It is a splendid day on the Salisbury plains. The huge stones of Stonehenge glisten in the early afternoon impressed at the implication of their own profound existence. A guide is leading a procession of awed tourists and reveling scholars through the ritual and romance of a mythic druidic ceremony. Suddenly the sky parts and spews forth a giant Bumble Bee atop which rides a small bald man with cool sunglasses but whose left leg dangles loosely from his hip. “That was a fun adventure traveling through time, Alan!” Buzzes the Bee happily as her tiny wings hum in high gear, impossibly keeping the two of them hovering above the plains. “Yes,” Replies Alan, gently steering the Bee through the air, “And I learned many interesting things about Ancient British History along the way. Perhaps one day we will return to the beautiful lost continent of Mu. But for now I wonder what our next adventure will be? Maybe I’ll get to rescue a princess.” “Oh, I hope so!” The Bee Agrees and then she feels the familiar tug of the magic washing machine and dryer set which is how they travel through time. “Uh-oh!” Says Alan, “Someone needs us, Bee, I feel a rinse cycle coming on!’ And as the machine slowly sucks them in he knows it is impossible to guess where he will be going out of all the potential places and times, but tries to anyway. “Maybe a pirate ship! Or a Ghost town!” But after the permanent press has run its course and the dryer door opens, Alan and Bumble realize that they are now perched on the peak of the Washington Monument. “Look!” Alan exclaims excitedly pointing across the mall, “Someone’s waving us over!” They float down on a direct trajectory toward the beckoning figure. When they are close enough Alan sees who it is “We must be in the 1950’s for that is Dwight David Eisenhower!.”  “Oh,” Says Bumble, “I like Ike!” “Alan! Thank God you’ve come” President Eisenhower shakes his arm and accidentally pulls it out of its socket. “Sorry about that.” “What’s the problem chief?” Alan, sensing the seriousness of the situation, gets straight down to business as he attempts to fit his limb back into place. Ike furrows his brow and shrugs his shoulders. “Well…” he begins awkwardly, not knowing where to start, “You may not know this, but Washington D.C. is a magic city built on a swamp. Very few people are aware of this but Thomas Jefferson was a master wizard and our whole system of government, our constitution, our national debt are all only magic spells. Smoke and illusion, mirrors and strings. “Recently I’ve been having visions in my dreams, they are showing me that America is not as it seems, all that apple pie and leave it to beaver is just a smoke screen for some sinister plot. There is a dark underbelly to our great nation attempting to destroy everything noble and great that this country stands for and it’s not communism or organized crime. In my vision this darkness is able to wrest control of world power and manifest itself like a horrible tumorous growth. “Thomas Jefferson himself appeared in my dreams and told me there is a way to combat this horrible cancer; he commanded, ‘Find the great fish Karah-Ku who lives in a big blue bay of the Arctic Ocean for he knows how you may execute the ancient laws of the great fathers and the master builders and set things aright again in this great nation, and if you can withstand his horrible breath and can feed him a bunch of ripe bananas he will tell how you may accomplish this.’ “You know,” Eisenhower gazes off into the distance, “I’ve seen great war and bloody battle and I wish I could go off adventuring at my leisure, but I am an old man now, past my prime as it were.” the president’s great sadness, becomes larger than life, worldwise and tragic. “It’s not true, sir!” Alan protests, “You can still parry with the best of them.” “Well any way,” the chief and commander cheers up considerably, ” I am bound by social contract to affairs of state. That rat Nixon needs constant watching and that weasel McCarthy…it’s enough to make me want to shriek.  “Alan, my boy,” he continues “It is known far and wide that despite your degenerative disease you are the greatest adventurer available at such a reasonable fee, so I have summoned you out of time and space to help me in my quest against these dark forces. Alan, even though I can’t pay you much (the national debt being what it is) I entreat you: will you go to the far north for me and find the great fish and let it grant you a boon?” Alan salutes, “Mr. President it is a great honor for me to be able to go on an adventure for you at any cost.” And so after a huge lunch prepared by Mamie and a few goodbyes and godspeeds they are off and soon flying over the Arctic Ocean. “Brrrr” Bee shivers. “Yes,” Alan nods,” It is a bit chilly, but look! It’s a big blue bay!” “I see a ship” Bee says excitedly, “maybe it’s a pirate ship.” Alan becomes a little worried, “I think it’s a whaling ship. They must be after Karah-ku,! We must save him.” Alan unsheathes his sword and Bee descends with stinger in full effect. The whalers, who are Japanese to the man are just about to harpoon a large beautiful purple and blue fish and are taken unaware by the leper. His excellent swordsmanship eventually disables the entire crew and the fish thanks them. “You have saved my life” he exhales a horrible smelling gaseous cloud, “and I am beholden unto you” Alan, holding his nose, feeds him the bananas, tells him the nature of their quest and asks, “Oh Great Karah-Ku, can you be of any assistance to me?’ “Yes I can help. You must go to the far lands and find the wedding of the Rhino and the Orangutan. It is to be a grand affair, a buffet lunch on the nethercliffs. One stitch: all attendees must wear tutus and work boots (the ceremony requires it) Then,.once their union is consummated, they will lead a procession to the Misty Marshes and if you follow they will take you right to the three Grey Ladies who have but one pebble between them which serves as both tooth and eye. Capture that pebble and they will tell you where the magic and powerful Wild Oats were sown. Go to that spot, and find the oats, for these oats have the power of the reverse singular conditional “if and only if”. They were grown on a farm in Bavaria by a strange old man in the 18th century. Thomas Jefferson acquired them when he was in France, thereby causing the French Revolution. Somehow they were lost in during the battle of New Orleans and their whereabouts have been a mystery ever since except for the persistent rumor that the Grey Ladies acquired the oats in a bargain with the elements and had them sown in a secret sacred place. They will never tell you unless you can trick them and come into possession of their sensory pebble. If you can get it they will give you anything to get it back. Good luck and thanks for the bananas.”


