|The Story||The Authors|
|Roger gave a peek over the edge. The bottom was lost in darkness.
He looked across the gaping yaw. Too far to jump. Picking up a rock
he threw it over the side. A wait. A longer wait. A teeny splash
like the echo of a goose farting on its way to Florida. Roger slumped
against the chamber wall. "This sucks." he grumbled to himself. He
was hungry, he wanted a shower and a shave, he was carrying a loaded
weapon much against his more pacifistic nature and now this.|
"AAAAAAAARRRRRGGGHHH!!!" He let out a cathartic scream.
Giggles arose from below him.
|THEN HE WOKE UP. WHAT WAS THE MEANING OF THE DREAM? HE HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON AND SHRUGGED IT OFF. TAKING A QUICK GLANCE AT THE TIME, HE REALIZED HE ONLY HAD 7 MINUTES UNTIL THE SCHOOL BELL RANG. OH SHIT!!! THIS TIME HE WOULD BE IN SOME REAL TROUBLE FOR BEING LATE -- ONCE AGAIN. BARELY HAVING TIME TO GET DRESSED, HE RIPPED OUTTA THERE AND WAS PEELING TIRES OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY. HE KNEW HE SHOULDN'T HAVE GONE OUT THE NIGHT BEFORE. AND WHO COULD BLAME HIM FOR PARTYING HARD AFTER THE STRESS HE WAS UNDER. KELLY WAS PREGNANT AGAIN. THIS TIME, SHE DIDN'T WANT AN ABORTION. SHE WANTED ROGER TO SUPPORT THE BABY. "WHAT WAS I THINKIN' GOD! I'M STUPID," HE KEPT SAYING TO HIMSELF. DEEP IN THOUGHT ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL: I'M BARELY 18 AND I HAVE TO FACE FATHERHOOD? HEH--GIMME A BREAK. I WANNA LIVE LIFE. KNEW I SHOULDA LEFT HER NAGGING ASS LAST MARKING PERIOD... HE STILL HAD A REEKING ALCOHOL SMELL LINGERING AROUND HIM. WHAT WAS THE DEAL WITH THE KEG PARTIES IN HIS HOMETOWN? HE WONDERED. NOT ENOUGH ALCOHOL AND TOO MUCH MUSIC. WELL HE HAD ANOTHER PARTY TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN EXACTLY 3 DAYS. YEP, YEP, THE VALENTINE'S BASH. HE WAS THINKING, "THIS YEAR'S GOING TO BE DIFFERENT. OUT W/THE OLD AND IN W/THE NEW." HE WAS ALREADY PLANNING ON GETTING DENA'S NUMBER FROM ONE OF HIS FRIENDS. SHE WAS A SLEAZE ANYWAY, OR SO THEY SAID. HE JUST WANTED TO HIT IT AND MOVE ON.|
....Said the placard that Thing One and Thing Two held up before his
This was your life
But now that's done
You have a quest
You have a gun
Here's the gorge
That you must cross
So off your ass!
GET OFF! GET OFF!!
Roger moaned. "It's a dead end. There's no way over and it's too deep to go down." Things One and Two roundly cuffed him.
Don't whine to us
Your Blarney, kid it's
Quite well known
That Arne did it.
You've got a pistol
Find the initial
And once again Thing One and Two scampered back into the shadows.
|Roger assessed the situation with a cool eye, he'd have to use his brains to get outta this mess. Like a gunslinger of the old west, he whipped his rumpled fedora from a pocket in his khakis and placed it on his head. He could almost hear the familiar music urging him on as he grabbed his whip from where it hung on his belt and let it crack. The sound echoed about the cavern and Roger Weaver became Indiana Jones. Before him gaped the firey chasm, but far on the other side he could see a ledge leading to an opening in the rock, another tunnel. He had to somehow get across. DUM DA DUM DUM, DUM DA DA, Roger threw back his arm and let the whip fly. DUM DA DUM DA, DUM DA DUM DUM DUM, it gripped and coiled like a snake around a stalatite. DUM DA DUM DUM, he leapt fearlessly into the abyss and swung like Tarzan across the chasm. DUM DUM DA DA, CRACK... Indiana became Roger again and began to helplessly fall towards the churning, burbling lava below.|
|Luckilly, the whip was still in a state of high excitement, and so clung fiercly on to a nearby overhanging ledge. Phew, thought Roger, now dangling by only a thin cord over a seething mass of molten death, that was lucky.|
|As Roger dangled over the seemingly bottomless chasm, wondering how in the hell he was going to get to the other side after foolishly mimicking a Hollywood movie hero, he noticed that carved 6 feet high on the chasm wall were the initials A.S. It was the clue he had been looking for. Roger saw a ledge jutting out from the wall just below the carved initials. He decided to make a try for it.|
Clinging with white knuckled fear Roger began to gingerly rock. He
knew he could make the ledge if he got enough momentum going.|
"Rock a bye Roger over the chasm
you're gonna make it
so don't have a spasm...
