|The Story||The Authors|
It went on that way, merrily merrily merrily unchanging, Saturdays, schoolday
afternoons, the five of them with occasional additions, Jon "Willy the
Kid-Loving Wizard" Delgado, and more notably, Mike Cummings, who arrived
replete with his older brother's collection of Hustler and Oui
magazines, who played with them as a mercenary Zombie for a few months, never
quite fitting in, and in time such queries as "So I get to, like, eat human
flesh, and all, after I, like, kill these evil (faux) foe-dudes?" were replaced
by, "So this is, like, all there is to this? I thought you dudes did something
In time this attitude to came to define the growing rift in their company... Danny Grigorovich (backed, strangely, by Dungeon-Master Jeremy) threw a hissy-fit ("That stuff'll turn you into a girl!") when Cummings ("Dude, just, like, chillez-vous!") pulled out a pot pipe one rainy afternoon and calmly began to stuff the bowl with a budlet of impossibly-Alice-in-Wonderland-smelling sinsemilla... When he left, while Hickey (inner wind-dancer allthewhile screaming odiferous curses at him ("rotten-egg-and-skunk-cabbage olfactory factory! Reek of a fart filtered through thrice-used bathwater!")) did and said nothing, looking dumbly back and forth between face and face and face, cleric Roger and elf William suddenly found excuse to leave, too (homework) and ran down the rainy street until they caught up with Cummings, who got them nearly as lala'd as they'd ever been thus far in their lives... Afterwards they went back to Roger's basement and noodled around on the musical instruments down there, and thus was Rocket Science born... But wait, I'm going too fast here: any real history lies in the details — its genius is only truly revealed in such minutiae as a piece of lint on a collar, a multiply-laundered ticket-stub (from an event as ill-remembered as the 1983 appearance of the Angry Samoans at the Channel in Boston, MA, where opening band SSDecontrol augmented their signature rave-up "Boston Police" by throwing a real pig's head into the thrash-pit (small bloody flaphs and gunks of which came flying back up onto the stage for the remainder of the evening) an innocuous stick of stale Teaberry chewing-gum — details only — the rest is cliche and clcihe only, misleading the detective or historian or pilgrim away from the personal, into the already-known, the uniform alleyways of the Overmind... Beware such cues, dear reader... For 'dear readers' are their absolute favorite food...
In the beginning it was only a gag, then — how to fill up those Saturdays and afternoons, formerly filled up by les Dungeones et les Dragons, with something a bit less — oh — constrained by Form, so to speak, now that Jeremy and Danny had excommunicated them form the D+D cell for "aggregious lack of chivalry" — both could play some guitar, and Roger's bass lines were melodious enough to let William start experimenting with angular guitar lines that cross-hatched the melody and ran iron-tipped fingers up its spine, while Mikey Cummings (who'd known even at the tender age of nine that there was nothing like a band for getting girls, and consequently started drum lessons) layed down a savage tribal beat in much the manner of the Stooges' Scott Asheton. There remained then only the problem of a singer, for none of the three lads felt confident enough in his own abilities as a vocalist to volunteer for the job (though Weaver, it must be said, was ironically to go on to world fame as Steve Perry's replacement lead singer for international rock stars Journey on their 2007 comeback tour of Japan and the Manchurian annexes) — so for the first three months they confined themselves to chugging through ever-tighter versions of "Interstellar Overdrive," "Attack of the Teddybears," "Pipeline," and a wide selction from the Ventures catalog, and it was one such practice-afternoon, amidst the hittery-skittery breakdown of "War of the Satellites," that a familiarly bearlike form appeared out of the drizzly Saturday gloom in darkblue relief in the maw of the open garage door.
"Yo, it's the Hickster!" said Roger.
"Why us?" mouthed William silently, rolling his eyes at the ceiling.
"Uh, hi guys," said Hickey, shrugging inanely. "Jeremy and Danny kicked me out, too. They said I wasn't, uh, whatwasit?, uh, suh-fish-ent-ly dedicated to the Cause."
"Oh, great, D and D's a motherfucking cause now!" sneered Weaver. "By the time we're old enough to vote it'll be a tripartite system: Democrat, Republican, and Orc! What a fucking joke..."
"Is this what you guys have been doing since you left?"
"Sure, man. Sure. Jammin'"
"Hey, it's the Hicksterer!" chimed in Mike Cummings. "How you been at, dude? Gettin' any?"
"Nah. Been doin' nothing."
"Well, whyn't you come be our singer, dude? That way we can get gigs! And gigs mean chicks! Pussy, gentlemen, pussy!"
Hickey shrugged his OK, noncomittal as ever (although underneath lay the secret seed that some force in him was orchestrating all of this with calculated praetorian strategy). Roger Weaver and William Grant just groaned, inwardly, and launched into what was to to be only the first of many versions of their rendition of the Rotters' masterpiece "Sit On My Face, Stevie Nicks," to which Hickey thankfully knew (most of) the words by heart, gyrating his chubby hips and pelvis with undisguised sexual innuendo against the homemade mike stand. And it was only the beginning...