a real soundtrack for an imaginary spy film

Episode Seven - SALTY DOG (Jim Galbi's Song)

Copyright © 2002 - 2005 Arthur Jarvinen

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The Invisible Guy has stowed away on Mojo Stang's private yacht, hoping it might be en route to the Inevitably Exploding Island - home of the Diabolical Factory and Outlet Store - the whereabouts of which is a closely guarded secret that The Invisible Guy has long been trying to uncover. Unfortunately, he is dead tired and simply has to get some sleep, so he makes himself as comfortable as possible in the hold where he is not likely to be tripped over or disturbed. Unfortunately this means he has no way of knowing their course; should they actually go to Stang's secret island, he will have succeeded in getting to it but may still not know where it is. So be it; sleep beckons. He falls fast asleep to the steady drone of the boat's engine.

Many hours later and with no clue as to how long he's been asleep, The Invisible Guy is wakened by the sudden silence of the motor and the sound of some commotion on deck. He soon figures out that the boat has been anchored and a party is preparing to go ashore in the launch. Unfortunately there's not enough room for him to stow away in the small boat, and having no desire to swim all the way in he figures he'll just grab on and let himself be towed behind.

Good plan, except that while trying to maneuver himself around behind the launch he manages to get himself conked on the head with a nice heavy oar, and practically passes out from a combination of the impact of the blow, and the pain. Having no alternative now he manages to swim a fair distance in a half-stupor before succumbing to unconsciousness in the cold dark water.

The Invisible Guy awakens near a warm fire, wrapped in a blanket but still chilled to the bone, near a shabby hut not far from the rocky shore. Managing to raise himself enough to look around a little he sees the weathered face of an old man smiling at him from his seat on a log next to the fire.

"Ah, good. You wake up now. Hi, pale one."

Korean mask The old man's English leaves something to be desired, consisting largely of fragments picked up during the seafaring days of his youth, now barely remembered and of limited use outside the context of drinking and whoring in international ports. The Invisible Guy's Korean isn't much better; the little he knows he learned specifically for ordering exactly what he wants in Korean restaurants and not getting sugar in his yu ke  like they are sometimes inclined to do when serving white people.

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A week or so later, having made rapid progress in the art of gesture-and-sand-drawing-enhanced conversation over the invisible-yet-imposing language barrier, The Invisible Guy figures out that after passing out in the ocean not too far from shore, he washed up on the beach, nearly dead. The old man found him, wrapped in a shroud of sea weed, and managed to keep him alive. The old salt was at first frightened by The Invisible Guy's appearance, having never seen anyone quite so pale and ghostly, and thought he may even be some sort of demon or monster. But he took courage and nursed him anyway; he's seen stranger things than this in his day, especially in tattoo parlors.

The Invisible Guy is not sure exactly what has happened, and certainly can't make a very satisfactory explanation to his host. But it would appear that something about his prolonged exposure to and ingestion of quantities of the cold salty seawater has altered his physiology. The effect may not last, and would probably be more of an inconvenience than a blessing should it persist, but for now at least The Invisible Guy has taken on a semblance of visibility, however bizarre. He looks like a cross between a bleached albino humanoid and a squid with veins.

The old man's attentive and benevolent care saved The Invisible Guy's life, his tasty meals have nourished and invigorated him in body and soul, and the two men have become friends. Nevertheless, having regained his strength it is time for The (Nearly-) Invisible Guy to sneak back onto the yacht moored in the bay and say goodbye to North Korea.

"Before I leave though, pass me a little more of that pooch. No way can I get this at home."


"And don't forget to send the recipe for that buldoggi sauce. It's awesome!"

Claude, in the comfort of his berth on the yacht, polishes off another bottle of Fred, from the Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company, and peruses the track list on Gaelic Bark as he prepares to check out the CD by purportedly the best Irish Band in the Albany, NY region.

The mask above is Korean, but I don't remember where I got it. It hangs on the door of my sauna.

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