Tales of Terror and Indigestion

October 18, 2009

     Welcome to Whispers Bookstore’s Hallows’ Eve reading of an original work by yours truly. It’s a little piece guaranteed to inspire feelings of terror and indigestion. Indigestion? What’s so scary about that? Of course, my aunt Gertie’s cooking inspired fear. I think she seasoned her food with gun powder. KAPOW! After you ate her food, you’d be burping out both ends. My uncle Bert never had a day of his married life where he didn’t have terrible indigestion. I guess it can be scary. Please continue. Are you here for the reading, sir? No, I’m waiting for the cross town bus and it’s very cold out there, so I came in here. Plus, you’re serving these great holiday treats. These pumpkin cupcakes are real good and those licorice spiders are tasty. We aren’t serving licorice spiders. Ha ha. Very funny. I’ve had the treats, now I get the tricks, eh? Whatever you say, sir. My first story is called ‘The Rumba of Death’… Rumba! That’s so old fashioned. You need a dance that’s current and hip to interest the public. Let me show you. Are you having some sort of seizure? No, I’m doing ‘the running man’. This and ‘the cabbage patch’ are my dances. The ladies love it when I do ’em. Anyway, what’s so scary about a dance? In my story a young man sells his soul to the Devil in order to win a woman he has always admired from afar. He sells his soul so he can dance better than Travolta? I’d have asked for a lot of dough. Money impresses the ladies. Well, there’s a twist. After he has made the deal and become the greatest dancer ever, it turns out his dream woman is actually the Devil. He was dancing with a dude! Yuk! It’s been my experience you always have to check if the lady has a Adam’s apple, er, not that I ever danced with a guy dressed like a woman. Grrrrr. Maybe I’d better go on to the next story. It’s called ‘Lilith’ and it deals with a woman who appears in dreams and drains men of their lives… Sounds like an old girlfriend of mine. Was she a succubus? Sure, she liked to suck face, among other things. Have Mercy! I’m sooooo sexy! If I might continue… What your story needs is a hot lesbian vampire, no maybe twins, wait I’ve got it—triplets! That would make a great film. I wonder if Demi Moore is still making movies. She so versatile, she could play all three parts. How long before that bus comes? You really need to work on your scary stories. You should write something like ‘The Chopper’. What on Earth is that? It’s only the scariest direct to video movie ever made. I’ve seen it and the twelve sequels dozens of times. I know I’m going to regret this, but what is it about? It’s about a lumberjack that goes nuts after the mill is shut down by tree huggers. With his trusty axe, ‘Mr. Wackenheimer’, it’s WHACK WHACK CHOP CHOP! Ol’ Choppie never lets you down, that’s what I call entertainment. Hmmm. I think I have the story for you. It’s about ‘the eatumupolis’. What’s that? A creature that eats bad little boys whole. It only appears on Halloween night. Sounds promising. Go on. On this night, the eatumupolis is looking for a particularly bad boy named Wilbur. Heh heh. My name’s Wilbur. Yes, this bad little boy misbehaves so much and is so big and plump that eatum’ thinks he would make a fine Halloween meal. Would you care for another candy apple, Wilbur? Very funny. I’m stuffed, I don’t think I should have eaten so much. Strange, I don’t remember seeing anyone else in this bookstore. As a matter of fact, I don’t even remember ever seeing this bookstore before. Did that jack-o-lantern just wink at me! Oh, I should have mentioned that the eatumupolis can assume any form in order to get it’s meal. So, it could be a jack-o-lantern or a table or even the chair you’re sitting in. What! Help! This barcalounger is going to eat me! Aaaaaaaa… Hmmm. He moved pretty fast for a chubby little fellow. I guess that story was scary enough for him. Won’t be needing that bus, he must be half way home by now. Happy Halloween. Moo ha ha moo ha ha.

