Daily Archives: June 1, 2017

Toilet Gator – Chapter 80

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Decked out in a camouflage hunting jacket, Cole peered through the scope of his rifle and took aim at a deer as it lapped up water out of a nearby stream. He’d been trying his best to keep an eye on the animal, though it was difficult, as Moses and Felix had led Sharon and Rusty to his location, and three out of the four were babbling on and on.

“An alligator the size of a boat makes sense to me,” Moses said. “Everyone and everything is getting bigger. It’s because the CIA is putting steroids in our water supply, trying to make every living thing on earth huge so we’ll be better slaves for the impending new world order. I read that on the Internet and you know what they say. ‘If it’s on the Internet then it must be true.’”

“Literally no one says that,” Sharon said.

“Well they should,” Moses replied. “The Internet is full of all kinds of important factual information and also cat videos. Felix loves his cat videos, don’t you Felix?”

Felix nodded in the affirmative.

“What do you think, Cole?” Rusty asked.

Cole stayed quiet as he shut his left eye and drew a bead on the deer’s head.

“Cole?” Rusty asked.

“Huh?” Cole asked.

“The alligator!” Rusty said.

Cole ignored Rusty and maintained his focus on the deer.

“People,” Moses said. “Maybe now is not the time to bother our fearless former police chief. After all, he’s been through an awful lot and the whole purpose of hunting trip is for him to get his mind off losing his job and his leg and his lousy bitch of an ex-wife…no offense, Sharon. It’s good to see you.”

“Offense taken, Moses,” Sharon said.

“Moses,” Rusty said. “I thought we had joint custody of Cole.”

“I wasn’t aware of that,” Moses said.

“You’re his hunting and shooting buddy and I’m his everything else buddy,” Rusty said. “And right now I need him for something else.”

Cole hovered his finger over the trigger and gritted his teeth.

“Holy shit, Cole,” Rusty said. “Will you blow that thing away already so we can talk?”

Cole sighed. He set his gun down and stood up to face everyone. “I don’t shoot harmless animals. I only use them to practice my aim.”

“Wait,” Rusty said. “So all those animal heads that used to hang on your office wall?”

“They started it,” Cole said. “I finished it.”

“So, what?” Sharon asked. “You just put yourself in situations where a dangerous animal will attack you so you can shoot it?”

Cole popped a piece of gum into his mouth and began to chew. “Yup.

“Wow,” Rusty said. “You’re like the Charles Bronson of hunting.”

“I thought everyone knew that,” Moses said with a snicker. “Or maybe that’s just information his really, really good friends know.”

Felix tugged on Moses’ arm. “Don’t be jealous, F-Train,” Moses said. “There’s plenty of Sergeant Moses T. Malone, United States Marine Corps, Retired to go around.”

“You want to know what I think about your alligator story?” Cole asked. “It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Rusty looked sullen. “You don’t believe me?”

Cole saw the pain in Rusty’s eyes. “I believe you think you saw something but…come on man, I know how you drink.”

Rusty threw his hands into the air. “Then how the hell did Gordon die?!”

Cole shrugged his shoulders. “I dunno. Sewer gas?”

The sheer frustration was too much for Rusty. “Arrrgh! You sound just like Hammond!”

“I’m nothing like Hammond,” Cole said. “Hammond’s a kiss ass.”

“You’re exactly like Hammond,” Rusty said. “Two Bozos who spent so long in management they forgot what on the line police work really means.”

“You really want to talk to me about on the line police work?” Cole asked.

“Oh sure!” Rusty shouted. “Just throw your leg at me again, Cole! That’s your trump card, isn’t it? Why don’t you just twist the damn thing off and beat me over the head with it already?”

Moses pulled out his phone. “Hold on. I want to get that shit on video if you do.”

Sharon threw herself between Rusty and Cole. “Enough, you two!”

She turned to Cole. “Cole, crazy alligator story or not, my partner’s dead and you know that’s something I just can’t ignore.”

“I know,” Cole said.

“The FBI has banned me from working on this case,” Sharon said. “But it’s pretty obvious that Buford Dufresne is involved in all of this somehow and he’s benefiting from his father’s protection. Can we please get out of here and talk about how to solve this?”

