“Purple Daze,” Episode 7
Nicki struggles to cash her first actual WGAS Network paycheck. Prior to this day, her earnings were so small, that Gneeecey paid her literally from out of his T-shirt pocket every two weeks, flinging a few singles and coins in her face. Today, she’s caught up with some of the “debts” he said she’d owed him, and he announces, with great fanfare, that she’s getting her first real check.
It’s Blirg, a season where time runs backward due to Perswayssick County dimension’s annual axial reversal. There’s a constant high-pitched primordial hum and it never gets dark. Day and night, a fluorescent purple glow permeates even solid structures.
Nicki uses her lunch half-hour to drive down Stummix Bank, located in Perswayssick County’s Stummix District, a confusing tangle of one-way similarly named streets. Her '75 Splodge is snorting, backfiring, and overheating, and she becomes hopelessly lost. Having left work at 12 noon, she knows she’ll never get back to the office a half-hour earlier, by 11:30 a.m.
She finally finds the financial institution and collects her meager monies. The skies break open and it begins to pour. As she slogs back to her car, an evil alien Markman motorcycle cop is planting a $200 parking ticket on her windshield.
“Have a nice day,” he says.
Later, Nicki takes Gneeecey to his therapy session with veggie meatball shop owner and licensed therapist Ingabore Scriblig, AKA, Grandma. They discuss Gneeecey’s perpetual tardiness. Gneeecey advises Grandma that her advice to plan ahead the night before and set his alarm clock fifteen minutes earlier on work mornings is “lousy” and “stooopid” because then he can’t sleep in.
Vicki, Nicki, Frank, Gneeecey, Cleve, and Grandma want to thank Marysol Cerdeira Rodriguez, Sandi Solá, Sal Solá, Marcellina Ramirez, and Rick “El Molestoso” Rivera for being generous supporting members via BuyMeACoffee.com! We appreciate their sponsorship more than words can say!
https://buymeacoffee.com/Perswayssick (Please support us with a one-time gift or monthly sponsorship amount—various levels available—to help keep us coming to you via BuyMeACoffee.com! We’ll shout you out during our podcast episodes and in our show notes here, plus supply you with more fun perks!)
https://www.amazon.com/Vicki-Sola/e/B07J29RVMQ (Amazon Author Page, check out our Gneeecey/Nicki e-books and paperbacks!)
https://www.nfreads.com/interview-with-author-vicki-sola/ (Interview with Vicki Solá)
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This Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy podcast is made possible in part by a generous grant from The Ardelle Institute, providing Executive Coaching for aspiring and established professionals who want to develop their careers, including upwardly-mobile executives, professionals who may be in between jobs, and college graduates transitioning to the workforce. The Ardelle Institute helps with resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, interview skills and effective job search strategies. For more information, please call (201) 394-6939, that's (201) 394-6939, or visit them on the web at ardelle-institute.com, that's A-R-D-E-L-L-E dash institute dot com. Take it from me, Gneeecey!
Transcript / “Championship Football Game (First Down on Nicki’s Face),” Episode 6,written by Vicki Solá.
All content © 2021 Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy.
Music/Intro: Hi there, I’m author and radio host Vicki Sola, welcoming you to Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy.
I invite you to escape with me into the bizarre dimension of Perswayssick County, where wackiness rules!
The laughs begin when I morph into my alter ego, radio DJ Nicki Rodriguez and clash with the zany, alien canine-humanoid Gneeecey!
And now, I turn it over to my other self, Nicki….
SFX: [Magic Spell]
Hey there, Nicki Rodriguez here! Thanks so very much for tuning in today and—
SFX: [Cell Phone Ring]
G: Baaad mornin’ or whatever it stinkin’ is, Ig. My clock is broke. An’ my Digital Drapes are busted too. They ain’t tellin’ me the time!
N: [whispers] Uh-oh, it’s my dear white-and-black furred alien speech impediment-afflicted canine-humanoid employer, Gneeecey.
G: Why ya whispooperin’, Ig? Who ya stinkin’ talkin’ too? An’ why do ya sound so sarcaaastical? I ain’t got no speech impedipoodiment!
