Hello and welcome to the Smile Syndicate Music Hour – the home of Funtime music. Check us out on Patreon.com/thesmilesyndicate and join the Smile Squad!
I’m excited to hear today’s songs. Let’s go, Jason!
Thanks, Miss Elizabeth. And hello, friend. Thanks very much for downloading and listening to today’s show. You’re always here on time, clean, cheerful, ready to listen. It really makes it easy to do the show. We have other listeners who make doing this show a nightmare. They show up late, talk through the whole thing, disrupt the class – but not you. We don’t take that for granted. The Smile Syndicate Music Hour needs more listeners like you. So if you’re liking the show, please tell your friends, family, anyone at all who you would think would be a good fit for our ever-growing Smile Syndicate family. Don’t be afraid to shoehorn in references to the songs or the show in your everyday conversation. “Yeah, so those were quite some basketball finals, huh?” “You bet! You know what else has me bouncin’ and happy? The latest song by The Smile Syndicate!”
Last week, we celebrated the 50th episode of the show.It was only slightly marred by Jorg calling in to complain about the result of our duel.
We’re heading towards July like a freight train with a rocket strapped to it. SUMMER COMMOTION 2019. Funtime music like you’ve never heard before. Funtime entertainment comedy segments that focuses on the funny. It’ll be a cornucopia of sense-altering stimulii. I can’t wait!
But we would never shirk our duty for today. We can plan all we want but it’s what we’re delivering to you right now that really matters.
We’re going to peek through our fingers at the latest goings on on the Smile Syndicate Chart – that no-holds-barred blood bath of a music chart. Songs pummelling each other without end, without the slightest shred of empathy. They know their mission – the other songs be damned. This week, a brawler from down under making an impact. He can absorb a bunch of punishment. He’s patient. He’ll wait for his spot, then WHAMMO – one punch and your windpipe has collapsed. Coming in at number 3 with a bullet, this is The Smile Syndicate with SHALL WE ROCK? Hit it, kids!
THE SMILE SYNDICATE CHART
TINY MORBID FANTASIES, Part 2
– Lots of attention on Smileton these days: podcasts, Shanidar, the duel, Japanese sister city Flowerville
– Mayor wants to capitalize and is planning a new marketing campaign for the city
– attract companies, investment, tourism, migration from other towns
– sounds good, but remember that our mayor is the inept, corrupt Patty Pepper. Why do you call her that every time?
– invited to workshop. People from across the town. We’re going to brainstorm campaign ideas. The idea is develop promotional ideas organically from a diverse cross section of the good people of Smileton. These are usually a waste of time – take a picture of the town, put the word Smileton at the top, have a slogan like “It’s nice you should come” and done. I just saved you 80 grand and a 3-month engagement with a shady marketing company. But no, we’re going to gather some fine folk together in some kind of twisted psychology experiment and see what happens.
Connie from Connie’s Kettle
Francis from Boutique Antique
Maude from Maude’s Massage
The Mayor gets up to address us. She looks at me and gave me the stink eyes – she gave me the stink eye with both eyes at the same time. She looks away and she’s all smiles again. She said hi to everyone else – and Maude gave her a hmmph!
“This lovely town of ours is getting some attention from the wider world these days and I think it’s time Smileton stood up and said, “we’re a proud town, we’re tough cookies, show us what you got world!”
She thought that would get us going, but it got almost know reaction at all. Most of us were staring at the floor. Jorg was captivated, though.
Jorg – I think we’re done, your honour! “We’re tough cookies” should be our slogan.
I was about to tell him to shut his yap when Francis goes “Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer ‘keep on truckin” or ‘don’t go there!’ Instead?” Francis is an even bigger snob than Jorg. The Mayor is really playing a sick game here. Getting us to antagonize each other. I gotta keep my cool. I can’t be giving her ammuniition.
Dr. Gone was out of his mind on something. He was just giggling then suddenly he’s saying stuff like “oh, man, there are some BIG ANTS in here, man! They’re huge, man! Can’t stop ’em, man! We shouldn’t have been doing those unauthorized nuclear tests, man!” He starts crying.
Maude spoke up – she had a bunch of slogans more geared to promoting her massage parlour:
Face down or face up – Smileton goes both ways
Smileton – the town with warm, discreet hands
Smileton – ooh my god, ooh my god
Francis did the loudest tongue cluck I’ve ever heard.
