Interview with Unnoted Recluse Part 4

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” I could not agree more. With whom I am agreeing, I’m sure it would be simple enough to discover. I haven’t the time, unfortunately, so I will instead move things along.
Initially, the staff at was in correspondence with the keyboard player of South Dakota’s flavor-of-the-month, The Beards, about a potential interview.
Due to confusion on our intern’s part, we believed the interview was going to be conducted over Skype. As it turned out, Jason Askew, the keyboardist mentioned earlier, had requested that the interview be conducted over Sk-type.
A cursory search of the term brought me deep down a rabbit hole where I emerged on the other side having learned a great deal about calcium-activated potassium channels and how they work with the nervous system. Of course, to say that I “learned” would indicate I remember any of it. I do not, but I did find out what the cast from Charles in Charge is up to (It’s not good).
After searching for some time, it turns out Sk-type is a proprietary piece of IP that Mr. Askew was working on. He had to mail us a copy of the program on five and half inch floppy disks, there were eight of them! Luckily, we were able to track down a disk drive still in working order.
Jason described the program thusly, “It’s like Skype, but without any cameras and no talking. Instead, you just type things back and forth. As you type, it tells the other person that you are typing. When you hit enter, the whole message is sent to the other person almost instantaneously.”
In our near tediously long exclusive interview with The Beards, what follows is our Sk-type session with Mr. Askew as it was written.
Mr. Askew has also informaed me that certain parts of the interview will not display properly on a modern “smart” phone. He suggests you turn your phone horizontally for the best viewing experience.


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(______/|_|   \_)     |_|  (_______|_|    |_______)

WAAB: Hello? Mr> Askew?
J_AsQ: Yes, Hello
WAAB: It’s Nice to “meet” you.
J_AsQ: Likewise. I trust you were able to install the program without any difficulty. Do you have questions? I understand the technology behind it can be a bit intimidating at first.
WAAB: No problems. I mean I don’t go all the way back to the CB simulator, but I’ve been in many a basic chatroom.
J_AsQ: Sorry, I don’t follow.
WAAB: I just mean…I mean…this is a chat room, right?
J_AsQ: I am rolling on the floor laughing right now. Basic chat room? I assure you this is much more.
WAAB: Wouldn’t it just have been easier to use Skype?
J_AsQ: What’s that?
WAAB: What’s what? Skype?
J_AsQ: Skite? Are you saying Skite?
WAAB: Why are you pretending not to hear me correctly? The words are written right in front of you. You can clearly read the word “Skype.”
J_AsQ: No, it’s just strange. It’s just it sounds so similar to my program Sk-type (all rights reserved) that it’s hard to believe I have never heard of it.
WAAB: Very hard to believe. Moving on…
J_AsQ: Do you have to go already? I should have sent Mobile Sk-type (all rights reserved).
WAAB: Nope. Still here. I just mean I would like to move on to other topics.
J_AsQ: Interesting.
WAAB: What’s that?
J_AsQ: Nothing, I just Jeeved that thing you were talking about, what was it again “Skyle,” and I’m not getting any Butlers.
WAAB: I didn’t really understand much of what you just wrote. First, what does “Jeeved” and “Bulters” mean. Also, why do you refuse to copy and paste the word “Skype.”
J_AsQ: Well, the second question is easy: I HATE LARRY TESLER! That sellout rushed Ctrl+c Ctrl+v to market and it will be a cold day in hell when I start using them.
Your first question should be obvious. “Jeeved” is kind of the catchall term people use for when they run a search on Butlers are the results.
WAAB: So, like when you “google” something, as in “I ‘googled’ the answer.”
J_AsQ: Sorry, I don’t follow, did you say “Goodled”?
WAAB: You know what, never mind.
J_AsQ: “Goonled”?
WAAB: Let’s chat about music, shall we?
J_AsQ: Absolutely.
WAAB: One recent reviewer said of The Beards music, “they are actually pretty good. Like, honestly, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but they are actually kind of fun to listen to.”
When you hear that kind of fan reaction, what do you say to it?



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 _____) ) |  \ \      | |   _____| | |    | |_____ 
(______/|_|   \_)     |_|  (_______|_|    |_______)

J_AsQ: Sorry, about that. Someone picked up the phone upstairs. It should be sorted out now.
WAAB: Picked up the phone? You mean you are on dial-up.
J_AsQ: Sure, way more reliable.

-8:23pm CONNECTION TO J-AsQ Lost


  _____  _     _    _______ _     _ ______ _______ 
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(______/|_|   \_)     |_|  (_______|_|    |_______)

J-AsQ: Anyway, what was it you were asking about again?
WAAB: Your recent reviews.
J_AsQ: Right, well I mean, it’s like all things. Like, when you are working on something like, let’s say, Sk-Type. Sure, are there going to be people who give you more neutral reviews? Absolutely. There are going to be people who say, “Are you serious?” or “No one will ever want that EVER,” or even, “Jason, did you hit your head again?” But, it’s when you push through the more tepid responses that you get to the people who really get it. You know? So instead of, “That’s one of the worst ideas ever.” You instead get, “Oh, I get it, it’s ironic. Like when someone in there twenties brings a forty pound typewriter to a coffee shop.”
WAAB: Are you saying Sk-Type is meant to be ironic?
J_AsQ: What?! No. That’s ridiculous. I was using it as an example.
WAAB: Right, but besides you, does anybody use Sk-Type?


