Under 30: Part 23

Half an hour later Vaughn and I were flying away from the Parks and Recreation Department. The city had two ways to get at the speakers in Riverside Park—inside the park or through the system that allowed someone to address the entire downtown.

We wanted to pump our own music into the park, but we didn’t want to go there to set it up. Thus, our visit to Parks and Recreation.

We flew up to three hundred feet. I could see the Black River, News 10’s helicopter, Riverside Park, and all the people. Shouting and singing carried across the distance along with a hint of a drumbeat.

It was a gorgeous afternoon. Not a cloud appeared in the sky. Turning west, I could see sailboats, speedboats, waterskiers, and jetskis even though it was Monday. Sunlight glinted on the dunes, the waves, and the churning wakes.

Past Grand Lake, the dark waters of Lake Michigan held sailboats, and motorized yachts.

I turned away and told Vaughn, “I guess it’s time to ruin everyone’s day.”

“Yeah, I’m not the only one. I didn’t know all the songs you put on that playlist, but I’m pretty sure the songs I did recognize are banned under the Geneva Conventions. I mean, Rebecca Black’s Friday? Barry Manilow’s uh… anything at all?”

A cloud gathered over Grand Lake. It was thin line and wispy around the edges.

“Blame Ghost. She said the playlist had to be songs that were never cool, stuff that was too commercial, or too bad. I googled ‘worst songs ever’ and decided to take what came up.”

“Yeah, well, that’s exactly what you got.”

The cloud widened, becoming thicker, and a little darker. A few smaller clouds formed near it.

“How far are you going to go? It was supposed to be a little bit of rain, right?”

Vaughn nodded, his ponytail blowing around in the wind that kept him up. “Don’t worry about it, this is nothing like that tornado I did against the Cabal. Evil Beatnik’s people will just get wet, you know?”

That was the idea. I hoped they wouldn’t get out of control. I’d never seen Vaughn’s stuff get out of control, but this was weather, and he was making it act differently than normal. That had to have side effects somewhere—maybe not for us though. Hopefully.

I checked the readout in my helmet. It showed 12:35pm. “We’d better get moving. The sound system should have turned on by now. Are they ready?”

“They’re on the move,” Vaughn said.

They were moving slowly across the lake toward the city and the river. Behind them, more clouds formed over Lake Michigan.

A slow rain fell, splashing when it hit the lake.

We flew along with the clouds, letting them lead. As we grew closer to the park, I could hear music, but Bongo Boy’s drums were drowned out by the sound of an overly autotuned voice singing, “Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday…”

That didn’t stop me from feeling the drums’ beat. I felt the call, the urge to go down and party in the park, but it didn’t last.

I didn’t see her, but I knew what happened. Precisely at 12:36pm, Bongo Boy’s drums were pulled out of his hands, and shattered on the ground.

The urge to join in stopped. I still felt something, but nowhere near as strong. I felt like I could handle it for a little while.

Over the communicator, Jaclyn said, “Drums down. Everyone move in. And congratulations Rocket, you’ve found the best anti-hipster music out there. I don’t want to find out what’s next.”

17 thoughts on “Under 30: Part 23”

    1. Why exactly? Its not like you charge us. Besides that this moves the story along nicely and sets it up for the next stage of the plan. Which seems like a really sensible plan from this bit.

  1. LOL! “but I’m pretty sure the songs I did recognize are banned under the Geneva Conventions. I mean, Rebecca Black’s Friday? ” Classic. In the UK Mr Blobby and Black Lace would be on that list too.
    The thought occurred that we still don’t know who stole the EB’s ring.

  2. I didn’t go back and look, but I have the impression from a previous post that EB just sensed that his time had come and the ring just … left.


  3. The sad thing is I know some people who happen to like that Friday song…

    I also wouldn’t suggest Mr Blobby either, Lingy, after a few months ago seeing a few thousand people happily dancing and singing along quite loudly to it…followed by the Spongebob Squarepants song. And no, they weren’t kids…

    Good read though, didn’t really notice its shortness until you mentioned it Jim! 🙂

  4. I’m not really sure why, but I kind of feel sorry for Bongo Boy. The old fella was just making music with the monkeys, and then the haters come hatin’…

  5. maybe you could have an “earlier that day” wherein Nick writes out all of his playlist so the fans can see this

  6. Music used as torture is in fact banned under the geneva convention. Were the Heroes to confine prisoners and use music or other mentally torturous methods on them in any way… there’d be a fine.

