Tuesday, April 25

PART TWO



I’m holding Mr. Happy Puppet Head, standing in our backyard.

I talk to the dead woman with huge prehensile vines growing out of her stomach. She tells me telepathically, “Now you just need to go to the farmer’s market and pick up some Kiwi Extract. Mix it up in a smoothie or something. Fix him right up.”

In the background some tornadoes ride by. The Vampire Lasers explode houses as they pass.

“It’s the Plague. There’s nothing we can do except wait. And hope.” I hold my unconscious, drooling friend tightly in my arms.

“Now listen to me. I had this friend that came down with this bad Plague and she got the Kiwi Extract and it cured her right up.”

“Cool. I’ll go to the store later.” I watch as one of the tornadoes comes really close to my house, but veers quickly away to blow up something else.

“Sure is wet out here today. Buggy, too” She swats at some Locusts with her vines.

“I’m pretty sure it’s the Prophecy,” I say.

“Which one? Eternal Night of the Giants? Magic Violin? Flame Granny?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s the Whale Wars Prophecy.”

She pauses and thinks. Looks around. “Oh, yeah. I can see that.”

A cloud of Locusts buzz past. More housees in the distance are blown up. The earth shakes. Mr. Happy Puppet Head erupts in coughs. He flops out of my hands and splashes into the knee-high water flooding the backyard.

He groans. “Oh, damn…” He coughs a little more, floating on his back. “I feel bad…” He stands up slowly. “What is going on? Do I have the Plague?” He vomits a family of frogs. “Tornado-riding vampires shooting lasers from their eyes… shit. Flood. Locusts...”

He looks thoughtfully around with sick, lidded eyes. “Second Coming of Ninja Senator?”

“Whale Wars,” the Dead Vine Woman says.

“Oh, yeah… I can see that.”

“Oh, you know what you guys should do?” She waves her tentacles around excitedly.

I look at her for a moment before realizing I need to guess what we need to do. “I don’t know… get some sleep?”

“No! You should get all your clothes together, like stuff you don’t want anymore, and sew it all together into a giant Hot Air Balloon!”

“I don’t really know how to sew,” I tell her. “And I don’t really have any clothes I don’t want anymore.”

“I can sew,” Mr. Happy Puppet Head whispers.

“Then you guys can just float over the world as it floods itself into destruction, wafting on a cool breeze, snacking on cookies and fruits.”

I try to find a way to politely decline when Mr. Happy Puppet Head says, “That sounds like a really good idea…”

He begins vomiting violently.

Sunday, April 23

PART ONE

Me and Mr. Happy Puppet Head are standing on the stage of our studio doing a show. The risers in front of the stage are full with small children. Some of them are asleep, the rest are fidgeting in their seat as a burly stage manager points silent fingers at them.

“And if you buy in bulk,” I explain. “Canned food can end up being much cheaper than buying fresh, or even frozen sometimes. This one is spinach.” I point to the chalkboard where I drew a can of spinach.

Mr. Happy Puppet Head sneezes loudly.

“Children, can we say ‘Sneeze, Sneeze, break your knees’ to Mr. Happy Puppet Head?” I ask the children. They all repeat the Sneeze Blessing back in bored monotone. A few of them sneeze loudly in the middle of it. A few of the kids immediately start repeating it to their fellow audience members.

“Okay, now when I go to the store, I usually buy some spinach, corn, tuna fish, maybe some beets, not the pickled kind…”

Mr. Happy Puppet Head sneezes again, this time louder and with more force, and sort of knocks himself back a good bit. More sneezes from the audience.

Everyone automatically chants, “Sneeze, sneeze, break your knees.”

“I also try to buy a lot beans. Beans are a great source of protein and are essential ingredients in most of our favorite Mexican dishes. Hey, you to be all right?” Mr. Happy Puppet Head’s sneezes have turned into a chocking cough. He spits up a little and nods his head at me. The kids in the audience are all sneezing and coughing and spitting up.

“Um… tuna isn’t a vegetable, but it comes… in a can…” I try to concentrate, but it’s difficult when several children are now vomiting and crying and having epileptic fits and there are all these big black bugs buzzing around. “What is going on? Mr. Happy Puppet Head?”

There is now a large pool of standing water covering the studio floor, and I hear a loud noise outside. Like a huge train coming closer and closer.

