Kiff, the renowned Macabre Squad, were walking down the street in Houston one day.
In the houses lining both sides of the southern suburban street, sitting in their rocking chairs on the front porch and traditional blunderbuss on their knees, Houstonian old-timers, on account of their being uninterested in pop music and hence not appropriately scared, were pointing at them and sniggering.
“Heya Mister! There’s somethin’ long and floppy danglin’ from yer mouth!”, old Jesse Fletcher croaked and the whole block exploded with asthmatic laughter.
The addressed lead singer grumbled “Glâbbl wawôlbll glbl âhl!” and urged his frightening colleagues to walk a wee bit faster. However, their speed was restricted because of the elaborate Scary Outfits that they simply could not resist wearing 24/7 – even to bed, despite complaints from their wives that their spiky collars, pointed elbow gear, etc., were poking holes in their mattresses and tearing up the bed sheets.
All those paraphernalia significantly slowed their progress. It was all well and bloody frightening if they were on stage, wielding their menacing instruments, growling and screeching; but walking like this just made them look like a undulating black-and-white crab.
Fuelled by the undesirable prospect of being jeered at more by their ill-adapted audience, the Kiff-crab-Gestalt, with great effort, managed to increase its speed a little. Their polyester armour plates rattled and clattered, punctuated by hushed swearing and bickering. Unfortunately, this pushed the enthusiasm of their ageing audience over its critical point, and they started firing their blunderbusses in the air.
“Yee-haw!!” KABOOM BANG! “Whoo-hooo!”
“Go get ‘em, grandpa!” BOOOMM!
“Take me for a ride in your Stanley Steamer?”
“Hee hee hee”
“Haw haw haw haw!” KA-BOOM!
BANG! BANG! BANG!! BANG!!!
“‘Bout as bad as riding in the Lo-co-mo-bile with the eight wheels, uhhuh?” KABOOM!
“Yeeee-haw!!” BANG! BOOM!
“I’d rather ride in the Model T pickup with the bronze hubcaps an’ tha beaver tail!” BOOM!!
“Twenty-three skidoo!” BANGG! “Uh-huh!”
The sound of explosions and the smell of cordite filled the air. In the confusion, the bass player stepped on the lead singer’s tongue, who remarked “Gawllb âhwool!”, jerking his enhanced body part back from under the bass player’s boot. Both fell over, dragging the others with them, so they all collapsed into a tangled mass of studded black leather, reinforced polyester, metal spikes and heavily insured rock musician limbs.
Muffled curses and grumbles from the collapsed musical act could be heard, as the blunderbusses had now all been fired. Now the fun seemed to be over, the old-timers all went inside for their afternoon moonshine moment. A sultry silence descended over our Scary Quartet, who found themselves utterly unable to disentangle their limbs from the iron grip of their combined outfits, the spikes of which had self-interlocked like a bear trap.
But then, a thin occasional beeping was heard coming from up the street. As it grew louder, you could also hear the squelch sounds of CB radio communication and muffled voices, as if emanating from the inside of something well-insulated. Eventually, a figure dressed in full EVA space-suit appeared around the corner and ambled up to the once so viciously frightening rock-machine, now lying all hap- and helpless on the cobble-stones, south of the Mason-Dixon Line, under that old hot Dixie sun.
[BEEP] ‘Roger that Houston, confirm arrival at crash site …’ [BEEP] [BEEP] CHCHCHT ‘Limping sparrow, limping sparrow, want you to proceed do positive ID on target subject using pattern matching[BEEP] CHCHT ‘Copy that, Houston’ [BEEP][BEEP] CHCHCHCHT [BEEP]
The figure stood bent over the former Paragon of He-Man Intimidation-Appeal and extended a gloved hand holding a microphone. The four fallen music industry icons beheld their fallen state reflected in the shielded front of the helmet and found themselves at a loss for words.
[BEEP] ‘Limping sparrow, limping sparrow, not getting any data yet, have you tried turning it off and on again?’ CHCHCT [BEEP] ‘Houston? Confirm A-OK positive on instrument status [BEEP] but subject not transmitting in audible frequency bands at this time’ [BEEP][BEEP] CHCHCHT ‘Limping sparrow, limping sparrow, copy that. Proceed with tickling probe at will. Roger.'[BEEP] [BEEP]
With his other arm, the spaceman produced a rod-like implement that ended in a shape resembling a curled index finger. He proceeded to apply it to the drummer’s chin who immediately started to giggle violently. The spaceman managed to look somewhat taken aback despite his suit, but bravely kept the microphone aimed.
[BEEP] [BEEP] ‘Limping sparrow [BEEP] good job, data coming in loud and clear, repeat that: loud and clear! Analysis started, expect C-RTON in O-two hundred, S one five alpha CHCHCHT copy that Houston’ [BEEP] CHCHCHT
Then, the spaceman retrieved a folding chair from one of the suit’s pockets and carefully sat himself in it. He then unscrewed something on top of his helmet and plugged a funnel in the exposed hole.
From another pocket he produced a bottle of Southern Comfort and, with some difficulty, managed to pour its contents in the funnel.
A gurgling sound was heard, and his posture relaxed considerably.
[BEEP] *burp* ‘Limping sparrow, what was that?’
[BEEP] ‘Nothing, please disregard, Houston. We definitely don’t have a problem.’ [BEEP]