RW58 - Wet Daddy

This week, Dan and John talk about

The show title refers to a type of drug where you will dip of a cigarette or a joint in embalming fluid.

Draft version
The segments below are drafts that will be incorporated into the rest of the Wiki as time permits.

2017-March: Terrible Mini Cupcakes (RW58)

John does like cake and sometimes when he is feeling weak later in the day he goes down to the store and gets a piece of cake. He has found that Safeway has the best cake. There are different kinds of gourmet grocery stores in the area, but their cake is all crap. Safeway has realized that they have the best cake, so they are cutting their slices thinner and thinner without reducing the price, but it is still the best cake! The other day John was in a different part of town where he went to a Safeway and then into a Fred Meyer, which is a chain of department stores that fills the same role as a Walmart, but while he would never go into a Walmart, he would routinely go into a Fred Meyer when he was growing up. John spent 20 minutes looking at their bakery section and couldn’t believe how many baked deserts they had without a single one of them being the simple piece of chocolate cake he wanted. He was frustrated and kept thinking that there must be some other section of the bakery section that he wasn’t seeing, because: where was the simple slice of chocolate cake?

John finally settled on a packet of mini cupcakes and was feeling ashamed of himself when he was walking up to the counter buying six mini cupcakes. They looked like the closest thing, but as he got home and tried them, they were terrible. He ate 3 of these cupcakes even though they were so bad that from the moment he was into the first one he thought he should just throw them in the street as a gesture of contempt. Falling for those cake treats! If somebody has barbecue for sale, you can get a sense if a hot dog is going to be good by looking at it, but a cake? A lot of times it is inversely proportionate and the most beautiful cake is the most awful. It is all about the frosting and you can’t see what is going on underneath. The ones he bought looked like they had delicious frosting, but they tasted just like a food-colored crisco. John looked at them in the fridge before they started recording where they have now been for two weeks. Maybe it is a situation where a little bit of time in the fridge will age them to perfection? No, John is just mad about it and bitter. He is going to toss them!

Cruising the strip (RW58)

On Friday and Saturday nights they used to cruise the strip in Anchorage, which is something young people can’t possibly understand. Cars on Northern Lights Blvd went West and cars on Benson Blvd went East. Both streets were 4 or 5 lanes wide and it was stop and go traffic of hot rod cars, all the jacked up Chevy Novas and 1972 Camaros that Anchorage could produce, plus everybody else in their dad’s car, plus all the little jalopies and hoopties and Ford Pickup Trucks. Everybody was going west on W Northern Lights until they came to Spenard Rd where they would turn left and go East on W Benson Blvd until they got to the Denny’s (on 2900 Denali St). Tons and tons of kids were cruising the strip all night long, honking at each other and looking at each other. In the Summer time you could park your car in any of the parking lots on the side with your lights on and watch people cruise. If they saw you and liked you, they could come park next to you. Today this culture is completely gone! You could see it in the movie American Graffiti.

Wet Daddy and PCP (RW58)

Dan has a lot of terms in his head without knowing what they are. Like for example, if you put a little bit of cocaine into a marijuana joint, is that called a Wet Daddy? John doesn’t know what a Wet Daddy is and he wouldn’t use the term even if that were what it was called! Dan also found a joint laced with PCP being called a Wet Daddy.

John had two close encounters with PCP: One of them was when a guy he knew threw himself down the stairs on PCP. Another time was on a Friday night in 1985 when they were cruising the strip. A guy who worked at a landscaping company managed to get his dad’s new Corvette, which at the time was a pretty big deal. Lee McCay had gotten ahold of some money and had bought a brand new Audi Quattro. John was probably riding with Shannon Persley in some other thing. Anchorage in 1985 was like anywhere else in 1975, so it felt like a scene from Almost Famous. They were standing around smoking pot in a parking lot watching the cruise go by, all being pretty seasoned drug consumers at that point. Then this sketchy dude rolls up. He wasn’t old and he was friendly, but clearly sketchy. He asked them what they were smoking, they were smoking some weed, and he offered them some of his. He had this strange looking One Hitter Pipe, not big enough to be an apparatus, but it had an apparatus vibe to it. They were wondering what was going on inside that little tube, it didn’t just look like a tube. John doesn’t remember exactly what it looked like, but it was a weird thing.

