Thursday, September 24, 2009

Debacle at the Dome

Northwestern's season took a rough turn in last Saturday's loss to unfortunately frisky Syracuse after rallying from a 17 point deficit only to lose in heartbreaking fashion on a last-second field goal in the Carrier Dome. The defense struggled against wideout Mike Williams and QB Greg Paulus, who apparently used to play basketball for Duke, a fact that the Syracuse announcing team rammed down our throats like a group of Viking pillagers brandishing one of those battering implements with a goat head carved into it for additional ramming speed. Between the rough beginning of the game, the abysmally forced basketball analogies (Paulus evidently runs busted plays like they are a fast break, throws the ball up like an alley oop, and evades the pass rush like he's escaping from Maryland fans brandishing batteries and crude bludgeoning instruments), and the crack snuff-film camera crew that fell for play fakes more often than the shaky Northwestern defense, the entire game left me staring wistfully out the window like Roland Orzabal in this seminal Tears for Fears music video before being redeemed by the cleansing power of the Atlas Dance.

Incidentally, the Mad World Dance is probably the greatest ill-advised and unexpected 1980s music video dance breakdown challenged only by the gleeful back-flipping, shimmying, air guitaring, dance from a body double with an unconvincing George Harrison wig. Tears for Fears's greatest achievement in the field of music video, however, came with the video for "Shout," which combines pretty much every element that person can want in a 1980s music video: tragic British hair styles, over-the-top attempts to sell emotions (the only word for what Tear for Fear Curt Smith is doing here is braying), epic mountaintop guitar solos, and a desolate, barren landscape that I'm sure has something symbolically to do with sticking it to Margaret Thatcher.

Thatcher celebrates after a 1983 victory over British synth pop
bands, her greatest political adversaries

The Syracuse game was an important bellwether for the Northwestern season after an alarming stumble against Eastern Michigan. The running game struggled and the vaunted Northwestern defense had holes. On the other hand, the passing game led by Kafka looks great even without the Kafka Smash play that led Northwestern to victory in the Metrodome last season.


The New York Times had an interesting story by biologist Sean B. Carroll about the relationship of the venerable Great White Shark to the prehistoric megalodon, a larger, more extinct super-shark that only makes occasional appearances in the darkest reaches of the oceans to terrorize Antonio Sabato Jr, an occurrence which marks a shocking downturn in the quality of shark opponents since they battled the likes of a grizzled, drunken Robert Shaw or a reluctant, money-grubbing Michael Caine.

Official BYCTOM movie shark opponent worthiness chart-- note that
the y axis denotes shark killing ability in Hislops, named for famed
Australian shark killer Vic Hislop and his tireless quest to kill
sharks as depicted in his Hervey Bay area museum, which documents
both grisly shark attack and his ferocious letter-writing campagin
to Austrlian politicians to prioritize the battle against sharks

It is an iron law of Hollywood that shark movies are terrible with Jaws as the obvious exception. Spielberg, of course, later turned to larger, more ambitious projects featuring larger and more aggressive creatures and larger and more aggressive nebbishy sidekicks, as noted in this chart:

The Steven Spielberg Monster to Nebbish conversion chart

The only other creature more fearsome to man than shark might very well be Vernon Wells, the Australian actor not to be confused with the Blue Jays outfielder who is now perhaps best-known for having the most untradable contract in baseball. The odds against having two prominent people known as Vernon Wells on the same planet are remarkable, but these things happen all of the time as anyone who has innocently attempted to google image search for pictures of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler can arrestingly attest.

Vernon G. Wells is best known for portraying Wez, Mel Gibson's mohawked antagonist from The Road Warrior, and Bennett, the greatest movie villain of all time from the 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger opus Commando where he is thrown into a deadly electrical fence and convulses with shock only to resume punching John Matrix in the next frame with nary a care in the world. Wells's official website is a goldmine of information about the veteran character actor, but, more importantly, it is also home to his reel (under the "About Vernon" section) which I heartily recommend for anyone looking for a seemingly endless montage of an Australian bulging out his eyes and punching someone while his bald, bearded pate grimaces in the background like a beefier, sun-wrinkled Ming the Merciless.


