Monthly Archives: May 2017

Toilet Gator – Network News One Transcript Number Six

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Network News One – Transcript #6

KURT MANLEY: Witnesses on the scene report that Congressman Rosenschluntz flipped the House Chamber the bird, then stormed off in a huff, mumbling, and this is a direct quote, “If you won’t send any pork to my state then you can all smooch my butt and call it ice cream. In other news, civil war continues to rage in No-One-Can-Pronounce-This-Shitty-Country’s-Name-istan. Here in the studio to discuss this conflict are two pundits, Network News One’s very own Insane Talking Head Number One and Insane Talking Head Number Two. Lady and gentleman, it’s good to have you with us this morning.

(The screen splits three ways. Kurt’s head appears in the middle. Talking Head Number One, a man, appears on the left hand side of the screen while Talking Head Number Two, a woman, appears on the right.)

TALKING HEAD NUMBER ONE: Hello, Kurt.

TALKING HEAD NUMBER TWO: Pleasure to be here.

KURT MANLEY: Talking Heads, I have to say, this whole mess in that country the name of which no one can pronounce is really heating up. Do you think cooler heads will ever prevail?

TALKING HEAD NUMBER ONE: I do not, Kurt. In fact, even though I literally know nothing about the topic whatsoever, I’m going to start speak louder and louder until finally I begin screaming at the top of my lungs while I flail my arms to and fro in the breeze like a madman because I have nothing useful to offer on this matter Kurt, but it is still very important that the people at home believe that I have a very strong opinion on this subject!

KURT MANLEY: I believe you do. What about you, Talking Head Number Two? Do you have a strong opinion on the war?

(Talking Head Number Two bangs her fist down on her desk.)

TALKING HEAD NUMBER TWO: Yes I do, Kurt! I have a very strong opinion on the war. In fact, my opinion is stronger and better than Talking Head Number Two’s opinion!

TALKING HEAD NUMBER ONE: You take that back you incompetent hag!

TALKING HEAD NUMBER TWO: Never, you limp wristed sissy boy!”

KURT MANLEY: Oh, is this the part where you both get in a big fight and everyone at home gets mad because they can’t understand what either of you are saying while you’re talking over one another?

TALKING HEAD NUMBER ONE: It sure is, Kurt. Even a brainless bimbo like Talking Head Number Two would realize that.

TALKING HEAD NUMBER TWO: You are a sad, pathetic little man, Talking Head Number One. I’d say I pity you, but I pity your wife more, as I have no doubt she hasn’t received a proper lay in years.
TALKING HEAD NUMBER ONE: Floozy!

TALKING HEAD NUMBER TWO: Butt face!

KURT MANLEY: Whoa, nelly! Break it up, you two. Now seriously, Talking Head Number One, what is your opinion on the war?”

TALKING HEAD NUMBER ONE: I’m glad you asked, Kurt. I think America is the greatest nation in the world, a beacon of freedom that all people who yearn to be free can look to in times of crisis. President Stugotz must assemble a broad, international peacekeeping force to separate the rival factions until this situation simmers down.

TALKING HEAD NUMBER TWO: Oh please, Talking Head Number One! Your proctologist just called and he said to pull your head out of your ass because that’s his job.

TALKING HEAD NUMBER ONE: Bite me, wench.

TALKING HEAD NUMBER TWO: I doubt there’s much to bite, loser.

KURT MANLEY: OK, you two. Talking Head Number Two, your opinion, please.

TALKING HEAD NUMBER TWO: Thank you, Kurt. President Stugotz should steer way, way clear from this one. Like as far away from he can as possible. I mean, sure, it’s sad that way over on the far side of the world, in some shitty country whose name no one can pronounce, people are getting rocket propelled grenades up their butts and machetes slashing up against their taints but really, who are we to get involved in this? You really want to put the President in the position where he has to go up to some poor family and say, “I’m sorry, but your son just got shot because I sent him to fight a war in some Godforsaken hellhole? I think not.

KURT MANLEY: A fair point. Rebuttal, Talking Head Number One?

TALKING HEAD NUMBER ONE: Wow. That was actually a great point. I mean, I hate to compliment Talking Head Number One, largely because she’s a dried up old cow with more spiderwebs in her vagina than a mummy’s tomb but I have to hand it to her on this one. She has convinced me. I no longer believe that President Stugotz should get American forces involved in this conflict.

TALKING HEAD NUMBER TWO: Oh and what, Talking Head Number Two? You’d be happy to just sit back and let all of those little kids in that shitty country die? “Oh look at me! I’m Talking Head Number One and I’m just sitting around, pulling my puny little pud, while a bunch of kids are dying!”

TALKING HEAD NUMBER ONE: But, you just said…

TALKING HEAD NUMBER TWO: I know what I just said, you dumb horse’s ass! If I told you to jump off a bridge, would you do that too?

TALKING HEAD NUMBER ONE: Why you no good, dirty rotten cu…

KURT MANLEY: Whoa! Alright, let’s cut these two off before we get fined. I mean, we don’t have many standards here at Network News One, but we do have some, and throwing out a “See You Next Tuesday” is not one of them.

(Kurt shuffles some papers.)

KURT MANLEY: Good morning, USA. If you’re just joining us, America’s Shitting Nightmare continues. People across the country and around the world are holding in their shits, or pooping into trash bags, or fertilizing their lawns. As for your favorite anchorman, aka yours truly, he prefers to drop his waste into neat, tidy little packages that he then mails to the anchormen of rival, lesser networks. Sadly, that’s the closest to greatness those dweebs will ever get.

(Kurt changes camera angles.)

KURT MANLEY: Meanwhile, the good people of Sitwell, Florida are not sitting well on the bowl, which means they aren’t shitting well either. We take you to one of our very own Hot Ass Blonde Chicks with Big Titties with a breaking development in the Toilet Killer saga. Hot Ass Chick with Blonde Titties, are you there?

(Natalie Brock appears on screen wearing her blonde wig and stuffed bra. She stands in front of the Network News One van.)

NATALIE BROCK: I’m here, Kurt. A shocking development in the case. Yesterday, there was a shake up in the investigative power structure. Mayor Beaumont Dufresne, the head honcho down here in Sitwell, took the steps necessary to put the Sitwell Police Department under the domain of Grover County Sheriff Buck Hammond. That leaves Police Chief Cole Walker out of a job and off of this investigation.

KURT MANLEY: I’m told that’s not all?

