By Helen Cox
After a productive twenty years in prison perfecting their musical skills Jake and Elwood Blues were released on parole to their worst nightmare: Rhythm and Blues had been replaced by RnB. As far as they could make out, the only people hitting the big time in the musical world were scantily clad females and men who shave their heads and wear trousers that don’t fit. A new millennium indeed! For two men who pride themselves on wearing the finest tailored suits this state of affairs would never do.
Their parole officer, Richie Evans, had handled the Harry Doyle and Archie Long case back in ‘86, but the kid had toughened up a lot since then. There’d be no driving a train to Mexico for Jake and Elwood. And definitely no broads in blue wigs. Richie got them both a job in a painfully beige office at a stationery supply company. All they had to do was pack orders and stack them in the correct shipping bay and they’d get $1000 a month after taxes for doing so.
The boys started off pretty well. They recruited some kids from their old orphanage on a pittance of a pay to do their packing and sorting. Meanwhile they planned a new musical revolution that would make Rhythm and Blues, once again, the pulse of musical culture in the USA. Unfortunately their schemes of symphony were soon foiled when the company recruited a new middle manager to ‘shake things up’. You know the type, the kind of man who has a mid-life crisis at 27 because he got married when he was 16 and had his first kid soon after. Within three years he’s got four kids, two mortgages and one hell of a feeling that life owes him some big favour; the paint on his white picket fence is flaking and so is his patience with humanity.
His name is Johnson, naturally, and he instantly sets himself up as a target for the Brothers Blues by confiscating their sunglasses. “There’s no need to wear sunglasses indoors” he tells them. “What’s need got to do with it?” Jake asks, but he is met with no verbal response. The glasses are whipped from his face, as they are from his brother, and he is forced to see the world in its full vibrancy. “Come on man.” Jake pleads “if I haven’t got my glasses to dim the world I’ll have to turn to liquor. I’ll wind up an empty alcoholic shell.” Johnson smiles. “Wouldn’t that be a great loss to society.” Of course, you know, this means war.
On their lunch break Jake and Elwood plot their revenge over some cream crackers and a can of Cheese Whizz. Stealing their sunglasses is the ultimate slight and thus drastic measures are called for to show Johnson who is really the boss around here. Jake decides to take Johnson’s car, a new red Lambo, for a joyride round ToysRUs. Meanwhile Elwood sets about seducing Johnson’s lovely wife. He visits their family home on the pretence of talking to Johnson, the boss man is actually in a middle managers meeting that will never end and he knows it. Johnson’s wife looks very familiar to Elwood, apparently she was a model back in her younger days but married life with Johnson is a lonely one and she consequently submits to Elwood’s advances with little sign of remorse.
Johnson comes out of the office that night to find his beloved new Lambo smashed up into a highly irregular shape. A Miss Piggy doll sits tauntingly in the passenger seat which rides alongside him as the tow truck pulls his corpse of a car home. When he gets home things aren’t quite right there either. His wife is sitting on the doorstep in the dark wearing the sunglasses he confiscated from those infernal Blues Brothers. Her packed bags are enough to tell him she’s leaving him. Apparently she’s had an offer to sing in a band, a long-forgotten dream of hers. The kids are in bed, the breakfast table is laid out and his shirt is ironed for the morning. She wishes him luck, though she chews her face as she says it which doesn’t make it sound all that sincere, and walks out the drive way only to climb into what looked a lot like an old cop car. It sped away in a disgracefully dangerous manner leaving Johnson nothing to do but sigh.