Sob, it's the last day of school holidays. For this reason, I would like to tell you all a story. It features a lot of U2, U2-related jokes, hypocritical Christian-related jokes and such, but it is still a story and you will enjoy it. This was written during a conversation between saintcheney and myself yesterday.
This little superstition is necessary for understanding part of the story;
'Bees were once considered to deliberately sting those who swore in front of them, and also to attack an adulterer or unchaste person. It was once held to be a sure sign that a girl was a virgin if she could walk through a swarm of bees without being stung.'
It's also rather amusing in itself. I would explain some of the various U2-related jokes and all, but no, that'd take me too long. Just read the story and enjoy.
It was Sunday. Thankfully not a bloody one, otherwise Bono would've had to write a new political protest song, and he was that busy jetting around the world that he had no time for songwriting. It was for exactly this reason Edge had demanded he come 'round for lunch. The two had decided to head down to a local cafe, and being health-conscious for a change, they both decided to merely eat fruit while talking.
"Bono, your tireless campaigning is nice," said Edge approvingly, and Bono smiled. "but we do have an album to work on. We've recorded all the instruments, we're just waiting on lyrics from you, and honestly, Blue Valley No Mining City just does not work."
Bono nearly choked in shock on the apple he was eating.
Customers were meant to be calm and collected. It was not accepted behaviour for someone to suddenly chomp through an apple and send small pieces flying everywhere. The shopkeeper turned and stared, rolling his eyes at the debauch rockstar. A waiter and waitress turned, but in the other direction, because they didn't want to be associated with a man who was prepared to swear on TV. Various customers glared at Bono.
Bono put the apple down and smiled. He liked attention. "All I want is ..." he began singing.
"YOU!" yelled one customer. Bono looked startled, because rather than in a singing tone, it was aggressive and shocked. "You are eating an APPLE."
"Yes, I understand that's what this thing is." replied Bono.
"I'm a fan. I was a fan." said the person, who was female and young and wearing a large cross around her neck. She looked like she was about to burst out in tears. "How ... how dare you!"
"How dare I what?" asked Bono, looking quite perplexed.
"Eat an APPLE." replied the girl, gazing dumbfounded at Bono, confused that he'd even ask. "A sinful, wretched, disgusting apple. I feel sorry for your children."
"What do my children have to do with this?" demanded Bono, getting protective.
"I would never raise my children in a house where apples were condoned. Thank God I had a good upbringing. I feel sorry for your children."
Bono couldn't believe what he was hearing, and unlike Last Night On Earth, knowing and believing didn't seem to relate at all.
"I'm not even going to associate with a sinner like you! How dare you touch the apple of depravity!" The girl turned. "... By the way, I like your music."
The comment made no sense, but it seemed the girl wanted to look popular. She was thoroughly unable to tolerate how Bono acted, but there was something about saying she liked U2 that made her So Much Better in Dublin society. The more Irish bands she was a fan of, the better.
This idea thoroughly confused Bono. So much so that he dropped an orange.
"This is really not my day." he sighed as the girl whirled back around in mortified shock.
"You ... dropped an orange!" she exclaimed. "A HOLY ORANGE! And look, it's now squished on the floor. You are a heathen, Mister Bono, a heathen, and I don't want to know you! You're not very Christian at all! Act like one! Just act!" She went to run out the store, crying in a cliche manner, but then she stopped. "... But I still like your music." She then ran out, leaving Bono and Edge to stare at each other in absolute confusion.
"What was that all about?" asked Bono.
"Maybe it's a sign we need to produce new material. Our fans are going insane." Edge said wisely.
--- Three hours, four minutes, and twenty-nine seconds later ---
"Darriele, what's up with this?" a second girl asked the girl from the cafe. She waved around a sheet with band names listed on it. Beside U2's name was a big black mark, and Second Girl pointed at it.
"Bono sinned." explained the girl, who was apparently named Darriele, according to some dialogue. Second Girl gave a look of shock and looked away from the page. She couldn't look at the name of a band with a sinner for a singer.
She also desperately hoped she got 'sinner' and 'singer' around the right way. They were so easy to mix up, and for that reason she avoided most singers. But she still had to look So Cool in Dublin society and had her long list of bands.
"Are you going to remove U2 entirely?" asked Second Girl.