NATALIE BROCK: Far from it. President Stugotz has even gotten involved.

KURT MANLEY: Yes. In fact, the President was in Miami this morning, where he was giving a joint press conference with Florida Governor Brian Graysmith. This is, of course, the first time the Governor has addressed the press corps since his recent incident involving a ridiculous amount of hookers.

(Cut to a podium. GOVERNOR GRAYSMITH addresses the crowd of reporters while PRESIDENT STUGOTZ looks on.)

GOVERNOR GRAYSMITH: Thank you everyone. Thank you. I realize that everyone is very upset that the Toilet Killer remains on the loose, especially because that means that everyone is scared, well, shitless, no pun intended. I would like to thank President Stugotz for coming here to make sure that the investigation is running smoothly. We will now take your questions. However, I’d like to remind you all that we are here to talk about the Toilet Killer investigation and not about the ridiculous amount of hookers found in my hotel suite. OK. Who has a question? Yes, you Gary.

GARY NELSON, SUNSHINE STATE TRIBUNE: Yes, Governor, can you give us a ball park figure on how many hookers were in your hotel room?

GOVERNOR GRAYSMITH: What did I just say? Ix-nay on the pokers-hay, Ary-gay!

(Cut to KURT MANLEY in studio.)

KURT MANLEY: Later, President Stugotz gave a stirring address. Some are already likening it to Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” speech.

(Cut to PRESIDENT STUGOTZ at podium.)

PRESIDENT STUGOTZ: My fellow Americans, there was once a period in our nation’s great history when a man’s private time on the commode was sacred. It belonged to him and him alone. I can tell you, when I was a boy, everyone knew that when dear old Dad picked up a newspaper and walked into the bathroom, he was not to be disturbed, for he was a hard-working man and he had earned the right to evacuate his bowels in peace and comfort.

The sanctity of the bathroom extended to everyone. Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, sons, daughters. If you needed to shit, then that was your time to shit, and no one would bother. It did not matter if you were needed right away. The world was willing to wait until the very last pinch, the much needed wipe, and the ever so satisfying flush were complete.

Bathroom rights even carried over to the workplace. Whether you were just another fella on the assembly line, or the CEO of a major corporation, you could enter a bathroom and people knew well enough to leave you alone. There was never a problem that was so important that it couldn’t wait until you were off the pot.

Sadly, at some point, America lost its way. Cell phones, computers, tablets and technology began cutting into our bathroom time. People want to talk to you now…right now…and they don’t care if you’ve got a brown log trying to make its way out of your heiney hole. People watch movies and do work on their computers while they are shitting. The sanctity of the shit is no longer honored. It’s disgraceful, people. It really is. It’s disgraceful.

And I’m not just the one who is saying this, by the way. Believe me. A lot of people are saying this. Why, just the other a friend of mine came up to me and said, “President Vinny Stugotz, do you know what is a shame?” and I said, “No, what?” and my friend said, “That people can’t shit in peace and quiet anymore.” It’s a shame, folks. It really is. It’s a shame. A big time shame.

We’ve put up with a lot of interruptions to our shits over the years, but if you ask me, these toilet murders are the last straw. No one, and I mean no one, deserves to be gruesomely murdered to death while they are copping a squat. Life is too short and much too precious to end on the can with the stench of doody stink wafting up your nose. If it’s not in the Constitution that no one should be eviscerated while they’re trying to squeeze the cheese, then it should be. Really, it should be. Believe me. I just told my super hot wife, who by the way, is a lot hotter than all of your wives, that I’m going to write that into the Constitution with a magic marker. “Amendment Nine Hundred and Whatever – No one dies while squeezing the cheese.”

People, it is time for us as Americans to get back to our sacred shitting roots. Since the inception of our glorious union, great men have come and gone and do you know what they all had in common. Seriously, does anyone know? They all took shits. Each and every one of them.

Abraham Lincoln? He shit many times while he was preserving the union, of that fact, you can be assured. And George Washington? He took a shit just before a crossed the Delaware and he was not about to allow himself to remain in intestinal discomfort just to make those dirty British red coats happy.

General George S. Patton took cast iron shits. I don’t even know how he did it. The man was not just as tough as nails. No. He actually ate handfuls of nails and then shat them out into fully formed, cast iron bricks. The Nazis shit their pants when they saw Old Blood and Guts coming, let me tell you.

Yes, for as long as there has been an America, there have been people taking shits but today, the right to shit in a safe and comfortable environment has been threatened by a madman, a psychopath, a complete and total sad-sack loser face who, quite frankly, I would not be surprised to learn, voted for that raging bull dyke that I totally wiped the floor with during the presidential election. Nanny nanny boo boo.

My friends, fear not. To those who are at home, cowering in a cower, too scared to drop a nugget, I say to you that there is no reason to worry. Your President is on the job and I promise you that I will move Heaven and Earth and bring every last resource within the Federal government at my disposal to bear on finding, capturing, and bringing the Toilet Killer to justice. We will make it safe for you to go to the bathroom again, we will make it safe to fart again and yes, as God as my witness, we will make shitting great again!

(Cut to KURT MANLEY in studio, wearing a red “Make Shitting Great Again” hat with gold lettering.)

KURT MANLEY: FYI to our viewers at home, they can purchase a “Make Shitting Great Again” hat at President Stugotz’ campaign website store. It’s the perfect item to show your support for our Commander-in-Chief’s efforts to make shitting great again. I think mine’s quite fetching, don’t you, Hot Ass Blonde Chick with Big Titties?

(Cut to NATALIE BROCK. She faces the camera. Suddenly, one of the melons drops out of her bra.)

KURT MANLEY: Um, I think you just lost one of your titties.

(NATALIE BROCK looks at camera with a “deer in the headlights” expression.)

NATALIE BROCK: Sorry, Kurt. That’s the last time I go to a bodega plastic surgeon for cheap implants, let me tell you.

KURT MANLEY: Oh, I always tell myself that but then I always end up going to a bodega plastic surgeon anyway. No one can beat their prices or sell me better jerky.

NATALIE BROCK: Right. Anyway Kurt, my sources indicate that President Stugotz personally intervened with the case, having Agent Sharon Walker pulled off the case so that Agent Gordon Bishop could be in charge.

KURT MANLEY: That makes perfect sense. The penis is the source of all logic and only someone with a penis could possibly solve this complex caper.

NATALIE BROCK: Well, here’s a major development. Agent Bishop’s command of the investigation did not last long as authorities say he died in some kind of bizarre sewer accident last night.

