Moronic Half-Assets Sounds the Alarm

Kon Teirant

Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) Accounting Chief Konrad “Kon” Teirant is having trouble balancing the assets against the liabilities, even after having cooked the books to a carbonized mess.

Mack E. Avelli

Chief Executive Officer Mack. E. Avelli calls in Konrad to hold a meeting.

“Kon, if we cannot make ourselves look good to our investors, we are going to fail as a company. I don’t need you to be honest about it, I need you to make us some more money. Just get it done.”

“I’ll think up something. You won’t be disappointed.”

“Good,” the fifty-something Mack says to Konrad and starts texting his 22-year-old wife Judithann, who ignores his message because she is too busy flirting with daemons.

It is midnight here in Kankakee.  

The fire alarm sounds for the third time this week at the Kankakee’s Best Low-Budget Apartments, complete with strobe lights, sirens and a man’s voice repeating the same message over and over again.

As the residents of this sorry apartment building wake up and use the washroom, Moronic Half-Assets (MHA) takes the elevator up to each floor in the tower. 

“It is midnight and you know what time that is! Come on, guys, let’s all dance! Didn’t you see that four-page flyer we left on all of your doors telling you to exercise more? We knocked on your doors because we had nothing better to do! Resident deejay Konrad is on the ones and twos!” exclaims property manager, half-wit and sociopath Madeline Topolla-Teirant.

DJ Konrad Teirant picks some records out of his crate, and begins spinning and scratching, rapping over the music.

Resident Tyrell Fowler — out in the hall wondering what the racket is about — explains to Konrad “dude, you cannot scratch 1950s love songs,” and walks back into his unit.

“Let’s get out the glowsticks everybody!” Madeline says as she pulls them from the fire-hose compartment on the wall.

Robbie sings Elvis tunes as he dances away, doing moronic martial arts moves on the in-between.

Robbie Hulrbutt

The MHA troupe packs up their party-gear and heads upstairs to the next floor in the tower.

When the crew are all done waking up their residents, they head downstairs to the office and turn off the alarms. Finally those poor residents can get some sleep.

“Here is your check, Kon. We will write it off as a business expense here at the complex.”

“Great, I will bring it to CRASS tomorrow,” Kon tells his wife Madeline and they head home in Robbie’s clown car. Elvis has left the building.

“Oh good, I got it,” a resident says sitting in her bed, as she reviews the video she recorded on her phone.

Konrad Teirant heads into the CRASS office, strutting along the halls with a turd-eating-grin across his face as he makes his way over to the office of his supervisor, Mack E. Avelli.

“Kon! You have a great smile! You should smile more often.”

Kon hands Mack the knife…errrr…check.

“Oh good! Now you can keep your job!” Mack tells his subordinate Konrad.

Kon says nothing and heads back into his office to cook more books.

Meanwhile, the CRASS phones light up like a Christmas tree. However the increased call volume is not from debtors calling back the CRASS collectors.

“I saw that video on the news, your accounting dude and his buddies woke some poor folks up in the middle of the night hosting some hokey rave party? What were you thinking?” 

Beep.

“Hey, this Trisha Cobb, better known as Gothic Diana Ross. You know, from The Midnight Supremes? We saw what you did when we watched the news. That’s not cool.”

Beep.

“Hello, this message is for Mr. Avelli. I am Geoff, an auditor with the firm Deltoid & Tush. We were asked to contact you about your accounting records. We are stopping by in an hour.”

“Kon, how do we cook the books now? Ya better cook them good this time,” Mack shouts to an empty room. Since he was up half the night, Kon took the rest of the day off to go home and now he is fast asleep, sawing a forest. 

Behind the Moroniverse: Konrad Teirant

Konrad “Kon” Teirant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First concept sketch of Konrad Teirant

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

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

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, from Manteno, Illinois: 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.

Tears of a Clown

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

“Madwoman!” a male voice calls out.

“Who called me?” a terrified Madeline asks.

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

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

“Ummm, yeah…”

Madeline shakes even more.

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

“Maybe I can use an understudy.”

“You bet. Call me.”

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

“Hi, is this Wally Green?”

“Speaking.”

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

Madeline switches calls.

“Robbie?”

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

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

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

“Get outta here with that.”

“Peter Tork? “Johnny Cash?”

“NO!”

Madeline slams down the phone.

“Riiiiiing!”

“Yes.”

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

Madeline sighs…

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

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

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

Madeline scrawls her name.

“Here you go!”

“Ouch!”

“Whoopsie!” says the driver.

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

Madeline drives over to the nearest 30 Second Clinic.

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

“But doctor?”

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

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

Madeline gets on her mobile phone.

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

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

“Gary, Indiana. Lapolla Theater.”

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

“I knew I could count on you.”

“Thanks.”

Madeline hangs up her phone and takes a nap.

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

A series of dings wakes a sound asleep Madeline.

From: Konrad

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

From: Robbie

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

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

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

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!” Damien 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 bags are not filled high enough. Do you know what a popcorn bag 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.

Behind the Moroniverse – Character Theme Songs

Not only am I a writer and cartoonist, I am also a musician. When I write about these silly characters, I listen to a certain playlist dedicated to just them.

Each character has a theme song. Not only does it remind me of said character, it gives the reader insight behind the character’s personality, behavior, and interests. Please stay tuned as this list will grow over time.

Sybil Kibble

Robbie Hurlbutt

Damien Hurlbutt

Wally Green

Konrad Teirant

Bern Cacca

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 and bulbous neckbeard 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.

Damien Dumped

Damien harasses his ex wife Lori on the 10 year anniversary of his lame showoff proposal to her, even though she is long gone, having left him because of his love fraud and narcissistic abuse. He downvotes all her Utube videos even though she blocked him all social media, as a glitch still allows blocked users to downvote. Damien clearly needs a hobby.

Detroit’s Rachel Shelley gets into a huge fight with her lover and fellow narcissistic sociopath Damien Hurlbutt. She is tired of hearing him complain about his ex-wife.

Rachel chucks a bunch of Damien’s hoard into the dumpster while he is out at work.

She leaves him for her side piece, Kankakee heroin addict and loser Leon Peeonne. She has had enough.

Damien downvotes Rachel’s and Leon’s videos on Utube while he is sitting behind the counter at work, thinking nobody is looking. In walks his supervisor, Konrad Teirant, theater owner, who suspends Damien for a week.

Damien comes home in the middle of the night after working the late night shift at the theater to discover all the things he loved more than Rachel, Star Wars toys, Muppet coloring books, $35 ornaments, $75 toys, $600 figures — gone. He jiggles every single door repeatedly to check for home invaders, nothing. He calls out for Rachel. No reply. Damien walks past the remaining boxes in his neckbeard nest, mostly empty — save for a few towels, ratty graphic tees and unused pots and pans — and discovers that Rachel has left with all her belongings. Then it hits him.

Damien heads out to the dumpster outside his apartment and dives in, digging for his lost treasures. He throws a few boxes overboard. Damien continues to dig. Meanwhile a sound is heard in the background:

“Beep…beep…beep…beep…”

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.