The Actual Nomadic Band, Vegan Cavemen

The Actual Nomadic Band, Vegan Cavemen

The Actual Nomadic Band, Vegan Cavemen

The Actual Nomadic Band, Vegan Cavemen

This story is part of a series:

Hunting for Giraffes

Hunting for Berries

The Actual Nomadic Band, Vegan Cavemen


 

>>>Part 1: Heathrow to SFO<<<

For me, it was rare that something this crazy would be spoon-fed to me like it was, well I guess technically pint-fed, or in that case pint-drunk. Anyway, I felt like I’d finally got my break. When I got home from the pub after speaking with Jack Perdo I packed my bag, grabbed my gear, and struggled to get even a few minutes of sleep. I was excited.

I rushed into the office the next morning. It was the earliest I’d ever arrived. The lights in the building were still off and the heater hadn’t kicked on yet. From down the hall I heard a low grumble.

“Who’s that?” A voice moaned from my boss Dave Eckles’ office at the end of the hallway.

Dave was hunched over his desk with a mostly-empty bottle of Scotch on its side and chips strewn about. His grungy Ramones t-shirt seemed to fit him even tighter than usual.

“Jeffy, my boy!” He perked up right away. “Never seen you in this early. Tell me you’re on to something good, baby. Is disco dead again?”

“Perhaps even better than that, I think.”

“Well let’s have it. What do ya got? This publications tanked if it’s not something magic. I was up all night trying to convince myself otherwise.”

“I couldn’t tell, sir. But, how about a music angle for the American Vegan-Paleo Conflict? Would that do it?”

“I don’t think stories about folksie songs about eating meat and not eating meat are going to save us now, my boy.”

“No, no. Nothing like that. See, I met the filmmaker at the pub last night. This American singer keeps contacting him – he wants him to do something about this whole mess because it apparently ruined his band, which happens to share the same name as that documentary.”

“What the hell’s that supposed to mean?”

“I’m not exactly sure myself, but it feels like the thing you’re looking for. At the very least – we’ve got a reason to write on the meat-craziness in the States. That’s all people are reading about anyways.”

Dave took a final swig of his Scotch and chewed on a stale chip for a while. He looked over the rough layout for the next issue and started chewing another chip. He shook his head. He went in for another final swig of the empty Scotch.

“Fuck it, we need this. Go get the story.”

I sent the singer an email, telling him I was a friend of Perdo’s and I might be able to help his band. I boarded a plane that evening and headed to San Francisco.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got there. I wasn’t sure if I’d be in any danger. I wasn’t sure if I could safely order a deli sandwich. America seemed to be in this weird phase of its maturity where it would latch on completely to whatever the new crazy trend was. All this Vegan-Paleo nonsense came right off the heels of some prison reality show. There was a climate of fanaticism and abandoned logic.

The airport seemed abandoned when we touched down. The restaurants were all closed. I didn’t even have to go through customs. Apparently after things got real bad all the people in charge of things like running airports and cities and such either joined a side or fled.

San Francisco looked like a yogi-apocalypse hit. No one was wearing shoes. All the women had hairy legs and dreadlocks. All the men had their hair tied in buns. They didn’t look violent, though. The worst I could imagine was maybe a hug that would last for a little too long or excessive eye contact.

The city’s high-rise office buildings had been transformed into hydroponic farming operations. Every floor was growing a different crop. Outside the buildings, the trees and grass were showing the first signs of taking back the city. Nothing crazy like Planet of the Apes or those “After Us” shows or anything, but they were definitely well on their way.

I made my way through the car-less streets towards the address Perdo had scribbled down on a pub napkin for me.

I got to the doorstep about an hour and a half later. The apartment was in a neighborhood at the top of a big hill. You could almost see the ocean through the fog. The other apartments on the block looked pretty rundown and empty, as did most of the buildings I’d passed on the way there.

I raised my fist to knock, but just as I was about to, someone yelled from upstairs.

“I told you! We’re not going to play another show at the fucking hydroponics farmer’s market. AND we’re not going to write a fucking song about saving the goddamn chickens.”

>>>Part 2: The Normal Introduction<<<

I knocked on the door and heard stomps down the stairs, like a child being called back to the table to finish his steamed broccoli.

The door opened violently. I could feel the rush of cool air enter past me. A drum set lay scattered across the front room in ruins. A few lamps were toppled over and extension cords ran thick across the floor. I imagined this room probably looked like downtown SF would in a few years.

