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And Then Things Got Weird….

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“Call Me. It’s Mel” — from Shark Fin Soup

Art by Vitaliy Hagen

03 Telepathica Pacifica 02 b 06 flat

“And God Spoke to Moses” — Exodus 33:11

“Are you listening Moe? Stop looking at your tablets. Focus on the flame. Tell your people, I the almighty, will watch over them as long as they keep me entertained. ”

T.K. Betel nut is a living, seven-foot-tall tiki. A curio. A half human stick. On a normal day’s stakeout Agent Betelnut will spend hours standing statue-still while tuned into the latest (mostly) fair and no longer completely ad free, news broadcast by the world’s oldest Wi-Fi: the Telepathica Pacifica Network (TPN).

Thousands of years ago, the TPN was set up as a web of psychic protection for plant life around the globe.

The TPN does not accept monetary donations from even plant-loving humans. Throughout the history of plant systematics, the TPN’s green members have all witnessed friends, relatives, seedlings and saplings chopped or mowed down, and mashed into paper currency for humans.

Today,T.K. was listening to the plant-based network while on a stakeout for his carnivorous friends at Interpol. His assignment was related to the protection of front yards everywhere. Specifically, he was there to protect the prestige of the original Don Featherstone lawn flamingos produced by Union Plastics.

Interpol believed North Korea intended to flood the free world with cut-rate birds. If left unchecked, the commies could ruin lawns everywhere with cheap knock-offs.Until now, the free world’s front yards—the ones blessed by genuine Featherstones—had been worth defending against marauding juvenile delinquents — the ones whose parents never lifted a hand to smack some goddamned manners into the noisy “little bastids.” Yeah, the same “little bastids” who made life a living hell for the half human half log, T.K., by tipping him over in public, just because they thought it was “funny.” Brats.

Waiting. Waiting.

Beneath the hot afternoon sun on a quiet Tuesday, T.K. tilted himself a few more degrees to the east, to help improve the reception on the grassy slope.

******** El Día de los Muertos ********

 

Día de los Muertos is the day that Mexico celebrates its dead. In the United States, this special day is observed by getting drunk and wearing baseball caps backwards — pretty much like every other day.

aside

This scene takes place next to the cloak room — at the Los Angeles offices of Interpol — on that festive day….mexican shark attacks107

The contessa lifted his chin with her two elegant bebés and spoke. “I know that you are new in town, Bernardo,” she said. “If you get lonely, you can visit me at Adobe Gillis”

“Your generosity is most inviting, señora…”

“It’s señorita — now that you are here, mi Bernardo.”

“Sí, señorita.Bernie hung his head, knowing that he would never be more than a common peón. “As you see by my ragged clothes, I am just a poor simple muchacho, too estúpido to find my own lowly locker.”

“Your fine manners reveal a true caballero, a gentleman of fervent breeding. ¡Let’s fiesta mi amigo!” Señorita Robinson grabbed, what she thought was a bottle of tequila from her locker. Instead, she’d grabbed the bottle of Pulque ‘the drink of the Aztec gods,’ that she’d gotten for a wedding present. She took a swig and handed it to Bernie. “¡Salud, Bernardo!” With her thick hair she fanned the droplets of perspiration about her neck, then yelped, “MÁS COCKAMOLE! Lo siento (sorry) Tourettes.”

“Bernardo tried to ignore that and took his first sip of the forbidden Pulque, — never intended for mortals. One sip would change his destiny.

Daunita smiled hungrily at Bernardo with the same grin that had tried to masticate his mast on the deck of Vinnie Maru. He shuddered.

Do not worry, there is no Big Man José.”

¿Quien? (Who?)

“Drink up Bernardo. If my husband, Gran José, existed, he wouldn’t be  released from jail for another fifteen minutes. Let’s have some fun before he comes to kill you. This is our momento especial. Vamos a bailar—dance with me, vaquero or I will go to confession instead.”

             Jay and the Americans’ “Come a Little Bit Closer” began to play over the intercom.

Bernardo wrapped his arm about Daunita’s delicate waist. Her soft body radiated the warmth of the golden Aztec sun. The effects of the forbidden Pulque were  beginning to impact him.

______________

while innocent youngsters were being killed, at the nearby Raging Hormones Theme Park. 

That part of the plot will resume, shortly. Maybe. Don’t hold your breath.

_________________

Bernardo’s heart soared like the great bird Quetzalcoatl. He felt invincible. He challenged her imagined boyfriend. I will snap the península off the her Big Man José’s postal code! In Bernardo’s mind he was a bronzed warrior bounding up the stone steps of Templo Mayor toward heaven, aware that once he reached the golden crown of the pyramid, he’d draw a deep breath of her scent, a gift for the god Huitzilopochtli. Then, with eyes wide open, he would prove his fearless love to the bronze goddess, Daunita.

