Archive for the ‘Penetrating Interviews’ Category

PEOPLE OF LANKVILLE: Things Have Been Hard

May 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Mr. Egg during better times.

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

ME: My name is Mr. Egg.

LDN: …and what do you do?

ME: Well, things have been hard.

LDN: Tell us about it.

ME: Well, I recently became a cripple.

LDN: Not sure if that word is the proper…

ME: …listen, if you want to start up with your political politeness, then find another god damn giant egg to interview.

LDN: You’re the only one we know of.

ME: Exactly. So, shut your mouth or I’ll shut it for you.

LDN: Go on.

ME: As I was saying before you cut in like a horny teenager at a school dance, I recently became a cripple. Me and a couple of other guys went out one night and we tied a few on. We’re walking around afterwards, singing some loud folk songs, pissing on a few trees, you know, the usual, and the next thing we know some guy pops out of a bush and attacks us.

LDN: And he crippled you?

ME: Hey, listen. You want me to finish the story or do you want to keep on with your god damn prattle?

LDN: Go on.

ME: Anyway, he about cut Ken’s head off. Well, I went running onto this darkened street and the next thing I know, I get hit by a car. Guy driving was drunk. I think a couple of minutes later, he drove into somebody’s house. Put a pretty good size dent in the damn thing, if I remember correctly.

LDN: Do you get Lankville Invalidity payments?

ME: Yeah, but that’s a drop of piss in a bucket of piss, if you know what I’m saying. Bucket of piss and shit.

LDN: Never heard that expression.

ME: They say it all the time down in the Southern Basin Area.

LDN: Were your parents eggs?

ME: Shut the fuck up.

LDN: Is it hard being an egg?

ME: You can put a top hat on perfectly. Fifty mile-per-hour wind won’t even blow the fucker off.

LDN: Anything else?

ME: Nah. What else would there be. Now, fuck off.

Detective Gee-Temple: The Tibbs Files

May 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Detective Gee-Temple

In April of 2017, The Lankville Daily News began publishing excerpts from the diary of wanted Craughing mass murderer Tibbs Senior, missing since 1967.

Shortly thereafter, I received a request for assistance from the Craughing Area Police Unit (CAPU) in regards to the possibility that Tibbs could still be alive and living in Almond Beach, a once prosperous oceanside community in Eastern Lankville. We knew, of course, of his son Gump, a noted recidivist and Daily News reporter but efforts to discuss Tibbs, Senior with Tibbs, Junior led nowhere. “He is dead to me,” the normally well-mannered son said of his father. “His spirit is a curse and an abomination upon the firmament.” Tibbs, Junior claimed to have none of his father’s personal effects.

A week after the excerpts began appearing in the News, I connected with the East Lankville Beach Police Precinct and was given an exceedingly small file on an individual named “Ferguson Bunts”. The file consisted of three pages, typed on browning onion-skin paper.

“Who is Ferguson Bunts?” I asked.

Sergeant Service, a gaunt, grey man with prominent brows, scratched his chin reflectively.

“He’s a curious individual who appeared in Almond Beach some time around 1967, 1968– prior whereabouts unknown. He purchased one of them so-called luxury villas out in the Almond Beach Prosperity Village. He’s the only one on our books that fits your man’s description and would be the correct age to be this Tibbs.”

I leafed through the file. Three public drunkenness raps. Little else. But there was one recurring detail which leaped out at me.

Subject wearing a white three-piece suit was repeated in all three accounts.

“I think this could be our man,” I proffered. “Course, he would be about 90 years old now.”

“You think he’s still living?” Sergeant Service asked. “Mother of shit.”

Service glanced at the documents and then consulted his Danny Madison Reckoner. “This Bunts is still listed in the white pages. Says he’s still living out in the Almond Beach Prosperity Village. We can ride out there iff’n you want.”

I thanked him for the offer and we set out in the prowler.

