Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to Hell Pt. 2

( Part 2 of the ever wonderful story Happy Birthday To Hell. The visuals by Dan Sweetman are stunning, are they not? The text by Dave Louapre equally as brilliant. Now you're beginning to see the reason why I and a great many others got into the series "Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children" by them. Truly a talented duo. Enjoy)

The real reason I was kicked out, or "dismissed," as they put it, was because I proposed forming a Heavenly Coalescence, which would disassemble the existing hierarchy and make everyone equal, with the exception of Him, who I suggested be president of the whole thing. I saw no reason why the saints should be any more privileged than the angels, or the seraphim more respected than the cherubs. Hey, I'm not particularly fond of cherubs. They're ugly, bothersome, noisy, and emit a pungent aroma that I won't even go into here. But that's no reason they should be any lower on the scale. I thought we were all created as equals.

Well, I guess He didn't like the idea, because word has it the order to boot me came directly from Him, with no preliminary committee discussion. All I did was pass out a few crummy fliers. Next thing I know, I'm looking for a new place. And I really don't think He considered just how difficult it would be to get rid of me, because at that time, there was no place else. There was just Heaven. Period. So He had to sit down and make up another place. He must have been ticked off about it too, for of all the things he could have come up with in all the time of eternity, He ended up creating a little number He called "Hell," and I was the inaugural tenant.

All things considered, it wasn't so bad at first. I have the impression He just needed to set an example, but that He still felt a certain amount of pity, and even respect towards me. After all, if you think about it, He's theoretically my Dad. Apart from the obvious lack of splendor, Hell wasn't that much different from Heaven. And being the only inhabitant, the tranquility was nothing short of bliss.

The only real "punishing" aspect of the whole ordeal was the way He messed me up physically. Horns, hair all over, a tail, cloven hooves...Cloven Hooves! Where did He get that from? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to walk with cloven hooves? It's like trying to eat while you're crying. What's worse, try finding shoes that fit. You can't. You know why? Because they don't exist! The first thing He created for me when I got here was a shopping mall, with nothing but shoe stores. And guess what! Not a single one of them sold shoes for hooves. I stopped trying after a week. Shoe stores and organ music. I found out quickly He has a vicious sense of humor. He still sends me checks every week for $57.00, and doesn't sign them.

He gave me a telephone directory, and the only name in it was mine, like I'm going to call myself. I don't even have a phone. Once, He sent me a pair of wooden clogs. I can't shake the feeling that He really enjoys messing with my mind.

Still, I could tell He looked after me in a strange sort of way. I had lots of time to kill, just like in Heaven, and one day He made a bowling alley. "Damnation Lanes," He called it. It wasn't in the best condition--the ashtrays were all full, the electric scorers didn't work right, and of course, the shoes didn't fit. But there was never any waiting for a lane, and it came with one of those little machines that sold salted cashews. I absolutely love salted cashews.

I was really getting used to things here, even beginning to like it. Then the riff-raff showed up. The earth had been created by this time, and the first sinners started straggling in. Initially, I was glad to have some company, and I threw a little "get acquainted" mixer to kind of break the ice, as it were. Talk about awkward! Nobody spoke for the first two hours and when they finally did, it was only to complain. "Don't you have any ice?" "Where are all the women?" "Isn't there anything else to eat but that cheese log?" About all they had in common with one another was murder, thievery, adultery, body odor, and the fact that they all arrived wearing leisure suits. He can be very droll at times. But I gave it my best shot.

Since we'd be together for some time, I suggested charades. Unfortunately, movies hadn't been invented yet, and the only book any of them knew of was the Bible, which everyone guessed straight off. None of us remembered any jokes, so I gave the "name game" a whirl, using the title they all knew me by: "Satan, Satan Bo Batan, Banana Fana Fo Fatan, Mee Mi Mo Matan, Satan!" Nothing. They all stared at me, and no one else took a turn. It was embarrassing. When they started throwing the peanuts around and molding the cheese log into questionable shapes, I lost my temper and broke up the party. You give sinners an inch, and they take a mile. I mean, you can't just go to Hell and throw the peanuts.

