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INXS

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I have decided to tell the story here about how I fell in deep love with INXS, my most favorite rock group of all time! I love these 6 little guys more than any other rock group or any movie actor or other celebrity (with the exception of Dian Fossey) all put together. Unless otherwise noted, this story mostly takes place in 1990 and 1998.

The first time I ever heard about INXS was when I was in my first week in Jr. High School. In fact, it was even my first period class. The desk that I used had writing all over it. Someone had written all the names of their favorite rock bands and one of those was INXS. For some reason, the name attracted me because it was so unique, but I thought it read like “inks”. I remember thinking, “Boy! What a strange name!” I never thought anymore about it because I was not that much into rock groups back then. Then in 1987, I heard the song Need U Tonight on the school bus radio going to my EVE class in high school, but I still had no idea who sang it. I just knew it sounded like a cool song, so I listened very closely. It wasn’t until 2 years later I found out from Anna that the group that made that song was called “INXS”, pronounced like “in excess”.

 

I first got into INXS in 1990, before the release of their album that year, “X”. It was a rather slow process at first, I had heard their music all that year as well as the year before, and loved it, but never knew who they were or what they looked like. Besides at that time, I was heavily into Dian Fossey still and did not want to look at anything or anyone else. At first, I thought INXS were a group of African-American guys, like Living Color, another favorite rock group at that time. It wasn’t until the early summer of 1990 that I finally saw one of their videos, titled “Need U Tonight/Mediate”, which I didn’t know it at the time, but it had become their most celebrated song of all time. I saw the lead singer and fell in absolute LOVE! He was so cute!!! I also saw several of the band members and fell in love with them as well, one of which had a cute set of buns!

I remember later, though I can’t remember how much later after seeing that first video, I asked my sister Annamarie if she knew their names. She was the rock music expert in the family at that time, so if anyone would know, she would. She told me the lead singer’s name was Michael Hutchence. I remember my next words were “He’s very CUTE!!!” Anna agreed, and informed me of a friend of her’s in school that thought he was very cute too. She was in her second year in college at that time. Anna didn’t know the names of the other band members though, who all seemed to participate in their own way in each and every one of their videos. It was never just Michael. This was something almost unheard of with other bands.

I learned quite a bit more about INXS between this time and when their next album would be released, which would be the fall of 1990. I learned they were an Australian group. This was a very big plus for me, as I’ve always LOVED Australia! I love their unusual animals, I love the way the people talk, I love the people who I always seen as being so beautiful! Much more beautiful I thought than Americans, that was for sure! I always wanted to go there myself. I still have not been but I do have friends from Australia and New Zealand and hope to one day go there with them in a tag-along trip.

When X was finally released I had my first real look at the guys from INXS. I thought Michael was cute in Need U Tonight; he was even cuter in the cover for the X album. I recognized Michael immediately with his long, curly hair, but I couldn’t make out the other band members; most of them looked different than they did in the Need U Tonight/Mediate video. One of the guys I did remember from both albums was one who looked like a football player, or in my eyes a big, cuddly teddy bear. Years later, I would find out his name was Andrew and he was a very close confidante of Michael’s and had 2 other brothers in the band. One of which was the cutest thing I ever seen! Even cuter than Michael, I thought.

Anyway, I first heard about the new album on the radio. I used to go to the Voc School in Clover Park and I used to always stay tuned in to their radio station, I-91 FM or KVTI. This was back when they used to play popular music. It was the first place I heard Suicide Blonde, which was their first single released from the X album. Later, I’d see the video on MTV, and I loved how Michael would shake his hair throughout the song. He knew just how to move! He did it in such a way any cheerleader would envy. And he could do it and sing at the same time. That man had the coordination of a monkey! I was in love!!!

On long, rainy days, which used to come to my area all the time back then, I would fantasize about marrying Michael. I had no idea at the time he actually was still single, but had a girlfriend already. I think his girlfriend at that time was Kylie Minogue, another Aussie singer. Later, I would hear INXS were actually on tour in the states. It was their X-factor tour and I HAD to see them. I could never in my life hope to meet them in a face-to-face manner, and in fact was not sure if I even wanted to, but I at least wanted to be able to grow old and say I had actually seen them in concert. I went to one in Seattle where Michael came wandering through the audience. I felt this was my only chance ever; I kissed my hand and touched him with it. To this day, I tell everyone I actually kissed Michael once. Hehe! It was as close as I ever came to doing it, and it was actually good enough for me. I’m too shy to go any further.

