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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Psychic Roach Part Six

If you’re just joining us, you’re here for the sixth and last segment of the entirely free short story – Psychic Roach. In parts one through five, the…

Better yet, here are the links One, Two, Three, Four, and Five.

Psychic Roach Part Six

by Headley Hauser

Finally the TV and other people sounds stopped. Just to be sure, Only Roach waited in the shoebox until he saw patterns of sunlight illumine the carpet by the box’s edge.

Cautiously he made his way down the stairs and returned to the familiar sights and smells of the kitchen.

Three humans were in the kitchen, the adult female, the infant male, and the female child. The adult female was attempting to manipulate food into the infant. The female child noticed Only Roach and shouted, “Bug!” The adult was too concerned with the infant to notice.
The infant was a symphony of brown. Having the good sense of the human young, he hadn’t sent his excrement cascading down a toilet, but wore it within easy access in his diaper.

Still, it wasn’t his diaper that drew Only Roach’s attention. The baby was eating some soft brown goo that looked a lot like excrement but smelled much sweeter… pudding. The mother was spooning the pudding into the infant’s mouth. Each spoonful was enough to bathe in! This was opportunity that couldn’t be ignored! He had to take a chance. He had to try to send a wish to the infant.

Throw the pudding!” The words fizzled across his antennae. “Throw the pudding!”
The baby became noticeably more restless. His legs pounded the high chair as his arms flailed. Even the mother seemed distracted. Could he be reaching her as well?

Splat! A puddle of pudding appeared a few steps from where Only Roach stood. More pudding fell to his left and right. The infant giggled as the woman sighed.

Only Roach ran through one of the smaller puddles, dipping his thorax into the goo as deeply as he dared. He wasn’t stupid, like a fly. He knew better than to get stuck.

Again the female child spotted Only Roach and this time got up from her chair and approached Only Roach in an unsteady hurried gate.

Quickly Only Roach ran beneath the refrigerator.

Mommy, buggy unda here!”

Move away, honey, Mommy’s going to move the refrigerator.”

Only Roach was cornered. If he ran, the humans would spot him, and he was much slower now, weighed down with pudding. “Don’t look under the refrigerator, don’t look under the refrigerator.” Somehow he knew that wishing wasn’t going to work this time.

What else could he do? Could he make the mother see an enemy like he had done with the spider? What beast could possibly be big enough to threaten a human? He might be able to distract the child, but what good would that do? It was the woman who was the real threat, and there was something immovable about the way she was thinking.
Above him the refrigerator rocked. There was only the mother, the child, and the infant. They had no enemies; he had no allies. Or did he? With the same intensity he had used with the adult male earlier, he wished to the infant. “You’re very bored, you’re very sleepy, you’re very cranky… that’s it! You’re very cranky! You’re very cranky!

The infant erupted into the squeals of the most beautiful music Only Roach had ever heard. Suddenly the woman’s mind wasn’t so immovable. “You should check the baby, you should check the baby!” Only Roach felt the mother’s resolve crumble and then fall away. The refrigerator stopped rocking.

What’s wrong, sweetheart? Is your world coming apart? Ewww! I see what’s wrong. Let’s go upstairs and change that right now.”

As the mother carried the infant up the stairs, Only Roach peaked out from under the refrigerator. Staring down on him was the child… Cassie.

Hello, Cassie,” Only Roach wished at her.

“’Lo Buggy,” the child replied. If she thought it was strange to be talking to a roach, she didn’t show it.

You almost got me squished.”

No, I want to play.” The girl looked sorry.
Only Roach studied the girl in front of him. She was enormous, but she was tender and little inside. It surprised him that he liked the little girl, just as he liked her little brother. Even the adults were better than most of the roaches he’d met – if you get past them trying to kill you all the time. It was as if a space had opened inside Only Roach allowing Cassie and her family to move in.

Hey, Cassie,” Only Roach wished, “can you find me some cookie crumbs to go with this pudding?”

Will there be more Psychic Roach adventures? I’ll tell you when Only Roach tells me – assuming Cassie doesn’t step on him as she fetches his cookies.

And now – another amazingly unrelated video.

