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     |  ___________     _/_/       | |  \ \       _/_/       ___________  |
     | |              _/_/_____    | |   > >    _/_/_____               | |
     | |             /________/    | |  / /    /________/               | |
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     | |      c   o   m   m   u   n   i   c   a   t   i   o   n   s     | |
     | |________________________________________________________________| |

  ...presents...                Silent Applause
                                  Part 2 of 2            by The Pusher

                      >>> a cDc publication.......1991 <<<
                        -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-

     One day I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a class trip.  Most
kids go there at least once on a class trip and most hate it.  However, I was
into the whole experience.  To me, visiting a museum is a lot more exciting
than a keg party.  So I'm checking out the major shows, I'm checking out the
lectures, I'm watching my classmates yawn.  Then, I gotta go pee.  No major
crisis.  I ditch everyone and head for the john.  It's empty which is fine with
me.  At an early age, I had drilled into my head all the horrible things that
could happen in a public bathroom.  Ok, so I'm peeing and I feel at ease.  It's
a brief moment of serenity.  Relieving your bladder kinda relieves your
anxiety.  I'm in a state of nirvana, and I start to hear this moaning.  It's
coming from the stall directly behind me.  I figure it's just some guy rolling
logs.  He's working hard and I know what he's going through.  I finish peeing,
but the moaning continues.  And it's not the moaning of defecation, it's the
moaning of ecstasy.  There are a lot of colloquial expressions to describe
what's going on in the stall.  I start thinking, "Man oh man, don't you have
any shame?  You're playing with yourself in the Metropolitan Museum of Art."
What kind of flake what do something like that?  "Can't you wait 'till you get
home?"  I get angry.  How dare this scoundrel abase himself in one of the
world's most prestigious museums!  I start banging on the stall door and
yelling at him.  To start trouble on a class trip is unwise, but this is the
Metropolitan for godsakes!  He panics of course and rushes out of the stall,
pants around his knees, an open Hustler in his hand with the centerfold
flopping around.  He makes a break for the door but I detain him.  I do a quick
scan of him.  He's a total pud.  He's like Woody Allen's mutant twin.  He's
old, but he probably still lives at home with his mother.  Which would explain
why he has come to this eminent museum to perform his depraved deeds.  I'm
pretty infuriated by now so I start slapping him in the head and stuff.  He
covers up, which encourages me even more.  I've seen plenty of Kung-Fu movies
so I start using the praying mantis technique on this loser.  I land a few
blows to his face and then sweep out his legs.  He hits the floor, face
bleeding.  None of the blood is getting on the Hustler centerfold.  I start
connecting with some snap kicks to his head.  Strangely, he's not making any
noise, and I'm like having fun.  Suddenly, _The Silence Of The Lambs_ (1991)
pops into my head.  What would Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter do?  I get
down on my knees and pat my victim on head.  Then I move in close and arch my
neck like I'm about to kiss him.  Except I don't kiss him.  I bite into his
face.  I hear nose cartilage cave-in and now he's screaming.  I chow down and
make a note to compliment my dentist on his fine work.  I'm really enjoying
myself.  My stepmother says that I never try new foods.  Oh, if she could see
me now!  I stop for a second and tell him this Eric Clapton dead son joke I
made up.  He doesn't laugh.  I get offended and slam his head into the
porcelain sink.  The blood is really starting to spew out, and I stop eating
before I get soaked.  Besides, I felt my teeth scrape against his cheek bone.
You can't go any deeper.  I spew some empty threats to the guy and leave.

     Who says you can't have fun in a museum?

     Just then, I wake up from my day dream.  There is no one on the floor.  No
blood on my hands.  I'm standing alone in a bathroom in the Metropolitan Museum
of Art.  Sometimes we think about the most savage things.

