Gorilla

In Honor of Groundhog Day


An excerpt from my long out-of-print book, Gods New and Used.  Specifically, this is from "Slings & Arrows," a Sam Bowen story.



Feb 2nd

 

 

 

            Cupid drove the Loop 255, looking for the exit that would take him downtown. The stereo was loud enough to make the chassis of the other cars on the loop vibrate and hum. Driving in the car was a conceit, not because he was three feet tall, but because he didn’t need it. He was Cupid, he didn’t have to drive a car. The little wings on his back were deceptively powerful and would carry him over great distances in a heartbeat. Problem was, every time he used his wings, it reminded him that he was Cupid. Specifically, it reminded him that he was a three-foot tall baby with a little cloth diaper on. He missed being tall and beautiful. He missed the adoration, the attention.

            The car, in this instance, a 1979 convertible Corvette Stingray, was a way of making him feel like a complete god again. He was too short to reach the pedals, but every time he moved his right foot, the car sped up or slowed down. He could work the steering wheel; that was still doable. Unfortunately, the car was red. Cupid had no choice in the matter. Well, that’s not entirely true, he could have chosen white or pink, but to Cupid that was totally unacceptable for a Stingray. It was bad enough that his dick was little more than a corn nut without people thinking he was a girl altogether. So he drove fast, swore often, and tried not to think about the color of the car.

            The downtown exits were zooming by so fast Cupid barely had time to take the last one. He cut through three lanes of occupied traffic and made the off-ramp with a fourteen-car brake light salute in his wake. He flipped them all off and cut the volume on the stereo so he could concentrate. Robert Plant’s banshee wail became a tiny moan. Cupid sang “Whole Lotta Love” under his breath as he looked at the street signs. Several pedestrians stopped to stare at the car and were rewarded with a one-fingered salute from the diminutive driver. He finally found Merced, and, in keeping with the spirit of his day, it was one-way in the wrong direction. Swearing, he drove to the next street, Carpenter, and took a right.

*

            It was Groundhog Day at Doyle’s, and the bar was in the midst of a wake. Everyone was wearing black armbands for Phil Connors, a local weatherman who mysteriously vanished seven years ago. Ever since then, the only real Groundhog Day party to attend was at Doyle’s.

            This was the lunch crowd, and although the place was packed, it was subdued. Security was at a minimum, since most of the trouble happened at night. The patrons, professionals, mostly, were smiling at their armbands and taking advantage of the lunch specials and getting soused on Punxsutawney Punch, one of Silas’s more lethal concoctions.

            And being that Doyle’s was the kind of place that it is, and that reputation is, if anything, understated, it should come as no surprise that no one even blinked when Cupid walked into the room.

         “Fucking finally,” he growled, walking straight to the bar, shooting looks this way and that. “Go on, say something, I dare you,” he muttered.

         “Can I help you?” The bartender looked him straight in the eyes, an even gaze.

        “Yeah, you got food?” Cupid’s expression didn’t change.

        “Sure, you want to see a menu?”

        “No, just bring me the biggest sandwich you got and the biggest, darkest beer on tap.” Cupid finished, still expecting a crack.

          “You want your beer now or with the sandwich?” asked the bartender.

          “Now,” said Cupid. His defenses were still up.

        “No prob.” The bartender turned the order in at the kitchen window, and then drew Cupid a half-yard of something that looked like motor oil. “Here you go,” he said and hung around to get Cupid’s reaction.

            Cupid took a long drink, smacked his lips, and screwed up his face. “What the hell is this?”

            “It’s one of our house brews. It’s called ‘Velvet Jones’.”

            “I don’t get it,” said Cupid.

            The bartender shrugged. “Our brewmeister has a weird sense of humor.”

            “What’s in it?” said Cupid, drinking deeply.

            “It’s a chocolate stout.”

            Cupid narrowed his eyes. “That wasn’t a wisecrack, was it?”

            Silas shrugged again. “Hey, you asked.” He drifted off to tend to other customers.

          Cupid turned to his beer. It was good, in spite of the fact that the beer was made with chocolate. He looked around. The place hadn’t changed much since his last visit, and that was fifteen years ago. Cupid surveyed the crowd, looking for familiar faces, but it was a lost cause. He didn’t really expect to see anyone, but he was bored and hungry.

