September 30, 2019

Hello and welcome to the Smile Syndicate Music Hour, your source for Funtime music and comedy. Buckle up, because after today’s show, you won’t believe a single one of your senses!

Let’s go, Jason!

You’re a golden sunbeam bedazzling us with your radiance and benevolence. Thanks for joining us. You’re in the top 1% of the people who listen to The Smile Syndicate Music Hour in our hearts and we’ll do anything and everything to keep you happy.

First time: welcome. Get in here, sit right up front. The best seat in the house. Don’t sit at the back. Some of the people back there don’t know the meaning of PAYING ATTENTION. They usually sit there not listening, just chatting amongst themselves. Keep away from those types. You wanna keep your eyeballs and earballs glued right here because the Funtime cannon is gonna be blasting t-shirt-wrapped bundles of fun straight at your heart and mind.
Long time: Let me clasp some part of you, an hand, a forearm, a shoulder. I’m gesturing to you in gratitude and solidarity. We’re in this together friend. This mission to spread joy and funtime through the world isn’t for the feint-hearted. I think I can speak for both Miss Elizabeth and myself when I say, “thank God you’re right next to us in this foxhole. We’re gonna get out of this fix just fine. The world will be better when we’re done. You’ll see!”

We now turn our attention to that theatre of the grotesque, that most competitive, combative, violence-obsessed chart in the whole music business: THE SMILE SYNDICATE MUSIC CHART. Music industry fat cats puff their cigars and make deals with each other while songs compete in the Combatorium like gladiators of old. It’s a disgusting display but we’re all guilty. Sitting there munching popcorn, cheering on your favorite makes you just as guilty as if you picked up a sledgehammer and smushed somebody’s skull yourself. Don’t kid yourself. But seeing how the sausage is made shouldn’t put us off enjoying a fine breakfast. And songs competing this way ensures only the finest songs make it to the top.

You’ll never know what you’ll see in the Combatitorium and I’m sure today’s contest will be no different. I see the first competitor in the ring, waiting for his opponent. He’s been here before. Spilled a lot of blood. Goes home at night and doesn’t talk to his family about what he’s done. Work/life separation. That’s what you need to stay sane in today’s world. How is the competitor gonna tell his kids that while other dads were out building houses, driving trucks or making calculators, their dad was in a blood frenzy, stomping and crunching and fracturing his way to victory? He’s gotta put that out of his mind. Where is that other competitor, anyway? Can you win by default? He hasn’t got all day. The competitor is gesturing to the crowd, asking “where is he?”

But what’s this? The ground behind the competitor is stirring. Oh, someone is rising from the ground itself. Fully armoured! This must be the other competitor! Turn around! Turn around! He’s behind you!
Oh! It’s too late. His competitor rose from the ground like a buried, invisible cobra and struck him down. His skull has been smushed, and it’s time to go to sleep for a while. We have a new champion this week.
Coming in at number 3 with a bullet, it’s The Smile Syndicate with SHOUT IF YOU WANT TO GET LOUDER. Hit it, kids!

THE SMILE SYNDICATE CHART – Shout If You Want To Get Louder (remix)

We’ve been having a great time since Summer Commotion ended back in July. But that’s not the end of special occasions. We’ve got another one coming up – all Hallow’s Eve, that sacred holiday where children dress up as devils and get revenge on the grown ups who’ve been keeping them down, is fast approaching. We’re going to have a special episode in October to mark the occasion. Details to follow, but I’d suggest skipping that awkward office Halloween party you were planning to attend and instead climb into that hot tub into that podcast and let the hot water and this podcast’s Halloween funtime capering whisk your troubles away.
But that’s a month from now. What about today, you may be yelling. Calm down. I’m about to tell you all about it. We’re going to present the latest JASON’S LIFE HACKS. We’ll go in-depth on specific ways you can hack your life, make it better, improve yourself.
And music will wash over us like an overturned water tower. Round Wheel of Mystery, Marquee: BRAND NEW SONG – “Dirt Bike”, but before we get to that,
We’re going to get the latest update from Miss Elizabeth about the sinister, unreal mystery solving her and her team get up to in the segment we call MISS ELIZABETH: INVESTIGATOR OF SUPERNATURAL MYSTERIES.


Major developments in the mystery. We’ve deciphered an important clue. We’re meddling with forces we don’t understand, but we’re not afraid. Well, Duncan is. Duncan is Connie’s brother-in-law. He’s apparently got some immigration issues. Something about forged passports, stolen identifies, a golden top hat originally belonging to the King of Sweden. But that’s a mystery for another day. Duncan’s being no help to the team lately, anyway. He just sits in the back room of the Kettle playing X-Box all day.
Well, as you know, we’re still looking for office space. We’re conducting our investigations using the back room of Connie’s Kettle as a home base. Not much room. We bought these really nice custom light fixtures but it doesn’t make sense to install them yet – better to wait until we have new offices.
We got a tour of some office spaces. Tiffany’s ex, Hunter, knows a building manager who has some space to lease so we drove over there to have a look.
The guy turned out to be a jerk. Hunter showed him one of our business cards – one of the misprinted ones that makes us look like a gentleman’s club. Once he found out we were a supernatural mystery-solving team, and not a bunch of exotic dancers looking for a new place to plant their poles, he wasn’t interested. “Guys, I’d love to help ya, but your card is really misleading. I need exotic entertainment in my strip mall, not Ghostbusters, Jr. running around.” Our quest for office space continues.

