The Specials “Ghost Town”
Like, what’s going on man? Scoobs? Old buddy, old pal? Zoinks! Something tells me this is gonna be a long night. Who’s bright idea was it to spend the night in a supposedly haunted house anyway? Don’t go looking at me as I was the first person to get the chilly willies when we pulled up outside this place and would much rather have just stayed in the van. If that makes me a chicken then… bwok, bwok, BWAK! I may have a yellow belly but I also have a fair idea what plays out in these kind of creepy mansions and it traditionally entails having the pants scared off you. I mean, what kind of name is Bloodstone Manor if not as sinister as hell? I’d already told Fred that me and Scoobs don’t go near places with spooky, haunted, forbidden or creepy in the name but I guess I should have been more specific. There’s little appeal to me in any building that contains pictures with eyes that follow you around or suits of armor that try and get the sneak on you every time your back is turned. But do you think Fred listened?
Of course Fred didn’t listen and do you know why that is? It’s because Fred never listens once he’s got an idea in his head and it always seems to lead us to hell holes like this. To be fair, we did put it to the vote and it was a close-run thing. Naturally Daphne was up for it as we all have a fair idea what goes on between her and Fred behind closed doors. Scoobs had his eye on a foot long pastrami sub he’d spotted at the last service station we passed and raised his paw for turning back without a second’s delay.
So the casting vote was left down to Velma and I had high hopes for a 3-2 swing in our favor as everyone knows the dorky chick in glasses gets it first. What I didn’t realize was that Velma has been taking self-defense classes in an attempt to shake her nerdy image and this overnight stay presented her the ideal opportunity to be part of the “cool gang”. Alas, while me and Scoobs may be a lot of things, hungry mostly, that list doesn’t happen to include cool. The decision was made, The Mystery Machine parked right outside the front door just to let any resident ghouls know we were coming, and into Bloodstone Manor we ventured.
That was an hour ago now and it took only a fraction of that time for strange things to start happening. First Fred and Daphne wandered off together to investigate, although there was not a lot peculiar about that one. What I did find odd was that, ten minutes later, they still hadn’t returned. It usually takes Fred around 180 seconds to do his business and there’s often a wet patch in his pants before they’ve even made their excuses. Something didn’t feel right, and when something doesn’t feel right, it’s normally because it’s like wrong. I may not be the sharpest fork in the cutlery set, but I know a five-strong bloodbath when it’s brewing. When I die, I want it to be in my early fifties from a myocardial infarction and midway through a hamburger, not shut in an Iron Maiden in some medieval torture chamber. That’s no way to go. Scoobs would already be long dead by then anyway, but I’m fairly certain he wouldn’t choose this demise either. Couldn’t we just slip out for a quick bite to eat and leave Velma to hold the fort? No slap up meals, just a quick Scooby snack or two to raise morale before we rid this place of its evil. Velma? Old buddy, old pal?
I believe “Zoiks!” was the term used to explain my unease as I glanced around for Velma’s blessing and was greeted by a chilly silence. No Fred, no Daphne, and now no Velma either – unless my pocket calculator was busted, that left just me and Scoobs right? That’s not ideal when we were the only two opposed to this little moonlit masquerade in the first place. In situations like these it is customary for the spineless to huddle up in blind terror and shiver uncontrollably. It’s always seemed to work in the past. However, the suit of armor to my left had clearly moved at least six inches since we first let ourselves in and that was all the clue required to look my old pal dead in his puppy dog eyes, calmly exhale a breath, and scream “RUN SCOOBS!” at the very top of my voice. At this point, it becomes every man or dog for themselves, and the only priority is finding a hiding spot before the axe falls. Fortunately for us, we both had the exact same idea. Fred always said we share a brain but I’d put our dual arrival in the pantry down to our joint appreciation of dairy produce on this occasion. What can I say? We get peckish when we’re scared.
Can I tell you a secret? It’s actually more like the munchies. Come on, tell me you haven’t noticed the thick smoke billowing from the van when me and Scoobs are on our snack breaks or heard Buffalo Soldier playing on loop. We reserved the right to pack out the bong the very moment Fred had the bright idea that we should all solve mysteries for a living. The downside to getting high is the whole paranoia gig and that isn’t helped by three of your friends going missing in close succession. The pantry seemed like the thinking man and dog’s choice, or at least, it was until Scoobs let his shattered nerves get the better of him. You ever had your leg humped by a Great Dane in a confined space and pitch darkness? Man’s best friend I’m down with, but I distinctly recall never once mentioning benefits. Needless to say, I found the whole experience deeply uncomfortable but, if it was good for Scoobs, then there was simply no choice but to grin and bear it. I think they call it taking one for the team. From what Fred tells me, Daphne takes plenty.
