Fiction Friday #3
I often enjoy more lighthearted reading material. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Murakami and King and so on, but there’s nothing like a good pun fest. Bad jokes written well make for some of my favorite reading – and, hell, as fun as it is to read, it’s even more fun to write.
The biggest motivation in writing Zen Motherfuckers was the driving force of irreverence. There’s nothing so sacred that it can’t be mocked.
Don’t get me wrong. I have a healthy respect for holy places, holy moments – moments of peak experience. I’ve had more than my fair share of holy moments, even in the midst of the most mundane experiences. Washing dishes, sipping hot coffee (even made from big red tubs of pre-ground Folgers, even from truck stop fast food joints), smoking cigarettes, knocking back a glass of decent booze (less often these days), shoveling delicious food into my mouth and down my gullet (anything from ramen to a slab of slow roasted pork belly served on squash risotto), long walks down Logan Square streets in the middle of the night – and the list goes on. On drugs, off drugs. Drunk on bargain scotch and stone-cold sober. Natural highs can come at any time and in any situation.
But, then, there’s irreverence. The drive to mock everything. Satire? Maybe. Comedy? I suppose. Fucking with everything? Absolutely.
I write best when I keep these three reasons in mind:
Fuck with myself.
Fuck with my characters.
Fuck with my readers.
With that in mind, here’s the first installment of World War Clown, a piece of prose written for the sole purpose of spewing long strings of bad puns. Expect the next installment sometime in the middle of next week.
World War Clown
1. The mimes struck during evening rush hour. They’d have used silencers, I’m sure, but there was no way to silence their Gatling guns. The sharp buzz of Vulcan cannons sounded like swarms of murderous honey bees, spent shells raining down onto the street, tinkling like wind chimes as they hit pavement. There were the sharp shooters too. Snipers on the roofs and peering out from the windows of high rise apartments. Overpowered, oversized rifles, picking off the survivors – those fool enough to stay out on the streets. The sniper rifles, those were silenced. Not that it mattered. The sidewalks dripped with blood. It was slaughter.
You can’t spell ‘slaughter’ without ‘laughter.’ The laughing clowns came next, hordes of them with grotesque painted smiles. Volkswagons filled the streets, long lines of them, blowing past traffic lights, tires squealing, appearing without warning as if by magic. Old Beetles barelled down the city streets, swerving from side to side, screeching to a stop. And, when they stopped, the doors popped open and out poured the clowns. Dozens of them, endless lines of white-faced circus clowns in camouflage onesies and size 50 combat boots, carrying brightly painted assault rifles.
We fought back, of course. Us normal folk. The police mobilized first, the good ol’ boys in blue. I’ve never liked the cops so much in my life. But what chance did the policemen have against mimes with Vulcan cannons and sniper rifles? What good was riot gear against camo clowns carrying flower-painted M16′s?
The casualties mounted. At first, it seemed like we might have a fighting chance. Dead clowns littered the streets, dead clowns next to murdered civilians, civilians next to uniformed police. The growing piles of corpses provided shelter.
Where was the military? We knew the Air Force was useless against this clown menace, but what about the army? The army reserve? The National Guard? The Marine Corps? The cities were overrun with laughing interlopers. It was chaos, a circus, the Big Top overrunning the Big Apple.
Within the hour, it was over. The clowns had won.
(Copyright 2011, Jaron Deerwester)