KURT MANLEY: My stars, this story is like a big bowl of milk and I’m a frisky kitty, just lapping it all up until my belly is full.

NATALIE BROCK: Sheriff Hammond told reporters, and I quote, “We don’t know what happened. He was probably blown up by sewer gas or some shit. We don’t know why he was in the sewer either so go away and stop bothering me.”

KURT MANLEY: Sounds like a real man of action. Keep up the good work, Hot Ass Blonde Chick with Big Titties. Oh and go fix your titty.

NATALIE BROCK: Will do, Kurt.

(KURT looks at a different camera).

KURT MANLEY: That’ll do it for this hour. Coming up next, is there a brand of fabric softener that can make your piss razer blades? And by that, I don’t mean it will give you a burning sensation but rather, actual little sharp pieces of steel will emanate from your urethra during the urination process. Better put a hold on that next load of laundry and we’ll tell you which brand do avoid after sports and weather but first, these commercial messages.

ANNOUNCER: The hottest blonde chicks! The biggest titties! Oh yeah, and occasionally, we report the news and shit!

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 75

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“I’m telling you…it was an alligator.”

Hammond was furious, and chewed Rusty out royally as deputies and FBI agents scoured the scenes for clues and prepared what was left of Bishop’s torso for transport.

“An alligator?” Hammond asked. “You really expect me to believe that shit?”

“I didn’t believe it either,” Rusty said. “That college girl was telling Bishop and I that she saw a giant alligator the size of a dinosaur just before she passed out on the floor of the sorority house bathroom at Sitwell Community College. We laughed it off, but sure enough, an alligator that big just turned Bishop into a late night snack.”

“You must be out of your mind,” Hammond said.

Members of a heavily armed SWAT team began pouring out of the open manhole. “We searched a three mile radius in every direction,” Captain Russell said to Hammond. “No alligator.”

Hammond glared at Rusty. “See?”

Rusty pointed to Bishop’s torso. “See?”

“What?” Hammond asked. “That? Could have been anything. Sewer gas. Rats. Lot of dangerous shit in the sewer. That’s why people aren’t supposed to be running around underground all willy nilly. You two were morons for going down there.”

“I know what I saw,” Rusty said.

“You know what I think?” Hammond asked.

“I dunno,” Rusty said. “Do you think anything?”

Hammond poked Rusty in the shoulder. “Watch it, Yates. I’m your commanding officer.”

Rusty folded his arms and bit his tongue.

“I think Cole had a hard-on for the Mayor because the Mayor had long been a critic of Cole’s shoddy police work,” Hammond said.

“Cole is the best cop I know,” Rusty said.

“But he’s not a cop anymore,” Hammond said. “Because he carried out his vendetta against the Mayor by trying to frame his son, an innocent bystander in all of this.”

“You think Buford is innocent?” Rusty asked. “Look, I know it sounds bananas, but I heard him talking to that alligator. It’s like they were plotting and scheming together or something. I don’t know how, but Buford and the alligator are in cahoots.”

“‘Buford and the alligator are in cahoots,’” Hammond said. “Will you listen to yourself? Get a grip. Obviously, you’re still loyal to Cole and you’re trying to carry out his sad plot to frame Buford for the toilet murders, only you’re worse at this than Cole. Cole could have come up with a better story than ‘Buford and the alligator are in cahoots.’”

“They are,” Rusty said. “Tell me this, if Buford is innocent, what was he doing in the sewer?”

“I’m not aware Buford was in the sewer,” Hammond said. “I only have your word for that and your word, at this point, is dubious at best.”

“Holy shit, Hammond,” Rusty said. “What does the Mayor got on you? Photos of you in a compromising position with a donkey or something?”

Hammond’s face turned red as he screamed at Rusty. “How the hell did you…damn it! I was in college, it was an experimental time and I…”

Rusty appeared surprised.

“Damn it, Yates,” Hammond said. “You and Cole are like a couple of cat turds in my morning oatmeal.”

Rusty walked away. “To hell with this.”

“Where are you going?” Hammond asked.

“To arrest Buford,” Rusty said.

“On what charges?” Hammond asked.

“I don’t know,” Rusty said. “Conspiracy to commit an alligator related homicide!”

“Stand down, Yates,” Hammond said.

“No,” Rusty replied.

“Deputy Yates!” Hammond barked. “You will stay away from Buford Dufresne. That is a director order. Do you understand me?”

Rusty sighed and turned around. “Crystal sir.”

“You wanna know why I have my job and Cole doesn’t?” Hammond asked.

“Because you and the Mayor sixty-nine each other on a semi-regular basis?” Rusty asked.
Hammond chuckled. “Oh, no. You’re not going to get me this time. There’s know way you could possibly know about…”

Rusty looked at Hammond with disgust. “Wait, what?”

“Nothing!” Hammond said. “I play ball, son. I never swim against the big fish and Mayor Dufresne is the shark in this here pond, you understand? Now you get it through your skull that Buford Dufresne is off limits and you and I won’t have a problem.”

Rusty ripped the badge off his shirt and tossed it down at Hammond’s feet. “No problem at all, sir. I quit.”

Hammond picked up the badge and called after Rusty, who was now walking away. “Good! Spares me the trouble of having to fire your sorry ass!”

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Writing Choices – Manchester by the Sea and the Unhappy Ending

Hey 3.5 readers.  Welcome to the first ever Writing Choices column.  Warning, spoilers abound!  Oh wait, the title of this post is a spoiler.  Avert your eyes!

But seriously.  If you haven’t seen this movie, then read no further, unless you don’t care, then feel free.

Manchester by the Sea is by far the most depressing movie I’ve seen this year and quite possibly my lifetime.  It’s a story of pain, suffering, and great loss.  More specifically, the movie reveals a truth that movies often sugarcoat or brush to the side in the name of making the audience happy – when it comes to overcoming loss, people often lose the battle.

Casey Affleck stars as Lee Chandler, a blue collar family man who once had it all.  Nice house, beautiful wife (Michelle Williams as Randi) and adorable little kids.  One night, and remember, SPOILERS, he throws a wild, drug and booze fueled party in his garage until his wife breaks up the fun and tells everyone to get lost because she’s trying to sleep.

After his buddies go home, Lee is too wired too sleep.  He starts a fire in the fireplace, then sits for a spell in a reclining chair, then gets up and goes for a walk to a package store, because even though it’s after three a.m., he decides that the one thing he needs after a night of drunken debauchery is more beer.

