Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Spread Your Wings"


An Interactive Post... sort of.

Hey.

You wanna really get into the swing of things here?

1. Click the "play" button on this very special, one-song playlist.




Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


2. Give this tune a listen until you know it... until you really know it. Until it gets sucked right into you and affects your mood.

3. Read the following story, while playing the song in the background until you literally can't stand it any more!

4. Just make sure you finish the story, okay? (Yeah, I should talk. I started this story six months ago, for a "Theme Thursday" entry. Took me this long to get back to the damned thing! But I digress.)

* * * * *

In all of his twenty-three years, Derek had never loved anyone as much as he'd loved her.

Lindsay.

In all of his twenty-three years, Derek had never loved anyone as much as he'd loved Lindsay.

She'd recently left him for half a dozen damnably-vague reasons, most of which Derek couldn't quite remember right now. Some nonsense about her having an inability to commit to anyone... This, after three months of doing just fine, apparently? He couldn't remember the other excuses she'd made, but then again, he didn't even care, at this point.

She'd left him. He'd lost her. He'd lost her.

For a week or so, he'd held onto a hope that they might still get together. That ended last night. Well... this morning, really.

At eleven p.m. last night, Derek had been sitting in the little park across the street from Lindsay's apartment building, on a bench that faced her front door. He saw her come home with a tall, good-looking guy with long hair, worn in a ponytail. The happy couple didn't see Derek.

Even when it started raining lightly, half an hour later, Derek stayed on the park bench, his eyes glued to the front door of Lindsay's building.

Derek was thoroughly drenched long before the long-haired dude finally left, which was sometime after seven a.m.

Derek had really lost Lindsay.

There was no longer any point in living.

He got home around eight. He didn't make his usual pot of strong coffee. And he had no appetite for breakfast.

He just sat at the kitchen table, hot tears pouring down his cheeks despite his inner voices screaming at him to "man up."

At somewhere around nine-thirty, Derek finally came up with an idea, of sorts. It was remarkable in its simplicity.

He would leave his apartment, walk to the end of the hall, and take the elevator from his floor -- the eighth -- up to the tenth. Then he would take the janitor's stairway from there to the roof.

Then he'd jump off.

Remarkable in its simplicity.

Suiting the action to the unspoken word, Derek was standing on the flat, graveled roof of his apartment building in a matter of minutes.

Derek was suicidal, not homicidal, so he decided that jumping off the front of the building was too dangerous to anyone who might be walking along... anyone that he might land on, in other words. The opposite side of the roof rose eleven stories above an alley. That would be a better place to land.

He walked to the opposite side... and hesitated.

He sat down on the building's very edge, his legs dangling over it, his feet in the air.

Did he really want to do this?

Yup.

Derek stood back up, and idly brushed at something which seemed to be pressing down slightly on his right shoulder.

Almost immediately after, he noticed an equal pressure on his left shoulder.

He looked down, and blinked. Standing on his right shoulder, there appeared to be... well... an angel. Just like in the movies, and cartoons. A handsome, male, winged, halo-wearing, white-robed, harp-carrying angel, about three or four inches tall, with curly blonde hair!

Faced with this ludicrous adornment to his right shoulder, Derek immediately realized what the "pressure" was on his left shoulder. He looked to his left, and -- yup! -- standing there was a devil, about three or four inches tall as well. He was everything you'd expect from a stereotypical devil. He had a long, pointed tail, cloven hooves, and he carried a pitchfork. He was dressed from collar to ankles in a form-fitting, satiny-looking outfit. Red, of course. His hair was slicked back. He had a pronounced widow's peak, and two horns, growing out from his forehead. The hair on his head and his VanDyke beard were the blackest black. He had bright red skin which matched his tights.

Derek laughed in spite of his despondent mood.

I don't do drugs, thought Derek, so what the hell is going on here?

Then the angel spoke. "Hello, Derek. My name is Reginald."

"Reginald?" repeated Derek.

"Or... Reggie, if you prefer."

"Like it matters?" mumbled Derek. Then he turned to the devil. "And what's your name?"

