Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: roy head (page 1 of 4)

Another Roy Head Adventure Would Surely Be A Christmas Miracle

“You ain’t never seen Christmas until you seen it in Texas. Santa commands a Ford F-150, his pickup bed piled high with the expertly dressed carcasses of his reindeer, humanely dispatched one and all, ‘cept Blizten, who thrashed about a bit. He brings tidings of natures both good and picante, and fills the cowboy boots hung by the barbecue with care. Santa is also shot in around 40% of the homes he enters, but is able to shrug off any injury due to his being king of the snow-elfs.

“The Second Amendment don’t take the Yule off in Texas.

“I have seen palm trees wrapped root to frond in glittery gilt, and I have been asked to leave Midnight Mass in Melrose, Mass. Nogs of various provenance have been presented to me, along with toddies would scald a lesser man. I performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: they handled Handel, while I did the Wassail Watusi. The Rockettes cracked my nuts. Christmas always was a working holiday for Roy Head. Yes, that Roy Head.

“You should’ve heard of me.

“Growing up in Cascabel, the one thing we didn’t have was money. Or education. Decent roads, neither, or anything to do ‘cept get drunk and piss towards Oklahoma. I realize now I should have waited to number our deficiencies until after listing them, especially since I now remember several more problems with Cascabel that many or most would term dealbreakers, such as the structural racism, the freaky whine what came from east of town but no one could be more specific than that, and the Mofetta, which was a devillish skunk-beast the size of a large midget and twice as aggressive.

“It took cattle in the night, and once ran for mayor.

“The deprivations of our poverty were merely material. We were as brimming with faith as our drinking water was lacking in flouride; our hearts were as soft as our teeth, and we showed it during the Season which bears a Reason. No wall could flower in Cascabel when Father Christmas asked us to dance. Though free of funds with which to decorate, the town still gussied herself to a high and shiny polish. The square always featured a terrific and towering tree, the tradition transmitted to Texas through Teutons, even when we couldn’t afford a real fir and were forced to pile Mexican fellows on top of one another.

“It was a different time, and they were allowed to eat the popcorn strings.

“Most magical of all Saturnalias was my eighth. I had begun my show business career that annum, booking a regular gig at Miss Rosa’s Cathouse, which was right outside town, but not too far. I slung high notes at the lowlifes, and they flung five-spots at me, and I danced in a manner that caused me to be preemptively banned in Boston and New Boston. It was my legs that made the bluenoses see red: they defied both gravity and consequence, but their opprobrium never reached Miss Rosa’s, on account of opprobrium would have gotten its ass kicked the moment it walked in for being such a sissy word.

“Miss Rosa’s patrons are populists, linguistically.

“I high-kicked and shimmied; I did the Wig-Wam and the Charlie Chan; I did the two-step for two bits, and all the while wailing. I was the highest of altos at the time, as I had not yet pubertied, and I interpreted songs male and female in origin, including an Andrews Sisters medley during which I imitated all three of them women, even the one who had eyeballs what didn’t communicate with each other. Big Bucktoothed Pete was my accompanist, and though he has thick and graceless fingers that many have likened to swollen cow teats, he could manipulate that ivory better than the Chinese government, and without one lesson. That man’s ears were connected to his heart, which were furthermore attached to his hands. One day on the bus, I drew this vision for him in pencil, a great heart with ears and hands, and Big Bucktoothed Pete became frightened of the artwork and refused to look at it, so I chased him about the bus for hours waving the drawing and making oogie-boogie noises.

“But I get ahead of myself.

“Week after week, my engagement was held over at Miss Rosa’s. Talent scouts and song touts came from far, wide, and deep. A dressing room was procured, and then one I did not have to share with the bats. My daddy was stashed in a room upstairs where his scheming would find no purchase, only hourly rental, but he rarely fussed as my deal with Miss Rosa included regular and professional pickle-pumping. In addition, the girls had become enamorated with me, and would permit me to watch as they stripped from their frilly undergarments and put on their lacy covernothings. They would rub my head, and press bills in my hand, and remark on my cuteness, and they would do it with their titties out.

“I know at a young age that show biz was for me.

“The money flowed in as though it were water and I was a lower level than the one it currently occupied. At first, I was frugal and upright. This glory so recently achieved, and the remuneration thereof, could only be temporary. I opened a savings account, for which I received a new toaster that I gifted to Mama. This thrilled her, and we sat by the piano singing songs referencing, either directly or obliquely, Jesus. My joy was so complete that I felt like my soul had been simonized. The Heads was on our way up the ladder to heaven.

“Rich folks get a stairway, but we got a ladder.

“That same night of the toaster occasion, I was hollering and making a plentiful noise while my legs did their thing, and I realized that I was super-duper talented and that my success would go on until eternity, and it was no use saving any money because more would always come in. I was like Saul on the road to Damascus, but instead of being struck blind, I was struck awesome. A toaster wasn’t enough for Mama. It was more than Daddy deserved, but my mama was a sainted woman. She took in other people’s laundry, sometimes when they wasn’t looking. She could make a hearty and nutritious stew from a handful of rhubarb, some porridge, and an overdue bill. She scrimped and got by, never caring for herself.

“Daddy was a drunken fuckwit, but Mama was good people.

“And Christmas was fast approaching, getting a day closer every 24 hours. Like I said, Cascabel had faith when it came to Christmas, but now I had the bankroll to buy deeds. What, though, shall I do? My mind was blanker than the Antarctic landscape forgetting an acquaintance’s name. After another barn-stomper of a show, I assembled my brain trust of Big Bucktoothed Pete and Skippy Joe, who was still tending bar at Miss Rosa’s, and still not wearing a shirt. I put my query to them. Big Bucktoothed Pete advised paying off the house note, and perhaps arranging a credit deal for a semi-new automobile. Skippy Joe got a forceful nosebleed, and was not included in the discussion thereafter. I countered by noting that Mama was a churchgoing woman, and that her chosen house of worship, Fruitful Loins of Christ Risen Anointed and Sanctified in the Name of the Living God, was a ramshackle knockdown in which one of the exterior walls was held up by the choir and would be condemned had the county inspector not praised Jesus there.

“I know the Lord, and He likes a fancy church.

