Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Winner

I saw a lord in white dueling a man in black, and the man in black was the bad guy, but the lord in white was the villain, or so they saw each other. The man in black said there were no heroes, and yet if you could not see the color of their clothes or the grimaces on their faces, either could have been a hero. One slew the other, flourished, grew rich, grew old, and died.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: What it Means to be a Winner

Lo stood alone on the hilltop as the thunderheads rolled in. It went from sunny to cloudy to pouring buckets in less than a minute. His clothes stuck to his body and his hair was plastered to his face.

He grinned his wicked fool’s grin.

“Well played, Mother Nature. But I prepared for this.”

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pink cocktail umbrella. The wind almost ripped it in half as soon as he opened it, and the rain soaked the paper. Undaunted, he held the ornament over his head.

It did nothing. He was still constantly drenched. The wind shifted repeatedly, so that he was alternately swatted in the face and backside with veritable sheets of water.

The paper umbrella didn’t break, and he kept it overhead. Always grinning.

“I win.”

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bathroom Monologue at an Anime Convention

“Why the Hell do these people keep looking at me like I’m staff? And why did I show two of them to their seats? There is such a thing as too nice, Wiswell. But what do I look like? Beard makes me look a lot older. I’ve got an actual button-down shirt on, and I’m not hiding my convention pass to look cool. I speak in a polite manner—oh, holy crap. They think I work here. I need a Hawaiian shirt as soon as possible.”

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Noun Challenge Begins Sunday

Dear Readers,

Thank you for the surprisingly quick responses of the Joker, Kentucky Derby and volcanic pumice. At the very least you've enabled me to type a sentence no man has ever written before just by thanking you.

The first monologue in the experiment will go up Sunday, with one a day until Saturday. I'm doing my best to keep them different. So far I've got a sentient volcano, an unusual specialty restaurant, a supervillain taking a day at the races and an unsuccessful deity out of the deal.

I'll be doing another experiment sooner than later. This one won't be first-come, first-serve, so everyone gets a shot.

Thanks for playing along!

John Wiswell

Bathroom Monologue: “If the shoe fits…” –Annoying people, throughout the decades

If the shoe fits, then walk on it and see if it’s comfortable. Also see if the look appeals to you. No sense in keeping an ugly shoe just because it fits your foot. Examine the price – how much does this fitting shoe cost? If it’s too expensive, try on some others. It can’t be the only shoe in the whole store that fits. If it is the only shoe the store will give you that happens to fit, then go to a better store. If the shoe salesman is dumb enough to say you should wear it just because it fits, tell his manager. He may be wearing a size too small. If all else fails, get custom made shoes that actually suit you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: F.D.E.

Franklin Delano Einstein is not his real name. It is an unusually literate moniker for a 6’10” professional wrestler. “Delano” is a recent addition to his stage name; originally he was just “Frank Einstein,” a ghoulish pun referencing the horrible stitch-like scars all over his scalp, face and arms. He jokes that they are from chicken pox, but one night, under the influence of good seed, he confessed something about an accident on a stretch of highway. In character, they are the scars of his creation in a German lab. He took pro wrestling by storm as a silent brute, and carried on that way for three years before speaking his first words. They were: “I think, therefore I am.” From then on he portrayed an ironically intelligent scarred giant, wearing reading glasses to all of his pre-match interviews. Many of his fans don’t even notice the scars anymore, or pass them off as part of a bad hoax. After he started wearing the glasses, however, a few fans noticed that the well-spoken giant has two different colored eyes.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Noun Challenge

Dear Readers,

I want to try a little experiment. Next week all seven of the monologues will contain three specific nouns: a person, a place and a thing. Anyone who is reading is invited to leave a word in one of these categories. The first person can choose any of the three; the second gets to choose form the remaining two, and the last picks the final world.

It can be any person (Jimmy Carter, Liu Bei, Apollo), any place (Paris, Fortress of Solitude, Lake of Tranquility on the moon), and any thing (a boulder, the Blarney Stone, the color green). Doesn't matter if the place is fictional or the person is a name you just made up. Any ambiguity is my territory - you tell me to write seven monologues about someone I've never heard of, and at least one of them will be a different person with the same name. You pick the "Quickening" from Highlander and I get to interpret it as a verb. All's fair for the runner. In turn, you can choose one as difficult as you want (Anthony Venn-Brown, Mobile in Alabama, Kentucky blue grass). Boy, I hope you won't.

The first point of the experiment is to see if I can actually do it. The second is to see if I can make any of it fun. For the sanctity of the experiment, there will not be more than one list and not more than one Strange Company dialogue. Can't cheat.

Though really, a list that managed to cover Jimmy Carter, Paris and a boulder would be impressive.

Thanks for playing along. Your submissions for the experiment can go in the Comments section of this post.

John Wiswell

Bathroom Monologue: To Arms and Armor

In the last days of the local monarchy, King Rykshtand commissioned a suit of armor befitting a king. He hoped a truly grand appearance would restore the faith of the people, or at least their fear.

For comfort, they fashioned him several articles of durable cloth, overlaid with strips of leather. Over the leather padding they laid articles of the finest chain mail, made up of tiny links such that even a needle would need to be lucky to pass through. However, the mail was very thin, and despite the alchemists attesting that it was strong, King Rykshtand demanded at least three layers of the material. And so it was done. Atop the layers of mail they set about the suit with thick plates of tempered and folded steel, given wicked curves for the most ergonomic fit and functionality. But the functionality left too many joints open for his majesty’s liking, so he had additional plates strapped around the knees and shoulders, and devised a steel waistcoat to protect the royal posterior.

Unfortunately when they were invaded it took King Rykshtand three days to actually put on the suit of armor, by which point the kingdom was lost.

The Rykshtand Armor is on exhibit in the Museum of Irony until Thursday.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Re: “Immigrant’s Song” by Led Zeppelin

Fight from the land of the ice and snow
From the moonsault sun with the handsprings elbow
The Hammer’s at odds
We’ll drive our shit to new lands
To fight the horde, singing and stand in line,
“Victoria, I am coming!”
On we sleep
Totally bored
I want to go where there’s a wrestling show!
Counter est. March 2, 2008