December 21, 1977
It was a blisteringly cold night in Rapid City, South Dakota. But the scene was red hot inside Diamond Dan's Disco. Fred and Roberta Dudek, Polish immigrants who had moved to South Dakota from Krakow several years earlier, had a full-blown case of disco fever. Since the release of Saturday Night Fever only five days earlier, they had seen the movie three times and gone to discos every night, despite the fact that Roberta was well over eight months pregnant with the couple's second child. The movie spoke to them in a way that no movie had before, particularly to Fred, who, like John Travolta's character Tony Manero, was a painter by day and a dance floor magician by night.
Fred and Roberta were fast becoming the darlings of Rapid City's disco scene, which included Diamond Dan's, The Rocky Raccoon, and Mt. Dancemore. Known colloquially around town as "Tweety and The Birdman" (Dudek means "bird" in Polish), Fred and Roberta were so good that they had already memorized all of Tony and Stephanie's dance moves from Saturday Night Fever. Their disco days, however, came quite literally to a crashing end. On that fateful Wednesday night, Fred and Roberta were in Diamond Dan's weekly Wednesday night "Badlands Battle" couples dance contest, the winner of which got $100 and a free hi-fi stereo system from Rex's Rapid City RCA Repository. During a bold and hotly contested final round dance, Fred threw Roberta into the air, and she landed on the illuminated checkerboard floor in the splits, as was planned. What was not planned, though, was for Roberta's water to break. Jonathan Van McCoy Dudek was Rapid City's first dance-floor-born child.
August 12, 1979
Fred and Roberta begin to get more attention for their dancing. With the prize money that they were winning, Fred was quits his day job as a painter and focuses his time and energy entirely on disco dancing. Roberta quits her day job as a blacksmith and does the same.
June 1, 1981
With the decline of disco, Rapid City bars move away from dance contests and toward rock-paper-scissor tournaments, which, for some reason, Rapid City residents take to like Gary Glitter to 11-year-old Vietnamese girls. Fred and Roberta decide to retire from competitive disco dancing. Fred, also an artist in his spare time, decides to move the family to Minneapolis because of the city's well-respected art community.
December 21, 1981
On his 4th birthday, Jon receives an electric guitar from his parents, even though he asked for an AT-AT. He was also given hockey tickets to see a game between the home town North Stars and the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. Despite his inability to grasp the intricacies of hockey, Jon became enamored with the sport and for some reason quickly grew to hate the North Stars and love the Blackhawks.
January 20, 1985
While watching Super Bowl XIX, Jon develops an unhealthy obsession with Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins. Years later, the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective would be made. It is loosely based on a series of events that occurred with Jon and Marino. The writers of the movie changed the script just enough so that they were able to avoid seeking Jon's permission or paying him anything. For instance, in the movie Jon's character is played by a supposed woman (Sean Young) who is actually a man. Also, Roger Podacter did not die when he fell 20+ stories from a high-rise balcony. In real life, he died on the way to the hospital.
May 29, 1985
Having become enthralled with Minneapolis's growing punk scene, as well as the city's now-legendary "Uptown" funk scene, Jon and his older brother Fred, Jr. (or "FJ") form a band that would revolutionize the way Minneapolitans looked at tribute bands. The band itself did not have a permanent name. Instead, they would play different shows featuring the looks and songs of various Minneapolis artists, and naming themselves differently depending on the artist. Here are some of their incarnations:
-The Replacements' Replacements (The Replacements)
-Jonny Night & The Era (Morris Day & The Time)
-Hüsker Dü Tü (Hüsker Dü)
-Sheila F. (Sheila E.)
June 15, 1988
After a heated dispute about the direction of their band, FJ kicks Jon out of all of their bands. Distraught and angry, Jon packs some of his belongings and runs away from home. He heads west to Nevada, where he had heard there was enough silver to make every man, woman, and child a millionaire. FJ soon after dissolves the band and eventually becomes a very successful dog catcher.
