Tag Archive: absurdism


A dark and gritty work by the heavily-bandaged German composer Horst Schrillefrau that’s a prime example of the subgenre opera medium rara.  As the curtain rises, Hansel, a bald and overweight butcher with large teeth and wearing only a blood-stained white apron, is badgering a frightened elderly lady in the aria Bratwurst is Not a Plaything (Bratwurst ist kein Spielzeug).  Distressed, the woman runs out and a lugubrious Hansel sings of his diminishing customer base while gnawing on a pig knuckle.  Suddenly, Chief Inspector Blutbauern storms in, holding the bloody corpse of his pet dachshund.  He demands to know Hansel’s whereabouts on the night of August 10. Hansel sings the brooding aria Dachshunds Have Always Taunted Me (Dackel haben mich immer verspotte).  Just as Blutbauern is about to arrest Hansel on suspicion of dog slaughter, three lusty whores, wearing provocative sausage jewelry, dance into the butcher shop.  They bewitch the Inspector with their mocking trio, Will You Interrogate Our Sausages?  (Werden Sie abfragen Unsere Würste?).  The Inspector laughs lustily and chases one of the prostitutes around the butcher shop with a decapitated pig’s head.  Hansel, driven mad with frustrated desire, pulls a large premium cut of venison out of his display window and prances about crazily on a countertop singing his mad song, Who Will Bring the Wafers? (Wer wird der Wafer zu bringen?).  The Inspector’s assistant dashes in and, mistaking Hansel for an escaped zoo animal, shoots him five times in a vital region.  The carefree whores play a game of ‘toss the sausage’ as Horst lies dying on the floor singing his delusory death aria, That’s Why Little Girls Love Butchers  (Das ist, warum junge Mädchen Metzgereien liebe).

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Mornings in the cult started early.  If you didn’t get up in time, all the good bagels would be gone.  And the flavored cream cheese, like the blueberry type I liked, would be used up because Janice, the one who usually had bagel duty, only ever bought one tub of it, even though everyone liked it the best.

Breakfast was served in the stripped down kitchen with the dingy, peeling wallpaper.  In addition to bagels, there was usually some juice.  Whatever was on sale at the Marrow Family Market down the street – grapefruit, apple or sometimes the fruit punch, which was pretty gross and too sugary.

After breakfast, the cult members would typically gather in the backyard.  It was a pretty private backyard, which is important in a cult house.  You don’t want random people seeing what all the cult members are doing in the backyard.  Next thing you know, they contact the media and you have crazy cult member wannabes hanging around.

This yard had a couple high concrete walls and a chain link fence on one side that was covered over pretty well with vines.  The problem was this chain link fence was only about seven feet high.  So some of the neighbors on that side could look over if they really wanted to and stood on a table or a chair or something.  We had to be careful, if we were going to do anything extremely cultish, to hang some tarp from the tree on that side of the yard.

But usually our morning routine didn’t require so much secrecy.  Darryl, our ‘charismatic leader’, would come out on the concrete-slab of a patio and blow his whistle to command attention.  Darryl was a decent leader, as cult leaders go, but he was severely lacking in the charisma department.  That’s why I put the phrase charismatic leader in quotes just now.

For one thing, he didn’t have that commanding, theatrical voice that so many natural, true charismatic leaders possess.  You know, that room filling, sonorous tone.  Sort of like the guy who does the Darth Vader voice.  Instead, he had this kind of scratchy, low-volume voice.  That’s why he needed the whistle to get everyone’s attention.  It also didn’t help that he had some bad facial scars due to severe acne problems in adolescence.  While that maybe added to his cultish rage, it didn’t do much for the charisma factor.  And then there were the clothes.  Darryl usually wore some kind of thrift store, JC Penney-style, plaid, long-sleeve shirt and loose, unflattering jeans.  He could’ve used a sharp jacket, or some cult jump suit, if you want my opinion.

But, you had to give the guy credit.  Even though he didn’t fit the usual bill of a cult leader, he worked hard at the job.  He was good at some things through sheer effort and stubbornness.  For instance, he had a pretty good piercing gaze he could basically silence anyone with.  He’d gotten this down to a science over years of staring at his pet cat and neighborhood children.  Another good quality he had was a fiery temper that could break out in random, unexpected flares of violence.  This was very effective, since it always had the effect of intimidating cult members who got out of line, especially new members who’d never seen Darryl flare up before.  Although usually the violence wasn’t very serious, but something more like throwing a half-eaten piece of cake on the floor or ripping an old curtain off a bedroom window.

