Agents of the Law (dum, duum, dum)
Luckless pedestrians (dum, duum, dum)
I know you’re out there
With rage in your eyes and your megaphones
“What’s that song you’re singing, Daddy?”
“Don’t Take Me Alive, Big Minch. Steely Dan. Immortal guitar intro by Larry Carlton. A very prescient song.”
“They knew what was coming. Sieges weren’t a big thing back then. Boy, has that changed.”
Interjection from Alice. “Come on, Wes, lighten it up. You’ll be giving the boys nightmares.”
“I’m interested,” piped up Little Minch.
Alice wasn’t. “I’m not. It’s past your bedtime anyway.”
“Well, here’s something interesting,”
(Spirited eye-rolling from Alice)
“I was in a band that used to play that song. Bogus.”
“Oh, here we go” (more eye-rolling).
“And every time we played that song, every time, a fight would break out in the audience.”
“Daddy’s right, boys. The punters were climbing over each other to get out the door, hahaha. Haha.”
“Cruel, Alice. Cruel!”
“If it made people fight, how come you kept playing it, Daddy?”
“I’m not proud of the collateral damage, Big Minch, but you’ve gotta understand. We loved playing that song. We loved playing Steely Dan. Thousands couldn’t, but we could. It filled us with pride. And Nicky Santos nailing that guitar part, every time… every time…”
“Dad, Dad! Are you OK?”
Alice sprang into action, pinching Wes on his upper arm.
“Ouch! Ouch! What?”
“You got stuck in a rut down Memory Lane.”
“Where was I? Nicky Santos, what a guitarist. But a loose cat, just the same.”
“Loose cat, Daddy?”
“Ha ha. I remember one time we were all at the Safe House loading up the gear before a gig.”
“That’s just what we called it. We were funny.”
“Thought you were.”
“Thank you, Mummy.
“We were waiting for Nicky to arrive. He was late. Way late.”
“Where was he?”
“Finally, a strange car screams up. A blue Nissan Cedric. And out staggers Nicky looking like he’s just done ten rounds with the Champ and a chainsaw.”
“He’s got this egg the size of Siberia on his forehead, and right through it is this massive, bleeding laceration…”
“‘What happened?’ we ask.”
‘I smashed. I swerved to avoid a moose, or a cow, or maybe a cat, and smashed into this power pole.’
‘Yuk! There’s still glass in that cut.’
‘Leave it. I don’t want to disturb the clot.’
‘Have you been drinking?’
‘It’s my birthday.’
‘What did the cops say?’
‘Didn’t call them.’
‘I may not have a licence, and the Holden was out of rego.’
‘Where’s the car?’
‘Still up the pole’.
‘You’ve got to tell the cops.’
‘Agents of the law! Do I have to?’
‘OK, yes, maybe. But first the gig.’
‘You’re too crook to play.’
“So, ten minutes later, Nicky emerges, Mandy and Fiona beaming. On his forehead, surrounding the wound, which has been peppered with glitter, is a gigantic lipstick lightning bolt.”
‘That is disgusting.’ (Mandy and Fiona de-beam and deflate).
‘No, this is Glam.
‘To the gig!’
“Did you make it in time, Daddy?”
“Yep, played a scorcher of a gig. Nicky nailed that solo again. And a fight broke out in the audience.”
“Good story, Daddy.”
“There doesn’t have to be, Wes.”
“Anyway, after the gig we kept on badgering Nicky to go and confess to the cops, so next day he rocks up to the police station.”
‘Whoa, son. Sit down. I’ll call an ambulance. What’s that lipstick all about?’
‘I’m here to confess. Don’t take me alive.’
‘I dodged a moose and pranged my car. It’s up a pole and it’s got no rego and I have, er, licence irregularities.’
‘Wait right there.’
“But here’s the thing. The police checked. The Holden was gone. Nicky never saw it again. No car, no accident. They released him without charges. In fact, they gave him a free lift to the hospital.”
Agents of the law.
A lesson to us all.