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Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Happy-Go-Lucky Story of Angst and Tribulation (story #77)

Well, campers, I’m feeling pretty good tonight!  So it’s time to write a happy-go-lucky story.  None of this heavy crap I usually write full of angst and tribulations and…  Oh, wait, I usually write goofy stuff.  Hmm.  Okay, well, why don’t we just compromise and write a happy-go-lucky story of angst and tribulation?  Sounds like a good idea to me.

THE HAPPY-GO-LUCKY STORY OF ANGST AND TRIBULATION

Once there was a family named the Hooseburgers.  They lived in a house where everyone was all worked up about everything that happened and everything was a big deal and every little question or comment was a reason to take offense.  But, man, did all love it that way.  You know how sometimes it seems like you meet someone who just has to complain about everything?  You’d say “they aren’t happy unless they’re miserable,” right?  Well, that was the literal truth with the Hooseburgers.

One bright and happy Thursday morning, June Hooseburger was making breakfast for everyone when her daughter, Tammy Hooseburger, came downstairs.  “How did you sleep?” June asked.

“Awfully,” Tammy replied.  “I tossed and turned all night worrying about whether or not Biff Sterling is going to ask me to the dance on Friday.”

“Gee, darling, that’s swell!” June said.

“I know,” Tammy said, putting her head in her hands and weeping, “I can’t believe how lucky I am!”

Just then, Timmy Hooseburger came in playing with a yo-yo.  “Hey, sis,” he said happily, looking down at Tammy.  “What’s the matter?  Are you sad because your hair looks so terrible today?”  He grinned sincerely and ate a piece of bacon.

“Well, I never!” Tammy cried, looking up with a smile.  “You are so mean, Timmy!”

“You’re welcome,” Timmy said.

“If you eat all the bacon your father will get angry,” June said to Timmy.

“Has that ever stopped me before?” Timmy asked.

“Oh, I was just trying to encourage you,” his mother replied.

“By the way,” Timmy said, giving his mom a big hug, “you burned it today and it tastes like doo doo.”

“Aw, you say the meanest things,” she said, a sentimental tear slipping down her cheek.

Just then, Timmy and Tammy’s father, Rock Hooseburger, walked into the kitchen carrying a briefcase.  Dropping the briefcase heavily on Timmy’s feet, he shouted, “who ate all the bacon?!?”

“Timmy did!” Tammy said.  “And he made fun of my hair!”

Rock looked at Timmy with genuine affection and then punched him in the face.  “That’s my boy,” he said as Timmy fell, bleeding, to the floor.

“Well, I drank all the orange juice,” said Tammy.

“What is this, amateur hour?” Rock asked.  “I could drink all the orange juice with both hands tied behind my back.  Step up your game, little lady.  Step up your game.”  Tammy looked at him with puppy dog eyes until, finally, he cracked an egg over her head and smooshed it into her hair.

“Aw, thanks, dad,” she said, starting to cry again.  “You do still love me.”

“Of course I still love you, you badly dressed little trollop,” he said.

“Oh, Rock, you do spoil them,” June said.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.

“Are you expecting company?” Rock asked June.

“Are you saying you think I’m having an affair?” June asked, dropping her cooking on the floor and knocking Timmy unconscious.

“How could you say such a thing?” Rock asked.  “Sometimes I wonder if this marriage is worth saving.”

“Thanks, sweetie,” June said, blowing her nose on Rock’s sleeve.  “It means a lot to hear you say that.”

Walking away from her without a backward glance, Rock went to the front door and opened it.  Standing there in a rather loud Hawaiian shirt was a pleasant-looking man with gray hair and a beard.  “Howdy!” the man said.  “Name’s Clack Dagget!  Just moved in next door and thought I’d stroll on over and say hey to the new neighbors.”

Rock reached out and shook Clack’s hand warmly.  “You have bad breath and an ugly shirt,” he said cheerfully.

