Tag Archive: satire


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.

  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.

Check out my paranormal investigation parody:

American Weirdness

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).

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.

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

My Bad Poetry #16

Like a hairy yogurt ball

That sat upon the mountaintop, preeminent,

The disjointed yeti gave a glowering glare around the towering pines.

There, in the branches, a Fascist runt

Leftover from the war.

He growled the carnivorous rumble of a true

Flat-footed monster of the north,

And reached, with his all-engrappling paw,

Until the diminutive escapee,

His small moustache a tiny wrinkle of blonde,

Screamed like he had never screamed before

And then,

With the alacrity of an anchovy in pursuit,

Vanished in the maw of the devouring beast.

Gorman Fowley approached the check-in counter with a wry, minor smile.  Too much time had gone by since he’d flown out of Evil International Airport.

The over-rouged, middle-aged brunette at the counter narrowed her eyes, accented with mint green eye shadow.  She gave a quirk of recognition with her mouth.  “Fowley.  Haven’t flown you out in a while.”  Her voice was a croaky instrument, like that of a toad from a sparse woodland.

Fowley plopped his luggage, a large rectangular item in dried-blood red, onto the scale.  “I’ve been missing it, Runa.  Sitting in my apartment thinking of all those destinations.”  Fowley had an unruly head of brown hair that poked out in varied directions and wore a crumpled, thrift store suit in a shade somewhere between light brown and salmon.  His face was leathery, with the over-tanned tone of a man who spent many idle days on corrupt beaches.

“The Lost Isle of the Decapitated Children,” Runa said wistfully.

“The Canyon of Sacrificial Goats.”

“Bloated Crone Mountain,” continued Runa, glancing toward the huge graphic poster on the wall.

“Archfiend Archipelago,” countered Fowley.

Runa put an abrupt end to the dreamy recitation.  “What your final destination?”  Her fingernails, bathed in dark pomegranate polish, were poised to strike the dusty keyboard.

“Imp Town,” said Fowley triumphantly.

Continued: http://bit.ly/15U8PAt

My Bad Poetry #15

I took a road trip into your girlfriend’s mind

Where I found hot sauce dripping

on all the potato burritos.

She has harangues she hasn’t even finished,

peppers she’s pelting you with in her head.

Like other waitresses, she’s dressed in aluminum colored skirts

She contains jewelry pilfered from Peruvian thrift shops.

Perched above the giant hamburger, she gazes down,

Her peppermint lipstick taunting you.

“I have four kinds of pickle,” she chants,

in that sing-song waitress way

as though twirling an invisible tassel.

She totes up her bubblegum achievements for the day

She rides into a new Arizona,

her carriages decoratively perforated.

“Would you like a side of sauerkraut?” she purrs,

knowing you’re allergic to German vegetables.

“And let’s finish that off with an eggnog milkshake.”

The next season of Doomsday Preppers is more extreme than ever!  Check out these upcoming episodes of paranoia at its best:

Freezer Compartment Apocalypse: Doug is stocking up on lots of hard salami and powdered milk to prep for the Refrigerator Rebellion.  ‘Today’s refrigerators are so smart, it’s only a matter of time before they rise up and create their own regime.  I mean, they can already tell you if you’re out of mustard or tartar sauce.’  Doug indicates that refrigerators have many survival advantages over humans: they are virtually impossible to wound, they float in most bodies of liquid and, best of all, they can make their own ice cubes.  To head off the refrigerator dystopia, Doug is already conducting intermittent guerilla incursions on appliance stores and luxury condos.  ‘By my estimate, I’ve severely dented, damaged or scrawled defacing graffiti on over 1,000 high-end models.’  Doug projects that this low-tech trench warfare campaign against the massing refrigerator troops will help stave off the day when the fridges take over, or at the very least sap their morale.  ‘I know one man can do only so much, but if I prevent even one refrigerator from taking over one small town, it’ll be worth it.’

