Daily Archives: March 13, 2016

Slate Article – Parents Punishing Kids by Shaming them on Social Media

Yeesh.  Since we’re all techno nerds around here, I, from time to time post articles about technology and I came across this one by Amanda Hess of Slate.

Hess starts with the case of Izabel Laxamana, a girl who sent a selfie to a boy from school.  Her father’s punishment was to cut off Izabel’s hair and took a video asking her if it was worth it.

According to the article, the video made the rounds on social media, the school got involved. Izabel later jumped off a bridge.  (It isn’t totally clear this made her do that but it couldn’t have helped either)

Yikes.  And I thought Uncle Hardass was tough.

Hess goes on to talk about public shaming being an ancient thing.  Schools no longer make kids wear “dunce caps” and teachers don’t beat kids with “the rod” anymore.

For a long time, parents would dole out whatever punishment they deemed necessary, but they’d do it within the confines of their home.

Now, as Hess explains, there seems to be a new trend for parents to punish their kids via online humiliation, taking an embarrassing video – maybe making the kid confess or in one case Hess discusses, a father made his son dance around in skinny jeans and posted a video online (apparently Dad wasn’t a fan of the skinny jeans).

Sigh.  It seems no matter what the technology is, there will always be people who abuse it.

I’m not saying let kids get away with everything but holy crap, whatever happened to a good lecture and some grounding?

Things put on the Internet last forever…FOREVER.  Sure, maybe you’re a dumb parent and you think you’re helping your kid by shaming them out of bad behavior by posting an online video.

But keep in mind that video follows the kid everywhere.  His/Her friends will eventually see it.  Shit, ten years later a potential employer might find it through a Google search, decide not to hire your adult kid and he/she is now stuck living on your couch forever.

Maybe the millennials have it worse than we thought.  Every day their dumb parents are posting pictures and videos of them online that will definitely keep many of them out of a presidential bid.

Shit.  Right now there could be a kid who could have grown up to become the president that solves all our problems and unites us all but it’ll never happen because I don’t know, his dumb parents posted a picture of him picking his nose or whatever.

Anyway.  It’s just some food for thought.  Social media can be a great tool, giving voice to people who otherwise would have remained voiceless.

The downside is…there are a lot of people using it to do dumb things.

Parents…as mad as your kids will make you, and they surely will from time to time, “social media shaming” (holy crap there’s a term for it) is not the way to go.

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Untitled Killer Doll Project – Chapter 5

NOTE:  Ummm…yeah.  So this is where it starts to get pretty awful and I started to have second thoughts.

“Kaboodle” starts talking on his own for the first time.  You’ll notice in previous chapters, he never spoke unless Kit was there.

Kaboodle does move around on his own here.  But I’d chaulk that up to maybe he’s a possessed doll and really can move on his own or maybe Kit’s so crazy he’s just imagining the whole thing.

I don’t like the whole violence against women thing…and that he’s the main character but he’s doing horrible things.

I haven’t written what happens next but in my mind:

  • Lindsey, we find out is an aspiring actress.  She asks Kit if he’d talk to Luther about taking her on as a client.  Kit snaps, thinking Lindsey was just using him and well…does as Kaboodle suggests.

And then what’s basically in my mind for the rest of the book:

  • Kaboodle helps Kit have a “come to Jesus” moment where he needs to realize he’s got to get off of all the various substances he’s on and “quit murdering cold turkey.”  He’s about to become a big star now and it’s too much too lose.
  • Kit blames Kaboodle for suggesting the murder in the first place.  Kaboodle retorts that he’s just a dummy and Kit should be his own man and shouldn’t do things just because a dummy tells him to.
  • Kit becomes a super mega movie star.  Kaboodle is pissed he’s left out of the film business.  Kit promises when he has enough star power that he’ll demand a Kit N Kaboodle movie be made, thus satiating Kaboodle’s anger for now.
  • Ultra mega star Diana Fairbanks is very odd in her personal life and proposes a fake, arranged relationship with Kit to keep the tabloids off her back.
  • Luther advises against this, telling Kit that a superstar like Diana will never let someone she’s with become more famous than she is and will sabotage Kit’s career.
  • She does.
  • Kit ends up a loser.
  • There’s a private detective hired by Lindsey’s family who is hot Kit’s trail throughout the book, putting the pieces together that Kit murdered Lindsey and his previous girlfriends.
  • There’s an ongoing plot that Kit might like to get with his old friend Molly and put his terrible secrets behind him.
  • I forsee some Mr. and Mrs. Smith type showdown in which Kit and Diana engage in a massive mansion destroying duel to the finish. (Because she knows karate or whatever)
  • I can’t allow Kit to have a happy ending because he’s a horrible person.  I’m not sure what the ending will be but he needs to be punished somehow.
  • In the end it is revealed if Kaboodle is really alive or if he’s just a figment of Kit’s imagination.

So that’s all I’ve written.  Like I said, this chapter is where it gets dicey and makes me worried.

This might be one of those novels where I need to get several “winners” under my belt and then this could be the experimental one where it’s either considered good or a dud and people forgive me for a dud.

For the record, I don’t approve of any of the evil activities discussed below.

“WHO DOES THAT BITCH THINK SHE IS?”

Kaboodle was irate.

“Oh don’t start that shit,” Kit said.

