The Weekly (hah!) Tangent, #1

Even Trekaholics have other interests. I know I do. The friends who know me a little TOO well refer to me as "the cesspool of knowledge;" I'll pick up on interesting tidbits, trivia, intellectual flotsam, etc., only to whip out same at incomprehensibly appropriate moments ("Where did THAT come from?!?!?"). This section is for something non-Trek that is nevertheless a product of my skewed sense of reality and talent for mangling the English language to occasionally amusing effect. Sort of like an embryonic Mark Leyner, or Dave Barry forced to type with his tongue.

This is an experiment; if I don't get too many howls of protest, I may make The Tangent a weekly feature. So speak up if you think I've gone nuts or if you just don't want to read anything from me that doesn't have a Janeway reference.)

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The "Pompatus of Love" Mystery Solved!!!

Have you ever researched something for no other reason than your head would explode if you didn't find the answer RIGHT NOW? Me too.

There's a new movie with the multitalented Jon Cryer, called "The Pompatus of Love." The title is taken from a song called "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band. Half the movie, I'm told, concerns speculation over the meaning of this phrase. (Kinda like that one phrase in "Blinded by the Light"--a whole lotta theories, no concrete answers. Our forefathers spent their time puzzling over the mysteries of the universe; we, their intellectual heirs, argue over pop song lyrics.)

I found it. It's a spider. More than just a spider--it's a jumping spider, with four eyes and great eyesight, and elaborate courtship rituals. Which probably explains the song reference. (You gotta love the Web. And Alta Vista.)

Since Steve Miller is too caught up in mountaintop meditation to respond except on the Astral plane, mine is the definitive answer for now. (Mr. Cryer, if you're reading this, you're welcome. I still wanna see your movie, but I'll try to keep my knowing chuckle soft enough to not disturb my neighbors.)

Let's hear it for rockers with a bent for Clade Salticidae, and for pop culture conundrums that the science dweebs have had no trouble keeping to themselves.

Until now. (manic laughter)

That's one Universal Mystery down. Next Stop: Atlantis.

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The horror, the horror....

Jon Cryer was on Conan O'Brien's show last night (20 August) and said that he had spoken with someone In The Know (a sober member of the Steve Miller Band?) and got the scoop on Pompatus of Love. Guess what? he was a TYPO. The word was "Puppatus" of Love, not "Pompatus." We've been fooled all along by some poor schmoe who probably did the transcription of "Louie Louie."

My research, my beautiful research....

So much for my famed jumping spider theory. Exterminate all the brutes!

Excuse me while I go sulk.

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This is the mystery that wouldn't die.

I get the occasional Pompatus Update from folks who run across this page for the first time (though, alas, not from Jon Cryer). Amazing, for a "weekly" column I only did once. Like the spider I unearthed...this story's got legs.

Thanks to the magical minds of Cecil Adams and The Straight Dope, the mystery of the pompatus of love is TRULY solved.

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(January 16, 1999) Or, you can go HERE for another Official story...

Amazing, ain't it?

Last Updated: January 16, 1999
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