Wednesday, December 28
"Where's the hammer?" asks Mr. Happy Puppet Head.
"In the toolbox," I tell him. "Why?"
"I bought a cow." He leaves the room, and I hear him rumaging through the toolbox in the hall closet, then walk out the backdoor. Curious, I follow.
There is a cow in the backyard. A big fat black and white one with a bell around its neck. Mr. Happy Puppet Head hits it in the head with the hammer. The cow moos loudly and runs to the other side of the yard. Mr. Happy Puppet Head chases her and hits her again. She moos and runs again.
"Mr. Happy Puppet Head?" I ask him. "What are you doing this for?"
"It's a good investment. Lots of meat."
"I don't like beef."
"You don't like anything." The cow is slowing down, a trickle of blood runs down it's face. "It's still a good investment."
notes to finishing:
-Midnight chases crazy possesed meat all over the house like Tom and Jerry.
-lots of hit-in-the-crotch jokes
-"This is good beef," says Mr. Happy Puppet Head.
"Sure," I say as I hold the ice bag to my bruised crotch.
Tuesday, December 13
Friday, November 25
Monday, October 31
"What?" he asks. He is eating a quesadilla, cheese dripping down his freshly shaven face.
"I don't know what I'm dressing up as tonight." She pours herself another glass of grape juice. "I'm thinking maybe a ghost or... a ghost maybe."
"I'm going to be a crab monster. I made a really awesome costume." He shoves the rest of his breakfast into his mouth and stands up, knocking his chair over. "Don't look at me," he yells at her. He picks up the microwave from the countertop and holds it over his head like he's going to smash it. "You never believe me!"
"Fine," she says. "But I'm not cleaning it up, and I'm not buying you another one." She looks out the window. "Your carpool is here."
He stares at her unblinking. "I'm serious, Dianne. I'm serious." He shakes the microwave over his head.
Diane picks up her half-eatedn quesadilla and grape juice and slides past him into the living room. "Smash it. You're the only one who uses it."
"I use it, too," says the daughter Lily, hidden under the kitchen table.
"You do not!" he yells at her, shaking the microwave violently. "This microwave isn't for you!"
"I'm a grown woman! And it's about time you recognized my need to admit that I use the microwave." She sobs into her hands.
He closes his eyes as tight as he can. The microwave is getting heavy and his carpool honks one more time before leaving for work without him. He hears his wife start the shower upstairs and his daugter dry-heaving under the kitchen table.
"You never believe me about my crab costume!" He throws the microwave against the already dented refrigerator.
"I will be a crab, with big ass pincers and it'll be red and everyone will be impressed with my costume-making skills!"
Now it is Halloween.
Thursday, September 22
We found her in the backyard, vines growing from her stomach, vacant eyes staring up at the afternoon sky.
"Are you okay?" I ask her.
"She's dead," says Mr. Happy Puppet Head.
"O'Reilly..." says the sad voice that echos in our heads. "Patrick... Patrick O'Reilly..."
"Wait, was that... was that her talking in our heads?" I ask.
"Yes," Mr. Happy Puppet Head says as he turns and walks back to the house.
"Um," I tell the dead woman. "I don't know Patrick O'Reilly." The vines from her stomach wiggle angrily, thrashing the air. "I'm sorry. Do you need me to get you anything?"
"Revenge!" Her psychic yell is like a gong ringing through my mind. I clasp my hands to my ears but it doesn't help. The woman's stomach vines tangle with each other wildly as a multitude of vines shoot up from the ground around her, forming a soft cradle around her naked body. A large vine wraps tightly around me and lifts me into the air.
Mr. Happy Puppet Head comes back out of the house sipping a beer. Our house is now dwarfed by the towering, thrashing vines, the backyard completely engulfed by them. "Hey," he says, looking at me as I am tossed back and forth above him. "What's going on?"
"Bring me the murderer Patrick O'Rielly..." she moans without moving her mouth. "Revenge!"
"Oh, I get it," says Mr. Happy Puppet Head. He pulls out his cell phone and dials 411. "Patrick O'Reilly, please." He waits. "Yeah, just connect me."
Two hours later, after a brief discussion with the murderer Patrick O'Rielly, he shows up in our backyard. He is handsome, young, and well-dressed. He says, "Here I am, Patrick O'Reilly. Where's my Prize for winning the Contest?" and is instantly snatched up by the vines.
With a psychic scream that nearly explodes my head, the vine woman hurls the victim of her vengence high into the partly cloudy sky. We watch as he shrinks into a little dot, then disappears.
"You feel better now?" I ask, still suspended by vines high above the ground.
"Not really..." she says. "I thought that would settle it... Damn..."
"I guess there's a lesson in all this" I tell her. "An Eye for and Eye just means there's lots of eyes poked out. And who wants that?"
"No, I think maybe that wasn't the right guy..." Her vines thrash a little more. "Was there another listing?"
Mr. Happy Puppet Head finishes off his beer and tosses it into the mess of vines. "Nope. Just the one. Wouldn't you recognize him, though?"
"I don't know... Vengence!" She starts thrashing again, and this time she accidentally drops me. It's kind of a far drop and I land on my foot funny.
"I think my foot is broken," I say, trying to bend my toes but not being able to.
"Nah," says Mr. Happy Puppet Head. "Come on, put that pizza in the oven. I'm hungry."
We watch TV and eat pizza, all the while the dead vine woman is howling psycically in the backyard. We try to put earplugs in, but it does no good at all. One of our neighbors calls the cops, and I peek out the window as they shoot all their bullets at her. She throws some of their police cruisers into Outer Space, so they shoot her some more. This goes on all night.
The next day they have scientists and military people trying to figure out what's going on, but most of them get thrown into Outer Space, too.
I think the only resolution to all this is to simply accept her for what she is. I may not like my head to be filled with horrifying screams all the time, but with a little patience, I'm sure we can all co-exhist happily. That's what Love is for.
Monday, September 5
The Cute is feeling pretty good. He had just saved the Princess from the Room of Broken Glass, and just moments before she had given him a kiss on his head and sent him off on the Raft so he could get back home.
"I'm the best ever," the Cute says, looking around to make sure no one can hear. "I'm the best ever!" the Cute yells loudly. "And now I'm hungry."
But there is no food on the Raft. The Princess had either forgotten or meant ill for the Cute.
Either way the Cute has to find something to eat soon.
Try clapping your hands. You in the audience. Everyone at once. Or maybe send some food. Or a helicopter. The only place that half-ass Raft is going is the bottom of the Ocean.
Sunday, August 28
"Down this Deep Hole is a Magical Place," croons a comforting woman's voice. The Cute looks around for the comforting woman, but can't find her. "Fall in the Hole. Follow the Arrow."
"I'm busy right now," explains the Cute. "I'm lost on an Adventure through Time."
"Time has no meaning in the Magical Place," is her comforting rebutal. "Fall in the Hole. I know you'll like it."
The Cute creeps to the edge and peers into the darkness. "What kind of Magical Place?"
"Oh, it's great," she says. "Really great. I've only gotten positive responses from people who fall in the Deep Hole."
From behind, the Cute hears a loud crashing sound and turns to see the large Time Monster making its way towards the Deep Hole. The Monster trips on a tree it is trying to knock down and falls flat on its big monster face. "Okay, do you promise I'll like it?" the Cute asks the voice.
"Sure, you'll love it."
The Cute turns to check on the monster situation. It lumbers to its feet and continues making a beeline for the Cute. "Okay, here I go." With a deep intake of breath the Cute leaps bravely over the edge and into the darkness.
After falling for what seems like a very long time, The Cute lands with a bump at the bottom of the pit. It is wet and cold and dark. "This isn't very magical," says the Cute. "I'm not sure I love it at all."
"You'll get used to it," replies the woman's voice. "It's not so bad once you get used to it. Are you hungry?"
"I guess so."
"Here's some birthday cake."
"Right in front of you."
"Oh," says the Cute, finding it in the darkness. "Hm... this isn't very good. It's slimy on the outside and stale on the inside."
"Yeah, well that's all we've got to eat, so you better like it."
The Cute eats as much cake as it can, but that isn't very much. "Well," explains the Cute. "I'm lost on an Adventure through Time, and I really need to get going."
"You are now a resident of the Magical Place at the bottom of the Deep Hole. You followed the Arrow. You love it here. Have more cake." At which point the Time Monster lands with a loud rumble next to the Cute.
"You let the Time Monster into the Magical Place?" asks the Cute.
"All who wish to enter are welcome," explains the voice. "Time Monster, have some cake." But instead of having any cake, it picks up the Cute and waves it triumphantly over its head. It searches for a way out so it can bring the Cute to the Cute Crushing Machine back in the Time Vortex. But there is no way out of the Magical Place, even for the Time Monster. Eventually the triumphant waving of the Cute comes to an end, at which time it is placed less than carefully on the ground.
"Have some cake," offers the voice. The Monster eats it, but clearly doesn't enjoy it.
TRANSITION: STAR WIPE
"How many years has it been since we fell down here?" asks the Cute.
"Time has no meaning in the Magical Place," explains the voice.
"Sure, but if there was time, how many years?"
He gets no reply. The Time Monster shrugs its shoulders as if to say, "You know she's a bitch, why you looking at me like that?" The Cute sighs deeply and curls up into its little mud bed.
TRANSITION: CROSS FADE
They get out of the Deep Pit by using Cleverness. Standing in the Supermarket, the Time Monster picks up a cucumber. The Cute nods its head "Yes."
