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“Just for Laughs” by Liam Moran

            I swear when I told Pretty-boy Pete this, he nearly lost his shit.

            My dad’s all stern—he’s got those frown lines pronounced so you know he’s serious—and he says to me, “What happened to you? You were at the top of your class in high school. You were always on honor roll. You were always on the dean’s list. And now here you are, drinking, drugging, driving drunk. What happened to your brain?”

            I smile—I can’t help but smile—and I say, “It drowned in bourbon.” And I just laugh my ass off. My dad keeps trying to lecture me and I just laugh louder and louder.

            So when I tell my buddy Pete this—I always do—he busts a big old gut and he says, “Ain’t that a fuckin’ hoot.”

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            That’s what it was—our catch phrase. Any time we found something entertaining, the phrase ‘Ain’t that a fuckin’ hoot’ was sure to follow. It had such a dirty twang to it. It sounded like one of those phrases that some greaseball says in some old-time seventies or eighties movie. So it just kind of stuck. You know those little inside jokes among friends. Try to explain it to someone else, and people will look at you all mouth agape and stupid; but say it to your best buddy, well, you two will be rolling on the floor.

            You see, we were able to see what nobody else could see. Pete ain’t too bright, but he at least accepted this truth: the world’s a fucking joke. Nothing more. It’s just a joke, and if you’re not laughing, then why the hell even come to the comedy club. You stop laughing for more than a day: well, you oughta end it right there. Slit your wrists and exit stage right.

            You see, Pretty-boy Pete got his nickname for his looks, if you’re too stupid to figure that out on your own. He ain’t got a lot upstairs, but his looks were enough to get his dick wet. And that’s where he got his laughs. Find one slut, do what you need, then move onto the next. I swear, he went through more cases of chlamydia than one of those sniveling twerps with bad allergies goes through tissues. He used to have the nickname ‘Penicillin Pete’ for a while, but he didn’t like it. So I had my laughs and then backed off.

            See, I wasn’t so lucky. Sure, I wasn’t fuck-ugly or anything, but I had to work for it. I’ve had a couple of fine pieces of tail, but I really had to work the game. It’s hard, but a little manipulation goes a long way.

            So another night I come home so shitfaced that I bump into my pop’s car. Rich schmuck paid for a brand new one, so you bet your ass he’s fuming. He’s shouting at me, “What the hell is wrong with you?! Are you fucking dense?!” It took all I could muster to stifle my laughter.

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            So then he calms down, and begins his old lecture again. “What happened to you?” He’s all nauseatingly sincere about it too. I can’t decide whether I should bust a gut or spew. “You were at the top of your class in high school…” You know where this is going. He must have given me this speech about a hundred times, so I zone out until it’s my turn. Then he says my cue, “What happened to your brain?”

            “It got lost on its last acid trip,” I belt out and roar another round of laughter. Man, I had a new response for every time.

            Then he starts slapping me, but I can’t help it. I can’t stop laughing. And his feeble attempt to stop me only adds to the hilarity.

            I tell Pretty-boy Pete that one and he laughs so hard, the bourbon shoots straight out of his nose. Then he says, “Ain’t that a fuckin’ hoot.” And we laugh some more.

            I’m twenty-four and I see what nobody else sees. Everyone’s breaking their backs trying to put food on the table. Dipshits who forgot to wear a rubber have children to feed. Everyone’s wasting their time working and growing up, when they miss out on the fun. Meanwhile, I’m cruising down the road with a bottle in my hand laughing my ass off.

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            So this one time I’m in the car with Pete. He’s got one spliff in his mouth and one tucked behind his ear, and he’s taking huge rips off it. The road’s hard to see with the smoke accumulating on the dashboard. So I roll down the window, take a swig of Jim Beam, and press down on the pedal.

            “Hey,” I say to Pete, “hold this and give me a hit.” I hand him the bottle and he gives me the joint.

            I take a good long rip. Then I take another. Then another.

            “Quit fuckin’ hoggin’ it,” Pete complains.

            “You got one tucked behind your ear,” I tell him.

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            “Yeah, but it’s my weed,” he says.

            “Oh, who gives a shit?” I say.

            “Give it, man,” he says.

            I blow out a cloud and concede, “Fine, you fucking fiend,” then I hand him back the joint.

