Archive for the ‘Zach Keebaugh Investigations’ Category

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.

The Lankville Music Beat

July 22, 2016 1 comment
By Zachary Keebaugh

By Zachary Keebaugh

Yo, lately I’ve been getting all up in [Lankville Daily News editor] Marles Cundiff’s cranny. I’m all like, Hey Marles– your paper’s coverage of the Lankville music scene is for dog shit, man. And he’s all like well, why don’t you write something then Zach and I’m all like yeah, sure Marles, you bet I will. (That’s exactly how the convo went down). Anyway, so your boy, Zachary (I’m now going by Zachary) is going to be bringing you news of the fat tempos and mad rhythms from all over Lankville right here in a little column I like to call “The Lankville Music Beat”.

So, I took a bus down to the Mild Southern Peninsula Regions to check out this femme psych folk group The Winds Through the Barley. On the way down, I had this dick sitting in back of me who wouldn’t shut the fuck up about some new political movement called Lankville First! that was gaining momentum in the outlands. “It’s all about Lankvillians for a more Lankvillian Lankville,” he kept droning on and on. He tried to give me some little pamphlet that had a picture of a bunch of blow drys standing super erect and holding up some gaudy flags. “Yo, I don’t go in for no creeds,” I told him and that got him to move back a few rows and out of my shit.

I was met at the bus station by Tommy Candiotti, manager of The Winds Through the Barley. He took me to some place nearby that served gluten free vegan cheese-infused mushroom sandwiches– you should have seen these monsters. I was all like, WHOA, LOOK AT THIS FUCKING SHIT. IT’S LIKE THE COLOSSUS OF MUSHROOM SANDWICHES, YO  when they arrived. Tommy’s face got all red so I gathered he didn’t cuss much and I kept it chill after that.

He told me all about The Winds Through the Barley. “They were founded in 2005 over at the Peninsula Day Care University and have basically grown up together,” he said. “They just finished their first album and it’s doing real well, as you know. They’ve been on tour but are also coming home a lot because the folks here just love seeing a home grown group.”Music Beat

“I guess so,” I said. “I mean, the Mild Southern Peninsula Region has been an overflowing toilet for music, yo.”

“Well, it has,” Tommy said, as he viciously tore into the mushroom sandwich. Seriously, he was wolfing that fucker. “We’ve had a few tinkly piano people but that’s about it.”

Magic Lantern is the first offering from The Winds Through the Barley and it features the for real vocals of lead singer Ruby Orsulak-Finley, who also plays the mandolin, the lute, and the Southern Peninsula pump organ. And plus, yo, she’s a looker, man. Zachary gets a little nervous around the lookers, I’ll admit it and I ended up knocking over an entire tray of muffins in the process. Fortunately, my boy Tommy took care of the bill.

“We like the 20-minute long suite,” she said, over a gluten free vegan cheese-infused mushroom sandwich sans mushroom and a big glass of phosphorus-enriched juice that was squeezed from sand or some shit. “And we like an emerging synthesizer which cannot be heard with the human ear until the very end of the suite at which point it suddenly usurps the pump organ and flows lightly into the arrangement like a batch of carbonated bubbles.”

“Is your music relevant?” I probed.  I still gotta’ probe, man. Even though this isn’t an investigative report, I still gotta’ probe.

“Of course,” Orsulak-Finley noted. “Our music is for everyone and any music that is for everyone is always and will always be relevant.”

Ssss, Leader Singer of "The Winds Through the Barley".

Ruby Orsulak-Finley, Lead Singer of “The Winds Through the Barley”.

I looked down then and noticed that my mushroom has disappeared. It was just gone, yo, like it had never been. It threw me off, I admit it. I looked around the place and the people, who before had appeared to be ordinary folks just eating mushrooms now looked diabolical, like the spawns of some overwhelmingly large and nameless evil.

“We can’t wait for you to see us play,” Orsulak-Finley said. She looked at my plate. What happened to your sandwich? Her voice sounded garbled and distant and then suddenly deep and fiendish. I got real confused for a very long period of time. There was a sort of haze that seemed to cover everything. After that, I remember some sort of windowless vehicle racing towards some vast unknown. Tommy was next to me– he was hole-punching mysterious papers into a binder and each time we hit a bump, he vomited a little. I closed my eyes.

