Thursday, October 26, 2006

12 second audio excerpt from "Cosmic Vomit"
read by Gerold Firl

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My friend Gerold's brilliant performance of chapter 13 of my novel COSMIC VOMIT.

Part 1:

Let’s ax a different scientific... investigatory... Oh, fuck it. ¡Let’s just drop shit on these motherfuckers!

Part 2:

-Fuck Geoff too -Sappho interrupted, as the Curse-Off finally kicked into gear-.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's the first chapter of

    The Land of the Cheddar Monster Vivisectionists II

Holy shit!


My name, Amy Kramer, is one of the most ridiculous names that my parents could’ve come up with. Ridiculous because in my house we have what we call “Family Inconsequential Night”.

To Sara and Jed, our family name was the cause of their tonsillitis’s, but my parents denied this was true: “Family Inconsequential Night” is the most inconsequential night of the week”, my father would say. “It’s tradition,” my mother would add. “And I don’t want you two fucking that up with your jackass tonsillitis claims.”

And I guess they had good reason to feel that way. Sara and Jed were always videotaping our parents and always at the most inopportune moments: having sex, burro racing, lava lamp gazing, and passing judgment on one or all of us.

My parents probably saved their most bizarre behavior for night time, when everyone would dress up as monsters and go out into our neighborhood demanding candy. Everyone except George, our neutered cat.

To my sister Sara, this family was like the Cosa Nostra. Sara was 14, two years older than me, and a genuine punk-ass. I’m not shitting you. One time this guy says to her that he saw her picture in a museum - ¡A picture of a big, hairy butt! Sara didn’t waiver. She told the bully that, yes, that was a picture of her hairy butt. And, yes, she was now going to kick his puny rear end all the way to Anaheim’s Angel Stadium of Los Angeles.

My brother Jed always saved his worst behavior for “Family Inconsequential Night”. He was 10 years old, and already a total prick. He thought the idea of equality was monstrous. Not complex or even elusive - monstrous. One night I poured salt on his nocturnal erection and that, combined with his nocturnal emissions meant that he woke up to a sea of salted semen and the poor fuck from that point on was doomed to have his life rerun over and over on Court TV. My parents aren’t very gracious or supportive and all they did was sermonize about how, if we looked back on this incident, we’d all be turned to salt and then we’d miss “Family Inconsequential Night”.

On one of these inconsequential nights a very monstrous odor was coming from a note that David Miller, a boy at school, had written to me. It was a very personal smell. Jed had gone into my room, sensed the note, and decided that everyone in the world should smell it. ¡You could’ve killed me with a quesadilla!

Jed believed that he was tan, Ecuadorian and adorable. He was always dreaming of a tanning salon on Macchu Picchu. He thought that that would be the coolest thing, but he also thought that a unicorn was part of the chelonian family. Sara and I were the peg-leg and the black sheep, respectively, of the family. Our eyes saw only the truth and our lapels... didn’t see anything. Jed, in his white lapels, suspect codpiece and his purple and red penis, didn’t even pretend that he was his sisters’s brother. He made us call him Luigi, and sometimes Sara and I would show our disgust by setting him on fire.

But in the end, as is the case for most peoples of families, Family Inconsequential Night is tolerated because, come on, ¿where else do you get Ninja Habitrails, bad combovers, Sara, remote-controlled Nissan trucks, Jed, and talk of nuns and a monstrously foul odor?

Well, I’m not much better. I have a collection of sea shells that I keep in my Jar Jar Binks culottes. And that’s my idea of not only a good time but of high comedy. But at least I don’t collect burro droppings in molten lava. And, believe me, I don’t tell anyone that my brother does. Not only that, but our house is two years old and it doesn’t know how to play. I may have seashells and Jed has burro shit, but at least we know how to play. Everyone in the world knows how to do that, ¿don’t they?

And I have a cd collection that nobody in my family gets, like Bob Marley and Wu-Tang. Shit like that. If I’ve got my headphones on and I’m listening to my music, don’t tap me on the shoulder and don’t ask if I’m listening to disco music.

So, we all seem normal, but we’ve all invented our own histories: I’m a girl-adventurer who has braved many dangers. Like the time I saved a beautiful princess and then fed her to the lions.

When it comes time to write my final history, Dad says he’s going to hire H&R Block to write it.

-Amy’s going to be famous some day -I announced-. She’ll grant Halliburton its every wish and make the haves have more-. I looked like the tornado in the middle of the salad without any salad sauce-. ¡She’s gonna be George W.! -I exclaimed.