When he comes back (SPOILER) his home is ablaze.  Firefighters managed to rescue Randi, but alas, his kids, including a newborn infant, are lost.  He drops to the ground and displays a face of inconsolable loss and later, steals a police officer’s gun from its holster but is tackled before he can shoot himself.

If you’ve seen it, did you think about the “show, don’t tell” angle?  A lot is said here without it being directly said.   Here were two thoughts I had:

#1 – Dude, you’re kind of a shit bag for throwing that party with your wife and kids in the house in the first place.  Second, what’s wrong with you?  Why are you such an alcoholic that you needed to go out for more beer after drinking all night anyway?  Who leaves their kids and wife alone with a fire going in the fireplace?  Maybe if you weren’t so drunk and irresponsible you would have realized this was a bad idea.  I know if I had a wife that looked like Michelle Williams, I’d be in bed next to her instead of walking to the liquor store.

#2 – How one mistake can ruin your life and the lives of others.  OK.  You’re a responsible person.  You’d never throw a wild drinking/drug party.  You’d never leave your family in the middle of the night with a fire in the fireplace going for more beer.  Fine.  Still, no one can be perfect a hundred percent of the time.  I know that in the back of my mind, there’s always a fear I might screw up so badly that it ruins my life or the lives of others.  There’s a voice like that in the heads of most people.  If there isn’t one in yours, there should be?  Maybe you wouldn’t have left for beer, but could you see yourself maybe, oh, I don’t know, falling asleep with the fireplace still lit and then the house goes up anyway?  Are you a perfect driver?  Do you ever worry that you might make one mistake and hit another car?  See?  You might not be a drunk but even so, it is entirely possible that one day you might make a single boneheaded move that destroys everything.  Obviously, keep a watchful eye out to prevent that from happening.  You don’t want to end up like Lee Chandler.

Where was I?  Show don’t tell.  Those two reactions above came to me and yet, they aren’t spelled out.  Instead, we just see Lee living his life of sullen, depressed, lonesome ennui.  Every minute of every day is clearly a nightmare for him.  He obviously thinks about the terrible mistake he made every second of the day.  There’s clearly a voice nagging him inside his mind, “Why did you have to go get beer, dumbass?  Why did you have to light that fire. idiot?”

Had he just stayed in that recliner and fell asleep, he probably would have sniffed the embers that fell out of the fireplace and snuffed them before the house went up.  But for that one decision, he lost his wife and accidentally killed his kids.  He never comes out and says, “Oh I wish this and that…” but if you’re paying attention, you know he must be thinking that.

I have strayed too far from the main point though.  Unhappy endings.  We want to make our audiences happy.  Their lives probably stink, to varying degrees.  At any rate, no one wants more sadness in their lives.  So often, a movie comes together in the end to deliver a happy ending.

Throughout this film, we wonder if that will happen for Lee.  A couple of women express an interest in him.  Will he be able to get over the loss of his ex-wife and find love again?

Moreover, Lee’s brother, Joe, the last family member he was able to rely on and confide in, who didn’t abandon him after he burned his family up accidentally, dies.  Lee returns to Manchester by the Sea, his hometown, a place where he had once built a life but now he has a hard time being there due to bad memories.

Lee is charged with taking care of Joe’s son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges).  Patrick is having a rough go of it.  Not only did his father just die but his mother is, well, nuts, and so she’s out of the picture and not able to help.

Together, Lee and Patrick become a super depressing duo.  Lee drinks and occasionally starts bar fights just to feel something.  Patrick has two different girlfriends (unbeknownst to each other) and essentially uses girls at his high school for sex as a coping mechanism.

However, remember show and tell?  We see what Patrick is up to.  The people behind the movie depend upon us to make the connection.  “Oh, this kid is messed up in the head and he’s trying to feel better by having lots of teenage, pre-marital sex, which if anything, will just ruin his life and the lives of the girls he’s getting busy with.”

Throughout the film, we wonder if Lee will see guardianship of his nephew as a second chance – a way to prove that he’s not a complete waste of space.  He failed his children.  Perhaps he will man up and not fail his nephew.  After all, the kid only has a year or two of high school left.  Surely, anyone can put up with something for that long.

At times, Lee shows a few sparks of adulthood.  For the most part he turns a blind eye to Patrick’s shenanigans because he’s too exhausted to fight with the kid.  However, there are times when he grows concerned for the kid’s welfare and does some actual, honest to God parenting, telling Patrick the tough love words he needs to hear.

Further, we wonder if Patrick will ever see the light.  Yes, he lost his father and his mother isn’t much of a help.  Could he maybe realize his uncle has his own demons and step up to the plate?  Could he accept his Uncle as a father figure for the next year or so and not be a sneaky little shit to him?

Essentially, Lee and Patrick are two dudes down on their luck and all they have are each other.  We keep waiting for the moment to come when they will realize this.  We keep waiting for the happy ending…maybe one day, in the not so distant future, there will be a Christmas where a somber Patrick sits by the tree with a new lady friend and welcomes Patrick home from college and Patrick is in a stable, committed relationship with a nice girl.

Yeah.  Don’t hold your breath.  Lee gives up.  It’s too hard to be in Manchester by the Sea. Rather than stay in the house his brother left him and raise his nephew, he talks a family friend and his wife into doing it, then returns to his life as a broken down, incredibly ennui laden janitor.

There might be hope for Patrick.  He chooses the better of the two girls and at least he has a place to live with some kind of a stable adult and he’s going to go to college but for Lee?  Lee is screwed.

We don’t see if but we can imagine Lee back at an apartment complex like the one he was working at when the movie started, plunging toilets, drinking, getting into bar fights and flagellating himself over his lost family until the end of time.

Were you disappointed with the ending?  I was, for about a second.  Then I realized the point.  Life often does not have happy endings.  Movie endings aren’t all that realistic.  Sure, accidentally burning down your house with your family in it while you went out to get beer is the ultimate in psychological trauma that can’t be gotten over.

However, there are lesser traumas.  People often say “get over it and move on” because they have no idea what else to say and they think they are helping.  Truth be told, if you married someone and they divorce you, you may never get over that.  Even if you weren’t married, maybe you’ll always think about that lost boyfriend or girlfriend forever.

Maybe there’s a friendship or a relationship with a family member you lost because of some unkind words you wish you could take back.  Perhaps you made a foolish investment and lost a bundle and now you hate yourself.  Maybe someone you loved died of natural causes and you miss them constantly.

