29 March 2012

A Fellow Traveler

It's all just so much desperation,” said the Plumber, scratching his eyes and coughing, “just look at it out there.” He motioned out his window. “Look at all that garbage. Kids don't have anything to hope for now these days. If I were eighteen, I'd probably pierce every cheek on my body.”

I took a deep whiff of the Plumber, and tried to identify the complex odor. It was perhaps a part bacon, a part Old Spice, a little bit of newsprint, and a finish of strong, black coffee. He smelled of my grandfather, in a way, and of that whole generation in another. The Plumber first died in 1918, as a young rifle-carrying man in France. The next time he died was of a broken heart when his own son was listed as missing in action somewhere in the Philippines back in '43. After that he died several times from a number of ailments, most notably of criticism in '53, fatigue in '59, and another broken heart in '68. The Alzheimer's got him sometime in the 1970's, and then he died a rather dramatic death at the hands of a gas turbine in 1994 (this death went unreported, however). In 2003 he died a second death from fatigue, and since his most recent death in 2010 (from consumption, of all things, but perhaps not the consumption you are thinking of), he has been mostly healthy.

But he smelled this particular day of bacon and Old Spice.

Some people talk to me about hope, you know, but I never know quite what to say. I saw hope raise up its head one two many times, only to get it shot off. I don't think I can fault anyone for feeling a little despondent.” The Plumber lit another cigarette and put it to his lips. He inhaled deeply and then picked an errant bit of tobacco from his tongue.

The Plumber reasoned with the sky, and the sky cooperated. “Rain on my garden, for I need my lettuce,” prayed the Plumber. “I grow lettuce as did the Roman legions.” He then turned to address me. “Did you know that the Roman soldiers carried lettuce seed with them when they marched? They did this because lettuce grows quickly and if they were in one place for even just a short time they could grow some fresh produce. I grow my lettuce even though I'm not going anywhere.”

Plumber saw it all play out and his serial deaths did not distract him. He was distracted for a brief, three-day period in 1983, but it all worked out just fine.

But I tell you again,” said the Plumber, “kids today just don't have anything to hope for. There is no real future, most of them won't have real jobs, and the men will not learn how to be real men.”

Real men?” I asked.

You know what makes a real man? It takes integrity, fidelity and a desire for truth.” The Plumber looked real serious. “What a man does when he is alone – that kind of shows you what his true character is, and a real man will act with as much virtue when he thinks no one is watching as he will when he is on the public stage. Real men act with integrity, fidelity and wisdom. I used to loathe men who were not real men. Now I just feel sorry for them and I pity them.”

The Plumber reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, old-fashioned framing square. He gently but firmly pushed the corner of it into my chest. “Let that be in your memory, OK?”

OK,” I agreed.

He pulled back the square. “It's bad for those kids today, but even worse for those who do nothing about it, and infinitely worse for those who don't even care. You know what I mean?”

I confessed to the Plumber that I only understood a little.

That's all right,” he said, “it comes with time.”

I nodded my head in agreement.

Just remember, though,” he said, “that for us the thing called 'time' is a one-way journey that we cannot reverse."

I looked up, and the starry-decked heavens above were a pure, pure blue.  

26 March 2012

“Onni” – In Which I Eat a Yam

It has something to do with karma or purgatory or one of those doctrines. I think maybe it could be Lutheran,” said my brother Pat, as we sat in the city's newest Somalian diner. We were eating something that might have been yams.

Patrick, I very highly doubt that either karma or purgatory is a Lutheran doctrine,” I countered. I only call him 'Patrick' when I'm irritated.

Tom, you only call me 'Patrick' when you're irritated. What's wrong?”

I twiddled a piece of yam on my fork and said nothing.

Heeeeeeyyyy...little brother...heeeyyyyyyy...c'mon...remember what I used to do to you to get you to talk when you were pouting as a little kid? Do I need to do that right now?”

For God's sake, Pat...you are not going to give me a 'swirlie'. I don't even think they have indoor plumbing here, anyway.”

