THE SPHINX - Chapter 3 ZOOATHALON Part 2: 'Sing Us Mingus!?

It could be said, or written that it were not the best day in the world to be a Christian. And it could be said that this was a tough crowd. And bloodthirsty. On a swooning, sweltering mid summer day. This was the last Friday of the month, when the slaves got paid, so as expected, the coliseum was filled to capacity and here was our protagonist, a young man, being pushed out into the arena. His dragging feet leaving a trail in the dust as deep as the grave he would be buried in. He would at any moment expect the lion he were meant to feed. And having been given no lambs nor sheep to offer the lion, it were assumed by all attendant that the lion would take the Christian instead. Breaking his bones into pebble stones. This is after all what sold tickets. This is what kept the Roman coliseum the Roman coliseum as opposed to say, the Pisa coliseum, which wound up leaning over even more than its more famous tower. These were tough times and the people expected to be entertained. And lions mauling and decapitating those pesky Christians was good and steady business and therefore, sound business. Though none of the calculus of its necessity mattered much to Abigadik the 3rd. All he knew was that, he could sure use a good dose of hemlock right about now. Hemlock kills in strong doses, though in smaller doses, it can render one somewhat immune to being lion bait. No, there would be no performance enhancers available to render more surreal his eminent death and ritual humiliation. The Lion was released through the gate, and out he dashed growling thunder noise before he stopped, but not before Abigadik could draw a breath so deep and sudden, he saw the whole of his life flash before his closed and praying eyes. He also let go of what he felt would probably be his last waters, which ran down his leg like a warm, glossy stain. To the absolute, total amazement of the baying, untempered, unruly crowd, the lion cleared his throat with a bellicose roar to announce: “Sentite! 'Cittadini di Roma' (Listen, Citizens of Rome), 
I am lion hear me roar, 
and to eat more Christians, I am bored, if by that you are not too floored, besides all of that I am full, having just digested the last pagan skull. Whose instincts were moored in depressions too dull. I do not eat when you say eat, but when my hunger and my nature meet. My teeth are sharp but my mind is sharper, and unlike Samson I avoid the barber. And low tides of mood, I will not harbor. So now the rules have changed, and this man can live if he can find his range. As King, his life is wrapped around my fingers, but I'll spare him if he can SING US MINGUS”. The crowd, with throbbing, earth rattling intensity yells, 'Dingus Mingus'! Before the Lion swiftly corrects them, “NO, Sing Us Mingus! You Roman pig herders! Not Dingus!” The crowd, still perplexed that they would bear witness to a lion speaking, not to mention that he were speaking in Latin, looked each at the next, and yelled in unison, 'O Yeah, Sing us Mingus'. This was when Abigadik reached into his loincloth, his fresh one, as his mother had always advised, just in case he got into an accident. And from his fresh, once clean loincloth he pulled out a set of spoons. And began furiously playing those spoons and singing his Tuscan hillbilly songs, taught to him by his father, Abigadik the 2nd. Then the lion began tap dancing as well as displaying his square dancing skills. And his juggling prowess. To Abigadik's great fortune, this were a lion who really wanted most of all to be an MGM lion, a movie lion. The one that roars before each film. He wasn't too into all of this eating Christians business. He thought it bad for his karma, his digestion and got in the way of his acting classes. He also wanted to direct. He were a major fan of Greek tragedy and anything with nudity in it. So, he joined the Christian in turning the bloodthirsty audience into a more appreciative one. A more sensitive and thoughtful one. They even encored with a Village People song. The people from the village of Villagio, a small town near Rome known for its liberal men. Then, some kind soul from the gathered throng handed to Abigadik a banjo, the early roman version, and he began playing an old early roman version of 'O Danny Boy'. The lion followed this up with a few jokes. They got funnier as he relaxed. Initially, as might be expected, coliseum management were not at all amused. Until it became clear that this new double act were the possible future of entertainment. Despite not knowing who Mingus was, the young Christian felt sure that whoever he was, this Latin named fellow, had saved his life that day. He and the lion are now represented by coliseum management, Christians and Lions Incorporated Entertainment. To balance the bookings, some Christians are still fed to the lions. Mainly now, the ones who cannot even afford clown costumes are turned over to the Sunday night crowds, who still demand tradition. One day, this talking, dreamer of a lion and Abigadik would be credited with having been the forerunners of the modern circus. The lion and lion tamer routine started, in embryo, that very day when the lion had challenged Abigadik to SING US MINGUS! And when the young man reached within himself, stained loincloth and all, and found the rhythms that saved his life that sweltering afternoon. Sending it into a new direction, his spirit to a new dimension. His economy into fits of giggles. Ask of his wealth and he blushes like a schoolgirl with new braces. Their travels would even take them as far away as Egypt, where they would perform at an annual Sphinx festival. On their return journey, Abigadik finally got a chance to visit the great ancient city of Memphis as they drifted down the mighty Nile and back towards their homeland. Rome, though eventually he would retire to the land of Sicily and its endless groves of lemons. 
So what if the lion still commands the lion's share of the earnings? Why else would they call it that? For Abigadik, this WAS THE LIFE. Except for those days when he had to clean out the lion's cages. Needless to say, lions can be messy. Few have the courage to tell them how to live. And fewer are those who like offending their dread pride. Particularly a talking one who once got booed from an arena in Syria when he began one of his poems with: 
'Judas read to the children of Jerusalem 
and compelled by his flute 
he read Proust to them.' 
In an unabridged edition of big cat poems published years later, after a movement had erupted justifying the expense, it were printed as such:

Judas bled heavy his debt to the Lord, 
in poverty pleading for his room and board 
He read to the children of Jerusalem, 
seduced by his flute, he would read 
Proust to them. More cannot be stated. 
However WE rate it, he was of 
use to them. He evened out his score, 
while heaven called a truce with him. 
His descendents live in Baltimore. 
I’m not lying. 
I am lion, hear me roar!

Fortunately, the king of the jungle’s tap dancing skills were more formidable. And Abigadik’s patience honorable.

Selections:

10) BIG BABY (2:24)
11) WHAT BABY WANTS (3:37)
12) THE LAUGHING SONG (4:08)
13) I SAW HER (3:34)
14) THIS FAR (3:25)
15) ALL THE WAY TO MEMPHIS (3:00)
16) THE QUARTERBACK SONG (2:16)

All songs written, produced, arranged and performed by Sananda Maitreya for Treehouse Publishing. Recorded and engineered by Matteo Sandri. Recorded and mixed at MONO studio, Milan, Italy over 14 days between the first and second week of September.


Lyrics & Credits:

10) BIG BABY (2:24)

You're such a big baby
a big baby a big baby
You're such a big baby
a big baby a big baby

half of us are on crack
the other half on prozac
our sanity's out of whack
but I've got your back
eat well, sleep long
and gather your wits along
until you can write the songs
and stand on your own
'cause

You're such a big baby
a big baby a big baby
You're such a big baby
a big baby a big baby

laugh laugh
clear path
life is more than the math
and if you take a bath
don't go down the drain
the reindeer's 
pain dear
keeps it from flying near
but it will soon be here
if you feel the same
'cause

You're such a big baby
a big baby a big baby
You're such a big baby
a big baby a big baby

BIG UP!
Dig up
all of the silver cups
hidden beneath the roots
of your family tree
STAND UP!
Chin up
and use your head a lot
and you can write the plot
of your history
'cause

You're such a big baby
a big baby a big baby
You're such a big baby
a big baby a big baby

Words and Music: Sananda Maitreya
Drums, Bass, Keyboards, Celeste, Marimba, Strings, Vocals by Sananda
© + ? 2010 Treehouse Publishing 
 

11) WHAT BABY WANTS (3:37)

We waited 9 months for you
before your mama had to push you through
because your mama ran out of room
waiting for you to go BOOM!
Don't worry about your comfort zone
because your daddy's got a black cat bone

WHAT BABY WANTS, BABY GETS
WHAT BABY WANTS, BABY GETS!

