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Well, Damn: I Got Cancer

Make that three different kinds of cancer.

It all started back in the Spring, when I suddenly started pissing blood. It was horrifying. Turned out to be kidney cancer, and the disease took my right kidney.

Follow-up scans indicated another tumor, likely metastatic, in my lung. Plans were made for a biopsy.

But then, literally the day before I was to go into the hospital for this biopsy, I was struck by a bleeding brain aneurism. I thought I was having a stroke, but it turned out to be another tumor. The stroke-like symptoms included total paralysis of the right side of my body, which was even more terrifying than pissing blood.

Using targeted radiation therapy, they were able to hammer that brain tumor flat. I was finally released from the hospital almost exactly one month after I went in. My cat, Zuma, was happy to see me.

Me & Zuma

I am starting to claw my way free from the paralysis, and confidence is high that I will learn to walk again.

Next week I will finally get around to that lung biopsy. The results will determine what course of treatment gets prescribed: chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or whatever. We will see what the future brings, and I will keep my readers posted.

In the meantime, my excellent friends back in Texas have started a GoFundMe campaign for medical financial support. You can find out more by clicking here: https://gofund.me/6a4e7f0d

Thank you for your support.

Bryan Geer

An Excerpt from AMERICAN CHEESE

12

Bad Voodoo

On the street, the protesters got organized: the Black Cross distributed #BlackLivesMatter signs to angry urbanites, while the Pink Cross—apparently piggy-backing on the protest—handed out #PinkLivesMatter signs to the queers. And, as proof that maybe there is a God after all, the Bagga Donuts Company was there with a mobile food truck, getting the potential riot fueled up with free coffee and doughnuts.

bagga donuts FBI cut into the doughnut line and scored myself a hot cup of coffee and a glazed doughnut. The volunteer manning the roach coach told me to have a sweet day, but the odds of that actually happening were low.

At the other end of the block, the counterforce armed themselves with #BlueLivesMatter signs in support of the racist police state, and #AllLivesMatter signs, just to be disingenuous. Butt-fuck those assholes. The Red Cross had a mobile first aid station up and running, where they sold coffee and doughnuts at an inflated price. Fuck the Red Cross, too.

I ate my free, delicious Bagga Donuts brand doughnut and drank my free and tasty coffee. Someone gave me a protest sign: #PinkLivesMatter. Huh. The scene crackled and hummed.

AMERICAN CHEESE (1)

I vibrated. Boo’s phone in my pocket, receiving impulses from all over. I turned it off, but not before catching a glimpse of an incoming message: R U CRAPPY JACK ???

“Who in the hell,” I wondered aloud to no one in particular, “is Crappy Jack?”

A deep voice from behind me proclaimed, “You want to know who Crappy Jack is? I’ll tell you who Crappy Jack is!”

“Yeah! He’ll tell you who Crappy Jack is! Who’s Crappy Jack?”

I turned around. “Well, well. If it ain’t Ain’t-Jack. Small world.”

“Bat-Man!” The bull fruit had a #BlackLivesMatter sign. “What you doing here?”

“Yeah!” His skinny boyfriend had a #PinkLivesMatter sign. “Whachoo doin?”

“I’m protesting racial injustice and police brutality. Boudreau Johnson was a friend of mine. Say, you get that wine stain out of your kicks?”

“Sho’nuff!” Ain’t-Jack stuck out a foot to proudly display his whiter-than-white sneaks. “That club soda trick worked like a charm.”

“Yeah! Like a charm!”

“Told you so. How much you get for my Susskinds?”

“Bout four hundred dollar. Man, where is your pants?”

“Oh, I got into another fight with another motherfucker who wanted them more than I did.”

He laughed. “Funny, but last night you didn’t strike me as queer.”

“I could say the same about you, brother. All walks of life, I guess.”

“Yeah,” chimed in the skinny one, “all walks of life. How you know Boo?”

