Chapter 12 read by Adam Tully
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-¡Get out! ¡Get out before I break your other hand! -Dr. Berger screamed, crushing Margaret’s hand on the door handle.

Charlie watched as Margaret started levitating above the room, holding a bong.

And toking away madly, just like the punk-ass she was.

-¿Who is that up there? -Dr. Berger asked, pissed at the insolence-. You don’t get it, kids -And he started shooting pasta at Margaret from a cannoli cannon.

-I am the other campaign -Margaret said-. And I’m not subject to your pious liberal-slash-Rush-Limbaugh agitprop.

-This is El Salvador-serious -Charlie said-. It’s some species of pie ala mode with plants and dogs and... ¡yuck!

-¡Fuck you, Dad! -Margaret said, not quite as high as a kite, but nearing the ceiling fan-. ¡You don’t own me!

The rivers were overflowing, the trash was overflowing, and the continents were turning incontinent. Then - just when you’d think things couldn’t get worse - things got worse. The cockroaches came out of the seams.

-Look at all these motherfucking cockroaches -Charlie said.

An avalanche of silence poured metaphysical pasta sauce over all of them, just in time, too, because when a man is face to face with metaphysical Ragu - and without the accompanying side-order of Salad a la Mumble - his hands are mired in real-world croutons. He can buck and bronc, but it’s useless chafing against the hide of life, the sun parachuting to earth. You’d have to be a bigot-bar-none not to leave a trail of zoo animals on wheels and manta rays with on pogo sticks.

-¡Mr. Martinez! ¡What! -Their dad screamed-. ...a surprise.

-It’s Dad’s old, jackass boss, from the polytechnic -Margaret said, reintroducing the despondent didact.

-I know that -Charlie said-. It’s the narrator who doesn’t know what the fuck’s going on.

-I haven’t been in this narrative for two fucking weeks, and I’m trying to renew my Screen Actors Guild card -Mr. Martinez said with all of the reason and clarity of an old and out of work acrobatist.

-That’s okay, the narrative’s been doing fuck-all -Dr. Berger, who was now at least lucid, if still naked, said. He didn’t like Margaret pointing at his bald spot-. Yeah, and the fucking writer gave me a bald spot.. And I’m naked.

-Hey, that’s no problem. I only dropped by to visit and to get some SAG points -Mr. Martinez said, putting his hands all over Dr. Berger’s naked and greasy body-. This is just extra. I’ve always been interested in what pure fat and sweat felt like. And I knew it. I knew it would feel like pouring a jar of peanut butter over a walrus - just with more of a crematorium than a creamy smell. Promise me you’ll be afraid of Jebus. Promise me. Promise me that you’ll be afraid of Jebus, because he’s gonna fuck you up...

-¡All right, all right! -Dr. Berger wasn’t the only podiatrist dabbling in the occult-. The grunion are running soon and I have to get my greasy ass to the bathroom... er... laboratory.

Margaret wasn’t prepared for all of this shit, and she and her brother watched in slack-jawed silence.

Mr. Martinez opened an umbrella and passed it to Dr. Berger, who opened the bathroom door with it.

-¡Hello, kids! -He said as if he had just met them.

Their father was losing it big time.

-¿Wouldn’t’cha kill for some lunch, kids?

-Yeah, that’d be bastard perfect -Charlie minced better than Elliot Mintz.

Dr. Berger’s reputation was parachuting into degradation. He adjusted his visor as a signal to Mr. Martinez that the bathroom, closed as it was to everyone, would be open to him if he wanted to bend it like Beckham.

-That’s a new look for Dad -Charlie said, referencing the visor, as the two sorry siblings regrouped in the kitchen. He opened the refrigerator, hungry for lunch.

-I can’t believe I had to see his man-boobies -Margaret said, leaning over a bowl of tomato and torn-up-receipts soup-. You know, if Dad could really make plants into animals, he’d be bastard famous. ¡Like Charro!

-Yeah, I guess -Charlie said-. ¿What’s next on the menu? ¿“Confetti con Carne”?

-You can make your self a sammitch -Margaret was afraid the CIA was bugging the lunch meat.

-You know, I’m not really horny -Charlie responded gonad-mindedly-. A kill costs the Cosa Nostra more than a murder. ¿Why do you think they’re always murdering motherfuckers?

-I never thought about it that way -Margaret said. She took her right hand with her left and made it slap Charlie-. I’m really a CIA agent, Charlie. I’m the reason Mom is out getting shit “notarized”.

-You shut your mouth -Charlie said to squash whatever microsecond of silence had eked in.

Margaret looked in the refrigerator for something to shove into Charlie’s mouth. She closed the door and lunged at Charlie with a chicken-cheese tamale.

-Charlie, ¿do you think Dad knows which way is up?

-¿Which way is what?


-Oh. No, I don’t -Charlie responded, searching for his head with his hands-. I know I had my head here a minute ago -He said as his eyes turned up into his head.

-¿What? ¿What did you just say? -Margaret was all for tearing the refrigerator limb from limb.

-I said that if he ever pulls his head out of his ass, his penis will miss the company -Charlie wasn’t sugar-coating shit-. He hides in the bathroom, naked, and that’s how he filters out anything real.

      -- on to chapter 13   or   back to the Bathroom --