Talkin ‘Bout

June 26, 2012 at 10:25 PM | Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment
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I had to go back and look at the details, to make sure I did it right. Yep. Chuck said go to a certain website that would automatically generate some band names, pick one, and write a story about the band. I did that. Further deposition ye shall not receive.
To read more stories like it and find the band name generator, go on tour at this venue:
Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: That’s My New Band Name

Rhino Voyeur had just come off the stage and Wicked Caustic was setting up.  Killjoy Lovejoy sat by himself in the Green room, brooding.  It had been for stylistic purposes; now it was part of their contract.  The rest of the band was helping themselves to the smorgasbord of food, alcohol, and groupies.
Sid Fantastic, the vocalist, sat down next to Killjoy with a sammich in one hand a groupie in the other.  “Groupie?”
“Sure.”
She was a sweet, innocent, and not-at-all virginal 28-year old.  Being the sensitive type, she knew what Killjoy needed.  As she lifted his kilt, she said, “Tell me a story.”
“Tell them about the last Woodstock!”  That was Feetfluffin, the band’s bass air-guitarist.
“Fine.  Back during The War—“
“You were in The Revolution?” she asked.
“Shut up.  No.  Like all good freeloaders, I abhor violence because I don’t wanna get hurt, and I don’t cling to any beliefs strongly enough to fight for them.  During The War—probably 2029 or so—I holed up with a bunch of PETA freaks in the mountains, but I hiked my shit out of there when they became cannibals.”
“I learned about that in hist-“
Killjoy shot her a dirty look; she kept quiet and resumed what she was doing.
“Goddamn starving vegetarians are too good to eat animals.  But don’t go to sleep, because those fuckers are ruthless.”  Killjoy lifted his leg, mostly bare because of the kilt and the blowjob.  Below the knee his leg was titanium and plastic–and gravel, because it was hard to clean.  “By this time the war was winding down, and the Great Migration was taking place.  I came down from the mountains to see hordes—just thousands and thousands of liberals—everywhere, that had come from all over the country to settle here.”
Other groupies that didn’t currently have something in their mouths ooh’ed and aah’ed appreciatively.  “They were essentially rudderless, with nothing to guide them but their talking points and their GPS.  But they had nowhere to go.
“Back then I gave a shit, and was more energetic.  I figured there was a way to make some dough—“
“’Dough?’”
“Uh, yeah.  Bread.  Cash.  No?  Shit, what was it called…Money!  You’ve heard about money, right?”
One girl said, “Yeah, we’ve *heard* of it–”
“Well, I’m too drunk and I’m getting blown so I can’t really explain it.  But it was important, and people wanted it.  I started to herd people towards Central California, to the coast.”
“Oh!  Towards—“
“Hush!  Don’t give it away; this is my rambling story.  I thought the best way to get people together was with music.  I could play guitar, a little—“
More appreciative noises.  “A real guitar?”
“Yes.  A real one.  On the way I met Sid and Feetfluffin, who were actual musicians, and also—“
The bandmates reverently touched their hand to their forehead and then their balls, the salute of fallen comrades.
“Sam Fucking Jones.”
Sam Fucking Jones, one of the greatest drummers of the twenty-first century.  Like all of the greats, he lived hard and died young.  One morning he went out parasail-fishing to catch a killer whale, with explosives strapped to his body.  One of the greatest percussionists of his time, with an innate grasp of rhythm and tempo nevertheless could not make the correlation between using himself as bait and what would be his messy and ridiculous death.
Because he succeeded, there was no way to separate man from whale except with a strainer.   The urn with his ashes is a 55-gallon drum that sits on stage with the band.
“People continued to follow us, not knowing where we were going.  Liberals are easily led.  We made vague promises, like, ‘Almost there,’ and ‘Just a little further,’ and “Maybe it’s the next exit.’
“Eventually we made it to San Francisco—“
“Yes?”
“And bloody San Francisco wasn’t there!  I didn’t know that!  I’d been up in the mountains fending off fucking vegetarian cannibals.  Somebody should have said something—“
Feetfluffin said, “Dude, you never told us anything!  It was a secret, like a quest or some shit.”
“Whatevs.  It was serendipitous anyway.  Because San Francisco had been destroyed early in the war, it had mostly gone back to nature and was very park-like, except for the piles of bodies and the radioactivity.
“By then, all the people were ready to turn on us, so—it was Sam’s idea—we tell them we’re going to have a concert.  A New Woodstock!”
Sid added, “That part was actually pretty easy.  Statistically, in any large group of aimlessly wandering nomads, there are going to be a certain percentage of out-of-work musicians.”
Killjoy continued, “I don’t know about the math, but…yeah, it came together pretty organically.  And that’s the story of the Revolutionary Woodstock.  There were two million people over the course of a week, and only, like…less than ten thousand people died.”
A stagehand caught Killjoy’s attention.  He stood up. “Well, I hate to be a killjoy—“
Sid and Feetfluffin did as well.  “We about to go on?”
“Yeah.”  Sid opened himself up to embrace the energy from the audience.  “Ah…the fans.  I love the fans!”
One of the groupies there said, “Excuse me—Mr. Sid?  I’ve heard that–‘fans.’  What is that?  Like a groupie?”
“Well, sorta, yeah.  Fans are great.  They come to all your shows, follow you on tour, buy your merch, wear your shirts—”
“That’s what we do!”
“Oh, no, hon.  Fans do all of that, and we need millions of ‘em.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Groupies do that too…but also let us come in their mouths.  We can only handle so many groupies.”  That brought a smile to her face.
Killjoy said, “If you have only one groupie, she’s your girlfriend.”
“It’s a fine line, bro.”
The lights went down, the crowd cheered.  An announcer said, “Are you ready, people?  Are you ready?  Put your hands and feet together for Decadent Squat!”

