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The Essay
Show #292
In the Beano Cabin
David Gunn

Beano Bengaze. Beano Beano Beano. The word reverberates through my head over and over and over again until I think it will either ascend to a higher grammatical plane or drop dead from syntax failure. Mr. Bengaze is a musical shaman, the sole surviving member of the Tandemerol Clan, which in turn is all that is left of the Order of the Skull of Montovani. I should know. I created him -- but as a vital if somewhat misconstrued short story character, not some metaphor that I'd have to interact with some day. I figure I've grappled long enough with Reality so I shove it into a mental holding bin in order to scrutinize the cabin, which I realize I have yet to describe adequately in all of my writings. First to nab my eye and take it for a stroll is a trapezium-shaped curd pond in the corner of the room in which the current seems to flow anticlockwise. Surrounding the pond is the standard complement of curule chairs, but that's where any semblance of normalcy ends. Bobbing erratically atop the curds is a flotilla of spittoons, each flying the traditional colors of the Duchy of Cuspidore. Piloting the craft are corporeal contextualizations of fogdogs, half a kennel's worth. Abruptly, my spirits lift, as I discern that they are keening in parallel fifths, just as I'd always surmised. I skulk towards the pond until I can make out the tune. It's Saber Dance (yes!), made even more compelling by the analogous melodic line.

Carefully placed atop one of the curule chairs, undoubtedly for my benefit, is a stiletto boot, women's size 7. Confidently, I snatch it up and inspect it for traces of blood. But there aren't any. The shoe cavity itself, however, is filled with bran. Absentmindedly, I chew a few flakes, my masticatory process approximating the rhythm of the keening Khatchaturiana.

At the other end of the room, the locular table cries out for inspection. But the cries clash with the keening, creating wormholes in the linoleum, and I find myself slipping back towards Reality. 'Get a grip,' I tell myself, and instinctively hold the bran more tightly. Eventually, the Saber Dance runs its course, the floor stabilizes, and I can again try to shed a little light on the table.

There is, in fact, crammed in one of the table's many cubbyholes, a little shed, illuminated by a comparably little Tensor® light. Peering through a crack in the elastic, I can see amazing Lilliputian scale geothermal phenomena -- earthquakes, mudspouts, spontaneously combusting forests -- playing havoc with the cricket match inside. Sap dripping from the sky (or shed ceiling, in this case) has made the wickets sticky, which in turn has led to many double and even triple faults by the bowlers. In another of the table's locules I find a copy of "Herbewegende Hosen; Kosmische Tanten," or Floating Pants and Cosmic Aunts, Otto Lummerís cryptic contradiction of the Inflationary Universe Theory.

Due to the spatial discontinuity of the table, the meerschaum pipe that was perched atop it had temporarily been unavailable for examination, but now it re-materializes. One of the nymphs on the pipe gestures me closer. Although exceedingly small, her figure is buxom and smells of bacon. Through clever gesticulations, I sense that she wants me to read a message that she has scrawled on the head of her timpani. But the size of the text is, I estimate, just under 0.00006 point type, too small for my eyes to discern in such dim light.

Bengaze's room is a plethora of incongruity and sophistry, and I figure I could sit there all day marveling at the contents but only scratch the surface ... like that time when Norway Bob was in such anguish from an inside-his-head itch, the result of a bungled medical research project that left his cranium full of Algonquin Brain Mites, and all he could do was scratch the surface of his head.

With so much left to explore in the room, not to mention having the chance to come face to face to face with the hitherto fictional Beano and Weasel Slayer, I cannot explain why I turn around at that point, re-enter the tunnel, and resume my search for my piano playing tormentor and -- for reasons only a therapist skilled in gestalt might fathom -- that large, winged creature. Perhaps it is because I am driven by another, more puissant force, much like stray dogs are driven to the hospital for scientific experiments.

But for whatever reason, I do.

Do is the operative word at Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar today, because bizarre music is indeed what we do, especially on this 292nd episode, and nowhere is the mantle of bizarre more justified than on the slippery sloped soldier-of-Saturnalia shoulders of Kalvos.