“Listen Sam, you’ve got to come out to this bar with me tonight”
“For the last time Daniel, I don’t want to go on a date with you. I mean on top of everything else you’re married!”
“I keep telling you, it’s not a date! You’ve just got to come to this bar, tonight! Hang on, everything else?”
“Why do I have to go to this bar?”
“Look, I can’t tell you that. You’ve got to come and see it for yourself”
“You’re sure this isn’t some kind of plot to get me drunk and vulnerable?”
“Would I do that?”
“I don’t know... there was that time on P3X-5645”
“That was just because I drank that strange blue liquid without testing it first. If you’re that worried we’ll take Teal’c as a chaperone”
“Teal’c? A Chaperone?”
“Why not? He's always saying he wants to see more of Earth”
“So you’ll take him to some dingy bar and get him drunk?”
“I don’t even know if he can get drunk. His symbiote might metabolise the alcohol before it affects him. So anyway, will you come?”
“OK, if it’ll get you off my back! Nineteen hundred hours you said?”
“Actually I said seven o’clock, but yeah”
“Anything I need to bring with me?”
“Just money. Oh, we’ll need a hat for Teal’c”
“I’ll requisition one from stores”
“Don’t you have any work to do?”
“Oh. Yeah. I’ll see you then then.”
It was a quarter past seven, or in the military parlance nineteen fifteen hours. Daniel, in baggy trousers and a brightly coloured shirt was driving the unassuming black car with the blanked out number plates. Sam, casually dressed in jeans and blouse was sitting in the passenger seat. Teal’c was in the back, his large white cowboy hat matching the rest of his gleaming white cowboy outfit.
“My name is ‘Riley’ and I come from Texas?” he queried
“That’s right” replied Daniel “Just in case anyone asks”
“And I am an eccentric oil millionaire?”
“Yeah, in Colorado on business”
“I do not understand why I could not be a taxidermist”
“The taxidermy of your world is fascinating to me”
“There are very few taxidermists in Texas Teal’c” Sam chimed in.
“But why must I be from Texas? Why could I not be from Wyoming, or Utah, or Ar-kan-sas?”
“Because it was the only hat available in stores. And it’s pronounced Arkansaw”
“I wish to be a taxidermist”
“Well for tonight your cover is an Oil Millionaire”
“It would be good to be a taxidermist”
“Yeah, whatever” Daniel rolled his eyes at Sam. Teal’c, lost in his dreams of taxidermy remained silent for the next mile. But it was too good to last.
“What is this ‘bar’ we are journeying towards Daniel Jackson?”
“Uh, it’s a place where humans go to relax and socialise”
“And get drunk” contributed Sam. Daniel glared at her.
Teal’c furrowed his brow under the hat “How can a person be drunk? What is it that does the drinking?”
“Um, intoxicated, inebriated, uh... you know, drunk” Daniel shrugged
“You drink ethyl alcohol until you can’t stand up anymore, throw up in a corner, pass out, then wake up the next morning with a pounding headache and a mouth like the bottom of a bird cage” explained Sam cheerily.
“And this is enjoyable?” asked Teal’c, still puzzled.
“Right” said Daniel, pulling the car into a disabled parking space and sticking a US military emergency parking pass on the dash. “We’re here”
Here was a beat up brick building across the street with a flickering neon sign reading “Dull Bar”. A sudden surge of power lit up a few more letters revealing the sign to read “Dulle’s Bar” but then it faded back to “Dull”. Judging by the noise level, the place was packed. Daniel led the trio across the street and past the bouncer into the smoky interior.
Despite the bar’s run down appearance, it was packed. There were a few winos and alcoholics propped up at the bar, but for the most part the crowd seemed fairly well off. Flashy suits and cocktail dresses were everywhere. A stage to the far end of the room was surrounded by young men in brightly coloured, wide lapelled jackets and big pants. A few were wearing hats with feathers in them.
“Daniel, are those zoot suits?” queried Sam in disbelief. She got no reply.