INXS was not the only rock group I was so deeply in love with at this time, I also loved Roxette and had what I thought was a major crush on Per Gessle. That “romance” was doomed to failure though. Why I’ll explain a little later in this story. I also loved MC Hammer, which was also a short-lived affection, for the same reason I got out of Roxette. I also liked the New Kids on the Block (listening to “Cover Girl” now as I’m typing this) but got out of them long before I got out of Roxette, when one of their members, Donnie, set fire to a building and was arrested for arson. I also had a “love affair” with Richard Marx that lasted for quite a while after I got out of Roxette. Long enough to see him perform in person at the Puyallup Fair.

The Day the Roof Caved In

My life was torn apart in the early summer of 1992 when I took a very stressful job with a couple who lived on the Army base. It was originally supposed to be a nanny job for their 2 children, who were 7 and 3 when I first started that job. Some light housework was a part of the job and I accepted that. As it turned out though, the job was a nanny job, but more housework than was first agreed became commonplace and actually very little “nannying”. One night I was doing their laundry until 3:30 in the morning, and had to be up again at 6, and expected to be in a sweet mood. It was at this time my pa and sis was urging me to quit that job. I came awful close but I had to face it, I was a coward! I cannot tell someone “I quit!” I never could. My best method was to just screw up and let them fire me. At the same time I wanted to stay as long as I could on that job because I wanted a dual-decker VCR and wanted to save some money for that. I never did get enough though.

I was finally fired from that job or as I like to call it: released from prison. I was dragged through the mud, falsely accused of child abuse (which I had witnesses who knew I didn't ever even touch those kids), humiliated unjustly, and when I spoke out in my defense was accused of “just making up excuses” (they didn't want to hear the truth), but I was just happy to be rid of that job! I was actually beginning not to like those people very much at all. They let their kids get away with murder, and I was not the only person who knew them that thought that. Several of the neighbors spoke of them that way as well. But I could not quite get over how unjustly I was treated before being released; some things still linger over my head from that job. For example, I don’t like kids anymore, not like I used to before I had that job. I used to love kids, which was why I wanted a babysitting job. I don’t see any kids as “innocent” anymore. In fact, these peoples' kids were pretty darned diabolical. The mom said her 7-year old child was more mature than I was. Proof positive that kids today are not as innocent as they were when I was growing up. At that time, I’d never seen a 19-year old that was what could be called “mature” in this mom's mind. They made me clean the room, including scrubbing the walls and cleaning the bed sheets, before I left the house. In hindsight, I should have told them to shove it and to do it themselves, and then just grab my belongings and walk out.

Anyway, back to my rock groups. I gave up on them because after I was released from that job, I wanted nothing around me that even remotely reminded me of the time I wasted on that job and with that family. Frankly, that included some of my rock groups I was heavily into at that time. MC Hammer and Roxette dropped from my mind and destined to stay pretty much that way for good. This “clean up” unfortunately also included Dian Fossey, who I had been into since 1988. But being with her reminded me too much of the time I spent on that job, so I got out of her as well. I still kept my INXS pics though. I think the only reason I kept them was because by the time I had got that job, my interest in them had somewhat quieted down. INXS wasn’t as strong with me as was Roxette and MC Hammer at that time. So, when I was released from that job, INXS was the only rock group I had been into that didn’t remind me of that job. In a way, I felt like they were a bit of a salvation for me. However my interest in them remained somewhat quiet. I kept their pics in view though.

In 1994, I had pardoned Dian Fossey of all “charges” and brought her back. Not that I blamed her for that job, I couldn’t do that with anyone but myself. But by that time I was no longer linking her to any memories I had of that job. I still had my INXS pics as well, but nothing more than a very slight interest in them. I had only just enough interest in them to keep their pics in view, and most of that interest was only because they were from Australia. Even by this time I still did not know the names of the other band members, but not really interested at this time in learning them. I knew Michael and that was it.

