Moronic Crime Rings and Things

Multiplex clerk, fedora-sporting neckbeard and Communal narcadoodle 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 vulnerable narcissist 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 Bee’s computer to steal her identity. Feeling dejected from having been rejected in 1993 after Pat had made a pass at her, Pat decides Kitty is a perfect target for moronic revenge.

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 washroom 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 are too bright.

Voices Carry, Bernadette

Bog witch Bern bathes in the bog

Manteno port-a-potty proprietor, singer and communal narcadoodle Bernadette “Bern” Cacca spends her vacation swimming in the bog. She gets bored devouring the living and speeds home to her shack to visit her husband Peppi.

Bern opens her mailbox to find a letter sent from Peppi.

“DEAR BERN. I GOT OUTTA REHAB AND AM LIVING IN A HALFWAY HOUSE. BRING BEER.”

Bern fears the loss of narcissistic supply since her husband is away. 

Bourbonnais cinema clerk, communal narcissist, and proud neckbeard Damien Ulysses Hurlbutt is visiting his brother; Wally Green’s clerk, Elvis impersonator and covert narcissist Robert Roy Gary Hurlbutt at his apartment, with whom he used to share with drifter Andy Skandees.

The Narcissist Brothers: Robbie and Damien Hurlbutt

“What are ya gonna do on ya day off?”

“After lunch, smunch, gonna zogg on over home and write me an article!”

“Don’t you wanna spend it with your only brother? I am in a dark mood.”

“Naw, you see, I am going to write a paper.”

Awkward silence passes the two, like a fart in the wind.

“Since people think we are narcissists, I am gonna prove them wrong! Bwahahahaha.”

A sinister grin fills Damien’s face, morphing his orange, straggly beard into something even creepier.

“After I write an article all about narcissism, I am going to send it to my former therapist down in Champaign for a once-over, and prove forever we are not narcissistic at all. Then I people will know I am the victim and all her friends will say goodbye! Bwa ha ha ha ha!”

“She’s the counselor also who saw the convicted murderer who lived in your old apartment complex, right?”

“I know, I know, I know…”

“Did you help him move the body?”

“Anyways…I need to go back to Bourbonnais and write this important article.”

Damien taps away at his 10-year-old desktop machine atop his TV tray, sitting on a folding metal chair, the only furniture he has since the rest of his apartment is cluttered with boxes containing useless crap; shredded tissues strewn across the carpet, empty pop cans littering the apartment he uses as a dumpster.

Bern runs all over Manteno looking for gullible men, to no avail.

Remembering that fellow communal narcadoodle Damien Hurlbutt hit on her at Cinema-13, she heads over to pay him a visit. Damien is not there, so the clerk hands Damien’s card to Bern.

“Damien Hurlbutt, old soul and tender-heart looking for M’ladies.

Call me now. I am the last of my species. 1-815-555-FART”

Happy she does not have to look anymore for someone she can idealize, devalue and then discard like used burger wrappers, Bernadette calls Damien and heads over his neckbeard nest in Bourbonnais. 

Damien opens the door and immediately hugs Bern, handing her a bouquet of long stem roses.

“Hello, M’Lady. I tip my hat to you, so little and dainty. I have another surprise inside.”

“Oooh, let’s go!”

Damien holds the door for Bern, and brags about it as if he needs a medal.

Atop one of his many boxes of crap is a bunch of balloons attached to a massive teddy bear. 

“I gotta go for real.”

“So soon?”

“No, I mean I need to use the washroom.”

“Ahh.”

Bern wades through the lake on his washroom floor, farts a bunch of times, and takes a massive crap.

Bern opens the door to a wide-eyed Damien.

“Are these for me?” Bern asks Damien, mouth wide open, almost inhaling one of the flies buzzing around Damien’s dumpy excuse of an apartment.

“Yes, honey puddin’.”

“Oh you are the best, Damien!”

“Anything for you, M’lady, Madame.” Damien tips his black fedora.