“It was settled, and when Skippy Joe had corralled his nasal anguish, he rejoined our happy circle and we repaired to the bar to drink in honor of Christmas. We had Die Hards, which are vodka with your shoes off. We drank Rudolphs, which is when you shoot so much gin your nose explodes like J.P. Morgan. We had Xmas Suicides, which are equal parts whiskey and phone calls you never made. It was going on dawn when we decided to begin construction, which begins with demolition, which we were perhaps too enthusiastic for. We had neither plan nor permit, and lacked the skills and tools required by the task, and we were eight years old. Luckily, my dear and sweet brother Skippy Joe put a halt to our schemes.

“Unluckily, he did so by burning the church down.

“It wasn’t his fault! Skippy Joe should not be permitted access to the wiring! He gets to fiddling! The building had the structural integrity of a popsicle-stick house, and not even name-brand popsicles! The generic kind! The church was consumed in mere moments, as was the load-bearing choir! Mama had to worship at the Catholic Church that Christmas Eve, and she died not long thereafter!”

“Sir, do you want the wings medium or hot?”

“I BELIEVE IT WAS PAPISM WHAT KILLED MAMA!”

“I’ll just get you medium.”

As If Summoned From The Ether, Roy Head Is Back With Another Adventure

SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS, SOMEWHEN IN THE SEVENTIES

“Maybe you haven’t heard of Texas. Perhaps you’ve forgotten the Alamo, despite strict instructions to the contrary. Could be you’re in a coma, or sucking soma, or was educated in Oklahoma. There’s a chance that the open skies, plains, and roads are as foreign to you as Shrinky-Dinks to an Etruscan. Our legends are legion, but even this world’s nooks have crannies, and the day is full of the benighted.

“Ignorance got more fathers than the Vatican cafeteria on pizza night.

“My heart went out to these casualties of causality, and so I became an apostle for Abilene, a proselytizer for Plainview, a missionary for Midland. I considered  evangelizing for El Paso, but the only good thing about El Paso is not being there. Every stage I sang sweetly upon, every theater in which my thighs thundered: these were revival halls dedicated not to the Body of Christ, but to Corpus Christi. When I danced, my crazy, hazy, dazy, never-lazy legs were Dallas and Fort Worth, with Arlington dangling in between. The crowds came to a Roy Head show to hear the hits, but I was showing ’em the sights.

“Yes, that Roy Head. You should’ve heard of me.

“I was on the road when I heard the news that Pappy Dolarhyde had passed. He was the Congressman what served my hometown Cascabel and her surrounding surroundings and his passing got me a-going. Who better to shoulder the task? Who more appropriate to wear the title, which I assumed was ‘Your Fancifulness” or “The Man What Makes The Crops Flourish.” I will freely admit that neither the nitty nor the gritty of day-to-day governance was within my mind’s command at the time.

“But where I lacked facts, I had friends.

“Big Bucktoothed Pete’s grasp of civics was rivaled only by Skippy Joe’s political cunning! Combining these with my baby-pressing and flesh-kissing gifts made for a team from which the Oak Ridge Boys would cower, even the bearded fellow. My status as the naivest of naifs led Big Bucktoothed Pete to declare I needed to go back to school, but this is Texas, so we immediately hired Louie Grabass as our football coach. He installed the Spread offense and we were forced to let him go.

“You got a changa, the man will chimi it; beyond that, he’s useful as tits on a turtle.

“My mind swam like a swami: not well. I was made for showboating, not voting! There were numbers to remember, rules to memorize, and it turns out I would not be allowed to wear my shiny finery. I could not, according to Big Bucktoothed Pete’s polling, let loose with my trademark sexy-screaming at any point during my stump speech. Compounding my disinterest, I was forbidden from noting what word ‘stump’ rhymes with. No dancing! No prancing! No motel-maid romancing! I felt as dickless as Wonder Woman’s bicycle seat!

“I had become disillusioned before had a chance to get illusioned.

“But Roy Head is a patriot! And I wanted to be called wonderful names and be forgiven my trespasses, even when I trespass at the golf course and make my business in the holes. Instead of shouting, ‘Fore!’ I yell ‘Two!’and I saw my life stretch out in front of me. I was making my business in every hole in every golf course in the district, and no one could say ‘Boo.’ A few simple votes, and I would be unto a god. I resolved to buckle down, like a pilgrim’s hat that could sing real good. I considered the Constitution, and I devoured insatiably the Declaration of Independence, setting aside time to ramble through the Preamble. I studied Black’s Law until my eyes went white.

“Then Big Bucktoothed Pete told me that elections don’t have nothing to do with that stuff.

“We went on the road, as we’d done so often before. Out of habit, I brought along a full band with a horn section. The trumpet player was a Mexican fellow and he fulfilled roles other than the high voicing of the brass arrangement. In some towns, he translated my salutatory salutations to the crowd, and in others I would shout “Look! An Illegal!” at him, and begin chase. My message was as specifically tailored as a one-armed midget’s tuxedo. I do, however, take pride in the fact that I was only ever as racist as necessary, and not one iota more.

“Politicians lead, but campaigners read the room.

“My district was small by Texas standards, only seven hours across, and we crissed that cross a dozen times over and started back up again. This is where Skippy Joe’s savage savvy came into play. Armed with nothing but some bunting, a couple hundred bucks, and a washing machine he had stolen in Lubbock, he could turn any venue into a political parlor. Skippy Joe would hog-tie the local bigwigs, metaphorically or not, and turn out the press from the bars. No crowd has ever been more competently wrangled. On the occasion of debates, he coldcocked my rivals.

“Except for getting within sniffing distance of the donations, Skippy Joe did it all.

“Election Day drew nigh, and drew it real well, too. Gave nigh big sloppy garbanzos, and we took it as a good sign. Having returned to our campaign headquarters at Miss Rosa’s, we cast the line of our conversation into the river of legislative dreams, and pulled out bills that would make a bear salivate. Upon my inaugurationing, I could do something for the people of Cascabel and her surrounding surroundings. Find funds to hire a replacement for Spots, the basset hound that taught English at Cascabel High. Raise the speed limit to Get to it, Texan. Big Bucktoothed Pete had some fascinating ideas about developing downtown, or at least designating a section of Cascabel as ‘downtown.’ Skippy Joe requested that I legalize it, and refused to name his pronoun’s antecedent.