  _____  _     _    _______ _     _ ______ _______ 
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( (____ | |___| /_____  |  | |___| |_____) )____   
 \____ \|  _   / |____| |  |_____  |  ____/  ___)  
 _____) ) |  \ \      | |   _____| | |    | |_____ 
(______/|_|   \_)     |_|  (_______|_|    |_______)

J_AsQ: Hey! It’s Jake! What’s up Jake?
J_KerBLING: Little of this. Whole lot of that. (SMALL IMAGE OF HANDS CLAPPING)
WAAB: Mr> Kerby. What an increasingly shrinking surprise that you are here.
J_KerBLING: You know, I get that a lot… And that, and that. (SMALL IMAGE OF FACE WINKING IN A SUGGESTIVE MANNER)
WAAB: Why are typing out those descriptions?
J_AsQ: Oh, yeah, you’re really going to dig this. So, I had this idea that I would include a bunch of little pictures that were about the size of a capital letter, I haven’t been able to figure it out yet, so the typing is a place holder. Anyways, they would be of common emotions that people would want to include in their Sk_type rather than having to spell it all out. So, like an electronic image letter, but I wanted it to have a foreign sounding name.
WAAB: So, you mean emoji?
J_AsQ: No, that kind of sounds ridiculous. I have it down to two. I was thinking either VerrSchreibGlucks or ShonaLitirs.
WAAB: Really?
J_KerBLING: I pushed for Kernel. You know like Kerby mixed with like the small piece of corn that you eat off the cob.
WAAB: But, kernel is already a really big part in the world of computers. And, it is also, literally, the small pieces of corn that you eat.
J-AsQ: C’mon Jake. I told you it is impossible to make VerrSchreibGlucks move in any way.
WAAB: Can we get back to discussing some of your recent shows?
J_AsQ: Sure, what do you want to know?
WAAB: At this point, anything that has anything to do with music.


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( (____ | |___| /_____  |  | |___| |_____) )____   
 \____ \|  _   / |____| |  |_____  |  ____/  ___)  
 _____) ) |  \ \      | |   _____| | |    | |_____ 
(______/|_|   \_)     |_|  (_______|_|    |_______)

J_AsQ: Hey, Jeff.
Tank’N_PuZZ_247: What’s good to know?
J_AsQ: Same as it ever was.
Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Cool, what we doing tonight? You guys wanna come over and watch my home movies?
J_KerBLING: Can’t tonight. Hot date with a hot date. #wife (SMALL IMAGE OF COOL GUY IN SUNGLASSES GIVING A THUMBS UP.)
Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Wow. Did Jason figure out how to make VerrSchreibGlucks move? (SMALL IMAGE OF LOCAL MAN SOLVING LOTS OF PUZZLES)
J_KerBLING: No, he hasn’t. My Cool guy wasn’t supposed to be moving.
J-AsQ: Jake, why are you using the pound sign? Are you trying to make a phone call? I told you that Sk-Type can’t make phone calls.
J_KerBLING: Sorry, forgot about that.
WAAB: Hey, do you guys mind if I jump in here?
Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Woah, who the heck is WAAB?
WAAB: Hi, Jeff, we met earlier at lunch, I’m from
Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Elaine?
WAAB: No. Do…do you remember meeting a woman for lunch?
Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Why, are you not a woman?
Waab: Nope. I’m a man.
Tank’N_PuZZ_247: Elaine can be a man’s name.
WAAB: Have you ever met a man named Elaine?
Tank’N_PuZZ_247: I haven’t not met a man who wasn’t not named Elaine.
WAAB: You know that means all men are named Elaine?
Tank’N_PuZZ_247: I don’t think that’s right.
J_KerBLING: Yeah, that’s definitely not right. I know plenty of guys not named Elaine.
Waab: No, I’m not saying all men are named Elaine. Jeff is!
J-AsQ: Nope. It was you. I can see it right here on my screen.


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( (____ | |___| /_____  |  | |___| |_____) )____   
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 _____) ) |  \ \      | |   _____| | |    | |_____ 
(______/|_|   \_)     |_|  (_______|_|    |_______)

WHAT_GOLF_IS: Anybody there?
J-AsQ: Yep
J_KerBLING: Here.
Tank’N_PUZZ_247: Present.
WAAB: Good evening, Mr> Raiche?
WHAT_GOLF_IS: Who’s the NARC? Know what, I don’t care. Quick question. Is Sepsis always a bad thing?
J_Kerbling: Yes, like always.
J-AsQ: Always.
Tank’N_PUZZ_247: Always.
WHAT_GOLF_IS: Damn it!


WAAB: Is he going to be okay?
J-AsQ: Probably.


