Sweet black leather chaps
You have never let me down
I can’t quit you, chaps.
Sweet black leather chaps
You have never let me down
I can’t quit you, chaps.
“–And she found them down in the basement there. On the couch–yes, yes, the brand new one they just got–And they were making the fellatio! On each other! Can you believe–that’s what I wanted to know–oh, I know, I told her not to let them move in–and I tell you what I would have done–Me too. Exactly and you know another thing?–You heard that too? I told her that would happen–Uh huh. I said the same thing and–”
There was a buzzing like a million coked-up bees. A light three times greener than the grass on the other side. She looked around. The universe burped–
And snow he sat on a white sphere in a white sphere, her cellphone still to her ear. She blinked and said, “Gladys? Gladys? Are you there? I think I’ve been transported somewhere.”
There was only silence over the phone. She hung up. The sphere she sat on was more comfortable than you would of thought to look at it. The room, lacking any and all corners and any visible source of the soft, white light that filled gave it an apparent impossibility of form, but she could feel how round it was. It seemed logical anyways. She had always imagined that if and when she was transported off somewhere it would be either a sphere or a pyramid. She had told Gladys the same thing and they had both agreed that a sphere was much more preferable to a pyramid. And God forbid some kind of cave.
“Edith Buckle,” the voice, disembodied and contralto, said.
“Present,” she said.
“You have been brought to our planetoid, “ in intoned, “at the farthest reach of the KNOWN UNIVERSE.”
“I figured that much,” she said, “so is this for sex experiments or what? Because I will tell you people or whatever you are one thing. This lady’s vagina is exit only, buster!”
“We are not interested in expanding your copulative abilities. Unless that’s something you would be into. No. We are here to share our infinite knowledge of the cosmos.”
“You are, are you. Well, let me tell you–”
“You have no way to comprehend the truth of the nature of space and time, but we shall reveal all to you–“
“Don’t tell me what I do and do not know, mister, I mean, everyone thought that Mirna Davis was the all that and the Sunday service, but I tell you that that is not coffee in that mug she grips in those manicured paws all day long, no siree, she was missus glug glug glug burp burp burp, that’s for sure.”
“And Rita Sutcliffe. She was barfing up her tuna sandwich faster than she could get it in her if you know what I mean, because you now that Richard has loose eyes when it comes to skinny thighs–”
“And Jim and Mary Kelly are not sleeping in the same room let alone the same bed and if you think it’s not because his you-know-what stopped working after she got hooked on the ice cream after her little incident with her boss down at the plant, let me tell you something–”
“Yes. Tell me more. Dish the dirt.”
“Well, you know how Gloria and Ted’s newborn son came out with red hair, while she’s chestnut and he’s tawny. Well, what colour hair do you suppose the new mailman has?”
“You don’t mean–“
“Do I? I’m just saying. And he certainly takes his sweet time sorting their bills and flyers.”
“My goodness. What does Ted think?”
“I can’t say for sure but I know that he’s been spending a lot more time down at the bowling alley.”
“Well, why wouldn’t he?”
“Exactly, I said the same thing. The poor guy, he works his butt off at the landfill to put food on the table and here she is licking stamps with some light in the loafer letter jockey. And how about Petunia Green? She’s on so many pills since Stephen left her that she’s affecting air traffic over the neighbourhood. She’s that high.”
“The poor woman–“
“I know, I know. And guess what? The little Lancaster girl–”
“Uh huh, well, she’s been moved onto the short bus and it has not been easy on them–”
“I can’t imagine–“
“You and me both, let me tell you–and Lorna Newcombe’s brother is back on their couch after his little run-in with the law.”
“Are you serious? Again?”
“You didn’t hear it here, but he got caught with his hands down his sweatpants outside the elementary school, so–”
“I know, right? She’s going greyer than Gandalf.”
“Of course, who wouldn’t?”
“And Dudley Oswald found a lump–”
“And Cathy Andrews has been passing bad cheques–
“And Ophelia Stephanos is no longer welcome at the Shady Lane Restaurant–”
“You don’t say–“
“And Harriet Jansen–”
“I am, and–hey, speaking of everything, what was all this infinite knowledge of the universe you were yammering on about?”
