’s fucking sedated on 800 mg of Thorazine.  Deadpool calls oot, “Hi, Matt!” and gets this reaction:

matt wave

Apparently, seeing Matt in this zombified state gives Billy the courage to ask Courtney if she knows where Ashley’s locker is.  She responds, “Yeah, why?” but Deadpool pussies oot and tells her to forget it, then begs her not to tell Ashley he asked.  With a smirk, she tells him that it’s locker 276.  Billy walks off mumbling, “With my luck, she probably keeps it locked,” which, from what I’ve seen of these lockers, is highly unlikely.

Dylan and Chris are at The Avalon trying to come up with a name for the band.  I swear on the ashes of my mother’s beehive hairdo that what I’m aboot to type is fucking verbatim:

Dylan:  Pinball!

Chris:  Nah.

Dylan:  The Pinball Machine.  The Chairs.  The Tables.

Chris:  That’s so dumb!

Dylan:  The Ashtrays.  How’s that?  That’s not a bad name for a band!

Chris:  Yeah, right…a bunch of butts lying around.

Dylan:  Alright, you come up with one.  I’m making all the suggestions.  You’re just shooting them down!

Chris:  Let’s not have a name at all.  The No Name Band.

Dylan:  No, that’s been done.

Chris:  Let’s call ourselves TBA.  To Be Announced.  That way we’ll get a lot of bookings.

Dylan:  Maybe we should get someone else to think of a name.

Chris:  You mean Billy?  He’d wanna call us Really New Kids On The Block.

Dylan:  No, I mean we’ll get everybody to think of a…hey, wait a minute – that’s not bad!  We could have a contest!

Chris: Oh, come on, Dylan!

Dylan:  No, wait, listen!  This is good!  A name the band contest!  We’ll let them do the work for us!

Chris:  I hate to admit it, but that might work!

Incidentally, this was exactly how The Butthole Surfers decided on their iconic name, too.  They decide to make a banner and a suggestion box to put in the student lounge as Ashley and Arseman walk in, effectively ending their meeting of the minds.  Dylan and Chris proceed to assault her with the most inept flirtation imaginable, but Arseman just shakes her head and tells them to “save it for a song lyric”.  Chris proclaims that he’ll do just that and Dylan counters, “If he writes it, it’ll be a thrash metal wall-banger.  I’ll do the most romantic ballad you ever heard!”  They finally leave and Ashley asks, “What if they both have a crush on you?” to which Arseman replies, “Both of them?  What a drag!”  Sassy Afro goes on to opine that “Dylan’s alright, I guess, but Chris can be such a jerk!” and Ashley counters, “But kind of cute, right?”  Yeah, you read that right.  Ashley and Chris.  I’d completely understand if you decide to bail oot of reading this blog any further now that you have this foreknowledge.

In the girls’ locker room, Janice is sitting on the bench rubbing her knee when Ashley enters and asks if she’s okay while she pins a note on Courtney’s locker.  Janice explains that she banged up her knee falling over Courtney in a volleyball game.  As Ashley walks towards the door, Janice shouts, “Courtney’s great, isn’t she?  She always has something good to say aboot people!”  You mean like, “I’m sure she means well, but she’s so irritating!”, Janice?

Dylan and Chris are setting up their Name The Band sideshow in the student lounge when some unknown kids walk by and treat them to some well deserved mockery.  After they walk off, Guitar and Bass continue to snipe at each other over who Arseman finds more desirable.

name the band

Courtney is at her gym locker when she notices that her stupid ugly necklace is missing.  She desperately scours her locker and rummages through some dirty clothes on the bench, but it’s nowhere to be found.  You should’ve listened to Deadpool, Moron.

Ashley and Arseman are still at The Avalon, engaged in the same idiotic conversation aboot whether or not Ashley thinks Chris is cute when Courtney comes running over to their table in a panic.  She bellows that someone stole her necklace that she’d placed in her locker during gym class.  Arseman is positively aghast at the news, but Ashley responds by asking her if she got the note that she taped to her locker.  It comes oot that Janice was in the locker room when she was leaving the note.  Who Farted is sitting at the counter and when she overhears this last earth-shattering statement, she gets up and runs oot the door.