  _____  _     _    _______ _     _ ______ _______ 
 / ____)| |   | |  (_______) |   | (_____ (_______)
( (____ | |___| /_____  |  | |___| |_____) )____   
 \____ \|  _   / |____| |  |_____  |  ____/  ___)  
 _____) ) |  \ \      | |   _____| | |    | |_____ 
(______/|_|   \_)     |_|  (_______|_|    |_______)

WHAT_GOLF_IS: Me again. Any of you have a safe deposit box?
J-AsQ: Sure, what for?
WHAT_GOLF_IS: What are their policies on hazardous material?
J-AsQ: I don’t know. What is it for?
WHAT_GOLF_IS: Actually, I don’t know if it’s classified as “hazardous material.”
Tank’N_PUZZ_247: I’m Back. Hey, Joe. So, are you trying to hide something?
WHAT_GOLF_IS: Maybe. I don’t know.
J_KerBLING: If you need something “lost,” I gotta guy who can get things lost. He also takes great pictures. Just ask what’s_his_name at that stupid site that’s always bugging me.
WAAB: You know, I’m still here, and we never even invited you for an interview. You were just there, and you keep showing up.
J_KerBLING: No, I don’t think that’s how it happened.
J-AsQ: Joe, what do you need a safe deposit box for?
WHAT_GOLF_IS: I’m not sure I do.
J-AsQ: Hey, man. If you’re in trouble, we got your back.


J-AsQ: Wonder what that was about?
J_KerBLING: No idea, but you know him.
J-AsQ: Quite the mystery.
Tank’N_PUZZ_247: Yes, a…mystery. Or what one might call a… (SMALL IMAGE OF A MAN RIGID IN EXTREME ANTICIPATION)
J-AsQ: What the heck is that VerrSchreibGluck supposed to be? What is wrong with you, sick-o?
Tank’N_PUZZ_247: No, nothing like that. It’s just that, you know, another name for a mystery is…
J_KerBLING: Enigma?
J-AsQ: Conundrum?
WAAB: brainteaser?
J_KerBLING: Dilemma?
J-AsQ: Riddle?
Tank’N_PUZZ_247: No, you idiots. It’s a…


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 / ____)| |   | |  (_______) |   | (_____ (_______)
( (____ | |___| /_____  |  | |___| |_____) )____   
 \____ \|  _   / |____| |  |_____  |  ____/  ___)  
 _____) ) |  \ \      | |   _____| | |    | |_____ 
(______/|_|   \_)     |_|  (_______|_|    |_______)

WHAT_GOLF_IS: Hey, How many teeth do you all have?
Tank’N_PUZZ_247: 32
J-AsQ: 32
J-AsQ: Why, what happened? How many do you have?
WHAT_GOLF_IS: Well. After hearing your answers, I would say an alarming number.


J-AsQ: Have you every noticed if Joe was missing any teeth?
J_KerBLING: Not that I know of.
I don’t know if you noticed this, but your clock is broken. It’s showing an unreal time.
J-AsQ: Yeah, Y2K.
WAAB: As in, the year 2000?
J-AsQ: What else would it mean?
WAAB: Look, I just need to get one real answer about music, so I can justify all the time I have spent. Can you just give me something?
J-AsQ: I can try, what are you looking for?
WAAB: Anything. Anything.
J-AsQ: I’ll give it a shot. So, in most modern pop music what you have are just a series of ascending or descending consonant tones. The melody could just as easy be random strikes on toy piano because the safety with which the song is composed leaves very little that wouldn’t sound right. It’s like playing a harmonica in the right key for a simple country song. It sounds good because you can’t really make it sound bad. It’s what the ear wants, and that’s not always a bad thing, but it can be a boring thing.
So, that opposite of consonant tones or notes are dissonant tones or notes. There’s a whole lot of science behind why these don’t sound good together, but you can Jeeve that some other time. You will find hundreds of Butlers. Here is the thing, though. Consonance and dissonance are not a simple coin. Sure, they define each other, but there are areas of grey. A gradation of dissonance. Basically, you can have a note that sounds just a little bit off, and that can make it really interesting. Instead of always giving the ear exactly what it wants, you give it something to remind it how much it liked the other thing. That’s what I’m trying to do on Keyboard.
Was that okay?
J-AsQ: That’s gross.
WAAB: Weren’t you already away?
J-AsQ: He’s not going to answer. When he writes that it means he is not at his computer and most likely is in the bathroom.
J_KerBLING: Damn! Is it 8:75 already? I have to get going. Can’t miss my date or my wife will have my hide. (SMALL IMAGE OF A POLICE OFFICER.)


WAAB: Well, Mr> Askew. As much as this has been one of the longer days of my career, I have to admit is has been a pleasure.
J-AsQ: Laughing out loud. (SMALL IMAGE OF LAUGHING FACE)
WAAB: Something funny?
J-AsQ: I was just thinking of something my father used to tell me.
WAAB: Oh yeah, what was that?
J-AsQ: He used to say, “You probably shouldn’t have been here for that. That was really terrifying. Don’t tell your mother. Actually, don’t tell anybody.”
WAAB: Well, on that note. I think I will be going. Can you say “thanks” to Jeff for me when he gets back?
Tank’N_PUZZ_247: “gets back?” I’ve been here the whole time.
WAAB: Sorry, I thought you were, never mind. (SMALL IMAGE OF EMBARASSED MAN) Goodbye, Jeff. Goodbye, Jason. Thanks again.

