gyrating bhtch










Suddenly, and Without Warning (Part Two)
Russell screamed.

Mark's blonde strat was obscured by the blinding flurry of his dexterous hands. Arpeggios arced and cascaded about the room in ethereal fluidity, spurred on by the pure spiritual energy that flowed like so much pulsating blood from the guitarist's well-practiced hands.

Russ, Chicken Shake Russ screamed.

The white Factor bass was one of the few left of its kind, and Ben handled it with the confident touch of an old lover in well-worn jeans. The thumb and fingers of his right hand slapped and plucked in Claypool-esque fury, melting suddenly into gentle, rhythmic Jaco-esque lines that were as one with the harmonic structure of the song.

Russ, unstoppable, screamed.

Mike was surrounded by keyboards. His deft digits swept over the white--and the black--keys of two, three instruments of time; shining, shimmering chords and a multitudinous bizarre array of sampled sound bites (collected by Ky-Loon, his faithful servant, from all corners and all archives of sound in the world) weaving their way through the amplifiers.

Russell, ever-faithful, regardless of any meager key restrictions, hapless in the face of a time signature, screamed.

There was no need to mike Brud's drum kit. The elegant, wood-finished five-piece responded like a new lover in old jeans to the young man's powerful, yet controlled, strokes. The bass drum shook the very foundations of the earth, the snare drove the beasts of the field into passionate frenzy, armies marched to the command of the toms, and hi-hat, no, nothing more need be said about the hi-hat. Giles, the thunder-god, sat triumphant upon his throne, his drumbeats the pulsing of the giant, dripping, angina-ridden heart of Gyrating Bhtch.

Russell screamed, and then motioned for everyone to stop. The musicians let the gates of heaven close for a moment, and listened with patient inquisitiveness to their ideological mentor.

"Mark, Ben, let's take it back to measure thirty-two--uh, that's about one minute thirty-three into the song, I think--to that point, during the sixteenth-note run, you know, the flashy one. Instead of ascending to that parallel fifth, why don't you try a quick minor-third trill, um, on the F#, and then go right back into the rest. Mike, sample eight-oh-twenty-two-six, you know, the pitch-shifted one of Jose Canseco's mid-intercourse flatulence with the accompanying laugh that proved to us he was having sex with Carol Channing's niece? Let's try hitting that one a quarter beat sooner so that the wetter frequencies are in time with the after-resonance of Brud's ride cymbal. Brud, gimme two bpm faster." Russell reached for his balanced electrolyte mineral water and then popped a monogrammed eucalyptus lozenge.

"Let's wing that mutha!" cried Mike from his high-tech bunker.

"I don't know, C.S.," said Mark. He lightly fingered some of the Hiedelberg Variations with his pickups turned off. "That sounds good, but I'd really like to put off doing this song again until later. I mean, I'd really like to work some more on my modal interpretation of the Purgatorio."

"But, Mark," Ben interjected, "We told Geffen our funk orchestration of the Threepenny Opera would be ready next week. And Ridley Scott wants the new version of LV426 ready for Aliens 4 post-production on Tuesday."

"I know, I know. Jeez, you'd think writing the script would be enough."

Brud stood up from behind his kit, tapping the jar of Vaseline by the floor tom as he did so.

"Guys, guys! The London Symphony Orchestra is gonna be here tomorrow! Let's get back to the song, ya morons!"

"Let's wing that mutha!" cried a sample of Mike the fuzzy-headed keyboardist had just triggered.

Suddenly, and without warning, there came a knock at the door.

The door was make from stained, copper-treated Balinese wupi-wupi wood, bound with sound German iron, and, thus, resonated quite ominously. The five bandmembers looked at it in silence.

"I love that!" said Russell. "I'm really glad that we spent the extra bucks for the wupi-wupi."

And, indeed, many extra bucks had been spent not only on the door, but on the house that surrounded it as well. The manor was built upon what had once been Evanston's finest (and only) high school. But now, having renamed the streets Ruga and Bonilla, Goofusland, the official studio/ residential/recreational/research/really cute babes in the basement complex was in effect. For the parts of Goofusland which were above-ground, the ancient stones of Slaine Castle were moved from their ancestral home in Ireland and reconstructed. Below this structure, thousands of miles beneath the earth's crust, were a series of interlocked recording bunkers designed by Swiss acoustic specialists in conjunction with the designers of NORAD's underground bomb-proof complexes, as well as a jacuzzi. Yes, this was the spiffy-diffy headquarters of Gyrating Bhtch and the Magic Grits recording label.