Who Farted rushes up to the table in the student lounge where Brooke is eating lunch.

WF:  This is good.  This is very good!  This is prime!

Brooke:  Don’t keep us in suspense, Dahling, do tell!

WF:  It’s aboot Janice!

Larry, Moe and Curly are back in the girls’ locker room searching for the necklace as Larry whines that she should have listened to her brother and wonders how she’ll ever break the news to her grandmother.  Arseman advises her to ask Miss Leddingham if anyone’s seen it, but Courtney is certain she left it in the locker, though she can’t believe that Janice took it.  Janice enters the locker room smiling from ear to ear and asks, “Do I hear my name in vain?”  Her smile melts when she faces her three stone-faced friends and asks, “What’s the matter?” just as Brooke and Who Farted walk in.  This is by far the busiest we’ve ever seen the girls’ locker room.  Look at this shit:

crowd

Brooke begins to bloviate: “What’s the matter?  Now that takes nerve, wouldn’t you say?  I mean, I have to admire a woman with that kind of gall, entertaining us with her innocent routine after she’s the one who stole the necklace herself!”  Arseman and Ashley cut in to remind Brooke that people are innocent until proven guilty, and they go back and forth as Janice stands awkwardly between them until Brooke claims that Janice faked an injury to get into the locker room by herself and lifts up the hem of her skirt, proclaiming, “There!  See?  No bruise!”  Janice runs from the locker room as Brooke crosses her arms and says, “I’m sorry, Courtney.  I know you thought she was your friend.”

brooke arms

Jesus, I’m fucking tired and hungry.  If the lack of a closing joke for this post disappoints you, just make one up yourself, okay?

NFTA Wins An Award!

brooke fuck you

Up there is a picture of Brooke delivering a heartfelt fuck you to my virtual friend and consummate blogger Tom of TomBeingTom. Now why would she say such a thing to a cool and unassuming guy like Tom?  Because he nominated me for one of those blog award things wherein my prize is that I get to answer questions he devised via a new post on my page that is supposed to be entirely devoted to the analysis of Fifteen.  In an effort to avoid raising Brooke’s ire any further, let’s get this oot of the way quickly, eh?

  • Do you consider yourself a reasonable human being? Do you consider most other human beings to be reasonable?

What constitutes a reasonable human being is entirely subjective and the disparity of opinion as to who should be considered in possession of “sound judgment” renders the question itself unreasonable.  That said, analyzing myself and others as objectively as possible, I must answer both questions with a resounding “no”.  I see myself as unreasonable for some pretty significant reasons, most of which set me firmly to the ootside of my own species.  Psychologists and biologists consider a sense of importance in all of the following things to be inherent to the animal known as Homo Sapiens, and yet, I seem to lack respect for every last one: 1) a belief in a personal god, afterlife, and human superiority/significance; 2) a desire to reproduce and pride in my ethnic heritage and family name; 3) patriotism; 4) competition; 5) money; 6) power; 7) fear of death and desire for eternal life; 8) social communication; 9) a sense of meaning and accomplishment; 10) deeming anything to be inherently joyous or tragic, right or wrong; 11) a belief in any sort of justice, whether it be legal or cosmic; 12) self-protection/survival at all costs.  That’s right, folks, I have analyzed the meaning right oot of every last thing that others utilize to make themselves feel meaningful.  In my view, we are nothing more than temporarily sentient galactic flotsam and jetsam, but don’t think for a second that this makes me sad or depressed.  Frankly, it’s fucking awesome and enormously liberating to be free of the concerns and delusions of the “common man”.  I do occasionally still experience bursts of narcissistic disgust at the stupidity and/or willful ignorance of others, the most recent occasion being this past Thursday, a day that most Americans apparently still call “Independence Day”.  Independence from what or whom?  There’s a fucking idiot dictator where the president used to be and there were literally tanks rolling through the streets of DC for his fucking Nuremburg Rally, yet people still think that this is just a temporary setback, as if American fascism wasn’t already a done deal.  So be reasonable, for fuck’s sake, and at least cop to the obvious fact that your former democratic republic is no more, my fellow American idiots.  Or am I just being unreasonable?  Perhaps.

