Peering back through my older posts (for inspiration) I chanced upon one from Feb 2016. Reading it, I realised that during the intervening three and a half years, nothing has changed. Here it is again…
Technically I know nothing of either. I don’t own an e-reader (despite the fact that I write e-books). But I know what I like. I like the e-reader whose users buy my e-books. So, having said that, I checked out my latest sales figures at Lulu (always a bit delayed – don’t know why), and it was business as usual. Nook users buy – the extremely nicely priced – ‘Silent Apocalypse‘ and ‘Silent Resistance‘ at Barnes & Noble: Kindle users download the free copies of ‘Junior Earplug Adventures’ from Amazon. Well what can you say – except, “Come on, guys; buck the trend!” Actually I take that back: Nook users just keep on doing what you’re doing.
P.S If you’re perusing, don’t forget to check out this: Barnes & Noble show the first few pages of every book as a taster…
I haven’t always written earplug stories, you know. Once upon a time I created a literary world that was very rude indeed. This could be the time to remind ourselves that it was stupendously wonderful in every way. How about a little snippet of my world-famous Hamster-Fiction, huh? Maybe this wondrous tome?
Well here goes. But first I should set the scene. A soul group has been thrown out of the desert town of Gonad Gulch – principally because of their song’s subject matter. In the fracas, the lead singer has taken a blow to the side of his head from a house brick – and is dumped in the aforementioned desert by angry townsfolk…
It was obviously a while later, and the sun was just beginning to peek above the distant hills, when Chuck finally regained consciousness. Looking around all he could see was an assortment of broken musical instruments and the sides of a very deep ditch. He was confused upon thirteen different levels – all of them subterranean. It was only when someone called his name that he finally looked upwards – where he could see his three tenors – Adolf Pemberton, Minkles Forgetmenot, and Turbine Hall – all looking down at him as if from high vantage point close to hamster-heaven.
“Hey, guys, are you mutha-fluffers dead or something?” he inquired.
Adolf Pemberton was the first to speak…
“No, bro – but you’re gonna wish that your sad ass was.”
Alarm coursed through the fabric of Chuck’s brain as though a miniscule electric eel had been inserted into his rectum. “What’s going down, baby?” he asked nervously.
Minkles Forgetmenot was clearly angry. “You blew it again – that’s what ya did.” He roared in way that Chuck never imagined his second tenor capable – and was grateful that he’d never done it on stage: He might well have replaced Chuck as lead singer – and that would have been soul-destroying.
“Oh I don’t know…” Turbine Hall tried most male-hamsterly to find positive attributes in their generally negative situation, “…I think some of the blame can be placed at the door of our tour manager. He should never have booked us into a religious town like Gonad Gulch. It was asking for trouble.”
“Shut your goddamned mouth.” Minkles turned his fury upon the third tenor. Then Chuck winced once more when it swung back in his direction…
“You and your dumb-ass lyrics, Chuck.” Minkles managed to moderate his tone slightly. “Sure your melodies are great….”
“And his bass-lines throb like no one else’s.” Turbine tried interrupting.
“But the subjects of your songs…” Minkles continued – his shoulders sagging in despair.
“They’re about ass holes, man.” Adolf said the words that Minkles was trying to avoid. “My Farts Don’t Stink: What kind’a title is that? The chicks just don’t dig it.”
“People don’t forget them though.” Turbine chipped in. “They’re very memorable.”
“No they don’t, ya dumb ass.” Adolf agreed. “They remember them too goddamned well. They get us banned from every town that we ever visit.”
“Your songs stink, Chuck.” Minkles began to turn away from the upper edge of the ditch. He turned back for a moment. “And here’s a news-flash, bro: Your farts do too.”
With that Adolf and Minkles disappeared from Chuck’s view.
Only Turbine remained. “Fruity, Chuck.” He said as he smiled eagerly. “Your farts smell fruity. I happen to like fruity.”
Chuck reached up. “Bro, shut the fluff up.” He said. “But first get me outta here!”
It was later still, and now the desert sun parched the earth upon which the four hamsters lay beneath the shade of the only rhubarb tree for as far as the eye could see. Adolf and Minkles were back on talking terms with Chuck, but they had nothing to say. And what verbiage Turbine could muster was largely ignored.
“So where’s the band?” Chuck finally managed.
“Quit.” Minkles grunted.
Chuck was confused. “Out here in the middle of the mutha-fluffin’ desert? Sho-nuf sounds unreal to this dude.”