The Mayor, who’s trying to get Maude’s Massage moved out of downtown, had a disapproving look on her face. “Thank you, Maude, but the name of our town is Smileton – not Sodom – so I don’t think those would work.” The look Maude gave her…
This is supposed to be a positive, collaborative sharing of ideas – at this point I was about 80% sure this thing would end with fisticuffs.
The Mayor goes – “Connie, do you have any ideas?”
Connie – “something nice. Like ‘Little Town on the Prairie’, ‘Warm Yourself at our Hearth’, ‘Prairie Pals’
I go “DONE! ‘Prairie Pals’ – that’s it. We’re done here. Good job, everyone!”
Mayor: “no no. This is the beginning, getting to know you phase. The serious workshopping work is about to begin.”
We spent ALL DAY doing group work – a bunch of pointless games – passing a rubber ball around, building stuff with popsicle sticks, the telephone game, lots of role playing: “Okay, Francis. In this scenario, you’re going to be a mighty stag. Now, everyone, tell Francis how beautiful you think his antlers are.”
I go: “why don’t we just use a picture of Francis with the phrase “look at my beautiful antlers” as our campaign poster?”
Jorg was about to complain when the Mayor goes “Good idea, Jason. It’s time to take some pictures!” Then, this photographer came in. It was Flash, from Flash Photography. Hyper guy. “C’mon! Who’s ready to make some art. I’m not talking about finger paints! Just be your beautiful selves and let me capture you with my camera! He started setting up a green screen.
Then he goes, “okay, I want you to take your clothes off. All of ’em! It’s FUUUN.” – Maude had already taken her top off and was working on her pants before he even said that. “I want you to exchange clothes!” Most of us grumbled – “we’re not doing that.” I go “flip our clothes around with Photoshop later. Let’s just get this over with.”
So we get in front of the green screen. Flash says he’s going to put on music to get us in the mood. Then he goes “hit it, Jorg!” – apparently they’re buddies – because death metal starts blaring and Flash goes “and awayyyyy we go!”
Lots of pictures of us hugging, shaking hands, giving each other piggybacks. It went on so long, I started getting into it a little too much. “Yeah, I’m beautiful. Take my picture, Flash!” I start doing these crazy poses. Trying to do a handstand, jumping in the air with my arms above my head, posing like Uma Thurman on the Pulp Fiction poster. Finally, Flash decides he got what he needs and we all leave. The Mayor was all “thank you very much, everyone. I got exactly what I wanted.”
Next day, I go on the town of Smileton website and I see the announcement of the new publicity campaign.
– SMILETON IS TOUGH ON CRIME – We’re Keeping The Creeps Off Your Streets (photoshopped picture of me leering from inside a jail cell)
You see the effort she puts in to messing with me. How much time and money got wasted here? Dispicable. She really is inept and corrupt.
Round wheel of mystery. We’ve meddled with things we don’t understand. We spun the wheel gleefully, with each spin falling further and further into its clutches. We were so naïve, but now what can we do. The sorcerer who created this thing must be off laughing somewhere. Probably in his beach house.
But there’s nothing for it, we’re stuck with this thing. We spin it, usually it tells us to play a song. Sometime it’s something else. Either way, we must obey and obey we shall.
As much as I’d like to leave the leatherette cover in place, there is no saying no to the wheel, so Miss Elizabeth, please remove the leatherette cover and wheel the wheel over here.
Dear friend listner, please say a silent prayer as I say to you, Miss Elizabeth – spin that thing.
THE SMILE SYNDICATE JUKEBOX – Electric Wiggle
We go from the dark, sinister magic of the Round Wheel of Mystery into the dark depths of the human soul. It’s time for another
TOO TRUE TRUE CRIME
It’s been a while
Too many other True Crime stories are sensationalized
This one is the result of 1,100 hours of library time
Smoky Hills, New Hampshire was truly living up to its name at the dawn of the 1950s. Per capita, the town boasted the highest consumption rate for tobacco in the nation. Residents burned trash, tires and old cars as part of a rich local tradition known as Burnin’ Time. The factories that surrounded the sleepy town, did their part, belching soot and sulphur high into the sky. Local residents were largely unclear as to what the factories were producing, but they knew that the acidic rain that would fall back to earth was like a golden rain filling the town’s reservoirs with prosperity. Getting used to the smell, on the other hand, was a trickier proposition. Locals cheerfully described the paint-peeling, steel-staining stink that pervaded the town as The Velvet Fog. The town’s can-do attitude turned the all-powerful, all-knowing stench into a positive and they proudly adopted the slogan “Smells LIke Progress.”
