You’re gonna need a shower, once you hear my song. ‘Cause my melody is gonna cover you in treacle. Yeah, thick and sticky and super sweet. Tough to wash off, but do you really wanna? Like when the slaves had a good day making the pyramids, stacking those big bricks, and the Pharaohs were pleased. They said, “Nice job, feel free to worship your weird one-man god.” And it was a smooth groove on the banks of the Nile that night. That’s what this poem is gonna do to you, so get ready. It’s one…two…three…the pickle’s in the brine. It’s soaking like a miracle in the bucket, makin’ love to the salt and and the sugar and the spices. Makin’ gherkins. Call the brackish midwife ’cause these cukes is giving birth. Like that night at make-out point, and you were the castle, and I was the knight riding hard after having just slain the dragon. We got that draw bridge down and I crossed that hot moat. Don’t tell the duke, but the keep might be pregnant. Now, this melody is floating in the sky like cumulonimbus cotton candy booming chocolate thunder and spraying lemonade rain. Sure, it ruined the picnic. But it mawkened up the meadow, and all the little children were lickin’ up the grass and chewin’ up the blossoms. Landscaping, baby, the delicious way. Mmm…mmm… mmm…what a melody, call the dentist and make an appointment because it’s so saccharine it’s gonna rot your teeth out. Time to invest in some pearly veneers. Because this verse is gonna have you smiling, and no one wants to see your pustular choppers. So lay back in the chair and open that kiss factory and let the good doctor massage them gums with this candied refrain. It’ll have them fangs feeling fresher than a constipated man after a voodoo doodoo, cleansing his bowels with the soothing power of the dark arts. Ooo…ooo…ooo…Prepare for this aria, it’s like a honey wine lotion drippin’ over your skin and makin’ you feel like that time when our boys stormed the beaches of Normandy. Ratatatatatatat! Boomboomboom! You’ve got sand in your eye but that’s not sand, it’s sugar, baby. You’ve got blood on your bayonet but that’s not blood it’s organic molasses, baby, because this song’s so toothsome that even the horrors of war can’t compete. Drape the flag on the coffin and the twenty-one guns go off and let yourself get lost in this syrupy melody. Yeah…yeah…yeah…what a time to be alive, when a tune like this can exist like bacon in the sun on a wagon to the west. Welcome to the frontier. Sure it’s hell but if you’re willing to work hard you can make a life here. Just look out, ’cause the natives are restless and they’re looking to cut your heads off and boil them up and hang them on the wall of their mud and thatch huts. But that’s not mud, it’s chocolate. And that’s not thatch but filo pastry. And those aren’t savages they’re high fructose corn syrup. And this all just a sweet, sweet melody. And we’re all the CEO of a Japanese confection concern. Dwop…dwop…dwop…
“Hot damn, Johnny, we got ourselves a race here!” He hawked out the squawk box.
VRRROOOOOMM!!!! The car thundered around the corner like a lady-beast in heat and an engorged man-beast raging behind her looking for love on the savage plains. The vehicle was just begging the aluminium frame to give up and let go like a divorce lawyer showing compromising photos to a client’s wealthy husband. Yet it said no like a stern mama to a whiny child.
“Goddamnit, Rick, I’m right in the middle of it. STOP HAWKIN’ THE OBVIOUS AT ME AND TELL ME SOEMTHIN’ I DONT KNOW!” It came out wet and sticky as spit and sweat mixed in his helmet and poured down his chin like some kind of salty waterfall.
“That bastard Manoosh is on yer six, lookin like he’s ready to mount that hot tail o’ yers.”
CRRRRAAAMMMMM—VRRRAAMAMAMAM!!!! He throttled down, sent his revs into the stratosphere and hung his ass out swinging round the tight curve like a burlesque dancer headlining Naughtyfest. Dust blew up off the road like someone had put too much gas on the bbq and lit it up.
“Kee-rhist, Rip! That tanned greaser knows my tailpipe is exit only!”
“Well then get ‘im offa there!”
