There have been 4 of these, we bring new people in, they can come from whenever. The match starts with 2 people, someone else enters every 90 seconds. They’re eliminated when they get thrown out of the ring. The commentators are Gorilla Monsoon, Magilla Gorilla, and Che Guevara, revolutionary guerilla. 


The official theme song is by the Gorillaz.


The very first entrant to this Royal Rumble is the very first entrant into any Royal Rumble, No. 1, Bret “The Hitman” Hart.

The former WWF and WCW Champion enters the ring to fanfare appropriate for the best there is, the best there was, there best there ever will be. He takes off his iconic sunglasses and puts them on a young man’s face who absolutely loses his mind. Then The Hitman loses his mind, as a bullet tears through his skull and splatters the kid’s face with his brains. Entrant No. 2 is Marvel Comics vigilante, The Punisher.

Frank Castle is a war vet who lost his family to the mob. He went crazy and has waged a war on crime ever since. He uses high tech weaponry and fanatical resolve to kill people. He’s perched up in the rafters with a rifle and is an early favorite.

The 3rd competitor is former Harvard wrestler and astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

He planned on reading poetry before walking down the ramp, because he’s a genius, but instead proves that point by taking cover from the sniper.

No. 4 is Tom Petty,

he hides alongside Tyson and the two get high for 90 seconds while they’re pinned down by The Punisher. The audience is getting restless, but the tension’s good for business.

No. 5 is WWE Legend and personal favorite Bad News Brown.

Bad News didn’t win a whole lot of titles, but the surly judo legend was just awesome and absolutely hated everybody. Here’s a picture of him holding a possum.

He stomps to the ring fearlessly and eyeballs the rafters for Castle. “Get down here you punk ass mother fu-” a bullet shatters Bad News’ knee and he screams in agony in the middle of the ring. Frank Castle is trying to bait the other wrestlers out to help.

No. 6, John Cena runs to help the man.

The audience loses its mind as the 14 time champ sprints down the ramp without thinking of his safety. He gets to Bad News who slaps Cena in his mouth. “I didn’t ask for your help you dumbass cracker.” Cena reels and avoids a sniper shot from The Punisher. He slides under the bottom rope and and hides with Neil Degrasse Tyson and Tom Petty. He makes them put the weed away because Cena’s a narc.

The crowd counts down to No. 7. Chris Jericho’s music hits.

The Greatest of all Time stands with his arms outstretched when a bullet hits him in the head and The Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rolla slumps but doesn’t fall.

Oh My God! It’s not Jericho, it’s Microchip, The Punisher’s tech support guy and closest thing to a friend. Jericho found him and put him in his clothes and now the Punisher just murdered his only ally. The traumatized Castle snaps.

No. 8 is Darth Vader.

The Punisher’s position was given away by his gunfire, and The Dark Lord of The Sith uses The Force to pull him from the crows nest. The Punisher collapses to the mat, the other wrestlers slide into the ring. Vader picks everyone up in a Force Chokeslam. It’s pretty awesome.

No. 9 is Bad News Barrett

The 5 time WWE Intercontinental champion comes to the ring and Bad News Brown hits him in the head with a Ghettoblaster. That was the name of his move. “You want to steal my name you Mother-” Cena clotheslines Barrett over the ropes.

“Good,” says Vader, “Very Good.”

No. 10 is one of the greatest American songwriters of all time, Jim Croce

He’s got a name! He’s got a name! He charges Brown, “You want to talk about stealing a gimmick,” yells Croce. He’s talking about his song “Bad Bad Leroy Brown.” Croce proves his point with a flurry of elbows. Bad News looks like a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone. The action is interrupted by Cena grabbing Croce and giving him an Attitude Adjustment.

“YES” whispers Vader, “give no one else the push.”

No. 11 is L. Ron Hubbard.

The world’s most published author and founder of The Church of Scientology saunters to the ring. “Have you readied the pupil.” Hubbard asks Vader. “I have.” says Vader, waving his hand in the direction of Cena. Cena turns around all sad and cry faced like Luke in Empire. “Yes, Cena, join us.” “Never,” Cena cries and snot drips down his nose. L. Ron blasts the audience with Force Lightning. “I’ll never join you, my merch sales are too good.” Cena cries. Hubbard blasts everyone again. “Then we’ll find another,” says Vader angrily. Roman Reigns comes up to his side like The Brood. He hits a dumb spear on Cena that has 2 little side lightsabers coming out perpendicularly from his hips. It looks super stupid, but I guess it’s different.

No. 12 is Braun Strowman,

He comes into the ring and clotheslines the whole mess over the top rope. All of it: Reigns, Cena, The Dark Side, all of it. He knocks it all out of the ring. The crowd cheers. “You hear how much they like Reigns?” says Vince McMahon in the back.

No. 13 is another monster, Frankenstein’s.

Frankenstein’s Monster sprints to the ring with unnerving athleticism and cuts a beautiful promo that moves the audience to tears. Mainstream America’s misunderstanding of this character is criminal.

He kicks Braun Strowman in the dick and hits him with a Facebuster.

No. 14 is General Robert E. Lee

The Civil War General approaches the ring and circles it cautiously. He’s a tactician, and well known for scouting territories on his own, a move that endangered his life but endeared him to his men. He enters the ring and catches a Black Hole Slam from Neil Degrasse Tyson, who explains the physics to him.

No. 15 is Ronnie James Dio

The God of Metal makes his way to the ring and every lighter ever made goes up in the air. Tom Petty and Jim Croce jump him but Croce gets a Holy Driver and thrown out of the ring for his efforts. Tom Petty catches him off guard and hoists him up over his head in The Last Ride With Mary Jane Powerbomb. He plants the frontman of Black Sabbath, who sets up immediately a la The Undertaker and laughs maniacally. Jericho hits Petty with a Missile Dropkick

No. 16 is America’s first serial killer H.H. Holmes.

The original Triple H walks out and mists the crowd. It’s a noxious gas that makes a lot of the audience woozy. He slinks into the ring, then out again, under the rope.

No. 17 is Street Fighter II standout and sumo champion E. Honda.

The Big man comes to the ring and spams “A” across the whole match-up. He Hundred Hand slaps all 10 of the remaining combatants (1,000 Hand Slaps.) No one can counter it.

Eerie oriental flute music plays through the air as No. 18, Former WWF Champion, the 505 lbs Yokozuna comes to the ring with his manager, Mr. Fuji.

E. Honda tries to hit him with a flying headbutt, but Yokozuna snatches him in mid air and hits a Belly to Belly Suplex that rattles the arena. Dio rushes the big man but gets hit the eyes with a handful of salt from Mr. Fuji. A savat kick from Yokozuna sends Dio to the floor.

No. 19 is Lin-Manuel Miranda. The man who wrote and starred in Hamilton,

There’s a million things he hasn’t done, but winning the Rumble would be one. A perfect moment in the sun.

He comes in and tastefully crushes Jericho with an Inverted Atomic Drop, then hits a spinning uppercut on Yokozuna that would impress Ryu or Cesaro.

No. 20 is The Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka.

She could have entered the Women’s Rumble at The End of The Universe, which takes place simultaneously on many planes of existence, (In that Rumble, Elizabeth Warren chokes out Awesome Kong and dumps her on top of Samus from Metroid and Ilana Glazer from Broad City to win) but Asuka chose to fight in this one. She proves her decision by crushing Tom Petty with a Roundhouse Kick that sends him over the top rope and out of the match. The Punisher recover and jams a knife in her foot.

No. 21 is Vladimir Putin.

He comes to the ring with his Manager Donald J Trump. Trump is dressed up exactly like Sensational Sherri and he keeps blowing kisses to the crowd. Putin hits Asuka with a vicious lariat then suplexes Castle on top of her. He and Bad News Brown lock up in a Judo wrist/collar grip that the fresh Russian gets the better of.

Lin-Manuel Miranda leaps over several competitors to get to Putin and starts pummeling him. He hits him with a Neckbreaker. Trump starts chanting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

“I’m from Puerto Rico!” yells Lin-Manuel, more amused than angry. “U.S.A.! U.S.A!” Trump doubles down. Most of the crowd side with Trump. The rest of the audience throw up our hands in disbelief.

Trump pulls down the rope and Putin pushes Miranda over it.

No. 22 is RuPaul’s Drag Race’s own, RuPaul.

The Drag Queen of Right Now struts to the ring looking stunning and goes over the second rope teasingly. “Why aren’t you be in the Women’s Rumble?” says Bad News Brown. Everything he says sounds like a swear word. “Because I’m a man Baby!” yells RuPaul and headbutts him so hard he falls over the top rope.

No. 23 is The New Day, Yes it is.

All 3 members charge in with hip gyrations and trombone horns. They clean house and start hitting their tag team finishers on Robert E. Lee. Trump looks like he’s going to have a heart attack. The New Day turns their attention to Putin and Trump starts chanting U.S.A. again, but even Trump fans realize this is too much.

No. 24 is The D.B.A.

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, sitting and shoes

This Hardcore Legend and 6 time Midwest Heavyweight Champion comes to the ring with a shopping cart full of weapons: stop signs, trash cans, chairs, a bag full of tacks. He throws them in and then zeroes on Robert E. Lee. Putin tries to blindside him but D.B.A. grabs him in a Trap Cradle DDT. He throws the dictator out of The Rumble.

The D.B.A. didn’t even realize he brought No. 25 with him.

Oscar the Grouch pops out of one of the trash cans Braun Strowman was using on Frankenstein’s Monster. Oscar assists with punches and gives Strowman the upper hand, until The Grouch turns on him and gouges his eyes. Rupaul is applying a Crossface to Robert E. Lee and D.B.A. has him in a Cloverleaf. The New Day continually drop elbows on the small of his back.

No. 26 is my cat, Refafu Von Nunchuck. She’s brought to the ring by my other cat, Troll!. Their entrance is pretty much Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance, but with cats. It’s the best thing there’s ever been.

Refafu  leaps at Yokozuna’s face and rips a Glasgow Smile into the big man’s face. The she slides under the ropes and hits Trump with a Muscle Buster then gets back in the ring Rupaul is choking D.B.A. with a boot like Alicia Fox before Strowman comes up behind him knocks him out. Neil Degrasse Tyson gets risky and hits a Shooting Star Press on top of Oscar the Grouch’s trashcan, on top of H.H. Holmes. He explains it’s really a Meteorite Press. Refafu throws out E. Honda with a modified Pop-Up Powerbomb to the concrete.

The Audience is counting down for the next entrant when the lights dim and the arena begins to tremble. Everyone notices little ring vibrations in their beers. No. 27 is the Dinosaur from Jurassic Park.

The Genetic Hybrid storms the melee and and Refafu eliminates herself, jumping out of the ring and she and Troll! hightail it home. They fucking hate dinosaurs.

The Dinosaur steps over the top rope and bashes Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston with her tail, then bites Frankenstein’s Monster in half. Braun Strowman throws Oscar the Grouch at the Dino like an X-Men Fastball Special, but the Dinosaur eats it. Asuka mounts the first offense, taking advantage of her opponent’s weakness and clamping on an armbar. The Creature wails and flails, but The Empress of Tomorrow refuses to let go as the clock counts down.

No. 28, is The General Lee,

the racist car from The Dukes of Hazzard. The Old Orange bootlegger special comes down to ringside with no one behind the wheel and transforms into a robot; a racist hillbilly robot. It’s wearing robot overalls. The Robot enters the ring and yells a bunch of racial slurs.

“I believe I have suffered enough indignity in this match, and I’ll happily retire.” says the general. He wipes the blood from his mustache and starts to exit over the top rope himself. “The Fuck You Have!” says Neil Degrasse Tyson and hits him flashy knee on the way out. Meanwhile Kofi and Big E double clothesline The Robot and D.B.A. steals the tires off him. They’re integral to its balance and it falls over the top rope.

29 is The Mighty Morphing Power Rangers.

