In Lieu-Au Fun

Manteno’s self-proclaimed “giver extraordinaire” who performs accordion covers of pop-tunes to raise money for the photo opportunity, Bernadette Cacca holds a kitschy, Hawaiian-themed shindig to thank her enablers, the Poopy Groupies. She really wants them to know she just loves their continued excellence in bum-kissing and useless-drama creation.

“That’s so bad!” Bernadette says as Peppi leaves the party. “He just came for the food and did not stay. All I do for him! All I do for the world! He just left me here to die alone!”

“He left for the washroom, Bern. I would too if I ate pineapple on pizza,” JB the Turd-Burglar tells his crush, the Manteno Wonder herself, Mrs. Bernadette Cacca.

Bern Cacca and The Poopy Groupies

Manteno’s favourite pretend do-gooder and real poop-doer Bernadette Cacca loves her brown-nosed crew.

JB the neighborhood turd-burglar stole all the crap so she can burn it in her fireplace. What fun.

Aunt Sonya made this beautiful face in honor of Terry Reynolds, the FIRST American. I mean Bernadette. Wait a minute…

Bern recently found out that her paternal grandmother was related to Undead Greg Schneissder (LIKE PRESIDENT TRUMP’S ANCESTORS) so these details add even more beauty to this wonderful day.

And who could forget her husband Peppi Cacca — always by her side (except when horking up prior-night’s moonshine in the washroom).

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.

Peppi Wants a New Drug

“Been drinkin’ again?” Manteno narcissist Bernadette Cacca asks her husband, sociopath and portapotty co-proprietor Peppi Cacca.

“Can you blame me?” Peppi replies as he takes another moonshine swig from a jug marked “XXX”. 

“I want a new drug,” Peppi thinks to himself, “one that won’t make me heave.”

Peppi Cacca knows crap is king, after all he and Bern own a portopotty business. Bored with binge-watching the Crap Me Outside Girl rapping on TakTik, Peppi starts looking for videos on how to get high on uTube. After scrolling through pages of unpredictable results, Peppi sits through a four minute commercial and watches a video filmed at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

“Plutonium tastes sweet” the presenter announces. 

Intrigued, Peppi asks YooHoo Answers in their Qannon section if Queue can tell him if snorting Plutonium can get him high. After all, Peppi believes everything he reads on the Internet.

Peppi goes to Wally Green’s and Bucketheads looking for plutonium to buy, but comes up empty. No 11 per cent off sale for him, no buy one, get one 50 per cent off (but never free) either.

Driving home, Peppi gets stuck at a light at the intersection underneath the I-57 interchange. Under the bridge he spots a wild Leona Krabalsky, the Kankakee town troll.

Peppi drives his crapmobile to the underpass, going through the red stoplight because he thinks the laws do not apply to him. Peppi rolls his window down and yells his mating call “git, git, git” to Leona. 

“I don’t want you and I am not for sale!” the elderly hag growls.

“You got some anything good?” Peppi clarifies wearing his turd-eating grin.

“I just might. What’s your pleasure?”

Peppi and Leona shake hands and Peppi peels out after chucking the brown paper bag into his backseat. Peppi rushes back home to meet wife Bernadette at their Manteno shack for dinner.

Bernadette and Peppi sit in their bedrooms, eat their Hardlees burgers and fries and belch a bunch of times. Bern lifts her leg and farts.

“Ahhh, that was a good one,” Bernadette says with glee.

Peppi takes his newly discovered rocks out the paper bag he bought from Leona.

 “Mmmmmmmmm…this is sweet” Peppi thinks out loud as he munches on the pebbles. 

Then Peppi pukes up his dinner since he was drunk. 

Bernadette walks in on Peppi tossing his cookies in their washroom.

“Hey, what’s up?” a nosey Bern asks her beloved Pep.

“Blecccccccchhhhhhhhhhhhh” Peppi repies into the toilet. 

“What were those cat turds doing in your bedroom? I need to burn them. Let me light a fart first to spark the flames and then I will watch them burn in the fireplace.”

Bern watches the glisten and pop, all aglow, gleaming like a twinkle in Bern’s eye. “Ooooh, that smell.”

Disgusted that Leona sold him fake Plutonium, Pep cooks up a way to make some cash.

Bern and Pep team up to make a mumble rap video. Pep raps and plays a single snare drum which fell off a truck, while Bern sings show-tunes while playing her accordion she uses to trick people on the internet into thinking she cares about charities.

The video fails to get monetized.

Bern makes a TakTik viral video lighting her farts and burning poopies in her fireplace which her fans adore. Then Bern runs out of poops because the neighborhood turd-burglar JB Martin stole them all.

Bern makes a collection of her own poops to burn since she needed more, and makes more TakTik videos, becoming an “influencer.” Companies offer to mail Bern free toilet paper in return for her becoming their brand ambassador.

As Bern logs into accept the free toilet paper, the Caccas’ fire alarm goes off from the unattended poopies burning in her fireplace.

The Manteno Fire Department rushes over to the Caccas’ house. 

Bern screams with excitement when the Waaaaaah Machines wail and fart as the firefighters rush to their house to put out the fire, clapping as they arrive.

“Hi guys, I really love those fart noises your fire engines make. Can I get one of those keen blow-horns for my house? I think they will go great with my accordion routine I do for charity and the Turd machine I mounted on the side of the shack to shoot at Gothic Diana Ross.”

“Shut up and leave, your house is on fire,” the firefighter warns Bern as the two Caccas walk away and watch their house burn, along with the poopies.