Pat Splatt Poops the Question

Bourbonnais neckbeard, Damien Hurlbutt, has caught word that his estranged former wife Lori is coming into Kankakee County for a doctor’s appointment. He is deathly afraid of running into her because he is a fragile narcissist, scared she might confront him about his covert history of verbal abuse toward her. He heads over to his brother Robbie’s apartment to ask him and fellow con man Pat Splatt to come up with a sneaky way into avoiding her.

“I’m back!” Damien tells his younger brother and poor imitator of Elvis, Robbie.

“I’m front!” Robbie snickers back.

“I am leaving town for a week or longer. I am telling my boss at the cinema and then hitting the gas. My ex-wife is coming back into town and I am scared.”

“Scared?” Robbie replies in his typical faux-Elvis voice.

“Yeah. Sssh, don’t tell anyone. I really look good online after I smear campaigned her to all my friends, even to that famous couple until they had told me to stop contacting them and sending them presents. I had sent them a drawing I made all by myself after our friend passed away since I had talked them into letting me send them art instead. I swear, they are really impressed! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!” Damien exclaims with glee as he rubs his palms together.

“Just man up and deal with it!” Robbie Hurlbutt tells his older brother Damien.

“Come now. That is not how you talk to a fellow Men’s Rights Activist! You know that!” Damien says on the defense to Robbie.

“I hope you get the time off approved.”

“Okay, okay, okay, okay…” Damien repeats ad nauseum, not knowing his little brother Robbie is already out of earshot.

“Ding-dong.” 

“You’re wrong!” Damien snickers beneath his breath to the person at Robbie’s door.

A half-grinning Pat Splatt opens the door and struts inside.

“I popped the question!”

“What question?” Damien asks.

“Heyyyy…where did you meet her?” Robbie replies and looks away.

“Hey Pat, my ex is coming into town and I am feeling lukecold about this. I was wondering if you could help come up with a scheme—“

“Damien, I just got engaged!”

“I know, I know. My ex is due in sometime this week. I would like to gingerly bow out of town but I have to work. What do you suggest I do?”

“Hey, can I sing at your wedding, Pat?” Kankakee’s worst Elvis impersonator, the one and only Robbie Hurlbutt asks.

“Do you know anything besides Elvis?”

“I can sing lots of oldies.” Robbie replies.

“Do you play any metal?”

“No, but you can book me really cheap. I will throw in my groovy dance moves for free.”

“I’ll consider it.” Pat says to Robbie.

“So where did you meet her?” Robbie asks.

“The dating app OKStupid. Hey, I’ll show you guys a picture.” Pat gets out his phone and opens up said dating app.

“Who’s Daniel Sprague?” Damien asks.

“Oh, that’s my profile,” a half-embarrassed Pat replies as his gawky, straggly self shows the Hurlbutt brothers the obviously-stolen photos of the handsome, athletic man in the photos with the gorgeous hair and eyes. 

The Hurlbutts smile and ask to see his new girl.

“Her name is Alix. She’s from South Africa.”

“When did you meet her?” Damien asks.

“Oh, a month ago.”

“She came to Kankakee?” Robbie asks?

“No.”

“Hey Damien, let’s work on avoiding your ex,” Pat says to change the topic and the three work on scheming.

The next day arrives and so does Damien. Unlike Pat, Damien rings the bell and waits. While he waits, he taps his foot and jiggles the doorknob a dozen times. Make it a baker’s dozen.

“Well doesn’t that put poop in your soup?” Damien asks Robbie.

“Say what?” 

“My time off did not get approved. I have to work. That means if my ex-wife comes into town, and visits the theater, she could say something bad about me if I am mean to her! What do I do?”

“Weren’t you saying you had heel spurs, just like the president?”

“You know, the Moon landing may not be real but darn it, my bone spurs are!” Damien sternly replies.

“You deserve a long, hard week off.”

“You know, that’s right. I’ll just call in.” 

“What do you do at that theater anyway?”

“Oh, make copies of tickets and give them away. And make color copies of things I print out…all on the company’s dime. Why not? They’re paying for it.”

