Interview with Author Brian Lageose

BrianLInterview

Today I’m speaking with the prolific writer, Brian Lageose. He is the author of Unexpected Wetness and Screaming in Paris. His blog Bonnywood Manor is fifty percent hilarity, forty percent ingenious and ten percent Cheval Blanc.

M: Your blog is called Bonnywood Manor. Enlighten the proletariat and tell us how you arrived on that title. 

B: The concept of Bonnywood Manor evolved over time. Many centuries ago, when we bloggers still used stone tablets and chisels, I shared my writing on another blogging platform. Since I am an admitted overachiever, I often had multiple blogs going on at the same time (up to 10 at one point), as I am also an admitted masochist.

In a moment of epiphany (drinking was probably involved) I realized that I needed to coordinate all these sites in some way. I set up my own website (which required me to learn coding to some degree, as back then we didn’t have point-and-click website creation; I still have nightmares about the experience to this day) and, thusly, “Bonnywood Manor” was officially launched. In my questionable vision, the Manor was an artist’s enclave established in the Roaring Twenties, allowing me to share my love for old movies, art deco, manor houses and hedonism.

To get a better sense of the conception, you can still visit this long-abandoned website: http://lageose.net/

There’s much more to the story than I can share here but, end result, “Bonnywood Manor” is meant to be a writer’s collective, encompassing all styles and voices, a community. And it also happens to be the name of my publishing company, one that I created and registered with the state of Texas just before I published my first book, although it really only exists on paper, with no employees or assets or, well, book-printing machines. (I had naïve visions that my first book would be a huge bestseller and I actually thought I might need said company for tax purposes. This proved not to be the case, whatsoever.)

M: I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you miss a day without posting. How is it, that you are better than everyone?

B: While I generally post every day, there is a wee smidge of cheating underlying that impression. There are often times when I don’t have something fresh fully prepared, so I’ll dig something out of the archives, bang it around a bit, and then throw it back out there. (Sometimes it will be a complete re-write, other times it will be mere minor fiddling.) As I mentioned in the previous response, I have worked on a number of blogs for many years. The archives are brimming, with both treasures and absolute failures, so I have plenty of things to recycle without getting too annoying or repetitious.

But yes, I try to post something every day. It forces me to constantly be creative on at least some level, and I think we should all strive to do that, whether it be writing or gardening or singing or curing cancer.

M: What are some of your favorite topics to write about? Do you laugh or chortle at your own material?

B: The most easily-satisfying pieces are the “Past Imperfects”, wherein I take old photos and envision a story to go with them. Since folks are already accustomed to these being warped little adventures, I’m free to go wherever I want with them, and go I do. (Really, that’s what writing should be, going wherever you want, but so many of us write for others and forget to write for ourselves.) And yes, I do laugh at some of my own lines, but usually not while I’m writing them. It’s only later, when I’m digging through those archives, when the chortling ensues. Sometimes you need a little distance to appreciate what you’ve done.

The most fully-satisfying pieces, however, are the “nostalgia” stories, from my childhood and early adult years. My writing style changes somehow, a switch just gets flipped, and I enter this other zone as I reflect and contemplate. And yes, I cry over my own words, while writing them in these cases, as I’m often revisiting demons and heartache, even if I give everything a delicate veneer of humor.

M: Besides Liam Hemsworth’s whimsical hair, where do you get your inspiration?

B: Quite simply: Life. Humans are extraordinary and messy and warm and cold and desperate and heartless and glowing and stupid and stunning, all at the same time. The story-triggers are everywhere.

M: You wrote a book titled Screaming in Paris, about a family’s misadventure on their Paris vacation. Is this somewhat autobiographical; is the family in the book based upon your own family experiences?

B: Yes, it’s entirely autobiographical, with 90% of the goings-on entirely true. (There are absurd “dream sequences” inserted throughout, thus requiring me to put a disclaimer on the copyright page that said book “should be considered a work of fiction”, even though it’s mostly not. Despite that nod to possible whimsy, there are certain family members who have never forgiven me for how I portrayed them. I guess they don’t like looking in a mirror.)

