City Planning: What the Bumblefuckers Want

Normanskill, NY (AP), “Just thirteen members of The Mayor’s Committee on Strategic Planning for The City of Normanskill, about a quarter of the total group, actually live in the City, with the rest making their homes in surrounding suburbs, according to an analysis by reporter V. Gina Gnome that included Bumblefuck and Normanskill County voting records, Internet-based address databases and the local telephone book.”

Wintermute: I’m a big fan of The Mayor, as you know, but this sort of behavior really frosts my donut. And not in the good way. As a longtime, tax-paying citizen of Normanskill, why in the world would I want someone from Bumblefuck County making decisions about my City’s future? What do all those people from suburbs out in Bumblefuck County actually want, anyway? A few more Starbucks to visit at lunch?

The Bumblefuckers: More parking for the two times a month we come into the city. All the cultural stuff in a nice sanitized area with no brown or poor people around. Cheap apartments for poor people that we can buy and flip a year later after having some poor, brown people repaint them for minimum wage, without benefits or social security. Maybe an indoor shopping mall. No gay people making us uncomfortable. More shows by The Dave Matthews Band, but acoustic ones in nice clean bars, so we can talk while they play. More cool nightclubs and restaurants with rope lines so we can feel exceptional when we get in. But they have to be in brightly lit areas with plentiful parking lots (we can’t parallel park, you know) and no poor, brown, gay or poor brown gay people around. In fact, when it comes to parking lots, let’s have some new deluxe “wider vehicle” spots designated for our Hummers only. You could put them where the handicapped spots are now, since no disabled people would get past the rope at our kinds of nightclubs anyway. That would pretty much do it for us. Good thing the Mayor put us on the Committee!

Wintermute: Why are you Bumblefuckers always so concerned about parking? Why, according to the Normanskill City Website, there are over 2,000 parking spots within a four block radius of the intersection of Asshat Avenue and Grand Street.

Karellen: Oh, come on, Wintermute. You know that most of those parking spots have been full since 1925. The last time I was heading downtown to the Asshat and Grand area and there was something going on at the Armory I ended up having to park up on Millard Fillmore Avenue. It’s a somewhat obvious choice, but for whatever reason (too freaky for the Suburbanites?), I didn’t have too much trouble finding a spot there. There’s always Hippie Hollow too. There’s always plenty of good parking underneath the overpass there. It’s kind of stuffy down there, though, so it’s good to leave your windows open. It’s so peaceful down there. Sometimes I just drop the kids off there and go for a walk. I need a lot of alone time, you know.

Louie Shakes: That’s right! There’s lots of nice young neighborhood people there who are willing to keep the kids entertained while you walk, and with the windows down, it’s okay to leave the kids in the car. Be sure to give the kids some money in case the ice cream truck comes while you’re gone. And leave the trunk open for them, too. They can play fort in it.

Guy Who Blocks The Flow: It is pouring down rain now, even though the sun is shining. Are the Four Horsemen sure to follow soon?

Guy Who Esplains Thins: They ditched their horses and are in motorboats now, following their yachts down the Hudson.

Pestilence: If there’s one muffuckin scratch on my yacht, Normanskill is going down with bird flu tomorrow!!

Famine: Are we there yet? I’m huuuuuuuuungry!!!!!

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Hoverounds on the Normanskill

O’Brien: As I age and get more prosperous, the idea of riding around on an electric vehicle becomes increasingly attractive to me. Not a golf cart or a hybrid Toyota Deathwagon, mind you, but something more nimble. Like a Hoveround. Those really speak to me, and they sure are well-marketed. The ending of the most famous Hoveround commercial shows two elderly women in their Hoverounds at the edge of the Grand Canyon, implying that being wheelchair bound need not limit your enjoyment of life, even of the rugged outdoors. It’s right up there with the Clapper and “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” commercials among the geriatric set. I’d do anything to look as happy as those two old ladies did.