“You’re not that Vegan-hydroponic-commune dickhole. Who are you?” The tall, skinny hipster said in an artificial British accent.

“I’m Jeffery Richardson – Jack Perdo gave me this address,” I said.

“Finally, that bastard! Is he planning on fixing this shit?” He said – still speaking in what had to be the worst British accent I’d ever heard attempted.

“Your accent, why are you talking like that?

“Just something I do. For band image and brand, you know. You’ll get used to it.”

“I really don’t think I will.”

“So what’s Perdo going to do about this? Are you a spy, MI6 or something?”

“MI6? Where’d you get that? No, man. I’m a music reporter.”

“A FUCKING REPORTER? What is this shit?! Goddammit Perdo!” He said, breaking accent, and throwing his shoe – an ironic wooden clog – across the room, knocking over the last cymbal standing with a loud crash.

“Look, I’m here about a band – this was the address I got. The Vegan Cavemen,” I said.

“The Nomadic Vegan Cavemen, actually. You found them. What’s left anyway,” he said. “Who do you write for?”

“A indy-culture magazine in London called Zitz & Chips. I do the music section,” I said.

“Hmmm, never heard of it. Sounds cool.”

He introduced himself a Victor Samson. He was the lead singer and founder of the band – The Nomadic Vegan Cavemen.

The band was small time. Playing at dive bars and county fairs mostly, but they had big plans. The band’s drummer, Brad Wagner came from a lot of money, so they were able to get around. They played dive bars and county fairs from San Francisco, California to Tokyo, Japan. They’d been at it for nearly 7 years – but not really growing in popularity and not really expanding their fan base.

After the documentary, they started gaining some unexpected – and unwanted – attention. It started with phone calls praising them for wanting to support “the cause.” It turned into Vegan-propaganda song requests and playing for the hydroponic farmer market co-op gatherings.

One thing led to another and the other members of the band save for Victor and Brad, left.

Theodore McWinderson, the band’s flute player, along with Michael Fromn, the bass player, were somewhere behind Paleo lines. Not because they didn’t want to be in the band anymore, but because they were really craving a hamburger.

The guitarist, John Pratt, hadn’t been heard from or seen in weeks. His whereabouts were unknown.

What remained was a petulant Victor and a very drunk Brad. Their hopes of making it big seemed lost. Brad’s family money couldn’t even save them now. In desperation, they’d been reaching out to Jack Perdo – in hopes that he, whom they blamed for their situation – would have some sort of solution. Thus far, he did not.

It seemed I was on to something, but the story didn’t feel complete yet. Just a whiny band of rich hipsters? No, it wasn’t going to do it. I knew there had to be more to these guys, so I decided to start from the beginning and do it just like I would any other story.

>>>Part 3: The Usual Interview<<<

“So, you know, like, the band Vampire Weekend? Yeah, well, we don’t sound anything like them. To be honest, we don’t sound like anyone else. I mean, we’re the Vegan Cavemen. The Nomadic Vegan Cavemen” Victor said.

“Are you guys vegan?”

“Hell, no. But after everything that’s happened, we are if we want to stay here.”

“Alright, so what makes you guys nomadic then? Why not just Vegan Cavemen?”

“Well, we’re nomadic by nature. We keep moving, ya know. The world is our hometown. And it’s been that way since day one, man. Make sure you quote that last part directly, that’ll sound cool.”

“Right… But you guys are from San Francisco, aren’t you? And, you told me your first single was called San Francisco. And you guys play here quite a bit. So, where does the nomadic part really come in?”

“Well, first of all, the single was called San Frandisco. And, you know, we travel all over the place. Play different gigs. Different cities. Different countries even.”

“Well, by that definition, isn’t every band ‘nomadic.’”

“No, if every band were nomadic, WE wouldn’t be nomadic, Jeffrey.”

“Okay…”

“And that’s why this whole Vegan-Paleo shit is so fucked for us. Cavemen aren’t supposed to be vegans. If we knew that, we wouldn’t have called ourselves the Vegan Cavemen. We’d have called ourselves the Water Cats or the Tiny Jumbo Shrimp. We’re not about doing things that are they way they’re supposed to be or call things what they’re supposed to be called. And now, people think we’re trying to support this stupid movement, when really we just want to make our music and be famous and stuff.”

“But, you guys are getting a lot of recognition now. At least in San Francisco, I think you could be considered famous.”

