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And Then Things Got Weird….

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“Boldizsár, I Came to Kick Your Bony Ass.” — from Bughouse (Halloween 2017)

Art by Anita Benson Bradley!

Boldizsár, I Came to Kick Your Bony Ass.” 

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Because of Laszlo’s large skeletal bald head, which appeared on the covers of all his novels, Laszlo Toth was easily recognized by his legions of fans. Though Laszlo became famous by writing about the supernatural, he based his novels on fact and prided himself on being a rational man.

Laszlo did believe in science and while studying genetics for his new novel, became involved with the a group called BlameYourAncestors.com. Within two weeks after sending their headquarters a DNA sample he discovered he was 87% Hungarian and, apparently, 13 percent cheese, citing a few stray genetic threads to Luxembourg, Switzerland and four other cheesy countries.

Thanks to BlameYourAncestors he was also able to narrow his search back his Hungarian family, the Tóths.

Anita's bald family copy

With a little bit of digging, he discovered a recent family portrait. The Tóths all looked ‘polished,’ like Laszlo. Cueballs. Melon heads. The men, women and children all suffered from a severe form of early male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia).

Laszlo sent more money to expand the DNA search and finally received the results that he’d been hoping for. The ‘bald problem’ that plagued his life was traced back to a   singular   human   monster.

Count Oszkár Tóth ruled 16th century Walachia and was buried at the Tóth Citadel churchyard in Ploiești.

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The Count once possessed long flowing locks that  made him look like a golden hero on the cover of a bodice-ripping romance novel. The vain Oszkár combed his proud mane day and night. One evening he summoned his magic golden comb — Yeah, right, Give me a break — only to find out that the comb had been stolen.

Oszkár’s mother, Cynthia, told her son that she had seen a well known local magician, Madik, running away from the castle and into the Nagyon Sotet (Very Dark) Forest carrying a shiny yellow object in his hand.

After apprehending Madik, Laszlo ordered the Magician to be burned at the stake. At the Barbeque, Laszlo, himself, was cursed by the magician’s wife, a powerful witch named Eegahd.

The next morning, as Oszkár combed, his glorious mane shed. The hair that made him such a ‘wench magnet’ fell to the ground.

As a result of the Eegahd’s curse, all of Count Oszkár’s children, male and female, became bald as well; that is until in October 31, 1712, when the entire clan were tortured, murdered, dismembered, and turned into a savory paprika goulash by a nomadic Gibors.

Only one Tóth escaped the massacre, the youngest noble in line, Boldizsár, who continued to selfishly spread the Tóth family curse throughout the western world.

“The Bastard!” Thoughts of revenge pushed their tendrils in into Laszlo’s rational mind. Online, he  hired úr Harker, a Hungarian scholar, to help him  track down Boldizsár’s resting place. That is when Laszlo  made the first irrational decision since his seventh marriage, to visit his cursed ancestor’s crypt and ‘kick his bony ass to Hell.’

The following October, before the frost set in, Laszlo made his trip, alone, to Walachia.

Unfazed by local superstition, Laszlo arrived ten minutes before midnight at Tóth Citadel in Ploiești., in the woods outside of Ploiești. He quietly drove his rent-a-car around the back to the cemetery, parked and opened the trunk and removed a new Road Rager Crowbar.

Laszlo found the rusty cemetery gate open, and by the light of the full moon, jimmied his way into the Tóth Mausoleum. Once inside, he lit his lantern, shooed away the vermin and began to go to work. He located the Count and slid the heavy lid off Boldizsár’s stone coffin.

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Jubilant, he dragged the Count’s loosely connected skeleton outside among the gravestones.

MIDNIGHT

Laszlo kicked Boldizsár’s bony ass all over the churchyard until he could kick no more. After a short rest and a drink from his flask, Laszlo dragged the broken parts back inside the mausoleum, dumped them back inside the coffin and took a cellphone photos —  one of the inscription on the wall above:

Lehet, hogy meghalt, de még mindig halott.’  

Balthizar 2

The author, satisfied with the bony ass kicking, didn’t review the inscription until he arrived back home in the states:

‘Lehet, hogy meghalt, Laszlo, de még mindig halott.’

Translation: 

“I may be dead, Laszlo, but you’re still bald.”

Plague Season — from BATS on Amazon. A bat from the Front ^^ö^^ & Back ^^*^^

01 Plague Season for Web

Bats: Chapter 6:

Plague Season 

Two very old granite gargoyles greeted young guitar-slinger Jonathan Tepes as he approached the drawbridge of Poenari Castle, Prince Vlad’s home.

“Vait!” said Wichtoria, the gargoyle on the right.

Opri!” said Wichtor, the gargoyle on the left.

“You should always say ‘vait,’ Wichtor,” said Wichtoria as she strained her long granite neck over the battlement to get a better view of the pale young man in the rapid strobe of the lightning. Jonathan was standing beneath the drawbridge, shielding himself from the cold rain with his guitar case.

“You, down there!” shouted Wichtoria. “Are you here to entertain us? Young vippersnapper, are you…are you the singer James Taylor?”

