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This whole monstruousity was originally conveived February through March 2001 by the members of The Big Note - a Frank Zappa YahooGroup. After an arduous gestation period, this site was birthed on April 11 2001. True to the essence of collaborative effort, these people are held responsible.

All content:
© TheBigNote 2001-2004
unless specified otherwise.
Speed will turn you into your parents.


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48 Hours In The Life Of Henry De Cricket

Part One

The morning wasn't going well for Henry De Cricket. He was immersed in thought and caught by surprise when the subway arrived, so he had to jump quickly before the doors slammed. Dodging a big leather boot, he suddenly realized his briefcase remained on the platform...

Remembering his boss, "Shit!" he thought. "That horrible, bloated, red roach is gonna kill me if I don't turn in those songs today. I hate working for people like her. Shit!"

Henry was frantic to find a way to recover the damn attaché... He knew the doors would soon make their deathly mating slide. If Eternity had Mickey Mouse features, he would have checked for a sweeping second-glove.

Too late! The doors began to close. In the wink of at least 13 eyes, Henry flexed his powerful back legs and leapt for the platform and his errant attaché. Though' never graduating to Cricket First Class, having dropped out of the Chirplee School during his second year, Henry could still leap with the best. He landed on his briefcase with a song of relief, as the subway car crept away from the platform.

"Damn it!" Henry yelled - even though' his rear appendages ached from the recent exertion. He was going to be late for work AGAIN. But at least, he had regained his precious attaché, and the months of hard work contained therein. And though it was only a collection of advertising jingles, it was Henry's music, the culmination of half-a-year of long hours and little sleep. His boss, Roachelle Hotel, would be pleased.

She had better be. The possible consequences of her displeasure made Henry shudder. "Why does she treat me like a bug?" he thought, as he slowly made his way out of the subway and up to street level, where the din of morning traffic competed with his thoughts. "Taxi!" he sang out - with the little leg he had left.

The taxi driver was one of those fat and slimy millipedes that bulge into every corner of the seat and try to make quaint conversation with their harassed passengers. As Henry bleated out his destination to the millipede, the driver eased the taxi cab (it had once been a diet soda can and the inside was sticky and nasty) into the traffic jam ahead.

"Late for work, huh mac?" chuckled the millipede, pausing briefly to make an obscene gesture (using about five limbs) at the cyclist who'd pulled out in front of him.

"Uh, yeah," mumbled Henry, perspiring as he clasped the attaché case to his trembling body and palpitated, the god-awful specter of Roachelle Hotel looming up in his mind's eye. "Don't rub it in," he thought to himself.

"Yeah, I see it all in this cab," sighed the millipede knowingly. "All insect life is here, mac!"

"Hmm, yeah," said Henry, hoping the driver would just shut up once he realized Henry wasn't in a conversational frame of mind. But the millipede was in full flow.

"Yeah, I've had some famous people in my cab over the years," boasted the millipede, sweat pouring off him as he attempted to overtake a school bus. The traffic was grid locked and he only managed in blocking off another exit.

A sleek wasp in a sports car was hovering up and down in the driving seat, getting a bad case of road rage. An enraged exchange of "Yeah, fuck you!" "Yeah? Fuck you!" "Yeah, and you!" later, the traffic inched along a little.

"Yeah, mac, I had that Butterfly in my cab just the other day - from the Mariah Carey album," grinned the driver.

"LOOK! PLEASE! Can't you just drive?!" yelped Henry. Millipedes were bad enough without dragging Mariah Carey into the equation.

Henry's mind began to wander back to the previous evening's argument with his honey, Hermione (yes, the one and only Hermione Vroom-Vroom le Crickette). Maybe she was right, thought Henry; maybe that ugly scuttling Roachelle was only interested in stealing his tunes, like everyone suspects her of doing to the late, beloved bluesbug Elmore "Crazylegs" van Cricket. But how do I prove they're MY ideas?

"%$#$% ^%^$$, WORMS! *&*&^&*^%%%$$ MAGGOTS!!!!" the millipede exploded, waving his left antenna and at least eight fists out the window. Jolted from his reverie, Henry looked up - the traffic jam was caused by what looked like a sea of wiggling pink on one side, twitching white on the other, blocking the road leading to Roachelle Hotel Enterprises! "#$%$ tapeworms!" the driver blubbered, "They think they got some special right to record anything they want without payin' for it - buncha communists, if you ask me..."

