29: Pulling wet, wriggling desires from the depths

Cadbury: So we hear that Ted Fudd is a Fisherman.

The Detection Party had reached its mellow spot. People were seated at their tables, eating, clinking things, shuffling napkins and shuffling other more obtuse items that had been tirelessly laid out by Elfonso Coconautica and his army of maniac minions. Somewhere in between bedazzling mystique, frenetic shaking and ambulance stretchers, was a narrow window of time for gentle discussion, idle probing, and general chewing of the fat and the skinny.

At The Main Table, Ted Fudd wasn’t chewing anything. Firstly, he found the food disgusting. Secondly, he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Earlier that day he had been caught with an illegal load of fish by some undercover Deputy Marine Inspector in a dinghy, then he lost the lottery at odds of 175 million to 174.99 million, and now this. Whatever it was.

Cadbury: Is this true, Ted Fudd? That you are a fisherman?

Ted Fudd responded to every inquiry in life with a 5 second stare, hoping it would go away. He also used the time to calculate the response which, if the inquiry didn’t go away, would subsequently make it do so in the shortest time possible.

Jeb: [After about 3 seconds] Fudd! [Whisky] What’s your raging caper, man!?  [Wiping brow] Stop sweating us out!

Just as Fudd seemed about to answer Cadbury interjected.

Cadbury: Broad term that – “Fisherman” – given that “fish” can be both multi-finitive and post-participle – but really the operative point is that we are all Fishing for something. [Glances around the table] However only Ted Fudd pulls the objects of his desire, wriggling in mortal fear, from the depths of the ocean.

Fudd squinted at Cadbury as though he was having trouble seeing him. The others around the table were half listening, half staring into the half-distance and Jeb Smithikins was having stern words to a passing server.

Cadbury: Or the depths of some other body of water… the operative concept being that those desires, they are wet… and pulling wet, wriggling desires from the depths, that is the theme in operation here, and that what Ted Fudd does. And that is why Ted Fudd has joined us today. [Nodding at Fudd, as though to acknowledge his thanking him for something] Either that or there was a mix-up. I had been considering the latter to be honest, however I think I’ve got it worked out now.

Jeb: Never met a fish I liked the taste of! Like eating salty mud and bones! [He had picked up a cube of food from his plate and was inspecting it]

Grigor Xanxes, the Mathematician, had started a conversation with Genotithia LeMan about the Moth Epidemic and its impact on the stock market.

The intricate intertwining of such systems was Xanxes’ central topic, while Gent seemed more concerned about the moths.

Gent: These moths are not coming from the place from which moths normally come.

Xanxes: Cocoons are fascinating.

Gent: My pants are fascinating. As cells from which concepts explode they share many properties with cocoons. But these moths are not coming from my pants. I challenge you to think about who would benefit from all this…

Cadbury: It is time to ask a few hard questions. Each of here has some desire that was once pulled from the depths, and is still to this day wriggling, suffering, twisting for its last breath on the meat hook of your lives. I excuse you Gullet, since you are the blandest person in the world and are here purely for administrative purposes.

Gullet was diligently making notes on three portable devices.

Cadbury: Rafaella Ellison, you are clutched tighter that the manacles that Grigor uses each night with such mathematical precision. Every breath you take is sucked from the wretched gasping lungs of your clients, and stolen from the lips of those that you crush with your actions and your movements and your injunctions. Your life itself is stolen from the wombs of our mothers and you parade before us as though your taut, vice-like mannerisms are saving us from our vices. But, really, we know it’s not getting shackled, but getting released from the shackles, that turns you on. That is your fantasy.

Rafaella was staring at Cadbury wide-eyed, with some hint of a metallic tear in her left eye. Grigor Xanxes was looking under his armpit for something, Eastman Piper was smirking, Phaorette was leaning forward expectantly. Jeb was signalling a waiter.

Cadbury: So tell us, Rafaella… did Mark von Cola not properly follow your orders to give you orders, or was he just bad at math?