“Louis Grabass’ opinions were neither asked for nor accepted.

“The polls opened in mere hours! I had knocked on every door, and wriggled in through three windows. If a voter whistled, I stopped, and there was no more stomp to my stump. Nothing more could be done, so we did what we could do and drank wild and imaginative politically-themed cocktails. We had Abe Lincolns, which are shots that go straight to your head. We also had John Kennedys, which are the same concoction, but after you drink it you argue about what happened. We sipped Bella Abzugs, which are equal parts gin and chutzpah. We ordered Woodrow Wilsons, which is where your wife finishes your drink for you. Finally, we switched to Ted Kennedys.

“A Ted Kennedy is a bucket with nine or ten handles of booze in it.

“We came to in the ever-familiar drunk tank late the next day! Skippy Joe still had his washing machine, but the Mexican trumpet player was missing and presumed eaten! Furthermore, it came to our groggy attention that my name was not on the ballot! Big Bucktoothed Pete had neglected to sign me up with the proper authorities! It was a matter of principle with him, he said! He didn’t believe government should intrude into politics!

“Needless to say, I did not achieve the sought-after post!”

“Son, I’m only gonna ask you this one more time: do you have anything to confess or not?”

“MY DREAM OF UNFETTERED GOLF HOLE DOOKIES WAS NEVER TO BE!”

“Are you even Catholic?”

Shockingly Enough, Another Roy Head Adventure

“Jesus was not born in Texas, but he was raised and whelped hereabouts. The Lord reddened the rock, greened the grass, and yellowed the roses. Was He educated here? That cannot be answered with any liturgical precision, but the Apocrypha shows that Christ did play high school football. That his crucifixion was on a Friday was one last kiss of cruelty from the Romans.

“Missing that game hurt as much as them nails did.

“The relationship betwixt Jesus and Texas disproves atheism. We take it as axiomatic that Texas is blessed. If it is not, then why is the beer so cold? I just ipsoed your facto, and we continue our metaphysical mathematics. And if Texas is indeed blessed, then whom is the blessifier? It could not be a man, for Texas is too big to be blessed by a man, and so must be a god, but this god ain’t gonna be some oogie-booger from the who-knows-where, this god’s gonna be from Texas, and Jesus is from Texas, so Jesus is Lord.

“I have never made any apologies for my apologetics.

“As I wandered far from home, I also wandered from God. Leaving Cascabel, I was but a boy. A boy whose virtuosic vocalizing and hall-of-fame hoofing had enabled him to bed scores of the hot-to-trot, absolutely, but a boy nevertheless. I did my routine in Eugene; my song-and-dance in Paris, France; I sang rock in Bangkok. The world pulled up her skirt for me, and I removed my jumpsuit. If a man could drown in nonny-nonny juice, then someone should have tossed me a line. Humanity had slipped Roy Head her hotel key. Yes, that Roy Head.

“You should have heard of me.

“Distraction leads to destruction, and the delights of the road were shiny and moving about in my peripheral vision. I chased many dragons, and also purchased a komodo dragon. They are far less trainable than the man at the pet shop led me to believe. The drink was always there, but now it came bearing friends and they was all some Good Time Charlies. Pills of both the tablet and spansule variety, and powders laid out in lines longer than Russians waiting for toilet paper. The three of us conquered the highways and stuck our dicks in America. Me, Big Bucktoothed Pete, and Skippy Joe: we was debauched and debased and headed towards debilitation.

“Louie Grabass was also involved, but he doesn’t count.

“We was off the road, but not home. Caesar’s Palace was always a triumph, and I played there twice a year for a month each time. Las Vegas treated me like a king, and friends like the king’s friends. The craps dealers loved Big Bucktoothed Pete, and different sorts of dealers loved Skippy Joe. No one loved Louie Grabass; in fact, several chambermaids and valets had beaten him for living up to his name. I was setting the lounge on fire, mostly metaphorically except for that one time what wasn’t my fault and that other time what was. My singing was ringing, my dancing was entrancing, and my patter was snappier than a rude man trying to get a waitress’ attention. Attendance, already swell, swelled.

“Redd Foxx caught my act one night, and called me a honky.

“The days ran together like a bobsled team. Time began to repeat itself, as if our carousing had become a carousel. Was it Tuesday? Saturday? Ombleday, which is the secret eighth day of the week hidden from us by Jewish fellows and the US Postal Service? None of us could tell for certain! Our existence had shrunken to hallways, bathrooms, dressing rooms we wasn’t supposed to be in. When we rose in the afternoons, we would take a shvitz, which was not a secret of the Jews; this steamy pleasure they shared with the world of gentility. The previous party’s poisons would puke from our pores. I staggered, haggard, around the sumptuous suite that was now my glitzy Gehenna, and I mortified my mind with fortified wine. The pit bosses at the craps tables had 172’ed Big Bucktoothed Pete, which means they 86’ed him twice, and Skippy Joe had lost his shirt. He may not have brought a shirt with him. Regardless, the man had no shirt.

“We were gimlet-eyed and grasping at straws.

“I had not met Jesus prior to this occasion, not personally, but I was of course familiar with His work. The band was hot and so were the changas Louie Grabass had secreted within the piano after they had undergone full chimification. My crazylegs burned almost 100,000 calories a show, more if it was a good crowd, and I needed to maintain my blood’s sucrosity. The crowd cheered me on and cheered my up, and as I entertained them to a far greater extent than they deserved, I looked them over. A woman with fantastic boobies was up front. Next to her was a woman whose boobies wasn’t as great, but they was still pretty good. I blipped over the rest of the room, except for the man in the back. He was long-haired and bearded, and wearing a flowing white robe.

“I nearly sicced Skippy Joe on him for being a hippy.

“The Lord locked eyes with me and I knew in my heart that He loved me. I knew there that I had to stop sinning. I knew there that I was reborn in the Lord. When I finished the show, ducking and shucking the autograph-seekers and stage-door peekers, I searched high and low for the Lord but I only found slot machines and cocktail waitresses. I thought I found Him at a blackjack table, but it was just a hippy, so I sicced Skippy Joe on him. I could not find the Lord, but He had found me, and so I had Big Bucktoothed Pete baptize me in the suite’s hot tub. From that day on, I would lead a clean and well-lighted kind of life. I would repay the world which had given me so much, and done so much to me, and let me touch and fondle so much of it.

