Taco Beelzebub

Taco Beelzebub 
By James P.W. Martin
You think you know tough?
Think you’ve been through hell?
Have you ever been stuck on a toilet inside Taco Bell?

Your crunchy quesadilla thought out of its bun
Turned to fire liquid, uncontrollably runs
Cements you to your seat, now a porcelain gun
My God, there’s no more tissue, your hell hath begun
You wriggle in your turmoil, you writhe and you squeal,
You beg for it to end, Jesus take the wheel
The thought makes you stop, and it all becomes real
What kind of God would make you miss fourth meal?
Third meal now feels a century ago,
It was just a soft taco and quesarito 
Sauced with a packet marked Diablo
From you, like a river, it continues to flow
At the time, it was delish, completely gourmet
Describing taste like a modern Hemmingway
Melted cheese dancing through a spicy ballet
Now someone’s knocking, “Sir, are you okay?”
You’d beg for a roll, you’d practically yell
Until you did catch that sulfuric smell
What you then saw, you could never dispel
Red cloven hooves, from his shoes they did swell
Demonic horns, made of Doritos, rise
The Devil transforms in front of your eyes
The friendly employee, just a disguise
You might never leave this taco franchise
“What must I give for you to spare a roll?”
You manage to ask, shaking on the bowl
Wet hot flatulence losing self control
He only says, “Yo quiero your soul”
Could this be real, or is it just a dream?
Did someone poison your crunch wrap supreme?
Your ungodly squirts become more extreme
Clogged now the toilet, your soul must redeem
Maybe a slogan you could get across
Like wake up and live, but you just Shit Más
Cure for the common meal seems at a loss
Since you can now feel the taste of hot sauce
You beg for your soul, you try to debate
“My life to tacos, I will consecrate
Every single meal, the bell on my plate
What have I done to deserve this damn fate?”
“Your most callous sin you made on a whim”
He says, as the water breaches the brim
In the brown water, your poor testies swim
“And from here your fate only gets more grim

“You have proven to be most improper
Last fortnight you were a fast food stopper
Could have come here for Cinnabon poppers
But you went next door and bought a Whopper
“Taco Beelzebub has come for you
With revenge so sweet, I call it fondue
It kicks your ass, so you don’t misconstrue
The power of the Devil’s poojitsu”
Nothing left to say, you feel you could cry
Upon this throne, your surrender is nigh
Since no amount of bleach could purify
The wreckage your rectum must rectify
Your nine layer dip has reached denouement
You pull up your pants to meet your fate’s dawn
Opening the stall, as to not drag on
You realize that the Devil is gone
Was it imagined or maybe a prank?
Despite the fact that you really do stank
And you just spewed like a broke septic tank
To the employee, you decide to thank
As you emerge from your stalled bungalow
The lesson you learn: you reap what you sow
Your soggy brown pants, a gift to bestow
Devoted, you call, “See you tomorrow”

The Story Behind Eggplant Emoji

Eggplant Emoji is a new anthology series, which features the finest comedic fiction from some of the funniest authors. The first volume in the series is available in paperback and Ebook now!

The origins of Eggplant Emoji can be traced back to 2019, affectionately dubbed, “Year of the Raw Dog,” by core members of the Bucks County Writers Group. At the time, I had been attending the writing group for two years, submitting chapters of my urban fantasy novel for review, which admittedly I was struggling with. I needed to take my mind off of it and focus on something else. Thus, in March 2019, I wrote a 22-page short story, “The Cockroach,” about a man whose girlfriend befriends a cockroach and he secretly kills it, but it keeps coming back, to the point that it fucks with his libido.

In an attempt to escape the serious tone I was developing in my novel, my goal was to write a story that was Looney Tunes but for adults; it’s essentially Bugs Bunny fucking with the opera singer, except instead of a rabbit, it’s a cockroach that puts the “cock” in “cockroach.” The end result is a comedy of embarrassment and toxic masculinity, watching the sanity of this man wither as a cockroach raw-dogs his girlfriend (hence, Year of the Raw Dog(what a year)).

Reason #1456 to join a writers group, is as follows. The comedic tone of “The Cockroach” became infectious; more members of the group wrote their own comedy pieces and even more comedy writers joined the group. By the time I decided to create Eggplant Emoji and make the call for submissions, I knew the Bucks County Writers Group would be more than capable of providing all the hilarious content I needed.

What really pushed me to that point was when I was trying to get “The Cockroach” published in a literary journal or magazine. It quickly dawned on me that very few (if any) publications focused on comedy geared toward an adult audience. I received rejection letter after rejection letter, many of them noting the potential of the work; but alas, when writers and editors start taking themselves too seriously, they tend to shy away from a story featuring a cockroach with an uncut cock.

The story is shocking, outrageous, surreal, sexual, and undoubtedly hilarious – and yet there are so few contemporaries. R-rated comedies make popular movies and shows, so why not have R-rated comedy in literature? I was shocked that no one had already created a publication for such work. Search ‘comedy anthology book’ into Google and like 2 books come up, both with terrible cover art; sorry Andy Borowitz, but there’s no comparison here.

