I’m happy that I persisted in this quest regarding the perfect system for organizing Shep programs. For Shep’s Army I renamed the tale “Boredom Erupts,” as that is its relationship to life in the army. What I regret is that the focus of my book of compilation and transcription of army stories is not an appropriate setting to include Shepherd’s varied and amusing build-up to this story. The prolog described in previous Parts discusses arcane physics and movie fistfights among other minor detours before engaging us in the approximately twelve-minute main event that ends the broadcast—the boredom among enlisted men in the military. Grindingly uncomfortable and tiring tasks sometimes result in a mind-deadening nothingness. And one result is a sometimes growing hostility that leads to conflict—in this instance, in Shepherd’s witty take on obscure physics, metaphysics, and the meaning of time—to an army fistfight that is simultaneously cosmic and absurd.
The Eternal Shepherd Reference System!
The foregoing material about that broadcast is a rough example of what every Jean Shepherd show should have in a master database. The many hundreds of shows would encompass hundreds of subjects, each a part of the electronically cross-referenced spreadsheet, each living Word quivering with the excitement of knowing it is a part of The Eternal Shepherd Reference System!
I can envision the opus, which will forever expand as more newly discovered shows are added to the stockpile!
All known Shepherd programs captured thusly for easy reference!
All available for the casual Shepherd fan looking for his daily Shep-fix, and for the industrious researcher/author seeking the audio snippet of his desires!
Oh—the potential—unrealizable—glory of it!
SOME SUBJECTS OF THIS ONE SHEPHERD SHOW
CONTROL ROOM COMMENT
WEEKENDS IN OUR MODERN CULTURE
“SPEAKING OF MISTAKES”
ENGINEER IS NAMED (Keith)
ENGINEER (Commentary on)
METS—PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT: BASEBALL, SPORTS.
NEW YORK TIMES—he’s reading it
NEWS NOTES (refers to Times article
REFERENCE [QUARK] TO WHICH HE WILL RETURN LATER IN PROGRAM
JEWS HARP PLAYING (with accompanying recorded music)
LINDSEY (running for re-election)
NEW YORK (“Fun city.”)
PREDICTION (of Shepherd’s)
“PUBLIC SERVICE” provided by WOR
FISTFIGHTS (First mention of fist fights—it’s his prelude to the subject)
MOVIE STARS: KIRK DOUGLAS JOHN WAYNE
ORDINARY EVENTS—(one never sees in movies)
W. C. FIELDS
HUMOR (the nature of)
CRITICIZES THOSE IN CONTROL ROOM (Leigh Brown, his producer/lover?)
MUSIC (as scene-setting, under his talk)
MAN—HIS NATURE (Philosophical; musings)
SEGUE TO A STORY (of the army fistfight caused by boredom-induced hostility.)
How “Boredom Erupts” Starts and Ends
in Shep’s Army
START: The only fistfight that I ever saw–I’m talking about a real fistfight–not just guys pushing each other around or guys belting each other–happened in a tent….
END: ….Is it Zinsmeister’s contemplation of the eternal hourglass, or is it part of the quark theory of the quantum, dipole-estrogen theory of multiple, fourth-dimensional, time-curve-space factors? Who is to know?