"No!" Darriele looked shocked. "How could I ever remove U2 from my list? Then ... then ... THEN I'D HAVE ONE LESS BAND! I wouldn't be getting So Much Better, I'd be getting WORSE. People wouldn't think I'm So Cool as much as they would've!"
Second Girl nodded her head in knowing understanding as she removed her list and, without looking, put a thick black mark by U2's name. Or at least tried to. The mark ended up by Jerry Jenkins, who had released a single, Jerry Behind, the previous day.
"Anyway, I downloaded ZooTV Sydney unedited yesterday." said Darriele. "Don't want that to be wasted."
Cheney, who had been lurking outside just waiting to be included in the story, heard this and leapt through the window.
"YOU DID WHAT?"
The unidentified dialogue appeared to come from Cheney. At least somewhere near the now broken window, which was where Cheney stood. Shards of glass lay around and one was caught in her hair, but she was totally unharmed.
"You ... downloaded the holy ZooTV Sydney?!" she said in absolute shock.
"Yes ..." said Darriele, wondering who the intruder was, and wondering how she was meant to react. She was such a poorly developed character that there was no defined reaction sequence, with the possible exception of whipping out a Chick Tract or going down the Romans Road.
"How dare you! You mock Bono, and then you expect to be allowed to download the Holy Grail?" Cheney was appalled.
"Monty Python is evil!" yelled Second Girl, ensuring the reader did not forget about her. Cheney shook her head.
"I mean the Holy Grail of U2 stuff." she explained, very slowly so the two could understand. They suddenly nodded their heads in understanding. "You both can't download that!"
"Just why not?" demanded Darriele. "Get the piece of glass out of your hair, then remove the splinter from mine!"
"It's remove the plank of wood from your eye, then remove the splinter from mine." Cheney explained. "And you claim to know your Bible?"
"I know what my pastor says!" retorted Darriele, offended someone had questioned her Biblical knowledge. "I glorify God with singing daily."
"You couldn't even come close to having Biblical knowledge." said Cheney matter-of-factly.
"Now Cheney," said Bono, walking in. "be kind on the poor child. She's just lost her way. Can't find my way. Can't find your way." He started playing air guitar of the Twilight solo.
"Bono?" asked Cheney, confused. The two girls were looking the other way.
"Sorry." he apologised. Sorry was the normal word for apology, so that made sense. "I didn't even know I remembered that song."
"Get ... out ... of ... my ... house." said Darriele slowly. She then whipped out a pen and the sheet of paper with band names. "... But first, please sign this sheet." She didn't say it, but it was obvious she wanted to be So Much Better in Dublin society. It was all the rage. She even liked bands that had no talent just so she could add them to the list.
Bono looked at her, confused. He was confused at how he was there in the first place. He realised he'd been confused far too much today.
Then he remembered uncertainty could be a guiding light, and Cheney, apparently able to read minds, put on Zooropa. Darriele nearly got vicious, appalled that Cheney had blemished her stereo system with the touch of sin, but then Edge walked in.
"Bono, maybe it's time to go home." he said.
"Home is where the hurt is." replied Bono. "There is hurt here. Darriele is hurting the good name of Christianity."
"But she's so holy!" exclaimed Second Girl. "God makes her happy and people praise her! That's what being a Christian is all about!"
"It is not." Bono replied, rather forcefully. He wanted to make a point before he stormed out in disgust. "God never promises us happiness -"
He would've gone on, but Second Girl started yelling madly. She was claiming to be Christlike, calling Bono Satan and doubting his salvation.
"If that's what Christianity is, I don't want to be a part of your petty, hypocritical religion." Bono, who had said the previous comment, stormed out. Edge followed. Cheney leapt back through the window and went back to lurking, waiting for another chance to leap in on Darriele's hypocrisy and stupidity.
Darriele woke up and clung to her list of band names. She felt So Cool and So Much Better.
That was it.
Or not. The story restarted.
Darriele looked around. Second Girl looked around. There was a lot of looking around. They had heard two loud noises. Then they died. Cheney, with no need to lurk any more, went to talk with Bono. The story finished again.
Cheney just couldn't have that, however. The story restarted again, fearing all it would be was pointless dialogue. It randomly inserted itself in the conversation, which hadn't been going on long.
"You know, Bono ..." said Cheney, and Bono looked at her, expecting a suggestion about the new tour. "... can you dress up as MacPhisto?" This was not what he expected. He didn't like being wrong, but he did like MacPhisto, and he did miss being MacPhisto.
