Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The next morning, the rain and the humidity have passed as the Callahan couple welcome those who are at the Baptist Church. Both the Callahans had been brought up Catholic, but they fell away from the Church and are now Baptists. It's amazing that most of the family only go to church around Christmas and Easter. But when they learned 4 years ago that their daughter Anna had joined Rainbow Girls, they were flabbergasted.

"I don't know why you join a secret society like that," Veronica told her daughter before she went to the Lodge for her initiation.

"Look, Mom," Anna told her, "all the ministers and their families belong to the Masonic lodge, and Rainbow is full of some of their daughters. I might be able to change the world for the better."

"I forbid you from joining that place," Tyler told her.

"It's my life, and you don't order me around!" Anna shouted as she stormed out.

"Forget about coming back!" Tyler screamed as she stormed out.

Now, she's dead, and Tyler and Veronica are wondering what they did wrong.

"What did we do to deserve this, Tyler?" Veronica asks him.

"I don't know," Tyler replies.

After the hour visitation, Anna's assembly holds a Rainbow funeral service which lasts about 45 minutes, followed by the funeral of the church, which lasts for about an hour. The presider, who's the worshipful master of the lodge, speaks about Anna's committment to changing the world for the better.

"Despite all the problems she had with the family," Rev. John E. Thomas, the senior minister of the church, says, "Anna was a person who believed in others. Jesus told us that we're not meant to be selfish. We're meant to be loving and selfless in all we do. I remember the night when the Worthy Advisor of the..."

"Yeah," someone in the congregation stands up. "Wasn't that the night Corrine got herself shot?"

"Charlie, is that you?"

"Yeah, it's me." Then he starts shouting, "That's what happens to people who join a lodge. They get themselves in hellfire eventually. You know..."

"Shut up, Charlie! Where were you last night for the Master Mason degree?"

"Didn't you get my petition for withdrawal?"

"Yeah, I did, and you shouldn't..."

"You may not know this," Charlie shouts, "but this man's a Devil worshipper! I left the Masonic Lodge because it's part of the New World Order set-up! This whole church is full of 'em! I'm glad I got out of the Lodge and I'm demanding that this dickhead step down as Pastor! And all of the hierarchy in this..."

"How dare you!" Rev. John shouts. "Get out!"

"This is what's happening, folks!" Charlie shouts. "These men are serviing a demon god during the week and the Lord on Sunday! But who are they praying to? I'll tell you who they're praying to! They're playing to Satan, Hitler and the Ayatullah Khomeini!"

"Listen, you piece of shit!" Rev. John snaps. "You get outta here or I'll have you arrested!"

"I'll get out," Charlie snarls, "but I warn you: you'll be joining that bitch in Hell if you don't come out!"  And then he says to the congregation, "This church is a witches coven and you're all a bunch of devil worshippers!"

"That's enough!" Rev. John shouts as he charges down the aisle before Charlie takes off.  "Don't you ever come in here again, you son of a bitch!  Because if you do, I'll cut your balls off and leave your fucking corpse bleeding to death!"

"Bullshit!" Charlie screams.  "Fuck you and your whole Masonic order!  And you can take your Lambskin apron and stick up up your ass!"

Several people, many in tears, get up and leave the funeral. It takes 20 minutes before Rev. John can go on, but he manages to get the job done.

After that, the body is taken to the local cemetery for burial.

The sun is finally coming out as the after funeral gathering takes place at the Callahans' home. People are enjoying the food and having some conversation that takes their minds off of what's happened.

"Veronica," one of the Callahans' neighbors says, "my heart breaks for you after hearing that you've got 2 different..."

"Don't feel sorry for me, Nora," Veronica smiles, "feel sorry for my doctors. They don't know what they're talking about anyway."

"Hey, Tyler," one of the pallbearers, a brunette named Kelly, says to him, "I heard that a Filippino couple bought out the Sweet Shop."

"That's not true," Tyler replies. "I heard that a pair of Indians were buying the shop."

"They're just the owners," Kelly says. "Whenever they buy a store or something, they hire people outside of the family."

"You're kidding!" Veronica says.

"No, I'm not," Kelly says. "In fact," she smiles, "I'm gonna walk down and give them some of my biz!" And she strolls out.