Not only did I feel confident that the content was very high quality and that there was a market for it, I knew it was possible because of the brave authors around me publishing their work. Author Augusta Blythe attended the Bucks County Writers Group for a period of time and showed us how it was possible to self-publish for a living on Amazon. Fierce leader of the group, Adam Newton, created Creaky Stairs: A Book of Dark Truths, leading by example and allowing emerging authors to have their stories published. Dandelion Revolution Press (DRP) blossomed soon after, from members of the writers group who had their own vision for an anthology of fiction featuring strong female leads. From all of these different authors and publications, I found my footing and confidence as a publisher. On April 12, 2021, I made the call for submissions for stories that would stand alongside “The Cockroach” in an anthology of comedic fiction, and Eggplant Emoji was born.

I followed what I learned from DRP, in terms of advertising the call for submissions on social media, and after the two-and-a-half month submission period, I had a total of 39 short stories to review. Matthew Pale attended the Bucks County Writing Group for the first time the day before the submission deadline and he had a story ready to submit, which made it into the anthology – quite a serendipitous timing of events.

In the end, I boiled 39 stories down to 12 stories from 10 authors. Every author in Volume 1 of Eggplant Emoji is a member of the Bucks County Writers Group – which I’d like to claim is just coincidence, but truly I cannot. It’s not that I had preferential treatment when reviewing pieces (I tried to read as blind as possible), but the writers in the group have read “The Cockroach” and my other work, they know my sense of humor, they understand the outrageous level of comedy I’m aspiring for; so they had an advantage. When the call for submissions happens for Volume 2, I think more people outside the group will have a better understanding of what this publication is and what I’m looking for.

Making it into Eggplant Emoji Volume 1 is Marv Jackson, who may or may not be a clone of the BCW group leader. As well as Will McCreavy, who is one of just a few authors who chose not to use a fake name. I’ve known Heather Twerking since I was a babe, she never stops twerking. Florence Eden is a DRP literary goddess in disguise. Jack McBiggs doesn’t want the first result in a Google search of his real name to be about impotence, since it’s already the second and third result. Jack McBiggs should also be his porn name. Unstoppable Buffalo is quite metaphorically stampeding into first place for most ridiculous name and most absurdly outrageous humor. Prudence Paganini is female in real life and she wanted her author name to be ‘Peter Paganini,’ but I was like, “I don’t want it to be a sausage fest,” so she changed her name. What a team player. Prudence is a better name anyway.

And last, but not least, is Scarlet Wyvern, who writes dark, witty horror poetry, her book, Massacre My Heart, is available on Amazon. She stepped outside of her typical genre with Eggplant Emoji and yet stayed true to her roots, flipping the script on the usual horror tropes.

From the beginning, an eye-catching cover was an integral aspect of Eggplant Emoji. Like Mad Magazine, the cover had to be as culturally and comedically striking as the content within. I began making designs, the whole time resigned to the idea that I would have to contract the work out. I’m not a total noob to photoshop, so I searched images for inspiration, devised a color palette, and started making test images; so many of my Eggplant files have the word “test” in the name (the manuscript was called “manuscript test” for the longest time). It was in talking to the writers in the group, showing them what I had, relaying what I wanted, that the idea struck me: to see the shocked reflection of the person holding the eggplant in the eggplant.

From there, it was just time put in; with my pen and drawing tablet, I toiled away for hours. The whole time I knew I could contract the work out, but wanted to give it my best try first.

Around the time that I began painting the eggplant, my cat got very sick. He had gotten ill a year earlier, but got through it, this time I could tell it was worse. His name was Gricy (pronounced Greasy), he would have been 20 years old in January 2022. My sister named him, she was taking Spanish and gric is grey in Spanish, so essentially his name translates to Grey-y. I made the tough decision to end Gricy’s suffering and I buried him near blueberry bushes in my yard, topped with a big piece of limestone.

I poured all of my grief into this anthology, that sounds weird for a comedy anthology, but it’s true. Instead of burying myself under the covers, I buried myself in photoshop, losing myself in the meticulous physical details of something I could control. As I worked through my emotions, I worked out the lines on the hand holding the eggplant. When I was crying one minute and then laughing at the stories in the book a minute later, I knew I was on the right track. Laughter is medicine and the world needs more of it.

In the more-than-a-month it took to create the full cover, I emerged from my grief stronger than I was, though I still miss Gricy every day. My heart and soul are on and within the pages of this book.

Eggplant Emoji was created for the sole purpose of making people laugh. I hope that it brightens up others in their darkest days, as it has for me, and elevates all those who open its pages. Life is sad, we don’t have to be reading sad books all the time. Publishers seem to only take it seriously if it’s serious.

Does it make you laugh? That’s Eggplant Emoji.

There are a couple opportunities to meet the authors:

Eggplant Emoji Vol. 1 Release Party, Sunday, October 24, 4-7pm @ Hop/Scotch (22 S. Main St., Doylestown, PA)

Eggplant Emoji Vol. 1 Author Reading, Thursday, November 4, 6-8pm @ Great Barn Taphouse (1500 N. Main St., Warrington, PA)

Purchase Eggplant Emoji Volume 1 here.

Open Call for Hilarious Short Fiction – Eggplant Emoji Lit

Eggplant Emoji: Volume One is a new comedy publication that I will be editing and publishing.  The submission period to be considered for this anthology is between now and Thursday, July 1, 2021. 

Eggplant Emoji: Volume One will be a print and eBook collection of hilarious short stories, that are character-driven and culturally striking.  Stories selected for this collection will define pop culture with unforgettable characters and riotous humor. We’re looking for gut-busting, knee-slapping, life-changing, tear-jerking comedy.

