[Buckleian MSS 1001]
Praise be to al-LAWD, who set the spheres to swinging and adjusted the stage lights and run up the curtain and cued the opening number! And praise be to the sweet sacred mouthpiece Muhammad (may He blow forever in the great cathedral head of Beauty) and for the storyteller’s gig, whereby all the cats and kitties and chicks and studs of the world might hip themselves to wild crazy scenes beyond the range of their five-gates-to-the-soul; and amongst these is the lick of the One Thousand Swinging Nights (and another Night on the side), which contain riffs of triple insane wig-stretching gassers like you ain’t never before dug in your natural born life!
Back in what Brother Kipling’s old nanny call the “High and Far-Off Times,” they was a dynasty of king-heads whose rule done covered whollllle stretches of Asia, and these non-stop studs been on top the heap so long they was all cocksure of themselves, you know, strutting round coming on all snide and sassy to everybody, even each other! In fact, they was so sassy and so snide that that become the tag by which they is writ into the scrolls of history – the Sassanides, see what I say? And the two sassiest and snidest of this whole lineage was a pair of brothers who was such loose souls that their old man had to split his soil stash north- and south-wise and give each cat a half JUST TO KEEP THEM APART! Because he KNEW that if he gave just one of them his kingdom they’d be dragging on each other too much to EVER take care of business! And what kind of bad jazz do these two studs wail up when they get together? That is what we is here to dig tonight. So! The older brother was a big strapping stud, and a equestree-yine head – he loved to play the ponies! And he was always getting his noble-heads together to go out hunting. He get his horsemen and his houndsmen and his falconeers, stomp out into the mother primeval, come back with a couple elephants and tigers on his fender, saying, “Yeah, I killed these beasts with my bare hands! Ain’t I a stud? Ain’t I a gas? Ain’t I the baddest cat on the sphere?” And all his buddy-cats jump up and say “Yep, you sure are! You great! Sure you are, sure y’are!” And they was always sounding him like that so much that in time that come to be the cat’s tag: Shahryar, dig? Now the younger brother was made the Shah of Samarkand (which was a very jumping town in them days), and when he picked up on how everybody was talking up his brother, he knew he got to make name for hisself! But he weren’t no hunting and riding type stud so what he done is, he put down a off-ramp from the Silk Road (which run right by Samarkand there) and skim a little trim off the silk trade, see what I mean, then whipped up a great swinging main-day breeze for all his populance, with some fine Shiraz juice flowing and great silver trays of citrons and crediddlies and acravots everywhere and chicks jumping around in jingly little pasties and hot jazz blowing and the next day every cat in town is saying “Weren’t that some kind of wild crazy action at the Shah’s last night?” “You telling me, Charlie! The joint was jumping! That Shah is a man what knows how to swing!” “Yes sir, Yassir, that Shah is the man, alright! The Shah’s the man!” And that’s how the cat’s tag come to be recorded in the chronicles as Shah Zaman. And these two studs grooved in their own scene for about twenty year, until finally Shahryar say “Been a long time now since I laid eyeballs on my little brother-cat! Go put the sound out Samarkand way so he’ll know to join me out down here and we can blow a little jazz together and make the scene.” So his vye-zeer loaded up all the camels and split for Samarkand. And finally he come back with the brother-cat in tow, but let me hip thee, Shah Zaman looked DRUG! His map was all long and woe-full, like the burdens of the world was all piled up under his wig driving him right into the ground, and his turban all skewed to one side and looking like he ain’t oiled his mustache in a week. So Shahryar say “What’s dragging you, my brother? You look like someone swiped your stash and kicked your dog! What’s going down here?” But Shah Zaman he say “I don’t want to talk about it.” And Shahryar say “How bout some scarf, you been on the road and hungry and all? No? Well, I done laid out a big hunting expedition for us for tomorrow – you should make that scene, the sun and fresh air do you good, Jack!” But Shah Zaman say “You just go on without me, I be alright here. I got me some heavy sitting to do.” So Shahryar say “As you will. Whatever. Later.” And he take off and have himself a time cutting out through the fields and the mountains and the jungles. And when he