Our usual backyard routine started with Darryl’s morning pep talk.  He didn’t really call it a pep talk, since that didn’t have a very cultish sound, but that’s what it boiled down to.  He gave some reminders of our purpose in the cult, and shout outs to members who’d accomplished something in the last couple days.  This could be any kind of accomplishment, such as posting an especially creepy blog entry, cleaning out the refrigerator or writing a poem that praised Darryl’s more admirable qualities.  Then there was a sort of physical routine we did that was a mixture of yoga, tai chi and some less strenuous moves Darryl developed on his own through a close study of dogs and grey squirrels.  Finally, there was a berating, where Darryl called out a member with unsatisfactory performance and publicly berated them for their shortcomings in front of the entire assembly.  Some people took pictures during this part and posted the photos on their Facebook page, which always made it even more humiliating.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering why I left the Kill Jill Cult.  Frankly, I was tired of the cult never living up to its ambitions.  We had these grandiose plans that lured me into the cult to murder Jill Burroughs, but they never really amounted to anything.  We’d get a few steps done: like filling out a diary of Jill’s movements, taking surveillance photos of her at the Super Walmart parking lot and, one time, stealing her mail.  But somehow it never added up to a real assassination plot.  The whole glory and the purpose of the Kill Jill cult was supposed to center on doing away with Jill Burroughs, but it never seemed to come closer.  Part of me thinks that Darryl just didn’t have his heart in it.

Jill was this middle-aged lady that was pretty much the most annoying woman in town, hands down.  She’d done something to personally alienate everyone who joined the cult.  A lot of us had tried getting jobs at her market, with the so-called ‘organic’ produce and all, and been turned down before she even looked at our applications.  She also was a fanatic about coming down hard on skateboarders and BMX bikers who practiced tricks on the sidewalk down from her store.  They might’ve practiced a few times in her store parking lot too, but it was usually empty anyway.  So who’d care?

Just the sight of her, with her clomping, tree-trunk legs, mottled, make-up-free face and old-fashioned blanket-shaped dresses was enough to turn most people’s stomachs.  I saw her almost every day, standing there with her hands on her stupid hips in front of her store, and it just made me burn with impatience we never did anything about it.

One night, Darryl was a little out of control on a Coors Light bender and was real full of himself, you know.  He was going out about how “tomorrow we do it, tomorrow’s the night Jill Burroughs gets what’s coming too her.”  He ripped some photos from the Jill surveillance scrapbook and pins them up on the wall, then he draws these red target-type circles around them, right?  Then he starts writing plans, directions.  Telling Marty he’s gotta stake out Jill’s apartment.  Holding his beer can like the rolling pin and telling Jung Ho, look, here’s how you come up behind her, creeping up when she’s locking the storage shed.

Finally, I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I put down my rum-and-Pepsi and I called bullshit.  I was, like, ‘Darryl, we’re not gonna kill anyone.  You sit here and talk a big game every time you’ve had few too many brews.  Then it’s all talk, talk, talk.  Well, how about some goddamn action?’

He looks at me, you know with that great gaze like I said he has.  And he’s like, “Yeah, you wanna try me out?  Jung Ho, get that rolling pin right now.”

Well, Jung Ho, he was always real quiet.  He did whatever you told him.  So he runs and gets the rolling pin, and the whole time Darryl is standing there facing me, his hair all messed up and grabbing his Coors Light can real tight.

I just stared back.  “You big talker,” I said.  “Let’s see you try it.

We stood there, like it was some frozen moment out of Inception or something.

Then, just when I was breaking into a sweat, to tell you the truth, Jung Ho comes back in.  Empty handed.

“Where’s the goddamn rolling pin?” screamed Darryl.  “I told you to bring that rolling pin!”

“It’s gone.  I think Stacey took it.”

Then Darryl lost it.  He started screaming for Stacey.  Just screaming.  He was always pissed at her, cause Stacey would always be taking the rolling pin for her crafts.  So she could make perfect Play-Doh circles or something.  Next thing, Stacey’s running down the hallway, still smoking her cigarette, carrying this Play-Doh clump and the rolling pin, Darryl chasing behind her.  They run up and down, and out in the yard.  It just keeps going around, those two running in circles, Jung Ho joining in after Darryl screams at him.