            We drive a bit longer and I feel the cold wind whip my sweaty scalp. The pot blows in my face as if Pretty-boy Pete is trying to tempt me with it. Fucking asshole. I take another swig of bourbon.

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            “Say, know what we should do?” I say to Pete.

            “What?” he says.

            “Let’s go fuck up Ron’s car,” I say.

            You see, Ron’s this asshole we used to know. He always used to pick fights with me for no reason at all. He just had some grudge against me. I don’t know why he singled me out, but I ain’t somebody who forgives easy.

            “Ron?” Pete asks and I nod. “Why Ron? I haven’t heard from him in years.”

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            “You got something better to do?” I raise an eyebrow.

            He shrugs and says, “Whatever.”

            He didn’t seem too enthusiastic at first, but the moment we took the baseball bats out of the trunk, he looked like a kid in a candy shop. We fucked that car up: broke his tail lights, busted his hood, shattered his windows; ain’t nothing in that piece of shit mobile was untouched.

            We start driving back fast, fleeing the scene, just cracking up. “Ain’t that a fuckin’ hoot,” Pete says, and we laugh some more. We haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. So then the laughter dies down, and Pete says, “You sure that was Ron’s car?”

            I look at him, then start to grin, then we both start laughing louder than ever. Was it? I thought it was. But I haven’t seen or heard from him in almost five years, so maybe he moved. God damn. Ain’t that a fuckin’ hoot.

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            So we’re feeling that nice crossfaded buzz—just cruising with the pedal down—and damned if we didn’t finish that entire fucking bottle of Jim Beam. We must have also killed an eighth of bud too. We’re all numb and tingly and warm and fuzzy and not entirely sure if we’ve pissed ourselves or not. But one thing was for sure: we were laughing our asses off. That’s the way we were: always laughing.

            So then my song comes on: it’s “Blinded by the Light”. God, I love that song.

            So I turn to Pete and I say, “Roll another joint; this is my smoking song.”

            “We’re out of bud,” he says.

            “What do you mean we’re out of bud?” I ask.

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            “I mean just what I said,” he says. “We smoked damn-near an eighth.”

            “Well give me a cigarette,” I say. “I need to smoke something.”

            So he hands me a cigarette, and—you’re gonna love this—I’m so fucked up I light the filter. What a fuckin’ riot.

            So I get another one and succeed this time. I tell you, lighting a smoke while driving when you’re seeing double is no small feat. So I spark the square and keep driving with my eyelids at half-mast.

            Right when we get to my favorite part of the song, it happens. Right after Paul Jones tells his momma where the fun is for the last time, and Manfred Mann starts his iconic keyboard solo, our car comes to a violent halt.

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            We smash right into another car; I have no idea how many miles per hour we were going. Pete wasn’t wearing a seatbelt—I told you he ain’t got a lot upstairs—and he goes flying right through the windshield. Can you imagine that? Just broke through the glass headfirst and flew through the air.

            The airbag explodes in my face, and the car crumples and shatters my leg in three places, and the empty bourbon bottle shatters and imbeds itself all throughout my busted up leg. I mean, what are the fucking chances, right?

            So when I finally am able to drag myself out of the car, I see Pete lying twenty feet in front of the car dead as a fucking doorknob. I walk up to him, crying my eyes out, dragging my bum leg, and he smells rank. And—get this—he literally shit himself. I’m not making this stuff up! A complete bowel discharge! I’m screaming in tears. I’m devastated. My only friend is lying there stone-dead. I mean, what are the chances?

            So now I’m sitting in a courtroom before a judge. I’m facing vehicular manslaughter, reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, and the prosecutor is pushing for life. You see, the car that I crashed into was carrying a husband and wife and their only son. The mother is still in a coma, the father only suffered a few broken bones, and their son died in the accident.

            And—this is the real kicker—they were celebrating their son making honor roll again. Get a load of that! He was honor role, dean’s list, top of his class, just like I used to be. What are the fucking chances?

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            My mother is clinging to my father, and in both of their eyes it’s Niagara Falls. They’re sobbing and holding each other for support. My only real friend is now being turned into soil by hungry worms.

            And then—get this—the judge, he leans over and asks me, “What happened to your brain?”

            Now ain’t that a fuckin’ hoot.

