Tuesday, June 06, 2017

It’s there if you want it

The terminals glowed seductively with images of playing cards and lewd smuttage. Drawn were the eyes of the indolent and lascivious with both jaws and spines a-slackened.
  Vices aside, were these beings the downtrodden or those denied opportunity?
  For the sake of argument, let us posit that they are.
  What could such hapless souls do?
  They might seek knowledge and edification through the printed word. A library, perhaps.
  Books on almost any available subject. The classics. History and maths. Self-help books. Vocational guides.
  Any of these would be a positive first step.
  But the savvy or cynical reader can see where this is going.
  For this room, in which these wretched sorts stare at screens filled with poker hands, penii, and pudendae, lay beneath shelf after shelf of book after book.
  One million books over their heads. Literally.

  It’s there if you want it.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

The Coward Iōnnēs Elias

  From afar, one could see the body tumbling down the face of Skumbras Mount. Arse over tit, the figure bounced off rocky projections of the scarp, until it rolled to a halt before a horse-drawn wagon parked at the base of the mount.
  A bald head leaned out of the wagon and peered at the bloody corpse on the ground. It was Buzas Putras, whose skull was obviously smashed in by a spiked weapon before his tumble down Skumbras Mount.
  From the wagon, Iōnnēs Elias lifted his head to survey the structure atop the mountain. He knew full well what was going on.
  The celebration hall up there was holding a wake for Little Xander, last defender of Revre Sbodiza, the fortress that Iōnnēs Elias himself had aggressively taken over as Liege Insistent of the new dominion.
  Little Xander had long been a loyal protector of the fortress, regardless of who held the reins of power. But he was held in high disdain by Iōnnēs Elias, Buzas Putras, and others of the new regime, only because he was the last vestige of the old regime, those that had trickled away in a Brain/Brawn Drain,
  This view was held all out of spite, ignoring Xander’s fealty and accrued wisdom. So much so, that they actually made life so miserable for him, telling him, “You are no longer wanted,” knowing this would literally break his heart.
  Which is exactly what happened when Xander was ousted. He had stood at the gates staring up at his beloved fortress when his heart gave out. He was dead before he hit the ground.
  And so here we are, at Little Xander’s wake, where friends of the village come to pay respects.


  Of course, Iōnnēs Elias did not have the courage to show his face at the memorial for the man who defended his very fortress. He sent Buzas Putras as emissary to hypocritically offer hollow hosannas in front of the crowd, trying to save face for the new regime. Most there saw this ingratiation for what it was, but for one Young Suramokas, it was beyond the pale.
  He dispatched Putras and watched him plummet down the mount as the cowardly liege gazed up at him from the safety of his wagon.
  Suramokas stared down into the eyes of Iōnnēs Elias and bellowed:
  “Iōnnēs Elias, thou son of a whore, hast not even the manly fortitude to show his face at a remembrance for the fallen who so loyally served thou.
  ”We who have gathered in tribute upon the mount, look down upon thou, most literally, as ye cower in pusillanimity in your rickety wagon.
  “Hark! Thine complete cowardice is on full display before the townsfolk. They have seen it, and thou cannot refute it.”

  Nothing could possibly rebut this damning statement. And so, fortress Revre Sbodiza, unable to counter the exposed reality, disintegrated into useless, grey dust.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Fake Hef’s Island


Young “Bob” styled himself as a suave, urbane gentleman of impeccable taste during his furley collegiate years.
  He did this whilst wearing a velour bathrobe and smoking a pipe. All from his “bachelor pad” which happened to be a dorm room on the fourth floor of Reid Hall.
  This persona was ripe for ridicule, save for the fact that Bob had quite a large lending library of men’s magazines available to his dormmates, which kept them in satisfied spirits.
  Pretensions aside, Bob was actually an agreeable, laid-back guy, and his schtick was seen as being tongue-in-cheek. Manford, his roommate, could attest to this, as could any fellow who had the pleasure of meeting Bob first-hand. He was a chill dude.
  That said, time had passed and Bob graduated and moved back to his hometown of Farishville.

