Suggested Audio Jukebox:
 Jeff Mills “Things to Know About Your Robot”
 Jeff Mills “Robot Replica”
 Cameo “Word Up”
 Elvis Presley “Viva Las Vegas”
I’d love to know what goes on when I write. It’s strange, I’m definitely conscious and very much present the whole time but haven’t the faintest idea what transpires between the moment I start to scribe and the time I eventually sign off. Perhaps I’m abducted by aliens and given a good hard anal probing? For all I know, just as I commence, some well-hidden extraterrestrial slides surreptitiously from the shadows behind me with chloroform and takes me out of the game. Of course, for this to be an habitual affair, he would need to implant a select few memories into my hippocampus before returning me to sender. Otherwise, I would have caught the little bastard red-handed by now. Instead I am left with a niggling feeling that I haven’t been present but absolutely no evidence to suggest otherwise. It has been eating away at me for weeks now and the time has come to do something about it. Life is already short enough without engaging in daily siesta without your consent. So here’s the plan Grueheads.
I’ve rigged this place from top to bottom and tonight I’m going to solve this mystery once and for all, with your help of course. How does bagging ourselves an alien sound to you? Fret not as the little bastard falls under my jurisdiction and therefore becomes my problem once apprehended. All I need from you is a few extra pairs of eyes to let me know if I’m in clear and present danger. Just a simple “Oi Keeper!” will do and, should you know your way around a clock face, “Martian at six o’clock!” You know, just keep on your toes, and act as my watchmen and women for a few stanzas. Right now, I’m a couple of hundred words to the good and, so far, there’s been nothing untoward to report. Doesn’t mean I’ll be dropping my guard for a nanosecond, one way or another, I plan to be sipping from the chalice of enlightenment before the night is out. To be completely honest, I’m feeling somewhat trepidatious. I mean, what if it all goes pear-shaped? Tell me if you don’t feel up to it as I can’t emphasize just how vital it is that you keep those heads on swivels.
Think of it this way. We’ve known each other for a while now right? One could say we’ve become rather close during that period and wouldn’t be culpable of mistruth. Bottom line is this – I’ve become rather attached to the Grueheads and trust that the feeling is mutual. Okay, so maybe I piss you off a little at times, but it’s never intentional and you know me well enough now to understand that. What I’m saying is that you wouldn’t wish an anal probing on me would you now? I get that a few of you may assume that I’d be up for taking a non-native length to my brown box for the team as I’m an impish little man with a gimpish little plan at times. But I draw the line at anything being inserted into my rectum that’s any longer than E.T.’s finger. I googled alien probe for research purposes and was horrified to learn that the average anal invader is more akin to the length of his forearm. You know me, in for a penny and in for a pound. Well I’m not over enamored about accepting one of these foreign objects to a place where no man has gone before. At some point, you have to draw the line with frontiers. Consider this one beyond final and stay frosty I beg of you.
You all know Harlequin right? She’s been on this crazy ride since way back and I had a feeling she’d have my back in a pickle. This is what I’m talking about Grueheads, united nothing can dump in our curds and whey and woe betide the spider that tries to sit down beside us. No slimy little green man is getting near my tuffet. Thanks to Harlequin, I’m already polishing my trophy and guess what it says – Grueheads 3 Martians 0. That’s one point for a slender triumph, two for a crushing victory, and three for anything that ends with the words FINISH HIM!
I’m going to fuck this extraterrestrial up for presuming me such an easy target. Tell you what, let’s make it interactive. Whenever you get the urge, feel free to chip in with suggestions. You name it, I’ll do it. And remember – no boundaries. I’m up for a spot of torture and, knowing how indisposed your minds are, can imagine this is about to get messy pretty soon. Anyhoots, Harlequin said four thirty and, if Harlequin says four thirty, then it’s four fucking thirty. Best be getting that wriggle on.
Well that’s something I hadn’t been anticipating. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Squat. The Old Nowtski.
Of course, I’m on Greenwich Mean Time. Never been called a stove top stuffing for brains before but I kinda like it.
