31 October 2011

Just Like Grandma Used to Make

I was sitting on a barstool in Limpy's place just the other day when my brother Pat walked in and sauntered over to where I was perched. Patrick was good at this - he had taken a three-credit course in sauntering at Architect school (the place where they train young men and women  - and occasionally old men and women -  to be architects). The sauntering apparently comes in handy when one is surveying a work site. Pat tells me that the most highly-paid architects will spend no less than 60% of their time on a job actively sauntering. This is active sauntering, mind you, not that nonchalant sauntering that so many architects will regularly do between the drawing table and the wet bar (more on that on another day). Truth be known, Pat stays almost completely sober while designing. It is the other 23 hours of the day that we really need to worry about.


There I was, sipping my customary Beefeater Martini garnished with a live cicada, when Pat comes in with a sandwich-eating grin on his face. Not because this is a family-friendly story, mind you – it was purely because he had just been eating a sandwich, which he proceeded to tell me about.

Tom, I just had the most incredible experience,” he blurted when he got within earshot.

Wuzzon, bro?” I asked, feigning the best urban-contemporary dialect that I could muster.

Huh?” he asked, confused.

Nevermind, I said, “what was the experience?”

“Well, I just went to that German delicatessen over on 14th. It was amazing, absolutely amazing!”

The food, the beer, or the frauleins in pleather dirndels or whatever they call them?”

Well, I had a real eye-opener,” he replied, “I was hungry so I went to the cold meat case and was looking around, when this beefy delicatessen worker asked me – in broken English – if I wanted anything. Strangely enough, it wasn't broken with German...he had a distinctly Finnish accent, actually.”

Amazing,” I said, nursing my drink.

Yeah, and as it turned out, he spoke very little English, and I only know a little bit of Finnish.”

Fortunate for you that you know any Finnish,” I replied.

Yeah. Well, anyway, there were all these big heaping bowls of salads and plates of sliced meats, and I was pretty damned hungry. I had just been walking around a jobsite most of the morning.”

Sauntering, I bet,” I offered.

Well, sure,” Pat replied, “a bit. Anyhow, I saw this one big bowl of the creamiest looking stuff, with what I could tell were bits of bacon and green onions poking out of it. It looked great, so I asked for a taste. Matti, or whatever his name was obliged me with one of those little plastic sampling spoons...you know the type of spoon?”

Indeed I do.”

Well it was fricking magnificent, and I asked him how one would traditionally eat the stuff. He said 'on bread' and I figured I had discovered the ambrosial sandwich spread of the Germanic gods. I bought about a half of a pint of the stuff and a split kaiser roll.”

I like bakery items named after figures from the First World War, too,” I replied. I love Pershings.”

That's 'persians',” Tom,” Pat corrected.


Anyhow, I went outside and found a bench, where I made myself the most heavenly sandwich. I spread the creamy sandwich spread on with a little plastic knife like they give you at the deli. You know the type of knife?”

Indeed I do.”

Well,” he continued, “after I finished, I was just overwhelmed with this gastronomic delight, so I headed back to the deli.”

Uh-oh...here it comes,” I interjected.

Well, I go up to Frommi or whatever his name is, and ask him what they call this stuff. He looks at me, and without missing a beat, he says 'lard'.”


Lard. I was pretty horrified.”

Don't they have ordinances about things like that?” I asked.

Only in SoHo, apparently.”

“How do you feel?”

Great,” Pat answered, “I never felt better.”

Ish,” I said, “you better have a scotch anyway...kill some of that stuff in your gullet.”

Well, Tom, actually...I thought the stuff wasn't too bad,” he said, holding aloft a small, red 2-quart pail with a 'Krazy Adolf's Deli' sticker on it.”

Pat,” I said, “you didn't...”

It's good stuff, Tom...really.”

Pat's scotch showed up and I raised an eyebrow at him along with my glass. “Here's mud in your eye. And I think I'm busy for lunch the rest of this week.”

29 October 2011

Read Between the Lines

Zippa hit his prime and died. Hitting your prime and dying is the way to go about it, if you really stop to think twice about it, and after you hit your prime the rest is just going to be a lot of downhill finger-wagging, I-told-you-so's, and burnt muffins. Who the hell wants to wait around for a pile of burnt muffins? Certainly not Zippa.

