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Friday, July 29, 2016

Dirk Destrroyer Part 44 Chapters Twenty-four and 24

Elmer McFarland finds himself in a mid-rise apartment in So-Ho, which bears little resemblance to the Planet Two. He is also brokenhearted.
But there’s cappuccino gurgling in the kitchen.

Chapter Twenty-four
Legal Disclaimer

Subsequent to my uneventful and therefore successful transfer on Qantas, I became aware that Qantas trans-dimensional service is not yet available in most locales. Although the people of Qantas provide good service, with a friendly (though sardonic) attitude, I don’t recommend that you utilize your telecommunications device to inquire about their six-day Big Bang excursion. Inquiries through their WWW site (brought to you by All Bore,) is also not recommended.

Chapter 24
“Splaining” Chapter
Dirk Ex Machina

It was morning in So-Ho. We were high up in a building, surrounded by many buildings of such height, and buildings unimaginably high, visible to the south. I couldn’t help but wonder how many sheep you could fit in so many buildings.
The Stevens twins slept seductively in each other’s arms on what Dirk called a futon. It didn’t seem to matter that I wasn’t willing to join in their lovemaking. Dirk was one of those few men able to satisfy more than one woman, or perhaps the sisters assisted each other in that venture.
Dirk handed me a cup. The top was full of sweet foam with sprinkles of a dark substance that I hoped was chocolate, because I didn’t wish to contemplate what else it might be.
“It’s hot,” he warned me a second after I had scalded the lining of my mouth.
“So what do you think of New York, Brother?”
“It’s very impressive,” I said. “I wish Ono could see it.”
Dirk made a dismissive gesture. “You’re better off.”
“Living here on your charity?”
“Only until we find you a place of your own.”
“And how will I obtain this place? I have no So-Ho skills. For what type of work am I suited?”
“Can you still do that trick with precious metals?” he asked.
“They’re very fond of precious metals here in New York. We’ll take a trip to Alaska or the Dakotas next week. You’ll have enough gold to get three places like this.”
I sighed. What he said was probably true, but I wasn’t really worried about that. I had thousands of years ahead of me – maybe in So-Ho if it lasted that long, or on any other place I wished once Dirk showed me the dial for trans-dimensional travel.
But was a long life such a good thing when it was empty? What was there to live for?
“Look Buddy,” said Dirk. “I know you’re down, and if you’re like me, you probably want all the bad news at once.”
“Wonderful,” I said.
Dirk laughed. “It’s just I’ve been holding out on you. You see I’ve been letting you believe that we’ve lived this long because we’re different from other humans, and it’s true we are, but only because I made us that way.”
“Remember my twenty-fourth birthday?”
I thought back. It was too long ago. I shook my head.
“It doesn’t matter,” Dirk told me. “What matters is what happened. I was out in Glaz’s tobacco field…”
“I remember Glaz,” I said.
“That’s good, Buddy. Try to focus. I was out in the tobacco field filching some tobacco to make a few home-made cigars.”
“That’s right,” I said. “You didn’t work.”
“And I had no money,” Dirk agreed. “But I wasn’t the only one stealing tobacco that day. There was this guy who looked like he was made out of shiny gold. He had a mop on his shoulder, and a shiny silver bag. He was stuffing leaves in the bag.”
“The Celestial Custodian?”
“Yeah,” said Dirk. “You’ve met him?”
“Recently,” I said.
“You must have made a mess in his kitchen. He hates that. His name is Dude.”
“The Celestial Custodian is named Dude?”
“Just let me finish, will you?”
“Okay,” I said, trying out the new So-Ho expression. Did I do it, okay? How often did one say, okay? Could okay be said sarcastically, or if from Pogo, sardonically? Did one strive to be okay, or was okay only achieved passively?
“Focus, Brother,” said Dirk.
“I said, okay!” I said plaintively, and found that I liked the sound of it.
Dirk sighed, but went on. “I guess Dude didn’t see me, and when his bag was full, I grabbed at it. I don’t know what I was thinking. I mean Dude could have vaporized me with his mop of glory, but he was busy at the moment traveling back.”
“To the school of amazing stuff!” I said, and almost shouted, ‘I knew it,’ but I certainly hadn’t known it and I was still feeling awkward about misusing that phrase earlier.
“That’s where we went,” Dirk agreed. “I went there because I had hold of his bag. Dude was pretty surprised when he saw me.”
“What did he do?”
“That’s the funny thing. I mean Dude could have done just about anything he wanted to me, but he was bound by the moral code of causation.”
“It’s kind of like the thirty-seven ideas in the world of the school of amazing stuff. I never would have gotten to the school if he hadn’t been stealing tobacco from Glaz, and so anything that came of that was his moral fault.”
