A Very Mad Clown

 

Kankakee slumlord, sociopath and Vaudeville clown Madeline Topolla-Teirant struts into a busy Buckstars hoping to score some free java. “Welcome to Buckstars, what can I get started?” the friendly coffee clerk in the green apron asks a towering 5’10”, 300 pound Madeline. “I don’t have time to wait. You guys are horrible people, childish little girls and boys. Get my drink right and make it fast or I am going to go to the cafe down the street.” 

“Okay, what would you like?” the barista replies with a smile.

“Get me a pink drink and make it fast. Not the orange drink like you screwed up last time.”

The barista cashes out Madeline; the bulbous clown and slum manager walks off to the side, away from the long line of thirsty customers.

Regular customer Kitty Bortolotti, the tall, curly haired, mixed-race beauty with the star earrings is next in line. 

“Can I speak to the manager?” a confident Kitty asks with her hands on her hips.

“Sure.”

Kitty winks at the team leader. “I don’t need anything, I just want to help you. Don’t let your staff be afraid of certain customers who try and intimidate your staff, if you know what I mean. I have experience; she’s all talk.”

“Customers like you are the best,” the supervisor says to Kitty.

“Glad to help.”

The two exchange smiles and a nod, then Kitty orders a drink alongside her best friend.

Kitty waits patiently for her drinks, meanwhile an obviously agitated Madeline storms over to the counter and screams at the barista, who has better things to do than listen to a screaming Madeline.

Kitty’s drinks come back. “We made you an extra one because we love great customers like you.”

“Awww thanks! You guys are the best.” Kitty takes a bill from her lime-green wallet and places it in the tip jar.

Kitty lifts the cup carrier, walks off to the side and chats with her best friend forever, Lana “LTL” Tolstoy Levitsky.

A bunch of names are called out: “LaWanda! Marigold! Damien!” but not Madeline’s. The happy customers grab their cups of joy and walk out the door.

“Abby!” 

Madeline turns to Abby and asks “What drink is that?”

A confused Abby looks over to Madeline.

“A pink one.”

“Oh I thought you had mine, we got the same thing.”

“Yeah sure.” Abby gives Madeline a dirty look and walks out the door.

“Madeline!”

“I hope they’re not clownin’ around with my drink!” Madeline thinks aloud.

“We made it just how you wanted it,” The barista says with a smile.

Madeline takes a sip and then reads the cup: “MADWOMAN”.

The entire cafe full of customers starts giggling and the room roars with laughter.

Madwoman storms out the cafe and walks behind the strip mall, where she is again greeted by the site of her best friends, the cafe dumpsters.

 

Memories of Green

Ahh…memories. This photo Sybil had taken outside this lovely café on LaSalle Street, where she had kicked Damien Hurlbutt in the jimmies for stalking her and harassing his ex-wife Lori, has been viewed by more than 20K people. Hopefully he will wear his mask next time instead of acting like a male Karen, and stop hoovering.

Sybil and Lori thank you!

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.

“Dumpster! Dumpster! Dumpster!” Rachel cried as she chucked Damien’s hoard into the metal hopper outside his apartment.

As Damien dug for the treasures he loved more than his woman, little did he notice the danger lurking behind him.

Konrad Cooks the Books

“Get back in the kitchen, this pot is about to boil over!” Madeline Topolla-Teirant calls out to her husband, Konrad “Kon” Teirant who is reading the CRASS company ledger in the washroom.

Kon washes his hands, flicks the water on the floor (a trick he had learned from Teirant Cinema-13 clerk Damien Hurlbutt) and struts into the kitchen. He sets the ledger atop a shelf in the cupboard.

“Madeline, I can do this myself. No need to tell me how to cook. Go on and watch the kiddos.” Konrad gestures Madeline to leave the room.

Konrad stirs the pot of his turkey soup. He made sure to put in loads of veggies because they cost less than turkey. Konrad hears a loud banshee-esque squeal come from the living room and dashes out.

“Bratley? What are you doing?” Konrad walks over to him.

“Waaaaaaaaaah! I want my toys!”

Konrad yells at Bratley because he has little patience for children. He only had them because he can. He usually leaves the parenting to his wife Madeline because he would rather make money. Meanwhile chaos unfolds in the kitchen.

