Easy Money

Rain ran down the window like water in a car wash. I was sitting at my desk in the gloom, working my way through a deck of Luckies when my brother walked in.

He gave me the phony grin.

“I’ve got a job for you,” he said.

“In a pig’s eye.”

My brother is family. He’s blood of my blood. He’s a good-looking guy with a cesspool for a brain. I promised our mother I’d look after him. I promised her I’d straighten him out. I lied.

“Beat it,” I said.

I sucked on my cigarette, drawing the burning tip down to my fingers with a hiss. The smoke torched my throat on its way into my lungs.

“You need a payday,” my brother said. “I’ve got one for you.”

“Whatever you’ve got, I’d rather not catch. Scram.”

“There’s a rich guy over in Greencrest thinks his wife is cheating. He’ll pay good for proof. Trail her around, take some pictures. Collect your money.”

He dropped a scrap of paper on my desk.

“The guy’s mansion,” he said. “Stake it out. You can’t miss the wife. She’s the real thing.”

“I’ll let you know,” I said. “Now get lost.”

He knew I’d do it, because of my promise to Ma. And because I was dead broke.

I sat and waited for the hate to die down. Then I got tired of waiting. I pulled on my trench coat, slapped on my hat, and left the office.

I staked out the mansion and followed the dame into the city. She met a guy in the lobby of the Stratford and they rode together up to the twenty-fifth floor. She had a body that was built to keep a guy busy long after she was ready to take a shower. She had the face of an angel, probably fallen.

Five hundred to the house dick got me their door unlocked. I stepped in and took snaps of the action. They weren’t missionaries, that’s for sure.

I called my brother and told him I was ready to present my bill. He told me to wait an hour, which I spent drinking.

An evil-looking yellow moon hung behind ragged clouds in the east. The temperature had dropped and my cigarette was the only warm thing in the car. At the cuckold’s gate, I spoke into the squawk box.

“I’m here about the missus,” I said.

The gate swung open.

I drove up to the mansion through thick pines. The front door stood ajar.

I stepped inside. A light was on in a room to the right. I went in, doffing my hat. An old bird with white hair stood behind a large mahogany desk at the far end of the room.

“You’re here about my wife?” he said. His voice quavered.

“That’s right,” I said.

“You expect money?”

“You said it.”

He produced a gun and pointed it in my general direction. Looked like a .25.

“What’s that for?” I said.

“To kill you with,” the geezer said, coming around the desk. “You think I’ll just pay you to go away?”

“Hold on, partner,” I said. He was going to kill me if he could hold the gun still.

Reluctantly, I pulled my .38 and shot him through his wrinkled old heart. No fee for me. I put my gun away.

The blond slid into the room. She glanced at me and then crossed to the corpse and picked up the .25. She stepped over the body and centered the gun on my face.

She read my expression.

“I needed my husband dead,” she said. “Thanks.”

I wouldn’t be shooting this babe in that big chest of hers.

My brother joined us, grinning.

“Nice, huh?” he said. “She inherits and you get the blame for the shootout with Pops here. He thought you were the lover coming over for a payoff. You shoot each other.”

“The guy in the hotel room?”

“Some yegg we hired.” His grin became a smirk.

“You think she’ll let you live?” I said.

The smirk held.

“She loves me,” he said.

I smiled, imaging the look on his face when he arrived in Hell right behind me.

Coming This September: The Antichrist

Mark your calendar. This September 15th, the Worldwide Christian Family Missions Network presents “Antichrist: The Reality Show.”

Six contestants will compete over six weeks and complete six projects. They’ll use every underhanded, dastardly, sneaky trick in the book (not the Good Book, of course) to succeed.

We all know that the world is going to hell, that the Apocalypse is due with Armageddon right behind it. The Rapture might be complete by this fall and some of us are going to be left behind. We’ll need our TV programs more than ever then.  Good news. The Antichrist will be in the house!

We’ve lined up six Antichrist candidates. It wasn’t hard. They’re all over the place. Google “Antichrist.” Recognize any of the images?

Our contestants aren’t crazy, except like a fox. They’re smooth. Slick. They’ve fallen but they can get up; they just don’t want to.

The winner’s prize: a superchurch built to his or her specs. (Yes, the Antichrist might look like a woman. Except for those cloven hooves!). When we announced this prize, it brought many true devotees of The Horned One out of their holes to audition.

