Behind the Moroniverse – Scary Barry and Terry Reynolds

Oh man. the main inspirations for Scary Barry and Terry Reynolds are people I hope you never encounter.

One hundred per cent miserable, and equally evil as her counterpart Barry, there is no pleasing Ms. Terry. She gets joy out of seeing others suffer. She’ll bite the hand that feeds her and once you’re sore from the fresh wound, she’ll bite it again to make it hurt that much more…

Imagine going on a trip overseas to study, experience different perspectives and have fun. That was my hope in the summer of 1999. when I took classes through my university for a study-abroad program in Italy.

What comes to your mind when you think about traveling?

Being forced to share a room with strangers who hated me was the last thing I expected.

Scary Terry was one of the haters. Much older than me, Terry made it a point to harass and belittle me. One time she woke me up and called me “whiny” because I was, you know, groggy like most people who just got up?

And then there was the time Terry told me to cover my legs. I have an autoimmune condition which affects my skin. get over it. Terry, if you don’t like it, then don’t look at it. Find something else to do in Italy than harass a fellow student.

I did smile when Terry had the audacity to talk trash about me at dinner, in front of all the other students from the United States. They told her to shut up and said they did not want to hear it. Neither did I.

Sadly, this Terry person (yes, the real name is Terry, different surname of course) majored in education. I feel bad for any student of Terry’s. No wonder we have some awful teachers in the school system.

When I got home from Italy, I told my family about the abuse I endured from her and her cousin, with whom I was forced to room. Since I did not grow up in a supportive family, they invalidated me by acting like it was no big deal. My feelings are valid.

To help process the trauma from repeated verbal abuse by Terry and the cousin, and the gaslighting I faed when i went home, I created my character Terry Reynolds. I will discuss the cousin in a separate entry.

Taking your road test is nerve-wracking enough. Imagine living in a small city where the sole proctor is a malignant narcissist, taking joy in seeing people fail. Meet the inspiration for Scary Barry Reynolds.

Barry (again, real first name) loved telling students “YOU FAILED” in a stoic tone, with a hint of an evil grin.

Imagine greeting your proctor as you enter the car “Hi Barry” only to be screamed at, likely out of fear “How do you know my name?” And then told “I. Don’t. Like. That.”

Barry may look like Leon Kowalski from Blade Runner, and act like him. It goes without saying he would fail any empathy test. Maybe I should run the V-K Test on him and watch him fail. I just won’t ask him about his mother.

After failing my road test five times with Barry, I passed my test when I took it in another city and of course a different proctor. I had called his supervisor, per advice of my driving instructor, who failed to address the problem, saying “he makes his quota.” Yes, some doctors graduate at the bottom of their class. What do you call them? Yeah, a doctor. .

And now we get to learn about the psychic attack crap. Back in 2001 (No not 1991, sorry Greg Snyder), I received this junk mail:

When I first got the spam, I thought it was for EarthBound cheat codes. Think again.

These morons tried to sell a psychic attack self-defense e-book. The spammer only accepted a check mailed to them, and then they promised to email you the electronic book after they got your check. Yeah, sounds legit.

The email was so funny, I had to save it, and use it for something.

Around the time I got the Defense Against Psychic Attack spamvertisement, I spent a lot of time on message boards chatting about metaphysics. Fans of Dragonball Z asked how to make “PSI Balls” and some even made videos pretending to “psychic attack” people using them. I thought the whole darned thing was so funny, it needed to prompt a story idea. Most of my ideas sat dormant in a different series, which I merged into MoronicArts.

What Are Barry and Terry Conjuring Up?

The ever-miserable “Scary” Barry Reynolds and his equally grumpy wife “Terrible” Terry Reynolds will do just about anything for money here in Kankakee. Just what are they doing with that Weggy…umm…Ouija Board anyway? Are they necromancing Luigi after he fell into the garbage too many times?

Find out how these two partners in crime try to one-up the denizens of the Moroniverse upcoming novel “This Tale Stinks!”

Moronic Crime Rings and Things

Narcissistic Damien Hurlbutt desperately wants to impress his new girlfriend, Rachel Shelley, into coming back to visit him in Bourbonnais, Illinois from Detroit. However, he is as broke as a joke from his toy hoarding.

He comes up with a plan. Damien dials up his brother Robbie and asks if he can steal some identities. He offers some of his duplicate record albums as payment.

