Chapter 7: Passion Underground

Let's Hear It
Let's Hear It
Chapter 7: Passion Underground
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Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynn find out a little bit about themselves in this steamy episode! Also, the unexpected and unwanted keeps happening.

Transcript

…the fake Bob and Jeff sprinted into the chamber, running straight into their real counterparts. Too started to scream, the pairs stared at each other for a moment, then in strange unison, they grabbed each other by the temples, then they all kissed passionately.

The cultists, the groupies, the rest of the band, and Eddie money all stared at Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynn making out with their doppelgangers in shock. So much wild stuff had happened so fast, it was hard to keep track. First, Dixie had escaped while everyone was distracted with an cult-devised ironic tests. Second, they were suddenly reunited with the groupies, and the ladies didn’t seem to know there was anyone in the room. Third, they discovered that there were two Bob Dylans and Jeff Lynns. And last, Bob and Jeff were now macking on themselves. All this in the span of 30 seconds. It was enough to make your head spin.

The kissing lasted. And lasted. And lasted. No simple peck on the lips, the Bobs were caressing each other’s backs while the Jeffs had clearly graduated to tongue. Wet smacks echoed in the otherwise silent cavern. Jeff had just lifted Jeffs leg, and was ducking him into a swoon position before Tom interjected.

TOM

If this is research for a concept album, it sucks!

There was a thick popping sound as the Jeffs pulled their lips apart.

JEFF

You’re just jealous that you haven’t found true love with yourself, like me and Jeff Lynn!

Cried Jeff Lynn.

TOM

How is that possible? You just met!

JEFF

I’ll have you know, that I’ve known myself my entire life!

GEORGE

In England, we call that a “wanker”.

JEFF

Shut up! You’re jealous, too, George! You’re all jealous! You won’t recognize the love between a man and that same man because you can’t stand it that for once, old Jeff Lynn got something that you all didn’t.

GEORGE

Bob got the same thing. Actually, it looks like he’s getting a little more, if you know what I mean.

JEFF

Shut your face, Harrison! We’ve chased that clown, we’ve searched for Dixie, we got scared by stuffed animals, we got taken in by Eddie Money, we ran through that horrible sunken fairground, we got scared by our own mismatched reflections in the mirror maze, which, upon reflection, must have just been my love, Jeff Lynn, staring back at Bob, and vice versa. For once, something incredible has happened in this hellish underground world. We’ve been attacked and accosted and humiliated this whole time, and now, I found love. Not the complicated love between two people, but the simple love between one person, but made flesh, and damn it, Jeff and I, we’re getting married. Isn’t that right, Jeff? No, don’t speak, I already know my answer, I’m marrying myself.

Just then, Bob Dylan let out a cry of dismay from the cavern floor, jumping to his feet and clutching a curly-hair wig. Bald, the other “Bob Dylan” slowly got to his feet, hanging his head, and tearing off his fake beard. Tom slapped his forehead.

TOM

Right, right, they’re not the same person. That makes more sense.

Jeff Lynn looked wide-eyed at his counterpart.

JEFF

No, wait…

Desperate, Jeff pulled at Jeffs hair and beard, both coming off easily, revealing a man who didn’t even look a bit like Jeff Lynn.

JEFF

No! You lied to me! I thought you were me! Now you’re just another you! Nooooo!

BOB

*******!

Bob screamed at “Bob”, hurtfully. Bob’s one-time double curled his lip in anger, and in a petty attempt at revenge, snatched at Bob Dylan’s ‘fro. To his surprise, it came away in his hands. He stared in disbelief at the one and only Bob Dylan’s hair, the iconic curls tangling his fingers. For the first time in his life, Bob Dylan spoke clearly.

BOB

(last word unintelligible)

That’s my wig, motherfucker!

Everyone in the cavern looked in amazement at Bob Dylan. All this time, what he had been hiding under his afro wig was…a larger afro. George shrugged.

GEORGE

That’s Dylan for you.

Before Bob and Jeff could descend deeper into heartbreak, a shadow descended over the cavern. In fact, it was multiple shadows. Across the alter, twisted strands of tentacled darkness wormed outwards. Some cultists gasped in recognition, others voices caught in their their throats, but everyone in the cavern was riveted in place, staring transfixed at the otherworldly phenomena. For a moment, the world felt suspended in motion, the inhale of breath held keeping whatever terror oozed from the slithering shadows at bay. Then everything happened all at once.