     What I found in my locker in school that morning was quite a shock.  Why
two Elvis CD's?  Who knows that I like Elvis?  Who knows that I've seen most of
the Elvis movies?  Closer examination of the CD's revealed that they were
actually one double album.  "Elvis Presley-50 Worldwide Gold Award Hits Volume
1".  It was a pretty comprehensive collection, including some of the King's
more retarded songs like "Bossa Nova Baby" and "Kissin' Cousins."  I suddenly
recalled the old man who came into the video store at 8:59 on the night I went
out with the Faye Dunaway-looking woman.  These Elvis CD's made me think of
him, though I can't call to mind what the connection is.  As for the other item
in my locker, specifically the decapitated head of the Faye Dunaway-looking
woman, let's just say I won't shed any tears over her.  She was nothing but
trouble, that whole evening with her was a catastrophe.  From me being drugged
to going to that sickening hippy commune so she could get a tattoo.  As far as
I'm concerned, she got everything she deserved.  Maybe she wouldn't have ended
up like this if I had been there to give her a hand.  Except what she needed
now was a head.

     Her decapitated head lay in my locker between my book bag and a Math book.
Whoever left me the head was very tidy.  There was no blood at all in the
locker.  I always appreciate professionalism.  So I grasped the head by a tuft
of blond hair and chucked it into the metal garbage can directly across the
hall from me.  The head rebounded off the back of the garbage can and landed on
the floor with a spongy thud.  I immediately bounded forward, grabbed the head,
and returned to the exact spot where I had taken my shot.  I can be quite
obsessive when it comes to throwing something into a garbage can.  I would
spend all day if necessary to make the basket.  This time I adopted a standard
free-throw position.  I mock-dribbled the head a few times, bent my knees, and
gently let the head fly.  It landed in the garbage can with a resounding thud.
A teacher poked his head out of a door and inquired into the thud.  I would've
loved to tell him what it was, but I played it safe and lied.

     I had one night of excitement, but now I was ready to resume my safe and
simple lifestyle.  My motto in life is "Live slow, die old."  I had no
intention of pursuing this little mystery, 'cause I don't want anyone shooting
baskets with MY head.

     Later that day, I went to buy some bagels for my mom.  I parked in a lot
behind the store and went to get the bagels.  Walking away I noticed that I had
left my lights on, but I was too lazy to go and turn them off.  When I returned
there was a note stuck on the trunk of my car.  It was raining so there was no
need to tape it to the car, the rain acted as glue.  I picked up the small
yellow paper and was able to read it even though it was soggy and the ink had
already started to run.  It said:

                |   HEY!  You left your lights on!                |
                |                                                 |
                |   There's a guy standing behind you with a gun. |
                |                                                 |
                |   That's me.                                    |

     Upon reading the word "gun" I instinctively executed a perfect
duck-and-roll maneuver just like Chuck Norris has done in many, many movies. 
If you're ever in a situation where someone pulls a weapon on you or grabs you
from behind, your best bet is to act IMMEDIATELY, in a split second.  Your
attacker is not expecting this, and it could mean the difference between life
and death.  Safely out of the way of gunfire, I surveyed the parking lot. 
There was no gunman behind me.  The yellow slip of paper was still clenched in
my hand, and I noticed there was also some writing on the back.  It said:

                |   Nice move, cowboy!                            |
                |   Don't worry I'll catch you later.             |
                |                                                 |
                |         Love,                                   |
                |   A Big Hunk O' Love                            |

     Two points of interest:

1. "A Big Hunk O' Love" is an Elvis Presley song recorded in 1958.

2. The word "catch" had been crossed out with a single horizontal line. 
   Written above it in scratchy handwriting was another word.


     One summer I went on a "teen tour."  Sleepaway Camp was definitely an
experience I would not repeat.  For some reason, I got stuck in the psychopath
bunk.  There was a fist fight every day, and porno mags were the working
currency.  There was one kid who had a habit of dropping his shorts in the
middle of the afternoon and rubbing his privates in the catcher's glove of my
best (and only) friend at camp.  I really enjoyed the water-gun-filled-with-
urine wars between the bunks, but I needed a change of pace.  So I went on this
teen tour in the summer between ninth and tenth grade.

     On the first day I met two guys who came from the same town in
Connecticut.  We all shared the same musical tastes, and as a result, instantly
became buddies.  We always roomed together, hung out together, etc.  I saw one
of them many times after the tour was over.  We always ran into each other at
the same club in Connecticut, and twice at the Ritz in New York.  The other
fellows were friendly and I had no trouble getting along with them.  There was
an occasional fight, but no one really got pounded.  The girls, however, were
another story.  All a bunch of Japs.  Yes I know, it's a horrible
generalization, but you can only put up with their trite opinions and
irritating personalities for so long.  They were all barely old enough to get
into a PG-13 movie, yet most had already had their first nose job.  I remember
this one girl who spilled a soda on the floor of the bus we travelled in.
Someone asked this girl if she had considered picking up the soda.