Karellen: I never perceived that commercial that way at all, O’Brien. I saw it as two elderly women in their Hoverounds at the edge of the Grand Canyon, trying to kill themselves, and foiled once again because their Hoverounds can’t climb fences. It sucks getting old and not being able to do stuff.

Stoney Stone Stoner: Whoh, dude, I love that commercial! Except it doesn’t show how the whole story ends, with the two old ladies holding each others’ hands and gunning their Hoverounds right into the Grand Canyon, Thelma and Louise style—except they fly right over the motherfucker, because those things can HOVER! Awesome, yo! Heh! Heh heh! Heh!

Karellen: Nice reaction time, there, Stoney. I’d already delivered a punchline to O’Brien’s opening. Now what the hell are we supposed to do with this piece?

O’Brien: Perhaps we could hold a vote on which one we like better?

Wintermute: Well, I like the frustrated suicidal old ladies trying to drive their Hoverounds through the fence better than the frustrated flying suicidal old ladies. It’s more pathetic, and that makes me laugh, because I find other people’s suffering humorous.

Mustapha Mond: I concur. Trying to commit suicide and being stymied is much better than going into the canyon.

Stoney Stone Stoner: No, dude, you don’t get it . . . they don’t go INTO the canyon, they go OVER the canyon! Because those things can HOVER! That’s gotta be worth something! They’re still stymied, just in a different way! Although I have to say, brah, the imagery of them getting caught up in the fence is pretty fuckin’ funny, yo.

Mustapha Mond (Frying Stoney Stone Stoner’s brainstem like bacon): Zzzzzzzzttttttt!!!

Stoney Stone Smeagol: Sssssss . . . . pass us that remotes, precious. Is times for Mutuals of Omaha’s Wild Kingdomses, sssss. Tricksy Overdouches. Sssss.

Mustapha Mond: Yes, I definitely like the crashing into the fence version better. Although they can’t get tangled up in it, since that implies them being able to generate some speed and power. They just have to drive into it slowly, bounce off, back up just as slowly and then drive into it again, over and over, without ever making a dent. I could watch that for two hours straight, easy. Someone get me Upstate Ether Central Casting! We got a film to make!

Upstate Ether Central Casting: Aw, guys? How about we substitute the Normanskill Ravine for the Grand Canyon, huh? We got some budget issues here, you know?

Wintermute: Yeah, the Normanskill could work. Because then if they did, by chance, break through and plummet over the edge, it still might not kill them. That really ups the impotence factor a lot.

Karellen: Speaking of impotence, what about if we replace the old ladies with O’Brien? He already wants to have a Hoveround, so that eliminates the need to convince him to sit in one. And old ladies can be tough to work with . . .

Wintermute: There’s got to be two of them on the Hoverounds, though. So they can get out of synch, and as one backs up, the other hits the fence, and you would keep thinking “Oh my God, if they could just hit the fence at the same time, then they might actually break through!” Only when they do get their shit lined up that way, it still doesn’t make a difference. So who should drive the other Hoveround, if we put O’Brien in one?

O’Brien: Thanks, guys! That would be great! I always wanted to be in the movies!

Karellen: Oh, Christ, O’Brien, this isn’t supposed to make you happy. So you’re out, you idiot. Now we need two Hoveround pilots . . .

Mustapha Mond: I’ve got it!!! How about our two favorite gibbering junkie hobo types, Louie Shakes and Ol’ Dirty Piece of Strange! We could get them obliterated on the drugs of their choices, and then send ‘em into the fence. You know we’d get some great ravings for dialog out of that, too. Oh, man. I know I would pay Hoyt’s movie ticket and snack prices to watch 90 minutes of footage of Ol’ Dirty and Louie Shakes stoned on Hoverounds trying to drive through a fence into the Normanskill.

Stoney Stone Smeagol: Hehs! Hehs hehs! Ssss hehs!! Thats would be the funniestsests, preciouses. Smeagol would put down remotes and leaves sofa to watch that one with nice, funny, friendly Overdouches. Yes!! Happy Smeagols! See him capers as Hoveroundses crashes into fences! Hehs! Hehs hehs, Smeagol says!