Chanel # 5 and * climb up the kitchen counters, tear up the CRASS ledger into a confetti mess and put the flakes into the soup like they are special spices. They hear their daddy coming so the close the cover of the book back up and place it back on the cupboard shelf so they do not get in trouble.

“I told you kids not to play on the kitchen counters! Now go do your homework or you are going to bed without any supper!”

Kon begins stirring the pot.

The next morning, all of CRASS is sent a company email to announce the new CRASS initiave:

From: Teirant, Konrad (konteirant@crass-llc.con)

To: CRASS, LLC (all-crass-l@crass-ll.con)

Subject: Food for everyone!

Dear CRASS employees:

It is with great pleasure I announce the newest CRASS publicity initiave: Triple down on each call to raise money for the new CRASS Stage! If we raise enough money to name the Kankakee Senior Center stage after us, we can help promote CRASS, LLC as a community leader.

To help celebrate our new publicity effort, I brought in turkey soup, enough for everybody this time! Enjoy! Be sure to only log off during your designated 15 minute breaks to enjoy my cooking.

Most importantly, remember to ask each debtor for three times what they can afford to pay! Submit a Form 5 for each triple-down. Each bonus will go toward the stage-naming initiative to make CRASS look good, instead of your paycheck. You do want to keep your job, right?

Happy Monday!

Konrad Teirant

“Want some soup?” Dale asks Sybil. “I’ll spoon feed it to you,” a hopeful Dale says with a grin.

“Go away, Dale. I have work to do,” Sybil snarks as she downs a dog biscuit at her desk.

Dale slurps his soup at his desk before he logs onto the autodialer.

Operations Manager Mike Philps helps himself to two bowls while he watches the collectors stress out over asking for three times what the debtors can afford.

“Why aren’t these folks making production?” a stern Tara Bull asks Sybil Kibble as Tara sips some greasy turkey soup.

“I will keep on pushing for those Triple Downs and Form 5s.” Sybil tells a beleagueured Tara.

Kon sits in his office surfing Fakebook Flat-Earth pages as well as the Qannon droppings. He feels his belly begin to rumble. “Must be a quake of this flat planet,” Kon says to himself as he gets up.

A line forms outside the CRASS washrooms. Tara Bull joins the queue. “Why are people taking so long?” Tara mumbles under her breath.

A stench wafts from the mens’ room. Konrad emerges.

“Did I do that?” Kon slyly asks. The lined-up employees giggle.

CRASS Chief Mack. E. Avelli walks over the the office of Mike Philips to order fixed the toilet Kon clogged.

Since Kon’s idea failed miserably, he took the rest of his greasy, tainted turkey soup to Teirant Cinema-13 to “treat” his employees there.

“Ooooh, thank ya boss! Well actually, I just constipated myself by eating six antacids in a row so I do not have to use the toitie all night!” a certain clerk named Damien Hurlbutt excitedly tells Kon.

“Thanks for the information. Enjoy and get to work.”

Damien drinks the soup right down.

“Ahhhhh.”

“Puttt” goes Damien’s butt.

“Pardon me. Pheeeeeww!”

Damien’s stomach begins to grumble, really grumble. Damien gets up, ripping more farts as he walks and does the Scoot-And-Poot to blast as much gas he possibly can.

Konrad looks for Damien and he is not at the ticket counter.

“Where are you Damien? People are lining up and they need to buy their tickets. Imma gon fire you if you do not come back!”

A stench wafts from the men’s room.

“Nevermind…”

A Steaming Pile of Love

“I know! I know! — Damien

Bourbonnais narcissist, neckbeard and pool-toy enthusiast Damien Hurlbutt, working the concession stand at Cinema-13, tries to sell a customer some “Non-Parallels”

“Do you mean nonpareils?”

“Oh, these are non-parallels.”

“I will just get some popcorn with butter then.” 

In walks a rather foul-smelling couple. 

Bern Cacca’s Turd-Eating Grin

“Hey, can I speak to the manager?” Manteno communal narcissist, Optimal Club accordion-player and port-o-dump partner Bern Cacca asks Damien.