     "Look at the color of my skin - I'm not black," she replied walking away.

     Though no else did, I found that little comment to be amusing.  I felt
real proud that I lived in a country where a young girl, only 14 years old, had
learned how to blindly hate before she learned how to drive.

     But the absolute best part of the teen tour came at the end, with only two
days left.  (And two days till my fifthteenth birthday!)  The tour was coming
to an end, things were hectic, so I wasn't able to room with my friends one
night.  I don't remember my roommates' names that night, but I'll tell you
about them.  One of them was this really small kid who lived somewhere around
Philadelphia.  He looked like the type of person who attended Cub Scout
meetings well into his thirties.  He was also the type of person you saw on
"A Current Affair" after he shotgunned his entire third period French class. 
My other roommate was this fat kid from Manhattan.  When I say fat I mean FAT.
I ain't talking about "pleasantly plump" or "chubby" or "big boned" or "gland
problems", I mean lard-ass city.  In the 250-300 pound range, definitely.  This
kid was so fat that his stomach went into a different zip code.  Anyway, all
three of us are in this motel room.  There're two beds and a cot.  The fat kid
says he's got to have a bed because of his back problem.  Ok, no argument from
me.  So me and the really small kid from Pennsylvania start arguing over who
should get the other bed.  One thing led to another and the really small kid
pulled a knife on me.  The knife, property of the fat kid, was just laying on a
dresser.  So here's the situation: There's an argument and the really small kid
from Pennsylvania threatens me with a knife.  But the thing is, the really
small kid is just kidding around.  He's threatening me in jest, with not the
slightest, most minuscule intention of stabbing me.  This is obvious to me.
It's obvious to the fat kid.  Here's where things get exciting.

     Y'know how guys do really stupid macho things while a girl is watching, in
order to impress her?  That's what I did.  Except there was no girl watching,
just the fat kid.  Even though the really small kid was fooling around with the
knife, I attempted to take it away from him with deadly force.  (I'm not going
to list all the movies I saw where the hero disarms a knife-wielding enemy!)
Unfortunately, since I'm such a rank amateur, the really small kid got stabbed
in the hand.  Oops!  The fat kid, utilizing some first-aid training, bandaged
the really small kid, while I had run out of the room looking for help.  But I
wasn't looking for help, I was looking for someone onto whom I could unload the
details of my first (and last) knife fight.  I had disarmed a scrawny little
wimp who PRETENDED to threaten me with a knife, yet for some reason I felt like
Rambo.  The first person I found was a kid from Long Island named Doug.  How
many times have you heard someone say, "This heavy metal stuff... it makes kids
worship Satan!"  Usually, we laugh at people who make statements like that, but
after getting to know Doug, I never laughed at those "Conservative Christian
Nazis" ever again.  Doug was a big fan of heavy metal.  He liked Judas Priest,
Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Ozzy, etc.  Doug was also a big fan of Satanism.  To
his credit, he seemed genuinely interested in the subject.  He was always
reading the Satanic Bible, and by the end of the summer, Doug had explained the
principles of Satanism to everyone on the teen tour.  Doug assured us that
after he graduated college, he would move in with a real Satanic "family."

     Doug now has Leukemia.  He'll be dead by the end of the year, and when he
does die, I hope he gets to go to Hell because that's what he always dreamed

     I decided it was time to go home and get myself organized.  I was just a
school boy looking for a change of pace from the daily grind of high school.
Now I was caught up in this irritating little mystery.  Someone had killed the
Faye Dunaway-looking woman and deposited her head in my locker.  Someone had
also left a nice little note on my car.  This mystery was irritating, yes, but
I was not about to let it go unsolved.

     When I walked into the house, my mother and father were waiting for me.
Dad's been getting into Scientology recently and therefore has been acting a
little goofy.  He held an official Scientology E-Meter (tm) (list price:
$4,375) in his hand.

     "Son, I think you're having trouble with engrams."

     "Dad, there's no such thing as engrams."

     "Son, there are engrams, I read it in a book."