After getting directions to the wedding and acquiring nice new tutus and Doc Martens, Alan and Bee waste no time and fly directly to the church where the ceremony is already in progress. “That’s a very nice garden in the churchyard,” observes Bee, “I like flowers.” “Look out!” Alan steers Bee out of the path of a stream of Bug Spray. There is an old man holding the can. “I hate bugs” grumbles the old man as Alan draws his sword. “Well” Says Alan, “This is my sidekick Bee and she’s with me” and with that he slices the insecticide out of the old man’s hand losing a finger, himself, in the process. “Who are you old man?” “I’m the church gardener and I’d be mowing the lawn if my darned vacuum cleaner weren’t broke! “He yells, shaking his fist at a vacuum cleaner sitting on the porch. “I’m sorry to hear that” Alan is sincerely sympathetic, “But can you tell me if this is this the church where the Rhino and the Orangutan are getting married?” The Old man studies Alan spits and kicks a passing cat “Who wants to know?” But there is the tolling of bells in the church and Alan and Bee, sure that this is the right place, go inside. “I hate the sound of wedding bells!” Says the old man pouring the contents of a glittering flower watering pot onto the vacuum cleaner . The very strange ceremony in which a marriage between two very different beasts of the jungle is conducted by a miserable looking preacher wearing a dirty overcoat with live pigeons in the pockets over his tutu. Afterwards the whole wedding procession follows the newlyweds as they head toward the misty marshes. A large toad, in a tatty unkempt tutu, approaches Alan and asks him if he is a friend of the bride or the groom. “Well,” Alan concedes, “I don’t know either of them really” “Neither do I,” Confides the toad conspiratorially, “But some fish told me that if I can capture the grey lady pebble without getting bit that I can have my very own torpedo.” “What do you mean ‘without getting bit?’ I thought these women had one tooth amongst them.” “True” the toad answers, “But it is very sharp and they know how to use it.” “Ouch” Alan says, “it hurts just thinking about it. “And that’s not the worst part: Their bite is like a curse; it spreads famine and pestilence.” “Ouch,” says Alan again, “that hurts even worse.” But, when push come to shove, of course Alan is too quick for the grey ladies and tricks them out of their tooth/eye which they pass from one to the next first using it as an eye to look around and then as a tooth to say “all clear”. In the process Alan loses several of his own teeth. “I will return it to you” Alan tells them, “If you will reveal where the Wild Oats have been sown” “And,” adds the toad, “if you give me a torpedo.” The Ladies, who know all but like to tell very little, begrudgingly give forth the information: “There is a man who tends garden at a church who is very grumpy. He used to be an evil dictator with complete tyrannical control over a small third world country, but there was a revolution and he was deposed.” Hisses the toothless crones, “This is not the real reason why he is crotchety, though. He is bitter because the one woman whom he ever loved, a witch with a beak for a nose, never even knew he existed. If you ask him he will show you where she used to hunt for worms. She was the one who sowed the oats and this is where she sowed them, but be careful, leper, for the oats can be very dangerous in the wrong hands, and there are many villains after those oats.” “Yes I bet there are,” supposes Alan, “Gosh what a wild goose chase!” “I like wild goose chases” exclaims Bee excitedly “So do I!” Agrees Alan, “Very well ladies, you have answered my questions so here is your tooth back, but promise me you won’t bite me.” The ladies make the promise, and Alan carefully returns the pebble into an eye socket (rather than as a tooth) and then they are off to confront the grumpy man again.” “Hey!” Wonders the toad, “What about my torpedo?”

