Daily Archives: May 14, 2017

Toilet Gator – Chapter 46

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It had been a strange day for Paul. In the mere span of a day, he’d gone from being his fraternity’s dork Beermeister to a big time marijuana salesman. Sure, he missed his drinking buddy Chad, but the fat stacks of cash that had been rolling in all day more than made up for it.

Earlier that evening, he decided to celebrate his newfound success with a trip to Big Ray-Ray’s House of Fancy Funbags. He’d intended to purchase the extracurricular services of the prettiest stripper in the entire club, which, by Big Ray-Ray’s standards, usually meant the one that was walking the most upright on the particular day in question.

However, Paul’s father was an accountant and he’d always given his son one important piece of advice – “A fool and his money are soon parted.” Sure, Paul would have had more fun with a lady of the evening closer to his age, but in the end, there’d be the same amount of shame in the morning, so he decided to save a few bucks and go with Roxy.

In fact, the young lad was starting to feel right at home in Roxy’s trailer at the Impoverished Arms Motor Court. Roxy had fixed the boy a good, stiff drink and even cut the tension with a quip about that being “how she likes her men” as well.

Paul played with the ruffles on a throw pillow as he sat on Roxy’s couch. Just a few feet away, the old hooker was sitting in a recliner, wearing a stained bathrobe, puffing on a cigarette as she talked to her son on the phone.

“Buford,” Roxy said. “Slow down. You sound like a crazy person. Uh huh…yeah..that’s…no…son, that’s foolish talk. Yes, I’ve seen the news! Oh, you know how that junk is, bunch of primetime phonies trying to scare everyone so they keep watching the TV….what? No…no….you listen to me, young man, I am your Momma and I will take a shit whenever I damn well please! No…no…you do not get to tell me what to do, Buford! I…I…listen, I got to go, I’m entertaining a paying customer….that’s…you’re being ridiculous, Buford. I’ve got to go! Goodbye!”

Roxy hanged up her cell phone, then got up and took a seat next to Paul. “Where were we, darling?”

Paul sweated profusely. He grew so nervous that he choked up. “Umm…uh…”

The old gal rubbed her hand up and down Paul’s leg.

“Whoa, mama,” Paul said.

Roxy leaned in close. Her breath reeked of cheap booze and stale cigarettes but that didn’t matter to Paul, as this was the most action he’d ever gotten in his two decades of life on earth. A woman was touching him. That’s all that mattered. Still, he tried his best to block the fact that Roxy was roughly the same age as his mother out of his mind.

“You’ve never done this before, have you sweetheart?” Roxy asked.

Paul shook his head no.
“You’re so sweet.” Roxy slapped the boy’s knee and grabbed his hand. “Let’s go!”

“Where are we going?” Paul asked.

“Where do you think?” Roxy said. “To the bedroom. Come on, grab your little bat ‘cuz Old Roxy’s gonna teach you how to knock it out of the park.”

As soon as Roxy stood up, her stomach gurgled. “Uh oh.”

“Are you ok?” Paul asked.

Roxy tapped her smoke out into an empty liquor bottle. “I’m fine but, you know…when I stood up I think it knocked a hot one in the chamber loose.”

The old gal sashayed her way to the bathroom. “I’ll just be a minute, lover. Old Roxy’s got to drop the Cleveland Browns off at the Super Bowl.”

“Take your time,” Paul mumbled. The kid was out of his mind. Here’s a synopsis of what was going inside of the kid’s head:

“Really? Am I really going to allow my first time to be with a geriatric hooker who is taking a dump this very moment? Aww, but then again, how long am I supposed to wait? College is almost over and none of the girls on campus will have anything to do with me because I’m a dweeb. But wait! Wait! I have weed, now! Hot girls my own age will do anything for free pot! Huzzah!”

Paul looked for an escape route. He tried to open the front door, but it creaked loudly. Roxy heard this and called out, “Are you leaving, honey?”

The kid knew he should have just run, but damn it, he was too polite. “Uh, no! No uh, just getting some fresh air.”

The sound of Roxy blowing ass into the toilet traveled through the trailer. “I’m sorry, doll. Can you smell it all the way out there?”

He could, for the trailer was small. He pulled the top of his shirt over his nose but still, he was too polite. “Nope! Not at all.”

“Oh good,” Roxy called out. “Because you know kid, between you and me, I’m not as fresh as a daisy like I used to be, you know.”

Paul spotted a window. He opened it slowly and to his delight, it didn’t creak. “Oh no. You’re fine, ma’am. Everything’s fine.”

The kid was about to jump through the open window when a terrifying sound frightened him. “ROAR!”

The next thing Paul new, the whole trailer was being flipped over. Chairs, the couch, the TV, all the furniture, all the knick knacks, it was like they were all raining down as the surface that had once been the ceiling became the floor.

Paul fell and banged his head, knocking him out cold.

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 45

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Ding dong! Ding dong!

Buford pounded the door of his father’s marvelous, sweeping McMansion, located on the outskirts of town. It was a fascinating structure, painted a pure white alabaster with all sorts of fancy columns and porticos. Off in the front yard, a solid marble statue of the Mayor himself stood watch with a cigar in one hand and a martini in the other, a cowboy hat atop its head.

“Daddy!” Buford shouted as he pounded on the front door. “Daddy! Open up!”

A few moments passed before the front light was flipped on. The door opened and the Mayor appeared with nothing but his cowboy hat and boxer shorts on. Sure enough, he held a cigar in one hand and a martini glass in the other.

