Post with 2 notes
Here is the piece I wrote for Write Club SF. It continues my pet themes of nerds being terrible and everybody being terrible.
THE MILD HUNT
The four hovered around a gravestone marked with a Richard Dawkins quote whose length and content actively discouraged its reading. “Blah blah, evolutionary genetics, blah blah no god, blah blah women am I right, guys?”
Stevie was dead, the only reason for them to revisit the blistering shithole which had birthed them all. Mark tried to say a few words before Leonard interrupted him.
“Excuse me, but as a writer, I feel like I’m the only one with the proper emotional intelligence to eulogize our friend. You know, as a writer would.”
Maggie swallowed another pill from her fanny pack and whispered into Sam’s ear “He’s got a three book deal with a garbage can. Because it’s the only publisher who will print garbage.”
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PUBLISHED TO BE A WRITER,” Leonard screamed, furiously typing into his phone, “There are seventy two people who are going to be livid when they read this.”
Sam sighed and stood before the trio.
“Look, none of this is a surprise,” he said, “Stevie led a mostly sedentary lifestyle of arguing on message boards and eating microwave pizzas.”
Indeed, Pinnacle Food Groups LLC, the corporation responsible for producing the Mama Celeste pizzas which had clogged Stevie’s feeble heart, had sent his family a condolence letter for their best and favorite customer. “Stevie was the pilot light to our pizza ovens,” it read, “We’ll be flying flags at half-mast at our Secaucus Reconstituted Dairy-like Product Facility.” A redditor had silently laid upon his grave a black fedora.
“Stevie was argumentative,” Sam said, “He was judgmental, he was closed-minded, he was contradictory. He was scared of black people, but his favorite movie was Blade: Trinity. He loved Ayn Rand, but he was the first person in the country to go on disability for Asperger’s. He hated animals, but I’m pretty sure he had sex with my dog. But that was Stevie. He was a real character.”
Leonard chortled, thinking about how he’d based all of the characters in his book on people he knew in real life. The novel’s protagonist was a six foot two lumberjack in a polyamorous relationship with a pair of Sears catalog models. His name was Lonard.
Then the man appeared, short and squat, smoking, holding a box whose dimensions matched his own.
“You that dead nerd’s friends?” he asked.
There was some hemming and hawing, but they did eventually answer yes.
“Then this is for you jerks.” He handed Mark the box and walked away, stubbing out his cigar on a concrete angel’s teat. Mark opened the box and read the relevant parts of the letter out loud.
“‘To my dearest pals…’ okay, first there’s just a long paragraph about how feminism hurts men… another paragraph comparing the new Ninja Turtles movie to rape… oh wait, here we go. ‘I have coordinated a scavenger hunt, each item placed insidiouser than the last.’ Well, that’s not a word. ‘You will find the first item at the latitude and longitude of all our SAT scores, divided by the election year of our finest president, Warren G. Harding.’”
“I know where the last item is,” Leonard said immediately. They piled into his 1998 Toyota Corolla and drove across town, to the playground on a hill overlooking the Presbyterian church which Stevie had been forced to attend until his mother ended her relationship with Creepy Dave, the Town Creep. Atop the play structure were a can of lighter fluid, a box of matches, a tablet computer, and a sheet of paper. They unlocked the tablet and a video of Stevie played, his ginger unibrow and symmetrical acne just as it had been in their teens, as if it had never been shaved nor popped.
“Salutations, peers. Whilst you have been on your journey, you have been changed. Each item in this scavenger hunt has shown you the true self beneath the outer layer of crust and jizz which has grown on your souls. On that sheet of paper is my final will and testament, which you shall execute. Even now, as Charon paddles his flaming boat across a river of blood, know that I have been, and always shall be, your friend.”
The clip ended, and a forty minute rebuttal of a Feminist Frequency video played automatically.
“Huh,” Mark said, “How’d you know it’d be here?”
“Oh, this is where we watched each other jerk off for the first time,” Leonard said, “You know, Summer of ’96.”
“Wh-what…” Sam began, “How would that… why?”
“It was research. For my novel.”
“You were fourteen,” Maggie said.
“I ALWAYS KNEW I WANTED TO BE A WRITER!”
“Okay, all that notwithstanding,” Mark said, “Should we go back and do the hunt? Cause I actually feel pretty good about my life. I just leased a jetski.”
“Yeah,” Sam said, “I’m like, really rich, and it’s made me very happy.”
“I married a rich guy,” Maggie said, “Now I just sleep until noon and eat pills until he fucks me at night. It’s pretty sweet.”
“I’m getting published,” Leonard said, “It’s an initial print run of twenty thousand copies, and I only had to pay the publisher eight thousand dollars.”
“Well, I guess we should at least execute his will,” Mark said, “What’s on the paper?”
In the church, Pastor Mark opened the bathroom door and sidled up to the urinal. He made the rare call of pulling his penis out through the hole in his underwear, putting him in the top one percent of urinators. He looked out a window, and the shape exploded to life before him. Burning in the hillside facing the church was a giant middle finger, a single word scrawled in flames beneath. Owned, spelled with a p.
