Monthly Archives: December 2014
There’s some artworks that I keep coming back to: this guy has evolved a lot over the past 6 years, with new buttons, widgets and doohickeys added as I find ’em
Your erroneous assertions
Have been thoroughly debunked
Now there’s casting of aspersions
And your reputation’s junked?
Come at once to our new shoppe,
We’ll flip the tables on your flop:
at MURGATROYD’S EDIBLE HATS!
We have vegan hats of carrot
And fedoras of pure ham!
Porkpie hats of roasted parrot
Or a crown of rack of lamb!
Are you uncredible, or worse?
Just pull your wallet from your purse:
at MURGATROYD’S EDIBLE HATS!
We have baseball caps of brisket
Peppered turbans if you please
This top hat’s a buttered biscuit!
We have fezzes made of cheese!
Buy some quickly! Don’t you know,
They’re much nicer than eating crow-
at MURGATROYD’S EDIBLE HATS!
At first it was Chef Poindexter’s Edible Hats, and then I realized: that was a silly name for a comestible haberdashery.
O’Krupke’s eyes narrowed as he gazed down at that which had been handed to him by the sergeant-at-arms. He held it there in his hamlike hand, limply. He considered it; he used deductive reasoning and failed to deduce much. He looked around at the other cops in the precinct briefing room, similarly staring blankly at what they’d been given. He considered the object again. He gave up considering.
“Sarge, what the flamin’ fock is dis?”
Sergeant Pflanagen’s eyes beetled at O’Krupke. Pflanagan was built like a hairy hillock. Atop Pflanagan’s head was an indecently naked pink globe that rose from the crest like one buttock of an insufficiently hidden baby, which deepened now in hue to hydrant red. His head fell to one side like his neck had snapped from the sheer weight of stupidity that had just been ladled over to him.
“It’s a daisy, O’Krupke. It’s a goddam-goddam daisy, you idiot.”
O’Krupke looked down at it again. It was, in fact, a daisy. He knew it was time to shut up. He did not shut up.
“Sarge, whyju give us daisies for Cryssakes?”
Pflanagen handed the last daisy, from the dainty wicker basket he’d been carrying, to the last cop in the room. He sighed. “O’Krupke, you remember last week how dat kid had that banana and was unfortunately shot by MacGonad?”
“Ah, you mean dat kid who was on the fire escape playing the violin?’
“No, that was a different kid-”
“Oh you mean dat guy who was driving and we shot out his tires and he went off that bridge ’cause the car looked like maybe stolen, though I guess not?”
No, O’Krupke, that guy was no kid, and had no banana-”’
“Uh, You mean dat kid with the zucchini?”
“O’Krupke! That was three weeks ago! The kid last week?”
“Banana! The banana kid, O’Krupke!”
“OHHHHH- the BANANA kid. Sure. Sorry, I get them mixed up sometimes.”
Pflanagan was admirably holding at a low scarlet simmer, “OK. So you remember how we were gonna get the new guns this week? With the 34-dumdum bullet automatic action and the 500 yard laser sights?”
O’Krupke perked up, “Yeah! Hey, yeah! When’s you passinem out, sarge?”
Pflanagan looked down at his basket shyly, “…you’re holding it in your hand, O’Krupke.”
O’Krupke was impressed with technology. Looked like a daisy, was a 34-dumdum bullet automatic action gun! He looked carefully for the trigger.
Pflanagan continued, “They decided instead of the guns, we get daisies. They say when we have guns we shoot all kindsa people alla time so they’re gonna experiment with giving us daisies instead. They say maybe we should try bein nice and we can even give the daisies right to ’em if they get tough, and they’ll be all happy and like take the daisy and give ’em to their mom.”
There was silence in the room. Then there was a lot less of it.
“HOOOWAH!” howled Wynne-Courke, “ I love flowers!”
“My heart thrills at the delicate fragrance exuded from dese fragile petals!” bellowed Frammingham.
