These tiny twin sisters sing about breaking crap in their new single “Broken” from their album “Broken,” coming soon from Broken Records. Not coming to a store near you. Be sure to see them open up for Vaudeville troupe Moronic Half-Assets (MHA) who bring you all the entertainment with half the budget.
Their favorite hobby is talking to each other in the washroom stalls, making sure to flush repeatedly, pretending to whizz while other ladies line up because they have to actually use the facilities. Bern Cacca would be proud.
Kankakee Elvis impersonator and vulnerable narcadoodle Robbie Hurlbutt thinks he is Elvis. He posted this billboard to hopefully bring in some birthday cheer from the single ladies. Do you think it will work? Don’t lock him in the bathroom!
“Where have you been?” Tara Bull barked at Linda Stay as she hovered over her desk.
“I had trouble driving in this weather and barely made it in. We got a foot of snow overnight and it took me over an hour to drive 25 miles,” Linda nervously explained as she set her purse and keys down on her cubicle desk.
“Well, I don’t have four-wheel drive and I made it just fine” Tara snipped as she berated the beleaguered Linda over her five minute tardiness. “I will mark this as a failure on your bi-weekly production report because attendance needs to be at 100%. You will not qualify for your hourly bonus this pay period. This is unacceptable.
Before Linda could react, Tara snapped “get on the phones!” and sat at her desk down to nom some breakfast burritos.
At 11:00, everyone could not wait to get off the phones. Yes, it was a dreaded production meeting which mandated the entire corporation’s presence, regardless of position, an award ceremony which invoked memories and emotions of high school assemblies. However, the collectors would do anything to get off the phones, even for an hour.
“I will get straight to the point. We need to increase production,” said Mr. Mack E. Avelli, Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) Chief Executive Officer. The crowd erupted in laughter when Tara Bull ripped one and crapped her pants.
“Did I do that?” asked an embarrassed Ms. Bull.
“We need to get more bullish!” said Mikey as the crowd continued to giggle.
“Silence!” Mr. Avelli shouted and the room went dead, as if you could cut the tension with a knife.
“Since nobody made production, the employee of the month award is going to go to the person who ranked highest on the quality metric. Without further ado, I present this award to Mrs. Linda Stay.”
The crowd cheered and clapped, that is everyone except for Tara. She went back to the washroom and filled the toilet, clearing everyone from the stalls and all employees within a 25-foot radius. Don’t light a match!
As a tribute to my late friend Caroll Spinney — the man behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch — I am telling the backstory of my Grouch-inspired character Gothic Diana Ross.
Oscar the Grouch is not a bad person, despite what millions of kids big and small may think. Oscar just wants to be left alone. Like Oscar, Gothic Diana Ross just wants her solitude. Just like Maria knocking on Oscar’s can just to ask him nosey questions, Diana’s neighbor Bernadette keeps knocking on the door of the slate Victorian house which she and The Midnight Supremes share.
Can you blame them for getting mad?
A lifelong Diana Ross fan, I appreciate the diva singers most. Back in 2017, a few months after I left a toxic marriage with a communal narcissist, I met another diva online. Because my post-traumatic stress disorder was so raw, I would lash out at people whom triggered me so easily. I had felt like everyone was a narcissist after leaving one. Sadly, I had gotten very upset at a certain gothic diva and I feel bad about it.
Combining my love for music, all things gothic and my friend Caroll Spinney, I created Gothic Diana Ross and The Midnight Supremes as a nod to some of my favourite performers.
Eventually I got to apologize to the gothic singer and felt a lot better.
Writing the conflict scenes between Gothic Diana Ross and her annoying neighbours Peppi and Bernadette “Bern” Moran Cacca feels very cathartic for me. Sonia Manzano (“Maria”) is quoted as having said Caroll playing Oscar “saved a lot on therapy” in the book “Jim Henson: The Works.”
Hopefully my stories will help bring the world a little joy, and I get to leave the world a little better someday far from now when I am gone.
Rest in peace, dearest Caroll Spinney. I miss you.