Advertisements

I’m Troublesome

September 12, 2009

     I  suppose you could say I’m looking for a solution to the mystery of love. That’s all fine and well, sir, but why are you here at the Department of Motor Vehicles? My name is TroublesomeJames and I come from a long and illustrious line of Troublesomes.  Yes, Troublesome by name, troublesome by nature and troublesome in love. Are you here to renew your license? Because if you’re not, then I have to inform you that I’m paid not to care about anything else. It actually states that in the DMV guide book, as amended in 1997. The earliest Troublesome was a caveman known as TroublesomeOog. TroublesomeOog??? Yes, he was a sort of a tragic figure. While he didn’t discover fire, he did by deed help coin the phrase “you’re playing with fire”. His ultimate demise also led to the expression “skating on thin ice”. Poor bastard. Aha! You do care sometimes. A momentary lapse, that’s all. How does this solve the mystery of love? In good time, Mr. DMV man, in good time. One of the most colorful members of my line was Renaissance man and lute player extraordinaire, TroublesomeGuiseppe. The music he made was said to be akin to a religious experience, women across Italy found themselves in a state of ecstasy after one of his recitals. This led to a papal condemnation from Pope Alexander VI, because TroublesomeGuiseppe was deemed a threat to the church hierarchy. Of course, to be condemned by one of the most depraved Popes ever known, someone who had participated in the largest orgy in history, one that included acts of human sacrifice and cannibalism… Orgies and cannibalism!!! Now we’re getting somewhere! Not that I condone such actions, they’re actively discouraged in the DMV guide book, as amended in 1997. …to continue, human sacrifice and cannibalism, to be attacked by such a person was deemed a badge of honor by TroublesomeGuiseppe. His music led to a spiritual awakening during the Renaissance. Still no solution to the mystery of love there, TroublesomeJames. Did enjoy the orgy part though. Thank you. Don’t you have to see to other customers? The motto of the DMV states that “we will serve no customers before we are good and damn ready to”, so please continue with your tale. I now come to one of the most notable members of our line, TroublesomeLeslie. She was a pickle heiress and Victorian England’s most renowned beauty. She also possessed the Empire’s finest mind. It was rumored that TroublesomeLeslie was a ‘shadow advisor’ to Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. She counseled him on Russian expansionism in the East and tried to temper the tone of British Imperialism. It was said that she indirectly caused the summary flogging of hundreds of English sailors when they broke ranks, during a review by Queen Victoria, just to catch the briefest glimpse of Leslie as she happened to be strolling by. Wow! That sounds like quite a woman. Do you have a picture of her? No. What most people don’t know is that it was TroublesomeLeslie, not Edison, that invented the light bulb, telegraph, telephone and movie projector. That’s amazing! How come she didn’t get credit for those inventions? She felt that if men knew the truth about the superiority of female intelligence they would be paralyzed by feelings of inadequacy and simply dry up and blow away. TroublesomeLeslie knew men were good for some things, so in order to maintain the status quo, she let Edison take credit for the inventions. She later broke many hearts when she eloped with a recently knighted importer of Danish butter cookies. He must have been some kind of a man. Yes, he loved her deeply, respected her intelligence and most important of all— made her laugh. Do you think Leslie could have fallen for a decent hard-working DMV employee? Maybe if you had lived in another century. Hmmm. If I had the correct dates and coordinates and could get the DMV R & D boys in Sacramento to let me borrow their time machine for the weekend, then Leslie could be mine! What did you say? Oh, nothing. Please continue, Troublesome. My namesake, TroublesomeJames, was the Old West’s most idiosyncratic gunfighter. If someone’s spurs jingled too loudly, a appaloosa horse looked cross-eyed at him or the bar piano player played ‘Buffalo Gals’ in the wrong tempo, he would call off a gunfight in mid count. Because of these actions, he never actually fired a shot in his life, his opponents figured he must be some kind of a nut or really really good, so they gladly backed out of a gunfight. So are you a gunfighter too? No, I’m a musician like TroublesomeGuiseppe and can play a lovesong that would make the angels cry from pure joy. Why is that woman jumping up and down and pulling her hair out? It’s a customer that tried to get my attention and interrupt your story, so I issued her a citation for driving while Albanian. She doesn’t look Albanian. I know. Please continue. Anyway, I thought I had figured out the mystery of love when a woman beguiled, bewitched and bothered me… Are you going to break into song now? Very funny, Mr. DMV man. I thought the DMV guide book, as amended in 1997, frowned on humor? It does, I’m on break now. Please continue. It turned out she was a faithless woman with a pretty face. She became obsessed with my beloved ‘Emmylou’, a Gibson acoustic that I played all those beautiful lovesongs with. This evil woman believed another man could play her those songs as well as I had if he only had ‘Emmylou’, so she stole that blessed instrument one night as I slept. When her lover failed to measure up with his playing, she blamed ‘Emmylou’ and out of spite sold her to a useless vagabond who knew the true value of this instrument. So, I’ve been searching for my ‘Emmylou’ ever since and can’t play another note until I have her back. Hmmm. Quite a tale, but what’s the mystery of love? It’s that, despite how that woman hurt me so deeply, I still love her and would take her back in an instant if she would have me. Try to figure that one out, Mr. DMV man. I can’t and I’m glad I’m not paid to have to. Why are you here anyway, TroublesomeJames? Oh, to get my license renewed. Sorry, this window is closed now. Have a good day.