First week: The Flock.  All six candidate Antichrists are sent out to gather their flocks of believers. There should be plenty of babes and hunks in each flock. There should be some rich folks in each flock. Actually, it would be best if everybody in the flocks were rich. Let’s avoid the 99%. They’re you.

Flock members must be demonstrably in their master’s thrall. Yet they shouldn’t be nuts. It’s a fine line.

Every week,  one Antichrist will be voted off the show by a jury of Catholic and Protestant clergy, Evangelical ministers, and members of churches you’ve never heard of. Everyone on the jury will have been accused, at least once, of crimes the Antichrist would be proud of.

Second Week: Money. The six flocks head out to spend the week gathering money. The personal wealth of flock members does not count. We assume that the Antichrist will have already taken control of all such assets on his own, during the enthrallment process. The flocks can steal money, grift it, embezzle it, print it, employ blackmail, pocket-picking, heists, strong-arm extortion, loan sharking and other forms of usury, protection rackets, bookmaking, you name it, just rake in the lucre. Pile up the scratch. Of course, each Antichrist is apt to fall back on his or her special talents and experience here.

Low flock is voted off. The producers will take charge of that pile of loot.

Third Week: Sex. Each Antichrist will spend Week 3 involving his or her flock in a series of bizarre, acrobatic, and crowd-pleasing sexual shenanigans beyond anything you’re likely to dream up in anticipation. Points for activities that Jesus wouldn’t do, crimes against nature, and behavior that causes you to say “Now that’s just going too far!”

Group sensitivity sessions should be interjected, so that flock members can relive what they’ve done, over and over again, to their delight or everlasting shame, depending upon that cup half empty/cup half full thing. Points deducted for police raids, disease, and defections from the flock of those who unaccountably come to their senses.

A third would-be Antichrist and his or her flock are dismissed this week. The producers will snag those among his or her followers who made them the most horny as they previewed the show. Deleted scenes will be sold to a porno company secretly connected to the network.

Fourth Week: Good Works. Hey, Antichrists. What can you do for the show’s producers? Last week’s good ratings, earned by your hour of wall-to-wall sex, aren’t going to count for anything this week. In fact, forget ratings. The time has come to step up and make us happy on a personal level.

What will it take? A cut of the money pie? Yard work and house cleaning for our wives? Or should you Antichrists turn your skills and the skills of your flock to the seduction of us producers ourselves? Whatever it is, it better be good.

Fourth contestant and flock are voted off. If the producers are insufficiently satisfied with this Antichrist’s offering this week – if the producers are plain pissed off by it – he or she will be consigned to the pit where the wolves are kept. To be filmed, of course.

Fifth Week: Politics. With all the fun out of the way, the show takes a serious turn in Week 5. The Antichrists must achieve dominion over the peoples of the world. The two remaining contestants have one week to do that.  How far can they go? How successful can they be? Control over Staten Island? Enslavement of the Teamsters? Dictatorship of the Mexican cartels?  Now is the time for our Evil Ones to really show us what they’ve got.

Sixth Week: The Final Battle. In Week Six, the surviving Antichrist takes on Jesus Christ Himself. Christ is not going to just show up and flash his SAG card. Instead, we’ll put out a casting call and a bunch of nondescript guys will audition. He’ll come like a thief in the night. We’ll pick Him because that’s how religion works.

The final battle will take place in our special iron-cage Pentagon. Both parties will be armed. Only one will walk away, but don’t worry about injuries. These are supernatural entities, or ought to be.

You might figure that Christ is bound to win. It’s in the Bible. However, the Lord moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. Jesus might have to wait for the sequel.

The Mathematics of Future Paradox

“Can we watch Michelangelo work today?” my wife said, at the breakfast table.

“I have to go into the future today,” I said.

“The future? You said that you would never go into the future. You said going into the future is like a man opening his girlfriend’s mail. Ignorance is bliss, you said.”

“I’m only going ten minutes forward, max. To test and prove my theories.”

“Your equipment works,” my wife said. “Isn’t that proof enough?”

“We now know that we can observe the past. We can’t interact with it. We can’t change it. We can only watch it, like a movie. My calculations tell me that the same is true for the future, but I haven’t tested that yet.”

“The universe does not permit paradox, you always say.”

“My calculations prove this. Yet I must test the theory.”

“Will it be dangerous?”

“I don’t think so, but…”

“I want to be there.”

“This won’t be like our travels into the past. Nothing exciting will happen.”

“Nevertheless, I want to be there.”

