a real soundtrack for an imaginary spy film

Episode Thirteen - COULD IT BE MOJO?

Copyright © 2002 - 2005 Arthur Jarvinen

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Ever since The Invisible Guy's defeat of Nogudsguya Vybriazanskii, a.k.a. "The Anti-Brian", life at Blausemvyrld Monastery hasn't been the same. The grounds are unkempt, the structures in disrepair. Meals are carelessly prepared, rarely served on time, and tend to be cold before they reach the table, leading some of the brothers to suggest cutting a hole in the Warhol portrait of Elvis frescoed on the wall that separates the kitchen from the dining room (what are they thinking?!). Lacking a shepherd, spiritual advisor, vocal coach and band leader, the monks' once-orderly existence has become a shambles, with inertia, entropy, and – yes - chaos encroaching from every side. Worst of all, the Chevy Tones' rehearsals are neither as fun nor productive as they used to be.

A couple of gigs might help boost morale, even if only at local clubs for a piece of the door - especially since derivative Caucasian male vocal groups seem to be all the rage right now, with even really suckful ones, manufactured by executive types in suits who select the "talent" on the basis of an idealized collective image rather than any demonstrable musical ability and with not one memorable song in their repertoire, doing quite well thank you very much - but the monks just aren't motivated to write new material or record what they've got worked up already. They are, frankly, depressed, and well beyond the reach of even St. John's Wort which, though not scientifically validated, "may help enhance mood", but even so needs to build up in one's system for a couple of weeks to begin taking effect, and they pretty much need a miracle – or at least a motivational speaker – and they need it now.

Finally, with uncharacteristic resolve, and determined to pull the community out of its collective funk, Brother Karlysbad, the Chevy Tones' falsettist, calls the brotherhood to the chancel for group meditation and prayer, in order to seek inspiration, guidance, and deliverance from their spiritual cul-de-sac and artistic slump.

As the brethren are gathering in the choir loft, Brother "Cussin' Mikhail" Love suddenly if somewhat tentatively, and with a quasi-adolescent break in his voice, blurts out "Behold!",  pointing excitedly toward the doorway.

There, bathed in the filtered light from a stained glass window, they see what surely must be an holy apparition and gasp, as one man "Could it be? … Could it be Mojo? … Mojo Stang?!"

It is in fact Mojo Stang - which thing they could not possibly know as he has never set foot inside the monastery before and they have only heard about him from Nogudsguya, and that on only a very few occasions and rather obliquely – here to collect a few important documents from the safe.

The miraculous vision vanishes as quickly as it had appeared, but not too soon for the monks to take inspiration from it. Suddenly shaken out of their torpor and moved by the spirit as never before the Chevy Tones burst into song, improvising polyphonic variations over a stock chord progression overused in the pop music of a bygone era that nevertheless they think they have just invented or perhaps has even been revealed to them by God it's just that good.

Claude smiles a smiley smile, then frowns as he turns a page in The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, wondering why he's even bothering to finish such a generic and overly-hyped, disappointing piece of tripe – and he shelled out for the hard cover (ouch!) - then smiles again as he enjoys a heavenly sip of something really good – green Chartreuse.

Trivia: In 1652 the monks living in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Milan, cut a doorway in the wall on which Da Vinci's Last Supper was painted because, as the story goes, their food was getting cold on the roundabout trip from the kitchen to the refectory. By sacrificing the savior's feet, they could enjoy hot meals.

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