I told you last time about the supplement store across from the Kettle. It’s run by this guy, Jake Waits – he’s a real hothead. He’s usually lifting weights all day long. Sometimes you’ll see a line up at the till over there because he’s bench pressing something.
So he’s always puffing and grunting and yelling.
He’s way too loud. I’ve seen people headed towards his store think better of it when he cuts loose with one of his screams.
It was getting to be too much, so Connie went over there to ask him to quiet down. He was so rude. He told her to go fly a kite.
He’s weird – he loves eating right in the middle of all those brass statues.
It’ll take more than a noisy neighbour to slow down the team.
A major break in the decryption of the clue from Hew Hewson.
Jorg has determined what it means. And he’s on the line to explain it to us now!
Jorg: “Hi, everybody!”
Jason: that’s quite a team you’re assembling. You, Jorg, Bird….
Miss E: How’s your uvula, Jorg? I told our listener friends that it got pretty inflamed during the last Death Metal Karaoke Night.
Jorg: It’s just fine and I’m please to say I’m back to singing like a songbird.
Jason: The clue. Tell us about the clue.
Jorg: Bird is right to squawk at you. How do you put up with his rudeness, Miss Elizabeth?
Miss E: I’m a patient person.
Jason rants about Bird

Miss E: Okay, enough, guys. Jorg and I, along with the rest of the cast of the Jorg Presents: The Ultimate Death Metal Hour podcast, were at a Death Metal buffet together.
Jorg: The best buffet in town, folks! Join us for the next one which will be happening –
Jason: Hey, hey. No plugs.
Jorg: Rude.
Miss E: Guys. I will say the buffet is great and Bird especially loves it. They’re totally okay there with us bringing Bird’s perch to set up near our table. Bird flew around, looking for clues. Everyone was delighted.
So we were enjoying the delicious death metal food when I began telling the team about the mystery my team is working on. Christoph, in particular, was very interested.
Jason: Yeah, but he’s kind of a blockhead, isn’t he?
Jorg: Oh, no, you don’t! Miss Elizabeth, stop him! And you, Jacob – keep Christoph’s name out of your filthy mouth.
Miss E: Anyways. I told them about the clue. I wrote the words out on a napkin. We all huddled around it for about 10 minutes – all of us just thinking. No one said a word.
Jorg: Until my old friend Intuition ignited my mind with a flash of insight!
Jorg: “I was so happy. I never thought I’d add ‘solver of supernatural mysteries’ to the list of my accomplishments!”
Miss E: I didn’t see who it was, but as Jorg was waving the napkin and yelling about solving the puzzle, one of the waiters came running up, grabbed the napkin and ran away.
Jorg: He almost pulled my arm out of its socket! He was supernaturally strong!
Miss E: None of us got a good look at him. He ran off. Definitely dressed as a waiter, but I think this mysterious person is, in fact, heavily involved with the brass statue mystery. The clouds are definitely getting darker and I think this little supernatural mystery solving team is in for the fight of its life.
Jorg: “I don’t mind telling you, Miss Elizabeth. I’m terrified right now.”
Miss E: So we made our way back to the Kettle. Jake was in his store across the way, all out of breath and huffing and puffing and sweating. Did he just tip his supernatural hand to us, inadvertently? Did we just get an even bigger clue? Time will tell. I have a feeling we’ve only just started digging up the roots of this mystery. Right, Jorg?
Jorg: “Yup!”

Hell-spawn demonoid. It’s a sociopath. It delights in tormenting us. Usually it just says play a song, but lately it’s been telling us to do crazy things. “Betray a confidence”, “wear a shirt with a bad word on it”, “make your boss cry” – craziness. But we must obey. THis thing is a trillion years old.

We’re holding steady at around 50 druids outside. Threat of a hex. Nothing yet. They’re sick of doing yardwork and not ending up getting an audience with the wheel. During the week, I did my best one yet – I got them to do chicken fights. Winning team gets an audience. They fought for hours. The 2 champs came forward. “Where’s our audience?” “Did those other druids watch you win your last match?” “Yeah.” “There’s your audience. SLAM.” Oh, they walked right into that one.



