The Road to Hana: Act I: Life is Cheap

by Styop Quoons

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about

Early in 2010, SongFight announced a fight title called The Road to Hana. I wanted to compose an entry for this particular fight, but I found the title to be a tad baffling, as I had no idea what it meant. Well, as it turns out, apparently Hana is a beach in Hawaii or something, and I guess the road to it is somewhat arduous, which, in retrospect, I suppose would also make an okay topic for a song. However, at the time, I did not know this, so what I wound up creating was the tale of a young man named Pocahontas, who is called upon by the ghost of his dead father to journey to the mythical land of Hana, far to the south.

Well, I didn't get very far into the project before I realized that it was very quickly turning into something far larger than could be completed in the space of a week. What started off as a song quickly started becoming an album, and before long I knew that this project was, most likely, going to span several albums.

Needless to say, I did not have anything ready for the fight by the time it was due; however, I had completely forgotten about that by this point.

As is indicated by the title, this album is Act I of a larger work, the second part of which is forthcoming.

credits

released February 11, 2010

The Road to Hana
Was Written and Performed by Styop Habukkuk Quoons.

All Music and Lyrics by S.H. Quoons.

All Instruments Played by a Computer, Except:

Lead Guitar on "The Road to Detroit" by S.H. Quoons.
Rhythm Guitar on "The Road to Detroit" by Roland V. Pumpkin-Seed.
Bass on "The Road to Detroit" by Arthur "Poon Puff" St. Melonbread.
Drums on "The Road to Detroit" by "Sore Teats" Julia Jackson.

Produced by S.H. Quoons & Abnor Beelzebub.

Charles Cack Appears Courtesy of Wing Hove Records, but Not on This Album.

Cover Illustration by Clip Trayknob.

Assurances That Muttering Goats Chapter Two is On the Way by Steye O. P'kwuunes.

Extra Special Thanks Goes Out to the Following:

Charles Cack, who believed; James Peen, who also believed; Alexander "Sweet Cheeks" Poddington, who made me a believer; "Brussels" Sprouts McKenna, who did enough believing for three people; Adolph "Dandy Man Cakes" Jones, who didn't believe, but then later came around; Aaron "Memphis Turnover" McMaynerbury, better known as "the man with the mission"; and, last but not least, Ronnie James Dio, who believed (but not in this particular project, as it happens).


This Album is Dedicated to Roberto "Bert" Martinez,
Better Known as "Fingercuffs" to our entire road crew, everyone
backstage at the Fillmore, and the boys of the 67th Airborne.

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The Muffin Recording Company Portland, Oregon

Styop Quoons is made entirely out of candy. You should not only listen to him, you should lick him like a lollipop.

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Track Name: The Road to Hana (opening credits)
Once upon a time, there was a young man named Pocahontas, who lived deep in the wilderness of northern Canada, with his mother Eleanor, his dog Chip, and an imaginary playmate named Skip Brisbee. Pocahontas and his family lived a simple life without material comforts, and for the first fourteen years of his life he was carefree, and satisfied. However, one afternoon late in July, the ghost of his dead father came to him in a dream.

"Pocahontas," said his father, "This is your father."

Pocahontas replied that he had no father.

"Pocahontas," said his father again, "I have a task for you. You must journey far to the south, to a land known as Hana. It is there that you shall find the meaning of life."

Before Pocahontas could reply, the vision was gone, and he was lying awake in his bed. That morning at breakfast, Pocahontas told his mother about the dream. She regarded him sadly, and nodded.

"Yes," she said, "I knew that this day would come eventually. You must do as your father has bidden you."

"But Mother," said Pocahontas, "Where is Hana? I have never heard of such a place."

"No one knows," said his mother. "For none have ever gone there and returned to tell the tale. The road to Hana is dark and perilous, and inhabited by foul creatures too horrible to describe. However, you must make the journey, and you must make it alone."

Pocahontas, despite being alarmed by his mother's suddenly grave demeanor, swallowed his fear and nodded soberly.

And so it was that, on a bright and clear Summer morning, Pocahontas left the cabin in which he had spent his entire life, and journeyed forth in search of his destiny.

