Saturday, April 30

WEEKEND COMICS





There's also a new link we added for www.squetch.com. Check out the music video for "Everyone's Had More Sex Than Me." This guy's amazing.

Tuesday, April 26

Ten-year old Lilly wanted to build a monument, a Wonder of the World to be visited by tourists forever.

She cried herself to bed every night and would only drink her beverages with an Alka Seltzer tablet in it. She liked how the bubbles felt swishing through her braces.

Her voice was seldom used, but not her pogo stick. Her pogo stick was always used.

Sunday, April 24

"Tolbert Wigsby and the Tree of Hearts"

CHAPTER ONE

Mr. Happy Puppet Head is sick. I listen at night as he bobbles through the hallways, breathing heavily through his mouth as his nose drips steadily, soaking his mustache. He hasn't eaten or drank anything in the past two days.

I wake up to the sound of my roomate vommiting in the backyard. I grab a glass of water and run outside. I find him hunched over a pool of partially-digested milk, the empty gallon jug lies a few feet away. "Oh, Mr. Happy Puppet Head..." I kneel down offering him the glass of water. He cringes away.

"Milk is supposed to be healthy," he moans.

I'm about to tell him why and when milk is healthy when I hear a twig break from the other side of the fence. My ears perk up and I can hear the rustling of courderoy slippers on grass.

"He's sick," says an old-man voice from the other side. It's Old Man Wigsby from next door.

"We know," I say. "Mr. Happy Puppet Head, maybe you should go lie down."

"I don't want to go inside," he says.

"Do you want a cup of tea?"

"No."

"That tea stuff's not gonna do nobody no good," says the voice from the other side of the fence. "Never has, never will. What he needs is soup. Thousand Year Old Soup. From a wizard'."



Mr. Happy Puppet Head starts throwing up again, but this time nothing comes out. When he's finished he lies panting on the grass.

"Thousand Year Old Soup," says Mr. Wigsby. "From a wizard."

I pick up Mr. Happy Puppet Head and carry him inside.

"I know a wizard!" calls the old man from behind the fence. "I'll take you there, no problem! I don't mind. Promise."

I close the door behind me. I'm in no mood to talk to people if they're interested in talking crazy.

CHAPTER TWO.

The next morning Mr. Happy Puppet Head is even sicker. His eyes are glazed and his mustache is drooping pretty badly. "We've got to get you to a doctor," I tell him. I touch my hand to his furry red forehead and it's burning hot.

"No doctors," he coughs. "I'll... doctors..." Mr. Happy Puppet Head moans and burrows his head deeper into the pillows.

I look out the window and Old Man Wigsby is standing there looking in at us. "Can I help you?" I ask the old man.

"I aint doing nothing!" yells the old man.

"Excuse me, but he has to sleep now" I begin to lower the Venetian Blinds.

"Hold it!" Old Man Wigsby sticks his cane into the window and holds the blinds up. I try to close the window, but it won't close all the way with the cane stuck in it. "Hold it! I said hold it!"

"Wizard soup..." Mr. Happy Puppet Head moans. "Wizard..."

"I don't think that's a good idea," I say. The old man has gotten his cane stuck in the blinds and is shaking it violently in an attempt to extricate it.

Mr. Happy Puppet Head rolls out of bed and lands at my feet. With a wild look in his eyes he starts biting at my feet. I can barely feel his soft plastc teeth through my rubber boots. "Wizard soup!" he yells hoarsly. "Wizard soup!"

Old Man Wigsby yanks on his cane, pulling the blinds to the floor.

"I hate her more than anyone!" Mr. Wigsby yells at us through the open window. "But thousand Year Soup is the best thing. Best damn thing there is." His face gets real serious. "He's dying."

"I think he's just sick," I say. "He'll be okay."

"I'm dying!" yells Mr. Happy Puppet Head, his mouth full of my boot.

I watch him chewing at my feet, a puddle of puppet drool forming around me.

"I'll take you to her, but I'll warn you, she stole my heart and never gave it back." He points to a scar on his chest. "I'll take you in my car. I have a car." And he turns and slowly walks over to his promised automobile.

CHAPTER THREE

We don't get further than fifteen minutes out on the highway before the car breaks down. First it just stops working, then something bursts from under the car, dark blue liquid spilling out.

"How much further are we?" I ask, my unconsious friend cradled in my arms.

"Five, six hours," He sratches his stomach. "I don't know."

"Is that by car or walking?"