Love’s Dangerous

August 1, 2009

     Do you love me? No. Not even a little bit? No. You came all this way for nothing then? All part of my mission. Nothing more. To come all this way to my secret fortress on an uncharted island just to see me. How sweet. Don’t forget the army of killer robots that greeted me upon arrival. I had to do something special for your visit. Very thoughtful. Why am I chained to this table? Just making you comfortable, darling. What about the laser beam that’s slowly burning it’s way towards me? You’ve been so reluctant to express your true feelings, I thought a little gentle prodding was in order. True feelings? Last year in Cairo, I had you in my sights. What does that tell you? You couldn’t pull the trigger, you must love me. My gun jammed, nothing more. Sure, sure. As I remember, you then gave me a dozen white orchids, my favorite, and then we danced the night away at the bazaar. It was very romantic. Just lulling you into a false sense of security. Anyway, what about all that time you’ve been spending with your ‘assistants’, Maximilian and Bobo or whatever their names are? They’re just a little diversion, it gets lonely on this island. Jealous? No. Just concerned, aren’t they a little young? Well, mister superspy, what about Natasha, Svetlana and Olga? They were assassins and nuclear spies, I had to get those plans back anyway I could. So you had to make love to all three of them? I couldn’t help it, they always worked as a team on everything. I still get a Christmas card from them every year. Sweet girls. I have only one, er, um, well you know, to give for my country. Yes, I remember your ‘patriotic spirit’ quite well. And still you say you don’t love me? I faked every orgasm. It sure is taking that laser a long time, isn’t it? Tell me the truth and I’ll spare your life. Do you love me? No. You’re a supervillainess and I’m here to thwart your evil plan. It’s that simple. I can’t do it! I’m shutting down the laser, I love you. I love you too. How did you get free? I had the keys all the time, I was never in danger. But why? It’s hard to find an excuse to spend time with you, the department frowns on fraternization with the enemy, you know. So, about the only times we can meet are when you do something like stealing a nuclear warhead or kidnapping the President’s daughter. I always knew you were a little bit of a romantic. When can we meet again, darling? Your birthday is next week… You remembered! Yes and I know you are planning something special in honor of it. I was going to threaten to destroy the world’s wheat crop by release of a deadly genetically engineered spore, then demand the United Nations pay a trillion dollars in blackmail. Well,  instead of that, let me take you to that little bistro in Paris you like. The one on the rue Vertbois! How sweet! Yes, be ready at seven and I’ll pick you up in my car that transforms into a supersonic jet. We’ll be there in less than thirty minutes. Can we dance the night away again? Of course, and I’ll remember the white orchids too. You do love me! No. I’ll have to bring the manacles then. You are such an evil girl, darling. 

A Marketing Problem

July 4, 2009

     I think we should drop this project. Why? The company believes it has a lot of potential. A luxurious holiday resort on a place called Cannibal and Monster Island, mostly because of the thousands of cannibals and monsters that reside on it, has a lot of potential? You’ll never get anywhere in this company with such a negative attitude. I called you here to get your unique insight on this project. Yes, you could say I have a ‘unique insight’ on this project. I’m one of the surviving members of eleven survey teams sent to that island. There goes that negativity again. You don’t know that the other survey teams didn’t survive, they could still be gathering information for a really detailed report. As a matter of fact, we received an e-mail from the last team to send another team. Haven’t you received the same message from each of the previous teams? Well, yes, but that just means they need a lot of help with the survey. Right… I’m not sure I like your attitude, mister. As head of the prestigious Entertainment and Munitions division, I am entitled to a certain amount of respect from underlings. Didn’t you used to head the New Products division? Why, yes, I received a nice write-up in Forbes for my work there. The article stated that I was ‘a man to watch’. More like ‘a man to watch out for’. What did you say? Nothing. At New Products, weren’t you responsible for the ‘Nature’s Miracle’ weight loss treatment. I’m quite proud of that of that one. The customer consumed a supplement containing a tapeworm that immediately began to reproduce and then the host was consumed from the inside out. I received many complimentary letters and e-mails from satisfied customers about that product. Probably the last thing they ever did. What was that? Nothing, didn’t you also come up with Robo-Hazel, the electronic maid. That was one of our top sellers last Christmas. Didn’t one out of every ten units go berserk and attack the owner? A ninety percent success rate sounds pretty good to me, mister. Anyway, any dissatisfied customers… Surviving customers, you mean. …dissatisfied customers got a full refund and a coupon for ten percent off on ‘Nature’s Miracle’. Nice touch. Returning to the subject of a possible resort on Cannibal and Monster Island, I still think we should drop the project. Look at the attempts  to market it so far. The season of the ‘Survivor’ television series shot there was one of the highest rated. It lasted lasted only one episode because all the contestants were eaten and the host, Jeff Probst, was torn limb from limb on live television. Always looking at the negative, aren’t you? You can’t buy PR like that. And what about the Miss Universe contest hosted there by Donald Trump himself? Miss Venezuela was fricasseed and the other contestants ran away never to be seen again. Funny, no one tried to eat Mr. Trump. I guess even hungry cannibals and bloodthirsty monsters have standards. In your report you mentioned a leader of the cannibals and monsters. Yes, that would be Leslie, the virgin vegetarian Queen of Cannibal and Monster Island. A virgin vegetarian queen of cannibals and monsters??? Yes, she’s also an American. Leslie came to the island as a young girl, the sole survivor of shipwreck where her parents were lost. The inhabitants of the island did not harm her and even comforted her with her loss. Leslie was not afraid of the cannibals and monsters, as a matter of fact they reminded her of the characters in her favorite book as a child, Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. Her influence helped end the warring between cannibals and monsters. In gratitude, the inhabitants made her their queen. The island became an ecological and vegetarian paradise, and because her subjects were so taken by the lovely new queen, they also, reluctantly, became vegetarians too. Wow! That’s some story! So, she’s beautiful? Yes, very beautiful. And a virgin? Well, there’s not exactly much opportunity. The island is full of cannibals and monsters you know. Is Leslie a blonde? Yes… I knew it! Does she run around in a fur bikini like Raquel Welch in ‘One Million Years B.C.’? No, she wore a simple, but stylish blouse and skirt she had sewn herself. Leslie was quite proud it was made from cotton grown on the island. Ooooo. Was it virgin cotton? You are a very strange man. I think this situation requires hands on negotiating by a member of management, namely myself. Aren’t you married? My wife and I have an understanding.  And don’t you have five small children? My little ones know I work very hard, they would like their daddy to be happy. I don’t think you’re Leslie’s type. How is it you know so much about this queen? I think she sensed that my team and I didn’t want to harm their way of life. The other members of my team were allowed to leave unharmed and in return I stayed behind to listen to a message Leslie had for the company. She was extremely intelligent… And beautiful. …and very beautiful and she also made an excellent argument for not putting a resort on the island. Sounds like you like her. Yes, we grew very close. But she’s still a virgin? I did mention the island is inhabited by thousands of cannibals and monsters. They are quite protective of their queen. Cramped your style, eh? Star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet? Yes, if the Montagues and the Capulets had been trying to eat each other I suppose. I had thought about staying on the island, but after I woke up from a nap to find myself stewing in a giant pot, I thought it was time to go. Cannibals and monsters will be cannibals and monsters. Wouldn’t Leslie come with you? She won’t leave the island and her friends. I’ve just received a message on my Blackberry from Queen Leslie. She has invited all the company executives, including yours truly, and the board of directors to a special meeting and celebratory feast to be held on the island. They’ll be serving something called ‘long pig’. Must be a local delicacy? You could say that. Them cannibals and monsters aren’t vegetarian all the time, eh? Yes, for you they’d make a special exception. Will you give Leslie a message from me? Surely. What is it? Bon appetit.

