TWO: LINER NOTES?




THE GLASS POT struck the Walrus in the face and exploded, showering both the Walrus and the surrounding area with glass and coffee. Any normal person would’a been screaming by that point, but not the Walrus.

No sir. The Walrus didn’t scream, he fumed. He looked so dern mad that I wasn’t sure if the steam coming off him was from coffee or rage.

Regardless, my plan hadn’t quite worked. It looked like I was in for a scrape after all. I just hoped I could get to my guns before the big fella broke me in half.

That meant turning around and sprinting down the hall to the bedroom. I’d already set out my clothes for the day along with the tools of my trade: One Winchester Model 1866 Lever-Action Repeating Rifle and a pair of antique custom-built Colt Peacemakers.

The Walrus was big, bulky. That usually meant slow. I should be armed and ready to roll before he rounded the table.

Of course, I was wrong.

As the thought of running was still formulating in my brain, the Walrus roared, picked up my oak dining table in one hand, and with the casual manner of throwing aside a sheet of unneeded paper, tossed it into the adjoining living room.

Now, believe it or not, there’s no standard procedure for a fella to follow when a murderous, rampaging, mutant walrus-man breaks into your home. They don’t air public service announcements that deal with such situations. No one has put the forethought into printing up a pamphlet detailing exactly how one should act or what one should say. They don’t drill for it in schools. And there certainly ain’t never been an after school special in which someone happened to find themselves in a similar predicament. So the average Joe, that would be me, when faced with such danger, would just have to trust his most basic of instincts.

It’s the whole fight or flight thing. There are some of us who would stand and fight while others would flee. Heck, most sane individuals would run screaming like a little girl. Standard operating procedure for me was to stand my ground and fight, and savage walrus or not, I wasn’t one to stray from protocol. Once I actually gave it some serious thought however, I landed on the conclusion that running and screaming might be my best option.

But before I could even shift my stance, the Walrus, moving with a speed and grace that defied his bulk, had my neck in a fist the size of a Christmas ham. He lifted me off the ground and slammed me back against the fridge.

“What did you say?” The Walrus hissed, his rank breath blowing into my face.

“What?” I gasped. “When?”

“Just then, when you threw the coffee?”

“‘Fatboy?’” The sausage-like fingers at my throat were seriously starting to restrict my breathing.

“No,” he said. “Before that.”

“‘Koo-koo-katchoo?’”

“Yes,” he said. “Yes, ‘Koo-koo-katchoo.’ Was that supposed to mean something?”

“I Am...” I choked “...The Walrus.”

“What?”

“The...” spots appeared before my eyes “...Beatles.”

“Yes, I know it was the Beatles, but I’m failing to understand the correlation between this ‘koo-koo-katchoo’ nonsense and I Am the Walrus.” Then he chuckled. “Unless of course, you think that ‘koo-koo-katchoo’ is what he’s singing during the chorus?” He was laughing now, the fingers tightening on my throat. “Is that it? Is that what you were trying to say?”

I tried to speak.

“Well, is it?” The Walrus was laughing louder. “Is it?”

“Can’t... breathe!” I had to spit out the words.

“Right.” The Walrus relaxed his grip enough to allow me to breathe and talk. “Sorry.”

I’ll admit. I played it for all it was worth; I coughed a lot, I took more than the necessary amount of gasping breaths, and generally just played for time while I tried to figure my next move. I mean, the Walrus had hurt me, but not as much as one might think.

The fact of the matter is, I ain’t an easy man to hurt, and I’m almost impossible to kill. I don’t get sick, and I heal faster than what most experts agree is “humanly possible.” That might be why I’m over a hundred years old but don’t look a day over forty. Granted, I’ve never let a hulking walrus-man choke the life out of me to see if I’d actually die, but I sure as heck bounce back mighty quick.

I recited the first line of the chorus to I am the Walrus as soon as I’d got some of my breath back.

I paused to gauge the monster’s reaction.

The Walrus just stared at me.

I recited the second line and then paused once again.

Again, the Walrus did nothing.

I recited the third line, the title of the song in fact. Once again, I paused for reaction.

Once again, I got nothing.

“Koo-koo-katchoo?” I finished.

“Ah yes, I see your confusion, I really do, but that’s not what the lyric is. It’s ‘Goo goo g’joob.’”

“‘Goo goo g’joob?’”

“‘Goo goo g’joob,’” he returned.

“Are you drunk?”