June 18, 1988
After several days of wildly unsuccessful prospecting and extreme ridicule from the locals, Jon leaves Nevada on a train bound for New York City, where he hides in the cargo bay of a transatlantic cruise ship, arriving in London on June 27, 1988. Soon after his arrival in London, Jon begins to work a series of odd jobs to earn money: bootblack at Kings Cross Station, chimneysweep in South Kensington and Notting Hill, tour guide for "Jack the Ripper's London" in Whitechapel, street musician and sword swallower outside the Covent Garden Market, and bird food merchant at Trafalgar Square.
October 29, 1989
Fred, Roberta, and FJ move to LaGrange Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Fred buys a scrap metal yard with hopes of using the metal to make abstract sculptures of the heroes of the disco era. Demand is surprising. His first sculpture, "Fly Robin Fly," sells for $10,000 to a private collector in South Beach. After "Love Pains: A Tribute to Yvonne Elliman" is featured in the Spring 1991 issue of Sculpture Review Magazine, Fred's sculpture career takes off. The organizers of San Francisco's 1991 International Lesbian & Gay Freedom Day Parade commission him to create "Village People" for the parade's featured float. His "Barry Gibb" will sell for $231,000 in a 1992 Christie's auction. The buyer? None other than Barry Gibb.
September 12, 1990
While working as a clerk in a Carnaby Street clothier, Jon meets a 33-year-old London-based Uzbekistani treasure hunter named Shavkat Mirziyayev ("Shav"). The two become fast friends, despite their 20-year age difference. As Mirziyayev would recount in a 2001 interview with National Geographic, "I'm not gay, nor am I a pedophile. I just love treasure hunting with young men." Shav invites Jon to join his crew on the Tashkent, Shav's 90-foot treasure hunting yacht, for the crew's next mission: to find the lost city of Atlantis and all of its gold. Jon accepts Shav's invitation.
June 12, 1991
Buccaneering for nearly a year suited Jon well. The hours were good, and despite the fact that they didn't find Atlantis or its gold, the pay was pretty good. And it didn't hurt that Jon was making some great friends that he would have for the rest of his life. Or so he thought. On this day, the Tashkent began to experience trouble around Cape Agulhas, South Africa. Thirty-six hours later, the Tashkent stalled about thirty miles south of Mauritius, just in time for a group of Madagascarian pirates to prey on the Tashkent. The pirates raided the Tashkent, stealing the crew's most recent findings, and then killing 29 of the Tashkent's 38 crew members. Shav and several crew members escaped via a small motorboat, while Jon was able to escape with two of his shipmates on a lifeboat. The pirates, however, noticed Jon and his compatriots, and sent a hail of gunfire toward the lifeboat as it slowly got away. Jon was shot in the left arm and right calf, while the other two took the brunt of the gunfire, dying instantly. Knowing that he would be killed otherwise, Jon pretended to be dead. Once the pirates left the area, Jon used his friends' clothes to make tourniquets for his own wounds, and then shoved their bodies overboard so as not to attract birds of prey.
June 15, 1991
At about five in the morning, Jon's lifeboat drifted ashore about five miles east of Souillac, Mauritius, about 200 meters from where University of Mauritius marine biology professor Deolall Daby was doing some marine-life research under the watchful eye of his 13-year-old daughter Ameenah. Deolall and Ameenah rescue Jon, and take him to the University Hospital in Moka, where his bullet wounds and dehydration are treated. Once hearing Jon's story and sensing that Jon is a good person, Deolall invites Jon to stay with their family in Port Louis for as long as Jon wants.
June 30, 1991
Ameenah introduces Jon to surfing. She is a fast-riser on the Mascarene Islands Surf Tour (MIST), having already garnered a first-place trophy at the Rodrigues Surf War and a second-pace finish at the Tamarin Surf Club Winter Nationals. Jon takes to surfing like Dudley Moore to shitty movies. More importantly, he takes to Ameenah like Ted Kennedy to scotch. The two fall deeply in love, while dominating the MIST together. In the next nine months, Jon and Ameenah would finish 1-2 in seven different MIST events.
January 15, 1992
With the money he's earned on the MIST, Jon splurges on himself and buys a LaserDisc player, believing it to be the successor to the VCR. At the same time, for the price of 73 Mauritian rupees (about $34.98 USD), Jon purchases his first movie on LaserDisc, Cool As Ice.
March 4, 1992
Jon and Ameenah embark on a midnight stroll down a beach on Pointe du Diable. By 12:04, neither Jon nor Ameenah would be a virgin anymore.
