ORIGIN: REGGIE BENDER, the only child of Ronald and Annabel Bender, is born January 3 1947, Cheltenham, England.
FORMATIVE YEARS: Ronald Bender is a professor of physics at The Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. On the sunny morning of May 4, 1952, Professor Bender leaves a publisher’s office with hopes of having his first book published, “Quantum Physics and Future Events: Fate or Free Will?” Moments later, whistling a jaunty tune, he is killed when run over by a London taxi. Reggie will read his fathers’ unpublished book for the remainder of his life.
With the death of Reggie’s father, financial circumstances soon become dire for the Bender household. Reggie, age 5, and his mother are forced to move from their comfortable suburban lifestyle to London’s East End. To make ends meet, Annabel works as a waitress at “The Infectious Cockney”: a diner of ill repute but with very reasonable prices.
Reggie Bender forms an R&B blues outfit with 3 art-school mates. Sitting alone on a train from, Edinburgh to London, Bender claims a UFO transmits the band’s name to him: THE GIDDY STATUES.
In the same train carriage is ANDREW MARKS: a well-educated, perfectly tailored, posh music agent. Reggie is carrying an armful of Ethel Merman albums. Mr. Marks, a big Ethel Merman fan, is smitten with Reggie and tries to pick him up in the train’s men’s room. Reggie proceeds to kick Mr. Mark’s in the groin, shouting, “They’re a present for me Mum! I hate Ethel Merman!”
While groaning, Marks props himself up from the floor, Reggie notices the physical resemblance of Mr. Marks to Boygen, a troll in Scandinavian literature. The two become friends. Andrew Marks will be Reggie’s loyal manager for the next 50-odd years.
APRIL 3: The Giddy Statues appear at The Marquee Club as supporting act for THE ROLLING STONES. Reggie Bender and KEITH RICHARDS get into a bloody fistfight over who is the fattest bluesman: Willie Dixon or Howling Wolf.
BIG MAMA THORNTON enters and kicks the shit out of both of them.
OCTOBER: Mr. Andrew Marks procures a recording contract for the band with Reprise Records. They record a Bo Diddley-style version of Ethel Merman’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business”. With a single poised to go, they make their television debut on Granada TV. Critic from The Express Daily gives their performance a one-word review, “Huh?”
JANUARY: American producer SHEL TALMY is brought in to produce the next single. He pushes Reggie to write his own material.
FEBUARY: The Giddy Statues release their next single, “The Other Shoe”. It sinks without a trace, however a local DJ plays the B-side by accident (“My Tea Is Cold”); it reaches #17 in the UK charts.
MARCH 2: The Giddy Statues appear on Top Of The Pops performing “My Tea Is Cold”. During the performance Reggie spots a MOD GIRL in the audience. Her pretty face, her straight dark brown shoulder-length hair, her black patent leather blazer, and her horn-rimmed eyeglasses captivate him. Reggie falls instantly in love—she shyly smiles at him, but he never gets to meet this girl. He searches for her as the audience filters out, but she is gone; he will forever regret this missed opportunity to meet the “dolly-bird” who captured his heart.
This event inspires Reggie’s next song, “Overt Girl In Horn-Rimmed Glasses”.
The image of this charming, fascinating Mod Girl stays with Bender the rest of his life.
MARCH 28: The Giddy Statues first appearance on the American TV show, Shindig. Reggie thinks he sees “The Mod Girl” in the audience, but it turns out to be Andrew Marks in a mini-skirt and high heels. This experience is the impetus for Reggie’s next song, “My Manager Is A Cross Dresser” — which is banned by the BBC.
APRIL: The Giddy Statues record their first LP: “OUTASITE –OUT OF OUR MINDS!” which spawns the singles, “Outasite Out Of My Mind” and “Here She Comes.” Melody Maker cites this album as, “Really wiggy, man!”
JUNE: First American tour. The Giddy Statues tour with THE WHO. During a performance by The Who, Reggie accidentally gets hit over the head by Pete Townshend’s guitar. The Giddy Statues continue the US tour even though Reggie can only say the word, “Mayonnaise” for the next three weeks.
OCTOBER: With a grueling tour schedule, The Giddy Statues hastily record their 2nd LP, “READY, STEADY, GIDDY!” in 2 hours. The LP contains Reg’s novelty song, “He Was A Mod, She Was A Rocker” and “All For You” which charts at #8.
JANUARY: Reggie Bender writes the songs, and stars in, the Swinging 60’s film, “PULSATING STALKERS FROM OUTER SPACE GO TO CARNABY STREET”. He attends the film’s premier with MARIANNE FAITHFUL who whispers to reporters, “Ssh…Don’t tell Mick.” Later that week Jagger chucks one of his maracas at Reggie’s head, causing him to say, “Ow!”
APRIL: The Giddy Statues record their 4th LP, “POLKA-DOTTED HEAVEN.” Session man JIMMY PAGE plays the minimalist kazoo solo.
JUNE: Reggie is growing dissatisfied with his band mates. The bass player, a huge Mongoloid named BOBO, begins to do scissor kicks onstage. Reggie insists the scissor kick is HIS signature stage move:
“You can’t have two members in the same band doing scissor kicks! It looks ridiculous,” shouts Bender. Bobo quits the band to join a traveling circus; new bassist, Quiff, joins.
Arthur The Drummer says, “Quiff was a great bass player, but the band was never the same without Bobo.”
NOVEMBER: While touring the UK The Giddy Statues meet THE BEATLES.
In an interview JOHN LENNON says, “Reggie is a bloody genius. He’s even beyond me. I can’t compete with him!” Years later Lennon goes on to compose “Reggie Bender Is a Bloody Genius” but, at last minute, changes song’s title to “Imagine”.
FEBURARY 3: The Giddy Statues record their 5th LP: “NO STARCH”, a concept album dealing with Reg’s dry cleaning. With titles such as “Can You Get The Stain Out?”, “This Is Not My Green Shirt!”, “Will My Parka Be Ready By Tuesday?”, “Matching Socks”, the record company doubts a single can be released. Reprise Records refuses to promote the LP however the album will become a cult favorite.
This is the last album Shel Talmy produces for the band. When interviewed in 1990 Talmy says, ”It’s an amazing LP, but the fans read all sorts of meanings into the lyrics; I believe Reggie is simply singing about his dry cleaning.”
MAY: Reggie and the band quickly record a follow-up album, “EVIL ANKLE”. The entire Reprise PR Department quit rather than listen to Side 2 of “Evil Ankle.” This incident will end the relationship with Reprise. The band moves to Decca Records.
At Club UFO: Reggie Bender appears as a solo act, in red Cleopatra makeup, creating songs on the spot to backing from six sitars and a conga drum. An ardent fan is recording the performance.
Bender, having ingested various psychedelic drugs, has no recollection of this night or how he woke up naked atop the prehistoric monument, Stonehenge.
NOVEMBER 3 –Bender’s Chelsea Apartment: Reggie and The Giddy Statues get into a shouting argument over who owns the nice pair of light-brown loafers. Neighbors call police. Reggie is arrested when police discover, next to teapot and creamer; little cubes of LSD are the sole contents of Bender’s sugar bowl.
NOVEMBER 17: The Giddy Statues begin US tour with JIMI HENDRIX.
