“Ig’s Got a New Roomie,” Episode 12
Nicki, attempting to adjust to her old life on Earth, is thrown for a loop when Gneeecey unexpectedly barges into her basement apartment in the middle of the night. She hears loud banging on her door, which seems to open all by itself—and there he is.
Since returning to her own world, Nicki has been dealing with dimension burn, struggling to remember things. When the zany canine-humanoid shows up, memories come flooding back. Gneeecey accuses Nicki of stealing his teddy bear Yammicles, plus a thousand of his dollars. She suddenly panics, suddenly wondering if the evil alien gangsters chasing Gneeecey have followed him to her dimension. Back in Perswayssick County, the creeps tried to kill Nicki and Gneeecey several times.
Gneeecey informs Nicki that he too is suffering from dimension burn—indeed, his skin is purple beneath his grungy white fur—and he insists that he must stay with her for a while. She replies that he absolutely cannot.
Gneeecey also demands that Nicki decipher the secret codes he believes she has hidden away in a manuscript. This information would supposedly enable him and his fellow citizens stranded in Perswayssick County to travel back to their native Planet Eccchs. Nicki has no idea what he’s talking about.
The rude dog jumps into Nicki’s bed, makes himself all too comfortable, and notifies her that she will be sleeping on the floor.
Little does Nicki realize, she is in the process of discovering something new about herself.
Vicki, Nicki, Grandma, and even Gneeecey 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!
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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 / “Ig’s Got a New Roomie,” - Episode 12, written by Vicki Solá.
All content © 2021 Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy.
Music/Intro: Hi there, I’m author and radio host Vicki Solá, 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, welcoming you to this week’s episode of “Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy.” My alter ego Vicki and I thank Marysol Cerdeira Rodriguez, Sal Solá, Sandi Solá, Marcellina Ramirez, and Rick “El Molestoso” Rivera for being generous supporting members through BuyMeACoffee.com!
Another memory has just resurfaced. I’d recently managed to escape back to Earth and my old life in New Jersey—“Regular New Jersey,” (as opposed to the so-called New Jersey in crazed canine-humanoid Gneeecey’s wacko dimension of Perswayssick County.) It was really tough, trying to adjust to my old life. And like now, due to dimension burn and trauma, my memory was like Swiss cheese, full of holes. But I was in the process of discovering something new about myself. Here’s what went down….
SFX: [Magic Spell]
Spring. Never thought it would arrive.
One hand on my faux leather-covered steering wheel, I wound my window down, savoring the sweet scents of cherry blossoms as they mingled with those of the piping-hot Cuban coffee and steaming veggie-buttered blueberry-orange muffin (vegan and gluten-free, of course) that I’d just picked up at Javier’s Deli.
An almost summery breeze swept through my blonde-dyed hair, pleasing me, as did the sight of my sleek red ’64-and-a-half Mustang, reflected in Main Street’s store windows. My late dad had done a meticulous job of restoring the car—his last gift to me. Couldn’t believe it had already been seven years since I’d graduated from high school. I clicked the knob on my ancient CD player and cranked up the volume. Better watch out, I thought, chuckling as I bopped to the heavy-duty, percussion-driven salsa music blaring from my speakers. I, Nicki Rodriguez, might get busted for dancing in my car. My almost-boyfriend, bandleader Carlos Santiago, had really outdone himself with this new production. There was already talk of a Grammy nomination.
Smiling, I pictured the green-eyed, well-built six-footer. I reached for my muffin, then glanced up to see the head of a white-and-black canine-humanoid rise in my rearview mirror.
“Keep on drivin’!” he shrieked. I hit my brakes. Hard. SFX: [Screeching Brakes]
Then, I fell out of bed and woke up.
Clutching my injured hip and rubbing what felt like a cracked cranium, I staggered into the kitchen. My basement apartment’s freezing gray cement tiles sent shockwaves through the soles of my bare feet. If not for the carpet beneath my bed, thin and cheap as it was, I might’ve been wiping my addled brains off the floor.
I smacked the light switch on and squinted.
Three a.m. read the cat-with-the-wagging-tail clock nailed up on the brick wall. It appeared to be watching my every move.
“We’ve gotta stop meeting like this, Miss Kitty,” I muttered, snatching my ugly poop-brown WUGG-FM Radio mug from the dish drain—the porcelain piece of junk my pain-in-the-culo boss Bill Fernández had forced me to take home.