This concludes part 4 of our ongoing interview with The Beards. See you back here soon for the conclusion.

Interview with Unnoted Recluse Part 3

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” That’s not me who said that. It was someone else, but I am too lazy to look it up right now. Let’s just say it was Abraham Lincoln. Mercifully, after Mr. Kerby left our offices, we were delighted to receive a response in the affirmative to our lunch invite concerning Mr. Jeff Wesner, the drummer for South Dakota’s house band, The Beards.
When we arrived at the restaurant, Jeff was already sitting at a table near the front window watching passers-by and waving to many of them. After the last two interviews, it was a welcomed sight to see a happy, calm, normal human being.
What follows is part three of’s (WAAB) ongoing, exclusive interview with The Beards. We decided against heavy editing practices and tried our best to lay out everything as it happened.


WAAB: Jeff? Hi, I’m from I think we spoke earlier on the phone.
Jeff: Sure, hi, welcome, have a seat. Some of my friends call me Jerry.
WAAB: Thanks. Sorry if I’m a little late, it is hard to get out of the office on time. After Kerby left, we all needed a few minutes to decompress. He can be intense.
Jeff: Right, sure, absolutely.
WAAB: I hope you didn’t wait to order.
Jeff: No worries. I have plenty of time before I need to get back to my tanks and my puzzles.
WAAB: Okay. (Looking at the menu) I wonder what’s good.
Jeff: Don’t know, I’ve never eaten here.
WAAB: Oh, I’m sorry, I thought that we cleared this place with you. Somebody said you had eaten here many times.
Jeff: I’ve been here plenty of times.
WAAB: Sorry, I don’t follow.
Jeff: People love coming here. I’ve been here plenty of times. I just have never eaten here.
WAAB: Well, you’re welcome to have whatever you’d like; the website is paying.
Jeff: Thanks, that’s nice of you, but it’s not that. I don’t eat many places.
WAAB: Interesting, do you have dietary restrictions?
Jeff: Sorry, I’ll be right back, I have to use the bathroom.
WAAB: By all means. 

Local Man with His Tanks and His Puzzles
Local Man with His Tanks and His Puzzles

Jeff leaves out the front door and disappears around the corner of the building. He appears a minute later.

Jeff: Sorry, what were you asking?
WAAB: I was asking if you had dietary restrictions.
Jeff: Right. Yes. But to be more accurate, no.
WAAB: Again, sorry, but I don’t follow.
Jeff: I have dietary restrictions, but they are entirely self-imposed.
WAAB: Oh, so you’re like a vegetarian.
Jeff: Yes, like a vegetarian.
WAAB: So, you’re not a vegetarian?
Jeff: (After a long pause) How do I put this? I am what no one calls a racially sensitive fallen fruitarian.
WAAB: We’re not going to talk about music today, are we?
Jeff: Is that why we’re here?
WAAB: Why did you agree to come to a steak house?
Jeff: You can’t stop a thing from the outside.
WAAB: What is that supposed to mean?
Jeff: Not supposed to mean anything; It just does.
WAAB: So, what is a racially sensitive…
Jeff: Fallen fruitarian. Right. Well, it’s not so much about “what it is.” It’s more like “What” it is.
WAAB: Those aren’t the same things?
Jeff: Not even close.

WAAB: Okay, so “What” is it. I mean, I’ve heard of fruitarians before. It’s when someone eats only fruit because fruit is sustainable?
Jeff: Exactly, but to be more accurate, no, not at all. See, plants want to spread their seed, so the plant puts the seed in the fruit. They don’t have legs, I do. I put their seed in my tummy; I walk somewhere else; I plant their seed in that new place.

Picture Jeff sent over of his favorite meal. 90% of his diet consists of this one dish.
Picture Jeff sent over of his favorite meal. 90% of his diet consists of this one dish.

WAAB: By “plant,” you mean…
Jeff: Yes, George, that’s what I mean.
WAAB: Two quick things. First, why did you just call me George? Second, how are you “planting” the seed, doesn’t it just go down into the sewer like for the rest of us?
Jeff: First, I don’t think I did call you George. Second, it only goes into the sewers if you use modern plumbing.
WAAB: You don’t use modern plumbing?
Jeff: God, no.
WAAB: Okay, but what about the rest of it, what makes a person a “racially sensitive fallen” fruitarian?
Jeff: Sorry, I just have to use the bathroom real quick.
WAAB: Again, okay, sure.
Jeff again leaves through the front door of the restaurant and is back a minute later.
Jeff: Sorry. So anyway, I only eat fruit that has fallen off, I won’t eat anything that’s been picked. Also, I won’t eat any fruit that is a color we associate with race.
WAAB: So, what, you won’t eat anything that is red, yellow, brown?
Jeff: And white.
WAAB: Why white? How can that be racially insensitive?
Jeff: It’s mostly because I don’t like white nectarines and white peaches.
WAAB: So you can only eat, what, blue and green fruit?
Jeff: Perfect, but to be more on point, no. I also eat purple fruit, but the fruit has to fall off naturally. It cannot be picked or shaken off in any way.
WAAB: That sounds really limiting.
Jeff: Horribly, don’t ever ask me over for dinner.

