Tag Archive: comedy


from Heavy Metal Performance Art Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 4

The Heavy Metal Woman sat on the lumpy bed holding a can of off-brand, lemon-lime soda, a half-smoked cigarette dangling from two fingers of her left hand.  Her motel room was one of those soggy and efficient numbers that turn up in sparsely visited towns.  She was there to see a mid-level band play a rarely used local amphitheater on a date near the end of their tour.  I’d arrived slightly early for our interview and as she opened the door, she’d squinted against the morning sun, still hungover from the previous night’s Millers.  I started our conversation asking about her history.

HMPAQ: When did you first know you wanted to be The Heavy Metal Woman?

HMW: It was more of an event than a knowledge.  I wasn’t sitting in my chair and thinking about it. I was just in the middle of a place, a sidewalk.  And then I knew it had already settled on me.

HMPAQ: The whole identity, aura and glamour?

HMW: The whole bowl of nachos.

HMPAQ: Did your decision to legally change your name upset your family?

HMW: My previous name was prissy and had an oppressed heritage. I felt myself stepping away from that, but not falling into something similar. If I was going to be The Heavy Metal Woman, I wouldn’t hide from it. My mother didn’t understand and my father said that he understood, but I knew he really didn’t.  He later died in a truck fall.

HMPAQ: Do people call you Miss Woman?

HMW: (snort) People who know me personally call me Heav. People who don’t know me call me The Heavy Metal Woman.  People who don’t know me and might want to know me call me ‘babe’. People who don’t know me and don’t like me or what I stand for call me ‘that pale stupid metal chick’ or other things.  On instant messaging forums they call me THMW.

HMPAQ: What do you eat for breakfast?

HMW: Cigarettes, raw oatmeal and stale beer.

HMPAQ: Is the heavy metal woman a dying breed?

HMW: It never was a breed in the sense of a pedigreed amalgamation of genetic traits. But in the sense of a wild stallion-like expression of femininity at the edges of existence, you could call it a breed.  There is a kind of gentrification of heavy metal women that my practice attempts to critique.

HMPAQ: I read in a fan forum that you sometimes like to ride skateboards in the nude?

HMW: Fans say a lot of stupid shit! (snorting)  I did that in Barstow. I wanted to show that city how to open up to a new expression.  I also was really hot in terms of thermometer reading. Later, I bought a T-shirt at the Family Dollar.

HMPAQ: Is there room for just one Heavy Metal Woman?

HMW: In this motel, there is.

HMPAQ: How about in the world?

HMW:  At one time, I wanted to be a role model, but then I woke up and smelled myself. Who died and made you princess hot shit? If people want to imitate me, like, be a Heavy Metal Person, or be Heavy Metal Questioning with capital letters, they’re welcome to it, but I’m not out here on a recruiting mission.

HMPAQ: Is salad a heavy metal thing?  Can you eat watercress or kale?

HMW: Heavy metal came from the ‘burbs, and I eat ‘burb food. I ‘burb it up. I keep it ‘real’. I use a lot of mayonnaise, mustard and potato chips. Also beer.

HMPAQ: Can French people listen to heavy metal?

HMW: My philosophy is, no.  I don’t think about French people, but I can answer your question without thinking.

HMPAQ: Why don’t you think about French people?

HMW: They don’t exist on the heavy metal horizon. When Napoleon came and invaded France, they didn’t rock out and destroy, they just submitted. I want to shred the memories of submission, wherever they manifest.

HMPAQ: Napoleon didn’t actually invade France.

HMW: I don’t think about France.

HMPAQ: Have you explored the Swedish heavy metal scene? I hear it’s really dark and extreme.

HMW: I explore it in a way that doesn’t involve travelling to a country that’s not the United States. When a band comes to my country, I take them under my arm and wrap that band around me, and roll in them. But if I have to leave the soil that permeates me, that gave me my metal roots, I’m not cool with that.  I don’t want my metal roots to wither and decay while I’m on some un-American soil.

HMPAQ: You have your own fans that come to the shows, sometimes to see you as much as to see the band. Do you ever feel like you’re detracting from the main event?

HMW: No one can tell you what the main event is, because you have your own brain. (Pointing at the interviewer’s brain.)  Whatever happens in your brain doesn’t happen in anyone else’s brain.  There’s a metal song about that. I once knew a girl that tried to do what she thought happened in other people’s brains, but she lost her job.

HMPAQ: Five quick questions. Which fictional character do you find most terrifying?

HMW: Mary Poppins.

HMPAQ: What’s your position on keeping chickens in closely confined quarters?

HMW: As long as they’re not around me.

HMPAQ: Vladimir Putin?

HMW: I would go to their show.

HMPAQ: If you could be a playwright and write a heart-rending drama of staggering dimensions, what would it be titled?

HMW: Cleo in the Tidepools.

HMPAQ: Do you use underarm deodorant?

HMW: Does the Pope wrestle pigs?

HMPAQ: Thank you for your time, Heav.

HMW: Rock on.

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  1. Cuban cigar stub on guest pillow
  2. Bedroom TV tuned to Nick at Nite
  3. Your portrait of Uncle Xavier is turned face to the wall
  4. You have a huge Andrews Sisters hit stuck in your head
  5. Strangely erotic dreams of Andy Griffith.
  6. Inexplicable piles of doilies on nightstand
  7. Strong desire to attend Robert Mitchum retrospective
  8. Your closet smells like Uncle Toby’s socks
  9. You feel compelled to change your will to leave out Cousin Scooter
  10. Your roommate says a dead relative has been visiting you in your sleep
  1. Has never won her fantasy football league.
  2. Favorite Avenger: Black Widow.
  3. Has a secret husband, Norris, in Provo, Utah.
  4. Predicted the Pilates revolution.
  5. She insists on making her own meatloaf.
  6. Her sitcom idea about a wacky British colonial administrator with a panther fetish was turned down by the BBC.
  7. Favorite Angela Lansbury film: Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
  8. Had a youthful fling with Bismarck.
  9. Has secret plan to be the first Queen in space.
  10. Her rap name is Lazy-B.