Tea...tea...had to make a cup of chamomile. Couldn’t stand something about its taste, but at least it might help me fall asleep again. Thought only old people woke up in the wee hours and couldn’t get back to sleep. Ain’t supposed to happen when you’re twenty-five.
Not that I didn’t have the kind of problems that would keep you awake. Only trouble was, I couldn’t tell you what half of ’em were. Yeah, there were the usual ones, like my horrible full-time job at that commercial radio station. I stared up at the low beige ceiling, with its maze of half-painted hanging pipes.
And there were all the freakin’ bills piled up on my dad’s old mahogany desk. Constant car repairs, too many credit cards, and student loans. Most still unpaid. In theory, my freelance recording business, NickelRod Productions, was supposed to close the gap and allow me to eat. But, oh, the clients...obnoxious...and so resistant to paying. I needed to be a freakin’ collection agency too. I shivered, partly from the chill in the air and partly from the horror, as my life floated past like a bad movie on that giant silver screen inside my head.
The stuff that I couldn’t remember troubled me the most. Carlos was losing patience with me. He couldn’t understand why my sad face. He had even asked if there was someone else. A slight remembrance of someone else, somewhere else, troubled me. Often.
In a couple of weeks, I was scheduled to jet off to Paris for five whole days—expenses paid for me—where I’d emcee Carlos’ salsa band in several exclusive nightclubs. Springtime in Paris.
Sighing, tea unmade, I ambled into my living room/office, plopped into my high-backed black pleather chair, and pulled the chain on my grandma Isabel’s antique brass lamp. I studied my right hand under the golden light, still puzzled by my skin’s lavender tinge.
SFX: [Scary Horror II] Suddenly, someone was knocking on my door. Vigorously. SFX: [Door Knock] I almost jumped through the ceiling, half-painted pipes and all. Who was out there banging at this time of night—or more accurately, morning? “I’m not gonna answer,” I half-whispered, bolting out of my chair and flying back into the kitchen, then skidding to a stop.
Lost for words, I stared up the stairs at the silvery steel door as it appeared to unlatch and open itself. SFX: [Opening Door]
Framed in the doorway stood, on two sneakered feet, a white-and-black dog, a smug smirk plastered across his grungy face. He clutched a clipboard in one cartoonish four-fingered hand and what appeared to be a purple rubber briefcase in the other. He wore a propeller-topped chrome yellow civil defense helmet, a sloppy giant black letter “F” painted on its front. A small gold hoop glistened from the creature’s left ear.
“Bad mornin’, Ig,” he squealed, slamming the door SFX: [Bang] and skipping down the steps.
My lips parted, but my vocal cords were on strike. The canine-humanoid followed me as I hobbled back into the other room. Entire body enveloped by a prickly sensation, I lowered myself into my big chair. Maybe it was just another bad dream.
“Well, Ig, ain’cha hapoopy to see me? I certaincerely hope ya are!” His bulging yet beady eyeballs remained riveted on me.
Embarrassed sitting there in my pajamas (the gray flannel ones with the Dalmatian pups driving fire engines), I sprang up and sprinted into my bedroom to pull on my old scarlet bathrobe, the one with the torn pocket. I tied the belt around my ever-shrinking waist as I trotted back to my desk, energized by a prolonged surge of adrenaline.
“I mean,” the creature continued in his shrill, nerdy voice, twirling his helmet propeller, “wasn’cha worried ’bout me after that invisible force, y’know, sepooparated us when we got stuck in that weird dimension wit’ all them ice crystals, where we didn’t know which way was up or if we’d ever get home or ever see each other again? Huh, Ig, huh?”
“Name’s Nicki,” I managed to croak. “Nicki Rodriguez.”
“I know, Ig. I know.” The elbow-high entity shifted from long narrow foot to long narrow foot as my tired eyes bored into his.
“Actually,” I added, as memories came flooding back, “I was really worried about where you ended up, and what happened to you…after that mysterious force tore us apart…separated us.”
Chest puffed out, he grinned.
I folded my arms. “Well, what’re you doing here? At three o’clock in the morning? And how did you get in? That door up there was locked.”
“Questions, questions, Ig.”
He tossed his clipboard at my paper-covered desk, knocking a tower of bills down onto the cobalt blue rug. “Yooou opened the door, ya Ig.”