Karellen: See? The stoner crowd would totally eat that up! Brilliant, Mustapha! And that wouldn’t take much, from a budget standpoint: $150 for camera rental, $100 for film, $250 for film processing, $300 for the rental of two Hoverounds, $100 for enough hootch and rock to render Ol’ Dirty and Louie Shakes raving looney tunes. Results? Priceless!!

Upstate Ether Central Casting: Uh, guys? How about we go digital, and borrow the camera, to save a little scratch, huh? Film and processing is expensive, you know? And that hand-held video look is all the rage now among the Pretentious Arthaus Klown set anyway. This could be the next “Blair Witch Project,” and would leave us some margin on the books. Can we go that route, big guys? Thanks for considering it! You’re the best!

Stoney Stone Smeagol: Sssss! Yesss! Digitals!!! That’s leaves more money for preciouses weeeeeeeds!! Yes!! Sees Smeagol caperses with delightssses! Hehs hehs!

Karellen: Well, I guess that would work, what with the skyrocketing price of good weed and whatnot. Remember when we were kids and there were such things as nickel bags? Those were the days, when you could collect your tips from your paper route every week and go buy a little bag to get you warm after hauling all the Sunday papers. Kids just don’t have it the same these days. Although, I guess looking back, a high school diploma might have been worth more than all of those nickel bags.

Wintermute: I can remember a period in my life at college where pot was so plentiful people were turning down anything that was “shake” (broken bud with bits of stem and seeds mixed in). “I only smoke bud” meant you were high class, a real connoisseur.

O’Brien: Say, that reminds me, does anyone know what a “lid” is, in pot terms? An older relative of mine used to refer to buying “lids”, but I never knew what he was talking about.

Guy Who Esplains Thins: A lid is the round, flattish thing you cover a pot with to prevent food or water from splashing out while cooking.

Stoney Stone Smeagol: Ssssss! Noes!! Fat, stupid Guy Who Esplianses Thins is always wrongses! Stupid, fats Guy!! Ssss!! A lidses is amounts of loose weeds that Smeagol can hold in lid of Prince Albertses tobacco canses. Ssss!! What stupid, fat Guy is describeseses is not lidsesesses. What stupid, fat Guy describes is called ELP recordses!!!

O’Brien: Hmmm . . . I’ve heard of EP and LP records, but what’s an ELP record?

Karellen: It means “Extra Long Play” record. Or at least it feels that way when you’re forced to listen to it, and you can’t get your Hoveround through the fence to escape.

About the Overlords

Guy Who Esplains Thins: While those who do not study history may be doomed to repeat it, those who do study history will fare no better, because they don’t control history, The Overlords do. Since before time dawned, these immensely powerful beings have plucked substance from the void, crafting and controlling the web within which we puny mortals writhe into being, shriek, spawn and die. The ancients attempted to describe their characters and name them–Iamblichus, Yaldabaoth, Achamoth, Ahriman, and the like–but their true forms and powers have always been beyond human comprehension, and those who managed, through arcane black arts and spells, to glimpse them most closely either died from the exposure, or spent their remaining days and years as gibbering, shuddering, soul-burnt wrecks for their efforts.

At some point, this started to bum The Overlords out. Not because they felt bad for the humans they cooked like bacon, but just because they’d pretty much run through every possible joke, prank, and vignette within which they could constructively insert a catatonic mystic or twitching shaman for entertainment value. And eternity is a long time to be bored. So after centuries of frying human brainstems, it came to pass that The Overlords decided that they might like to interact directly with their puny mortal charges without inflicting such fundamental damage, the better to amuse themselves. They moved over the waters, as they were wont to do, and came upon an isolated, forgotten, and depraved primitive tribe living along what is now known as the Normanskill in Upstate New York. There they took the forms of giant sex toys, some horse-like, some goat-themed, some like little fishies, and scattered themselves about the forests and trails, where they were discovered by the lascivious women-folk of the Normanskill nation, and in this way, their divine seeds were placed within the wombs of mortal women.