Five whole minutes this went on and I was starting to feel a tiny bit used, when the leg humping just stopped without warning. I didn’t know whether to be relieved that the ordeal was finally over or annoyed at yet another pair of corduroys being fit for the bin. But there was a third emotion doing the rounds as I was suddenly more than aware that I might actually be alone. Either Scoobs had fallen asleep on the job or I’d been well and truly diddled by my best friend in the whole wide world. Whatever the reason for his disappearance, this is easily tied for the most terrifying day of my life. Tied with what, you may ask and I won’t keep you waiting for an answer. Tied with every other freaking day of my life! It’s not that I go looking for trouble. Okay, perhaps that’s not strictly true. But that doesn’t mean I want to find it. Without my old pal Scoobs to shake and shiver alongside me, I’m done for. Just another face on a milk carton. More importantly, I’m currently staring directly into a set of evil-looking eyes that say only one thing to me – G-g-g-GHOST!
Andy and Mandy make dandy candy. Andy and Mandy make dandy candy. Have they gone yet? Like, what do I do? I know what Scoobs would say if he were here now. He’d say “raggy, rold me right” and I’d squeeze him so tight he’d suspect I was a seeded bun and break out the salad garnish before I could say “hold the anchovies”. But with Scoobs gone AWOL, there’s only one other four-legged friend I can call upon and I’d much rather refer to this pint-sized pooch as an acquaintance. It’s because of Scrappy-Doo that I keep my Facebook notifications turned off at all times. Do you have any idea how many times that dinky dork pokes me daily? He may be Scoob’s nephew, but he’s also the greatest irritant since the asbestos jockstrap and the very last mutt on planet earth and all orbiting stars I wanna be locked in the pantry with.
It’s all well and good telling spooks you’re gonna rock ’em and sock ’em, but it helps if you can see above the low-level mist. I believe the correct medical term is “small man syndrome” but I’ve got a far better word for it and would compromise our PG-rating if I was to share that with you. Okay, you’ve dragged it out of me – he’s a cunt. Like, it actually felt pretty good saying that out loud. Scrappy, let’s face it. And I’m not being funny. I mean no disrespect, but you’re a cunt. You’re a cunt now, and you’ve always been a cunt. And the only thing that’s going to change is that you’re going to be an even bigger cunt. Maybe have some cunt puppies. Now fuck off back to your kennel before I strangle you with your flea collar, you little cunt.
Like, did I just say that? Is this going out live? Zoiks! I don’t know what to say other than that I get like this sometimes when I’m hungry. Personally I never understood why we have to split up in the first place. I get that many hands make light work and that mysteries don’t solve themselves. But me and Scoobs ain’t like the others. Searching for clues is all hunky dory when trying to locate the nearest Domino’s but not so fun when it involves rattling chains and things that go bump in the night. Whatever was shuffling around in that pantry with me back there clearly wasn’t looking for someone to play Scrabble with. It was trying to decide how to strip the skin from my bones and I kinda like that where it is. Oh Scooby-Doo, where are you? The others I can live without, but not you. Not my old buddy… old pal… old friend. Please Scoobs, give me a sign.
Or alternatively you could just continue your vow of silence and leave me to clean up all this mess, which appears to be the state of play here. I get it. Let’s all dump on Shaggy, shall we? You think I haven’t heard the cruel jibes? Oh look, here comes Norville Rogers. Quick, offer him an eggplant burger and he’ll dress up like a French maid and varnish your mahogany. It makes me sick to the very pit of my stomach and perhaps that would explain the explosive diarrhea I’ve been suffering. Well I’m like just about done with it. Who cares if the curator of Bloodstone Manor is acting ever so slightly sinister? So what if the library books have a life of their own? Big whoop if things have a tendency to go bump in the night. You should try catching a solitary wink of sleep in the Mystery Machine when Fred and Daphne are going at it hammer and tong. I’d much rather be hanging out with Captain Caveman. He may be like Neanderthal, but at least he’s got a trio of hot chicks on the payroll. Can I get a “Zowie” girls?