Demonology

May 30, 2009

     It’s not our fault, we were just following orders. Yes, after 9/11, they wanted results and that’s what we gave them. No matter what the cost, by any means necessary. We were in a war with a merciless enemy that wanted to destroy us and our way of life. After the rout of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and the downfall of Saddam, we were hailed as heroes. Yes, but we failed to get bin-Laden. After that, the enemy was like a virus that mutated and spread out across the globe making it nearly impossible to track down. You’d strike down one leader and a dozen more would be created. It was neverending. Money and resources poured in, but we couldn’t destroy the enemy. The pressure from higher-ups was incredible. No more 9/11’s, not another attack on U.S. soil. We had to become as ruthless as our enemy. Torture, assassinations and drone airstrikes yielded results, but something else was needed to stop the spread of this disease. Yes, it was a disease and, like a disease, we had to turn to science for a cure. Project Hades? Yes, and as it turned out, that was a truly apt codename. What do you know about the scientist that created it? He was a rising star in his field, bioweapons. When he made the presentation for Project Hades, he was lauded as a genius and was given unlimited funding. An apparently, little monitoring or supervision. Yes, that in retrospect was a fatal mistake, but when you come up with a super weapon to destroy Osama and his followers, who’s going to get in your way? It seemed so simple. A virus that would only kill bin-Laden and other members of al-Qaeda. A genetically engineered virus controlled by a microscopic computer chip that would lie dormant in an infected al-Qaeda courier and be activated upon detection of bin-Laden’s DNA. He would die in agonizing pain, his blood would literally boil. Yes, Project Hades turned out to be a grim joke. The creator of the virus must have infected us and the other members of our brotherhood when he made the final presentation before what was supposed to be deployment of the weapon. Yes, after his suicide, a rambling note was found where he mentioned the ‘perversion of science’ and how we were all damned. I knew I was damned by all the blood on my hands from thirty years of ‘black operations’,  but I never thought I’d become the overseer of ‘the land of the dead’. It was the scientist’s warped sense of humor that we would become carriers of the virus and we would destroy what we fought so mercilessly to save. He also made sure that we were immune to the virus so we could witness this horror. It’s not our fault, we were just following orders. Yes, that’s what we always say, isn’t it?  Read the rest of this entry »