Henry froze. Tapeworms?

The cab ground to a halt and our hero leapt out the window (just to bug the bug behind the wheel). He looked around in confusion; this wasn't work! Why, this wasn't even play! This was merely a bus stop!

"What's the big idea?" He asked the millipede. "No big ideas here, mac," spat the squirmy specimen. "My route doesn't go as far as the Queen Anthill of Music. You'll have to catch a bus." Henry put forth a sound as close to a sigh as a cricket can get and paid his fare.

An old woman approached Henry as he waited on the bench, anxiously tapping the remnants of his leg. She stood and stared at him, making him nervous all throughout this sentence. Finally, she spoke. "Are you some kind of idiotic bastard?" she asked (and not at all nicely!).

"I'm but one of the people whom I know you'll encounter today," said Henry. And did this completely confuse the old woman? Well? Did it?

She reached into her overcoat pocket and produced a small red cube, which she handed to Henry. He took it and looked at it. It looked like a small red cube. He sniffed it. It smelled like a small red cube. He licked it. It tasted like a large blue sphere. (This isn't important.) "I give up. What is it, and why are you bothering me?" Henry asked.

The woman sighed and plucked the cube back out of his extant hand. "I was hoping that you could answer both of those questions for me." She continued to stare at him. Then she started hiccupping so loudly that Our Hero became boisterous. (Our Hero was a small sub deli down the street.)

"Go away," said Henry.

"I GET THE PICTURE!" the woman capitalized, seating herself at the opposite end of the bench and fondling the camera in her pocket. (It was the other pocket, for those of you keeping track.) "You quadruplets are all alike!"

This startled Henry (because she said it awfully loudly). "How did you know I was a quadruplet? I don't recall ever having remembered meeting you before, as far as I can recollect."

"I know some things," the woman mumbled (but Henry couldn't hear her, because his ears were mumbling too). "Everybody knows SOME things."

He looked her up. He would've looked her up and down, but most of her was covered by an extremely recently unfolded newspaper. She would've been pretending to ignore him if she weren't actually doing so.

"I'd like to know why a person I've never met knows that I'm a quadruplet," he insisted.

"Look, it was just a little joke, okay? 'You quadruplets are all alike.' GET IT?!! Hardy har har harrrrr!!!!" She got up and ran away, screaming and drooling.

The bus finally showed up, but Henry wasn't allowed on board, since he didn't have any small red cubes.

Henry walked gingerly, the remaining 29 blocks to work - shifting the attaché from arms to arms, to ease the stiffness increasing in his joints. After 17 blocks, he wondered if he might persuade Hermione to give him one of her patented deep chitin massages later that evening... IF he even make it home that evening...

"Shit!" Henry chirped, as he quickened his pace to shortbreadly.

The "RHE" Building gleamed in the early morning sun like the innards of a 3.87 Litre Thermos Hot Water Dispenser amidst a sea of non-descript detritus - which is, essentially, what it was. Henry knew better than to attempt the perpetually out-of-order elevator; he scaled the glassy exterior with the handle of his precious satchel clenched tightly in his small, but muscular, jaws.

"Figures it would break off now", he quietly cursed, as he labored to ascend while gripping the bulging briefcase. Climbing was difficult enough with all of the Tapeworm scud Henry had picked up on his shoes; "Cheerist, this shit is everywhere"! He briefly wondered what had become of the mob, though he knew in his antennae that they were burrowing for a bowel somewhere... "Fucking parasites", Henry muttered.

At the slivered fracture that represented the 16th floor, and the main offices of Roachelle Hotel Enterprises, Henry slithered inside.

"G'Morning, Gladys", he bleated politely to the receptionist, who greeted his entrance with a look of udder contempt. Just what was it about Cow Ticks that made them so contemptuous of udders, Henry didn't know, nor did he care. He flashed Gladys his most dashing, cricket-about-town smile. "You're late...and Ms. Hotel is Hot!"

"Oh really?" Henry replied, hoping his nonchalant demeanor might cover his underlying terror. "What's she wearing? That scoopy little '30s number like from the cover of the Pointer Stinger's first album?"

"You'll be chirping a different tune after she's through with you, Mr. De Cricket."

Henry tossed off a nonchalant "Hah-hah", as he turned towards Roachelle Hotel's office door, and, for good measure, another quick "Ha!" as he disappeared inside.

Frank Zappa

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