Rumble in the Jungle
Goodbye Chas - August 2008
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Leave Your Blues




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Extremely Loud Rumbling at Rumble in the Jungle

by Rev. Stang

Prof. Chas Smith founded the Rumble in the Jungle parties as a Brushwood tradition 3 years ago, but then went and died. The Rumbles are being continued by Rev. Ed Strange, Rev. Bob Mozik, and Dr. K'taden Legume. The main events are feasting and jamming, and for this particular one, a funeral pyre.

The feasting part went off bloatingly. The whole block of Brushwood road outside Camp Tiki Banzai and Area 23 was closed off with road cones; long tables piled with food filled the road. PILES AND PILES OF MEAT of many animals were skillfully grilled by Rev. Strange and the beautiful Steph, a natural Alpha Connieite. All manner of other dishes were provided by guest gluttons. Princess Wei brought her original extraterrestrial quinoa salad and homemade, or rather Earth-made, pickles. Revs. Teeters LaVerge and Wilhelm Stahlhelm appeared, proffering rum and cokes. There were about thirty others who are not yet ordained SubGenius Ministers.

Almost exactly after the last person had mostly finished eating, the rumbling started. Unfortunately it was not coming from The Friends of Chas band, but from an increasingly dark gray and lightning-streaked sky. One of the legendary Brushwood downpours began. These can last 3 minutes or 3 hours.

This was one of the 3 hour ones. The food had to be put away, the band had to stash all the equipment without ever using it, and the Rumblers had to take shelter. We/I ended up in Ed's mighty yurt with Dr. Legume. This was excellent Involuntary Slack; we sat for an hour on Ed's bed watching the storm battle Ed's campfire, framed by the yurt's doorway. As Legume put it, it was "just like watching Brushwood on TV." It was great to have a visit with Dr. Legume and our other friends while not running a festival. In fact, even if it's pouring rain, just being at Brushwood is heavenly, while not running a festival.

Pea sized hail suddenly rained down on Brushwood, sounding like the loudest tinnitus imaginable. It was Wotan making more noise for the funeral pyre of Chas than any band ever could.

Eventually Pater Nostril, Ed and Steph entered the yurt and we looked at Ed's photos of his life at Brushwood on his computer for a while. The jam was called off. As I understand it, the only real jamming that happened was during the band's setting up in the afternoon, and that was mainly between Ron Slabe on keyboards and the 6-year-old Haley Isla on drums. Haley is the little girl who, two X-Days ago, helped me gut the Judge Punch effigy dummy and throw him into the bonfire.

We suspect that the hail was invoked by the sonic combination of Ron's keyboard, Haley ("HAIL-Y!") on drums and Ed on chainsaw.

The downpour stopped long enough for the real Main Event of the night to happen: The Burning of The Chas Coffin. SubGenii who attended 11X-Day will remember the grisly Corpse of Chas and its beautifully decorated open black coffin at the Camp Tiki Banzai memorial site. Awaiting it in the Roundhouse was a classic funeral pyre structure built by fire masters Jason & Leslie. Lead by torchbearers Princess Wei and Michele George, pallbearers Legume, Strange, Mozik, and Slabe carried the coffin in a procession from Tiki Banzai to the Roundhouse -- Chas' last trip to the Roundhouse -- and placed it atop the wooden structure. As if on cue, the rain returned and wrecked a plan whereby rivers of oil extending from all four corners of the pyre would be lit by flaming swords, so that the flames would travel inwards to the pyre and converge simultaneously. Instead the pallbearers had to manually light it with their flaming swords.

A dozen drummers drummed as the pyre went up in flames. fighting the rain. By design, the sides of the coffin burned away quickly to reveal that there was still a hideous corpse within. The area under the skull gave way and the skull crashed down into the fireā€¦ then rolled out onto the ground, its eye sockets flaring briefly before finally being extinguished by the rain.

Rain continued to pour, but the fire was a powerful one, hot enough at one point to cause everyone under the Roundhouse sheltered area to back away into the shelter as far as they could. The remaining food was arrayed on tables out of the rain, where it was almost all consumed by Lonesome Cowboy Dave and myself.

Late in the evening, the rain finally let off, and everyone returned to the standard Brushwood activity of sitting around fires on folding chairs, yakking and drinking.

We/I and Michele George had arranged to stay the night in The Big House, a blessed haven of dryness. On Sunday we rose just in time for a grand Pater Nostril Mass Breakfast with the Brushwood family, Dr. Dark and Her Highness Hellno, The Other Ivan and Jo, John the Security and Michele George. Just as the joyful face-stuffing ended, the rain returned. This forced We/I to spend two hours of beatific Involuntary Slack alone at The Big House. When the rain stopped we made it back to the main camp to say farewell to everybody for a couple of hours. Dr. Legume donated to the Foundation the priceless complete Rudy Ray Moore movie collection on 8 DVDs.

My dream of eating Southern Fried Steak with Cream Gravy at Aintz in Sherman was shattered, for Aintz was closed, but we found succor at the Sherman Hotel restaurant. When we got home we watched "There Will Be Blood." This morning Wei called in sick and we again ate out, at Bill's in Cleveland Heights, where I finally got my Southern Fried Steak in Cream Gravy. We ran an errand and then went to see the new Joker movie, "Dark Knight." SPOILER:

The Joker doesn't die, but the guy who plays him does.

This artificially extended weekend has been an ORGY OF SLACK.

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