“Yeah, but people think we’re like the Vegan equivalent of Pussy Riot or something. And really, that’s not what we’re about. We don’t want anything to do with any of this. First it was fine, we went along with what they wanted. Played a few Vegan rallying jams for some big crowds, but then that’s all they wanted us to play.”

At that moment, the front door burst open. A man rushed in and face-planted on the hardwood floor almost immediately.

“That’s Brad,” Victor said. “He’s been entering the house like that for a while now.”

“Should we help him up?” I said.

“No, no. I think eventually his body will adapt to it or something. It really can’t be healthy. He’s got to learn on his own.”

A few minutes later Brad rolled over onto to his back and tilted his head to look at us.

“Who fucked up my drums?” He said in a drunken growl.

“That was you, mate,” Victory replied. “You said music sucks, and drums are dumb, and then you destroyed your set.”

“Oh, yeah. Shit.”

“Well, did you hear anything? About John? A normal gig? Anything?”

“No.”

Since John disappeared, which happened shortly after a hydroponics-vegan-farmer-rally-concert and but right before Theodore and Michael went for burgers behind Paleo lines, Brad had made it his mission to 1. Get the band back together and 2. Find a gig that allowed them to play their normal music. So far, he was only succeeding at getting really drunk and stumbling around the city.

>>>Part 4: The Disappearance Of and The Search For John Pratt<<<

Nomadic Vegan Caveman guitarist John Pratt disappeared right after the band finished playing a rally-concert thing on what was formerly known as Pier 39 – since the events, it came to be called “Innocent Sea Creature Memorial Park.”

It was a 3-song set followed by a ceremonial dropping of flowers into the water for the fallen sea creatures. The song lyrics were provided to the band by top ranking vegan officials.

Everything was going great until mid way through song 3, “Meat is Murder-Suicide,” Victor decided to start singing the Nomadic Vegan Cavemen song, “You Probably Don’t Know the Name of This Song.” It’s a really weird song, it was not well received, and the band was nearly booed off the stage. They were saved by John grabbing the mic and taking over vocals for “Meat is Murder-Suicide.” The flower dropping ceremony continued happily.

“And then after that, Theo and Mike got really mad and told us to fuck ourselves and John disappeared somewhere in the crowd,” Victor said. “He said, ‘Sorry guys, this is my fault or something.”

Victor said he kept his calm during the whole situation so his memory was reliable, but Brad remembered it a different way.

“No, Victor, you threw a fucking hissy fit. You wouldn’t stop throwing shit and you wouldn’t stop screaming at everyone. Theo and Mike said they were going to get burgers somewhere and asked if anyone wanted something. John said, fuck you Vic, I’m going to find some more yoga-chicks to bang. Wait…” Brad said, realizing this was his first mostly-sober moment since his mission began. He laughed. “I knew where John was this whole time! I was just too drunk to remember.”

“Dammit Brad, you’re fucking useless,” Victor said. “Let’s go get him then.”

The three of us made our way around back to the garage. Brad lifted the garage door and looked back at me.

“This baby turned out to be the smartest investment this band has every made,” he said.

In the garage was an old beat up van with a custom Nomadic Vegan Cavemen paintjob.

“I hate this van,” Victor said.

“Vic, would you rather walk, buddy? This has got to be one of the few vehicles able to run in this city,” Brad said.

Since the Vegan occupation, gas stations pretty much became defunct. The van in the garage was a drunken purchase Brad made years ago. It ran on vegetable oil. Victor hated it because they’d get to their gig reeking of fried food.

“We got on stage this one time, and everybody in the place started laughing and pointing at us,” Victor said. “One guy goes, ‘Hey look, it’s the Nomadic Vegan Donuts!’ and then everybody started chanting it.”

“Oh come on, it was sorta funny,” Brad said. “Let go grace the townsfolk with our presence. I’ll drive.”

“Ummm, I think I’ll drive, Brad.” Victor said and handed Brad the bottle of vegan whiskey he had rested on the windshield of the van a moment before. “Where are we going?”

“You know the old warehouse on 4th?” Brad said. “I’m pretty sure he’s there.”

“I thought you said you knew,” Victor said and started the van. The smell of fried donuts engulfed us.

“Knowing John, he’s got to be there.”

>>>Part 5: King John<<<

“No, no, no. You need to go left.” Brad said leaning over Victor’s seat.

“That’s a one-way street,” Victor said and kept driving.

“Victor, turn!”