“By the way, I’m impressed!”

“You think so? Oh, you are nicest guy on earth. I love to sing for charity, I am the best giver you know! And the best listener.”

“No, I’m the best giver. And I mean your farting. Man, those are some hot toots!”

“Yeah, I light them to burn poopies in my fireplace.”

“Dang, wanna stay the night?”

“Yeah, baby!”

“Hoooo!”

“I don’t know. Who? I hope me, handsome dahhhhling.”

The two spend the night together on Damien’s bare floor, cuddled together under Damien’s ratty blanket, sharing his lone pillow.

Bern awakes many times in the night by a loud, dissonant noise.

Damien wakes up, farts three times, and heads to the washroom, peeing loudly. Then he rips a few more air biscuits, bragging, “Pheeeew!”

Bern checks her phone for donations to the Manteno Optimal Club, for which she plays accordion, covering pop tunes to raise money. Secretly, she does not really care about the charity nor the community as a whole. She just wants to look good on the outside.

Damien walks back into his room.

“Dude, why do you snore so loudly?”

“Oh, I have sleep apnea.”

“Why don’t you wear your mask?”

“It fills up with water in the night.”

“You do know they make automatic cleaners for those things. My mom has one.”

“I know, I know, I know…”

“And no bed? My back is killing me from sleeping on your hard floor.”

“How about we go to your place, M’lady?”

“I don’t want my husband to find out.”

“Husband?”

“Yeah, Peppi is in rehab for his drinking again.”

“Oh, I won’t tell him. I was married once before I married Grimace and I never told her.”

“Grimace? Who?”

“Oh my ex-wife. She got more hostile every day when I was getting ready to leave her down in Champaign. It was all about her, her her,” Damien smears the woman he emotionally abused.

“Why do you call her Grimace?”

“She is so fat and so dumb. One year I bought her a vacuum and she could not even put the thing together.”

“Sounds like me.”

“Naw, honey puddin’. You are a lot prettier than her.”

Damien takes his usual hour-long shower, runs out the bathroom to grab a towel and spills water all over the floor. After drying off his manhood with a hair-dryer, he gets dressed, and meets Bernadette in her car.

The two walk into Bern’s Manteno shack, which she shares with husband Peppi.

“Can I use your computer?

“Go ahead!”

Damien checks his email.

“Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!” Damien exclaims with glee.

From: “Florence” [ProgressiveTherapyLLC@dmail.calm]

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

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Subject: Re: I have a great idea which I think you will like

Damien, you have sent me four emails now. You are not my client any more, and I will not sign off on your idea. Here is a list of therapists in Kankakee County.

Attached file: “TherapistsInKankakee.pdf”

Damien fires back an angry email:

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

To: “Florence” [ProgressiveTherapyLLC@dmail.calm]

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Subject: Re: re: I have a great idea which I think you will like

No, I do not need help. There is nothing wrong with me. You are psycho like my ex-wife!

Bern walks in and Damien quickly locks the computer screen so she cannot see what shenanigans he has been barfing up.

“I gotta head upstairs. I will be awhile.”

Damien grabs Bern’s hands and looks her dead in the eye.

“I was about to close off my heart and never love again, M’lady. When I was born, my mother saw my head full of red hair and named me after the kid from The Omen. We redheaded males get discriminated against—“

“Damien, you are really handsome and your farts smell amazing. I really need to go poop for awhile.”

“Okay, honey puddin’. I will be here.”

As Damien hits send on his email to his former therapist, someone rings Mrs. Cacca’s doorbell.

“Oh, horse-hockey,” Damien complains.

“Come innnnn!” Bern’s voice emanates from the upstairs restroom.

“Bernadette, somebody is here.”

“Let them in.”

Damien opens the door. A 5’10” average looking male asks for Bernadette.

“Who are you?”

“I am JB, her boyfriend. Who are you?”

“Uhhh-I’ll go get her.”

JB sits down on the Caccas’ couch while Bernadette continues to pinch loaves.