“Well, let me tell you–“
This guy is nuttier than grandpa, and that old pecan still thinks he is blowing lead jug for Billy-Bob Banjo and the Bongo Bong Band. Seriously, this guy has a smile that makes stupid look like Dr. Knowledge Ph.D. and his pants are not only dirty, they are upside down. You tell me how you do that and I will give you a ripe banana. But this guy managed to figure it out, most probably by using his uncanny suboptimal power of diminutive thinking. Speaking of pants, his hair is greasier than a Mississippi lug-nut at church on a Wednesday in July. No joking, I mean, you have to intentionally work hard all day every day to lube your do like that. Well, this guy must of and does. He even makes the word dilapidated uncomfortable with itself. Like this guy grabbed the definition then set it on fire and jumped in the fire and rolled around like a headless chicken all the while playing a broken kazoo. If you do not believe me check the dictionary and tell me what you see. Exactly. And now you cannot un-see it. I make no apologies. If the government put out a pamphlet warning about the dangers of bodily infestation by parasites and creatures of gross-repute this guy would be the guy on the front and the back and every panel in between. And I can guarantee not one solid citizen to a person would fail to heed their warnings based on his image alone. Beats me how even the creepers and crawlers can stand living on this guy. He stinks worse than guano dipped in diarrhea rolled in manure and left to die slowly on a pile of filth in the raging sun. He is the only guy you will ever meet that can wake up on a Tuesday, think it is Thursday, act like it is Saturday, and still tell the bus driver, “TGIF, chum, TGIF.” His teeth are browner than the insides of his toes which are browner than the colour brown. Want to know why? Because he brushes his teeth with shoe polish and spit shines his feet. He likes to say it gives him a Brogue’s smile. I like to say it makes it look like his mouth took a dump on his foot. One time this guy bought a bunch of balloons with money he got from a kind old lady who mistook him for a dead horse and slipped a couple dollars in his collar out of pity for his grieving jockey. Anyway, he bought these balloons. As an investment, right. And he tried to sell them to the airport. Because he truly believed that if you loaded an airplane with balloons the plane would be lighter and float easier and then fly faster and that it would be of incredible economic benefit to the airlines. What with the cost of gasoline and all it made perfect sense right? He called his business AirBalloon. Needless to say his enterprise did not take off. In fact, he is never allowed within ten miles of the airport under penalty of death. Then, the next time you would see him he would tell you about a hot and spicy sexual conquest he had with a bowl of turkey noodle at a delicatessen he was no longer allowed to set a brown foot in for the rest of his life. Then he would ask you to lend him a dollar so he could buy himself a bowl of chowder. You would wonder how a guy like this guy would stay out of the Cuckoo Cabana and believe me when I tell you that they would toss him in with all the other flakes, kooks, and oddballs and within minutes the whole lot of them would be throwing themselves on the mercy of the chief headshrinker to get that loon out of their midst. He was driving them crazy. This guy is the Pearl of Macadamianesia, the Jewel of Almondinia, the Flower of Cashew Pichu. If bonkers was a planet this guy would be its wacky moon revolving around and around in the most frustrating orbit the solar system ever did see. What a nut.
The Sun eased itself down like a thick-tanned arthritic retiree into a too-hot Jacuzzi, throwing sheets of titian and merlot into the sky, that caught the evening wind and drifted off, leaving the velvet drapes of night in their wake. As eventide sauntered off and the blackness ambled in, Nuts Calhoun and the Two-Eyed Chippewa stood close to the barrel fire, warming their well-traveled bones. They’ded had a hard one fer certain sure, hoppin’ on an’ off on up and own from Beggars Creek ‘cross Bum Alley ’round Dirtbag’s Cul-de-Sac through Nasty Town back on over Stink Row under all them losers under Loser’s Bridge then through all them losers at Loser’s Landing hittin’ Degenerate Way and pausin’ fer a good sniff o’ high-test at Gasbag’s then back on and prompurposely roosted off by a dumb and fat bull in the middle of Trashville so forced t’ walk ALL THE WAY down Greasy Lane so then o’course needin’ a toot of rotgut at Snotz’s to fuel the slough through the Malingerer Mile back on and the finally off again at the sweet, welcoming friendly hug of the stink of Hobo Junction.
“Get in em cans o beans, Chip,” Nuts croaked.
