Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Twenty-One

It was the moment he’d been waiting for since the beginning of the competition—a night alone with Ashley.

He was leaned back on the bed, his shirt off, breathing hard. His heart throbbed. Ashley stepped back from the bed, he mouth hanging open slightly. She dropped her nightgown from her body and when he saw the spinnerets, he began to howl.

The cameraman had to turn and look away, but could still hear what was happening. His sobs were muffled by the sound of his gorge rising.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Twenty

As she leaned in to kiss him, he could smell her breath. It was a cool waft of carpet ruined by cat urine, damp wood warping and that smell that rises from stagnant, green water in a culvert during high summer.

He whispered ‘love’ into her open mouth and then instantly regretted it as he realized it was a weird thing to do.

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Nineteen

"You know why I am bitter? I'll tell you. I thought we were bros, man. Brothers. But he stabbed me in the back. He threw me under the bus. I mean both of those completely literally. I was looking at myself in the mirror in the bathroom, adjusting my face for the one-on-one date with Ashley and he came in without making a sound and began to stab me again and again in the back. I didn't notice at first because I was caught in the own flickering light of my hazel eyes. When I finally noticed what he was going, I said, 'Bro!' and then he drug my body, writhing in pain, and tossed me into the street just as the bus came by. Its wheels crushed what was left of me. Broken bones. Torn muscle. Blood flying like water from a sprinkler. A bunny rabbit looked me in the eyes and we communicated telepathically. It said, 'I feel you man. Happens to me all the time.' Bros are not supposed to act like that. What has become of American manhood?"

Submariner Gets Wild

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Eighteen

Ashley walked along the balcony of her hotel room. She asked the darkness if she would ever find love. There was no response from the darkness other than the sound of someone inside her room, in the shadows, struggling against fetters and a gag.

She sighed and let a single red rose drop from her fingers. It fell several stories, down to the bustling street, where it was trampled.

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Seventeen

[partial transcript of online dating site chat]

BachelorEx2011: Hey! 'Sup! I was on The Bachelorette. Would you like to seem some photos of my torso.

Staci9999: Excuse me?

BachelorEx2011: Don't you remember that show? I was one of the contestants. I used to be called Ben C., but now I go by a different name now, for a bunch of reasons that you don't need to worry about. I am compliant with all applicable laws. There are videos of me on the entertainment pods. Feel free to take a look. I can also ElectroGram you some private images.

Staci9999: Using my WikiImplant, I've scanned the available historical databases and I find not reference to you or that show. This dating site is supposed to be secure and free of falsehood. I am going to get my mother.

BachelorEx2011: No, don't do that. I'm cool. We are just talking. I'm not trying to pressure you into anything.

Staci9999: What kind of show was it?

BachelorEx2011: It was popular, really popular. You would have a beautiful woman dating dozens of men. This was before the Moral Entertainment Purges of 2038. I can ElectroGram you some still images. They are lo-rez, but I think you will get the idea. Physically, I satisfy all of the National Physical Requirements. Or did.

Staci9999: I'm sorry. How old are you? If that show was before the Purges, that was sooooo long ago. That was even before reproductive initiatives between people required licenses and were handled through the National Population Control Center.

BachelorEx2011: These stills are from when I was in my early thirties, but my CryoWell Home Sleeping System has kept me looking top notch. If you look that the lo-rez stills and at me from a distance, we look that same. I have hair.

Staci9999: NOTICE: YOU HAVE BEEN CHATTING WITH A NATIONAL SECURITY ONLINE PATROL BOT. A TRANSCRIPT OF THIS CHAT HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO YOUR SECTOR PATROL STATION AND AND AN INVESTIGATIVE GROUP HAS BEEN DISPATCHED TO YOUR LOCATION. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LEAVE YOUR LOCATION. ANY ATTEMPT TO LEAVE WILL BE DEEMED AN ADMISSION OF GUILT AND YOU WILL BE SHOT ON SIGHT.

***BACHELOREX2011 HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM***

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Sixteen

Ames woke from his restless sleep. His head still hurt, still spun. He had moments of clarity and then the world would cloud again. Where was he? He couldn't remember, but looking out the window of the small room at the dark alley below, he knew that he wasn't in New York any longer.

He had the taste of blood in his mouth, but then he remembered the rose ceremony. "Oh, right. That is why I have the taste of blood in my mouth." As he walked back to the pallet in the corner of the room where he'd been sleeping in tangled sheets, wet with his sweat, he noticed that he was carrying a severed hand.