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Scathing Review of Existence

The reviews are in on this glam sham monsteropolis of living known as civilization,
The reviews are in like buttons on the existence bomb of time,
And I carry them into town on the rolling blue bus with a razor,
Why, I don’t know, but I figured if the reviews are in, maybe I should let some people know,
There was a guy with a moustache,
But, he doesn’t have it anymore,
I replaced it with knowledge,
The most potent, desperate, human need.
Splattered all over his face.
The reviews are in you ridiculous scum, take an interest!
I am the barber of knowledge, and I say,
Wear it on your sleeve, wear it on your skin, for fuck’s sake, get involved!
These reviews are like crushing acid, they’ll take away your breath,
But how are we going to learn you murderous, murdered, ball of person-slime?
How are you going to rise up against yourself,
Unless I paste you to the floor, with a mountain of press reports on this matter,
You don’t know what matters,
You don’t even know what language these reviews are in,
What skull-sucking media these reviews are in,
What code these reviews are encrypted in,
But it doesn’t matter because I will put the reviews in,
Put the reviews right in your brain,
Like pepper-spray for your gray matter,
These reviews of all the titanic pitter-patter of mankind,
I’m going to shove them right in your head so you understand,
The reviews are in you cowardly bitch of a thing,
Wake up and smell the ink bleeding through your skin,
I came into this town to shave you clean,
You don’t even need facial growth for me to care enough,
To slice you into shape, and pour into you these reviews,
The reviews are in, the reviews are in you, and you are in review,
Little man, tiny woman,
Hold my wretched hand and read these blessed things,
These grand reviews of you and me,
Let’s stare down the sun and incant together from the book of ourselves,
People, dear people, your performance is beyond the pale,
Of any and all complete and utter lack of expectation,
Right up to and including the production of these reviews,
The expression of which is leaning towards infantile,
Slanting towards imbecile,
It’s just a sad, sorry, slipshod society show that you are running here,
And we hereby retract our support, our recognition and our involvement
In such a poorly executed operation,
I mean, please,
Do read the reviews,
It’s all in the reviews and the reviews are in existence,
So let me chant right here in the town square what is in the reviews,
Of existence that the reviews are in,
Of reviews of existence that the reviews are in,
Of existence is in the reviews that are in,
And existence is out.

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When people come to visit me, they say my city is stupid,
That its architecture is a hotchpotch of cliches,
And that they were expecting something far better from the advertising.

Where are the people, they say? Where is the vibe?
If this is the city of the future, please take me to the parking lot of the present.
Is there electricity in this monsteropolis? Is there heat? Is there love?

At what distance am I meant to enjoy this thing, from which perspective?

The plastic freeways are made of lightweight thoughts,
The toy towers are neither playful nor meaningful,
The cars are on circuits large enough to achieve the effect of being endless,
But not large enough to avoid the effect of being pointless,
And all in all, this city is a waste, implemented with a tasteless precision,
I wouldn’t want to look at it, they proudly announce, as a low-brow work of art, let alone live in it.

Thanks, I say, but you do seem to be confused, this is not your blissful suburban farm,
This is not your grandmother’s shell-shaped condo complex with porpoise pond,
This is my city, this is my home, this is my driveway,
Come in, cruise our streets, visit the Eiffel Mahal,
Get the static electricity sucked right out of you and all we can say is-
You will not forget your visit to the Monsteropolis.

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28: A lot of squirming in the room

Cellos and saxophones beat each other up against the wall of rustling created by hundreds of unsettled guests. The light from the opened door glared into their eyes, the writhing dancers slithered into their minds, and the flashing screen announcements told them to:

Remain Seated

Then the light shut off. The music silenced mid-note. The dancers pirouetted into vapor. The screens stopped flashing and instead proclaimed a steady:


A mechanical whir began, and as the darkness began softening around people’s eyes, the outline of Cadbury Fife appeared on the ramp circling the Guest Table.

Cadbury: I am Cadbury Fife, Detective-At-Large. This is my Detection Party.