Manteno sociopath and sewer service owner Gregory Albert Schneissder likes to stir crap. Desperate for action, Mr. Schneissder drives his poopmobile down to The Gaslight Bar and hits on the ladies, only to have worse luck than regular customer Wally Green.
“I love your smile. Why don’t you use it more?”
“Yeah…no” Kankakee bill collector Sybil Kibble replies.
“Will you have my baby?”
“Get lost.” Kitty Bee deadpans.
“What are you doing sitting in the handicapped section? Are all you other ladies taken?”
“I AM disabled you moron!” Linda Stay replies.
Dejected, Greg heads out to the swamp to relax. “Heyyy handsome fella! You look AWESOME!” a voice calls out from seemingly nowhere.
“Yeah. I would like to have you for DINNER!”
A hungry Greg walks over to Bernadette Cacca who is bathing in the bog.
“What the heck was that?” Greg asks as the ground begins to crumble beneath him.
“Oh I farted.” Bernadette lets another one loose. The swamp surrounding Bern Cacca takes the form of bubbles as the friction shakes the ground below Greg, who stumbles a bit.
Bernadette gives Greg the bedroom eyes. Attracted by the scent and Bernadette’s charm, Greg feels intrigued. Bernadette sings her mating call.
“Come here you handsome piece of meat!”
Hypnotized by the smelly siren, Greg cannot resist. He not felt this attracted since back in 1991, he saw someone going down the road who owned one, a 1988 Chrysler Conquest.
Bog witch Bernadette takes Greg by the leg and eats him for dinner. Then she farts a bunch of times.
“Why are people up here in Albion so anti-Reynolds? I have done nothing but help this community. The other day, I told an obese lady about the new gym I wanted to build. I wanted to help her. But, noooo, people are so rude and mean. They do not appreciate my help! After all, they shut down The Mathew B. Johnson School of Intrepid Arts — The Best Martial Arts School around I could have taught them kiddos how to make PSI Balls!!”
“Those are fake.”
“I know. But but makes us money, and I want to teach ’em! This whole state needs a good schoolin’! This whole world!”
“Hey Barry, why don’t you call that Bernadette moron, the bog witch who sings opera for charity?”
“How about we drive down to Manteno. Maybe we can try their porto potty business since their number always goes to voicemail. I can only listen to that recording of them polka-rapping about porto potties so many times.”
“We have nothing better to do. I am bored. Let’s go!”
“Take that ugly desk with you. Maybe you can give it to her to pay for our public-relations clean-up act.”
Barry and Terry Reynolds run to Manteno.
“Turn left. Then turn left. Then turn left. Recalculating.”
“That dang GPS, why does it screw up so much? It has one job!” Terry exclaims.
Terry and Barry arrive at Peppi’s Portapotties.
“Dang! Just missed ‘em. They closed ten minutes ago. Let’s do a drive-by past their house.”
The bumbling idiots drive past the Caccas’ run-down shack. Nobody’s home. Spotting the beautiful slate, Victorian Gothic home next door, their curiosity draws them in.
The Westminster Chimes are played as they ring the doorbell. A 5’10”, slender, medium-skinned Gothic beauty answers the door, wearing an all-black dress and fishnet stockings.
“Yeah?” Gothic Diana Ross answers.
Barry’s stoic face turns a slight smile.
“Umm, hi Miss. We will not take up much of your time.”
“You’ve already taken up too much.” Diana quips.
“What’s the deal with your neighbors? The Caccas?”
‘Oh man. Just don’t.”
Diana inches away and begins to close the door.
“Wait? Miss! We have this $1000 desk we can give you, if you just talk to us!”
“I’ll tell you where to put that desk.”
Diana slams the door and goes back to singing rehearsal with the Midnight Supremes.
“Barry, I gotta whizz.”
“Yup. You’re the boss.”
“No Diana is. Let’s go.”
Barry and Terry pull into the nearest corner Wally Green’s. While Terry is emptying her bladder in the washroom, Barry finally answers the sales clerk who asked him six times if he needed help finding something.
“Yeah, do you sell those SpamMaster 2000 CD-ROMs?”
“No, sorry. Are you looking to send unsolicited emails? I got a guy.” Drugstore clerk, covert narcissist and Elvis impersonator Robbie Hurlbutt slips Barry the number for Pat Splatt, petty criminal and junk emailer.