"I said I needed a hand, but this is ridiculous." Being a stock broker, he put the hand under his pillow and hoped that in the morning, in its place he would find a fifty cents.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Fifteen

The men on the group date walked along the streets of Chiang Mai, joking easily with one another. Then, at the entrance to a small plaza, they saw her, the goal of their romantic quest. Their hearts capered at the thought of spending the rest of their lives with her, treating her with the love and respect that she deserved. She was the most beautiful woman they'd ever seen.

"Gentlemen," she said as they stood before her in a semi-circle, gesturing to a small in the center of the plaza. "Blood sports."

The thrumming streets of Chiang Mai reverberated with the distant screams of the suitors. Inhuman shrieking of unbearable pain. It was a sound that many never forgot, not on their death beds, happily submitting to that final silence.

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Fourteen

The antiquarian book dealer gasped when he opened the crate. A faint air of decay wafted up to this nose, a smell he remembered all to well from his years as a young priest in Cairo. Before he renounced a God that he now knew did not exist.

The title, red on the ageless page: Das Geheimnis der unverheirateten Wurm

'It has begun again,' he thought.

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Thriteen

"I really loved that bottle of wine you gave me on the first night. What type of grapes do you use," Ashley asked.

"I don't use grapes," Ben F. said. "The wine is made from the ruined dreams of spinsters."

"I thought it tasted familiar."

Friday, June 17, 2011

The History of Audubon Park: Errata

An anonymous commenter on a previous post explains why we thought that "Crookshanks" was funny:
you know, the best part about that flier (which i still have) is that there was a picture of Crookshanks lying on the ground and a picture of Crookshanks looking at the camera. above the latter, someone had written "alive," while above the former, "dead." then someone ELSE crossed out "dead" and wrote "not dead".

I had totally forgotten about the captions. Yes, that is why it was funny.

Ben says it best:
It is good to remember awesome things you had almost forgotten.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Twelve

"For tonight's group date, we are going to roast Ashley," Chris Harrison said.

The men began to salivate. Their eyes rolled white.

"No, not like that. What I mean is that we are going to all make fun of her."

Wiping the saliva from their slack-jaws, the suitors began thinking of clever things to say. They were silent.

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Eleven

Constantine felt that he had the best connection with Ashley because they had both been rulers of ancient lands, living secret nocturnal lives for centuries.

"I was born in 1985," she said, sipping from her flute of mid-priced champagne and pouting.

"Oh, sorry," Constantine said, drawing a pouch containing a powder made from the ground bones of ibises and inhaling deeply. "Well, we just have such good conversations, I assumed."

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Ten

Ashley had been warned that Bentley was not there for love, but to promote his Utah-based trampoline business. She wasn't warned about his unending hunger for human offal.

"I like to eat children's livers," he said to himself. "It makes my hair look good. See." He began to pose and flex, though there was no one to see it.

Later that night, the other suitors were awakened by the sound of distant howling.

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Nine

When Tim woke, he couldn't remember much of anything. He'd been in a mansion, he knew that. He'd had something to drink, maybe too much, but as a liquor distributor from New York City, that was nothing new. There'd been a man in a mask. That was nothing new in NYC either.

No, the only strange thing was that his torso was covered in bite marks and his legs had been gnawed off.

"Bro, this is not cool."

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Eight

Chris Harrison sat in his room, alone. The floor was covered in straw, the walls bare. The air held a the faint tang to stale urine. In his hands was a photograph, battered, of his family. His wife and daughter. How long had it been since he'd seen them? He couldn't remember. Nor could he cry any longer.

So long ago. He'd been driving home from an after-work happy hour. He'd lost control of his car on a desolate and dark highway. There'd been something, someone, in the rode. A dark figure brought to life by his hi-beams. He swerved, screamed, and then... He could only remember fragments, grim flashes of bending steel and blood that capered before his eyes in the moments before sleep. A TLC song had been on the radio.

And then a voice, 'Do you need help?' He was barely conscious but he responded in a thin rasp. "Yes."

'Take my hand.'

He reached up in the dark and took the outstretched hand. He felt a wriggle of revulsion slither through his body. 'You owe me one now,' the voice said, pulling him free of the wreckage.

Chris Harrison wanted to cry when he thought of his daughter, but he knew it was best that his family did not know what had become of him.

'Chris!' The voice was in his head again. That voice. He could not resist it, he knew.