Muffin International Entertainment Presents; A Styop Quoons Production; The Road to Hana; Written and Performed by Styop Quoons; Starring Styop Quoons, Kurt Von Hornendorfer, Madeline Albright, Charles Cack, and introducing Katherine Vas Deferens, as Eleanor.

This audio recording is protected by international copyright law. Any attempt to reproduce or distribute this recording, in whole or part, is punishable by cruel and inhuman acts of government sanctioned torture too unspeakable to list.
Track Name: Joozgapthe
Pocahontas walked through the cool, dark woods, singing softly to himself and carrying a pack filled with sandwiches that his mother had made for the journey. Each step carried him further away from home, and closer to danger.

In about four hours, he had left the familiar lands he knew so well, and was deeper into the forest than he had ever been. Everywhere were rocks and trees he did not recognize, and more than once he nearly tripped over a gnarled root or a hidden gopher hole.

Soon, he had worked up quite an appetite, and since the sun was well into the sky by that point, he decided to rest for a bit, and eat one of his mother's delicious sandwiches. He found an enormous old oak tree, whose trunk had been hollowed out by lightning, which made an ideal bit of shelter. He sat down on a rotting log inside, and unwrapped a ham and turkey sandwich on rye bread with some mayonnaise.

The food was delicious, and as soon as he started eating Pocahontas realized that he was far hungrier than he had thought; he finished his first sandwich and started in on a second almost immediately. So engrossed was he in his meal that he didn't even notice the shadow of the dark and gangly creature that was now standing between him and the exit.

"Hello there," whispered a strange, hissing voice.

Pocahontas looked up in alarm, and for the first time he noticed that he was not alone inside the hollow tree. Standing before him was an enormous fat spider, easily twice again the size of Chip, his beloved great dane. It was dark and hairy, with a huge round belly, and long, thin legs spread out in every direction. A faint light glimmered behind the dark orbs of its eyes, suggesting a sort of cunning intelligence. Startled, but not afraid, as Pocahontas had never left his cabin and was thus unaware of the dangers of the outside world, he cleared his throat and spoke.

"Who are you?" he asked. The spider seemed almost to smile faintly, if such a thing was possible.

"My name is Joozgapthe," replied the spider in its hissing voice, "Joozgapthe, the enchanted tree spider, nine hundred years old if I be a day."

Joozgapthe the spider looked him over appraisingly, its dark eyes betraying nothing of its thoughts. "You don't seem to be from around here, I daresay. It's not very often that I find local folks taking their luncheon uninvited inside my tree, I mean. With whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?"

"My name is Pocahontas," replied Pocahontas, "I come from the woods to the north."

"Ah, well then," said the spider, "It's a pleasure to meet you then, Pocahontas. And what brings you to my humble abode this fine afternoon, if you don't mind me asking?"

"I am on a journey to the far-off land of Hana," said Pocahontas. "But I'm afraid I don't know the way. You seem to be a,"

He paused. "You seem to be a well-travelled gentleman. I don't suppose you could tell me how to get there?"

The spider chortled deeply.

"Yes," it said, "I have indeed travelled far and wide. However, I am sad to say that I have never heard of the land of Hana."

Pocahontas was a little disappointed, but not at all surprised.

"I see." he said.

The spider moved a bit closer, and Pocahontas could smell something rotten on its breath.

"Say," intoned Joozgapthe, its voice a breathy hiss, "I don't suppose you've had any tea this afternoon, have you?"

"Why, no." said Pocahontas, suddenly realizing that it was well past tea-time, back at home.

The spider once again flashed its wan, unsettling smile.

"Well, I happen to be in possession of a very fine tea, made from the herbs that grow in this very forest. It is my own special blend, you see. Very rare, and very delicious. Alas, though, so rarely do I get visitors to my humble abode that I never get to share it. I don't suppose you'd care for a cup?"

Pocahontas, far from suspecting danger, was delighted.

"Why, certainly!" he said, and with a smooth, swift motion, Joozgapthe the spider bowed politely, and disappeared into the upper reaches of the tree, which Pocahontas now saw was slung in every direction with thick, sticky strands of spider's web.

The creature returned a moment later, carrying a steaming pot of tea, two cups, and two saucers. Pocahontas noted with mild surprise that the spider's legs were surprisingly prehensile.

It poured him a cup of a very sweet, almost noxious smelling tea, and gestured for him to sit back down on the log.