Cole looked into his love’s big brown eyes and felt he could not say no. Still, he had a question. “Why me?”

“Because I can’t tell anyone at the FBI I’m working on this and outside of the bureau, you’re the best damn cop I know,” Sharon said.

“Ex-cop,” Cole said. “I was unceremoniously given the boot after twenty-years of service. Not one member of the town council was willing to step up and take on the Mayor for me. They all rubber stamped the Grover County Sheriff takeover.”

“Don’t do it for them, Cole,” Sharon said. “Do it for me.”

That was all Cole needed to hear. “I suppose I could eat.”

Cole picked up his rifle and took one last look at the deer. “Beautiful creature, isn’t it?”

“It is,” Sharon said.

The deer took three steps through the grass and then…KABOOM! It was consumed in a fiery explosion. Blood and guts rained down from the sky. Moses, Felix, and Rusty hit the deck. Instinctively, Cole jumped on Sharon and knocked her down to the ground, shielding her with his body.

“What the fuck was that?!” Rusty shouted.

Moses raised his hand. “My bad.”

“Your bad?” Rusty asked.

“What?” Moses asked. “Some people hunt with rifles. Some people hunt with Claymore mines.”

“Literally no one hunts with Claymore mines,” Rusty said.

“They’re going to,” Moses said. “They just don’t know it. I’m starting a trend.”

Everyone stood up and headed for the main road.

“You didn’t set any more of those out here did you?” Rusty asked.

“Of course not,” Moses said. “Wait, Felix. Did I set up any more of those out here?”

Felix shrugged his shoulders.

“Shit,” Moses said. “Oh well. Just stick close to me and you’ll be fine.”

“You know if you left more of those out here, a kid might step on one,” Rusty said.

“Aw, who cares,” Moses said. “Builds character.”

Cole and Sharon remained on the ground together just a little bit too long.

“Are you OK?” Cole asked.

“Never better,” Sharon answered.

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 79

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The sun beat down on Rusty and Sharon as they trudged through the Grover County Forest Preserve. Sharon swigged from a bottle of water and wiped her brow.

“An alligator?” Sharon asked.

“I shit you not,” Rusty answered. “Longer than a super duty pick-up truck and it must have weighed just as much.”

“And you’re sure you weren’t…”

“What?” Rusty asked.

Sharon pantomimed tipping an invisible beer up to her mouth. “Glug, glug, glug?”

“No,” Rusty said. “OK yes. But so was Gordon. That didn’t matter. We both saw it. If he were here, he’d tell you the same thing.”

“”You have to admit it’s a pretty unbelievable story,” Sharon said.

“You think I want to believe it?” Rusty asked. “I’m telling you, thoughts of that giant monster will haunt my dreams forever. And just like I told Hammond, Buford is somehow behind it all.”

“So what are you saying?” Sharon asked. “Buford controls the alligator like he’s some kind of pet?”

“Yeah,” Rusty said. “Only they were having some kind of squabble, like the gator wasn’t listening to Buford and trying to do its own thing.”

Sharon sighed. “A misbehaving alligator.”

“Talk to Britney Chase,” Rusty said.

“The holes in the floor at the bathroom scenes inspected would, in theory, be commensurate with a large alligator busting through,” Sharon said. “But still. An alligator coming up through a toilet to eat an unsuspecting bathroom user? I thought that was an old wive’s tale.”

“Apparently not,” Rusty said.

“How could an alligator even fit into the pipe that connects the toilet to the sewer?” Sharon asked. “There’s no way he could squeeze into a space that tight.”

“I don’t know,” Rusty said. “But it makes sense when you think about it, doesn’t it? How else could a killer have gotten to three separate locations in such a short amount of time unless he had a means of travel other than a traffic clogged highway like, say, a sewer system?”

“I guess,” Sharon said.

“And how could he sneak into a bathroom, kill the victim, not just kill but totally splatter them everywhere?” Rusty asked.

“I’d been thinking a woodchopper was involved,” Sharon said. “But I suppose a big set of gator jaws would do.”

“These were the biggest I’d ever seen,” Rusty said. “Chock full of razor sharp teeth.”

Sharon sighed. “I want to believe you but…”

“But what?” Rusty asked as he slapped a mosquito that was buzzing around his neck.