George Harrison dropped to his knees in prayer, Jeff Lynn crawled under a rock, Bob Dylan bit a passing cultist, Roy Orbison threw up, Tom Petty ripped off his clothes, Connie ran through the chaos as if nothing was happening, Yuna threw a plastic figurine at the alter, Belinda squawked like a chicken, Eddie Money blew violent snot rockets, and the fake Bob and Jeff started making out with each other.

And then, things got really crazy.

But before we get into that, let’s dig into why all these people reacted the way they did.

George Harrison had always been on a journey of the soul, seeking an understanding of the chaos of the world through a connection with a higher power. While he explored many spiritual paths, his most notable was his association with the Hari Krishnas specifically and Eastern philosophy in general. This spiritual focus was evident in the later Beatles years, but really came to the fore when Harrison went solo, most famously with his 1970 number one single My Sweet Lord.

When George saw the black tentacles slithering from the alter, the song immediately came to mind. In it, Harrison pleads, “My sweet lord, I really want to see you,” as true and personal a statement as any George ever made. Now, looking at the creeping darkness, and realizing that anything of this otherworldly presence must be some form of the higher power he had been seeking all this time, George wasn’t sure his lord was so sweet, or that he still wanted to meet. His collapse to his knees was to pray for a unilateral take-backsies on the whole meeting God trip, and to once again apologize for ripping off The Chiffons on My Sweet Lord.

Jeff Lynn was a coward. Always had been. Like any character flaw, there was a good reason for this traceable to a single anecdote from early childhood. It happened when a five year old Jeff was walking a filthy Birmingham back ally, and a group of toughs jumped from behind a trash pile and said “boo”. He never recovered.

Now, staring down the most horrifying thing he’d ever seen, Jeff remembered the old cliché insult for ignorance involving living under a rock, and thought that sounded safe.

We come to Bob Dylan, who after seeing the spreading darkness, snarled and bit a passing cultist. This may seem animalistic, and borderline insane, but again, there’s a reasonable explanation considering the artist’s textured history: Bob’s a maverick.

When Roy Orbison was a young man playing songs on his six string to anybody who would listen, he used to swim in the Pease river during the sweltering Texas summers. One day while thusly engaged, he noticed dark splotches wriggling towards him from upstream. He frowned, lowering his dark sunglasses to be sure; yes, it was unmistakable, jet black tentacles blooming through the water, coming straight for him. He tried to swim back to shore, but the distance was too far – the inky substance caught him, wrapping him up. A strong swimmer, Orbison moved powerfully through the water, but the goop was heavy, weighing him down, his head ducking below the water once, twice, three times, covering his face in the slime. Panting and retching, Roy finally made it to shore. He might have died from heat stroke had a neighbor not happened by and took him to a hospital. Even after he was cleaned up and hydrated, Roy caught a strange illness, becoming violently sick for nearly a week.

Roy would eventually learn that an oil tank had cracked up river, spilling it’s black guts into the Pease, and he was lucky to be alive. The experience left a indelible impression on him. The similarity with what he was currently seeing and that experience in the river all those years ago would have gone a long way to explaining why Roy was barfing, however Roy couldn’t actually see the shadows through his dark sunglasses this far underground. Instead, the throw up was caused by eating some expired cotton candy back in the sunken fairground, and it came up now purely by chance.

The intensity of seeing this otherworldly phenomena sent Tom Petty into another acid flashback. Instead of sending him to Honduras selling tortas like normal, he was sent back to the time he told Eddie Money about his previous acid flashback where he did sell tortas in Honduras. This then reminded Tom of Eddie Money peeing on his equipment, which he then remembered didn’t happen; it was actually Linda Ronstadt. That memory correction sent him into a related acid fiction where Linda was currently peeing all over him, which was one of the few fetishes he didn’t have. Disgusted, Tom stripped off his pee-soaked clothes, spitting the singer songwriter’s urine out as he did so. Obviously, none of this was actually happening, so he just looked like he immediately decided to get naked, while in seeming disgust of his own choice, and inexplicably spitting.

