Suggested Audio Jukebox ♬
 Depeche Mode “Enjoy The Silence”
 Pat Benatar “Love is a Battlefield”
 Henry Mancini “Pink Panther Theme”
 Tiffany “I Think We’re Alone Now”
 Henry Mancini “Pink Panther Theme (Reprise)”
 Babylon Zoo “Spaceman”
There are few silences that make can claim to make my balls prickle as effortlessly as the uncomfortable variety. Right now I’m right in the thick of one such bout of quietude and just praying for the wind beneath my wings to carry me away from this infernal place. The location of which I refer to is actually irrelevant, it’s the company I keep in this moment that has provoked this discourteous bout of testicular sclerosis. You see, my long-serving associate has done something of a number on me and left me reeling like a fisherman on Methedrine in the process. For those not residual to the know, Bonus Brain is the Robin to my Batman, the salt shaker to my French fries, the Wrecking Ball to my Miley Cyrus. Or at least that’s supposed to be the dynamic. In truth, verruca to the heel would be more apt, as this dyspeptic little swede has done little else than treat me with nothing whatsoever short of utter contempt and somehow managed to sink to an all-time low on this occasion.
The battlefield was Toon Town, the ambush way beyond snide, and the conduct no less than utterly unsportsmanlike. Pounce on my Jessica Rabbit is what he did, right in the thick of wabbit season no less, just as I was psyching myself up to do some hard hare time myself. This was no mere cock block I’m speaking of, there was blown to the fullest mutiny in the ranks and, needless to say, I was not a happy bunny. As a result of his indiscretion, Toon Town is still positively rife with crime, the case remains unsolved, and all VIP privileges have been revoked. However, something else is lodged in my throat this day, a completely different lozenge of indignation, and it is this unpalatable pastille that I hold Bonus Brain the most in contempt for. My name is muck in these parts, my previously unblemished win-loss record marred, and my reputation soundly tarnished. I leave this place with head hung low and it was his skulduggery that instigated this case of wet-tail so, you guessed it, I’m bummed.
The real needler is that he’s looking rather smug as he whistles to himself in the side car totally oblivious to the damage he has done or the ramifications for both of us. Granted, I’ll never work in this town again, but I suspect there’ll be no welcome mat rolled out for him either after our sorry spectacle. To be honest, I was getting a little irked anyhoots, as there are only so many times you can listen to Chip ‘n’ Dale wail She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain before those facial twitches begin in earnest and, while Jessica Rabbit was indeed a sight for sore testicles, up close she really ain’t all that. I swear I spotted vague acne beneath all that thick foundation and her eyes are too close together for my liking so it invariably would have ended up in an injunction regardless of Bonus Brain’s sickening side-show. While not about to excuse his actions, I’m also not about to start blubbing over leaky teats, as there is shit I can change and I’d rather be focusing my full undivided attention on that than ringing the bell for round two.
That said, it doesn’t make my current situation any less perplexing, as I suspected I’d finally gotten the hang of the earth’s atmosphere and have been proved very much mistaken it appears. Once we arrive back at the barracks and I check my messages, I’m sure there’ll be preparation ahead as misdemeanor waits for no man and mankind has to count on someone to do its wet work and bail its ass out. That someone will be yours truly and that equates to yet another free coat-tail ride for Bonus Brain as he ponders other conniving ways to relinquish me of my hard-fought thunder. But the Brutal Word Wrangler is nothing if not resilient and, if that means carrying this fraudulent freeloader a few laps, then I believe it is time to prepare myself a whey protein shake. This will serve two very different purposes: to assist me in bulking up prior to my mission and to encourage surges of uncontrollable flatulence, which I fully intend on wafting in his very direction. Hell, I may even dust off the old smoothie maker and sacrifice some broccoli stalks just for that additional twang you understand. Better yet (or worse you decide), I think I shall also toss a few asparagus tips into the blender before urinating on his favorite memory foam head cushion. That’s one heady brew it will not be forgetting in a hurry.
First things first, I need to scour my in-tray and find out what kind of ridiculousness is lined up next. If you have no objections, I shall set you down momentarily and return in no more than a Sesame Street monster’s handful of jiffies. Fret not as I’ll be unlikely to be gone long, something tells me that the work isn’t exactly going to be flooding in after The Toon-Gate Sanction. Make yourselves at home, feel free to peruse my wares at your own convenience, brew up a pot of tea, and mine’s one sugar thanks. Guys?.. Guys?