Much like how the shark's advantage naturally lies in the ocean, Vernon Wells is most at home in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and Margaret Thatcher is unbeatable when surrounded by urban malaise, the Wildcats return to their pleasant sparsely-attened turf at Ryan Field for a crucial showdown with Minnesota. A strong showing by the defense can alleviate concerns about the unit. Minneosta will be gunning for Northwestern after another ridiculous victory in the Metrodome last year. That win will still not top the 2000 Kustok Hail Mary, which can be seen on the Big Ten Network's webpage along with several other Kustok classics including the 2000 Michigan game and the 2001 Michigan State game. Bachér's 520-yard performance against Michigan State is up there, but so is Michigan State's demoralizing comeback. I am really excited to take a look at some of those old games, especially in case Saturday's game goes south, a concern that will hopefully look as ridiculous next week as the premise for this movie:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Northwestern Escapes to Victory

My hopes were high after Northwestern finally stepped up and crushed an FCS team the way a bowl-caliber team should as dozens of Wildcat fans worked themselves into a blood-crazed lather, rallying the 'Cats with their fearsome cry of "how's the market, Stu?" Kafka looked sharp, Brewer had a career day which offsets my mild disappointment that he named his spring blog "What's Brewin'" instead of "Strange Brew," and the defense maintained control, although it gave up two touchdowns.

The robust thrashing of a Football Championship Subdivision opponent is just the
thing to replenish and invigorate a Northwestern alumni base before returning
to their shirtwaist factories and Dickensian orphan abuseotoriums

Northwestern seemed to carry the momentum into Sunday's showdown against Eastern Michigan as they took a 21-3 halftime lead, consistently rolling into Eagle territory with the impunity of the Duke of New York cruising across the apocalyptic prison landscape in his chandelier-covered limousine.

The Duke of New York was rivaled in his power over the city only by Peter
Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of
New Netherland, who earned the derisive nickname of "Duke of New
Amsterdam" for his autocratic, peg-legged style of governing

Peter Stuyvesant was not shy about razing houses, sending in soldiers to rough up his political enemies, and persecuting hated Quakers. Radio Netherlands Worldwide has a show about him and his reputation as a scowling martinet of the seventeenth century colonial world who had a propensity to make political enemies and probably strut about, albeit awkwardly considering the peg leg and its known effects on proper strutting form. The show is worth listening to for its arresting theme song (a combination of kettledrums, early 90s rap beats, what sounds like a synthesized jaw harp, and an approximation of a vocal break stolen from the Family Stone all cobbled into a genre known as NPR-core) and the mystifying banter of the Dutch and Canadian co-hosts. Stuyvesant's style of government is best summed up in his declaration that "We derive our authority from God and the company, not from a few ignorant subjects," which is inscribed on the Daley family crest at Chicago's City Hall.

In the second half the game, lackluster play from Northwestern's vaunted defense, offensive miscues, and no doubt an inspiring half-time speech from EMU coach Ron English consisting of feats of strength and derring-do led to a dangerous Northwestern collapse. Fortunately, the 'Cats rallied and gave Stefan Demos the opportunity to salvage the debacle with a 49-yard field goal in the closing seconds.

It is an odd phenomenon as a Northwestern fan to be disappointed with a victory, but the second half collapse throws up some red flags for the coming season. Then again, the Wildcats were able to pull out the win, and, as Northwestern official chronicler/bard/warrior/poet Skip Myslenski puts it, "It was a win and, in the record book, style points don't apply."

Like Michael Caine and Sylvester Stallone (in
my opinion far too much Stallone and not
nearly enough Caine, although that's neither
here nor there), the Wildcats were able to escape
to victory against a determined EMU squad. In

(the studio apparently felt the "Escape to"
part was too much for Americans, much like the
apocryphal story about how "The Madness of
George III" would confuse Americans accustomed
to trilogies about porphyria-ridden maniacs),
the Allies use soccer as a way to stick it to the
Nazis, demonstrating a sporting decision not
to box them and take advantage of their
disproportionate cantaloupe-sized fists


Northwestern's blood-pressure-raising adventure at Ryan Field calls to mind other daring escape acts, none more impressive than the legendary Harry Houdini. According to his Wikipedia page, Houdini escaped from "nailed packing crates (sometimes lowered into the water), riveted boilers, wet-sheets, mailbags, and even the belly of a Whale that washed ashore in Boston," and his escapes are credited partially to "being able to regurgitate small keys at will." Please note that I've left in Wikipedia's link to its article on "professional regurgitators," which in my opinion is not so much the end of a career path as a career chasm.