  7. I have a theory that Bongo Boy and the monkeys are the real problem…
    Don’t know how, but it’s a theory.

  8. Dwwolf: Yes, but I have minimum word count targets, and I like to meet them.

    Lingy: I hinted that EB was capable of moving for short distances.

    Captain Mystic: The songs will show up in the story. I may even link to videos.

  9. There’s probably a few people’s messed up attempts at the star-spangled banner on there too. You can’t entirely blame that up to them either. It was set to the tune of a drinking song. You know, a song you gotta be intoxicated to get the tune of or enjoy. Wouldn’t be surprised if you had some Christian Rock on there either, Skillet being an exception. Gotta load up on some Tom Jones if you want it to be anti-hipster. And, of course, the song I remember well from torturing a poor Waffle House with when I was much younger….Mmm Bop.

    Musical methods of disbursing a crowd aren’t legally problematic, I would think. It was attempted in Waco to controversy, but today we literally have vehicles that blast protestors with sound.


    Behold, the Rocketmobile!

  10. Hmm, Anti Beatnik/Generally Uncool music…
    My personal choices…

    Joe Dolce; Shaddap your face
    Cliff Richard; (Just about anything he’s ever done really)
    Barry Manilow; (See above….)
    George Formby: (Again….)
    Bjork; (and again…)
    The Wurzels; Combine Harvester
    Rednex; Cotton Eye Joe
    Aqua; Barbie Girl
    Aqua; Cartoon heros
    Aqua; R..in fact, just play the entire album, Aquarium.
    TaTu; Not gonna get us
    Vengaboys; (anything they ever did – it’s all bad)
    Hanson; mmm bop
    St Winnefreds Shool Choir; Grandma we love you
    Electrix six; Gay bar
    Snap!; Rhythm is a dancer
    BeeGees; Stayin Alive
    O-Zone; Dragostea din tei
    Timmy Mallet; Itsy Bitsy Tiny Weeny
    Blondie; Maria
    ABC; Poison Arrow
    Dead or Alive; You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
    The Pogues; Fairytale Of New York
    Scatman John; Scatman
    The KLF (as The Timelords); Doctorin’ the tardis
    Abba; Souper Trouper
    Carpenters; Please Mr. Postman
    Shaun Cassidy; Da Doo Ron Ron
    Harry Chapin; Cat’s In The Craddle
    Cher; Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
    WHAM!; Club tropicana
    Hollies; He Ain’t Heavy
    Heatwave; Boogie Nights
    Donny Osmond; Puppy Love
    Falco; Rock me amadeus
    Vanilla ice; ice ice baby
    Village People; In The Navy
    Village People; Macho Man
    Village People; YMCA
    Jessie J; Do it like a dude
    Britney Spears; I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (a good song, needlessly butchered)
    Simply Red; fairground
    Stefan Dennis; Don’t It Make You Feel Good
    Gayle & Gillian; Wanna Be Your Lover
    Baccara; yes sir i can boogie
    Men Without Hats; Safety Dance
    The pointer sisters; im soooo excited
    Rick Astley; Never Gonna Give You Up
    the Proclaimers; I would walk 500 miles
    Spitting image; The Chicken Song
    The firm; Star trekkin
    The tweets; birdy song
    Hampton the hamster; Hamsterdance

    Better still, plaing them in the above order means that the genres/eras of music are so mixed up and disjointed to make people cringe – even if the individual tracks weren’t awful.

    Then, if they still wont disperse, it’s time to bring out the big guns….EVERYTHING from the eurovision song contest, from the years 1980-2005.


  11. Now some of those were uncalled for. I happen to enjoy some of those songs. But that may be because I’m a Barbie Girl, in a Barbie world. Which is probably why it’ll be difficult to post a good list for Jim, since he may offend some of our sensibilities. And nobody wants a supervillain after them just because they talked smack about a song they liked.

    Besides, you left out Chocolate Rain.

  12. I happen to enjoy some of them too, however none of them are remotely cool i any way shape or form…

    Barbie Girl & YMCA being excellent examples – awesome at a party to sing/dance to when you have been enjoying an alcaholic dring or several; whilst at the same time it’s painfully embarassing to admit to your friends that you enjoy them, whilst sober.

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