“This is so…unlikely,” Sharon said. “There’s got to be another explanation.”

“I wish there was,” Rusty said. “Believe me, I wish there was.”

Rusty and Sharon stopped near a big swampy mud puddle to catch their breath. As they stood quietly, the frame of a man slowly emerged, commando style, from the mud behind them. When the man was on his feet, he was completely covered with mud, save for the whites of his eyes, which he used to stare intently at the intruders. The handle of a big, jagged knife sat precariously between his teeth.

The man removed the knife from his mouth. “Halt! Who goes there?”

Startled, Rusty and Sharon turned around. Rusty squinted at the mud caked man. “Moses?”

“Rusty?” Moses asked. “Sharon? Aww hell.”

Moses looked down to the mud puddle, where a hollowed out bamboo shoot was being used to provide air to another underground dweller. “False alarm, Felix!”

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Time Goes By Too Fast

It really does, doesn’t it?  I mean, how is it June 1 already?  Wasn’t it just Christmas the other day?  WTF, 3.5 readers?  Why aren’t you creating time machines to slow down time?

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 77

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Carl was standing by the water cooler, enjoying a nice, cone-shaped cup of H20 when the Mayor stepped out of the office to chastise him without mercy.

“Carl, you wonky eyed freak of nature! Where is everybody?”

The Mayor’s dutiful stooge looked around the showroom. No customers. No salespeople. Just a whole lot of silence.

“I don’t know, boss,” Carl said. “All at home, I reckon.”

“Why?” the Mayor asked. “How are we gonna cheat people into buying cars that aren’t worth the scrap metal they’re slapped together with if everyone’s at home?”

“Beats me, boss,” Carl said. “All I know is everyone’s painfully terrified of the Toilet Killer.”

“The Toilet Killer?” the Mayor asked. “Shit, that’s all the more reason for people to come on down here. I got porta-potties and diapers for everyone.”

“I know,” Carl said. “But I think most people are so scared they’re aren’t going anywhere. Everyone in my neighborhood is staying at home with their windows shut, doors locked, glued to all the NN1 coverage and occasionally taking breaks to shit in their backyards.”

“People shitting in their backyards like a bunch of Goddamn animals,” the Mayor said. “It’s like we lost a war!”

“Helluva thing, boss,” Carl said. “Helluva thing.”

“Poor bastards,” the Mayor said. “Everyone’s gripped in ghastly clutches of this terrible shit-phobia. Even my son has it. He came over my house, wailing and crying about how he was scared I’d die on the toilet while taking a shit. Such a sweet boy.”

“That’s real nice, boss,” Carl said.

The Mayor puffed his stogie, then took a sip of his martini. “Carl, get the ad man at the local TV station on the line. Tell him I wanna go live from the lot this afternoon.”

“Big plans, boss?” Carl asked.

“You know it,” Carl said. “I can’t have people in this town so scared that they refuse to participate in commerce. I’m gonna prove that it is safe to shit on a toilet in this town once and for all.”

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 77

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Rusty’s waist was engulfed by an inflatable inner tube shaped like a pink unicorn as he lounged in an above ground pool situated in the back yard of his small yet humble home. A pair of shades protected his eyes from the sun while a thick layer of zinc oxide did the same for his nose. Atop his head rested his trusty beer helmet, containers on each side filled with frosty brew. He inserted the attached tube into his mouth and sucked away as he pondered his predicament.

“Oh Lord, why have you forsaken me?” Rusty asked as he peered up into the sky. His pity party was quickly ended by a hand that grabbed his foot quite unexpectedly. As a result, he rolled out of the tube and into the pool, only to emerge seconds later with dripping wet hair. When the droplets of water fell from his eyes, the sight of Sharon clad in jeans and a T-shirt came into view.

“Up and at ‘em, fuck stick,” Sharon said.

“Damn it,” Rusty said as he spit the chlorine infused pool water out of his mouth. “Is that any way for an FBI agent to talk?”

“I’m off duty,” Sharon said. “Where’s Cole?”

“Hell if I know,” Rusty said. “I’ve been calling him all day but he won’t pick up his phone.”

“Same here,” Sharon said. “I need to talk with him.”

“Woman,” Rusty said. “Hasn’t that man been through enough without you coming around, messing with his head with your succubus ways?”