The guy handed his pipe to the buddy of John's who was standing closest to him, which was alright. At the time it would have been rude to say ”What’s in it?” when you are passing your pipes around. The implication was that he had some weed in it. It was at a time before you would think that somebody would walk around with face-eating drugs in a thing. John's buddy took a hit of it and was like ”Wooooah” and the guy grabbed his thing and just started to hustle away. It was some weird shit and they were yelling ”Fuck you, man!” after the guy who was just scooting or crab-walking off. He was really sketchy! They all circled around John’s friend and asked what’s going on and he said that whatever that was, it was wrong! They watched him real carefully for a while. He had various reports from the other side, but nothing bad happened because he had only taken a tiny little hit of this thing. They all concluded that it was PCP. They weren’t virgins at that point and the friend who took it was even more sophisticated that the rest of them, but he classified this event as a negative experience. PCP was not enticing to John!

Dan always got spooked by things that were more than Marijuana. He used to call it pot, but then he learned that pot is not the correct term and people call it weed, but weed is a term used by the surfers and Dan just couldn’t throw in with them. John is reading that a Wet Daddy is a cigarette or joint dipped in embalming fluid, formaldehyde. He did not expect that Dan Benjamin would introduce him to a new drug substance, but apparently smoking formaldehyde will give you some weird high. A Primo is marijuana and cocaine in a joint, but no formaldehyde. A Wet Daddy is Marijuana and formaldehyde, but no cocaine. The way they would consume cocaine in that fashion was that you would dip your unlit cigarette, like a Camel, in a little bit of cocaine, pick it up and hit it with a lighter and as the cigarette lights up at the top, you are also getting this cocaine hit. That is called a Snow Cap. You could also put cocaine on top of your weed in your little weed pipe and hit it with the lighter.

Wet Daddy! Dan is coming at John with some weird Florida shit! Can you get formaldehyde at the drug store? Probably you have to get it through channels or from High Schools in Biology class where it is used for dissecting frogs and so on. Speaking as a man who has smoked peanut skins, he has still a hard time imagining the first person who dipped a joint in formaldehyde and was like ”Hm, let’s try this!” That just seems strange.

The one rule of China (RW58)

Dan says that in China they have only one rule: You only eat animals if their back is to the sun! You could eat a cow or a cat, but not a bear, because a bear can rear up. John's friend once had a hairless cat that would sit there and catch a ping pong ball, but you wouldn’t eat that because its back was not to the sun. You can’t eat a gorilla, because they can also go up on their hind feet. If an animal can stand up naturally and walk around, you can’t eat it, but you could eat a snake, no problem! You can’t eat a person in China, but what if you went over to the Chinese equivalent of the Donner Pass and got snowed in?

Bears are not kosher, Dan is learning. All predatory terrestrial animals are forbidden in islam. You cannot eat a bat in Judaism, which John would not recommend in general, but in Indonesia that meat is known to be a pricey delicacy. There are not a lot of kosher people in Indonesia. Camels are forbidden in a lot of places and they are unclean animals for a lot of religions because they have cloven hoofs, they chew their cud, and they regurgitate.

John not eating potatoes (RW58)

John won’t eat olives, that is part of his religion. Olives and potatoes! ”What is the most common food in the Western world?” - ”Potatoes!” - ”I’m not eating that, just to be difficult!” It is John’s religion, what are you going to do? Eating potatoes is just as bad as eating a camel! The potato is the camel of American nightshade plants.