            The bartender sat a huge plastic tray down in front of him, and Cupid spun around to face it. He was staring at an 18” long submarine sandwich, sitting on a bed of fries, with four small buckets, containing ketchup, beef broth, mustard, and mayo. Cupid whistled. “Now, that’s a sandwich!”

            The bartender grinned. “Here,” he said, sliding another stout over. “This one’s on me.”

            “Why?” said Cupid, picking up a section of the sandwich.

            The bartender leaned on the bar with his elbow and took a swipe at the bar with a white rag. “Because if it wasn’t for you, I’d be out of a job.”

            “How’s that, exactly?” asked Cupid as he shoveled one end of the sandwich into his mouth.

            Silas leaned on the bar. “Hey, if I had a dime for every dumb shit who sat across the bar from me and drank like a fish all night because he was pining for some girl, I’d be a rich man. Of course, every time I listened to them spill their guts about Jennifer, or Natalie, or whoever, I got handsomely tipped. So, the least I can do is buy you a beer.”

            Cupid laughed, an explosion of breadcrumbs and pieces of meat. “That’s great! What’s your name, kid?”

            “Silas. What do you want me to call you?”

            “For you, Cupid. Only people I like can call me Cupid. Everyone else, I make ‘em call me Eros. Well, Silas, I tell you, you’re a lot smarter than your predecessor.”

            “Who, Al?” asked Silas.

            “Don’t remember his name. But the last time I was here, he started in on me with the wisecracks when all I wanted was a beer and a sandwich. Like, why in Hades would you want to piss off a god?”

            Silas shrugged. “Dunno. Me, I never wanted to. So, what did you do?”

            Cupid pulled out an arrow from the quiver on his chest. “Special shaft, just like this one. Delayed reaction. You start to feel like something is missing from your life, like you’re not complete. Gradually, it takes up more and more of your thoughts, until you come to realize, you need to find someone to settle down with. You need to be in love.” He started to snicker. “But, because of the tip, here, you can’t! You’re doomed to failure!” He slapped the bar and howled. “Oh, I got a million of them.”

            Silas exhaled and rubbed his chin. “That’s a little more complicated than the standard crush-type thing I read about, huh?”

            “Hey, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands.”

            “Sure,” said Silas. “Well, that clears up one mystery. I always wondered what happened to old Al. How’d you shoot him, by the way?” asked Silas.

            “With my bow.”

            “No,” said Silas, flipping his rag. “I mean, where. I’m surprised no one tried to stop you.”

            “Oh, you mean here in the bar! No, man, I shot him in the parking garage when he was leaving.”

            “Ah. Well, there you go, then.” Silas nodded.

            “Say,” said Cupid, “you’re pretty knowledgeable about the, what do you call it? The Neighborhood?”

            Silas nodded and said, “Yeah, I guess.”

            “I’m looking for some people. Maybe you can help me.”

            Silas wiped another section of the bar. “I’ll do what I can.”

  • Current Music
    Led Zep, baby!
Flag

The Tale of Brave Sir Robin

Renee asked me, "What happened to the cat?"

Well, it's like this, see...

WE, for the last time, are NOT cat-people. We aren't. Never have been, never will be. That doesn't mean that I don't like YOUR cat. Yes, (s)he's the smartest, most intuitive, brilliantly-funny, "not at ALL like other cats" cat in the world, and I recognize that fully. That's why when we come over your cat makes a bee-line for me, and I am appropriately reverential and sweet to your pet. But I don't WANT a cat, and neither does my wife, who is pretty damn allergic.

Now, this condition exists completely independent of Cathy's need to parent something. She can't help it. And so, strays will eventually get fed, and any animal up to and including a syphillitic porcupine that can look moderately cute and cuddly will get a barrage of baby talk from my wife.

That said, we started noticing some patterns for Sir Robin's behavior: occasionally, he'd hang out inside the cottage, but about 80% of the time, he'd eat his food and then dash right back outside. We have concluded that he is therefore a "yard cat." The outside kind. Perfect on a farm (where he, more or less, is right now). Not so good in a loft that opens up onto downtown Vernon.