That night they make a really great salad and watch this movie everyone told them about. The movie isn't terrible, but the thing that was truly important was that two good friends-- the lumbering Time Monster and the Cute--had some time to spend just by themselves.
Tuesday, August 23
Roboctopus sits alone in the backyard. A thick layer of grey cloud passes slowly overhead.
It is now the third day since Roboctopus tricked Patti and Potato into stowing away on that boat to the Phillipines, and he's been bored out of his mind. He didn't make much money off of that scheme, and he's already drank it all away. Without Patti and Potato, he has no schedule, no plans. Alone, Roboctopus is little more than a handsome half-robot, half-octopus with more tentacles to twiddle than he knows what to do with. And the kids probably won't find their way back for at least another week.
Or maybe they wouldn't. This could be the time he loses them for real. Forever. They could suffocate in that wooden box he trapped them in. Or they could find their way into a sweatshop and work away their childhoods. Or they could catch Malaria or Dysentery. Who knows?
Despite how funny he thinks Dysentery is, Roboctopus doesn't know what he would do if Potato and Patti never came back.
He remembers that time they all got lost in the catacombs looking for buried treasure and Patti went crazy from no sunlight and managed to gnaw off one of Roboctopus's tentacles. It grew back, but he still has a scar from it.
"We love you Roboctopus," they had said, moments before he sealed the crate. He told them how much he loved them, too, but at the time he didn't believe it.
A tear trickles down his aluminum face.
Roboctopus takes a deep breath and quickly wipes the tear away. He decides to go to the woods and look for something to wrestle. Maybe a bear. That always takes his mind off of things.
Roboctopus wrestled the Hell out of some bear.
Monday, August 22
Now it's time to watch an ART FILM!
It is a silent piece entitled "His Heart Beats with Rancid Irregularity, Keeping Him up at Night as it Pounds Against His Pale, Sunken Chest."
Please sit still during the screening, and no talking or whispering or anything.
FADE TO BLACK.
Sunday, August 21
Mr. Happy Puppet Head has decided that he is the type of person who can kill another without remorse. So now we're hosting a dinner party. A Murder Dinner Party.
The only guest is a Large Bug. Mr. Happy Puppet Head wants to start at the beginning and work his way up.
There is a pot of stew on the table inbetween us and our doomed guest. The stew has been heartily poisoned.
"So," I ask. "What's your name again?"
"What's in the pot?" asks the Large Bug. "Smells awful."
"I think you'll like it," answers Mr. Happy Puppet Head as he ladles out a spoonfull into the Bug's bowl.
The Bug examines it carefully and looks up at us. We are both staring at him from across the table. "Why aren't you guys having any?" Our bowls are empty.
I wait for Mr. Happy Puppet Head's answer. "Um..." He looks at the empty bowls. "We don't... um..."
The Large Bug studies us intently for a moment before proclaiming, "I need to use the bathroom." He hops off the table and scuttles down the hall.
"You think he's on to us?" asks Mr. Happy Puppet Head.
"Looks like it," I answer.
"Oh, shit. Do you think he noticed that?" Directly out the window is a small open grave with a wooden cross jutting out of the ground at the head. A gardening shovel lies next to the freshly turned pile of dirt.
"I don't know." I pick up a piece of garlic bread and take a bite. I'm pretty sure we didn't poison the garlic bread.
The Bug comes back and we all look at each other for an extremely long moment. I take another bite form the garlic bread. It crunches loudly between my teeth.
"Well, guys," says the Large Bug. "I'm going to head out now. Later." He hops off the table and scuttles over to the front door.
"I'm going to order some Chinese," I tell Mr. Happy Puppet Head.
"This isn't done yet," he tells me, a coldness in his voice. "I nailed the doors and windows shut and sealed any and all cracks and holes. He's not going anywhere."
What ensues is hours and hours of chasing and hiding and creepiness. I try to watch some TV, but my best friend roaming the house with a Butcher Knife in his mouth really bothers me. "I don't want you killing that bug," I tell him.
"What?" he asks around the Knife Handle.
"Let the bug go, I'm trying to watch TV." But he ignores me and continues his hunt.
I wake up to a skittering sound in my room. I sit up and a sharp pointy thing is pushed up against my throat. "Don't say anything," the Bug whispers.
"I'm on your side," I whisper back.
"How do I know that?"
"Look, I'll just open the window and you can get out."
Which I do. I let the bug out. Mr. Happy Puppet Head wanders the halls for days on end, not sleeping or eating, knife clutched firmly between his teeth. At some point he draws those black lines under his eyes like he was in Vietnam or something.
The hunting eventually turns into an unsettling sort of wandering. Mr. Happy Puppet Head sinks into a deep well of depression as he mourns the loss of his prey. I tell him we can invite someone else over to kill. I tell him we can always try again. He eyes me suspiciously.
This goes on for almost two weeks before he wakes up one morning on the floor in a puddle of his own vomit. He finds what he claims is a mouse that he purposely drowned in bile. It is clearly a clump of his own fur. We hold the funeral in the backyard, the grave already dug weeks in advance.
"You know," he tells me afterwards. "I do feel a little bad."
"Maybe you should stop," I say. "Stop the murdering."
"Maybe," and he gives me what could be described as a mischievous wink, but that's a trite way to end a story.
Thursday, August 18
"Hey," says Arpit. "I don't feel well-drawn today at all."
"I be hardly sketched in," replies Bloodbath.
"Hm." Arpit jumps up in the air and the perspective is all off. It looks like he kind of twists a little and his legs don't even change angles. "Wow! Check this out." He spins around and disappears.
Arpit is now in a different dimension where Catipillar sandwiches are fresh tight.
Bloodbath looks down at his poorly constructed body. He likes how big his hands are, but he'd like longer legs. It's awkward having so little space for knees.
Arpit spins back into his own dimension. He is holding two Catipillar sandwiches. "I brought this for you," Arpit says, handing his pirate friend one of the sandwiches. "I've been gone for five years, how long has it been here?"
"'Bout that long," answers Bloodbath.
They enjoy their Catipillar sandwiches, even though sandwiches from that other dimension use a different kind of mayonaise that tastes kind of like corpse.
Tuesday, August 16
"Hey! Stop stealing that kid!" yells Mr. Happy Puppet Head as he waves his 2X4 with a nail in it. The kidnapper stops in his tracks.
"I didn't think you'd ever figure it out... I thought... my Empire..." he moans.
"I'll shoot you with my laser gun!" I tell him, pulling out my laser gun. I have one in this episode. "I'll shoot you into melted!"
Mr. Happy Puppet Head shakes his head at me and I put it away. But not before I shrug my shoulders indicating, "Like, okay, but I don't think it's a good idea to put the laser gun away just yet."
"Just put the kid down and we can talk," says Mr. Happy Puppet Head. "Look, I'm putting my 2X4 with a nail in it on the ground. See? Now we can talk like we're at a party. A fun party and not a horrifying stand-off."
"Okay," agrees the man. "What are we going to talk about?"
"I'd like to know where you put the rest of those stolen kids, you sicko!" I take a step forwards to slap him on the back of his big head, but Mr. Happy Puppet Head intervenes.
"Just let me do this, okay?" he whispers, teeth clenched. I quickly acquiesce. You can't deny this guy knows hostage negotiation.
One week later all the stolen kids are returned to their parents and everyone celebrates us. It turns out the guy who owns the Enchilada Pasta company had amassed a large disposable workforce to manufacture his delicious canned pasta that tastes like Mexican food. Thanks to our exciting investigation, he'll be on the sad side of a jail cell for a long time.
"It's the Midnight Mailman and Mr. Happy Puppet Head!" everyone screams when we walk into the supermarket. They all ask us questions about how we managed to get across that bridge and how exactly we escaped those dinosaurs. There are too many questions to answer any of them. We push our way through our admirers to the canned food aisle. But something is wrong--there are no more Enchilada Pasta cans left on the shelf. They have the storebrand, but we don't like it as much.
it suddenly dawns on us that Kidnapped Child Labor may be the only cost-effective way to manufacture Enchilada Pasta.
We buy the storebrand. It tastes almost exactly the same, but it just isn't as fun without that cartoon mascot printed on the can. And sometimes they had games under the label.
Sunday, August 7
Word Problems of Math
1) If A Bug is tugging the hair of B Bug for 15 Minutes, how long before their voices are hoarse from yelling and the police are called to settle the dispute? Calculate for A Bug's bar tending job and B Bug's obsession with Walrus.
2) How many different combinations of Sandwich are there if the only ingredients in the fridge are White Bread and Mayonaise? What if A Bug and B Bug both hate Mayonaise and White Bread?
3) If A Bug can never find anything to wear on Wednesdays and B Bug hates her parents more than anything, how long is Math?
4) A Bug and B Bug go to the Carnival. They both love Carnivals in general, this one is especially Fun and Exciting, and B Bug buys corndogs and candy for both of them. Supposing those conditions to be True, why do they complain so much? Is it too hot or something?
5) A Bug takes 2 hours to get ready for work, including a shower and gettting dressed. B Bug sells drugs to her friends.
6) 6 + 4 - 3 + 5 - 12 = 434
When confronted with a mathematical word problem, panic, run your hands through your hair, mumble something about how it used to be easier when you were younger, make up as many convoluted equations and methods of solution as quickly as you can before your Math Partner throws her hands up in frustration and solves the damn thing herself.
