Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Our Friend Hansel...

Hans Buetow
Hans BuetowHans Buetow was born in familial exile in Greifswald, German, a sleepy town some 274 miles from his ancestral home of Bytow, Poland. His early childhood, being dominated by his time studying under the tutelage of his punitively blinded acrobat parents, was spent divided between performing for the local musikalischer Zirkus and fishing for coins dropped into the local Ryck river by hopeful lovers. As the only sighted member of the high-wire act by his parents and four naturally blind brothers, Hans served as the acrobatic musical and sound accompaniment, learning to accurately imitate the sounds of over 700 birds, fowl, and reptiles. Each call, used in dramatic and quick succession and mixed seamlessly into a chanting song cycle, indicated with great specificity to his family where each member was in relation to the other, allowing the sight-impaired performers to execute complex, death-defying acrobatics to the wonder of the seated assembly. At age 13, as the family was nearing the mid-point of the act, Hans was overwhelmed with the sudden urge to sneeze. Unable to control his natural instincts, he replaced the call of the Eryx colubrinus (used as an indication of distance at the apex on the fourth pass) with a stifled "achoo", a sound that almost exactly imitates the sound of the Amazalia yucatanenensis (a later call indicating the extreme lower limb proximity needed for the impressive Lochtenar maneuver). The tragic resulting reactions by his brothers Otto and Klaus marked the self-imposed end of Hans' Zirkus career and the commencement of his life-long dedication to redemption through alternative forms of music. He remains, to this day, unable to climb to a height beyond 10ft or to whistle.

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