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…And Then Things Got Weird….

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The Beach at Wassup Dock, Kupaio, Fiji.

From the upcoming novel Shark Fin Soup

Ying Yang by Fred Barnett

“SHUT THE באַרען up, לאָך WAFFLE!” screamed queen Dauna, shocking the tourists on their way back to Nyah-Wassup Dock, some of whom dropped their free cups of Outtamywayasshole Coffee. “Oh, sorry, all. That was my morning Tourette’s speaking. What I meant to say was ‘Shut the באַרען up, לאָך waffle!’”

“No offense taken, my queen,” said the crone, Lupta.

The crowd were now focused on Bernie’s terrible choice of Bermuda shorts, as if they were rubber-necking the scene of a tragic car wreck.

“That..schlub,” said Lupta the sage, employing an old Fijian term, “will someday bear your fruit, Your Heinous.”

“P’leeeeease. Fruit?” asked Dauna. “You know that I pass out at the sight of juice. That slob? Really? Dauna’s curiosity about Bernie had been aroused. My ampullae of Lorenzini (sharkie sensing organs) have never felt like this, she thought as her rear / tail end began to sway. 

Bernie, in return, could not take his eyes off of her anxious shifting legs beneath her lucky parreo. Lucky? Why did I think the parreo was lucky, as if it were somehow alive? He watched ‘Her Heinous’ draw down an entire cigarette in a single breath while she took an uncomfortable, yet thrilling inventory of the silly human. Her deep brown eyes seemed to go ‘click click click.’

Dauna was beautiful and she was looking at — him!

Wanting a snapshot of his own, Bernie lifted his new Nikon and aimed. The camera flared, fell and melted in the sand. The insatiable shark goddess queen began to circle the hypnotized tourist. Bernie had a feeling that either he was going to be eaten by, or married to the captivating queen. Same damned thing.

Dauna’s spell was broken when the captain of the dive boat called the tourists back on board. Bernie’s heart was racing as he turned for one last look. The sultry queen of Kupaio was gone. 

She’d driven off, upset about her future.

Every so often, in the silence of night, a mysterious breeze carrying the name “Bernie” would gently jingle the chimes of Dauna’s fun foyer. “Berrrrrnie. Berrrrrrrrnie.”

(Sad violin music.) But forsooth, dear readers, for after Bernie had left the island, Dauna was to be married.

An arranged marriage…

…to a gold-plated schmuck-with-fins named Bunji.

Dauna, upset, drove off in her golf cart, running into some stuff along the way.

Human stuff.

The Goddesses of Walmart

01 Artemis Scene Composition II_01

The statuesque goddess was enraged after seeing Bambi’s mother, a sacred deer, being slaughtered by the human hunter. The killer in the cartoon reminded her of the evil monster MacHeath.

Earlier, Artemis was feeling down because she could barely squeeze into her five-thousand-year-old tunic and had to find her new clothes in the big and tall women’s aisle of Walmart. Those shopping trips would be Artemis’ fatal fashion mistake. One muumuu that she tried on, in full view of the security camera that afternoon could have easily tented the Barnum & Bailey Circus including the freak show, concessions, games, the petting zoo and a calliope.

Zeus and Leto often watched Goddesses of Walmart for entertainment. That night they were horrified when they saw their daughter dressed in the giant  muumuu while trolling the aisles for deals on chips and soda.

Then the following celestial evening, after 50,300 hits on YouTube the voguish goddess Leto was forced to watch (in shock and horror) a video of her daughter shopping while dressed in a hideous floral nightgown and tennis shoes.

The hotel phone rang.

Bernie picked it up and handed it to Artemis who was eating bon-bons on the couch. “It’s your dad.”

Artemis grabbed the phone. “Daddy?”

The voice on the phone was powerful enough for Bernie to hear every word. The voice was angry enough to generate lightning from the earpiece.

“Artie. Dear Artie. Your mom and I decided that you can’t come home until you lose weight and come to your fashion senses,” daddy Zeus had said. “And tell your hobo friend to hijack himself a new suit with real pants if he’s gonna paint the town with my baby. Bernie’s friend Frankie should have already told him that life’s too short to dress like a bum. And what the hell is that thing you’re drivin’?”