It wasn’t until 1997 that my interest in Michael began to perk up a little bit, not the other band members, just Michael. I cannot say what started it again, but I remember like late summer or early fall that year I was just starting to feel a spark of interest in him again. I knew this because I kept looking at the one picture I still had of him a little longer each time I got the chance. Then, just before Thanksgiving Day that year, tragedy struck. November 22, I found out Michael had died. Suicide was the popular belief of what had happened to him. I was shocked! Actually my initial reaction was one of total disbelief. I never met Michael, but he did not seem like the type to me to commit suicide. Being an artist I see things differently than others. I could tell a lot about Michael just by the songs he wrote. None were depressing. He never seemed depressed enough to kill himself. I was sitting at my computer at the time I heard the news. My sis and I were watching Beavis and Butthead. Ironically, Beavis and Butthead were due to die that very same week; it was one of the most talked about episodes of all time. I was at my computer, which was situated right by the living room, working on my checklist of Metazoic mammals and was halfway done when I heard the news. I was saddened, but at first, could not cry. It really wasn’t until a few hours later when the tears came, that was when the news struck hardest it seemed. I started to remember what a crush I had on him as a young teenager with vivid dreams of marrying him. Days later, I saw bits and pieces of the funeral scene on the news and said “goodbye babe!” to Michael for the last time, with tears forming in my eyes.

I must have sensed his death coming months before, which probably explains my escalating spark of interest I was starting to feel for Michael once again earlier that year. I only wish it had happened the year before. Of course perhaps that would have been more traumatic for me. It’s amazing that I was tuned into him that way. My mind was building up just enough for this event to have a slight effect on me, but not too much to where it’d overwhelm me.

When Michael died, I totally cut myself off from the World. A strong person by nature before this happened; I started to let little things get to me. It was like I was sitting in a corner, not wanting to talk to anyone, not wanting to get close to anyone, not wanting to move. Michael was all that was on my mind, and the fact that he was gone. It’s scary now to think what would have happened to me if I had actually married him, or even if I had been heavily into him at the time he died. I may have ended up killing myself too. I heard so many MH fans had actually killed themselves after hearing the news of his demise and that suicide was the cause. That could have been me!!!

However, some good did come of this misfortune. I bought my first INXS video collection and learned the names of the other band members and learned to love them as well. The football-player looking guy was Andrew Farriss. He does the keyboards, guitars, and some percussion. He looks tough and rugged, but when he speaks he sounds very soothing and sweet. Jon Farriss, his younger brother, plays the drums in the band, and has a gorgeous face, beautiful blue eyes and a terrific smile. Garry Gary Beers does the bass guitars. He’s kinda cute too, but in 1997 he had shaved his head and I had a bit of fear of people with shaved heads—mostly because of those skinhead gangs that were performing hate crimes everywhere. But Garry still had that cute face! Kirk Pengilly was well known in the band for playing the saxophone. He was cute too, especially in his later years. I had not looked closely at him in his earlier pictures, mostly because of the “nerdy” look; I guess I was afraid to get close to him. It wasn’t until 2005 when I got a good look at him in the video for “Time” that I fell deeply in love with him. Last, but definitely not least, the man whose buns I admired in the “Mediate” video when I was a teenager, was named Tim Farriss, who played guitars. No wonder I did not recognize him in the X album, he had trimmed his hair by then! But his face has a very distinct expression and I came to know him that way in the videos. It turned out he was the funniest member of the band! He got me laughing at one point when I needed it the most. More of that later.

I saw several videos of theirs and learned a little more about them by watching their interviews, but mostly by watching their expressions and reading their voices. I have a knack for this. Years of having to train myself through instinct and experience has blessed me with the ability to “read” a person by what they say, the tone of voice they use when they say it, what they write, and even what they draw, or in the case of INXS the kinds of videos they made. When I saw the INXS interviews, I could tell they had a lot of love, caring and compassion for each other, like they were all brothers or something. Or at least in some way related to each other. My feelings were confirmed when I actually got into an INXS website and met some people who had actually met the band. Most of those people were from the east coast or from BC. I always wondered what it was with the east coast that they got to go backstage with no passes more often than they did here in the west coast. One person told me “You need to be more aggressive.” That clinched it for me; I am in no way, shape or form aggressive. So for me, sitting in the front row of their concert was my version of “meeting” them. To this day that is what I tell everyone. It’s good enough for me!