Houdini's act depended on believable shackles, impossible escapes, and
the cooperation of hundreds of mustachioed policemen.

Houdini also made a side career in films and in debunking spiritualists, igniting a rivalry with avid Spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who devoted the first two parts of The Edge of the Unknown to revealing the magician's closely guarded spiritual powers as the secret to his act as opposed to good old-fashioned regurgitation. Despite his frustration with Houdini, Conan Doyle did admit that Houdini performed a valuable service in going after fraudulent mediums:

The unmasking of false mediums is our urgent duty, but when we are told that, in spite of our own evidence and that of three generations of mankind, there are no real ones we lose interest, for we know that we are speaking to an ignorant man. At the same time, the States, and in a lesser degree our own people, do need stern supervision. I admit that I underrated the corruption in the States. What first brought it home to me was that my friend Mrs. Crandon told me that she had received price lists from some firm which manufactures fraudulent instruments for performing tricks. If such a firm can make a living, there must be some villainy about, and a more judicious Houdini might well find a useful field of activity. It is these hyenas who retard our progress. I have myself had a hand in exposing more than one of them.

Houdini's movie career chronicled his endless struggles with malevolent closet
robots. He also debunked spiritualists, shown here demonstrating how illusions
could be used to make it seem as if he is mollifying the vengeful ghost of Abraham
Lincoln with a book on modern rail splitting techniques


Northwestern is not the only Big Ten school to suffer at the hands of a Michigan-based university outside of the conference. Indiana also nearly gave up a solid lead to Western Michigan in Bloomington, although in the past two years the Broncos beat Illinois and Iowa (in the claustrophobic Kinnick Thunderdome). Central Michigan defeated Michigan State in East Lansing thanks to a heads-up onside kick recovery. Of course, the Chippewas won the MAC championship two of the last three years and have appeared in the last three Motor City Bowls, a feat which has led CMU fans to relabel Ford Field as "Kelly-Shorts South." In fact, all three of the MAC Michigan teams have tremendous stadium names with the aforementioned Kelly-Shorts, Eastern's Rynearson, and Western's impenetrable fortress Waldo Stadium.

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with the
previous paragraph other than proving my
superhuman resistance to the obvious Waldo joke
telegraphed in the last sentence and therefore blowing
your mind so effectively that you can see into
dimensions that exist only after the inevitable
Fermilab accident rents a hole into
the solar system

The rest of the Big Ten got a black eye as Ohio State sputtered against USC, although I think that the game revealed that the Big Ten can at least hang with the Trojans instead of trotting out the usual tactic of putting up the resistance of an inept Seagal antagonist or a Tokyo subway patron reacting to the endless shadow of Mothra. The Big Ten gained some face when an underrated Michigan team defeated an overrated Notre Dame team, a result that is at least good for the conference although the ideal ending involves a blimp slowly displaying an emergency government proclamation preventing each school from playing high-level football, cuing an endless looping video of the late Charlton Heston cackling at their misfortune on the jumbotron, causing the bewildered and devastated fan bases to pour mournfully out of Michigan Stadium.

The last remnants of Wolverine and Fighting
Irish football in an ideal world, incidentally
the same world where BYCTOM can continue
drawing from the Charlton Heston well with
no consequences

Hopefully, the 'Cats can learn from the near-stumble against a never-say-die MAC opponent as they travel up to the Carrier Dome to take on a potentially spunky Syracuse team in a contest that as far as I can tell is available as an internet pay-per-view exclusive for $5.95, although if you get the $79.95 yearly package, you can get access to the Jim Boeheim Show. A less stressful outing requiring no fancy illusions, where small keys can be successfully digested will be a bit more soothing for Wildcat fans looking to go 3-0 and possibly lead to an increased gruel ration for the orphans in their employ.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Get Up (Get on up) for Wildcat Football

