Monday, October 24, 2011

Jury Duty

A re-upload of a story from last year.

My neighbours don’t ask me to feed their cats when they go on holiday, so why the State asked me to do Jury Duty I’ll never know. It caused me great anxiety – there was too much pressure. What if I got it wrong? What if I got it right and the defendant’s friends found out and came and whacked me and then buried my body in a pine forest? What if I found the proceeds of the trial so damn funny that I laughed at an inappropriate time and ended up on the front page of all the major papers, forever tarred as ‘that horrible juror’? What if, what if, what if? The questions spun around and around in my head as I read and re-read the court summons over and over again. Rational people don’t dwell on ‘what-ifs’ for very long – they let them slide by and get on with their lives. I don’t really do rationality; isn’t really my thing. I don’t do responsibility either, so my mind turned to ways of dodging my ‘civic duty’.

Fun fact: did you know that there are several things which preclude someone from jury duty? I certainly didn’t, but after a few moments on the internet I found several ‘get out of jail free cards’ which were all easily achievable. Prospective jurors are all interviewed before the trial to try and identify any biases that may affect the outcome of the trial. Sometimes race comes into play, and sometimes gender. If a white man kills a black man for instance, there might be racial bias among black jurors, so a racial balance in the jury has to be reached. If a woman kills her ex-husband due to jealousy over his new girlfriend, male jurors who have gone through messy divorces may be biased against her. Such a wealth of information exists on the internet about jury selection, all of it useful to me. For example, a juror who has had dealings with the defendant may be biased as well. So much room for bias! So much room for error! So many options for me to pursue! I collected as much information in the days leading up to the jury selection process as I could, and committed much of it to memory. No way was I going to be an asset to society; I had way more important stuff to do.

When the appropriate time came (is there EVER an appropriate time to go to court?) I drove into the city, head brimming with ways of skipping out of the trial. I sat in an anteroom with other prospective jurors and started planting seeds of doubt in their minds as to my suitability as a juror.

‘So, how about that clown that was killed the other month, hey? I wonder who had the last laugh? Hey? Hey?’ I said.

Stony faces all around. ‘Well that went down well,’ I muttered. The man next to me shuffled uneasily in his seat as I picked my nose and sniffed intermittently. He turned to me with a look of disdain upon his face, which I replied to with a wink and a thumbs up. He wasn’t pleased with my behaviour so I changed seats. My new neighbour was a pretty lady in her mid-twenties. I could tell she was a lady because of the way she wore her hair. Very important feature, that. ‘So, come here often?’ I asked, nudging her in the ribs and winking conspiratorially.

‘Yes. I come here all the time,’ she said with a sneer. I just stared at her, deadpan, until she got uncomfortable. She clutched her handbag nervously when I smiled at her and gave her a lightning-quick thumbs up. She flinched. Women, hey?

I started whistling the theme from The Godfather really loudly and off-key until someone told me to shut up. ‘Don’t you think that’s a bit inappropriate, mate?’ asked one burly-looking chap.

My awkward stare didn’t work on him because he just stared back. I didn’t blink for a good two minutes – I had tears rolling down my face and everything as my eyes burned. He’d bailed out of the staring competition thirty seconds in, but I thought I’d keep going for good measure, making it clear to all present that I would be a terrible choice for a juror. I kept up my sniffing and nose picking and whistling for another five minutes or so until I was rudely interrupted by a man in a police uniform. He had a hat with ‘Bailiff’ written across it in big letters, or at least he should have, because he was the bailiff. I honestly can’t remember if he was even wearing a hat.

‘Is there a mister Sam K…?’ he started, looking around the room.

I jumped up so fast that everyone in the room flinched. ‘That’s me!’ I shouted, ‘but you can just call me “Sam”.’ My voice echoed around the stone walls so much that I gave myself tinnitus. The acoustics in old stone buildings really are fantastic.

‘No need to shout. Come with me, please,’ said the bailiff. I can’t for the life of me remember if he was wearing a hat or not. That’s really going to bug me now.

I followed him down a short hallway and through a large door into a courtroom where the jury selection panel patiently sat.

‘Good afternoon, Sam,’ said the one in the wig.

‘Hey, judge,’ I said.

‘I’m not a judge,’ he said with a frown.

I paused for dramatic effect before saying, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I just assumed you were a judge, what with you wearing that terrible wig and all.’ I winked at the stenographer and made pistol fingers at her. There was an awkward silence and the bailiff slowly shook his head at me and motioned that I should lower my hands. The not-judge looked over his half-moon glasses and said quite sternly, ‘I’m not wearing a wig, and I’m not a judge, now please sit down so we can get on with this interview.’