Come back on Monday to see what happens next on Just Plain Stupid. I know I’m anxious to find out.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Psychic Roach Part Five

For the last four entries of Just Plain Stupid, we’ve been following the progress of a roach which has uncommon psychic ability. This ability has saved him from both bug traps and spiders, but is that all he has to fear? If you’d like to catch up, here are parts One, Two, Three, and Four.

And now:

Psychic Roach Part Five

by Headley Hauser

Two rooms remained. He took the darker one that was now straight ahead of him.

This room was larger than either the empty bedroom or the baby’s room. A large bed framed by two windows stuck out from the far wall. To the left of the bed was another closet with its own window. Against the right wall was a long dresser under yet another window.

It took him a moment to realize that two humans were lying in the bed. He wondered if each knew the other was there? Surely this warranted some closer investigation.

A thick comforter made an easy path to the top of the bed. From there Only Roach could see that they must be aware of each other because the man’s arm was resting on the woman’s shoulder. Both were asleep, though neither as soundlessly as the baby down the hall. They had escaped the powder that covered the baby. Each had mostly pleasant, natural smells, though the female had a faint artificial flowery scent coming from spots around her neck.

The female’s eye flickered, and suddenly the comforter erupted, landing tangled on the floor.

Get it!” the woman screamed. There was now more light poking through the folds of the comforter.

Get what?” the male groaned.

A roach! He was up here on the bed.”

I don’t see him.”

Only Roach knew he had to get out of the room. He zipped through the folds of the comforter, found the carpet, and ran as fast as he could toward the hallway.

There he is!” the woman shouted.

Only Roach couldn’t understand why the woman hated him so. Seeing a doorway a little to his right, he scrambled through.

He wasn’t in the hall. The screaming and getting tangled in the comforter had thrown off his sense of direction. There were boxes and shoes and a hamper of laundry. He was in another closet. He felt a towering presence looming behind him. He wanted to get in the hamper, but he knew the male would get him before he was halfway up the side. One pair of shoes smelled especially good, but they were too far away. He ran around the box in front of him and crawled in from the other side.

Outside the box he heard things moving around. Then the box started spinning. For a second or two he felt like he had wings, but he couldn’t control where he was flying. The box crashed into something and fell to the carpet upside down. The box lid was knocked ajar. Only Roach fell out of the box and onto the carpet. Quickly he climbed back onto the lid and the box’s side as high as he could go. He wedged himself in where one piece of cardboard flapped over another.
Don’t look in the shoebox!” he wished as hard as he could. He heard things flying around outside. The box was jostled again, but this time it didn’t fly. “Don’t look in the shoebox, don’t look in the shoebox, don’t look in the shoebox!”

The rustling outside the box stopped. “I’m not going to find it honey, let’s get back to sleep.”

I’m not about to sleep after that! Besides, it’s almost six o’clock.”

There was a clicking sound, and suddenly there were other voices in the room. The voices changed frequently, and with them music and sounds that didn’t belong in a human bedroom. Only Roach recognized that he was hearing another of the talking picture boxes, a…TV, like the one in the kitchen.

Only Roach cowered in the shoebox and wondered. Did the adult male forget to look in the shoebox, or was he wished away? Antennae nervously twitching, Only Roach decided not to leave the safety of the shoebox until the humans were gone.

Finally the TV and other people sounds stopped. Just to be sure, Only Roach waited in the shoebox until he saw patterns of sunlight illumine the carpet by the box’s edge.


Here’s another unroach-related video, offered for no other reason than that each post seems to have one.  This is one of the funniest moments on TV.

Though the Only Roach might find his way around spiders and traps, would it ever be safe for him to live among humans? Find out Thursday in the sixth and concluding chapter of:

The Psychic Roach

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Psychic Roach Part Four

An insignificant roach survives only because he doesn’t do what his entire tribe does – crawl into a box. Is it by chance? As the roach explores the house he discovers that he has decidedly unroach-like abilities. His sensitivity and perception of the world around includes knowledge of what objects are called and what the massive human beings use them for.

Is that the limit of his abilities?