“We did some business together. He was helping me on a case. I know for a fact that Boo was constipated like a motherfucker, and he was not Crappy Jack. So tell me: who is Crappy Jack?”

A nearby TV cameraman came closer, to record our conversation. Judging from the camouflage fatigues he wore, the cameraman was either a war correspondent or he expected a war to break out soon. Ain’t-Jack saw him too, and pitched his response towards the microphone: he wanted his fifteen minutes of fame.

“Crappy Jack, a.k.a. Jack the Crapper, a.k.a. the Mad Crapper of Midland City, is the twenty-first century reincarnation of a nineteenth century African-American folk hero known as Shitheel Jack. So before I can tell you who is Crappy Jack, first I gotta tell you about old Shitheel Jack.”

I was disappointed. “Reincarnation is bullshit, man.”

“Ain’t saying it’s real. Hear me out.”

“Yeah! Hear him out!”

“After the Civil War, see, a series of mysterious incidents took place in some of the finest mansions in old Midland City. A man appeared, tall and strong, wearing a leather mask with lenses like goggles for eyes. A black man, they said. Probably a freed slave. He would gain entry into a house, usually during some swell soiree, and then take a smash in the foyer,” (pronounced foy-yay) “or on the stairs. Just an enormous dump. The foulest, stinkiest shit anyone had ever smelled—and this was back when the world was a far smellier place than it is today, so that’s saying something.”

I could well imagine. “Goddamn. Did they lynch him? Like they got Boo?”

“Naw, man, old Shitheel Jack was never apprehended. Yeah, they tried to catch him, but that nigger ran like no one had ever seen before! Flowing over obstacles with supernatural grace and supreme athletic ability—what today we would call parkour, I suppose. Free running. Went over ten-foot walls like they wasn’t even there. His legend grew with time: he could leap over houses, folks said, and even launch himself across the sky by blasting diarrhea out his ass like a rocket. Riding the brown rainbow!”

“Hot shit! So, whatever happened to him?”

“Nothing ever happened, see, and that’s the point. Eventually he stopped coming around, became a mythical figure, a boogieman white folks tell stories about to frighten the white chirren. People say he still out there somewhere, just waiting to shit on your front porch. Which is where Jack the Crapper comes in.”

“A.K.A. Crappy Jack,” I said for the benefit of the TV camera.

Ain’t-Jack nodded. “Crappy Jack is the nickname the cops gave to a person or persons unknown who’s been contaminating the corridors of power here for the last twenty years. A serial defecator! He’s dropped deuces in city hall. Funked up the public library. Smashed the community college. Been leaving his calling card all over the place for decades. Like Shitheel Jack, ain’t never been caught. But unlike Shitheel Jack, the Mad Crapper ain’t never even been seen—which is an important distinction.”

“So the man got shy in his old age, what’s the big deal?”

“Think about it: the original Jack Shit would walk into houses and do his dirty deeds while the terrified homeowners watched, see, and laugh in their faces and dare them to chase him. Those victims were in a position to know if Shitheel Jack was African-American or not. They seen his black ass, so if they say he was black we gots to believe them.”

“Yeah! They probably seen his equipment, too,” his boyfriend snickered, “and a man who can jump a ten-foot wall probably has size fifteen shoes, know’m sayin?”

“But Crappy Jack, now, he does his dirty work under the cover of darkness. No witnesses. The victim just walks into his office one morning a finds a stink-bomb upon his desk, compliments of Yours Truly, Jack the Crapper. Woof! So my question to you, Bat-Man, is this: why do the cops think Crappy Jack is black?”

“I’m guessing because of institutional racism?”

aMERICAN aSSHOLE 1

“No fucking shit. And for that matter, why do they even think he’s a single perpetrator? Could be dozens of people, who may or may not be black and who may or may not be in cahoots.”

“Or could just be,” I speculated, “a lack of public latrines forcing our homeless population to become inventive. Taking a shit is a basic human right—a fact sometimes overlooked by those who sit on golden thrones.”

