Tag Archives: Karl^*~$

fuzzy navels

“What’s up, boss. I’m back, as you see.” Stumpy wanted MAT (Man About Time) to comment on his return, ask him what he’s been up to. Man About Time didn’t even know the formerly headless man went missing.

“Where’s Karl?”

“That’s what I’m trying to tell you, hoss. He’s gone. So is Moe. I’m *back*.”

MAT tried to recall the bartender’s name. “You were… missing something.”

“My *head* is all. You almost didn’t hire me for the job because of it. Then Gotham came along and I became a head, almost the opposite. But then it all balanced out, thanks to the red, the wine. Red and blue coordinated. I’m back.”

“That… doesn’t make any sense.” Mild but to the point.

Stumpy began to wax philosophically, inspired by the pot dreams. “Life is a 3d movie, both red and blue. Stereoscop-ic. The trick is to see them *together*, make everything real around you. It’s tricky, yeah, but it’s worth it in the end. I’m 3d, you’re 3d. The bar is 3d. The new trailer park just over the street edge in front of the store is 3d…”

“Ahh yes, thanks. That’s what I came in for. I wanted to ask about renting a trailer, er, Stimpy. From Jim K. Polk.” The Man About Time then remembered he had already rented the trailer, already paid the last month’s rent, already cleaned out the premises and came here to find Stumpy back on the job. It’s like the Karl/Moe intermediate period never existed. He looked around the room. Another head should be here besides Stumpy’s and my own, he thought. But it was hit out of the ballpark, bruised and battered somewhere far over a left field fence.

Man About Time was worried about flipping around time because he was now the logical candidate to replace Baker Bloch once the blog protagonist moved on to the White Palace, which already might have occurred. Now that fellow candidate Jeffrie Phillips has left town with that cryptozoologist who hangs out down at Spunky’s. Where was Spunky anyway? I recall 2 people of that name in town, one small, red, and with horns. The other…”

“I see you’re still confused about time,” Stumpy spoke up, seeing the glazed look in MAT’s eyes.

“H-how long have you been back?” MAT managed.

“Just got back. Ask me where I’ve been. Buy a returned employee a drink why don’t you. I’ll buy you one and we’ll call it even.”

But then Stumpy forgot all about the experience in the Green Yarn sim as well, and his gig there. Gigi was always at the bar, but he doesn’t recall that either. He had the unfortunately experience of going into the 1898 room and falling asleep, replacing Jeffrie in the bed — another replacement for him. Stumpy stares at MAT, MAT stares at Stumpy. They suddenly realize one is as much of a mess as the other, unable to replace anybody, anywhere, any*thing*.

(to be continued)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0024, 0402, Apple's Orchard, NWES Island^

hired

New NWES City resident Stumpy was eager to get some local color and received a couple bucketfuls at Moe’s, a centrally placed watering hole. We cut to the most relevant story the bartender told this night. “Homer?” he said after Stumpy inquired more about the famed bar brawl where Mr. Smipson lost his head which had to be kept in a jar of formaldehyde to be preserved like a pickle for possible future restoration. “Right over there.” Moe points beyond Stumpy to the pool table where it happened. “He broke a pool stick for a weapon, Homie did too. Out of the ball park for the both of ’em. But, turns out, Lemmy’s — as they called him — Lemmy’s head was real and Homer’s wasn’t. *He* was just a mascot, although it seemed to be the other way around what with the ice skating gig and all. That’s when reality began to break down. Who *else* is just a mascot and not real in this here town? Probably a lot of us. Probably more than we care to know. So we stopped talking about it, stopped yapping about it. The bar fell silent when the topic of lost heads was ever brought up. So that’s why *you* caused such a stir with your appearance tonight. You don’t have a head, yet you live!” Moe decided he better shut up for the night and started cleaning beer glasses again. Besides he didn’t have any lines left. See! he thought to himself while staring at the void between the shoulders of the man perched on a bar stool in front of him. This is what happens when this is brought up. Irreality!

