TALE SEVEN
Dimensional Jam Session

    I'd say that one of the most unusual sights to see (Next to giant piranha lizards attacking large metropolitan areas) is when a group of highly educated people practice for a rock concert.  If I may not have said previously, Graves, Hozler, Chance and Sledgehammer are the members that form the rock band called The Carbon Fourteens.  Surmise it to say their music relates to their jobs in an abstract sort of way but unlike what a reader (like you but one who just browsed through the book) would believe, they are a very good sounding band.  It is hard to say exactly what category their music style fits into.  It is a twisted variation of speed metal, jamming ska, and classical.  The Fourteens are quite popular in San Diego but haven't cut an album yet (it's in the works though).
    Well we were in a bar called The Chain Princess before it opened and Graves was doing one of the things that really annoys me; being able to compose/write good material off the top of his head.  He was presently working on a tune called Ramses the Dammed which he says was inspired by the book by Anne Rice (Whom he has put on his "People I Must Talk To Before I Die" list).  That as well as the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh's actual history.
    Now the reason these sessions are unusual is due to the way that the band works.  Being respective geniuses in their fields of study they all tend to feel that their way of doing the song is best so their sessions are as follows:

[1] Graves sits on a stool madly scribbling on a notepad the lyrics he has just thought of. Hozler tunes his guitar, which never seems to sound right until about two point three minutes before the concert (and even then it is debatable).  Chance randomly plays Mozart and Chopsticks at the same time on the synthesizer (Sometimes chewing gum as she does).  Then there's Sledgehammer beating on his forehead with his drumsticks and saying a hundred times fast "It better have a drum solo.  It better have a drum solo or I'll kill you" (Both of which never happen).

[2] Graves finishes composing and hands it to Chance who always says "You misspelled chorus" and then passes it to Hozler.  Vince then presses it to his forehead screaming "Foul elevator demons you are exorcised from this sheet music!  May the guitar forever wail!"  He then passes it to Sledgehammer who scans it with x-ray eyes and grunts "No drum solo" while simultaneously shredding the paper into 1/8th of a centimeter size confetti.  This doesn't bother the others because they all have blindingly accurate memories.

[3] Then comes the scary part. Hozler starts picking apart the historical inaccuracies of the song, which Graves defends by saying that he's not a history major.  He usually claims that there was a typographical error on his masters degree.  Chance tries to calm Hozler down which usually involves small arms and once a rabid pit bull that had been starved for a week and taunted by six-year-old children brandishing cats.

[4] Graves starts explaining that music is art not  literature quoting from Professor Diggs' 101 Unwritten Rules of Archeology.  Hozler replies  "Yeah!  Tell that to Yoko Ono!"  At this point live rounds go off and Sledgehammer awakens from his alcohol-induced coma hoping for a fight.  This is also when the owner of the bar questions his sanity in hiring the band to perform and asks Chance to put away her gun.

[5] Calming down the owner by promising that she only uses it  on members of the band Chance inserts the barrel into Hozler's nostril.  Usually it's the left nasal cavity for it seems to have more of an effect on Hozler's reason center that involves calming him down.  Graves then adds something profound to the situation which most often causes Chance to remove it from Hozler's nostril (the left one) and stick it into Graves' right one.  This of course has no affect on his reason center because to Graves guns as well as nostrils have no reason.

[6] That's when the dimensional Vortex opens up.

