A Stone's Throw
A Stone’s Throw has a lot of “inside joke” references that many readers feel are clever and funny. It is by random chance if we “get them” or not so I have included some explanations to many of them. It’s said that explaining a joke makes it not funny, but in the interest of inclusion, I’m going to explain some of the references made throughout the book.
Chapter 1: Juice of Wrath
Page 10: Flatt and Scruggs: Flatt & Scruggs were two famous banjo players that played the theme song to the Beverly Hillbillies TV show. The theme was called “the Ballad of Jed Clampett”. The Clampetts had moved from the swamps in the bayou to Beverly Hills. Prime sitcom material.
Goseycow: Cal Worthington was a used car magnate in SoCal in the eighties. His clever ad gimmick had a voice over song to the tune of “if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands”, but the commercial sang, “if you need a car or truck, Go See Cal…” but it sounded to me as, “goseycow”. It took me months to make the connection and “get it”. Click for 1986 video.
Chapter 4: Lesbians and Whisky
The Night Gallery reference: Rod Serling was the creator of the infamous Twilight Zone. He was so far ahead of his time that Twilight Zone only lasted 5 seasons before the network pulled it from the air thinking it was too controversial and not commercial enough. After a somewhat cocaine and alcohol fueled hiatus, Mr. Serling created the Night Gallery TV show. A similar format of Twilight Zone with bizarre plots and characters with twists and contemplative themes except Night Gallery was in color. Twilight Zone purists (such as myself) thought The Night Gallery tepid.
In the same paragraph as the night Gallery reference I compare living in Brenda’s mother’s house to a VC Andrews novel. VC Andrew’s most famous novel was titled Flowers in the Attic; about four youths locked in an attic of a wealthy family for over three years by their estranged grandmother. Her tales were dark but inspiring. Andrews was an author famous for her rather gothic tales of youths in trouble with mystical overtones and haunting supernatural occurrences.
Chapter 6: Synesthesia
Early 80’s stoner uniform:
Straight leg 501s, open plaid Pendelton with a rock t-shirt underneath with wallabees.
Centipede and Missile Command. Just dont have one of the squatty dog on a stool! Rowr!
Chapter 7: Assume The Position:
Reference made that Jerry Trapp, the JFK high school narc bent on getting me expelled from school is compared to Mr. Rooney. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with Mathew Broderick was released in 1986 and Mr. Rooney is the madman principle on a mission to catch Bueller.
Chapter 8: SWF:
Chapter 9: Thick as Thieves:
In some kind of sinister manipulation of an Ayn Randish idealism, we decide that it is the law of the jungle. Only the quick and the strong survive, and they do so by claiming whatever they encounter, any way they can.
Ayn Rand wrote several novels in the 30s that suggested a philosophy that became known as Objectivism. Reality, reason, self-interestand capitalism are key words to the Objectivism theme. Objectivism promotes the idea that if everyone serves their own self-interest and is held to absolute accountability of their own actions that society would be more utopian. If everyone serves their own self interest and it would allow the strong to survive and being weak and ineffectual to become obsolete.
Chapter 10: Peace Pot & Purple Microdot
A common slang greeting in the eighties for the hesher crowd. “Peace” referencing the 60’s, “Pot” for the right to indulge openly in cannabis, “Purple Microdot” referencing a “brand” of mescaline psychedelic.
Boris the Zig Zag man: the logo image for the Zig Zag brand of rolling papers. His unofficial name is Boris.
Stoned Again A popular 80’s poster found in most high school stoner rooms.
“You deserve a good trip, Grasshopper. You have pleased the acid gods today” From the 70s TV show Kung Fu with David Carradine who played Caine, a half American, half chinese young boy raised in a Shaolin temple in early 1800’s. Each episode followed Caine, now living in wild west America as a nomad. Wrongly accused of a murder, Caine is on the lamb from the US marshals and each episode finds himself being taken in by a family or individual who winds up in trouble and needs a two minute kung-fu fighting episode to be saved from some sort of trouble. The story would flashback to his childhood in the Shoalin temple being raised and taught kung-Fu by Master Po. Master Po had nicknamed Caine “Grasshopper” and would ask him puzzling Zen like questions to test and teach him. Master Po is the image on the right, Click him and you’ll get a quick clip.