Zippa hit his prime.

His lungs had stopped working several months before the day he actually dropped dead. People had gathered around his homestead with casseroles and vacuum tubes, offering both as if they might actually help. “Eat some of my casserole,” cried the women, bearing their hotdishes. “Here is a fresh 6L6B,” and “how about a new EL84?” called out the menfolk who assembled with the finest that tube technology had to offer. The introduction of any of the offerings into Zippa's system might have done him some good, but he chose to turn down all that was offered and he ceased breathing. His lungs squealed to a halt and the color of his skin began a slow transformation into a rich royal blue. The man who had travelled all the way from Fresno laid a 6B5Q at Zippo's feet and walked away, as did the woman from Watervliet after making a sacrificial offering of a pan of tuna-noodle hotdish.

So when the day came that poor Zippa actually hit his prime and died, there was little surprise. News networks carried live action footage of his death, and some independents actually set up websites with live streaming video of the event. Zippa stood motionless for the longest time outside of his paper-mache and ground beef hovel, singing songs of the Sudetenland and trimming his fingernails.

All the world cheered. Small children blew trumpets made of ram's horn. The skiers from Tommy Bartlett's “Hell-on-Water Show” made a flaming ten man pyramid. An honorary assembly of competitive eaters began working their way through several dozen buckets full of broasted chicken.

And Zippa died.

His body was taken first to the local Peruvian nail salon for the examination and subsequent removal of of his cuticles, which he had deemed to be left to science, owing to their fine quality. Zippa had existed for several years on a diet consisting almost entirely of peach gelatine dessert, causing his cuticles to be near-museum-quality. The cuticle technician saw fit to remove his kneecaps and ankles as well, just for good measure. Lacking cuticles, he was then trotted, in succession, to the ice arena, the furniture restoration shop, the bakery, and finally to Lulu-Mae's lingerie hut where Zippa was adorned in the finest satin, silk and lace undergarment. While the underwires in this garment poked and prodded his stiffening, cuticle-less form, they left him looking ever so alluring. Many of the pay-per-view sites that were filming the spectacle had to remind viewers that this portion of the show was not family friendly.

It made little difference.

Zippa's tarted-up body was placed on the point of a large metal spike and hoisted aloft over the city, where he could be seen by virtually all the nations of the world. From his vantage, Zippa could have seen all the way into Dutchess County, had he not been dead. A fine, fine day it was, and a fine, fine end for a man who had hit his prime.

The very next morning Zippa gingerly descended from the spike and shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs and bits of breakfast cereal from his synapses. “Ugh,” he exhaled, wobbling to the shop on the corner for a cup of coffee, “what a terrible f**king hangover.”

(Editor's note: this story, unlike the televised pay-per-view of Zippa's death, has been rendered entirely family-friendly for your convenience.)

27 October 2011

Get to Work, Dad...

My Australian Shepherd, Duke (yes, we all have pen names, don't we?), tries to pull me to the typewriter this morning.  Luckily, Duke had made a pot of very strong coffee to get us both going. Please stay tuned for more fresh flash.

25 October 2011

Poor Boy - Good 'Un

(Excerpted from The Pultenham County Sketchbook, by Tom Andrews)

Caddick Black was not, as you might have imagined, an ordinary pea-picker. Caddick was in possession of a talent – some would call it a power – that made it unimaginable that he should spend all his days in a dusty field. You sit down right there for just a bit and I might be able to explain this to you.

We'll see.

Back before they put in that big old containment facility down near Blanchers, Caddick's family owned a few acres and they farmed a bit, sure, and they had themselves some hogs. Caddick's little sister was a skinny little thing that got kind of funny in the head and got to the point where she wouldn't eat almost nothing at all. For months, the better part of a year, I bet, she ate nothing but saltine crackers with cinnamon sugar on them. Oh, my, yes, it sounds kind of nice, I suppose, but there ain't much that a few saltines and some cinnamon sugar gonna' do for a body, you know what I mean? Well, his sister just ate that and she kinda' withered away, I guess you might say. In the end it was pneumonia that got her, but we all knew that the pneumonia only came about because of that constant diet not fit for a sparrow, let alone a young girl.