Lyrics for Alan the Leper

All credits and lyrics for Alan are just a click away!


Alan and Bee find the old man and, when pressed, he does indeed show them where his unrequited love was spent, which was in the church graveyard. But when they go there they realize they are not alone. The preacher from the church is sitting on a bench feeding his pigeons. He pretends to preach to them about the evil in the world, but it is obvious that he too covets the oats and that he does not know where to find them.  “He seems psychopathic, and I’m very uneasy about his perverse obsession with those pigeons” whispers Bee, “I think he’s evil.” “Me too” Agrees Alan, “I don’t like preachers, anyway.’ And he unsheathes his weapon and, without another word, runs his trusty sword through the preacher’s black heart. “That’ll get him!” Grumbles the grumpy man. “And now that I know that those oats that my Helen planted are so powerful I will take them since I too am evil.” And he proceeds to pull out his watering pot, which is magic. he begins pouring oats and as he pours it begins to rain; first water, then milk, then lemonade and Alan and Bee get caught in the liquid onslaught. The Grumpy man cackles, “Now I have the oats which gives me power over your Time Machine!” And he summons the washer-dryer and gets in, “Now I’m in the Driver’s Seat!” And with a few twists of some knobs he is gone. “Oh just great!” Sighs Alan struggling out of the sticky fluids. “He is evil and he’s got the oats and our time machine. That’s just great.” “After him!” Cries Bee. But before they can fly off in pursuit a net is thrown over Bee and Alan by a man in a white suit. “I’m a scientist” He declares, “And I’m going to experiment on you for the sake of science!” “Say, Aren’t you my good friend Albert Einstein? You look an awful lot like him.” Asks a curious Alan. “No,” says the scientist, rubbing his hands together “I am his evil clone. I was created by dark forces to perform great experiments for evil purposes.” Well that’s just too much evil for Alan in too short a time and so out comes the sword (as well as large clumps of body hair and a few more teeth) “When Aliens stole the Eiffel Tower, Albert helped me negotiate its safe return, but you are not him!” He declare as he attacks the Einstein clone and frees Bee from the net. But they have no idea whether the grumpy man went into the past or the future and by now the trail is cold. All seems lost. Alan sighs, “ah well” “I’m very sad” moans Bee “SAD?” cries a small voice out of nowhere, “You don’t know the meaning of SAD!” “Who said that?” Alan asks looking around. “It is I, the mosquito who just bit you and I’m SAD. And I repeat, you don’t know the meaning of SAD!”  “Then you must tell us,” Alan pretends to be interested, but is actually very engrossed in his own problems, “What is the meaning of SAD?” “It is an acronym. It means Some Awful Disease, which is what I gave you when I bit you and, I get so giddy telling you this, but the disease I’ve given you is fatal and it will cause you to die. Some Awful Disease: that’s SAD.” The mosquito flies around happily, ” and I am truly an agent of SAD, for though my life may be a sweet blood sucking feast on a muggy golden August day, it is very short and I too will soon die. And that’s SAD” “What, if I might be so bold as to ask,” Alan quizzes the mosquito, “is the disease you’ve given me? Yellow Fever? Malaria?” “No.” The mosquito replies, “Only the best for a bald guy like you; the disease I’ve given you is leprosy.” “Well, I’ve already got that one.” Alan points out as he swats the mosquito squashing it against his arm, blood spraying everywhere . But, even though the shortening of the mosquito’s already short life cheers our friends a little, things still look grim with a grumpy ex-dictator on the loose and playing evil power games in time and space. They are just about to give up hope when the sky parts and out pops the washer-dryer. machine.


