Friday, March 31

Lost Friday - "Lockdown."

Here comes the pain.
Season 2 - Episode 17 - "Lockdown."

Another Lost Friday is belatedly upon is. We have entirely too much to discuss.

Wow. This episode was so huge, it roundhouse kicked Lost Friday into two pieces. 'Lockdown' was like the Chuck Norris of island dramas. Best forced analogy ever; remind me to buy myself a drink this weekend, I deserve it after that display.

When it comes to Lost, more answers=more questions=more pills to get to bed at night, and 'Lockdown' didn't fail to impress. In terms of the direction of the show, this was just as big as 'Orientation' or the season 2 premiere. Huge things are on the way, and I, for one, welcome our new Hanso-funded overlords. Skinny time.

'The Skinny,' Courtesy of Wikipedia:
(Mouse over pictures for trademark humorous caption.)

I warned you about insulting my cooking, you turd.

Henry Gale, despite his sinister demeanor at the end of the last episode, tries to convince Locke and a very suspicious Jack that he was just making a bad joke. Jack insists Henry draw another map, but Locke says "What's done is done." Jack becomes angry and orders Locke to put Henry back into the armory. After Jack leaves, Henry asks Locke why he lets Jack talk to him like that. Locke is silent, but grabs Henry roughly by the neck and throws him into the armory. Back in the clearing, Sayid, Charlie and Ana-Lucia have found both the balloon and the grave, apparently confirming Henry's story.

In the flashback, we see the continuation of Locke and Helen's relationship from "Orientation". Locke is preparing a picnic lunch for the couple, and we see that he packs an engagement ring into the lunch. Helen inquires what the picnic is about, and Locke tells her it is, indeed, a surprise, and to read her regular obituaries while he finishes up. She looks at the paper and sees the name "Anthony Cooper", Locke's father.

Jack wins back Sawyer's love in a dramatic game of hold 'em.

Back on the island, Jack's medical attention is sought by several people, and he realizes that he needs to get the medicine back from Sawyer if anyone is to receive medical treatment without going broke in the process. Sawyer, Kate, and Hurley are nearby playing poker. While Kate and Hurley are playing for fun - mostly - Sawyer is obviously in it for the loot (mangoes and papayas). Jack takes the opportunity to win the medicine back.

Shhh! If I'm caller number 9, I'll score some Quiet Riot tickets.

In the hatch, Locke is seen pedaling furiously on the stationary bike while listening to some music. Suddenly, he stops. He hears some static noise and what sounds like a voice coming from the speakers around the hatch. Locke goes to look at the computer, notices the prompt is blinking like normal, and that the timer has 47 minutes left. A few seconds later, over Henry's protests from inside the armory, Locke hears a voice announce "5...4...3...2...1". At 1, the blast doors quickly begin to shut. First, the computer room is sealed off, then the window, then a door begins to close over the exit. Locke reacts quickly, grabs a crowbar, and dives to slide it under the door to stop it from closing completely.

Damn! That was my last good crowbar. This is why we can't have nice things.

Years earlier, Helen and Locke have postponed their picnic to go to Locke's father's funeral. Helen asks if Locke is sure he wants to do this. He is, and they go as the only attendees. Not even Locke's mother is there. Locke notices two mysterious men, who briefly cast glares in Locke's direction. Locke then glances in the other direction and sees a silver Mercedes. At the conclusion of the funeral, Locke stands next to the coffin and says, "I forgive you." The silver Mercedes immediately speeds off.

Meanwhile, Locke has formed a truce with Henry to get the blast door open. Together, the two are able to wedge it open and slide a toolbox underneath to prop it open. Locke hastily tries to slide under the heavy door, and is rewarded with the door crushing the toolbox just enough to pin his legs painfully under the door. Henry, following Locke's instructions, quickly grabs a stack of weights from the exercises area, and puts them under the door to stop any further pressure on Locke's legs. As it is obvious Locke will not escape soon, he tells Henry how to get into the computer room through the vents to input the numbers. Henry goes into the pantry to access the vents, but he slips climbing the shelves and lies stunned on the ground. Locke yells for Henry, but receives no answer. At that point, the horn speaker alarm begins blaring.