Your belly button window shined
with miracles that you were mine
it had to turn my head around
in case you thought I was a clown
laughing at the time you own
because your daddy's got a black cat bone

WHAT BABY WANTS, BABY GETS
WHAT BABY WANTS, BABY GETS!

You sleep a lot, you sleep a lot, you sleep a lot, you sleep a lot
you sleep a lot, you sleep a lot, you do
I hope that you're expressing what's inside of you
You eat a lot, you eat a lot, you eat a lot, you eat a lot
you eat a lot, you eat a lot, you do
I hope that you're expressing what's inside of you

Your mother was a polished pearl
and your papa's from a hostile world
stumbling through the lost and found
and slapping other bitches down
but we've got room for you to roam
because your daddy's got a black cat bone

WHAT BABY WANTS, BABY GETS
WHAT BABY WANTS, BABY GETS!

Words and Music: Sananda Maitreya
Drums, Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Electric Piano, 
Mellotron, Synthesizer, Vocals by Sananda
© + ? 2010 Treehouse Publishing 
 

12) THE LAUGHING SONG (4:08)

I got a seat in a restaurant
it wasn't the table that I want
it happens more than a little
but you got to laugh about it
I ordered the 'catch of the day'
which they seemed to find on the freeway
it made my Bo Diddley diddle
but you got to laugh about it

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HO HO HO HO HO HO HO
HE HE HE HE HE HE HE
YOU GOT TO LAUGH ABOUT IT
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HO HO HO HO HO HO HO
HE HE HE HE HE HE HE
YOU GOT TO LAUGH ABOUT IT

I booked a seat on an airplane
a window seat as I explained
they put me right in the middle
but you got to laugh about it
I sat next to a motor mouth
who didn't know what he was talking about
it left my mind all a riddle
but you got to laugh about it

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HO HO HO HO HO HO HO
HE HE HE HE HE HE HE 
YOU GOT TO LAUGH ABOUT IT
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA 
HO HO HO HO HO HO HO
HE HE HE HE HE HE HE
YOU GOT TO LAUGH ABOUT IT

I got a call from the tax man
'said I was late with the facts man
he made me sell all my fiddles
but you got to laugh about it
I lost my car in a landslide
it wasn't the last time that I cried
but when the tears start to trickle
you've got to laugh about it

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HO HO HO HO HO HO HO
HE HE HE HE HE HE HE 
YOU GOT TO LAUGH ABOUT IT
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HO HO HO HO HO HO HO
HE HE HE HE HE HE HE
YOU GOT TO LAUGH ABOUT IT

Words and Music: Sananda Maitreya
Drums, Bass, Percussion, Strings, Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, 
Clavinet, Vocals by Sananda
© + ? 2010 Treehouse Publishing 
 

13) I SAW HER (3:34)

...and I'm taking her down
and I'm taking her down
and I'm taking her down

She didn't think I was there
but I saw her
She didn't think I was there
but I saw her
She didn't think I was watching
but I saw her
the house was worth
more than he was alive
so she burned it down with him inside
and I saw her

She struck a match on my neighbor
and I saw her
next day it was in the 'papers
'cause I saw her
no commentary could save her
'cause I saw her
the rain in Spain 
falls mainly on her mental plane
'cause his death was hard to explain
and I saw her

...and I'm taking her down
and I'm taking her down
and I'm taking her down...

She had him trapped by the whiskers
and I saw her
She had him covered in blisters
and I saw her
how many times had he kissed her?
'cause I saw her
blonde on blonde
she'll be up for Murder One
'cause he never had a chance to run
and I saw her
cash is cash
when life is burning really fast
and cash is clay
when you throw it all away
and I saw her

...and I'm taking her down
and I'm taking her down
and I'm taking her down...