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Write without fear.
A new bookstore opened up in town – BY HOOK OR BY BOOK. I don’t know much about the store yet – don’t know the owner. It just appeared overnight. Kinda mysterious. But I went in there, the selection was great, it looks like a good store.
To promote the opening, they hosted a Write A Novel in 48 Hours contest.
I decided to give it a try. Went down with a type-writer, 5000 sheets of paper and a whole lot of ink ribbon.
There were 14 of us there. All crammed around a small table.
The owner was there, but in a cloak, masked, with a voice changer. Sounded disturbing.
Owner: “Okay, folks. You have 48 hours to complete a novel. You may not leave the store until the novel is finished. Any completed novels become property of BY HOOK OR BY BOOK. In English. Then he dropped this smoke bomb thing. He vanished. We’re all coughing.
I set up my typewriter. Everyone else has a laptop. Like, everyone. I’ve never seen so many laptops in one place.
A couple of familiar faces around the table: Francis from Boutique Antique. He’s writing a “saucy romance novel set in Elizabethan England.” Lilian: she’s writing a sci-fi novel about robots having sex. And that’s it. “It’ll be the filthiest book you ever read.”
We were supposed to come in unprepared, but I did have some ideas. I was planning to do an epic fantasy novel. I had to blow the doors off all the other books.
So the Owner appears again with a starter’s pistol. Fires it and yells GET WRITING. There was a big clock on the wall counting down the time. 47 hours, 59 minutes to go!
So this fantasy novel has to be part of a series. I’m thinking 16 books, 1500 pages each. One huge tale of magic and mystery and monsters and swords that make you, like, super-strong.
Any fantasy story is gonna be drenched in world-building. It has to all fit together. And seeing as how I was planning on writing book 7 first, I definitely had my work cut out for me!
I had to define the arc of the 16 books, the full world history of these strange lands I was creating. The backstories for hundreds of characters. 48 hours may sound like a lot, but I had hours of work to do before I could start page 1.
It got competitive right away. People pretending to talk to themselves – “ah, brilliant!” “Oh, that’s a good idea – I’ve never seen such a good idea in a book before!” “hah – this book is writing itself! I’ll have time to write two in 48 hours!”
Francis put on some lute music for mood. But it was only fitting his book – other people were doing books like Bigfoot getting elected president or what if all the water on Earth disappeared overnight? He was just distracting the rest of us. He didn’t care.
I got up to stretch my legs and took a peek at what he was writing: “Oh, Your Majesty is saucy today. Shall I take my riding boots off?” The Bigfoot president book looked terrible: “Mr President, you’re 9 feet tall!” “ARRRAAAHHH”
We get into around the 4th hour and people have settled down. Mostly people are quiet and pounding on keyboards. I’m annoying people around me with the typewriter. Loud, constant bells going off, me using liquid paper by the bucket to correct mistakes. But I’m making good progress – I’m thinking there should be dragons somewhere in here. And a powerful sword. And the main kingdom will be called Narpia. This stuff is taking a while.
Lilian is really into her writing “aw yeah. Hot robots!”
At this point, I’m starting to re-think my decision to start at Book 7. I realized I had to have an idea of what would happen in the first 6 books. So I decided to start the book with someone waking out of a dream and looking out the window. Then I say “It was then our hero realized it had all been a dream but then a knock on the door made our hero realize that what was happening in Narpia was even bigger, cooler and scarier than what the first 6 books talked about.”
We were provided water but no food. By the time we got halfway through, I was feeling pretty lightheaded. I was in the middle of the first chapter and had just under 1500 pages to write in 24 hours. Do-able, but not easy.
The Owner was keeping an eye on us. He’d rigged up this harness thing so he was suspended from the ceiling. Floating around the store, above our table. “More words, more words, ladies and gentlemen. Let your creativity fill the world!” The flying rig was squeaky. He wasn’t making this any easier.
It started to get really hot. No circulation in the room and the sun was out again and really heating things up. So someone cracked a window. A huge gust of wind came in and sent my paper flying everywhere. All my notes got scattered. No page numbers. Everyone had a chuckle as I scrambled around in a panic.
A few hours later I realized I wasn’t going to make it. I needed to be pounding out a full page per minute for the full time without a break. I decided to take a few shortcuts, get this thing down to 800 pages or so. Lots of “and then what happened? Read book 8 and find out! Why did that happen? Read book 10 to find out! Who is that guy? Read book 3 to find out!”
We get into the afternoon. Sky is full of thunderclouds. Suddenly, there’s a huge thunderclap overhead. The lights go out – all the laptops go dead. All the screens flashed before they died so I think they all got zapped. Everyone’s upset. “What are we gonna do? My book is gone! All my hard work!”
So I just start laughing. “BWA HA HA. Good work, guys! Good thing I have my typewriter. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I have a book to finish.”
The other writers didn’t like that so much. A few came up and started making menacing gestures towards the typewriter. One grabbed it, ran over to the window and threw it out! It smashed on the sidewalk.
He booted us all out. We’re standing there in the rain. Someone goes “well, that was a waste of time.” We all wandered off.
I went by there and the store was gone. It disappeared as mysteriously as it came. I’m not sure if I’m going to develop my fantasy series or not. I may just by Lilian’s robot sex book when it comes out as a memento.


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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.