“Uh…” Munch, munch, munch. “Bernie rented a Chia.”

“Everyone up here thinks that you’ve gotten weak and out of control. We can’t afford to have the other deities think that the Olympians are pushovers.” Zeus shouted into the phone. “For gods and goddesses sakes, Art-Art, you used to knock ’em dead.”

“Art-Art?” Bernie heard that and giggled.

The goddess shot lethal optikos (eye) arrows at Bernie. “Shut up, sandal licker! No, not you, daddy. There is going to be an epic battle with MacHeath’s army, so I promised to help out Bernie and his trollop friend.”

“You mean Miss Soapy Puppies?”

“Yeah, Dauna.”

“Princess,” the voice said. “Don’t come home until you’ve cleaned up your circle of friends.” Zeus hung up.

“But, daddyyyyyyyy?” The heroic figure wept a flood of diamond tears.

A text appeared.

Final judgment came to Artemis swiftly in a furious “bolt of rejection.” The bolt was hurled in the form of an angry text, with an angry minotaur emoji attached.

Artemis had just been officially banished from her home and family.

“What family, pop?” she texted back. “Do we even have a family name?”

“Good point, pumpkin. Let me ask your mom,” he wrote.

Back on Olympus, Zeus asked Leto, “Dear? What’s our last name?”

He texted Artemis, “You still there? Okay. Your mom says that our last name is ‘On High.’ We don’t need a last name, pumpkin, unlike the Kardashians. We’re bigger than Lady Gaga. We only use first names. Oh, your mom wants to know…what the hell kind of shoes were you wearing on the Walmart show?”

Zeus’ mighty presence was suddenly gone, and Artemis was hurt, and that meant that she needed tacos.

Artemis had become “an embarrassment” to the fashion-conscious Olympian gods, who were tolerant to a point, often turning their backs on lesser Olympian crimes, such as torture, mass murder, incest, rape, infanticide and eating one’s own children.




 

From my novel BATS ^^ö^^: Jonathan’s Ride to Poenary Castle, Transylvania

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Poenari Castle’s broken silhouette passed hundreds of feet above Jonathan, framed by the rising moon and the black branches reaching out in “velcome.” The handsome laid back, mellow, and easygoing smasher-of-heads-against-breakwaters-and-pavement ex-lifeguard peered through the glass, breathless. The rain, thick as plasma, began to block his view from the taxi.

Despite the increasingly narrow passages, looming mountains and biblical weather, he texted Mina another time.

Bună ziua! (Good evening!) I am now in Romania near Poenari Castle. Up until now there has been no actual Wi-Fi. Earlier the driver, who wears a black  mask, told me about a free service called Si-Fi that has to do with antennas placed on, of all things, bats! I am well. In fact, I am even cooler than I was last month…and that’s pretty cool!

Cele mai bune urări (Best wishes),

Jonathan

The driver looked into the rear-view mirror and wondered, Is my passenger still…alive? He turned his head 360 degrees around, then another 180 degrees toward Jonathan and asked, “Are you there…sir? Let it be known, young sir, that breathing can attract a variety of…undesirables.” In the Prince’s hemorrhaging neck of the woods, breathing was regarded as overrated.

A long exhalation of foul human breath rushed from the backseat.

What the heaven has this human been eating? Plants? “Look, young sir!” said the driver. “Ve’re almost home! Ve’ll get you some real food.”

“I’m on a vegetarian diet, sir. I no longer eat anything with a face.”

Oy. Vun of those! The driver thought. “No problem young man! You can alvays rip the face off first.”

“Driver? Do you know where I can find a Mr. Karoly Tepesthe? He has some money put aside for me.”

The driver only belched.

“You didn’t eat him, did you?” Jonathan joked.

“No. I didn’t, sir. Haven’t you heard about Mr. Tepesthe’s terrible accident?”

“Oh, no. No, I haven’t.”

“Apparently Karoly was on his way home from the bank after he withdrew a million dolari in cash, tripped, and stumbled onto a very sharp twenty-foot pole—sorry, of course you couldn’t have heard. It doesn’t happen until tomorrow.”