The Almond Beach Prosperity Village is located on a stretch of flat, marshy land, a few miles from the ocean. The houses, save for the paint jobs, are all identical one-story cottages with front bay windows, winding cement sidewalks and modest, tasteful shrubbery. Still, the place had aged poorly. It was of another era.

“What’s the population here?” I asked. Service thought about that for awhile.

“Older, I’d say. Maybe you got some young families but they ain’t much good. It ain’t really a vacation hub lik’n it used to be. Peoples tend to stay now in them luxury hotels and condominiums. You gotta’ put the corn down where the cows can get at it, if’n you know what I mean.”

I didn’t. “What does that mean?” I asked.

“What the hell do you mean, what does that mean? It’s a common expression.”

“No it isn’t,” I argued.

“Well, it is,” he responded.

Home of Ferguson Bunts (file photo).

“Listen,” I said. “I want no part of your made-up folksy aphorism. Just drive me out to this address.”

We pulled up to the curb and, just like that, there he was. He was hammering a stake into the middle of his yard– the purpose of the stake eluded me. He was wearing a white, three-piece suit and did not appear to have aged at all– if anything he looked considerably younger. The only conceivable sign of decline was a pearl-handled cane which he leaned on as he hammered but this accessory could have been merely ornamental.

I got out of the car and approached the individual.

“What is your name, sir?”

He looked up. The grey beard in the 1966 photo was now an unearthly black hue.


He let out an expansive, booming laugh.

“Mr. Bunts.” I paused. I had to be careful here. “How long have you lived in this house?”


He suddenly let loose with an earth-shaking blow to the stake, driving it completely into the ground.

“MY WORK IN THE FRONT YARD IS NOW COMPLETE,” he announced. He stood up and the pearl-handled cane flashed in the sunlight.

“Mr. Bunts, do you have any sort of identification?”


I paused again and looked back at the prowler where Service sat with the window rolled up, reading from a lewd pamphlet. I could see that he would be no help whatsoever and I wondered about that.

“Mr. Bunts, you may be aware that a…diary was recently discovered and published in excerpts in The Lankville Daily News. I stopped. His face revealed nothing.

“Anyway, this is simply a routine inquiry into that diary. You see, the man who wrote the diary has been wanted by law enforcement since 1967.”

“WELL, CERTAINLY, HE MUST BE DEAD BY NOW, OFFICER!” he offered in a strangely agreeable and joyous voice.

“He would be of advanced age, yes. But, well, see, the East Lankville Police Precinct returned only one name during our routine inquiry and…well…that name was yours.”

“ISN’T THAT A DELIGHT?” he asked, nearly blinding me with the sunlight caroming off the pearl-handle in a peculiarly strong manner. “BUT I CAN ASSURE YOU, OFFICER, I AM NOT THAT MAN.”

“Did you ever own a hotel, Mr. Bunts?”

Still, his face revealed nothing.


I looked again at the meager documents in my hand. I could think of nothing else.

“Thank you for your time, Mr. Bunts. Please stay in the area for the time being.”

“Officer,” he said, in a low, foreboding voice. “I am here. I am always here. As are you. As are all of us.”

I looked back at Service. He had not even bothered to look up.

“Thank you, Mr. Bunts.”

I got back in the prowler.

“Think I can get a warrant on this guy?” I asked.

“Nope,” he said. “Not in a million years.”


He finally looked up and placed the pamphlet on the dashboard. I noticed the title– Lesbian Circus.

“Find out for yerself. Do some digging. See what happens.”

He suddenly slammed the car into drive and we drove away.

Bunts watched us all the way from his porch.

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.

Further Leaves from the Diary of Tibbs Senior

May 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Tibbs Senior, shortly before his disappearance.


Saucy Young Gump has become most imperious.

This morning, he pushed over a cart of linens.

“These sperma-stained bedclothes toppled here in the mezzanine, if you will, represent my contempt for this revolting hostel,” he stated.