Option #1: take out the balls and claws and bring his suffering ass to the Vernon Loft, where he'll resent us more openly than before and bolt for the door every single chance he gets (he's already not that affectionate, except to Cathy, whom he considers his "woman").

Option #2: leave him out in the country where he is right now and have Cathy go feed him every couple of days until her little brother moves back to town and can take up the care and feeding of the beast.

Yeah, we went with door number two. And before you ask, NO, I don't miss him. It's just one less piece of furniture I have to move. As soon as we can swing it, we're going to get a dog. A dog. A Loft-Dog. A way-cool, super-duper, Loft-Dog.
  • Current Music
    The Ben Pollack Orchestra
Green

The Hugest News in the History of the Entire Planet

Well, maybe not that big, but it’s still pretty important to Herr Finn: my wife and I have finally, at long last, moved into the loft above the theater and are deep in unpacking mode.

I’m just going to let that sentence sit there for a second, because it looks so damn nice all by itself. It’s been a very trying six months, to say the least. We moved to this small town of Vernon, fully one-tenth the size of Austin, about six months ago. We did so with the full confidence that we would be able to get financing for the business venture and take possession of same in four to six weeks’ time.

In the interim, we were to stay at the guest cottage (really, a one-bedroom house that was originally built for the servants) of my in-law’s property. It was small, had very few amenities, but we could get the internet, via dial-up, and the window-mounted air conditioners DID work. Besides, it wouldn’t be for very long, now, would it?

Our belongings (literally ALL of them) were stored in the actual movie theater, in anticipation of us getting financing, and besides, the owner said, I’ve still got some minor repairs and some brick work to do in the loft. Plenty of time to get it all done before you move in...

That was six months ago.

It’s only slightly dramatic to say that we were homeless during this time. True, we didn’t lack for food, clothing, or shelter, but a lot of it was charitably given. Certainly, having family here in Vernon was a huge help to us, but that’s really not the point. See, I found out something about myself: I do NOT do well if I don’t have a job of some kind. Cathy, either. We’ve had jobs, the both of us, since we were teenagers. It’s been extremely difficult to make my own schedule, particularly when we both knew that it was arbitrary and temporary.

Well, we thought our problems were over when we signed the papers at the end of November. However, the old owner was still not finished with those few stray repairs and brickwork. That took a month. Then we cleaned and stained the concrete floor, a job I would not wish on Nazi Dentists, and finally, this past week, got all of our long dormant stuff upstairs.

Now the work can really begin.

In particular, we will be dealing with the movie theater at the same time that we’re making a home for ourselves, and the theater gets top priority. Now that our accumulated belongings are upstairs and not in the lobby of the Plaza, the cleaning and prepping can commence!

To all of you who wrote notes in the last six months, wishing us well and praying for our good fortune, it has finally come to pass. We are not ready to receive visitors yet (that’ll take a few months, to say the least), but we’ll let everyone know  that has vowed a road trip to see the theater just as soon as it’s all ready.

Goodbye, 2006

Not surprisingly, this past year was one of strange upheavals and monumental triumphs. Cathy and I quit our jobs, threw caution to the wind, and moved so far into North Texas that we can almost see Oklahoma to completely re-invent our lives. At the same time, Blood & Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard came out, to enthusiastic reviews and accolades.

I’ve gotten a lot of PMs, IMs, emails, and even a hand-written letter (!) from fans who read the book and thanked me profusely for writing the book and giving them a different picture of Robert E. Howard. That has been a little humbling. I mean, when I wrote the book, I specifically wrote the book that I wanted to read. It has been very cool to see that other folks have enjoyed that take on REH’s life, and moreover, got something out of it. I’m going to try and line up some signings in this area prior to this year’s REH gathering in Cross Plains, in June. My first signing of the year will actually be in the town of Cross Plains. I’m talking to (a) the Friends of the Library, (b) the Cross Plains Kiwinis Club, and (c) the Cross Plains High School English classes. Not necessarily in that order.

