The Minn-Stf Floundering Fathers Panel
part four

EMERSON: What do you imply is "the Right Kind of people"?
HASKELL: And... it... so there... it then developed that the building was... had a lot of fans there. And I find it... found it very nice living there because people... people could feel comfortable dropping over to visit without calling ahead, because they were always reasonably certain that there would be somebody in one of the apartments who would be interested in seeing them. At the same time, there was no pressure on any of us to say, "Well, yes, you can come in," because we knew that if for some reason we didn't feel like receiving visitors somebody else in the building would. And it just... it was a very comfortable place to live. I see it as having been like a commune in terms of what was available to us, without the hassles of, "whose turn is it to do the dishes?", because we all had our own apartments. Now maybe Jim can add something to this, I'm not... I don't know, but....
YOUNG: Well, this was all in the late summer and fall of '73 that we started moving into the Bus Building, but the Bus was a frenetic--it still is to some extent--an extraordinarily bozoid, perhaps transmogrified, structure. Living in the Bus is a lot like having bees in your skull, but there they are. And I can remember getting by with very, very little sleep, for a lot of time, and I wound up getting mono as a result, which was, truly--
BUCKLIN: He couldn't afford stereo.
YOUNG: It could have been quad, that's right. But I guess I should bring up... you know, that really, the Bus was a very strange environment, it wasn't always pleasant, and I'm--without trying to turn the panel sour, because I know we'll go right off on other topics--I'd like to tell you how the... well, how we essentially decided to name the Bus. There was a woman who lived there who was a dancer, who died while she was there, and she thought a great deal of I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus, by the Firesign Theatre, and--
HASKELL: None of the rest of us had heard of it, of course....
YOUNG: No, not at all. But you see, it seemed that at that point we were all living in... we were all up against the Wall of Science. And... I can remember sitting over at Fred's apartment that following evening and that was the first time that I'd ever heard it called the Bozo Bus Building, because suddenly we decided: Yes, that's exactly what we're doing, we're living through that--that pseudo-utopian environment, and the world is really crazy, but here we are. I'm not sure if that makes a great deal of sense, because it's a non-rational process....
HASKELL: Esmeralda had started calling it that shortly before she died, but I think it was really about the time of her death that it really took hold, and, in some ways, it's in memory of her that it's called that.
VOICE: Who was this?
YOUNG: Esmeralda.
HASKELL: A dancer named Esmeralda.
EMERSON: Funny animals also seems to be an integral part of Minneapolis fandom. I thought Ken Fletcher might want to say a few words about where this influence comes from and what effect it's had.
FLETCHER: Oot Greet!
EMERSON: Speaking of funny animals....
FLETCHER: Ah, we found one now. It heard we were talking about it and decided to....
YOUNG: Pardon me, could someone please stop that person with the baroque dodo?
EMERSON: It heard the word "funny animal" and it responded, just like we do!
WOOD: Looks like a vegetable.
FLETCHER: Funny animals. Funny animals. Here's funny animals.
EMERSON: That's a funny--
HASKELL: Where.... Where is funny animals?
FLETCHER: Yes, what are funny animals?
YOUNG: Here comes a nice young lady carrying a rather wicked kangaroo.... She's going to talk to us.... No she's not--she's giving us a rather vulgar sign....
FLETCHER: Funny animals. Funny animals. That's a record reference, folks. Funny animals comes from... from funny records along... along the same lines; but it also comes from doing fanzine fillos. And... let's face it, anybody like me--who does fanzine illos and learned to read from Andy the Panda comic books--it's going to have a certain subliminal funny animal influence on... on... on my fan art. And that's where funny animals come in.... In that extent. But also, if you segue these funny animals into things like Firesign Theatre, you get very strange and bizarre kinds of animal fillos like you have in your fanzines as written by people like Fred Haskell, who was in the Bozo Bus Building, and it all ties together.
YOUNG: The next morning....
HASKELL: Ken, I always thought that... that your father being a zookeeper... I always thought that the fact that your father was a zookeeper also had something to do with your interest in funny animals....
AUDIENCE: [Laughter]
FLETCHER: Yes, this might have.... There was plenty of reference material.... But it--
YOUNG: Just to show the kind of reference material--one time I came over to Ken's house and, of course, in... in those antediluvian days our main interest was, of course, food. And I naturally went down to the kitchen, which was darkened and it was early evening so I couldn't really see too well, and I tripped over a lion cub. Now, lion cubs are built very sturdily--this thing was about two weeks old and the size of a beagle. It's built, you know, its... its skeletal system is built loosely on a bad dream by Frank Lloyd Wright. And the poor thing was so humiliated that it began to whimper and cry. Now there is nothing more embarrassing that tripping over a lion cub in the dark and having it start to cry and cry and cry. So finally Mr. Fletcher said, "What is going on?" They finally had to take the thing back to the zoo because it was so embarrassed and tired--just like a little kid that when he gets, you know, extraordinarily pooped, it will just--
HASKELL: Wanted to see its mommie.
YOUNG: It just has to go to its mommie. And being around these strange tall things with two legs... it's just all too much. So that just goes to show that funny animals were indeed rampant.
FLETCHER: Yes. It's a good thing it wasn't older, because when they get older they like shoes. Jim Young must... wasn't... wasn't there at the time although a diff--, another... another proto-fan was there the time that... that, for reasons that might not be obvious, a Siberian tiger cub had to be washed. It was very interesting. Into the bath tub and out of the bath tub and all around the bath tub....
HASKELL: Cats love water....
FLETCHER: Actually, the Siberian--
YOUNG: Siberian tigers do....
FLETCHER: Siberian tigers do, but little Siberian tiger cubs don't necessarily like soapy water. In their eyes....
EMERSON: I might point out that Ken Fletcher is the proprietor of one of Minn-Stf's only catnip farms. Regularly supplies the Bozo Bus cats with fresh catnip now and then, as well as....
FLETCHER: Fifty pound bags....
EMERSON: Seeds and stems removed, yes.... Well we're... we've been jabbering away for about an hour now, so I think it's about time to draw this to a close. Jim Young, I seem to remember a fan panel at AutoClave that was very well closed. If you were to give us....
YOUNG: Yes, dear friends, I've been asked once more: "What is the meaning of life?"
YOUNG: Often, often have I asked that question of myself, and, as we proceed out the door, I... I ask: Please, sing along with us now. Raise your voices. And remember: Put your thumb to your nose, and it grows and grows.
VOICE: You guys are so crazy!
ALL [singing]: Toad away, toad away
Toad away, toad away
Where do you go
When you're toad away?
EMERSON: Minneapolis in '73!
ALL: Yay!

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