In 1998, I began work on a story I wanted to write and have the INXS band members in the story. I was living close to Mount St. Helens at that time, and had a deep affection for the mountain. And I wanted to put my 2 most favorite things in the World interacting in the same story. The Johnston Ridge Observatory was only a year old at this time, and it was situated right in front of the volcano. I thought it would be a cute idea to have INXS take time off from a tour and visit the new observatory. I told several INXS fans about the story in the making and they all could not wait to read it. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the story that year. The reason being Michael. I didn’t know if I wanted to put his death mentioned in the story. I really did not want to turn this into a sad thing. I struggled with that ending for many years, and then in 2005 I heard about Rockstar. It would be a live-action TV show where the remaining band members of INXS would try to appoint a new lead singer. Kinda gave me a not-so-sad idea to end this story, but it’d mean that I’d have to announce Michael’s death at the end. So I finally was able to keep my promise to other INXS fans and share the story, all the time with the feeling the remaining members of the band would hate me for that story, and the warped drawings I made of them! I laugh about it though. Though I don’t think they are laughing. The leader, Tim Farriss, is a proud man and I think one of his pet peeves is someone writing about the band before even meeting them. I keep remembering how upset he got when someone who had never met Michael nor did any interviews with the band members wrote a book about Michael after he died, and applied that to my situation. I cannot blame him, but I never wrote this story with the intention of following their true character or lifestyles, or even getting it published. I only wrote it to share with family, friends and close INXS fans.

Anyway, back to 1998. Watching my videos of them, I began to learn who I loved most in the band. By mid year I had 3 videos put out by INXS. Michael was my #1 favorite because of his beauty and talent. Tim was my #2 favorite at this time. There were fans who counted him as their #1 fave and I could definitely see why! He was beautiful, witty and funny!!! However, I was blinded by Michael’s beauty over Tim’s. But I did turn to Timmy (as I later came to call him most often) when I needed laughs. Because I was so hooked on Michael though, I grew more and more depressed as the year went on, just thinking that he can only be seen now in videos. I think this kind of blinded me to Timmy, except for his humor and wit.

My Deepest Love for INXS

There was one incident where INXS’s family-style comfort and Timmy’s wit actually saved me. Or, that’s what I feel like. In June of this year, I became a companion for a woman, who was in her 60s and dying of terminal liver cancer. I was to just stay with her to give her someone to talk to when she needed it, and I was glad to do it. It was the most fun job I ever had! She and I had nothing in common, but she was still fun to talk to. I think the reason our opinions clashed was only because we were several generations apart, but it was still a fun job, and I was making her happy in her last month in this World. She was a strong woman! She was actually supposed to be dead the month before, but she outlived the doctor’s predictions. She finally died before the month was over with and I felt sad along with the family. She actually had tears in her eyes when I held her hand and said good bye to her for the last time, and so did I. I felt so fortunate to have been able to make her laugh during the last, painful month of her life and to be her companion and just sit with her during the day and talk about anything with her.

But alas, no good deed goes unpunished. Not long after that, I got a little Australian cattle dog puppy and named her Hutchess, after Michael. I got her from a breeder in Gig Harbor. I thought if I named her after Michael then it could have been 18 years from then and I’d still be remembering him. Silly conception I know it! But at the immediate time I thought it was a good idea. Besides the fact that this was an Australian breed and it was named after Michael, it almost felt like having a piece of him in my home. Unfortunately it didn’t last long. About a week after I got that pup, she got very sick one morning after eating and threw up everywhere. I thought she just had air bubbles because she ate that food like there was no tomorrow! So, I threw her outside and let her relieve her gas that way. I figured her romping and playing would be enough to jar the bubbles in her belly loose.

The next day Hutchess was still sick, and not eating. I thought maybe the food didn’t agree with her, so I got some better food for her. She still didn’t eat. So, the next day I took her to the vet. It was this day I noticed she had diarrhea. I took her to the vet as soon as possible. All the time on the bus I kept thinking “she’s got parvo, I know she has!” I had worked at the humane society before and seen what this disease looked like and Hutchess was it. But at the same time I kept denying it to myself because I really did not want to deal with parvo. It was late when I got to the vet’s office; it was only an hour towards closing. When I described the symptoms to the examining vet, she decided she should run some tests on her. This is how they found out she was positive for parvovirus. This was a very devastating disease and widespread in this area at that time. However the vets told me that cattle dogs rarely get it. Rottweilers and Dobermans were the breeds that got this virus the most. But apparently the disease does not discriminate. Hutchess had to be euthanized that afternoon because she was already too far gone. I was devastated. I cried harder than I could remember since we lost Michael a few months before, I actually felt like I lost him all over again! I stayed in the vet’s office, even after it was supposed to be closing time, and cried uncontrollably. The vets even supplied me with tissues, which I used one right after the other. I knew the after-hours workers needed to clean the place up after me, so I got myself up and walked out to the nearest bus stop, toting 2 INXS pics, one CD of INXS and an empty pet crate. It was the loneliest feeling in the World to be toting that empty crate. I sat at that bus stop for what felt like an eternity, looking out into a World that looked back upon probably the most pitiable person they’d ever seen. I couldn’t even hold my head up then. Nothing was able to solace me. Not even my INXS cd or pics. There was one pic which was the cover of the Full Moon Dirty Hearts album that I used to carry with me every time I got on the bus. I LOVE Tim in that album, with nice long, flowing hair! And at this time I had just seen some of their videos from this album and among my favorites was “The Gift”. I felt more love for him after seeing that video than I did before, but Michael still remained my #1 favorite in the band.