“What?! Noooo!” said Jonathan.

Rain pummeled the blood-soaked soil and ran in red rivulets toward the moat.

“Maybe you are Jackson Browne then?” asked Wichtoria.

“Yes! You do look very familiar,” said Wichtor. “Are you a wisitor?”

“Wisitor? You mean, visitor? Yes, I am a wisitor!” said Jonathan, looking up at the gargoyles as the rain tapered off.

“I’ve dabbled in songwriting too!” said Wichtoria. “I could sing you some of my songs. Maybe, if you like them, I vill let you record them, Mr. Taylor.”

“Sorry! I only LOOK like James Taylor…before he lost his hair,” said Jonathan. “I’m also mellower!” he shouted while shooing away clouds of gnats, flies, and all manner of pestilence.

“I can’t play guitar with my talons and stony wings,” said Wichtoria. “But I can play a mean blues harp. Maybe we can jam later?”

Wichtor turned toward her sharply. “Enough, Wici!” Then he looked back down on the shivering human. “Young man! Did you park your wehicle in the wisitor parking?”

“Wehicle? Wisitor parking? Why, no!”

Wichtoria said, “If you’re only wisiting, you should never park in the wesidential parking. Parking is wimited. If you need to unload your band equipment, you can—”

“I am a wisitor, I have no wehicle, annnnnd I DO NOT have a band!”

“I am Wichtoria. You can call me Wici. This is Wichtor. He is a ‘sir.’”

“Maybe after your show we can have a drink,” said Wici. The gargoyle winked at young Jonathan. Wichtor shook his stony head in shame.

 “This is not funny,” he said. “It’s freezing and raining!”

“Did you hear that, my little angel? I’m shocked! Did you know that our veather stinks, Wici?”

Poison arrow frogs dropped from the sky onto Jonathan’s shoulders.

“The Prince had me brought here in the taxi. Please!” said Jonathan.

“Oh! So Mr. Big Shot sent for you! Vell then, velcome!” they both said.

“Is it safe here? Everyone down in the village at Poenari seems frightened,” shouted Jonathan. “A woman dressed in black warned me about vampires.”

“Ha! She must have been an oldt vife!” said Wichtor. “Cause that is an oldt vife’s tale! There are no such things as w-w-w-w-wampires!”

“Maybe we should tell our young wisitor about the wampires,” Wichtor whispered into Wici’s ear. “Hey, you! Young man! We do have wampires!”

“What?”

“Only a few,” said Wici trying to calm him.

“No. Don’t make him worry, Wici,” said Wichtor.

“What happened to your accents? The Vs and Ws?”

“Busted! The Vs and Ws were just a setup for the wampire joke,” Wici said. “Actually, we are from Paris, monsieur.”

Something black landed on Jonathan’s collar. “Ow! What the hell just bit me?” he asked, flinging his hands around.

“That was either Cherubino or Angioletto,” said Wici.

“Damn! That was a bat!” screamed Jonathan.

“Transylvanian Mosquitos,” said Wichtor, trying not to drive away his employer’s prospective dinner. “The woods are rotten with…creepies undt crawlies.”

“Can you please lower the bridge?” yelled Jonathan.

Wichtor looked over to Wici and gestured with his talon. “Look at that, Wichtoria! The boy didn’t bring a jacket. Kids these days, I tell ya.”

“Before we can open the bridge, we are required to ask you three questions,” said Wici. “National security. Do you understand?”

“Okay! Please!” Jonathan sneezed loudly.

“Did you hear that, Wichtor? Mr. Taylor, does your mother know that you’re dressed like that? You could catch your life of cold out here. Where’s your sweater?”

“Look! He’s catching pneumonia,” said Wichtor. “Ask him already!”

“Are you listening?” she yelled. “Question number one: Tell me which movie this quote came from: ‘Come…on! Move into the slow lane, you stupid bastard!’”

“The Day of the Driving Dead!”

“Not bad, kid,” said Wichtor, framed by a cloud of descending locusts. “Number two,” Wici continued. “‘Hisssssss…ski.’”

“The Polish Bride of Frankenstein. Too easy,” said Jonathan, teeth chattering.

Lightning struck behind him, pushing him toward the red water of the moat. A hundred pairs of green eyes lit up as the crocodiles waited for him to slip.

“The kid’s good!” Wichtor said to Wici. “For one hundred dolari! Are you listening, young man?”

“Yes, I’m listening! Brrrrrrrr……”

“Well, then you should have listened to your mother!” interrupted Wici. “If you had any brains, the Good Humerus Man would be selling them frozen on a stick. Not even a hat! What they teach you in college? Okay, smarty pants, Wichtor will ask you question number three! Hurry, Wichtor, I think he’s becoming a frozen entrée.”

“Okay! For one hundred dolari,” said Wichtor while the clock from the highest tower clicked. “Identify this famous quote: ‘The bwud is the wife, Mr. Wenfield!’”

“Elmer Fudd as Dwacuwa, 1964! So, where’s my money?”

The two gargoyles looked at each other and shrugged.

“Do you have any cash on you, Wichtor?” asked Wici.