“My symbiote is disturbed by this smoke” said Teal’c clutching at his stomach.
“I guess Apophis decided Chulak could do without tobacco” commented Daniel “Do you need to go outside?”
“No, it is recovering” answered Teal’c, removing his hands from his gut. “What is tobacco?”
“It’s a leaf you dry and roll up in paper so you can light it on fire, stick it in your mouth and breath the smoke, which makes you cough and eventually gives you cancer” explained Sam. Teal’c looked both distressed and puzzled.
“What is with you tonight Sam?” asked Daniel in an irritated tone.
“Just telling it like it is”
“Well do you want some ethyl alcohol, even though it might make you throw up in the corner and pass out?”
“Sure, I’ll have a beer. Teal’c and I’ll find a table” She disappeared into the throng dragging Teal’c behind her. Daniel shook his head and walked over to the bar.
It was a good five minutes later when he finally found Sam sitting at a small table on the far side of the bar.
“He said he wanted to have a look around”
“He said that?”
“Well actually he said he wished to examine our surroundings. I paraphrased.”
“Well, here’s your beer”
“Daniel, why is it in a stein?”
“They’d run out of glasses, they’re really busy tonight”
“OK” she flipped back the lid and took a drink. “I feel like I should be wearing leaderhosen. So what is it you wanted me to see so badly?” There was a sudden hush. Rather than answering, Daniel pointed at the stage. Sam turned around to see a small greasy man centerstage, holding a microphone.
“Hep Cats and Ladies!” he announced in a bad jive accent “The jivin’ Dulle’s Bar pree-sents for your listenin’ pleashaa....... Jumpin’ Jack and the Swingin’ Misfits!” He lept from the stage as the curtains swept open. The crowd, particularly the zoot-suited members at the front went wild.
A wave of sound poured out of the speakers as the Swinging Misfits launched into their first number. A bespectacled man plucked away at a double base. Three more with trumpets swung from side to side in rhythm. And there, in the middle, wearing the widest, most brightly coloured jacket, with the baggiest trousers and a feather fully two feet long sticking from his hatband was...
“COLONEL O'NEILL!?!?!?!” spluttered Sam, spraying beer all over the table and dropping her stein in horror.
“I told you you had to see it for yourself” commented Daniel.
Colonel Jack O’Neill stepped up to the retro fifties microphone...
“Hey big daddy who’s lookin’ at you?
Brown eyed, switch blade, hep-cat dude!
Hit that Sammy and then you’ll know,
Red hot music, Go! Go! Go!
The crowd became even more enthusiastic. The front row zoot-suiters started jumping up and down as if they were in a mosh pit. A few couples attempted to swing dance, but there was no room in the packed bar.
“He’s pretty good don’t you think?” Daniel asked the stunned Sam.
“But. How. You?” gasped Sam.
“My car broke down around here last week. I came in to use the phone” explained Daniel. “I was pretty shocked.”
“Uh-huh” replied Sam, still staring at the vision of her superior officer in an fluorescent orange Zoot Suit. By now Jack was living up to his title, and jumping around on stage like a demented kangaroo.
“Ohhhhhhh! Oh-no! You’ve got run away, run away, run away, Hey!”
“Take a look at the base player” Daniel suggested in an attempt to break Sam’s trance.
“Wha..? Oh, he looks kind of familiar...”
“He’s the old Gate Technician”
“I thought he moved to Barbados?”
“Apparently not. Or if he did, he came back.”
“And the trumpeter on the left, didn’t he used to be with security?”
“Yup, the entire band is made up of former SGC personnel. Apart from Jack, although if this gets out I’m not so sure”
“I’ve been asking myself the same questions all week. I couldn’t come up with any rational explanation apart from that maybe they all really like swing.”
"Dere’s a place dey call de ocean!
You prob’ly heard about it in skool,
Dey ain’t got no martini’s dere,
But maaaaaan, It’s really cool!”