If you would like to read the story up to this part, here are parts One, Two, and Three. Otherwise, here is:

Psychic Roach Part Four

by Headley Hauser
Three doors remained unexplored on the other side of the stairs. Light shone from the middle door, so he chose the one to the right. This room was small, crowded, and dark. It had no… windows. It looked like Only Roach was in a closet. Most of the smells in here were unpleasant, more powder and soap, and two of those plastic things that hung from the bathroom wall. There were pieces of dead roaches sifted into the carpet. He was in a death place.

Was he in a death box? He couldn’t smell anything like canned peas. He wandered to the back of the closet, and his leg caught in something springy. He tried to move his leg away, but the springy thing moved with him. It wouldn’t let go. There was some sort of cord traveling up from the floor to the back wall of the closet. He sensed movement. Above him two clusters of luminous facets sparkled. The clusters moved towards him.
A spider! A large spider was coming to eat him, and he couldn’t break free from its web. He could feel his leg begin to loosen but he needed more time; the spider was too close. If only… a sparrow would come and eat the spider. He didn’t think sparrows visited dark closets, but he pictured the sparrow anyway as he worked to free his leg.

The sparrow is scanning the web, looking for his supper. He knows that where there are webs, there are usually fat tasty spiders.”
The roach looked up and saw that the spider’s eyes were dimming as it retreated to the back of the web. Giving another tug, Only Roach’s leg came free of the web. He scampered under the closet door and out into the hall.

He had made the spider see a sparrow that wasn’t there! But many roaches had died in that closet. Why hadn’t any of those roaches made the spider see a sparrow? He couldn’t remember a roach from his tribe doing anything like that.

Is that why I’m alive?” he wondered.

For my unrelated (non-roach) video, I submit what I think is one of the most brilliant comic scenes in history from Danny Kaye’s Court Jester.
So, the only roach wonders why he’s still alive. Does he feel confident? Does he feel prepared for anything? Well there are bigger roach-killers than spiders, and as morning approaches – they’re about to wake up.

The danger mounts on Monday…

Monday, August 19, 2013

Psychic Roach Part Three

Astounding as it may seem, not everyone finds a German cockroach to be the best choice as an iconic hero.
Luckily, there’s a baby in Part Three to up the cuteness factor. If you haven’t read Part One,or Part Two, I’ll summarize. A roach finds himself the lone survivor of his colony – all others victim to a box they entered but did not leave. What saved the lone roach was a premonition, or psychic emanation regarding the box. As he travels through the house, he receives repeated emanations telling him the names of things he sees and other information no roach has reason to know.

Enough summary!

Psychic Roach Part Three

by Headley Hauser

He scurried across the carpet and into the room to the left of the stairs.

The room had a large padded platform jutting out from the wall on the right, a… bed. A smaller, firmer platform, a… table, with a… chair stood to the left. There was also a… dresser in the far corner and several boxes scattered about the floor. To the far left of the doorway was a… closet, and though there was something intriguing about the closet, the room as a whole smelled dry and uninteresting. A spider hung from a web behind the door. The spider eyed him hungrily, but the web was high up and easy to avoid.

Moving back to the hall, he felt disappointed. He hoped the rest of the house had more to offer. There was light from under the door at the end of the hall. Since light meant danger, he crawled under the door at the near end.

This was more like it! Right by the door stood a…
diaper pail, and if he didn’t have so much to explore, he would have crawled inside for the rest of the night!

There was a small bed across the room. It was higher than the last bed and had rails on each side. The infant human’s chest was rising and falling as he slept. 
Such an aromatic creature! Urine and mucus were the predominant scents, but he could also smell perspiration and even some excrement. There were also unnatural scents, which were less pleasant. There was a painful, piercing smell from a box of wet clothes and a dry, mind-numbing fragrance from a bottle of powder that had somehow spilled all over the infant and much of the bed clothing. 
He hoped the powder didn’t harm the little human. He didn’t know why he should care, but there was something appealing about the way the creature slept so peacefully. Should he crawl up and remove the powder? He could work all night and not get it all. There were other places to explore.
I wish you well, human infant,” he sent across his antennae toward the baby. The baby’s lips twitched and he let out a sigh as Only Roach left the room.