he sang softly to himself. He could feel his left shoe slipping off. He scrunched his toes to keep it on as best he could and increased his arc.Two more swings. One. Two. now!
He thought back to issue #23 of The Amazing Captain Prunejuice!
Dr. Carcinogen had the entire city so paralysed with constipation
that not a single bowel movement had been taken in weeks. Captain
Prunejuice, trapped by the evil Dr. Carcinogen in a hyperbolic suspension
of undigestible red meat and chewing gum, was helpless in the face
of worldwide intestinal blockage. He thrashed, he squirmed, he conjured
infinities of psyllium husks and super-bran from his prune-juice-utility-belt,
all to no avail. And then what had he done? Remember how the auspicious
arrival of Zoloft Girl had provided him with the distraction he needed,
she fighting off Dr. Carcinogen's tumoroid goon-squads with a barrage
of positive, happy thoughts, leaving him free to summon the most
powerful cleansing action the world had ever known, flushing out
the clogged bowels of millions of suffering citizens with the fast-acting
power of super-prune-juice! and washing the nefarious Dr.
Carcinogen and his legion of toxic colons in a gushing flood that
kept the sewers overflowing for a month... |
No, thought Roger, I guess that won't help me here. I'll guess I'll just have to jump.
He took a deep breath, gauged the angle of his trajectory, closed his eyes, and leapt for dear life. And the next thing he knew he was standing on the ledge, looking up at the initials carved into the rock, and the arrow beneath them, pointing him onwards, into the dark maw of the cave which disappeared behind the ledge into the otherwise sheer and unbroken rock face.
"Who's that stompin''round my backdoor?" came a creaky ancient voice
from within the opening. "um..Just me."replied Roger hastily checking
the safety on the gun. "I'm...uh...just passing through."|
"The hell you say!" came back the voice this time a lot closer to the opening. Roger began to tremble in a manner that would do Barney Fife proud. A shriveled snoot and a pair of coal black eyes peered around the corner at him. "You're not welcome here",it snarled, "So piss off."
|"On second thought, come on in."|
"But but but I the arrow Arnie I have to," he sputtered.
"You don't have t'do a gawd-damn thang, Suh, seein's how y'all is truspassin' awn mah prah-puh-tee," replied the voice with a sniff, sniff, sniff. Roger felt warm, damp animal breath snuffling along his ankles, but could see nothing. "Why, Suh, ah do believe ah've smelled yaw smell befo-ah, though ah cannot, as yet, place just way-yuh that maht have been." He felt what seemed to be tusks pressing into the brittle leather of his shoes as the unseen thing began to sniff at him in earnest.
"Yes Suh, yoah puhsonnal stench befahls mah nostrils with a uncanny
sense of deja vu, as the Frenchman called it, and as its olfah-ca-to-ry
essence works its way into the mnemonic banks of mah cranium, ah
feel shoah ah shall be able to place just whay-uh it is ah know you
froam..." Snuff snuff, sniffle sniffle. |
Roger stood stock still, frozen. "I, er, highly doubt that, Sir, you must be mistaking me for someone else, because I'm sure I would never forget a person er, boar, that is of your unforgettably particular characteristics and obvious caliber, if I may be so bold. You see, I've been following these clues..."
"Ah seem to recawl somethun regawding a gee-raff, somewhay-yuh in the distant reaches of mah memory..." drawled the boar, thoughtfully...
"No, I don't think we've ever met." Roger stammered. |
"Aah, snuff, snuff , Ah knows yuh from somewhay-yuh, snuff, snuff. "
Roger could feel the beast's hot breath and tusks moving up his leg. "I'm sure you're thinking of someone else." Roger's voice cracked.
