Thursday, June 28, 2007

Instructed Ladyhunting 3; Moving in for the Kill

Part Two

While Danielle sprinted into the kitchen to hide, I leaned back in the squeaky booth and put my feet up on the opposite bench. I was doing exceedingly well, considering the gaping holes in TSB's instruction set. It looked like decisions regarding when to show her my underwear and whether to ask her for her telephone or social security number, or to--uh oh. She's back.

"Here's your milk, sir," Danielle said as she set a glass of the whitest, milkiest milk I'd ever seen down on the table in front of me. I peered into the glass with one eye. I noted a bubble.

"Please. Call me FooDaddy. It's my pseudonym," I rumbled coyly, and pointed into the milk. "Bubble."

"Does it look okay?" Danielle asked.

"Oh, it looks just fine. I was just surprised to see one of them in there all by itself. Usually there's a whole bunch of them along the edge of--ooh, it's gone now."

"No, I mean the milk itself. Is it, uh, satisfactory?"

"Oh, it's top notch, baby," I said.

The two of us looked at the glass of milk, condensed water soaking into the napkin, and then back at eachother.

"Heh heh!" I said strategically.

"Are you ready to order?" she countered.

"Would you like to see my underwear?" I suggested, scooting closer to the edge of the booth. Danielle narrowed her eyes.

"Come again?"

"Of course I will," I reassured her. Women and their abandonment issues. It's kind of sweet, actually, if you think about it. They just want to know that you'll be there for them. It made me feel so manly, I grunted and flexed my biceps.

"God. No, I mean I didn't hear you. Or at least I don't think I heard you right. I thought you asked me if I wanted to see your underwear."

"They have SpongeBobs on them," I said, putting my biceps away.

"Do you need a few minutes to look over the menu?" she asked, dropping back into Waitress Mode. That was okay. I had been bombarding this woman with my raw animal appeal at point-blank range, and there is only so much the mind can take. I giggled sexily.

"If you would, Gabrielle," I said, and opened the menu.

"Danielle," she gently corrected, and flipped the menu right-side-up for me. Her proximity allowed me a whiff of her perfume (maple syrup) and a closer look at her teeth. They were very clean. I became nervous and vibratey.

What would The Stupid Blogger do in this situation? I couldn't remember his advice going into detail about what to do with the womens once you'd reeled one of them in this close. My powerful mind carefully scanned the information at high speed, and came up with nothing. I widened the search to include all of his other posts, and ran the scan again. I got a hit.

"Wombats are funny!" I said.

"That's true," Danielle agreed. "But we don't serve them here, I'm afraid."

She either had a good sense of humor, or she was almost criminally stupid. I let my gaze de-focus and my head droop as I revved up the ol' brain again. Of course they don't serve wombats here. Why would a wombat come into Bob Evans to begin with? I was pretty sure that they weren't native to West Michigan, and even if they were, I doubted they would be welcome in restaurants. I toyed briefly with the idea of seeing-eye wombats, before deciding that she had meant to inform me that they did not serve any wombat-based dishes. I looked back at the menu. No wombats! Danielle was right. I laughed.

"Oh! I get it! Har!" I said, and looked up at Danielle. She was gone. "Probably went to ask the cook if he wouldn't mind making something not on the menu," I mumbled into my milk. I decided that I wouldn't ask for anything exotic or illegal, and chose a manly stack of pancakes. When Danielle returned, I nibbled seductively on a corner of the menu and placed my order.

"I'll have the Belgian pancakes, hold the fairy sauce," I said, and emitted a belly laugh sure to impress.

"Are you hitting on me?" Danielle asked, hand on cocked hip.

"Why, yes I am," I said. Then, more sheepishly, "Is it working?"

"You're certainly the most interesting person I've seen in here since I started," she considered, "and I really like your painted jacket. Classy."

"It's semi-gloss!" I said happily, and rustled my crunchy jacket. "Do you have a telephone number I can have? Or should I get your fingerprints, or what? I'm kind of new at this."

"First, I'd better get you a refill on that milk," she said, and picked up my empty glass.