  Years later, Manford asked housemate Somber to hop in the car and go to Farishville to see how ol’ Bob had been doing, having heard that he’d gained a wife and his own proverbial castle.
  The address they pulled up to was a trailer on a dry, dusty lot. As Manford and Somber stepped out of the car, they could see Bob striding down his trailer steps, followed by a 200-kilo sow with a sour look on her face.
  Manford and Somber looked at each other with knitted brows. Bob didn’t look as chagrined as one would expect from someone having espoused one particular lifestyle but ending up living another.
  This woman had the social graces of a wild hog — and a physique to match. As the kids ask nowadays, “WTF?”
  The quintessential question of male preference has long been “Ginger or Mary Ann?” referring to television’s Gilligan’s Island. Naughty or Nice?
  Well, this woman was neither. She wasn’t even Mrs. Howell.
  Bob’s wife was the island itself — massive, feral, unrelenting — much like Mother Nature on the rag.
  Were Bob’s earlier words hollow, lacking in sincerity and substance?
  Was this hypocrisy — a case of “Do as I say, not as I do”?
  Manford and Somber left shrugging their shoulders, not wanting to be overly judgmental of their old chum’s choices.
  But there is clarity in hindsight. Thirsty guys with no game may stumble and hook up with a beast out of desperation once in a while. But when a man commits to marriage with someone who is the opposite of his espoused ideals for the sake of convenient sexual access, he might as well banish himself to Loser Island.

Monday, May 01, 2017

The Day at Dudley Park*

• Prelude/Upstairs at the Gristle
• Amethyst Vas Methysménos
• Who’s Afraid of Tobacco Road?
• Acquisition de Ressources
• The Day at Dudley Park
• Bullet Dodged

The Day at Dudley Park

Clasping hands together on a stroll
It all seemed so ideal
Out there amidst the green...
Here under the clouds
At least one of our pulses raced
Thinking what might have been...

The day at Dudley Park was just a lark
See our railroad trestle crumbling down
This man opened his heart under the sun
As she lay there staring skyward
She wouldn’t take me at my word
And this farce of a romp would never be outdone...

Laying here in the freshest grass
Beads of sweat there
Dappled upon her breast
With the tender moment fleeting
I got the joke now, this fallen crest

That day at Dudley Park was just a lark
See our railroad trestle crumbling down
This man opened his heart under the sun
As she lay there staring skyward
She wouldn’t take me at my word
And this farce of a romp would never be outdone...
Oh, no...

©MCMLXX WBLO-TV, Happi-Time Productions
*Apologies to Jimmy Webb

Sunday, April 23, 2017

When Will You People Learn?


Gutts, J. (19??). When will you people learn?
Heritageville: Orville (out of print).

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Patinoire Parkaire

• The Omicron-Zeta signal lords over the dank patinoire (unlike Del-Wood, from another decade altogether).
• The Burgundy Mezzanine remains unexplored.
• The Krozhay Anchor Commissary remains as the main attraction.

The must of Stratum VI hangs in the air as dozens glide in circles. The Songs of Roderick echo in the cavernous space with feeble discotheque beats.
This will all be razed by Stratum XIII.

Friday, March 03, 2017

L’Amante degli Uccelli

“Porch Parties” were a common happening over at Megis Street during the sweltering summer evenings of Stratum XV.
  ‘The Professor’ and Somber would prop a stereo speaker in an open window and throw some ’60’s garage rock onto the turntable. A case or two of Drewrys beer would suffice for the half-dozen or so friends who would come by.
  Cold brews, cool tunes, and the laughs of buddies by candlelight set the scene on the verandah one humid night, finished by the cooing of nightbirds in the shrubbery across the street.
  Good times... until the sound of feet stomping down stairs began echoing from within the front hall. The Professor and Somber looked at each other. It was Mr Facaro, who lived upstairs. An uptight grad student, Mr Facaro was an Audubon Society member with a penchant for coffee klatches, public radio, and deriding undergrads.
  The screen door flew open and out marched the lanky Mr Facaro in a blue bathrobe, brandishing a broom. The guests on the verandah slinked back in their seats, expecting to be reprimanded by the awakened neighbour for their not-so-quiet shindig.
  But Facaro strode right past them, down the porch steps and leapt across the street, where he began furiously whacking the bushes with his broom.
  To be honest, it probably was the furley undergrads’ verandah celebration that awoke Mr Facaro and set him off. But why the heck did he have to take it out on the poor birds?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Stratum V Hertwall Codicil Notes by Courier One

