Looks like I'm going to have a hard time updating until I get these book projects into some kind of shape I'll be happy with. So expect updates every other day or so until I'm satisfied with my other work. I'll keep posting, but it may be kinda free-form for a short spell. Which is code for "I'll be posting random shit totally unrelated to this blog's actual purpose because I've got files and files of insane bullshit on my computer that's never going to get published anyway so I'll use this blog as a dumping ground for it". You're welcome! Today, I give you a short story I wrote a couple years or so ago (and also posted on an old blog). And, contrary to what you might think, I was totally sober at the time. I think I'll title this one "Sheep Bleatin' At The Town Meetin'" because it fits as well as anything else. Enjoy.
Chapter the First: Cuba Gooding, Jr. vs. the Low-Fat Milk Lobby
My father was a stupid and corpulent man. This is in no way germane to the rest of the story, but it seems like a Dickensian opening line, or what I imagine would qualify as Dickensian, seeing as how I've never read any of his worthless pap. But I digress. Let's begin anew:
Chapter the First: But Daddy, That's My Rectum!
I'd gotten his name from my sister, who'd used his services in the past - in fact, shortly before the panicked phone call I’d just received from her in which she confided, among other things, that her left ventricle had evolved into a miniature rendering plant and her belief that Paul Newman had begun substituting hydrocyanic acid for his salad dressing.
"You know - to kill us. It's tasteless and odorless, see."
"No it isn't", I belched (hamburger). "It tastes like almonds."
"Sure, that's what he wants you to think," she whispered ominously. It was my fondest memory of her (which only illustrates how much I loathed her), and also the last time I'd ever speak to her alive.
She'd told me his name was Crazy-Ass Hat Man, which I'd assumed to be the feverish imaginings of her drug-addled brain until I arrived at the door to his office and noted the inscription:
Crazy-Ass Hat Man
Please Refrain from Staring at the Aforementioned Crazy-Ass Hat
I turned the knob. While I was at it, I grabbed his door handle and twisted it, too. Ahahaha! See what I did there? It's called "poetic license", fuckers.
I entered and approached the secretary, who sat like a lump of shit behind her worm-eaten desk. She introduced herself telepathically as Mrs. Aureola Plopbottom, then motioned for me to head toward her boss’s inner office, a task which I accomplished chiefly by using my feet. When I walked in, he was on the phone, in the middle of a conversation.
“…Because sometimes daddy’s balls hurt, Jimmy!”, he wheezed. He noticed me and hung up without saying goodbye.
I stood there for a moment, allowing my enzymes to catalyze whatever bullshit chemical reactions they needed to catalyze, when I noticed it: On his head sat a large hat in the shape of a flaccid penis. I can't be sure, because the door had admonished me not to stare, but it seemed the hat was made of actual flesh - the wrinkles, the foreskin - all were far too detailed to be the work of a mere craftsman, even a Filipino.
As I intentionally looked him in the eye, the penis hat spit out, from the pee-hole in its head, an ornately wrapped toffee - which I would later discover, in the privacy of my own tool shed, was an exquisite confectionery delight.
"What the fuck do you want, bitch?", he purred, and I knew from that moment forward that I would end up falling in love with him.
"Well, sir," I cooed, "I'd like to retain your services. I need you to investigate something for me."
"No shit, Sherlock," he growled, then grew somber, then giddy, then obstreperous, then noisome.
"Well, what is it?" He clucked. "I'm due for my morning urinalysis, boy."
"I need you to..to..." Dare I say it out loud? Dare I even dream it? I must have grappled with this quandary for seconds – nay, minutes – nay, seconds – before arriving at an emphatic (and mildly flamboyant) “Yes!” to both questions.
"I need you to find out why my wife is mad at me." Finally, I’d given voice to the inner demons that had been driving me half-mad for nearly eighteen excruciating minutes! A feeling of sweet release swept over me, which, I must confess, had rather undesirable consequences when it came to my bowels (which was true of most situations). Nevertheless, now I had made concrete my anguish; put my crippling fears out into the world; given birth to my dilemma through the metaphorical vaginal canal that was my mind.
"Well, dipshit, why don't you ask her?" He spewed.