“I did not.”
“Ya did too!”
My eyes narrowed. “Did not. Would not.”
“I couldn’t. My two stinkin’ hands were holdin’ junk.”
It was true. Both his fuzzy mitts had been full. My legs went weak, but my voice grew stronger. “Well, what are you doing here? In my apartment?”
“Oxidatin’. Y’know, breathin’. Respoopiratin’. Heh hah, heh haah, heh haaah!”
Hapoopy. Sepooparated. Respoopiratin’. I shook my head. It was all coming back to me. He still suffered from ooglitis, a speech impediment caused by exposure to mierk, a toxic, goopy brown substance that blighted his otherworldly dimension of Perswayssick County. And enriched a select few individuals. “Answer my question, Doctor Gneeecey.”
He whisked his clipboard off my desk, spilling more papers. “An’ perhaphoops ya don’t rememboober, I’m a doctor plus I’m stinkin’ director of Perswayssick County. That makes me a stinkin’ diroctor.”
“An’ of course, ya mus’ rememboober that I’m a self-made zillionaire! Own lotsa consonants. An’ vowels!”
My jaw muscles began to twitch. “Diroctor, I want an answer. What are you doing here in my neck of the universe? Again?”
“I think ya know the answer to that, Iggy Rockhead.”
Scowling, I crumpled a blank NickelRod invoice and flung it at Gneeecey’s oversized head. And missed. “Told you before. Name’s Nicki Rodriguez—actually, Nicole Rodriguez.”
“Now answer my question.”
He stomped his red high-top sneakered foot. “I’m here ’cause ya got somethin’ that’s mine.”
I crouched down and began scooping my bills off the carpet. “What could I possibly have that’s yours?”
Gneeecey marched into my bedroom as if he was familiar with the place, and yanked open my pine dresser’s deep bottom drawer.
Fists clenched, I ran in after him. “Who said you could go in there?”
“Yaaammicles! I knowed she had ya!” Dark eyes darting my way, he lifted out a limp brown teddy bear by the neck. A singed greenback protruded from its torn, pouting muzzle.
Chills ran through me. I had forgotten entirely about the stuffed animal.
“An’ looky,” he shrieked, “there’s my lousy thousan’ dollar bill! It was missin’ when I was countin’ my stinkin’ mon-ney this mornin’! Ya stole my bear an’ my mon-ney!”
He pronounced the word money in such a nerdy way.
“I didn’t steal anything! I remember now, you tied your teddy bear Yammicles around my leg like a tourniquet when it was bleeding, when we were floating around in those ice crystals! I didn’t freakin’ steal anything!”
“Yammy,” he continued, ignoring me, “ya okay? Obvooviously, she ain’t been feedin’ ya! Did she hurt’cha? Or make ya feel baaad? Or say anythin’ baaad ’bout meee?”
“Diroctor Gneeecey, you’ve cornered the market on loopiness.”
“Says he’s okay, Ig.” Gneeecey trudged back to my desk. “Lucky for yooou. If he wasn’t, I woulda hadda made a snitizen’s arrest! For endangerin’ the welfare of a live stuffed bear!”
“Oh, puhlease.” I had a bad taste in my mouth, and it wasn’t from the tea I hadn’t made. Suddenly an arrow shot through my solar plexus. SFX: [Scary Ambience] “Do you think they followed you here?”
Gneeecey scratched his butt thoughtfully. “Hah?”
“You know, them.”
Gneeecey crammed the teddy into the bottomless pit of a pocket attached to his grimy aqua T-shirt. “Wha’cha talkin’ ’bout, Ig? Who’s them?”
I scuttled back into the kitchen and raced up the wooden steps, almost tripping on my long robe.
“Wha’cha doin’, Ig?” he asked, waddling into the room.
“Bolting the door. I’m gonna ask you one more time. Do you think they followed you here?”
“Who? Ya got me totally mystificated, Ig. Who followed me?”
Exhausted, I gripped the banister as I made my way down the steep staircase. “Them. Those gangster pals of yours. Those floating eyeball creeps who cover themselves with your goopy poisonous mierk, to create bodies for themselves. You know. Most of ’em even have the same name.”
“Huh?” Gneeecey shuffled back into the living room, right on my heels, invading my personal space. As usual.
My head turned. “C’mon, you know, the guys you owe all that money. The guys who tried to kill us several times!”