M: You also wrote a book called Unexpected Wetness, again about a family’s misadventure, but this time in Six Flags. I too had a few misadventures on vacations as a kid, but mostly because my dad said, “I am going to turn this car around,” and he actually would. He didn’t believe in idle threats. What or who were some of the catalysts that caused your vacations to go off the rails?

B: The catalysts are easy to identify: People behaving inappropriately, be it family members (notice the theme?), Six Flags employees, random tourists who should never have strayed from the family farm, or corporate officials who only look at numbers and not patron enjoyment. Everything that could go wrong, did. And I took notes.

By the way, it sounds like your father is my father as well. I find it pleasing that you might be my sister, but I will be slightly annoyed if I learn that you knew this the whole time and didn’t bother to send me something lovely for my birthdays.

M: Do you prefer writing for your blog over novels?

B: This is an excellent question, one that I have been pondering quite a bit recently. I greatly enjoy the “instant gratification” of releasing a blog post. You know right away if folks like something or they don’t. And there are many times when the commentary discussions are much more satisfying than what I may have written in the blog post proper.

At the same time, spending most of my day either composing/revising a new blog post or responding to comments leaves little time to work on my novels. I currently have five said novels that are in various stages of development, two of which I have been working on for years. (And one of which weighs in at roughly 700 pages of rough draft and clearly needs some whittling.)

I haven’t released a new novel since 2014, which is ridiculous. I’m retired, I should be putting out a new book every 6 months or so. But the allure of blogging is beguiling, and I let myself get led astray. Perhaps it’s time that I pull up my socks and get the deed done. Thank you for giving me this gentle shove, even if you did not mean to do so.

M: Who are some of your favorite authors/influences?

B: This question is always tricky, at least for me, as I have many influences, all for wildly variant reasons, but I’ll give it a run, with the admonition that this is only a sampling:

Zilpha Keatley Snyder: I worshiped her books as a tweenager.

Stephen King: Despite the horror angle, he has a solid understanding of humanity.

Anne Rice: Two words – hypnotic atmosphere.

Anne Tyler: She takes the tiny moments and gives them grandeur.

Douglas Adams: To be allowed into his warped, immensely-imaginative mind was a pleasure.

Gore Vidal: Extremely arrogant and off-putting in his personal life, he could structure a whopper of a tale.

John Rechy: Bold and fearless.

Garrison Keillor: He paints small-town life with loving brushstrokes.

Fannie Flagg: And she does the same.

Ray Bradbury: Science-fiction angle aside, when he shares his childhood via his characters, I’m mesmerized. “Dandelion Wine” is one of the books I wish I had written although, to be honest, I wish I had written some of the books by anyone on this list.

M: Is there any one book that you read as an adolescent or young adult that had a profound effect on you? Did it actually put you on a different trajectory in life, like it made you decide not to become an Alaskan Fisherman?

B: I think it’s fair to say that nearly every (respectable) book I read as an adolescent or young adult confirmed my belief that I was meant to word-smith. I wanted to be a writer when I was 8 and I still want to be a writer at 54. There has been an amazing amount of life-crap thrown in my way over the decades that kept me from this goal, but it’s still what I yearn for, still what I want. I have so much to say, so many, many things, and I’m sure I will continue trying to write the right words until old-age and happenstance dictate otherwise.

M: Where can the masses find your books and you online?

B: My Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Brian-Lageose/e/B00EECSIH2/

My main blog: https://brianlageose.blog/

My Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/BonnywoodManor

My Author Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bonnywood-Manor-328812236679/

Lost: Jessie’s Girl. If Found, Please Give Her a Name

19-of-the-funniest-lost-and-found-signs-ever-made

Jessie’s girl; lost but not forgotten, even though we try. Who is Jessie’s girl? Lets examine the facts that we know. We know that Rick Springfield is a shitty friend and rather than write his secret desires in a diary, he chose to put them to lyrics that have haunted us our entire lives. She is a girl without her own identity, trapped forever in a love triangle so wrong, it ended up in a song. To solve the mystery of Jessie’s girl once and for all, I interviewed Jessie (last name not given to protect his identity) to find out about, “his girl.”

