Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fiddle My Piddle Pump! That Cog Noggin Boy O’ Mine Left the Door Open Again, and a Steve Bannon Slipped In Like a Lubed Cheese Wheel On a Greased Dancefloor.

Over the past few years, first-person accounts of the Great Horribleness have become a publishing staple, particularly since the re-legalization of writing and the de-criminalization of reading. But few texts can provide the visceral power, the historical authenticity, and the linguistic richness of Fiddle My Piddle Pump: That Cog Noggin Boy O’ Mine Left the Door Open Again, and a Steve Bannon Slipped In Like a Lubed Cheese Wheel On a Greased Dancefloor, by Luanne McDunkle, who writes and shoplifts under the name “The Wisecrackin’ Widow of Klutterbuck County.” The excerpt below provides a vivid example of the sensibility of the woman known to many who don’t know her as “Patient Zero of the Great Bannon Pestilence of 2017-2021.”

Dear Damn Diary:

I’m thinking on torching my homestead flat to the dirt floor. This unnerved widow, her puny son, and a feral Steve Bannon are trapped inside the house together like Tri-amese twins in a wrought iron waffle puffer. Know what I mean?

I knew sure as a bejeweled Wookie’s midriff something like this would happen eventually. “For the love of a stewed wombat, Jeffrey, close the door all the way when you come into the house after twilight weed teasin’.” I got tired of hearing my own voice repeatin’ myself. Kid would just whoosh inside like he was runnin’ from a Chattanooga pistol whip. Well, Jeffrey left the door ajar one too many times. Guess what weaselin' twat sprocket snuck into the living room? A Steve Bannon. I squealed like a hog-tied orphan! ‘Dem damn things are filthy as a naughty clergyman’s spittoon, you know.

I should’ve pummeled that lil' gnard gardner with a Deutschland donker barrage post haste. No, not Jeffery! He's only eight. I'm talkin' 'bout the Steve Bannon! I’m not one to kill pests just because they’re uninvited guests. I’ve trapped enough spiders to fill Bunyan’s trousers usin’ plastic cups and scooted ‘em to Mother Nature’s druthers, and wafted as many moths out a window, too. But I’m kickin’ myself now. This pesky Steve Bannon still scurryin’ about the place has me feelin' like I wanna’ boom-biff a Nazis square in his dangle deuce.

When a Steve Bannon first scampered inside, it stopped in the mud room beside the galoshes heap. I’d once seen a picture of a Steve Bannon in an alt-right field guide so I knew exactly what that danged shit widget was. But the thing looked as scared as a runt puppy starin' down the barrel of a well-oiled meat grinder. I think back and curse 'dem pitiful eyes behind that soused 9 o' clock chin shrub. I kinda’ felt bad for the bugger at first, but how was I supposed to know ‘dem things as wily as a friendly necromaniac?  I tried to shoo it back out the door with the McDunkle family corn broom. Five minus six plus one dice. Damn thing began inchin’ toward me. I always keep a spray bottle handy in case I need to go fisticuffs with a stuttering gout farmer. So I sprayed the foul lil’ scrotum pole but good. Barely even ruffled his teats. Then it really started to move on me like a bitch, all the while snarlin’ like a virgin albino after snortin’ a codpiece full of Baby Beluga's  fever dream at an Appalachian rave party. Got me? I began backpeddlin’ real slow. I felt helpless as a ticklish amputee. The blasted Steven Bannon inched closer, and closer, and closer. “This is it,” I thought, “it’s gonna’ gnaw my grizzle nob to the bone.” But I thought quick and grabbed the New York Times off the Poang. What? You don’t believe I read the New York Times, or shop at Ikea? Then I rolled up the newspaper and boom-biffed that fudd-muckin’ Steve Bannon straight upside his crimson pockmarked coconut. It yelped as if it’d been unceremoniously introduced to the business end of Grammie Gertrude's happy hammer. Then it went scamperin' into a load bearin’ hole in the wall.

I haven't actually seen the Steve Bannon since. Doesn't mean I still ain't hot like a skinned mongoose lathered in ghost pepper brine. I know it's still in the house…somewhere. I hear its filthy little claws tappin' against the floorboards in the middle of the night. Can't sleep sometimes. I hear him rummagin' up in the attic when I'm trying to reverse-kerplunk my badoozled jigger nozzle. Hey! How else is a homemaker like me supposed to earn a livin'? Sometimes, the Steve Bannon causes so much hullabaloo behind a closet door, or at the end of a hallway, that it makes my hounds, Sparkplug and Remus J. Smudlaugh VII (named 'em after my daddy and my daddy's daddy), go batshit crazy. Hmm. Batshit crazy? Is that something folk say or did I coin a new phrase? Sorry if I lost you. Anyway, I'm sure you know what an upper-decker pecker-checker that can be when you don't have swamp fog insurance!

Listen good as ya' should. I'm tired of cleanin' up piles of Steve Bannon mud nuggets scattered about the place. I'm tired of vacuumin' molted Steve Bannon fuzz clumps outta' the drapes. Although I can’t pinpoint the rascal, this whole house fucking smells like Steve Bannon. Olly olly oxen fee you little shit. 

I gotta' get that hideous thing outta' here. It's plottin' doom. I sense it. I don’t know how, but it’s plottin’ doom. I sense it straight to the core of a chimneysweep's crotch.

I'm a mother. I gotta' save my little boy Jeffrey, and all his unborn grandchildren, from the ravages of an unchecked Steve Bannon run amok. I don't care if I gotta' stack blast candles to Gulliver's taint and 'splode this place straight to Micky Dolenz's locker. That Steve Bannon gotta' go.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Whelp, Satire Is Dead. Might As Well Take Up F*cking Noolding

I'm a clever guy. I am. But I literally cannot invent any satirical headline, either on the spot or amid an orgy of creative epiphanies, that I cannot imagine having absolutely zero chance of appearing in tomorrow’s news headlines—or on my stupid goddamn Facebook feed—regardless of whether or not the headline is true, or truthiness.