“I didn’t start anything,” Caboodle said. “She did! Who is she, the Queen of England or something? That I’m not worthy to be in her royal majesty’s presence?!”

“She doesn’t want a third wheel while we…you know.”

“There’s a fucking zombie in that room but I have to be put away?” Caboodle squeaked. “The nerve of that bitch. I hate her!”

“Stop!”

In a spare room, Kaboodle sat on the edge of a baby grand piano while Kit fumbled through the keys on his key chain until he finally found one that unlocked his “special closet.”

“Cut her damn head off already and be done with it!”

“I said, ‘stop.’”

“You know you’re going to…”

“I’m not listening to this,” Kit said.

“You damn well better listen to this because I will not be treated like garbage, Kit!”

“No one’s treating you like garbage,” Kit replied as he unlocked the closet. It was a big walk-in. Kit retrieved a Caboodle’s trunk, laid it out on the piano bench and clacked the lid open.

“Every couple needs their privacy,” Kit explained. “It’s nothing personal. Hop in.”

On his own, Caboodle turned his head toward the trunk.

“Aw, come on, warden!” Kaboodle quipped. “Don’t throw me in the hole. I’ll be on my best behavior!”

“Get in!” Kit said.

“Sir, might I refer you to the case of Broes vs. Hoes,” Caboodle said. “In which it was distinctly ruled that bros must always come before hoes?”

“I’ll counter that argument with the legal precedent that one bro will never cock block another bro,” Kit said. “Get in the box.”
“Why’d you tell her you love her?” Caboodle asked.

“Because I do.”

“Bullshit!”

“What do you know about it?” Kit asked.

“Love is a bullshit feeling,” Caboodle said. “It’s like a heart palpitation, or a stomach pain or bad gas. People have all this physical, chemical reactions and they assign various so-called ‘emotions’ to them. Sadness. Happiness. Love. It’s all one hundred percent grade A bullshit. You’re all just a bunch of stupid meat bags who’ve tricked yourselves into thinking your thoughts and feelings actually matter.”

“OK,” Kit said. “I’m cutting you off from TV. You’ve been watching too much True Detective. Get in the trunk.”

“You’re going to throw me in there without a book?” Caboodle asked.

“Sorry,” Kit said as he walked into the closet. A moment later, he returned with a flashlight, two books, and a small, felt box.

“Gone Girl or Mockingjay?” Kit asked.

“Gone Girl I guess,” Caboodle said. “I haven’t read Catching Fire yet so I don’t want to be lost.”

Kit tossed Gillian Flynn’s signature work into the trunk along with the flashlight.

“Anything else?” Kit asked. “Suppose you want a mint on your pillow too, my lord?”

Kaboodle stretched out his hand and pointed a finger at the little felt box Kit was carrying.

“What is that?”

“What’s what?”

“Don’t play dumb with me!” Kaboodle shouted. “What is that?”

Sighing heavily, Kit rolled his eyes and opened the felt box up to reveal a gorgeous diamond engagement ring.

“YOU SON OF A BITCH!”

“Kaboodle, please.”

“I thought we’re a team, Kit!” Caboodle said. “I thought we consult each other on everything!”
“Consider yourself consulted.”

“And my answer is a resounding, ‘NO!’”

“Duly noted and rejected,” Kit said.

Kaboodle hopped off the piano and let out an “oomph!” as he hit the ground. He stood up and walked into the closet. Kit followed.

“You know I don’t like it when you come in here.”

“Well I don’t know how else to talk any sense into your dumb ass,” Caboodle said.

The diminutive dummy rolled open the bottom drawer, climbed in and rummaged around for awhile, the tops of his feet kicking around in the air. He came out with a photograph in his hand.

Kit sat on the floor. Caboodle handed over the picture. It showed Kit as a chubby, horn rimmed spectacled teenager, far from the good looking specimen he’d become, but not unlike Caboodle’s current appearance.

“Do you have any idea how much work we did to separate you from this guy?” Caboodle asked.

“I know,” Kit said.

“I became the butt of all the jokes so you wouldn’t have to be anymore,” Caboodle said.

“I know,” Kit repeated.

“And what do I get to show for it?” Caboodle asked. “Shoved in a trunk to make some cheap slut happy.”

“Lindsey is not a slut,” Kit protested.

“THEY’RE ALL SLUTS!” Kaboodle shouted. “No woman can ever be trusted!”

Kit sat there and sulked with no response.

“Could Jenny be trusted?” Caboodle asked.

“No,” Kit said.

“Always ‘borrowing’ money from you, wasn’t she?” Caboodle asked. “Promised to pay you back but left you flat broke. Shit, you were about to hit Skid Row until Luther discovered you.”

“I know,” Kit said.

“Howsabout Irina?” Caboodle asked.

“Do we really need to rehash everything?” Kit asked.

“Apparently we do because you never learn, jerkface,” Caboodle said. “You were sure it was true love with that one until you figured out all she wanted out of you was a green card.”

“I’ve made mistakes,” Kit said. “I’m not perfect.”

“I’ll say,” Caboodle said. “And you know what else I always say.”

“Yup.”

“Say it.”

“No.”

“SAY IT!”

Kit rolled his eyes and mumbled under his breath… “There’s no such thing as free pussy.”

“Louder!” the dummy said.

“There’s no such thing as free pussy,” Kit said.

