Monday, June 18, 2007

Supersonic Saints

Supersonic Saints

John Bytheway

"In the whites of his eyes, there's a supersonic vibe. You can tell by the vibe, he's a warrior who cries. He's supersonic. I think he's supersonic. Supersonic."


We have it on good authority that Jamiroquai actually wrote this song about John Bytheway (apparently he wanted to record it for Des Book [hereafter cited as DB], but that he was contractually obligated to his record company for three more albums - may we be so bold as to suggest possibly an album of showtunes covers?). And we believe it, since we have always considered John a supersonic stripling warrior.

To be honest, when we heard that John was going to be on ELEV, we were a little bit surprised. I mean, had not he already written about every possible experience that he has had. His volumnious writings had taken us from dating to marriage, on scout hikes, bike rides, and even through the forest that is the book of Isaiah. For all of us airheads out there, Mr. Bytheway had shown us the way to live our lives greatly (even providing EMT service for our ailing love lives - Hello, Dating 911!). And so we wondered, having seemingly written about everything he has done, what could be left for John to write about? Needless to say, we underestimated the man. In his new book, Supersonic Saints, John has discovered that he can not only make money by writing about his own experiences, but there is a vast, untouched vein of OTHER people's experiences, just waiting to be written about. And for this book, John picked one of the most thrilling experiences of other people, flying at supersonic speeds (well, maybe just flying. John did go to great lengths in the interview to point out that not all of the pilots included in the book actually flew at supersonic speeds. But they did all fly. We think).

John, who is pretending to be a religion professor at BYU (you know, those other guys get PhD's in koine Greek so they can be professors, but John got his PhD in hilarity from the school of life), has published numerous books for LDS audiences, but this Supersonic Saints is by far his best account of other people's experiences (way better than the wisdom quotes he pilfered from the mouths of babes and dudes!). Doug was thrilled to have John as his guest (again), especially as the interview turned to a discussion of the renovation of KSL Radio's studios. As Doug noted, and John heartily agreed, the new cafeteria in the Broadcast House would definitely help draw in a younger, and hipper, crowd for Doug to schmooze with his wonderfully creative stories about the history of Utah radio (we're making our reservations right now!). Although Doug wanted to continue the cafeteria discussion, John made a seamless transition back to his book, leaving listeners not at all confused about what this show was about (maybe his name should be John Tact-theway), and insuring that no more time be taken away from the potential goldmine in sales the book was sure to generate after appearing on ELEV (maybe his name should be John Greed-theway, or better yet, John Exploits other people's experiences to make money for himself-theway).

The book contains a series of stories about airplanes, which as Doug pointed out, means that only emasculated eunuchs won't like this book since every man he knows likes airplanes. It is published just in time for Father's Day, so make sure to get if for your dad (unless he's a eunuch). The banter between Doug and John was light and easy going, convincing Superfan that John truly is Doug's wingman! Listening to the program felt almost like watching Top Gun, except without the long kiss (unless you consider Doug's incessant pandering about the book the equivalent of a juicy wet one planted right on the hindquarters of Mr. Bytheway!).

The highlight of the show was Doug's still small testimony about watching the Blue Angels. For many people, attending and participating in religious services, providing food for the hungry and clothing for the naked, or prayer and meditation, are all avenues to having spiritual experiences. But for Doug, watching airplanes fly in formation and do ridiculous dives and barrel rolls qualifes as "an almost spiritual experience" (Having only seen the Blue Angels on a late night cable commercial, Superfan is skeptical, but not willing to publicly tell Doug that he is not Wright. Superfan is withholding judgement until he can see the Angels himself).

On a scale of 1 to 5, we rate the book a 5 (we're scared anything less would make us eunuchs), and the interview a 5 (0nly because of the frequency of Doug's personal stories/insights/etc.). And now for the question:

Did Doug read the book?

Superfan 1: No. I'm not sure if he's a eunuch or not.

Superfan 2: By the way Doug avoided any specifics from the book, I have to agree. I don't he think he read it. (look for the pun in my answer, people)

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