She didn't think I was there
but I saw her
She didn't think I was there
but I saw her
She didn't think I was watching
but I saw her
I'll raise my right hand
on it to the judge
but my left hand 
will hold a grudge
'cause I saw her

Words and Music: Sananda Maitreya
Drums, Bass, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Vocals by Sananda
© + ? 2010 Treehouse Publishing 
 

14) THIS FAR (3:25)

There's a tension in the air
from missing you
your heart is always on my horizon
I will love you
'til the days that are no more
so we fight, that's not surprising
but

THIS FAR
BABY WE'VE COME THIS FAR
BABY WE'VE COME THIS FAR
BABY WE'VE COME THIS FAR

Leave the wreckage by the window
before you go
and I will hammer into a new shape
all the broken promises that
made you cry
'cause I can not tell you a lie

THIS FAR
BABY WE'VE COME THIS FAR
BABY WE'VE COME THIS FAR
BABY WE'VE COME THIS FAR

excuse my confusion
excuse my confusion

All my horses become
unglued when chasing you
and I'm the rider with the long face
You're a woman
who wears her heart out on her sleeve
and I'm in stitches when you leave

THIS FAR
BABY WE'VE COME THIS FAR
BABY WE'VE COME THIS FAR
BABY WE'VE COME THIS FAR

Words and Music: Sananda Maitreya
Drums, Bass, Percussion, Acoustic Guitars, Banjo, Mandolin, Vocals by Sananda
© + ? 2010 Treehouse Publishing 
 

15) ALL THE WAY TO MEMPHIS (3:00)

I fell over backwards
when I got the news
she was a friend of many years
I pulled over off a 
gravel road somewhere
I'm in a mood to shed my blues
I'm in a mood

'cause I left Tallahassee in the rain
and I drove all the night through Georgia
and I reached Tennessee before sunrise
and I cried all the way to Memphis

Some fingerprints were lifted
from her bedside tray
she never went to work that day
her killer was a man
she met in acting class
who cast her in his foul play
his foul play

'cause I left Tallahassee in the rain
and I drove all the night through Georgia
and I reached Tennessee before sunrise
and I cried all the way to Memphis

An apple from the orchard
falls onto the ground
and if there are no worms around
the sun will take and bake 
into a rotting core
until the seeds are there no more
are there no more

'cause I left Tallahassee in the rain
and I drove all the night through Georgia
and I reached Tennessee before sunrise
and I cried all the way to Memphis

Words and Music: Sananda Maitreya
Drums, Bass, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Vocals by Sananda
© + ? 2010 Treehouse Publishing 
 

16) THE QUARTERBACK SONG (2:16)

This is the quarterback song
and this will not take very long
so listen rookie so we can agree
that you blew the PASS PROTECTION
you were drafted at number one
and concussions are never fun
so do the job you're paid to get done
'cause you blew the PASS PROTECTION
'cause you blew the PASS PROTECTION!

4 out of 5 doctors agree
I've had too much surgery
and I'm last years league MVP
so don't blow the PASS PROTECTION
Linebacker came on a blitz
and hit you like you was his bitch
I'm not here for vivisection
so don't blow the PASS PROTECTION
so don't blow the PASS PROTECTION!

My signals are very clear
even your mama can hear
crowd noise can be a distraction
but don't blow the PASS PROTECTION
6'5, and 336
don't fall for amateur tricks
if we don't win, we don't get in
so don't blow the PASS PROTECTION
so don't blow the PASS PROTECTION!