"What are you asking me like that for?" he shouts at me. "That tone of voice! So grating!"



I turn and walk back to where I see a southbound bus stop just about a hundred yards away.

"Wait!" the old man yells. "Hold it a second!" I keep walking.

I don't turn around until I sit on the bench at the bus stop. When I do, I see him hobbling ever so slowly into the middle of the street. The first five cars see him and veer around, but the sixth is a large motor home that clearly doesn't see the tiny man until they are almost on top of him.

The RV slams on its breaks and stops inches from him. "Come on," he waves to me. "I got us a ride!"

Mr. Happy Puppet Head coughs up a large chunk of bright green mucus on me. I get up and walk towards the waiting transportation.

CHAPTER FOUR

Pearl is a very nice lady who's older than Tolbert by a few years and can't stand for any of us to talk to her. "I can't concentrate on the road," she says slowly when Tolbert trys to tell her about the wizard and the Soup.

So we ride north in a silence punctuated by Tolbert commenting on the weather or the drive with Pearl silencing him calmly.

After about six hours we start to see small signs by the side of the road advertising the wizard. "Wizard," one says, with an arrow pointing down the road. "Thousand Year Old Soup," says another. The countryside is much more mountainous up here. Pictureseque. Very nice.

"Thanks for driving us, Pearl," I try to say when she drops us off at the entrance to the Wizard's place, but she slams her door and drives away before I can finish.

CHAPTER FIVE

"Tolbert Wigsby," says the old Wizard woman. "I'm not giving your heart back." She's as old a woman as I can imagine. Wrinkled and shriveled and wizened and crooked and haggard, etc.

"I didn't come for my heart!" he yells. "We came for the soup. He's sick."

"I'm still not giving your heart back."

"But I'm doing a good deed!" Tolbert waves his stick to emphasize and knocks over a glass vase. He doesn't seem to notice. "Those were the rules. I don't do a good deed and you take my heart, I do a good deed you give it back."

The Wizard sighs. "The Rules were you had until the flower lost all its petals or you'd lose it forever. That was seventy years ago."

"Fine, just give him the soup or whatever you have or not I don't care." He turns and stomps outside.

"Follow me," the Wizard tells me.

CHAPTER SIX




The Thousand Year Old Soup is in the back room of her strange Wizard Store. Big cauldron of gross looking stuff.


"Go at it," she tell us as she dumps a bucket of what looks like mud into the mixture.

I hold Mr. Happy Puppet Head above it, hoping the stench will wake him, but he's sound asleep. Then my hands slip and I drop him into the Soup.

He wakes up yelling, but chokes on the soup. I reach to pull him out, but the Wizard shakes her head at me.

I let him flop around. He swallows a lot of the muck before he finally pulls himself out.

"Damn," he says. "I feel great."

CHAPTER SEVEN

As we leave, the Wizard tells us about how she burried Tolbert's heart in the back when the petals fell off the flower.

"I don't understand what you're talking about," I tell her, and pay her the five dollars for using her soup.



In back of the Wizard's Store is a big expanse of rolling green hills. In the middle of one not too far away is a tree. On the tree, growing like fruit, are throbbing human hearts.

We pick one for Tolbert and he examines it thoughtfully.

"Is your mustache shorter?" I ask Mr. Happy Puppet Head. "It looks like how you used to wear it a few years ago."

"I guess so," he peers down at it. "I also feel... optimistic. I guess I'm younger now." We watch as Tolbert holds the pumping muscle his own heart spawned. "Hey, you mind if I take a few?" Mr. Happy Pupet Head asks him. "I've never had human heart before."



Tolbert doesn't mind at all. We somehow get home and cook up Grilled Human Heart. It's delicious.

Wednesday, April 20

AUTHOR'S NOTE

I have recently aquired a job, one of those full time ones. So whereas in the past several months the quality of this site has been lacking due to adequate internet access, it is now falling behind due to being a responsible grownup.

So here's the deal: I'm going to try to post only once a week. Monday morning sounds good to me. This way that one post will be really good with lots of good pictures. And you won't keep checking back for days at a time to find nothing new.

Every monday.

And we'll start over with this Tolbert Wigsby/Mr. Happy Puppet Head sickness story. It'll be good, I just need to spend some time on it.

P.S.
I'm also working on a Roboctopus cartoon show. I think you're really going to like it. We're recording the dialogue in the next couple of weeks, so it'll be a little while after that before we get it all animated. And then more big ideas after that one.

