Whee, my second story on Furtopia !!Brockford joins a prominent creative subculture, bus soon discovers his newfound friends have an all-persistent obsession.Any resemblance to an existing fandom or subculture is purely intentional.Food and the FandomTwo years ago I moved out of the family sett and into central Oakenford. I tried to launch a career in acting, and failing at that, I spent my time getting a pawhold in the local music scene. Every year, the largest community of music lovers gathered at the Oakenford community centre. Jamming, hanging out and writing songs.
I carried a guitar on my back, a convention lanyard around my neck and music in my heart. I seated myself next to a red fox and flipped through the con-book, trying to decide what panels to attend. This morning the main hall hosted four workshops in a row:writing a memorable hook, how to get your CD published, a paws-on workshop on MIDI, and tasty songs about food.
I knew that the community had a reputation for enjoying food, but it seemed a bit much to devote an entire panel discussion to the subject. Next to me, the red fox alternated between chewing on his pencil and scribbling in a notebook.
"Psst!", he said. "What can you rhyme with pork rinds?"
"Err... 'minds'?" I suggested.
The fox shook his head.
"Tried that one already - didn't work. 'Pork rind, you're on my mind' - it kinda sucked."
"You're writing a song about pork rinds?" I asked -even though the answer seemed obvious.
"I'm writing it for someone else - it's a commission."
"So, you don't actually eat pork-rinds?"
"*bleep* no! I'm Iunish." He sighed and put down his notebook. "But right now, I'm stuck."[/size]
[/size]"When I get stuck," I said. "I'll work on something else, until I unstick."
"What else is there to write about?" cried the fox. "I only write about food."
I looked around. We were surrounded by stands offering CD's and selling music equipment. Most of the small indie labels carried two selections of CDs. One pile was labelled non-food items and the other, food items.
"Hey badger!" A cute racoon girl with brown eyes waved at me. "Care to have your favorite recipe transcribed into Braille?"
"I'm not THAT blind."
"They still feel real nice." She handed me a sheet of cardboard filled with dots. "Touching is more real than reading."
I ran my paw over a series of raised bumps and tried to make sense out of it all. She had a ring-binder with similar sheets, all labelled with the name of a dish - and the musician who had made the recipe:
Owlvis' fried chicken, Dodo's Irish stew and Mouse Davis' recipe for chili con carne.
"Is this one hot?" I asked.
"Definitely NSFW," laughed the racoon.
The fox was still slumped over the table, looking miserable about his unfinished song. I wanted to help him and I searched around for inspiration, but the only thing that stood out among the culinary themes was a large poster advertising golfing equipment. The weatherbeaten face of rock veteran Alice Cougar winked at me. He reached a gloved paw towards the spectators, holding three golf balls.
I got more balls than you, read the sign.
"You could write about...golf?" I suggested, pointing at the poster.
"If it's good enough for the coug..."
The fox gave it some thought, then his yellow eyes lit up.
"That's not a bad idea. I'll write about a dude who plays golf. Then he meets a waitress. They kiss, and then they go inside and have lunch."
"Umm, actually I think that one has already been written."
"That's OK!" grinned the fox. "This fandom is large enough to allow for some repetition."
I strolled the convention halls, hoping to meet one of my own kind. I finally found a fellow badger tuning up his bass by the jam-stage. He wore a black leather jacket, black sunglasses, and his facial stripes were dyed neon blue.
His band was fronted by a lion dressed in very tight, red spandex trousers. The lion was trying to connect his microphone to a cable on the floor, but he had trouble bending down due to - what looked like a thick hose running down the inside his left pants leg, extending from the crotch to his knee.
"Mind handing me that cable?" rasped the lion. "I...can't really bend down."
When I hesitated, he winked at me.
"It's not what you think," he whispered. "It's three zucchinis strapped on with duct tape. Vegan chicks dig dudes with big zucchinis."
"Doesn't it hurt when you pull off the tape at the end of the show?"
"Like a *bleep*! but that's rock'n roll for ya." The lion held out a massive paw.
"Put it there, bro. We're Tom Catty and the Heartburns." Parts of the fur on his knuckles had been shaved off to spell the letters SALT on one paw and PEPR on the other.
"I'm Cibus," said the lion. "You got yerself a stage-name yet?"
"Er..yeah, I perform as B-Rocky."
Apart from the badger and Cibus, the band also counted a wolf on guitar. He wore jeans and a black T-shirt with a human face howling at the sun. Humans-bane was written below it in gothic letters.
"Wanna hear our new song?" Asked Cibus.
"It's about a random wolf who meets a random fox. They talk for a while and then they eat."
"Vooooore!" growled the wolf into an amped microphone and an echoed
looped from a chest-high speaker, until it turned into an impenetrable howl of feedback. A piebald horse behind a keyboard twiddled a few knobs and the sonic assault subsided.
"Don't mind him." Cibus nodded towards the wolf. "Varg used to play in a heavy-calorie band."
"Why is everyone in the fandom so obsessed with food?" I cried out. The lion frowned and the badger stopped tuning his bass. They looked at each other slightly stunned, then at me.
"Food is everywhere, man. Food sells."
"It's part of being alive," added the badger.
"If you wanna sell records, you gotta write about food."
A grey tabby with green eyes sat behind the drums. "Are you in a relationship?" he asked.
I nodded. I'd been with Rhania -a vixen, for a couple of years now.
The cat twirled his whiskers. "Ever heard of romance without a candlelit dinner?"
"Or tried to go without eating for a few weeks... know what happens?" The cat reached into his gig-bag and produced a foil bag of Dave Weckl's energizing crunch.
"You...go hungry?" I tried.
