|The Story||The Authors|
Roger soon grew tired of walking. He wasn't even sure where the city
dump was exactly. Wasn't it floating on a barge in the harbor?
he wondered to himself. So Roger decided to hitch a ride to the
dump. He stuck his thumb out enthusiastically and the very first
auto, which happened to be a pickup truck, stopped to pick him up.
Roger climbed into the cab of the '83 Ford Ranger and thanked the
driver for stopping. |
"I'm trying to get to the city dump." Roger explained.
"Hee hee hee hee," the driver laughed an evil laugh. "We're not goin' to no dump."
"We're not?" Roger asked nervously.
"Naw, we're headin' for Death Valley, ain't we Rufus?" the man said to a person who was clearly not there and he spat a glob of tobacco juice out the window.
"No, I don't want to go to Death Valley!" Roger cried. "Just drop me here. This is fine right here. You can just stop here and let me out here." Roger pleaded.
"Naw," the man spat again. "Rufus wants some company. He wants you to come to Death Valley with us."
"Aw shit." Roger sighed and slouched back in the passenger seat.
Meanwhile, back in Old Boar's cave...
|As the recently crowned "Florence Nightingale of the Irresponsible Bourbon Drinkers' Morning-After Set," Anita had her hands full. Things One and Two were so debilitated by their hangover they were unable to rhyme (and consequently, unable to speak.) Old Boar shuffled about mumbling to himself like an Alzheimer's patient, and The Cat in the Hat (although the famous hat itself was nowhere to be seen) remained comatose upon the cold stone floor, snoring loudly, drooling in his sleep.|
|She produced her battery powered espresso maker and set about making quadruple shots for everyone. She passed cups around to the Things and Boar, which they gratefully accepted, and poured the Cat's share down his throat. Within minutes the Cat sans Hat was sitting upright. They were all still hung over, mind you, but at least now their eyes were wide open and Anita felt sure that they would at least be able to listen to what she was about to say.|
Anita cleared her throat and surveyed the most bleary-eyed, pathetic
excuses for literary anthropomorphism she had ever laid eyes on as
they sat hunkered around Boar's kitchen table, useless but for the
regular infusions of java she kept them supplied with. Ah well, she
thought. It could be worse: Roger could still be here... Ahem. She
began the little speach she'd been internally rehearsing all morning.
"Er, gentlemen... We have a serious problem on our hands. Code Red."
"I do not want to hear of this," replied the Hatless Cat
"My head is full of rocks and piss,
My eyes are full of lint and scuss;
I do not like it, Sam I was."
"Hey!" warned Anita, sharply, swatting at him with a fly-swatter. "None of your lip. Anyone else?" She brandished the flyswatter in the air before them. Boar and the Things said not a word. The Cat sulked into his espresso. "Now, here's the deal. There's this old man called Jake. He's supposedly been in a coma for the last twenty years. In reality he just refuses to wake up. The whole twenty years he's been asleep, he's been dreaming about sex —" she punctuated the word with a terrific thwack of the flyswatter on the table — "and his dreams have gotten so deperate, they've begun to infect reality! Everything's becoming oversexed. Roger's been unbearable, and my boss at work, and the construction workers turning the old tenements across the street from my apartment into overpriced condominiums for yuppies who themselves have become inextricably oversexed, and the dogs in the park, the beasts of the field, even the goddamn clouds in the goddamn sky have taken on certain too-familiar shapes recently, chasing after each other in the stratosphere... And it'll only get worse. Soon every interaction will occur in the realm of the sexual, the simple act of riding the subway from Point A to Point B will take on the dimensions and complexities of a Roman orgy... Oh, we have to stop him, can't you see? We have to wake him up! Otherwise the world as we know it is doomed! Not with a bang or a whimper, but with a resounding, multiple, mutual, premarital, final orgasm! We'll all go to Hell in unison!" With which solemn pronouncement Anita broke down sobbing. The others, sufficiently restored by the magic of coffee, did their best to comfort her.