Then, I was in the club. There were a couple of guys on stage that were bouncing an oversized colored child’s ball back and forth. The crowd seemed to really be enjoying it. They tried to leave the stage once, then twice but were called back on for encores. So, they bounced the ball back and forth again. Someone put a can of something in my hand– no label was apparent– it was a plain white can. “DRINK THIS,” they said. I drank.

Then, The Winds Through the Barley came on. All girl group, as advertised. And although I can remember little of the music, I can say that I was transported to some sort of limitless green plain which, at first, appeared to be bereft of man, of structure, of, in fact, anything marking it to be of our world. I walked forward and the horizon moved further away. I turned around and there was no horizon. You must move forward a voice said.

And then I was back in my overheated shitbox of an apartment above the knives and puzzles shop.

A vinyl copy of The Winds Through the Barley’s album was sitting on the floor, propped up against a stack of puzzles that I had yanked out of the dumpster one night.

I looked out the window. A delicate blue light was issuing forth from Paladin Pizza on the corner. I watched as it became stronger and then enveloped me.

Come get a steak sub sandwich said the voice. It was the voice from the chasm. Mushrooms are fungus. Steak sandwiches are delicious it said.

I floated towards it.

Everything that happened after my arrival will be part of an entirely different sort of story. A story that cannot be printed here.

Zachary Keebaugh is currently on sabbatical.

Is it Safe to Eat Snow? A Zach Keebaugh Investigation

March 8, 2016 Leave a comment
Zach Keebaugh

By Zach Keebaugh

So, I was hanging around the knives and puzzles shop the other day and some bozo was talking about making snow ice cream. Apparently, you collect the shit in a bowl, drop some eggs, cream, and sugar on top and BOOM– you got yourself a bowl of tightwad dessert.

But is it safe? I aimed to find out.

I am Zach Keebaugh, Investigative Reporter.

I asked Bill Honks, chemist at the Yarny Woods Area University what would happen if we were to package snow and put it on grocery store shelves– what would we have to put on the ingredient list?

“Primarily water,” he said, “but also “various and sundry things depending on where it comes from.”

“Yo, let’s dispense with the fancy pants cap and gown crap,” I said. “What else?”

“Well, Zach, depending on what part of Lankville we’re talking about, there could be things like sulfates, nitrates, old electronic parts, or mercury. There are a number of variables.”

“It is safe?” I probed. This glorified pharmacist was dodging me– I could tell.Keebaugh Logo

“In moderation, Zach. I mean, I wouldn’t be going outside eating snow all day but in moderation…”

“Yo, that’s my plan, man. All snow diet, scientist. I’m gonna’ be wolfing that fucking snow like a nun sweats in a cucumber patch, chump.”

He seemed confused and went back to his little bullshit pipettes or whatever. I knew there was more to the story.

So I rented a car and drove over to the Eastern Peninsula Area. Arranged a little chit chat with my boy Elliatt Conroy, a researcher who studies water resources and climate change at Peninsula Poorer College.

“Zach, it’s better to wait until a few hours into the snowfall to gather up your snow. Remember, snow acts like a kind of atmospheric “scrub brush”, if you will. The longer the snow falls, the lower the pollution levels in the air, and thus in the snow.”

“Yo, that’s not what this Honks guy was telling me. He was laying down a real dodge, man.”

“Well, Zach, I can’t imagine why. The one thing I would note is that you should be extra vigilant if the snowfall is accompanied by wind. Remember, when snow falls to within a few meters of the ground, it gets mixed with soil that’s blowing around. Whether that makes the snow unsafe to eat depends entirely on what’s in the soil.”

“What if it’s snowing and there’s also a tornado?” I probed. “One of those grim motherfuckers that comes out of the plains, throwing meteorological shade all over the god damn place?”

“Well, I suppose that would be an example of when it might be unsafe to eat snow, Zach.”

I nodded knowingly.

So, there you have it Lankville– scientific proof up the asshole. But if you want to know this reporter’s opinion– don’t be a piker, standing around trying to catch snow in some bowl your mama gave you. Just go buy some ice cream, yo!

