So I'm not a frequent blogger, but was feeling it was time for a post...sometimes it comes to me, sometimes it doesn't. Up to the other day, it hadn't. I was in the middle of my program last Thursday, playing a piece by the Squirm Orchestra called "Nature Slaughter Scenes" and BAM!! It hit me. But I'll give you some info on the catalyst before I go into another horrific story of something else I've seen in my life that was mortifying, and I just happened to be there - don't get that reference? Check a past blog post here. Squirm Orchestra are from the Indiana/Michigan area, are a sextet, whose improv electro hand-sewn cd: Somersaults Inside Ourselves is in the WFMU new bin right now. It's finely crafted both visually and aurally; nice! OK, now for the bloody stuff, goody!
It was the summer of 2004, I was going on tour with one of my favorite bands: Watch Them Die from Oakland, California. I was doing sound for them, and psyched as hell. Also on the tour: Cattle Decapitation, Goatwhore, and Black Dahlia Murder, woo hoo! The tour started in Salt Lake City, so I had to fly out there to meet the caravan or as Ira, WTD drummer and Brainoil member as well, would refer to as our "prison on wheels". I got to SLC a day early and started exploring what was in walking distance. It would have cost me an arm and a leg in taxi fees to get out to the Saltair Pavilion (pictured left)area where the 1962 horror classic, Carnival of Souls was filmed, so instead I opted for a stroll around Temple Square, a fastidiously manicured expanse owned by the Mormons that houses the multi-spired Disneyesque Salt Lake Temple (below), the domed Tabernacle - home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (below left), and the Family History Library, one of, if not the biggest, genealogy research centers in the nation that is open to the public.
This huge area was immaculate. There are lots of volunteers for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the grounds, and they are happy to give you tours, answer questions, and tell anyone all about the story of the Mormons. The general overtone of the area is a bit cultish, unsettling, and too damn friendly for my tastes, but it is also quiet, relaxed, and pristine - a picturesque setting in which to hang, on a summer day. It's beautiful, but so perfectly put together that it was creepy.
I was strolling on the stretch of walkway between the Family History Library and the Temple, where there are planters bursting with gorgeous flowers at regular intervals all the way down the stretch of immense sidewalk, and nothing, I mean absolutely nothing is out of place. And, I'll tell you that there are no animals on these grounds, I really don't think I even saw any squirrels there, and there were no trees on the vast lawns, or at least not many. The sidewalks were lower than the adjacent property to the temple, so there was a wall about three feet high to my right with a hedge going the full length toward the huge structure.
In the blink of an eye, I heard a screech, and a ferret or some other kind of weasel-like creature leaped out from the elevated hedge area down onto the sidewalk. It was chasing a mouse, and caught it right in front of me and several other visitors. The ferret grabbed the mouse in it's jaws and proceeded to forcefully slam it from side to side against the ground like a pro wrestler would. Blood, foam and innards seeped out of the bludgeoned animal onto the sidewalk, and the ferret was really pulling a Naomi Campbell on this poor creature. It kept at it for quite awhile, just squealing and leaping back and forth, sometimes dropping the spent rodent, then picking it up and shaking it violently in it's mouth victoriously, getting mouse guts all over it's own stomach and looking like it just ate a piece of the novel Bloody Mouth Candy. As quickly as it happened, the excitement stopped. The ferret ran away with the mouse in it's mouth, and everything was the same again, except for the bloody stain and bits of gore left on the sidewalk for the people who remained, standing there with their mouths open. To say the least, people were astonished, I have to admit I chuckled - I really enjoyed the juxtaposition of atmosphere and the event I just witnessed, but the display was really gross, and so impromptu! What a great way to start out a metal tour!