Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chapter 15

Ayn Rand tries her hand a babysitting.

Winter had come as it does every year. It's a part of impersonal nature, devoid of thought or meaning.

Unless you're a narcissist prone to magical thinking, like Daffy Braggart. Then you associate even the changing of the seasons with anthropic properties directly related to your own fuck-ups.

And oh how Daffy did associate! The dropping of the temperature, the graying of the sky - a welcome change from the usual brown - all clearly indicative to her of the world reacting to her petty inconveniences!

Like Spank going to jail. Not only did it rob her of freaky, adulterous sex but it meant no more glowing green spankmeum for Braggart Big Damn Rail! And right with it came the news that Dan the coal guy was also in jail for such trumped-up collectivist charges as "bombing whole towns to get at their black gold," meaning no more coal for Daffy's choo-choos!

And no, she didn't care that coal-burning engines had been a rarity, even for her own company, for the past half century...

And the moocher-coddling liberals in DC had sent a grain shipment to some Third World pit full of lazy brown people. Daffy's hard earned money, sucked away through taxes and wasted on something as unproductive - and uninvolved with Daffy - as feeding other people!

But then something glorious happened - the grain shipment was hijacked by the legendary pirate Rancor Dumbassjerk. Yes, there are pirates now. This cheered Daffy to no end, though it didn't in any way resolve her initial gripe of losing money through taxes - which is a stunningly ignorant way to view taxation in the first place but we're getting ahead of ourselves. All that mattered is no damn moochers would benefit!

Daffy was so busy getting off to the thought of foreigners starving to death, she barely had the energy left to fret about The Great Destroyer gobbling up all the Great Men in the country. That was still going on too - CEOs and hedge fund managers going missing to the joy of everyone who actually worked for a living. Despite all observable evidence, Daffy was sure the economy would come tumbling down any day now without rich jerks collecting all the biggest salaries and storing it in offshore accounts. Because Objectivists know fuck-all about their own favored economic model.

The world went on, impersonal as ever, while Daffy assumed everything was crashing down because her own little world wasn't exactly to her liking - "Oh Spank! Nothing matters anymore if I can't get what I want!"

"So we're done with exposition? And how'd I get here when I'm supposed to be in jail?"

Fuck it.

While Spank went tromping off into the snow to assume socialism would turn truck drivers into criminals - like Spank himself, if he possessed the self-awareness - Daffy had a meeting with the Braggart Big Damn Rail board. Rather, they had a meeting and she was going to crash it.

"...And we've seen exponential growth in the past quarter, almost entirely due to the dramatic reduction in operations costs from the total electric conversion," explained a guy - let's call him Steve - to the Braggart Big Damn Rail board.

"Could've been more if not for the damn unions," muttered some other guy, one I can't be bothered to name.

"That's the price we pay for good service," said Tim, ever patient and reasonable.

"Just thank God we're not using that damn green stuff anymore," another board member not important enough to name chimed in. "We'd be operating at one hell of a loss, especially with that rail line to nowhere."

"Fortunately, we won't have to worry about anymore such... misadventures," Tim said.

And since if you speak of the devil he will appear, Daffy Braggart burst into the boardroom with a "Boom shaka-laka!"

Tim promptly called security.

"I suppose you're all wondering how to save this company without anymore spankmeum!" Daffy declared. She declares a lot, even when it looks like a question.




"We're doing really well these days."

Impervious to evidence she didn't like, Daffy continued, "I suppose you all think you can get a reduction in shipping rates to bring down our rail construction costs! Is that it!"

"With all due respect Miss Braggart, what the fuck does that have to do with anything!?"

Before Daffy could not explain, security arrived and escorted her off the premises.

As she was booted out on her ass, who should be waiting for her but Francisco Domingo Carlo Banana Fana bo Binko d'Ano The Third! "I arrived here on the 3:15 plot convenience bus!"

"Oh, Franky!" Daffy wailed. They're going to murder the Gort Line!"

"Honey, think of the first man to build a steel girder," d'Ano said, because non sequitors are deep and shit. "He wasn't all like, 'Oh, well, I guess...' He was like, 'This is how I want it because I just know what a steel girder is!'" He gestured grandly, "That's the sort of Human Courage lacking these days! But those sorts of men do exist!"

"Golly!" Daffy said.

"Folks just don't want those sorts of men anymore -"

"But I want them!" protested Daffy. "I want them! I want them so bad!"

"Down girl!" Then, returning to his highly affected sermonizing, "No, keep wanting them. Because wanting something totally makes it happen."

"Like The Secret?"

"No, that's a different sucker-cult. I'm not clear on how it works, but just want it. Okay?"