Abraham Knudles and his family had been fixtures in the town for decades. Abraham’s father, Zeus Knudles, was on the Smoky Hills town council and served with distinction. He organized the committee that built the town’s first school, was the founder of the town’s Smoky Hills Hazy Daisy Festival and led the town’s campaigns to both institute prohibition, and later to repeal it. The teenaged Abraham, after arriving in New Hampshire from Eastern Europe with his family in the early 1950s, loved his town and began cultivating a love for mime and for cigars.
When he wasn’t supplying hand-rolled cigars to his high school chums, Knudles was hard at work creating a new mime character – Spurt. While other European mimes such as Marcel Marceau had created whimsical, ethereal characters, Knudles created Spurt as an earthy, cigar-smoking ruffian. With his wandering hands, foul mouth, bad temper and odor to match, Spurt soon endeared himself to the normally mime-averse residents of Smoky Hills. He soon began staging mime performances at a local theatre that were so well-received that Knudles quit high school in order to pursue mime full-time. His parents were upset with the choice, but after a silent tirade by Knudles in his Spurt makeup directed at them convinced them that the boy should be left to follow his own path.
And follow it he did. Years were spent perfecting the Spurt character. Unsettling facial expressions, aggressive physical stances, and off-putting scenarios made a Spurt performance a truly unique event. He would mime anywhere he could. On the bus, during church services, in the middle of the street – he made sure Spurt was everywhere in Smoky Hills.
Knudles pursured his craft obsessively and soon luck would strike him like thunderbolt. A producer for the Ed Sullivan show was vacationing in Smoky Hills and spotted Knudles, dressed as Spurt, hassling people in city park. He was so taken by the performance that it led to Knudles being booked on the show that in the early days of 1964.
The Beatles had caused a sensation the previous week by appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show and launched Beatlemania in America. Knudles was determined to make an even bigger impact and decided he would perform his now-perfected “Just Outta Jail” mime routine.
Millions tuned in to see Ed Sullivan introduce Knudles. “And now, right here on our show, something really terrific. A mime but not like any mime you’ve ever seen before. He’s rude, crude and tattooed, so folks, please send the kids to bed and the ladies outside to the garden because here comes SPURT!”
Knudles shocked the country with his racy routine. He mauled the stage with his emphatic gestures and twisted grimaces. He went into the crowd and made them unwilling participants in his over-the-top, adults-only mime act. He barged through the TV cameras and into America’s living rooms, filling eyes, ears and nostils with the essence of Spurt. By the time it was over, the shell-shocked audience erupted in confused and distressed applause and catapulted the now-pantless Knudles to stardom.
Offers rolled in and Knudles said yes to everything. TV show guest spots, radio shows, novelty songs – the country couldn’t get enough of the deviant mime.
A childhood friend of Knudles and fellow mime named Todd Sneers had also been hard at work perfecting his craft. His approach to mime was more conventional and he had not achieved the success Knudles had. Outwardly, he appeared to be happy and supportive of his friend, but inside jealousy must have been eating him alive.
Sneers approached Knudles with the idea of their teaming up and, after an all-night brainstorming session, Knudles agreed. Sneers would play the role of straightman and receiver of abuse in the new mime duo’s act. The introduction of Sneers helped Knudles reach even higher heights of fame.
While Knudles was revelling in his success, he never lost his love and respect for mime as an art form. Despite his manager’s wishes, he plowed all his newly-found wealth into starting a chain of mime schools. He would parlay his fame into a lasting achievement and spread mime into corners hitherto undreamed.
