Wednesday, December 26, 2018

"Bar Wars": Original Fiction

In the 1950s, there were parodies of everything from children's stories to Shakespeare speeches done in hip jazz slang. TV comic Steve Allen published and recorded "Bop Fables," radio DJ Don Morrow recorded the similar "Hip Fairy Tales," and monologist Lord Buckley practically made a career out these wiggy goofs. (Dig Don-O's tribute to Thee Most Hip Aristocrat.) I think there's still a lot of mileage left in this entertaining strategy, and so, in an effort to resurrect this now-neglected genre, I have attempted to make hip the least hip, nerdiest thing in all of squares-ville: 'Star Wars.' Can it be done? Can "Star Wars' actually be made into something cool?! Cast your glimmers onto what I'm blowin' here, and diggeth for yourself:

A long time ago, in a galaxy real far out, a hip stud named Luke Streetwalker was opening up an album of some  kooky electronic jazz that he found in a thrift store when an 8 x 10 glossy of a real gone gal fell out. It was signed "to Oobie-Doobie Kenoobie...Love, 'The Pineapple Princess' Kumoniwanna Laya."  "Crazy!," exclaimed Luke, eyeballin' the doll, "Man, that is like some fiiine dining." Flipping the pic to its b-side, he saw that she had written a note asking for help, some jazz about being held prisoner by one DJ Cross Fader. Thinking that Oobie-Doobie Kenoobie might be related to that OG Ben Kenoobie, Luke made it to Ben's pad and found him looking as pimped-out as ever in a green suit, matching hat, and cane, scat-singing over a Lou Reed track.

Ben admitted that, yes, Oobie-Doobie was his old stage handle, and that he'd been beefin' with Cross Fader for years. "The two of us go back like spinal column," said Ben. "Man, that cat is the squarest.  I'd be throwing down, say, some Johnny Cash, and he'd be makin like Donny Osmond. We're talkin cube city, dad. Now Miss Laya is the queen of the scene. He knows if he can keep chicks like her off the stage, the Top 40 Army can take over."

Luke just about flipped his lid: "We've got to make with the rescue routine, Jack, like nows-ville!"

"Cool your jets, youngblood," said Ben. "I know someone who can help us: Han "Sax" Solo. This cat's a baaad Mutha Theresa. Let's split for the Sheena's Jungle Cantina. Man, that joint's the most!" Ben wasn't woofin'. Sheena's Cantina really was the most, with a side of toast. Giant, space-suit wearing tikis stood guard by the front door, while inside, green-skinned Martian babes in beehive hairdos and bikinis were dancing the Physicist Twist, while Robbie the Robot was doing The Robot, and Mr. Spock was breakdancing. The bartender Cornelius the chimp was serving his signature exotic cocktail, the Mai TIE Fighter. Some patrons were still wearing the glasses they handed out at the latest cinema craze, 4-D movies.

On stage, the fave poet of space-beatniks, Alien Ginsberg, was reciting: "Man...or Astro-Man..? THAT is the question!," while backing him, Han "Sax" Solo was blowin', as his hairy trumpet player was layin down some Miles-type vibes. And, just to confuse things, his vibes player was layin down some Miles-type trumpet. After their set, they all sat together, and Luke said to LeeBacca, the hirsute sideman, "Spiffy duds! Where'd you collar that costume, dad?" When the creature let out an inhuman roar, Luke realized that he had goofed - LeeBacca was an alien, a wookie, to be precise. "Sorry pops, I just figured you were a 'furry'!"

Sax Solo said he could get them to Cross-Fader's club, the Death Bar, in his souped-up '65 Ford "Millennium" Falcon, but once they hit the spot, they'd be on their own. When they pulled up to the Bar and saw the long line of punters trying get past that all-black painted exterior, they knew that the scene was gonna get hectic.

First, they had to deal with the doormen. Saying "We're on the list" or "I'm with the band" didn't cut it. When Luke tried, "Hey man, like, we're here to rescue Laya, dig?" the goons came on all frantic-like and told security on their walkies to get hip to the party crashers. Taking advantage of the confusion, Luke flashed his fake i.d. and they all barged inside, including Solo and LeeBacca. Those two had come off all commercial at first, but now they wanted to sit in? Maybe some things were more important than making that dough-re-mi after, makin' Laya.

Inside the bar was mad hecticism. Luke and his band were buggin' out left and right trying to dodge all the white-and-black clad security ickys. At one point they were almost crushed to death by falling record crates in the dj booth. The whole scene was starting to look like a stone-cold drag until Luke found Laya hiding under the pool table. Despite all she'd been through, she was looking all reet in her form-flattering sarong. Luke let out a low whistle, then said, "Baby, we got to boost. It's gonna get real EC Comics around here pretty soon. Y'know, like, gruesome?" "I'm hip," Laya said, grabbing his hand. "Let's blow this popsicle stand."

Meanwhile, Oobie-Doobie Kenoobie and DJ Cross Fader confronted each other, and their inevitable showdown began. Turns out they had both studied martial arts under the famed grand master Yoda Man. 

Cross Fader said in his high nasal voice: "You're such a sucker, Oobie-Doobie! Why don't you join the Square Side? It will be like old times!"

"Like when we played together in the Jet Eye Nights? Man, you were so cool back then you were practically a bag of frozen peas. And this bar used to be so hip, it was half pelvis. Why you jivin' now, Fader? "

"You know what happened, Kenoobie," answered Fader, pushing his glasses up his nose. "I saw how much money..."

"Don't say it!"

"...I could make in..."



Visibly weakened, Kenoobie nonetheless attempted his lethal trademark move, the Flying Ewok Fist. But Fader knocked him flat after zipping thru the air and kicking him in the head. A little too late to the gig, Luke crashed the scene and smacked Fader with a pool cue. Dazed, Fader fell into the alley out back and was promptly rolled by a gang of greasers.

Inside, the celebratory shindig was just getting started. Cats and their kitties were sippin' fine wine, blowing gage, and even started kickin the gong around. Solo and Lee commandeered the bandstand and were really cookin', and I mean with gas, baby. Tho, despite requests,  Solo announced LeeBacca would not play "Wookie Wookie, Lend Me Your Comb": "He hates that song."

Laya chirped a few numbers with them, then came down to cut a rug with Luke. Finally she said, "Say daddy, I wanna fall back to my pad. What say we make like a tree and leave?"

"I'd like to Laya!," said Luke eagerly, before realizing how uncool that sounded.  He then said: "I mean, I'd like to...Laya." And that is the ultimate, I mean like, the end.


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