As she walked away, I slouched down into the booth and had myself a crafty little snortle. If this woman planned to resist my charms, it was NOT going to be her night for victory!

"Heh heh," I said. be continued!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Succumbing at last to the Call of the Stupid

Seems wrong, really.
No, I'm not talking about the fact that I left out a subject in the above sentence.
Hemingway did it. Often. And. He blew his brains. Out.
But, I digress.
I wrote quite brilliantly at one point about my upcoming triumphal return to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
At the time it seemed like a faraway, distant dream.
Well, my stupid friends, that time has nearly come.
I am to board a jet plane (or, to use the parlance of this golb--haha! spelled it backwards--aeroplane) on Thursday morning.
So, I am sounding my Stupid Trumpet to all those within earshot.
I will be hosting enough drinks at One Trick Pony to make most of Fulton Street stupid on Friday night (I think).
Foo, if you must, I will purchase for you an Sarsparilla. Stupid, if Wifey will not allow you the drink of a real man, I will put froot punch in your sippy cup. ( wow! that was a LOT more insulting than I thought it would be at first )
Anyways, please respond if you would like to join me for a Cretins Conference. It would be a pleasure to see you!
The internationally famous Pickle Weasel

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Ice Cream Man

“Scarfson, you’re a no-good bum. A loafer. You’ve got talent in that area, I’ll grant you, but it’s not what I pay ya for.” The boss shifted in his seat, an enterprising move, considering his massive bulk, and twisted his upper lip in a sneer. The effort caused chins numbers 5-9 to wobble terribly. “How much did ya bring in today?”

Scarfson reached into the pockets of his overalls and pulled out two handfuls of assorted monies. Change, mostly, but a few dollar bills. He leaned forward and dropped the entire amount on the boss’s desk.

“I counted it,” he said. “Seven dollars. And fifty-three cents.”

“That’s it?” The boss started to lift himself to his globular feet, but quickly decided against it. He rubbed his unshaven face with a hand the size of a Frisbee. “What’s your problem, Scarfson? When I first hired you, you were pulling in thirty bucks a day, easy. And that was years ago! Losin’ your touch?”

The man’s tone was needling and his toothless grin was mocking. The gaping maw caused Scarfson’s stomach to turn. In fact, everything about The Boss made Scarfson nauseated. The Boss noticed.

“I disgust you, don’t I, Scarfson?”

“No, sir. I…”

“You’re a damn liar, but I don’t blame ya. You’re mine, Scarfson. Nobody else would hire an old fella like you. An old guy with no experience at anything, except sellin’ ice cream every day, dealing with a bunch of grubby little bastards with caramel stuck in their hair and chocolate plastered around their mouths. I hate kids.”

Scarfson said nothing, although he thought that The Boss’s description of the kids would be just as apt if applied to The Boss himself. Especially the bastard part.

The Boss swiveled in his chair and opened a floor freezer that resided just behind him. Reaching inside, he pulled out a handful of Chocolate Crunch ice cream bars and unceremoniously ripped one open. Within moments, the wooden stick was bare. The Boss closed his eyes and an expression of rapture crossed his face. It took a long time. At last, the expression had completed the trip and The Boss reached for another ice cream.

“Well, there’s no easy way to tell you this, Scarfson. But if you don’t start producin’ revenue, I’m gonna have to let you go. I can’t have slackers on my team. For all I know, you’re not even going out on the route, just parkin’ around the corner and eatin’ up all my profits!”

Scarfson knew for a fact that The Adipose Ice Cream Company hadn’t made a profit in twenty years. The Boss lived at the garage and lived on the products. By the time the trucks were maintained and the drivers paid, there wasn’t anything left over. Not that the pay was good. It was common practice among company employees to dip into the stock on the trucks as compensation for their low wages.

Looking down at his own reasonable waistline, Scarfson knew he was the lucky one. He didn’t like eating ice cream. It was cold and slimy. He didn’t like selling ice cream, either. He didn’t like driving the truck or dealing with grubby children. And he certainly didn’t like working for The Boss. Most of all, however, Scarfson hated…The Song. He had listened to the same song for thirty years. Eight hours a day. For thirty years.

