The PopCulteer
March 22, 2024

We have a bunch of random items this week, so let us dive into the PopCulteer pile, shall we?

Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Pretty Weird For Me

Tomorrow is March 23, and to most people that date doesn’t hold much meaning.  To me, it’s a bit of lore from my past that I prefer not to dwell on, but I will do anything to share a funny story with my readers.

Tomorrow is the fortieth anniversary of the day that I secretly married my first wife while in Florida for spring break.

I don’t talk about the first marriage a lot because, let’s face it, I’ve been with Mel for more than half my life, and that’s like hitting the “best wife in the world” lottery, so why dwell on a mistake of my youth?  I wrote about the ex when she passed away in the summer of 2022, and later that year I shared details of the darker days of our marriage for Mental Health Awareness.

The short story is that I had PTSD when we got married, and her bi-polar disorder and subsequent refusal to accept that diagnosis only exacerbated my issues. It hurt like hell when she dumped me for husband number two (of four) but that was actually the most positive thing that could have happened to me.

Our relationship, as I have written here, was marked by me missing the red flags. There were lots of red flags.

There were more red flags than a Soviet military parade.

In my defense, I was young, dumb and horny, and was severely lacking in real life experience.

But in honor of this cursed anniversary, I shall share, for your amusement, one of those red flags. You may have heard this before on a local podcast, but don’t spoil it for anybody else.

I’ve mentioned how we got engaged over the phone at Christmas, and eventually (via our weekly exchange of audio tapes), we agreed that we would get married in secret when I would visit her in Florida over spring break.

She had to make all the arrangements since she lived there and I didn’t.

I don’t know if this is still the case, but in 1984 in Florida, if you were a Notary Public, you could officiate a wedding.  This came in handy since she was a militant Atheist at the time, and I had no desire then to ever set foot in a church.

She told me that she found the perfect person for the job. Just across the country line (so it wouldn’t make her local paper) she found a realtor who was prepared to do the job. She said she wanted to surprise me with his name.

On the appointed day, we got up and told her folks that we were just going to run around and maybe go to the beach.  We actually drove along a long and desolate stretch of highway to a nice little Realtor’s office.  When she pulled up in front of the place, I saw the name on the door, and busted out laughing. She did too.

I told you, at this point I was missing red flags left and right.

Tomorrow is the fortieth anniversary of the day I was married by Satan.

Eddie Satan, to be exact. At the time I thought it was hilarious. We joked about it often. Of course, it turned out to have been apt and prophetic.

If you’ll allow me to get fictional for a moment, after we pulled out and drove out of sight down the highway, Eddie Satan exited his office and made sure we were gone. Then he sprouted horns and turned red and began laughing maniacally.  He stopped, snapped his fingers, and then he and his office vanished in a puff of smoke.

The Lesson Of That Story

I’m old. I don’t act old. Kind people tell me I don’t look old. Except for the occasional knee pain, I don’t feel old. I don’t do old people stuff like watch Matlock or eat tapioca pudding.

But if I got married for the first time forty years ago, and that particular wife has already shuffled off this mortal coil, and I’ve managed to live happily ever after with a wonderful woman in my life for over thirty-four years since then…I think a reasonable argument can be made that I’m old.

When you’re young, nobody explains to you that as you get older, you don’t change that much, at least not inside…unless you get radicalized by the internet or join a cult…or both.  Essentially, I’m the same person I was after I recovered from that first marriage.

I feel younger now than I did when I was in that first marriage.

So it’s really weird realizing things that prove that, chronologically, I’m old.  I saw Star Wars in a movie theater in the summer of 1977 when it was on its first run. That was 47 years ago.  In 1977 movies that were 47 years old were made in 1930.  When I saw Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz was a newer movie than Star Wars is now.

That’s a little freaky.

I started writing PopCult in 2005.  I’m coming up on nineteen years of writing this blog. I heard from a reader last week who wasn’t born yet when I started this blog. Oddly enough, I’m still writing about many of the same things that I covered in my first few months of writing PopCult. For some reason Jack Kirby, The Beatles, action figures and comic books are still relevant (some more than others).

