Monday, February 4, 2013

Band of Bass by G. Arthur Brown

Mal surprises me by turning around quickly and saying, excitedly, “I pulled your mother’s pork!” 

At the time, I’m kind of in love with the idea of making a surreal tele-dramedy starring Anna Friel as a sultry dream thief and Crispin Glover as a glove-maker with the ability to read gloves like gypsy ladies read palms.  But a person would have to wear the gloves long enough to break them in, to give them creases.  Oh, and they’d have to be leather gloves.  And then, I guess, he has to put the gloves on to get the full feeling.  The premise still isn’t finalized when I’m shocked out of my reverie by Mal’s declaration.

I am horrified, to say the least. It is the worst thing anyone has ever said to me, and yet I have no idea what it means.  “What? What the hell do you mean?”

I should describe Mal to you because you’ve never met him.  He’s shrewd and cagey, and he collects jam pots, which are things that British people put their jelly in.  Mal is British. 

He doesn’t normally speak of pork, and not of my mother, either.  When he speaks, it is of lifts and lorries and gunless coppers.  He sings in a band, of course.  College radio loves him.  Can’t stop playing that first album over and over.  You have to be in college to like his band’s music.  A sophomore described them as “a Beatlesque Gang of Four with three bass players.”  Everyone in the band plays bass.  But they have electronic apparatus to make the basses sound like other instruments.  The band is the “complete opposite of the Doors,” according to one stoned poli-sci major.

Mal, with some kind of juice dripping from his chin, chooses to simply reiterate: “I pulled your mother’s pork, mate.”

“Them’s fightin’ words, Mal.  Take it back.”

“Have it your way.”  He shrugs and goes back to fiddling with his HAM radio.  “Technology won’t save us.”

“It has surely saved your band of bass.  Otherwise, you guys would sound like a retarded Claypool masturbation session.”

“Are you sure you don’t want one of these pork sandwiches?”  He motions to the plate sitting on the desk next to the radio. 

“I swore to the Jewish g-ds that I would never eat my mother’s pork, nor be stewed in her milk, though the latter is getting harder and harder to avoid.”  I peer out the window at the milk drenched landscape.  Global warming has really pulled a doozy.  You can’t go anywhere without smelling the stench of spoiling dairy.

“That’s your mother’s milk, mate.  Have some bloody respect…. Oh, hello!  Lord, is that You?  I have finally got You on my HAM radio!”  Mal is clearly excited as he speaks into the microphone, but the Lord isn’t speaking English in reply, so I have a hard time making out His end of the convo.

“First of all, Lord, I’d like to let you know we need a wet cleanup on aisle Earth,” Mal says, and then chuckles at his little joke.  “Second of all, Lord, I do want to do the live studio session.  The other lads are quite excited about it.” 

The Lord doesn’t offer to produce many bands for live radio broadcast.  Mal is honored, and he should be.  But strangely he hadn’t accepted the offer on the spot when it was first proffered last Wednesday.  He wanted to play it cool, I guess.  I think the Lord understands that sort of thing.  I get that feeling from the way He says His words, because I can’t actually divine their meanings.  And I’ve used an online translator and everything.

Suddenly the transmission is interrupted with a commercial for Rectal Assassination 8, starring Anna Friel and Crispin Glover as anal saboteurs who attempt to prolapse the rectums of five not-so-lucky college girls. It takes place during the Cold War, and there are Soviet agents embedded in the linings of their colons.  

“I can’t wait for RA 9,” Mal says.  “That one takes place during the American Revolution.  Tricorne hats abound.  John Paul Bones has his spy glass up a sailor’s porthole right in the magazine advert. Which reminds me, mate.  I pulled your mother’s pork!”

I have to assume the Lord hears the homicide over the HAM radio.  How could he not?  The murder weapon was the HAM radio.   

Copyright 2013 G. Arthur Brown

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