N: Uh, bad morning, Diroctor Gneeecey—it is actually morning—
G: Stop interrupticatin’ me, Ig!
N: What? I’ll have you know that—
G: There ya stinkin’ go, ya lousy Ig, interrupticatin’ me again!
N: Look, you’re the one interrupting, and my name’s Nicki, and I’m not one of your Planet Eccchs’s clumsy, legendary three-legged troglodytes—and I’m not lousy!
G: Touchy, touchy, ain’t we, Ig!
N: Now, what do you want? I’m really busy.
G: Well, you’re gonna be even more busy, Ig. On your way to the office, I need ya to pick up a gallon of gloortworms for the goonafish. Then drop over to our Gneeezle’s Restaurant an’ pick up the oldest saaanwiches Altitude ain’t thrown out yet, y’know, to bring to my next brain surgery club meetin’. Then scoot crosstown over to Schweinzimmer’s an’ pick up some of them special, very igspensive Glavorzian 320x cables for AM radio. You lay out the money—
N: Last time I picked up those expensive cables for you, you never reimbursed me!
G: Never said I’d reimburse ya.
N: You said you’d pay me back.
G: Pay ya back twice?
G: I said I might imburse ya—that means payin’ ya back once. Reimburse means twice!
N: Well, you never paid me back once—so, you owe me fifty bucks, plus what I’ll lay out now!
G: Stinkin’ whatever. An’ speakin’ of stinkin’, pick up my lucky socks from Gus’s sock repair shop—jus’ make sure he only fixed ’em an’ didn’t clean ’em—an’ don’t get to the office late!
N: Why don’t you ever have Gus clean your socks?
G: Beside costin’ more, cleanin’ them’ll ruinate ’em—they won’t be lucky no more! Guh-bye.
N: Okay. Bye. [Sighs] Now where was I before he called? Oh yeah, Vicki and I want to thank—
SFX: [Cell Phone Ring]
N: [aggravated] Hello.
G: You’re messin’ up again, Ig!
G: Did ya ever even thank them Earth people? Y’know, Marysol, Sal, Saaandi, Marcellina, an’ Rick “El Molestoso”? They appreciate me!
N: [through gritted teeth] I’m trying to thank them, but you keep interrupting! Bye! [Chuckles] Okay now, Vicki and I wish to thank Marysol Cerdeira Rodriguez, Sal Sola, Sandi Sola, Marcellina Ramirez, and Rick “El Molestoso” Rivera for being such generous supporting members through BuyMeACoffee.com! We appreciate your sponsorship of “Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy” so very much!
Now, as you may know, I’ve been trapped in the looney, unearthly dimension of Perswayssick County, having to live with and work for its equally zany canine-humanoid control-freak director, also supposedly a doctor, the walking and talking Jack Russell dog-lookalike Diroctor Gneeecey, who you just heard me having a conversation with. I work at his WGAS Broadcast Network, where my radio background comes in all too handy, and also part-time at his gross greasy eatery, Gneeezle’s. I’ve just remembered this one particular day…here’s how it went down….
SFX: [Magic Spell]
My days were long, my pay was short.
And Blirg had begun, midday on Octvember 40th. Now, time itself flowed in reverse, turning my already wacko life totally upside down. I didn’t think I’d ever get used to having dinner before lunch or coming home from work and eating breakfast before bedtime. The season’s high-pitched primordial hum, caused by the Perswayssick County dimension’s annual axial reversal, made me want to crawl out of my skin. It never truly got dark. Day and night, a fluorescent purple glow permeated solid structures, even my windowless utility closet of a bedroom.
And their holiday season, known as Grimace, was in full swing. In Perswayssick County’s violet-tinseled, dead rubber chicken-decorated stores, the same three Grimace carols blasted from speakers as frenzied shoppers agonized over which purple rubber wallet to purchase for whom, as is the custom here.
Not that there were that many styles of wallets—or anything else— to choose from in the places that I frequented. I usually ended up sifting through heaps of pawed-through seconds at Seemingwhale’s Department Store or picking through mounds of irregular merchandise at Oddlottz, the outlet famous for one-armed garments, magazines with missing pages, and tape that never stuck.
