As a tribute to my late friend Caroll Spinney — the man behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch — I am telling the backstory of my Grouch-inspired character Gothic Diana Ross.
Oscar the Grouch is not a bad person, despite what millions of kids big and small may think. Oscar just wants to be left alone. Like Oscar, Gothic Diana Ross just wants her solitude. Just like Maria knocking on Oscar’s can just to ask him nosey questions, Diana’s neighbor Bernadette keeps knocking on the door of the slate Victorian house which she and The Midnight Supremes share.
Can you blame them for getting mad?
A lifelong Diana Ross fan, I appreciate the diva singers most. Back in 2017, a few months after I left a toxic marriage with a communal narcissist, I met another diva online. Because my post-traumatic stress disorder was so raw, I would lash out at people whom triggered me so easily. I had felt like everyone was a narcissist after leaving one. Sadly, I had gotten very upset at a certain gothic diva and I feel bad about it.
Combining my love for music, all things gothic and my friend Caroll Spinney, I created Gothic Diana Ross and The Midnight Supremes as a nod to some of my favourite performers.
Eventually I got to apologize to the gothic singer and felt a lot better.
Writing the conflict scenes between Gothic Diana Ross and her annoying neighbours Peppi and Bernadette “Bern” Moran Cacca feels very cathartic for me. Sonia Manzano (“Maria”) is quoted as having said Caroll playing Oscar “saved a lot on therapy” in the book “Jim Henson: The Works.”
Hopefully my stories will help bring the world a little joy, and I get to leave the world a little better someday far from now when I am gone.
Rest in peace, dearest Caroll Spinney. I miss you.
Manteno sociopath and sewer service owner Gregory Albert Schneissder likes to stir crap. Desperate for action, Mr. Schneissder drives his poopmobile down to The Gaslight Bar and hits on the ladies, only to have worse luck than regular customer Wally Green.
“I love your smile. Why don’t you use it more?”
“Yeah…no” Kankakee bill collector Sybil Kibble replies.
“Will you have my baby?”
“Get lost.” Kitty Bee deadpans.
“What are you doing sitting in the handicapped section? Are all you other ladies taken?”
“I AM disabled you moron!” Linda Stay replies.
Dejected, Greg heads out to the swamp to relax. “Heyyy handsome fella! You look AWESOME!” a voice calls out from seemingly nowhere.
“Yeah. I would like to have you for DINNER!”
A hungry Greg walks over to Bernadette Cacca who is bathing in the bog.
“What the heck was that?” Greg asks as the ground begins to crumble beneath him.
“Oh I farted.” Bernadette lets another one loose. The swamp surrounding Bern Cacca takes the form of bubbles as the friction shakes the ground below Greg, who stumbles a bit.
Bernadette gives Greg the bedroom eyes. Attracted by the scent and Bernadette’s charm, Greg feels intrigued. Bernadette sings her mating call.
“Come here you handsome piece of meat!”
Hypnotized by the smelly siren, Greg cannot resist. He not felt this attracted since back in 1991, he saw someone going down the road who owned one, a 1988 Chrysler Conquest.
Bog witch Bernadette takes Greg by the leg and eats him for dinner. Then she farts a bunch of times.
A voice sweet as honey, her striking personality leaves you with that bitter aftertaste and you don’t quite know why.
“I’m Bernadette Cacca! It’s my pleasure to play for your The Manteno Optimal Club musical theater sing-along! I will livestream here on my personal page every Tuesday from 7:30-10 and Saturday from 5-7:30 during the 3 week The Manteno Optimal Club hiatus! The Manteno Optimal Club will be back for Season 2 on Oct 12! Follow me for details! And always on Instaspam @BernCacca (except tonight – TOILET ISSUES) Comment with requests!”
Bernadette Moran Cacca wants to open up an arcade in Manteno. No, not a slot-machine room like “Winnie’s;” rather, a video-game arcade. Hoping to sell more Craptocoin, she will only accept her funny money from the gamers.