Teal’c was sitting at the bar, watching an unusual ritual. Two men, one small, wizened up and siting on a barstool, and the other tall, balding and thin were drinking small cups of clear liquid, brought to them by the bar staff. A small pile of money sat on the bar before them. Every time they drank another glass, the crowd surrounding them would call out the number they’d drunk. “Fifteen!”, “Sixteen!”, “Seventeen!” At seventeen the tall man, who’d been wobbling unsteadily for a while collapsed to the floor, his glasses skittering across the carpet to the swing-pit, where they were instantly crushed by the feet of the enthusiastic zoot suiters. The crowd cheered, and thumped the small man on the back as he collected the money. Some strong looking men carried the thin man out to the street. “You’d think a doctor would know better!” commented someone in the crowd.
Teal’c wandered over. The small man looked him up and down.
“Who’re you meant to be?” he asked “J.R?”
The crowd chortled.
“I am a Texan” replied Teal’c remembering his cover “I know not of this J.R. of which you speak”
“Well waddya want then?” asked the small man.
“You were challenging that man on how many cups of ethyl alcohol he could consume?”
“You saying you wanna take me on boy?” questioned the man.
“Yes. If that is the custom here”
“I reckon he should have to drink two cups for every one you drink Harry!” suggested a crowd member “You’ve already drunk seventeen!”
“You OK with that boy?”
“I am OK with that”
A crowd member collected the stakes, and placed a large pile of mixed coins and notes on the bar. The bartender slammed down three shot glasses full of spirits.
“Let’s get started then” said Harry, staring challengingly into Teal’c’s eyes.
“So you’re saying that the Gate Tech, the Security guy, Johnson from Catering, Sergeant Wilson, Lieutenant Parks, Frank the Janitor, and Captain Adams from SG6 all quit the SGC to form a swing band with Colonel O’Neill?”
“Well Captain Adams was invalided out after that incident with the crocodile, but fundamentally yes”
“Well the evidence is right there.”
“What possible reason could anyone have for leaving a well paid, interesting, exciting job with a project vitally important to the security of the entire human race to play swing music?”
“Well think about it. Look at all the stuff we go through. We can handle it, but maybe they can’t.”
“We’re going to have to tell the General about this”
“What? And get Jack fired?”
“It’s a major security risk!”
“How? It’s not like they’re singing about the Gate!”
The Gate Tech stepped up to the mike,
“Chevron seven is locked in place,“We’re going to have to tell the General about this” agreed Daniel.
Hit the touchpad that says ‘Engage’,
Step into that wormhole thing,
You’ll be doing the Stargate swing!”
“Ansh then” burbled Harry “I saysh to him, I ain’t got it, sho if yoush wannit...” The bartender placed three more cups of spirits on the bar. Teal’c picked up his two, and downed them in quick succession. Harry eyed his unsteadily.
“Whashish waha?” he questioned.
“If you are unable to continue I will collect my bounty and leave” said Teal’c.
“Nah na boy. Ull drink you undersh the TABLE!” Harry shouted. He wobblingly lifted the glass to his lips. He stared at it. He took a single sip.
His eyes crossed. He dropped the glass, sat bolt upright, and in a loud, clear voice exclaimed “Phone call for Mr Horrible!” He then collapsed face first onto the bar, his large nose sending the coins skittering.
The crowd was silent. Teal’c collected up the scattered coins, then lifted Harry’s noisily snoring head enough to recover the pile of bills. “I thank you for permitting me to engage in your contest” he said, then disappeared into the crowd in search of Daniel and Sam.
At that very moment Daniel and Sam were outside looking through the trunk of the car.
“Why is there a video camera in here anyway” queried Sam.
“Standard issue for all SGC vehicles” explained Daniel “Same as the tear gas and emergency pudding cups. I though you would have known that?”
“Ah” answered Sam.
“Here it is!” cried Daniel, pulling out a handycam. All identifying marks and labels had been either filed off or blacked out.
“Why do they do that?” asked Sam.
“Security I guess” shrugged Daniel. “It makes it really hard to operate, but if you don’t know how to work it, you shouldn’t be using it in the first place.”