"Where's my MacPhisto red suit gone, anyway?" he thought aloud, and then turned to Cheney. "Sorry, I don't know where the suit is, so I can't."
"Let's go on a quest to find it!" Cheney exclaimed fangirlishly, and she dragged Bono towards a car.
"Edge isn't going to be impressed ..." muttered Bono.
--- Thirty-six minutes, three seconds, forty-one microseconds later ---
Cheney was driving Bono's car through Dublin. This particularly excited her and she couldn't stop grinning. Bono had asked if he could drive, but she was well aware that Edge had said "Bono's not good at the old driving" and given him a lemon to keep him content with not driving. While Cheney drove, Bono alternated his time between sucking the lemon, singing Lemon, explaining the story behind Lemon, and talking like he was MacPhisto. During this time, he randomly yelled out Adam's address, and expecting him to be very organised, Cheney instantly made for his house. After all, if a man collected spoons and wore sarongs, he had to know where a certain red suit and horns would be.
Outside Adam's house, she stopped the car, and when she noticed the fuel was going down, she nearly started singing Last Night On Earth. Indeed, she would've if she hadn't got the shock of her life.
--- Unexpected jump that destroys the flow of the story, back to thirty minutes ago, somewhere else in Dublin ---
Darriele and Second Girl lay dead in Darriele's room, but they reasoned this was not appropriate behaviour for Holy Ones and got back up.
"We must track down the SINNER." proclaimed Darriele.
"Do you have the bees?" asked Second Girl. Darriele removed a box from under her bed and checked through a small window to ensure the bees were still alive.
"They're good." she said. "Let's go."
--- Arbitrary jump forward twenty-nine minutes in time ---
Darriele and Second Girl were so Holy they were omniscient and various other omni-things, or at least thought they were. However, it wasn't due to their Supreme Holiness, So Coolness, or even So Much Better-ness that they found out where Bono and Cheney were heading. No. When Cheney drove past them, Bono yelled Adam's address out.
"That was easy." commented Darriele at the time. "God must wuv me." She was still going on about how God wuved her so much as they approached Adam's house on foot, carrying the box of bees between them. They saw Cheney stop the car and get out. Seizing the opportunity to approach, they walked towards her, and she was just about to break out in song when she spotted them.
"What are you doing here?" she demanded.
"Who's where what?" asked Bono, mildly disorientated because he'd been so busy playing MacPhisto on the roof that he hadn't noticed where they'd gone or what was going on around him.
"Bono! Some person you're with named Cheney!" Adam called from a second story window. "Two self-righteous people carrying bees!"
He apparently thought greeting people by name or description was better than a simple hello, and everyone turned to look, even Cheney, who was shocked by the bee girls showing up.
"What are we doing at Adam's house?" asked Bono. "Why are you still wearing that ridiculous sarong, Adam? Who are you people with the bees?"
He suddenly recognised them and stifled a scream.
"Bono Vox." said Darriele.
"Paul Hewson." said Second Girl.
"We are talking to you like we are introducing ourselves as superheroes, even though we are not, and our statements are only being noted with 'said', which is very Left Behind-esque and horrible."
The dialogue was unidentified but appeared to come from the box.
Bono put on his fly goggles. They made him feel comfortable, and what's more, they could see through bee boxes so that he could count bees and see who was speaking. After all, flies dominated bees and enslaved them.
"Let's cut the crap!" exclaimed Bono. Adam felt a Popmart flashback to the performances of Daydream Believer. "It's time for you girls to identify yourselves and what you're fucking up to." Suddenly, he twitched in fear. Adam and Cheney looked at him quizzically, but their confusion was answered when the box exploded open and bees shot towards Bono. Two went for Adam for some unknown reason, and one accidentally ran into Cheney's left shoe and promptly died.
It was at this moment the author remembered a funny moment from a Lovetown documentary and inserted Edge into the swarm of bees.
The bees simply flew around Edge, giving Bono time to whip out bee spray. He would've had fly spray, but people wearing fly goggles did not carry fly spray. It wasn't wise.
"Edge, aren't you a virgin?" Adam called down as he slapped the two bees with his bass.
"Of course I am!" he exclaimed in mock shock.
"Then how come you have children?" asked Cheney.