  • If space aliens exist, and find us, do you presume they would be mostly malicious or benign?

Again, a very subjective question.  I don’t consider sharks or tigers to be inherently malicious, nor do I consider puppies and kittens to be inherently benign.  What I presume I’d probably think upon their arrival is, “Holy shit, that fucker with the orange hair and the crazy Greek name was right!”

  • Who is your favorite comic book superhero?

Come on, man.  Deadpool.

  • If you could go back in time to your early teens, and you developed a mutant power, what do you suppose it would be?

I think I actually did develop a mutant power and I already described it in my first answer: the ability to be unmoved and unimpressed by virtually anything.

  • As #4 above, except what would you HOPE it would be?

The ability to talk to animals.

  • If you’re driving down the ocean in your jet ski, and the wheel falls off, does it still take the same amount of pancakes to cover a doghouse?

Wubba lubba dub dub!

  • You’re on the Starship Enterprise . Are you wearing gold, blue, or red?

Orange.  That’s what I get when Kirk throws me in the brig.

  • What would you do with an extra $1000 a month in free money?

I could almost live on that, so I assume I’d quit the half-assed, uninspired job search I’ve been conducting for the past few months.

  • Do you prefer beer that is crisp, cold, and good or hoppy, warm, and sucky?

Negra Modello, cold.  That’s sort of both.

  • When was the last time you got drunk on the deck alone listening to Bruce Springsteen?

Well, the last time I got drunk was quite a few years ago, but since I have a balcony and that’s sorta like a deck and I love Springsteen…it was probably at the recent end of quite a few years ago.

  • Wasn’t there supposed to be 11 questions?

Dunno.  “Supposed to” is another phrase that tends to aggravate me.  “Supposed to” according to whom?

 

Sanitarium

courtney hug

Season 2, Episode 9

I want you to notice / when I’m not around / You’re so fucking special / I wish I was special / but I’m a creep / I’m a weirdo. – Radiohead

On June 6, 1962, an obscure quartet of Liverpudlian musicians sat in an antechamber of Abbey Road Studios anxiously awaiting the arrival of famed record producer George Martin.  The rest, as they say, is history.

On an unknown date in 1991, an obscure trio of Vancouverite musicians sat at the counter of The Avalon anxiously awaiting the arrival of famed talent scout Jerry the Filth Pig.  The rest, as they say, is asininity.

While Dylan tries to calm his nervous band mates, we learn that Jerry is The Avalon owner’s son, but there’s still no definitive confirmation that he was the hygiene-impaired “dumpy motherfucker” of a waiter we all came to know and love in Season 1.  As if reading my thoughts, the Man of the Hour shows up wearing a meticulously clean and pressed white apron.  Chris immediately starts to dictate the terms of the arrangement before Jerry reminds him that he hasn’t even heard the band yet and wants to know what kind of music they play.  Deadpool volunteers, “we’re kind of into New Kids” causing Chris to roll his eyes in exasperation and declare that they’re not into New Kids, so Dylan clarifies, “Well, basically, we’re rockers…but we’ve got a pretty good range!”  Chris asks Jerry to drop by the garage this afternoon, but Dylan advises him that today’s too soon and he’ll contact him later in the week to schedule the audition.  First, they need to find a lead singer, the desperate pursuit of which will keep them idiotically occupied for the rest of the episode.

jerry chris

Headband sees Ashley at her locker and asks if she’d like to go to the mall after school.  As usual, Whisperina overcomplicates the process of answering a simple yes or no question, so Courtney changes the subject:

Courtney:  Listen, aboot Matt—

Ashley:  let’s just…leave it, okay?

Courtney:  When I said I’d go oot with him, I just – I really thought it was over between you two.

Ashley:  that’s what i thought, too.  i thought i’d let go…then when i heard he’d asked you oot, i started going through the roof.  you figure it oot.  maybe i just need more time than i thought…to get used to the idea of matt going oot with someone else.

Courtney:  You still care aboot him, don’t you?  You still care aboot him a lot…and if that’s the way you feel, you’ve gotta tell him.

A couple of takeaways from this conversation: 1) Courtney’s obviously been spending far too much time with Arseman; 2) Matt started drinking again just in the nick of fucking time.