Me: How did the two of you meet?

Jessie: She and I were both deadheads. We would follow the Grateful Dead all over the world. We stopped following them after Jerry Garcia had an ice cream named after himself. It just got to be too much. That’s when we decided to join the Illuminati.

Me: Why has her identity been kept a secret? Tell us her story.

Jessie: It was so that the Illuminati wouldn’t find her; she stole thousands of dollars worth of Gothic ashtrays. Rick blew her cover with that song. The Illuminati found her and bludgeoned her death with Bavarian sausages. So sad.

Me: How did you and Rick become friends?

Jessie: We met at an auction; he and I were both bidding on Bob Dylan’s mood ring. We talked afterwards and found out we both used the same hair spray, so we became fast friends.

Me: Did you suspect he was after, “your girl?”

Jessie: Not at first. He asked me where he could find a woman like that. I said in various cults and secret societies.

Me: Why did he feel so dirty when you guys started talking cute?

Jessie: I didn’t know this at the time, but he bugged my car and my home. He would listen in on our conversations.

Me: Did Rick Springfield end up with, “your girl?”

Jessie: Yes, but then he quickly moved on to Jenny, after he found out her number was 867-5309.

Me: What are you doing now?

Jessie: Currently, I’m one of the writers for the Iron Sheikh’s Twitter account.  You might recognize some of my tweets. “I WILL SUPLEX YOUR DREAMS YOU JABRONI” and “DANCE OR GO FUCK YOURSELF”

Me: Do you also tweet for the president?

Jessie: No, I get that a lot though, because of the similarities.

Me: Where is, “your girl” buried?

Rick: She’s not my girl anymore; she belongs to the world. Her ashes were scattered in a Costco, to commemorate her love of bulk purchasing.

Me: I guess there’s a fine line between sweet and misogynistic. Are you and Rick still friends?

Jessie: He sent me a friend request on Facebook, but I didn’t accept it. I’m just not ready to forgive him.

Me: Neither is the world.

Rick Springfield’s last known whereabouts.

Know-It-O’s: The Cereal That Makes You Smart

Infomercial

Introducing Know-It-O’s, a non-approved FDA cereal that makes you smart.

Are you tired of being a dumb ass? Is your vocabulary extremely limited? Are you in the presidential adjectives club? According to the latest survey, Americans on average, are as dumb as a windmill and for those people who don’t know, windmills are stupid and cause cancer. Let’s face it, your T-Rex size brain can only concentrate for so long. Who has time to be well-read these days? We are not our grandparents, who sat by the fire reading A Tale of Two CitiesYou can’t spare the time away from your phone to read the tale of one city, let alone twoNo, it’s a new era of technology. It is the dumber of times; it is the more dumber of times

I know what your thinking; you’re perfectly happy to wallow in your own ignorance, because after all, it’s gotten you this far in life and you don’t want people thinking you’re now an elitist, because you learned how to pronounce ignominious. It takes years of reading, to develop a decent vocabulary and expand your  point-of-view, beyond your own little narrow slice of cheese. If you had that kind of time, patience and intellectual curiosity in the first place, you wouldn’t be working as an unlicensed acupuncturist in upstate New York. We guarantee that if you eat one bowl of Know-It-O’s a day, for an entire week, your IQ will go up by five points. Just think where you could be in two weeks. Maybe the manager at Arby’s; the possibilities are endless.

You may be wondering what’s in our cereal that makes people smarter. We have all the usual artificial ingredients that make you fat, corn syrup, starch, dextrose trisodium phosphate, etc., but there’s one key ingredient that takes you from Vanilla Ice to Voltaire, in just the span of a few weeks. Our special ingredient is called wiseoflavin, discovered by accident, when one of our employees nuked a hot pocket for too long and it exploded in the microwave. The resulting goop is what comprises wiseoflavin and makes you into a one person think tank.

It works, but don’t just take our word for it; read the testimonials of some our satisfied customers.

“I love Cheerios.” – Courtney Stanley, Satan’s Kingdom, Massachusetts.

“I saw the face of Jesus in my cereal bowl and you can see it too for $5.” – Sam Roberts, Mormon, Utah.