“Fuckin’ Stevie,” Pastor Mark swore, fumbling with his dick, “Fuckin’ nerds!”
This episode features live audio from our inaugural Scene Missing San Francisco show: “The Films of Jeff Goldblum!”
Join hosts Casey Childers and Lauren Traetto as they showcase six of the Bay’s greatest writers and comedians performing essays and stand-up inspired by Jeff “life, uh, finds a way” Goldblum!
Featuring performances by Alani Foxall, Sarah Griffin, Tim Toaster Henderson, Ivan Hernandez, Nate Waggoner, and Scott Simpson!
NOTE: Scott Simpson’s performance included a multimedia component, click here to download a PDF of his presentation and follow along.
Weds Apr 16th
Cynic Cave presents High Dudgeon, a mid-week movie riffing show (in the vein of MST3K and our other Friday riffing show Fresh Like Cadaver)! The comedians get to pick the movie, this month it’s the Nicholas Cage oddityVampire’s Kiss!
On deck this month:
Natasha Muse (Sketchfest, Femikaze, Bridgetown Comedy Festival)
your hosts Andre Parker and George Chen
$10 8 PM 21+
Post with 5 notes
Here’s a piece I wrote for Scene Missing: The Films of Jeff Goldblum. It was a great show and you should attend it in the future. Also, tumblr will not preserve the formatting on things pasted from Word and it drives me goddamn insane. That is all.
UPON A SEAT OF GOLD
Jeff Goldblum turned the final page of the script and lowered it to the mahogany desk of his personal study. Mr. Frost was a plodding, existentialist psychological thriller written by a Frenchman, made apparent by how many scenes of American lunchtimes featured a wheel of brie and glass of cabernet. He’d play a man claiming to be Satan, a role that’d showcase two of his three favorite qualities as a performer: brooding intensity and shirtlessness. He’d figure out a way to hit the trifecta and throw in jazz piano.
But how to play the devil himself? Before The Fly, he spent two weeks sleeping in Geena Davis’s garbage. It would’ve been three weeks, but he was hospitalized after sitting on a pile of arrowheads. He tried not to think too much about the things he did training for his film debut in Death Wish, but he loved thinking about his film debut in Death Wish. For Transylvania 6-5000, he fucked a Dracula. Or an old Romanian woman, it was a pretty wild weekend in Bucharest. As if there’s any other kind.
But Satan? Old Scratch? Jimmy Goatlegs? Then, it came to him. He’d rend the fabric between dimensions and travel to hell itself, to sojourn across its desolate plains as if a swarthy, Judaic Dante, and take the throne of the fallen angel for his own. It was the only way that made sense.
And in a flash of light, Jeff Goldblum found himself in a great chamber, and before him stood Jeff Goldblum, and Jeff Goldblum, and a hundred Jeff Goldblums, different in ways subtle and large. Goldblum Prime looked upon his kin and knew them as his own, for common throughout were the rampant verbal tics and magnificent ethnic hair, which none could mistake for any of the other great wizened creeps of cinema.
“Hey, uh, buddy, uh,” said the roboticized Jeff Goldblum of 2099, the first post-singularity Goldblum, “Welcome to the, ah, Interdimensional Council of Goldblums.”
“So, uh, you might be wondering, ah, ah, ah,” stuttered the Jeff Goldblum of a dimension where reptiles were the dominant form of sentient life. Coincidentally, he shared with Goldblum Prime the same penchant for sunning naked on a large, warm rock.
“Why you’re, ah, here,” continued the melon-headed Goldblum of a planet where humans developed psychic abilities and used them to complete others’ sentences, “Well, you see, in your preparation for the role of Mr. Frost, you use the power of eldritch dark magicks, with a k, to become a necromancer and puncture a wound in the spacetime continuum to become the most feared evil existence has ever known.”
A video screen displayed the grim record of the final battle between the Council and this Necroblum. The desiccated corpse cackled as he struck down hero after hero, and Goldblum Prime had to admit that he looked like he was having more fun as a multiversal death god than he ever did on the set of Earth Girls Are Easy.
“Truthfully, ah, I told everyone we should just decapitate you,” said Black Bluma, a reverse gender warrior princess in a chainmail bikini from a world where sword and sandal ruled the day. Goldblum Prime raised a classic seductive eyebrow at his counterpart, who raised a similar eyebrow back, and he hoped to have free time later to achieve his long unsated fantasy of having sex with the only person who could truly understand his needs: himself.
“So, ah, what we’re going to do,” said a Goldblum whose fish head only enhanced the poutiness of his lips, “Is send you to hell with the sum knowledge of your timeline, and when you’re done, we’ll wipe your mind of everything but your accumulated experience, and, ah, send you back home. No need to thank us.”
