Michael J. Fox’s Bad Day

He was having a bad day. Cancelled the interview. “Not looking up today. Sorry.” Depression and bad control. The couch called him and he answered, sinking into it. Maybe when the anti-depressants kicked in, he’d get up. He dwelt.

He didn’t notice the other man until he was looming over him. Had to focus. This was a stranger in his living room!

“How did you get in here?”

“They let me in here because of who I am.”

“Who the hell are…” Who the hell was he? Come on Fox! Focus! He could be dangerous! He swung his shoulders back and forth wildly, trying to get his head to stay in one place. One good look. An old, old black or latino man. Those cheekbones…”Oh my God, you’re Chuck Berry!”

“The one and only.”

“Wow! It’s an honor! What are you doing here?”

“I need something.”

“Sure, whatever it is, I’m sure we can put something together. This isn’t a great time, unfortunately…”

“I need to know. I need to learn about the other thing. “

Could Chuck Berry understand him? How bad was his speech? “What thing?”

“The music. The music we weren’t ready for. My cousin told me all about it.”


“The Rock and Roll. It wasn’t enough. I need something more. I can still do something better, I know I could take this…whole world to the next place, if I just had the music. I’m ready for it now.”

“I don’t know what you mean. I don’t think I can help you.”

“I know you’re sick, but I learned Rock and Roll over a phone…”

As his brain screamed at him as he battled to move himself properly, beneath that mental static, beneath his confusion, realization dawned, then anger. “I get it. Back to the Future. This is not the time or place for practical jokes. Whoever’s doing this, you’ve got a lawsuit…”

“Do I look like the kind of damn fool who visits strangers to play jokes? Look in my eyes!”

As his body spasmed, he twisted his neck into a semi-still position, looked into Chuck Berry’s eyes. The eyes of a madman.

“But that was just a movie!”

“Mr. J. Fox. I need to know the strange music. The music we weren’t ready for.”

As has brain vibrated out of control and the emotions of conflict, of dealing with insanity threatened to overwhelm him, he searched his memory. Oh yes. “My character…I…I played some hammer-on metal guitar.”

“Yes. Tell me about this strange music!”

“It was a joke. It was…Eddie Van Halen. It hasn’t been new or strange for over twenty years!”

Berry glowered in suspicious silence, which was broken by a loud squealing and crashing sound from outside the house. He heard shouts, and then an old man came hobbling in, followed by security. The man had strange industrial looking work-clothes. He held an octopus in his hands, and while he was quite aged, he was clearly Michael J. Fox.

Everyone stood around, unable to figure what to make of this scene. The old Michael J. Fox cleared his throat. “Hello. I don’t have time to explain. As you can probably see, I’m from the future. I’ve come to bring you a new form of music. We’ve mastered biotechnology to the point where we can make real the music that is in our heads.”

With that, he handed the octopus to Chuck Berry. As the rock pioneer cradled the cephalopod in his hands, it’s tentacles grasped his temples. It expanded like a great gum-bubble, and vibrated. A high, sputtering tone rippled out, soon joined by a low rumble. Then the octopus began singing “A Brown Eyed Handsome Man” the way no one on Earth had ever heard the song before.

They listened for fourteen minutes as Berry’s song stretched and changed. Strings with throats sang in a choir, while drums made of saxophone keys opening and closing rolled below. An angel shrieked, and the song was over.

The aged Michael J. Fox smiled and turned to Chuck Berry. “And now we must go.” With that, the old Rock and Roller and man from the future blinked out of view.

Amazing, the present day Michael J. Fox thought. Why didn’t I bring myself a cure for Parkinson’s?

–Dan Kilian
Beatles Rock Band
Neil Diamond Spinoff


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