I removed my belt but the lad was quicker and tore it from the loops with great alacrity.

“I see the tables have turned, Father,” he said, a glint of cruelty in his eye. “Perhaps, indeed, I should tan you. I wonder if a man, if he possessed a certain archery, could maneuver a strap deep into the recesses of another man’s hinterlands.”

I could stand no more. I sallied forth to the kitchen and began mindlessly pushing a spoon through a pan of scrambled eggs. The profligate son had unnerved me, there could be no question.

Later, the boy approached me again in the anteroom, that same glint in his eye.

“Father, do you recall how earlier I was speaking of the hinterlands?” he asked.

Stunned, I could offer no response.

“Well, I have just probed them, tho’ not with a belt.”

At that, Shapely Susan appeared, appropriately enough, behind him in the darkened chamber.

He let out a booming laugh.

When I returned to my room that night, I made some notes upon the vellum and then burned them in the fireplace.

There would be no need for any evidence. They were now clear in my mind.


The Playpen is located on a stretch of mean, seedy structures on the outskirts of town– edifices which stand in stark contrast to the natural beauty of the surrounding desert landscape. It is illuminated by a garish flickering neon sign and a small contingent of goons stand alertly around its entrance.

I parked across the street and surveyed the scene for nearly an hour.

Then, I made my approach.

“Gentlemen, gentlemen. I wonder if you could tell me if your most enchanting artista de striptease Shapely Susan is performing tonight?”

“You like her Pops?” said one of the thugs. “Got an ass that won’t quit, am I right?

I grimaced momentarily but affixed the affable smile back upon my countenance.

“Oh, you are indeed right, my friend. It is a most agreeable posterior, there can be no arguing that. But, pray tell, what time will she be treading the boards, if you will?

“What the hell is this guy talking about?” one of the other delinquents called out senselessly.

“Pops, I think she goes on in 20 minutes. Now, if you want to see her exotic dance, you gotta’ pay ten dollars.”

“NO PRICE IS TOO HIGH GENTLEMEN,” I boomed out. “WHAT A DELIGHT THIS WILL BE!” And I removed a ten from my calfskin wallet.

“Sure will, Pops. Nobody gets the tent pole raised like Shapely Susan.”


I entered the den of iniquity. There were several round tables in front of a miserable, poorly-lit stage and a worn and tattered red velvet curtain hung limply closed across it. The patrons were most deplorable and there was a fetid smell of smoke, inexpensive hops and unlaundered clothing about the room. I approached the bar.

I shall choose not to put down the sorrowful particulars of the show that followed except to say that it was most foul. Nonetheless, the assembled seemed to enjoy it immensely and threw many a bill upon the stage. When the pasties were finally removed, the roar was nigh-maniacal.

During this most outrageous spectacle, I had noticed a door to the left of the stage and immediately following the strumpet’s program, I made for it. It was a darkened, carpeted hallway which turned towards the right and appeared to go behind the stage. As I made this turn, I ran into a white-suited bruiser who appeared to be guarding a series of dressing rooms.

“Hey, man, you…”

I removed the .22 with the optional silencer from my suit jacket pocket and shot him in the face. He collapsed against the wall and a pool of blood and gore expanded beneath him. I stood for a moment and listened beyond the wall. Faintly, I heard the canned trumpet music and the hoots of the debauched aggregation.

I began calmly opening doors until Shapely Susan appeared before me. She was slathering her cheeks with foundation before a most distasteful and garish mirror.

“What…you come to see my show Big Daddy?”

“I have indeed, dear. I have indeed. And this delightful proscaenium. I am impressed that you have secured such an engagement.”

“Who? What you talking about Big Daddy? I ain’t understanding them words.”

I laughed and removed the .22. She dropped the foundation sponge.

“I’d like you to come with me, dear. Get your coat made, no doubt, of some trapped mammal.”

