“Mudder? Where are you, Mudder? Mudder??”

“Over here, Scullery.”

“I’m so glad I found you. Deputy Inspector Shinner wants us to check out this list of possible terrorists living in Fresno and… and… Mudder? What are you doing sitting under that tree?”

“This is where I come to do all of my best thinking, Scullery. Everything becomes bit clearer whenever I sit under this tree.”

“I see. So, Mudder, what are you thinking about?”

“I’m thinking about the evil concert consortium and their plans to take over the world by enticing music fans to see Ozzfest this summer.”


“Well, can’t you see, Scullery? It’s as clear as the nose on Michael Jackson’s face. The consortium is in league with the aliens. They plan on subjugating the entire human race by beguiling them with the words, wit and heavy metal riffs of Ozzy Osbourne.”

“You know, Mudder, sometimes I think your mother let you eat too many lead-based paint chips when you were growing up.”

“You don’t believe me, do you Scullery? But how do you explain the fact that the Prince of Darkness is suddenly one of America’s best loved celebrities?”

“Uh… Marketing?”

“It’s more than that, Scullery. The evil concert consortium plans on taking over the entire human race this summer. First, it’s Ozzfest, then that Christina Aguilera / Justin Timberlake co-headline. Then Pearl Jam followed by R.E.M. Before you know it, the entire population will be marching off to buy tickets for Yanni and David Cassidy. Civilization as we know it will cease to exist.”

“I think you’re making too much of all this, Mudder. After all, they’re only concerts.”

“Only concerts, Scullery? What about Metallica’s tour? Is that ‘only a concert.’ You just wait until Lars’ thunderous pounding subliminally instructs the masses into dumping their MP3 files and buy CDs at full retail prices. Then try to tell me it’s ‘only a concert.'”

“Who told you all this, Mudder? Who filled your head with all this nonsense? I’ll bet it was the boys at the Lone Promoter.”

“Nah. They were bought out by Clear Channel and retired. No, I’m afraid that the conspiracy to conquer the world runs much deeper than that. The message is clear. It’s spelled out in every ticket sold for The Jayhawks and every new date for Paul Anka and The Derek Trucks Band. Oh, Scullery, I’m afraid the consortium is going to win this thing, no matter how much we resist.”

“Sheesh, Mudder, sometimes I just don’t get you.”

“Oh, yeah? What’s there to ‘get,’ Scullery?”

“Wake up and smell the coffee, Mudder. Here we are, facing an impending war with Iraq, nukes in North Korea and code orange terrorist alerts, and you’re sitting under this tree babbling about aliens, conspiracies and some mythical evil concert consortium. The world is going to hell in a handbasket and… and… and…”

“Yes, Scullery?”

“Uh, is there enough room under that tree for the both of us?”