Infomercial for Nerd-B-Gone

Two guys are sitting on a park bench, talking.

GUY 1: Yeah, you know, I don’t really like Battlestar Galactica.  It’s so transparent and –


ANNOUNCER:  Are you a nerd?  Do you get violently angry when your friends dislike the movie or tv show or comic book or band that you like?  Then try Nerd-B-Gone, the latest pharmaceutical that helps abate your geeky rage.

Two other guys walking down the street.

GUY 3:  Firefly is so overrated.

Guy 4 kicks Guy 3 in the groin and runs off.

GUY 4:  I try to understand my friends, but their opinions are wrong and I can’t handle it.

ANNOUNCER:  Not anymore!  With the help of Nerd-B-Gone, you too can have a normal conversation.  When a dork hears an opinion that is a dissenting view point, the opinion travels through the ears and into the brain, where is activates the rage center of the brain and sends messages to the mouth and body to create a violent reaction.  Nerd-B-Gone blocks these signals sent out from the brain, and replaces them with polite comments.

Two guys at a restaurant.

GUY 5:  Alan Moore?  I thought all comic books were about stupid superheros.

Guy 6 begins to say something, then stops.  His face turns beet red, and he begins to tremble and foam at the mouth slightly.

GUY 6: (having difficulty speaking) . . . that is . . . a valid opinion . . . how . . . how . . . thoughtful of you to say so . . .

Guy 6 passes out.

ANNOUNCER:  With Nerd-B-Gone, you can rejoin polite society!  Warning: Nerd-B-Gone may cause brain hemorrhaging, aneurysms, dry mouth, constipation, an increase in stupid and inane friends, and rectal bleeding.  Talk to your doctor today to see if Nerd-B-Gone is right for you!


The ASPS Talks Science

SPOKESPERSON: We here at ASPS want to make sure that parents understand the proper way to teach science and natural observation to their children.  Introducing science is important to a young mind and can heavily influence their view of the real wonders that are all around them.  But an improper method will not only fail to teach children, but may turn them against learning science further in their lives, as seen in the following examples.

DAUGHTER 1: Daddy, why is the sky blue?
FATHER 1: Something about the atmosphere, I don’t know, fuck you.

DAUGHTER 2: Mommy, where do babies come from?
MOTHER 1:  Penis.  Vagina.  Semen.  Then you, and the end of everything that was good and pure and fun about my life!

SON 1: Mommy, what’s two plus two?
MOTHER 2: About the amount of hours I locked you in the closet last night.

SPOKESPERSON: As you can see, not only have these parents not answered the questions posed to them by their inquisitive children, but they do so in a manner that is off-putting to subsequent questions.  Children must be encouraged to ask such questions, and must also be given answers and have them illustrated in such a way to make them easy to understand, as seen here.

SON 2: Daddy, what’s Newton’s Third Law of Motion.
The Father 2 looks at his son, pauses, and then promptly punches him in the face.

SPOKESPERSON:  As you can see, the parent both answered the child’s question while providing an accompanying example.  And the answer was so succinct that the parent did not even have to use words.  So please, remember this when considering teaching your children the science of the natural world.

TITLE CARD: Brought to by ASPS – The Association of Sloppy Parenting Styles.

“You’re 9 and you still haven’t mastered imaginary numbers? Fuck, you’re stupid boy.”

Because Donald Duck and I Share the Same Birthday . . . Which Is Today

JOE: I’ve just acquired 92 Donald Duck cartoons, which I plan to watch every single one of them multiple times.  Perhaps one day you will join me in this venture.

NIC: yes, Yes, YES!  OH GOD YES!

JOE: I’m hoping the process will provide some sage-like insight to the gradual decline of American optimism; how we all departed from a Mickey-like composure and into a Donald-like chaotic mélange of fruitless goals met with sporadic moments of suffering.

NIC: But is Donald really the appropriate character to describe the state of affairs today?  Self-centered, angry, selfish, and petty at times, yes; but there is a blaséness today.  Donald, in the end, would always step to.

JOE: Okay, so maybe Donald is the 80s and 90s, the transition of fruitlessness to which we now react with blasé.  Donald is the Grunge, or Grunge is the reaction to Donald.  Basically I think the appeal of Donald is that he’s Mickey’s antithesis, but not antagonist.   So he’s one of the 20th century’s first cases of a widely recognized antihero.  In other words: He’s the shit.