Tuesday, August 2
Mr. Happy Puppet Head is walking through the woods at night by himself. He’s never done this before and figures there’s no better time than the present.
The woods are behind his parents’ house where he grew up. There’s a small tract of undeveloped land between their suburban split-level and another house, and though his family doesn’t officially own the property, they’ve always just acted like they did.
Mr. Happy Puppet Head bobbles around the perimeter of the woods a few times. The darkness is thick, enveloping his eyes and cloaking him in an intangible blanket of solitude. The crickets and cicadas buzz loudly on all sides, his ears full with it. In one long swig he finishes off the bottle of mouthwash he brought with him. It’s mint flavored.
He decides to sit and experience the dark summertime to as an intense a level as he can muster. To open his senses wide and let everything wash in completely unfiltered.
He sits on a woman who is in the midst of a slow asphyxiation.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” says Mr. Happy Puppet Head. “Didn’t even know you were there.”
The woman kicks one leg out violently, cracking a small twig underneath Mr. Happy Puppet Head.
He ignites his lighter and blinks against the sudden brightness. Underneath his floating red puppet self is a woman in her mid-forties wearing a blue flower-print sundress. A large tongue is wrapped firmly around her entire head. She claws at it desperately, scraping her French-tipped nails across the writhing muscle.
“Oh...” Mr. Happy Puppet Head drops his lighter and the flame goes out. He turns and bobbles away as fast as he can. He bounces off a tree, then another, and another. He bounces off tree after tree as he makes his near panicked way towards the porch light in front of his parent’s house.
He falls into a deep hole.
It is too deep for him to jump out of and the walls are made of crumbly dirt. He is trapped.
“Hey,” I say in the pitch darkness. “Did you try grabbing that root right there? Maybe you can climb on it.”
“Midnight?” He asks. “Is that you?”
“What are you doing here?”
“Try grabbing that root. I bet it’ll hold.” I scratch my nose, but he doesn’t know about that. It’s too dark.
“I asked you not to come,” he reminds me. “You asked and I said I just wanted to hang out at my parents house by myself.”
“I’m just your imagination,” I tell him. “You’re under a lot of stress in pitch darkness. But seriously, you should try climbing that root right there. Remember the tongue monster?”
“Oh, shit,” he says as he reaches blindly for the root. He grabs onto it and hoists his small body out of the hole. “Thanks, man.”
He continues his escape. Behind him he hears the Tongue Monster chasing him. First the sound of something large dragging, then lifting up off the ground for a moment before thudding back onto the dirt.
He reaches the house and slams the front door behind him, locking both the deadbolt and the doorknob twisty-lock. Mr. Happy Puppet Head collapses breathless on the couch.
After a moment hear hears the telltale drag, lift, thud of the Monster. It comes closer and closer to the house.
Drag… lift… thud. Drag… lift… thud…
A key slides into the door and the lock slides open easily. Mr. Happy Puppet Head gives out a little scream. The Tongue Monster flops into the house and Mr. Happy Puppet Head lets out another little scream while he burrows into the pillows of the couch.
“What?” the Tongue Monster asks, it’s enormous tongue hanging out and dragging along the carpet. “You don’t even live here.”
“Sam Sam?” asks Mr. Happy Puppet Head. “I thought you died years ago.”
“That’s a horrible thing to say!” scolds their Mom as she tightens her bathrobe around her waist, watching them from the top of the stairs. “Just because you never visit doesn’t mean we’re dead. Apologize.”
“Mom, he was strangling some woman in the lot next door,” says Mr. Happy Puppet Head.
“Hey, Mr. Happy Puppet Head,” greets his Dad. “I didn’t know you were coming over.” His big black mustache is clearly a family trait.
“Yeah,” says Mr. Happy Puppet Head.
“Cool,” replies Dad.
“Hey, I’m going to make some tea,” says Sam Sam, drag, lift, thudding his way to the kitchen. “Anyone want any?”
“No, I’m going back to bed,” says Mom. “I’ve got important business calls in the morning.”
“Goodnight, kids,” says Dad.
Mr. Happy Puppet Head finds the remote and clicks the TV on. He finds some good cartoons and turns the volume down a little. After a few minutes Sam Sam joins him with a cup of tea and flops himself out on the floor near the couch.
“Your tongue got really big,” points out Mr. Happy Puppet Head. “You’re like a Tongue Monster now.”
“No, seriously, you should work that angle.”
“I said shut up.”
Mr. Happy Puppet Head shuts up and they watch cartoons in peace. “It’s nice being home,” thinks Mr. Happy Puppet Head to himself.
Monday, August 1
Whatever the explanation, it takes Kyle almost a week to find the rest of his family. He has to eat enormous crumbs that he finds inbetween the towering strands of carpet and has no way of entertaining himself at all. Miles of towering carpet is interesting for only about a minute. Kyle misses Kevin, his best friend who lives next door.
Once the family is reunited, everyone decides to try to find their way out of their house to see what's going on with the rest of the world. Maybe they can find out why they are so tiny.
Adventures ensue. They meet a cockaroach, which at first is a threat until they befriend it and they ride it like a horse. And maybe there's some other funny things that are funny becasue they are large. Like trying to watch TV and it is too loud, or almost drowing in the ocean that is the toilet.
Eventually they escape the house only to find that they are normal sized. Kyle and his family had been kept in drug-induced comas for months while their hometown was razed to the ground and the enormous house constructed in its place. Everything they had ever known was now gone. Except for the house, which at least was an enormously huge scale model of the life they once knew.
"What about Kevin?" asked Kyle.
"Kevin is no longer with us," responds Barbara, Mayor of Enormous House. "He died trying to save you. We kept you in a secure compound during construction. It was the only way."
Kyle and his family get jobs as tour guides. They not only know their ways around the house, but they have good stories to tell about what it was like when it was regular sized. Like the time they got that pet rabbit.
Thursday, July 28
Some kids showed up today for Summer Camp. I regret posting those application forms at the Grocery Store. So much.
"Where's our bunks?" asks the little kid. It's impossible to tell their genders, but I think I don't have a good eye for that. All kids look the same. "I get the top bunk!"
"Sh! I want it," whispers the older one. Their skin is a brownish color and they have strange hair. They have brought a suitcase to summer camp.
"Um..." I tell them. "Uh. Yeah. Yes. Summer Camp. Hold on."
I shut them out of the house and lock the door. "Mr. Happy Puppet Head?" I call. "Hey, some kids actually came for Summer Camp."
No answer. "Hello? Mr. Happy Puppet Head?" I call up the stairs. "What do we do? There are some kids here."
I wait for another moment, trying to locate him in the house, but I don't hear anything. I go back out to the porch. "I'm sorry," I tell the kids. "Camp was cancelled. No camp. Sorry."
The siblings (I guess they're siblings) look at me blankly. "No camp," I continue. "You can go home."
"We flew here," argues the older one. "Our ticket home isn't for another week. Our mom told us we were going to Summer Camp."
"She said softball, too," pulls the younger on the older's elbow. That's when I notice that Mr. Happy Puppet Head is sleeping the bushes. I nudge him with my foot and tell him about the kids and Summer Camp.
"Summer Camp?" he asks as he rolls over.
"Yeah, we never even built those cabins." Despite our best intentions, we had never did make it to the Hardware Store. "What do we do?"
Mr. Happy Puppet Head sighs deeply. "Just make them sleep in the backyard. That's like camping."
So it is.
DAY ONE at the Midnight Mailman Show Summer Camp.
The Campers dig their beds in the yard behind our house. We tell them not to make the holes too deep, because of the worms. After the initial round of questions, they turned out to be pretty good diggers.
"Can we play softball now?" asks the little one.
"No, now we meditate," I tell them. "That means we sit and be quiet. With Zen." I sit on the grass next to their beds and show them how to cross their legs and hold their hands palm up with thumb and middle finger touching. "Shhh..." I whisper. "You can chant, too. If you want." They stand leaning on their shovels. "Great!" I stand up. "Goodnight." Their frightened eyes bore into the back of my neck.
At first they keep knocking on the door. Little polite, scared knocks. A little while later I think I hear them having fun outside, but I'm really trying to pay attention to what's on TV.
DAY TWO (Nature is Nature's Candy)
When I wake up they are sound asleep in their beds. They've even figured out how to cover themselves with dirt like a blanket. My heart melts a little.
They're up after a few gentle nudges on the shoulder. They rub their eyes and ask if there's any breakfast. "No breakfast," I explain. "Last night we made a tentative schedule for the week. Today is 'Nature Day.' So today you are both going to develop your love of the Outdoors." Mr. Happy Puppet Head watches from the kitchen window. He takes a sip from his coffee and turns away. "You can do whatever you want outside," I pick up a stick. "There are sticks everywhere. Nature."
I open the gate to the fence in case they want to escape, but make sure the the sliding glass door is shut tight.
A few hours later I'm forced to tape up a 'No Knocking on Door' sign. Before I go to bed take a peek out the window, and I notice that they don't seem to like eating pinecones and grass. I think about leaving out some of our leftovers, but decide there's only one way to really develop a love for the Outdoors."
DAY TWO (Fun in the Sun!)
They each eat four bowls of cereal. It's like these kids've never been forced to go hungry a day in their lives.
