The hilarious and weird Kyle Mizono reads a tale of adolescent development, in “Margaret’s Change.”
The Give Me Fiction podcast begins! We start with three selections from the first show, with Anna Seregina, Scott Simpson, and your erstwhile host, Ivan Hernandez. GMF is presented by Boing Boing and produced by Will Scovill. New episodes every Monday.
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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+
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