Thursday, April 16, 2009

McClawenstein Gets a Distributorship (or: I can't believe I'm still stuck to a wall listening to a slug)

"It was a cold November day in Omaha when McClawenstein met with the ninja," continued the slug. "There had been some overtures previously. It began with an exchange of letters. Clan Platypus wrote that they'd been following McClawenstein's career since his accident, thinking he had potential. They went on to say they were impressed by his recent developments in the fields of ruthlessness and cunning. They offered to contact him further, to which he assented in the way of carnival folk; by sending them a corn dog covered with nacho cheese. Then, having concluded formalities, they began to communicate by text message. I remember the frantic idiocy of it well. The ninjas would write "Got 2 kill dis guy" and McClawenstein would respond, "ZOMG! Cl@w mks txt hrd! Defenstr8 him 4 me!" And it would continue like this well into the night. It seemed every four minutes the ninja would update McClawenstein on his assassinations and training while McClawenstein would respond with his experiments and shorts bursts about life in the circus, like "Oh noes! Frs Whll Brke! 8 dead. Lol :)" This time was a bit like a teenage relationship. When McClawenstein spoke to the ninja on the phone, they would always end with the "You hang up, no you hang up" bit. They weren't really concerned with speaking to each other longer, but they were both recording the conversation and neither wanted the other to hear the tell-tale click that the bug would make when the phone was finally disconnected. McClawenstein was especially sensitive about this issue because he had been cheap about buying his spy equipment and, in order to get a better deal, he agreed to carry advertising on his bug. Every time he disconnected a recorded conversation, his phone would proudly announce, "Thank you for choosing Record-O-Dyne Industries' Spy-O-Matic 4000 to fulfil your eavesdropping needs. We realize you have a choice in top-secret spy equipment and ask that, next time you need to secretly records a phone conversation, you will think of Record-O-Dyne and our Spy-O-Matic 4000." And that may have been acceptable but it would play a horribly annoying and catchy jingle afterwards that would get stuck in McClawenstein's head, slowly driving him mad.

"In a short time, the combination of jingle madness and sheer greed caused McClawenstein to ask Clan Platypus for a meeting. The wind blew scattered snow across the desolate Nebraskan landscape. All parties were bundled up well, so I didn't see any faces. Even us slugs were wearing the tiny sweaters and matching scarves made for us by the conjoined twins. They may have been hopeless drunks, but it didn't stop them from knitting tiny snowflakes and reindeer into our sweaters. In that field, shivering despite our tiny sweaters, we slugs were well aware of the horror to come. We watched the entire deal happen. Clan Platypus offered McClawenstein a distributorship. He would sell meth anywhere along his route he pleased. If he ran into trouble, he would have a ninja army on call to take care of it. He would start out with a 15% of all that he sold, with increases in that percentage based on performance. In exchange, he would have to meet certain quotas every quarter.

'It's funny,' said McClawenstein as they finished signing the contract in blood, 'my parents spent all their lives as teachers. They scraped and struggled every day to provide for me. But now that I've killed people and agreed to sell drugs, I'm going to make more in a week than they would make in a year.'

'What's funny about that?' asked the ninja.

'Well, it's just funny to me that it's more profitable to corrupt kids than to help them.'

'More money for you' replied the ninja.

'F'in A right, more money for me!' Then McClawenstein whooped and dragged his tail back to the carnival to soak in a tub of cast-off funnel cake grease, which he did on special occasions to loosen his tail joints and make himself shiny.

"As he fell asleep in the tub, we slugs decided on our course of action. We understood that McClawenstein was becoming more evil by the day. We held out hope that he would return to the halcyon days following the accident when he was happy to have people look at him and he tried to be helpful by opening jars and various other hard-to-open storage devices for old ladies. We longed for a return to the time when he would dream of playing the castanets; when he would walk into Red Lobster just to mess with the staff a little and then leave behind a $20 tip because he felt guilty. We needed him to be good again, and we felt we could change him.

"We began with a heavy slime-writing campaign. We started that night with Don't Do It! It took us 8 full hours to write. We learned from that we should not include serifs on the letters nor should we attempt to disconnect our trails in order to make the crosses on the ts look better. Really, by strictly adhering to the stylistic aesthetics of type makers, we were just making more work for ourselves. At the time, we thought the writing would me more convincing if it were shaped like dragons chasing butterflies and surrounded with a lush forest. Instead, McClawenstein got up in the morning, wandered into the bathroom, lifted his leg to release his morning gas, saw our writing, nodded slyly, called Susan, the ticket girl, into the tent, told her 'Susan, your cash drawer was 87 cents short last night' to which Susan responded with tears and begging, and then he grabbed her head in his claws, shoved it between his legs, expelled his gas with enough force to blow Susan's hair straight back like she just stuck it out of the window of a flying airplane. As Susan vomited all over herself, McClawenstein just laughed and told us, 'Good thing you didn't let me do that in private'.

"The next day, we tried reminding him of his childhood by writing Some Pig inside of a cobweb on his shell, hoping he would connect that to the tears he cried at the end of Charlotte's Web. Instead, it just prompted him to eat a sausage, bacon and ham sandwich. Then we tried Drugs Bad, Ninjas Bad after which he listened to Run DMC's Peter Piper in which the big bad wolf is, and I quote, 'not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good'.

"We tried every message we could think of, but nothing got through to McClawenstein. At every carnival stop, he would be approached by itchy, unkempt men and women that looked like they had replaced their bones with popsicle sticks. Every one of them was wearing a rock t-shirt of some kind or another and, in eight states of stops, I swear I only saw four teeth. He would sell these people anything from giant white bricks to small white vials. The more he sold for Platypus, the more he made for himself.

"He began to run out of things to spend all his money on. He ordered a whole new tent for himself made entirely out of gold cloth and sable fur. When that was delivered, he had it filled with gold coins, in which he would spend his days swimming. When the novelty of that wore off, he had his entire shell crusted with rubies. In fits of madness, he would stand under the noon sun shouting 'Who's shinier now, Helios, you douche!?' He drank the finest wines, ate the finest caviar and slept with the highest class of prostitute that would hire themselves out to a half-man, half-lobster with deadly gas; which is a surprisingly high class of prostitute. When the life of material goods brought by wealth became boring to him, McClawenstwein dipped into his own meth supply, and that was the beginning of the end for him."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How were they not found meeting in the biggest city in Nebraska??