After they buried Caddick's sister, Mrs. Black (their momma), well she kind of got a little funny too. Some say it had to do with guilt and remorse over her daughter dyin' so young, and really that would be reason enough, don't you think? Sure you do. Well, after Mrs. Black got taken away to that place in Cotton City for a good long rest, Caddick was alone, seein' as how his daddy had drunk himself into the grave a few years prior. Caddick was maybe 16 or 17 or so, but he really had no abilities other than being able to just keep himself alive.

But like I said, he had a talent. Or some might call it a power.

When the autumn rains came and that Black homestead started getting a little leaky and the muddy rains started pushin' hard through the door and through the windows and right into Caddick's heart, well, he kind of went missin'. Some said that they saw lights go on in the house every now and again over that winter, and Dyke Cartwright said he saw a woman dash in and out of the house and speed away in a waiting automobile, but aside from that, no one saw that Caddick Black.

Dyke bought the fields the next summer, but not before a certain Candace Black, a dirty dancer from Cotton City, came to empty that house out and set a torch to it. That old clapboard shack just burned to the ground like it was a dry palm frond. Burned to the ground along with a lot of memories, I imagine. Candace, a tall, tall dancer with a low voice and strong hands, drove back to Cotton City and disappeared from the Pultenham County radar screen forever. No one spoke about it much. No one really even raised an eyebrow, even if they were fairly certain what was goin' on.

I done heard that a couple years later the dancer named Candace got gunned down by an angry man in Cotton City, after the angry man realized what was goin' on. So I guess there were some who raised eyebrows and some who had to speak about it. But it was always the wrong folks who were doing the raisin' and the speakin'. The wrong folk got to realizin' the truth, as well.

The wrong folk as far as Caddick was concerned, leastaways.”

23 October 2011

The Reluctant Abattoir

In the autumn of Pearly's hatred (long after a certain day on a debris-strewn highway in Kuwait), the sax-man blew hard. Pearly gobbled cutlets and wished the days away, but the sax-man blew hard at Pearly's door.

Hard cutlets ain't what I hoped,” the hairy-tongued Pearly lamented every morning after breakfast, every afternoon after lunch, and every evening after dinner. “Hard cutlets make Pearly wish for innards the way innards make a soul wish for hard cutlets.”

Pearly always wished for the things that Pearly didn't have. We're all a bit of Pearly. Hard cutlets speak about the soul and leave the sax-man blowing, blowing, blowing.

In that autumn of the hatred, Pearly returned from war and held a rolled-up bus ticket in his hand. The walk from the bus station to a dirty Pearly house was longer than that road from Kafji and filled with twice as many ghosts. When that Pearly house looked different and was called “the mission,” that road seemed longer still. Kafji is miles from the mission. The mission is miles from home and the sax-man marks the miles by blowing hard upon its door.

A rolled up bus ticket, rolled to imitate a smoke. Pearly held it between lips and teeth and thought back upon the burned-up body with the cigarette hanging almost between its teeth. “Lips and assholes,” Pearly joked and called the body 'hat man'. Hat man was young – almost as young as Pearly, but without the dreams and without the rifle and without the orthodontically-straightened teeth and without the hatred of an autumn and without the sax-man blowing hard upon his door. Play, Pearly, play. Sing, Pearly, sing. Laugh, Pearly, and the whole world laughs at your hatred.

And so the wind blew hard and the dust blew hard and the sand blew hard and that sax-man blew hard at Pearly's door. The dust got in everywhere, and the sand got in everywhere but you knew that. When the wind blows hard the sax-man blows harder and so the mission looked dark and empty to the hairy-tongued Pearly-Pearly hater-man when the bus ticket was thrown away. Thrown away like a debris-strewn highway in Kuwait.

Thrown away like hat-man, holding a smoke between his teeth.

* * *

I threw a tiny kipper to Pete the Marine as he stood alone in the morning light. “Peter,” I called out, “eat your kipper and come inside. The war is over. We won in extra innings.”

Pete the Marine swallowed the Kipper whole and smiled a fishy smile at me. “Who was the winning pitcher?” he asked.

I confessed that each pitcher had a loss marked against him, but most of the Marines already knew this, Peter included. Peter feigned ignorance only in the vain hope that I might toss him another kipper. Peter was so well-behaved and clean-shaven, though, that I did toss him another one. He was worth it, and our victory in the war had acquired for us a large stockpile of kippers.