“Do you see pockets here, Wichtoria? The sculptor carved us naked. I have nothing! Nothing! Not even a sock for my schmekel!”

The Mawth (who ate my shawts)

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A Glahsry of Toims:

Shauwah = Wayuh da wawtah comes outta.

Tiyahd = That means you awtah be snorin.’

Awfiss = Wayuh yous guys woik. 

Jahbs = As in woik, or as in Steve Jahbs.

Fedorah = Yaw hat.

Deezoit = What you get sent to yaw room widdout.

Lepidoptera = A Mawth.

Cullahs = Like ahrunge and poiple.

____________________

Our extinguished Awthuh left out soitin’ coise woids for this awdience, so the stawry is half as shawt as it would nawmally be.

So, here we go….

_____________________

Hi kids, my name is Ahthuh Moidock an’ I was bawn in freakin’ (Oops! I beddah not tawk doity to a bunch of rug rats…). Like I was sayin,’ I was bawn in New Yawk.

Which makes me a ‘what?’

A New Yawkah, of cawse! I don’t live in Joisey awe da lowsy suboibs.’ Me? 

I live in a skyscrapuh dat neahly reaches da stahs. 

Dem stahs is wayuh? 

Waaaay up in da univoise, ya liddle meatbawls!

One mawning, I had to get outtah bed, shauwah, and shave faw woik . I toined to my spouse, Nawmuh, an’ with mawning halitosis I whispid, “I’m goin’ to woik.” Nawmuh was still undah the cuvahs snawin’ an I was still tiyahd. I wuz yawnin like duh Gran Canyon. My mowt tasted like oith woims.

Den I god up, opened my undahpants draw an Oh my gahd, I saw dat awluh my shawts was devowwid! Dare wuz holes in dem everyweah. Dey looked like Swiss cheese! Den I opened the anuthah dressah draw to soich faw a fresh shoit. Awl my shoits was as holy as duh Pope!

Awl duh lawndry was poifahrated!

What kind of lousy bum eats shoits an’ shawts?

Dare must be a doity mawth hangin’ aroun’ owuh apahtment. I was soitin’.

Some stinkin’ mawth had swallahed my Fruit-of-da-Looms. an’ I needed to get to duh awfiss.

My awfiss is wheah?

In a tawl tawl towah, on toidy-toid-an-toid. 

I needed to cawl an extoiminatah, but foist I had to cawl my bawss Oyving, an tell him dat I was gonna be tahdy. “I need to go to the staw Oyving, an’ get maw clohdin,” I said wit a few cherce woids.

Den I looked up an’ guess what I saw? A giant mawth flyin’ aroun’ duh kitchen light. “Get outta my way, ya bum,” he says, zippin’ by, duh size of a seven-fawty-seven. 

Holy simoleons! He tawked. (A simoleon is a dollah.)

I ducked. “Hey watch it! There’s a poysin heah. What do I look like? Chopped livuh?

“Move it, bub,” he says. “I’m flyin’ heah.” 

“Eat dis ya bug” I said, as I trew an umbrellah at his ugly mug. 

“No tanks,” he says. “I don’t eat no freak…uh…sorry…I don’t eat polyestah.”
“Chew on dis den!” Not fo’ nuttin, I trew my deah depahted muddah’s ahmie boots an’ hit duh wiseguy on his toochus. He hit duh wawl behine duh reclinah lowng an’ hit duh flaw. I coulda’ knocked him all duh way to lawng Islan’ if there wasn’t a wawl in duh way. Instead, he got up, brushed himself awf  an’ stahted eatin’ Nawmuh’s boxa chawklit toitles on toppah duh cawfee table. Den he went aftah owuh pet boid Flip’s boid seed (Flip da Boid is a filthy pigeon who lives outside our apahtment). An’ den duh mawth went aftuh a piece of old cheeseboigah dat was hangin’ outta duh gahbidge

The mawth, (whose name was Mawtee accawding to his name tag. Yeah. Shuah. Right), pruhseeded to eat my fedorah an’ my goil Nawmah’s wool skoit. He chawmped on duh chayah, the cowch, duh lampshade, and duh rug, an’ he musta been paht toimite caws he stahted eatin’ duh flaw bawds which is made of boich.
He ate a glass pitcha. The juvenile delinquent was tearin’ up da apahtment. 

“So wayuhs my deezoit, ya bum?” he assed roodly. “Ya got maw clawth?”

“Bum? Does yaw mothah know you tawk like dat? I ought wash yaw doity mout out wit soap!”

“So cawl da marines, an’ bahbahcue me a steak aw somethin’ while we’re waitin’,” he says as he stahted noshin’ on duh caud that was plugged into duh wawl. There was spahks everywhere! 

“Listen!” I says back, as he stahted nibblin’ on my chia pet’s hayah. “Get awfuh my lawn, you lepidoptera you! Get lawst!”

It had been a lawng scawching summah. Even duh neighbawhood dawgs were too wawn out an’ too ty-ud to bahk. (Lass Toisday mawning, I thawt I was on fiah.) “I need to take a shauwah,” I said. “Some people have jahbs. I can’t stay here an’ play witcha. “When I get out of duh  John you bettah be hisstry. Bettah yet, go somewayah else, ya bum, an’ be geography.”  