Chip grunted. Probably yup. Ya just can’t tell though with him. On account o’ his lazy eye, cleft pallet, and distended jowl. Nuts took it as a a-okay, and eased his bean stick o’er the fire, holding the can in the sweet spot. Ne’er get dem beans too hot, but shucks in yer gullet if y’all don’ get ’em anymore than cold and clammy either. Barrel-fire beans was a art form o’ the finest low-life culinary persuasion and only a bona fide bindle baron hisself couldawouldadamnwelldid cook ’em right. Nuts was as well known fer the quality o’ his beans as he was for the malodourousness o’ his feet. And the Two-Eyed Chippewa was just as well known for the quality o’ his barrel fire as he was for his stewy demeanour. He used just enough crud and rubbish mixed in with the wood to give it that classic Two-Eyed Eau de Dump. Or ‘absolutely magni-fucking-fique’ as the famous French hobo and asshole, Merde-Bouche Henri, was apt to say. Of course he said that ’bout just ’bout any goddamn thing, even a swampy ol’ jerked-to-shit issue o’ Cheri magazine tha’ Skunk Lambert found in Flatitious Woods. And it was common consensus round these parts that that magazine was far from magni-fucking-anything. Still, it was passed ’round somethin’ serious ‘tween the regular bunch o’ goofs at the Junction. Chippewa and Nuts et fucking al. bustin’ nuts like they was pimple poppin’ schoolboys.
“Y’all ‘member that Cheri mag Merde-Bouche found in the woods, Chip?” Nuts asked, suddenly thinking ’bout how long it’d been since he was horny. Or since he’d huffed gas.
Chip grunted. Again it could a been a anything. Yes, no, maybe so, or let’s huff gas.
Nuts chose the latterest of ’em.
“Got any gas left in the bag, chip?” He asked, “nice night fer a whiff, dont’cha feel?”
Chip grunted, reached into his bindle, and pulled out the wrinkled paper bag. They both stepped back from the burning barrel. Ever since Cutie-Pie Maxwell turned hisself to Burnie Max due to irresponsible gas huffin’, lotta folks had taken to new safety protocols when they was getting sick stupid on gasoline. Number one rule was DO NOT HUFF GAS OVER A OPEN FLAME. ‘Nuff said. No one could remember rule number two. Something ’bout huff, huff, pass. That was more etiquette related than a saftey protocol but still it was always good business to keep it in mind. Otherwise you have what? Anarchy. Chaos. Ultramania! And those weren’t’n’t any of the things that Hobo junction was at all ’bout. Nuh huh. What they had here was a civilidation. All supa-chill and propa-plus as them urban bums was apt to say.
Chip passed the bag to Nuts. Nuts checked his beans. Stewing sweetly. Checked the sky. Stars a twinklin’. Checked behind him. No sign of Stabby Pete or The Whistlin’ Psycho. Put the bag to his face and took a sweet ol’ deep whiff of that high, high octane. He always ‘magined it was what the goddess herselfs pussy smelt like. Wonder where that Cheri was at? The gas took him in its embrace, sending his greasy, dirty disintegratin’ sponge o’ a brain into a technicolor field trip where he didn’t need no permission slip and the teacher didn’t give no fuck ’bout what he did so long as he got back on the bus at the end o’ the day. So he rode that petroleum wolfsnake hard and gay through the lazer beam trees of the mystic woods o’ candy heaven.
He passed the bag to Chip. Plopped hisself down on the milk crate he called his throne and while his mind detonated in a gasohol fueled mushroom cloud o’ bliss, he took a spoonful o’ hot beans. They was perfect.
As perfect as was the night. It’s black velvet embrace bringing peace and serenity to the waifs and buggerers that called this little piece of the world home.
Life was sweet–
In Hobo Junction.
She stood on the bridge, gazing out the forward viewport. Stars streamed by, and she thought just how so miraculous and awe-inspiring it was that each one was a twinkling wonder where the worlds existed, and all endless possibilities, and so much promise–
“Captain Toboggan!” The nasal cry shaking her out of her reverie.
“What is it, Ramjack?” She said, turning to face the source of the voice, a round-headed, beady-eyed pale wonder of a man(?).
“We’re getting some strange readings on the scan-o-scope!” Ramjack wheezed.
“It’s probably just that patchouli you’ve painted yourself with,” she said, waving her hand in front of her nose, “I thought I ordered you to take a bath.”
“I did, Captain,” he snotted, “and this isn’t patchouli. It’s Tellaxian Mondo-musk.”
“That doesn’t make it stink any less. If anything that makes it even more repulsive.” Toboggan said, hating to be reminded of her ex-husband, a spineless, hairless slug of a Tellaxian used flivver salesman, “regardless, give me some specifics on those scan-o-scope readings.”