The spotted figure in the picture near the pool table then stepped out of it and into this world, one who calls himself Gotham. The one who took Homer’s head away from the jar through this same portal several weeks ago for possible repair, leaving Moe with a nice (if shady seeming) nest egg at the bottom of it. But yet he was back now: unretired. Gotham had also returned to remind him of this. Moe didn’t run the bar any longer. A man named MAT had bought it and made him redundant, or, yes, forced him into an early retirement as a better option. The bar had closed 2 hours ago. In his mild, spacey way, MAT had simply forgotten to lock the front door (4th wall) when he left, distracted by a brewing storm and thunderous lightning and wind and such, let’s say. We were operating on alty time, as Gotham later termed it, sitting at the bar with Stumpy and Moe and trying to get the latter to go home to his lovely wife Dinah and put an end to coming back to work and all. “You won’t get paid,” he reminded Moe, but that wasn’t the point.

As Jaspery night yielded to Newtony day, Moe’s presence began to fade and another took his place: 1/2 and 1/2 here. Gotham turns to Stumpy. “Now about that head…”

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0023, 0212, Apple's Orchard, NWES Island^

pre-Gong

“A message from Elberta,” she chipperly chirped to begin.

“Oh yeah?” He’d been waiting a long long time. He’d cross his arms and tap his foot to signal impatience if he possessed any. About all he had left were some basic facial features and his gruff, booming voice, now reverberating across a sickly, cold, monochromatic basin.

“The deed is done. The Smipsons bartender is gone, perhaps even dead.” “Like yourself,” Bethulia the messenger chicken wanted to add but stopped herself, ending instead with: “You can move in.” Shakily, one might put it, as she continued to stand in its shadow and stare at the dark, foreboding spheroid, the realization of what actually happened dawning on her. This was not warming sunbeams, light. This was the opposite. The cosmos had been swallowed whole, starting with the pole.

“Remind me: which of us came first?” Yes, Karl wasn’t quite ready yet to return from the Land of the Dead, the Land of Jasper. He remains a zero, a null, a void — for now. Not a true hero any longer. Bethulia relays this observation back to Elberta and gets fed lots of feed for it. She’d almost made a vast mistake. She didn’t realize Karl and Moe’s deadly Egg were the same.

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freedom

Jeffrie Phillips begins his latest assignment proper back in Instabar, the sim highlighted in section 3. Might as well be Sector R.

Perhaps the last dinner of the late, great Mr. and Mrs. Achilles T. Pippin — The Pippins, he considers, who of course include Mary with her red umbrella we suspiciously see little of, even though at least one character says she carries it around all the time. Better check on that, he thinks…

He finds the red wine stale but acceptable for an Australian. Better start looking around for that umbrella, he ruminates.

Hold on, he ponders. This seems unusual, hmm. Cyan… cyanide. Cy Twomile, one of the two most recent victims in this here photo-novel, even though he’s locally known as Big Black Smoke. Derogatory racial name? He better find a computer somewhere.

But what’s this? In the Peppins’ living room: red, blue, and then a yellow lemon on top. And cyan turns to red in inverted color mode — which he, like Aqua Dude before him, can switch on and off when needed, which he does here.

Yes, something about that coat hanger or whatever it was, he contemplates while sitting in the swing beside the 32 square meter house that caused all the messy Instabar trouble in the first place. Buster Damm, hrmph. Popping in and out of this reality at his convenience to cause harm and mischief, like a little, blood sucking gremlin or something. If only we could trace him back to his Pot-D origins.

He decides to check the “coat hanger’s” description remotely while enjoying his hot coffee the swing graciously provided for him, pretty good for Cambodian.

Ahh. *Cage* stand. Bird cage. But where’s the bird? Or *birds*, even?

He travels further back in time than ever to find out.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0018, 0409, Corsica^^, Instabar^

judgment

Exhausted, Tronesisia finally stopped playing the harp for tonight. She looked around, red eye still in place. Where was she? The afterlife?