Connie was tripping. Tripping hard. The psychotropic cocktail Martin Scorsese had given her was so powerful, the hallucination wrapped almost all the way back around to straight. Almost. Instead of seeing things that weren’t there, she didn’t see things that were there, namely any of the fifty odd people in the cavern or the slithering shadow tentacles. Single-minded in her mission to find Dixie, she sprinted across the cavern towards one of the many exit passages. The cultists were running around in a mad scrum, a writhing crowd without direction, all screams and flailing limbs and the occasional cry of “Krokenow arrives!”

Amidst that chaos, it would be natural to assume that Connie would run into at least one, if not most of, the cultists on her way through the room. And yet, Connie had been to so many shows and been in so many raucous crowds, that even though her concious mind didn’t perceive them, some part of her was aware of her surroundings, and she deftly navigated the mass of people untouched. Equally astounding, she happened to run down the same passage Dixie had chosen minutes before.

Yuna pulled out the plastic figure she had found hours before outside the Zamboni locker. She had felt a presence in the figure, and felt the need to have it now in light of all the darkness. Yuna had always felt connections to things, people, and events she couldn’t explain. This was partly because she had a limited vocabulary, but mostly because the events were mysterious.

Once, when she was in a hotel room with Phil Collins, she had a premonition that she was meant to be in the next room. Stopping everything, much to Phil’s dismay, she followed her instinct, and low and behold, there in the next room was Peter Gabriel. How did her intuition know? Genesis broke up shortly after.

Another time, Yuna got the distinct sense that one of Mott the Hoople’s microphones would somehow cause a death. She threw it into a lake, and the very next day, no one died.

Now, holding this figure that was mysteriously at the site where The Wilbury’s had originally disappeared, and looking at it more closely, kind of looked a lot like George Harrison, the mysterious connection was clear. This figure was mysterious, and this creeping inky darkness was mysterious. Two plus two equals throw it.

She chucked the figurine at the alter with a combination battle cry and terror yelp. The mystery perfectly explaining her actions. She also was on all the same drugs as Connie, so that could have had something to do with it, too.

Meanwhile, Belinda was clucking like a chicken and throwing dirt and gravel in the air. She had also taken all the same drugs as Connie and Yuna, but they hadn’t kicked in yet. Throughout her life, Belinda had a history of being one step behind on social cues, like in fifth grade when she showed up to Becky Sander’s Halloween party without a costume, or when she arrived late to her cousin Trudie’s wedding as the Wolfman. She wasn’t going to be the weird one this time. Everyone else was doing a random, inexplicable thing, and so was she. Chicken.

Eddie Money was convinced he had snorted contaminated cocaine again. In 1980, Eddie had overdosed on a barbiturate he mistook for cocaine, gifting him with a permanent limp. He vaguely remembered seeing some strange shadow-y visions while on that trip, so he was blowing his nose as hard as he could to try and get the bad snow out. Unfortunately for everyone near him, Eddie hadn’t done coke in eight years, and there was nothing up his nose except snot. And a lot of it. So much. More than you’d think. Here’s an exercise: pause this podcast, and write down a number. I’ll wait. Okay, have you got your number? Whatever you wrote down, Eddie had more snot up his nose than that. Or less, depending on how high you went.

The fake Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynn, real names unknown, had been in deep with the cult for years. Obsessed with the artists they assumed the identities of, they discovered their shared interests after sitting next to each other during a workshop on inserting satanic messages into popular music. The pair started spending more time together, talking late into the night about their dreams. One such night they came up with the idea to impersonate Bob and Jeff to feel closer to their idols; they figured they could sell it to the cult brass as a way to infiltrate The Traveling Wilburys.  To their surprise, the supreme leader went for it, and pushed it as a top priority. Training for months in deep character, the duo never could lose their prominent southern accents, so the cult leadership had them lean into it. Fortunately, both Bob and Jeff had country phases, so all hoped dressing that part would be enough to sell the effect. All was going well, and the two were giddy with excitement as the Wilbury’s tour approached New Jersey.

Much to everyone’s surprise, the band literally fell into their turf, accelerating the plan. Things started going wrong when the two tried to get close to their idols in the mirror maze, pretending to be reflections, and accidentally appeared across from the wrong Wilbury. The real Bob and Jeff ran away screaming, breaking the imposter’s hearts. They almost abandoned the mission and the cult right then, but a cultist, unaware of the incident, had tipped them off about the groupie’s location, rightly thinking it could be a prime opportunity to pass themselves off as the musicians without fear of the real ones showing up.