“Upon return to Cascabel, I immediately bought a water park.

“There was, according to Big Bucktoothed Pete’s research, no Bible-themed water parks in America. I set about to rectify that injustice with my new acquisition, which I had renamed Headwaters. The lazy river ride became Moses’ Baby Journey; the big slide became the Red Sea; the rapids ride became Noah’s Adventure. I would spread the Word while renting out lockers and selling hot dogs, a prophet making a profit. When the renovations were completed, we raised several glasses to our new venture and kept to the Christian theme. We drank Sauls, which is when you take so many shots you go blind and start answering to a different name. We drank Methuselahs, which are incredibly aged whiskey. We drank Western Schisms, which is where you have two drinks and they denounce one another.

“Nothing could go wrong with the Lord on our side.

“It did not take until noon to realize that the Lord had not been informed of our opening date! The first mass baptism in the wave pool resulted in several drownings! Apparently, the reason I had been able to purchase the park so quickly was the significant structural deficiencies affecting all the rides! An entire church group from Brownsville went missing from Moses’ Baby Journey! The Red Sea straight-up collapsed!”

“Sir, do you want popcorn or not? The movie’s about to start.”

“THE LOCKER ROOMS WERE RIFE WITH LEGIONNAIRE’S DISEASE!”

“Okay, can I help the next person in line?”

Roy Head Carries On Having Adventures, Whether He Should Or Not

SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS

“America is to Texas as Canada is to America: irrelevant, and riddled with hockey. A place of winter, a land of crowds. One might do business there, or briefly romance a hussy, but this singer never lingered. A Texan knows the Lord’s sky, and the Devil’s basin; A Texan knows which side of his armadillo is buttered, though buttering of armadillos is ill-advised even for the most veteran of veterinarians. Them things is basically armored herpes.

“In Texas, roadkill kills you, or at least gives you armadillo herpes.

“Many a Cuban heel have I worn down upon the road as I saw the world, and I long ago stopped counting jumpsuits I’ve blown the crotch out of. My clippings were billboards along the highway of my stardom; my prized Polaroids of poontang past were the paving-stones that made up that highway. In the mornings, I was a glory, and a star every evening. In my beloved hometown of Cascabel, there was a statue of me that I had paid for, and also put up in the middle of the night when no one was around. Multiple theories have arisen to account for its origin, and I encourage these, as to throw people off my trail.

“When in doubt, say that the Illuminati did it.

“I wore stardom like an Italian wears pants: fashionably, and my ass looked good. Fancy, Dancy, and Prancy–my legs are so spectacular that I named ’em three times, and cycle between the three at my own personal prerogative–left the ladies impressed and their dates depressed. During my Asian tour, my happy-dancin’ caused waves of ritual suicides, although it may have been coincidental, as your average Japanese kills hisself two or three times a year. Besides that, the whole damn continent couldn’t get enough of Roy Head. Yes, that Roy Head.

“You should have heard of me.

“At first, I was trepidatious. I was sure of my talents, many and varied, from dancing to singing to pottery to smithing of both the gun and lock varieties, but I was also sure that every damn time we tried to leave the country everything got fucked up. Many high-level meetings were held between myself, Big Bucktoothed Pete, and Skippy Joe and though we caroused at the problem to the extent of the laws of nature and what Miss Rosa will tolerate, none of us could figure out the reason for the continued failures.

“In the drunk tank around dawn, we decided this time would be different.

“Big Bucktoothed Pete had done his hitch in the Navy, and taken leave in many Asian countries, where he did things that it is illegal to do to a white person. He regaled us with tales of debauchery and, due to the favorable exchange rate, remarkably cheap perversion. At those prices, you can’t afford not to get your freak on. Me and Skippy Joe were thirsty for these stories, like an alcoholic in the desert with a salt shaker up his ass. Downright parched, we drank in Big Bucktoothed Pete’s tales by the gallon.

“We was simultaneously drinkin’ whiskey, which may account for our credulity.

“Plans and procedures, and schedules and setlists abounded and multiplied, translated into many languages that were drawn rather than written. Calls of the longest distances were placed. Maps were purchased, and then returned because they were of the wrong country, but that may have been my personal fault, as I should’ve known better than to assume Louie Grabass knew what country Bangkok was in, because Louis Grabass is a smart as a cow pie in a mailbox and shouldn’t have been sent on this particular errand in the first place.

“The man can chimi a changa, but he’s a dolt.

“To acclimatize ourselves to the orientalness of the Orientals, we moved the rehearsal studio/office/tavern into Cascabel’s only Chinese restaurant, Pedro’s. I installed Louie Grabass in the kitchen and got ’em to stop serving foreign food and start making Mexican food; I did, however, leave up all the heathen art on the walls, some of which were made from paper and lasted almost an hour in the same room with Skippy Joe. To save money on musicians, I purchased several busboys from Pedro and taught them the horn parts.

“The trumpet player is still with me today.

“First would be Japan, which was and is still an island, making it the opposite of Texas, which is most decidedly not no island. I did admire their decisions to declare war on the United States, and to be as far away from Oklahoma as global circularity permits. The schedule called for Tokyo, and then Kyoto, and then Okyto, continuing on to Ootky, and next Ytook, and it was at this point that I recalled Skippy Joe’s never-treated dyslexia and regretted having him on the planning committee. Skippy Joe’s writing was like a teenage boy trying to unhook a young lady’s bra: he knew what he wanted to do, but had no idea how to go about it.

“If a friend lacks everything but loyalty, then that friend has everything.

“We got that paperwork back in tip-top shape, and got on the airplane for the 94-hour flight. Wishing to avoid the usual complications, I had Big Bucktoothed Pete give Skippy Joe the ol’ B.A. Baracus with a two-by-four and also a syringe full o’ God knows what; that boy slept all the way to Japan, snoring zestily even throughout Big Bucktoothed Pete’s reading of the Book of Kings, which was precipitated by the free drinks he was provided, and preceded by the removal of his clothing. Sensing we was approaching the part of the sermon in which Big Bucktoothed Pete begins preaching in an overly-sexual manner, I hit him with the rest of the syringe. This was a tactical error, as it left me with no one to talk to for the rest of the flight except Louie Grabass.

