Writer's Commentary: Something in the Way

On Post: Something in the Way

Date: January 17, 2013

Find it here 

The description of the protagonist in this song, a homeless man living amongst wild animals with a no meat but seafood diet, reminded me of a playground legend from my childhood. Going to school at Anna Reynolds School in Newington, CT (the greatest elementary school in the greatest town ever conceived of by man or deity), there was the story of Spaghetti Face.

Just a reminder that when I was growing up this guy, an undead heavily burn scarred child murderer with blades on his fingers who hunts people in their dreams, was pretty much a hero. Chew on that, won't you? (www.empireonline.com)

Just a reminder that when I was growing up this guy, an undead heavily burn scarred child murderer with blades on his fingers who hunts people in their dreams, was pretty much a hero. Chew on that, won't you? (www.empireonline.com)

Spaghtetti Face was a man who lived in the woods that lined two sides of the school grounds, so goes the story. He owed his name to some sort of facial deformity. I always sort of pictured him as having a face like Freddy Krueger but I have no idea if that was based on anything anyone ever told me or just my own conception of him. However, if you accidentally came upon him or he caught you during the times he hunted, he’d make you disappear forever. Old beat backpacks, random abandoned books, anything that could’ve belonged to a kid at some point that didn’t belong in the woods…it was all evidence that he was out there and still stealing and (presumably) killing kids.

The internet turns up only one reference to Spaghetti Face. It comes from a speech the Salutatorian of my high school class made at graduation. So I know, at least, that my overactive kid imagination didn’t build the whole thing; it was an actual shared artifact of being at school there in the mid eighties through the early 90’s. I do wonder if the legend continues now though.

In any case, Spaghetti just came up and once that happened, I knew I had to write about him. Or a version of him, anyway. So he was tweaked to fit the song better—the addition of the animals, being down by the stream—, given a more fitting name—The Fisherman—but it is really a story about Spaghetti Face.