"Sure you wanna be on a first name basis with a devil, sunshine?"

"Like it matters?" repeated Derek. "Should I just call you Satan, then?"

"Hell no, stupid." The devil laughed as if his "hell no" had actually been funny. "Satan's the big boss. I'm not the devil, I'm just a devil. A demon, ya might say." Derek just stared at the devil. "Well, whatta you expect? That ain't God sittin' on your other shoulder, it's just..." The demon made a sour face. "Reginald."

"How about if I just call you 'Hot Stuff?' "

"How 'bout if I just grow to six feet, four inches, and kick your sorry butt off this roof?"

Reginald shook his head disapprovingly. "You know darned well you can't do that! That would be making Derek's decision for him!"

"I was just bein' a wiseguy..." admitted the demon. "Call me... Adoth."

Derek was still staring at the demon. "What did you mean about growing to six feet tall? Can you do that? I mean, can both of you...?"

"Sure," said the demon. Suddenly, he was gone from Derek's shoulder. Just as suddenly, he appeared beside Derek, in a much more ordinary form. He stood about 5'11", two inches taller than Derek. The demon's tail, his cloven hooves, and the pitchfork had all disappeared. His black hair was still combed back -- although no longer slicked back -- and he still sported the beard, but his satiny outfit was replaced by a simple set of red slacks and a red, button-down shirt with black buttons. His skin was no longer bright red. It was only as red as any white man's would be if he'd incurred a bad sunburn.

Instinctively, Derek turned to his right. Reginald, the angel, was now standing beside him as well, wearing a white shirt and white slacks. There was no sign of halo, harp, or wings. Reginald was roughly six feet tall.

"Okay, guys," said Derek, "What are you doing here?"

Reginald replied, "Isn't it obvious? You're here to take your own life. We're here to prevent that."

Adoth corrected Reginald. "Nuh-uh. You're here to prevent that; I'm here to convince him to go through with it." Reginald made a face at the demon.

Derek shook his head. "How 'bout if the two of you just butt out and let me do what I'm gonna do anyway?"

Adoth smiled, and stuck his tongue out at Reginald. "In which case, I win." He grinned at Derek. "Sounds great, and I can get back in time for breakfast."

"No!" shouted Reginald. "Derek, you can't do this! Just because things look bleak at this very moment, it doesn't mean that they can't or won't improve. But death insures that they won't."

Derek smirked as he replied, "Is that really the best you can come up with, Goldie?"

"You know, kid, if you just jump and get it over with, we can both be in Hell in time for breakfast," said Adoth. "Of course, you probably won't like what they serve you. It is Hell, after all..."

"He's right, Derek," said Reginald. "It's Hell. If you kill yourself, that's where you go... and you won't like it. You'll hate it. In fact, it's designed that way." Reginald stuck his tongue out at Adoth. Then, to Derek, he added, "Still want to kill yourself?"

Derek looked at Reginald strangely, then looked at Adoth. "Sorry, I wasn't listening. I was wondering if the fact that you two guys showed up here means I picked the 'right' religion."

Adoth and Reginald both exclaimed "What?!?"

Derek explained. "Well, the whole angels and devils, 'suicide's a sin,' Heaven and Hell thing... It falls right in line with Christian theology. And I'm a Christian, by choice. So... I was right?"

Reginald looked plaintively at Adoth. Adoth scoffed, "Hey, don't look at me! You field this one, blondie!"

Reginald looked at Derek, and uncomfortably answered, "Well, it's kind of involved, but it's less a matter of things being this way because you have the 'proper' beliefs than it is that... uhhh... we're here because of what you, personally, believe. Uhhh... is that clear?"

"Clear as mud," replied Derek. "You're kind of annoying, you know that, Reggie?"

"I'll say!" interjected Adoth.

"And you're even worse!" countered Derek.

"Comes with the job description, kid," mumbled Adoth.

Derek continued, "I mean, here I am, on the worst day of my life, ready to end that life because of how bad I feel, and you're getting off on the thought of my splattering myself all over that alley!"