“I can part with my poorer copies of ‘Broken’ by The Favorites, my extra Walter Egans and all my Jewel records. I can throw in some Katy Scarys if you want, too…” Damien explains to Robbie, a Kankakee Elvis impersonator and pharmacy clerk.

Robbie jumps at the opportunity to add to his own hoard.

Robbie gets busy calling local con man Pat Splatt and the two devise a way to break into local sweetheart, single lady Kitty Bortolotti’s computer to steal her identity. Feeling dejected from having been rejected by Kitty after Pat had made a pass at her, Pat found her a perfect target for moronic revenge via financial abuse.

Robbie successfully steals Kitty’s credit card information and buys 18 bottles of dehydrated water and six tubs full of fat-free oil from Wally Green’s online mall. Damien thought these new inventions would impress Rachel in her fruitless efforts to lose weight, and who else to mansplain but Bourbonnais neckbeard Damien Ulysses Hurlbutt? “Throw in some cubic zirconia rings. She’ll never know they’re fake,” a bulbous Damien commands his brother Robbie.

Robbie Hurlbutt: Kankakee’s Number One Elvis Impersonator

“You got it.” Robbie smirks, a crooked grin fills half his face, almost touching one of his blue-black mutton chops.

Damien tips his black fedora, the one with which he hatfished Rachel. After all, how would the public — whom he works so hard to impress — know his “medium” bald spot takes up his entire head? He enters the restroom and sits on the potty.

“Oh kids!”

“What kids?” A quizzical Robbie asks Damien.

“Oh kids. Ohhh kids!”

A loud splash is heard from the washroom.

Damien is so proud of his poopies

“Pheeeew!” Damien cries and waves his hand by his bum.

He emerges and sprinkles his newly washed hands all over Robbie and roommate Andy’s living-room carpet, using it as a bathmat, and at Robbie as well.

“I just left a huge stinker in your toity. Would you like to see it?” a proud Damien boasts.

“Just leave the door open and don’t close it if I am in there.” Robbie says.

“You’re not Elvis, just an impersonator.”

Two days later, the stolen goods arrive at Damien’s Bourbonnais apartment. “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!” Damien exclaims as his next-door neighbor gives him the stinkeye.

Damien wraps the stolen, useless crap into prank boxes, boxes inside larger, nested boxes, and oddly shaped packaging, taping each package with hard-to-open packing tape to extend his desired cliffhanging effect on Rachel Shelley.

“I can’t wait to videotape Rachel, the expression on her face when she opens all those gifts from ME!” Damien says to himself, wearing a huge grin.

Damien Hurlbutt basks in the glory of his own narc-capades

Damien finishes up his hours of taping, wrapping and more taping. He tests out his camcorder and memory card. He is all set for his catch.

Rachel walks in the next day, much later than Damien anticipates. Damien tips his fedora. “Hello, M’lady, Madame.”

“Yup. Hey.”

“Good to see you, do I get a hug?”

“Sure.”

The two embrace.

“Turn around and close your eyes. I am going to take your hand, honey puddin”.

“I told you to stop calling me that.”

“But I say it because I love you. You’re so little and dainty.”

“Grrrr.” Rachel emits.

“Now take my hand. I have a little surprise for my honey puddin.”

Damien begins secretly rolling tape and then takes Rachel’s hand, leading her into his cluttered kitchen.

“Now open your eyes, M’lady.”

Rcahel opens her eyes, displaying her typical blank expression.

“I bought all these gifts for YOU!”

Rachel cracks half a grin.

“Now I want you to open this one first.”

Rachel opens the huge, nested box.

“Dehydrated water? Ohhh-kayyyy…”

“Yeah. I thought you might like it. I bought it at Wally Green’s. It was buy one get one half off. Now open this one.”

Damien shoves another large box over to Rachel. She opens box after box, finally revealing its contents.

“Fat free oil?”

“Yeah. You could use it to cook. After all, you need to lose wieght and I want to help!”

Rachel begins to scowl.

“Oh, now you will really love this. Women love small boxes.”

Damien hands Rachel another box, which she also struggles to open.

“Why do you use so much tape? Packing tape too? Did you run out of regular tape?”

“Oh this is regular tape.” Damien snickers. Rachel finally gets the package open. “I got you a sparkly!” Damien exclaims. “Not only one but 17 of them!”

Rachel tips the box on its side and reads the label. “Cubic…zirconia.”

Damien’s face turns cherry red.

Music is heard from the other room.

“That’s my phone.”

Rachel gathers the boxes and walks away. Damien checks the tape. Rachel walks back in and Damien jumps, startled, and hides what he was doing.