"Ah got it! Y'all is that rat bastard what shot me dead and stuffed my head to hang in yo lady friend's apartment!"
"Naw negat-o-ree awn that one, since ah kin hawdly be hangen awn
the wahl lahk sum common trophy an be heah at the same tahm. Therefoah,
ah am fawssed to con-cuh-lude that you, Suh, are none other than
that two-bit, thieving vawmint who tricked me with false rectitude
and a most unChristian Nawk-nawk joke somewhey-yuh back in the wil-duh-ness.
Leaving me no recawss but to repay you in a lahk manner. Therefoah,
Suh, I ask you: 'Nawk, nawk!'" |
"Who's there," replied Jake, unsure...
"Lookahht," drawled the boar, very obviously relishing the game. |
"Lookout who?" said Roger, now very starting to feel bad about things...
"Lookaht you, Suh, because ah declay-ah, it's Butt-Whuppin' Tahm!" With which pronouncement the boar was upon him.
The sprinkling sound of fairy-dust announced the manifestation of
Things One and Two: |
We warned you once
and produced seltzer bottles from up their sleeves and commenced spraying Jake with seltzer in between the seismic head-butts and tuskings of the enraged boar.
But it wasn't really Jake they were attacking, his story was long
over with. It was Roger. Roger soon lost his balance and tumbled
off the ledge into the seemingly bottomless chasm. "What did I ever
do to deserve this?" Roger called as he fell. He fell for a very
long time and he was sure that he was good as dead. He looked down
and he could see the chasm floor speeding towards him. He squeezed
his eyes shut against his impending doom but then he stopped falling.
Jake opened his eyes, wondering if he had expired and knew that
he hadn't when he saw Pope John Paul Georgeandringo II in his disembodied
head form. |
"Roger," the Pope said in his best booming voice. "You fucked up!"
Inside the disembodied Pope-head machine, perched nimbled atop the driver's seat, the Cat in the Hat paused for a moment to chuckle to himself. The chiding bits always were his favorite part. He pushed the button marked Stern, Threatening Voice (Variant B) and began to speak into the microphone:
"Roger Weaver! Look around you. What do you see?"
Roger looked around himself. "Shipwrecks," he said. "Junk." He looked around more. "Skeletons in dime-store pirate costumes." He strained his eyes. "The Yellow Submarine. A jockstrap, pee-yoo! Words scribbled on a page, lets' see: 'Cheer up sleepy Jean oh what can it mean to a daydream believer and a homecoming queen...' Kinda catchy. And what's this? A photograph of Marsha Brady." He looked back at the Pope. "Then this can only be "
"Correctamente," said the suit. "Davey Jones' locker."
"Nooooooooooooooooooooo!" howled Roger. "I wanna go hooooooooooooooooome!"
"Then you must first finish what you have started out. You pathetic, blubbering candy-ass. Unless, of course, you'd like to stay here. It's clammy, dark, full of all the blind albino cave-fish you'd ever care to subsist on,a nd there are absolutely no women! Not even mermaids. So. Whatta you say, Rog?"
|"What do I say?" screamed Roger. "What do I say? This!" and in a moment of temporary insanity, he pulled the revolver from its holster and began to shoot at the bobbing pope-head. He had exceptionally bad aim today and his shots ricocheted off the cave walls and missed the Cat in the Hat completly. The pope-head vanished into the stale air, leaving nothing but an echoing cackle behind. The sound of the gun shots reverberated, however, shaking the air waves and then the ground. Rocks and other debris began to fall all around Roger, bouncing on the slimey floor of the chasm like hail stones. The ground began to tear open and hot lava crawled out. Roger began to run|
|towards it, wishing to become one with the fiery body|
when thus far you have coasted
it's selfish, mean and callow
not to mention pointless
So you shall not get roasted
like any old marshmallow
And with that Thing One and Thing Two swooped down wearing little jetpacks and whisked Roger back up the chasm to the relative safety of the ledge above, Roger's left shoe fell off on the way up and with a sizzling plop was immediately burnt up by the molten rock. It smelled horrid.
|Luckilly, at this moment the bubbling lava engulfed Rogers left leg. He was relieved, as now his lack of shoe would pass unnoticed in good company.|
and then they were back in the cave. Things One and Two tossed him
unceremoniously the to the hard stone floor, barking his already
bruised shins on a sharp outcropping of basalt. |
We've warned you thrice,
"You people are nuts," groaned Roger from the cave floor.