"Like, I said, it comes with the--"

"Shut up!" yelled Derek, as he abruptly shoved Adoth, who fell backwards off the roof with a scream.

Reginald's eyes opened wide. "Oh, my G...!" He glanced upwards. "Uhhh, sorry..." He looked back at Derek. "I can't believe you did that! You just killed a man!"

"I did not," replied Derek, calmly. "He was already dead. Or not even alive. Whatever. You know what I mean. Just be glad I didn't do the same to you. I thought of it, actually, but figured it wouldn't work. The wings, and all..."

"But still...!"

"Oh, lighten up, Reggie." Derek looked down into the alley below. "He isn't even down there. The alley, I mean. In another sense, I suppose he just went back to where he came from, so he is 'down there.' Get it?"

Reginald muttered, "You don't have to draw me a gosh-darned picture, Derek."

"Good. Now. You gonna leave so I can do my little jump in peace?"

"No!"

"Oh, for...! How do I get rid of you, then?"

"Decide to live. Then I'll leave."

"And if I just hang around here... or pretend to change my mind and go back downstairs, while planning to come back up here when you're gone?"

"It won't work. Where I come from, we know what's in your heart."

"So... You know this is really what I want."

Reginald looked uneasy. "Yes."

"Then how about this. You go back to Heaven, and take me with you."

"What?!?"

"You heard me."

"I... I can't do that! You're not dead!"

"But if you take me to Heaven, wouldn't that kinda... you know... make me dead?"

"This is ridiculous." Reginald thought quickly. "Besides, uhh... It's not your time."

"Bullshit. If that was as set-in-cement as you imply, you and Adoth wouldn't have bothered showing up, because whether or not I was to die today would have been pre-ordained." Reginald sat down on the edge of the roof, shaking his head. Derek pressed his advantage. "There's no sin in simply wanting to die, I assume. And your being here at all implies that the only thing which could have kept me from going to Heaven would have been my suicide... and if you take me away with you instead of leaving me to jump, you will have effectively prevented that! So you still get your little merit badge, or whatever. I win. You win. Everybody wins, except that little scumbag I just pushed off the roof."

"I... I have to clear this with my bosses..."

Derek stepped toward the edge of the roof. "Forget it. My way or the alleyway!"

"No! Wait!" Reginald stood up. His wings had reappeared. He held his right hand out toward Derek. "Take my hand, Derek."

"Sorry, you're not my type." Derek laughed. "Just kidding," he said, clasping Reginald's hand with his own.

The two men -- for lack of a better expression, for neither was a mortal "man" in the strictest sense, now -- slowly began rising into the air, gradually fading from sight... until they were totally gone.

* * * * *



Thanks for your time.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Elusive Grammy Josephine, Part Two -- A "Sepia Saturday" Post


My grandmother, Josephine Matukaitis (later Josephine
Stremekes, then Josephine Darasz), in the 1950s. An odd
shot, admittedly, which looks almost like a police mug shot!

I hope this Sepia Saturday post won't be too much of a let-down after my last Sepia Saturday post, "The Elusive Grammy Josephine, Part One." Part One shows a younger woman that was much more colorful, I'm afraid.

As I wrote earlier: By the time my mom, "Grammy" Josephine's youngest child, was two years old (circa 1919), my grandmother had given birth to at least seven children -- I say "at least," for there are rumors that one or more may have died when very, very young -- in the space of fifteen years. Then, for reasons never explained in any detail to those of my generation, she left her husband (and my grandfather), Peter Stremekes... and her children.

My Grammy ran off with a man named Dominic Darasz, and for a while, during Prohibition, she was known to sell bottles of "bootlegged" booze to people who'd knock upon her door and pay a couple of bucks for an illicit thrill, 1920s style!

I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision to leave her children. I can only guess at the handful of variables which prompted her actions. And while I was growing up, no one -- not my grandmother, certainly, nor my mother's brothers who were old enough at the time of her desertion to remember things clearly -- ever deigned to discuss such matters with the young and far-from-Silver Fox.

