La Cronica Aburrida

Capitulo Quattro:

 El Musica del Futuro: Musica Rock-Metal-Heavy.

November 11,1997

The big LED clock at the front of the bus is flashing 20:20 and on my headphones the BAD DADDIES have just finished being interviewed by the host of the National Radio of Espana about their 1997 all-Spain tour and are in the middle of their new song 'Stone Cold Junky'. The lead singer is screaming "My heart is broken and I'm going to hell". 

This is the first time since Madrid that I have been able to use my headphones, due to the swelling in my ears. The small lobes where I had hairs removed in Madrid, had swelled to the size of large black olives. The swelling didn't hurt too much, but made it impossible to put earphones into my ears. The swelling has gone down enough now so that I am just able to use the headphones, though the pressure on my ears is rather uncomfortable.

 Unfortunately, my swollen ears also caught the attention of the numerous security guards around the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. It seemed that you couldn't turn a corner inside or outside the museum, without running into a guard, in uniform and almost always heavily, though discreetly, armed. For some reason, the sight of my oversized earlobes made them suspicious of me. I could see them, or sense them, following me closely, until they seemed convinced that I was not up to something. Just about the time one guard would stop surveiling me, another would pick up the track. Fortunately, no one stopped me to ask questions, but I know all the unwarrented attention left me acting furtive.

 On the TV monitor, just below the clock, Tom Selleck is playing the part of a mystery writer whose new book 'Death of a Critic' is garnering rave reviews. Selleck, constantly in the company of his tweedy English publisher, is at a book-signing party where he is approached by Jacquline Bissette, recently charged with the grisly pinking-shears-murder of her ex-husband. Selleck and his publisher have put up her bail and are about to take her out of New York City to Selleck's country place in Chatham, near the Catskills. The idea is that she can lay low, while Selleck investigates the circumstances of the murder. This mini-drama is an 80's american TV show, stripped of its commercials and dubbed into spanish. I am both watching the TV and listening to the radio on my headphones, which so far, is providing a very interesting sound-track.

 We're headed south from Bilbao to Madrid, due to arrive at 00:15 o'clock. Having decided to forgo the dubbed dialogue, I am simultaneously interpreting for myself from the action on the screen. The first thing that Bissette does for Selleck at his house, is to give him a haircut; after she convinces him that she does NOT intend to slice him up with the scissors, as he imagines she might have done to her ex-ex-husband. To demonstrate her gratitude for helping with her dilemma, and trusting her during this time of mixed motives and messages, she straddles his legs as he sits in a chair, and rhythmically cuts his hair while massaging his legs with hers. Selleck's character is an oaf, we've already seen him bump into walls and chairs, so he does not manage to interpret her telepathic signals, but soon rises to admire his new hair-do. 

As the story moves us closer to Madrid, Selleck spends a lot of time in an upstairs office writing on his portable computer, while Bissette spends her time, exploring the house, making meals, slinking seductively whenever the two of them are in the same room, tending to his garden, and handling knives, scissors and other sharp instruments, as Selleck eyes her suspiciously from the background. On my radio, the announcer tells us that the station I'm listening to is located in Cordoba, and it's call-sign is 'noventi-seis-punto-seis', 96.6, two degrees colder than body temperature. 

At the moment, Bissette is near the garden, playing with the archery set while Selleck is standing near an open window, suspiciously watching her, and talking on his portable telephone. Just as she aims the bow and arrow, he turns away from the window. She shoots the arrow at a target which is between her and the window, it misses by a mile and flies through the window, hitting Selleck in the ass. He drops the phone and falls to his knees. She comes running into the house and together, they try to extract the arrow, but can't. Now, she must drive him to the hospital. He hobbles out to the driveway, the arrow sticking out of his ass. She jumps into the driver's seat of his Jeep Commando, as he falls face-down across the back seat. She shoves the gearshift into first and guns the motor, sending the Jeep crashing into the garage door. Selleck jumps out to extract the front of the Jeep from the door, as she prepares to back up. He pulls on the door pieces, she jiggles the gearshift and manages to back down the driveway and the lawn with Selleck clinging to the hood. They get him back into the Jeep, and careening down the road, they make their way to the hospital, jumping curbs, driving the wrong way down one-way streets, and sliding to a stop at the feet of the emergency room attendents.

 Back at the house, his ass patched, Selleck is at his computer, though he's sitting on the edge of his seat. Bissette is back to sashaying seductively. Beginning to act like a couple, they have invited the publisher and some neighbors for dinner, which she cooks, off-stage. During dinner, Selleck goes to the kitchen and gives some of the stew, which is just about to be served, to the cat. He returns to the table, and moments later, one of the neighbors goes into the kitchen to get a spoon and sees the cat sprawled on the floor. She bends down to inspect the cat and gives the cat a push. The cat is stiff as a board and dead as a door-nail. She screams and everyone rushes into the kitchen. Immediately they realize that the cat has been poisoned by the stew they are eating, so en-masse, they rush to the front porch, and like sea-sick passengers on a cruise liner, hang over the rail and vomit as much of the stew into the rose bushes as they can. Then they all pile into Selleck's Jeep, and this time, he madly drives them to the hospital, while we and they wonder, 'Did she, or didn't she?' On my headphones, I hear a spanish rock and roll band singing "No pudor, con sinsabor". 

At this point, the story careens towards an apparently untidy ending. Her seductive posturing has and they end up, off-screen, in bed. Immediately afterward, as they walk arm-in-arm in the garden, the house explodes in flames and smoke, behind them. Did she leave something on the stove, or is someone else trying to kill them? The neighbors come rushing over to investigate what has happened to the house and to admire Bissette in her flimsy negligee. The publisher comes stumbling out of the house, his clothes torn and singed from the explosion. As they all stand around in an excited huddle, a police cruiser skids into the driveway. Two policemen jump out of the car and pull a third guy from the backseat, along with a large gym-bag. This guy turns out to be the ex-business partner involved in a failed business venture with Bisette's dead ex-husband. The gym-bag contains, explosives, poisons, knives, scissors, and enough other incriminating evidence to put this suspect behind bars for the rest of his life.

 As the police drive away, the neighbors return to their houses, and the publisher stumbles back into the house, Selleck and Bissette stand arm-in-arm in the driveway, gazing moon-struck into each others eyes. On the radio, an american rock and roll band bangs out a song about the lead singer being "on a highway, going my way". I can see Madrid ahead of us, lighting up the horizon. The LED above the TV screen says 23:23. The announcer on the radio is saying "Como? Como? Como?"

 Chapter Five: Peliculas


Copyright 1998

Jan Galligan Jan Galligan c/o Sprynet
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Last modified Feb 28, 1998