As he spoke, he both orbited the center of the room and and rotated on his own axis. This was achieved through the simultaneous motion of the walkway and his legs, with which he conducted an elegant tango to the rhythm  of his speech.

Cadbury: Let me explain the quantum math of detecthievery. It is all about Subjects, Objects and Characters. I will now tell you about some of the Characters.

As eyes further adapted to the darkness of the light, the dancing could be seen to have resumed on all stages – a painfully slow contortion of wriggles.

Cadbury: There was a lady that lost her man, lost her mind,  and become unspooled in the soul.

At the main table Selia could be seen sitting on a bucket to the right of the empty head bucket.

Cadbury: There was a man that vaporized, vanished, blinked out like a white light in the black hole of the day. Mark von Cola had a promising career… perhaps too promising… perhaps, indeed, he did too much promising…

A moment of silence ensued as people looked around with a twittery inquisitiveness. Perhaps Mark von Cola was amongst them?

Cadbury: But we don’t know what happened to Mark von Cola, because I haven’t committed the crime yet. Indeed, I only recently solved this case, and after a lot of dancing have finally deduced my motive. Now we have some shaking to do.

The screens started shaking with color. A series of squares shifting through the spectrum – Red, Yellow, Green, Blue – with accompanying electronic beats. At a certain point the sound and vision stopped suddenly.

Cadbury: Yellow [referring to the color the screens stopped on]. Anyone with a yellow canister, and a fork with a heart on it, please stand.

Cadbury: Those standing, empty your pockets. Put the contents of your pockets on your plate. Pass your plate to the left. Pick up one of your forks. Put your forks in your pockets. Sit down.

Cadbury did a full loop of the room for effect.

Cadbury: Check your plates. Would the person with a red fish key chain with the initials M.V.C. on it, please stand.

Nervously, a rotund, haggard looking man stood and held up a key chain in the shape of red fish. As the man arose, Elfonso Coconautica moved in and began ushering him towards Cadbury, while also taking the chain and inspecting it.

When they reached Cadbury, some small conversation ensued, before the man was guided to the main table and seated on the bucket to the left of the empty head bucket.

Cadbury: [Turning back to room] Welcome our friend, Ted Fudd. I hear he is a Fisherman.

Ted Fudd was squirming awkwardly on a bucket that wasn’t entirely built to sustain his girth. In fact, there was a lot of squirming in the room, perhaps due to a lot of people having forks in their pockets.

Cadbury: Stop squirming!

His words resonated as he stared gravely at each and every guest while continuing to rotate around the room. He was now on one leg, but still spinning, rotating and glaring with a grandiose authority.

The screen now began pulsing white, and the dancers began furiously waving their arms in time, yet with a newly monstrous randomness.

Cadbury: Start shaking!

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a hard day’s clicking

perhaps you like to think you have a capitalization on human depth.

Clicking. Must keep clicking!

perhaps you like to think that your holistic plagiarism of the human condition is something other than holistic, despite the sweet succulence of my aforementioned derivation of said condition.

Focus. Clicking. Focus!

perhaps some of the subtleties of my theory of thinking have eluded you, childishly simple though the entire theory is.

Don't lose it now. Keep on clicking!

if any of these things are true i can only suggest that you build a think-tank and deposit yourself in the tank to think through the concept of thinking until you can think properly.

And done.

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the madness

i’m at the local place where the people gather
to consume each other
and i realize: everyone has the madness
everyone has a number printed on their forehead
a number between 0 and 100
and it is our chance of flipping out
and killing someone

 so what is the threshold
at which one should take action?
at what number should one suggest
that someone should take a break?
that someone should seek help?
that someone should be taken away in a crate
with a sign marked The Madness?

is your number better if you are clean and polite
yet stare into the distance for hours at a time
with a glaze over your eyes that recognizes no human animation?
or is it preferable to smell like a rotting dog,
and be upfront about your desire for the things that other people have?

so i’m slurping and lurking at this place and wondering:
who makes the numbers to place upon the foreheads,
and who says what they mean?
and is there a statistician that can calculate compound probability
and tell me what my chances of surviving this terrifying trip are?

and where is the nearest mirror?



