DOUBLE WIDEby Jim Parnell
Alternative Radio Day
As if you hadn't guessed.
Bubba listens to the radio a lot. We'll be in the same room, listening to the same show, the same music, the same ads. There'll be a break and he'll turn and say something like, "That's a pretty good deal on attey-tude jet cleaner nanos, but I'd never buy from them skunks." Or maybe it'll be, "Them boys is sellin' their customer database to the Grays for nitrous, and makin' a fast buck on other people's troubles."
All I can do is stare. Attey-tude jets? Nanos? Grays?
Then the music will come back on and he'll smile and take a big slug off his beer. For the rest of the afternoon I'll wonder what kind of world he lives in, and who all those odd people traipsing in and out of his trailer are. Then there'll be more beer, and more babble, and sooner or later (sooner if I'm lucky) I won't be in any shape to care.
But every now and then, when the afternoon sun hits the trailer windows just right, and I settle into just the right kind of hypnagogic glow, the music changes from the familiar, tightly regulated pseudo-rebellious commercial spew into something quite different. Bubba will look at me and nod, a huge grin splitting his face.
Because now I hear the real show, underneath, or behind, or ahead of the one that us regular folks hear. The unheard show Bubba listens to day in and day out...
I Wanna Be Weird -- Titanically Tangential Talk Radio! Rackin' the stacks is Zultan Zulu Kid Loma b'a Loma, the King-O-Kontraire!
I wanna be we-we-weird
I gonna be we-we-weird
I'm gwanna be, gwanna be, beyond 'em, yeah
Yessuh, step into the zone of bizarre-ity, rarity, hilarity
Walk a mile in MY shoes if ya think ya can track it!
I'd say you gotta long way to go, te amo, frer Ah-La-Mode,
Tres les calamity. Yo' mes ami!
You got ta be the shit!
I wanna be weird...
Yas, that's right folks, get those phones ready.
We gotta a live one tonight.
Nine thousand nine hundred ninety ninth caller
Gets a Trip with the Big Kahuna, El Grande Tuna
With the King O'Fonkin' Kong!
It's the Strange Contest, dontcha know!
I wanna be we-we-weird
I'm g'won in, g'won in...
Whatcha name, babe? Can ya say, do you say, will ya stay?
I wanna know whatchoo doin' on the LINE?
Say you wanna win a prize, get a rise, take a trip with the wise.
Bong the Kong, wrong the thong, slip the knot for a good time?
You gotta be STRANGE!
M'gonna be weird
YEahh, I'm wanna be we-we-weird
Gone, gonna be we-weird..
Oh, Beliza, fine a-riser, hip-gnotizer, nightly rider
You sayin' you got a 48-28-36 WHAT?
Talk it up, shake it up, on the boogie thang, soapy ring.
No way I believe it, won't retrieve it, can't conceive it
Not without a Polaroid!
You damn sure weird!
I'm gonna be weird!
Ixtakaflibigz -click!- Nogzdalip's
Slightly Used Mil-Gear!!!
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And if your 'modus operandi' takes a more Machiavellian twist, we've got poisons of a hundred different varieties, fatal or incapacitating to a thousand or more species. Undetectable, untraceable. They leave no molecular signature!
So when it comes to the underhanded trick, the dirty pool, the stacked deck, the house cut, I -click!- Mil-Gear's the place to go! Watch your wallets, folks! (Hey, I'm only kidding) We've got spies and harlots! Spies that ARE harlots! Harlots that eat spies for breakfast (but not on Sabbath!). And assassins to clean up afterward!
Say you've got a problem, Ace. A BIG problem, like, maybe you've got competition from the Old Solar System Next Door. They've been eating your lunch and your asteroid belt. They've undercut your prices at every turn, and edged you clean out of orbit!
What's a business-thing to do?!
Don't pop an airlock seal! Come on down to I -click!- Mil-Gear and grab our House Special Bucket O'Nanites! Drop these babies into LEO around the Competition's home planet and do the old Scram-O-La. Next thing you know, they're up to their armpits in seething grey mush and you're raking in the $$$! Problem solved! (Just don't spill any on your OWN home planet, pinhead!)