Monday.

END OF AUTHOR'S NOTE.

Tuesday, April 19

Part TWO
**********

here is a list:

-chicken jokes
-firecakes
-Titan 37
-lint
-magic poster

and another:

-vommit stains
-distinct odors
-almost constant yelling

and another:

-corrugation inspection
-elm
-flagrancy/truancy

"Can I help you?" I ask the old man standing at Mr. Happy Puppet Head's window. It's 4 AM. it's Tolbert Wigsby.

"I aint doing nothing!" yells the old man.

"Mr. Happy Puppet Head says you're staring at him and he can't sleep," I begin to lower the Venetian Blinds.

"Hold it!" Old Man Wigsby sticks his cane into the window and holds the blinds up. I try to close the window, but it won't close all the way with the cane stuck in it. "Hold it! I said hold it!"

the FINAL list:

-laser shows
-linoleum showers
-braids
-Literary Theory
Mr. Happy Puppet Head is sick. I listen at night as he bobbles through the hallways, breathing heavily through his mouth as his nose drips steadily, soaking his mustache with puppet mucus. He hasn't eaten or drank anything except tea for the past two days.

"I'm sick," he says.

"I know," I say. We're standing in the backyard. "Maybe you should go lie down."

"I can't breathe inside," he says. "I can't breathe outside. This sucks."

"Do you want another cup of tea?"

"Yes. But use more honey this time."

"That tea stuff's not gonna do nobody no good," says a voice from the other side of the fence. " Never has, never will. It's too young. Nothin' youngs ever gonna cure nothin'."



Me and Mr. Happy Puppet Head freeze. It's Old Man Wigsby from next door. I'm scared he'll put a spell on me, and Mr. Happy Puppet Head hates old people. We both sneak as quietly back to the house as we can.

"I'm going to go to bed," I tell him. "You sure you won't need anything else until the morning?"

"Yeah, I'm sure," he lies down on the coffee table. "You're giving me a headache."

I wake up to the sound of my roomate vommiting in the backyard. I grab a glass of water and run outside. I find him hunched over a pool of partially-digested milk, the empty gallon jug lies a few feet away. "Oh, Mr. Happy Puppet Head..." I kneel down and offer him the glass of water, which he cringes away from.

"Milk is supposed to be healthy," he moans.

I'm about to tell him why and when milk is healthy when I hear a twig break from the other side of the fence. My ears perk up and I can hear the rustling of courderoy slippers on grass. I slowly lift my deeply breathing friend into my arms and carry him back into the house.

Saturday, April 16

An Educati-FUN Video!
**********************

"SMOKING IS BAD"



Carlos and his little brother Juego are hanging out in the backyard with their friend Jimmy.

"I'm so excited about next week's big game," says Carlos. "I know our team can beat the other team. We're so much better."

"Absolutely," says Jimmy as he pulls out a cigarette, lights it, and proceeds to smoke it.

"Whoa!" exclaims Juego. "What's that?"

Carlos shoves him a little. "It's a cigar, dumb-face!"

"Cigarette," Jimmy corrects as he blows out a large puff of smoke from inside his body.

"But aren't those multiplication-ive?" asks Juego.

"The word is 'addictive,'" says Jimmy. "And no, they aren't. My older brother smokes them all the time and he's not addicted." Jimmy hands the cigarette to Carlos, who quickly sucks a smal bit of smoke into his mouth, but not his lungs, before he hands it off to his brother.

Little Juego takes a good, long tug on the cigarette, inhaling until his lungs couldn't possible hold any more. Jimmy stops coughing in time to admire his skills.

"Nice, you have really good lung controll--" he cuts himself off with a deep, choking, wet cough. He coughs for several moments before he throws up a little.

"Are you okay?" asks Juego, but Jimmy can hardly breath between the coughs.



Juego throws the cigarette as far from them as he can. It falls near Jimmy, kneeling in the grass. With his face contorted in pain, he reaches down and picks up the cigarette. He tries to take another drag off it, but he coughs really hard and the cigarette falls from his hands. He passes out and falls face-first onto the grass.

"Hey guys, what's up?" I say as me and Mr. Happy Puppet Head open the fence and walk in. "What's wrong with Jimmy? Looks like... uh, oh. He hasn't ever smoked a cigarette, has he?"



Carlos and Jeugo notice that when Jimmy fell, he hid the cigarette under his unconcious body. They look up at us silently.