I flopped down heavily in the chair and crossed my hands in my lap. ‘No problem, Judge Joe Brown. I’m happy to help.’

The man just stared at me before glancing at some papers on the table in front of him. ‘I need to ask you some questions pertaining to this case in order to determine any bias you may have towards the defendant. Now, the case that you may be taking part in relates to the murder of a clown wh…’

I burst out laughing. ‘No way! This is THAT case? Oh man, that’s incredible.’

The man’s face turned red before he returned his attention to the case sheet in front of him. I wiped the tears from my eyes as he continued, ‘…which took place two months ago. I think we can ignore any question of racial or gender bias since you, the defendant and the victim are all white males.’

‘Dammit,’ I said.


‘Nothing, Judge John Deed. Please, continue.’ The stenographer stifled a snigger and glanced my way. She was totally into me, I could tell.

‘Will the record please state that mister Kellett is not taking the process seriously,’ said the man, directing his attention to the stenographer. I gave him a dirty look – no one looked at my stenographer like that, or at all. She was totally going to propose to me. I could tell.

‘Have you got anything you’d like to tell us which might bias your decision for or against the defendant?’

Since my get-out-of- jail-free cards had been used up I had to think fast. I scratched my chin and looked at the ceiling. An idea struck me. ‘Yeah, there is, actually,’ I said, staring back at the panel.

‘And that is?’
‘Well, you’ve got the wrong guy.’

‘I’m sorry, what?’

‘You’ve got the wrong guy, Judge Judy,’ I said. I winked at the stenographer again, but she didn’t wink back. Mean bitch. Another relationship down the tubes. Just what I needed.

‘And how have we got “the wrong guy?”’ the red-faced man asked.

It was time to shine. I flicked my arms like a magician and pulled out my trump card; the seven of clubs. I placed the card on the floor in front of me and said, ‘Well, what if I killed that clown?’

‘Did you?’

‘Nah, but what if I did? What if I knocked him over the head, dragged him into my van and drove him out to that forest near Wistow where I buried him in a shallow grave lined with lime?’

‘It would make you a murderer if you did that.’

‘Even if I cut off his fingertips and head and dumped them both in the ocean?’ I asked, my left eyebrow raised. I have great difficulty raising my right eyebrow.

The red-faced man took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. ‘Yes, especially if you did that. Do you have a point to this story?’

‘Yeah, I think so. Ok, new tactic, what if I killed a different clown and did all that stuff to him? Does that give me a bias that would preclude me from jury duty.’

‘Do you particularly hate clowns?’

Bingo! He’d reached the conclusion that I would’ve taken way longer to get to.

‘Yes! Oh God yes. So much. Like, you don’t even KNOW how much. They’re clowns. How can you not hate clowns, man. You, babe in the skirt by the typewriter, you hate clowns, yeah?’

The stenographer looked at me icily. ‘No. Clowns are fine.’ She didn’t really mean it; she was just saying that out of spite - it was clear our divorce had really got to her. That’s what she gets for trying to take my dog. He’s more mine than he is hers. Our fictional marriage would never be reconciled.

‘How can clowns be fine?’ I continued. ‘There’s a whole damn forest of clowns out there that’ll never be found, I hate them that much.’ I crossed my legs and winked at the bailiff. ‘I really don’t think I will be able to approach this trial from an unbiased position, is my point.’

One of the women on the panel whispered into Red-face’s ear. He nodded slowly and put his glasses back on. ‘Mister Kellett, you’re right. I think you’re entirely unsuitable for jury duty in this particular case.’

I threw head back in relief. ‘Finally.’

‘There is another matter which we need to address though. You said the forest out near Wistow is full of dead clowns. Was that a fabrication or a poorly-concealed truth?’

I had to say the right thing, lest my plan go awry. I took a deep breath and smirked. ‘Oh yeah, most definitely. That forest is just silly with clowns.’ The stenographer stifled a laugh. It was all going to be alright between us after all.

Red Face sighed heavily. ‘Please stop wasting our time, mister Kellett. You may go, I’m sure you can see yourself out. Bailiff, please send the next candidate in.’

I rose from my chair and skipped out the door and down the corridor to the waiting room where everyone greeted my arrival with nervous glances. I danced a jig past them and high-fived the guard on the way out.