All 5 of them enter, using the same rules as The New Day. They split up and do various karate moves. The Dinosaur gets back to its feet and roars. The Power Rangers see this is out of hand and call on their Megazords. The 5 robots come together to form one mega robot. The New Day does the same thing. The 3 join together and fight with the Dinosaur and the Megazord. Normal sized competitors flee in fear until Neil Degrasse Tyson takes charge. He barks orders to the human sized wrestlers and Braun Strowman. He tells them where to go. In a miracle of teamwork and science Brawn, Yokozuna, and Asuka lift up the Dinosaur’s tail and a well placed Codebreaker sends the Dino teetering over the ropes. It clings to the ropes with one tiny arm. The Megazord goes to knock him off but the Dinosaur snaps and rips the elephant arm off the Zord.

The Dinosaur starts to get back into the ring, but The DBA sets his elbow on fire and leaps from the turnbuckle delivering Fireball Elbow Drop. The Dinosaur opens its maw and eats him like Matthew McConaughey in Reign of Fire, but the elbow drives the Dinosaur outside.

The ring is chaos, body parts are everywhere, the giant robot reels about spilling oil on top of the blood. The New Day revert to their human form, Asuka eliminates Big E.

Braun Strowman, high off of the endorphins from finally getting to fight a dinosaur goes on his 5th or 6th rampage of the night. He powerbombs Yokozuna outside of the ring and it destroys the floor. The lower level of the stadium collapses and the entirety of the arena falls into a dark like a video game screen shift. Now the match is in The Murder House of H.H. Holmes.

The serial killer steeples his fingers together and laughs before running down a hallway. 

The House picks off Kimberly and Jason as they explore it. Asuka throws Trini into a fireplace.

The final entrant, No. 30, is children’s television pioneer and former host of RAW, Pee-Wee Herman.

“Ha Ha,” blurts the man child as he dances to the match and jumps into the pit. The remaining wrestlers split up and fight around the house. HH Holmes’ laughter echoes about.

In a terrible coincidence, The Word of The Day is, “What,” and when the crowd chants it and he screams real loud, everyone goes insane

A video camera cuts to the back and we see Holmes manipulating the events in a control room. Billy suffocates in a cooler room, Braun Strowman gets cut in half with a pendulum. The Devil in The White City enjoys his mechaniations. He goes to a liquor cabinet to open it up, and inside it’s Jambi!

Pee-Wee’s genie head friend. “Meka Leka High, Meka Hieney Ho!” yells the head. The control panel behind H.H. Holmes sprouts giant eyes and eats the serial killer whole. This Murder House belongs to Pee-Wee Herman. He’s eliminated.

Jericho appears in the room and hits a Codebreaker to the floating head.

In the main room of the Murder/Playhouse, the remaining wrestlers finish this. Pee-Wee Herman puts on the rigged up Megazord and struts about. He grabs Woods and Kingston and throw them both out of the house. Kofi jumps off of his partner in mid flight and redirects himself back into the match. Pee-Wee knocks him out again.

The Final Four are Jericho, Asuka, Pee-Wee Herman and Neil Degrasse Tyson.

Asuka charges Herman and catches a Robotic Brogue Kick that is also Robot Lion. It knocks her out of the ring. Neil Degrasse Tyson has been examining the remains of Frankenstein’s Monster and has reversed engineered it along with Strowman’s dead body. He points the reanimated corpses at the robot and it crushes Pee-Wee to death inside the vehicle. 

“Science!” Neil Degrasse Tyson screams his catchphrase.

The Frankenstrowman roars. “Why did you make me like this?” It laments. “I should not be.” The Monster grabs his creator by the throat and raises him above his head until he dies. Then Y2J hits a Codebreaker on the Monster and pushes him out a window.

Chris Jericho wins this Royal Rumble at the End of All Time.

The 3rd Consecutive Royal Rumble at the End of The Universe

(Annual does not apply here. Time is an illusion you put on yourself.)

The Rules:

2 Wrestlers enter the ring, one more enters every 60 seconds. They are eliminated when they are thrown over the top rope and both feet hit the concrete floor.


This match takes place at The Restaurant at the End of The Universe, and the winner gets a shot at the Championship of Life, the Universe, and Everything, next Whenever at WrestleMania..

end-of-universe  dontpanic


Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Inside MMA’s Bas Rutten, and Bob Uecher’s character from Major League, Harry Doyal, are manning the microphones. Cheech and Chong are at the Spanish and Chinese announce tables.


Official Theme Song:

“7 Nation Army,” by the White Stripes, performed by 7 military bands from different nations. It’s arranged by Prince.


The first two combatants are:

Number 1, Jake “The Snake” Roberts


The first ever Royal Rumble entrant and WWE Legend walks angrily towards the ring carrying a bag full of snakes. “I can’t believe I’m number god damn one,” he mutters to himself, and slides under the ropes. He’s facing Number 2, Bill Murray

bill murray.jpg

“Oh my god, am I dead?” Murray asks into a microphone. “Am I the first dead celebrity of 2017?” He questions the audience. He’s confused and oddly flattered, he bows graciously entering the ring. “No,” Jake hisses into his own microphone, “That’s not what this is, I’m not dead.” “Well, Not Yet!” Murray says and leaps at Jake Roberts, bashing his head in with the microphone. He pummels Jake into the corner. The Father of In Ring Psychology reels as Murray unloads on him and Number 3: Screen Legend Carrie Fisher enters the ring.


She charges the two men, decked out in Slave Girl Leia attire, there’s just enough extra fabric to be practical, and feminists are cool about it, “Bill, did you die?” she asks, “No,” Bill says, “This isn’t Hell.” “Maybe not for you,” she answers eyeballing the crowd of chubby men with beards.She delivers a crushing Shining Wizard to Jake Roberts. The two movie stars take turns laying boots to The Snake. They deliver a surprising 3-D right as a gong hits and Number 4 Bruce Lee is announced.

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“No Freaking Way!” Bas Rutten does a spit take, Bobby The Brain claims Bruce Lee trained Ricky the Dragon Steamboat. That can’t possibly by true #BrainInTheAss – Harry Doyal just discovered twitter. He loves it. Bruce devastates Dr. Peter Vankman and Slave Leia with kicks and punches, they’re so fast the camera can’t catch them. Number 5 is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Raphael.


Raphael enters the ring determinedly as the Saturday morning cartoon song plays. He eyeballs Bruce Lee and the two exchange assaults but they counter everything the other throws. The other wrestlers attempt to interrupt but are casually put down by the  martial Artists. Nothing happens until Number 6: Big Bird makes his way to the ring. Children in the audience tell him how to get there.


The Sesame Street Fighter walks along the crowd high fiving kids and leaning in for selfies. He steps over the top rope and charges headlong into the fray. While other wrestlers got punched out trying to enter the Dance of The Turtle and Dragon, Big Bird ingratiates himself beautifully. The three go “Crouching Tiger Hidden, Hidden Dragon” for awhile. “This is crazy! #DragonandPhoenixandTurtle” tweets Harry Doyal. He already has more followers than any of us ever will. His next tweet is just “WHAT A RUSH!!!” Number 7: The Legion of Doom stroll to the ring. .


Hawk and Animal enter as one combatant, because they’re a team, probably the greatest tag team of all time. They enter and level opponents left and right. They demolish Bill Murray. Animal grabs Raphael and chokes the mutant. “You should have brought your friends little buddy.” he yells. “You should have brought Ninja weapons,” says the Turtle and pulls two Sais from his belt. He drives them into The Road Warrior’s chest, killing the man. He pushes the corpse over the top rope. Hawk has no time to grieve as Carrie Fisher catches him in a Bulldog and smashes his head to the mat. Number 8 is 26th President of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt.


The Rough Rider charges in to the sound of trumpets and locks Big Bird in a Bearhug. He transitions to a Belly to Belly Suplex, slams the bird to the ground and charges at the Ninja Turtle. He upends him with a Shoulder Block and stomps a mudhole in the Turtle. He picks him up and  throws Raphael over the top rope. “I’ve hunted all mater of beast,” yells Teddy. “You’re fifth toughest.” he bellows and turns back to the Bird. Number 9 is former Intergender Wrestling Champion Andy Kaufman


The funniest or least funny man in the world jumps over the top rope and makes a beeline for Carrie Fisher, who’s catching her breath in a corner. He Suplexes The Screen Doctor and goes to toss her over, but she blocks it, and catches him in a Hurricanrana that sends the man to the moon. Kaufman is eliminated. He’s outraged. “What Is This” he storms around ringside, flipping over the cameras and knocking things off the desks. “This was Not according to Script!” he smacks away a referee.  “And this stuff IS SCRIPTED!” He continues. “This is all rigged, it’s a show, it’s not even a show!” He spins around wild-eyed, pointing at the crowd. “It’s a Garbage blog by a Garbage Nobody picking characters from posters he had on his wall!” He throws a handful of notes at the people in the crowd. “This is nothing, and he’s nothing, and YOU’RE Nothing!” He spins around and points to Carrie Fisher, “And You’re DOUBLE NOTHING! You’re not fit to wash my tights lady!” He yells. “I was SUPPOSED to win this! That, that was in the script, and you ruined it, and I’ll Sue you!” He screams.

“Go ahead and sue me you loser!” She yells back at Kaufman. “That’s what soft little assholes do!”

“Hey” Yells Han Solo from the crowd.

“Nice Tits!” Yells Steve Martin.

Carrie Fisher winks and flips them the double bird before hitting a stunning Shooting Star Press on her standing opponents. Steve sits down and politely applauds her incredible skills. Number 10 is The Uncrowned Comedians’ Champion: Bill HIcks.


He comes to the ring smoking and wearing an Undertaker hat and trenchcoat. It looks kind of dumb. He doesn’t let that slow him down as he flicks a cigarette into Teddy Roosevelt’s eyes and hits Bill Murray with a Chokeslam. He then grabs the mic and cuts down the establishment with 55 seconds so funny and cutting it makes all the people who hear it consider mortality for a moment and decide to be better. President Trump, watching in the interest of his appointee Linda McMahon, is touched, and for the first time in his life really gets it. His hands grow three sizes, and he leads better than anyone expected and better than even he claimed he would. A Steam Whistle hits and it’s Number 11: Mark Twain.


America’s Greatest Author struts to the ring and boots Bill Hicks in the the face. He smashes his head into the turnbuckle and tosses the comedian to the ground. “My goodness,” he smiles. “Hell’s own Valhalla. “That’s not was this is,” says Bill Murray, “I’m not dead.” he explains. “Not yet,” laughs Twain. Murray turns to Fisher and tries to brag, “Oh my god, I made the same joke as Mark Tw-” but he gets blasted with a Forearm, Twain tosses him to the middle of the ring,then hits the Celebrated Jumping Frogpress of Calaveras County from the turnbuckle. It shatters Murray in half and Jake Roberts scoops up what’s left and tosses it over the ropes. “I’m the funniest, meanest, strappingest-assed snake you’re ever going to get to know.” yells Twain strutting. Jake Roberts spits in his eye and traps him in a crossface as the song “Jungle Boogie” hits, and Number 12: Jules and Vincent, from Pulp Fiction walk together.


They’re also entered as a team. “Terrific Dancers, Better Killers.” says Bobby the Brain. “I don’t think they should have guns,” says Bas. Harry Doyal calls him a communist. “I’m just saying we should have shotguns,” Vincent complains. “We do have shotguns,” points out Jules, holding his up. “Well we should have bigger shotguns.” “Motherfucker? How big you want a shotgun? You want to have cannons and shit?” “For this? For this I want tanks.” says Vincent. The two men enter the ring and clear house with their shotguns.  Hawk, Bruce Lee, Teddy Roosevelt, Carrie Fisher and Big Bird slide out of the ring. Jake Roberts stays locked onto Twain. Jules is a student of American literature and loses it at seeing a hero so disrespected, “I WANT THAT MOTHER FUCKING SNAKE OFF THAT MOTHER FUCKING TWAIN!”  he screams and shoots Jake Roberts in the shoulder. Jake screams and reels to the side, Twain rolls out of the ring. Vincent and Jules patrol the ring as Lemmy’s distinctive grooves herald Number 13: Triple H.