I remember on my ride home on the bus I had to stop for a while downtown to connect to the bus that would get me home. I ran into a little blonde girl, approximately 6 years old, very rugged-looking and a heavy talker. She saw me holding my INXS pic and thought it was the Spice Girls, which were quite popular then. I told her it was a group called INXS. She saw the empty crate I had with me and asked me what I had in there. I had a blanket over the crate, and I told her “Nothing’s in it now.” She asked me what was in there. I told her it was a dog. She asked me where the dog was and I didn’t know what to answer except it was gone. She thought it had just ran away, and I left her to believe that. I couldn’t bring myself to tell a 6-year old my dog had just died. This little girl then insisted I play jump rope with her. I told her I didn’t feel like it, but she begged and begged until I finally gave in. Her mom didn’t approve of her “bothering” me. I was sad, but I told her “It’s OK.” And held one end of her jump rope, while her mom held the other end and twirled it a couple of times while she jumped. After that, her mom cut off the playing and I went back to my INXS pics, cds and empty crate, which had been waiting for me on a nearby bench and just sat there and concentrated on looking sad.

Eventually the bus came and wouldn’t you know it? That little girl and her mom got on the same bus as me. I wasn’t really in the mood to go another round of 20 questions, so I sat away from them and didn’t even look their way. They got off at the mall however, so I didn’t have to worry about them for long. I wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone! I buried my head in my INXS pic and my ears in their CDs, none of which could still placate me.

When I got home, my sis Anna was waiting and she saw the empty crate and asked where Hutchess was. I told her we lost her. She thought at first I meant that she ran away, she was prepared to go out the next day to that area and try to find her, but then I made it clearer, “She’s dead.” Anna felt bad. I just wanted to get into my chatroom and say hello to my INXS buds like I did every day, then get a shower and get to bed. I was tired, I hadn’t eaten anything all day, but I didn’t exactly have an appetite. However I felt if I didn’t go in the chatroom they would all wonder where I went. I went in just long enough to say hi to my best buds and tell them that I cannot stay that night. It was Anna who told them I was not feeling well because I had lost Hutchess. There were a few who would not understand my loss or my feelings, but it didn’t keep me from going in. There were those who were very helpful, among those was Jon’s Toy, Scarlett Slash/Spyder69, And Jon's Toy's boyfriend who called himself Knight. Others were helpful too, but these people really perked me up. Winnie even called my home, she was so sweet! Jon's Toy was a very sweet girl, wholesome and comforting. Her boyfriend was the same and smart as a whip! Scarlett Slash gave the chatroom much needed comedy relief and I mean that in a very sweet, respectful way. I loved her to death! Even though we had had some rocky conversations. I figured it was just a part of her character and went on. She had met the band on several occasions and loved Timmy so much that she even named her child after him. But even when she was angry, she was funny. I know she never intended to be funny when she was angry, but that’s how she came across.

The next day, after Hutchess died I wanted to devote to getting rid of the parvo in the house. I made several mixtures of bleach and water and got a rag and scrubbed everything in the house down good with that. I even slapped some into my carpet cleaner and cleaned all the carpets in the house. I even made a bucket of that stuff and bleached the back yard. Months later, my father would wonder why our lawn had just died and he comprehended the reason when I told him I bleached the backyard to get rid of the parvo. I had really no clue what brought that parvo into my yard! But I did have my theory. My sis Anna had a little Pekingese dog named Randle. He used to love to eat other dog’s droppings. He also used to get out of the fence all the time and both of these habits of his conspired to lead to the events that had happened. I worked harder this day than I ever had in my life! I worked so hard I never had time to eat anything. I still didn’t have an appetite anyway. I didn’t even watch any television.