    Well that's not what actually happens all of the time. Sometimes Hozler says, "Yeah tell that to Yoko Ono, Goddess of rock and roll!"  Of course normally a dimensional vortex doesn't open up.
    The hired help that we were using to move the equipment immediately evacuated the area.  I agreed with their need to escape the unusual circumstances that had arisen on stage.  Unfortunately I was unable to do so because the vortex blocked my nearest avenue of escape.
    Of course Professor Graves took the events quite calmly and began to analyze the situation.  "Vince what does that look like to you?"
    "How the hell should I know Aarron I'm no rocket scientist."
    The Professor looked perturbed.  "How many times do I have to tell you there is no specific branch of . . . oh never mind you never listen.  That ladies and gentlemen is a dimensional vortex."
    Gee and I thought that I was slow.  I think I told you that six paragraphs ago.
    Anyway.
    Like I was saying before, normally a dimensional vortex doesn't open up but this time one did.  Graves was taking this as a normal experience but to me it was strangely special.  I felt a strange yearning to find out the reason this vortex had occurred. This was a radical departure from my bodies normal policy with regards to spooky doings.
    Of course I'd have to say that It was a true surprise to see the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, step out and shake hands with Graves.  As usual the Professor wasn't surprised to see Elvis Presley (though he was glad to see that he had lost a lot of weight) and told him that he was looking good for being dead.
    Hozler had fallen to his knees thanking God for allowing his eternal wish to come true.  This wish could have been either [1] He'd like to see Elvis Presley shake hands with Graves or [2] He'd like to see Elvis Presley lose a lot of weight.
    Miss Chance had her doubts as to weather it was truly Elvis or just another one of the hundreds of Elvis impostors sent by the devil to destroy humanity.  These dubious look-alikes go around spreading false truths as the word of the King by stepping out of dimensional vortexes.  Shaking peoples hands and staying only long enough to tell them of a new MTV video and a concert tour presented by Pepsi they defile the true wisdom of Elvis.  Of course that's just her opinion.
    Sledgehammer had slipped back into his alcohol-induced coma.
    I was off stage trying to take a picture of this scene. Unfortunately like all of those times I had seen UFO's my camera had run out of film (One of my top ten peeves).
    It was then that Elvis invited the band to join him in a, as he said it, "Really happening dimensional jam session."  Graves, always eager to explore new realms of cosmic weirdness as well as rock with one of music's greatest dead people, said yes and stepped into the vortex.  The rest of the band followed with Hozler sort of dragging Sledgehammer as he went.  I wasn't quite sure if I had been invited but ran through just as the vortex closed.
    Now I may not have mentioned that Graves and Dr. Itchyfinger wrote a thesis paper titled The Complete Anthology of Scientific Phenomenon and How to Shop Smart While Experiencing Them.  In this paper they told of the different types of dimensional vortexes that existed in today's world.  Here's a summary of a few:

VORTEX OF TWISTED DRUG INDUCED HALLUCINATIONS
VORTEX OF LOST TRAINS OF THOUGHT
VORTEX OF WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED IF WE HAD ONLY ASKED
VORTEX OF MISSPENT CONGRESSIONAL FUNDING
VORTEX OF LOST KEYS, COMBS, PUPPIES AND SPARE CHANGE
VORTEX OF WHERE ALL THE TIME HAS GONE.