I nodded.

“OK,” I said.

After breakfast, we cleaned up and dressed. Angela followed my out to my lab behind the house. The day was clear and warm.

In the lab, we sat down side-by-side, facing the counter that held my setup. I ran through my startup procedures and calibrated the central nexus. We put on our helmets.

I switched on the apparatus.

“I don’t see any change,” Angela said.

I moved the mouse and as we sat, we seemed to float backwards, so that we were watching ourselves from behind.

“I’m fast-forwarding,” I said. “Ten minutes into the future should take us only two.”

We sat quietly for two minutes. In front of us, we sat quietly for ten minutes.

I watched the timer and clicked the apparatus off after one hundred and twenty seconds.

“Now what?” Angela said.

“You saw us. For the next eight minutes, we sit here.”

“So?”

“Neither of us stands up during that time. We can test this. Do you understand?”

“Not exactly,” Angela said.

“If we can see into the future and then act to change it, we can create a paradox, just as we could if we could change the past. We know we can’t change the past. We can only observe it, observe the universe’s stored hologram of spacetime. Now, however, we’ve observed future events in that same hologram. Suppose I stand up?”

“I don’t think you should,” Angela said. “I don’t think you will. We neither of us did. We just sat there.”

I stood up. I stepped away from the chair and looked back. I was still sitting there.

“What the…,” I said, or thought I said. No sound came out.

“Perhaps you’re right,” said the me sitting in the chair, to Angela.

“No!” I said, soundlessly.

I stepped back to the chair and reached out. I couldn’t see my arm. I looked down. I couldn’t see myself. My hand passed through the me in the chair.

“My math is clear,” said the me in the chair. “The universe does not permit paradox.”

WATCH: Man Appears To Kick Squirrel Into The Grand Canyon

(CNN)

My cameraman set up wrong. One more mistake like that and he’s gone, even if he is my dad.

He’s got one job. Document the kick. Film it clearly. If the word “appears” appears in the headline, you have failed.

What am I supposed to do? Kick a second squirrel? “Man Appears To Kick Squirrel Into The Grand Canyon And Then Definitely Kicks A Second Squirrel Into The Canyon”? Makes me look like some kind of nut.

Get with it, Dad.

But credit where credit is due. When I kicked an alligator into the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Dad got it perfectly. My blood spurting into the water from the critter’s bite on my calf: red poetry.

I punted a opossum into the Old Faithful hole and Dad caught the animal on film going into the hole and then shooting back out again when the geyser went off. That one made the front page of Animal Rights Journal.

The Grand Canyon, though… You don’t want to mess that one up. I’ve got to go back. Not with a squirrel. I’m thinking a giraffe.

Then I’ll be ready for my magnum opus: a Cub Scout Pack, into Niagara Falls.

Sheriff: Victim’s Head Still Missing

(CNN)

We found a foot first. I think it was a right foot. I remember we found the foot and then found another right foot later and the coroner insisted that the second foot did not belong to the same body as the first foot. I remember I asked him if some individuals might not have two right feet or two left feet and he told me that no, they wouldn’t. I didn’t want to let it go even when he pointed out that the second right foot was from a female, whereas the first one was from a male. Don’t they say guys all have a little female in them, which explains why when you’re in the shower, you can’t help checking out another guy’s equipment?

Then we found a left foot that the corner said, due to its DNA, matched up with the first right foot. He also told me when I asked, that an individual with two male feet and one female foot would defy the laws of nature and would be ungodly. As a good Christian, I let the extra foot go at that point. We filed it away as Unidentified Body #2, Part #1.

Next we found the male individual’s coccyx. It wasn’t what it sounds like. At this point the coroner told me that this individual had experienced a grievous injury of some sort. You can lose both feet in a variety of ways. A train can run over them and chop them off. But then you go get some artificial feet and some crutches and life goes on. But if you lose your coccyx, it’s not like getting your boxer’s tail docked. You will be in a world of hurt. Hemorrhoids don’t compare.

This is the point at which we put that running checklist into the evening paper. This is the point at which Betty’s Doughnuts started offering $5 worth of crullers for each new body part found. And when the head became the only part left missing and unchecked in the list, Betty upped her award to $10 worth of glazed and House of Bamboo threw in an end table.

Lester Branchette the first-grade teacher contributed an artist’s sketch of the missing head – as seen from a rear view, hair color and curl based upon the found torso’s back hair.