Mental anguish can’t just be alleviated with the snap of a finger.  I know, personally, I’ve been through some shit and after about the tenth time someone told me to, “Get over it and move on” I finally just stopped talking about it.  I’m not over it.  Time helps, not because it erases the bad memories but because the more time passes, the more you’ll forget about what troubles you and get a respite from it but even so…the pain is remembered.  The pain remains.  The sadness can’t be erased completely.

Some situations just don’t wrap up happily.  There can be no happy ending for Lee.  He can’t just go to a shrink and get a pill to help him forget this one.  There will be no new girlfriend for him.  There will be no redemption for him via raising his nephew.  He simply cannot forgive himself for what he has done, and who can blame him?

It’s not a happy ending but it is a realistic one.  Honestly, would a happy ending have come across as real here?  I don’t think so.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:  In the comments, discuss the writing choices you saw in this movie or alternatively, if you’re a writer, would you ever consider an unhappy ending for one of your stories?  Is it better to provide readers with a realistic yet sad ending instead of an unlikely but happy one?

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Announcing a New Column – Writing Choices

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Hey 3.5 readers.

I had no idea where I was going with this blog when I started it.  Lately, it seems to be more about movies and less about books.  Well, I talk about books I am working on but not so much about books I want to review.

Had I been able to see into the future, I would have changed my name to Moviescreen Q. Watcher but hey, you all know me as Bookshelf Q. Battler know, and that’s lucky, because that’s my name.

At any rate, I do a lot of movie reviews on this blog.  I have loved watching movies ever since I was a little BQB.  I admit, on occasion, sometimes when I’m watching a frivolous movie, I think, “Did I just waste two hours watching an idiot in tights walk around pretending to be a superhero?”

Yes.  Yes I did.  Then again, I didn’t, because movies allow us to explore worlds we’d never otherwise dip our toes into.

So – writing choices.  I’ll still be writing movie reviews.  But I also want to write about the choices that writers behind the movies make.  Why did this character do this?  Why did the other character say that?  What is the purpose of such and such?

I’ve thought about this for a while now and I was loathe to do it because, you know, spoilers.  But I will a) try not to write about the writing choices until after you’ve had a chance to check the movie out and b) I’ll try to remember to announce spoilers.  In fact, if you see the words, “Writing Choices” then you should assume there will be spoilers.

Thanks and I hope this will lead to discussions with you 3.5 writers about…dun dun dun…writing choices!

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The Coalition Against Nerface – Battle of the Sexes

Hey 3.5 readers.

As you all know, I am, among other things, a dedicated philanthropist and public activist.   I have more causes than you can shake a stick at and if you don’t have a stick, perhaps I’ll donate you stick to you so that you can shake it.

My latest cause is, “The Coalition Against Nerdface.”  “Nerdface,” a term that, as far as I know, I coined, happens when a beautiful actress or handsome actor dons the guise of a nerd to play a nerdy role rather than just, oh I don’t know, stepping aside so HOLLYWOOD CAN GIVE A JOB TO AN ACTUAL NERD!

Nerdface.  It’s the world’s number one problem and frankly, everyone should stop working on all the other problems until this one is solved.

Case in point.  Emma Stone?  Super beautiful.  Who is she playing?  Tennis player Billie Jean King.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Billie Jean was a great tennis player, a feminist, women’s rights icon etc. but she was no looker.  That was actually OK in the 1970s, believe it or not.  People who did great things would just be liked and respected for doing great things and they didn’t need to look like supermodels while they did them.

What is Hollywood doing?  Do they hire, oh I don’t know, an actress that’s kind of butch with glasses?  No.  They just whip a freaking pair of glasses on Emma.

You know what?  New rule.  If a character in a movie has glasses, then said character should only be played by a person wearing actual prescription glasses.  Otherwise, hate crime!  Hate crime, I say!

Nerdface.  It’s the worst.  Call it out when you see it.

Can you think of any Nerdface examples, 3.5 readers?  Discuss in the comments:

 

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Happy Memorial Day, 3.5 Readers

Hope you all have a good day.

Toilet Gator – Chapter 74

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With guns drawn, Rusty and Bishop waded through an underground sewer of sludge most foul. The stench was putrid and it invaded their nostrils, filling them with a need to vomit that they desperately fought against.

“Fuck me,” Rusty said. “Again, I only say that as a figurative of speech.”

“You don’t need to keep explaining yourself,” Bishop said.

“What is this asshole doing down here?” Rusty asked. “I mean, he’s got us sloshing through a river of shit, piss, used toilet paper, used condoms, used syringes and I’m ninety percent sure an unwanted prom baby just floated by me.”

“Complaining about it just makes it worse,” Bishop said.

“I’ve got AIDS now,” Rusty said. “I’ve definitely got like fifty diseases. I can feel the diseases just pouring out of this place and into my body.”

Bishop could hear Buford’s voice coming from around a corner just up ahead. “Shh!”

Rusty and Bishop stood quietly in the muck and listened.

“Can we come to some kind of an agreement?” Buford asked.

“Raarga,” Skippy replied.

The reptilian voice startled the duo.

“What the fuck was that?” Rusty whispered.

Bishop shrugged his shoulders in response.

“I’ll bring back one drifter to the motel per month,” Buford said. “No need to bust through toilets in public places and eat people with actual lives. I’ll just bring home a nobody and you can chow down.”

“Raarga, raarga,” Skippy said.

“You love the thrill of the chase?” Buford asked.

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“And the media circus?” Buford asked.

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“You want all eyes on you?” Buford asked.

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“Oh Skippy,” Buford said. “It’s like I don’t even know who you are anymore.”

“Raarga!” Skippy shouted.

“No, I didn’t bring anyone with me,” Buford said.

“Raarga, raarga, raarga,” Skippy said.

“You smell two other people?” Buford asked.

Bishop gulped. Rusty mouthed the words, “Oh shit.”

“You must be mistaken,” Buford said.

“Raarga!” Skippy said.

“Double-crosser?” Buford asked. “Skippy, you know I’d never turn you in. Look, I’m just going to peak my head around this corner and…”

Buford did just that and caught sight of the cop and the FBI agent.

“Freeze!” Bishop said as he pointed his gun at Buford.

Rusty aimed for the nerd as well. “Drop your weapon!”

Buford complied, setting his AR-15 gently down into the muck. He put his hands up and faced the officers.