“It makes me gag, but my dog really likes it.” – Dan Salisbury, Children of the Corn, Nebraska.

Try Know-It O’s today and stop being the dumbest one in the room.

Disclaimer: May cause false sense of superiority, hives, dysentery, multiple personality disorder, dementia, bad fashion sense, the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918, penchant for obscure yogurt flavors, bad puns and pregnancy. Do not eat while driving, sitting, standing, lying down, walking, running, or having sex. The sudden influx of knowledge may cause some to have an aneurysm. Product not meant for Fox viewers.

 

The Weekly Horrorscopes

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Aquarius (January 20 – February 18) As the moon transitions into the house of Aquarius, you feel more despair than a Thomas Hardy novel. You eat your feelings, with a gallon of Cherry Garcia and watch Truffaut films. You will make a very unfortunate fashion choice, that gets you ridiculed by a group of Millennial’s at Starbucks. As Saturn aligns with Jupiter, your cat will plot to kill you. He hates you and will delight in your demise.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20) The sun’s solar flares will mean that your hemorrhoids are flaring up again. You will lose your job and be forced to sell decorative boxes and pose as a living statue. Your favorite necklace will fall behind the dresser and we both know you’re not going to move it. As the weather heats up, go outside and get some sun, because you are whiter than Mike Pence’s family reunion.

Aries (March 21 – April 19) The movement of Mars, indicates you will give no fucks this week. The dumpster fire that is your life, keeps raging and you get a big pimple on your forehead, even though you are forty years old. You give up on trying to meet someone and join a scrapbooking club. Be careful of upsetting a Pisces, because they have psychotic cats.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20) The advent of the new moon in Taurus, means you’ll receive some bad news. Your aunt dies, bequeathing you her collection of porcelain clown dolls. It will turn out, that one of the dolls is possessed and a priest will come to your house to perform an exorcism. The movement of Neptune may mean death, or you will have to listen to a rendition of, “Hotel California” played by a mariachi band. I don’t know for sure; this is a pseudoscience.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20) As Saturn transitions into the house of Gemini, prepare for some Alfred Hitchcock-level of weird shit. You will get hit by a couple on a tandem bicycle and have to go to the hospital. The couple will come to visit you and apologize for owning a tandem bicycle. While you’re in the hospital, you get a flesh eating bacteria, that has never been encountered before, so they name it after you. Unfortunately, the bacteria turns you into a zombie and you are now patient zero.

Cancer (June 21- July 22) . The influx of Uranus, (sorry) means you will attend a hot dog eating contest, where one of the contestants is choking. You will perform the Heimlich maneuver on them incorrectly. As it turns out, the contestant wasn’t choking and dies from a punctured lung. You’ll go to prison for life, where you’re forced to knit sweater vests for the GOP. In prison, you find religion and get a tattoo that says, “Jesus is dope.” Watch yourself in the shower, because you’ll want to avoid an influx of Uranus.

Leo (July 23 – August 22) Your astrological map reads like a Nicholas Sparks novel, only without all the sex. Your stocks take a nose dive and you will lose all of your retirement savings. You get a roommate, who smells like Limburger cheese and plays the pan flute. Avoid Libra, Pisces, Virgo and people in general.  Your house will become infested, because your roommate’s pan flute attracts a number of woodland creatures and a few Phish roadies. The burning of incense, your roommate does, to cover up the Limburger cheese smell, catches the drapes on fire. The only thing that is salvageable from the ashes is your vintage Rattan bar stool and the pan flute.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22) Saturn will dominate the house of Virgo this week. You’ll get stuck in an elevator with a mime and a kid taking pics to post on his Instagram, using the caption, #ElevatorMime. A classical arrangement of, “Easy Lover” will play over and over like a virtual horror film. When you finally get rescued, you miss your job interview, the only one in six months. You sell all of your possessions and move to Chicago to live with your sister. Avoid Capricorn, Scorpio and Lollapalooza.