“Buford?” the Mayor asked. “Is that you? Boy, have you lost your mind? It is one o’clock in the morning!”

“Daddy,” Buford said. “I got something real important to tell you.”

“Boy,” the Mayor said. “If you think for one second I’m going to let you back in this house.”

“That’s not why I’m here,” Buford said. “Listen Daddy…”

“No, you listen,” the Mayor said. “I have put my foot down on this, Buford. You will never get back in this house again. It’s too good for you here and you got to get out in the world and learn how to be a man!”

“Daddy!” Buford said. “Listen to me! Have you been doing any shitting?”

“What?” the Mayor asked.

“The toilet!” Buford said. “You been on it?”

“What the hell kinda question is that, boy?” the Mayor asked. “I know you’re my son and all but there are some things that are just too personal too talk about, even between us.”

“Daddy,” Buford said. “You will die if you go to the bathroom. Do you understand?”

“What is this all about?” the Mayor asked as he sipped his martini. “Oh, wait a god dang minute. Is this about all the bullshit on TV?”

Buford scratched the back of his head. “Yeah. Let’s go with that.”

“Son,” the Mayor said. “That’s all smoke and mirrors. Yeah sure, there’s some whacko with a screw loose out there, running around gutting people like prized hogs at the county fair while they’re on the pot but the odds of becoming one of his victims is still pretty slim.”

“But uh, it’s still possible,” Buford said.

“Boy,” the Mayor said. “I am seventy years old. I’ve had every surgery ever. The doctors have poked me and probed me and cut me every which way and here I am, still walking around in my all together.”

A duo of Big Ray’s finest appeared in the door way. They both were clad in silky lingerie. They had hot bodies but their faces? They weren’t in danger of winning any beauty contests.

“Mayor,” the first stripper said. “Come back to bed.”

“Yeah,” the second stripper said. “You promised to let me polish your executive branch.”

The Mayor walloped both girls lightly on their behinds. “I’ll be right up, girls. Don’t start without me now!”

The strippers ran back upstairs. The Mayor faced his boy. “Look at me, son. I’m rich and successful and if you put your mind to it, you can end up just like me – flush with cash and able to buy as many discount prostitutes as you please.”

“But Daddy…”

“No, ‘but Daddy’ me, boy!” the Mayor said. “I appreciate this is the first night you’ve ever had out there all alone in the world and it’ll be hard on you but don’t worry. It will get better in time.”

“I’m not even talking about that,” Buford said. “You need to stay off the toilet.”

“Son,” the Mayor said. “I’m no head shrinker but if I were I’d say you being here is just a sad, desperate, pathetic ploy to wiggle your way back into my heart, make me feel all sorry for you and let you have your room back. Am I right?”

“No,” Buford said. “Are you even listening to me? You need to stay off the toilet!”

“Boy,” the Mayor said. “I appreciate you worrying but fuck it.”

“Fuck it?” Buford said.

“Yeah, fuck it,” the Mayor said. “I’ve had a good run. All sorts of things have tried to kill me in my lifetime and I’m still ticking. At my age, ff a madman wants to slice and dice me while I’m pinching a loaf then, well, that’s just God’s way of telling me that my time’s up and it is time for me to come on home.”

“You’re infuriating,” Buford said.

“Don’t try to flatter me with all your fancy Sitwell Community college words, boy,” the Mayor said as he shut the door. “Goodnight.”

As Buford walked away, he could hear his father laughing and cavorting with his discount prostitutes. The young man ignored it and pulled out his phone. He punched in a few numbers, then let it ring.

“Momma?”

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 43

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Cole, Rusty, Sharon and Gordon gathered around Maude’s desk, reviewing the giant stack of reports she’d taken throughout the day.

“This guy thinks the Toilet Killer is an alien from outer space,” Cole said.

“Check this one out,” Rusty said as he read part of a report out loud. “The Toilet Killer is my mother-in-law and even if it is, you cops should feel free to pin it on her and put her away forever because that bitch is cray cray.”

“I can relate,” Cole said.

“I beg your pardon?” Sharon asked.

“Huh?” Cole said. “Nah, I was just saying, in general, most people could relate to that. I can’t, because your mother was great. A saint, really.”

Rusty coughed into his fist. “Cough, cough, pussy! Cough!”

Gordon read from a report in his hand. “The Toilet Killer is a hitman hired by the CIA.”

“Not impossible,” Rusty said. “Although personally, I still don’t think we’ve paid enough attention to the possibility that this might not all be the work of the Al Qaedas.”

“It’s not the Al Qaedas, Rusty,” Cole said.

“We don’t know it’s not, not the Al Qaedas,” Rusty said.

Sharon read from a report. “The Toilet Killer works for the Al Qaedas.”

“Rusty,” Cole said. “Did you submit an anonymous report?”

“How dare you impugn my character, sir?” Rusty asked.

Sharon kept reading. “You may think this is not the work of the Al Qaedas, but keep in mind we don’t know this is not, not the Al Qaedas.”

“This is ridiculous,” Gordon said. “Just a bunch of attention seeking crackpots.”

“Tell me about it,” Maude said as she returned to her crossword puzzle.

“Well,” Sharon said. “The trail’s cold and these are the only leads we have so we better…ow…”

Sharon grabbed her head.

Cole and Gordon rushed to Sharon’s side and asked, “Are you OK?” at the same time.

“I’m fine,” Sharon said. “Just, Gordon and I have been at this mess twenty-four hours straight now. My head’s pounding.”