“Sirs,” Buford said. “I have no problem obeying you but I must tell you that you’re going to have a much more difficult time with my associate.”

“Cut the shit and tell him to get out here with his hands up,” Bishop said.

“Yeah,” Rusty said. “And if he’s armed, we’ll blow him away!”

Buford sighed and turned. Rusty and Bishop were unable to see who exactly Buford was talking to from their vantage point.

“Skippy,” Buford said. “Some gentlemen would like a word…”

A dull, low roar echoed throughout the sewer.

“What was that?” Rusty asked.

Buford turned back to Bishop and Rusty once more. “Gentlemen, you’d better run.”

The nerd took his own advice and hurried forward, further down the sewer.

“Stop!” Bishop shouted.

“Fuck,” Rusty said. “If I have to chase him, I’m putting a bullet in his ass.”

“Fuck it,” Bishop said as he stepped down the sewer. “Let’s go get his asshole partner.”

Rusty and Bishop slogged through grime and peaked around the corner. They saw nothing but darkness.

“Show yourself!” Bishop shouted with his gun drawn toward the darkness.

Rusty shined his light straight ahead and walked until he saw it – a fifteen foot, green, scaly alligator, weighing roughly eight hundred pounds. It roared loudly, putting a chill in the bones of both men.

“Fuck me,” Bishop said.

“It’s a toilet gator,” Rusty replied.

Both men inched backward slowly, being careful not to disturb the beast.

“Shh,” Rusty said. “Nice boy. Good boy. Everyone just be cool.”

“Why the fuck are you talking to it?” Bishop asked.

“I don’t know,” Rusty asked as he stepped backward. “I’ve never been face to face with a fucking enormous alligator before, OK?”

Skippy hissed and then…charged. He waddled towards the men, fast. They let their bullets fly, shooting at the creature over and over but their direct hits just bounced off his rough, leathery hide.

“Run!” Rusty shouted.

Rusty and Bishop flew back the way they came, as fast as their bodies could move, with the gator in hot pursuit.

“Cole was right!” Rusty shouted. “Being a hero is fucking stupid!”

They reached the ladder. Rusty shimmied up first, followed by Gordon.

Up top, Rusty collapsed on the pavement and breathed hard, struggling to catch his breath and slow down his heart rate. Soon, Bishop’s upper torso emerged from the hole.

“Give me a hand!”

Rusty grabbed Bishop’s hand and yanked it upward.

“Fuck!” Bishop shouted. “My foot’s caught!”

“What?!” Rusty asked as he wrapped his arms around Bishop’s torso and pulled. “Come on, man!”

“It’s caught on the fucking….ARRGH!”

Rusty pulled and pulled…only to fall back on the pavement with exactly one half of Bishop on top of him.

“What the?”

Rusty moved the lifeless torso onto the ground, stood up, and looked down on it. Bishop’s face was frozen in a permanent state of shock. His lower half was entirely gone and bloody entrails emerged from his stomach.

“Oh God,” Rusty said. He stepped away from the body and puked his guts out.

Toilet Gator – Chapter 73

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Buford pulled into an abandoned lot and got out of his truck, AR-15 in hand.

“Skippy,” Buford said into the microphone on his headset. “I’m coming down to talk to you in person. I want a little face time.”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“Don’t you talk back to me, young man,” Buford said.

“Raarga, raarga!” Skippy replied.

“Fine,” Buford said. “I still think it’s dumb for you to kill again but if you really feel that you’re hopeless hooked on human flesh now then maybe we can work something out. Maybe there are some homeless drifters out there that no one would miss but you can’t just keep pulling off all these high profile murders. We need to be smart about this.”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“No,” Buford replied. “I’m not going to call the news lady again. I shouldn’t have let you talk me into that the first time. Wait, that’s what this is really all about, isn’t it?”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“You’re a glory hound, aren’t you?” Buford asked. “A voyeur.”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“You want to be the most famous alligator that ever lived?” Buford asked.

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“That’s just ridiculous,” Skippy said. “Hold on. I’m coming down there and we’re going to talk this thing out all civil like. And just so you know, I brought my rifle with me, not like it’ll do much good against you but I’m sure it still smarts. You be a gentleman and don’t hurt me and I’ll have no reason to use it.”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

Buford pulled a crowbar out of the back of his truck and knelt over a manhole cover. He pried the cover off and struggled to move it as it was so heavy. Ever so slowly, he then crawled down a step ladder into the stinky abyss below.

Moments later, Rusty and Bishop emerged from the shadow of a nearby dilapidated old building. They had been listening in the entire time.

“Skippy?” Bishop asked.

“The most famous alligator that ever lived?” Rusty asked.

“There is some next level insanity going on here,” Buford said.

Rusty pulled a flashlight off his belt and shined it down the open manhole. “We should call for backup.”

“No time,” Bishop said.

“You think we should just go down there by ourselves?” Rusty asked. “With him talking crazy talk and carrying a manstopper?”

Bishop took off his jacket, folded it, and laid it on the hood of Buford’s truck. “You do what you want, but I’m in charge of this thing and if there’s a chance I can keep another victim from being killed on the can…”

“You’re right,” Rusty said. “You lead the way. I’ll follow up behind.”

Bishop lowered his body into the open hole and set his feet on the first rung of the ladder. He looked up at Rusty.

“By ‘behind’ I mean I’ll watch your back,” Rusty said. “As in I’ll keep an eye out to make sure you don’t get shot.”

“I know,” Bishop said.

“I didn’t mean I want to give it to you from behind,” Rusty said.

“I didn’t think you did,” Bishop said.

“Good,” Rusty said. “Because I thought about that too and the idea of me putting my drill bit in another man’s socket gives me the heebie jeebies.”

“OK,” Bishop said.

“I’m not a top or a bottom,” Rusty said. “I’m strictly just a man on man cuddler.”

“Now really isn’t the time to talk about this,” Bishop said.

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 72

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Three hours into the stakeout, Rusty and Bishop were having themselves a grand old time. There were swapping stories, telling jokes and a bottle of scotch purchased from the liquor store loosened their lips quite a bit.

“And so I says to the lady bartender….get this…I says….” Rusty was beside himself with laughter, slapping his knee.

“What did you say?” Bishop asked.

“I said,” Rusty said between chuckles. “Is that a cucumber in your pocketbook or are you happy to see me?”

Bishop busted out laughing. “Bahhh ha ha ha!”