Of course, the band just happened to be rehearsing in the first-floor living room--to recreate that "Boston" atmosphere--so that's why they could actually hear a knock at the door.

"Where were we?" asked Ben. He, like the others, had forgotten what was going on.

Having heard the ominous knock on the door, the band stared at the imposing, obelisk-like portal-thing in pensive silence.

"If that's a gorilla suit," said Brud, "I'm gonna take a dump right here."

"That couldn't be a gorilla suit, or even a Rugubonilla gorilla suit." Mike spoke with confident dismay. "It would have never made it past the Bhtchotronic Security monitors!"

The above-ground portion of Goofusland, the castle part, that is, was ensconced within the security of a twenty-foot marble wall which was itself surrounded by a network of gamma-laser force beams, not to mention other top secret and nifty devices, in order to keep out unwanted visitors such as this, and to frighten off refugees from the Mr. Burger Crack across the street.

Mike blinked. "Thank you." He then re-assumed his confident dismay. "The smell of the gorilla suit's clipboard alone would have set of the Pum-O-Tron Alert device!"

Russell walked to the door.

"Russ, what are you doing?" Ben looked on with that expression of nail-biting, open-mouthed horror that he does so well.

"I," replied the gentle giant, "am going to see who's knocking at the imposing, obelisk-like portal-thing."

Brud loosened the belt on his $1000 Armani shorts. "I'm ready, man."

"But, C.S.!" Mark fingered snippets from the Goldberg Variations in abject terror. "What if it is a gorilla suit? What if it's," he shuddered, "someone or someTHING worse?"

Russell turned so as to re-educate the brothers. "We...are...BHTCH! People flock from the four corners of the world just to lick the dirt on the sidewalk outside, remember? Mark, who won all the grammys last year?"

"We did."

"And Ben, when Boris Yeltsin needed a new anthem for the Undividable New Totally Equal Nation of Russialand, who did he ask to write it for him?"

"Um, us."

"And Mike, when the Centaurans landed on earth and demanded to be taken to our world's leader, whom did the UN call?"

"Yer Mom! Heh, ha, hee!"

Russ glared at the frail, yet tall, Mac fiend.

"I know, I know. They called us."

"And Brud, when Cindy Crawford, or Janet Jackson, or Jodi Foster, or Michael Jordan have sex with a partner or their choice, whose music do they listen to?"

Brud began to slide down his $62 silk Ralph Lauren briefs. "I'm ready, man."

"No one--I repeat--no one would dare try that gorilla stunt again. We can't be afraid to open our own door!" With that, Russell turned back to face the big, scary door. For his confidence, one lone bead of sweat could be seen on his glaring white forehead. Holding back the fear, he reached up to the large iron doorknob, and opened the door.

Mike yelped, Mark fingered, Ben did the open-mouth thing again, and a rude, sphincter-like prelude could be heard from behind the drums.

There, standing in the cavernous doorway, was a short Balinesian dressed in green surgical garb and holding a portable DAT machine.

"Ky-Loon!" cried Mike. As one, the band gave a welcome sigh.

"What is?" said Ky-Loon in his Deutch-tinged English.

Brud could be seen holding a towel to his butt as he raised his shorts. "We thought you were a gorilla suit."

"An ape? No, no. Here, Herr Michael, I got it. The sounds of Meister Huge Euge's last triple-bypass."

"Yes!" Mike leaped from behind his enclosure of synthesizers and samplers (no easy task) and skipped to Ky-Loon. The small man handed him the machine. "He sure was a big guy."

"Too much of the pig," commented Ky-Loon, "and not enough of the jig."

At this, Ben began to wave his arms frantically. His face blossomed in a pleasant pink. The white Factor was jerking up and down like a frustrated teenager.

"What! How did you get by the gamma-laser?! The wall!? The vicious dogs?!? The grenade-launching Baseball Kids!?!?!"

"It is Memorial Day; the schnauzers are on holiday. That combined with this fact that the defenses have been forgotten to be turned on, you see."

"Ben!" the others yelled.

"Oops." The bassist became the picture of passive neglect. "That was me."

Russell slowly swung the great door shut, its hinges creaking as the noonday sun shining through the portal narrowed to nothingness. He calmly popped another eucalyptus lozenge.