That night I had a dream that I was being attacked by hordes of fleas. I think it may have been a guilt dream, not sure. Anyway, the next day I did nothing but sleep. By this time I hadn’t eaten in 2 days, but I was still without an appetite. I kept trying all day to get up from my sleep, but I just couldn’t. I slept all day, even through the summer heat, and then went into the chatroom that evening. Anna tried to get me to eat something, but I just didn’t want to. Scarlett Slash in the chatroom was getting worried. She said “I know it’s sad to lose a pet, but losing a person is even sadder and I don’t want to lose you.” At least that brought a smile to my face, but didn’t bring my appetite back. I stayed in the chatroom for a little while and then went on to bed. That night I had a dream that Hutchess came back as a huge, growling monster with big claws and teeth and towering over me. She roared to me, “You took my life, now I’m going to take yours!” This was obviously a guilt dream!

The next morning I woke up and discovered something I’d never felt before, I could barely get up. I was dizzy and my legs were weak and my arms just felt like they were not even there. I never felt this way before and it was strange, not to mention scary. At first I thought that I was maybe just tired, but then I tried to stand up. I couldn’t. I was standing, but very wobbly, like my legs could not support me. I remember plopping back down on the bed, looking at the ceiling and thinking to myself “oh no! What’ll I do now?” I thought I was a goner. I had to pull myself back out of bed using the headboard, just so I could drag myself into the restroom to take a wizz. I knew today had to be the day I break this hunger cycle, otherwise getting up the next day might become harder, and progress. I still had no appetite, and didn’t want to eat anything. Somehow, I had to coax my appetite back. I was still crying a lot, or every now and then I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I had to do something to get my mind off of what happened. The one thing that came to mind was my INXS babes, especially Michael and Timmy. I hadn’t seen my INXS videos since this all happened to Hutchess.

That morning, I gathered up all my INXS videos, by this time I had 3. I had the Greatest Hits from 1980-1990, In Search of Excellence and Great Video Experience, and I watched them all. I parked myself on the sofa in the living room, and surrounded myself with a bunch of my INXS pics laid all about the sofa and coffee table so that I could look at them whenever I wanted to. I also brought some tissues just in case. With Michael looking cute, as he was good at, and his wonderful singing, and Timmy just being Timmy I was laughing again before long. Seeing my INXS babes on the TV screen once again helped me a great deal in healing. It was like I was in a different World, and for those hours putting them in and playing them I even got to where I had forgotten about the events of the past days. But for those brief minutes in between putting the videos into the player and rewinding them so I could see them over and over again, brought me back into the real World. It was for this reason I brought the tissues out with me, and I used them. Coming back into the “real World” included remembering what happened to Hutchess and the pain I still felt over losing her. Even something as simple as the phone ringing would bring me back to reality and sadness. I had to stop the videos and turn the TV off just to answer the phone. In a way, that was like turning my back on my INXS babes.

The first time that phone rang it was my father, informing me that he was coming by the next day to mow the lawn and he wanted me to clean up the dog’s droppings. I didn’t really feel like it that day, I was too weak and still upset over the loss I had endured. I told my father about my loss, kinda hoping I could get a little sympathy from him. BIG mistake!!!!! I should have known better! If history is any indication, it was father who turned his back on me the day I lost my favorite pics of Dian Fossey in a rain storm. I didn’t get any sympathy from him then and I didn’t get any now. I was practically in tears when I told him Hutchess died. His response was “Good!” I said “What do you mean good??!!” I was mad at this comment and truly not in the mood for this! He answered “You don’t need that dog.” I told him I had plans to get another dog to take her place and he responded, “Let me put it to you this way: If you get another dog, you can get out of that house.” I was so mad by what he said and the fact he chose this anguished moment to say it, that I banged the phone up in his ear. I was so disgusted by him at this time I didn’t even want to hear his voice. I remember holding my fist up at the phone (in a symbolic message) and saying “Some day you old turkey! You’re going to go too far!!!” I needed my Michael and especially Timmy more than ever now. I wanted to get closer to my favorite INXS babes so I put my INXS pics on the sofa and sat on the coffee table right in front of the television so I could get maximum viewing of my Michael and Timmy, and played those videos over and over again. By this time I was crying tears of frustration, rage and sadness because my father was so callous. If I had to play those videos until they wore out then so be it! I needed to get what my father said out of my head.

It took hours, but I was finally able to walk away from the television. I could always count on Timmy to get me laughing again, but this time took a little more effort. If my father had never called and said the crap he did, it may have taken less time. That evening, after seeing INXS so many times I had lost count, I was finally able to have a bite to eat. It started off slowly and minute, I hadn’t eaten in 3 days at this point and so it felt a bit funny at first, like I could feel each bite going down and hitting my belly like an anchor. But I got better and better as the night went on. The next day I can remember I still didn’t have all my strength back, but I ate a little more and it started to build up more. I was fine in about a week. I remember like 2 days after I had already ended my hunger strike; my mom came and took me shopping with her to different thrift stores. I found a cute little embroidered picture of a puppy that looked just like Hutchess, even had her solid white tail! I said to ma “I’ve got to have it!” it was only $1, and so she got it for me. She then took me to an A&W restaurant and we had dinner. It was here she told me “I don’t ever want to hear of you starving yourself again!” but I couldn’t help it. After losing Hutchess I just didn’t have an appetite.