After moving into position the Wilburys caused the cave in, and the rest is history. Literally running into their idols again only moments ago, it could have easily been a repeat of the mirror maze. Yet this time, instead of running in fear, the fake Jeff and Bob were met with unbridled love. It was like a dream come true for both of them, an unspoken acknowledgement of feelings deeply held.

As soon as it started it came crashing down. The real Jeff and Bob weren’t in love with the impersonators, they were in love with themselves, and the two were once again left heartbroken. Yet now as these dark tentacles crept towards them, shattering any norm that may have stood in their way, they wordlessly realized it wasn’t their idols Bob and Jeff who they were in love with, it was each other. If they were going out, to hell with it, they might as well die happy.

And that’s why everyone reacted the way they did, right before things got really crazy.

The crazy started with George Harrison holding up a Bob Dylan wig.

GEORGE

Everyone stop, it’s okay! There’s no sweet lord in the form of black tentacles coming to get us! See? It’s just a shadow cast by this curly wig, and the movement is from the flickering torchlight! Watch, I’ll make it stop.

George threw away the wig. The tentacles still writhed toward the crowd. Panic rumbled up.

GEORGE

Wait, wait, there’s still no reason to panic. There were two Bob Dylan’s, so there’s another curly wig out there casting the shadow. From the looks of it, it must be coming from that outcropping back there.

There was a murmur of relief, until Eddie Money groaned.

EDDIE

No, I have the other wig, and I’m not at that outcropping!

He threw it away, and the tentacles still came forward.

EDDIE

Either there’s a third wig, or those tentacles are real!

GEORGE

Oh my sweet lord.

Everyone was inhaling to fully panic again, when the tentacles vanished. Before anyone could be relieved, the now one-armed and somehow still-alive killer clown jumped from behind the outcropping, his ratty, tentacle-like green curly wig swaying atop his head.

A bloody grin was plastered across his face.

CLOWN

Hi there.

In The moment before everyone ran screaming in all directions, the clown ripped open his shirt, revealing…

Chapter 6: Ritual Habits

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Let's Hear It
Chapter 6: Ritual Habits
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The band tries to talk their way out of a cult and save their humility, Dixie vents her anger, and Bob Dylan does battle with a very special opponent.

Transcript

Dixie sat up straight, pulling against her restraints and in a clear voice said…

DIXIE

Alright perverts, fun’s over!

The cultists quieted down, wearing shocked expressions. Clearly they had not been expecting any outbursts. Then, the realization of what Dixie actually said rolled over the crowd, and the cavern echoed with a swell of indignant muttering.

CULTIST 1

She can’t say we’re perverted, that’s a value judgement.

CULTIST 2

Pervert? Really? She’s one to talk, the kinky harlot.

CULTIST 3

Yeah, we’re not perverts. Now we have to start the ritual over. Let’s take it from the pouring of lambs blood on our genitals.

A cultist in the back stood, holding up a cult recruitment pamphlet.

CULTIST 4

I am offended, madam! Some of us joined this sex cult for the articles!

A pious round of here-heres followed.

DIXIE

Shut up, you hooded little creeps.

Dixie hollered.

CULTIST 4

Hey, you can’t say that. I don’t have a hood.

Dixie ignored him, noticing the band.

DIXIE

Oh my Gawd, is that the Traveling Wilburys back there? I thought I’d never get to see you guys after that clown sliced me, but then again, I never thought I’d get sliced by a clown, so just goes to show ya. Well, come on guys, untie me.

The crowd of cultists turned, parting ranks until the entire room was starting at Tom, George, Jeff, Bob, and Roy. The band shrunk back, worriedly glancing over the mostly hooded faces, not daring to move. Another cultist spoke up, peering over her glasses.

CULTIST 5

No, come on, that’s not The Traveling Wilburys. We’ve wanted them for a ritual for a long time, and these guys are way too old to be the Wilburys.

The band frowned, vanity momentarily taking over their fear, except for Jeff Lynn, whose fear remained at an apex. He leaned into the lie.

JEFF LYNN

That’s right, we’re not the Traveling Wilburys, and we have really no reason to be here, no sir, so no reason to put us in whatever ritual, no sir. We’re just lost travelers looking for a way out. Being travelers is just about the only thing us and the Wilburys have in common. You said it yourself, we’re just too old to be the Traveling Wilburys. I mean, look at us, we’re ancient, and those guys are super young, and relevant, and amazing musicians, and great in bed. But we’re not any of those things. We’re older than dirt. We’re older than dust. We’re older than the dust brothers.