“Hi honey.”

“Oh hey, I gotta go. Thanks for the stuff.”

“Yeah honey puddin. Where you going?”

“Out.” Rachel declares and heads out with the stuff Damien gave her.

Damien is all alone. Sirens are now wailing from the distance, getting louder as the seconds pass. Damien is shaking but trying not to show it. A knock is heard at his door. It is just what he fears.

Rachel arrives at her lover Leon Peeone’s apartment.

“Hey Leon, I got some crap to sell so we can get some more hard stuff.” The two laugh but not for long. Neither one of them is too bright.

Waste Removal

Shady Bourbonnais neckbeard and communal narcissist Damien Hurlbutt went dumpster diving the morning after he and his part-time lover from Detroit, Rachel Shelley, got into a bitter fight and she threw some of his hoarded items into the dumpster. As Damien dug for the treasures he loved more than his woman, little did he notice the danger lurking behind him.

Hard Time

“Man, I had a hard life,” Kankakee drug addict and all-around loser Leon Peeonne says to fellow junkie Rachel Shelley, as they glare aimlessly into the flatscreen television setting ahead of them.

“Where did you get that rad TV?”

“Fell off a truck,” Leon chortles as they share a laugh and two partners in crime wrap their arms around each other.

Rachel’s ringer goes off.

“It’s Damien…” Rachel sighs.

“That moron? Send him to voicemail.”

Rachel sneaks off into the washroom.

“Where are you?” a grumpy Damien asks.

“I am out.”

“I heard some noise in the background. What are you doing, M’lady, Madame?”

“Business.”

“Okay honey puddin’, just checking up on you.” Damien slyly says.

“For the last time, don’t call me that!”

“I only say it because I love you!” Damien replies.

“I am leaving for Michigan next week, and I just got here. I gotta go.”

“Okay honey pudd—“ Beep.

Damien hears a dial tone and cannot figure out why. He goes back to cloning movie tickets using the company printers.

Rachel joins her secret lover on the couch.

“MANTENO CHILD ON THE SPECTRUM GETS HER WISH”

“Oh, look how sweet!” Rachel says sarcastically.

“I bet that DIDN’T fall off a truck.” Leon snarks.

“This brave little girl has been the victim of bullies all her life. So local charities stepped in and bought her a Playtendo and 10 games to go with it.

‘I am so happy now. I can’t wait to play all these! Thank you!’ says 10 year old Anna of Manteno.”

“Awwww, sucks to be her, she was bullied. Hey, they showed her address. Maybe we can steal her crap?”

“Maybe we can. And then we can get her mom to post about it on my mental health group on Fakebook, so I can harass her there, too!” Rachel shares with Leon and they both giggle a little too much…way too much. Then they shoot up.

Rachel drives Leon in her rental car over to Manteno searching for the home of the 10 year old they just saw on TV so they can steal her Playtendo to sell for drug money.

“I think this is it.” Rachel says to Leon as she spies the house she saw on the news. She parks the car around the corner, walks up to the ranch and rings the doorbell. A gentleman answers.

“Oh hi. We are volunteers from Kankakee County and wanted to pay a mental health visit. Can we come in?” Rachel asks the gentleman.

“I will ask my wife.”

A few minutes elapse, and the two tresspassers are still standing in the doorway. An older lady can be seen walking on the sidewalk.

Some commotion is heard coming from inside the house; typical kids.

Rachel’s phone rings. She ignores it. It continues to ring.

“What do you want?” Rachel asks Damien.

“I’m home!”

“Yeah? So?”

“Aren’t you gonna come see me, Honey Puddin’? I have presents!”

“Damien, I am busy right now”. Rachel hangs up her phone.

“Okay you guys need to leave.”

“Can we come in for a minute? I promise we won’t be long.” Leon says to the mother.

“Leave now, or I am calling police.”

The older lady off in the distance, looking vaguely familar to Leon, is on her phone.

“Okay. We will leave. Here is a brochure for our great mental health group on Fakebook.”

“Take your group and shove it. We have a great neuropsychologist and are doing fine.”

Sirens are heard and flashing lights are seen.

Leon and Rachel hurl some colorful language at the family.

“Would you use those words in front of your mother?” The girl’s mom asks Leon and Rachel.

“Let me tell you about my motha!” Leon deadpans as he reaches for some object in his jean pocket known only to him. A cop on scene grabs Leon’s hands, pins them to his back and reads him his Miranda rights.