|But it was an empty gesture. After all, they didn't really think it was such an awful fate for the world. Heck, it might be kind of fun. But Boar, being the southern gentleman and staunch upholder of proper manners that he was, knew that Anita was ultimately right. Sex in itself was not a bad thing but it had it's time and place. Discussing sex, let alone performing the act, in public would cause the breakdown of polite society and the breakdown of polite society meant the end of civilization as they knew it. Boar put his hairy, hooved foreleg about Anita's heaving shoulders and reassured her. "Naw, naw, don't you fret, Miss Anita. I aims to do ev'rything in mah powuh to help y'all stop this horrifyin' disastuh from ocurrin'." Anita gazed up at Mr. Boar with red, swollen eyes. "Thankyou, Boar." She smiled. "You are a true gentleman." The Cat Devoid of Hat and the Thing duo just shrugged and agreed to follow along.|
|"Let's stop at the Seven-Eleven for a quick Slurpee," he stuttered hurrily.|
|"No, you fool!" cried Anita. "There's no time for that." She slapped the bareheaded Cat repeatedly about his naked bean.|
|the cat cried in alarm and jumped away from anita. "meow you old bag!" anita laughed and grabbed a broom. "i'll show you who runs this house!'|
|She chased the cat through the house, laughing at the eccentric behaviour of a cat so young. When Anita tired of this she sat down in the kitchen with a coffee. She could see the cat watching her from the corner of her eye. Just sitting there staring.|
"Ma'am, suh, I beg of you to desist with this rathuh unnecessary behaviah
this momen'. This is mah home an' Ah will cannot abide by it in mah
presen' condishun. Theah ah things that need to be done an' ah suggest
we should bes' staht on ouah expedishun post haste. Now, if theah
is no objecshun, let us continyoo." |
Hyped with caffeine Thing One and Thing Two were revived enough to add
We must start
There is no doubt
The time has come
The truth is out
Jake's coma dreams
Mold our lives like putty
So move we must
Before they're naught
And so it was agreed upon that the journey would continue. The Cat's magic chapeau was located in the freezer filled with ice (some sort of fuzzily remembered hangover preparation that had seemed like a good idea at the time)and following a hearty breakfast of ham steak with red eye gravy and generous helpings of grits, they set off following the next set of initials.
At the back of Boar's cavernous livingroom (corners heaped high with
the bones of previous trespassers and other unfortunates) another
arrow, crowned with the initials A.S., pointed towards the further,
narrower reaches of the cave. |
"In mah youth, befoah the Wah of Nawthun Oppression dee-stroyed the South of mah foahfathers, ah used to spee-lunk in this heah cave with mah first love, a lovely maiden who went bah the name o' Becky Thatcher... We used to get loast in theah foah days awn end without evah reachin' the cave's nethah cawn-clusion..." He sighed nostalgically. "Since then, howevah, the sizeable, er, girth I acquired due to mah first wife's pro-pensity foah cooking almos' evuhreething in lahd has por-hibited me from resuming mah explo-rations of the cave. Thanks to the Slim-Quick diet my esteemed colleague Doctah Benway put me awn last yeah on account of mah angina, I believe I have shrunken enough foah me to be up to the task, heh heh heh..."
Anita regarded her butt in the mirror and said nothing.
Down the dark esophagus of the cave they set, then, our spelunkers five, Old Boar leading the way, his pendulous buttocks jiggling in his fine gabardine trousers, a kerosene lantern swaying in his forepaw...
Next up came the two Things, still stumbling a bit with the after-effects of the previous night's festivities, and giggling self-consciously under the matching miner's-helmets which Boar had provided them;
The Cat in the Hat followed them, needing no artifical light due to the naturally absurd radiance which emanated from his bewhiskered countenance;
And Anita brought up the rear (she didn't want anyone looking at her butt...)
Meanwhile, in the twenty-years-and-counting slumber of Jake, the Tooth
Bitch was strutting back and forth in front of a blackboard, lecturing
Jake on the anomalies of female anatomy. Mr. Tickles ran the overhead
projector, beaming genitally provactive transparencies onto a pull-down
Faint whiffs of sulphurous fumes greeted our spelunkers as the passed
into the first chamber. It was a long hallway like room about the
size and length of a fancy double wide trailer (but without the amenities.)
Our intrepid band slogged along a narrow trough down the center filled
with a good two inches of yellowish brackish water. At the far end
a narrow opening led onward and from which came the incessant gush,
drip, and gurgle of water. There was uncomfortable silence among
the quintet as they made their way. It'd been only an hour since
they'd left the relative comforts of Old Boar's den and the espresso
was beginning to work its diuritic magic upon all of them.|
Old Boar led the way. "Good Lawd!" he excalimed, "why I declah it smell lahk a Tex-ass bunkhawse aftuh a baked bean dinnah in heah!" and he hurredly doused the kerosene lamp. "Ah sutenly wish Ah had me a cuh-nary 'bout now. Now heads up y'all this nex' openin's a bit narrah. P'haps you Things shud go'head (bein' you's tha smalles')an' shine them lights to lead us on."
Bringing up the rear Anita began inwardly cursing her ancestors for bequeathing her large childbearing hips and counting up every piece of chocolate cake she should've/could've done without.
And somewhere, in a distant dream, Jake was hollering like a tree full of howler-monkeys...
The five explorers came to a bend in the tunnel. No sooner had the vanguard of Things rounded it than they returned, seemingly running for their lives and looking for all the world as if they'd just seen a ghost.
"Jesus, Redd Foxx, Joseph and Mary," they
stammered in unison
"Wah, y'all is jest a payah o' nambeh-pambehs," declared Boar with
a hearty guffaw. "It appeahs ah'll hafta be the one to envestergate
this heah distuhbance.." So saying, rolled up his sleeves and entered
the darkness of the next segment of tunnel.