Foist, I need to find something to wayuh.

Out in duh big city mawths was awl ovah, eaten poysin’s gahments. Awl duh apahtments in awl duh five burroughs had been invaded by a stawm of deez apawlin’ flyin’ tings.

When I looked inside of Nawmuh’s undahwayuh draw, I saw her tings ain’t been bahthid. Her “unmentionables” was unhoit. Undistoibed.

What’s unmentionables, kids?

Why awl dem silky frilly tings dat look like doilies. Awl sawft an…sh…stuff. The mawths left them awl alone cawse…Goils is smaht.

Why is goils smaht? 

Day is smaht becaws day bahthuh to tro in dem mawthbawls into duh drawahs.

An’ mawths hate the smell of whut?
Camfuh!— which is what mawthbawls is made of, ya lugs. Ya monkeys.

So, it toins out dat awl deh guys had to wawk to woik wearin’ dare goil’s frilly shawts — in pastel cullahs even. 

An’ dats awl we waw… ‘cause we didn’ have no trausahs aw nuttin’. No one on duh boulevahd, even dah hoity-toities, caws duh mawths had roond awl ah  clohdin.

So what happened?

We awl had ended up havin’ a big laugh aroun’ duh wawtuh coolah

caws all the palookahs at duh awfiss looked like crawsdressahs.

Wit duh help of duh feminine poysons wit dare wimmin’s intuwishins, we outsmahted duh scoige of da mawths. 

An’ dats why dem mawths is a buncha stinkin’ bugs, and us joiks ain’t. 

Tank youz.

(Next week on Speak Like a New Yawkah:

The extoiminatuhs (might bahthuh to show up if day feel like it.) 

an’ 

Flip, da Boid, will show us how to add duh “f” word and d-bag to a conversation.

About the Author

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I was born in 1950, in Neponsit, New York, barely a hurricane’s breath from the beach. At age ten, my parents loaded up the station wagon and moved our family west to sunshiny Los Angeles.
In my teens, I began to write comedy and music (ASCAP writer and performer) in addition to other adolescent criminal enterprises — i.e. skateboarding with my delinquent friends, hosting belching contests among the same miscreants and playing irritating rock n’ roll, while unkempt, in large LA arenas.
At age 27, weary of my jet-set Hollywood lifestyle, I married and drifted toward the Sandwich Isles, in search of quiet beaches and loud Hawaiian shirts.
Blessed with a perfect tan, I now get to live and write in beautiful Kailua.
Thank you.
Fred Barnett — Author
— and big-pain-in-the-tochus

The Thriller Driller

ManSurfing

Sylvia Benedict was discovered crying inside of the Sea Lion Beach Geezer World Van by local lifeguard, Brad Stokely, as he was headed home. “I found the woman sitting inside the van, crying over Mr. Noway Sr. The motor was still running. The van’s motor, not the old fart’s. Noway had suffered a heart attack.”

Way.

Sylvia , the spouse of beloved Bolsa Chico Surf Patrol Chief, Bernie Benedict, confessed to the ambulance staff concerning the death of her eighty-eight-year-old lover:

“We’d just had a friendly dinner, celebrating Wayne’s new Thriller Driller Penile Implant. He suggested that we to go out and replace all of the steel fasteners on the Long Beach bridge with his new… Oh, poopsieeeeeeeee!” (Crying.) “Wayne seemed fine! He really did. Then, after his little nap time, he wouldn’t respond.”

“That’s quite enough, Mrs. Benedict,” said the nauseous  ambulance driver.

The truth was el vomitosio. Somehow, the video of her story ended up on the local news.

Wayne Noway III’s (the grandkid) surfer buddies said that the sixteen-year-old surfer had been “blowing major chunkage,” “praying to the porcelain” and “hurling with a mighty chunder” after reading about what his grandpa and his ex-teacher had been doing. Los barfos, mesdames e messieurs.

#

My Sylvia! Bernie thought. And…and Wayne’s grandpa?! Noooooooooo!

He had to get out and get some fresh air, now.

#

After the broadcast, it seemed that the entire town of Bolsa Chico wanted to line the pier and join local hero  Bernie, in his major heave fest. It was if they’d all been hit with the dreaded Nosoi flu.

For days afterward, Bernie felt as though he were wearing a big red ‘D’—for Dumbass — on his forehead. Time had come for him to leave his longtime friends, his beloved job and his hometown of Balsa Chico.

####

Donette’s

Donette’s Cafe, formerly Rosie’s, was built upon the end of the Bolsa Chico Pier, in Orange County, California, in 1956. Recently, it had been purchased by a dark, sultry, dirty-talking  shark goddess, Dauna Robinson, who bought the cafe to promote her native Fijian coffee products: the high-octane Getthefuckouttamyway and Outtamywayasshole coffees, grown on her private  island of Kupaio. Dauna was the one and only waitress at Donette’s.

Bernie rarely drank the coffee, but loved the food. It was the following Sunday, Bernie’s birthday, when he ordered his final breakfast at Donette’s.

