Wrangler & The Long Ride Home



Suggested Audio Jukebox ♬


[1] Stone Sour “Hesitate”
[2] Gene Pitney “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart”
[3] Whitney Houston “All The Man I Need”
[4] Belinda Carlisle “I Get Weak”
[5] Belinda Carlisle “Circle In The Sand”
[6] Rammstein “Sonne”
[7] The Prodigy “Mindfields”



This is excruciating. It’s several hours since Bonus Brain and I escaped the Nostromo on the seat of our pants and, to say conversation has been a tad strained would be one helluva understatement. Indeed, I’ve only heard him mutter a handful of words during our journey, and none of them were particularly complimentary. This should come as no great surprise given our chequered past but, to be honest, it has actually suited me down to the ground. You see, I’ve started to feel something that I honestly didn’t see coming in the slightest, and have needed the quiet time to attempt at processing this fresh data as I couldn’t be more confused right now. By all accounts I should hold him in utter contempt for his constant undermining and catty remarks. Yet I cannot deny the stirring inside right now and it has me well and truly at sixes and sevens. They say the heart wants what it wants and that’s of little consolation when I’m reasonably assured that it currently desires Bonus Brain in a lace bodice bent over a hobby-horse.


I know right? There are so many levels of wrongness to that last statement that I have no idea where to start with rationalizing it. However, I shall give it a crack as I need to get to the bottom of these swirling emotions and fast. Okay so let’s start with the elephant in the room shall we? The name Bonus Brain is rather fitting as he does pretty much what it states on the tin. While a great mind is undoubtedly an aphrodisiac, I would ordinarily prefer it connected to some kind of functioning anatomy and there is none of that here to act as additional bargaining tool. When you figure in the fact that the human brain is hardly the most desirable piece of kit, you can see where I’m headed with this. However, I’m about to share with you something that has been eating me up ever since we left Toon Town. While a strong believer in each to their own, I also know precisely which way my bread is buttered with regards to my own sexuality. It’s girls or bust for the wrangler and men just don’t tickle this particular pickle whatsoever.


You will likely have heard me refer to Bonus Brain as “he” up until now and I’ve never had any reason to doubt this either. This soon changed when it was requested we pull over on the way back to HQ so “he” could relieve himself in the bushes. Now I’m not one to spy but, after the whole Jessica Rabbit debacle, wasn’t feeling particularly trusting so I followed “him” into the foliage and watched on from my unseen vantage just to ensure that nothing untoward was going down unbeknownst to me. Needless to say, I was a tad befuddled to spot him urinating from a seated position. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I often do the same, but not whilst whistling Hey Big Spender and without a hint of baritone to be discerned. At this point I’m just speculating but, it would appear, I’ve had the wool pulled over my eyes and that Bonus Brain is in fact a woman. To be fair, chances are, there has been no deception involved on his part. It’s not like he ever said he was male, I just presumed, and it seemed to make perfect sense to me. Now I’m beginning to doubt it.


If you’re looking for evidence that Bonus Brain and I aren’t compatible then the fact that he/she has expressed loathing towards me on a number of occasions should offer all the proof required and then some. To call our relationship volatile is like calling Justin Bieber a pratt, when fucking pratt just seems far more on the nose. I’ve been called every name under the sun and a fair few over it too, consistently thwarted in my attempts to masturbate, and called out as a sexual deviant each time I’ve been caught purple-handed. Moreover, if respect isn’t due, then a dash of credit most certainly is and it never seems to feel like my best efforts are at all appreciated. With absolutely no back pats coming from Bonus Brain’s corner, you’d be forgiven for thinking me dimwitted for my sudden bout of infatuation. I could do better right? I deserve better dagnabbit. That may be well but, if there’s one thing love has a habit of being afflicted by, then that would be blindness. If the spice flows, then it just flows, and I’m effectively a passenger in all this.