Somewhere around the time when her ex-husband died in 1927, Grammy Josephine made her initials attempts to rejoin the family. I'm told it was a slow and painful process, as you may well expect. That's probably the main reason I don't have many photos of her until almost thirty years later.

I didn't see a lot of my "Grammy" while growing up, mainly because most of my family lived in Massachusetts, while she and her husband Dominic lived in Rhode Island. We didn't visit often. In fact, the only clear memories I have of that period are of a very realistic (but artificial) stuffed cat with long white fur that she owned, and a conversation she was having with my mother about Dominic -- who was in the same room, I should add! -- and the fact that his mental faculties seemed to be failing somewhat. I would have been about four or five at the time. "He talks a little funny," she said, to which Dominic -- no doubt a tad upset with being discussed as if he weren't there -- replied, "He talk funny, he talk funny," in a mocking, sing-songy way.

Dominic died in 1963, I believe, probably a year or two after this odd visit.

Luckily, my sister Kathy has more vivid memories of our Grammy than my own, and she was nice enough to supply me with some rough notes:

"Grammy" used to always have a bottle of Coca-Cola and a Clark bar every time we saw her in Providence, RI.

Used to have only one type of houseplant -- OXALIS. As long as I have had my own home, I have had at least one for myself. So far, after 4 varieties, still haven't got the kind she used to have in her kitchen. [Good luck finding the right one, Kathy. There are over 800 varieties of Oxalis! -- S.F.]

Used to sweep porch, steps, and sidewalk. Every now & then she would take dishwater and pour it out on the walk to wash it. I guess she was a clean freak. I never washed a sidewalk w/out poop on it. [My sister owns two dogs, and although their "poop activities" are confined to her backyard, the same cannot be said of her neighbors, I guess. -- S.F.]

Every Easter I got a stuffed toy.

Ah, yes, the stuffed toys. Below, you'll find two photos of my grandmother. The first shows her beside my mother, dated "Mother's Day 1955" on the back. I suspect my four-and-a-half-year-old sister took the picture, because of its upward angle. The following shot, presumably taken by my mother on the same day, is of Kathy and Grammy Josephine. Kathy holds her present for Easter, 1955.
Awww, the poor little kid. Doesn't Kathy look miserable?

The next photo was taken in the late 1950s or early 1960s. I have no idea who the two women are on either side of my Grammy in the front row. In the back row are my Uncle Eddie, my Uncle Al, and... well... whoever the third man is, I'm pretty sure it's not Dominic. This guy looks too short, upon comparison to a 1927 shot of Dominic published in my last Sepia Saturday post.


Finally, this 1960s photo is of my Grammy and her sister, my mom's flamboyant Aunt Julia. Julia will get her own post -- or two -- sometime in the future.

When my Grammy died in 1969, I was twelve years old. My sister and I were present when my mother was going through Grammy's belongings. This was at the height of the so-called "hippie" era, and Kathy and I were amazed to see an ancient purple handkerchief, which had been "tie-dyed" several years earlier. And we thought the hippies had invented tie-dyeing!

At Grammy Josephine's funeral, I remember detecting an eerie lack of emotion from my uncles, no doubt caused by Grammy's earlier abandonment of the family. But be that as it may, whatever her faults and failings as a mother, she was a damned good grandmother.

I miss her...

But not as much as my sister does, I should add. Kathy remembers her much more clearly, of course, being six years older than I.

Shortly before my sister Kathy graduated high school in 1968, she gave my Grammy one of her senior yearbook pictures. (The photo fell into the hands of my mother when Grammy died, and when my mom passed away last year, I wound up with it.) On the inside of the folder which contains the photo, my sister wrote "to my favorite grandmother," which says more about my family history than I may ever share with you here.

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Comings and Goings


Okay, I lied... This post isn't about "comings" and "goings" (plural), exactly. It's being written to commemorate one "coming" (a birth, or more precisely, someone's birthday) and one "going" (a death, that of someone I'm pretty sure you've all heard of, even though he was born and died in the nineteenth century).

1. The "Coming"



April 13th was the 82nd birthday of Herman Raucher, who is probably best known as the author of the hugely successful screenplay and novel, Summer of '42.

