Two realities were superimposing themselves on top of each other, inadvertently (perhaps) creating chaos and confusion. He simply didn’t know; he simply couldn’t understand. In the moment.
I’ve created the bare bones of a consignment store on my Rubi property not seen since the very beginning of this here photo-novel, number 22 in a series of 20. The first thing I decide on to fill out the 4 square emptiness is a Volvo station wagon, which definitely does *not* have two handles on its back door nosiree.
Let’s just prop it up outside for now against the building’s unfinished, plywood exterior.
Then I add another image inside that has become meaningful to me today: the collage characters I call Source (Male) and Lake (Female) — perhaps another version of Adam and Eve and the whole Apples story — *hiding* something. Like we are seeing through a wall into another dimension.
And since the Tacoma consignment store the impossible station wagon is driving by on N Proctor Ave in that first picture above is named Megs and Mo, I suppose Cassandra City’s Moes Bar is related somehow. The transparent Source and Lake image comes from M & M as well — very important there. More soon.
“Phil had the richest, most complicated sense of humor of the four of us,” said his Firesign Theatre partner David Ossman. “He loved what he called ‘the stupid’ and he could twist it into surreal pieces of head-beating comedy. His High School Lunch Menus, the Irish guy who taught how to paint like the insane, the Funny Names Club of America. He had the whole range. Bergman and Austin were really the Lennon and McCartney of the group.”
“Where’d you get that *hair*, brother of mine.”
Toothpick pats the top of his now thickly padded skull. “Neptune hair. It’s all the rage in the central parts of The City. Just a demo for now — trying it out. You like?” He moves his piece of straw around in his mouth in rhythm with Elberta’s. Both notice. Both turn a little red (?).
“Ahem, yes I suppose.” She couldn’t say much since she was testing out a demo as well. Silence for the moment, then: “Do you think he’ll still show up tonight?”
“You know. Spongebub. The reason we’re here. We need to tell him that his wife is still alive and well in Urqhart or thereabouts, selling rental units for the Illuminati. That’s the organization she was working for all along. It was the drink–”
“Sponge*bob*?” Toothpick was backing up, unable to understand the line of thought pointing to the single eyed ones, The Residents and Firesign Theatre (or Theater) both.
“*Bub*,” reinforced the sister. “We’ll call him bub in this lower, more paradoxical dimension.” She reconsidered the word. What was the adjective form of parody? She didn’t know. She remained quiet, waiting for him to talk again.
“You mean the little yellow fellow, the square one?”
“Yes. Sponge*bub*,” she pronounced again.
“You mean like the little yellow, square fellow on the floor beside me right now?”
“He’s right here. Beside me. He’s been here for a while. I thought you knew.”
Elberta stands up, peers over the edge of The Table and sees the top of Spongebub’s square head with its big goofy peepers ogling (?) back. “Oh. Okay.” She keeps staring, looking for signs of life. “Why isn’t he *doing* anything — saying anything?”
“Go ahead, little fellow,” encouraged Toothpick by his side.
“Bahahahaha!” suddenly came the activated sound upon this request. “She has a square just like *me*!” He reads above her head in his high pitched and oh so nasal voice. “Gone… mo… ing.” Spongebub puts a yellow finger to his now down-turned line of a mouth, a thinking gesture complete with bulging eyes rolled upward. “Err.” He stares forward again. “What’s a mo-ing?”
They correct him as one, synchronized once more.
Back to the canal for the both of ’em.
Buster gave Duncan what he thought might be good news. “They decided to get married after all, the brother and the sister. Disturbing I know. But par for the course in the Deep–”
Duncan hung up. He was already mentally prepared to move to the Sunklands to stay with Elberta and Toothpick. It was as if a cushy rug had been rudely jerked out from under his feet, leaving him to fall to a rock hard floor he understood all too well. It was his cell.
