Out in the garage, Whitney wailed away on the microphone. She was a skinny girl with short, spikey black hair. Like a stereotypical goth girl, she had smeared black around her eyes and painted her face a ghostly white. She wore a spiked collar around her neck, tight leather pants and a black t-shirt emblazoned with white letters that read, “Sexual Vomit.”
“Pain! Pain, pain! Pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain! Your love is not a sprain! It pelts my face like acid rain! Of this, I will complain! It’s an aching canker sore that mars the inner lining of my rectum and makes me gag until I spew out rancid fecal matter from my nasal passages!”
To Whitney’s right, Peter was on guitar. He was a spindly lad with a green mohawk. He wore a denim vest with no shirt underneath and dirty jeans with rips in the knees. He banged his head around furiously as he shredded his axe.
To Whitney’s left was Stevie on drums. He was shirtless and only wore a pair of shorts. His head was hidden away behind a leather gimp mask. He was lost in the moment, pounding away on those drums.
Whitney made a fist, then stuck up her pinky and pointer fingers, thus making a set of devil horns. She stuck her tongue between said digits, flapped it up and down and shouted more nonsense. “BAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!! VOMIT! VOMIT, VOMIT, VOMIT! SEXUAL VOMIT!!! YEAAAAAAHHHHH!!!”
Peter riffed away on his guitar, then grabbed it by the end and used it to trash the Lumpkiss family garage. Nothing was safe. From bottles and cans to bags and boxes, everything was hurled everywhere.
Stevie joined in on the mayhem, kicking his drum set over. The noise it made as it fell to the ground was unbearable.
Not to be undone, Whitney kicked over the mic stand, then leaned her head back. As she stared up at the ceiling, she held the microphone to her mouth and cried, “Thank you Seacaucus! We are Sexual Vomit and we’re here all week!”
Even though he wasn’t British, Peter faked an accent anyway as he leaned into Whitney’s microphone. “And don’t forget to tip the waitresses, ya’ bloody cheapskates!”
Peter clapped. He grabbed the end of a zipper located on one side of his mask’s mouth hole, dragged it to the other side, and spoke. “Encore! Woo!” He then zipped his mask shut.
“Yeah!” Whitney said. “Encore coming right up! We love you, New Jersey! Vomit, vomit, vomit, vomit, YEAH!!!!!”
Ever so slowly, the garage door rolled up. Peter watched in horror as he saw the man of the house’s sensible black shoes, followed by his legs, then his torso, and finally, his face, which was the epitome of seething rage.
Larry was in human form again, and he had changed into a new plaid shirt and a new pair of jeans. In his hand, he held a spray nozzle attached to a garden hose.
Whitney was oblivious. “Vomit in my mouth and I’ll vomit in yours! Vomit all over till it oozes out your pores!”
“Whitney,” Peter said.
“Vomit up your lungs and vomit out your eyes! Your love is the only thing I ever will despise!”
“OK, Whitney,” Peter said. “Cut it.”
“Vomit around the world in eighty days on a comet propelled by your own snot!”
Stevie was the next teenager to notice the unhappy homeowner. He unzipped his mask. “Whitney! Cool it! It’s your dad!”
“Vomit in a pail and pull it over your head, your love is the only thing that I want dead and…ACK!”
Dad pulled the handle. Daughter was hit with a water jet. She sputtered and coughed, her bad makeup job running down the sides of her face. She put her hands up in a vain effort to protect himself from the blast, but it was of no use. “Dad! What the hell, man?!”
Peter attempted a more contrite approach. “Sorry, Mr. Lumpkiss. I hope we didn’t disturb you. I think I had the amp a little too high so I apologize for…blech!”
Too late. Mr. Lumpkiss wasn’t having any of it. He sprayed the guitarist until his previously starched mohawk flopped down to either of the shaved sides of his head.
“Good call, sir,” Peter said as he spit up water. “My bad.”
Stevie unzipped his gimp mask. “Mr. Lumpkiss, I think it was the great Mahatma Gandhi who once said, ‘The weak can never forgive, for forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.’ You are by far the strongest man I know, sir, so…”
The drummer zipped his mouth hole shut just in time to avoid sucking up a water blast. Larry sprayed and sprayed, but the water just bounced off the kid’s leather mask.
“Is this even affecting you?” Larry asked.
Stevie unzipped his mouth hole. “No sir.” He zipped the mouth hole shut.
“Eh,” Larry said as he let go off the spray nozzle handle. “Screw it, then. I’m not going to run up my water bill any higher.”
Whitney looked like a rodent that drowned and was left to ferment in a storm drain. “Dad! We’re trying to practice.”
