Sybil and the Lawnmower

While on her break from a particularly demanding — but successful — day at Kankakee craporation Credit Recovery Associates, LLC (CRASS), Lead Collections Representative Sybil Kibble takes a break from her usual dog food lunch to check out the online news.

Sybil logs off the autodialer, sets down her headset, and logs into the daily Kankakee newspaper’s web site. A yellow article, thinly disguised as news, catches Sybil’s eye immediately:

“Step up your lawn mowing game with a new, AutonaMower by SteppinUp Technologies! Make your neighbors jealous by being the first person on the block to own the new AutonaMower! Feel the power of its remote control technology while you set it to mow your lawn, walk away, and forget it! Never has been mowing your lawn been so easy! Now, the Joneses can keep up with you!”

Sybil was hooked.

“Break time is over. Get back to work!” Tara Bull growled. I should not have to babysit you.

Sybil slid back into her seat and logged into the autodialer.

As soon as Sybil makes her last collection that day – making certain to double down on that fake debt – Sybil slams down the headset and peels out the CRASS parking lot driving her Chrysler LeBaron. Off to the Buckethead’s Hardware in Bradley she went!

Sybil walks into Buckethead’s and looks around. “Welcome to Buckethead’s, where we save you money!” said Samantha, a bright eyed, bushy blonde wearing a green shirt.

“I like the sound of that!” squeals Sybil as they skip back to the lawn and garden department.

“Tony will be able to assist you” Samantha says and walks away.

“Hey Tony, I need a lawnmower that mows the lawn for you.”

“Ha, well we just got those in. They are pretty cool. We have this one operated by remote control. It hooks into your smartphone and even tells time. And then, for just 40.00 more, we have the deluxe model that has a built in radio! It even has a cupholder!”

“Hey Tony, they’re great.” Tony rolls his eyes slightly.

“However, I am not looking to spend a lot. Just gimme the cheapest model.”

“Oh-kay. We have in our economy section the AutonaMower. It mows the lawn for you. It’s our only gas model on the floor and it is on sale. $299.99”

“I’ll take it.” Sybil can barely contain her excitement. She checks out and heads home to Kankakee.

Sybil finishes up her bowl of dog food for dinner and cannot wait to unbox her new toy. She is so excited, she skips her dog bone dessert.

Out to her oh-so-slightly overgrown, manicured lawn she heads. Sybil opens the box. “Instructions? Who needs these?” Sybil chucks the manual in the trash.

Now, how do I turn this thing on? Sybil starts pressing buttons. “Crap.”

“Hey Tony?” Sybil says on her cell phone, on speaker so all the neighbours can hear.

“My lawnmower is not working.”

“Did you try putting batteries in the remote?” Tony asks.

“Oh. Nevermind.” Sybil presses the end key on her phone.

Sybil puts the included two AA batteries into the remote and presses the start key. The remote is programmed and ready to go. However the lawnmower does not even turn on.

Sybil screams a string of expletives.

Clouds roll in. As people say in the Midwest, if you do not like the weather, wait five minutes.

It begins to pour. Sybil gets so infurated that she packs up the AutonaMower, grabs the instruction manual out of the garbage, stuffs it in the box and heads back to Bucketheads in Bradley.

Sybil struts in and straight to Lawn ‘N Garden. “Tony, you sold me a broken model. This thing is crap, your store is crap.” She slams it on the floor.

“Did you put gas in it?” Tony asks.

“Ohhhh, grrrrreat.” Sybil says.

Tony laughs and rolls his eyes. It is all he can do after a long day working retail, having put up with customers like Sybil.

Do It Yourself Mike

CRASS Employee of the Year, Mike Philips

The CRASS Maintenance Chief and Building Manager Mikey Philips is a real do-it-yourselfer. In charge of security, maintenance, and all building operations at the Kankakee bill collection factory, Mike wears many hats (just not fedoras). However, Mike has no problem ordering other people to do his work and often does the bare minimum to satisfy his job description, or less.

“Knock-knock. Hi Mike. It’s Clio from HR.”

“Come.”

“The ladies’ room garbage has been overflowing all day. This is an ongoing, systematic problem. Can you please look into it?”

“Do it yourself,” Mike tells Clio.

“You are in charge of building operations. Can you please look into it?”

“I am busy, do it yourself.”

Clio walks away and Mike picks up a newspaper.

A loud pound is heard on Mike’s door. Mike grumbles and crumples his paper.

“Who goes there?”

“Tara Bull from Accounts Receivable. I need to speak with you.”