The brothers share a giggle and Damien drives home to his neckbeard nest to sleep on the floor.

Damien dials his supervisor, Cinema-13 owner Konrad Teirant, on his ten year old flip phone to call in “sick.” 

“You will need to be examined by a doctor and have a written excuse for each day you are out. Company policy.” Konrad says to Damien.

Upset and surprised by this rule, Damien makes an appointment to be seen. The office cannot tells him he cannot in until next week.

“Phew!” Damien says aloud after he hangs up his ancient flip phone and writes down his doctor appointment.

Damien drives over to Robbie’s apartment, where Robbie, his roommate Andy Skandees and Pat Splatt are all watching TV.

A bulbous Damien sits down on the basket chair and nearly falls out, while Pat stares angrily at his phone on the couch next to Andy, who is relaxing in his white tank top and cargo pants.

“She says she wants to come meet me. In person. I keep telling her I am busy. She says she is on her way to Kankakee in a week-and-a-half for a business meeting via way of Chicago!” an unhappy Pat exclaims.

“Why don’t you want to meet your girl? Andy asks.

“Reasons,” Pat replies.

“Did I tell you my story about the poop elves?” Damien asks with a large grin on his face.

“Way too many times…” the rest of the room answers in unison.

“Oh, I forgot.” Damien lies.

The Kankakee storm rages on, and then changes to sun five minutes later.

Damien spends the next week off work, feeling glad he does not run into his former wife out and about, especially at work. It is review week coming up and he is deathly afraid of this time of year, as he is every year. Damien lives to impress, and will not even let his peers throw him a birthday party because he is not the one doing the impressing. If anyone would care enough to surprise him —  not that they would — he would take over the check, (in a not-so-polite-way) and insist on paying on it himself thinking that would somehow impress them. 

Damien goes to the doctor’s office the following Monday before returning to work at the movie theater that night. After all, he had just spent a week off for his heel spurs!

While waiting for about an hour for his fifteen minute exam, in walks a familiar-looking woman, along with a much older lady. Damien looks up.

“Oh gawd.” Lori says to her friend after briefly looking over at Damien and then back at her friend.

Damien is now shaking with fear. He immediately dials up Robbie. It goes straight to voicemail. He calls Andy. Same thing. He calls Pat.

“Hey, man. It’s an emergency.”

“Be right over. I am charging you double-time.”

“Fine.”

Damien flips over his bronze-age phone and waits, tapping his fingers, whistling audibly.

Thirty minutes pass and Damien has not been called back to see the doctor, neither has Lori.

Pat Splatt walks in, cowboy boots a-clomping.

“Hi Damien. What’s going—“

“Look, Pat.”

Damien points across from him, to his former wife and her friend.

“What do you want from me?” Pat asks.

“That’s my ex wife! I thought her appointment was last week! You gave me the info.”

“So what. Things change. It happens.”

“Hey, you sound familiar!” says one of the ladies across from him.

“Hey-hhmm-hhuhhh—hmmm—what?” a melodramatic Damien replies.

“No not you, that guy next to you.” the elderly lady replies in her Cape Town accent, appearing to be about 72.

“You mean Pat?” Damien snarkily replies.

“Pat? I thought your name was Daniel!”

“Alllll-iiiiixxxx?” a stunned Pat Splatt replies.

“Yes, sonny. It’s me. I had told you I was coming into town. But you hadn’t wanted to meet me. I wonder why not? You do not look anything like your picture. The engagement is off.”

“Well neither do you!” Pat exclaims.

“Calm down everyone!” a staff member shouts from behind a window.

The group of people waiting wonder how any of them would get any calmer by a comment like that.

Damien is eventually thrown out of the office and Lori is called in next.

Needless to say, Damien does not pass his yearly review at Teirant Cinema-13. Poor Damien. If only he had just tried to be nice. But then again, he would not be Damien. 

A Very Moronic Concert

“Ma, would you like a dog food wrap?”

“No thanks, Sybil. I’ll take a raincheck.”

“I wrapped them up in toilet paper, Mother!”

JK shakes her silvery coiffe.

