From the Couch Hole: Good Times for a Change

Previously on FTCH, I played your song out on Fury Road. I saw the TV glow in a quiet place because endings are hard, aren’t they, with Cool Ranch pretzels. This week was mostly about getting back to normal routine. Summer has arrived with some rain to start and a Heat Dome to finish the week. This week Furiosa and Danny Kaye say, “Let me get what I want this time,” and that might be Burger King. The Idea Man made the Muppet Movie and named the best Depeche Mode songs. Remember, at FTCH, think outside the bun.

Not scared of thunder anymore.

Pop Culture Ephemera

  • Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (2024) (Directed by George Miller): “Where are you going, so full of hope? There is no hope!” – Dementus. We return to the world of the Arrakis Wasteland with the origin story of famous Fremen, Furiosa Atreides and her team up with Jack Solo in his Millennium Big Rig on the Kessel Run on Fury Road. Or something resembling that. There is so much to like about this film as it compares to its contemporaries. Rarely is a prequel as well structured and paced. Miller wrote this script before Fury Road (2015) in order to make sure the story of Furiosa was fully realized. That’s an interesting development for a franchise that relied very little upon continuity for the first three films. If I can single out anything specific that I love it’s the geography of Miller’s action. He uses long establishing shots consistently so that the viewer has a good feel for distances and where the chases are happening. So many action films rely upon close-ups and quick cuts to confuse viewers and make their own editing easier. The sands of the Wasteland are an equal character to everyone else in the film. I appreciate the attention to detail over these past two films. It’s different in look and scope than the first three films, but this is just flat out refreshingly different than anything else out this year.
Buy The Muppet Show: Season 3 DVD
  • The Muppet Show – “Danny Kaye” (1978) (S.3 E.16) (SYNDICATED): “What key is that?” (Miss Piggy) “The little black one under my finger.” (Rowlf). This show was brilliantly structured. As a variety show, they could feature any number of songs, include a number of ongoing skits, and spend as much time as needed with the backstage antics. I don’t know that I would have known much about Danny Kaye when this aired. It is a rare episode that feels disjointed. Creating a professional rivalry between Miss Piggy and Danny was an odd choice and doesn’t lead to much humor. Danny plays the Swedish Chef’s uncle and in the sketch he claims that the Swedish Chef is named Tom. The best ongoing joke is that Statler and Waldorf stay in the alley because they mistakenly hear Danny Kaye’s appearance as Manny Kaye, the tuned-clam player. Even the clunkers in this show are good.
Buy The Smiths – Hatful of Hollow
  • The Smiths – “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” (1984) (from Hatful of Hollow): “Haven’t had a dream in a long time.” Can anyone write an unrequited love song as bitterly as Morrissey? It’s a great combination of angst, sadness, and pleading. It also fit the decade perfectly. Whenever it was used in a film or television show, it gave the characters just under two minutes to reflect upon what was happening in their lives. That ending melody still gives me goosebumps.
“See the luck I’ve had / Can make a good man / Turn bad” – Morrissey / Marr
  • The Muppet Movie (1979) (Directed by James Frawley): “They don’t look like Presbyterians to me.” – Fozzie Bear. Forty-five years have passed and the film still elicited a dozen out-loud laughs from me in theaters recently. What other movie answers the trivia question of which film Steve Martin and Richard Pryor both appear? It happens to be the same movie that has both Orson Welles and Dom DeLuise. In 1979, the average viewer had four years of The Muppet Show under their belt. This “origin” story of our favorite characters is still some of the more meta filmmaking that has hit the screen. Characters talk and wink to the viewers. The best lines for me came when Electric Mayhem got to read the actual script of the movie to catch up on what had happened before they entered the film. The Paul Williams’ songs are really catchy. I am still singing “Movin’ Right Along”. I like the other Muppet films for various reasons, but this is some groundbreaking filmmaking here. It’s still magic to me.
  • Jim Henson: Idea Man (2024) (Directed by Ron Howard): “You know I’m an Idea Man. I spend lots of time thinking.” – Henson. From my most formative years, there are a handful of creative individuals on my Mt. Rushmore, including Charles Schulz, George Lucas, Sid & Marty Krofft, and Steven Spielberg. Jim Henson was one of those who grew along with me through the ’70s and ’80s. In the era of bloated documentaries, I would have expected this piece on Jim Henson to be six hours over three episodes. Instead, it’s a brisk 90 minutes, and I never felt like it was rushed. Don’t mistake this as anything except a fan letter from Ron Howard to a hero of his. It doesn’t delve into anything controversial and covers most of the later years superficially. The film does give you an appreciation for the way a creative person does sometimes succeed on their own terms. There’s still enough material out there for the six-hour biography, but sometimes it’s nice to just spend an hour and half and appreciate someone who has brought hours and hours of entertainment to your life.