Barry and Terry meet Pat Splatt at midnight on the street, not far from the interchange bridge under which Kankakee troll Leona Krabalsky is sawing wood. The three shadowy figures shake hands and part ways. The Reynolds drive onto Interstate Route 57 North, toward Chicago-O’Hare Airport, and board a plane for their monthly vacation.
“We’re headed to Australia and we’re so stoked!” reads the craption below Terry’s Fakebook post, loaded with the hashtag #RichPeopleProblems. Terry cannot wait to take photos of her legs and feet.
Pat Splatt hopes to buy an overly lifted truck to compensate for his lousy personality with all the money he makes spamming on behalf of the dysfunctional former leaders of the Mathew B Johnson School of Intrepid Arts. Brandon Dixon’s imbecile machine lot is booming with their end of year sales and Pat hopes to wheel-and-deal himself one.
While Scary Barry and Terry Reynolds spend loads of money they got from who-knows-where, seeing the sites of Australia, email junker Pat Splatt is busy sliding unwanted emails into the inboxes of college students all over the USA. Pat spams on behalf of disbarred college president Reynolds about the wonders of PSI Balls and how Barry Reynolds can teach them to defend themselves from psychic attacks. A second wave of spam stinks up the computer mailboxes of students at UCLA, Yale, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Colgate, Boston University, Loyola, Olivet Nazarene, Baylor, Kent State, Oregon State, Nebraska and Iowa City, spewing propaganda to try and connive random students into taking Barry’s online martial arts courses “because he is a nice guy who does a lot for the community.”
A sleeping Barry is awakened by an unexpected phone call.
“This is the Albion Health Department. We have received multiple complaints about a cockroach infestation at your compound.”
“It’s 3AM. Who the heck is this?”
“Huh? I don’t know where you are or what you’re talking about. We need you to rectify the infestation or we are going to have to condemn your property.”
“I’m in Australia on vacation with my wife.”
“Must be nice. I have not had a vacation in 21 years.”
Barry hangs up the phone and goes back to sleep. The Reynolds spend the day at their exclusive resort on Australia’s Gold Coast taking pictures of themselves and braggity-boasting on their Fakebook pages.
A month later, the relaxed, but tired couple heads home to their Albion McMansion. Several “Condemned” signs are seen posted all over their estate.
“What the heck now? After all we do for this county? This state? The entire Universe?”
Beep-Beep-Beep goes the Avelli Truck, lowering a shipping container on the grass outside the massive, now-condemned Reynolds residence.
“What’s this?” a stern Barry asks.
“Your new home. There’s even room for your desk.”
A truck from Peppi’s Portapotties pulls up, “King and Queen of the Throne” its lettering reads below a smiling cartoon depicting owners Bern and Peppi Cacca.
“His and Hers,” Peppi says to the Department of Health worker overseeing the Reynolds property seized by the City of Albion, Indiana as he sets up the two portable toilets.
“We are NOT going to sleep in there.” Barry says with his nose to the air, walking away from the metal shipping container.
“You can live in a dumpster. We won’t judge.”
Barry checks his bank account, hoping to stay in a swanky hotel. The robobank announces “Negative Forty-Nine Thousand, two-hundred twenty-four dollars.”
“Paaaaaaaaat!” Barry and Terry exclaim as they fall to their knees in unison, mad because their goose is cooked.
“Oh hey ma, I’m a ghost host now. This nice ghostie followed me home from Buckstars today. She’s really cool. I met her in the bathroom three years ago. I was just sittin’ down minding my own business when she went right through me.”
“Oh cool! What did it feel like?”
“Very breezy and soothing, like a natural muscle relaxer.”
Wally sighs, shakes his head and walks back to his office. Wally opens up his Tindling app and swipes right as much as possible. After a slew of rejections, this wacky inventor and wannabe ladies’ man deals himself a game of solitaire and falls asleep, dreaming up the next buy one, get one half off (but never free) sale.
Albion, Indiana Optimal President Club Carla Moran drools over her shipment of bogan moths from Australia. “These will make great spices for my business “Beaucoup Bogan Spices.”