(to be continued)
1/2 and 1/2
“I refuse to die this time Jerome T. Newton. I’m going beyond the end of Newton — you — into Oblong.”
“It’s that girl that’s helping you,” Newton declared between clenched teeth. “From the *fu-ture*.”
Chef-detective Keat Petty Owens had already moved on from his stalking ghost to a different gallery. He was staring at the beginning of the second 1/2 of the 10×10. 51. “It’s All Here.”
He even gave his petrified hands back to Newton as a parting gift. Goodbye demo(n) alien. Forever. Maybe.
To Montana. And beyond…
switch to blonde
He wandered around the streets of Apple’s Orchard in a thought haze after the engagement with his sister was back on, eventually settling into this cold seat in Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer’s still undeveloped Red Rose (consignment store?) staring at a hot spot picture and understanding that reality had changed, and that something had somehow been saved. But what? He looks at the locos superimposed against each other in both the backing and fronting photos before him to become one. Locomotives, that is. Train cars. Something had begun, something he didn’t understand. And apparently no one around him did either, Peter, Cat, Phil 02, David, no one. Didn’t matter if I said their names here. No one was listening.
Maybe it’s just Our Second Lyfe that is off-putting. I can understand that.
Doesn’t really matter to me that much because I enjoy hiding anyway. 🙂
(to be continued)
The next night, Toothpick remained in the Red Rose, whatever the Red Rose turned out to be. In the moment it was a counseling center. “Alright I’ll bite. Who *are* you guys?”
“You know who we are. *Aqua-boy*. You with your Neptune hair, albeit a try out. You’re Neptune. You sit in the green chair representing the Neptune sim I mean by that. I never sit in that chair any more. Not since…” The reborn, half rabbit/half bat Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer, a psychiatrist originally specializing in bodily fluids back in the days, trailed off here, unable to complete his sentence. Toothpick helped him out.
“Alcatraz? Gettysburg?” He was trying too hard. Settle down, Toothpick. Your nerves are shot. You’re getting married to your sister Sunday after tomorrow’s next Tuesday! It was wrong and both knew it, even though it was right by their culture, their upbringing. She should be sitting here opposite him, he realized. That’s Elberta’s chair over there, the red one. But she’s blonde like me. I saw her change. Toothpick again thinks she’s the most beautiful girl he’s ever laid his wonky, mismatched eyes upon. Darn that she’s my sister! Just my luck. “I have bad luck,” he says to the others after the settle down.
“We all have bad luck,” chips in Supper Man to his other side, still holding his stomach from eating all that food. If he could cut back on the red meat at least… Toothpick realizes something else in his psychic, post-mortem ways. *He* has a better half that should be sitting opposite *him* in this meeting. Toothpick asks him about her without giving away too much.
“Dinner,” he names. “Dinner Girl. Soon to be…” He faded here, unable to complete his sentence. His stomach hurt too much from the perpetual supper he’s always downing bite after bite. He’s getting pudgy… finally. Soon he’ll be a round ball of blubber if the Corona pirates keep storing all that food in his pantry much longer.
“She’s your sister,” tries Toothpick. Wrong again.
Dr. Baumbeer senses it is time for the meeting to start in earnest. Time to bring in the girls.
(to be continued?)
Why did he switch chairs? he thinks, staring over at the weapon wielding Dinner Girl. It made his stomach turn just thinking about it! But he wasn’t in the direct line of fire. Not quite. He knew who was. History was repeating itself. But first to the other.
“Blue Berry Girl,” Dr. Rabbid Baumbeer addressed, turning to his left and prying his eyes away from the huge barrel of a gun pointed kind of right at him. 1/2 and 1/2 (oh boy). “We were expecting someone else.”
“I know. She couldn’t make it. Stomach ache, let’s say. No: let’s go with flu.”
