A Steaming Pile of Love

“I know! I know! — Damien

Bourbonnais narcissist, neckbeard and pool-toy enthusiast Damien Hurlbutt, working the concession stand at Cinema-13, tries to sell a customer some “Non-Parallels”

“Do you mean nonpareils?”

“Oh, these are non-parallels.”

“I will just get some popcorn with butter then.” 

In walks a rather foul-smelling couple. 

Bern Cacca’s Turd-Eating Grin

“Hey, can I speak to the manager?” Manteno communal narcissist, Optimal Club accordion-player and port-o-dump partner Bern Cacca asks Damien.

“OK Karen. He’s busy,” Damien says in his usual monotone voice, not even looking at Bern, too concerned with filling popcorn and listening to the copier in the back office create a pile of ticket facsimiles so he can hopefully woo women with them.

“We have a meeting at 2 to discuss advertising our porto potty business with a Mr. Konrad…Teeerant?”

“I know, I know. It’s Teirant. Rhymes with ‘tyrant.’ Walk over to that door and knock.” The bulbous neckbeard Damien Hurlbutt points to the door simply marked “Manager” getting a glimpse of Bernadette Cacca’s behind as she and her husband Peppi make their way toward Konrad’s office. An evil grin fills Damien Hurlbutt’s face, with bedroom eyes to match.

Image: black-and-white cartoon set in an office. A man and a woman wearing crowns face a man sitting down on a chair with the text: "Teirant Cinemas."
The Caccas’ submit a proposal to do their business.

After the meeting, Bern, Peppi and Konrad emerge. Bern beelines toward the washroom, pinches a massive loaf, and stares at it in awe. She is so proud of her creation, almost afraid to flush it down. Since she has nowhere to burn it at the multiplex, she reluctantly pushes the handle and washes her hands in the sink. At least she did that. Damien ogles Bern’s round bum as she and her beau Peppi exit the theater.

“Fill up those popcorn bags!” Konrad commands his clerk Damien. “Friday I expect to make big bags at the release of the new rom-com. We partnered with our advertisers to increase the bottom-line. This one’s gonna be a game-changer. Make me a sign.”

“Yep.” Damien heads to the back office to draw and make more color copies of movie tickets on the company’s budget. 

While working on the sign, Damien’s brother Robbie calls his flip phone. Thinking it’s one of the many OKStupid ladies he messaged, he answers.

“Hey honey!”

“Damien, it’s Robbie, you dork.”

“Sorry.”

“Can you get me a job at the theater? Wally’s cuttin’ back my hours again.”

“Maybe. Hey, there’s this cute chick coming in Friday for the new premiere.”

“Groovy. Can I meet her?”

Image: a black-and-white cartoon of an Elvis impersonator's face, wearing a devilish grin.
Swarthy Elvis impersonator Robbie Hurlbutt

“She’s married. But I have first dibs.”

“Riiiight.”

“Hey, I got a free ticket if you wanna come down.”

“Do you think your boss will let me work with you? If you really love your brother you will ask your manager. It’s really selfish of you not.”

“Come down and see the film. Friday night.”

“Later.” Damien and Robbie disconnect…for now.

Peppi and Bern Cacca are loafing away inside their run-down shack in Manteno.

“These maxi pad commercials always come on when I am watching TV. This is Star Trek. Men watch this show,” Peppi whinges.

“Hey Pep. I got this handy-dandy new laundry basket. Would you like to come with me to the laundromat?”

“Why? Bern, I try to help and you won’t let me.”

“Oh come along for the company. You’re fragile. I can do it all. Maybe you can hold doors for me while I haul all our laundry in.”

“So I can watch? Yeah, no. I am busy.”

Peppi walks into his bedroom to get away from his wife, lights up the skunkiest joint he’s got and guzzles moonshine.

It’s showtime. In walks Bern Cacca wearing her accordion over her Peppi’s Portopotties shirt, bearing the caption “King & Queen of the Throne.”

“Hey, Bern. We have changed our mind about your advertising strategy. We think playing accordion while Peppi raps about portopotties is not a good idea,” Cinema-13 owner Konrad Teirant tells Bernadette Cacca.

“Oh, Peppi stayed home. I wanna belt some crappy show-tunes instead.”