I told my sister the person in my room was Maynard. A little boy had an imaginary friend named Maynard in the 80s Cream of Wheat commercials and “my friend Maynard” became something of a trend for awhile along with “where’s the beef” from the 80’s Wendy’s Hamburger commercials.
In the acid buyiong exchange at the US Festival with the hipy dude I calll him Donovan. Donovan was a music artist with a hit, Mellow Yellow in 1966. Supposedly he’s singing about getting high on smoking banana peels. Banana peels have no intoxicating properties but there was a rumor that they did. The song is shitty stupid, but was a big pop thing. Donovan ws far too commercial for my tastes and his need to compete with Pink Floyd and Beatles was desperate.
Timmy Leary: one of the patriarchs of the LSD, psychedelic counterculture. Author, presenter, teacher 1920-1996 fired from harvard with Richard Alpert for advocating psychedelics. He is an American icon of the counterculture. Richard Alpert became Ram Das and wrote Be Here Now. A book that has changed many lives. I grew up with a copy Be Here Now around the house, yet never read it until 2006. It altered my life dramtaically.
Rick and I disturb a sleeping camper at the US Festival who turns out to be Ozz. I refer to friend Ozz as The Lorax, he Dr. Suess character from the Lorax tree book. A story about nature preservation. Need I say more? The book was published in 1971.
Chapter — GTA
Page 177: “Fuck, no! Even if we had a fucking lemonade stand or a sign that said Will Wash Car: Two Dollars, you’d be callin’ Sergeant McGruff to get his mutt ass down here and take a bite out of fucking crime! We are not being ignored. We are alone! Unobserved and unnoticed. It’s payday.” The National Crime Prevention Council produced a TV ad campaign in the early 80’s with a cartoon dog named Sgt. McGruff and the tag line was “take a bite out of crime”. Irony here is that the actor who provided the McGruff voice was sentenced to 16 years in prison for possession of 1000 pot plants, a grenade launcher and 9000 rounds of ammunition. Click the McGruff image forthe 80s commercial.
“He knocks on the door as I keep watch: this was a plan of mine we had used before. He’ll ask for Cloyber, a ridiculous name that no one could ever have. If someone answers, Rick will act like he’s made a mistake and leave peacefully.” Cloyber was someone we actually knew (spelling changed). Poor bastard was the butt of many jokes for being a bit unusual, but he was actually very, very cool and taught me how to drive a stick shift!
Chapter — Odyssey
Page 131: “Hell, no. I want her to stick me with a needle and let me lick her pussy. I’ll recite the Yellow Pages or Hamlet’s soliloquy for her if she wants me to, but I don’t really want to talk.” Hamlet’s soliloquy is the famous one that begins with “To be or not to be, that is the question.”
Chapter 26, Crystal X:
Page 414: “A funny thing happened on my over to the Bromley house…” He doesn’t get my little joke. So many things are lost on him. A funny thing happened… is a cliché intro to a stand-up comedian’s joke.
Gage has been the queen of everybody’s business since the day he was born. It is his way of ignoring his own. He’s trying to avoid the subject. I don’t let him off the hook he feels he is dangling from, and I force him (like Sergeant Politeness) to listen to my exchange with Connie… Sergeant Politeness is the name of a Failure song from their album, Fantastic Planet. An overwhelmingly underrated 90’s band. The band functions on so many layers it is impossible to characterize them. I got to see them in 2014 with Puscifer and A Perfect Circle on Maynard James Keenan’s 50th birthday at the Greek Theatre in LA. What a night.
Chapter 27, Torsional Waves:
A torsional wave is a term used for waves that function on wave pulse: the common example given is to take a coiled spring and twist it. As it is twisted on one end, it creates a torsional wave throughout the entire object. There is a famous video of the Tacoma Narrows bridge in Washington from Nov. 7, 1940 experiencing a torsional wave. It must be seen to be believed and cannot be described. Click the image below for the actual video.