“A passing newt-wrestling circus offered the brass section jobs as apprentice tadpole trainers.” Turbine informed him, “And the rhythm section caught a bus to Prairie Dog City – where they fancied being Office Buggers.”
For a fleeting moment Chuck thought that his ears were malfunctioning. But when Turbine repeated himself verbatim, he realized that his former band-members were far more stupid than he had ever given them credit for. No one but the most desperate of individuals took a job in Prairie Dog City. The prairie dogs that lived there were known for mistreating their staff in the most unfettered fashion imaginable, and treating hamsters in particular with utter disdain.
“You’re shitting me.” He breathed in almost-disbelief, “Those guys must have their brains scrambled or something. And Office Buggers? There sho-nuf aint a no more demeaning job in all of North America. Man – they gotta be desperate or something.”
“Yeah,” Minkles grumbled, “desperate to avoid being thrown out of every town in the west.”
“Oh I don’t suppose being an Office Bugger is half as bad as it’s made out to be.” Turbine said cheerily.
“Could you take it?” Adolf Pemberton growled from the opposite side of the rhubarb tree.
Turbine stopped being cheery. “I’m not sure.” He said, “What does the job entail?”
Well Minkles (being an expert upon the subject) proceeded to give a brief history of the position of Office Bugger in society in general, and in Prairie Dog City in particular. And it didn’t make easy listening.
Turbine turned pale beneath his facial fur, and even cast off his huge afro wig, and used it to mop up the cold sweat that erupted all over his body.
“You mean p-p-people actually do that?” he stammered, “They actually employ staff whose job is merely to be the butt of verbal abuse? That’s just so…”
He was lost for words, so Chuck said it for him, “Mutha-fluffin uncivilized? You got that right, bro.”
“But why are they called Office Buggers?” Turbine needed clarification of a couple of points. “If all the abuse is verbal, then should I assume that no anal sex whatsoever is involved?”
“Right on, man.” Minkles almost smiled, but the sight of Turbine’s sweaty afro lying in the parched desert dirt made his grim countenance return with a vengeance, “They don’t even get no decent rogering from behind inside the pencil cupboard. Folks just yell at ‘em. They yell things like – ‘Get your butt over here, ya little bugger!’ and ‘Why don’t you bugger off you ugly bastard!’ And that aint fun.”
“Yeah,” Adolf still growled, “and ‘Go to buggery, ya useless piece of shit!’ and crap like that.”
Clearly Turbine could see a theme manifesting itself in these verbal utterances. “They use the word ‘bugger’ a lot, don’t they?” He said – less as a question: More as a statement.
“Hence ‘Office Buggers’.” Chuck said as he too removed his afro, and sighed deeply with relief.
But still Turbine required more clarification. “So what’s so particularly awful about being an Office Bugger in Prairie Dog City? I mean – what could be worse than being told to bugger-off on a regular basis? It’s so demeaning.”
“In Prairie Dog City,” Minkles explained, “they call them real rude things. Things like…well I aint sayin’ the words coz they catch in my throat. If I say ‘em – well then I’ll most probably end up in Hamster Hell – and that just aint my bag, man. Can you dig it?”
Turbine could indeed ‘dig it’. He also grew very angry indeed – which was most out of character for him. But he hated injustice even more than his mother’s hot poultices that she used to administer to his private parts when he was a boy.
“I tell you what…” he began.
But he got no further because he was interrupted by the arrival overhead of a super-advanced dirigible that was coated in a glittery foil and bedecked with flashing lights.
A voice called to them from a quickly improvised cardboard megaphone. “Hey, you guys down there: Aren’t you Guff-Master Chuck and the Titillating Tonsils? We’re
from the secret scientific, quasi-military, base known as Area Ninety-Nine. It gets really boring after nine o’clock at night: How about you give us a concert or two. We can pay you. We even have our own funk musicians.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2013
There, that wasn’t bad at all. Was it? As usual the e-book is available just about everywhere – including those usual places mentioned on the side bar and beneath the header. So if you feel tempted to see how this tale panned out, you know what to do,
Instead call me Dickhead! Why? Because I forgot to include a link in my last post. A link to the first episode of…
So here is the correction. Visit HERE for Part one of The Missing. Job done. Now you can call me Tooty again.
Yes, this is the last chance to enjoy the serialized version of The Missing, before it gets deleted. Reason? Running out of room on this blog. So take a look back at this story…
…before it’s too late. Of course, you could always buy the e-book version. It’s not expensive, and it’s better too.