Best of the Rest

  • In 2011 John Lewis Christmas advert was a cover of “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” by Slow Moving Millie. The advert has a clever twist upon the “child who cannot wait for Christmas to get here” trope. It was one of the first ones that really caught my attention from the company, mostly because of how the cover version of the song twisted it to focus more on the “want.”
“The Long Wait”
  • The instrumental version of “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” used in the museum scene of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) is actually by Dream Academy. They had a couple of hits of their own, but this particular cover only ever appeared on the Ferris Bueller soundtrack. It’s a lovely cover and fits John Hughes’ music choice and the mood of the scene.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris
  • “So who wants to puke and pee their pants. I know I do.” This promotion from Liquid Death is aimed at a small audience of us who watched the HBO documentary on the failed Pepsi promotion. There are some funny digs at Pepsi that are specific to that story. I don’t love the Liquid Death product much, but that doesn’t stop me from giggling at their ads.
“It’ll relieve you of your body fluids.”

Sunday Morning Tuneage Flashback

  • On the Sunday Morning Tuneage of 12/7/2008, my December had started as busy as I had expected. My #90 Favorite Movie of All-Time was Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971). This was another film affected by my ability to only see it once a year, if I was lucky. It was an early film that made the connection between books and films, since I read the book in 2nd grade. It had great music, it was about a chocolate factory, and it set my expectations that I could have a job that I went to wearing a purple suit. It’s probably still ranked about here because of how much I admire Gene Wilder’s performance. I was a little disappointed in the current season of Californication (SHOW) but I was excited about holiday-themed episodes of The Office (NBC) and My Name Is Earl (NBC) dominating Thursday nights. The list of the week is interesting because I’m curious if I’ve had any changes since I disconnected with the band about this time.
      • 10. “Just Can’t Get Enough” (1981) (Speak and Spell): Hearing this, I knew I would love this band forever.
      • 9. “Never Let Me Down Again” (1987) (Music for the Masses): This song has some of the best remixes of any of their tunes.
      • 8. “Personal Jesus” (1990) (Violator)
      • 7. “Blasphemous Rumors” (1984) (Some Great Reward)
      • 6. “Dreaming of Me” (1981) (Speak and Spell)
      • 5. “Everything Counts” (1983) (Construction Time Again)
      • 4. “Shake the Disease” (1985) (Singles, 1981-85)
      • 3. “People Are People” (1984) (Some Great Reward): Wore this 12″ single out.
      • 2. “Somebody” (1984) (Some Great Reward): Doing their best XTC imitations and it turns out to be one of my favorites.
      • 1. “Enjoy the Silence” (1990) (Violator): It’s everything I love about them, great lyrics, and solid music. And my iTunes play count supports this decision.
      • 10. “Blasphemous Rumors” (1984) (Some Great Reward): This was at a point where I was discovering the group through 12″ import singles from Boogie Records in Kalamazoo.
      • 9. “Just Can’t Get Enough” (1981) (Speak and Spell): It’s from the Vince Clarke era and has a different vibe than most of their songs. You can’t not head bop to it.
      • 8. “Everything Counts” (1983) (Construction Time Again) : “Grabbing hands, grab all they can.” It’s a critique of Thatcher’s economic policies. That said, there are some very head scratchers in the lyrics too. Added bonus: it’s often the best song on their live albums.
      • 7. “Master & Servant” (1984) (Some Great Reward): I love that this song shows off their penchant for sound effects. So much so that this song doesn’t typically get played on radio.
      • 6. “Shake the Disease” (1985) (Singles, 1981-85): I didn’t appreciate this enough when it came out. Now I love how it clings to their dark personas. Can we start to define “emo” here?
      • 5. “Never Let Me Down Again” (1987) (Music for the Masses): This song about their drug dependency rocks hard.
      • 4. “A Question of Lust” (1986) (Black Celebration): Martin Gore gets to step up to the plate and Mr. Goth writes one of their best love songs.
      • 3. “Policy of Truth” (1990) (Violator): This was a great album, and this was my most played song off the album. It marked a move into the 1990s sound for me.
      • 2. “Strangelove” (1987) (Music for the Masses): This is one of those tunes that make you believe that they also could have been an incredible Pop band if they had gone that direction.
      • 1. “Enjoy the Silence” (1990) (Violator): After all these years, it’s still my favorite Depeche Mode song. It holds up as well or better than any other song of theirs.
    • The combination of Martin Gore, Dave Gahan, and Andy Fletcher were one of my top five favorites for a good chunk of the mid-’80s to early-’90s. I’ve lost contact with them in the past 20 years, but I still enjoy their music. My top ten doesn’t include anything past 1990. I do owe them a little catch-up attention.
“Words are very unnecessary.”