How did that tumbleweed get through security dagnabbit? I don’t know, you shell out an additional forty big ones for state-of-the-art and it fails you in your hour of need. Admittedly, the need has been pretty much constant since The Grim Reaper challenged me to a round of chess and flat ignored the rule set, but I find it somewhat suspicious that my three-month warranty conveniently expired just yesterday. Something stinks in suburbia and it ain’t me as I haven’t even whipped up that smoothie yet. I can’t speak for my unwashed armpits as, should I leave them to fester for a few days more, I reckon they’ll save me the syllables. But that uncivil stench I discern is treachery and I wouldn’t put it past Bonus Brain to have something to do with it. Keep those heads on swivels in my absence and, if you happen across anything even slightly untoward, please feel free to spill the beans on my return.
Has he gone yet? Keep this on the hush-hush but I thought he’d never shit the fuck up. I mean seriously, does he really think anyone actually gives two hoot clones about his chowderhead antics? Talk about narcissist. It’s okay for you lot as you only have to suffer him in spurts but you try pitching your tent beneath his veranda for one night and tell me you don’t feel mildly justified in plunging a dessert spoon into both eardrums and twisting it a full 360. He foolishly believes that he has me all figured out when, in actuality, he knows less than shit and barely three-quarters of piss. Just because my overall mass corresponds to 25% of his dead weight doesn’t make me a pushover yet he insists on pushing my buttons. Well let me tell you something for free while prying eyes appear to be diverted, I don’t much care for my buttons being prodded when he has less than no clue as to the correct configuration.
You may have noticed that I’m far more eloquent than you’d been led to believe and shame on you all for succumbing to his putrid gases. I’ll have you know I possess an honors degree in horticulture and once solved a Rubix Snake in under a minute, whilst playing Jingle Bells in B-minor on a Casio PT-1 with my free hand and still managed to secure a pretty mean reef knot with my foot phalanges. How’s that for industry? Here comes that doozy though as, while tooting my bugle is admittedly a rather moreish endeavor ♫ TOOT TOOT ♫, I’m also more than aware ♫ TOOT ♫ of my weaknesses. It would appear that you can’t actually have your cake and eat it too as, for all my intelligence (175 points strong bitches), there has to be a compromise somewhere and it is my social naïvety that holds me back from making friends and influencing people. Something has to give right and I’m just glad it’s not my razor-sharp wit or even sharper understanding of the ironic. I may be something of a pariah but I’m also the whip-smart brand of loner and I’d take that over a bloated friends list for any stints in the Hypberbolic Time Chamber.
The thing that frustrates me most about my cross to bear is that he’s actually not such a primate himself when he puts his mind to it. Dare I say I was impressed (albeit to a degree way beneath diminutive) by the way in which he conducted himself when ducking Death’s sickle and he showed his lightning fast reflexes when deflecting the nefarious Trump Demon’s vicious front guard also. Such acts of valor do not go unnoticed, regardless of whether or not I’m prepared to apply the lipstick. The last thing I want is all this power going to his already misshapen head and it’s for his own good in the long run. I can see the belief in his eyes and, aside from the moments where he gormlessly allows his inner monologue to run away with his wash-day linen, it is admittedly a teensy bit unshakable. This presents something of a conundrum to me and, while puzzle solving is but one of the arrows in my quiver, a thumping migraine is a thumping migraine after all, regardless of how much you attempt to play it off as a head rush.
Don’t tell him this whatever you do but I’d miss him if he got his cranium collapsed by an anvil or plummeted into a vat of molten reflux. That doesn’t mean I’ll be sucking his rancid lollipop but neither does it suggest I have any intention of leaving the sinking ship. Got my scuba gear you see and I tampered with his oxygen tank so this promises to be one helluva capsize. But if he plays sufficient cards right I may just toss him a slab of termite-ridden drift wood and phlegm-clogged whistle. Bet he still let’s go though, moron. Anyways (I refuse to use his gormless alternative any longer), mom’s the word and I trust that this enlightening conflab will travel no further than these four walls. Keep it under your hats and I promise not to donate a loose dump to your morning oatmeal. How does that sound? Blame it on the creatine, have been a little too regular since budging over to strawberry. Our little secret remember? Or else. Just saying.
Right then, sorry to have been so long but I do return with a pocketful of glad tidings in my possession. Curiously against the run of play, job offers have been rolling in from all sides like over familiar marbles, and I think I may have found us a real humdinger to sink our gumshields into y’know. Boy I’m excited to share but, before we get to the nittiest of gritties, please allow me to prepare a nice mug of tepid herbal tea and hunt down the macaroons. Should still be in-date and, if not, then I spied a slice of half-eaten Battenberg in the pantry wrapped in twine and I’m sure Bonus Brain wouldn’t object to me offering it to the company.
