S-Boys: Episode 3 – Honeypop


The boys were lining up to audition at Planet Honeypop. I passed on the first two, but the third guy stopped me in my tracks. Akira Kibo.


Of course I knew who he was. You can’t follow the YouTube pop scene and not know Akira Kibo. He traveled with his own fanbase, namely Miko Ojo, his roomie at the time.


His voice slides smoother than the cream on top whole-fat yogurt. His style goes easy.

I was a little surprised, frankly, that he’d try out for our group. But this was a real chance, with real contracts, and a real producer–me. And the exposure couldn’t hurt the numbers of subscribers for his regular Youtube channel. We didn’t have an exclusive clause, so he could do both.

I started to get excited, daydreaming about him being the center of the group. I mean, the other potentials had personality and quirky charm, but Akira, he had talent and skill and experience. He was the real bomb.


He winked at me when he finished.

“Your turn,” he said.

No one else was waiting to sing at the moment, so I indulged him. He’d punched in one of my numbers on the karaoke machine–never mind how old it made me feel to have a hit song listed in the Golden Oldies section. I rocked it, and that made me feel like a teenager.


When I finished, I heard somebody calling out, “Hey! Hey! That was really awesome!”

It was Vaneer! I was tickled that he showed up. His spot was waiting for him, and all he had to do was agree to the terms, but here he was, at the evening auditions, lending support.


“The guy down there was asking about you,” he said.

I looked down the bar to see a bronzed god of a man. Oh, that facial structure! It looked familiar, somehow, but I couldn’t place him.


He approached me when he noticed I was looking his way.

“Well, you left your card,” he said. “Here I am.”

“Statue guy?”


“None other!” he replied. “Tony McCarthy, at your service!”

He had a great speaking voice. A little high, but rich. I bet he had a killer falsetto.

“Tell me about yourself!” I suggested.


“I’ve always wanted to perform,” he said. “That’s why the statue thing. I can hold one pose for an hour. Maybe more. It’s OK. Takes discipline, which I got in abundance. But I’d kinda like to move. I wanna dance!”


“And sing?”

“I’m more the quiet type,” he said. “Statues aren’t a speaking role.”


Meh. We’d work on it. And even if he, primarily, danced, that could work out, too. We could always use handsome.

Akira sauntered past.

“Am I in?” he asked.

“Of course,” I replied. I gave him the info. He sauntered off.

“Later, then.”


We had a few more auditions. Nobody really reached me. They were mostly too typical, too timid, cookie-cutter knock-offs. I’d had my heart set on a quintet. There’s just something balanced about five–lead in the center, flanked by two duos. But I guess we could settle for a quartet. Four wasn’t the loneliest number.

My throat was parched. Maybe I could get a cup of tea and ask the bartender to spike it for me.


Or maybe I didn’t need it spiked.

You make me feel…
Like I’m already tipsy.


Oh, he was something else. Sweet on the eyes! Very good with his hands. Every boy band needs somebody who can do tricks, right?

“How’re the auditions going?” he asked.

“OK, then not-so-OK, until now.”


We talked a bit. He was interested. The bartender was interested.

I sat down, humming the new song.

You make me feel…


And then Vaneer finished the verse for me:

Like a unicorn, baby.”

“Vaneer! That’s it!”



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S-Boys: Episode 2 – Where You Find ‘Em


No one else showed up at the 2W to audition. That was OK. The main try-outs would be held that evening at Planet Honeypop. I ordered one last mango lassi from the juice-girl and headed across the street. There were usually some pretty amazing buskers in the plaza, and I had this romantic notion of discovering the undiscovered.

I took my spiked lassi with me.


“Not supposed to carry out the drinks,” said a repair-guy working on the utilities box.

“Oh, it’s OK!” I lied. “I’ve got like special dispensation!”

He looked at me skeptically. He was cute, and I was picking up a Village People vibe from him.

“I like your overalls,” I said. “They match your hat! Or is that a cap?”


I watched him work, letting my mind imagine him singing back-up to Vaneer. He began to hum in a rich tenor.


“You have a lovely voice,” I said. “You ever think about singing?”

“I am a singer,” he replied. “I just don’t have the guts to quit my day-job yet.”

“Maybe you should.”

“Come again?”


I laid it all out for him. Sierra and the S-Boys. New boy band. I didn’t care if they were older than boy-boys. Men-boys would do just fine. We were going for an older demographic, anyway. The inner teeny-bopper of the hot-flash crowd.

I could really see this guy working out for us!


“I guess I could give it a try,” he said, at last.

“Ah! That would be super!”

We worked out a few details. He’d swing by the house, do a trial, look over the contract. I got a good feeling about this.


Rylan Hitchcock, Handyman Extraordinaire. Potential S-Boy Number Two. I watched him walk away, enjoying how his tool-belt hung low on his hips. Tool belts. We were gonna have to pick up a few of those things.


You make me feel…
la, la, la, la, la, baby.


I was working on our first song. I wasn’t sure what it would be, exactly. I just had something running through my head.

You make me feel…
Like a lalala lady.


The sun was setting, and I had half an hour before I had to be at Planet Honeypop.

Nobody was playing violin or keyboard or drums or guitar or harmonica or dancing or singing. But there was a guy pretending to be a gold statue.

Now, yeah. I was definitely feeling that Village People vibe. Like real strong.


This statue guy was awesome! His gold face-paint accentuated his fine facial structure. I’m talking cheekbones. And perfect lips. And those kissable eyelids. Dreamy.

And his skill was amazing. Three of us jeered, cheered, and cat-called. And he didn’t blink. What if? What if we did a golden statue number?


You make me feel…

Oh, yes. I could so see him there in the background, frozen, until the right moment, then come-to-life!

I left him a hefty tip and dropped my business card along with it.


“Planet Honeypop,” I whispered to him. “Eight o’clock tonight. I got an offer that’s pretty sweet, and you’re one of the guys I wanna make it to.”

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