Wednesday, June 23

We've been running re-runs of the show for the past month or so, but our producers tell me we have to start doing new ones again. I'm not up for it, but the show is important. So here we are in front of the cameras and a live studio audience full of antsy children.

I stare at them for a long time after the opening applause. I can't remember how to do this whole TV thing. I say Hi and do a little wave. Then I stare at them for a little while longer.

"You should always brush your teeth." I tell them, and I do a little brushing-teeth motion with my hands. "And never kill anything ever. And stay away from any and all kinds of balloons. They destroy your life." I notice a small girl is holding a bright red balloon in the audience. I point her out and ask her to come down on stage. As she walks nervously onto the stage, all the other children clap and yell.

She tells me her name is Barbara. I shake her hand and smile.

"Where did you get that balloon, Barbara?"

"My mom bought it for me."

I nod my head and stare into the red depths of that hideous inflated latex. My heart starts beating and I kind of zone out. I grab the balloon by the string and yank it out of the girl's hand. I put it under my boot and stomp it real quick. It slides out and I have to do it again. The little girl screams as I successfully pop it with my heel. I throw the piece of red rubber accross the stage as hard as I can. I think I probably let out one of those primal grunts as I did that. I hope so.

And then we're back to staring at the audience. What was I talking about?

Mr. Happy Puppet Head comes bobbling out. He's drinking a soda and eating some cheese crackers. "Hey, what are we doing now?"

"Oh! Hey, kids! It's our friend Mr. Happy Puppet Head! He's here to tell us a joke! Yay!" Only some of them clap. They look scared.

"Nah, I don't have any jokes right now. Just that one about the nun I always tell."

This TV thing is so hard. How about a cartoon? Yeah, let's go to a cartoon.

**********************
Arpit and Bloodbath in "People Die for No Reason All the Time"

Arpit and his best friend Bloodbath the unemployed pirate captain are standing outside of their suburban apartment building.

An old man in a wheelchair wheels up to them. "I'm very old." he tells them. The two friends aggree. "I lived a full life and saw a lot of funny things. Like people falling down and getting hurt."

"Yeah!" Arpit aggrees. "I've seen that, too."

And then the old man dies, his head falls off, I think. Then a schoolbus full of children and their loving parents drives past and bursts into flames. Some birds from the sky drop dead at Bloodbath's feet. One of the birds is a bald eagle. A girl Arpit has a crush on walks by and chokes on a Hostess Twinkie. There is nothing they can do to save her. Arpit builds a memorial shrine made out of his tear-stained pillow case.

The End.

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