No...I was talking about the way I would tempt you with a fortune cookie...remember? I would write little fortunes and stick them in there to cheer you up...remember?”

Pat, I only remember the one time you scared the hell out of me with one of those. I thought there was someone in the crawl space the rest of the night.”

Well, Mister Smarty-pants,” he said, reaching into his jacket, “it just so happens that I have one of your favorite fortune cookies right here.”


Really. This is a cast-off fortune cookie. An abandoned fortune cookie. I might call it a left-behind fortune cookie if it wouldn't remind me of those hideous Kirk Cameron movies so much.”

I studied the fortune cookie in his hand carefully. It looked fairly normal, aside from a baked-in UPC code and a little bit of pocket lint. There was no sign of tampering, however.

So you didn't actually prepare the fortune in this one, I assume?”

Well,” he said, blushing just a bit, “I helped out with it...it was kind of a fringe benefit.”

What do you mean by that, pray tell?”

Well, Tom, you remember that project I did in China last year? The building that's shaped like a huge waffle iron that houses employees from the factory where they make all of those miniature waffle irons that are given as souvenirs to tourists who visit the factory where they make the full-size waffle irons?”

I do vaguely remember that.”

There you have it,” he said, popping a little bit of yam into his vinyl-lined vest pocket, “right next door to that place was its sister factory – it was this place where they made, of all things, fortune cookies. As a little bonus they let me come in and write a couple of fortunes for them. It was something I've always wanted to do.”

We all have our dreams, I guess,” I said with some condescension in my voice.

Hey, I seem to recall that in grade school you wanted to be an Ethel Merman impersonator when you grew up, so I don't think you should talk.”

There was an uncomfortable silence for just a moment. I broke the tension by calling for another plate of yams.

Anyhow, here you go,” said Pat, handing me the fortune cookie, “see what you think. I wrote it just for you.”

I took the fortune cookie from his outstretched hand and turned it over a few times. It cracked open with a small puff of dust and the faint odor of fish. I pulled the grease-stained slip of paper out of the pile of cookie shards in my palm and read aloud.

“'Esittänyt, että porsaankyljys on joku indeksoinnin tilassa.'  What the hell is that supposed to mean? And is that Norwegian or something?”

It's Finnish, actually,“ said Pat, “this place was making fortune cookies for the Scandinavian market, as it turned out, so everything that I wrote had to go through translators.”

So some guy translated it from English into Finnish?”

Well, actually the operating system that their computers used was a little old, so we had to make a couple of adjustments. I wrote it in English and then some guy used a book and a quill pen to translate it into Mandarin. Then a Mandarin speaker put the whole thing into a PC to translate it into German, as it wasn't set up for Finnish. So finally they had a German guy who was there on a work scholarship translate it into Finnish. He was really good at it, though...at least when he was sober.”

So what does it say?” I asked.

It says 'You are loved by friends and family, and that will make your dreams come true.'.”

Well, that certainly IS nice, Pat, you know, I kind of feel better already. Thanks!”

No problem, Tom,” he said, putting his napkin on the table and gently patting his vinyl-lined pocket. “I have to run...do you mind picking up the bill?”

No problem, Pat...I managed to sell a dirty limerick to 'Better Homes and Gardens' this week, so I'm pretty flush.”

Thanks, Tom...the next round of yams is on me. See you later for cocktails?”

Sure Pat...see you at Limpy's.”

With that he headed out the door and I settled up with the waiter. I picked up my little Finnish fortune and headed out the door onto the street. It was a lovely day and I decided to walk the few blocks to my office. On the way I happened to pass a Scandinavian paper goods store and remembered that I needed to pick up some new adding-machine tape for my secretary. I popped inside and strolled over to the adding-machine tape aisle.

Can I help you?” asked a slender man with silver hair and a strong Finnish accent.

Well, I just need to get some adding machine tape...but, say, is that a Finnish accent that I detect in your voice?”

Yes, indeed it is...I just moved here from Helsinki last year.”

