kill, Amanda, Phoenix, Philly, Kathryn, Kev, Ralph, Ben

name: kill.them.with.kindness.
query: I like this guy and he likes me, I wanna ask him out but I dont know how…will you guys help me?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! This is our area of expertise! Let’s say his name is George. What you want to do is pass him a note that says the following:

George, George, your name is George
Will you accompany me to the gorge?
There we will talk and chat and chatter
And eat sweet meats, and I’ll get fatter

Or let’s say his name is Prince:

Prince, prince, your name is Prince
Will you go with me to the fence?
There we will talk and chat and chatter
And eat sweet meats, and I’ll get fatter

So, the idea being that you need to give this guy something in verse or he probably isn’t even going to understand it. Guys are quite committed to the idea that poetry is the language of love; we dare say your fella is not an exception. So then, like, if his name is Mark, you might try something like:

Mark, Mark, your name is Mark
Will you come with me to the park?
There we will talk and chat and chatter
And eat sweet meats, and I’ll get fatter

—————
name: Amanda
query: do you guys like New Jersey?
Amanda,
Thank you for asking. The time has come to erase any confusion on this subject. There have been a lot of rumors, a lot of conjecture, a lot of, frankly, hoo-ha. May we officially go on the record as being completely in favor of New Jersey. What ever it is you guys are doing over there, it’s working; keep doing it. Seldom have we encountered a state lying immediately to the west of New York City, but New Jersey is just such a place.
—————
name: Phoenix
query: I have to do a sex dance at skool, we have to create the image of sex, we dont actually get down and dirty with r partner, and as u three men are extremly sexy, i was wondering if u knew any moves?!?
So, uh, “Phoenix”… what type of school is it that you’ve enrolled in, anyway? A trade school, perhaps? Well, never mind that. We’re here to help. It’s a shame, though, that your professor has specifically prohibited simply fucking your partner on stage (“getting down and dirty”, as you say), because one great way to create the image of sex through dance would be to get up there on stage and just kind of fuck around with a partner or a couple of partners — like, have sex. With a partner. That would definitely accomplish the assignment, so the caveat is a real drag.
Okay, but there’s another option. Can you use props? Let’s assume you can. So what you do is get a nice big desk up there — a solid, dark wood guy that the audience can’t see through. And then you stand against the far side of the desk, facing the audience, and you bend over the desk. And your partner comes up behind you, and both of your are naked, and he makes like he’s fucking you from behind. But check it out — you don’t really have sex! He never actually enters you! Your professor has no grounds for protest, and you have created the image of sex through classical dance, earning an A for the semester.
—————
name: come to philly !
query: i was thinking about asking out a boy that i have known for a while. i really like him, but is it a turn-off for a girl to make the first move? help me scientists… you’re my only hope.
No way; there’s nothing wrong with a girl making the first move. In point of fact, Michael Tapper patently refuses to make the first move. Any girl that’s ever “tasted of the Tapper” has made the first move. “Tasted of the Tapper” is a phrase Michael uses a lot. A couple of others he favors are: “Drink from the Tap”, “Tongue the Tap”, “Apply for and receive a gentle Tapping”, and “Grapple the Tapple”.
—————
name: kathryn
query: what should i do at uni? should i even go to uni? should i get a shitty job but be happy? should i just end it all now?
Let’s take those one at a time.
1) You should study bird physics; you’ve always loved the subject, and that counts for a lot.
2) No.
3a) Yes, do get as shitty a job as possible.
3b) If you get a sufficiently shitty job, the kind we’re recommending, happiness won’t be an option unfortunately.
4) Oh, don’t end it all now, for chrissakes. That’s so dramatic. You just need a change! Try applying for some courses over at the uni or getting a shitty new job.
—————
name: Leicester Kev
query: Are Keith and Michael annoyed that in the band section, Chris’ name is the only one that takes full advantage of the Coca Cola typeface???
It drives them to madness. Many long nights have Keith and Michael spent stumbling blindly across snow-whipped moors, shouting unintelligible rages into the white blanket void, their eyes crazed, lolling in teary sockets. Braying for solace into the world’s deaf ear.
—————
name: Ben
query: i sat by a fire all night trying to work this out, but had to give up as my face melted. please help! (with the question, the wonderful NHS sorted the face, with budgeted effects!)A cowboy in the American West, reconnoitring Native Indian territory, saw a band of two and half dozen warriors. Fearing he would be captured, he wanted to leave a message for his colleagues, who were following him, but he had no pen and no paper. in fact all he could find were five fencing posts. How, using them, could he pass on the information
Hey, Ben! This cowboy actually has a pretty broad range of messages he’ll be able to communicate using the fencing posts. By grouping them close together, he tells passers-by that there are five things (indian settlements? indians?) grouped near one another, somewhere, maybe nearby. By laying one post on the ground then laying another directly on top of that, then laying two more posts atop one another roughly two feet away and parallel to the first two, and then laying the last post perpendicular to and connecting the two stacks, the cowboy communicates that there is a bridge. Finally, he could make a desperate plea to the indian warriors that they use the five stakes to kill him; now when his compatriot cowboys find the stakes all driven through his chest and head and stuff, they’ll be aware that indians got him.

