“Dorian, are you some kind of demon?” Sybil asks the CRASS Art Director, Mr. Dorian Daniel James.
“Um, sure,” Dorian replies out the side of his mouth, as he cares a metric tonne more about his project than the Lead Debt Collector, Sybil Kibble.
“I keep trying to email you, sweetie, about the Annual CRASS ReTreat. However this Mailer-Daemon guy replies instead.”
“Is this to be an empathy test?” a booming, dark haired Chief Executive Officer Mack E. Avelli asks the two bickering.
“I have no empathy and neither does she,” an mildly annoyed Dorian states plainly.
“Good. That is the kind of CRASS people we need. Be sure to attend that retreat in Chicago you guys. No blocking each other, per company policy. We need to increase production and team building.”
The two sigh and part ways, not looking forward to working on their day off.
Orange neckbeard Damien Hurlbutt is busy tapping away at his rattly keyboard atop a plastic box to make it extra rattly, inside his Bourbonnais nest. His lone wall decoration, a framed photograph of his brother Robbie singing “Burnin’ Love” in the shower as he washes his black mutton chops, sways on its crooked angle.
“Ding!” Damien Ulysses Hurlbutt’s computer sounds.
“Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!” an excited Damien replies as he logs off his favorite Men’s Rights Activist subreaditt, The Brown Pill, to check his email:
From: “Lori T. Brown” [OhLorT16@fmail.cannes]
To: “Damien U. Hurlbutt” [email@example.com]
Friday, September 4, 2020
Subject: Re: broke up with Rachel
Yes I remember you. We were married, maybe you forgot? I am having a problem with my butt. No matter what I do to clean it, my derriere still stinks.
I live in Natick, Mass now.
Damien immediately replies to the woman he once called “Grimace” out of pure, narcissistic rage, changing his tune:
To: “Lori T. Brown” [OhLorT16@fmail.cannes]
From: “Damien U. Hurlbutt” [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Friday, September 4, 2020
Subject: Re: Re: broke up with Rachel
Hey honey puddin! I sure miss seeing your beautiful body and brown puppy-dog eyes.
I know Chicago has the best proctologist around, Dr. Keyhoe Keyster. I used to get my high colonics there! Meet me Monday on the train in Chicago and I will drive up to Bourbonnais, with a present for you. It will be a huge surprise!
Lori agrees, to Damien’s selfish delight. He hops aboard his PeeATon bike which his mother PJ regifted him for his August 10th birthday, hoping to lose some weight in his rushed attempt to impress his former wife.
“Today is Monday, September 7th. Are you CRASS people ready to have fun?” a grinning Mack. E. Avelli asks the crowd full of relucant employees.
“I cant’t hear you!” the wannabe MC projects into the microphone atop the podium.
A slow clap emerges.
“Now, that’s the spirit. Today’s retreat is designed to help increase team-building while lowering empathy. We do not care about our debtors, right? The more money you collect, the more you make. Double down on debt for more money for you, and more money for us. Now let’s all gather into teams to form a human pyramid. Sybil, pair up with Dorian Dale with Nando, Tara with Michael…” Mr. Avelli says as he pairs up his bored subordinates.
After a long tired day, Sybil is dying for a dish of dog food and a coffee. She heads over to the Buckstars on LeSalle Street in her white Chrysler LeBaron. As she sits at a table toward the front of the cafe, in walks Damien Hurlbutt, sporting his usual goofy stride.
“Oh boy, I really have to peepee.”
Damien heads toward the all-genders washroom, but is stopped short by a barista.
“You need to wear a mask to come in the cafe.”
“I know, I am just stopping for a minute.” Damien says as he tries to head to the washroom.
“No mask, no service.”
“I know, I know, I know,” Damien replies, refusing to wear a mask.
Three baristas haul out the petulant Damien, kicking and screaming obscenities and narcississtic nonsense:
“9/11 was an inside job! The moon landing was a hoax!”. Sybil and Lori just stand there giggling, sipping on their iced doublehsot espressos.
Konrad “Kon” Teirant, CRASS Chief of Accounting is a piece of work. You may not be surprised that the main person on whom I base him is pretty messed up.
When I was a high school graduate, all of 17, I worked a total of two days at a drive-in movie theater (yes, we still had one). The first day, I did really well and my supervisor really liked me. I was happy to have a job, even in the horribly run-down concession stand. Don’t ask me about the bathrooms.
The next day, in comes the owner. He could not be more miserable. He could not wait to complain how he thought every little thing I did was wrong: “Fill those popcorn bags. Fill them more. Does that look full?”
