Cooches Continue to Confound: RECAPPING JUKEBOX STORIES WEEK 3

By now you probably know that Brandon and I give away fabulous bingo prizes at every performance of Jukebox Stories. On Friday (11/24/06), we awarded one lucky winner the brand new Paris Hilton album, a disc full of musical treasures. No matter that we made the audience's collective ears bleed when we blasted the CD during intermission and no matter that nobody in the East Bay even remotely wants to be in possession of anything with Paris Hilton's name on it—people love winning, and people love free things. That's the pop appeal of our bingo game, and in it lies a profound spiritual lesson: It's the journey, not the destination, that matters. That's why we continued to excite the masses with the companion prize that went along with the Paris Hilton CD: the DVD of Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties, an atrocious CG-and-live-action nightmare, which is reason enough to have Bill Murray—who voices the beloved character—executed by lethal injection.

A lady in the front row pulled a song title out of our random selection box and declared that the next song that Brandon was to perform was "Munching the...the...Coo...Cooch?" She turned to her husband inquisitively.

He responded, "I'll explain it to you later."

I wanted to say, "Show; don't tell," but the song had already begun.

On Saturday (11/25/06), Brandon tried to give away a partially eaten peach pie that he had stolen out of the refrigerator of the place he was staying at as the grand prize. During intemission, my friends John and Angie informed me that they had won bingo a long time ago, but did not want the partially eaten peach pie and wanted to leave the grand prize open to someone who would appreciate it more.

Brandon told me, "Maybe people don't find a partially eaten peach pie as appealing as I do." So we decided to give the grand prize winner the opportunity to trade the partially eaten peach pie for two smaller gifts hidden in an Ace Hardware bag. The winner chose the bag and won the debut CD by Michael Bolton. The look on her face was a blend of excitement, confusion, and horror. The second item in the bag was—and this is a stroke of absolute genius!—the exact same Michael Bolton CD. As the lead character in my play, Boyz of All Nationz: The Rise and Fall of a Multi-Ethnic Boy Band, admonished, "One Michael Bolton album, shame on him. Two Michael Bolton albums, shame on you."

For some reason, Brandon thought it would be a good idea to call my sister and put her speakerphone. She didn't pick up, so I left her a message to call us back before 10 p.m. to tell us her cup size and what her favorite song is. (She is referenced in my story, "What My Sister's Breast Implants Have to Do With Golf.") She never called back. That's the kind of relationship we have.

Brandon's Brooklyn housemate, Gaby Alter, former Bay Area theater dude, was invited on stage to sing actual cover letters that he had written when applying to mind-numbing jobs. And Impact's managing director, Cheshire, bought Brandon and me a pizza that we ate during Act Two, and it was damn good but made us continually worry about cheese in our teeth.

After the show, we noticed that one of the Michael Bolton CDs had been left behind, as well as the partially eaten peach pie. Normally, I would declare, "Ungrateful bastards!" But this just means that we have more prizes for next weekend. Pies keep.

—Reporting From Glendale, California

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