“No,” he glowered at me and sighed. “‘Goo goo g’joob.’ That’s what John Lennon sang on I Am the Walrus.”

“No ain’t.”

“Yes it is.”

“No, it ain’t.” My nose began to itch.

“Look,” The Walrus said. “Don’t get me wrong. It happens all the time. I can see where you might think that the lyric is ‘koo-koo-katchoo.’ But it’s just not true. Most folks get that wrong. They think it comes from the Simon and Garfunkel song, Mrs. Robinson, which in turn came from the movie, The Graduate, and that this was John Lennon’s nod to the movie.”

“Well,” I said, feigning interest. “Yeah.”

“But it just isn’t possible. The movie wasn't released until December of 1967, almost a full month after the release of I Am the Walrus,” he smiled. “So, there it is.”

“Okay, so Paul Simon wrote the song, right?”

“Correct.”

“Okay then. He took it from the Beatles,” I said.

“One would think so, sure, but with the release dates being so close together, chronologically speaking, then Paul Simon would have had to have been in the studio with the Beatles when they recorded the song, and then he went around and put it in his song? It just doesn’t add up. The fact of the matter, my soon to be dead friend, is that the lyric is ‘goo goo g’joob’ and not ‘koo-koo-katchoo.’”

“Just kill me all ready. I’d rather be dead then to hear your lies.”

“Listen,” the Walrus said, the pitch of his voice rising, “I happen to have one of the most extensive collections of Beatles music, bootlegs, and memorabilia, right?”

“Okay.”

“Well, okay then,” he said, as if that settled it.

“That doesn’t make you right.”

“But I am right.”

“No you ain’t. It’s ‘koo-koo-katchoo.’”

“‘Goo goo g’joob’ is what the man says.” His voice grew louder. “It’s in the bloody liner notes!”

“Liner notes?”

“The liner notes... to the record!” he growled.

I waited a beat or two as I pretended to think this through. I made as if to speak, but paused again. My brow furrowed in mock concentration. Once more I made a gesture that gave the idea I was about to say something, but yet again, I paused.

I paused once again, and then, just before I paused for the last time, I paused.

Then, at last, I spoke:

“Liner notes?”

“Look, you bleeding monkey!” The Walrus roared. I thought I could actually see smoke coming from his ear holes. “The album, Magical Mystery Tour, the sodding record, has liner notes which contain the lyrics to I Am the Walrus.”

I was starting to enjoy this.

“Those lyrics,” he continued. “Printed out by the record company, with the band’s permission, is a true and solid fact, proving once and for all, and without a shadow of doubt, that John Lennon sings ‘goo goo g’joob,’ and not, as you so ignorantly put it, ‘koo-koo-katchoo!’”

I thought about that for a moment. I used all the skills in my possession to truly look as if I were weighing what he had told me with the respect he felt his argument was due. I scratched at my head, scratched at my chin, and even said “Hmmmm” for a moment or two as I gazed into the air above me. Finally, in the end, I had to give the brute an answer.

“Liner notes?” I said.

At this, the Walrus broke. He’d had enough. He bellowed in rage and flung me to the kitchen floor. He reached out and lifted my refrigerator up over his head. Thank God for high ceilings.

“Enough of this foolishness!” the Walrus roared. “Now you die!”

The Walrus stood over me, the fridge held high. From my vantage point, I had only a moment to strike, and one perfect target before me. I kicked out with all my strength. And, as my foot connected with that area where the two legs join, I said myself a little prayer that the scientists who had created the creature before me had made sure he was anatomically correct.

The Walrus made a little “irk” sound, and his eyes crossed in a comical fashion. I knew then that my prayer had been answered. I crab-walked back out of the way as a massive tear formed in one of his eyes. Then he collapsed, the fridge dropping atop his head and knocking him unconscious.

I rose, brushed myself off and grabbed a roll of duct tape from the junk drawer by the sink. I’d just bought the roll recently and had yet to even pull off the plastic wrap. I pushed the fridge off of him and then used the entire roll of tape on his arms and legs, hoping that it would be enough to keep him restrained if he woke up before the authorities arrived.

Next, I called the Eudora Police Department and asked that they send a couple of boys around.

After that, I went to my stereo and flipped through my records. I found my copy of Magical Mystery Tour and took a quick glance through the liner notes and read through the lyrics to I Am the Walrus.

“Well crap,” I said aloud, and turned to look at the Walrus. “I guess you were right.”




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