by Doug Hawley
I woke up
feeling tired, even though I thought that I had
slept through the night. My wife Sally
looked like she hadnt slept much either.
I expected her to complain about my snoring, but
she surprised me by saying Duke, when did
you become a great singer?
That was a
shock in so many ways. I had no memory of
singing, I never even talk in my sleep and even
more, she normally hates my singing. For
that matter, Ive been banned from singing
in thirty-six states. I hadnt been in
the other ones.
With It. It was so good, and I couldnt
sleep, so I got up and danced to it for the
fifteen minutes you sang. You seemed to be
going on a themed medley and went directly into
never woke up?
what to say, I said nothing, but later that day
while I was in the shower after work, I decided
to try singing while I was awake. I started
with something mellow, Natural Born Lover,
but as I started, my throat closed and I began to
sing through my nose in a voice that I didnt
recognize. Not only was I singing
wonderfully, but there was the instrumental track
the doctors appointment for my snoring.
Id been plagued with congestion and sore
throats for most of my life, but my fear of
doctors had kept me from medical help, and now I
didnt want to risk losing my new talent.
Whatever was happening to me, I didnt want
to risk it. Instead, I worked though all of
my favorite songs mushy ballads, hard rock,
big band with great results every time.
Better than Jerry Lee on Great Balls Of
Fire and superior to John Lennon on In
Because I had
grown weary of my actuarial job, and had always
wanted attention, I came up with a plan.
King Of The World was coming through
Portland to interview for their network talent
show. The process was as tedious as my day
job so I wont bore you I won every
competition including Battle of the Best.
many skeptics that claimed that I was cheating
somehow, but no one could prove anything.
My singing was definitely coming through my nose.
Despite repeated requests, I refused to be
examined, partly because I did want to know the
source of the magic, and in part because I
superstitiously believed that any checking on me
would jinx my gift.
An angle that
celebrity culture grabbed onto was my similarity
to the former famous flatulist Le Petomane.
Le Petomane also made music from an unusual
orifice too, but mine was much sweeter.
For about a
year, I was the King Of The World. I was on
Ophir, Dr. Pill, Murray and all of the big talk
shows. Not only did I get to entertain, I
was willing to solve all of the big problems
The Middle East, Pineapple On Pizza (yes),
Greatest Female Singer (Aretha duh).
Side note I could sing in a female voice
as well as a male voice. I filled all of
the big stadiums the Rolling Stones, Pat
Benatar, Neil Young and Paul McCartney opened for
me. Actors and politicians fawned over me,
but I played it cool. All of the jokes that
my wife hated were suddenly hilarious.
One year, two
months and five days after my original appearance
on King Of The World, I was performing in
Portland Oregon, my home town. I was in the
middle of Neil Youngs Like A
Hurricane when something worm-like popped
out of my nose. It kept singing, but I
stopped. No doubt you read of the chaos
that ensued. I was exposed as a
fraud, until Mick (what the worm called himself)
explained, as best he could, what had happened.
The following is edited for brevity and humor:
guys, I cant explain it very well either.
I dont know what I am, but I attained
consciousness about ten years ago. Am I a
part of Duke, am I an alien, am I the product of
some mutation or radiation? Dont know.
Whatever I am, I could hear what Duke was hearing
and know what he was thinking. I really
liked the same music he did, so I took a chance
and started singing. Im not bad for a
ten centimeter invertebrate.
you do, dont blame Duke. He didnt
understand what was happening. And kids out
there, stay in school and dont do drugs
the accusations of me being a fraud died down,
but my show business career was over. Mick
took my place, performing in a huge magnifying
cube. I must say that he is a much more
dynamic performer than I ever was, probably
because of his 103 segments and fifty appendages.
I miss the
fame a little, but I still get booked on some
talk shows and do some conventions. Most of
the celebrities and politicians I could do
without, and I did enough travel in that one year
to last me a lifetime. As much as I
denigrate my actuarial background, it kept me
conservative enough to avoid groupies and to take
care of the money. Sally and I are happy to
be retired young and rich enough to enjoy our
hobbies her hiking, my writing.
Bonus no more snoring, congestion or sore
appeared in Literally