Under The Bridge

“Where did all the trolls go?” Gothic Diana Ross asked as she walked under the dark underpass in Kankakee, near Brandon’s Imbecile Machines in the Used Car District.

”Dude, they are taking a dump all over the Internet,” Gothic Mary quips and the Midnight Supremes giggle.

”Yeah, they crawled out from under the bridges and onto the Interwebs again,” Gothic Flo advises the girl group on the way to their gig, so excited to be busy, unlike the trolls whose home they just passed through.

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.

Robbie’s Singing the Bathroom Blues

Kankakee, Illinois’ number one Elvis impersonator, Wally Green’s drugstore clerk and narcissistic abuser Robbie Hurlbutt has a huge crush on Midnight Supremes lead singer Gothic Diana Ross. After all, she is an impersonator also, and he wants to make a huge impression on her. She has a gig coming up soon and he is scheming to find a way to connive his boss, store owner Wally Green into letting him hang up her show poster at work to promote her music as he thinks it will somehow make her like him. 

”Hey Robbie, have a look at these paper towels I invented just for my store: Half the size, twice the cost. All the frustration when you go to rip off a sheet, thanks to me!” boasts a balding, squat, rotund Wally Green as he tips his fishing cap.

“I know, boss, let’s put them on a groovy display table near the front of the store so the suckers — I mean customers — will think they are getting them on sale.”

“Great idea! I am glad I thought of it!” Wally exclaims with glee, throwing his stubby arms into the air.

“Well…now that I, boss, thought of such a splendid idea, I have a favor to ask. This band is really a gas and I want to hang up their poster for their upcoming show at the store,” Robbie says to his superior with bedroom eyes, dreaming of Miss Gothic Diana Ross, the only Boss he could ever want.

“Naw. Get back to work. I need you to make production metrics this time. Start selling people some pills they really do not need.”

Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) Lead Debt Collector Sybil Kibble comes into Wally Green’s Drugstore to buy an iced coffee and a bag of dog biscuits for lunch as she forgot hers at home.

“Ehh. Out of order again. Must be that half ply toilet paper,” Sybil thinks out loud.

“The washroom is on the blink?” Robbie asks, aghast.

“Yeah and I am in a hurry!” Sybil shouts as she makes her way over toward the men’s room.

“Do not go in there!” Robbie commands Sybil.

Sybil walks by Gothic Diana Ross in the men’s room, who is looking in the mirror, applying her jet-black eyeliner. She pinches a huge loaf in the stall next to Wally Green, who is busy whizzing away in the urinal. Sybil flushes but does not clean up the mess on the seat, flinging the door wide open with her arm. She makes a beeline for the sink and spots Diana sarcastically chortling away at the Gothic Diana Ross and the Midnight Supremes poster on washroom wall.

A befuddled Robbie struts into the men’s room. 

“I TOLD YOU NOT TO COME IN HERE!” Robbie shouts at the women. “THIS IS THE MEN’S ROOM.”

“Get back to work, Robbie, the ladies’ room is closed. Take down this poster while you are at it and apologize to our customers.” Wally Green tells his employee Robbie.

“I am sorry IF I offended you.” Robbie smirks.

“Get lost!” Diana and Sybil chant in unison as they leave the bathroom.

Sybil buys her lunch and heads back to work. Wally sells lots of paper towels and Robbie is put on temporary janitorial duty until he improves his customer service skills. But don’t lock him in the bathroom. He thinks he is Elvis.

Don’t Make the Mistake of Driving People Batty

Bernadette Cacca has the voice of an angel and the soul of the devil.

Peppi Cacca has the voice of a daemonic troll.

“I got a new gig! And it’s a national one!” Manteno communal narcissist Bern Cacca exclaims to her sociopathic husband and entremanure Peppi, mouth wide open as if to catch a fly.

“Lemme guess…your aunt got you on the front page of the Kankakee Sentinel again.”

Nope.

“More charity shows to make you look good, pretending to care while you don’t? You’re a really good actress,” Peppi emphatically tells his wife.

“Yeah, I know. Not this time.”

“Another recurring walk-on role for a show you can only see on one certain app?”

“Nope. This one is bigger!”

“I don’t care but tell me anyway, I have skunk-weed to smoke after my date with the bottle. Then I have to go harass our next-door neighbors.”

“Out of Warranty Experience hired me for their robocalls! Everybody in the nation will hear wonderful ME tell them their car is out of warranty!” Bern says with glee, then rips a fart. “Mmmmmmm. I love that smell.”

Peppi pounds on the air vent cover to remove his dope from the stash he hides in the duct, rolls up a skunky joint and crawls outside.