“Anything you do?”
“Or you do too,” said Dirk. “You never would’ve gone to the school if it weren’t for me, and I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for Dude. Dude tried to bluff me, but for a Celestial being, he’s pretty easy to read. I wasn’t sure what I had on Dude, but I knew I had some bargaining power and I used it.”
“What did you get?”
“Among other things, I learned how to be immortal.”
“So you weren’t immortal before?”
“No, just potentially immortal. It turns out that everybody is potentially immortal. We all have this switch in the back of our skull; it switches back and forth, immortal, not immortal. Here, I’ll show you,”
I followed Dirk to the sleeping Steven’s twins. He pushed one of the twin’s hair aside, and sure enough, there was the switch. “Why didn’t I see that before?”
“It’s a lot like the dials at the school,” said Dirk. “Most of the time, you can’t turn the dial unless you know what you’re looking at. The only reason you see this switch is because I told you I was going to show it to you.”
“You’d think barbers, or hair-dressers…”
“Yeah,” said Dirk. “and masseuses. I’m surprised they don’t trip the switch thousands of times a year.”
“Maybe they always do it an even number of times,” I guessed.
“Wow,” said Dirk. “That’s pretty good math for you.”
I didn’t know if I should be complimented or insulted, so I asked him, “so you flipped both of our switches?”
“I did,” said Dirk. “That’s why I’m forever twenty-four, and you’re forever twenty-six.”
“But Uncle Egbert was still alive then. Why didn’t you switch him?”
“It might have slipped my mind, I don’t know. It was a long time ago.”
“Why didn’t you switch Mom?”
“I asked her. She said being fifty forever didn’t sound like paradise.”
“Yeah. I kind of felt bad when she died.”
That sounded like an understatement, but while I’ve always been slow to think, Dirk has been slow to feel. Maybe seeing Mom die when he could have prevented it wasn’t as hard for him as it would have been for me. “Hold on,” I said, loud enough to make the twins stir. I staggered back towards the couch. “Wait a minute.”
“You’re catching on,” said Dirk.
“You said that we were more…”
“Durable,” Dirk finished.
“Lied,” he said. “But I did it for your own good. If it were up to you, you would have filled this apartment with every sad story on the planet Two. You probably would have rescued Uriculous and his Light Bringer.”
“I would have rescued Ono!”
“Yeah, and her buddy whose face disappears, and Swampy, and…”
“No,” I said. “That’s it. Just those three. Unless you were lying about Phasia.”
“No,” said Dirk. “I was straight with you about Phasia. So you know that Ono will be fine. The monk will probably take your faceless friend too, and you know Swampy will follow the girl, so everything’s fine.”
“Maybe not now,” said Dirk, “but everything will be fine when you get over the girl. You’ve lived long enough. You know you’ll get over her.”
“You’re right,” I said.
“And besides,” said my brother. “It’s not as if you can do anything about it now.”
“I can if you’ll teach me trans-dimensional travel.”
“I will teach you,” said Dirk, “but not until you’ve had a couple decades here in New York, or someplace else if this one self-destructs. The Light Bringer and the others won’t be kind to you if you try to help your friends.”
“They’ll just cast me out again.”
Dirk laughed.
“They can’t do anything to you – at least not anymore than light your cigars or punch you in the nose.”
“All of it was you? You cast yourself out?”
“Haven’t you ever noticed how dreadfully dull Two is?”
“So I have nothing to fear from the Light Bringer?”
“I don’t know,” said Dirk. “He’s bigger than you – and he has a Showr Rinn monk with him.”
“Teach me trans-dimensional travel.”
“You have to!”
“Did that argument ever work?” Dirk gathered the cups. Mine was still full, though the sweet foam was gone, so I didn’t want it. “You’ll be fine, Elmer. You have plenty of time to get over her.”
Dirk left me alone except for the sleeping twins. I got up and started to pace. I was upset. I was angry with Dirk. I was worried about Ono. I wanted a cigar.
All these things were true, but there was something else. I didn’t know what to do about something else, so I automatically reached into my fanny pack for a cigar, even though I knew I didn’t have any.
I pulled out a fish stick. How did that get in there? Did Mage-e-not and Ono magically create it and put it there? But there wasn’t anything in the fanny pack to transform.
It looked like it might have been a pretty good fish stick yesterday, but not any more. I looked around for Swampy, but of course, he wasn’t there. I threw away the fish stick and thought about what Dirk had said.
What was memorable about his twenty-forth birthday?
Then I remembered. On his twenty-forth birthday, he gave me a present which is unusual for someone to do on their own birthday, and doubly unusual for Dirk. He gave me a fanny pack. He gave me this fanny pack!