"Woah, deja vu." said Edge, dodging the question and dodging a bee that had lost its way. For the second time in the story, Bono began singing Twilight.
"Lost my way -" Bono let loose with the bee spray. "- can't find my way -" Bees died in droves. "- can't find your way!"
Darriele and Second Girl stared in self-righteous shock at Bono, watching the bees drop to the ground, dead. They flung out their Bibles, complete with Left Behind Prophecy Club study kit and complimentary copy of The Late Great Planet Earth and various assorted pretribber merchandise proclaiming the end was meant to come in 1982, and after failing to find the verses they wanted, they stormed up to Bono.
"Just what are you children playing at?" he demanded. "You're interrupting the quest!"
"We're on a quest from God." explained Second Girl. "You are a SINNER. You are a HEATHEN. This is not to be tolerated. We want to look So Cool and So Much Better, so we can't write you off, but we know you're a SINNER and we must teach you the truth. God loves you and wants you to be happy! He wants you to have a good upbringing that only we are holy enough to give!"
She then tried to force the Bible down Bono's throat.
Bono shoved Second Girl into Darriele, and as they tumbled off the car, barely missing Cheney, he spat the slightly chewed Bible out of his mouth.
"God will spit you out of HIS mouth!" yelled Darriele as Cheney glared at her with disdain. The glare was piercing, quite literally, and with a shriek, Darriele thankfully vanished from the story, wailing something about being So Much Better and horrible heathens who would say anything to her as she went.
Second Girl looked around stunned. Her Holiness could barely comprehend what had happened, and she staggered over to the box of bees. When she looked in, she was surprised to notice there was one bee left.
"What are you doing here?" she asked. Apparently, she could talk to the animals.
"Bzzzzzz!" replied the bee, and it shot towards her. With a shriek of terror much like Darriele's, she turned and ran away down the street.
"THE QUEST!" proclaimed Bono as Second Girl vanished around a corner.
"Quest?" asked Adam, intrigued. Figuring conversation would be carried on better if he was not yelling out a second floor window at two people standing on or beside a car in the driveway, he made his way downstairs and let them inside. "What quest are you on? Would you like some food?"
"Food is good." said Bono.
"But the quest is better." added Cheney.
"I'm hungry." Bono said as he looked at one of Adam's spoons, thinking about how it could be put to good use removing ice cream from its container and putting it in his mouth.
"You're MacPhisto. No food until you're MacPhisto."
"I am pout." moaned Bono. A randomly inserted Larry slapped him in the face for referring to Left Behind and then walked out of the story.
Adam seemed to miss the random insertion of Larry due to having his head halfway to the back of his fridge, searching for edible morsels that did not include pizza left over from that wild party a week ago he still hadn't recovered from. He eventually returned with a slice of cheese, half a salami, four lettuce leaves, five slices of bread, and one bar of chocolate.
"Food!" exclaimed Bono, and he lunged for the salami. Just as he was about to lay hands upon it, Adam yanked it out of his reach.
"Not until you tell me what the quest is."
"I am pout." Edge, who had been completely forgotten about and left standing on the driveway, walked in and slapped Bono for referring to Left Behind again. "Why do I keep getting slapped?" Bono asked.
"Just explain the quest to Adam." instructed Edge.
"Alright, alright." muttered Bono, looking longingly at the salami Adam had started nibbling on. "Basically, I don't know where the MacPhisto suit and horns are. Cheney here wants me to dress up as MacPhisto. So I need it."
"You know the warehouse in Scandanavia?" asked Adam. "The one where we keep the Popmart lemon?" Bono nodded, and Larry was glad he wasn't in the story, otherwise he would've shuddered in memory of Popmart, an affair he thought farcical. "It's hidden in a closet in the basement. Too many fans were trying to steal it so I made sure it was put in a place they wouldn't think to look. You've got to get past some Smashmouth merchandise to get to it, and I know about the general hatred of Smashmouth in the U2 fanatic community and how they were embarrassed we had them open for us."
"Well, now our quest has a destination!" exclaimed Cheney. "Let's go! LET'SGOLET'SGOLET'SGO!" She started tugging on Bono, but he remained firmly fixed in his seat, gazing at the salami.
"Give him some food, Adam." requested Edge. "We all want this suit found, and he's not going anywhere without food."