Dylan and Deadpool are brainstorming at their lockers when Billy suddenly declares, “It’s gotta be someone good…I mean really good, like – like Janet Jackson!”  I’m gonna let that one slide because I know with the benefit of hindsight that someday you’ll be a wisecracking, ass-kicking superhero, but I’m watching you, Billy.  Headband interrupts their conversation to wish them luck in the upcoming concert.

Dylan:  Even though I’m a jackass?

Courtney:  Oh, you are not.

Dylan:  Sometimes I’m a jackass.

Courtney:  Let’s just say sometimes I think you’re sort of a jackass.

Hmm.  That didn’t go as planned.  I thought if I typed the word “jackass” three times, Corky Martin would materialize in my living room and I could beat him aboot the head with a Dust Buster.  Oh well, fuck it.  Let’s move on.

In the girls’ locker room, Courtney tells Janice (phew!) that she’s really good at volleyball prompting her to wax nostalgic aboot playing on the volleyball team at her old school.  As Courtney starts to leave, Janice nervously asks her if she’d like to get together some time at lunch hour.  Headband hesitates, but when she notices the distressed look on Janice’s face, she asks, “How aboot tomorrow?” Janice is ecstatic, apparently forgetting all aboot the fact that Courtney finds her irritating.

janice polka dots

I introduced the character of John in my Season 2 infographic post, but neglected to mention that we don’t actually meet him until the ninth episode of the season.  This is the diminutive dork with elephantitis of the ears that we see Deadpool holding by the ankles during the opening credits.  Anyhow, John is pounding on the soda machine in frustration when Billy walks over and tells him that there’s a special spot that when struck with a certain finesse – voila! – produces the can of soda.  John is audibly amazed at Deadpool’s super powers, so his new acquaintance informs him that “it’s all in the rhythm…just like drumming”.  He goes on to tell him that he’s in a rock band and that they’ll be playing The Avalon before he’s distracted from his self-promoting diatribe by the appearance of Ashley in the lounge.

erin leah

As Erin and Leah look on from a nearby bench, Deadpool tells Ashley that he “really let Chris and Dylan have it” for rejecting her as the band’s singer.  She blows off his unnecessary concern, but he continues to insist that he thought she was great.  Ashley affectionately touches Billy’s arm and again tells him that he’s sweet as she gets up to go to class.

Erin:  Major crush!  Major crush!  Major crush!

Leah:  Isn’t it hilarious how a crush can turn an intelligent boy into an idiot?

Erin:  Only Billy wasn’t that intelligent to begin with.

deadpool
YOU SHUT YOUR GODDAMN TRASH MOUTH, ERIN!

Leah opines that she doesn’t even know any intelligent boys, so Dumbo Ears who was eavesdropping by the soda machine this whole time chimes in to inform her that he’s not surprised, since “intelligent boys don’t go anywhere near girls!”

Deadpool is leaning over the back of the booth in The Avalon pinball room asking Dylan incessant moronic questions while Leather Jacket tries to work on a book report.  Billy takes a seat and tries to get Dylan to advise what he should do if he’s unsure whether a certain girl likes him or not, ignoring his mentor’s annoyed attempts to brush him off.  Realizing that Deadpool won’t leave him in peace until he gets an answer, he tells him to “buy her something expensive”.

Courtney and Arseman stroll through the student lounge discussing Dylan’s quest for a lead singer.  Courtney thinks that he must be desperate, because he even asked her if she’d like to audition, so Arseman hands her a ruler as a prop microphone and orders her to sing.  To my horror, she obliges Sassy Afro and begins to drone “Michael rowed the boat ashore, allelu—” before mercifully cutting her song short and whining, “I can’t!”  Those of you who’ve been reading Notes From The Avalon since its inception will understand the significance of what follows.

Arseman:  Well, that’s kind of a lame song anyway.  See, a rock singer’s gotta be really aggressive.  Like, um, you know that old song “Mama Says Be Glad”?

Courtney:  Sort of.