    This vortex was obviously not on the list, which annoyed Graves to great extents.  It was apparently the "VORTEX OF ROCK SINGERS WHO DIED EITHER BEFORE THEIR CAREERS WERE STARTED OR THOSE WHO DIED WHILE TRYING TO SALVAGE THEIR ENDED CAREERS."
    Yes it can easily be said that all of the greats were here.  As well as Elvis there was Riche Vallens, Buddy Holly, Cher (Who really isn't dead but belongs there anyway), and the greatest guitarist in the history of the planet; Jimi Hendrix.  Of course my naming of the vortex was inappropriately too quick because I discovered that there weren't just rock singers but all sorts of people inhabiting the realm.  The cream of society's popular figures cut short in their prime filled the vortex.  Names like Pia Zadora (see Cher), James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy came vividly to mind.
    I was surprised that I didn't see John Lennon who had held the longest record for dragging out ended careers.  Elvis was kind enough to inform me that both he and Martin Luther King Jr. were in the "VORTEX OF FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD PAINFULLY TRUTHFUL BIOGRAPHIES WRITTEN ABOUT THEM."  The King also said that Lucille Ball will be transferring when Albert Goldman writes Lucille Ball: Godless Red-Headed Spawn From Hell.
    Well the vortex was smaller than most in that the whole vortex was simply a huge nightclub with a door on each of the four walls, which lead to the Four Corners of the world.  (These doors can be found at The Chain Princess bar in San Diego, a phone booth in Marylines House of Smiles in the Philippines, The deep freeze at the McDonalds in Moscow, and the door leading to the main engine room of the sunken Japanese battleship Yamato in the Western Pacific).
    Elvis said that he would like to offer us a drink but in this vortex all of the things that caused those famous people to die did not exist there.  The vortex's inhabitants considered this okay until John Holmes died and caused sex to no longer exist.  This made a lot of people in the vortex unhappy to say the least.  Elvis said that there was hope, they are hoping for a painfully truthful biography to be written about him.  If this happens then what was lost will return.  He seemed saddened though for too many people died because of drug and alcohol reasons forever dooming these vices return.
    Even with al of the depressing revelations I was enjoying this experience.  This was partly due to the fact that for once in all of my travels with Graves didn't involve people trying to kill, maim, or exploit me is cruel and heinous ways.  Chance, who had been a young girl when the majority of these people had died, was having a good time getting autographs from them.  Sledgehammer was still in a coma which many of the people in the vortex envied. Hozler stood next to Hendrix in awe as he was shown the fine art of guitar burning.
    Graves, as I earlier mentioned, was always eager to explore new realms of cosmic weirdness and he had a long rap session (which has nothing to do with rap music) with Elvis that bordered on the absurd (Similar to interviews with Ted Koppel).  Fortunately my tape recorder had new batteries in it.

GRAVES - So do you usually pop out of here?

ELVIS - Yes but usually to tell of a new MTV video and a concert tour presented by Pepsi.

GRAVES - Is it true that you were kidnapped by aliens and given mystic powers to cure the blind and remove excess fat from famous people?

ELVIS - No. That was somebody else . . .Shirley Maclaine I think. I can convert base metals like lead or tin into tacky gold jewelry. I had a big tour in the inter-city ghettoes of the United States. My best pieces of work were a lot of Mercedes hood ornaments.

GRAVES - Does the National Enquirer, as they have claimed, hold exclusive rights to any new songs your ghost writes?

ELVIS - No. I sold them to the Stray Cats four years after I died. By the way, how did "Stray Cat Strut" sell?

GRAVES - Good.  Do you know the whereabouts of the following people: Jimmy Hoffa, Adolf Hitler, Amelia Airheart, and Arbuckle P. Fenwick?

ELVIS - Hoffa's buried under Giant's stadium right around the fifty-yard line.  Hitler found the Fountain of Youth while in exile after the war.  He now sells drugs in Columbia going by the name of Juan Valdez.  Miss Airheart is still out there, I believe due to the fact that she was a blonde.  As for Mister Fenwick, he is a sales clerk at a Safeway on Commercial Avenue.  That last one was a test wasn't it?

GRAVES - Sorry, I had to be sure . . . I have a reputation to protect you know.  What's the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

ELVIS - I don't know Mister Graves.  You'll have to ask Douglas Adams about that one.  He's the expert on that and a better writer than Mister Benson.

GRAVES - I thought so.  I'll have to add him to my list of people I must talk to before I die.  What do you have to say about the people, in a sad attempt to make something of their lives, wander around the planet dressing, singing and acting like you.  They claim to be spreading the word of Elvisdom as willed by you."

ELVIS - This is a tough one to answer.  You see, when I died I did send a message to those who were true to my vision.  Unfortunately like most religions the enemies of Elvis have twisted the true meaning of my word.

GRAVES - An Anti-Elvis?

