Back-up Vocal~ As this current story winds down, I felt the need to experiment with one or two notions I’ve wanted to try for a spell. The opportunities finally presented themselves here. I recalled an episode of the Marc Maron WTF Podcast from a few years back, in which he performed a mobile interview with fellow comedian, Maria Bamford. She is ASTOUNDING! Please check her out! A show whilst highway driving seemed to be something of a rarity in his library, as he conducts most of his work from his home studio. This time, Maron drove with Bamford in the passenger seat and they talked while he recorded. I don’t know exactly how they rigged it up, perhaps wearing headset mics or body mics connected to a laptop in the backseat. Regardless, I always thought it was a great episode and a great idea. So, I wanted my guys to try it with their show, too. I liked the concept of joining them as they were wrapping up a program. It proved to be a fun little opener to this new Comic. Plus, I’ve seen a few podcasts go from running on the shoe-string budget of the host, to developing actual sponsors as they evolve and that was a unique element to throw in my mix as well. No better starting place than “Crumpet Castle”. I can only imagine the spiraling pool of deeply troubled waters within Manny.  After all, twas a truly turbulent turn of events, which lead to the “Distortion Grotto” suddenly resting on the financial backing of a franchise bent on making a completely separate member of his own band famous. 

It seems that Yoga Boy’s past wranglings to wrassle up his vision of the perfect back-up singers for Manny, have now made Menudo a permanent fixture on the edges of Splendorland. We can safely assume that the Coast Guard might make their presence known on more then just this one occasion. Plans are now in place for me to attend my first ever Marillion Convention in May, 2019. This is a Weekend event, complete with full concerts Friday, Saturday AND Sunday nights. There are several of these magnificent gatherings every few years (while I’ve never been before, I already know they are magnificent shows, because it’s Marillion). My lady and I will be attending the Convention in Montreal. This required a considerable amount of preparation, as I have not needed a passport in 30 years. As a result, I had volumes of questions on how to approach it all and the wonderful folks on the Marillion – North American Fan Page on Facebook were pivotal in directing me and offering answers. Most often, within 2 minutes of posting a question on the page. I would regularly have 20 people respond within 4 hours. There are no fans on the planet like Marillion fans. They freely provide a warm, welcoming environment year-round and they always treat a brand new fan with the same snuggly embrace they would offer to a 25-year veteran fan. One is never a stranger in the Marillion kingdom. A soul who loves the band will find instant family, ready and eager to speak the language of the most magical band on the planet. With Canada generally on my brain these days, I wanted to offer a loving Shout-Out of thanks to my extended kinfolk through this Comic. Especially, to those Marillionaires making the pilgrimage to Montreal next year, for their guidance in the proper ways for me to get the wheels turning. The friendly nature I always experience in our numbers mixed beautifully with the absurdist world view that can only come from the guy who writes Mannyacs. Apologies for the ridiculous direction it took. 

Finally, I should explain the hovercraft license plate. The obvious thing would have been to throw down with a Manny-centric vanity plate. Which is why I chose not to do it. Over the last few years of listening to Marc Maron interview a wide rage of comedians, I landed upon the most important lesson I have learned in my journey to becoming a creative person. If any slob on the street could write your joke, you DON’T have it. I live and die by that philosophy. So, rather than run with some sort of Manny-plate that ANYONE could conjure, I opted instead to take things in a personal direction. I was a big fan of “Lost” and “The 4400”. These were both extrodinarily unique shows in their time. It made sense to me that Manny was also a fan. So, I opted to make “LST 4400” the vanity plate for the hovercraft. The personal element lies in the fact that years ago, I had thought it would be a cool one for my own car. I loved the notion of having a license plate that would identify me as a “Lost 4400”. In hindsight it was pretty silly, since only hardcore fans of both the programs would get the joke. Still, in my Super-Geek mind, it felt like a spectacular concept! Until I looked into the entire process required to order it. I found that, at least at that time, there was a HUGE amount of headache and frustration involved in getting it done. It really would not have been cheap, either. As I learned in these last few months by comparison, applying for a new passport after 30 years was easier. I ultimately gave up on that grand design. Yet, I figured if I wasn’t getting my dream license plate myself, give it to Manny. Because, in my own mind and the minds of those who know me best, I remain the only 4400 that NTAC never caught. It seems my power is making Mannyacs.