We left by the back door.


“You gonna’ blast me, Pops?” she said, once I had turned the car out onto the desert road. “What for? Cause Gumpy did me up the butt?”

“I’d like to request that you not speak, my dear, especially of such…endeavors.”

“Can I play the radio then?” she said.

“My dear, I’ll be driving you to the crossing. There, you will take a bus into the Lankville Outlands. If you are amenable to this assignment, then we shall have no problem. And, of course, you will receive a most magnanimous remuneration.”

“Daddy, I can’t understand them words.”

I laughed heartily.


Two hours later, we reached the crossing. I parked along the riverbank and watched the customs guard in the booth above. He was asleep.

“Now, here in this case, my dear, is a thousand dollars. You will take this and walk along the right foot bridge into Lankville. Do not come back.”

“A thousand clams, huh, Daddy? What, you want to sack out or somethin’?”

“YOU ABOMINABLE CRETIN!” I shouted. I began breathing heavily. “Listen, I want you to disappear. Do not come back to Craughing, do you understand?”

She looked at me for an interminable period. It was as though the idea was coursing slowly through her brain.

“Yeah, I guess I get it, Daddy. Why you want to keep me and Gumpy apart?”


She opened the door. I watched her traverse the foot bridge into Lankville. The guard never woke up.

It was near morning when I returned to the Murray and finished this entry.

The Diary of Tibbs Senior will continue in future issues.

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.

The Diary of Tibbs Senior

April 24, 2017 Leave a comment

Tibbs Senior, shortly before his disappearance.

Recently, a Lankvillian, who refused to be identified, discovered the tattered diary of noted hotel keeper and mass-murderer Tibbs, Senior at the bottom of a box of Christmas ornaments at a yard sale. Tibbs, Senior was on the lam for many years and was never captured. His whereabouts are currently unknown.

The Lankville Daily News is proud to present passages from this diary.


An absolutely DELIGHTFUL afternoon.

After serving breakfast to a full house of patrons, I left the Murray and drove carelessly down to the beautiful Ellinor Village Shopping Center. Why, you should see this majestic shrine to the best that Craughing commerce has to offer! There is a well-tended service station, a pharmacy, a glittering new grocery complex, a greeting card centre, and SO MUCH MORE!

I set a car on fire in the parking lot. During the commotion (four pump engines and several police cars were on the scene), I crept behind the counter of the pharmacy and was able to come away with an entire DELIGHTFUL assortment of Librium, Freenopam, Lankvillopam, and Amino Acids. I stopped at the liquor store (also now bereft of both attendants and customers– yes, they were still watching the conflagration) and walked out with two quarts of Old Lankville.

I sat in the car as the blaze died down. The radio was playing a nice little trumpet ditty and there was a temperate breeze whistling through the open windows. The palliatives washed down the ten pills with DELIGHTFUL efficacy and I leaned back in my cushy seat and permitted the verdancy of spring to waft over me.

Yes, spring. Such a time of harmony. As the poet said, “OH SPRING, THOU WITH DEWEY LOCKS…”


The half-breeds that work in the kitchen at the Murray are most useless. I have sent them away. Gump, that moody enfant terrible has been assigned kitchen duty. The urchin washes dishes with the competency of a spattered burro. No surprise, I must suppose, his mother being little better than a common harlot. And, yet, I must look back fondly on her most ample bosom. She measured at a most DELIGHTFUL 73 inches– no cup could contain her. I recall when I first saw her bewitching floor show at Cactus Andy’s Casino. Yes, I returned each night with a different flower plucked from the gardens of several conveniently-located neighbors. We fell deeply in love.

Once, she said, “I must get my bosom reduced now that I am an honest woman.” My response was most childish. I heaved a heavy chair through a window. Oh, that I was blessed with more restraint. A pity.

The Ellinor Village Shopping Center (file photo).


