Friday, July 8, 2016

Intermezzo: For All Seasons

It was only one million years since the end of the world, so Joe Eawest figured he had about nine hundred and ninety nine million more left to go before he would see humans again. He was right, of course. In recent millenniums, he had taken up farming and smoking tobacco. He couldn't die from it, but he still wrote this song.

A cigarette is a friend
for the rain
that it leaves you out in
just you and him
sharing the pain

A cigarette is a friend
for the snow
where nobody goes
but you and him
but you and your cig

A cigarette is a fiend for all seasons
It's seen in all seasons with you
Without you oh what would it do?
The fiend for all seasons will give so many reasons!

A cigarette is a friend
for the falling leaves
of tobacco
burnt to ash
like your lungs
oh so black

A cigarette is a friend
for the sunny days
it drives away
all your friends
it taints your breath
you smell of death
and so it's just you and him...

A cigarette is a fiend for all seasons (...)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Intermezzo: Here We Are At Lunch!

     Bob sat at the lunch table, staring intently at his rectangular piece of MUHS cheese pizza, marveling at its mediocrity.  The table itself also impressed him with its fake wood grain formica finish and chemical smell.   He passed a sheet of paper across the table to Erik, who was sipping a small carton of chocolate milk.  Erik read the paper and smiled only slightly, an eyebrow raising in reflection and inspiration.  He picked up his pen and began to write excitedly.
     Up walked Jeremy Smith and Matt Moriarty.

     "Hey Bob, Hey Erik," said Moriarty, sitting next to Erik, while Smith sat next to Bob, "we're going to watch videos tonight at my house.  I think I'll rent some Monty Python, and maybe that new Wes Craven movie.  Wanna come over?"

     Erik finished writing his sentences and passed the paper back to Bob.

     "I have to finish something for French class but yeah," replied Erik.

     Bob was watching the butt of some hoodlum's girlfriend who was sporting a brand new Jon Bon Jovi t-shirt like every other hood that had gone to Hara Arena the night before to see Bon Jovi.  He finished his lascivious gaze and chimed in:

     "I'll be there too.  We should get Night Breed, definitely.  It is a surreal masterpiece.  Kinda like this pizza!"  He took a bite and smiled, reading Erik's sentences and chuckling.

Jeremy Smith had turned his pizza into a puppet and was putting on a show for the rest of the group as Mr. Lendenski strolled by.   The stout principal was unimpressed by the puppetry and told Jeremy to please eat his food and not play with it.

Suddenly, the Universe ended.  Bob was bummed because he didn't get to write another sentence.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Dumpster Crackers

It was two hours after Joe misspoke to his bathrobe-sporting psycho-Dad, and Joe's head felt like the inside of an Afghani pinball machine.  He rolled over on the floor of the foyer, groaning.  Sitting up, he held his forehead and opened his eyes, squinting at the soft white globe of light coming from the porch light.  Joe looked at his watch.  He got to his knees, his whole skull pounding like a sledgehammer on an anvil, and knee-walked the five yards to the phone table next to the coat tree to call his father's closest associate at the CIA (that he knew of), John Smith.

    "Mr. Smith, please......John? Yeah, it's Joe.  Joe Eawest?  It's my Dad....yeah....yes, he'd done something, I just woke up, he--I know, he knocked me out, John.  Look, I don't know what he's done or even where he is at this point, but could you--could you come down here?  Or send someone?  I can't handle this by myself again....okay.  Fine.  See you then."  He hung up.
Joe got up and walked to the refrigerator and got a bag of frozen peas from the freezer.   He grabbed a glass of water and the bottle of Ibuprofen from the cabinet and walked upstairs.

     Meanwhile, a block away, in the parking lot of the long ago closed down "Sal's Mini-Mart", smoke was still smoldering in what was left of a green metal dumpster.  The boarded up mini-mart was pocked with bullet holes, its faded sign splintered and barely discernible.  Police had already cordoned off the area with two different colors of tape, and crime scene forensic analysts were combing over what appeared to be remnants of some second-grade illegal fireworks and some beer cans.  A stodgy man in horn rimmed brow-line frames photographed the dumpster, which turned out to be full of blood and bits of bone, the bodies from which they came mysteriously not there anymore. 

     Detective Mathers, a tall, mean looking ogre of a man with a crew cut and a jagged scar on his neck, was discussing the incident with the only witness, a teenage boy with a skateboard. 

