Every Father’s Day, I usually share a storytelling event story I did a while back, about my dad. The story I tell there is one part of three, from a thing I wrote, shortly after he died, called “Three Pictures of My Dad.”
But this past year, over the pandemic, I’ve been sharing stories with a friend and I find it to be a really good thing to do. To share stories, as people.
And it occurs to me that I should maybe “tell” the other two pictures, there in that work. So here they are.
If you have the time, I’d absolutely love to know that you listened to them, to know that the idea of Joel Dobbin managed to animate a bunch of thoughts in the world, these 12 years after he left it.
If you knew him and loved him, I hope these little “audio portraits” bring back the reality of him to you, for just a little bit. You can kind of see him, there in your mind’s eye and hear his voice and identity assert itself in the narrative. Trust me, it’s always nice when he “shows up” like that.
If you DIDN’T know him, but love me, then please– listen. By the end, I’m pretty sure you will love him and wish you did know him. He was a really good dad.
The podcast WILL ride again… maybe! If it suits Keith’s fancy. In the meanwhile, to tide you over, here’s a bonus bit of content: I recorded an audio-book style version of a story from my book OF LOVE AND SNACKCAKES for a friend.
Longtime listeners will remember this as the story of “The Polka Dot Ninja.” This is the more extended telling of the tale.
I’m putting it up here so they can download it on Spotify for a plane ride, which is a roundabout way of getting past the iPhone’s fucked up inability to download and store mp3s natively. If you’re still subscribed to the podcast, this means you get it, too. All for the low, low price of FREE.
Slaughter the fatted calf! Light the celebratory bonfire! Punch a nun full in the face! Keith “America’s Favorite Boy” Field has crafted a purchasable piece of podcast merchandise that you, the loyal listener, can (AND SHOULD) purchase. For less than the price of a steak, a little bit of capital H History can live in your house: TRUCK ZOO BLOOD WAR 2000, the most fun you could have with tiny wooden toys.
Also in this episode: listener feedback (sorta). And if you thought the crisis hotline idea from last episode was perhaps ill-advised, hoo-boy. This episode features the introduction (and hopefully the last appearance) of a certain figure from the fictional Steadman College. It is… WHAT IT IS.
What’s in a name? William Shakespeare seemed to think “not much,” in that a rose by any other name would still be rose-flavored. But he was kind of a dick who wrote a play about an evil Jew, hellbent for leather on carving out a section of Christian flesh from the belly of a guy who owed him money.
We tend to think in more Old Testament terms; that the power granted to Mankind was the power of naming…. And the power granted to America’s Favorite Boy, Keith Charles Field, is the power of NICKNAMING. Like a carpenter whose own home is left unmended, Keith reveals his secret longing for a true nickname, and the hateful ones saddled on him by classmates.
Also: The delightful casual racism of the 1960s DICK TRACY cartoon, the dread fate of a criminal midget of an indeterminate name at the hands of his grotesque bride and the worst idea for a crisis hotline to ever be recorded in audio format. IN THIS EPISODE: You will hear a genuine and real-life, honest to goodness, THREE’S COMPANY Jack Tripper style **SPIT TAKE** as Josh makes the ill-advised move to sip a cold beverage while Keith is in full swing.
Laugh along with Josh and Keith as they lose it, Harvey Korman/Tim Conway style, but also cry… cry tears for a baked midget.
On the nature of expressions of grief or mourning for strangers, both genuine and performative, Josh and Keith have differing opinions, but manage to find some common ground.
In this episode, find out who Josh hates most in all the world of celebrity, and shriek in terror at the continuing and unrelenting evil of Hector Boyardee. Also: WAKE IN FRIGHT, the movie you’ve never seen, and never should see, but you probably will see now, even though I just clearly told you you shouldn’t see. Keith sees and was disappointed with the new BILL AND TED, which he calls a “corpse parade.”
This episode has it all: Kangaroo slaughters, Wacky Packages, odes to fallen heroes of the past including John Saxon (who never gets as much love as he should) and Donald Pleasence, who really wanted to kill those Witch Mountain kids. Josh and Keith discuss COBRA KAI, binge-watching, being covered in mites, celebrity break-ups, and much, much more.
The great poet Robbie Burns once said that the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang-aft-a-gley. Which is a classy Scottish way for saying “get fucked up.”
Here’s a little peek behind the curtain into how the magic happens at THE TIME HAS COME studios: Josh and Keith will hang out for a bit, get the computer set up to record, and go over a loose plan of a topic to eventually settle upon for the episode, so that it has some sort of thematic arc to it. From there, it’s a freeform conversation that goes where it goes, with a mind to somehow wind it’s way topic-ward.
That was the plan for this episode, but that plan gang-aft-a-gley’d in the most delightful and horrific way. Equal parts delightful and horrific.
You see, for this taping, the whimsical character of Little Boy Boyardee, the waif who would become chef to a nation, Hector Boyardee, hailed and lauded as a hero for the ages in our previous episode, took a dark and unexpected turn.
