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."

"Where?"

"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.

*******************

EPILOGUE

Roboctopus wrestled the Hell out of some bear.

*******************

Monday, August 22

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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

HINTS:
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?”

“Yeah.”

“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.”

“Shut up.”

“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

Kyle wakes up to one of two possibilities: either he has shrunk to less than one inch tall or his house has been replaced with an enormous house. He is wearing space ship pajamas. Kyle is fifteen.

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.