“Mumph?” The Boss was enjoyed yet another frozen confection.
“I want a different song.”

The revelation caused a sudden, but expected, response from The Boss. “What! A different song? ‘Popeye the Sailor Man’ is a classic! It’s a money-maker!”


“Think how little ya would’ve made had you been playin’ somethin’ different,” The Boss pointed out. “No, the song stays.”

“I can’t take it,” Scarfson insisted, surprising even himself with his forceful tone. “Today I almost hit a small child with a Dilly Bar. On the head.” A small tear slipped from the corner of one eye and he turned away to hide the fact.

“We ain’t changin’ the song.” The Boss was unyielding. “It’s a proven bidness model.” He turned back to the freezer, retrieved several more treats, and gave Scarfson a dismissive gesture. “Scarf, Scramson. You’re just tired. A good night’s sleep will fix ya right up.”

Scarfson went home, but didn’t go to sleep. He couldn’t sleep, because The Song was running through his head, as it did every night. The hours eased by and with every tick of the clock, Scarfson hummed another note from the dreaded song. Da dada da da da da. Da dada da da da da. Da dada da da da daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

At last, Scarfson managed to drift into a fitful sleep, his frenetic dreams populated by an extremely obese Popeye, who defeated his enemies by beating them with ice cream sandwiches. He awoke to the insistent beeping of his alarm clock, covered in cold seat and breathing heavily.

It was only through the force of habit that he was able to drag himself from bed and complete his morning hygiene regimen. He left the house with plenty of time to spare and arrived at work ten minutes early, his usual practice.

Scarfson was not himself, but was operating on sheer routine. Walk to the truck, unlock the back, stock the freezer, start the truck, drive onto the street, turn on the song…. Turn on the song. Turn. On. The. Song.

He didn’t want to do it, but slowly, inexorably, Scarfson felt his hand travel toward the switch that would release the insidious tune. He watched the hand move as if he were a casual observer, as if that traitorous appendage belonged to another, much crueler, person. The index finger flexed, recoiled, then reached out again and slowly flipped the switch:
“Da dada da da da da…”

A small child approached the side of the truck, a few coins clutched in his grubby, outstretched hand. Scarfson saw him coming. And loathed him. The boy was by the open side window, now, and pointing at an item on the menu.

“’ant that,” he said. “Gimme.”

Scarfson took the proffered money and dropped it into the cashbox. “Thanks, kid,” he said, and drove slowly away.

The child watched him drive off, an astonished expression on his face, and then began screaming with rage and disappointment. Scarfson had just enough time to see the boy’s mother come running from the house, before he drove leisurely around the corner and out of sight.

By noon, Scarfson had perpetrated this crime on nearly a dozen children, all with the same results. The payment, the get-away, the tears, the running parent. A few of the robbed even tried running Scarfson down, but he craftily maintained a speed just fast enough to stay out of their reach.

“I’d like an orange push-up, sir.”

There was a man standing by the truck. Scarfson nodded, accepted the money, and dropped it into the box. He was just about to drive away, when the man suddenly reached up and Scarfson felt something metallic hit his wrists. There was a rapid clicking sound and, looking down, Scarfson saw he been handcuffed. The customer reached into his pocket and withdrew a wallet. Flipping it open, he brandished a gleaming badge.

“The name’s Officer Hargroves,” he said. “You’re under arrest.”

* * *

A rough hand pushed him in the back and Scarfson stumbled forward into his cell. He stood there looking around as the door slammed shut behind him. At last, he dropped onto the empty bunk and leaned against the cinderblock wall. The cell wasn’t much to look at, of course, but at least he was away from The Song.

A large, muscled man looked up from where he was lying on the opposing bunk and grinned at him. “Welcome to Cell #9,” he said. “Glad to finally have company.” He extended a hand to Scarfson, who took it with more than a little trepidation. The man was huge, not like The Boss, but strong and sinewy.

