Sponge Boy

Uncle Bonsai

1999: Yellow Tail Records YT-10014

  1. Sponge Boy

OH MY GOD!!!!! I don’t know what I expected when I ordered this “single” in the first place, other than that I was deliriously happy to have ANYTHING new from Uncle Bonsai at the time, but I could not have ever anticipated what’s on this CD. If you haven’t heard it yet, picture a live recording of a song…preceded by pre-song chatter longer than the song itself and interrupted by a lyrics flub that nearly derails things into another comedy routine, for a total running time of nearly 17 minutes. It’s like being onstage with the trio itself, you can hear them stifling laughter and making offhand comments amongst themselves as things range further and further off-track…. When they actually get around to the song itself it’s not quite anticlimactic (and certainly not as worthy of disparagement as Andrew Ratshin repeatedly suggests, and after the lyrics flub they roar back into shining form), but SHIT this is funny overall. It’s not just fun to listen to once: it actually gets funnier after repeated listenings, I find.

I wish I could provide an exhaustive transcription of this single’s verbiage, but there are some moments when all three members of Uncle Bonsai are saying something (or starting to) and their voices become literally indistinguishable…it’s amazing. For Uncle Bonsai addicts out there, and for those who accidentally come across this page/website, I transcribe the following gems and in-jokes:

ANDREW:   “…Um…we have our first sing-along for you.”
ARNIE:   “Isn’t that sick?

ANDREW:   “Anyway, what you’re going to be singing is ‘Sponge Boy, Sponge Boy…. …hey, you didn’t expect it to be ‘la, la, la,’ did you?”

ARNIE:   “So…”
ASHLEY:   “So…”
ARNIE:   “So…”
ASHLEY:   “…what’s the song about, Andrew?”
ANDREW:   “This song’s about—”
ARNIE:   “—Tell them what it’s NOT about, first…”
ANDREW:   “OK, I had to say this last night: this song is NOT about contraception. O.K….”
ARNIE:   “—O.K.? …but one thing I wanna know is—does the Boys’ room have a blue one? The Girls’ room has a pink one…isn’t that great?…and for so cheap!”
ANDREW:   “O.K., O.K., we’re, we’re, we’re talking about, like, last night, see—O.K.—”
ARNIE:   “(I know.)”
ANDREW:   “—we had all these realizations in the middle of our show last night that, y’, they had, they have, um, um, uh, machines in the bathrooms, that sell—”
ARNIE:   “We can all say ‘condom,’ Andrew…!”
ANDREW:   “I was going to SAY it, I was just trying to—I was stuck on the word ‘machine!’”
ARNIE:   “Oh! I’ll be patient…”
ANDREW:   “Um, and they have condom machines in the bathroom, and what fascinated me about them is that they were seventy-five cents…and I wanna know who sets the value. Because I wanna know if like you’re here on like a hot night or something like that and you see a woman on the other side of the room and you go <macho sniff> ‘yeah, she’s worth seventy-five big ones!’ Y’know, it’s like…. ‘Yeah, I got seventy-five big ones, I think I’ll take that little filly home with me!’”

“ONLY 75 cents…!”

ARNIE:   “’cause this is, this is a town that only had liquor stores and ammn— ammunition stores, and—alternating, down the street….”

ASHLEY:   “So—”
ARNIE:   “…Maryland is the South….”
ASHLEY:   “…They sold—”
ANDREW:   “They not only sold condoms, you know, they also sold—”
ASHLEY:   “—oh those gumdrops or whatever—.”
ANDREW:   “—l— not GUMdrops, ‘LOVE Drops!’”
ASHLEY & ARNIE crack up, probably because ASHLEY just corpsed ANDREW

ANDREW:   “…and I know that, that, send me out into the world with a condom and some Loooove Drops, and I’m…and I’m a successful human being.”

ARNIE:   “Don’t talk to my people that way.”
ANDREW:   “Hey—I wasn’t talking to YOUR people.”
ARNIE:   (faux-gravely, to audience) “Come…these are my people….”
ANDREW:   “Yeah? They’re not wearing hats….”

ASHLEY:   “They’re right here…the words are right here, so quick, let’s go, I’m lookin’ right at ’em now….”
ARNIE:   “…is the little ball bouncing, too?”
ASHLEY:   (laughing) “No, it hasn’t begun yet, ’cause I don’t hear the music….”

ARNIE:   “This is getting violent—c’mon!”

ARNIE:   “I…I was reading the inside of your mind. And…I’m sorry…I’ll stay out….”
ANDREW:   “That ball bounced four lines and then dropped dead, didn’t it, boy…. You gotta change balls on the serve!”