“For real! Eliminating waste is a biological imperative. But now our police force done caught themselves their first suspect in the case: Mr. Boudreau Johnson, who just happens to be African-American—and this feeds into their narrative that Jack the Crapper, like Shitheel Jack of old, must be a black man.”

“Meet the new boogieman,” I said, “same as the old boogieman.”

“Shit, yeah. And do I even need to tell you that the very expression ‘boogieman’ is racist as fuck?”

# # # # #

#AmQuerying #satire AMERICAN CHEESE

An Excerpt from AMERICAN CHEESE

The upcoming new novel formerly known as “American ASshole” is now known as…
AMERICAN CHEESE

World Fog Watch

12

Bad Voodoo

On the street, the protesters got organized: the Black Cross distributed #BlackLivesMatter signs to angry urbanites, while the Pink Cross—apparently piggy-backing on the protest—handed out #PinkLivesMatter signs to the queers. And, as proof that maybe there is a God after all, the Bagga Donuts Company was there with a mobile food truck, getting the potential riot fueled up with free coffee and doughnuts.

bagga donuts FBI cut into the doughnut line and scored myself a hot cup of coffee and a glazed doughnut. The volunteer manning the roach coach told me to have a sweet day, but the odds of that actually happening were low.

At the other end of the block, the counterforce armed themselves with #BlueLivesMatter signs in support of the racist police state, and #AllLivesMatter signs, just to be disingenuous. Butt-fuck those assholes. The Red Cross had a mobile first aid station up and running, where…

View original post 1,119 more words

AMERICAN ASSHOLE

Some men are natural-born assholes, while other men have to work hard all their lives in order to become assholes. For junior marketing executive Buddy Heyman, it was both—but that’s no reason to kidnap the man, drug him, and tattoo the word ASSHOLE to his forehead.

Yet someone did exactly that.

More Loathsome

Trouble is, they screwed with the wrong asshole. Now Buddy’s on a mission of revenge.  And with his intimate knowledge of the city’s seamy underbelly, his lowlife contacts and underworld connections, his lack of scruples and morals, and his willingness to use any dirty trick, low blow or sucker punch to get the job done, this white-collar pencil-pusher turns out to be a surprisingly formidable foe.

As the body count rises and the city literally catches fire, Buddy faces a moral dilemma: does he continue his asshole ways despite the increasing cost, or does he step off the path of vengeance, forgive his enemies, get the tattoo removed, and get on with his life? The fate of his immortal soul hangs in the balance.

Not just another shaggy noir story, AMERICAN ASSHOLE is a contemporary satire of white privilege and toxic masculinity. It is nasty, brutish and mercifully short: 67,000 words.

Adult commercial fiction with literary aspirations. Like THE HANGOVER meets THE BIG LEBOWSKI.

CAUTION: contains racism, sexism, dick jokes, fart jokes, and acts of assholery so obnoxious and depraved that decorum prohibits listing them here. Also, it is shit-your-pants funny. Keep out of reach of children!  Should appeal to fans of Chuck Palahniuk and readers of Mad magazine.


Hokum, Bunkum & Bull and Associates

# # #

 


	

The FOG WATCH Is Now Available!

FW Cover

Inspired by the years I spent living and working as a crewman aboard cruise ships, and dedicated to my wife, Aleksandra, FOG WATCH is a novel of adventure, travel, romance… and fog.

As the M.V. Grand Athena sails under the Golden Gate Bridge, young Sagittarius Kostak—the new boy on board—sees something strange in the fog.

Fresh out of community college, Sage gets a job on a cruise ship hoping to jump-start his career while traveling the world. But this small-town boy is unprepared for the fast-paced life of the crew: the constant partying. The endless booze. The wanton sex! He tries to walk a straight and narrow path, but the temptations are more than he can resist. Then one foggy night he discovers that a team of sophisticated jewel thieves has infiltrated his ship. Their target: a million carats in diamonds. Sage is clumsy enough to stumble across their plan and stubborn enough to figure it out… but not quite smart enough to actually do anything about it until it’s too late.