Jury duty successfully beaten, I stood at the base of the courtroom steps and took a breath of fresh air, marvelling at my own magnificence. As I walked towards my van I caught sight of a lone clown walking up the street towards me. Without breaking stride I took my leather gloves out of my jacket pocket and pulled them on. I called out to the clown, ‘Hey mate, have you got a second?’

The Wistow forest was about to get a whole lot sillier.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Defining a new phrase

I have coined a new phrase:

'Arousal Faucet'

Context: 'Yeah, she's an arousal faucet -she was arousing once, but is now, for whatever reason, not arousing anymore. On and off, just like a faucet'.


Heidi Klum (maybe? I dunno, she's in good nick)
Lindsay Lohan
Britney Spears
Shannon Doherty (remember that chick from the 90s?)
Hilary Duff
Selena Gomez

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Took a couple of things down because I've submitted them for publication :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Something about Spaceships

NASA announced this week that they were looking for volunteers to fly to Mars. The only catch is that the people wouldn’t be coming back. Now, while this is an interesting concept to mull over, it’s also important to note that this isn’t the first time NASA has sent people to Mars with a one-way ticket. The first mission was sort of a success, but NASA kept it quiet because the public, they felt, wouldn’t see the results quite the same as a team of scientists would.

Not being the biggest fan of secrecy, I’ve actually managed to get hold of the journal of one of the people sent on that first trip which I will publish here today. The world needs to know the truth, but they need to learn it in journal format, just like NASA did. NASA was just silly with learning by the end of it...

August 17th, 2000

‘Stardate: 77. Location: Unknown. I think. I don’t know really. Earth? Yeah, that. Ok, so I’ve been instructed to use this auto-journal to record everything that happens during the mission. I’m told that it’ll transmit everything I say back to Earth without me having to press a god dammed thing. They treat me like I’m incapable of operating simple machi...’

August 22nd, 2000

‘I was talking to that damn machine for 2 hours before Stevens informed me that I’d turned it off. Like I’d do that! I’m not retarded. Anyway that was a week ago, and I got distracted by the vastness of space out of my bedroom window in the meantime, so my journal updates have been less than stellar. “Stellar”, get it? Of course you do, you’re space scientists.

You know that those bastards, and by that I mean “you bastards”, gave me the smallest room? This is bullshit. I hate this place. Oh, and it’s Stardate a thousand or something and the location is “space”. Shut UP, Stevens, I DO have to say “Stardate”. This is space, you don’t have normal dates out here! Idiot. Ok, so officially the takeoff went fine and without a hitch, but the truth of the matter is that I threw up in my space helmet when we boarded. I think my tuna sandwich was bad or something because I was feeling terrible, but the long and the short of it is that I swapped my helmet with Stevens’ when he wasn’t looking. I’m glad I’m not him.’

August 23rd, 2000

‘Stardate: 1. Yeah. “1”, nice and neat. Location: Space, still. We’ve been flying for six days now and we’ve all settled in for the trip to the moon. We all have our special jobs to do, and we’re pretty much doing them, I guess. I dunno, I’m not sure why I’m here. Am I the mission’s official chronicler? I think I might be the chronicler because the other guys won’t let me touch anything in the control room and they’ve nicknamed me ‘Spaz’. I know it’s only a fourteen day trip and all, so that makes this nearly the halfway mark, but I’ve got my eye on the medical officer. She looks lonely and in need of companionship and a listening ear, so fingers crossed! If I exit the ship with a big smile on my face next week it’s because of space-boning. Yes, it’s a word, and yes I would have done it.

August 24th, 2000

‘Stardate: Shit. Location: Fuck You. The medical officer is a dude with long hair and strong (yet feminine) hands, his name is Gary and he likes to be the Big Spoon. He must have heard my journal entry yesterday and got all flattered. Feeling him crawl into my space bunk was a terrible way to wake up. This is the worst birthday ever.’

August 31st, 2000

‘Stardate: 19. Location: Space (again). I must have caught confusion palsy because I swear we should’ve been home by now and I swear I should’ve visited to moon at least once. Did I sleep through it? I must have slept through it. I’ve been keeping to myself a lot because the rest of the crew don’t seem to like me and Gary’s unwanted advances were keeping me on edge.

You know that saying, “In space, no one can hear you scream”? Well that’s so wrong it isn’t even funny. In space, if you scream, the rest of the crew just laugh at you from behind the door they’ve so conveniently barricaded while Gary chases you around the space kitchen. I eventually lured him into the airlock and locked him in there. The rest of the crew begged me to let him out, so I did. Gary won’t be coming back and we’re now down a medical officer. If anyone is interested in the job, please contact NASA.’