NIC: He is definitely the shit.  Disney’s first antihero for sure.  And he dresses like a sailor, so I’m sure he gets laid all the time.

JOE: So I’ve calculated and it would take us about 11 hours to watch all of them.

NIC: Sounds like a weekend well spent.  Of course, who knows what 11 straight hours of Disney cartoons will do to our brains?

JOE: Walt does . . . did . . . no, DOES.

NIC: Either he never died, or he is living in some underground bunker, his brain kept in a supercomputer, where he monitors his vast empires and waits for the day when he can strike down every current political power and take control over the entire earth.  Then it will truly be a Disneyworld.  Frankly, I cannot wait for that day, simply on the fact that I would save money on ticket prices.

Reservations Are Important

A restaurant host stands at a dais, looking at a reservation log.  Jim walks up slowly.

JIM:  Hello?

HOST:  Good Evening sir, and welcome to The Dreamscape Lounge.  I will be your host . . . .

JIM:   . . . yes?

HOST:  I’m sorry sir, but I usually draw my name from the sleeper’s subconscious, usually a parental figure, but your mind seems to be blank.

JIM:  Well, I did get pretty stoned before I nodded off . . .

HOST:  Ahhh.  Yes.  Well, in that case, we can move on to available seats.

JIM:  What do you have open?

HOST: I’m afraid there’s not much left.  We have . . . let’s see . . . we have three rooms available – Demonic clowns with chainsaws, Sleeping with your mother, and . . . hmmm, there’s not much elaboration on this one, all it says is WOLVES & FIRE.

JIM: (hesitating)  Isn’t there anything else?

HOST:  I’m afraid not sir.

JIM:  No awesome dreams where I’m Luke Skywalker?

HOST:  That dream ran out yesterday afternoon.

JIM:  How about that one dream with me, Scarlet Johannson and a stick of butter?

HOST:  A unique one, but Miss Johannson has been booked for a month.

JIM:  How about . . . eating pizza?

HOST:  I’m afraid the chef is on vacation.

JIM:  Oh.

HOST:  All that is left is what I have listed here.  You really should have reserved a dream ahead of time sir.

JIM:  I’ll try to remember that.

HOST:  I would send you to the hole of blackness, to float aimlessly until you awake, but unfortunately the hole is on the fritz again.  We’ve sent out a call to the technician, but he won’t be here until morning.

JIM:  Blast.

HOST:  So, sir . . . what will it be?

Jim ponders.  He looks around to make sure no one is watching.

JIM:  (quietly)  Ahem –  I’ll . . . I’ll have sex with my mother.

HOST:  Yes.  I would have chosen the wolves myself, but to each their own.  (he sees Jim’s shame on his face)  Don’t fret, sir.  You would be surprised just how many people choose this option, so there is no worry to feel so ashamed.  That is what dreamscapes are here for – to explore every option that is available to you.  And besides, from what I have on file here, your mother is quite an attractive woman.

JIM:  (quietly) Yes . . . yes she is . . .

HOST:  (handing Jim a key)  Here is your room key.  There will complimentary mints waiting outside your door when you are finished, along with the Memory Erasing Pill and a glass of water if you would prefer to forget your visit to this establishment tonight.

JIM:  Thank you.

HOST:  My pleasure, sir.  Have a wonderful evening, and I hope you will join us again soon here at The Dreamscape Lounge.

Jim walks into the restaurant, still looking around to make sure know one else has seen this transaction.

Hard Time Parking

A silver Toyota Camry drives up and pulls easily into the only remaining space in a completely full parking structure.  An Old Man and Old Woman, both on their way to an enjoyable dinner and movie, step out of the car. Just as they begin to walk away a team of three men wearing all black with masks and gun burst onto the scene.

SOLDIER1: (in full gear) Get back in the car!! Get back in the car!!

OLD MAN: (nonchalantly, pulling out wallet) Hold on, hold on. Here, here’s $50. That oughta let you guys buys yourselves something nice. Now leave me alone.

OLD WOMAN:  (hands in the air) Charles!

OLD MAN:  Us! Leave us alone.

SOLDIER1:  What?! We don’t want your money!

SOLDIER2:  (grabbing the wallet) Shut up.  (to the OLD WOMAN) Ma’am, you heard the man, get back in the car!

SOLDIER3 has taken position behind the car.

SOLDIER3:  There are too many of them!

OLD MAN:  I don’t see anything.

OLD WOMAN:  What’s this all about?