The 14 time champion sprays mist into the air and walks past Lemmy, who’s performing live.  The ring is nearly empty. HHH stalks outside, eyeballing Vincent and Jules. The lights go out and seconds later come back on: the ring is full of independent wrestlers, they’re all willing to kill themselves to impress The Game. They throw themselves away as Vincent and Jules empty their very large shotguns. The Cerebral Assassin and the the others slide into the ring, there are 8 men, 1 woman, and one giant bird. Phyllis from The Office yells, “Use your dance moves!” but everybody looks at her like she’s an idiot. Number 14 is M.C. Hammer


He Hammer dances to the ring and Vincent and Jules drop their guns. He punches Vincent 3 times in the face and knocks Jules down with the fourth. Vincent tries to fight back, but Hammer pours it on. “Please Hammer!, Don’t hurt him!” someone screams from the audience. But he does. It’s Hammer, Go Hammer, M.C. Hammer, Yo Hammer, but then Triple H upends him by the ankles and starts spinning him around. Triple H smashes Hammer into Bruce Lee’s head. Bruce staggers around dazed until Big Bird swoops in and knocks him over the top rope. Number 15 is 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln


The lanky lawyer charges the ring Ultimate Warrior Style, and is wearing Ultimate Warrior face paint. He screams “These Assassins Will Not Stand!” before leaping over the ropes and Clotheslining Vincent and Jules. He ducks M.C. Hammer being swung from Triple H and then drops him with a classic Double Leg Takedown, the centrifugal force throws Hammer out of the ring. Simultaneously, Teddy Roosevelt has Road Warrior Hawk passing out from a Camel Clutch. He drops Hawk to the mat and turns to face Honest Abe. “I’ve been wondering if  could kick your ass my whole life!” yells Teddy. He tears off his shirt and charges Lincoln. “Well guess what Fat Boy… You Can’t!” Lincoln answers. He pounces at his attacker. The two collide in a whirlwind of violence, before Lincoln locks on his Railsplitter. Roosevelt screams in agony, but there are no submissions in The Royal Rumble. Big Bird breaks it up with a boot meant to send Lincoln over the ropes, but it fails. Lincoln recovers and hits Big Bird with the Emancipation Droplimation (a modified neckbreaker designed to end a war.) Big Bird is mangled and unconscious in the middle of the ring next to Jake Roberts, who might have bled out. Number 16 is Cactus Jack

Cactus Jack.jpg 

He jogs to the ring and wraps a chair around Mark Twain’s brain. He then bends another over Triple H and pulls out a bag of tacks he drops Teddy Roosevelt in. Roosevelt rolls around in agony before sliding out of the ring. Jack sets his sights on Lincoln and the two lock up. Teddy rises from the floor quietly with an extra large Kendo Stick. “Hey boys,” he speaks quietly, and unloads on Honest Abe and Cactus Jack. He cracks Cactus repeatedly and knocks him over the top rope.  As a President smashes a President,  the Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment walks to the ring. Number 17: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

The Rock.jpg

The Rock walks in and the fans go crazy. Bobby the Brain claims he introduced his parents. Bas asks, “To each other?” The Brain says “to a lot of things.” It’s implied pretty heavily that Rocky Johnson used to swing. Rocky takes to the ring and slap punches everybody to the ground. He lays into Lincoln extra hard and it’s funny. He RockBottoms Carrie Fisher and hits a People’s Elbow on her, then Triple H, then Jake Roberts. There’s so much electricity in the air by now everybody in the crowd’s hair is standing on end. He and Big Bird double clothesline Mark Twain to the floor. They pose together for a moment and the crowd goes nuts. They pop even louder when the two start slugging it out. Number 18 is NBA All-Star, Larry Johnson. He’s dressed up as “Grandmama”


A lot of confused white people mistake him for Medea and boo for no reason. The Charlotte Hornet kicks ass when he hits the ring. He Dropkicks The Rock and then surprises everybody with a Full Nelson Slam. He points to camera and yells “Tell Karl Malone I’d Kill Him!” before moving on and Powerslamming Vincent Vega to the mat and throwing Jules outside. As the clock for the next entrant counts down he climbs the ringpost. “It’s stupid how many people climb the ropes!” Cleveland Fan Harry Doyal points out. “You’re Stupid!” Yells Bobby The Brain. Larry Johnson leaps for a slam-dunk themed elbow drop when Randy Orton appears out of nowhere and hits him with an RKO. He’s number 19 and he literally teleported in from nowhere.

 WrestleMania XXVII

The RKO to Larry Johnson destroys the hoopster, Randy Orton then pops in and out of existence cuttinng down Carrie Fisher, The Rock. Vincent and Teddy Roosevelt. He teleports in and hits a cameraman from neat angles just to show off. A loose camera cuts to Marvel Comic’s Deadpool sitting in a VIP seat, eating a chimichanga that’s bigger than a toddler. Former teleporter enthusiast Deadpool looks incredibly pleased with himself. “What? It was a good trade?” He argues to himself. “Plus I like the internet stuff, the GIFs.… I think they’re funny.” he mumbles into his burrito. Randy Orton Punts Jake Roberts’ skull out of meanness when Triple H catches him from behind with a sledgehammer. Number 20 is Film and Television Megastar Kathy Bates


She slides into the ring and smashes Triple H with her own sledgehammer, then crushes everybody else in their heads with it; she cracks Big Bird and Abe Lincoln who fall to the mat, then sends No. 2 Larry Johnson to the floor with a brutal shot to the chin. She stands over Triple H and shatters both of his ankles. “I’m a big fan,” she coos with fake sweetness. Triple H lays crippled next to the out of commission Jake Roberts. Kathy Bates dashes from corner to corner delivering Body Avalanches to the piles of competitors. 11 wrestlers are in the ring. Number 21 is Chesley “Sully” Sullenberg, hero pilot of flight 1549.


The action slows as the Hudson Miracle enters the ring. “There, there’s been a mistake I think,” Sully states in a dignified manner. “I’m really no hero, or warrior, or any such thing; just a person who performed his job on a day that it wasn’t easy to do so. I don’t really belong here, though I do appreciate your inviting me.” The Rock Slaps the grey off of Sully’s mustache. Number 22  is The Crow


The Undead Agent of Vengeance drops from the rafters and lands on Kathy Bates. He throws The Rock over the rope, but The Rock pulls himself back in. The Crow chops down Teddy Roosevelt and hits him with a Draven Death Drop before locking Vincent in a the Corvus Death Lock. People make fun of him for stealing Sting’s moves. Sully Sullenberg has recovered and is Airplane Spinning The Rock, he dumps The Great One out for good. Big Bird charges the pilot, but Sully avoids him, Hawk goes for a spear but The Hudson Miracle leapfrogs Hawk. Then The Crow sprints forward and goes for a Raven Splash, but Sully Drop Toe Holds The Crow, Sully Kips Up and starts engaging with the fans but is knocked over the ropes by Abe Lincoln with an Ax Handle. The Crow gathers himself and boots Big Bird, then no-sells a surprise German Suplex by Abe Lincoln and a Running Knee from Carrie Fisher. He stands up to another Knee from Fisher and Triple H goes for a Pedigree but his broken ankles give out. The Crow backdrops him over the ropes, but HHH pulls himself back in and crawls to the corner. No. 23 is Link, from The Legend of Zelda.


A veteran of fighting games and well noted adventurer, Link zips into action with a roll and plants a bomb that obliterates Randy Orton and Teddy Roosevelt. He peppers the ring with arrows and smashes Kathy Bates with the Big Red Boomerang. Nothing in his arsenal seems to stop the Crow so he freezes him with a wand he found in a cave. Number 24 is Independent Wrestling Sensation Kongo Kong


A Champion with 12 titles in 10 promotions, including XICW Proving Ground, this behemoth fills the rampway with has mass and ferocity. The towering savage’s face is streaked in warpaint, covering it completely except for the whites of his eyes. They gleam wildly. He cups his hands to his mouth and shouts a battle cry. “Fuck. Yes.” yells Teddy Roosevelt and slides under the bottom rope. He runs up the ramp and the two clash head to head on the runway. Kathy Bates and Carry Fisher flank Link and drive him into a corner, until he drives them back with a Spinning Attack. Bates stumbles to the ropes and is pulled out of the ring by a returning Teddy Roosevelt, who’s climbing the ropes to escape the enraged Kongo Kong.  Kongo Kong slides under the ropes and chops Teddy, Link, and Fisher to the mat. He ducks a kick from The Crow and drives him back with a giant shove, then throws Link into the corner and sprints across the ring. He rolls forward in a Tumbleweed that devastates the recovering Link and rattles the arena. Debris falls from the domed ceiling and a solitary crow shrieks out in pain. Eric Draven winces, and Randy Orton notices. Number 25 is Wrestlemania Main Eventer King Kong Bundy.


The Colossal Bald Man lumbers to the ring and clotheslines Road Warrior Hawk. He picks up The Crow and throws Eric Draven into Vincent while stomping Triple H in the back. Bundy then turns and gets knocked to the mat by Kongo Kong. Carrie Fisher starts to choke him out Jabba the Hutt style. Randy Orton activates his teleporter, and catches the single black crow in the balcony. He drops with the crow from the rafters in an RKO. “One for Sorrow!” Screams Harry Doyal who’s clearly been drinking. The Crow squawks and flops around on the mat. Vincent pulls a pistol from his chest holster and shoots the bird. Eric Draven wretches and staggers about. Kongo Kong tosses him over the top rope. King Kong Bundy escapes and attacks Big Bird, until Carrie Fisher hits both with a Bicycle Kick. Not a Pele Kick, but a Lui Kang, Mortal Kombat II, MegaKick. She pumps the furiously and drives King Kong and Big Bird across the ring, she picks up Kongo Kong along the way. Jungle drums play and dozens of people clad in grass skirts and animal skins run out chanting for their God-King, Number 26, King Kong


No variation or take on the name, just King Fucking Kong. The 40 Ton Protector of Skull Island leaps from the outer ridge of the balcony and splatters into the ring. Kongo Kong and King Kong Bundy are smeared against the ring. Big Bird and Fisher made it to safety. Parts of King Kong Bundy land all over the arena. His foot lands feet from the announce table. “Package that up and send it to Kamala.” Quotes Heenan. “How’s no one ever killed you?” Bas asks almost out of respect. The Greatest Great Ape pounds his chest in the middle of the ring. Vincent shoots his gun at the beast but it does nothing. Abe Lincoln charges at King Kong and The Big Monkey casually picks up The President and eats him. Big Bird and Link run circles around King Kong and hit a Double Drop Kick to no effect. The Monster backs up and steps on the lower extremities of Triple H, who shrieks and drags himself to another corner. Teddy Roosevelt lights a cigar and charges the ape. “This is the best day of my life!” he screams and jumps on King Kong’s face, biting his upper lip and clawing at his eyes. King Kong smashes his hand into his face and mangles Teddy against his savage teeth. He gracelessly stuffs the corpse into his maw. Number 27 is Goldberg.