My brain hurt, but I felt pretty strongly about one thing. I needed to talk to someone other than Dirk about this. In spite of the ban, I needed to find the Celestial Custodian. I needed to talk to Dude.

   So many things explained.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

My First Love

When you’re a three-year-old Don Juan, it’s hard to find a babe that’s shorter than you are. That’s why my first crush was – Tinkerbell. I saw her flitting around in glorious black and white each Sunday evening on the Wonderful World of Disney. She was easier to follow, and also in color in our Disney story collection, and in miniature (of course,) on the back cover of our Golden books.
I wonder if she is the reason my favorite color is green.
It never bothered me that she convinced the Lost Boys to shoot Wendy out of the air. True love overlooks little faults like conspiracy to commit murder.
Of course I had rivals. Timmy Thorne, who was five and could recite almost the entire alphabet, also loved Tinkerbell.
“I’m going to write her a letter,” he said to me.
“You can’t do that,” I said, though I had no idea what Timmy could do. I’d seen him ride a big kid’s two-wheeler just the other day, and he told me he was taking piano lessons.
How could I compete with such an accomplished suitor?
I decided to draw a picture of her. I worked very hard, sure that if I drew the most perfect picture, I would win the tiny lady’s heart.
Of course I would need an adult’s help to send it to Tinkerbell. The only thing I was good at in mailing stuff was licking the stamp.
“Very good,” said my father when I showed it to him. “Wonderful detail!”
I beamed with pleasure and renewed confidence.
“Do you have an orange crayon in your crayon box?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said, proud that, unlike many three-year-olds, I could say yes without lisping.
“You know that a bird’s beak is not pink, right?” said my father.
Oh, no…
My picture ended up on the refrigerator instead of in an envelope to Tinkerbell. I stared at it mournfully when I got milk for my Sugar Smacks.
My brother, who was very wise and old, (he was almost a teenager,) saw me staring at the picture one morning.
“You know Tinkerbell's not real, don’t you?”
“She’s just made up,” he said, “like Bambi and Davy Crockett.”
“You mean all the stuff on TV is made up?” I asked.
“Only the good stuff.”
Timmy Thorne got a letter a week later, but it wasn’t from Tinkerbell. It was an invitation to join the Mickey Mouse Club.
“Do you think she’s made up?” I asked him.
“Nah,” said Timmy. “She just doesn’t read letters. They’re too big, you know.”
And so I lived with a confused heart, pondering the love of my young life. Was she real? Would she like a picture of her that looked like a bird? Would she even open the envelope if I sent it, or would it be too big?
And then one day, the picture came down off the refrigerator and was replaced by my sister’s report card. There wasn’t much art to it, but there were a lot of A’s which I was told was a very good thing.
I’m going to have to figure this out, I decided. Maybe I should go to school like my brother and sisters. Then I’d learn if Tinkerbell is real, and maybe even how to write to her.
When I finally got to Kindergarten, I hadn’t forgotten that this was the place I would finally learn about my lady-love. I was full of determination and resolve!
That was, until I met my teacher, Mrs. Taylor.

Ah… Mrs. Taylor.

I'm sorry, but these new Disney vids titled "Tinkerbell," just isn't Tinkerbell.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dirk Destroyer Part 43 Chapter 23

Elmer Destroyer, the brother of Dirk Destroyer is about to have his first exposure to oblivion. He might be more excited about it, but it means abandoning Ono, the love of his life, and Mage-e-not, who he doesn’t like that much anyway.