“Has she been tested?” Dr. Baumbeer was all about testing. Because it could be one thing but it could also be another. You couldn’t know without the test. Baumbeer sneezed here, but not in his arm. In the air. The girls stared at him. Had he inadvertently infected everyone in the room? His stomach was hurting after all, although he chalked that up to the nerves of the present situation, with the gun and all. But maybe it was the other thing. He better get to the point and have a test himself. He has to see this through first.
“Um hmmmmm,” she answered haughtily. She lowers the gun a bit. She’s lightening up and becoming less tense. Baumbeer’s shoulders sag, a relaxing exercise he’d learned long ago back in mummy embalming school in Egypt. He trained with the best. It was an Illuminati run campus after all, pyramids all around. And here he is. Still in the middle. A good place to be post-mortem.
“Tell me 5 things you love about Supper.”
When she answered food items instead, Baumbeer knew he was in trouble. The gun was raised again. She wasn’t taking this seriously. Because she was here to kill someone and that alone and he wasn’t here in the moment. Someone had come to life too soon with his Neptune style blonde hair and all and was foiling everything they had tried to accomplished in Our Second Lyfe. Which was to suppress the dead; keep them in their grave. No red meat for any of ’em.
(to be continued?)
There was a giant book, just out of sight. 6 fingered people.
Toothpick wants to dig himself a hole and hide away from his sister problems forever.
But Baker Bloch won’t let him.
“Wake up in there! Time to help me out again, ha.”
Supper Man is determined to work off those extra pounds he’s put on lately before his marriage to Dinner Girl Saturday after next Saturday after next Saturday. Super!
I wanted to fit this in here too. Meat City, a suburb of NWES City. A paper named Post formerly owned by Grahams.
Strange do’in’s in this here NWES Island. Like New Island but different. Less sand for one thing. More green, if not more grass. But I think the two are related. Both Big Escapes, perhaps. 10’s. The search for perfection in a microcosm.
our thrilling story continues
“Oh you’re just a big chicken is all you are. Right Mr. Z?”
“Right Mrs. M.”
“Hey over there. Hey: look at me.”
Both stare at Toothpick almost surrounded by pecking hens.
“This *h’ain’t* an episode of ‘Happy Days'”, he spews over. “There h’ain’t no happy bluebird atop Blue Berry Hill finding his trill. Just ask Little Robert Plant Variant over in Nowtown. Or is it Zen City. *Anyway*…”
“Oh I don’t know what you go on about 1/2 the time, Toothpick. If only *Z* here would have been my real child instead of one from another mother, he he. How is your maw anyways, Mr. Z.?”
“She’s dead thank you.”
“That’s good. Good to be dead in this day and age. Toothpick over there wants to off himself again. If he wasn’t already dead. Right Toothpick?” his mother shouts over. How much more of this can he take. And his *best friend* from high school or thereabouts siding against him now. Must be all that worldly corruption seeping into his bones. He didn’t use to be this way when he was little, provincial Little Z. I remember him sleeping a lot — maybe that was why he wasn’t controversial back then.
“Wake up over there Toothpick and talk to us.” His maw was *so* tired of him dreaming away his life. She just wanted him to get married to Elberta and move the heck out of her trailer. Maybe Z could move in then. But she can’t go there quite yet. First get the young’n out then deal with a potential new lover.
(to be continued?)
Mad Anthony’s Nightfield
“What are we looking at, shipmateman?”
Reggie the shipmateman paused, then: “We’re looking for your husband Ms. Halsey.” She’d given the order not 15 minutes ago.
“Ms. Halsey, good,” replied Linda about her title. “Remember, don’t shoot till you see the whites of his eyes.”
“Yes, Ms. Halsey.”
“Yes, Ms. Halsey,” echoes the other shipmateman on the wall opposite them, listening in. Johnny I think was his name. Or Karl.
“In all likelihood he won’t show up but keep looking. He’s probably on to me knowing I’m on to him.”
“Yes Ms. Halsey,” they said in unison while peering out but now not expecting anything to appear.
