I must offer my apologies to anyone who might still be reading this blog. I’ve been a horribly neglectful blogger the last 2 years. Work’s a bitch; home life’s been hectic; shit happens and all the blah-de-blah that goes along with it. The real reason I’ve been away? This last blog-related activity severely damaged my brain and resulted in a massive loss of brain cells that I will NEVER EVER get back. I’ve been in intensive therapy in order to deal with the psychological trauma of reading this…complete and utter dreck.
Once upon a time, there was fourteen year-old girl who was crazy for a certain boy band known as the New Kids on the Block; crazy with a capital ‘C’. Her walls were plastered with posters and pictures; she owned all their albums (including the laughable 1986 debut) on cassette tape; she had a couple of the dolls, t-shirts, books; she even clipped articles from newspapers and kept them in a photo album. Even the article where Donnie Wahlberg was arrested for arson. Ah, that was the day the music truly died. Eventually, grunge happened, the girl grew out of her obsessive infatuation and all of the New Kids junk was packed up and forgotten.
Fast forward to 2009. The girl is now thirty-three years and her mother is demanding that she reclaim some of her boxes of childhood mementos, so she can make room in the garage. She digs through the boxes and finds many treasured items including something so unbelievably appalling and awesome all at the same time, it nearly takes her breath away. She can’t believe they actually manufactured this item; and she’s even more surprised (and ashamed) that she actually wasted her hard-earned allowance on this.
Yes, the New Kids on the Block actually had a fictional book series based on themselves. I know! WTF? I’d totally forgotten about this literary masterpiece. And after reading it one evening on a pointless business trip, I find it hard to believe I could have forgotten it! This could quite possibly be the funniest thing I have ever read in my life. The plot is so fucking hilarious…and bizarre. I swear the two authors they employed to write this novel must have been stoned, or dunk or maybe they were disgruntled at how little they were being paid to write this shit, so they made it as ridiculous as possible. I know I would!
And now, I present “Backstage Surprise”…I hope you guys are ready. This plot’s pretty darn intricate.
We begin on the NKOTB tour bus. The New Kids are going to perform at an amusement park opening. I forget the name of the park, but the theme appears to be It’s a Small World crossed with Six Flags divided by a county fair. And there are dinosaurs, too. Ah, something for everyone. But there is a menace in the park that no one could have predicted…a terrifying creature out for the blood (or semen) of a healthy young man otherwise known as Danny Wood. Ugh. Danny’s got a stalker? I mean…he had an amzing body (yeah, yeah, I lusted over it for a few months)…but he wasn’t exactly the best looking one.
He kind of resembled a monkey. Even the music reviewer of our local newspaper referred to him as “simian” when the NKOTB swung by with Lady Gaga in 2009. But, I digress.
Megan, the fourteen-year-old daughter (or granddaughter?) of the park’s owner has come up with a foolproof plan to get some “alone” time with her favourite New Kid. Unfortunately, she doesn’t specify what she’s going to do with him once she captures him. This could have been a very avant-garde story where a young girl takes charge of her burgeoning sexuality by kidnapping the object of her desire and forcing him to submit to her every whim. Including a backstage surprise he wouldn’t soon forget! Bazzinga!
Just kidding. Of course, there aren’t any whips, chains or any other planned nefarious activities afoot. Meg just wants to “talk” with the monkey. Talking. Seriously? If I’d gotten my hands on Jordan Knight back in the day, talking would be the last thing I’d have on my mind. I’d be pulling on that rat-tail and making him squeal like a little girl. (Which isn’t all that hard to do – see season 3 of The Surreal Life.) What’s involved in her brilliant plan? Well, there are a number of steps involved. Let me break it down for you:
Step 1: Lure Monkey-Man to the roller-coaster.
Step 2: Make sure he sits in the last car.
Step 3: Unhitch his car from the rest of the train and divert it to an undisclosed location.
Step 4: Throw a burlap sack over his head and tie him up with lots and lots of rope.
Step 5: Have a conversation.
Hmm. Seems like a solid plan with little margin for error. (Insert eye roll.) Except, Meghan decided it was a good idea to outline her plan on paper…and then she dropped it…on-stage…and it was discovered by one of the group’s roadies…who happens to be illiterate…but he still thinks it’s nifty…so he pockets it. Oh, and the roadie’s name is Rabbit because he has, like, supersonic hearing or really big ears or something.
So, anyway, hijinx ensue and Meg convinces the band to go on the awesomest roller coaster ever. She personally guides Danny to the rear…but at the last minute, he switches with Joey-Joe McIntyre. D’oh! Although, he’s closer to her age and their hook-up wouldn’t have involved an arrest for statutory rape.