“Are there squirrels along the boardwalk?” JK asks her daughter, who is busy munching away at her doggy bag.

“Mmmnnnpf” a hungry, occupied Sybil replies in the negative.

“Speaking of squirrels, where are our tickets to the squirrel petting zoo?” JK inquires.

Sybil digs around her black-and-white striped purse, and pulls out the envelope Robbie gave her.

“Coupons? I thought they were comping us. These only give us a dollar off! The admission is $20 a pop! And where are our hotel keys? They said they were getting that, too!”

“Ummmm…” JK’s jaw just hangs.

“I have a plan.”

“Are we still going to the show?”

“Aw yeah, we are going early, in fact.”

6:00 PM rolls around and Sybil has already gotten to the bar with her mom, JK. The two were a bit delayed by their detour to the novelty store.

“Where is the ladies’ room?”

The bartender points in the general direction.

Sybil and JK each take a stall and begin blowing up the inflatable women. Sybil applies makeup, a blonde wig and readers to hers and JK applies a short, gray wig and round glasses to her doll. They walk out the restroom and place their dolls in two seats toward the back of the bar.

Sybil and JK leave the bar, giggling as they exit. They head to a casino where they spend the night.

The Moronic Half-Assets (MHA) Vaudeville act begins. Konrad Teirant tells his awful puns, then his wife, Madeline Topolla-Teirant, the colorful clown, juggles and attempts to balance on a large ball. Robbie Hurlbutt, mediocre Elvis impersonator, sings and dances like the fool he is.

PJ Hurlbutt cheers on her son Robbie, who she thinks is the greatest singer, meanwhile Pat Splatt sits there in his seat texting.

The show ends and Robbie takes a head count.

“We’d like to thank our fans Pat, my Mom PJ, and our buddies Sybil and JK!”

“Encore! Encore! Encore!” the lone fan, PJ, shouts.

“Did you say encore? We aim to please. Robbie is going to serenade a special fan who came all the way from Kankakee, Illinois!” Konrad announces.

Robbie comes down from the stage, toward the back of the bar and begins to sing “Burnin’ Love”.

Robbie is in shock that the “person” to whom he is singing does not react, nor move at all. “She is not a sincere fan.” Robbie says into the microphone after his number.

“Robbie, you moron. That’s a blow-up doll!” Madeline shouts.

Robbie jumps back in sheer embarassment.

“Elvis has now left the building.” Konrad announces.

The Moronic Half-Assets pack up, ready to leave. “That was a bust. I got really flustered up there.” Robbie sighs.

“We did not return much on our investment, did we?” Konrad gripes.

“Time to pack up and leave. If we drive home in our clown car, and make it home without stopping, maybe we can make up for our losses. Time to go!”

Robbie is in the Men’s washroom, wizzing away.

“Robbie, why do you leave the door open? I tell you about that time and time again!” Madeline screams.

A loud slam is heard.

“Rrrrrrrrgh!”

“Robbie, you are not Elvis, and you are not going to die in there.”

The MHA members pack up their stuff, and Robbie follows them into his clown car.

“I wonder what act is up next?” Robbie asks.

“I guess we’ll never know. Step on it Robbie!”

An announcement is barely heard from the purple clownmobile as Robbie pulls away, and rolls up his window, Kankakee-bound:

“Next up, also from Kankakee: Gothic Diana and the Midnight Supremes!”

“Rrrrrrgh—I love her! My dreamy—“

“Shut up and drive, childish little boy,”Madeline commands as the rain pours down and the moon shines down on the Moronic Half Assets.

Pat Splatt’s Viral Video

“Fifth time today. Who is this moron?” Kankakee student and barista Ant D. Yu asks his partner.

“Hang up.” Dorian James says to Ant.

“Brandon’s Imbecile Machines. That’s is. I am blocking these fools.”

A knock is heard and Ant checks the peephole. The uninvited guest pounds the doorknocker.

Ant opens the door.

“Oh, hi Sybil.”

“Hey Ant. Do you have any dog food? I am hungry.”

“No Sybil. I told you before. Our family does not have a dog. But thanks for stopping by.”

“Okay. I did not know if you guys got one now.”