Words and Music: Sananda Maitreya
Drums, Bass, Electric Guitars, Vocals by Sananda
© + ? 2010 Treehouse Publishing 
 

All songs recorded and engineered by Matteo Sandri.
Mixed by Matteo and Sananda.
Effects and noises provided by Matteo and Sananda.
Dedicated to my son Francesco Mingus Maitreya, our aunt Khmbrly, my wife Francesca
and to our families on both sides of the Ocean.
Thanks to 'Sergente', Matteo Sandri for his time and expertise.
To MONO studios for their support.
Special thanks to master Bobby 'Blue' Bland for the inspiration and vibe and to all of my heroes living and living elsewhere and onwards for their light. Particular thanks to the spirit of master Waylon Jennings and to Bobby Womack. Special thanks also to the author Don Winslow, whose books inspired some of these narratives. A special thanks also to my wonderful staff at Treehouse Publishing!
These sessions found us again using the same amps for bass and guitar as in chapter 2 of The Sphinx.
We play the MAGNETO AMP and the ACOUSTIC 220 and used an '87 MUSSER acoustic guitar, Gibson SG, SG Custom and Gibson Flying V for our electric needs. We used the Fender Jazz Bass, Yamaha drums and UFIP cymbals. Drum sticks were from the MR. DRUM custom edition, made for Nick 'the Sticks' Taccori, who was kind enough to give us enough sticks to last for the duration of this project we hope, at least as until such time as we can get our own stick endorsement together, if you can dig. Thanks to Mattia Pittella for Snares. Both banjo and mandolin are Fender. Keyboards were Kurzweil and Roland and Yamaha. Percussion by Latin Percussion. I sing into a SHURE microphone. 
This music has NOT been tested for Performance Enhancing Drugs or steroids of any kind. 
No 'trickerations' have been used. The music is live and organic, with no pitch correction or any of that used. I'll raise my right hand on it to the judge.
We thank spirit for the chance to express ourselves in the open air!
We thank God for his love.
I thank my wife for hers.
I thank our local order of Orsalines.
We thank you for your support and interest. Please enjoy these songs, I really enjoyed making them and hope that somewhere, it shows in the music. All of mine to yours,
Sananda Francesco Maitreya

PS
… and if we left a carbon footprint, we hope we left it up your bottom ….or in your heart.
PPS
… with just an additional E and another I, you could spell PEPSI!

STAY TUNED FOR MORE ZOOATHALON TO COME!
 


THE ZOOATHLON FILES BY S.M.