It was time for the ceremony.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Seven

"I am wearing this mask because I want you to get to know what is inside me before you get to know what is outside," Jeff said as he and Ashley shared an intimate moment in the stairwell.

"Great idea," Ashley said, producing a meat cleaver from her d├ęcolletage, such as it was.

As she began to savagely hack at Jeff's ribcage, Jeff looked at the ceiling and said, "The mask was a mistake."

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Six

The men all agreed that the only thing better than helping to renovate an orphanage for their group date was how good the children tasted after the barbecue.

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Five

On the night of the second rose ceremony, Chris Harrison found Ashley sitting alone, looking at the wall covered in pictures of her suitors. She did not look up at him for a few moments and he did not disturb her.

When she finally turned to him, he said, in a low, comforting voice, "Ashley, I have some information that I think you are going to need for tonight. Please sit down."

"I am sitting down already."

"I don't know that crouching on the arm of a chair like an owl counts as 'sitting.'"

"Is this really that important?"

Chris huffed, restrained himself, and said, "There is going to be one less suitor tonight for the ceremony."

Ashly gasped, bit her lip, keened and then said in a teary voice, "Did someone leave me?"

Chris shook his head. "No, the other men tore Stephen apart and burned his remains in an ancient and obscure ritual to some unknown god."

"Why is everyone always leaving me," Ashley said, leaping from the arm of the chair and flying into the night.

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Four

"I'm really excited to be here and to meet Ashley. I mean, she's a beautiful, sexy, successful woman and what guy wouldn't want that. I know we've only just met, but I'm really starting to feel something. I think this is real and I just hope that I get a rose tonight so that I can show her that I'm the right man."

[Found by police on the bathroom wall of a gas station in Tulsa, written in blood]

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Three

"Hey bro, did you see that one guy who was wearing a mask?"

"Yeah, what a werido. Why can't dude just be normal and cool like us?"

"I am wearing another person's skin on my face."

(PAUSE)

"Wanna get in the pool?"

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter Two

The date had been perfect. William and Ashley sat at the small table in the middle of the fountain in front of the Bellagio.

"I feel like I've just poured my heart out to you," he said, taking Ashley's hand.

"No, this is what pouring your heart out to me feels like." With her free hand, Ashley ripped William's chest open and began to devour the entrails she found inside.

"You can't eat me raw," he said, as darkness flickered around the edge of his vision.

"Oh, would you like me to roast you first? How about this: You look like a pre-pubescent Jake Pavalka."

"I was hoping it would be some other woman devouring me alive in Las Vegas."

In that moment, William went mad, his mind unable to take the unrelenting horror of the moment. From across the water, a gaggle of young women clapped and cheered. "Oh, I love Ashley," they said. "I hope she gets married." They hooted into the glittering night.

The Bachelorette Fanfiction: Chapter One

The police stopped at the door of the bungalow on the secluded beach in Burbank, turned their faces away in horror. Some, hardened men who'd seen the worst the world had to offer, vomited on the travertine.

Ashley, the Bachelorette, looked up from the pile of appendages and ribcages, her maw smeared red. "Oh, hi!" she said with a smile.

The detective, holding up his badge and gun said, "You weren't who we were expecting."

Ashley began to cry. "No one wants me."

The Bachelorette Update

The whole Bentley plot-line is either the worst written thing on reality television or this women has some issues.

I am looking forward to next week when instead of roses, she give the suitors knives at a high velocity. "You've really opened up to me. Literally!"

WHO WILL SURVIVE NEXT WEEK'S THE BACHELORETTE AND WHAT WILL BE LEFT OF THEM?!

The History of Audubon Park, Part Twenty-One

Apparently, in the Harry Potter books, there is a cat named Crookshanks. I don't know, I've never read them (sorry Alicia!), but that is what I've been told.

One of the things that the band likes to do the most is eat brunch. My favorite brunch place is Elmo's in Carrboro, though I think the others have a preference for the 15-501 Diner.

When you have brunch at Elmo's on a Saturday or Sunday morning, there is a good chance that you are going to wait a while. Part of that waiting it taken up by looking at the fliers neatly stapled up in their waiting area. In particular, there seem to be a lot of fliers in that one place for lost or unwanted cats. Think about lost cats is a sad thing, but for some reason the one looking for a cat named Crookshanks struck us as funny. Probably because Crookshanks is a funny name.

After we recorded the EP at Finn's mom, we began discussing the possible names. The two front runners were the Tropic of Food (thought up by Jennifer) and Crookshanks on the Island of Missed Diddles (thought up by Finn, Ben, Robert and Matt at brunch).

