The Lake Highlands Junior High School Wildcats, of Dallas, had a tradition of sending in the scrubs for one series of downs in the fourth quarter.
Thus begins a Rolling Stone article from 1996, which explains how an early experience on a Wildcat football field pushed Lake Highlands Junior High School student Gibby Haynes toward a life removed from organized athletics and within the energetic punk band Butthole Surfers:
So their third-string quarterback Gibby Haynes knew he had to make the most of it when he got in a game during the fall of 1970. And he did, marching his team the length of the field, completing six of seven passes, scoring a touchdown, running the bootleg for a two-point conversion. And what did Gibby get for this stellar performance? The coach immediately promoted the receivers to first-string and left Haynes on third-string.
It was an early indication that destiny, or attitude,” wrote Charles M. Young, “would push Gibby toward becoming a Butthole Surfer and away from athletics.”
The writer goes on to explain that Haynes — whose father, an East Dallas/ Lake Highlands legend was better known for his on-air Mr. Peppermint persona — was a darn good ball player and could have probably taken the “road more traveled.”
I think most of us are kind of glad he did not. For he has provided fodder for all manner of urban legend and points of pride around our neighborhood. I, for one, was raised on Mr. Peppermint and later had a Surfers poster in my teenage bedroom (the “Butthole” part being a major point of parental contention), utterly unaware until much later on that the two were related or that they long lived mere miles from my family home.
Or that in year 2017 I would write about one Butthole Surfers’ extra-dark, surreal children’s tale and how it is narrated by one of pop culture’s better-known actor-comedians, which is one of the weird and wonderful places to which Gibby Haynes’ path — arguably set foot upon in Lake Highlands in the early ’70s — has led him.
Zach Galifianakis narrates Haynes’ contribution, “The Next Big Thing,” in a clip promoting the all-star book project “Stories for Ways and Means.” “Stories for Ways and Means” is a 350-page book featuring original stories by an eclectic mix of musicians, including Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Pixies’ Frank Black, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Laura Marling, Devendra Banhart, Alison Mosshart and Kathleen Hanna. The project also features animations including narrations by Danny DeVito, Nick Offerman, Phil LaMarr, King Krule, Joey Bada$$ and Lauren Lapkus.
Book sales benefit Room to Read and Pencils of Promise, two non-profit organizations dedicated to children’s literacy. Place your order here. The hardcover, beautifully illustrated tome is $98. Or, get the kids a limited edition autographed copy for $500. What a deal.