The TV was on and…

“Oh, Fuck! No! Not……. on…….. my………goddamned birthday!” Bernie said. The other customers were wondering if the patrolman had caught Tourette’s from Dauna.

Nope. The news was on CNN — and Bernie was pissed. His tragic ‘train wreck’ had gone both bacterial and viral. Millions, perhaps gazillions, were following Bernie’s sad story.

^^ö^^ The Working Dead ^^ö^^

The Working Dead

anitas-working-dead

In 2018, after major science breakthrough, the US Supreme Court ruled that death, as it now stands, “does not terminate the deceased’s obligations to ignore paying one’s bills and taxes until the human body reaches such a state of decay that at least three out of four limbs will not stay attached.”

But dead Neal Orestein was determined to go to work. Work was his life, uh death. You know what I mean. We all know someone like this.

#

After scraping through the mound of loose dirt over his grave, Neal was able to see daylight and the exasperated face of his long-suffering wife, Stella.

“Just look at those fingernails,” she scolded. “The dirt! Just where the hell you think you’re going, Neil?” After 60 years of marriage, Stella, holding flowers, could read his mind, even if it was becoming worm chow.

“Oh, crap,” Neal said feeling all used up. He raised himself onto his elbows and spat out soil. “Stella, what are you doing here so soon? I thought that I was the one who was to supposed to haunt YOU! I’m off to work. I got to get a doctor’s note or that  that punk Cabebe, will fire me. He hates old people.”

“You mean, dead people,” she said. “You aren’t going to work. Now, lay down and relax. I’ll call your boss and tell him you’re not coming in, ‘CAUSE YOU’RE DEAD!”

“Dead I can handle,” Neal said, “but unemployed and dead? Pour some coffee down my empty gullet . Look at the time.”

“Happy Hills Cemetery doesn’t have a Starbucks. Go back to endless sleep, old man. There is no more job and there’s no more you! Don’t you feel like a fool. You should rest, Neal. I came here to grieve, so tell me what I’m doing here. I feel like a brainless idiot.”

“No, Stella, I love brains. I mean I your love your brains, brain, your mind,” Neal sputtered.

“Where’s my tie? What time is it?”

“It’s 8 a.m. They just opened the gate.”

“Give me your hand. Help me get up. I’m already late.” Stella reluctantly pulled her husband to his feet. She was shaking her head, accepting he’d never change. “I gotta catch the Long Island Express,” Neal told her, spitting out a beetle. “Is this burial suit okay?”

“Except for the slit down the back, it’ll have to do. So … You think that you can just climb out of your grave and leave me standing here, for a crappy job? I can’t change you, silly man. Just don’t come home until you get cleaned up.”

Neal stood and wobbled unsteadily, brushing himself off. “Stella, after my first heart attack, Cabebe, said that myocardial infarction is not a good enough excuse to skip work. I’m gonna need duct tape to patch this jacket. I’ll stop by Target.”

“I’ve got a nail appointment. Have a nice afterlife, Neil. You never needed me.”

“Oh, thanks. I’m barely cold and you start in with the guilt. So, you’re saying I no longer have a job?”

“That would seem logical, Neil.”

“Logical? Well, Mrs. Spock, then I’d better hit the pavement. By law, I’m supposed to have a job until my last limb.”

“Maybe the office staff never got the memo that you’d died,”She said. “It was so sudden. I never had a chance to call them. Hey, watch where you’re tossing that dirt! I just bought this dress. Look at your dirty nails. Talk to God, Mr. Big-shot. Get yourself a manicure.”

Neal promised to make it up to Stella the following weekend, but today, he had obligations. He arrived at  work a few minutes late, was given a warning by Cabebe, and was back at his old desk by 9:10 a.m.

The next day, after a restless night drinking coffee and shambling around town in pursuit of an ambiguous protein snack, Neal was able to make it to work —  right on time.

Young Cabebe, was happy, because he no longer had to pay ‘old, faithful’ Neal a living wage.  The slick, young exec sniffed the air and suspected that Neal had passed on. No one else knew that Neal was still working and rotting in his corner office making the CEO, Milton Armstrong, rich.

On Tuesday, when Neal realized that Cabebe was taking him for a —nearly free — ride he began to lose the feeling of pleasure he felt working. He left the office while the blinding sun was still high and the season was moving toward Daylight Savings. Neal stumbled toward the station thinking about how his grandkids needed college money. Tomorrow, he would hit the pavement, seeking the American dream like the other millions of recently deceased workers. Over 20 million of the dead  wandered the boulevards. The smug living were called them ‘suckers.’ You could see them, the worn out executives, in every city, shuffling and mumbling “Jobs. I neeeeeeed a job.”

My commuter train passed by Happy Hills Cemetery as it approached Neal’s old neighborhood. Graveyards are for slackers, he thought. A real man needs to work.

While waiting at the 5th Avenue crosswalk, he saw a hopeful sign. A literal sign — on a telephone pole, illuminated by the ghostly moonlight.

Highly Motivated Executive Services Wants You! YOU need $$$ and WE need BODIES to fill our Diamond Lane passenger jobs! 

