“You just have to look at the facts,” I said.
Matt didn’t even look up from our frog. “The only fact is that it sucks and nobody cares about it.” The frog didn’t say anything. He was pinned to a board, limbs splayed like a Froghouse centerfold.
“Whether it’s good or bad is irrelevant,” I countered. “What matters is that it is conceptually cohesive.”
“Is that even a thing? And what’s the concept?” Matt removed the frog’s lungs and I vowed never to eat another lima bean.
“Are you kidding? It’s a dystopian future where the machines are in control.”
“You get all of that from one stupid song?”
Mr. Painter stepped behind us, put one hand on my shoulder and with the other pointed to the frog’s gaping abdominal cavity. “See that, fellas? That’s fatty deposits. You could take them home and cook them up with a mess of beans, Jim.”
“Mr. Painter, I am not Southern by birth. I assure you that I have never eaten a ‘mess o’ beans.’ Anyway,” I said to Matt. “My point is that what we have here is a band at the peak of its popularity putting a multimedia concept out there: music, stage show, video — ”
“The video is even worse than the song.”
“It doesn’t matter! You’ve seen the film version of Tommy. It’s terrible but that doesn’t change the fact that Tommy as a multimedia concept has a place in history.”
“There’s no comparison. Tommy is good.” We searched for the frog’s gall bladder. Maybe he had it removed. He obviously had a weight problem, so who knows what his diet was like.
“You’re just being difficult because you know I’m right,” I said.
“No, I’m being realistic because that album sucks.”
I put down my tweezers and scalpel. “Look, we’re not going to settle this right now. We won’t know for twenty or thirty years whether I’m right so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“And the loser has to publicly admit that he was wrong. Is it a bet?”
“Deal, but you might as well go ahead and admit you’re wrong. It isn’t going to happen,” Matt said.
“Okay,” I said. “Mark my words: The way that we respect Tommy, Quadrophenia, and The Wall future generations will revere Styx’s Kilroy Was Here.”
I’m not sure, but I think even the frog smirked.