You help me out here, and I promise Sayid will make your death as painless as possible. Maybe.

Back in Irvine, CA, Locke is assessing a piece of property that Nadia is purchasing. As Locke is about to leave, he sees the same silver Mercedes across the street from the house. When he approaches the vehicle, the window rolls down to reveal his father, who is still quite alive. They go to a bar, where Anthony reveals that he faked his own death to collect $700,000 as part of a life insurance scam. He says that the two men are looking to kill him for real this time because of the scam. He wants Locke to go to the bank to get the money for him from a safety deposit box, and keep $200,000 as payment. Anthony confesses that it won't pay Locke back for what he went through, and that if he doesn't see Locke again, he would understand. Locke goes to the bank to get the money, and races back home with the intention of taking Helen out to dinner. The two men are waiting at his house, though, and start questioning Locke about his father. Helen defends Locke and tells the men to get lost. The men ask what is in Locke's bag; he replies that it contains work papers. When they ask to look at it, the men find it does contain work papers. The two men leave, having not found what they came for. After the men are gone, Helen asks Locke if he was lying about not having seen his dad that day. He says he wasn't lying and that he hadn't seen him.

Hello, my name is Anthony Evil.

On the island, Jack is soundly trouncing Sawyer at poker, and wins back all of the medicine with a pair of nines. He tells Sawyer that he will pick up the medicine later, and starts heading back to the hatch. As Jack is walking away, Sawyer asks Jack why he didn't try to win back the guns. Jack replies, "When I need the guns, I'll get the guns."

In the hatch, Henry slowly gets up as the timer begins to go off. Gaining his footing again, he climbs hurriedly into the vent, disappearing from Locke's sight. The timer begins to beep rapidly, signaling the beginning of the 1-minute countdown. Locke begins to get nervous, but suddenly the alarm stops, there is a whirring noise, and the lights go out. Seconds later, blacklights come on and some sort of drawing is revealed on the blast door that Locke is trapped under. It appears to be a map of the island compounds, or diagram of some kind, with a swan shape and a "I am here" for the current bunker. There is not a good look at it before the normal lights turn back on and the blast doors retract to their normal positions. Henry steps out of the computer room and tells Locke that he only did what Locke asked him to do, nothing more.

Finally, everything makes perfect sen-, what the hell is this?

Rounding out this episode's flashback, we return to the motel where Locke's dad said he would be. Locke has taken him up on his offer and empties the money out onto a table. Anthony asks about "the woman you were with at my funeral". Locke tells his dad that her name is Helen and he is going to ask her to marry him over dinner that night. Anthony seems to approve of this and congratulates John just as he is leaving. Opening the door, however, he sees Helen standing right there. Helen is obviously hurt and reprimands Anthony with strong words and an even stronger slap to the face. She leaves and Locke chases after her. Locke claims he was going to tell her everything eventually, but she throws it back in his face, saying that Locke chose his father's love over hers. While saying that he can't live without her, Locke gets down on one knee and proposes. After a long silence, Helen shakes her head and drives away, leaving Locke to stare at his father getting into a taxi cab to drive away as well.

Kate tries to follow Jack back to the hatch, claiming she hasn't had a shower in days. Jack quickly makes up a story about a busted water pipe, but quickly recovers by promising to let her know as soon as it is fixed. They exchange flirty glances before Kate sees a flashing light over Jack's shoulder. Both race over to see what it is and find an enormous package of food (with the DHARMA logo) attached to a parachute, seemingly some sort of air drop. Sayid, Charlie, and Ana-Lucia then cross paths with Jack and Kate and the scene ends with Jack asking the other group what they found.

I'm thinking that this is what made everyone sick in the past.

