Minstrels Anonymous on Bandcamp

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Year Of The Bat

I’m watching The Last Man On Earth starring Vincent Price about the sole survivor of a virus that wipes out the entire planet. He lives alone in a boarded-up house and goes through his daily routine of buying supplies, eating alone and setting up fresh cloves of garlic to fend off gangs of zombies outside. In one scene he loses his composure, fed up with the futile redundancy of it all and screams, breaking things out of frustration. “That’s how I felt today”, I whispered to myself.

When I first heard of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) the news bulletin was accompanied by a photograph of a Chinese woman eating a full-bodied vampire bat, wings and all, in a ramen bowl. At first people waved it off as just another exotic disease, yet it spread like wildfire.

My job has been deemed “essential” by my company, a global intelligence organization, so I have been mandated to report to the office every day. I’ve also been mandated to wear a mask while walking down the hallway, however upper management doesn’t share this concern and continue to walk around without masks.

The building is like a ghost town. Many of my co-workers were granted Work From Home privileges but I have not. In order to cut costs the coffee makers, vending machines, refrigerators and microwaves have been turned off.

Driving home from work has been a bizarre experience: people jogging down the street, unmasked and reeking of sweat – body fluids is the chief conductor of the pandemic. Others are happily bicycling down the road.

One night at the market I saw a girl with her dog on a leash in the produce section. The dog tugged on the leash towards a stand of apples and licked the produce.

The first two weeks of the pandemic were the worst. It began at the onset of spring and my sinuses went berserk from hay fever, limiting my ability to breathe properly and making me wonder if COVID-19 was on the attack. This results in many nights of staying up with paranoid anxiety attacks, finally passing out eventually at 2 AM from sheer stress.

It’s my mother’s birthday so I visited her grave at the cemetery. The cemetery is high atop a hill by Warner Brothers Studios on Forest Lawn Drive. The sky is uncommonly blue, bright blue in fact, due to the decrease in cars racing around and polluting the atmosphere. In fact, I don’t think I can remember the sky ever looking so deep blue like this before. It’s lovely.

Everyone’s on the internet with their theories and amateur remedies about the pandemic, some of which contradict each other, establishing endless waves of confusion. I decide to stop reading what these experts have to say. It only creates more stress.

The only remark on the internet I agree with is when someone said CORONAVIRUS is an anagram for CARNIVOROUS. Exactly. Maybe if people stopped eating so much meat this shitstorm wouldn't be happening.

I’m at the Laundromat and have stationed myself in a far corner towards the back, away from everyone else. Nobody cares about the pandemic; the manager walks around sweating through his tee, no gloves or mask worn. All the more reason I’m glad I have them on, however people keep hovering around me and my area in spite of the fact that their wash is on the other side of the room. What gives?

Wipe everything down, wipe everything down with disinfectant. Do it again. And again. Wash your hands. Count to twenty. Slowly. Repeat. Repeat again. Don’t touch your face. I touch my face, anyway. I simply wash my fucking face. Slowly.

I have decided to order my groceries online because people at the market are manically shopping, jumping in front of you to beat you at grabbing something in spite of the fact that there are fifty more blocks of cheese on the shelf, etc. Shopping has become this frenetic experience, even though there’s more than ample supply of everything, except toilet paper.

The network news shows the virus dead in body bags getting loaded onto a truck because there’s no more room at the morgue. Some may get a proper burial, but many will simply be burned to prevent the spread of the disease.

I finally get permission to Work From Home for one day. In the middle of the day my employment agency calls and tells me that next Friday will be my last day at work. I have been at the organization for over a year and they’re letting me go. Actually, they’re unplugging me, just like the microwave, the refrigerators, and the vending machines.

My time is currently spent writing and editing in the solitude of my home. I look out my living room window and the hordes are still jogging, bicycling, motorcycling like it’s a bank holiday and the pandemic fatalities keep going up.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Two For The Road


Drink your cowboy coffee hot and black

Bobby Bare on the jukebox I Want To Go Home

Greasy grits sausages blonde toast with hard cube butter

Chester Lester hammered his breakfast like an Atlantic City seagull

Crewcut baby face like Buddy Lee

50% Elvis 50% Supply Sergeant

RocknrollBrando CompanyDCommando

Finished his food and threw it up in the parking lot

Drove on over to the turnpike with its pretty elms pines brush scrub

Pulled out a duffel bag full of ammo

Sniper time it’s the prime time

Chester Lester prime time

Climbed up an elm and took combat position

Priest in a car caught a bullet in the face

Too many beatings in school nuns need guns guns that kill

The sedan skid ‘n swerved ‘n spun and woundaroundandaround

And rolled down an embankment

Chester Lester took a tight swig from his half-pint

Clear fluid flames electrifying him

Beehive mama driving by in a battered VeeDubBug uh BeBopDeBop

Chester took aim thinking of the big beat beat-up beatings he took

Opened fire again

The past passed by and then passed on

Slowly drifting to a grinding halt against the gray cloudy sky

The graygraygrave tombstone sky

Khaki jeep slowed down to check out the stationary sled

The crewcut killer opened fire

Open fire flame on

The jeep pulled over two soldiers took cover

Pulled out their irons and shot at the direction the bullets flew

Highway Patrol car zoomed by and pulled over

Chester Lester blew bullets their way

Death bird in the trees

Death bird tearing up leaves

Rain of bullets from the black & white

Rain of bullets from the iron green sled

Hail stones chipped off bone from Lester’s plaster skull

Then came torrents of tragedy red plasma

Watering the grass with his death

Rolled out of tree

And the birds flew away

Looking for somewhere else to sing



Times are tough

A girl’s gotta eat

Some of the fellas like it rough

In the cabin seat

Dead trucker found in the shower stall at the I-95 rest stop

A few chicken bones from KFC left around

Sierra Sue faking the voodoo

Planted evergreens swayed in the freeway wind oh so bored

Stench of chicken fried steak in the air

Big doll eyes Big blonde hair

Blonde medusa snakes slithering roundandroundandround

Sierra Sue

Then there was Big Grizzly with his arms cuffed behind him

Knife marks tattooed in swirls all around him

Leather seat coated in blood

Money belts all stripped

She was a lot lizard slithered around

From rest stop to rest stop

All you saw was her dark shadow

Rotten and forgotten

Quick rubbers in the vending machine

Locked and loaded for a good time in the lot

A million ways to die

A hundred ways to kill

Truck stop mama

Praying mantis of the turnpike

Phantom tollbooth

She had her knife all ready

Ladyfingers gripping icy cold steel

Pepper spray garrot wire handcuffs more killtools than cosmetics in her purse

Sierra Sue big tits big ass high heels big death