The forest fascists were gone. They were on their annual 3 week rotation, during which they were replaced by 'temps' who treated the rotation like a camp holiday. They drunk a lot of beer, roasted more than a few hotdogs and marshmallows, told racy stories, lied about a few adventures and fell asleep only to begin another loose reunion the next day. And unlike the usual forest guards, the professionals always on the lookout for promotion and for whom no statute or minutia of the law could ever be overlooked, lest they lose points, their replacements were generally young people who volunteered for this service because they liked the forest and its inhabitants. They felt comfortable there. They were likewise by the animals comfortably received. So Woody, perched upon his concrete pole was buzzing and playing air guitar. It had been some time since a meeting with Doctor Deemus, his state appointed psychotherapist, his programmer, as he too were on holiday, to the relief of the woodpecker. Then there was the fact that it had been mandated by 'the council', that Woody's treatment were proceeding according to schedule, so he were unchained, to his immense satisfaction and been given instead a radio tag that was calibrated to give him shocks, should he stray beyond the forest perimeter he were confined to. Being Woody, naturally, heavily doped on his medications, he took off one night. Only to awaken the next morning on the perch of Nate the Night Owl, who had found him splayed out on the forest floor and looking as dazed and confused as a nursing baby in a titty bar. Woody were grateful to have been found by Nate, before being found by the forest marshals, or he would've been detained for some time and scheduled more hours with the doctor/programmer, Deemus. And even though he and a few other forest creatures felt that the moniker, 'Nate the Night Owl' was a little redundant. Owing to the fact that Owls are anyway known to be legendary night watchmen, the patron saints of insomnia. He were still grateful for the hospitality of Nate, who had also turned him on to his favorite band, THE WHO. A love which Nate had inherited from his father, Pete. And it was 'Late Night' Nate after all who had told Woody that the best way to get a cougar to remember your name was to get her to spell it, while you were spanking her. Nate even allowed Woody to indulge himself in some good old fashioned wood drilling on his family tree, and you have to know how swell it felt for Woody to finally, after what seemed like an eternity, have a real nature planted tree to bash his head against, to drill his beak into, instead of his concrete pole with reinforced Portland cement which he were forced to call home. A real tree felt like a slice of paradise spreading its arms wide. So here now was the woodpecker, on his own pole flailing his arms about and imagining himself to be a rock star and free. Playing for all of the forest beasts and those who love them. Suddenly, in the midst of his rapture, as if being invaded by a light, in his mind's eye he encounters THE SPHINX. For the bird, this is the cherry on top of a nut encrusted sundae. Cried out the woodpecker, “Lord Sphinx, Cool!” It were not necessary for the Sphinx to speak, although, as the burial chamber of THE THIRD ALIEN, where an ancient spell had placed him at rest, he could communicate, as he could also travel, by thought projection. Sometimes, merely being imagined by the bird gave him a transfer of energy which helped to inspire and sustain him. The woodpecker could feel the flow from the Sphinx which clearly conveyed that if his spirits were on the rise, this bade well for the future and for his mind. 
“I am beginning to understand more of what is the ZOOATHALON. I see now that it is not only about the precession of the equinoxes, or the turning of the zodiac wheel. I see now that it is about the interrelationship between both common and uncommon systems”, said Woody. The Sphinx again said nothing though his energy related that this was correct, while still being but one more layer of the onion. Of course at different times, the woodpecker caught a glimpse into the multilayered meaning of the Zooathalon and its significance. He also, on a few occasions, felt that it had a connection with some kind of 'Mothership', or ARK. Hearing the woodpecker thinking this within his mind, the Sphinx sent a thought wave. 'Yes, you are also correct, but think on me now, while I am here'. Which had the instant effect of bringing the woodpecker back into the moment's directness, at least while the Sphinx were with him in his mind. 'Life stretches out these answers dear friend, as a courtesy to our pace. It is not wise to push time around, because time pushes back'. And having said these last words, THE SPHINX, disappeared back into the frequency he had arrived from. “Wow”, thought Woody, and slumping suddenly his shoulders, out of nowhere, he began to cry. Silent, sincere, sobs. He were overcome with emotion and had to release it, with a 'FINALLY' attached to it. Tears are the ribbons which men see not enough of, so all which fall are pearls of confession, that we too are not above the pain. Nor the joy of its release. He remembered his last meeting with DOCTOR DEEMUS, who while Woody was trying to catch a sly nap, was going on about something like... (what was it..Oh yeah), BEWARE IN THE DISTANCE WHAT YOU BEHOLD, FOR UP CLOSE, THEY MAY JUST BE STRAW HORSES AND PAPER TIGERS. For some reason, that had jumped out at him and lodged itself into his jellied brain. Ok, so his dark mood passed, he wasn't sad anymore. Sometimes the medications, the 'meds', made him unexpectedly umbilical.He would get quickly withdrawn, sullen and more introspective than he would like, yet had to deal with just the same. The pills even , though not often, interfered with his favorite transgressions with his new cougar friend, though she understood. Sometimes she even joined him in his meds, during their late night encounters. Now that he could fly at night to her, this put the manhood back into his willing wicked ways, and much to her delight. Still, overall, clearly life was looking up. And, although universally woodpeckers are known to complain if necessary, this particular woodpecker was certain that if ever there were a time to complain about less, now was the time. He recalled the advice given to him by THE SPHINX, on trying to see his relationship, while it lasted with Dr.Deemus, less in terms of 'censorship' and more in terms of 'editing'. The difference being that one sought to suppress what was true, while the other sought to clarify and reveal it. Even if it took a sharp blade to pierce the bone marrow of indifference.