ELVIS - He exists in your world and is a threat to everything that I stood for.  I name him now for his evil spreads like a pox and soon may encompass the entire planet.  This evil goes by the name of Hair Band.  I have never been able to envision what this entity looks like, his visage seems to change daily.  The only thing I have noticed is that they all have bad haircuts.

GRAVES - I myself have done battle with this being but that is another story.

    Now I'll interrupt the mutual interrogation to make a point. As I've know him Graves may have asked Elvis these questions and gotten answers that would convince even Geraldo Rivera.  Of course that will not stop Graves from physically discovering them himself. These investigations will most certainly involve me and the others under the employ of Professor Graves.  These investigations will also most probably place the others and me in life threatening situations.  But on the bright side if I survive I'll have another book to sell.
    Needless to say Graves continued questioning the King on everything from "How did the dinosaurs die" to "What exactly is feminine deodorant spray."  While he was doing this I had wandered off to another section of the vortex/bar and came up to four haggard looking people miserably wallowing in their glasses of water.  I parked myself next to them and said hello.
    "Man that Elvis, who'd have thought I'd ever meet him."
    The guy in the old army uniform was the first to reply.  "An overglamorized poser hyped to titanic proportions by his mentally dysfunctional fans."
    The second guy with an extremely long beard and even longer hair spoke next.  "The guy got fat and started playing in Vegas and the chicks still got horny for him."
    "What about that damn belt buckle?  Good god if you shined a light at it you could blind thousands.  Oh the amount of metal they had to smelt to make it," said the third man who was as thin as a rail.
    The fourth was on the heavy side and had long hair.  "Quite ironic isn't it."
    In an effort to create a better conversation I told the four my name and asked what theirs were.
    "I'm Glenn, this is Rick," he said as he pointed to the skinny one.  "That's John."  The bearded one waved his hand.  "And over there is Jim.  We used to be as famous as Elvis when we died.  I made the music that ruled America for nearly 25 years.  John here basically created what is now known as rock and roll.  Rick over there was a master of innovation.  Jim, well Jim was simply an enigma but are we remembered now?  That's why we are just about gone from this vortex.  We never even had a chance to play."
    I was confused which is not surprising but was annoying.  I had no idea what these four were talking about but as always I asked.  "What do you mean by almost gone?"
    "The vortex man, it's not a permanent trip.  Nobody ever stays here forever though it looks as if Elvis might change that," said Jim.
    "You see Mister Benson, once the people in this vortex cease to be remembered by the living they fade away.  Where they go is unknown but it is the worst thing to see happen.  Two years ago Señor Bang Tango, once a famous South American dance hall personality faded.  It wasn't pretty at all.  You get old and ugly and can't do much of anything.  I'd rather have a painfully truthful biography written about me than to go that way."
    I could understand Glenn's depression.  I myself had never heard of Bang Tango (other than a bad rock band).  It was at that point I recalled the second part of Glenn's earlier lament.
    "Play what?"
    "Our music sir.  We are a band.  We call ourselves the Metal Soldiers.  Nobody has ever heard of us since we formed up after we came to this place but our music is hot."
    "Speed metal man, nobody could touch us if we played," added Rick.
    "Thrashing drums too," continued John.
    "Ironic isn't it," finished Jim.
    "Why don't you guys just get up there and play. I mean I'm sure everyone here is tired of hearing Blue Suede Shoes."
    "Oh they are but Elvis is in charge here because he is the strongest . . . Not even Hendrix will stand up to him.  Man if we only had Bob Hope or Johnny Carson, they could put him in his place," whined Rick.
    "Who are you guys anyway you don't look familiar."
    "See."
    "I'm Glenn Miller, the big band king from the forties.  That is John Bonham drummer for Led Zeppelin.  The thin guy is Rick Wilson of the B-52's.  And the poetic one is Jim Morrison former lead singer of the Doors.  Now do you know who we are?"
    Man!  I couldn't believe what I had heard.  I knew of all of them though Glenn was around before I was born.  "How can you guys be on the verge of fading?"
    "Quite simple Mister Benson.  Fame is a deceptive thing.  Take me for example.  I was the man in the forties but that was forty plus years ago and most of my listeners are dead now.  With my style of music there was no gradual transition into another form. It went from big band to rock.  With no younger group of fans to remember me I was as good as dead.  The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that whenever someone does a World War II flick they play some of my tunes."
    John continued, "Sure Zep is still big but they are mostly remembered as a whole band so I don't get as much recognition as I could Jimmy and Robert get most of the press because of their solo work.  Once again the tuneage keeps me going but most of the support goes to the other members.  If a music compilation was marketed with the emphasis on my role I could survive.  Even Morrison here has people remember his birthday.  They go to his grave and paint graffiti on it."
    Jim interrupted John, "Not now since Lennon was killed.  Now everyone associates that day with his killing.  Man the world is ironic.  If only a famous movie director would exploit my legacy in film . . . then I'd show that bloated sideburn wearing punk."
    "Old Rick was with a good band but they never got the airplay they should have.  He died just as AIDS was coming into awareness and the public didn't care.  He was gypped to say the least.  Now it is the cause to support but back then nobody wanted to talk about it.
    "Jim and John have still got a bit of time but it will take a vast correction in world popularity to save the two of us.  If we could only get airplay."
    It was at this point that an announcer (Whom I didn't recognize) announced that it was time for a jam session.  I thought "Cool these guys could get up and play."  But suddenly six burly dudes came up and made sure they didn't get up.  I decided that it was time for me to talk to Graves.
    Getting up on stage were most of the famous dead rock and roll stars as well as the members of the Carbon Fourteens.  I will make note of a strange fact that all of them were guitar players which leads me to believe in the universal theory that God had a big gripe with guitar players (if you remember Cain played a mean three-string rif after he killed his brother).  Either that or it was a colossally huge stroke of bad luck.  Either way I've made a pledge to stay away from Hozler during his guitar sessions on the odd chance that a stray lightning bolt sent to kill him misses and strikes an innocent reporter sending him to the "VORTEX OF UNFINISHED PAINFULLY TRUTHFUL BIOGRAPHIES."
    With that Chance stepped up to a keyboard, Hozler picked up a new guitar, Sledgehammer awoke from his alcohol-induced coma and grabbed a set of drumsticks.  Graves stepped up to the mike and went into a musically induced trance.  Actually it wasn't a trance but rather composing a song from the top of his head he said, "Okay ladies and gentlemen this song is called Dimensional Jam Session."
    It is unfortunate that this book doesn't have a soundtrack but you'll be able to see it on a new Carbon Fourteens MTV video, and a concert tour presented by Pepsi.  But here are the lyrics and a little of what happened:

    Hozler starts with a twang a little like Devo but not.  It left a sort of reverberating hum that made my teeth ache.

            Everybody knows they're dead,
            But then again it's hard to say.
            Farmers in Kansas, bums at Safeway.
            Elvis is alive, the King isn't dead!

    Elvis cuts in with a truly hip three-string techno punk guitar wail like Sigue Sigue Sputnik but not.  I think Sledgehammer passed out on the cymbal.  The audience was chanting Graves' name and a smile seemed to creep onto the faces of the Metal Soldiers.

            WOW!
            In a flaming wreck they say Vallens is gone,
            But standing in front of me is proof he's not.
            Richie's three string wailing is so hot,
            There's more to him than that La Bamba song.

    Richie slides down the guitar plucking like he did in that Wa-Wa-Wa-Wah tune on the Publix grocery commercial.  Hozler smiled knowing that guitars ruled the planet and he didn't care if God hated them.

            There's Jimi Hendrix burning his guitar!
            So he overdosed and died, what's the big deal!
            That's what happens when you ride the Red Wheel.
            Now that he's dead, he's a rock and roll star.

    Hendrix nearly does a Michael Jackson imitation trying to torch the guitar (It seems that hair activator wasn't on the list of items not allowed in the vortex).  Hozehead filled his place by wailing in that high pitch "Is it live or is it Memorex" glass shattering commercial causing his instrument to spontaneously combust.

            Hey little sister, pass a sandwich to me.
            So what if we died now we live the life of ease,
            As history proves, our music still seems to please.
            People can't forget us as you can plainly see.

    Elvis and Richie battle back and forth with their guitars giving a new meaning to heavy metal.  Cher straddles anything that gets in her way (The leather looks cool).  Chance is sweating and you can see her . . . BENSON!

            People find it hard to comprehend,
            That because you die your fame doesn't end.
            Their memory lives in every woman and man,
            So come and rock with the dead at Dimensional Jam.