NOVEMBER 20: At the Winterland concert Jimi Hendrix lights his guitar on fire. Not to be out done, when The Giddy Statues take the stage, Reggie lights his trousers on fire. Reggie panics, drops-and-rolls onto a female audience member whose eyebrows are singed. Lawsuits now plague the band.
DECEMBER 28: When the Giddy Statues return to England Reggie Bender becomes more delusional. He announces to Rolling Stone Magazine, “As soon as the walls stop breathing I intend to go solo; oops my left arm just fell off.”
JANUARY 17: “LIVE AT THE UFO CLUB” is released upon Reggie’s insistence. (Albeit a crude live recording of his Oct 7th performance: this is Bender’s FIRST SOLO LP.)
When Decca A&R man, Dick Rowe, questions Bender’s choice of musical direction, Reggie jumps over the execs’ desk, biting the index finger of Rowe. Reggie refuses to unclamp his teeth; Security Guards drag Bender away. Dick Rowe is left screaming, shouting vengeance.
FEBURARY: Bender visits LA, checking out The Sunset Strip, partying at go-go nightclubs Galaxy, The Troubadour, and Bido Lito’s. He strikes up a friendship with L.A.’s eccentric singer songwriter, front man ARTHUR LEE: of band, LOVE. Reggie and Arthur are seen at The Whiskey-A-Go-Go dancing together, wearing matching purple velour bathrobes, and popping some pink pills.
Later that night, the two wander into Gold Star Studios to record a new Bender song. Arthur Lee plays sitar, and sings backup, on Bender’s first solo single, “Dig My Shades.”
MARCH 28: Bender flies home to England where Reggie and The Giddy Statues are officially, and legally, dissolved as a band. They share a final cuppa tea; settle their argument concerning the pair of brown loafers; then they unceremoniously go their separate ways with Bender wearing the light-brown loafers.
MAY: Bender, now on Polodor Records, releases his first solo studio album, “CURIOUS MUTANTS IN THE SHADE” claiming he sees curious subterranean mutants, who have appeared to watch the people play cricket in Kensington Gardens. His claim seems far-fetched since no one plays cricket in Kensington Gardens.
MARCH: What Bender calls “intergalactic politics” creep into his next album, “GAUCHE REVOLUTIONARIES FROM OUTER SPACE.” The LPs’ militant tone, amid Vietnam War protests of the era, receives rave reviews.
However, Decca’s Dick Rowe calls in a ”favor” and Polydor drops Bender from label. “That’ll teach the crazy bastard,” Rowe gloats as he slowly rubs the brutal scar on his Bender-bitten finger.
Bender works tirelessly on his opera, “GYRATING ARIA ON ACID”.
JUNE 8: Mr. Marks has done the seemingly impossible: he’s convinced THE ROYAL OPERA COMPANY to perform the premiere performance of Reggie’s “Gyrating Aria On Acid”.
The audience at Convent Garden is unprepared for an anguished tale told from the brain of a man in a comma.
Some audience members loose all sense of themselves, forgetting who they are and where they live. Other members of the audience believe their spouses have turned into hats.
An album of the opera surprisingly spawns a single, “Happily Spraying” with its’ B-side, “Fragile Messages With Rhyming Egyptians”.
Reggie visits NEW YORK CITY. He listens to a ragged acoustic Delta blues band playing on a NY street corner. The 3 African-American blues street players live in a shelter for the homeless: they are Screamin’ Louie (guitar), Mr. Mumbles (tambourine & garbage can), and Reverend Blind Limpy Johnson (harmonica). It’s as if Reggie is hearing blues for the first time. This is the real thing: authentic Delta blues. In fact, Bender pays them to STOP singing a particular blues song because the associations are too strong and are making him cry.
Reggie begins to jam with these fellows every day on NY street corners and in subway stations. When Reggie sings the blues he growls, hoots, makes guttural sounds of pain or ecstasy. He discovers singing the old blues songs of Robert Johnson, “Lead Belly”, John Lee Hooker, and “Son” House leave him exhausted, sweaty, completely drained. His blues performances become a catharsis for exorcising his inner demons, he feels grounded for the first time in his life.
Rev. Blind Limpy Johnson is a blind itinerant preacher and the patriarch of this motley combo. Reggie delights in the reverends’ happy attitude in times of adversity and his homespun wisdom. Rev. Johnson teaches Reggie about the little miracles of life, tries to fill Reggie with The Holy Spirit, and teaches Reggie the art of “dumpster diving” for food in the dumpsters of New York City.
Reggie decides that he and the 3 bluesman should tour the US together. “But”, Reggie, like a method actor, tells the combo, “We must live like the real Delta bluesmen of the 1920s”. Mr. Marks sets up a 4-month tour schedule of street corners in various US cities.
“The Street Corner Tour” begins nicely, even earning them a profit on a good day when they pass the black pork-pie hat amongst the street corner audience: “Sure beats ‘dumpster diving’”, Rev Johnson chuckles. But by the 3rd month, Reggie and the combo are feeling the strain of “living the blues”: not changing clothes, sleeping together in various shelters for the homeless, drinking, gambling, and misplacing the directions to “The Crossroads.”
On a cold night in Chicago, while the combo and Reggie get drunk on homemade wine and shoot craps in a dark alley, Bender brags about the fistfight he had with Keith Richards. When asked the cause of the fistfight, Reg exclaims: “Who’s the fattest bluesman”? Reggie and each combo member have their own opinion to this question, causing them to go for each other’s throats, erupting into a brutal back-alley brawl. Reggie Bender, nursing a black eye and broken tooth quits the tour, leaves the bluesmen in the cold, dark alley and checks into a 5-Star hotel suite. The next day he flies back to England murmuring, “Only 3 bloody guitar chords and no Afternoon Tea! Fuck the blues.”
Reggie’s career declines severely. Shows are cancelled due to poor ticket sales; he gets dropped from 11 different record labels; and he can no longer afford to have his clothes dry-cleaned.
APRIL 3: Reggie begins recording with producer PHIL SPECTOR. The sessions are extremely intense and exhausting. When Phil Spector comments, “Who made this tea? It’s cold.” Spector is thrown through the large glass window of engineer’s booth. The gun totting record producer runs out of the sessions whimpering and terrified of Reg Bender.
Bender is now heavily sedated and kept on medication. Reggie’s psychiatrist is summoned and takes over as producer. The album is finally completed with the title, “A CLOSET FULL OF MAD BABOONS”; it remains unreleased. Certain bootlegs are rumored to exist, but the master tapes have never been allowed to leave the record company vault.
Bender stands on the roof-ledge of an 11th-story building threatening to leap if his suit doesn’t stop itching.
London Police rush to the scene. This threat leads to traffic being closed for 2 hours. They talk to Reg, trying to gain his trust. “I promise. We’ll get you a new suit that won’t itch.” Bender remains unmoved, staring down from the deadly height. When an officer tells Bender, “Hey, your shoe lace is untied”, Reggie looks, realizing he’s wearing the light-brown loafers; police seize him by surprise and he’s transported to a mental health facility for psychological evaluation.
Bender is hospitalized at “MMMM—FOR MENTAL HEALTH”. He is given the proper care to recuperate from years of touring, ego-tripping, drinking and drug abuse.
It is at this clinic where he meets staff nurse and part-time model, LYNSEY HONER. The two develop a close relationship as she nurses him back to emotional health.