We’re also seeking Parking Space Holders — Downtown, Full Time. 24 hours shifts available. 

Call 090-888-0000.

Tuck n’ Roll

Unknown
Man goes on Rampage in Hardware Store
Westchester, Los Angeles, December 12, 1964
 
Umberto Diaz had to be calmed by Rampart division officers yesterday , after he went on a rant about finding rat traps. Really big rat traps.
It seems that Mr. Diaz had just returned from Tijuana after getting his classic Chevy “Tuck-n-rolled” at Espinosa’s Upholstery where he had encountered giant rodents — “who talked.” It seems that Mickey Espinosa, who co-owns the auto upholstery shop with his wife Minnie had threatened Mr. Diaz after Mr. Diaz had accused the shop owners of stuffing his car upholstery with dead cats after his car began to smell a week ago — “I should have watched them.” The Espinosa’s told Mr. Diaz that , “There can not be dead cats inside your seats, Señor. We killed all of the cats in Tijuana years ago. They know that they are not welcome here.”
“Mr. Diaz was scaring our customers.” said Harry Meyer, the owner of Numero Uno Hardware on Temple Street. “He was screaming and tearing up our store looking for Human-sized rodent traps and scaring some of our local children. We had to call the police.”
“Minnie Espinosa, the woman at the desk, had a long nose and whiskers,” Mr. Diaz told police. “You could see the outline of her big round ears…

Clown Car — A Date with Mr. Jingles

“Clown Car — A Date with Mr. Jingles ”

3. ClassicClown

Miss Giggles paced the hallway of her small apartment in South Bouncy Town. She did not know what to expect of Mr. Jingles, the blind date that her girlfriend,  Roly Poly, had set her up with. A tiny polka dotted VW pulled up to the curb outside the window below Giggle’s small apartment. A cacophony of horns went off from inside the car. Who is this mysterious stranger?

Anxious, Giggles paced, skipped and did hand springs across her apartment. The funhouse mirror along with her silver jumpsuit made her look slimmer and taller than her squat five-foot frame.

anitas-sketches-5

She had a new look and a new name. Many years ago, after a big sneeze from her giant fire-engine red nose, cruel classmates laughed at her and named her “Gluey.”

The name Gluey stuck for years. (Hyuk, hyuk! HONK!)

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Her new boss at the SMACME Fun Company had given her a better name, “Miss Giggles,” that was more suitable to her laughter. Giggles fixed her orange hairdo by Bozette and repositioned the two water balloons in her bra.

Her date knocked on the door with a familiar rhythm, “Shave and a haircut. five cents.”

“Hiya, hiya, hiya! Call me Mr. Jingles!” Mr. Jingles was dressed to the nines in a yellow baggy jump suit with six-inch blue polka dots and three red buttons the size of custard pies. His matching hat was two feet high and came to a handsome duncey point. Thank the Lord Bozo he wasn’t another hobo clown like her ex, Patches —with charcoal all over his face. My daddy, Boingo would like Mr. Jingles, she thought. So would my mommy. Miss Giggle’s mom, Bingo always wore the baggy pants in the Tumbles family.

“I bought you some di-did-diddlely flowers!” said Mr. Jingles, as he thrust forward a bouquet.

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The flowers flopped over when she grabbed them. “How pretty! I’ll put them in water.”

“No probalobelummo, Miss Giggles! I have plenty of water right here!” He squirted her with his platinum plated Fizz-o-Rama seltzer bottle. “Hyuk, Hyuk!”

Soon, they were performing summersaults down the stairs and out to Jingle’s star-covered Volkswagen bug, she wondered, Is it true what they say about size 28 feet?

Mr. Jingles clicked his remote and the “Merry-go-round Broke Down” played across the Rubbermaid Habitat lined street as his car doors popped open. “Everybody, out! Hyuk, hyuk!” said Mr. Jingles as he motioned for his date to step back. Twenty clowns, two wearing “Kick Me!” signs on their backs, three riding miniature bicycles, some with pet chimps, and a couple with a pig in a baby carriage wearing a bonnet emerged from the back seat. They streamed down the dark street, each honking their “own horn.” Mr. Jingles held open the car door for Miss Giggles. “You can get in miss! Safety first! Buckle up!” He handed Miss Giggles a buckle. “Golly! I hope you’re hungry! Hey! How about Chuckle’s Cheese? I reserved the ball pit for us.”

“Isn’t that a bit pricey?” Giggles asked politely.

“Heck no! Nothin’ is too much fun for my girl! Hyuk, hyuk!” said Mr. Jingles as he pulled out a wad of Monopoly money. “We’re gonna paint the town red, and green and yellow and…”

Part II — Chuckle’s Cheese

“Please, my dear have a seat,” said Mr. Jingles as he pulled a “Wet Paint” sign from underneath his date. “Gotcha!”

“Oh, Mr. Jingles!”

“How about pie? Do you like pie, miss Giggles?”

“Custard.”

