Voices Carry, Bernadette

Bog witch Bern bathes in the bog

Manteno port-a-potty proprietor, singer and communal narcadoodle Bernadette “Bern” Cacca spends her vacation swimming in the bog. She gets bored devouring the living and speeds home to her shack to visit her husband Peppi.

Bern opens her mailbox to find a letter sent from Peppi.

“DEAR BERN. I GOT OUTTA REHAB AND AM LIVING IN A HALFWAY HOUSE. BRING BEER.”

Bern fears the loss of narcissistic supply since her husband is away. 

Bourbonnais cinema clerk, communal narcissist, and proud neckbeard Damien Ulysses Hurlbutt is visiting his brother; Wally Green’s clerk, Elvis impersonator and covert narcissist Robert Roy Gary Hurlbutt at his apartment, with whom he used to share with drifter Andy Skandees.

The Narcissist Brothers: Robbie and Damien Hurlbutt

“What are ya gonna do on ya day off?”

“After lunch, smunch, gonna zogg on over home and write me an article!”

“Don’t you wanna spend it with your only brother? I am in a dark mood.”

“Naw, you see, I am going to write a paper.”

Awkward silence passes the two, like a fart in the wind.

“Since people think we are narcissists, I am gonna prove them wrong! Bwahahahaha.”

A sinister grin fills Damien’s face, morphing his orange, straggly beard into something even creepier.

“After I write an article all about narcissism, I am going to send it to my former therapist down in Champaign for a once-over, and prove forever we are not narcissistic at all. Then I people will know I am the victim and all her friends will say goodbye! Bwa ha ha ha ha!”

“She’s the counselor also who saw the convicted murderer who lived in your old apartment complex, right?”

“I know, I know, I know…”

“Did you help him move the body?”

“Anyways…I need to go back to Bourbonnais and write this important article.”

Damien taps away at his 10-year-old desktop machine atop his TV tray, sitting on a folding metal chair, the only furniture he has since the rest of his apartment is cluttered with boxes containing useless crap; shredded tissues strewn across the carpet, empty pop cans littering the apartment he uses as a dumpster.

Bern runs all over Manteno looking for gullible men, to no avail.

Remembering that fellow communal narcadoodle Damien Hurlbutt hit on her at Cinema-13, she heads over to pay him a visit. Damien is not there, so the clerk hands Damien’s card to Bern.

“Damien Hurlbutt, old soul and tender-heart looking for M’ladies.

Call me now. I am the last of my species. 1-815-555-FART”

Happy she does not have to look anymore for someone she can idealize, devalue and then discard like used burger wrappers, Bernadette calls Damien and heads over his neckbeard nest in Bourbonnais. 

Damien opens the door and immediately hugs Bern, handing her a bouquet of long stem roses.

“Hello, M’Lady. I tip my hat to you, so little and dainty. I have another surprise inside.”

“Oooh, let’s go!”

Damien holds the door for Bern, and brags about it as if he needs a medal.

Atop one of his many boxes of crap is a bunch of balloons attached to a massive teddy bear. 

“I gotta go for real.”

“So soon?”

“No, I mean I need to use the washroom.”

“Ahh.”

Bern wades through the lake on his washroom floor, farts a bunch of times, and takes a massive crap.

Bern opens the door to a wide-eyed Damien.

“Are these for me?” Bern asks Damien, mouth wide open, almost inhaling one of the flies buzzing around Damien’s dumpy excuse of an apartment.

“Yes, honey puddin’.”

“Oh you are the best, Damien!”

“Anything for you, M’lady, Madame.” Damien tips his black fedora.

“By the way, I’m impressed!”

“You think so? Oh, you are nicest guy on earth. I love to sing for charity, I am the best giver you know! And the best listener.”

“No, I’m the best giver. And I mean your farting. Man, those are some hot toots!”

“Yeah, I light them to burn poopies in my fireplace.”

“Dang, wanna stay the night?”

“Yeah, baby!”

“Hoooo!”

“I don’t know. Who? I hope me, handsome dahhhhling.”

The two spend the night together on Damien’s bare floor, cuddled together under Damien’s ratty blanket, sharing his lone pillow.

Bern awakes many times in the night by a loud, dissonant noise.

Damien wakes up, farts three times, and heads to the washroom, peeing loudly. Then he rips a few more air biscuits, bragging, “Pheeeew!”

Bern checks her phone for donations to the Manteno Optimal Club, for which she plays accordion, covering pop tunes to raise money. Secretly, she does not really care about the charity nor the community as a whole. She just wants to look good on the outside.

Damien walks back into his room.

“Dude, why do you snore so loudly?”

“Oh, I have sleep apnea.”

“Why don’t you wear your mask?”

“It fills up with water in the night.”

“You do know they make automatic cleaners for those things. My mom has one.”

“I know, I know, I know…”

“And no bed? My back is killing me from sleeping on your hard floor.”