“Bern, I am gonna go on home. I have a stitch in my side, and my heel spurs are hurting.”

“PPPHHHPPPTTTTTT” says Bern’s butt. Damien’s derriere returns the sentiment and he heads home.

Bern comes down the stairs to greet her other boyfriend.

“Hey sugar, you the most handsome man alive. How are ya?”

“Do you have any turds? My turd-machine is out of ammo again and I have no luck stealing poopies.”

Little does Bern know, she has an audience.

“Is this the dawning of the age of morons?” the next-door neighbors Gothic Diana Ross and The Midnight Supremes ask each other, giggling. They have been standing on their porch, listening in on Bern’s conversations with her boyfriends. 

“Bern Cacca has her nose so far up her enablers’ butts she can see out their mouths,” Gothic Flo quips and the gothic girl group busts out laughing, happy to have a laugh at the Caccas’ expense.

Damien Hurlbutt Thinks Excess Plastic is Fantastic

For Bourbonnais cinema clerk, communal narcissist, and neckbeard Damien Hurlbutt, invalidation of others’ feelings has always been one heck of a drug.

”Hey Damien? Why does Buckstars wrap all their plastic utensils in even more plastic?”

”Well actually, Lori…I was watching the Angery Game Nerd Show on PooTube and the host gets mad there is not enough packaging. After all, plastics makers need to make money too…“ Damien the self-proclaimed “nice guy” said to his ex wife at their former home in Champaign. Lori Brown – whom Damien calls “Grimace” – has been happily divorced from the Bourbonnais cinema clerk who sent her doctors lunacy letters, thinking he knew more about psychology than…um…an actual psychologist?

Have you known someone like Damien? I hope not. Lori would not wish his abuse on her worst enemy.

Damien Hurlbutt Storms Area 51

Make it rain with NFTs – Newly Formed Turds! Craptocoin mined the old fashioned way! Ask Bern Cacca how.

“Oh boy oh boy oh boy!” Bourbonnais multiplex clerk, fedora-sporting neckbeard and communal narcadoodle, Damien Hurlbutt exclaims when he gets a link to a message bearing the subject “thank you Damien Hurbutt–old soul and tender-heart.” It has arrived from one of his favourite puppeteers on Fakebook, whom he has been stalking, mailing weekly postcards to her home address.

Damien hems and haws, not used to getting the praise to which he feels entitled. He clicks the link, which leads to a “You Are An Idiot” video, complete with Fakebook comments section on the female performer’s page rightfully poking fun at his narcissistic behavior.

Damien rages due to his narcissistic injury, ego deflated to the size of a pea. He throws his computer out the window, hitting an older lady on the head, instantly killing her.

Bored and fearful he will be locked away forever, without a chance for narcissistic supply, Damien hoovers his ex-wife Lori. Ennui gets the best of him: Damien emerges from nothing by false flagging Lori’s social media content, hoping to get her into Fakebook jail. Instead, Damien goes to real jail – Kankakee County jail – as he awaits his trial for manslaughter and stalking.

Damien’s enabler, fellow communal narcadoodle, and fart-enthusiast Bern Cacca posts bail. Damien goes home, assuming he will get the acquittal to which he feels entitled.

Think again.

A bounty hunter is sent out to sniff out Damien; Bern’s transaction failed because she paid in Craptocoin and burned it all…in her fireplace. 

“The only thing I like better than mining Craptocoin, is burning it…” Mrs. Cacca says as she cooks her books at the Manteno shack she shares with her husband Peppi.

Damien pursues Bernadette, who is not home, nor at work. Damien heads over to the bog she inhabits, which she uses as a bathtub and and slow-cooker for devouring the living. Unfortunately for fugitive Damien, the sign at Bern’s Bog reads “the bog witch is out.”

Damien gets a “fake news” tip sent to his flip-phone by Pat Splatt that Bern went to Area 51 for a toxic secret flatulence experiment. Keep flames away from butts.