Anyway, this is the one time I can honestly say INXS saved me. If I hadn’t seen them when I did and if Timmy wasn’t as funny as he was, I’d have never got better. I may have even starved myself to death. Living proof that laughter heals all wounds. I feel I am deeply indebted to Timmy, but he’ll never know it, nor how much. I remember that night getting back in the INXS chatroom, I hadn’t been in yet in a couple days at that time and everyone was concerned about me. I told them all I was doing so much better and I told them I owed it to my INXS vids, especially to Timmy, because it was Tim alone who got me laughing again. I remember at that point Scarlett Slash saying, “Good ol’ Tim!” I never looked at INXS the same way again. My love for them was stronger than ever.

Over the next months I even collected some INXS pen pals. One person from New Jersey, named Jeanette, also loved Timmy, and even sent me a couple pics of him that she gathered from somewhere. She always put hearts by his name because she was so in love with him. Another pen pal I had, named Patty, did not like Timmy very well, but loved Michael, who was also my #1 fave at that time. She had a friend in school that loved Timmy though, and told me they used to argue about which INXS band member was cuter. Patty told me she used to call Timmy “Pumkinhead” because of the chip in his front tooth. That kinda made me feel uncomfortable because I loved Tim. He may not have been my #1 favorite in the band at that time but I still loved him a lot, especially after how he pulled me through that tough ordeal after I lost Hutchess. Besides, I think the chip in his front tooth is cute! When he smiles big and shows those beautiful eyes of his it makes me crazy. I love it so much!

My love for INXS lasted all year this year, and I even got another dog and named it after Michael, but this time called it Mikey. It was an Australian shepherd, who the breeder had actually named Magic. But I don’t like that name, so I named him Mikey. By 1999, my interest in INXS was still there, but was beginning to flack off some. Part of the reason was because I sold my computer and so I couldn’t go into the chatroom anymore to talk INXS. So, my interest in them began to wane. I’ll always remember though how Timmy got me laughing again when I needed it most, and I still thought Michael was cute and had lots of talent. I still mourned that man, even though my interest was quieted down. There is a Behind the Music special on VH1 that discusses Michael and I saw it in 2001. It was a very sad documentary. I don’t remember if the rest of the band was in that documentary, I know their manager at that time was. I remember when I recorded half of it in 2002; I watched it and started crying. Michael still had that affect on me at that time.

The Resurrection of INXS

After 2002, my interest in INXS had really flacked off. I still loved them, just not as much as I used to. This lasted for a few years. Then in 2005, I had gotten up early one morning I don’t remember why, but it was mid-April (I remember that because it was soon after I got my new executive-style computer seat which I love very much) and I wanted to look for the old INXS websites. I found an old site of names and ICQ numbers of INXS fans. It also had a listing for people to post their websites, and I started browsing through some of them. In one of the sites, I found a nudie pic of Michael, his arms up to his chest and his head turned slightly downward. I saved that pic and titled it “Oh BABY!!!” My little sis Katrina still laughs about that. I got an orgasm just looking at that picture!

Day after day, after seeing that pic, my love for INXS started to grow again. But this time, even though it was Michael who got me back into INXS again, I went more for Timmy instead of Michael. Now why I am so sweet on Timmy now instead of Michael I don’t know. My theory is that I’ve accepted Michael’s death and am ready to move on, as much as I still love him. Timmy was always my #2 favorite band member, but now has been given a vigorous shove to #1. I love him just as much now as I did that cold, wintry morning in April of 2005 when you might say I “rediscovered” him. I remember he was the last thing I was thinking of when I was knocked out for oral surgery later that month. The last thing I remember thinking was “I want Timmy and Michael. They’re at home!” and then I was out.

