Suggested Audio ♫
Alice in Chains “Them Bones”
Do we now? Talk you say? About me? I’ve never heard anything so preposterous in all my life. What could you possibly hope to glean from such a transaction? Or could your intention be to point and stare like I’m here solely for your amusement? Where do my feelings come into this? Had you considered that perhaps I might not be feeling particularly chatty today? I mean, I don’t know you from Adam and just saying that name sets my teeth on edge. Okay then, you’ve dragged it out of me. You want to know what has my ribcage rattling this day? Fine. Remember, you asked for this and don’t come crying to me when your last tether of childhood innocence is dashed. I shall tell you a tale, one not nearly as tall as you’d think, and you tell me if I’m bad to the bone.
Right then, let’s get straight to the nitty-gritty shall we? The reason why the name Adam gives me death rattles is that it also happens to be the name of my most sworn enemy. Actually his official title is Prince Adam and one day he stands to inherit the very kingdom I’m stuck in. I guess we have his parents, King Randor and Queen Marlena, to blame for the one night of two-for-one cocktails that led to the spawning of an heir. Long story short, they’re both knocking on a bit now and I reckon it won’t be long before one of them croaks. But, when that joyous occasion comes, Eternia is set to fall under his sole rulership. I know what you’re thinking – you’re thinking that he’s next in line to the throne and therefore entitled to such a bequeathing. And I’m here to tell you such will never be granted on my watch.
You see, should you elect to look up “archenemy” in the dictionary, then you’ll find a picture of yours truly right beside it. Indeed, you’ll also find my likeness under “despicable”, “heinous”, “tyrannical” and “boner”; such is the manner in which I epitomize each. It’s not that I set out to be evil, okay you’ve got me, that is kind of my USP. But nothing makes my bones stiffen more than a lousy do-gooder and Prince Adam is one such bleeding heart. If it was left up to that little twerp, Eternia would be a place filled with joy and happiness and there are no two emotions more nauseating in my book. Whatever happened to good old hatred? Does nobody screw each other over for their own sick amusement anymore? When did all this peace and harmony become all the rage? I get rigor mortis just thinking about it.
To be fair, it’s not Prince Adam who gets me riled, so much as his “heroic” alter ego He-Man. I blame the The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull as she was the one who endowed him with special abilities and he seems dead set on using them for the purpose of good, as opposed to silencing the Samaritans and making them fear him. Catch him on an off-duty day and he’s as lazy as snot on a sun lounger, not to mention cack-handed, absent-minded, impetuous and as lily-livered as his equally pitiful pet tiger Cringer. However, something seems to happen when he raises aloft his mystical sword and delivers some inane line about possession of power. Suddenly, my job is made all the harder and I’m forced to hatch all manner of devious plans to outwit him.
Do they work? Well, historically no, I’m actually on something of a dry spell at present when it comes to flawless victories. But a cunning evil mastermind like I will find a way, even if that entails bending the odd rule or two. Especially if that entails bending the odd rule or two. I won’t rest until the deeds for Castle Grayskull are in my bony hands, until Eternia’s crime rates have soared to record highs, until its hills run red with the blood of innocents. You think it’s easy keeping up the monthly installments on Snake Mountain? Money grows on trees, does it? Actually, I shouldn’t even joke about it as that’s the kind of fiscal flourish that He-Man would get a kick out of. I’d much prefer cancerous lungs as blossom, well that or soiled tampons. Something edgy.
What really crunches my clavicle is that he seems to have assembled his own small army in the quest for the ethical high ground and what a pathetic bunch of losers they happen to be. Take Man-At-Arms for example and please feel free to deposit him in an industrial meat grinder and compound his miserable ass into pâté. I don’t know where he gets off calling himself a mighty defender of the realm; when he’s quite clearly just a middle-aged man in tights. So he can invent a few things and knows how to fire a laser, big whoop. That doesn’t excuse the fact that he resembles Tom Selleck’s gay uncle, does it? Quite what this fossilized felch hopes to achieve by tagging along is anyone’s guess; although my money’s on relinquishing any vague trace of remaining dignity. Word to the wise Man-At-Arms, or should I call you plain old Duncan? – You’ve got to have it to lose it old man.
While this bell-end makes me downright furious, it’s Orko who really thumps my fibula. I mean, seriously what the fuck? Next to this hovering pea-brain, Man-At-Arms begins to resemble Chuck Norris in his eighties heyday. Apparently he’s some kind of Trollan conjurer, although I’ve only ever seen evidence of him being a floating bag of assorted dicks. He may be comfortable with being a laughing-stock, but I’d be far more at ease with converting him into a shammy for my most pimped ride, the Land Shark. Stupid little prick pimple has absolutely no right breathing the planet’s oxygen, let alone pledging his unwavering allegiance to a cause so helpless that they’d recruit the likes of Orko in the first place.