No. Still in Danshire.

And there were other instruments left to play in the same antiquated house. She switches to keyboards and fingers something different. The red eye finally recedes.

In the next room, Herbert Gold, Furry Karl, Heidi Hunt Ives, Norris, and perhaps some others not in this particular shot fade into view to listen in on the gorgeous music, flowing like platinum prune into their ears and senses. That was actually the name of the song: “Platinum Prune.” Or “In Search of…”, with the almost priceless prune theoretically showing up at the end of the overall suite of songs, drawing them inward and onward. Much better than Steel Raisin. We begin a journey.

—–

She paused in reading her just published novel “Olive, Green and Pink”. “Ben, dear, it’s gotten suddenly quite chilly in here. Could you put another log on the fireplace?”

“‘Bout bedtime,” he counters, faking a yawn and not sensing anything out of the ordinary himself. One thing on his mind right now.

Picking up on this, she stares over at him after he finishes, trying to decide. Book or boy?

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0018, 0108, Benangatron^, Corsica^^

confluence

Afterwards she took off her shoes and sat beside the old motel pool, now closed for dysentery reasons. No details need be applied. She would immediately wash her feet in the Dari-Creme bathroom just behind. Mother had returned to their modest but clean downtown apartment, sterilized like all the rest during the Great Disinfection of ‘011.

Ahh, fate, she though. Having a beautiful mother who everyone is attracted to more than her, even her own classmates like Multiface, like Preston Weston. She then dwells on the brace burdened lad who sits behind her in geography class, taught by the same mother. It’s one of the reasons she got the tattoo — so that he would see it all the time. Satori, she pondered. *Not* Maebaleia. This would teach him and everyone else that she was a Northerner at heart and always would be, despite some dubious origins. Stamped in flesh, as it were. Fixated in time and space and… options. No option for her any longer. “The name — of the continent — is *Satori,*”  she shouted at her mother one day. Then it was off to the parlor to ink some color on her neck and back.

She pondered more tonight while daring to dangle her feet in the pool a little longer, like the alley that use to center the village which was so ill of repute. Creepy Alley they called it for a reason. Before receiving her teaching certificate in ’08, her own mother use to hang out in that place. There were rumors — unsubstantiated for the most part. But it was beyond doubt that mother took the occasional walk on the wild side, playing Nico to any Lou Reed who decided to properly peel their banana. Where was Zappa when you needed him? But that was the province of Annie (Anorexia), who isn’t part of the present story. Shame, though. Maybe we’ll be able to fit her in later.

—–

And there she is.

“Who’s out there, baby doll,” Karl gruffed. “Is it *him*?? Let me at him, let me at him!”

“It’s – not – him,” Annie metered out, trying to calm her latest husband down. “It’s *her*.”

Karl waited a beat for an explanation, then: “Her *who*?”

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you’re it

—–

“So Karl (Karl!). What’s the story with the painting of the little girl with the blue purse?”

“That goes back a looong way, Dr. Superhero. With *blue* bowtie,” he adds on.

“Please, Mr. Bartender. Do tell.”

“I just did.”

He realizes the bowtie is the same as the purse, listening Mystic Girl thinks from the far side of the bar. Both tack ons. But does he realize he *is* the painting now? I created him. I should know.

“Something just happened, Karl.”

“Oh boy,” the furry bartender exclaimed anxiously, and quickly left the scene, claiming to be restocking in back.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0011, 0315, Middleton^, New Island^

centerpoint

Young Ruby looked far and wide for her missing friend Shirley Boot, starting with Yd Bay on the far side of New Island, hoping to hell she didn’t find another bobbing head there like she did before with Trashy the Clown’s (she didn’t).