Well, that is truly interesting,” I said, “I just had the most interesting discussion about Finnish fortune cookies..and in fact I bear in my pocket a truly uplifting fortune of my brother's own creation.”

Aha,” said the silver-haired Finn, “I happen to collect fortune cookies! I would love to see the fortune that you carry!”

It is most uplifting,” I said, handing him the slip of paper.

His eyes danced over the tiny slip, and his mouth turned into a frown. “What is this supposed to mean?” he asked.

Well,” I said, “it speaks of love and of dreams, doesn't it?”

Only if you are slightly deranged,” he said. “or if it is some kind of code.”

What does it say?” I asked, breathlessly.

The slender Scandinavian looked at me with piercing blue eyes and revealed my fortune: “Put down that pork chop, for there is someone in the crawlspace.”

23 March 2012

Omana Glaby-Om

You all might think that the world had nearly come to an end on that fateful summer day whereon little Mikey Nitrous had his pores removed, but you would, of course, be wrong. Just take a look around you. The world goes on, while little Mikey Nitrous no longer sweats.

I should, perhaps, qualify that statement. Little Mikey Nitrous no longer sweats nor exudes sebaceous oils through a good 90% of his skin surface. His glandular structure was so altered in the process as to allow him to sweat through his gums and the soles of his feet. On a hot summer day one could track a barefoot little Mikey Nitrous on dry pavement, as wet footprints mark his path. Sock manufacturers loved little Mikey's new glandular arrangement, while his mother was not as keen on the whole mess.

So on that fateful day of his pore-removal surgery, it was not the glandular re-arrangement that made such the dent in the fabric of reality (as one might otherwise expect), but rather little Mikey's embrace of the philosophy and tenets of Glaby-ism. Glaby was the old man down the street who used to entice children to “pull his finger” by giving them small treats, such as landjaeger and bits of gruyere. Glaby ran the local pigeon coop. Glaby shaved his eyebrows. Glaby spoke a dead language and wore white after Labor Day. And most importantly, Glaby practiced Glaby-ism.

If you look up Glaby-ism in a directory of the world's philosophies and religions, you will likely find no entry. If it says anything at all about Glaby-ism, it might only mention the shaved eyebrows of its founder. Glaby-ism never gained the popularity of nihilism, dualism, Marxism, socialism, empiricism, Shintoism, dadaism, realism, fuggism (in either its mahayana or deli-fresh forms), dwarfism, or fetishism, but it left its mark on little Mikey Nitrous. Perhaps it might leave its mark on you, too.

Glaby-ism teaches that to stand and stare blankly is the highest good. Glaby-ism teaches that the great confusion of all humankind is to be embraced and encouraged through strong drink. Glaby-ism teaches that to shout in public is wrong, unless there is an emergency. And Glaby-ism teaches that we must always be willing to share a little bit of our lunch with someone else, unless one has brought potted meat – you can keep your potted meat to yourself. The adherents to Glaby-ism are encouraged to wear sweaters and eyeglasses (rather than contact lenses), and to criticize unjustly only when the other person really deserves it. Glaby himself always wanted to include some particular tenets regarding landjaeger, gruyere, and the pulling of fingers, but as is often the case with the great systems of thought from around the world, his followers made slight deviations from the ideas of the founder. Such is life.

So it was, on that fateful day of his surgery, that little Mikey Nitrous embraced the way of Glaby-ism. He donned his favorite argyle sweater and his eyeglasses, took a stiff belt of Kentucky Bourbon, and headed to the doctor's office. His pore-removal had nothing to do with his embrace of Glaby-ism – I must be clear about that. There is no room for the old “post hoc ergo propter hoc” business in this tale, let me assure you. Mikey had been saving his nickels and dimes for years in anticipation of the surgery, and as soon as he turned twelve and his mother agreed to sign the consent form, Mikey prepared for surgery.