Well, I just gave up at that point, to be honest.  Darryl didn’t even notice me anymore.  I told myself, if I have one shred of self-respect left, this is the night I leave this cult.  A bunch of people chasing each other all around the property over some rolling pin and Play-Doh aren’t going to end up killing anyone.  And that’s when I did it.  I unlocked the wood, red-painted cult collar from around my neck, took off my custom cult skull earrings and walked out of there.  The next morning I tried to wash off the Kill Jill forehead tattoo the best I could.

So that’s it, really.  That’s how I left the Kill Jill cult.  Now could I get another of those doughnuts?

 

 

If you enjoyed this tale, check out the amazing adventures of Space Command and the Planets of Doom: http://amzn.to/atEZo9

The Three Silent Fish swam in an inlet near the happy town of Sundsvall off the Bothnian Sea.

Hilgar, the flounder, was the first Silent Fish. He was a strong swimmer, and a big fan of the ocean.

Hilgar had a direct, forthright attitude and made a good leader. He could size up other fish with one quick look of his piercing eyes.

Like most flounder, Hilgar was used to swimming in a school of fish. Lots of flounder, all together. But sometimes he would just take off with the other two Silent Fish.

The other flounder thought Hilgar’s behavior was unusual, but he didn’t give a damn.

Hilgar looked back at the two Silent Fish who closely followed him.

Just behind Hilgar was Spiro, a handsome silver bream. Spiro was a fast, skilled swimmer. He was impulsive, and afraid only of procrastination and ambivalence. Any situation rife with ambiguity was sure to give Spiro a wave of nautical nausea. But now he was swimming with all his strength. Go, Spiro!

Puk-Il, the little herring, swam almost next to Spiro. Puk-Il was in some ways the most mysterious of the Three Silent Fish. The other fish knew very little about his childhood or his early education, and he had an abiding interest in Mediterranean history which was rare among herring.

Hilgar once more looked ahead. It was a good thing. He was just in time to make a downward evasive swimming maneuver! Descending through the water, a big, dark, four-legged shape was making its way toward the Three Silent Fish.

After the Three Silent Fish had evaded the bulky, hairy shape, they swam in a tight, adventurous circle around it. The dark shape landed on the inlet’s shallow floor, displacing sand and crunching the head of a small ghost shimp.

After his first cursory examination, Hilgar judiciously made the sign to indicate that it was a strange object from the world above. Spiro looked on forthrightly in agreement. Puk-Il just swam in another circle, keeping his thoughts to himself.

Spiro swam to a part of the object that looked like its front. Glassy, wide-open, upside-down pony eyes looked out at him. Spiro looked back at it. He decided to resume swimming in a circle.

Hilgar daringly swam through the middle of the object’s legs. The legs towered above him, dark and mysterious. He didn’t recognize the object as a stuffed pony. He was unfamiliar with ponies, as well as the finer points of taxidermy. But the legs made a good boundary to swim within.

Puk-Il looked on, not participating in the antics of the other fish.

Eventually, Hilgar grew tired of swimming back and forth between the vertical pony legs. His adventurous mind was not gaining any further information about the stuffed pony and he was feeling restless. He was also growing hungry again, and a whole inlet of worms was out there, waiting to be discovered.

Hilgar decisively looked at Spiro. The bream loyally fell in behind him and the mysterious Puk-Il swam to Spiro’s side. Hilgar swam off in the lead again, away from the sunken object, renewing the search for knowledge and food.

The Three Silent Fish left the stuffed pony far behind, heading out for other watery horizons and new, unanticipated adventures.

Commander Danvers stared off stoically at the tangled forests of the Planet of the Green Monkeys, rubbing his beard stubble in satisfaction. 

            The Multi-Ethnic Galactic Intergenerational Mammalian Investigation Exploratory Squadron had spent two decades in their quest for the green monkey, usually making their space navigation decisions based on the hunches of Second Officer Luber, a bespectacled whiz kid whose instinctive understanding of galactic geography constantly amazed the crew.

            “Here it is,” piped up Luber, in his perpetually adolescent voice.  “Just like I said.  The Planet of the Green Monkeys.”

            Danvers raised his eyes to the sky, where two ugly purple moons hovered above them.  “You’re quite a kid, Luber.  I’ve been traveling with you for two decades and you still look like you’re twelve years old.”

            Luber blushed.  He hadn’t told anyone on the crew that he suffered from Janger’s Multiphasic Middle School Disease.  Every night he returned to his pod, thinking of stratagems to convince everyone on the ship he was not permanently stunted in his emotional and physical growth at the level of a pre-teen.

            Danvers lit a masculine cigar and made a surly curl with his lips.  “Now we just gotta find us some green monkeys, compadre.”