Chris reviews GATORLAND: ALLIGATOR CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

“Get up-close and personal with gators & crocs, birds & bears, parrots & turtles, goats & llamas and much more at the Alligator Capital of the World!
Ride the new Gatorland Express train and kick back and relax at Pearl’s Smokehouse.
Explore the Miniature Water Park, Petting Zoo, Bird Aviary and the 10-acre alligator Breeding Marsh, at Orlando’s Best 1/2 Day Attraction.
Enjoy the one-of-a-kind shows including the Gator Wrestlin’ and Gator Jumparoo Show, the Up-close Encounters Show, featuring snakes, insects, and all things unexpected plus live hand feedings of huge crocodiles.”
– Full-color GATORLAND pamphlet

Of course, I’m kicking myself for forgetting my camera. Every instant at GATORLAND screamed out to be photographed — every llama, every snake, every goat buckling nervously in a gator’s jaws. Fortunately Orlando’s Best 1/2 Day Attraction (1992-1994, 1996) publishes a hell of a nice color pamphlet complete with splendid full-color photographs; as a companion to my written remarks, this pamphlet (which is sculpted along the top to match the contours of a gator’s brow, so that if you close your eyes and touch the top of the pamphlet you could literally swear there’s a gator in the tub with you) will serve marvelously.
Pictured on the front is the magnificent main entrance to GATORLAND.


What they’ve done is crafted a huge gator head for you to walk through to get into GATORLAND (pretty appropriate, actually!), and the thing is so well done it gives you the creeps. As the shadows of those 5-foot teeth darken your shirt, you start to understand what Judas must have felt like when, in the Bible, he was swallowed by the alligator (you just hope that, as in Judas’s case, God will wrap his mind control around the gator’s brain and cause it to expel you after a reasonable period of time for you to think about what you’ve done).
Once inside, there’s plenty to do. I hopped right onto the Gatorland Express Train and took a tour of the grounds. It was a lot of fun because the train truly is an “express” — it zips around GATORLAND at over a hundred miles an hour. We hit an old man!
Next I checked out the Gator Jumparoo Show, which was not up to GATORLAND standards, in my opinion, as it’s literally just a bunch of gators competing for points in jumping-related track and field events — long jump, high jump, and hurdles. I haven’t been so bored since the last summer olympics!
The Petting Zoo was great, chock full of all the animals advertised. Amazingly, they’re paired just as the pamphlet says they will be: birds and bears in one pen, turtles and parrots in another, even gators and crocs. But this is the “Alligator Capital of the World”, and crocs seem to know it; they tend to slink around on the periphery of things, minding their own business, obviously sort of watching their step, well aware that they’re merely tolerated oddities in this, the international epicenter of gator culture and civilization.
At GATORLAND’s south end lies the 10-acre alligator Breeding Marsh, which I explored. Shit it’s terrifying. Just ten solid acres of gnashing teeth and pale rubbery bellies and gnarled gator cock and splashing mud and shrieking turkey vultures and tall grass and churning marsh and buzzing insects and sticky sunlight and gaping gator cunt. It seemed like days I spent in there but when I found my way back to Pearl’s Smokehouse I learned I had only been gone for a little over a day.
I was further enervated watching the “hand feedings of huge crocodiles.” There I sat with half a dozen other dazed tourists as brave, brave men fed their hands to huge crocodiles, to no apparent purpose.


But the main attraction at GATORLAND is The Magician, shown front and center on the pamphlet in his trademark khakis and straw hat.