come back he seen his brother with a smile on his puss and chomping on goodies from the royal cupboard. So Shahryar say “That’s more like it! Glad to see you re-charged, so hip me, what was it that was dragging you so? And what cooled you out while I was gone?” Shah Zaman say “I’ll tell you what drug me, but you gotta swear not to ask what got me un-drug!” “Well, if you say so…” “Well, I say so.” And the cat say “So!” And so Shah Zaman splain how gassed he was to get the invite from his brother’s vye-zeer, and how he got all his affairs of state all straight and up-to-date, then loaded up all his own humpers with gifts and scarf for the voyage and blew. But he weren’t no more than half a day from Samarkand when he hipped himself that he had left behind a present for his brother, so he tell all his buddy-cats and companion-train he gotta swing back home for something and he’d catch up with them later. So he come back into the city without no parade or fanfare and go up into his pad. And just as he’s passing by the boudoir, he hear his reason for living, the queen, and she saying “Oh, where me my special lover, the sweetest and grooviest high-balling stud that ever stomped this side of the Himal’yas? Fall in, lover!” And Shah Zaman think “Aw, my little kitty is missing me already!” But before he can get another bubble in his wig, a big old cook from the palace kitchen, with his hands all greasy and sweat from the ovens on his brow, pop up and say “Here I is!” And he wrap his big greasy mitts round the queen’s royal crupper, and start smooching her on her wing and on her shoulder and on her neck and together they plunge into the silk. When Shah Zaman dug this scene, brothers and sisters, he BLEW HIS STACK! See, any fool know you can’t blow that sort of jazz round no Sassanide stud! So he whip out his lean wicked skimmy-tar and tiptoe into the room and, it say right here in the historical chronicles, chapter two, verse seventeen, subparagraph c, it say, and I quote, “he cut the two into four.” Dig that. Shahryar hear all this and he say “Well, eh heh, that is a serious bring-down there. Good thing there ain’t no monkey business like that going down in my pad!” And Shah Zaman say “Don’t be too sure, brother…” “What that mean? And how come it is you is all gassed now after you was so unhung before?” “I done told you not to sound me on that!” “Well, I’s asking! C’mon, you can hip your big brother!” “Yeah, I can hip you, but when I hip you you ain’t gonna dig it!” And so Shahryar say “And you ain’t gonna dig it when I knock one end of you so far up round the other you won’t know whether you’re sitting or standing!” on account of that the way these Sassanide cats take care of business, like I splain. So now Shah Zaman he go “Wellll, o-o-okay. See, what it is, dig, is, your old lady’s stepping out on you too, bro!” Now it’s Shahryar’s turn to jump salty. “WHAT!? She never – you lying, boy! Come in here into my own pad and blow all this bad jazz in my ear! What’s wrong with you?” Shah Zaman say “You see for yourself, brother. Tomorrow you knock up another hunting expedition, we’ll make a big show of swooping this scene, then that night we sneak back and hide behind that third tapestry on the right, and then you tell me I’m lying!” This they now do. Shahryar say to his queen “I’m gonna be another three nights out with the boys, dear,” and she say “Cool, cool!” and they get up all the horses and dogs and hawks and retinue and cinch theirselves up real tight and blow a little hot jazz as they head out the city gate just to hip everyone to the fact they’ll be gone for a while. Then once they’s about out of sight of the city they change into the plain bedsheets and sneak back. So here they is, behind the third tapestry on the right in a little crenellated alcove overlooking the garden, dig? And in come the queen, with wives number two through eleventeen along with her, and all the handmaid kitties and concubines and odalisques and the little vapor girl what sing the alto parts, and the queen snap her fingers and all these fine fly chicks suddenly SHED THEIR THREADS and start dancing all these insane flips round the garden while every servant stud in place come pouring through the doors ready to get busy, understand what I mean! As the scene really start to get into full swing, the queen sounded out like, “Fetch me the ace stud outa all you cats, the biggest, strongest, stompingest, wailingest high-balling stud we got on staff here, cause I got a itch I want him to scratch!” And this big old stud from work down in the stable with mud on his boots and every damn thing, this big stud drop down out the tree right next to the queen and he whisper