I don't have to tell you which title won. It is a silly title, but I like to think that it is a tribute to the lost cats, all lounging on some distant island, enjoying themselves on the sand, in sun, with the only sound the lapping of waves on the shore like the lapping of their own tongues on the bowls of milk that mysteriously appear in the shade whenever they want them.

The History of Audubon Park, Part Twenty

When Ross asked us to play on WXDU the first time, we ended our sloppier-than-usual set with a cover of "Turn Your AC on High" by Work Clothes. I've made no secret about the fact that I think Work Clothes are one of the all time best bands. Audubon Park, in what was to be a tribute, took one of their lovely songs and turned it into a circular saw flying through a playground. I mean, it turned out pretty great and I hope that Lee and Jenny know that it was meant with love.

When we were rounding out the track list for our second EP, we were stuck for a fourth song. From the original demos that I recorded, there were two other songs--one we learned and one we didn't. The one we learned, "Babble and Yap Senselessly," we only played once. I don't know why--I really liked that song. But, it never caught on or maybe I decided I hated it at the time and have forgotten that.

In any case, we were at Go!, discussing the recording we were going to do at Finn's mom's and we decided to do a cover of "Old Haunts" by the Ghost of Rock. But, just as we took Work Clothes's haunting ballad and turned it into a noise rock blow-out, we decided to take The Ghost of Rock's punk song and make it a stark piano ballad. The subject matter of the song--getting older, remembering the past--made it perfect for that.

That cover is one of the things I am most proud of with this band. Somehow, Matt and I hit those high notes on the backup vocals just right. But it wouldn't be so good if the song weren't really great and The Ghost of Rock were brilliant, so it would have been hard to make the song not sound great.

You know, "Gold Guitars" by Farblondjet is a really great song too.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The History of Audubon Park, Part Nineteen

Once, long before Jennifer and I moved to Carrboro, we took a day trip to Mammoth Cave in lovely Cave City, Kentucky. The cave tour was awesome (caves are just sort of the best and Mammoth Cave is the best of the best) but it wasn't until after we got out of the cave that we had "the best day ever."

Next to each other, just off of the interstate, were a wax museum and what was billed as a "3-D Haunted Maze".

I've told the story of our adventures there before, many times, so I will just make a few annotations on the song "Tree Full of Snakes."

1. Ben came up with the title. I was talking to him on the telephone, standing in the back bedroom of the duplex Jennifer and I lived in on Lindsay Street. I told him that I saw a snake in the yard, but I thought it went into a tree. He then said, "Tree full of snakes, man." I think that is what happened. I could be wrong. I am wrong about some of this stuff. Ben is free to correct this.

We used to practice, the two of us, in Lauren's knitting room.

2. Dolly Parton was singing "9 to 5," not "Islands in the Stream," but I like "Islands in the Stream" better.

3. The description of the Haunted Maze is more or less correct. It was low budget and empty and if I was ever going to be killed horror movie style, it would have been then. At some point as we went through, in the pitch dark maze, we were joined by a group of about four high school football players. They were shrieking and jumping at everything and one of them, not realizing that I was not in their group, started clutching me with fear. I said, "Are you okay?" and the guy, realizing what he'd done, said, in the most macho voice possible, "Oh, my bad."

4. We had a good time.

Monday, June 06, 2011

The History of Audubon Park, Part Eighteen

The phrase "Go to the ant, you lazybones" is from Proverbs 6:6. I don't remember which translation. I have a memory of Jennifer suggesting this as a title to me as we were sitting on an airplane. I don't know if this is true or not. Certainly, Jennifer is better versed in the Bible than I am and more likely to be the one reading the Bible on an airplane.

At that time, I was reading a lot of C.S. Lewis, which sort of embarrasses me to think about now. I guess we all have our faults. To be honest, I read two Narnia books, found a third one impossible to finish, started and gave up on one of his science fiction novels and read at at Chinese buffet one of his other books. The reason I was reading all of this Lewis was I'd tried to read the Lord of Rings and absolutely hated it. I had to stop after the first volume. I remembered liking The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when I was a child, so I decided to read those book instead. I started with The Magician's Nephew, which I did enjoy, but couldn't couldn't get into any of the rest, though I kept trying for a while.

Nevertheless, most of the lyrics to the song are a mish-mash of stuff I picked up from the Narnia books. I think there is a toffee tree by a lake in one of them. Also there are probably some talking vegetables. I don't really remember.

