The Butt Set

On this last day of 2009, go back with me to the days of land-line phones (remember those?).

Remember when you would see the phone guy in your neighborhood, and he had that weird phone on his toolbelt (see image)? That was the only cool, different-looking phone you ever actually saw.

I know there were all sorts of other designs, but a typical kid never saw them in the real world. Most phones were the same, and everyone had that same set at their house. Sure, occasionally it was tinted green, but it was the same phone. Eventually, my parents had a baby blue version of the phone in their bedroom. I used this fact to astonish my friends, as they had never seen such a thing. They thought I was making it up.

Of course there were futuristic designer phones in movies and on TV. But except for sci-fi flicks and shows about rich people, the only really different looking phone you ever saw was on the belt of the phone guy.

Well, it turns out that phone is called a "Butt Set". You heard me. "Butt set". I am not making that up.

Butt set.

The pranking practically writes itself. I can imagine a series of conversation between dispatchers and kids pretending to be phone guys: Requests for replacements for unsightly misshapen butt sets, orders for interns to bring left-handed butt sets, or complaints that when the phone guy showed up, his butt set had a visible crack in it.

I could probably easily find out more info to tell you about the butt set, but there is no way I'm going to Google a term like "Butt Set". You're on your own folks.

Happy new year.






A couple days ago* I was talking with my pal Doug Buckley. A guy he knew was bragging about his (the guy's) new silk shirt. But Doug was unimpressed. Because, as Doug said, "silk is like soft, but this was like wool".
* In 1985

"Dirty Santa" is a Chinese auction-style gift exchange. Thanks for the tip, Tina. But I refuse to watch your singing contest TV show.

Best recent album name I did not come up with:
"Fight Like Apes" (the band), have an EP with the title "David Carradine is a Bounty Hunter Whos Robotic Arm Hates Your Crotch".

Interesting spelling of "whos", by the way.



MTV contacted me about using the Band Names as a series of interstitial features. The deal fell through when they found out that bands are musical groups, and there is no music on MTV anymore.

I made that up.

There is no such thing as MTV.


Finagle's Constant is the original of Murpy's Law, as formulated by Astounding editor John W. Campbell. It postulates not only that that anything that can go wrong, will—but that it will happen at the worst possible moment.



Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Happy Pearl Harbor Day. 30 Years ago today I was a little tiny kid standing out in the snowy rain to see "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" on opening night. My life's story is chronicled in the motion picture "Free Enterprise".

RE Pearl Harbor and ST:TMP--No linkage, but you can make up your own metaphors. Frankly the movie blew my little pre-teen mind--in a good way.

Whether it was a successful film or not, it engendered my Jones for big-concept "brain" science fiction--As opposed to "high concept" (e.g. down-market) "blow stuff up" science fiction.

Of course, its easy to see which way the market evolved.

Enjoy your band names, carbon units.
"The Premotels" makes me giggle. I claim none of these names are random, but that one began life as a typo. I was trying to write "promotes"...



"Paradiddle Flam" may sound like a naughty desert item, but I assure you it is a real thing.

"Reverse Bones" is based on the TV show "Castle", whose scenario is a reversed version of the same TV show, "Bones" (the series principles get a sex change, which, if it were literally true, would make a more interesting police procedural than 99% of the cop-doctor shows the networks have been churning out for the last 20 years).

I'm going to write a screenplay called "Reverse Titanic."

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