“Just think, my WONDERFUL customers will HAVE to pay in Craptocoin, mined the old-fashioned way by ME!”
“Oh not now, honey. I have business plans to make.”
Butthurt by his wife’s disinterest in his mating call, Peppi Cacca claps back:
“You know, hon, if we can convince the developers at your favorite strip mall to put in that much-needed crossing signal, we can profit by providing the port-o-johns for the job. Let’s say we write a proposal and submit a bid if they accept.”
“My aunt Sonya will tell YOU about all the things I do for this community! I volunteer my time playing multiple accordion covers of popular show tunes for the Manteno Optimal Club!”
“She is also Optimus Prime.”
“Yeah, and Sonya is running for mayor. She knows the owner of that consumer shopping center. Back in 1991, he saw someone going down the road who owned one.”
“What about that Poopy’s you always wanted to open?”
“Stop causing so much drama, Peppi,” Bernadette gaslights her husband.
Bern goes down and applies for credit at the local loan-shark office and gets approved. According to her ex-lover Damien Hurlbutt, sharks eat poop, so Bernadette is not surprised they approve her credit.
“Scary” Barry Reynolds’ former “President of the Office of Belonging” at the Mathew B Johnson School of Intrepid Arts, Sonya Marie Smith Moran, is running for mayor to complete his failed agenda for the college takeover of Albion, Indiana.
Some of the things Sonya is wanting to do are abolish cats and pitbulls from being allowed in the town limits, open a charter school to be run by the college with city funding and close the nature trails and centers to anyone without a “membership” paid in full with Craptocoin. Bog Witch Bernadette Cacca will collect tolls and eat anyone who refuses to comply. Yum, cannibalism.
She’s planning to do drug raids on houses she’s thinks are drug houses, just for fun. What better to do when you’re bored?
Sonya also wants to abolish the local low income clinic because she’s pro-life. However, she’s running as a Democrat. Since when did common sense matter to a narc-a-doodle, anyway?
Sonya Moran knocks on the doors of all the Albion residents, including the people she’s ticked off most every Saturday at between 1 and 2PM hoping to harass them, since they have blocked her on all social medias and don’t return her letters. She even sends them birthday gifts hoping to con them via guilt into sending her a thank-you card. She really wants hard to win over people who want zero contact.
“You’re prejudiced against the poor, humans, flora and fauna. You don’t even like cats. Who hates cats?” Kitty Bee says as they laugh at the silly moron running for office.
“I have black friends. I’m not racist.”
Kitty rolls her ebony eyes and lets the door hit the wannabe politician on the way out.
“Narcs be startin’ somethin’…and it ain’t no picnic,” the broadcast journalist says to their girlfriend.
“I’m walking away from you now!” Sonya snarks as she walks away from another uninterested voter. “Oh hello. Get out there and vote!” Sonya tells another stranger on the street with her usual forced-smile.
“I was sitting there when the log emerged” Bernadette Cacca details her newly-formed-turds (NFTs) on the phone to her lover JB, the neighborhood turd-burglar, then she hears a knock at the door.
“Hi Manager. My daughter wants to play Running in Manteno, where do we put the quarters?”
“You can get some Craptocurrency from me.”
“Our games only take Craptocoin. I will gladly exchange! I just mined some now!” Bern says as she wipes her buttocks.
The father waves his hand in disgust as his daughter giggles, the family walking out the joint.
Kankakee junk-emailer, sociopath and petty criminal Pat Splatt will do anything to make a buck. He is hoping to get rich enough to someday implant a diamond in his forehead.
While leaning against the wall in his chair, scraping the internet for contacts to spam about his payola scheme for content creators, Pat gets a call.
“Hell, Satan speaking.”
“Is this Patrick Oswald Splatt?’
“You’ve got the POS.”
“This is Sonya Moran. I got your email today and want some bots.”