Tara opens the door.

“Yes.”

“The vending machines in the breakroom have been busted for two weeks. Get on it.”

“Do it yourself,” Mike tells Ms. Bull.

“What is the status of my request I put in two weeks ago? I sent you three emails.”

“Can you do it? I am busy, got running around to do.”

Tara storms out.

Mike logs onto the DullerImage web site to order some Craptocoins, Pet Petters and some nonfunctioning trinkets (NFTs), however his credit card is declined.

“NSF, why is that? How can I buy my NFTs if I have NSF?” Mike logs onto his Last Bank of Kankakee account and discovers he was not paid today.

Mike calls up Mr. Mack E. Avelli, CRASS CEO, to complain.

“Yes, hello. I just found out I did not get paid today. It is Friday. Why not?”

“I can pay you but you have to work to get money first. Want to earn money? Do it yourself, Mike.”

Damien is a Beauty, Alright

Rule Number One: I’m Alwahz Right, says Damien Hurlbutt

“Oh boy. Ooh boy, oh boy, oh boy. I am going to win this contest!” Bourbonnais cinema clerk, neckbeard and communal narcissist Damien Hurlbutt thinks out loud as he shakes off his just-washed hands on the men’s room floor. “Who are you talking to?” a theater customer asks? “Oh nothing, nothing.” Damien insists and walks back to the ticket counter and reads his Fakebook wall.

“Kankakee County Surprise Beauty Contest — For Men and Women — A secret panel will judge a body part of all who participate! Find out just what at the end! Enter now to support the Kankakee County Crotch Rocketeers and Imbecile Machinists Motor Club.”

“I alwahz wanted to win a beauty test. My orange neckbeard and black fedora is sure to impress M’ladies!”

“Damien! Those popcorn sacks are not filled high enough. Do you know what a popcorn sack looks like? How long have you worked here?” Kankakee Cinema-13 owner Konrad Teirant demands.

“I know, I know,” Damien grumbles as he heads back to doing something productive.

Damien ends his shift and heads over to the County Fairgrounds to enter the beauty contest. One other contestant meets him there, a 50-something, slim, plain looking, mustachioed man by the name of Dale Davis.

Damien and Dale fill out the necessary paperwork. Of course, Damien skips ahead and enters the line to complete his paperwork to ensure he goes first. After he wraps up, Damien eavesdrops on Dale:

“Dale Francis Davis. Yup. Five foot eleven. One hundred and seventy pounds. I am 54 years young. Shoe size? Ummm…nine I guess.” Dale signs his name and heads toward his pickup truck.

Damien drives home to plot his winning scheme. Damien is a real winner.

After Damien gets home to his one-bedroom Bourbonnais apartment, he walks through his massive hoard contained mostly in towering, toppling boxes and sits down in his folding chair at the TV tray holding his desktop computer.

Damien logs onto Fakebook, after having cleared his history every time he uses his machine even though nobody else lives in his neckbeard nest.

Damien logs onto the Kankakee County People and Opinions Fakebook group using his newly stolen identity, “Sarah Turppa”, thanks to his brother Robbie and his new side venture.

As “Sarah”, Damien posts:

What a disgusting little turd, that Dale Davis, ripping people off judges with his crappy body. He is related the the committee! He needs to be disqualified!” Damien tags the wrongfully accused Dale in his smear campaign, hoping to triangulate other citizens against him.

Poor Dale Davis. Damien and Robbie tag team posting on a bunch of local Fakebook and Instaphoto groups under various stolen and made up accounts accusing Dale, the only other contestant competing against Damien in the Kankakee County Surprise Beauty Contest, of fraudulent entry.

Dale Davis logs on and is feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of posts.

“Is this is the same person writing over and over? Your posts all sound alike.” Dale replies to one of the harassing messages.

“No, Dale. It is called having friends, which we see you don’t” Damien comments as “Clio Bersola”, another stolen account.

Dale decides he has had enough and leaves the toxic group.

Damien takes a two hour shower to prepare for the beauty contest. After running across the washroom floor, out the door to grab his towel in the bedroom, Damien shakes off like a dog. Before walking around looking like Homer Simpson in his tighty-whities, Damien aims his blowdrier at his manhood just like he does his orange neckbeard.

Damien lifts his leg. “Oh” says Damien’s rear end. “Pardon me. Pheeeeew!”

“Putt.” Damien ripped another one. “Pardon me. Pheeeeew!”

“Pppphhht!” Damien keeps on lifting his leg and letting them rip.