As they shook hands, Scarfson noticed a myriad of tattoos on the man’s arms. One piece of artwork jumped out at him. The man noticed and followed his gaze.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “That’s my tattoo of Popeye. Quite a guy, was old Pop. Aye, he was. A hero of mine, in fact."


“Oh, yeah,” the man said. “I’ve seen all the cartoons and read the comic books. I used to love the song about him. Sang it all the time, in fact. Couldn’t go to sleep at night without singing it at least once. Only problem is, I’ve been in here so long that I’ve forgotten how it goes. I’ve tried to remember, but I can’t. It’s been driving me crazy for years."

A familiar tune began wafting through Scarfson’s head. He wasn’t sure if he was singing it aloud or not. It didn’t matter. He couldn’t stop. “Da dada da da da da…”

The man jumped up from his bunk, an expression of child-like excitement on his face. “That’s it!” he said. “That’s exactly it! It’s all coming back to me!” He crossed the cell in a single step and grabbed Scarfson in a colossal hug. “Now I can sing it all I want!” he said, bursting into song. “I’m Popeye the Sailor Man…”

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

User-Affected Moronics 2; Retarded Rampage?

Thanks, time-wasters, for your input! Before I continue, I would like to get your opinion on one other thing: did I wait too long between the last Affected Moronics post and this one? Did you lose interest, or become disheartened when it seemed that I would never continue the story? Was it like there was this big, empty chasm in your soul? Did the cold, mournful wind howling over the gaping maw of that chasm slowly drive you mad until at last you decided that filling it with something--anything!--would beat the feeling of abject loneliness and pointlessness, so you took up drugs and became a toddler-smacking mustard fiend?

Or was the interval just about right?

If you recall the first installment, I offered four plot branch choices, thoughtfully numbered with letters. Branch B got the most votes, followed by Branch C with adamant support from TSB. So I've decided to try to work in both of them. Using two Branch Choices may become standard practice, because it causes me to work harder, and will be a lot of fun if I offer choices that differ from eachother in extreme ways. For example, if choices A and C get chosen, and A involves someone dying, and choice C involves the same person becoming Lord of the Nitwits on a small island...well, you get the idea.

The Road to Doom

The vendor's placating smile dissolved and fell from his face with a spangle, leaving his visage cloudy and forsooth.

"Lad, 'tis a fine choice you've made, but a dangerous one!" the man said, wringing his pantaloons in consternation.

Ernald swelled his chestplates and drew himself up to his fullest of heights. He drew in a deepish breath and expelled it in a hefty declaration:

"Sir! You know not to whometh you speaks! I am Ernald Spankholm, spawn of a wealthy and valiant man! Your rebuttal to cooperate promptly in this transmission has forced me to become rampagey!" Ernald then drew his dagger and waved it in the atmosphere in a deaf manner.

"Oh, now please, young master," pleaded the chicken vendor, his face a mask of perpetuality. "I was only attaching to warn you of the perils you would be investing upon yourself!"

The man's words never reached Ernald's earbones, as he was possessed of a particulate and ventriloquist rage. He stomped about greatly, and booted chickens left, right and Southward. He swore! He codpieced! He gnawed upon the cart's wheelspokes. At last, when he had evaporated his rage, he stood amidst the scattered feathers, chestplates heaving, and glavored at the vendor.

"Willst thou replant thy refusal to sell me yon purple cockerel now?" Ernald asked in a calmish manner, twirling his dagger extrapolatedly and re-putting it back into its scrabhold. The vendor looked back at him with a goatish expression and abjected his eyes.

"I never said that I wouldst not," he muttered through gripped teeth. He looked up at Ernald, an expression of latitude warping his visage. "It will cost you double, now that you've rampaged my livelihood all to cylinders, though."

Ernald started with a start, and glazed around at the tantamount his rampage had left. He agreed to the terms.

"I agree to your terms," he said, and opened his pouchel of moneycoins. "How many gumbies for the cockerel and assimilated damagings?"

"Fourteen gumbies and three halfpence," the vendor said, accepting the gold, "and you must be mightily careful with the animal, for it is of a magical decomposition!" Having spake his piece, he gained the summit of his mule, struck the beast a blow to the rump with his ampersand, honked a blast on his crumpet, and was away in a cloud of dust and indigenous floatings.