     "So the shots came from where?" the detective droned, writing everything down on a legal pad.  The teen detailed what he remembered, how he'd been watching the fireworks from across the street in the small playground on the corner.  He used to hide out in the staircase to the big slide, which was covered and a good place to spark a jay or drink illicitly acquired beer with his buddies.  He explained that the after the first shot, the small crowd of delinquents at Sal's had scattered, all save the one that caught the first round in his thigh.  The second shot caught one fleeing kid square in the back of the head and it had 'exploded like a water balloon'.  Mathers scribbled as the punk described the shooter, and how he'd finished off the two pyros by tossing them in the dumpster and chucking a grenade in after them, then trotting off the way he'd come.  The dumpster went off like a torpedo had hit it, sending a spray of brains blood and body parts hundreds of feet into the air and who knows where.

     "Okay kid, I think that's enough.  What's your name again?"

     "Bartholomew Norse, sir," Bart said, hoping he wouldn't have to give the cop any important information.

     "Alright, Bartholomew, head over there to that young lady by the cruiser and give her your info, and we'll probably be contacting you again for more information.  Thanks for your help."   Detective Mathers turned and surveyed the scene again.  He shook his head, muttering one word under his breath.


     Bart Norse had no intention of talking to that nice lady over by the cruiser and he stealthily slipped around the side of Sal's and into the back alley and then skittered silently down it like a rat and into the night.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Cloud Cuckoo Land

It is early enough in the clouds for the members of Kraftpark to still be briefly disconnected from their bodies, and late enough for them to have started, which is to say, it could be any time at all.

"I really don't have anybody to talk to here with so few people," Ralf grumbled as he sipped on a margarita. He'd certainly tried - he'd even gotten the bouncer to grunt once before shrugging. "What good is life without action -" he thought - "even if you have a tiny democracy climbing up your mortality?"

"Yeah, I'm kind of the opposite," Florian answered. He really hoped he sounded non-conflicting. "I wanna work some things out here with myself, but I'm the most alone in a crowd, you know what I mean? So... yeah."

"If I get twenty more population, then I can shift all my forelegs into ruby points... Argh! these drugs are interfering with my drugs!" thought Klaus at nobody in particular. He had no particular interest in personal growth, or in his surroundings, not even now. Now, growing his oxhousehemper bulbs on the other hand... with the amethyst counter... Argh! Dammit! Not again!

With that settled, the three resettled, in a lack of a flash, to the Café Cuculia - a  Viennese Café for all time. It was their lucky moment, since right now, for one century only, Cuculia was staging Aristophanes' The Birds once per day, on the minute.

Ralf, Klaus, and Florian lost interest in the play after a few minutes (Klaus: "I mean, what the fuck IS a hoopoe bird anyway?") and wandered inward or off to their own pursuits. Klaus' are uninteresting to us, as we don't play Rise of Rock City, so let us turn to his bandmates.

Ralf rattled around like an electron seeking a suitable energy state, and quickly encountered a near-tableful of fossilized scholars.

"The rays - properly speaking - are not colored," argued Isaac Newton.

"No argument here, Herr Newton! And I thank you for teaching me this concept! One might even go so far as to also say that objects have no color."

Thomas Merton sternly and slowly contributed: "By Gaston... a daydream... is an evasion," prompting Newton to shout "Well that's a non-sequitur!" and throw the cherry tomato from his salad at Merton, who simply shrugged and continued his Bachelard party.

Ralf was now a little fluffy cloud. "Light creates the colors," he glistened. As long-time residents of the clouds, his conversation-mates were fluent in Glisten, and they all nodded in agreement. Ralf rained a tiny mist of relief.

Florian, meanwhile, also had no outward pursuits, but he was outwardly pursued, with many of the night's guests walking up to talk to him, mistaking him for a wise man. To name but one example, there was the Sad Skinhead:

"Do you think I see it right?" the skinhead asked, wrinkling his forehead.

"Well, how do you see it?" They rose from their chairs and, with an subconscious understanding, walked to the wide window overlooking the Cat House and, farther off, the Cloud Bar.

"The cloud looks [at this he gazed at a cloud in the distance and counted off on his fingers:] white, white, white, white, white, which means - white is the greatest color of them all!"

"And that makes you sad? I mean, you look sad, man. No offense."

"White's the greatest color!"

"You sound crazy! Maybe that's why you're so sad. Are you sad because you're crazy? I mean, really no offense! I thought by my age I'd finally know to not put my foot in my mouth..."

The skinhead brightened up a bit. "Thanks for caring how I feel."

"Hey, that sounded reasonable."