“You should get some rest,” Gordon said.

“You um, want to crash at my place?” Cole asked.

Sharon hesitated. “Really?”

“Sure,” Cole said. “Why not? I’ll give you my key. You know where everything is.”

Rusty coughed into his hand again. “Cough! Pussy! Cough, cough!”

“No,” Sharon said. “That wouldn’t be right and besides, Gordon needs a rest too.”

“Not gonna lie,” Gordon said. “I could nap.”

“Come on,” Sharon said. “We’ll charge a room off to the FBI.”

“One with room service,” Gordon said. “I’m starving.”

“Wait,” Cole said. “You’re leaving?”

“You’ve got my number if anything happens,” Sharon said. “In the meantime, maybe you and Rusty could run down some of those leads. I’d stay and help but…I’m beat. Come on, Gordo.”

“Way ahead of you,” Gordon said.

The agents walked out of the door. Cole looked around. He’d been left with Rusty, Jeff the computer guy, and a few random agents and officers who were hustling about.

Rusty slapped Cole on the back. “You’re a better man than I am, my friend.”

“What?” Cole asked.

“I know I’d lose my cool if a musclebound jock like that made it clear he was going to plow my ex-wife right in front of me,” Rusty said.

“No one’s banging anyone in front of me,” Cole said.

“I know,” Rusty said. “But he was talking about it.”

“He was not,” Cole said. “No one’s banging anyone. They’re just co-workers.”

“Whatever you say,” Rusty said.

“I do say,” Cole said.

“Fine,” Rusty said. “And I sympathize. If a giant weightlifter was about to repeatedly jam a hog that was much bigger than mine into the only woman I’d ever loved, I’d try to deny it too. The mind has all sorts of mechanisms like that to keep us from flying off the handle.”

“He’s not…” Cole shook his head and sat down. “They’re not having sex. And how do you know his hog is bigger than mine?”

“I don’t have proof or anything,” Rusty said. “And I don’t believe that NN1 report about you having a micro dong but…”

Cole blew up. “Never speak of that report again!”

“Fine,” Rusty said. “But look at the dude. He’s totally built. Like Schwarzenegger in his prime. I’m not saying your hog is below average. I’m saying his there’s a strong likelihood that his hog is above average.”

Cole dropped his head down on Maude’s desk with a thud. “Maude?”

“Yes, dear?” Maude asked.

“Wanna settle this?” Cole asked.

Maude sighed. “You want the truth?”

“I guess so,” Cole said.

Maude reached her old hand out and stroked it through Cole’s hair. “That man has a giant hog and he’s minutes away from giving it to the love of your life. I’m sorry, dear.”

“It’s OK,” Cole said. “These things happen.”

Maude lit up a cigarette. “Coffee, dear?”

“Yes, please,” Cole replied.

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 42

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“Man, this is going to be so amazing, Skippy.”

Buford sat in a cheap, musty room at the No-Tell Motel. Various stains of indeterminate origin were spread all over the walls, floors and bedspread. The overall decor was very disgusting, but Buford was willing to put up with it for fifty bucks a night.

“We’re gonna have to start pinching pennies now that Daddy is no longer subsidizing the lifestyle we’ve grown accustomed to, Skippy.”

Buford tapped the microphone attached to his headset. “Is this thing on? Skippy? Can you hear me.”

A few seconds passed before a low, guttural response poured into Buford’s headset. “Raarga, raarga.”

“That’s better, young man,” Buford said. “You better mind your manners and speak when spoken to, you understand?”

“Raarga.”

“Get your butt to the No-Tell Motel,” Buford said. “It’s going to be our home away from home until I can either get myself back into Daddy’s good graces or figure out a way to strike out on my own and become a wealthy, independent man.”

“Raarga? Raarga, raarga.”

“What?” Buford said. “Screw you and the horse you rode in on. I could too make it in the real world if I wanted to.”

“Raarga.”

“I’m not in the mood for your shit, Skip,” Buford said. “Just get over here.”

Buford stared at a series of computer screens. He’d managed to sneak into his room at his father’s mini-mansion and swipe all the computer equipment he could. Thus, his room at the motel was filled with all kinds of high-tech gear.

The high tech hayseed punched one button on his keyboard and boom! Nudey pictures filled every screen in the room.

“At last!” Buford said. “I’ve finally figured out how to hack every porno site on the web with the stroke of a button! ginormobutts.com! Asstasticfantasies.com! boobstravaganza.net! It’s mine! All mine!”

Buford wrang his hands as he bursted out into a fit of maniacal laughter. “Muah ha ha ha ha ha!”

Boom! A loud commotion broke out in the bathroom. The toilet exploded, as did the pipe underneath. Water sprayed out onto the rug as an enormous, twelve-foot long angry alligator waddled into room and emitted a loud, menacing, “ROAR!”

Buford stood up and put his hands on his hips in the style of a disappointed parent. “Damn it! Skipford J. Dufresne! Look at the mess you done made!”

The alligator lowered his head in shame. “Raarga.”

“You’re damn right, ‘raarga!” Buford said. “I put on a deposit down on this room. You think I’m gonna get that money back now?”

Skippy shook his scaly head back and forth. “Raarga.”

“And where am I supposed to shit now?” Buford asked. “Next time use the front door like a normal person!”

Skippy waddled over to the bed and climbed on top. The box spring crunched and dropped under his massive weight. Half of his gargantuan reptile body was still on the floor.

Buford sighed and climbed into bed next to his buddy. “Move over, ya big lummox!”