To spare those less roach-inclined, (and to spare me the bother of finding non-disgusting roach footage,) I’ll start posting unrelated videos that I enjoy.
So far, it’s been a lovely jaunt for our psychic roach, but ware the peril that awaits him. Check this blog again on Thursday.

If you dare…

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Psychic Roach Part Two

The is the second of 6installments of the Story Psychic Roach. In the first part a roach finds himself the only roach remaining of his tribe which has entered a box. He overcomes his attraction to the box by a feeling – a premonition – very foreign to his roach nature. A similar feeling prompts him to travel.

Psychic Roach Part Two

by Headley Hauser

For the first time in his life, Only Roach moved off the smooth ground – no, not ground… tile floor, and onto the high grass – no, not grass… carpet. It was harder walking on carpet than on tile, but he could climb it. He had plenty of legs, more than humans or dogs, not so many as centipedes, but these legs were good for climbing. He even liked climbing.
Then he saw something really worth climbing.
Several hills lay stacked on each other –
Not hills… stairs. He could climb up the wood part as long as it ran straight up, but each stair had a lip that blocked his way. Carefully he scaled the back and sides of the… carpet runner. If the light came on, he knew this was a place where humans step. It was a foolish risk, but everything he’d been doing seemed foolish. Was he any more foolish than the other roaches? After all, he was the only one left alive.

At the top of the stairs was an open area ringed with… doorways. The carpet had an old, musty scent. The smells spoke of the journeys of many roaches, but none from his tribe. Ahead loomed a small room with tile on the floor… a bathroom. All signs pointed to this room being the home of a mighty tribe. Even though he was afraid, he crossed the carpet to the cold floor beyond.

The bathroom had thousands of scents: some subtle, some strong. One scent, coming from a piece of plastic struck in the wall, was so strong and shrill it was difficult to appreciate the softer sweeter aromas.
He hadn’t been attacked. Even more surprising, all the tribe traces here in the bathroom were nearly as old as those in the carpet outside. Where were they?

There was the scent again, like an open can of peas, the same as in the kitchen. Following the scent was easy, almost as if it wanted to be followed. The box looked just the same, though it was at a different angle from the wall. The drawing power was strong. He wanted to go in the box. He knew it was death, yet the only thing he wanted was to go in the box.
The box must have killed this tribe just as the box downstairs had killed his own. Maybe there were no more roaches, only him. Why was he the one to survive? What was so special about him?

Maybe the tribe’s death was a mistake. Maybe his survival was the mistake. He wanted to know, but whom could he ask? Lately words popped into his head when he thought about places and objects, but the words didn’t answer questions. What would he do if there were no way to ask?

Asking wasn’t what was important; living was important.

Suddenly he felt powerful
A new sensation for him, and he liked it! He needed to leave traces in every room in the house. He was Only Roach, and leaving his trace mattered.

Finding cute roach-related video isn’t easy. Thank goodness for Pixar, and the movie Wall-e.
Put your antennae up on Monday for Part Three.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Psychic Roach Part One

What’s more sweet and cuddly than a German cockroach? Even if we don’t love them back, they obviously love us because they scurry to gather wherever we live. We poison them; we step on them; it doesn’t matter – such love is unconditional and pure. Are we untidy? They forgive such faults – they even love us more!

Dogs are wonderful, but for true fidelity, a German cockroach has to be mankind’s best friend.
Feeling warm and fuzzy? I knew that would touch you (feel those feelers!) For the next three weeks (6 installments!) Just Plain Stupid will honor the age-old relationship with a complete, and entire (yes, I know they mean the same thing, but I’m trying to build here,) story. This story is completely and entirely (sounds even better as adverbs) free of charge!

(That doesn’t mean you can’t send me $$$ if you feel inclined.) (How can I help you feel inclined?)
Here’s part one of…

Psychic Roach

by Headley Hauser

Its appeal was strong. Something in the smell, a sweet, almost enchanting fragrance, like an open can of peas, compelling him to enter. Over the last few days, everyone else had gone in. He hadn’t seen any come out. Now he was alone, alone with the box.
Why hadn’t he followed all the others? It wasn’t as if he missed them. He was small, and they always picked on him. The others kept him from food, banning him from the prime spots under the refrigerator and stove. No female ever invited him to mate. Not a single roach cared for him.