“He was the coolest; way ahead of the rest of us,” says PETE TOWNSHEND
“When he wore a dingy white shirt with frayed collar, we all did. He set the fashion and the sound.”
DAVID BOWIE: “Reggie Bender was a big influence on my early music. He made it before I did: I wanted to be just like him. I used to dream what it was like to be Reggie Bender, but that gave me nightmares, so I stopped.”
“Good band, the Giddies…” SIR PAUL McCARTNEY goes on to say, “The Giddy Statues were quite famous in the U.K., Reggie was the mastermind of that great group. But they never caught on in the States—lots of bad luck.
I’m not sure I believe all of that bullocks about his disappearance; but John thought there was a conspiracy that hid the truth.”
ELVIS COSTELLO: “I hope this chronicle sheds some light on the enigma that is Reggie Bender.”
For 16 months Reggie Bender has been a patient at “MMMM—FOR MENTAL HEALTH”. It is here he meets staff nurse and part-time model LYNSEY HONER.
As she nurses him back to emotional health, they develop a close relationship, falling in love. Reggie is discharged from hospital and, soon after, Lynsey moves in with him.
Reggie is desperate for a change of scene. He and Lynsey move to New York City. He buys an apartment on Manhattan’s Upper Westside. She turns the large apartment into their cozy home. They are married and seem to be a happy couple. They take walks, dine out, go to the theatre, and feed the pigeons in the park.
Lynsey accepts his little eccentricities. One day Reggie tells her that the hum of his clock radio describes his moods. Lynsey often overhears Reggie having numerous conversations with his clock radio.
While listening to The Beatles one afternoon, Reggie becomes obsessed with insects. He now believes bugs are watching him undress, eat, and go to the bathroom: voyeurism at its worst. Reggie writes 129 distinctly different songs but all have the same title, “Bugs”. Geffen of MCA releases the songs on a triple album, giving each song an individual opus number. The album is titled, “BUGS: OPUS #1 THROUGH #129”.
Reggie and Lynsey fly to England to see Reggie’s Mum.
Reggie visits his Mum, Annabel Bender, who still waitresses at The Infectious Cockney. She’s old, but insists on working (Reggie’s song, “Annoyed Blisters” was dedicated to his Mum.) Lynsey and Reggie order and eat breakfast. Reggie leaves his Mum a 10-pound tip; he and Lynsey walk to Waterloo Bridge.
Lysney and Reg gaze at the flowing river from atop Waterloo Bridge.
Reggie suddenly makes a “snap decision” and jumps off the bridge into the Thames. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution on the River Thames is alerted and Bender is pulled from the river.
He suffers a twisted ankle, but is otherwise unharmed. However, Reg’s “snap decision” has caused a stir in London. In the hotel lobby, his clothes dripping with river water, he tells a gaggle of reporters, “I’m researching theoretical physics for my songs. The snap decision to jump off Waterloo Bridge was a random act of probability. Snap decisions and irrational choices do have the look of quantum events.” The sounds of his shoes squish with water as he saunters to the hotel elevator. Lynsey, following, secretly suspects it was a suicide attempt.
MARCH 10: Reggie and Lynsey fly back to the States. Reggie, in stocking feet, causes a disturbance on the airline when he realizes he left his pair of light-brown loafers at Heathrow Airport.
Once in their apartment, Lynsey overhears Reggie having a conversation with his clock radio.
APRIL 9: ANDY WARHOL directs Bender in his new song video, “Doppelganger”.
Warhol is already on the set wearing a black cashmere suit, a paisley tie, a platinum wig and sunglasses. Reggie arrives wearing black cashmere suit, paisley tie, a platinum wig and sunglasses.
To Andy Warhol, it’s like looking into a mirror; Warhol is terrified. Reggie explains to Warhol, “I’m a parallel or distorted duplication of what already exists.” Reggie insists his concept will make a brilliant video.
The cameras begin filming and, as random probability would have it, BOB DYLAN shows up riding his motorcycle. Dylan, angry at Warhol’s past abuse towards Edie Sedgwick, is furious and eager to punch Warhol in the eye.
Dylan looks at the two Warhol’s, can’t decide who is who, and socks both in the eye. All of this, captured on video, makes a fascinating study of life imitating art; or art imitating life, “Or an orange imitating a cantaloupe” states Reg suddenly probing his mind to find the meaning of his sentence.
Surprisingly Bob Dylan signs a release form allowing them to use the video.
Dylan says, “Hey man, if it’s Reggie Bender then I know it’s honest.”
The “Doppelganger” video goes into regular rotation on MTV. Reggie is asked to be a Guest V.J., time slot of 1:00 a.m.–to–5:00 a.m. He accepts.
MAY 19, 1:00 a.m.-to-5:00 a.m.
Reggie hosts as Guest V.J. on MTV.
Rather than show music videos Bender does the following:
Bender now gets little or no sleep; he obsessively reads his deceased father’s unpublished book, “Quantum Physics and Future Events: Fate or Free Will?” As he reads, he compulsively writes ideas and lyrics for songs into spiral notebooks. He locks himself in the apartment for 13 months. Towers of his spiral notebooks now clutter the entire apartment.
He no longer shaves and sleeps in his clothes.
When his full beard grows in, it only adds to the effect that Reggie Bender has taken on the appearance of a homeless mental patient.
Although forbidden by Bender, Lynsey secretly, but rarely, opens a window when she can. She is exhausted from Reggie’s nicotine breath, his neurotic obsessions and the haunted, midday fatigue that permeates their apartment. Reg is obsessed, distant in a world of his own; and sex between them ended long ago.
One morning Reggie wakes up, suddenly shaves, showers, finally dons a clean wardrobe and ventures outside the apartment: a snap decision. In a period of frenzied hyper creativity, he spends 3 months at Electric Lady Studios writing the songs and producing 3 albums, simultaneously, by 3 distinctly dissimilar bands: IMPLIED SKY, VAIN FROGS, and THE MONKEY GODS.
A flirtation sparks between Reggie and female lead singer of The Monkey Gods. Her name is ROBIN DOYD. She is a young, talented, sensual provocateur. He also releases his own album, “SEXY KILLERS IN MY PANTS”.
The album is filled with renewed energy and sexy hooks.
MAY 16: Bender and Robyn fly to California to add overdubs to The Monkey Gods album. They take their relationship one step further by checking into a suite, as a couple, at The Hyatt Hotel on Sunset.
Reggie feels good: he knows his way around LA, he knows his creativity is at a peak, and he knows he feels exhilarated when he’s with Robyn. What he DOESN’T know is that Robyn is only 17 years old.
Police enter the hotel room while Reggie and Robyn are having a tryst in the afternoon. She’s wearing Reggie’s jacket but is completely naked underneath. Bender, age 37, is informed of California law by the hulking arresting officers: age 17 means minor. Bender is charged with statutory rape.
Reggie is arrested and spends the night in jail staring, unflinching, at the fingerprint ink on his hand. Andrew Marks has hired a legal team and Reg is released on bail.
His trial is set for July 12th. The next time he sees Robyn will be in a courtroom.
Lynsey, passing a NY newsstand, sees the tabloids and is confronted with the truth of Reggie’s affair.
He returns to New York, enters the apartment explaining the affair to Lynsey: he’s experimenting with interpersonal relationships and acts of randomness; they resemble quantum physics. She kicks him in his testicles and he doubles over. (This event is later recalled on his demo: “She Kicked Me In The Balls and I Doubled Over”.)
