Aquinas's Commentary On The Metaphysics

#168- Koontz’s Odd Thomas Part 1

This week, Scott and Karl begin their discussion of Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas, a best-selling thriller novel published in 2003. Koontz is known for being a masterful storyteller with a talent for creating richly drawn characters. While this novel is definitely a thriller, Scott points out it reads like a noir detective story.

If you are looking for an entertaining read, this book checks all the boxes for the duo. As Karl points out, “[Koontz] appears to have reasonably good metaphysics. Evil is evil, it’s understandable, and the good guys are actually good.”

Tune if for Part One of Scott and Karl’s conversation. Brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com.

Transcript

Scott Hambrick 0:09
Welcome to the online great books podcast brought to you by online great books.com where we talk about the good life, the great books, a great conversation and great ideas

Brett Veinotte 0:30
Hello, dear listener, this is Brett, welcome back to the online great books podcast today Scott and Karl begin a lengthy discussion of the 2003 Dean Koontz thriller novel Odd Thomas. I said lengthy discussion today show’s not that long, but when you put parts one and two together, you’re gonna say wow, that’s a lot of Dean Koontz. Dean Koontz while making sure a surprising appearance on the online great books podcast is one of America’s most successful and most prolific novelists. According to different numbers Karl provides during this conversation each year Koontz writes between five and 20,000 books. This conversation is rich with spoilers. So if you are planning to read Odd Thomas, do that first. This is a podcast it will be here eternally. Thank you for listening. And here we go with part one of Scott And Karl’s discussion of Odd Thomas.

Scott Hambrick 1:34
I’m Scott Hambrick. And Brett’s already told you. So. Whatever.

Karl Schudt 1:45
So what are we reading today?

Scott Hambrick 1:47
When these damn books that you want me to read? Because you know when you’re hateful?

Karl Schudt 1:56
Wait, how was that hateful?

Scott Hambrick 1:58
Well, we’ll have to say that towards the end of the book. right for me to tell you why. How much spoiler do we want to do? We always want we

Karl Schudt 2:08
I should warn right at the beginning. So this is a book by a writer named Dean Koontz. It’s called odd Thomas. It’s a Thriller, Horror, kind of a novel. I don’t know how else to describe it. It relies for the progress of being a thriller, it relies on surprising you to drive it forward. And so if you would like to read it yourself Sunday, you probably want to pause us, maybe we could be able we could just talk in general for a little while. And then yeah, we’re gonna end up spoiling it for you. So

Scott Hambrick 2:43
I think it took me three and a half hours to read it. I mean, it’s not, it’s not a heavy lift, you know. So we’ll, we’ll talk in general here for a bit and then if you like it, hit pause and then go read the darn thing. And then come back.

Karl Schudt 2:58
So it’s, it’s by Dean Kurtz Dinkins is? Well, it’s hard to find too much information on him. He has written a million things. He writes eight books a year. He’s 76 years old. He’s like James Patterson. Except that he’s probably a real person.

Scott Hambrick 3:14
Wait a minute, you don’t think James Patterson’s real?

Karl Schudt 3:16
Think he’s a conglomerate? Hmm.

Scott Hambrick 3:19
I’ve never thought about it or heard that. Interesting.

Karl Schudt 3:25
I wrote a bunch under pseudonyms, you know, so there’s a million Dean Koontz books out there. I have read half a million of them. I’ve read all of the autonomous books. Well, there’s eight. I mean, there’s like seven main novels and and a bunch of other stuff. Gosh, he’s been busy. He’s a working art author. So he works, he writes to get paid to eat. Okay, so this is a sort of thing that used to exist. You wouldn’t have been a link to you, Scott, the somebody who’s done a fairly geography Senate in the chat. In the old days, writers would write not for the sake of art necessarily. And there’s a craft to it, you know, it’s just like shoe making, you have to make every shoe every shoe has to be a good shoe. And you can’t do you can’t do a JD Salinger shoe. That might say, it probably doesn’t. But it might say, you know things about the human condition and be the once in a lifetime shoe. And then you quit riding shoes. I mean, you quit making shoes the rest of your life and become sort of a mystical figure. You can’t do that if you’re if you’re writing to eat. That’s what he does. And I think he’s quite good at it. All of the stuff in the thriller. This book has these little short chapters and you get to the end of each chapter and it’s like a cliffhanger. The next one, and you have to turn the page you can’t not turn the page. You just have to keep doing it. I think is descriptive power is pretty good. Is this high art I know it’s a lot of fun.

Scott Hambrick 4:59
What do you want you No, it’s great storytelling.

Karl Schudt 5:02
Yeah, it’s a story. The reason I like it in particular, and we’ll talk about it as we go, I think Dean Koontz appears to have a reasonably good metaphysics. Evil is evil. It’s understandable. The good guys are actually good. As opposed to say, a similar kind of author with pretentious of grandeur, who is Stephen King who writes similar books, but can’t bear to have characters actually be good.

Scott Hambrick 5:39
Yeah, someday we’ll find out about Stephen King.

Karl Schudt 5:45
Thank you, Scott. bodies in the backyard?

Scott Hambrick 5:50
Or a hard drive full of kids or something? You know, I don’t know. We’ll find out. It’ll come out. Good time. Yeah.

Karl Schudt 5:55
So you know, why do you read books? I don’t just read for online great books. I don’t just read Aristotle. I’ve read for entertainment. And if you read for entertainment, what are you going to read? Well, I think this kind of stuff is a good choice.

Scott Hambrick 6:12
Yeah, I do too. I want good people. I want good. I want characters who are good. I’m not interested in anti heroes. I’m not interested in all that kind of garbage, you know. So. So this this fit?

Karl Schudt 6:25
What else do we say about it before we start spoiling it?

Scott Hambrick 6:29
You said it’s a thriller. And it is no question. But it read to me like a Dashiell Hammett novel. Not in style, but in the setting and all and so on. It’s like a noir detective thing. Awesome. Have you ever saw me more? Have you ever seen China? Chinatown?

Karl Schudt 6:52
Many years ago,

Scott Hambrick 6:53
yeah. You know, California is the setting. You know that? That does that foul bastard. Polanski directed it but it’s a great movie. It’s so hot, like the heat just like it’s just a character in the movie. You know, and he’s, he’s looking, you know, he’s dealing with corruption and, and he’s a detective and I don’t know, it was evocative of Chinatown to me. And, and the sort of Hamlet novels not Not, not because of the snappy dialogue or whatever you see in Hamlet, but so the man is acting odd. Thomas is acting on the side of good or even the law, but he has to do it outside of the law. You know, so it’s kind of, you know, it’s got that kind of thing going on. It’s, it’s, he’s almost a private eye.