The next day more of them showed up, and still more the day after. Hell was being overrun by sinners. There was nothing I could do to stop it. And the more that came, the more things got broken. Like the central heating system. They tore it up like animals. Nothing but flames and sweat now, and not one fully qualified repairman in the bunch. The bowling alley is in shambles, too. Not only have they smashed the reset gates, but they've stolen all the shoes. I walk around the place and everyone's wearing bowling shoes. I asked where they got them, and they smirk and say they had them on when they arrived. I know darned well where they got them from, but what can I do, arrest them? I don't mean to harp, but I didn't ask for any of this. The angels might have been a little dull, but at least they had manners.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to Hell. Pt. 1

( Part 1 to the story "Happy Birthday to Hell". By Dave Louapre and Dan Sweetman Unmolested by me. I really want to change the fact that there is no such thing as 4-door Laguna, much less in convertible fashion. As a car guy, you have no idea how tempting it is to do so.)

An angry young man has very little chance in the confines of Heaven.

Hi, my name is Wally, but you probably know me better as Satan, Beelzebub, the Prince of Darkness, or the Devil. I could go on all day. I don't know why those names stuck. I guess it's just one of those things, like when you're young and somebody calls you "stinky." The name stays with you forever. Actually, I don't mind most of the monikers, but the one I could live without is Lucifer. I'm not sure who thought that one up--one of the seraphim, I think--but someone yelled it when they kicked me out of the Pearly Gates, and the name stuck. Lucifer. Yech! What the heck is a Lucifer? Why not Gabriel? Now there's a name. Gabriel! But that was taken, so I got Lucifer, Lord of the Flies. I'll tell you, there are some sick people in Heaven. Anyway, my real name is Wally and I live in Hell.

To set the record straight, I wasn't asked to leave Paradise for trying to take over. The truth is, they said I was a bad example. You see, I never wore socks, and there's a rule up there that says you have to. I hate socks. The elastic never lasts, and they always end up around your ankles, or they rip at the big toe. I like tube socks, but you just can't get them. There are no tube socks in Heaven. Also, there's a rule that says you have to use a coaster when you set your drink down, because the furniture in Paradise marks pretty easily, but I never did. There never seemed to be any around when I needed one. And it had to be a "regulation" coaster too, not just a stray magazine.

I'm not saying Heaven was a bad place. On the contrary. In fact, it was quite nice. Almost too nice. You must understand that I lived there from the beginning, being one of the first things created and all, and over the years of eternity, a lot of things got on my nerves. Little things. Stupid things. Like the static electricity. Heaven is full of it. It's one problem nobody, not even Him, can remedy. It's terrible; all those little shocks, hair standing on end, your robe clinging to your legs.

And the halos! Hundreds of saints walking around with these luminescent globes of ethereal light circling their heads. Sure, they look impressive, but they also attract bugs like a magnet. It's embarassing. One of them will take the time to stop and chat, and right in the middle of some great story about a miracle, or a stoning or something, ZAP! A fat bug flies right into his head and sizzles to a holy crisp. Warm nights are sheer torture for saints. No one will go near them, and when it's really bad, they'll bury their heads in the dirt. All of these very nice people, who just happen to have halos, jamming their heads in the ground so the bugs won't mat in their hair.

And it's true that the streets are paved with gold, but there are lots of potholes, and it takes forever to get them replaced.

The main reason I wasn't very popular, though, was because I wouldn't fly. I just didn't care for it. I only put my wings on once, then took them off for good. Those paintings you see of me with wings--what a joke! I drove a four door, aquamarine Laguna convertible with white vinyl apholstery and electric windows all around. The last car in Paradise. Yes, they were created sometime between the fourth and sixth days, but only for use in Heaven. I thought it was a great idea, everyone in Heaven driving Laguna convertibles.

But it turned out to be the biggest flop He'd ever created, because shortly afterwards, someone thought up wings, and the rest, of course, is history. Well, I liked mine, and kept it when everyone else traded theirs in.