TOM PETTY

Oh, that one’s true.

Said Tom Petty. Jeff Lynn continued; he was on a roll.

JEFF LYNN

We’re older than rock and roll. We’re older than the blues. We’re older than music. We’re so old, we think all music is a dangerous influence on the youth. Even opera. Especially opera. Look how much I’m rambling? That proves I’m old. We all are. I’m the youngest, though.

The cultist who had spoken before rubbed her forehead, not in the mood to pick apart an old man’s ramble.

CULTIST 5

Yep, got it, you’re not the Traveling Wilburys. We need to get back to the ritual, so can someone show these losers the way out?

JEFF LYNN

Woohoo!

Whooped Jeff Lynn, not hearing the part about being a loser. The rest of the band did, however, but grinned anyway; they were getting out.

DIXIE

Liars! Liaaaars! You Traveling Liar Berries!

Accused Dixie, spitting from her place tied to the alter. George Harrison looked guilty, and was about to say something, but Jeff Lynn cupped a hand over his mouth and started herding the band towards the exit.

JEFF LYNN

Thank you all for your wise decision. Pay no attention to her. Sacrifices, always flapping their gums, am I right?

The cultists all chuckled in agreement, the sound mixing ominously with Dixie’s scream of rage.

EDDIE MONEY

What are you guys talking about?

Eddie Money asked, genuinely confused. The Wilburys turned, having  momentarily forgotten about Eddie. The musician and their former friend’s cult robes did not paint a comforting picture.

EDDIE MONEY

You are the Traveling Wilburys. I’ve known you all for years. I saw you only a few hours ago. We were talking just now. And yeah, none of us are spring chickens anymore, but you’re not older than music. That’s ridiculous. Besides, none of that has anything to do with why you’re here, which you all said several times was to rescue Dixie.

DIXIE

Awwww, really?

Dixie yelled from the alter.

EDDIE MONEY

Yeah, absolutely. Although, come to think of it, that does make you guys interlopers, technically speaking, so you should all probably stick around.

The cultists growled obscenities at the Wilburys, pushing the band through their ranks towards the alter.

TOM PETTY

You sold us out again, Eddie!

Yelled Tom Petty.

TOM PETTY

First, you conveniently disappeared right before I got jumped by that clown, making up that lame excuse about having to brush your teeth, and now this!

Eddie looked concerned.

EDDIE MONEY

Oh my God, I didn’t know you got jumped by that clown, I feel horrible. But I did have to brush my teeth. Dog breath is no joke, for real.

He said, gargling mouthwash before spitting it into his ceremonial goblet, and the Wilburys were unceremoniously shoved onto the alter.

GEORGE HARRISON

Don’t worry, lads.

Said George Harrison, as they picked themselves up.

GEORGE HARRISON

We can take solace that we eventually didn’t run away, so our karmic debt is paid.

DIXIE

Oh wow, I’m so grateful. Maybe you can use your late-breaking morality to untie these knots?

Dixie scoffed.

JEFF LYNN

Ooh, ya burnt, Harrison!

Hooted Jeff Lynn.

DIXIE

You’re all burnt.

Shouted Dixie.

HUNCHED CULTIST

Silence!

Cried a hunched, hooded cultist. Everyone got quiet.

HUNCHED CULTIST

Sorry, I mean “Silas,” not “Silence.” Brother Silas, please pass judgement on these trespassers.

An old man hobbled to the alter, milky eyes half-fixed on the band, half beyond fixing.

SILAS

According to the bylaws, trespassers must be dropped into the lake of fire.

A gasp went up from the cultists.

JEFF LYNN

We’re gonna be literally burnt!

SILAS

If only. Unfortunately, the lake of fire died out years ago, and now all that’s left is a relaxing hot spring. If we dropped them in there, we’d be obeying the letter of the law, but not the spirit; punishment is key.

JEFF LYNN

Oh, come on!

Yelled Jeff Lynn.

SILAS

Don’t worry, it’s not perfect, but I have a solution: we just bash their heads in with sticks.

A cheer went up from the cultists, along with a terrified groan from the band. Tom Petty cut threw the noise.

TOM PETTY

Wait just a minute! Beating our heads in with sticks isn’t in the bylaws at all, is it?