Another place to visit was Faux Aunt Annie and Karl’s Gloomy Gus on the west coast. Now the last couple of times we checked in — well, actually throughout this *whole* novel, looking back — it seems that Annie was in a heap of trouble with all these pills and incessant dancing and, um, the other thing. And she was! But the death of Trashy the Clown, although extremely difficult to get over at first, was a blessing in disguise. She cleaned up, with aid from loving beau Karl — locked up in the Gloomy Gus for going on two weeks. She emerged exhausted and dehydrated and still a little nauseous, but ready to move forward into the future without drugs and the other, attached things. Karl was her focus now, her beacon of light. So we have a happy ending to that part of our story, and an important one it is. But no luck for Ruby this day — no sign of Shirley there.

Mrs. Fogg and Ms. Frame, now moved in together for mutual protection, food, and liberty, hadn’t seen her either. That basically took care of the whole northwest section of the island, so active these two women were with their sailing and beach running and frequent picnics to the top of Mt. Sondra where they had a commanding view of that part of New Island.

Blue Jay Wade was dead, and his former chum turned complete psychopath Big Red Butler remained incarcerated at the Gaston-Berry jail, at least for this week. But neighbor Zettie Lamont the zebra-ass, similar to Fogg and Frame, had a pretty good view of the lower western part of the island from his perch atop Pimushe Isle. He relayed to the disappointed Ruby that he hadn’t seen the young girl either.

How about one of the houseboats or yachts at the Diamond Sailing Club? Possibility, but since Lisa the Vegetarian Smipson left for Corsica, she has no contacts there.

No one lived at Artist Point in the southeast section of the island. The east was dominated by Mid Hazel’s compound of buildings. Ruby felt that if Shirley had somehow gotten stuck over there she was doomed anyway. Lost to a powerful witch.

Which left center: Mabel’s house (Mabel and roommates Fisher and Bendy had seen nothing), Eraserhead Man and his Rabbit Hole house (nada again), and Robot Derak Jones (who said, check with Eraserhead Man, which she’d just done). Hmm, she thought, standing in the middle of central Route 9 dividing the island almost cleanly in two. She looked down at the buildings: Elephant Club, Axis’ Castle, Flossie’s, a new place beside Bumpy’s Ice Cream Village. “*Wait*,” she suddenly exclaimed. “The Village! I could ask Lavern Glam. She has eyes everywhere.”

So we head back to the ice cream truck, the sole component of this so-called village. Use to be bigger in the day, as they say. But Mr. Glam sold part of his original land to the Elephant Club, who turned it into their western parking lot, and then part to Oranga Black who built the Arcade in back. He downsized from a double wide trailer with indoor seating to the small truck we’ve already seen in that last post, whose cab also doubled as his daughter’s bedroom for a while. She didn’t mind: she felt she remained in the center of it all that way.

Ruby approached the truck. “You’re not Lavern Glam.”

“Yet *you* remain oh-so-red Ruby Roo,” spoke the alien behind the counter. “Exactly 15 1/2 today, this minute, this, um, second actually. Your anti-birthday.”

The island blew up around them. To those on the outside, those who survived, they describe the sound it made as close if not the same as middle C on a piano. Queer, huh? Too queer? We’ll see…

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internal/external

These days Young Ruby often sits atop the Rose 01 dune, aka the Blue Rose Dune, and meditates on her surroundings:

Eraserhead Man’s cottage to the south and its Rabbit Hole portal, now fronted by a small grove of palms…

… Axis’ supposed castle to the west…

… but then an even higher castle across Route 9 that Ruby speculates may his actual home in a bluff, this Man in the High Castle, after all. But maybe both castles are bluffs…

… since we also have the moving castle, the island’s Monster as some call it, including her Aunt Annie.  It almost invariably appears to abductees/visitors in or around the Wastelands. More on that soon.

Poor Annie, Ruby thinks. Lost in a quagmire of undifferentiated pills, dance, and sex now. Like being covered in bees with no whirlwind plan for escape.

She should go visit Karl over in the Gloomy Gus after this; get a measure of how he’s holding up. That way she can also stop by the duplicate Scarlet Creative Sylvia House and see if Mabel is, by chance, home. She’d like to catch up with what’s happening over in Heterocera these days. And her doppleganger.