Finally, we see all three island stories converging in one place. Jack rushes in and grabs Henry off of Locke. Locke tries to defend Henry, saying that he was helping after the blast doors came down. Seconds later, Charlie, Ana-Lucia and Sayid enter, too. Holding Henry at gunpoint, Sayid confirms that the balloon and the grave were where Henry said they were. However, Sayid was still skeptical as to the validity of Henry's story, so he dug up the grave, and found a man's body, a body with the ID of a black man on it that read "Henry Gale".


I'm still a sucker for that smash cut. They should start doing it after every line, relavant or otherwise.

"Hey...wanna mango?"


Let's get to the numbers already, before I start forgetting everything I want to talk about.

'The Numbers,' Courtesy of the CDP:

Thanks again. Like I said, your death will be as torture-free as possible.

4. Let's just get the obvious stuff out of the way first. It's a damn good thing that Locke slid under the blast doors feet-first. I'm just saying is all. I really didn't want the 'big surprise' this week to be Locke's head exploding like a melon at a Gallagher show. The island giveth and the island taketh away, and Locke's going to be hobbling around for the rest of the season, questioning his faith in the island (as well as the hatch) and facing inner demons from his past. Basically, what I do every weekend.


8. Look, Sayid's nuts, end of story. Digging up a grave just to spite a guy? He must really want to kill Henry badly. I mean, it's a good thing that he went through all that trouble, I'm just saying that I wouldn't have. Then again, if I were on the island, Eko would have surely sawed me in half by now for bothering him.


15. Now we know how food and supplies get to the island; parachute drop, yo. It will be interesting to see what other supplies there are besides food in the crates. Perhaps there will be more Desmond/Ethan-style Dharma injections, and also weapons and ammo.

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times, I bet Dharma makes good food. After I saw Kate pull out that box of Mac-N-Cheese, I went straight to Noodles for a bowl of my own.

Here's the big theory. The lockdown has everything to do with the supply drop. The timing was exactly the same. The castaways would have seen the supplies the instant they hit the ground, so they weren't there for any longer than a minute. The voice on the intercom was going on about some 'protocol,' so why not? Doesn't it seem strange that right after this bizarre lockdown takes place, a big crate of supplies falls from the sky? They are one in the same, the answer is why.

If you want confirmation, take a peek at the lower right-hand corner of the map, where 'lockdown and restocking procedures' are mentioned.


Wow, you look nothing like your drivers li- heeeeyy.....

16. Did 'Fake Henry' really push the button? I think that he did, although I guess it doesn't matter. The clock's functioning properly, the doors came back up once the supplies were dropped and nothing got done blowed up, so no harm, no foul. Personally, it doesn't make much sense to have blast doors seal you off from the computer, especially if they want you to be pressing it every 108 minutes. I'm not criticizing Dharma or anything, it just sounds like a design flaw to me. There. I said it, and I'd say it again if I had to.

One of the first clues to 'Fraud Henry' lying was when Locke explained entering the numbers to him. He took those numbers to memory rather quickly, and appeared almost content when Locke was explaining it to him. Even after getting racked trying to slip through the vents, he did his job perfectly. At that point, I knew that 'Pants On Fire Henry' knew more than he was leading on.

So, who is the 'Real Henry?' My assumption was that he was the actual balloonist/non-metallic miner, and 'Lies-O-Plenty Henry' just stole his story before the Others killed him. It's really surprising that he stuck around to help Locke, knowing full well that he could be in serious trouble. Locke had a huge knife in a sheath around his waist, and I was just waiting for 'Imposter Monkey Henry' to swipe it, but nope.

Just let me do one more before we move on. 'Sir-Lies-A-Lot Henry.'


The flight here was just torture.

23. Let's talk about the flashbacks for a second. First off, you probably already figured out that Locke was inspecting the new home of Nadia, who you remember from Sayid's amazing flashback. Sayid shot himself in the leg and killed a guard so she could flee the country, and was actually on Flight 815 so he could find her. I wonder if Locke will remember her, and possibly figure out her connection to Sayid.