SOLDIER2:  They’re moving! Get ready!!

SOLDIER3:  It’s now or never!

SOLDIER1:  Sir! You need to leave the area.  Now!

OLD MAN:  What for? There’s nothing there.

SOLDIER1:  Sir! For your own safety I highly recommend you get in your vehicle and drive away!

OLD MAN:  This is ridiculous; there is nothing . . . who are you people? I want to see some ident –

SOLDIER3:  Oh shit!!

SOLDIER2:  I see one!

SOLDIER3:  Damn! He’s fast!

SOLDIER2:  I lost them!

OLD WOMAN: Honey, maybe we should just go –

OLD MAN:  No! We searched forty minutes for this spot.

SOLDIER1:  Get in the car!!

SOLDIER3:  Get over here!

SOLDIER1 moves towards SOLDIER3.

SOLDIER1:  Last chance.

OLD WOMAN:  Unlock the door Charles.

OLD MAN:  No. We got this space fair and square.

SOLDIER2:  (falls)  I’m hit! I’m hit!

OLD WOMAN:  Charles!

SOLDIER3:  I got you!

SOLDIER1:  Fall back! There’s too many!

OLD WOMAN:  Charles Woodard Smith! You open this door right now!

OLD MAN:  But honey…

OLD WOMAN:  Right now!! I want out of here!

OLD MAN:  (fiddling with keys)  I can’t get it.

OLD WOMAN:  I see them! I see them! Charles!!

SOLDIER3:  Two at our twelve! Look alive!!

OLD WOMAN:  (frantically)  Let me in! Let me in!

The OLD MAN opens the door and the OLD WOMAN opens the door and jumps in. The car peels out in reverse and speeds out of the parking lot. SOLDIER2 slowly stands up from his wound.  SOLDIER3 and SOLDIER1 watch the car race off. Then another car drives up and pulls into the parking space. They all put their guns and masks in the car and start to walk to the movie.

DRIVER:  Next time, we should just start with Plan B.


A Series of Texts During Working Hours That Makes No Earthly Sense

NIC:  I want corn bread.

JOE:  Yeah, me too.  (drags cigarette)

NIC:  Great, now I want a cigarette.

JOE:  Yeah, me too.  (drags corn bread)

NIC:  (sweeps up corn bread crumbs, rolls them into a cigarette, lights it, takes a drag) . . . . Somehow this is nothing like smoking corn bread or eating a cigarette.


Wait, that’s not right.


. . . No . . . wait . . .


. . . no, that’s right.

JOE: (empties ash tray into cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder, stirs in egg, milk, and vegetable oil, pours onto pan, places in oven preheated at 400 degrees)

NIC: Oh my.

JOE:  (waits 20-25 minutes)

NIC: (chews cigarette)  To help pass the time, you know.


JOE: Oh shit, it’s burning.

NIC:  (takes drag of burning tobaccocornloaf) Mmmmmm, now that’s what I’ve been missing.

Bonko Breaks

(Lights up.  A small table sits center stage, with a pink tablecloth with “Bonko’s Wondyful Wurld” on it, covering the table.  An alligator puppet sits on top of the table, watching and talking to the people that pass by.)

BONKO:  Great job today guys.  The show went great.  Hector!  The lighting?  Spectacular!  Phyllis!  Could you have done better with that music?  I think not!  Everything was perfect.  Now go get some rest and we’ll do it all again tomorrow.

(Tom walks up to the table with a clipboard in his hand.)

BONKO:  And Tom!  Whose the best director in the world?  Who is he?  Who he is?

TOM: Barry . . .

BONKO:  Who?  My name is Bonko, and I want to know who the best director in the whole wide world is.

TOM:  (pause, and then monotone) Me.

BONKO:  HAHAHAHA, I’d say so, hahahahaha, I’d take that to the bank and cash it, hahahahaha, I’d take that to the church and marry it, hahahaha, I’d put that in my pipe and –

TOM:  Look, Barry, how long are you going to keep doing this?

BONKO:  Who is this Barry?

TOM:  Would you stop that?

BONKO:  Stop what?

TOM:  The Bonko routine.  The show is over, you can go back to normal.

BONKO:  Routine?  I don’t understand, Bonko is my name and that is who I am.

TOM:  It’s embarrassing.

BONKO: Why Tom, what are you talking –

TOM:  Look, I know you haven’t left the building in two weeks.

BONKO:  (still in character) What do you mean?