Now he’s fighting more than just temptation. He is out of his element and wet behind the ears—yet he’s the only one who can defeat the thieves, rescue a billionaire’s wife, and thwart the biggest diamond heist in history. Cruising from Acapulco to Alaska, FOG WATCH is filled with humor, romance and suspense.

Affordable eBook:

Prestigious paperback:

How to Make the PERFECT Great American Burger!

Great Burger

This scene takes place at the burger bar aboard the M.V. Grand Athena (a cruise ship), with our hero, Sage (an American), and his European friend, Mack:

 

Around the pool plenty of old people, ridiculous in speedos and bikinis, were tanning their hides into leather. At the burger bar, “Two hamburgers,” Mack said, “and three hot dogs.” The man was going to pack away some serious chow.

“Just one hamburger,” said Sage, “but with double meat, please.” The burger bar used prefabricated frozen burger patties, but so what? And you had to dress your own buns, which was okay by him. Sage took the opportunity to lecture his messmate on the proper construction of an American hamburger:

“See, the mayonnaise goes on the top bun, with the lettuce and tomatoes and pickles and onions, because mayonnaise is a salad dressing. The mustard goes on the bottom bun, next to the meat, because mustard is a meat dressing. It’s completely logical.”

“Where does the ketchup go?”

“The ketchup goes on the french fries, you ridiculous dude.”

“Is there a proper way to make a hot dog?”

“No. Hot dogs are a personal choice.”

“Good.” Sage watched in horror as Mack squirted a long stream of ketchup upon each of his three dogs. They went inside and took a table.

“How many contracts have you worked?” Sage asked. Standard shipboard chitchat.

“This is my third contract,” said Mack. “I started on GTS Grand Hercules last year in the Mediterranean. Then MV Grand Aphrodite in the Caribbean. Now Athena in Mexico. I keep getting older and smaller ships, and worse itineraries! Doesn’t the company like my work? What’s next—a rubber life raft in the Devil’s Triangle?” He inhaled a hotdog. “You’re lucky: this is your first contract. There’s nowhere for you to go but up from here.”

“I hadn’t thought of it that way.”


This is my burger philosophy, and I stand by it. But you are welcome to discuss your own styles and preferences in the Comments section if you like. How do you think a burger is made?

And the novel FOG WATCH is available from Amazon in both the AFFORDABLE E-BOOK edition, and the OVERPRICED PAPERBACK format.     Bryan. 

 

The Newlywed, Not-So-Newly Wed Game!

Deleted Scene Edited Out of FOG WATCH!!

The following scene does not appear in the new novel Fog Watch by Bryan Geer.

NewlyWed Game

“Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the Grand Theater! Tonight, fun and romance as we play the Newlywed, Not-So-Newlywed Game! Now please welcome your host, Julian Shore!” The cruise director, Julian, finished bellowing his own introduction and walked out onto the stage, his hair even more perfect than usual. He waved and the crowd applauded. “Hello!”

Iris was videotaping the show for playback on the cruise director’s channel.

Chun and Sage were filling out landing forms for the obsolete computer equipment they would be dropping off in Seattle. “What’s all this malarkey,” Sage asked her.

“It’s a rip-off of The Newlywed Game,” Iris explained, “only cornier.” She used her robo-cam to follow Julian around the stage as he went about finding the newest newlyweds in the room. These turned out to be none other than Sage’s own next-door neighbors, Dirty Debbie and Dirty ‘Doc’ Martini. Debbie and Marty were seated onstage to a round of applause.

“Hmm.” Sage had an idea. “Iris, do you control the lights from in here?”

“No, not really. The AV guys control most of the lights. I just have a few of my own, like only one spotlight I can move around.”