I will share the details of the surgery with you at a later date if you are not too squeamish and if you promise to leave your potted meat at home. The operation was, obviously, a success, and little Mikey came out of surgery a smooth, perfect, poreless, and dry little boy. After he was discharged, he lit up a cigarette just outside the hospital, and breathed in the cool, fresh tobacco flavor. As men had before, he silently thanked the Camel corporation for putting the tiny little cancer-preventing filter on the end of the cigarette, and he took another long, smooth, and very, very, very deep drag and exhaled the smoke though his anus. An elderly lady walked by and frowned at him.

A little boy like you should not be smoking,” said the elderly matron, “and it is far too warm of a day to be wearing such a heavy sweater."

Mikey stood and stared blankly into space, splashing gently in his merino wool socks. Silently, he pondered the definition of the word “unjustly”.

22 March 2012

Just a Bucket

There was only one person I ever knew who really used the word “yon,” and it was that guy named Cartwright. He was the same guy who used the word “prissy” whenever he could, and people at the bowling alley would stare at him when he did so because he exaggerated the “s” sound in the word. It made him sound effeminate, or so my friend Nigel said. Who was Nigel to say, though? He smoked Benson and Hedges cigarettes – one step removed from Virginia Slims on the manliness scale.

But I am getting off track, Sweetcheeks.

By the way, I only call you 'Sweetcheeks' because I find your cheeks to look ever so sweet. No, sit down, please, I am not referring to those cheeks. You have facial cheeks that are reminiscent of one of the greatest cheek-exhibitionists that I have ever known. Luckily for the length of this story, it just so happens that Cartwright himself was that very person. Cartwright – that man with the occasional lisp who was fond of the words “yon” and “prissy” was also a cheek exhibitionist, and displayed his supple, radiant cheeks at county fairs, tractor pulls and flea markets all over this part of the world. Don't you remember him? Surely you must.

Cartwright blew into town one warm summer day and blew right into my heart at the same time. Oh, mind you, Sweetcheeks, it was a virile, manly sort of respect that I had for this fine cheek-exhibitionist. Get your mind out of that gutter. Yes, that particular gutter. No, I looked upon Cartwright as an icon – a veritable window into all that was holy, all that was pure. And those cheeks of his...my, my...they were beyond belief. Not unlike yours, Sweetcheeks.

One's star can climb only so high, and so it was with Cartwright. With the advent of irradiated chicken at the “Pico-Pico Deli”, Cartwright's visage slowly became marred. He would consume such vast quantities of chicken thighs, you know, Sweetcheeks, that the radiation eventually got the best of him. You know how it is – the doctors say that the thighs of the chicken hold an abnormally large dose of radiation, and those individuals who are particularly fond of chicken thighs are hit particularly hard. Combine this with the fact that the body part most immediately and most powerfully affected by such radiation is the cheek, and you have a story that spells tragedy for such a man. I was and have always been a lover of the leg and the wing, and so I have been spared the awful fate of Cartwright.

In later years, when Cartwright would wander the streets of town, the gaping holes staring out from where his cheeks used to be, the small children in town would hide behind the grease trap outside the bordello next to the Methodist church, and they would hurl such cruel epithets. “Hey, hole-cheek!” they would cry, and “cheeky-cheeky-holey-cheek!” Poor Cartwright would wander with his cheekless head hanging low, a shadow of his former self. I would watch from a distance, from the safety and anonymity of my reflexology clinic, and I would weep bitter, bitter tears for that man who once was possessed of the finest cheeks in these parts. It is a sad tale, for sure.

Now then, Sweetcheeks, could I offer you another piece of chicken? The nether regions are particularly sweet and crunchy.

20 March 2012

Still Trepid

I held up the breast, and in that beautiful golden breast, like I said, I saw light. Then I held up the leg, the long, supple, and lubricated leg and I saw dark. Milton wasn't a fool, and he could have told you the same thing at one point in his journey, but he felt differently about the breast and the leg. For Milton, the leg was all that was good, and he would honor the leg and hold it up and speak of it glowingly – his tongue would even make spasmodic circles in his mouth as he stared, speechless, at the leg – from one end to the other.