This is going to be the best anthology of comedic writing of the year, with a provoking cover that will attract people from across the room and the highest quality comedic prose available.  Eggplant Emoji is destined to be a cult classic among the culturally refined, with a new volume published annually.  If you are funny and you can write, this is the anthology you want to submit to. 

For more information, visit Eggplant Emoji Lit.

“Home Movies” Spec Script – “A McGuirk In Progress” – Scene 5

brencoach

EXT. COACH MCGUIRK’S BACKYARD – DAY

Coach McGuirk walks outside, where the wedding is being set up.  Brendon follows with the camera.

COACH MCGUIRK

You know, I’m actually glad you brought that camera, Brendon.  I might need to use this as evidence in court, depending how things go tonight.  Help me out and I’ll even sign a waiver so you can put me in your little documentary.

BRENDON

You already signed a waiver last night.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wait, what?  You mean you had me sign a waiver when I was drunk?

BRENDON

Yeah.

COACH MCGUIRK

That’s called taking advantage of someone while they’re drunk, Brendon, and it’s a crime.  My sister Donna is a cop, I should call her over here.

BRENDON

Cool, I’d love to snag an interview with her.

COACH MCGUIRK

You better hope your camera can catch a bullet.  Look, there she is.

Donna notices them and walks over.  She is only moderately smaller in size than Coach McGuirk.

DONNA

Well if it isn’t my little baby bro.  My little punching bag blew up into a full grown punching bag full of lumps.  Get over here.

Donna bear hugs Coach McGuirk and then holds him at arms length.

DONNA

I feel like I’m looking in a mirror, only your breasts are bigger than mine.

COACH MCGUIRK

Yeah, except I can’t use mine to crush beer cans.

DONNA

I got first place, didn’t I?

BRENDON

I think I’ll take one of those bullets now.

DONNA

And who is this little squirt?  You never told me you had a kid, Johnny.

BRENDON

I’m not a kid, I’m a documentary filmmaker.

COACH MCGUIRK

And he’s not my son, okay?  I know I don’t have great genes, but I think I could do better than that.

BRENDON

Hey!

COACH MCGUIRK

But I do have a girlfriend who I’m in love with and she’s in love with me and I would love for you to meet her once I find her.

DONNA

You’re nervous, huh?  Scared you’re going to McGuirk it up again?

COACH MCGUIRK

I don’t even want to think about that.

DONNA

No I get it, you ruined my wedding and now you’re scared you’re going to ruin someone else’s wedding.

COACH MCGUIRK

Even after you got divorced, mom and dad still never forgave me.

DONNA

I think that has to do with them being in denial that I date chicks now.

COACH MCGUIRK

Look at us.  You, me and Steve — all three of us lady killers.  Don’t tell me you’re a writer, too.

DONNA

No, I just crush little candies on my cell phone all day.  It’s great.

COACH MCGUIRK

Yeah, I used to have time for that.

DONNA

Oh, let’s take a picture, I’ll go find Steve, you stay right here.

Donna exits frame.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wait, don’t leave me.  Crap.  Alright, Brendon, be careful and keep and eye out for…

SHIRLEY

My good for nothing son!

Shirley is yelling at a caterer by the buffet.

SHIRLEY

Make sure you don’t let him anywhere near the buffet.

CATERER

But sir, he lives in a jar.

SHIRLEY

Not him.  The blimp in a tux baby-eater.  There he is.

Shirley walks over to Coach McGuirk.

SHIRLEY

This one right here. I’d point at him but I don’t want to get my fingers bit.  Keep him away from the buffet, he can’t be trusted with ham.

COACH MCGUIRK

Dad, you’re embarrassing me.

SHIRLEY

Good.  Being publicly embarrassed is a family tradition.

COACH MCGUIRK

Are you drunk already?

SHIRLEY

I don’t know, are you a disappointment already?

Coach McGuirk sees Clara walking over.

COACH MCGUIRK

Stop putting your shame for being named Shirley on me, dad.  I have a girlfriend now and I won’t have you treat me that way in front of her.

SHIRLEY

Wait, what?

Clara walks over and joins them.

COACH MCGUIRK

Shirley, I mean, dad, this is my girlfriend, Clara.

SHIRLEY

Wow.

COACH MCGUIRK

We’ve been dating for a couple weeks now and I’m pretty sure if someone dared her to date me, it would have come up by now.

SHIRLEY

Oh my God, I can’t believe it.

COACH MCGUIRK

I know, your little baby boy is becoming a man.

SHIRLEY

No, I mean I can’t believe she hasn’t run away screaming yet.  Is she blind?

CLARA

Hey, you’re being really mean.  John is a good man and he took his brother in when he needed him.

SHIRLEY

Sweetheart, it was a trick.  So that this lug would show up to his brother’s wedding in the first place because of last time how he…

COACH MCGUIRK

Dad, don’t.

CLARA

Last time, what?

SHIRLEY

He ruined his sister’s reception after a beautiful ceremony.  He stormed the buffet table and ate everything before anyone else could get there.  Every chicken wing, every scoop of potatoes, every drop of gravy, gone.  At first we thought a gang a raccoons came through, or maybe a bear.  And then we found him.

COACH MCGUIRK

Dad, stop.

SHIRLEY

Then everyone started saying he McGuirked it up, turning my one good name into an insult and a pejorative.  My one good name!

