Sunday, August 28, 2011


I'm proud to report that I--and my impromptu "bandmates"--walked away with (tied-for) third place in Friday night's inaugural Ultimate Dumbass competition, cementing my position as one of Chicago's preeminent dumbasses, as if the matter were ever in question. Brainchild of New Orleanian-cum-Chicagoan/hairy-weirdo Davitt Terell, Ultimate Dumbass was pretty much as advertised above: a contest to find the "dumbest band possible," both dumb and band being very much open to interpretation--perfect fare for the waning days of summer, when minds everywhere have melted into viscous goo.

I mean, being dumb is pretty easy, right? Sure, but there's also a zen-archery aspect to it--achieving drooling imbecility only really works when you're not trying. Consequently, there were a number of contestants who totally overreached in their quest for dumbness, missing the point entirely: the Sylvia-Plath-in-drag who stuck her head in a microwave, the "guitarist" whose cardboard axe housed a smartphone that played guitar-solo videos off of YouTube, even the great Randall + Drew, whose grotesque take on nu-country was hysterical (I got a beer belly on the back of my head--best lyric of 2011) but not particularly dumb. Closer to the mark were such half-baked acts as Didjeri-Douchebags (pretty self-explanatory) and Sonny and Share, whose drunken-karaoke version of I Got You, Babe was as charming as it was pointless and retarded. Then there was Davey Hart, of Wishgift fame, whose adult-baby routine--shitty diapers 'n all--definitely merited the third-place award that we would ultimately share.

As for my act: I certainly didn't plan on competing--if I had, I'd surely've overthought the whole thing--but things were getting rowdy, I was deep in the cups and Spitbutt just came to me in a flash. What could be stupider than having somebody spit all over my butt? Enlisting a couple of last-second volunteers--Loto Ball in a brilliant and fortuitous turn as guest-vocalist and Mortville mastermind Clayton B. as the lucky butt-spitter--we took to the stage, I promptly depantsed and the rest was history... Clayton, for his part, went well above + beyond the call of duty, drenching my butt in what turned out to be vomit, and the judges were duly impressed. "That," pronounced Rotten Milk, "Was really stupid."

I can't quite say who won second-place--I'll admit to some pretty serious lapses of memory--but celebrity judge Meg McCarville very much blew all other contestants out of the water with her end-of-the-night showstopper. Despite the inherent dubiousness of a judge being allowed to compete, she unquestionably earned her gold medal by pepper-spraying herself in the face, point-blank (followed by a very convincing display of grievous injury and temporary blindness)--elevating the terms of the contest in a single stroke by presenting dumbness not as a performance but as a way of life. Her left-field victory makes McCarville the future queen of Ultimate Dumbass 2012, ensuring some out-of-this-world dumbassery in next year's contest. Mark your calendars, and get started on yr dumb band, doods!

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