“Correctamundo!” Kaboodle cried. “There is no such thing as free pussy! Every broad is working some kind of an angle and your little redheaded cumquat out there is no different.”

“She is.”

“Isn’t.”

“IS!”

“She has always been there for me and she’s never asked me for a damn thing,” Kit said.

“Give her time,” Caboodle said. “It’s only been six months. Wait a little before you pop the question. I guarantee you she’ll reveal her true colors.”

“She’s the love of my life,” Kit said.

Kaboodle grabbed his sides and doubled over with laughter.

“Oh God,” Caboodle said. “Thanks buddy. Thanks. I needed that.”

“Whatever,” Kit said as he stood up. “Get used to her because she isn’t going anywhere.”
“Whatever you say,” Caboodle said. “Just a word of advice. I know you’ve got a sentimental attachment to Mr. Slashy but if you ask me, you should just choke the bitch out.”

“Goddamn you,” Kit said as he grabbed Caboodle by the leg and dragged him out of the closet, allowing the little guy’s head to scrape across the rug.

“I mean, sure Mr. Slashy makes for a dramatic effect but he leaves way too much forensic evidence. Some CSI tech is sure to come in here with a black light one of these days and find it all!”

“STOP IT!” Kit said as he stuffed Caboodle into the trunk.

“Just wrap your hands around her neck and give her a good, clean choke. You’re a big, strong guy. She’s got a little neck. You can just snap it in half, no muss, no fuss, no big clean up job afterwards.”

Kit’s eyes grew wide as he wrapped his hands around Caboodle’s neck.

“Yeah, baby!” Kaboodle shouted. “Just like that!”

“Shut the fuck up!” Kit said. “Not another word out of you!”

The comedian slammed the lid shut, clacked down the latches and carried the trunk to the special closet. Caboodle broke out in a rousing jailhouse spiritual.

“Nobody knows…the trouble I seen! Nobody knows….my sorrow!”

“This time it’ll be different,” Kit said. “You’ll see!”

Kit walked out of the closet, slammed the door and locked it. He shoved his key ring into his pocket, composed himself, and made his way out of the spare room.

As he switched off the light, he could hear Caboodle shout, “You’ll be sorry!”

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Untitled Killer Doll Project – Chapter 4

Sunday morning…

Over the years, Kit had turned his loft into a veritable museum of geekery. Much like a suit of armor one might find in an old castle, a Star Wars storm trooper outfit stood at attention on a pedestal in the right hand corner of the living room. In the far left corner, there was a scowling zombie statute that had once been a prop from the horror flick, Zombageddon. A full size TARDIS phone booth that had actually been used in the Dr. Who series was in the back of the room, next to a display case filled with limited edition action figures still in the original packaging. Characters from Star Wars, Star Trek, GI Joe, Transformers, Battlestar Galactica, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were just a few of the selections on display. He had even more, but figures he deemed too rare or expensive he kept in a special closet.

Hanging over the fire place? A framed poster of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction, their pistol packing hands extended towards their impending victims. It was signed by the actors themselves, as well as the classic film’s legendary director, Quentin Tarantino. On the mantle, there were over a hundred jiggly bobble head dolls. The characters more or less ran the same gamut of his action figure collection.

Various lightsabers sat on a rack as if they were samurai swords and a tauntaun’s head was mounted on Kit’s wall as if it were a big game hunter’s prize. As for vintage arcade games, there were too many too mention. Pac Man, Galaga, Dig Dug, Frogger, Centipede, Space Invaders…he had them all.

Clad in a terrycloth bathrobe emblazoned with Batman’s logo on the back, Kit marched into the room holding a breakfast tray. Scrambled eggs, French toast, hash browns, orange juice and coffee…he’d gone all out.

“My my, quite the gourmet chef!” Lindsey said.

“Bon appetit, mon cheri,” Kit said as he took a spot on the couch next to his lady love. “What are we watching?”

“You!”

“What?” Kit asked as he chomped into a piece of toast.

“Look!” Lindsey said as she pointed to the TV, where an anchorman was babbling away.

“And in lighter news, comedian Kit Crawford, best known for his ventriloquism act ‘Kit N’ Caboodle….”

Footage of Friday night’s show ran as the anchorman continued.

“…wowed the world as he made his dummy sing a rap song while being water boarded. Vick Tanner, Executive Producer for Friday Night Follies, said the stunt brought the show its highest ratings ever in its twenty-five year history.”

“You’re literally on every channel,” Lindsey said as she clicked the remote. The next channel? Kit. The channel after that? Kit. The next one? Kit again. Lindsey stopped when she reached an episode of Entertainment Beat in progress.

“Wowza! A star is born!” announced the beautiful host, Julie Broderick. “Kit Crawford and his pal Caboodle have made a number of cameos on various television shows, most recently on this episode of Dumb Dad…”

Dumb Dad was the most popular sitcom on television. It followed the exploits of Pete Gentry, the world’s dumbest dad. Kit N’ Caboodle guest starred as a pair of psychiatrists.

Pete laid down on a black leather sofa and poured his heart out as Kit N’ Caboodle listened.

“I’m so depressed, doctor…”

“Doctors,” Caboodle said, leaning into the “s.”

“Excuse me?” Pete asked.

“There’s two doctors in the room,” Caboodle said. “I did complete seven years of medical school, I’ll have you know.”

“Really?” Pete asked, surprised.