Aha! There’s our little friend. Harlequin was bang on the money, as expected. It gives me great but mildly ominous pleasure to present to you all our first bona fide alien. Don’t bother piping up that you’ve seen plenty already either. This is about the team and, memory erasure of no memory erasure, we haven’t done so communally. This is a monumental moment my beloved friends and family. I do believe it is high time I retrieve us some answers and I have but one request before we get underway with the persecution side of things. I’ve had a recurring dream since childhood about a moment not unlike this one and have never once been able to find words significant enough to mark the occasion. You know what it’s like in those dreamscapes. Very little ever gets done as it always feels as though you’re being distracted by some cunningly placed dummy decoy. Well I’ve got news for you buddy, I’m wide awake right now, and just remembered the ideal opening line. Granted, it’s not my own, but if somebody slid a Colt .45 pre-loaded with a single bullet onto your trigger finger and placed a bad guy’s mullet at the opposing end, you try telling me you’d retort anything other than “Do you feel lucky punk? Well do ‘ya?” You see, there’s good reason why oldies are often referred to as goodies.
Better yet, I’m really going to mess with its head. It would be all too easy to direct a taunt its way but far more conniving to make it general but hint that it’s well in my crosshairs. You ready? Let’s burst us a pimple.
“Damn, those alien bastards are gonna pay for shooting up my ride.”
Look at that face.
It knows the game is up. I’d say we have this aien on the ropes and that makes it time to have us a horror-themed hootenanny in my books. Before I make my citizen’s arrest, any requests? How shall we skin this particular bird? Gentle feather pluck? Or straight to the chopping board for a thorough fisting? Don’t answer that, I have more than a Quasimodo of how this one is about to play out. I’m all ears.
I knew it. That’s Scum of Earth. This guy is two things. He’s the kind of bad motherfucker you request for your corner and an absolute gentleman who would fight to the bitter end for you.
Curses. You’d think I would have a chainsaw on hand considering my office bears more than a passing resemblance to a tool shed. Well I regret to inform you that there is no dice on that front. Don’t blame me, my mother is in her seventies and hardly the most butch woman on the block. She draws the line at garden shears and, had he have suggested The Burning, then I could easily have accommodated a dash of Cropsy. Other than that, it’s slim pickings I’m afraid. There’s a tub of slug killer but who knows how an extraterrestrial will react to such a solution. For all I know, it’ll double in size, and the anal probe in its right hand will also receive an upgrade. That said, I could always theme it around Leatherface and his family’s exploits. Indeed, that seems like a delightful idea. A dinner party. It’s your luckyish day alien as us Grueheads plan to feed you well during your short and final stay on our planet. Perhaps next time you’ll think twice about invading Earth and don’t even think about pulling any of that “I come in peace” shit. I’ve got your number bucko.
“If I were you, I wouldn’t move another solitary inch pal”
“Het werd me niet govenor Ik zweer”
Was that Scandinavian? Hell’s bells, this could pose a problem. Not too crash hot on my Double Dutch. How am I supposed to get anything resembling sense out of it when I haven’t the vaguest inkling as to what is being said?
“I’m English. You know. Engels? No speak a the lingo”
Now this is dubious. It appears to be reaching down for something. Better not try anything heroic. I’m not feeling like getting zapped and cannot surrender the advantage now after such a strong start. Is that a keypad? Seems like a lot of buttons to me and I’m growing increasingly concerned that one of them activates the vaporize function. I guess I’ll give it the benefit on this occasion as it just twiddled a knob and I don’t feel my atoms disbanding yet.
“Frightfully sorry old fellow. Just finished a gig in the Netherlands and forgot to adjust my settings”
How fascinating. Not only can it communicate in my own tongue, but it happens to be rather an eloquent speaker to boot.
“Welcome outlander. My name is Richard but you can call me Rich, El Richeroonie, Sir Richard of Grue or simply Keeper if you so desire. And what would your name be?”
“Name? I’m awfully regretful to inform you that I have never undergone the application of one of those”
“No name huh? Bummer”
“I have a model number if that helps and it has a few letters in it”
“Bit of a mouthful”
“My friends call me X”
“Then I shall call you Xavier as we haven’t reached that particular checkpoint beacon yet”
“I come in peace”
“I knew it. Couldn’t resist could you. I’m telling ‘ya, you extraterrestrials are all the same. And you’re supposed to be superior lifeforms. How woefully unoriginal”
“No really. I mean it. I have no intention of causing actual bodily harm. That is not in my mandate”
“Whatever. Just keep your hands where I can see them. So what are you anyhoots?”
“What am I? I’m not computing that data”
“Male or female? Guy or chick? Alpha or omega? Do you wipe when you urinate?”