Artist’s rendering of secret experiment room

Damien tries to sneak into Area 51 after taking pictures of the “Photography Prohibited” Area 51 “No Trespassing” sign.

Damien heads toward the once-secret base nicknamed “Dreamland” and gets rightfully arrested by the military police.

The officers, tired of shooting people on sight and patrolling the same remote corner of Nevada, decide to bring Damien in and question him. Damien sits down at a metal table, glances down at the floor, all by his lonesome. Out of seemingly nowhere, a group of five military personnel materialize in the room, all facing the bulbous neckbeard. ”Face to Face” by Daft Punk plays over the public address system, beat-matched into a remix of ”Paris 400” by SebastiAn. Area 51’s DJ really likes French House Music.

“Nice floor tiles you have, M’Lady!” Damien smirks, hoping to impress the leader with his negative humor.

Obviously not impressed, the Area 51 security team haul Mr. Hurlbutt into a solitary cell in the top-secret experimentation wing, where human and extraterrestrial scientists work to develop a “super-soldier” performing experiments like turning humans into giant spiders and installing amplifiers into cyborgs to blast Katy Scary music to scare away terrorists.

Damien makes his one phone call to Pat Splatt, asking where Bernadette had gone.

“Bern is at Area 21, not 51”

“Why did you text me she was at Area 51 then?”

“Umm…typo?”

Damien is a Beauty, Alright

Rule Number One: I’m Alwahz Right, says Damien Hurlbutt

“Oh boy. Ooh boy, oh boy, oh boy. I am going to win this contest!” Bourbonnais cinema clerk, neckbeard and communal narcissist Damien Hurlbutt thinks out loud as he shakes off his just-washed hands on the men’s room floor. “Who are you talking to?” a theater customer asks? “Oh nothing, nothing.” Damien insists and walks back to the ticket counter and reads his Fakebook wall.

“Kankakee County Surprise Beauty Contest — For Men and Women — A secret panel will judge a body part of all who participate! Find out just what at the end! Enter now to support the Kankakee County Crotch Rocketeers and Imbecile Machinists Motor Club.”

“I alwahz wanted to win a beauty test. My orange neckbeard and black fedora is sure to impress M’ladies!”

“Damien! Those popcorn sacks are not filled high enough. Do you know what a popcorn sack looks like? How long have you worked here?” Kankakee Cinema-13 owner Konrad Teirant demands.

“I know, I know,” Damien grumbles as he heads back to doing something productive.

Damien ends his shift and heads over to the County Fairgrounds to enter the beauty contest. One other contestant meets him there, a 50-something, slim, plain looking, mustachioed man by the name of Dale Davis.

Damien and Dale fill out the necessary paperwork. Of course, Damien skips ahead and enters the line to complete his paperwork to ensure he goes first. After he wraps up, Damien eavesdrops on Dale:

“Dale Francis Davis. Yup. Five foot eleven. One hundred and seventy pounds. I am 54 years young. Shoe size? Ummm…nine I guess.” Dale signs his name and heads toward his pickup truck.

Damien drives home to plot his winning scheme. Damien is a real winner.

After Damien gets home to his one-bedroom Bourbonnais apartment, he walks through his massive hoard contained mostly in towering, toppling boxes and sits down in his folding chair at the TV tray holding his desktop computer.

Damien logs onto Fakebook, after having cleared his history every time he uses his machine even though nobody else lives in his neckbeard nest.

Damien logs onto the Kankakee County People and Opinions Fakebook group using his newly stolen identity, “Sarah Turppa”, thanks to his brother Robbie and his new side venture.

As “Sarah”, Damien posts:

What a disgusting little turd, that Dale Davis, ripping people off judges with his crappy body. He is related the the committee! He needs to be disqualified!” Damien tags the wrongfully accused Dale in his smear campaign, hoping to triangulate other citizens against him.

Poor Dale Davis. Damien and Robbie tag team posting on a bunch of local Fakebook and Instaphoto groups under various stolen and made up accounts accusing Dale, the only other contestant competing against Damien in the Kankakee County Surprise Beauty Contest, of fraudulent entry.