Is Online Dating Safe? A Zach Keebaugh Investigation

December 2, 2015 Leave a comment

Zach Keebaugh

Yo, there’s about a million online dating sites these days for single Lankvillians to pick from– Companions, Fair Enough Cupid, The Bump, The Pumpkin Patch, Smackers, and Sunshine, GO! are just a few of the more popular platforms. With tens of thousands of eligible ladies online, you’d think a guy could do pretty good for himself, could ratchet up some serious clean and jerk skills, if you know what I’m saying. But is online dating safe? I aimed to find out. I am Zach Keebaugh, Investigative Reporter.

First thing I did was go undercover. Some real cloak and dagger shit, dog. Made up a bunch of fake names and used my cousin Steve’s picture for my ad– Steve’s got a face like a cherub but there’s an element of danger in his eyes– the ladies eat that fucking crap up.

Within minutes, I got several replies– even got a picture of some girl half-wrapped in a blanket on a couch flashing nothing but bare ass out the back. So, I sent her a message– “that blanket is rad, girlfriend” followed by a couple of those shiny cat stickers and a smiley face. She wrote back pretty quickly:

I’m an assertive woman with a sweet, “accommodating” boyfriend, and I’m very interested in finding someone(s) to hang out with, while he’s made to follow a few steps behind.

She invited me to meet her (and her boyfriend) at an abandoned airplane hangar in the Lankville Outlands. “He’ll be dressed as a dragon,” she wrote. “You’ll see him instantly. But you’ll have to find me!”  The whole affair sounded pretty killer but was it safe? Before I said yes, I figured on making a call to Berenice Bruno, of the Lankville Online Safety Steering Committee.Keebaugh Logo

“You should always meet someone for the first time in a public place, Zach,” said Bruno. “You should never, under any circumstances, meet a woman for the first time in her home or in a location that is abandoned or derelict.”

“Why?” I probed. “Plenty of open space in an airplane hangar. What’s the worst that could really happen? Besides, this is prime time shit, this is. Dude’s gonna’ be dressed as a fucking dragon.”

“All the more reason to be doubtful, Zach. Your first date with someone you meet online should be one-on-one. And you should always be leery of anyone dressed in a costume. That’s a real red flag right there, Zach.”

I let it ride a minute. Then I went in for the probe.  “Is online dating safe?”

“Under certain circumstances, of course.”

“What about inter-investigation dating? You got a ruling in your little book there on that one?”

Bruno blushed and I figured on pursuing that lead a little later.

I decided to take her advice. I switched up my profile a bit, hoping to get a little classier action. I still couldn’t use my own photograph (I’m a pretty big deal around Lankville these days– can’t even walk down the street without some clown pulling up and asking me to investigate some dogshit cause), so instead I used a pic of my homeboy Brian Schropp.  I was banking on Brian’s sweet and tender nature luring the ladies in like a hermit to a cave.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think about Schropp being a celebrity too. So, I ended up getting nothing but requests from fat girls who wanted discounted pizza or some review of their bullshit new cupcake kiosk. But for the sake of the investigation, I asked one out.

Her name was Vancette and we met up in the Red Room of the Casa Montecristo (an elegant reception hall). I saw her first and let me just say, she was selling it everywhere. I sidled up to her at the bar.

“Who are you?”

“Yeah, listen, I’m zach132 from Companions. Sorry about the fake photo.”

“So…you’re not…Brian Schropp?”

“Nope. I’m all Keebaugh.” I threw open the sports jacket I had borrowed from my cousin for effect.

She seemed real disappointed. “I was really hoping you’d be Brian Schropp. I’ve always wanted to meet Brian Schropp. Have you read his wonderful reviews? He has such a refined palette. Such a sweet and tender soul. It’s going to be a lucky gal that ends up…”

I cut her off. “Listen, why don’t we get a table. After all, meat is the special tonight.”

“I don’t think so. I feel…well…disappointed and lied to.” Then, she suddenly hit me in the face with her purse. It was just like a movie– everybody stared and DJ Humphrey stopped spinning for a minute.

Later on, I called up Berenice Bruno and told her what happened.

“Well, that’s another thing about online dating, Zach. You need to be honest, forthright. It’s only fair.”

“Is online dating safe?” I probed, suddenly.

She sighed but we kept chatting on awhile after that.


So there you have it, yo,  quick and easy safety tips for the first date meeting from an online connection. That shit is delivered.