Why didn’t I ask her? What, was I a detective now? How should I be expected to intuitively ascertain the arcane methods employed by licensed investigators? If I had thought to ask her, maybe I'd be the one sitting behind an affordable yet functional desk from IKEA with a huge cock on my head. He continued:
"I'm not a goddamn mind reader, son."
"And I'm not a moray eel", I retorted, secretly gleeful at my display of Wildean cleverness. Though, as I would discover on my deathbed years later in Borneo, I was part moray eel, on my maternal grandfather's side.
"Then fuck you, boy", he shot back - literally; he'd pulled a revolver from his desk drawer and fired it straight at my chimp-like nostrils.
Chapter Deux: A Sale of Two Titties
Thanks to my debilitating harelip, I was prone to occasional (every 36.8 seconds) sneezing fits; as it happened, I suffered from one of these precisely at the moment Crazy-Ass Hat Man fired his gun, and I discharged my nasal contents with such force - and yet goodwill - that the bullet was diverted from its target (my chimp-like nostrils) and was instead sent rocketing out the open window, from which point it eventually ended up striking a Saab mechanic in Lexington, KY, killing him instantly (or, more accurately, killing him a second time, as it is a firmly established fact that residents of Kentucky already exist in a state of walking death).
Of course, I didn't actually see this happen; when he pulled the trigger, I instinctively thrust my hands up to cover my life-giving eyebrows. But I was able to deduce what had happened with the aid of a $1.98 slide rule and a box of Extra-Moldy Cracker Jacks. And really, it was the only logical explanation. Especially for that hick mechanic dying.
When I removed my hands from my face, I was titillated to see that we were no longer in his office; we now sat across from each other in the booth of a late 19th century ice cream parlor, decorated in the style of which Mary J. Blige was so fond. Also, his hat had now taken the form of a visual representation of ennui (or perhaps it was malaise; the whole thing was a bit impressionistic, if you ask me).
Chapter Four – Fuck Chapter Three!
Somewhere in the distance, a lone seagull farted.
A waiter - who was, from all available evidence, either on drugs or Haitian (as if there’s a difference) – roller-skated up to our table, a method of locomotion I found somewhat peculiar as the floor was covered in thick shag carpeting.
"So, what can I get you two buck-toothed dingleberries?", he asked, adding, "Our special today is giant turtle face, which is $395 a plate."
"Hm", Crazy-Ass pondered. "How is that served?"
"Well," the waiter replied, visibly annoyed, "first the staff takes turns peeing on it, then we throw it into a kiln and incinerate it, after which we scrape the ashes into a bowl of apple cider, which we leave outside for the neighborhood rats."
"I'll take it!" Hat Man ejaculated.
"Well," I piped up, "I guess I'll have the sloppy puppet, please."
”Fucking homo," the waiter hissed. It was apparent to anybody with a functioning liver that he hadn’t been breastfed as an infant. I attempted to mollify him by steering the conversation to a more neutral topic.
"You know, I was thinking of moving to Laos," I opened.
"Yeah, I'm sure you'll really fit in there, you vomitous pig", he parried, and then dropped to all fours and rooted around the plush carpet, oinking and grunting and occasionally surfacing with a truffle poised on his upper lip. After two hours of this behavior, he rose to his rollerskates and calmly glided to the kitchen to give the chef our order.
Ass Hat regarded me as one would regard a testicle sandwich (which is to say: with tender longing), then blurted, "Who are you again?"
I found I had no answer for this query. It was such a complex issue, who a person is: was it personality that defined the self, or level of consciousness/self-awareness, or genetic makeup, or body odor? It was indeed a question that had stumped philosophers and theologians for decades. Also, I couldn't remember my name.
"It doesn't matter", he opined, and then reached up and pulled the zipper located on his forehead, the rubber mask that I’d taken for his face falling amongst the truffles, his true identity revealed in a most shocking and yet hackneyed fashion.
To my surprise and tumescence, Crazy-Ass Hat Man was, in reality, my wife, who we'll call Keith, both to shield her against identity theft and as an homage to David Cassidy, whom most of us remember for his portrayal of Keith Richards, guitar player for the Bay City Rollers. I quite understandably shat myself when confronted with this alarming new twist (figuratively, of course; and also, to a greater extent, literally). Then, unable to think of anything better to do, I fainted.