As Kelly walks into the Sweet Shop, the TV is on with a startling announcement.

"It started as friendly competition in Marshvegas," the announcer intoned. "Two different groups trying to upstage each other."

"What's happened to the penny candy?" Kelly asks.

"We had to jack up the prices," the lady behind the counter, a lady from Cebu, replies. "It's now starting at 25 cents."

"You're shitting me!" Kelly says.

Meanwhile, the TV goes on saying, "Now, everybody is at each other's throat."

"You know the economy the way it is," the lady continues.

"This is a ripoff," Kelly responds.

"Caffeine Free Diet Coke brings you WWE Summerslam!" the announcer shouts. "The Tooting Tootsies versus the Fireflies! Coming soon to pay per view."

After that's done, a Mandarin announcer extols the virtue of eating at a local Chinese buffet in Hanover. Meanwhile, Kelly decides to pick some sour balls, a couple of Tootsie Rolls and a few moon pies.

"$4.50 please," the lady says.

Kelly hands her a $5 bill and says, "Keep The Change," after which she walks out. The counter lady mutters something in Tagalog that is untranslatable.  Meanwhile, another TV announcer says, "The Weisenheimer Company, the exclusive US distributors of Screw Hitler!, Paul Revere, Nanu Nanu!, Chairman Mao, Shazbot!,  and Dan Cupid Beers presents News And Propaganda from the People's Republic of China."

Suddenly, a Chinese newscaster appears on the screen and shouts out reports from the PRC on the CCP's President getting kicked in the nuts in a biscuit factory near the Tibetan border.

The next day, against Tyler's angry rantings, Veronica is put into an ambulance for a trip to the local assisted living facility.

"You mother fucking creeps!" Tyler shouts.  "I can take care of her by myself."

"No, you can't," his brother Gene says.  "You can't help a woman who's suffering from 2 neurological disorders at the same time."

"I'm not taking this lying down!" Tyler retorts.

"You'll suck this up and like it!" Gene shouts back.

"Fuck, No!" Tyler screams.  "I won't suck it up, and I won't like it!"

"Don't make me have your head cut off!" Gene snarls.

"Let go of me!" Veronica yells.  "This is my home!  I want to stay here!"

"You can't stay here, Veronica!" one of the nurses says.

"This is my home!" Veronica yells.  "You can't do this!  This is my life!  This is my family!"

"You have to come, Veronica," the nurse says.  "It's better this way.  If you stay here, you'll end up becoming a vegetable."

"I don't give a damn!" Veronica replies, bursting into tears.  "Tyler, please help me!"

"I'm sorry, dear," Tyler says helplessly, himself crying.  "I'll be up to visit you later today."

"Tyler!" Veronica screams as the ambulance door is closed and the vehicle pulls out.

"Gene, I'll kill you!" Tyler shouts at his brother.  He throws a rock towards him and bolts back into the house.  Gene ducks and the rock hits a Chinese woman in the jaw.  The woman dressed in black slacks and a red shirt flies over the lawn of a nearby house and collapses in sobbing.  Gene runs over and tries to help her, but the woman pushes him aside and runs away.

"You bastard!" Gene screams as Tyler closes the door.  "You treat people like dogs!"

Tyler opens the door and screams, "They are dogs!"  And then he slams the door shut again!

To be continued....

Monday, June 6, 2011


Now, it's several hours later.  1 o'clock in the morning, to be exact.  As Tyler sits down to plan the next day's activities, he's watching a 15 minute sign-off feature on the local TV show featuring the animated "Wacky Races" crew(minus Dick Dastardly) singing lullabies to all the viewers who are still awake at this hour.

"Summer nonsense!" Tyler snarls. "Sucking nonsense with cartoon characters singing lullabies when every kid in the block is asleep." He switches the channel to see another TV station showing bondage films all night.

"Welcome to Bound and Gagged Theater," the announcer booms. "Tonight, we present Lesbians In Bondage starring Betsy Belle and Tempest Blue. After that, we'll present Galaxy Blue Tied To The Railroad Tracks. It's coming up next, so stay tuned."

He switches back to the station that's carrying the Wacky Racers being chased out of their studio by Dick Dastardly's new bulldozer.