Damien is proud of his flatluent prowess.

“Pardon me, pheeeew!” Damien exclaims with great pride.

Damien dons his “Rule #1: I Am Alwahz Right” tee he designed himself, and walks out the door leaving the bathroom light and fan running because he does not care.

The one cop that travels up and down the main drag in Bourbonnais and Bradley did not bat an eye when Damien forgot to signal. He also did not notice that Damien forgot to put on his lights on this evening. “I have a quarter tank. The yellow light is not on yet, no need to stop for gas. I will zogg on over to Kankakee,” Damien thinks to himself after passing several filling stations. “Ahhh, I am here.” Damien strokes his neckbeard.”

Damien greets the judges in front of the rather large crowd at the fairgrounds gathered for the beauty contest and shakes their hands, a crap-eating grin fills the face of Damien, who thinks he is dressed to impress.

File image

Kankakee Crotch Rocketeers and Imbecile Machinists Motor Club president, Brandon Dixon, stands behind the podium ready to speak:

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please. My name is Brandon Dixon and I am president of the Kankakee Crotch Rocketeers and Imbecile Machinists Motor Club. I am proud owner of Brandon’s Imbecile Machines right here in Kankakee where all ladies receive a free rose. Come on down and I will make you a deal. We have word that our other contestant, Dale Davis dropped out. Without further ado, let us award the remaining contestant — Mr. Damien Hurlbutt — Kankakee County’s Stinkiest Feet Award! Man I can smell them from over here too!”

Brandon hands Damien his award.

“Doesn’t it feel good to win, Damien? Look at all those people out there, Damien.” Brandon says into the microphone.

“Come now…” Damien says.

“Go now, your feet stink!” Brandon says and the crowd roars with laughter. It is going to be a fun night at the fair. Damien heads out to his car, wanting to leave, only he cannot escape getting roasted after all. He is completely out of gas.

Revenge is Served

Clio Bersola spots the temper-tantrums of Bourbonnais cinema clerk, neckbeard and communal narc-a-doodle Damien Hurlbutt in the “Nice Guys Looking For The Finish Line” Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) themed group on Fakebook, under her alias JG Wayne.

Best friend of Damien’s verbally abused and rightfully estranged ex-wife Lori, Clio messages him and fake-agrees with him over IM on so many points, stringing him along. They become instant friends, soulmates, solely in Damien’s “old-soul” nitwit brain.

Damien swiftly asks Clio out on a date because he is so impressed. Wow, someone like him, the last of his species! Umm…yeah.

They agree to meet up at Ma Barker’s restaurant in Chicago. Little does Damien know what is in store for him.

Damien complains about the entire drive up Route 57, and nearly gets rear-ended getting off 90/94. Clio parks at a friend’s house and takes the train.

The two meet up at Ma Barker’s. Damien is wearing a red feather in the brim of his brand new, black fedora as Clio had instructed.

The place is rather large, decked out in gangster memorabilia, reproduction crime scene evidence, Ma Barker photos and those of her famous outlaw sons.

Clio instantly recognizes Damien — a spitting-image of Squirrely Dan minus the ball-cap — whistling loudly to himself, orange neckbeard aglow.

“There’s my lovely Men’s Rights Activist!”

“M’lady, m’dame!” Damien says to Clio as the two embrace, Damien hugging more tightly than Clio.

The two sit down and chat. Conversations flow rather quickly and Damien rambles on about how he was about to give up on love in a month or two had he not met Clio.

“I was about to tuck my heart away forever, had I not met you. So many women treated me badly, especially my ex-wife Grimace. She is so fat and ugly, eeew. She ate so much fast food and begged me for $50 a day. Fifty dollars! My life is complete now I met you!” Damien gushes to Clio, not even respectful enough to call his former bride by her name.

Clio shudders a bit inside and then gets excited. “The Time is Now” by Moloko plays over the restaurant loudspeakers.

“I have something I would like to ask you, Damien.”

Clio takes Damien’s hand. It is the first time he has been touched since he and his wife divorced. Damien’s grin widens.

“What is it with you so-called ‘Men’s Rights Activists anyway? Don’t you have anything better to do than complain about your privileges?’”

Damien snaps his hand away from Clio.

“Huh-whom-who-why-hwat?” Damien snips, pauses, adds extra “whoooos” and “huhhhs” for melodrama.

An awkward silence passes by as Damien coldly glares into Clio’s eyes. Meanwhile, Clio fills with anticipation, and smiles inside.

