Death Rattle 

The other night, we were on our way to a show in our trusty road vessel, Vanna White. It had been many weeks since any of us had stepped foot onto a stage and we were all in good spirits at the idea of performing again. We'd just pulled up to a stoplight when a blonde fellow sporting a military haircut and a furrowed brow jumped into our vehicle and belligerently started directing us where to go. We were already pushing our luck with regards to arriving on time, and now with this terrifying stranger barking directions at us, it was simply more than my nerves could bear. I gave him a look of death and hissed, "This isn't a taxi service, Asshole!" The unruly passenger grabbed Vanna's steering wheel and send us careening off the road and into an impound lot... the kind where those metal spikes come up out of underground grates and pop holes into your front tires. This was going to be a doozy for AAA.

Next, the blonde bastard ordered us all to get out, line up, and follow him. I was beginning to get the feeling that we weren't going to make it to our gig on time. He marched us towards a giant, but sterile-looking complex that resembled a kind of sports arena that might hold championship tournaments for those guys who like to play mini-golf in their office cubicles. We were soon informed that Vanna White had been reported as a stolen vehicle and we were about to substitute our concert for a court hearing.  

We entered the monstrous brick facility and followed our captor into a carpeted amphitheater where a large crowd had gathered to witness our dilemma. Waitresses sashayed through a sea of eager spectators, serving up drinks and appetizers to whet the palettes of the hungry and curious. A fat judge hollered from his bench, swinging his gavel like an ape in the jungle, and hyping the crowd to prepare themselves for the spectacle soon to come. Before long, an even more sinister character than the fellow who had jumped into our van earlier approached us. Her drab uniform was pressed but her thin lips were wrinkled into a tight purse. She got right in my face and ordered us all to sit down and shut our traps.

Davey Hazard, who hadn't had a drop of alcohol in years, looked over at me with a sickeningly disturbing grin and then made his way to the drink cooler. He began dumping mimosas down his cackling gullet and I knew we were doomed. "Davey!" I shrieked, "We all need to have our wits about us when they start questioning us. You can't get trashed in court and expect us to win this case!" But my pleas fell on deaf and drunken ears. Davey continued to smile foolishly and consume copious amounts of refreshments from the open bar. Soon he was crying. Lenny Renegade began speaking a panicked form of Spanish I'd never heard, and Danny Rampage was simply aghast at what was happening. He had a notebook out and I could tell he was trying to formulate a plan to save us, but our time was up. The prosecuting attorney had begun the opening statements. I was frantic. Suddenly, I had a plan to potentially buy us some time to prepare our case and perhaps hire a lawyer. I didn't let Danny Rampage in on my little ruse because I knew I would need him to have buy-in to what was about to happen. In the now nearly silent courtroom, I stood up, clutched my chest, and gasped for breath in an Emmy Award-winning performance of a heart attack. I gurgled and I thrashed. I heaved violently and let my eyes roll to the back of my skull. I carried on until I was convinced that the whole band thought I was dying and then threw myself into a heap on the carpeted courtroom floor, hoping for a miracle.  

When I woke up, a concerned Danny Rampage was there with me. We were back in our apartment above the pizza joint, whereupon he told me that my death rattle noise had really scared him. He said he'd just woken from a dream of his own and asked me why I sounded like I was having a heart attack in my sleep... I turned to him and said, " Good morning, darling. I'm thrilled it was so convincing."