I explain that the rules of today's Sunburn Contest. The kid with the worst sunburn on his back, face, and arms by the end of the day wins. Wins some licorice Jelly Beans. I also point out where the water hose is. I ask them if water hoses are fun and they shrug their shoulders.
I forget to see who wins the contest. I fall asleep reading this really good book.
DAY THREE (More like Farts and Crafts!)
They look at the construction paper and glue like it's poison or something. "You can make pictures with it." I tell them, pointing out the piece of green paper. "Like a rocket ship or a can opener."
Around Lunch Time they break into my house. They climb up to the attic window, which I thought would be too small for them to fit through. I guess it isn't. Luckily I long ago boarded up the pull-down ladder thing a few years ago. That attic is creepy.
I can't fall asleep for a while because of their walking back and forth across the attic floor, which is my bedroom ceiling. They kind of talk a little and laugh sometimes. Kids can be so inconsiderate sometimes. I banged the ceiling with a broom, but they were quiet for only like a minute after that.
DAY FOUR (Western Wednesday)
They showed a whole bunch of old Western Movies on TV today. I never really did like Westerns too much, but these were pretty good.
I hope they're some rats or something in the attic those kids can eat. Maybe some roaches or spiders.
DAY FIVE (Fivty Percent Off Yellow Tags)
I find this really great funny t-shirt at the Thrift Store, and it's a Yellow Tag item. I'll probably never wear, though. It's a little too short.
DAY SIX (Goodbyes are Good)
I decide that today is the last day of Summer Camp. I bang on the ceiling with the broom and yell that it's time for them to go home. I don't hear any response. No shuffling of feet, no talking, nothing.
Downstairs I see a trail of sooty black footprints leading from the fireplace to the front door. The TV is missing, as well as one of my favorite lamps. The door stands open a crack.
"What?" Mr. Happy Puppet Head drops his drink on the floor, spilling liquor everywhere. "Where's the TV?"
"They took it with them."
"From the Summer Camp."
"But what are we going to do today?" He looks at me like it's my fault.
DAY SEVEN (Reflection)
Next year camp will be ten times better. We'll build that cabin with bunk beds like we wanted to do in the first place, and maybe we'll get some hairnets and cook some chili. Like a big pot of it and keep it in the backyard with some hamburger buns.
I think we could have more games, too. We should dig a pool.
Most importantly is that we all really learned a lot. Mostly about life, but other things, too. We learned that planning is a key component to a successful Summer Camp. We learned that attic Ghosts can now get into my house through the fireplace. We learned that Westerns aren't so bad.
I can't wait for next year.
Tuesday, July 26
"I had a great idea for a restaurant. You want to hear it?" asks Patti to Roboctopus and Potato. "Okay. It's called 'Knight Pizza,' knight spelled with a K, and the delivery people would dress in metal knight's armor. And it'd be open all night. Get it?" It's the middle of a hot summer afternoon and the siblings and their secret best friend are hanging out in the backyard.
"Hey, I have to go now," says Roboctopus. "That's a great idea, by the way. You should do that. The pizza restuarant." He wiggles accross the yard, crawls over the wooden fence, and lands on the other side with a grunt. Patti and Potato follow.
The children chase down their friend. "Hey, hey," calls Potato. "You said you couldn't leave our backyard because people would see you and then we'd get in trouble."
"Yeah, but this is an emergency." Roboctopus continues wiggling quickly down the sidewalk.
"What's wrong?" asks Patti.
"Nothing," answers Roboctopus.
A long black limo pulls up besides them and cruises slowly at their walking speed. Potato and Patti watch it silently while Roboctopus ignores it, staring up at the sky ahead of him.
The window slowly rolls down and a knife spins out from within. It lands on the sidewalk near the children's feet with a loud clattering.
A large man in a grey suit climbs out of the limo and Roboctpus runs away. The children quickly follow. The man stoops down and picks up his knife. He throws it again, but it bounces harmlessly in circles behind the robot/octopus and his terrified friends.
They run and run until they are at the Convinience Store. "Who was that man?" asks Patti. "Why was he throwing a knife at us?"
"I don't like running," says Potato.
"Nobody," answers Roboctopus. He takes a small China Doll out of his robot head. He tosses it on the ground and lights it on fire. It bursts into a large ball of flame for a brief moment before the doll incinerates into nothing. All that's left on the ground is a large pile of white powder.
"What's that stuff?" asks Patti.
"Nothing. Don't worry about it," says Roboctopus.
"It tatstes funny," says Potato, putting a small bit from his finger into his mouth.
"Don't eat it," commands Roboctopus. "We can sell it."
"Roboctopus, is that drugs?" Patti asks. "Did you steal them from a Gangster?"
"Oh no..." Potato is lying on the concrete staring up at the sky with enormously dilated pupils. "Oh no..."
"I told you not to eat it!" Roboctopus slams a tentacle on the ground. "Great."
The Gangster walks up, stops about four feet away and aims his knife with one eye closed. He throws it as hard as he can, but it hits the ground behind them, bouncing off of the convinience store. "Give me the doll," he demands, his right hand thrust in front of him, palm up.
"The kid ate it," Roboctopus explains. "You can have him, though. Like an exchange. I'll even throw in the girl."
"Wait," says Patti. "You can't give us to a ganster."
"Oh no..." moans Potato.
"He doesn't look so good." He points at Potato. "I don't want him."
"He'll probably get better."
"We need to go to a hospital," says Patti."He'll die!"
"She's got sass," the Gangster pulls out a burlap sack from his jacket pocket. He easily picks up the kids and shoves them into the sack. "I like kids with a little life to them. They may not always take out the trash when you tell them to, but at least they know what they want out of life."
"Definitely," agrees Roboctopus.
The Gangster walks away with the struggling kids in the sack slung over his shoulder. Roboctopus waits until he is gone before scooping up what's left of the white powder and slipping it into his mouth grate.
"Hey you!" shouts Roboctopus to an old lady walking into the convinience store. "I bet I can do more pushups than you!" Roboctopus does 537 more pushups than her. She does zero.
Thursday, July 21
A small child sits in front of her parents house playing with a large red rubber ball. She bounces it on the pavement and it hits a rock, causing it to bounce askew. The little girl chases it as it rolls into the middle of the road just as a large tanker truck barrels towards her. The large tanker trunk swerves violently in an attempt to save the girl and careens into the award winning largest herd of cattle in North America. The truck flips over and spills it's flammable liquids all over the cowsbefore it explodes. The cows are quickly transformed into a mile-in-diameter mass of on-fire stampede.
"Do you hear that?" James asks the woman standing in front of him.
"It smells like beef," Maura replies as she scribbles in her check book.
"Yeah, it does..." The flaming heard of cattle crashes into the "Banco de Nuestro Communidad" downtown branch. The manager yells for everyone to get into the money safe, and everyone hurries in. James and Maura sit on opposite sides of the vault and steal glances at each other occasionally. When they come back out the bank is completely demolished, along with about a fourth of the town surrounding it. Everything is stomped and burned into rubble.
"Wow," says James.
"Yeah," says Maura. "Look at that."
A week later the Nuclear Power Plant in the town next door has a meltdown. The toxic cloud rolls over the neighboring town and instantly kills everyone that lives there. Lots of yelling and crying for about an hour, then silence. The cloud rolls over our small town, but nothing seems to happen. Everyone appears to be fine.
It isn't until weeks later that anyone realizes that all the children in the town have developed murderous psychic abilities. They float through the town like a pack of wild dogs--a pack of wild dogs that owns a small mid-Western town. When they see an adult, they use their powers to pull all the adult's insides out through their nostrils.
Eventually, after lots of adults are turned inside out, someone figures out that if you play Vivaldi, the kids fall asleep. The adults find a way to blare Vivaldi all through the town, so the kids fall deeply asleep. The adults organize themselves, find all the sleeping children, and chop their heads off.
"Hey, don't I know you?" asks Maura as she wipes her bloody machete off on her tank top.
"Maybe," replies James. "The bank? Was it at the bank during--"
"The Stampede!" interrupts Maura. "Yeah."
"Cool," says James. "I should probably get back with my group."
"Yeah, me too."
"A great wind approaches!" howled the leader of the psychic murder kids, moments before his death. "Lazers and vampires!" And he wasn't kidding. The next day, as soon as the whole psychic kid thing is taken care of, whordes of tornadoes descend on the small, unlucky town. Everyone retreats to their basements, until they realize that these tornadoes shoot lazers and are being ridden by five-headed vampires. Retreating to their basements is exactly what the tornado-riding vampires want them to do.
"Watch out!" yells Maura. James watches out just in time to avoid being tornadoed.
"Thanks," says James. "I've been meaning to-- watch out!" James tackles Maura and they both barely avoid being lazered.
"What were you meaning to do?" asks Maura as they lie side-by-side in a ditch by the side of the road.
"I just keep seeing you a lot lately, it seems, you know, maybe I could pick you up sometime and we could go out?"
Before Maura can answer, one of those five-headed vampires appears next to the ditch. They run and get separated.
The tornadoes are defeated by the enormous flood. Water quickly rises up from the ground and devours both the tornadoes and the vampires, as well as the rest of the town.
James sits on the roof of his apartment constructing a crude boat out of what's left of the building. Maura floats by on her makeshift raft.
"Are you building a boat?" she asks.
"Hey!" replies James. "Yeah, it's a boat. I figure, you know, I might as well make a boat."
"Yeah, me too." She checks her watch. "You need any help? I made some sandwiches."