Adam removed one of his special spoons and with a flick of the wrist, a couple of blurred actions, and a quack like a duck, he had a large sandwich made. He then flung it in Bono's open mouth, and revitalised, the Vox got up off his seat and was dragged back out to the car by an impatient Cheney, with Adam and Edge following. Cheney hurriedly put the car into gear and sped off down the road towards a private airport U2 suddenly owned. With precision timing, a private jet pulled up right beside the main gate, and upon arrival, the four in the car hurried straight aboard the plane. As they sat down in their seats and Cheney squeed at an online game saying she was marrying Bono, an argument was heard coming from the cockpit.
"No, you are NOT flying this plane." a voice declared firmly. "Not only aren't you a qualified pilot, you can barely see!"
The cockpit door burst open and the four passengers watched as Axver was thrown out through the main door. He looked remarkably like a German teddy bear with thick glasses, and all noticed his U2 Slane shirt as he vanished from view.
"Sorry about that, folks." said the real pilot. "Just an obsessed fan. Where to today?"
"We're heading to Oslo, Norway." Adam explained calmly. He removed a map of the region from a pocket in his sarong. His sarongs had everything, even a large supermarket hidden in the stitching. "See this airport here outside the city? Land there. We want to go to the warehouse right outside the boundary."
Acknowledging this, the pilot headed back to the cockpit and soon the aeroplane soared into flight towards Scandanavia. Adam made music with his spoons, Bono searched the plane for food, Edge was accidentally ignored even by himself, and Cheney bounced up and down, exclaiming "MacPhisto suit!" every couple of seconds.
When the plane crossed the Norwegian coast, Cheney's excitement heightened even more. She started running up and down the aisle, and shoved the results from playmash.com in Adam's face. Thankfully for the both of them, she didn't hear the comment of "But Bono's already got a wife."
"Attention passengers," said a voice over the intercom. "please take your seats as we approach landing. Bono, be happy with the lasagne you found, there is no more food on the plane, and please don't try to get in the fuel tanks. Adam, that spoon music is really distracting. Cheney, do you want a tranquiliser?" Edge was ignored. He didn't even notice.
Cheney looked most offended at the suggestion of a tranquiliser but took her seat anyway as Bono returned from the cargo hold, nibbling on the last of the lasagne.
"That needed parmesan cheese." he observed as he buckled himself up. Unfortunately, there was no parmesan waiting for him when the plane touched down, but before it even stopped, Cheney was standing at the door, waiting to get out of the plane and into the warehouse.
Edge had stopped even noticing his existence, but he was still somehow the first out of the plane and greeted Cheney as she burst into the warehouse. It was just as well, because neither Bono or Adam had kept up so someone had to be there when she collapsed.
It was brilliant. No U2 fan could've walked into the warehouse and not collapsed in awe. It was gigantic - the Popmart stage sat at one end, the Zooropa incarnation of the ZooTV stage at another, the Elevation heart was fully assembled in the middle, with a prototype of the Lemon Transport sitting inside it. U2 fans had obviously broken in before, and one startled fan running around the heart vanished from the story in shock at being discovered.
Cheney quickly came back to consciousness and ran over to the ZooTV stage. She fell to her knees in awe while Edge picked up a guitar and played the Streets intro over and over again.
"Aren't you looking for the MacPhisto suit?" asked Adam, who had just walked in.
"MACPHISTO!MACPHISTO!MACPHISTO!" she exclaimed, and followed him eagerly as he made his way down a staircase beside the heart into the basement of the warehouse. It appeared in a long hall, and Adam turned to the left, heading for a door marked 'Smashmouth'. The hall was dusty but not overly so crude Smashmouth insults had been written on the door, and a photo of a smashed mouth was glued to the ground as a sort of welcome mat. Adam took a key from his sarong, unlocked the door, swung it open, and shielded his eyes as he walked past the Smashmouth items to a hidden closet at the back. It was labelled with signs.
WARNING! DO NOT ENTER! DEATH LURKS INSIDE! HIGH VOLTAGE! MACPHISTO SUIT!
Whoever had put up the signs obviously hadn't put much thought into it.
"OPENIT!OPENIT!OPENIT!" ordered Cheney, getting impatient and excited. Adam searched around for another key, but upon failing to find it, he picked up a Smashmouth guitar and used it to break the door down.
And there it was.