Teela, on the other hand, well her I can live with. She may be the Captain of the Royal Guard and adopted daughter of that mustachioed twit, Man-At-Arms (who himself is a love child of the Sorceress), but she’s also rather easy on the eye socket and I’m quietly convinced that she’s secretly begging for a boning. She may give off the impression that butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, but it’s not those pouting pink lips I’m looking to spread wide and force my Havoc Staff into. I’ve seen the way she looks at me when He-Man’s back is turned, all “you’re a bad man Skeletor…but I secretly love it”. A spineless greeb like him couldn’t ever hope to satisfy a double-jointed cock-gobbler such as she. There are things I would do to Teela that she’d likely never recover from, at least not without a qualified chiropractor on hand to aid in her gradual recovery. By the way, if you can hear something that sounds suspiciously like a bone rattling, then I’d trust whatever your gut tells you first as you’re damn right I’m knocking one out into a lingerie catalogue at this very moment. Forgot about that little photo shoot, didn’t you Teela?
Right then, who’s left to loathe. Well the rest of his crowd barely merit a mention, so nondescript are this bunch of coat-tail clutching tag-alongs. But I will spare a word or two for Cringer as this petrified pussy also seems to benefit from its owner’s call to arms. Battle Cat may consider itself fearsome and set for skirmish, but it’s only ever one strategically placed dish of tampered milk away from becoming the next rug in my throne room. I had a cat once, repeated on me something terrible. Besides, I’ve already got a Beast Man of my own and the vet bills are astronomical. Why else do you think I’d leave it so long without getting him neutered? I swear to God, the next time that incompetent wretch even thinks of humping my calf, I’m firing up the hoover.
As you may have guessed, I hold Beast Man in the same invisible esteem as the rest of the cretins although, the critical difference here, is that I employ this buffoon. Bumbling appears to be what he’s best at, well, that and chasing off perfectly toxic sewer rats before I can take a bite out of their rumps. He’s one of those numb-skulled nitwits who you ask to bring you a tea towel and comes scurrying back with a dish cloth between his teeth, wagging his tail like he has no clue that he’s about to get punted in the pancreas. I’d have put him down by now if it weren’t for the fact that I enjoy watching his equally gormless friend Trap Jaw chasing his tail.
On the plus side, WD40 is considerably cheaper than flea treatments. A couple of squirts of the good stuff and he snaps away happily for hours at a time, naturally without any real sense or purpose. Observing Beast Man and Trap Jaw in their natural habitat is like sprinkling rock salt on a slug; initially amusing but only until the frothing ceases. Most of the time they just lay around, waiting for orders they can botch and cunning plans they can foil through utter ineptitude. Mercifully, Snake Mountain isn’t just a knocking shop for waifs and strays, and I’m mighty grateful for the female touch when it’s Evil Lyn’s fanciful fingers frolicking beneath my loin cloth. You see, for as black as my heart may be, I’ve always been something of a sucker for the color purple.
Evil Lyn rocks the violet like she has purpose. Indeed, the merest of glances from her can set both my knees atremble and my Havoc Staff too, come to think of it. She knows she’s got it going on and regularly tells me to “beat it”; to which I oblige by retiring to my private quarters and beating the bloody hell out of it until my phalanges cramp. Once or twice, I’ve wound up casting a hex purely by accident, that’s how much havoc she invites upon my staff. But it’s far more than just a physical thing I’m talking of here. Evil-Lyn may be the only one in this infernal kingdom who doesn’t make we wish to euthanize myself, but she’s also the only person on this miserable collection of rocks and gases who truly gets me. Wow. Feels strange to say that out loud and the last person I expected to tell that to was my shrink, but I suspect I may have come down with one of those wretched love bugs, you know. Any idea how long it takes to clear up?
No, of course, you’re not that kind of doctor. I understand. How long have we still got on the clock, by the way? Ten minutes? Okay then, well I guess it wouldn’t harm to explore this alien emotion a little further. Love – I always considered hate a more expressive word; it simply rolls off the tongue better. It took me long enough to get my skull around like and now I’m expected to entertain love? Me? The most malevolent mastermind this putrid little galaxy has ever known gushing like a busted hydrant because I wanna know what love is. It would make me projectile vomit like the sweet little girl from the movie if I had a throat to retch it up through. But do you know what? It also happens to feel right. Am I losing my edge? Could it be that I’m actually capable of feeling something other than utter contempt? I sure hope not as this doesn’t bode at all well for my plans of world domination. I mean, look at me. Does this look like the face of a soppy little love sap to you?