She sleeps in their bed; he is banned to the couch.
After a sleepless night Reggie Bender, dressed in dark ill-fitting rumpled suit, dingy white shirt, sips many cups of tea and smokes many cigarettes as he observes Lynsey giving instructions to 2 moving men. She then turns to Reggie, “You’re a self-absorbed, abusive, ego maniac! AND an asshole!” He says nothing. The moving men exit with her final belongings.
She and Reggie have one final moment together.
“Reggie, I’m walking out that door and never coming back.”
He reminds her, “Quantum theory states that only the PROBABILTY of you walking out that door can be calculated.” Lynsey storms out slamming the apartment door on his fingers. Reggie stifles a scream and nearly faints when he sees his fingers turning purple. She never returns.
Later that night:
Reggie, alone, sits with his battered fingers immersed in a bowl of ice. He can still feel the apartment door SLAM on his hand. Unable to sleep, he pops a few sleeping pills, gulps some booze and smokes cigarettes. He stares unblinking at his living room wall for 3 days and nights.
On the 3rd night, it suddenly feels like a mass of static electricity is in the air. He then looks on incredulously when a swirling hole begins to appear in his living room wall: a tunnel-like PORTAL of swirling liquid marble.
The laws of physics go haywire: his furniture is slowly bending, a teacup is levitating, and his legs disappear into the floor and re-appear out of the ceiling like cheap magician’s trick. His ordinary living room takes on the disquieting normalcy of a nightmare.
Another Universe is literally “leaking” into this one; and it happens to be coming from a swirling wormhole in his living room wall.
Soon after, an alien being from a Parallel Universe, enters from the swirling portal. Although the alien resembles a 6-foot tall Humanoid Cockroach with long antennae, the giant humanoid-insect is quite articulate. He informs Bender that his song, “Bugs: Opus #88” (affectionately called, “Bugs Rock” in the aliens’ dimension of space/time) is #1 on the Intergalactic Charts. “The Bug People love it”, declares the inter-dimensional being.
The giant bug then requests a hot cuppa tea: Reggie obliges and also serves scones with orange marmalade. He sits with the 6-foot tall Cockroach and they watch TV.
The morning after.
Disoriented from the morning light, Reggie wakes up on his living room floor.
“Wow, I must have been out of it last night”. However, when he sees his purple bruised hand, the teacups for two, the leftover scones…the truth comes pouring back.
“Lysnsey has left me, I spoke with a giant cockroach, and a nefarious parallel Universe is ‘leaking’ into my apartment.” He plays a scratchy vinyl record on his stereo. It’s a song he wrote for Bobo to sing: “I’ve Had Better Days”. He listens to Bobo’s melancholy voice; he misses Bobo and his Giddy mates.
By now Reggie experiences The Portal appearing every night. The Portal opens, swirling its liquid marble as alien-humanoid “bug people” enter his living room.
Except for their strange appearance, Bender discovers he has lots in common with the aliens. “They love a good cuppa tea, they like to watch the telly, and we dig dancing to The Troggs when I blast my stereo!” says Bender.
As the days pass, Reggie endures a severely chaotic sense of time and space. He also sees many scary and bizarre images as reflected on his next album, “TRAVELING CIGARS AT THE DOOR”.
JULY 12-The Court Appearance:
It doesn’t help Reggie’s case that he sits in the courtroom wearing trench coat and dark glasses while Robyn, looking innocent in private schoolgirl uniform, sits next to her angry parents.
Reg Bender’s defense strategy is not “insanity” as his legal team suggest.
Reggie testifies to the California courtroom that BOTH the future and past exist. Quantum physics has no time order. “The past, present and future must somehow exist ‘side-by-side’. So…” he asks the courtroom, “Is Robyn, in reality, really 17 years old?”
JULY 18: The L.A. Prosecutor has subpoenaed STEPHEN HAWKING to appear, as expert, to make shambles of Bender’s defense. But, in a climatic reversal, Hawking states that what Bender says is indeed possible. The Noble Prize-winning physicist adds, “A quantum physical wave of probability travels backward in time from the future, called an echo wave, carrying an imprint of the offer wave, which is a quantum wave moving forward in time, seeking a PRESENT event to transact with. The stronger the echo wave, the greater the likelihood both events will occur.”
The jury, the lawyers, the judge, and the entire courtroom become so confused about the concept of TIME they no longer know when to take a lunch break.
AUGUST 8: After three weeks the case is dismissed due to lack of evidence and what “time” really is.
Reggie has escaped prosecution but, once outside, he is slapped with a civil suit. Throngs of reporters ask Reggie to comment; he is unable to speak as he eyes Robyn and her parents walking down the courthouse steps. Robyn gestures “call me” as her angry parents yank her into a waiting car.
(Ironically, the album Reggie produced for The Monkey Gods gives them a hit single and video. With the publicity from the trial, the video becomes an MTV favorite. For Bender, this scandal has the opposite effect. The day after the trial, Reggie’s record label, MCA, drop him like a dead fish.)
AUGUST 9: Reggie returns to his New York apartment. He is served divorce papers from Lynsey’s attorney. He is also greeted with distressing news that his Mum fainted during her breakfast shift at the diner; she needs proper care in a private nursing home.
With the civil suit pending, a divorce looming, creditors breathing down his neck, his Mum needing a private nursing home… Reggie is about to file for bankruptcy. Feeling overwhelmed and defeated, Reggie now looks forward to the nightly visits from the aliens; they sip tea with him, eat scones, and watch the telly.
A distressed Bender ponders to himself. “Could one find haven in a parallel universe if conditions in our own universe became intolerable?”
“Should I ENTER the portal?” What if it’s a door-to-insanity and I never return? Then again, would that be so bad? Reality has nothing to offer”. He approaches the spherical opening of the wormhole, but cannot bring himself to actually enter the swirling portal.
It’s now 3 a.m. – He and the “bug people” are watching his telly. Reggie is severely depressed, thinking of his infirmed Mum and feeling the weight of his financial burden. A movie comes on the telly. Bender seems to recall the swinging 60s go-go music. The title of the late night cult movie? “Pulsating Stalkers From Outer Space Go To Carnaby Street”!
The aliens are enjoying the kitschy flick when Bender suddenly shouts, “That’s it”! I wrote the songs and starred in this flick!” He quickly books an airline to the Cannes Film Festival. He will appeal to his past film investors. He will network, raise money, and get back on his feet.
AUGUST 28-29: When Reggie Bender arrives in France he is told the Cannes Film Festival takes place in May, which was 3 months ago. He becomes distraught, begins drinking heavily and abusing his medication.
Bender is arrested in the Louvre Museum attempting to make love to the famous marble statue, Venus de Milo. With the smoke not even cleared from the Robyn Doyd affair, Tabloids quip: “Rock star busted for ‘statuary’ rape.”
SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER–NOVEMBER
Reggie returns to the US and isolates himself in the apartment. His desire for any human contact has been extinguished. His world is now the portal in his living room wall, the “bug people”, and his clock radio that hums his moods.
A phone rings in England. The phone belongs to Bender’s longtime manager, Mr. Andrew Marks. During this period Andrew Marks likes to dress up like Noel Coward or Twiggy on alternate days: today it is Twiggy. Marks answers the phone.