November 1st, 2000.

‘Stardate: 7. Location: Cowering beneath my bed. This is seriously not funny. We’ve been on this ship for two months and I can’t see the moon or earth or ANYTHING. When I asked the crew when we were going home they just gave each other weird looks and kept silent. Why are they keeping silent, Houston? Have I been kept out of the loop? Have I been kept in the dark on purpose? Is there something I don’t know? I’ve got my mission briefing here in front of me and it clearly says “14” next to “Mission Duration”. Please reply because the crew are pointing and laughing at me again and I don’t know why.

November 1st, 2000

‘”Broken Photocopier”. I see. So that’s why my Mission Briefing says ’14 days’ when it should read ‘Forever’? That’s... a strange photocopying error. I need some time to process this because it seems I’m not going home. Ever. Has the meaning of ‘Forever’ changed since we left Earth? I can’t imagine it would have, but if it has, I’d like to know. I’m going to go for a walk.’

November 4th, 2000

‘Stardate: Does it matter? Location: Guess. I have resigned myself to the fact that neither I nor the crew will ever see Earth again. Gary certainly won’t, ha Ha HA HA HA. Ahem, excuse me. Yes, I said ‘Ahem’ instead of clearing my throat. It’s been a difficult few days. The crew dealt with the harsh news well considering that I was the only one who didn’t know what was going on. They only laughed for a little while. I hate this place. Also, we’re going to Mars? What the hell? Since when is “The Moon” “Mars”? The captain tells me, ‘Since never, you must have heard it wrong’, but I have trouble believing a captain who doesn’t even own a captain’s hat. I think something has happened to the real captain and I’m going to investigate. It’s not as if I have anything else to do.

November 7th, 2000

‘Captain’s Log. Stardate: 91. Location: Space. I have fashioned a hat out of the ship’s instruction manual, and a parrot out of the glove of Stevens’ spacesuit. He will not be needing it any longer. The crew were apprehensive at the leadership change at first, but they came around once they realised that I held the controls to the airlock. Everything is shipshape and our course is steady. I have not located the captain’s wheel yet, but I shall. In the absence of a wheel I will construct one out of the remains of Stevens’ spacesuit. I may have to remove parts of Stevens first.

November 12th, 2000

‘Captain’s Log. Stardate: 117. Location: Wheelhouse. I can’t believe this ship didn’t have a wheelhouse. I instructed the crew to install one on the outside of the ship, using parts of our proposed Mars base for parts. Can you believe that? NASA was sending us to Mars to set up a base which we’d never return from. You know what they should’ve packed instead of all this computerised shit? Eighteen coffin-shaped boxes for us to lie in upon landing, because that’s what this mission is – an expensive, drawn-out funeral. The ship is an eight billion dollar hearse and Mars is one giant graveyard. You know what would’ve been cheaper? It would’ve been cheaper to pack each of us into actual coffins and fire us into the sun. Hell, they could’ve given us all badly-photocopied contracts to sign so we’d stay in the dark and then send us off on a mystery mission and get us to work it out for oursel... Oh wow. Well played, NASA, well played indeed. You meant for this to happen didn’t you? It was all a test. It was all a leadership test! You intended for one of us to realise what was going on and direct the mission as we saw fit. Thank you so much for choosing me. I will set everything in motion and get back to you. It’s so clear now.

November 13th, 2000

‘I started a fire on the ship, just like you wanted, and I stacked all the plastic cups in the kitchen in one big pile. They didn’t fall over because I might have invented gravity. I don’t know how, but it works. Haven’t heard from the rest of the crew.’

November 14th, 2000

‘Found crew hiding in the escape pod. They must have found the rest of Stevens. He made a fine marionette. Hilarious.

November 23rd, 2000

‘Captain’s Log. Stardate: 100% fine. Location: It’s a secret but I’ll give you a hint: We’re somewhere in space! I have briefed the remaining crew on the rest of our mission and I’ve told them that I’m turning the ship around and going home because I don’t like it here and my parrot doesn’t either. They took the announcement without argument, which is good, because I can’t work out how to make more space in the airlock without emptying it, and I don’t want to empty it because that would mean losing everyone in there to the coldness of space. This would be a tragedy for not only the mission but for my own personal project: I want a throne of skulls.