“It does not take a genius to figure out that we both need to make money. Sing at home, preferably with the windows shut. We designed a new ad, and we think you’ll like it. It will play halfway through the movie. A new rom-com premieres tonight, “Steamy Love.” We expect a big bag from a big turnout. Your seat is on me.

Image: a black-and-white cartoon of a neckbeard behind a cinema counter.
Text: "Cinema-13" and "Peppi's Portapotties."

“Hey M’lady. Would you like some popcorn?” theater clerk and neckbeard Damien Hurlbutt calls out to Bern Cacca.

“I’m good, thanks. What a lovely theater you have!”

“Aww, shucks. Hey M’lady, Madame. What is this lovely lady doing when the film lets out? I can get you free tickets if you meet me at the Gaslight Bar.”

“I’m busy.”

Bern heads to her seat, excited to see all the theater patrons, and tries to make friends with as many as possible, hugging, shaking hands, and calling them “darling”. Bern thinks she’s everybody’s friend, and reminds the crowd of all the favors she does for charity and her enablers.

The film begins to roll.

At intermission, the new ad for Peppi’s Portopotties plays, interrupting a scene depicting two people kissing, and a prominent plot point. Will the lady choose her secret lover or go back to her husband?

Image: a full-colour cartoon of dancing porto potties, parodying "Let's All Go To The Lobby."

“Let’s all go to the washroom

Let’s all go to the washroom.

Let’s all go to the washroom,

And take ourselves a dump.”

The patrons run to the restrooms, but not to crap or whizz.

They barf up the popcorn, candy and pop, for which they overpaid at the concession stand.

Too nauseous to stay for the ending, the crowd of moviegoers leaves Teirant Cinema-13 in droves.

An angry Bern Cacca leaves the multiplex, worrying about her squeaky-clean image as a singing fool who raises money for the Manteno Optimal Club, and gives rides to friends because she loves to look good.

Image: a color cartoon of a heavy-set, middle-aged woman angrily walking past a concessions stand. A heavyset middle-aged man with an orange beard, wearing a black fedora is standing behind the counter, with the look of love in his eyes.

“Hey honey puddin’ — what are you doing right now?” the bulbous concessions clerk Damien Hurlbutt asks Bern Cacca as she passes the ticket counter.

“I have a date. I’m leaving you guys.”

“With me, my dainty queen?”

“No, you moron.”

“How about me?” pops up Damien’s brother Robbie Hurlbutt, emerging from seemingly nowhere.

“No, with JB, the Turd Burglar.”

Frowns fill the faces of the Hurlbutts, while a devilish grin fills that of Bern Cacca as she embraces the neighborhood Turd Burglar, who has been waiting for her in the parking lot.

Konrad Teirant counts his ticket sales, all smiles because he does not plan to offer refunds. He had made his big bag and takes it home to lie in it, spreading the cash all over his bed, rolling around in it and over it like a dog.

Bottom Feeder

Damien strokes his orange neckbeard and pulls his blue jeans over his gut hanging out his too-small tee.

Damien’s flip phone plays a distorted ringer from a television theme song he had recorded with his phone.

“Hey Robbie!”

“Hey, hey.” Robbie says in his faux-Elvis tone.

“I’m back.”

“I’m front.” Robbie sarcastically says, using his routine gag.

“Hey Robbie, good timing. These tampon and maxi pad commercials keep interruping my shows. I swear this company knows I am watching and eating.”

“Call them up. I see those ads on those tapes you give me. It is funny because that cartoon comes on every Sunday night, and the show takes place in the capital of Illinois.”

“I think I will complain”. Damien hangs up his phone and goes to his computer. He types this message:

——

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

To: customerservice@bottomlineprodux.calm

Subject: Stop interrupting my shows!

It has come to my attention that your advertising interrupts my manly programming. You, a maker of feminine products, constantly interrupt me while I eat during my favorite shows. Obviously, you know that the shows you play your ads during are shows for men, yet your products are for women. Stop showing your ads while I eat!

Sincerely,

A manly man

——

The next day, Damien is sitting down, watching reruns of the Dude Show. “Not another tampon ad! I just started eating my mushroom cheeseburgers!”

Damien really likes his cheeseburgers and fries.