The call is from President of Columbia Records: TONY “FO’GET ABOUT IT” MATOOLA. Mr. Matoola has broken many opponents limbs to get to the top of the music biz. He once purposely broke his own leg, in the middle of signing a new band, to demonstrate what happens to artists and agents who cross him.
Tony Matoola knows Reggie Bender is without a record label and desperately needs money. He offers a lucrative record contract: “But I wanna know,” Matoola asks, “Does Bender have his shit together?”
Manager Andrew Marks assures Mr. Matoola that Reggie Bender is very together and ready with lots of new songs. Terms-of-contract and a meeting date is set up.
DECEMBER 7: Andrew Marks catches a flight to New York, goes to Reggie’s residence. He examines the appalling state the apartment, Bender’s ignored personal hygiene, and proceeds to vomit on his client.
He cleans Reggie, feeds him and puts him to bed. Marks watches over him for an entire week. When Bender is finally coherent, Andrew Marks speaks to his client. He assures Reggie that, with this new record contract, all of his financial worries are over. “Reggie, you’ll be rich.” Reg apathetically stares. Then Mr. Marks makes a promise, “If you sign the contract, I will handle your mum’s affairs for as long as she lives: your mother can finally relax, play bingo, no more being a waitress. If you do this, you’ll have enough money so your sweet, old Mum will live in comfort and enjoy the rest of her days.” Finally, Bender smiles at Marks, asking for a cuppa tea.
Andrew Marks and Reggie Bender arrive at the New York office of Columbia Records. Contracts are signed; Reggie excuses himself and goes to the Men’s Room.
Columbia Records has committed to investing millions of dollars into Bender’s “comeback album”. In addition, his “comeback” campaign will include massive PR, expensive music videos, and international tours. Matoola then glares at Marks, “But if he fucks up – fo’get about it.”
Andrew Marks has never heard this Italian American expression – but it sounds rather ominous.
They hear Reggie return, they look up; Reggie has chopped off all his hair and shaved his eyebrows. Tony glares at Andrew Marks, causing Andrew to sweat profusely.
DECEMBER 31, New Year’s Eve.
Columbia Records launches the signing of their newest recording artist, Reggie Bender, with an invitation only soiree’. The guest of honor, Reggie, is surrounded by 80’s glitterati and high-powered record execs.
KURT LODER (MTV news anchor) and camera crew arrive. It is an MTV exclusive: Reggie Bender’s comeback campaign will begin with him performing some songs, he will then lead “the count-down” to ring in the upcoming New Year, 1985, LIVE on MTV!
Within moments, “MTV New Year’s Eve” is live and on the air. Reggie performs 3 songs: “Ambient Reporters”, “Subconscious Crypts From Within” and “Delicate Women Behind My Back”. He surprisingly looks together and sounds well rehearsed.
Millions of MTV viewers watch as Kurt Loder says, “Great Reggie! Now count us down to the exciting NEW year of 1985!” Reggie mumbles dismissively then clearly says, “Now look up there —can you see the people on the ceiling?”
The soiree’ guests gape, open-mouthed, at the performer. Kurt Loder, his collar seeping with flop-sweat, tries laughing it off, secretly poking Bender to count from 10 to 1. Tony Matoola is frantically gesturing to Andrew Marks. The gestures communicate either the breaking of legs or miming Debussy’s ballet, “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun”. It is difficult to tell. Either way: Andrew Marks knows what will happen if Reggie does not come through with a hit album. Reggie is transfixed, staring and pointing at the ceiling.
Mr. Marks, trying to “save the day”, ends up being the first to shout, “HAPPY NEW YEAR”! All the guests remain silent. Repressed moments slowly tick by… noiseless torment. Finally, Mr. Marks excuses himself, runs to the Men’s Room and snaps into the fetal position.
It is the night before Reggie’s first recording session of his comeback album. Due to a case of nerves, he is unable to sleep. He stares at the living room wall and conjures up the swirling wormhole.
The “bug people” enter; but tonight they look serious. None are in the mood for tea, scones, The Troggs, or even the telly. They inform Reggie of an impending dark force that will be coming to exterminate all humans on Earth. It is known as “The Great Exterminator.” “This god-like dictatorial, tyrannical entity wants to harvest all your Uranium mines for fuel, exterminate humanity, and take over all your beach resorts,” says the Humanoid Bug.
“He will eventually enter your Universe thru the wormhole you’ve created. Only YOU can save the Planet Earth. You created the wormhole; you’re the one who put a rip in the fabric of space. You, Reggie, must fully enter the portal, come out the other end, causing the wormhole to de-stabilize and then repair the ripped fabric in space-time.”
“I can’t even sew a button on a shirt and you want me to sew together some torn fabric of space-time? AND save planet Earth? Besides, maybe you, the wormhole, that floating walrus, are merely delusional hallucinations” The Humanoid Bug replies, “Just because you created a wormhole in your living room wall, hang out with Humanoid Alien Intra-dimensional Bug People, and must stop ‘The Great Exterminator’ from destroying Earth, doesn’t mean you are crazy.”
A panic-stricken Reggie asks, “What if I don’t want to? The human race is a disgusting, repulsive species. I hate people! Myself included! Let this THING exterminate every human being with its’ pesticide or whatever it uses.”
“Could you really allow that to happen?” The Bug asks; “Bloody well right, mate!” scowls Bender.
“We shall see,” says a Humanoid Bug, sitting on the couch, crossing all of its’ six legs.
“It is no longer safe for us to visit you. The Great Exterminator has galactic drone-spies all over the cosmos. It is only a matter of time before they find the wormhole you’ve created. We will help you by sending you cryptic coded messages that, hopefully, The Great Exterminator won’t understand.
Another Bug Person adds, “But beware…because this dark entity may send YOU cryptic messages to confuse you. It knows you are the only one who could stop its’ frightening mission.”
The small group of Bug People and Reggie say a sad farewell, hoping to see one another again. “Reg, if you enter the portal, we’ll be waiting for you at the other end of the cosmos in a parallel Universe. You can’t miss it.”
Recording sessions begin for Reggie’s comeback album. Some performers stop by to wish Reggie “luck” or make a guest appearance on the album. They include David Bowie, Lou Reed, and even Mick Jagger, who has buried the hatchet over the Maryann Faithful incident. (Still, Reggie ducks every time Jagger grabs his maracas for a music overdub). All seems to be going smoothly!
LATER THAT NIGHT:
Bender decides to walk home from the recording studio. The night is dark; he listens to the crunchy frost under his feet. He then walks under 10 streetlights that blink off and on when he is near them. He wonders if this is a coded message of some sort. Reggie then passes people who whisper to him ominously, “Have you lost the plot yet? Is it time to go home?” He panics, runs into the street and is nearly hit by a speeding car. It’s license plate reads, “CRAZY”. “Oh my God! I must be crazy; that’s what this means.”
Those bugs weren’t real. Maybe I just need medication. I’ll call my psychiatrist in the morning. But Bender knows better: “These synchronized events suggest the outline of something vast and foreboding,” he says to himself.
Lying in bed, riddled with anxiety, Reggie has questions and he wants answers. “What do the blinking streetlights mean? How close is The Great Exterminator? Something stealthy and threatening is out there and, for some reason, I’m the one who must stop it. Why ME? What am I going to do? I’m not entering that goddamn Portal.”