“Hey babe, I can hear the smile in your voice today. I am your moneymaker!”
“Yeah. I want to become the biggest PooTuber on Earth. My name is Sonya Moran. You have heard of my niece Bernadette Cacca right?”
“She was on the front of the Kankakee Sentinel. You DO live in Kankakee County, right?”
“What can I do ya fer?”
“I am running for office here in Indiana. I want to make a channel where I make videos where I pay my BIGGEST fans just for subscribing and watching. But I don’t people to think I am bribing them. Just like my EXTRAORDINARY niece Bernadette, I want people to SEE the acts of charity I am spending my busy day doing. Why be nice to people if nobody can see it? I do a LOT for this community.”
Pat begins to nod off.
“With your assistance, we can build a botnet to pad my followers, and argue with ANYBODY who disagrees. Hello?”
Snoring is heard.
“Hey babe, I think you’re hot.”
“Oh hey babe. What’s that about getting together?”
“Just seeing if you’re paying attention. I want to hire you to make a network of pretend followers so that real people will also look at me give all that money away, and do good deeds for the community. I am running for mayor here in Albion, Indiana and I intend to win!”
“You sounds like my kind of person!”
Sonya Moran is really on a mission to bully her residents out of her complex at Prairieland Country Club Apartments For the Disabled down by the Albion mills into leaving, because she is a complete and utter troll who has zero empathy. Compassion, what’s that?
Complaints have been pouring into the Department of Housing and Urban Development that she has been issuing lunacy letters falsely accusing her low-income, disabled tenants of violating their leases. How would she feel if she were in their place? I feel confident some of the people would gladly trade their chronic pain and bladder problems with her so they can have better lives. Oh, and she hates cats.
Sonya knocks on her residents’ doors at 9:30 AM to remind them that she is running for office, saying it would be unacceptable to vote for someone else, because she plans to own the housing committee. Must be a thing to live in fear. After all, she is a wussy little narcissist.
Jade Utica is not having any of Sonya’s crap. After getting unwanted knocks on her door, waking her up after a rough night battling her brain disease, she is not about to sit down let the so-called “Do-gooder” bully her into homelessness. After chatting with her neighbors about the junk her landlord left on her door, she finds out she is not alone.
Meanwhile, Sonya’s PooTube channel has been getting thousands of followers and commenters every day, thanks to Pat Splatt.
“I just know I am going to win this election,” Sonya says to her campaign donors at her rally. “If they don’t cry for me, I will give them something to cry about!”
Bernadette Cacca and her Poopy Groupies cheer in conformance.
Undead Greg Schneissder gives a speech:
“This is the best thing. I have constantly and continuously been moved and inspired by the inventive, communal ways citizens found during the darkest days of the lockdown to seek out the light, keep connecting.
The thought of two people, across time and place, creating one thing: so beautiful to me, on its own. But to see it come together, in one room, the beautiful moment, both optimistic overture and grand, grand finale. What a lovely symbol of perseverance, of hope fulfilled. What a metaphor. What a tonic. What a reminder. I was unprepared for how moved I would be by this story.
The only thing *not* at all surprising about it? That Sonya Moran was involved. So let me also love on her for a second: in that weird way that all of Albion is all just a small town after all, I walked into a bar this past Friday, where Bern was celebrating a friend’s birthday, surrounded by the beautiful, lovely, joyous people that she seems to attract (birds of a feather and all that), and she gave me THE. BEST. HUG. And a greeting that made me feel like the only person in the world.
A friend of hers asked if I were an actor or singer, and I think I mumbled something like “I wish.” What I should have said, “No, but when I am in the company of Sonya, I am a STAR.”
As people watch Greg’s gushing, comments pour into Sonya’s PooTube channel:
“You need to remove your twitter post about my friend. Especially when you were selfish enough to do what you did and then block her. Because she is the only person who matters! Look at me, I’m a troll who crawled out from under my bridge because I need to get a hobby and I hate myself.. I don’t appreciate the way you treated her.”