"Well, Muttley," he tells his canine cohort, "we've finally got the studio to our own."

Suddenly, the roof falls upon them and covers them. After 5 seconds, Dick kicks the door out and walks out shaken. "Drat! Double drat!" he says.

As the picture fades to black, we can hear Muttley laughing. Then the TV station logo comes on as the announcer says, "It's time for us to leave the air now. We'll be back this morning at 6 a.m., so don't forget to join us then. This is WDNK-DT channel 28.1 in Periwinkle Village, Massachusetts. See ya tomorrow."

Then Jim Reeves is heard singing "The Night Watch." Tyler turns it off and goes up to check on his wife.  She's dozed off, so he gets ready to hit the sack himself when suddenly a hissing sound is heard and a liquid stain appears on the blankets.

"Oh, great!" Tyler shouts.  "She's lost her bladder!"

Veronica wakes up and sees what has happened, after which she screams at the top of her lungs.

"Don't get excited, Veronica," Tyler says.  "Just don't get excited, please."  It takes nearly 2 hours to get her bathed and dressed again.  Also, he has to change the sheets and get on fresh bed clothes.  By the time he's finally ready to hit the hay, it's almost 3 a.m.  And that doesn't leave them much time for sleep; they've got to be back up in 3 hours to prepare for their daughter's funeral.

Such is the situation of spouses who are fighting conflicting neurological disorders.  As Tyler finally falls asleep, he thinks to himself, "Sheesh!  What's next?"
At the same time Tyler finds Veronica having the wetting accident, down the street at an old storefront, which has been turned into a local pirate radio station, a young man is speaking into his microphone as his record is ending.
"And that's the final tune of the night," he says.  "I hope you liked it.  I'd love to be able to say that we're ahead of much more merriment, but at this time JERK-FM leaves the air.  This station is owned and operated by the Mucus Connection and operates on various frequencies without FCC approval.  Our business offices, studios and transmitters are on Seagull Road in Periwinkle Village.  We'll be back on the air in the morning with our Breakfast Jam, so please look for us by scanning your dial settings.  Good night to all of you."

As he puts on the National Anthem of the People's Republic of China, he hears a knock at the door.

The man gets up and opens the door, seeing a black man with a gun in his hand.

"What are you doing here?" he asks.

The man replies by shooting him 3 times in the stomach and leaving him to bleed to death.

"Serves you right for calling me Fasto, honkey!" he snarls before disappearing into the night.  But he doesn't get far; he gets hit by a State Police cruiser near the beach.  He's pronounced dead at the scene.  The man he shot is taken to the hospital, where he's rushed into emergency surgery.  He survives, but just barely.

To be continued...

Monday, May 30, 2011


Hey, does the start of the following story sound familiar to you?  In some ways it does, but it really doesn't, you know.

"Blasted summer time again," a cranky 40-something man snarls as he walks through the town center of Periwinkle Village, Massachusetts, a village located on the South side of America's hometown of Plymouth. "It's the same old thing every year. Out-of-towers invading our turf, people throwing trash all over the beach, motorcycles speeding down the street, people getting drunk and playing beer pong, and they have the nerve me to expect me to be a welcome wagon for this scum! Bah, humbug!"

"Happy Memorial Day, sir," a 65-year-old motorcyclist shouts to him.

"BAH, HUMBUG!" the crank shouts back.

Yeah, it's cranky old Tyler Callahan. He just got laid off from a big 6 accounting firm a few days ago. It was nothing to reflect on his performance; he was the junior partner of the firm when he and 500 other people were told that a Japanese bank-whose name I won't mention-had bought them out and were asking the head office to reduce its working staff. As he and the others left that day, many of them were in tears; to many of them, this had been their only source of income. Now he and his fellow employees are out of a job.

On this Memorial Day afternoon, people are hitting the road and headed for home after the long holiday weekend. It's been a humid, rainy day and the vacationers are hot-tailing it out of town early. Many are going back to Boston, Providence, Worcester, New York, Canada...you name it, they come from all over. And now, Tyler is facing a summer without work. Worse, his wife's been diagnosed with  both Lou Gherig's Disease and Alzheimer's disease(and she's only 35 years old). This means that her physical and mental capacities are going to be destroyed within the next few years.