I'd cruise through the heart of Paradise, out into the deserts of Heaven, just to escape the incessant singing. Quiet. Pure, honest peace and quiet. On one of those jaunts, long ago, I drove further than ever before, out past the point where the gold roads turned into sand. And it was there that I found the angel bones. I was staring off into the pit of the universe, watching the twinkling stars glow in the blackness like aching suns when that blessed fossil caught my eye. At first, I thought it was alive, the way the rolling mist bobbed along its back. But it was not alive, and lay there, wholly intact like some gutted umbrella, staring past me. I'd never considered a dead thing in Heaven, much less seen one, and it occurred to me that someone was here before. Someone who stood on the same empty spot and looked to the dying stars. Someone who felt strangled by the loving arms of Heaven, who found a flaw in the fabric of eternity when they realized there was no alternative to Paradise. Someone with no place to go. I drove away feeling I'd witnessed something I shouldn't have. A fragmented mistake, not for me to touch. And when I returned, they told me to get out.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In the Beginning.....

Please allow myself to formally introduce uhm.... myself.

I am Cunning Linguist. Some of you may know me from such works as "Cannibal Women in the Avacodo Jungle of Death" and "The Curious Dr Humpp". Others may remember my award winning work in the Skintastic lotion commercials as "chapped elbow guy #3" and the ever lovable kid Whipple in the "Sore Bottoms Deserve 3-ply-loving" ad campaign. As of late, I've been super lazy and ignoring my blog that some of you may know as Much Ado About Nothing. I've just ended a brilliant run of lazy there and have broken my non-post streak of several months now. I have to tell you, I didn't think I could even be that lazy but, it seems I've even outdone my own estimations in that area.

You're probably asking yourself something. "Uncle Cunning, what on earth am I doing here?". Well, I'm glad you asked. Years ago I read a literal masterpiece called Happy Birthday to Hell. It was a comic book put out there by Piranha Press. A story of a character we have all heard of through the ages, but with a twist. It dared asked the question "What if Satan isn't who and what we think he is?". I know, it's blaspheme. To that I say genuflect the other way. I have no dog in the fight of religion Vs. atheism within this blog. It's about the STORY rather than the theological debate that raises my interest here.

This brilliant work of art ( I'm starting out early with the ass kissing here because basically I'm stealing the whole idea and concept from them, hoping not to get slammed against the wall here) was written by Dave Louapre and illustrated by Dan Sweetman. On a non butt-kissing note, I and a LOT of others have fallen in love with the writings and graphics involved in just this one facet in their collaborations. I've tried to dig up opinions on the Internet on it all and one thing resounds. "Why hasn't this story been brought further out and given more body?". I have to be honest, I asked the same question. SO much more can be done with it. I showed a lot of people that I know the text and pointed to the artwork on numerous occasions. It's kind of funny, but more than a few have come back with the opinion that Dave and I write in a very similar manner. I hadn't thought about that in the past but, I guess we kind of do in a strange way. While I'd never be so bold to suggest that I'm as gifted as the great Dave Louapre ( see what I did there? More lips on the backside. Please don't sue me), I'd sure like to give continuing the story a shot.

My plan is simple : Introduce myself ( Hello, look up). Enter the next few posts with original story, and then continue on as "Wally". Over at my original blog I will always and forevermore be the lovable self centered selfish ticked off jerkwad that you all know and love. But here, here is where Wally will take form and hopefully grow. I'll be honest, I don't really know if I can do that, much less do it and plainly say I am stealing another's idea and trying to expand on it without getting a mountain of legal action. With ANY luck, the super awesome duo of Dan and Dave ( hi, guys. Lip to cheek action a'plenty here. Hope ya see the humor and fan-admiration in all of this) might even let it go and who knows...... it'll become a mini series and blockbuster movie. Then we'll turn big mega famous and be all "blog/writing fans who? No, no. They aren't on the list.". Hehhhh, I keeeeed. I keeeeed.

In closing, I'm going to do my best all around to give all credit where it is due as best I can. That includes graphics ( Before I forget. A HUGE thank you goes out to Lilly for providing the layout and design of this place. I'm a dumb monkey when it comes to this stuff and she's an ace as well as a really good friend. Lilly, props to ya for the help around here), ideas sent in by you guys ( click the about me link for the e-mail) and anything else that I may use to muddle through this. I truly do hope you enjoy the concept and story of the whole thing.

That's really the focus here. Butt kissing aside, these guys have natural talent and I only hope to do it justice.

With that said, it's time to be Wally. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to send in your ideas and comments to the e-mail link when ya click the "about me" page.

Much love to all....... Cunning.