Moronic Crime Rings and Things

Multiplex clerk, fedora-sporting neckbeard and Communal narcadoodle 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 vulnerable narcissist 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 Bee’s computer to steal her identity. Feeling dejected from having been rejected in 1993 after Pat had made a pass at her, Pat decides Kitty is a perfect target for moronic revenge.

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.

Robbie Hurlbutt: Kankakee’s Number One Elvis Impersonator

“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 washroom and sits on the potty.

“Oh kids!”

“What kids?” A quizzical Robbie asks Damien.

“Oh kids. Ohhh kids!”

A loud splash is heard from the washroom.

Damien is so proud of his poopies

“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 Hurlbutt basks in the glory of his own narc-capades

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.”

“Yup. Hey.”

“Good to see you, do I get a hug?”

“Sure.”

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 it. I bought it at Wally Green’s. It was buy one get one half off. 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.

“Hi honey.”

“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 are too bright.

Bern Cacca Gets Yeeted

“Here I sit all broken-hearted, tried to crap but only farted,” a forlorn Bernadette “Bern” Cacca sings on her porcelain throne, practicing kazoo and accordion. She lights a fart, burns her doodoo in the fireplace, then makes a call to a Northwestern Illinois bar on her smell phone.

“Poopy’s.”

“Hi, my name is Bernadette Cacca. I’m a famous singer near Chicago.”

The bartender giggles.

“I have a wonderful offer to make your bar.”

“May…I take your order?”

“I would like to open a Poopy’s here in Manteno.”

“I thought you were from Chicago!”

The bartender continues to giggle as he hangs up on Bern.

To increase her bottom line of attention, money and bootlickers, communal narcissist Bernadette offers to sing and play her accordion cover songs at a charity event to raise money for the victims of the Russian war against Ukraine. She dreams about all the photo opportunities she can gain from her virtue signaling. She does not care about the efforts of living beings trying to stay alive, fighting or fleeing a psychopath trying to take over their beautiful country. She just loves to pretend.

Bern heads home from a long day working her and her husbands’ business Peppi’s Portapotties, excited to burn the porta-poopies in her fireplace, only to be interrupted by a phone call.

“Hi, Bernadette…ummm…Cake-Uh?”

“Cacca.”

“Yeah, I am calling about your gig at the Gaslight Bar tomorrow night.”

“Oh hiiii! I am THRILLED about playing this extraordinary gig at 7:00 tomorrow night.”

“Good. We are calling to tell you about a slight time change. Due to staffing shortages, we need to move your gig back an hour.”

“I am a pillar of the community and a national treasure! Your tone is not appropriate for someone doing business. I would get used to people like me.”

“So are you coming or not? We have other guests who want to play and help—“

“Okay, okay, see you tomorrow. Don’t forget it!”

Bern teams up with local cybercrook Pat Splatt to develop her pretend money Craptocoin. The bum-waste-bin overlord thinks it is cute to sell Craptocoin at the charity event and decides she will solicit tips using her funny money.

“Hello Manteno! Thank you all for coming! Let’s raise some money! Gimme your requests! CraptoCoin only, my handle is @BMCacca! Maybe you already doing it, and that’s awesome!

ALSO, a shout-out to my extraordinary hairdresser @lilacroule from Croule, Young and Lovely who keep me lookin’ good! AND, my makeup by fabulous @marigoldyoung! So much love to their salon. Practices are things done more than one time regularly, and I have been practicing hard for tonight’s fundraiser! That’s why I call them practices!”

“And…without further ado, give it up for the Manteno Wonder herself, Mrs. Bernadette Cacca!”

A slow clap is heard, mixed in with hoots and hollers from Bern’s obsessed fanboys.

After finishing her last accordion cover tune for the first half of her set, “My Fart Goes Boom”, Bern runs to the washroom, humming “Let’s all go to the restroom” as she poops and farts.

Mrs. Cacca emerges, approached by a Chicago television reporter. 

“Hi Bern. I would like to interview you. We got a press release—“

“Not now, after.”

“I have other stories to cover. Let’s do this now.” 

“The show must go on.”

“I am from Ukraine and have family there.”

“Fair enough, let’s do this interview up on stage. We will both look awesome up there!” Bernadette gushes.

The Chicago TV reporter enters stage right, Bernadette stage left. Reporter Elena Emm stops to remember her questions so she can begin her interview. 

An impatient Bernadette sighs loudly, whistles and hums.

“Why are you staring off into space? Are you in a fantasy world?” Bern snarks, snickers, thinking only Elena can hear her.

“I am blind,” the reporter advises the oblivious Bernadette, unaware a camera operator is filming the entire interview.

“Here let me touch your face,” the ableist and ignorant Bern belittles the Chicago TV news reporter, reaching for her face.

Elena knocks Bernadette unconscious with a single blow to her piehole, then proceeds to yeet her into the crowd of bootlickers.

“This show is getting entertaining” Gothic Diana Ross says to her bandmates, The Midnight Supremes, who are waiting in the wings.