I doubt it.

Also, the two planes that flew over the Flightline motel were Oceanic planes. I also think that the bank where Locke retrieved the safe deposit box was the same one that Kate hit many years ago.

The rattling will loosen your fillings, but the rates are cheap and by the hour.

Locke's 'Dad' is the real 'Sawyer.' I'm sure of it. You heard it here first. Or third, I don't really know or care. What am I, a psychic?

Where we are now with Locke's flashbacks, we've seen his relationship with Helen disintegrate, but we still don't know how he loses use of his legs. Frankly, I don't know how much more grief and torture I can see Locke take. John Locke is without question the most beaten man I've ever seen on TV. Nothing has ever gone right for this man, save for when the island blessed him after the crash. He's been a victim of a wretched betrayal by his parents and con men, resulting in the loss of a kidney, and his only love is leaving him. Sooner or later, he'll get paralyzed and resort to calling sex lines to talk to people he wishes were Helen. Back on the island, he just mushed his legs up again, he holds no power anymore with Jack in charge, and was responsible for the death of Boone. Man!


You don't understand, our love is bigger than this hatch.

42. All right, damn it. Let's talk about this map.

I'll be honest with you; laying it all out on the table for my loyal and wonderful readers. When the sketch of the map popped up on the blast door, I whizzed myself. Not a little bit, either. A full-out, balls-to-the-wall, Great Flood whiz of epic proportions. There wasn't a dry seat on the couch.

I've thought about it. I've studied the map. I've listened to what other people have to say about it. I've allowed myself to breathe and figure it all out. I'm calm. It makes sense to me now, as does life in general.

I am at peace.

Listen, we can speculate as long as we want, but I like to focus on the facts. Here's what we know for sure:

a) More than one person worked on this map. There are at least two distinct styles of handwriting, with some latin and french phrases on the door.

b) Whoever was working on this map had an extensive knowledge of the island. They knew where most of the hatches were, knew about all sorts of incidents, burial sites and important dates. They know about the DHARMATEL system that electronically links up all the hatches in a network (Remember Michael talking on the computer?), and has secret knowledge of experiments being carried out. Whoever wrote this wasn't a test subject, or at least not one that followed the rules. This wasn't written by Desmond, that's for sure. Maybe Kelvin?

c) This had to have been written during lockdown, certainly not all at once. It was also written to show up under UV light, possibly to keep this imformation hidden from prying eyes. I wonder why the UV light goes on during lockdown. Maybe it's an energy-saving thing or an alternative to keeping the lights on for a certain period of time.

What I mean is this. When Jehovah's Witnesses show up at your door, what do you do? You hit the lights and lock the doors. Maybe the doors go down and the lights go out when the hatchlings need to hide from something; stay unnoticed. Perhaps Cerberus is a Jehovah's Witness, handing out copies of The Watchtower for all of eternity.

d) Go back to the post below this (Lost Friday - Temporary Edition) and read what EW has to say about the whole thing (along with a great transcription of the map itself). Their theory on Cerberus is spooky and accurate. How crazy to think that all these weird things are happening because they've been created to do so. What kind of messed up Initiative is this, anyway? E.S.P. experiments? A virtual silicon valley of wires and electronic hookups? There is so much that's going on all over the island that we didn't know about... it's ridiculous.

e) Do you think the island is shaped like an octogon? Or, at the very least, the Dharma-functioning part of the island is? Furthermore, what do you think is in the center of the 'hub?' Apparently, this is still a mystery even to the person who wrote this map in the first place. Between you, me and the fence post, I bet it's a Starbucks with a wi-fi connection and a Guns & Roses pinball machine.

More importantly, what will Locke do to get to see that map again? Here's hoping this is the castaways chance to get smart and figure out what they're a part of. If they catch back up with Desmond and start getting some answers from Henry, mayafiljsbdlj a df4444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444444

Sorry, I passed out for a second there.