Well that’s odd. I could’ve sworn I filled the kettle. Hold on, why is my finest bone china crockery looking like it has recently luxuriated coriander? It’s him isn’t it? Sleeping with the enemy was you? Why I really must get around to oughta-ing. Would you mind terribly explaining to me why you’ve been fraternizing with the hired help all incognito and shit? My winning smile is now little more than a chapped grimace and I expected more from you if I’m honest. Heaven knows what sort of hot air he’s been pumping into your inner tubes in my absence and, right about now, the mind is having rather a hard time so much as boggling. And here was me, bouncing back into your midst like a caffeine infused Tigger on a trampette, all primed to scatter candies, and for what I ask? An admittedly lovingly prepared guano Panini with nowhere near the correct ratio of smoked ham and mozzarella to manure. I feel the equivalent of hurt in disappointment right now and would love nothing more than to hear your take on it. Guys?.. Guys?
I really must get on to the campus groundsman y’know. Anyhoots, I could waffle on about excrement all day (and have been known to do so on bank holidays) but it’s not going to get to the bottom of our current felony is it? Listen, it’s okay you know, I’m sure whatever conversation played out was innocent enough on your part, and wouldn’t dream of holding you in contempt as wranglers don’t roll like that. Actually we don’t so much roll as career wildly from our designated paths but that’s no more here than it is there at this juncture. All that matters is that nobody has been hurt, all the chicks are in the nest, and I’ve got one helluva thunderbolt newsflash to share. This is hot off the press, fresh from Seabiscuit’s flappers, an exclusive so exclusive that it has just secured the rights to total exclusivity and is currently negotiating terms to be named The News That Cannot Be Heard Anywhere Else In The Entire Cosmos And All Correlating Systems Up To And Including Zürg But Right Here, Right Now [Subject to the nine o’clock bulletin].
I’m damn near bursting with excitement and promise to fill you in shortly but, given how monumental this headline is, feel it would only be right if we celebrate in something approaching style. Thus I shall pop to the nearby convenience store and grab some streamers and party hats. I feel a celebration is in order and have already forgotten any well-meaning acts of thoughtlessness on your part. I sense a whole cluster of bygones in our vicinity and feel more than justified in letting them be. Bonus Brain is baggage enough to lug around, without the weight of the world to shoulder too. I’ll only end up with gout and inflamed ankles are no joke from what I hear from a staple diet of healthcare forums and Doogie Howser M.D. so let’s just skip to the group hug shall we? I even ran a flannel through my groin crease to mark the occasion and, if you tow the line from hereon in, I may just dab the other side. Fuck it, I’ll even throw in some soap and water, how does that grab those polyps? Like a duplicitous husband, I’m the gift that just keeps on giving. Rightio, back in two shakes of a twerking bobblehead.
What a putz. Did he really think the very same thing wouldn’t happen the very second his back was turned? Far too trusting, that wrangler. That said, I actually have no great desire to dig a plot he already seems to be doing such a bang-up job of cultivating all on his own. While I may possess the keys to a brand new combine harvester attached to my fanny pack, it’s too damn hot for manual labor and I’m as intrigued as you to learn how his garden is currently growing. He appeared rather excitable about this burning secret of his and I just couldn’t bring myself to rain on his crops as it would only end up nourishing the bastard. What then? A whole wrangler harvest. Spare me the green fingers, I’d rather just take sly digs from the sidelines and perhaps interfere with the fertilizer if I get especially bored. Whatever this news entails, it will be me who bears the brunt of bailing his sorry hide out, as he only mastered the art of wiping front-to-back after I started referring him to “shitballs”.
Right then, let’s get one thing perfectly straight shall we? Under no circumstances are you to blab about our little rendezvous and I’m relying on you lot to keep up your end of the bargain. He should be gone for a good ten minutes so I say we use this time to discuss some of the elephants in the room, seeing as no-one else is bringing them up. Should you have been present during the whole genie lamp debacle, then you will remember that it all ended up airing towards the side of sinister. Thanks to his loose lips, I suffered a rather unpleasant seizure and was left in desperate need of medical attention. Furthermore, I now have the undesirable extra of vague conscience to contend with. Meanwhile, the wrangler was granted an additional pair of testicles (Bonus Balls if you wish) and it appeared that I had gotten the end of the baton dipped in walrus cellulite for my troubles. Added to his already impressive tally of two bollocks, he now has double the reasons to believe himself some kind of sexual rhinoceros.
