On September 13, 1837, Bobby Roberts of the Rockford Gazette interviewed Redgrass singer and composer, the Black River Bandit, uncovering the most remarkable facts heretofore gathered about the ominous musician.
“The room was thick with cigar smoke,” as Roberts later recalls the gathering, “and the Bandit would smoothly sip on his wine which was as red as the greasy bandana around his neck. He wore his famous Red Army cap with presumable pride and maintained a jovial and remarkably sincere demeanor.”
“Intriguingly enough,” he concludes, “I could never get over his terrifying eyes. They pierced through me like skewers of skepticism.”
The following constitutes the first portion of a series of interviews by Mr. Roberts.
BR: Good day, sir.
tBRB: Yes, indeed.
BR: I suppose the most suitable inquiry for me to begin with would be in regards to your name. Where did you contrive your title?
**The Bandit was reluctant to answer at first, but then, complied accordingly.
tBRB: It began when I lived in Saudi Arabia. I drove a camel at that time. His name was King Solomon. You see, they don’t have motorized vehicles in the Arab nations. I don’t actually believe they have motorized vehicles anywhere, yet.
So, it was a fateful day at the market place. I was buying tomatoes. I picked out about seven, I believe. The clerk never gave me a receipt. They don’t have computers, as you may well know. And the cad was too lazy to write one out.
As I was walking out, some stooge thought it would be funny to yell out “thief!” I was only beginning to turn around when, before I knew it, I was smothered by a dozen burley Arabs, pounding me into meat pudding.
The next day, the judge condemned me to death, but only after public amputation of my extremities. This, as a side note, was the same week when a bolt of lightning from the Heavens bludgeoned the Nile River, killing every fish in the world! The fish began to decay turning the river black.
So, I was sitting in my dungeon, praying to the Lord. “Lord,” said I, “get me out of this rotten mess!” The room was dark as a moonless night, save a tiny crack in the brick wall. The light coming through it began the glow so brightly that I could not see—temporary blindness, as it were. The entire dungeon began to rumble like thunder, when, all of a sudden, the wall exploded! King Solomon, my camel, jumped through the hole and just stood there, dignified, and such.
You see, I hadn’t showered for months and I smelled like hamburgers. King Solomon loved hamburgers and he could smell me from miles away. He, however, thought I was food and was seemingly disappointed when he saw me sitting there, in the nude. They don’t clothe you in Arab dungeons, by the way.
I jumped on his back and we rode off towards the sunset horizon. Before we made it, however, gunshots rang behind us. The entire Saudi Arabian army was on our tail like flies on excrement.
I heard a loud thud and noticed that one of the goons fired a rocket at us. Luckily enough, all of my guns were still on King Solomon’s saddle. I turned around and shot the missile. It exploded and killed approximately 38.3 of their soldiers.
An earthquake suddenly ripped the earth in half, creating a rather large canyon between the Arabian army and us. We then rode off into the sunset, as planned.
I went into hiding in a cave with King Solomon for about 25 years, during which time I was wanted by every branch of world government, and every lonely lady on every continent. The papers hailed me as the notorious “Black River Bandit: Savagely Dangerous; Remarkably Pale.” I later heard that somebody shot a photo of me escaping in the nude. The original photograph sold for 17 dollars, which was a lot of money at that time.
BR: Every source for the past 59 years grills you as a “Communist Menace.” What is your history, if any, with the communist movement?
**The Bandit, at this point, grimaced so intensely that Mr. Roberts began urinating in his skibbies, out of fear.
tBRB: I don’t often disclose such information. But I like you—not sexually, mind you. So about 32 years ago, I sailed alongside the great fishermen of the Sea Gale Company. We traveled all over the world in seven years. A typhoon, one day, figured it was time to put a plug on our good spirits and smashed our ship into floating toothpicks. I was sinking unconsciously towards the great blue grave when I was snagged by a 30 foot sea turtle, who was, in fact, heading towards the island archipelago of “Gui Gui”. They haven’t been discovered yet, which is why you may not be familiar with the name. I came up with it myself.
Whilst stranded on the island, I ate nothing but 30 foot sea turtle, which lasted me many years.
As you could imagine, I became quite bored and employed my time through a number of endeavors. I toiled with wooden beams and built a gliding device that transported me across canyons, like some sort of pterodactyl. But I don’t really feel like discussing my innovations at this point.
A year into my stay on Gui Gui, the cloudy heavens parted with a remarkable gust of wind. It smelled like aftershave and garlic. And then a voice thundered: “Men will speak of a ‘Good Book’ in words of self-righteous piety. Listen not to their voices, for theirs is the sound of excrement. Thus, my child, I demand of you: speaketh in unfaltering truths. Write a new testament to the glory!”
I could not believe it! The Heavens smelled just like my grandfather. And I loved my grandfather!
So I began writing—writing insatiably! Voraciously! Rapaciously! After 49 thousand pages, I decided it was time to christen the book. It would have to be something powerful. Something memorable. Something profound! I called it The Manifesto of the Communist Beach Party.
As soon as I titled the book, a Bald Eagle came roaring through the sky, and I suddenly felt warm inside. I was subsequently saved by the United States Navy, who were, to my fortune, scouting the island as a possible nuclear testing site.
Back in the United States, I consulted a publisher who denied my book, saying it was “completely gay.” I actually thought it was quite a serious piece rather than a happy one; though, my weakened spirits were thoroughly crushed by his poor review.
Oddly enough, a gypsy fortune teller later informed me—in bed—that I had provided the rubric for a world-changing, revolutionary pamphlet that would be written by a fat, bearded man some 30 years in the future. I laughed hysterically at her asinine prognosis and took my money back. I did, however, pay her for the amusing prediction.
Since then, I have renounced any affiliation with The Manifesto of the Communist Beach Party.
**This concludes Part I of “A Saucerful of Truth”.