He hears a ding on his phone, indicating he has a new email, which he reads:

——

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

From: “Customer Care” [customerservice@bottomlineprodux.calm]

Dear Damien:

Thank you for signing up for our mailing list! You will receive daily updates telling you all about our feminine product line. Becuase you provided your cell phone number, we will text you daily, too! Thank you for your interest in our company and for signing up!

The Bottom Line Sanitary Product Divsion

——

Hard Time

“Man, I had a hard life,” Kankakee drug addict and all-around loser Leon Peeonne says to fellow junkie Rachel Shelley, as they glare aimlessly into the flatscreen television setting ahead of them.

“Where did you get that rad TV?”

“Fell off a truck,” Leon chortles as they share a laugh and two partners in crime wrap their arms around each other.

Rachel’s ringer goes off.

“It’s Damien…” Rachel sighs.

“That moron? Send him to voicemail.”

Rachel sneaks off into the washroom.

“Where are you?” a grumpy Damien asks.

“I am out.”

“I heard some noise in the background. What are you doing, M’lady, Madame?”

“Business.”

“Okay honey puddin’, just checking up on you.” Damien slyly says.

“For the last time, don’t call me that!”

“I only say it because I love you!” Damien replies.

“I am leaving for Michigan next week, and I just got here. I gotta go.”

“Okay honey pudd—“ Beep.

Damien hears a dial tone and cannot figure out why. He goes back to cloning movie tickets using the company printers.

Rachel joins her secret lover on the couch.

“MANTENO CHILD ON THE SPECTRUM GETS HER WISH”

“Oh, look how sweet!” Rachel says sarcastically.

“I bet that DIDN’T fall off a truck.” Leon snarks.

“This brave little girl has been the victim of bullies all her life. So local charities stepped in and bought her a Playtendo and 10 games to go with it.

‘I am so happy now. I can’t wait to play all these! Thank you!’ says 10 year old Anna of Manteno.”

“Awwww, sucks to be her, she was bullied. Hey, they showed her address. Maybe we can steal her crap?”

“Maybe we can. And then we can get her mom to post about it on my mental health group on Fakebook, so I can harass her there, too!” Rachel shares with Leon and they both giggle a little too much…way too much. Then they shoot up.

Rachel drives Leon in her rental car over to Manteno searching for the home of the 10 year old they just saw on TV so they can steal her Playtendo to sell for drug money.

“I think this is it.” Rachel says to Leon as she spies the house she saw on the news. She parks the car around the corner, walks up to the ranch and rings the doorbell. A gentleman answers.

“Oh hi. We are volunteers from Kankakee County and wanted to pay a mental health visit. Can we come in?” Rachel asks the gentleman.

“I will ask my wife.”

A few minutes elapse, and the two tresspassers are still standing in the doorway. An older lady can be seen walking on the sidewalk.

Some commotion is heard coming from inside the house; typical kids.

Rachel’s phone rings. She ignores it. It continues to ring.

“What do you want?” Rachel asks Damien.

“I’m home!”

“Yeah? So?”

“Aren’t you gonna come see me, Honey Puddin’? I have presents!”

“Damien, I am busy right now”. Rachel hangs up her phone.

“Okay you guys need to leave.”

“Can we come in for a minute? I promise we won’t be long.” Leon says to the mother.

“Leave now, or I am calling police.”

The older lady off in the distance, looking vaguely familar to Leon, is on her phone.

“Okay. We will leave. Here is a brochure for our great mental health group on Fakebook.”

“Take your group and shove it. We have a great neuropsychologist and are doing fine.”

Sirens are heard and flashing lights are seen.

Leon and Rachel hurl some colorful language at the family.

“Would you use those words in front of your mother?” The girl’s mom asks Leon and Rachel.

“Let me tell you about my motha!” Leon deadpans as he reaches for some object in his jean pocket known only to him. A cop on scene grabs Leon’s hands, pins them to his back and reads him his Miranda rights.

“That’s mah boy!” a nearby Leona Krabalsky snarks. “Lock him up!”

“Ma?” Leon screams as he is hauled away.

Leon is charged and later convicted of attempted burglary, heroin possession with intent to distribute, disorderly conduct and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Damien continues to call Rachel back at her home in Detroit and she continues to not give a crap.

