♫ Suggested Audio Jukebox
 Wham! Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
 Emmanuel Kervyn Rabid Grannies
 Stratus Run For Your Life
 Willie Wisely Tromeo & Juliet
 John McCallum Surf Nazi Must Die
 Sandy Farina Body Talk
Have you ever woke up with the sneaking suspicion it’s about to be one of those days? Well then welcome to my world as I’m surviving one as we speak and only barely to boot. You see, while ordinarily my mind cannot hope to compute even the most perfunctory of data until it has been provided its first of many daily caffeine hits, excruciating pain tends to speed up that process considerably. After performing the obligatory lethargic stretch, rubbing my bloodshot eyes, and omitting the kind of yawn that could floor a water buffalo through scent alone, I slid my legs to the side and placed them down into my cosy carpet slippers.
Job’s a good ‘un right? Perhaps that would be so if some bright spark hadn’t conducted the old switcheroonie and replaced said foothuggers with a frigging mop bucket. For the record, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid to the early lunchtime foot spa, had the pail in question not been half full of toxic waste. Needless to say it was a brisk dip, although not quite snappy enough not to have had both sets of phalanges melted down to the ivory. Any idea what my primary response was? You guessed it – “FUUUCK!” – followed by approximately ten minutes of whimpering in fetal position. It was around about then that I had my first sneaking suspicion it was about to be one of those days.
Desperate not to allow one “minor incident” to shape my day into a loose bowel movement, I decided against an inquest and dragged myself down twelve flights of stairs to prepare the customary hot beverage. This in itself turned out to be a soul-destroying exercise as, when I retired to my quarters last night, there were only thirteen steps to traverse. Even more disconcertingly, my seventy-three-year-old mother was nowhere to be found and neither was any of her bone china crockery. It’s funny how it can take so long for the penny to drop that one is not in one’s own home after an environmentally unfriendly awakening.
Instantly I cast my mind back to the night before and there was nothing there to suggest that I’d coming to in an alien environment. Granted, I’d indulged in a couple of whiskey chasers before bedtime and I guess someone could have slipped me a roofie unbeknownst to me. But my asshole wasn’t sore and I’m assured that’s the first telltale sign of being rectally tampered with. Why else would anybody go to the bother of drugging me, moving me to an undisclosed location, strategically placing a mop bucket of luminous green toxic waste where my slippers usually hang out, and not at least popping out from my closet to scream “Gotcha”?
This didn’t make a lick of sense and neither did the poorly scrawled note stuck to the refrigerator with what appeared to be chewed-up gum until closer inspection. There was little bubblicious about the loogie some sick twisted individual had hocked onto the reverse of this barely legible communication to pin their memo; although admittedly it did make for a rather spiffing adhesive. At any rate, what was more important right now was to translate this garble and collect my very first clue. There had to be some indication of where I’d wound up.
Actually there wasn’t, but there were clear instructions on where I’d be required to travel next and it only entailed a mere two block crawl so I sucked in my chest and got my slither on post-haste. There seemed nothing harmful or foul about making a quick house call to a couple of sweet, fragile old ladies although I planned to draw the line at rubbing their bunions. According to the scripture, Elizabeth and Victoria Remington were throwing some kind of joint birthday party and had run out of nieces and nephews to invite; so it just felt like the upstanding thing to do, figuratively speaking of course.
Naturally, I kept my ear to the ground during transit (this time not figuratively) and the word on the street was that there’d been some kind of toxic spillage over at the local high school. A real nasty one apparently; multiple casualties if I picked the vibrations up correctly. I’d have followed this tremor back to the source had it not been for my wretched sense of duty. Elizabeth and Victoria may not live to see many more birthdays and the word on the street had something to impart about that also. Again I couldn’t be sure but there appeared some confusion over whether or not they’d lived to see this one.
Old folk are only ever one bout of influenza or broken hip away from their pine receptacles and I had to prepare myself for the worst as that’s the done thing with the elderly right? Turns out I shouldn’t have worried as both ladies were mobile and particularly inviting to boot. What kind of delectations awaited me in their pantry? Perhaps some apricot marmalade and an uncut rustic loaf? It would have been positively uncouth not to enter so enter I did.