His only child, Anna, a college freshman at the University of Colorado was killed in a tragic car accident this past week in Denver. She'd been driving out to a Colorado Rockies game with two of her girl friends when 2 minivans crashed into hers-one head on, the other in the back. She was pronounced dead the scene; her friends were seriously injured. Both of them ended up being paralyzed from the neck down; one of them also had her larnyx crushed. The doctors had to remove it in order to keep her from death by suffocation.

The funeral is scheduled to take place tomorrow at the local Congregational Church on Adolf Hitler Road. There is to be a wake at 10 a.m., a Rainbow Girls service at 11 a.m. and a funeral at 12 Noon. The internment will take place in a church yard somewhere in Kingston, followed by a gathering at Tyler's house. Over the past weekend, people have been visiting the couple and giving them comfort.

Earlier today, Tyler and his wife Veronica met the body at T.F. Green Airport in Providence. It was a tough and heart-rending necessity that had to be done. It was decided that there would be no formal visiting hours; the visitation would take place at the church in the morning. As he and his wife arrived home, the neighbors all comforted them.

Now, as he returns to his house on John Alden Lane, his brother Gene meets him at the door.

"Tyler," Gene says, "we have to talk."

"I'm sorry," Tyler says. "I'm just disturbed by these summer people who come down every summer."

"Me, too," Gene says. "Anyway, it's about Veronica."

"What about her?" Tyler asks.

"I know that her having ALS is bad," Gene says, "but with that Alzheimer's kicking in first, her mental capacity has gone down a lot in the past couple of weeks."

"Look," Tyler says, "I can take care of her..."

"That's the trouble," Gene interrupts him. "This disease is very bad. And it's going to get worse, especially with having a muscle wasting disease. Normally, when one has ALS, his or her mind is left intact, but when one has Alzheimer's disease, the mind is destroyed while the physical part is left intact. But with both of these diseases at the same time, there's no option whatsoever."

"What are you saying?"

"We need to put Veronica in an assisted living facility..."

"Fuck, no! I can take care of her here at home."

"That won't be possible."

"Don't you know how much it costs for a nursing home?"

"That's why I am suggesting that she go to an assisted living facility here in town."

"We can't discuss this until after the funeral."

"Okay." Gene pauses, then says, "And here's another thing. Mrs. Cullhane was taken away in an ambulance last night."


"She was talking with her daughter Kelly at her candy shop when someone shot a bullet through the window. It hit her in the neck and sent her sprawling to the floor. Kelly called the cops and they picked up the suspect at the beach early this morning."

"So is Kelly gonna take over the shop?"

"No, because Mrs. Cullhane didn't have any insurance on the shop, so Kelly's had to sell it."

"Who's gonna buy it?"

"That's what I'm worried about-it's a pair of guys from India."

"Oh, no! They've bought out the liquor stores and gas stations between here and Quincy. Now they want to take over the sweet shop."

"That's right."

"I think you should speak to Kelly before she goes ahead with it."

"I will."

Meanwhile, a young girl dressed in a white blouse and a dark blue miniskirt walks past their house. "Hello, guys," she says. "Happy summer!"

"Eat shit!" Tyler says.

"Oh, is that so?" the lady shouts as she charges towards him, but Gene stops her.

"His daughter was killed in Colorado this past week," he reminds her. "You'd best give him some space."

"All right," she says as she walks away. But she mutters angrily to herself, "That fuckin' bastard will pay for this."

Caitlin Niles doesn't like grumps who shoot off their guff.  Especially when she passes Tyler on the streets.  Ever since he got laid off, he's been getting himself into trouble.  And with no good paying jobs here on the South Shore, she's worried that he'll take his anger out on everyone.  As she walks towards home, a man dressed in knight's armor passes her and shouts, "Out of my sight, thou Satan!  For thou art of thy father the Devil!"

"To hell with the Devil, buddy!" Caitlin shouts.  "And to hell with you, too!"

"How dare you!" the knight shouts, but he decides to walk away.  "Well, to hell with you, too!" he retorts.

A few minutes later, he's run over by a Home Depot truck.

To be continued....