Near sunset, I took two sawed-off shotguns, a box of pills and some Old Lankville out into the woods. What a DELIGHTFUL stroll it was– the crisp crack of twigs beneath my feet as I ambled along the well-worn native trails. I must have walked for nearly an hour, allowing the varied tonics to soothe the recesses of my heart.

I came upon a green folding trailer tent in a clearing. Two young gentlemen were cooking weiners by a fire. They failed to notice my approach and this– it was their undoing. As the poet said, ’twas with this failing, still the roses bloom. 

I hope they rest peacefully.


Lot of to-do over the recent murders in the woods. A shameful act– I hope they catch the louse. As the ancients say, the cup of abominations is nigh-full.


Gee-Temple asked to see our register this morning. At first I refused– after all, the Murray prides itself on shielding the privacy of our benefactors.

And Gee-Temple said, “But Mr. Tibbs– it is likely that this murderer is an outlander. We know that no one in our town would commit such an act.”

I had to agree. And so the diligent constable made a review of our guests and several were called down and two were arrested. Poor Mr. Oates– they very nearly took him as well until I convinced the constable that the wretched fellow had been incapacitated that day with migraine. I understand that one of our tenants has been charged with the murders. And, indeed, he was an alien. The cad!


Woke up early this morning screaming. A most awful nightmare. I recall it clearly. The slaughter of two innocent homosexuals. Could I have done this? The diary says so but I have no memory of the heinous act.

Sleep would not come. I went down to the parlor and watched a program which ended promptly with the Lankville Joyous Anthem followed by static. The hideous colonists! One day Craughing shall be free!

The Diary of Tibbs Senior will continue in future issues.

Gump Penetrates

April 17, 2017 Leave a comment

By Gump Tibbs

It’s time for another penetrating interview with Gump Tibbs. Today, Gump interviews police chief and Bureau of Probes Director Houston Gee-Temple.

GT: Did you see that…cake…that they had for the President?
HGT: What?
GT: Let’s move on.
HGT: Alright.

Gump nods off briefly.

HGT: Are we moving on?

Detective Gee-Temple

GT: Of course! What a delight!
HGT: Did you have any other questions?
GT: I didn’t…I didn’t…hit that guy.
HGT: What guy?
GT: Let’s move on.
HGT: Alright.
GT: I don’t know…
HGT: What?

Gump collapsed into a corner and the interview was ended prematurely.

Crop of Death

April 17, 2017 Leave a comment

By Shane Tibbs

“No, my boy! My voracious piglet! My intemperate shoat!” howled Gump, hunched over, his besmudged white suit hanging at his sides. He patted his brow with a kerchief, screwed up his face into the headlights and hastily stuffed the rag back into his pocket.

Behind the wheel of the car: Shane Tibbs, rubbing the pad of his bare foot against the gas to a slow, steady beat. Blank stare.

Brian Schropp sat some yards behind Gump, propping himself against the curb, and, having removed his glasses with one hand, rubbed his eyes with the other.

Through sobs he whinged and spat:

“I’m sorry. I. AM. FUCKING. SORRY!”

His defiance lapsed, he slouched against the curb with a whimper.

Chained to the back of the Lankville Motors Luxe Marquis was a rusty harvester.

Shane purchased the equipment at the Lankville Outland’s Distant Farms Machinery Auction a week earlier.

After producing Gump’s change purse (chatelained black velvet; silver frame at center displaying a rhinoceros’s eye embalmed in amber) and paying with three large uncut diamonds, Shane had been asked about his crop by Lanes Kravitz, sole proprietor, DFMA Ltd.

“My crop?” replied Tibbs junior.


Gump Tibbs

“I plan to attach this device to the back of my Daddy’s car and mow down Brian Schropp in cold blood. I suppose you might say my crop is death. Will it do?”

Kravitz tilted his weather-beaten face skyward and squinted.