"Of course," says Steve. He checks his watch. His watch is broken. "My name's James."
"Maura. My name's Maura."
They both nod and smile awkwardly. Before too long there isn't a roof to sit on anymore, and James has to crawl into Maura's little raft.
The rest of the day is spent telling each other about themselves and floating around the aquarium the world has become. James learns that Maura's best friend is her sister Rachel, and Maura learns that James studied Economics in college, but he teaches kindergarten.
The following morning they see the whales. Enormous mammoths of creatures, catapulting themselves out of the ocean and crashing violently into each other. They do this again and again. Whale corpses float to the surface.
It is a Whale War.
It lasts weeks.
James and Maura lay on their backs in their sinking raft as they hold each other tightly. The last sandwich was eaten two days ago, and only small ammounts of dew have been aquired for water. Not nearly enough.
"I have something to tell you, James," croaks Maura.
James nods weakly.
"I'm in love with you," she says.
"Aren't you in love with me? I thought... I know I am. Deeply."
"I don't know, it's... that's really great, though." James coughs roughly.
"Oh," she says and rolls over, facing the other direction. A whale flips up out of the water just as another flips out, and whacks the other whale firmly with it's tail.
Two days later they are almost dead, drained of energy, when their raft hits land. They look up and realize that the water has receded and the world has returned to normal. The Eiffel tower stands proudly before them.
"We're in Paris," whispers James.
"Hot damn," moans Maura. "Lets get baggettes."
But there are no baggettes left in France. There is nothing left in France except the Eiffel Tower. They have to eat parts of a dead whale they find. It isn't any good, but they hold hands while they eat.
At their wedding the priest becomes possesed and all his body parts spin around. They smile becasue it's fitting and reminds them of the old days, but refuse to pay him for his services.
Wednesday, July 20
"i will turn that one story about the nuclear bomb and that kid without glasses into a Midnight Mailman story," said Robert several weeks ago. "Sure. that sounds fine."
it starts after a few stories where Midnight has lost his arms and legs and for some reason is wearing Kleenex boxes on his feet. he wears the boxes becasue since he lost his feet, it's strange to hover around without something covering his invisible feet. (his feet are invisible without boots on).
the story starts when Midnight wakes up and accidentally puts Mr. Happy Puppet Head's ear drops in his eyes. they bulge out and itch and he can't put on his goggles. then while they're waiting for a bus they get hi-jacked by this old guy in a wheelchair. originally he said his daughter was going to blow up the city, but now it's his son. (total sausage party.)
its raining really hard and midnight can't see anything. they keep running off the sidewalk. and the old guy in the wheelchair has a saw and is holding it against Mr. Happy Puppet Head's head. they have some funny dialogue.
then we get to city hall and find out that the old guy's son is the other Midnight Mailman, the one that used to be best friends with the real Midnight and Mr. Happy Puppet Head.
We learn this history:
they both invented the Midnight Mailman together when they were kids. but they both wanted to be him, so they had a contest. our Midnight won the contest, but the other got real mad so he donned the goggles and bowtie anyways. he moved to Africa for many years before returning. (there's a joke there, we just have to find it. find it later)
this is what the other Midnight Mailman looks like.
(that's a good drawing.)
so the other Midnight is all sad for reasons that will be explained more in the final story, so straps the homemade nuclear bomb onto the roof of his car and drives it up to city hall. it's still raining really hard, so no one notices as he unstraps it and drags it up the long flight of stairs to the front door.
midnight and mr. happy puppet head get there as he is halfway up. they talk and figure out what's happeneing and some funny jokes should be in there, too. maybe there's a struggle? (only if it's funny.)
so in the end the other Midnight Mailman pushes the button to nuclear blow everything up, and it shakes a whole lot like something big is going to happen. but then it just falls apart and makes some smoke come out. (predictable?) there's some crying and maybe some hugs (?). reconciliation. real Midnight's eyes get better from the rain or something (something funny?). (maybe there should be some gross moldy food somehow? like apple juice that's been sitting out for some months?)
the end should be a scene where Mr. Happy Puppet Head and Real Midnight Mailman are hanging out at their house and everything is back to normal. (except i don't want Midnight to have arms and legs just yet. maybe never again. who knows?) other Midnight Mailman comes over for cocktails and they laugh at things like television sitcoms. and the strange coincidences of life. only it'll be cleverly written.
Monday, July 18
INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
A little girl lies down in bed and rolls over to go to sleep.
INT. BEDROOM – DAY
The girl waks up and is now a bird.
Wow, I’m a bird now! Yay!
Bird flies all crazy all around the room, bumping into things, feathers going everywhere. The Bird’s HUMAN MOTHER walks into the room.
Hey! You bird, get out of here!
Don’t you peck my walls! Out!
She shushes the bird out the window.
EXT. SKY – DAY
The little bird flies through the trees and the clouds and the pretty blue sky.
Yay! I can fly! This is so much fun! Wow!
EXT. SKY – LATER – DAY
The little bird still flies all fun and free, but she is really tired.
Yay, I can fly. This is so much fun.
The little bird lands on the ground.
EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY
The bird looks around at the bushes and sidewalk and things around her.
Where am I? I think I’m lost.
A man in a business suit approaches. He is wearing shiny black shoes that pound closer and closer to the little bird. Just before she gets stepped on, she flies into the air.
She watches the man walk away before landing again.
The bird turns to find a small worm that’s been stepped on.
Oh no! You’ve been smooshed in half!
Yeah, looks like it.
Aren’t you sad?
I guess. Hey, you hungry?
Then what are you waiting for? Birds eat worms.
What? I don’t want to eat you.
Why not? I’m a worm, crushed in half, you’re a hungry bird. Dig in.
A little furry Cute walks up.
Cutes don’t eat worms. Only birds eat worms.
But I’m hungry. What about you? Do cutes eat birds?
I hope not!
That’s no kind of answer. Can I eat you or not?
I’d rather you didn’t.
See, again, you’re not answering my question. Do cutes eat birds?
Cutes do not eat birds.
The cute walks away.
Well, I guess I”ll die now.
Oh no! Don’t!
I got stepped on. Happens.
I’ll be so lonely when you’re gone.
You should go home to your bird family.
My family is a people family.
I… don’t understand.
They’re people. Girls and Boys and grandpas and grandmas and—
Yeah, okay. Later.
Worm falls over dead. Bird pecks it but the worm is dead.
Goodbye Worm. You got smooshed in half. You were nice. The End.
The bird flies away.
INT. CHILD’S BEDROOM – DAY
The bird flies into her old room. CG TITLE: 10 Years Later
Wow, that took a long time. Ten years!
Bird’s mom walks into the room.
Bird! You get out of here! Don’t you peck on my walls!
Mom! It’s so good to see you! It’s been so long, and I’ve seen so much! Friends smooshed in half, and a lot—
Ut! No birds in the house! Shoosh!
She picks up her bird-daughter and tosses her out the window.
EXT. HOUSE – DAY
The bird sits in front of the house, sad.
I wish I were a human child again. Then she’s make me a sandwich.
The cute walks up to talk to her.
You said can turn into a human child?
Then why don’t you?
With a small poof of SOUND and magic, the bird is now a little girl again. She runs inside and runs back outside with a sandwich. She eats it happily.
Do cutes eat human children who can turn into birds?
The little girl shakes her head “NO.”
The cute SIGHS and wanders off.
CUT TO BLACK.
This story may not make it into the final script. Mr. Happy Puppet Head says it doesn't go anywhere. I think it's cute. We'll see.
Sunday, July 17
"Um, could you, um. You put this box on me," Muscle tells Manager Leonard.
"Yeah I did,' says Manager Leonard. "You're lucky I didn't put two. Where's my Tuna? Where's Tiny?" They call him Tiny because he isn't. It's a joke. He's the largest Tuna in the world.
"I thought he'd be right back, he said he would. I can, you don't have to put this box on me." Muscle can't lift the box off of him no matter how hard he tries. His name wasn't supposed to be ironic or a joke or anything--his parents thought he would have lots of muscles seeing as they were both at one time the most famous Strong People Who Lift Things in the world.
"That box is full of promotional handouts," explains Manager Leonard. "What do I do with them now that Tiny's gone? Huh? Nothing. I might as well put them on your back. Right?"
"I don't, really that's not, I mean, maybe," says Muscle. "If there wasn't this box on my back, I mean, maybe I could go and find Tiny. I just need to, there was a place I left him and he should have come right back."
"Who's going to want a Tiny's Fish Palace and Extravaganza without a Tiny? Nobody. They come to eat the fried fish while a giant Tuna--the biggest in the world--swims around under the glass floor." Manager Leonard watches Muscle wiggle painfully under the big box of pamphlets. "I'm going to put another box on you. Hold on." Leonard goes back into his restaurant.
While Muscle is waiting to have another box put on him, Tiny comes back.
"Hey, buddy," says Tiny, slithering his the largest Tuna body accross the sidewalk. "Sorry that took so long. But check this out." Tiny rolls onto his back to show off the bad-ass tatoo on his fishbelly. "It hurts like shit, though." The tatoo depicts the Moon on fire with a snake wrapped threateningly around it.
"Nice," says Muscle. "That's awesome."
Manager Leonard walks back out into the parking lot. He is carrying a large box. "Where you been, Tiny?" Manager Leonard carefully places the other box on top of the other box on top of Muscle. "Why didn't you call? I been worried."