Everything is fine. Also we’re not going home, I was lying.

December 1st, 2000

‘Have any of you back on Earth got ANY idea how hard it is to pack 15 people into 15 makeshift coffins against their will? “Nearly impossible” is how hard it is. That’s why I’m now sitting atop a throne of skulls as I sail towards the incandescence of my future. Also, I’m flying into the sun, surrounded by 15 makeshift coffins filled with makeshift corpses. I hope I’ve made you proud, NASA, and I hope this trip has been as useful for you as you planned. If there’s one thing you guys back home can take away from the expedition it’s this: Don’t use prisoners to settle a new planet.

You’ll next hear from me when I’ve landed on the sun. I’m glad I packed shorts.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Just in case

He had been happily married for 50 years to a woman he dearly loved. The connection was evident because every now and then, when in company, he would lean close to her and whisper something in her ear. She would give him a Look, then crack up laughing, and he’d have a grin from ear to ear and his whole body would shake from silent giggling. The rest of the family would look over and ask, ‘What are you two laughing at?’ to which they would respond, ‘Oh… nothing,’ before breaking off into peals of laughter again.

Like with most things, there was a side to him which most people were unaware of, and it only came to light through the trauma of someone else, as happens with most things of this nature. See, the old man’s grandson had broken up with his girlfriend and was beside himself with grief. She wasn’t his sun or his moon, but her absence was making it difficult for him to get out of bed in the morning.

On a day when the grandson’s grief was particularly pronounced his grandparents visited. While the grandmother and the rest of the family sat in the lounge talking about the weather, the grandfather walked down the hallway to the broken-hearted grandson’s room, knocked on the door and requested entry. The grandson gave his permission and the grandfather entered, ignored all pretence of small-talk, and said, ‘I’d like to tell you a story which you might be interested in.’ Contrary to the grandson’s expectation, the story was not a weak, poorly-constructed but well-told joke. Rather, it was something from the corner of the old man’s memory which the rest of the family had no idea existed.

Over 50 years previously, the grandfather had been in love with a young woman who was not the woman he was married to 50 years later. The young couple had been together for long enough to decide that marriage was the best thing they could possibly do. He was head over heels, and she simply adored him. Finally, someone loved him for who he was, and didn’t loathe his existence like his domineering mother did. On the day of the wedding, the young man, dressed in his best, waited at the altar for his bride-to-be.

He waited.

And he waited.

And she didn’t show.

Nearly heartbroken, and most definitely embarrassed, he went searching for her and eventually found her at home in the company of her family. The family quietly filed out of the room as the bride-to-be, in her wedding gown, told the man she said she would marry that she didn’t love him anymore. He asked why, but she couldn’t give him an answer. He left, and cried himself to sleep for weeks. How could he recover from the ultimate kick to the guts? Most people don’t, but he did when he met a woman who far exceeded the positive attributes of the woman who came before. It was a tentative relationship at first, but it grew and blossomed, and after the due courting period, they married. They bought a house together, they had two children together, and they told each other filthy jokes, even in their seventies.

When he finished telling his story, the old man turned to his grandson and said, ‘Does that help at all, mate?’

‘Yeah, that… that really does. I had no idea,’ the grandson replied.

The old man smiled one of those genuine caring smiles which you don’t see all that often and said, ‘Not many people do. Anyway, I better get back to everyone. Hope you feel better soon, mate.’

The grandfather gingerly got to his feet and slowly walked out of the room, but he left the door open. You know, just in case the grandson felt like following him.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Health Tonic

