Eventually, Father Time catches up with us all. Dave Lombardo, Slayer’s amazingly talented drummer, was once thought to be the undisputed greatest metal drummer on earth. Scores of adolescents spent many a Saturday night watching Headbangers Ball and air drumming his fills from the beginning of “Seasons in The Abyss”. Nearly every great young drummer used to be called, the next Dave Lombardo. Then, at some point, the world caught up with Dave.
“Some of the new wave of drummers are just quicker today. They have taken my style and improved it with a youthful energy that it’s hard for a 47 year old to match. I needed something to get my edge back,” said Lombardo last night in an exclusive Tyranny of Tradition interview. What Lombardo did was both amazing and terrifying. In a first of its kind surgery, Lombardo had two additional arms added to his body. The arms are functional and just as useful as the two he was born with.
The possibilities for Lombardo are now nearly endless. His drumming style will most certainly take on a uniqueness that the metal world has never thought possible. He will also probably become an amazing juggler and will be able to put away groceries with the speed and dexterity his family has never seen. But, the deeper ethical concerns about a drummer being able to add limbs was the talk of the metal world after Lombardo’s announcement.
“It’s not right that someone can just have limbs added to be a better drummer,” said Battleax Kidneystone, drummer from the death metal band Malignant Pancreas. “If a major league baseball player added extra legs to run faster there is no way they’d let him play.”
Others, like Chainsaw Bloodcolon, from the band Carpathian Impetigo Sore, were less concerned. “If he wants to run around the rest of his life looking like a freak, I say, let him. I’m sticking with the two arms that Satan gave me.”
Still, Gene Hoglan, the recently named Commissioner of Metal Drumming, is looking into whether Lombardo should be allowed to play for Slayer on their next tour. Hoglan, who recently ruled that performance enhancing drugs like beer, crack and Moon Pies were allowed for drummers, is faced with an even more challenging issue here.
Some argue that this could lead to a slippery slope where drummers will have more and more arms added to be competitive. Imagine if Sean Reinert from Cynic decided he was going to add 10 arms and 14 legs. Dream Theater would take Mike Portnoy back in a second if he showed up with no less than 100 additional limbs. The next phase would be guitarists having additional fingers and singers having additional mouths with separate voice boxes. Think of how many strings a djent guitarist could put on his instrument if he had 52 fingers to play with. It is possible that if Hoglan allows Lombardo to keep his additional arms, the metal scene in five years will be indistinguishable from a circus sideshow.
However, if Hoglan rules against Lombardo, the case will surely end up in court. As most legal scholars know, the 2nd Amendment to The Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. “The founding fathers wanted us to have life, liberty and the pursuit of additional limbs, otherwise they wouldn’t have written it down. Besides, what is more American than using technology to grab every possible competitive advantage over others,” said Lombardo. “Being a highly successful four-armed mutant is, in many ways, the American Dream.”
About six months ago, I had surgery done on my foot to remove a bone spur. During the surgery I was given a dose of anesthesia to knock me out and numb the pain. Since the surgery I have noticed many inconsistencies in the fabric of the universe. I have come to the conclusion that one of two things took place. The first possibility is that I am still under anesthesia and currently on the operating table. For this to be true, the anesthesia would have to have distorted my sense of time and what has felt to me to be two months is actually less than an hour. The other possibility is that I died on the operating table and this is either a very strange afterlife or I am experiencing an early stage of death in which the images and ideas in my head slowly become distorted as I lose my connection to what we know as reality.
I know this sounds a bit far fetched, but things have been really strange since the anesthesia went into me. When I was first injected I began to feel extremely sleepy. I tried to talk but it felt like my mouth was filled with peanut butter. My eyes closed and all I could hear were the doctor and one of the nurses talking and that dumb song “Life is a Highway” (the surgery center pumped bad pop music into all the operating rooms to “relax” the patients). I was completely conscious and totally immobile. The song was making me angry. Why couldn’t they have anesthetized my ears? It’s a preposterously stupid metaphor. What the heck does it mean? Life goes on for a long time? Life has exits? If you stay on life for thirty minutes you can get to the airport?