I'm done with this. If I keep thinking of things to talk about, this will never end.


'The Preview,' Courtesy of the CDP.

Submit your own humorous caption to!

Next week's episode is titled 'Dave,' and it will be Hurley-centric. The official description reads as follows: "Libby lends Hurley support when he begins to think the island is having a strange effect on him, and Locke's sense of purpose is shaken when the prisoner provides new information about the hatch."

If you saw the previews, you see the Hurley is starting to lose his marbles a wee tad, and needs someone to wrap their arms as far around him as they can and tell him everything's going to be okay. Expect to meet up with some of his psych ward buddies, perhaps even see what put him there in the first place. Also, look for the numbers to make a cameo appearance. I saw Hurley attack Sawyer for calling him 'crazy,' which looked pretty damn cool. Hurley episodes are always a bit sad, because he's a very likable character with a pretty depressing past. Big man's got issues, and he's had very few flashbacks thus far in which to figure him out.

Down in the hatch, the A-team's going to be working over 'Unimpressive Replica Henry,' and hopefully getting some answers. During the previews, we hear him say "I'm a good person," which may or may not be true, considering the master plan of the Others (take good people, murder bad people, lather, repeat). He DID stick around to help Locke, so his intentions may be good, but the Others have a pretty awful way of showing it. I don't know, maybe if they called every once in a while so I knew they weren't dead, I'd be more sympathetic to the cause.

100 supply boxes, every one of them full of bran.

Another thing he says under interrogation is, "He'll kill me," in reference to whomever he's working for. This mysterious 'he' is probably the same 'he' that Zeke was worried about during 'Maternity Leave.' This hatch information that shakes Locke's belief system should be mighty interesting.

Here are the dates and names for (almost) every remaining episode of season two:

Episode 18 - "Dave" (Hurley) - Wednesday, April 5
Episode 19 - "S.O.S." (Bernard/Rose) - Wednesday, April 12
Episode 20 - "Two For The Road" (?) - Wednesday, May 3 (after 2 weeks of reruns)
Episode 21 - "?" (?) - Wednesday, May 10
Episode 22 - "Three Minutes" (?) - Wednesday, May 17
Episode 23 - Title Unknown (?) - Wednesday, May 24 (2 hour season finale)

Start the headache-inducing discussion in the comments section, and send all hatemail to Thanks for checking me out for another week; March has been the biggest month ever for the CDP in terms of traffic, and I really appreciate it. I'm not going anywhere if you don't.

As always, here's the index of every Lost Friday in season two. Sure, they may look good in the back of the bar when the lights are down, but come last call, they're going to make you wish you had left with your friends.


Lost Friday - Temporary Edition.

So, here's the deal.

This week's Lost was big. Huge. Earth-moving.

Problem is I was out of town, attending a funeral. Some things are more important than TV, you know. I watched 'Lockdown' on Thursday afternoon, and didn't get in front of my computer until 11pm Thursday night.

This week's Lost Friday is huge, and it's going to be here on Friday...night. It'll show up, and it'll be great and answer damn near every question; you're just going to have to wait a few extra hours for it. I'll promise to work my ass off to make the deadline, if you promise to stick around and ooh and ahh with me. Deal? Deal.

Until then, I've got a surprise to tide you over. I found this sneak peek at next week's Entertainment Weekly, offering us a translation of everything that was on the mysterious Hatch Map. It's tiny, but it's better than the scribblings on the blast door. Enjoy and scratch your heads while I work on the actual Lost Friday.

We're all gunna die.
(Ignore the URL on the map, that's just the tag of the original dude that stole this.)

I can explain most of this, which makes me feel like a proud father.

I'll see you back here tonight. You're not going to want to miss this.

Thursday, March 30

Katharine McPhee Watch - Volume 3.

Katharine McPhee and 8 losers.

92,000 people auditioned for American Idol this year.

There are now 9 singers left, and Katharine McPhee is one of them.

Just thought you might want to know.