“That’s mah boy!” a nearby Leona Krabalsky snarks. “Lock him up!”

“Ma?” Leon screams as he is hauled away.

Leon is charged and later convicted of attempted burglary, heroin possession with intent to distribute, disorderly conduct and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Damien continues to call Rachel back at her home in Detroit and she continues to not give a crap.

Behind the Moroniverse: Konrad Teirant

Konrad “Kon” Teirant

Back when I had just graduated high school and was looking forward to attending college, I applied for — and got — a job at a local drive-in movie theater. Despite the pressure put on young folks to get a job, employment was not easy to come by in a small city about to lose a couple tens of thousands of its people due to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).

Despite the odds, I managed to get a part-time job working at one of the few remaining drive-in movie theaters in my state. The first day went well. My supervisor was impressed with my work ethic and ability to work with customers. He warned me about the theater owner; saying he will either love me or hate me.

The next day I met the person who would later become the main inspiration behind my character Konrad “Kon” Teirant, the CRASS Accounting Chief, Cinema-13 owner and Vaudeville troop Moronic Half Assets emcee. The theater owner put the skinny blonde girl up front to collect tickets, while placing heavyset and awkward goth chick me to work behind the scenes. He could not wait to complain.

“Fill that popcorn bag. No fill it up more. Does that look full to you? It does not take a genius to figure it out. Look, I don’t think it is going to work out.” Puzzled and stunned, I asked him what he meant. He told me to leave and not come back. I never got paid for the work I had done for him.

I remember calling up my cousin, crying because I had lost my job that summer I graduated. She called the theater owner “a tyrant”. I did not know that he was a grandiose narcissist, because narcissism was never talked about in our area. I wish they would teach about it in schools, the signs of these personality traits and how to avoid them. I also wish the boards in charge of school curricula would create reforms which mandate schools teach empathy skills.

I found out later that he owns a chain of theaters in the region. I saw him in a restaurant a few years later, bragging out loud about having been flown to Atlanta, and getting loaned an Armani suit to wear for whatever business deal he was trying to get, or “big bag” as he called it.

A few years later, I was sick as a dog on Christmas Day, and called into work at my then call-center job. I wrote a song about a character I called “King Tyrant.” I made a crude sketch of him holding a “big bag”. I played the song live a few times but it was not well received, and it was not very fun to play anyway.

First concept sketch of Konrad Teirant

In 2017, after having left an emotionally abusive relationship with a communal narcissist, I started writing and creating characters. I wrote a lot. I drew a lot. To cope with having been emotionally abused and being all on my own on the verge of suicide, I wrote short stories and launched MoronicArts. I drew my very first sketch of the now-renamed Konrad Teirant while receiving treatment for suicidal ideation in a psychiatric unit.

I can certainly say writing, drawing, and having zero contact with my emotionally abusive former husband has helped me heal a lot. I write to help people laugh and make myself giggle at the same time. Laughter is one of the best medicines, for me anyway and I hope to continue to pay it forward, as I would never wish what happened to me on my worst enemy.

Behind the Moroniverse – Damien Ulysses Hurlbutt

The main inspiration behind the character Damien Hurlbutt thinks MoronicArts is all about him. Seriously. I hope over time more people learn about communal narcissists and how they insidiously abuse people. Overts and coverts are bad enough; communals are even sneakier.  I would not wish narcissistic abuse on my worst enemy and wish no ill will. I just wish they would all form their own narc colony on a deserted island and leave the rest of us alone. 

Or better yet, drop them from planes into an erupting volcano, and vaporize them so they cannot make more narcissists.

I was married to one of these evil souls. Had I known he was the son of Satan, I would not have dated him, married him and moved halfway across the country for him. 

I wish I had been given the omen.

Now divorced, this real-life neckbeard and “men’s rights activist” has told his friends that I draw cartoons of him and write stories about him.

Has he heard of Squirrely Dan?

Ginger Squirrely Dan GIF by Crave - Find & Share on GIPHY
Allegedly not.

My ex works as a senior library specialist and loves to read. I would hope that someone like him, whom I would think has a good grasp on literacy would understand that Damien and all the other morons are fictional characters

Apparently my former husband thinks he works in a movie theater, just like the random stranger whom I had met long before him.

I will never forgive my ex for trying to turn the spouse of my late friend against me in his smear-campaigning. Such a tender-heart, a self-proclaimed “old soul” writes lunacy letters like the drivel below and sends them to his estranged spouse’s medical providers.

Because, umm, a librarian knows more about psychology than an actual mental health provider?

