The Backstory

It was a dark and featureless sky that guided Ted (The Emcee) and Ward (The Maestro) back home after a long and lackluster tour of tiny towns and insignificant burgs across the northern expanse of Pennsylvania. They had performed their shows, had eaten and slept poorly, and now it was back to Elmira until they could rustle up a few more engagements. As usual, Ted was at the wheel and Ward was riding shotgun with the window cracked, smoking a Gauloise.

Their gear was stowed in the back of their 1935 Studebaker pickup truck. Tucked away under a loosely tied tarp was Ward’s hurdy-gurdy, his toy harpsichords, and more crumhorns than should ever be gathered in any one place. Ted’s props consisted of all manner of knives, bodkins, and dirks, as well as his most prized possession – a device he had constructed himself called the “Rotisserie of Death.”

It was very late when they pulled up in front of the Pawn and Ammo Shop over which their shabby flat waited for them at the top of a long and narrow stairway. The truck gave one last lurch and cough as Ted released the clutch and turned off the headlamps. Ward tossed away the butt of his French cigarette and stepped bleary-eyed out onto the sidewalk. They both headed to the back of the truck to unpack the detritus of their performing lives for what seemed like the thousandth time.

A stirring under the tarp made them stop in their tracks. Then a face appeared from beneath, accompanied by a few mumbles. Emerging from the truck bed was a stalwart chap of quiet demeanor wearing tattered overalls and not much else. This was a person they had never before laid eyes upon. Was he a thief, a scoundrel, or a demon? He gave Ted and Ward each a quick glance, nodded, and said, “Higgedebundi.” He then untied the tarp and proceeded to unload their gear and carry it upstairs.

Thus it was that, for a reason known only to himself, Hashadoo arrived at their doorstep.

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