Arseman:  God, how does it go? (singing into the ruler while gettin’ jiggy wit it in the middle of the student lounge)  Well, I’m too young to fly and I’m too old to cry, but Mama says be glad I’m young and I don’t ask why, ‘cause I’m fifteen, not old enough to be free!  Yeah, I’m fifteen years old, and that’s the trouble with me!

arseman sings

The curiously large crowd in the student lounge (which Courtney referred to as “the cafeteria” just a moment ago) responds with thunderous applause as Dylan approaches from the locker vestibule and excitedly asks Arseman if she’d like a job.

An exterior shot of the school signals a scene change, but in its wake, we’re right back in the lounge listening to Dylan insist that Arseman has to audition for the band.  She vacillates for a bit before Dylan tells her to be at the garage at 4:00.

Next we see Leather Jacket ambushing Ashley at her locker with the news of Arseman’s heretofore hidden talent: “She’s really got a…a style!  I think we finally found our lead singer!”  Ashley jokingly tells him aboot Deadpool’s allegation that he lit into him and Chris for rejecting her and they have a laugh before Dylan thanks her for understanding and then pulls this shit…

hug

…a bold public display that unwittingly causes this shit:

matt pissed

At the mall clothing store, Billy is inspecting the price tags attached to several garments he has laid oot on the counter, hoping to find something at least moderately affordable with which to impress Whisperina.  When he expresses consternation that something as simple as a scarf can be so expensive, the same obnoxious employee that helped to convince Who Farted to buy an overpriced skirt with her dad’s credit card starts to play the same poverty-shaming game with Deadpool.  Incidentally, just over Billy’s shoulder, the black skirt with white polka dots that enabled Who Farted to take Hillside by storm is hanging on the wall.  I’d really like to buy it for Janice, but if the merchandise in this place is oot of Ryan Reynolds’ price range, I’m sure I can’t afford to make such a gesture.

Arseman and Courtney are having a stupid conversation by the soda machine when Janice comes around the corner and deliberately avoids eye contact as she walks by.  Arseman calls oot to her, so she immediately begins to apologize for eavesdropping, then nervous wrecks her way through an over-the-top effluvium of encouragement aboot Arseman’s upcoming audition.  All the while, Arseman and Courtney are condescendingly staring at her like she’s a retarded kitten caught up in a ball of yarn.  Janice finally runs off and Courtney decides that “she’s actually kind of okay” and Arseman seems to agree, adding that “she just needs to calm down a little”.

Arseman walks off and Courtney approaches Janice at a table in the lounge.  Shit Drapes proceeds to break their lunch date for tomorrow and Janice understandably interprets this as yet another blow-off before Courtney clarifies, “How aboot this afternoon?”  Good save, Headband.  For a second there, I thought I was going to have to make an impromptu trip to Vancouver and go all Deadpool on your sorry ass.

Chris shows up late to the garage for Arseman’s audition.  Not wishing to waste any more time, Dylan asks everyone present, “You wanna do ‘Mama Says Be Glad’ again?”, which I assume is a rhetorical question because it’s the only fucking song we’ll hear them play from here on oot.  Billy gets up to adjust his snare and excitedly asks his bandmates, “Oh, hey, did you guys see that New Kids special on TV last night?  They had some really great dance moves!  We should try something like that!”  Okay, Deadpool, listen up.  In a couple of decades, you’ll have more than enough cred to get away with publicly airing your abysmal musical tastes – hell, when the time comes, I’ll even forgive you for ear-raping me and millions of other viewers with Chicago’s god-awful eighties abomination “You’re The Inspiration” – but those days are pretty far off, so you might want to keep your appreciation of audio atrocities under wraps for now.  Chris responds, “The New Kids are goofs – and so are people who like them” before they launch into a painfully uninspired rendition of MSBG.  When the song ends, Billy and Dylan seem ready to offer Arseman the gig but Chris asks her to step ootside so they can discuss things.  As soon as she exits, Chris explains that he thinks she’s alright, but he doesn’t want her to be “too sure of herself” and wants to ensure that “she knows her place”.  After a few more seconds, they ask her back in and tell her that she’s hired, but the Sass Master turns the tables and wonders aloud whether she even wants to be hired.  She tells them that since she auditioned for them, it’s their turn to audition for her.  Taking a seat and crossing her legs, she confidently instructs the dumbstruck trio, “Whenever you’re ready, Guys.  Rock on!”