Unfortunately, this was a particularly hot time during the Cold War. The Bay of Pigs was still fresh on the country’s mind and the Space Race was in full swing. In a major speech, given to the nation in July, 1964, President John F. Kennedy urged the country to “not be distracted from our goals. From racial equality in our time to landing a man on the moon, we must remain focused on these noble pursuits. Our time and energy is precious. Yet we find ourselves distracted today by mimes whose only concern is pulling the rest of us into the gutter with them, instead of setting our minds and hearts sailing to the stars. Reject the mime – there is still time”
This speech was a death blow to the Knudles mime school chain. In the days following, interest in the schools dried up completely, and Spurt went from enchanting vagabond to vilified pariah. Todd Sneers, on the other hand, was able to deftly transition into the role of a whistling juggler which made him a superstar overnight. A devastated Knudles retired the character of Spurt for good, but not before staging one final Spurt performance in Smoky Hills. A scaffold was set up in the town square. The entire performance consisted of Spurt climbing the stairs at a glacial pace. It took two hours for Spurt to mount the scaffold and face the hangman. It ended with Knudles turning to the sparse audience with a pleading gesture and the hangman walking forward to clasp Spurt’s shoulder. Attendees claim it was Knudles’ masterpiece and a fitting send off to the character.
Bankrupt and heartbroken, Knudles went to New York to escape his problems. He still retained his love of cigars and spent all his time in cigar stores, cigar cafes and cigar speakeasys. Todd Sneers offered Knudles support but Knudles was too proud to accept.
Again, fate took an interest in Abraham Knudles, and intervened. It was at a cigar speakeasy that Knudles met Chrissy Dubois, heiress to the Coffee by Chrissy fortune, model, and snake breeder. Knudles, as deft a mime as ever, was able to charm Dubois, and the two began dating shortly thereafter. Unbeknownst to Knudles, Dubois was currently the fiance of Todd Sneers, his former mime partner.
Dubois broke off her engagement with Sneers and introduced Knudles to New York high society. The pair quickly became the Big Apple’s new IT couple. The happy couple were soon married in what gossip columnists called The Wedding Of Our Century. The couple set up houses in Manhattan and Smoky Hills, but found themselves being increasingly drawn to Knudles’ hometown, the overpowering stench being little able to repel the lovebirds. The couple’s shared love of tobacco led to Knudles embarking on a new adventure. The establishing of a boutique cigar shop, right in the heart of Smoky Hills.
Fancy Man Cigars opened and Knudles’ dream of filling the whole world with rich, swirling cigar smoke seemed within his grasp.
When Too True True Crime returns, we will learn how jealousy can bring down a titan, how envy can poison the purest of hearts, and how the revitalizing power of cigar smoke is sometimes powerless against the spectre of truly committed evil.
Fancy Man Cigars opened in April, 1971, with much hullabaloo. The mayor of Smoky Hills declared it Let’s Smoke Cigars day and the cigar shop rolled out the red carpet to all their new customers.
The tobacco used to create the cigars was particularly potent – one puff was like smoking 12 regular cigars. And it wasn’t just the adults partaking. Knudles had been sure to make sure his new shop was well-stocked with kid-friendly cigars, too.
Fancy Man Cigars was a success from day one. Word soon spread about the quality cigars and sophisticated atmosphere offered by the shop. Hollywood movers and shakers began making trips to Smoky Hills specifically to stock up on these amazing stogies. There’s a reason every TV show and movie in the 1970s had someone smoking a cigar – Hollywood loved Knudles. No fewer than 3 heist-gone-bad movies were actually filmed in Fancy Man Cigars – American Musk Ox, Geist of the Heist, and The Fiddler’s Compulsion.
Not everyone in the New York and Hollywood elites were enthusiastic about the shop, however. Todd Sneers couldn’t have been happy. All outward appearances indicated that he accepted Knudles and Dubois relationship and was happy for Knudles’ good fortune. In fact, Sneers himself had recently become engaged to Katey Krimp, of Krimp’s Biscuits. America’s Juggler marrying America’s Biscuit Queen made headlines around the globe and every paper featured a photo of the beaming couple on its front page.
But the inner recesses of the human heart hide dark corners. Who knows what ill thoughts Sneers’ likely obsession with Knudles created? What forces would be unleashed when the seemingly happy and well-adjusted Sneers turned obsession turns into diabolical action? He had to have been jealous at some point, probably, and if so, that poison probably ate his heart away like an apple lowered into some really strong acid.
The Fancy Man Cigars shop was a runaway success. The world’s elite were coming to him for their cigars and the exclusivity of the shop meant he could charge anything he wanted. He began selling what he called an elite line of cigars. These cigars were made of the finest tobacco, mixed with ingredients Knudles would not divulge. “You heard of the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices? Well, my cigars have 12. And what they are is a secret that goes with me to the grave!”