“Yeah, the University of Barbados has pretty lax standards,” Caboodle replied. “They’ll let any dummy in.”

Cue canned laugh track.

“OK,” Pete corrected himself. “I’m so depressed, doctors…”

“Why is that, Peter?” Kit asked as he pretended to scrawl notes on a legal pad.

“I’m a constant disappointment to my wife and children,” Pete said. “Every week I fail them in a kooky, off the wall manner. Like just last week, my daughter Becky baked a chocolate cake and I ate a slice only I didn’t know it was for the school bake sale.”

“Absolutely riveting,” Caboodle said.

“So I got the recipe and tried to bake a replacement cake only I blew up my wife’s stove…”

“Uh huh,” Kaboodle said.

“Soo then I…I’m sorry, is the dummy going to keep talking?”

“No, you can stick a sock in it whenever you want,” Caboodle said.

Cue Caboodle’s head spin, followed by his catchphrase, “Wowza!” topped off with more canned laughter.

Cut to Julie’s voice over the Friday Night Follies opener. “But Hollywood insiders are all a-twitter over this sketch, saying it’s sure to propel Crawford to super stardom.”

Cut to Luther walking to his car.

“Our cameras caught up with Crawford’s agent, Luther Beaumont.”

“Aww hell I always knew that boy had a light in him and it was finally his turn to shine,” Luther said. “Get used to his face because you’re going to be seeing it all over the place, America.”

Kit grabbed the remote and switched the TV off.

“You don’t want to watch yourself?” Lindsey asked.

“Nah,” Kit replied as he looked into Lindsey’s blue eyes. “I’d rather watch you.”

Lindsey snuggled up under Kit’s arm. “Oh you would, would you?”

“Yes…”

The couple locked lips. Kit eased himself back on the couch, pulling Lindsey on top of him. He stopped kissing for a moment and just studied his girlfriend’s perfect, porcelain skin. Her red hair was pulled up in a bun and she was wearing one of Kit’s shirts as a night shirt, but it didn’t matter. To Kit, she’d look good in anything.

“What?” Lindsey asked.

“You’re so beautiful,” Kit answered.

“Shut up!” Lindsey said playfully as she moved in to nibble on Kit’s earlobe.

BZZZTTTT!

Kit’s phone vibrated and shook all over the coffee table.

“Oh my God,” Lindsey said. “That thing’s been ringing off the hook.”

“It has?” Kit asked as he reached for it.

“Like ten times while you were in the kitchen.”

Kit swiped right to answer.

“Hello?”

“Star playa.”

“Hey Luther.”

“What’re you doing tomorrow?” Luther asked.

“I’ve got no plans.”

“Wrong baby,” Luther said. “Your ass is meeting Diana Fairbanks tomorrow.”

Diana Fairbanks was universally considered to be the most breathtakingly hot actress in the entire world, capable of making men erect with a single glance.

Kit sprang to his feet, practically knocking Lindsey off the couch. “Get the fuck out!”

Luther laughed. “I will get the fuck in, bitch!”

The comedian was full of questions. “How? What? What’s this about?”

“Her people loved your shit,” Luther explained. “She wants you as her love interest in her next rom-com.”

“What’s it’s about?”

“Hell if I know,” Luther replied. “Star crossed lovers find each other against the odds and fuck. What’s it matter? My office. Get there at ten a.m. sharp and don’t be a second late or I’ll hunt you down and beat your ass with a two by four. Got it?”

“I got it. Jesus, Luther. Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it. Anything for my star playa.”

Kit sat back, stunned and speechless.

“Good news?” Lindsey asked.

“You could say that,” Kit said. “Do you think me being in a movie with Diana Fairbanks is good news?”

“OH MY GOD!” Lindsey squealed. She threw her arms around Kit and planted kisses all over him. “I can’t believe it!”

“Me neither!” Kit said.

“Baby!” Lindsey said. “I’m so proud of you!”

Kit reached his hand underneath Lindsey’s panties and was about to move in even deeper when she pulled away.
..
“Baby…”

“What?” Kit asked.

Lindsey looked at the coffee table were Caboodle was lying on his side, taking in the entire spectacle through his big goofy eyes.

“Could you…”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Kit said as he picked Caboodle up and set him down on his knee. “I was practicing with him earlier and forgot I left him out.”

Kaboodle perked up. “Well of course you did, you big loser, you’d forget your own head if it wasn’t attached.”

Lindsey giggled.

The dummy’s head turned toward Lindsey. “What’s up sweetie, are we gonna get this three-way started or what?”

Amazed, Lindsey leaned over and poked Caboodle’s cheek.

“Whoa baby I love it when you get handsy,” Caboodle said.

“How do you do that?” Lindsey asked.

“Do what?” replied.

“Make your dummy talk.”

“I just put a little bit of peanut butter on Kit’s lips and he does the rest,” Caboodle answered. “Wowza!”

“Its just…he seems so real,” Lindsey said. “Like I almost forget you’re making him talk.”

“Him?” Caboodle asked. “Everyone knows I’m the brains of the operation!”

“You’re just so good I can’t believe it,” Lindsey said.

“It takes a lot of practice and patience,” Kit said. “Years of learning how to throw my voice, control my vocal chords, my tone, pitch, talking while keeping my lips closed.”

“I swear I’ve never seen your lips move once,” Lindsey said.