"Okey dokey!" And want she did!

Meanwhile, Spank was about to have a confrontation with Lily. I think. The source material kinda disappeared just now...

Lily, after much consideration and working up her nerve, had decided to confront her husband on his infidelities. As well as what he was doing out of jail. "Spank?" she asked. "Can I talk to you, please?"

"Oh what is it now?" Spank whined. "Can't you see I'm a Great Man with Great Problems!?"

"I know you're having problems... And I know you're having an affair."

"So what?"

Haltingly, Lily said, "I'm your wife... I, uh, I don't know if it feels like I drove you to this... But, um..."

"It's always about you, isn't it!?" Spank hissed.

"I love you..." Lily said, though as she said it she started to wonder if it were really true anymore.

"You just want to chain me!"

"But the chains are yours -"

"You're week and needy and you won't be satisfied until I'm just as week and needy! Now go fix me a martini!"

"Spank, that's not true at all," Lily protested. "I won't - that is, if you really want to see this woman I won't get in the way. But our marriage -"

"Where's my martini!?"

Yes, I'm cutting a lot of scenes. You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chapter 14

This is the gist of it.
Turkey, $30. Champagne, $25. Fancy lace tablecloth, $2,000 (seriously, tablecloths are frickin' expensive). Dinner service and fine china, $2,500. Silverware, $3,000. Feeling superior to everyone in the room because you can quantify all this junk, priceless!

Or it would be if Spank Rearend could wrap his myopic mind around the concept of something being worth more than money. As it stands, he calculated his self-satisfaction this night at being somewhere in the seven figures... And was wondering when he would be receiving a check for it.

"God, I hate Thanksgiving," Rearend's mother groaned at the head of the dinner table. "It always means I have to see you people again."

"We love you too, ma," said Bill, Spank Rearend's brother who'd been long absent from this narrative.

"Rakum frakum..." Spank just muttered from his end of the expensive spread.

"What was that?"

"Please excuse Spank," Lilly said nervously. "He's... not in the best mood."

"Oh, is this about that trial tomorrow?" Spank's mother asked.

For those of you just joining us, Spank Rearend was arrested and charged with contempt of court - and some other stuff - for violating an injunction against producing more of his spankmeum alloy. That's still part of the plot and he's damn sure going to court for it.

"I'll have you know," Spank said with great self-important gravity, "I intend to make a stand tomorrow."

"Of course you will, everyone stands when the judge enters."

"No, ma. I think he means he's gonna make a scene."

"Well that's to be expected. I remember when he tried to muscle more allowance -"

"I had expenses!" snapped Spank, hotly.

"Of course you did, you were twenty-three!" his mother retorted.

Drawing himself up, trying to salvage his dignity, Spank persisted, "I happen to be doing the Right thing. I've always done the Right thing and will always do the Right thing!"

"Spank, you broke the law," Bill explained, displaying the patience of a saint. "Not just broke the law, but flagrantly and while giving material aide to a guy who's pretty much a mad bomber with a failed coal company. I understand the philosophical point that breaking the law under certain circumstances can be the right thing to do but that's hardly the case here."

Spank stared at his brother blankly, not having understood much after the word "Spank." After an awkwardly long silence, he declared, "If I do it, it's right!"

"Jesus, you're such a solipsist!"

"I'm right!" insisted Spank, his voice turning shrill. "I am not a slippery-slopery thingy! I'm right and you're all fired!"

And he ran off to sulk in the bedroom.

"Well thank God for small favors," Mother Rearend said. "Can someone pass the potatoes?"

Spank spent the rest of the evening sulking and even most of the morning, running through in his head all the brilliant things he could've said to his jerk brother... Nah, I'm not giving examples. He didn't stop this pity party when federal agents came around to collect him for his day in court.

"I knew they'd send you, Dougie," Spank said bitterly to the one agent he recognized.

"I still have that tazer, sir," the agent replied.

The agents drove him to the courthouse. Standard procedure but that didn't stop Spank from imagining they recognized his greatness and chauffeured him accordingly. Looking out the window, he saw people on the sidewalk reading papers with headlines like "Railroad Disasters!" and "Mystery Metal Leads to Record Number of Derails!"

Clearly the papers were jealous f Spank Rearend and his metal...

There was some scene with Daffy but fuck her and fuck this book. Spank's at court now.

He sat there, without any lawyers but confident in the compelling evidence of his exquisitely tailored grey suit. No one looking upon such good taste and perfect form could believe he'd done anything wrong by building and selling such awesome metal. Really, that's his reasoning!