Tomorrow the Towson Tigers traipse into Temperance Town for a tangle with the Wildcats and the BYCTOM Horrible Alliteration Machine. Northwestern does not really gain anything from playing these sorts of games-- anything less than a thrashing will be disappointing for the nineteen bloodthirsty Wildcat fans in the stands, and a loss will be borderline catastrophic. Northwestern, I would imagine, is in a tough situation from a scheduling standpoint-- obviously the Wildcats gain a lot by setting up a slate of undistinguished non-conference opponents. On the other hand, even if the Athletic Department wanted to play a powerhouse non-conference opponent, it would have a tough time convincing these teams to play a dangerous underdog unless Coach Fitz strapped on some gold chains and began calling them out by interrupting their press conferences every week and started using the phrase "shut up old man" as a way of punctuating his sentences much in the same way that Arnold Schwartzenegger uses "and all of these things," "and all of that," and "I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I'm going to to ram it into your stomach and break your goddamn spine" in the California statehouse.

Fitz crashes a USC press conference,
exhorting the crowd into the traditional
Northwestern chant "you're gonna pay,

Northwestern's non-conference schedule will get better, adding opponents such as Vanderbilt, Stanford, and Boston College, although I have an official source that Northwestern will make room for any nineteenth century dental colleges that want another crack at the 'Cats after spending the last hundred years underground attempting to learn the beguiling secret of the forward pass and dental anaesthetic techniques beyond "here, have a swig of this brandy."

The use of this Electrical Drill for the Extracting and
Removal of Painful Teeth is to be used by a Licensed
Professional Tooth Extractor, lest you give your Money
to some Foul Rapscallion causing you to Bleed Profusely
in an Alley while shouting "Come back, you Rogue
Dentist, you have Absconded with my last Molar"


The Bears have been stocking up on Northwestern players, many of whom found themselves working to get out from under the final cutdown axe at the end of this weekend. The biggest story was Brett Basanez, who looked good in the final quarter and a half of Bears preseason football. At one point, he connected with Eric Peterman for a rare Wildcat to Wildcat completion, the only one of its kind in the modern NFL as proven by my "sounds right, let's not bother to look this up" research method.

Preseason football, especially the last game in which the starters barely play and the backups injure their knee ligaments by launching themselves at the sidelines for no apparent reason, is always a bizarre spectacle. The team is filled with unrecognizable faces-- rookies, retreads, future Gray Cup competitors and third shift workers in Russia, Ohio, to the point that questions the very nature of pro football fandom. The bubble players' desperation is palpable while their big-name teammates yuk it up on the sideline in street clothes and baseball caps. The only way there could be more pressure is if the coaches were forced to create the 53-man roster by the end of the game, cutting players during timeouts and substitutions as the PA system taunts the players with Europe's The Final Countdown.

Football's bearer of bad news is traditionally known as The Turk for some reason. Perhaps one inspiration is the dismal record of modern Ottoman sultans who seem to be cut by scheming courtiers, Janissary uprisings, and rusty scimitars. Since 1789, only three of the nine sultans got to reign until death, according to this list of Ottoman sultans which helpfully spells out the dismal fate of those deposed, executed, assassinated, and in the case of Mehmed VI, had the sultanate abolished entirely on his watch. One of the more curious cases involved the short reign of Mustafa IV from 1807-1808 who took the throne after believing that he had disposed of his rival brother and cousin. After triumphantly throwing his cousin's body into the courtyard and literally ascending the throne with the natural self-satisfaction of bloody intrigue done well, he apparently forgot to ask his attendants to check the baths where his brother Mahmud was hiding in wait to turn on him. I'd like to think that he gave some sort of gloating speech about how nothing could stop him, especially his bathtub-averse brother, but nothing truly ironic ever actually happens in the cut-throat world of Ottoman bath intrigue.

Mustafa IV's Gruber Brothers smirk predicted his violent overthrow at
the hands of his brother, who needed to gain power in order to pioneer
advanced sultanic chair technologies


The most optimistic outlook for Saturday's game involves a Wildcat squad doing whatever they want against an overmatched FCS opponent. For inspiration, they could turn to the late Tito Puente. Here, for example, the master of the timbales wows a crowd at a festival while simultaneously wearing a Tito Puente walk of fame t-shirt with rank impunity, an act only slightly less brazen than Bill S. Preston's insistence on wearing homemade Wyld Stallyns merchandise in blatantly inappropriate time settings such as Ancient Greece, where Wyld Stallyns were virtually unknown. In another clip, Puente and a group of mustache enthusiasts take Paul Desmond's jazz classic "Take Five," possibly the second most well-known tune in five four time (only behind the original Mission: Impossible theme that signalled that Peter Graves was about to stand around in a turtleneck for upwards of 40 minutes) and twisting it into four to suit the whims of his clave in an attempt to prove that in the brutal land of jazz music, the man with the timbales makes his own rules.