Karl Schudt 7:40
Right. Right. So the character, I have heard that Dean Koontz just sat down, I don’t think he is the sort of author that works from an outline. I think he sits down and he starts writing a story and then it goes where it’s gonna go. I mean, I don’t know that you could outline eight novels a year.

Scott Hambrick 7:56
Now that would be awesome job.

Karl Schudt 7:59
I think he’s probably telling the story to himself and enjoying it as he goes. And then sometimes they hit in a really good and sometimes they’re just a dean Kuhns book. But this one is a little bit unique because the characters unique. You know, I think he came up with the first sentence. My name is Odd Thomas, though, in this age, when famously the alternate which most people worship, I’m not sure why you should care who I am, or that I exist. Just the name Odd Thomas. His name is odd. It’s not short for anything. It’s like they might have wanted to name him Todd, but they made a mistake on the birth certificate. There is the legend that he has a Slovakian uncle, which is doubtful. Nobody knows why his name is odd, but it is. And it’s all first person. And he’s kind of an Well, you might find him an endearing character. He always tries to do the right thing. He doesn’t always manage it, but he always tries to do the right thing. He prays unbelievably. Yeah. So I mean, these novels were a huge hit. There was a movie, it’s okay. The movie was not a great hit. But these books were just because, I mean, there’s a book where he spends all the time in the monastery, of course, there’s an evil plot at the monastery, but in go read brother OD, and he ends up there and it and he fits. He’s a good kid. He’s a fry cook. He’s 20 years old. He’s a fry cook. And that’s all he wants to be. He’s happy he’s good at it. He’s good at eggs and bacon and hash browns and particularly good at flapjacks. He dreams of moving up to the tire world. Maybe, maybe shoes, but no, it doesn’t want to be a lawyer doesn’t want to do anything else. He’s content with being a fry cook and Pico Mundo this imaginary California town, and that’s unusual.

Scott Hambrick 9:51
I like that. Koontz writes just normal people here. You know he’s a fry cook. His girlfriend works at the ice cream. place at the mall. And, you know, they’re just, I don’t know, lower class people, whatever that means, whatever. And, but they’re good. And, you know, commonly they’re not right. Like in, in, in popular culture and in the, in the popular mind, whatever that is. If you aren’t upper middle class, you have a moral failing somehow there’s something wrong with you. And I am so tired of that, that I can’t even express it to you how much how tired I am with that.

Karl Schudt 10:36
Yeah. They go on a date, and they just climb a church tower. And they’re gonna sit up there and have crackers and cheese. And that’s all they’re gonna do. And it’s the best romance probably you’re gonna read. And while I’m trying to say what else I can say with no spoilers. So I have read a lot of Stephen King, I’m gonna compare him to Stephen King, I have read a lot of King’s work. I will never read it again. I’m done with him. I read the whole Dark Tower series, you get to the end, you find it. It’s all like a fever dream and the mind the actual real life author, but he’s good at characterization. You know what you have to be to write a books here and be this kind of writer, you have to be able to dash off characterizations really, really quick. But the problem is Stephen King’s characters. They’re not simple and good. There, it’s always kind of icky. You know, like, something’s gonna go wrong here. Something’s bad here. Something’s not wholesome. In crunch novels, maybe they’re simpler. I think they’re better. They’re certainly more fun for me to read. I’m looking forward to catching up on the Jayhawk series when I have a moment. The good characters are good.

Scott Hambrick 11:51
Yeah, you know, some of these guys, some of these writers, these people do exist, right? You know, but you know, George RR Martin and Stephen King, these guys can’t even they can’t even imagine what good might be, they can’t do something beyond them. They can’t even use their imagination. Think about this listener, they can’t even use their imagination, and pretend. And then construct something that might be good in their mind. They can’t they can’t do it. It’s great way to go.

Karl Schudt 12:30
What else we’re talking about before we do the first spoiler.

Scott Hambrick 12:36
There’s a lot in here. Beyond the characters, you know, like you said, good characters, good characterization. So you know who they are quickly and couldn’t give you an avatar of who that person is very, very quickly. And you can keep in mind the names and the character straight from just from the very beginning. So there’s that. But he, you also get a worldview. He does some world building here. This guy is completely different than anybody else in his world is different. Because he’s different. His world is different. And he does some world building here. It’s not Tolkien, or anything like that. But you can’t just tell an Odd Thomas story like it was Karl, he can’t do this. So he has to do some world building and then propel the story forward. And then wrap it all up. And I don’t know 320 pages or whatever, it’s, it’s quite a feat. It really is.

Karl Schudt 13:35
In one of the other books, I don’t think it’s in this one, you’ll read this book and you’ll be look, there’ll be words that you don’t know like names of plants and weird kinds of I can remember I looked up a few words in here but there were some architectural details of buildings that he would use the word for and and in one of the later books the narrator autonomous explains why he does it because he is actually a believer in he believes that he’s been put there that there that there is an afterlife they just got a job to do that the worlds are created place he takes the time to learn the names of everything so it’s not just a tree it’s not a fungus man ran off into the trees No it’s he went off among the the laurels and the California live oaks it’s always detail so I like that it doesn’t make the location be a character and the heat

Scott Hambrick 14:34
yet Chinatown’s good man I hate film and talking about food. But Chinatowns good

Karl Schudt 14:43
worst thing for film or the film school people

Scott Hambrick 14:45
oh there’s it’s fucking insufferable. It’s terrible. I know some of those

Karl Schudt 14:57
so film school people act As you can see, he’s using a different focal length here to portray the, the desolate pneus of the character. Is it a good movie? Explain why it’s good. Every Okay, so every good director is going to do similar things that coons does in a thriller. There’s going to be jumpscares there’s going to be, there’s going to be leading lines and good scenes. Heck, if you watch Rocky, okay, Rocky, the first Rocky is cheesy movie about a boxer, one of my favorite movies, when the trainer goes up to try to get rocky to hire him as a manager. Rocky doesn’t want to do this, like Where were you when I was? Well, you know, as a kid, that’s my rocky mutation, and starts getting mad. And so Mick, just he leaves. He’s this old man. And he’s leaving, he’s walking down the stairs. And then you have you had the scene that has the row houses. The Philadelphia row houses making these leading lines, these these down to the vanishing point and you have the trainer, he’s walking down the street, and you get smaller and smaller, and so you can see. But they don’t do any words, rocky decides he’s going to actually hire him. And all you see is him running down the street, to the vanishing point, putting his arm around him. You don’t get to see what they say. It’s a beautiful little scene. Yeah, anybody who’s a good director is going to do this sort of stuff. Anybody who’s a good thriller writer is going to end and each little chapter with those leading sentences. It’s craftsmanship. It’s not necessarily genius. That you need to pause. And

Scott Hambrick 16:42
Karl believes that writers while some are born, lots and lots and lots can be made. Right through practice and, and study and so on, right?