“Really? A spotlight? Okay, keep an eye out for me, will you?” Sage left the ITV office and walked around the corner to the staff entrance of the Grand Theater.

He gave his eyes a moment to adjust to the dark, during which time Julian selected the oldest married couple in the audience, Mr. and Mrs. Harold and Eleanor Willard of Tucson, Arizona, to come up onstage. Sage didn’t bother looking in the good seats in the middle of the crowd but scanned instead around the edges and in the shadows where he knew the Newlands would be lurking if they were there at all.

Julian asked for volunteers to participate in the fun, and soon found Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Mars from Long Island, the popular zillionaires who seldom passed an opportunity to take the stage or to be on TV. They came on down, beaming and waving.

“Now we need one more couple,” said Julian, “do we have another volunteer?”

Sage saw them, and happily they were seated nearby and next to the aisle. He gave a piercing Texas horse-whistle and Iris’ spotlight found him. A girl from the activity staff hurried over with a microphone, which he took from her.

“A volunteer!” Sage said into the mic. “And what is your name, Mr. Newland?” He put the mic in front of the guest.

“Well, it’s Newland,” Newland said, scowling at Sage.

“And Mrs. Newland, how long have you two been married?”

“Oh, ten years,” said Emily into the mic.

“Ten years! That’s a suspiciously round number – are you sure you’re not just estimating?” The audience chuckled and applauded, and Sage and the activity staff girl led the reluctant final couple to the stairs.

Julian gave him a curious look, no doubt wondering what his ITV manager was doing involved in the game, but he went on with the show. “And now, let’s play the Newlywed, Not-So-Newlywed Game!”

Sage slipped out the back door and returned to the ITV office.

“What are you doing?” Iris demanded.

“I am fooling around with the Newlands. Maybe now they will think twice before robbing our ship.”

“How is that?” Chun wanted to know.

“Because now they are famous? As seen on TV?”

On the TV, the men were escorted backstage, to be sequestered in a soundproof room while their wives were asked a series of bizarre, innuendo-laced questions. Sample:

“Ladies, if your husband were an engine, what kind of engine would he be?”

Mrs. Willard: “Injun? Like, an honest Injun?”

Julian: “No, an engine! Don’t worry, this is a multiple choice question. Is he, A: a V8, hey-hey! Or, B: a straight six? Hmm. C: a Saturn 5, heh-heh? Or D: a rotary engine known as the Wankel? Mrs. Willard?”

Mrs. Willard: “Oh, he’s a V8, Julian!”

Mrs. Rivers: “Martin’s a Wankel all the way!”

Mrs. Newland: “V8.”

Mrs. Mars: “Julian, I don’t know a thing about engines!”

Julian: “That’s all right, Mrs. Mars, we don’t expect you to be an engineer. Let me put it another way: think of your husband as a car. When you open the hood and look inside, what do you see?”

Mrs. Mars: “Oh, well, a Saturn 5, I guess!” Merriment and amusement ensued.

“This is indeed some corny crap,” said Sage.

“I don’t understand,” said Chun. “An engine? What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“I’ll tell you later, Chun,” said Iris.

Chun and Sage completed their paperwork in time to watch the men return to the stage to try and guess how their wives had answered the ridiculous questions.

“Gentlemen, how did your wives answer this question: I asked them that if you were an engine, what kind of engine would you be?”

Mr. Willard: “An honest Injun?”

“No, an engine! Did she say, A: a V8? Or, B: a straight six? Or, C: a Saturn 5? Or D: a rotary engine known as the Wankel? Mr. Willard?”

Mr. Willard: “Which one of those engines runs off hot air?” Laughter. “Okay, she said V8.”

“That’s what she said!” Mrs. Willard held up her card with her answer, V8, written on it. A sound effect went DINGDINGDING! “That’s a match! For five points. Dr. Lenski?”

Martini: “Oh, I’m a V8, and then some!”