Or wasn't. A lone coathanger hung from a power cable, with absolutely nothing hanging from it. It appeared to be fulfilling no purpose.
But that wasn't why Cheney was devastated or why Adam gaped in shock.
"The ... the suit ... where is it?" Adam managed to stammer.
Cheney entered the closet, suggesting it was maybe on the floor. It wasn't. It wasn't hidden anywhere else in the closet either, because it was remarkably small and there was no place to hide it. Disbelievingly, she removed the coathanger from the power line -
- and all power went down in the warehouse. Adam started swearing and yelling stuff about Smashmouth being totally incompetent, Bono stumbled and fell over on the heart, and Edge didn't even notice.
"Put it back! Put it back!" Adam yelled once he finished his anti-Smashmouth tirade. "Bono can use his glasses to see in the dark but I can't!" Again, no-one thought of Edge, not even himself. He was still playing the Streets intro. Cheney hurriedly put the coathanger back on the power line, and electricity surged back through the warehouse. Bono picked himself up from the tip of the heart and began running around it again, wondering how many more laps he'd do before the intro music coming from nowhere finsihed, Adam was glad to be able to see again, and Cheney frantically ran back upstairs.
"WENEEDTOFINDTHEMACPHISTOSUIT!" Her words blurred together, but Edge managed to decipher them. In the time it had taken him to do this, he'd stopped playing the intro riff and Bono ran to a standstill halfway around the heart. A harmonica landed at his feet, and forgetting to be appropriate, he played the end of Desire.
"YES, I DESIRE THE MACPHISTO SUIT!" Cheney exclaimed, and suddenly made Bono's tune appropriate. For this, he was relieved.
"Good Cheney," he said. "but isn't the MacPhisto suit downstairs?"
"NO. IT'S NOT. AND THIS IS A PROBLEM." Cheney was emphatic. Bono felt the power of the bold.
"Well then where is it?" Bono demanded to know just as Adam made his way up the stairs.
"All of you ignored me earlier when I tried to tell you." said Edge, and for once, he was noticed. All of them swivelled around to look at him. "Those Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Heathens stole it."
"Oh, that's right!" exclaimed Adam. "But didn't we give it to them?"
"Shut up." replied Edge. "The story needs a villain. You're ruining it."
Adam looked sad and mumbled, "I am pout." Larry appeared beside Edge, they both approached Adam, and slapped him as one.
"How many times do we have to slap either of you to stop you referring to Left Behind?" they said in unison. Adam felt shamed. Bono felt like running around the heart a little more. However, Larry disappeared again and the other three were walking out of the warehouse, heading back to the aeroplane, so he figured it was in his best interests to follow.
"I will follow!" he proclaimed, and Edge burst out in one of his favourite tunes. Adam was just about to get out his bass and write Larry back in so that they could have a quick jam, but Cheney was going to have none of it and impatiently dragged them back to the airport.
"You're not our manager!" protested Edge. "You can't pull us around like this!"
"MacPhisto suit!" Cheney replied as she pushed him on board the plane. "Pilot! Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now! MACPHISTO SUIT!"
Knowing what was good for him, the pilot quickly took off, and unrealistically landed at a nonexistent airport beside the Hall of Fame three minutes later. The plotline had to progress and Bono trying to remember the lyrics to In God's Country just wasn't interesting enough.
"Hasn't our exhibit closed?" asked Adam.
"Will Bono please turn down RAH?" asked Edge.
"Will U2 hurry up?" asked Cheney, because asking and puns were all the rage.
The author quickly modified the story to specify that the airport really did exist, and as he did this, Cheney raced towards the HoF with U2 minus Larry trying to keep up. Apparently, the U2 exhibit had decided to come back just for the purposes of the story. Due to descriptions in the press, the author decided not to describe it, and Cheney shot to where the MacPhisto suit was.
Bono appeared ten minutes later, completely out of breath.
"Maybe I shouldn't have run around the heart so many times ..." he managed to blurt out before falling to his feet and grabbing a glass of water that was strangely sitting right there on the floor.
"Bono. MacPhisto suit. Put it on." ordered Cheney.
"I'm too tired." he sighed after taking a long sip of water.
"You won't be once you put this on. You'll be MacPhisto again."
His eyes lit up.