Everyone in the community seems to agree that this thing – this search for the body parts and so on – has brought us all a little bit closer together and taught us all a little something about what the coroner likes to call “anatomy.”

 

 

This Cheeto Looks Suspiciously Like A Masturbating Man

[Headline, Huffington Post]

This Cheeto doesn’t look anything like me when I masturbate. Should I be worried? Huffington Post male masturbators are among the premier writers and news correspondents in the world, right? If this Cheeto looks like a Huffington Post writer when he masturbates, am I doing it wrong? Am I some kind of deviant or pervert? Or is that purvert? Or purvurt? Or, if you own a cat, purrvurt?

I never compared masturbation notes with, like, my priest. How does he do it? I have no idea. Masturbating makes me want to snack. Does that tell us anything? How many individuals masturbate and snack at the same time? Is that weird or normal? If normal, does it matter whether the snack is healthy or sort of junky? What about binging?

I did see a… what would you call it… a sex tape? Three hundred different amateur, or “amateur,” women masturbating (one at a time). I think… I think they were doing it sort of like me! Except that I’m a little more liberal with the lipstick and nail polish. I need a group! Do they still do groups? I looked into self-pleasuring groups and all I found was something called a “circle jerk.” Eww!

The Huffing Post is liberal, right? Left wing? Maybe I’m just a Republican masturbator. I am right-handed. This would assume that Republican men masturbate. In a dress.

Who makes Cheetos, anyway? What the hell is wrong with them? Cheetos make your fingers totally orange, especially if you suck on them (the cheetos) and get them wet. You eat a bag or two whilst masturbating and what have you got? Soiled briefs. And a wife who wonders why your underwear is stained with the orange residue of… what?

I remember my fifth-grade teacher grabbing me by the shoulders and shouting at me, begging me, pleading with me, ordering me, commanding me to only masturbate in the nude, ever. Take off your pants and your underpants, for the love of God! she would shout. I can hear her now. What was that all about?

I spoke to Horace Pourous about his famous Cheeto collection. Added my voice to those of others urging him to place his remarkable collection in the hands of a responsible museum. During my visit, I saw the Cheeto That Suspiciously Resembles A Woman Masturbating, the Joined Cheetos That Suspiciously Resemble A Couple Having Sex (Man/Woman), the Joined Cheetos That Suspiciously Resemble A Couple Having Sex (Gay), the Joined Cheetos That Suspiciously Resemble A Couple Having Sex (Lesbos), the Joined Cheetos That Suspiciously Resemble A Couple Having Sex (Man/Sheep), as well as the Cheezit That Suspiciously Resembles A Penis, the Cheezit That Suspiciously Resembles A Dildo, the Cheezit That Suspiciously Resembles A Vulva, and the classic Cheezit That Suspiciously Resembles A Cheezit Giving Birth To A Cheeto. Like me, Horace has orange stains on his fingers and his fly.

Man Tries To Throw Wife Off Bridge, Instead Falls Himself: Police

[Headline, Huffington Post]

I wasn’t trying to throw my wife off the bridge. I was trying to strangle her. Then I was going to throw her off.

Our marriage has been troubled.

If I just threw her off, the drop wasn’t going to hurt her and I couldn’t depend on the gators to finish the job. Look at me. They only got one foot, one hand, and half a buttock.

If I had thrown Agnes off alive, I’d have her stumping around the house on one foot now, trying to cook and clean with one hand and unable to sit and rest without pain. She would have been unbearable! Not that she isn’t anyway.

I explained all this to the police. So did Agnes. They understood that the whole affair was an accident. Or a failure, from my perspective. But Huffington’s stringer down here, Audet Duplessis, covers a thousand square miles of swamp and bayou and and you can’t tell her anything. Which is why I arranged to meet her on the bridge later, to give her a blow by blow recreation of the events that had transpired.

I tried to strangle her and took my second trip down into the drink. That’s how I lost another half-buttock, my car keys, my eye glasses, and one ear.

How do you keep your new glasses on without an ear? i haven’t figured that one out yet.

And yet, here comes the next Huffington Post headline.

“Man Tries To Throw Reporter Off Bridge, Instead Falls Himself: Police”

She knew I was trying to strangle her. What else did she mean at the time when she said, “Ggggggggggggggg!”

I’ll give Audet this. She came out there with me again when I promised to behave. And then here comes the next headline.

“Man Tries To Throw Self Off Bridge, Instead Falls Himself: Police”