I like huffing permanent markers about as much as Chris Brown loves boxing, so it really came as no surprise to me when my doctor told me that I was suffering massive kidney damage due to my awesome and totally safe pastime. He told me that I needed a kidney transplant or else I would die. I told him that he should mind his own business and that he wasn’t my real dad and that I didn’t have to listen to him. Before I stole all the whiteout from his desk he asked if I had any relatives that could be tested to see if they were suitable kidney donors. I drank all of the whiteout down like an absolute champion and answered that, yes, I did in fact have relatives and that I would begin the task of tracking them down right away. I stole a pad of Post-It notes as well before running out the door. To find my family I would need to find a library.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a library in a big city? Holy crap is it difficult. If you ask every person you run into, and I run into a LOT of people all the damn time, they just tell you to get off them and that they don’t have any change. Sure, I don’t shave all that often, and washing is something that happens to other people, but the point still stands that people shouldn’t be so rude. Someone eventually gave me directions after I bailed them up outside a Starbucks. I’ve found that that works really well – if you can get to someone before they get their morning caffeine hit, then they’ll do pretty much anything to satiate their cravings for coffee. I mean it, too. Some people will do anything for coffee. Anything. The caffeine-addict gave me directions between the sobs which I was struggling to stifle with my jacket, before escaping down the street, screaming for help. I set off at a brisk pace in the direction of the library and asked everyone on the way there if they were related to me. They all answered somewhere along the lines of, ‘I sure as shit hope not!’ because the world hates me. When I got to the library I walked straight up to the front of the Disabled Persons line and demanded to know where my family was. Using the Disabled lines at government buildings, or disabled toilets and car parks everywhere else, is a great way to get stuff done quickly and conveniently; disabled people are also terrible at fighting back. The woman at the counter, obviously impressed by my confidence, told me that the genealogy section was at the back of the library and that security would be along shortly to help me out. She was a nice lady and she totally wanted me. She had this look in her eye which said that she was into bad boys, so I knocked over a blind man to show her how bad I was. When I asked her for her number she reached into her bag and pulled out a can of pepper spray by mistake and threatened me with it. It’s a really weird way to give someone your details, but women try it on me all the damn time. When I’d finished eating her can of pepper spray I wandered to the back of the library in search of my family tree.

For as long as I could remember I’d had a weeping wound on my right side, and I've seen enough House to know that that was surefire way to know that I was separated at birth. I don’t look Asian, but whatever. I figured that the best way to track down my brother with the matching kidney was to use my family tree to track down my parents, and then use them to track down my brother. I’d then drug him, cut out his kidney and get a vet I knew to install it into me. It was as fool-proof, harmless and ethically-sound a plan as I could develop in the space of five seconds. I tried using the cataloguing system to find the book on family trees, but since my reading isn’t that good at the best of times, and given that I’d been drinking WhiteOut all morning, I wasn’t having any luck. I instead used the Exploring Method and started climbing the shelves, looking for the book I wanted. I swear it took three hours to find what I was looking for, but I found it eventually on the bottom shelf next to Fox in Socks. My brother’s location would in there somewhere, so I started to read out loud and at the top of my voice. It helps me concentrate. After ten minutes I was only a few pages through Are You my Mother? And I was frustrated beyond all belief. Was it too much to ask that my long lost brother whom I had never seen before would just walk into the library that very second? It turns out not because at that very second I saw my brother walking towards me from down a long corridor. I ran towards him holding the hastily-made shiv I had constructed out of a biro and lunged it at his side as we met halfway down the hallway. This is the point where I blacked out and went back in time. I don’t remember any of the trip’s details, but I know it happened because going back in time is what happens when I black out.

When I woke up I was lying in the gutter surrounded by ambulance officers, my doctor and his secretary who was very kindly pointing two cans of pepper spray at my face. She wanted to give me her number badly. My mouth tasted like blue and I asked the doctor why that was.

‘Do you remember anything at all?’ he asked.

I nodded. ‘I remember talking to you in your office, then running to the library to find a book about my brother. I found him but he must’ve knocked me out. That’s when I went back in time.’

The paramedics looked at each other. One of them shone a light in my eyes. ‘One of his pupils is dilated, but there’s no response from the other one,’ he said.

‘Oh that’s perfectly normal,’ I said, ‘that happens all the time.’

The paramedics gave each other more strange looks and said to the doctor, ‘You’d better tell him what happened.’

The doctor cleared his throat. ‘This morning you came into my office because you were complaining of abdominal pains. I told you that it was because you were suffering from massive kidney damage from huffing textas and paint thinner. You then shouted at me, drank all of my WhiteOut and proceeded to threaten all of the patients in the waiting room with hot coffee. From there you ran into the filing room, ate a can of my secretary’s pepper spray, climbed the filing cabinet and fell off onto a chair, tearing a fairly nasty gash in your side. You then yelled something about wanting to kill your brother and attacked a mirror with a ballpoint pen before bursting into tears and collapsing in the corner.’

‘Ah,’ I said. ‘So does this mean I’m cured?’

‘No,’ said the doctor. ‘It means your kidney damage is a lot worse because WhiteOut is not a health tonic.’

‘Damn,’ I said. ‘I could’ve sworn it was.’

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Easter Bunny - Part Five (Final)

In the basement below Foo Foo, Peter sat shivering while White lit a candle. ‘For fuck’s sake,’ said White, ‘that prick just had to ruin my opium den like the sparrow ruins the corn, didn’t he?’