“I may be visually impaired, but I’m not stupid” Elena Emm says to the crowd who had poured in to find out where their entertainer Bernadette had gone, only to have that communal narcadoodle chucked right into a pile of them, knocking the fanboys over like a set of bowling pins. Strike!

Happy she got a scoop on the poop-mistress extraordinaire, Elena and the news team head back to Chicago to produce their segment for the next morning’s newscast.

“Next up, give a hand for these lovely ladies, Gothic Diana Ross and the Midnight Supremes!” announces the emcee, who had called the Manteno girl group last minute to replace their annoying neighbor Bern Cacca on the bill.

“You look so good on the outside”

— Cold Cave

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.

Pat Splatt’s Viral Video

“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 it – I am blocking these fools.”

A knock is heard and Ant checks the peephole. The uninvited guest pounds the doorknocker.

Ant greets the visitor: “Oh, hi Sybil.”

“Hey Ant. Do you have any dog food? I am hungry,” the Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) bill collector inquires.

“No Sybil. I told you before. We do not have a dog. But thanks for stopping by.”

“Okay. I did not know if you guys change your mind.”

“Have a good day Sybil.”

Ant closes the door, a disappointed Sybil Kibble heads back to her McMansion down the street. Her pleas for free dog food have all been met with disappointment. As she walks into one of her three garages, she checks her caller ID:

“BRANDON’S IMBECILE MACHINES

KANKAKEE, IL”

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.

Manteno singer Gothic Diana Ross, leader of The Midnight Supremes, 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.”

The Midnight Supremes all cackle in unison.

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.

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. Since “Brandon” had asked him to return his call without having given him a reason, Ant deletes the crapage and blocks the time-waster’s number.

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.

After seeing this commercial many times on PooTube, he calls up Kankakee huckster Pat Splatt.

The two team up with Elvis impersonator and covert narcissist Robbie Hurlbutt, to try and spam people all over Kankakee.

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 dog bones. Robbie Hurlbutt had covertly taken it using his mobile phone when he had briefly worked at CRASS.

“Check this out, Robbie and Brandon!”

With a cheesy grin, Pat shows off his newly minted virus, disguised as a video, which he plans on sliding into Fakebook Martplace instant message boxes all over Kankakee County.

“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 you and I the users’ login credentials. We will start by replying to Fakebook Martplace ads. That way we will find suckers really easily.”

Pat, Robbie and Brandon share evil grins.

“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.

“Good idea.”

Pat modifies the virus code to replicate multiple windows featuring Sybil Kibble enjoying her canine cookies, Sybil stretching at her desk and a close-up of Sybil from behind. The recursive windows end up crashing some computers, however most machines fail to get infected at all; 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, dreaming of opening up his very own click-farm, curled up in his computer chair listening to a Robbie Hurlbutt video on a loop.

“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!” The smug Pat exclaims at Brandon, falling out his squeaky metal chair.

Brandon laughs at Pat, pointing and mocking.

“Oopsie.” Pat giggles, gets up and chases out Brandon, who is now left to his own devices.

Poor Brandon and all those unsold compensation-mobiles.

Pat Splatt Poops the Question

Bourbonnais multiplex clerk, neckbeard and communal narcissist, 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 scared she might confront him about his history of verbal abuse toward her, tarnishing his squeaky-clean image. 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 fellow narcissist, 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 messaging them, sending them presents and mailing them weekly postcards. 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 number one 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 former 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 only does this for image, as he only cares about himself. He just wants to look good to cover up his lack of empathy.

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. 

Rich People Problems

[ Part five of a continuing story which inspired people to rise up and start this petition: https://www.change.org/p/albion-college-remove-dr-mathew-johnson-from-albion-college ]

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“Why are people up here in Albion so anti-Reynolds? I have done nothing but help this community. The other day, I told an obese lady about the new gym I wanted to build. I wanted to help her. But, noooo, people are so rude and mean. They do not appreciate my help! After all, they shut down The Mathew B. Johnson School of Intrepid Arts — The Best Martial Arts School around I could have taught them kiddos how to make PSI Balls!!”

“Those are fake.”

“I know. But but makes us money, and I want to teach ’em! This whole state needs a good schoolin’! This whole world!”

“Hey Barry, why don’t you call that Bernadette moron, the bog witch who sings opera for charity?”

“Don’t you remember? She and her husband drove all the way from Manteno, Illinois and just left! I mean, how rude! Everyone hates me!”

“How about we drive down to Manteno. Maybe we can try their porto potty business since their number always goes to voicemail. I can only listen to that recording of them polka-rapping about porto potties so many times.”

“We have nothing better to do. I am bored. Let’s go!”

“Take that ugly desk with you. Maybe you can give it to her to pay for our public-relations clean-up act.”

Barry and Terry Reynolds run to Manteno. 

“Turn left. Then turn left. Then turn left. Recalculating.”

“That dang GPS, why does it screw up so much? It has one job!” Terry exclaims.

Terry and Barry arrive at Peppi’s Portapotties. 