 

She devised an electronic cereal

that detected her lack of excitement

but the alternatives suggested were damp.

Somewhere beyond her fictional redwoods

stood the monumental Kleenex box,

decorative live mice nodding, adorning its corners.

They would pretend to chew her until

the moon, with its poor sense of timing,

approved the impregnable shapes

oscillating just beyond the glassine limit.

Then the desiccated milk, deprived of speech,

made a detuned rasp of false languor.

Check out my paranormal investigation parody:

American Weirdness

The sequel is here!

High school sophomore Devin Mulwray isn’t happy being known as the Ghost Boy at Grey Bluff High in Arcata, California.  Since Devin’s dramatic encounters with the angry ghost of Rutherford Rousten, stories about his unique paranormal abilities have spread all over town.

Devin’s trying to get back to a normal life and cope with his new job at a trendy fashion shop when bizarre occurrences start happening all over again.  A stuck-up girl at school starts behaving very strangely during a school rally, appearing to be under a demented trance.  Devin finds himself again summoned to disturbing dead-of-the-night encounters with the resident spirit of the old Escamonde Hotel.  And Grey Bluff High’s most enthusiastic paranormal expert, Nayra Montez, insists that Devin meet up with her enigmatic mentor, Dagmar Wiltschaft, to learn more about the occult.

Before Devin knows what’s happening, he and his two best friends, oddball musician Clive Welter-Manes and technology enthusiast Rex Hisakawa, are drawn into investigating ghostly manifestations at the expansive home of the wealthy Holster family.  Devin’s girlfriend Emily starts wondering about all the time he’s spending with Nayra and Regina while Devin has his own questions about why Emily always seems to be talking about the handsome, multi-talented Joaquin Veracruz.

Devin has to deal with a creepy séance, a meeting with a forest phantom and a haunted Victorian lantern before he can get to the bottom of the strange circumstances around the Holster haunting.

 

I Was a Teenage Ghost Hunter II

They were going to tear down this place to build a superhighway, but the people had their say!

How are your Big Macs today?

Pierre, how many times have I told you, just a pinch of oregano!

Can I get a doggy bag for this ketchup?

This McFlurry just isn’t sweet enough.

What soda goes best with the Filet-o-Fish?

Clean up on aisle 9!

Can you make that Chicken Wrap animal style?

Now this will be a great topic for my Hamburglar Club!

Watch out, that beef looks fresh!

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).

Test appearance of hyper new Starbucks mascot Boffo Beanoo

That homeless guy you gave a buck to splurging on a $4 blueberry scone

The person sitting next to you arrives with four large Taco Bell bags

Topless barista night

Day-old latte sale

New express service coffee trough

Way too enthusiastic winner of ‘Barista for a Day’ contest

New green initiative includes recycling cappuccino foam.

Handcrafted sodas require barista to keep hand in the soda a few minutes too long

Porkaccino

Ever since my tweet about skeletons on vacation in Bermuda (‘Snorkel? Do I look like I need a snorkel?’) lots of readers might have been wondering, what are your tips for writing about skeletons? Like any subject matter that involves lots of shiny white bones and perfectly skin-free skulls, there are important rules to observe when writing about skeletons in order to come up with a piece of writing that’s entertaining, enjoyable and not too gross. Here are ten of the most important:

1. Know your skeleton’s back story. A skeleton that belonged to a little boy from Fresno will act in a totally different way than a skeleton that belonged to a trucker from Tampa. Hint: The Fresno skeleton will be smaller.

2. Stay away from skeleton romance. The skeleton erotica genre is a tricky one and best handled by experts. If you must include a sexual element, try having your skeleton seductively fondle a rubber Halloween skull mask.

3. Watch out for clichés. As in any genre, certain stories in skeleton fiction have been done to death. Your readers don’t need to see yet another story about the young skeleton boy who loses his beloved skeleton dog. Especially in a freeway accident.

4. You can’t go wrong with a plot line where your main character tries to cover up sordid misbehavior from their past. We don’t have the phrase ‘skeletons in the closet’ for nothing.

5. Don’t fall into the trap of writing about skeletons only from extreme ends of the socio-economic spectrum or skeletons with so-called ‘magical powers’. There’s still a lot to be written about the plight of the typical middle-class skeleton with no extraordinary abilities.

6. A good heart-tugging scene is the one where your skeleton loses its skull and has to retrieve it from a high school biology classroom. This is always great for a ‘skeletons are people too’ kind of moment.

7. Don’t shy away from controversial issues. Such hot button topics as skeleton euthanasia, ceramic surgery and ‘equal pay for equal bones’ can make for solid stories.

8. Focus on what separates your skeleton from other skeletons. Does it have unusually large eye holes? A missing rib? A femur with an interesting malformation? These are the precise details that will stick in your reader’s mind.

9. Scenes in a restaurant, over dinner? Don’t do it. Just awkward.

10. Finally, your own best guidance for good skeleton writing is probably already deep inside you. Take the time fora long hard look within, and if that still doesn’t work, get an x-ray.

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Don’t forget to check out my novel I Was a Teenage Ghost Hunter: http://amzn.to/1gwPt3U