Zeus, Leto, Artemis, Dauna & Dumb Ol’ Bernie

Bernie ‘The God Whisperer’ is taking a stroll, minding his own f*cking business, on an unusually warm December night in Cleveland, when this bullsh*t happens >>>>>

10. & 14 WomanWinking

There were bicycle lights approaching him from the corner. An attractive silvery haired couple, dressed in spiffy casual wear, wheeled up to the curb, smiled with perfect teeth and stopped.

“Where in Hades have you been?” the beautiful silver-haired woman said to Bernie as she swiped at him with her freshly manicured nails, tearing the collar of his cheap Hawaiian shirt.

“Hey, What the?”

“Art thou Cupcaecius?” asked her handsome executive-type companion with the obligatory sweater tied around his neck. They both looked as though they’d just ridden off the cover of every other issue of Molten Silver magazine.

“No!” Bernie backed into a rubbish can and fell. Who were these two new gods with a healthy active lifestyle?

Leto pulled her bike onto the pavement and bent down toward a display in the hotel’s gift shop window. “Look, Zeus! It’s a darling car charm. It looks just like Artie’s little car! That’s cute.” Leto looked down at the pathetic human cowering on the sidewalk. “Is that real sapphire?” she asked.

“Are you asking me, m-m-m-ma’am?” Bernie looked up at the the woman wide-eyed. Leto winked at him and whispered. “You can call me Λητώ, or Λατώ.”

“Our daughter—she doesn’t need thou or thou cheap gifts, mortal. You need her!” spoketh Zeus from the bike above.

“Zeus and Leto?” He bowed his head in respect. “Artie, I mean Artemis told me that you’d banished her from Olympus.”

“Human!” Without warning, Leto grabbed Bernie by his nose. “Listen to thy  husband, Waffle of Dung!”

I’ve managed to piss off Zeus and Leto.

Zeus pointed a finger and zapped Bernie’s trap with a tiny lightning bolt. Bernie doubled over onto the pavement then smiled when he’d realized that yet another strand on the human-proof trap had snapped. Only the gods have the power to remove this thing.

Thus spoke Zeus: “Buying my daughter cheap trinkets will not make her more beautiful. It is because of her that ‘things’ become beautiful. That is the generous nature of a goddess.”

“Owwwww,” croaked Bernie as he pulled himself to his feet by grabbing the bricks on the wall. They act like they’ve been smokin’ incense.

Zeus spoketh again: “You’ve seen Artemis improve the luster of a diamond, the scent of a gardenia and the spirit of the untamed sea. How much proof of the divine doth thou needest, Bernie?”

“Your daughter ith, I mean is amazing.”

“Artemis must remain pure,” said Leto. “Junk food! Television! A girl her age should be hunting across the heavens instead of twiddling…thumbs…with you.”

“Twiddling? We haven’t twiddled any thumbs. How old is Artie?” asked Bernie.

“Artie! So, it’s Artie, is it?” Zeus pointed his index and middle fingers at Bernie’s eyes. “Why, I oughta…” 

Leto stopped his cruel hand. “Stop. What my husband should explain to you, you bug, is that the twiddling of thumbs is the way we profess our love on Olympus. If Artemis twiddled with you, we are obliged to spare your miserable life. However, if we find out that you two have twaddled, we will kill you a thousand times in a thousand ways. And to answer your question, our virrrrrgin daughter is five thousand, give or take a hundred years,” said Zeus.

Five thousand years. And no boinky-woinky? Bernie thought.

“What my husband is trying to say is—what did I just hear you think, young man? ‘Boinky-woinky?’”

“Five thousand years?” Bernie asked again.

“Maybe this upstart needs me to sling a bolt of lightning up his κώλος,” said Zeus. 

“No, Zuzu,” said Leto.

“Psssst! Don’t call me that,”  Zeus snapped back. 

She calls her husband, the ruler of Olympus, Zuzu? Thought Bernie, trying not to laugh out loud.

“Lightning! That’s my husband’s solution for everything. So, Bernie, do you know the damage you have done to our daughter with the bad food and her clothes?”

