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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution

The Essay
Show #255
Evadio in Bunyip Country
David Gunn

Before observing firsthand the vicissitudes of recontextualization, Juan had discovered that one tribal member demonstrated a superior ability to grasp abstract concepts and theoretical syllogisms. Within minutes of being introduced to apfel strudel, for example, she was singing the "Du, der Mutter ist tod" motif from Wozzeck. Spotting the atomic weight of Mercury on Juan's pocket three-dimensional periodic table, she was able to accurately gauge the mass of the eponymous planet. And when she scratched her nose, a corresponding tickle resulted six thousand miles and twelve feet to the east on a boxed-in nasal appendage suspended from a baobab tree guarded by a crabby antelope. She was 16 hands high, wore nothing but a titanium loincloth and breastplate, had a talent for persuading coconuts to talk, and answered to the name Evadio. She was also one of the more curious tribemembers, and since they were no longer hemmed in by the moat -- and, indeed, suddenly no longer provided for by alien spacedrops -- she eagerly investigated her new surroundings. One such exploration took her south through bunyip country and past the Zontaru Indian Casino-of-the-Boondocks to the Sarstoon River. As she neared the water, Evadio gradually became aware of a buzzing in her ears. Not familiar with the 20th century malady of tinnitus, she attributed it to the collective unconsciousness of a hundred zillion tropospheric bees debating the pros and cons of pollen versus artificially mass-produced microspores. To the untrained ear, this "discussion" sounded like an AM radio tuned to an all-white noise station in the Crab Nebula, but Evadio's ears were hardly untrained -- the last 23 years of extraterrestrial provisions had seen to that. In fact, the peripatetic Mbanicoan was an unwitting Crab Nebula-to-Earth telecommunications conduit, a link that effectively circumvented the exorbitant costs that a 4,927¼ light year toll call normally engendered.

When Evadio reached the river's northern bank, the buzzing, in a disturbingly ungrammatical manner, instructed her to reach into the water, where a surprise awaited. She did so, and at once grabbed hold of a fish so primeval that it made the coelacanth look like a newly engineered piscineoton. The finned fossil was in estrus, and several male rude-awakening fish leapt out of the water in sexual pursuit. Evadio swatted them back into the river and, again as the buzzing in her ears prompted, gently placed the female fish on the riverbank sand. Squirming around, the fish dug a little pit, deposited a dozen eggs therein, then scrabbled back into the water, where it allowed a slick-swimming kuolakamba to have its way with her. Suddenly, the buzzing vanished from Evadio's consciousness -- just as a small, motorized boat rounded the bend in the waterway and steered toward shore.

The five-hour river journey had worn Kinkajoul down. His little boat had withstood a score of assaults from crazed fish that seemed intent on devouring the craft. All that remained of the hull planking were a few shards of titanium. The outboard motor propeller, too, would not likely see the end of its warranty period. But again, the eyes seemed to be doing all of the work. He fished them out of their box every so often, whereupon they might effect a slight course change, or stare down a particularly aggressive fish. The eyes were already peering intently ahead when he rounded this last bend, and he detected a palpable excitement from them as the boat made a thankful beeline for shore. A scantily clad if somewhat unkempt woman awaited him there. As he drew closer, he noted that she was quite comely in a Stone Age sort of way. Further reverie was put on hold, however, as the river abruptly erupted with a hundred fish hard on the heels of one very ancient looking marine creature percolating with piscine pulchritude. En masse, they leapt over the boat and headed downriver whence Kinkajoul had come.

As the Habsburg formerly known as VI climbed out of his boat and approached the young woman, he detected a cloyingly familiar odor in the air -- not unlike tincture of Anbesol fused to a tax refund. Before he could react, a sudden ringing in his ears urged him to return to the boat, retrieve the furrow of eyes, and place the box down next to the freshly laid fish eggs. "“Wwwwwwww," observed the eyeballs. "Wwwww wwww www," replied the eggs gaily, and they forthwith hopped into the box and pulled the lid shut behind them. Kinkajoul looked up at the woman and said "I don't suppose you can understand me, can you?"

Filtered through the hazy inner ear tintinnabulum that returned when the eggs jumped into the box, Evadio indeed could make sense of the strange words. Odder still, she found she could respond in kind. "Why yes, I be," she pidgin-Englished. "But why for you bring into eggs the eye box?"

Always it seemed to Kinkajoul that the ontological questions were the hardest to answer. He could say, as he was prepared to do at the airport, that the eyes made him do it. But he suspected that answer would seem too glib to this backwater babe. A moment later, though, any response became moot, as the box of eyes did the inanimate container version of a fandango on the sand. A wwwwww from within caused them both to reach for the box simultaneously. Kinkajoul snatched it away from Evadio and slowly opened the lid. Where once there was but a furrow of eyeballs, now there were sixteen, nearly a noddy of 'em. Gazing into their bloodshot retinas, Evadio had the Mesolithic equivalent of an epiphany, and long-suppressed memories -- some more than 13,500 years old -- began to usurp the ringing in her ears.

For the past 14 weeks, we here at Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar have been ringing in the new ear with tubs of cloyingly innovative music and analysis, and this 255th episode is no exception, except for the analytical part, which singlehandedly seems intent on defying both cloy and Kalvos.