Precisely, I’m evil in-fucking-carnate right? The type of soulless scoundrel who would think nothing of gutting you like a swine, slicing your throat, and using you as a life-sized Pez dispenser. Not the type to sit beneath a sycamore tree reciting T.S. Eliot. That’s the kind of sickening stunt He-Man would pull. I should be in my Land Shark as we speak, hurtling towards Castle Grayskull with sole intent to plunder; not plucking the petals from a forget-me-not. Yet the fact remains that I’d walk across burning hot coals just to deliver her a cup of tea in the morning. Meanwhile, the people of Eternia get to live without fear, and that’s just not acceptable in my book. They should be pissing their breeches every time I enter the room; not busting out the confetti goddammit. Nevertheless, I know what I feel and there seems no getting away from the fact that I’ve never felt this way about anybody, even myself and we all know how much I love me.
So you see, I need your help doc. Quick smart if it’s not any trouble. I mean, should I be out there obliterating all-comers and destroying future generations of do-gooders and blowhards? Or making sweet love with the one woman who truly makes my bone shake and whispering grim nothings in her ear? Feel free to pitch in anytime by the way. Good grief, whatever am I paying you for anyway? If I wanted to be nodded at, I’d go get myself a bobblehead. The only time you show even vaguest interest is when you look at your Rolex and even then it’s short-lived. Could it be… am I… am I boring you? Are my problems too insignificant or is it my voice that cuts the oxygen off to your brain so? Mildly grating is it? Well I’m really dreadfully sorry but the two flying fucks I gave just flew off into the ether at your third yawn in swift succession.
At any rate, I paid my money and, despite the fact that you’ve turned out to be a poxy mime artist, I reckon I know what to do now. Is that how this works? A problem aired and all that? Snidey, very snidey. Who knows, if I didn’t loathe you so much, then I might even grow to become indifferent to you over time. I’m not indifferent to He-Man or any of his dimwitted entourage, nor Beast Man and Trap Jaw as chance would be a fine thing there. And I’m certainly not impassive about Evil-Lyn as we’ve already very much established. But you I feel I could ignore and, while something in your eyes tells me you’d be okay with that, you do happen to be rather a good listener so you’re not completely pointless. Bloody overpriced, but not pointless.
Right then, here’s what I’m going to do shrink. I’m not going to pay you for this session in keeping with the fact that I never had any intention of paying you for this session in the first place. Should this not prove satisfactory, then perhaps I’ll unleash Beast Man and Trap Jaw on you and let them tenderize you some, if they can do that without ballsing it up, of course. Needless to say, the odds are stacked pretty heavily against that, but that won’t matter to me. You see, I’ll be far too busy skipping through meadows with my unfair lady to give a cat’s clunge. Does this mean that I’m going soft? Reach beneath my cloak and you’ll soon find your answer. I’m still just as nefarious as ever; every bit as likely to smack you up just for looking at me with anything less than blind terror. But the time has come for me to search within.
So if you happen across He-Man on your travels, please be sure to tell him that I hope he comes down with an agonizing urinary tract infection and pisses cream cheese. My hopes for Man-At-Arms entail him being mistaken for a Polish asylum seeker and deported or getting his left arm crushed in an industrial vice, whatever distresses him more. Teela I’m happy just to suffer heavy periods and accompanying cramps, a mild stroke should see Cringer out of action, while Orko I actually wish no harm to as his existence alone seems like punishment enough. As for King Randor and Queen Marlena, well I was hoping they could see their way to offering Castle Grayskull up as a weekend retreat for Evil-Lyn and I. That’s right simpleton, I’m doing me for a change. Make that us as, despite her insistence that she’d rather straddle a septic sea serpent than grapple my gland, I just know she’s secretly gagging for a good, sound boning.
Did you just roll your eyes at me, you impotent little turd? Don’t even think of passing it off as light sensitivity as it’s pitch fucking black in here, just the way I like it. Look at you, sitting there all high and mighty, like you don’t cry yourself to sleep night after night with chronic indigestion. I may just gouge out both your pissy little peepers with my thumbs you know. What have you got to say about that cretin? Losing my edge am I? Love’s blind is it? No, I’ve got your blindness right here you ineffective overpriced cunt.
Now lick this up Beast Man before you feel my cuff. Don’t just stand there grinding your gums Trap Jaw, you tin-tongued dolt, do something before I compact you into a tin of corn beef. Then everyone back to the Land Shark for our sharp exit. Almost forgot, I must swing by 7-Eleven on the way home and pick up a box of pralines for Evil-Lyn. Don’t give me that look Beast Man. Yes, I’m quite aware we’re almost out of Kibbles ‘n Bits. Listen you sniveling shag pile, should you choose to fuck up date night for me, then it’s straight off to the taxidermist for you. I spent sixty bucks getting my hair done and I won’t have my authority undermined by your incompetence. Grease up Evil-Lyn, my slutty little sugarplum, and get ready to have those bones jumped.
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Richard Charles Stevens
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Grueheads Films 2017