“What?” Sharon asked. “No, I need to…”

“Oh sure,” Rusty said. “It was all fun and games for you when you skeedaddled off to the FBI but you know who ended up picking up the pieces of Cole’s broken heart? Me. That’s you. And nursing that man back into being some semblance of a normal human being has been a thankless job.”

“Thank you, Rusty,” Sharon said.

“Well, sure, go ahead and steal my thunder,” Rusty said.

“No, really,” Sharon said. “Thank you for being there for him.”

Rusty pulled his beer helmet out of the pool and returned it to his head. “You’re welcome.”

“I didn’t come here to talk about that,” Sharon said. “I need Cole’s help. I want to get the son of a bitch that killed my partner and end this once and for all.”

Rusty gulped. “Your partner?”
“Yes,” Sharon said. “I’m sure if the situation were reversed, he’d do the same for me.”

“Oh, your partner,” Rusty said. “That robust, handsome, chrome domed man stallion, with his piercing eyes, soft, supple lips and arms you want to curl up in and get lost forever?”

Sharon’s mouth dropped. “Oh my God. You two didn’t…”

“No,” Rusty said.

“I was gonna say,” Sharon said. “‘I didn’t think his standards had dropped that low.’”

“I’ll ignore that insult,” Rusty said. “For Gordon looked into the abyss of my soul and pulled out something I always knew was in there but was always too afraid to admit. I’m a man snuggler, Sharon, and I don’t give a good Goddamn who knows.”

“A man snuggler?” Sharon said.

“I still enjoy vaginal intercourse, naturally,” Rusty said.

“Naturally,” Sharon added.

“But when it comes to cuddling, only the burly arms of another man who thinks the same manly thoughts and holds the same manly emotions as I do will ever do,” Rusty said.

“You two snuggled?” Sharon asked.

“We did,” Rusty said. “And it was magnificent. Sublime. It felt like how the angels must feel like when God clutches them to his bosom.”

Sharon scrunched up her face in confusion. “I’m glad Gordon had such a positive effect on you, I guess?”

Rusty proudly rested his hands on hips. “Oh he did, Sharon. Yes he did. For I am a heteronormative cuddle queer-sexual and I’m proud of it.”

“Is that even a thing?” Sharon asked.

“It’s 2017, woman,” Rusty said. “Every thing is a thing.”

“Come on,” Sharon said. “We need to check all of Cole’s haunts.”

Rusty stood there in the pool, dumbfounded.

“What?” Sharon asked.

“You mind turning around?” Rusty asked.

“Why?” Sharon asked.

“I’m au natural from the wais

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 76

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Meanwhile, in a dimly lit restaurant in Miami, two mobsters who may or may not of been of Italian descent (it’s impossible to say without engaging in un-work ethnic stereotyping) sat in a corner booth, feasting on spaghetti but do keep in mind they may have only liked spaghetti because it is a delicious dish enjoyed by all and not because they were Italians because again, their ethnicity was never confirmed.

“You got the stuff, Rocko?” Carmine asked. Just because Carmine was named Carmine and Rocko was named Rocko does not mean they were Italians. Seriously. Get some diversity training, because you’re worse than Hitler.

“Maybe I got the stuff,” Rocko replied. “You got the money?”

Carmine plopped a briefcase down on the table and opened it to reveal rows upon rows of crisp stacks of green bills. “Yeah, I’ve got the money.”

Rocko tossed Carmine a paper bag. “Then I got the stuff.”

Carmine opened up the bag and examined the contents. “Mama Mia! That’s a-spicey meat-a-ball!” No one knew what a man not confirmed to be an Italian would say such a thing.

“You want to count the money?” Carmine asked. “Make sure it’s all there?”

“Nah,” Rocko replied. “Do I look like I’m worried you’d cheat me? Fahgeddaboudit.”

Then again, he might have said “Forget about it” as a non-Italian would say.

Suddenly, the front door to the restaurant was kicked in, a ridiculous move since it was unlocked and the establishment was open to the public. Perhaps the FBI agent in charge did it for dramatic effect.

“FBI!” Sharon shouted out of fear that her “FBI” hat and “FBI” jacket did not make the point properly. “Hands where I can see ‘em!”