“Raarga,” Skippy said as he attempted to make some room. Alas, the effort was in vain, for he was one big ass prehistoric reptile.

Buford barely even fit on the bed and he even had to keep one leg firmly planted on the floor. “I’m sorry I yelled at you, Skippy.”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“Yeah, that’s true,” Buford said. “I have been under a lot of stress but so have you. Hell, you’re the one who did all the dirty work.”

“Raarga.”

Buford tapped a microchip that had been implanted into Skippy’s ear hole. “This thing been working ok?”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“You can still hear me when you’re out and about?” Buford asked.

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“That’s good,” Buford said.

The unlikely duo lied there in silence for awhile until Buford piped up again. “Skippy?”

“Raarga?”

“I’ve been having second thoughts,” Buford said.

“Raarga!” Skippy said. “Raarga raarga, raarga raarga!”

“What do you mean, ‘You always knew I’d pussy out?” Buford asked.

“Raarga, raarga!” Skippy shouted.

“Them’s fighting words, Skipford!” Buford shouted. “I have half a mind to wash your mouth out with soap!”

Skippy belted out another loud roar.

“Shh,” Buford said. “Come on now, the neighbors might hear you. Roll on over.”

“Raarga.”

“Go on.”

The box spring creaked as Skippy shifted to his side. Buford rolled over on his side and draped his arm over the mega lizard’s big belly. Alligator and man then proceeded to lie there for awhile, enjoying the peace and quiet.

“I’m gonna sing you your special song,” Buford said.

“Raarga,” Skippy replied.

“No,” Buford said. “I know you’re not a kid anymore but we all get upset and need to be calmed down now and again.”

Skippy closed his eyes and enjoyed the feeling as Buford stroked his hand up and down the alligator’s scaly tummy. “Stank Daddy in the house, gonna smack a bitch…”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“Gonna bust off a switch and smack a bitch,” Buford sang.

Skippy looked as though he’d drifted off into a feeling of sheer ecstasy.

“Get in my way and you’ll get a stitch,” Buford sang. “Stank Daddy in the house, gonna smack a bitch…”

Buford patted the alligator’s head. “That better?”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“Good,” Buford said. “Now maybe you’ll hear me out.”

“Raarga.”
Buford kissed Skippy’s scaly head, the wiped the slimy residue from his lips.

“Look,” Buford said. “Last night was a lot of fun. Lord knows it was a long time coming, what with all the planning that went into it. But we pulled it off without a hitch and now I’m thinking we ought to quit while we’re ahead.”

“Raarga!” Skippy shouted.

“Come on, Skippy,” Buford said. “Every good poker player will tell you that you got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. Just like that song by the immortal legend, Kenny Rogers, who was a triple threat when it came to signing, gambling, and mass chicken production.”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“Just think about any criminal that ever got caught,” Buford said. “They always get brought down whenever they get too greedy. It’s time to step away from the table while we still got a pocket full of chips.”

“Raarga!” Skippy said.

“I know,” Buford said. “My personal growth and development was stunted by three terrible people. And those people got what was coming to them last night. But you know what, Skip?”

“Raarga?” Skippy asked.

“I always thought that when I turned you loose on my enemies, I’d feel a lot better,” Buford said. “But I don’t. If anything, I feel worse.”

“Raarga?” Skippy asked.

“Yes,” Buford replied. “Much worse. I’ve come to realize that humans are just imperfect. They do dumb things without realizing how it will mess a fella up. But as imperfect as life is, all life is important and well…I shouldn’t have asked you to eat all those people for me. That’s my bad and I’ll accept it.”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“I know you had a good time doing it,” Buford said. “You’re a damn alligator. Crunching living things between your jaws is what you were built for. I just think it’s time we put you back on your all goat diet.”

Skippy sprang off the bed and stared at his companion. “Raarga!”

Burford was on his feet now. “Oh come on! It won’t be so bad! I can even feed your more goats now because I found a guy who can provide me with cheap, discount goats.”

“Raarga!” Skippy said.

“That’s right,” Buford said. “I’ve got a goat guy.”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“What do you mean, you’ll never go back to goats?” Skippy asked.

“Raarga!” Skippy shouted.

“Now that you’ve developed a taste for human flesh you’ll never go back?!” Buford asked.

Skippy waddled toward the bathroom. “Raarga!”

“You can’t mean that, Skippy!” Buford shouted. “Come on. I know it’s hard but maybe we can come up with a program to get you off of human meat.”

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“I’m a pussy for living in this motel?” Buford asked.

“Raarga,” Skippy said.

“If I won’t stand up to Momma and Daddy you will?!” Buford asked. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Buford stood outside the bathroom door as his massive pet disappeared into the bathroom.

“Skippy!” Buford shouted. “You get back here this instant!”

“Raarga!” Skippy shouted.

“Skipford J. Dufresne!” Buford said. “You will not lay a single scaly hand on Momma and Daddy, do you hear me?”

No response.

“You get back in here and go to bed and sleep this off,” Buford said. “Maybe you’ll come to your senses in the morning.”

More silence.

Ever so timidly, Buford slowly stepped into the bathroom. The toilet was shattered to pieces. Water chugged out of the broken pipe. Even worse, the gator was gone.

“Lord have mercy,” Buford said. “I’ve created a monster.”

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 42

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FBI computer scientist Jeff Harvey labored over a computer screen at the Sitwell Police Department. While Sharon and Gordon watched his every move, the pencil neck geek played with a neon orange toy. He grabbed it by the center, gave it a spin, and then allowed the unsharpened blades to twirl around and around in a circular motion.

