Archive for the ‘Lankville Action News: YES!’ Category

PEOPLE OF LANKVILLE: There Was This One Day When I Was Livin’ in This Ol’ Shack in the Woods

June 15, 2017 Leave a comment

Joe “Baby Shacks” Allen

Editor’s Note: This interview took place in a bumpkin shack.

LDN: What is your name and what do you do?

JA: John Allen.

LDN: What do you do?

JA: Puts out chairs.

LDN: For what?

JA: Wrasslin’ events, bumpkin public executions…that…

LDN: Bumpkin public executions?

JA: Well, it’s only us [bumpkins] that know about ’em. You wouldn’t ‘a heard of ’em down in Lankville.

LDN: Christ, how often do these happen?

JA: Pretty regular. I got some picture postcards somewhere.

LDN: Why do they call you Baby Shacks?

JA: There was this one day when I was living in this ol’ shack in the woods and one of the men said, “lookit’ ‘at ol’ baby shack!”

LDN: “this one day”?

JA: Well, it was ‘fer more days. ‘Fer more days.

LDN: What’s the cat’s name?

JA: Mitchell. He named afta’ my Pappy. But he passed.

LDN: How would you describe your rather distinctive appearance?

JA: My Pappy, he was…he come over. He come over.

LDN: OK. We’ll be going.

JA: Alright, well, I did’n even ast you, so…

The Tibbs Reader: Skipper Tibbs

May 31, 2017 Leave a comment

Photo believed to be Skipper Tibbs as a young man.

Tibbs sat in the dark hotel room and watched the lights of the nearby ballpark flick off slowly. There was a light mist on the window.

He opened the leather-bound hymnal and removed the browning newspaper clipping. For the thousandth time, he read it.

Mrs. Mary E. Tibbs, wife of Skipper Tibbs, died June 30, aged 29 years. Mrs. Tibbs escaped from the State Hospital for the Insane at La Hardy on the night of June 29 and on the morning of June 30, was found in the park, the arteries in her left wrist severed and nearly dead from the loss of blood. She died the afternoon of the same day. Deceased had been a terrible sufferer for many months from blood poisoning and melancholia and the best of medical attendance found no remedy to relieve the diseases that slowly but surely sapped her life and mental faculties away. She leaves a husband and two small children to mourn her early death, to whom the sympathy of the entire community is sincerely and lusciously tendered.

Tibbs returned the clipping to the hymnal and placed it in the side drawer of the end table.

He went down to the lobby. Rolly, the young reliever, was sitting in a chair looking at travel brochures.

“Engaging in the corruption of reason, I see,” Tibbs said.

Rolly stared at him blankly.

“Skip, I…I was thinking of getting myself a little place in the desert. See, they got these little trailers there. I could use my signing bonus.”

Tibbs reflected on this.

“To live alone, one must be either a maniac or a God,” he finally proffered.

Rolly stared at him blankly.


Young Tibbs was in the locker room polishing the bats. The players began to enter one by one.

“HELLO!” the child boomed to each. “WHAT A DELIGHTFUL DAY FOR A BALL GAME!”

The players stared at him. Castleman, the second baseman, picked up his bat.

“Christ, the damn thing will be too slick to swing. What the hell are you using?”  He stared down at the yellow metal container by young Tibbs’ side.


“There’s something wrong with that kid,” Schmitz whispered.


Skipper Tibbs knew very little about his father. The man had been a drunk. He had once driven his farm tractor into the barn, knocking away a supporting beam. The tractor held up the barn for many years afterwards and nothing had been planted. “Things just got completely out of hand,” he explained. “I prefer not to know many things.”  He then disappeared into the attic.

His mother died of a disease of the kidneys and he had been sent away from the Snowy Lake District to La Hardy at age 8. His brother Harry was 14. They had taken a local short line to a desolate wooden shack of a station and waited there eight hours in the snow. They had seen nobody until nearly night when a railroad man dressed in faded overalls had emerged from the woods and urinated into the snow. As he urinated, he gyrated strangely. Then he went back into the woods.

Skipper walked over. The man had written his name in pee. “Wendell.”


The team lost 5-0. It had misted the whole game.

“If we look backward,” Tibbs commented, “we will begin to believe backwards.”

“Got to have some way of measuring time,” Douglass commented.

“I’m glad you are engaging with a formula for happiness, Douglass,” Tibbs noted. “There may be hope for your record after all.”


Young Tibbs had hollered the entire game keeping up the loud, booming chatter throughout. The men began to inch away from his perch at the far dugout wall.

Dressen, the umpire, finally walked over.

“Keep that kid’s trap shut, Tibbs,” he called.

Skipper Tibbs laughed.

“Need I explain, Dressen, how the boy fascinates his audience? He will be a physician, a savior and you will see that tomorrow in the blinding daylight.”

Dressen stared blankly.


The Tibbs Reader stories will continue in future issues.

PEOPLE OF LANKVILLE: I Moisten Them in the Morning

May 15, 2017 Leave a comment

Brent McGregor IV

LDN: What is your name and where do you work?