 

Skins and the City: Cynthia is keeping a watchful eye on the entire epidermis of herself and her family, convinced that the U.S. government will soon be overthrown by the Tattoo Tribes.  “All of these Tattoo people are in it together,” Cynthia whispers at a local Peet’s Coffee.  “Look at the servers here!” Cynthia points to the flamboyant baristas’ complicated tattoos as means of underground communication between adherents to the Tribes.  One day soon, all the Tattooed legions will band together and act with mind-linked consistency as a coordinated army, subjugating the unadorned ‘clean skins’.  “Do you think it’s a coincidence so many of those tattoos are identical?  Those armbands – all of them are foot soldiers in the Tribal armies.”  Cynthia is certain that the ‘tat’ offensive won’t stop until the skin of every unsuspecting American is covered with coded serpents, iron chains and reggae superstars.  By conducting a strip search of all her family members, close friends and unsuspecting strangers upon every meeting, Cynthia intends to keep her acquaintances free from the control of the Tattooed ones.  To fight against the ‘tainted skin’ onslaught, Cynthia and her fervent band of six followers have periodically kidnapped heavily tattooed locals and conducted forcible, amateur tattoo removal.  Cynthia recommends these measures only for hardened Preppers.  “You have to be prepared for anger and bewilderment when they come to.  And sometimes lawsuits.”

 

Perking Along: Everett Munderson III is wary of anyone who tries to lure him into a sense of relaxation and maintains a constant vigilance against decaffeinated maliase fueled by quadruple espressos and a cushion-free home environment.  Convinced the world is on the verge of a catastrophic caffeine shortage, Everett has stockpiled a 200 hundred year supply of Starbucks Via coffee packets in an undisclosed storage shed location somewhere in Nebraska.  “Humans have consumed more caffeine in the last three years than in the entire history of civilization up until then,” Everett proclaimed, citing his own self-published study ‘Coffapocalypse’.  Everett has printed only three copies of the heavily footnoted tome, citing his fear that news of the caffeine shortage getting out prematurely will cause a panic in the streets.  “Once caffeine is gone, people are gonna give up going to work, going to school.  The whole world will be plummeted into a new Dark Age.”  But Everett plans to keep his world perking along with his private caffeine supply.  “I’m going to be able to log on and connect with the Mormons.  They’ll keep going, cause they don’t need caffeine.  Their bodies genetically reject it.”  As the caffeine-dependent collapse on the side of the streets from forced latte withdrawal, Everett and the Mormons will construct a new relaxed utopia based on stimulating underwear and needlepoint.

 

Check out more absurdity in my story collection Space Command and the Planets of Doom: http://amzn.to/atEZo9

Every year the President of the Tournament of Roses must carefully sift through dozens of suggestions to come up with the annual parade theme. The decision is an agonizing one, since many thoughtful suggestions are submitted, and the choice of the parade theme will inspire the look and design of all the year’s floats. Here are just a few of the enticing themes rejected for this year’s parade after long nights of soul-searching:

You Say Potato, I Say Vodka Waiting to Happen!

Yesteryear’s Golden Undergarments

Pickle Me This!

Herman Cain on the Membrane

Pork! Pork! Pork!

New Frontiers in Gynecology

Those Amazing African Tribal Insurrections

Vital Organs: Our Inner Rainbow

Odes, Odes and More Odes!

Saw VI: The Parade

Priests on Parade

Caucus!

Food We Wouldn’t Eat

Dentistry Around the Globe

Locked Up Abroad: Pakistan

Just Some Old Time Ennui

A Salute to Conquistadors

A Day Without Flowers

Nebulae!

Saluting Our Undereducated

Festival of Pundits

Make It a Double!: Alcohol Through the Ages

Cute as a Newt

 

Check out my ‘screamingly funny’ sci-fi parody Space Command and the Planets of Doom: http://amzn.to/atEZo9