Libra (September 23 – October 22) With the exit of Jupiter and the slow entrance of Mercury, you will get blackout drunk and sing, “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blonde’s at a karaoke bar. You give your number to an actuary, who promises to give you a free risk analysis, if you’ll go out with him. The actuary determines, based upon your lifestyle, that you should be dead by Thursday. When Thursday rolls around and you’re not dead, you celebrate by getting black out drunk at the same karaoke bar. You sing, “Can’t Fight this Feeling” by REO Speedwagon and immediately get banned for life.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)  With Mercury in retrograde, you’ll be feeling generally shitty. You’ve now watched all of Downtown Abbey on Netflix and your dog refuses to go near you, because you are hygiene deficient. Cheetos stains cover your fingers and your breath smells like patchouli. After having a little too much wine, you crash your car into a Trader Joe’s store, where you destroy an entire isle of almond butter and cauliflower gnocchi. You get sued by Trader Joe’s and in lieu of  monetary damages, you are press-ganged into being a brand associate, for their line of kale falafel hummus wraps.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21) After the Lunar Eclipse, you’ll start having reoccurring nightmares that you’re a Fox News anchor. On a whim, you decide to become a minimalist and throw all your possessions in the trash. You regret it the next day, but by then it will be too late. Your Delonghi Cappuccino maker will be put in a landfill, with all the E.T. Atari cartridges. The literary critics will pan your new novel as being a, “self-important pile of polished turds.” You go to IKEA, where you sink into one of their faux bean bag chairs and are never seen again.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19) The transformation of Venus into the house of Capricorn, will create some friction between you and one of your coworkers. You’ll try to smooth things over with a clever pun about llamas, but as it turns out, no one likes puns about llamas, or puns in general or you in general. You move on to cause friction in your other relationships with friends on social media. Your great-aunt blocks you on Facebook, for telling her there’s a special place in hell for her thoughts and prayers. The conservative wing of your family will not invite you to any more family reunions, because you believe in science and have now been labeled as that, “Socialist Satan worshiper.” You will attend your nephew’s sixth birthday party at the pool, where you are beaten to death with an inflatable unicorn. The kids dispose of your body and your eternal resting place is underneath a bouncy house.

 

 

 

The Corpse Trial

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In the year 897, a very strange event occurred. A trial took place in Rome, called the Cadaver Synod, or Corpse Trial. The former pope, Pope Formosus, who had been dead for some months, was disinterred and placed on trial. The judge of the trial was Pope Stephen VI, who was the pope at that time. It was believed that what transpired on that day was lost to history, but with some Indiana Jones type, “archaeology” I was able to get a copy of the transcript, which I translated from Latin (you’re welcome) to English for your convenience.

The corpse of the former pope was sitting in the chair, as if he were still pope, wearing all his papal vestments. Pope Stephen VI addressed the people in the room.

“Let it be understood, that Deacon Bartholomew will be answering for Pope Formosus, and Deacon John will be the prosecutor. Let us commence with the charges brought before the court.”

Deacon John stood up and faced the audience, careful not to stand too close to the accused.

“The Holy Roman Papacy charges Pope Formosus with perjury, ascending to the papacy illegally and ambition.”

There was a collective murmuring from the bishops and cardinals attending the trial.

“Pope Formosus, is it correct that you were once the Bishop of Porto?” Deacon John asked.

There was a silence in the room, everyone was on the edge of their seat, waiting to see if the dead pope would speak. Pope Stephen turned and glared at Deacon Bartholomew. The Deacon, who remembered it was he who had to answer for the deceased, jumped out of his seat and faced the audience. He straightened his diaconal vestments and did his best to preserve his dignity. He said what he thought the former pope might say if he were still alive.

“WTF?”

Pope Stephen glared at Deacon Bartholomew. “I mean, yes, that is correct.”

Deacon John continued his line of questioning. “You were then made Archbishop of the–”

“Answer the question, you charlatan,” Pope Stephen roared and pointed at the cadaver.

“Forgive me your holiness, but I need to finish. You were then made the Archbishop of the Bulgarian Church during the reign of Nicholas I, charged with bringing that kingdom under the Roman Church?”

The crowd turned their head from Deacon John to the super dead pope.

“I don’t know what any of that actually means.”