    All of the players wail on their axes and whip the drums. Doing this blows the speakers out and destroying a whole lot of glassware.  Pia passed out realizing that she had no career to drag out.  Some guy's brain explodes (But then that's how he died anyway).  Then almost as quickly as it started it ended.  The crowd in the club was obviously impressed and roared with approval.
    Now picture this.  Chance was perspiring (women don't sweat). Hozler was sweating (real men don't perspire).  Sledgehammer was sweating (This is due to the alcohol and he not only sweats he perspires).  But none of the dead rockers were doing either which apparently means once you die you no longer sweat (or perspire). But what bothered me intensely was that Graves wasn't sweating.
    Yeah I know what you're saying.  "Man!  What's this guys hangup with sweat? I thought all the sick perspiration perverts were wiped out in the late seventies."  I understand this line of questioning but the point I'm trying to make is that Graves wasn't sweating and neither were the dead guys.  The rest of the live people were sweating.  But I'll explain why later I just wanted to make sure that point was clear.
    I ran up next to Graves and explained to him what had just gone on between the four guys and me.  I had piqued the Professors interest (which I don't do often) and he went to Elvis to ask him what the deal was.
    "Mister Presley what is the deal with Metal Soldiers?  How is it that they are not allowed to play here?"
    The king of rock and roll actually seemed to get larger than he already was.  "The Colonel wouldn't like that Mister Graves." With that he shook hands with Graves and said, "Cool man.  Thank you very much. Excuse me," and ordered a double scotch.  All he got was water but I guess it's nice to wish.
    Graves was irritated that Elvis had gaffed him off. "Excuse me Mister Presley but what gives you the right to dictate who entertains this group.  Are you afraid that your near godlike myth will be shattered?  Oh by the way it's Professor Aarron Graves."
    "I am the King here Professor and nobody upstages me do you understand.  I'm going to have to ask you all to leave this vortex now."
    That was when a dozen big bouncer/usher types came up to us and directed us to move towards the door with the huge swirling fluorescent "EXIT" sign over it.  I paid keen note of the fact that Graves had that look in his eyes.  It was that "I'm not ready to leave" look and I was looking for cover.  "Mercedes make it clear to these gentlemen that we are not leaving yet."
    That was all that was required by Miss Chance to set her in action.  She pulled out a really large handgun and fired a couple of shots into the ceiling.
    Seeing that attention had been properly drawn to us Graves began to speak.  "Elvis you will let the Metal Soldiers play or I will start a anti defamation campaign against you in our world and your fame will disappear as quick as a Porsche 924 parked in Watts."
    This got the kings interest to say the least.  "You do not have such power Graves.  My loyal fans worship me like a god. Graceland is one of the nations largest tourist attractions.  My records still sell in the millions annually.  TV stations across the planet play my bad movies sometimes in 24-hour marathons.  You have no dominion over me."
    Graves smiled, "Chance it Elvis, I dare you.  The times have changed immensely since you left the world of the living.  Graceland is a dump that is littered with drunks and graffiti.  Your music is lumped into the "oldies" category.  Your movies are played only for comical purposes. I could end your reign in a matter of weeks.  Some legal tampering with your will and a missing son could be arranged.  So would end positive control of the estate.  A homosexual scandal, a successful lawsuit against your estate claiming you stole your songs.  Hell I could make a few phone calls to the FBI and have everything you owned impounded.  I could make it happen before anyone could do anything about it.  Do you want to risk it Mister Presley?"