He exhales his smoke and runs to the ring. He immideately Spears King Kong to the outside the ring. All the people inside or attached to King Kong are eliminated with him. As he clatters to the floor King Kong grabs Link and pulls the adventurer out. Jake Roberts, who most assumed dead, grabs Link by the boot and pulls him out of King Kong’s grip. Link fires off his Hook Shot and catches the far corner. He pulls himself to safety. “Thanks!” Link says. “No sweat.” says Jake. “I hate big monkeys.” Link rummages in his satchel and pulls out a jar with a small Fairy zipping around inside. He tosses it to Jake. “What’s that?” Jake asks. “A fairy.” Link giggles. “For like sex stuff?” Jake asks earnestly. “No, It’s to heal you silly.” Link says. Link takes one out for himself and opens the jar. The Fairy flies out in a friendly smile and sprinkles healing fairy dust on Link. Link looks over to Jake, who grinds his fairy up and snorts it. “What!” Link yells, and instinctively slashes two sword strokes at Jake. Link’s at full health, so two Mystic Blasts fly towards Jake. Jake ducks them and pulls down the rope. Link is charging with the Boots of Speed on, so he can’t change direction and topples to the floor. Jake grabs another Jar with a Fairy in it. He looks at Triple H who begs for help.  Jake looks at Triple H, then looks down at the fairy. Then he crumples up the Fairy and sticks it up his nose. He rubs the wing residue on his gums. “Come On!” screams Triple H. Jake tosses Triple H over the top rope. “I’m going to regret that.” Jake thinks to himself. “… I should have smoked that fairy.” Goldberg Spears Big Bird hard to the mat, then Fisher, then Vincent Vega. He turns to Jake and Jake throws a Cobra in his face. “Whoa!” Jake laughs. Jake’s at Full Health now, so his attacks are ranged. He laughs a low and sinister laugh and launches two more Cobras at Goldberg. He pours it on everybody, hurling snakes left and right, until Carrie Fisher hits him with a Muta Mist and Russian Leg Sweeps him to the mat. The arena lights flicker and spotlights circle the crowd before settling in on the rampway, and Number 28 is all five members of Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem


The whole House explodes in a spectacle of light and Rock-and-Roll. “How do 5 people count as one entrant!” Bobby Heenan protests. The band slides past the announce team. “It’s the Freebird Rules man,” Floyd Pepper assures The Brain in his ever present/never present manner. “Yeah man, it’s like, tradition.” Janice adds turning her head sideways. “Free! Bird! Free! Bird!” yells Animal. “That’s not a bad idea Animal.” Dr. Teeth says as they take the middle of the ring. Zoot plays his saxophone as the band gets into position. “Hey Everybody here at the Edge of Creation.” Dr. Teeth panders. “Our man Animal’s got a pretty good idea.” “He’s got a lot of good ideas,” Floyd adds, as Animal lets two groupies who have charged the ring stroke his fur. The band plays Lynard Skynard’s “Freebird” as well as it’s ever been done. The clock breaks as the song plays so they can finish. All the clocks everywhere break as the song plays. All clocks break eventually, it’s because of how well that song was played. As they finish, Zoot wraps his saxophone around Goldberg’s head. Janice launches herself knees first at Road Warrior Hawk and Dr. Teeth sinks his chompers into Carrie Fisher’s scalp. Floyd and Animal stomp Jake Roberts violently. Big Bird catches his breath in a corner. Vincent Vega fires two bullets at Animal but the Savage Muppet charges and drops Vincent with a Slingblade. Goldberg latches a tight sleeper onto Floyd Pepper who struggles and loses consciousness. The Restaurant at The End of The Universe goes dark, and burning yellow eyes appear foggily above the ring. They peer ominously. The ropes turn into The Shrieking Eels from The Princess Bride and spiders pour from the turnbuckles. Laughter shakes the walls and spills everyone’s beers, specks of fire and teardrops whip about the air. Number 29 is The Nightmare on Elmstreet, Freddy Krueger


A giant gloved hand raises over one side of the ring, each finger is 30 feet long, and the blades are a hundred. They curve and scrap along the ceiling. Each wrestler collapses and starts shaking, experiencing a private hell. Goldberg finds himself on a tightrope in a circus, and the audience is made up of his parents dressed as clowns.The big man retreats into his mind crying, sinking in his Sleeper Hold on Floyd even deeper. Big Bird watches as his friends back home succumb to the natural order of the food chain. Dr. Teeth’s beloved teeth fall out of his head. Carrie Fisher shakes herself free from the snapping alligators in her head, and assesses the situation. She rolls towards Vincent Vega, and slaps him awake, “Do you have any cocaine,” She asks, “any like, really strong cocaine?” “What?” he answers, faking shocked. “Don’t act like I don’t know where to find cocaine!” she shouts, slapping him again. “I mean, yeah.” he hands her a bag of really good cocaine, but keeps the small bag in his pocket a secret. Carrie rubs the cocaine on the slumbering Pepper. “She’s got to be careful not to get any of that cocaine near Goldberg.” Bas announces from ringside. “He gets a noseful of that marching powder and he might pop Floyd Pepper’s head off.” “She should do that!” Heenan argues. “This is the Rumble!” “Hey You!” Carrie Fisher yells at Janice, who’s half experiencing a hell of working as a bank teller. “Toss me your rig!” Janice throws Fisher her pocket book, “On it sister!” In a moment Carrie cooks up a shot and tosses it to Vincent, “Drive this into his chest!” “God Damn It!” Vincent yells, he slams the needle into Floyd’s chest and shoots the coke straight into his Muppet heart. “Hot Damn!” Floyd sits up in a flash, breaking free of Goldberg. “Who’s got the mediocre cocaine!?!?” The floating face of Freddy Krueger dims and the eels and spiders return to return to reality. The timer hits, and the lights go out for a 3rd time. Bray Wyatt’s music plays, and the audience’s cellphones fill the sky with Fireflies. Above them, behind the face of Freddy Krueger, is Number 30, Bray Wyatt.


“We’re here.” says the giant hovering face of Bray Wyatt and wraps a ghostly arm over Freddy Krueger. Wyatt kisses Krueger’s butned, blistered forehead, and twists him.violently to the mat. They move like a storm cloud, and collapse in a Sister Abigail. The madman bounces and his trademark fedora rolls off. Bray Wyatt trades hats. The Wyatt Family: Eric Rowan, Luke Harper, and Braun Strowman surround the ring. Bray Wyatt waves them off. Janice and Carrie Fisher Double Clothesline Vincent out. “Thanks for like, not being judgy and stuff, that was really cool of you.” Janice says to Carrie. She offers her a hand of friendship. Carrie takes it, and Janice rolls her up in a Bully Choke. Dr. Teeth is happily inspecting his recently recovered teeth, and gets picked up and Gorilla Pressed out of the ring by Goldberg. Animal charges up behind Goldberg and hoists the man up on his shoulders in an electric chair. Hawk perches himself on a nearby turnbuckle and delivers The Doomsday Device. Road Warrior Hawk and Muppet Animal upend Goldberg so hard he bounces off the mat and over the ropes. Hawk roars triumphantly before Animal crosses him and tosses him out as well. Jake Roberts hits Floyd with a short clothesline  that sends him to the floor. Carrie Fisher frees herself from the Bully Choke and picks up Janice in a Powerbomb but both get Speared out by Animal. Zoot takes a swing at Animal with his Sax, but Animal ducks. Freddy Krueger stabs Zoot with his bladed hand. He holds Zoot up like some terrible puppet, moving his body about with his knives. Blood and stuffing bubble up from Zoot’s mouth. Freddy dumps him to the floor. Animal charges Freddy Krueger and Randy Orton catches him in an RKO out of nowhere. In a surprise move, Bray Wyatt grabs Orton and dumps him over the rope. The Wyatt family looks on silently. Jake Roberts hits Big Bird with a Short Clothesline, and sets up the a DDT, but Big Bird backdrops him over the rope. Jake stands on the apron and catches a Sweet Chin Music from Big Bird for his troubles, that sends him to the floor. Freddy Krueger slashes Animal with his razored glove and lops off the Muppets hand. Animal falls to his knees screaming. “Oh My God He’ll Never Drum Again!” Bas cries. “Good!” yells Bobby Heenan. Harry Doyal smashes a bottle over Bobby Heenan’s head. Bray Wyatt grabs Kruger and hits him with another Sister Abigail. He throws The Nightmare From Elm Street over and the top rope. 3 are left. Animal gathers himself and Headbutts Bray, he sets him up for the Doomsday Device from Big Bird, and Big Bird heads to the turnbuckle, but stalls in the corner, and blasts Animal with a Sweet Chin Music. Bray Wyatt Collapses on top of Animal and Big Bird grabs his fallen friend and throws him over. The Wyatt Family steps to the apron and attentively stare at their Patriarch, who drops to his knees with is arms outstretched. Big Bird staggers back and forth exhausted. Bray Wyatt dips his head in submission. “FOLLOW THAT BUZZARD!” Bray screams for all to hear and bows for the Big Yellow Bird. Big Bird rears back in a hideous squawk and grabs Bray by the throat. He hoists him him up over his head and throws him from the ring and through the announce table. The Wyatt Family stands at attention, eyes now on the blood streaked Big Bird who stands with his arms raised in the middle of the ring. Bray Wyatt’s broken laughter erupts from ringside, it is obnoxious, and undeniable. It ripples across ringside and through the crowd. It corrupts all who hear it. It is the laughter of The Wyatt Flock, the laughter of The Buzzard. The Great Big Bird. He has a shot at that Title of Life, The Universe, and Everything. God help us if he wins it.


When I was a little kid I loved two things: wrestling and staying up late enough to watch wrestling. Ten o’clock is late when you’re seven, and eleven o’clock, like on Saturdays? Shut up! That’s a made up time like “Tickle-thirty” or “before you were born.” I was seven and I loved wrestling, I don’t remember being introduced to it, I just always liked it. I chewed on hard rubber Hulk Hogans in the crib, I teethed on wrestling rings. When my dad bought me tickets to a WWF event, I lost my freaking mind. He didn’t just buy us tickets, he bought Me tickets, I could bring a friend. I brought Erik Shaffer, he spelled his name like a viking, plus he liked wrestling as much as I did, Plus, he was a boy. Not a sister. I had a lot of sisters, and sisters are no good for watching wrestling.

This was a House Show, a small city gig, the Champions wouldn’t be there, no titles were on the line, it wasn’t on TV, but we didn’t care. Jake “The Snake” Roberts would be there and he was my favorite, (next to the Hulkster, peace be upon him.) Jake the Snake had a python he carried to the ring. It was like his manager, but a snake. It was there for business advice, and so Jake could drape it over guys when he beat them. Erik Liked Koko B. Ware, a black guy with a parrot. I think kids in the 80s just really liked exotic pets. The WWF is responsible for all the men with ponytails who own lizards today.

In the days leading up to the event Erik decided we should make signs. God Damn It he was a good pick! Erik was a genius. Not one of my no good sisters would have thought of that. Erik knew what he was going to put on his immediately: a wrestler had recently gotten beat and had his head shaved by another wrestler, who was also a barber (if you didnt have a cool pet, it was best to have a day job.) Erik was making a sign that said “Baldy.” I didn’t think it was as funny as he did, but he’d come up with the idea for signs, so I wasn’t going to question it. I didn’t know what to put on mine. I was excited, to the point of being overwhelmed. Seven year old anxiety is formative, I had to take a self-imposed “time-out” and breath into a tiny bag. This sign was important. It took focus and reflection I did not, or do not, have. It crushed me like old age, or debt. I ran away to stare at it from safe distances. I thought about it in the bathtub, and the toilet, and outside in the backyard, where years later I’d learn to smoke cigarettes; anywhere where a boy could get some god damn silence.

It came to me in a first grade class via bookmark. My sign didn’t have to be square or rectangular or the shape of a notebook. It could be a long banner, or it could be shaped like a title belt, or, Oh My God! It could be a snake. It could be “The Snake” from Jake The Snake! It could be the greatest thing in the world!

I took a stack of computer paper from the shelf near our teacher’s desk. The old kind that printed back and forth, with holes on the side and perforated edges, the kind that kids today wouldn’t recognize, and would assume was used for fax machines or some device designed to fight the Russians. I explained to my teacher that I needed this paper, that it was important, and it served a greater purpose. I think she let me have it because she was surprised I didn’t steal it. I tucked it into my book bag between two folders. I clutched it protectively on the bus ride and long walk home. When I got to my house it was empty, or as empty as a house with six kids can be. There was a parent or a grown up sibling making spaghetti or doing laundry or whatever grown up siblings do. I claimed the kitchen table, and the communal box of markers and colored pencils that was gradually becoming more and more my box of markers and colored pencils. Big sisters might be shit for talking wrestling, but they’re great for amassing colored pencils. I laid the paper out, and measured how long was reasonable for me, my dad, and Erik Shaffer to hold. I spaced the letters, and made room for a head and tail. I drew a ferocious python, like Damian, the pet/partner of JAKE THE SNAKE, whose name I’d print along the body of the beast. I labored all afternoon. I ignored cartoons, and Happy’s Place, a regional after school show that was, impartially, amazing. I colored it with pencils of yellow and green and shaded it with love. I drew a ferocious striking snake head that looked a little like a dragon and a lot like crescent wrench. I outlined everything with marker. Dust and sweat and ink stained by body.