But just as that would be certain, you could also rest assured that Milton would sneer at the breast. He would cup it in his outstretched hand, cradling it, you might say, but then he would take some sort of utensil and do an unmentionable thing to the breast. Often it was just a fork, or he would rely on his teeth. But every now and again he would lift up something really horrendous and apply it to the breast. Perhaps it would be a garlic press or a table saw. Maybe it would be a VHS tape rewinder or a bottle capper. Indeed – as much as Milton loved the leg, he despised the breast.

Where the leg and the breast meet, that place is holy, for it is called the thigh. The thigh looks a bit like the breast, but it tastes more like the leg, but it is surely – every bit of it – holy. Milton found that when he went down to Johnson's dry goods store.

Pressing at the door of the temple and seeking to know the holy of holies. Placing hope not in the loin but in the bird. Young bird. Tender bird. Soft, curvaceous bird.

Milton was chewing on a thigh from some young bird right outside the entrance to Johnson's dry goods store, when a man from the city came by in a fancy car and shot Milton dead. The man stepped out of the car and offered Milton to the man he was carting around in the back seat. The man in the back seat got out and snaked his vile, evil looking tongue, all snake-like and dangerous into Milton's crevasse. I cannot go into detail as to which crevasse in particular I speak of, but you might get the picture. Milton's crevasse was violated, posthumously, by this man from the big city and his serpentine tongue. Crevice, crevasse – when they are being violated posthumously it really doesn't matter what you call it.

Had Milton known, he would have been disturbed. More disturbing to him yet would have been the man from the city returning to his friends and family and announcing that his crevasse tasted of white meat.

18 March 2012


When you don't know if it is dark enough, that generally is the time that it needs to get darker. Darker like the way that the drumstick is different from the breast, but you know how that drumstick has the one added disadvantage of having that little cap of cartilage on the end. I know some folk (and I at one time had a friend in particular – more on him later) who purely love eating their way through a drumstick, feeling the veins and the tendons in their teeth, and then popping that little cap of cartilage off the end of the bone. Sometimes they chew on it like it were just another piece of meat, or even like some kind of a pacifier. Sometimes (if they are like the friend I am going to tell you about later) they find themselves unable to stomach the thought of a cartilage cap in their mouth, so they whole fresh load of chewed up chicken comes squirting out, hot and smelling, squirting right out of the stomach.

My wife told me just the other day that when a man vomits, he turns his stomach right inside out, like a bag that you put your hand into, grab a fistful of bag-meat, and then pull for all you are worth. The inside of the stomach suddenly becomes the outside, and all hell breaks loose. So the few who have that reaction to the little cap of cartilage on the end of a chicken leg, that's what they go through. It just doesn't sound too pretty.

I called down to Mr. Packy (and this time I was serious), and I asked him to please bring me some drumsticks along with some breasts. Now, when you see the breasts, you see the light. But when you see those legs, you see the dark. If you hold the two up to one another, maybe, just maybe you will see what I am talking about. As it is, I just see the two and I get hungry.

And Mr. Packy returned with my chicken and I heard the gunshot outside my window. I had to go and look, but I was, of course, afraid of what I might see. I slowly got out of my easy chair and sauntered to the window. I looked out at the live oaks all hanging with Spanish moss, hanging like some old man got his beard caught up in the branches and never did figure out how to get it down. I took a liking to that Spanish moss when I was just a little kid, as I thought it had some kind of magical powers, and I wanted nothing more than to be a wizard or a magician. I thought for a while that every little kid wanted to be a magician or a wizard but when Dilly Burr told me in the third grade that he wanted to drive the street sweeper when he grew up, I learned differently. So much for dreams. So much for the Spanish moss.

But I looked at it, anyway, and it sure looked nice, hanging like a beard. And I could see, I figured, where the gunshot had come from, but I didn't see anyone dying or anything. All I saw was that Spanish moss and a dark looking man in coveralls running toward the center of town.

And it was just then that I realized that the piece of dark meat I had pulled off the plate wasn't nearly as dark as it could be. So it is with chicken, and so it is, period.