“Dang! Just missed ‘em. They closed ten minutes ago. Let’s do a drive-by past their house.”

The bumbling idiots drive past the Caccas’ run-down shack. Nobody’s home. Spotting the beautiful slate, Victorian Gothic home next door, their curiosity draws them in.

The Westminster Chimes are played as they ring the doorbell. A 5’10”, slender, medium-skinned Gothic beauty answers the door, wearing an all-black dress and fishnet stockings.

“Yeah?” Gothic Diana Ross answers.

Barry’s stoic face turns a slight smile.

“Umm, hi Miss. We will not take up much of your time.”

“You’ve already taken up too much.” Diana quips.

“What’s the deal with your neighbors? The Caccas?”

‘Oh man. Just don’t.”

Diana inches away and begins to close the door.

“Wait? Miss! We have this $1000  desk we can give you, if you just talk to us!”

“I’ll tell you where to put that desk.”

Diana slams the door and goes back to singing rehearsal with the Midnight Supremes.

“Barry, I gotta whizz.”

“Yup. You’re the boss.”

“No Diana is. Let’s go.”

Barry and Terry pull into the nearest corner Wally Green’s. While Terry is emptying her bladder in the washroom, Barry finally answers the sales clerk who asked him six times if he needed help finding something.

“Yeah, do you sell those SpamMaster 2000 CD-ROMs?”

“No, sorry. Are you looking to send unsolicited emails? I got a guy.” Drugstore clerk, covert narcissist and Elvis impersonator Robbie Hurlbutt slips Barry the number for Pat Splatt, petty criminal and junk emailer.

Pat Splatt multitasks, sending out heaps of junk emails on one monitor, while repeatedly right-swiping on the other monitor.

Barry and Terry meet Pat Splatt at midnight on the street, not far from the interchange bridge under which Kankakee troll Leona Krabalsky is sawing wood.  The three shadowy figures shake hands and part ways. The Reynolds drive onto Interstate Route 57 North, toward Chicago-O’Hare Airport, and board a plane for their monthly vacation. 

“We’re headed to Australia and we’re so stoked!” reads the craption below Terry’s Fakebook post, loaded with the hashtag #RichPeopleProblems. Terry cannot wait to take photos of her legs and feet.

Pat Splatt hopes to buy an overly lifted truck to compensate for his lousy personality with all the money he makes spamming on behalf of the dysfunctional former leaders of the Mathew B Johnson School of Intrepid Arts.  Brandon Dixon’s imbecile machine lot is booming with their end of year sales and Pat hopes to wheel-and-deal himself one.

While Scary Barry and Terry Reynolds spend loads of money they got from who-knows-where, seeing the sites of Australia, email junker Pat Splatt is busy sliding unwanted emails into the inboxes of college students all over the USA. Pat spams on behalf of disbarred college president Reynolds about the wonders of PSI Balls and how Barry Reynolds can teach them to defend themselves from psychic attacks. A second wave of spam stinks up the computer mailboxes of students at UCLA, Yale, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Colgate, Boston University, Loyola, Olivet Nazarene, Baylor, Kent State, Oregon State, Nebraska and Iowa City, spewing propaganda to try and connive random students into taking Barry’s online martial arts courses “because he is a nice guy who does a lot for the community.” 

A sleeping Barry is awakened by an unexpected phone call. 

“This is the Albion Health Department. We have received multiple complaints about a cockroach infestation at your compound.”

“It’s 3AM. Who the heck is this?”

“Huh? I don’t know where you are or what you’re talking about. We need you to rectify the infestation or we are going to have to condemn your property.”

“I’m in Australia on vacation with my wife.”

“Must be nice. I have not had a vacation in 21 years.”

Barry hangs up the phone and goes back to sleep. The Reynolds spend the day at their exclusive resort on Australia’s Gold Coast taking pictures of themselves and braggity-boasting on their Fakebook pages.

A month later, the relaxed, but tired couple heads home to their Albion McMansion. Several “Condemned” signs are seen posted all over their estate. 

“What the heck now? After all we do for this county? This state? The entire Universe?”

Beep-Beep-Beep goes the Avelli Truck, lowering a shipping container on the grass outside the massive, now-condemned Reynolds residence.

“What’s this?” a stern Barry asks.

“Your new home. There’s even room for your desk.”

A truck from Peppi’s Portapotties pulls up, “King and Queen of the Throne” its lettering reads below a smiling cartoon depicting owners Bern and Peppi Cacca.

“His and Hers,” Peppi says to the Department of Health worker overseeing the Reynolds property seized by the City of Albion, Indiana as he sets up the two portable toilets.

“We are NOT going to sleep in there.” Barry says with his nose to the air, walking away from the metal shipping container.

“You can live in a dumpster. We won’t judge.”

Barry checks his bank account, hoping to stay in a swanky hotel.  The robobank announces “Negative Forty-Nine Thousand, two-hundred twenty-four dollars.”

“Paaaaaaaaat!” Barry and Terry exclaim as they fall to their knees in unison, mad because their goose is cooked.

Awww, sucks to be them.