“What the hell is that thing?” Gordon asked.

“It’s my Stress Spin-a-ma-jig,” Jeff answered. “It calms me down in stressful situations.”

“What’s so stressful about this?” Sharon asked.

“I dunno,” Jeff said as he punched a few keys on the keyboard. “Maybe because I’m tracking the only viable clue in an internationally publicized, high profile serial murder case and the two investigating agents have nothing better to do than jerk off behind me as they watch my every move?”

“No one’s jerking off,” Sharon said.

“Figure of speech,” Jeff said as a worldwide map appeared on the screen.

Cole, Rusty, and Maude entered the station.

“It’s about time!” Sharon snapped at Cole.

“Yeah,” Cole said. “Listen, Sharon, I thought I was doing the right thing by getting out of the office, given our…”

Sharon threw up her hand in a “stop” motion. “Say no more. I understand.”

“But I thought about it,” Cole said. “And I really do want to help.”

“I’m glad you’re on board,” Sharon said.

“Also,” Rusty said. “We have doubts as to your ability to solve this case because of your vagina.”

“Shut up Rusty,” Cole said.

Sharon sighed. “Same old Rusty. Hasn’t changed in ten years.”

“Tell me about it,” Cole said.

Jeff stopped his spinning toy. “We’ve got a hit!”

“Where is he?” Sharon asked.

Jeff tapped his finger right into the heartland of America. “Wisconsin.”
“Why would he be in Wisconsin after everything that happened down here?” Sharon asked.

“Beats me,” Gordon said. “But we’d better get the Milwaukee field office on the line.”

“And now he’s in San Francisco,” Jeff said.

“What?” Sharon said.

“Shanghai,” Jeff said. “Mumbai. Amsterdam. Australia. Whoa, now he’s in Monte Carlo! I hear it’s lovely there this time of year.”

While Maude returned to her desk to sort through paperwork, the agents and cops watched Jeff’s computer screen as a little red dot traveled all over the world.

“How is this possible?” Sharon asked.

“Whoever this guy is, he’s good,” Jeff said. “Like, next level good. He’s masked his phone signal, making it appear as though it’s pinging off towers all over the world.”

“Who has the knowhow to do such a thing?” Sharon asked.

“Either an MIT scientist,” Jeff said as he twirled his Spin-a-ma-jig. “Or a random computer nerd with plenty of time on his hands.”

“Well shit,” Cole said. “He must be from out of town because I can’t think of a single person in Sitwell with a brain like that.”

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Thirteen Weeks of Toilet Gator Sundays

Happy Mother’s Day, 3.5 readers.

Just think.  By this time next year, you’ll be able to thank your mother for squirting you out of her nether regions by buying her her very own copy of “Toilet Gator.”

That’s all your mother ever wanted all along.  Just the other day I heard her say, “My ulterior motive in turning my vagina into the Holland Tunnel was to raise a kid who would buy me my very own copy of a book about an alligator that eats people while they are sitting on the toilet.”

So, stop disappointing your mother and be sure to make a note to buy “Toilet Gator” next year.  It will make up for the many, many ways in which you disappointed your mother, the list of which is long and voluminous.

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Happy Mother’s Day…

…to all you bad mothers out there.

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Movie Review – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Giant elephants!  Magic!  Charlie Hunnam sans Sons of Anarchy cut!

BQB here with a review of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Just like with King Kong, every decade Hollywood trots out the King Arthur tale, dusts it off and tries to give it a little extra pizzazz.  Clive Owen did just that in a 2004 version and now British Director/Madonna’s ex-husband Guy Ritchie is having a go.

The critics are panning the crap out of it and personally, I feel like they should lighten up a bit.  True, it’s far from being historically accurate and there are a lot of phrases, sayings etc. that seem a tad too modern, not so modern that they ruin the film but just enough that they make you cringe a bit.

Bottomline: if you’re willing to suspend disbelief, you’ll have a good time.  If you’re a historical purist, you’re going to think it’s a giant pile of donkey crap.  So, like most things in life, it’s all about perspective.

In this retelling, King Uthur (Eric Bana) is betrayed Hamlet-style by his evil brother, Vortigern (Jude Law).  An infant Arthur is whisked away just in time to avoid being chopped to pieces by his uncle and ends up being raised in a brothel by a band of happy go lucky prostitutes because if it’s one thing we all know, prostitutes are gangbusters when it comes to child rearing.

Sigh.  I’m going to letters for that comment aren’t I?  “Waah!  Screw you, BQB!  My mother was a prostitute and I turned out just fine!”

But I digress.  Long story short, adult Arthur (Hunnam) pulls the infamous sword Excalibur out of the stone, fulfilling a prophesy yet ending up on King Vortigern’s shit list.

To save the day, he’ll join up with a group of plucky rebels and blah, blah, blah…go see it if you want to know how it all turns out.

Guy Ritchie, the director who gave us edgy, whipcrack fast, violent comedies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1998 and Snatch in 2000 brings his rather unique style to the historical film genre, a genre whose fans aren’t exactly known for wanting uniqueness of any kind.  In other words, this film was an uphill climb for the Ritchster.

Guy came to prominence in the 1990s, during what I would call the Tarantino period, a time when directors totally threw the “start at the beginning and go to the end” style of storytelling and instead, embraced flashbacks, flash forwards, flash sideways (some shit is happening here while some other shit is happening over there at the same time.)