“Oh, no, sorry! She said you were a Wankel.” Deborah held up her card: Wankel. A sad trombone said wah-wahh. “Mr. Newland?”

Mr. Newland: “V8.” DINGDINGDING – it’s a match!

“And Mr. Mars? What did Glenda say?”

Mr. Mars: “Oh, hell, Julian, you know Glenda don’t know a damn thing about engines!”

“Well, that’s true, sir, but we did manage to coax an answer out of her. Which one did she choose?”

Mr. Mars: “I’m pretty sure she said V8!”

Wah-wahh!  Glamorous Glenda held up a card that said Saturn 5. Ooh, burn!

“What? A Saturn 5? Baby, how could you?”

“But Gerald,” said Mrs. Mars, “isn’t the Saturn 5 the largest and most powerful engine ever devised by mankind? Takes you to the moon?”

“Why, yes – yes, it is!” Applause, applause.

When the game ended, the Newlands had 80 points, a perfect score. Nobody else was even close. They won a bottle of champagne, which they wouldn’t drink, and some spa services. Sage also felt like a winner: he had picked the winning horse.

# # #

WHY THIS WAS EDITED OUT:

It sucks. Seriously, this was the first thing to get cut and hit the editing room floor. Which means it is First Draft material that was never polished for improved readability. The scene is extraneous, and having Sage screw with his adversaries, the Newlands, like he is Bugs Bunny and they are a couple of Elmer Fudds, just isn’t right at that point in the story. Also, it’s just a bunch of dick jokes, isn’t it?

BUT! If you like dick jokes, I have something special for you: DRACULA’S BLACK CADILLAC is available in both the prestigious paperback format and as an eBook. FREE with Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited! It is surprisingly soulful for a vampire sex comedy. Please enjoy responsibly.   Bry~

FOG WATCH is available from Amazon: PAPERBACK and E-BOOK editions!

CAUTION!

Stingrayman Goes Bananas! Deleted Scenes!!

From the Adventures of Stingrayman and Remora Boy: edited out of Fog Watch

The following scene does not appear in the upcoming novel FOG WATCH by Bryan Geer. It was edited out early on. I present it here, now, as a curio. The scene takes place in the ITV office of the cruise ship Grand Athena. Our hero, Sage, is the new ITV manager. Here, Sage’s new friend Keith gives Sage a look at his own attempt at a comic book.

Keepingthewatch.

There was a knock at the door. “I’ll get it,” said Sage, and he opened the door to find the fat hobbit, Keith from Scotland, standing there with a sketchbook in his hand. “Hi, Sam! I mean, Keith! Come on in!”

“Hey, Sage. Who’s Sam? Good morning, Miss Iris. Master Chun.” Keith looked around. “I like what you’ve done with the place.”

“Thanks. Is this your graphic novel?”

“Yeah.” Keith moved the chess board and backgammon game out of the way and took over the table, spreading out his artwork. “I hope you like it.”

“I’m sure I will. Help yourself to some coffee and have a seat.”

“Thanks.”

Sage turned to the title page: Stingrayman Goes Bananas! From the Adventures of Stingrayman and Remora Boy.

Say what? “Remora Boy sounds a little gay, Keith,” said Sage, and he immediately regretted his words.

Keith shook his meaty head. “Cor, that’s what everyone says! But it’s just a convention, Sage. Every superhero has a sidekick. Don’t try to read anything into it.”

“You’re right, of course. I’m sorry.” Sage decided not to mention that Remora Boy also seemed to bear a strong resemblance to Dizzy from Slovakia. He started reading.

The villain of the story, Cheeky Monkey, drawn as a big gorilla smoking a cigar and wearing a top hat and monocle, had with his henchmen cornered the market on bananas, and there were no longer enough bananas for everyone else to eat.