SILAS

Well, no, not exactly…

TOM PETTY

Exactly. You may want to follow the spirit of the law, but you can’t just invent new ones. Can you?

Old man Silas frowned, shook his head. Tom Petty looked relieved.

TOM PETTY

Thank God. We’re not bothering anyone, just let us take a hot spring dip, let Dixie come back with us, and we’ll be out of your hair. Everybody wins.

Immediately, screams of dissent filled the cavern, the gist of which was that the cultists did not feel like this a win.

SILAS

You can’t take Dixie, if that is her real name, because we need her for the ritual. Even suggesting that makes me want to beat the hell out of you with a stick.

TOM PETTY

Okay, let’s just chill for a second. What if we played a concert for you? We can’t do that if we’re dead.

Old man Silas shrugged.

SILAS

Eh, you’re too old. I think we’ll just hit you with sticks, thanks all the same.

The cultists started jumping up and down, chanting something that sounded like English, but that was still somehow indecipherable. Maybe because of the jumping.

JEFF LYNN

We’re all gonna die!

Cried Jeff Lynn, unnecessarily.

GEORGE HARRISON

Wait, wait!

Shouted George Harrison over the din, managing to quiet the cultists down enough to speak.

GEORGE HARRISON

Now, you have something we want, namely Dixie and our lives, that’s true. However, we also have something you want. Something besides music that you can’t get if we’re dead. We’re some of the biggest rock and rollers in history, and each of us has tons of influential connections. That’s something groups like yours are always after, yes?

There was a murmur of consent.

GEORGE HARRISON

But we can’t both have what we want. The only fair way to choose who gets the pie is to have a contest. Surely there’s something in your bylaws that provides for this?

Old man Silas tugged at his milky ear, which leaked milk.

SILAS

Well, there are the statutes providing for devilishly ironic trials inflicted on interlopers, I suppose that sort of fits.

JEFF LYNN

I don’t like the sound of this

Said Jeff Lynn.

BOB DYLAN

sdlkjfsaldkjfsd!

Howled Bob Dylan. The crowd was chanting, “trials!” over and over, although with how generally incomprehensible they were, it could just have easily been “smiles” or “ploughshares” or “egg salad”.

SILAS

It is decided!

Shouted old man Silas.

SILAS

Each of you will be given your own trial. Best out of five. Starting…now.

And with those words, he jumped a gallon jug of milk on his head. The cultists cleared an area in the middle of the cavern, forming a human ring surrounding the Traveling Wilburys.

SILAS

Since you made the deal, you will have the first challenge, George Harrison. You are the dark horse, the quiet Beatle, and a vegetarian. In a cruel twist on only that last one, your challenge…is to eat this bacon!

TOM PETTY

Alright!

Cried Tom Petty.

TOM PETTY

Easy peasy, Harrison, you can hit the diet again tomorrow.

GEORGE HARRISON

No!

Yelled George.

GEORGE HARRISON

Eating flesh is against my religion, and would despoil my bodily temple. I refuse.

SILAS

Excellent, you lose. One point for us.

Tom Petty was furious.

TOM PETTY

You idiot! It’s one piece of bacon! What’s wrong with you?

GEORGE HARRISON

What’s wrong with factory farming, more like!

George rejoined.

JEFF LYNN

We’re all gonna die!

Cried Jeff Lynn, still unnecessarily.

SILAS

Next, we will test Mr Tom Petty.

TOM PETTY

Oh man, I am not ready for this.

SILAS

Tom, you sing that famous line, “And I won’t back down.”

TOM PETTY

It’s pronounced, “deeeeaaaoooown”

SILAS

Regardless, to pass our challenge, you must back down…this steep cliff! No looking behind you and no falling over. Good luck!

Tom was pushed back first to the edge of a steep subterranean decline.

TOM PETTY

Now hold on a second, I don’t…

Started Tom, but before he could finish the thought, the gravel under his feet gave way and he slid backwards on a small avalanche, screaming all the way down to the bottom, arriving in a cloud of rock dust. Someone, he was unharmed and upright, not having the time to even think about looking behind him.

TOM PETTY

I’m alive!

He cried, overjoyed.

JEFF LYNN

We’re all still gonna die!

Yelled Jeff after him.

SILAS

One point for the Traveling Wilburys.

Said old man Silas, unhappily.