Thus, this film, a retelling of one of Jolly Old England’s most beloved tales, feels less like a period piece and more like a heist film.  Arthur and Company engage in witty, quip laden banter as they plot out there schemes.  “You go here, I’ll be there” and then the action unfolds as the characters discuss what they’re going to do.

Between that style and some funky music, Guy does take a lot of risks and honestly, its up to you, the viewer, to personally decide if they paid off.  Guy’s made big money, made great films and got to be married to Madge, so he probably doesn’t care what you think about his film.  He just wanted to put his own spin on his homeland’s great legend and if you like it, great.  If not, Snatched is playing in the theater next door.  Maybe Amy Schumer’s non-stop vagina jokes are more your cup of tea.

Meanwhile, it’s great to see Charlie Hunnam get more post-Sons of Anarchy work, especially one where he can put his British accent to work.  He did well in Pacific Rim and he can carry more films if Hollywood is willing to dole more out to him.

Still, he does have that Jax-like bad boy quality to him.  It fit here because this is the “King Arthur is a bad boy” film, but I wonder if he’ll ever get a film where he isn’t the bad boy?  Maybe Charlie’s too badass to even care.

All I know is this version of King Arthur made more money as a pimp (yes, adult King Arthur is a pimp, for shame!)  than Charlie’s alter ego Jax ever made via SAMCRO’s pimping operations.

Don’t even get me started on Sons of Anarchy.  Those motorhead idiots committed so much crime and made such little cash to show for it.  They’d of wasted less time and money had they all just gotten jobs at Wal-Mart.

Sidenote: Lots of big names in this case. Eric Bana, Jude Law and Djimon Hounsou, three characters well versed in the historical action genre, all appear in this film.  That amazes me because that probably could not have happened ten years ago.  These three in their prime in one film would have bankrupted the studio.  Also, Game of Thrones fans will be happy to see Aidan Gillen (or Lord Littlefinger to GOT fans), and happy or not so happy to see Michael McElhatton (aka Roose Bolton, your happiness or unhappiness to see him will likely depend on which side you took during that whole Red Wedding fiasco).

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Don’t let the critics get you down, Guy.

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Search Engine Optimized Poet – Safe Space

:::Bongo Drum Beats:::

Hey there all you hep cats and hep kittens. Come on down to the East Randomtown Java Bean, where the poets always stink and the cups are never clean.

Next on the mic is the one and only Search Engine Optimized Poet…the only rhyme-smith whose beats bring in the web searchers’ feets, ya dig?

up-korora-beatnik-800px

Safe space!  Whoa, safe space!

The world is in a state of disgrace!

People want to speak their opinions, directly to my face.

As if there is a divergence of opinion amidst the entire human race.

Race!  To my safe space is where I will go.

For it is a place where no one can tell me, “No!”

Go!  Away is where YOU will be found.

For I should not have to hear different points of view while I am on sacred safe space ground.

Frowned!  That’s what I did, just the other day.

When you stuck a micro-aggression without trigger warning in my way.

At bay!  That’s where I want ideas that are not my own.

Cry long and hard I will if you make your different opinion known.

Phone!  I beg of you, do not use it to bore me,

With your thoughts while I’m safely ensconced in all of my safe space glory.

Story?  Sure, I would love to hear one.

But it’d better end with, “And then everyone agreed with me” before it is done.

Won!  This battle of hearts and minds is what I achieved.

For I managed to tune out any opposing speech that would leave me aggrieved.

At ease!  It’s how I feel now.

Now that I’m going to pet a therapy dog, a therapy cat, a therapy horse and a therapy cow.

Wow!  This therapy coloring book is better than listening to others speak their minds.

You go on without me.  I must stay here and stay within the lines.

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Top Ten TV Mothers

Super-Mom

Happy Mother’s Day, 3.5 readers.

Why are you reading this sad little blog for?  Why aren’t you out there, honoring the woman who squeezed you out of her cooter with a nice Mother’s Day brunch?

Sheesh.  I have to tell you people how to do everything.

Anyway, in honor of this fine day, I present to you, from BQB HQ in Fabulous East Randomtown, the Top Ten TV Mothers of All Time:

#10 – June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley) – Leave it to Beaver

TV scholars may be able to tell me if there was a more prominent TV mother before June, but I do believe June was one of the first and so, she essentially started it all.  Ward always got his paper after work.  Beaver and Wally always got dinner.  June made it all happen, even while putting up with tomfoolery from Wally’s friend, Eddie Haskell.

#9 – Ruth Martin (June Lockhart) – Lassie

Mothers are often caused a great deal of heartache by their children, and I don’t think there was another mother that was cause as much anguish as Ruth was caused by that little dumbass Timmy.

Most 1950s kids were able to play outside without getting into too much trouble, whereas  Timmy couldn’t walk five feet without falling down a well, falling off a cliff, getting attacked by some woodland creature, getting kidnapped by bandits or what have you.

Luckily, Ruth was always able to depend on trusty family collie dog Lassie to save the day and frankly, Timmy should have gotten Lassie a mother’s day card as she was like his furry assistant mother.

But seriously.  It must have sucked for Ruth.  The woman wasn’t able to put her feet up for five minutes without Lassie coming into the room to woof some troubling news about her soon to her.

LASSIE:  Woof, woof!

RUTH:  Lassie, what is it girl?

LASSIE:  Woof!

RUTH:  Timmy fell down a well?

LASSIE:  Woof, woof!

RUTH:  And was kidnapped by bandits?