cool-wise into her bejeweled ear “What you say, baby?” Well, this was too much for Shahryar. Hit the cat so hard he just stomped away with a big twitch in his shoulder and one eye bugging out, saying “I can’t believe it. Can’t be so.” Sassanide cats don’t swing with no dilliance and dalliance (less it’s them that’s doing the swinging, you dig!) But finally he turn to his brother and go “Man, let’s blow this joint. I gotta get outa this place. We need a change of scenery!” Shah Zaman say “Ooboppadoo, you with me, I’m with you!” And so they cut out down the pike. And they traveled FAR and WIDE, out past Hippistan and through Zippistan and on into Flippistan at the furthest antipode of the known sphere. At last they come to a biiiig tree in a coooool meadow by the big pool, and they sit down there and light up. But before it even get passed round, up come a dark, terrible, billowing, wailing typhoon out of the sea, and in the center of it spins this giant waterspout that reach all the way up to the firmament! And it’s heading right at them! And Shahryar say “What is this mess now?!” And Shah Zaman say “I don’t know, but I’ll be up this here tree if you wanna ask me anything else!” And Shahryar say “I’m hip! Move over!” And so this sky-sweeping mother tornado reach the shore and … open up. Out step a GIGANTICAL fierce-looking afrite carrying a stash-box on his head covered with gold and gemstones. (Allow me to splain the vernacular: an afrite is a big mean ugly kind of a genie, an Arabical spook, dig, and they calls it that on account of, it’s soooo scaaaarrry-looking, that’s what you gets when you sees one – a fright, dig?) So this cloud-bending afrite, he put down his stash-box and he YAAAAAAWWWNNNN and he STRRRRETCH and little typhoons go spinning away out cross the seven seas, and this afrite lay his huge frame down along about five miles of coast and lean his pod up gainst the very tree that these two brothers is hiding in. So they are flipping. They’re flipping so hard they’re trying not to flip right out the tree into the chompers of this mad mother afrite cat. And this giant cat flip the lid on his jeweled box and say “SING IT SWEET, BABY.” And out from the gold case come dancing a cute little dang-dang girl, shaking her little jingly-jangles doing a Persian Slinky-slank with a Ring-A-Ding on the side, and she sing “Hominy pudmee yum wawa bow-wow!” Soon the cat say “EH – HEH-HEH! THAT PURTY! THAT SURE IS SOME NICE JAZZ THERE… YEAH… UNGH-HUH!… UNGHH…HUHHH…UNNGHH…HUHHHHH…” Snoring, dig? And every time he breathe in – “UNGH” – he suck all the clouds out the sky, and when he breathe out – “HUNGHHHHH!” – he blow em all back where they was. And the little dang-dang girl, she put the burn up into the tree where the two brothers is, and she say “Hey there, boys! Why don’t you two studs come down here and ring my bells…?” They go “She talking to you?” “I ain’t never laid eyes on the chick, she must be talking to you!” So the girl say “Both you cats get down here right now, or I will wake up this afrite and he will knock you clean into the middle of next century!” and the brothers say “Well, I guess we gots to go. You first.” “I ain’t going first! You go first!” “Oh, no. After you, my brother, cause you the man. I’m not making move one!” “Sure you are!” But finally they swing down and start ringing the little kitty’s dang-dang bells, and they go round the world and off the map doing these wild flips and high sensual acrobatics and Shanghai soo-prize and Kamasutra titty-twist with the connilinguistical flip-flap for the encore just to keep this mad chick from getting bugged and waking the afrite on em! At the end of this crazy scene, the chick lean back and she say “Oh, that was okay I guess… Now I gets to claim a prize from you two studs to top it all off! Lemme see them there signet rings you is flashing…” So the brothers lay their rings on this chick and she whip out a string that got about seventy-hundred and eleventy-seven rings already dangling on it! And she picks up on the two brothers doing the double-take at this string and she says “Yeah, I got all these offa uptight octagonheads like yourselves. And all this just on one trip – I got another twelfteen piano crates full back at the pad! Sure a lot of squares in the world, ain’t there?” And she laugh right in the face of the two Sassanide studs, she is so gassed, and they do the shuffle off to Baghdad, saying “Ain’t that a bad scene? Big gigantical cat like that with a little old kitty stepping out on him, and he don’t even know!” “Womens is bad!” “You said it, brother!” So they go back to their respective pads, and the very first thing Shahryar do is round up all the cats