I swat one of the bugs against my chest and I get green goo all over my hand.

The roar outside is getting closer and louder and the bugs are buzzing, seeming larger, the kids are crying and moaning, flailing around in the water, unconscious. Louder and louder it comes. A train growling like a lion that’s surfing on the biggest wave ever. Louder, louder.
Crescendo. The back wall of the studio disappears in a cloud of dust and the wind rushes in.

I turn to see our small suburban town as it is ripped apart by a herd of tornadoes. Riding atop them are clawed Vampires shooting lazers from their eyes. The lasers make buildings explode.



I stare at the carnage, my eyes wide under the goggles. Realization dawns and I say dramatically under my breath, “It begins.”

The body of a small boy floats face down in the near two-feet of water, bloated, green, and covered in boils.

Friday, April 21

Begin BASEMENT CLOWNS



“There’s a Clown in the basement,” says Child, cute as a button.

“There’s no Clown in the basement,” says Father.

“Never Clowns in the basement,” says Mother.

“There is! Just look.”

“Fine, we’ll look,” say Parents in unison.

In the basement there is no single Clown, there is an entire troupe of Clowns, dancing and laughing.

They are juggling big clunky things.

“Why are there Clowns in the basement?” asks Father.

“I told you,” says Child.

“What are they juggling?” asks Mother. They squint in the darkness.

It takes a moment before they realize that the Clowns are juggling arms and legs. Mother and father look down to find that their arms and legs are missing.

And Child is dead. Dead by Clowns.



“Give us back our arms and Child’s Life!” yells Father.

“And our legs, but especially our Child’s Life!” yells Mother.

The Clowns disappear. They are Magic Clowns. They leave the arms and legs, but take the Life.

Father and Mother try very hard to put their limbs back on, but re-attaching limbs when one has no limbs is incredibly difficult. They learn a poignant lesson about something Deep and Abstract.

The End.

Begin THE SEQUEL, BASMENT CLOWNS THE REVENGE

Father and Mother have their arms and legs crudely sewn on. It is a Mystery as to exactly how it was done.



They walk into the office of the Magic Clowns. One of them is on the phone.

“Excuse us,” says Father.

“Excuse us,” says Mother in her serious voice. “Now.”

The Clown On The Phone throws the phone out the window and floats in the air. “Please state your business,” Clown says in a Scary Voice.

“We’ve come for our Child’s Life,” say the Parents in unison.

“Down the hall, second-to-last door on the left.”

Behind the door the Parents find box after box of stolen Children’s Lives. It takes hours to sort through all of them, but eventually they find theirs and the Family is reunited.

They go on a picnic and learn something Charming and Interesting.



The End.

Begin REVIEW OF SEQUEL

Clunky and Unnecessary.

The End.

Begin THE TELEVESION SITCOM SPIN-OFF

“Hey Basement Clown Friends, try to keep it quiet tonight,” says Sexy Teenage Boy in Fashionable Clothing. “I’m having a girl over.”

The Clowns laugh hysterically as they Vomit Blood. (cue LAUGH TRACK, MILD)

“Seriously guys. Let’s be serious for just a second, okay?” The Clowns transform into a Sobbing Little Girl with a Razor Blade. She begins screaming and slashing at her face. Sexy Teenage Boy puts his hands on his hips and cocks his head to one side.

The Sobbing Girl stops screaming and slashing and looks up at Sexy Teenage Boy. She smiles and turns back into the Basement Clowns. They shrug their shoulders and smile as if to say “Well, you can’t blame us for trying.” Nothing is learned.

(cue LAUGH TRACK, HILARIOUS)



(go to COMMERCIAL)

Wednesday, April 19



The cutes are having a Holiday Weekend Afternoon Party.

Mr. Happy Puppet Head and I stand in the midst of about fifty cutes or so, milling about chatting to each other. I drink Lemonade from a tiny clear plastic cup.

“I don’t know anyone here,” says Mr. Happy Puppet Head.

“Me neither.”

“Where’d you get the Lemonade?”

“Over there.” I nod my head towards a purple mop bucket filled with sparkling yellow. I take a sip from my tiny clear plastic cup. “They used real Lemons. Not a mix.”

“I like the mix.”

