The stories of Char Man are wide and varied, but they all seem to agree on two details: the guy burnt to death, and he’s still around.
There’s a stretch of the 118 freeway where he’s said to jump onto passing vehicles, spraying blood and fire on the windshield to create unsafe driving conditions for the unsuspecting motorist.
My friend Kurt and I were driving that road at some obscene hour, and it occurred to us that we didn’t want to experience this. It felt very likely at the time that we were about to.
So, I did what you would probably have done; what anyone would… I wrote him a theme song.
I guess I thought this would somehow re-frame the experience; give us a new perspective so we don’t panic like other drivers when he chooses to introduce himself. And let’s face it — everyone needs a theme song.
We sang it again and again until we were safely out of range.
This is that song:
There’s also a followup piece, “Char Man’s Holiday” (for the unproduced sequel).
You can listen to that as well: