“Come on guys, we gotta hash this out,” Tommy, scratched his head nervously with the tip of his drumstick. “It’s been three hours and we still have nothing. I say we all write our top three choices down and then take it from there,” he said as he drummed an unknown rhythm on his thigh.
“Fine,” Donny acquiesced, “Billy, grab my notepad over there and rip out some paper, will ya?” Donny directed his kid brother. “All right, everyone write down you picks real quick,” Donny said as he started scribbling on the sheet of notebook paper Billy handed him.
The three boys spent the next several minutes, heads bent, unruly hair constantly being brushed out of eyes, and wrote down their choices. The gravity of the decision was not lost on them, understanding that whatever choice was made, it could decide their collective future for decades to come.
“Ok, everyone ready?” Donny looked at the other two and they nodded. “Billy, let’s hear yours first,” he leaned back in the plastic yard chair and waited for his brother to speak.
“Ok, number one is The Douchenozzles,” he looked up for a reaction. Seeing the disapproving glare on his brother’s face, Billy quickly moved on to his second choice, “What about T-Rex is Not Your Dad?”.
“That one’s got potential,” Tommy muttered through a mouthful of Doritos.
“Alright, we’ll keep that one in consideration. Billy what’s your last pick?” Donny asked his now beaming sibling.
“Sure, sure… ok, if you liked that one, how bout Toxic Shock Syndrome?” Billy breathed the name with reverence.
“Where the hell did you come up with that?” Donny started to giggle, “From mom’s tampon box?” and he and Tommy burst into a fit of laughter.
“I don’t know…” Billy looked down at his shoes, “I thought it sounded kind of… metal, or whatever,” he trailed off as a slight blush tinged his cheeks. Wiping tears from his eyes, Donny collected himself and waved for Tommy to run through his picks.
“Aight, here we go,” Tommy wiped his hands on the magenta pajama bottoms he always wore to practice and cleared his throat. “Numero uno is, wait for it… Scotty’s PJs, numero dos, Doritos, and finally numero tres, Drumstick,” Tommy grinned from ear to ear and twirled one of his drumsticks in the air.
“Tommy, did you just list the things in your immediate area and try to pass them off as band names?” Donny did not look amused. “Dude, this is serious. Get your head out of your BH and get with it!” Donny groaned and then looked down at his list before saying, “Incidentally, Scotty’s PJs isn’t half bad”. Standing up to read his list, Donny ran through them like a roll call, “Ok, here are mine. One- Deficit, Two- 3Y’s since each of our names end with a ‘Y’ and Three- She’s Still Married… I think it has a nice ring to it”.
“I like Deficit,” Tommy said, to which Billy chimed in, “Me too”.
“OK, so we got Deficit, Scotty’s PJs and T-Rex Is Not Your Dad as contenders,” Donny said as he wrote the three names down on his piece of paper. “Now the hard part, picking a name from that group that best defines us as a band,” he said gravely. The three boys spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in Donny and Billy’s parents’ garage going back and forth on which name suited them best. Eventually, Kristy, the two boy’s older sister came to fetch them for dinner and send Tommy home. “Pack it in dweebs, mom says it’s time for dinner. Oh and you’re little friend here,” she waved at Tommy, “he has to go home,” Sally looked more annoyed than usual… which is saying something.
“What crawled up your butt? They run out of mustache wax at the drug store or something?” Donny glared at his older sister and the two other boys snickered. The comment must have struck a nerve because Sally grew wild-eyed and before the boys knew what hit them she had lit into them, one by one, until they were on the verge of tears. Satisfied in the job she had done butting the little worms in their place, Sally put her hands on her hips and turned to leave. Stopping just short of the door leading back into the house, Sally turned to the sad little group and pointing to their mini-fridge in the corner jeered, “P.S. You have ants,” and disappeared inside.
The three boys froze for an instant and looking at each other simultaneously screamed, “That’s it!”
P.S. You Have Ants emerged on the music scene eight years later and took the country by storm. Boasting more than 28 songs on the Top 100, completing ten world tours and accepting countless awards and nominations for their poignant lyrics and insufferably catchy riffs, P.S. You Have Ants went on to define a musical era and inspire dozens of up-and-coming artists.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: While heating up some water for my morning tea, I noticed a black speck on the wall above the break room sink at work. Upon closer inspection I realized it was a sugar ant, in fact there was a whole conga line of the little buggers leading across the room, around the rug, and up into a crevice of a window. I watched them for a while and it reminded me of a note I once got… many, many, many moons ago. The gist of the letter was basically a ‘Dear John Letter’ of sorts, very serious stuff but the gravity of the content was instantly rendered moot when I read the post script scribbled below the signature. After going on and on about why the ‘relationship’ didn’t work, the letter concluded, “P.S. You have ants.” Just thinking about the absurdity of that last line still cracks me up and I couldn’t help but muse to myself upon reading it that that would make a great band name. “GOOD EVENING CLEVELAND! WE ARE… P.S. YOU HAVE ANTS!!! One, Two, Three…” and the epic music ensues… metal I think.
TWO: Much like Tommy in the story, I too was inspired primarily by the things around my or phrases I heard when concocting some of the other random band names. I actually really liked some of them… T-Rex Is Not your Dad sounds like a band I could really get into… bet their stuff is on point!
Love & Squirrels.