“Well,” he said after a pause, “You have to understand: the harvester, or more simply put–combine,” Kravitz paused again. “You see, it’s name comes from it’s capacity for combining the three separate operations comprising harvesting—reaping, threshing, and winnowing—into a single process.”

“Reap. Thresh. Winnow,” Shane now muttered to himself through clenched lips, as he lurched forward in fits and starts. The spikes of the machine, leaping from the pavement at odd intervals, clanged and hissed.

Gump was now fully erect, balancing on his toes, his back arched, the contents of a liter of gin splashing against his face and mouth.

Harvester (file photo)

“Shane, my boy, the balance of your emotion has tilted too far in the service of indiscretion. To be behind the wheel of a motorized instrument is a deadly proposition! But I grant you–you have my word, my word, my boy–you shall endure no punishment by my hand nor furthur discomfiture by my affection. I am not mad at you for filching my auto. Slightly amused, in fact,” Gump added with a nervous laugh.

With max force, Shane jammed one foot on the brake and the other on the accelerator. The Luxe Marquis’s rear tires bucked against the road as the back end of the car waved to and fro. Smoke engulfed the desperate trio.

Through the haze, Shane screeched with the tires in terrible discord:


Brian stood up with false bravura then promptly fell to his knees, clasping his hands together into a fist:

“Never again, never again,” he shuddered, “never again, never again,” now clambering forward on his knees one painful, awkward motion at a time, “never again, never again,” each breath more labored, more insistent than the last, “never again, never again . . . NEVER AGAIN!”

Satisfied, Shane slid the shifter into park and scooted across the bench seat.

“Daddy, drive me home.”

Son of Tibbs

April 7, 2017 2 comments

By Shane Tibbs

Watched Mom die today.

Except for the rush of pleasure when the lights dimmed in her eyes I felt nil.

Gump however was emotional. The pig. The goofy pig.

He said something poingant. Which I realize begs a porcine pun for which I am however too high class.

He said he was sorry he fought her in court so long. That lawyer arguments aren’t necessarily those of decent people. That he was ok with her having had two kids at the age of 16 and 19 and having to leave. He said that it was fine. That he ‘hated the bitch’ but understood ‘completely’.

“Gump, bitch, pass me a gin juice box”

“I got these at Grummy’s, my boy. Where you get your Lucky 7s.”

“I hate that place.”

“Sure, ok.”

Gump’s Reflections

April 5, 2017 Leave a comment

By Shane Tibbs

My father often reflects. I discourage this activity. He can’t handle it. It’s not his fault but the “inevitable reverberation of some childhood trauma echoing through [my] vast body,” which are his words not mine. Nevertheless.

He told me my mother is dying.

I said:

“Ok Papa that’s fine with me. And anyway I hold no grip over the reality of bodily expiration.”

He said:

“My boy, my piglet, my little one.”

And trailed off.

We drank about 14 beers apiece and wondered aloud how it’s only black kids on the bus these days. You’ve probably never heard the ‘n’ word so many times between people. The chicken guy was there. He’ll sign off.

Later they found him in a tree.

Reporter Tibbs Arrested in Tree

April 5, 2017 Leave a comment

By Bernie Keebler


Lankville Daily News penetrating reporter Gump Tibbs was arrested this morning in the Western Outlands, sources are confirming.

Tibbs, who was visibly intoxicated and registered a blood alcohol level of 0.36%, is currently in custody.

Local fire departments participated in the rescue. It is unclear how the reporter became stuck in the tree.

Gump Tibbs

“Mr. Tobbs [sic] was very hostile during the rescue and subsequent arrest,” noted Detective Houston Gee-Temple, who was the first to arrive at the scene. “He had a bunch of firecrackers and he was lighting them and throwing them down at us while muttering some nonsense about the cup of abominations being nigh full.”

“It was a strange scene,” noted Gee-Temple after an eerie silence.

Police had been on the lookout for Tibbs, who is currently wanted on public drunkenness, crass public urination and destruction of property charges.