March 5, 1992
The MIST Championship is held on the very same beach where Jon and Ameenah achieved coitus less than twelve hours earlier. Tragedy strikes, however, as particularly rough waves during Ameenah's final surf throw her board straight into the air, hitting her head in the process. By the time she is fished from the water, Ameenah has inhaled enough water and been unconscious long enough that, while she remains alive, she will be nearly brain dead for the rest of her life.
March 6, 1992
Jon packs his LaserDisc player, withdraws all of his money from the bank, and gets the fuck out of Mauritius. He heads to Plaisance International Airport and uses all of his money to hop the first flight to Antananarivo, Nairobi, Cairo, Marrakech, New York, and finally Chicago. Fred and Roberta are overjoyed at Jon's return. Upon his return, Jon enrolls at Park Junior High, and somehow graduates in June, despite having no formal education for nearly four years.
July 17, 1992
Jon's friend Tony Zumpano walks to Jon's house with a rented copy of Double Trouble, the latest movie starring the Barbarian Brothers, Peter and David Paul, which Tony had been raving about to Jon. After a near-freak accident involving the Dudeks' possibly Satanic dog, Mac, and Zumpano, Zumpano leaves immediately to train in Spain with famed bullfighter Antonio Ordonez, leaving behind the copy of Double Trouble. Jon watches the movie (his first Barbarian Brothers film viewing) and instantly falls in love with the hilarious antics of the Paul twins. As Jon recalled in 2003: "They were just so damn huge and wittily dumb that anything they did was comedic gold. And that hair! Have you ever seen something more ridiculous? They looked like Jose Canseco on 'roids. More 'roids than he actually took, that is. Come to think of it, no one has ever seen Jose and Ozzie Canseco in the same room as Peter and David Paul. It's becoming so clear to me now that they are one in the same. How did I not realize this before?"
January 19, 1995
After having watched (over and over again) the Paul brothers' other feature films, The Barbarians (1987), Think Big (1990), and Twin Sitters (1994), Jon founds and becomes President of the International David and Peter Paul Fan Consortium. To this day, he is still President. The IDPPFC's international membership is up 700% from its inception, and includes David and Peter Paul themselves.
June 8, 1996
Jon graduates from Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, Illinois. Among his classmates are future porn czar Adam McClure, Junior Ultimate Fighting Champion Greg Weeser*, and world-renowned bullfighter Tony Zumpano. The same night, Jon masterminds and carries out what he deems "The Mother Load," which involved driving with four friends to Burger King in a car with no license plate, ordering massive amounts of food from the drive-thru, most of which was specially ordered, putting on sweet Halloween masks, pulling up to the drive-thru window, stopping just long enough for one of the passengers in the car to look at the confused Burger King worker and yell "this ain't no fairy tale," then speeding away to an Arby's a few miles away where the group would disperse into other cars.
August 26, 1996
Jon enrolls at Illinois State University. One of the young men on his dorm floor by the name of Clinch Stephenson, who is from Omaha, Nebraska, beats Jon in a game of beer pong, bragging hellaciously afterward. It is at this moment that Jon develops an intense hatred of all things Omaha.
January 15, 1998
Destitute and in danger of being evicted from his apartment, Jon comes up with JD's Laydeez, Bloomington-Normal's first escort service comprised entirely of ISU students. In the twelve days JD's Laydeez is in operation before it is shut down by local police, Jon is able to make approximately $22,123.
January 28, 1998
Despite the fact that JD's Laydeez gets shut down, Jon realizes his purpose in life: exploiting women for personal profit. He changes his major from botany to entrepreneurship, and begins to think of new and creative ways to use the supple bosoms of ISU's co-eds to his advantage. His "Titors" (topless tutors) venture not only earned him some straight cash, but once screenwriters Brent Goldberg and David Wagner heard of Titors, it gave them the inspiration behind the movie Van Wilder.
May 10, 2000
Jon graduates from ISU with a B.S. in Entrepreneurship. The next day, Jon moves to Reno, Nevada, where he will soon begin working for Ronald "Slim" Sanders, a garish venture capitalist with wild blond tupee, and a flair for the exotic, the erotic, and the downright strange.