We are but figments
"No!" howled Roger, beating his head against the irridescently veined
rock wall of the cavern. "No metaphysics! No flighty ethereal hoo-hah!
I want facts, damnit! F-A-C-T-S!" |
You need but find
"Speak English, for fuck's sake!"
See yonder wall
...from the deeper, shadowed recesses of the cave there came a
great porcine wailing, notable for the pronounced Southern drawl
of its sobs... The Things continued... |
You hurt his feelings!
That's all that impedes!
That's all that impedes!
|"Ah, Christ on a shishkabob skewer," muttered Roger.|
You hurt his feelings! Bruised his pride!
He might as well be crucified!
You've crushed him with your cruelty!
Think how you'd feel if you were he!
"Ah sweah, y'all made me feel lahk I'd up an dahd! Waaaa oh boo hoo hoo hoo hoo," wailed Mr. Boar from his corner.
Roger (aside; impersonating Hamlet): "I did not think that one could
Roger was just about to offer the boar his most humble and heartfelt
apologies when a sudden realization struck him lightening on a golf
"Why should I apologize to you? You're the one who knocked me off that ledge. I could have been killed!"
"I'm a sensitive soul, though I seem thick skinned!" wailed the boar.
"You've hurt his feelings, for shame for shame!
Can't you even feel his pain?" started the things.
"Alright, I've had enough of you two! I will not apologize. It's a matter of principle." Roger folded his arms and turned his back on the pathetic Mr. Boar and the incredibly annoying Things 1 and 2.
that is no lie
But it was you
first hurt his pride
Your Knock Knock joke
was the cause of all
from bruised ego
to nasty fall
So Kiss! Make up!
desist your grievin'
by the Pope's red nose
you're even steven
tit for tat
and Quid Pro Quo
one and one
and blow for blow
you're matched insults
have cancelled each
Now Kiss! Make Up!
Is what we preach!
sagged as he knew that Thing One & Two were essentially right. He
turned to face his nemesis. They looked balefully at one another
for a moment, neither really wanting to concede the point. Until
finally Old Boar gave a little snort and a sniffle and began
"Now," continued the Boar (pronounced in his native regions as 'Boa')
"Allow me to instigate the commem'ration of this heah truce ahem
between, if ah may be so bold as to draw the metaphoah this heah
treaty between, let us intimate, the Hatfields an' the M'Caws with
a dram or three from mah own prah-vit stock of Knob Creek bouhbon,
as onleh gentlemen such as ouse'ves may know an tru-leh appreciate
the distinctive vuh-chewse theah-of..." |
"Did you say bourbon, Mr. Boar?" gasped Roger.
"Whah, ah think we all have found a common lang-wage heah," chuckled the Boar, eyeing the Things for concurrence...
"A tipple would do us no harm!
By this, you can plainly see:
By this, you can plainly see:
"Whal, ah guess thet jest abat sums it up, baws! A toast, then to
fellership an' commun'tay!"
...High above the foregoing, though, floating in his giant Pope-Head,
it was too bad that the Cat in the Hat was so absorbed in setting
up his new PlayStation as to relax his moral and behavioral vigilance
over the goings-on down below had he kept track of them, before
the bourbon began to flow so freely, several tragedies later that
day may have been averted...
High up in the top of the luminescent miter, the Cat in the literal
Hat assisted the impossibly buxom Lara Croft in solving puzzles,
shooting menacing animals and shimmying along crevices completely
unaware that the Mr. Boar had just just poured the last drop of Bourbon
into Thing Two's cup and was preparing to crack open another bottle.|
"This heah was made from an old famluh recipe, passed down from genuh-ration tuh genuh-ration." said Mr. Boar as he removed the cork.
never been the types to mooch,
"Okay, so this brunette, she's standing on some train tracks," said Roger, "And she's jumping from rail to rail, saying over and over again, 'Twenty-one, twenty-one, twenty-one.' So then this blonde walks up, sees her and decides to join her. The blonde also starts jumping from rail to rail, saying 'Twenty-one, twenty-one, twenty-one.' She looks at the brunette and says, 'Oh, I get it, fun!'