To the winners go the spoils, I guess.

20 October 2011


Old Runyon Scalawag tipped the scales at about 310 pounds and carried a meaty lump of a fist on the end of his gnarled and twisted left arm. “I only beat my woman when she's got it coming,” he would say to the adoring crowd that always gathered around him at the car wax factory. “I only beat her when she's been mean to me.”

Runyon Scalawag had no woman in his life. He had no one at all in his life. He once had a dog that masqueraded as a ferret, but the dog had run away from Runyon as soon as it had the opportunity. The dog was later seen doing stand-up at a resort somewhere in the Catskills. Much of his act revolved around Runyon, but that is another story.

The car wax factory was all that Runyon had. Runyon would get to the factory very early in the morning – much earlier than he needed to – and walk up and down the conveyor belt that made up his workspace, swinging that meaty lump of a fist at anything that looked dirty or out of place. “Gonna' whup you if you ain't careful,” he would snarl at the conveyor belt rollers and the switches and the fuse boxes, “you just watch yourself.” When the demotivational whistle blew at 8 o'clock, Runyon's conveyor belt would start to roll and an endless line of car wax containres would stream out toward him. Runyon would place a little round sponge pad on top of each container and the conveyor belt would carry it away to the next station where Runyon's colleague would place a clear plastic cover over the sponge and the wax. The final station on the conveyor was manned by Father Demetrios, the Greek priest, who would cense and bless the car wax container before it was shipped off to the car wax store.

Runyon would constantly daydream about having a friend. It wouldn't have to be a woman, Runyon thought. It could be anyone. He would even be happy if his old dog would retire from doing stand up and move back from the Catskills.

On a lonely Tuesday in a lonely September, Runyon succumbed to what people in the early twenty-first century called a “massive coronary.” This meant that Runyon's heart finally rejected the egg-and-cheese-and-bacon diet on which Runyon had lived for several decades and exploded in a fit of desperation. Runyon and his meaty lump of a fist tipped forward onto the conveyor belt and landed squarely on a car wax container upon which he had just placed a little round sponge pad. The fall jammed the pad into his mouth and Runyon's body was swept away with the car wax container on the conveyor belt. At the next station Runyon's colleague snapped a plastic cover over his lifeless form and at the final station Father Demetrios pronounced a blessing on poor Runyon before he left the factory.

Later that month in a car wax store in Binghamton, a Cocker Spaniel named Skippy who was playing a two week engagement at a nearby resort purchased an unusually heavy container of car wax. The meaty lump of a fist did nothing for the finish on Skippy's silver BMW.

Hmmm,” thought Skippy aloud, “this car wax smells like loneliness.”

19 October 2011

This Just In...

The coffee spilled everywhere and the black-haired, skull-headed man just smiled, because he knew that he would not have to clean it up. Quiet sheep-mouse lady grabbed a rag and a mop and a heapin' helpin' of desperation. Someone has to clean up the coffee, after all.

Skull-head moves slowly and sheep-mouse races, trembling all the while. High-volume lady plies her trade in telling Sheep-mouse how to wipe and how to mop and to feel desperate. Sheep-mouse trembles and Skull-head grins. Maybe Skull-head and High-volume lady know something Sheep-mouse does not. Desperation, perhaps, is the province of Sheep-mouse. Perhaps.

Sheep-mouse has to wring her rag and squeeze her mop and look into a crystal ball of quickly-fading dreams. Skull-head moves to a new vantage point, surveying his kingdom and giving High-volume lady reason to kvetch anew. Sheep-mouse wrings her rag and squeezes her mop.

In the meadow the snow falls softly and quietly. Sheep-mouse bleats and longs for home.

14 October 2011

Inside Danczyk's Bakery - back by popular demand.

On the outside chance that you already really, really hate me and never want me to come into this place again, may I perhaps dare to offend you just a wee, little bit?

When I came in here I was looking for a can of paint.  But not just a can of regular paint, nor a regular can of paint.  You might say that I was looking for an irregular can of very out-of-the-ordinary paint.  I wanted paint.