Are Offices Safe? A Zach Keebaugh Investigation

November 5, 2015 Leave a comment
Zach Keebaugh

Zach Keebaugh

Yo, any half-bred dipshit realizes that safety and health hazards can exist on worksites filled with heavy machinery, guns and equipment– where employees often are required to engage in strenuous manual labor. A dude would have to be walking around in a snow globe of shit flurries not to grab the cake on that one.

But what about a job where most of the work tasks are completed while sitting in a chair in a climate-controlled office building? Seems less fraught with danger, right? However, I’ve seen it asserted that a surprising number of hazards are present in an office setting. I aimed to find out the truth on that. I am Zach Keebaugh– Investigative Reporter.

First, I went down to the library (the one I was going to had been bulldozed and replaced by a mall, so I huffed another 15 miles to the next one) and checked out the stats. According to data from the Lankville Bureau of Labor Mutilations, 19,480,410 private-industry office and administrative workers suffered on-the-job injuries in 2014. Many of these injuries could have been prevented had workers or supervisors recognized the risks and implemented simple workplace modifications to help mitigate them. I had my lead.

So next, I huffed it down to the National Pondicherry Safety Council and met up with Dr. Jeenie Paquette. Jeenie and I got along right off the bat and, I’ll admit, I was pushing pretty hard to the net. But then I got down to business with the good doctor.Keebaugh Logo

“So WHAT THE FUCK, doc. How can we get rid of all these hazards and raise employee awareness?

“Well, Zach, I’ve split up common office safety problems into a series of three categories.”

“You can do whatever you want, mama,” I purred.

“Right…well, Zach, the first major category are “office falls.”

Dr. Paquette says that last year alone, Lankville office works fell 3,987,412 times.

“The best thing to do is stay clutter-free. Keep boxes, buckets, wagons, papers, etc. out of the way and maintain a clear line of vision throughout the office. And if you have to reach up, use a safety step stool. We see all kinds of office workers trying to cut corners by stacking chairs together or ripping out the divider stalls in the bathroom and using them as ladders. That’s a no-no. Every office should have at least one working step stool.”

“What about just taking a full garbage can and stepping in that?” I probed. “Now, what the hell can be wrong with that?”

“No, Zach. Garbage tends to collapse when you step on it.”

Don't end up like these King Hill fuckheads. Make your office safe, yo!

Don’t end up like these King Hill fuckheads. Make your office safe, yo!

“I didn’t know that. You’re good.” I flashed her some pearlies. “What’s next, doc?”

Turns out, the next most common office mishap is getting struck by an object or beheaded. According to the digits, Lankville office workers were struck 5,277,314 times in 2014 and 7854 Lankvillians were beheaded.

“You want to avoid objects swinging from the ceiling, especially decorative seasonal objects,” Paquette asserted. We had an office recently that hung actual 30-pound pumpkins from the drop ceiling. A lot of people were killed.”

“Sounds like a bunch of assholes. Hanging pumpkins from a drop ceiling. That shit’s bush league, man. What else you got? We’re not even gonna’ go into stupid-ass activities like hanging pumpkins from a drop ceiling. Those fuckers are on their own.”

“Well, Zach, our final category is perhaps the most common but the most problematic to address. It’s ergonomic injuries.”

“You talking about those funny chairs that the foreign guys come around selling?”

She seemed confused. “Well, they sell them everywhere, Zach. But ergonomics are not just about chairs. They’re also about keyboard and mouse placement, workstation deficiencies, even the way people sit or put their feet on the floor.”

Dr. Paquette also noted that workstations should be adjustable. “We all have different bodies, Zach. Adjustable means able to accommodate the widest range of employees possible.”

“Fat people?” I probed.

“A…variety of options should be available,” Dr. Paquette responded.

So, BOOM, DELIVERED. A good bunch of options on how to improve workplace safety and put an end to all these injuries and deaths over the last few years. By the way, after the big mouth-party of this interview was over with, Dr. Paquette and I walked down to a Meyer Plantain Hut and wolfed some of those fucked-up banana-looking things.

It was alright.

Latest News About Hell: By Zach Keebaugh

September 15, 2015 Leave a comment

Hell- Latest News

The Lankville Daily News is lusciously delighted beyond measure to present investigative reporter Zach Keebaugh’s column “The Latest News About Hell”.