Boar held his kerosene lantern aloft, and in the weak yellow light
by which it barely managed to illuminate the Stygian blackness of
the cave, they saw a skeleton curled up against an outcropping of
rock. Silver shackles still encircled its wrists and ankles, and
in the cave wall above it, underneath an arrow similar in design
to the ones they'd been following all along, were scratched the enigmatic
words, "URNS MASK ENEMAS."
By the time they realized that someone was coming, he was already
there aiming a submachine gun at their little impromptu picnic.
"See heah, suh. That's mightuh rude of ya'll to be pointin' that thar weapon at us whilst weuh's tryin tuh eat." said Old Boar.
"You're holding a great big gun, you know
Asked Thing One and Thing
"I don't like this,
Gurn, the big Swedish-looking fellow in the knit cap and the lumberjack jacket, rubbed his hands together and grinned malevolently at his posse. "Oboyoboyo, boys — I been looken forward to this for a laawng time. Remember when we chopped down those trees where the Spotted Owl sissies were haven their little Hillary Clinton hippie lesbian communist sit-in? I wasn't looken half as forward tot hat as I was to these pieces a un-American trash..."
He turned to the five. "So whatta we got here? Two retarded children, a fucken cartoon kittycat, a boar dressed like Quentin Crisp, and this—" he gestured bruskly at Anita "This tramp. This troll who wants to de-sex the world. Wants to wake the Boss from his beauty sleep. Probably has plans to outlaw beef, whiskey, football, tobacco and hunting after that..." He turned back to his band of not-so-merry men. "So whatta you think about that, gents?"
"Uh, I'm thinkin', maybe, uh, Salem, circa 1692, chief, huh?" replied
one of Gurn's goons. "When the presence of the, unh, diabolical,
uh, precludes the, um, uh, workings of the greater community, uh,
duh, the, uh, Malleus Maleficarum is brought out in a, er,
timely fashion and uh, dum de dum, witches are dealt with accordingly,
uh-huh, as heretics." |
"Good boy!" snapped a new voice. "I see you've been memorizing your catechism with that thick cinderblock you were given in place of a brain. Catch!" and a dog-biscuit (in the shape of a fish, no less) flew through the air, and was snapped up between the pearly whites of the aforementioned flunky, just as (none other than) Cardinal Richelieu stepped from the shadows...
Sharply shoving Gurn out of the way, he stood before Anita and company, fingering a barbaric-looking iron rosary with his chubby, sausagelike fingers, lips pursed in a cold hmmm, eyes brightly glacial as stars in the cloudless moonless sky of a sub-zero night...
"Well, well, well," he said. "You weren't much more effort to catch than your pathetic excuse for a 'boyfriend' (oh, the devils we pulled from the throats of the users of such obviously Satanic terminology in my day, I tell you...) Roger Weaver was only this morning, now, were you, my dear? Whoever sent word that you were a threat was, well... even more foolish than you. AT least you have that going for you, my pretties." And he laughed then at that point and it made them all very uncomfortable, that laugh did, being as it was like a black widow waltzing lazily down her web toward a trapped fly — five trapped flies, to be exact — and only Boar, who was farthest away from the Cardinal, was able to look away from the Grand Inquisitor, and mumble, if only to to his shoes, "Ah cainnot tahlahrate so perfidious a co-lection a Yankees stinken up mah cave, ah simpleh cainnot. Mah pappy neveh raised a fool, nor a coward, nor a tolaratoah of Yankees..."
But the slightest verbal transgression, yea and verily even one upon
the part of a lowly gnat, would not fail to reach the ears of Cardinal
Richelieu. "What was that, you porcine buffoon?" he hissed, stepping
forward and up against Boar (with the combined fervor of a U.S. Marine
Corps bootcamp sergeant and a stilletto slipped secretly between
two unsuspecting ribs into a less-suspecting heart or lung) — "Would
you repeat that for all the present company —" |
"Ah sayed," replied Boar, chest forward, sout fellow!, "Ah sayed ah wasn't expecting the Spayanish Inquisition..."
|you smell like poop|
There was a gasp of fear even among the hardened lowlife that comprised
Gurn's crew of nefarious ne'erdowells. Riechleu sneered the full
width of his narrow face and pinched the curl of his teensy french
"One seldom does." He leaned closer to Old Boar's ear and hissed. "No, my swinish friend, there'll be no "soft pillows or "comfy chairs for you at my little party. Take these heretics away and put them through their tasks.Except this one" indicating Anita,"I want to oversee her confession myself."
And thus it was that Boar, the once-again-hatless Cat, and Things
One and Two found themselves thrown roughly into a dank, windowless
cell, replete with rusty chains, hungry rats and weirdly phosphorescent
"It seems that we are in the shit.
...remarked the Cat, for all of them, and when the ensuingly pregnant
silenced that followed these apt musings on their predicament was
broken, it was not by any of them, but by a froggy groan emanating
from the far corner of the cell.