Hi, My Name Is Bob, and I’m a Magazine Addict

By BOB WIRE

Why are we spending $300 a year on magazines? I’ll tell you why: it’s because not only are we big readers in the Wire household, we love to look at pictures too.

Barb and I recently went through our budget (our annual punishment that usually comes on the heels of preparing our tax return), and were shocked at the number of magazines we’re taking. We get at least one almost every day. (Even more if you count the Mental Health Professional, High Times, and Guns & Ammo still being delivered to the previous owner.)

“Why are you getting Wired?” Barb asks me during the budget talks.

“It’s only my third cup of coffee. Take it easy.”

“No,” she says, with the patience of a third grade teacher explaining the concept of eminent domain to a five-year-old. “I mean the magazine. What’s it for?”

I don’t want to admit that it’s just fun to read about cool, weird techno stuff while I’m taking my morning growler, so I tell her it was only ten bucks. Which it was.

Bob Wire's magazine collection.

But it’s ten bucks I wish I’d spent on, say, a pound of chicken gizzards and a six pack of Miller High Life. Wired sucks. I read it ten years ago, and it was such a boring piece of shit I didn’t look at it again until I received a promo copy recently, with an offer for a one-year stint for a sawbuck.

So I said what the hell, and wrote ‘em a check. But the magazine is so over-designed with its funky fonts and hipper-than-thou layout, it’s nearly impossible to read the inside jokes about robots that refill your ice trays. Wired? Tired.

“How about Guitar Player?” she asks. “It’s $25 a year. Do you get a lot out of that?”

I assure Barb that, as a quasi-working, semi-professional musician, I glean many valuable tips and musical lessons from the magazine. But the truth is I never read that shit. I don’t want to “Shred Like Yngwie!” or “Master Al Di Meola’s Cool Jazz Licks!” I only get the mag to drool and grunt at the pictures of shiny, naked guitars. That’s why the magazine is usually in the bathroom.

Rolling Stone. Spin. Blue Suede News. Performing Songwriter. (Or is it Songwriting Performer?) I love music. There’s music playing all the time, everywhere I am. I watch movies about music. I read stories about music. I watch YouTube to learn Brian Setzer riffs. I get the Musician’s Friend catalog, as well as those from American Musical Supply, 123Music, and Sweetwater (Sweetwater, especially, is hardcore porn for home recording enthusiasts).

None of these are safe from the Wire family.

The problem is, with all this reading and watching to do, I just don’t have any time to practice.

Funny Times and Rolling Stone supply me with all that liberal-leaning news I need. MacWorld gives me computer tips, and reminds me that the trend of butting two capitalized words together to make one is still alive.

For some reason, I recently started getting Better Homes and Gardens. How the hell did that happen? No idea, but it’s probably a good reason you shouldn’t take online surveys when you’re drunk. Still, I did make a fine rosemary-infused pork roast yesterday while I was waiting for the glue gun to heat up for my curtain appliqués.

Barb takes a couple of magazines herself, one being Southern Living. She was born and raised in the Dirty South, in a town her mom used to call the buckle of the Bible Belt. While she can’t stand her hometown, she does retain a lot of the style and taste for southern cooking, which I also grew up with.

[Internet Grammar Police: Mr. Wire is apparently unaware of the fact that a sentence should not end with a preposition.]

Excuse me, what I meant was, she does retain a lot of the style and taste for southern cooking, which I also grew up with, asshole.

[Internet Grammar Police: That’s better.]

She also takes The Science News, as she is, well, a scientist. I enjoy reading that one when I have trouble falling asleep.

Even Rusty and Speaker each get a rag or two to add to the monthly heap. American Girl, My Big Backyard, and Tantrum Planner are on Speaker’s nightstand. Rusty, my fifteen-year-old boy, is getting Sports Illustrated to follow the careers of his favorite pro athletes. He gets Jurisprudence Quarterly for the same reason.

I think I’m going to make a resolution for myself. I’ll dump all the music magazines and replace them with parenting magazines. Crime & Punishment looks like a winner. ChoreMaster, PB&J World, and Shut the Hell Up Digest should be filling my mailbox soon. I just hope my subscription to MagazineAddict never runs out.

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Wanna laugh ’til your sides hurt? These ought to do the trick: Parenting Sucks. And I Love It.Bob Wire Will Pass on Grass, and The Guitar That Saved My Soul.

   Check out all of Bob Wire’s posts in his blogarchive.

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Bob Wire trims his hair with a weed-whacker.

Think of it as Gonzo meets Hee Haw: Missoula honky tonker Bob Wire holds forth on a unique life filled with music, parenthood, drinking, sports, working, marriage, drinking, and just navigating the twisted wreckage of American culture. Plus occasional grooming tips. Like the best humor, it’s not for everyone. Sometimes silly, sometimes surreal, sometimes savage, Bob Wire demands that you possess a good sense of humor and an open mind.

Bob Wire has written more than 500 humor columns for a regional website over the last five years, and his writing has appeared in the Missoulian, the Missoula Independent, Montana Magazine, and his own Bob Wire Has a Point Blog. He is a prolific songwriter, and has recorded three CDs of original material with his Montana band, the Magnificent Bastards. His previous band, the Fencemenders, was a popular fixture at area clubs. They were voted Best Local Band twice by the Missoula Independent readers poll. Bob was voted the Trail 103.3/Missoulian Entertainer of the Year in 2007.

You can hear his music on his website, or download it at iTunes, Amazon, and other online music providers.