     "Dad, I read in a book that the Holocaust never happened.  Doesn't mean
it's true."

     "Son, this book is Dianetics."

     "Dad, did it ever occur to you that L. Ron Hubbard was more interested in
making money off dopes than discovering the secrets of the universe?"

     "Son, if you'd just let me give you this Personality Test to determine
whether Scientology is right for you...."

     "Dad, go release some body thetans or something," were my last words as I
walked to my room.

     My dad tried to enter my room.  Finding the door locked he began to shout
through the door.

     "I know what your problem is.  It's this heavy metal rock you kids listen
to.  I know all about Motley Crue and Ozzy Osbourne and KISS, I read about
them in People!  Did you ever hear of People!  Does that meet your intellectual
standards, Mr. Mensa Society?  I could care less if you're a devil worshiper,
but let me tell you that we lock our bedroom door at night and take the knives
out of the kitchen so don't try anything funny, mister!"

     The fact that their parents were spending the family earnings to achieve
Operating Thetan Level 8 might worry kids, but I had a steady income.  The
video store job was nothing, income from my grade-school pornography sales
would get me through college.

     I turned on the stereo, grabbed paper and pen, and laid down in bed.  My
memories of the night with the Faye Dunaway-looking woman were essential to
solving the mystery.  I decided to try a flow of consciousness experiment.  I
would relax and my mind would recall every single detail of that night.  The
pen would automatically start to write.  A slow, trippy psychedelic song came
on, and I began to chant.  I slipped into another state of being.  I was
nowhere, and yet I was everywhere.  The crucifixion of Christ and the final
destruction of the Earth were visible to me in the same moment.  Planets in
galaxies far, far, far, away grew and withered in front of me.  The pen started
to move.  Ecstasy overtook me, euphoria could not describe my emotions.
Stonehenge passed beneath my feet.  I was turned on, tuned in, and dropping
out.  The bass line to "Truckin'" reverberated through my skull.  The pen was
now scribbling at a furious rate.  A multitude of atrocities passed before my
sight, I saw the Nazi concentration camps, I viewed the Kurds being massacred,
I observed all 219 minutes of _Heaven's Gate_.

     The song ended.  The pen stopped.  The piece of paper had on it my inner
consciousness, the net sum of my knowledge.  It looked like this:

                                      |        |
                                      |        |
                                      |        |
                                      |        |
                                      |        |
                                      |        |

     Well, I also believe in Santa Claus.


     So I'm on this plane to Florida.  Some relative died and I had to go to
the funeral.  I really wasn't too close to the corpse.  Whenever we chatted he
would ask pointless questions like, "So, how's the soccer team doing?"  The
last time I played soccer was in the third grade.  And he would ask, "So what's
your best score in Pac-Man?"  A quick smile-and-nod combination usually got him
to go bother someone else.

     There was only one thing of interest going on in the plane.  Some lady was
trying to control her two bratty daughters.  It was the classic situation:
husband up in first class flirting with stewardesses, wife in coach taking care
of the kids.  The kids were pretty wild.  Chucking ice cubes all over, knocking
over the food trays, pressing all the buttons.  Then the mother, having cracked
some time ago, asked the older daughter if she would like to sit on the wing of
the plane.  The older daughter, about five, looked at her mother in disbelief.
The mother, however, was not joking.  She started screaming quite loudly.
"C'mon do you want to sit on the wing?  Look how nice it is outside.  Why don't
you go outside?  Look how nice it is!  It's just like a swing set!"  By now,
the attention of the surrounding passengers was focused solely on this ranting
mother.  The mother, now aware that she was the star attraction, grabbed the
older daughter with one hand, and with the other hand tried to open the plane
window.  Now the mother knew that plane windows don't open like bus windows,
but that didn't stop her.  Still, I took no chances.  Having seen _Twilight
Zone-The Movie_ (1983), where a guy shot out the window with a .38, I knew
things could get pretty hectic very quickly.  Wisely planning ahead, I promptly
stuffed my bag into the overhead compartment, and then put the seat belt on
extra tight.  Ready for the upcoming cabin depressurization, I noticed that the
mother was now trying to stuff her daughter through the window, grinding her
once-cute face into the glass, all to the dismay of the onlooking passengers.
Despite the blood, even this got dull fast, so I took a nap.