LASSIE:  Woof!

RUTH:  And he was attacked by a mountain lion?

LASSIE:  Woof!

RUTH:  Holy shitballs.  You know what?  Fuck this.  I’m just going to chain Timmy up in the front yard from now on and give you his room, Lassie.

#8 – Claire Huxtable – Phylicia Rashad – The Cosby Show 

OK, 3.5 readers.  Let’s just address the elephant in the room.

Did Bill Cosby apparently, allegedly, whatever legal modifier you want to add here, did he apparently drug a bunch of women for the purposes of doing the freaky deaky with them without their consent?

:::shakes my magic 8 ball:::  “All signs point to yes.”

But you know who didn’t do any of that?  Phylicia Rashad.  On a groundbreaking, hilariously funny, ahead of its time TV show that little 1980s kids like me watched every Sunday, Clair Huxtable was the working mom who had it all.  Somehow, she balanced her schedule well, allowing her to try big important New York cases by day and still raise her band of adorable cherubs by night.

Plus, she took no guff from Cliff.  There was a clear, deep, meaningful love between Clair and Cliff and they portrayed the struggles that many parents were able to relate to – i.e., balancing the love they had for their children while holding back the temptation to slap them silly whenever they did something stupid and oh lord, how the Cosby children did many stupid things.

Theo always wanted to drop out of school.  Rudy was always picking on Bud.  Vanessa was always narcing on everyone.  Denise was boy crazy.  Sondra took her parents’ money to go to law school, then quit lawyering to open up a camping store with her dopey husband Alvin.

Such is the life of a parent.  Your kids disappoint you constantly, but you must love them anyway.  Clair gave swift verbal kicks to the behind to her children and husband early and often, never mean but always with firm, fairness and love.

Drop that hoagie, Cliff.  Too much salt.

#7 – Marge Simpson (Julie Kavner) – The Simpsons

Poor Marge.  She was so studious in the 1960s, as well as the 1990s as the show has rebooted the “How Marge and Homer Fell in Love Story” at least a couple of times now.

She wanted to do great things with her life but alas, one romp between the sheets with dumbass Homer left her raising a spikey haired demon boy and donut chomping moron for the rest of her life.

Even worse, she’s been waiting forever for a reprieve to come her way in the form of her kids growing up and moving out of the house but surprisingly, Maggie has been a baby, Bart has been 10 and Lisa 8 for almost 30 years now!

Marge, you may want to take your kids to see Dr. Hibbert.  They may have stunted growth from second hand donut crumbs.

Bonus points to Marge for being able to maintain such a tall, stylish blue beehive while having to deal with so much mischief.

#6 – Peggy Bundy – (Katey Sagal) – Married with Children

Don’t get me wrong, 3.5 readers.  The women’s rights movement, was overall, a great thing that improved the lives of many a woman.

But…there was a loophole, one that by the time the 1980s rolled around, some (note that I said ‘some’ and not ‘a lot of’) savvy women like Peggy Bundy were exploiting the ever loving crap of.

Women had choices.  If they wanted to, they could still choose to stay at home and raise a family and take care of the house.  Or, if they wanted to, they could go out into the world, trailblaze their way into a career, and become empowered as they bring home the bacon.

Peggy Bundy did neither.  She split the difference by staying home and doing nothing…literally, absolutely, positively…nothing.

The days when it was considered appropriate to complain to your stay at home wife that the house was a mess and there was no dinner on the table were gone.

Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill) found himself at a new stage in human history, namely, the one where the husband is just expected by everyone to suffer while his loophole exploiting wife (and again, I’m not saying every or even many women do this) doesn’t bring any money into the household so he has to work more but also doesn’t lift a finger to help out, so he still has to wash his own clothes, do his own dishes, cook his own food, etc.

Men unfortunate enough to find themselves with a wife like Peggy are expected to suffer in silence.  Can’t complain that she’s not making money because it’s her choice.  Can’t complain that she didn’t clean up the house because damn it, don’t you know women are more than homemakers now?

Al, of course, was never one to suffer in silence.  While Peggy sat at home and watched TV and ate bon bons all day in the same red beehive hairdo and leopard print outfit, he’d slave away all day at the shoe store, taking all manner of abuse from overweight women who hated his guts because he wasn’t able to help them find a shoe to their liking.

Al would complain vociferously that Peg would never cook or clean or do anything for him but the days of the 1950s where people gave a shit about the plight of the starving, dirty shirt wearing man were over.

Yes, there are plenty of women who choose to stay at home and they do a bang up job of making sure their husbands and kids always have something to eat and clean clothes to wear.

Yes, there are plenty of women who go to work and bring up fat stacks of cash so their families can buy all the stuff they want.

Yes, there are even plenty of women who go to work, make those fat stacks of cash, and still go that extra mile to keep the household running like clockwork.

But, there’s also a slim minority of women who manage to game the system.  Women like the Pegster, who just get their money by stealing their husband’s wallets (Al always had to hand onto his for dear life) and then allow their homes to fester into stinking piles of crap while they watch television, grow their beehives out and complain about their husbands, i.e. the only people who are doing anything to help anyone in the family.

You almost have to applaud Peggy for being smart enough to figure out how to game the system.

#5 – Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) – Roseanne

Yes, the 1980s brought us shows that broke the “perfect family” convention.  Married with Children was one such show and Roseanne was another.

Roseanne Connor definitely took the June Cleaver mold and broke it, then threw the pieces into the trash can.