My first red flag was raised to half mast as I shuffled past their ankles and copped an eyeful I’d much prefered not to have. I’d naturally just presumed that sweet, fragile old ladies wore bloomers around the house and wasn’t best pleased about being proved wrong on this occasion. It wasn’t the fact that their vintage vaginas resembled two stale pitta breads that had been punched through so much as the funky green ooze trickling down to their stocking tops that truly stole my breath away. Could it be infectious? Worse still, it was the precise same hue as the toxic waste I’d paddled in back at my starting point. Perhaps there was a running theme here.
Suddenly all the apricot marmalade and uncut rustic loaves in the world felt insufficient. But Elizabeth had already deadlocked the front door. I was trapped. With a pair of rabid grannies and no contingency plan other than to scream “FUUUCK!” at the top of my tonsils and pray I overload their hearing aids and perish from the subsequent brain hemorrhages. However, acting hastily would likely result in a thorough teabagging as no bloomers generally equates to no sex in a long while and absolutely gagging for it and my compromised posture had me directly in the firing line should they prolapse any further.
Fortunately, the television saved me from what I’m reasonably assured would have been a fate most ghastly as MacGyver was just about to start on CBS and that took priority to making yours truly die slowly and shudderingly. If Richard Dean Anderson had walked in at that precise moment, I’d have licked his inside leg, rolled onto my back and requested he tickle my tummy. Actually I’d have probably given him a wide berth as the ladies don’t half shift on their Zimmer frames and something tells me he’d be the one getting teabagged.
Before you go pointing out that only men can perform this indignity; remember the prolapse and lack of elasticity that results from decades of wear and tear. Let’s just say there was plenty of excess junk for the dunking and leave it there shall we? An average episode of MacGyver is around 48 minutes long so that left plenty of time to crawl to the pantry and prepare myself some much-needed brunch before figuring out how the hell I was going to get out of this festering hell hole.
According to the loaf’s label, Bread & Cie Bakery bakes hand-made, European rustic old world bread and pastries seven days a week, and this seemed like as good a place as any to continue my investigation so I took note of the address and snuck to the front door as surreptitiously as I possibly could without the appropriate getaway sticks. Mercifully, Elizabeth and Victoria remained utterly oblivious to my deception and I managed to pick the lock, ironically using the skills I had amassed from watching re-runs of MacGyver.
I almost felt bad for the old dears for splitting before they had chance to cut the cake but, for as much as I pity the elderly, this pair of germ-ridden geriatrics had done little to secure my sympathy. There was still a mystery to be solved and I knew I was more likely to obtain the answers I seeked at the local high school. Locating the campus was easy enough as it just so happened to be positioned rather inconveniently next door to a nuclear power plant and my arrival coincided with widespread pandemonium as news of the toxic spill had just broken out.
While traditionally folk pull together in times of crisis, here it appeared very much each man and woman for themselves and the this likely had something to do with a gang known as “The Cretins” who had taken this opportunity to run amok and cause blind panic. According to some nerdy kid who was cowering behind a conifer, this posse of youths were actually former members of the honor society and straight A students before the shit hit the fan. This pimpled little pipsqueak went on to explain how some radioactive strain of cannibis had played a part in sending them doolally.
I was more concerned with feeling comprehensively bummed over missing last night’s indoor bikini beach party as that sounded like a real blast and would perhaps have explained me waking up in a strange town. Speaking of which, if the banner read right, then it would appear I was now better versed on my coordinates and, while the name Tromaville sounded strangely familiar, I couldn’t be sure where to place it. With interest piqued, I decided it might be an idea to have a chat with some of the other students of Tromaville High School, and my timing once again proved frightful.
First up I ran into a young man by the name of Tromeo and it wasn’t hard to spot the weight of the world on his fast-buckling shoulders. When I enquired further as to what had him felling so sub-par, he unleashed a torrent of woe that put my own problems swiftly into perspective. His soul mate Juliet had been forbidden from seeing him by her totalitarian parents and they’d insisted she marry a well-to-do meat tycoon this very morning. Juliet then took matters into her own hands by hitting up the local apothecary for some mysterious potion he assured her would aid her predicament and apparently she necked that a few minutes ago.
On the upside, no marital vows were exchanged as the wedding couldn’t go ahead. On the downside, there were some side effects and this vial of ooze had mutated Juliet into an abominable cow monster sporting a thirty six-inch schlong. Tromeo had had a change of heart and was looking for a way to let her down gently. I suggested tugging her udders some before delivering the knockout blow and left him to it.