COACH MCGUIRK

It’s been fifteen years, dad.  When are you going to get over it?

Laverne walks over.

LAVERNE

Shirley, John, the ceremony is beginning, come find a seat.

SHIRLEY

I have to go watch my one good son get married.

COACH MCGUIRK

You’re stressing me out, dad.  I get hungry when I’m stressed.

SHIRLEY

You keep your grubby paws off that buffet until your nana gets a pork chop.  Her blood sugar can’t suffer another episode.

CLARA

You can’t speak to John like that.  He may have his faults but we all do.  He’s sweet and he deserves a second chance.

SHIRLEY

He has a sweet tooth and that’s about it.

Shirley exits frame.

COACH MCGUIRK

I guess we should go find our seats.

CLARA

Screw that.  I say we go over to that buffet together and McGuirk the tater tots off of it.

COACH MCGUIRK

What?  No, we can’t do that.  That’s exactly what I’m not supposed to do.  My dad will never forgive me.

CLARA

Oh please.  If after fifteen years he can’t forgive you for stress eating a buffet, it clearly has nothing to do with you and he’s just projecting his own insecurities.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wow, that’s true.  But it’s my brother’s wedding.  He’ll be so upset if I miss it.

CLARA

I’ve been reading his books and if there’s one thing I can tell, it’s that your brother loves you and he’ll understand you did the right thing.

COACH MCGUIRK

I love you.

Coach McGuirk and Clara come together for a kiss.

LAVERNE

There’s the wedding photographer!

Laverne grabs Brendon and drags him away from Coach McGuirk and Clara and towards the wedding.

BRENDON

Ow!  Hey!

LAVERNE

The wedding is about to begin, you need to get into place.

EXT. BACKYARD WEDDING – DAY

LAVERNE

Here.

The camera stops shaking and Brendon has a side-angle view of the wedding, including Steve, the Bride, the Priest, and the whole front row of chairs, including Shirley and Laverne just now sitting down.

PRIEST

The bride and groom have prepared their own vows.  Steve you may go first.

Jamal steps up and reads from a note card.  He clears his throat.

JAMAL

Celine, when I first heard your voice on the Titanic soundtrack, I knew we were meant to be and here we are.  It is true when I say that for you my heart will go on and on because I have tremendous government-funded healthcare.

PRIEST

Celine, you may read your vows.

CELINE

Steve, you are my Jack and I am your Rose.  I’m full throttle on this ship with you with not enough life boats and I don’t care what happens.

PRIEST

If there are no objections, I now pronounce you man and wife.

Celine hugs and kisses Steve while he beeps the tune of “Here Comes The Bride.”

BYSTANDER

Oh my God!  It’s a McGuirk!  They’re McGuirking!

SHIRLEY

What the hell?

Everyone in the first row turns around and the camera turns to show BYSTANDER pointing to something out of frame.  Brendon moves in for a closer shot.

BYSTANDER

I can’t believe it!  It’s a McGuirk!

Laverne and Shirley and everyone get up to see Clara and Coach McGuirk raiding the buffet table.

BYSTANDER

He’s McGuirking it!  This is a McGuirk in progress!

SHIRLEY

I knew this would happen.  Stop that!

CLARA

God I am so full.  Keep on going babe, you can do it!

Clara has stopped eating but Coach McGuirk continues through the buffet pouring entire trays of food into his mouth.

SHIRLEY

You stop that right now!

COACH MCGUIRK

No!  This is all because you were never able to forgive me for stress eating Steve in the womb!  I’m sorry, Steve!  I’m also sorry to you, Celine Dion, I didn’t even know you were here.  But I’m really sorry to you Steve!  I tried to devour you before you were even born and now I’m devouring everything in front of me and I ruined your wedding.

SHIRLEY

That’s for sure.  And what about Donna?  You McGuirked her wedding and it resulted in her divorce three months later.

DONNA

No, dad, you keep refusing to hear me when I tell you I’m gay.

SHIRLEY

Yes, Donna, we’re all very happy.

JAMAL

Wait!  Steve has something to say!

Jamal pushes Steve over and he begins to beep a series of beeps.

JAMAL

Steve says John did nothing wrong.  He McGuirked tonight as I knew he would because my parents stress him out and I’ve known he was a stress-eater since we shared a womb.

COACH MCGUIRK

I can’t help it!  I get so hungry when I’m stressed.

JAMAL

Steve says this has to end.  He has forgiven John for all McGuirks past and McGuirks in progress and our father should as well.

SHIRLEY

Oh my God, you’re right.  In all my anger, I never thought of how I was hurting my family.  Steve, Donna, Johnny… Everyone get in for a hug!

COACH MCGUIRK

Yeah, I’ll be right there once I finish these pork chops.

FADE TO BLACK.

CREDITS.

AS CREDITS ROLL:

EXT. BACKYARD WEDDING – DAY

Paula shows up in a wedding dress holding a bouquet of white roses.

PAULA

Steve?  Steve where are you?

BRENDON

Mom, what are you doing here?

PAULA

Brendon, have you seen Steve?

BRENDON

Yeah he’s over there.

Brendon points the camera to Steve and Celine Dion making out and back to Paula.

PAULA

Oh crap, he married Celine Dion?

Paula drops the white roses.

PAULA (Continued)

I should probably get changed.

FADE TO BLACK.