Special financing available, suitable credit required for unsuitable
transactions, all deals final.
P.S. We also walk Basilisks.
And now, Hackneyed-Piece Theatre's
Murder in the Park, with Swedish Meatcubes
"Gholum Dada, Gholum g'wan ya sah't," the Shaman said, and shook his fetishes at me. He loomed closer, eyes wide, until his face nearly touched mine. He shouted, "Kha'hayin na nsiste!"
"Hang on Gramps, I don't understand a word you're saying," I said. I turned to his interpreter, a young boy standing next to the teenage girl's horribly mutilated body. I raised my eyebrows.
"He say young missy have very bad luck. The hooded demon, he kill her," said the young boy. I glanced down at the chainsawed corpse at my feet and had to admit her luck sucked.
The old man screeched, "Gholum Jahlassa, kh'aka goon balla! Gholum Jahlassa! Gholum Jahlassa!" He started jumping up and down in frustration at my stupidity. The kid shrugged.
I started to ask the boy what the old darling meant, but the shaman suddenly froze like a poleaxed steer and his eyes rolled up in his head. He turned and remarked in a cultured Oxford accent, "There's always some twit that will toddle off into the woods alone, even with that creepy music playing. Filthy piece of horror writing. An absolute hack job I must say." He snickered at his own pun, then his eyes rolled back down and he resumed his prancing and fetish shaking.
I shook my head and speared the kid with my best hairy eyeball. "What the hell does he mean by that?" The kid backed up a step, trembling. He raised a hand and pointed over my shoulder. Suddenly I sensed a menacing presence behind me. Something that wasn't there a moment ago.
Creepy music began to play.
Not the creepy music! And the nameless thing behind me. And the film noir cliche closeup, every pore on my terrified face in high relief as I slowly turn. The jolt of surprise and recognition that crosses my features, as I shift subtly into present tense.
It wears a hooded orange pullover, and has a mechanical eye that glows, and it has a huge Swiss army knife where its left arm should be, and it wields a chainsaw with the right.
Enraged, I raise my fist to the heavens and shake it at the cube-shaped spacecraft filling the sky.
I shout, "You bastards! You've assimilated Kenny!"
Bubba is not a registered trademark of the corporate entity Mega Redneck Enterprises, Inc. (MRE), the wholly fictitious and somewhat legendary corporate entity that I wish I had the money to register as an S-class corporation, but the fees and taxes I would have to pay to do this would be extreme and I just ain't got the jack. All royalties and proceeds garnered herewith from the heretofore hairbrained materials vis-a-vis sick humor, scathing criticisms, bizarre flights of fancy, non-sequiturs, and acid sarcasm are the sole property and symptoms of a sick mind AKA: Jim Parnell (AKA: Bubba, AKA: Tick Boy, AKA: Hey You, AKA: Who the hell are you and what are you doing with my wife?) Send cash only to ME, ME, ME! P.O. Box 666, Signa Bellua, TX, 999666 or to my numbered Swiss account, Banke du Genieve des Hide Your Cash Here, acct #AKA2-21-2-2-1. All similarities to persons or events either real or fictitious are categorically denied, and even if you THOUGHT you could prove it I'd pull all sorts of cheesy legal tricks, like guilty and insane (self-evident, don't you think?), or too many twinkies, or not enough beers (I'm Irish AND German -- a real one-two punch), or I really need a vacation since I've been scared shitless to go on one since the last job pogrom I survived, or I'll kidnap your kids, or knock the little jockies off your lawns, or whatever it takes, so this Bud's for any litigious carpet mite Old Bailey barrister types out there: Just Piss Off, You! Oh yeah, and I have NOT lost my mind, but I think I'm in tune with the tenor (or was that baritone) of the times.
Up The Millennium!
Geez, what a hangover. Gotta quit having centuries like that. And I gotta stop drinking beer with Bubba!
Jim Parnell squashes bugs for a living -- like the ones that infest your computer. As a gesture of faith, he plans to be on full life-support in a commercial airliner booking flights and making e-trades at 23:59:59, December 31, 1999.
You can e-mail Jim Parnell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more by Jim Parnell.
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