My sister came home after some kind of practice, tennis or cheerleading or maybe fighting vampires. She looked over my creation and smiled with warmth and surprise. I’d done more work than anyone could have imagined from a chubby kid too lazy for T-ball. She sat down and placed her things near her feet. She exhaled meaningfully and held her pleasant smile. Love beamed out of her eyes in pure white. I was understandably suspicious.

The white light of love flashed crimson for a second, perverted by the prism of a big sister’s grin. I saw the flash and panicked. “What?” I asked. It blinked.

“Nothing” she smiled, with sweetness like rotten fruit.

Sirens blared. This was a trap.

“Who’s Jack The Snack?” She said languidly, with a smile still stitched to her face. My eyes dilated and everything went silent, or i went deaf. I looked at the words, misspelled and set in marker. They were the vilest of curses. I looked at my sister. The smile was still there, the scarecrow grimace threaded in our mother’s politeness. A strong thread, terrifying and functional, it held her head together now as it tried to explode. Solid parenting it would seem, as the blast would have killed us both. She would have died in the explosion, her head bashing against the walls hysterically, I’d have died later from the fallout and the shame.

I didn’t cry. I even think I knew it was funny. Too much to be mad at my sister. Her head finally burst, but the seams held. She deflated across the living room and laughed into the background. The world smelled like sulfur, my life was broken dreams and bad spelling. I didn’t have time to make a new one, and no one could know my shame, until now, twenty nine years later. I went to the show, and had a very good time. Erik and I snuck away from my dad. We got right up next to the ring. All the best things happen where you might get kidnapped. The evening was fantastic. It went past eleven and we stayed up like heroes, but I’d missed my chance to make something amazing.

Later on this month I’m going to tell jokes in front of Jake The Snake Roberts, and I might make a sign. I’m going to tell this story. He probably won’t care, but I will. I’ve been writing it most of my life.

about my sister

Posted: August 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

My big sister was always cool. She was seven years my senior and unilaterally disinterested in everything I did. She had impeccable taste. She was funny and pretty, and everyone enjoyed her company, everyone but me. We fought. She was a cheerleader. We were from a place where being on the hometeam was very important, and she certainly was, but that wasn’t enough. She was a reader, because she wanted to know about other place’s home teams, and if maybe those would be a better fit. She was aloof and competent the way girls and older siblings always are. She made me feel terribly unfit for survival. I spent my life trying to impress her, and haven’t, but I’ve learned to like her company, and understand that everybody else was right, she’s cool.

My sister liked things without looking back. She loved Elvis Costello and Andy Kaufman. I’m sure she shoplifted interests from our older siblings, but she didn’t care about that the way I did, or do. She loved those things, and that made them hers.

She taught me They Might Be Giants weren’t just the band from my cartoon, and that comedies didn’t have to be funny. “Death Becomes Her,” “Heathers,” and other movies we watched I misidentify as “classics,” because they meant so much to me. My sister, got bored easily, and nothing was more telling of something’s value than her approval. It was specific, razor-sharp, and well informed. I studied the margins of her notebooks, I copied her behaviors, but never understood what made things good or worth liking. I discovered bands and she told me their earlier records were better, I found TV shows and she knew the roles the actors played beforehand. She pointed out that stories almost always go one way, and she told me that that Phil Collins song wasn’t about a child murder, and blew my fucking brains out.

Her disdain for me was well earned. I was tedious and full of questions. She was a teenaged girl in The American 90’s. The world was changing and she was adapting. I was an evolutionary throwback, a reminder of our common backwoods ancestor. I was a vestigial little brother. She left for college in my pre-teen years, and I grew up around her absence. She remained impossibly cool. I sifted through her 11-for-a-penny CDs and took the duplicates. I asked her if she thought John Leguizamo was funny. She started answering my questions with fewer sighs, but stayed sharp and dangerous. She married a guy who stole stuff and didn’t care if I smoked. (He didn’t really steal stuff, he just did when he was 15, and I was 15, and man that was cool.) She started to talk to me about loss, and Alternative music, and how high school wasn’t that important. I already kind of knew that, it wasn’t as big as the Phil Collins thing.

I started to turn into somebody who didn’t bother her. It meant a lot to me.

My sister was cynical, and the first person not to like me. How could I not love her? She was my only measure for growth.

When I was in college I feel like I started changing, but probably not. It might have just been the first time no one made me cut my hair. I had a professor I liked a lot. He was sharp and snotty and had a neat beard. He talked about cocaine and made me read black authors. When the World Trade Center fell down, he didn’t want to go to war, and he didn’t back down from the rednecks who called him a coward in the campus paper’s opinion pages. I read about half of the books he assigned.

The Professor had students meet at his house sometimes, to learn to talk about books. Some people brought wine, and he didn’t seem to care that I smelled like weed. One Wednesday we were talking in his living room, and I learned a whole lot. I said I hated the band Train, because I do. The song “Drops of Jupiter” was popular and ruining the universe. I was vocal about it. “Why do you hate Train?” the professor asked, “They sound like the Black Crowes became pussies.” I said matter of factly, and a little stoned, “When I first heard that song I swear to god I just thought Chris Robinson lost his balls.” He laughed in a way that implied he agreed. I later offended him when I doubled down on the joke with a mild gay slur, but I was learning. I was being smart, and mean, and funny. That felt pretty cool. My sister would have been proud.

About a semester later I was home for christmas or summer, I’m not sure which. She was there too. I was listening to a CD called Stoned Immaculate, it was a bunch of covers of The Doors songs. Train was on there, being garbage. I heard my sister say she liked them. I bit my lip and fuddled for understanding. “How?” I asked, with condescension I’d aped from her. “They’re just ‘polished’,” she said, “they’re a real complete band.” I’ve never forgiven her.

That might be when I first loved my big sister. Not liked her, or needed her, or looked to her for guidance, just loved her. I didn’t recognize it then, I just got mad at her for liking such a piece of shit band, but looking at it now, yeah, I loved her.

Her liking mom rock rattled me real hard, but I’m easy to rattle. People changing while I’m not looking always shocks me, and then makes me feel like an asshole. My sister grew up, and she wasn’t angry about pop songs anymore, not even bad ones, not even ones that are just a long series of watery cliches that require a person have a tacit misunderstanding of gravity and no grasp of space or good coffee. I’d spent my whole life trying to become someone my sister would like, and then she changed it on me. Cool was a big, damn lie, or so many tiny damn lies that it’s hard to differentiate, and she was done lying.

We still like more of the same things than we realize or admit. A few months ago I found out she digs an indie band I’m in love with. She likes them because they’re earnest, I like them because they wrote a whole album about pro wrestling. We disagree on their best stuff, but we both really like it that when they sing about family, it’s complicated.

My sister works teaching kids, or teaching grown ups how to teach kids, I don’t know. She and her husband raised a son I don’t think steals, and she got her name on a book (her name’s Celena Larkey, I didn’t write it yet, because withholding information feels classy.) She taught me being cool is a lie. I love her very much. Train’s fucking terrible.

*Please Note: Train’s not her favorite band, she just didn’t hate them. What an idiot.

Potatoes Under Ground

Posted: June 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

Potatoes Underground sprout things called eyes

They never blink, or squint, or get sleepy.

They dig through loose earth and find spots to grow.

Up, or down, or over, it’s all the same

to a potato, life, death, and winter.

They shoot tubes to other tubers. A pun.

They think it’s funny. Potatoes are dumb.

Everything in the dirt has predators.

So many bugs, and bedrock, and boredom.

That’s why Potatoes need so many eyes.

I’m going to rank all the candy bars, and tell you why some are great and some are terrible. I’m not sure my qualifications are adequate, but I’m a fat guy with a good vocabulary. Here’s the list.

15. Hershey’s Chocolate Bar: There, I said it. Old people can quit paying attention.

14. Baby Ruth: this is a bad candy bar. It’s lumpy and gross, and even though it has all of the same ingredients as better candy bars, it somehow messes them up. This candy bar’s named after a fat white baseball player, and is now eaten exclusively by women who look like him. It’s only even on this list because I like the scene where Bill Murray eats a fake turd in Caddy Shack and it’s a Baby Ruth. I like Bill Murray.

13. Mr. Goodbar: Mr. Badbar. This candy bar used to be a doctor until it lost its license for misdiagnosing peanuts as interesting. This would be a lousy offering in a chocolate sampler box, and certainly doesn’t deserve its own wrapper. The bright yellow package only exists to stand out and measure how many days it’s been since Halloween.

12. Payday: Payday’s are unfinished candy bars, and I think I’ve graded them a little better because of it. Payday was expected to be a bigger deal, but the chocolate and other ingredients didn’t arrive on time, and the folks at Payday were too proud to back down. They pushed out an unfinished but reliable product that isn’t good, but has moxie.

11. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: This is too low for most people, and I confess, I don’t love Reese’s cups, but I won’t let my flaws as a grader detract from this fine offering. The peanut butter’s a little sugary, and not enough, but people love this mess, and I’ll acknowledge the simplicity and tact of the snack. I appreciate them acknowledging their low ingredient count, and splitting it in half to showcase the pairing, not the simplicity. Also, if you’re careful you can push out the middles and have a pair of adorable, edible prop glasses.

10. Almond Joy: The flip side of the peanut butter cup. This is a similar concoction I like a little more. Almond Joy’s simple and delicious, but if you’re not a fan of coconut, you’re out of luck. And Mounds? Fuck a Mounds bar! a special order is Not it’s own candy bar and shouldn’t get it’s own wrapper. Only a psychopath would say a Mounds is his or her favorite candy bar.

9: Three Musketeers: This chocolatey confection is tasty and good, but a little lacking in vision. Also, when it was marketed as a low fat candy bar it made me feel like it was a candy bar for girls. Fat girls.

8. Nestle Crunch Bar: This candy bar’s delicious, if a little too simple. It’s just chocolate and puffy rice, but still feels complicated, and I don’t know why, but it’s better than a Crackle. Crunch is “The Sixth Sense” and Crackle’s “Stir of Echoes.” Good luck getting remembered, I already misspelled your name and nobody cared. A Nestle Crunch Bar is fantastic, and proves Nestle doesn’t just belong in cups and mugs.

7. Zero: an often overlooked and delicious candy bar. White fudge (not white chocolate) provides a fun change of pace, and fuels plenty of arguments with hillbilly gourmands. It’s also a dense candy bar. The almond paste is heavy like a brick. You’re not allowed to bring Zero bars to punk shows.

6. KitKat: Good candy bar, kind of preachy. I don’t need told to share. Fuck right off KitKat. How often do I eat candy in groups of four? Rarely, and if I am, chances are I only like one or two of them. Mitch Hedberg complained about your chocolate letter scam, and I’m still not over that. It’s just a lot of attitude from a wafer bar that skimps on chocolate.

5. Whatchamacallit: Damn fine candy bar that tries too hard. The peanut butter caramel pairing always looks slutty, even in an ice cream, but this treat holds both back a bit, and lets you wonder if both are present. They are, but it’s subtle, and it’s good. Still, the candy bar comes off as busy, and feels more like it’s auditioning for candy, and isn’t just candy.

4. Butterfinger: Teeth ruining mother fucker. Butterfinger’s are delicious, and will kill everyone. Butterfingers linger in your teeth like the images from Human Centipede linger in your brain. Both do about the same damage. If this candy bar wasn’t so messy it might be my favorite.

3. M & Ms: This shouldn’t be on my list. NOT a candy bar, but you Bernie kids are real assholes about making sure everybody gets heard. Fine candy, in this order: peanut, pretzel, regular, crispy, peanutbutter, almond, then all the stupid kinds.