The cheers of support from Sonya’s bootlickers are interrupted by some breaking news:
“Kitty Bee reporting live from Albion breaking news. Indiana officials and a spokesperson from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development have accused Albion landlord Sonya Moran of discrimination and harassment. Residents have complained that Mrs. Moran has been accusing them falsely of violating their leases, failing to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and even threatening to evict them. We will bring you more news as it develops. Back to you.”
A thump is heard, likely from the bird deflecting against Mrs. Cacca’s Albion, Indiana home. The buzzard has landed.
“Are we going out stalking?” shapeshifting humanoid buzzard Sonya asks her family as she transfigures from vulture into subhuman.
“I need to cut down on my stalking bill,” Carla tells her sister-in-law and bird-of-a-feather, Sonya.
“I’m walking away from you now. This is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated,” Sonya berates Carla and flies off, doing donuts in the sky over a body of water and its surrounding structures.
Sonya eggs a guy on to throw a cat in the river, literally. She had been laying eggs by the water because she was bored and began chucking them, demanding the male stranger go murder the poor animal. Poor kitty was living at the bar on the river, surviving on the food in the trash there and the odd chicken tender or bit of burger the customers were giving him. Seriously, who the heck hates cats, let alone wants them dead?
A medium-skinned trio stroll along, new to Albion. “It smells like warm milk and trauma.” Gothic Flo deadpans.
Gothic Diana Ross scoops up the fluffy munchkin after having witnessed Mrs. Moran’s histrionic menacing.
“Sonya, the Indiana Attorney General is prosecuting animal abuse cases to the fullest extent of the law so I will be turning you in.”
“It’s just a rotten cat, ya stupid nincompoop!” Sonya screeches, mad because caught. Then she poops.
“Fee Fi Fo Fum. I smell the turds of a big moron!” Gothic Diana Ross and the Midnight Supremes chant, enjoying their mockery of the apathetic fool who tried connive a kid to murder that adorable little fluffball. Gothic Diana Ross takes the kitten to the vet clinic where she had just interviewed to get him some help. She names him Kevin.
Shapeshiftin’ Sonya flaps her wings in frustration and anger, squawking like a parakeet. Then she flies away.
“Another one of these? What is Sonya on, anyway? There is no cat pee smell outside my door!” the young lady thinks aloud as she grabs the lunacy letter her landlord left on her door. “Why always Friday? I had a long day at work and am too tired for this codswallop. She needs to get a hobby!”
Gothic Diana Ross sees a familiar face.
“It’s Kitty Bee from Kankakee!” Diana cracks a smile and the two exchange some dap.
Scary Barry Reynolds gets fired from his job as a road-test proctor for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and starts his own college called “Dr. Mathew B. Johnson School of Intrepid Arts” in Albion, Indiana, teaching martial arts and telekinesis, a school he named after his favorite academic leader and best friend.
“Become as powerful as the Dragonball Y characters you see on TV! Develop your real life martial-arts skills, and when you get to your senior year, you’ll become a PSI-ball master!”
“Not this ad again…” Gothic Diana Ross says across the Indiana border in Manteno, Illinois at the slate Victorian home where she and her bandmates reside. “Who wants to go to Indiana anyway?”
“Indiana wants us, but we can’t go back there.” Gothic Flo retorts and The Midnight Supremes all giggle.
Classes begin at the School of Intrepid Arts in Albion. Students practice basic self-defense, mixed martial arts and fencing.
“A new life awaits you at the School of Intrepid Arts” a flashing, talking blimp advertises as it flies over Northern Indiana and Illinois, spending a rather long time over Chicago, until someone begins to fire at it.
“Pop! Pop!” is heard as the floating advertisement-machine is gunned down somewhere on the Southside.
A scholar gets harassed in his dorm, racial remarks litter his marker board. One moron, Pat Splatt, writes “KKK” on an empty pizza box and drops it outside his dorm room.