The pennies that I pinched three different ways were sucked up by constant repairs on the Splodge and by the only-game-in-town Purple Pelican car insurance that the ever-helpful Gneeecey “paid” for by taking massive deductions from my pay.
The tail on the fur clock Gneeecey had thrown at me my first night in his mansion hadn’t yet thumped, but as I was awake—“Blirged out,” as my friend and WGAS co-worker Cleve Wheeler called it.
So, I thought I might as well just get up and eat an early supper.
“Hey, Ig! Got good news!” screeched Gneeecey, flinging my door open. SFX: [Door opening] “It’s your lucky day!”
“What?” I asked, alarmed. Gneeecey’s definition of “good” usually didn’t match mine, and any luck to be had was usually his—at my expense. “And shouldn’t you knock?”
“It’s WetnooodlesDay!” Days of the week in Perswayssick County were SomeDay, Mondistink, TooStank, WetNoodlesDay, (where Gneeecey expects his employees to work upside-down), followed by Thirsty, FriedEgg, and Snatturday.
“Guess I should be thankful you don’t try to force me to work upside-down anymore—not that my whole life’s not upside-down and screwed up—”
“Why should that excite me? I kill myself working, then every other Wednesday—”
“Every other WetNooodlesDay, you reach into your shirt pocket and throw me a coupla bills and coins. Then, for two more weeks, I work like a dog—”
He crinkled his snout.
“Um, I mean, I kill myself for two more weeks, then we do it all over again. Why should I be excited?”
“Don’t be so oogdimonious. This is the first actual check we’re cuttin’ ya. Ya owed so much when ya started, that after all my decapitations, I ended up givin’ ya—”
“You didn’t give me anything—I earned it—”
“Stinkin’ whatever. Ya earned so little, I paid ya from outta my pocket. But this pay period, ya get a little more—it’s more cornveeenient for me to issue ya an actual check.”
I almost smiled. A few extra bucks couldn’t hurt.
“Don’t get too excititrated, Ig—it ain’t gonna be that much more. In fact, y’wanna know why you’re gonna hafta take your check to the bank?”
“To cash it, I’d assume.”
“Noooo—ya gotta take it ’cause it’s too little to go by itself! Heh hah, heh haah, heh haaah!”
Later that morning—or due to Blirg, I mean earlier—at work, Gneeecey interrupted my conversation with Cleve—as usual.
“Youse two humans fraternalizatin’ again?”
“No,” snapped Cleve. “We’re sharing antacid—again.”
“And this super-sized bottle’s almost empty. Third one since Mondistink,” I added, slumped over eternally absent administrative assistant Fraxinella’s desk. “And I couldn’t imagine why.”
“Youse two Earth humans don’t live right,” replied Gneeecey, washing down another health cigar with an expired can of Diet Slog. “An’ Cleeevooveland—”
“Uh, that’s Cleveland—”
“That’s what I stinkin’ said,” muttered Gneeecey. “Here’s your paycheck, Cleeevoooveland.”
Cleve’s nose wrinkled as he peeked into his envelope.
“Whatsamatter? Ya look like ya smell Cross-eyed cheese.”
“I’ll ignauseate that remark, Cleeevoooveland.”
“That’s what I stinkin’ said! Why they named ya Cleeevoooveland when ya was born in Cincinnati, I’ll never understanderate. Cinncinati Wheeler —has a nice ring to it.”
“Oh—Cleeevoooveland, I’m meetin’ Mark. He invited me to one of them fancy luncheon meats in New Nork. They’ll be servin’ horse divorces, y’know, like baloney-filled dumpooplin’s.”
“So, ya gotta work through lunch,” continued Gneeecey, smiling from ear to ear. “Stay here an’ run things.”
“Oh, man—I had plans—”
“Not no more, ya don’t!”
“Don’t worry—I’ll be back a coupla hours ago, before breakfas’. Then y’can go out on your own time. An’ Ig, here’s your first regoogoolar check.” He tossed an envelope my way.
“Thanks. . .I think. . . .”
“An’ Ig, since yours was issued by our Knapsackville home office, ya can only cash it at theStummix Bank’s main branch on Northeast Stummix Avenue.”