"I AM reasonable. I just mean that white is a summed-up color. It's every other color added up. So it's greater than any other color."

"That's... technically true, I guess, but... do you know what a skinhead is?"

The skinhead blushed. "Do you know I can't not look like this?"

"No!" Florian shouted enthusiastically. "Tell me more!"

Their conversation continued on into the nubicuculian night, as the play ended and the cafe's crew of eternal punters gathered around the flatscreen to watch some kind of reality-TV show.

Fireworks for the Shellshocked.


It was decades earlier.  Earlier than when, you may wonder?  Why, earlier than the moment when the disgusting sound of Raymond Eawest's fart would be heard through seven feet of flan by the undercover operative known by his current employer as Ralph Smith, but known by his friends and bandmates as Ralf.

     It was 1979, and it was the goddamn 4th of July.  Again.  Ray Eawest was furious.  He was THIS close to grabbing his M-1 Garrand and a couple of grenades from the closet and showing those inconsiderate sonsofbitches what real ordinance sounded like.  He knew he should be used to it.  Fact was, for years he'd been meaning to leave town on the 4th, maybe go camping in the Porcupines as far away from civilization as possible, but he procrastinated and the "holiday" always caught him off guard and he'd be sitting there at midnight on July 3rd and the idiots would start "honoring the brave soldiers who fought and died for our independence" or some bullshit like that, and there he'd go again, almost shitting the bed with reflexive horror.

     "I can't believe this!  Did I catch jungle rot and malaria, sleep in the muck, and kill dozens of crazy fucking Nips and stack 'em like cords of wood, knee deep in shit for three fucking years in the Pacific to come home and have my neighbors scare the fucking hell out of me once every goddamn year for the rest of my sorry life!?  No!  And where the hell is Joe?!"  Ray shouted, sweaty and shaking as he sat on the edge of his bed.  He started to take another sip of his rum and Coca-Cola, but just as it met his lips, another M-80 went off outside, this one very close by.   His glass immediately twitched a good three inches and sent half the drink flying onto his face and neck.  Even though he didn't even need that drink anyway, it was the last straw.  Visions of bloody faces struck by mortars, Japanese faces screaming, rushing toward him, his bayonet thrusting--

He roared.


Ray jumped up from the bed and whirled around toward the closet.  The next moments were a flurrying montage of rage.  The Bacardi and Coke shattering on the wall, his closet doors flying violently open, rummaging and boxes flying open, the sound of boxes of bullets being dumped into the pockets of his threadbare plaid bathrobe, clink-clink-clinking as they rained down on the two grenades he had already placed therein, and then he was on his way merrily down the hall and down the stairs.  His slippers silently paced toward the first floor as he slung the bolt back dramatically and loaded the Garrand, whistling the theme from Bridge Over The River Kwai.

     He got to the front door and stopped.  He breathed slowly, trying to center himself.

     "Fucking rude assholes.  I have connections.  I can make these pricks disappear!" he snapped as he turned the deadbolt.

Then a floorboard creaked right behind him, and Joe Eawest spoke to his father.

     "Aren't you forgetting something, Ray?"

Ray Eawest whirled on his son, raising the barrel up to Joe's face instantly.  His finger did not go to the trigger however.  He'd learned the hard way to make sure who you are killing before you squeeze off the round.  He gasped.

     "Joe!  What the hell--"

     "You may have better luck," Joe smirked, "if you put some pants on, and maybe your rug?"  As he said this he looked at his Dad's bald head, which usually was topped with the most annoyingly fake looking toupee.  He had underestimated his father, though, and hadn't realized how far gone Ray was into his episode, call it a flashback.  He figured it out about a half a second before the butt end of the M-1 clocked him right in the forehead, knocking him out cold.

"Good evening," his father mumbled, "and God Bless the United States of America."

Raymond Eawest went outside.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Intermezzo: The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

"Hey Bob!" shouted co-creator Erik, as they ran around in the Ideazone, dressed in Hawaiian shirts, as befits any stay in any realm whose name ends in -zone.

"Some asshole wrote a book once called the Unbearable Lightness of Being!"

"What an asshole! Fiction?"

"Yeah, fiction!"

"Shit, that shit's even worse! Fiction should be truer than true!"

"I know, right?!"


 They then both popped out of existence in the Ideazone forthwith, being tied, as if to a clichéd cross, to their quest to earn dumb credits to pay for dumb things, and were never heard of again in the Ideazone for far fucking longer than should be the case, dammit.