You knew exactly what kind of paint I wanted, you insolent fool.  I wanted the most unusually-shaped can filled with the most highly unorthodox paint...a paint that I could be proud of using in the strangest of ways.  If I wished to paint the town red I would have used the sub-par paint that you offered me, you mindless simp.  I was looking for paint that would allow the spirit to soar...paint that would take my soul to new heights of ecstasy and rapture.  Paint that would offer veritable orgasmic joy to the painter.  I wanted paint.

Yet when I asked for paint, THIS is what you gave me.  Look at it, will you.  This is a cylindrical can with a paper label and a paint smudge on the lid.  I suppose you were even going to give me a pine or ash so-called "stirrer-stick" to go along with it, and perhaps one of those little pry-bar churchkey thinggies.  You ass.  Paint of the sort I want will only deign to be contained within crystalline, tourmaline or spent uranium vessels in the shapes of internal organs and wrapped in naturally-tanned seal skin labels.  And as far as stirring goes, I would expect nothing less than a bucket-brigade paint container pass performed by a synchronized capoeira revue.  How dare you insult me.  A prybar?  You simple-minded oaf.  I would demand explosive bolts and a retina-scan entry and egress system, fool.


So this is where it stands.  I will pretend that I was offered no dodgey little can of crap-for-paint.  I will pretend that you did not smile as you handed me this foul excuse for a can of paint.  I will pretend that we could still be friends despite the injustice and pain that I have been caused to bear this day.  I will pretend that when I leave this establishment you will forget as well, but that you will not cease to echo your "mea culpas" against these four walls until the setting of the sun on this most unfortunate day.  Oh dreadful day!  Oh cursed iniquity!  For to redeem this coupon, you gave me paint!  Oh day, verily cursed!

I will leave you now.  Indeed, I shall leave.  I will take my search elsewhere, and when you think back on this episode, I do promise that you shall rue the day...you shall rue the day wherein to satisfy the most sublime desire for the most sublime paint you gave what one should never see.

I wanted paint.

10 October 2011

Another Little Taste of Balloon Heart

(Excerpted from the forthcoming Balloon Heartby Tom Andrews.)

“Hombre, I haven't really had a reason to say anything until now, so I just been lyin' low. Death is funny like that – mostly you get the chance to chill and not do much. Sometimes it becomes obvious that you gotta' say something or get something done.”

“So, what you gotta' get done now, Ed?

“Slow down, muchacho. I've got a lot to tell you, but I ain't gonna' tell you all at once. It might freak you out.”

“Like you just showin' up here don't freak me out enough?”

“Point to you, my friend. Nonetheless, we're gonna' take this a little at a time. Too much truth and it hits you just like too much cheap, oily gin. You know how it is. A little bit...just enough...and it works just fine – you go away feeling a little elated. Too much at a time and it hits you hard – just like your PG hit those women and kids in the concrete womb back there.”

“Women and kids?!” I cried, “What the f**k you talking about? Those were Threats...!”

“Well, paisano, maybe you should  forget I said anything and just take heed of my earlier advice to you this fine, fine day. Happy Hanukkah, boychik.” With that, Ed's ghost dissolved into thin air. I stood there, staring into the mist, half expecting him to reappear at any moment. All I faced was a gray, gray sky over a pock-marked landscape, strewn with concrete rubble and here and there a little bit of circuit board and wire.

(Please keep on the lookout for the release of this very strange work of fiction.)

09 October 2011

Sunday Morning, Near the Bethesda Fountain

My artist friend David held out his bloody hand and waved it in my face. “What the hell am I supposed to do with THIS?” he demanded, waving it to and fro and splashing blood on my jacket.

I dunno...chalk it up to experience and try to be...I dunno...”inspired” by it? Why the hell are you asking me?”

You're the gobshite who is always going on about symbolism and all that crap. You writers are all a little bent. I figure you could do something with this.”

Well, Davey-O, you, sir, are the visual artist. I would assume you could do something yourself. Wrap a piece of raw codfish around it, strip nude, recite the ingredients on a jar of mayonnaise...I dunno...call it performance art. Wasn't that essentially what your “Cheese and Loathing” installation piece last spring consisted of?”

David blushed a little bit. “Go to hell, Andrews. This is serious. That damned circular saw was supposed to be just a prop. How was I to know that the switch on the damned thing worked?”

Well, this is a good lesson for all of us. I think that...”

See, there you go. I damn near get my hand taken off by a meat slicer on steroids and you're gonna' go and turn it into some kind of moral tale. Can't you just tell me what the hell I do now?”