BM: My name is Brent McGregory IV and I manage the Sno-Balls stand on Lankville-Craughing Boulevard.

LDN: What does that entail?

BM: I make Sno-Balls. We have over 50 flavors. When business is slow, I try to get people to stop by hurling myself in front of cars on the Boulevard.

LDN: Have you ever been hurt?

BM: No. Why do you ask?

The Sno-Balls stand on Lankville-Craughing Boulevard.

LDN: Tell me about the nice lot you have where people can enjoy their Sno-Balls.

BM: Sure. It’s a paved lot and we have some picnic tables that I built myself. It borders a very nice gas station and a very nice professional building. Behind the lot is a very nice series of weedy hills and then beyond that is some sort of top-secret government testing facility. I don’t know what they test but I do know this– they DO NOT buy Sno-Balls.

LDN: You built the tables yourself?

BM: Yes. My father built picnic tables for a living. But he died. He was killed in a challenge. I mean, that’s what they told us. Feel like I see him around an awful lot though.

LDN: What about the moistened paper towels? Do you have anything to do with that?

BM: Yes. I moisten them in the morning with the hose pump and then place them in the containers. It helps the kids get the sticky Sno-Balls flavoring off their hands and faces. The parents appreciate it.

LDN: I understand that you met your girlfriend here.

BM: Yes! Her name is Nora. She is a wonderful woman– full of life, so optimistic. Especially for someone who has a wasting sickness that has not been identified. She manages a Sno-Balls stand a few miles away. It’s a very tight-knit community.

LDN: Anything else?

BM: Well, have you heard the Good News?

The interview suddenly ended.

Further Leaves from the Diary of Tibbs Senior

May 4, 2017 Leave a comment

Tibbs Senior, shortly before his disappearance.


The new menus have arrived! They are an unparalleled DELIGHT!

The frontispiece features a most lovely illustration of a mother bird providing regurgitated victuals to her three chicks. I felt it to be most ideal as we tend to view the Murray as a sort of maternal entity providing shelter and sustenance to the weary traveler.

Insolent Gump, of course, did not care for the design. “It’s shit,” he commented, “tho’ I suppose the mindless simpletons to whom we feed grilled prawn and gravy fries will not know the difference between fine art and banal representation.”

The boy is sullen because Shapely Susan has not called today. The spurious pair had a scheme by which they would picnic by the dried-up pond come evening and, no doubt, enjoy jejune coitus. His papa, however, knows that this monstrous convocation has been delayed permanently. As the poet said, and tears but nourish, in your soul…


Set another car on fire at Ellinor Village. Once again, the throng spilled out into the parking lot and I was able to come away with a case of benzos. On my way out of the pharmacy, I noticed a most fetching straw hat hanging on display in the window. “TREAT YOURSELF MR. TIBBS,” I said aloud.

It fit perfectly.


Young Gump sits about the anteroom in a withdrawn manner, scribbling poems into a calfskin notebook.

“Where is your fair maiden today?” I asked. “Bearing her rump for an aggregation of deviants, I surmise?”

He refused comment. Suddenly, Mr. Oakes stumbled into the lobby. The poor wretch– he was most inebriated and was attempting to carry two enormous ceramic owl lamps.


It was too late. Mr. Oakes lurched forward and the lamps were smashed into a million pieces upon the tile floor.

“Who knows what the hell to make of it?” Oakes uttered, before passing out.


Junior is positively crestfallen.

He has been making desperate phone calls all day pausing only to restate his desire to join the Craughing Expeditionary Force.

After dinner, he announced that he was making a sojourn to the public library. He set out in his battered orange Neptune and I followed close behind. Within minutes, he pulled in back of the Playpen.

“The mountebank!” I cried loudly, nearly blowing my cover.

He entered via the back door which was most heavily guarded by two ruffians. I decided to wait and thusly, removed a bottle of Old Lankville from beneath the seat.


Once dark, I slid out of the car and found the familiar duffel bag in the trunk. I crossed the alley and entered a most forlorn stairwell leading upstairs to a series of shabby apartments. Number 14 faced the alley.

I removed a most curious device from the duffel bag. Indeed, I had purchased it many eons ago, out of the back of a gaudy comic magazine. It had somehow defied time and remained a most prized tool. By the simple press of a button, suction with the power of a tornado (as it was once advertised) tore the lock straight from its moorings.

A man with uncombed hair and a filthy tank top slowly rose from a chair. “This is my…” but I daresay, he could not finish his sentence. The .22 split his face in half. I pushed the corpse behind a hamper, killed the lights, and set up a nocturnal watch upon the Playpen.

Hours later, the rear door of the Playpen was violently pushed open and Junior was tossed unceremoniously to the curb.

“THE GOLD GOBLET FULL OF THE IMPURITIES OF YOUR IMMORALITY SHALL OVERFLOW!” the juvenile cried out drunkenly.  I raced downstairs.