September 12, 2000
Jon and Slim found GLOAW, the Glorious Ladies Of Arm Wrestling. In the its first year, GLOAW will net Jon and Slim several hundred thousand dollars apiece, behind the star power of such femme fatales as Helen "Boom Boom" Armstrong, Margot Kidder, Wendy Savinovich (more commonly know to wrestling fans as former WWF Womens' Champion Wendy Richter), and a young, up-and-coming Rachel McAdams, who arm wrestled under the name Rachel Rocket. With over-the-top pyrotechnics, cheap theatrics, and sparse clothing, GLOAW took the nation by storm.
January 7, 2002
After a highly publicized steroid scandal, Jon and Slim announce that GLOAW will cease to exist. Undaunted, Jon and Slim revamp the JD's Laydeez franchise, forming an escort service within Reno, as well as a brothel outisde the county lines. Jon buys a cream fedora and a purple velvet overcoat with mink lapels, which he wears almost at all times, including a popular television commercial that aired on local Reno stations, in which Jon was shown with a gaggle of good-looking women in the back of a limo, saying, "If you want the hottest women in Reno without any chance of gettin' a skeez, you ain't got but one choice: JD's Laydeez. So if you're lookin' for a good time tonight -- and you know you are -- just dial 775-375-2939. That's 77-JDS-LAYDZ. You could makin' sweet love to one of these delicious ladies in less than an hour. And you better believe we do anal. After all, our motto at JD's Laydeez is simple: Ain't a damn thing we won't do, even anal." The commercial makes Jon into a local celebrity, and it's surprisingly graphic subject matter strikes a chord with Reno's resident and many tourists. JD's Laydeez quickly becomes the most profitable escort service and brothel in the Reno area.
February 19, 2003
With his newfound fame and money, Jon turns his attention to high-end cooking classes, with hopes of being able to make the best chicken wings in the world.
December 12, 2003
Shavkat Mirziyayev, Jon's former treasure-hunting pal, becomes Uzbekistan's Prime Minister.
May 5, 2004
Jon meets Danish volleyball player Tracy "The Storstrøm Stormtrooper" Larsen at the 25th Annual King of the Wings National Chicken Wing Cook-Off, held at the Buffalo Convention Center. Jon's "Holla-At-Ya-Boy Hot Wings" take first prize, while Tracy's "Ringkjøbing Lørdagskylling Wings" take the runner-up prize. Jon and Tracy become enticed by each other's wings and soon take to each other like Canadians to jean shorts. In addition to wings, they both like dogs.
March 3, 2005
Upon hearing that the Calgary Flames' American Hockey League affiliate was going to be reestablished in Omaha, under the name the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, Jon becomes enfuriated. Not only did he still have some unresolved hatred of Omaha left over from his encounters with Clinch Stephenson, but he thinks that the name Ak-Sar-Ben Knights is the worst name for a professional franchise that he has ever heard. He realizes that he cannot let it slide. He decides to part ways with Slim Sanders and go to Chicago to work for the Chicago Wolves, who play in the AHL with the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights.
October 9, 2005
Jon and Tracy move in together and convert to Scientology together. As Jon explained in a May 2005 interview with Everything Wing Magazine, "Really, it all makes perfect sense. Seventy-five million years ago, an evil falatic warlord named Xenu controlled 76 planets in this corner of the galaxy, which, by the way, was severely overpopulated. To solve this problem, Xenu rounded up about 13.5 trillion beings, give or take a couple billion, and then flew them to Earth, where, as you can probably guess, they were dumped into volcanoes around the globe and vaporized with bombs. This scattered their radioactive souls, or thetans, until they were caught in electronic traps set up around the atmosphere and implanted with a number of false ideas-including the concepts of God, Christ, and organized religion. I know it's probably obvious, but many of these entities attached themselves to human beings, where they remain to this day, creating not just the root of all our emotional and physical problems, but the root of all problems of the modern world. If only someone would have explained this to me when I was younger."
February 20, 2006
At 1:36pm Central time, during his lunch break, Jon achieves greatness once again. Not only is he able to indulge in one of the year's first Shamrock shakes, but he is also the coveted 10,000th reader of the hilarious and sometimes verbose web log (or "blog"), Give Me Your Handrew.