“That was a fucking one-way, asshole.”

“Do you see any fucking cops? No. Do you even see any other fucking cars? Flip around and turn.”

“Would you hold on for a fucking minute, mate. I’m trying to navigate this motor vehicle.”

“Victor, come on.”

Victor flipped a U-turn in the empty street and turned down the wrong-way one-way street.

“Happy? You fuck,” Victor said.

A barefoot man in orange, poofy pants jumped out in the middle of the street and help up his hand for us to stop. Victor stopped the van and rolled down the window.

“What are you doing?” Victor shouted to the stranger. He slowly walked over to the driver’s side window and brought his palms together in front of his chest.

“Namaste, fellow beings. Do you know why I stopped you?” He said in a very calm, soothing voice.

“What the actual fuck?” Victor said.

“The police may be gone, friend, but we still need to uphold some basic rules. Otherwise, our peaceful community would be lost. Allowing people to drive recklessly puts this community down an unsavory path.”

Victor turned around and looked at Brad and shook his head.

“We’re looking for John Pratt. We’re the Nomadic Vegan Caveman – look at the van. He’s our guitarist,” Brad said from the back of the van.

“John Pratt? You mean Master Yogananda John Pratt? Why didn’t you say so!? I knew I could sense a purposeful aura from you guys. You can find him in building 5. Go on, but please, drive more carefully next time. Namaste.”

“Okay, thanks. Namaste, dude!” Brad said.

Building 5 was all the way at the end of the street. We parked in the alley along side of it. The large metal doors were removed and replaced with giant tapestries and strings of colored beads. The first floor was converted to a giant yoga studio. Mats were arranged in patterns that I’m assuming meant something. A giant lotus flower and dragonfly mural began on the floor near the front entrance and continued all along the rest of the high brick walls. Music was playing loudly – it was some weird techno-pop stuff, which didn’t really seem to fit with the rest of the scene, but then again, I don’t know much about yoga.

We asked around for John and were directed upstairs. When we got to the top floor, we entered a room that was covered in colorful pillows and cushions. The entire room was like a bed. And in the center of the room-bed bedroom, a man wearing no shirt with long hair and a giant beard sat surrounded by twelve topless girls in tight fitting yoga pants. The room smelled like fruity kombucha and incense.

At that moment, I wished I had decided to become a photo-journalist.

One of the girls skipped across the giant sea of pillows and cushions towards us at the door.

“Namaste, friends! Are you here for the tantric yoga session?” She asked, bouncing in place atop one of the cushions.

“Uh, yes!” Brad said and started jumping too.

The shirtless, bearded man stood up and made his way towards us.

The rest of the girls grabbed at him and pleaded, “Come back, come back!”

“Lilly Flower Lotus Child, could I have a moment with our guests, please?” The man said and Lilly Flower Lotus Child skipped back to the other girls. “Hey guys, let’s talk out here.”

He had to snap us out of the trance we fell into first and then he led us to a balcony overlooking the alley where we parked.

“Oh look! You brought the van. I love that thing!” He said.

“John?! Is that you?” Victor said.

“Yup, it’s me all right.”

“Wo, man, I couldn’t even recognize you.” Brad said.

John removed his beard and a bun that was in his hair. “All fake.” He laughed. “Really convincing fakes, but that’s the point. It totally worked.”

“What the fuck is going on, John? We thought you disappeared,” Victor said.

“Brad knew where I was.”

“Well, yeah, I ‘knew,’ but I mean, in the most past-tense, one-time meaning of the word,” Brad said.

For the past four months, John had been living in the Building 5 yoga commune. After saving the band from near-exile from the Vegan-controlled city, he recognized a way to capitalize on his new-found fame. It started off with a few lies here and there. He’d tell girls he started Nomadic Vegan Cavemen so that he could spread the movement and save all the animals and whatnot. He graduated from using it as a pick-up line to using it as a way to get free food, free drinks, anything really. He had to blend in with a yoga-crazed vegan crowd, so he started expanding on the lie. First, it was that he was really into yoga. Then he was really into kombucha. And after a while, it was that he was a yoga master and knew all these secret, ancient techniques and all this crazy bullshit. But, everyone believed him.

“And so, I sorta just kept running with it. I get to live in this giant hippy warehouse, bang all these really hot chicks, eat free food, you get used to the kombucha after a while. It’s been pretty sweet,” John said. “But man, I could sure go for some fish tacos.”