“Home Movies” Spec Script – “A McGuirk in Progress” – Scene 3

bcm

INT. COACH MCGUIRK’S GARAGE – DAY

Brendon walks in and sees Steve and Jamal.

BRENDON

Oh, hello there.

JAMAL

Oh, hi!  I’m Jamal, Steve’s caretaker and assistant.

BRENDON

Oh wow, really?  I should probably interview you for my documentary.

INT. COACH MCGUIRK’S GARAGE – DAY

The shot is set up confessional style, Jamal seated.

JAMAL

I’ve been working with Steve since his first novel and I’ve been on this crazy journey ever since.  It’s a pretty big change for Steve to visit his brother, but he was adamant that John attend his wedding.

BRENDON

Wait, Steve’s getting married?  Coach never told me that.

JAMAL

There was always a contentious sibling rivalry between John and Steve.  Steve really goes into detail about in his first autobiography titled, Is That A Pickle In That Jar?

BRENDON

Are you serious?  I have to read this.

JAMAL

Steve actually has a great sense of humor about his condition, which provides a unique perspective on dealing with hardship.

BRENDON

What do you think about his brother, John?

JAMAL

Well, I know that John struggled to maintain his weight, a job, a relationship.  It’s all kind of a sad tale, but given his brother lives in a jar, it’s easy to keep it in perspective.

Coach McGuirk barges in.

COACH MCGUIRK

Hey, I heard that!  You know, I’ve been dealing with people like you my whole life.  I wish I lived in a jar!  It would protect me from all of you and I’d have healthcare!

Coach McGuirk walks up to Steve.

COACH MCGUIRK

How could you do this to me Steve?  How could you call mom and dad behind my back?

Steve beeps a few times.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, get off your high horse, Steve.  You were always the favorite child and you know it!

Steve beeps a few more times.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, it’s so easy for you, isn’t it, Steve?  Your jar is on the outside so nothing can touch you, but my jar is in here.

Coach McGuirk points to his chest.

COACH MCGUIRK

My jar is deep under the surface and all my emotions are bottled up inside and no one can get in.

JAMAL

How much glass did you eat at the textiles factory?  A whole jar?  God damn!

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, what did you tell people about me, Steve?

JAMAL

He’s written five novels, John.  Have you never read your brother’s work?

COACH MCGUIRK

What I was actually supposed to read it?  I thought just saying you read something and that it was great was the polite thing to do.  That’s what I would have wanted.

Jamal hands a book to Coach McGuirk.

JAMAL

Here, take a look for yourself.

Coach McGuirk opens the book.

COACH MCGUIRK

Per – pre – prek…

Jamal reads over Coach McGuirks shoulder.

JAMAL

Precipitation.

COACH MCGUIRK

You read it!

Coach McGuirk gives the book back to Jamal and he reads from it.

JAMAL

Precipitation began to form on the inside of all the car windows, like a salty sauna.  My brother John was radiating sweat from terror, as they drove him back to the factory, the worst of which I was spared, given my jar was all fogged up from his panic.  All I could do was beep.  So I just kept beeping.

COACH MCGUIRK

Okay, stop reading!  What part of I’m moving to a new town and repressing the last forty years do you not understand, Steve?

Steve beeps a few times.

COACH MCGUIRK

I know that, Steve, I really appreciate you’re getting married before me, but could your wedding not destroy my life?  I finally have something good going for myself here.

Coach McGuirk starts crying.

COACH MCGUIRK

We’re the same, Steve.  We’re both writers and we both have women in our lives who we’re in love with.  You can’t ruin this for me!

There’s a knock at the door.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, no, that’s them, I know it!

BRENDON

Coach, you know I’m filming all of this, right?  You’re really embarrassing yourself.

JAMAL

Yeah, John, relax.  They shouldn’t be here yet.

Brendon leaves the room to check the door, sees CLARA at the door and then goes back to the garage.

BRENDON

Actually, Coach, I think it’s your girlfriend.

COACH MCGUIRK

No, she can’t see me like this.

BRENDON

Well, she’s standing at the door, so what should I do?  I can shoo her off for you after I get her to sign a waiver.

COACH MCGUIRK

Sign a waiver, what are you talking about?

BRENDON

Well, yeah, so she can be in my documentary.

COACH MCGUIRK

Forget it with the documentary!

BRENDON

I’m liable to legal action if I show her face without permission!

COACH MCGUIRK

Well then blur it out or something!

BRENDON

That would infringe the integrity of my documentary!

COACH MCGUIRK

She was only in it for a second!

There’s a knock again at the door.

COACH MCGUIRK

Forget it, I’ll answer.

INT. COACH MCGUIRK’S KITCHEN – DAY

Coach McGuirk opens the door.  Brendon follows with the camera.

CLARA

Darling!  I’m so excited for today!

COACH MCGUIRK

Clara, the love of my life, what are you doing here?  And why are you so dressed up.

CLARA

I’m here for the wedding, silly.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wedding?  That’s today?

CLARA

Yeah, Jamal called and told me, I assumed you knew.

COACH MCGUIRK

Jamal?  Why didn’t you tell me?

JAMAL

Steve said we had to spring it on you all at once.  He knew you’d try to flee if you knew in advance.

COACH MCGUIRK

Steve!?

JAMAL

Here’s your suit, John, go put it on and everything will be okay.

Jamal hands Coach McGuirk an over-sized suit.

COACH MCGUIRK

Is it even tailored to my size?