Suddenly, the brunette hears a train whistle, and she jumps off the tracks just as the blonde is splattered all over the place. The brunette goes back to jumping from rail to rail, counting, 'Twenty-two, twenty-two, twenty-two.' "
"Oh ah ha ha ha hoooeeeeeeeeee," spattered Boar, slopping bourbon
down his dishevelled front. "Ah do declayah, ah ain't heard humah
of so sophomoric a variety since mah days at LSU! Put 'er theah,
boy no, not yoah hand, son, yoah glass!"
"Our rhyming faculties have drowned
With which pronouncement they fell to the floor of the cave convulsed
with hysterical tee-hee-hee giggles.
|And as everyone knows, laughter is contagious and soon Roger and Boar were laughing convulsively and spilling their bourbon. The more they all laughed the louder they got and the sound echoed up into the cavern, soundwaves bouncing off the walls and ceiling until an enormous stalagtite vibrated loose. The Cat in the Hat's concentration was broken causing Lara Croft to fall into a lava pit and die which infuriated the tall furry one. He opened the miter window and stuck his head out to see what all the ruckus was about. But he would never find out. At that moment the giant stalagtite struck the giant pope head and brought it crashing to the ground in a great pile of shattered limestone and twisted metal.|
|The metal tho twisted was still attached to an amazing vehicle that could power thru the limestone debris. So Roger and Boar clambered up thru the limestone to see if they could get into the cockpit of the vehicle and drive out of the cavern. They were met with great difficulty trying to dig thru the limestone with bare fingers that were quickly torn and bleeding. Haggard and feeling defeated, they finally found a hatch and were able to release the pressurized door.|
Sparks flew from the impossible-looking innnards of control panels
rent in pieces as if by an earthquake. Red Alert lights blinked in
monotonous tandem with the miter's piercing, interminable warning
signal "Danger! Danger! Will Robinson!" which made it impossible
to ascertain whether or not the Giant Pope-Head's cras had left any
survivors until they rounded what had formerly been a corner, entered
the splintered remains of the bridge, and heard the first groans
emitted, seemingly, from somewhere behind the heaped debris of the
Navigator's station. Still woozy and stumbling with bourbon, Roger
and the Boar crept forward. |
"Whadya shink itsh ish?" mused Roger.
"I shweah, not in awl mah yeahsh ash a shentlemen an' a Shouverner hash ah evah..."
but the sight that greeted them otherside of the Navigator's station cut him off mid-shentenshe. For there, wound about and bruised by a jumble of wires and framing, bleeding from a plethora of minor flesh wounds, lay the broken form of The Cat in the Hat...
Don't just stand there|
like a bunch of goons
Help me Up!
Bind my Wounds!
I've had a crash
(It was a doozy)
I'm losing blood
I'm feeling woozy
I need aid!
I need succor
so quick about
"Wah, bless the grey Confed'ret blood in mah soul, if it ain't the
Cat in th' Hat! Mehcy me, son, bihnd his wounds, ah say, an' be quick
abaht it, while ah see to the health o' his soul!" And so saying,
while Roger tore strips of cloth from his shirt and staunched the
bloodflow coming from the Cat's sundry wounds, Boar withdrew from
his pocket a pint of the finest, 97 proof, aged 18 years in barrels
of charred oak, private stock special reserve Kentucky bourbon whiskey
and held it to the Cat's bruised and bloodied lips. Of this the Cat
made short work, emitting a resounding belch after swallowing the
last dregs of the bottle, standing from the wreckage around him,
dusting himself off, and exclaiming: |
But for your aid
"Gee thats nice," said Roger. "Now coould you help me get out of this
cave and destroy the evil remote control?"
"Sure," said the cat in the hat,|
"YOu saved my life
So now I'll help
you; with no strife
I will now yelp:
Just climb that cliff
And fight the lion
And someone's fingers
Will be prying
To break the 'mote
Set Janice free
And save the world
and you and me.
Just be careful
Where you step.
A few grey stones
Spray lots of pep-
Per, make you sneeze,
And lose control.
Then down the cliff
Your head will roll!"