He wasn’t sorry to see them go. Now he could wander under the refrigerator to his heart’s content. He was number one! Of course there was no number two or three, but that made him more special.

He was the only roach left.

Why did he spend so much time staring at this box? There was… something – something he couldn’t explain – that warned him of danger. Could there be a killer in the box? Perhaps some great beetle lurked inside. Maybe it killed all the others and ate them slowly. Only Roach’s antennae twitched involuntarily. No, it wasn’t a great beetle, but that was close enough. There was danger and death in the box, he was sure of it. He longed for whatever made the sweet scent, but now he could ignore it. He could resist the scent. He wasn’t going to die in the box.
He rummaged beneath the refrigerator and then under the stove. Food was everywhere, far more than he could eat. He was in paradise, if it weren’t for this odd feeling. Maybe… he should travel? A roach never travels when he has all he could want right in front of him.

Again, that feeling…

He decided to travel, though he didn’t understand why. He thought there was another tribe somewhere in the house. The other tribe would kill him, just as his tribe killed strangers. Well, they used to kill strangers. Only Roach was his own tribe now, and he didn’t feel like killing strangers.

He also wasn’t about to talk himself out of this nonsensical urge to wander. He set out.

Tune in (or whatever you do on the internet,) Thursday for Part Two!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

In Tribute to Ex-Living Icon

On the (fill in the blank) (80th?) anniversary of his birth, Just Plain Stupid would like to honor:
Jerry Falwell
The ex-living reverend accomplished many things in his (fill in the blank) years on the planet. Among them:

1) Made political flag burning a religious issue.

1a) Made most religious issues political issues.

2) Raised the profile and social importance of Hustler magazine.

3) Unified an impossibly divided Democrat party.

4) Made Libertarians seem unpatriotic.

5) Kept me from becoming a Southern Baptist.
Was it the legacy he hoped for?
I don’t care.
Who knows what else he might have accomplished had he lived longer. I encouraged fellow Go Figure Reads author Stanley W. McFarland to send Rev. Falwell a copy of his book: Confessions of a Protestant.
Sadly Falwell didn’t live to the release date. Had Falwell read it, and condemned it – McFarland would be a wealthy man today (and would owe me big time.)
Shortly before his demise, I penned (in a computer keyboard sense,) this musical tribute to the great man. The tune is from Danny Kaye’s tune – Inch Worm.
 I didn’t include the high math at the beginning and threw in a bridge instead. Tragically, the inestimable (I was never good at estimating) Danny Kaye never lived to sing the bridge.


lyrics by Headley Hauser

music (supposedly) by Danny Kaye

Lynchburg, Lynchburg

Nestled in the Blue Ridge

No left lane on it’s through bridge

It’s Jerry Falwell’s home

Lynchburg, Lynchburg

To get there takes half-a-tank

To see our favorite mount-e-bank

It’s Jerry Falwell’s home
Tradition – written and oral

Says that Lynchburg is moral

But if they’re the majority

Then why all the pejoraty?
Lynchburg, Lynchburg

Nestled in the Blue Ridge

(Ain’t) no liquor in the brew fridge

It’s Jerry Falwell’s home

Now, I don’t see diversity

At most university

But I not heard such flibberty

(Than at) that school known as Liberty
Lynchburg, Lynchburg

(To my) conduct they’re giving care

(Sure am) glad I’m not living there

It’s Jerry Falwell’s home
Here’s a video about Lynchburg from the ‘What if’ department. Or is it the ‘who cares’ department?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Theological Car Accessories

Two weeks ago, I posted about my religious experiences.  Certain imaginary friends challenged me about the existence of a song I mentioned entitled: Jesus Is My Snow Tires.

Yes – the song really exists, and
No – I didn’t write it.

I would have been proud to claim this great opus of American hymnology, but alas, I must defer to a greater, though unknown mind. I boggle to think of the free intellect which could completely ignore the disagreement in number in the title. How can the singular Jesus (grammatically, theologically, historically, and matrimonially) be the plural (presumably four) snow tires? It is a mystery not unlike the whole three-in-one trinity deal.
I also must bow to the creative rhyming in the last verse.