“That’s elementary. I haven’t the capability to urinate”
“Must possess one helluva burly bladder”
“No bladder either. And returning to your earlier poser about my specific gender. Neither”
“Indecisive one ain’t ‘cha”
“Not indecisive. Just not designed that way”
I wonder if that would get me off the hook for requesting a hand job. Granted, it is veering towards another level of wrong entirely but it would be something to tell the grandchildren. I can see it now. “Did I ever tell you about the time a martian donated me a hand shandy? My only request is that you don’t leak any of this back to your grandmother. Her pacemaker is on its last set of batteries and it might just finish her off.” What am I thinking? Typical Keeper getting distracted like a methed-up magpie in a tin foil factory. First things first, I simply have to get some answers. Plus, I’m reasonably assured that I promised you lot some torture. It’s selfish of me to be thinking of my Johnson at a time like this and I apologize unreservedly. Of course, once this is all wrapped up, that leaves one of you on wrist duties.
She’s a cheeky scamp that Kim.
Excellent. Now back to more pressing concerns. Time to get some intelligence out of our uninvited guest and find out what foreign objects have been trespassing in my colon unbeknownst to me. Alas, no bladder means that grandpa will have to dine alone this evening as I’m guessing that a digestive tract is also not in Xavier’s inventory. That doesn’t mean we can’t torture the shit out of it though. Much of that depends on the answer to my next burning question.
“So tell me. Have you been abducting me without my consent?”
“Aha! Bang to fucking rights son”
“But not to harm you”
“Really? Then humor me please and kindly inform me where that anal voyager is programmed to end up”
“In your bottom”
“No harm you say?”
“I wish there were another way but the ORAL-900-RAMBLASTER is currently being defragmented back at the lab”
“What do you mean fragmented?”
“It is utilized to extract data and, once a month, the CPU starts to slow down”
“So the anal probe is used for the same purpose”
“Seems rather a long way from my frontal lobe if you ask me. I have no idea what you expect to learn from digging about south side”
“Your cerebral cortex is wired to every single node in our exoskeleton and responsible for a multitude of far-reaching impulses”
“Fascinating. However, I’m not about to facilitate a probing on this particular evening”
“But you have to”
“Let me tell you what I have to do. I have to pour myself a cup of tea in the morning or else I cannot function. I have to stroll to the local convenience store each time my cigarettes run low. I also have to masturbate once daily as I was once visited in a dream by a rakshasa and he insisted I do so like clockwork or else risk implosion. Sorry old bean, but it says nothing here about having to remain passive while you set your phaser to stun”
“But the punishment is most severe for failure to complete my objective”
“Word to the wise son. The punishment is no less severe for attempting to complete your objective here either. Bottom line – it ain’t going to happen. Comprende?”
“Well I have to say that I don’t have a stratagem for this”
“Tell you what. If you’re not opposed to it, I’ll just go and grab a length of hose pipe from the garden and tie you up while we figure this out. Sound like acceptable terms?”
“You wish to restrain me?”
“Well it’s either that or you hand over the probe. I’m not feeling particularly trusting given the facts that have recently come to light”
“If you must”
I hope you’ve all been paying attention to this point as this is where it becomes one big free-for-all. I’m struggling to work out what is the best course of action to take so any suggestions will be gratefully received about now. Mull it over for a bit while I retrieve the rubber piping. Anything goes remember.
Right then, I think that is pretty much secure.
“How does that feel?”
“A little constrictive”
“Tough titties alien. It was either that or the staple gun and believe me when I say that this is the more humane method”
“So what happens now?”
“Okay. Here is how it is going to play out from hereon in. I’ve given it some thought and, as long as the Grueheads aren’t in disapproval, I think I’m going to let you go after our little tête-à-tête has concluded”
“Does that mean I can still probe you?”
“Not if you value your motherboard. There will be no insertion tonight”
“Then I’ll be terminated by sunrise”
“Not necessarily. If you play your cards right, I may just have a plan B for you”
“Hold your horses. First I must torture you. Just a little. The Grueheads would never forgive me if I didn’t”
“That seems highly illogical and even a little counter-productive”
“I don’t make the rules”
“Fine. Can we just get this over with please? I’m trusting you to come good on your oath”
“I am a man of my word X”
“You called me X. Does that mean you consider me your friend now?”