     I had never been to a funeral before, but I assumed the whole thing could
be wrapped up in one day.  For some reason, the whole family went to the
funeral home the day before the funeral was to be held.  I guess we were going
to a "pre-funeral."  To my surprise, there were a whole bunch of people at the
funeral home waiting for us.  I'm not sure why they all came, but I guess it's
like coming to the ball park early to see batting practice.  I immediately
ditched everyone and went looking for something to do.  I figured there'd be
some video games or something to fool around with.  Well, I soon discovered
that funeral homes don't have video games.  I couldn't find the embalming room
either.  I was hoping I could watch some poor stiff get his fluids sucked out
or something.  So I made my way to the bathroom.  I was instantly impressed by
the cleanliness of the bathroom.  I sat down in a stall and took out a pen in
order to deface the bathroom.  I wasn't sure what to write.  I thought about
drawing demonic pentagrams.  Or maybe, "My name is Hugh G. Rection!"  Instead,
I wrote, "If you're reading this, someone is dead."  Still, I was bored.

     I was now sitting in the main room with a whole bunch of people, family
and non-family.  I was shocked by the phoniness of the whole scene.  Everyone
obviously had better places to be, but they all put on a show of sadness.  Why?
I guess because that's what you're supposed to do.  The worst phony was the
widow.  She'd be laughing and talking about recipes until someone new came into
the room, at which point the widow would run crying over to the newcomers and
hug them.  The widow was intent on making sure EVERYONE saw how grieved she
appeared to be.  I can see where she's coming from, however.  Anyone would have
trouble feeling sorrow after they had just acquired a few million dollars from
a dead spouse.  All in attendance acted in the "traditional" manner.  And what
was the "traditional" manner?  What the movies portrayed funerals as.  I'm sure
that if the movies showed people playing Monopoly and lighting farts at these
things, then I bet I'd be sitting down right now with a "Get Out Of Jail
Free card" and a lighter between my butt cheeks.  All I know is that when I
die, there'd better be a band at the funeral.

     Unfortunately, my aunt sat down next to me.  She's a total mental case.
It's hard to describe her.  She's not a lesbian but she'll NEVER get married.
My aunt is the type who will die alone and penniless.  The only thing she cares
about are animals.  She's always leeching money from the family to pay for her
pets.  For my birthday she always gives me animal books.  The only one I ever
read was "Animal Farm."  She works at an animal hospital in Manhattan, and
starts to make small talk about it.

     "So you're going to NYU.  That's near the animal hospital," she began.


     "Do you like the city?"

     "Well, I haven't really lived there yet, but I th-"

     "I hate it," she said cutting me off.

     Silence from me.  She continues.

     "It's dirty... it's unsafe.  I hate going there every day.  I hate my
life.  I wish someone would end it all."

     Uh, I thought this was small talk?  I wave down some imaginary person and
leave my aunt.  She's still talking to herself ten minutes later.

     The actual funeral the next day was boring.  Having read _The Stranger_, I
made sure to look remorseful.  I didn't want to end up like Mersault.  Killed
an Arab, but put on trial because he didn't cry at a funeral.

     Anyways, I can sincerely recommend Gutterman's Inc. ("Four Generations of
Family Service") for your funeral arrangements.  Aside from one location in
Florida, there are chapels throughout greater New York.

     In Manhattan:            331 Amsterdam Ave at 76th St.
     In Queens:               98-60 Queens Blvd. And 66th Ave.
     In Brooklyn:             2576 Flatbush Ave.
     In Bronx:                1983 Grand Concourse
     In Rockville Centre, LI: 175 Long Beach Road
     In Woodbury, LI:         8000 Jericho Turnpike

     To the departed whom we now remember, may peace and bliss be granted in
life eternal.  May they find grace and mercy before the Lord of Heaven and
Earth.  May their souls rejoice in that ineffable good which God has laid up
for those who fear Him, and may their memory be a blessing unto those who
treasure it.


     Thanks for coming, boys!  American Express only, please.