He ripped his civil defense propeller helmet off and threw it to the floor. “Oh, them. Y’mean Bob. An’ Mark an’ Mark. An’ Mark, Mark an’ Mark. An’ Mark—”
“Cut the nonsense, Diroctor Gneeecey. Could they have followed you here?”
“Can’t cut nonsense wit’out nonsense-cuttin’ scissors, Ig,” he replied, a sheepish expression spreading across his begrimed face. “Got any? Wit’ them rounded points? Y’know, regoogular scissors can be priddy dangerousical. Specifoofically when ya run wit’ ’em.”
Reeling, I leaned against the wall and took a deep breath. “I’ll ask you one more time. Do you think they followed you here? Into this dimension?”
“Dunno, Ig. Never thunk of it. But I do know I’m gonna hafta stay here wit’ you for a while. Till my dimension burn lets up. Skin’s all purpoople under my fur.”
I pounded my fist on the desktop. “You can’t stay here.”
“I see your skin’s still purpoople, too. I actually feel for ya, Ig. Never thought I’d say that. Dimension burn can be priddy horribooble.”
“I appreciate your, uh, concern, Diroctor, but don’t change the subject. You’re not gonna stay here. You can’t!”
“You stayed in my lousy mansion. For two whole stinkin’ months!”
“Not because I wanted to. Had no choice, if you recall.”
“Well, Ig, this sure ain’t no mansion! I see that me an’ Yammicles will be igstremely incornvenienced, stayin’ here.” Shooting me one of those ‘Ain’t this a dump?’ looks, Gneeecey made a beeline into my bedroom and flopped into my bed.
“Hey, get outta my—”
“You’ll sleep on the floor, Ig,” he ordered, sinking his head into my pillow.
I stood over him. “I said, get out of my bed.”
“Ya proboobably forgot, I’m your boss.”
My fists bunched up. “Not in this dimension, you’re not!”
The canine-humanoid pulled my heavy maroon blanket and matching satin comforter over his pear-shaped body, sneakers and all.
A tall tumbler sparkled on the nightstand next to Gneeecey, catching my attention. SFX: [Atmosphere] The liquid inside had to be freezing cold. Sure would love to dump that on the little jerk, I thought, glancing down at him.
Fuzzy eyelids shut tight, a half-smile lighting his puss, he began to hum a doofy little tune.
At that moment, the vessel levitated and positioned itself directly over him. SFX: [Scary Horror Moment]
My jaw dropped.
Tilting in midair, the glass poured its icy contents onto his noggin. SFX: [Splash]
“Yaaaaaaaaaaaa!” Gneeecey leaped into the air and whacked his noodle on the rough-textured ceiling, just missing one of the pipes. “How daaare yooou?”
“I…I…I didn’t do anything,” I spluttered, wide-eyed, as the glass floated back to where it had been. “It…it…did it all by itself.”
After a few moments, I pointed to the open bottom dresser drawer. “You’re sleeping in there.”
Gneeecey crawled in, fury flashing in his eyes. “C’mon, Yammy. I ain’t seen no stinkin’ couch ’round here, jus’ that big ol’ stooopid desk, so ya gotta go back in that there lousy drawer. Can’t igspect much hospoopitality from her. But this time, you’ll be safe. You’ll be wit’ meee.”
“Uh, Diroctor…aren’t you gonna, you know, take your shoes off?”
Gneeecey looked at me like I had three heads. “Why, ya Ig?”
I threw him a fuzzy light blue blanket that, except for being clean, matched his T-shirt. “If you don’t know, I really can’t help you.”
“Ya don’t know much, do ya, Ig?”
“If you don’t mind, Diroctor, I have to get up in the morning. Some of us have to earn a living.” I lowered myself onto my mattress and pulled the chain on my lamp.
Gneeecey yawned loudly. “Stinkin’ whatever. Bad night, Ig.”
“Yeah, freakin’ whatever. Bad night,” I replied, grudgingly returning his Planet Eccchs’s customary evening salutation. I tossed my wet pillow onto the floor and stuffed the nearby dry one beneath my aching skull.
“Don’t stinkin’ say it like thaaat, so oogdimonious. Oh, an’ by the way, Ig, another reason I’m here is that you still need to decipher them secret codes for me. The ones in that stooopid manuscript of yours. Y’know, in that weird book you’re writin’.”