"All rise!" called the bailiff. "The honorable Hector Ramirez presiding!"

Spank Rearend did not rise. He smirked, thinking this a bold move.

The bailiff cast a glance at the judge, as if to ask, "Want me to show this stuffed shirt who's boss?" But the judge shrugged it off. Not worth getting worked up over such a petty trial.

"Be seated," Judge Ramirez said. "The case of The People versus Spank Rearend and Rearend Metals is now in session. Mister Rearend, have been informed of the charges against you?"

"Yes I have!"

"And do you understand these charges?"

"I do not accept these charges!"

The judge cocked an eyebrow inquisitively, "Excuse me?"

"These charges are irrational as they directly constrain my own will, therefore I do not accept them!"

"Okay..." Ramirez looked at Spank Rearend sitting alone. "Has the defendant been informed of his right to council?" he asked the prosecutor.

"I have no council because I have no defense!" Spank Rearend declared boldly.

Confused, Ramirez asked, "So you're entering a plea of guilty?"

"I offer no plea! I do not recognize the authority of this court!"

Ramirez rubbed his temple. He swore he saw more of these types every week. Damn courtroom dramas making people think they could just make a scene and walk... "Has the defendant been found mentally competent to stand trial?"

"Wouldn't submit to examination, your honor," replied the prosecutor.

"I submit to no -"

Ramirez struck his gavel sharply. "Mister Rearend, whether you like it or not you're on trial. If you cannot conduct yourself civilly you can be found in contempt - again - and spend the night in jail. Now do you have a plea?"

"I can't hear you! Na na na na!" Spank chanted, sticking his fingers in his ears.

"Alright, defendant is remanded to county lockup." Ramirez struck his gavel again, "Get him out of here."

The bailiff and another officer gripped Spank at the sides. "Hey, what're you doing!? I said I don't recognize your authority and stuff! You can't do this!"

"At least this puts us ahead of schedule," Ramirez muttered as Spank was dragged from the courtroom.

And that's where this chapter ends now. See you next week! Maybe!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chapter 13

Lily shuffled through the dank evening streets, knowing she should find her husband Spank Rearend but not particularly wanting to. She'd known of his infidelity of course - this most recent and his previous ones - and had as usual kept mum about the whole thing. She'd learned through long, painful experience not to press Spank as he more than lived up to his name.

Though she did wonder if the little financial security their sham marriage provided was worth the embarassment of that night. Not just her husband being so publicly affectionate with his mistress Daffy Braggart and her brother's wedding, but at finding the two of them in an alley just now, Spank vigorously railroading the railroad exec.

"Oh Franky!" Daffy cried, remembering Francisco Domingo Carlo Banana Fana bo Binko d'Ano The Third who'd been mincing about in the last chapter.

"Yeah, take it Franky!" hollered back Spank Rearend. "I'm not gay!"

It was times like this Lily really considered just leaving... But where would she go?

She wasn't stupid. She knew just walking out on Spank would absolve him of all the obligations stipulated by their marriage - namely the financial support Lily would need. She'd been a kept woman so long it would be hell to try and find a job. And despite the many reasons for divorce Spank had given her over the course of the narrative, she knew he'd fight her every step of the way. He wasn't the sharpest spoon in the pudding but he was tenacious when it came to grabbing money.

"Which I don't want but take anyway! It's about principles and shit!"

Spank, you're too dumb to break the fourth wall.

"Right! My bad!"

So needless to say. Lily felt trapped. She saw every opportunity to relieve her misery as a distant door slammed shut, receding in the distance like the elipses used by mediocre writers in lieu of proper transitions.

* * *

Spank Rearend sat in his office. The plasma screen mounted on the wall relayed the latest news in the d'Ano scandal.

"Sources now say Mister d'Ano not only had no copper, but knew this and the many reports he filed with the police regarding 'stolen' ore are fraudulent."

"That's right, Bob. Mister d'Ano defrauded just about everyone in Mexico and a number of private investors here in America, running from major firms to average citizens looking to diversify their IRAs."

"No word yet on if the Mexican government will honor the contract between d'Ano and his many cheated investors. Cindy, I don't know how many folks out there know this, but American laws require investors be paid their principle even in the event of bankruptcy."

"Yes, Bob. Because we have rule of law here, where everyone is equal regardless of wealth or inherited privilege."

Spank sneered contemptuously at the big TV screen. "'Rule of law!' Feh!"

And he was disappointed no one was paying attention to him. "Judy!" he barked into the intercom. "Send in some peon to bask in my brilliance!"

"My name is Roger, sir," replied the much put upon office manager.