The torrent of recent national headlines on news sites—from CNN to Breitbart to Hacksaw Biff’s Truth-Be-Told Corkboard—all serve as a death knell for satire. Satire writers, in particular, have become hamstrung by contemporary reality. The introduction of "alternative facts" into the modern lexicon not only puts the proverbial final nail in satire's proverbial coffin, it also adds profuse gobs of Liquid Nails about the seams, and a 2-ton ACME anvil on the lid. For good measure, a yuge glob of shit rests on the anvil.

If I were to be confronted with any of the following headlines, I'd simply shrug my shoulders and be all like "Huh! Well, whad'ya' know!": "Rodeo Clowns Converge On Washington To Protest Department Of Novelty Suspenders Defunding", or "Trump Secretly Breeding Chainsaw-Wielding Velociraptor Overseers To 'Carefully Yet Humanely' Monitor Middle School Journalism Club", or "Study Shows Nation's Salt Trucks Woefully Unprepared For Inevitable Nuclear Winter".  Or "Steve Bannon Actually Smiles For Once In His Life".

I'm a satire writer. Well, I was a satire writer. I have come here to do two things: announce my retirement from the craft, and present empirical evidence that contradicts the edicts of the leaders of the free world …and I'm all out of empirical evidence.

So, I quit.

There's no longer any sense in staring like a dope at the hundreds of thousands of tiny black specks in the drop ceiling above my computer desk while contorting my brain to finally (finally!) summon a seedling of a satirical premise, then to write and rework and write and rework and write and rework, and maybe—if I think the finished product is worth half-a-bag-of-moldy-turnips—submit the fruits of my labor to McSweeney's, or Sherman Oaks Review of Books, or that bastion of shrewd literary farce Fox News.

Now, though? What’s the goddamn use? My life had purpose when I’d yank my mind’s ripcord and rev the ol’ idea engine until the spewing fumes made me gradually so woozy from creative output that I’d eventually become high as a gun junkie dry-humping a never-fired Winchester 30-06 on Appalachian prom night. Good times. In today’s political climate, I’d pass out indefinitely from lack of oxygen.

Rather than piss away my life doing what the elders call THINKING, I figure I might as well take up fucking noodling instead. Yeah, that's right…noodling: fishing for catfish with bare fucking hands by sticking them in a fucking catfish hole. I briefly considered such rousing hobbies as train surfing or handcuff collecting, but I ultimately settled on noodling. Fucking noodling.

You heard it here first, from me—I am officially no longer a satirist. I'm a noodler.

Why bother employing the literary skills I paid $50k+ to learn in a society-mandated post-high school education structure, and then gradually develop said skills via the arduous slog of trial-and-error in the 16 years since graduation when I can simply plunge my fucking arm under a rock and wait for a 39 pound flathead catfish to begin to digest my fucking forearm? Why use my natural and matured academic gift to glaze a shrewd warning to mankind with a syrupy layer of wit that the lawmakers (read: white Christian men) in the high castles aim to wring you out like a dirty rag and drink whatever soiled profits drip when I can focus my efforts into bonding with a dependable lifelong noodling partner who can spot the fuck outta’ me when I attempt to surface from twenty foot depths with a fucking mammoth thrashing catfish latched on to the very fucking hand I once used to type the aforementioned syrupy layers of wit. Why mock with wry humor the authoritative establishments which seek to mercilessly shred the fabric that binds all of humanity when I can register for the fucking Annual Okie Noodling Tournament in Pauls Valley, fucking Oklahoma, and test my chops against noodling luminaries in an activity that is, essentially, slow-punching a fucking catfish in the fucking mouth and then lugging it to an alien surface for a photo-op on a stupid fucking dock. Imagine the huge dumbass smile on my fucking face. I'll be so fucking ecstatic there’s a fucking catfish dangling from my wrist. Fuck! 

Okay. Okay.


Perhaps you too should reconsider your profession. Are you a historian? Why waste your time scrutinizing eye witness accounts of past scholars and contemplating echoing themes of civilization to identify subtle pre-WWIII red flags when you can relive the exploits of the “face of noodling” Jerry Rider on VH fucking Sespecially such ground-breaking network TV moments as when Rider fucking manhandled a whopping bullhead on Late Night with David fucking Letterman, circa 198 fucking 9. Are you a climate scientist? Why waste your time meticulously reconstructing past climates by examining ice cores and tree rings in hopes of rescuing the vast majority of the inhabitants of Earth from an agonizing sixth extinction when you can fucking noodle the living shit out of the very aquatic habitats you have dedicated your whole fucking live to saving from the same stupid species who invented such a dumb fucking sport as NOODLING? Can you read? Why squander your pathetic useless life reading books like a fucking idiot when you can deep throat catfish up to your fucking elbow instead?

Fuck words and fuck sentences and fuck story arcs about the human condition that transcend culture and time. Fuck "Moby Dick" (unless your knuckles are blowhole deep). You're living in a noodler’s world now.

If you need me, don’t bother looking in my beloved writing den, where I once basked in inspiration opposite my Dell laptop and a half-empty Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA nearby. Nope. You can find me on the muddy banks of the Muskingum River, wearin’ my newfangled cutoff jean shorts and sportin’ a tight bushy noodler ‘stache—not like ‘dem pansy hipster ‘staches all up in that new Crazy Mocha downtown.

That’s right, I fucking noodle now. And I got four-to-eight years to perfect my craft.