“Y’know, them secret codes you got that’ll get me an’ my fifteen million stranded snitizens of Perswayssick County back to our Planet Eccchs. Rememboober?”
“I told ya last time I saw ya, I have no freakin’ idea what you’re talking about. Now, go to sleep.” Sighing, I rolled onto my stomach, pulled the covers up over my head, and began to doze.
My body went rigid. “What?” I growled into my pillow.
“You are gonna decipher them secret codes for me.”
“Will you freakin’ just go to sleep?”
“Okay, Ig. We’ll disgust this matter tomorrow. An’ don’cha worry, me an’ you are gonna have plenny of time together an’….”
Before he’d even finished his sentence, I’d begun dreaming. Something about a blizzard, and Bill Fernández calling me in to work. During my week off in July.
“Ig! Ig! Ig!”
Heart racing, I almost flew six feet up into the air. “What? What? What?”
“I caaan’t sleep.”
“My haaand hurts. From countin’ mon-ney!”
“Will you freakin’ shut up and go to sleep?”
SFX: [Fail Horn]
So…now, through a series of terrifying events, I’m back in Gneeecey’s Perswayssick County, trapped again, ravaged by dimension burn. After the resurfacing of this memory that I just shared with you, I decided to accompany Gneeecey to his counseling session with veggie meatball shop owner and licensed therapist Ingabore Scriblig, who prefers to be called “Grandma.” I had her permission, and Gneeecey grudgingly agreed that I could come along and participate, I’m sure, because I would be providing the transportation. Well, here’s how that went.
SFX: [Magic Spell]
IS: Hallo Nicki and Diroctor Gneeecey, how doodle you do?
N: Hi Grandma. Thanks again for—
G: —Thanks for nuthin’!
IS: Vhut? Vhy do you say dat?
G: Because ya always greet the lousy Ig here before ya greet me! I’m the important one! You yourself always say that I got more issues!
IS: Diroctor Gneeecey, you did agree to allow Nicki—and she is not a ‘lousy Ig’—to participate in today’s counseling session.
G: Stinkin’ whatever. I know I said the lousy Ig could participoocipate in my here session today, but that was mainly so she could drive me here an’ save me time an’ troubooble. An’ gaaas!
IS: Yah, you did.
G: But, my niceness don’t mean I’m gonna let her steal the whole stupid show here!
IS: And may I remind you dat you are not more important dan anyvun else? Novun ees! And dis session is not a stupid show! Vhy vould you come if eet vas?
G: Proboobably to waste some time while I was thinkin’ of other junk to do.
IS: You vould pay to do dat?
G: Well, proboobably not. Please don’t bother checkin’ to see if I’m paid up.
IS: You do hawe many issues, Diroctor Gneeecey.
G: Thanks! So do youse. That’s proboobably why ya went into this line of work.
IS: Vell! You seem to be wery hostile today. More so dan usual—if dat ees ewen possible.
G: Why, thanks! Gotta go now.
IS: But vee hawen’t started dee session!
G: I know, but I want a donut from Shisskey’s Bakery ’cross the street. That’ll help me more than hangin’ out here wit’ youse huuumans. Let the lousy Ig here have my halfa the session—she can pay for the whole stinkin’ thing then.
G: But nuthin’. An’ I’ll save ya the trouble of askin’. I awready learned some junk today.
IS: Vhut vas dat?
G: I stinkin’ said I’d save ya the trouble of askin’ me, so ya can’t charge me for that. I stinkin’ learned that I never met a person I didn’t like that I liked!
G: Guh-bye! SFX: [Door Slam] [Fail Horn]
Nicki Rodriguez here, hoping you enjoyed these latest memories! Again, we thank Marysol Cerdeira Rodriguez, Sal Solá, Sandi Solá, Marcellina Ramirez, and Rick “El Molestoso” Rivera for being generous supporting members through BuyMeACoffee.com!
And hello to everyone listening to us on the U.S mainland and Puerto Rico, plus Kenya, Nigeria, and India—special shout-outs to our many listeners in Delhi, New Delhi, and Kolkata. And hello to Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Thailand, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand! And a big welcome to our new listeners in Australia! Thank you so very much for checking out “Perswayssick Radio: Unearthly Comedy!” Please tell a friend!
Time to turn it back over to my alter ego, Vicki. Be well and safe!
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] ###