His clock radio hums his distress.
The recordings progress and Reggie wants to title his upcoming album, “Space Aliens Are Here! Run!” For now, it is the only gesture he can think of to try and save the human race. But he knows he’s a self-absorbed coward. He refuses to re-create the wormhole, “And I KNOW I’m not entering that scary, blasted, swirling Portal!”
As the weeks pass, and the recording of the album continues, he gets more cryptic messages: Speaking into the studio mic, Bender blathers on, “Strange people are whispering ominous things to me as they pass, street lights blinking off when I’m under them, certain TV commercials have hidden coded messages, and seemingly random numbers all MEAN something,” he tells the recording engineer who yawns.
To Reggie, now even a simple stimulus like a leaf or a tennis ball takes on all sorts of implications. As the studio musicians loll around playing cards or watching TV, Bender catatonically stares at a tennis ball for 4 days. Matoola is seething, then appeased when Bender’s song, “Tennis Ball Is What I Got” sounds catchy; possibly a single.
Columbia Records plan to catapult Bender back into the public eye: an international tour is meticulously put together to promote the comeback album, 3 music videos are shot, and the record company puts up 2 million dollars to orchestrate a media blitz for Bender’s upcoming tour and album, “Space Aliens Are Here! Run!”
Bender, 2 songs shy of completing the album, has slowed the sessions to a crawl. Day and night he is obsessed with trying to find and decipher the messages from the Bug People. At night, he combs through newspapers circling every 7th letter to reveal Dadaist messages. Bender decides that these messages are from this Great Exterminator sent only to confuse him.
“He is trying to make me think I am mad.” Bender tells himself.
“I will play this THING’S game, and I will goddamn win,” he fumes.
Weeks pass as session musicians, and recording engineers, nap or thumb through magazines in the studio. They also glance at Reggie and shake their heads. No recording is done.
Bender spends days at the studio studying the take-out menu from Hong Luck’s Restaurant. He realizes numbers are the language of the Universe. He’s developing a mathematical formula: he adds the price of his Vegetable Lo Mein to the velocity of a redshifted galaxy divided by its distance, minus how many times the receptionist’s phone rings.
“Numbers are the key to decipher the alien Bug People’s code. Numbers!” he shouts, “The universal language of all physicists; probably the universal language of all beings from other Universes!”
Matoola and Columbia Records threaten Marks and Bender with a lawsuit, but Reggie’s new song, “What Do You Know Of Lo Mein?” touches the heart of Matoola. Bender finally records “Word Salad” which satisfies the skeptical Columbia Record execs. At last, the “comeback album” is finished.
To launch The Reggie Bender Comeback Tour, Mr. Marks appeals to Bob Geldorf to let Bender perform at LIVE AID. Bob Geldorf (lead singer of The Boomtown Rats and organizer of the event) is concerned. He knows Bender’s rep as a raving lunatic. But Geldorf is also a big Reggie Bender fan, so he obliges. The time slot for Reggie’s 1st public performance in years will be 1:15 in the afternoon at JFK Stadium.
LIVE AID, 1:15 p.m.—Reggie’s performance.
Reggie takes the stage amid loud applause of this yuppie fund-raising event. The audience is anxious to see this 60s cult figure perform.
Reggie Bender then gives a bizarre performance, which consists solely of him lashing at the strings of his electric guitar, jumping up and down for 10 minutes screaming, “Space aliens are here! Run!” He is dragged offstage screaming, “Twits! I was getting to the chorus!”
Tony Matoola, watching the television performance from his mansion in New York, is so angry he purposely breaks his own leg.
Reggie, who has been given a sedative, dozes in the back seat of the limo returning him to New York. As the limo approaches Manhattan, Reg Bender groggily wakes and wonders what caused him to act that way.
“It was as if my mind was seized by an outside force. Alien voices COMPELLED me to act that way. ”
A sickening suspicion seeps into Reggie’s mind: “How do I know those alien ‘bug people’ are my friends”?
“Oh my God! They’ve put an alien implant in me! The implant controls my body and mind!” He tries to escape the limo, but when he opens the door, he sees he is in front of his apartment building. He runs inside.
It is past midnight when Mr. Andrew Marks, longtime agent and friend, knocks on Reggie’s apartment door. Marks, looking dour and defeated, is let in. He then looks up and uncharacteristically shouts, “Get your shit together, Bender! A lot is at stake, especially my legs!”
Reggie is convinced that space aliens have put an implant in Andrew Marks designed to kill him. He confronts Andrew and insults his choice of shoes. This is the near breaking point of their life-long relationship.
Marks leaves slamming Reggie’s fingers in the apartment door. “Fuck! Not again?” Reggie cries out.
Bender begins to hear frightening alien voices telling him to hurt himself; these are not the voices of The Bug People. It is from something dark and far more threatening from somewhere in the cosmos. Bender is tormented, desperate to stop the voices. “Why are you torturing me”?!
Reggie sees his favorite ballpoint pen: the one with which he wrote so many songs. It has finally run out of ink.
The terrifying alien voices are now overlapping and ceaseless. He is desperate to stop the menacing voices. Suddenly, Bender’s song, “Kill Switch”, BLARES from his clock radio. The cacophony of the clock radio and threatening voices cause Bender to scream.
Desperate to stop the voices in his head, Reggie sets the pen firmly upright on the kitchen counter. He then impales his right ear onto the point of the pen, through the ear canal, quickly puncturing his eardrum.
He phones Andrew Marks and leaves an incoherent phone message.
Andrew Marks rushes to the apartment and looks at the horrific scene. He finds Reggie laying on the kitchen floor with a ballpoint pen jammed into his bleeding ear. Marks phones an ambulance. Reggie is carried out of the building strapped to a stretcher.
Andrew accompanies Reggie in the back of the ambulance. He looks at Reggie and holds his hand. Reggie says “Thank you” and slowly passes out as the morphine takes effect. The ambulance speeds to Bellevue Hospital.
Mr. Marks witnesses paramedics carry Reggie through the hospital emergency doors, where Bender mysteriously disappears for 29 years.
1985, July 14
3:21 a.m. The hospital records and surveillance cameras show Reggie Bender being carried in by paramedics and admitted to Bellevue Hospital, New York City.
When Reggie re-appears, 29 years later, he claims Bellevue’s video cameras were tampered with and he was, in fact, carried out through underground basements to the back of the hospital; where a military van and 6 armed guards were waiting. He was immediately driven, against his will, to a hospital in a top-secret Military Base.
Recently uncovered documents, archival videos, eyewitness testimonies and a 300-page CIA dossier on Bender substantiate his claims.
Through a maze of government denials, witnesses being threatened, documents shredded, it is difficult, at best, deciphering what happened during Reggie’s “missing years”.
The following is transcribed from Reggie Bender’s own words.
After JULY 14.
I don’t know how many days I’ve been unconscious. The hospital clock reads 6:13 but I’m not sure if it’s morning or night. I recall my recent performance at “Live Aid”; I feel bandages on my self-inflicted punctured eardrum.
A surgeon informs me that, in time, it will heal. I am wearing pajamas, socks and slippers. I don’t mind the pajamas and socks but I request a pair of sneakers, which are given to me.