I don’t know why I’m even bothering. No girl gives me a second look unless she mistakes me for Matthew Lillard and that happens more than you’d think. If Brad Pitt decides to grow a goatie, everyone’s all like “me so horny” whereas three weeks of stubble for me equates to a thorough pounding outside 7-Eleven and not so much as a sympathy screw for my troubles. Why else do you think I binge eat daily? I wouldn’t mind but I only have one set of clothes as the van’s filled up with all Daphne’s crap. I happen to be rather fond of brown corduroy but it was a far more potent weapon back in the sixties, when it was still vaguely fashionable. I distinctly recall the dude in the thrift store saying “these will get you laid sonny”. That was seven freaking years ago and the closest I’ve come to action since was when Scoobs took one too many hits on the bong, mistook me for a twig, and buried me at the bottom of the garden.
So you see, I’m done with it all and this is where the profanities come back into play, I’m afraid. Fuck Fred with his perfect hair, fuck Daphne with her shapely thighs and come hither eyes, fuck Velma with her Pythagoras rule, fuck Scooby for being related to Scrappy if for no other reason, fuck Bloodstone Manor as it’s a dank piss hole with lousy central heating, fuck the suit of armor that has been following me since I stepped into this cess pit, fuck the pair of eyes on that painting for looking at me funny, fuck Hannah & Barbera for saddling me with a group of narcissistic losers, fuck Fred Flintstone for driving around in a car with no engine, fuck his wife Betty for taking Dino for granted, and fuck The Jetsons for not once sending a postcard. Like, fuck the whole lot of them man.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be back at the van rolling a big fat one. Should Scoobs get his act together, then he’s very welcome to join me in the festivities but I’ll be charging two bucks a puff from now on, just to be clear. What can I say? Inflation’s a bitch on heat my old buddy…old pal… old friend. Tell you what, bash Scrappy’s brains into mushy pulp with a lump of 4×4, sever his head with a rusty sickle, then return it to me while it’s still warm, and I’ll make it one fifty. Call it mate’s rates. That’s how I’m rolling. I’ve tried being the nice guy, the meddling kid, the harmless stoner, the affable dolt, the most stupid person in the room, the weakest link in the chain, the fashion disaster, the reason why the toilet’s blocked, the one least likely to succeed, and the man most destined to remain a virgin his whole life. Where did that get me? Fondled in some musty pantry and without a token happy ending in sight, that’s where.
As for the whole mystery of Bloodstone Manor thing, well that’s some other poor sap’s problem. I’d recommend keeping an eye on the curator though as I caught him changing into a merman costume earlier whilst laughing to himself maniacally. He would’ve got away with it too, if it weren’t for yours truly. Speaking of which, that would mean I’ve cracked the case, would it not? With none of my four associates stepping up to claim the reward, that means the eggplant burgers are on me. Hell, may as well throw in some cheesy nachos while you’re at it. But hold the anchovies remember. So what do you say? Shall we get high and go beat the living twat out of Scrappy? I rock him, you sock him, everybody wins. Last I heard, we was hanging out with Pauly Shore and Rob Schneider in the reject’s lounge. And if we run into Matthew Lillard on our travels, I want my brown corduroys back dammit. I hear they’re like due to make a comeback.
Hold on. That couldn’t be Scoobs, could it? But I’d already written him off and blocked him on Twitter. I thought he’d abandoned me, left me to rot, forsaken his oldest friend in the world for a handful of premium dog biscuits.
“Scoobs? Scooby Doo? Where are you buddy?”
“Ri ron’t row”
“What do you mean you don’t know?”
“Ri’m rost Raggy”
“Lost? Give me strength. Head for the light”
“Rere ris ro right”
“Then I’m sorry old buddy… old pal… old friend. But I can’t help you”
“Rhat ro rou rean roo ran’t relp me?”
“Raggy? Raggy? RAGGY RO!”
That’s right punks, there’s a new Norville Rogers in town. From now on, I’d thank you not to call me Shaggy as I’ll no longer grace it with a dignified response. The new Norville Rogers wouldn’t think of associating with a sidekick who drinks out of the toilet bowl; neither would he waste his time solving pointless mysteries when he could be baking hash brownies and picking up cheap hookers in Chinatown. The new Norville Rogers is getting a shave, buying a pair of pea-green corduroys and brown T-shirt just to mess with your heads, and getting his balls out whenever he bloody well feels like it. You like got a problem with that? Then please feel free to take it up with Scrappy. I’m not even kidding. I’ll pay you. I don’t suppose you accept Scooby Snacks, do you?
Richard Charles Stevens
Keeper of The Crimson Quill
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