Honky Tonkitis

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In stunning news coming out of Milwaukee, lead singer Johnny Maplewood of local honky tonk band Honky Tonkitis announced Thursday that he was immediately replacing the other members of his band with animatronic bears.

"This has been a long time coming," Maplewood declared. "I'm fed up about the arguments over money, venue choice, length of sets, song selection, heck, even the key we play the songs in. At some point I realized I could get the same quality performance from a group of animatronic bears. So when the local Bearskin E. Pepperoni pizza joint for kids went out of business, I knew they'd probably be willing to sell off their stage show for cheap. Turns out they even threw in a few pizzas."

Maplewood claims he'll have the backing band up and running by the next scheduled show. "They're not that difficult to program," he said, "and they definitely won't complain if the bar doesn't give them free beer between sets."

In the meantime, the remaining members of Honky Tonkitis moved swiftly to respond to Maplewood's dismissal. "As of today, we've decided to change our name to New Honky Tonkitis Revival Starship," drummer Kurt Weber announced. "This will be the true honky tonk experience the audience always wanted to see, minus the drunk off-key singing. In fact, I'm happy to announce we've already found a more than competent replacement as singer. Ladies and gentlemen, our newest singer, Honky Tonk Singing Elmo."

"The best part about it," Weber added, "is that we bought it off the shelf at the local Toys 'R Us for $18.95. And it runs on beer and eight D batteries. I don't know why we didn't do this a long time ago. You just flip the setting on its butt between 'Sorrow', 'Regret', and 'Angry' and it sings song after honky tonk song. We tried it out in a practice last night and it works just fine. And the best part is, you just turn it off when you get sick of it."

No word yet on whether Honky Tonkitis and New Honky Tonkitis Revival Starship will be playing any shows together in the future.

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