2. Snickers: Classic, solid, great Candy Bar, introduced the word Nougat into the American lexicon, and helped confuse people regarding Ted Nugent for decades. For the record, both Snickers and Ted Nugent are bad for you, and sound a little racist.

1. Twix: Fantastic Candy Bar, simple and elegant with a distinct taste. It comes in a two pack so it feels like more candy, but doesn’t tell you how to live you life. Twix is great, caramel was the classic, and the only one that counts.

Royal Numbskull

Posted: January 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

This is the greatest Royal Rumble you can imagine. It takes place in the middle of your brain at The Nexus of All Realities Stadium, The announce team is Rod Serling (The Twilight Zone), Bas Rutten (UFC, Inside MMA), and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. The official theme song is all four of The Beatles singing Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” their instruments are Transformers that turn into Waterbongs.

Here’s how the match goes down, 30 combatants are selected. The match starts with two people. Another superstar enters every 90 seconds. The only way to be eliminated is being tossed over the top rope.

Entrant number 1 is ANDRE The GIANT,


7 foot icon and 8th Wonder of the World, he all but guarantees an early departure for number 2, except Number 2, is The Venture  Bros.’ BROCK SAMSON.

brock samson

The Swedish Murder Machine locks up with Andre and wrestles him to a standstill until the 3rd entrant, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN makes his way to the ring.

ben franklin

Our founding father low blows Andre and hits Samson with a brutal DDT, before delivering a People’s Elbow, the most electrifying move in sports entertainment. The 4th wrestler is best selling author and hardcore legend MANKIND,


who brings a chair with him. He brains Ben Franklin with it, and locks in a Mandible Claw. The two men have suspiciously similar builds. Wrestler number 5 is “MACHO MAN” RANDY SAVAGE,

Macho Man

he enters the ring with a standing ax handle that knocks Andre back and into the ropes, where he gets tangled up. Number 6 is Bounty Hunter BOBA FETT.

boba fett

He flies into the ring with his jet pack and blasts Andre with a pulse rifle. All the men are decimated, except Ben Franklin, who leaps from the turnbuckle and grabs Boba Fett’s ankle, he viciously pulls him down to the canvas. Number 7 is WWE Superstar and most famous champion, HULK HOGAN.

Hulk Hogan

He comes in, cleans house, and apologizes politely for anything he might have said that was racist. He knocks down all the combatants, and drops an Atomic Leg Drop on Boba Fett, the Mandalorean Body Armor shields him from any fallout. Hogan and Macho Man brawl in the middle of the ring, while Brock Samson eliminates Andre with a body press. Number 8 is Rock Legend and sometimes Late Show Host, WARREN ZEVON.

Warren Zevon

“Hit Somebody” is what the crowd roars, as Warren Zevon comes in over the guardrail. He clocks Macho Man with an El-Kabong Guitar shot. The Excitable Boy hits a Rollin’ The Headless Thompson Cutter on Hogan, and lays into Brock Samson with punches to the belly. Entrant 9 is comic book character HELLBOY,


who enters the ring and lays out everyone. Hellboy scoops Warren Zevon over the rope eliminating him. Macho Man Randy Savage tries to surprise the hornless detective, but gets backdropped over as well. Number 10 is former WWE Champion, THE UNDERTAKER.


Hellboy, senses the evil he represents and leaps outside the ring and charges up the ramp, eliminating himself in the process. He upends The Deadman with a devastating Swinging Hammer Fist, and walks to the back satisfied. The Undertaker stays motionless for a long time, but finally sits up in dramatic fashion. He walks to the ring woozily. Number 11 is MY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH DON HARTER.


He immediately goes after The Undertaker and grabs The Dead Man by his ball sack. He cuts an insane promo that roars and rambles, he snorts and swears and spits tobacco juice while babbling nonsense about hunting dogs. The Undertaker grips Coach Harter by the throat and both roll over the top in an attempted chokeslam/sacktoss. The Undertaker hits a Tombstone on the outside, but Coach Harter insists he’s still a pussy. Entrant 12 is DAVE CHAPPELLE.

Dave Chapelle

The comedy hero and million dollar walk-away ducks a stiff clothesline from Hogan,  then punches him in the face  three times, dances a little bit, and knocks him out and over with a right cross. The 13th entrant is JEAN CLUADE VAN DAMME,


who slides into the ring, does the splits, and crushes Ben Franklin’s nuts. Number 14 is 15 time Champion John Cena.

john cena

On his way to the ring Jon Stewart runs down to interrupt him. “I’m sorry,” says The Daily Show host, “but I’m afraid we’ve got a problem,”


he’s rummaging through some papers and pointing to the TitanTron. “It seems you’re not supposed to be here, because you’re really not very good, in fact…” He goes on to explain that in every universe where John Cena isn’t champion, the world is better. Parallel Dimensions are shown on screen. There’s a timeline where Antonio Cesaro’s won the title, and there’s no more war in the Middle East. John Cena gets really sad and walks to the back crying. Number 14 is 16 time World Heavyweight Champion, RIC FLAIR.

Ric Flair

He struts around the ring laying out opponents with with chops to the chest. This universe is just fine. He pauses at Big Brock Samson. “You look a lot like a guy I used to work with.” Says The Nature Boy. “Yeah. Sid Vicious.” says Brock. “Undisputed master of the powerbomb.” He kicks ‘Naitch in the guts, wrenches him to his shoulder and plants him so hard the crowd cringes and some people vomit. Children are crying, no one says anything until  Ric Flair’s foot twitches. Number 15 is G.I. Joe hand-to-hand combat trainer and tactical genius SNAKE EYES,

Snake Eyes

the ninja stalks the ring and pulls out Dave Chappelle and Mankind before they know what’s going on. He enters under the rope and dumps Ben Franklin over seamlessly. Jean Claude Van Dam sees the threat and gets proactive, he steals his cousin’s(?) move, and goes for a Five Star Frog Splash. Snake Eyes hits him with a dancing kick, that sends him over. Brock Samson grabs Snake Eyes from behind, and starts to squeeze, but Boba Fett fires a high powered bola that snares Brock and pulls him to the floor. Snake Eyes cartwheels across the ring and kicks over Ric Flair, who had been walking around suffering from an apparent concussion. Snake Eyes and Boba Fett eye each other suspiciously in the center of the ring. They circle each other in silence, stalking. Snake Eye make a move but Boba counters. Boba feints a shot but Snake Eyes doesn’t fall for it. They leap at one another, tussle in the air, and land gracefully. Boba Fett raises one trembling hand and caresses Snake Eyes’ visor. The ninja turns his cheek coyly, his hand creeps up and takes the Bounty Hunter’s in his own. The two entwine their nimble, murderous fingers like the roots of lonely oaks. They step over the ropes together, as if they had always been one perfect creature. The Arena fills with doves.

dove 1                   dove 2                    dove 3



He claps at the display of love we just witnessed, and walks around the ring a bit. He finds a roach in his pocket, and lights it. He’s finishing it up when number 17, The Simpson’s bartender MOE SZYSLAK enters.

Moe Szyslak

Moe chases The Dude around with a board that has a nail in it, before The Dude talks him down. He asks Moe if he can make him a White Russian, but Moe says no, because Russia’s not a real place. He ends up drinking a Duff when the glass breaks, and number 18, STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN walks to the ring.

stone cold

Both combatants in the ring are nervous, but Stone Cold seems cool to just drink some beers. He’s about six deep when number 19, CM PUNK arrives and breaks up the party.


Usually Stone Cold could handle this, he fights drunk all the time, but he didn’t account for the amount of battery acid or heavy cream in Duff, and he’s both pretty blasted and very sleepy. CM Punk gets the upper hand. Number 20 is legendary lawman DOC HOLLIDAY as played by Val Kilmer,

Doc Holliday

and only this version with no regard to historical accuracy. He comes to the ring in a trenchcoat, and says something awesome. Then he shoots CM Punk with a shotgun. CM Punk falls outside. Also, when you fall outside now, you blow up… maybe you did the whole time. No Wait! It was a moat. It’s been a moat this whole time and it’s full of squids and Loch Ness Monsters. Doc Holliday turns around and catches a shotgun blast from Moe, who always has a shotgun ready. Holliday topples over the top rope and gets eaten by squids. Number 21 is Independent Wrestling Sensation and Lucha Underground Star SON OF HAVOC,

Son of Havoc

this masked, bearded weirdo flips through the air missing shotgun blasts from Moe until landing a beautiful splash on Stone Cold. The audience makes a note to watch Lucha Underground, but they probably won’t. Number 22 is DARIA, from MTV’s Daria.


She’s just here to get out of a gym credit. “Um, I don’t really see the point of this aggression,” she says while dodging attacks from Son of Havoc. The Dude seems to agree with her. Stone Cold flips her off with both middle fingers and hits a stunner that sends her over the top rope. Number 23 is Michael Jordan, because number 23 IS Michael Jordan.


He comes in and hits Moe with a backbreaker and dropkicks Stone Cold before tossing Jeff Lebowski over the top rope. The squids leave him alone. The Dude abides. Number 24 is Author JOSEPH CONRAD.


He blocks an attack from Jordan and hits him with a Heartpunch of Darkness. Jordan flounders helplessly on the mat. (If you’re not as well read it’s Kurt Vonnegut and he hits a Cat’s Cradle Suplex. You get it, it’s great.)



Civ guy

This pan-ethnic mustache has guided people to conquest in countless video games. He preaches xenophobia and never relents on holding grudges. The Crowd loves him. He marches in and knees Austin before applying The Camel Clutch on Son of Havoc. Number 26 BERNIE SANDERS,


he starts his entrance to the ring. The audience chants “Ric Flair,” because he looks just like Ric Flair, and they’re confused for a minute. They don’t recognize Bernie as the next President of The United States of America! Bernie Sanders enters and upends Son of Havoc with an STO then Stunners Stone Cold Steve Austin. Bernie gets on all fours and barks at The Rattlesnake about how his millionaire status has removed him from the common man. He Powerbombs Michael Jordan into the turnbuckle and spits on him for investing in Private Prisons, he starts dismantling the Military Adviser when number 27, AVATAR ANG of Avatar: The Last Airbender flies into the ring on his glider.


The tiny human embodiment of all four natural elements twirls into the center of the chaos and leg sweeps everyone to the mat, he flies to the rafters and drops an elbow so hard that Macho Man Randy Savage is now back in the match. It was so perfect an elbow, that lightning struck, thunder went “Ohhhh Yeah” and now a Zombie Macho Man is up and choking The Military Adviser from Civ. Number 28 is BROCK LESNAR,

brock lesnar

The WWE’s current monster and rightful champion. He charges the ring and isn’t afraid of anything. He tosses over the Undead Macho Man and pummels the rest of the ring. Lesnar grabs Avatar Ang and throws him out over the moat, but Ang catches a wind current and rides it around the arena because he’s an airbender and he can do that. Lesnar grabs Michael Jordan and throws him out over the moat, but Mike catches a wind current and rides it around the arena because he’s an airbender and he can do that. Son of Havoc, always looking for the biggest spot, has sneaked to the rafters and attempts an even bigger elbow drop than Ang. SoH intercepts Jordan in mid flight, and they land in a tangled mess near the corner. Heenan calls it a “Blue Blazer,” No One thinks it’s appropriate. Number 29 is Rock Icon JACK WHITE,

jack white

who sprints to the ring Ultimate Warrior style and smashes his electric guitar on Lesnar’s head. Heenan complains they’ve already seen a guitar shot, and Bas Ruten tells him classics can be simple. Honky Tonk Man is at ringside, and he seems okay with it. Jack White hits Lesnar with an Icky Thump and a Jimmy the Exploder Suplex before hitting a Denial Twist. Entrant 30 is the most dangerous stable in imaginary wrestling. It’s THE WEASELS from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?