I am kept under military guard 24 hours a day. I often see government officials, scientists, and others in military uniforms whispering about me. I am at a secret military hospital, some sort of top-secret military installation. I find out I’m underground in Level 5. Not even The President of the US knows of this highly classified underground Level 5.
Days pass, then it begins:
The FBI, CIA, NASA, US Air Force, National Security Agency, US Defense Department, Interpol, and The New York City Transit Authority interrogate me. I am informed that they have been following me for some time. I ask the reason.
The U.S. Military has tracked down a mysterious portal — a tear in the space/time fabric. They are referring to the wormhole that spins in my living room wall. “For some reason, this dimensional portal is attracted to you,” says a polite scientist during a group interrogation.
“What a relief!” I sigh, “Someone believes me!”
I tell them about the Bug People, and The Great Exterminator, and how the apartment door got slammed on my hand…TWICE”!
Months pass as doctors, scientists and military personnel observe me. I am being studied like an insect.
One afternoon, Dr. Maldo (Chief Military Surgeon at this facility) escorts the famous physicist Stephen Hawking to my cell-like room. I remember Hawking from the trial. A nurse serves me tea and exits the room. The tea is badly brewed and cold. I wince.
Hawking’s synthesized voice addresses me, “The US Military has asked me to help them.”
He peers at me, then says, “Somehow you were able to manifest this ‘wormhole’ that swirls through your living room wall. I believe it’s because you have such intense unrealistic amounts of negative energy, you’re able to create, and even stabilize, a wormhole to another Universe. You are certainly the most negative human on this planet, maybe even the entire cosmos. You’re a biological scientific anomaly.”
“Well, I can be quite grumpy. My ex-wife used to give me books on ‘Positive Thinking’, but I never read them,” replies Bender.
Hawkins’s asks, “But why would alien beings from a parallel universe contact YOU?”
“They’re my friends. Well, I THINK they’re my friends. They’ve warned me about a Great Exterminator coming to destroy Earth!”
“Physicists have speculated and searched for this ‘Great Exterminator.’ We do know one fact: if this entity exist, and I’m sure it does, IT is made up of antimatter”.
“Is that good or bad?”
Hawkins’s continues, “Antimatter has the opposite charge of ordinary matter. When the Great Exterminator’s antimatter collides with our Universe, they will annihilate each other. Nothing will exist, no Universe, no space, no time…Infinite nothingness.”
“Nothing? Surely the recordings of The Beatles will be —“ he cuts me off.
“Infinite nothingness…” his synthesized voice vibrates ominously in my good ear.
Stephen Hawking then asks me to give his wheelchair a little push to get it started. He leaves and I want to be alone with my thoughts.
LATER THAT NIGHT:
I am jittery after my conversation with Hawking, so I ask the doctors for a sleeping pill; instead I am administered an injection. Later that night I experience an otherworldly phenomenon, or was it a dream?
The dimensions of my cell become wavy and distorted. A vision slowly appears. It is… “The Mod Girl”: the young girl who sat in the audience, who smiled at me, when The Giddy Statues appeared on Top Of The Pops, 1965. She has not aged: her dark brown hair is nearly touching the shoulders of her black patent leather blazer, her kohl-lined eyes are shinning thru her horned-rimmed glasses. I could almost “touch” time.
We smile at one another, she reaches over to touch my hand but I don’t feel the touch. Each hand passes through the others as if the other didn’t exist. We are in parallel universes that just happen to overlap now and here.
I wake, my face wet with tears.
IN THE MEANTIME:
Andrew Marks has been unable to see Reggie Bender. The chief psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital is condescending and vague towards Marks: “It’s best no one visit Reggie Bender right now, but he’s making progress.” On other days, staff nurses and orderlies tell Marks they’ve never seen Reg Bender in this hospital: “He’s not a patient here.”
The brass at Columbia Records is suing over the wasted millions for the Reggie Bender “comeback”. Tony “Fo’get About It” Matoola is on the rampage, searching for Bender and Andrew Marks. Marks, fearing Matoola’s revenge, returns to England in hopes of avoiding Matoola’s physical punishment.
Matoola tracks down Mr. Andrew Marks, breaks down the door; he barges in, foaming at the mouth, looking to break some legs. He is surprised to see Andrew Marks in a shimmering silver-colored evening gown. Tony had only seen Mr. Marks in perfectly tailored couture men’s suits. Matoola falls in love with Andrew Marks. “But I’m a man,” says Andrew Marks. “Hey, fo’get about it,” says Matoola as they embrace throughout the night.
BACK AT THE SECRET MILITARY INSTALLATION:
I discover startling news: the U.S. Military plan to use me as a weapon of some sort. I overhear a General inform The Pentagon, “This washed up rock star is able to create a wormhole! Imagine that! A wormhole would be a great asset in times of war.”
I see Chief Surgeon Dr. Maldo and request another visit from Stephen Hawking; Dr. Maldo denies ever having seen him.
”This is fucked”, I shout. “I KNOW I met with him”! You introduced us, you wanker!” Dr. Maldo has the armed guards lead me away.
I am struck with horror and a deepening realization: “No one can rescue me.
In addition, when The Great Exterminator arrives, the planet, the Universe, and my record collection are in deep shit.”
Weeks, maybe months, pass. My daily wardrobe (supplied by the complex) is always a long sleeve gray shirt, gray pants, both made of a rough fabric, white socks, black-and-white sneakers. I am not allowed to watch a telly or read newspapers. I plead for a good book to read. One day, the guards-on-duty laughingly toss me discarded take-out menus as “reading material.”
I lay on my bed browsing various take-out menus. Quite boring, really. There is, however, one particular Italian food menu that is making me quite hungry. Then I begin to see a pattern; a pattern between the words and numbers on the menus.
The “Bug People” have made contact with me! I was wrong to be suspicious of them. I continue deciphering the secret code within the take-out menus.
“The Great Exterminator is made up of anti-matter.”
“’No shit,” I say.
“This exterminating THING is approaching your planet and it’s pissed.
Fortunately you still have time. IT knows ‘motion’ is only an illusion, so The Great Exterminator happens to be the slowest moving entity in space.”
I remove a gravy stain and decipher some more: “Reggie Bender, you must escape and enter our Portal. The Portal is a tear in the space/time fabric. Once you enter the Portal, this will cause the wormhole to close up. Thus, The Great Exterminator will not have access to enter your Universe”.
I try to get more information from the coded messages but the menu becomes a jumble of Italian entrees, lunch specials and reasonable prices.
Their message is clear: I must enter and close up the wormhole. This is the only way to save planet Earth and the Universe. I vowed to escape this surrealistic infirmary. Escape—but how?
I remember a chapter in Dad’s book: it described THE OBSERVER EFFECT. In physics, this is the sudden change in a physical property of matter, particularly at the subatomic level, when that property is observed.
My plan becomes clear. I will “observe” a physical property” – namely, the back wall of my cell — and collapse its wave fluctuation. I’ll change its matter and walk through the wall like it’s made of chocolate pudding.
For hours I concentrate, visualizing the walls’ atoms and their wave fluctuations collapsing. With eyes closed, the time for action is NOW.
I attempt walking through the wall thus breaking my nose.
The following day, my broken nose is treated. The bandaged broken nose gives my voice a high nasal quality causing all military personnel who encounter me to suppress giggles.
AS WEEKS PASS:
As weeks pass — I practice, I focus, and I improve my technique of “collapsing particle waves”.