“It’s a gift,” Kit said. “Oh and growing up as the geek that no one wants to hang out with helped. Left me a lot of time to practice with this guy.”

“Awww,” Lindsey said as she kissed Kit on the cheek. “Well I can’t think of anyone I’d rather spend all my time with, Mr. Big Handsome Geek.”

Kit smiled.

Lindsey patted him on the knee. “But put him away, ok? I’m sorry but he just creeps me out.”

“He does?” Kit asked.

“Yeah, I can feel him staring at me.”

“That’s silly,” Kit said.

“I know,” Lindsay said as stood up. “But just do it anyway.”

“OK.”

Kit strolled across the living room floor, listening as Lindsey cooed, “meet me in the bedroom when you’re done, baby.”

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Untitled Killer Doll Project – Chapter 3

NOTE: I would rewrite this to have “Molly” actually come in later with a gaudy dress on and a pillow stuffed up her dress to simulate a Kim Kardashian butt.

It would be the beginning of a subplot that Kit and Molly were once friends as they were working comedy clubs on their way up and if he could only get control of his psychotic tendencies, he might be able to make a go of it with her.

In his dressing room, Kit ran a towel over his hair, drying up all the excess water. He then removed his shirt, revealing a pair of cut abs that would turn the head of any woman.

There was a knock on the door.

“Kit, can I come in?”

“Yeah.”

Cast member Al McKenna, dressed up in a banana costume, his face painted yellow and everything, entered. He handed Kit a furry gorilla costume.

“We’re up next,” Josh said.

“OK,” Kit said. “No…wait. I thought the Kardashian thing was next.”

“What?” Al asked.

“Molly dresses up like Kim Kardashian and Caboodle and I get in a fight over who gets to marry her butt.”

“Oh,” Al said. “Yeah, they cut that.”

“Why the hell did they do that?” Kit asked.

“Purple Horizon went on too long,” Al explained. “The guitar player whipped out a picture of the president, wiped his ass with it, then started lecturing everyone about American foreign policy toward Kuala Lumpur or some shit.”

“Aww damn it,” Kit said. “That sketch was gold!”

“Sorry man,” Al said. “It happens…live TV and all. Anyway, they want you out there.”

“OK,” Kit said. “I’m coming.”

Kit stepped into the gorilla costume, zipped up the back, and tucked the mask under his shoulder. He was about to leave when he spotted Caboodle lying on the couch, staring blankly up at the ceiling.

“Sorry buddy,” Kit said as he stuffed Caboodle into a trunk. “Maybe next time.”

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Untitled Killer Doll Project – Chapter 2

NOTE:  I’d probably take the part where Luther and Lindsey are talking in the green room and make it another chapter.

Also, the song Kit sings – that was just something I churned out quick.  I thought it would be funny for the dummy to rap.

But looking back on it, network television would not allow a song with that many swears…

Kit looked at the dummy sitting on his lap. Mr. Kaboodle had been constructed with a face similar to Kit’s, but while Kit was handsome and athletic, his alter ego had a paunch belly. Kit was all decked out in designer wear while Kaboodle wore a pair of plaid pants, a green sweater vest, and a bowtie. To top it all off, Caboodle wore an oversized pair of horn rimmed glasses whereas Kit had undergone laser eye surgery years earlier.

“Well, Mr. Kaboodle,” Kit said. “Isn’t it nice to be here in LA?”

“It sure is,” Mr. Kaboodle replied as his mouth popped up and down. “Finally I’m not the only one in the joint with plastic parts!”

“Oh come on Mr. Kaboodle,” Kit said. “Not everyone in Hollywood has had work done.”

Mr. Kaboodle’s head turned away from Kit and toward the audience. His little eyebrows shifted up and down.

“You sure?” the dummy asked.

Kit moved his arm and Kaboodle leaned forward in the direction of a buxom blonde sitting in the front row.

“Because that floozy looks like she could float us all to Tahiti with those puppies!”

The audience went into hysterics.

Kaboodle’s head spun around and around as he shouted, “WOWZA!”

Once his head was stationary again and the laughter died down, Caboodle looked up to Kit.

“Are you sure we’re in LA?”

“Yeah,” Kit said.

“Positive?”

“Yes!”

“Are you absolutely positively, positive?” Caboodle asked.

“Yes!” Kit shouted, feigning annoyance. “Why?!”

Kaboodle’s head spun around and faced the blonde again.

“Because I’m staring at the Silicone Valley right now and it never looked so good…”

“Mr. Kaboodle, you’re incorrigible!” Kit said.
“There’s a dot com in my pants…”

“All right,” Kit said. “That’s enough.”

Kaboodle’s eyebrows dropped down.

“Ugh…and it just went bust.”

A camera zoomed in on the blonde woman, who was cackling uncontrollably.

Inside the greenroom, Luther and Lacey watched the show on a monitor.

“Oh my God,” Lacey said. “He’s nailing it.”

“Was there ever any doubt?” Luther asked as he chomped on a cigar.

“Yes!” Lacey replied. “All he’s talked about all week is how he can’t take the pressure any more, how he knew he was going to bomb and become an absolute laughingstock.”

“Aww, that’s just nervous nelly bullshit,” Luther said. “Speaking of, that’s was a bullshit move you pulled on my man.”

“Excuse me?” Lacey asked.