and kitties that made the scene in the garden and lop off their wigs, bap-bap-bap. Then he get him a new bride, a sweet little young maiden-kitty, get to grooving on her all night long, and when the early bright come, he lop off her wig. That night he do the same thing and in the morning – vrrrt! – off her wig come too. He done this EVERY NIGHT FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS, and by that time every cat in the kingdom is flipping! He’s depleting the land of all the sweet young beautiful chicks, and any cat what got a daughter is saying “Get down in the cellar, Ayisha, I think I hear the king’s warrior-studs coming down the pike here!” cause they all seen the big pile of wigs out back the palace getting bigger and bigger. So finally it come down to the old vye-zeer; he’s been swooping all over the kingdom scouting out maidens for the king, and after all this time he’s hip to the fact that there ain’t hardly no more chicks left – they all cut out and are holed up in The Big Garden! So he say “They ain’t no more kitties left in the kingdom, O sweet swinging non-stop light of the land!” Shahryar say “Ain’t you got a dimple or two yourself, old man? How bout them? Weekend coming. Hook me up!” So this vye-zeer cat come home with a HEAVY HEAD! He is in a main-day bind! And his daughters – their names Skehairyzady and Dunyazady, I don’t know why – they come in and say “What’s up, daddy?” and the vye-zeer hip em to the whole horrible state of affairs of state. “I ain’t giving my girls up to that square king!” he say. Now this Skehairyzady, she was a real cool, hip, groovy chick from in front; she done been to the community college and dug all the arts and sciences and humanities and all them book kicks, so she were a very sharp and chilly young kitty indeed. She say “I’ll do it!” And the vye-zeer say “GIRL! You don’t know what you saying! That king gonna take you out, but then he gonna take you out, you hear what I say? Don’t you forget that ditty bout the Bull and the Ass, now!” And he play her a little lick go something like this: This farmer, he’s hip to the semantic of the animal world, dig? And one day he’s in the stable and overhears the big Bull saying “OOOHH! I am beat, flapped, spent and ex-pent! That is a main-day drag pulling that plow and pushing that big stone round the mill! I gots blisters on the bunions on my callouses over here!” And the Ass tell him “Do like I say. Don’t eat none of that scarf he’s giving you, and next time he fit you with the harness you stagger round and fall over like you sick, and maybe he cut you a day off.” So the Bull do this, and since the farmer is hip to what’s shaking, he take out the Ass and work that Ass right into the ground! And when he get back into the stable the Ass say “OOOHH! My back is killing me! You got to take this gig back, Mister Bull, cause I cannot hack it!” And the Bull say “No, that’s cool, that little free dues scam you hipped me to is working out real groovy, so I likes things the way they is now.” And so the Ass say “Well, I heard that farmer today say ‘If that Bull don’t get up and tow the line soon, I guess I gots to sell him off to the stockyards!’” So the Bull sit on this all night, and next morning when the farmer come into the stable that Bull is pushing at the gate saying “Lemme at it! We got us some work to do today! Where that plow? Strap me in good, cause I am gassed just to have a wheel to turn! I love my gig!” and when the gate open the Bull jump out and prance round the yard and even do a Chinese backflip just to show how gassed he is. Now the farmer’s been hip to all this jazz from in front, like I splain, so when he seen the Bull carrying on like some freaky puppy-dog, well, he like to double over, he laughed so hard. And his wife say “What you laughing at?” Now, when al-Lawd first blessed this farmer with the gift of the animal semantic, it was on the condition that if he ever hipped anyone to it, then THAT’S IT! That’s his final act, dig? So he say to his old lady “I’d love to hip you, dearest, but I just can’t, you dig?” But she say “I don’t dig nothing. You got a bubble stashed in your wig, I wanna know what it is!” “But if I hip you, I’s a dead man!” “I don’t care bout that, just tell me!” Well now, this here farmer is so hung up on his old lady, he say “Okay, okay, dearest. Just give me some time to get all my licks straight and up-to-date and put in a call to the undertaker and then I’ll hip you to this action.” So the farmer start making out his will and getting all his payoffs paid off and soon every cat and kitty in the province is saying “You hip to what’s going down at the old farm yonder?” “Yeah, cat putting hisself