So why have I seen fit to pour my little heart out now? Well a problem shared is one halved apparently and it’s not like I can throw this little bombshell into a conversation that’s not even happening. One thing I am fairly certain of is that my feelings are unlikely to be reciprocated and, if I’m proved wrong, then I anticipate BAFTA nods for Bonus Brain’s portrayal of utterly disinterested. I’m all for taking leaps of faith but not so keen on the vault of stupidity. Whatever I’m feeling must be pushed aside and never spoken of again as there’s no pot ‘o’ gold at the end of this rainbow, just a bunch of fives connected to a stroppy leprechaun. I fear my heart would not recover from another pounding like this and unrequited love knows precisely how to access the solar plexus and thump it good. Thus I would be grateful if our little tête-à-tête goes absolutely no further, at least until I’ve figured it out. Be under no illusion that this could be some wait.


There is one thing you could do for me right now and that would entail keeping an eye or two out for any telltale signs. Traditionally, I’m not what you’d call the sharpest pube in the bag, and a diagnosis of obliviousness is something I could have no real gripes against. While rather adept at sussing out the idiosyncrasies of others, I’m not so speedy when returning the finger of shame to sender. Chances are, I’ll miss a trick or two, and those two tricks will be attached to another two, which will be tied to four more, remotely controlled by a further eight. Said eight will be riddled with pressure points and within range of sixteen voodoo dolls, each of which were manufactured in Russia and therefore contain five increasingly miniaturized versions. Each of these has its own trick. By my estimations, that’s me FUBAR on the trick front. So I suggest grabbing a few stragglers on their way past and we’ll tally them all up at debrief. Between us we should be able to solve this conundrum and, perhaps then, I can reposition this puppy love in my slipstream once and for all and get back to attempting to be badass and failing way beyond miserably.


Anyhoots, I’m going to grab myself a quick handful of winks, as the exertions of the past 24 hours have left me feeling as washed out as Wilson and volleyballs are known to get cranky if they don’t get their eight-hour minimum. They reportedly also dislike being slapped in their laces with a bloody palm and detest being date-raped under the light of the moon and made to feel cheap and worthless. You see, I’m babbling incoherently, someone needs to put me out of my misery and it may as well be the Sandman in his mobile van. He visits nightly and usually has something new to rent plus his prices are reasonable. Five cents a wink he charges and, considering I ordinarily reach around 25 per slumber, it’s unlikely to ever break the bank. Moreover, I’ve found a rather delightful activity to pass the time until I hear those distant jingles.


Not wishing to paint a mental picture here but, in less than a minute, I’ll be knocking one out and with no intention whatsoever of cleaning up after myself. So that’s my next two and a half minutes mapped out and I’ll sleep like I’ve got a tit in my mouth after that. Keep me posted and no slipping any fingers inside me while I’m under. Okay, maybe just one. But don’t make it a thumb! And I expect everything to be exactly where I left it when I awaken. If my small intestine moves a quarter of an inch, I’ll know who to hold responsible. You know what that will mean don’t you? No less than the third degree, one wagging finger, and a request to sniff all ten of yours, do the math and you’ll perhaps think better than going there. That said, anyone got a thumb I can suck? Helps me get to sleep. I do also accept nipples, just putting it out there. Nitey nite.


One of these days someone’s gonna put a gun to the back of that guy’s head and put us all out of our misery. He seems to forget that I can hear every last bumbling word of his inner monologue and, while I’m grateful for the sentiment, it’s never a good sign when you find yourself craving that hemorrhage. While he’s been at stage three jibber-jabber, I’ve been frantically knocking back blueberry slush puppies in a failed stab at self-cryogenics. Perhaps if he knew how to hustle to those points, I might be able to see a future between us. But just ‘cos my eyes glaze over, doesn’t mean that I’m giddy in a good way. You ever passed out through sheer boredom? Let’s just say that it’s a good thing I set the controls for auto-pilot cruise control, or else we’d be up to our knuckles in Uranus. And therein lies the problem with this particular courtship, I hear it’s nothing like the brochure. That’s false advertising if you ask me and, if it’s not careful, it’ll end up with its planetary status revoked. We all heard what happened to Pluto right? It was last seen huffing star crystals from an interstellar dumpster three clicks from Venus. Nobody wants to go out like that.