 

It wasn't as if NOAH had to do ALL of the work. He had clout. Influence. So, naturally he subcontracted. And upon whose shoulders some of the grind and grunt work fell was a one Mr. LUTHER MEANS. Luther was a 'weaver'. One of those persons who weaved themselves in and out of events as required, those who walk in and out of history to push along the progress of species, including our venerable own. A contractor if you will of evolution. A space walker. He knew the doors and where they were. The TIME DOORS. Luther always meant business, regardless of the task at hand, so he was much chagrined at this task of arranging for the pre-boarding of the animals during the time that master NOAH was away on vacation, touring the outer Hebrides. This were an important event for the ZOOATHALON, so it had to be done with great concentration. Not to mention what Luther saw as shaping up to be quite a political challenge as well. Luther Means had no idea, even as a 'gravity bender' that this pre-boarding would be so fraught with hysterics and confrontations with his sanity. The main problem was two fold. First, it seemed that there were absolutely NO WAY, that he were ever going to be able to convince BOTH 800 pound gorillas that there was a place for them each on the ARK. He had not anticipated the sheer size of each gorillas determination to be the only 800 pounder on board. He were informed in no uncertain terms that what worked for the other species were fine by them, but 800 pounders just didn't roll like that. They were far too territorial. Who on God's green, but soon to be flooded earth had ever heard of ANY story at all, ANYWHERE, where two 800 pound gorillas are in it? Who? Furthermore, the second part of the problem was the gorillas great fear of the presence, the inclusion of THE SHORT WAVE BANDITS. For in these here neck of the high plains, known for their powers of mental concentration and projection are a species of caterpillar known as the 'KILLER CATERPILLARS'. They are called the Short Wave Bandits for their ability to get into the mind and third eye of any creature and temporarily paralyze it with hypnosis. It has even been said that when the Lemmings go off the sides of cliffs, it is the work of the Short Wave Bandits, simply demonstrating their powers in order to protect their reputation. With this in mind, there was not even a chance that ONE 800 pound gorilla would risk getting on that damn boat, no matter how many halos it might have had around it. It can be faithfully said that 800 pound gorillas fear nothing much at all. 
And the killer caterpillars are nothing much at all. At least not to look at. They are about no longer that the average credit card at best and a dull muted spotted gray. They do not look any more menacing than a book worm. But 800 pound gorillas know different. They know that an 800 pound gorilla has vulnerabilities. Not many, but one being their abject fear of being paralyzed by the killer caterpillars, and other animals ganging up on them. Or, being hypnotized and made to think of itself as a moose. Or a moose which thinks itself to be a mouse being attacked by mice which anecdotes say have happened. 800 pound gorillas were raised to understand by other 800 pound gorillas that image is not to be taken lightly. Perception is all. Or, they lose respect for you as an enforcer. Or you and your species begin disappearing from 800 pound gorilla jokes, only to have your place taken in those stories by Baboons and their kin. They hated overexposure for the same reason. It lessened their impact as the punch line, which were a lucrative source of bread and butter for them and their tribe, their watering hole. Hell no, it couldn't be like that, so wouldn't be like that. It might also cut into their merchandising! To Luther Means, who had but 3 days before the pre-boarding exercise that the animals of the Zooathalon had to participate in, if they wished inclusion, this were a conundrum he would have preferred to have passed on to another member of Noah's team of architects, engineers, scientists, and animal trainers for the more diva like among the creatures. He also couldn't fail to notice how much the animal trainers were like unto their own separate species, and that they themselves seemed to need training more than the animals who paid their salaries. He had, like the rest of Noah's crew, been left strict instruction to include all of the samples of life which they could find. They had been instructed to take DNA samples from what could not be provided space for aboard the vessel. He might have decided to have the 800 pound gorillas 'put down' and just their blood and tissue material taken, so that the caterpillar issue wouldn't be. But it were generally agreed that having live, active 800 pounders aboard the craft would serve as a stabilizing effect on some