“Git-git-git-git-git-git” the clowny Peppiwise calls from the manhole down in front of The Midnight Supremes’ black Victorian Gothic home next door.

“No thanks, you can keep your candy” says Gothic Diana Ross toward the sound coming from the gutter.

A skunky stench emerges from the drain, but not from poop. This is a water drain.

“Git-git-git-git-git-git.”

“Do you have something better to do? I’m not interested and never will be.”

Peppi’s ego deflates as Gothic Diana continues to ignore his plea for attention and goes inside and starts band practice.

Gothic Diana Ross and the Midnight Supremes get ready to play, beginning with the number “Stop in the Name of Death.”

“Check-check, 1-2-1-2. Six Six. Why is this mic not working?” a frustrated Gothic Diana asks her cover band.

Diana opens up the battery cover. “Dead as a doornail.”

“Why don’t you bury them?” Gothic Flo jokes.

“We should have a funeral,” deadpans Miss Gothic Mary.

As the trio begins the dead batteries’ funeral rites, their ceremony gets interrupted by a phone call.

“Hey” answers Gothic Diana, putting her phone on speaker, hoping the band is getting called about a new gig.

“Don’t make the mistake of driving without a warranty…” the robocall commands. “This is the final call before we close the file. Press one to speak”

Click.

“I’ll press you, stupid moron!” Gothic Diana exclaims.

“She sounds familiar. Who is that?” Gothic Flo asks.

“Don’t know, don’t care.” Diana replies.

“Hey, methinks it’s that actor lady next door…the one who owns a port-a-potty business with her husband. Hey Mary, what’s her name?”

“Bern Cacca. She burns poop in their fireplace.”

“Ohhh, that’s why we smell her crap. Does she think it does not stink?” Mary jokes as the girl group erupts in laughter.

Gothic Diana walks outside her home to go for a brisk walk. She hears a sound off in the distance: “git-git-git-git-git.” 

“Oh no, not Peppiwise again,” Diana says to herself as she passes by another rain gutter.

The 5’10”, slender beauty in the black dress gets another cell phone call.

“Yeah?”

“Don’t make the mistake of going without a warranty…” 

Click.

“I’ll get a warrant alright, for her arrest!”

Gothic Diana walks over to the house of her Manteno neighbor Bern Cacca to give her a piece of her mind. However there is a line of angry neighbors queued around the street wanting to also have a word with Mrs. Cacca. They knock, to no avail.

“Git-git-git-git-git” emerges from the sewer drain.

“I don’t want to litter, however I have no choice” Diana says as she goes to drop the leaking, dead batteries from her microphone into the nearest gutter. Before she has a chance, Bern comes a-running.

“Git-git-git!” sounds Peppi’s mating call.

“Oh I am here, honey!” an attracted Bern Cacca says as she runs to her hubby hiding out in the sewer.

Plop. “Oops did I do that?” Gothic Diana thinks out loud as she drops the dead AA Imbecells into the drain.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!” Peppi exclaims, barely dodging the battery acid.

Needless to say, Bern and Peppi’s romantic moment was ruined.

The crestfallen Caccas retire to their shack next-door to the Midnight Supremes.

As they drift off to sleep, sirens grow louder, and a knock is heard at the Caccas’ entrance.

“Hee-hee” Gothic Diana says as she fist-bumps The Midnight Supremes.

Sybil Kibble & Her Dating Misadventures.

Looking for a dog-food date, Sybil Kibble places a want-ad. Look at all those hot contenders!

Screenshot from a dating app conversation. 
Text: "Hello, I am incredibly surprised to see your profile
Reply: I love surprises, so does Damien from MoronicArts."
What a surprise, Diego — err — Dr. Diego.

A screenshot from a dating chat. Text: I hope you're reading this, it's for you. Reply: are you sure it's for me? I thought you meant to write Gothic Diana Ross."
No way, certainly he meant to email Gothic Diana Ross and the Midnight Supremes.
A dating ad from an 75-year-old-man seeking a woman 20-35.
Text: "I'm not much but I'm better than nothing."
Though she may be very fit, Sybil passed on this guy, as he reminded her too much of Manteno sociopath and poop-enthusiast Peppi Cacca.

a screenshot of a facebook instant message from a stranger.
Why use dating apps when these very single men can just slide into her inbox?

A full-colour meme featuring The Texas Seven mugshots.
Text: "Don't claim to remember the year 2000 if you don't know who this biy band was."
Sybil took a break from dating apps and listened to her favorite Boy band, The Texas 7.
Aren’t they dreamy? Ahhh…