Protests are held by multiple school groups which make the local news.
“I will answer that later. Come back.” President Reynolds tells the news, and does not return their calls.
The scholar tries to learn to make “PSI Balls” on the internet and learns that it is fake. Meanwhile President Reynolds uses school money to pay for pet construction projects so he can hire his wife Terry’s company to do all the work.
Barry and Terry make the classes so hard, it is impossible to pass. Barry and Terry love seeing the disappointed faces of aspiring martial-arts students receive their report cards littered with Fs.
President Barry Reynolds sends out a memo to his wife Terry using negative humor, snarking she should bulldoze “trash and idiots who live on minimum wage.” Barry accidentally copies the entire college on the email.
Students start creating memes and Fakebook groups. President Barry reports them to Fakebook owner Emperor Zucc who shuts them all down.
Students take to the news to expose the corruption.
The scholar is interviewed, and talks about his brother — also a student — who died when trying to defend a bully using “PSI Balls.”
“If President Reynolds wants to create chaos and censor those who rise up against his regime, then maybe he should move to North Korea. I bet he would feel right at home.”
Barry and Terry visit Bern Cacca bathing in the bog near Manteno, Illinois, for public-relations advice hoping to clean up their image, since Bern is so good at maintaining her squeaky clean image while doing dirty those closest to her. Oh, and she burns poopies.
“Bern Cacca? We have an important message. We need your help.”
Bog Witch Bern keeps on swimming.
“Bern? We have something to tell you.”
Bern continues to ignore the looming Terry and Barry.
“Bern? We want to know how you keep your image so clean while you do others dirty.”
“Can’t you see I am taking a bath?” an angered Bern yells back, hoping to be left alone.
“Oh you are so…RUDE!” Terry snarks at Bern.
“I am busy. Go away.”
“God hates ugly people! I am calling the manager!” Terry says out of desperation and fear.
“I am the manager.” Bern replies as she shoos away Terry and Barry.
“I wish my hearing aids were broken.” Peppi Cacca says to his wife Bern and the Reynolds couple leaves.
The Indiana Attorney General investigates and shuts the school down, and the story makes television headlines.
“Oh good, we no longer have to see those annoying ads.” Gothic Flo says to Gothic Diana and then turns off her TV.
“Oh yeah! You got gas? I do. RRRRRRIPPPP. That was a good one!”
“Um yeah. I am calling you for help in the Turdology department. Can you come down to Albion, Indiana and sniff things out?
A flush is heard in the background. Barry continues his request:
“My wife his this “constrution”, I mean construction project going on in town, running until the end of the year. I was told we were blocking emergency access to the street. Why should I care if a bunch of junky locals OD on meth? Anyway, can you come down today, it’s an emergency.”
“We specialize in emergencies. Peppi and I will come right over.”
“Good, we need help clearing the air.”
Barry ends the call, excited to get the Caccas’ expertise in all things crappy.
After Bern Cacca finishes burning poopies in her Manteno, Illinois backyard, she peels out her driveway and hurries over to Albion, Indiana.
Hours pass, no sign of Peppi and Bernadette. Barry checks his phone.
“Umm, how do we get in so we can get the scoop on your poop? These roads are all blocked. Every single one of them.”
Barry texts Bern back:
“We are building 100 roads — all the more to block.”
An hour later, someone rings the doorbell outside the gate of Barry and Terry’s McMansion.
“Hi Barry. Peppi’s Portapotties. King and Queen–“
“How do you know my name?”
“You called me and told me.”
“I. Don’t. Like. That.”
Barry buzzes the gate open and the Caccamobile burns rubber across the Reynolds’ driveway.
“Park over there,” Barry demands, pointing to a crooked spot toward the end of the driveway, behind Barry’s multiple luxury cars.
The Caccas get out. Bern runs up to Barry, as if to hug a long lost classmate.