>>>Part 6: Broccoli Tears<<<

We headed back to the van – John leading the way.

“But can’t we stay for the tantric yoga?” Brad said.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to fix all this, dude. Plenty of time for tantric yoga afterwards,” John said. “You guys hear from Theo or Mike?”

“Not since they left to get burgers. No way they’re getting back now,” Victor said. “Honestly, we can find another bassist and we really never needed a flute.”

“Dude, not cool,” Brad said.

“No Victor’s right. We don’t need a flute,” John said. “And yes, we can find another bass player. That’ll be fine. Before we can start thinking about the band, we’ve got to come up with a way to fix all this. And I think I’ve got something. If there’s one thing I’ve learned these past couple months, it’s that these vegan-yogis, especially the ones in charge, will believe whatever you tell them as long as you say things like Namaste, chakras, and auras and stuff in a soft tone. Oh, and your downward dog has to be pretty solid. They can see through that shit otherwise.”

“That doesn’t make any sense at all,” Victor said. “I don’t see how we’re going to fix this.”

“Okay, it’s simple. You’ll get it Jeff, you’re MI6, right? We’re going to make everyone believe that plants have feelings and souls or some shit,” John said.

“Are you high? That’s fucking ridiculous,” Victor said.

“Not really,” John said. “Think about it. The people we’re trying to convince have already been convinced that sour, fermented tea tastes good, that they shouldn’t eat pizza, bacon, lobster – the list goes on – and that they should change the way entire society functions because of some documentary about what a bunch of cavemen ate thousands of years ago.”

“Nomadic, vegan cavemen, John,” Brad said.

“Damn right. Nomadic Vegan Cavemen. And that’s us motherfuckers. We’re in control and we’re going to fix this,” John said.

John’s plan was weird and convoluted, but he and the rest of us were convinced that it’d work. He was going to publish an academic paper about new research proving that plants have feelings – just like people – and that they communicate with each other through means we just don’t understand yet. He was confident that if he made it seem official enough and get it into the hands of enough vegans, the movement would disperse and things would go back to the way they were.

He spent the rest of the night writing the paper and through some lie he had told, he got it published in a semi-credible science journal with the backings of a handful of professors and scientists from around the world – whether they were legitimate or not, I don’t know. It looked pretty damn official to me.

Before he could go critical mass with his plan, John said he needed to test it. So we drove back to building 5 and John put his fake hair bun and fake beard back on. He entered the warehouse with a stack of copies of the paper.

Victor, Brad, and I waited in the van.

John returned about 15 minutes later with a smile on his face.

“This is going to work,” He said. “All the girls read the paper and immediately started crying. They asked me what they were supposed to do. I told them to do three sun-salutations and to start to spread the news. That people needed to know. And my God, it was both the saddest and most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.”

We made a few more similar stops to key vegan strongholds throughout the city. The reactions were similar at each one.

John predicted two possible outcomes from all this. The first being what he planned for – everyone would be convinced that no matter what they chose to eat they’d be harming something in the process and would either need to accept that fact or become breatharians. The second being that a lot of people would actually become breatharians and starve themselves to death.

The news of John’s paper spread quickly and over the next week, the vegan-propaganda posters started to fade and peel from the walls. The vegan chants and marches became fainter. And the namastes from strangers became few and far between.

The silence in the streets was soon filled with audible footfalls – people were wearing shoes again. The city buses were the first vehicles back on the street and the hum of engines and whoosh of air brakes added variety to the constant footstep percussion.

Other major cities on the West Coast followed San Francisco and things began to return to normal. Paleos returned from hiding in middle-America and coastal Crossfit gyms reopened.

John had successfully convinced his country that no one is superior or different because of what they choose to eat or not eat. Whether everyone knew that explicitly or whether they were just following the latest trend, I don’t know, but it didn’t matter.

Gas stations reopened, restaurants were able to serve meats again, people went back to their lives before the Vegan-Paleo land wars. The only casualties of which were logic and one guy who tried to hang-clean more weight than he could lift at a paleo Crossfit gym.

John, Victor, and Brad found a bassist and a guy to stand where Theodore the flute player used to stand and play flute – I guess they felt like they needed to fill the empty space.

The actual band Nomadic Vegan Cavemen returned to Pier 39, formerly known as Innocent Sea Creature Memorial Park formerly known as Pier 39, to play a free gig.

