Do they watch game shows in Hell?
A Wally Crankset Tale
I sat down at the computer planning to write a piece about the Cat-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, one of the kittens we adopted last summer. Wally sat on the couch, idly paging through a bicycle parts catalog while the television droned in the background. I'd nicknamed the kitten Miss M because she had a black heart full of mayhem. Her true name cannot be said aloud for fear the Elder Gods will awake from their long slumber and wreak havoc on humanity. Miss Malicious is their envoy, a demon cleverly disguised as a cute, cuddly kitten.
…and welcome to another round of American Idolatry! I'm your host...
It was a good day, a productive one because the ideas were percolating. I like those rare moments when my brain spits out ideas almost faster than I can write them down. The TV muttered unnoticed. Usually it's on the weather channel, a favorite in our house, but someone had left it on a game show channel. When I'm in the groove, writing comes naturally, and I can ignore most distractions. On the bad days, however, I have to turn everything off in order to concentrate. Wally can be especially annoying at times like that, but today he was absorbed in his catalog.
I'll take “Wall Street” for $100, Alex.
The cat piece was coming together nicely. This cat is very pretty, yet behind those gorgeous eyes, there's murderous intent. I'd be on the menu if I wasn't so much bigger and more heavily armed than her. She's a criminal at heart. I've warned several visitors that she might jump into your lap purring, and then make off with your wristwatch, wallet, and car keys. She is not to be trusted.
Who is “Mammon”?
Miss Malice went into heat earlier this week, making what had been a normally hyperactive cat into a crazed, wild animal that was driving all of us nuts. She pawed at the doors, howled at the windows, and attracted the attention of all the tomcats in the neighborhood. They dropped by to leave their calling cards on the front porch.
What is the 'root of all evil', Alex?
While hosing off the porch, I threatened to use extraordinary measures in dealing with the tomcat menace. I'd even put my pellet gun behind the front door, leading Mary to threaten extraordinary measures against me. Now, I wouldn't really shoot one of the cats, but I know the unexpected noise startles them. The pellet gun scares them off and they learn to run at the sight of it in my hand.
I'll take “Detroit Iron” for $500.
Miss Mayhem was unfazed by all of this, of course. She was determined to get outside. She didn't know why she wanted to do this, but she lurked by the door in anticipation. Tomcats lurked in the flower garden, waiting patiently for her escape.
“What are gutter bunnies?”
Huh? The television drew my attention.
The clue is, “Fallen cyclists.”
“What are speed bumps, Alex.”
Wally threw a beer can at the set. Fortunately it was an empty this time. Once, he threw a full one, slopping beer all across the living room, the television, and Miss Mamba, whose glare promised Wally a lingering, painful death by torture if she ever had the chance. Worse, Mary banished him from the house, depriving him of home-cooked meals for a while. This was a hardship because he was in between marriages and he relied on us for decent food. She relented eventually, but only after Wally made a humbling, abject apology for his action. He was hungry.
But I was outraged at this stupid game show! I was going to write to all the advertisers until I realized they were automobile manufacturers, tire companies, oil companies, and motels. Well, there was an ad for Enzyte too, but somehow I think that's still connected to big, shiny cars, albeit ones with enormous tailfins. Dunno why I make that connection. The game show moved on to questions about celebrities, their sex lives and stints in rehab. It did nothing to mollify my anger.
But Wally was far more angry than I. He decided to deal with this personally. He's flying to California in an attempt to become a contestant on American Idolatry. We're doing the usual Wally-goes-on-vacation emergency drill, lining up telephone numbers for judges, lawyers, bail bondsmen, and various police agencies. Mary compiled a list of hospitals. Knowing Wally, I looked up the number for the marriage license bureau, just in case. Those of you with scanners in southern California may want to listen for any police calls involving Dr. Walter Crankset.