Ask Fat Riker
Hey folks, it’s Dan-O from Fat Riker back to field some more of your questions. I hope to God you people managed to ask a question or two worth answering this time. I’d hate to have a repeat of last month’s column where I reposted the liner notes from our last album four times in a row rather than answer a single one of your inept inquiries.
“Dan-O, what are your inspirations?”
“Dan-O, what is the future of rock music?”
“Dan-O, can I bear your child?”
I get these same questions over and over as if I haven’t answered them all a hundred times before in a thousand different places. Just to satisfy your myopic question-asking urges, and hopefully prompt some streak of new inquisitive creativity, I will restate their answers again here: funnel cakes, funnel cakes and no sir.
Now, as you may imagine, the editor here at the Wichita Music Connection was less than pleased with last month’s column. I received a number of what I can only imagine were incendiary emails from him in the days that followed, which I promptly deleted without reading. I did this for two reasons:
Reason the first was that my obligations with Fat Riker keep me far too busy to read any emails not from Nigerian Princes. (The band Nigerian Princes, which we have an upcoming tour through Northern Oklahoma with. Real good guys. Helped me change the tire on my Range Rover once after they accidentally shot it out with a traditional Nigerian bow and arrow during a particularly intense set in Ponca City one night. Still, good guys.)
Reason the second is that he’s the editor of the Wichita Music Connection, which, as you must surely know if you are reading this, is distributed as a once-monthly insert in the Wichita Grocery Connection coupon flyer. There’s a sale on celery at Food Village! Also, Fat Riker is playing at Bella Luna Pita, where the editor of the Wichita Music Connection works part time.
My disdain for the readers, editor and this entire publication beside, I’m just pleased as punch to be able to answer the following questions.
(Note: I set aside exactly 20 minutes each month to write this column and, as always, I merely answer the first few questions to arrive in my inbox without attempting to edit for quality or substance. That’s a tough break for you, but it’s the only way I’m going to do this thing. Want to cry about it? There’s a coupon for tissues on page 3.)
I’m an aspiring musician and don’t have enough talented friends to start a band. How can I meet other likeminded people?
Eric, your plight is tragic but not unique. Many young men and women hunger for a spotlight in which to warble their soulful tunes about breaking up with that one girl, or perhaps getting back together with that one girl only to break up with her again.
Well, it turns out no one wants to hear those sort of songs anyway. We already have songs like the one you’re going to perform and they’re plenty good. My advice is to give up, as meeting people is nigh impossible anyway. Sorry to shatter your dream kid-o, but I do have some good news for you.
If you haven’t cut out that coupon for tissues on page 3, it’s still there.
Can we harness the gentle rhythm of the ocean to use as a bass track for a song? Do we have that kind of technology?
Dear Emily, do you live in Wichita? I know you do, or else you wouldn’t be writing to me. Emily, sweet Emily, while the gentle rhythm of the ocean is easily harnessed by a number of consumer-level electronics, should you attempt to make music with it while living in Wichita? Dear, precious Emily, you should not. For you see, darling, squishy, salubrious Emily, you must make music for the area in which you live. And sadly, none here would appreciate your salty ocean songs.
Emily, my languid, ductile, gelatinous, yielding Emily, you must focus on making songs unique to Wichita. Capture the peaceful hiss of the fryer at Spangles Restaurant for your melody. The soft footfalls of the waitress at Bella Luna Pita, as they she tries to deliver delicious Greek wraps quietly so as to avoid catching the attention of the lecherous editor of the Wichita Music Connection as he lurks in the back room. Is that tzatziki sauce on his apron? We may only hope.
As an example, you may recall Fat Riker’s second most recent album, “Wichita is Still Terrible and I Wish We Could Leave but We Have Two More Months of Probation Left”, which as you may be aware is the much-anticipated follow-up to our third most recent album, “Wichita is Terrible and I Wish We Could Leave but We Got Three Months Probation for Vandalizing Bella Luna Pita and Trying to Blame it On the Editor of the Wichita Music Connection.”
Both albums perfectly encapsulate the very heart of Wichita, I believe. Corn rustles. A man screams. Stray dogs howl in the distance. Dreams shatter in crushing slow motion.
It is the purest of music.
Can I be back in the band?
Oh, Robert, you never quite manage to quit, do you? Robert, there are reasons you are no longer with Fat Riker. I was content to let those reasons remain private, buried in the storied past of this historical musical group. But you’ve played my hand, Robert. Now the whole world will know what caused your ejection from the most influential post-MIDIcore/Ghettotech hybrid band the greater Wichita era has seen in six months!
Robert, do you recall that one night in Bella Luna Pita? Do you recall it Robert? We were enjoying another complimentary bucket of pitas provided by none other than the editor of the struggling Wichita Music Connection.
Said editor, a sallow-faced young man in a stained Slayer shirt and reeking of Frebreeze (it was my professional opinion he used the stuff as a shower substitute) was petitioning our hallowed group yet again to provide an interview for his rag of a publication. As always, we were enjoying the pitas, but had no intentions of sullying the good name of Fat Riker by allowing ourselves to be featured between Grocery Warehouse coupons. I admit, I was perhaps light headed from the egregious amount of spiced lamb I had consumed that evening, or else I may have stopped you before you could make such a mess of things.
I can still see the cruelty shining in your eyes, Robert, as you announced that you would make the editor a bet. I cannot say I did not laugh along as you laid out your terms: a monthly column from us, for as long as we remained in town, if the editor could consume three of Bella Luna’s largest buckets of pitas.
It was an impossible task, and we all knew it. We laughed and chided, beholding the skinny man in front of us. We should have been trembling.
His eyes? Hard as diamonds.
These were the eyes of the hungry. The eyes of a man who knows he can rise up above his status if the right break would come along. This, dear Robert, was his chance.
The first bucket was empty in a breath. Impressed, we leaned back. Surely he would not finish another.
The second bucket took some amount of time longer. He began to hesitate as he bit into the third pita of the tub, shredded lettuce hanging from his chin. And yet he swallowed. And again. And again. Before long he was scraping the bottom of the bucket. Impossibly, he was now two thirds of the way there.
I have never heard Bella Luna so quiet as that night.
Now the manager was interested. I think someone was filming. Customers were watching. Did someone start playing the Rocky themesong in the background? I think they may have.
The third bucket landed in front of him, clanging against the table and sounding like the dropped scythe of the grim reaper. Slowly, mechanically, the first pita was grasped and brought to his mouth. Each bite was painful to watch. I dare not imagine being the one taking them.
Halfway through the bucket, he was reeling. He pitched this way and that in his seat, calling for death, calling for water and reciting his favorite, hallucinated Smurfs episodes.
The tzatziki sauce was surely invading his spinal column by now. When the bucket dropped to the floor, empty, so did he. The crowd had long since gone, driven away by the mad thoughts of a surfboarding Gargamel that he forced into their brains during his rantings. Laying there, curled around his chair, I briefly envied him. This was his moment. This was our defeat.
As I am certain you remember, Robert, you were immediately and forcibly ejected from Fat Riker. You were stripped of all titles and holdings and cast shivering into the uncaring world. Being a man of my word, when he emerged from his pita-coma three days later, I told the editor I would write the very column you now read. Of course, the burden fell on me as Hans speaks only German and Swahili and Greg speaks no language at all.
And that is why you cannot come back to Fat Riker.
Well, that and because you stole the “-O” affectation I put at the end of my name. You miserable little bastard.