Dale Davis logs on and is feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of posts.

“Is this is the same person writing over and over? Your posts all sound alike.” Dale replies to one of the harassing messages.

“No, Dale. It is called having friends, which we see you don’t” Damien comments as “Clio Bersola”, another stolen account.

Dale decides he has had enough and leaves the toxic group.

Damien takes a two hour shower to prepare for the beauty contest. After running across the washroom floor, out the door to grab his towel in the bedroom, Damien shakes off like a dog. Before walking around looking like Homer Simpson in his tighty-whities, Damien aims his blowdrier at his manhood just like he does his orange neckbeard.

Damien lifts his leg. “Oh” says Damien’s rear end. “Pardon me. Pheeeeew!”

“Putt.” Damien ripped another one. “Pardon me. Pheeeeew!”

“Pppphhht!” Damien keeps on lifting his leg and letting them rip.

Damien is proud of his flatluent prowess.

“Pardon me, pheeeew!” Damien exclaims with great pride.

Damien dons his “Rule #1: I Am Alwahz Right” tee he designed himself, and walks out the door leaving the bathroom light and fan running because he does not care.

The one cop that travels up and down the main drag in Bourbonnais and Bradley did not bat an eye when Damien forgot to signal. He also did not notice that Damien forgot to put on his lights on this evening. “I have a quarter tank. The yellow light is not on yet, no need to stop for gas. I will zogg on over to Kankakee,” Damien thinks to himself after passing several filling stations. “Ahhh, I am here.” Damien strokes his neckbeard.”

Damien greets the judges in front of the rather large crowd at the fairgrounds gathered for the beauty contest and shakes their hands, a crap-eating grin fills the face of Damien, who thinks he is dressed to impress.

File image

Kankakee Crotch Rocketeers and Imbecile Machinists Motor Club president, Brandon Dixon, stands behind the podium ready to speak:

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please. My name is Brandon Dixon and I am president of the Kankakee Crotch Rocketeers and Imbecile Machinists Motor Club. I am proud owner of Brandon’s Imbecile Machines right here in Kankakee where all ladies receive a free rose. Come on down and I will make you a deal. We have word that our other contestant, Dale Davis dropped out. Without further ado, let us award the remaining contestant — Mr. Damien Hurlbutt — Kankakee County’s Stinkiest Feet Award! Man I can smell them from over here too!”

Brandon hands Damien his award.

“Doesn’t it feel good to win, Damien? Look at all those people out there, Damien.” Brandon says into the microphone.

“Come now…” Damien says.

“Go now, your feet stink!” Brandon says and the crowd roars with laughter. It is going to be a fun night at the fair. Damien heads out to his car, wanting to leave, only he cannot escape getting roasted after all. He is completely out of gas.

Shop Till You Drop, Sybil!

It’s a sunny day in Kankakee and Sybil is out for a walk. Sybil is strolling to the beat of auto-tuned mumble-country in her earbuds, when she spots a green cloth sack with a dollar sign on it lying on the ground near the Last National Bank of Kankakee County.

“Hmmm, what should I do?” Sybil wonders for a moment. 

“Should I go on a shopping spree, or take it home and shove it away in a drawer. I know! Shopping spree! I will pretend I am on Shop Till You Drop and go crazy with it! It’s my lucky day!” Sybil tells herself. She grabs the sack off the ground and heads home to her McMansion, gets in her Chrysler LeBaron and heads out.

Sybil pulls into the Bradley strip mall, which had contained the only Buckstars that ever went out of business in the history of the world. She walks into Miser & Co. Collectibles. “SALE! Three for the price of two (must buy three)” reads the storefront signage.

Sybil gets the biggest cart she can find and starts loading it up. “Oooh, fat free oil. I cannot get enough bottles of this.” 

Sybil spies another item she supposedly cannot live without. “Dehydrated water. How keen. Must grow my collection.”

