Grand Master Skytrain
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Grand Master Skytrain (February 29, 1927 - September 11, 2001) was a bhangra rap star, best known in Mexico as the little guy in the pickle jar on the seventh-to-the-last commercial for the series Parker Lewis Can't Lose.
G.M. Skytrain was born Herschel Maximovitch Bhuti, the eleventy-first child of Mr. James Worthington "Freek-Nasty" Bhuti and Ms. Bhangneesh Rajput Schmitz, impoverished Ukrainian farmers from Saskatchewan. In a 1973 interview with "57 Minutes", Skytrain's brother Saggi Bhuti tearfully described the difficulty of their early lives, including a moving anecdote about how he and Skytrain would have to hand-pick millions of delicate tendrils of canola (earning less than a cent a kilogram!) to earn the money to buy hemp fabric from the general store for clandestine smoking behind the barn.
Skytrain was known in nearby Moose Jaw as a melancholy child, often wandering aimlessly through the fields of canola surrounding his family's subterranean mud home, pondering life and the nature of reality. Since the young Bhuti was a sufferer of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, he would cover his eyes with what he called "peep-stones", and write down his daily ponderances in a code nobody in his small Saskatchewan town could decipher.
Youth in Asia
One day, at the age of 13, while his parents weren't looking, Skytrain snuck out of their horse-drawn buggy and entered Regina's R'jenitals International Airport. Fascinated by the airplanes, he snuck past a ticket clerk and climbed aboard, sniffing the seats, touching the air-sickness bags, and rubbing his fingers wildly all over the windows. Other passengers did not notice the young Skytrain's amazement as the plane took off, bound for Thimphu, Bhutan.
In his autobiography, Dave's Way, Skytrain described his first opinion of the airplane: "It was like a train," he later recalled, "a train... in the sky." That was the day that he officially decided to adopt the name Skytrain. (It was only many years later, after he had become notorious in the chess club at the local S&M bar, that Skytrain gained for himself the title of Grand Master.)
Once in Bhutan, Skytrain did not know what to do. In a classic display of pluck and ingenuity, he pulled wood from dumpsters and built a small but tasteful raft, which he expertly navigated -- alone -- down the mighty rivers of Bhutan. At the end of his voyage, quite unexpectedly, he arrived in the precise spot where he was -- Bikaner, a small city in the northwestern portion of Rajasthan, in India.
Skytrain Learns to Singh
Singh was initially amazed by Skytrain's massive collection of notebooks containing stunningly-written bhangra lyrics inscribed in perfect grammatical Punjabi. Skytrain explained to Singh that these were his childhood ruminations on the meaning of existence, written down on paper years ago when he had "peep-stones" over his eyes. With help from Singh, these were eventually turned into Skytrain's world-famous bhangra hits, such as Dhola Bhujalada Ve and Sheikhen Ma Bhuti.
Singh, realizing this young man's amazing powers, promptly stored the young Skytrain in a small but tasteful rattan prison deep inside Singh's massive estate.
This imprisonment, while confining, opened the world to young Skytrain. Mere association with the name of Sukhwinder Singh is enough to immediately transform anyone into an international bhangra star, and that is precisely what occurred. Under the expertly-crafted name Uji Nagalingam, Skytrain learned the basics of bhangra, and performed in many of the swankest nightclubs across Rajasthan and the Punjab. Singh took a 30% commission off the top of all of Skytrain's earnings, but the rest was flung into a field and left for Skytrain to gather for himself using only his teeth. He did, and became quite wealthy in the process.
One day, when he was fabulously wealthy, he paid off the large Bhutanese man guarding his small rattan cage, and escaped into Bikaner's backstreets. There, he met up with the Backstreet Boys, who taught him everything they knew about being vapid. This would later pay off for Skytrain's career. At the moment, though, the Backstreet Boys also paid for Skytrain's plane ticket back to his native Saskatchewan.
Return to Canada
On October 31, 1997, Skytrain's plane landed at R'jenitals International Airport in Regina, Saskatchewan, under a deep-blue harvest moon.
The entire town had turned out to see their local boy returning from such a distant location. Skytrain did not disappoint. Grabbing an airport employee's PA system microphone, quivering his mighty pelvis, and then raising the microphone closer to his mouth, he unleashed a torrential stream of bhangra that the world had never seen before and has not ever seen since that time. Witness Lurleen McCracken described it as "a bigger deal than when they tore down the old grain elevator, don'tcha know, eh".
The Bhangra Incident (as it was soon known throughout Canada) spread his fame far and near. Soon, people from across Canada thrust their way into Regina, wishing to see the bhangra superstar. Meanwhile, five miles south of the Canadian border, nobody had ever heard of Skytrain. Things continued that way pretty much until his death in 2001.
Once famous, Skytrain relocated to Surrey, British Columbia. His groupies built a small but tasteful village of cardboard boxes up and down the nearby mountains.
Skytrain died on September 11, 2001, during a freak PB&J explosion in his meth-crack house in Surrey. Despite the presence of fourteen metric tonnes of meth, crack, and (the finished product) meth-crack, police found a charred (yet still smouldering) peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the kitchen that was believed to have caused the explosion.
After five years of legal wrangling -- memorable for the sight of the prosecution and defence, clad in frilly spandex line-dancing outfits, simultaneously huffing kittens to the beat of Nine Inch Nails classic "Closer" -- his estate was bequeathed to his loving hoes, Betty and Betty², who now run the Skytrain Memorial Meth-Crack Institute, a nationally-recognized educational facility specializing in the production of meth-crack.
The meth-crack house itself (known locally as the G.M. Skytrain Memorial Meth-Crack House), a lovely faux-Victorian home believed to have been built entirely from "peep-stones", is currently on the B.C. Register of Historic Places. It can be toured every September by appointment if you call the correct random phone number.