The big man wiped some tears of joy from his eyes and calmed down. “Shit. You’re alright, Red.”

“You’re not so bad yourself, big guy,” Rusty said.

“When I met you I thought you were just some dumbass hillbilly cop trying to throw his weight around,” Bishop said.

“I am,” Rusty said. “Don’t tell anyone any different. I got a reputation to uphold. Oh and I thought you were some kinda musclebound ex-marine who gets off on intimidating people with his size.”

“Ex-Navy Seal,” Bishop said.

“Get out,” Rusty said.

“True,” Bishop said.

“You were over there in the shit?” Rusty asked.

“You know it,” Bishop said.

“How was that?” Rusty said.

“It was like a really fun vacation to an amusement park,” Bishop said. “What do you think it was like?”

“Sorry,” Rusty said. “Dumb question.”

“Nah,” Bishop said. “It’s alright. It was hell. Saw too many people die. Came too close to dying myself too many times. I was ready to be out.”

“Must have been an adjustment coming back to the states,” Rusty said.
“At first, yes,” Bishop said. “But honestly, ever since I got back, little has bothered me. If you can live through war, then you can live through anything.”

“Good for you,” Rusty said.

The duo clanked their scotch filled paper cups together. “Cheers,” Bishop said.

“Back at ya,” Rusty replied.

The two men sat in Bishop’s car, keeping their eyes glued on Buford’s motel room door. No movement.

“You know though, I gotta say, I feel bad for shooting the breeze with you like this on account…”

“What?” Bishop asked.

“Well,” Rusty said. “Cole’s my best friend and you his ex-wife are…”

Bishop grimaced. “Are what?”

“Don’t get me wrong,” Rusty said. “I get that she’s divorced and she’s not Cole’s property or anything it’s just, you know, I feel disloyal hanging out here with you while you’re with the love of my best buddy’s life is all.”

Bishop laughed. “You really are a dumbass hayseed.”

“What?” Rusty asked.

“Sharon and I aren’t together,” Bishop said.

“But…”

“What made you think we are?” Bishop asked.

“I dunno,” Rusty said. “Cole said he walked in on you two and you were…”

Bishop sighed. “Spit it out!”

“Naked,” Rusty said. “Sans pantaloons as the French say.”

“The French don’t say that,” Bishop said.

“Do I look like I’ve been to Paris?” Rusty asked.

“I was naked because I was doing pushups,” Bishop said.

“Why the hell would you get naked to do pushups?” Rusty asked.

“Clothes are restrictive,” Bishop said. “Being naked helps my body move better. It gives me the edge I need to stay fit.”

“Bullshit,” Rusty said.

“No shit,” Bishop said. “You aren’t going to get your best workout if you’re stopping every five minutes to adjust your pants.”

“What about the wine?” Rusty asked.

“What about it?” Gordon replied. “Sharon has exactly one glass every night. Helps her sleep.”

Rusty was skeptical. “You mean to tell me that two adults in their sexual prime, one of them naked, the other in a bathrobe, and there’s a bottle of wine in the mix and neither of you…”

“Nope,” Bishop said.

“I still call bullshit,” Rusty said.

“Call all you want,” Bishop replied. “Nothing has ever happened between us.”

“Something’s not right,” Rusty said. “How are you gonna run around in your all together in the presence of a woman you work with and you’re not either banging her or getting sued by her for sexual harassment?”

“God man, I dunno,” Bishop said. “Sharon’s been my partner for ten years now. We went through Quantico training together. We’ve been through all sorts of shit, saved each others’ asses more times than I can count. There’s little either of us can do to shock the other at this point. She’s just a good friend.”

“A good friend?” Rusty asked.

“That’s all,” Bishop replied.

“That you don’t want to…”

“She’d have to grow a dick,” Bishop said.

Rusty smiled. “Oh ok.”

The duo sat there in silence for awhile. Rusty dozed off, then perked up when the gravity of Bishop’s last statement hit him. “Wait, what?”

“I’m gay, man,” Bishop said.

“Get out,” Rusty said.

“Why do you keep telling me to get out?” Bishop asked. “Where am I going to go?”
“You’re gay?” Rusty asked.

“I didn’t stutter,” Bishop answered.

“You?” Rusty said. “With all your muscles?”

“Yes,” Bishop said.

“Seems like a waste,” Rusty said.

“How’s that?” Bishop asked.

“Well shit,” Rusty said. “If I had your body, I’d be grabbing more pussy than a crazy old cat lady, that’s for sure.”

“I don’t know if you might have heard,” Bishop said. “But gay men like muscles too and I do just fine.”

Rusty shifted in his seat. “That’s probably more information than I need.”

“Too fine actually,” Bishop said. “Sharon keeps nagging me to find a special guy to settle down with but I don’t know. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest, you know? Each man I’m with, it’s like a whole new, beautiful experience.”

Rusty looked at his watch. “Oh wow, look at the time. We should probably wrap this up. This dipshit probably went to bed.”

“Oh I see how it is,” Bishop said.

“How what it is?” Rusty asked.

“You’re one of those ignorant rednecks who thinks that just because a guy is gay he must automatically want your dopey ass,” Bishop said.

“I didn’t say that,” Rusty said.

“Probably got more red hair on it than Willie Nelson’s beard,” Bishop said.

“I didn’t,” Rusty repeated. “I’m sorry. I just wasn’t expecting that, is all. It’s a free country man. I’m not telling you to stop being you.”

“Whatever,” Bishop said.

Further silence ensued until Rusty broke through. “It’s actually been nice talking to you.”

“Yeah,” Bishop said. “You too.”

“Cole and I used to talk like this,” Rusty said. “Back when we were younger. But ever since…well, he went through a lot of shit and he just clammed up. I do miss chatting with my friend, I’ll tell you that.”

“I’ll chat with you anytime,” Bishop said. “Just don’t get any crazy ideas about me being interested in you. I can do way better than you.”

“I…shit,” Rusty said. “I don’t even know what to say to that. Am I insulting you if I tell you I don’t want that? Am I insulting you if tell the truth? Can you just be you and I’ll be me? Damn, this is a confusing ass time we live in.”

“Just say whatever you want,” Bishop said.

Rusty took a sip of scotch. “You know it’s just that…”

“What?” Bishop asked.

“Look, I’m not gay,” Rusty say.

“If you gotta declare it…” Bishop said.

