Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas (in other words the winter of 2002), there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Kenny Rogers, destined to wear the moniker of The Gambler upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!
Now all Conan references aside, this really is the true (and by true I mean as best as my twisted memory can recall…so probably a complete web of lies) story of my adventures with Kenny Rogers. As I had mentioned it was the Winter of 2002. I had just graduated college and was doing whatever I could to make ends meet. It was at this time an acquaintance of mine mentioned to me that there was an available spot working on a stage crew setting up and tearing down productions that came to our local arena. Being that I needed cash and enjoyed working with my hands, I decided to take him up on it.
I arrived for my first day of work and lo and behold the very first gig was the Kenny Rogers Christmas show. My acquaintance and I entered the arena at 5:00 am with coffee and hot dogs in hand, a strange breakfast I am aware, but what better way to start a long string of strange occurrences . We started into work unloading the mass of stage equipment from the line of trucks and rolling it into the building. With in ten minutes there was an explosion of activity. Lights were being hung, sound systems being put in place, props being seperated, costumes being organized and stages being built.
We worked our asses off until the call for lunch at 1:00 pm. We decided to eat our bag lunches in the back corridor where we had previously loaded in al of the equipment. My acquaintance took a bight from his sandwich, turned to me and said “This ought to be a pretty good show”. I let the words roll around in my head a moment as I enjoyed my salami sandwich. I responded, “Yeah, but it would be cooler if he played “The Gambler” but I doubt he will for a Christmas show”. To which he asked, “How old do you think he is any way?” I answered, “I think the actual performer Kenny Rogers died in the late 80’s and what we see now is an android, model number KR33818. It is powered by the flesh of babies which it crunches with his metal teeth.” then I made a chomping sound and continued, ” the only parts of the original Kenny are the hair, and beard which are shipped around the country in a hermetically sealed, fire proof container and affixed to the android just before show time”. I was just being humorous of course, but what I didn’t realize is that Kenny, or “The Rog” as I would come to call him was walking right behind me.
Kenny cleared his throat and then said, “Pretty close, but I don’t have metal teeth, they are a high grade polymer and I run on hydr-electric power”, then he laughed and continued on his way. My friend and I were floored, we couldn’t believe he heard that and was so cool about it.
We worked the rest of the day and then since we were running the spot lights for the show we got to watch the entire production. After the show it was time for tear down, but since we had been working all day we decided to step outside and treat ourselves to a cigarette first. While we were out there Kenny walked by to his tour bus. He looked over at me, smiled and made a chomping motion and laughed. My friend finished his cigarette and walked back inside. I was still standing there finishing mine when The Rog walked back over to me. “You seem like a good guy, and a hard worker. If you don’t have anything else going on, why don’t you come on the road with us for the rest of this tour and work as my assistant.
I was elated. I really didn’t have anything else going on, and even though he was Kenny Rogers, I imagined he still had some fun on the road, so why not? I finished helping with load out that night, told Kenny would meet him at his next stop and went home to back a few things and let my family know what was going on. The next day I drove out to the next tour stop and officially joined the crew.
For the next few weeks, things were pretty smooth, I worked hard and partied harder. No matter what you may think about the Rog, he and his crew are PARTY ANIMALS. We closed down a strip club in every town we went to and Kenny is a straight up smooth pimp. That guy had more poon on him then a toilet seat in a women’s rest room. Then, late one night something went amiss.
We were in Branson Missouri doing one of the last shows when I got a call from the tour manager saying that he couldn’t get a hold of Kenny on his walkie talkie and could I try and locate him. I did a few passes around the theater with no luck and decided to check the tour bus. The first thing I noticed that was strange was that the door to the bus was unlocked. We always locked the door once everyone was off to prevent crazed fans from boarding. Then when I went in side all of the interior lights were off. This was also weird because we normally let them on in case someone did sneak on the bus it would be hard for them to hide. I walked quietly toward the back of the bus when I could feel slight tremors in the floor.
As I slowly progressed forward I could hear a crunching noise. Then I could hear grunt, things being ripped apart and liquid dripping on the floor. I was worried there was an animal on the bus. I reached out and felt the wall until I found the switch. When I hit the lights, there, to my horror was The Gambler feasting on a torso of what as best I could make out was a prepubescent girl.
Kenny was startled and looked over and me and then the light gleamed off his…SHINY….METAL…TEETH. His hair and beard were not yet attached and I could clearly see the twisted inner workings of his android body. He leaped at me and the struggle was on. The Rog had the strength of 50 men and was determined to crush my skull. He was in a state of pure rage like a meth addict in a church.
I lay there as he pummeled on me. I could feel my ribs cracking. My breath was getting shorts and I was coughing up blood. I felt around on the floor for anything I could use as a weapon. Suddenly my hand landed on an empty Jack Daniel’s bottle under one of the seats. I grabbed it and shoved the neck of the bottle into his cybernetic eye. He reeled back and released his death grip on me. I ran toward the front of the bus where Manuel the bus driver kept his Desert Eagle.
As The Kenbot lurched through the bus toward me I opened fire on him and lodged7 .50 caliber rounds into his chest plate. I must have hit the hydraulic control box as the android fell instantly. He wasn’t “dead” but he couldn’t move. I began searching the android’s body for the kill switch. Within moments I had him powered down.
My next step was to call the tour manager and tell him what had just happened. My voice trembled, my hands were shaky and I was ice cold yet sweating bullets. The manager said “wait right there”, then just before he hung up the phone I heard him shout into his walkie talkie “Code Onyx 45, repeat Code Onyx 45” then he hung up. Before I could blink five crew members and the tour manger were on the bus.
Leopold, the tour manager sat me down and began to explain to me why this all just happened. As it turns out my original theory was correct. Kenny Rogers WAS in fact a machine. Some of the details in my theory were incorrect. For example, it wasn’t the flesh of babies that powered him, it was the blood of virgins. Also, while Kenny was by all accounts “dead”, his brain and his heart were still intact, inside a special casing in the android.
The crew cleaned up the mess and powered up a new Kendroid. After locking the bus the crew removed the heart and brain from the previous one, inserted it into the new one and powered him up. Leopold explained to me that when the Kendroid had to “feast” it didn’t relay any information to Kenny’s brain as the thought of eating killing and eating humans would cause him to want to be terminated. The upside was that he wouldn’t remember anything about the epic battle that had just transpired between us. The downside was Leopold asked me to leave the tour so that Kenny’s brain would never know what happened.
I returned home to my family the next day and didn’t speak of these events for quite some time. It was my hope that the Kendroid would no longer be a threat to humanity. Something must have happened though because I noticed, along with the rest of the world in early 2006 that Kenny didn’t quite look the same.