Tito Puente menaces the world of Latin Percussion,
as seen on this propaganda leaflet from

As the King of Mambo, Tito Puente deserves the type of deference that all musical kings, members of Paliament, and single digit Soul Brothers demand. Ridicule can only be heaped upon this travesty, a ridiculous cover of the Four Tops classic "Reach out, I'll be there" by Claude François and his indomitable Go-Go legions.

The remarkable thing about this version of the song, other than pretty much everything about the dancing and singing, is the incredibly square bass bastardized from Motown legend James Jamerson's signature line. Jamerson, a member of the Funk Brothers and essential cog in the Motown hit machine, also possessed perhaps the excalibur of funk instruments in his Fender P-Bass known as "The Funk Machine." He also invented a technique that he called "The Hook," gaining inspiration from generations of homicidal maniacs that exclusively attack teenaged drivers and camping aficionados. The Funk Machine, however, is apparently missing, identifiable only by the word "funk" carved into the neck, much in the way that "wonderboy" was carved into Roy Hobbs's bat, or "fuck face" into Billy Ripken's.

Other carving options for Jamerson remained
substantially less funky

The Claude François video also gets my goat because it is labeled "J'attendrai," which in the context of France should be associated only with Django Reinhardt who made the tune one of his signatures. This video, a rare glimpse of an actual Django performance also crucially depicts him lounging with his guitar while his bandmates furiously smoke and give each other the stink eye while playing cards in a way that suggests that his brother and rhythm guitarist Joseph "Nin-Nin" Reinhardt is about to be quietly stabbed by the shifty-looking bassist after a pomade-related dispute.

The J'attendrai debate can be settled by determining which of these two men looks
like the greatest guitarist of all time and which looks like a Gallic, Patridge-haired
dandelion plucking, tuxedoed, Vercingetorix-looking, square jawed, cave-painting
abomination towards both rhythm and blues

Even though a victory will bring more relief than satisfaction, it's time to get giddy for the return of football season and hopefully a long-awaited bowl victory for the Wildcats. And should the unthinkable occur and the 'Cats stumble against a substatial underdog at home then the brandy and the nineteenth century molar extraction are on me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Season nearly underway

Northwestern football comes roaring back to Evanston this very weekend, as anyone who has been to a game and heard the Wildcat sound effect blaring over the Ryan Field PA system would attest. Incidentally, that sound is not an actual wildcat, but an approximation based on a digitally altered recording of a third grader making fighter jet noises after being hooked up intravenously to Ecto Cooler.

There is no better way to continue getting into NU football then to read Skip Myslenski at, as he apparently spent the summer strapped into a Clockwork Orange-style eyeball opening device that continually subjected him to the opening narration from gladiator movies. Last week's post, for example, entitled Hybrids, Griffins and Centaurs: The Superbacks, is not only written entirely in the second person tense, a literary feat accomplished only in books that also employ the "open the box labeled 'secrets of time, space, aliens, and the sparkly bits of the universe radiating out of the vaguely creepy goateed guy on the cover' pg. 35/open the box labeled Count Chocula pg. 72" style of fine literature, but he also invokes mythical creatures to explain the Wildcat offense. The only way I can enjoy the fact that Northwestern has hired someone to glorify Northwestern football through fantastically over-the-top columns would be if Myslenski showed up in the press box wearing a fedora surrounded by errand-running urchins with moxie and sprinted to shout into a pay phone anytime anything of note happened. Or as Skip would put it:

With you and yours, though, you just never know how that impact will be made.

You are hybrids, griffins, centaurs.

You are superbacks.

Sample title card from new gameshow Choose Your Own Adventure novel or Herbie Hancock album cover?