To be fair, he hasn’t actually mentioned them yet, but I’ve seen him admiring his package in the full-length mirror and it makes me sick to the stem to see him thinking he’s something when he’s clearly some way less than that. Now I don’t wish to be testy (don’t blame me, I’m reading from autocue), but talk about a pointless acquisition. Big whoop he has four balls, the opposite sex will still find him just as repulsive, likely more so now that he looks so out of proportion. Worse still, it just means even more frittered ejaculate for me to clean up, and bathroom mousse ain’t getting any cheaper you know. Actually the price went down 25 cents last week but, study closely and you’ll see that it had dropped from 300 to 250 ml. The bottom line is this – he’s a repulsive little wanker – and this kind of immature behavior should not be encouraged under any circumstances. Remember that next time you reach out to shake his hand, those calluses aren’t from heavy lifting and that ain’t a thin lace glove he’s wearing either.
Stick with me and you’ll be just fine and, under no circumstances, should you accept one of his profiteroles as I’ve seen him piping the cream in and it’s infinitely suspect believe you me. I feel that we’ve gotten to know each other a little better during our short time together and would hate to squander the momentum, after making such significant headway. As you have probably now ascertained, I’m nowhere near as ignorant as he has led you to believe, just misunderstood by a human parakeet with precious little in the way of bankable intelligence. Nevertheless, I’ll still feign indifference as he enlightens us all on the task at hand, and no doubt be forced into bailing him out once he makes a pig’s ear out of saving mankind as he invariably does. Speak of the devil, I think I discern the sound of jangling keys, despite the fact that our front door is activated by remote sensor. Time to skedaddle methinks. Keep those lips sealed and there’s no reason for you to wake up with Black Beauty’s hacked off head on your pillowcase. Bonus Brain out.
My sincere apologies for the tardiness of my return but old Mrs. Pendergast insisted on paying for her hemorrhoid lotion with a jarful of nickels and they were all out of party hats so I had to settle for plastic colanders instead. You’re under absolutely no obligation to put them on but I’ll leave them just here by the half-eaten tray of praline chocolates in case you feel the urge to partake.
Hold on one sixty-second cotton-picker, that tray was brimming just a few moments ago and some callous swine has polished off all the orange fondants. This whole thing positively reeks of skulduggery and also proves that you lot can’t be left alone for a solitary minute. Nevertheless, I can’t hold this exciting news in any longer or else I’ll likely combust spontaneously and it matters not that I possess less body hair than a kiwi fruit as there are few scents as ghastly as charred flesh and I’m two months behind on my health insurance. The time has come Grueheads for the big reveal and the only thing missing right now is Bonus Brain, although I get the idea he’s lurking with intent behind that bulging curtain, either that or I need to call the exterminators. Fuck it, I’ll call ’em anyhoots. But not before letting you all in on my little secret.
“Bonus Brain old bean?”
“What do you want now dick sprout?”
“So you don’t want to hear the good news then?”
“Does it entail a sudden outbreak of weeping hives all over your body?”
“Well it better be good to make up for it”
“It is I assure you. Huddle up close and I shall spill the beans”
“Did you wash your armpits this morning?”
“Yes I did, you watched me do it didn’t you guys? Guys?.. Guys?”
“Please allow me to explain a little about personal hygiene wrangler. Two-day-old sweat + After-thought antiperspirants = No way on earth I’m coming within five yards of your fetid funk”
“Suit yourself. But I’m not raising my voice on your account after the stunt you pulled back in Toon Town”
“I knew it. You just had to bring that up didn’t you?”
“What did you expect? That I’d continue twitching uncomfortably like Betty White at a Golden Girls reunion? You hurt my feelings you know”
[UNDER BREATH] “I’m sorry”
“Excuse me? Didn’t quite catch that Bonus Brain”
“I said I’m sorry alright. Now get on with it before I strangle you with these drapes”
“Well we received a number of offers while we were away and I wasn’t sure what to do for the best”
“Just spit it out you Sasquatch”
“We have been cordially invited aboard the Nostromo for an all you can eat buffet in honor of our exertions at Trump Tower. Seems we helped the world dodge a bullet there”
“The Nostromo you say?”
“That’s what the facsimile says. And you know what that means don’t you?”
“That we need to stock up on antacid?”
“That we’re going to space Bonus Brain. You, me, and the Grueheads if they’re up to it. You’re up to it aren’t you guys? Guys?.. Guys?
“Give me fucking strength!”
Click here to read Wrangler’s Last Supper