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.

Bern Cacca’s Grocery Store Tantrum

Full colour cartoon of a middle aged, white woman posed with her mouth wide open, pointing at the viewer. An arcade game can be seen in the background wth an "out of order" sign taped to it.

“I drove all the way from Manteno just to play Running in the 90s and it’s broke. Get me the manager!” demands the entitled 43-year old Bern Cacca, throwing a fit like a bratty kid at a Schmucks grocery store.

“I am the manager,” says Brenda who walks away and laughs at Karen, I mean Bern.

Bern says “I should get a free game” as she storms out the store and peels away in her white sedan, thinking she is in a drag race with the other customers.

Shop Till You Drop, Sybil!

It’s a sunny day in Kankakee and Sybil is out for a walk. Sybil is strolling to the beat of auto-tuned mumble-country in her earbuds, when she spots a green cloth bag with a dollar sign on it lying on the ground near the Last National Bank of Kankakee County.

“Hmmm, what should I do?” Sybil wonders for a moment. 

“Should I go on a shopping spree, or take it home and shove it away in a drawer. I know! Shopping spree! I will pretend I am on Shop Till You Drop and go crazy with it! It’s my lucky day!” Sybil tells herself. She grabs the bag off the ground and heads home to her McMansion, gets in her Chrysler LeBaron and heads out.

Sybil pulls into the Bradley strip mall, which had contained the only Buckstars that ever went out of business in the history of the world. She walks into Miser & Co. Collectibles. “SALE! Three for the price of two (must buy three)” reads the storefront signage.

Sybil gets the biggest cart she can find and starts loading it up. “Oooh, fat free oil. I cannot get enough bottles of this.” 

Sybil spies another item she supposedly cannot live without. “Dehydrated water. How keen. Must grow my collection.”

Sybil continues to add to her cart. “A seatbelt belt? I could rock one of those. Oh and what is this? A golden mustache earring? Hot dog!”

“Hey Sybil, m’lady, m’lady” says a nearby Damien Hurlbutt, looking over the store’s record collection with his younger brother Robbie.

“Oh, tell your mother I said hi.”

“Yup. Will do.” says Damien. A silent Robbie has his nose buried in the Elvis LPs.

“Almost time to check out, just need to get a few more ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ signs. They are buy one, get one half off, y’know?” Sybil thinks aloud.

“I know.” Damien says, because he thinks it is all about him.

Sybil heads to the checkout counter, her basket almost overflowing with useless crap. She waits in a long line to check out. As she approaches the clerk, reaches for her money bag.

“That will be $500.69.”

Sybil opens up her bag and pulls out the bills. However, they do not look right to her. They are smaller, thinner, and printed on different colored papers. Sybil’s frown stretches down, her face turns red from embarrassment.

“Ma’am, did you really think you could pay us with Monopoly money?” says the clerk.

Sybil faints. She had shopped until she dropped.

Bern in Hell

A few years from now, Communal narcissist and poopyburner Bern Cacca, who wanted to be everybody’s friend, but only to use them finds herself forced out of Manteno and into the pits of Hell.

“Satan, why am I here?”

Because you’re evil, Bern.”

“But I did all those favors! I played accordion for the Optimal Club! I gave people rides! I–“

“Did you do those things to help, or to make yourself look good?”

“Uhhh…”

“And how many times did you admit you did something wrong. Count them. I will wait. So will my visiting intern Gothic Diana Ross. She will take you to your cell. Do you prefer jagged rocks or bubbling excrement?”

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.