Jul 14, 2007

Steer Clear of Scuby in the Canyon

Kyle Field - Untitled (2004) [From "Put It In A Nutshell"]

This song sounds like a rural Montana recollection played on found instruments at the Northern Lights Saloon after the generator is turned off for the night. It sounds like be a cautionary tale about an interaction that happened on an extremely rural gravel road just outside the western side of Glacier park... where we found a dusty Bronco pulled over in the ditch, still running. Inside was a rough, hippyish man (we'll call him Scuby) slouched over with a posture that immediately suggested a rural homicide. Or the illusive marijuana OD.

We tucked our reservations into our dirty jeans and pulled over. Polite knocking on the window grew aggressive with no response. Just as we became sure we were staring at a dead body, Scuby woke up (somehow without moving) and rolled the window down only an inch. The conversation started one-sided as if he were gradually waking from a coma, but flowered with confusion as he began to stir. He mumbled like even his words were lost. With hands resting on the passenger side door and lips practically pushing through the cracked window to communicate, Scuby stepped on the gas pedal. But instead of taking off, this made the situation a bit clearer - that the truck was stuck in the ditch.

Scuby revved his engine until it smoked and until it drowned out our yelling that he should "chill out". Eventually, his boots exited the car to demonstrate his stumbles by nearly impaling his skull with the swinging door. His rambling had no idea where he was nor where he was going, which advanced giving him a ride from dangerous to impossible. He pleaded with us to get behind the sinking truck and push while his body language screamed that the last place you want to be with a drunken driver is right behind his bumper.

There were fits of quarreling, suggestions that he should just go back to sleep, and a few utterances of "I appreciate what you guys are doing BUT" before he decided to jump back in the truck without our help and continue his drunken-nonsense strategy of plowing his way out. That being said, it eventually worked... only seconds before his engine would've exploded. The uncaged Bronco careened back onto the road and executed a U-turn that looked more like a Z to point himself at us, sprinting down the middle of the road under a dark Big Sky of muted stars. With headlights chasing us like a low-budget horror movie, we jumped into our car, squealed away, and took a quick left to see Scuby speed straight past in the rearview.

A 9-11 call seemed appropriate to protect the next town down the road, but the Montanan emergency patrol on the other end of the pay phone was either also drunken or also lost in life and couldn't locate us. But still promised to "send someone out". There were no news helicopters the next morning, so we assumed Scuby had arrived home safely to a wife or a buddy and dog sitting on the couch and shaking their heads to the recurring chorus of his mysterious absence all night... again.

The wandering keys at the end of the song could be me or my friend Nic, getting tired of wondering where Scuby had gone and getting up from the piano at the Northern Lights Saloon for another Mason jar full of whiskey and lemonade.

Little Wings (lead singer Kyle Field) - Scuby (mp3)


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