JAMAL

I just got the largest possible option for everything, it should be fine.

CLARA

Yeah, babe, it’s your brother’s wedding, it’s going to be beautiful.

COACH MCGUIRK

Okay.  I’m fine.  This is fine.  Everything happening here is completely normal.  I’m not going to climb out the window.  This is great.

Steve beeps twice.

JAMAL

Great.

FADE TO BLACK.

Continue to: “A McGuirk in Progress” – Scene 4

“Home Movies” Spec Script – “Field of Creams” – Scene 5

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EXT. SOCCER FIELD – DAY

Brendon walks to the bench where Coach McGuirk is putting soccer balls into a bag.

BRENDON

Wow, I can’t remember the last time we actually won a game.

COACH MCGUIRK

Thank you, Brendon.  As your coach…

BRENDON

Oh no, you didn’t do anything.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh.

BRENDON

Well I guess your complete lack of guidance forced me to think on my feet which made me a better person.

COACH MCGUIRK

That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.

BRENDON

That’s sad.

COACH MCGUIRK

I live a sad life, Brendon.

BRENDON

I don’t know, have some perspective, your brother lives in a jar.  I don’t hear him complaining.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, who are you?  My parents?  Just because I don’t live in a jar doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings, okay mom?

BRENDON

Geez, you know my mom said she went to high school with you and Steve.

COACH MCGUIRK

Emphasis on Steve.  They were all part of the popular group while I made something of myself on the soccer team.

BRENDON

You used to play soccer?

COACH MCGUIRK

Yeah, well I mean, I was on the soccer team and someone had to wash all those jockstraps.

BRENDON

Coach, what’s a jockstrap?

COACH MCGUIRK

It’s a hallmark of soccer and a necessity of safety.

BRENDON

I thought you told me you worked in a textiles factory at thirteen.

COACH MCGUIRK

Angels come in all shapes and sizes, Brendon.  My angel goes by the name Child Protective Services.

BRENDON

I caught my mom having sex with someone yesterday.

COACH MCGUIRK

What, really?  Should I call my angel for you?

BRENDON

No.

COACH MCGUIRK

I guess it’s been years since your father left.

BRENDON

I’m pretty sure she wants to have sex with your brother next.  I don’t know what’s gotten into her.

COACH MCGUIRK

That’s just the charisma of Steve, Brendon.  All the ladies love him and I’ll never get it.  You join sports teams to try to get noticed, you drive Steve to all the parties, you peel your scabs from the textiles factory, and you should just feel lucky that you get to wash the jockstraps.

BRENDON

Why not try for something more?

COACH MCGUIRK

But then who would wash the jockstraps, Brendon?  No, this is where I belong.  On this field.  You know, something you said today really stuck with me, that all losers are just winners waiting to win.  I sincerely feel that way having finally won something, Brendon.  It doesn’t matter how many games we get creamed, every morning I return to this field and feel like a winner.

BRENDON

So to keep winning, I’m thinking we create motivational posters about how sad your life is.  What do you think of this: Don’t be like McGuirk, get to work.

COACH MCGUIRK

Don’t be a jerk.

BRENDON

If life is hard to approach, just look at our coach.

COACH MCGUIRK

Stop it you little roach.

BRENDON

Get out of the kitchen or become a Mini Michelin.

COACH MCGUIRK

Okay that one was funny.

FADE TO BLACK.

CREDITS.

Continue to Episode 4: “A McGuirk in Progress”

I’m an Adult and I Put on a Halloween Costume

Hi, this is another one of those blogs where I drop the hoity-toity “P. W.” and I talk to you man to monitor (or smartphone or whatever magic device you’re reading this on).  You can call me Jim.

I don’t know why I do the things I do.  I write speculative screenplays for a cartoon that’s been off the air for fourteen years and I only occasionally fantasize about sending my scripts to the creator of the show in hopes of a Netflix revival.  But I’ve taken that fantasy to the next level and I have started to physically become Coach McGuirk.

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The transformation is nearly complete.

I’m almost thirty years old and I put on a Halloween costume – and I liked it.  When you get to my age, you want to have one solid costume that you can reuse every year.  A forever costume.  Some say you don’t choose your forever costume, your forever costume chooses you.  Regardless, every Halloween from here on out I will reemerge with my dated cartoon reference that no one understands and I have to explain over and over.

Another update, I know a lot of you were concerned about the depression of my cat, who is also my editor.  He’s doing well, just trying to make it day-to-day while also editing everything I write.  Today I caught him just looking in the mirror, contemplating being a cat.

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Chewy taking a hard look at his life.

My goal is to finish my novel by February 28th, 2019, but it’s hard to concentrate when my cat (and editor) is having an existential crisis in the mirror.  Luckily, he’s having a cat nap right now so when he wakes up he’ll be in the mood to get back to work.

The real question is: When will I take this Halloween costume off or have I become the costume?

“Home Movies” Spec Script – “Field of Creams” – Scene 2

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EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT – DAY

Brendon stands at the curb waiting for his mom to pick him up.  Coach McGuirk pulls up in his car.

COACH MCGUIRK

Hey, Brendon, let me give you a ride home.

BRENDON

Not if you make me pay for gas like last time.

COACH MCGUIRK

Don’t worry, buddy, this one’s on me.

INT. COACH MCGUIRK’S CAR – DAY

Brendon gets in the car.

BRENDON

Cool, can I pick the radio station?