Jesus now I’m expelling idle gases. You see what happens when you spend too long around the wrangler? He’s so far into moron that he’s halfway through dingbat; not the sort of quarterwit a girl wishes to settle down and start a family with. Yes you heard me right and, since he finally seems to have fallen in, there seems no reason to keep this dumb charade up a minute longer. It was only a matter of time before he found out the truth and the whole Jessica Rabbit affair was just a well rehearsed stunt to throw him off the scent a little. As for MUTHR, well I simply changed the settings from FATHR when I heard that infernal blathering drawing close. There’s actually been more than a dash of method to my madness as I didn’t want him to have any preconceptions as I’m employed to protect and serve and, at no point during the terms and conditions, did it state anything whatsoever about spooning being compulsory. I mean, look at the sorry douche – so much unspent semen, he once sneezed a girl six-months pregnant. I’m just not ready for that level of commitment right now.


So here’s the thing. I’ll admit to not finding him 100% nauseating, although 90% is still rather a damning statistic. If I’m being honest with myself, then I guess he is a little cute when he’s frowning, but so is Bert and you don’t see me auditioning for Sesame Street. Anyways, I hear that Ernie’s got that shit locked down and I’ve always been more of a shower brain myself. He may be finding it increasingly futile containing himself around me but that’s his candelabra to fumble, not mine. I’m just trying to serve my parole and keep my head down until I get this electric tag removed. When that happens, I’m out of dodge faster than Claire Danes can board Philippine Airlines after a press junket. There’s nothing for me here, or at least, not of the romantic inclination. Timing is critical and the fact that I’d find him most dashing in an ornate urn doesn’t bode well for us being love’s next young dream now does it?


Perhaps I’m being a little harsh on him but there’s kindness in every last cruelty as I’m trying to get the supposed Brutal Word Wrangler to “grow a pair”. Alas, thinking out loud has resulted in him doing just that and, it just so happens, that testicles are the part of the human body I find most repulsive so he can keep his Bonus Balls to himself as there’s no way on Earth or any correlating planetoids that I’m juggling no less than four of those seedy spheres in my grill. How’s that for a deal-breaker? Now I’m quite aware that most non-witted alphas would sound the dinner bell at first sighting of dual genitalia but that’s what makes them men, the most despicable breed ever to put a shelf up wonky. While I admit to being a sucker for a well-groomed goatee, he can’t even grow one of those with any real conviction and there’s precious little sexually arousing about watching a fella shave using masking tape. I swear, when that cat Jones walked on by back on the Nostromo, it licked off over half his whiskers. Apologies if I come across harsh, but that’s all the man that I don’t need.


That said, I’d be bare-faced if I said that there wasn’t something about him. I may be a smidgen acidic in my rejoinders but I still have a soft squishy side, indeed, I believe it is known as the cerebellum. There are times when a girl just wishes to be held close and reassured that everything is going to be just fine and for all my intellectual prowess, I’m still kind of a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. Did that just come out of me? You see what a despicable game love plays once you entertain a solitary impulse? At this rate, I’ll be choosing names for our first seven children by the end of this rant and I was supposed to be tearing him off a strip. I’ve always liked Amelie for a girl by the way. Goddammit, this is everything I didn’t want and a fair bit more besides. I’m falling for him aren’t I? I blame Belinda Carlisle, this is shameless musical entrapment, and I refuse point-blank to let this conniving bitch reach the chorus on my shift. Okay perhaps just to the bridge but I’m drawing the line well before repeat to fade so don’t go letting me get carried away with myself. I’m just glad I didn’t pick Circle In The Sand, that one always gets me.