“It looks as though we have entered an easy-going field of lazy waves.”
A gasp came from across the bridge, and a shrill voice said, “Oh man! We’re so jacked!”
Captain Toboggan threw a fierce look back at it, “I don’t need that kind of attitude from you, Lieutenant, and what the hell is wrong with your face?”
Two embarrassed eyes beaded out from an inflated, neon pink splotched head that if you didn’t know better you’d guess was some kind of candied carnival sideshow snack, “It’s a space rash.”
“Great Christ, where have you been rubbing your freaking cheeks?” The Captain exclaimed, knuckling her temples.
“I fell asleep on the beach on Glaffos-12,” he said, scratching his forehead with a fork.
“Didn’t you see Doctor Rick about a lotion or a balm or a freaking lazer salve? C’mon, man.”
“I didn’t have time yet.”
“Well, step lively then. AND STOP SCRATCHING!”
The lieutenant jumped to and hustled out into the conveyance tube. The Captain plopped down in her chair, let out a big sigh, “Computer.”
“Oi, Cappum. Woz kin I du fur yuuuuuu?” The digital voice said sounding like an effeminate version of the official spokesman for the Uncanny Valley Peat Moss and Cabbage Roll Industry Association.
The Captain rubbed her face like it was a long-vacant magic lamp, “I am still waiting for an answer on WHO REPROGRAMMED YOUR GODDAMN VOICE PROTOCOLS! Also, anything on these lazy waves.”
“Whan nere’s no new infuuumashun on ew gon-a dun dat,” the computer gleeped, “an dem wazy raves ees whoa hog mustereerious oindeed.”
“Dem’s be moist moistereenius,” it bleeped.
The Captain stood up, breathing long and hard through her nose, walked slowly up to the viewport. She stared at at the cosmos. Inside, her soul started to chill. As in out. She knew it was the lazy waves, those enigmatic relaxed rays of smooth cool that just floated out in the void, smoothing and soothing. Why didn’t she follow her dreams and open that ice cream shoppe in Spokane instead of galavanting all over space and beyond. If only she could turn back time–
She spun around, seeking the source of the noise. A glowing cloud of mauve solidified into some kinda somethin’ what looked like the result of an Ikea Tjusig and a pot roast having made nasty, unprotected sex. It stepped towards Capt. Toboggan and gazed (or was it goggling?) at her and intoned (or was it wheezing?), “I am an alien species!”
“Uh huh,” she said, “so are we, if you think about it.”
It did, and majestically (or was it spasmodically) nodded its head(?), and crooned (or barfed?) on, “you have sailed your space plane into our star place. What are your intentions?”
Toboggan felt a muscle pinch in a place in her neck she usually kept reserved for her ex-mother-in-law, that Tellaxian bitch. Apparently this alien lifeform nullified the effects of the lazy waves. She straightened her spine and raised her chin and cleared her throat and in her best Space Captain voice said, ” Greetings! We are the crew of the Space Vessel Moonkicker. Come all the way across time and space. Freedom is not dumb. Justice is just as sweet. Peace and knowledge are the fuel for our fire. And it is that fire that has propelled here today! Harya!”
She stuck out her hand. The chunky cum sticky thing raised an arm(?) towards her. She took it and shook it. She tasted mauve.
“We are Wanoons,” it said, “I am Wanoo.”
“We are humans,” she said, “I am Toboggan.”
They stared at each other. For awhile. It went on. It got old.
“What happens now?” Wanoo asked.
Toboggan really felt that muscle pinch now, and that purple taste was starting to burn her tongue. Sometimes she just wanted to put a fusion blaster in her mouth and pull the trigger.
For this she went to college.
Come gather ’round, let me sing the sounds, of the robot wizard from across the sea. From the land they call Technology–
BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP! Do not rhyme in the story!
Sorry–okay then, right. Here we go. Once upon a time, there was a powerful automaton so very well-versed in the mystical powers of MAGIC! That is to say, it was programmed in the ancient and fantasical art of WARLOCKERY! It’s circuits could conjure the UNCONJURABLE! From an anagogic sandwich to enigmatic pants this prestidigitinous man-machine was a wonder of mechanics and voodoo. It calculated with the digital ju-ju–
BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP! NO RHYMING!
My apologies but this story is made for balladee-ee-e-e-e-e-eee-e-e-ers!