"Cheney, you might want to have a look outside." Adam advised, pointing out a nearby window. She turned, and was most surprised to see two helicopters flying in the necessary components of the ZooTV stage. One appeared to be flown by Larry, and Axver could be seen being thrown out of another by an irate Paul McGuinness.
Cheney turned around to talk to Bono again, but he was gone. So was the MacPhisto suit. So were Adam and Larry. So was appropriate sentence structure.
Cheney sensed a concert.
Forgetting where an appropriate stage was in the HoF, she searched hurriedly through the hallways, and after three minutes of searching, opened a door to be hit by the ZooTV intro.
"Television, the drug of the nation -" There was a stage. The ZooTV elements were already inside and set up. The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy were playing the intro. There were only two other people in the audience - Axver, who had talked Paul McGuinness into letting him see the concert (though he didn't like the part about having to be chained to the floor), and Tasha. She'd followed Larry, or so Axver said.
Cheney didn't have time to listen to an explanation and didn't even want to. She ran right up to the stage and waited. The intro music played, the band appeared on stage, and then, with the Zoo Station guitar screaming from the speakers, Bono rose up on stage, kicking away.
It was ZooTV. Eleven years later. But it was ZooTV. And somehow, it was truly authentic and the band had changed back to their ZooTV appearance. It wasn't just a superficial change either. Bono's ZooTV voice was back.
It was ZooTV. But it had Last Night On Earth, Wake Up Dead Man, Beautiful Day, and 11 O'clock Tick Tock. It somehow worked. It was loud, it was exciting, it was Zoo.
But it wasn't MacPhisto. Not quite yet. An encore would rectify that.
--- Sudden jump forward to MacPhisto appearing onstage ---
There was excitement, there was more than the author could possibly describe. Axver was so thrilled he'd nearly ripped the chains from the ground. Tasha was cheering on Larry - after all, he'd promised to marry her - and Cheney was running on stage. With no security to stop her, she ran right up to Bono/MacPhisto.
After singing the final "Daddy's gonna pay!" he turned and hugged her, placed the horns on her head, and then took MacPhisto Ducky. It was Right. Seeing that all stories were meant to end at Right, Happy Moments such as this one, the story came to a Right, Happy conclusion.
I have rediscovered ZooTV. Not that I lost it in the first place. I've just realised I'm an idiot because I call MacPhisto's suit red in the above story when it's really mainly gold. I guess I had that red Fly suit on my mind or something. Bono should've used that suit in more than just a rehearsal.
But GAH, ZooTV is AWESOME. I truly wish it had more setlist variation, because that's what ruins it for me. The stage is AWESOME (all it needs is a forty foot lemon), the music is AWESOME, the effects are AWESOME, and most importantly, BONO'S VOICE IS AWESOME. It is a true tragedy that he can no longer sing the ZooTV falsetto, because songs like Dirty Day, Lemon, and Can't Help Falling In Love With You are just amazing. I still feel the Joshua Tree/Lovetown voice was better (go watch RAH, it proves my point perfectly), but ... ZooTV!
Now, I would like to counter some common U2 heresy.
Heresy 1: If a song opens a tour setlist, it will never reappear again.
Answer: This is blatantly untrue. The following songs have opened sets and reappeared on later tours: Stories For Boys, The Ocean, 11 O'clock Tick Tock, Out Of Control, Gloria, Where The Streets Have No Name, I Will Follow, Bullet The Blue Sky, Desire. There could be more, I'm working off memory here. Sure, Zoo Station's vanished and will never return, but I feel there's potential for Mofo to crop up again, and Elevation was a very popular single so I cannot see it being scrapped. What's more, Beautiful Day opened an Elevation Tour show and it won't be going anywhere out of the regular setlist fast.
Heresy 2: If a song closes a tour setlist, it will never reappear again.
Answer: Only ONE song has closed a tour setlist and never reappeared again - Love Is Blindness. People also cite Popmart, but that's an absolute pile of garbage. The following songs closed Popmart shows;
One - if this were to stop appearing, there'd be riots!
Unchained Melody - it was played on Elevation
Wake Up Dead Man - commonly played on Elevation
MLK - reappeared with Streets during the 2002 Super Bowl half-time show
40 - closed the 1 February 2001, Pre-Elevation Tour gig at the Astoria in London and was regularly snippeted between Bad and Streets on Elevation
And ... I have no more heresy. But if you have U2 heresy, I have answers!