"Thank Us that that's all over with," he said. But he had spoken all too soon.

Mark looked up from his oh-so-aesthetically pleasing guitar. "Waitaminute. He spoke too what?"

Suddenly, and without warning, there came a knock at the door.

* * *

...Or what they thought was a knock at the door. Again, three of the members of Bhtch froze in abject terror at the thought of again having to answer the door; one of them dropped trou again, and soft, wet, greasy noises like a burger with a high fat content being fried up on a griddle with neither the appropriate amount of heat or lubricant having been applied to it yet, came from behind the large, five-foot-in-diameter bass drum, and Mike picked his nose thoughtfully.

"Who's...who's going to get the door now?" asked Ben, being one of those in abject terror.

Mark all but forgot his guitar, and simply melted into a pile of lime-grape Jell-o (nobody's favorite flavor) in the corner, and said as he imitated the wicked witch of the West, "I sure as HELL ain't gonna be the umphgrlandremanflingo...", and was gone, at least until the long digression was over (see below).

Russell's placid facade was replaced by one of a man who has just seen something horrid, so horrid, it cannot be mentioned here, and so it won't be, but suffice it to say that people would be running. Oh my, how they would run. I mean, there would be such a preponderance of running, that really nobody would be able to do anything but. The mail would stop being delivered, even, Sharon Stone would have to put her clothes back on and shut the fuck up for a short time, and actually begin running along with everybody else, because there would be so much running. Where would they run to? Well, assume, for the moment, that humanity survived after this alleged event. Hundreds of years in the future, historians would have huge debates at an expensive-looking convention on just where everybody did, indeed, run to. Some would say that they all hopped the next available shuttle to Mars to piece their lives back together. Some would say that people, out of sheer and abject terror and a wit-losing state of mind, actually ran to the voting booths, and began voting Republican exclusively. Some argued, however, that that event in and of itself would be even more terrifying than whatever it was that drove people to run in the first place.

There would be those historians who believed that the whole thing was a hoax, an elaborate scheme pulled off by the American media in order to perpetuate the theory that the television was in control of people, and not the government, but those historians were flogged continually for their "dangerous" theories, live on the 10 o'clock news, usually right after the lottery drawings (People had their priorities, you know) as a lesson that anybody fucking with the powers that be would be in for a lot worse than a detention with a smelly, horny, bigoted, pus-faced, pocked marked, penis eating (but only in private), secretly-had-a crush-on-the-ugliest-girl-in-the-freshman-class, gym teacher. Oh, but there would be things much worse. Just far worse than that, the things that would happen to anybody fucking with the so-called "powers that be."

This, of course, is only rampant speculation.

It has nothing to do with the knock at the door.

And I have digressed.

But not enough, just yet. Not enough...

There would be one incident at this futuristic conference (assuming society lived past this thing-which cannot-here-be-mentioned) that would change the course of history at that point. It involves the refreshment table in the lobby of the hotel where this large, important conference would be taking place, were society to live to it. On this table, there (supposedly...well, just assume it, and let's get on with it) was a preponderance of havarti on the cheese spread. By this point in history, it would be a well-established historical fact that historians simply don't like havarti. They find it to be just a touch too mild, with no initial bite, sort of like a wet sock that has been washed, but not robbed of its distinctive odor it had obtained by being worn by Michael Jordan in the seventh game of the deciding series in the 1997 NBA finals, when he scored...well, some say it was 400 points, some say 401.

I'll just say it was about 400.5. Happy?

So, basically, to any historian, this is what havarti tastes like. Now, to perpetuate this ridiculous analogy, they would like the taste if the sock in question had not been washed, but instead converted right into cheese, but since it was washed, history would be inexplicably, inexorably, and don't forget irrevocably, changed forever.

To get on with the story, nobody had touched the havarti. This much, at future conferences on the subject, is not a question of debate. What most future-future historians also agree on is that there were two historians fighting over the last morsel of some type of cheese. Now, whether that cheese was brie or cheddar, my God, books have been written. After these events, nobody knows, really, what happened at all. So, to recap, there was this last piece of cheese, there were these two historians who had nothing better to do than to argue about where a few billion people had started running two hundred years ago (assuming anybody did at all, for all they knew, it could have been a wild fantasy started by some cut-rate writer putting forth a metaphor to describe the look on Russ Chicken Shake Russ' face when a knock allegedly came to the door of GB's nothing short of palatial estate. A metaphor that, woefully, got completely out of hand. Again, books have been written, there was a movie of the week, Stallone was interested in the silver screen rights, I mean, my God, talk about the pen being mighty and all, but this, and then suddenly the last bit of cheese was gone, the historians had parted ways, the havarti remained there, untouched, and history was irrevocably altered. Once again, to re-iterate, nobody was really sure how, exactly, this tiny incident had such a sweeping effect on the course of human events, but clearly, it did. That much is for certain.