“The man’s good for one thing, and extended conversation ain’t it.

“When we arrived in Tokyo, we were surprised to see all the signs welcoming us to Bangkok; this astonishment abated alacratitiously when it was discovered that the flight had been booked by Louis Grabass, whom I was beginning to resent. I also must admit that this was the moment I began to lose faith in my delegating skills. With the next plane not available until the next day, the smart play was to get a good night’s sleep and face tomorrow’s challenges with the brightest of eye, and bushiest of tail.

“Naturally, we chose to find one of them fuck clubs Big Bucktoothed Pete told us about.

“We were the ugliest Americans! No one abroad had ever been less innocent, and it was certainly no burden to be a white man. The bars and massage parlors leered and hooted at us, and we reveled in their revulsion, wandering gaudily down the neon strip. The names were lurid–the Fuck Fuck Club, and Mr. Humper’s–but at the dirty end of the street, we found our place: Miss Rosa’s; she had, unbeknownst to us, opened a franchise. We were happy to be in familiar climes: the decor and layout were identical to the one in Cascabel.

“Texas is so big that some of it could be found in Bangkok.

“Our trans-Pacific imprisonment had been as long as our thirst was now tall, and we dispatched beverage after beverage up its peaks. To Asia! we said, and drank Opium Rebellions, which is a shot of rice liquor then someone forces you take heroin. We drank Yul Brynners, which are not from Asia but play the part of an Asian drink for years. Finally, we had Kamikazes, which are Kamikazes. We were as lubricated as industrial pistons shooting pornography when the live show began, and we learned that despite the similarity of the cathouses, Bangkok and Texas was very different places.

“Even show business had not prepared me for the tawdry tableaux unfolding.

“It was as though these sexual athletes before us had made a list of the world’s gods, and then endeavored to piss off every one! Acts were performed that would get you removed from any mall, and some of the ladies had double-jointed cooters. One healthy young man did a diving act that ended not in a pool, but a butt; his accuracy was breathtaking, mostly to the young lady: you could hear the wind go out of her over the music. There may have been prehensile boners, and we all cheered when the ping pong girl, Ping Pong, came onstage.

“It was like Vaudeville, but with more fancy-fuckin’.

“With a higher-pitched sound than you might believe, the balls SHPLIPPed out of Ping Pong with uncanny precision: she hit targets, knocked cigarettes out of mouths, and changed the song on the jukebox. Her crotch was a cannon, and the room cheered and laughed, except for Skippy Joe, who had gotten hold of a paddle somewhere and returned one of Ping Pong’s volleys. That ball is just the right size to lodge in a sex worker’s throat! There is no word in Thai for Heimlich! Thinking it was part of the act, her fellow performer disregarded her lifelessness and just kept on fuckin’!

“We had to be smuggled out of the country, cancelling the tour!”

“So, are you registered to vote or not, sir?”

“THE GAME OF TABLE TENNIS HAS BEEN RUINED TO ME!”

“I’m just a volunteer, man.”

Roy Head Lives!

royhead-sundance-dad

God bless you, Cascabel, Texas, wherever you are.

“You know me and the boys are gonna break into that television studio, right?”

Shh. And: no, you won’t. You’ll plan to, but never make it there.

“Good enough.”

Head Voice

Remember the LSD doctor in the basement story that turned out to be bullshit? And how I got all ookey-spookey, and tried to be all Mr. Writer-Man with my bullshit? (So much bullshit.)

Just pretend I said all that about this: Sundance Head on The Voice. Yes, that Sundance Head. You should’ve heard of his daddy.

(Don’t continue watching after he stops singing. Trust me: those chairs are occupied by monsters.)

Riding The Rails With Roy Head, Who Is Still Having Adventures

SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS, SOMEWHEN IN THE SEVENTIES

“The Texas of my youth exists, and it shall be the Texas of my death. Everlasting, Texas is an unchangeling. Do you measure yourself against Texas? You’ll not find a scale to fit the both of you. To compare your deeds against her doings? Consequence will find no purchase in your resume. Texas will respect your audacity, but ignore the rest.

“However many water parks you have, Texas has more.

“To the north, west, east? What did this collage of cardinals have to offer a Son of the Yellow Rose? What jewels to be mined lay thereabouts? Each state a bigger letdown than the next: Wyoming is the size of the moon, but there ain’t enough people to get up a regulation conga line; West Virginia ain’t nothing but Mothmans and meth men; Oklahoma smells. My personal quibble with Washington is that it is a villain to a nondetail-oriented singer making up a tour itinerary.

“Six hours into the flight, I began to realize something was amiss.

“The south was where a Texan’s view rarely strayed from. Mexico and Texas may fuss, with feudin’ on occasion, but our history was intertwined. Massacres were rare, though not unheard of. Whites and Mexicans got along in Cascabel, unless folks was broke, or drunk, or bored. These was the old days, and you will note I did not include the adjective ‘good’ in that description. Everyone had their own side of town: White, Mexican, Black. Some Chinese families was fixin’ to move in, but Cascabel is triangular and there were no more sides of town left. I hated the arrangement! How could I deny the joy and jauntiness that my super-loose super-legs brought to anyone? Roy Head’s talents were to be shared with all mankind, and sexy ladies.

“Yes, that Roy Head. You should’ve heard of me.

“I was well-traveled, but did not travel well, as attested to by the fact that me and the boys had been thrown out of damn near the whole world. The high incidence of incidents, internationally speaking, had penned us in like wanderin’ cattle. Additionally, and as usual owin’ to Skippy Joe’s wild-eyed wiliness, we had been banned from boats. Not any specific vessel, mind you: boats. If it floated, we was not allowed upon it.

“With no background in maritime law, I hadn’t the means to protest.

“I was stuck in the same markets, revisiting cities, being arrested by the same police officers. My last single had missed the charts, partially due to not being recorded. The songs I was gettin’ offered was the bottom of the barrel of monkeys! Can you conjure up the sticky hell that would be the bottom of a barrel of monkeys, a foot deep of simian leavings and perhaps the fresh corpse of an overcome primate? Let the imagined smell sear the nose of your mind! That’s how bad them songs was.