What do I do for 2007? Well, that’s a promise between me and Elvis. I do have some non-fiction work in progress (halted by the move and the chaos), and I’ve got a proposal for a book that I’m working on for a major publisher. But my focus, so far as it goes, is to finally finish Replacement Gorilla and find a home for it. All of this will revolve around the theater schedule, of course, since we’ve really got to massage the business for the first two years, but I think it can be done very handily.

I’m really excited that I’ve turned the corner and started this new phase of my life. So, in order to keep up with all of the changes, and stay plugged in to my fascinating anecdotes and screeds, I’m going to redo some of how I talk to everyone.

The Yahoo Group list, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/finnswake will henceforth be for big, broad overview stuff, recaps, and similar life-altering hoo-ha. If you’re not on that list and want on it, you can click through the above and sign up. It’s free, and isn’t spammed, unless you count what I send out, and it’s also not a discussion group, so you won’t see any replies to me by other people.

The LiveJournal blog, http://www.livejournal.com/users/finnswake/ will be for smaller anecdotes, musings on life in a small town, running a theater, and other day-to-day short posts. If you haven’t checked out my LiveJournal blog before, well, it’s a mishmash of stuff. But it’s pretty interesting, and there are folks who read it that aren’t on the Finn’s Wake list. It’s also free to read. I am contemplating moving to eBlogger, but haven’t really looked into how that will work, if at all.

As for the MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/finnswake/ well, it’s kinda become a catch-all for everyone who has written a book and published it on lulu.com. No offense to those of you using Lulu.com, but do we really *need* another erotic vampire thriller? Since my myspace friends list has become a strange and exotic thing, I’m just going to send out occasional nonsense and wonky bits via the bulletin feature. If you want to see those, you know what to do.

I think that’s it, for now. Later this year, I’ll have a website up (finally!) and most likely with embedded blogging tools, so there will be that, as well. You can’t say that you don’t know where to find me. I’ll also take a number of pics and post them (likely in LJ, since it links directly to my Flikr account) for those of you who can’t wait to see the theater, the loft, and etc.

 

  • Current Mood
    busy busy
Gorilla

Happy Elvis' Birthday

After a week of killing ourselves, throwing all of our time, effort, and physical labor at a concrete slab some 1,500 square feet in total that refuses to come clean, we have given up and called in the professionals. They are cleaning the floor so that we can stain it. Once stained, we'll seal it. Once sealed, it will cure for a couple of days, and then BAM! All of our worldly belongings will get magically moved upstairs by other people, and we'll have a weekend to get into the boxes and start sorting our stuff out before we're full on in the movie-business grind mode.

In the meantime, I'm using my day to finish up some extant writing obligations, and oh yeah, celebrating the birth of our Elvis. I think a viewing of Viva Las Vegas is in order, and then I'll make my Promises to the King. There is a very slim chance that I will post them here, since none of you are Elvis, and these are private promises. But I am making some life-changers this year, so the more astute of you will probably figure out what that means.

Soon, very soon, we'll have a multitude of pictures to throw up and I will cheerfully do so. Before and after pics of the loft, and some things like that.

And off to the side, thank you, all of you, who bought, recommended, or otherwise pimped Blood & Thunder to folks. I continue to get fan mail from people I have never heard of before in my life, thanking me in gushing terms for writing the thing. I'm really pleased and humbled by that. But I know that a lot of you have beat the drum for me, so, really, I appreciate it.
  • Current Music
    Elvis: The Sun Sessions
Gorilla

A Quick Update for 2007

I don't celebrate New Year's Eve, but Cathy does. My official End of the Year celebration is Elvis' Birthday for reasons which should be blatantly obvious to all of my friends and family by now.

Nevertheless, Cathy won't pass up an opportunity to drink Champagne, so we found ourselves at my in-laws house at 11:00 PM last night, watching, inexplicably, the New Year's Eve countdown on ABC. I say inexplicably not because we were watching it, but because I have no idea who else was watching it. All of these hot, young acts, singing songs and rapping and I couldn't understand any of it, and all of these beautiful people dancing and singing along like they really did care about every single flash-in-the-pan onstage. Cathy said it best when she remarked, "the target audience for this show isn't at home, watching it on tv. They're out getting hammered in clubs." Too right. But that wasn't what was so disconcerting.