SILAS

Let’s move on. Roy Orbison, you’re famous for your heart wrenching ballads and dark sunglasses, but can you make someone cry…with only your eyes? Staring contest, whoever cries first loses. You’ll be facing sister stone heart.

Roy and the afore mentioned stone hearted sister sat opposite each other. Both removed their sunglasses, and stared into each other’s eyes. And stared. And stared. And stared. And stared. And stared. Then, Roy’s lip trembled, and sister stone heart’s eyes welled, and they both burst out crying, hugging each other through big, wracking sobs.

SILAS

Well, uh, that’s a tie, I guess.

Announced old man Silas, disgusted.

SILAS

We have one for each side and a tie, and only two more Wilburys to test. We could get into an all tied situation, but luckily we didn’t think of a trial for who ever this guy is.

JEFF LYNN

What!

Screamed Jeff Lynn, knowing without thinking that “who ever this guy is” was him.

SILAS

So it all comes down to Bob Dylan. Whichever side takes this takes the whole game. Bob, you’re a legend, so for you, no tricks. We’re going to give you the chance to showcase your incredible poetry skills, in our very first slam poetry night. Common rhymes, over enunciate, you know the deal. You’re opponent this evening…a food processor grinding a rock!

Bob Dylan was escorted to a makeshift stage, along with the food processor. Both were given microphones.

SILAS

You will be judged arbitrarily by three people who didn’t graduate middle school. You’re topic is globalization. And…go!

Bob Dylan and the food processor trade SFX deliveries.

The food processor sputtered, coughed, then died, a thick cloud of smoke billowing from the stage.

SILAS

Come on Bob, you can’t smoke in here.

Admonished old man Silas. Grumbling, Bob Dylan stubbed out his cigarette, and the smoke cloud dissipated.

SILAS

Judges?

The panel of three uneducated judges pretended to look contemplative.

JUDGE 1

Bob seemed like he was consistently rhyming, while the food processor only rhymed a few times, so I’m giving it to Bob.

JUDGE 2

I felt like the food processor stayed on the topic of globalization more, since it had a rock in it that was sort of shaped like a globe. I’m going food processor on this one.

SILAS

We’ve got a real nail-biter here. Judge number three, you’re the tie breaking vote.

JUDGE 3

On the one, the food processor really hurt my ears, but on the other hand, Bob Dylan also really hurt my ears. The food processor seems more committed to the work, since it sacrificed itself for it’s art, but then again, Bob wasn’t made in Taiwan. This is a tough one, but I’m voting Bob, mostly for his pants.

The Traveling Wilburys cheered. Old man Silas’s jaw hung open in angry disbelief.

SILAS

You just handed them the win! Are you crazy? We’ll lost the ritual. This was supposed to be rigged!

JUDGE 3

My opinion can’t be bought, man.

The band hive-fived, whooping with relief at avoiding another horrible fate.

TOM PETTY

I guess you can’t do you’re little ritual now, huh boys?

The cultists slumped in defeat.

SILAS

No, I suppose not.

GEORGE HARRISON

What was that ritual for, anyway?

SILAS

Oh, what does it matter now?

JEFF LYNN

Aw come on, now that we’re going to live, we need something to live for. Go on, tell us.

SILAS

Fine. It was going to be a promiscuity ritual. There is an ancient power under the earth here, and we were going to harness that to unleash the wild bacchanal, an endless orgy on earth.

The Traveling Wilburys stopped in their tracks.

JEFF LYNN

Hold up. That doesn’t sound half bad. Actually, it sounds real good.

GEORGE HARRISON

Maybe we’ve been a little hasty here…

ROY ORBISON

Claudette!

BOB DYLAN

slkdjflsakdfjasdflkjsadf.

TOM PETTY

Dixie, change of plans!

But Dixie was nowhere to be seen, the ample distraction giving her plenty of time to gnaw through her restraints and escape. Just then, Connie, Belinda, Yuna, and the imposter Bob and Jeff careened into the room, high out of their minds off of Martin Scorsese’s Studio 54 supply. Connie stared sweaty and wide-eyed around the cavern full of cultists.

CONNIE

This room’s empty, keep going!

Shouted Connie, hallucinating hard. Headless of her instructions, the fake Bob and Jeff sprinted into the chamber, running straight into their real counterparts. Too started to scream, the pairs stared at each other for a moment, then in strange unison, they grabbed each other by the temples, then they all…