Sweatpants Wedding is an unfinished musical with enormous financial and artistic potential. I started my Trop career as the producer of an audio advice column. “Advice for Sweatpants Wedding,” the series-within-a-series that begins now, is my attempt to be helpful.
Sweatpants Wedding is a future hit musical about love and loose pants. Writer Stephan McCormick hasn’t finished it yet. Idea-haver Tom Dibblee wishes he would. “Hollywood” has expressed interest. New songs are in the works. The play’s alleged original titler has agreed to handle the “business end” of things. Momentum, as they say, is building.
You’ve read the first two scenes of Sweatpants Wedding. You’ve heard its first two songs. You’ve learned of its humble origins. You’re privy to the controversy over its authorship. You’ve felt the power of the mysterious woman who fuels its continued development. But you don’t know how the project is evolving.
It has been a tough couple of weeks for future hit musical Sweatpants Wedding. Two Wednesdays ago, in an effort to acknowledge and understand the project’s imperfections, we yielded our Tropspace to a known pants hater, Mr. Patrick Benjamin. Not only did he viciously attack us, but he plagiarized the lovely and talented Sinead O’Connor (a confirmed SW fan) and in so doing impressed top Trop brass (who deny the plagiarism), convincing them to promote his—Mr. Benjamin’s—alcoholic crime fiction into half of our—Sweatpants Wedding’s—hard-earned Wednesday timeslots. Trop corporate sees this new every-other-week arrangement as “mutually beneficial” and “innovative.” We see it as sabotage, perpetrated by a liar and a cheat. But we will persevere, dear readers, for you. We will, starting with the interview below, fill your every-other-Wednesday with a heaping helping of thrills, chills, music, romance, and loose pants. And, if you ever need to peek back and jog your memory, all of Sweatpants Wedding, the meta-musical, is available on this well-organized webpage.
For those of you who don’t know Patrick Benjamin, he wears khakis, sunburns easily, and runs social media for Trop. His official bio reveals that he is a “writer” based “near Los Angeles” who “lives with his sister and grandmother.” His unofficial bio reveals that he is a “man” who lives “on a hill” and spends a “disproportionate” amount of his “money” on “cigarettes,” high-end sparkling water like “Pellegrino,” and “one-man poker.” Nobody knows what one-man poker is, but that can wait—we have a Sweatpants Wedding slot to fill, and we’d like to welcome Patrick, our brand new antagonist, to the show.
Stephan McCormick and I conducted a portion of this interview over email, which means that Stephan is now officially writing about Sweatpants Wedding. I consider this a positive development for two reasons:
Last week, Trop social media master Patrick Benjamin complained to our readership that the three-dimensional and ever-perplexing joke of a “musical” that is Sweatpants Wedding had gone on far too long. (Sweatpants Wedding is a play that will never be completed and therefore is manifesting itself in the form of a making-of Sweatpants type thing, which you are reading right now; yes, what you’re reading now counts as reading; click to read earlier installments because clicking is easy.) Patrick’s complaint was a problem partly because his publicly expressed opinion didn’t generate much traffic, partly because it’s just plain demoralizing when your own in-house booster gets tired of you, and partly because Patrick said this after only installment four, and Sweatpants Wedding is set to run weekly until deep into 2014.
Sweatpants Wedding Without Any Qualifiers, or, The Sweatpants Without Qualities: Sweatpants The Interview, Part 1
In this, Part 1 of “Sweatpants The Interview,” Jake de Grazia talks to Tom Dibblee about Sweatpants Wedding, the musical that’s nowhere close to done but that Tom insists on running in The Weather anyway, in part to goad Stephan McCormick, his writing partner in this affair, to get some work done. Click away to read earlier installments of Sweatpants, or just keep on going to read this one.
When Trop first decided to have podcasts, one of our ideas was to record readings of Trop writers’ short fiction. This was a pretty natural thought. We are, after all, a collective of fiction writers.
Ever told a fish story? Want to tell it again? I do. Right here. On this website. So email me: jake at tropmag dot com.
This is our very first Tropcasted fish story. It’s a postcard to Alex MacInnis, whose postcard to me was our very first Tropcasted postcard. Enjoy.
There are three Thompson children. Michael, the youngest, won’t be back from Mexico until March. Justin, the oldest, missed Christmas because he had other obligations. And Kathy wishes she didn’t have to do this.
It’s not a bad idea to listen to the first episode of Overheard before you listen to this one, but we don’t think it’s necessary.
A fictional story pretending to be a work of journalism within another fictional story that’s also sort of pretending to be a work of journalism? We’ve been wanting to get this project started since summertime. J.R. Nutt was our original muse, but he went to see about a girl. Luckily, though, we met the Thompsons: Caroline Slaughter, Nic Stanich, and Shawn Dempewolff.
Parts of this story take place in a Jeep Liberty. If you listen closely to those parts, you’ll hear quite a few off-mic giggles. The giggles, like the Liberty, belong to Katie Browne. Katie doesn’t want to sound pompous, but she considers herself an expert in driving. “You can’t be sheepish when you make left turns,” she says. “You have to be a stallion.”
I asked Naomi what her grandmother has taught her over the years. “Everything in life,” she said. “But I didn’t learn the one thing that she really wanted to teach me, the one thing she’s tried to teach me every day, every time I’ve seen her, which is that love doesn’t pay the rent.”