“Who in their right mind tells a man who’s about to host a live television show ‘I love you’ for the first damn time? That shit could have seriously messed with his head.”

“How do you know it was the first time?” Lacey asked.

“My star playa’ tells my everything,” Luther replied. “He thought you didn’t love him at all, that your ass was going to walk out on him any day now.”

“Why would he think that?”

“Shit,” Luther said as he flicked open a golden plated lighter and lit up his smoke. “Because take away all those muscles he’s built up, those teeth he had fixed and that tummy he had tucked and he’s still the same old insecure dumb ass I plucked out of a two-bit night club five years ago.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Lacey said. “If anything, I’ve been worried he’s going to leave me what with all the buzz around him lately.”

On the monitor, Kit could be seen carrying Caboodle across the stage and down the stairs, making his way to the voluptuous blonde woman who’d been the butt of Caboodle’s obscene innuendo.

“I doubt it,” Luther said between puffs. “I’ve been in this game for a long time and let me tell you, your boy is one of the few special ones.”

“How so?” Lacey asked.

“By and large, my bread and butter is made off of people who look like they were born to be movie stars,” Luther said. “People who’ve lived charmed lives. People who’ve never had to worry about anything because they’re so goddamn good looking that no one ever denied them anything. Your boy, on the other hand, he had to work for it and let me tell you, when you’ve got to work for something, you appreciate it that much more. I just hope you appreciate him.”

“I do,” Lacey said.

“Good,” Luther said. “Last thing I need is my star playa’s head out of the game with a broke ass heart.”

A pimply faced college age page stuck his head into the green room.

“Sir, you can’t smoke in here.”

“Suck my black ass, bitch,” the big time agent said. “I’m Luther Fucking Beaumont and I can do whatever the fuck I want.”

The page shrugged his shoulders and moved on. Lacey, too much of a lady to say anything, turned to the monitor and focused on Kit’s performance.

Kaboodle was checking out the blonde’s copious bosom.

“I think I’m in love,” the dummy said before his head turned upwards to face the woman. “Oh hello. You’re nice too.”

More laughter from the audience.

Kaboodle’s head spun around to face Kit.

“We need to cut this act short.”

“Why?” Kit asked.

“I’ve got wood.”

Kit rolled his eyes. “You ARE wood!”

“Well then,” Kit replied. “This is all very redundant then, isn’t it?”

“Ma’am,” Kit said as he reached out his hand. “Join us, won’t you?”

Surprised, the woman took Kit’s hand and allowed the performer to lead her up on stage, where she took a seat on a stool.

“Hello,” Kit said. “What’s your name?”

“Melissa,” the blonde said with an adorable babydoll voice.

“Melissa, do we know each other?” Kit asked.

“No,” she replied.

“Would you like to get to know me?” Caboodle asked.

Unsure of what to say to the goofy looking dummy, Melissa just smiled and snickered.

“Tell me about yourself,” Kit said. “What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a secretary,” Melissa said.

“Wowza,” Kaboodle said. “I bet she takes fabulous dictation.”

“Oh Kaboodle, knock it off,” Kit said. “Are you married, Melissa?”

“Divorced,” Melissa replied.

Kaboodle stared at the blonde’s bosom again.

“I’d of fought for custody of those things.”

“Enough, Caboodle!” Kit said. “Have you ever worked a dummy?”

Melissa shook her head no.

“Of course she has,” Caboodle said. “Probably worked her husband over real good in court.”

“Stop it,” Kit said.

“And you deserve every penny of it, honey,” Caboodle added.

“Well Melissa,” Kit said. “I need you to do a favor for me because I’m going to do something I’ve never done before…”

“…tell a joke that lands?” Caboodle interrupted.

“Shut up, you,” Kit said as he set the dummy down on Melissa’s lap.

Kaboodle made a few stifled “Mmmpph mmpphhh!” sounds.

“Now Melissa, what I need you to do is work Mr. Caboodle’s mouth for me because he won’t be able to talk again until you do…”

“Mmmmph!” went Caboodle.
Kit scratched his chin, looked to the camera as if lost deep in thought and said, “Actually, come to think of it, this is the most peace and quiet I’ve had for awhile…”

The ventriloquist waved to the audience, shouted, “Good night, ladies and gentlemen!” and started to walk off the stage as Caboodle’s “MMMPPPHHHS!” grew louder.

“Oh all right,” Kit said as he returned. “Melissa, what I need you to do is reach your hand into the back of Caboodle’s trousers there…”

“Mmmpph?”

“And start feeling around until you find a lever…”

Melissa did as requested until Caboodle’s jaw dropped down.

“WOWZA!” Kaboodle shouted.

“Are you ok, Kaboodle?” Kit asked.

“Never better,” the dummy replied. “Finally, a woman gives me a reach around and I don’t even have to buy her dinner first.”

The audience went nuts.

“Kaboodle, please!” Kit shouted. “You’re on network television!”

“Oh, then I really am getting the reach around,” Caboodle said.

“Melissa, just go ahead and work that lever,” Kit said. “I know you’re new to this but try to move Kaboodle’s cake hole in time with what I’m saying.”

Melissa moved the lever up and down slowly, not in time with Kit at all.

“Just pretend this is a 1960’s monster movie, ladies and gentlemen,” Kit said.

“Oh…my…God!” Caboodle said. “It…is…Godzilla!”