The Quintet storm the squared circle with guns blazing and knives and bats swinging. Psycho, Wheezy, Greasy, Stupid, and Smartass all split up and terrorize the remaining combatants. Greasy, the vaguely offensive one, and Moe wrestle over a knife, stabbing each other mercilessly as they roll under the ropes and into the water. Two tentacles wrap around them and pull them towards the moat. “I knew it would end like this,” Moe sighs “every thing I sign up for ends with tentacles and a knife fight.” Stupid clubs at Jack White with his bat, Psycho is lacing up Bernie Sanders with his switchblade. Smartass shoots indiscriminately into the crowd while Wheezy produces a big round black bomb with a cartoon fuse. He lights it, and shoves it down Brock Lesnar’s shorts. The explosion sends Brock high in the air, stretching against the ropes. They snap and the ring collapses at the corners. Brock pulls himself back to the mayhem. Avatar Ang is overwhelmed by the explosions and screams of the innocent. He enters his Avatar State. He glows with unnatural power as bright blue energy ripples and crackles around his frame. He swells in size and fury. “YOU” he screams, and summons volcanoes to rattle the remaining combatants. He crushes the ring with a tidal wave that sweeps the men into the water. Brock Lesnar dashes in to make the save, he grabs the Avatar and hits beautiful F-5. The Avatar recoups and hits Lesnar with his own F-5, not the move, but an actual F-5. A Massive Tornado the size of a town throws Brock Lesnar into the crowd, and rips the ring in half. It tears lights from the ceiling. The TitanTron cuts to John Cena in the back still crying. Amid a maelstrom, John is crushed by lockers and an errant safe. Paramedics run to rescue him, they pull the steel away from awful gore. “You shouldn’t see this” says a doctor, waving a hand in his face. The tornado decimates the Spanish Announce Table, but leaves the regular announce table unscathed, as is the tornado’s way. Ang, exhausted, collapses in the center of the ring. He sobs at the destruction, and what he has become. There’s gurgling from the bank behind Ang. Moe Szyslak pulls himself from the water and charges at The Avatar, scooping  him over. He’s shoeless, and covered in sucker marks. His ragged pants are cinched about his waste with a weasel belt and tentacle buckle. “KID GORGEOUS” MOE SZYSLAK smiles his terrible smile. He’s going for a gold belt at WrestleMania.

Moe 2

The Gooky Man

Posted: October 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

When I was 17, I might have made a monster.

My friends and I rummaged through an old abandoned house, and now my town is haunted.

It was a legend, misinformation, and the imaginations of now 16 graduating classes.

Angola High School has the Gokamon.

I don’t know who found the house, it wasn’t me. I came a couple of weeks later to sip whisky and smoke cigars at a creepy house some underclassmen had broken into. We were all very very scared.

A kid named Ben Darnell, who was always cool for no reason had told me about it on the bus. “There’s all kinds of devil shit, and a mannequin with real teeth and fingernails!” he swore to me. My best friend Don was more interested than anyone. Don Zimmer has considered himself the leader and moral compass of any group he’s ever been a part of, and this affront to God and County would not stand. We packed at up and trekked out that afternoon. I wish I remembered who was with us. It was probably Ben, and maybe Ray Sterling, a tall kid who might have disappeared after high school. I’ll bet Andy Gitzendanner was there, and I think I remember three sophomore girls I desperately wanted to see naked and never did. We walked around this creepy old house and barn for an hour or two and engaged in the tiny vices kids with new licenses engage in. Those cooler kids could have gotten laid.

The place is on 200 East, a road that goes to nowhere and connects two other seemingly worthless roads. It’s set a bit back from the road surrounded by cornfields and an old burnt down house that’s never fallen down completely. It’s obscured by branches from ashy walnut trees that look like the sentries of secretive forest. It’s a house, three stories tall, with a door hanging from it’s hinges. Whatever color it was is lost, and it’s now grey like old bones. There’s a trailer that even then, in fall of 1998, was missing all of its windows and most of its floor. Every part of it is stained with mildew. There’s  swamp that stretches into reeds that stretches into muck that stretches into the back yard with no discernible boundaries. People lose shoes there. There’s also a barn. That’s where the murders or black magic happened. You can tell.

The place is undeniable creepy, even if only in the sad scary ways Depression era photos make you feel. The place reminds you things fall down.

The Barn had the mannequin, and boxes and boxes of astrology plaques stacked up to the ceiling. It had a kiln and a pottery wheel, and saw blades of various sizes lingering on tables with no purpose or explanation. The mannequin was paper mache, and when we broke it open, we certainly broke it open, there was nothing inside but more paper. The fingernails were press on nails, and the teeth were clearly those for dolls or old dentures. There was nothing sinister about the place, except the young deviants inside. The astrology plaques were nonsense items you’d win for breaking balloons at a fair, but in a town as overtly christian as our sweet Angola, that “devil shit” would not stand. We all stole a couple and whipped saw blades through the windows.

The underclassman called it the “Gooky Man House,” which was, and is, a stupid, stupid name. What the fuck’s a gooky man? I don’t know either, and I fought valiantly to change it, but was dismissed. The place became a hangout, a curiosity, a place to go that didn’t cost any money, and where no parents saw you smoke. We went there most weekends.

Spooky stories sprung up, people would park there and their car batteries would die. There always seemed to be an unfinished bottle of whisky on a table upstairs that no one remembered bringing or leaving. People heard voices, and that mannequin changed rooms or expressions. We were delighted with the haunt.

I found out the real story later that year, when my mother asked where we were going, and why I smelled like smoke. She laughed at our suspicions. The place was abandoned by a family with some money, and once my folks tried to buy it. The family had a hippie kid who lived there in the trailer. He made arts and crafts, apparently those of the zodiac variety. He didn’t hook up the electricity or water and my mom said once, when she picked him up walking down the road, he smelled like “marijuana.” She put her hand up to her mouth and whispered when she said it.

It was a pretty tame origin for the Fiend of Steuben, even a fiend with a terribly stupid name.

I didn’t think about it again for 16 years, until I came home recently, and a kid who’s now a man told me the story he had heard. He told me all about the Gokamon. The monster house that lit up for no reason, and screamed at you when you were leaving. He’d acquired more stories of car batteries and flashlights and phones all dropping stone dead on the property. And that paper mache Indian might not be there anymore, but there’s no question as to its existence, and it’s a fact that it’s wrapped around some dead kid’s corpse. The swamp in the back will trick you into walking there, and don’t even try to spend the night.

I laughed my balls off. What the fuck’s a Gokamon? The idiots either Japanesed our ghost story, made it some wet haired blank faced monster, or worse, married it to a trading card game I’m just too old to understand. Regardless, kids still go there to get scared, and I’d wager, drink a little stolen whisky. I’ve never made a valid contribution to anything in my life, but that story I’m a part of took root and is still growing. I’m a weird sort of proud.

The day after the young man told me about the Gokamon, I drove past the house with it’s crooked frame and whispering elm trees, five vultures sat on the roof. I swear to god I’d never seen vultures there before. Five buzzards looked at me, and smiled like they were part of the joke. Maybe all our fear, and the fears of those behind us birthed a monster or a wind or some sinister vapor that grew into something almost real, an aggregation of nightmares. I would have taken a picture, but my camera phone wouldn’t hold a charge.

Nikita Khrushchev

Posted: September 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

“I’m a Pirate!” yelled Andy, waving a bag of fake gold coins over his head. They were cheap like his plastic eye patch, the strap had been breaking all day. Sarah, Andy’s sister, had reknotted it a dozen times. It wrapped around his head at an imperfect angle. The cord was ready to snap. His sword was a Scott paper towel roll he’d crushed into having a handle. They were supposed to throw waste in the receptacle, and save paper in case it was needed, but she figured his weapon would make perfectly fine garbage after he was done playing with it. An electric light buzzed over their heads.

“Where’s the treasure!” he demanded, jabbing his bent paper sword at the GI Joe who sat at the edge of his cot. “I know you have it Blackbeard,” he shouted. Sarah saw the GI Joe had an actual black beard. It was worn and patchy, but certainly black. “That’s a good nickname,” she said, “for your pirate.” “Thanks” said Andy, smiling smugly. He kept his unpatched eye squinted and lips peeled back in the unmistakable sneer of a Seadog.

“I’m going to make this pirate take me to his treasure, then stab him and push him in the hole.”

Sarah worried her little brother was a psycho, but was impressed he was so good at pretend.

Even here.

“How do you know he’s got treasure?” She asked. She was reading her Bible and taking notes. Their folks were both on the other side of the blanket that divided the room. It was the only room in the bunker. Dad was sitting on the bottom bunk looking at the rotary telephone mounted to the wall. Mom was reading her Bible too.

“He’s got a map!” answered Andy, swashbuckling at the air. He held up the map he’d made on the inside flap of a coloring book. He’d torn it off so it had ragged edges, and the “X” looked outta sight.

“Then why do you need him?” asked his big sister

“Because I can’t read it.” snarled Andy.

“Because you can’t read?” She teased.

“I can too!” Andy yelled.

“No you can’t.”

“Well I can when I’m a Pirate!” he asserted.

She thought he probably could. “You know, most Pirates couldn’t read.”

Andy turned his head crooked. “Why?”

“Because most pirates were 6 years old.” she lied.

Andy’s eyes got wide for a moment before he realized she was kidding.

“Most people just couldn’t read,” she explained. “it wasn’t important.”

Dad looked at the phone.

“And pirates didn’t really make maps.” Sarah said.

“What?” he exclaimed.

“They didn’t. They didn’t bury treasure and stuff, that’s made up.”

“Well then where did they get treasure?”

“They stole it off boats.”

“What did they do with it?” he asked, putting up his GI Hostage and sitting next to his sister.

“Spent it.” she said, “why would you bury something instead of use it?” she asked her little brother. “You work really hard to get something, why hide it on an island you’ll never come back to?”

“But what if you did come back?” Andy asked.

“You couldn’t,” she said. “They’d kill you.”

Andy was confused, and maybe a little angry, but he liked it when Sarah told him stuff. He loved it when Sarah was bored.

He knew the place his dad kept talking about was an island where pirates were from, Sarah showed him that in the Encyclopedia Brittanica they had brought down with them. It was a place that wasn’t America, but was sort of America, and a place nobody owned. Until now he was sure it was full of treasure, and good for fighting, and that’s why war happened there.

Sarah thought about her brother’s idea of treasure, and laughed to herself. She thought about gold and jewels and the whole world trapped underneath a big sheet of glass. She thought about The Bomb, and turned back to her notes.

Andy could read a little, but not whole books. His sister had written down names in her diary. ADAM and EVE were in capital letters, and CAIN and ABEL were beneath them. There were lines and arrows connecting the names, and a big question mark between Cain and his mother. LOT and LOT’S WIFE were halfway down the page. Andy didn’t know that story as well, but he knew everybody died except for Lot and his daughters; and the wife got turned into salt. It always made him feel uncomfortable seasoning anything. Sarah had her family written down at the bottom. There were question marks and arrows, lines were scratched through her Dad’s name.

Their mother got up and grabbed a box of cornflakes from the pack they had in the corner. She always ate them dry, which freaked out both of her kids.

“Did pirates still have hooks for hands?”

“Probably,” Sarah thought, “but they didn’t make people walk the plank.”

“What?” Andy was outraged. “It’s true,” Sarah smiled too big. “It’s just a made up thing, like Paul Bunyan.”

“That’s Bullshit!” Andy yelled,  upturning the game of Stratego he’d lined up for later. The board cartwheeled in the air and armies of scouts and sappers flew across the room.

“Hey!” Dad yelled as he pulled back the divider. He barely fit inside the bunker.

“I’m sorry!” Andy flinched. “Don’t antagonize your brother.” Dad said. The phone rang and everyone turned to the clanging altar. Dad picked up the receiver.

“Nothing?” he said into it. Then, “Well good.” Then, “I guess so.”

He hung up the phone. “That language isn’t okay,” he reprimanded Andy, “and pick up these pieces.”

Dad said something about Khrushchev and mom started crying. Andy knew they were supposed to be happy, but he couldn’t focus. His sister was weird and his parents were sad. He gripped the bag of coins in his hand. He was mad nobody buried treasure. He climbed up towards the living room. Everybody was a liar.