Once again I can say Timmy and Michael saved me. I was on the BBC forums, which is a dog and cat breeder’s forum. The people on there loved to battle with each other. Well that month, their favorite poster to pick on was banned for coming in under several different aliases. This person’s name was Rose, and as far as I know I can think of a few aliases she has used. She was “Kellie”, “Rosemarie”, “YouAreLosers”, and several more. It was funniest when Rose came in as YouAreLosers, pretending to be someone who hated anyone who didn't have children. What was funny about it was that Rose herself had never had kids, and she is in her 40s. Each time she came in she’d use some different name or personality. I was glad the moderator finally decided to ban her. Too late though because my mind was already made up and I had decided to leave there, it just took a while. I did still have some friends there, I just gradually faded away by signing in less and less each day and posting even less than that.

The one thing that finally made me decide to leave was an unregistered person who called herself “Pal”. She called my attention to an article about monkeys and mercury levels in their body she said “Because you study that stuff.” I study monkey evolution, not monkey medicine. And because she didn’t sign in and I had never seen her before I was cautious about taking this person seriously. I felt like if I had made a comment about the article she showed me, she’d have said something like “Maybe this is why you’re so stupid!” So, I headed her off and made a similar comment before she could. Of course I was kidding. But Pal got honked off and started to attack violently. First she said I was a total idiot and then whined that I never appreciate anything. I just told her off-screen to go screw herself! and left that forum and haven’t been back since. Not even as a lurker. Besides I love my INXS forums. INXSaries are so much more fun to talk to! I feel like I did back when I used to get into the INXSweb chatroom. And I’ve gotten some remarkable pics of the band on this forum. I just LOVE it there! When I told them about the forum I came from and how they treated others there and how hurtful it got when they decided they were going to turn on me, they all extended their hands out to reassure me. I never got love and compassion like that at the BBC! What I didn’t tell them was that the BBC was a pet forum.

I used to think pet owners were usually very nice people, but the BBC and several other forums I’d been into proved me wrong. So, I think I’ll just stick with INXS fans. There are some INXS fans out there that can be just as bad as pet-owners, but they are relatively few. Besides I’m getting much too old to be getting into battles or having to defend myself every day against people who just don’t seem to want to listen and definitely don’t want to change and sure as Hell don’t want to admit they’re wrong. I’m too old and too worn out. I need good, clean, wholesome fun. And it’s worked! Since I left the BBC, my attitude has changed! I was surprised myself to see how dramatically I changed. Now, I channel my energies into defending INXS. I feel it senseless to defend animals. Animals can defend themselves, and it makes no difference to them anyway! They’ll still love you to death even if you tell them right to their face “You’re ugly!” Already several times I’ve had to defend Timmy. There’s a troll going all around the internet bad-mouthing Timmy. Maybe he tried out for Rockstar and didn’t make it. But he is just all over the internet cussing poor Timmy out! It pisses me off! I catch him at it all the time. I believe it’s the same guy! He keeps calling my Timmy a “cunt”. I call that troll a dumbass! And I tell him how he dares talk about Timmy like that. Next time I saw him he was all in a conniption about Timmy being in the center of the INXS group photos, and calling him an “attention-seeking cunt”. I said to him “So WHAT!!!??? Timmy has a right to be in the center if he wants to! He’s the leader!” I also told him anything he says about Timmy he’s saying about himself, and that he’d better shut his dumbass mouth before he humiliates himself. He sounded just like the kids in kindergarten used to when they would pitch a fit because some kid they didn’t like got to be class monitor or got in the center of the group or had something some other little kid didn’t have! It’s stupid! And this person is making himself look retarded. He’s probably calling me names now because I stood up for Timmy. But I’d rather it be me he cussed out than my beautiful Timmy.

I cannot wait for Rockstar to come on! I get to see Timmy on TV again! I’m going to LOVE that!!!!! I’m so excited!

As for other rock groups I had been into in the past well; early in 1998 after losing Michael, I started to feel a little spark of light for Roxette, but it was destined to be only a little spark of light, and nothing more. It tried to develop back up into a full-fledged “romance” like the one I had before, but it hasn’t ever been able to become one again. So, as far as I was concerned, Roxette was musical history. As for MC Hammer well, he became a priest and I was happy to hear he had reverted back to religion. But my love affair with him was gone forever and never even slightly rekindled at any time after 1992. I never regained any interest in New Kids on the Block again, not even when they reappeared in 1992 or 1993 under a new title NKOTB and made another album. Joey McIntire even went solo in 1999, but I never really liked him. Jordan Knight was my favorite back in 1990. I kept a little spark of interest in Richard Marx until 1995, but it was always little more than a spark, so I just dropped the love affair. It didn’t seem to want to go anywhere.

Story taken from "My Memoirs", 2005 by Cassandra Rivera.