“Hooray!” Bee exclaims delightedly, “Our time/space continuum shifter has come back to us!” Then the door swings open and and who should stick his head out but the toad.  “Wow! The static cling on this thing! and when was the last time you checked the lint filter?” The toad brushes off his shiny new indigo tuxedo, “Anyway here’s your machine back. Drives like a champ. But I like riding in the back and playing with the power windows. Hey you guys want to go for a ride in my new limo?” “What happened to you” Bee cries pointing to large scabs on the toad’s knees. “Those scabs look like fried eggs” Alan observes, “Tell us how it happened and how you came to retrieve our washer-dryer time machine and what became of the evil grumpy dictator gardener.” The toad nodded and started from the beginning “Just like you, I, too, was successful in stealing the old women’s tooth. They told me that I would get my torpedo if I danced a tango with my beautiful bag lady sister, Tonya, at the edge of a very steep precipice and we fell off a very long way, I don’t know what became of Tonya (I fear the poor girl is dead) but I landed on your time machine and, fortunately, only my knees were bruised. The grumpy man was inside but he’d had a heart attack from trying to use the reverse conditional without really knowing how and he was near dead so I pushed him out. Oh by the way, I do believe you are looking for this.” And he pulls out of his pocket a small bag which says on it ‘Wild Oats’ hands it over to Alan. “Anyhow the grey hags were good to their word and I’ve got my torpedo and a limousine and a driver named Alfredo. Which reminds me, I guess I won’t be needing this anymore.” He takes out the grey lady pebble and skims it across a nearby pond. “You didn’t give it back to them?” Alan is amazed “No, and have them give some other poor slob one of their nasty bites?’ “But now those poor old ladies can’t see or speak or eat.” “Yeah, so?” The toad shrugs, “I got what I wanted, and I’m about as happy as can be. Just be glad I’m not evil, I bailed your sorry ass out of hock, too, so no complaints. and anyway isn’t there somewhere you need to go with those oats?” “It’s true! President Eisenhower is waiting for us” and then they are on their way back to Washington. Ike receives them in the Oval Office and Alan hands over the oats. “It’s an awfully small bag of oats” He comments. “Well, Alan.” Says the president sprinkling the oats about the office, “These Wild Oats are really just a musical metaphor for a well spent youth, which is what this country is lacking. It is a return on an investment for those who have lost their childlike innocence!” “Oh” says Alan not really understanding.  “Anyway it was a fun adventure and we met lots of interesting creatures.” Acknowledges Bee. “Yes,” Alan Agrees, “Even if I didn’t get to rescue a princess.. ” he sighs and shrugs,”Oh well, maybe next time”

the end

(P.S. Alan’s next adventure centers around the ancient Egyptian Pyramids and yes a beautiful princess is involved, but that is a different tale for another time.)

(P.P.S. Hold yourself together, Alan The Leper!)

March 5, 2016

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