Karl Schudt 16:55
Sure. Yeah. Yeah, just like it’s like music, you know, that you can become a competent musician. You just need to learn the craft. Will you be Beethoven? Probably not. But you can become acceptable. It’s not magic. Any Hans Zimmer score does the same things. It’s a craft, it’s a it can be learned. You get the habitus of it. Let’s bring that word back in, you get the habitus of writing, you know how to write, you know how to construct a paragraph, will it become genius? Well, maybe, but it sure won’t become genius. If you don’t know the craft. It’s very unlikely that you’re just going to drop in as a writer and and produce Moby Dick, out of nowhere. You’re gonna have written travel novels and whatever else Herman Melville wrote for years, and then you’re gonna write Moby Dick. And, well, a little bit of inspiration, but it’s still it’s still a novel, it still has the same stuff. And so I guess my reason for bringing that kind of stuff up is I don’t want to I don’t like this sneering I don’t like you know, Kubrick or bust you know, you can only you ruin your taste and you say, I’m only going to listen to this very, very esoteric music or this particular weird author. No, I think that’s wrong. I think

Scott Hambrick 18:18
that’s why we have to listen to some dirt. Listen to read some Louis L’Amour. We’ve got to read some Louis L’Amour. Right. Like I wrote for a living and just 220 pages. Great story.

Karl Schudt 18:31
Absolutely. All right. Shall we do some spoilers? Yeah,

Scott Hambrick 18:35
go read it takes three hours. Come on. Just go read it.

Karl Schudt 18:40
Okay, spoiler number one. I’m warning you. This is a spoiler. Okay. So if you listen beyond this point, it’s your own fault. Okay, autonomous can see dead people.

Scott Hambrick 18:53
Yeah, so that’s part of the world building, right that if he can see dead people, then he has to describe all this all this afterlife stuff in the world of autonomous. I mean, it’s, you know, we’ve we’ve all got kinds of notions about afterlife stuff that maybe you’re handed to us from Dante or you know, I don’t know, whatever. But this is a little bit different than that. And cutting test to make it all understandable somehow without being without just giving you a lesson in demonology in Thomas’s world, or whatever, and he just freezes it right on really?

Karl Schudt 19:32
Yeah, so he sees people that that have left this earth. They don’t talk to him. They just appear to him. And usually when they appear, well, the reason they’re hanging around is because something needs to be done. Either they they can’t move on, because of attachment. Or if foul play is involved, they might not move on, especially if they know that odd Thomas’s around because he can actually solve the murder. Elvis is around and Elvis apparently is spending his afterlife and Pico Mundo.

Scott Hambrick 20:04
He sees LBJ at some point,

Karl Schudt 20:09
flips him off doesn’t even move and see him.

Scott Hambrick 20:13
I’d like to see, I’d tried to kill him. Extra killing, he’s already dead.

Karl Schudt 20:19
The other celebrit celebrity ghosts that show up. But okay, so gosh, I don’t even know how to I don’t even know how to approach this one. So it’s a first person narrative. And he says he’s writing it because his former writing teacher and friend P Oswald Boone is telling him that he needs to write it. He says, I am not writing for money. I’m writing it to save my sanity and to discover if I can convince myself that my life has purpose and meaning enough to justify continued existence. Okay, so now some some darkness comes into it. Even though it’s light at the beginning. It says, P Oswald Bloom has sternly instructed me to keep the tone light. If you don’t keep it light, Ozzy said, I’ll sit my foreigner pound ass on you. And that’s not the way you want to die. Ozzy is a large man. So he’s going to keep the tone light. And so here’s your first clue that you might need to think a little bit as you read it when it first I proved unable to keep the tone light. Ozzie suggested that I be an unreliable narrator. It worked for Agatha Christie in the murder of Roger Ackroyd. He said, Okay, so it is he’s going to be an unreliable narrator.

Scott Hambrick 21:34
This is some evidence of his study of the craft, I think. Yeah, yeah.

Karl Schudt 21:41
Yeah. And he says, understand, I’m not a murderer. I’ve done nothing evil that I’m concealing from you. So he’s not going to reveal that he was behind the plot the whole time. He says my unreliability as a narrator has to do largely with the tense of certain verbs, which if you knew the big spoiler would just kill you. So it’s kind of a comic book, but it’s not. And he warns you at the beginning.

Scott Hambrick 22:10
So this guy’s a fry cook. He’s a regular dude. He’s giving us a heads up. He’s got a story to tell. And his friend has told him he needs to tell the story so that he doesn’t go nuts. And then just go into his life. He gets up in the morning and he’s got to go to work. And he can’t just do stuff like that. Things are weird for him. It’s just off and running immediately. A little girl gives him a heads up and he ends up chasing this guy down and the cops come eventually.

Karl Schudt 22:42
What Yeah, so hold on a bit. As he comes down the stairs of his apartment. At the foot of the exterior steps that led down for my small apartment in the early Sun Penny Callisto waited like a shell on the shore. She wore red sneakers white shorts and a sleeveless white blouse. Ordinarily, Penny had none of the pre adolescent despair to which some kids prove so susceptible these days. She wasn’t a billion to 12 year old, outgoing and quick to laugh this morning. However, she looked to Solem her blue eyes dark and does does the see under passage of a cloud. He doesn’t tell you that Penny is no longer among the living.

Scott Hambrick 23:15
Yeah, yeah, not till he kicks this guy’s well you don’t get this guy’s not until he subdues this guy, though, you find out that Billy is dead. And this guy that he wants on barely killed her. So now you know something. Now he knows something about him. He has all kinds of intuitions or a sixth sense. He calls he calls it and he deals with this problem. He has to call in late at work where he’s a short order cook and finally gets to work and sees a dude that he just doesn’t think is right. Something’s wrong. Something’s up with this guy. And off they go.

Karl Schudt 23:55
Hmm. So when we got when Scott got done with this book, let’s see. Let me read the text that he sent me. He said I just finished it. Damn you.