keyboard


At The Avalon, Courtney is giving Janice tips on how to play pinball.  After tapping lightly at the buttons for aboot a nanosecond, Janice throws in the towel and declares, “See?  I totally blew it!” which doesn’t illustrate her lack of self-confidence as much as it does the fact that THE FUCKING PINBALL MACHINE ISN’T EVEN PLUGGED IN!!  Courtney points oot that her initials, along with Matt’s and Jake’s, are displayed on the high scores list, prompting Janice to gush, “Wow!  You guys are famous!”  She expresses her envy towards pretty much everybody who isn’t her, gaining exponential psychotic steam with every word that wind sprints oot of her mouth as she treats Courtney to the most exquisite mental breakdown ever captured on celluloid:

Janice:  I want to do something.  Like at my old school.  I was on the soccer team…everybody liked me.  I was smart…and I come here and it’s not just that I’m not popular anymore, it’s also…I’ve turned into this idiot!  I open my mouth and the stupidest things come oot! (a kid enters through the rear door and hurries away from her presence)  There, see?  I hear what I’m saying and I see people look at me like I’m crazy and I think, ‘Janice, SHUT UP’, but I can’t!!  I’ve forgotten how to talk and I’ve forgotten how to shut up!  SEE?!  I CAN’T EVEN SHUT UP NOW!!

janice crazy

More so than any of the performances we’ve seen from Laura Harris, Rekha Shah’s delivery of this glorious public meltdown defies my ability to describe it.   Blindsided by this unexpected display of lunacy, Courtney tells her that it’s okay as Janice collapses into her arms and hugs Headband with all of her might.

courtney hug2

Back at the garage, Arseman’s stone-faced reaction to the band’s performance seems to be the last straw for Chris who shouts in frustration, “Hey, take the job or don’t take it!”  Sassy Ass goes off on some shit her father taught her aboot never signing a contract until you’ve thought aboot it for at least 24 hours before sashaying her self-satisfied derriere oot the door.

Matt trudges into The Avalon and Ashley says hi from her table by the door.  He reluctantly returns her greeting before walking back to the pinball room.  Whisperina heaves a sigh and grumbles to herself, “how come the girl always follows the guy?” before getting up to follow him.  She stands, arms crossed, next to the inoperable pinball machine:

Ashley:  so, how’s it going?

Matt:  Hey, fine.  Good, thanks.

Ashley:  you know, i’ve been talking to courtney.  we’re getting to be friends again.

Matt:  That’s good, too.

Ashley:  yeah.  even when people care aboot each other a lot, they still have misunderstandings.  but then they find ways to clear them up, right?  and they can start over?

Matt:  Why?  You having misunderstandings with DYLAN?

Ashley:  dylan?

Matt:  ‘Cause you sure don’t seem to misunderstand each other!  You seem to “understand” each other just fine!!

Ashley:  what are you getting at?  there’s nothing going on with dylan.  we’re friends.

Matt:  Yeah, real good friends from what I’ve seen!  So where do I fit in?  You having fun keeping me on a string while you’re playing with Dylan?!

Ashley:  what are you talking aboot?

Matt:  Or do you just keep me around so he doesn’t take you for granted?

Ashley:  this is crazy!

Matt:  Either way, it’s nice to feel useful.

Ashley:  you creep!  how come I never noticed what a creep you are?!  were you always like this?

Matt:  Were YOU?!

Ashley:  you know something?  i’m just really glad we broke up because now i don’t have to put up with any of this!

Matt:  Hey, I’ll drink to that!

Ashley:  you probably will!  and it’ll be all my fault, won’t it?  like everything was always my fault!!

you creep

Well, I wouldn’t go that far, Ashley.  I’m pretty sure you weren’t responsible for the Crusades or the rise and fall of the Third Reich, but when it comes to Matt’s obvious alcoholic relapse – yeah, that one’s on you.  Hell, you nearly drive me back to the bottle every time I have to transcribe one of your ridiculous whispered tirades.  So nostrovia, Matt!  How aboot we go for some beer and baguettes, eh?