Man, have I digressed. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this digression turned out to be a Pulitzer prize-winning bit of speculative fiction. Books could be...well, let's just not get into it, shall we?

What we should start doing is attempting to find out what we really know. What, so far in this account, has actually taken place, and is not some self-indulgent piece of speculation? What is reality, and what is fiction? Let's go back then, and find out what we know...

...We don't know a Goddamn thing.

What's really funny about this whole event, is what actually took place. This, although there have been huge conferences (I mean, like, can you fucking even begin to imagine how in-fucking-credibly huge they must have been, let's just leave it at enormous) on the subject, nobody really debates what happened. The only reason they have these giant conferences was because the caterers were far better than the ones at that fated conference, and so there was almost no havarti on the cheese spread. What was there was only there because its hue was pleasing to the eye when placed in an elaborate geometric pattern with all the other little genus-cubes of cheese.

So, finally, and at long last, this is what happened. The members of Gyrating Bhtch, after suffering through what they thought (except for Russell) was a knock at the door that would end the world, when in fact, it was a knock at the door merely produced by Ky-Loon hitting the wupi-wupi wood, they thought (or, at least four of them did) that they heard another knock at the door. Ben blubbered, Mark melted, Brud booted, Russell ranted, with a look on his face that...

...NO! NO! NO! A thousand times, NO! How many times do you need to be told not to get so absurdly carried away?

Sorry, won't happen again. Anyway, that happened to those four members, and Mike, curiously, just picked his nose, just dug for gold in the slimy mine that is the first 1/2 to 3/4's of an inch that make up the portion of your lower nostril that the human finger can actually reach. Did a little boulder-hunting. Some rock research. A little pebble accumulation. Goober gathering, snot suction...well, you get the idea. Probably got it a long time ago, and really didn't want this silly diatribe on some variations to the phrase "nose picking". Too bad, you got them anyway. Eat me.

Well, the reason Mike was calmly reaching for rubies, doling out diamonds, searching for sapphires, grabbing for gold, panning for platinum, congregating some quartz, and all that other stuff is because he knew exactly what was up with that second knock at the door. For, you see, it was merely one of his none-too-unample samples.

He watched calmly as his four compatriots (by this time, Ky-Loon had faithfully assumed his Asimov-like Robot niche in the wall, and was merely on status-alert, and nothing more), panicked like nobody's business.

"Poor fellas," he thought bleeding-heartedly, "do I tell'em?" He thought for a few moments longer. "Heggsey naw!" he exclaimed to himself with the confidence of a coronated king. "I'll go for a walk."

With that, Mike put all of his computer apparatus on stand-by (thereby reducing the world's power draw of electricity by a full one-third. You should see this guy's stage show!), unlatched the racing-style seatbelt that locked him down amidst the electronic furniture, contracted his leg muscles into a standing position, and left the room.

Before he was completely out the door, he turned back for one more review of his partners-in-whatever. Ben was still blubbering foolishly, Brud had such a satisfied smile on his sunny facade that Mike could only assume the worst (or best), Mark was now transmogrifying into a Jell-o pudding pop in the corner, much to his chagrin. And then there was Russell.

The look of sheer horror that could have sparked you-know-what was still there. In fact, it was frozen to his face. So frozen was he, in fact, that it reminded Mike of the now-famous pictures of him taken during the Basement Sessions (now enlarged and plastered down the length of the Great Wall of China-Bhtch). You know, the one where, even though it's a still photograph, you still know that Russell was standing completely still? That kind of look.

Mike smiled contentedly. Then, suddenly, and without warning, the smell of Brud's latest accomplishment began to waft over to him. Mike backed up and said to himself, though aloud, "I think I'll take a really long walk."

With that, Mike was out the door, down the steps, along the front walk, and traversing the yellow-brick-road to his next adventure. And, as his compatriots remained in what could practically, although not medically, be called a state of perpetual stasis, this is what happened to the intrepid, unlikely hero-esque leading man we call Mike...
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