See, apparantly, ABC (and presumably the other networks) have to run a certain number of Public Service Announcements in order to keep on the air. Well, if they are lax in doing that (gotta sell the soap flakes!), then those PSA's get pushed until the very last day of the year.

In other words, The Dick Clark-less New Year's Eve Flash in the Pan Bash was proudly brought to you by "Get Your Home Tested for Radon," "Teach Children to Read and Become a Hero," "Don't Smoke, you Imbecile," and "It's perfectly all right (and really preferred) to adopt children of color if you are white."

It's like the perfect marriage of art and commerce, isn't it?

Cathy also couldn't stop laughing at Ryan Seacrest. "Who IS that guy?" she howled. "Is he TRYING to be that uninteresting?" No Honey, I gently replied, he's doing his best to engage you. "Well, it's NOT working," she whooped.

The ball dropped, we smooched, and that was pretty much it.

-------------------------------------------------------------

The next day, I got up, feeling slightly ill (Cathy has given me her cold), and made my world famous black eyed peas, Hopping John style, and a great Indian cabbage stir-fry recipe that is sweet and spicy and about ten thousand times better than just boiling it. I had a conversation with the world's foremost Jack Teagarden expert, ate lunch, and then passed out.

I don't do Resolutions. I make Promises to The King.
  • Current Music
    "Lazy River" by Hoagy Carmichael
Fez

Fame and Friends

Earlier today, I spammed a select group of friends and colleagues (not even professional contacts) with the news that I had been name dropped in the Wall Street Journal today. This was sent out with the header, "Normally I'm much more demure about these things..." And it's true. While I have what can only be described as a huge personality in person, when it comes to my writing, I am earnestly serious and mildly fragile. As such, when people pay me compliments, I immediately drop out of my big personality and say, very quietly, "Thank you." Later, when no one but my wife is around, I might do a cartwheel, but I tend to not do as much self-promotion as I probably need to in my burgeoning writing career.

Anyway, within minutes, the replies were flying back to me. Mixed in among the short and sweet Congratses and Way-to-goes were a number of digs, jibes, and pokes, such as:

"Yes, you're a shy and delicate flower."

"That certainly trumps 'The Daily Texan.' I am more proud than ever to wave your book around at people and say, 'This chucklehead author is my friend!'"

"Demure is just not a word that I have ever associated with you."

And my personal favorite:

"Sellout. ;-)"

It's nice to know that I've surrounded myself with people who are good enough friends that they will never feel like they have to kiss my ass. It's very grounding. As long as there are folks out there who can tell stories of the time I monkey-walked, drunker than hell, up to X person and made a jackass of myself, I think I'm going to be all right.
  • Current Music
    Austin Rhythm and Blues Christmas
Green

A Blah Weekend

Earlier this week, Cathy caught a virus that had her throwing up and flu-ed out. Then she gave it to me on Friday. So, my weekend was a mish-mash of 7-up, vomiting, sleep, fever dreams, addled bits of writing, and a small movie marathon.

I ended up watching all four Harry Potter films, in order (I'm pretty amped about Movie 5 and Book 7). I have to say, my favorite of the lot is still number 3 (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). It was the best balance of Book Stuff and Movie Stuff. Don't know what they are going to do with the next two movies. It'll be interesting. Ultimately, I still like the books, and think the movies serve as a visual shorthand for the books. The Goblet of Fire movie broke that covenent when it tried to "make better" the Harry and the Dragon scene. Paradoxically, I really liked all of the little fiddly-bits in the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, as it (a) didn't alter the given story, and (b) gave a lot more detail as to the magical-ness of the HP world.

Cathy recovered and rented An Inconvenient Truth. Everyone should watch it. It's that good.

In other news, I continue to get positive feedback for Blood & Thunder. Folks I don't know are writing me from all over to tell me how much they liked the book, to tell me thanks, and to tell me that they learned a lot about this writer that they have long admired. That praise is keeping me going as Cathy and I struggle our way into the theater business.
  • Current Mood
    groggy groggy
Float

A Big Finn's Wake Update

So, these two people walk into a movie theater...
Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen. The deal is finally done. Well, mostly. But today, Cathy and I (on behalf of our partners) bought the Vernon Plaza movie theater. It’s official. We’re entrepreneurs, now, in addition to being all of those other things, too.