16 March 2012

Dissolve – On 6th Avenue

Tyreece, you bitch,” screams the grit-mouthed juice sucker through a set of lips all nicotine-stained and stinking of the night and the day after. Stink like night and stink like day and it all wells up like a great reeking bath of death and life rolled into one. “Tyreece, you dumb bitch, you gotta' throw me the car keys. Don't you know that?” Head is pounding from all of the night but the day is here, don't ever forget it.

Tyreece leans out the door, wearing just a towel and fuzzy slippers and a familial set of lips with the same stains and the same stink of night and day and a heart all dropped and rolled around in the flour of passion that turns into hate that turns into violence when that floured-up heart hits a pan full of hot oil. Fry that sucker up and force-feed it to that asshole, thinks Tyreece. Shove it down his throat when he yells at me like that. Fry it up all good and hot in all that good hot oil, get it nice and crispy, the way he likes it. Shake a load of salt on it too. Shove that damned floured and fried heart, shove it whole. Shove it down his throat. Choke the bastard on that heart – hold it right in my fist and shove it down his stinking hole. Past those nicotine-stained lips, into that grit-mouth and right down his pipe. Shove it like a great big deep-fried and over-salted chicken, a whole chicken, hot and crispy, the way he likes it.

Shove that fried-up, over-salted heart right down his throat, over-fried and over-salted so that in case the choking don't get him then at least the oil might give him a heart attack or the salt might send his blood pressure through the roof, shooting blood right out of his melon like crude oil out of the top of an oil well, like we saw on TV. Something's got to get him.

And just watch that big bastard choke on that fried-up, over-salted heart. Watch his eyes bug out of his head as he struggles to get some breath. Listen to his dry heaves as your balled-up fist triggers his gag reflex. And those veins in his neck start to bulge, until his eyes and his veins make him look like something out of that cartoon, like we saw on TV. That should do it.

Watch him flop around on the gravel of the driveway, scrpaing the back of his bald head on the little stones and leaving little bits of skin and smears of blood on the dry gravel. Feels good, doesn't it? See that big old deep-fried and over-salted heart stick like a whole fried chicken in his throat, all balled up and making a big sickly bulge in his fatty neck;  balled up and swollen – like a python swallowing a baby goat, like we saw on TV.

Tyreece throws the keys to the grit-mouthed juice sucker. “Have a good day, honey,” she calls out.

And I want damn fried chicken tonight,” he shouts before he closes the car door.

You'll get your damn fried chicken.

15 March 2012

Open and Say "Aaaagghhhhhh"

David was crouched within the leghole of his big steel desk, convinced that his deodorant could likely be his undoing. He was sure that the walking corpses that shuffled through the hallway and this and the adjoining examination room could smell his vibrant, living flesh, as well as the pungent man-scent coming from his armpits. His grandfather had used this same scent, strangely enough, to woo his grandmother into love, marriage, kids, grandkids, and then a plot at Beth El cemetery, although by that time most of the scent had worn off. And, truth be known, his grandmother was less “wooed” into the plot than “planted”.

F**king enamel is no match,” said a gurgly, undead fellow just outside the door to the room where David hid. “Bone is pretty damned hard.”

I stay with the soft innards, myself,” came a reply from similar gurgly voice. “Lungs have a consistency like a stiff crème brulee, if you use your imagination.”

Look, Einstein, if you want the crème de la crème, rather than just the crème brulee, you go for the brain. But there is one thing standing between your stomach and the brain.”

A decomposing tongue?”

The fricking brain pain, you moron. Ain't no way you're getting to the nice soft grey matter without popping that fricking walnut. Hence the problem.”

I don't get it,” said the second voice after a long pause. “What's the problem again?”

Have you noticed the shitty state of our teeth? As soon as we're resurrected, our fricking teeth turn into dodgy, splintery little yellow stumps. It don't matter if you had the teeth of fricking Tom Cruise in life...one minute after you wake up your teeth are for shit.”

Yeah,” said the second voice, “my parents paid a load for my orthodontia when I was a kid...now look at these things.” He opened his jaw wide to show off yellow stumps and rotten gums.