“I am a titanic talent, but I was sinking fast.

“But within our doom lies salvation, and also someone to drive. Big Bucktoothed Pete had hisself a plan, and he laid it out one Sunday morning after church, at Miss Rosa’s. The problem, he opined over a Lone Star and a handful of pills, was the audience. I fully agreed with Big Bucktoothed Pete, as the only other option was that it was my fault, which could not be true. A fresh crowd, he emphasized, and that could only be found down south Meh-hee-co way. He emphasized this second point by removin’ his clothes and changin’ the subject to the Good Word, but that probably had more to do with the pills than the plan.

“We would take a train across Mexico, and we would call the tour the Fiesta Express.

“There was much to do, and little time to have other people do it for me in. Shows were booked: Big Bucktoothed Pete did not know Spanish, but he was excellent as speaking loudly and slowly. The tour came together mellifluously: Guadaljara, Delicias, Navolato. Mexican towns got names like gettin’ an angel’s tongue in your ear. I hired a mariachi band and rearranged my hits, turning down the Tex in favor of the Mex. Louie Grabass locked himself in his test kitchen dreaming up ways to chimi a changa what nobody had thought before. Skippy Joe was included in a conversation regarding how pleasant it would be to have our own train car.

“Skippy Joe’s predictability was predictable as hell.

“Our car was appointed in high style, and named the Spruce Caboose. It was fancy as hell. The sconces were made from gold, and then gold-plated. The wainscoting was carbon fiber. Full hygienic facilities for the band and crew, and a private privy for me off my bedroom; despite the car only havin’ one floor, I also had a private elevator installed. The common area had both a conversation pit and a raised platform for sitting in silence. Apparati were built to facilitate Mexican sleeping needs. That there was a kitchen set to the singular task of changa-chimmyin’ should come as no shock, but you might have been surprised by the inclusion of a drive-through window. Louis Grabass really wanted it, and Big Bucktoothed Pete got tired of telling him how stupid it was.

“He balked at puttin’ in a microphone and menu, though.

“We set out for the tour’s first stop in Monterrey and a raucous revelry infected the Spruce Caboose: the future was just over them tracks in front of us. We were giddy as schoolgirls, and so, like schoolgirls, we began drinking heavily. Mariachis and crew and me, the giant star who is Roy Head, quaffing in a spirit of brotherhood! To celebrate Mexico, we concocted bebidos especiales. We had El Chapos, which you take a sip of and then the next time you look down, your drink’s gone. We drank Sabado Gigantes; you have no idea what’s in them, but they’re still enjoyable. We had Chihuahuas, which are a drink but also a dog.

“At this point, sobriety was a poncho we had discarded.

“I must now defend my friend Skippy Joe, as it seems I do so often: Skippy Joe don’t have a racist bone in his body. He does know a shitload of racist jokes, though, and when he gets on a roll, he becomes as unstoppable as the train we rode. The mariachis became slightly offended, and more than slightly armed! I was unaware their giant hats contain giant knives! Thank the Lord Hisself that Big Bucktoothed Pete had brought a shotgun to the knife fight that he was unaware would break out! The tour was over before it had begun! We hadn’t even made it to San Antonio!”

“Do you want pumpkin spice in that?”

“MY CROSSOVER SUCCESS FAILED TO MATERIALIZE!”

“I’m just gonna put pumpkin spice in.”

Reasons Them There Apple Airpods Are An Affront To The Lord Hisself

  • New-fangulated doohickery!
  • Plasticine evidence of a shoddiness inherent in the non-Texan soul.
  • Lookin’ like when that Mexican fellow put them tiny space armadillos in that Commie’s ear in that Star Trek.
  • Cuz Skippy Joe gonna lose one and take the house apart down to the studs lookin’ for it.

Excuse me.

Yes?

Why is Roy Head allowed to do the bullet point bit?

There’s nothing in the rules that says he can’t.

For the last time: Air Bud is not legal precedent. If you want to have a visit with your lunatic friend and his lunatic friends, then write a little story about him. This place is getting insular.

You’re getting insular.

What?

Nothing.

At This Point, Roy Head Having An Adventure Should Not Be A Surprise, But Yet It Is

SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS, SOMEWHEN IN THE SEVENTIES

“If there be demons, you will not find them here. Not in this glorious land which, though it is hard and it is scrabble, was created by the Lord Hisself. Why do you think Texas is so large? It’s so God has somewhere to clear His head. I can see the Lord’s broad shoulders in the hilly woods of Nacogdoches, and all the Heavens He commands in the flat and boring parts, which are perhaps too numerous to mention. If Texas were not the stomping grounds of our God, then why are there so many water parks?

“Theologians never contemplate the important questions.

“But Texas is not the whole wide world. If it were, it would have glaciers, and be bigger. Bestride the border, the world waves, welcomingly. Some heed the call, others remain abed. Still others are cattle, and don’t understand the poetic nature of life. Did I envy them and their blithe existence, and freedom of poopery? Slightly I did, I must confess. Siren’s song, silenced? Such sweet stupidity.

“Longhorns bring me out in alliteracy, and it can’t be explained.

“Like a mixed metaphor, the world whispered into my eyes. Foreigners of all stripe had heard about my wiggly, waggly sassylegs and them two tigers don’t need no translating. From Oslo in the north, to Trieste in the south, everybody thought I was awesome. Letters poured in, some of them in languages that looked as though a pencil had thrown up on the paper, demanding my presence in their weird and scary little countries Boxes of them, most addressed simply ‘Roy Head, Texas.’ Yes, that Roy Head.

“You should have heard of me.

“America had been conquered, just like Genghis Khan conquered wherever the hell he conquered. England was a fancy notch in my bedpost, which Big Bucktoothed Pete had carved for me and contained many secret weapons, some of which were Oriental in nature. Iceland, where the plane was forced to land on the way home from the British tour on account of the fire Louie Grabass started while he was chimmying up some Mile High Changa, was also a great success, despite there not being a show and all of us getting thrown out of the country in less than an hour.

“It would be more correct to say Skippy Joe was expelled, and we was collateral damage.