Song Of The Year

March 14, 2010 at 1:14 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
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At the bank yesterday morning, some chicka named Kim (I know about four or five Kims) asked me to come over and look at someone’s computer, with the excuse that they were having trouble with it.
He has a officle.  It’s bigger than a regular cube, and it’s shaped like an office except the walls are only five and half feet tall, and portable, made of cube material, and there’s no door.  It’s kind of like shaping tofu into a t-bone steak–it may look nice, but it’s still tofu.  Steak sauce won’t help.
Anyway, several people–work-friends–are gathered there and my first thought is, “Shit, not another intervention.”  My second thought was, “What could it be for *this* time?”
Before I can protest, someone says, “Listen to this.”  It’s playing on computer speakers and it’s kind of low, so I can barely make it out.  Acoustic guitar and some singing.  A familiar tune.  Suddenly the light dawns on me.  *TOO* familiar.  It’s lyrics that I wrote.  Somebody STOLE my song!
I didn’t say anything yet, which was good, because I would have made an ass of myself.  “Sound familiar?” somebody said.
I turned, and she handed me a CD case and explained.  Last year in October or November, I sent around by email these lyrics that are a parody of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence.”  They got to Linda, and she sent them to her husband.  Her husband and brother-in-law have a band.  They were tickled by the lyrics and they thought up a great idea.  The band practiced the song, performed it, and recorded it.  A girl at the bank clandestinely took my picture, and another woman took the photo and ‘shopped it onto the cover of the original Simon and Garfunkel album art, and changed it to my name and the name of the song.
I listened to the song again.  They really went all out on this.  I was amazed and just knocked on my butt at the lengths they went to.  I just felt–wow.  I felt like a rock star.  I felt like I won the Grammy.  I felt special, like a sitcom’s very-special-episode kind of special, but in a good way.  It warmed my heart and the cockles of my balls.

And all of this because 16 years ago or so, I heard the song and different words went through my head, and I knew I had to go with it.  I re-wrote the lyrics to be more applicable to something I could relate to:  Pizza Delivery.  The new song was called, “The Sound of Slices.”
Whenever the song comes up in conversation, I casually mention that I was with Art Garfunkel before Paul Simon was.  We toured the local bus station circuit doing folk music.  I had just written that song when Paul Simon came along.  I got kicked out, and they stole my material–it was this whole big thing.  Paul Simon rewrote the lyrics, but my version makes more sense.  Obviously.  It’s about my life delivering pizza back in the 1950s.
I told them that story, and then sent them the lyrics.  And they did all of that work.  It’s just amazing.  It makes me happy to know that I have friends that will do things like that, and people who actually think my material is good enough to do that do.  I am now–officially–a published songwriter.  Let me go ahead and give you the lyrics. 

THE SOUND OF SLICES

Pizza boxes my old friends
I’ve come to fold you up again
Because a GM softly creeping
Woke me up when I was sleeping,
And the threat of being fired still remains
In my brain
Within the sound of slices

Out on runs I go alone
Driving fast and getting stoned
Beneath the halo of a streetlamp
I deliver in the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash
Of a neon light
“Open All Night”
To serve the sound… of slices

And in florescent light I saw
10 thousand pizzas, maybe more
Pizzas stacking without leaving
Pizzas sitting and not going
Pizzas growing old and drivers never care
No one dared
Disturb the sound of slices.

“Fools!” said I, “You do not know!
“Sliced like that it cannot go!”
Hear my words that I might teach you
Grab my apron that I might train you
But my words, like pepperoni fell
And in the air the smell
Of slices

And the people bitched but paid
For the pizza that I made
And the sign flashed out its warning
See the words that it was forming
And the sign said the slices of the pizza
Are for sale near the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whisper the sound… of slices

 

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