Well, kiddo,” said the first, “I want to change all that.”

How you gonna' do that?”

I have no idea. If we could just find a live one who knows something about teeth, I bet we could get some implants or some cosmetic bonding done before we eat the little nutter. “

Where we gonna' find someone like that? And a live one, too?”

I'm not sure,” said the first one, “but we sure ain't gonna find one in a synagogue. Come on, let's go.”

The two undead shuffled to the door of the clinic and paused. One looked at the sign near the entrance. “David R. Feldstein, DDS” read the engraved text.

What the hell is a DDS?” asked the second corpse.

It's a school around here, I think...a grade school,” said the first, heading out onto the street.

Still holding his breath under the desk, Justin gave thanks for these goyim zombies and for having opened his clinic in his native Dutchess County.

14 March 2012


Splinter of time.
Splinter of life.
Splinter tries and Splinter hopes but Pinhead presses on.
(Sung to “Soma”)
(No, it isn't)

Little Pinhead Duncan wrestled the piece of gristle with his tongue. The gristle had nearly got the best of him, until he turned the tables in a fit of derring-do. His tongue triumphed over the gristle, and had the tongue had a foot it would have placed this atop the gristle's head (had the gristle had a head) and beat his chest (had the tongue had a chest). Do you understand what I am saying?

Gristle rears its ugly head (as though it had a head) and waggles a limp gristle-y finger (you know the drill by now, I assume) at the world. Pinhead Duncan quickly swallows and the gristle is seen no more in its current state. We all have days like that, I suppose. In fact, there comes a point in each of our lives where we have a day EXACTLY like that. There's not a whole lot we can do about it, either. There was that professional baseball player who tried to escape the fate, but it didn't work out the way he had planned, as he wound up with a monkey wrench frozen to the back of his neck, and THAT is just a big disappointment. Anyone who has ever had a monkey wrench frozen to the back of his or her neck could tell you that much.

Pinhead Duncan swallowed hard and died. Something went in that should not have gone in, and Pinhead's heart felt sorry. Pinhead's heart sank low. Pinhead's heart burst in a bloody mess and Pinhead toppled over, face first in his onion rings. A passing diner looked on the beefy, bucolic scene and shook his head.

Such a waste of a fine T-bone.”

In Which I Amuse the Masses

If you would all care to, you may certainly go and access my funky new tumblr site - "The Martini Tumblr."  It just has a bunch of drivel, little witicisms, photographs, and that kind of dreck:

The Martini Tumblr

Come to think of it, aside from the photographs, it is kind of like this site, without the fiction.

Go ahead and have fun there, anyway.

12 March 2012

You've Gotta' be Kidney-ing Me

I find the kidneys to be the tastiest, actually,” said the foppish, undead dandy to his companion with one arm. “Just take a little taste, and see if you don't agree.”

The one-armed corpse grabbed for the kidney that the dandy was offering and squeezed a little too hard. The kidney went shooting out of his grasp like a greased mango.

Son of a bitch,” said the corpse with one arm as the kidney bounced and slid across the floor and under a stainless-steel counter. “Sorry. I think I lost that one.”

Not a problem, my amputated amigo,” said the dandy, “that's why God gives you two kidneys, Pedro – in case your lunch guest loses one of them.” He reached into the side of the body that he was ravaging and pulled out another slippery, reddish kidney. “Now just be careful with this one, ' he said, handing it over.

Pedro manged to get the kidney to his mouth, and he sank the broken, yellow stumps of his teeth into the firm, bloody flesh. “Mmmm. You're not kidding,” he said through a mouthful of kidney, “ this is some damned fine organ meat.”

The two corpses sat in silence for a little while, chewing and contemplating the fine, delicate flavor of kidney. Finally Pedro spoke again.

Y'know, I think we could probably open up some kind of a bistro or deli or something here that just serves organs. Kidneys could be our signature dish, in fact. We could have some kind of a daily special, too. Or maybe ethnic specialties on different days of the week, Mondays could be Moldavian Kidney-Meringue Mondays...then Tibetan Kidney-Tart Tuesdays...you get the idea.”