Cheeky Monkey and his gang sat in the treetops and shat on the creatures below, throwing their banana peels for others to slip upon, and occasionally dropping a bruised or overripe or otherwise inferior banana down for everyone else to fight over. They complained that no one thanked them for their generosity:

“We don’t have to give you shit! But we do! We give you shit from the bottom of our hearts,” said Cheeky Monkey, “And what thanks do we get in return? Nothing! You ungrateful scum!”

“But we don’t want your shit,” said Dolly Llama. “We want bananas! There are not enough bananas for the other animals!”

“There are plenty of bananas!” roared Cheeky Monkey, “and they are all right here! There are enough bananas for everyone to eat, if you only come to where the bananas are! All you have to do is come and get them!”

But whenever some of the animals attempted to climb into the treetops to share in the bananas, Cheeky Monkey and his gang would repel them. Some animals fell to the ground and were only injured; others fell to their death. “You said you would share the bananas,” said Dolly Llama, “but you fight us!”

“We cannot simply give you a share,” said Cheeky Monkey. “You must earn your share! And that isn’t easy!”

Animals were starving and the situation was growing grim.

Sage was excited. “This is really good, Keith,” he said. “It’s very intellectual. I’m enjoying the political and economic subtext.”

Keith wrinkled his nose. “What d’ye mean?”

“Well, obviously a lot of the action takes place on the symbolic level.”

“Cor blimey, Sage, it’s just a funny animal story! I told you not to read anything into it!”

Well, okay. Stingrayman turned out to be an environmental activist and underwater documentary filmmaker who lived in a stingray-shaped submarine named the Naughtylus; his small crew included the orphaned Remora Boy. They did not seem to have secret identities, but wore masks full-time.

Responding to the animals’ pleas for help, Stringrayman attempted to mediate between Cheeky Monkey and Dolly Llama – but both sides remained obstinate:

“They have more bananas than they need or can possibly eat,” said Dolly Llama. “All we want is our fair share!”

“We worked hard for these bananas,” said Cheeky Monkey. “Why should we give them away to these slacker bastards?”

“Perhaps if we grew more bananas,” said Stingrayman, “there would be enough for all.”

“That’s a great idea!” said Cheeky Monkey. “Yes, by all means, please grow more bananas!” His henchmonkeys hooted with delight. “After all, the more bananas there are for us, then the more bananas will trickle down from the canopy for others! Eventually, everyone will have his or her own banana!”

Dolly Llama did not seem too keen: “But Stingrayman, it takes nine months to grow a bunch of bananas – what will we eat until then?”

“Perhaps the monkeys can share their bananas for nine months?” suggested Stingrayman. “Say, twenty percent?”

“Hmm,” said Cheeky Monkey. “Okay, if they plant more bananas, we will share. But only for nine months! And only one percent!”

“Make it fifteen percent,” said Stingrayman.

“I’ll double my offer: two percent!”

“Ten.”

“Three, and that’s as high as I’ll go.”

“Make it five.”

“Three.”

“Deal.”

They shook hands. “We will share three percent of our bananas for the next nine months,” said Cheeky Monkey, “but now you lazy, ungrateful slobs need to get to work planting more bananas! Bananas don’t grow on trees, you know!”

“I thought they did,” said Remora Boy.

“Actually, the banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant,” Stingrayman lectured his sidekick, “and not a tree.” Now you know!

The animals toiled day and night planting the next generation of banana plants. Finally, they were finished. Many had collapsed from exhaustion or starvation.

“And now,” said Dolly Llama, “please give us our three percent of the bananas.”

“You know where the bananas are,” said Cheeky Monkey. “Come and take them!” The monkeys launched into a sustained barrage of feces flinging. A fistful of monkeyshit slapped Dolly Llama upside the head.

“Do you see the kind of crap we have to put up with?” she asked Stingrayman.

“Someone should do something about this!” he exclaimed.

“I fear it may already be too late,” she said.

“Not if I can help it!” Stingrayman and Remora Boy leapt into action at last and fought the monkey bunch hand to hand in the treetops. It was an awesome scene of conflict spread out over eight pages. Keith was a fine artist. Maybe not such a great writer.

