“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?”
“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.
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.
Kankakee drugstore clerk, covert narcadoodle and self-proclaimed Number One Elvis Impersonator Robbie Hurlbutt spies his number one crush Gothic Diana Ross riding the bus. Hoping to impress her, like a peacock shaking his tail-feathers, Robbie flexes by doing pull-ups on the railing. Diana looks away, trying to hide her laughter.
Robbie continues flexing at the bus station, dancing around like a moronic fool as the rightfully uninterested gothic beauty Diana falls asleep, waiting for the Midnight Supremes to pick her up.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
“Damien, it’s Robbie, you dork.”
“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?”
“She’s married. But I have first dibs.”
“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.
“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.”
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?
“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.
“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.
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, hey.” Robbie says in his faux-Elvis tone.
“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]
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!
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!”
He hears a ding on his phone, indicating he has a new email, which he reads:
To: “Damien U. Hurlbutt” [ConnivingPimp@hautemail.con]
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!
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 signon 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.