Sunday, May 29, 2011
Day 14. Back to the Boogaloo- Devil Days in Kaunas
In Lithuania, the Devil is a symbol of luck.
They even have a museum dedicated to the pointy-tailed little trouble-makers.
In living rooms of hamlet homes across the countryside, you might find the common crucifix, or painted icons of the Big J-fish shafted to make room for his tireless enemy-
The Diabolical El Diablo.
Surrounding yourself with demons is believed to actually defend you from evil forces, protect you and bring you prosperity through your toils.
If so, after last weekend, I must be the luckiest man alive.
Wandering neck-deep through the maze of a medieval circus, the festival known as Hansa Days, wading through the mayhem to grab a snapshot of this silversmith, or that gallows slave, relishing it in raucous fun, I suddenly realised it was all too much.
It was time to get serious.
Or, at least get down to some serious paint gargling.
Tipping down the slippery cylindrical sewers.
Time to get rockin’ down to rock bottom.
So I hid the camera and wiped away any stains of professionalism from my lips, and sauntered out to take-on the sins of the city.
And who else to help me, I figured, than a couple of Swedes I had recently acquainted.
“We just flew here from Stockholm. We came to watch a football game. We know nothing of this country.”
“Is that so?” I questioned the couplet, Swedish to their stereotypical goatees, “well, we’d better get started then.”
Cleaning our brains free of memory, we began the bender in the afternoon.
Moods were perky, each of us an island, soaking in the sights, solitary though collectively enjoying the scenes passing by.
Two beers sank in like massage oil.
Four slipped in like sandals on butter.
Ten crashed in tolling like the Titanic.
Speech patterns were speeding, slowing, ebbing, rowing, as the Swedes began conversing in what appeared to be Tongues.
Nightfall was whipping upon us, and we could hear the panpipes picking up from the park.
Busy digesting a mixture of potatoes, bacon, sour cream and mystery mush, the neat meat ovals of the national dish, known as ‘Cepelinai’
(which translates roughly as Ded Zeppelins) we lost count of the beer tally as it juggernauted into double digits.
Already by this point, I was becoming aware of those pitchforked little dragonflies buzzing around my scalp, whispering, waiting…
But I didn’t care.
“Come on, let’s find out where this music’s comin’ from”
We skedaddled our sloppy selves out to the park.
Orienteering past pods of Middle Ages maidens, safely cushioned by our own Age of Darkness, we found our way to an opening.
Fairylights or fireflies, stage lights and cigarettes, wheeled through our vistas as if from a long-exposure photo.
We focused our three dououblle viiiisions upon the centre stage.
Spiders in your eyes
Plotting to catch the flies
Build a bed
Of wicker net
And catch them by surprise
“what was that??” I span to ask the Swedes- I forgot they had left to discover the country one portaloo at a time.
I was alone.
Bouncing on the trampoline
Trying to see above your dreams
Rip the net
Break the bed
And douse it all in gasoline
“WHO IN THE HELL KEEPS SAYING ALL THIS??”
I was teetering, wavering from angle to gangly angle, with not a soul in my periphery.
Suddenly, the Swedes swept in out of the night. Bjorn was shaking his hands in disgust of the amenities, and the other laughing at something else entirely.
“Man, are you watching this band?? They’re incredible!”
Medieval Rammstein were hammering away upon a gong. Four tattooed bagpipers couldn’t work together to make the instrument look tough. But yet, somehow, their screeching hornet cacophony wielded some kind of eerie semblance to the Darth Vader death march...
I scoffed, about to resound some no-doubt redundant commentary, when-
The desperate silent chants
Of the drowning, helpless man
Breathe the bubbles
Curse your troubles
And reincarnate as an ant
My eyes roamed around savagely, searching for any enemies.
“Dude, you look concerned about something.” My friend Bjorn consoled me. “Have summa this whiskey and shut up.”
Ahh, whiskey. The devils maple syrup.
Splashed upon the pancakes of my mind, I figured it was worth it, if only to let HIM worry about anything else tonight.
I went to pass back the bottle, but horny Bjorn, the greedy Swede, had begun serenading another maiden.
Well, another sip should stop these badly written sonnets shooting round my skull.
Ahhh. And as I held the bottle up to my pursing lips, draining a slug, all was okay, then—slip a dee do da, turning, spiralling, what, sinking, PUSHED BACK INTO MY SELF, consciousness changing, ripping off into nowhere, out unto the backroads, WHA- AAAAAhhhhhHHHHHH….*
(A ream of technicolour puke burst from his oesophagus. He wiped his mouth with the sleeve of his flannelette shirt. When he craned his neck back into normal position, a ghastly glow had come over what used to be his face. He had left the building. Jimmy Blue smiled and struck a match)
“Dude, pass that whiskey up!” Horny Bjorn demanded. “Dude, what’s goin’ on?”
Jimmy Blue gazed absently at the brooding Swedish chops in front of him.
A smile flickered on to his hairy gob like the Grinch.
“You know what’d look good on you? One a’these!!”
Jimmy Blue threw a vagrant right fist to rendezvous with Bjorn’s golden jaw.
Bjorn staggered backward, clutching at his face.
His nose had begun to piss blood, and he called out in confusion;
“Who the fuck are you??”
Jimmy Blue tap-danced an Irish jig- then went up close to breathe his whiskey bedevilled breath into Bjorn’s defenceless nostrils.
“I’m Jimmy Blue. You know that movie, ‘The Mask’, with Jim Carrey? Well, for Jimmy Blue, the mask is booze,” he snatched the whiskey from the Swede, and hopped upon his shoulders, shouting, “AND JIMMY BLUE WANTS TO RIDE THESE SWeDISH SLOPES!!! YEEEHA!”
Here he jumped down, and bounded off into the crowd.
(For documentaries sake, the last scenes of violence and shoulder hopping did not actually take place. But Jimmy Blue did appear [for reference as to who is Jimmy Blue, and what he wants to do to you, check Day 12], and to prove it, here are snippets out of his conversations until the end of the night)
“Who’s sitting here? Your boyfriend?
“What town am I from??” spit “CZECHOSLAVAKIA!”
“How many flowers are on your blouse?”
“One thousand? You say ONE BILLION?”
”Are you calling her fat? WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME??”
“Seventeen? Hell, that’s legal.”
And so on. Black spots revisited- Again.
And once again, again, again, before the dawn raised its gruesome mug, Jimmy Blue vanished, leaving me with the dirty sandpaper mouth I deal with today. The Devils I tells ya- THE DEVILS. It had absolutely nothing to do with innocent old me.