“We would trek across Europe! There were fertile markets, and unexplored territories, and many women who had not heard our lies yet. My legs, Razzle and Dazzle, would live up to their names, and I would sing songs so sweet. Fräuleins would faint; senoritas, swoon; my voice would be the talk of Paris, and I would give a talk on the Voice of America. Battle plans were drawn, and exchange rates negotiated. I would win over 12 cities in 19 nights, and return to Cascabel a hero.

“We called it the Rio Grande Tour, and several t-shirts were designed.

“Besides the four of us, there was a band, a road crew, various family members, and an illusionist from Montreal who refused to speak English and stole everyone’s watches. The numbers had been crunched and crunched again, like an armadillo that didn’t look both ways, and they allowed no way to cross the Atlantic but via the sea. Also, though the Do Not Fly list did not exist at the time, an informal ban had been placed on us, again due to Skippy Joe’s airborne excitability.

“Skippy Joe was a hassle, but he was our brother.

“The Grande Tour would begin in Rome, where I had brand-new horn arrangements to be played in front of ancient ruins. I would then get stinky in Cologne, and then hot dog in Hamburg. We would make the trek to Toulouse, and then set Bern on fire with my immense talents and funky-dancing. I would knock it home in Stockholm. Through the power of music and me, Toledo would become holy. I was planning on pronouncing Barcelona incorrectly, out of respect for the citizens.

“They would be expecting an ugly American, but Texans are glorious.

“Our departure was calamitastrophic, which is a word I have just made up, but whose meaning is patent, as not only, to my dismay, had the trumpet player pawned the rest of the horn section, but the entire party, having had their watches stolen by the illusionist from Montreal, who was understandably fired with cause soon thereafter, was reproachably late, and, in the case of Big Bucktoothed Pete, liquored up, naked, and preaching the gospel which, sadly, had not the enlightening effect intended and doing nothing to relieve the dismay I mentioned in the beginning of this sentence, whose complexity has been shaped to mimic the situation it describes.

“The illusionist from Montreal was not the only one who knew good tricks.

“Due to the intervention of the Lord Hisself, those of us that had not been fired or pawned made it onto the ship. The reductionist view might award credit to Skippy Joe for tackling all the stevedores trying to cast the ship off, but I saw the Lord’s hand in events. He works in mysterious ways, and ain’t no one more mysterious than Skippy Joe, who has often been referred to as an enigma wrapped in a riddle and not wearing a shirt. His speedy violence bought us the time to board the majestic cruiser, the HMS Queen Latifah.

“It was luxurious, but still had flavor.

“We installed Louie Grabass in the galley, which we still called the kitchen around him, as Louie Grabass was as dumb as the changas he chimmied so expertly. It was a time-saver, and soon just as the ship floated upon the sea, we floated upon changa, and also friendship. The salt air had aligned the stars in the sky, and the frothy waves bid us become closer to one another. Was the moon our confidant? Did Poseidon sit with us in the elegantly-appointed bar, the Rear Admiral?

“We posited he did, and therefore ordered an extra drink for him every round.

“The road crew joined us, as did the remaining musicians who had not been pawned or thrown overboard by the trumpet player, who was becoming a problem. We were cowboys at sea, and we had thirsts no honest man could quench. The ocean called the tune at the Rear Admiral, and we began our ensloppification with Bermuda Triangles, which are equal parts rum and logical fallacies. We drank Titanics, which are served on ice, and Costa Concordias, which are served on the rocks. We drank Bismarcks, which did not live up to their hype in the slightest.

“By and by, the mighty ship could not challenge us in terms of rocking.

“Our party spread out to encompass deck after deck, and though bulkheads may stop water, they offer no defense against alcohol and its effects. The Lido Deck was hopping, and the Sun Deck shone with smiles, and also folks gettin’ nekkid. Jam sessions proliferated like funky fungi, and the cruise musicians and what was left of my band that had not been pawned, thrown off the boat, or also thrown off the boat, joined up in a many-headed wonder-group of low-down miracle music.

“Fellows danced the funky chicken; ladies did the boogaloo.

“Coaxed I was by joy, prodded forth from my seat by the crowd, and I took the stage to rapturous applause. Was it for me? Was it for my limber legs and their function, which was rambunction? Was it for my vocal stylings, which though angelic, caused emotions of a devilish nature? Was it my hair which, though battered by both the sea and the spirits I had been communing with at the bar, stood proud and tall and remembered the Alamo? We cannot know the answer.

“No one had seen Skippy Joe for quite some time.

“In my beloved friend’s defense, he had been able drive everything else he stole up until then, but the Queen Latifah presented Skippy Joe with a Black Swan-type development. It turns out boats that size don’t even have a wheel, and Skippy Joe was very far out of his element. The wheelhouse was not in his wheelhouse, and the massive vessel did not take well to his amateur fumblings! The boat thrashed from port to starboard, but as we were from Texas, we went left and right! The trumpet player used the chaos as cover to murder the remainder of the band! Skippy Joe crashed the boat into Portugal!

“The Rio Grande Tour was canceled, and the t-shirts unsold!”

“I’m going to stop delivering pizzas to you if you’re going to do this every time.”

“ONE WOULD ASSUME PORTUGAL EASY TO AVOID!”

“Please just pay me so I can leave.”

Another Roy Head Adventure? Now? Why?

“The only thing bigger than Texas is the Texas sky. It stretches from El Paso all the way to Dallas, and Abilene down on ’til Brownsville. The sky even makes it to San Antonio, which is most likely a contractual obligation. Denim dressing, cerulean canopy, baby-blue bonnet: all apply. To live in Texas and look up is to catch a glimpse of God’s underfrockening, and woe betide your mortal eyeballs: your retinas may sear from beauty, and your irises will wilt.

“The Texas sky will school your pupils.

“It was at night that the heavens revealed themselves to us. Just a mile outside Cascabel, there was no light at all and the stars glowed like a marquee, and the Lord hisself was headlining. Sometimes the wild hogs ate another transformer down the power plant, and you could see the Milky Way right from the center of town, until the inevitable fires. Growing up in Cascabel, I did not realize how infrequently the phrase ‘until the inevitable fires’ should be employed; in this case, my upbringing was my downfall. Daddy would point out the constellations to me: Orion, and Hercules, and Tom Landry.