Now, back to the tale of robot warlock. It had gears and servos and spells and potions. It used them all to help folks out, like the little boy who had never played checkers ’cause he had Erb’s Palsy. But not any longer because that technological conjurist cast an invocation. Electro-circuitry mumbo jumbo flowing like electrons through the mists of enchanted fog like a cathode ray tube of Ephesian Letters. So this kid is all like, “King me! I’ve never felt so alive. Y’all choke on my tears of victory and joy!” And the people were in total awe of how wicked magic automated it was.
Za-lam zee-boop blip blip blooooooooooooooooooooooop. You sing this story well.
Thanks, comrade. Now, let it be known that the consecrations of this contraption flew in the face of regular knowledge. It was the occult, baby! This was dark science, skipper! Just don’t fear them, ’cause if you let these necronmanchanical shamanmachines into your heart, well, next stop was MIRACLE CITY! So what you saw was all the simple folks in their backwater jerkburgs flying in the face of their consecrated dumb-ass spiritual beliefs and getting all wet in the willies while jammin’ hard on their terminals beseeching of the robo-divininers to magicate their processors to bring them the answers to their prayers. And they worshipped them like gods! These lifeless collections of electrified alloy and sybilline thaumaturgy were the NEW REAL DEAL and with absolutely zero emotion they summoned miracles straight from the outer limits of the enchantment zone of the 21st CENTURY!
BEEPBEEPBEEP! This has my processors glowing. Literally and figuratively. They have told the tale of my mechano-people with truth and vigour.
Thanks, Old Shrouded Cyborg of Fantasms and Gizmos, it’s been my pleasure.
“You say he was what?” The cardinal said, staring into the casket at the bare-chested, cut-off jean-shorted corpse with the vile moustache.
“Eating a nachos supreme grande platter,” said the priest.
“That’s not so—”
“Oh,” said the cardinal, taking pause to examine the body’s matching denim vest, “and he wasn’t wearing a shirt when he—”
The priest nodded, “went off the bridge? No. just the vest. And the one cowboy boot.”
The cardinal looked up, “just one?”
“Apparently. The rescue team found no trace of a cowboy boot anywhere, but they did find a flip-flop a little ways down river from where he went in so—”
“Why would he be wearing a cowboy boot and a flip-flop?” The cardinal asked.
“Because,” the priest said, “he was an dummkopf with the brains of potato. He made a conscious decision to have that moustache.”
The cardinal nodded, his soul reaching out and up to heaven, to the Lord, seeking verification. But, was this man truly worthy?
“Still, the bridge was under construction, anyone might have befallen the same calamity. So he can hardly be blamed for—” the cardinal said.
“There were signs and warnings stating that it was out for miles before the canyon. And the barricades that had closed the road proper were hardly trivial. You would have to choose to avoid them.”
“Hmm. Yes. I see.”
“And let’s not forget his apartment.”
The cardinal raised his eyebrows, “apartment?”
“The one he burnt down. Trying to make popcorn. On a barbecue. In the bathroom.”
The cardinal stared at the priest. Then at the body. Then back at the priest, “who barbecues in the bathroom?”
The priest shrugged and indicated the deadman, “the question really is who cooks anything anyhow in the bathroom?”
“God only knows.”
The cardinal regarded the priest, and again let his soul lift itself up to query their benevolent father. Silence. Stone cold silence.
“I don’t believe even he does, actually.”
The priest nodded, and picked up the corpse’s arm. He indicated a patch of dark splotchiness, and said, “see here.”
The cardinal looked closer.
“A tattoo?” He asked, “is that a phantom or worms or—”
“Read the inscription over it.”
The cardinal peered harder. The writing was, as far as he had experienced, the worst penmanship he had ever seen, reading not quite plainly: I LOV BURGY SO MUCK!
“It’s a hamburger,” the priest said, “he did it himself.”
“How do you know?”
“He signed it. By Jimbo,” he said pointing at a tangle of chicken scratch beneath it.
“Exactly,” said the priest, “and we could go on like this all day. His pets. His teeth. Don’t get me started on his work history. But needless to say, I think you see why I called you here.”
The cardinal nodded. He looked long and hard at the man in the casket. He finally broke from his reverie and looked at the priest. Gazing deeply into his eyes, he said, “I’ll talk with the pontiff directly. We’ll have him canonized by next week.”
The priest closed his eyes, took a satisfied breath, and kissed the cardinals ring, “thank you, your eminence, finally the idiots have one to call their own.”
The cardinal patted Jimbo of the cheek, “The Lord knows they need him.”