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This whole monstruousity was originally conveived February through March 2001 by the members of The Big Note - a Frank Zappa YahooGroup. After an arduous gestation period, this site was birthed on April 11 2001. True to the essence of collaborative effort, these people are held responsible.

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© TheBigNote 2001-2004
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Prelude Part III

Lumpy Gravy Part Three: SOFA stands alone

Hi Friends, I've decided to take a little indefinite vacation. It is possible at some future time, after the general membership - and world at large - has had a chance to reassess my written contributions, that I may return to hosting Lumpy Gravy for the group. I may return, upon my return, but "I will return" is not the proper phrase to turn.
A close friend of mine has written a novel that I have promised to proofread. It's a big one that's going to take a while... I leave this next installment of the early Lumpy Gravy to SOFA, my only begotten son. For whosoever readeth on him shall not be dismayed, but have everlasting mirth - the book of Punter; chapter 11, bankruptcy code 503.C.

It was a Monday; a day like any other day (Jeez, I sound like some kind of Foreigner). It was cold in Michigan. Hell, it was January; what did you expect? Chorpus Chrispy? I was working the day watch at the Holland Sentinel. What's black -&- white, and read all over? A newspaper... That's my job; that's what I do.
There are a lot of pretenders and imitators in the naked city (why don't they put some clothes on this damn city? It's disgusting!). Some of them are Chrissie Hynde. Some of them are Elvis. Some of them are politicians. Some are muffins. Sometimes these imitators infiltrate the very fabric of our existence - even the double-knits. Sometimes they're invited. When they are, and they do, that's when I come in.
My name's SOFA.
I carry a cushion.
[Dumm-da-dum-dum. Duuumm-da-dum-dum-DUMB]

The first pretender was found at "The Interest Group" - an ICQ group even less active than the "Project/Object" Interest Group (if there can be such a thing). The "IG" has a groupmaster who doesn't exist, unlike P/O & TBN - who has Poodle. I'm glad I'm not an agnostic dyslexic, or I wouldn't believe in DoG.
I was perusing the user list, when a name actually leapt off the page. I ducked, and didn't get any on me. The name was "Moonbear". I clicked on the "zoom me" icon. Moonbear didn't leave much of a trail. There was NO info at all in fact - just an ICQ number.
Undaunted (actually, I've never been daunted that I can recall, so that means nothing), I sent Moonbear a message announcing TBN's intentions to expand, and asking if he/she/it may want to join. As part of the message process, I had to request to be added to Moonbear's contact list...
Now I have had a name on my ICQ for over a year (I still miss talking to her) awaiting authorization, so being ignored is nothing new to me. I have deleted others who have hung in the "awaiting authorization" wings too long. But I received a message denying authorization. Can you believe that? Moonbear actually took the time to tell me to fuck-off, rather than let me figure it out for myself.
Well, Moonbear, I hope your shit rises up and kisses you while you sleep!!! And to think that Moonbear listed his nationality as Native American (the only info provided, other than nickname). He could have been our Indian of the group...
I couldn't let this major setback get me down. So I said, "Look here, Major. I will not let you get me down!" I guess I told him... I continued my search for the perfect additions to TBN. Finally, I hit paydirt. I actually beat the shit out of paydirt.

::: First attempted contact
Antoine, Do you understand English?
Please respond.

::: First response
Yes I do...

::: Second attempted contact
Excellent! That means you pass part one of the "initiation" (heretofore known as the "initiation"). Since you've come this far, I bet you're just dying to know what I'm doing here on your computer screen. (Bring the band down behind me boys) My name is SOFA, but you can call me SOFA - the magnificent, the all-mighty, the creator of all that's Frank and Holy - ah what the fuck, just call me SOFA.
I am a member in good sitting of "The Big Note" (heretofore known as TBN). TBN is an ICQ interest group whose primary concern is all things Zappa. At some point in time (I don't know when; probably tomorrow), you expressed an interest in communicating with us. We have heard your plea. We hope that interest is still alive. If so, you may wish to consider part two of the "initiation". Please respond with the title of your favorite Zappa disk, and why you feel that it's the best disk ever recorded.
I await your response...
Take your time and type neatly, please.

::: Third attempted contact
Antoine, Are you interested in joining the Zappa ICQ group?
This is my last contact without a response.

Yet another blind alley. You know, with the exception of McBeal, all my allies have been blind lately. But did I give up? Hah! Don't give me that much credit. There were more contacts to be made: guoD, kriD, odnaN, divaD, namaS, retsehC, oloaP, naibaF, dE, yaR, lliB, moT, to name just a few... It was all too much to bear...
The story you have just read is true. The names were spelled backwards to protect the really, really stupid. Yet, I can't leave it like this. There has to be a happy ending; this is America, after all...

::: First attempted contact
Are you interested in joining an active Frank Zappa ICQ Interest Group?
Please respond.

::: First response
Hey SOFA, I'd be very happy to join the FZ group you've mentioned. Please email/ICQ me about how I can do so. My ICQ no. is 32446272. I'll authorize you as soon as I get your request.
Thanks for the initiative taken by you.

::: Second attempted contact
Great! Thank you for responding. Let me tell you a little about what's going on. My name is SOFA, but you can call me SOFA. I am a member of The Big Note (TBN); the only active ICQ interest group concerned with all things Zappa. We are presently expanding our membership. I found your name on the Project/Object group; that's why I contacted you. We are a small, but active, group. We hold occasional group chats, maintain two message boards, and hold Frank Zappa trivia quizzes periodically. Our groupmaster - Poodle - asked me to canvass the other groups for prospective new members. That's why I invaded your screen.
I am asking all of the prospects to answer 1 or 2 questions relative to Frank (I call these interview questions Lumpy Gravy).
Your Lumpy Gravy, Vikram, is: what is your favorite Zappa release and why do you think it's the best thing ever recorded. Don't feel threatened by the question; give it some thought and answer honestly. I haven't recommended to deny membership to anyone who's answered yet (of course, the final decision is based on a group vote, but they tend to trust my judgement. I still haven't figured out why...)
I await your response.
"Music is the best" - FZ

::: Second response
Here you go, SOFA:
I haven't got a huge collection of Zappa albums since they are hard for me to get here in India, but in response, (and it's difficult to chose just one; my choice might be different on a different day) I'd say Joe's Garage, for the brilliant concept.


Vikram, aka the Muffin Man, has been a happy member of TBN ever since. Kind of makes you feel great to be alive, don't it?
Ya know, I kinda like this... Who the hell needs that old man, anyway?
Keep watching for more informative Lumpy Gravy at TBN!

Frank Zappa

More Lumpy Gravy?