Chapter 23
That Ought To Do it
“Chirp,” said Ono.
“Chirp what?” said Jo4n McLame who, as you may recall has been called Jonma Claim, Uriculous, Uriculous the Great, High Priest, Translator, Director, and possibly other names in this book, but not Jon, which is the name Jonma Carry wished to be called, and not Penelope Oddswart, who does not appear in this story.
“Chirp, cheep, cluck,” said Ono.
“I think what she means,” said Mage-e-not, “is that you were about to give your decision.”
“About what?” said Jo4n McLame who apparently was no smarter than Jonma Claim, Uriculous, Uriculous the Great, High Priest, Translator, Director, or for that matter Penelope Oddswart.
“About Elmer and Dirk Destroyer,” said Mage-e-not.
“Oh them,” said the character of so many names, adding ‘character of so many names’ to his burdensome list of names. “I don’t like them. Banish them.”
“Oh no,” cried Ono.
“It’s just politics,” said All Bore.
Ono and Mage-e-not rushed to my side. I held out my arms expecting an embrace, or at least a handshake, but as neither shook my hand or embraced me, I ended up faking a yawn so I wouldn’t look so stupid.
“No one is buying it,” Dirk whispered in my ear. I dropped my arms.
Swampy waddled over as well, jumped with far more effort than usual, and just managed to land on Mage-e-not’s shoulder, though he appeared to be aiming for Ono’s. A nasty streak of defecation accented the dried tomato paste on Mage-e-not’s increasingly disgusting upper garment.
I tried to look into Ono’s eyes. I wanted my last sight of Two to be of her. Instead, I was looking at the top of her head. She had a lovely scalp, and I’m not complaining, but I wondered why she seemed so much more interested in my scratchwing than she was in me.
“This is my task!” sang Lustavious in an impressively operatic voice. “I am the Light Bringer. You are the Destroyer (and his brother.)” He added the, ‘and his brother,’ line in a res-sis-a-tiff which always seemed like cheating to me, but opera is full of them so I guess it’s allowed.
“Today is the day,” Lustavious sang in a booming base. “Now is the moment,” he added in a lilting Irish tenor.
“What a show-off,” mumbled Mage-e-not, grabbing one of Ono’s hands with both of his for some reason.
Lustavious closed his eyes and made a building vocalization from the back of his throat, that is difficult to putting in type. It wasn’t really a, mmmmmmMMMMM. I mean that looks like I’m talking about a hum, and what Lustavious was doing had very little hum-like quality. It had plenty of M, but almost no hu, and it almost had an, ‘Ah,’ quality to it except there wasn’t any ‘Ah’ sound to it.
It was a vocalization. It built as it went. It was well done. That’s all you’re going to get for now.
There might have been a bit of ‘R’ in there somewhere.
As Lustavious was vocalizing, he very slowly rotated his right arm clockwise. Well, it would be clockwise if you were standing at his front. Then Dirk and I would be at three-o-clock, and the rotation began at six, and came around two hundred and seventy degrees. If you were standing at his back, the rotation would have been counter clockwise, with Dirk and I standing at nine-o-clock and he still would be rotating two hundred and seventy degrees counter clockwise.
So, you know, he was facing us, with his eyes pointed at two-o-clock, or ten-o-clock from the back, and his arm started behind him,(in front from the back,) then above him, (the same,) then began slowly descending towards Dirk and me.
Wait – I think I have the angles wrong. There was a hypotenuse in there somewhere.
The math involved is too complicated for me to describe. Dirk was right. I never would have gotten along in Phasia.
Just as Lustavious’ finger reached either three or nine-o-clock depending on your angle of observation, Lustavious, the Light Bringer, opened his eyes, and fire appeared at the end of his finger tip.
“That ought to do it,” said Dirk.
I felt a flood of sensations. None of them were interesting, so I’ll move on.
Dirk and I were in some sort of pod with lights flashing by us. Maybe we were flashing by them. I would have asked one, but there wasn’t time because some of us – either the lights, or Dirk and I were really moving.
“I’ve got the scratchwing,” I said.
“Good,” said Dirk.
“What should I do with it?”
“Just hold onto it.”
“Right! So where’d you learn to be a Light Bringer?”
“The school.”
“Oh,” I said. “Do you think Lustavious and the others went there?”
“Nah,” said Dirk. “Spontaneous human combustion is just a basic human ability. The hard part is learning to do it without setting your clothes on fire.”
“Right, so what about Swampy?”
“You mean is he a Jonma bird?”
“Yeah, he is.”
Dirk didn’t seem interested in elaborating any further. We sat there for a few minutes. There were dinging sounds, and the increasingly less impressive whooshing of lights going past the pod.
“So who is he?” I asked.
“You mean Swampy?”
“Do you remember Uncle Egburt?”
“Uncle Egg?” I grimaced. I had never liked Uncle Egg. He used to smell like dead cat soaked in bourbon. “Why’d you bring back Uncle Egg?”
“Oh, I made a promise once. I promised that if I ever discovered the secret to immortality, I would make him immortal.”
“So you brought him back as a swamp-rat bird?”
“Hey, you start out as a smelly egg, you end up a smelly bird. There wasn’t that much left of him when I finally got around to it. I was about to be cast into oblivion, and I didn’t want to leave you alone. I made Uncle Egg promise that if I made him immortal, he’d watch over you.”
As I thought about it, he had. Sure, Swampy was unpleasant and smelly, but he was no more unpleasant and smelly than Uncle Egg had been. “So why didn’t he tell me who he was?”
“Not sure,” said Dirk. “I don’t think he ever liked you that much.”
Whatever I was about to ask was interrupted by a pleasant female voice with Pogoian accent.
“Welcome to transfer queue Wombat. Please remain seated, with your seats and tray tables in the upright position. Our speed is incalculable at present, and our altitude is meaningless. As this is a short transfer, there will be no in-transfer meal served today. If you really want us to light up the barbi, you might want to consider our six-day Big Bang excursion.
“In the event of an emergency, we urge you to remain calm and relaxed. There’s nothing you can do about it.”
“Reassuring,” I mumbled.
“Qantas,” said Dirk. “They’re a bit sardonic, but they have the best trans-dimensional safety record in the business.”
There were more sensations including a flash of light followed by a voice saying, “G’day, trans-dimense us again.”
The next thing I was aware of, I was in the dark, drooling on a throw rug.
“Home again!” said Dirk, manipulating a device that illuminated the room. “So, you want a Stevens twin?”
“No thanks.”
“More for me. Come on, I’ll show you to your room.”