Sybil continues to add to her cart. “A seatbelt belt? I could rock one of those. Oh and what is this? A golden mustache earring? Hot dog!”

“Hey Sybil, m’lady, m’lady” says a nearby Damien Hurlbutt, looking over the store’s record collection with his younger brother Robbie.

“Oh, tell your mother I said hi.”

“Yup. Will do.” says Damien. A silent Robbie has his nose buried in the Elvis LPs.

“Almost time to check out, just need to get a few more ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ signs. They are buy one, get one half off, y’know?” Sybil thinks aloud.

“I know.” Damien says, because he thinks it is all about him.

Sybil heads to the checkout counter, her basket almost overflowing with useless crap. She waits in a long line to check out. As she approaches the clerk, reaches for her money sack.

“That will be $601.90.”

Sybil opens up her sack and pulls out the bills. However, they do not look right to her. They are smaller, thinner, and printed on different colored papers. Sybil’s frown stretches down, her face turns red from embarrassment.

“Ma’am, did you really think you could pay us with Monopoly money?” says the clerk.

Sybil faints. She had shopped until she dropped.

Revenge is Served

Clio Bersola spots the temper-tantrums of Bourbonnais cinema clerk, neckbeard and communal narc-a-doodle Damien Hurlbutt in the “Nice Guys Looking For The Finish Line” Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) themed group on Fakebook, under her alias JG Wayne.

Best friend of Damien’s verbally abused and rightfully estranged ex-wife Lori, Clio messages him and fake-agrees with him over IM on so many points, stringing him along. They become instant friends, soulmates, solely in Damien’s “old-soul” nitwit brain.

Damien swiftly asks Clio out on a date because he is so impressed. Wow, someone like him, the last of his species! Umm…yeah.

They agree to meet up at Ma Barker’s restaurant in Chicago. Little does Damien know what is in store for him.

Damien complains about the entire drive up Route 57, and nearly gets rear-ended getting off 90/94. Clio parks at a friend’s house and takes the train.

The two meet up at Ma Barker’s. Damien is wearing a red feather in the brim of his brand new, black fedora as Clio had instructed.

The place is rather large, decked out in gangster memorabilia, reproduction crime scene evidence, Ma Barker photos and those of her famous outlaw sons.

Clio instantly recognizes Damien — a spitting-image of Squirrely Dan minus the ball-cap — whistling loudly to himself, orange neckbeard aglow.

“There’s my lovely Men’s Rights Activist!”

“M’lady, m’dame!” Damien says to Clio as the two embrace, Damien hugging more tightly than Clio.

The two sit down and chat. Conversations flow rather quickly and Damien rambles on about how he was about to give up on love in a month or two had he not met Clio.

“I was about to tuck my heart away forever, had I not met you. So many women treated me badly, especially my ex-wife Grimace. She is so fat and ugly, eeew. She ate so much fast food and begged me for $50 a day. Fifty dollars! My life is complete now I met you!” Damien gushes to Clio, not even respectful enough to call his former bride by her name.

Clio shudders a bit inside and then gets excited. “The Time is Now” by Moloko plays over the restaurant loudspeakers.

“I have something I would like to ask you, Damien.”

Clio takes Damien’s hand. It is the first time he has been touched since he and his wife divorced. Damien’s grin widens.

“What is it with you so-called ‘Men’s Rights Activists anyway? Don’t you have anything better to do than complain about your privileges?’”

Damien snaps his hand away from Clio.

“Huh-whom-who-why-hwat?” Damien snips, pauses, adds extra “whoooos” and “huhhhs” for melodrama.

An awkward silence passes by as Damien coldly glares into Clio’s eyes. Meanwhile, Clio fills with anticipation, and smiles inside.

“You women are awful. Misandry is the real problem, WOMAN. Men get kicked in the nuts on TV. You people give us a hard time for this fake thing called mansplaining. Men are always the butt of women’s jokes. We are oppressed all the time and your feminism is the cause! You women are horrible! You are a horrible person who will be alone forever! You’re psycho!”