Time passed, as it is wont to do, and the divine spawn of The Overlords chewed their ways out of their mothers’ bellies, since they still hadn’t quite gotten the hang of the “don’t kill the humans, they’re more fun when they’re alive” bit. The divine Overlord offspring lived among the primitive Normanskillers, immortal, yet subject to the pleasures and pains (but mostly pleasures) associated with their new corporeal forms. There they waited, patiently, pulling strings and shaking webs, the ripples of their activities drifting down stream and river and across oceans, setting in motion movements that slowly, inexorably drew members of the more advanced civilizations (that their celestial forefathers had nurtured in Europe and Asia) toward their manifest American destinies. They also had lots of vigorous sex with the Normanskiller women, which freed their cuckolded menfolk to work on more important things, like the development of sanitary plumbing and wireless communication networks.

The first European contact with the relics of the corporeal Overlords occurred in 1137, when Snorri Yergmannsson, a fisherman, was blown to sea by a sudden storm off the coast of the Norwegian settlement in Vinland. After weeks adrift, living on urine and cod, Snorri sighted land, and (assuming he’d found either Markland, Greenland or Iceland), he followed the coast westward, seeking safe harbor or civilization. Finding himself at the mouth of a great river estuary, he turned northward, entering a lush land filled with beavers, giant elms, towering river escarpments and the abandoned remains of a shockingly advanced native civilization.

Finally realizing that he wasn’t in West Scandinavia anymore, Snorri gathered relics from the Normanskill settlement (for, indeed, he had followed the Hudson all the way to the fens below the Mohawk), turned back south, and eventually made his way back to Vinland, from whence his collected relics returned in bits and bits to his people’s European homeland. For his extraordinary feats of exploration and seamanship, Snorri was castrated and had his guts pulled out through his rectum in front of the Ljokisfjorfur Mead Hall in Seydisfekyureyri, because nobody likes a showoff, not even Vikings. One of the artifacts he found was a parchment scroll in a strange and fabulous language, that defied the efforts of the best code-breakers and linguists until computer-assisted cryptographic techniques were developed in the mid-20th Century. As it came to pass, the Yergmannsson Codex documented the myth of creation embraced by the Normanskill people. It is reproduced in its entirety below:

the normanskillers floated up the river in their doublewide house boats, found a sandy spot on an oxbow shore lined with pines and with beavers, pulled their boats from the water, set them on cinder blocks in a circle, posted watch around the perimeter as the children chased their goats.

they sent search parties into the woods, where they found overlord grocery stores, bait and tackle shops and feed lots, storage units and satellite dish farms, they traded goats for cheese, and casseroles for tractors, grew corn, squash and apples, sent their children to learn the school languages and abducted local whores.

the rate of births there was generally double the rate of deaths, more or less, occasional skirmishes on the oxbow kept the population in proper check, and in due time the story of the long journey up the river was mythologized, and they would ceremonially wade into the water to sing, pray and confess.

the circle of beached doublewide trailers had grown into a bustling town, with its own feed lots and pharmacies, storage unit farms and satellite dishes, and wireless broadcasting cabals that spread their leaders’ words and the weather, until that fateful autumn when hurricane malachi knocked the whole place down,

and the normanskillers floated down the river in the flotsam of their oxbow city, sacks of rice stained purple by blueberries strapped to the sides of their tractors, carports and campers carried downstream over rapids and out into the ocean, and the overlords were largely lost to history, which we must regard as quite the pity

But were the corporeal Overlords truly lost to history? Of course they weren’t, you idiot. Haven’t you been paying attention? The Overlords make history. They’d just grown bored of their original Normanskiller hosts fairly quickly, so they sent them packing down river with an assist from a little weather-based jiggerypokery, where they could later be massacred by the Dutch, the English, and the Smallpox, to the great and lasting amusement of their former benefactors, who generally like nothing more than a boot to the face, forever. The departure of the aboriginal Normanskillers left the Overlords alone Upstate, in their secret underground bunkers and treehouses, filled with vapors and ethers, where they have romped and stomped and humped and pumped for centuries now, the corporeal conduits of the genesis urge.