Author, Liam Moran

Liam Moran has been published in Coffin Bell Journal and Ripples in Space and his novels, ‘Saving Fiction’ and ‘Love is Delusional’, are available on Amazon. Originally from Levittown, New York, he now resides in the suburbs of Chicago. He invites fans to follow him on his Facebook page @LiamMoranAuthor or on his website at amazon.com/author/liammoran.

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Original Creations

Snails a Whorl Whirl Whore World…

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So a friend and I made some artsy snails awhile back. Essentially this was in response to her granddaughter proclaiming that her favorite animals are whorl snails. My friend heard “whore snails” and was a bit perturbed that the child would use such a word so nonchalantly, whether or not she knew what it meant. But then again toddler-speak is like that sometimes… Anyway, it stuck.

So we made some whore snails, all glammed up and ready to go. We started with these flat metal snails and then painted and decorated them, to whore them up a bit. I figured this would be apropos after my recent Valentine’s Day posts and that the end results were horrifying enough to appear here.

My friend's whore whorl snail
My friend’s whore whorl snail

This is my friend’s creation. I especially like the David Bowie star and cherry bling to match her cherry red lipstick. The purple shell is a great color on her too. I think my friend went back and decorated her shell more after the fact, but I didn’t see the snail after those changes.

My whore snail
My whore snail

And here’s my whore snail. She’s a bit more of an ice queen with her deceptively lovey-dovey eyes and mouth full of poison darts, like the underwater snails do. I believe I called her a Hoar Whore Whorl Snail as when the discussion first came up I heard “hoar” and thought of hoarfrost. Hence the ice queen take…

And another friend joined us via Zoom just to visit and have fun making art together.

Another whore snail, drawn by our friend over Zoom
Another whore snail, drawn by our friend over Zoom

This little Zoomed in snail is kinda cute, like she’s out on the beach in her bikini… Mixed media on paper.

So if that wasn’t disturbing enough, check out my inappropriate Shrinky Dinks posted here before, or maybe this Eye Candy Peeps Easter basket, both taking some innocuous thing(s) turning into something… else…

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Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites. Her friends will remain anonymous for now…

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Original Creations

Have a Dystopian Girls on Film Valentine’s Day

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So it’s finally actually Valentine’s Day, and thus marks the final segment of our dysfunctional dystopian romance. So far, we’ve survived both Gen X and Krampusnacht, what else could possibly be in store? Girls on Film…

Valentine's Day card Girls on Film
Girls on Film Valentine’s Day card from Jennifer Weigel

Image description: Video camera umbrella shower succubus stares through the lens at the viewer, surrounded by eerie Cthulhoid horror embellishments with text.

Text reads: Happy Valentine’s Day; lipstick cherry all over the lens as she’s falling; give me shudders in a whisper; take me up ’til I’m shooting a star; (she’s more than a lady)

OK so this Valentine’s Day dystopia ends in a Duran Duran video, because of course it does. If the video doesn’t load properly, you can find it by following this link. Girls on Film.

Duran Duran official video

Here’s the camera eye succubus all by itself, for your viewing pleasure. Actually this is the original original image from an Unselfie performance art piece in the shower before I decided to forego the umbrella. Girls on Film.

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Unselfie performance art video still
Video still

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

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Original Creations

Krampus and Jennifer Weigel wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day

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Krampus got a little confused and decided to celebrate Krampusnacht for St. Valentine instead of St. Nicholas. So Happy Valentine’s Day, as it were. No real surprise there, the whipping can go either way…

Here’s a before image of a doll like this one started as, one of those Christmas caroler figures.

Working Boy caroler figure - Before the makeover
Working Boy caroler figure – Before the makeover

And here are some after images to burn into your brain through your retinas.

Krampus’ eyes and horns are black light sensitive. The pin is a hand beaded piece that I lucked into at thrift and was perfect for this, nice and gaudy. Because even Krampus says you gotta have bling – it is Valentine’s Day after all.

Caroler turned Krampus - detail of cape
Detail of cape

And here’s a detail shot of the cape so you can see the chubby cheeky angels. Just like on all those Italian ceilings, these angels love to look down upon you in bed not sleeping, just like they would do. Such pervs. Perfect for creepy Christmas and Valentine’s Day alike…

If you want to check out more of my altered dolls, I have posted several to Haunted MTL here:

Fashion Zombies

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Heartbreak Hotel

Mummy Dearest

Catharsis

Fairy Wands

She Wolf

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Queen of Everything

More Altered Dolls

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

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