It's called Lost Friday, and it'll be here in 24 hours. You might want to stick around for that.

(Note from the CDP:) As of 9am Thursday morning, I haven't seen Lost yet. I'm staying with family in my hometown right now, and plan on watching it this afternoon. I'm tired, exhausted, without my toothbrush and wearing yesterday's pants. My goal is to get a decent Lost Friday up at its usual time, but it may require an all-nighter. You're welcome.

Katharine McPhee in the bottom three? What a joke. After Tuesday's performances, anyone could have been in that situation, and next week should straighten that crap right back out. Bucky and Kellie, you're next.


Tuesday, March 28

The Long And Winding Road.

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The boat almost left without us, and you know I can't swim.

I had heard from my mom that American English, the world's greatest Beatles tribute band, were playing at a resort in Mishicot, about 150 miles north of Madison. Some of my family members had seen them a few months back and gave them glowing reviews, so we wanted in on the action. Besides, we desperately needed something to do over the weekend. Anything to get us out of the house and into the unseasonably warm weather we were having.

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Opting to forget about the show until the last possible minute, we reserved one of the last rooms (2 queen beds? perfect!) and snagged a pair of the last 'A' Section tickets, speeding out of the city at about 2pm on Saturday afternoon.

The drive to Mishicot was beautiful, as is most any road trip through Wisconsin. The resort was on the right side of lake Winnebago near lake Michigan, a place that I've seldom been in my 24 years as a Wisconsin resident. The only time I remember being over there was when I was about 6 years old. I went there with my parents to watch a friend of my dads race in a stock-car tournament. A blinding downpour cancelled the event and my family's 1983 Buick Skyhawk literally burst into flames on the highway. As presumably toxic black smoke billowed through the air vents and into our lungs, my dad had to hitchhike back to town to find someone to help us out. We vowed as a family never to return, and that promise still stands 18 years later.

We had never been to this particular resort before, so when the webpage started talking about The S.S. Fox Valley and a Magical Mystery Cruise and lido decks and port bows and whatnot, we assumed that at least some of the entertainment would be taking place on a boat or cruise ship.

Nope, not even close. How silly of us.

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In reality, the Fox Hills Resort had just decorated the place to look like a cruise ship, and no agonizing detail was spared. Every employee was wearing Love Boat-style uniforms, people kept saying 'welcome aboard!' to us, and there were Hawaiian leis everywhere. I helped myself to a handful and showed myself to my room, trying very hard not to 'salute' any of the poor costumed people forced into this charade. I was secretly glad that I wasn't really on a ship, because I'm afraid of the water and would somehow find a way to tumble overboard. It always happens.

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Despite being built in the 60's or 70's, the resort was actually pretty cool. The staff was great, the rooms were nice and the floorplan was unlike any hotel I've ever stayed at before. Long and skinny, it really did look like a cruise ship. Stairways went to nowhere. Hallways would end without prior warning. It was like the Winchester Mansion, but more claustrophobic and less ghosts.

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Also, there was gambling (yay!) for charity (boo!). There was also free wireless internet, so I made sure to bring my laptop for no reason whatsoever, other than to appear cultured in the lobby that was covered in life preservers and tiki torches. The walls between rooms were thinner than the ones in my apartment; and with all the alcohol and foolish hats I was seeing the guests carry around with them, I was mentally preparing myself for a long night of sleeping in the car.

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After we unloaded, we got ready for the 4:30-6pm pre-party at the pool (they called it the lido deck or veranda or something). Basically, for those of us who purchased the Titanium-Clad package deal for the night, we got to go to this 90 minute, all inclusive, 'all you can eat/get as drunk as you possibly can for free' gathering before the show.

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When we walked into the pool area, all the employees were standing in a line, decked out in their best sea captain outfits, each sporting copious amounts of liquor and cheeses.

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I shed a single tear, told them where I would be sitting, and kindly asked them to check on me every 45 seconds until I was asleep or floating face-down in the pool.