Usually, when I list authors whom I admire and/or have been influenced by at some point, I refer to writers of the distant, or more recent, past: Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Jack Kerouac...

It's not that I don't like anyone who's current (and I'm using a very liberal sense of the word "current"). At one point, several years ago, I joined the Stephen King Library with the intention of reading everything King had ever written... until I realized that he was writing 'em faster than I could read 'em.

But Herman Raucher, whose Summer of '42 I read when I was about fourteen, was truly an influence on my style.

Summer of '42 was originally a screenplay by Raucher, which was sold to Warner Brothers after having collected dust since the 1950s! During the film's production in 1971, the studio suggested to Raucher that a novel released just prior to the movie would help build interest, and he was naturally asked to write it. What he ended up writing -- it was his very first novel, by the way -- became a colossal best seller.

Why did I buy it? I was "about fourteen," remember? I'd heard it was a book about sex. This was in the early 1970s, when you had to go a lot further than today's spam emails to find "dirty stuff."

I was immediately hooked by Raucher's writing style, so "hooked" that I never bemoaned the lack of pornographic touches. He not only told the tale from the perspective of his younger self, "Hermie," but his narrative voice (as the adult Herman) was full of wisecracks about the events as they occurred, and I'd never encountered that before.

I often write like that, in case I had to tell any of you.

So... Happy Birthday, Mr. Raucher!

2. The "Going"

I won't bother to show a photo of the man here, but today is the 145th anniversary of the death of President Abraham Lincoln, who was shot by John Wilkes Booth on the previous night of April 14th, 1865. I won't go into all the details here, either, assuming you've heard them before now. They were in all the papers, after all.

It strikes me as rather odd that unlike most historical assassins, Booth was a celebrity before his cold-blooded act of murder. He was a well-known, popular actor from an acclaimed family of actors. Try to picture someone like Drew Barrymore putting a bullet in former prez George W. Bush!

I've always had a particular affinity for Lincoln, perhaps linked to the fact that the last successful assassination attempt on a US president -- John F. Kennedy -- occurred during my own youth.

Several years ago (early 1990s), I had an idea for a planned comic book called The Two Mr. Lincolns. (I got the initial idea from the title -- and only the title -- of a TV-movie or mini-series starring Ann-Margret called The Two Mrs. Grenvilles.) It involved a still-alive Lincoln, who had made a companion of a young man named Dave Lincoln in the present. (Dave Lincoln was not related to Abe in any way, I should mention; there are living descendants of the president, but none have the Lincoln name.)

The Two Mr. Lincolns was planned as an ongoing storyline which would be fleshed out in several loosely-connected comic book mini-series. Each story would have its own tone. It could be a serious murder mystery, or an outlandish spoof of some kind, or even a "space opera" story. I thought it had lots of potential. I even discussed the concept with a couple of artists.

A few years after "discuss[ing] the concept with a couple of artists," writer/artist Scott McCloud -- who was not one of those artists -- came out with a graphic novel called The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln. Scott McCloud is an extremely talented gent whose imaginative story, also involving Lincoln in the present (along with a second "Lincoln" who was an alien impostor, IIRC), had absolutely nothing in common with mine, thankfully... but I'll always wonder if one of the artists I did talk to about my series had a later conversation with Mr. McCloud, a conversation which sparked McCloud's own idea.

Oh, well, it is an incestuous little business, innit?

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nothing to Sneeze At


My Blogger-blogger friend Betsy -- the one who "immortalized" me in the acrostic printed below my blog posts -- writes a blog called My Five Men. (And if you're unfamiliar with it, don't be thrown off by the blog's title. It's not what you're thinking! She's a lady!) In a recent post, she included the following quote from the Guinness Book of World Records, on the subject of sneezing:

"The longest recorded sneezing fit is that of Donna Griffiths (UK). She began sneezing on January 13, 1981 and sneezed an estimated one million times in the first 365 days. Her first sneeze-free day came 978 days later on September 16, 1983."