GASP! in amazement and surprise as his villainy is revealed!
CHOKE! back tears of laughter and revulsion!
MARVEL! at the sinister and reality-bending nature of dastardly time travel and skulduggery!
SPEND! somewhere around an hour and forty minutes exploring an episode we can only call….
We are more than the sum total of what we consume and our identity is not predicated on that which we reject. This is a lesson some years in the making for Keith, but it is a trap we all fall into very often. Crafting a persona based on hating a thing that others like, or rejecting THIS because you’re all about THAT. But old habits die hard.
Being aware of Keith’s new-found and more open perspective, Josh made the mistake of trying to encourage him to watch HAMILTON. It did not go well. Still in all, this episode finds that RISK is indeed our business, as the world’s newest, oldest Star Trek fan is revealed. Not that it is revolutionary for two aging nerds to opine on all matters STAR TREK in a podcast, but we come at it from what will hopefully be a unique angle.
Also this episode, a hero emerges from the shadows of the past, to offer guidance and light the way through these dark and altogether uncertain times so wracked with division and contention. He also is very concerned that you do not contaminate your canned pasta with sex-juices. It’s a whole thing.
These are the podcast adventures of the recording project TIME HAS COME. It’s two hour mission… to explore new and unexamined perspectives… to seek out new ideas and build new things… to NOT MIX JIZZUM WITH BEEF-A-RONI!
In a world gone mad, two old friends reunite in the world’s sweatiest apartment to record a podcast for your wicked amusements.
Keith is back from his sojourn in the spiritually barren wastes of South Dakota, where he underwent many a dark night of the soul, and emerged battered, beaten and robbed of most of his worldly possessions by a pair of Sioux Falls grifters. Battered, beaten, but not broken. And that’s kinda the point of this episode.
It’s about emerging from damaging circumstances with a hard-won understanding and acknowledging one’s own flaws and complicity in those circumstances. But more importantly, it’s about emerging. It’s a new beginning. And also about the copious amount of perspiration surrounding Keith’s nether regions as we spoke. There is also a delightful story of a pie.
The time has come for more podcasts. Watch this space, but also, listen to this episode. More to come!
There are moments when you are aware of a gestalt reality, but unaware of the specifics of what is at play. One of these moments came when Keith arrived at my door, hailed my dogs with his customary greeting of intoning, “WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOU? WHAT HAVE THEY DOOOOOONE?” and began speaking to me.
I knew only that something was amiss, something was off, something was different. I did not know what the something was. It itched at me, tickled like a sneeze that threatened, but refused to arrive. His face was his face, but it was also somehow, in some fundamental way, NOT his face.
Then it hit me…
He had no eyebrows.
This is the story of how that came to pass. And also the story of old arcade games, what they once represented and now represent, and the vast chasm between those two meanings.
Here’s what I think is important about this episode, in a “One to grow on” kind of way.
In a time of instantly mobilized outrage on the left and right, where disagreement equals offense,and the idea that someone may hold thoughts, sensibilities, world-views and perspectives in their head that do not comport with yours is considered painful and hurtful, this conversation stands as testament to a completely opposite idea. The idea that friends– real friends, who love and care about each other– can honestly hold totally different viewpoints, and not be friends *despite* this, but in many ways, because of it.
There’s a childish, parochial stance, spread like contagion on social media, that those who don’t instantly tow whatever line you hold must be THE ENEMY and mocked, meme’d, blocked, called out, unfriended and all that. It’s an 8th grade lunchroom clique mentality. We at The Time Has Come don’t subscribe to it.
Conversation and debate and exchange of views is what people do.
So long as they agree on the essential, fundamentals in life: That when you encounter a lolling eyed crazy mogwai, you MUST snap the little thing’s neck.
Easter! A time for rebirth, renewal, and awakening. Spring has sprung and chocolate-y eggs dot the newly green grass. That which once was dormant and seemingly gone from the Earth wakes anew and blossoms! But what if it wakes up… different this time?
Poetry gets a bad rep as a thing for sissies and flopsy sleeved dandies. But there’s much to learn from it. In the often quoted Yeats poem “The Second Coming,” he writes:
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
It is a sexy passage: the rise of something hideous and monstrous, now arriving. He’s talking about the rise of the Anti-Good, the time when everything that held together instead now falls apart. Same poem has in it a less quoted part, which is maybe more fitting to the topic at hand in today’s podcast: The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
See? In four short lines, William Butler Yeats has summed up what we take two hours to do: Describe how fucking horrible BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN was, and why it is a crime and a travesty. Poetry has value. Yeats called it in 1916, a full 100 years before this cinematic abortion was splatted onto the screens and consciousnesses of the American people.
ALSO this episode: Easter! The inconsistent nature of the Easter Bunny mythos and Keith’s… peculiar take on it. Josh’s mother in law’s unpredictable but always perfect responses. And, while we’re at it, mannequins.