“It’s down by the northwestern-southern service spur of the East Stummix junction.”
“If ya don’t cash it today, our home office will nulllify and invaloolidate it.”
“Go on your lunch. Before breakfas’ you’ll be doin’ more volunteer work at the Shoppin’ Cart Orphanage—I signed ya up to help ’em dekookerate for the upchuckin’ holidays.”
“Don’t worry, Ig. If ya miss breakfas’, y’can make up for it yesterday by havin’ brinner.”
I gulped down some more antacid.
“An’ when ya finish there, pick Flea up at Shisskey’s Bakery. We gotta rehearse again.”
“How,” I growled through gritted teeth, “do I get to this, uh, stomach bank?”
“It’s Stummix Bank, S-T-U-M-M-I-X.” Gneeecey reached into his pocket and threw me a crumpled ball. “Jus’ happened to have this map on my graaand personage.”
He didn’t notice the daggers shooting through my narrowed lids. As a matter of fact, his face lit up. “Here, use summa my deposit slips. But get’cher own wit’drawal slips! Why’re ya lookin’ at me like that, all oogdimonious?”
Gneeecey waddled out into the corridor, trailed by several feet of toilet paper, stuck to the left heel of his red high-top sneaker. Cleve and I snickered.
“Cleeevoooveland,” I shrilled. “Y’know, Gneeecey’s speech impediment’s getting worse.”
“Seriously. And now lunch is wrecked. I was hoping we could eat in Plutonium Park again.”
I nodded. “We can always count on Gneeecey to screw things up.”
“Thanks to that little creep, I’ve gotta stay here while you try to cash that hopefully not-bogus check. Wish I could go with you.”
Gazing outside, I folded a voided WGAS outvoice into a paper plane. (Outvoices were the opposite of invoices, which Gneeecey always sent out instead of checks, to contest paying for goods and services.) “Who’d even expect it to be sixty-eight degrees this late in Octvember?” I asked. “I mean, it’s already the forty-eighth.”
“Blirgian summer’s not gonna last,” replied Cleve. “Tomorrow’s supposed to be cold. Might even snow.”
“Flea’ll be happy—he can’t wait till that whipped cream finally falls from the sky.”
“Yeah, Nicki—I think he’s depressed ’cause it hasn’t yet.”
“Will ya look at us, talking like it’s normal to expect the season’s first snow to come down as whipped cream?”
Cleve loosened his tie. “I’m so freakin’ sick of that mangy furball always trying to break our spirits.”
“Look on the bright side, Cleve—he’ll be gone for a coupla hours.” Staring as a high-flying, soon-to-die purple-and-orange plaid butterfly fluttered past our window, I flew my outvoice into Fraxinella’s wastepaper basket. “We can vent!”
Cleve grinned. “Y’know, I never finished telling you ’bout the run-in our dear boss had with that airplane.”
“That’s right—Gneeecey ran into the cafeteria and interrupted us—as usual. I’m dying to hear the whole story!”
“Well,” began Cleve, unbuttoning his collar and rolling up his sleeves, “like I was telling you, one morning, Gneeecey was doing a couple errands— y’know, in the days before you did everything for him.”
“I’d have liked to have seen him back then.”
Cleve chuckled. “Yep, me too. I was in Shisskey’s Bakery, shooting the breeze with Burt and Mary, munching on a donut, and I look outside and see this small commuter jet—mind you, not one of Perswayssick County’s mutant flies that look like high-flying planes, but an actual airplane—flying straight for—oh, geez—” Cleve dropped to his knees.
“And?” I coaxed him, shoulders trembling.
“And,” Cleve continued, with great difficulty, “it was flying real low, only a coupla feet above the sidewalk, straight toward our Gneeecey—and as usual, his big, fat kisser was wide open, and—and—the plane zoomed right in!”
“It didn’t!” I cried, nearly falling off my chair.
“And it got stuck! Picture this, it’s rush hour on Murgatroyd Avenue, and he’s jumping up and down, trying to pull this airplane out of his mouth.”
Tears streamed down our faces.