     It's a Monday morning.  In the school cafeteria.  My one chance at solving
this mess is to find one of the houses I stopped at during my night with the
Faye Dunaway-looking woman.  One was the house with the big Santa Claus doll in
the middle of a rock garden.  That's where the Faye Dunway-looking woman had an
argument with a teenage girl.  The other house was the drug party where I
remember watching the Faye Dunway-looking woman get a tattoo.  It was number
72, but I didn't know the street name.  Besides being into Scientology, my Dad
is also a big Ian Fleming fan.  So he's got all these off-the-wall spy devices.
I've got one right now in the school cafeteria.  It's an "electronic ear."  I
just point this little microphone at someone and I can hear what they're saying
exactly.  I figure that there's got to be a few kids who know about the number
72 house.  These kids, they come from great neighborhoods but they'd rather
wallow in decadence.  As for the other house, I'm hoping that the teenage girl
who had the argument with the Faye Dunaway-looking woman goes to this school. 
I can hear the entire cafeteria.  I've got the electronic ear.  Damn straight.

     "...school is like a prison!  They called my doctor to make sure I was
there!  Is that legal?  Can I sue?"

     "...be funny if the guy coming for the Students Against Drunk Driving
assembly got hit by a drunk driver on the way to school!"

     "So I got the fresh bass pumping, and we're cruising the Bronx... Bronx
River Parkway that is..."

     "...y'know?  So the cop pulls us over, y'know.  And we got the keg in the
car, y'know.  And the grass, and the..."

     "Oh my God!  There were so many cute guys at..."

     "...93-to-1 girl-to-guy ratio at this school!"

     "...Mom walks in, but we turned the VCR off before she..."

     "...concert last night, this spliff was so huge..."

     "We went to the craziest place last night, 72 Caligula Road.  The place
was nuts!"

     I keep the electronic ear steady.  This must be the place I'm looking for.
Why would someone name a road after Bob Guiccione's $15 million 1979 flop,
_Caligula_?  Worry about it later.

     "The people at this place were like total hippies.  They thought it was
like Woodstock or something.  But they were cool guys.  They kept giving us
beers and pot, and I think Chris screwed some drunk slut.  It was awesome.  We
gotta get more people next time.  We'll kick some serious ass.  I stole this
plant out of the kitchen, and this bootleg tape of the '85 Meadowlands show..."

     I heard enough, 72 CALIGULA Road.  That's where I was going.  Just a quick
stop home to get a baseball bat for protection and then it would be time to get
down to business.  As for the other house where the teenage girl had the
argument with the Faye Dunaway-looking woman, I'd deal with that soon enough.

     I stopped at my locker to get my books for accounting class.  Accounting
was getting more and more outlandish with each passing day.  At the beginning
of class, the woman teacher would stand in the middle of the room and announce
something along the lines of: "My husband cheated on me last night," or, "I'm
having P.M.S.  Don't bother me," or some other basic female-orientated crux.

     After that she would lock herself in her office and read lingerie
catalogues, Frederick's of Hollywood or something.  I once stole one of them
and sold it to a horny ninth grader for five dollars.  We never were assigned
any work.  Everyone just gabbed about nothing for the whole period.  Except me.
I did the accounting work anyway.  I like things that end up neat and orderly.

     I opened my locker to get my accounting books, and I instantly saw that I
no longer had to worry about finding the teenage girl from the first house.

     Her decapitated head was in my locker.

     I remember the last time I saw a hardcore matinee at CBGB's.  Most people
don't know what hardcore is.  First, it's got nothing to do with metal.
Hardcore was what followed punk.  Punk rock got big here in the early '80s.  We
Americans did it a lot more intense than those wimpy Brits.  So they started
calling it hardcore-punk.  As time went on, hardcore and punk split up and
became two separate entities.  In New York City, for example, there's a big
difference between a punk rock band and a hardcore band.  There's also some
animosity between the punks and the hardcores.  So this place, CBGB's, had
weekly hardcore shows every Sunday afternoon, three p.m., five dollars.  Show
your ID at the door.  You gotta be sixteen to get in, otherwise bring your
mother.  By now, hardcore has gotten pretty popular.  This CBGB's was
jam-packed every Sunday afternoon with people from all over.  The five
boroughs, New Jersey, Connecticut, Westchester County, they came from all over
to see the famous CBGB's hardcore matinees.  But when you stick a bunch of
hardcore lunatics in a hot, crowded place like CBGB's, fights start.  The
fights got worse and worse as time went on.  The club was no longer able to
control the violence.  Plus, the club couldn't make money at the bar, because
most of the kids were under twenty-one.  I remember the final show.  The
headlining band was an old band that hadn't played New York in a long time.
Fights started instantly.  The club turned the sound system off and kicked
everyone out, but not before announcing that there would be no more hardcore
matinees ever again.  Everyone spilled outside, and more fights started.  I
stood on the corner of Bleecker & Bowery for a long time, long after everyone
else had gone home tired from fighting.  I walked back into CBGB's.  The owner
of the club, the guy that had been running the club for over eighteen years,
was inside.