Pope Stephen once again glared at Deacon Bartholomew.

“Yes, that is correct,” Deacon Bartholomew stammered.

“You admit then, that you violated canonical strictures against translation. That is to say, the transfer of one Episcopal see to another?” Deacon John asked.

Pope Stephen once again interrupted the prosecution. He covered his mouth with a handkerchief, walked up and stood an inch away from the corpse pope, who has been remarkably calm thus far in the proceedings.

“You deserted your diocese without papal permission!”

Deacon Bartholomew, who did not want to risk a third glare from the pope, immediately answered in the affirmative.

“Let it be written that Pope Formosus has plead guilty to transmigrating sees, in violation of canon law and performing holy duties as a bishop, all the while, in fact, a layman,” Deacon John said.

More murmuring was heard again throughout the room and someone was heard saying, “This is some weird shit even by medieval standards.”

Deacon John waited until the rumbling died down to resume his questioning.

“The last charges were laid upon him during his first synod and did not originate with me,” Pope Stephen said.

“We must now settle the charge of perjury. You were deposed and excommunicated by Pope John VIII at a Roman council—”

“You aided in poisoning our beloved Pope John and delighted in his head being bashed in with a hammer,” Pope Stephen interrupted once again, who was nearly frothing at the mouth and behaving decidedly un-popeish.

“May I remind your holiness if I may be so bold, murder and/or aiding and abetting in murder, is not one of the charges leveled against the accused.”

Pope Stephen reluctantly nodded his head, as if he didn’t see why they couldn’t lay one more charge on him.

Due to a deteriorating spinal column, the former pope was sliding down in his chair.

Deacon John paused, forgetting momentarily where he left off.

“You were deposed and excommunicated by Pope John VIII at a Roman council, and you swore an oath never to return to Rome or exercise priestly functions again—were you not?”

“That is true,” Deacon Bartholomew answered.

“I have here the document that declares this oath and is signed by the deceased; it was taken at the Synod of Troyes,” Deacon John said.

Deacon John gave the document to Pope Stephen, who shoved it in the face of the cadaver.

“After the assassination of his holiness, Pope John VIII, all charges against you were dropped and you were reinstated by Pope Marinus I, as Bishop of Porto. So you returned to performing duties, after signing a sworn oath in a papal court?” Deacon John asked.

“Yes, but only after I was pardoned by our holiness Pope Marinus—”

Brother Bartholomew was interrupted by Pope Stephen, who rose once again and stuck his finger in the face of the dead pope.

“Silence, you fiend!”

“Let it be written that Pope Formosus has plead guilty to the charge of perjury,” Deacon John said.

“I didn’t plead guilty actually,” mumbled Deacon Bartholomew.

“Now, we come to the third and final charge of ambition to become pope,” Deacon John said.

“When you were Bishop of Porto, why did you usurp the universal Roman see in such a spirit of ambition?” Pope Stephen asked.

Deacon John sighed; he was becoming exasperated with the Pope’s outbursts and interruptions. “Go ahead and answer the question.”

Deacon Bartholomew was uneasy; he knew that he had better say something that Pope Stephen wanted to hear or he’d lose his post as deacon.

“I conspired with Boris I to become Bishop in Bulgaria and secretly held ambitions to become pope. I was a traitor to King Charles the Bald.”

Some snickering was heard in the crowd at the mention of “King Charles the Bald.”

“I knew it! I knew it!” Pope Stephen yelled and did a victory dance.

“Let it be written, that Pope Formosus has plead guilty to the charge of ambition to seek the papacy illegally. His holiness, Pope Stephen, will now issue the sentence,” Deacon John said.

At this point the corpse pope had slid out of his chair and into the floor. His papal crown was askew.

“I find the accused guilty on all three charges and I issue a rescission actorum, which I will look up the meaning later. Deacon Bartholomew, go find a layman’s robe somewhere and Deacon John, please bring me a knife,” Pope Stephen said.

“A knife, your craziness … er … holiness?” Deacon John asked.

“That is what I said.”

When Brother John arrived back in the courtroom, Deacon Bartholomew was closing up his briefcase like any good lawyer.