            Just then, Fourth Officer Layla Oliveros scurried up to them from a gully on their right.  Her space uniform was erotically tattered from her struggles with the promiscuous, luxuriating vines of the Planet of the Green Monkeys.  Her long flowing black hair cascaded toward her legs, making a statement of sensual Latina beauty even here on the far-flung world of the Planet of the Green Monkeys.

            “Commander Danvers,” cried Oliveros, “I’ve found a green monkey!”

            Danvers turned to her with the decisive pivot that had made him a favorite with the instructors at the Space Academy. 

            “Green monkey!  For crying out loud, woman, where?”

            Oliveros took a moment to collect herself and reapply her Passionate Pomegranate lipstick.  “Down there.  In the gully!  He was hanging from a tree branch, just like a monkey!”

            “Goddamn it, Oliveros!  If you’re right, I’m giving you a Space Star to stick on that sensually tattered uniform!  If we can capture and dissect a green monkey, we could gain clues to galactic mammal biology that will make us completely reevaluate our position in the universe.”

            Oliveros pointed again.  “Hurry.  He might escape.  He’s a monkey.”

            Danvers pulled his monkey gun from his holster and ran into the gully, followed by Luber and Oliveros.

            In moments, he was face to face with a primitive, smelly green monkey.  A large-nosed, wild-eyed green monkey who probably hadn’t evolved past his current form for millions of uneventful years. 

            Just as Danvers touched the monkey, Luber pulled out his own monkey gun.

            “Hands off, Danvers!  It’s time I proved my masculinity!  I’m taking possession of this monkey!”  Without further ceremony, Luber shot Danvers at point blank range.  In a slow motion cartwheel of death, Danvers turned end over end until he lay sprawled on the floor of the gully, his mouth open wide and his eyes staring mindlessly into the off-white sky above the Planet of the Green Monkeys.

            Oliveros planted a sensual Latin kiss on Luber’s mouth. 

            “You’re my hero, Luber!  No one but you can bring to life my dual fetishes for men with crippling diseases and unique navigational abilities.”

            “I know,” said Luber.  “That’s why it’s so distressing that I saw you last night fondling Captain Matthews in the storage pod.”

            Without another word, Luber turned his monkey gun on Oliveros and shot her, also at point blank range.

            Oliveros whimpered, then fell to the dirty ground.

            Luber looked at the green monkey, a monkey he had waited years to see.  “This is just the beginning, monkey.  The beginning of a new era on the Planet of the Green Monkeys.”  
            The monkey howled, but Luber just smiled an enigmatic smile.

They reached the planet of the orange oceans after three tedious Earth Years in the Silver Tubular.

Captain Malcolm stepped out onto the planet in his periwinkle blue space jumpsuit and surveyed the landscape.

“I see several orange oceans,” he transmitted back to the ship through his helmet transponder.

He had visited planets with orange oceans before, but none quite like this one.  Here, the orange oceans were incredibly large, bigger than the biggest Earth lakes, and they could be seen in profusion from the top of the bluff where Captain Malcolm stood.

Second Officer Bailey stood at his side.  Bailey looked prepared and stolid, ready to be unfazed by whatever oceans might face him.

“I’ve heard orange oceans harbor rich populations of black fish,” said Bailey.  “Black fish!  I’ve never tasted one.”  Bailey was a simple farm boy at heart, with lots of wheat experience.

Malcolm laughed heartily.  “You’ll taste many a black fish before we leave this planet, Officer Bailey.  We will feast in the Silver Tubular, on black fish pan-seared and drizzled with a delicate almond-lemon sauce.  Black fish filleted and accompanied with a spring salad of fresh greens and new potatoes.  Black fish baked in a rich cheese casserole dotted with green olives and peas.”

Bailey took a moment to ponder this fish dinner vision, but his reverie was interrupted by a shout from Third Officer Liston.  “Captain!  I’ve sighted air octopi!  Hovering over the orange ocean gulf!” 

Malcolm peered down toward where Liston stood, on a boulder shaped like the skull of a demented crone, the mega-magnifying super-scopes glued to his eyes.

“Air octopi!  How far off?”

Liston cried out, using his most alarming voice.  “They’re within seconds of us, flying like they’re mad as freakin’ wombats out of hell!”

Bailey was shaken completely out of his fish reverie.  “Jeez, Captain!  Air octopi!  They can strangle a man to death with their tentacles in seconds!  And these jumpsuits we’re wearing are no protection at all.”

