To say I’m a Doctor Who fan is a bit of an understatement, as anyone who’s read my first book, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy: The Discerning Fan’s Guide to Doctor Who, can tell you. So I was rendered somewhat dumbstruck when my wife surprised me with a visit to Brooklyn’s The Way Station. The main reason for my dumbstruckness (dumbstrickenness?) was that I had no idea the place existed or why it was so cool until we walked through the door and I spotted a police box parked at the far end of the bar — this despite the fact that my sister-in-law had mentioned the place in a fairly lengthy email outlining all of the attractions we might visit on our weekend visit to her neighborhood. And while the fact that I was so surprised might also suggest that I don’t always read lengthy documents that I claim to have read, it also underscores the value in not reading such documents. After all, had I read my sister-in-law’s email, I would not have had the pleasant surprise of discovering what I can only describe as The Greatest Loo in the Galaxy.
Since a couple of my favorite artists — namely David Bowie and Depeche Mode — have new music coming out this month, I thought it might be fun to get my imaginary electronic band, Android Invasion, back together for another recording. Their first studio outing since last year’s “Through the Trees” finds the band moving in a more traditional blues/rock direction with a guitar-centered track titled “Mr. Sin.” I actually wrote the song in 1994 or thereabouts, and it was inspired by a character in an episode of Doctor Who titled “The Talons of Weng Chiang.” In the episode, Mr. Sin is a diminutive 51st century cyborg with the brain of a pig who goes on a murder spree in 19th century London. To make money on the side, he also works as a ventriloquist’s dummy. Through an odd twist of fate, I managed to hire him for some session work on this track. (He plays drums and percussion.)
I’m very happy because I just received a shipment of jelly babies that I ordered back in September. In case you’re not familiar with them, I’d describe jelly babies as a distant cousin to gummy bears, but they’re about five times as big and a lot softer. Their flavor is also a lot more subtle — less sugary and more fruity. If you ever get a chance, definitely give them a try, especially if a man in a long scarf offers you one.