“My Papa is innocent of all the charges,” noted Tibbs’ son Shane Meyer Tibbs, who, for reasons unclear, was standing by his father’s side with a carafe of hot water. “He is a beautiful, beautiful man. A delight.”

The Lankville Daily News has not issued a statement and no further information was available at press time.

Exploring Gump’s Attics

April 4, 2017 Leave a comment

By Shane Tibbs

I wish I was dead. Everything I thought was real has collapsed … under the weight … of … falsity. Nothing can entice me from the ledge but … the ledge. I am a dead man. Dead man writing.

Such are the jottings I recently discovered in Gump’s journal. It goes on and on like this for pages.

No one can touch me when I’m writing. If I write I am God. I write the word of God. I write the word God. The word is God. God. Word. Word. God.

He gets like this after a few meetings with the Kingdom Witnesses. When we are hot on the trail of a old fashioned bath romp, he rarely writes. I mean his writing has a rare air to it.


Beer is tedium,
despair, a ginful
glass of isolation and
whimsical if rum-pous


He has talent to spare. I don’t disagree, but then I never do. He’s my pig, I his piglet.

I’d like to continue but I must go nuke him a glass of water just now.

Bath Times with My Father Gump Tibbs

April 2, 2017 1 comment

By Shane Tibbs

I always stand at the sink and run water while papa Gump visits with the Kingdom Witnesses. It’s the same thing every time.

We have a few bath time romps before the gin scrambles his brains. He’s all pig on the inside, you see, but pays the price as his exterior has taken the unfortunate but ultimate form of man.

Don’t get me wrong, or try to tarnish me as an ungrateful piglet, — he’s a hard-charging swine for a four or five day bath time antics bender — but, I think in the end his humanity catches up with him.

Next thing I know he’s hunched in the kitchen nook mumbling about how he ‘senses an enfilade of ultrafine needles to have been fired just now from the vicinity of the mezzoderm’ or some such nonsense.

By early afternoon the KWs are splaying their brochures across the tabletop as he shivers over a cup of water I’ve nuked for him.

“Wouldn’t you like to live for eternity on an earthly paradise? Wouldn’t you, Gump?”

“An eternity of reckless baths? What fool … what fool? What a fool am I.”

“You could master the piano, for example.”

“The piano is little more an exquisite device of torrrrrturrrre for …. children. Trace its unholy lineage to the rrrranks of the bourgeoisie!”

“Mr. Tibbs, do you recall the story of Ruth?”


“My papa knows about ALL the races!” I shout from my corner.

“Mr. Tibbs, did you have a chance to browse the . . . ”

“Have I e’er here expounded on my theory of transmigration?”

“Isn’t it a wonderful illustration: the lion caressing the lamb; the young boy petting the upturned belly of a cobra?”

“My theory of the soul,” intones my father in steady whisper, “is that it begins a slow nearly imperceptible exit from the body at birth. An exit completed with your last breath. Which is why you feel deader inside as the years go by but more anxious. Do you follow? That’d be the soul rising up through the skin,” he says pointing his index finger into their faces, “the outer and final layer. I have no opinion on the soul’s subsequent destination.”

“Would you like to make a donation to Kingdom Hall, Mr. Tibbs?”

Father rummages through his vast underwear front pocket and produces an emerald-set change purse. His sweaty, bloated fingers fumbling on the solid gold clasp. The eyes of the KWs grow.

Father laughs.

“It appears my funds have been transmigrated. That’ll be an eternal predicament, my dear-eee-oos.”

I turn the tap to closed as the evangelics collect themselves.

“My boy,” says Gump through a fit of asthma, “run the bath .”

Gump Penetrates

September 18, 2015 Leave a comment
Gump Tibbs

Gump Tibbs

It’s time for another penetrating interview with Gump Tibbs. Today, Gump interviews Lankville business magnate and thesbian [sic] Ric Royer.