Clack retracted his hand from the shake and looked at Rock with a confused squint.  “How’s that?” he said.

“Your shirt,” Rock said again, “it’s ugly.  And I am immediately worried that you want to have an affair with my wife.”  He crossed his arms and nodded at Clack, obviously very self-satisfied.

“Now, just a minute, there, chief,” Clack said, his face flushing.  “I’ve never even met your wife, and I don’t appreciate your rude comments about my clothes.”

“Swell!” Rock exclaimed.  “I think we’ll make great neighbors!”

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Clack asked.

“Thanks!” said Rock.  “Would you like to come in and meet the wife and kids?”

“No,” said Clack.  “I think I better not.”

Rock gasped.  “I have never been so offended in my life,” he said.  “You’re a good friend.”

Just then, Timmy walked up, his face smeared with blood.  “Who’s this idiot?” he asked, pointing at Clack.

“Now, see here!” Clack said, stepping forward.  “I won’t have you–  Hey!  What happened to your face, kid?”

“My dad punched me and my mom dropped a frying pan on my face,” Timmy replied.  “Aren’t they the greatest?”

“You people are sick,” Clack said.  He turned to run away, but Timmy put out his foot and tripped him.

“Nice to have you in the neighborhood,” he said as Clack hit the ground face-first.

“Who’s the geezer?” Tammy asked, walking up behind her father and brother.

“New neighbor,” Timmy said.

“Oh,” Tammy replied.  “Do we like him?”

“Yes, I’m afraid we do,” said Rock.

“Gee, I’m sorry to hear that,” Tammy said.

Scrambling to his feet, Clack shook his fist at the Hooseburger house.  “Curse you, Hooseburgers!” he shouted and ran into the middle of the street, where he was immediately hit by a bus.

Rock and Timmy went inside and called 911 while June and Tammy cried and congratulated each other on an eventful morning.  When the ambulance arrived and the paramedics asked Clack what had happened, he just kept repeating, “Hooseburger!  Hooseburger!”  They had no idea what he was talking about, but they stopped and bought him a hamburger on the way to the hospital, just to make sure he was happy.  When they gave it to him, they said “Whose burger?  YOUR burger!”

Man, they thought it was funny.

THE END

Yep, happy-go-lucky.  That’s me.  Still feeling pretty good, just a little confused as to what I just wrote…

See you next week,

the SotWC

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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

The Story of the Guy and the Thing (story #76)

Well, it’s an early week at work, so I opted not to write last night, but instead here at the crack of dawn.  Yes, dawn is currently cracking and I’m already at work.  And writing a story.  Trust me, it’s fine.  I am only here to babysit the studio while some other company shoots here.  So, it’s not like I’m neglecting work.  If I wasn’t writing, I’d just be watching movies.  Which is what I plan to do as soon as I finish writing the story.  So, if the story seems a bit hurried this week, it is only because I am operating on less than 3 hours of sleep and it’s way too early to be up and I would really love to just turn on a movie and turn off my brain, and it’s not that I don’t love you all it’s just that I haven’t even had any coffee yet (but I just heard the timer go off, huzzah!), and NO I did not have a baby recently, and YES I do ruin people’s singalongs, and MAYBE I throw inside jokes into the story of the week from time to time, sometimes even in the introduction.

Smooches to Mark and Amy.  And Cindy.  Steve just gets a hearty handshake.  And that only if he ever reads the stories.  Which he probably doesn’t.  Freakin’ French Horn players, man, I tell ya.

Once again, apologies if the story seems hurried or a bit shorter than usual, but – let’s be honest – I am such a skillful writer you probably won’t even notice.