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Not being used to this sort of thing, me and the Missus sort of felt bad to have these people handing us free stuff over and over again. Once we realized that we did, in fact, pay for this in advance, we made a vow to rob them blind. It was nothing but Rum Punch and tortilla roll-ups for the duration. We made a point not to speak to each other, because that would waste valuable time spent eating and drinking. There would be plenty of time for chit-chat before the concert.

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I was stumbling around well before 6pm. Each trip back to the bar got me closer and closer to realizing my dream of seeing someone fall in the pool, although the person in question would have been me. When it was all over and they filed us drunks out, I called my mom for some reason. I wanted her and my sister to show up, as I knew they really wanted to see the show and only lived a half hour away. I even told them I'd pay for the tickets, and they could share our 2 queen bed room if they wanted to stay the night (read:I'll pay for everything). They politely declined, told me to drink some coffee and hung up.

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There were still a couple hours before the concert, so we shot some pool in the game room, which had themselves a genuine Dig-Dig machine.

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I tried to steal it, but it was bolted to the ground for some stupid reason. Still not fully satisfied with being well-fed and drunk on the hotel's dime, the Missus ordered a pizza and I hit the bar. The guy delivering the pizza was exceedingly late, so we only had about five minutes to mow it down before the doors opened for the show.

I should mention that this resort was chock-full of middle-aged resort folk, Beatles fans, alcoholics and barflies. It was like a packed college dorm with 40-50 somethings instead of complete dumbasses and horribly-tanned waifs. I couldn't even stumble through the halls in peace without some English teacher or small engine mechanic grabbing at me and screaming 'WHOOO!' for some reason. Empty bottles were everywhere, the 50's music was inescapable and I couldn't stop laughing. It was like spring break for married couples and lonely divorcees.

The ballroom where the concert was being held was a nice enough place. There were tables reserved for us supercool A-Section folk, and a dancefloor for those who couldn't seem to get their appreciation across by merely clapping. Our seats were great, although I didn't get many good photos. The lighting showed up very poorly on the camera, and my hands were less than steady.

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(Photo of actual American English show.)

In short, American English was perfect. Spot on. Note-for-note amazing. They looked, talked, sounded, played and bantered exactly like the Beatles. Their harmonies and attention to detail were surreal; along with their period costume changes to represent the eras and songs of the Fab 4. The PA wasn't the greatest, so when they put in too much gain or all sang at once, the faint pops and hisses sounded just like vinyl. I can't say enough good things about these guys; they are professionals all the way. They knew how to handle drunks getting on stage without dropping their accents or losing their charm. George sounded like George, John sounded like John, Paul played bass left-handed. From where I was sitting, their mannerisms and playing style looked uncannily like I was seeing the real deal. They played for three hours, and the dance floor consistently had about 100 people on it at all times.

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(Photo of actual American English show.)

I hadn't heard a lot of the songs they played for quite some time, which gave me the chance to enjoy their music in a new light and mindset. Look, if you honestly don't like (or at the very least, respect) the Beatles, you probably don't like music, or shouldn't. Any and every American and English band for the last 45 years has been inspired by their work, period. If it's been a while since you've listened to Sgt. Pepper's or The White Album, I suggest you do so sometime this week.

Watching all these middle-aged folks dance, sway and make fools of themselves moved me. At first, I was annoyed. After all, I didn't pay to watch them stand on chairs and scream 'Ringo!' over and over. Then it started to make sense to me. This is how normal people have fun, and I had to respect that, even if it didn't agree with me. I looked around and saw a lot of people doing a lot of different things, wearing ugly clothes and drinking ugly beer, but everyone was happy. If I wanted to sulk and piss my night away, I certainly could have (I've done it many times before), but a lot of things made sense to me at that point. Beatles music and, to a far greater extent, alcohol, are the great uniters, and for three hours it mattered not what you were on the other side of the ballroom door. That's neat to me.

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(My photo.)