I’m not certain of how I got home. It was late in the day. For the next week I flowed in and out of awareness. Pain and pain medicine shaped my reality. I watched the entire first season of the TV show the old CBS show “Wiseguy” on DVD (mercifully, I only remember about ten minutes of it), I ate pizza, I stared at the painting of a woman on the wall and imagined another head growing out of her neck. I could not shake the feeling that something was wrong. I chalked the whole thing up to oxycodone-induced weirdness and figured I’d feel normal once I got the stuff out of my system.
Time passed. My foot began to heal, I started driving again, I went back to work, and I shed my crutches for a boot. Life resumed, but I could not shake the feeling that the things around me were somehow less real then they had been. It’s not something I can put accurately into words, but it feels quite real. The world seemed similar but not the same.
My first visit to the gym was when things started to get really weird. I slowly moved my way through a few machines and went into the locker room to get the stink off of me. As I walked past the lockers there was a guy in a speedo who looked almost exactly like the guy who played Father Damien Karass in the Exorcist films. I had never seen him at the gym before. He was staring into his open locker and shouting. Most of what was coming out of his mouth was impossible to understand. He was raving. I understood the occasional curse word, but most of it seemed like it was in some weird language that he was making up as he went along. I averted my eyes away from him and sprinted into the shower. When I had gotten out, he was quietly staring with this horrible empty expression on his face. Suddenly, I heard him say in a monotone, semi-possessed voice “Life isn’t a highway, is it Keith? Is it Keith? Is it Keith?”
I felt my stomach leap into my throat. “Excuse me?!?!?!”
He just continued staring blankly into the locker.
“What did you say???” I repeated in a panic.
He did not respond.
I did not tell the thing about “Life is a Highway” to anyone except my wife. I strongly doubt that my wife has launched into a criminal conspiracy with some lunatic at the YMCA to drive me crazy so she’ll be able to drive our Saturn more often, so I have to imagine there are strange forces at work here. But what? Why?
Every time I see this guy, he hums a bar from it and smiles at me. He has a sickly, menacing smile. The type that bankers usually reserve for customers with no hope of getting a loan. He jogs next to me on the treadmill sometimes. Humming. Smiling. Laughing to himself.
The other day, he walked out of the gym at the same time as me. He started repeating the phrase “Do you know where we are? Do you know where we are? Do YOU know WHERE we ARE?” in strange intonations about five feet away from me. At first, I sped up, but when he didn’t stop and continued to follow me I knew I had to take some kind of action. I turned to him and shouted “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Why are you bothering me?!?!?!?!”
He looked perplexed. The man stared blankly into my eyes and began to speak with a voice that betrayed no emotion whatsoever, “Don’t you know where we are?” He reached slowly into his pocket. I was terrified. What was happening? He grabbed my wrist and shoved a piece of paper in my hand. With a coy smile, he turned on his heels and stumbled back towards the gym.
Maybe it was some explanation of everything. Maybe it was a threat. I needed something to make it all make sense. I swallowed deeply and looked at the piece of paper. This had to be the answer. It had to be. It was a ten percent off coupon for the frozen yogurt store about a mile from my house. The orange rain began to pour down from the sky, washing away the beautiful blue sunset. I sat down on the curb next to my car, put my head in my hands and wept.
Recently, I have developed a bizarre fascination with donkeys. They are odd-looking creatures with funny ears that make terrifyingly amusing noises. What’s not to love? I have spent the last few months of my life reading extensively about donkeys and have discovered several incredible, mind-boggling facts that I’d like to share with you so maybe you can find the same feeling of joy and love that I feel when I see one walking down the street.
1. DONKEYS HAVE 14 STOMACHS!!!!
That’s right! Your average donkey is able to consume 40 pounds of carrots in less than an hour thanks to all of these wondrous organs. A donkey can also generate additional stomachs throughout their lifetime. A donkey in Uzbekistan is the current worlds record holder with a reported 59 stomachs. How about that!?!?!