‘He… wait, what?’ said Peter, snapped from his paralysis.

‘Foo Foo, piece of shit that he is, just doesn’t get it,’ said White.

Peter stood up and walked over to where the old rabbit was bent over the candle. ‘What happened to your voice?’ he said.

‘Foo Foo was right. It’s all just an act I hide behind, much like the tree hides in the forest.’

‘But you still use strange metaphors?’


‘Is he right about the lab thing?’

White let out a sigh. ‘Yes. How else do you think I lived this long? They tested some weird shit on me, but I guess it wasn’t that bad in the long-run.’

‘What about the swearing?’ asked Peter. ‘I thought it messed up your Qi.’

White quietly laughed, ‘Nah, that’s a load of shit. I just told people that so I wouldn’t slip back into my normal voice. It’s all part of the illusion. It’s a shame Foo Foo doesn’t have an eye for illusions, or else he would’ve seen tonight coming.’

Peter looked up towards the ceiling when he heard crashing sounds and shotgun fire coming from overhead. ‘Are… are we underneath Foo Foo?’

‘Yes. Trapdoors and opium smoke make for an excellent escape.’

‘But why didn’t you take us far away?’ Peter stood stock-still and cupped his head in his hands. ‘Oh shit! Rabbit! Rabbit’s dead!’ he said before bursting into tears.

‘It doesn’t matter,’ said White evenly.

‘How can you say that?’ said Peter between sobs.

‘Because he didn’t have long left anyway. His alcohol abuse had murdered his liver and his sinuses and lungs were shot through from all the coke. It was better he died like this.’

‘He had his head blown off!’

‘But it was quick and merciful,’ said White. ‘Do not think that I am not saddened by his demise. I am, but I also need you to understand that it isn’t such a bad thing because it means we can end this tonight. It’s why Foo Foo is here.’


‘I lured him here tonight with a view to ending this permanently.’

‘Ohhhh no,’ said Peter, backing away, his arms stretched out in front of him. ‘Ohhh no, that’s so pretty fucked up shit. You lured us here tonight to be used as bait on purpose?’

‘Yes. I told Alice to tell Foo Foo where I was hiding, and I told Rabbit to bring you here. It is a shame Foo Foo felt it necessary to torture Alice, but sacrifices must be made.’

Peter threw up his arms and paced back and forth. ‘That’s great, that’s just fucking great. My night sucks. I get roped into being the Easter bunny, I get abused by a tortoise and I get lured to an opium den by a crackhead, only to to get murdered by a giant fluffy psycho.’

‘Would you like to hear what I have in mind or would you like to keep overreacting like a duck on an ice floe?’ said White as he moved towards a cabinet.

‘Fine. Whatever. I don’t even care anymore.’

‘What I would like to do is dust Foo Foo in the lovely heroin which I have here in this cupboard. I would like to dust him in it until he passes out, whereupon I will instil in him an urge to wipe out the tortoises,’ White said calmly.

‘Just like that? You’re going to ‘instil in him an urge to murder tortoises’ just like that?’ said Peter, his head cocked to one side.


‘You bloody love saying “yes”, don’t you?’

‘As I said earlier. Sometimes we are all “yes”.’

‘And how are you going to instil him with this urge?’ asked Peter.

‘With hypnosis,’ said White Rabbit.

‘Hypnosis is bullshit.’

‘No, homeopathy is bullshit. Hypnosis is a proven method to alter someone’s sub-conscious state. I know, I was one of the test subjects in the study.’

‘So that’s it then?’ said Peter. ‘It’s as simple as overdosing that furry fuck upstairs on heroin and brainwashing him into hating tortoises?’

White grinned a manic smile. ‘Oh yes. I’m as sure as the grass which floats in the river.’

Upstairs, Foo Foo was having a dizzying amount of fun. He had furniture to break, serving girls to assault and patrons to hurt, all in the one location.

‘I’ll ask you one more time,’ he growled at a girl. ‘Where is the big white crackhead?’

‘I don’t know! For the last time I don’t know!’

‘You don’t know how right you are,’ said Foo Foo. He grabbed the girl by the hair and threw her into one of the roof supports. She landed heavily and didn’t move. Foo Foo surveyed the carnage he had wrought on the den. Not one piece of rice paper had gone un-torn, not one piece of furniture was intact and he still had two serving girls and four opium addicts to play with before he had to find something else to do.