Pflanagan had to shout to subdue the exuberant expressions of joy. “RELAX! Yeah, we’ve taken back all your old guns. But don’t worry- we got a plan to make dis work! For one thing….”
“YEAHH! We hate those stupid guns! I am SO TIRED of shooting that noisy piece a gobbidge,” O’Krupke joined in, tears brimming in his bloodshot bloodhound eyes, “plus, I’m tired of all the corpses!”
“I can’t wait to use my pretty daisy to subdue potentially alleged perps!”
“Shut UP Milligananagan, though if you hadn’t tear-gassed those kindergartners this wouldna precipitated so fast- So for one thing, you get special holsters that fit the daisies, so don’t worry about them getting too wilty. Plus you get a fresh daisy daily, or as needed once you use ’em up. Oh, yeah, don’t worry guys. We’ll keep you well supplied…wit daisies!”
A quartet of police in the back quickly improvised a beautiful harmony, and burst into song:
“We’re tickled pink by all the ways we
Shall delight in our new daisies
Oh what beauty- oh what fun!
Much nicer than those stinky guns!
Give billyclubs, and we’ll confess:
We’re not likely to hit you less
But if provided with a flower,
The populace can cease to cower:
We thank the people for this gift
Our spirits all begin to lift
As our voices lift in song
Yes we can all get along!”
O’Krupke stopped in mid-whoop. He leaned forward, eyes narrowed. His street-hardened instincts told him there was more, “Hold on just one stinkin’ minnit. What more you gots to tell us Pflanagan?”
Pflanagan shrugged mischievously. “I gots to tell ya there’s no more tear gas. Thanks to Milligananagan. But we got an alternate. Lemonade!”
“WHAT?” Screamed 47 delighted cops. “WE LOVE LEMONADE ON A HOT SUMMER DAY!”
“Yup- cold, delicious refreshing lemonade. An it ain’t for to throw in their eyes it’s to like sit down on the stoop with ’em and talk it out and have some refreshments. Each one of youse gets a couple carafes. They’re thinking maybe in a month we might get some nice cookies too. Also, they took back the riot gear, and all of youse get nice silky blouses in the pastel tone of your choosin’ instead,”
“I dibs chartreuse,” O’Krupke said quickly, to Wynne-Courke’s dismay.
Milligananagan said, quietly, as if to himself, though all heard, “finally- the little children won’t think I’m some kind of killer robot and run from me? Dis is a gift beyond my most foivent hopes-”
Pflanagan was hurrying now to finish, “…and there ain’t no more fire-spoutin’ tank, wit which we crushed that jaywalker last week. Instead, we got one giant 10-man skateboard! It’s gonna take some practice to balance through sharp turns, but once you get some momentum it rolls pretty fast, and there ain’t nothin’ like a well-executed 10-man nollie kickflip”
There was pandemonium. Everybody loved skateboards. Several police officers fainted. Some laughed joyous peals of laughter such as they had never laughed before, while others wept openly, without shame. There was a tearing of hair and a rending of shirts. Humble gratitudes were offered unto the heavens.
“HOLD ON a second!” O’Krupke interrupted, “I gots one more question, Sarge.” He growled.
“What is it, O’Krupke?”
“How do you load dis ting?” O’Krupke held his daisy up.
Pflanagan smiled, “Wit LOVE, O’Krupke. Wit love you load it.”
So Saturday morning I noticed that there was a little discolored caulk in the corner of the bathroom floor between the bathtub and the toilet, so I pulled it off and got out my caulk gun, because I am a caulk cowboy.
I was squooging the caulk in, and it just kept going, so I lifted up the vinyl tile square, and the subfloor had a little water damage, and part had crumbled away, and I was filling the basement with caulk, which would have taken like 23,000 tubes of caulk, so I figured I’d better fix the floor.