Scott Hambrick 24:07
Yeah, so let’s just go to the end of the show. This doesn’t have to be this doesn’t have to be two hours long. You know that I I think that this is all just tryouts for the second round. Me and stormy his girlfriend believe the same thing. Yeah, yeah, I feel strongly about this but I get I get real upset about it. Yeah. Real upset about it. So you could tell

Karl Schudt 24:35
od has a girlfriend Her name is Bronwyn Llewellyn. She goes by stormy Bronwyn Llewellyn sounds like an elf. She’s dark haired and beautiful and believes in delayed gratification. So you know, she thinks things may get better. If she wants ice cream on a Monday she’ll wait till Thursday to have it. She’s had a rough life. their their relationship is charming and wonderful. But there’s a passage in there where we’ll see if I can find it. Where he says, Are you manipulating me? And she says something like,

Scott Hambrick 25:15
for some

Karl Schudt 25:18
odd Of course, I manipulate you all the time and you love it. You even do things to make me manipulate you. And then he’s not sure if she’s serious or not, but she has. They’re just delightful. And she’s sort of his partner in solving these crimes. And Clinton’s gonna play a dirty trick on you at the end. Kind of big spoiler. Stormy doesn’t make it

Scott Hambrick 25:43
what stormy at one point where page 23 says, he writes, a stormy Llewellyn, a woman of unconventional views believes instead that our passage to this world is intended to toughen us for the next live, she says that our honesty, integrity, courage and determined resistance to evil are evaluated at the end of our days here. If we come up to muster, we will be conscripted into the army of souls engaged in some great mission in the next world. I think so too. I just can’t imagine this is not theologically sound, or maybe if it is, it’s a coincidence, because I didn’t get there through through any process, but you know, some sort of intuition. I can’t imagine that if there is an afterlife, that it would be more pleasant than this. For what purpose would that there be? But how would it and and by the way, how would some sort of second level spiritual warfare actually interfere with the beatific vision?

Karl Schudt 26:50
Or wouldn’t necessarily the idea of of happiness? Okay, so let’s go back to Aristotle. Happiness is rational activity of soul in accordance with virtue, keyword, its activity. Happiness is activity. It’s not contentment. That’s something English speakers, especially in America tend to think whenever you say the word happiness, that what you mean is sitting around with a full belly content. I’m happy. No, no, I dug potatoes this morning, I was happy. My hands are sore. I got a grocery bag full of potatoes. Out of like, 1/10 of my potato field. I’m pretty happy about that. But the activity itself was good. That’s what I mean, when I think he’s got a decent metaphysics, that doing good, is what you’re here for. Not feeling good.

Scott Hambrick 27:50
Right. So I believe that all things have a telos. Whether I can discern what that is or not. Dying would not do away with that. I know that some might say, I don’t care about the theology there. I mean, I could dig in, but I don’t think things get easier.

Karl Schudt 28:09
Yes, I thought to you when I was thinking about autonomous and I thought, this is a book for Scott.

Scott Hambrick 28:14
Yeah, torturing me with upset anyway. I also don’t believe that bad is random. That’s not to say that, well, yeah, I don’t believe that it’s random. In in his world, it isn’t random. There are people there are forces and people that are planning and thinking and purpose of purposefully doing bad.

Karl Schudt 28:41
Right. So malice is a real thing.

Scott Hambrick 28:42
Malice is ramus world. It is not inconsistent with my view that evil is a negation or an absence of the good that I don’t think that conflicts with that. He foils a mass shooting event. The whole book culminates in this and I believe that the degree to which these mass shooters or mass shooters would be lessened if they were occupied or filled with ultimate good. The degree to which they are filled with this ultimate good would decrease the amount of this malice that they would have. Think through the free will of people. Free Will in conjunction with a low good balance and someone a good balance makes makes makes things look like evil isn’t is an act of force. But it is not. It is the free will of people in conjunction with the absence of the good I think that makes us believe or personify evil or think it’s an act of malevolent force. I don’t I don’t think that’s what it is isn’t the

Karl Schudt 30:03
cases of the people that that plan these horrible actions? When you find out who it was you never look at it and say, well, that’s weird,

Scott Hambrick 30:12
right? I mean, their neighbor always they always find a neighbor that says, Well, he was a nice guy. Well, that neighbor is a fucking idiot. You know, like, you can always find somebody that not paying attention and interview him and act like it was a surprise. This guy that shot up Highland Park, just look at his picture. You see his picture? Come on. Yeah, he shouldn’t be allowed to go outside. I saw his picture. So little profiling there for you. Oh, by the way, his last name C R I M. Oh, was it crime low crime. Oh, how’s this work? The next one is going to be the next windup toy. His name is going to be shooter make killer center something.

Karl Schudt 30:58
Shooter Mikkelson. hate that guy. Yeah, they don’t look like they’re coming out of a full life. You know, it’s not somebody who’s happy and barbecuing with his kids on on a weekend and then decides to go and kill 50 people right? There’s a lack that gets filled or attempts to get filled or even just works out it’s its own lack of independence. Yeah, so there’s a plot the the what is the name Bob Robertson. They call them fungus man shows up in the in the PICO Mundo grill. He doesn’t do anything wrong. He just seems really weird. And odd gets premonitions and goes to his house and find strange things there. beginning of chapter four, I see dead people but then by God, I do something about it. So there’s Thomas for you. Yes, there’s talk about some of these characterizations. I liked the description. I when I read a whole bunch of Dean Koons I like the description so I’m just gonna read some random passages here. Okay, so this is about rose Rosalia Sanchez. This is in chapter four. Her kitchen smelled like chilies and corn flour, fried eggs and jack cheese. I’m a terrific short order cook. But result. Rosalie Sanchez is a natural born chef. Everything in your kitchen is old and well worn but scrupulously clean. antiques are more valuable when time and wherever later warm patina on the Mrs. Sanchez kitchen is as beautiful as the finest antique with the process patina of a life’s work and of cooking done with pleasure. And with love. Yeah, that’s that’s, that’s nice for me that I liked that a lot. She had, he has to go talk to Rosalie every morning, because she’s afraid that she’s turned invisible. And he has to go reminder every morning that that he can see her and that she’s not invisible. So she’s got some problems.

Scott Hambrick 33:00
Everybody in the story does except for the police chief and his wife who later get problems, you know? Yeah, it really everybody in here has a broken toy, you know, terrible family life or tragic losses, or in the instance of his writer, friend. He’s, he’s obese. And he’s like, he’s trapped in this world of his own creation, because he’s just so big that he can’t do what normal people do.

Karl Schudt 33:28
Do we ever find out who blew up his cow

Scott Hambrick 33:30
now? Now.

Karl Schudt 33:34
He has a big like, fiberglass cow, which out here by me. There’s a few of those. There’s a farm that has a big fiberglass chicken and a big cow on pulls out front of their place. Well, that’s what Ozzy has, and somebody has blown it up.

Scott Hambrick 33:52
There’s some artists right now. Trying to figure out where you live.

