Once again stretching the bounds of Thrifty Vinyl credulity, I present this Lp, as thrifted by my father some 35 years ago in Mount Vernon, Ohio. In fact, there were something like 10 or 15 copies of the record in that haul; I’m pretty sure he’s got several of this micropressing left.
But what is it?
First of all it is a product of Kenyon College, in particular, members of its weekly, student-run newspaper, The Kenyon Collegian. It consists of gentle satire at the expense of the College, my alma mater, and its environs. Kenyon, along with a few other colleges in central Ohio, represents a sometimes uneasy clash of civilisations: interloping/East Coast/monied/snobby v. local/Midwest/working class/narrow-minded. So, for example, my grandfather refused to display the transparent Kenyon College bumper sticker I gave him on the back window of his Fuego on the grounds he’d likely be targeted by local law enforcement (it was tacked up on my grandparents’ cork bulletin board in their kitchen). Whether or not this is true is beside the point; my grandfather believed it and, no doubt, others did too. As both “townie” and “college boy” I pretty much found myself welcome (if viewed with some suspicion) in both camps.
My favourite track was “Mt. Vernon – Gateway To Nowhere”, a humourously scathing dismissal of my hometown, the “All-American town” where you can get “literally every size and colour of white socks,” where garbage trucks “make deliveries once a week” and whose citizenry opposed adding fluoride to the city’s water supply because of reputed links to both “Mongoloid births and that most dreaded disease, Chinese Communism.” As a 10-year-old, I could quote large chunks of the routine for the amusement of friends and relatives.