Sure, and Wallachian Kidney-Whip Wednesdays...but what on earth could we possibly do on Thursdays?” asked the dandy.

Hmmm.” Pedro scratched at his skull.

The two corpses sat very still and quiet for a long time. The only sound was the drip of thoracic fluid falling from their lunch onto the floor. “Maybe we could just open a tapas bar,” said the dandy.

The crash of the door being kicked off its hinges would have scared a whole host of things out of the corpses, had they harbored any to lose. As it was, they just turned around in time to see a tactical squad in haz-mat suits bursting into the room. Four of the operators immediately levelled their rifles and put quick three-round bursts through the dandy's and Pedro's foreheads. The two of them dropped to the floor. For the second time that lunch, Pedro lost his grip on a kidney and watched it go bouncing and sliding beneath a stainless-steel counter. As he felt the electrical impulse draining from his nervous system, he turned to the dandy and just managed to get out his last, burning question.

Hey,” he asked, with his last ounce of undead energy, “where the hell is Wallachia, anyway?”

09 March 2012

Homburg, or "The Crawl, Part III"

I saw some cheeky bastard leaning out a window. That was the first thing that I saw when my eyes adjusted to the light of day. Some cheeky bastard leaning out of the window of a house, holding on to his manly bits and making kissy-faces (just like that kid did several weeks ago – the one I think I told you about). At first I wished that I had a rock or a baseball or a can of some vegetable to throw at him, but then I kind of settled down and realized I didn't need to throw anything at anyone, anymore.

I tried out my legs. They seemed to work all right, if a little weak and shaky. I managed to stand upright and brush the dust and the cavern-lint off my suit. I reached into my breast pocket for another cubeb, which I produced, lit, and put to my lips. Mmmm...so peppery and good. I looked around for the guy that had passed me on the crawl out of the cave – the one who had straightened me out about the whole stalagmite / stalactite thing – but he was nowhere to be seen. The only person around seemed to be the cheeky bastard with his trousers pulled down, now sitting on the edge of the window. I decided I might as well strike up a conversation, so I walked on over.

Hello, friend,” he called out to me when I was still a distance away. I always hate it when complete strangers say “friend” as a greeting. Almost as much as when they call someone whose name they do not know “guy.”

Hey there, guy,” I responded. The cheeky bastard winced and squeezed his manly bits simultaneously. He made a face that looked a bit like Tom Hanks. “How'd you do that?” I asked.

Do what, friend?”

How'd you make a face just like Tom Hanks?”

I haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about, friend.”

Never mind,” I said, “but could you please not call me 'friend,'? I had a close associate whose proper name was 'Friend.' Friend Mulcahey was his name, in fact. He was crushed to death in a strange rowing accident. It pains me to hear his name, and I thought perhaps if I ask you nicely you might stop calling me that,” I lied to the cheeky bastard.

The cheeky bastard broke wind and tapped on his manly bits with a little meerschaum hammer. His face twisted into a 'Tom Hanks' again, and he just nodded agreement, without saying a word.

Thanks, guy,” I said to him, calling him this in an attempt to get a rise out of him (get your mind out of the gutter).

The cheeky bastard just nodded again and pulled up his lips into a duckface. “You're welcome,” he said.

I turned away from the strange man and his window, trying to see if there was a coffee shop nearby. There were lots of private homes, a few of them with similar cheeky bastards leaning out of windows, holding on to their manly bits and making kissy-faces. This didn't bother me so much as did the apparent lack of coffee shops. Perhaps I would have to walk further away from the cave before I found one. Not to worry though, I supposed, as this was just my first time in the light of day in nearly two decades. I would have to find some food, though, as I was tremendously hungry. I was sure there must be a Kosher deli somewhere nearby.

I started to walk toward the rest of my life when I heard the cheeky bastard call out after me.

Hey,” he shouted, “how'd you know my name?”