Karl Schudt 33:59
At nowhere in particular. Yeah, it’s just a little loose. And I don’t think it gets resolved in the future books either. It’s just the mystery of the exploding cow. But so if you like and you claim not to like people, and I don’t think it’s true. Yeah. So I mean, that’s why I look at this. And I think this is a Scott Hambrick book. If the characters are treated with such kindness, not not niceness, that’s a different thing. The kindness you know that they’re all understood, they’re all like Rosalie is crazy, personally is crazy,

Scott Hambrick 34:36
you know? Yeah, but she’s crazy for a reason. Like, you know, he he goes into why she’s crazy. She’s not just a crazy old cat lady or something. Your whole damn family died in 911. That’s why she’s crazy.

Karl Schudt 34:51
Yeah, they all want the alternative visible. That’s how she understands it. And so she’s worried that she herself will become invisible. You

Scott Hambrick 35:00
which of course will happen at some point, which of course is interesting because the dead are visible to him. The autonomous right, you know, so for her, she’s that she’s the anti Thomas there. You remember when Shaila booth had that like, art installation thing. And like we they, they He Will Not Divide Us or whatever it had like a live feed with a camera pointed at this sign. And then people would steal the sign you remember this and then he like ended up putting like an icon near the North Pole. And autists kept finding it because they would see like the constellations the stars in the background or like contrails from aircraft and they would find it and steal it. Do you remember when they were doing that was like 2015 2016 Oh, gosh, vaguely. Yeah, that’s what they’re gonna do to you because you mentioned that chicken

Karl Schudt 35:53
there’s many chickens. And there are many cows there are there are fiberglass chickens and cows all across this great nation. Know when I was in high school they used to there was one that was at a restaurant in I’m not going to name the town. But there was a chicken serving food. You know, that’s handout to the side. And the thing is the chicken kept getting stolen and it would travel around the town. Similar thing I don’t think anyone ever blew it up. Rosalia says you’re a good boy, Thomas. She cooks some food and you have all these little so which is another thing for a thriller. Okay. So when I was getting to the end of my Stephen King phase, I didn’t care if the characters lived or died because they’re just like twisted Stephen King things. And you read autonomous you get through this chapter five and coons has made you care about the nonexistent Rosalia Sanchez. You have to like the characters that are going to be in danger when the bad events happen. Or you don’t get the tragedy. It doesn’t work. You won’t get the thrill of them if they managed to make it or you won’t get the tragic dimension of it if they don’t. It can’t just be random people. What about the bow DAX? I thought those were pretty interesting. Odd Thomas sees dead people. But he also sees other things.

Scott Hambrick 37:40
Ghost kind of dark, gray, smoky.

Karl Schudt 37:48
inky black shapes,

Scott Hambrick 37:49
shapes. Yeah, they’re there people are there. They have personified I should say. And they’re drawn to negativity of some sort. Like not just like somebody with a bad attitude, but like bad events and bad psychic energy, I guess you would say they seem to know what’s going on. before it happens. And Thomas can can see them and think something, something’s up. He can follow them and kind of figure out, you know, where something may be happening or that Something’s Afoot or whatever. seems right.

Karl Schudt 38:26
Yeah, I remember. My wife has read this book, too. And we talked about them. And I think you can see him sometimes. So you know, they’re trying to figure out what they are stormy, a woman of unconventional opinions thinks just that they’re demonic. Odd disagrees with her and thinks that perhaps they are time travelers. That from some future, they’re able to project in the past, but they only want to go see the most violent and horrible things. Like Twitter mobs from the future. He doesn’t talk Twitter in the book, but that’s how I think of them. And they’re so creepy. Because, like you said, it seems right. That there are lots of people that are that are really attracted by by bad stuff. And just want to be around it. And it creates tension in the book. Because when he says, and then 50 boat X came out of the house, you’re like, Oh, that’s not good or bad things are gonna happen.

Scott Hambrick 39:29
But they’re, but they’re really interesting. Because they don’t seem to cause evil. They don’t seem to cause bad stuff. You know, they don’t see them while they’re menacing or threatening or whatever. Nobody can see them. They can’t really do anything. They’re just there. When I as I say this, that sounds like it’s it’s less silly. You know, a silly plot device or something, but it’s not. Yeah, I think it shows his metaphysics like that he believes that there are The entities that feed off of this stuff. And that’s what daytime television is right?

Karl Schudt 40:06
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Why would people watch Jerry Springer? You watch it because you want to see that. It has a Jerry has the guest on and it’s a setup, right? The man’s on because he’s been identified as cheating on the woman. But then they’ll turn to the woman and say, but we have a special guest for you. And it turns out to be her other boyfriend who’s cheating on her. And you get to watch her just be destroyed by finding out that everything she thought was true isn’t. And the crowd is laughing. They Rotax they’re just in physical form.

Scott Hambrick 40:48
Yeah, in the I think the first time he had seen them. No, no, no, no, no. The first time he saw it. There was a little boy that saw it too. And he acknowledged the Bojack. And he says, Do you see this or whatever. And he named them. And then he was instantly killed. Like a runaway truck. Like just smashed him against a cinderblock wall. So right, so maybe

Karl Schudt 41:11
they can act but you’re not supposed to know that you that they’re there, right?

Scott Hambrick 41:15
Maybe they can act. And so he always behaves as though if they knew that he knew that they’d get him. But they never actually, but they never know. Although at the end he alludes to maybe they did know. But you don’t know. Maybe you didn’t know but but you don’t know. You know? I don’t know.

Karl Schudt 41:36
Yeah, leaving some mystery.

Scott Hambrick 41:39
Well, he’s got to write some more stories, you know, leaves room for for that. So I get it. It’s fine. Now this is a book. So I read a bunch of Stephen King when I was in the sixth grade in particular, I went on a tear, I’m sorry. Right. And at that time was sixth grade. I don’t even know when that would have been when the mid 80s. He hadn’t gone he hadn’t gotten as rubbish as he eventually did get, you know, but I lived. But if you’re a precocious kid, this is much better fair for a precocious kid to be reading than Stephen King or whatever. You know, let’s be honest, if kids can shouldn’t read it, you probably shouldn’t either, you know, really? Right. So that comment for me didn’t come out of nowhere. Like just his conception of this evil and how it works and how you react to it is good. It’s wholesome, I think in his proper pleases me.

Karl Schudt 42:40
Yes. Even though there’s creepy devil worshipping murderers in a book. Yeah, which is? Yeah, it’s the Chesterton quote. That Neil Gaiman mangles you know, you don’t need fairy tales to tell people that they’re monsters. Right. Everybody knows that there are monsters the fairy tales tell you that there’s a that they can be beaten or is tested and puts it that there? We know there are dragons. Fairy tales tell us that there’s a George who can fight the dragon. They show you examples of it being fought. And for me as I you know, I read almost all of his stuff that I can find it’s perfect beach reading you read it. You’re done by the time you’re done at the beach. It’s heroic people the heroes are heroes. They suffer they have a hard time sometimes they make mistakes but you know they’re not anti heroes. They’re not like everybody in that damn Game of Thrones book. I read those to the guy can write Okay, George RR Martin. He can actually write but there’s no good guys you keep thinking there will be and there aren’t.