“This dish is delicious. I have never tasted bean sprouts so yummy. Usually they taste like dirt! These spices are like no other, compliments to the chef! Where did she get that recipe?” CRASS chief cheese Mack E. Avelli asks.
“They’re just regular bean sprouts. Cut them up like regular bean sprouts,” Accounts Receivables Manager Tara Bull says to her superior with a crooked grin.
”I just made these intestine desserts for Halloween. They’re really good. I made them the Dale way,” Dale Davis asks his supervisor and crush, Sybil Kibble.
“I just destroyed a whole bag of dog biscuits, I’m not hungry now. Thanks!”
Mr. Avelli is dying to know who made the bean sprouts with the funky spices. He goes from office to office asking, hoping to find a way to make money off them. Someone owns up.
“Where did you buy these?”
“Wally Green’s,” Operations Chief Mike Philips tells his boss as he continues his FreeCell game.
“How about we do a big ol’ promo?”
“Do what you want. My wife made them.”
“Mike, contact Wally Green and ask that we co-host a talent competition. The winner gets a lifetime supply of this crack and a CRASS tee-shirt. It will make us a look good, and maybe Wally will pay back some of his debt. Get us on TV!”
“Call Dorian. I am too busy.”
Mike goes back to playing his virtual card game.
Mack develops a crossover campaign with Art Director Dorian James and plans to air it live on the local news. They are given the green light to air October 31st.
“It’s Halloween Night and we have a TREAT for you!” barks CRASS Chief cook of books and 1/3 of Vaudeville troupe, Moronic Half-Assets (MHA) Konrad Teirant.
Awkward silence passes.
“Get it, treat?” Konrad says with a falsetto giggle.
The crowd rolls their eyes and boos.
“Oh look a ghost!”
Not feeling the love of the crowd, Konrad moves right along.
We are holding our talent contest, sponsored by Wally Green’s and Beaucoup Bogan Spices! The winner will get a lifetime supply for these unique, and very tasty spices imported from Albion, Indiana. Sonya, what are these made from?”
Sonya attempts to force a big, cheesy smile, juxtaposed against her psychopathic stare.
“Out first act tonight is the Manteno Wonder herself, Bernadette Cacca! Get ready for her kazoo pop covers!”
Bernadette’s biggest fans, The Poopy Groupies, cheer, hoot and holler.
“I do a lot for the community! You guys are AWESOME! Get ready KaCo! Any requests?”
“Can you hum the Menard’s jingle?”
The crowd giggles and Bern carries on with her cover songs and finishes her act rapping about her port-o-dump business along with husband Peppi.
“We are King and Queen of the Throne. Come to Manteno and get your poopy on!”
Thank you Peppi’s Portapotties. Now for our next act, you will really like her, I know I do because she’s my wife! Give it up for Madwoman! I mean Madeline!”
After a slow clap, a large dumpster clearly marked “Peppi’s Portapotties” is rolled onto stage by an unseen pair of stagehands.
The seven-foot clown juggles broken records, scratched CDs and crushed cassettes.
“Hey, those are mine! Robbie Hurlbutt lies from offstage.”
Madeline chucks the busted music collection at the little fibber.
Thank you my love. And now our final act, Mr. Wally Green himself!
“I’m single by the way. Meet me here at the Gaslight Bar during Happy Hour. I will make you happy!”
Laughter fills the room and the airwaves. The bartender smiles.
Wally Green sings “Fart Your Birds”, a parody of Prove Your Love by Fun Factory. Bird tweets, squawks and fart sounds looped into the song can be heard on the playback. Wally sings and blows his air-horn nose:
Fart your birds,
Fart your parakeets
Give me all your budgies,
Point your butt and rip.
Don’t try to hide,
Don’t run from me.
Fart your birds,
Fart your parakeeeeeets!”
The crowd bursts into laughter, and tosses beer bottles at Mr. Green.
EmCee Kon Teirant takes over. “Thank you Wally. That sure was…interesting. The crowd has voted. I think we have a wiener, I mean, winner. The CRASS Winner of the WORST Act goes to, Mr. Wally Green himself! Mack E. Avelli, throw him a CRASS tee-shirt.”