1974 in Review

“I can’t die this way!”
  • June – The Flash #227 (DC Comics): Cover by Tatjana Wood. Written by Cary Bates. Art by Irv Novick. The Flash character was such an afterthought at this point that half of the book was a Green Lantern reprint story.
  • June 8 – Jon Pertwee makes his final appearance in “Planet of the Spiders” as Doctor Who. He will be replaced in the fall by Tom Baker.
  • June 4 – The infamous “10 Cent Beer Night” at Cleveland for a game against the Texas Rangers. The beers were 12-oz. cups of low alcohol Stroh’s with a limit per purchase of six cups at a time but no limit for how many trips. The game was tied 5-5 when drunk teenagers swarmed the field to steal future A.L. MVP of 1974, Jeff Burrough’s hat. The ensuing battle with fans resulted in nine arrests of fans and the Rangers being awarded a 9-0 forfeit victory.
1974 American League MVP

What the Hell Did I Put in My Mouth?

Burger King: Philly Melt

I’m not in danger of becoming a Burger King convert. That said, the line of these Melts are going to be my go-to if I find myself at one. The new Philly Melt is a satisfying combination of the beef, onions, and Swiss cheese. I would prefer provolone (which I put on the ones I made at home just after this one as comparison), but the melt on the Swiss is tasty. The toast looks like it would be more crunchy in the pictures, but it is a soggy bun consistency. The peppers and onions don’t pack much of a punch either, making this cheese intensive. It isn’t terrible and felt like a good value. I just might ask them toast it more next time.

Cheerios: Peach Mango

This is a returning flavor for a limited time, but I don’t know that I’ve seen much of a demand for these. They are mostly a peach flavor with a slight mango taste. I don’t think it would work in reverse with a mango-heavy flavor. These fruit-based Cheerio flavors strike me as made for people who like dry cereal as a snack as much or more than people like me who tend to have them with milk. It’s a nice summer treat but I doubt I’ll demand their return again.

Little Debbie: Birthday Cake Creme Pies

This would be a disappointing day if this was your birthday cake. Little Debbie doesn’t have an item on their shelves that I wouldn’t eat, but there are some not-so-exciting releases. This just doesn’t pack anything unique or different to require a special release. A few sprinkles on top don’t make much of a difference. The creme filling is their best part of most baked goods but it’s overwhelmed by the frosting here. Just a meh entry from a great company.

“So for once in my life
Let me get what I want
Lord knows, it would be the first time
Lord knows, it would be the first time” – Morrissey / Marr

Stay Hard


Shawn Bourdo


  1. Gordon S. Miller on June 10, 2024 at 5:15 pm

    No, The World in My Eyes? By 2040, give a listen to Walking in My Shoes, I Feel You, It’s No Good, Barrel of a Gun, and Useless to get you through songs of the ’90s that may impact your next accounting.

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