I don’t feel old, like I said. I do a few things to resist feeling old. I still haven’t joined AARP, even though they started sending me invites when I was 30. I do color the beard, but I’ve done that since before I was 30. For some reason it would come in blond.

But I will take advantage of every senior citizen discount I can get. I mean, age does have its advantages.

ToyLanta Is This Weekend

And we’re not going.  Basically, our dance card for trips is filled up this year, and since they split JoeLanta off, and since it’s happening at a much better time for us in October, we chose that cool toy show over this other cool toy show. I wish we could hit both of them, but alas, we have not yet hit the lottery.

A lot of my friends will be there, and I hope they have a fantastic time.  You can find out more about this weekend’s show HERE, and check out our past coverage of (and the intertwined history of) both shows at my index to past coverage HERE.

If you’re within easy driving distance, you might just want to get yer butts down there.

On The AIR Friday

Let us move on to the playlist for today’s new episode of MIRRORBALL on The AIR. The AIR is PopCult‘s sister radio station. You can hear our shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player found elsewhere on this page.

Friday at 2 PM on The AIR, Mel Larch devotes her hour of Disco to the Divas of Disco. For the second time (so far) Mel has put together a show filled to the brim with the ladies who lurch about the dance floor (admittedly, not my most poetic line, but Mel will like it because it’s a Sondheim reference).  You’ll hear the classic Disco Divas Rose Royce, Chaka Khan, Norma Jean Wright and Gloria Gaynor, but you’ll also get to hear Disco turns by Doris Troy and Tina Turner.

It’s an estrogen-tastic orgy of esoteric and enigmatic inamorata who beckon you to dance, dance, and then dance some more.

Check out the playlist…


Doris Troy “You Got Me Baby”
Rose Royce “Do Your Dance”
Tamiko Jones “Can’t Live Without Your Love”
Bumblbee Unlimited “Lady Bug”
Chaka Khan “I’m Every Woman”
Tasha Thomas “Shoot Me With Your Love”
Margie Joseph “Discover Me (And You Will Discover Love)”
The Staples Singers “Showdown”
Norma Jean Wright “Saturday”
Tina Turner “Love Explosion”
Gloria Gaynor “Anybody Wanna Party”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays throughout the following week Monday at 9 AM and Tuesday at 1 PM and a mini-marathon Saturday nights at 9 PM

At 3 PM we bring you  an encore of  a special mixtape edition of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat that, rather than flowing smoothly, attempts to be as jarring and disconnected as possible. It’s all designed to jar your senses with the type of random diversity that you’d have experienced at the time.

It’s all in the spirit of fun, so check out this playlist…

BEC 090

Adam & The Ants “Kings of the Wild Frontier”
B 52s “Dance This Mess Around”
Duran Duran “Planet Earth”
Pretenders “I Go To Sleep”
Godley & Creme “Under Your Thumb”
Aneka “Japanese Boy”
Bad Manners “Can Can”
The Look “I Am The Beat”
The Police “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”
Visage “Fade To Grey”
Toyah “It’s A Mystery”
Madness ‘It Must Be Love”
Altered Images “Happy Birthday”
The Human League “Love Action”
ABC “Tears Are Not Enough”
Human Switchboard “Who’s Landing In My Hangar”
Siouxsie And The Banshees “Spellbound”
Fun Boy Three “The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)”
Department S “Is Vic There”
The Teardrop Explodes “Reward”
Gary Numan “She’s Got Claws”
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark “Souvenir”
Kim Wilde “Kids In America”
Ultravox “Vienna”
Japan “Quiet Life”
Hazel O’Connor “Will You”
Modern Romance “Everybody Salsa”
Spandau Ballet “Chant No. 1”
The Passions “I’m In Love With A German Film Star”
U2 “Fire”
UB40 “One In Ten”
The Jam “That’s Entertainment”

Sydney’s Big Electric Cat is produced at Haversham Recording Institute in London, and can be heard every Friday at 3 PM, with replays Saturday afternoon,  Monday at 7 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM, Wednesday at Noon and Thursday at 10 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Classic episodes can be heard Sunday morning at 10 AM.

That’s what’s new on The AIR Friday, and that is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for our regular features every day, even the weird ones.