"-and DIIIIEEEEE!" bellowed the wolf at the top of his lungs.
"Just like Canary Carpenter," added the cat and casually discarded the now empty satchel on the floor.
"But aren't you afraid to overdo it?" I asked, "Like whats-her-name from The Ewes and The Rams? The one who died."
Cibus and the badger broke out in saintly smiles, as if I had just mentioned a hero.
"What a way to go."
"She joined the thirty-two club on a ham sandwich."
"Eat, fast and die young," said the badger. "That's natural cause for a true rebel." He clenched his fist in front of his face and curled up the left side of his upper lip, so that one of his canines was showing.
"DIIIINE!" growled the wolf.
"Hey guys, let's jam!" said the lion and switched his mike on. He pointed to an empty socket on the amp and invited me to join them, so I squatted down and began unboxing my guitar. I was a little hesitant, because I hadn't actually counted on playing with anyone. Besides, my fifty buck Saytana was the only model I could afford. The wolf looked at my guitar, chuckled and plugged in his own Wishbone, while Cibus scribbled down a series of chords on a stained napkin.
"These are the chords for Jumbo Fries."
I love you so my
When I eat you my
With your ridges you
Put me on your burner
I'm your biggest yearner
I tried to keep up with the band, but I soon realised there was no way I could bluff my way through as a guitar player. The guys stopped playing, and Cibus looked at me for a long time. I knew what he was thinking, but he was too polite to say how much I sucked.
"Guitar ain't yer first instrument, is it?" he said quietly.
I sighed. The lion was right. I'd only brought it along to fit in, because everybody else in the fandom seemed to play either guitar, bass or drums.
"Theremin," I admitted. "I play the theremin."
The lion scratched his mane. "I've met a few theremins around -but they usually stay put."
"I know, it's a bit unusual."
"Besides, there are a lot of attention seekers around who claim to be theremins, just to be different."
The horse behind the synth had been preoccupied with his switches, but now he looked up and shot me a caustic look.
"What's with the horse?" I asked.
"Not all synth players dig theremins," whispered Cibus. "They've fought for years to have electronic music accepted, but some synths feel you guys come out to piggyback on their success."
I didn't want to upset the horse any further, so I kept quiet about us having been around for longer than synths. I packed up my Saytana and threw high-fours-and-a-dewclaw with the band.
A lone grey wolf sat by a table, selling vinyl LPs out of battered cardboard boxes. He wore a knitted vest, and I noted a slight scent of mildew and pipe tobacco on his clothes. He briefly peeked over the rim of his wireframe glasses, but when I took an interest in his LPs, he returned his attention to an ageing B&O record player. He put his ear to the speaker and revolved the record around with one paw. Then I noticed something odd.
"Say, aren't you're playing the record backwards?" I asked.
"Secret...messages!" whispered the wolf. "They all have them."
Then he browsed through a stack of LPs and retrieved a worn copy of Wet Tarpaulin IV.
"They always CLAIMED it was about consumerism," sniffed the wolf. "-but play it backwards and you can hear the hidden messages."
He wiped a greasy paw in his sweater and a dab of mustard blended in with the pattern. Then he put the stylus on the LP, next to a small piece of sticky tape.
"That way I always know where to find the spot", he said and rotated the platter counter-clockwise.
The cheap speaker emitted a series of noises at a pitch that changed with the moods of the DJ.
"Can't you hear it?" he insisted.
"Right here he sings Here's to my sweet satay." The wolf pointed to the speaker, and motioned at me to pay proper attention.
"There was a little toolshed where he made us supper. Sad Satay!"
"Why are all your songs about animals who eat?" I screamed.
"It's Rule 43," said the wolf. "If it exists, someone will turn it into a dish."
"But you could make them do other things."
"Travel, solve crime... *beep*..."
"Wait a minute..." the wolf eyed me with some suspicion. "You're not one of those Burnt Beans who crusade against the meat side of the fandom?"
I assured the wolf that I wasn't in any way affiliated with any special interest, then I quickly headed for the nearest exit.
At this point I had to admit that all the focus on food had made me hungry, so I looked around for refreshments. But despite all the talk, all the singing and every lyric, there was no actual food to be had anywhere in sight.
Four black bulls stood near the exit grabbing a smoke while their saxophone player changed reeds. They were all dressed in dark two piece suits and pork-pie hats. There was an air of laid-back coolness around them and their smooth syncopated moves proved that these guys had clearly been in the fandom for years.
"I'm hungry," I asked one bull. "Where can a badger get something to eat around here?"
His black eyes lit up in surprise and he flashed a smile that showed off an impressive rack of teeth - some of them capped in gold.
"There ain't no food here, fool! Do you think the community centre would invite us back if we cooked all the food we sing about?" The bull let out a hearty laugh and his friends soon joined it.
"Stripy mo'fo thinks we wanna mess up our instruments by eating around them."
"Listen kid." The bull bent down and looked me straight in the eyes.
"Don't believe everything the media tells you about our fandom."
That night I had dinner with the vixen.
"You know," I said and gathered the plates. "listening to songs about food is one thing, but I much prefer the real thing." I poured us two glasses of OneHope sparkling wine and began peeling an orange, carefully exposing the soft flesh inside.
"Then I can write about other stuff." I said. " Actually, I have an idea for a new song."
"It's not about food, is it?" Asked Rhania.
"Nope," I said.
"-this one is all about You."
- [/size] Iunish - a follower of the vulpine deity Iuna.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 01:48:01 pm by Glycanthrope »
SONA SI VOS AMAS PELLIGELLIBUS
(Honk! if you love furries)
- inscription found on the rear bumper of a roman chariot, ca 77AM