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“Oh, goody!” He called to the waiter, “Garçon! May we order a half dozen custard pies — with whipped cream?” Mr. Jingles turned toward Miss Giggles and placed his giant red glove on her giant blue glove. “Would madame care for something to drink? Oui? Waiter! We’ll have two bottles of your finest seltzer.”

When their meal arrived they shoved three pies into each the other’s face and rinsed each other down with the two bottles of 1856 Dieu Maudit le Clown Seltzer water.

“I don’t feel well,” said Giggles suddenly. She bent over the dinner table, stuck her tongue out and … “Hack, hack, hack!” She pulled a blue handkerchief out of her mouth, which was tied to a yellow one, which was tied to a green one, which was tied to…… This went on and on for nearly a two gazillion minutes!

“Are you okay, missy?” he asked. “Let’s get some air!”

“Whatsamattah? Can’t ya take a choke?” she giggled.

Mr. Jingles took her by the hand outside. He lit a cigarette and tossed the match into her pocket.

Mr. Jungles casually asked Miss Giggles if she smoked.

“I only smoke when I’m on fire! Oh, no. I’ve been incinerated!”

“Well, there ya go! Hyuk, hyuk! You sure are hot!” Mr. Jingle’s lifted his duncey cap to reveal a plastic fireman’s hat. His red nose began to blink as he blew into a siren ring and ran circles around her.

“Save me! Save me, Mr. Fireman!” she cried.

Mr. Jingles stopped at his VW, unlatched the hood, grabbed a pail of confetti from inside and dumped it on her head. “Hyuk, hyuk! Gee, I’m sorry!” he said. “Here! Have another flower!” It squirted water into her eye, then drooped like the roses. Mr. Jingles grabbed her rouged cheeks and kissed her on her wax lips. Their noses beeped together.

“C’mon!” said Mr. Jingles. “Let’s go for a ride!”

It was a wild ride as they careened through the faulty stop lights of Bouncy Town and headed up the Benny Hills toward Sock-it-to me Lane overlooking moonlit Lake Guffaw.

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Sock-it-to-me Lane

Once parked, they kissed and squeezed each other, producing many honks and beeps. There was barking from the back seat. Mr. Jingles was also an accomplished ventriloquist. “Woof! Woof!”

“What’s that Mr. Jingles?”

“A banana!”

“No, silly. I mean who is barking?”

“That’s my dog Sprinkles! Wanna see? Hyuk, hyuk.” Mr. Jingles opened his door and got out of the car. He tilted his seat forward and said, “Mr. Sprinkles needs to go for a walk!” as he grabbed a leash and pulled on it. The leash had an empty loop where the dog’s head would have been. “Miss Giggles, We’ll be right back! Then Sprinkles will leave us alone.” Mr. Jingles walked to a nearby tree with the leash and waited while his imaginary dog did his business. When they returned to the car, Mr. Jingles threw the leash into the front seat. “Oops! Sprinkles wants to sit in front, Miss Giggles. Whaddaya say? Let’s sit in the back seat. It can hold forty clowns!”

When in back, Mr. Jingles slipped off his size 28 shoes, and SHAZZAM!  Yes, thought Miss Giggles. It IS true what they say about big feet! ———— They stink!

And before you could say ‘Honk Honk’ Mr. Jingles had stripped down to his Happy Birthday Suit. “Har Har! Make a wish and blow!”

“Mr. Jingles you’re so much fun! Hee Hee Up until now, my love life has been a roller coaster — a Tilt-A-Whirl — and, and a funhouse!”

There was a knocking on the car window. The spell was broken.

“Uh, oh,” said Mr. Jingles. “It’s the Keystone cops! Get dressed, Hoppy.”

“Hoppy?” Who’s Hoppy? she thought. “Who in the Three Rings of Barnum is Hoppy?”

Jingles ignored her question. “They only want to chase us around the car with billy clubs ‘til our pants fall down.”

“Hey, I asked you something, Buster! Who is this floozy named Hoppy?  Have you been up here with other clownesses?”

Jingles ignored her again. “Oh, come on! Isn’t this fun?” Mr. Jingles rolled down the window! “Good evening occiffers…huh?”

Miss Giggles recognized the men outside the car behind the glare of their kaleidoscope flashlights. It was the notorious Muggles Brothers! Scary clowns.

“All of youz! Everybody! Outta the car!” said Boffo Muggles.

“Go steal a hamburger!” said Mr. Jingles as took the bubblegum from his mouth, fastened his jumpsuit with it, and stepped out of the car. He offered the Muggles brothers jelly beans if they promised to go away. Miss Giggles followed Jingles straightening her boxer shorts. She looked behind her to find out that yet another steady stream of clowns were exiting Mr. Jingles’ car.

The Muggles Brothers began “mugging” or making faces at the couple. Mr. Jingles surprised Boffo and knocked him down with an inflatable baseball bat, resulting in birds around Bofo’s head. Boffo popped right back up. Bobo Muggles said, “Give us all of your M&Ms, Jingles.” Boffo pulled out a gun that looked like a cannon. Mr. Jingles stood back and offered to give them everything. He started to empty his pockets. There were frogs, a rabbit, giant bloomers, white pigeons and hand-buzzers. “That’s all I got! Hyuk.”