“How about we go to your place, M’lady?”

“I don’t want my husband to find out.”

“Husband?”

“Yeah, Peppi is in rehab for his drinking again.”

“Oh, I won’t tell him. I was married once before I married Grimace and I never told her.”

“Grimace? Who?”

“Oh my ex-wife. She got more hostile every day when I was getting ready to leave her down in Champaign. It was all about her, her her,” Damien smears the woman he emotionally abused.

“Why do you call her Grimace?”

“She is so fat and so dumb. One year I bought her a vacuum and she could not even put the thing together.”

“Sounds like me.”

“Naw, honey puddin’. You are a lot prettier than her.”

Damien takes his usual hour-long shower, runs out the bathroom to grab a towel and spills water all over the floor. After drying off his manhood with a hair-dryer, he gets dressed, and meets Bernadette in her car.

The two walk into Bern’s Manteno shack, which she shares with husband Peppi.

“Can I use your computer?

“Go ahead!”

Damien checks his email.

“Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!” Damien exclaims with glee.

From: “Florence” [ProgressiveTherapyLLC@dmail.calm]

To:  “Damien U. Hurlbutt” [connivingpimp@hautemail.con]

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Subject: Re: I have a great idea which I think you will like

Damien, you have sent me four emails now. You are not my client any more, and I will not sign off on your idea. Here is a list of therapists in Kankakee County.

Attached file: “TherapistsInKankakee.pdf”

Damien fires back an angry email:

From: “Damien U. Hurlbutt” [connivingpimp@hautemail.con]

To: “Florence” [ProgressiveTherapyLLC@dmail.calm]

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Subject: Re: re: I have a great idea which I think you will like

No, I do not need help. There is nothing wrong with me. You are psycho like my ex-wife!

Bern walks in and Damien quickly locks the computer screen so she cannot see what shenanigans he has been barfing up.

“I gotta head upstairs. I will be awhile.”

Damien grabs Bern’s hands and looks her dead in the eye.

“I was about to close off my heart and never love again, M’lady. When I was born, my mother saw my head full of red hair and named me after the kid from The Omen. We redheaded males get discriminated against—“

“Damien, you are really handsome and your farts smell amazing. I really need to go poop for awhile.”

“Okay, honey puddin’. I will be here.”

As Damien hits send on his email to his former therapist, someone rings Mrs. Cacca’s doorbell.

“Oh, horse-hockey,” Damien complains.

“Come innnnn!” Bern’s voice emanates from the upstairs restroom.

“Bernadette, somebody is here.”

“Let them in.”

Damien opens the door. A 5’10” average looking male asks for Bernadette.

“Who are you?”

“I am JB, her boyfriend. Who are you?”

“Uhhh-I’ll go get her.”

JB sits down on the Caccas’ couch while Bernadette continues to pinch loaves.

“Bern, I am gonna go on home. I have a stitch in my side, and my heel spurs are hurting.”

“PPPHHHPPPTTTTTT” says Bern’s butt. Damien’s derriere returns the sentiment and he heads home.

Bern comes down the stairs to greet her other boyfriend.

“Hey sugar, you the most handsome man alive. How are ya?”

“Do you have any turds? My turd-machine is out of ammo again and I have no luck stealing poopies.”

Little does Bern know, she has an audience.

“Is this the dawning of the age of morons?” the next-door neighbors Gothic Diana Ross and The Midnight Supremes ask each other, giggling. They have been standing on their porch, listening in on Bern’s conversations with her boyfriends. 

“Bern Cacca has her nose so far up her enablers’ butts she can see out their mouths,” Gothic Flo quips and the gothic girl group busts out laughing, happy to have a laugh at the Caccas’ expense.

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.

Bern Cacca Is The Masked Singer

“Hey there my ultra-cool and spooky neighbor! You have a beautiful voice! I am making masks out of old bed sheets and passing them out. Deeanna, would you like one?” communal narcissist Bern Cacca annoys her neighbour Gothic Diana Ross as she minds her own business doing work outside her Manteno home.

“Get lost.”

“These masks are better than other ones because they’ve been quality tested by me, and washed with Lysol.”

“Yeah…no.”

“Then can you please give me a donation to support my mask project? I wash all the money.”

“Ya know that expression, put your money where your mouth is?”

“I know it very well. I am a pillar of excellence, playing accordion covers of pop tunes to raise money–”

“If ya don’t go now, I will put your mouth straight to my fist.”

“Oh I gotta go baaaad. Time to light more farts to burn portapoopies! Maybe some of my own too…” Bern rambles on as The Boss Gothic Diana Ross is long out of earshot, resting quietly inside her slate Victorian mansion.

Moron of the Week – Karaoke Creeper

It’s not that hard.

I make many things: drawings, stories, songs. The way to my heart is through a love of my talents. If you don’t like my stuff, cool. Move on and scroll past. I am too busy, you know, creating things.