Deacon Thomas presented the knife to Pope Stephen, who grabbed the knife and went over to the body of the former pope. He then grabbed the dead pope’s right hand and with one quick slash of the knife, cut off the Pope’s first three fingers.

One of the bishops sitting in the front row jumped to his feet, whether it was to object to the desecration, or he had to use the bathroom, no one can be sure, because he was forced back into his seat by his fellow bishops, where he remained silent.

“You have spoiled the cloisters of Rome and defiled the papal see by performing holy acts as a layman. I remove the fingers that gave blessings to poor men and rich men alike.”

Deacon Bartholomew came forward to remove the papal vestments from former Pope Formosus and put on the layman’s cloak. “Ew,” he said as he touched the cadaver. “Does anyone have any hand sanitizer?”

Pope Stephen, who was scratching his head with the former popes’s fingers said, “You will bury him in a foreigner’s grave.”

Some of the bishops and cardinals in the crowd helped put the corpse back in its original casket, which they carried out with heads bowed.

“I need everyone present to sign this document as witnesses to the events that transpired here today and then we will adjourn to the room next door for some coffee and donuts,” Pope Stephen said.

 After the burial of Pope Formus in a foreigner’s grave, Pope Stephen decided that his corpse wasn’t corpsey enough, so he had him disinterred again, tied with weights and thrown in the Tiber River. The people rebelled against Pope Stephen and he was later imprisoned. A few months later, while in prison, he was strangled to death, thus ending the bizarre story of the Cadaver Synod. 

A revised excerpt from my book, The Gnostic Keepers.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=marietta+rodgers&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

 

 

 

A Memorable Feast II

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A charming dinner party is being held and among the guests are Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Vonnegut, Jean-Paul Sartre, Philip K Dick, Shirley Jackson, Stanley Kubrick and Michelangelo.  Michelangelo sits at the head of a very large dining table, while the others are all on the other end, because of the palpable odor coming from him.

Jackson: {eyes frantically searching the room} Is there a fire exit?

Hemingway: Yes, is there? The last dinner party I attended, ended in a fire, causing me to miss dessert.

Server: {points to a window}

Michelangelo: This pheasant is rancid and has a foul smell.

Sartre: {wearing a scowl worthy of any Frenchman} The stench is coming from you I’m afraid. I agree with your unwillingness to bathe, because it’s your true essence; however, my nose is of an entirely different opinion.

Kubrick: {to the server} My dear boy, don’t just come shuffling in like you’ve been drinking in a Wild West saloon all day. Walk slowly and allow the back-lighting to create a silhouette. The camera will be only on the silhouette, so the audience can see there is someone here serving, without actually seeing someone serving.

Server: What audience?

Dick: They’re over there. {points to a stuffed squirrel on the mantle piece}

Vonnegut:

squeirrel
Squirrel

 

Jackson: We are all going to die in some horrific fashion and our story will be required reading for goth middle school students.

Sartre: {smoking two cigarettes} If we die, it will be because of our choice to come here and not by any transcendent force. It’s all in my book titled, Abstruse Conjectures of the Bourgeoisie … ending with a silent, “t.”

Michelangelo: I will sculpt everyone after dinner and give you all a tiny flaccid penis.

Hemingway: I have a large penis. Why else do you think I would hunt, bull fight and punch anyone critical of my work?

Kubrick: {moving Jackson’s plate}

Jackson: What are you doing? I had my tarot cards there and I was just about to put down the card of a man dancing, while holding a puppy eating ice cream. It’s the card of death!

Kubrick: It is all necessary for the diegesis of the film. I have full artistic control and if you don’t like it, you can complain to the studio.

Michelangelo {contently basking in his own squalor}

Dick: I think someone followed me here.

Server: Would you like more wine?

Sartre: {slaps server} Don’t interrupt me in the middle of an existential crisis! I will have more wine though.

Jackson: {to the server} You didn’t offer that homeless man at the end of the table any wine.

Dick: I was once abducted by some hipster aliens, who had a penchant for cycling and ironic clothing. They also probed me.

Hemingway: I have a large penis.