“Burt and I go running outside to help, and he starts kicking us.”
“Shut up—he didn’t!”
“You could actually see his skin through his fur—it was blazing scarlet.”
I couldn’t breathe.
“Burt and I tried to pry the plane out, but it wouldn’t budge. You shoulda seen, traffic was at a complete standstill.”
“Little jerk,” I spluttered, clapping gleefully.
“We grabbed him and ran toward Florence Ferguson—their ER entrance is right around the corner, on Fredwill Avenue. Meanwhile, Mary had called the cops and paramedics, and the fire department too.” SFX: [Sirens]
“I love it!”
Cleve took a deep breath, then continued. “We beat all of ’em to the hospital. They threw the little jackass onto a gurney and took turns yanking. Took about twelve doctors, nurses and orderlies just to hold him down, and another dozen to remove the plane, with these giant forceps. And what a noise that made!” SFX: [Pouring Sand]
I thought I’d pass out.
“Almost felt sorry for the dope.” Roaring, Cleve threw himself across Fraxinella’s desktop.
“They gave him a walker, to help his big, overactive mouth get around—”
“Nicki, they did! I kid you not! I got pictures to prove it!”
“He must’ve looked like a real fool!”
“You know it. And as he slowly recovered—and it wasn’t slow enough for me—he threw away his walker and went yakking around on crutches. Chin got sore, and that only made him more evil—y’know, the padding on those armrests is only so thick—”
“Cleve, you’re making this part up!”
“Nope—I’ve got actual video of him doing a newscast, with his jaw supported by these two little crutches. I swear!”
“Cleve,” I gasped, “I’m dying!”
“And toward the end of his recovery, he blabbered around the office on a cane.”
“What about the plane?” I inquired, cheeks cramping.
“An article in the paper said it was piloted by a deranged squirrel.”
“No!” I was doubled over again.
“Dude couldn’t look me in the eye for six months.”
“Our boss is a real piece of work.”
“And poor you—you live with him.”
“Y’know, Cleve, hanging out with you is about the only thing that keeps me sane.”
“Same here. There’s so much more I wanna tell you. Maybe tomorrow, even if it’s snowing whipped cream, we can still have lunch together—”
“Youse two lousy Iggleheimers! I didn’t stinkin’ leave yet—I was out in the hall, listenin’ to youse!”
Cleve and I stood there, paralyzed.
“Heard every stinkin’ word—youse even made funna my speech impedipoodiment! I’ll fix it so youse two don’t even stinkin’ see each other no more! An’ Ig, wait till ya get home—ain’t finished wit’ yooou! Ain’t even started!”
And so, I left for the bank to cash my first real check.
SFX: [Backfiring car] The ol’ Splodge snorted and backfired, threatening to stall as I backed out of the tight, impossibly angled parking space Gneeecey had assigned me. Ugh. Manual steering—straight out of the first half of the last century . . .just my luck to be driving history on wheels. Prehistoric history.
As I hadn’t quite gotten used to the ol’ heap’s reversed pedals, I had a tendency to gun the gas when I thought I was flooring the brakes— and vice versa. Poor, hunched-over old Lenny the security guard ran for his life whenever he saw my bomb rolling his way. Maybe Flea wasn’t such a bad driver after all.
The Splodge finally picked up some speed as I left the lot. Flying down the uncharacteristically unconstipated Edgar Vompt Boulevard, I peeked at my cheap, purple Blirg watch. I’d punched out of work at twelve noon and had a good chance of making it back by my lunch’s end at eleven-thirty a.m. if traffic remained light and lines at the bank weren’t long.
It was a gorgeous day. Even the Irons—a mysterious Stonehenge-like grouping of building-sized stone steam irons and ironing boards—glistened as they reached for the lavender heavens. A gentle breeze tousled my needing-to-be dyed-again blonde hair.
All was good—or as good as it could’ve been, under the circumstances—until I made the mistake of visualizing the vengeful Gneeecey I’d have to deal with when I returned home. I scooped up the remaining half of my King Oggle’s eggplant parmesan-like oogdenplantzil hero, left over from the previous afternoon’s Plutonium Park picnic. I took a greedy bite. Even cold, it was scrumptious.
