To start this thing off, here’s one of my favorite bits from my novel “The Coyote”:

The Munchkin Brothers (Dimmy, Tintin, and Leo) are waiting for the detective to arrive in Interview Room 7 of the 1st Precinct. The brothers are in their sixties, both in terms of age and their hippy lifestyle, and are dressed a bit incongruously.

Leo (the eldest brother, but not necessarily the smartest—not that such a distinction would be worth much here) is short and stocky and might have been a wrestler in his youth, if it hadn’t been for the fact that he wasn’t. He wears a yellow T-shirt, black trousers, and a furry orange jacket. His hair and beard are mangy and have a strange orangey tinge. The T-shirt has a V neckline that reveals a Megadeth tattoo on his chest, which is also hairy. (For clarity, his chest is hairy, not the tattoo.)

Tintin (whose parents named him after a comic-book character that sported an orange Mohawk, long before Mohawks became fashionable) is of slight build and is attired in a black Metallica concert T-shirt, a silvery vest, and shiny silver pants. A large Ozzy Osbourne medallion hangs on a silver chain around his neck, and his gray hair is slicked back with a prodigious quantity of Brylcreem. He does not have a Mohawk.

Finally, Dimmy (the only brother who doesn’t need a parenthetical descriptor, which disrupts the sentence and confuses the reader)[1] wears blue denim farmer’s overalls, a straw hat, and a white T-shirt. He has a tattoo on each arm: “Killer Dwarfs” adorns his left arm, and “Ethel the Frog” is featured in green, glow-in-the-dark tattoo ink on his right. His bright-yellow hair is unkempt and appears to have the consistency of straw. It flows from underneath his pointy black wool knit hat and hangs down to his shoulders.

They’ve been sitting here for over an hour, and there is a faint odor of marijuana in the room. It is safe to assume that the odor, with which their clothing is infused, was not present before they arrived.

To relieve the boredom, Leo says, “OK, let’s play a game of fantasy concert. You know the rules. We have to come up with the greatest lineup in the history of rock and roll. There are seven bands in the program, including the headlining act. Any band or artist is allowed, living or dead. Who’s on first.”

Tin: “What? Who?”

Leo: “That’s right. Who’s next?”

Tin: “The album?”

Dim: “I thought they was first. They can’t be next if they’s first.”

Leo: “I mean next up.”

Tin: “OK Go.”

Dim: “No, you go.”

Tin: “No. The band. OK Go.”

Dim: “The next group is The Band?”

Tin: “No. It’s OK Go. Leo, you pick the third band. Dimmy’s such an idiot.”[2]

Leo: “U2.”

Tin: “Are you calling me an idiot? You moron.”

Leo: “U2! You’re the moron. Oh, forget it. Dimmy, it’s your pick.”

Dim: “No Doubt.”

Tin: “Yes, Dimmy, it really is your turn, OK? Go.”

Dim: “I took my turn. And I thought we already picked them.”

Leo: “What?”

Dim: “OK Go.”

Tin: “No, it’s your turn.”

Dim: “I said No Doubt.”

Leo: “Oh. No Doubt, the band.”

Tin: “Are we back to The Band again?”

Leo: “No. Then it’s Yes.”

Dim: “Make up your mind. Who’s next?”

Leo: “No, they’re first. Yes.”

Tin: “Yes?”

Leo: “Yes. For the next group I vote Yes.”

Tin: “How can you vote yes when you don’t even know who it is yet?”

Dim: “I know The Who. They’re first.”

Tin: “What?”

Leo: “Yes.”

Tin: “I can’t stand it. Next up.”

Dim: “Them is next.”

Tin: “Who are them?”

Leo: “That’s incorrect grammar. Who are they?”

Dim: “Not they. Them.”

Tin: “Who?”

Dim and Leo together: “No. Who’s on first!”

Dim: “The band is Them.”

Leo: “The Band? Weren’t they picked already?”

Dim: “No! I pick Them now.”

Leo: “You pick The Band now?”

Dim: “Yes. It’s Them.”

Tin: “The Band?”

Dim: “No. Them.”

Leo: “I get it! Them is next. Yes. And the final act? The headliner? The big cheese? Who are we off to see, boys?”

All three shout in unison: “The Wizard! The Great Oz! Ozzy Osbourne!”[3]

The door opens, and Detective Cervantes enters, holding a folder…

[1] Oh, damn. I guess he does now. And a footnote as well. Unfortunate.

[2] If you’re not a fan of Abbott and Costello, you might as well skip forward a couple pages. Yes, that’s right. There are several pages of this.

[3] For those of you keeping score, the correct order of the concert is: (1) The Who; (2) OK Go; (3) U2; (4) No Doubt; (5) Yes; (6) Them; and (7) Ozzy Osbourne. One point for each band. The Band is not on the program. Minus five points if you included them (but not if you included Them).

Pete Simons