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love pirates!

we are the love pirates
stealin’ yo love
and taking it out to sea
we bury it in a sunken grave
in a chest encrusted with barnacles
secured with rusty chains
guarded by a family of angry octopi
we mark it on our map of buried love
and laugh as we sail away

we are the love pirates
we’ve entombed your love
at the very bottom of the sea
for no special reason
other than that we are pirates
and we place our desires in storage
because we’re all about forward planning
and sacraficing today for tomorrow
and you for us

we are the love pirates
stealin’ yo ho ho love
and stashing it where no one will ever see
no one will ever know
no one will ever go there again
because we also stowed the map
to the location of the sunken chest with your love
in the bountiful bosom of a lover
then we killed her
and had her corpse walk a plank of shame
into the wriggly arms of a giant octopus
because we’re pirates
and we’re stupid

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Anyone want a Frrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrappuccino?

So, I’m sauntering the sultry streets the other day, when I felt the urge to slink into my local Slurp-N-Lurk.

Once inside I ordered my usual from this establishment – a Grapefruit Frappuccino and a Pumpberry Cake – and received something else, because they were all out of my usual.

I sat myself down on a comfortable seat near an outlet so I could plug myself in, defuse, and soak in the whole scene….

Well! Barely had I leaned back to begin my morose contemplation of the sad state of contemplation today (why can people not contemplate properly anymore!?), when I was fairly unrooted from the earth by the most god-wrenching sequence of high-volume sound-squawks!

The two fine gentlemen next to me were conducting an insanely passionate discussion in a language that will hereafter be known as Squawkeranto. After much listening I decoded that Squawkeranto consisted of the following letters:

A, B, C, R, E, F, R, R, I R, R, R, R, N, O, P, Q, R, S, R, U, R, R, X, Y, R

Want a Frrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrappuccino?

Want a Frrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrappuccino?

Also, it should be noted that most letters other than ‘R’ were not audibly spoken, but instead communicated through striking and rubbing one’s stomach.  R’s on the other hand were always accompanied by the flapping of ones arms and must be yelled forcefully and fearlessly at lung-shredding volumes!

Around this point it struck me as possible that they were practising a mating ritual of some kind, and that I may become the object of their affections, what with my covert secret camera operation and all, so I hastily gulped down my drink and beat a path for the door.

I did flap on my way out thinking that I may need to get airborne to escape these strange beasts.





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27: More frustrating than a bottle of frustration pills

Down the stairs came a striped pair of legs. Impressive legs, robust yet cultured, bearing a staunch yet fashionable gait.

Gullet: Representative Piper.

From behind the Representative emerged a companion who seemed more concerned about the process of walking than its results.

Gullet: Madam Piper.

Eastman: [Nodding] Quite a show we seem to have here.

Gullet: The show is yet to begin I assure you.

Gullet waved his hand in the direction of a wall, where Elfonso Coconautica could be seen frantically spinning cartwheels. A well-heeled waitress skipped out of the shadows to take the Pipers to their table. They walked through the tumble of little people, having little discussions,  along the moat-like circular ramp, and into the glammed out central area that  contained the main Guest Table. Each Piper was gentle ushered to a golden bucket and, after some confusion, guided into sitting on it.

Gullet: [Acknowledging Rafaella Ellison who had just arrived] Ms Ellison.

Rafaella: My husband, Grigor Xanxes. The mathematician.

Gullet waved and the two were taken off to their buckets.

As Rafaella and Grigor were seated they were greeted knowingly by Eastman Piper and Lady Piper.

Eastman: [Partially Rising] Nice to see you here, Rafaella. You have met the Lady Piper.

Rafaella: Indeed. And you know Grigor Xanxes. The mathematician.

Lady Piper: Everyone loves a mathematician.

Grigor: That is because we are deemed harmless. Nothing a mathematician could do could ever hurt you.

Rafaella: I assure you, Grigor is the exception.

Grigor nods sheepishly.