But the real meat here is the death of the ideas and ideals of heroism. The mannequins? That’s just our draw.
There is a certain convention of naming that is often seen in cartoons, wherein the big fat guy who pilots the main vehicle is called “Tiny.”A comedic inversion of the reality by plainly stating the converse as simple fact.
That principle MAY be in play with the use of the word “fun” in the title of this episode of The Time Has Come, as it relates to relatives, and relating to them in this modern world of social media and shared virtual spaces.
Learn the secrets of Keith’s sum total of experience in computer programming! See as Josh and Keith try to put the FUN in “dysFUNctional family” with a tale of woe and jockeys. Well, “see” is kind of the wrong verb, as it is all audio.SEE WITH YOUR MIND’S EYE. You know what we mean.
Like any given week on BLOSSOM, this is a *very special episode” of TTHC.
An ever-full cornucopia of wondrous delights awaits you in this episode: The Lovecraftian horror of a misspent high school career in self-plagiarism gives way to a glimpse of the Future-As-Keith-Sees-It, with America’s last president, Donald J. Trump, and an extended exploration on the phenomenon of cosplay, inclusion and exclusion, and the nature of what we grasp for when we set our sights on the fantastic. and who and how we should be as we do so. Many truths are spoken.
Also, Keith chews on Josh’s prize possession for your wicked amusement, and spins a tale of a toy factory that never was, but always should have been, in the mini saga of SPACE SWORD: THE BEGINNING-ING.
But this episode shall be marked by historians and archaeologists of the future for the fact that it reveals to you the origins of a dark and mystic place of legend and wonder. A genteel, southern horrorshow Brigadoon of sorts that exists in the real world as a road sign, but in the realms of imagination as a Never Never Land of polite terrors and mint juleps, sipped in the warm evening breeze: A place called PARMALEE HILL.
“It’s sick out there and getting sicker,” was the catchphrase of radio curmudgeon Bob Grant. An apt summation of this week’s theme: Josh recalls a hospital tale, with all-too-close proximity to a dying German man and his shrewish wife, Keith recounts a story of a dare that would have been wiser not to have been taken concerning the consumption of an entire bottle of maple syrup, and we learn the dread secret ingredient necessary to spark life back into a senile and wasting old pensioner at a rehabilitation facility.
Also! The first (but certainly not last) fleeting glimpse at a place and an idea that has haunted Keith’s imagination for quite some time: feel the warm breeze upon your cheek and straighten your bow tie, and join us in the parlor of the pleasant manse known to man and beast alike as PARMALEE HILL, there to discuss matters of the day in most genteel fashion.
Author Stephen King is incredibly important to both Josh and Keith, for similar reasons. This podcast explores the intersection of King’s works with their lives, explores what King means to the world and to the idea of ideas, and also features some VERY DISTURBING MENTAL IMAGERY about popcorn, and the consumption thereof.
Also in this episode: Truck Zoo’s bitter vow of vengeance for the knock-off bootleg SHARK TANK funded copy of its core ideas and concept, and the rankings and virtues of various gravies.
Myths, legends, folklore. Where do they come from, and from what circumstances do they arise? Figures who exist in equal parts fantasy and history have been shared dreams of humanity since civilization began, since tales were first told to circles huddled around the flickering orange-yellow light of campfires.
Robin Hood, Arthur and his knights, the giant Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe… To the Asiatic Balkans and in the dark forests of Mother Russia, fables are whispered of the dread old force for destruction and gain, Baba Yaga, the witch grandmother who will as soon make your fortune as she will grind your bones for her meal.
NOW, the time has come for a new figure, a new legend. Now, with your successful completion of listening to today’s audio podcast, you will know the LEGEND OF THE SPOTTED EEL.
And you won’t be able to *un*know it, failing some kind of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND memory wiping procedure, which you may well wish for when all is said and done.
Riddle us this, Podcast-consumer. In what other show, across all manner of media, might you find a single broadcast that encompasses such topics as shoplifting, abusive relationships, Chewbacca, snuff films, Arrow and the Flash, and the nature of that which is transgressive and forbidden weighed against societal law and one’s one personal moral compass… And have the defining moment of said discussion be the tale of a young man who looked like a grandmother?
NOWHERE. Nowhere else.
Perhaps there’s a reason for that. Only time will tell. Enjoy this very special episode of The Time Has Come, and draw your own conclusion.
Take a tour of the messy playroom that serves as the headquarters and studio of The Time Has Come Podcast Enterprises. In this episode, learn the sinister plans of meteor-based wooing that Keith harbors. Although they are often political and alignment-based opposites, Keith and Josh join forces to champion TEAM HUMAN when it comes to matters of sides and attachments. What it is to be human and be in concert with and a part of the grander cycle of sentience and life and death on Earth, and why we shouldn’t feel so guilty about taming elephants.