The waitress arrives at the table.

WAAB: Hi, hello, I will just have the lunch special, but I will have pretzels instead of onion rings, thanks.
Jeff: Those pretzels are going to make you thirsty.
WAAB: Sorry, what?
The waitress turns to Jeff.
Jeff: Nothing. Turns to the waitress Hi, I will have the avocado and green pea mash with green apple slices in a black currant glaze. And you know, what the hell, it’s my cheat day, I will also have the elderberry and purple fig salad with the plum dressing on the side.
Waitress: We, literally, have none of those things.
Jeff: Honeydew and lime plate?
Waitress: Nope.
Jeff: Box of raisins and some one hundred percent purple grape juice?
Waitress: I can get you a Minute Maid juice box.
Jeff: (shaking his head, defeated) Eighty-six.
Waitress: You want eight six juice boxes?
Jeff: (insistent) Eighty SIX!
WAAB: I think it means no.
Waitress: Do you at least want a glass of water?
Jeff: I can list ten living microorganisms in your tap water right now. One, Cryptosporidium, first of all, it’s a living thing. Second, it will give you crazy diarrhea. Two, Rotifers, those aren’t gonna hurt you, so why you gotta hurt them?
The waitress turns to leave
WAAB: I feel bad eating in front of you. Are you not going to have anything?
Jeff: I’ll probably just chew on my beard. I soak it in blueberry pulp every morning. That’s why I’m always gnawing on the thing.
WAAB: So, maybe while I’m waiting for my lunch we can actually talk about music.
There is a commotion at the back of the restaurant.

Jeff performing a magic trick for the microorganisms growing in his tanks. Not pictured: His puzzles
Jeff performing a magic trick for the microorganisms growing in his tanks. Not pictured: His puzzles

Jake Kerby appears at the back of the restaurant. He walks towards the table that Jeff and I are sitting at.

Jake pulls up a chair and sits down at the table.
WAAB: Mr. Kerby, how strange to see you again.

Jake: You are welcome. Look, I know you guys are really low budg’ so, I had a guy, cause I know a guy, come over and take pictures of me while I took a nap. Very tasteful, very peaceful, I had him send them to your people. I also printed a few for you.
WAAB: Thanks?
Jake: Of course. (Jake looks over at Jeff.) What are you doing here?
Jeff: Kraemer’s interviewing me for that website.
WAAB: Why would you call me that?
Jake: Ignoring the journalist who is so far out of this depth. Right, but I mean why would you come to this place? They don’t have your hippy dippy stuff.
Editor’s note: For those not following our exclusive series of interviews, refer back to interview two for an explanation of the typographical choices for Mr. Kerby’s sections.
WAAB: Sorry, that might actually be my fault.

Jake: Jake can’t remember addressing the journalist.
WAAB: Sorry.
Jeff: It’s not hippy dippy. I told you, it’s the right thing to do, and if you tried it you would like it.

Jake points out the window and we all see a familiar face. It’s lead singer Joe Raiche. His hair is a mess, and his clothes are torn and filthy. It’s only been two hours since we last saw him, but he looks like he has seen months of hard living since then. Jeff knocks on the window and waves him in. Joe enters and stands next to the table.
Jeff: Are you okay, man?
Joe: Why do you ask?
Jeff: Because you look pretty rough, and I think that’s dried blood on your ear.
Joe: Don’t worry, it’s not mine. What are you guys doing here?
Jake: This guy, Jake motions to feeble journalist with bad posture, is interviewing Jeff. Jeff is trying to get me to eat bird food.
Jeff: It’s not bird food.
Jake: You know what, maybe you are right. Jake suavely motions for the waitress like they do in movies and places like California.
Waitress: Yes, sir. What can I get you?
Joe: I would like some raw bacon.
Waitress: Sorry, what was that?
Joe: Bacon, I would like some raw bacon.
Waitress: Sir, I don’t think we can sell…raw…
Joe: Can you at least check?
Waitress leaves
WAAB: Aren’t you worried about getting botulism?
Jeff: Again.
Joe: First of all, botulism is like chicken pox, once you have it, you can’t get it again.
Jake: I told you that’s not how it works, that’s not how any of that works.
Joe: Second of all, I’m not paying to have them cook it, that’s where they get you.

WAAB: While I have you all here, maybe I could ask a couple questions.
Joe: Probably not, I have to get out of here.
Jake: Sure, did you do some digging and find out about my other awards, honestly, at this point I feel like it’s embarrassing for other people.
WAAB: No, nothing like that. I want to talk about your upcoming shows.
Jeff: Sure, but I have to “run” and plant a blueberry bush.
Joe: Right on.
WAAB: Is that a euphemism? And why air quote “run”?
Jake: No, it’s exactly what he’s doing. Has he not told you his old “plants don’t have legs, I do” speech? It is creepy as hell.
WAAB: Sure, okay, whatever works.
The waitress returned with a plate of raw bacon.
Joe: Perfect, hate to be a pain, but do you have a to-go box?
Waitress: Sure, I’ll go get it.
Joe: You know what, don’t worry about it, I’ll just put it in my pockets.