GT: So, you’re having a little pageant coming up?
RR: Have you ever had anything happen to you? I mean REALLY happen to you? Have you lost a wife? Have you ever wrecked someone in a brawl? Have you ever eaten so much that you go, “boy I’m so full”, and then you fall asleep? Well that’s what I’m all about. Not “little pageants”, as you say. So unless you want to sit here and slit open your heart to let me hear your flaws, your fears, your thoughts about intercourse and your history with jail, and so on, then I suggest you start referring to my upcoming project as “epic theatre”, not “little pageant”. Are we clear?

GT: What a delight! Do you think the world needs more epic theatre pageants? And why?
RR: We need more children in the world. Next question.

GT: Absolutely fantastic! Is the epic theatre pageant scary?
RR: Once I spent all night with a gun to my head. You know who was holding that gun. Let’s just say he’s in the room right now.

Royer was granted a

Ric Royer

GT: Are you accusing me –
RR: No, it was me. I wanted to scare myself, I wanted to piss myself so hard that I would never forget. Like a scar of piss. To this day I use that fear in my work. Even when I write soft and lighthearted scenes, I bring in the fear like a black hood to put over those scenes, and throw them in the trunk of horror, taking those delightful scenes on a harrowing ride. And then I exhale.

GT: What is theatre?
RR: It’s the big leagues of life. That’s how I like to think of it. If you’re just living, you know, banking or cooking or having intercourse or maybe you’re in jail, then those things are just what I call “Dimension 1 Reality”. It’s just being, and anyone can do that. Even the moribund or extremely wimpy among us can accomplish “being”. But only those who master the dramatic arts, those who can perform “being being”, or Dimensions 2-4, are in the big leagues of life. It’s much harder, hence the name “big leagues”.

GT: What are some of your favorite theatres?
RR: My favorite theatres are the Winston Buchanan (haunted), Downtown Actor’s Fancy, and Sensational Mons Island Arena (swallowed by earth). No more, no less.

GT: What an affair this has been! Is there an area behind the theatre where we can shoot some guns off?
RR: Very funny, Gump. You know what, you smell very strongly of hydrogen-peroxide. And I’ve wanted to end this interview since the first question, but I didn’t because I looked around and noticed there are no doors in this room. The only room I’ve ever been in that didn’t have a door was the outside. So I’m really not sure how I even got here. But I’d really like to leave.

Gump Penetrates

August 25, 2015 Leave a comment
Gump Tibbs

Gump Tibbs

It’s time for another penetrating interview with Gump Tibbs. Today, Gump interviews Dick Oakes, Jr., Lankville Daily News columnist and author of the bestselling short-story collection No Merit in It.

GT: So, you have that little area in the paper where you write about some of your exciting adventures?

DO: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know how exciting they are. My life is a sort of hell, Gump.

GT: Marvelous! And you’ve just released a new manual?

DO: It’s a collection of short stories.

GT: What an amazing endeavor! What is the manual about?

DO: I don’t know, Gump. Fer chrissakes.

GT: Such a delight! Will you be releasing any more manuals?

DO: Yeah, I guess. I got a trunk somewhere with a bunch of stories in it. Might be in a locker down at the bus station. Damned if I know where the key is.

Dick Oakes, Jr.

Dick Oakes, Jr.

GT: Sounds like a cat’s pajamas!

DO: The cat’s pajama’s?

GT: Really fabulous! Let’s move on to sports. You like wrestling?

DO: Yeah, I mean, it’s fine. Hell, they get a couple of big corn-fed girls in a small motel room and a lot of things can happen. Who can figure on any of it? Does anybody really give a damn? Tell me, Gump, does anybody give a damn?

GT: A remarkable endeavor! I’m going to fire some guns into some small bushes. Want to come along?

DO: Skip it.

Tibbs bounced away and the interview was ended prematurely.

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