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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Trouble in Taos: Batwings and Stangers, Part Four


Still no right answers in my Nine (should be Eight) Missing Words Contest. Finally we’re getting into the song portion of Chapter Seven of Trouble in Taos. The tune is The Ants Go Marching In, which is a variation of Johnny Comes Marching Home, which is probably a variation of a variation of a variation going all the way back to Oog Got Bit by a Dinosaur. Today’s scrambled letters are to word seven - EENRV. That means so far the phrase is ___ _ TRIPTREE GILTH SUEHO ___ EENRV ___ ___. If you think you know the 9 (should be 8) missing words and want to win a Trouble in Taos coffee cup, send your guess, name, and mailing address to headleystupid@gmail.com, with the subject line Nine Missing Words.

Oh, if you want an idea of what’s going on, the first three parts of Chapter Seven are here1,here2 , and here3.


Lowell took another sip of beer. “Alright,” he said, “here’s a song I learned in the Carolinas before the war.”

And he sang. The tune was a bit like Johnny comes marking home, but it was livelier, and instead of sounding like the music was marching, it sounded like it was rocking with the waves.

Off to sea went the fighting ship, make way, make way.

You never did see a mightier ship, make way, make way.

With a hearty crew and a captain proud

They sailed through the night in the fog and the cloud,

And the crew roared MAKE WAY.

We’re the mighty ship, you better get out of the way.

Two-Bucket leaned over to Flossy, who was holding his hand under the bar, at least I hope it was his hand. “This song’s a hell of a lot better than his first one.”

Flossy showed her teeth again, and I decided that I just wasn’t going to look their way for a while.

The captain spied a light ahead, make way, make way.

They better move, or they’ll be dead, make way, make way.

To the ship ahead, this is Captain Clyde,

Move five degrees port or else we’ll collide,

And the crew roared, MAKE WAY.

We’re the mighty ship, better get out of the way.

By this time, we were all shouting, “Make way,” when it got to that part of the song. Jacques didn’t stop there. He was mouthing all the words an instant after Lowell sang them. I figured that he was trying to memorize the song as Sparger sang it. It didn’t seem like he needed to do such a thing. Sure, songs were hard to come by, but we had a singer who knew hundreds of songs. We felt like rich men. Jacques mighta known it was too good to last.

Out of the gloom, there came a reply, make way, make way.

You better move or else you will die, make way, make way.

To Captain Clyde, this is Seaman Nash,

Move five degrees port or else you will crash,

And the crew roared, MAKE WAY.

We’re the mighty ship, better get out of the way.

The strumming was louder now and a little faster. Slimy jumped off his stool and started hoppin’ around. I guess by that time I should have stopped trying to predict what Slimy would do, but I never had him pegged as a dancing guy. I couldn’t blame him. My feet were tapping.

The Captain said, have some reason, son, make way, make way.

This fighting ship is twelve hundred ton, make way, make way.

With a triple hull, and a mighty prow,

We’ll make short work of your garbage scow,

And the crew roared, MAKE WAY.

We’re the mighty ship, better get out of the way.

Slimy was dancing like one of those gospel-show-holy-ghost preachers who set their act up in tents. Sparger didn’t seem to mind; he was strummin’ and smiling as we watched Slimy dance. He even held off the next verse so Slimy became the focus of attention.

Slimy’s dancing aired out an aroma that really shouldn’t a-been released indoors. Lowell couldn’t have missed the stench, bein’ back against the wall with a cloud of Slimy smell between him and the door. Sparger was a nice regular fella who knew a bunch of songs. He’d be welcome anywhere, even with respectable folk, and he looked content to be with us. It seemed too good to be true.


Here's the trailer to one of the worst sequels of all time - but it was Christopher Lloyd's birthday this week, and doesn't he make a great cowboy?