“Mr. Big-shot Jingles is holding back on us,” said Bobo.

A “Bang!” sign popped out of Boffo’s gun barrel. Then, his brother Bobo hit Mr. Jingles with an inflatable sledge hammer sending him flying across the dirt lot where he landed squarely on his butt. Jingle’s big ears made his head look like a wing nut as it spun around. Jelly beans blasted from his pointy hat like a Piñata.

Miss Giggles remembered the two whoopee cushions in her back pocket. She threw them onto the ground and jumped on them with both feet, scaring the Muggles brothers away and saving the candy for all of the little children who love the Circus.

“You saved my life, Hoppy, uh …I mean Miss Giggles,” said Mr. Jingles, who was weaving, as she scooped up all of his candy and put it into her over-sized pockets. “Hoppy, huh?” Clown or no clown, he was only dating me for FUN! Mr. Jingles had  passed out before she could strangle the Casanova with his six-foot checkerboard necktie.

The ambulance arrived within minutes. Miss Giggles watched as the attendants loaded Mr. Jingles into the back on a gurney and sped off, in circles, of course… dumping him back onto the parking lot and, on the next round, fatally running him over, repeatedly, until the honking stopped. Mr. Jingles had gone to the Big Top in the sky. “Huyk, hyuk, hyuk!” Miss Giggles laughed. “Your fun-filled nights at Sock-it-to-me Lane are over Romeo!” She skipped back toward Bouncy Town, laughing-all-the-way. “Hyuk, hyuk, hyuk!”

But we all know that poor Miss Giggles was really crying on the inside.

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By the Sea (from Shark Fin Soup)

 

The warm morning sun shimmered upon the rippling sea. A nice sized coconut bobbed up and down just past the surging shoreline and a few yards past the black skinned, golden haired, fifteen-year-old Mmbop Handsun, the prince of his own itsy-bitsy teenie-weenie Micronesian kingdom.

It was going to be another hot one, and Mmbop had forgotten his newest pair of certified-previously-owned Ray-Ban sun glasses given to him, in trade, by a rich tourist woman for one of his prized wood carvings — carvings that he ordered, weekly, from what he thought were poor dumb hard-working saps over in Malaysia. He did not realize that the Malaysians had been outsourcing the genuine Fijian carvings to a sweaty warehouse in Alabama, USA, that employed the children of ex auto workers. Mmbop only paid twenty-five cents apiece for the crude art. Yesterday he’d sold ten oversized one-hundred dollar wooden cannibal forks that his father, the Chief, Papaumaumau, had ordered from Taiwan at 50 cents apiece. It had been a good week, now that he’d also helped his parents decimate and sell off most of the island’s remaining palm trees to the Chinese.

As if any drunken tourist would even notice, there was hardly a substantial palm tree left on any of the High Society Islands within three hundred miles. Coconuts were scarce on both Little Hubba, and Big Hubba-Hubba, the two islands comprising the kingdom of Hubba Hubba Hubba.

“Shouldn’t waste perfectly good food!” Mmbop said, as he pushed his thick blonde dreadlocks back. The golden hair and clear blue eyes were a throwback to his Scandinavian sailor ancestors who’d visited, mated and had been munched on, in Micronesia over seven hundred years ago.

Mmbop lifted himself up, stretching his long thin shadow across the beach.

After eating the sweet coconut meat he would clean off the husk and carve a bearded monkey head for the dwindling tourists that have been disappearing along with the trees. Maybe he’d add a human finger bone through the nose.

Tourists always assumed that the “nose-bone” came from a chicken. Chickens were revered as Gods in Hubba-Hubba. They were only used for their eggs, by order of Queen Erica, after the island’s omelet loving priests had convinced her that the chicken fruit were a gift from Lomalagi (Heaven) and that ‘the sacred chickens, DID, in fact, come before the eggs.’

He watched the coconut bobbing in the water. After the carving was finished, he would add some shell teeth and toy glasses.

Tourists love that stuff, Mmbop thought as he bent forward, and tried to grab onto the bobbing nut that persisted on floating away in the slow current and morning glare. He hit at the coconut with a stick and it turned over. It appeared to have already been carved with a funny beard and a big schnozolla with a human bone through it!

It, of course, was a real human head.

Mmbop scooped it out of the surf and carried it to shore.

Granola grinding, hemp wearing, coral hugging tourists don’t want a real human head, he thought. Not even a fresh one like this. Maybe I should toss it back? He shook his head ‘no.’ I shouldn’t waste a perfectly good head. He decided to ‘fix it up’ with a few artful cuts. He reached into the pocket of his Izod swimsuit, which yet another rich tourist had traded him for a necklace of genuine plastic whale teeth, and grabbed his Swiss Army Cannibal Fork, that came complete with a saw blade, a grater, a marital aid, assorted knives, an Egyptian nose hook (for removing brains), a Phillips screwdriver, and a waterproof universal remote.

At home, waiting for him, was his main squeeze, Mmbopalula.

“Maybe I’ll take it to her as a gift.…Besides, nothing turns a woman on like a full head of hair.”

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