“What did I do to her clothes? I have no control over the goddess. She loves to shop and eat.”

“Our little Artemis is up there, twenty pounds overweight!” she said, pointing. “In your room—right now—not wearing her short tunic.”

“What!”

“She is wearing, thanks to your flea-bag cat, a handful of white downy feathers, placed in three strategic locations, upon splashes of perfumed garlic infused olive oil given to her by your cat, Bomba!”

“For your plebeian amusement, I imagine,” added Zeus.

Her curves oiled and writhing, succulent and wearing a handful of feathers. And no boinky for five thousand years. The two Olympian gods could hear every dirty thought.

“Writhing! You worm! I shall slay you!” said Leto.

Zeus blocked his wife’s right arm from smiting. “I am only going to spare you because Artemis swore to protect you. Our daughter, is pure, Mr. Cake. Purity is what she does.”

“Purity,” added Leto. “Like June Cleaver, Margaret Anderson, Shirley Partridge…”

“This relationship wasn’t my idea,” said Bernie. “I think that you should talk to her pal, Dauna,”

“Who?” asked Leto.

“Dauna, the shark goddess from Kupaio,” said Bernie. “She asked your daughter to watch over me. Have you two met Soapy Puppies, I mean Her Sauciness? She is what you might call a bad influence. Peligro—ow!”

“What dost thou think, Zuzu!” said Leto.

           Bernie switched gears, from suppressing pain to suppressing a major guffaw.

Leto ignored Bernie’s thought and turned to her stylish spouse. “Zuzu, dost thou know of this Dauna?”

“Remember the wedding that we couldn’t go to in Fiji, dearest? The one we sent Artemis to?” 

Leto turned to Bernie. “I wish we could have gone to the pre-wedding party with the mbolo worm buffet. I love worms. We had the nosoi flu at the time, Bernie. You must have heard of Dauna. What do you know about her all-knowing-all-seeing-all-fucking, Zuzie.”

Is Zeus sweating? thought Bernie. Zuzie! Don’t laugh. 

“Oh, yes. You mean Daucina. That Dauna!” said Zeus, “is just your average goddess, dear. A nobody.”

“Oh, I remember,” said Leto. “The oracles spoke of her. ‘The steamy one with a mouth like a pigsty gutter who spoketh offenses from the pools of the god Cess, and a great set of cans.’”

“The poor thing suffers from Tourette Syndrome,” explained Zeus. “She may come on like a gluttonous eater of slack serpents, but she’s harmless. I checked.”

“Thou hast checked thine trollop, Zuzu?” asked the angry Leto.

Bernie was forced to jump in. “Dauna is not a trollop, great goddess! She’s just …uh, friendly. Yeah, that’s it. Friendly.”

Leto added to Bernie’s pain when she flicked her middle finger on Bernie’s forehead. “I don’t likest thou, Sir Smart Ass.”

“Ow! What the…” Bernie felt a lump growing on his temple. “Am I bleeding?”

“No. I’ve just downloaded some information into thine lust filled head,” said Leto. “It’s all that thou needest to know except for—good fashion sense! Your frock! Thou dresseth like a Walmart model. I thought Artemis picked up a suit for you. My heavens, what adolescent California crap aaaaaare you wearing, Bernie? C’mon, Zuzu. Let’s go. We have to meet the Buddhas at seven.”

And they rode off into the night. Zeus calling back, “Remember I want her home by the twenty-second century!”

“And one more thing,” said Leto. “Keep her laughing if thou want to remain healthy. She doth needeth to laugheth.”

“Laughing?” Oh yes, I‘ll keep her fancy tickled. He envisioned Artie’s strong body jerking beneath him in fits of laughter. Ow! Dammit!

“Don’t even think about it, pig!” Leto wheeled back to the curb and smacked him again.

Ow! Dammit, again. Bernie touched the new bump on his head.

:-* Artemis Steals Bernie’s Cat :-*

(From Shark Fin Soup by Fred Barnett)MoonGoddess

The goddess refastened Orion’s Belt around her waist and said, “Remember, I’m a goddess. Not some half-assed straaaaanger. Let’s go, Bomba. We know when we’re not appreciated.”

