The Lunatic Monologues are the latest compilation from Duckworth Hollingsway, HGP’s Medical Editor and sometimes contributor.
Says Duckworth, “You’re on a bus, or you’re waiting on your plane, or on a long, slow elevator... it doesn’t matter. Because there’s this guy standing next to you... and for no reason at all he starts to talk to you. And the more he says, the more you realize that this guy is crazy. Not just a little bit crazy. But you’re going to be lucky to get off this elevator alive kinda crazy. Because you don’t have control of the buttons. I’ll bet you’ll think about that next time. Where you choose to stand on an elevator... it can matter. A lot. But, yeah, that’s basically a ‘Lunatic Monologue.’”
Magnetic Strips I figured out how to take the magnetic strips out of the books you buy at Barnes and Noble. You know, the ones they use to tell if you’ve been shoplifting. So I took the strips out, right there in the store, and I ate them. Did you know it takes about 40 before you’ll set off an alarm? But I suppose that depends on body size. Maybe metabolism. At any rate, after I’d eaten all of those magnetic strips, when I walked through the door I’d set the alarm off. Every time. Of course, the first few times, they’d check me out. Well, it was always half-ass at best, but they still would check me out. It got to be a joke. They’d say it must be something in my clothes, and I would say it was probably something I’d eaten. They thought that was funny, and of course, I did too. But for different reasons. And then, once they got to know me, they’d just wave me on through. They never bothered to check...anymore, ever. And that’s when I started stealing books. I’d steal one about once a week, sometimes more. I’ve even been known to take two at a time. I’ve been doing it now for over three years. It doesn’t matter what kind of book you steal. That’s not the point. You see, the thing is, they don’t even watch for shoplifters because they’re so sure their magnetic strips will work. Besides, who shoplifts books? I still have to eat them...you know, the magnetic strips. It’s just to keep the level up. But now I don’t have to do it in the store. I can wait until I get back home. Of course, the downside is I can’t go hiking anymore. I kept getting lost. With all those magnets in me, a compass is worthless.
Squirrels You can help me feed the squirrels if you want. It's OK. It won’t hurt them. Not the peanuts, at least. You think I’d purposely kill a squirrel? You think I’m that cruel? That mean? I didn’t mean to do it. It really wasn’t even my fault. OK. OK. I did throw the French fry out in the street. But that’s it. No. It’s not littering. I wouldn’t litter. Ever. It’s biodegradable. It’s food. I figured the birds would eat it. They do. I’ve seen them. Just go to McDonald’s and look at all the birds eating French fries. You can even feed them if you want. It’s just the damn squirrels. That damned squirrel. So he runs out in the street to get the fry. Is that my fault? Is it? I don’t see how it could be. And I wasn’t driving the car. I was just standing there. It could’ve swerved. It could’ve slowed down. Do you see people blaming the driver? Do you see her getting… getting … all this? All these squirrels? Oh, it was just a few at first. And then, everywhere I looked, there were squirrels. They were up in the trees, looking in at me, through the windows. They were out on the lawn, waiting for me to come out of the house so they could run away. Sometimes, sometimes I’ll even hear them running across my roof. I think they’re even in the attic. Oh, they’re quiet. They’re listening. Planning. They’re on the side of the road, staring at me as I drive by. And they’re here in the park. There’s one behind us now. Don’t look at him! Act like nothing’s up. Oh, I know. It’s just a matter of time. But I’m not waiting. Do you know how easy it is to get C-4? You really think Homeland Security has a clue? 30 pounds of C-4, a few hundred ball bearings, some wire… And one little button. The instructions are all there. They got everything on the Internet. So now, all I have to do is sit here and wait… The squirrels will come. No squirrel can resist a nut.
Superpowers Oh, good! A cellmate. I like having a cellmate. It's good to have somebody to talk to, don't you think? They told me not to tell other people why I'm here, but they can't make me be quiet. I know the truth. You see, I'm here because I have superpowers. They're afraid of people with superpowers. So they locked me away in here where I can't use my powers. I discovered that I can open doors. All I have to do is wave my hand, and the doors open. Sometimes I only have to think it. Not all doors. I can't open these doors. They made sure of that. Mostly doors into businesses. I can walk up to the door at the grocery store, wave my hand, and it will open. It kinda freaked me out at first. I could walk right into the hardware store with just a nod of my head. I could probably walk right into the White House if I wanted to. Just wave my hand. I decided to use it for good… my power. But they said I was scaring the customers, standing there by the door at the grocery store. Waving folks in. I was only trying to help, but they wanted me to leave. But I didn't want to. So they arrested me. They called the cops and had me arrested. I sure hope all those people are going to be OK. So, yeah. How about you?
Harrison, Arkansas So, you’re from Harrison, Arkansas, are ya? I was there. About thirty years ago. I ate in this little restaurant up on a hill. Everybody told me to go there. Said it was the best place in town. Everybody said, “Ya got to have the frog legs.” And I like a good frog leg. So I went to the restaurant and I order me some of their frog legs. And they was the worst frog legs that I ever ate. So I tried to send them back. Hell, I couldn’t eat ‘em. Nobody could eat ‘em. But they wouldn’t give me anymore. And they wouldn’t give me my money back. Said I’d done ate half of ‘em. Hell, I hadn’t eaten more than a leg, maybe two. So this big ass cook comes out and tells me to get out. That’s just what he says, “Get out!” Like he knows something. And I says, “Hell, you eat ‘em.” And he takes a swing at me and I swing back, and next thing I know there’s about six guys on me, all kickin’ and punchin’ and spittin’. They spit on me! And they threw me out of that restaurant, said if I didn’t get out of town they’d kick my ass even more. Well, I left. But from that day on I’ve told myself that everybody I meet from Harrison, Arkansas, well, I’m going to kick his ass. And buddy, I guess it’s your turn.