“Git!” Barry barks.
“Ooooh, I think you’re cute.”
Bern goes to hug Barry.
“I SAY GIT!”
“That’s my mating call. I met her in the bog,” Peppi Cacca tells Barry.
“She’s my bog witch extraordinaire! Entremanure by day, bog witch by night.”
“We met you there, remember?. Bern was taking a bath so we left. Can you help me clean up my act, I mean reputation? It really stinks out here.”
“Your construction crew hit a gas line. We only do portapotties.” Bernadette advises Barry.
“Nature is calling, we gotta go.”
Bernadette and Peppi Cacca make their way out of Albion, and back to Manteno over in Illinois, eventually. Bern did not get to burn rubber that night, only poopies.
“Why are people up here in Albion so anti-Reynolds? I have done nothing but help this community. The other day, I told an obese lady about the new gym I wanted to build. I wanted to help her. But, noooo, people are so rude and mean. They do not appreciate my help! After all, they shut down The Mathew B. Johnson School of Intrepid Arts — The Best Martial Arts School around I could have taught them kiddos how to make PSI Balls!!”
“Those are fake.”
“I know. But but makes us money, and I want to teach ’em! This whole state needs a good schoolin’! This whole world!”
“Hey Barry, why don’t you call that Bernadette moron, the bog witch who sings opera for charity?”
“How about we drive down to Manteno. Maybe we can try their porto potty business since their number always goes to voicemail. I can only listen to that recording of them polka-rapping about porto potties so many times.”
“We have nothing better to do. I am bored. Let’s go!”
“Take that ugly desk with you. Maybe you can give it to her to pay for our public-relations clean-up act.”
Barry and Terry Reynolds run to Manteno.
“Turn left. Then turn left. Then turn left. Recalculating.”
“That dang GPS, why does it screw up so much? It has one job!” Terry exclaims.
Terry and Barry arrive at Peppi’s Portapotties.
“Dang! Just missed ‘em. They closed ten minutes ago. Let’s do a drive-by past their house.”
The bumbling idiots drive past the Caccas’ run-down shack. Nobody’s home. Spotting the beautiful slate, Victorian Gothic home next door, their curiosity draws them in.
The Westminster Chimes are played as they ring the doorbell. A 5’10”, slender, medium-skinned Gothic beauty answers the door, wearing an all-black dress and fishnet stockings.
“Yeah?” Gothic Diana Ross answers.
Barry’s stoic face turns a slight smile.
“Umm, hi Miss. We will not take up much of your time.”
“You’ve already taken up too much.” Diana quips.
“What’s the deal with your neighbors? The Caccas?”
‘Oh man. Just don’t.”
Diana inches away and begins to close the door.
“Wait? Miss! We have this $1000 desk we can give you, if you just talk to us!”
“I’ll tell you where to put that desk.”
Diana slams the door and goes back to singing rehearsal with the Midnight Supremes.
“Barry, I gotta whizz.”
“Yup. You’re the boss.”
“No Diana is. Let’s go.”
Barry and Terry pull into the nearest corner Wally Green’s. While Terry is emptying her bladder in the washroom, Barry finally answers the sales clerk who asked him six times if he needed help finding something.
“Yeah, do you sell those SpamMaster 2000 CD-ROMs?”
“No, sorry. Are you looking to send unsolicited emails? I got a guy.” Drugstore clerk, covert narcissist and Elvis impersonator Robbie Hurlbutt slips Barry the number for Pat Splatt, petty criminal and junk emailer.
Barry and Terry meet Pat Splatt at midnight on the street, not far from the interchange bridge under which Kankakee troll Leona Krabalsky is sawing wood. The three shadowy figures shake hands and part ways. The Reynolds drive onto Interstate Route 57 North, toward Chicago-O’Hare Airport, and board a plane for their monthly vacation.