"What do you think, Mr. Happy Puppet Head?" I ask.

"I don't buy it," answers Mr. Happy Puppet Head. "That's a case of Lung Cancer right there if I've ever seen one. Maybe emphesima, too."

"No way!" yells Carlos. "You need to smoke a long time to get those things!"

"Carlos, it can only take one drag," I say. Just then Jimmy wakes up screaming, clawing at his melting face. The cigarette, still lit, has burned a small, singed hole through the boy's shirt. "No, Juego, let him alone." Jimmy screams a few more times before slumping back into the lush lawn.

Juego looks at me, eyes wet with the unfairness of it all. He sits crosslegged next to his dying friend and puts his hands up to hide his tears.

Carlos stands with hands hanging at his sides. "Why is this happening to him?" he asks.

"Because he smoked," I tell him softly. Mr. Happy Puppet Head floats close to the melting boy's face, studying him in silence.

"Will we die, too?" asks Juego.

"Yes," I tell him. "You smoked. Cigarettes kill you."



"But... our parents," he whispers. "My brother... I...Oh Jimmy!" He bursts into hysterical sobs. Carlos kneels down next to him and puts an awkward arm around his little brother's shoulder.

"Goodbye Jimmy," says Mr. Happy Puppet Head. "You were a good friend to us all. You were good. Except those times when you smoked cigarettes, and thereby bringing horror and misfortune to yourself and those around you. Now, as we stand before your quickly decaying remains, we will think of the Good Times. You were one of us."

"I hope you kids learned your lesson," I tell them. "We love you." We walk out, knowing there is nothing else anyone can do for them.

As the gate closes behind us, Juego lets out the most adorable cough ever.

***

Wednesday, April 13



Jump off the large rock. You are a being made completely out of Pure Energy.

Your best friend will say you aren't. Your best friend is wrong. Jump off the large rock.

You will bash your eye so hard you throw up those burritos you had for lunch.

Say "But the Shaman came to me in my dream and proved I was Pure Energy," as chili-bile drips from your lip. "We went on a journey through the cosmos. I became one with the Everything."

Your Best Friend won't say anything. You say "There was something about a dumptruck. I kind of remember driving around for a long time. Our cargo was sort of a mix between my third grade teacher and a lot of blankets... I don't know."

"That rock was too high for you to jump off of," your friend will say. "You know better than that."

Say "Nope." Then hop on into the truck. We've got a long way to go, you and me. Those Teacher Blankets can't wait forever.

Sunday, April 10

An Educati-FUN Video!



On Airplane Flying
******************

Me and Mr. Happy Puppet Head are at the Airport to teach the kids about flying in Airplanes.

"Airplanes are real scary," I tell the kids hanging out with us at the Airport, ready to learn about flying in Airplanes. "But you can ignore how scary they are. Distract yourself with activities. Like:

THE TOILET FLUSHING GAME.

You are usually allowed at least one carry-on bag. Fill one with things you'd like to flush down those funny airplane toilets. Like newspapers, promotional t-shirts, or those little bags of peanuts. Make it a game. See how much you can flush before it won't flush anymore."

"I have a game, too," says Mr. Happy Puppet Head. "It's called:

MAKE OUT WITH TEENAGERS/OLDER FLIGHT ATTENDANTS/ANYONE WHO WILL

It's really great. Eventually you'll find someone to make out with you in the bathroom."

"The Law of Averages," I say.

"Sure," he replies.

"You could play both at the same time, make that a game," I tell the kids. "Doing more than one thing at a time is good for you."

One little girl raises her hand. An Airplane passes close overhead just as she asks her question so I can't hear anything else. I pretend to have heard her question.

"No,you probably aren't the one person in the world immune to dying from
Airplane Crash," I tell her. "But physics rarely stops working for no reason. So you probably won't die from visiting your Grandma in Tulsa."

"Tulsa is in Oklahoma," says another little boy.

"Give that kid some candy," I tell Mr. Happy Pupppet Head.

He takes out a Ball Point Pen and throws it at the kid. It goes way over his head and the kid has to turn around and run to get it. He realizes it isn't candy after he takes the top off of it.

"Anymore questions?" I ask.

"I asked if you'd take me home now," says the little girl who asked the question earlier. "I hate it here."

"I enjoy the Airport," I tell her.

"Oh, and check the payphones for quarters," says Mr. Happy Puppet Head. "Hey! Let's go do that now."

