"Rome wasn't built in a day, but several Wet Shoelaces CDs were..." - Confucius
Stanley Crummins by Wet Shoelaces
Libretto by Stephen J. Gregory
Prologue: Without Express Written Consent (Contributing lyrics: E Aubrey Andrews)
As our story opens, Stanley Crummins is walking alone down a deserted back alley in the pale moonlight, made spectral and ethereal by the fog as it swirls and eddies through the greys and blacks of the dead quiet night. He is talking to himself; that is, one of his personalities, Billy, is having a discussion with another, Sam, about a third. Billy is a philosopher, and Sam is a kleptomaniac. The third personality is Michael, and Michael, well..... we'll get to Michael.
Sam: Don't you see? Fuckin' guy's got a gun to his head.
Billy: Yeah, it's dangerous living next door to the neighborhood insane asylum.
Sam: So, what about him? He ain't normal, is he?
Billy: Shit, woke up with a forty five against his head. Trigger click death's symphony, bro.
Sam: So what do you want to do about this man?
Billy: Ahhhh...... He's eaten up..... prob'ly died ten times over.....
Stanley's "conversation" soon dissolves into meaningless repetition as he slips into a reverie. He remembers a camping trip in Wyoming from long ago, a camping trip that went horribly awry when suddenly, after far too much beer and pot, Michael put in his first appearance.
Camper 1: Oh my god yes, Stan, y'wanna?
Stanley: Oh no.
Camper 1: C'mon, Stan!
Stanley: I won't be able to function.
Camper 2: Sing
Stanley: Sweet home Alabama...
Camper 2: Your voice is getting a lot better.
Stanley (as Michael): May I lick your vagina?
Camper 1 (disgusted): C'mon Stan!
Michael (insistently): May I lick your vagina?
Camper 1 (trying to laugh it off): Oh my god yes Stan, y'wanna?
Stanley (himself again briefly): I won't be able to function.
Michael: But what if you have two vaginas? The imaginary vagina for me to lick.... And the real vagina....
Camper 3: For you to ignore
Michael: To sniff only.
Camper 1: You're an ass!
Michael: To sniff only!
Camper 2: You're incredible Stan, you're just God's gift to glory.
Stanley (as Billy): Essential water may think that blue chain language is shot....
Camper 1 (simultaneous with Billy): I wanna smoke a hit, man, before the concert....
Stanley's friends dismiss his bizarre outburst as a mere drunken rant. But Michael has his own special interpretation of his friend's offhand "God's gift to glory."
Scene one: C'mere...
We see Stanley, except it is not Stanley, somehow. He is standing outside of a homoerotic nightclub, watching the young men pass by. He makes a pass at a young man, who is very frightened and attempts to fend him off. But Michael succeeds in dragging him into the alley.
Scene two: Are You Gonna Eat That Pickle?
Michael, having chloroformed the young man from the club, drags him through the alley to his apartment on the next block. He straps his victim to a chair. Michael is disgusted by homosexuality, so he gets a jar of whole gherkins from his fridge and forces one in and out of the now awake and terrified young man's mouth, screaming at him "you wanna suck something, faggot?!". Finally he shoves the gherkin down his victim's throat, choking him to death. He drags the body to a dumpster and leaves it. No sooner has he closed the lid than Michael departs, leaving Stanley standing in an unfamiliar alley, completely clueless as to how he has gotten there or what has happened. When he finds his way back to his apartment and finally gets to sleep, Stanley has many strange dreams
Scene three: Mummy Tornado
As Stanley dreams of pickles in his mouth and anus, he rants in his sleep:
Please me with meat honey;
Blow me frantic and sordid,
Lucious enormous moment,
My death-symphony of lust in a fluffy white gown
Behind those raw, languid puppy skins.
Manipulate together their crush-music
For, saying they see drunkdreamselaborate
(some for boy-flood)
And like him, at beauty pedaling by:
Hair would stop it!
Moan, black repulsive shadow,
As she recalls but two of me: The Watch, and His Goddess.
Did spring there smear beneath bitter lake-rust?
Knifing bare mean sweet never?
Let wind through butt-juice boil!
"No, not who!" I said. "Pound not like a rose,
But whisper pink gardens; live as an incubate fiddle sausage;
Leave men, when still shadows need you like urges."
Smooth, hot friend!
Purpleplayplacepoweraskapparatusproducealways (like winter)
My void can be in you, sweating.
Sleep easy, but hidden from a thousand mother-poles,
Delicate eggs scream! cry near life!
Cool lather, leather, lather, leather
Gorgeous leather... leather... gorgeous leather.... leather...
Most blood is feet on pictures;
Take "Fast Arm Iron" day:
Road trip, must drive,
Tiny hit-dress size will soar about.