THE STORY OF THE GUY AND THE THING

"Art of the Guy and the Thing (Behind a Cat.)" by Libby Barringer

Once there was this guy and he had this thing which did stuff.  Mostly it did good stuff, but one day the thing did stuff that wasn’t so good and the guy had to do something about it.  So he did some stuff and met some people and learned some things and had a character arc and it was all very exciting and action-packed and even though there were quite a few trials and tribulations there in the middle, circumstances were turned around through ironic and unexpected use of the knowledge that the guy learned on his harrowing journey.  On top of all that the Thing (which may or may not have been an anthropomorphized inanimate object) was, in the end, very adorable and learned how to be good to people again, and everyone held hands and the guy got the girl (who was way hot, let me tell you) and all was right with the world.  Man, it was awesome and you totally would have cried if you were there.

THE END

See?  What a thrilling roller coaster ride of emotions.  You would never believe how quickly I wrote that story, that’s how skillfully I write stuff with the writing and the skill.  Thanks for reading, dear sweet understanding people.

Do I at least get points for using the word “anthropomorphized” at the crack of dawn?  🙂

Love and skiddlypoops,

the SotWC

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

Much Ado About Stitch (story #75)

Man oh man, I just can’t do anything on time these days.  Well, good morning and sorry for the delay.  Gotta make it quick again this week because I need to go to work, but since I fell asleep early last night I do owe the faithful a story this morning.

What if Shakespeare wrote Disney movie novelizations?  It’s a burning question I think we’ve all asked at one time or another.  Or maybe not at all.  But it’s a question that I intend to provide one possible answer for.  Right now.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: if you haven’t seen the movie “Lilo & Stitch,” what follows is pretty much one gigantic spoiler, provided that you can even understand my ham-fisted attempts at writing like Shakespeare.]

MUCH ADO ABOUT STITCH

Two scientists, both alike in scientificness, doth be sent upon an errand from outer space to shores of Hawaii, where we lay our scene.  One shall we call Jumba, the other Pleakley.  Jumba hath wrought a creature so magnificent in evil, so fine in torturous jest, that he hath been driven from alien society in shame, the pursuit of which hath much overjoyed the imprisoned Jumba, much vexed the mild Pleakley.

Whereupon we discover young Lilo, most merry and wet with characteristic swimming, she hath returned from providing a prognosticating fish with peanut butter, much to the distress of her hula instructor.  More distress shall be felt from the rude and guileless ginger child who shall doth receive a punch on the nose from fair Lilo in return for many a cruel jest.  Trouble doth circle Lilo’s head like a murder of crows, and her elder sister finds her out of sorts, out of a fair time.

And, to this, we add the errand’s quest, one Experiment 626.  Big of eyes and blue of fur, he doth sport four arms in place of the masses’ two, and spines, oh the spines.  Having run afoul of a semi truck, doth he perish?  Doth he grind to the ground and remain nought but a leftover greasy emblem from space unfound and ignored?  Nay, but he doth survive and verily doth he wind up at the pound, making a shell of himself bearing arms but two and spines are there none.

Presently doth Lilo and her much vexed older sister, whom shall we address “Nani” to, entertain a visitor in the shape of one “Cobra Bubbles” by name.  Shall this worker social be forced upon the path of splitting up the family? Time will tell, but now our story doth return to the pound where Experiment 626 doth lay in wait, longing for escape and some mischief to perpetrate.

"Lilo, wanting all of a dog, may, as it happens, go to and likewise happen upon Experiment 626" Art by Maria Gullickson

Lilo, wanting all of a dog, may, as it happens, go to and likewise happen upon Experiment 626, deciding in her virtue to claim one being blue of fur and frightening to behold, one whom she shall deem worthy to be called “Stitch.”  Stitch shall he be when Jumba and Pleakley do happen upon the scene and many hijinks do ensue.

Amidst these hijinks doth a man come, tall and proud and not a little clumsy in his amorous pursuit of the elder sister in our tale.  And to this do we add Lilo’s love of the venerable Elvis Presley, and the soup is prepared.  May you sup with vigor and drink deep of the meat of the story herein, being that which is a tale of Lilo and Stitch.