This tyrant let me go and never paid me.
He owns a chain of theaters across my area. I saw him a few years later in a restaurant gloating about getting “big bags” and how he was flown down to Georgia by Lord only know who, and “given an Armani suit.”
Below is a very early idea for this character, orignally named King Tyrant, circa 2003.
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:
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.
“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?
“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.
“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.”
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—“
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.
Kankakee, Illinois’ worst Elvis impersonator, Wally Green’s drugstore clerk and evil 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.
“Your 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.
Narcissistic Damien Hurlbutt desperately wants to impress his new girlfriend, Rachel Shelley, into coming back to visit him in Bourbonnais, Illinois from Detroit. However, he is as broke as a joke from his toy hoarding.
He comes up with a plan. Damien dials up his brother Robbie and asks if he can steal some identities. He offers some of his duplicate record albums as payment.
“I can part with my poorer copies of ‘Broken’ by The Favorites, my extra Walter Egans and all my Jewel records. I can throw in some Katy Scarys if you want, too…” Damien explains to Robbie, a Kankakee Elvis impersonator and pharmacy clerk.
Robbie jumps at the opportunity to add to his own hoard.
Robbie gets busy calling local con man Pat Splatt and the two devise a way to break into local sweetheart, single lady Kitty Bortolotti’s computer to steal her identity. Feeling dejected from having been rejected by Kitty after Pat had made a pass at her, Pat found her a perfect target for moronic revenge via financial abuse.
Robbie successfully steals Kitty’s credit card information and buys 18 bottles of dehydrated water and six tubs full of fat-free oil from Wally Green’s online mall. Damien thought these new inventions would impress Rachel in her fruitless efforts to lose weight, and who else to mansplain but Bourbonnais neckbeard Damien Ulysses Hurlbutt? “Throw in some cubic zirconia rings. She’ll never know they’re fake,” a bulbous Damien commands his brother Robbie.
“You got it.” Robbie smirks, a crooked grin fills half his face, almost touching one of his blue-black mutton chops.
Damien tips his black fedora, the one with which he hatfished Rachel. After all, how would the public — whom he works so hard to impress — know his “medium” bald spot takes up his entire head? He enters the restroom and sits on the potty.
“What kids?” A quizzical Robbie asks Damien.
“Oh kids. Ohhh kids!”
A loud splash is heard from the washroom.
“Pheeeew!” Damien cries and waves his hand by his bum.
He emerges and sprinkles his newly washed hands all over Robbie and roommate Andy’s living-room carpet, using it as a bathmat, and at Robbie as well.
“I just left a huge stinker in your toity. Would you like to see it?” a proud Damien boasts.
“Just leave the door open and don’t close it if I am in there.” Robbie says.
“You’re not Elvis, just an impersonator.”
Two days later, the stolen goods arrive at Damien’s Bourbonnais apartment. “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!” Damien exclaims as his next-door neighbor gives him the stinkeye.
Damien wraps the stolen, useless crap into prank boxes, boxes inside larger, nested boxes, and oddly shaped packaging, taping each package with hard-to-open packing tape to extend his desired cliffhanging effect on Rachel Shelley.
“I can’t wait to videotape Rachel, the expression on her face when she opens all those gifts from ME!” Damien says to himself, wearing a huge grin.
Damien finishes up his hours of taping, wrapping and more taping. He tests out his camcorder and memory card. He is all set for his catch.
Rachel walks in the next day, much later than Damien anticipates. Damien tips his fedora. “Hello, M’lady, Madame.”
“Good to see you, do I get a hug?”
The two embrace.
“Turn around and close your eyes. I am going to take your hand, honey puddin”.
“I told you to stop calling me that.”
“But I say it because I love you. You’re so little and dainty.”
“Grrrr.” Rachel emits.
“Now take my hand. I have a little surprise for my honey puddin.”
Damien begins secretly rolling tape and then takes Rachel’s hand, leading her into his cluttered kitchen.
“Now open your eyes, M’lady.”
Rcahel opens her eyes, displaying her typical blank expression.
“I bought all these gifts for YOU!”
Rachel cracks half a grin.
“Now I want you to open this one first.”
Rachel opens the huge, nested box.
“Dehydrated water? Ohhh-kayyyy…”
“Yeah. I thought you might like that. Now open this one.”
Damien shoves another large box over to Rachel. She opens box after box, finally revealing its contents.
“Fat free oil?”