of the wilder animals. It was like having King Kong on the ship to keep the peace. For most of the other animals, the Short Wave Bandits were respected, they were kind of heroes in a way and many animals told of instances where the killer caterpillars were known to induce higher states of dream like consciousness upon those who showed the requisite respect. It was all in how you approached them. Moreover, they had done a pretty good job convincing the rest of the animals of their, the SHORT WAVE BANDITS, 'supreme importance to the ecosystem'. Yeah, whatever, because, going WAY BACK, 800 pound gorillas and the killer caterpillars in these parts of God's green, get along about as well as a Red Sox and a Yankee. They get on about as well as AC Milan and Inter Milan, a Hatfield and a McCoy. Which is to say, 'SCREW YOU NOAH, YOU BETTER DRAW UP NEW PLANS'. When Luther Means agreed to step within time and participate in the GENOME PROJECT, Codenamed: ZOOATHALON, he could not have envisioned an encounter with the very nervous skunks who had to be repeatedly reassured that they would not only be aboard the ship as blood samples. They were well aware that quite a few other animals, if given the vote, would vote them on only as tissue matter stored in a vial, a petri dish, in a box. Luther laughed while recalling the dark joke a skunk captain made when inquiring about the truth of the rumors that they would be stored as samples in boxes. Who had with gallows humor replied, 'We skunks do our best thinking OUTSIDE the box, if you know what I mean'. And he would have had no idea that giraffes, who can see over everything and everyone were so particular about where they had to be placed. He had no clue until then that not ALL beings were amused by the sound of singing chipmunks. And that around here, if you were a talking horse, you were simply told to shut up. And he still were not sure which of the fish species to invite on board, and which to simply issue an invitation to follow along the side of the boat, while it was in the water, and perhaps just give them 'per diems'. He were aware that the sharks were petitioning to be paid for securing the boats perimeter in the water, and that the whales wished to have no part in any of it. Word being that according to some kind of secret deal, the whales would inhabit the coast of a country named after them when land reappeared. As it were, those next 3 days would be full of challenges to Mean's authority and graft until such a time as THAT moment arrives when it all suddenly falls into place as smoothly as a ball falls down from the sky after having been tossed so gleefully by those active hands, at peace with themselves in this wondrous parade of life and consciousness. Vanity abounding, folly fitfully unfolding, menace unmoored and wits unchained, THE ZOOATHALON. One thing however was made very clear to him by the 800 pound gorillas, both of them. “And don't even THINK about replacing us with normal gorillas. Those spoiled NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC bitches, silverback or otherwise, 'cause IT DON'T WORK LIKE THAT FOOL”. And somewhere a group of 'wetback' gorillas are stirring, and figuring soon might be the time to make THEIR move. Make their presence felt. As far as they were concerned, there was no way that the silverbacks were going to be invited at the exclusion of the wetbacks. You can believe that. If they had to start something, they would. Nor would their fierce pride allow them to be 'reclassified' as another species of gorilla, or as they saw it, REBRANDED, to keep the numbers tidy and classifications neat.
LUTHER MEANS would crack the code, of this he were sure. He just had to keep his thinking cap on for a while longer. Besides, to him, these conceits were none more striking than our own human ones, who, having imagined ourselves once upon a time as human, are now stuck with our own impression.

LUTHER MEANS were also, while preparing his paperwork, given to understand that 800 pound gorillas were averse to confusion and that something urgently had to be done to clarify this whole mess between GORILLAS and GUERILLAS. To the gorillas, it were stupid to have two different spellings of what was supposed to mean the same thing, as all gorillas are warriors to themselves. So, what's with these other infringing assholes?
'Are they going to be on the boat too'? The 800 pound gorillas had definitely earned the intellectual respect of Luther by having insulted him one day during a routine survey. Working together for at least this once, they had asked him, “So what does a Scotsman keep under his kilt?” When Means confessed ignorance, they had both in tandem replied, “YOUR FATHER'S PHONE NUMBER”.

Stories by Sananda. May 4th 2010. Copyright and intellectual property claimed. With added vitamin D. All rights reserved -