The hairless cat that caught ping pong balls (RW58)

John had a friend who had one of those hairless cats. The cat liked to chase a ping pong ball and one day when they were hanging out at his house, John happened to throw a ping pong ball just exactly right that the cat sat on its butt and caught the ping pong ball between its two front paws and then just stood there. It would then bring you the ping pong ball. This was back in one of John's previous lives where he 1) hung out in people’s apartments and just sat on the couch with them. They wouldn’t watch TV together, but they would smoke pot or just dink beer and smoke cigarettes and talk about their band. 2) John generally doesn’t hang out with people with hairless cats anymore. That was a time when anybody he knew would have a weird pet, some kind of yellow snake or some bird with a neurotic complex or a tarantula. 3) John is not in a position anymore where something would happen that would make him go ”Wooooooah!” If that happened again today, he would just go ”Haha”.

John’s friend exclaimed that they are going to be rich, because that was the stupid pet trick everybody had been waiting for. They just discovered that this cat had this genius talent to catch ping pong balls, so they just sat throwing this ping pong ball and the cat thought it was great! His friend later told John that from the moment he had left the apartment, the cat had never done it again. John even came back once to test the theory, but the ball would just bounce off the cat’s head. It had liked the game for one afternoon and then either said ”I’m not your monkey” or ”I don’t remember things from yesterday, because I’m a dumb cat” Maybe the cat was inhabited by the spirit of radio for that one day? It never happened again and the cat became a useless cat once again.

Rhodes piano (RW58)

John posted a picture of a Rhodes piano on the Internet the other day and his brother commented ”I’ll buy that from you” and John replied ”You have my phone number! You could also call me and make a legitimate offer!”

Vintage Seiko Watches (RW58)

Dan's Instagram has taken a real turn and he has now become a member of the vintage Seiko watch society. He started by posting one or two photos and he actually got a response. John could post a photo of a shoe in an alley and get 350 likes within an hour, but Dan typically gets 8 likes or something. He doesn’t really have that many followers, just around 3000, which he considers relatively small, because there are people with 15 million followers! John and Dan are equally yoked on Twitter, but on Instagram John got a bit more than Dan. Dan was used to not getting very many likes on anything, except when he posts a picture of his kid, which was very rare. Whatever, it didn’t bother him! But then he posted a photo of a watch and it got a couple hundred! He tried again a few days later and same thing! He figured that people must like the watches he has.

Dan had been into watches ever since he was a little kid. Before the days Casio came out with their beautiful digital display, there were the LED display watches. John had one, but you couldn’t see it in the sun and if you wore it out in the sun for more than 10 minutes, they were ruined forever! The LEDs burned or something and it didn’t work anymore. It was a super-bummer! John had the coolest watch in the world for 2 days and then he took it out into the sun! Dan had one that was not ruined by the sun, but you would have to hold down a button to get it to display, because it would take too much power to have it on all the time. Dan thought this was the coolest thing in the whole world! Eventually it did stop working, but he kept wearing it anyway. Dan never had a kid-watch like a Batman-watch. When he was a little bit older, maybe 6 or 7 years old, they were visiting Florida before they lived there and Dan’s grandfather was shaking his watch gently back and forth like he was dealing a deck of cards. He was winding the watch without turning the little crown and Dan was fascinated. An automatic watch! If you would wear it every day you never needed to wind it and it never needs a battery. Dan’s head just exploded, he couldn’t believe it! Ever since then, Dan had been into watches as a peripheral hobby/interest.

Until he was a little bit older, the only watch Dan could afford as a kid was a generic Casio watch. In Junior High School, his grandfather gave him a Boulevard watch and Dan still has it today. It is an automatic watch and it still runs and keeps great time, although it could use some service. The style of the time back then were much smaller watches than they are now and looking at the size of this watch, probably a late 1950s, early 1960s Boulevard, it is too tiny for Dan to seriously wear now, so his son will get it soon. Based on the current trends and styles, he considers a little watch being a kid's watch. Most of the watches Dan owns are from the 1970s and he loves them! Seiko had just some of the coolest, most awesome designs. They are getting more expensive now, but Dan is friends with a guy who is a watch-smith, specializing in fixing up old vintage Seikos. He gets them from him from time to time and has collected a whole bunch of them over the years. Some of them are very affordable to get, like for a couple of hundred bucks.