At the apex of the temple with arms extended, the enchanted Bernardo would leap into the wind and glide like an eagle above the pink clouds, toward the hot Mexican sun, into the cauldron of the voracious volcano Popocatépetl below.

Bernardo stood, eyes closed, and prepared to plunge. If he must, he was prepared to plunge again and again. 

Daunita closed her eyes, feeling the dream of her brave warrior again and again.

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.

^^ö^^ The Working Dead ^^ö^^

The Working Dead

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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.

Preview: Shark Fin Soup — The 1st Illustration by Vitaliy

This is T.K. Betelnut,  Interpol agent in charge of the TPN

Telepathica Pacifica Network. He’s about to fall in love with a potted plant.

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Boldizsár, I Came to Kick Your Bony Ass.

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“Boldizsár, I Came to Kick Your Bony Ass.”

Because of Laszlo’s large skeletal bald head, which appeared on the back cover 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 % cheese, citing a few stray genetic threads to Luxembourg, Switzerland and four other cheesy countries.

Thanks to blameyourancestors.com, Laszlo was also able to narrow his search back to his Hungarian family, the Tóths. After 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).

anitas-bald-family

Laszlo sent more money to expand his DNA search and soon 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.

During the 16th century, Oszkár ruled Walachia and was known for his 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 only to find out that it had been stolen!

Oszkár’s spouse, the beautiful countess Cynthia, told her husband that she had seen a well known local magician, Madik, running away from the castle and into the Nagyon (Very)  Sotet (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 Barbecue, Laszlo, himself, was cursed by the magician’s wife, the powerful witch, Eegahd.

The next morning, while Oszkár combed and combed, his glorious mane began to shed. The hair that made the count ‘such a wench magnet’ alllll fell to the ground.

As a result of 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 Gibor hoard.

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.

“Fiend!” cried Laszlo. Tendrils of revenge worked their way into the author’s rational mind. Online, he hired a Hungarian scholar, János Harker, 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 rural  Ploiești. He quietly drove his rent-a-car around the back to the cemetery, parked, opened the trunk, and removed his 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 to begin his unholy undertaking. Laszlo located Boldizsár’s resting place and slid the heavy lid off the ancient stone coffin.

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 Boldizsár parts back inside the mausoleum, dumped them back inside the coffin and took a selfies, one   in front of the inscription on the wall above the sarcophagus:

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

Laszlo, satisfied with the bony ass kicking, didn’t review the inscription on the photo until he arrived back home in the states. Something had changed. In red letters, his name had been added to the wording :

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

Translation:

(Mua hahahahahahaha)

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

anitas-ghost

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.

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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.

anitas-sketches

An Interview with Kālī (from Shark Fin Soup)

New Shark Fin Titled copy

It was 6 p.m. The end of Bernie’s first day at the Interpol office in Los Angeles. He was beat. The agent’s job at the agency was based on his ‘talent.’ Bernie had been hired because he was not only able to see, but also communicate with religious apparitions.

Bernie’s first day on the job ended with a short, unscheduled, but action-packed interview in his office with the Hindu goddess  काली (Kali).

A few minutes earlier, Kali, being her usual sweet self, looked down at Bernie through the splinters of his new desk and grinned her blood covered rack of 14K gold teeth.

“I AM THE GREAT KALI!!!!” She circled the desk and castrated its four legs with a swipe of the four Jambiya  घुमावदार चाकू in her four hands, pinning Bernie to the floor in the middle of the rubble.

“Please, stop, काली!” he pleaded.

“Call me DOOOOOOOOOMMMM, Agent Benedict,” the Goddess of Destruction hissed, “AND you will thank me for beating this lesson into your sappy skull. My गुंडापन Thuggee followers, who number in the millions, still send me sweet little boxes containing their progeny’s still-beating hearts on Saint Jack the Ripper’s Day. I just want you to know that what, I, THE GREAT KALI!!!!, am capable of. What I can do to you…is NOTHING…Mwahahahaha…Nothing, compared to what that Brazen HUSSY Dauna Robinson will do to your maracas before you leave the building TONIGHT! … By the way,” Kali said, while grooming her fluttering eye lashes with her flaming jalapeño tongue, “This is hard for me to ask.”

“What? Anything! Anything! Spare me, oh, great Kali! Your wish is my command, oh fearsome goddess!” said the fetal quivering loogie named Bernie.

“Stand up, Agent Benedict. I was only joshin’ with ya,” Kali said, while brushing the wood dust off of her armored golden sari. “Do you think that you can set me up on a date with your friend, Frankie?”

“The Sumatran?”

Kali softened her voice. “I’m asking you as a friend

.…Or else, Worm!”

 

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