Harvey Wallbanger (Part One)

Hallowe’en Spooktacular Party, at Gary and Elaine Dow’s house in Center Township, PA, Friday, October 31, 1975:

Costumed invitees cram the living room.  A mixtape (to use an anachronistic word) plays on the stereo’s cassette deck; the exceedingly mellow song “Those Summer Nights” by San Jose’s biggest musical artist, Benjamin Plum, nears its chorus as Donna—wearing a headband, peasant blouse, fringed leather vest, bell-bottom jeans, and sandals—spots an uncostumed guy exiting from the kitchen.  Glass in hand, she barges toward him, threading past a princess and a cowboy and a blowdried Dracula, electric guitar creeping along, Plum asserting in a reedy voice that “Those summer nights that brought us passion / Will never, ever go out of fashion.”

“Chuck Roland?” she asks.

“The one and only,” Chuck replies, holding a drink himself.

“I’m Donna Henningsen.  Milo’s mother?”

“Oh.  Right.”

“Tell your son to quit beating him up.”

“Tell your son to quit grabbing my son’s ass.”

“You believe that story?”

“Hey, your son is half Greek, so—”

She tosses the contents of her glass at Chuck, punctuated by the background tune’s somnolent saxophone-and-piano bridge.

“Now look what you made me do—waste a perfectly good whiskey,” she says reprovingly.

“You know,” he says, wiping off his face with his sleeve, “you’re lucky you have a great pair of tits.”

“Thanks.  I’ll tell your wife you said that.  Where is she?”

“At home.  She didn’t feel good.  You ever try a Harvey Wallbanger?”

“A what?”

“A Harvey Wallbanger?  Orange juice, vodka, and some Eyetalian liqueur called Gallyanno?”

“No.”

“You should.  I’m having one now.”  Chuck holds up his glass.

“Hooray.  The next time your brat attacks my son, I’m calling the police.”

“Yeah, yeah.”  Plum’s song fades out.  “So I can make you one here, if you want.  A Harvey Wallbanger.”

“Fuck off.”  Another lifeless, piano-heavy track, one Donna’s never heard before, commences.

“Aw, you hurt my feelings.”  He walks away a bit jauntily.

Copyright © 2019 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #54: Organic Hummus Sandwich

Slumping deep into the least dilapidated chair in the teachers’ lounge during her lunch break that rainy afternoon in late October 1975, having consumed little of the organic hummus sandwich she had packed, Miss Wyant, the subaltern substitute, worried (after futilely attempting to make the Declaration of Independence’s history relevant to three consecutive classes of bored, ahistorical students) that Center Elementary School would opt not to retain her services once the academic year concluded a month before America’s two-hundredth birthday, July 4, 1976, thus providing her with yet another excuse to loathe herself in an atmosphere of rampant celebratory patriotism.

Copyright © 2019 by David V. Matthews

Threesome

I love my brother, but he can be a real dumbass sometimes.  Like, one day, this girl I know named Livvy was walking home from school, when she saw my brother and his friend Ryan.  Those last two call themselves the Dudes, after that movie about the hippie who bowls?  Anyways, my brother told her, he said “Hey, little lady!  Wanna join us for a threesome?”  Oh, she’s twelve, and the Dudes are eighteen.  So Livvy, she went home and Googled “threesome” and freaked out, then told her parents everything, and her parents, they freaked out and then called the cops.  So the Dudes, they had a little talk with the cops, separately.  Ryan said all that threesome shit was my brother’s idea, while my brother said it was all Ryan’s.  But they both said they were just joking around, that they didn’t go for young girls.  So as it turned out, neither of them got arrested or nothing, maybe ’cause they’re white and Livvy’s black, which sucks—not her race, my boyfriend’s black by the way, but the whole thing sucks ’cause the Dudes, like, didn’t go to jail and get beaten or waterboarded or whatever happens to pedophiles behind bars, even fake pedophiles.  Maybe a little of that rough treatment would have worked wonders.  I really don’t care about Ryan, but my brother, he needs some of the dumbass-ness knocked out of him if he doesn’t wanna end up with life without parole for being a dick.  My family, like, values its reputation.

Copyright © 2019 by David V. Matthews

 

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #52: AOC XXX

My favorite website, Pornhole, posted a video today called AOC XXX, featuring a woman identified only as AOC, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lookalike with a huge rack and a thick Puerto Rican accent: “I have a Brrrown Nude Deal for jou!”  Wanting to discover if the human race has justified its existence, I paid $14.99 for the privilege of watching the lookalike fuck lookalikes of Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, and Donald Trump, all three played by much younger thespians.  Sorry, human race, don’t mean to sound reverse-ageist, but you still suck.  At least I have new material for my nonexistent memoirs.