Hm. I wonder. That entry -- Guinness's, not Betsy's quoting of same -- is a bit suspect. I've always heard that the Guinness people do everything possible to authenticate their entries. How the hell did they manage this one?

"Hi, is this the 'Guinness' bunch? Well, this is The Silver Fox."

"Not The Silver Fox?!? Oh, my! What an honor! All of us here at Guinness love your blogs!"

"Thanks, I get that a lot. Anyway, I've been sneezing for 982 days in a row, and haven't stopped yet! I think my name should replace Donna Griffiths' name in your book."

"Oh, dear. We're so sorry, Mr. Fox, but we can't just take anyone's word on that... Even yours, I'm afraid. We have to verify everything!"

"Crap. Okay, good-bye."

So, how did Ms. Griffiths do it?

"Hi, Guinness? This is Donna Griffiths."

"Never heard of you."

"Of course not, silly! This is 1981, and blogging hasn't even been invented yet."

"What hasn't been invented yet? Plogging? Blarging? Speak up, will you?"

"Never mind! Anyway, I've been sneezing all blasted morning, and something tells me this could last for years! I think I could qualify as a candidate for sneezing champion -- or whatever you'd list me as -- in your book, whenever this spell finally ends."

"You may be right, Ms. Griffin!"

"Griffiths."

"Whatever. Well, look, we can't count your sneezes up until now, of course, but we're going to send a man... or a woman, if you prefer, depending on your home situation, whether you're married, single, and all that..."

"Of course."

"He or she will stay with you and document the number of your sneezes and the duration of this bout of sneezing, until you have a completely sneeze-free day."

"Wonderful! So, I should set an extra place for dinner, then?"

"Yes, of course. And... Do you have a spare room?"

"No, but I have a very comfortable couch."

"Well, that's a start. And do you allow smoking in your home, in case our representative is a smoker?"

"Sure. This is 1981. Who doesn't smoke?"

"Excellent. Would you mind holding while I get a secretary to iron out the finer details, and get your address, and so on?"

"Of course not. And thank you so much."

Update: It has been rumored that Donna Griffiths married the Guinness representative in 1986 (or maybe 1987), but since I wasn't able to authenticate that last bit, let's just pretend I didn't write it.

Thanks for your time. And thanks for the inspiration, Betsy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Place-Filler of Sorts


Hey, fellow babies, just an FYI or two or 47, complete with some teasers... Admittedly, this post won't be too interesting -- so I'll try to keep it brief -- but so it goes.

Ever since "Epiphany," my infamous "It's Only an Effin' Blog" post, my attitude toward blogging and the internet in general has been much more laid back and relaxed. And if you know anything about my personal life beyond my various blog personas, you know that's a good thing.

There are a lot of subjects about which I plan to write about sometime soon, but although the ideas are coming at a fast and furious pace -- Hey, "Fast and Furious!" Wouldn't that make a great title for a movie? -- there's been an odd feeling of apathy when it comes to actually writing them all down. It's not a case of "Writer's Block," I hasten to add, more a feeling of no "pressure" where anything is concerned.

I still plan to write Part Two of "The Elusive Grammy Josephine" for Sepia Saturday, and soon. Part One was very well received. I've been very busy lately, and my family history research has been somewhat curtailed -- emails to family members have been largely unanswered, so when time permits, I'll be resorting to that archaic "telephone" thing to contact relatives -- but I hope to do some catching up ASAP.

Ever since my tribute to actor Peter Graves, other celebrities -- and one friend -- have been "leaving" us with an alarming frequency. Sooner or later I'll be posting about them en masse, as it were, with special attention to only a handful of the recent roll call.

I've also been very nostalgic for a lot of the comic books I read in my childhood and young adulthood, so those of you who like posts about that subject may like the stuff I'll probably be sending your way now and then.

I have been writing for Simpson/Lynch Studios: Pleasantview, the blog I share with my writing partner, Skip Simpson, but even those posts don't have the urgency, time-wise, that they once did. (Which is strange, as the "Pleasantview" storyline is "buld[ing] to a fever pitch," as I say in my sidebar.) But I must admit, even 'though I'm my own worst critic, I was very pleased with the most recent post, which I wrote all by my li'l ol' self.