I Lost My Heart, Then I Lost My Mind

April 25, 2009

     Why do you think you’re here, sir? Because I’m confused. Well, why are you confused? I suppose it’s because I’m in love. That’s not unusual, it happens all the time. Now tell me why you would be brought to this facility for observation? I’m an angel and for me falling in love is unusual. If you are an angel, then where are your wings? It’s a common misconception that angels have wings. We do fly, although I prefer not to. Why? You tend to miss a lot up there, that’s why I like to walk instead. It may take longer to get where you are going, but at least the trip is more interesting. Just out of curiosity, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Three thousand and seventy-eight and they were dancing a waltz. It was quite lovely. Uh huh. I don’t see a name listed on your admission papers. What is your name, sir? Angel. We’re all known as ‘Angel’. There are so many of us that it would be hard to remember who’s who if we each had a different name. Of course, the archangels have names, but they’re special. It must lead to some confusion. I’ve never had a problem. Uh huh. Is the bible the word of God? It’s a good starting point, but a lot is open to interpretation. Fortunately, ‘the one we all serve’ is always there to show the way. Always there? Yes, sometimes we choose not to hear, but the answer is always there. How do we know if it’s the right or wrong answer. There’s only the answer. All you have to do is listen. Fascinating. You don’t seem confused to me. I can’t say if I believe all you’ve told me, but I can tell you believe it. May I ask a question? Yes, what is it? Why are you wearing those red shoes? They are a gift from one of the women I’m in love with. Seeing me wear them makes her smile and she has such a lovely smile. You’re in love with more than one woman? I’m in love with two women to be exact. That doesn’t seem like angel-like behavior. That’s why I’m confused. Please explain. I was doing as I had for ages, serving ‘the one’, when I came upon a woman, then another, each carrying enough emotional baggage to crush a man, but that was no problem for an angel. So you helped them? Yes, the one I called ‘She’s a Mystery’ had such low self-esteem that over the years she allowed numerous men to abuse her again and again. It was a mystery to me why such a beautiful free spirit would let this happen to her. The other woman I knew as ‘She Needed to be Adored’ had nearly died of an illness as a child and afterwards clung to everything in her life as if it would vanish if she didn’t. This meant  for years she endured a brutal relationship with a man and feared growing older. But as I listened to her and reassured her, those fears lessened and that lovely smile grew brighter and brighter. Both women were exquisite in their own way and possessed such loving qualities, but they just could not see that until I opened their eyes and hearts. I suppose only an angel could undo the damage others had done and as these women began to emerge from the darkness, I found myself falling in love. How did you know? When I was not with them I felt a terrible emptiness, and when I was with them I felt joy unknown. Yes, very un-angel-like. I was there to help them and now I was behaving very selfishly, I couldn’t understand why this was happening. What did you do? I tried to leave them, but after a few days I was back and the happiness in their eyes upon my return made it impossible for me to leave again. All this had to be happening for a reason, nothing an angel does happens without one. This confusion led me to wander the streets calling for an answer. To those around me, this seemed like crazy behavior. That’s how I came to be here. Very interesting. I still don’t believe you’re an angel, but I don’t think you’re confused anymore, are you? No. You know what the answer is. Yes, I know what I have to do, what I was meant to do. I can tell you now, since you have been confined here, two women have come every day waiting patiently until they can see you. Angel, why are you crying now? Because they do need me.

I’m Magic

March 28, 2009

     At a little noticed press conference… Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I would like to announce… I’m the only one here. What? I’m the only reporter here at your press conference, sir. Well, then as I was about to say… I’m only here because I lost a bet with my editor. To continue, I, Huggaboom the Magnificent, perhaps today’s greatest magician… Says who? What? I did a little checking on you before coming to this ‘event’ and it was very enlightening, to say the least. According to the periodical, ‘Abracadabra’, you’re often referred to as “Huggaboom, the Mediocre” and that you have a unique talent for making audiences disappear, usually in anger and disgust. There are those that are jealous of my renowned skills of prestidigitation and legerdemain. It’s said you couldn’t change a dollar bill. Grrrrr. Are you here to report or criticize? Sorry. It was just background to add a little color to the story. Please continue, sir. As I was  about to say, this will be perhaps the greatest feat of magic ever performed… Like the event in Australia a few years ago? What? You know, the one where you said you would make the Sydney Opera House vanish. That’s past history. I’m here to talk about something entirely different. Before an assembled audience, you said you would make the Sydney Opera House vanish. Instead, when you tried mass hypnotism on the crowd, you let loose an emission so noxious that the papers later referred to it as “Huggaboom’s big boom from down under”. It wasn’t that bad. A ninety year old great grandmother from Brisbane was nearly blinded by your ‘magical Aussie toot’. I blame it on a combination of Australian lager, spicy kangaroo stew and tasty koala fritters that I had consumed prior to the show. It is said that Houdini was plagued by flatulence caused by hearty pre-show meals. It was also reported at the time, that several young women in the audience, that had passed out from your colossal gasser, reported that their undergarments had mysteriously vanished. It’s a standard clause that magicians are not held responsible for missing items during a performance. I’m Huggaboom the Magnificent! Heh heh heh. Didn’t you used to have a ventriloquist act? I’d rather not talk about it. You worked with a dummy called Lil’ Splinter and achieved a fair amount of notice. That’s old news. It was rumored the act broke up because a Carpathian warlock’s soul was imprisoned within the dummy and that he wanted to transfer his soul to your body. Isn’t this true, sir? Well, I might have made a deal with Lil’ Splinter in exchange for wealth and success beyond my wildest dreams. But he only got me a semi-regular spot on the ‘Friends’ spin-off, ‘Joey’, and I didn’t consider that fulfilling the promise. So what happened? I suggested we take a sea cruise to discuss our arrangement. Once underway, I overpowered him, locked him in a steamer trunk, chained and weighted it down, then once we reached the deepest part of the ocean, I tossed him overboard. Too bad, even though he was a homicidal puppet, he had great timing and could really sell a joke. You know he’s standing right behind you. What!!! God help us! He’ll kill us all! Run for your life! Just kidding. Grrrrr. Am I going to get to finish my announcement or what? Continue. In perhaps my greatest feat of magic, I give you…voila!—THE WHEEL OF DEATH! It looks like a lazy Susan. Now I’ve just about had it with you, bub! Audiences around the world know when they come to one of my performances they will have a chance to view greatness. I’m magic. I’m Huggaboom the Magnificent! I  don’t know how much ‘greatness’ audiences will come away with when you’re spinning around on ‘The Lazy Susan of Death’. That’s it! I’m gonna kick your ass! What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue, mister smart guy? Behind you…it’s Lil’ Splinter! I’m not falling for that one again. HOOGABOOM, I ZINK VEE HAVE ZUM OONFEENEESHED BEEZEENEZ TO ZETTLE. Yikes! Good to see you again, little guy. Sorry about that little misunderstanding we had. How about we get the act back together? I can guarantee a spot on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. JEEMMEE KEEMMEEL, EH? HE VOOD BE KWITE ZOOTABLE, I’VE ALVAYS VANTED MINE OWN TAWK SHOW. HEH HEH HEH.