So I took off more tiles and found more water damage. So I removed the toilet and the sink. The vanity which supported the sink- as vanity supports so many of us- was made of pulverized wood scraps and glue, and did not survive the surgical removal of the sink. The flange on the toilet was made of thin plastic, and had cracked. I began removing the subfloor. I didn’t have the proper tools to cut it right next to the bathtub, but I’m good at improvising, so I just sawed through the ¾” plywood with a steak knife. All that was left was the bathtub and the floor joists, no floor at all, once I was done ripping everything out.
Went to the Der HardWareHaus, which sucks, bought a new vanity with sink attached, some plywood for the subfloor, wax ring for the toilet, flange repair plate, vinyl tiles and various fittings and stuff. Got home, unpacked the vanity and there was a big scratch down the front of it. Took it back to Der HardWareHaus, which sucks, exchanged it, checked the vanity before I left the store, took it home, unpacked it, the sink was chipped. Took it back to Der HardWareHaus, which sucks, exchanged it, checked the vanity and the sink, took it home, unpacked it, it was fine, so I took it back to Der HardWareHaus, which sucks, and exchanged it one more time just for the hell of it.
Chopped up and nailed down the new plywood. It really doesn’t matter how many times I measure something, my calculations are inevitably off, so I recut every section 3 times. That’s okay, because I love the thrill of the circular saw. Some people go skydiving, I use a circular saw, and the way I use it, skydivers are pusillanimous by comparison.
I nailed the new subfloor onto the joists, fit the flange repair plate and reattached the toilet. I can lift a whole toilet with the tank attached and everything, because I collect hernias. I have a small box of them in the garage. I tightened the toilet bolts until the unrepaired side of the flange broke. Went back to Der HardWareHaus, which sucks, bought a huge bolt, came home and ran the bolt clear through the cracked flange, subfloor and into the basement, where it made contact with an wire, blowing out the fuses and styling me with a handsome new afro. The lights all over my portion of the grid flickered briefly, causing the Office of Fatherland Security to presume terrorist activity and preemptively bomb a small yurt village in Mongolia so they could steal their curds.
I fixed the broken section of wire with a clothes hanger, which I ran through a plastic G.I. Joe arm for insulation. I screwed the vanity to the wall and put the sink on top. Stepped back and watched as sink and vanity toppled forward, tearing out a 4′ square of drywall. I caught the sink with my shins. Did you know, that hurts a lot, catching a sink with your shins? The upside was that I discovered a secret passage behind my wall that led to a magical world inhabited by centaurs and nubile wood nymphs. Regrettably, they had no immunity to the germs which I carried, and expired within moments of meeting me. I hope the contagion didn’t continue to spread all through that wondrous world, because I feel bad enough about the twenty or thirty fantastical creatures that I saw die before I went back to the bathroom.
I went back to Der HardWareHaus, which sucks, and bought drywall and spackle. I went back home, cut the section of drywall 3 times, installed it, reattached the vanity, tried to attach the old faucet, which didn’t fit, so I went back to Der HardWareHaus, which sucks, bought a new faucet, came home, attached it, but somehow the plumbing was brushing against an old T.V. antenna wire in the wall, and the vibrations of running water somehow sent a tiny subsonic signal into outer space, attracting the attention of the interstellar race of Giant Carnivorous Beetles who have begun to colonize the Earth, starting around Dallas. So it doesn’t matter for a while.
Then I was set to lay the new vinyl tile, but I spilled my strawberry soda pop into the latex primer, and then dripped a single drop of blood into that mixture from one of my many wounds. That particular combination of ingredients apparently turns out to be a potion which opens an interdimensional hole to some forgotten, damned realm where Unspeakable Octopoid Demon-Gods have been waiting, waiting for countless horrifying eons for the opportunity to thrust awful viscous many-toothed tentacles forth into the innocent sunlight of our World, tearing and rending the very fabric of existence as we know it, abominating and putrefying all that is pure, and good, and clean in this dimension, and forever despoiling and consuming everything, everywhere.
I guess the good thing is that even Der HardWareHaus, which sucks, will not escape their awesome, terrible and revolting vengeance.
Q: How do you explain the first pig in line at the slaughterhouse?