“More of an acquaintance right now but, considering my initial impulse was to bludgeon you with a garden hoe, I’d say we’re making progress”
“I’ve never had a friend before”
“And you may still never desire to have one again after learning what we’ve got lined up for you”
“Please just get it over with”
“As you wish. Bear with me a moment while I check my tweets and we’ll have you soundly punished in no time”
You can always count on Heather Aycock to come up with something devilish and playful. I have to say that I’m totally up for both counts of torment and our alien friend can count itself damn fortunate that she’s feeling charitable as Heather’s been known to be just as impish as I.
“I regret to inform you that your plan is flawed from the offset”
“Fuck it. What about udders?”
“I’m afraid not. You’ll have to go back to the drawing board”
“Bear with me”
“You heard the lady. Let’s see those fingers”
“It’s okay Keeper. I am not programmed to feel pain. Do what you have to do to appease these Grueheads”
“You know. I’m really starting to like you. Who knows, in different circumstances perhaps we really could’ve been friends. Anyhoots, about those knuckles”
“No knuckles either. Look”
“Well, considering you don’t possess genitalia, I guess no knuckles makes sense. You ready?”
“It’s hammer time”
“That wasn’t so bad was it?”
“Didn’t feel a solitary thing”
“Excellent. Everyone’s a winner then”
“Doesn’t mean I’ll be beating my high score on Candy Crush Saga anytime soon however”
“Sorry about that”
“No. I quite understand. You too have regulations to follow”
“Speaking of which, I think I have time for a couple more requests before I free you and we work out our plan B”
“Don’t let me stop you”
“The lady has spoken X. Alas, she wasn’t quite so forgiving. You may be immune to pain of the physical nature but let’s see how you cope with some good old-fashioned mental anguish. I’m even going to choose Love Yourself as that is a particularly drab and lifeless number”
Fret not Grueheads. I simply couldn’t put you through that particular Audio Candy so here’s some Cameo instead. And yes I am wearing my crimson codpiece right now.
“This is truly wretched Keeper. Please make it stop”
“You had enough?”
“I’m ten seconds in and already I feel like shorting my own circuitry”
“Okay. perhaps that was a smidgen mean-spirited”
“So that must be it then? Time to free these shackles right?”
Hold on just a cotton-picking minute. Incoming tweet.
“Did you hear that X? How are you on wrist action?”
“Depends on your internet speed”
“I’ve got fiber optic broadband”
“Then you’d better grab a handkerchief as repetition is my specialty”
“Whoo. It’s like all of my Christmases have cum at once”
“Flop it out then”
“Look at you with your flop it outs. Becoming all the more human by the second”
“I learn at a vastly accelerated rate you know”
“Music to my ears X. Feast your eyes on this beauty”
“Unless I’m mistaken, isn’t it supposed to be erected before we can achieve our end result?”
“That helps yes. Apologies but it’s not easy with so many roving eyes watching. Would you mind if I pull up some visual aid to assist me in raising the old white flag?”
“Be my guest. Whatever tickles your pickle”
“Gee thanks X. You’re the best, you know that?”
“And hello Mr. Winky”
“Never fails. Okay, it isn’t always 100% effective but this must be your lucky day. Mine too in a minute. Grip that joystick and jank it ’til it banks”
“How’s this working out for you?”
“That’ll do it X. Just a few more seconds and we should be ready for launch”
“That’s normal I assure you. Means you’re doing it right. Now I must request silence while I pull a few of the Elvis faces in my vast repertoire. just a few more tugs and… we… have… lift… off”
“I take it you enjoyed that Keeper”
“What gave me away? Yes I would say you have passed with flying colors. Now hand back the mitten as I can’t be giving it back crispy”
“Sure. Well judging by our itinerary I believe that leads us to the plan B part of our master plan”
“Can I level with you X?”
“I’m not sure I like where this is heading”
“It’s just that I’m feeling a little fatigued now”
“Don’t you dare. A deal is a deal, no matter what solar system”
“I just have this overwhelming urge to smoke a cigarette and fondly remember the past two and a half minutes. No offence but that pushes you back some in the priority list. How does a rain check sound?”
“Alright. Alright. I may be callous but I’m not a monster. Turns out I have a solution after all”
“Our plan B?”
“Yes and you can count yourself lucky that I’m feeling limber right now”
“The anal probe! You’ll allow me to extract all the data I need?”
“Fire it up and make it quick. The things I do for science”
“Actually that isn’t so bad. Does it come with speed settings?”
“And this is one I take it?”
“Two actually. However, at its optimum speed, it has been reported to provoke mild nausea”
“Fuck it. I’ve got some ibuprofen around here somewhere. Juice her up baby!”