"I like corn," said a squeaky voice.

Ernald's face compacted with confusion as he viewed around.

"Down here. Your latest acquisition?" came the voice again.

Ernald's face positively disappeared with combustion as he narrowed his eyeballs and served the purple cockerel with a slippery look.

"You have the facilities of speech!" he said, amassed.

"'Tis true," admitted the cockerel. "I am called Bill the Purple, but you may call me Billward for short. You now have the power of a marginally retarded sorcerer. Congratulations!"

Ernald squinted down on his knees and looked Billward in the eyesocket. "Is this true?" he asked pendulously.

"Aye," said Billward. "Stretch out your arm and say, in a loud, clear voice, the word blastflamy!"

Ernald did as the cockerel instructed, and a small pile of leaves in front of him began to smolder.

"That's not very impressive," he muttered.

Billward frowned beakily. "You need training. You have a long way to go before you reach the exalted title of 'marginal.' We start tonight!"

Whee! I worked the branches in. Gold stars for me. Now for the next set:

a.) Ernald and Billward split up after Ernald, still driven by hunger, attempts to cook Billward with his new fire powers. Ernald vows to learn the secrets of sorcery by himself, and takes classes to that end.

b.) Billward mentions that there is an evil wizard who lives atop the highest peak of the Mighty Mountains, and he and Ernald vow to de-throne him and capture his stash of evil microwave popcorn.

c.) Ernald and Billward are captured by a roving band of chuckling pirates, and are taken aboard their ship, where they sail all over tarnation, plotting to escape. Ernald does not like the pirates' food.

d.) Ernald, displaying his marginal sorcerer powers, becomes Lord of the Nitwits on a small island.

Choose wisely, time-wasters, as the state of this story depends on your decisions!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Instructed Ladyhunting 2; Ladies Located, Cap'n.

Part One

As you'll recall from my last Ladyhunting post, I had outfitted myself with a powerful battery of lady-attracting items and odors. Weapons check complete, I revved up the StudWagon (1996 Oldsmobile station wagon) and pointed its ridiculous hood ornament toward Bob Evans restaurant. My Foodar indicated an unusually high concentration of womens in that direction, and I was ready for them.

I adjusted my bowtie, smirked into the rearview mirror, and tromped the gas pedal with vigor.

I arrived at Bob Evans, oozing pomp and sagacity from every studly pore, tossed the keys to a man I assumed was a parking valet, and within seconds I was short one 1996 Oldsmobile.

As it turns out, the Foodar was in dire need of a re-calibration. I think the derisive giggling of the waitresses hurt the most.

Undaunted, I proclaimed into the West Michigan twilight: "That's okay! I have more of them back at home. That one was low on gas, and people of my caliber do not refill gas tanks. We just switch cars!" Having explained myself, I strode confidently to the doors and gave them a shove.

Oh no. Unforseen troubles! The tastefully varnished wooden doors to the foodstuffs retailer had been unceremoniously locked! The FooDaddy has had a barrier to the womens placed between him and they! Choking back panic, I pushed harder, but to no avail. The giggling waitresses again sounded their malevolent cackle, which rolled over me like the cold, fish-scented water of the Great Lake Michigan. There was figurative sand in my figurative bathing suit now, and my WD-40 was being taxed as a sweat broke upon my finely chiseled brow. I stepped back to issue another proclamation.

"The doors to this establishment will not stand! Enter I shall, and when I do, there will be nothing to stand against my sexy onslaught!"

I threw my body at the sturdy oak, and bounced off. After a spastic regrouping, I again hurled myself at the doors, this time with a defiant hoot. I hit the walk a second later. Through the red haze of my rage, I saw a restaurant employee approaching the doors from the inside. He pushed them open.

"Are you alright?" he asked, concern rustling through his eyebrows. "You have to pull these doors from the outside," he said, pointing to the little placard in the window that said "PULL."