“I like Real Lemonade. It makes me think they care.” I take another sip and finish off my cup. I disappear and reappear next to the bucket. I can do that now.* I fill my cup, drink it down in one swig, fill my cup, swig it. I ready myself to begin the process again when a giant Dinosaur ambles up. He is big and round with a line of black spikes running down his spine. “Hey, you know that guy?” I ask Mr. Happy Puppet Head.

“Yeah, that’s… I met him once.”

“Vic Sebastian?” **

“Did you just make that name up?”

“Yeah.”

The Dinosaur plunks himself in the middle of the party, sprawling onto his stomach. “What’s up, guys?” He reaches his long neck out and snaps up a couple Cute’s into his toothy, serrated mouth.

“What’s going on?” I ask. I empty my cup, fill it again, disappear and reappear to stand next to Mr. Happy Puppet Head. “I’m the Midnight Mailman.”

“Cool.” The Dinosaur chomps up some more Cutes and chews loudly. Bits of Bloody Fur and Skull drip from his face. “Looks like a cool party.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever get that raise.” Says a small Cute standing nearby. “I just don’t think I’ll ever get that raise.”

“I don’t know.” Says the other cute. “I bet you could get that raise. You could get that raise tomorrow.”

“I know, I know. I just have such a hard time with Confrontation.”

The Dinosaur turns to his right and bites the head off one, chews thoughtfully before quickly snapping up the rest of the body. “Man, I am hungry!” The other Cute blinks its long lashes at him. “This stuff is so good.”

“We ate before we got here.” I tell him.

“Yeah, never eat before a party. Is that Lemonade any good?” He rolls Cute around in his mouth, savoring it.

‘It’s Real Lemons. Not the mix.” I tell him.

“I like the mix just fine.” His eyes grow large as he surveys the rest of the Cutes, about twenty in all. “Oh man…” He takes a deep breath and plunges into a feeding frenzy. He chomps Cute after Cute, snarling and globbering this way and that. Mr. Happy Puppet Head and I watch in awe. I’m usually a little sensitive about a lot of Blood Spray at a Fun Party, but the gluttony is too impressive to look away.

After only a few minutes, there is only one Cute left. The Dinosaur sprawls out even bigger and rounder than before, his whole head covered in Cute gore. “Aaahhhhhh…”


“So what are we doing?” Mr. Happy Puppet Head asks me.

“We’re at a party.” I say.

“You want the last Cute?” My friend licks his furry black mustache away from his furry red lips.

“No thanks.” I blip over to the punch bucket and fill up my cup. There is still plenty of Lemonade, and Lemonade is plenty for me. “I’m gonna go.”

“Really?” Mr. .Happy Puppet Head asks as he takes a bite out of the Cute. “We just got here.” The lone Cute runs around in a tiny circle, whimpering and bleeding on the bloody grass.

“Hey, I got to get out of here.” The Dinosaur moans. He tries to stand up, but just rocks back and forth, grunting a little. “I think I need a roll home.”

Mr. Happy Puppet Head and I agree to help. I lean up against his big stomach and push with every ounce of my strength. He doesn’t budge. He’s really heavy. Mr. Happy Puppet Head watches intently and says, “Maybe you should push more on that side.”

“Why don’t you help me push?”

“I don’t have hands.”

“I’ve seen you push stuff before.” ***

The Dinosaur has fallen asleep and is snoring wetly.

“I supervise the push. I’m good at it. I’m a leader.”

Whatever.” I just keep pushing. I can’t move him even a little. After a while I get frustrated and Blip home. I get a glass of juice out of the fridge**** and go work in the backyard digging my deep, deep hole off to the side.

I’m building an underground Club House. *****

Ending.


FOOTNOTES
* It takes years of wishing for it in Food Court Wishing Fountains.
** It’s a good name.
*** He once pushed all of my belongings into a pile in the front yard and torched it for my birthday.
**** Not as good as the Lemonade.
*****Yes, you are invited. Sometimes the best clubhouses are the ones you build after going to a party where meaningful things happen with meaningful people. It isn’t all about drinking the free Lemonade and eating all the hosts of an Afternoon Party, It’s about digging deep holes in the backyard and thinking about clever things to say when your friends come over to crouch in the dirt with you.

Sunday, April 16

Sometimes it's hard to start again.