Occasionally, the Overlords have found it entertaining to inspire creative human beings to evoke their archetypes in art, literature and film, to better allow humans to comprehend who and what they are. It is for this reason that you may think you know Mustpha Mond from Brave New World, or O’Brien from 1984, or Karellen from Childhood’s End, or Wintermute from that piece of shit Neuromancer. But these are but fictitious doppelgangers, images seen through mirrors darkly, and with Penthouse Vaseline filters smudged across their surfaces.

Upstate Ether is the real Earthly home of the Overlords. So behave here, lest they cook your brainstem, just because they can. And because they still find it amusing, all these centuries on.

Federalism Along the Normanskill

Normanskiller: Me and the kids just got back from dumping some old tires and used oil in the Normanskill ravine! Now, we’re gonna take the afternoon off to spend some live free or die quality time together, just to put the finger in the face of the Patroon, who’s been sniffing around at the gate again, looking for his tithe. I’m so sick of him and his ilk and their crazy redistributionist schemes! They better watch their backs, ‘cause some day, we’ll come for them!!

Patroon Pieter Van Vreebenhuyck: There there, my little man, my little Normanskiller. Facts are facts, and you owe me for working my land fair and square. Pay me, or I’ll send a tax man with an itchy trigger finger, a man who likes to make his rounds at night. Because he has another job during the day, trying to fight back the Giant Hogweed that threatens every ditch between here and Boght Corners. He’s a nice little fellow. From Ghent.

Normanskiller: Oh yes, you send that tax man, and I’ll put a hole the size of West Troy in him as soon as he sets foot on my holdings. You can’t tax the land! It’s like trying to put a tax on the sun! How you gonna squeeze a dollar out of that? So send him on over. I’m ready.

Patroon Pieter Van Vreebenhuyck: That makes no sense at all, my gentle Normanskiller. Why, you’re starting to sound like one of those crazed Calico Indians, or, even worse, a New Scotlander! You know how it all works: I’ll just take some crops or meat or something. Come on. You know that’s my acreage you’re on. You signed a contract, so now pay up. There’s free land out west if you’re man enough to make the journey, and can farm it for a few years while fending off real Indians and other people out to do you harm. But we don’t have those rules here on the Normanskill. So pay up!

Guy Who Blocks the Flow: Hey, what has become of Upstate Ether? Now we’re in some sort of wacked historical hallucination?

DeWitt Clinton: Welcome to the new Upstate Ether, Guy Who Blocks the Flow! Nice to meet you! I’m one-time New York State governor Dewitt Clinton, prime proponent of the construction of the Erie Canal, that mighty channel of commerce that now runs from Waterford to Tonawanda, and is known as the “Barge Canal.”

Patroon Pieter Van Vreebenhuyck: Mister Clinton, Governor. Please, don’t mind the populists that sprout up occasionally here. We’re generally good folk, with a love for great men of politics like yourself. I know we have some mutual friends, Buffalonians, building a harbor that’ll bring more commerce our way. Oh how rude of me! Brandy and a cigar for you, Governor? This fine bottle traveled with me from Holland about 10 years back. It’s a fine malt. Why don’t we step into the back here where we might have a little more . . . privacy. Shall we?

Normanskiller (shouting from the crowd): DeWitt Clinton is a federalist whore!

DeWitt Clinton: Federalist whore, am I? Well I’d like to see how you Normanskill populists would fare without the support and protection of the mighty United States of America!

Normanskiller: We’d be fat, stoned and happy, dumping old tires and used oil into the Normanskill, the way our parents and their parents before them did! But now, with taxes to the Patroon, and taxes to the state, and taxes to the Feds, it’s all we can do to buy any tires and oil in the first place, much less to have extras to dump. You’ve destroyed our way of life!

DeWitt Clinton: And a jolly good thing that we did, you inbred, ditchweed yokel. There’d be no progress in this great land of ours if you and your kind were left to breed freely and make decisions about anything other than what type of offal you’re going to stuff into your pie holes from meal to meal. You, sir, disgust me. Good day!