on the edge of he razor’s flip just so’s he can hip his old lady to the punchline of some joke kick! Ain’t that a freakish scene?” and on the day of the big hipping a whole mess of folks show up to see how it gonna go down. The farmer say to his old lady “You ain’t gonna change your mind?” and she say “I ain’t!” so he say “Lemme go take a leak first and then I be ready.” Now, while he’s walking to the outhouse he just happen to pass the chicken coop and see the rooster flapping his wings and puffing up his wig and jumping from on back of one hen to another and just having a balling time. And the farm-dog swoop by and say “Man, how come you carrying on like that when our master is fitting himself for a pair of wings on account of his wife?” And the rooster say “Don’t bug me with that noise – I gotta get my own kicks, dig? And sides, if that farmer is really fixing to scratch himself from the big race for his old lady, then I say he is a first-class king-size CHUMP! Looky here, I got me fifty wives and I’s getting to be a ripe old age here cause whenever any one of them give me any lip I just go WHAP! Smack her down so hard she don’t never even think bout mouthing off again!” The farmer picked up on this and went to the outhouse with some wheels spinning under his wig. So afterwards, he cut himself a good strong mulberry switch – woooPASH! – and say “Okay dearest! C’mon in, I am ready to straighten you but good!” And she say “Took you long enough!” and she go into the big tent where he is waiting for her, and all the cats on the scene gather round the tent with their lobes straining to hear what go down, and they hear woooPASH! “What you knocking me like that for?” woooPASH! “Stop it!” woooPASH! “I didn’t mean nothing by it!” woooPASH! “Oh Lawd! He gonna kill me!” woooPASH! “Okay! Okay! I’s sorry! I don’t need to be hip to every little thing you stash in your wig!” And the farmer say “That’s right, you don’t!” And they lives happily ever after, the end. That’s the lick this vye-zeer is laying on his own daughter, dig? Cause that’s the way things was under these Sassanide cats, like I splain. They is so drug with the ladies that they don’t even care what the neighbors say! But Skehairyzady, she say “I don’t care. This square king done brang down a bug-sized bring-down for all my sister-kitties, so I’m taking this gig to see if I can straighten him out!” See, she was a very cool, solid chick indeed! (That might be why she were called Skehairyzady, come to think of it. These Sassanide cats been bad-rapping the kitties so much, see, that any woman who knew anything – most of all her mind, dig – was to them just too damn SCA-ARY!) So the vye-zeer see he can’t derail her, so he say “Well, it’s your wig, I spose… Sure is gonna be quiet round here without you, girl.” And that night he presented her to Shahryar, and she’s all done up with the war-paint on her face and her hair in a big beehive doo and wearing a brand new embroidered jullaboo with squigglies round the collar and cuffs and a flapper fringe on the hemline, and she say “I surely nough is enchanted to be with you, your most royal swinging majesty.” And so they retire to the bed of high sensuous consequence. And Skehairyzady rocked him so hard that it ain’t but round midnight before Shahryar is all flapped and wrung out like a used-up tube of toothpaste, understand what I mean? And Skehairyzady is cooling her carpet-burns and she say, real innocent and cool-wise, “You know, I sure would groove on seeing my little sister Dunyazady one last time before I make my big exit…” And Shahryar think “I could groove on having another chick here to make the scene, once I get me a nap and bowl of Wheaties or something…!” So he holler for someone to go fetch the little sister. And when Dunyazady show up, she say “I sure could dig it if you was to tell me a bedtime story like you does, big sister!” Skehairyzady turn to Shahryar and go “That okay with you?” and Shahryar go “Okay.” So Skehairyzady commence to rap about the Merchant and the Genie, about how this merchant was crossing the desert, stop for a soda, and this big genie come up and say “Glad you enjoying that there soda, Pops, cause when you flicked the bottlecap away you hit my son in the head and knocked him out for good! Now I guess I gots to do you in!” and merchant go “I’s awful sorry, I didn’t know, it was an accident!” and all that jazz, and while he’s blowing, up come three sheiks – not like Valentino, but old cats, dig? – each with a different sort of animal on a leash, and each sheik got a story about how they come to be crossing the desert with these animals, and they get about halfway through hipping the genie and the