So everyone--except that one little girl who is no fun at all--runs through the entire airport searching for lost quarters in payphones. We find about five dollars worth, which Mr. Happy Puppet Head buys himself a beer with. He offers to give us all a sip, but then drinks it all in one big gulp.

Wednesday, April 6



"Hey," says Miguel. "This is just like that joke, Quatro Cinco."

"Oh no!" yells Paco. "I'm sinking in quicksand!"

"Which joke?" asks Jose. "I never heard that one."

"The real joke is with matadors," explains Miguel. "What do you call four matadors in quicksand? Quatro Cinco."

"Oh." says Jose.

"Help!" yells Paco. "Quicksand!"

"Cinco is kind of like the English word sink. Like sinkng in quicksand," explains Miguel.

"I get it," says Jose. "You don't always have to explain your jokes to me just because I don't laugh."

"Then how do I know you get it or not?"

"You'll just have to trust me."

"My guitar acts like a floatation device," says Florentino. "I will not sink if I hold onto it."

"My maracas don't act so good at floating," says Miguel. "I will sink." Everyone agrees. "I'm sinking too fast!" yells Paco.

"I won't play as good without you guys," says Florentino. Everyone agrees with this as well. "I hope I can still get good mariachi gigs," he says. Paco, Miguel, and Jose aren't sure he can without them.

"Our group has a good mixture of personalities," explains Miguel. "Good group dynamic. That's what gets us hired over the other mariachis."

"We know ," says Jose. "We always talk about that, and then you act like you just thought it up."

"So?"

"I'm just saying."

"Quicksand! Help!" yells Paco.

Everyone sinks except Florentino. His solo career does not go as well as when he was with his friends, as they really did have a good group dynammic. But whenever Florentino does get hired, people always clap appreciatively at the heartfelt perfomance of his original song, "Hold Your Guitar Real Tight."

Tuesday, April 5

I dream that everything and everyone is candy. I try talking to the bus driver, but she's an elaborate bus driver sculpture made out of hard-shelled chocolate pieces.

I wake up sucking on my pillow, the only thing my unconsious mind can find that isn't coated in sour sugar.

"Hey," says Mr. Happy Puppet Head. "They left this for us."



"A belt?" I sit up and rub the crusty stuff out from my eyes. "Who left us a belt?"

"The Fairies," he drops the belt on the floor. "You can have it, though. It's kind of cheap."

"Are they gone?" I ask, but he's already bobbling out of the room. I pick up the belt and inspect. Immitation alligator skin, metal buckle painted like gold. Way too small to fit me. I try turning it into a gumdrop or something, but my Fairy Powers are gone. No more Magic Portals either.

Standing outside the basement door, I slowly pry off the boards with my hammer. What if they aren't gone? What if the belt is their way of paying rent? How do you tell Fairies that cheap menswear isn't an acceptable form of payment? Since I did destroy their home, am I allowed to haggle?

With all the boards taken off the door and laid in a neat pile in the hallway, I stand with my hand on the knob, not sure if I actually want to open it.

"Mr. Happy Puppet Head?" I call into the next room. "Are you busy?"

"What's up?" He bobbles down the hall as he takes a sip from his beer.

"You want to go in the basement with me?"

Takes another sip. "Sure."

They're gone. Completely. We have our basement again. We stand in the middle beneath the bare bulb and breathe deep the musty smell. No gentle flutters of whimsy and magic, no sugary sweet wafts of delight. Nothing. Just basement.

"You done? I'm done." Mr. Happy Puppet Head starts back up the stairs. But I stay. There's something on the dryer. It's a note.

"The Midnight Mailman,
We the Fairies thank you very much for taking care of our problem. We regret the loss of Original Fairy Land, but we rigged a New Fairy Land with the desk and the chair and the TV all tied together. It's pretty sweet. Please accept this gift of Premium Quality Magic Belt that makes pants that fall down not fall down anymore.
Signed, The Fairies of Fairy Land."

I read the note a few times before I notice something else. The dryer isn't closed completely. I always close the dryer door completely.

Inside I find the dryer half-filled with Fairy Corpse. The victims from my accidental massacre. Hundreds of tiny, crushed bodies laid neatly side-by-side, one on top of another. My Dryer no longer, now Mausoleum.

I close the door completely. I guess I'll go find the duct tape and seal it off. I guess it's hang drying from now on.

From upstairs I hear the theme song for Mr. Happy Puppet Head's soap. I hurry so I don't miss any of it. I'll be damned if I never figure out what's going on.