Normanskiller: Clinton, you bastard, I know you’re a dueling man who put two bullets in a man’s leg a few years back. We could stand here and bark at each other like angry dogs, but why not settle our dispute in a matter of moments, the way that men do? Shall we say coon rifles at dawn?

DeWitt Clinton (pulls pistol from waistcoat, pumps four slugs into Normanskiller): I said, sir, GOOD DAY!

Normsankiller: I die! And I blame federalism along the Normanskill!

DeWitt Clinton: Now, about that brandy and cigar, Patroon Pieter . . .

Patroon Pieter Van Vreebenhuyck: Right this way, Mister Governor, right this way.

Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 3:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Upstate Ether Energy Drinks

Mustapha Mond: I’m thinking that I might need to start buying and drinking some of those fancy new energy drinks when I’m working down at World State headquarters. I find that by mid-afternoon, every day, I start to feel sort of fatigued and out of it, and I hate to drink another cup of coffee, because afternoon coffee that’s been sitting on the break room brewer all day gives you that awful coffee breath. You know, like sausage and cigarettes. Are the energy drinks sweet, tasty, and good for the breath? In case I need to hit on the mail room clerks unexpectedly or something?

Wintermute: Monster is the worst tasting energy drink ever. Sobe tears your empty stomach to shreds. Red Bull is still the king, and it goes really, really well with Good n’ Plenty’s. Although I will say that Monster does seem easiest on the stomach. Sobe just gives you a horrible stomach ache. It’s unbearable. Red Bull is alright going down, but once in a while you puke it back up. I keep thinking I should just make my own energy drink. It can’t be too difficult based on the number of them out there. I’d have plenty of room in my basement tunnels for an energy drink brewery, if I could just utilize the space better.

Mustapha Mond: What would you call your energy drink?

Wintermute: I dunno. “Lunch,” maybe?

Mustapha Mond: No, it would have to have a better name than that if you’re going to sell it to the sleepy sheep out there. Something like “Bathtub Ginger” or “Scumbag Pina Colada.”

Karellen: Those sound more like flavors than a product line. The product itself would have to be called something like, oh, I dunno, “Upstate Ethers” or something. I’d buy that, even though the only energy drink I’ve ever gone for thus far was the Budweiser one. Beer and energy in a single can. It was magical.

Wintermute: Red Bull is like beer. You don’t want anything else in the stomach to fuck it up, and if possible you should try to get it all down in three or four gulps. If you don’t have Ambien, though, you can’t drink it after 6:00 PM. Otherwise, you will have to hope that two Benadryl is enough to get you to sleep, and if it’s not, then you’re fucked entirely. There’s no worse feeling than being up all night after taking a couple of Benadryl and then sitting at a desk the next day. You’re tired and anxious all at the same time. Actually, I’m sure there are worse feelings, like being punked in jail and tasting another man’s johnson and your own ass all at the same time. But I’m not counting that because I’m pretty sure I won’t have to go there again.

Mustapha Mond: Well, “Another Man’s Johnson and Your Own Ass” would an interesting new flavor of Upstate Ethers, that’s for sure.

Wintermute: Today I was on my way to work while all cranked out and shaky on Red Bulls and Benadryl, and I was probably doing 45 miles per hour up Millard Fillmore Avenue when I saw the light at South Asshat turning yellow, then red, so I punched it. But then I saw a cop turning into the intersection, so I slammed on the brakes right under the light and squealed the tires as I came to a stop right in front of him. At the same time, I stalled the car. The cop just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders like I was a fucking imbecile. I assumed I’d get tickets for speeding, running a red light and no seat belt but he didn’t do a fucking thing. He seemed more pissed that I was slowing down his trip to Dickie’s Donuts. God bless the Normanskill Police Department! Now: who’s got one of those “Sausage and Cigarette” flavored Upstate Ethers for me? I got work to do!

Published in: on January 2, 2010 at 12:37 am  Leave a Comment