"Check it out," the enormous Tuna fish rolls over so Manager Leonard can see his rad tat.
"That's the most retarded thing I've ever seen," Manager Leonard says, turning himself back to the restaurant. "Come on. You're late for working."
"Man, I don't want to work today," says Tiny. "I just want to get stoned and watch the waves."
"I just want boxes off of me," says Muscle.
"Yeah, that looks like it sucks."
"It does. A lot."
"Look, Jimmy, the largest Tuna in the world!" The mother points her finger to indicate the largest tuna in the world swimming lazily beneath their feet. "If this clear plastic floor weren't here between us, that Tuna would tear us into tiny Happy Family pieces."
"Oh, no!" cries her adorable child.
Tiny yawns. Muslce falls asleep and dreams about ice cream. Manager Leonard cheats a customer out of a nickle and smiles broadly when he turns his back.
Sunday, July 10
Check it out. We're still pushing that old guy in the wheelchair to get his daughter who's trying to blow up the city with her nuclear bomp strapped to the top of her car. And it's raining. And I still don't have any arms or legs, and my eyes are all bulgy and itchy from putting those eyedrops in them. And those are Kleenex boxes on my feet.
But I'm bored with that story. I'll finish it later. Or something.
Here's something else.
It's called "He was so Excited, He could Totally Fly."
Everyone said things about this and that. But he didn't even notice, he was that excited.
"This is pure," he told his mother and her friends as they sat around the table, clipping pictures out of magazines. "I am a ball of purity that has no fathoms. It is fathom-less." He floated away, right through the walls, too. Didn't need doors.
The Mail Carrier Woman yelled, "Hey kid! I got some mail for you."
"Anything good?" he asked.
"Not really," she replied, shuffling through the envelopes. "Looks like a bill... and one of those cupon books."
"Thanks, I'll get it later!" he yelled back as he floated away into the clouds.
In the clouds the Beautiful Cloud Bugs asked him, "Why are you so excited?"
"I don't know... Just, you know... Hey! You want to guess what color I'm thinking of?"
"White?" they guess.
"Yup! You Beautiful Cloud Bugs win again!"
And they did win again. The Beautiful Cloud Bugs always won. Every time.
Sunday, June 26
The bus pulls up to the stop sign just as an old man in a wheelchair runs full on into me and knocks me to the rain-puddled sidewalk. He waves a saw around over his head and yells. I can barely see anything with my bulging itchy eyes, but I can tell he's scary.
"Take me to downtown City Hall!" he yells. "It's an emergency! Take me to Downtown City Hall!"
"I don't... we have to go to the studio..." I mumble. Rain drips in my eyes and I do my best to wipe it out.
"What are you doing, Old Man?" asks Mr. Happy Puppet Head. "What the, what--" The old man begins chasing Mr. Happy Puppet Head in circles around me. "Get the Hell away from me!" yells my floating red friend.
The old man manages to grab Mr. Happy Puppet Head and holds him close to his chest. He then puts the saw against Mr. Happy Puppet Head's face and yells, "Take me to Downtown City Hall! It's an emergency."
Mr. Happy Puppet Head yells loudly and incoherently.
I look towards the big blurry bus at what is probably the bus driver wondering if we're getting on. "Um... no," I wave my hands for it to drive away. "We're okay." The bus drives away.
"See that car down the street at the stoplight?" the old man asks. Mr. Happy Puppet Head yells angrily again, this time using what could almost be understood as bad words.
I squint as much as I can. "No, I can't really see anything," I tell him. That car must be driving really slow, though. "I think you should let him go. He hates hostage situations. Maybe more than anything."
"Take me to Downtown City Hall," he says it slowly this time. "The big metal thing on the roof of the car, it's a bomb. My daughter is going to blow up the city."
"Really?" I ask.
"Yes!" he yells. "I'll saw your friend in half if you don't take me there right now!"
They both yell for a little bit. I try plugging my ears with my fingers, but my eyes itch and I have to scratch them.
"Midnight!" Mr. Happy Puppet Head yells, "Just take him to City Hall!" Then he says some for-real bad words.
"Okay. Fine." I walk around to the other side of the wheelchair and start pushing.
"Curb, curb!" the old man yells as the wheelchair starts falling into the street. I pull it back onto the sidewalk. "You're going to have to tell me where to go and everything," I tell him.
"Downtown City Hall," he says.
The rain is starting to soak through my clothes and I'm cold. Mr. Happy Puppet Head keeps yelling and I'm having a really hard time pushing this wheelchair and itching my eyes at the same time. Pain in the ass.
And it sounds like we might get blown up, too. Nice.
Tuesday, June 21
"Damn!" Mr. Happy Puppet Head tells me. "Your eyes are all bulged out."
"Yeah, I thought they were eyedrops."
"You mean my ear medicine?" he asks. "Are those Kleenex boxes on your feet?"
"It says not to get it in your eyes," he turns and bobbles towards the front door. "You ready to go?"
"I can't be on TV right now," I tell him. "I look terrible and I can't see. I can't read the que-cards."
"Whatever, come on." He opens the door with his mouth and bobbles out into the front yard.
I stand where I am. It's raining hard outside. He yells at me from the front yard, "Come on, we'll miss our bus!"
My eyes itch so bad. I rub them with my eyes closed. They're swolen so big my eyelids don't close all the way over them anymore.
"Come on," Mr. Happy Puppet Head says as he comes back into the kitchen, sopping wet. "I got that new Magic Bucket bit today."
I moan loudly as I continue rubbing my engorged eyeballs. I can smell that wet puppet smell he gets. "I'm sorry. I thought they were eyedrops."
He watches me from accross the room. "Man... I been working on this Magic Bucket for months."
"You can do it on next week's episode," I try hopefully.
"Nah, it'll go bad by then..." He gets distracted by something he sees out the window. "Wait, did you see that car just now?"
"Which car? No. I can't see anything."
"The real slow one with the big metal thing on top. Does that look like foreshadowing to you?"
I moan loudly again as I rub my eyes harder. "I guess..."
"Yeah," he stares out the window, peering hard to see through the rain-streaked pane of glass. "Definitely foreshadowing. Okay, let's go. Here comes the bus." He pushes me out the door and into the big blurred out world.
Monday, June 20
If one were to have a job at an advertising agency specializing in car dealerships, this might be what the radio spots one would have to edit all the time sound like.
Friday, June 17
Bloodbath the Unemployed Pirate Captain and his ten year old friend Arpit are hanging out in the parking lot in front of their apartment building.
"There's a bear," says Arpit. He points at the bear.
"Sure is," drawls Bloodbath. His twin pirate swords glint in the sunlight.
The bear growls a small, uncertain growl.
"Remember this morning when you said Call a Bear Your Grandma Day was stupid becuase there aren't any bears around here?" asks Arpit. "Remember that? Hey Grandma! Yeah, you bear over there. You're my Grandma."
Bloodbath checks his pocket watch.
"See, Bloodbath?" Arpit yells, hugging the bear around its big furry neck. "I think you just learned the True Meaning of Call a Bear Your Grandma Day. Go ahead, call him your Grandma."
Bloodbath sighs deeply. "No."
"Come on! You don't know he's not your Grandma." Arpit climbs on the bear's back and stradles it like a horse. The bear makes its way to a nearby pine tree and rubs his back against it, knocking Arpit to the ground.
"Yer bleeding," says Bloodbath.
"Yeah, look at that..." They lock eyes for a moment. "I think...I think now you truly just learned the True Meaning of Call a Bear Your Grandma Day. For serious, too."
Bloodbath checks his pocket watch again.
"Go on," whispers Arpit. "Call him your Grandma." The bear climbs on top of someone's station wagon and curls up for a nap.
Bloodbath watches the sleeping bear.
"We're not leaving here until you say that bear is your mother's mother," says Arpit. He says it like he means it.
Bloodbath turns and walks inside. It's time for his stories, and there's nothing Arpit and do about it.
by The Bear from the Story
Arpit and Bloodbath are the most interesting characters ever concieved in cartoon history, the single greatest creations this universe has ever seen. Their desires are clear and relatable, not to mention fascinating and exciting. The world loves them more than it loves anything, and the demand for more Arpit and Bloodbath cartoons has never been greater. Their popularity, as well as the fortunes they generate, grows exponentially every day.
This "Call a Bear Your Grandma Day" episode is Arpit and Bloodbath at their finest. I grew up wanting to act in an Arpit and Bloodbath, and I finally got my wish. I can't tell you how happy I am to have been part of such a brilliant work of art.
Thank you Arpit and Bloodbath. You two are my Grandma.
Thursday, June 16
"Have some more, Head," says Howie as she pours him another glass. "Yes, milk is very good for us."
Just then, an Arsonist opens the door from the backyard and walks into the kitchen. She is holding a large red can of gasoline.
"Hello," says the Arsonist, smiling with her bright, handsome teeth.
"What's that?" asks Howie, pointing to the red can in the woman's hands. "Is that gasoline?"
"Sure is," she says. She hefts it up and shakes it so Howie can hear the liquid inside, filled almost to the top. She removes the plug from the spout and the strong smell of gasoline invades Howie's senses. "Gasoline is for lighting fires," says the Arsonist.
Just then, a Fireman walks into the house. "Hey little girl. Hi Arsonist," he tips his red fireman hat to them both. "I thought I'd stop by to make sure nothing is on fire."
"Really?" asks the Arsonist. "I'm just the oppsoite."