Copyright © 2019 by David V. Matthews

February 16, 2019 (revised February 21, 2019)

Waiting for Stiffy

It’s Alive’s cast. Standing, L-R: Stiffy the Dead Clown (actually wearing his clown outfit), Professor Emcee Square, Pointy. Crouching: Fritz.

I submitted the following entry to the Pittsburgh City Paper’s Valentine’s Day Fan-Fiction contest: stories about Pittsburgh celebrities, five-hundred words maximum, PG-13.  Turning in a dour tale about an obscure TV personality who (spoiler alert) never actually appears may explain why I lost, but at the time, I felt like writing such a tale; literary geniuses must follow their muses, no matter how unamusing.

I’ve slightly revised my entry for its appearance here, but I still hit exactly five-hundred words.

#

One day in early 2019, I got a text from my pal Shawn, the first time he’d contacted me since we’d graduated high school twelve years earlier:

remember stiffy the dead clown?  he has a new band called thunderblood.  theyll make their world debut tomorrow 8pm at lesters.  wanna go?

Shawn and I used to spend Saturday nights alone in his basement, watching It’s Alive, a Pittsburgh cable show.  They’d play some old horror movie, hosted by a black-suited zombie named Professor Emcee Square.  But we preferred his sidekick: Stiffy the Dead Clown, a loser with a chalky-white face, a round black nose, and black makeup lining his eyes and mouth—a loser who usually didn’t wear a clown outfit, just cargo pants and a rock T-shirt.  Seeing the Professor abuse him each week made us feel better about our status as teenage losers in that boring-ass town, Monroeville.

So of course I went to Lester’s Bar, on Polish Hill.  I hadn’t been to that bar since graduating.  It looked the same, all stucco and smeary paintings of generic European streets.

Shawn had already arrived.  With his flannel shirt, denim jacket, and long scraggly hair, he looked the same, too, only much thinner.  And with fewer teeth.

“Hey,” he said, fistbumping me.

I sat down at his table.

“So what have you done lately?” he asked.

“I work at the airport as a TSA agent.”

“Really?  You give strip searches to any hot babes?”

“All the time.  But it’s for free now, since I’m working without pay due to the government shutdown.”

“Well, if you need money, you could always suck dick.  Turn a hobby into a career.”

“Ha ha.  What have you done lately, besides meth?”

“I don’t do meth.”

“How’d you lose all those teeth then?”

“I got into a fight.  You should have seen the other guy.”

“Uh-huh.  What else have you done lately?

“Just chillin’.”

#

The concert, scheduled for eight, began at 8:50.  The opening act, Swedge, sucked, but at least they played for only twenty minutes.  Then nothing.  Not a sign of Thunderblood anywhere.

10:00 passed.  Then 10:30.  11.  I kept drinking ginger ale. Shawn kept drinking whiskey, with me buying.  I wanted to impress him for some reason.  Due to the shutdown, I’d depleted most of my bank account and worried that—

“Hey, remember when Stiffy farted and made a giant mushroom cloud?” Shawn asked.

“Yeah.”

Hee-larious!  Better than Shakespeare!”

“Yeah.  I don’t think the band’s gonna show.”

“Just a little while longer.”

“I have to get up early for work tomorrow.”

“Why?  They’re not payin’ you.”

“I know, but I need to protect our country.”

“Screw our country.  I hope the Chinese take over.  Free General Tso’s for everyone!”

I got up and left.  I never saw Shawn again, nor did I ever find out if Stiffy’s band had played.  That was four decades ago, but it seems like four centuries.

I still love America.  We all have our quirks, I guess.

Copyright © 2019 by David V. Matthews

further revised February 14, 2019

To the Left, to the Left

As Jeff walks toward his cubicle that morning at Vanderblock Performance Management, ready to start another goddamn day reviewing hundreds of hundred-page ergonomics reports till he wants to gouge his eyes (or preferably someone else’s eyes) out with a grapefruit knife, he notices the cucks and snowflakes giving him nastier looks than usual.  “You might want to check your e-mail,” that fat slut two cubicles down tells him, a sneer on her pale blobby face.

It turns out his second-least-favorite coworker, Mara Greenberg, sent all seventy-eight employees in the company, including him, the same e-mail.  RACIST, ANTI-SEMITIC BLOG FROM VPM EMPLOYEE, the subject line reads, all in caps.  “I’ve stumbled upon Sivell War, a blog from VPM employee Jeff Sivell.  After you read it, you might wish I hadn’t,” the Jewgirl writes, followed by a Web address that links to Jeff’s greatest literary-slash-sociopolitical achievement: his ongoing attempt to red-pill the sheeple about the lies that keep them poor, powerless, and pathetic.

Jeff stares at the e-mail.