Joe rolls the bacon up and shoves it into his pockets. He pulls out a large wad of paper and places some of it on the table. He leaves quickly. Returning in the direction he came from. After he is gone, I pick up the paper he has left behind.
WAAB: What is this?

Jake: It’s probably cash from Zimbabwe. He converted all his assets a while ago.
WAAB: This is a ten trillion dollar bill.
Jake: Yeah, it’s worth about seven fifty. You know what, I should get out of here too. Got things to do.
Jake moved towards the exit. As he did, he started to speak loudly again.

WAAB: You already used that one. (I spoke quietly to myself, but somehow Jake heard and returned to the table. He looked really angry.)
Jake: What was that?

WAAB: Nothing.
Jake: No, what was that?
WAAB: I just said that you already used that line when you left our offices this morning.
Jake: What line?
WAAB: The line about the musk of the aardvark.
Jake: So?
WAAB: So, nothing. I was just pointing out that you already used it.
Jake: But so does the aardvark.
WAAB: What?
Jake: So does the aardvark.
WAAB: I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.
Jake: So…does…the…aardvark.
Jake turned to leave once again.

The waitress arrived with my food. I tried to eat as much as possible before Jeff returned so as not to eat in front of him. After a few more minutes, Jeff returned to the table.

WAAB: Everything good to go. You get that blackberry bush planted?


Jeff: Blueberry, and yes, it will have a happy home.
WAAB: So, if you weren’t a drummer, what do you think you would be doing?

Jeff: You know, I always wanted to pretend to be an architect.
WAAB: But not actually an architect?
Jeff: No.
WAAB: Okay. So, how do you feel about the band? I mean overall. It’s pretty rare for people in a small town to find one another and to work well together.
Jeff: You know, it’s so nice when it happens good.
WAAB: Right.


Jeff: Hey, did Joe and Jake say where they were going?
WAAB: Jake said he had errands. Joe just left. He should have walked right by you.
Jeff: I saw him. He was wrestling with a manhole cover. Almost had it off.
WAAB: Well, unfortunately I have to get back to the offices. We have a skype interview setup with someone that can’t be rescheduled. Guy was very particular about the time.
Jeff: That’s cool, I have to use the bathroom again anyways. And, I should be getting back to my tanks and my puzzles. I miss my tanks and my puzzles.
WAAB: Well, it was nice to meet you, Jeff.
Jeff: Likewise.

This concludes part three of our ongoing exclusive interview with The Beards. If you made it this far, you might as well keep coming back for more. We hope you do.

Interview with Unnoted Recluse Part 2

Publish or perish is a thing people say, right? I have no idea, but I do know websites need to throw as much stuff up there as possible or people lose interest, fast. So, here is part two of’s (WAAB) interview with member(s) of South Dakota’s own The Beards. We are skipping ahead a little in the interview from last time.

WAAB: Alright Joe, let’s move on (This time Joe just gets up and sprints for the door. Jake Kerby, lead guitarist, happens to be sitting in our waiting room). Jake! Can I get a word with you?!
Enter Jake Kerby… with a snake.
Jake: (To the sprinting, and clearly dangerously out of shape singer) Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun of yours? (Singing to the Jimi Hendrix tune and wildly thrashing on air guitar for an extended period of time. Eventually, Jake goes through the whole mime act of lighting the guitar on fire and watching it burn. It takes nearly seventeen minutes).

Jake: (to no one in particular) Joe looks up with a feigned smile, then exits the room while others stare in a hushed awe.
WAAB: Sorry, what was that?
Jake: I’m trying out this new thing where I am the world’s voice over. I imagine you will want to use a different font for my helpful and witty observations so the dullards you count among your readers can follow along… he said in a sexy baritone.
WAAB: Okay, we can do that.

Jake: And make sure you go back to the first thing I said and change that too.
WAAB: Sure.

Jake: You’re not going to go back, are you?
WAAB: If we have time, but probably not.
Jake: Please don’t use comic sans either. It will make me sound stupid.
WAAB: Fine.
Jake: You were using comic sans, weren’t you.
WAAB: We were, but we’ll change it from here. Moving on.

Jake insisted this be used.
Jake insisted this be used.

Jake: Oh, fun. Where are we going?
WAAB: I just mean… nevermind. Let’s just stay here. Would you mind finishing the interview for us?
Jake: Sure thing, where is the camera? You are only allowed to film at forty degrees off center to my left side.
WAAB: No camera, just me.
Jake: I know a camera guy, want me to call him?
WAAB: That’s okay.
Jake: But where did the pictures of Joe come from?
WAAB: Those were pictures he took of himself and gave to us.
Jake: Oh, I’ll send you some then.

Artist's rendering. Not actual photo.
Artist’s rendering. Not actual photo.

WAAB: Really, don’t bother. Also, how do you know we have pictures to go with his interview? This won’t be posted until, at the earliest, tomorrow.
Jake: Jake sits back and lets the full weight of his genius sink in.
Editor’s Note: At this time Jake handed us an 8-track tape and insisted we play it at full volume for the remainder of the interview.  It was really aggressive polka music, and it made some of the interactions with Mr. Kerby difficult to hear.