‘WHERE IS THE WHITE RABBIT?’ he screamed. The group huddled in the corner of the room only murmured, so Foo Foo pointed his gun at the leg of what looked like a business man and asked the question again. When the man failed to answer instantly he lost his leg in a shower of lead pellets and laughter. ‘I can only do this for so long, everyone,’ he said. ‘I’m going to run out of people to hurt soon.’

As he loaded more shells into his gun he heard the floor creak behind him and managed to turn around just in time to see an antique vase an inch away from his face approach at great speed. He fell to the floor, his nose bloodied, and he did not move. White Rabbit wasted no time in emptying his bags of heroin onto Foo Foo’s face. Peter used the time to tourniquet the newly-legless man’s thigh and tend to the injuries of the others. It was with a sense of regret that he removed his now-ruined waistcoat and used it to wipe the blood off of a serving girl’s face. She smiled at him, and all the gold buttons in the world wouldn’t be able to replicate the feeling that washed through him. White Rabbit picked Foo Foo up and propped him up against one of the roof supports. He tied his hands firmly behind his back with the remains of the velvet curtain then slapped Foo Foo hard across the face. Foo Foo hazily opened his eyes and tried to focus on White Rabbit’s face. What he saw instead was a pendulating Yin/Yang symbol dangling from a silver chain.

‘Little Bunny Foo Foo?’ asked White.

‘Yes?’ mumbled Foo Foo.

‘When you go riding through the forest, what do you bop on the head?’

Foo Foo smiled dreamily and said, ‘Worms and field mice and filthy rabbits.’

‘Would you like to bop some other things on the head as well?’


‘Then repeat after me…’

As the sun rose four hours later White Rabbit was helping Foo Foo onto his motorcycle, much to Peter Rabbit’s displeasure. White stepped back from the bike as Foo Foo checked out the pedals and switches as if he’d never seen them before.

‘This is bullshit, I don’t see why we can’t just convince him to drown himself or something,’ said Peter to White.

‘Because,’ began White, ‘he is our best shot at stopping this feud once and for all.’

‘I still think he’s getting off easy.’

‘Oh he is, just like a boat does to the land.’

Foo Foo kicked the bike into life and it growled menacingly. White walked up to him. ‘How are you today, Foo Foo?’

‘I’m fine. How are you?’

‘I’m good, thank you for asking. Tell me, do you feel like doing anything today?’

‘I really feel like cracking a few tortoises over the head to be quite honest.’ Foo Foo rubbed the back of his head. ‘Do I know you?’

‘Yes, you know us,’ said Peter, stepping forward. ‘We’re your best friends, Peter and White, remember? We all got drunk last night and crashed out here.’

‘Oh.’ Foo Foo frowned, but relaxed almost immediately. ‘Sorry, I don’t remember a thing. Must’ve been one hell of a night.’

‘It most certainly was,’ said White.

‘I really wanna smash some tortoises for some weird reason.’

‘I imagine you would,’ said Peter. ‘Those pricks put a hole in your ear last night in that bar-fight. Do you remember that?’

‘Nah, not a damn thing. Still, cracking a few of em wouldn’t do any harm. At least not to me.’ He laughed slowly and deeply. ‘I don’t know what to do if they tuck inside those damn shells of theirs though. I’ve always wondered about that.’

White smiled and pulled a large red mallet out of his robe. ‘Just keep hitting their shells until you get to the gooey centre, and then keep hitting that.’

‘Yeah. Yeah good idea!’ said Foo Foo, taking the mallet. ‘Damn, this is a nice hammer. Can I keep it?’

‘It’s yours.’

‘Thanks man!’

Foo Foo put on his helmet, and revved the bike. ‘So, I’ll see you guys around, yeah?’

‘Most definitely,’ said White. ‘As sure as a cat sees the wasp. Come and see us back here when you’ve bopped all the tortoises on the head. We’d love to hear about it. But only once you’ve bopped all of them.’

‘You’re weird, man, but I like you,’ said Foo Foo. ‘See you guys soon.’ He revved the bike and roared off down the street, large red mallet in hand.

As Foo Foo disappeared around a distant corner Peter turned to White and said, ‘Does this mean we now have our own hitman?’


Peter walked back towards the wrecked opium den, but turned before reaching the doorway.

‘It’s all going to go wrong, isn’t it?’ he said.

White turned to watch the rising sun. ‘Yes, but not for us.’

He smiled widely and his teeth shone in the new sunlight.