The Secret Society We’re a secret society. We go into stores and try cheap brands until we find a brand of anything – say beans – and we find a can – a cheap can – that’s just as good as the expensive brands. You know – the one that snuck through. And then we share that information with other people in the society. But we keep it a secret. You see, if it got out that a cheap brand was just as good as the expensive brand, then everybody would buy the cheap brand, so then they would raise the price. And we all share with each other – those who have found a really good paper towel lets it in on the guy that found the really good pickles. But none of us know more than a name or two. It’s the only way to keep it truly secret. You don’t realize how important it is to keep it secret. You can’t. Oh, it’s more than just saving a few cents. It’s that we beat the bastards. We beat ‘em. Do you have any idea how much bad mustard I’ve eaten? Do you even realize how bad mustard can get? I didn’t think so. But I’m going to find that mustard. It’s out there. And nobody’s going to stop me or any of the rest of us. And that’s why I’ve got to kill you.
Barbeque Steak You think you got ‘em fooled, but you don’t. Oh yeah. They know. They know that it doesn’t take shit to barbecue. They know that we’re just standin’ around outside drinking beer, or hanging out in the garage getting buzzed. I mean, geez! Did you think they were that stupid? But you see, it’s part of their game. They know that we know, too. Oh God, yes. They’re just waiting for us to fuck up. A simple, goddamned steak. How hard could it be to cook a stupid, goddamned steak? And you fucked it up, too! Just like everything else. Now, are you going to help me or not? Where’s the goddamned shovel?
Dandelions Damnit! It’s got to stop! It’s these dandelions, that’s what it is. Did you know from seed to sexual maturation is only 15 days for a dandelion. It’s pretty yellow flower lasts but a day. Three days from blooming it spits forth its seeds. One dandelion plant – just one – is capable of releasing up to 300 viable seeds. You know what I mean by viable, don’t you? Each and everyone of them is capable of becoming a healthy, thriving plant. But let’s say they only produce 100. Just 100. One third. If the first plant bloomed on the first of April, by October the first, that one little plant would be responsible for 600 million other plants. 600 million! Do you have any idea just how many dandelions that would be? That’s enough to go around the moon twice, end on end. That’s enough to fill up the northern end of the Grand Canyon. That’s enough to cover the entire state of Delaware three feet deep. Three feet! At that rate, the entire United States could be covered 17 feet deep in less than 8 years. And that’s only from one plant. One plant. But there’s more than one plant to begin with. There’s no end. How long do we have? How long will it take before there are dandelions everywhere? They blow on the wind. Don’t you see? They’ve got to be stopped. Now I don’t intend to tell you again to get the hell out of my way.
Grillin’ Fool I’m a grillin’ fool. I am. That what everybody says. They say I’m a grillin’ fool. I grilled my wedding cake. I did. It tasted terrible, but that’s not the point. The point is, I’m a grillin’ fool. I make sure every woman I’m interested in, or who might be interested in me, or there might be a mutual interest – I tell them I’m a grillin’ fool. So if you’re good with that, well then, maybe you could come over and I could grill you something. Do you like squirrel?
First Day on the New Job Hi. So you’re my new partner. I’d like to say that I’m looking forward to working with you. However, under court order, it is required that you read each of these documents and initial each one... there, at the bottom. You will also need to sign and date each one. The first one is a disclaimer, stating that you voluntarily took this position and that you have specifically been given the rest of this information. You initial it now, stating that you have seen it, and after we finish with the rest, then you will sign and date it. The next form is whom we should notify in case of death or serious injury, your physician, and preferred hospital. Also, on the following pages, which are actually amendments to this form, are your funeral preferences and your religious affiliation. If you wish no religious involvement, please indicate such. Do not leave the form blank. The next form is what is known as a living will. It lets your next of kin know your wishes should you enter a persistent vegetative state. Actually, they say this is more for them than you. And finally, your organ donor registry. Please make sure you indicate your blood type. OK. Now back to the first page, and sign there... and the date. Wait, you forgot the date.
One Kiss Carla? Carla Vanderholt? I guess it’s not Vanderholt anymore. Hi. Remember me? I’m Robert Throckmorton. I used to go by Bob. Bobby? We made out once. Remember? It was in Davey Martin’s basement. You were visiting your cousin, Cindy. Remember? It was June 4, 1972. We were playing Truth or Dare, and they dared you to kiss me. And you did. But then you had to leave. And you went back home. And then your dad got relocated and you had to move. I’ve been trying to find you ever since. I know it was only one kiss, but it was more than that. I felt something. I think you did too. Can I come in?
Your Neighbor to the North Hello, neighbor. Caulfield’s my name. I’m your neighbor to the north. Just wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood. I raise snakes. It’s a hobby. I’ve crossed a cobra with a chameleon. You won’t see her until she bites you. They hardly ever escape, but if you happen to see one, just give me a call.