The psychic Goldblum pushed his hand to Prime’s forehead and he became enlightened to all the collected works of his future self, from the sweaty chaos theoretician of Jurassic Park, to the lifeless cardboard figure in an obsessive-compulsive child’s diorama of Grand Budapest Hotel. Black Bluma pushed him into a telepod and the Council waved its goodbyes and good riddances as he dematerialized, glad to have neutered this threat so they could continue the true nature of their collaboration: omniversal mastery of jazz piano.
He appeared atop the craggy peak of hell’s highest mountain, the Widow’s Teat, and from there surveyed the black kingdom. Lakes of fire, moans of the damned, visions to make Hieronymous Bosch pluck the eyeballs from his dumb, Netherlandish head. And above it all, the lone, rancid tower where sat Satan and the throne which Goldblum so coveted.
“Definite fixer-upper,” Goldblum muttered. He slid down the mountainside and tumbled to a stop at the mouth of a great cave. A creature emerged, all non-euclidean angles and pulsating masses, as if a great tumor of viscera.
“The Goldblum has come, for hell’s crown he wants some,” it rhymed, “You must defeat the three dukes of the pit, and I am the first one who is it!”
“Hrm, a rhyming demon, rhyming rhyming rhyming demon,” Goldblum said, “Well, how about this: a game of riddles? You like games? You like games, I can tell that about you.”
The demon wheezed triumphantly.
“You challenge I, Mardak, to a duel? In no time your bones shall be ground for fu-el!”
“That one was a stretch.”
“Look, I have to write these off the dome, cut me some slack, something something something Rome, I’m having a panic attack.”
“Fair enough! Hit me, let’s do this.”
The creature rubbed at what could charitably be considered its chin.
“When is a man, not a man, yet all that and more?”
Goldblum pondered a moment, but only to make the creature not feel too bad about losing.
“Why it’s, ah, when he’s a manticore.”
“Shit! What gave it away, would you say? Was it the rhyming, or the timing?”
“Pretty much both, now, how about this one: when is a man equal, yet without peer, though he may be surrounded by many?”
“If I would say any, it’s when his head is on the penny?”
“No, ah, it’s when he’s receiving Equity payments for making his Broadway debut in a performance of Two Gentlemen of Verona that the New York Times described as, peerless.”
The demon melted into a pool of guts and blood that was fit to make a Fangoria reader reach for his mom’s camera. Goldblum continued on, towards the tower of his goal. As he crossed a bridge of fused spinal columns, a massive, horrific spider shimmied from under. Above the hundreds of eyes and slavering jaws sat a female torso, as if the masthead of a real fucked up ship.
“Goldblum!” the creature roared, “The duchess Arachnica has come to end your foolish quest!” Staring at this hideous she-beast who demanded his death reminded him of an experience during his training for Law & Order: Criminal Intent, when Dona Maria, the sexy yet dangerous head of an international drug cartel, threatened to push him out of an airplane. He knew what to do then, and he knew what to do now.
“Arachnica, baby, ah, why do we have to fight?” he said, slowly unbuttoning his shirt to expose the rippling muscles that were responsible for over three point eight billion dollars gross at the worldwide box office.
It was only minutes later that Jeff Goldblum found himself in the loving embrace of a giant hell spider. Having found a reasonably corresponding hole, he brought this ghastly she-thing to orgasm, causing the creature to explode in a shower of limbs and ichor which, on the list of positive reactions from the lovers of Jeff Goldblum, still only ranked fourth.
He resumed his path, and reached the tower which he’d sought. Word had traveled about the abyssal plain of the prophesied contender for the throne, and a throng of demons and ghouls and the damned followed the traveler from a distance, wary of his awesome wrath. The doors swung open of their own accord and he walked the steps for what seemed like millennia, never tiring, always resolute. Finally, he reached the great chamber, where the devil himself sat upon a throne of angel’s skulls.
“Satan!” he yelled, “I challenge thee for the throne of, ah, hell, in the name of the most holy of causes: acting!”
It stood a towering, burly giant of red, a horned bulldog’s face atop a physique of muscles which no human body contained, hooves burning red scars where they stepped.
“Then challenge me, human lickspittle! Take the scroll of challenges, and if you may think of any which has not been put before the great deceiver, then we may enter the game of your doom!”
The devil flung a scroll at Goldblum. He skimmed it, and tossed it aside.
“Well, I know you’re a fan of the fiddle, big red, but how about, ah, some, ah, jazz piano?”
And they dueled, piano to piano, like that Elton John and Billy Joel tour except slightly more homoerotic. Though Satan tickled a mean ivory, all the collected spectators agreed that Goldblum’s tunes were the only light the pit had seen since its creation. Disgraced, the devil abdicated his throne and our hero sat atop that which he had sought. And for eons, hell became a place of redemption, truly where the damned could one day pay for their sins. But he was needed elsewhere, and one day, Jeff Goldblum returned to our plain, where he filmed Mr. Frost with the weight of his experiences at his back. The movie wasn’t very good. Yet although hell returned to its cruel nature, as all things must, the throne stayed empty. On its seat, grew a black flower, wreathed in light. And below it, an inscription in the red rock, “For even in hell, a rose may Goldblum.”
Page 1 of 15