“Hey, that’s my cat! You can’t take my cat! Wait! I mean, ouch!”

“Yeah… It was nice, Bernie. Sorry about your sheets. Goodnight!”

“What? What about my sheets?” Bernie looked toward his feet. “Holy!” This hoity-toity Artemis person had left a cosmic trail of liquid shimmering moon dust the length of his entire body. The sheets, indeed, smelled like gardenias.

“Don’t go!” Bernie let out the most pitiful wail that the world had heard since that god-forsaken day in 1942 when Bambi’s mom was shot.

Artemis, soft as the moonlight upon her fair skin, leaned over the suffering Bernie’s pillow. “Calm down, earthling. Breeeeeeathe.” She reached between her thighs and produced a golden flower. “Peace and love, Mr. Establishment!” Magically, she’d made him laugh. And so, so pretty. She twirled the alien blossom, beneath his nose.

Bernie’s brain flipped upside-down within his skull.

Bomba licked his paws as he stared out of the window, embarrassed for his damaged human. His new stripes were blushing pink. The cat tried to console Bernie. “I too tried to resist her too,” Bomba said with his eyes.“But then…the cheeeeeeseburgers…”

“The sun will be rising soon, Bernie.” Artemis patted Bernie’s exhausted little head. “Its safe to sleep now, but from now on, you’ll have to do your sleeping at work like everyone else.”

Artemis petted the cat with her right hand while she attempted to hold Bernie’s arms in place beneath the spread of her infinite thighs. Somehow, thanks to his sturdy American pioneer upbringing, Bernie had managed to cup a mighty goddess ass cheek. He’d never felt anything so smooth. Though the pain rushed in like a wave, Bernie bravely refused to release his firm grip. He found out that it  was foolish to challenge the gods, as Artemis slapped him so hard that he imagined his head unraveling as it spun over the bleachers at Ebbets Field. She’d made him pay dearly, for his indiscretion.

Bomba purred and pulsed with new blue stripes as he faded away. The cat’s smile was all that remained until the yellow sun peeked into Bernie’s room.

Artemis leaned her forever body back and away from Bernie. When he saw his dream melt into the morning light, away from his grasp, he let out the most pitiful wail that the world had ever heard…since, well, the preceding wail—you know, the Bambi one.

*************Mayflies*************

Mayflies  

(They may lay dormant, sometimes for years. Then BOOM!)

Three gazillion times upon a time…..

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(Asteroids getting their rocks off…)

Ten billion years ago two asteroids from opposite ends of the newly expanded universe crashed head-on into each other. (Okay, you want an explanation?  Zeus and Leto, husband and wife, throwing shit at each other during dinner. “You want another meat ball, asshole? Here’s your goddamned meat ball?”) There was a great explosion and together the pieces, caught in a gravitational pull, ended up plunging into the near-boiling oceans of an emerging planet, Earth.

Both asteroids carried the basic building blocks of life.

The future lovers, Chloe and Brady simmered slowly together until they mixed with other ingredients producing their first billion one-celled offspring (eukaryotes), all named either Cassie or Cassius — depending on their random choice of eukaryote underwear — who, bored sh*tless, after another two billion years — discovered hot sex.

Before becoming human, the eternal lovers, Chloe and Brady had also ‘experimented’ as insects.)

Insect sex rarely worked out well for Chloe, who was often assaulted by swarms of horny males on mating day, or for Brady, who often ended up headless or cannibalized.

But…at least to Brady (I cannot speak for his ‘hottie.’) …. well, Brady was ecstatic that he got laid, while his surviving mate, Chloe, usually got stuck taking care of hundreds of thousands screaming, pooping larva.

References:   

Eat me, Baby! — The Cannibalistic Lives of Black Widows — by I.M. Glootenfree

Mr. Praying Mantis — Losing his Head (and not giving it a second thought!) by I. Gumby

Mayflies: Stupid, Smiling Males Going Down in Flames by Ari Havinfunyet

The Mile High Club of Honey Bees by Stamen and Pistil

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