"Wow," the fireman takes off his hat and ruffles his dark, scraggly hair. "Funny how the world works, huh?" Howie pours some milk into Head's mouth. Most of it spills right back out, but she cleans it up with Head's Dribble Rag.
With a clever smile, the Arsonist pours a small puddle of gasoline onto the linoleum floor. It bursts into flame. The Fireman watches it appreciatively for a moment before taking out his Fireman's Axe and chopping the fire out.
"You're good," says the Arsonist.
"I'm really good," replies the Fireman. They stare into each other's eyes for a long time.
Howie picks up her best friend and carries him into the living room. It looks like the Arsonist and the Fireman might start kissing, and she doesn't want any part of that. She wants part of a Fort made out of couch cushions.
Wednesday, June 15
The Film Festival has been lots of fun. Both of my movies have already screened. Portrait of a Zombie played Saturday, and Mr. Children-for-Hands played last night (tuesday). People laughed a lot through both of them, and they cheered at the end. It felt good.
A guy from DragonCon was at the Portrait screening and invited it to play at the film festival there. I'm so sick of that movie, but every time I think it won't ever screen again, it does.
During the animation screening, most of the other pieces were on 35mm film, had really great sound, clearly had a good bit of money and time invested in them, and looked way more polished and professional than Mr. Children-for-Hands. But I think mine got one of the best reactions out of the audience. They laughed all the way through it, and when it was over, there was a brief pause before everyone started laughing again. So what do you think about your budget and amazing technical skills now?
I'm happy about how all this turned out. It's one life-goal crossed off the list (I've been wanting to get into this animation screening for years). Now I just need my own cartoon show.
The best part about doing all this art and movie stuff is knowing that I'm not the only one enjoying it. So keep enjoying it. You're the best part.
Monday, June 13
They told each other the same stories over and over again.
They reiterated how attractive they think each other is.
They would make food for each other.
When one was about to fall into a deep pit with spikes at the bottom, the other would say, "Hey, look out. Pit."
Rocket ships zoomed. Politicians spoke. Legs jigged. Spirals spun.
Sometimes she would go to Maine for nine weeks to teach children. Sometimes he would walk quickly away from the ghosts hanging out in the laundry room.
They started a Company selling cakes to help people break the bad news to each other. The most popular ones were "I Had Sex with Your Husband," "The Cops Think You Killed All Those Families," and "You'll Never Walk Again." Their Company did very well.
In the End, when they were both very old, he became fat and had no arms or legs and she was littered with scars, hobbling around on a polished wooden cane. They never wore any clothes, the temperature was always warm, and she pushed him around Paradise like a wooden barrel.
Monday, June 6
"I'm one of a kind," she says. "I can lift twenty times my body mass."
The man holding the paper cup nods his head, unable to hear what she is saying over the loud music. "Nice weather we had today," he tells her.
"Follow me," she says, leading him into a room near the back of the house. "I can break your ribs without trying hard at all."
He smiles and follows, thinking something fun will happen.
"Parties can be so dangerous," the Dragon tells his date, Bit of Cloud. They watch as three party-goers are stomped into mush by the dancing crowd. "I like the danger. I'll start a fight later."
Bit of Cloud doesn't care at all. She's tired of violence in ways none can imagine.
"Hello?" The music stops and a voice echos over the loudspeaker. "I'm glad everyone came to this Fun Party. As you all know, we're celebrating. Please lift twenty times yoru body mass, if you can. The winner gets a blueberry muffin. There is a bite taken out of the blueberry muffin. I took a bite out of it."
"I should go," says one to another. "I have work in the morning."
"Go," says another to one. "I will win that muffin without you."
"True, I saw it in a dream."
The party fades out and everyone is confused as to where it went. All that is left is the muffin, and the disembodied confusion. Connect the dots.
... . .. .
Thursday, June 2
Maybe the worst part about the whole thing is that the puddle is across the street from a bus stop, and the people waiting for the bus are just sitting there watching me. A large round woman carrying grocery bags asks if I need any help.
"No... I think I'm okay," I tell her. Actually, I think I'm sinking further, but I don't feel like talking to or touching any strangers right now.
It gets later and colder and of course it starts to rain. it's been raining a lot lately, but I had hoped it would wait until I figured this whole stuck-in-the-mud thing out. But it's dark now, I'm soaking wet, and I'm in to my knees.
"Hello, Henry." I turn to find an old friend standing on the sidewalk, dressed exactly like me. "Looks like you're stuck," he says, his cape flapping behind him. He holds a large umbrella over his head. I can see myself reflected in his goggles.
"My name's not Henry, Jason," I tell him. "I'm The Midnight Mailman."
He laughs a big fat man's laugh. "Whatever you say, Henry."
I try to pull my legs out as hard as I can, but nothing happens. Solid stuck. "It's my name fair and square! We aggreed whoever won the scavenger hunt gets to be The Midnight Mailman."
"And you think you won that scavenger hunt, do you?"
"I did! I found the four leaf clover, the rolling pin, the ancient talisman of Oobu, Mr. Hardigan's bra, all those--"
"You cheated!" He waves his umbrella at me.
"Did not! I was just faster."
"And you think you deserve it? Stuck in mud, without any arms or legs even." He adjusts his bowtie with his thick fingers. "You look ridiculous. You're an embarassment." He spins on his rubber boot heels and clomps his way down the wet sidewalk. "I'm The Midnight Mailman, Henry! You're nothing."
"You give it back!" I yell after him. "I'm The Midnight Mailman! Me! You can't have it! You can't have it!" I sit down in the mud. "I'm the Midnight Mailman..."
I fall asleep there next to the sidewalk, in the dark, in the rain. I wake up several hours later sunk in to my shoulders. Mr. Happy Puppet Head is there looking down at me.
"What the hell are you doing?" he asks me. "I've been waiting all night!" He grabs hold of my head with his mouth and slowly pulls me out of my puddle of shame. My boots are gone, though, burried forever. I look down at my feet, but I don't really have any. They're attached to my legs which I lost a few weeks ago, so now I look like I'm floating 3 1/2 feet over the ground. The physics of how this is possible eludes me.
"Tonight's Boggle Night, you know that!" Now he's yelling. "How am I supposed to play by myself?"
"Boggle can be a one person game," I say.
"What? How can I possibly beat myself at Boggle? And look at you, covered in mud, floating around. Ridiculous!" He stomps away and I follow.
After about fifty yards he stops and turns on me. "You know how important Boggle Night is to me! You know! Don't pretend you don't know how important it is!" He spins around and runs home.
I know how important it is. Ever since he got hooked a few months back, every night has been Boggle Night.
Standing in the middle of the sidewalk, feeling the rain wash the thick mud from what's left of my body, I twiddle my fingers. Maybe I'm not worthy of the name The Midnight Mailman. Maybe I'm a failure, an embarassment, a disappointment.
Somehow, as I'm walking home, I get stuck in another mud puddle. When the schoolchildren waiting for their yellow bus offer to help, I accept. I don't have enough dignity left to refuse.
Sunday, May 29
If you enjoy the Free Quality Programming here at The Midnight Mailman Show, we'd like to ask you now to give a little bit of your money to help us continue the Free Quality Programming you enjoy so much. Quality Programs including The Continuing Adventures of The Midnight Mailman and Mr. Happy Puppet Head, The Big Scary Monster, Howie the Little Girl and her Pet Old Man Head, Roboctopus, and many others. Free Programming that is Quality Programming.
The Midnight Mailman Show is a poor recent college graduate doing the best he can. Though we work over forty hours a week, we just barely bring in enough to support the type of Quality Programming we think you deserve.
For every Donation up to $5 you'll recieve a piece of Mr. Happy Puppet Head Fur and a small Original Drawing.
For donations $20 or more, you'll get the Fur, a Framed Drawing, and a Mr. Children-for-Hands DVD.
Remember when The Midnight Mailman and everyone else turned into Giants and ate everything? Remember when that one guy got stuck on a deserted island and ate his best friend and hung out with a Ghost Pharoh? Remember just the other day when all those girls drove off a cliff and some of you thought it was nicely written?
So please click the Donate Button and give what you can. We'd Donate if we had any cash. This is one of our favorite web sites.
Saturday, May 28
"It's Summer now," says Mark Candle. "Just like you wanted it to be for a long time."
"I know," replies Mark Burgerstienburger.
"So let's go have fun." Mark Candle always says that he has lots of hands for lots of fun. "I don't have all these hands for nothing."
"There are just a few more. Almost done." Mark Burgerstienburger picks up another heavy box and moves it accross the room.
"Those boxes aren't going anywhere," says Mark Candle. "But the sinshine and our youth are. Come on."
A large thorny bug pokes it's head out from a box at the top of the stack. "What's up? Do it already."
"Um..." Mark Burgerstienburger looks around the room to make sure there aren't any more boxes. "Okay. I'm ready." He pulls the handle and the large metal weight falls from the ceiling with graceful fluidity upon the stack of boxes, crushing the bugs inside. They go Squish!
"Okay,we can go now," says Mark Burgerstienburger.
"Don't those bugs mind being squished?" Mark Candle fiddles some of his many fingers.
Mark Burgerstienburger grabs his jacket. It is far too hot to wear a jacket. "When they're born, their first words are always, 'Oh, is this all?' and their last are always 'What's up? Do it already.'"
"Maybe we should take them out sometime," says Mark Candle. "Show them a good time."