Davey-O, I suggest a big glass of ice-cold gin with a tasty little olive and a nice trip to the emergency room. Maybe not in that order. The nurses will give you a lollipop if you behave yourself and don't make rude gestures with your good hand.”

Fair enough,” replied David, smiling a bit, “that seems reasonable. Still, you're probably right...there must be something to be learned from this.”

David...perhaps the lesson is that when you are learning to juggle you should just stick to chainsaws. You should have known those extension cords would get in the way.”

05 October 2011

Humble Access (as told by Jeb)

(Excerpted from The Pultenham County Sketchbook, by Tom Andrews)

Patience don't know what Patience can't see. Patience had to spend near almost every minute of the day just wishin' she were closed up in her room, didn't she? Yessir, now, she did. Patience tried to ruin that poor Switchback boy and the whole county knew it, but the whole county knew, oddly enough, how good that Switchback boy was. And is. And probably always going to be.

They was in high school, if I recall. Peter was a good-lookin', smart and athletic boy and involved in the DeMolays – only a handfull of boys were, if I remember correctly. Very unpopular group.  Peter spent a lot of his free time organizing things, too. Food drives, nursing home visits in Cotton City – that sort of thing. He really had no time for messing around and that was what got Patience's goat, I believe.

That Switchback boy had turned down her advances a number of times, for she was a dark child, something not right and something not all together clean about her. She wore clothing that was just on the verge of revealing too much and she wore thick, dark makeup to school. Some said that she had a tattoo that she had placed somewhere on her that the modest eye would not see – a tattoo she got on a trip to Cotton City - a trip taken with an older man who drove a fast car and liked to drink whiskey. Patience had more than whiskey and tattoos that she was keeping a secret, I can only imagine.

She wanted Peter Switchback. She wanted to possess that boy and she had nothing but carnal desire for him. A girl of 17. Such tragedy. Such shame. She chased him, in a manner of speaking, for months, and the whole thing came to a head and popped like a ripe pimple on an afternoon in early spring. Popped just like a ripe pimple when that girl came cryin' and huffin' and puffin' and walkin' out of the annex of the public school after hours on a half day of school, walking into the teachers' meeting room, walking in half barefoot and with a torn dress revealing her left breast, a scrape on her one knee and crying out to the half-dozen educators present and claiming that Peter Switchback had got a hold of her and done unspeakable things to her and he was a monster and that someone should call Sheriff Morgan and how it was that she was so forsaken as to now be defiled and that Peter Switchback must suffer and pay for this. For she had seen Peter alone in the library and knew he would not have an alibi and would be unable to answer her charges.

Poor Patience. But Patience don't know what Patience can't see, and it was poor Patience who had torn her own dress and scraped her own knee and kicked off one shoe and raised her own ruckus in order to vilify that fine young man who was on that very afternoon actually taking a timed exam for some national academic merit society. As truth bore out, Peter had completed the exam in record time with a near-perfect score and immediately gone out for a peach phosphate with Mr. Withers the biology teacher and track coach. Peter was blissfully unaware of the things being said about him while he and Mr. Withers discussed his chances for a bright future at a state university.

I saw Patience just the other day, working at the discount store in Cotton City. I believe she is with child again, although she still ain't married as far as I know and as far as folk tell me. I couldn't bring myself to ask her face to face, as I just don't know her that well. Some folk turn down every chance for good to do that which is most likely to bring them pain, while others just seek out pain to avoid doing good. But you know what they say. Patience don't know what Patience can't see.

04 October 2011

Easy 7103

Mr. Marrowsuck lifted his hand high over all creation and made the Sign of the Jimmy with a pale, trembling hand. It was such a rude and forceful gesture that many (including the lip-wiggler) were offended and turned away or averted their eyes. The lip-wiggler even tried ducking his head in the sand, but as there was no sand to be had in the sterile, stainless steel environment, he quietly tucked his head under his own arm and wrapped it with a moist grey flannel. Those moist flannels are good for the gout, for demonic possession, and for cockroach infestations. Sometimes it is hard to tell which is which, but luckily the treatment is similar.