    Elvis looked fearful but was still a bit defiant.  "I planned for this Mister Graves.  You could never make it work."
    Graves chuckled a bit then spoke in a very low voice.  "I could write a painfully truthful biography about you, then you'd be stuck with Doctor King and John Wayne.  Those two gentlemen have a far more distinguished following and would crush you like a tiny ant."
    A muffled gasp rippled throughout the crowd when the words were uttered.  This was the deathblow to the king's defense.  "Okay you don't have to be so rough.  They can play."
    A cheer erupted from the assembled personalities as well as a sigh of relief from some.  I led the Metal Soldiers to the stage. What transpired from there was an hour-long concert of non-stop, supercharged speed metal the likes of which have never been heard by humanity.  Who would have thought they had it in them. I was fortunate to have taped the whole jam and felt smug in the fact that the first stage of my plan was in motion.
    When they had finished the four thanked me for my actions. "Mister Benson we appreciate what you and Professor Graves did. Unfortunately when you leave Elvis will make sure we never play even with ourselves.  But it won't matter . . . we are short timers anyway."
    "Don't be so sure gents."
    Graves motioned that it was time for us to leave and slowly we filed out, Graves being the last.  Before he stepped through the door he asked one last question of Elvis.  "Will Lisa Marie stay with her hubby?"
    Elvis smiled, his teeth glittering as brightly as the rhinestones on his boots.  "No but let's let time unfold what happens on its own course."
    I felt pretty good about the whole thing.  I hadn't been hurt by anything and had actually helped somebody.  Of course as always my assumption of things was just a bit off.
    With that the vortex closed and we found ourselves back on the stage at the Chain Princess with the people on the floor shouting, "Awesome effects!"  So the Carbon Fourteens did "Ramses the Dammed" and incited a riot that encompassed five city blocks, killing four and maiming hundreds.  I was knocked out by a biker weighing about 387 point four pounds who thought my tattoo from my Navy days was a fag tattoo.  Once again I was wrong in my assumption of an adventure.
    The Metal Soldiers concert was a huge hit in both dimensions and we even got a blurb of press on Entertainment Tonight right after a story about Lisa Marie Presley claiming to be Shirley Maclaine from a prior life.
    Graves said that it goes to show you that even Elvis' predictions aren't always correct and that Arbuckle P. Fenwick is probably living in Noah's Ark.  I had lost my respect for Elvis after what had occurred in the vortex so I paid no attention to any of the things he had said.
    I later asked Graves why he didn't sweat back in the vortex and he gave me a truly non-scientific answer.  "I used an effective anti-perspirant."
    True to his prediction a video of the "Jam" was played on MTV and the Carbon Fourteens were asked by Pepsi to go on a planetwide tour.  Graves declined the offer of the second largest soda manufacturer saying that he didn't want to fall prey to commercial hype.
    On the other hand I had put my plot into overdrive. I convinced Graves to have the tape of the Soldiers concert remastered and sent to a record studio.  The people loved it and within two months the Metal Soldiers first album was climbing the charts.  With judicial marketing of T-shirts and skate/surf equipment the groups popularity was increased tenfold.  All it took to get their old albums selling again was mentioning them on the album sleeve as liked by the band.  Kids as well as me are slaves to pop culture.  The final result was Metal Soldiers song Dykes on Fire going to number one followed closely by Chattanooga Choo-Choo. This would take some time to happen and during that time we were on our way to find out . . . .



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