It’s not that I didn’t wish to assist Tromeo in some way; more that I could hear mooing and didn’t fancy accommodating a three-foot cow cock, what with my close run in with the rabid grannies and the steadily worsening threat of The Cretins. It had been such a testing day thus far and all I really hankered after was to find a nice sunbathing spot and top up my tan a little. As luck would have it, Tromaville Beach was only a couple of clicks from my location so I made my way there immediately and, before I could apply the factor 500, regretted the hell out of it.
Now there are numerous perils attached to public beaches; from unsolicited crab attacks to falling coconuts and washed up jellyfish. However, perhaps the most persistent threat comes from bullies as they’ll think nothing of punting wet sand in your face if they catch a solitary whiff of weakness. Tromaville Beach has its very own gang of ruffians and, if I held out any hope of these Surf Nazis changing their ways after seeing how much distress they were causing the locals, then it was vanquished the moment I heard their leader Adolf proclaim himself the “Führer of the new beach”.
Mercifully they were far too busy tormenting a six-year-old with a set of jump leads to notice me sheepishly gathering my belongings and I managed to slip away from the danger zone undetected. However, before I could skedaddle entirely, someone else showed up and this I just had to stick around for. One of my fellow onlookers, a dashing young man named Lloyd who appeared vaguely familiar, kindly explained that neither my eyes or nostrils were deceiving me and went on to elaborate on the lonesome tale of Melvin Ferd.
Once a 98-pound weakling who worked as janitor for a local health club, Melvin was repeatedly tormented by heathens looking to demean him in any way conceivable. One fateful day they pushed this “special treatment” a tad too far by insisting he wear a pink tutu while copping off with a sheep. That explained the smell of lamb chops but not the fact that Melvin now resembled a lumpy stool over-seasoned with luminous green pesto. Only too happy to fill in the blanks, to the point where he almost appeared mildly deranged, Lloyd gave me the low-down on the dire conclusion of this altercation as the poor boy performed a swan dive from a second floor window, directly into a drum of radioactive waste. I say poor, when Melvin seemed to be making the most of his muculent makeover.
No longer Melvin Ferd, 98-pound weakling, he is now better known as The Toxic Avenger and doesn’t take kindly to Surf Nazis apparently. You wanna know what he does take kindly to? Scantily clad babes and they can’t seem to get enough of Toxie. Presumably he’s packing some meatloaf beneath that pink tutu as he sure as shit ain’t no Fred Savage from the neck up. I thanked Lloyd for the intelligence and continued to marvel at his bow tie, while keeping a shifty peeper on developments down by the shoreline. Actually If I’m being totally honest, I was more interested in checking out the bikini bunnies as they oiled one another up and engaged in a simply delightful game of beach volleyball. But from what I could make out, Toxie kicked all of their sorry Nazi asses.
My work here was done and all that remained was to head off to the Bread & Cie Bakery and collect myself a well-earned rustic baguette for the road. Tromaville may be something of a den of iniquity, but with The Toxic Avenger keeping the mean streets clean with that magnificent mop of his, the good people of Tromaville can now rest easily once more. Hold on just a sheep-dipping minute, where would one store a magnificent mop pray tell? In the appropriate bucket right? Filthy little rotter. He may be an untouchable superhero in this here town, but he owes me a pair of feet dagnabbit.
Fuck it. You live and you learn right? I was willing to overlook his not so minor discrepancy on account of all the good he was doing in his local community and, with further subhumanoid meltdowns imminent at any given moment, Tromaville needed Toxie like a politician needs an off-shore account. It was an emotional farewell as I waved him off and slithered away on my belly, while Toxie gouged out Adolf’s eyeballs with his mop handle and one of his babes had a wardrobe malfunction with her bikini bottoms. On a different day I would have remained behind and assisted the young lady with tucking her vulva back in, but it was time to bid adieu to Tromaville once-and-for-all and find my way back home. But not before stopping off at the Bread & Cie Bakery as per my earlier plan. Come to mention it, that’s precisely where I’m sat now.
The proprietor, Charles, is a lovely fellow and his brother Lloyd (yes that Lloyd), every bit as congenial. Better yet, Charlie’s rustic loaves are legendary and I’m now getting second thoughts about splitting you know. It may be populated by all manner of blood sucking freaks, dumpster babies, closet monsters, redneck zombies, maniac nurses, dead chickens and killer condoms, but I do love me a nice bit of yeast. Speaking of which, Charles has baked a fresh rustic roll just for me. What a guy!
Not sure about the chutney filling but when in Tromaville eh?
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Richard Charles Stevens
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Grueheads Films 2017