“Stupid-head,” quoth Nani to Cobra Bubbles.

“Ohana means family.” So saith Lilo.

“I shall hide me in the countenance of an ugly woman,” doth Pleakley, at one turn, say unto Jumba.

“Bad dog,” quoth Lilo, and often, to Stitch.

“Grr,” saith Stitch, upon destroying many an object and emotion in the house of Nani and Lilo.

“He lost his family,” doth Lilo tell Stitch, much in the manner of a storyteller, about the fabled Ugly Duckling.

Stitch doth feel emotion and much reject his evil programming but, alas and alack, doth be discovered as no dog, but the wondrous and terrible alien experiment he is fated to live as.

Jumba and Pleakley doth exact much damage and most vexingly threaten the life of Lilo, who hath much rejected Stitch upon the discovery of his experimental status.  But, forsooth, Stitch doth, for love of Lilo, return, saving all that is dear, always excepting the house which be mightily destroyed in the carnage of battle.

“Stupid-head,” quoth Stitch to Jumba.

All aliens do gather then, both terrestrial and extra, and all shall be revealed when, as hands may join in friendship, none are enemy and all shall be called friend.  The house may be restored to dignity, the family may be restored to wholeness, and you may be returned to whatever task it please God you do.

“Ohana means family,” repeateth Stitch.  “I found my family,” may he continue, “it’s small and broken, but still good.  Yeah.  Still good.”

And the audience doth shed many a tear and speak falsely that they have something in their eye.  We know the truth, they surely cry.

For never was a story in emotion more rich, than this of Lilo and her Stitch.

THE END

I hope that my attempts at Shakespearean English haven’t offended any of the English majors out there.  And that Disney doesn’t hunt me down and sue me or anything.  Just expressing my love of this film and my love of Shakespeare all at once.  It’s a literary potpourri, I tell ya.

See you next week,

the SotWC

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2010 in Science Fiction

 

The Story of the Car Thieves and the Bear (story #74)

Well, here I am, running late again.  This is what happens when I don’t get enough sleep and fall asleep in front of the computer on Tuesday night when I planned to be writing a story.  If it’s any consolation, dear readers, I had really weird dreams all night (no, I didn’t stay sitting in front of the computer all night; that would have made my dreams even odder, I’m sure.  But I did manage to crawl to bed.), and the dreams may affect the story.  Which is why I wanted to try and write real quick before going to work.  In fact, I am going to start by paraphrasing the events of the dream and see if it turns into a story with some embellishment.  We’re all about experimentation here at the club.  Let’s see how I do with this…

THE STORY OF THE CAR THIEVES AND THE BEAR

Art by Deron Decesare

Okay, so, it was really weird, right?  One second I was sitting in a parking lot outside the Tastee-Freeze and, the next thing I knew, I was in a car with my friends Park and Maul.  We were driving somewhere and all I could see were oddly shaped buildings.  We were in my car, but Park was driving.  I was just looking out the window and remarking on the skyline.  Then, without warning, we were at the end of a long, thin pier.  I didn’t know how we had gotten out to the water’s edge without anyone noticing, but there we were.  So, Park starts backing up the car and then suddenly were weren’t in the car anymore, we were just walking backwards on the pier.

It probably should have occurred to me much earlier that this was all a dream.

When we got back to solid ground, we found a bunch of boxes that were probably someone’s home, except that they were filled with nice clothes and CDs.  Park decided to take some of the CDs since no one was around, and I’m pretty sure that’s when all the trouble started.

Next thing I know, we’re in some sort of restaurant, but in the back by an alley or something.  My head is down on the table and I realize I’ve been sleeping.  But my phone is ringing and I recognize the ring.  It’s my friend, Severn and she has woken me from my dream.  I laugh it off, walk up the back stairs to a window looking out over the water (wasn’t the water part of my dream?) and tell her that she woke me up by calling, and that hearing her ring became part of my dream for a minute before waking me up.