Eleven-fifty—I’d only been on the road ten minutes and had reached the very last exit—the Stummix District exit. I was practically there.
Swallowing the last mouth-watering morsel of my sandwich, I turned onto the northwestern–southern service spur and peered down at Gneeecey’s map. It indicated that I should turn left onto North Stummix Avenue. But I couldn’t make a left—North Stummix was a one-way.
Reluctantly, I turned right, onto West Stummix Place—another one-way leading onto a never-ending elevated ramp that dumped me back onto the other side of Vompt Boulevard—heading north, back to the office.
I socked the steering wheel, and my horn squealed like a hyena being crammed into stilettos three sizes too small. SFX: [High-pitched Horn] There didn’t seem to be a U-turn for miles. It was eleven-forty— I’d never make it back to work ten minutes ago.
By the time an exit materialized, traffic had begun building. My stomach churned as I hit the brakes, then the gas, then—oops—the gas again, almost rear-ending a bus. SFX: [Squealing Brakes]
As I cursed the reversed pedals, lilac-tinted midday sunlight poured through my crazed windshield, making me queasy. Crawling down the ramp, traveling south again, I exited the boulevard and turned onto the Northwestern-southern service spur, for the second time. I pulled onto the shoulder and buried my face in the map.
Horns blasted me, one after another, and a cocker spaniel-like canine-humanoid zoomed past, shouting, “No standing!”
“I’m not standing,” I screamed, “I’m sitting!”
I still couldn’t turn onto North Stummix Avenue. But I did manage to make a left onto a street I hadn’t seen before, the half-hidden Northeast Stummix Circle, a one-way triangle that allowed me to turn onto North Stummix Avenue, which is where I should’ve been in the first place.
My next task was to locate North East Stummix Avenue. Gneeecey’s crappy map insisted that it was accessible from the northwestern-southern service spur of the East Stummix junction. The entire district seemed to be a maze of clogged arteries, bearing names like East Stummix Street, West North Stummix Avenue, Stummix Boulevard South, North West-Eastern Stummix Lane, and every other Stummix permutation possible—along with a couple odd non-Stummix streets—all twisting and tangling like strands of spaghetti in a bowl. One-way strands garnished with grime.
There was a West Northeast Stummix Avenue, but there didn’t seem to be a North East Stummix Avenue—except on Gneeecey’s map. The paperclip-shaped North Stummix Avenue led into Southwest Stummix Place, and after three or four long lights, turned into West Stummix End, a dead end.
Only alternative was to turn around and travel the wrong way on a one-way street for a block or so, then veer right, onto Tinkey Street, and ride north on Old Southeast Stummix Road.
Drive the wrong way I did. Lucky for me, the street was empty. The Splodge’s oil light had begun flashing, and its temperature gauge was rising. So was mine. I popped a couple StomQuells and glanced at my watch. Eleven twenty-five. Game over. My lunch had ended five minutes ago.
I pulled over and popped the car’s hood so its overworked, undersized engine could cool down. SFX: [Overheating Engine] Absentmindedly, I turned Gneeecey’s piece-of-garbage map over and saw, scribbled in his childlike handwriting, a different set of directions, misspelled, of course—“korrekt direckshuns two—spelled “T-W-O”—bank.”
Flames shot through my gut as I turned my warping key in the ignition SFX: [Ignition] The Splodge retched back to life. To access the East Stummix junction and North East Stummix Avenue, I had to take the next-to-last exit on the boulevard, the Horoscope Avenue exit.
According to Gneeecey’s diagram, it ran parallel to the Northwestern-southern service spur and merged right into the Northwestern spoke of the distorted wagon wheel of a junction. I’d have to retrace my steps back to Vompt Boulevard, drive north, search for a second U-turn—north of Horoscope Avenue—then cross over, travel south on Vompt, exiting finally on Horoscope Avenue.
There was only one slight problem. I couldn’t retrace my steps. All of the streets I’d just driven on were one-way streets. Busy ones. I wondered if I’d ever see my lumpy little mattress again. Tears clouding my vision, I steered down South Stummix Avenue to West Stummix Boulevard, which morphed into New Southeast Stummix Drive.