“I’m glad you came to meet me Saffie. I want to know *all* about what Marty said to you, what hollow promises he made. Because I’m here to warn you away from him. He’s bad news. He’s involved with those nasty Illuminati fellows!”
“Girls,” Saffie said softly across from her.
Saffie took another sip of beer. “We also… have girls.”
Linda rushes back to the entrance gate, drunk on malt (again). “Shoot him dead,” she commanded to the shipmatemen. “Don’t even wait for the whites.”
Mad Anthony’s Nightfield 02
King Lewis Johnson the Third’s canal boat arrived at quarter past 2 in the morning’s evening’s night day. Time was wonky in this part of old or original WES, merely the precursor, as it turned out, of the considerably larger New WES constructed further up the western Jeogeot coastline, or what was soon shortened to NWES, along with the overarching New WES Island — NWES Island now, with further distance put between it and the Omega continent’s New Island as well. The Moth Man would be pleased. He’s written a novel about *his* New Island and doesn’t want another place of that name to come between him and fame. I don’t either (!). His New Island should be unique. A no. 10 type of paradise, hidden until now. Bravo!
Back to King Lewis Johnson the Third’s visit to Mad Anthony’s Nightfire settlement based on the Isle of Karma roleplaying sim. “We call those type of vehicles channel boats on Mars where I’m from. You’ll need a crowbar (to understand).” Mad Anthony, new lover of Linda Halsey, was clearly insane to think he was from Mars. Gary his manservant concubine beside him gently reminded the old, partially senile man that his home planet was Venus. He was not all right tonight. Marty’s Illuminati spell to soften his brains to tin or lead was working perfectly, another type of 10.
“It is time for me to go back home to my neighboring sim, Anthony. I’ll pick up the canal, um, *channel* boat later. I wish you well on your brain issue.”
“Good night King Lewis Johnson the Third.” He looked at the sim boundary sign from his side. “You are indeed The Mann!”
Poor pitiful thing, he thinks while walking away.
no bloody babies
“I know who you are. I know who is behind Billfork. It’s the oranges…”
“Alright what do you want me to do tonight, baker?”
“I’m not sure. We need to get you married up with your sister Elberta before the end of this here Collagesity photo-novel, number 22 in a series of 20.”
“You’re insistent. On oranges.”
“Did you like my trick with the oranges? Wasn’t that clever?”
“The Billfork Core. I’m saying that more for the reader.”
“You mean Veyo?”
“No. I have other readers.”
“Who? [delete one sentence]”
“Yeah I know. The country is *so* divided. And the debate last night… I have lost hope, Toothpick, er, Filbert.”
“I would rather you call me Toothpick. I put one in my mouth (he takes the straw out of his mouth and reinserts it), and then I become invisible. That’s the meaning of Berry at the beginning of this here photo-novel, 22 in a series of 20. Matt Berry, who did the same for ‘What’s Creeping Out The Car.'”
“I’m going to correct you on that, Toothpick. It’s…”
“‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.'”
“Say it for real.”
“Master Berry… Matt Berry. What else have I done, hmm? The Billfork Core, obviously. Then coded it into your precious maps.”
“Tough guy, eh?”
“Then, let’s see, Goss… he’s the religious fellow who was both an ally and axis. Different things at different times. He should have paid more attention to Billfork according to you.”
“According to *you*. Apparently.”
“Correct. Because I worked hard on that. Do you know how hard it is to create a proper audiovisual synchronicity? You only collage together the already finished pieces. It’s *tough*. Try doing that from the other side of the veil.”
“And Matt Berry is a master in that show. If he had a living familiar, which he might.”
“Where is Mad Anthony? Is he in Winesap?” Toothpick reinserts himself.
I have him fly over to the canal for obvious reasons. Set him down on the box of Budweisers. We’ll probably see that later in a different location now. I face him.
“Well you look just terrible. Is this how you see yourself?”
“Well I h’ain’t got two front teeth. Do I.”