Damien gets up from his seat and goes to the couple next to him.

“See this woman next to me? She is psycho. Stay away from her,” Damien gaslights.

The couple roll their collective eyes and go back to eating.

Damien stomps over to a family across the room.

“See that skinny woman sitting by herself at that table? With the dark brown hair? She is crazy. Stay away from her. I am trying to help and she won’t listen.”

The mother gives Damien the stinkeye and motions to protect her kids should Damien harass them again.

Mr. Hurlbutt huffs, puffs, and sits down by himself with his head planted squarely on the table, hand stroking his neon orange neckbeard. He adjusts his fedora, and tries to slam the red feather down, only for it to fly away.

Clio heads for the kitchen, to speak with her former coworkers.

“I am getting harassed. Can you please call the police?”

“That neckbeard dude throwin’ a fit? We already had some complaints. Hang tight. I got ya back.”

Damien storms toward the kitchen.

“Pardon me, sorry to interrupt your important work. See that woman there? She–”

“Find your own way home, Damien,” the server commands.

Damien refuses to leave and sits in the men’s washroom farting away, wishing he could brag about his poop size to an unsuspecting young lady.

The Chicago Police Department hauls away the unwanted person, Mr. Damien Ulysses Hurlbutt and puts him in the holding tank with a bunch of other smelly, sweaty men.

Clio meets up with her buddy — the former Mrs. Hurlbutt — and they have dinner together, laughing and giggling all night long.

Damien taps away at the cold cell floor, much to the annoyance of his cellmates.

“Socks with sandals?” a fellow inmate complains as he stares at Damien’s feet. “Grrrrr.”

Revenge really is a dish best served cold.

Damien Hurlbutt’s Pool Toys

“Why does your brother Damien keep buying pool toys in the middle of Winter?” Wally Green asks his Illinois pharmacy-chain clerk, Kankakee Elvis impersonator and covert narcissist, Robbie Hurlbutt.

Robbie says nothing, chooses to ignore his boss and keeps on stocking shelves as he hopes to leave early so he can skip out on closing.

“Has he moved a body or something?” Wally says of Robbie’s equally creepy and narcissistic brother Damien.

Robbie ignores Wally, finishes stocking and sneaks out the door while the store owner is not looking so he can head down to the bar. First, he has to meet his speedball dealer.

Robbie, high on uppers, spends 20 minutes chatting up the bartender, while other customers grow impatient and angry as he is holding up the mixing of their cocktails and the pouring of their beers.

Robbie downs his downers and chases them with prescription painkillers he stole from his elderly mother PJ.

The inebriated Elvis impersonator texts his brother Damien, hoping he will join him and take him home, however after multiple selfies and text messages saying how much he loves his brother, Damien does not reply.

Cinema-13 clerk, bulbous neckbeard and communal narcadoodle Damien Hurlbutt strokes his dayglow-orange facial coiffe, and sets out a clipboard containing a sign-up sheet requesting email addresses for a newsletter. A theater customer walks up to the movie theater counter and asks what the newsletter is about. “It’s just a newsletter,” the sneaky narcissist Damien replies in his typical smug tone.

After the picture finishes its run and the ushers escort all the guests, Damien collects the newsletter sign-up sheet and heads to his Bourbonnais neckbeard-nest to sleep on the floor. Before he can retire for the night, he get annoyed over the mess of texts and photos from his brother Robbie. Damien would rather sleep in his mess of plastic tubs, and boxes of the things he loves more than people, than head back to Kankakee to pick up a drunk. Thinking he can gain something from helping his brother, he drives down to the Kankakee bar at which Robbie is performing slurred Elvis Presley Karaoke. The two bumbling idiots get into Damien’s beat-up van and head home. 

“What about my purple clown car?” Robbie asks Damien.

“Get it tomorrow.”