Two thugs stood over the spawn. “Listen you! Get the ____ out of here or we’ll tear ya’ apart!”



I smiled at the men. Then, I leaned in close.

gentlemen…you are no doubt familiar with Satan’s pony?

They each took a step back.  One said, “you look familiar.”


do we understand each other gentlemen?

I knew I would have no further trouble. I drove Gump home.

The Street Scoop by Otis Nixon

April 29, 2017 Leave a comment

By Otis Nixon

For many years, a short row of parking meters have been located along the 2900 block of Everbrown Avenue, just across from the Lankville Equitable Bank in the Snowy Lake District. Of the few residents who noticed they were there, no one could remember why they had been installed in the first place. To our surprise, when The Lankville Daily News contacted the Lankville Parking and Curbs Authority, they didn’t know why either.

“I pulled some giant tomes off shelves,” noted LPCA employee Jean Stargell. “There was nothing in any of them about any parking meters.”

Just like that, with a simple question from The News, the meters will be no more by summer.

“The process essentially involves beheading the meters and then leaving the posts up for a year or two and then taking the posts down,” noted Stargell. “Or maybe not.”

After speaking with Stargell for a few more moments, I was able to glean some information about her whereabouts. Utilizing the Lankville Real Property Data Digital Workstation, I discovered her home address.

I picked up a six-pack of beer and a pack of short cigars and drove to the house at dusk. Indeed, a squat, shapeless woman was outside watering some dead ferns. A radio played somewhere deep inside the house. I cracked open a beer and watched Jean– I watched her until darkness fell. When she finally went inside, I got out of the car.

There was a little area in between the wraparound porch and the dining room bay window where I could lurk unseen. An overhead maple shielded me from the neighbors. At one point, a strange-looking man wandered by aimlessly, walking a little puffball dog and whispering, “C’mon now Hugs. C’mon. C’mon Hugs. Please urinate, Hugs.” But he didn’t see me.

I am still lurking.

Further Leaves from the Diary of Tibbs Senior

April 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Tibbs Senior, shortly before his disappearance.


I was standing at the stove, boiling my toothbrush, when that intemperate moppet Gump, Junior burst into the kitchen.

“Father,” he said, breathing hard. “I wish to join the Craughing Expeditionary Force. It is my intent to kill many of our Lankville overlords.”

I let out a booming laugh.

The affairs of a simple hotelkeeper preclude involvement in worldly matters but in the service of that odious whore that is context I should note that a series of Lankvillian tyrants have infiltrated the 65th parallel and established a most abhorrent suzerainty over our Northern brethren.

“Why, young Gump,” I said, once my guffaw had subsided, “you are too young, my boy. And, I should add, your services are needed here, at the Murray.”

“____ the Murray, this lousy dungeon of vice!”

I removed my belt and whipped the ruffian mercilessly.

He is clearly his mother’s child.


Young Gump woke ill-tempered this morning and was rude to several guests, including poor Mr. Oakes, who had clearly spent the night in a deep state of inebriation. The fledgling shoat also dropped a plate of gravy fries into Mrs. Stocksdale’s lap, causing the wretched matron to launch into a series of coughing spasms from which, I feared, she would not recover. Later, I encountered the dissolute lad in the parking lot.

“My boy, I would like you to join me tonight in making an offering to the seventh emanation of the divine hierarchy between Earth and the Godhead. I believe it will assuage your boyish desires.”

“Father, it is my most luscious intention to join the CEF. I shall do it with or without your approval.”

“And while we are on that subject,” the plucky schoolboy added, “I would also like to announce my intent to wed Shapely Susan.”

“WHAT!” I screamed. “That common ecdysiast that works at that den of iniquity, the Playpen! A THOUSAND TIMES NO!”

The devilish spawn grinned.

“Father, you are indeed most hypocritical. Is my own mother not one of the premier striptease dancers in all of Craughing? Answer me that?”

I could not. The boy was right.

But such depraved nuptials must most certainly be stopped.


I could not prevent this most eldritch dinner to which I was subjected this evening.

Young Gump appeared in the doorway of an upstairs chamber which I was preparing for a visiting dignitary. Behind him, lurking in the shadowy hallway, was a most curvaceous blonde.

“Father!” he announced. “This is Shapely Susan. My fiance. We shall all break bread together tonight at the Bun Boy.”

I did not want to be rude although I could not fail to notice that this harlot had the face of a half-breed.

And so, we drove to the Bun Boy.

Mr. Failing himself was our waiter. He is a slim, insignificant man, known for his fatuous statements at community association meetings. Failing was staring hard at the bust of my soon-to-be daughter-in-law.

Gump (the pure gall) ordered for our entire woeful assembly.

“Tell me, dear,” I said, after Failing had hopped strangely away to the kitchen. “Of the eternal poets, who pray tell do you hold in the highest regard?”

“Who?” she called out in a most unpleasant voice. “What’s he talking about Gumpy?”

Young Gump tore into a lard bun– the specialty of the house.

“Don’t worry about him,” said the abominable spawn. “His education belies his crudity.”