By the end of the battle, the monkeys had been chased away and the fields completely ruined and many animals killed and all the bananas totally destroyed. Stingrayman smoked a phallic cigar he had taken as a trophy from Cheeky Monkey. “We did it, Remora Boy! We brought freedom to the animals!”

“Oh, boy, Stingrayman!” said Remora Boy worshipfully, “you’re my hero!”

“Thank you, Stingrayman,” gasped the Dolly Llama. “You have brought peace to my people, and peace to our land. Gunga-galunga.” And then she died.

Stingrayman and Remora Boy returned to the Naughtylus and set sail for their next adventure – but in the corner of the last page, a bruised and black-eyed Cheeky Monkey, his top hat battered and his monocle cracked, turned to his remaining goons and said: “Come on, fellows – I know where there’s a field of pineapples we can raid!”  The End?

Sage closed the sketchbook and pondered how to answer Keith’s inevitable question: “So, how did you like it?” The satire was heavy-handed and obvious, but Keith would just deny its existence.

“Love your work,” he began hesitantly, and then was saved by the bell when the ITV phone rang.

“ITV, this is Chun,” said Chun, and then he said, “Hold on a moment. Sage, it is for you.” He passed the phone.

“This is Sage,” Sage said importantly into the telephone.

On the other end of the line, Maritza said “Hi Sage! Today’s sorbet is lemon-lime!”

“What?” he exclaimed. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, of course I’m sure! It’s good!”

“Okay, stay where you are,” he told her, “and I’ll be right there!” He hung up the phone and turned to Keith. “ITV emergency,” he explained. “Gotta go.” He grabbed his stuff and split.

 

Why this was EDITED OUT of the book:

Originally, Sage enlisted Keith’s help as an artist to draw sketches of his suspects. When that bit was dropped, it was no longer necessary to establish Keith as an artist. Too bad–it’s a funny bit that added dimension to Keith’s character.

In the final draft, Keith is renamed Mac. His roommate Dizzy is dropped completely. All Hobbit references are scrubbed. I will try to recycle the idea of a comicbook cartoon-styled “Wanted” poster in a future book.

FOG WATCH is available from Amazon: PAPERBACK and E-BOOK editions!

A million carats

NAIL POLISH TIME BOMB: An Unforgettable Romantic Interlude.

World Fog Watch

nail-polish-time-bomb

She had a brand new bottle of nail polish.

It was the award-winning new designer color by the exciting new designer, and it was very expensive. She couldn’t afford it, not really, but it was beautiful and she loved beautiful things and so she bought it anyway.

Her boyfriend came over with something to drink and something to smoke and some music to listen to, and as they drank and smoked and listened to music he did her nails.

She lit a candle. It was a tall white tapir known as a dinner candle. It would only last a few hours, but a few hours were all they needed. The candlelight was lovely and the wine was sweet. The music was heavenly and her boyfriend was very skilled. He gave her a professional grade manicure and pedicure, and he carefully applied the beautiful new nail polish to her ten fingers…

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KRINGLE-KRIEG (or, “The Kringle Wars”)

World Fog Watch

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Kringlekrieg:  A Dark Faerie Tale by Bryan Geer

I believe almost everyone knows that Santa Claus lives in an ice palace at the North Pole, where he is the King of the Northern Elves. Perhaps someday the elves will revolt at his rule, but for now they are weak and few in number, and they must do as he says. And Santa says they are to make presents for all the good people of Christendom.

Fewer people are familiar with Santa’s little brother, Cinder Klaus, who lives at the South Pole with his bodyguard, and he gets to lord it over the Southern Elves, who are even weaker and fewer. Those who are familiar with him often mistakenly believe that Santa’s cruel little brother is in charge of punishing the bad boys and girls by giving them lumps of coal (“all I got was a rock!”) and wooden switches—but…

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