Meg is devastated and she and Joey have a heart-to-heart about the hardships of fame and how they’re just “regular guys from Boston” and such. They even eat rice cakes (Danny’s favourite food) and Meg wishes on a rainbow that she’ll get to rape
meet the muscular monkey-man one day soon. Joe decides to grant her wish and offers to introduce her to Danny if she brings him back to the arena in time for rehearsal. Of course Meg agrees. Is she stupid? I mean, it has to be a trap designed to lull her in a false sense of security, so Joey can call the police and get her ass arrested…oh, wait. He’s serious about bringing the mentally unbalanced youth back to meet the entire band, including the object of her obsession.
So, they get back to the theatre and Megan just about passes out with the excitement of meeting her idols. Danny takes her up to the balcony for a private chat. They talk about travel, the importance of staying in school (except when you get an offer to be in a boy band, so you give your scholarship to a decent college to prance around on stage in lame costumes, bang underage groupies and wear silly hats) and other stuff. Booooring. As if she didn’t give him a blow job.
They return from their walk to find poor old Rabbit being beaten up by a couple of thugs who then steal a truck carrying the band’s equipment. Seriously? I thought they were supposed to be rehearsing? Why wasn’t this equipment set up in advance? And why is Rabbit the only roadie? Where are the rest of the big beefy crew-guys? Are they Teamsters? And why do Danny and Megan think it’s a good idea to jump into the back of a moving vehicle driven by dangerous criminals? And am I attempting to find a shred of logic in the midst of this ridiculousness?
The plot really goes off the rails at this point.
Everyone discovers that Rabbit can’t read; Danny and Megan are discovered by the robbers who decide to hold them hostage for ransom and the rest of the band dresses up in weird disguises to thwart thousands of their fans and their bodyguard, Biscuit, while they search for their missing monkey. Did you know that Biscuit is a real guy and celebrity in his own right? He even released a rap album during NKOTB’s heyday. Check out the album cover below. I wonder if Biscuit was brought back to guard NKOTB’s precious bodies on their reunion tours.
Hijinks once again ensue. Jon is forced to dress in drag as a hula girl, Joey’s a penguin, Donnie’s a barbarian and Jordan dresses up as a knight. Because his last name is Knight…geddit, geddit? Doesn’t explain why his brother’s dressed in a grass skirt and coconut bra, though. Why they couldn’t have just ventured out in their regular clothing is beyond me. A normal teenege girl wouldn’t have looked twice at a group of boys dressed dressed up like a Village People tribute band, no matter how cute they looked. One’s built-in gaydar would’ve been pinging like crazy, faced with this photograph below:
NKOTB begin running around the amusement park, in their disguises, macking on fans and pissing off Biscuit. Joe forgets that he’s not really a penguin and begins trying to grab food out of people’s hands with his beak and communicating in a series of squawks. He gets all riled up and doesn’t calm down until Jordan promises to fetch him a bucket of raw fish. I’m guessing he’s a method actor? Anyway, Jordan gets overheated in his costume and while he’s stripping out of it and giving Donnie money to buy him a new disguise from a nearby souvenir stand, they get mistaken for a “band of muggers” by a security guard dressed in a kilt.
Sigh. Give me a moment: I just re-read that last paragraph and need to go weep for my wasted youth.
A shirtless Jordan (which is an oft-seen trope in concerts, videos and pectoral essays) tries to convince the security guard that they’re not a band a muggers, but an innocent boy band searching for relevance and their missing bandmate.
Even when presented with a t-shirt emblazoned with the faces of his elusive band of muggers, the guard is not convinced. Only when hundreds of stampeding fans, alerted by the pheromones emitted by a shirtless Jordan, descend upon them, like a swarm of hungry locusts, is the guard convinced. And then, he runs away like a pansy.
Our heroes stumble around like buffoons, tripping on cardboard boxes and almost crashing into fat men eating ice cream cones. Luckily, Rabbit the illiterate roadie saves the day when he emerges from the rabid throng of teenage girls atop his white steed…er, driving a white minivan. They all hop in and start driving around aimlessly.
Meanwhile, Danny and Meghan somehow get to a control room and decide that the most effective way to alert passers-by to their hidden location is to sync the splashing of a water fountain to the tune of “Hangin’ Tough.” (I think this might be where Steve Wynn got his idea for the Bellagio fountains in Vegas.) Seriously? They’re in a flipping control room. Why not get on the P.A. system and announce you location to the kilted security guard brigade? Never mind the fact that the only music anyone can hear is Jamaican steel drummers. Only a musical genius would be able to figure that out. They’re totally boned…ah, but wait. There is a musical genius in tha house! Not only does he look good without a shirt, Jordan is able to crack the code without any effort at all. And Rabbit, who has supersonic hearing (actual quote from the text), backs him up. The NKOTB find a security guard (dressed as an English bobby) who lets them into the control room…but it’s empty!