“Knocked out in the war?” He stops talking to me. I realize war is like a football game. Monkees.
“I’m curious, Toothpick. You handed the reigns over to The Residents at some point. You, heck, you probably created the eyeball guys, or the resonance.”
“Loco,” he answered simply.
“But then you came back strong in Uncle Meatwad.”
“As you have surmised, Zapppa helped.” Just then, Zapppa passes by in a canal boat but is unable to wave hello.
“Bowie.” But Toothpick knew that was more in the future. Nick Danger, Dead Cat Island, Lynch. Jeffrie Phillips. Philadelphia.
He stared at the amber light beyond the end of the dividing canal, wondering if it had been moved from the wall to the floor.
And what it meant. Was he *finally* reaching?
On the other end, Zapppa hungrily eyes the now almost vacant Bigfoot Bar, which apparently will be up for rent soon. He’s waiting to pounce. He has the idea to bring (Dinah and) Moe’s Bar of Cassandra City to NWES Island. And explore more of that Montana/Zircon tweezers theme to himself escape the grave. I think it will happen. It’s the exact same building after all. Fate: bar exchanged for another bar. Continuity ensured.
And just in time for our first seasonal bigfoot sighting (?)
The blue eye is closed on the Moth Man as he stares out at Bottle Mound on Fishers Island. Interesting. Noting.
On to Wallytown proper to view the bell shaped rise with the crashed UFO beside it on the beach from a different angle, as it turned out.
“He won’t get off my car, Mr. Z,” complained Zapppa’s seated brother-cousin Zipppy, a well thought of Wallytown mechanic in its California half. Nevada beyond the wall is a different story, where he’s wanted for at least 3 criminal acts: grand larceny, manslaughter, murder even. “Screams he’s in love with it and wants to speak to someone named Wheeler about buying; thinks he can get a good deal that way. Thanks for coming by and helping me. It’s kind of an antique you know. It’ll cost him X amount of dollars. Could he just be talking about buying the wheels off this jalopy? And since it’s split in two pieces currently to make a novelty couch, we’d have to charge mucho extra to put it back together. Could he be… insane? Mad?”
“I’ll see what I can do,” replied Zapppa, who was indeed Mr. Z but not the one we’ve already met. Better resist call him that from now on. And we’ve already also run across someone with the tag of “Mad”. Best not to use that again as well. Let’s just go with Mercury. Mercury X. Mr. X. Because that’s what they’ll have to charge him. And let’s similarly name Zipppy Mr. Y. Although this is probably a one-off for him in this here photo-novel; we’ll stick with Zipppy, then. And Mercury X. Mercury X. Rising, let’s say, with the X silent. Like the original Star Wars movie from 1898.
They end up just deciding to give the car away for basically free. Madness. All four of ’em: W mixed in with the other three now and turning them all back into letters, shall we put it.
Wheeler (Ms. W) then returned to her well placed friends at the Annapolis MD consignment shop we saw toward the end of photo-novel 20. She had no need for money with besties like that.
Dorothy inside promptly wrote W a check for X amount of linden dollars to make up for Y and Z’s loss.
“Boy I’m stuff, phew! Thanks for the
pork chops flapjacks, Berry.”
Berry, MAT (Man About Time) thinks. That’s how he sees me currently. I can play along. “No problem [delete name].”
“What did you call me?” Toothpick truly couldn’t hear his own name being thrown back at him. It was part of the hypnosis of the role currently. He was fully Toothpick now, brother of beautiful, strong and handsome Elberta but soon to be more. The Temple of TILE wedding bells beckoned again after a brief lapse of trepidation. They’re so in sync! Of course they should get married. It was the way of the Deep South, their heritage. The Deep South of the Black Ice sim. He wonders how Boos and Bogota are getting along way down there. He needs to revisit the old homeland — hinterland. Invisible to most but straw enhanced Toothpick could see.
“I called you [delete name].”