I will never forgive him for telling me he was “a nice guy for not throwing me into oncoming traffic” while we were walking into the hospital.

I will never forgive him for manipulating the divorce judge into letting him take custody of my cat Holly, whom he beat and put into the shower to “punish.” Who does that to a cat? Has he helped move a body or something? He had been seeing the same therapist as a convicted murderer who made international headlines and the killer has been living in the same apartment complex as my ex the night of the murder. I left him at 8:30 AM the day after the poor lady was abducted.

I will never forgive Damien for idealizing, devaluing me and then attempting to discard me, shortly before I left him.

I write and draw MoronicArts stories to cope with having been abused. I feel it helps and I am a lot happier back in New York State, doing my own thing, living with my sweet kitty Nicki. I hope to pay it forward by writing jokes while at the same time healing myself, as I feel laughter is one of the best medicines.

Tears of a Clown

Madeline walks behind the strip mall, past the dumpsters, to hide from a client who turned her in for illegal activity at Kankakee’s Best Low Income Apartments, which she manages.

“Madwoman!” a male voice calls out.

“Who called me?” a terrified Madeline asks.

A slender, young, dirty-blonde male wearing shades, a hoodie, and ripped blue jeans walks up to Madeline.

“I am Brandon Dixon. I own Brandon’s Imbecile Machines in Kankakee. I hear you are a clown.”

“Ummm, yeah…”

Madeline shakes even more.

“I am one too. I would like to try out for your touring Vaudeville act.”

“Maybe I can use an understudy.”

“You bet. Call me.”

The two shake hands and part ways. Madeline heads back to work, Brandon home.

“Hi, is this Wally Green?”

“Speaking.”

“This is Madeline Topolla-Teirant. I need to order a case of some half-ply toilet paper. That’s the kind that breaks off one square at a time right? I need some really cheap supplies for our community centers here at our low income complexes and I am not going to pay a lot. Ohh, hold on I have a beep.”

Madeline switches calls.

“Robbie?”

“Hey babe. Moronic Half-Assets has a gig coming up tomorrow in Gary, Indiana. I was totally thinkin’ I would rock the joint as Roy Orbinson.”

“You’re just an Elvis impersonator and not a very good one,” Madeline insults Robbie.

“Well honey, I can also pull off a crazy cool Mike Mesmith.”

“Get outta here with that.”

“Peter Tork? “Johnny Cash?”

“NO!”

Madeline slams down the phone.

“Riiiiiing!”

“Yes.”

“This is Wally. You wanted to order toilet paper?”

Madeline sighs…

The next afternoon, a Wally Green’s truck shows up to the low income housing complex where Madeline works.

“Beep beep beep beep.” The truck backs in.

“A whole case of half-ply toilet paper, just like you ordered. Just sign here on the sticker.”

Madeline scrawls her name.

“Here you go!”

“Ouch!”

“Whoopsie!” says the driver.

“You dropped the box on my foot. I think you broke it!”

Madeline drives over to the nearest 30 Second Clinic.

“It’s a bit bruised but you will be fine. Just ice it for two days while you are at home. You can go back to work now.”

“But doctor?”

“Your thirty seconds are up. We have other patients out there in the waiting room. Our medical office assistant will walk you out and take your copay.”

An angry Madeline begrudgingly pays her bill and heads home. There is no way she can make the gig tonight.

Madeline gets on her mobile phone.

“Hey Brandon, this is Madeline. I know this is short notice. I have a clown gig tonight I cannot make. You see I broke—“

“I’ll do it!” Brandon says with a smirk only he can see on his face, as he is looking at himself in the mirror.

“Gary, Indiana. Lapolla Theater.”

“Oh, I will be there, makeup and all.”

“I knew I could count on you.”

“Thanks.”

Madeline hangs up her phone and takes a nap.

Hours pass and Madeline thinks about how happy she is that she has another clown. Deep down inside she really does not want to do that gig in Gary. She falls asleep while thinking up a scheme to get out of paying Brandon.

A series of dings wakes a sound asleep Madeline.

From: Konrad

“I did not know you were sending us a juggalo. The crowds booed us! What were you thinking, Mad?”

From: Robbie

“Man this clown is weird and he looks funny. He reminds me of people my father hung out with. He keeps asking me to buy him Faygo. Our gig sucked because of him, not because of me. Just saying.”

A series of photos came in of Brandon, Konrad and Robbie on stage.

Needless to say, Madeline was up all night, and it was not because of her foot hurting.