     "Why won't there be any more hardcore shows?" I asked him.

     "Well, all good things must come to an end.  That's the way things work.
All bad things must come to an end also.  Where there's a start, there's a

     "But why?" I persisted.

     "Because I said so, that's why.  Now get the hell out of here before I
kick your ass, you little turd."

     All bad things must come to an end also.  I never forgot that little

     It was after midnight.  I was on my way to 72 Caligula Road.  There was no
music playing.  There were no other cars on the road.  I started to space out
and lose concentration on the driving.  I was feeling somewhat joyous. 
Finally, I'd get some answers.  I was twenty minutes away from 72 Caligula
Road.  I tried not to think about the teenage girl who had an argument with the
Faye Dunaway-looking woman.  The decapitated head of the teenage girl was in my
locker.  I left it in there.  I left the locker open, too.  I hope someone
found it.  I don't care any more.  I only care about 72 Caligula Road.  That's
where the answer is.  Answer to this mystery.  The mystery of the two
decapitated heads in my locker.  The mystery of what I did that night with the
Faye Dunaway-looking woman.  The mystery of the psychotic note that was left on
my car.  I looked up and saw a police car right behind me, lights flashing.
Godammit, why wasn't I paying attention?  The speedometer tells me I'm only
going fifty in a fifty-five zone, what's this cop want?  He turns on the siren
and we both pull over.  I roll the down the window, the cop walks to my car.
I see his name plate.  It says "Lipschitz."  I'm tempted to say, "If you're
Lipschitz, then my ass talks."

     "Going a little fast, aren't we, son?"

     "Was only going fifty."

     "That's not what my radar gun says."

     "Oh yeah, can I see it?"

     "Uhh... I'm not allowed to let you see that."

     "Ok, tell me, have you had your radar gun calibrated recently?"

     He takes out his pistol and puts it up to my temple.

     "Son, this is the most powerful handgun in the world.  Now I bet you're
thinking to yourself, 'Did he fire five shots or six.  Wel-"

     "Save the Dirty Harry speech, what's your beef with me?"

     "Chief Friendly wants to see you."

     Who in the name of Sammy Fox is Chief Friendly?


     I'm in Chief Friendly's office.  He's the police chief of this town.  His
last name really is Friendly.  I didn't see any cells when I came in.  I walked
down a long hallway, and now I'm in a long room.  There're two cops watching
_The Lost Boys_ (1987) at the other end of the room.  They really like it.  I
hated it.  I'm sitting across from Chief Friendly at his desk.  He speaks.

     "You've been causing us a whole lot of trouble, y'know that?"

     "Trouble?  You want to hear about trouble?  First, how about having Deputy
Dawg pull me over, put a gun to my head, handcuff me, and drag me to this dump.
Ever hear of the Bill of Rights?  First Ten Amendments to the Constitution? 
You can learn about it in court, which is where I'm going to sue your ass.  You
haven't arrested me, and now I'm going to leave.  Ciao."

     I get up and start to walk out.

     "Hold on one second, tough guy.  Before you call your lawyer, you might
want to take under consideration that we've got substantial evidence that leads
us to believe you've started a collection of decapitated heads."

     I sit back down.

     "Decapitated heads?  Try comic books."

     "Comic books.  Of course.  Let's see... you had a wild night with a
certain woman a few weeks ago, didn't you?  When people are drunk, they do some
mighty crazy things."

     "I don't get drunk, and I never had any wild night.  I've seen enough
Hitchcock movies to know when an innocent man is being framed for something he
didn't do."

     "No wild nights.  Really?  I've been thinking about that video store you
work at.  Lots of lonely old women go to video stores.  Lonely old women who
might be interested in some male companionship.  Specifically your

     "Well, there were was the Faye Dunaway-looking woman...."