But the door to Spank's office opened anyway and in came Doctor Floyd. He'd been tasked with making a study of Spank Rearend's new wonder metal spankmeum - mostly a wonder how it could be so green and flammable.

"Mister Rearend," Floyd said pleasantly. "I hope I'm not intruding?"

Spank just bawwed like the big baby he was.

"Oh, uh... Well, I hope we can get through this smoothly. I know you don't want anymore contempt of court charges."

"You just hate how awesome I am!" whined Spank.

"Mister Rearend, I'm just here to study the, er..." Few people other than Spank himself really care to refer to the mistery alloy as "spankmeum." Can you blame them?

"You used to like my metal!" Spank sputtered. "And you changed your mind! You're inconstant! A flip-flopper!"

"I don't really remember that," Floyd said politely, trying to diffuse the situation. "And to be fair, any previously produced metal of yours has less bearing on your current product than, y'know, empirical study."

"You're too weak to be emperor!"

"Okay, I think we're in a different parody now."

No, see, it's a pun.

"Christ... How much longer is this scene?"

Just skip to the part about how the Feds know about his deal with Dan.

"Right, that." Focusing his attemtion on Spank, rather than the Narrator, Floyd said, "Mister Rearend, I probably shouldn't be telling you this but I want to impress upon you just how serious this is. The FBI's had you uder surveillance, they know about your deal with that guy in the last chapter and they're readu to charge you with all sorts of stuff. Conspiracy, reckless endangerment -"

"Blackmail!" shrieked Spank.

"Oh fuck this."

It's cool, Floyd. You're done for the day.

But I'm not! Goddammit...

"Oh thank goodness you're here!" Edguy Dithers, in a completely different scene, said to that unnamed worker he keeps accosting with plot updates in the Braggart Big Damn Rail cafeteria.

"I needs to get a restrainin' order..." The worker muttered to himself.

"You won't believe what's been happening! Daffy - uh, I mean Miss Braggart is beside herself with what to do with Dan!"


"That coal guy in the last chapter. The Feds are down on him for utterly trumped up charges like 'blasting for coal without permission' and 'exploding mountain tops at such a rate it's technically terrorism' and they're being so unfair to him!"

"You know my grandfather worked in a coal mine? Never drank or smoked, died of eight kinds of cancer before sixty."

"I don't see how that's relevant to Daffy's distress. Now listen - her theory is there's a Destroyer of sorts on the loose. Every time a Great Man is under too much stress from his business or mistress, this Destroyer sweeps in an snatches him like removing a pillar. Soon, without any Great Men, there won't be any support for society!"

But the worker had left halfway through all that, having real responsibilities to attend to. Like the hundreds of others who kept Braggart Big Damn Rail running in just this building alone.

Elsewhere, because transitions are for commies, Francisco Domingo Carlo Banana Fana bo Binko d'Ano The Third was paying Spank Rearend a visit at his inactive mill.

Spank, as any grand industrialist, was too busy feeling sorry for himself at first to notice d'Ano. "Stupid gub'mint, stupid wife, stupid people not letting me do what I want..." he blubbered.

"Aww, what's up lamb chop?" said d'Ano in a flamboyant manner that would be all too obvious to anyone else.

Spank, dense to anything obvious that didn't directly involve him, gave a start. "Franky! I mean, Mister d'Ano!"

"Honey, you can call me whatever you like," d'Ano replied smoothly.

"But, how did you, I mean -"

"Shh," and Franky placed one manicured finger on Spank's lips. "No more words..."

At least that's how Rand wanted it to go originally.

"How did you get in here?" Spank demanded, though with a tremor in his voice.

"Oh, if I had a nickel for everytime I heard that!" Franky said. "I has worried about you, sweety. You were so out of sorts after the wedding."

"When was that again?"

"Who cares! Point is, you shouldn't feel bad 'cause you're way more awesome than all those moochers. Just like me!"

"But it hurts so much!"

What "it" is isn't exactly clear...

"Well, what would make it better?"

Spank Rearend thought deeply - or just slowly. Then, drawing himself up, declared profoundly... "What would you do?"

And Francisco Domingo Carlo Banana Fana bo Binko d'Ano The Third said, "I'd let Atlas shirk it all off."


"Stop supporting the moochers! Shutter the factory!"

"It kind of already is."

"Well there ya go! Now let's have cocktails!"

While they drank and engaged in some heavily coded flirtation, a fire broke out down in the mill. Fortunately, the city-funded fire department put it out quickly with little damage to Rearend's property while he and d'Ano congratulated themselves for being the motive force or forceful motion behind society.

"Hey, I had a whole scene about justice and stuff!"

Shut up, Daffy.