The Dull Brown of Murder

Posted: July 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

Chapter 1

An animal’s howl tore through the worst night their lives. The older girl was crying and her big brother was screaming for the men to stop, but they didn’t. There were 8 of them, and they were terrorizing a family. The father had been bound and gagged in the middle of the house, the mother tied up beside. One of the bigger men smashed a sword into the boy’s face and stuffed a wadded up piece of fabric in his mouth. Scratch, the Captain backhanded the oldest girl with the butt of his pistol. The littlest girl, probably seven or eight, but scrawny like a toddler, quit screaming when they heard the howl. The eight men all ran outside, well six of them ran outside, two were already standing at the door. The Captain grabbed a rifle from one of the men at the door.

“What was that?” said Scratch.

“A howl,” said his man at the door. He carried two rifles, and had one loaded and at the ready. The other men fanned out and circled the house.

“Where’d it come from?”

The other man answered by pointing out towards the ocean, to where they’d come from.

“That’s impossible, Bear’s don’t give a fuck about these islands.” The men shook their heads and readied their guns. Eight men, sixteen rifles, maybe twenty pistols, and they were all good with their swords, but none of them had any silver. That shouldn’t be a problem thought Scratch, eight men who know what they’re doing can bring down a Bear, especially a scrawny Island Bear that would live on this shithole rock. He walked inside and surveyed the room, the five family members huddled together as best they could encumbered by ropes and chairs and violence. The father’s eyes ran across his kids, and up to Scratch. They pleaded with something beyond rage or fear, they only pleaded urgency. His eyes only wanted life, for him, and his family. Scratch saw it and sent a hateful fist into his face, determined to kill anything bigger than he was. The urgency died a weak death as his nose broke again with a wet crunch. Scratch spit on the bound man and grabbed the oldest girl’s hair. Her hair was curly and brown, and thick enough to allow a terrible grip. Scratch yanked her head back and forth, her chair wobbled precariously. Her sent her to the ground in a clatter, her shoulder broke when she landed. Her brother strained to kick free from his bonds, but couldn’t. The youngest daughter focused intently at the door. Another howl echoed off the stillness of the hills. The youngest daughter smiled.

The men had positioned themselves around the house. They’d taken loose cover behind trees and an overturned chest. One man had headed over the nearest hill to scout, but the men still at the house didn’t need him to tell them they’d just heard a howl, and not a roar. Scratch stormed out of the house again. He staggered a bit from drunkeness, but not enough to concern his men, who staggered much the same.

“The God Damn’s a Wolf Doing out here?” he whisper yelled loudly enough for the whole troop to hear.

I giant silvery head struck out of the darkness and crunched down on the man he was asking’s collarbone. A spurt of warm blood arched into the moonlight, crimson and strong. The Wolf’s head tore a good chunk of the man to one side, and its body pushed the rest to the other. It lashed out at Scratch and drove its hand into his belly, he dropped his rifle, and the pistol he’d been grabbing at when the Wolf killed his ally. Blood gurgled up in the Captain’s mouth and dripped over his patchy grey beard. Two men fired rifles into the Werewolf, one of him hit square in the monster’s back. Two more fired pistols walking right at the beast. The rifle blast sent the Wolf reeling. It rolled over itself and scurried around the corner of the house. The pistols did nothing but fill the air with smoke and noise. The pirates remaining ran around the house, the first one to meet the Wolf was torn open at the belly, he died in a pile dropping his gun on top of his insides. The next one was smarter, leading with the bayonet, but he moved slowly. He drove his gun into the Wolf, but the creature was too strong, and pushed it up and away from the attacker. It bit its great white teeth into this pirates neck, and he died. The scout had come from over the hillside and readied himself with his gun, and two more men with pistols and swords came from each side. The Wolf charged at one and pounced, her frame was soundless. She left the earth with no cracking of twigs or rustling of dirt and leaf, she broke for the air and drove into the man so hard his bones and body broke into pieces. They shattered and splintered with all the noise that should have happened when she left. A man closed in behind her firing pistols, one ball tore through her arm, but she her heart, and rage, and the darkness that made her something old and pure pumped so hot it mended her wounds almost before she turned around. The magic that made her was pure in the madness this sliver of moon pushed on the earth. She punched her hand out and a claw took out an eye. She cut the other direction and bounded towards the man readying his rifle on the hill. He fired before he turned and ran, but the shot was off. He died screaming when she caught him.

The Wolf was white, and the blood from the pirates’ stained her. Sometimes old ladies would flatter her and call her hair silver, but it was white, and now it was the dull brown of death. She walked limping and growling at the house. She dragged the last man, the scout, a young bald white guy with gold studs in his ears behind her. She neared the house. The family inside was panicked and skittered inside their gags and ropes. The Wolf ducked her head to enter the poorly lit little home. She panned the room and found a knife on the only table in the structure. It fit poorly in her big hand, an extra claw in the middle of her weapon. She cut the father’s ropes first and dropped the knife, he set to work with it faster. He cried and held them as they milled around in shock. When the little girl was cut free she ran to the Wolf and clung to it like one would a family dog. The White Wolf did not smile, but made no move to stop her. The six of them walked outside, seven bodies littered the ground around them. The Wolf scanned them in a panic. The man she’d only injured, the man she’d taken an eye from was trudging along the hillside hundred of yards away. She made to move on him, but the father readied a rifle that was left on the ground and fired at the silhouette before she could. It jerked and fell. It rustled to get up, but the Wolf was tired. She let it limp off to die.

The father mother fell crying, holding their children, and taking turns squeezing them, and kissing their heads. The Wolf started to make a big fire, she dragged logs and corpses to a clearing near the house, but the mother took over and arranged a full pyre. They stripped the bodies of the slavers and gathered up their guns and trinkets, and roasted their bodies on the bonfire. The White Wolf ate a great deal of pirate.

Chapter 2

The man the Wolf had half blinded struggled towards the sea. The hole in his face where his eye had been was hot and felt heavy. It pulled his head forward like the wound brought more gravity. He lurched with the musket ball lodged in his shoulder, disrupting the symmetry of his machine. He did not go towards the tiny boat that brought him there, but down the coast in the other direction. His boat, he figured, now that the Captain was dead, was worthless to him. He could not man it himself, and he was sure that monster would find it. It was probably sniffing around the damn thing now.

His name Roco, but he was called Rock, or Rocky, or Roq, Rocks, and Roach or any other lazy man’s refusal to get his name right. He was an angry and bitter man as burnt black as a crow’s eye. He was wiry and thin and missing an eye. He’d known and shown little kindness throughout his whole life. He had been slaving for three years, thieving for twelve, and living for seventeen. There’s no reason to believe his first two years were particularly sinister.

Roco liked slaving. It was easier than stealing from other pirates, and occasionally you kept a soft one for yourself, or to toss around with the other men on his ship. This crew wasn’t his favorite, but they had worked well enough together, and Scratch was an easy drunk who didn’t cheat at cards. Roco knew he couldn’t retire slaving, but he didn’t think it would cost him an eye, or an arm, or his life. He spit blood and curses in the grass and labored on. He figured he was 5 kilometers from the fort on this tiny island. They wouldn’t open their gates, not with the gun shots they’d heard earlier, and not to a bloody black foreigner in Bear Country, but they’d have something he could pilfer, a store or barn would have something he could wrap his shoulder with, and maybe something to dig the ball out he hoped. He trudged on. Blood leaving a trail of stink behind him.

He did not hear the old man in black robes overtake him. He did not see him walking behind him from when he first reached the beach. He’d walked in silence. He did not even leave footprints next to the man’s he was following, though there was no parable on faith or safety in that fact. The old man in black robes scrapped along the sands gaining on the lurching slaver silently and ceaselessly, until he walked right up on him. In fact he walked with such stealth and purpose, the wheezing, bleeding man he pursued walked in step with him, and even saw him for a moment, before realizing his company was odd and out of place. He startled and jumped, his body pulling apart at the seams when he did so. Parts of his insides he couldn’t see filled with hot blood and his head swam with vague distress. He clawed at his pockets with his one good arm and pulled out a long curved blade.

“No.” The wizard almost sang. His voice was old and distant.

“The fuck, old man,” Roco said, punching his knife at the man’s black robes. He did not move or flinch or parry. Roco’s arms were too short to reach him. He stumbled at the Wizard, his knife thrusting at him, his arm looking to trap him and hold him there. The Wizard moved faintly but quickly and Roco fell to the ground with a squeak that sounded like pain. The Wizard squatted beside him and nodded sympathetically.

He spoke to the Roco in a language he didn’t understand. It was silky. Roco scrunched his nose and hated the way the Wizard spoke. His voice sounded older than words, like the things he said were true, and the words were only there to frame them. Roco’s ears stung and pussing wound in his face buzzed. “What do you want Old Man? I’m dying!” he tried to scream. The Wizard shook his head sadly, and tried more words. Some of them stuck. He was asking about the Wolf, but Roco didn’t care. This man wasn’t here to help him, and now he was too weak to kill him. Roco’s eyes filled up with tears and he cried.

The Wizard turned his head away from Roco, and looked sadly to the sea. He pulled a piece of driftwood from his pocket, and drew a sign like infinity in the dirt. He crossed it with two straight lines, and curved a line between to points, and the driftwood lit up like a candle. Roco’s eyes swelled at the sight of real magic. His cries were too much. His heart broke and all the wonders and hate of oblivion filled and overwhelmed him. The Wizard let the bent crooked boy touch him. He let Roco wrap his good hand up in the folds of his vestment and weep and bleed all over his death black robes. The Wizard held him, and the glow of the fire seemed to pulse with the rolling of the waves in the distance. Roco looked at the Old Man as he took down his hood. His hair was wispy and silver. His skin was olive. He had bright white teeth. His eyes were steady, and his irises seemed too small. They were just a green ring around his pinprick pupils. They seemed deeper than guilt. He smiled and it cracked the world.

The old man rummaged in the leather pouch he carried at his waist. He had another one, a better one, he’d lost years ago, but this one was good, and had what he needed. He took out a simple seed, no bigger or more exciting than one from a watermelon or sunflower. He held it in his fingers and placed it in Roco’s mouth. He didn’t know why he let him. It wasn’t like Roco not to bite a man when given the chance, but the wizard put the seed in Roco’s mouth, then offered him a drink from his waterskin. The water was cold and full of life. Roco breathed deeply and drifted off next to the fire. He screamed for the rest of his life.

As soon as Roco had swallowed the water, and the seed began to take root in Roco’s mouth, it hurt, and wormed poison into his head. The roots hooked in beneath his tongue, and dug into the gap a man’s mandible makes. It swelled and forced down his throat and up into his sinuses. It gagged and choked Roco, but worse were the nightmares. Once in his sinuses the plant branched off and grew into his brain. The pressure was insufferable, it split and cracked parts of his skull, and overwhelmed the soft spots completely. Cartilage exploded in his nose. A thick vine pushed out of the hole in his eye, and pushed out veins and strings of meat with it, its thorns cutting caverns in his frontal lobe. Every scream he’d heard, his own, and the ones he caused echoed eternally in the memories he could not control or contain. He was falling and hiding and drowning. He was on the block, he was in chains, he was a screaming orphan in the Rat Town his mother had died in. Dreams last for ever, and Roco was inside them when he died. He was an old man in the morning.

The sun came up and the wizard stretched towards the ocean. He planted his feet in the earth and reached towards the star that pulls boats to the edge of the world. A small purple berry was growing from the vine that pushed out of Roco’s eye. It was thick like snake. Smaller tendrils grew off of and along it. They wrapped around and grew out of one of the body’s nostrils. His mouth was forced open with a thick crop of leaf and vine. It had an anguished look. The wizard picked the berry and put it in his mouth. He chewed the fruit, and knew the answers to the questions he’d been asking.

He knew where Roco came from, and what he knew about the White Wolf that had killed them. It wasn’t much, but it was something. He buried the pirate under a few inches of sand, and walked towards the mountains.