"This recipe has been in my family for generations," said Joozgapthe, watching intently as Pocahontas sipped his tea.

"You're a very fortunate young boy. You're the first human to have tasted this tea in over a century."

Pocahontas was beginning to feel dizzy. All of a sudden, the tree seemed huge, almost cavernous. The spider towered over him, thousands of feet tall, it seemed.

Somehow, he had fallen off the log, and was now lying on his back, staring up into the bulbous eyes of the tree spider as it gazed menacingly down at him.

"Yes.

"You are a fortunate boy indeed. And it seems that I am fortunate too."
Track Name: Life is Cheap
Pocahontas gazed up in disbelief at the slobbering fangs of the creature who, until just a few moments ago, he had thought was his new friend.

"Why?" he asked, struggling to hold onto consciousness as the poison tea slowly began to take its effect. "Why would you do this to me? I've done you no wrong, Joozgapth."

Joozgapth, his glistening mandibles spread wide, began to draw ever closer. As Pocahontas finally slid off into a deep, dark sleep, the treacherous spider explained to him his thoughts on the nature of life:

I was born in a hollow tree
I had a thousand little brothers crawling next to me
We wasn't much of a family
And it's a cold hard world ain't nothing free

It was a fight each day just to stay alive
You gotta have no heart if you want to survive
So I killed my brothers and ate them as I cried

Now I'm all grown up
And I'm out on my own
I've lived nine hundred years
And I'm all alone

I'll suck out your blood
And crush your bones
I don't need anybody I'm
Joozgapthe the Spider

I ain't got no heart
I ain't got no soul
I've lived nine hundred years
And I'm in control

Life is hard
You've got to pay the toll
I don't love anybody I'm
Joozgapthe the Spider

Listen to me boy, as I sing my song
I'm gonna tell you just where you got me wrong
You know your first mistake was trusting me
They say that life is cheap but wisdom is free

I can't believe you thought I'd be your friend
Now it's too bad for you cause this is the end
You made an error that you can never mend

It's too bad
That it's too late
Now say your prayers
Cause you've sealed your fate

I'm having a blast
And I just can't wait
To suck out your organs I'm
Joozgapthe the Spider

You poor little boy
You're all alone
Your mother will wonder
Why you didn't come home

She'll cry and she'll fret
But she couldn't have known
That you'd run afoul of
Joozgapthe the Spider

And just when it seemed that all hope was lost, the spider's hypnotic funk powers were defeated by a stranger with a completely different view of how synthesizers should be used. The dreamy, trance-inducing, analog space music washed over Pocahontas, and gradually his head began to clear.

Groggily, he opened his eyes, and saw that it was now night time in the forest, and that he was being carried by a man he did not recognize.

"Who are you?" he asked. "And why did you save me?"

"Don't you recognize me?" said his mysterious benefactor. "We've known each other for years. I'm your oldest friend, Skip Brisbee."

Pocahontas, his mind still a bit muddled from his encounter with the spider, furrowed his brow in confusion.

"My mother said you weren't real." he said.

"No, I'm quite real, I assure you." said Skip. "She just never noticed me standing there. You see, I always try to stand a little to the left of where people are looking. That way they don't see me."

"Oh." said Pocahontas.

"Now try to get some sleep." said Skip. "We've got a long journey ahead of us."

And with that, Pocahontas drifted back into the world of dreams and darkness.
Track Name: Last Bus out of Canada
When Pocahontas awoke, he was sitting in a cramped felt seat, in a vehicle which appeared to be moving. He wheeled his head around in confusion, searching for some kind of explanation.

"It's a bus." said Skip Brisbee, who Pocahontas now saw was sitting next to him. "The last bus out of Canada, or so I was told."

Pocahontas yawned and stretched.

"I've heard of such devices," he said, "But I never thought I would live to see one up close, much less ride in one. Where is it going?"

"Detroit." replied Skip.

"Why Detroit?" Pocahontas looked confused. "I'm trying to get to Hana."

"Like I said, it's the last bus out of Canada." said Skip. "I didn't really have much of a choice when it came to the destination. Besides, did you think that getting to Hana was going to be as easy as just hopping on a bus? Some mythical quest that would be."

Pocahontas considered this for a moment, and decided that it made sense.