“You women are awful. Misandry is the real problem, WOMAN. Men get kicked in the nuts on TV. You people give us a hard time for this fake thing called mansplaining. Men are always the butt of women’s jokes. We are oppressed all the time and your feminism is the cause! You women are horrible! You are a horrible person who will be alone forever! You’re psycho!”

Damien gets up from his seat and goes to the couple next to him.

“See this woman next to me? She is psycho. Stay away from her,” Damien gaslights.

The couple roll their collective eyes and go back to eating.

Damien stomps over to a family across the room.

“See that skinny woman sitting by herself at that table? With the dark brown hair? She is crazy. Stay away from her. I am trying to help and she won’t listen.”

The mother gives Damien the stinkeye and motions to protect her kids should Damien harass them again.

Mr. Hurlbutt huffs, puffs, and sits down by himself with his head planted squarely on the table, hand stroking his neon orange neckbeard. He adjusts his fedora, and tries to slam the red feather down, only for it to fly away.

Clio heads for the kitchen, to speak with her former coworkers.

“I am getting harassed. Can you please call the police?”

“That neckbeard dude throwin’ a fit? We already had some complaints. Hang tight. I got ya back.”

Damien storms toward the kitchen.

“Pardon me, sorry to interrupt your important work. See that woman there? She–”

“Find your own way home, Damien,” the server commands.

Damien refuses to leave and sits in the men’s washroom farting away, wishing he could brag about his poop size to an unsuspecting young lady.

The Chicago Police Department hauls away the unwanted person, Mr. Damien Ulysses Hurlbutt and puts him in the holding tank with a bunch of other smelly, sweaty men.

Clio meets up with her buddy — the former Mrs. Hurlbutt — and they have dinner together, laughing and giggling all night long.

Damien taps away at the cold cell floor, much to the annoyance of his cellmates.

“Socks with sandals?” a fellow inmate complains as he stares at Damien’s feet. “Grrrrr.”

Revenge really is a dish best served cold.

Damien’s Dating Dilemma

Bourbonnais cinema clerk, love-fraudster and communal narcissist Damien Hurlbutt prints up a bunch of business cards and leaves them around Kankakee County businesses, hoping to spring a date. He is hoping to meet a new lady since his ex – whom he calls “Grimace” – had divorced him to escape his idealize, devalue and discard campaign.

DAMIEN ULYSSES HURLBUTT

SINGLE NICE GUY

SEEKS M’LADY FOR

FREE MOVIE TICKETS

815-555-FART

Scammers call. Damien answers with great expectations, thinking they are interested in this self-proclaimed “nice guy.”

“Hi M’Lady M’dame” Damien answers.

“Is this Damien….Ummm….Hurlbutt?”

“You got ‘em.”

“Hi. I am calling to report your Social Security card has been disabled.”

“Oh hi puddin’. I see you got my card. I think you are really pretty. Can I see your feet?”

“There is a warrant under your name. We are going to send the cops…”

“Nice guys like me finish last. I almost closed my heart off forever until I met you.”

“Please send me $500 on a Wally Green’s gift card or you will be arrested.”

“You know what? I can will myself out of heart attacks. You ladies are so rude!”

A click and a dial tone are heard.

Prankers call:

“Hello. Is this Damien?”

“Speaking.”

“You just won a lifetime subsciption to Feetsniffers’ Monthly!”

“I did! Oh, wow! Oh boy, oh boy, oh–”

“You moron, it’s a prank…”

The caller hangs up and a disappointed Damien’s smile turns upside down.

Pyramid scheme peddlers call.

“Hey, Babe.”

“Oh heyyyy honey puddin’” Damien replies to the lady caller.

“Umm, hi.”

“Heyyyy. What is a little and dainty lady want with an oaf like me?” Damien drools all over his flip phone.

“I have a great weight loss product that can take you from chump to champ in no time.”

“Come now!”

“Go now!” The lady hangs up on Damien.

Then Doris Krabalsky, the notorious street pyramid schemer calls. Damien hangs up. Doris calls again but Damien blocks her call because he does not want anything she might be selling.

Doris hides her number from caller ID and tries to call Mr. Hurlbutt again.

“Hello?”

“Hi, is this Damien?”

“Who is this?” Damien asks.

“I really think you are cute. Let’s go out sometime.”

“Wait, who is this?” a nervous Damien queries.

“Doris Krabalsky. My sister Leona called you about the weight loss pills. These babies will change your life, hun! I can meet you under the I-57 interchange at Midnight.”

“That flipping phone!” Damien screams as he slams his phone down, and flips the world the bird.

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.