TOM:  The guards at the gate say that they haven’t seen you leave for a while.  Others have seen you around the building after hours.

BONKO: Obviously they are mistaken.

TOM:  The janitors tell me that you walk the halls completely naked, eating snacks from the vending machines and muttering to yourself with that stupid puppet on your hand.

BONKO:  But –

TOM:  People are starting to talk Barry.  And not just the night crew.  Everybody has noticed that you smell more pungent these days.

BONKO:  Well, I’m a crocodile who lives in a swamp, what do they expect?

TOM:  Is there a problem at home?

BONKO:  The bayou?  No everything is fine there, in fact Cousin Rabbit told me this great joke the other day –

TOM:  Did Cindy throw you out again?  (pause)  Well?

BARRY: (no longer in character but still speaking through the puppet)  Yeah.

TOM:  What was it this time?

BARRY:  She said that she can’t handle living with a child anymore, that if she wanted to be sleeping next to an immature son of a bitch, she would just have a few shots and go ‘round to the playground across the street.

TOM:  Well, you’ve been through rough patches before.

BARRY: Not like this.  She had the divorce papers on the table and my stuff in garbage bags on the lawn.

TOM:  Did you sign the papers?

BARRY:  I drew hippos and daisies on them.

TOM:  Where is your stuff?

BARRY:  Still on the front lawn, I think.  Though she probably threw them away by now.

TOM:  They were already in garbage bags.

BARRY:  I took the one with my ice cream maker though.

(Barry’s other hand pops up from the table, holding a messy and not very appealing ice cream cone.)

TOM:  Where did you get the ingredients to make ice cream?

BARRY:  From the fridge in the lounge.  Would you like some?  It’s Cheetos flavor.

TOM:  No.

BARRY:  Okay.  (The hand holding the cone goes back behind the table.)

TOM:  Look, I know you are going through a hard time right now and that you are having somewhat of a break down –

BARRY:  Break down?  I’m not having –

TOM:  Let me smell your breath.

(The puppet opens its mouth and “breathes” on Tom.)

TOM:  Just what I thought; bourbon.

BARRY:  I quit drinking seven years ago Tom, are you saying I fell off the wagon?

TOM:  No, I’m saying you bought a bottle of bourbon and then poured it down your puppet’s throat.  This is not normal behavior Barry.  You have to get your life together.

BARRY:  But –

TOM:  They’ll take the show away from you Barry.

BARRY:  What?  But they can’t!  I made this show from the ground up and for six years it has been the number one children’s show in Northern Montana!  For christsakes, I’m Bonko!

TOM:  So what?  They’ll replace you with another person.

BARRY:  Another person?  The audience wouldn’t stand for it!

TOM:  Our audience can’t write their names with a crayon and still shit their pants.  And it’s not like they have actually ever seen Barry Pukowski, all they’ve seen is a puppet alligator –

BARRY:  Crocodile.

TOM:  They won’t even notice that you have been replaced with someone else.


BARRY:  But who could replace me?

TOM:  Phyllis.

BARRY:  Phyllis?!

TOM:  She moonlights as a babysitter for producers.  The kids love her.

BARRY:  But they can’t!  They can’t replace me with Phyllis, a bitch who can’t even play but three chords on a guitar!  They can’t Tom, they can’t take the show away from me . . . it’s all I have left.

TOM:  I know Barry.  They’re not kicking you off the show, but they will if you don’t get your act together.  How much money do you have on you?  Do you have enough to get into a motel?

BARRY:  Yeah, I think so.

TOM:  Okay, go check yourself into a room and get something to eat.  Take a shower, put on some clothes and take it easy.  Then we’ll figure out some temporary living arrangements till you can get back on your feet again.  We’ll take it step by step, alright?

BARRY:  (pause, and then a sniff.)  Okay.

TOM:  And the first step is taking that god damn thing off your hand.  Give it here.

(At first there is some hesitation, but the Barry relinquishes Bonko.  The puppet flops onto the table, and Tom takes it and puts it in his pocket.)

TOM:  Good.  Now go ahead and get cleaned up.  I’ll be waiting in the parking lot.

(Tom leaves.  Silence on the stage. Then another puppet, this time a dog, pops from behind the table.  He looks around.)

BARRY:  I’m not having a nervous breakdown, am I Barkly?

BARKLY:  (looking down behind the table at Barry)  No Barry, you’re as stable as a rock.  Tom is just an asshole.

BARRY:  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Lights fade to black.