“Who?” she called out again. A most unpalatable tone, the likes of which I had never before heard. “What you talking about Gumpy? What you all talking about?”

“Forget it, darling,” young Gump declared, his mouth discharging shards of lard biscuit. “You are my soulmate. Tonight, we shall make love all over one of Papa’s giant poetry anthologies.”

That was it, all I could stand. I threw a ten down on the table.

“I will not tolerate such outrages!” I yelled. The dining room of the Bun Boy went silent.

“Hahahaha! Go home then, Father, go home to your miserable hostel. Your kind is not needed at the Bun Boy.”

Then the wretch planted an enormous kiss on the cheek of the pitiable harlot.

I walked home, disgusted.

I must think of a plan.

The Diary of Tibbs Senior will continue in future issues.

Keebaugh Delights Partygoers with Cowbell

March 31, 2017 Leave a comment

By Bernie Keebler


Lankville Daily News investigative reporter Zach Keebaugh surprised partygoers last night by deftly playing a cowbell, sources are confirming.

The event, sponsored by the Danny Madison Company and held in honor of the soon-to-be-released “Madison Head Calculator” took place at the Casa Montecristo (an elegant reception hall).

Keebaugh rocks the cowbell.

“The Madison Head Calculator will allow for hands-free operation of all features on our wildly-popular “Reckoner Exactra 2.0” said wunderkind inventor Madison, who spent most of the evening testing alkalinity levels of various pizza cheeses. “We are particularly pleased with the design of the Head Calculator,” added Madison, “the contours are modern and innovative, which is what you would expect from our products.”

After dinner (mostly pizzas that were not part of Madison’s experiments), several guests began dancing to tunes spun by DJ Humphrey.

“That’s when Zach repaired to the middle of the floor and began playing the cowbell,” said a participant, who refused to be identified. “It was definitely the finest cowbell playing that I’ve seen since Dennis “Cowbell” Linkous tore up the cowbell charts back in the eighties.”

Keebaugh, clad in a fashionable white dress shirt and orange paisley tie, noted that the cowbell is “part of [my] personal ethos.”

“I believe in [the cowbell],” the journalist averred. “It’s totally my shit. Anybody else that comes along [to challenge me] will get pimped. Just the way it is, yo.”

Keebaugh treated onlookers to nearly 30 minutes of cowbell-playing.

“It was pretty much masterful,” said another participant, who was later arrested on a firearms charge. “It pretty much stopped everything going on in the room. Except for Danny Madison. He kept on with those experiments of his.”

Keebaugh said he plans to continue his impromptu playing of the cowbell in the future.

“Oh yeah, the peeps, man, they love it. You gotta’ give the people what they want. You gotta’ put the asses in the seats, yo.”

The Madison Head Calculator will be released in mid-April.

Is Duking Safe? A Zach Keebaugh Investigation

March 29, 2017 1 comment

Zach Keebaugh

Listen up, yo. I know you’ve all been reading a shit TON about this whole duking business that’s been running rampant like a nun in a cucumber patch. You’re probably asking yourself, “Fuck, yo, is it even safe to go outside without getting my dumb ass-self duked?” Well, thankfully, your boy Zach is here to break it down for you. That’s Zach as in, Zach Keebaugh, Investigative Reporter, straight up.

First thing I did was head right on down to the Mild South Peninsula police HQ to talk to my man Detective Gee-Temple. This flatfoot has been the “p” in police in Lankville ever since I was in Dampers.

“Let’s talk about duking. Now, what the fuck is duking?” I probed.

“Well, Zach, duking is basically the act of dropping a sandwich on top of another’s sandwich as a sign of frustration or disrespect. It’s a street term.”

“I’m street, cracker. I’m street.”

He looked at me for awhile and then continued.

“Anyway, Zach, what we’ve seen all over Lankville lately is an upsurge in these so-called duking incidents. And, as of this moment, we have no leads or suspects.”

A pretty little secretary in a pink pantsuit suddenly brought a box of old encyclopedias into the gumshoe’s office.

“Zach, I need to check on these. I’m sorry but our interview is now over.”

I was onto something like a boss, no question about it.

Next thing I did was go interview this dog by the name of Pat Alvarado over in the Outlands.  Ol’ Avocado, as I started calling him (he didn’t like it at all, but fuck it) had been a victim of a massive duke down at the Pizza Disturbance. “I was just eating a turkey club and this old guy duked me with a meatball sub,” he recalled while smoking a cigarette in a darkened room. “It was…it was a mess…it was horrible. Nobody should ever have to go through…”

This ninja started crying then but I kept the probe going hard to the net.

“Listen, so what did this duker look like, man? How can you let some old codger duke your shit like that?”

“He was…probably about 65,” he said, pausing to take a long drag off the cig and a big swig of some cheap wine. “He came out of nowhere, man. Just absolutely out of nowhere, man. He duked me and then…he was gone.”

“So, it was a duke and run?”

“It was a duke and run, Zach. A duke and run.”