Malcolm pursed his lips.  “You’re right, Bailey.  I can send a distress signal to the Silver Tubular, but by the time the ship can send reinforcements armed with enough laser targeting bombasts to destroy the air octopi, it will be far too late.”

“We should have come armed!” cried Bailey.

Malcolm turned to him, in a petulant fury.  “Who knew there would be air octopi on a planet of orange oceans?”

“Did you even ask the ship oceanographer?”

Malcolm scoffed.  “Patterson?  The one who predicted we’d find coral reefs on Laxxo 729?”

“You’ve put as all at risk with your egotistical foohardiness!  Your crazed determination to be the first galactic Captain to step foot on the Planet of Orange Oceans!”   Bailey turned to Malcolm in a fit of space rage and throttled the Captain’s neck with his gloved hands.   They rolled over the gray stones, locked in a battle of grim proportions.

Even as they rolled in conflict on the rocks, the slapping of air octopi tentacles could be heard from below, as the relentless white alien octopi attacked Liston, slapping at him mercilessly with their unfeeling octopi limbs.

Liston cried out, emitting an unsettling, shrill scream that ended only when his pain-drenched face was pulled below the orange waves by his unstoppable octopus assailant.

Malcolm gasped, even as Bailey’s hands closed around his throat.  “Don’t.  Don’t, Bailey.  You’re . . . becoming like . . . them.”  But Malcolm’s eyes closed in agony even as the white air octopi descended on Bailey, their furious tentacles waving in murderous patterns. 
             The flailing octopi limbs whirled in a frenzy of rubbery destruction until only bruised and mangled human body parts littered the forlorn rocks on the planet of the orange oceans.

“Behold the palpitating near-orbs of those magnificent jellies!”

Commander Mayfield stared out at the Sea of Impatience with the ecstatic gaze of a young boy in possession of his first yo-yo.  Swimming toward the shore in disciplined ranks, he could clearly make out the pulsating domes of the famed telepathic jellyfish that gave their name to the small, gray and reasonably mysterious Planet of the Telepathic Jellyfish.

“What’s our reading on the Telepathometer, Dr. Finbone?” Mayfield brusquely asked the bewhiskered scientist.  Finbone was diligently bent over his multi-leveled, large knobbed orange instrument with the intensity borne of years of study under the great Telepathometer specialist, Cravore the Brain.  Cravore’s research into detecting telepathic activity among aquatic species had brought him nothing but ridicule, catcalls and detention during his life, but posthumously he was now the favorite scientist of several paranormal fan boys and was featured on at least one neon, mid-galactic floating billboard.

“I’ve never seen results like this.”  Finbone couldn’t take his eyes off the pulsating dots on the Mentoscreen as he replied in his clipped voice, pickled in the brine of thousands of dry and vinegary facts.  “We’re picking up over fifty telepath transmissions.  According to my best calculations, the transmissions are all coming from that direction.”  Finbone pointed with a quavering finger out to the Sea of Impatience where the rows of fifty glowing jellyfish made their eerie, inexorable way ever closer to shore.

“Then the legends are true!” Mayfield cried.  “These creatures are among the only saltwater life forms in the universe who can truly communicate with one another via mental signal.”

“Don’t be too sure,” Finbone abruptly cautioned.  He tore himself away from the busy Mentoscreen, and faced Mayfield, all of his science seriousness focused on the goggle-eyed officer from Space Command.  “The creatures could be cleverly producing a screen of telepath-transmission-like signals, deceiving our primitive human equipment and deluding us into following a false lead, while they fiendishly conduct their real operations unbeknownst to us in front of, or behind, our very eyes!”

“A shrewd insight, Finbone.  But then, wouldn’t this planet be known as The Planet of the Jellyfish Who Produce Deceptively Telepathic-Like Signals?”

“Ha, ha, ha.”  Finbone laughed a hearty space laugh and shook his head, bemused by the eternal innocence of Space Commanders in their Space Commander suits.  “That is where you’re wrong, Mayfield.  Clearly, those who came before us were too literal-minded to penetrate the ruses perpetrated by these canny sea-jellies.”

Mayfield clenched his jaw.  Salty sweat poured profusely from his forehead.  Finbone’s rigorous analysis of jellyfish strategy had turned all of his preconceptions upside down.  If the jellyfish were not truly telepathic, the entire purpose of the mission was put into question.  What would be the point of capturing a jellyfish so that it could communicate with the unique telepathic giant squid bagged on the Planet of the Gargantuan Ocean Species if the shrewd invertebrates were not truly clairvoyant?  Yet how could he question the expert opinion of Finbone, the man who had written the definitive textbook on water-dwelling creatures who possessed thin, stinging tentacles: “Jellorama”?

