we have a date with the underground, chapter 16
by Turtle Jones
This Underground story is a four-parter. Part one is here. this is part two.
Well that’s a pretty disgusting smell. Eyes cracked open just to let a little light into my brain. Something smells weird. What the hell? Eyes open enough to reach for a cigarette. That’s the smell. That’s what I want to smell. Where the fuck were we? I mean I knew we were in Norway, but where? I’m no good when it comes to places I’ve never been. I mean, of course I can deal with it, but I always want to know the layout. What was that smell? Open the window and open my eyes more. Mix a drink. Turn on the TV. Getting bitched out at by the people still under the covers for smoking while they were asleep. Open the window more. Eyes totally open. Staring outside I saw something that I hadn’t seen in along time. Grass, green hills, clear sky, and fresh air. Well, I couldn’t see the fresh air but …wait! That’s what I was smelling! Fresh air! This place didn’t stink like nicotine or smog! Open all the windows! Shouts from behind me that it was getting cold and to shut the windows. It was the middle of the night. Well, technically for us it was only around three in the afternoon so I ignored their calls and made another drink. Watched Norwegian TV and lit another smoke. This was good.
But what the hell did happen yesterday? What was with the pirates? And the zoo? Alright. Take a shower and try to sort things out. Throw on my jacket and black pants and get ready to get more mixer for the rest of the vodka. The other bodies were still asleep, but I was still too jacked to actually stay still. I grabbed a key and lit another smoke. I think there is a bar downstairs. I can’t remember. I walked out of this large door and wandered down a bigger hallway wondering how in the hell we made it here last night. Kids running by me. Bumping into me. Speaking some weird language. No wait. Those two were speaking German. Wait, they were speaking English. What the hell was with this place?
I hit the elevator and put another cigarette in my mouth. Looked around for my lighter in my pockets. I found my kroners from the night before and just waited for the door to open. My shoelace was untied. I need to tie that. I need to get my head together. I just need another drink and I can straighten this all out.
I leaned down to tie my shoes as the elevator doors opened up. Suddenly, I found myself staring at the shoes of Norway’s biggest child star, who would become my biggest enemy over the next week.
Jesus fuck! Who the fuck was this guy!?!?!
Took a big pull of vodka as he followed me out in to the lobby. Another pull. Oh yeah. Bite me. Like you guys wouldn't do the same. He was mocking me. I think. I reeked like detox vodka and nicotine. Walking up to the front desk and politely asked them, "Hey, do you speak English?" "Yes." A weird look in her eyes as a pirate and his crew ran around behind me with a gaggle of kids going crazy. I looked at her dead in the eyes and asked two questions. The only two questions that mattered to me.
"What the fuck is going on around here?" and "Where is the bar?"
She laughed at me like I was a fool. Asked me what band I was playing in and said this happens every year. There are always late people who have to stay here. But, where is here? Exactly? How far are we away? What is with the kids? And the pirate? With the damn face paint? Sticking a flintlock gun in my face? What the hell is going on? You know people get shot for doing shit like that in America. Crazy Norwegians.
If any of you don't know, and I don't blame you if you don't, this is who Captain Sabertooth is.
The story of Captain Sabertooth is nothing less than a modern day fairytale. So far 750,000 children and adults have seen the Summer night performances in Norway, which recreates the adventures of this cruel and ruthless pirate. Captain Sabertooth has become a Norwegian children`s classic and a summer tradition. While winter storms still sweep across the land , advance tickets are snapped up in warm anticipation of the enjoyment that summer and Captain Sabertooth will bring.
Oh great. A Norwegian Barney. Fuck my luck.
Oh, like you wouldn't hit the bar after seeing something like that. Gimmie a break. I'm stuck for a week with kids and pirates. Which might be kinda cool if I was into child pornography. And pirates. But since I'm not, it was just kinda annoying. That hotel made so much money off me in bar tabs they could start a new nation. The "Turtle Sure Drinks A Shitload" nation. I could see the flag now. A turtle on his back with a spilled bottle on the side. That would be a cool flag. But, anyways. A few shots back. It was still early. Man, the sun never went down. I can't really remember if they had a opening or closing of the bar. It seemed like it was always open, but I really can't remember.
Someone came from downstairs and sat with me for a while asking why I was there. I drunkenly told him to see the pirates. Pirates were cool. He laughed. Looked at me and told me to come with him. He threw on his jacket. Those words on the back were what I longed to see.
"QUARTFEST" or something like that in Norwegian.
But what it meant to me was a backstage pass.
And it was only Monday. Or maybe Tuesday morning. Time zone thing.
We both hit the bus and passed the Zoo. The road was clean and beers were passed around. We had an "in" now. Well, we already had five day passes, but now we had a friend inside so if, well, let's just say if the chips fall down, we had a friend on the inside. It just works that way.
He walked in as we went to get our bracelets to get in. And beer.
The show hadn't even started yet.
And a motorcycle was coming straight at me.
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