You’re trying to tell me something aren’t you? Not best impressed if I’m honest as I thought we had an understanding here and there’s a vague reek of underhand about your last action. Unless I’m mistaken, this is supposed to be a high-tempo affair, not some sort of fucking rom-com. I positively loathe rom-coms and, if I ever see that Owen Wilson, I’m gonna punch his nose straight. Thus it should go without saying that I have no time for romance on my roster, especially with one so woefully lacking in anything resembling gorm. So why then am I feeling tempted to lean across right now and take a long, hard sniff of his cologne? This has to cease immediately or else the whole operation is likely to become compromised. I’ve worked too hard despising his very bones to fritter that dynamic on account of a cluster of mutinous synapses and a mildly soiled gusset. Besides, my rampant rabbit is almost fully charged, and I feel like putting the cock in cock pit without any unnecessary emotional obligation. If I keep it on a low-speed, maybe it won’t wake him, and I can get back to finding him repugnant. Don’t go blowing my cover alright? If he wakes with a start, I’m just shaving my legs. No not legs, he’ll see right through that one, bikini line. Fellas do that too right?


What’s that strange buzzing sound? I’m not yet familiar with the ambiance of this particular escape shuttle but that sounds suspiciously like a sex toy on minimum whirr you know. Have I missed something while I was away? You guys wouldn’t hold out on me would you? After all we’ve been through in the field, I’d like to think you’d be straight with me, and get the distinct impression you’re holding out on me. It could be Bonus Brain’s electric toothbrush of course but, if that’s the case, then why is that spinach still firmly lodged between his/her molars? In addition, biting the lip uncontrollably is a dead giveaway that something is going down beneath that tartan blanket. If that sound is what I suspect it to be, then my assumptions are correct, and the entire dynamic of our relationship could be about to shift indefinitely. This is one of those head or heart conundrums I’ve been hearing so much about and, while tempted to follow the latter, the repercussions could be more than grave if my curiosity is deemed intrusive. Let’s be frank, the slightest hello is pretty much a no-no in Bonus Brain’s book and that doesn’t bode well for a declaration of love. Better switch audio before the baby batter digs its heels any further into my frontal lobe. Something suitably manly would save both of us the embarrassment. Can I get an eins, drei, zwei, vier?


“Oi! I was listening to that. I mean, Rammstein suck”

“I know full well you don’t mean that Bonus Brain and would you mind explaining to me why you’re listening to Belinda Carlisle anyhoots?”

“It’s on shuffle”

“And what about that buzzing sound?”

“My iPod’s on the blink”

“Oh okay. I guess that makes sense”

[UNDER BREATH] “To a knuckle-dragger like you it would”

“What was that?”

“Forget it”

“Well I’m guessing it wasn’t complimentary”

“What was your first clue?”

“Listen, I haven’t got the fuel right now for a fight. Besides, I think I need to say thank you for bailing me out back on the Nostromo”

“I didn’t”

“So that trail you left directly to the escape pod wasn’t for my benefit then?”

“Not even. Whatever happens on your shift is your business and only interests me if it involves you getting maimed or killed”

“You keep telling yourself that and maybe you’ll fool yourself Bonus Brain”

“What are you insinuating bozo?”

“Me? Insinuate? Never in a month of Sundays. Just stating the plain obvious”

“And what might that be?”

“That you’re not quite as cold and calculating as you make out. That there’s a soft side to you that you’re not letting on to”

“How does this sound? Fuck off and perish, gargling preferably”

“I get you. Thousands wouldn’t”

“You really are a Muppet, you know that?”


“No I’m not. I’m a man dagnabbit and that has never been proved. For crying out loud Bonus Brain, I was only trying to pay you a compliment”

“No you wasn’t. And anyways, I don’t need your commendation and neither do I care for your tone”

“What tone? Acting with kindness?”

“That’s funny, I could have sworn it was suspicion”

“I’m just saying that you can be straight with me and I won’t judge you one iota”

“How’s this for straight? Go blow a mule named Timothy”

“Loud and clear Bonus Brain. Forget I ever said anything”

“Let me clarify something for you just so there’s no crossed wires here. I forget every last word you say before it even settles in its speech bubble”

“Whatever. We’ll talk about this another time”

“Don’t try pulling that passive-aggressive shit on me. We’ll do nothing of the sort. This conversation is over and on my terms, not yours”

“You really think you’ve got me all figured out don’t you?”