2. DONKEYS CAN LIVE FOR UP TO 3,000 YEARS!!!!!
Not only are donkeys loveable, but they are durable as well. The donkey that belonged to Plato, affectionately known as Rufus, is still with us today. Donkeys are able to regenerate any cells that die within a span of minutes. Nessie, the world’s oldest donkey, just had her 3,357th birthday. Back in the 1960s, the U.S. Army experimented by dropping 500 donkeys out of an airplane at 30,000 feet into occupied Czechoslovakia. Only one was slightly injured. The rest were healthy and immediately able to produce milk for American soldiers who were bravely battling the Germans in World War II.
3. DONKEYS ARE DESCENDED FROM LIONS AND HORSES!!!
Sure, lions and horses seem like a strange match, but hey, love is a many splendored thing! If you mate these two beasts you will produce a donkey. As crazy as it sounds, lion ranchers in New Zealand have been mating these two types of animals for the past 20 years. As a result, the donkey population has tripled. And as you well know, more donkeys mean more happiness for everyone!
4. DONKEYS CAN GROW TO THE SIZE OF ELEPHANTS!!!!
It’s true! When properly fed a balanced diet of oatmeal cookies and orange sherbet, donkeys can grow to the size of full-grown elephants. This can mean serious trouble for those who keep donkeys as house pets. Sure, tiny baby donkeys can be cute, but a full-grown mammoth jack donkey can grow to the amazing height of 160 hands (53 feet tall). An angry mammoth jack donkey can go on a rampage and destroy an entire village causing massive damage and severe injuries. So BE CAREFUL!
5. SIXTY FIVE PERCENT OF DONKEYS ARE ACTUALLY ROBOTS!!!!
It’s sure hard to tell the difference between a robot donkey and a real one. Here’s a tip, if your donkey starts going wild during a lightning storm, it’s probably a robot. If your donkey gets a cut and begins leaking oil, it’s probably a robot as well. Robot donkeys were first built during The Great Donkey Shortage of 1927 and have been with us ever since. They are just as friendly and good-natured as donkeys, but often have additional fun options like the ability to blend smoothies in their mouths. If owning a regular donkey seems financially out of reach, you just might want to consider picking up one of these wonderful mechanical creatures at your local Wal-Mart or certified Robot Donkey outlet.
6. DONKEYS CAN TELL TIME!!!!
Ever notice how a donkey sleeps at night and runs around playfully during the daytime? Can you guess why? It is a known fact among donkeyologists that these wonderful beasts can roughly tell what time of day it is based on whether the sun is out or not. They sure are smart!
7. ONE IN EVERY TWENTY DONKEYS ARE BORN WITH THE ABILITY TO SING!!!!
They are known for that ridiculous braying noise they make, but did you know that 1 in every 20 donkeys, if properly trained, can become remarkable singers. These special donkeys are born with unique vocal chords that allow the donkeys voice to create beautiful melodies. The Turkmen Donkey Choir, a group of talented donkeys from Turkmenistan who travel around singing old Rogers and Hammerstein show tunes, have performed to packed houses around the world and even had an audience with the Pope! Recently, a first in donkey musical history took place when a jenny named Roberta starred in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera performance of Turandot. She received rave reviews and a bouquet of carrots from the audience. Oh what a night!
8. SHERBET IS MADE FROM DONKEY BONES!!!!
Next time you are settling down after a hard day of work to a heaping bowl of everybody’s favorite delicious treat, remember to thank a donkey. If it weren’t for the Kraft Corporations decision back in 1953 to mix vanilla ice cream, ginger and donkey bones, sherbet would never have been discovered. Sherbet, once only believed to be a wonderful dessert, has recently been used successfully in medical trails for the treatment of Exploding Head Syndrome. So, not only do donkeys make people happy, they might just save some lives.