Mack fires away a CRASS shirt out his tee-shirt shooter and directly into Wally’s massive gut.
“Any single ladies wanna meet me at the bar?” Sonya Moran and her favourite niece Bern Cacca run over, arms a-flailing, to give him a hug.
“I mean you made the top of our production metrics. Good job, keep doubling down on debtors and you will do just swell here at CRASS.”
Robbie flashes a thumbs-up to Sybil and dances back to his cubicle.
“Ding.” Everybody gets the same email.
From: “Mack. E. Avelli” [email@example.com] To: “CRASS Corporate Listserv” [firstname.lastname@example.org] Friday, October 25, 2022 Subject: Cubicle Decoration Contest
We here at CRASS care about employee stress. Therefore I, as your polite and tenderhearted Chief Executive Officer, am extending an entire thirty minutes (:30) to participate in the company cubicle contest (CCC). Be creative in decorating your cubicles and have fun! You are not required to use your lunch for this event, but we encourage you because time is money and money is time!
The winner will be selected by our very own art director, the lovely and talented Dorian James on Halloween Day. The prize will be a trophy to display in your office. Think of all the fun things you can do with that!
Mr. Mack E. Avelli CRASS Chief Executive Officer
The collectors get to work making calls and decorating their cubicles. Robbie Hurlbutt, a local Elvis impersonator best known for an Internet meme featuring a scowling lady unhappy with his nursing home performance, covers his cube with Elvis record covers. Dale Davis covers his walls with ghouls and goblins. Sybil Kibble covers her supervisor cubicle with dog bones because she likes to eat them during her breaks.
It is a cold, windy Halloween day in Kankakee and it is starting to rain. “If you don’t like the weather here in the Midwest, wait five minutes,” Dale jokes in between calls, jogging in place, beeping his watch to check his heart rate.
“Eeep!” The email all CRASS employees have been awaiting for has arrived.
“Who changed our notification sound to a wild eep?” Robbie asks.
“That was probably Dorian,” Sybil sighs.
From: “Dorian James” [email@example.com] To: “CRASS Corporate Listserv” [firstname.lastname@example.org] Thursday, October 31, 2022 Subject: Cubicle Decoration Contest Winners and Losers
Sybil: Your design lacks thought and maturity. It is not what we are looking for.
Dale: There is no art development and it basically reads like a rather puerile joke.
Tara: You are obviously a 13 year old drama queen…Grow up little girl.
Mack: Several of us discussed your design and did not like it. Not everyone likes what I make. It is not personal.
Mike: You need to get used to the fact that not everyone is going to like your work and move on.
Robbie: That is the best design I have ever seen. That’s so deep. I love Elvis. You are a real winner!
Dorian James Art Director Extraordinaire Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS)
The CRASS staff is upset…except for Robbie. He is smiling away, taking calls and collecting his Form 4s from all the bonuses he gets collecting on fake debt. Robbie is grinning ear to ear and cannot wait to rub his trophy in the faces of the collections team entire staff after he receives it.
Robbie continues to successfully make one call after another, when he gets a wide-eyed visitor.
“Hey there, fella!” an upright, confident Dorian James chants to Robbie as he is very happy to see him.
“Oh hey man! Thanks for picking me! Better than picking my nose ya know.”
Awkward silence ensues.
“That was a joke, ya know,” Robbie says nervously.
“Oh sweetheart, I am here to present you with your award.”
“Thanks, man!” Robbie says as he accepts his tiny, gold-tinted trophy.
“Oh, thank you honey. Not a problem at ALL! Hey Robbie, what ya doin’ after work? I think ya kinda cute and wanna take my number one man to dinner!”
“Wait, what?” a confused Robbie asks.
“Yeah cutie! I love your Elvis hair and your clothes! Let’s go out and do karaoke or something!”
“No way, man. You’re not my type. I quit!” An infuriated Robbie storms off the job and out the building.
Dorian feels crushed by the rejection.
“How does it feel to get rejected, huh? Yeah, ya little twerp! See what it’s like?” Sybil says to a beleaguered Dorian.