“Those jellies are coming every closer,” cried Mayfield, the glowing translucent bubble-domes just yards away from the anxious commander.  Mayfield’s self-restraint was evaporating, like a spilled puddle of vodka being sucked up by a relentless desert sun.  He shouted out to his sea-borne antagonists.  “If you’re so telepathic why don’t you transmit to me, jellies?  Don’t you hear me, with your invisible ears?  Or do you ignore me to frustrate me in my land-based limitations!”  Mayfield fell to his knees on the pebbly beach, raising his fists skyward in supplication.  “Why do you torment me, ambiguous creatures of the Planet of the Telepathic Jellyfish?  Why do you mock my limited, non-telepathic human mind with your unfathomable contradictions?”

It was then that Finbone attempted to cry out, but instead could only stick his fingers anxiously in his mouth in a dry heave of fright.  Behind Mayfield a mammoth black Borfa Bear had unexpectedly appeared on the beach with all the stealth of a silent vampire creeping up to a night-blooming camellia.  With four relentless swings of his huge and effectively-clawing left paw, the Borfa pummeled Mayfield until the confused commander lay on the cold pebbles, his suit and dead flesh a messy set of intermingled, stringy ribbons.  Finbone, still silently shrieking, ran heedlessly into the ocean, fleeing the ravenous Borfa.  The scientist did not even consider that as he swam out into the chilly Sea of Impatience, he was heading straight for the deadly, stinging, pale-gray tentacles of the silent jellies, jellies that still ruled, in nearly unquestioned aquatic dominance over the waters of the Planet of the Telepathic Jellfyish.

A desolate parking lot.  Two beat-up American cars are parked next to a Laundromat.

TIDI comes out of the Laundromat holding a huge basket of clothes and heads toward the larger car.  She’s overweight, wearing hip huggers and a loud print blouse.  She drops the basket on the ground and shouts back toward the Laundromat.

TIDI

Whites done dryin’?

HUPE

(off-stage)

Not yet.

Tidi takes a cigarette from her purse and lights up.

TIDI
(shouting)

You ‘member that scrawny little amputee monkey we saw at the zoo?  That sure was a pathetic specimen!  Eloise, she always did have a thing for monkeys.  Not that there was nothin’ bizarre about it.  She just loved to see ’em, swinging tree to tree.  Watched those monkey shows on the cable almost every day. You foldin’ them undies yet?

HUPE
(off-stage)
Ain’t done yet.  In the dryer.

TIDI

(shouting)

Jesus and the Lord above, that is the slowest dryer in the whole darn laundrymat.  Why d’you always pick the slowest, Hupe?

Tidi takes a long drag on her cigarette.

TIDI
(shouting)
You were never no good at the laundry, that’s the Lord’s truth.  How many times did you ruin Hupe Jr.’s track outfit?  How many, Hupe?

HUPE

(off-stage)

I don’t know, Tidi.

TIDI

(shouting)

It was a blamed nuisance, and a cost!  That boy has enough troubles in this world, what with his skew-eye and short thumb, and you go and make his shorts pink as the day is long! What kind of a dad is that, Hupe?

BURNY, a fat, bald Scot, runs up to Tidi with a large butcher knife and stabs her in the right thigh three times.  Blood spurts out.  Tidi screams pathetically.  Burny runs off.

Tidi collapses and rolls into the gutter at the curb.

TIDI
(screaming)

Hupe!  Hupe!

HUPE

(off-stage)
No, they ain’t done dryin’ yet, Tidi!  Shut your trap!

TIDI
(screaming)

Help me, Hupe!

HUPE
(off-stage)
I’m doin’ what I can!

TIDI
Jesus, Lord almighty in that heaven.  What did I ever do to fall in a gutter, bleeding like a headless chicken?

Another geyser of blood spurts out.  The lights in the laundry flicker and slowly dim.

TIDI

I washed so many clothes in this laundrymat.  Washed ’em til they was bare of thread and dim of color.  Lord, how many times did I watch them dryers spinning.  Around and around.  Then around some more.  It’s like some stupid chimp, chasing his own tail.  How much change . . . How much change . . .

(screaming)

 Hupe!

HUPE

(off-stage)

These undies ain’t even clean, Tidi.  What kinda shit-ass detergent did you buy this time?

TIDI

(weeping)

The undies ain’t even clean.  Ain’t even clean.

[BLACKOUT]