   This bit from the Simpsons is in my head this week.  It was funny in 1996.  It seems more troubling this year.  Why would that be?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Walter Mitty is Changing My Life (without asking first.)

I just found out I’m an imaginary character. Maybe you are too. I never would have noticed except whoever is imagining me, imagined that I would know I’m imagined.
Imagine that.
Do I really write a blog? Do I actually love Pop Tarts? Did I even poop in an ever-so-satisfying way last night – or is it all in somebody’s head?
(I pooped in your head!)
I still feel real. I still care. I still worry about deadlines and lactose intolerance. Nothing has changed except that I am now aware of somebody in the room. Some guy (I assume it’s a guy because any woman who looked at my life would ask, “What’s the point?”) watches me, what I do, what I think, and then occasionally says to himself, “no, Headley doesn’t think that.” I get no choice in the matter. I just go from thinking that to thinking this.
And this is what I think – that sucks.
I’m a big fan of Danny Kaye – or at least I thought I was. One of his movies was “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Ben Stiller did a remake recently but Ben Stiller is not really an actor as much as he is an irritant, so I didn’t watch it.
The point of Walter Mitty was that the fantasies he lived through were so real to him that they became more important than his real life, and in the end, transformed it.
I think that I, Headley Hauser, am the imaginary creation of some desperately evil Walter Mitty. Maybe I too, am more important than this imaginer’s real life, and I am transforming it.
But it leaves me afraid. What will this guy imagine next? Will he decide that I love Diane Keaton movies; that I go on a low-sugar diet, that I become political?
As horrifying as all these possibilities are, the most horrifying thing is that I have no choice in the matter – unless my evil personal Walter Mitty decides I have a choice in the matter. Then I’ll be able to choose and there will be nothing he (or I?) can do about it.
Turns out we all have our strings. Who’s the imaginary character now, Pinocchio!
Here’s wishing you all, kind and creative Walter Mittys in your life, and may you imagine a wonderful existence, free of strings and full of Pop Tarts.

Or at least I wish that now. Who knows what Mitty will have me wish tomorrow.

   Walter Mitty (certified to be at least 98% Ben Stiller free for your protection.)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Dirk Destroyer Part 42 Chapter Non-Twenty-Three

The following is an officially sanctioned digression included in the text of Dirk Destroyer’s Less Destructive Brother. Although digression sounds like a term referring to poor performance, or lack of progress, I was surprised (as I hear the word frequently,) to learn that it means something different. I’m not sure what it means except that this chapter is one.
If this, for some reason, is your initial installment of Dirk Destroyer, first – I’m sorry. Second, you may wish to know that the rest of the story largely has nothing to do with the digressive material below.
Wow, the red squiggly didn’t show when I made up the word, digressive. I must have invented a real word!