But I knew that I was talking too much, because my mouth was open. I also knew that the most unique talent in this family circus belonged to Sara and here sword-swallowing toads.

Tonight the first one actually “on” was Jed. And he was “on” fire. My parents were already sitting on the sofa, dad inhaling laughing gas through a paper cup. There was no telling how he would act when he was on that or crystal, and he was sucking down nitrous like twenty times a day. He was either as silly as a jack in the box or as unreasonable as a fascist junta. Sara was sitting with her pernicious parents, looking for something to literally set “on fire”, and she was looking at my larynx.

-¿What monstrous take on vaudeville do you have for us tonight, Jed? -My mom asked-. And it’d better not have a set of instructions with it.

-¡Nice ascot! -Sara observed.

¡Your mom wears an ascot! -Jed was saltier than a sanctimonious sea slug.

-Jed, for Fred MacMurray’s sake, please see to it that you comport your self without the help of Southern Comfort tonight -My dad mumbled, watching his hand move in front of his face-. I don’t want to throw a disc.

-She said “ascot” -Jed said, staring at Sara like she was a Porsche Carrera.

-¿Can’t you see that Dad’s trying to chill the fuck out? -I lowballed.

-I wanna chill too -Sara said-. Let’s drag George in here and strap him to the gas mask.

Sara and I usually didn’t agree on anything, but George did need a visit to twilight land. He was always scratching and hissing and furr-ball-ing and it was getting silly.

-You don’t have to thank me, girls -Mom was getting salty-, but I’ve just meted out some mob justice on your bro.

-This is Family Night -My dad had a love of the obvious-.¿Why don’t we act like a family instead of a coven of sea slugs?

-¡But we’re bored silly! -Jed exclaimed.

My dad moved his head and hunched over the nitrous oxide canister. When push came to shove, he didn’t care where his next lunch came from.

-Jed, ¿do you know what a stupendous ass you are? -He asked from behind the mask.


Jed had been pushed to the center of the room. There he had his hands tied to his pants by his mom. She always bought him enormous trousers, not because they were the style, but because he could wear them until he was 40. Jed though that his mom was beyond lame.

-Check it out... I seem to be a silly boy with hands cuffed to his pants -He announced.

-¡That’s terrific! -Sara exclaimed sarcastically.

Jed stuck his handcuffed hands into his pockets, his fingers felt for the key but came out with a jar of Silly Putty. The Silly Putty fell from his hand and rolled, or, rather, wobbled its way to his dad’s feet. Our family broke out with a tremendous applause. Jed’s face turned red and he slid onto the couch next to his dad.

-¡Such a talented family! -My dad seemed to be suggesting that there had been a tear in the time-space-reality continuum.

Jed kicked-out at George the cat as he walked by, the poor cat sailing across the living room floor like he had been shot out of a cannon.

-Now, ¿do you take tea in your tea, Amy? -My mom said-. ¿Or do you just want to do your “History of the Contras”?

-¡”The History of the Contras”! -Jed was loving this “Cheddar Monster” sequel so far.

George finally landed at Mom’s feet and she quickly topped off the humiliation with a quick pie to the cat’s chops.

It was my turn:

-I’m not doing tea or “The History of the Contras” -I announced and grabbed my ventriloquist dummy, Dennis. Sara and Jed were trying to sell talons to game birds-. ¡Hey, you both can blow me! -That stopped their talon trading. If I was going to bore someone silly I at least want their attention-. Tonight, I’m talking with Dennis -I said this to my parents, who were at least pretending to pay attention.

They both had forced smiles on their faces, but I was use to it. I’d been practicing all week with Dennis and I wanted to probe the depths of my new comedy.

-Amy is a very bad ventriloquist -That was a quote from Jed-. Her mouth doesn’t move, ¡but her labia does!

-Calm your self, Jed. You’re just jealous because Dennis is cuter than you -Sara intervened, seemingly on the side of the dummy.

I sat Dennis on my lap and pulled on the cord in his back that controlled his movements. Dennis was an old ventriloquist dummy. They didn’t even have paint when he was made. His eyes were literally white egg shells and his sweater was stolen from Orioles pitched extraordinaire Mike Cuellar in the 70’s. But I did all right with him. When my five year old cousin visited, I’d hang Dennis and then pretend that he’d risen from the dead. My cousin’d laugh her ass off... after I’d explained the humor.