When I awoke, I was on a farm - or, more accurately, lying on my back in a pasture on a farm, right underneath a donkey who had chosen that moment to empty its bladder (or whatever bladder-like organ it is that the hybrid freaks possess). Ah, but that’s fate for you, O Best Beloved - so whimsical, and yet, in other respects, such a shrewish whore. I thought it had been reasonable to assume that the days of donkeys urinating on my face had ended after that glorious summer at camp in ‘84, but I should have remembered the old witticism: never assume, because it makes a stupid fucking dick out of you and me.
I arose and took in my surroundings: basically a whole lot of jack shit punctuated here and there by a rickety old house or a cow or a particularly unpoetic blade of grass. On the dirt driveway leading to the manservants' quarters I spotted Keith in a Laura Ingalls Wilder bonnet and leopard-skin leotard. She was waving frantically to me, which I immediately recognized as the universal signal to amble up to her as leisurely as possible. When I got within earshot, she screeched:
"Goliath, come a-quick, for I hath been tainted and befouled!"
"My poor, dear pork rind! Rest assured I shall move heaven and earth to ease your undeserved suffering!" I emoted. Well, what I really said was, "What the fuck are you babbling about?" But I'm sure she was able to read the tender concern that was lurking between the lines.
She thrust her hands at me, thumbs upraised, and bawled, "What are these?"
"Those are your thumbs, you dumb bitch," I mewed. I made sure to modulate the tone of my voice on the last word so that it would be obvious I used the term as a gender-neutral insult, lest she accuse me of misogyny when we appeared on Montel next week.
"They're monstrous, simply monstrous!", she wailed; then, abruptly, her retarded tears ceased flowing, and she gazed at me with a mix of wonderment and horror and bulimia. "Goliath, right beneath thine lower lip, I do spy a hornet's nest a-brewin'!"
I glanced down and noted that, indeed, a hornet's nest had burst through my skin; hornets buzzed about my face, the wind from their incessant flapping wings tickling my sensitive nose hairs in a not unpleasant manner.
"Don't worry", I admonished, "I'll just go out to the barn. I've got a collection of spare chins in there."
I turned to walk away, the hornets dancing a sublime ballet in front of me, grouping together to form symbols such as exclamation points and direction arrows - just like in old Warner Bros. Cartoons from the 1700s - when I heard a pitiful squeak arising from the ground behind me. I turned sharply like a fat man in need of a toilet and saw there in the dirt a baked potato (no chives) wearing Keith’s bonnet and leotard. One of its pores gaped open and it spoke to me in a high-pitched nasal whine not unlike Michael Stipe's during the excruciating verses of "Everybody Hurts".
"Goliath, I beseech thee, don't go into the barn! Look what it's doing to me! My hips have swollen; and furthermore, I done been transmogrified into a tater!"
I could only pucker my body’s numerous sphincters in disgust at this development. How could we hope to appear on the distinguished Mr. Williams's talk show with her in such a state? And how would she share the driving duties on our road trips to Bogota? I stared down blankly at her while the hornets erupting from my chin made a giant question mark before flying off en masse towards the barn. Like the lone, forlorn pickle left in the briny jar, I wearily followed them.
"You fool!" I heard from behind me; I twirled around and was confronted with Hat Man once again. This time his hat was in the form of a leprechaun-sized Karl Marx sitting on a toadstool and obsessively licking his fingers. The mini-Marx lifted his head to glare at me, then removed his hands from his mouth and held them up for me to see: no thumbs.
"You won't find what you're looking for in the barn, I'm afraid", Hat Man proclaimed triumphantly.
"And why is that?" I bleated. I caught a whiff of something that reminded me of my childhood, but I couldn't summon the specific memory to which it was attached.
"Because there is no barn", he cackled; I turned to look, and fuck me in the ear with a fish stick if he wasn't right.
"And furthermore", he continued with jovial hostility, "None of this is actually happening."
"And why is that?" I bleated yet again (for I had run out of alternate descriptive forms of speech at this point). It was as if a highly accelerated version of Nietzsche's concept of the Eternal Return was playing itself out in my speech patterns, except for the fact that there were actually no similarities between the two whatsoever.
"Because you don't exist, and you never have", he beamed.
I had to think about it for a moment, and I was forced to admit it sure did explain a lot.