As for my two-part take-off on Skip Simpson's writing style -- Part One is here -- I'll probably put up Part Two sooner or later, if anybody ever asks to see the damned thing.

Now, as for Skip Simpson himself, there is something I wanted to finally get around to, and that's to guide you to the relatively new blog by his "favorite ex-wife," Sandy. It's called The Paper Sack, and when Skip recently re-established contact with Sandy, and urged her to start her own blog, I was a tad... nervous. I was hoping I'd be able to recommend it, but frankly, at that time I only knew her by what Skip had told me about her, and... well... what if her blog -- *gulp* -- sucked? Some of the nicest people I know -- and Sandy's exceptionally nice, I can honestly say -- aren't effective writers.

Well, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I read her very first post! It was quite well-written, and once I encountered the word "etymological," I fell in love with her immediately. Check it out!

As for Skip himself, he's been kind of a let-down lately. He and Sandy have rekindled their earlier relationship, and he's gone a bit "goo-goo" on me. Okay, okay, I'm kidding about the "let-down" part! But if you follow his blog and/or Sandy's -- and again, I recommend both -- you know what I mean. I'm actually quite happy for both of them.

So, fellow babies, there's your update!

Now. Should I change my customary "Thanks for your time" closing to "See you when I see you?"

P.S. -- Happy Birthday, Herman Raucher! More on that in a day or two... probably.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My New Writing Style! (or, "The S**t-Faced Chef!")


I have grown to admire Skip Simpson's writings, and have decided to be just like him! That's easier said than done. It's not easy to imitate his greatness. It takes more than just letting each line end haphazardly (without using Blogger's "justify" setting) and inserting multiple commas & exclamation points, and huge spaces between paragraphs, and random capitalizations. No, no, it takes a special talent, what the French would call "merde," I believe, to duplicate his unique style! Wish me luck as I steal do tribute to one of his greatest creations!

* * * * *

Announcer: And now, gentlemen of our studio audience, and all you guys watching us on cable with your pissed-off, underage, girlfriends, we proudly present... The S**t-Faced Chef!!! (applause)


SFC: Well, halloooo dere, all you pimple humpers! (toasts Audience with his Glass of Merlot, and takes a big swig) I'm your Host, the S**t-Faced Chef, and we are, ON THE AIR!!! (applause) And who do you think that is, snoring away on the couch behind me, his Shoeless Feet polluting the air in here?


Audience (In unison): It's YACBOD!!!


SFC: You guessed it!!! YACBOD -- short for "Yet ANOTHER Character, Based On David" -- the surly [expletive deleted], who keeps Hiding my BOOZE!


Audience (In unison): BOOOOOO!!!


SFC: Now, now, remember, pippy humples, Yacbod's our Buddy!


Audience (In unison): We meant to yell, YAYYYYY, of course, SFC!!!


SFC: Boy, you guys are good! (pause, while SFC takes another swig of Merlot) Okey, dokey, before we begin, (lowers voice, adopting a sad tone) I must tell y'all, this has been a VERY bad week for the ol' SFC, money-wise.


Audience (In unison): Awwww!


SFC: Yes, drippy tribbles, early Monday morning, I walked to my favorite, antique tea-kettle, and boiled some hot water, for an Instant-Coffee, caffeine jolt.


(Studio Monitor shows SFC's photo of his tea kettle.)


SFC: After that, I proceeded to the courthouse, and faced a rather surly, unsympathetic Judge, who ordered me to pay alimony, and child support, to all my ex-wives, and their children. (takes swig of Merlot, empties glass, and starts drinking straight from the bottle)


(Monitor shows slide of Judge.)



Audience (In unison): Ooooh!


SFC: On appeal, I was sent before an even MORE unsympathetic Judge.


(Monitor shows slide of second Judge.)



Audience (In unison): OOOOOHHH!!!


SFC: On my SECOND appeal, I was sent before an even MORE unsympathetic Judge!!!


(Monitor shows slide of third Judge.)



