By Bob Curran

NUMBER THREE: “THE NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE RHYTHMIC CHALLENGE”

I knew I was in a recording studio. I knew that I was there with fellow musicians. And for some reason we were trying to create or compose a song with an almost impossible rhythm to it. It was in 5/4th time. We tried to get the beat down first but the drummer was having trouble. The reason a song in such a rhythm like this is so difficult is that it goes against the normal rhythmic sway of the human, innate dance move in which body sways with at 2/4th’s time in which there are two beats per measure. This is usually for faster songs but is rhythmically sound. The vast major of songs are written in 4/4th time in which there are 4-beats to each measure and make for good dance music or even big band or ‘swing’ music for that matter. Then there is the “Waltz’ tempo of 3/4th time which still contains a way to move to the beat but only when dancing at a “one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three” pace of a waltz. 5/4th time doesn’t allow for a normal dancing motion of the body. The closest example is the genius of Frank Zappa’s “Dancing Fool” written in the 1970’s and purposely written in 5/4th time for the express purpose that people could not dance to it. Just imagine how it plays against the grain:

“One-two-three-four-five” ‘ONE –two three-four five’ there almost has to be a counter-rhythm or something inside the overall 5 beats to the measure.

Disgusted at our failure, the band left the studio, only to try and try again each time we came back. We finally came up with something using my first dream experience. We called it the “Ever-Changing Picture” and it was a cacophony of noises, blended beats, and probably something that would never sell commercially or ever be a ‘dance hit.”
“The every changing picture frame, the every channeling picture storie, the every changing picture frame, the every channeling storie” One two there four five (And a)one two three four five.” Then, closing my eyes, I was suddenly aware of a swaying motion. I was definitely on a body of water, and in a small boat. I was about 500 yards from shore in this 16-18 foot powerboat out of nowhere. In this distance I could hear a chorus of male voices singing a rather simple tune. It was a simple 4-beats to a measure rhyme and I even remember the words.

“Born to be a warehouse man..Born to be a warehouse man…I’m not living forgiven for what I do….I’m just living and working for me and you….”

The words and the melody repeated incessantly in my head. For some reason I immediately possessed the knowledge that there was a small boat trailer waiting for me on shore and that this rather non-conventional boat trailer had been loaned to me by the owners of a huge food warehouse since some sort of markings both on the boat and trailer said something that ended in the words: “Food Incorporated.” I started the powerful craft and headed to shore at a ever accelerating rate of speed.

I pulled up onto shore and sure enough, about 20 feet out from a sandy beach was a forklift-type of boat trailer waiting for me. I maneuvered the boat slowly up toward the forklift and when I was right above the two forks my boat was lifted out of the water and an operator ferried me some distance to a dry storage location, where my boat was hoisted up and into a dry storage bay about 20 feet off the ground. “Strange set up?” I recall thinking as I walked away from the craft and into the back of the warehouse.
Directly inside I came upon what looked like display set up, as in the way a product line is displayed at a trade show or food show. I approached this display to find a manufacturer’s rep and a display set up coordinator, mulling about a complex turkey products display. The signage read something like “Tersedale Farms.”I approached the duo and immediately began spouting off my knowledge of the entire poultry industry. I talked about my knowledge of their company, how I preferred a turkey breast with a bone in, which delivered additional flavor, had the best portion control and taste.

The two seemed impressed with my in-depth understanding of their product line and then one of them asked a favor. Without recalling the exact words he spoke I knew he was asking for help with the transportation of additional pallets of product from a far end of  the gigantic warehouse that was so big that I couldn’t determine its actual size, to the area near their display set up. My answer was more precise:

“Well that’s the least I can do since the company was nice enough to lend me their boat and boat trailer and to dry store it for me!” I look about in my immediate area and there,near a loading dock behind them I saw it!

I was looking at what appeared to be the dual forks of a forklift truck but there was no truck! I simply saw the two pronged forks form a normal forklift, sticking out and attached to a glowing, flashing, computer-like terminal. The whole thing was a complete anomaly. I had never seen anything like it!

I walked up to the strange machine and there sat a remote control. I picked up the small device and began to play with it to determine how it worked. It was fairly simple to operate. A few clicks of a ergonomic button and the movement of a joystick and the strange, glowing forklift device rose into the air! I was able to guide the advanced contraption toward me, turn it in the direction of the far end of the warehouse and then direct it through the air as the two company representatives followed behind with astonished looks on their faces. The “salesman” or main company rep jerked nervously at his tie as I observed that he had a ‘turkey-jowl’ loose, “double-chin” neck protruding from underneath his tie.

The three of us made our way to the far end of the warehouse, where several wooden pallets of product, still in their cases, were waiting. I expertly maneuvered the postmodern device effortlessly and precisely underneath the pallets and the whole assembly rose into the air

The cases of Turkey product were just a little bit unbalanced and so all three of us needed to walk along the flying, floating pallet underneath the forks, steadying the load, from both sides with our hands. A few other warehousemen saw our difficulty and ran up to join the “procession” back to the display area.
Abruptly, everyone in the “crew” except me, broke into song!
“Born to be a warehouse man, born to be a warehouse man!
I’m not living forgiving for what I do!
I’m just working for me and for you!” I could think of neither rhyme nor reason for why
I was involved in such a situation but we proceeded along in any case

The futuristic forklift machine, the assembly of different looking and different employee type workers and myself. We continued along, chanting that idiotic chant, and moving slowly along the rows of the never-ending warehouse. I certainly did not mind slowly disappearing into the great dark void of nothing at this juncture but that’s exactly what happened, the singing and chanting gradually fading away with the light……

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