A crew of agents with guns drawn stormed into the restaurant and surrounded the men who were most likely not Italians.

“Why are you harassing us, copper?” Carmine asked.

“Yeah,” Rocko said. “We’re just a couple of legitimate businessmen enjoying a tasty lunch over here. Oh!”

“I’ll see about that,” Sharon said as she dumped the contents of the bag out on the table. Soon, the surface was covered with thick, shiny dildos, each a different color of the rainbow.”

“How long did you think you’d be able to import black market cooter stuffers under our nose, Rocko?” Sharon asked.
“Those aren’t mine!” Rocko said. “Those could be anyone’s black market cooter stuffers! Honest!”

“Bah, tell it to the judge,” Sharon said before turning to her agents. “Take ‘em away, boys.”

As the men who, again, were most likely not Italians, were hauled off in cuffs, a television set over the bar caught Sharon’s attention. The volume was down, but there was a photo of Bishop on screen. Underneath the photo were the words, “Toilet Killer Investigator Dead.”

Sharon felt a chill consume her. Her hand trembled as she dialed up her boss at the Miami Bureau. “Hello sir…uh huh…is it true? Oh…oh no….yes….right but….oh my God…no…no…I…I can’t believe it…I…sir? I’m sorry sir, but I’m going to need some time off…yes…right…OK then…thank you for understanding.”

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Writing Choices – 10 Cloverfield Lane and Keeping the Audience Guessing

Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here with another “Writing Choices” column.

We’re writers.  We have to make choices, so make them already.  No big whoop.

Today I want to talk to you about 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane starring John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  It’s been out for over a year but if you haven’t seen it yet, beware reading on for SPOILERS ABOUND.

Do you want to keep your audience in suspense?  Cool.  Try posing a question to them at the very beginning of the tale.  Then, take them down different paths, throw out some red herrings and presto, your audience will have no choice but to keep watching (or reading) until the question is finally answered.

At the beginning of this movie, Michelle (Winstead) gets into a car accident.  When she wakes up, she finds herself in a bunker owned by the incredibly disturbing Howard (John Goodman).

Howard informs Michelle that he found her on the road and brought her to his underground bunker.  Oh and also, he did so just in time to avoid an alien invasion.  That’s right.  An alien invasion.

Sorry, Michelle, but you can’t leave the bunker now because if you go to the surface, you will become alien food.  Sigh.  I bet you ladies wish you had a nickel for every time a fella tried the ole, “You gotta stay in this bunker with me to avoid the alien invasion” routine.

Show, don’t tell, right?  Here, the folks behind the film hope you’ll start asking questions.  “Hmm…an alien invasion seems implausible.  The more plausible explanation is that Howard is a pervert who kidnaps young women to bring to his pervert bunker.  Then again, what if he’s right about the aliens?”

As the movie progresses, the audience is fed little bits and pieces of information, along with some red herrings.

  • We find out that Howard, through his government work, was in a position to know about incoming aliens.
  • We find out there’s another person in the bunker.  Surely, a second person wouldn’t be putting up with this unless there really had been an alien invasion.  Then again, the guy is easily duped and stupid, so maybe Howard tricked him.
  • Howard seems incredibly weird and a big conspiracy theorist.  Perhaps he’s a weirdo who made a bunker and just lucked out when aliens came?
  • Howard seems to want to control everyone’s every little move.  Maybe he really did just make up the stuff about aliens.  Maybe he is just a perv who kidnaps people.
  • Howard may have done some evil shit regarding a previous bunker inhabitant – thus a new question – maybe Howard is right about the aliens but he’s still a psychopath that you don’t want to share a bunker with anyway?

That’s how to do it, 3.5 readers.  Start with the question – “Are there aliens outside this bunker or is Howard a lying pervert?”  Then, start throwing nuggets of info at your audience and soon, their brains will fill up with all kinds of theories and questions.  It will soon be worth their while to stick with your work until the conclusion.

SIDENOTE:  I think the Academy really dropped the ball here by not giving this movie some love.  At the very least, John Goodman could have gotten a Best Supporting Oscar nomination.  The screenplay deserved some recognition as well.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: In the comments, tell me about a movie or a book you liked that kept you guessing.

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