Several blocks later, I came to a fork in the road. An actual fork, of stainless steel, held up by a life-sized granite kangaroo that rose from the pavement, dividing the otherwise nondescript street.
I took the fork. Turning left onto First Street, I held my breath. Maybe there would be more numbered streets. But no such luck.
After First Street came Northwestern Southeast Stummix Lane Loop. I parked, grabbed my purse, and lunged out of the car.
“Could you tell me,” I begged, staggering across the street to a PassGass service station, “how I can get to the main branch of Stummix Bank—the one on North East Stummix Avenue?”
The blond, amber-skinned attendant pointed up the road. “Take Eastwestern Stummix street two blocks up north-south—make a right onto West Stummix. Since it’s one-way, you’ll make another right, then a left—after two or three lights—onto South Stummixville Terrace. but since that road runs the opposite way, you’ll make another left, after a coupla more lights, onto the southeast corner of Northwest—”
My eyes had glazed over. “Thanks, I think I’ll just walk.”
“Then ya cut straight through there,” he drawled, motioning toward a cluster of electric-blue weeping willows. “Cut straight through Stummix Park—you’ll find yourself a coupla blocks from the southwest corner of North East Stummix Avenue. Make two rights.”
“One other thing—” I began.
“Bank’s closin’ any minute,” he interrupted.
“Can I leave my car here?”
“Guess so—I don’t own this road.” He kicked an empty Slog can in my direction.
“These streets are really set up kinda crazy, aren’t they?”
“Not really,” he replied, strolling back to his gas pumps. “Whole district’s only a square mile. Only an Iggleheimer could get lost.”
Well, I managed to cash that paycheck just as the bank was closing…
Clutching a lime-green envelope containing a tiny wad of bills—and a few clinking coins SFX: [Clinking Coins]—I stumbled back through the park toward my Splodge. It had begun to rain. Legs threatening to give way, I collapsed onto a bench. On my way in, I’d spotted Gneeecey’s sullen Gneeezzle’s Restaurant delivery mouse, Altitude, straddling his wreck of a bike, wedged between two cars, waiting his turn at the drive-thru. I’d waved, and he’d looked away. I couldn’t really blame the young guy. It had to be a real blow to his ego, having his license revoked—or “regurgitated,” as Gneeecey put it, and then Gneeecey giving me the ol’ Splodge that the delivery mouse used to drive.
As drizzle dampened my head, I studied a larger-than-life statue of an elegant gentleman perched atop a rearing stallion, proudly hoisting his briefcase skyward. A plaque below indicated that Perswayssick City’s business district had been named for revered latrine magnate Drummond A. Stummix. The bronze monument had turned green and listed to the south. And it appeared to be well-worshiped by pigeons.
Suddenly, lightning lit up the lavender skies and thunder rumbled. It began to pour. SFX: [Pouring Rain] I glanced down at my hard-won Stummix envelope that contained my paltry pay.
Sometimes less was more, more or less, and other times, more was less—much less than you’d hoped for. Drenched to the bone, I rose. Slogging through soggy tartan plaid grass, I checked my watch. Ten-thirty. I’d be docked double-time, as was Gneeecey’s policy during Blirg.
Cleve was probably swigging antacid and wondering where I was. Even if he’d been tempted to punch my time card for me, he couldn’t. Gneeecey had installed seventeen surveillance cameras aimed with precision at the flashing, beeping clock.
Gneeecey’s favorite employee, donkey-humanoid intern Stu Pitt, no doubt, was covering my duties plus his own. One thing was for sure. Next payday, I wouldn’t have to worry about finding my way back to any bank—I’d probably have to give Gneeecey money from my pocket.
Crossing Northwestern Southeast Stummix Lane Loop, my heart sank when I spied a helmeted cop planting a ticket under the Splodge’s rusty wiper. I broke into a lopsided trot.
“Officer! Officer! I didn’t see any signs saying I couldn’t park here—the guy over there at the gas station said—”
“Oh, you.” SFX: [Scary Ambience] First time a Markman—and I recognized this one as a frequent visitor to the mansion—had lowered himself to speak to me. Ocher eyeballs looking me up and down, his thin lips curled contemptuously.
