“I’ll play along with this charade
That doesn’t seem to be a reason to change
You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot
‘Cause she’s watching him with those eyes
And she’s lovin’ him with that body, I just know it
And he’s holding her in his arms late, late at night”

Rick Springfield, on fire safety

2013 is off to a roarin’ start, folks, let me tell you. It’s been a few weeks since I last updated all of you on the reconstruction of the band’s kick-ass RV, but we’ve had some issues that required attention.

A brief recap:

  • Band drives too many cars/SUVs to its gigs causing for the rapid meltdown of the polar ice caps
  • Band sells soul, plays whichever gigs pay the most money, including something called “Anoka County Gun Show”
  • Band sets out to procure proper “wheels”
  • RV is found; RV is purchased
  • Band eschews finding professional car repairmen and attempts to fix RV on their own
  • “Things happened” – see below
  • Band is royally f-cked!

Everyone up-to-speed? Good.

As last reported Josh and Plete were hard at work shaping “The Executive” RV into something more reflecting of the band’s status as a “Top 5 Must See Band in Minnesota.” (See Vita.Mn page.)

With Josh’s blueprints at hand and a pretty impressive project schedule laid out by Plete (he even created a BaseCamp page), construction began. Well, anyone who’s ever done home remodeling or watched HGTV’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy knows that the first rule of remodeling is creating a proper foundation (although one could argue that the first rule should be hiring people who know what they’re actually doing as opposed to letting two slack-jawed yokels from the band ass-fart themselves through a construction project that neither is even remotely qualified to lead, but I digress). Without a proper foundation, even the most prestigious projects are doomed from the get-go (re: Block E).

Instead of ensuring that the RV’s engine and its related components were in tip-top shape (which would allow the band a safe and secure ride to-and-from each show) or (!!) tackling the horrible condition of the RV’s frame due to raccoon infestation, Josh wanted to tackle the RV’s entertainment area.

“>”There’s no place to travel in style.”

“Most important in this endeavor is the sound system, Collin. Without tunes, well, what good is a band vehicle, anyway? None. None good.”

Josh’s drive to create a party room complete with a sound system rivaling that of any professional music venue, a drive that would blind him to the van’s most pressing issue – raccoon feces-covered insulation – was step 1 in the demise of our new and much-ballyhooed “wheels.”

“Don’t blame me,” said Plete upon reflection of the tumultuous events. “If you look at my project timeline on this spreadsheet you’ll notice a 2-week period for proper cleaning and stripping of the RV’s guts, followed by a complete engine rebuild.”

He added “Josh was hell bent on getting that damn audio system running. I was as powerless as a set of pleats on a damp pair of khakis.”

With 2 inches of raccoon feces lining the walls and most of the remaining insulation having been rotted or eaten away, Josh was left to simply stuff the speaker cables into any nook and cranny he could find, including underneath the RV, adjacent to gas lines.

Now, any sound dork will tell you the safest and BEST way to go when installing speaker wire is using 24-gauge clear 2-conductor speaker wire; both in terms of sound AND safety. As the purchase of the RV ate up a good majority of the band’s savings – not including the $900 in overdraft charges Plete racked up from using the band credit card to buy online pornography – Josh was left with roughly $300 to use in the RV’s reconstruction. With $200 of that going to furnishings and high-quality toilet paper (Joe won’t poop without having AT A MINIMUM 2-ply paper), Josh didn’t have a lot of cash left to use on his sound system. Instead of the aforementioned 24-gauge wire, Josh used some 2-gauge UNGUARDED (i.e., exposed) wire he bought off of an old, about-to-be-demolished Godfather’s Pizza joint in Fridley.

With his wiring complete and the stereo + DVD + CD carousel + Super VHS + LaserDisc sound system all stacked and ready, tests were set to commence.

“It really wasn’t a concern,” said Josh as he draw a pair of eyebrows on his burned forehead. “I knew my system was safe.”

“I just wasn’t prepared for raccoon shit to be explosive.”

In his 1991 film Backdraft Ron Howard taught us to not only FEAR fire, but also to respect it:

It’s a living thing, Brian. It breathes, it eats, and it hates. The only way to beat it is to think like it. To know that this flame will spread this way across the door and up across the ceiling, not because of the physics of flammable liquids, but because it wants to. Some guys on this job, the fire owns them, makes ’em fight it on it’s level, but the only way to truly kill it is to love it a little. Just like Ronald.

Josh Kobow did not heed this advice, but instead taunted it.

With members of the band loaded on the RV for a test drive, we were SOMEWHAT excited as the inside did indeed seem cleaned up. Josh had recovered some furniture from an estate sale, including some very uncomfortable wicker chairs, an ottoman, and a large painting of two naked men who appeared to be wrestling over a pet snake.

With Slacks (Plete) at the wheel, we ventured out onto the roads. Josh, excited as excited gets, loaded a pre-mixed CD into the stereo and readied us for what was sure to be an event 3 days in the making.

… and then …

In a blink of an eye the RV went from a million awesome possibilities and future Plete dry-hump sessions to nothing but burned raccoon feces and stereo equipment. A burning heap of sadness.

The fire started behind the stereo equipment, along the driver’s side wall, but soon spread to cover the entire front of the RV. Plete, panicked, but still in control, attempted to brake the RV and save us, but the brakes, scheduled for new pads and rotors and calipers, didn’t respond. While Josh attempted to put out the fire with some bottle water, the rest of the band huddled near the now-melting painting of the two men. The fire had melted all of the painting minus the large, flaccid penises of the two wrestlers; a fitting tribute to our new and soon-to-be gone RV.

With the RV now nearly completely engulfed in flames, Plete had only one option: he drove off of the road, through a snow-covered field and rammed the RV headfirst into a barn. Hoping the field and, if necessary, the barn’s old wood would slow us down, Plete aimed dead ahead. The barn DID indeed stop the RV, but not before catching on fire. Apparently 100+-year old barn wood is flammable.

The band, beaten and weary, jumped out of the RV and ran for safety. Josh took the brunt of the fire, leaving his head bald and without any facial hair.

Plete was able to leave with nary an injury. Many are calling him and hero. Well, many people NOT including Herbert Jones and family who lost their barn and 23 head of cattle. LLC!!!

So there you have it. No RV. We’re back to driving 6 different cars to each venue. Back to having no money. Back to having no dreams of cruisin’ America’s open roads.

Stupid sound system. Fckin’ raccoons!!

– written by Collin Hummel