Sales of the new line of cigars skyrocketed. It seemed like Knudles could do no wrong. But the sinister hand of evil decided that it was time to stir up a whirlpool in the swimming pool of Abraham Knudles’ life and soon the whole town would be pulled into its swirling vortex.
It started slowly at first, but Knudles began to realize that fewer and fewer customers were coming to his shop. The celebrity visits became less frequent, the shop seemed less busy most days. There could only be one explanation: kidnapping. Some vile saboteur, jealous of the success of the store, must be destroying the customer base by kidnapping one cigar aficionado at a time. The eyes of justice soon turned to Knudles’ former mime partner, the now world famous, happily married, rich and jetsetting Todd Sneers.
Those doubtful of Sneers’ guilt were overlooking certain key facts. The guy’s name was Todd Sneers. He probably wasn’t too happy with Abraham Knudles since Knudles stole his girlfriend and he was probably still jealous from that time before he was rich and famous and Knudles had got there first and all. Add to this frothy mix of guilt that he was a juggler and was able to keep a bunch of balls in the air. Balls like planning and executing the kidnapping of hundreds of people. Sometimes a bunch of halfbaked ideas add up to one big loaf of guilt. So, Sneers and his wife were tracked down in the south of France and arrested. Katey Krimp was probably the Lady Macbeth behind the throne anyway and her protestations of her and her husband’s innocence only served to implicate them further. Smoky Hills police, while enjoying their time in France and wildly outside their jurisdiction, still had a job to do so they slapped the cuffs on both probable conspirators and carted them back to the States.
An angry crowd gathered around the Smoky Hills courthouse as the prisoners arrived. The angry mob hated these big city city slickers and were prepared to mete out justice, Smoky Hills-style.
As the police car they were in was rocked and jostled by the crowd, a terrified Steers and Krimp prepared for the worst. All of a sudden, the crowd gasped and was transfixed at a lone figure on the stairs to the courthouse. It was Spurt the mime, back from beyond. The crowd was silent and motionless as Knudles slowly began performing his Just Outta Jail routine. There was certainly some mime rust, but as he moved and grimaced and jerked, the old flow returned. Knudles had the crowd enraptured. The power of mime had soothed the savage breast and the crowd began to see reason. Steers and Krimp were able to make their escape from the police car. An angry Steers cursed the crowd and the police, threatening to sue everyone in sight. He and Krimp made their exit as Spurt the mime began his high-pitched shrieking and thrashing on the ground that marked the climax of his wondrous routine. Steers and Krimp returned to New York and called up their ambulance-chasing lawyers.
Smoky HIlls police, deprived of their prime suspects due to the actions of a hypnotized mob, went with their Plan B and started investigating the facts of the case. A curious police lieutenant smoked one of the elite cigars from Fancy Man Cigars and felt his guts roar in fury. He was gripped by a savage case of the scoots and had to flee to a nearby washroom to avoid disaster. Analysis of the cigars’ secret ingredients revealed that smoking one of the cigars was like pounding back fistfuls of laxitive and chasing it with blast of crystal meth. It turns out people were turned off by the cigars’ side effects and had simply decided to stop frequenting the store. Despite all appearances, there had been, in fact, no kidnappings. But it had definitely been a close call.
Abraham Knudles and Chrissy Dubois went back to selling untainted cigars and ran Fancy Man Cigars until the early 2000s. Upon deciding to retire and move to Hawaii, they had a One Last Smoke celebration to close the business, during which they burned down the shop, filling the whole town with the delicious aroma of thousands of burning cigars. The medical supply store next door also perished in the flames.
The residents of Smoky Hills today are looking forward to the future and wondering what strange, smoke-related twist fate has in store for them next.
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GEEEEROIMP! This one is crazy. Love using it. This one is catching on fast. Sign up now. I was watching Millenial Doctors last night, and one character goes “I can’t solve this medical mystery! Anybody got an idea?” And somebody goes “did you GEEEEROIMP it?” “Well, I GEEEEEROIMP when I’m not in surgery.” ‘No, GEEEEROIMP when you’re in surgery, too. You’ll see!” So everyone needs to GEEEEROIMP. You don’t follow on GEEEROIMP, you don’t make friends on GEEEEROIMP – you just GEEEEEROIMP. GEEEEEROIMP!
MARQUEE SONG SLOT – Get Thee To A Disco
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So it’s bye bye from Jason.
And bye bye from me. See you next week.
And as always, remember friend, the sun is a jukebox.