Love Hurts

February 14, 2009

     The fate of mankind will be decided by an encounter of the weird kind… Where am I? You are aboard a Metalunan scout ship. Now I remember, you’re an alien! Yes, when you first realized that, you screamed like a female of your species and emptied your bowels and bladder. Please do not do that again, my ship’s sanitation unit can’t handle the strain. Sorry, it was just a natural defense mechanism. You’re lucky, I could have then dealt you a fatal blow. How fortunate for me that I thought you were just frightened. Yes… I suppose the fainting was part of this defense mechanism too? Yes, just lulling you into a false sense of security. We Earthlings are plenty tough, so you had better watch out, mister space alien. I will, I will. Why are you here? And what do you want with me? To answer your first question, to prepare for colonization, er, I mean future space tourism. But before that can happen, I need the answer to a question. What’s that? Why does love hurt? Love hurts? That sounds like the title of that old Everly Brothers song. Exactly, we Metalunans did away with emotions billions of your Earth years ago. So, how can we conquer, er, I mean visit your planet when you live by an emotion, that according to the song, can hurt, scar, wound and mar? This is a very dangerous world. You got that right, but we still like it just fine the way it is. Why didn’t you go to the source and ask the Everly Brothers? I did, but like you, they screamed and emptied their bowels and bladders. You are a very messy species. Sorry, those emotions can cause all sorts of releases. It was not a total loss. Phil and Don were kind enough to autograph an album for me. You know, the J. Geils Band had a song called ‘Love Hurts’ too. I know. I tried to seek an answer from them, but due to a transporter error, they spontaneously combusted upon arrival. What did you do then? I replaced them with lookalike androids. No one was the wiser and their bookings are now up ten percent. They will be playing at Knott’s Berry Farm next week, would you like some tickets? No thanks. What did you do next? I sought the answer from your planet’s most influential persons. From every corner of the world, I brought together politicians, spiritual leaders, scientists, writers and artists. How were they? Delicious, er, I mean thought provoking, but still no answer. Why did you bring me here then? What makes you think you can get the answer from me? Because you are an average man… Not that average. An average man who can give me a simple answer. So, let me get this straight, if I give you the correct answer to why love hurts, Metulunans will come to Earth for ‘space tourism’ and ‘thought provoking’ discussions with us humans. Yes, yes.  Can you do it? For Earth’s sake, I’ll give it a shot. You must know about the physical act of love. I’ve studied it in extreme detail. You dog! Then you must know if it is done improperly it can lead to shame, anxiety and recriminations. Yes, yes. What  you probably don’t know is that if it is done correctly it can lead to the Earth moving. This sounds extremely dangerous. It could be a navigation hazard and result in many collisions. Yes, many many collisions. Plus, love can still hurt even if is done successfully. How can that be? Because then all your waking moments all you think about is getting, keeping and staying in love and you can do little else for the rest of your life. This is terrible! Pain and loss of productivity, we Metalunans would find that totally unacceptable. I’ll have to tell our leaders to call off the invasion, er, I mean visit. Our loss, I guess. Can I go home now? Yes, it’s the least I can do, you poor bastard. I don’t know how you humans can stand the terror of love. It’s a struggle, but we somehow manage to survive, thank God. Love hurts. Yes, love hurts.