Ol’ Avocado lit one cigarette off the last and started fingering a steak knife so I figured I’d better head.

The psychology department at Lankville State Easier University was my last stop. That’s where I met Dr. R. Shawn Stanley Blyleven. Yep, that’s what the big ol’ fancypants gold plate on his door said.

“What’s the R stand for?” I probed.

He casually watered a nearby fern. “Does the R bother you?”

“Nah, nah, fuck that noise,” I said. “Zach K doesn’t need any kind of trick cyclist. Tell me about this duking shit, yo. You seeing duke victims in here or what?”

“This is a university Zach, so we don’t do any therapy here. But, yes, duking is beginning to show up in the literature. It has traumatized a lot of people in Lankville. How do you feel about it?”

“I’m investigating the piss out of it. Otherwise, yeah I feel alright. Not as good as I’d feel if I could get some cutie to let me stir the paint, if you know what I’m saying.”

He looked vastly confused.

“Well, now, Zach. Obviously duke victims are likely to suffer long-term effects and…”

I interrupted.

“Yo, is duking limited to just sandwiches. Like, can I duke a guy with a slice of pizza?”

“If it’s slice on slice then, yes, it’s considered duking.”

I scratched my chin and stared earnestly at the fern.


What’s the takeaway then?  Will duking become an epidemic or just an isolated incident perpetrated by some derelict galoot?  Who knows? But take your boy’s advice on this one and take it to the bank– don’t be cavalier about eating your sandy in public. Protect it and maybe you can protect yourself– protect yourself from getting duked.

Zach Keebaugh won a trophy for this report.

Shane Tibbs contributed to this report.

Whatever Happened to Dr. Nickelbee?

March 29, 2017 Leave a comment

By Will Bornayo-Kerns

In 2016, noted Lankville therapist Dr. Nickelbee ran for president on the Green Sanity ticket. Two months later, he lost his Lankville Psychiatric Association license under circumstances that remain unexplained.

Where is he now?

I did some poking around and found the former therapist holed up in a pay-by-the-week motel, operating a fledgling internet cat-related crafts business. His story:

Dr. Nickelbee limps to a fast-food restaurant every morning where he eats two large pancake meals from styrofoam containers. “Even though I eat in, I always ask for the containers,” he says, slathering the cakes with seven packets of syrup. “The reason for this is that I can use the styrofoam in the cat-related crafts business. You have to think ahead, you know.”

Back to his room by eight, Dr. Nickelbee checks his email for orders. There are none. Now–the waiting game.

“I have my boxes ready to go,” says the disbarred shrink, pointing to a dim corner of the carpeted room. “There’s some bubble wrapping there, some labels. Then the crafts themselves are in a storage bin down by the weeds. You know, down there.” He points vaguely to some distant craft arena.

I ask him if he is not upset about losing his license. “I had a good run,” he says, vaguely. “I had a good time sitting in those offices, having meaningless folders brought to me by tanned women. But, that’s all over now.”

He checks his email again. Still no orders.

Dr. Nickelbee during better times.

“We have ceramic cat paper weights,” he says, for no reason. “So, if you find yourself in a situation where you have a lot of papers flying around but you also like cats…” He stops. He looks vaguely past the cheap curtains towards an enormous gravel lot that was once a drive-in movie theatre. There seems to be nothing behind his initial enthusiasm for cat-related crafts. There seems to be nothing behind those large brown eyes except sadness. He is a man bereft.

Another check of the email. Nothing. In fact, other, older messages seem to have suddenly disappeared. He reloads the page and the site crashes altogether. He suddenly throws up some half-masticated pancake into a wastebasket.

“I use this thing called It only costs $0.99 a year. But it’s unreliable. I’ll have to wait two hours now before it reloads.” He wipes the edge of the wastebasket with a damp towelette.

“I think I’ll probably take some hard decongestants and a nap for awhile,” he declares. He flops down on the unmade bed, watching the computer and its laborious machinations. A loud humming suddenly fills the cramped space.

The man that was once on top of the psychiatric world suddenly falls asleep. It is only 9AM.


Who is “Dr. Nickelbee”? A complicated question with even more complicated answers.

Nickelbee was born in the Northern Hill Island Area though he is quick to point out that his parents were 100% Lankvillian . “My father was permitted to travel between Lankville and the Islands,” he reveals, after finally waking from his decongestant stupor. “The reasons for this are unclear to me to this day. My father sent the family to Lankville in 1992 and two years later he was viciously murdered before he could join us. The details are murky but it appears that he attempted to purchase a pair of extremely wide shoes, an argument ensued and that he was knifed to death by the clerk. We got a letter in the mail saying that.”

“Saying what exactly?” I ask.

“That he was knifed to death by a shoe clerk after attempting to buy a pair of very wide shoes. Ever since then, I have had deep resentment for the Islands and when I was wealthy and could afford many globes [at one time Dr. Nickelbee had seventeen], I was always quick to place a blue piece of construction paper over the islands so that it appeared to be ocean. I called it the Lankville Ocean.”