A: Simple hambition
O, sad was I
To realize my mistake
Shortly after I fell into that churning vat of linguini dough
At the factory
And I was called before that great dark being
And brought to see that
To my eternal shame
I should have been burning incense
Made of purest platypus dung
And sitting in a bowl of earthworms
Consecrated by a dwarf with neckrings
And a bald head anointed with holy mustard
Whistling the sacred waltz
Rotating my thumbs counterclockwise
But I was a fool-
And now I’m damned to be cast into the wading pool of woe,
And suffer the torment of the six knitting needles
And two hot parsnips
Beset upon by hairy swimming spiders the size of hats
Hearken ye now unto my regrets lest you too suffer my fate:
If only I’d partaken of mentholated massage oils!
If only I’d been blessed by a man that lies with poodles!
If only I’d had one eyebrow and the opposite side of my moustache shaved off!
If only I had not eaten of the forbidden Cornish hen with also forbidden stuffing!
If only I’d wept salty tears upon a newborn owl!
And barked my shins intentionally on a low table
And made an irritating whining sound
When alone in the bathtub
But I was a fool
And am now naught but pain and parsnips
I entreat you,
If you have any pity
Pluck a nostril hair for me,
Or ignite a small vole
Omigod, all I wanted was a roll of paper towels, because sometimes, as hard as I try not to, I spill things.
I rode my bike to this gigantic place that they built over where that meadow used to be. You know the one? With the cherry trees, and the little brook that burbled over smooth stones, where wild tiger lilies grew, and little fat rabbits frolicked about, singing little fat rabbit songs? They paved half of it, ran the brook into a hole in the ground and built a giant windowless box all over the other half. The rabbits moved in with me. You should see my carrot bills.
At tremendous risk, I navigated the parking lot. What I want to know is, how do these people ever make it back to their SUVS, with all the people parking SUVS? The kill ratio in these parking lots must be spectacular. I locked my bike up, like anyone would have stolen it. Well, somebody might have taken it to feed to their SUV, I guess.
The doors hissed open like an airlock as I entered. The ceiling was so high that it wasn’t actually visible to the naked eye. Necrotic fluorescent lights and sinister black security globes, glinting like spider eyes, hung from the limitless heights. Quickly, I put on a false moustache. I grabbed a shopping cart, in case I ran across something else I might need, like some pencils or a jar of gherkins. The shopping carts were the exact size of a 1975 Cadillac Eldorado.
The first thing I noticed were the giant lines of mountainous squashy greyish people waiting at the registers. There were cash registers stretching to the vanishing point on the horizon, but no cashiers were visible. All the squashy people were bigger than me. Every item they were buying was larger than me. Giant tubs of Marshmallow Fluff, Barrels of Goober-and-Grape, 127-packs of toilet paper, genetically engineered potatoes as big as Volkswagens. IT WAS THE LAND OF THE GIANTS! But somehow less impressive than I had always imagined the Land of the Giants.
The squashy giant people were scanning their own items at electric eye devices, and stuffing plastic cards in slots for payment. I could see several lines where the YOO-SKAN SYSTYM(tm) had failed to properly scan an item, or correctly process the plastic cards. Those screens were blinking with green letters that said ERROR: WAIT FOR ATTENDANT. But no attendants were visible. The squashy giants in those lines were going to die there, and you could see the hopeless fear in their eyes.
I walked back through the store, looking for the paper towel aisle. There were three piles of big-screen televisions in the exact proportions of the Pyramids at Giza, with a Sphinx made out of Little Debbie Snack Cakes. There were squashy giants swarming over a facsimile of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus made of Beef Jerky. There was a Great Wall of Chinese Toasters. I had always wanted to see the Colossus of Rhodes, and here he was, made entirely of Hot Pockets. There were Babylonian Hanging Chia Pet Gardens. There was a Temple of Artemis, like the one formerly at Ephesus, reconstructed out of Boost Liquid Nutrition, which used to be for people too sick to eat, and which is now brilliantly marketed to people too lazy to eat.