The Bombthrower Nearly Destroys America

January 10, 2009

     History is about to be made and amazingly The Reluctant Bombthrower finds himself part of it. Bombie received an invitation to the Inauguration and an offer from the President-elect to become his advisor on the internet. Why anyone would invite a guy who calls himself ‘The Bombthrower’ to a high security event is beyond us. Plus, our hero just learned how to turn on a computer a few years ago and still in the back of his mind is afraid it will bite him. So, The Bombthrower is about to meet with the future leader of the free world at his residence in the Hay-Adams Hotel, and while we have complete faith in the guy, we’re still moving to Canada just to be safe.— It’s an honor to meet you, sir. Bombie, I’m glad you accepted my offer. I was a little surprised by it, sir. Why is that? I still haven’t figured out how to make a new paragraph on the computer when I write something and I don’t know how to forward an email. Don’t worry, you’re just what I need. Heh heh heh. What was that, sir? Oh, nothing. How are you enjoying Washington? Are you being treated well? Well, okay, except for some strange reason the Republican National Committee arranged for me to escort Sarah Palin to the Inauguration. Nothing strange about that. She somehow got it in her head that I was some sort of a high-end ‘call boy’ ordered especially for her. I’ve had to avoid her amorous advances ever since.What’s wrong with that? Governor Palin is a very beautiful and desirable woman, eh? Heh heh heh. Are you sure you’re all right, sir? It’s nothing. I’ve just been busy making changes to the agenda for my administration. I noticed that, sir. Your message of change and hope has now become a continuation of the present administration’s policies. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve come to embrace the fine work of President Cheney. Heh heh heh. You mean President Bush, don’t you, sir? Dick Cheney is Vice President, right? Of course, of course. It’s just that Dick Cheney is such a visionary, he deserves to be President. Heh heh heh. Are you sure you’re all right, sir? Yes, yes. Don’t you have a to pick out a corsage for that comely Sarah Palin or something? Ugh. That reminds of my mission today. What is that? To expose the reason for all the strange goings on lately leading up to your swearing in, sir. I see nothing strange. Heh heh heh. Of course not, since you are—DICK CHENEY DISGUISED AS BARACK OBAMA! I SEE MY LITTLE DIGUISE DIDN’T FOOL YOU, MR. BOMBTHROWER. MIGHT AS WELL TAKE IT OFF NOW ANYWAY, THIS INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH GIRDLE IS KILLING ME. Amazing. How could a paunchy senior citizen make himself look like a younger, tall slender African-American? IT’S THE FIRST THING THEY TEACH YOU IN EVIL SUPERVILLAIN SCHOOL. HOW DID YOU KNOW IT WAS ME, MR. BOMBTHROWER? Well, for one thing, you insisted that Lawrence Welk headline the Inaugural Ball. I THOUGHT THAT WAS WHAT ALL THE KIDS WERE LISTENING TO THESE DAYS. Another thing, at a demonstration of the latest wi-fi technology, you proclaimed it to be “some sort of devilry and witchcraft”. I SAW THE HAND OF SATAN IN IT FOR SURE. And lastly, you replaced the respected nominee for the post of Treasury Secretary with a guy named Shifty McGurk who said his main goal when he got to Washington would be to “get some”. A MAN HAS TO HAVE A PLAN. NEVERTHELESS, YOU WON’T STOP ME, MR. BOMBTHROWER! Dick Cheney, you’re so evil! All you’re missing is a white cat! MY HENCHCAT, NIBBLES, IS AT MY ‘UNDISCLOSED LOCATION’ MAKING SURE THE PRESIDENT-ELECT IS COMFORTABLE AND OUT OF CIRCULATION. HEH HEH HEH. That’s some evil cat. But just how do you think you can overthrow the will of the people? QUITE EASILY. DISGUISED AS BARACK OBAMA, I WOULD ENACT POLICIES THAT WOULD THROW THE COUNTRY INTO CHAOS. HIS POPULARITY WOULD PLUMMET, THEN THE LITTLE NOTICED AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION I MADE WOULD COME INTO EFFECT. Amendment to the Constitution? YES, IT STATES THAT WHEN THE PRESIDENT’S POLL NUMBERS SLIP TO SINGLE DIGITS HE MUST BE IMPEACHED, REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT IS THEN DISSOLVED AND DICK CHENEY BECOMES EMPEROR FOR LIFE. HEH HEH HEH. When did all this happen? DURING A PARTICULARLY ENGROSSING SEASON OF DANCING WITH THE STARS. NIBBLES SPEARHEADED THE RATIFICATION PROCESS. Wow! That is some evil cat. Your plan will never succeed! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU CAN STOP ME, MR. BOMBTHROWER? For one thing, I’ve seen every Bond film at least twenty times. That includes the lousy ones like ‘A View to a Kill’. You know that’s the one where Roger Moore looks like he’s 103 years old and the Bond Girl was so dumb she got kicked off ‘Charlie’s Angels’ where the only job qualification she had to have was to be able to jiggle. Also, I’ve been delaying you so the authorities had enough time to rescue the President-elect. WHAT!!! THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE! YOU WOULD NEED THE HELP OF THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF FOR SOMETHING LIKE THAT…I’M SCREWED. Yes, I put it in terms that President Bush could understand. I told him that Scooby, Shaggy and the gang were in trouble and needed his help. After that, he placed the FBI, the CIA and Batman at my disposal. THAT BOOB! Former President Clinton offered his help too. He said he would personally contact Wonder Woman and Xena, Warrior Princess. YOU MAY HAVE WON THIS TIME, MR. BOMBTHROWER, BUT I SHALL GET EVEN WITH YOU. HEH HEH HEH. ADIEU. Where did he go? Who knew there was a trap door in a five-star hotel? I didn’t know a guy that has had a hundred heart attacks could move so fast. Wonder what he meant about ‘getting even’? You don’t suppose he has sent someone to deal with me? Who could it be? Oddjob? Nibbles? …Pussy Galore? You got that right, honey lips! Sarah Palin!!! You’re harder to hunt down than a bull moose, but hopefully you’re just as tasty. Yum yum. Ugh! Well, I think I’ll be going now. Got an Inauguration to attend, you know. So long… The room has been hermetically sealed and I have the only key and it’s in a place where I will enjoy you finding it again and again. Ugh! Now, you naughty tax-and-spend Democrat, come to mama and show me how they do it in the lower forty-eight. James Bond never had to defuse a bomb this terrifying. I love it when you talk dirty. Ugh!—Good luck and Godspeed to Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. The Bombthrower will return in From Sheboygan with Lust or On Her Majesty’s Secret Answering Service.