Chapter Non - Twenty-Three

Headley here.
This is so embarrassing. No, I’m not talking about the fact that I wrote much of chapter 22 while sleeping; sleep-writing is not an impairment, it’s an art-form, and I’m no longer ashamed – especially since I started writing on computers, and don’t have to change the sheets…
That’s not what I’m embarrassed about. Let’s start again.
This is so embarrassing.
The writing profession, or in my case, the writing impoverishment, is not a matter of sitting idly at a table on the third floor garret of a fine Victorian home, gazing out the window, and periodically pecking at a laptop, type writer, ball point, fountain pen or quill. For one thing, by the time people started building third floor garrets to fine Victorian homes, very few writers used a quill anymore except to tickle little children, spouses, or reluctant acquisition editors.
But that’s not important here. What I’m interrupting this fine, reasonably priced narrative to tell you about is a growing problem, nay horror of the modern writer – the out-of-control imaginary character.
Any fair-minded person, such as a judge, or lawyer that specializes in defamation lawsuits, will realize that the Jonma Claim, who has unilaterally changed his name to Jo4n McLame, is not the man of similar intell – I mean similar sounding name who once ran for President.
It was never my intent that the reader would believe such things. I would swear to it, but as a lad, I was once forced to hold a bar of soap in my mouth for swearing, and I found it less refreshing than I hoped, so I am reluctant to swear to anything.
I would agree to one thing however, should the man with a similar sounding name care to seek me out among the detritus of Winston-Salem. I would give him a pinky handshake on the matter.
But this is just a recent example of a serious issue. Imaginary characters are out of control. This is the reason, I, along with so many other impoverished writers have come together to form, FICAL (Fill In Clever Acronym Later) to fight this problem.
Your generous (but sadly not deductible) contribution will allow the impoverished writers of FICAL to drink beer while we deliberate and complain about this issue, and the deplorable state of everything that exists.
Painful experience has shown that money sent to Headley Hauser c/o the detritus of Winston-Salem too often finds its way to the dead letter office where it’s later auctioned off or sent to a guy named S. Claus. Instead, please send your checks (if you must,) money orders (better,) cash (now we’re talking,) or gold coins (Jackpot!) to: Will Wright 5765 Hickory Knoll Dr. Apt 7, Winston-Salem, NC 27106. Though Will is not a member of FICAL, he has a job, and so he has an apartment and mailbox of his own. Though he’s not wealthy by state worker standards, and he really needs to get a better couch for his friends to crash on, he will probably forward the money to a FICAL member, or at least use it for beer.

By-the-way, Will, you’re out of Pop Tarts.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

To avoid the creepy change, I must re - sign.

   It's a season of creepy change.  Many things are going bad or going away.  If I didn't believe it, then I just wasn't looking at the signs.

Anybody know how to work this thing?
Maybe if we just think creative thoughts?

But not deep thoughts.
This doesn't look good.
Well - I avoided one problem anyway.
The bad thing is - he's better than other choices out there.
But speaking of food...
 I guess this is Hannibal's favorite cracker (sorry.)
I prefer my bananas that way.
I don't eat Chinese food.  I'm a dog lover.
Speaking of which...
To take a break from the creepiness,  I love a good flier.
Some can be obvious
Some can be helpful
I guess that's helpful
But the creepy creeps back in.
Oh No!!!!
Sign sigh.
So if the creepy changes ends the world in the next few months, I want to say to you all one last time...

   Well, at least we can't blame the media for any of this creepiness.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Dirk Destroyer Part 41 Chapter 22