“No I have the Rubix Cube all figured out. I have the Theory of Relativity all figured out. I have The Matrix Reloaded all figured out. You’re really not a great stretch my friend”

“So you do consider us friends then?”

“Stop twisting my words”

“How does one twist words that are as clear as the pulsating lobe on your front fascia?”

“You really do believe that you’re some kind of intellectual don’t you?”

“Not especially no. But I’m no fool either, regardless of your constant claims to the contrary”

“I’ve known mime artists with more knowledge of how to turn a door handle than you”


“Sticks and stones Bonus Brains. The fact remains that you’re not as heartless as you make out. Not even close”

“Carry on pressing my buttons and I’ll show you heartless”

“I see I’m wasting my breath here”

“Negative. That’s wasted through your respiratory function alone”

“Fine. We’ll just sit here in silence then for the remainder of our journey shall we?”

“I’ve got a better idea numskull”

“Which is?”

“Let’s take this shit to The Oracle. See what she’s got to say about all this”


“Really? That wasn’t in the flight plan. You’d do that for me?”

“No I’d do that ‘cos that crusty old hag owes me thirty bucks”

“Well how far are we from The Matrix right now?”

“If I reset our course, we could arrive at the Nebuchadnezzar by the time I round-up the sentinels and reprogram them to collapse your cranium in”

“I have always fancied hanging out with Morpheus and the guys”

“Well then, it’s decided. Buckle up bonehead”

“And you mean what you say about going to visit The Oracle? She is rather adept at saying things how they are y’know”

“If you make it that far and I highly doubt it, then sure why not?”

“I could kiss you right now Bonus Brain”

“I’ve got a better idea. Dodge this”


I hear that having thick phlegm coughed in your face is considered a come on in certain circles thus will chalk that one down to a term of endearment and continue getting excited about the prospect of bedding Trinity. To be honest, Switch is more my type, but I hear she gets turned off easy and I’m sure Neo wouldn’t mind if I put the moves on his girl. He’s got far too much on his plate being Zion’s last hope to see me as anything other than a non-threat. I promise to return her to him in the same condition as I find her and semen wipes off leather in no time. Hell he’s due another trip to The Oracle anyhoots. I’ll even pay his fare. Of course, there will be a certain degree of mild peril to an undertaking this gargantuan, but I’m the Brutal Word Wrangler after all and, if he is The One as folk claim, then there appears little to lose from offering my services as The Two. I guess that would make Bonus Brain the 2.5, although I reckon that’ll go down like a sack of cellulite from an airborne hand glider.


“You’re on”

“Then it’s settled and, I have to say, the prospect of watching you fail miserably has me all unnecessary”

“To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human. Sound familiar?”

“To deny that you’re plankton is to deny the shrimps a good buffet”

“I don’t get you”

“Of course you don’t. That’s why a little sex wee just came out”

“Wet panties Bonus Brain?”

“Crispy boxer shorts actually”

“Uh huh”

“Don’t patronize me you fucking bosom”

“Wouldn’t dream of it”


I do believe I may have just earned myself something of a minor victory and, while fully aware that the war still rages on, that’s still progress in my book and I’ll take what I can get right now. Besides, this proposes to be a high-octane thrill ride if nothing else, and I could do with the delirium after all this downtime. Just don’t breathe a word of this to The Architect as I could do without being told how to suck eggs in a manner that is nigh-on impossible to fathom. Toss me that red pill, hand me a bag full of semiautomatics, drop me in the lobby, and watch me bring down the house in breathtaking slo-mo. I always did like me a rabbit hole. Let’s see how deep this one goes shall we? Now where can I procure me some Ray-Bans in outer space? I swear we passed a Sunglass Hut a few light years back.


Click here to read Wrangler’s Revolution




Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,


Richard Charles Stevens


Keeper of the Crimson Quill


Copyright: Grueheads Films 2016



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