Stratum V Dictaphone Transcript by Courier One at the Orville Corporation’s Hertwall Codicil:

  “...According to your memo — January 12th — as to give you some remarks in reference to investing our [redacted]... looked at this and thought, ‘Golly, it’s a lot of paperwor—’”
  “This is a bunch of s**t, I’m not gonna do this...”
  “...Started reading the instructions, [...] ...that was shown in the book, and was quite amazing to find out [redacted].”
  “...Really is a bunch of s**t—”
  “...The calls that we did make — with certain customers — could be cut down based on the volume of their business...”
  “...Especially, those who’ve given us zilch.”
  “...Approximately fifteen percent of our customers gave us about eighty-five percent of the business. And some of the businesses given to me — was really, really bad.”
  “...That do not give us —”

[end tape]

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Price is Cheap... The Cost is Right

CHEAP GRACE IS, by definition, cheap, along with other hastily cobbled platitudes and saccharine notions bandied about to bolster one’s Public Cred and silent Ego Insecurities.
  After all, if Timeless Truths are said to be proverbially etched in stone, what is one to make of knee-jerk bromides scribbled on cardboard and marched around High Street, just to be discarded into the gutter an hour later on the way to The Gristle for Social Hour?
  The price you pay for your crayon and placard may have been chump change — nay, free, if indeed Free Speech is ineluctably free.
  But the cost of credibility proves too high a toll when Ventilated Feelings fall flat in the eyes of John Q. Public, who knows that informed persuasion trumps emotional, low-value pleading.
  To state the obvious, the price for anyone to open their mouth is cheap. But whether your words become an expense to your appeal, or become an asset to your very assertions, the cost is commensurate.
  [Insert staid but true maxims along the lines of “Money Talks...” or “Walk the Walk...”]

  The Onus is always upon the Persuader.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

The Cascarrabias Inversion

“HARRUMPH! Kids today!” grumbles the Serious Older Gentleman seeing young collegians cavort about without a care in the world.
  “What do they know? They have no perspective!”

  That used to be the timeless generational cliché, right? Experience plus knowledge equals wisdom — or crotchetiness, or what have you...

  Well, it’s the Current Year, as the kids say (circa Stratum XLIV), and what has changed? Everything, yet nothing.
  At Café Geherhaus, two young Latté Septoid co-eds furiously scrawl ad-libbed banalities onto posterboard in breathy anticipation of the impending protest against the latest Emmanuel Goldstein.
  Across the aisle sits one Johnny Gutts sipping an espresso, watching with wry amusement.
  “Aren’t those girls too young to be so bitter about that which they do not know? They’re half my age, abounding in a hurry to signify something. Maybe they should smell the daisies they are afforded in their spoilt station in life — just as I am about to do the same in the station of life I have made for myself.”
  Perhaps Mr Gutts is coming off a bit pompous and judgy, but in fact he will be on stage later that evening to perform at a packed concert. No, this is not a ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ case of extended adolescence, for Gutts has seen the depths and pinnacles of a life appreciated. From the drudgery of gruntwork, $5/day touring per diems and toiling as a Paste-Up Monkey, to the grand zeniths of globe-trotting, meeting heads of state and helming a billion-dollar multi-national corporation, maybe there is some validity to the perspective of Johnny Gutts.

  “You know, there’s something wrong when 20-year-olds are the curmudgeons and ‘old-man’ me is the one rocking out, getting chased by women and enjoying the hum of life...”

  Don’t stop preaching, Johnny. Don’t stop.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

“Blast” from the Past:
Tactical Psionic Devices


Courtesy of the Allied Pungeoning Front, Tactical Psionic Devices (nicknamed “Land Minds”) had been embedded in known BBACBL flare-up points during the Rev. Resbo Era [Strata XIX-XXVII]. The TPD’s were equipped with Sheva brainwave sensors calibrated to detect thought patterns exclusive to BBACBL members (thus, civilians would be at no risk).
 

In these salad days, auto-punge options were not yet technically feasible, so TPD’s had to be detonated manually using Remote Pungeoning Consoles.
  Thanks to the Orville Corporation’s constant reinvestment in front-end technologies, today’s pungeonings can be executed manually or automatically, by either subsurface ordnance, drone, or even satellite.

  How far we have come!