“Have a good day Sybil.”

Ant closes the door and a disappointed Sybil Kibble heads back to her McMansion down the street.

Sybil’s phone rings as she strides home. After she walks into one of her three garages, she checks her caller ID:

“BRANDON’S IMBECILE MACHINES

KANKAKEE, IL”

Sybil sees that this entity has called twelve times in the past three days and because of this, she blocks their number from calling again. She then heads inside and munches down on some dry doggie chow.

Gothic Diana Ross, a Kankakee singer and impersonator, is busy pulling up her black fishnet stockings when her phone lights up.

“Who is this?” Di thinks to herself and checks her screen.

“Brandon’s Imbecile Machines? Block.”

Di stares in the mirror for ten minutes, puts on her eyeliner, then starts listening to her own singing.

Brandon Dixon, owner of Brandon’s Imbecile Machines, is getting frustrated by the lack of response to the new phone campaign for his lifted truck lot. He remembers a tactic he had learned during his tenure at Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) in Kankakee, and changes his mode of operation.

Ant Yu gets a call from an unknown number. He is in the habit of screening his calls and lets it go to voicemail. The next day, he checks his messages, and deletes the voicemail from “Brandon” asking him to call back, who has not explained why he had called.

Sybil gets a voicemail from Brandon and deletes it. Gothic Diana Ross does as well.

Brandon is again frustrated by the nonexistent return on his low-budget marketing investment for his overcompensated vehicle lot.

Knowing that Kankakee slimeball Pat Splatt might be able to hustle on his behalf, he calls. Pat teams up with Robbie Hurlbutt to try and spam people all over Kankakee by stealing Fakebook Martplace accounts.

Pat Oswald Splatt, or POS for short, develops a Fakebook virus to steal accounts for Brandon. It is disguised as a video featuring a picture of Sybil Kibble eating a can of cheap, wet dog food. Pat’s buddy and partner-in-crime Robbie Hurlbutt snuck it using his mobile phone, in the company break room, when he worked at CRASS for two weeks.

“Check this out, Robbie and Brandon!”

Pat shows off his newly minted virus, disguised as a video, designed to slide into Fakebook Martplace instant message boxes all over Kankakee.

“Kankakee bill collector eats dog food for lunch” reads the caption below the fake video that is really a virus.

“Once people click on this pretend video, the virus will send US the users’ login credentials. We will start by replying to Fakebook Martplace ads. That way we will find suckers really easily.”

The room fills with laughter.

“I based the virus off code I used to program a broken 1989 Atari emulator, accidentally broken on purpose. Those were my script kiddie days, back when I used to try and own noobs.”

“You are a noob, Pat.” Robbie snickers.

Pat launches the virus and Robbie gets ready to collect the login credentials so he can pool them into a spreadsheet.

Days go by…nothing.

Pat tests the virus and it is operational.

“Are you sending the virus out, Pat? I am paying you to do this.” Brandon asks.

“I am sending but nobody is a-clickin.”

“How about we step it up and generate a whole bunch a windows?” Brandon asks Pat.

“Good idea.”

Pat modifies the virus code to replicate multiple windows featuring Sybil Kibble enjoying her doggie dinner. The recursive windows end up crashing some computers, while most others fail to get infected at all, as the ancient technology powering the virus gets caught by even the most basic pop-up killer.

Brandon storms in on a sleeping Pat Oswald Splatt, curled up in his chair listening to a Robbie Hurlbutt Elvis impersonation video on a loop to try and increase his watch count.

“That’s it, I want my money back! I made nothing off your crappy viral marketing campaign!”

“Who-what-um-who is this? Hello?”

“Quit the drama! I want my money back!”

“Oh, hi Brandon.”

“Don’t hi Brandon me. I need my money back and I need it right now!”

“You will get your money back alright. Your bank charge failed because you had no money. You cheap fool!” Pat exclaims at Brandon and falls out his squeaky metal chair.

Brandon begins to laugh.

“Oopsie.” Pat giggles as Brandon leaves his former partner-in-crime and dials up another goofy plan in his head.

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 her low-income housing complex.

“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.