Dr. Nickelbee’s email has finally reappeared after many hours of loud humming and strange warning boxes. There are no orders.

“My father taught me about business. He taught me to save large sums of money by hurting smaller people. He also taught me to deprive myself of things until I had a lot of money and then to spend it on ridiculous things, like cars, loud rugs, education. These were his life lessons.”

The good doctor repairs to a small hot plate that he produces from beneath a knot of soiled blankets. There is a styrofoam ice chest as well and from there he brings forth a box of “Steak-Om’s”.

“Steak-Om?” he asks. I want one desperately but I can tell that he is only offering out of obligation. I say no and he seems terribly relieved. He begins warming the frozen steak panel over the hot plate.

The day is half-over.

The Downtown Motel, where Dr. Nickelbee is living.


Dr. Nickelbee has fallen asleep again and burned his Steak-Om lunch. He reflects upon the loss as he turns over the now empty container, almost as if he hopes that, magically, more frozen compressed meats will appear. “The last two months have been all about loss,” he says. Then he adds, “I fear I may have catalepsy.”

It is now late afternoon and the sky has turned a slate-hued grey, reflecting the mood inside the spartan motel room. There are still no orders for cat-related crafts and the computer has become an electrical beacon of hopelessness. “The sky over the Northern Suburbs was similar to this,” he ruminates. “If I had the power, I would crush the Northern Suburbs and its people,” he says, dramatically. He suddenly collapses into the yellow and brown curtains, snapping the rod straight out of the wall. An errant screw shatters the blinking computer screen. The lights in the room all go out for some reason.

I transfer Dr. Nickelbee’s quaking body to the bed. Strangely, no further light seems to be transmitted through the curtainless window; indeed, it appears to be growing darker by the second. I stare down at the former therapist’s aging face and see now that he has vomited. I turn his limp body over and the vomit seeps into the carpet.

I momentarily leave the room and purchase a bucket of chicken and a 48-piece biscuit. When I return, Dr. Nickelbee is standing over the useless computer. He has removed his vomit-stained shirt.

“All of my shirts are now stained with vomit,” he says. “I was waiting for a sale so that I could do laundry,” he explains. “But, I see that you have purchased chicken and biscuits.”

He produces a quart of cheap liquor and I realize now that he intends to take part in the repast, whereas I had intended to eat the meal all on my own. I reluctantly allow him two breasts and two biscuits. He breaks down in tears and then becomes suddenly loquacious. A certain vigor has returned to his cheeks.

“In Lankville, we say that no amount of misfortune can negate a bucket of chicken.” He tears into the flesh. I eat my portion of the bucket voraciously, so that there be no excuse to share any further. Still, the doctor poaches several more biscuits. “In Lankville, we say that the biscuit helps to temper the spirits.” Somehow, I suspect he is lying, that he is making up these proverbs to gain more of my dinner.

The sun has now gone down over the hills.

Notes of an Old Man Who Lives Alone

October 12, 2016 Leave a comment
Luman Harris

By Luman Cans Harris

“Where did you work as a young man, Luman?” the visitor asked.

It was Baxterson. He lived next door. Occasionally, he wandered over and we sat at the kitchen table in the fading light.

“I worked for the Frostie Company. Do you remember them?”


“Root beer. I worked in the bottling plant.”

“Sounds stupid. Like something you made up.  I would have known about them,” Baxterson said.

“They went out of business. They never did well anyway. The owner, Mr. Frostie, suffered from several mental illnesses. But they did give me a nice pension.”

“Bunch of lies. Bunch of god damned lies.”

It always went like this. Baxterson not believing anything I said, always getting aggressive about it. I wished he would leave.

He got up and went over to a giant microwave oven that sat atop the fridge. It was ancient, barely operable– I didn’t use it often.

“What kind of stupid thing is this?” he asked. He fiddled with the knobs (it had knobs).

“Listen, Baxterson, I need to start thinking about getting to bed.”

His shoulders suddenly slumped. “It’s only nine, Luman. You wouldn’t believe the evening I have planned for us.”

I sighed. Everything hurt. I was beginning to worry about cancer. That would be the kind of thing that would happen to me. Some rare form of cancer. Nobody would find me for months.

“Excuse me a minute,” I said. I went to the bedroom. It was dark in there– the last bit of summer sunlight had faded. I put a fan on and reached into the bedside table, felt the cool steel of the old Child Scouts hunting knife. I had kept it all these years.

I came back into the kitchen with the knife extended in front of me.


He laughed a bit. “What are you trying to pull Harris?”

I lunged at him– he dodged and the knife went into the fridge. “GO ON, I TOLD YOU I’D CUT YOU.”

He turned into the sink, stumbled and then took off towards the door. I listened to his footfall down the staircase.

I undressed and got into bed with the latest Dean T. Pibbs novel. The premise was that some terrorists attacked a large carnival. It seemed promising.

Everything seems promising though for an old man who lives alone.