WAAB: My first question is simply- is Joe OK?
Jake: Joe? He’s great, most creative guy I have ever met. Has little tolerance for certain questions- that is unless he is being paid to tolerate them.
WAAB: Being paid?
Jake: Joe and I are educators, we are in the business of sculpting young minds- it is part of our job to tolerate certain questions. Jake nailed the answer, it was clear the journalist had no idea what he meant by certain questions.
WAAB: I thought that there are no stupid questions?

Jake: But, see, I said certain questions.
WAAB: Right, but I think it’s clear you mean…
Jake: Certain questions.
WAAB: So, stupid questions.
Jake: Your words. He said in a convincing manner that moved the interview on to more important things.
WAAB: What?

Jake: Nothing.
WAAB: Are you going to keep changing tenses in your voice over? It might get confusing for the reader.
Jake: You might get confusing for the reader. (long pause)

WAAB: Anyway, why then do people say “there are no stupid questions”.
Jake: Well, that’s what people say when they are tolerating certain questions…
WAAB: Ok, no stupid questions, I promise. Joe seemed to have a hard time communicating with us- is he some sort of music savant?
Jake: (under his breath) He asked stupidly.

Jake: Look, here’s the thing. Joe only really listens to me, or anyone really, when they sing to him. I think you would have had much better luck singing your questions to him.
WAAB: Really?
Jake: I picked it up pretty early. I never felt he was listening to me except when I was singing. We had to do some early editing of the lyrics because the original lines in “Mistake” were like “what chords are you playing?” And, “who starts this song.” Not great lyrics, but it helped the band.
WAAB: I am sorry, but I can’t help but be a little distracted by that snake you are holding. Is it poisonous?
Jake: There are no stupid questions…
WAAB: Sorry?

Jake Kerby with poisonous Gardener snake?
Jake Kerby with poisonous Gardener snake?

Jake: Yes, you are. Jake totally burned the overmatched journalist. Jake then seamlessly transitioned back into his answer. This is not a poisonous snake, because snakes are not poisonous, but venomous. You bite poisonous things, venomous things bite you. And, no, this is a Common Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis.
WAAB: A buddy of mine had a pet gardener snake.

Jake: (Sighs) Am I getting paid for this interview?
WAAB: No, but just a few more quick questions- and I promise, no stupid ones.
Jake: Jake repeated in a calming voice his mantra with a reassuring smile; there are no stupid questions. There are no stupid questions.
WAAB: So you appear to have a very successful career in biology. You have brought in over a million dollars in grant money, and published over 50 papers, and I recently saw from the USD website your lab was featured for its research. How do you balance all this with a music career?
Jake: I also won the Belbas Larson award.
WAAB: Sorry, what was that?
Jake: Belbas Larson.
WAAB: Right, Belbas Larson. (At his point, Jake furiously tapped on a piece of paper he was holding that I later would find out was his CV)
Jake: Jake angrily whispered through cupped hands; Make it sound natural or this interview is over!
WAAB: (reading) Oh yes, the University of South Dakota’s top award for teaching excellence.
Jake: He said with the presence and magnetism of a Folivora.
WAAB: Sorry?

Jake: I also won the Cutler award…
WAAB: Right, the award named for famed Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
Jake: Slowly and menacingly L…O…L (jabbing at the paper again)
WAAB: Right, I mean the top award in the College of Arts and Sciences for Teaching and Research.
Jake: And the President’s Research award… but, I actually lost that.
WAAB: So, you were nominated, but you didn’t actually win. That’s big of you to not only discuss your triumphs. I think fans will like to see some humility.
Jake: I’m actually really humble. Probably the most humble guy you ever met. He said humbly, almost presidential.
WAAB: Right…I’m just saying it’s nice to hear about something you didn’t win.

Jake: No, it’s not that. I did win. I just have so many awards; I don’t have any idea where I put it.
WAAB: Right, right. I mean, that’s probably a thing. Any other awards you care to tell us about? 

A rare Jake Kerby sighting in his natural habitat.
A rare Jake Kerby sighting in his natural habitat.

Jake: Number one Dad as voted on by the Kerby household.
WAAB: Anything else?
Jake: I won a spelling bee in 4th grade.
WAAB: Anything else?
Jake: I’m pretty good at checkers.
WAAB: One more?
Jake: I once skipped a rock thirteen times.
WAAB: Really?
Jake: Okay, it was twelve. You happy now?
WAAB: I haven’t been happy for a long time. Anything else?
Jake: I mean, I don’t like to brag.
WAAB: Are you sure?
Jake: Okay, well- last year we won the Best Float in the D-Days parade!
WAAB: Did that float feature any music?
Jake: He asked desperately trying to get the interview back on track even though it was his own tangential line of questioning that brought them to the place they were at. No, but we had turtles and snakes on it!
WAAB: Any poisonous snakes?
Jake: Were you a communications major?
WAAB: OK, well one final question. What is your motivation as a musician to write such great songs?
Jake: Our fan.
WAAB: You mean fans?
Jake: I wish…No, I mean Jose. He seems really into the music.
WAAB: But you seem to have a really big local following- you must know you have more than one fan.
Jake: Perhaps, but they don’t get it like Jose does. And, can I just say, you better make sure that when you print this “interview” you make sure to put that thing above the “e” in Jose’s name.
WAAB: The diacritical mark?
Jake: I should straight up slap your face.
WAAB: Also, what is up with this band and the strange use of air quotes?
Jake: I’m not sure I understand your question.
WAAB: Fine, we’ll add the mark from this point on. Back to the questions, who is this José?
Jake: José is that part of your brain that connects with the musical ether. That feeling when you just enter into another space and everything else falls away. It is the Nirvana that Kurt Cobain was reaching for.
WAAB: So José is an idea, a feeling really, not a real person?
Jake: No, he is real. He is the city engineer.
WAAB: Ok, I think I got what I need.
Jake: Just direct me to the photo shoot room so we can include some stills with this snake. I assume there is some award for outstanding achievement in being interviewed? Jake exited the small cramped offices as every eye was glued to him. His presence permeated the room like the bitter musk of an aardvark.