“We’re headed to Australia and we’re so stoked!” reads the craption below Terry’s Fakebook post, loaded with the hashtag #RichPeopleProblems. Terry cannot wait to take photos of her legs and feet.
Pat Splatt hopes to buy an overly lifted truck to compensate for his lousy personality with all the money he makes spamming on behalf of the dysfunctional former leaders of the Mathew B Johnson School of Intrepid Arts. Brandon Dixon’s imbecile machine lot is booming with their end of year sales and Pat hopes to wheel-and-deal himself one.
While Scary Barry and Terry Reynolds spend loads of money they got from who-knows-where, seeing the sites of Australia, email junker Pat Splatt is busy sliding unwanted emails into the inboxes of college students all over the USA. Pat spams on behalf of disbarred college president Reynolds about the wonders of PSI Balls and how Barry Reynolds can teach them to defend themselves from psychic attacks. A second wave of spam stinks up the computer mailboxes of students at UCLA, Yale, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Colgate, Boston University, Loyola, Olivet Nazarene, Baylor, Kent State, Oregon State, Nebraska and Iowa City, spewing propaganda to try and connive random students into taking Barry’s online martial arts courses “because he is a nice guy who does a lot for the community.”
A sleeping Barry is awakened by an unexpected phone call.
“This is the Albion Health Department. We have received multiple complaints about a cockroach infestation at your compound.”
“It’s 3AM. Who the heck is this?”
“Huh? I don’t know where you are or what you’re talking about. We need you to rectify the infestation or we are going to have to condemn your property.”
“I’m in Australia on vacation with my wife.”
“Must be nice. I have not had a vacation in 21 years.”
Barry hangs up the phone and goes back to sleep. The Reynolds spend the day at their exclusive resort on Australia’s Gold Coast taking pictures of themselves and braggity-boasting on their Fakebook pages.
A month later, the relaxed, but tired couple heads home to their Albion McMansion. Several “Condemned” signs are seen posted all over their estate.
“What the heck now? After all we do for this county? This state? The entire Universe?”
Beep-Beep-Beep goes the Avelli Truck, lowering a shipping container on the grass outside the massive, now-condemned Reynolds residence.
“What’s this?” a stern Barry asks.
“Your new home. There’s even room for your desk.”
A truck from Peppi’s Portapotties pulls up, “King and Queen of the Throne” its lettering reads below a smiling cartoon depicting owners Bern and Peppi Cacca.
“His and Hers,” Peppi says to the Department of Health worker overseeing the Reynolds property seized by the City of Albion, Indiana as he sets up the two portable toilets.
“We are NOT going to sleep in there.” Barry says with his nose to the air, walking away from the metal shipping container.
“You can live in a dumpster. We won’t judge.”
Barry checks his bank account, hoping to stay in a swanky hotel. The robobank announces “Negative Forty-Nine Thousand, two-hundred twenty-four dollars.”
“Paaaaaaaaat!” Barry and Terry exclaim as they fall to their knees in unison, mad because their goose is cooked.
Wally sighs, shakes his head and walks back to his office. Wally opens up his Tindling app and swipes right as much as possible. After a slew of rejections, this wacky inventor and wannabe ladies’ man deals himself a game of solitaire and falls asleep, dreaming up the next buy one, get one half off (but never free) sale.
Albion, Indiana Optimal President Club Carla Moran drools over her shipment of bogan moths from Australia. “These will make great spices for my business “Beaucoup Bogan Spices.”
“This dish is delicious. I have never tasted bean sprouts so yummy. Usually they taste like dirt! These spices are like no other, compliments to the chef! Where did she get that recipe?” CRASS chief cheese Mack E. Avelli asks.
“They’re just regular bean sprouts. Cut them up like regular bean sprouts,” Accounts Receivables Manager Tara Bull says to her superior with a crooked grin.
”I just made these intestine desserts for Halloween. They’re really good. I made them the Dale way,” Dale Davis asks his supervisor and crush, Sybil Kibble.