Meet Robert Arwyn Jones, A/K/A “Jones” on Youtube. He started commenting on my music. I liked what I heard and commented back. A mutual exchange, right? No, not in his mind; he was thinking with his other head.

That moron mistook my kindness for lust when we took our conversation to email.

When I told him I bond with people who like me for my talents, the karaoke king took the low road by gaslighting.

But wait — there’s more! My lack of mutual lust had gotten this moron so butt-hurt, he made the choice to hurl insults. Ahhh, the average schoolyard bully.

What a prize! For pretending to care about me as a creator just to try and lure me into bed, I award Robert Arwyn Jones Moron of the Week. Enjoy your award Robert, you’re a real winner.

A Very Moronic Concert

“Ma, would you like a dog food wrap?”

“No thanks, Sybil. I’ll take a raincheck.”

“I wrapped them up in toilet paper, Mother!”

JK shakes her silvery coiffe.

“Are there squirrels along the boardwalk?” JK asks her daughter, who is busy munching away at her doggy bag.

“Mmmnnnpf” a hungry, occupied Sybil replies in the negative.

“Speaking of squirrels, where are our tickets to the squirrel petting zoo?” JK inquires.

Sybil digs around her black-and-white striped purse, and pulls out the envelope Robbie gave her.

“Coupons? I thought they were comping us. These only give us a dollar off! The admission is $20 a pop! And where are our hotel keys? They said they were getting that, too!”

“Ummmm…” JK’s jaw just hangs.

“I have a plan.”

“Are we still going to the show?”

“Aw yeah, we are going early, in fact.”

6:00 PM rolls around and Sybil has already gotten to the bar with her mom, JK. The two were a bit delayed by their detour to the novelty store.

“Where is the ladies’ room?”

The bartender points in the general direction.

Sybil and JK each take a stall and begin blowing up the inflatable women. Sybil applies makeup, a blonde wig and readers to hers and JK applies a short, gray wig and round glasses to her doll. They walk out the restroom and place their dolls in two seats toward the back of the bar.

Sybil and JK leave the bar, giggling as they exit. They head to a casino where they spend the night.

The Moronic Half-Assets (MHA) Vaudeville act begins. Konrad Teirant tells his awful puns, then his wife, Madeline Topolla-Teirant, the colorful clown, juggles and attempts to balance on a large ball. Robbie Hurlbutt, mediocre Elvis impersonator, sings and dances like the fool he is.

PJ Hurlbutt cheers on her son Robbie, who she thinks is the greatest singer, meanwhile Pat Splatt sits there in his seat texting.

The show ends and Robbie takes a head count.

“We’d like to thank our fans Pat, my Mom PJ, and our buddies Sybil and JK!”

“Encore! Encore! Encore!” the lone fan, PJ, shouts.

“Did you say encore? We aim to please. Robbie is going to serenade a special fan who came all the way from Kankakee, Illinois!” Konrad announces.

Robbie comes down from the stage, toward the back of the bar and begins to sing “Burnin’ Love”.

Robbie is in shock that the “person” to whom he is singing does not react, nor move at all. “She is not a sincere fan.” Robbie says into the microphone after his number.

“Robbie, you moron. That’s a blow-up doll!” Madeline shouts.

Robbie jumps back in sheer embarassment.

“Elvis has now left the building.” Konrad announces.

The Moronic Half-Assets pack up, ready to leave. “That was a bust. I got really flustered up there.” Robbie sighs.

“We did not return much on our investment, did we?” Konrad gripes.

“Time to pack up and leave. If we drive home in our clown car, and make it home without stopping, maybe we can make up for our losses. Time to go!”

Robbie is in the Men’s washroom, wizzing away.

“Robbie, why do you leave the door open? I tell you about that time and time again!” Madeline screams.

A loud slam is heard.

“Rrrrrrrrgh!”

“Robbie, you are not Elvis, and you are not going to die in there.”

The MHA members pack up their stuff, and Robbie follows them into his clown car.

“I wonder what act is up next?” Robbie asks.

“I guess we’ll never know. Step on it Robbie!”

An announcement is barely heard from the purple clownmobile as Robbie pulls away, and rolls up his window, Kankakee-bound:

“Next up, from Manteno, Illinois: Gothic Diana and the Midnight Supremes!”

“Rrrrrrgh—I love her! My dreamy—“

“Shut up and drive, childish little boy,” Madeline commands as the rain pours down and the moon shines down on the Moronic Half Assets.

Robbie Hurlbutt Thinks Gothic Diana is Supreme!

Gothic Diana Ross, lead singer of the Kankakee band The Midnight Supremes, cancelled her cross-county tour due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since Kankakee pharmacy clerk, disco king and Elvis impersonator Robbie Hurlbutt cannot stalk his number one crush in person, he kisses her new poster instead.

Gothic Diana Ross, a goth Diana Ross impersonator, poses with her cape flowing behind her.