Scott Hambrick 43:59
He’s so gross.

Karl Schudt 44:02
But the craft of writing he’s good at but his This is why I make a compare and contrast. His metaphysics are lousy. And so all of his skill at writing which is formidable, ends up being just this pointless book with they probably got the ending right and the TV series, it was always going to end like crap.

Scott Hambrick 44:27
Yeah, that’s why he didn’t finish it. You know, we have anywhere to go because this metaphysics is broken. Now people probably think Well, I do too. Now wait a minute, I contradict myself three or four times before even here when I’m thinking. I believe that who the author is always comes out. Like even if I was a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant author and had complete control and command over the language. And I wanted to write a book as another person Like I’ve written 300 W s Hambrick novels, but I’m going to completely shift gears, and I’m going to write as, whatever, you can’t do it, I can’t do it, it’s the product in a novel is just the product of the mind of your mind. So even if you try to do something else, that is still a product to the mind, they’re like, you know, if you build a church pew the material of the thing will dictate what it ends up being, whether it’s oak, or even concrete, you know, the material of the thing dictates to some degree, what the end product will be. And it for a novel, the material is that person’s mind. It is inescapable, in my opinion, that the author is not in the book. Martin cannot, cannot with his wildest imagination. Imagine Good. Try as he might know, seems not, he can’t. Stephen King can’t fucking do it. Well, that was why I kept reading

Karl Schudt 46:12
them. I kept reading them. I wanted to figure out who was going to end up being the good guy. Right? And the answer is nobody.

Scott Hambrick 46:21
I will be a little more generous to Stephen King. I suspect that he can imagine good but as repulsed by it.

Karl Schudt 46:32
Yeah, I think you probably can’t, I can’t believe that it’s real. That good is real. He can imagine it but that can’t quite be real. Right?

Scott Hambrick 46:42
Could be could be. Screw those guys.

Karl Schudt 46:48
So anyway, Kuhn says my kind of guy I want to read this is from page 38, and then Kindle edition. And if you do want to read this to your listener, even after hearing all the spoilers, I’m so sorry. You might be able to get it from your library, digital copy, but I like this kind of thought. So he’s talking about being a short order cook. I’m going to read I think three paragraphs. Being a short order cook on associates must be akin to being a symphony conductor without either musicians or an audience you stand poised for action in an apron instead of a tuxedo holding a spatula rather than a baton. Longing to interpret the art not of composers, but of chickens. The egg is art Sure enough, given a choice between Beethoven and a pair of eggs fried and butter a hungry man will invariably choose the eggs or in fact the chicken and will find his spirits lifted as least as much as they might be by a requiem Rhapsody are Sonata. Anyone can crack a shell and spill the essence into pan pot or Pipkin? I have to look up what a Pipkin is. But few can turn out omelets as flavorful scrambled eggs as fluffy and sunny sides as sunny as mind. This is not probably talking. Well. Yes it is. But it’s the pride of accomplishment rather than vanity or boastfulness. So I read this and I absolutely 100% Love it. And I love Beethoven sonata but also the egg is art.

Scott Hambrick 48:15
When I was a kid I used to listen to this radio show was one of the evenings here in Tulsa. It was there was the Bruce Williams Show it was syndicated by

Karl Schudt 48:25
Bruce Williams I think I listened to

Scott Hambrick 48:27
it, he was a small business guy gave all the small business advice and he was a huge influence on me. huge influence on me. And, and he owned all kinds of small businesses, he would start them and go on and start another one like floral shops and restaurants that just like Lumberyard like all kinds of different stuff. And he was just no nonsense, not full of shit at all. And I just loved the guy. People would call and they would have these things they wanted to do or wanted to try. And they would be tentative about it or afraid they couldn’t do it. And he would got he would just at once be inspiring and brutal. And he was he was perfect with it. I remember a guy called in and he was talking about he wanted to go to law school and Bruce Wayne was like, you know, I’ve always been interested in going to law school. He’s like, I’m a busy guy. I’ve got this business, that business. I do this show five days a week. Bah, bah, bah. He’s like, I will bet right now. Anyone that will take me up on it. I will bet $1 million that I can go to law school graduate in two years with a 4.0. Nobody took him up on it. But one of the things he did when he was a young person and had just got married was he was a short order cook. And he would talk about short order cooking. And he would just get like Misty about it. He loved it. He bought a diner just so he could go back and cook. Yeah. And he every now and then he’d be like I’m going to be I think he was in neutral. RZ sec, I’m gonna be it sunny side up in New Brunswick Saturday morning, you know, come on and see me. He loved it, he would talk about all the time. And it was all his analogies were about, you know, like business analogies would be about, you know, being a short order cook and operating your business or whatever, you know, keeping all the projects in your mind and serving the client like in done on time, perfect orders, low cost efficient movement, like everything. He just loved everything about it. And I remember listening to like, I would have been, you know?

Karl Schudt 50:40
Yeah, well, if you’re gonna do it, you know, it’s like marriage and said it. Everything that humans make is art. It’s not all fine art. But it’s all art. And it might as well be done. Well. Yeah.

Scott Hambrick 50:55
Yeah, everything he did, he’s like, I’m going to be as good as I can possibly is like, I will break my ass to be as good at it as I can be. So later on, I bought, I had a business and we had 60,000 square feet of warehouse. And I would go out there and sweep. And I would just try to polish the concrete with the broom. Like you’re gonna get to sweep anyway. Like, why not make it shine? Why not? Yeah. As Bruce Williams, I get all choked up thinking about him.

Karl Schudt 51:32
Yeah, I have a kid that she misses her grocery job. She loved it because she loved she loved bagging the hats I really really liked it all. Thomas was a fry cook and loves it and doesn’t think that he needs to move on to law school. Besides, there’s a lot of bow DAX at law school.

Scott Hambrick 51:51
Oh, yeah.

Karl Schudt 51:53
Fewer in that kind of fry cook thing.

