Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Their Reunion Tour

In 1979 I met my lifelong friend Melvin. He was the guy with the ID, so he bought the beer. Usually with co-subscribed funds. I had the use of my Dad's long van. Once when I had brought my TRS-80 model I from the Game Faire, I had left some cassettes in there. Melvin handed me a tape. My parents' tastes were 40's and 50's do-wop from Radio Shack. Or the girl bait stylings of Roger Whittaker. I was deliriously happy with the AM radio. Most of my friends had cassettes that they would play. I looked at the tape to make sure I wasn't freely consigning my soul to Satan. I didn't know Tipper Gore hadn't suggested warning lables yet. The Label was green, the tape 5 minutes to a side, and the hand-written "Electric Pencil", was bold in my handwriting. "Uh, Mel, This isn't...." "I've heard of them John! They're supposed to be real good!" We wrangled back and forth for a few minutes. I decided the quickest way would be to play it for him.

I stuck the 500 baud computer cassette into the van's Stereo cassette player. Now some of you have heard a modem connect up. A cassette of a program is less tuneful, and lacks the glorious climax of a modem connect. Everyone laughed more in sympathy with Melvin, and sort of at the big nerd who would have such an evil booby trap.

Well time moved on, and about 7-8 years ago, Melvin was between living situations, He had a couple of months before he would go down to Las Vegas and live close to his Mom and relatives. I let him crash at Chez Outrageous.

I let him have the computer room, as we had rocked out there to some good tunes. I let him have my old boom box for radio, my first CD player. I heard "Oh No JOHN!" I went barreling down the stairs to find Melvin quickly switching off the CD and ejecting an AOL CD-ROM disk.

He held it up, "The Electric Pencil!"
I tried to contain myself, Failed!
"The Reunion Tour!"

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