COACH MCGUIRK

No you can’t, Brendon.  Even if I had a working radio, I think I would respect you more not knowing the kind of music you listen to.  And I need that respect, Brendon, do you hear me?

BRENDON

Yeah.

COACH MCGUIRK

I know I’m good at hiding it, but that new soccer coach is really getting on my nerves.  I need you to get all your little friends together and make them all play well for just one game.

BRENDON

You mean coach them?

COACH MCGUIRK

More or less.

BRENDON

But aren’t you the coach?

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh I know!  Oh wait, I’m actually all out of expired frozen yogurt coupons.

BRENDON

You know what, Coach, I don’t know what you’re offering, but I pass.  I just got done writing for you and being your prostitute.

COACH MCGUIRK

What did I tell you about using that word around me?

BRENDON

It’s time that I focus on what I want.  This time when I sell myself, it’s gonna be to me.

COACH MCGUIRK

And what is it that you want, Brendon?

BRENDON

I want to make an independent documentary that takes the festival circuit by storm.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, well then, I just may have the perfect subject matter for your little documentary.

BRENDON

Really?

INT. COACH MCGUIRK’S GARAGE – DAY

The garage door opens to reveal Coach McGuirk and Brendon on the other side.

BRENDON

Whoa, what is that?

COACH MCGUIRK

Brendon, that’s my twin brother, Steve.

In front of them is a glowing tank with a deformed fetus-looking person inside.

COACH MCGUIRK

Don’t be rude, Brendon, say hello.

BRENDON

Is he alive?

COACH MCGUIRK

Yes he’s alive and he has better health insurance than I’ll ever have.  Sometimes one twin will try to devour the other twin in the womb.  I was only half successful in that process.  Anyway, being the dominant twin, it turns out, doesn’t come with government-mandated healthcare.

BRENDON

Hey, Steve.  Does Steve ever talk back?

COACH MCGUIRK

No, he just kinda floats in there.  I tell him jokes and you can tell he’s laughing because he really starts bobbing around.

Steve beeps once.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, yeah, and he beeps once for no, two for yes.

BRENDON

Will Steve let me make a documentary about him?

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh yeah, Steve was always the center of attention in our house growing up.  It was always Steve this, Steve that.  Steve’s so amazing, why can’t you be more like Steve?  Because I’m my own person, okay, Mom!

BRENDON

Whoa.

COACH MCGUIRK

I’m sorry.  It was just always stiff competition growing up in Steve’s shadow.

BRENDON

Alright fine, I’ll help you, Coach.  Now will you take me home?  I need to ask my mom if I ever had a Steve.

COACH MCGUIRK

There are no other Steves, Brendon.  Steve is the only Steve.

BRENDON

He’s one lucky guy.

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh crap, Brendon, I’m out of gas.  Throw me a five and I’ll get you home.

BRENDON

I can walk from here.

COACH MCGUIRK

Great.

FADE TO BLACK.

Continue to: “Field of Creams” – Scene 3

“Home Movies” Spec Script – “Field of Creams” – Scene 1

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EXT. SOCCER FIELD – DAY

Brendon approaches the bench where Coach McGuirk is typing on a laptop.  A soccer game is in progress.

BRENDON

Coach, we’re getting creamed out there.

COACH MCGUIRK

This isn’t news to me, Brendon, you get creamed every game.

BRENDON

So shouldn’t you try to give us some motivation instead of just sitting there?

COACH MCGUIRK

If my silent disapproval doesn’t motivate you, nothing will.

BRENDON

Nothing is what you’re already doing.

COACH MCGUIRK

I’m writing, Brendon.  I’m a writer now.  Writers don’t waste time with motivation or deep thinking, it’s all on the surface.

BRENDON

I guess you don’t care if we lose then.

COACH MCGUIRK

No one cares if you lose, Brendon, they only care that you play.  I learned that writing; people don’t want to read anything that makes them think.  Thinking hurts, Brendon, people don’t like to do it.  Just write a corny love story and the masses will love you for it.

BRENDON

You want me to write a love story?

COACH MCGUIRK

No, I want you to get on the field and stop thinking about it.  And stop looking so terrified when the ball comes near you, the other kids can sense it.

BRENDON

It’s probably because their coach is so involved in the game.  Look how intense she is.

COACH MCGUIRK

Dammit, Brendon, you made me make eye contact.  Is she walking over here?

BRENDON

Yeah, she’s headed right for you.

COACH MCGUIRK

Crap, I don’t have time for this.

MANDY

What’s the hold up over here?  Who let this homeless guy on the field?

BRENDON

He’s not homeless, that’s our coach.

COACH MCGUIRK

I’m a writer, thank you very much.

MANDY

Wait a minute.  John?  John McGuirk, is that you?

COACH MCGUIRK

Uhh, yeah.  And you are?

MANDY

It’s me, Mandy, from summer camp all those years ago.  I remember I had the biggest crush on you back then.

COACH MCGUIRK

You see Brendon, being a writer gets all the ladies riled up, I can hardly claw ’em off me.  I’m sorry, Miss, but I’m currently in a relationship.  I would say take a number, but I don’t have one of those number machines.  Maybe I should invest in one.

MANDY

Oh I don’t mean to give you the wrong impression.  It was actually you who made me realize I was gay.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wait, what?

MANDY

I realized that I was attracted to how round and supple your chest was, and I realized I liked boobs.