Chapter 22
Claiming Jo4n

I didn’t feel good about what I’d done. Ono probably thought I didn’t want her, and I didn’t want her to think that. But would it be any easier for her if she thought that I hated her going to Phasia without me?
There were a lot of things I couldn’t control. Being Dirk’s brother had given me a deep appreciation of that fact, but I could still avoid being selfish. As I searched for Dirk, or rather separated myself from the Light Bringer enough for Dirk to find me, I passed Swampy. The rat-bird was waddling like a duck.
“What’s wrong with you, Swampy?”
Swampy looked up at me with unfocussed eyes. “Fish stick?” he said unevenly.
I’d never seen Swampy like this, and never was a long time with us. The closest was the time when Swampy had tried to eat an entire tuna. Maybe there were bigger fish in the brook than I’d seen.
“Do you need help?”
“Nope,” said Swampy followed by a disgusting belch.
It wasn’t as if I knew anything about fixing sick rat-birds. I shrugged my shoulders and kept walking. A salamander fell from a branch above me and landed on my shoulder. “So,” said the salamander, “you fix things up for your friends?”
“Ono fixed it for them. I didn’t have much to do with it, but yes, the monk will take them to Phasia.”
“Good,” said Dirk. He was sitting about two body lengths up on a thick branch. Jonma Carry was tied to the trunk for some reason, but he didn’t seem to be in distress, so I ignored him.
“You were never much for climbing trees, Dirk” I said.
“It’s something new I got from the school of amazing stuff.”
“Tree climbing doesn’t sound all that amazing to me.”
“It isn’t,” said Dirk, “but this is.” He put his hand on the trunk above Jonma Carry, and the trees branches began to shift. Three branches formed themselves into a rough basket. Dirk stepped into the basket and the tree lowered him to the ground.
“Is that good for the tree – or even the Jonma?” I asked.
“Who cares,” said Dirk.
I didn’t pursue it. Apathy washed over me. I not sure why they even use the word wash in connection with apathy because this particular wash of apathy didn’t make me feel clean. I felt dirty, low, and completely incapable of doing anything about it.
I just sat on the dirt and sulked.
“Elmer,” said Dirk. “Don’t be like that. You’ll feel better when we get to So-Ho, I promise. There’s a little tobacconist shop around the corner that has cigars like you’ve never imagined.”
“That sounds good,” I said, sulkily. I wasn’t being sarcastic. It did sound good. A week before, I would have been excited to go with Dirk to a place like So-Ho and try new cigars. Now it just felt empty.
“Well,” said Dirk, “I guess if we’re going to get cast out, we might as well get to it. You got the scratchwing?”
I held up the instrument which Dirk could clearly see before I lifted it. “Why is this so important?”
“You wouldn’t understand,” said Dirk.
“You know,” I said, “once in a while I’d like to be the one to decide if I understand something or not.”
“You’re right,” said Dirk. “Tell me what you know about the tonal aspects of trans-dimensional travel?”
“You’re right,” I grumbled, “I wouldn’t understand.”
We walked slowly back the way I came. It felt like a dream – not a bad dream, or a good one either. It was as if I was in someone else’s dream, playing an unimportant role. My whole life felt like that – cannon fodder in someone else’s battle, an extra in someone else’s play, a spare horickvock for somebody else’s scratchwing.
I don’t know how far we walked. I didn’t care.
“They’re here!” shouted Akwar, as we approached a clearing. It might have been the clearing I left Mage-e-not and Ono in. “They’re right here!”
“Where’d that come from!” shouted Dirk, who was rarely surprised by anything.
Well, there was one thing to look forward to. This was probably the last time I’d ever see Youtickubus Akwar again.
“Dirth Dethroyersh,” said a wobbling, triumphant Jonma Claim. “Thith worldth thwill finally beth flreeth ofth schou nowsh!”
Dirk just started laughing.
Even when we were children, Dirk used to say he wanted to learn to laugh like a villain. Like most things that my brother set out to do, he accomplished his goal, exceeding even his own expectations. Dirk’s laugh wasn’t just loud, it was jarring, deep, throaty, gravelly, and impossible to hear without the skin of my forearms, (not to mention my ear lobes,) puckering and shifting, and looking for a place to hide.
My brother really enjoyed being Dirk Destroyer, and most of the time I was happy for him. I wanted my brother to feel fulfilled. I just wish it didn’t require me to lose the love of my largely love-less life.
“Uriculous!” shouted Dirk. “Is that you trying to control that Jonma?”
“Yeth, Dethtroer, ith –schmee. Ith goth schou now!”
Dirk started laughing again. He was really going over the top with his evil laugh. I was about to nudge him, when I realized that tears were forming in his eyes. He wasn’t just laughing for effect. He was really laughing.
I looked around and tried to figure out what was so funny. I hate it when I’m the only one that doesn’t get a joke. I saw Ono and Mage-e-not. I went over to them.
“What’s he laughing about?” asked Mage-e-not.
“You don’t get it?”
“No,” he said.
“Good. I don’t get it either.”
“Uriculous!” shouted Dirk, “You sound like your tongue connection is loose; you wouldn’t be having any trouble with your Jonma now, would you?”