“Yeah. You could use it to cook. After all, you need to lose wieght and I want to help!”
Rachel begins to scowl.
“Oh, now you will really love this. Women love small boxes.”
Damien hands Rachel another box, which she also struggles to open.
“Why do you use so much tape? Packing tape too? Did you run out of regular tape?”
“Oh this is regular tape.” Damien snickers. Rachel finally gets the package open. “I got you a sparkly!” Damien exclaims. “Not only one but 17 of them!”
Rachel tips the box on its side and reads the label. “Cubic…zirconia.”
Damien’s face turns cherry red.
Music is heard from the other room.
“That’s my phone.”
Rachel gathers the boxes and walks away. Damien checks the tape. Rachel walks back in and Damien jumps, startled, and hides what he was doing.
“Oh hey, I gotta go. Thanks for the stuff.”
“Yeah honey puddin. Where you going?”
“Out.” Rachel declares and heads out with the stuff Damien gave her.
Damien is all alone. Sirens are now wailing from the distance, getting louder as the seconds pass. Damien is shaking but trying not to show it. A knock is heard at his door. It is just what he fears.
Rachel arrives at her lover Leon Peeone’s apartment.
“Hey Leon, I got some crap to sell so we can get some more hard stuff.” The two laugh but not for long. Neither one of them is too bright.
Doris and Keona Krabalsky need to try a new marketing tactic to sell their pyramid schemes.
They call up local yokel Robbie Hurlbutt, known for his mediocre-at-best Elvis impersonation act.
“Sorry babe, I am booked solid this month. I am making love to the audience every night this month.”
“Get lost, Robert.” Doris disconnects her phone.
“Maybe we can contact Smokey Ashe to teach us how to make smoke signals with her cigarette collection. I am certain she needs the dough now that she has been fired from CRASS for smoking at work.”
“Too stinky, Leona. I give a hoot and don’t wanna pollute. Oh, wait she’s dead!”
The pair share giggles.
Doris spies a small drone in the clearance aisle at a shop the strip mall on the main drag in Bourbannais. “Ah-ha! Perfect.”
Doris heads home to her apartment, where Leona is in the kitchen washing dishes.
“What dumb, new-fangled thing bring you now, sis?”
“Hey look, Leona! I bought this drone.”
“Have you seen one of these before?”
Leona gives Doris the side-eye, hands on her hips.
“I came up with a great marketing idea for our business opportunities. We can attack Kankakee County with flyers, drone style! All we have to do is take these flyers we got from our upline leaders, attach them to the drones, fly them over town and let them loose! These opportunities will sell themselves!”
“Meet me at the bridge, Doris and we will launch our new venture!” Leona jumps up and exclaims.
Doris leaves her Kankakee apartment to meet her sister Leona at her home, the I-57 bridge underpass near Exit 315.
“I think this idea will really fly!” Doris tells Leona, drone in hand. Leona attaches the PryMerica brochures to the bottom of the drone. Off it goes.
Doris flies the drone and drops PryMerica business opportunities all over Kankakee County. Leona and Doris share memories of letting balloons go as kids in school, wondering where they went.
“Think of all the mail, Leona, all the money. All the people we can serve I mean sell to.”
“Serve ourselves,” Leona quips. They share a laugh, and part ways.
Doris comes home to an answering machine full of messages. Could this be the moneymaker she has been hoping for?
“Oh dear, it is clouding up. I need to close the windows.”
Doris closes all her windows and checks her answering machine, landline first.
“Beep. Um hi. I need you to come pick up this mess you left on my lawn. I found a pile of brochures with your number on it. Please come right away. Thanks.”
“Not a chance.” Doris giggles and pushes “next.”
“Beeep. Yeah, thanks for the kindling. You dropped it straight on my lawn. I am calling to say thanks…your number is printed right on it! I have enough for the end of the year to put in my fireplace. Thanks again, Doris!”
Doris growls and hits “next”.
“Hi. This is Mack. What are you wearing?”
Doris smashes the “next” button.
After clearing all her messages, Doris’ phone will not stop ringing. Not a single person shows an interest in buying her business opportunities to sell to friends. Doris pulls the plug on her phone.
Thankfully, she did not give out her mobile number…or did she? Oops.
“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?”
“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 contines to ring.
“What do you want?” Rachel asks Damien.
“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 use some colorful language at the family from whom they were trying to steal.
“Would you use those words in front of your mother?” The mother 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 not to care.
“Fifth time today. Who is this moron?” Kankakee student and barista Ant D. Yu asks his partner.