Replies Mark Burgerstienburger, "Nah."
SCENES FROM THE REST OF THEIR LIVES
"Quick! Turn left!" yells Mark Candle.
"I can't! Where?" yells Mark Burgerstienburger. The bright red car is close behind them.
"Left! Left!" Mark Candle cradles his broken second left hand tenderly. "I wish we'd never found out about Guido. Bad news, bad news..."
"Wait, what?" the woman behind the cash register asks.
"What year is it?" repeats Mark Candle.
"You boys forget? Or are you time travelers?" She rings up their one item: a can of tomato paste.
"We'll all know that when you tell us the year, sugar-lips," croons Mark Candle as he leans up against the counter. Mark Burgerstienburger looks the other way, embarassed.
"What's up? Do it already," says the large thorny bug.
"Um... maybe you'd like to go out with me and my friend tonight? You can bring your family." Mark Burgerstienburger asks. "We'll pay, of course." When the bug looks over to Mark Candle, Mark Candle waves with three of his hands.
The bug crawls quickly down from the top of the stack of boxes, skitters acccross the floor, and stings Mark Burgerstienburger in the toe with his stinger. He quickly skitters back accross the floor, climbs up the stack of boxes, and asks, "What's up? Do it already."
Tuesday, May 24
Four very good friends on their way to the beach accidentally drive off a cliff.
The girls scream and scream, waving their arms and holding on to anything they can.
But they keep falling without hitting the bottom. The car spins as it falls, so they can't really see how far they have left before impact. They stop screaming and a strange silence comes over them.
"I'm so sorry I killed you guys," says Samantha. "You have no idea how sorry I am."
"It was my idea to go to the beach," says Lauren. "Everyone else wanted to go to the lake, but I had to go to the beach. Now we're all going to die."
"I love you guys so much," says Samantha. They all agree. Lindsay throws up on her sandaled feet.
"Ooohh...." moans Lindsay. "I'm sorry, I just--" She throws up again.
"It's okay, don't worry." Belinda pats her on the back. "A little vommit won't matter."
"Yeah," Lindsay wipes her mouth with the back of her hand. "But it's still nasty."
"Hey, remember that time we went skinny dipping in Jordan's pool when he was out of town, and his parents came home?" asks Lauren.
"Yes! And remember when we--" The car bumps up against the side of the cliff, setting off a new round of shrill screams. They scream for only a few moments before they realize they're still alive.
"Ow," says Belinda.
"Everyone okay?" asks Samantha.
"Yeah, Lindsay just whipped me in the eye with her hair," explains Belinda. "I'm okay, though."
The car spins sickeningly as it plummets ever downward.
"What do you think's going to happen when we die?" asks Lauren.
"We might not die," says Lindsay.
"Yeah we will," says Belinda. "We're totally going to die. Cars explode when they fall off cliff. Do you even know how big this gas tank is?"
"Whatever, you don't have to be mean about it." Lindsay stares out the window, watching the horizon spinning around them.
"I'm not being mean," says Belinda.
"Guys," says Samantha. "This is no time to argue. We've been best friends for years. Since middle school! Are we going to die arguing?"
"Hey, let's see what's on the radio." Lauren reaches for the tuner, turns on a loud pop song.
"Oh, change it."
"Yeah, I hate that song."
Belinda changes it to a sad country song. No one objects so she leaves it.
The car hits the rocky ground and explodes into an enormous ball of seemingly liquid flame. The echo of the detonation reverberates through the air for a long time, even after the flame has burned itself out. A plume of smoke rises from the debris. It looks like a question mark, punctuating the end of four lives. One of the girl's cell phone rings. It's their friend Tony, wondering where they are. His call goes unanswered. His message is funny, if too long and rambling.
Monday, May 23
Mr. Happy Puppet Head loves it. He drinks punch out of plastic cups and makes bad jokes with the guys. He flirts with the women, and they laugh and blush. He eats hot dogs and chips and tuna salad until he can barely lift himself off the ground.
No one ever talks to me. And now that I've lost my arms and legs, they don't even look at me except out of the corners of their eyes. I feel naked, leaning against a tree, hoping I don't have to play any of the games.
"Midnight!" yells Mr. Happy Puppet Head as he bobbles up to where I'm standing. This is the first thing he's said to me in over an hour. "Hey! Egg Toss!"
"What about your friend over there, maybe he can be your partner."
"No, come on," he turns and bobbles towards the playing field.
"Just remember," Mr. Happy Puppet Head tells me. "Gentle. Think before you Toss."
"I will." But I don't. I panic. The Principal guy blows his whistle and I just toss. Overhand. Mr. Happy Puppet Head has to jump way into the air to catch it.
"What was that?" Mr. Happy Puppet Head yells at me, his mouth full of unbroken egg. I shrug my shoulders and we both take a big step back. Mr. Happy Puppet Head spits it to me, and miraculously, I catch it. We take another step back, and before I know what I'm doing, before the whistle is blown, I throw the egg as hard as I can. My furry red friend dives for it, but I've thrown it too hard, too high. It lands in the field next to the field we're playing in.
"Maybe its okay!" I yell as I run after it. Mr. Happy Puppet Head sighs and forces a smile for the rest of the group.
In the field I find the egg has landed neatly on what looks like a small girl's jacket. I pick it up and read the tag. Mary Ellen's jacket. The little girl who disappeared last fall and was never found.
"Hey everyone!" I call. "I think I can figure out the mystery of little Mary Ellen!"
Everyone groans. They don't want to solve a mystery on Field Day, but I'd rather do anything than finish this game of Egg Toss. It'll only end badly.
With a group of antsy Educators, I lead them through an adventure of Deductive Reasoning and Thoughtfull Pursuit of Clues.
"Can't we do this later?" asks one woman with a flower print dress.
"This is important," I tell her. "Unless you want some poor child's tormented ghost to haunt both parents and murderer for the rest of eternity, go on back to your games. See if I can't solve this mystery all by myself." I continue examining the rusted chainsaw I found in the secret cave under the oak tree. None of them go back to their games. The pinata dangles in one piece, fat with candy, and the burlap sacks go unraced.
Finally, after following month-old bootprints left in mud, examining syringe after syringe, measuring the length and girth of countless pieces of rope, we find little Mary Ellen's skelleton hidden under an intricate pile of rocks decorated in brilliantly depicted scenes from ancient Norse mythology.
And now it's dark and everyone has to go home. "Great job, everyone!" I tell them. "We solved the case!"
Someone mumbles about how we still don't know who killed her, and somoene else mumbles about a ruined Field Day. I ignore their negativity. I may not have won any friends or Field Day events, but a mystery solved is a mystery solved.
Now here's my favorite recipie for eggs. They're called:
"I Avoided the Embarasment of Group Activities and Found a Dead Girl Without the Use of Arms or Legs Scrambled Eggs"
Some corn tortillas (not tortilla chips, but rather, plain old corn tortillas)
Spicy cheese, like with jalepenos in it.
tear the tortillas into tiny pieces and grill them until crispy with some chopped onions. you could use butter or olive oil or whatever.
scramble the eggs and mix it in with the crispy tortillas and the browned onions.
cook until desired consistency is met. (i don't like mine too dry)
put cheese on top. maybe some hot sauce, too.
now you eat it. it's so good.
Monday, May 16
We wait behind the curtains for the show to start. Our intro theme song is playing while the kids find their seats. "Whoa, wait," says Mr. Happy Puppet Head. "What's different?"
"I'm trying something new." I tell him.
"You don't have arms. Or legs. You're just floating around."
"Do you like it?"
"I don't know..."
"I think it's a fun look. Simple, different."
"Not that different," he squints at me. "And I don't like it. Too... I don't know. Too floaty."
"But that's all you are. You're just a floating head."
"Yeah, maybe that's all the flotation we need."
"You never like it when I change anything. You still wish I were in color."
"So? I liked the green sweater."
"I'm not saying I'm sticking with the no arms no legs thing. I'm just trying it today."
"Sure. Do whatever," he turns around to face the curtains. "What about Field Day?"
"What about it?" I ask.
"Are we still going?"
"Why wouldn't we?"
"I don't know. I just really want to go," he says. "Can you bring your arms and stuff?"
I promise him I will.
The theme song ends and the curtains rise. The kids clap and laugh at all the jokes we make, but I can feel them staring at where my limbs usually are. I really do like this look, though. I'll proably stick with it. We'll see tommorow. I don't know. I left them in my dressing room in case I get too self-consious. But it'll be weird if I put them on during a commercial break. Now I've got to do the whole show this way. I wish we had one of those fashion consultants. Professional opinions are nice to have around.
The show goes along all right.. Not too many flubbled lines or forgotten punchlines. I can't wait to get to my dressing room to put my arms and legs back on.
Sitting on my makeup table where I left my extremities is a note. "Your arms and legs have been enlisted in a war against hypocrisy and injustice. They will aid in bringing down the enemy that is Convinience Store. We thank you for your contribution to the cause, and if we are successfull, you will recieve a medal in the mail. Please wait 6 - 8 weeks for completion of Project Destory Convinience Store. Sincerely, B & S"
Bermuda and Steve. That two-headed naked monster is so annoying. And they left some clothes on my floor. Looks like a janitor's disguise and a couple of fake beards.
Field Day is tommorow. How am I going to win at Egg Toss without arms or legs? Mr. Happy Puppet Head is going to be pissed.