"I never thanked you for rescuing me back there, from the spider I mean." he said. "My mother warned me that there might be dangerous people on the road to Hana, but I guess I didn't realize exactly how dangerous it would be."

"Think nothing of it." said Skip.

Pocahontas stretched and yawned again.

"You know," he said, rummaging around in his pack to see if he had any sandwiches left, "I don't believe that I have ever encountered a creature quite like Joozgapthe before."

Now it was Skip Brisbee's turn to yawn.

"Yeah," he said, "Nine hundred year old giant spiders that talk aren't exactly common in rural Canada."

"No," said Pocahontas, "I mean, yes, but also, his outlook on life was rather bleak, don't you think?"

"A bit, I suppose."

"His entire view seemed to be that the world is a cold, lonely place, and the only purpose of life is to survive, and serve tea, and eat people indiscriminately. My father apparently sent me on this quest so I could find the meaning of life, but somehow, Joozgapthe's views on the subject seem wrong to me."

"Well, he's been around 900 years longer than you have; maybe he knows something that you don't."

Pocahontas did not have an answer to that, and for the next several minutes they rode in silence.

"Skip?" he said after a time.

"Hmm?"

"What do you think life is all about?"

Skip considered for a moment.

"Well, a fella wiser than myself once said that life ain't nothing but bitches and money. However, if I remember correctly, he got AIDS and died."

"Oh." Pocahontas looked a little depressed.

"But he probably doesn't know everything," Skip said after a moment. "Here, you know what, just don't worry about it for the time being. We're on our way to Detroit now, so let's enjoy ourselves. Maybe I could sing a little song to pass the time."
Track Name: The Road to Detroit
On the road to Detroit now
We didn't want to go there
But that's okay

On the road to Detroit now
If we like it there
We might just stay

There's no knowing
What we'll find
When we get there tomorrow

Maybe we'll find happiness
Or maybe there'll be sorrow

We might not even like Detroit
We might even hate Detroit
We might just say "fuck Detroit"
And leave in the morning

There's no knowing what we'll find
There's no knowing who we'll meet
Maybe we'll just beat the meat
When we get there

We might even find a monkey
We might even keep the monkey
We might even spank the monkey
Spank the monkey, spank the monkey.
Track Name: Act One - Epilogue
And so it was that Pocahontas and his imaginary friend Skip Brisbee journeyed from their homeland to the fabled city of Detroit, in the far off kingdom of Michigan. Along the way, they stopped at a convenience store, operated by a local cowboy. Pocahontas had never seen a convenience store before, and he marveled at the wonders it held.

"Moon pie!" he exclaimed, holding the aforementioned pastry aloft, "What a time to be alive."

After purchasing a moon pie, several twinkies, a diet cherry cola, some powdered sugar donuts in a bag, a couple of fruit pies, a hot dog, some nachos with jalapenos, a banana, several bags of jelly beans, two Snickers bars, an oversized novelty pair of sunglasses, a bag of potato chips, a carton of ice cream, and a box of plastic silverware, Pocahontas and Skip got back on the bus and continued their journey. As day faded into night, they crossed the border into the United States of America. It had not occurred to Pocahontas that he would need to get a passport in order to leave the country, but fortunately for them, Skip had thought ahead.

He presented the customs agent with two passports, issued by the NSK, which he had purchased the previous evening from a company in Nigeria. The customs agent looked bemused, and told them that the passports were invalid. Pocahontas began to fidget anxiously, and the customs agent took notice.

Skip and Pocahontas were detained for the next several hours, under the suspicion of being terrorists. The customs officials were particularly suspicious of Skip's tendency to always stand to the left of wherever they happened to be looking, as well as his Islamic jailhouse tattoo. However, after a thorough interrogation and a bribe, Skip and Pocahontas were allowed to once again board the bus, and continue their travels.

Pocahontas was visibly shaken by the experience, but Skip assured him that this sort of thing happened to him all the time, and that there was nothing to worry about.

As the bus drove on through the lush meadows of the northeastern United States, Pocahontas gradually slipped off into sleep, and when he awoke it was dawn, and they had drawn to a stop amongst a skyline of warehouses and other industrial buildings.

And so it was that, on the morning of the fifth day since his departure, Pocahontas arrived in the city of Detroit.