Kit waited for the laughter to die down. He removed his jacket and set it down on a table, then picked up a glass of water.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Kit said. “You’ve all seen that tired old cliche where a ventriloquist drinks a glass of water while his dummy sings, haven’t you?”

Kit started drinking and Caboodle immediately chimed in with, “Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’, Clementine!”

“Piece of cake,” Kit said as he set the empty glass of water down. “Easy as pie. How’re you doing over there, Kaboodle?”

“Oh just fine,” the dummy said as Melissa did her best to operate him. “Kind of wish this broad would have warmed up her hands first though.”

“They’re a little cold?” Kit asked.

“It’s like an iceberg just got rammed up my Titanic,” Caboodle replied.

“Well don’t worry, buddy, we’re almost done.”

“I didn’t say I wanted it to stop,” Caboodle said.

“Ladies and gentlemen…”

“I want to be Melissa’s next husband,” Caboodle interrupted.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Kit continued. “I’m about to do something that no ventriloquist has ever done before in the history of ventriloquism.”

“Get laid?” Caboodle inquired.

“Shut up, you!”

“What?” Caboodle asked.

“I’m going to…”

“It’s just that all you guys do is sit around and make dolls talk all day,” Caboodle said.

“Enough, Caboodle.”

“Makes women dry up like the Great Mojave is all I’m sayin’”

“Caboodle!!!”

“OK…OK…I’ll be good.”

A group of stage hands popped out from behind the curtain. One man produced a pair of handcuffs and restrained Kit’s hands behind his back.

“Oh finally,” Caboodle said. “The fuzz got wise to all those dirty websites you’ve been looking at.”

Kit sat down in a chair and one of the stage hands pushed down on the back of hit, holding the performer at an angle.

Another man held up a full water cooler jug.

“That’s right,” Kit said. “Some ventriloquists make their dummies sing while drink water. I’m going to make mine sing while I get water boarded!”
The audience let out a collective gasp.

“Wait a minute!” Caboodle said.

“What?” Kit asked.

“If you’re going to pull off a miraculous stunt, you’ve got to make me sing something with a little more pep than ‘Oh My Darlin,’ Clementine!”

“I don’t know,” Kit replied. “Can the network afford the rights to a big song?”

The camera cut to cast member Josh Wiley, wearing a cheap suit, gray haired wig and a big button that read, “Big Time Network Executive.”

“I’ll allow it,” Josh said.

“What’re you thinking, Kaboodle?” Kit asked. “Pop? Rock? A little Rhythm and Blues?”

“You know me, Kit,” the dummy said. “I’m a straight up gangsta rapper from back in the day, son.”

Kit turned to the band leader.

“Jimbo, can you guys give me Stank Daddy’s latest?”

Big Jimbo Stretch, a cool cat whose face was hidden behind a pair of aviator shades and a long beard, lead the Studio 109 band in mimicking “Grab Yo’ Nine,” the latest single off of rapper Stank Daddy’s most recent album.

“Gentlemen,” Kit said to the stage hands. “Do your worst.”

The Studio 109 Band laid down the beat as one hand placed a black towel over Kit’s face. Another proceeded to empty the water jug all over the performer’s face.

Back in the green room, Lacey turned away from the monitor and covered her eyes.

“Ohhhh, this is too much,” she said.

“He’s got it,” Luther said.

In the studio, the audience watched…shocked, amazed, unable to avert their eyes. Kit endured the abuse and Caboodle remained silent for ten seconds until he busted out a hilariously squeaky rendition of the top rap song on the charts.

Bitch betta grab you nine!
Wanna start somethin’ then it’s about time,
To see yo ass on the street.
Busted all up like a pile of meat.
And I’ll be layin’ back feelin’ fine.

Bitch betta grab yo nine!
If you gonna step up to my ass!
Click clack goes my gat cuz you know I be strapped
And you know I know how to drop a sucka fast so
And I’ll never do a minute of the time.

All you fools thinkin’ you betta than me,
Fresher than me
That you got somethin’ on Stank Daddy
Must be trippin’ out yo damn mind…
Muthafuckin bitch betta grab yo NINE!

The network, of course, bleeped out all the naughty words but the audience lapped it all up and were on their feet with a standing ovation as the stage hands uncured Kit and helped him to his feet.

Sopping wet all over, the newly minted star looked at the camera.

“Thank you, thank you,” Kit said. “People, get your hands off that remote because you don’t want to miss a minute of this show. Purple Horizon is next!”

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Untitled Killer Doll Project – Chapter 1

NOTE:  Yes.  Kit’s girlfriend starts out as Lacey and then her name changes to Lindsey.  This is all something I wrote in one night and is grossly unedited…much more so than usual lol.

Between the hot lights and the tuxedo he was stuffed in, Kit was burning up. He reached for his water bottle and began to chug, only to stop when a delicate hand cut him off.

“Not too much,” Lacey said. “The last thing you want is to get out there and feel like you need to pee your brains out.”

“Right,” Kit replied.

Out on stage, the house band was rocking out while a golden throated announcer read the opening credits.

“From historic studio 109 in sunny Los Angeles, it’s Friday Follies! Tonight’s featured players include Molly Shiner…Ken Dobson…Josh Wiley…”

Kit coughed into his fist.

“You ok?” Lacey asked.

Our performer took a peak through the curtain. It was a full house in the studio. Standing room only and a crowd filled with beaming faces. People excited to see him. What a concept.

