How Sammy stopped shaking

          Charlie Manson is irritated to see that Sammy The Shake has brought
The Son of Man to the appointment. The Son of Man is brandishing two lead
pencils he’d jammed up his own ass a month ago as a protest against the
war on drugs. Although Charlie entirely agrees with The Son of Man’s
sentiments he does not like the close proximity of the two shit-stained
pencils to his olfactory organ. Sammy The Shake mutters grimly that
he’s not interested in politics, he's got the shakes again.

          The three of them wander around the inner city streets for a while
looking for The Penguin to score from but he’s nowhere to be found and
soon Sammy The Shake has got the shakes so badly that Charlie Manson
pulls out a Stanley knife and holds it to Sammy's throat all the while
yelling "Quit that shaking dammit, quit it" but Sammy can't stop
shaking which is the very reason he's called Sammy The Shake. Just then
and by way of a solution The Son of Man has the bright idea of selling
the shit-encrusted pencils to the Institute of Contemporary Art which
is just off the Herengracht. They jump into a taxi which is immediately
mired in a huge traffic jam on the Vijzelgracht.

          The taxi driver is wearing a yellow plastic Star of David stapled to
his ear. He turns nonchalantly towards Charlie Manson and asks:

          “So how long did it take?”

          Charlie Manson snarls.

          “Nine months.”

          “And when were you born?”

          “Two days ago.”

          “And to murder your mother?”

          “Twenty seven years.”

          “Oh. You’re slow. Now for your father.”

          “He ignored me.”

          “Forgive him.”

          The traffic unjams, exposing the remains of a cyclist who seems to
have mutated into a cyborgian tramrail sculpture. Man and machine,
perfectly fused in a classical postmortemist sculpture. Charlie Manson
grins and asks the taxi driver for a receipt. He pays with fake
banknotes, Euro replicas picked up in Albania before the nuking.
Charlie, Sammy The Shake and The Son of Man rush into the crisp front
office of the venerable Art Institute just before closing time. The
shit-stained pencils are examined by an owlish curator. He hums and
hahs. Scrapes off a piece of the excrement and places it under a
microscope. Makes measurements. Dabs and daubs chemicals onto the
sample. Checks the results on his computer. Finally the curator turns
to the motley trio with an almost-smile playing on the sides of his

          “They’re originals.”

          He pays Charlie Manson in cash. The banknotes smell suspiciously
of wine, but seem authentic to Charlie. A month after the transaction is
conducted the valuable pencils are accidentally sharpened by a
fastidious Morroccan cleaning lady who is fired on the spot when the
heinous art vandalism is discovered.

          Meanwhile our merry brigade, their pockets brim-filled with
wine-stained banknotes, rush back to the Zeedijk where the Penguin has
finally arrived. The Son of Man rolls the bones while Charlie Manson
scores and then the three of them share a single rusty needle in order
to save funds.

Aryan Kaganof drives Audi and shoots Glock. His favourite mode is
prosopopoeia. He lives in Johannesburg.

© 2005 Underground Voices