This is the music that vagrants hear as they sit on the sidewalk barking wildly at some unseen specter. It’s not that they’re crazy. We’re all a little crazy–there’s no difference there between them and us on that front. It’s that they’ve had their circuits fried. Their motherboard, their cpu, their neuronet processor. Somewhere along the line some sort of liquid or cheeky solid passed through their epidermis, through the subcutaneous membrane, beyond the skull, and on into the grey maze. The result is that they constantly hear the purely synthesized whisperings of Matmos.
See, we’re all just a bunch of electrodes, diodes, and Didos. Any of us could wind up sitting on a city street wearing a large, fur-lined parka on a hot summer day eating a hot dog out of an Asics crosstrainer. We really could. All it would take is a faulty fire suppression system and the correct head tilt and poof, you’re trying to sell one-way subway tickets to men in Armani suits under direction from the Supreme Balloon.
Just look at these people. They were once law-abiding, God-fearing citizens that paid taxes on fairly nice houses. And they didn’t eat out of garbage cans while receiving auditory transmissions of over 17,000hz.
Take a look at Frank here.
He was once a respected firemen for Baltimore Engine #9. That is until he responded to a kitchen fire on Fleet Street shortly after lunch time on a clear summer day. The fire turned out to be nothing really, just a small grease deal he and the boys quickly subdued. Afterward, Frank and his crew took the time to unwind in the air-conditioned kitchen and hit on the sexy raven-haired mama who phoned in the emergency.
In the apartment next door two 9-year-olds, whose mothers were both out working minimum wage as baggers at Safeway, popped a can of WD-40 in the microwave on high for 10 minutes. They just wanted to see it dance, just like their previously tested compact disc of Drake’s “Thank Me Later” had, but their hypothesized effect couldn’t have been more wrong.
The resulting explosion vaporized the microwave, pulverized the wall separating the two apartments, and shot the WD-40’s red applicator straw, along with a good amount of the industrial lubricant itself, right down a tear duct on Frank’s unshielded face. It settled nicely between his two lumpy hemispheres without leaving a single outward indication of injury.
He was never the same after that day but no one, especially Frank, could explain why. That little straw didn’t show up on any of the CATS, MRIs, or what-have-yous at John Hopkins. Everyone figured Frank just lost his nerve at the explosion, it rattled his cage, sent a screw loose.
But that WD-40, along with the applicator straw, went to work at crossing all sorts of wires through Franks brain, literally. Now he spends his day wearing a Halloween fireman costume while spraying his hose into the orifices of any unlucky soul who happens to cross underneath the deadly 242-volt light post at the corner of W. Fayette & N. Hanover.
Despite the loss of family and friends, Frank still feels blessed thanks to the continuous loop of “Mister Mouth” that guides his conscience.
Meet Muriel, former curator of French Culture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
One night Muriel stayed particularly late reviewing and cataloging the new additions from the Fisher Collection. She’d spent all day on the phone with Jean-Paul Sartre regarding the works of Alexander Calder and had completely forgotten to take in lunch and dinner. A diabetic since early childhood, Muriel needed to get a quick snack to boost her blood sugar.
Unfortunately for Muriel, the café at the MOMA was closed and she found herself without any bills or change for the vending machine. She quickly locked up her office, grabbed her things, and disembarked at 11:13 with a very light head on a snack-finding mission.
However, at every corner store she came to the story was always the same—cash only and no ATM. At the fourth shop she, beginning to see dancing silver snowflakes on her periphery, even resorted to begging. The cashier took no pity on this Yves Saint Laurent-drenched bourgeoisie and sent her hiking.
Wandering without aim, Muriel eventually stumbled upon the Carl’s Jr. at Civic Center Plaza. She had barely teetered through the doorway when a large Oreo shake struck her upon the right temple, demolishing any balance left in her system. She took one good gallop to the left, countered hard to the right, and collapsed miserably like the Maginot line. There she rested in a diabetic coma as the result of blunt sugar trauma.
The fast food brawl that produced the ballistic Oreo shake quickly subsided–it’s rumored that cashier Crystal Ruiz was messin’ around with Carl’s Jr. patron La-a Johnson’s baby daddy right out in the open. But Muriel remained on the floor for a good hour while hungry San Franciscans inelegantly clomped over her body to fetch Frisco Melts. During that time the runny Oreo slurry, packed with all types of supposedly manmade fillers, slowly filtered into Muriel’s ear. This unnatural goo ate through the drum, devoured the brain stem, and continued to engorge itself on the entirety of her cultured brain.
Now Muriel is known as Madam Tenderloin: Meat Pleaser of Knob Hill. She does her darnedest for man or beast in beat with the neverending intracranial soundtrack of “Les Folies Françaises.”