COACH MCGUIRK

Is that a fat joke?

MANDY

Oh, I don’t mean to be crude, I remember you were sensitive about your weight.  Oh, and the kids used to call you Mini Michelin cause it looked like a stack of tires when you took your shirt off.

BRENDON

Some things never change.

COACH MCGUIRK

This isn’t helping.

MANDY

Well, I just wanted to tell you that you were an inspiration to my life.

BRENDON

I wish he could be an inspiration to any of us.

COACH MCGUIRK

Hey, I’m a good coach.

MANDY

I have to agree with the kid, John.  From what I see, you have the motivational skills of a dead fish.

COACH MCGUIRK

Truth be told, I’m not really a coach.  I’m a writer.

MANDY

Really?  Do you have anything published?

COACH MCGUIRK

Well, no.  I’m not making money as a writer yet, which is why I still need the coaching job.

MANDY

So truth be told, you’re not really a writer.  You’re a coach, coach.

COACH MCGUIRK

How dare you.  Just for that, I’m writing you into my story and you’re not gonna like how I portray you.

MANDY

Are you going to keep in the part where I’m a way better coach than you?

COACH MCGUIRK

Oh, marshmallow lava is way too quick of a death for you.

MANDY

No you’re right, it would be too hard for you to portray a decent coach, since you have no idea what it’s like to be one.

COACH MCGUIRK

You’d love for me to prove you wrong, wouldn’t you?  I’m not falling for it.

BRENDON

(to Mandy)

Can you just be our coach, too?

COACH MCGUIRK

Dammit, Brendon, stay out of this.

MANDY

No he’s right.  I’ll coach both teams and you sit there and take notes on what a coach is supposed to do.

COACH MCGUIRK

That’s it!  I’ll show you what a coach is supposed to do.

Coach McGuirk slams his fists on the table and stands up.

COACH MCGUIRK

Brendon, get on the field!  Melissa, why are your shoes off?

MELISSA

Because I like how the grass feels on my toes.

COACH MCGUIRK

Put your shoes back on!  Why is no one in the goal?  Walter, get in the goal!

WALTER

Only if Perry can be goalie with me.

COACH MCGUIRK

There can only be one goalie, so Perry stays on the field.

WALTER AND PERRY

Nooooo!

PERRY

I won’t let you go!

WALTER

Never let go!

COACH MCGUIRK

Fine, Brendon, get in the goal.  Brendon, why did you take your shoes off?

BRENDON

Melissa’s right, the grass feels good on your toes.

COACH MCGUIRK

What the hell are you people doing?

BRENDON

Hey, I’m just taking your advice and trying not to think about it.

WALTER AND PERRY

Shoes off!  Shoes off!

COACH MCGUIRK

(to Mandy)

Fine!  You coach them.  I’ll be on the bench putting words to how unflattering your personality is.

MANDY

Hey, coach, let’s make a deal.  You want time to write, I want to see the inspiring John I used to know.  Show these kids the Mini Michelin I know and love.

COACH MCGUIRK

Please stop saying that.

MANDY

I’m here for the rest of the week.  If you coach one game where you give it your all, and you win, I’ll coach your team for the rest of the week.

COACH MCGUIRK

And if I lose?

MANDY

Then you take off your shirt and show me that stack of tires.  And I’ll still coach your team for the week.

COACH MCGUIRK

Jesus Christ.  Fine.  But don’t expect me to spare you from the marshmallow lava.

MANDY

I told you I’m a lesbian.  I’m not interested in your ejaculate.

COACH MCGUIRK

Wait, what?

FADE TO BLACK.

Continue to: “Field of Creams” – Scene 2

“My Cat Is Depressed,” And 99 Other Reasons I Didn’t Write A Blog Post Today

I’m writing a novel, I’m writing a blog, I have a life, and I like to keep up to date with books, movies and music.  I’m only one person and I only have 24 hours in a day, so I’ve been delegating editing work to my cat.  I know what you’re going to say, “Jim, just hire a human editor to proof-read your work.”  I’m sorry I can’t afford that right now.  Everything I write has to go by my cat before it gets published.  Subsequently, my cat is depressed and is feeling extra lethargic.  He’s still working through what I wrote for him two days ago and his mood is not picking up.  As you can imagine, with my editor D.I.A. (depressed in action), it’s impossible to get any work done which is why I haven’t written a blog post in the last few days.

I’m going to the store later tonight to buy some catnip in hopes that will brighten his mood and get him back on track so that I can finish a blog post in (hopefully) the next day or two.  But, of course, I don’t want my cat to be reliant on elicit substances in order to function.  So I’ll just start by micro-dosing the catnip – not me of course, my cat.  I mean, why would I micro-dose catnip, that would be pointless, I’m a human.  It’s that kind of thinking that makes me need a cat-editor in the first place.

Look at me.  My cat doesn’t edit a single post and the entire blog falls to shit.  I can’t even write one blog post without my cat fixing my blunders and making sense of it.  I guess I’ll never be a real writer.  Not until my cat is feeling better, that is.  Now you know the truth of how my sad little sausage is made.  I write barely-comprehendible garbage and my cat edits it down to something easily digestible, unlike whatever he’s currently throwing up on my rug.

So, I apologize for this blog post, hopefully my cat is feeling better soon and gets back to editing my long-winded dribble, so that I can return to publishing quality blog posts regularly.