Some were beat from peach places.
Essential water may think, and blue chain-language is shot;
Did What-Sky-Finger-Stare want from rain?
I am sun cooking TV by only singing.
But one lazy, delirious moonache wax
(how none like summer have time)
Rob the love, lick bed, drool,
Her sea-visions purple,
Though forest-power after rocked misty girls' chocolate tongues.
Play under delicate shadows (to go after above gift).
Show them, then, an easy storm-spray
Lie over her ugly, weak smell,
Budding my chant here felt.
Weave no smooth sausage beneath car-petal
True pole-goner; eat up woman urge, these enormous, sad screams--
Worship them still! Club red, say,
A gorgeous knife-smear,
But mad breasts will light the flood watch,
But mad breasts will light the flood watch.
........Pent up death-scream through a thousand twisted masturbations
Ripping open my only sensations
Through the chest of my walls
And the walls of my dreams
And the dreams of my days
And my days and my nights
And my nights and my frights
And my fears and my days
And my tears.. and my... shears
And my...beers...and my...leers..
At this he awakens suddenly, panting and sweating. There is a pool of semen in his belly button.
Scene four: Makes Sense To Me
Stanley gets up. He is a little weirded out, but after all, it was only a dream. He wipes the cum from his belly, and then, on some strange impulse, eats it. He shrugs.
Today is his drug test for a new job. He has not smoked a joint in two months, and right now, that is what he has his mind on most He already has it rolled; all he has to do is pee in a cup, come home, and light up. He doesn't quite remember his dream now, but when he pees in the cup later at the doctor's office, he thinks, strangely, of pickles.
Scene five: High Every Day
Stan is now enjoying the chemically enhanced lifestyle he prefers. Sam the klepto soon makes his appearance. Sam had tried to have a music career, but too many people sued him for stealing their licks. Still, he cannot help breaking into song from time to time, especially under the influence of Mayor Jeronie.
Once upon a time
I had to learn to wait
I got a brand new job
That was really, really great
But before I could start reaping
I had to take a drug test
The days dragged on and on
Forever long it seemed
I couldn't take the chance
And risk my pee not being clean
So I was a good boy
I never would partake
But when the day had come
You know my bread was baked
I get high every day
And that's the way it's gonna stay
I get high every day
(Billy:) And the night time too!
Scene six: Whisper In Chocolate Tongues
The extended period of abstention plus the childlike, gleeful overindulgence that followed produces in Stan a strange vision. In it, he is wandering through a chocolate forest. The rustling leaves seem to whisper to him in a language all of their own. He picks a chocolate mushroom and eats it. Instantly, the chocolate around him melts, and he finds himself in a church. Pat Robertson is behind the pulpit, screaming in Billy's voice. The choir is full of bizarre little imps, called umbrefs. They chant along with the sermon in perfect unison, as though the whole thing had been scripted and carefully rehearsed. The devil / Pat Robertson has horns and a tail that apear to be made of chocolate. They are melting in the white-hot spotlight. It swishes its chocolate tail, sending droplets of liquid chocolate like sweat splattering in all directions. Its followers scramble over each other to lick it up. Many are trampled to death. When a follower is trampled, two altar boys appear immediately to take the body. The wallet is confiscated and the body devoured by two hugely fat businessmen seated at a restaurant-style table on the altar. They trumpet and bray merrily as they gorge.
Scene seven: Twisted Glory
Stanley awakens from this vision with a clear sense of purpose. The words "God's gift to glory," from that camping trip in Wyoming so long ago, ring fresh in his ears. Day by day, he works tirelessly at building his new Church of the Chocolate Forest.. Billy and Sam work feverishly towards the same, but no one works harder than Michael.
Scene eight: Vicious Circles
Soon, Michael is using the church to lure in new gherkin-victims. The crimes repeat themeselves, each more brutal than the last. Stanley remains unaware of Michael's crimes.
Scene nine: Channel Surfing
Stanley is stoned one night and watching TV. He gradually starts noticing something strange. All of the actors look kind of like him. He begins clicking through the channels, and is amazed to see his own face staring back at him from every show. Slowly it dawns on him that it is not him, precisely, but Michael. He stops on one channel and Michael looks directly into his eyes, and, accompanied again by the umbrefs, speaks thusly:
Scene ten: Vulva Rock, Baby!
Natural! You look so natural! Natural!
"The entire organic acetate is a mess,"
Said Josephine, and soluting proudly
Jumped into the lake and died.
The gaping maw of your subconcious,
Like flies, like lemon slices
Drenched in rich garlic butter.
And your eyes.
I can't escape your eyes.