Johnny put the hammer down harder than mighty, mighty Thor, the car shot forward like a coked up thoroughbred that’d been bit by a tick.
“Jeez, Rip, ain’t you the sharpest lightbulb in the fish tank. What the hell you think I’m doin’? Piddlin’ Dixie?”
“Wouldn’t be the first time I caught y’all out back o’ the shed.”
ZRRRROOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!! The racer slammed down to the road, piling gravity on it like a squad of leatherheads at some cow college making a goal line stand.
“Sweet mama Jean, Rip, my hearts strokin faster than a teen boy in the bathroom with Uncle Jim’s Hustler.”
“Y’all gotta calm down, Johnny, or yer libel to bust loose like a sack of nails on Uncl Jim’s waterbed!”
RRAAAMAMAMMAMMAMAMMAMARAMAMAMAM!!! The engine screamed blood murder like it had just found Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the candlestick. It forced Johnny to grip the wheel like it was a wang at a eunuch convention.
“I know I gotta calm down, damnit, sing me that song then—”
“Race l’il racer, do you racer best, race l’il racer, race the racing rest. Chase your l’il drrrreeeeeaaaamms! Don’t you worry, l’il racer, don’t you even fret, cause you’re a l’il racer, racing better than the rest. You’re racing to the moooooooonnnn! Race l’il racer, don’t you worry. Don’t worry your racing heart. Don’t worry l’il racer, race you racing heart out. Your tears are gasoline, your heart is the engine, your spirit is the turboooooooooo! And don’t stop raaaacccccccinnng! L’il racer, l’il racer, l’il racer.”
Johnny felt a tear tickle his cheek like the wings of a butterfly on a baby’s bottom. He bore down like a diamond bit in an oil well in the land of the wildcatters. Before him, the checkered flag waved like a million wives and mothers watching the ship with their soldier boys slip slowly back into port after years of war.
“I love you, Rip,” he whispered as he crossed the finish line like an English teacher crosses a tee. Sweetly.
Race l’il racer. Race. Race. Race.
“And the voices of the children, joined the worries of the elders–“
“For those who’d risk their lives, to journey to the stars–“
“And their hearts beat faster, and their eyes filled with tears–“
He turned his chiselled face as much as the harness would allow, “whuh?”
The equally chiselled but more boyish face beside had maneuvered as much as it could in its seat to stare at him, “we’re deep into go time here, I don’t think the singing is appropriate.”
“Aww, c’mon, lieutenant, you know you love it. This is exciting. We’re blazin’ a trail here. And the clouds, they all parted, and the sun was a shinin’, and the stars were a callinn-nn-ng–“
“Control, can you please remind Commander Davids that his sopranic croonings are not part of the program,” the lieutenant said into his headset.
“Roger that,” the speaker squawked, “Commander, please be advised that high-pitched vocals are not one of the mission parameters.”
“Copy that, control” Commander Davids said, “but I just want it noted for the record that you’re all art blind.”
“Copy that, commander,” control said, “you copy, lieutenant?”
“Copy that, art blind, check,” said the lieutenant.
“Control, just a final thought from all us here in the cosmo-craft Velvet Tomato, that thanks for all your hard work and that we are all looking forward to one helluva ride,” Davids said.
“Roger that, VT-one, a hell of a ride it is going to be. And now, VT-one, we are a go for launch,” control said, “final countdown, commencing, ignition in ten, nine–”
“Across the ocean, athwart the fields–“
“Up, up the hillside, and through the trees–“
“Over the mountains!”
“Onto the launch pad!”
“–two, one. Ignition.”
“And FIRE AWAAA-AAA-AAYY!!!”
The united neighs of a billion flaming horses rumbled up through twenty-five stories of alloy and engineering and two entire generations worth of man hours into the tiny cage of heroism that sat atop it like a cherry on the most dangerous sundae in the universe and then slowly lifted itself into the sky, seeking the stratosphere, reaching for outer space, to take to the limit, and beyond–THE MEN WHO SHALL PUNCH THE SUN!