Sadly – I could not find this song on You Tube, so you’ll have to imagine the tune – a spritely country concoction with the customary three bass notes prior to the last line in each stanza.

Jesus Is My Snow Tires

by Unknown Genius, living or dead

The snow came down in April

And the green was turned to white

But Jesus is my snow tires

And he’ll pull me through the night.

Through the night, through the night, through the night, through the night.

(Boom-boom-boom) (those are the three bass notes)

Jesus is my snow tires and he’ll pull me through the night

Summer rains in August

I got water in my eye

But The Lord is my umbrella

And I know He’ll keep my dry

Keep me dry (x4)


The Lord is my umbrella and I know He’ll keep me dry

October brings on cold spells

And they chill me to the bone

But Jesus is my afghan

And he makes me feel at home

Feel at home (x4)

(B-B-B) (abbreviated bass notes)

Jesus is my afghan, and he makes me feel at home

(slower, and with feeling)

A’slippin’ and a’slidin’

Through the mud

And through the sluuuuuuusshch

No matter what the season is…

My Jesus love me muuuuuushch

(picking up the tempo now)

Loves me mucsh (x4)


No matter what the season is, my Jesus love me mucsh.

Sigh… genius
Wait... no video?  Okay, for something completely different, here's one of my favorite lesser-known Python clips.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Thirty-Seven Reasons I Never Had Children

It’s surprising how many times I’m asked why I never had kids. I’m inclined to check their pupils and ask if they have any more of the medication they must be on. I’m told that’s not polite, so instead I’ve compiled this list of reasons (in no particular order,) for those who might be curious – or might be thinking of starting a family.

1) Changing diapers – I mean that’s the obvious guy response; I might as well get it out there first.

2) I don’t want to share my toys.

3) The smell of spoiled milk and vomit in friend’s cars.

4) What exactly, is tender and loving about having a woman you adore torn open by a parasite?

5) Difficulty finding a woman I adore enough to have her torn open by a parasite.

6) Glasses, braces, camp, uniforms, allowance, emergency room visits, broken windows, broken bicycles, two hundred dollar must-have sneakers, car insurance, car repair, COLLEGE TUITION!

7) Murphy’s law states that children will automatically gravitate to the type of music most likely to annoy their parents.

8) I don’t want to hear myself say, “because I said so.”

9) Toddlers most want to cuddle when their nose is running and your shirt is clean.

10) When I was born, Father Knows Best was a hit. Now every TV dad is a moron.

11) When I tell somebody “it couldn’t have been my child,” I know I’m not lying.

12) Not a lot of faith that the clowns we elect will leave much of a country/world for my kids to live in.

13) Fear that my imaginary friends will run off with their imaginary friends. Oh c’mon! Don’t give me that, “you need help,” look. I see it all the time in the mirror.

14) That moment when they realize I don’t know everything.

15) Getting beat at video games.

16) After hours of frustration, being told by an eleven-year-old, “sure I know how to work (fill in high tech device.) A baby could do it.”

17) Being judged for my fashion sense.

18) That look in their eye when they first feel betrayed.

19) Trying to explain to a six-year-old why the pet died.

20) Trying to convince a two-year-old that lima beans are good by eating two helpings – yuck!

21) Tonka makes wimpy trucks compared to what I had in the sixties.

22) Schools and quacks trying to medicate discipline.

23) It’s no longer safe to let a kid ride their bike all over the neighborhood from breakfast to dinner.

24) Being the bad guy when my kids want something that isn’t good for them.

25) I can’t afford to buy them a pony.

26) Shopping mall Santas creep me out.

27) “Some assembly required.”

28) Did I mention projectile vomit?
29) I’ve seen what happens to Dad when little Timmy gets a paper route.

30) The terrible twos.

31) “Whatever.”

32) (Girl specific) Boys - two years older.

33) (Boy specific) Having to admit, “I’ve got nothing,” when he asks about girls.

34) Seeing them leave home.

35) Knowing how old I look in their eyes.

36) Having to go through all that again when they have kids


37) Because only someone without kids can say to stressed parents, “You know what works with kids is…”

   Oh, and then there's this video,