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Strip for 8/17/2002  
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Sorry about the tiny printing in the second panel... I had a hard time getting it all to fit. Category 5 comes from this crazy time in high school. It was right before I got my driver's license (people should not be allowed to date before driving. It just puts awkward pressure on everyone involved). I was seeing this girl who also was unlicensed. So, we had to nab rides from people whenver we went anywhere. One night we went to party on the South Side of Milwaukee and the driver for the evening was the boyfriend of my date's best friend. His name was Mike.

Mike was the sketchiest person I'd ever met. He wore a dirty knit cap over even dirtier nappy hair. His beaked nose stuck out over red rimmed eyes. His car was a beat up station wagon which lurched violently from left to right from time to time. And on the way to the party, he put in a tape of this harsh rhythmic noise. Trying to be openminded, I asked, "What is this?"

"It's so new, it's not even music yet, man. It's a sample of a cat getting flushed in a toilet then being pulled out." I didn't believe him but then I listened more closely to the yowling and found that I could hear the swirl of water amidst the din.

Now, mind you, I didn't even listen to music for pleasure until I was in 6th grade. I mean, I'd hear pop music that my siblings played, but I never sought it out on my own. I didn't possess any tapes or CDs besides handmedowns. I thought anything with a driving beat was hard rock. Of course, by that episode in sophomore year, I thought I'd come light years. I liked the Violent Femmes (played at every theater party in high school). I appreciated smaller genres like synthpop (Erasure, brought home by my brother from CTD). But nothing prepared me for CatFlush™, the Station Wagon mix.

Nowadays, I listen to more music than either of my siblings. In fact, I see it as my duty to seek out new bands and introduce my sister to them. I went on a huge indie kick these past two years, starting with Belle and Sebastian and moving to Magnetic Fields (as you all have heard on this website many times). I like to think that my CD collection has a pretty high indie quotient (better than 3.4, really).

And in a way, I get a kick out of it for the wrong reason. I like knowing bands that others haven't heard of. It's like knowing a cute hole in the wall restaurant. I like going to record stores and recognizing more bands than just the Top 40. It's a silly thrill, but I figure that it's not terribly unhealthy.

Until I start making my own PetFlush™ records.