“OK Karen. He’s busy,” Damien says in his usual monotone voice, not even looking at Bern, too concerned with filling popcorn and listening to the copier in the back office create a pile of ticket facsimiles so he can hopefully woo women with them.

“We have a meeting at 2 to discuss advertising our porto potty business with a Mr. Konrad…Teeerant?”

“I know, I know. It’s Teirant. Rhymes with ‘tyrant.’ Walk over to that door and knock.” The bulbous neckbeard Damien Hurlbutt points to the door simply marked “Manager” getting a glimpse of Bernadette Cacca’s behind as she and her husband Peppi make their way toward Konrad’s office. An evil grin fills Damien Hurlbutt’s face, with bedroom eyes to match.

Image: black-and-white cartoon set in an office. A man and a woman wearing crowns face a man sitting down on a chair with the text: "Teirant Cinemas."
The Caccas’ submit a proposal to do their business.

After the meeting, Bern, Peppi and Konrad emerge. Bern beelines toward the washroom, pinches a massive loaf, and stares at it in awe. She is so proud of her creation, almost afraid to flush it down. Since she has nowhere to burn it at the multiplex, she reluctantly pushes the handle and washes her hands in the sink. At least she did that. Damien ogles Bern’s round bum as she and her beau Peppi exit the theater.

“Fill up those popcorn bags!” Konrad commands his clerk Damien. “Friday I expect to make big bags at the release of the new rom-com. We partnered with our advertisers to increase the bottom-line. This one’s gonna be a game-changer. Make me a sign.”

“Yep.” Damien heads to the back office to draw and make more color copies of movie tickets on the company’s budget. 

While working on the sign, Damien’s brother Robbie calls his flip phone. Thinking it’s one of the many OKStupid ladies he messaged, he answers.

“Hey honey!”

“Damien, it’s Robbie, you dork.”

“Sorry.”

“Can you get me a job at the theater? Wally’s cuttin’ back my hours again.”

“Maybe. Hey, there’s this cute chick coming in Friday for the new premiere.”

“Groovy. Can I meet her?”

Image: a black-and-white cartoon of an Elvis impersonator's face, wearing a devilish grin.
Swarthy Elvis impersonator Robbie Hurlbutt

“She’s married. But I have first dibs.”

“Riiiight.”

“Hey, I got a free ticket if you wanna come down.”

“Do you think your boss will let me work with you? If you really love your brother you will ask your manager. It’s really selfish of you not.”

“Come down and see the film. Friday night.”

“Later.” Damien and Robbie disconnect…for now.

Peppi and Bern Cacca are loafing away inside their run-down shack in Manteno.

“These maxi pad commercials always come on when I am watching TV. This is Star Trek. Men watch this show,” Peppi whinges.

“Hey Pep. I got this handy-dandy new laundry basket. Would you like to come with me to the laundromat?”

“Why? Bern, I try to help and you won’t let me.”

“Oh come along for the company. You’re fragile. I can do it all. Maybe you can hold doors for me while I haul all our laundry in.”

“So I can watch? Yeah, no. I am busy.”

Peppi walks into his bedroom to get away from his wife, lights up the skunkiest joint he’s got and guzzles moonshine.

It’s showtime. In walks Bern Cacca wearing her accordion over her Peppi’s Portopotties shirt, bearing the caption “King & Queen of the Throne.”

“Hey, Bern. We have changed our mind about your advertising strategy. We think playing accordion while Peppi raps about portopotties is not a good idea,” Cinema-13 owner Konrad Teirant tells Bernadette Cacca.

“Oh, Peppi stayed home. I wanna belt some crappy show-tunes instead.”

“It does not take a genius to figure out that we both need to make money. Sing at home, preferably with the windows shut. We designed a new ad, and we think you’ll like it. It will play halfway through the movie. A new rom-com premieres tonight, “Steamy Love.” We expect a big bag from a big turnout. Your seat is on me.

Image: a black-and-white cartoon of a neckbeard behind a cinema counter.
Text: "Cinema-13" and "Peppi's Portapotties."

“Hey M’lady. Would you like some popcorn?” theater clerk and neckbeard Damien Hurlbutt calls out to Bern Cacca.

“I’m good, thanks. What a lovely theater you have!”