The Magician’s specialty is gator-based magic; in the photo we see him at the culmination of his most popular bit, in which he borrows a baby from the audience and turns it into a caiman, and then extorts money out of the parents, assuring them that yes they will pay if ever they want to see their baby in human form again; but it’s all just a trick — The Magician doesn’t know how to change the caiman back into human form (you can bet the parents aren’t let in on the trick aspect until they’ve handed over the five grand).
On the back of the pamphlet, at the bottom, The Magician displays his command over the animal will with ‘The Guillotine’. This gag blew me away. What he does is he holds open a gator’s mouth and then applies mind control to an egret kept handy by The Magician’s assistant. The egret walks slowly, deliberately toward The Magician, a look of profound concentration on its face; clearly somewhere in the deepest inner core of its mind the egret is leveraging all its remaining might in an epic attempt to expel the possessing magician — but The Magician is far too strong.


Almost daintily the egret walks to the gator and places its head inside the gator’s mouth, holds it there. The Magician looks around the audience smugly, a sarcastic “uh oh!” expression on his face. Once he’s milked what seems like all available tension from the scene, he ratchets everything up a notch, pretending that his hand, his hand that holds the top of the gator’s razor-lined mouth open, is starting to slip. The “uh oh!” expression widens. The egret remains still, the point of its beak disappearing down the gator’s throat. Horror mixes with anticipation on the audience’s faces. Children are heard to murmur, “Mommy, no…” And then suddenly there’s a great snapping sound as The Magician lets go and the gator’s jaws clap shut; the egret’s headless body sways for a moment then slumps onto the grass.
My favorite part of GATORLAND, though, was finding out that all of it was in my imagination. Because if I can imagine a place like GATORLAND, then why not PUMALAND or COWLAND?


Walking to my car to leave GATORLAND, I was filled with a sense of contentment, secure in the knowledge that all I would ever need in order to turn a boring rainy afternoon into an exciting adventure is the kernel of a good idea, the rich farmlands of my imagination in which to plant that kernel, and some acid to use as a sort of fertilizer for the kernel.

Chris reviews THIS TIME MACHINE


It doesn’t work.

Corrections & Addenda

On August 31st, in Glasgow, Chris addressed an autographed promotional vinyl to “Marie”. The signature seeker’s name was “Mairead”. We regret the error.

On August 23rd, Keith invited audience members to “go fuck [them]selves, Leeds.” That night we played Birmingham; Leeds was the following night. The band regrets Keith’s error.

July 18th, we responded enthusiastically to a journalist’s email soliciting an interview. The questions, which we received the following day, went unanswered for nearly a month, and were ultimately addressed with less verve than we’re capable of. We Are Scientists regrets the entire affair.

On August 22nd, in Manchester, we killed a promoter who neglected to furnish the bottle of red wine specified by our rider. Our intention was to beat him savagely but non-fatally – at worst to shorten his life by a handful of years through chronic illness brought on by serious injury. We apologize to the promoter in question, but warn his family that in our view they have inherited his debt.

On September 6th, during an interview with XFM dj John Kennedy, Michael momentarily adopted a British accent and said, “Oi, John. Your mate sounds like a right old geezer, i’nnit?” He butchered it. We regret the error. For a second he actually sounded almost German.

On a flight from New York City to London on September 21st, Chris listened to his iPod, an electronic device, during takeoff. We Are Scientists regret having almost caused the aircraft to crash into an airport hotel or the flight tower or another plane, and also wish to express total uncomprehending surprise that none of those things happened.

One of the best things about touring with a band is meeting so many nice, interesting people. The other day, in Peterborough, at a Sainsbury’s, we got to meet the UK’s Prime Minister, Tony Blair. He turned out to be the weirdest guy! He didn’t speak a word of politics or economics or stuff about the war; he just told us this:

Tony Blair

You know the oddest thing emerged just this weekend from the behaviour [sic] of my cat, whom I call Smallsley, Smallsley the Grey. Espying a finch a’perch a bough in the rear-lawn cherry grove, Smallsley fixed his little stare, angled his head just so, giving him rather a mischievous air, and began chattering his teeth against one another, clapping his two rows of ivory nibs together like a set of wind-up dentures. Smallsley went on about this for probably ten minutes before wandering off to topple his milk dish or perform some similar minor tyranny. I counted his teeth clicks, and it was two hundred ninety-seven. Enjoy your stay in Britain.