Char Man

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:

Note: the vol­ume is unusu­al­ly low on this one for some rea­son. I’ll fix that… someday.