Some of Dan's watches are fun to chase down in good condition and collect in different ways. You might get one that is really cool, but missing its original bracelet. Then you get to hang out on eBay until you find someone who is selling the same watch that is all beat up and doesn’t run and selling it for parts, but the bracelet is there. It is fun to wear a different watch every day. How many Seiko watches does Dan have? Vintage Seikos limited to the 1970s: between 7 and 12. Other Seikos: 4. How many watches not in the Seiko family: 4 or 5. Less than 30 in total, more like 20. Dan doesn’t have a photographic image of each and every one of them, so he would need to make a list in order to answer John's questions more precisely. Dan has a Casio that he got for $12 at Target one time because he was on a trip and needed a watch. That counts if you want an accurate answer. He has a couple of Timex watches which are sort of beater watches, should he count those? He does not have a Swatch, although he had many in the 1980s.

When Dan talks about watches, there are two kinds of watches generally speaking: There are automatic watches or mechanical watches and there are Quartz. He is excluding digital watches and the Apple Watch entirely! An Apple Watch looks like a small dead iPhone on somebody’s wrist. Men have so few accoutrements available to them if you don’t count piercings. If you are smart and lucky enough to need glasses you can make a statement with those. If you are a dandy, you can put on a nice tie or do something fancy with a lapel or pocket square. You can wear a hat or carry a saber. You can wear boots and rings and shit, but John was never been able to pull that off! So what do we really have? We have watches!

Although Dan has a hard time telling the exact number of watches he has, he would instantly know if John would switch out one of his Seikos with another 1970s Seiko that he didn’t have. John would have to break the case open. It is locked because Dan has kids! They are worth between a couple and many hundred dollars each. It depends on the model, the condition and whether they are JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) with Kanji dates on them, which makes them more collectable like the one on the picture Dan posted today (find Instagram post!). John thinks that this hobby makes Dan more interesting, because it is a weird little collector thing John didn’t realize Dan had. They are the only things Dan owns that bring him any interest or joy. Nothing else he owns matter to him. If there is fire in the house, he would shove his kids out and then he would probably go back and grab his two watch cases. Dan's dream Seiko that does hardly ever come or is just out of his reach is the Seiko 6138-8020. It has a white dial and two dark, almost black sub-dials. They are super-hard to find and because everyone wants one of those things they are skyrocketing in price. Dan has a 1972 birth-year 6139 Chronograph. A birth-year watch is the first thing you should get! If you are born in the 1980:s you have to go for a diver, because Seiko didn’t do much cool stuff in the 1980s except for their automatic divers.

If you look at a watch that has stopped and nothing is happening, then there is a good chance it is an automatic watch, because when they wind down, they stop moving until you pick them up. A Quartz is ticking one tick per second while automatic watches tick many times per second. It almost looks like the second hand is sweeping as opposed to ticking. Quartz are much more accurate, though. They will be +/- a few seconds a month or even a year, while an automatic watch can be +/- 5 seconds a day, which is why Dan and his fellow commandos synchronize their watches before they go over to the other side. What John admires about this is that Dan is collecting a thing that is affordable. The entry point is manageable, unlike collecting Ferraris. You don’t have to put them anywhere. It is not like collecting Rolexes where you need $6000 to own one. John admires this stunning hobby that you can get weirdly obsessed with. It allows Dan to be a little flash and he can put something on Instagram that gives him some likes. Win-win-win! It is also a conversation starter and Dan gets into those little conversations with people.

Dan thinks that especially automatic vintage watches are alive. They are moving and living things and they respond. Not only that, but each one of those vintage watches has its own story! How did it wind up on your wrist? It is still running, it does still keep time! Everything about it is John Roderick and Dan can’t understand how this is not a thing. John is actually interested in them, but his attention is not drawn to people’s jewelry.

A lot of people have put Apple Watches under John’s nose and wanted to show him what it does, but he doesn’t like notifications. He doesn’t really have appointments and doesn’t want his calendar to bug him either. John has inherited a 1950:s Omega Constellation which is in good condition, but he doesn’t wear it daily because it is a way of dressing up. His father had a BALL watch, which is an American brand that made watches for railroad people, like the station master time piece and John’s dad got this when he worked for the railroad. He also had a gold pocket watch that literally had a locomotive on the front of it, because if you are a real station master, you will pull a watch out of your vest pocket and look at it and nod approvingly when you hear the steam whistle from over the horizon and you knew that the train was on time. Then he had a Seiko, but it was an 1980s Seiko, a thin-line gold-faced square with Roman numerals.

Dan sometimes gets treated differently when he wears one of his more fancy watches. His most expensive watch is a vintage Omega Seamaster and it is most famously known as the newer generation of James Bond watches from a few years ago. The original James Bond watch is the ”Rolex Submariner (No Date)”. Dan had never owned a Rolex and was more raised in the Omega family. The other watch his granddad left for him is a late 1950:s Omega Seamaster and Dan became kind of an Omega-guy as opposed to a Rolex-guy. People will recognize it as a nice expensive watch, even though you can spend way more on a vintage Seiko. John finds this fascinating, because he doesn’t notice these things.

John’s dad’s best friend Jack Tanner (RW58)

John’s dad’s best friend Jack Tanner was a small black guy while John's dad was a big guy. Jack would give John a lot of unsolicited advice by going ”What the hell are you doing these days?” and when John would start to talk he would go ”Wrong!” They met in law school in 1946 and they were best friends for the rest of their lives. When John’s dad retired and finally left Alaska, he moved to Tacoma just to be close to this guy. The two of them would meet at a Chinese restaurant every day and they would argue who did more to win WWII. Neither one of them did a god-damn thing to win WWII, but that’s what they chose to argue about. They would argue about the law and they would each tell stories about their heroic adventures and while one of them was telling a story, the other one would sit there and go ”What? That’s bullshit! You never even knew her!”

They were both very politically active throughout the 1960s and 1970s, they knew all the famous guys and they had some story about Martin Luther King or Scoop Jackson or Satayah Com (?) or somebody. That was their whole game! They had a large group of similar old, crotchety guys. It was a very multiracial group, especially given they were in their 80s and they were all friends since the 1940s. Jack was fancier than John’s dad, he was a federal judge and the chair behind his judicial bench was a custom made form-fitted Recaro race car seat on a swivel base. John’s dad was never fancy, he would buy 5 shitty things rather than one nice thing, this was always his MO! One time in the 1970s they were in Hawaii and walked into a fancy store. The salesman walks immediately over to Tanner and goes ”Hello sir, how may I be able to help you?” and Tanner was ”I want to see one of these” and ”Of course”. The salesman completely ignored John’s dad, who got a little offended. They did the transaction, but they never talked to John’s dad. As they went back out on the street, dad asked ”What the fuck was that? You are the black guy, but he treats you like a prince!” and Tanner goes ”Rolex, David, I have a Rolex! The guy knows which one of us is fancy!”

Looking out for somebody’s wedding ring (RW58)

People notice wedding rings, but John has never noticed a wedding ring in his whole life. Obviously the wedding ring is a symbol, but the idea that other people are looking at one another closely enough that they are noticing what kind of watch they are wearing or that they have a wedding ring on, John is just not seeing those things. Dan is looking at everything, not to judge people but to maybe find things you have in common. It is an entry point for a discussion. When Dan was trying to strike up a conversation with a really hot girl in college, she was just shutting him down by showing him her engagement ring and ever since then he is looking what rings people have. John always assumed that this was the whole point of a ring: To hold up the hand in a bar toward somebody who will hit on you. Rejecting you without being a bitch about it. The ring was made for that gesture, but not to be aware of in advance of that gesture.