Scott Hambrick 51:56
Bruce Williams. He began by smelting down lead pipes into toy soldiers and selling them to other children at age 11. During World War Two later in life, he entered a wide variety of business ventures including insurance sales, driving a beer truck driving a taxi real estate sales, a flower shop, a barbershop, several nightclubs. He drove an ice cream truck. He was gently ended up being on boards of banks and restaurants and the guys since a life just came out of everything he did, I just loved it. And there were like bootleg audio recordings of him out there where somebody was just running the cassette tape recording his show and like 84 You know, I’ve looked up some of them and listened

Karl Schudt 52:41
Yeah, sorry, bad guy shows up and a bad guy shows up I love the description of him. Let’s see in the desert summer that I tested every resident of Pico Mundo this newcomer remained as pale as bread dough across his skull spread short, sour yellow hair Ferrier than a yeasty mold. Becomes fungus guy, that’s what they call him. You know, really quick characterizations. There’s nothing in particular evil that they can tell. It’s just magnified by round wireframe lenses. The customer’s eyes disturbed me his smoky gray gaze floated across me as a shadow across a woodland pool, registering no more awareness of me than the shadow has of the water. The soft features of his lawn face brought to mind pale mushrooms that I had once glimpsed in a dark, dank corner of a basement and merely puffballs clustered in moist mounds of forest masked. Well, they need to look up like masters that is

Scott Hambrick 53:40
the decaying leaf litter and organic debris on the floor of the forest

Karl Schudt 53:51
Yeah, my dictionary does not have that. Just as I kind of knew that’s what it was. But

Scott Hambrick 53:55
I think I got all the answers.

Karl Schudt 54:00
Yeah, so Dean currents exceeds the capability of the candle dictionary. You’ll need to use the OED the Oxford English Dictionary which you get as a benefit as a member that only great books

Scott Hambrick 54:12
Yeah, he said at the mall that the cars were series and reflecting a constellation of suns off the windshield or something like that, but s e r r i e d that means I’d look it up. Soldiers would be serious in ranks on the parade ground for example. So it’s like series it carries shares a REIT with that.

Karl Schudt 54:37
Yeah, I like that kind of thing. I don’t usually have to look up words.

Scott Hambrick 54:43
Nor I but you know, why not? Why not use some you know, and write a book. Why not use one? Not everybody knows. You don’t want to beat them over the head with a vocabulary lesson on every page. But it’s It’s good. It’s good to get a couple in there.

Karl Schudt 55:02
Know when it’s the perfect word. Yeah. So he does. Let’s see, I’ve come to believe that Botox don’t foster tear after all, it takes sustenance from it in some fashion. I think of them as psychic vampires similar to but even scarier than the hosts of daytime TV talk shows that feature emotionally disturbed and self destructive guests who are encouraged to bear their damaged souls. So I can imagine you’re the author coming through. I imagine coons just like flipping on the TV and seeing daytime TV and now Jerry Springer is a bow DAC in the book.

Scott Hambrick 55:37
Yeah, so almost everybody would agree. Okay. The voyeurism, the shot and Freud whatever in watching Springer ain’t good, right? Well, what about all this true crime shit that all these women watch and love?

Karl Schudt 55:53
Oh, hate it.

Scott Hambrick 55:56
You know? Well, they watch that. They’re like, well, this really happened. And, you know, he really is the bad guy. And somehow they don’t see that they see that as more wholesome than watching Springer? I do not. I do not. I do not like that stuff whatsoever.

Karl Schudt 56:17
No, just watching it for its own sake. Okay, allow me to get biblical. Alright, so there’s this story. Noah was the first man to cultivate the grape. And he gets drunk. And one of his kids, ham, I don’t know, one of his kids sees him, passed out naked. And then goes to tell his brothers. Well, his brothers walked backwards with a blanket and covered them up. And don’t look upon their father’s nakedness. And the one that did it gets cursed at to me that I mean, it’s a biblical story, take it for what you will. But when you see people at their worst, do you keep looking? I don’t think so. I think if you’re a decent person, and somebody has. So you see the guy and you notice that he has come out of the bathroom and that he did not arrange his stuff correctly, and that he’s got a wet spot in front of his pants. Okay, sometimes that happens. Do you point at it and laugh at it? Or do you maybe whisper once you go to go to the hand dryer, take care of that. I think the second way is a much better way. What we tend to do is we see people at their worst and then we we amplify it and tell everybody and show it and it’s it’s bad. So his good guys and his bad guys is good guys seem really good to me. And the bad guys seem understandable. You know, that they take he takes tendencies of wrongness and amplifies them to make the bad guys and in the novels.

Scott Hambrick 58:09
All so if watching true crime on Lifetime isn’t good for us. Is reading this good for us?

Karl Schudt 58:19
Well, it depends on how you do it. So penne Calista is murdered. And there’s some gruesome details about that. Which was my least favorite part of the book. But you’re not gazing at it? You know, it’s you. It’s mentioned and then we get to Harlow, the bad guy. And he’s dealt with, and then she goes off to the beyond. Is it the focus of the story? Or is it part of the story? And do you stay there wallowing in the evil? Or do you go to the evil to show the possibility of good if you do the second? I think it’s all right.

Scott Hambrick 58:58
Oh, there’s this girl porn stuff where they watch like animal rescues. You know, like, here’s a tour se toward us all wrapped up in some sort of plastic whatever. And then they like go catch it and then they clean it all up and then they let it go or a some some some dog that was like, abused or you know, in a house fire or something and then you know what I’m talking about, right? That’s somehow, like heartwarming at the end. I don’t like that stuff, either. It’s just designed to just yank you around and then give you the payoff right there. What’s the possibility for proper action that’s shown? They’re like, okay, you know, maybe catch and see tortoises and cutting the six pack, plastic rain thing off of their neck. You know? How Uh, I don’t I don’t I don’t like that shit.

Karl Schudt 1:00:03
Well, okay, so coons is writing for money. He’s doing this because you’re gonna buy the book. You’re gonna read it and you want to read the rest, and it will make him money. Do I think it’s unwholesome? I don’t I thought about this a bit, I think. beat on it a bit. I think Game of Thrones is unwholesome. I think this is wholesome. Because good triumphs, and it’s really good. mean the good is really good. It’s a story for your entertainment, but it’s also a model of how you should act. Should you be a person who can see dead people pro-tax.

Scott Hambrick 1:00:39
Well, you know that the thing is, like, you may not see the dead people, but you can see bad people. You can see bad stuff.

Karl Schudt 1:00:47
Did you catch the boomer ghost at the tire store he sits there and he died in a car crash and he’s just kind of hanging out and Whitney, he knows that odd seasons. He’ll take his arm and scratch his back with it. The arm that was severed in the crash? No.

Scott Hambrick 1:01:13
Yeah, which is also interesting. These people these dead people can choose apparently can choose how they appear. So they can it can display the wounds that they got, you know, in death, or or not, you know, so Elvis can be in the gold domain nudie suit. Like for the 50,000 or 50 million Elvis fans can’t be wrong album cover or whatever it is. Or he can be fat Elvis, or whatever.