Damien gets a text from a coworker whose birthday is coming up soon. Knowing well it is illegal to text and drive, Damien messages his coworker, lovebombing her about the $50 gift card he is going to buy her, bragging about the surprise she clearly expressed she did not feel comfortable accepting.

After nearly crashing, Damien flips off the other driver and heads to Robbie’s Kankakee apartment, crashing on his floor instead.

Damien and Robbie wake up to snow on the ground. Damien retells the same story about his father N. Ron’s obsession with the weather channels he has already bored Robbie with at least 80 times now. Robbie leaves the room, stumbling on record albums he dumped all over the floor to get to the bathroom. Even though he is terrified of getting locked in the washroom while pooping, Robbie wants to get away from Damien.

Robbie emerges, and Damien pulls out the newsletter sign-up sheet, filled with names and email addresses. “Hey Robbie, my number-one brother? I would love to ask a favor from you. Can you contact Pat Splatt and try to sell him these email addresses? I collected them to send out messages getting out the good things us tender-hearts at the Bourbonnais Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) Club can do to help us men fight misandry. I would like to sell him a copy because I need the money to buy my coworkers gifts. I spent my paycheck already on action figures.

“What’s in it for me?” Robbie asks his equally self-centered brother Damien.

“Well, our theater has an extra Gothic Diana Ross poster from when we sponsored her show a couple years back.”

“Sold.” Robbie grins ear-to-ear and dials up Kankakee criminal and email spammer Pat Splatt.

The Hurlbutt brothers drive over to Pat Splatt’s flat, where the straggly long-haired Pat is busy harvesting emails from the Internet using his Spam-O-Matic computer program. The three group together to organize their petty crime. 

“Damien, I can pay you per email reply, that’s it.”

“Oh come now!”

“Oh go now, Damien. That is my final offer. Take it or leave it. I don’t have to offer you anything.”

“I know, I know, I know…” Damien says like a broken record, mimicking a certain furniture commercial emanating from Champaign. 

Damien reluctantly hands Pat the photocopied sign-up list containing contact information he collected from unsuspecting moviegoers.

Damien then heads to Wally Green’s to buy more pool toys and chucks them in his bathroom. After whizzing, he washes his hands with far more water than he needs and sprinkles the water all over the bathroom floor, leaving on the bathroom light and fan because he does not care.

Damien begins typing up his MRA “newsletter” in a word-processor program on his 10 year old desktop computer, resting atop a wooden folding table, the only piece of furniture in the entire room. The rotund neckbeard emails his diatribe while wearing his graphic tee displaying the text:

“I can 

EXPLAIN 

it to you

But I can’t

UNDERSTAND

it for you.”

A few days go by, however nobody takes Damien up on his offer to join the Bourbonnais MRA Club. Nobody clicks on the ads for the 21 Conference either. 

Damien realizes he needs to get ready for work now so he can make it on time after taking his two-hour shower.

Mr. Hurlbutt walks into the theater barely on-time. His boss, theater owner Konrad Teirant, calls him into his office.

Damien’s heart sinks and he utters a melodramatic “gulp” as he walks over to Konrad’s office.

“Damien, you really dropped the ball this time. I have been receiving numerous complaints from customers who have been getting emails about some misogyny club.”

“What?“

“This is unacceptable. They told me they signed up for a newsletter here? I never ordered you to or anyone else to put out a call for contact information. Do you want me to get sued?”

“Well…no” an embarrassed-because-caught Damien tells his boss.

“Damien, you have been working here a long time. You know that if we want to gather contact information so we can sell it, that would come from me. And only so I can profit, not you Damien. You’re not that important. Not at all. In fact, I can fire you at any time. I am telling you that because I am your friend. Oh by the way, why do you wear that dumb fedora? It looks stupid. And wash your beard. It smells. Don’t tell anyone we had this meeting. Go home and stay home the rest of this week. I will call you about next week’s hours.”

An excited Damien rushes home to play with his pool toys because he is happy he has the week off, not wondering at all if his boss will even call him back to work the next week.