Suddenly there are other people in the stairs.  They are all looking out the window with me, but they are not my friends.  I tell Severn that we will meet her somewhere soon, but I feel like it is getting late.  I walk down the stairs and see my brother, Timmy, changing out of work clothes and getting ready to leave.  He tells me it is only five o’clock or so, but it is already getting dark outside.  He instructs me to tell Severn that we will meet her “at that place.”  I don’t know what he’s talking about, but she is suddenly not on the phone anymore and I just have to hope she knows where to go.

I thought I woke up, I think to myself.  I thought I told Severn the dream was over.  But the dream isn’t over.  Park still has the CDs.  And someone is coming looking for them.  Someone or something.

Upon leaving the back of the restaurant, I found myself in a warehouse.  Big and bright (hadn’t it just been nighttime?) and somehow I have a baseball bat in my hands.  I walk outside and find myself at an old, run-down gas station.  There are men there to greet me.  Do I know them?

They laugh and start walking with me towards my car.  But one of them has a baseball bat as well.  He teases like he is going to hit me and I suddenly know he is not teasing.  I deflect his bat with my own and spin around, grabbing his arm.  I feel strong.  I am strong.  I wrench the bat from his hands.  He dodges away from me as I swing and strike a gasoline pump.  I have two weapons now, and they have none.  They flee.

I decide to check the oil in my car and place both baseball bats on the hood.  When I have finished and close the hood, I see two young men in yellow shirts taking the bats from the hood of my car.  I look and see more men in yellow shirts sitting in my car.  One of the men with a bat says to the man in the driver’s seat, “you like this one?” and he nods.  I am then informed that they will be taking my car.  Thank you, they say.  We’re grateful, they say.  But I tell them they cannot take the car.  They keep smiling.  But they do not exit the vehicle.

It is broad daylight.  There are people everywhere at the gas station.  But these men are taking my car.  They have put a sticker indicating their “ownership” of the car on the front of it and I tear the sticker.  They are not happy.  But I am not happy either.  Nothing makes sense.  I thought the dream was over, but nothing makes sense.  So I look to my right and that is when I see the bear.

Yep, there is a bear right next to me.  Did he come for the CDs?  That would be silly.  What would a bear do with CDs?  And where are Park and Maul and Timmy and Severn?  they’re not here.  Just the car thieves and the bear.

The bear moves forward, but he’s not after me.  And he’s not after the CDs.  He is my friend, and he is there to stop the car thieves.  They are slowly backing the car out of the gas station when the bear steps in towers over them.  They look up and see the bear for the first time.  Their terror is complete.  They offer to give the car back.  I say nothing.  They finally try to exit the vehicle.  The bear closes the doors on them.  He growls. They scream.  He walks onto the car and the men simply disappear.  With a wave of his paw, the bear has eliminated one problem.

But something is still looking for the CDs Park found.

What if it finds me?  What if I don’t know where the CDs are?  The bear turns to me and I feel a condoling spirit within him.  He is here to help, and he will not leave me in this place.

I wake up again.

What happened?  I already can’t remember.  There is a teddy bear in my bed and I hug him without knowing why.  I get up and look around the room.  There is a stack of CDs and I think, those are my CDs.  They were my CDs all along.  I don’t know what I mean by this thought, but I am suddenly uneasy about those CDs.  I wonder why, and inexplicably answer myself, “well, I’m just at that place.”

At that place?  What does that mean?  It makes me think of something, but…  And then my phone starts ringing.  I think I recognize that ring.

I am still deciding whether or not to answer it.

THE END

Yeah, that was weird.  Okay, so starting with a dream as a jumping off point makes for a strange story.  Lesson learned.  Hopefully someone out there enjoys it anyway.  Either way, I gotta go to work.  🙂

See you next week,

the SotWC

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2010 in Uncategorized