After three hours of walking, I reached the paper towels. I was trying to find a more bikable option to the 276-Roll Pak of Brawny Ultra Absorbent Asbestos Paper Towels, when I saw him. Down at the end of the aisle was an Employee, fidgeting absently with his name tag and looking up at a wall of refrigerator-sized boxes of Froot Loops.
“Hey, excuse me-” I said, and he must have leaped three feet into the air. He whirled around, emitted a tiny squeal, and darted around the corner. I took off after him.
It’s a rare modern human that can outrun my bicycle-hardened cromagnon legs, but this little fellow gave me a good run for my money. He spilled a rack of Cheez Whiz to slow me up, then a knocked over a model of the Lighthouse of Alexandria made of cases of Fanta Orange Soda. I was nearly crushed. He dodged right through the legs of the slow-moving squashy giants in his way, and at one point scaled a mountain of Pop-Tarts so high that ice was forming at the summit. I lost him briefly, than I spotted him, pacing himself, trotting along the bottom of a model of the Grand Canyon made of Tinned Ham. I commandeered a massive shopping cart full of pineapples from a startled giant, leapt in and rode it down a precipitous incline to the bottom. The Employee didn’t see me coming until I was almost right on top of him, and then it was too late. I hurled myself from the careering cart and tackled him as pineapples and tins of ham flew in all directions.
The poor little guy was scared as hell. “Please lemme go! Lemme go! I don’t know where anything is! I don’t have any answers for you!” He sobbed, struggling wildly.
“Look, I’m not going to hurt you,” I reassured him, “I just want some paper towels.”
“I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE PAPER TOWELS FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST!” He screamed, and fainted.
When he came to I was sprinkling him with Gatorade, and fanning him with a Sports Illustrated.
“Look, man,” I said, “you don’t look well. Can I call someone? Where’s your Supervisor?”
He croaked, “There’s no Supervisor. I don’t think there’s anyone else here at all anymore. I’m…I’m so alone… first Cheryl was let go, and then Raoul. Manny was found, three weeks dead, behind the Kleenex Display. And the Customers keep coming…they want Almond Joys! They want T-Shirts with stupid slogans on them! They want Haddock, or Scrod. WHAT ABOUT WHAT I WANT???? I want companionship! I want to get out of here- but I can’t remember the way out… I’ve been sleeping in the Tupperware and living on Skittles and Yoo-Hoo…and there’s no-one left to fire me… my paycheck arrives by mail, but I have to YOO-SKAN it back in to pay for the Skittles and Yoo-Hoo.”
“You can’t find your way out? But it’s just over that way, about three hours,” I said, and then suddenly I wasn’t sure. Had I really passed that Coliseum made of Jell-O without noticing it? Beads of sweat broke out on my forehead.
“You see? YOU SEE? There is no way out. We’re going to die in here!” He hissed, and then started to laugh in a terribly screechy way that made me slap him.
“Shut up. I have an idea.” I explained it to him, slowly. Sticking close together, we snuck to a big display in the center of a milling crowd of squashy giants, where we stealthily concealed ourselves in a GIANT NOG CHUG carton. Before long, we’d been selected for purchase and joined the other gigantic consumer goods in the cart. We slept in shifts while the giant completed their shopping and YOO-SKANNED us out. Thankfully, no error message appeared, and the giant lumbered out through the doors.
“These squashy giants have some kind of homing device,” I explained to the Employee, “Look, not only can he find his way out, but he also can find his SUV among a thousand identical SUVS. Uncanny, is it not?”
It remained only for us to leap from the cart and scamper away like mice while the giant roared: “AAUGH WHERE MY NOG CHUG GO???”
I unlocked my bike, and turned to ask the (former) Employee if he wanted to ride somewhere on my handlebars, but he was already sprinting away through the parking lot, towards the setting sun. I sure hope he made it. The kill ratio in these parking lots must be spectacular.