The song was written in about 15 minutes one day over that long 2002-3 winter break. I think Jennifer was still at home with her parents, but the few weeks between semesters was the worst at the bookstore and I never really got much time off around Christmas. So I woke, worked, came home and wasted magnetic tape. I remember sitting on the futon, strumming a great chord progression which immediately suggested this really awesome melody. I ran into the kitchen where I had the machine set up and by the time I was ready to record, I'd forgotten it.

What came out instead was "Go to the Ant You Lazybones"--a song nowhere near as great as the one originally suggested to me by the spirit. I ad libbed the words in one take and then spent the rest of the day soloing over the end.

After hearing the solo on the full band recording that we'd done in Finn's mom's house in the Summer of 2004, Paula said, "Whoa, settle down Jerry Garcia."

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Constitution Squares: America's Greatest Songwriter Gets a Webpage

FRIENDS:

The Constitution Squares, a band that consists entirely of my brother, has a band camp page. I am forcing him to upload his entire catalog, so keep your eyes open as I will be pushing it here. He advises me that these are unfinished, rough mixes, but they are still great.

If you haven't ever heard one of my brother's songs, you are in for a treat. Todd is a cross between Leonard Cohen, Monty Python and Giorgio Moroder.


MORE TO COME!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Visual Confirmation of Happiness

P5280202

Tropic of Food Administrator, Audubon Park Friend, and Voracious Reader Alicia took some ridiculously good photographs of the Passion release show.

Note Eric below:

P5280219

Here, Finn shows his jowling secrect:

P5280208

I don't know who is playing drums: Ben or Jeff Fahey:

P5280073

Apparently, the soul knows no bounds:

P5280069

Do you suffer from ghost leg and ghost leg related illnesses?

P5280044

We had a really great time:

P5280206

Let's not forget that Actual Persons Living Or Dead won the night. Frankly, one of the best bands Chapel Hill has known and I really mean that.

P5280004

The History of Audubon Park, Part Seventeen

I have a long and complicated religious history that I won't go into great detail on right now, but by the time I was 14, I found myself attending the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Danville, Kentucky.

Though I found church itself boring beyond words, I loved youth group. Not because youth group offered some important spiritual guidance that I found compelling as a young Christian, but because I got to hang out with girls.

I will always be grateful that I grew up exposed to a variety of Christianity that was tolerant and liberal and generally did not inspire fear or hate in me. For example: The first time I ever heard Nine Inch Nails and XTC were at youth group and they were played for us by guest speaker from Lexington. He played "Dead God" and asked us if we, as young Christians, should listen to music like this. Some people said we shouldn't because it wasn't Christian. The speaker said, "Hey, this song is awesome and XTC are a great band. If you don't listen to good music because someone tells you that it is 'unchristian,' you are only missing out on listening to good music. If you believe in God, a song isn't going to change that. Loosen up and listen to good music. Here's something off 'Pretty Hate Machine.' This stuff is great."

Our youth group would have lock-ins in the summer. We would stay up all night at the church and watch movies and listen to music. I think there was supposed to be some sort of "real talk" about Jesus, but that never seemed to happen. There were only a few people in the youth group who seemed to be there because they loved Jesus. For the most part, the other kids were just there to hang out with members of the opposite sex. It was for this reason that in retrospect, I am surprised that we were allowed to spend the night together in a church, more or less unsupervised.

Of course, this 'nonsupervision' didn't matter much to me. I wasn't one of the people sneaking off around dark corners, disappearing into the dark labyrinth of hallways. I stayed in the lighted areas with the boombox, listening to the cassette of the first Violent Femmes album that someone brought, shocked and elated by the language.

I think it has always thrilled Clint that "Tonight! The Church Van" contains the word 'narthex.' In case you've never looked it up, the 'narthex' of a church is the entrance to the naive of a church. Of course, in our church, it was just the fancy word for 'lobby.'

When we recorded at Finn's mom's house in Hope Valley, we moved everything out of her living room and den and breakfast nook. She was out of town for the weekend, and after we'd done it, Finn, Robert and Ben went for bagels and coffee.

"Your mom knows we are doing this, right?" Matt asked as they left.

"No."

"Is she likely to come home early?"

"Not likely."

Matt and stood there in Finn's mom's house, furniture gone and both silently wondered how it would look for her to come home, find her house empty and two strange men standing there, talking about Steely Dan.