Back-up Vocal~ At last, MANNY IS BACK! I’m thrilled to have our floppy-eared lunatic home again! True, he may have only been gone for a handful of weeks in Splendorland time. But, stories have their own clock and it felt much longer in the grand scheme of things. Truth be told, there was a temptation to explore his works in the mountains in a touch more depth. Alas, Manny has his process in pursuit of “The Muuuuuuuuse”. Even I’m forbidden to know the machinations of his approach to the guitar sorcery that imbued the epic finale of the DBS 3© Viking/Disco concept album…….thing. Lord, I still haven’t found the right word for it.

We have a few Pop Culture points to unpack, so allow me to shed some light. Longtime readers are already versed in the fact that some tensions exist between Manny and Sir Anthony Hopkins. Thus, there was never even the most remote chance that the legendary actor would contribute a drop of assistance to make Manny’s dream live. Which leads us to option 2. Some may ask how I stumbled across actor Jeremy Irons as Manny’s next choice for album narration. The selection was not random. Mr. Irons read for a band called Touchstone on their “Winter Coast” album and the results were spectacular. Manny is a true connoisseur of Prog Rock, even more than me. He is well aware of that particular album and loved the dimensions Irons brought to the table. So he had the band attempt to make inroads to get that voice on the “Vahalla Fandango” project. Alas, to no avail. I was a great fan of the “Hannibal” TV series. Normally, I don’t have the stomach for that sort of thing. But the writing was incredible and the cast was stunning, especially Hugh Dancy. Just as I started crafting this Comic, I ran across a podcast interview with him, talking about his experience starring on the show (as of this writing, Internet rumors abound regarding a Season 4 on Netflix). Looking to give him a Shout-Out, Manny suddenly feels compelled to draft him for the narration read. He’s right, Dancy does have a captivating voice. If we could bottle that accent, it would clean all the windows on the PPG Building, with sparkle and sheen to make angels jealous. Once again, a no-go. So, we turn to Brian Cox: first-ever Hannibal Lecter. He was also great in X2. Heaven knows he could tackle Manny’s writing and give them words a tasty smidge of darkness to chill the soul for months. But when you’ve burned too many bridges to hire a great, you just pretend to be one. Walk the streets of Vegas any given Wednesday at lunchtime and see for yourself.

Allow me to offer one additional thought. Bo is absolutely right: nothing in the world will ease the pang of abysmal news better than Granny Smith Apple scones made from a Lou Diamond Phillips original recipe. That’s the kind of luvin’ the world needs now, more than ever. Someone with Hollywood connections needs to coax the ingredients list out of him and send it to me. Because his offices have blocked me on every single communications platform currently enjoyed by sane, rational folk.