When the show was over, hundreds of people spilled out into all corners of the S.S. Fox Valley, even louder and stumbly-er than before. On my way to the vending machine for some water, I went past the pool and again remembered why it's not such a bad thing that I can't swim. Booze + hot tubs + dozens of middle-aged people = the most bizarre game of grab ass ever played. I'm still not entirely certain that this place wasn't a front for a swingers club. Judging by all the open doors, along with how many people kept stopping me to talk in the halls, I might be right. I was nice to the first few people who accosted me, but eventually I just clutched the ends of my blazer in fear and made a beeline for my room. Perhaps it was because of how dead-ass sexy I looked that night (see top photo). I got to bed around 3am.

We woke up around 9 on Sunday morning and checked out before 11. Not needing to head home so soon, we decided to spend the afternoon in Kohler, a small village a few miles south of Mishicot.

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Kohler is a weird place. It was built by rich white people, lives by a doctrine of perfection they call 'The Master Plan,' and the median income is in the six-figures. The U.S. Open is regularly held on one of their many golf courses, and every house comes equipped with an extra-high gate. Our kind was not welcome here, which is why we went. Kohler is also home to the Kohler company, manufacturer of fine home fixtures and designs. There's a good chance that your house has a Kohler sink or toilet.

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Oooh, the water's coming out of the mirror!

We wanted to tour the company, but we needed to eat first. All the country clubs looked rather intimidating, so we stopped at a gas station to ask where all the eateries were. "There are no restaurants in Kohler," sniffed the clerk. She was serious; there aren't any places to eat in Kohler. Period. This place reminded me up and down of The Truman Show; I was waiting at any moment for a stage light to fall out of the sky. We had to actually drive to the next city over just to find a place to eat. Worse still, it was an Applebee's. I'd rather eat drywall; but we compromised.

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They take their toilets pretty seriously here. Same goes for their showers, which are fully capable of stripping the flesh from your bones, should you choose that particular setting.

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At this point, I want you to know that I think it's funny what my life has amounted to. When I was a kid, I would have absolutely despised a day trip such as this. Nowadays, it doesn't seem the least bit strange to ask the Missus if she wants to go and see the 2006 line of bidets.

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Maybe I'm getting older. Maybe I'm an idiot; I don't know. It's probably the company I keep. Frankly, I could go to a kick-me-in-the-balls-with-a-steel-toe-boot convention and have a good time as long as the Missus is around.

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For such a deep tub, it wasn't nearly long enough to accompany my massive 5'9" frame. And what day out would be complete without me trying to hit on a woman made of plastic?

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The streak continues.

After our tour through Poop Towne, we made it back home before prime time. It is at this point that I want to draw attention to Sunday's episode of the Simpsons; certainly the best episode in quite some time. New rule, Ricky Gervais gets to write one episode per year. No, two.

So, that was our weekend in a nutshell. It was busy, it was bizarre as all get out and it was a pretty good time. What do you have to say about it? Sound off in the comments section. March is inching closer and closer to the highest traffic total ever for the CDP, and your support is greatly appreciated.

Monday, March 27


The start of the week has brought some awful news along with it.

My wife's cousin, who turned 21 no more than two weeks ago, was killed in a car accident early Sunday morning. My wife wanted me to put a photo up of him, but the only one I had didn't do him justice, so I thought it would be better to just say a few quick words.

He was a good kid; he honestly made me smile every time I saw him. He was never down, never in a bad mood, always willing to keep you company and make you feel welcome. His passing will affect many, many people; mainly because he was an instant friend to anyone who knew him longer than a second. I'm certainly not the best person to reflect on him, but I can say without question that I will personally miss him dearly, as will his countless friends and relatives. This is a tragedy on every level, and it's something that should never have to happen to parents and grandparents of children.

We will be heading home on Wednesday and Thursday. If you have any words of encouragement or well-wishings you would like to send the Missus, please post them in the comments section or privately e-mail them to

The CDP will return tomorrow.