I sat there on the cement and searched my memory of TSB's post for advice on how to deal with this situation. I came up with nothing. I made a mental note to point out this glaring deficiency the next time I saw him. I had to improvise.

"Liar," I said, regaining my feet and pride. I grimaced and pointed an accusatory finger at the man. We stood like that, silent, as the seconds spun out.

"Soooo... table for one?" he asked, unflappable. I dropped the finger and gave the fellow a nod. He had earned my respect. "You've earned my respect," I said. "Yes. A table for one. Could you make it a booth, though? I plan on becoming 'lucky,' as the expression is." I winked broadly, which is something only a few really skilled men can do. Implying breadth by briefly closing one eye requires a mastery of sexitude not possessed by the masses. I followed him into the restaurant.

"Danielle will be with you shortly," he said, and withdrew. I looked around the room. TSB had instructed the luck-seeker to pick out a woman to concentrate one's efforts on, but here he had failed me again: there was not a single valid female specimen within eyeballshot.

"Hi! I'm Danielle. I'll be taking care of you tonight. Is there anything I can start you out with? A--"

"Ha!" I said, leaping to my feet. Or rather, I tried to leap to my feet. Being seated at a booth, I made it halfway before my knees crashed into the underside of the table, tossing the salt and pepper shakers into the seat opposite me. I turned a seductive shade of mauve and casually dropped back onto the bench.

"No coffee for you, I guess!" said Danielle with a smile so Bob Evansy it was like I really was there, Down on the Farm.

"Womens," I muttered. "Eureka."

"I'm sorry?"

"Don't be, baby," I said with measured suavity and appropriate loudness. My mind scrambled for situation-specific TSB instructions.

I downshifted into a lower vocal register. "There's a footrub in it for you if you bring me the tallest glass of milk you have."


"Or perhaps you would like to view my boxer shorts? They have SpongeBobs on them," I growled, and winked again, this time with the other eye.

"Is that spray paint on your jacket?"

"Sears house brand, baby."

"I'll, uh... I'll go get your milk." be continued!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Small Pointy Weasel Creature

If you type the word "sable" into, the first definition defines it as "an old-world weasel-like mammal..."

As much as I wish that had something to do with my activities today, sadly, it does not. I wouldn't mind having my own herd of sables. But because they are "old-world," I'm going to assume that means they're all dead.

This is sad.

Now that I've gotten your hopes up and then dashed them, I will bring them back up again. I have done (no) research and cranked up the devilish pixel engine of Adobe origin to create an approximate sable. I used my cat Sprocket as a foundation. I believe cats are also mammals, and if the Jurassic Park guys can use frogs to make dinosaurs, I can use cats to make sables.

The result speaks for itself. It's no wonder these animals were prized for their furs. Look at 'em! Wouldn't you, as an upstanding 17th century woman, simply have to have a stole with that face on the end of it? Men of the same era would kill to have a hat with a sable head poking coyly over the brim.
Which is probably why the poor little guys ended up all old-world.

Let's all have a moment of silence for the sables. Done? Done.

Back in 1874, the shipping magnates of Michigan got together and decided that a place called
Petite Pointe Au Sable needed a lighthouse. After they'd built it, they de-Frenched the shore, and Petite Pointe Au Sable became Little Sable Point. This pleased many people because it was shorter, and made a little more sense given our language's subject/predicate arrangement.

"What's that mean?" one Yank would ask another.
"Little Point of Sable," the second Yank would answer.
"You been drinkin' the booze!" the first would rejoin.

In order to waste money, the people in charge painted the lighthouse on the shores of Small Pointy Weasel red, then white, and then blasted the whole mess off. This kept people employed, and the Michigan economy boomed. The lighthouse tower has worn nothing but its bare bricks for the last 30 years, which is why Michigan's economy has gone the way of the sable.

You can tour the weaselhouse now. A couple of elderly gents politely usher you into the tower, explain the use of the spiral staircase ("Careful! It's twisty!") and let you loaf around on the observation deck for pretty much as long as you want.

Not a bad time for two bucks admission. I'm thinking about setting up my office up there, as soon as they bring in WiFi.