“Eh,” he says, clicking on the link.  For the eight-zillionth time, he reads his latest Sivell War posting, which calls the Tree of Life synagogue shootings a hoax perpetrated by the Jews—or, as he put it, Jew$—to brainwash Americans into supporting gun control, if not the complete repeal of the Second Amendment.  And without any guns, true patriots will have a much more difficult time fighting their globalist banker pro-immigrant oppressors.

“Nice work, buddy, signing your real name to that crap,” Denton Breyers says, looking over Jeff’s shoulder.

“Fuck you,” Jeff says.

“You didn’t think anyone who worked here would read it?”

“I don’t care who reads it.  I’m not ashamed of what I write.”

“Of course not.”  Denton used to be the only person he could stand there, a true friend even, until Denton pussied out, softening his alt-right views to gain lamestream respectability.  “Though if the synagogue did stage a fake massacre, at least they could have hired better-known crisis actors, like, I dunno, the guy who played Screech on Saved by the Bell.   He could have stopped the evil gunman.  We Millennials would have loved that.”

“Yeah, well—”

Oh great.  Here comes their supervisor, Ms. Birch, a white woman they’d called Ms. Bitch even before finding out a dindu had knocked her up; she’d later married him and had a half-dindu daughter, hooray.  (Dindu: black, after what the alt-right considers that race’s favorite expression, Dindu nuffin’.)

“Hi,” Denton says sociably.

“Hi,” Ms. Bitch says more sociably.

“See you later, Jeff,” he says, walking away.  Yeah, a true friend, offering support.

“So, Chelsea, what’s up?” Jeff asks.

Ms. Bitch, somewhat less sociably: “May I have a word with you in my office?”

No wonder she’s his least-favorite coworker.  Since childhood, Jeff has hated having words with teachers, bosses, mental-health professionals, and other assholes who have made his life miserable.

#

Ms. Bitch sits at her desk.  Jeff sits across from her.  A giant blue die-cut dolphin, facing to the right, hangs on the wall behind her, above a couple framed full-color photos of her riding an actual dolphin in Cancún—yes, in that glorious wonderland of rapists and drug kingpins, Mexico.

“Is this your blog?” Ms. Bitch asks, her laptop screen facing Jeff.

No response.

“Is it?  Yes or no.”

“Yes.”

“And these are your opinions posted here?”

“It looks that way.”

“Uh-huh.”  She turns the laptop back around.  Her eyes widen and laser-focus on him.  “We have a diverse workplace here.  And because of that, all employees must abide by our Code of Conduct, which forbids language or behavior that—”

Jeff wonders if she’s read his blog entry from two months ago, where he posted a meme that showed a photo of an alligator, jaws open, with the caption BLACK LIVES MATTER…WHEN YOU NEED GATOR BAIT.  Among ten zillion other dindu-related postings of his.

“—particularly about the Tree of Life shootings,” Ms. Bitch says.  “Which means we have to let you go, effective immediately.”

No response.

“Did you hear me, Jeff?”

“Yeah.  You’re really firing me?”

“Letting you go, yes.”

“Well, then fine—I’ll just sue you and your company for violating my free-speech rights.”

“That’s your prerogative.”  She removes something from inside a manila folder.    “And this is your formal letter of termination.  Please read it carefully and sign it.”

Jeff does both.  Knocking out her teeth, what he really wants to do, wouldn’t go over well at trial, when he does sue her.  If the non-Jewi$h lawyer he plans to hire doesn’t fuck up, Jeff could win a seven- or eight-figure settlement and pay off those student loans well before turning sixty.

#

Chelsea Birch, breastfeeding her baby that night: “So as I was watching der Führer carry out his stuff in a box, that Beyoncé song ‘Irreplaceable’ started running through my head.  You know, when she kicks her guy out of the house and says ‘To the left, to the left / everything you own in the box to the left.’ ”

Kevin Dale, her husband: “Yeah, Jeff seems like a Beyoncé fan.”  Five seconds later: “I almost hate to bring this up, but you mentioned der Führer, so—it’s about Auschwitz.”

“What about Auschwitz?”

“Well, when the new prisoners would arrive, if the Nazi official in charge pointed to the left, they went to the showers.  And if he pointed to the right, they went to work as slaves.  So you could say the Nazis invented that swipe left, swipe right business.”

“Uh, okay.”

“Sorry if I depressed you.”

“No, no, that’s okay.”

“I don’t mean to imply Tinder has any connection to Nazis.”

“I didn’t think so.”

“And I definitely don’t mean to imply Beyoncé’s a Nazi, either.”

“Again, I didn’t think so.”

Kevin is left-handed.  He met Chelsea on OkCupid.

 

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

revised December 23, 2018, and February 1, 2019