was not killed in a nighttime plane crash at the peak of his career while headed to Sheboygan, WI in a small-prop plane.

But he wishes he had been.

There was a little bit of rain the night Johny Sandwich and the Condiments flew to Sheboygan.  Nothing that makes you too worried, but it makes your hands sweat because you can’t see out the window, and that’s usually how things are right before you realize you’re flying upside down three inches from the surface of Lake Michigan.

Johnny stared out the window at this fog and rain and wondered if it wouldn’t be better if the plane just exploded.  Ketchup (Mark Thinstrop), the bass player, had been talking about leaving the band for months.  He brought it up every other day, complaining about money and the life of the road, and how what he really wanted was a little cabin in Montana where he could go out and shoot things in the morning and cook them in the evenings and that would be the extent of his life.  Fine, said Johnny Sandwich, then you should go do that, he had told Ketchup many, many times.  But then Ketchup never left.  Instead he just glared at everybody and played a fraction of a beat behind everybody, which you’re supposed to do anyway if you’re a grooving bass player, but Ketchup played it a fraction of a beat behind THAT, even.  Everybody knew what he was doing but nobody wanted to give him the satisfaction of calling him on it, so the band consistently dragged.

Mustard (Ken Munson), the keyboardist, had recently gotten his girlfriend pregnant, but insisted that she get a paternity test,  hoping he could dodge that responsibility, so she left him and found someone else who thought she was terrific, even if pregnant, and now Mustard was suddenly reconsidering the whole thing and wondering if he shouldn’t follow her out to Portland, where she had ended up after train-hopping and then getting a job at the Mongoose Inn as a housekeeper.

Horseradish (Frank Kemster) the drummer was going through something, who knows what, it seemed to be a sort of bipolar depressive sort of thing, and it seemed that the only way he could break through it was to make sure that he rode his bike 52 miles each day, and also do 147 push-ups.  He had only gotten 13 miles in today before they had to get on the plane, and so he was jittery and sending off some sort of a restless, angry vibe that, in this small plane, couldn’t help but infect the rest of everybody.

Johnny Sandwich had a new song he wanted to try in Sheboygan.  It was called “I Know Where the Sun Is” and he had handed it out as soon as they took off from Ashland but he didn’t think anybody had looked at it.  He sat looking out the window and he sang the first verse under his breath.

I know the sun

it is is hot firey ball

But lately I look up

And I don’t see any sun at all–

It looks like you’re gone

and I can’t go on

But I (oh oh oh ) I

Know where the sun is.

“Shut up,” said Horseradish, flashing Johnny Sandwich a crazy-eyed glare. “Do you know what I”m going through right now?”

“Where’s your bike?” asked Mustard.

“Where’s your girlfriend?” asked Horseradish.

“Hey, give it a rest,” said Ketchup.  “Don’t make me get my squirrel rifle.”

“Have you guys looked at the new song?” asked Johnny Sandwich?

“We’ll check it out sometime,” said Ketchup.

Then the plane landed, safely.

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