A pretty large crowd gathered as they were setting up, but most of them dispersed about midway through the third song they played – “Rusty Consumer Plastics, Discarded Thrice.”

I’m not exactly sure what I’d witnessed during my time in San Francisco. I knew I had my story, but I didn’t know where to start it. Part of me felt like it was my responsibility to omit some of the stuff I knew – what if somebody read that John’s paper was fake – along with his beard and hair bun – and everybody went crazy again? I didn’t think I could live with that. On the other hand – I didn’t have as great a story to bring back if I omitted it.

>>>Part 7: Choices of Chicken, Beef, Fish, or Tofu<<<

It was my last night in San Francisco. I sat on the band’s couch staring at my notes and a blank Word document on my laptop. I still hadn’t written a word of my story.

The band, Nomadic Vegan Cavemen were practicing in the main room of the apartment with the new bassist and the new guy who stands there.

Honestly, they were starting to sound a little better.

“How’s the story coming, Jeffster?” John shouted over the song, I Only Read Chaucer. “Do you spell your name with a J or a G? You should spell it with a G for sure.”

I shook my head. I still felt like I was facing some huge moral dilemma.

As I was finally about to start writing, the front door burst open. Two guys were standing there. One holding a to-go holder for five soft drinks, the other holding a few In-N-Out bags.

“We got a bunch of burgers and fries,” The bag-holder said. “Took a while, but we’re back.”

The music stopped. I wasn’t sure, but it had to be Theodore and Michael, the former Nomadic Vegan Cavemen flutist and bass player, respectively.

“Who the hell are these guys?” Possibly Theodore or Michael said.

“Hey Theo. Hey Mike. I dono, we thought you died or something,” Brad said. “You were gone a while.”

“Yeah, we got held at the bone-border. Placed in vegan-jail for questioning and charges of treason. They made us eat a bunch of tofu and vegan cheese and watch all these documentaries,” Theodore or Michael said.

“It was pretty lame,” Theodore or Michael said.

“Well guys, happy you’re back. Thing is, we don’t really need a flute in the band and this guy is better at bass, so…” Victor said.

“Nah, that’s cool. All of our stuff is here, though, so can we just hang?”

“Oh, yeah, totally,” Victor said. “You could be like, our roadies now.”

The new Nomadic Vegan Cavemen continued playing. Theodore and Michael sat down and began eating their long-awaited burgers. I finally began writing.

“You know,” Theodore or Michael said through a mouthful of burger. “You guys do sound way better.”

I ended up with two versions of the story. The first, the full account of everything that happened – John’s fake paper that saved the United States and all. The second, a disjointed account of what was going on in the States and a random profile on some band who spent a little bit of time rallying vegans together in San Francisco.

I said my goodbyes and headed back to London. I put the finishing touches on both stories during the flight. The second version just felt artificial.

I returned to the office early in the morning and found my boss, Dave, in a familiar slump of his desk with some chips and an empty bottle. His gut was hanging out of what looked to be exactly the same Ramones t-shirt I found him in the last time.

“I hope you’ve changed since I saw you last, Dave, it’s been nearly a month,” I said.

“Jeff, my boy! I thought you ran away and became a surfer-dude or something,” Dave said. “How’d it go?”

“Well, I’ve got something.”

“This issue is shit so far. Everyone else has been turning in amateurish baloney. I hope it’s good. Give it here.”

I handed him both versions and explained what they were. I took a seat on the crusty leather couch and watched Dave read my stories.

“Both are good, but we’ve obviously got to go with the first one,” Dave said when he finished reading. “I mean, that one’s really fucking good.”

“You know what that could do, though, don’t you?”

“What’s that? Send the States back into a tofu frenzy?” he said. “I think the chances are pretty low on that one. We’re a tiny, indy-culture zine with print in London only. Our website has like 10 visitors a month. I think the yanks’ll be safe and I think it’ll keep us running.”

>>>Part 8: Tofu or ELSE<<<

Somewhere in San Francisco, the girl whom I knew as Lilly Flower Lotus Child was awaiting the upload of the online version of the latest issue of Zitz & Chips, which was her favorite indy-culture zine in London.

She kept refreshing the page, until finally the new stories were uploaded. She went straight to the music section – she always liked to start there. She loved hearing about new, up and coming British musicians.

My story was the big feature for the issue.

“OH MY GOD!” She gasped after reading the story and printed out an armful of copies. “I can’t believe the Nomadic Vegan Cavemen got rid of their flute player!”