merchant to their deal when Skehairyzady look out the window and say “Well, here come the sun, so I guess that means it’s time for me to cut out…” Well, Shahryar was hooked. He digging the lick she was putting down so hard that he say “Aw, don’t worry bout that just yet. I wanna hear how this tale come out! I’ll catch you kitties tomorrow night!” So the next night Skehairyzady finish up the lick bout the Merchant and the Genie and say “But that riff ain’t nothing compared to the lick bout the Fisherman and the Genie!” And Shahryar say “Oh? How do that go?” and so Skehairyzady get about halfway through that lick when dawn break, and Shahryar is still digging it so he say “Same time tomorrow night?” and she say “Cool, cool, Daddy-o!” Now, you’re hip to what sort of scam she is onto here, right? Every night she keep LP talking, spinning her yarns out longer and longer, and ranging it so’s the cliffhanger come right about daybreak when Shahryar is perched on the edge of his cushion saying “What happen next? What happen next?” And, boy, can she ever wail out a tale! She’s laying down all these EPIC-sized riffs where one cat is laying down his story and then a cat who show up in that story say “You know, funny thing happen to me the other day…” and he start blowing his jazz and some chick in his number, she got some jazz to blow too, so you got these riffs weaving in out of each other like a drunk driver on the San Berdoo freeway, riffs inside of riffs inside of riffs, dig what I say, like that there double-telescoping-triple-flashback that Max Schulman hipped us to. Yeah! But Skehairyzady, she’s keeping it all straight so when Shahryar say “What about that cat that left off three tales back?” she say “Don’t worry, I’m getting back to him, Jack!” Here is where the book-kicks pay off, see, cause Skehairyzady is hip to all the fat books and she’s coming out with all sorts of tales, like Ali Baba and the Forty Bankers, where Ali Baba come up to the bank vault door and says “Open up!” and the bank vault door say “Says who?” and Ali Baba say “Open, says me!” and he makes the scene with the long green, or Aladdin polishing up the lamp and out come the genie saying “Your wish is my command, sahib!” so he start wishing up a leaping circus, or the Historic Fart of Abu Hassan – you remember! – or swipe a couple licks from Aesop and Gilgamesh and Georgie Jessel, or even goof on Homer so that Odysseus turn out to be a Persian cat name of Sindbad the Sailor-man who’s trying to hook up with his lady fair but every time he get close this big bully stud pop up and try to fight him off until Sindbad suck a little green leaf into his pipe and come on all strong – oh wait, that’s a different lick – but anyway this Sindbad cat go out on the high seas and always run into far out action, not once, not twice, not thrice, but SEVEN TIMES, brothers and sisters, which show that the cat probably didn’t know where he was going in the first place! Well, Skehairyzady keep wailing these high notes for – get this – ONE THOUSAND NIGHTS straight! Then she blow ONE MORE – just to be on the safe side, you dig. Now, by the end of this time Shahryar has forgot all about removing her wig, and he says “After all this time, I guess we might as well make the legal move, what you say?” (Which is only right, seeing as how she done bore him three sons in the meanwhile!) AND it turn out that Shah Zaman got bulging legal eyes for Dunyazady, in case you was wondering. So they whomp up the biggest, grandest, wailingest, stompingest, SWINGINGEST, non-stop double-headed triple-clutching Mardi Gras of a hitching party that anyone ever saw in their born lives! And now that Shahryar’s wig is cooled, he turn out to be a pretty good king, too, if you can believe that. And they swing together in love and beauty for many years, until finally al-Lawd see fit to snatch Skehairyzady off to The Big Garden in her sleep, real peaceful like, dig, and Shahryar crack open the royal coffers and lay out the bread to knock up over her sod pad a great and glorious heap of a mausoleum, made of Eye-talian marble covered with gold and rhinestones and lapis larue – I mean, this joint make the Taj Mahal look like a old beat-up broken-down chicken coop that was the only thing left standing after the Great Monsoon of al-Lagadoon! And over Skehairyzady’s tomb he hung a big brass plaque inlaid with silver letters and on it it say this: Here lie the finest chick that ever graced this here crazy sphere. She good-looking, she smart, and she opened the iron door of my heart to the sweet swinging sounds of love, and all she had to do to do it was just give me a little tale every night. (Heh-heh. See what I say?)