Betty Bumpkins is the lead singer for "The Jelly Fish Sting", a punk band that is big in Japan. She writes all the songs herself. For inspiration, she looks to her failed relationships and also to her pet iguana, T-Rex. She wears her black, broken-heart shirt as a warning to boys that she is a fierce heart-breaker. Besides being a musician, Betty Bumpkins lives for the cereal Lucky Charms. She saves the marshmallows for last, always. She doesn't eat the hearts however. She boycotts the hearts.
Kat Rocketta plays bass for "The Jelly Fish Sting". Kat is good at playing the bass. She can't admit it to her hardcore friends, but her grandmother taught her how to play and is quite invested in The Jelly Fish Sting's success in Japan. Sometimes her grandma visits her and they discuss bass playing techniques over sushi. Kat actually has very beautiful red hair, which she is afraid to ruin with permanent hair coloring, so instead, to get that punk rock look, she dyes her hair organically with grape flavored Koolaid.
Raise your hands if you ever tried to dye your hair with Koolaid! I did, at summer camp, it works, but your hair feels gritty for days.
So, "The Jelly Fish Sting" was inspired by the last This American Life podcast that I heard. It was so great. My favorite segment was about this 40-something lawyer who played for a punk band when he was younger. The band never got very big (they were from London), but twenty years later he started reminiscing about his band days with a client. Then, the client finds his album on Ebay going for about $60. So, through some lawyerly research this guy finds out that he's big in Japan----just like that Tom Waits song! He actually takes a year off of work to tour there, and people recognize and stop him on the street. This is a man whose punk days ended 20 years earlier, it was such a history to him that most of his present friends had no idea that he was ever even in a band. Isn't that amazing? It is a great story. I hope when I am forty my pillow monsters are big in Japan.
If you want to download the podcast of this story you can do it here.