And Mr. Marrowsuck pronounced the words we all longed to hear – the words we knew were coming and the words that the lip-wiggler knew would set him free. The words dropped out of his mouth like a chain of golden nuggets and landed with equal weight upon all the assembled nations of the world. The words fell on the lip-wiggler and caused his antennae to shiver with the anticipation of freedom. Up and down the lip-wiggler moved...up and down, in and out of his own skin, exuding a white, creamy protein from his cloaca and making a general mess on the clean stainless steel floor. The lip-wiggler blushed with shame.

After Mr. Marrowsuck had thus spoken, he turned to face the adoring crowds – crowds that were strangely absent here in this sterile, stainless steel environment (for this solitary confinement was purely for the benefit of Mr. Marrowsuck and the lip-wiggler and there was not another soul around for miles. Perhaps hundreds of miles). A woman's voice called out the most sweet and tender words in Spanish and it was as though an endless series of gongs had sounded. “Carrera, carrera, carrera!” called the woman's voice.

Mr. Marrowsuck let a little, tiny tear roll down his cheek. “Carrera, carrera, carrera,” he called back.

Carrera, carrera, carrera,” called the lip-wiggler, cleaning up the last smears of the white, creamy protein.

In three-part harmony the three of them sang these words to a plaintive tune. “Carrera, carrera, carrera,” sounded through the sterile, stainless steel environment. Words so sweet and a tune so moving that even the lip-wiggler felt a tiny tear come to his eye. Mr. Marrowsuck lifted the 11 ½ 3E wingtip that was attached to the end of his leg (his foot still encased within its leather confines) and brought it down on the lip-wiggler's head, crushing his bony little skull and killing him instantly. Mr. Marrowsuck inspected the smear of creamy white protein on the bottom of his shoe and then scraped it off as best he could, scraping and scraping at the stainless steel floor.

Carrera, carrera, carrera,” called the woman's voice.

Carrera, carrera, carrera,” called back Mr. Marrowsuck. He lifted his hand high over all creation and made the Sign of the Jimmy.

Carrera, carrera, carrera.”

03 October 2011

Fancy Red

Cackle hardy, and the whole world cackles back at the pimples on your leg, Sugar-dumpling,” said the wheezing elderly matron to the sugar-dumpling in front of her. The sugar dumpling had a pale face...complected much like a repeatedly spanked buttock, pale but flushing cherry red and having two watery pustules for eyes.

And Sugar-dumpling wore a crew cut.

Sugar-dumpling's black hairs looked almost like graphite shavings against his pimply white skin, and the wheezing elderly matron reached out to caress that buttock-like skin on his cheek. “There, there, Sugar-dumpling, Gramma's chilluns don't gotta' worry for the takin'...I set you up and you just don't worry.” The wheezing elderly matron prepped the inside of the sugar-dumpling's right arm, slapping it red, until it resembled his cheek which resembled a buttock that had been repeatedly spanked. She slipped the fine needle under his skin and into a delicate vein. She released the tourniquet and sugar-dumpling released a sigh as he felt the chemicals trace a cool path through his arm and along their merry way to his heart and his brain and his bowels and his chameleon-flavored skin.

Pisser never 'magined I could juggle, Gramma',” said Sugar-dumpling over watery lips that glistened in the light of a bare 75-watt bulb. “Pisser wanted alla' balls. Pisser got de' balls. I ramm' 'em in his 'froat, Pisser.”

There, there, Sugar-dumpling, don't you fret. Gramma got you all set up right nice. You gonna' just take your medicine and smile nice for the camera, hidey-ho?”

Hidey-ho, gramma,” replied Sugar-dumpling, a broad smile coming to his face. “Hidey-ho.”

The wheezing elderly matron turned the dial on the climax-o-meter until it read “be concerned” and its read-out needles did fancy-pants dances and lights flickered on and off like a meth addict's libido. Sugar-dumpling made a kissing sound and soiled his trousers. A trickle of urine made its way down the leg of the elf-kindled wooden chair and pooled on the hard-hearted linoleum.

Hidey-ho, Gramma,” said Sugar-dumpling as the wheezing elderly matron cocked the hammer on the revolver and pressed it tight up under his jaw. Sugar-dumpling swore he could feel the cold barrel almost pressing through his skin and against the bottom of his tongue.

Hidey-ho, Sugar-dumpling.”

And Sugar-dumpling wore a crew cut.