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0009, 0407, New Island^

show i can all

Old Reading Man and Little Reading Light were the first to arrive, and, big surprise, each whipped out a book from their deep pockets and began reading.

What LRL was scanning had more to tell. St. Croix’s Diamond Keturah, but the Keturah was missing. A seismic activity earlier in the day had temporarily erased it from the island’s map. But the name would return soon enough. Such things always do.

Later, Biker Jones and Ranger Johns guarded the entrance to the meeting room, keeping out riff raff like the “reading twins” as they jokingly called them. “This is an *action* room,” they said to Old Reading Man and Little Reading Light after arriving themselves, telling the the two to remain sitting in their seats and just keeping on doing what they’re doing and stay out of it.

Meeting room. Action galore. Tronesisia led the charge, but many more straggled in between 7:47 and 8:01, with Carrcassonnee the last to arrive, saying she’ll just, “squeeze her big butt in against the wall over here,” as she put it. So: Carrcassonnee lives!

Others present, going counterclockwise from Tronesisia: (floating) Wyn Galbraithe from Lapara, Cardboard Derek Jones (no relation to doorman Biker Jones that I know of), Redbot, Old Man Baby…

…. and then, continuing to circle around, Carrcassonnee, whom we’ve spoken about, then, er, I guess that’s Doogie Martin (?), then Grey Seal who just wallowed out of the nearby sea to join in, then Furry Karl (another resurrection?!), and then a figure most commonly called Pietmond Boy in the blog, I believe.

Let’s pause here before continuing the character introductions to gander at two art pieces on the wall, the first hung directly behind the seated Pietmond Boy. It might be familiar to regular blog readers, being, at the base, the same as the famous painting “My First Sermon” by John Everett Millais, mentioned in Martin Gardner’s “The Annotated Alice” as probable direct inspiration for Tenniel’s illustration of Alice riding in a train in chapter 3 of “Through the Looking Glass”.

But there’s some twists here. Parts of what appears to be *another* picture bleed through around the edges in mysterious, blobby patches. We see the image of several ducks — or at least their heads — just behind or beyond the seated girl, for instance.

And then on the opposite side of the door from this, a now sideways Bunneh 02 and his egg and candle holding cushion cover up what appears to be another figure, perhaps from a bathing beauty poster, say, like in a mechanic’s garage.

Then continuing our introductions, we have Ben Thar (Mr. Bean cutout, actually) beside the Bunneh 02 art, then Bluebot (counterpart to Redbot across the room), then Second Lyfe founder Philip Linden standing behind Tronesisia in the corner, and lastly Ross C., another robot who may be a servant or some equivalent to the central Tronesisia.

Out in the hallway, yet another robot, named Claude — a golden hued gezzer made in ’25 — attempted to do the unspeakable to same just before the meeting (about 7:47). To excuse him *just* a bit, he *does* remember Tronesisia from Bennington when she was a mere pleasurebot and not the important and distinguished Collagesity novel character she’s known as today. But at any rate — and very justly of course — he was then promptly banned from the Meeting Room by Tronesisa who obviously spurned his advances. Get to reading the Collagesity graphic novels, Claude! Tronesisia has come a long long way from where she use to be back in those dark days.

Claude was only there because his perpetually smoking and toking brother Punky was acting as receptionist for the gathering out on the front porch. Claude had to drive his sibling around since he lost his feet in that rabbit tossing accident in ’92.

Punky was also known for his womanizing ways, and, similar to his brother, made little to no attempts at hiding it. Many times they had fought over the same “floozy dame”, as they sometimes labelled them.

In yet another room of the house, Original Eve (still macabrely clutching her dead child Oliver), Pigpen from the Grateful Dead, and couch sitting Norris/Harry waited for their chance to join in. It never came.

Nor did it for the 3d Venuses who just showed up at 8:15 with *way* too many friends and were barred from these kind of meetings for life.

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