The superback position is versatile. In Northwestern's spread attack, they're used as extra blockers or used in situations that call for fullbacks or tight ends. As Myslenski notes, they're also in charge of wreaking havoc against plunderous ancient Greek adventurers and ensuring that opponents' women are lamenting properly.


While one can certainly admire the choice of griffins and centaurs as go-to mythical creatures, they're not the most inspired decision. Fortunately, Wikipedia's List of Legendary Creatures provides some viable alternatives for those who prefer their mythical creature vindaloo to have a bit more spice. Of course, few of these creatures have the sort of hybrid characteristics that would make a viable mythology-related point about the role of the superback like they teach you in journalism school. For example, the Drekavac, a mythical Slavic creature related to dead, unbaptized children is not made of a hodge-podge of various creatures, but, as some fastidious Wikipedia contributor notes, "In some parts of Serbia and Balkans it is believed that one must first have a dream about Drekavac to actually encounter one. Also Drekavac can strangle people while they are sleeping, if they did something bad to it in life." More appropriate is the Cantabrian Fish-Man of Lierganes, a man-fish hybrid that "spends time lying in wait for girls and devastating coast villages" which seems like some sort of highly illegal form of third-world tourism.

The unholy joining of man and fish terrorized Cantabrians for generations
until he was caught and let go

My favorite legendary creature from the list is the Brazilian Headless Mule, described with a dashing disregard for the English Language as "the ghost of a woman that has been cursed by God for her sins (often said to be as Concubine or fornication with a priest) and condemned to turn into a fire-spewing headless mule, galloping through the countryside from Thursday's sundown to Friday's sunrise." In this case, the creature is a hybrid of a mule and a mature volcano or result of the collision of any two objects in an Indiana Jones move. Although the concept of a headless, fire-spewing mule is fairly sensible, the article then throws in this confusing tidbit: "Despite being headless, the Mule still neighs (usually very loud), and sometimes it moans like a crying woman. It also has a bridle tied to its non-existing mouth, and spews fire through its non-existing nostrils (or, in some versions, from its severed neck)," a passage that raises the classic zen koan of whether a creature spewing fire from non-existent nostrils can be said to have nostrils at all.

The Headless Mule tales have much in common with
the idea of a headless horseman, shown here celebrating
a goal at the mythical bogeymen polo match against the
Bonnacon, a horse/bull hybrid with the ability to emit
flaming dung, an elusive trait that has made this
creature a vital element of the the heraldic James Bond

A final intriguing creature is the Japanese Konaki-jijī, which is apparently "an infant spirit that cries until it is picked up, then increases its weight and crushes its victim," which seems to be rather unsportsmanlike, although myths like this make Big Man Japan perhaps three percent more coherent. I also like that Wikipedia has a list of legendary creatures by type including categories such as Myslenski favorite Hybrids, Animals, Demons, the wonderfully vague Creatures associated with Concepts, and, under the "Shapeshifter" heading, the artfully descriptive "Existent non-human turn into a human."


The Bears' preseason is well underway as they find themselves as a major national story due to the acquisition of Jay Cutler and the return of Kyle Orton to his protected mountain habitat. Quarterbacks have been dominating the news all offseason with the dramatic reinstatement of Michael Vick and the endlessly entertaining Brett Favre Vacillation Spectacular, which will be taking over for Tommy Bartlett's Waterski show until Lake Delton again exists.

Wisconsin Dells entrepreneur Tommy Bartlett offered a wholesome waterski
extravaganza and a gruesome portend of the coming robot apocalypse

As Favre has tortured me and my people for the football equivalent of generations, it is good to see the media finally turning on him, although I admit that I will immediately become a Favre fan if he calls a press conference and announces his retirement by following this precise sequence.

That is also how I exit all rooms on occasions when I am accompanied by my personal funk band, or when I need to get to the bridge.

Jack Webb's soul singing career was cut short after he disastrously
pleaded with the audience to "keep your hands near the ground and
shake them like you're gravely concerned."

So prepare your weekend tailgates for the impending crushing of Towson with your own hybrid creatures: a bacon cheeseburger, the Madden favorite Turducken, and an Upton Sinclair style Chicago hotdog made from pigs, factory scrapings, and body parts from Eastern European immigrants. Now allow me to make my exit as soon as the rest of the Good Time Funk All-Star Hot Pants Good God Y'alls get out of their van.