Audience (In unison): [EXPLETIVE DELETED!!!]


SFC: [EXPLETIVE DELETED!!!], indeed!!! So that's why I'm Sad, today. And broke.


Audience (In unison): Awwww, life just isn't FAIR to you, SFC!!!


SFC: Boy, you guys are good! (pause) Which, of course, caused a problem with my new neighbor, and date, for tonight, the kindly, little, old, lady, named, LaTonga!


(Monitor shows "kindly, little, old, lady, named, LaTonga.")



Audience (In unison): Oooooh! (random whistles)


SFC: So, since I'd planned to cook for LaTonga, and myself, tonight, I was limited to what little Money I had in my wallet. So I decided to prepare a little Dish, a Spicy Delight that I call "TACO-RONI!!!" Now, the LAST time I made Macaroni & Cheese, it came out less than appetizing-looking.


(Monitor shows SFC's last attempt at Macaroni & Cheese.)


One Guy in Audience: That's gross, SFC!!!


SFC: (Emptying bottle of Merlot) Ahh, shut the [expletive deleted] up! (pause) I suppose the yard clippings I used as a Garnish didn't help. (pause) Now, where's my back-up Bottle of Cooking Sherry? (looks around kitchen in vain for bottle) Who, could have hidden it?


Audience (In unison): It was obviously YACBOD!!! It's ALWAYS Yacbod!!! Why do you ask that Question every [expletive deleted] episode, SFC??? He's ALWAYS the one who hides the Booze!!!


SFC: Holy [expletive deleted]!!! You guys are REALLY [EXPLETIVE DELETED] GOOD!!! (he finds a bottle of Liquid Drano under the sink and pours some in a Glass) Don't worry, there's a note on here from Yacbod, saying, "Don't drink THIS, stupid!!! This is REALLY Liquid Drano!!! It is NOT where I hid your booze, LOL, ROFL, ROFLMFAOUIBISAHM*!!!" (he drinks some, pauses, and shrugs) Now usually, when I make Macaroni and Cheese, I brew... I mean, I BAKE it from scratch. Now these are the usual, necessary Ingredients.


(Monitor shows usual, necessary Ingredients.)



SFC: But I said, SCREW all that, THAT costs MONEY!!! So I searched in my cupboard and found a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner!!!


(Monitor shows antique-looking box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner.)



Guy in Audience: Looks a little OLD, SFC!!!


SFC: (taking a big gulp from his glass & belches) Well, yeah, it was. And when I opened it, it was all stuck together, and kind of Green, and Fuzzy. So, what do you think I should do now?


Audience (In unison): Wake up Yacbod, and get his lazy ass off the couch, so he can drive you to see Boopsie at your favorite supermarket, while you pick up your Supplies!!!


SFC: Well... Yes, and No. Boopsie was being continually harassed by some drunken jerk of a Customer, I recently learned, so she quit the Market and found work at a nearby Toys'R'Us!!!


Audience (In unison): That doesn't stop you from visiting her at her NEW job and playing one of your usual childish pranks on her while you're on your way to the market, DOES it, SFC???


SFC: Hey, great [expletive deleted] idea!!!


(Suiting the action to the word, SFC wakes up Yacbod, and the two of them exit the apartment. Monitor shows their brief visit to Boopsie, and the "usual, childish prank" SFC and Yacbod play on Boopsie.)




(Unfortunately, for some reason, the S**t-Faced Chef and Yacbod do not return to the studio at the end of the segment. The audience waits... and waits... and waits...)


(Finally, after several hours... The audience leaves.)

* * * * *

*[Author's note: ROFLMFAOUIBISAHM = Rolling On the Floor Laughing My [Expletive Deleted] Ass Off Until I Bang Into Something And Hurt Myself.]

* * * * *

Well, fellow babies, truth be told, there is a second part to all of this, but I'm not gonna do it unless my readers demand it... and if I don't get sued by get permission from Skip in the meantime. After all, I really doubt he's gonna do anything similar to me in his April first post!

Thanks for your ti-- I mean, Vootie!

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