When John is meeting people and talking to them, he is looking primarily at their eyes and when they stand up and walk away from him, he looks at their butt. You can tell pretty much everything there is to tell about a person by looking at their eyes and their butt. John also looks at the shoes as everybody knows, but the ring? That is something John would have to remember to do, but Dan says it will become second nature when you do it for a while. John could never tell which hand is which. Back in the day it meant a different thing if the earring was in the left or in the right ear or if the red handkerchief was in the left or the right pocket. John could never look at somebody and tell which hand the wedding ring was on, especially when they are standing across the room from him and it would be something like stage-left.

Nobody getting married when John was 30 (RW58)

When John was 30, there was not a single person in his culture who was married or who was considering getting married. He didn’t know a single married person in his pretty large group of people. The people he went to High School with were married, but in his own group of fellow 30 year olds who were in the arts it had never occurred to any of them to get married. They never talked about it. It just didn’t exist. That is kind of amazing to John, considering the number of people who get married! Nobody even did it as a joke. There was a time where nobody was wearing promise rings and nobody gave each other little necklaces saying ”I’m his” or something. John got left behind. The same is true for watches.

Failing to pick up signaling (RW58)

John's good friend Jesse Sykes was on the same record labels as John in the hay day of that record label. She had straight black hair down to her waist and was ethnically diverse. In the 1970:s there was a lot of appropriation of native American jewelry and imagery and because Jesse was indeterminately exotic, she often wore one of those chokers that was made out of little polished bone, like you would see on Geronimo. She had a lot of jade jewelry like those tortoise shell combs and she was really bejeweled, not with diamonds, but with accoutrement. She was wearing adornments that you could not possibly fail to notice because there was a lot of it and it was looking astonishing! Part of it was that it suited her look.

Shy of the jade jewelry that a Topenga Canyon expatriate would be wearing to the general store in her $6000 hand-tooled cowboy boots, John is not picking up on people's signaling. His blindness to signaling has been a problem his whole life. He is oblivious to it and he misses a lot of signals. He used to miss the signaling that was ”I want to be your girlfriend” and interpreted it like ”Boy, this girl is sitting close to me, she must want to talk about WWI”, because John was sitting in this bar, reading a book about WWI and she must be sidling up to him because she was also interested in WWI. That was generally not the case and John had been misinterpreting the signaling. He also used to miss the signaling when a guy at a party was about to throw a punch at him. This person did not like him and was about to drunkenly try and hit him. John doesn’t notice when a person’s feathers get ruffled and he also doesn’t notice very naked flirtation.

When John is part of a text chain that involves a group of people where some of them are - let’s call a spade a spade - unquestionably cooler than himself, they are often very good at not being the one to have an unanswered text. There are 6 of them on the chain and they are texting back and forth, gags upon gags, and John is usually the one who is ”yeah, and…” and then silence. If he smoked pot, he would definitely think about it for a while that he went one text too far, but he doesn’t smoke pot, so he only thinks about it briefly. It seems to happen every time! He is always the one who sends the last text in those back-and-forths. The cool move was to let that last joke go without having to say it.

John feels like he is kind of an open book. Nobody knows what his face means because his resting bitch face is always frowning in the same exact way. You wouldn’t look at him and necessarily know what is going on.
John is still that clumsy nerd who doesn’t know how to get out. When people interact with him, he hears all the time that he is intimidating. He thinks about himself that he is always game and fun and always ready to get on the first pony to ride into the forest. The idea he would be intimidating or that people would think he was a grump just by looking at him is always a surprise, so he must be signaling something that is probably a residual from spending a lot of time walking around the city alone. You get a little bit of ”Don’t fuck with me!” John needed it enough that he developed it and then kept it, but it doesn’t serve him. He doesn’t need to communicate that now, like ”Hey people who came to my tweet-up! Don’t fuck with me!” - ”No, they came to your tweet-up! They are precisely here to fuck with you!”

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