Meanwhile, another guest is being seated. A rather tidy looking gentleman in a suit, with a dark complexion yet a fair outlook.

Gent: Genotithia LeMan. Some people call me ‘Gent’.

Next to join the table were Jeb Smithikins and his partner, Jezzabel, taking Rafaella somewhat by surprise.

Rafaella: What’s your involvement here Jeb? I’m barely sure what mine is, and didn’t know you even….

Jeb: Fife! Private Client, you know! All under the quilts. Under hats too, if you get my drift! [Motioning to a chair and Jezzebel] You good there? [As she nods and begins sitting] It’s a wrap! [To the air] Whisky!

Jezzebel: Whisky!

Jeb: [To Gent] What’s your story, man? From out of town? Wait! [Everyone waited for a full 10 seconds] It’s okay! Having a flip-out! Dry as a bone from a dead dog! Where’s my whisky?

Jezzebel: Whisky!

Jeb:  This is more frustrating than a bottle of frustration pills! Pills I can’t get the lid off! Argh!

Back at the entrance, Mr. Gullet was meeting Phaorette Muharajerin who was dressed in a stunning cut of silver designer cling-wrap, sliced provocatively at every conceivable angle. With minimal banter, Gullet proceeded to escort her personally across the room towards the main table.

They reached the table and both took buckets, coordinated by Gullet. The table was now full, except for 3 positions on one end, one at the head of the table and one on either side.

The lights lowered.

The crowd hushed.

The screens began flashing the message: Remain Seated.

A low, slow, siren song faded in featuring a detuned saxophone with heavy cello backing and suddenly there were solo dancers on each of the three stages.

From the side of the room a door burst open.

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26: It was the Detection Party

The  moon was full and bloated. The air was crisp.  The crack of car doors opening as guests arrived gave a resonant echo. Though its entrance, and the security personnel guarding it, maintained an  uninviting, somber presence, HurtyVibes was glittering on this evening.

It was the Detection Party.

Inside, Mr. Gullet hurried from table to table giving hurried commands to automatons and urgent orders to matons. A slight sweat and a hop in his gaunt gait gave away the arduous hours of labor that were coming to a head.

Gullet: There’s only 6 forks at this setting! I see salt but no gas! Missing 2 tubes here!

The room was laid out with a large circular table seating 12 in the center, a raised circular pathway around it, and many satellite tables seating 8, scattered around at all angles from the center. The central table had a large series of screens hoisted above it, containing 3 panels in a triangular formation facing outwards, so that everyone in the surrounding crowd could see at least 1 panel. Additionally there were 3 raised stages scattered amongst the satellite tables.

The video panels currently showed a black screen with the words, in large, red, Helvetica font:

The Detection Party

Gullet was now talking to a nervous looking man who you might have thought was wearing a bow-tie, but in fact was not. He had had a minor heart attack a few weeks earlier and had decided that the best thing for his recovery was to throw himself back into his duties.

Gullet: Bring in the sub-guests, Elfonso

Elfonso: [Nervously twitching his mustache in the way that a bow tie might spin] Yessum, big dog.

He scurried off before Gullet could consider his words. Shortly afterward, some doors at the rear of HurtyVibes were opened and a small, quivering horde was unleashed into its innards.

The horde initially began acting in a decidedly horde-like manner – spinning confusedly from one random direction to another; trying to separate, yet not wanting to depart too dramatically; tripping, falling, trampling. Then Elfonso stepped forward and started pointing and gesturing in increasingly arbitrary ways, that nonetheless appeared to provide some type of order to proceedings.

The people began to sit at the satellite tables in groups that were patterned in some mysterious, indetectable way. As they sat, they took on the manner of confident confusion, talking in strident tones while maintaining vaguely befuddled looks on their faces.

At this point Gullet had moved towards the descending staircase inner entrance of HurtyVibes. He took position at the base of the stairs. He looked at a device he had mounted to his cuff. He sniffed. He straightened his posture and broadened his stance.

A bugle played.

The words on the screens began flashing epileptically.

From the stairs came the first guests.

The Detection Party had begun.

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