New Year’s Hoochie Coochie Man?

December 27, 2008

     Once again The Reluctant Bombthrower finds himself in a pickle. With not quite the noblest intentions, he offered his services to what he thought was an internet charity that helped the poor. Bombie figured he could do good and get some free publicity at the same time. Instead, a raffle to win an evening with The Bombthrower (why any sane woman would pay for a chance to go out with a guy called The Bombthrower is beyond us), turned out to be an internet scam cooked up by Nigerian con artists. So, now our hero finds himself fleeing from 148 angry females chasing him up the Empire State Building, and unless King Kong happens to show up, this may be the last we hear of The Reluctant Bombthrower—Can you help me! I’m the security guard here on the observation deck, what’s the problem, mister? I’ve got 148 angry women that thought they had won a New Year’s Eve date with Brad Pitt chasing me! Glad to meet you, Mr. Pitt. You sure look a lot different in your movies. I’m not Brad Pitt! It seems to me if you stuck to one woman at a time you wouldn’t have a problem. What’s a matter, Angelina Jolie not good enough for you now? You lucky bastard. I’m not Brad Pitt! You’re some kind of a hoochie coochie man, aren’t you? Maybe you should have stayed with Jennifer Aniston, then you wouldn’t be tomcatting around. I’m not Brad Pitt! I got involved with an internet charity that turned out to be a scam. I was supposed to be meeting the winner of a contest tonight, not an angry mob! I get it now, Mr. Pitt, you’re going incognito, eh? It still seems to me you shouldn’t be trifling with your fans’ affections. Grrrrr. I’m not trifling with anybody, bub. I’ve got 148 women that were conned out of considerable amounts of money for what they thought was a chance of a lifetime with the sexiest man alive… Quite an ego you got there, Mr. Pitt. Grrrrr. To continue, that’s 148 women that shelled out dough for a trip to New York, hotel rooms, new outfits, makeovers and crash diets… Don’t like ’em chubby, eh, Mr. Pitt? Grrrrr…to fulfill their fantasies. When I realized what happened, I tried to reason with them. Out of the goodness of my heart, I offered to treat them to one appetizer each and a complimentary appletini at Applebee’s. Wow, you’re smooth, Mr. Pitt! What’d they say? Half of them wanted to skin me alive and the other half wanted to hurl me off the top of this building. In a compromise, they decided to do both. It was beginning to look like I would be dropping before the ball in Times Square tonight, that’s why I ran like Hell. Thought I could find someplace to hide, but everything’s all locked up. Why didn’t you call the cops for help, Mr. Pitt? I did, but the situation sounded way to dangerous to them, so they suggested I try contacting the 82nd Airborne for assistance. Are those ladies that scary? They’re like the angry villagers in a Frankenstein movie, complete with torches and pitchforks. Where the Hell do you get those in Midtown Manhattan on New Year’s Eve anyway? I know a guy on the Lower Eastside… Never mind! I thought since I do have a way with the ladies… You sure do, Mr. Pitt! Grrrrr. Anyway, I’m blessed or cursed with what are known as ‘bedroom eyes’, heh  heh heh, er, um, so I figured I’d flash those ladies a look like this. What do you think? You look like you have indigestion, Mr. Pitt. Never figured Angelina would go for a guy who looked like he was about to burp. I’m not Brad Pitt! My last resort is this then. On the way up I found a sombrero and a pair of glasses with a fake nose and mustache attached.  Figured I’d disguise myself and slip past those angry females. Here, let me put them on. Well, how do I look? You look like the Mexican Groucho Marx, Mr. Pitt. I’m dead. Wait! I can hear them coming up now! Goodbye, Mr. Pitt. I’m going to hide in this utility closet, because them dames might not be too particular who they throw off the building tonight. Have a nice flight. Well, here goes nothing… WHERE’S THE BOMBTHROWER!!! Hola, Senoritas. El Bombthrower hitched a ride on a passing news helicopter and is now on his way back to his hacienda, no doubt. I am just a simple tourist, in no way involved with any contest, admiring the view on this lovely New Year’s Eve. OH WELL, THANKS FOR LETTING US KNOW WHAT HAPPENED, SWARTHY MYSTERIOUS LATIN STRANGER. DO YOU HAVE INDIGESTION? No, I’m just overwhelmed by so many mas chicas so muy linda. THANK YOU. Perhaps you ladies would like to join me at Applebee’s for appetizers and appletinis? WE’D LOVE TO! Then let us vamanos and later we can catch Senor Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. HOORAY!—Feliz Ano Nuevo from your amigo, El Bombthrower!