I’ve got a lot of stuff to do in the next two months, including setting up the website, which will be located at www.vernonplaza.com and will be fully tricked out. Movie times, schedules, upcoming events, the works. In the meantime, you can stop by and look at the few pics online so you can see what Cathy and I got so excited about, lo, these many months ago.

The current plan is to open up in January 2007, with a grand opening sometime in February, 2007. Obviously, it’s a big deal, and so I fully expect every single one of you to roadtrip to Vernon, Texas, at some point in the next three-to-five years. Hell, y’all pool your funds and get a bus together!

Blood & Thunder
The other big news is, of course, the release of Blood & Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard. I’ve been interviewed several times so far, and a couple of fine folks have already seen fit to do reviews. The first came from Rick Kleffel’s Agony Column:
http://trashotron.com/agony/news/2006/11-20-06.htm#FinnMarkHowardRobertE

Shortly thereafter, I got a nice write up from fellow Texas author and all around fine fellow Bill Crider. His Blog of Pop Culture is worth checking out:
http://billcrider.blogspot.com/2006/11/blood-and-thunder-mark-finn.html

There’s rumors of a Publisher’s Weekly review, as well as some newspaper coverage down the pike. I’ve been contacted privately by a number of people who congratulated me or thanked me for writing the book. I’m really happy with the response it’s received so far. My buddy Jess Nevins, himself an amazing popular culture scholar, even tipped in the first customer review on Amazon.com.

The next few months will be a huge challenge as I balance the writing side of things with the entrepreneurial side of things. Thankfully, Cathy will be onhand to keep me in clean socks. She’s a saint, I tell you. And of course, we’re STILL not moved into the loft yet, but we now have a semi-firm date on when we can get there—ten days away and counting. Stuff to do, stuff to do.

On the Personal Side
Living in the country brings critters of all shapes and sizes. I shooed a wolf spider out of the house that was the size of a regulation poker chip not three days ago. Skunks, possum, raccoons, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, scorpions, bull snakes, vultures...Vernon is a critter lover’s paradise. I guess it’s just dumb luck that we have been adopted by a feral cat.

This is not our pet. It’s the cat that we feed. There’s a big difference. Chief among them is our inability to actually pet said cat. That alone disqualifies it for ‘pet’ status, as the name well implies. In fact, the cat is such a chicken, that Cathy has named our gray tabby Sir Robin. Insert Monty Python music here.

I didn’t want a cat. I don’t want this cat. I want a dog. Preferably one that will keep all cats away. But now that we’ve got this...animal lounging on our cottage porch and mewling piteously until he is fed, we’re responsible for him. Provided that we can actually get him into a box, we will take him to the vet and explore our options—namely, snip the balls and the claws and take him to the loft, or drop him off so he can wait for some neurotically unbalanced cat-person to take him in. Whether he stays in the loft or not depends entirely on how much we can domesticate him. I will not be the owner of an animal that doesn’t consider me some sort of food-bringing god. I’ve got thumbs for a reason. And I have no allusions about cats, how smart they are, or any of that nonsense. It really all boils down to one thing: Let’s say, god forbid, that the building catches on fire. Do I want a pet that will (a) bark until I wake up, and allow us to get out of the house with my Robert E. Howard books intact, or (b) go hide under the sink in a blind panic? See if you can guess which one I will pick...

This year is the first year in perhaps, well, ever, that I am completely unplugged from the retail end of things. As such, and because i know how stressful it can all get, you owe it to yourselves to check out the latest offering from the Violet Crown Radio Players: Moneygo on 34th Street! Visit http://www.violetcrownradio.com/ for information and showtimes. Trust me on this. The show is going to become our Christmas staple. You can see it on the ground floor, now. If you're coming to Austin, it's playing all December. Hope to see you there!

More on our “cat,” our loft, and our new status as Vernon-ites, as we get the time to update you. Thanks for reading!
  • Current Mood
    ecstatic ecstatic
Green

SNOW!

There's an inch of SNOW on the ground. It's falling SIDEWAYS out of the sky.