Moron of the Week – Obsessed Fanboy

This sad playboy — I am putting it nicely — got all butthurt when I messaged him looking for friendship. Yes, friends, as in getting to know each other better. When he replied to my intro question showing interest in his hobbies, all he said was he liked those things. I replied asking him what he would like to know about me and what was his response? Wait for it.

He said yes, go ahead. Confused by his comment, I replied with a simple question mark.

Since he was five hours ahead of me, I did not expect a reply, or even to see him online at that point. It was 8:50 PM my time, 1:50 AM his time.

This luser got all butthurt, saying I was interested in him and got rather cross because I asked him to tell me more about himself. You know, what humans do to get acquainted. Figuring he had something to hide, I blocked him. I wanted no more contact.

Today, ennui got the best of his soul, so he sent me this message right here on MoronicArts to try and mansplain dating, music, or whatever it was he thought I was trying to achieve when I wrote him, because my blog is chock-full o’ pretend and real-life morons like him.

Hmmm. Maybe he sees a little bit of Peppi Cacca and Pat Splatt in himself. Or maybe Damien Hurlbutt since Gareth’s Twitter handle “tungstenfedora” screams neckbeard. Why not get yourself an anime waifu like the other neckbeards, Gareth? Maybe he should get a hobby, I have things to do and am very busy.

Meanwhile, Gareth, enjoy your participation trophy, I mean Moron of the Week Award. Hold onto it really tightly, because I need it for the next moron.

This post brought to you by the letters #MotW.

Watch Carly Simon poke fun at neckbeards in her updated video to “You’re So Vain.”

Damien’s Mail-Order Bride

Damien Hurlbutt decides that it is getting too hard to pick up women in Kankakee County. Despite his most sincere offers of free movie tickets to the multiplex at which he works, all but one offer has been rejected; the lone acceptor has gone with her boyfriend instead of Damien. Damien takes his efforts to the World Wide Web.

I know what women want” says this self-proclaimed nice guy on his dating profile, under his handle “NiceGuyGoodCatch4UChivalryisDead”.

Quoth his profile, “Women need men like me to hold doors open for them, pull out their chairs, and buy all kinds of gifts for them. I am that man. Men like me are endangered species. Where R U?”

Damien strokes his straggly, scratchy neckbeard, tips his fedora, and says “you know, I have an idea”. Meanwhile his coworkers are all staring at him wondering to whom he is talking.

Damien goes home and opens up his newest copy of Hoard Magazine. It took him almost an hour to unbury it from his pile of action figures, coloring books and dirty briefs. Damien turns to the back section, and reads over an advertisement he was thinking about while on the job:

“TIRED OF LOOKING? OUR WOMEN ARE LOOKING FOR MEN LIKE YOU!

MAIL COMPLETED APPLICATION PLUS $50 FEE TO:

Fedora-Neckbeard M’Ladies By Mail

Box 69

666 Lord Byron Way

Hades, NY 11666

Attn: D. Gray

Damien jumped at the offer and mailed in his application with his payment.

Two weeks later, Damien gets a long, handwritten letter from a 20 year old lady from Vietnam named Ha. “You sound like such a gentleman. I cannot wait to meet you.” She includes a photo. Damien is smitten. Ha is the first lady to show interest in Damien!

The two write back and forth. Ha tells Damien she would spend 27 hours traveling just to meet him. He wants to call her but she has not given him her number. He asks her for it, not afraid to spend money to call someone he can shower with gifts, and hopefully meet and control someday. After all, Damien only cares about himself, and Damien thinks he is the only one deserving of love. He only cares about he, himself and Damien.

A month goes by and no word from Ha.

Damien checks the mail, hoping for a postcard. He has sent her one every day except for Sunday. He gets a letter. Damien growls.

The letter is addressed to Mr. Damien Hurlbutt.

“Dear Mr. Hurlbutt:

This letter is an attempt to collect a debt. Your payment to Fedora-Neckbeard M’Ladies By Mail has been rejected due to insufficient funds. Please pay the below amount immediately. Please keep in mind that movie tickets are not acceptable forms of payment.

Signed,

Ms. Sybil Kibble

Lead Collections Representative”