“Babe?” Lacey asked as she waved her hand up and down in front of Kit’s blank face.

“Huh?” Kit asked. “Oh yeah. I’m fine.”

A strong hand whacked Kit on the back. He turned to his right to find a tall bald man, decked out in a finely tailored three-piece suit.

“You got this shit, playa,” the man said.

“Thanks Luther,” Kit replied.

The announcer carried on.

“Diana Diaz…Al McKenna…Big Jimbo Stretch and the Studio 109 Band!”

Luther stood in front of Kit and rested his hands on Kit’s shoulders.

“Forget the audience,” Luther said. “Hell, forget about the millions of people watching at home. Tune everyone out and it will just be you…”

The well dressed Tinseltown power broker looked at Kit’s left hand, which was being used to hold a goofy looking, wild eyed ventriloquist dummy.

“…and your little friend here.”
“Hey!” the dummy whispered in a squeaky, cartoonish voice. “Who you callin’ little ya’ fat sack of crap?”

Luther grinned and slapped his client on the back again.

“You got this baby. Who’s my star playa’?”

“I am,” Kit muttered, though he was clearly not feeling it.

“Who?” Luther asked.

“Me.”

“Let me hear you say it, baby,” Luther said. “Who’s my A-number one star ass player?”

“I’m your star player,” Kit said.

Luther wagged a finger in front of Kit’s face.

“And don’t you forget it baby.”

“What am I, chopped liver?” the dummy asked.

“OK,” Luther said. “Don’t strain your pipes, star playa’.”

Lacey licked the palm of her hand and straightened an out of place blonde curl on top of Kit’s head.

“Sorry,” Lacey said. “There. Now you’re perfect.”

Lacey pressed her full red lips up against Kit’s. Beyond the curtain, saxophones were wailing, guitars were being strummed, drums beaten but all Kit could hear were those three special words coming from Lacey’s sweet voice.

“I love you.”

It was the first time she’d ever uttered that special phrase and it certainly was interesting timing that she decided to wait right before the biggest performance of Kit’s life to say them, but what the hell. When something’s right, it’s right.

Kit looked at his girlfriend, stared at her big blue eyes, and did not hesitate one iota.

“I love you too.”

Big Jimbo Stretch’s sax solo reached a crescendo. A steady drumroll followed.

“And now, making their debut on the Studio 109 stage, your hosts for this evening, KIT N’ KABOODLE!”

Applause. Hoots. Hollers. Whistles.

Kit made a beeline for the curtain but was stopped by Luther’s hand, which was once again on Kit’s shoulder.

“Bring down the house tonight and you’ll be set for life, playa,” Luther said. “If you do, I guarantee you there will not be a stick big enough to beat everyone in Hollywood off your ass.”

Kit nodded.

“I’ve got this.”

The performer composed himself, removing the terrified expression from his face and replacing it with one of calm, cool confidence. He made a seat with his left hand, parked his dummy in it with his right, flashed a smile full of pearly whites and walked out onto the stage like he owned it.

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Untitled Killer Doll Project

Hey 3.5 Readers.

BQB here.  So last October, what with it being Halloween month and all, an idea popped into my head and much to my surprise, I banged out 6,000 words in an evening.

Let me backup.  Out of all monsters out there, I’ve always felt killer dolls are the scariest.

Zombies?  Werewolves?  Vampires?  Scary but you’ll unlikely ever see one.

Killer dolls?  Shit.  We all have at least one doll in the house.  Do you know for sure it isn’t thinking dastardly thoughts?

 

Anyway.  The set-up.  In the present (i.e. 2016) a ventriloquist/comedian hits the big time.  He’s been a B lister for awhile, making TV appearances with his dummy.  But after a big gig, he starts to really get noticed.

And he’s a handsome, studly type guy so his agent starts to get him serious movie roles…without the dummy.

The dummy is not pleased.  Throughout the story, it is left open to the reader’s imagination whether the dummy is actually alive or if he’s being operated by the ventriloquist.  Little hints are dropped along the way that could lead either way.

I’m a little unsure what the whole plot would be.  So far it is basically the comedian has serious problems with drugs and alcohol and at the opening of the tale, he has already uh…murdered three ex-girlfriends and is deciding whether or not to murder a fourth.

The way I have it presently is that the dummy eggs him on to do it but I’m thinking about reworking it so that maybe the dummy is almost like his confidant…telling him not to do evil stuff but then advising him how to get off the hook once he’s in trouble.

I’m still thinking about what the hell the plot is.

Anyway, I put it away for awhile.  Left it alone.  But then every couple months I open it up, having forgotten what I wrote and I laugh and laugh.  The dummy is a riot.

I’m on the fence.  I think it’s a great idea.  But even just in the beginning there’s lots and lots of swearing, violence, maybe even sex…I’m not sure that’s where I want to go as an author.

But it is funny.  Or at least I think it’s funny.

Obviously, I’m going to finish How the West Was Zombed first.  I don’t want to fall into the trap of starting a novel then skipping out to start another one.

But I was thinking, maybe I’ll toss the 6,000 words out on here for a little while and you all could tell me if this is a viable project down the road or if I should be ashamed for writing such horrible garbage in which case, let’s all forget about it and move on lol.

Because, and just a warning – it is a divergence for lovable magic bookshelf caretaker BQB.

 

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