And I think that most people find my act with Dennis funny, though Jed thinks that Pine Sol is funnier.

In the end, I took a deep breath, turned my self and Dennis toward my parents and did my show for them.

-So, ¿how is your tan coming along, Dennis? -I asked.

-Not very well -I hissed and moved the dummy’s mouth, for that “ew, dummy” effect.

-¿Not good, huh? ¿What went wrong?

-I think it turned me into a female fish.

-¿A “bish”? ¿Are you taking antibiotics?

-No. ¡I’m dead!

My parents looked at each other. There was a dreadful silence. And then I heard crickets chirping. I saw Jed leering and pouring salt on a grunion and pointing at it. I tried to make Dennis’s mouth move.

-¿Did the doctor give you iodine, at least?

-No. She’s an alcoholic. She gave me Ipecac.

My parents were now both snoring and there was no waking them. Jed salted another grunion and leered. Sara was drumming her fingers on the arm of the sofa. She was trying not to vomit.

-This shit doesn’t look good, ¿does it Dennis?

-¿What shit? -The dummy replied.

-The bad shit -Now I could hear Jed and Sara snoring. I hit them both over the head with Dennis.

-¡Wake up, jackasses! ¡This is the comedy! -I tried to make Dennis look presentable again-. ¿What’s my motivation?

Dennis’s head, which was formerly attached to his shoulders, went flying across the room, much like George had.

Sara and Jed woke up and started laughing to wake the dead. I started screaming to wake the parents.

-¡Daddy! ¡You promised that you’d get me a fucking functional dummy!

Jed had been so nasty I was about to set him on fire. He picked up Dennis’s head and twirled it on his finger like a basketball.

-Amy, you are one, dead sistah. ¡That was horrorible! -He hissed, trying to imitate Dennis’s voice.

-¡Damn it, Jed! -I took my head out of my hands long enough to declare my displeasure.

-¡That was horrorible! ¡That was horrible -Jed thought he knew how to goad my goat, but it was really his ugly puss and pathetic voice that pissed me off.

-¡Yeah, all right, we heard! -Mom said. She hadn’t been impressed either.

Jed had been pegged as a parrot.

-I’ve been looking at new dummies -My dad said, looking away from me and stifling a laugh-. But I don’t think the dummy is the problem.

-¿Why do you want to say that? -I asked him-. ¡Every time I talk, Dennis’s head falls off!

-Well, it’s a good thing that Dennis doesn’t talk -My mom was worse than Jed.

But they both made me want to get stuck in Lodi again.

-Instead of “Family Inconsequential Night” I’d like to call it “Night of the Same Old Bull Crap” -Sara said.

Jed jumped on what he perceived as a straight line.

-¿¡Did someone just fart?! -He said and fell off the couch, laughing.

-That’s some fucked-up shit, Sara -My mom said, looking at Jed with tears of laughter-. ¿And what would you call the Bush Administration?

-I’d call it “Cracker Barrel” -My sister announced-. That or “Assholes Only”.

-¿What do you have against George the W.? -My dad asked, bogarting the laughing gas.

-He talks like he’s reading “Curious George” from a teleprompter in Maine -Sara said and goddamn if the cat didn’t attack her-. ¿¡What is up with that fucking cat?! Can’t we just live with a photo of him instead of the real thing?

All this made me pissed off and rabid. But, I have to confess, I had to agree with Sara. It’s true, she thinks Roberto Benigni should be president and that the McBeals, Allie and Jennifer, should be fed to the vultures, but, ¡hey!, there is no justice.

-Just because we live in the same house -Sara said-. doesn’t me we inhabit the same sense of humor.

Sara wasn’t even correct when she said that we all lived in the same house. My family lived in the same house but they still acted like pissed-off tile ranchers. And I don’t think that Jed and I even breathe the same air. The sale went through, the comedy and the kitchen were thrown in for half price and Sara and my parents’s rooms were made into an otter exhibition.

I shook my head at the thought of this group of El Paso, Texans. Sara, who was older than me, had no clue about the world’s problems of being white, female, 14 and habitually revolting.

-I’m listening with my ears, but the sound is reverberating in my otter enclosure -Dad commented.

-And I’m impatient because I’m tired of eating nothing but fish, frogs and mollusks -Mom added.

Sara entered the kitchen and started methodically setting it on fire. Well, at least she wasn’t setting the cat on fire and throwing him out the window... ¡I almost called the cat police I was so horrified!