Kubrick: {disgusted with the server and his complete lack of composition, pushes him into a broom closet and takes over serving} I need some epic music for my thirty minute title sequence.

Michaelangelo’s aroma has permeated beyond the dining room and has attracted a Grizzly bear and several other forest creatures. Everyone scatters, except for Dick, who thinks the hipster aliens have returned and Hemingway, who gets the bear in a full nelson.

Vonnegut: “So it goes.”

bearvonnegut
Bear

 

A Witless Wonderland

teapartyoutside

A table is set in a forest with porcelain teapots filled with ginger tea, white tea, black tea and many others. The table is also filled with every kind of confection, from scones to butter cookies, not to mention, some scrumptious-looking finger sandwiches. At the table, sits our top leaders, discussing vital issues.

VP White Nationalist Rabbit: {pulls out a broken pocket watch} I’m terribly late for my meeting with an organization that shall remain nameless.

President Mad Asshatter: {takes his pocket watch and dunks it in the black tea}

White Nationalist Rabbit: Not the black tea!!!

Spokesperson Queens Reich: Sir, I need to discuss the proposal to weaken mercury standards and how it could negatively impact our anti-pollution laws.

Mad Asshatter: Nonsense, mercury is good for you. {snorts mercury from a thermometer}

Senior Advisor Jared Dorkmouse: {pokes his head out from an empty teacup}

Mad Asshatter: {turns tea cup upside down and traps Dorkmouse under it}

Treasury Secretary Creepy Cat: Sir, I’ve been doing the math on this border wall and …

Mad Asshatter: Stop right there. There’s no need to bring math into this.

Creepy Cat: But sir, we don’t have the money.

Mad Asshatter: Stop smiling like that. You’re making me lose my appetite. {shoves entire scone into his mouth}

Security Advisor March Hare Implants: A withdrawal from Syria is very unpopular among some of your base.

Creepy Cat: {Ears perk up at the mention of the word ‘withdrawal’ but go back down at the mention of a poor country}

Mad Asshatter: {picks up Dorkmouse by the tail and begins to spread butter on him}

Dorkmouse: {trying to escape} Squeak!!!

White Nationalist Rabbit: I am so very late. I hope they don’t start without me.

Queens Reich: Mr President, we should suspend our daily press briefings.

Mad Asshatter: {realizes he’s holding Dorkmouse and throws him up in the air, where he lands on a tree branch} Suspend them for how long?

Queens Reich: Until you learn how to construct sentences.

Mad Asshatter: Look, you can hold briefings, just blame everything on the Democrats.

Creepy Cat: {smiles so wide he catches a bee and several flies}

Mad Asshatter: Why is a raven like a writing desk?

March Hare Implants: {grooming mustache with a tea whisk and staring blankly}

Queens Reich: I don’t know, how is a raven like a writing desk?

Mad Asshatter: I don’t write. How the fuck should I know? {drinks tea from the pot}

White Nationalist Rabbit: That’s an excellent riddle.

{A hawk swoops down on the tree branch and flies away with Dorkmouse}

Mad Asshatter: Where is that bird going with my raspberry tart? Do something, March Hare Implants! You’re my National Security Advisor.

March Hare Implants: This is not in my job description, but okay. {Hurls a saucer like a frisbee and hits White Nationalist Rabbit, knocking him out of his chair}

Mad Asshatter: Goddamn it! It got away.

Creepy Cat: {Sees the White House cat}

Mad Asshatter: I need to get a new National Security Advisor. Queens Reich, find out who made these tarts and ask them if they want to be my National Security Advisor.

Queens Reich: You’ve already asked much of the kitchen staff already, for various cabinet positions, including for White House Spokesperson.

Mad Asshatter: Well, try some of the custodial workers.

Queens Reich: Sir, it’s time to call Sean Hannity. You need to find out what our economic, social and foreign polices are this week, because no one seems to know.

{The Mad Asshatter leaves with Queens Reich and March Hare Implants. He grabs a couple of tarts and shoves them inside his suit jacket. White Nationalist Rabbit is still on the ground, possibly dead. No one could tell before anyway. Creepy cat is left alone to sniff the butt of the White House cat}