“Please, officer, show me where there’s a sign that says I can’t park here—”
“You should know better.” His waxy complexion glowed in the rising lavender fog. I snatched the summons from my windshield. “Two-hundred dollars? Court appearance required?”
“Have a great day.” The policeman turned on the heels of his gleaming boots and swaggered over to his chrome chopper, hopped on and vroomed out of sight. SFX: [Motorcycle Engine]
SFX: [Fail horn]
I needed therapy after all of that. And, speaking of therapy, it’s time for Gneeecey’s counseling session with veggie meatball shop owner and licensed therapist Ingabore Scriblig, who prefers to be called “Grandma.” Despite Grandma’s efforts to get Gneeecey to work on his perpetual lateness, we did end up arriving late, as usual, to Grandma’s office. Guess you can’t really work on fixing a problem if you don’t admit you have one. Here’s how it all went down….
SFX: [Magic Spell]
IS: Bad afternoon, Nicki and Gneeecey. How doodle you do?
N: Bad afternoon, Grandma. I’m so sorry we’re late…again! I tried so hard to get him to—
G: Baaad afternooon, Graaandma, I ain’t doodlin’ too good here. An’ how many times do I gotta remindicate yooou an’ evoovveryone else to call me Diroctor Gneeecey—I’m a lousy doctor an’ director— Grate Gizzygalumpaggis—of this here dopey Perswayssick County!
IS: Alrightsky, Diroctor Gneeecey! You’re late again! I tought vee vere going to vork on dis problem of yours!
G: Ain’t my proboobem—youse two can work on it! Why are youse two lookin’ at me like that?
N: Diroctor, I promised Grandma that we’d do our best to be on time today!
G: Well then, Ig, it’s makin’ yooou look baaad—yooou promised Graaandma, I stinkin’ didn’t!
IS: Vell, Diroctor, I tink vee hawe to take anudder look at your habits—
G: I don’t like your constant analyzation of my lousy haboobits! shrieked Gneeecey, punching his fists in the air, so agitated that he fell off Grandma’s couch, right onto the hardwood floor below, on his scruffy behind.
SFX: [Boing] [Duck Horn]
G: Stinkin’ OW! Hope ya got insurance incase my bimbus jus’ got another crack!
IS: Let me help you up, Diroctor Gneeecey.
G: Nah, I don’t want no stinkin’ help from nobody unless I demaaand it! Then I igspect it!
IS: You don’t say! Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha!
G: I dooo say! An’ it most certaintaneously ain’t funny!
IS: Okiedokie, alrightsky den—let’s talk about dee adwice I recently gawe you regarding dis lateness problem of yours, Diroctor Gneeecey. And vee hawen’t ewen addressed dee season of Blirg yet, vhere time runs backwards. Anyvay, let me repeat my adwice. Get ready as much as you can dee night before, den set your clock to get up just a little earlier on vork mornings.
G: No offense, Graaandma, but that lousy advice is priddy stooopid!
IS: And vhy do you say dat my adwice ees lousy and pretty stupid?
G: Looky here, Graaandma, I’ll kill two stones wit’ one bird. I’ll tell ya why your advice is priddy stooopid plus I’ll answer what’cha always aaask me, what did I stinkin’ learn. An’ I’ll do it all in one sentence! Your advice is priddy stooopid ’cause I learned that if I set my dopey clock fifteen minutes earlier on work mornin’s, then I caaan’t sleep in!
SFX: [Fail Horn]
Well, speaking of time, it’s time for me to turn it back over to my alter ego, Vicki. Thanks so much for hanging with us today! Till next time, when I’m sure Gneeecey won’t be on time! But we will!
SFX: [Magic Spell]
Music/Outro: Thanks, Nicki! Vicki here again. Thanks so much for tuning in to “Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy.” We hope you enjoyed traveling to this loopy dimension with us and that you’ll come along again! Our new episodes drop every Tuesday morning! Please make sure to subscribe and tell a friend! And keep on laughing!
Frank: It’s a Gneeecey thing! [SFX: Door Slam] ###