Here at MAGNET we devote a lot of space to describing what creative, innovative people are doing. Too much space. Instead of talking about artists, we've decided to let them do what they do best--create for themselves. Each month, open mike will feature a contribution from a different artist. Will they write, draw, snap dirty pictures? Who knows; it's entirely up to them.
Troy Von Chokebore, this month's contributor, is the vocalist and guitarist of Amphetamine Reptile recording artist Chokebore. The Los Angeles-based quartet's sophomore album, the follow-up to 1993's Motionless, is due in March of next year.
photo by Renee Alexandré
Squiggart was a fancy pants. He wore fancy clothes, dated fancy women, went to fancy parties and drank big colorful fancy drinks laced with strange exotic drugs.
Squiggart wore a huge moustache and he wore it proud. It was long and wavy and bursting with resilience (just like Thomas Magnum, P.I.). He'd wax it and comb it and perm it and pee on it just for kicks.
As a child his father always said, "Son, God gave you a gift, a dad-gum moustache of gold! So chin up and grow it like you mean it." And that's just what he did.
And the women went crazy. By the tender age of four he was in every bar in New York City, swinging like a chimp. Doing every goddamn illegal drug he could get his filthy little hands on. When Squiggart walked into a bar, the party started. He was the beer-swigging, moustache-wearing, steroid-popping, four-year-old, self-professed ruler of the underworld.
Oh yes, Squiggart was a fancypants, and I was paid to protect him. Yes, I was his muscle, but I was also his friend and probably the only person he could trust back in those days.
I remember sitting him down and trying to reason with him. I remember begging him to just slow down on the steroids. To just go cold turkey. To just kick. They were killing him. I'd never seen another human being take in as many steroids as he did back in those days--enough to kill a herd of stampeding elephants. Yeah, he drank it like milk! I also remember what he told me that fateful night. I remember he said in a scratchy little voice, "Steroids, hah, that ain't even the problem, Mac. My problems run much deeper. Yes, son, my problem is they only want one thing from me and you know what that is. Yes, that's right... it's... the calf implants!"
My blood stood still. I couldn't move. All I could do was listen to this insane man-child speak. "They all want it," he said. "They know I invented it. Now they all want a piece of my creation."
Just as he said this, a long piece of drool careened off his swollen, inflamed moustache and hit the floor like a ton of bricks, sending me into a deep shock-induced trance--but he just kept on talking. "The women, the fancy clothes, the wild parties, it's all a shame. These people only want to rob me. I know I am only four years old, but I've lived many full lives with the help of these pretty little steroid binges. Yes, I may seem like a king, but deep down inside I am just an honest inventor with the only true secret to wonderful-looking lower leg features... and everyone wants the recipe!"
And in that last statement, I could see he had just given up, and as I watched he gasped and started flailing his arms, violently grasping his little chest. I saw the look in his eyes as his juicy little heart--swollen to the size of a watermelon--finally just popped and he collapsed in a shuddering little heap of snot.
As I watched him lying there, choking on his fancy moustache and puking all over his fancy dress shirt while his fancy girlfriends ran screaming to his side only to slide right past like ice skaters on the gallons of blood that were pouring from his open mouth, I noticed something I'll never forget. I looked down at his pants and, yes, they were unscathed! They looked as perfect as the day they were bought. Not even a tiny wrinkle showed. I couldn't believe it, but it was true. Even in his last moments on God's green Earth.
Squiggart was a fancy pants.