Toothpick cocked one of his ears in MAT’s direction. “Say again?”
“Never mind that, um, Toothpick.” He really had a mild voice. Again, for someone so important. He knew a lot, being able to leap about time like he does. A man about it. But he often was a little confused; unfocused. Part and parcel of the gift.
“I am your neighbor,” MAT tested further.
“No. You live *here*” protested Toothpick, knowing that Berry moved to his Kidd Tower penthouse apartment in The City to start attending services over in the Temple of TILE and to, well, serve *him* instead of visa versa, with Master becoming, um, Slave. Sort of. Which makes Toothpick think of choppers. He points to the space where his two front teeth should be. “Lost ’em. In the war.”
MAT knows it was football and that Toothpick has a ways to go to remember who he actually is. Maybe the Monkey helmet would help.
He gives it to him the next time they eat. “What do you think this is, [delete name]?”
“Oh. A, er, helmet?” He takes it out of the box; inspects; places it over his head, even.
“Yes but what kind of ‘Head’ protection?” So mild.
He was laid down in a trench and then covered head to foote with mourning flowers but not the expensive Amazonia kind that would quickly burn up the family’s meager savings. Toothpick stood back after throwing down his own bluebell blooms, picked fresh from a Meat City field behind Francis’ club just this morning, maw beside him in her Sunday finest which was actually just her everyday rags, and hopefully soon-to-be new roommate Mr. Z beside her, complete with his continental mask laden backpack which he took most everywhere for fear of theft in this here backwoods suburb. Elberta was absent since she wasn’t suppose to see the groom the week before the wedding; Toothpick borrowed her hat to give his now sister/soon wife a type of presence.
They took one last look at blossom bedecked Uncle Luther, killed by a flu-like disease just 2 days before yesterday’s tomorrow, a stark naked Luther not wearing any overalls for the 1st time since way back in ’76 when he inherited them from his recently deceased Cousin Ferdinand, dead from a fire in the old mansion that ended the rule of the 100. Poverty: the rule of the day ever since. Some named it the Curse of the Coveralls, another word for overalls back in the day and what Uncle L. called his own, but Toothpick might have just made that up after the fact, in his head; he had an imaginative brain, almost invisible to others, or he tends to hide it behind a perpetually straw embellished mouth that he also feels distracts from his damaged teeth as he whisks it about rapidly, creating a kind of blurring effect in that area.
It was time to leave the teeny tiny cemetery next to a corner of Marwood’s scaled down Eiffel Tower and let gravedigger Big Hand Eddie do his work. Goodbye Uncle Luther. But hellooo coveralls!
Temple tales 01
Harry stares outside the picture at the Earth and sees it is good. What an oddball.
On the same floor, Baker Bloch bangs out the entire organ version of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” before raising his hands from the keyboard and realizing he can’t play. That was vampire alter ego Pitch Darkly’s talent, who hasn’t been seen in a number of photo-novels. I lose count. 18 — that’s it. Or was it 12?
Ahh, *there* he is. It was Pitch all along — should’ve know. Just had to turn the camera the other way. The lack of a reflection in the organ’s strangely placed mirror should have tipped me off. Along with, of course, the deft keyboard fingering.
“Play that other Russian ‘sky’ composer I love so much,” listening wife Mary Tyler requests. She wanted Moore. And Pitch complies by belting forth “The Rite of Spring” to her great pleasure, although early on she was knocked off her perch on the organ by the heavy vibrations. Good vibrations, though, and Mary still grooved to them while laying on the floor.
She took the opportunity to also stare at the static filled tv placed nearby she was edging closer to with each crashing chord — temple must have been tilted a bit in that direction — and fell into a trance, dreaming about a trip to the Beach. Except it was The Beech. Here we come!
“Almost got it,” Carrcassonnee adjusting MAT (Man About Time) declares hopefully but perhaps also futilely. We’ll see soon enough.
Excuse me. I have to contact someone.