“I just destroyed a whole bag of dog biscuits, I’m not hungry now. Thanks!”
Mr. Avelli is dying to know who made the bean sprouts with the funky spices. He goes from office to office asking, hoping to find a way to make money off them. Someone owns up.
“Where did you buy these?”
“Wally Green’s,” Operations Chief Mike Philips tells his boss as he continues his FreeCell game.
“How about we do a big ol’ promo?”
“Do what you want. My wife made them.”
“Mike, contact Wally Green and ask that we co-host a talent competition. The winner gets a lifetime supply of this crack and a CRASS tee-shirt. It will make us a look good, and maybe Wally will pay back some of his debt. Get us on TV!”
“Call Dorian. I am too busy.”
Mike goes back to playing his virtual card game.
Mack develops a crossover campaign with Art Director Dorian James and plans to air it live on the local news. They are given the green light to air October 31st.
“It’s Halloween Night and we have a TREAT for you!” barks CRASS Chief cook of books and 1/3 of Vaudeville troupe, Moronic Half-Assets (MHA) Konrad Teirant.
Awkward silence passes.
“Get it, treat?” Konrad says with a falsetto giggle.
The crowd rolls their eyes and boos.
“Oh look a ghost!”
Not feeling the love of the crowd, Konrad moves right along.
We are holding our talent contest, sponsored by Wally Green’s and Beaucoup Bogan Spices! The winner will get a lifetime supply for these unique, and very tasty spices imported from Albion, Indiana. Sonya, what are these made from?”
Sonya attempts to force a big, cheesy smile, juxtaposed against her psychopathic stare.
“Out first act tonight is the Manteno Wonder herself, Bernadette Cacca! Get ready for her kazoo pop covers!”
Bernadette’s biggest fans, The Poopy Groupies, cheer, hoot and holler.
“I do a lot for the community! You guys are AWESOME! Get ready KaCo! Any requests?”
“Can you hum the Menard’s jingle?”
The crowd giggles and Bern carries on with her cover songs and finishes her act rapping about her port-o-dump business along with husband Peppi.
“We are King and Queen of the Throne. Come to Manteno and get your poopy on!”
Thank you Peppi’s Portapotties. Now for our next act, you will really like her, I know I do because she’s my wife! Give it up for Madwoman! I mean Madeline!”
After a slow clap, a large dumpster clearly marked “Peppi’s Portapotties” is rolled onto stage by an unseen pair of stagehands.
The seven-foot clown juggles broken records, scratched CDs and crushed cassettes.
“Hey, those are mine! Robbie Hurlbutt lies from offstage.”
Madeline chucks the busted music collection at the little fibber.
Thank you my love. And now our final act, Mr. Wally Green himself!
“I’m single by the way. Meet me here at the Gaslight Bar during Happy Hour. I will make you happy!”
Laughter fills the room and the airwaves. The bartender smiles.
Wally Green sings “Fart Your Birds”, a parody of Prove Your Love by Fun Factory. Bird tweets, squawks and fart sounds looped into the song can be heard on the playback. Wally sings and blows his air-horn nose:
Fart your birds,
Fart your parakeets
Give me all your budgies,
Point your butt and rip.
Don’t try to hide,
Don’t run from me.
Fart your birds,
Fart your parakeeeeeets!”
The crowd bursts into laughter, and tosses beer bottles at Mr. Green.
EmCee Kon Teirant takes over. “Thank you Wally. That sure was…interesting. The crowd has voted. I think we have a wiener, I mean, winner. The CRASS Winner of the WORST Act goes to, Mr. Wally Green himself! Mack E. Avelli, throw him a CRASS tee-shirt.”
Mack fires away a CRASS shirt out his tee-shirt shooter and directly into Wally’s massive gut.
“Any single ladies wanna meet me at the bar?” Sonya Moran and her favourite niece Bern Cacca run over, arms a-flailing, to give him a hug.