“Shut up,” Rusty said. “Nah, it’s just, there have been times in my life where I’ve tried to open up to women about my feelings, you know? Only they have no idea how men work and there were times where, and shit don’t you repeat this…”

“I won’t,” Bishop said.

“There were times back in the day when Cole and I used to talk more where I felt like, if I could just put my arm around him and snuggle for awhile, it would be nice,” Rusty said.

“Interesting,” Bishop said.

“It would be comforting to be held by someone who understands where you’re coming from, regardless of what genitals they got, you know?” Rusty said.

“I hear you,” Bishop said.

“That doesn’t mean I’m gay, does it?” Rusty asked.

“I don’t know,” Bishop said. “Do you think it does?”

“I don’t think so,” Rusty said. “Because I still think about pussy twenty-four seven and titties? Don’t get me started. The bigger the better.”

“Maybe you’re bisexual,” Bishop said.

“I do buy it, yeah,” Rusty said.

Bishop smirked. “No. ‘Bisexual.’ You like men and women.”
“What?” Rusty asked. “Like an AC/DC outlet? Nah. I only go one way.”

“You sure about that?” Bishop asked. “Can’t think of many straight men who would want to snuggle with another man.”

“Well,” Rusty said. “Here’s the big question though. You know that part of gay sex where one dude blasts another dude in the ass?”

“I’ve heard about it, yes,” Bishop said.

“I’m not trying to insult you,” Rusty said. “But I think that’s the most disgusting thing ever. I mean, the idea of one dude jamming his ramrod up my backdoor makes me want to vomit out everything I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.”

“Maybe that’s just because you’ve never tried it before,” Bishop said.

“Yeah, well,” Rusty replied. “I’ve never been hit by an oncoming train but I’m pretty sure I don’t have to in order to comprehend that the experience would be less than enjoyable.”

Bishop shrugged. “To each their own.”

“See this one time,” Rusty said. “I went to the doctor because my stool was coming out red.”

“There’s a turn-on,” Bishop said.

“Nah, it was OK,” Rusty said. “Turns out I was just using way too much cherry drink mix. But just to be sure, the Doctor stuck his finger up my old wazoo and boy, that did not feel good at all. Felt like a burglar was trying to pry a rusty old iron door open with a crowbar.”

“So what are you saying?” Bishop asked.

“I’m saying that I love pussy,” Rusty said. “And I’m not gay. And I still hope to marry a woman one day but…I would really like to feel safe in another man’s arms. Is that even a thing?”

“It’s 2017,” Bishop said. “Everything’s a thing.”

Rusty and Bishop locked eyes. Before he knew it, Bishop was putting his big, strong arm around Rusty and pulling him in close.

“Oh shit,” Rusty said.

“Shh,” Bishop said as he wrapped his other arm around Rusty. “Don’t fight it.”

Rusty breathed a sigh of epic relief as he buried his face into Bishop’s thick neck and sniffed a burly, manly scent. “Aww yeah. That’s the stuff.”

“It’s nice, isn’t it?” Bishop asked.
“Oh God yes,” Rusty said. “Like being a little bear cub wrapped up all snuggly soft in his mother’s arms.”

“OK then,” Bishop said.

“This must be what a baby kangaroo feels like in his mother’s pouch,” Rusty said.

“Sure,” Bishop said.

“It’s like someone just picked me up and shoved me up my mother’s uterus again,” Rusty said.

“And you ruined it,” Bishop said.

“I did?” Rusty asked.

Bishop rubbed his hand up and down Rusty’s back. “No.”

“Bishop?” Rusty asked.

“Yeah?” Bishop replied.

“You think I could ever find a man who would be willing to do this for me on the regular?” Rusty asked.

“I don’t know,” Bishop said. “Anything’s possible I suppose.”

“But unlikely,” Rusty said. “Because sooner or later he’ll want to invade my behind with his heat seeking moisture missile.”

“True enough,” Bishop said.

“No rear entry is like a total deal breaker for male on male relationship?” Rusty asked.

“Maybe not at first,” Bishop said. “But any long lasting relationship of any kind isn’t going to happen unless there’s physical intimacy…of the carnal variety.”

“So two men can’t just get together on a long term basis and cuddle without fucking?” Rusty asked.

“Afraid not,” Bishop said.

“God damn it,” Rusty said. “Men are such pigs.”

“We really are,” Bishop replied.

The sound of a door slamming broke up the party. Bishop and Rusty released one another and turned their eyes to Buford, who was walking out of his hotel room with an assault rifle in hand.
“Holy shit,” Rusty said. “Should we bust him?”

“Nah,” Bishop said. “That’s an AR-15. Legal. He’ll just flash a permit and say he was putting it in his truck to take it to the range tomorrow or something.”

Buford put the rifle into his truck, then got in and started his engine.

“So what do we do?” Rusty asked.

Bishop switched on his ignition. “We find out what he plans to do with it.”

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 71

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As the day waned into evening, Rusty and Bishop drove around town in search of Buford. They checked his known haunts, mostly his favorite convenience stores where he would often purchase all kinds of junk food. Finally, they spotted him walking out of a Gas n’Pass with two shopping bags full of potato chips.

Bishop pulled his unmarked car into the parking lot of a nearby Pizza Groove and turned around, allowing him to tail Buford’s pickup truck. He was sure to stay two cars behind and avoided making any suspicious moves.

“His mother, I get,” Rusty said. “I mean, not really. Hell I had a few lap dances from her down at Big Ray-Ray’s and she was always sweet enough to me.”

“You got a lap dance from that old woman?” Bishop asked.

“Booty is booty,” Rusty said. “Don’t judge, Jumbotron.”

“I’m not, Damien Lewis,” Bishop said.

“Who?” Rusty asked.

“You know,” Bishop said. “The actor.”

“He has red hair?” Rusty said.

“Yeah,” Bishop replied. “He’s in a lot of stuff. He was in that show, you know the one with the crazy eyed bitch who fights terrorism.”

“I’m drawing a blank,” Rusty said.

“You’d know him if you saw him,” Bishop said. “He’s in everything.”

“Joke doesn’t work if you have to explain it, King Kong,” Rusty said.

The duo sat in silence as the slow pursuit continued. Finally, they saw Buford pull into the parking lot of the No-Tell Motel. Not wanting to be spotted, Bishop pulled into a liquor store parking lot across the street. There they sat and watched as Buford hopped out of his truck and let himself into his room.

“Now what?” Rusty asked.

“We wait,” Bishop answered.

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