“Aww, shucks. Hey M’lady, Madame. What is this lovely lady doing when the film lets out? I can get you free tickets if you meet me at the Gaslight Bar.”

“I’m busy.”

Bern heads to her seat, excited to see all the theater patrons, and tries to make friends with as many as possible, hugging, shaking hands, and calling them “darling”. Bern thinks she’s everybody’s friend, and reminds the crowd of all the favors she does for charity and her enablers.

The film begins to roll.

At intermission, the new ad for Peppi’s Portopotties plays, interrupting a scene depicting two people kissing, and a prominent plot point. Will the lady choose her secret lover or go back to her husband?

Image: a full-colour cartoon of dancing porto potties, parodying "Let's All Go To The Lobby."

“Let’s all go to the washroom

Let’s all go to the washroom.

Let’s all go to the washroom,

And take ourselves a dump.”

The patrons run to the restrooms, but not to crap or whizz.

They barf up the popcorn, candy and pop, for which they overpaid at the concession stand.

Too nauseous to stay for the ending, the crowd of moviegoers leaves Teirant Cinema-13 in droves.

An angry Bern Cacca leaves the multiplex, worrying about her squeaky-clean image as a singing fool who raises money for the Manteno Optimal Club, and gives rides to friends because she loves to look good.

Image: a color cartoon of a heavy-set, middle-aged woman angrily walking past a concessions stand. A heavyset middle-aged man with an orange beard, wearing a black fedora is standing behind the counter, with the look of love in his eyes.

“Hey honey puddin’ — what are you doing right now?” the bulbous concessions clerk Damien Hurlbutt asks Bern Cacca as she passes the ticket counter.

“I have a date. I’m leaving you guys.”

“With me, my dainty queen?”

“No, you moron.”

“How about me?” pops up Damien’s brother Robbie Hurlbutt, emerging from seemingly nowhere.

“No, with JB, the Turd Burglar.”

Frowns fill the faces of the Hurlbutts, while a devilish grin fills that of Bern Cacca as she embraces the neighborhood Turd Burglar, who has been waiting for her in the parking lot.

Konrad Teirant counts his ticket sales, all smiles because he does not plan to offer refunds. He had made his big bag and takes it home to lie in it, spreading the cash all over his bed, rolling around in it and over it like a dog.

Bottom Feeder

Damien strokes his orange neckbeard and pulls his blue jeans over his gut hanging out his too-small tee.

Damien’s flip phone plays a distorted ringer from a television theme song he had recorded with his phone.

“Hey Robbie!”

“Hey, hey.” Robbie says in his faux-Elvis tone.

“I’m back.”

“I’m front.” Robbie sarcastically says, using his routine gag.

“Hey Robbie, good timing. These tampon and maxi pad commercials keep interruping my shows. I swear this company knows I am watching and eating.”

“Call them up. I see those ads on those tapes you give me. It is funny because that cartoon comes on every Sunday night, and the show takes place in the capital of Illinois.”

“I think I will complain”. Damien hangs up his phone and goes to his computer. He types this message:

——

From: “Damien U. Hurlbutt” [ConnivingPimp@hautemail.con]

To: customerservice@bottomlineprodux.calm

Subject: Stop interrupting my shows!

It has come to my attention that your advertising interrupts my manly programming. You, a maker of feminine products, constantly interrupt me while I eat during my favorite shows. Obviously, you know that the shows you play your ads during are shows for men, yet your products are for women. Stop showing your ads while I eat!

Sincerely,

A manly man

——

The next day, Damien is sitting down, watching reruns of the Dude Show. “Not another tampon ad! I just started eating my mushroom cheeseburgers!”

Damien really likes his cheeseburgers and fries.

He hears a ding on his phone, indicating he has a new email, which he reads:

——

To: “Damien U. Hurlbutt” [ConnivingPimp@hautemail.con]

From: “Customer Care” [customerservice@bottomlineprodux.calm]

Dear Damien:

Thank you for signing up for our mailing list! You will receive daily updates telling you all about our feminine product line. Becuase you provided your cell phone number, we will text you daily, too! Thank you for your interest in our company and for signing up!

The Bottom Line Sanitary Product Divsion

——