Then, Joey finds a clue. Apparently, Meghan had time to carve her and Monkey’s initials into the concrete floor. Yup. I’m assuming she used some sort of tool to permanently mark the flooring with evidence of her embarrassing teenage obsession, but she doesn’t use it to…oh, I don’t know…try to ESCAPE, maybe??? Sigh.
The robbers (cleverly named Ace and Willy) have cottoned on to the fact that someone is pursuing them. They’ve moved their quarry to a second location – inside the Mount Everest roller coaster. The mental image I’m getting is of the Matterhorn at Disneyland. That is one terrifying ride. The rickety carts, the worn orange safety belts, the squealing wheels in dire need of a good greasing, the creepy moth-eaten abominable snowman…brrr! Still gives me chills. Anyway, a minor scuffle ensues once Ace realizes that Danny-boy looks pretty familiar. Our monkey-man insists that his real name is Danny Kowalski and he’s never heard of NKOTB, but Ace will not be deterred. After slapping Danny on the ass with a wrench – “What’s this? Solid muscle?” – Ace shows off his mad pick pocketing skills by snatching up Danny’s wallet. Willy check his ID and they realize they’ve done gone stolen a real-live rock musician. Well…maybe a glorified back-up dancer would be a more fitting description. Everyone knows Danny rarely sang lead vocals on songs that actually were released on the radio.
Ace and Willy are practically ejaculating with joy at the thought of all the ransom money they could extort from not only NKOTB, but Megan’s parents as well. They think they’ll get exactly one million dollars! Sorry, Ace and Willy, but your hostages aren’t worth that much. Just as Ace and Willy are plotting their romantic getaway to the Bananahammock resort in Barbados, Donnie Wahlberg and the rest of the NKOTB, Rabbit and a security guard named Bert burst into the room! Bam! Pow! Sock! Yowza! Ouf!
Is this stupid novel over yet? Can I go on and write a Degrassi re-cap? No! Why not? Because Ace and Willy cut the power and slithered out of the room, leaving the rest of the miscreants to fight amongst themselves (as I so eloquently summarized above.)
The robbers find a ladder and start climbing, even though Ace is terrified of heights. So, they climb and climb and climb…all the way to the top of the Mount Everest roller coaster. Shit – Danny and the rest of mob are on their tails. What’re a couple of desperate robbers to do? If you answered “jump into the conveniently empty front row of a fast-moving roller coaster car,” you are correct! And then…AND THEN, Danny bravely leaps into the last row of seats in the last car of the roller coaster chain and starts climbing over riders to get at those nasty robbers. It’s a really low-budget version of Die Hard or some other cheesy 80s action flick. He’s got grandmas telling him to sit down, young girls demanding autographs, stupid robbers taking swings at him, but our heroic Monkey still manages to pull concert tickets out of his pocket and give them to a young fan – while hanging off the side of a roller coaster as it careens around multiple loops and steep drops. What? It could totally happen.
As an aside, I totally think Danny’s publicist slipped the authors an extra incentive in order to feature him so prominently and make him seem so bad-ass. I mean, seriously, does THIS look like a man who would be hanging off roller coasters and seducing 14 year-old girls with talks of the pressures of fame and seaweed flavoured rice cakes?
Maybe? (I actually took the above photo at a concert on their first reunion tour a few years ago. My friend Emily practically hyperventilated when he looked at her seductively. She gets the Monkey-love.)
Okay, on with the story. It’s very exciting. We’ll have to pace ourselves.
So, Ace and Willy jump off the roller coaster, with Danny in hot pursuit. Unfortunately, Danny is waylaid by thousands of teenage girls who make short work of tearing his clothing off. The rest of the gang spot Ace and Willy running off to and decide to take the Swiss Skyway ride (with cars shaped like giant wheels of cheese) so they can keep an eye on both Danny and the slippery thieves. When the NKOTB spot our nefarious, but slightly stupid gangsters, wandering into the Aztec video arcade, the band jumps OFF the tramway onto a giant trampoline, roughly the size of a football field (stated in the text) and chases those crooks down. Of course, they lose them and a go-cart chase ensues through various parts of the amusement park. Megan resues Danny from the rabid fans and after giving him a celebratory blow job, they run Ace and Willy off the road and into the Niagara Falls fountain. Sp-lash!
Long story short: the crooks are arrested, the concert starts on time, Joey talks his tutor, Einstein, into giving Rabbit some reading lessons and Danny pulls Megan up on-stage and sings her a special song.