By Crocodiles Davis
Staff Ragslime Music Writer
BLACK LAGOON -- If you’ve made it this far in Transyl-vein-ia -- into the heart of the Black Lagoon -- then chances are you’ve got flying frog monsters on your tail and they’re gaining on you.
Take this opportunity to sit down at the Blues Lagoon blues lounge in the Stench Quarter and let your pursuers catch up.
“The terror is much more exciting when it’s in your face -- or faces, depending on your orientation,” said ragslime musician Louis Fangstrong. “Order yourself a poison sumac julep and listen to some of the best ragslime and blues bands the monster world has to offer.”
Star performers like Snarley Parker, Frizzy “The Werewolf” Gillespe, B.B. King Kong, Fret Baker, Sarah Vein, John “The Moleman” Moletrain, Billie Horrorday, Dexter Gore-don and Charles Fungus are some of the headliners at the bar. You can listen to disturbing music and enjoy Cajun-style insects and sludge gumbo. But it’s the atmosphere that matters most.
“It’s dusty, yet dank, dangerous and full of terror traps,” said loungekeeper Comin Forabite. “If the flying frog monsters don’t catch up with you, the horrors in here will finish the job.”
The Blues Lagoon is best known for celebrating the deceased (usually after becoming deceased right there in the bar). On hand for these grand occasions, along with the enemies and families of the deceased, is a special, mobile jazz band that for such an occasion sounds uncomfortably haunting. And as a skeleton reverend says, “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, we’re sure glad this poor soul couldn’t stay here with us,” the snare drum player takes the handkerchief out of his snare, which serves as a cue for all the congregation and the band to form into one line and march to the back of the hall and into the cemetery out back, and sing, “Oh, Didn’t He Ramble Into One Big Mess.”
Usually, upon arriving in the cemetery, folks figure that since the deceased is dead and gone, there just isn’t any sense in not celebrating the loss of the poor soul, so the band really gets into it and the congregation usually breaks into dance.
“It’s really quite something to experience, especially if you’re the one that’s deceased,” Forabite said. “Once in the graveyard, there are all kinds of other pitfalls to fall in, and before you know it, there are usually two or three more celebrations. Here at the Blues Lagoon, it’s not just a funeral. It’s a nightly tradition. And we just can’t get enough of it. As you’d imagine, we’re known for knocking off our guests.”
In fact, the Blues Lagoon was awarded Deadliest Bar in the Quarter 10 years in a row.
Speaking of deadly, here come those flying frog monsters now. Better make a run for it. Don’t trip over any of the obstructions hiding under that fog bed that just came conveniently rolling in. But since the band is already here . . .