And the people in Vernon sent their kids to school today. Unbelievable.

They are made of Pioneer stock up here in North Texas.
  • Current Mood
    cold cold
Costigan

Music Meme

This is for the BookPeeps out there, as well as my various UU friends who think that the 80's were some sort of cultural apex for pop music. I'm modifying the meme's requirements, however: for these top 75 songs of 1988 (the year I graduated high school), I'm bolding the songs I can still listen to without freaking out. I'm striking through the songs that, even then, sucked canal water. And I'm leaving alone those songs that came and went like the bland things that they were. It should be noted that, for those of you who wish to mount some sort of defense for my rankings below, that THIS was the year that Bill Hicks was talking about when he made fun of George Michaels and Rick Astley, whom he correctly labeled a "demented little incubus."

1. What A Wonderful World* - Louis Armstrong
*didn't even make it in the top 100 when released in 1967!
2. It Takes Two - Rob Base & E-Z Rock
3. Da Butt - EU
4. Hot Hot Hot - Buster Poindexter
5. I'll Always Love You - Taylor Dayne
6. Man In The Mirror - Michael Jackson

7. Sweet Child Of Mine - Guns N Roses
8. Red Red Wine - UB40
9. Just Got Paid - Johnny Kemp
10. Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin
11. Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard
12. Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison

13. Welcome To The Jungle - Guns N Roses
14. Paradise - Sade
15. The Flame - Cheap Trick
16. 1 2 3 - Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
17. Kokomo - Beach Boys

18. Need You Tonight - INXS
19. Pump Up The Volume - M/A/R/R/S
20. Roll With It - Steve Winwood
21. Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird (Medley) - Will To Power
22. Power Of Love - Laura Branigan
23. Push It - Salt N Pepa
24. One More Try - George Michael

25. Can't Stay Away From You - Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
26. Wild, Wild West - Kool Moe Dee
27. One Moment In Time - Whitney Houston
28. Hot Hot Hot!!! - The Cure
29. The Promise - When In Rome
30. The Way You Make Me Feel - Micheal Jackson

31. Chains Of Love - Erasure
32. What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) - Information Society
33. Honestly - Stryper
34.  Don't Be Cruel - Bobby Brown
35. Bad Medicine - Bon Jovi
36. Strangelove - Depeche Mode
37. Nothin' But A Good Time - Poison
38. Angel - Aerosmith  
This was our Senior Prom theme, and while it was terrible, it was the only good prom experience of my entire high school career; I went to five proms, and the first four all sucked.
39. Candle In The Wind - Elton John
40. Forever Young - Alphaville

41. Pink Cadillac - Natalie Cole
42. Always On My Mind - Pet Shop Boys

43. Tall Cool One - Robert Plant
44. Forever Young - Rod Stewart
45. Beds Are Burning - Midnight Oil
46. Tomorrow People - Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers
47. I Know You're Out There Somewhere - Moody Blues

48. Just Like Heaven - The Cure
49. Wild Wild West - The Escape Club
50. In God's Country - U2
51. So Emotional - Whitney Houston
52. Girls Ain't Nothin' But Trouble - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

53. Wishing Well - Terence Trent D"Arby
54. It's Money That Matters - Randy Newman
55. Under The Milky Way - The Church

56. Like The Weather - 10,000 Maniacs
57. Tell It To My Heart - Taylor Dayne
58. Kiss Me Deadly - Lita Ford
59. Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley

60. It's The End Of The World As We Know It - R.E.M.
61. Parents Just Don't Understand - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
62. Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark - Robert Cray Band
63. Never Can Say Goodbye - Communards

64. What's The Matter Here? - 10,000 Maniacs
65. Groovy Kind Of Love - Phil Collins
66. Fat - Weird Al Yankovic
67. Piano In The Dark - Brenda Russell
68. Monkey - George Michael
69. Rocket 2 U - Jets

70. Tell That Girl To Shut Up - Transvision Vamp
71. I Found Someone - Cher
72. Spotlight - Madonna
73. Englishman In New York - Sting
74. When Will I Be Famous? - Bros

75. Hazy Shade of Winter - the Bangles
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