Arrogant death-seed squirming
Enraptured in violent entropy
Devouring sanity and insanity like
Rattle around, rattle a.....
Meat could swim and pant
These moments power sweet elaborate gift-trip
Moments under will produce sky!
Black as the pictures behind whispers....
Smoke a fat one with me, brother
And let's talk about the good ol' days
You know, when men were boyz and bitches were ho's....
Let's talk about sex
Late night television
Let's talk about how the stars shine like
Golden hoofprints on the prarie dawn
But whatever we do
Let's just not talk about Wyoming.
Bring forth the child of the sunlight maiden
And let its radiant light blind you like Oedipus!
Oedipus? That's right like Oedipus!
Oedipus? That's right, just like Oedipus!
Move over bacon, there's something a whole lot meatier
And it's name is not Billy, or Sam.
Lick me! Lick me luciously!
Ensign crusher, crush this man,
He's behaving like Satan again
Vulva Rock, Baby!
Hit singles here we come!
At the end of this tirade, which is staged as a typical rock video, with little umbrefs holding up placards with key lyrics printed on them and everything, Michael appears as a typical MTV veejay circa 1983, complete with a satin baseball jacket. He speaks to the camera:
Only the hits! All five of them!
That was Wet Shoelaces with "Vulva Rock, Baby!"
Now stay tuned for these important announcements.
Scene eleven: Time Zero Track, Master
The TV station cuts to a commercial. The jingle is one endlessly repeating line: "It is becoming you." It is sung by more umbrefs, this time dressed in surgical gowns and masks, and rushing about with surgical instruments. They burst through the double doors to the operating room, but it is not an operating room at all. It seems to be some sort of a home studio. There are two men in the studio. One is completely bald. He is typing on a computer and swearing. Another man with a long ponytail, sideburns, and glasses is sucking down a hit from a large glass bong. Outside the window a raven caws. A hunchbacked umbref runs up to the bald man and hands him a studio logbook sheet. He mouths something inaudible to the man. To Stanley, who is a fairly good lip-reader, it appears to be "Time zero track, master." This whole time Stanley keeps repeating the word "no" like a mantra. But it is too late. Michael bursts through the screen of the TV with a kind of silent explosion.
Scene twelve: Michael, You're A Shit Monkey
Suddenly, in a flash of inspiration, Stanley realizes that all he has to do to confront his doppelganger successfully is to force Michael to confront himself (he has been reading a lot of self-help books lately). "Michael, you are a mad shit monkey," he intones over and over. Michael melts like the wicked witch from Wizard of Oz. As he melts, Stanley wakes up in his easy chair. It is past three a.m., and the station is off the air. The static screams violently.. He turns it off and goes to bed.
Scene thirteen: The All-You-Can-Eat Snatch Buffet.
The next day, when Stanley's body awakens, it is being driven by Sam the klepto. He heads on down to the open air market to steal some breakfast, which he calls the "All-You-Can-Eat Snatch Buffet," (this is based on something Billy the philosopher told him once on one of their frequent late night walk-and-talks they had when they were in "possession," so to speak, of Stanley. But Billy's idea had nothing to do with stealing.) At the end of this scene we hear a police whistle. Sam the klepto has been caught.
Scene fourteen: Everybody Come Again
The police know they have a live one on their hands when they're driving him to the station and he won't stop chanting "everybody come again" over and over. They take his fingerprints and voila, they find a match with those taken from the corpses. Stanley Crummins has finally been caught. When they begin interrogating him, he starts chanting again and masturbating furiously.
Scene fifteen: ....No, Go Away
Stanley has been placed in a psychiatric facility. As the nurses come to give him his medicine, he screams, "No! Go away!" Soon he is babbling incoherently, as the personalities of Billy and Sam come to the front in waves. Michael is nowhere to be seen. He seems to have been defeated by Stanley's "shit monkey" chant.
Stanley (as Billy and Sam): Storm road rusting chant! Music never did rock here! Eat my chocolate forest language! Live ugly death garden! That was a go-cart! Moments under will produce sky, black as the pictures behind whispers! Why manipulate delicate shot? It is becoming you! Lick my boil! Boil my lick! Here rock did never music! Garden death ugly live! Live! Language forest, chocolate my eat! Oh shit the bong! Oh no, not that! Sky produce will under moments! Chanting rust road storm! No, go away! Away! No! Go! Yes, here come! Have you had enough already? Shot delicate manipulate, why?
Epilogue: A Memory Full Of Baskets
As the medication takes effect, Stanley falls into a stupor. The camera focuses on his face and then moves back, out the window to the yard of the sanitarium, where everything is covered in a fine dew, as it has just rained. A bird chirps in the distance, and sunlight breaks through the clouds. It is going to be a lovely day. The credits roll.