“Ofsh coursch snot!” snapped Jonma Claim.
“Because,” said Dirk, “you weren’t much brighter than a Jonma yourself, and that was when you were still alive. I don’t think being dead all this time has helped that much.”
“Schtill shalive enoughsh shew baniscsssh shoe.”
“What’s that you say Uriculous? I think someone else is fighting you for that tongue.”
“Where’s the Jonma Carry?” said Akwar. “The Jonma Carry is supposed to help the high priest keep control.”
“The guy whose face looks like a bad sculpture?” asked Dirk. “I left him tied up to a tree back there.”
“I’ll get him, High Priest,” said Akwar. “Just hold on!”
“Shno Schneedsch,” said Jonma Claim. That might have been, ‘no need,’ but he was getting harder to understand by the minute. Akwar took off, supposedly in search of the Jonma Carry.
“You’re barely holding on, Uriculous,” said Dirk. “My guess is that you’ve been getting weaker for some time. Pretty soon, you’ll disappear, and there won’t be enough of you to possess a Jonma rat-bird.”
“Like Swampy?” I asked. “Is Swampy a possessed Jonma bird?”
“I’ll tell you later,” said Dirk.
“Schwhere’sch Sha Schlighsh Schringersh?” roared Jonma Claim. “Schurrys, schurrys!”
“What’s he talking about?” asked Mage-e-not,” who had Ono’s silver bag in his hand for some reason.
“He wants the Light Bringer,” said Dirk. “Watch this.” The look of fury and triumph in Jonma Claim’s eyes turned to fear as Dirk approached. “I’ll be your Light Bringer,” he said, and as he stuck out his middle finger at Jonma Claim, a two-inch flame appeared at the end.
“Schnosh!” screamed Jonma Claim in obvious, though unintelligible distress. “Schelpsh! Schelpsh!”
Dirk made little feints with his lighted finger at Jonma Claim. “I’m not torching you,” he said. “I’m not torching you!”
“I’m not torching you!”
“Schmommysch!” blurted Jonma Claim. “Schmschaschkschesch schhschischm schsschtschoschpsh!!!!”
“That’s it,” said Mage-e-not. “I can’t follow him at all now.”
“I’m not torching you.”
“Schschschscheeeeeesch!” said Jonma Claim, as he fell to the earth in a heap.
“Am I late,” said the stone-faced Jonma Carry, now free of the tree and looking down at the other Jonma.
“Elmer,” cried Ono. “Uriculous Wisehind is kaput! You’re jingle, jangle, wee! You no zap ka-pow!”
“I wouldn’t count on that, Little Lady,” sang Lustavious, slightly more late than Jonma Carry.
Mage-e-not went over to the pile of Jonma Claim and prodded it with his foot. The pile lurched, and made a gurgling sound, then said, “No more torture. I give up. One of you guys tell me how to say, ‘I’ll cooperate’ in Phasian.”
“Which Phasian Language,” asked Lip Ton Tease, who would’ve been later even than Lustavious and Jonma Carry, but for the fact that nobody asked for him, which made him independent of time – though not of space.
“The nation needs me,” said Jonma Claim, who in his present state was probably oblivious of many things, and specifically Tease’s question. Either that, or he was being rude.
“I must serve where I’m needed,” he said.
“Do you have any skill as a waiter?” asked Dirk.
At this point the Jonma Claim went into a monolog about heroism, straight shooting, taking bribes, and undermining his own party in the quest for fair play. The monolog’s best quality was that it was ignorable, so I went up to Dirk.
“So,” I said, “this changes things, right?”
“I wouldn’t count on it, Big Brother.”
“But without Uriculous, we can…”
“Live on a world about to fall to global swarming?”
“We could live in Phasia. You’re good at math.”
Dirk grimaced. “Not that good. And you’re forgetting the Light Bringer.”
“I still don’t get how…”
At this point, Jonma Claim raised his voice sufficiently to be less ignorable, and Dirk’s attention turned to him.
“I am not Uriculous,” said Jonma Claim. “I am not even Jonma Claim,” said the non-Jonma Claim. “I am,” and the round-faced man raised his arms to shoulder height, peering around at each person in the clearing, “Jo4n McLame!”
“Big deal,” said Swampy, waddling in and standing by Ono.
“I have to go with the bird on this one,” said Mage-e-not.
“I’m Jo4n McLame,” said Jo4n McLame unnecessarily. “I was this close to being the leader of the…”
“Not that close,” said Jonma Carry. “I was closer.”
“What about him?” asked Akwar, who had not only reappeared, but she had brought All Bore with her,
“You know,” said All Bore, “I should have won, but I have a patent pending on politics, so I’m a sure bet next time.”
“Yeah, yeah,” said Mage-e-not, “we don’t care.”
“How about giving me a shot,” said the RunPol monster who unexpectedly showed up at this precise moment in the story.
“Never,” cried Jo4n McLame, Jonma Carry, and All Bore in bipartisan unanimity.
“Still don’t care,” said Mage-e-not. “What we need to know is if we’re still sending Elmer and his evil brother to oblivion.”
“And that’s what I’ll do right now,” said Lustavious.
“Wait,” said Jo4n McLame, “I’m Commander in Chief around here. You take orders from me!”
Ono stepped up to the former Jonma. “And you want Elmer and Dirk to stay, don’t you?”
All eyes turned to Jo4n McLame, who held his chin up, and would have been impressive – except he wasn’t. He was still, round, frumpy, and stupid-looking, but he looked like he thought he looked impressive, which while pathetic is… Well, it’s still pathetic.

“This is my decision,” said Jo4n McLame…”

   A friend posted this on FB and said it was funny.  I don't get it, but maybe you will.