I change a spoon into a fork, a yellow banana into a blue banana, and a pair of white socks into a pair of argyles.
One night I overhear 2 scientists whisper: their radio emissions detect a dark force approaching.
“The Great Exterminator is coming to Earth.” I shudder to myself.
Through the crack under my door, I shout to them, “That wormhole I’m able to create in my living room must be de-stabilized! Let me out! If antimatter and matter collide—BOOM! The big bang was a firecracker compared to the devastation that awaits the Universe and my record collection.” They laugh, calling me a raving lunatic.
With my mind sprinting and my heart beating fast, I decide: “It’s now or never.”
I “observe” the rear wall of my cell. I feel the wave particles collapse within the wall. A staff orderly peers inside my room. He gasps as he witnesses me walking through the steel wall of my cell. I feel my atoms and molecules stream out and I become one with everything: the trees, the clouds, all humanity, every animal and living thing, and the pair of brown loafers I lost at Heathrow airport.
I materialize on a desolate shoulder of a highway. I see a road sign, “Leaving Los Alamos”. It was dawn; in the grayish light, veil after veil of dusky haze is lifting and I begin to make out forms and colors of things. In the distance, I could see the shape of The Secret Military Complex from which I had escaped only moments ago.
I realize I have not been outside in years. Sweet vapors rise from the earth. Night dew clings to the soil and makes the plants glisten. Sunrise was beginning, its upper limb appeared like the light from another world. I breathe in the beauty and the peaceful quiet.
The silence is shattered by the flapping sound of a Military helicopter approaching. In the distance I see military jeeps, from the Top Secret Military Complex, advancing fast. I start running because I don’t know what else to do.
I run. I run, but my defeat is inevitable. The wormhole that swirls through my living room wall is in my New York apartment: 1,760 miles away. I’ll never get there in time. The Earth and the Universe are doomed.
The sky turns bright orange…then a sickly green: a sign The Great Exterminator is entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
Armored military trucks slam to a halt unleashing massive SWAT Teams pointing their weapons at their desired target: me!
Suddenly the sky around us emits an ominous sickening odor: the foul stench of rotten meat, chunky stale milk, urine and disinfectant: a prelude that The Great Exterminator is very near.
“Permission to puke, sir” a soldier asks his superior.
Remembering what Hawking confided: this wormhole is attracted to me because of my intense negative energy — I get an idea! Rather than go to my apartment, perhaps I can attract the wormhole to me—HERE—- right now.
I focus on things that really piss me off—make me REALLY negative…
“Vain celebrities living in mansions whining about pressures of stardom and paparazzi, as children starve to death in the slums of India. I see vivid images of the Holocaust, brutal visions of the Nazi Death Camps. I see corporate oil spills gurgling into our oceans as a cluster of sea otters claw out their eyes because the oil stings and burns. I envision 2-year-old bald-headed children with Leukemia. I remember so many starving, homeless cats…”
It’s not working; I only feel deep sorrow, not massively negative. No Portal is appearing. I try mustering up much more negative energy.
“Obnoxious noisy neighbors; that lady who put 41 items on the ‘10 items or less’ Express Lane as I wait in line holding a single quart of milk; fat men in open-toed shoes; people who talk loudly on their mobile phones; people with poor umbrella etiquette.” I face the squads of soldiers, “Being held captive for years by the US Government in your Top Secret Military Complex and, not once, were you able to make me a properly brewed cuppa tea”!!!!
Suddenly, when I look up, there is a strange light in the sky. Great yellow-blue shards of light spill out from the sky; then I see a tunnel-like vortex…I have manifested the wormhole. It beckons me to enter.
The Military Swat Teams encircle me. Machine guns and rifles clicking to the ready; then… complete silence: 30 red laser-sights dot my chest. They are determined to re-capture me.
I turn, facing the strange lights in the sky. The Portal beckons.
Disturbing thoughts surge through my head: “What if I’m hallucinating this whole thing? What if this ‘portal’ is simply an entrance to insanity? A madness from which I may never return.”
I move toward the wormhole; my mind is a vortex of swirling anxious doubts and fear. I hold out my hand and I become weightless…I am approaching the opening…I finally enter…The Portal.
I stretch into a stream of atoms; every molecule of my being is exhilarated and accelerating faster than the speed of light.
The Military Swat Teams gaze in disbelief.
I see the distance grow greater between the soldiers and me; the planet and me; and finally…the point of no return between me — and what I once knew— as, “reality”.
I LEFT THIS WORLD.
Dr. Fred Covan, chief psychologist at Bellevue Hospital.
“We kept him here, with us, for 29 years. After years of psychotherapy, he was deemed not a danger to himself and others. We released him. He’s delusional if he believes he was carried out the back doors of Bellevue and brought to a secret military installation. He was here in our psych ward; I still remember the mess he’d make during arts and crafts!”
Fred Alan Wolf, physicist and author of “Parallel Universes.”
“Is our government covering up his story, or is he schizophrenic? I don’t know.
It could be both.
If Bender was schizophrenic, the parallel universe theory may also help us understand schizophrenia. Schizophrenics commonly witness other realities–other beings in their presence. They often hear voices, smell things, or have other hallucinations, as we are tempted to call them. But these may not be hallucinations after all. They may be distorted witnessing of other realities, the kind that could appear in parallel worlds.”
Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of NY.
“1 electron can be in 2 separate places at once. Why not a portal in which intelligent beings may be able to travel between quantum realities?
The ambivalent nature of Bender’s life can be frustrating to some. Like the real meaning of life itself, we must each come to our own conclusions about Reg Bender and create our own meaning.”
Stephen Hawking, prize-winning physicist
“Mr. Bender insists it happened as he describes. The US Government, and New York’s Bellevue Hospital, maintain his claims are false. In physics, the ‘uncertainty principle’ forbid us from ever obtaining complete knowledge about any sequence of events.” Hawking continues:
“In addition, who really knows what dark clandestine cover-ups the Government is capable of? The US Government has private drugs capable of selectively erasing specific memories. Selective memory suppression can be done quickly with a hypodermic syringe full of Propranolol, or a pill of PK Mezeta.
I’m certain military abductions have happened and I’m very convinced that wiping away memory has occurred multiple times.
Are certain citizens allowed to keep their memory of covert operations, while others have their memories erased? Will some humans remember the sequence of Bender’s events, while others have no recollection of the bizarre episodes?”
But I KNOW where I was, mate. How many blokes can say they faced The Great Exterminator? I saved your bloody planet. Hell! I saved an entire Universe and no one knows it! But that’s what happens when “time” wraps around itself…I’ve accepted it. I’m more accepting of a lot of things now.
[Bender takes a sip of tea.]
And no matter which dimension I travel through, or which plane of existence I happen to be groovin’ on, there is one constant: NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO MAKE A DECENT CUPPA TEA!
[He flings the teacups and saucers at the wall.]
I’m outta here, mate!
[He leaves, thus, ending this interview.
PLEASE VISIT US AGAIN FOR THE SEQUEL:
“REGGIE BENDER: THE UNSEALED FILES #2”
Experience Bender’s journey through THE PORTAL, his battle with “The Great Exterminator”, Reggie’s life in a Parallel Universe located in the 11th Dimension, his quest for the perfect cuppa tea and, of course, ROCK ‘N ROLL!