Thus concludes part two of our ongoing interview with The Beards. Thanks to staff writer Dennis Marsch for jumping on the grenade that was interviewing Jake Kerby.

Interview with Unnoted Recluse Part 1

Everyone here at was excited when we found out that we would get a chance to interview Beard’s lead singer/songwriter Joseph Raiche between his long stretches of almost complete inaction.
We would have printed the interview in its entirety, but much of what he says is rambling and thinly veiled threats. What follows are the best bits. We hope you enjoy. So, tell us about what the last year has been like playing with a new group. 20160823_092828
JR: I don’t understand the question. Well, it wasn’t really a question.
JR: Then I don’t understand the statement. Fine. How are things with the new group?
JR: Why, what have you heard? No, nothing like that. It was just meant to be an icebreaker; a getting to know you softball question. It’s fine; we can just move on.
JR: So, we’re done? What?
JR: You’re moving on? No. Not “moving on.” We will just move on to other question. OK?
JR: OK. You were quoted as saying, “It has been rendered the solemn duty of the Supreme Court of the United States, laid upon it by Congress in pursuance of the Federal Government’s power ‘[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,’ to decide What Is Golf.”
JR: Yes, many times. What is it that you mean by that?20160823_094054
JR: I’m not sure what you’re asking? The quote. It seems to have little to do with music.
JR: I guess, if you look at it from one perspective. What is the other perspective?
JR: Whom is the other perspective. Sorry?
JR: You mean, “Whom is the other perspective.” I don’t think that’s right.
JR: Well, agree to disagree. Moving on. (At this point Joseph Raiche got up to leave again misunderstanding the idiomatic phrase) Wait. Not moving on as in leaving, just moving on to the next question.
JR: Right. Sorry. So, you guys have another show coming up?
JR: Yeah, at the Wine Fest. August 27. Right, but you also have another show just a few weeks later? 20160823_105140
JR: Right. We are playing at the Varsity in Vermillion, SD September 16. That must be exciting.
JR: Absolutely. You seem hesitant.
JR: (long pause) No, I (another long pause) don’t. Are you worried that your eclectic mix of dance-unfriendly original music will alienate your audience that more than likely is showing up for the fact that they know you rather than actually enjoying the music? And to follow up on that, do you think playing multiple shows just weeks apart will put a strain on those friends who are trying to balance maintaining their relationship with you and their desire to not have to sit through another two hours of songs they can’t sing along to and rhythms that they don’t want to dance to?
JR: Not until right now, I didn’t. Well, what do you think about it?
JR: It is an oddly specific question, but I will answer it as best I can. Sure, there is an existential dilemma here. We don’t really have time to discuss whether people are “born” to do something. If we assume that people do have a “purpose,” then in that scenario there are people whose purpose is to 20160823_105232passively enjoy the work of others. This seems like an absurd idea. Instead, I think it is easier to just assume that we don’t have inherent purpose, and people can do whatever they want. If people choose to come to our shows, we are thankful, but there is no assumption that they “want” to be there. Instead, it is the understanding that they simply “are” there. Wait, why did you put air quotes around the word “born?” Do you not believe people are born?
JR: I never really got the hang of air quotes. (pause) Or Health class. So, you mean you don’t care if people show up to your shows?
JR: That is not what I said at all; I am a fragile human being. Fragile. What do you mean?
JR: I don’t understand the question. Oh no, not this time. What did you mean?
JR: It has been rendered the solemn duty of the Supreme Court of the United States, laid upon it by Congress in pursuance of the Federal Government’s power ‘[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,’ to decide What Is Golf.” Really?
JR: Nods (Note: he actually said the word “nods.” He never actually nodded.) What makes you get up there on that stage if you seem so conflicted about the audience, about what you are doing, about the music?
JR: To love, and to be loved.

This marks the end of part one of our interview. Part two will be posted when we have time.

A Posterior Post for Posterity

Thanks to the organizers and attendees of Thursdays on the Platz on August 4th. After the rain calmed down, it turned out to be a good show for a good group of people.

Thanks to Allison Huff at Luminescence Photography for capturing these pieces of time. Check out her other work at

More photos from this show and others can be found under the photos tab.

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