“Three stars form the brim of his hat.

“I ached for it! Though my surprising and seismic silly-legs could scatter inhibitions and shatter proscriptions, they were as rooted to the soil as the long grasses of the Texas prairies, or even a common fern, which is a sissy plant. My haunches were powerful and my sinews taut; you could bounce a quarter off my buttocks, but only if you were wearing safety goggles: I mean to say that I could leap and jump and damn-near soar, but I could not fly. A star belongs in the sky, and Roy Head is a star. Yes, that Roy Head.

“You should have heard of me.

“It was Nineteen-seventy-something-or-other. I was the biggest star in the world, according to Skippy Joe, and I agreed with my friend, that accelerating angel. Sixteen weeks a year in Vegas, a month at a time. In between weathering the Strip, I would take my talents to various towns, burghs, and cities proper, so that people may appreciate them, and me. We would wow the West and storm through the South, navigating the North and electrifying the East at both our leisure and pleasure.

“This top dog was in the catbird seat.

“But the road wore on me like an improperly sized saddle on an inadequately trained prostitute, and I began to resent America for her spaciousness. Just because something’s on the other side of Nebraska shouldn’t mean I have to drive through Nebraska: I’d done nothing wrong, yet had been sentenced to a harsh punishment doled out in miles instead of years. My custom tour bus, Headwind, was of a quality known only to movers and sheikhs, but without the freedom to leave, nothing is luxurious.

“You might also recall that Headwind got itself driven through a zoo.

“Roy Head needed a new set of wheels, and I preferred that those wheels be kinda vestigial to the operation of the vehicle. A star belonged in the sky, and I tasked Big Bucktoothed Pete with bearing me aloft. Luckily, he had a cousin, Large Sloppy-faced Jonathan, with contacts of a nature aerospacious and ethics of a manner disputatious. He believed that repossession is nine-tenths of the law and for worryingly less than a trustworthy craft should cost, I owned my own airplane.

“Thank God my daddy was dead, for the pride would have killed him.

“It was a DeHavilland 125 with twin engines: I had me a set of jets, and they would thrust and plunge me through the ether and weather at a speed and height even Skippy Joe could not attain, though Lord knows he tried. I was also quite sure that my new conveyance could not be driven through a zoo, though Lord knows Skippy Joe would try. He was strictly forbidden from messing with the plane, a forced vacation from modification, for we knew that unlike his dillying dalliances with Dodges, this could end in no way but flames and perhaps a tribute song to me.

“Skippy Joe could turn a monkeywrench into monkeyshines.

“Vice is a villain, but very often vital; when I met the Lord, he would forgive me, and I had already forgiven myself for what I was about to do: I sent Skippy Joe on a fictitious errand to Miss Rosa’s, along with Louie Grabass. Louie bore a note for Miss Rosa, along with a sizable wad of cash; the note read, ‘Get him high and lay him low.’ I hated to feed Skippy Joe’s demons, but it was the only thing to keep him from the airliner while we was working on it, short of tying him up, and we hesitated to enlasso him a second time.

“We all discovered Skippy Joe’s new fetish that day.

“With Skippy Joe distracted, Big Bucktoothed Pete and I got down to customifying the jet: there was an organ for entertainment, and a bed so others might entertain our organs. Places that one would assume could not be carpeted were, in defiance of their very natures. There was a full kitchen with a deep fryer; the dining room was formal; bathrooms were fore and aft: these three stations had but one reason, which was the chimichanga.

“You begin by chimiing a changa, but the changa always ends up chimiing you.

“Big Bucktoothed Pete finished wiring up the recording studio in record time, and we hastened to comport with our compatriots; it should not shock you to hear that while our absence was noted, we were not missed. Louis Grabass was grabbing ass, and Skippy Joe was shirtless and behind the bar like in the old days, but he was wearing one of the ladies as a hat, or perhaps a helmet: she was encapsulating his cabeza and there was little struggle for freedom. Blind, deaf, and happy, Skippy Joe was pouring drinks using only his sense of touch.

“His accuracy wasn’t 100%, but it was far better than you might predict.

“We celebrated: we named the plane the Airhead, and set Skippy Joe to concoctinating our cocktails. In honor of the Airhead, we drank Charles Lindberghs, which are champagne, schnapps, and kidnapping. We ordered an Amelia Earhart, but it never showed up. We had many rounds of U2s, which are shots of vodka followed by forced confessions. Then we sipped Concordes, which get you drunk twice as fast as regular booze, but cost twenty times as much. This beverage went beautifully with the decadent mood, and it should be noted that they were the idea of the young woman attached to Skippy Joe’s face

“Her name was Lola, and she was a showgirl.

“The Texas night spun and burbled! Our whoops and hollerations carried up and down the tarmac  as we returned to the Airhead: that plane was as white as God’s laundry, and Big Bucktoothed Pete had artistically adorned the flying chariot with my name in script right beneath the pilot’s window, and then he had crudely painted a wang because he thought it was funny. I did, too. The four of us plus Lola, who was still nestled on Skippy Joe’s noggin, enplaned to continue the party. The bar had been pre-stocked with booze, and our bellies were about to get re-stocked with changa.

“We had assumed the plane required a key to start; we were incorrect.

“Even my prancing dancers get weary and bleary! The Airhead was so comfortating that once a snooze has you in its sleepy sights, then there’s no resisting! We were layin’ on Egyptian cotton with our eyelids heavy as the Pyramids, and none of us was super-human. Slumber took us all. Lola snored softly and sweetly, like a puppy farting. Swiftly, we slept.

“Usually such a loyal friend, Skippy Joe did not agree with the group’s plan.

“He never got the plane in the air, but he got it on the highway! The wings scooped up pickups and police cruisers and threw them like a bored baby! Street signs uprooted and zipped through the air like helpful ninja stars! Skippy Joe drove that jet plane down the road and Lola never loosened her full-body grip! God help me, I don’t know how he managed to find another zoo! Skippy Joe taxied that sumbitch right through the monkey house! It was happening again!

“If you wanna bowl, then you gotta rent the shoes.”

“IT WAS THE ONE POSSIBILITY I HAD RULED OUT!”

“Irv, could you deal with this guy?”

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