     I blew it right there.  I knew it and so did Chief Friendly.  Up 'till
now, I was doing o.k.  Chief Friendly was toying with me.  He knew about
everything, but by mentioning the Faye Dunaway-looking woman, I gave him a
distinct advantage.  He was going to tear me to shreds.

     "'Faye Dunway-looking woman', eh?  Now that I think about it, she DID look
like Faye Dunaway.  Now I'd say she looks more like Sharon Tate, don't you
think so?"

     He's got me against the ropes.  Cover up.

     "I didn't do anything with her.  I went to her house.  She started
offering me weird drugs, so I left."

     "That's all that happened?"

     "Yup.  I swear.  Scout's Honor."

     "That's good.  Real good.  I've been watching you, I'd know if you were
lying.  I'd know."

     He believes me.  He really thinks I spent five minutes with her and went
home.  You aren't so smart after all, are you, Friendly?  Confidently, I take
the offensive.

     "You've been following me?  The Faye Dunaway-looking woman also?

     "So many questions, so many questions.  I'm always reading in the paper
about how today's youth are so disinterested in things.  All they want to do is
smoke dope and listen to Black Sabbath, but you, my friend, are one bright
young man."

     "Like Elvis?  Ever buy any of his CD's?"

     "I saw him in Vegas.  '71.  Best show I ever witnessed.  Damn, he was

     "The note on my car?"

     "You're rambling, boy, you're rambling."

     "What have I done to deserve this special treatment?"

     "That information is given out on a need-to-know basis, and you most
definitely do not need to know."

     A pause in the conversation.  Five seconds.  Ten seconds.  Fifteen
seconds.  If I'm going to die, I'm going to die like a man.  Like John Wayne.
The Duke always showed guts right to the end.

     "So now what, Chief Friendly?  You cut off my head and put it in someone
else's locker?"

     "I thought about that, but you look like a nice kid, so I'll tell you
what: You forget about everything that's happened, this conversation, all the
women, all the heads, all that stuff, and I can guarantee you'll be around to
graduate in the spring."

     He took out a BIG hunting knife.  I mean BIG.  And SHARP.

     "Sure, no problem.  Anything to help out the police."

     "You're a nice kid, but like all kids, you're a liar."

     He swung the hunting knife down at the table.  When I looked down I saw
that my right pinky was a quater-inch shorter.  I fell to the floor in agony,
trying to stop the bleeding by digging my hand into the rug.

     "Get up, you pussy!  When I was a kid, my Daddy cut off ALL my fingers
every time I got a bad grade in Geography.  He made me sew 'em back on also!
With my eyes closed!"

     I lay writhing on the floor, but was able to look up at him.  Right into
his eyes.

     "Here's some advice to you, son.  You start calling the state police, or
some fancy Jew lawyer, I'm gonna bring you back here.  You got plenty of
fingers, and I got plenty of knives.  Now get out of here.  And remember, a
good policeman is a good friend.  Have a nice day."

     What happened to serve and protect?

     I'm sitting in the video store.  Months later.  I'm watching _Where The
Buffalo Roam_ (1980).  It's based on the life of Hunter S. Thompson.  It's an
awful movie.  There's no sensible sequence of events.  Bill Murray is awful as
Hunter S. Thompson.  It's a slow night in the store.  There's a big super-duper
Blockbuster video store right across the street, so no one comes to my store. 
I like it that way.  All I do is watch movies and get paid for it.  I've
cleaned up, the store closes in ten minutes, I'm watching this movie.  An old
guy walks in.  He looks like David Niven.  He doesn't look at the boxes, he
walks right up to the desk and asks me a question.

     "Excuse me.  I was wondering if my wife has been in the store today?"

     "Well, what's she look like?"

     "I've been told she looks like Faye Dunaway."

     "Never saw her."

     He walks out.  I close up the store ten minutes later.  I walk to my car
smiling.  Tomorrow's a new day.  And where there's a new day, there's a new
movie to watch.

     Ain't life grand?

  _   _   ____________________________________________________________________
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  .ooM   |Copr. 1991 cDc communications by The Pusher            07/20/91-#167|
\_______/|All Rights Pissed Away.                            FIVE YEARS of cDc|