“Hang up.” Dorian James says to Ant.
“Brandon’s Imbecile Machines. That’s is. I am blocking these fools.”
A knock is heard and Ant checks the peephole. The uninvited guest pounds the doorknocker.
Ant opens the door.
“Oh, hi Sybil.”
“Hey Ant. Do you have any dog food? I am hungry.”
“No Sybil. I told you before. Our family does not have a dog. But thanks for stopping by.”
“Okay. I did not know if you guys got one now.”
“Have a good day Sybil.”
Ant closes the door and a disappointed Sybil Kibble heads back to her McMansion down the street.
Sybil’s phone rings as she strides home. After she walks into one of her three garages, she checks her caller ID:
“BRANDON’S IMBECILE MACHINES
Sybil sees that this entity has called twelve times in the past three days and because of this, she blocks their number from calling again. She then heads inside and munches down on some dry doggie chow.
Gothic Diana Ross, a Kankakee singer and impersonator, is busy pulling up her black fishnet stockings when her phone lights up.
“Who is this?” Di thinks to herself and checks her screen.
“Brandon’s Imbecile Machines? Block.”
Di stares in the mirror for ten minutes, puts on her eyeliner, then starts listening to her own singing.
Brandon Dixon, owner of Brandon’s Imbecile Machines, is getting frustrated by the lack of response to the new phone campaign for his lifted truck lot. He remembers a tactic he had learned during his tenure at Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) in Kankakee, and changes his mode of operation.
Ant Yu gets a call from an unknown number. He is in the habit of screening his calls and lets it go to voicemail. The next day, he checks his messages, and deletes the voicemail from “Brandon” asking him to call back, who has not explained why he had called.
Sybil gets a voicemail from Brandon and deletes it. Gothic Diana Ross does as well.
Brandon is again frustrated by the nonexistent return on his low-budget marketing investment for his overcompensated vehicle lot.
Knowing that Kankakee slimeball Pat Splatt might be able to hustle on his behalf, he calls. Pat teams up with Robbie Hurlbutt to try and spam people all over Kankakee by stealing Fakebook Martplace accounts.
Pat Oswald Splatt, or POS for short, develops a Fakebook virus to steal accounts for Brandon. It is disguised as a video featuring a picture of Sybil Kibble eating a can of cheap, wet dog food. Pat’s buddy and partner-in-crime Robbie Hurlbutt snuck it using his mobile phone, in the company break room, when he worked at CRASS for two weeks.
“Check this out, Robbie and Brandon!”
Pat shows off his newly minted virus, disguised as a video, designed to slide into Fakebook Martplace instant message boxes all over Kankakee.
“Kankakee bill collector eats dog food for lunch” reads the caption below the fake video that is really a virus.
“Once people click on this pretend video, the virus will send US the users’ login credentials. We will start by replying to Fakebook Martplace ads. That way we will find suckers really easily.”
The room fills with laughter.
“I based the virus off code I used to program a broken 1989 Atari emulator, accidentally broken on purpose. Those were my script kiddie days, back when I used to try and own noobs.”
“You are a noob, Pat.” Robbie snickers.
Pat launches the virus and Robbie gets ready to collect the login credentials so he can pool them into a spreadsheet.
Days go by…nothing.
Pat tests the virus and it is operational.
“Are you sending the virus out, Pat? I am paying you to do this.” Brandon asks.
“I am sending but nobody is a-clickin.”
“How about we step it up and generate a whole bunch a windows?” Brandon asks Pat.
Pat modifies the virus code to replicate multiple windows featuring Sybil Kibble enjoying her doggie dinner. The recursive windows end up crashing some computers, while most others fail to get infected at all, as the ancient technology powering the virus gets caught by even the most basic pop-up killer.
Brandon storms in on a sleeping Pat Oswald Splatt, curled up in his chair listening to a Robbie Hurlbutt Elvis impersonation video on a loop to try and increase his watch count.
“That’s it, I want my money back! I made nothing off your crappy viral marketing campaign!”
“Who-what-um-who is this? Hello?”
“Quit the drama! I want my money back!”
“Oh, hi Brandon.”
“Don’t hi Brandon me. I need my money back and I need it right now!”
“You will get your money back alright. Your bank charge failed because you had no money. You cheap fool!” Pat exclaims at Brandon and falls out his squeaky metal chair.
Brandon begins to laugh.
“Oopsie.” Pat giggles as Brandon leaves his former partner-in-crime and dials up another goofy plan in his head.