Monday, September 26, 2005

How to Insult Almost Any Species with One Simple Request

(for use by Homo sapiens)

“Excuse me, could you please hand me— Oh … right. You can’t.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

new additions to The Mysterious Adventures of Pancakes Dunst

Pancakes Dunst Battles the Blanket Policy!
On a class field trip to the Chrysalis Comforter Company, the cleverest girl in the world witnesses a contentious management meeting that leads to a sudden worker’s revolution. But who is the CEO so out of touch with the workforce that his decisions incite mild-mannered citizens to take up arms? A Forbes executive profile may hold some answers!

The Ghost of Elvis Has Left the Building
It’s a haunted thrill ride for Pancakes Dunst and best friend Galen! A Thanksgiving trip to Graceland turns into a spooky shindig when a poltergeist interrupts a tour of Elvis’s home. Could this dangerous otherworldly disturbance derail Graceland’s business? And why? Willie the Caretaker seems to want to help discover the truth, but Pancakes is suspicious. Does he really believe the cleverest girl in the world hasn’t seen countless reruns of Scooby Doo?

A Conspiracy of Bellhops
“That’s not my luggage,” the ambassador says, but the man in the red jacket and pillbox hat is already gone. Soon the mysterious metallic cases morph into spidery robots that bear him off to a generic lair of a generic evil mastermind. The world gasps. Will Pancakes Dunst not take action? Not when she’s advancing to the final rounds in an international chess competition. But as play proceeds, she notices the odd uniforms of the competition organizers. What up with the red jackets and pillbox hats?

Alsatian, Dalmatian, Keeshond, and Pug, LLP
The American legal system is going to the dogs! Courtrooms across the country are being overrun by canines with doctorates of law, but these litigating pups tend to turn on juries when verdicts don’t go their way. Pancakes Dunst has her day in court to bring the calamitous counsel to heel, but wait … is that her long-lost beagle Ionesco denouncing her in a press conference? And what happened to his collar? That was brand new!

Pancakes Dunst Doesn’t Have Time to Play With Dolls! Super Deluxe Edition
with two brand-new stories—
“Mullets Over Oklahoma”
“An American Sock Monkey in Francisco Franco’s House”

Saturday, September 17, 2005

somebody has an issue with thespians

Almost as soon as Pancakes handed Pastina the casting list she’d worked out for O Socialism!, she found the paper flying back into her face as a crumpled ball. Pastina stared into her friend’s not-all-that-surprised face with not-all-that-unexpected anger.

“I cannot believe you!” Pastina yelled, her hands waving above her head. “What are you thinking?”

Pancakes shrugged and tried to look bored. “What?”

“You hate Astrid Inglaterra. You cut her down all the time. You make fun of her to her face. You started a club that was dedicated only to finding new bad stuff to say about her.”

You joined it,” Pancakes pointed out.

“Because I’m your best friend, you dork,” Pastina said. “I don’t care one way or the other about her.”

“So what's the problem then? Why do you care that I cast her?”

Pastina looked skyward mock-thoughtfully. “Let’s see . . . um, one, because you never consulted me. Two, you would have totally flipped out if I tried to cast her. Three, because you’ve spent the past six years convincing me that she’s the vainest, most full-of-herself, shallowest show-off on the planet. Four, there was the time—”

“All right!” Pancakes yelled. “I get it.”

“Did I mention that you never asked me?”


“Because this isn’t the first time you’ve tried to hijack this musical. I don’t know why you have to be so hard to work with.”

“I’m sorry, Pas! I really just forgot.”

“You did not forget.”

“How can you say that?”

“Because casting Astrid as the lead in the show is a big, big thing. And you've pretty much remembered to bug me with every trivial decision along the way. It’s just when you think I might say no that you just do it first and ask forgiveness later.”

“But, Pas, she’s really good,” Pancakes said.

“I didn’t say she wasn’t good. I think I’m saying that you’re not good.”

“Fair enough,” Pancake said with a nod. “Then we’re agreed. Now, I’m not saying Astrid’s not a leech and a ninny and a bore . . . but she can hit a high C on command. And clothes fit her like she’s a dressmaker’s dummy. And her head’s so empty of any kind of original thought that she has loads of space left over to memorize lines. See? Don’t you get it, Pas?”

Pastina crossed her arms across her chest. “Get what?”

“Astrid’s the perfect actress.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Big Cheese in the Woods

Terrance had been on campus only two weeks so far this semester, but he was loving life. If he were a student, the tedium of attending classes, reading badly-copied course packets, and studying for exams might detract from the quality of his days, but he had no such obligations. With vague promises of future attendance and a plea of being “more into absorbing my world’s culture rather than merely studying its facts,” he was now entering his third semester of aimlessness.

“Good thing I’m so ruggedly handsome,” he thought to himself as he stopped along the street to admire his ruggedly handsome features in the glass in front of the display of the ruggedly handsome outfit on the ruggedly handsome mannequin in the window of the Urban Outfitters store. Terrance approved of what he saw, both in the glass and behind it. He would have to get those pants. And it looked like they might be on sale. Score.

But soon he resumed his loose-limbed and confident stride toward his destination. He had made plans to meet a group of friends for drinks, and he was now more than an hour late. Time to make a belated appearance, always leave them wanting more. Maybe tell them the story about the Duke of Wellington. That always got a laugh, maybe even a free drink or two.

Terrance realized suddenly that he was being approached by a scruffy-looking man who seemed intent on presenting him with something. Before Terrance could maneuver around him, the man swiftly opened a small, light brown valise just a foot from his face.

“Hey, dude, looking to buy a pipe?” he asked, indicating the single glass water pipe nestled atop the valise’s foam rubber–covered interior. Terrance wondered at this sales pitch. Surely it would be easier to display an array of pipes for those interested in such things. This method was just too hit-or-miss. You had to know your customer. This guy obviously didn’t.

“Got all I need,” Terrance said brusquely, though that’s not the way he himself would have described the manner of his speech. In fact, he went like this:

“So I’m like, ‘Back it up, dude!’” Terrance told his acquaintances at the bar. He took a large drink of his second microbrew beer of the hour. Everyone laughed out loud at the progression of his story. He pushed on toward its climax.

“Then I turn to him just before I go and say, ‘You’d be a lot better at selling bongs if you’d just go find some head shop and sit behind the counter!’”

The group of people around him—most of them, anyway—exploded in laughter. Terrance grinned and finished off his beer. Someone offered him another.

“Hey, Ter,” someone called to him from nearby, “why don’t you tell them the one about the Duke of Earl?”

Terrance took a long sip of his beer and waved his hand in front of him. “Hey, now, get it right. That’s the Duke of Wellington you’re talking about,” he said, and prepared for the drinks to flow until all hours. He just hoped the aftershave would hold up as well as his hair gel was.

Suddenly he thought he noticed something out of the corner of his eye and turned to get a better look. Whoa, was that waitress checking him out, or what?