Like many families, hers was dirt poor.  Husband Dan (John Goodman) was always out of work or underemployed.  He tried his best but work was hard to come by and didn’t pay much when he found it.  She supplemented the family’s income by waitressing, working at a factory run by a young George Clooney with black hair and doing all sorts of minimum wage slave jobs.

She did not do it with a smile on her face and she did not suffer fools lightly.  Whether at work or at home, she took no crap from anyone.  On a regular basis, she told bosses, kids, husband and wacky sister Jackie where to stick their problems – right up their butts, because she was too busy and exhausted to baby them.

Sure, she always found time to bail everyone out of a jam but those who crossed her met with her wrath.

It was a show people could relate to.  People were poor.  They had jobs and home life responsibilities.  They were tired.  No one had the time anymore to gussy themselves up like June Cleaver.  Mom didn’t just have to work to be empowered.  She had to work just to keep the family from going under.  No one had time to June Cleaver anything.

#4 – Elyse Keaton (Meredith Baxter Birney) – Family Ties

Ahh, the 1980s.  The Reagan Era.  The time when the stock market was booming, businesses were exploding with profits and there was a new renaissance of commercial expansionism.  Simply put, the country was raking in dough hand over fist.  Yuppies (young urban professionals) were everywhere and the country lived by Gordon Gecko’s Wall Street mantra, “Greed is good.”

It was a tough time for ex-1960s flower children like Steven (Michael Gross) and Elyse Keaton.  They were parents now, so they had to put away their tie dye shirts and protest signs and actually get jobs to make money for their families, i.e. they had to “work for the man,” something they swore they’d never do at Woodstock.

Even worse, they had to watch their kids, Alex (Michael J. Fox) and Mallory (Justine Batemen) become capitalist, commercialist little shits.

While Steven and Elyse had spent their youths fighting the power and standing up to the man, their kids had become total squares.  Alex was a money obsessed Reaganite who was counting down the days until he could leave and run off to Wall Street.  Meanwhile, while Mallory wasn’t smart enough to care about Wall Street, she was a greedy consumer, a mall, boy, shopping obsessed teenage girl who could care less about the latest cause because she was too busy finding the best outfit.

Yup.  That was the 1980s, where the kids had become lamer than their parents.

Somehow, Elyse kept the family going.  She was an architect who designed buildings by day and took care of her family by night.  You can take the girl out of Woodstock but you can’t take the Woodstock out of the girl.

#3 – Kitty Forman (Debra Jo Rupp) – That ’70s Show

Poor Kitty.  It was the 1970s and she had to deal with perpetually angry husband Red (Kurtwood Smith) always threatening to put his foot up the ass of their wayward son, Eric (Topher Grace).  On top of that, she worked as a nurse where patients she’d gotten attached to would die all the time.  Did I mention that daughter Laurie (Lisa Robin Kelly) was a big time ho bag with a penchant for allowing herself to be used by unscrupulous older men?

Oh, and there was always, literally always a plethora of kids in her basement aka Eric’s friends whose parents weren’t up to snuff so she had to mother all of them as well.

Yet somehow, Kitty put up with all of this with a smile on her face…literally a big, bright beaming smile and a nervous laugh whenever things got out of hand.  She was a “smile when your heart is aching” kind of gal but once in a blue moon she would lose her cool and explode all over whoever was causing trouble, often to hilarious results.

#2 – Carol Brady (Florence Henderson) – The Brady Bunch

Carol Brady.  She was the mom of the type of family that “the Man” didn’t want to admit existed – mixed, blended families where Moms and Dads got together and brought their children from previous marriages with them.

Society didn’t approve.  Apparently, women who were divorced or widower men who had lost their wives were just supposed to sit around and be depressed all day and never find love again.   But Mike and Carol defied convention and made TV history in the process when they got together and formed the Brady Bunch.

Carol ran the family like a boss.  Hell, she even subcontracted her motherly duties to housekeeper Alice because those were the days when it was considered socially acceptable to hire a random old lady to clean your house and parent your kids for you, pay her a salary that was the rough equivalent of the leftover pocket change in your couch cushions so you could spend your time on more important things like finding stylish 1960s lady pantsuits with bell bottom cuffs.

Yup.  Carol was the woman that every 1960s kid wanted as their mother, even though she got Alice to do all the mothering for her.  Ain’t no one got time for that shit.

#1 – Shaft (Richard Roundtree) – Shaft

Oh, what?  A man can’t be a mother?  You simple minded bumpkins need to shape up and get woke.

No, Shaft didn’t have time to raise any damn kids.  He was too busy solving mysteries, fighting crime, and getting down with fine ass 1970s babes.

Still, the theme song speaks for itself:

Shaft Theme Song (Sung by Isaac Hayes)

ISAAC:

Who’s the black private dick
That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?

CHORUS:

Shaft!

ISAAC:

You’re damn right!

Who’s  the man that would risk his neck for his brother, man?

CHORUS:

Shaft!

ISAAC:
Can ya dig it?

Who’s the cat that won’t cop out when there’s danger all about?

CHORUS:

Shaft!

ISAAC:
Right on.
You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother

CHORUS:

Shut your mouth!

But I’m talkin’ about Shaft.

CHORUS:

Then we can dig it.

ISAAC:

He’s a complicated man but no one understands him but his woman

CHORUS: John Shaft.

Yup.  Shaft might have been all man, but you can’t argue with a good theme song.  He was the baddest mother around.

Did I miss your favorite TV mother, 3.5 readers?  You can leave your own tribute to her in the comments.

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