News in Brief

September 2, 2016 Leave a comment
By Kimball J. Cranney

By Kimball J. Cranney


Decorative Ham magnate Chris Vitiello released his “fall line” yesterday in a short ceremony at a local auditorium.

“I despise hyperbole,” Vitiello noted. “Nevertheless, these are the best decorative hams I have ever made. They are too good for most Lankvillians. Our approval process for installation will be extra stringent this season. Darkness is a circle, a continuum.”

A journalist attempted to clarify the mogul’s final assertion but was whipped mercilessly.

No further questions were asked.


Cemetery problems?

Cemetery clean-up scheduled.

The Preferable Homes Demonstration Cohort, sponsors of a nationwide movement to clean up cemeteries, have designated another work day for the project.

The date has been set for September 13th and will focus on the O’ Daughter Flock Companion Cemetery of the Eastern Trailer Area and The King’s Crannies Cliff Park of the Far Northern Mountain Area. Both cemeteries are in shocking disrepair.

“We’ll be doing some normal maintenance like weed and trash removal,” said Preferable Homes Demonstration Cohort member Amy Herse-Collins. “But both cemeteries have also had a long-standing problem with people dumping bodies and heads. There are hundreds of bodies and heads in the cemetery. Also, a lot of dead animals. Also, a lot of bags of parts, mixed parts, human and animal. And old cars. Lot of old cars in there too. Old boats as well,” Herse-Collins added.

All who are interested in the movement are invited to attend. A light lunch will be served.


unnamedA he-she has disappeared, sources are reporting.

“The he-she was seen by the side of the road Wednesday around 5 P.M.,” said Detective Gee-Temple, who was the first to arrive at the scene. “The he-she has not been seen since. We’re not ruling out foul play.”

Motorists report that the he-she regularly stood by the road and waved at rush hour traffic.

“I think he or she was simple, maybe sort of a halfwit,” said Keith Pringles of the High Dell Area. “We’d see [the he-she] pretty regularly.”

“Oftentimes, the he-she would hold up an extremely ordinary object like, say, a plastic shopping bag as if it had some sort of grave significance for all of mankind,” added Pringles.

A limited access phone line has been set up at HIGH DELL 3-4991 for anyone with information.

Gelsinger to Buy Famed “Allure Club”

August 12, 2016 1 comment
By Bernie Keebler

By Bernie Keebler


Notable Lankville businessman Eric Gelsinger announced today that he will be purchasing the famed “Allure Club” which caters to “adult entertainments”.

The club, which opened in 1955, was the home for many years of the popular burlesque performers “Lady Linda” and “Jingly Teri”. Several hundred small motel girl wrestling matches were held at the Allure during the Motel Strike of 1975.

“That pushed the value up for me,” noted Gelsinger, who was placing a large protective cone over the shaft of a backyard birdfeeder.  “I love adult dancing and small motel girl wrestling. It’s a place of great historical value.”

Gelsinger suddenly dropped and then accidentally tread on the protective cone, crushing it nearly in half.  A series of squirrels appeared shortly thereafter and devoured the feeder’s supply of seed.

“Do you see the fucking shit I put up with?” the former stockbroker was heard to ask in consternation.

The Club Allure.

The Allure Club.

The Allure Club recently found itself in the middle of a long legal battle causing former owner Wilt Cummings to put the business up for sale.

“We had a number of do-gooder types who wanted us out of the neighborhood just cause of the tits and the shootings and all,” noted Cummings, who had owned the Allure since 1969. “I think Mr. Gelsingles [sic] will get a kick out of owning the place. I know I did.”

Cummings began leering at a gaudy pamphlet and the interview was ended prematurely.

“I don’t know who the hell [Wilt Cummings] is,” said Gelsinger, when asked about the sale. “But I looked at a photo of him on the internet and I thought, this is a sincere looking guy. I appreciate sincerity.”

The final sale price of The Allure Club is unknown.

“Once you own four gentlemen’s clubs, you might as well pick up a fifth,” Gelsinger explained. “Four of something is better than five unless, of course, we’re talking about backyard common squirrels.” The magnate gave out a wide-eyed laugh.

The final paperwork on the sale is expected to be completed today.

OPINION: I’ve Been Hit With a Chair Before, I’ll Be Hit With a Chair Again

August 4, 2016 Leave a comment
Dick La Hoyt

By Dick La Hoyt

Hey, this here’s a message for that assclown that hit me with a chair down at The Appliance Tyrant on Route 71. Guess what, shit for brains? I been hit with a chair before and I’ll be hit with a chair again.

Let me tell you what happened. So, I’m parked on the couch with a couple of cold beverages and a take-out container of wings, ready to watch Truckers Driving Over Hills, this reality show I enjoy, when all of a sudden I hear Tammy screaming in the basement. “OH MY GOD, DICK! OH MY GOD, DICK!” over and over again. So, I figure I better check it out. After all, Dick likes to keep the little lady happy.

So, I go downstairs and you know what I see? Whole god damn utility sink is clogged to hell and water is running all over my newly-painted and recently-refinished concrete floor.