Karl Schudt 1:01:45
He needs to be like. What was that comeback special that he did with the leather jacket?

Scott Hambrick 1:01:51
68. Comeback special.

Karl Schudt 1:01:54
That’s pika, Elvis.

Scott Hambrick 1:01:55
That’s pretty good.

Karl Schudt 1:01:56
That’s if I were Elvis. That’s how I would.

Scott Hambrick 1:01:59
The lady who owns the diner, whose husband died. Everybody in here, has experienced some sort of terrible tragedy and keeps on. And the truth of it is, as we all do, you know, you all bury your parents, if you’re lucky, if you’re lucky, you bury your grandparents and your parents and all that anything. Nobody. Nobody makes it out alive. Like Hank said. So the lady who owns the diner, her husband died. And after he died, she just started obsessing about Elvis and studying his life and all the events and you can ask her, you know, what was Elvis doing on December 12 of 58. And she’ll say lol he was in Germany at that time. And in fact he had was that he went and saw a Danish rock’n’roll artist, whatever he or she knows all this stuff. So Elvis is this repeating character in the in the show. In at one point he’s talking to stormy Odd Thomas was talking to his girlfriend, Stormy. And stormy said, Oh, well, something about Gladys, which was Elvis, his mother. So they know that something bad is going to happen on August 15. Because one of the bad guys had that page like torn out of his calendar. And it was between the date that Elvis his mother’s death, and Elvis is death, which is August 17. But anyway, stormy knew Elvis is mom’s name. And on Thomas rights, which is Dean R Koontz. Dr. Coons writes, that guy was so famous that 40 years after his death, people remember his mom’s name. There is no celebrity like that. What was my what was Michael Jackson’s mom’s name? I have no idea. That’s dad’s name. That’s because he was a scoundrel. The reason they know Elvis is mom’s name is because he loved her so much. For autonomous he says he he writes How lucky Elvis was in not because he became the star. I mean, he died early. There’s a lot about his life. That was tragic. But his parents cared for him and he cared for them the whole time.

Karl Schudt 1:04:27
Yeah, so Elvis, consoled him.

Scott Hambrick 1:04:31
Stormy parents are are not even characters. She was in an orphanage in a car crash, car crash plane crash car crash plane crash. And Thomas’s parents are alive but worse than dead.

Karl Schudt 1:04:49
Hmm, yeah. Yeah, we’ll get to that. There details. The the romance between stormy and odd is delightful. Wholesome good. This is page 61. In five minutes stormy came out of Burke Bailey’s with two cones of ice cream. I enjoyed watching her walk toward me. Her uniform included pink shoes, white socks, a hot pink skirt matching pink and white blouse, a perky pink cap with a Mediterranean complexion jet black hair and mysterious dark eyes. He looked like a sultry espionage agent who had gone gone undercover as a hospital. candy striper. Then she says when I have my own shop, the employees won’t have to wear stupid uniforms. I think you look adorable. I look like a golf Gidget. Perfect. made me laugh.

Scott Hambrick 1:05:32
Well, that’s what we all want anyway.

Karl Schudt 1:05:36
Hey, the audience might not know who gets it is.

Scott Hambrick 1:05:39
That’s that 16 year old Sally Field. That’s how cute that is. That is cute maxing.

Karl Schudt 1:05:45
It is short for girl midget.

Scott Hambrick 1:05:47
Yes. Sally Field. Oh my gosh, but she was just the cutest thing that ever lived.

Karl Schudt 1:05:54
I was just poking around the coons bibliography. Apparently, he wrote a book in 1981 or published a book in 1981 called How to Write best selling fiction. I might have to find that. The 16th used copies on on visa site for $288.

Scott Hambrick 1:06:18
Yeah, that sounds that’s probably what needs to be read. Can we go back to get it? Of course. Have your kids seen smoking the bandit? No. Well, now that they live where they live, they have to memorize it. One of my favorite movies, what some of the most fun ever put on film. So how Needham was a stuntman, and he wrote a screenplay. And he was living with Burt Reynolds at the time. Have you heard the story? Know how Nadler was his famous stuntman. He had these horses that he had trained to like fall down on at a dead run. Like early in the wet the cowboy in western movie era, they would take a piece of cable and drill a hole in their hoof a horse’s hoof and put a cable through it and then stake that cable down. So then the horses will be at a dead run. And then the cable would trip the horse. And that’s how they would stage these deaths. And these shootings and these horse chases, you know, in these old western, but it would often kill them. I mean, they would often often have to put the horse down, right? Well, that became that they made that illegal, how need them trained horses, to just he could just rein them in this just flipping. So they would hire Needham, and he would show up and he had these trick horses, and they could do these stones. Later on, he gets into car stuff. So when you see somebody like jump a car, and then it will roll in the air. Like he figured out how to do that he would take a piece of pipe like a piece of 12 inch steel pipe and welded to the frame, and pack it with gunpowder and put a piece of telephone pole in that pipe and make an explosive piston to flip the car as it just as it went over the ramp. The guy was crazy. When he was going through like a divorce or something and he was telling Burt Reynolds about it and it’s like, well, you have got like nine bedrooms, you can stay here. I saw an interview in Reynolds was like I told him he could stay there. And nine years later, he was still there and then how they cut to how they hit him in the atoms like Reynolds has a terrible memory. He’s a terrible liar. I was there 12 years. But anyway, he was living with him and he wrote the screenplay. And he was going to have Jerry Reed play the bandit. And he’s like, Hey, would you look this thing over and Burt’s like, I’ll do it. He’s like, he gets on the phone tree read. Hey, you’re out. You’re driving the truck. It was just gonna be a big movie. With no budget, you know? Well, then he gets Burt Reynolds. Burt Reynolds is like, I want Sally Field. And how neat is like, not sexy enough, Bert. Like, I don’t want to fight with you about it. But she’s not in Reynolds. Like, Oh, you are completely mistaken. Huh? Yeah, he Yeah, he was the biggest star in the cosmos. He could have picked any woman he wanted that and that’s the one he wanted. She’s perfect. Not just for that. She’s perfect for everything. That may be so good. You know, it was Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite movie.

Karl Schudt 1:09:42
isn’t really. I haven’t seen it in years. I have to dig it up. Do you have a copy?

Scott Hambrick 1:09:49
On the yeah, there’s one on the storage device over here. Oh, yeah, your kids have to memorize it.

Karl Schudt 1:09:57
I wasn’t expecting us to go on a Sally Field. A tangent, but it’s all right. I was just looking at pictures of the old Gadget Show and yeah. Delightful.

Scott Hambrick 1:10:08
Yeah, really was. Oh yeah, you got you got you and your kids to kind of watch that and have Diablo sandwiches while you watch the show.

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