“Practice makes perfect, sweetheart,” Larry said. “And whatever the heck that was, it was the furthest thing I’ve ever heard from perfect in my entire life. I have half a mind to ship you off to a convent, young lady.”
Fitzpatrick’s heckling cut the tension. “Do it, Lumpkiss, and I’ll finally respect you!”
Larry turned toward Fitzpatrick’s house. “Sit on your thumb and rotate, Phil!”
The man of the house turned back to the makeshift punk band. “You kids can’t do this here anymore. You’re cheesing off the neighbors and Mrs. Lumpkiss can’t even hear ourselves think.”
Whitney stomped her foot. “But Dad! We have to get ready for the talent show next month!”
“Talent,” Larry said. “Operative word. What kind of noise do you call that anyway?”
Peter gulped, then mustered enough courage to speak. “It’s punk, sir.”
“What?” Larry asked.
“Punk,” Peter repeated.
Stevie unzipped his mouth hole. “It’s an open rebellion against traditional rock and roll, which has gotten way too commercial.” Stevie zipped his hole shut.
“It has?” Larry asked.
Stevie unzipped his mouth hole. “It sure has. It’s all full of subliminal messages, trying to sell kids on a certain unattainable lifestyle, really just a way for the man to try to trick the youth into becoming overachievers whereas we, in protest, remind everyone about how dark and depressing life really is.”
Stevie rezipped his hole shut.
“I get a reminder about how dark and depressing the world is every quarter,” Larry said. “It’s called my property tax bill.”
Stevie unzipped his mouth hole. “Good one sir,” he said, and then zipped the hole shut.
Larry squinted at the drummer. “Stevie Flenderson, as I live and breathe, is that you under there?”
Stevie unzipped his mouth hole, answered, “Yes sir,” then zipped his hole shut.
“Yikes,” Larry said. “I know your father, kid. I drink beers with him at the VFW every third Thursday of the month and he would definitely not approve of this.”
Stevie unzipped his hole, said, “Please don’t tell him, sir,” then zipped his hole shut.
“Stop showing up at my house with that thing on your head and I might forget,” Larry said.
Stevie unzipped his mouth hole, said, “Fair enough,” then zipped his mouth hole shut.
“Son,” Larry said. “Why on God’s green earth would you ever put on a get up like that?”
Stevie unzipped his mouth hole, said, “To get girls,” then zipped his mouth hole shut.
“To get girls,” Larry said. “And has it worked?”
Stevie unzipped his mouth hole, replied, “Not as such, no,” then zipped his mouth hole shut.
“You know, son,” Larry said. “When I was your age, if a fella wanted to impress girls, he tried out for the football team. You ever think about doing that?”
Stevie unzipped his mouth hole, but Larry cut him off. “Take that off.”
The drummer complied. He removed the mask to reveal a freckled face and bushy red hair. “I’d try out, but high school’s almost over for us.”
“Yeah,” Larry said as he looked around at his trashed garage. “And this is all you have to show for it. What a shame.”
Fitzpatrick resumed his heckling. “You tell ‘em, Lumpkiss!”
Larry went for the proverbial jugular. “No one blamed your wife when she left you, Phil!”
Fitzpatrick went quiet for a few seconds, then shouted, “Ouch!”
“Sorry!” Larry hollered back. “I immediately regretted it after I said it!”
“It’s fine!” Fitzpatrick yelled. “We’re only human!”
Larry focused on his daughter. “Go wash up. Your mother made a lovely dinner and it’s rude to let it get cold.”
Whitney responded in sheer exasperation. “Ugh! You’re stifling my freedom of artistic expression!”
“Do I need to turn this hose on again?” Larry asked.
Whitney sulked, and tromped into the house. “No. Bye guys.”
The singer slammed the door behind her. Once the men were alone, Larry looked down his nose and over his glasses at the boys.
“Either of you two dipshits touch my daughter?”
Both lads shook their heads to the right and left, vigorously. “No, sir,” they both replied.
“Good,” Larry said as he set the hose down in his yard. He walked into the garage. “I won’t cut off your dinguses then, but I want this place cleaned up before I go to bed, you hear?”
Both boys nodded. “Yes, sir.”
“Glad we have an understanding,” Larry said as he walked toward the door that led to the kitchen. “Just know that I mean it. I’m going to come out here before the night’s over, and if it isn’t exactly the way it was before you wrecked it, it’ll be your asses on a platter.”
“Yes, sir,” the dejected boys responded.
“Punk rock,” Larry said. “What’s the world coming to?”
Larry walked into the house and shut the door behind him. Seconds later, he opened the door and poked his head out into the garage. “If there’s any left over, I might bring some of Mrs. Lumpkiss’ cherry cobbler out here…if I feel like it.”
“Thank you, sir,” the boys said.