“GOD DAMMIT, DICK LA HOYT, THE WASHER’S BROKE!” Tam yells. She’s wet as a dog in the rain and plus, she’s got on a white t-shirt, so that was some bonus points for old Dick. Hey, you gotta’ see the good in every situation, know what I mean?

Anyway, I get the sink unclogged and then go to work on the washer. And don’t you know it– the god damn agitator comes right off. Broke at the base.

“This baby is toast,” I tell Tam, who’s drying off (unfortunately). “I’m gonna’ have to get a new one.”

“I saw that the Washing Machine Realm is having a sale,” Tam offers.

I smiled. Sure, Tam was just trying to help but let me tell you– ol’ Dick knows where to go. And that’s how I ended up at The Appliance Tyrant.

So anyways, I’m taking a look at some of the machines– thinking about maybe going with a front loader this time, maybe something in platinum or onyx, when all of a sudden this horse’s ass butts in front of me and checks out the tag on the VERY washer that I was eyeing up. I couldn’t believe it.

“Hey buddy,” I inform him. “That washer is SPOKEN FOR.”

“Oh yeah? You buy this one?” he asks. “It’s a good one,” he says, and pats the washer a couple of times on the side.


“Listen, man. I went and told you the washer was spoken for. Now, you’re patting it on the side like you own it? What gives you the god damn RIGHT?”

He takes a step back for a second but then he comes forward and pats it again. I nearly lost it.

“I’ll pat this machine if I want to, man,” he says.

“Alright, we’re taking this shit OUTSIDE,” I say.

“GLADLY,” he says.

So, anyways, we head out into the parking lot. It’s pretty cracked and weedy and there’s some old furniture out there that I guess they never got around to throwing away. And as I’m staring at an old stool, wondering if maybe I could refinish it and use it at my workbench, the guy brains me with a god damn chair. I never saw it coming.

I wake up in the back room of the Tyrant. A couple of salesman are standing around trying to pitch plastic forks into an empty coffee can. I got a headache the size of the Outlands.

“Your wife’s coming to pick you up,” one of the salesman says.

“She sounded plenty mad,” the other one says.

I’d figure it out. Dick La Hoyt always figures it out.

But I just want that prick to know one thing– I been hit with a chair before and I’ll sure as SHIT be hit with a chair again.

The opinions of Dick La Hoyt are not necessarily the opinions of The Lankville Daily News or any of its subsidiaries.

Theatrical Electronic Music Pouring Out of Local Pink Building

July 28, 2016 Leave a comment
By Elliott Cumber-Lanny

By Elliott Cumber-Lanny


Theatrical electronic music is pouring out of a Lankville Eastern Urban Area pink building sources are confirming.

The pink building

The pink building

“It’s very dramatic music,” said Al Cobbs, who operates a nearby auto garage. “Lot of very stirring but ominous synthesizer music punctuated by huge cymbal crashes. Got me thinking about the cosmos, I admit.”

It was unclear precisely where the music was coming from. The building houses a liquor store in the front and two apartments on both the first and second floors.

“I don’t know much about the tenants,” admitted Cobbs, who was utilizing a grease gun to lube a chassis as the vehicle’s owner (an attractive woman) stood by. “I think there’s one guy that has a dog. Maybe not, though.”

Calls placed to the liquor store went unanswered. Robotic flying cameras, launched into the open windows of each of the four apartments, came back with little data.

“I guess it’s a mystery,” noted Cobbs, who began examining the torque on a driveshaft as the vehicle’s owner (an attractive woman) stood by. “At least it’s an electrifying, expressive one.”


Cake in Process of Being Consumed

July 26, 2016 Leave a comment
A Buck Igloos Health Watch

By Buck Igloos


A cake is in the process of being consumed, sources are reporting.

“We had a catered lunch,” said Lowinger Brothers Utility Shed CEO Aaron Lowinger of the Lankville Port Area. “And we’re taking this cake and pumping it up like a god damn pyramid is the nature of what’s going on here.”

Lowinger provided no further explanation.

The cake when it was only half-eaten and prior to Totten's death.

The cake when it was only half-eaten and prior to Totten’s death.

“I would say the cake is almost half-eaten,” said longtime employee Willie Totten who also contributed to the consumption of the sugary loaf. “About twenty minutes ago, there was more of the cake but as time has moved forward, we are now facing a situation where there is less of the cake.”

“That’s generally the linear path that one follows whenever a cake is presented,” Totten added.

The employee suddenly vomited into a strange opaque grayness that appeared. When the weird phantom-like mist became thicker and threatened to overtake Mr. Totten, he ended the interview abruptly and made an attempt to run out the conference room door before disappearing into the expanding shroud, screaming and shrieking for the help that never came.

“It’s terrible about Willie,” Lowinger commented later. “We’re down to about 1/4 of the cake left now.”

The Lowinger Brothers Utility Shed Company has been providing Lankville with quality utility sheds at affordable prices since 1982.

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