A Ghost Story

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Baked and Awake

October 30th 2018

Halloween Special Number Two

A Ghost story by Samuel Longthorne Clemens aka Mark Twain

Disclaimer: Baked and Awake is a show about weed. There will be cannabis consumed, and discussed. Please keep this in mind when listening at work, in public spaces, or at church. What’s that? Well, I don’t know why you’d be listening in church either- I’m just saying maybe it’s not the best idea even if mass doesn’t start for a little while and you’re bored. Why are you there early anyway isn’t church at the same time every week? Get your shit together, people..

This Halloween season has settled upon me like a haunting of an old, recently abandoned property on the edge of town. It’s almost impossible to resist, and at a certain point rather than struggle against it, one does well to simply lean into it, and go with the flow..

In keeping with the spooky vibe that seeped into us during last week’s episode- Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancyent Maryner, Faithful listeners will recall that I narrated the mortifying misadventures of an Old and otherworldly Seaman who, having reaped the grisly consequences of his damnable act- the murder most foul of an innocent albatross, the mascot of his mates no less. Consequences for the Mariner in the form of the swift demise of the entire crew of the ship upon which he served, only to suffer the eternal agony of re telling the story of his own final, benighted experiences to reluctant audiences forevermore.. For those of you who missed it and are for some crazy reason just arriving now, I say to you, GO BACK! Go back, and listen to that story first so that you can get yourself in the mood for more epic classic horror, this time brought to you by an even more well known and dearly loved Samuel than our erstwhile Coleridge. Indeed, our story today was written by none other than Samuel Longthorne Clemens, popularly known around the world by his nom de plume, Mark Twain.

As Mr. Twain is one of the most prolific and widely read authors of his time, enjoying the sort of recognition and general acclaim in society that we often see today in the public’s adoration of Television and Movie Stars of the A list variety. Falling somewhere between a Garrison Keillor and Stephen King in terms of style, Twain's’ most famous works, the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are treasured and read to this day, despite what may be, through the fraught lenses of today’s readers’ at times shocking portrayals of both Black Americans themselves, and the White characters in Twain’s novels, only sometimes shown in a reflective light themselves. Personally, my memories of reading these classics has dimmed considerably over the years. All I remember from them is an odd feeling of unease now and then at the harsh words directed at or dismissive treatment evinced towards Twain’s Black characters like the iconic runaway Slave, Jim.

Though he was on the run for his life, and a criminal in the eyes of many who must have first read the story of Huckleberry Finn, I do remember Jim being strongly humanized, probably in a way that had seldom if ever been attempted before. For that I was profoundly grateful, even as a young boy who had never at that point seriously pondered racism, and where and how I might encounter it throughout my life. I say these things not by way of apology for Mark Twain, for as I did hasten to observe just there- I believe history remembers him as an ally of the oppressed and downtrodden. Children, Runaway slaves, and all.

Today’s tale however, is not one of youthful adventures and the snubbing of authority in the midst of a recently war torn America. Rather, it is one that will in turns provide suspense, a small dose of unease slowly building into profound discomfort for the reader, and abject terror for the protagonist, finally giving way to a bit of levity before allowing us to continue on our way..

Oh. I almost forgot. I’ll be reading this story whilst attempting to smoke to it’s conclusion, a hefty and heavily infused “Cross Joint”, which if you have never seen one please allow me to direct you to my instagram account at @Baked_and_Awake, where you can see this creation in all its glory. Though holy in it’s form, I fully expect and indeed hope to be personally possessed by SOMETHING by the conclusion of this little… experiment. Wish me Godspeed upon this, my latest and greatest Boondoggle..

And now that you have the full picture of what’s happening here behind the mic, Let us then, to Mark Twain’s “A Ghost Story”

Resources:

The Cardiff Giant is a purported "petrified man" uncovered on October 16, 1869, by workers digging a well behind the barn of William C. "Stub" Newell in Cardiff, New York. Both it and an unauthorized copy made by P.T. Barnum are still being displayed.

Archival Popular Science Comic about the Cardiff Giant

Episode 58 Soundtrack:

All music used gratefully and with permission, attribution below and covered under either Creative Commons or Public Domain

Intro- Anttis Instrumentals- miffed

Bach- Toccata and Fugue for Organ in D Minor

Outro- Bazzini- La Ronde des Lutins or Dance of the Goblins

Scary Sounds- Sinister Street- The Paper Magic Group, Inc.

LINKS:

Our Website: www.bakedandawake.com

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