Zach Keebaugh

By Zach Keebaugh

So, yo, the up-to-the-minute count of places in Lankville that are believed to be possible entrances to Hell now sits at 3. Yeah, I didn’t believe that shit either. But some guys and some nice-looking college students convinced me. They showed me some websites, some stuff on and a couple of books that were lying around. The question, of course, is do you believe in any of this fucking crap? Well, I aimed to find out. I aimed to find out the latest news about Hell. I am Zach Keebaugh, Hell Investigator.

So, the first place was a fenced-in copse off Route 71. We all know about Route 71.

I met Sheriff Bill Tetts. He handed me a coffee. “You’re gonna’ need this Zach,” he said. So, I was like, “C’mon Tetts. What the fuck is this about? You got the entrance to hell over here?”

“Zach,” he said, in his inimitable Route 71 drawl. “If there be a hell, then here it is.”

“If there be a hell?” I queried. “You gettin’ all eloquent on me Tetts? Let’s see this hell entrance.”

He led me into the copse. I’ll admit, things got a little weird. It got dark fast. The sky above (where it could even be glimpsed) was a flamboyant orange. I suddenly began speaking like Tetts. “That be a weird sky,” I commented. “This be a supernal copse.” I couldn’t control myself. I don’t know what the hell was up.

Tetts led me over to a steaming crater. “The mouth of this infernal caldera is an abomination to all humankind,” said Tetts. His sipped his coffee and looked at his cell phone.

The Hell-Mouth of Route 71.

The Hell-Mouth of Route 71.

I steadied myself and stared into the abyss. It was then that I realized what a mound of horseshit the whole thing was.

“Hey, Tetts,” I said. “Souls are incorporeal, man. Hell has no need of physical mouths. Get out of here with this mind fuck, man.”

He didn’t have anything to say to that and I struck place number one off the list.

So, I took a bus down to the Warm Peninsula Regions. There, I met local historian Wilma Sheets. Wilma was a little older than me but, good Christ, she was rocking her jeans pantsuit.

Course, we were standing around a pile of god damn rocks and a weedy area. I guess there’s some guys that can make a little romance out of a pile of rocks and a weedy area but I sure wasn’t coming up with anything.

“So, Wilma, what’s up with this pile of rocks, girl?”

“Well, Zach, it sure doesn’t look like much but many ancient Lankville historians have indicated that this was once the seven gates of Hell. It was said that if you passed through all seven gates, you would land straight in Hell.”

“I only see one gate,” I said, pointing out an old chain-link fence that was pretty much sans chain-link. “Yo, what’s up?”

“Well, the other six gates are invisible during the day, Zach,” she shot back.

I stared at her for a long time. I smelled bullshit, sure. And I was a little peeved that I had ridden the hump on that shitbus all the way down here. But that pantsuit was really nice, really a good fit. You don’t see that sort of thing too often when you’re standing outside.

The Seven Gates of Hell.

The Seven Gates of Hell.

“Are the invisible gates over in that weedy field?” I asked.

“I think so, Zach. These giant stone blocks, these were part of an insane asylum. Hell’s insane asylum, the legend goes. Can you imagine the sort of patients that would be in hell’s insane asylum?”

She shuddered. I was quick to give her a comforting hug. The jeans pantsuit was nice, man,  I was digging it. But I knew I could check this Seven Gates of Hell nonsense off my list too.

A few days later, I took the bus out of the Warm Peninsula Regions and up to the Snowy Lake Area. That’s where the alleged third entrance to hell is located– at the infamous “Cave of Sibyl”.

Glenn O. Cox is the curator of the cave, which is just a little stone mound that you enter through a ragged doorway and which, after a couple of stairs, drops down several hundred feet into fire. They have a little sign there (in a couple different languages) warning visitors but still, thousands of dumb shits fall to their deaths every year.

“So, Glenn O. baby, you think this is the true entrance to hell, huh?” I was a little worn out– hadn’t slept in days. And I wasn’t buying the claims of this sad little stone asscave.

“Yes, Zach. According to legend, the sibyl emerges at the surface each night and leads the damned to the underworld.”

I just looked at him.

The Cave of Sibyl.

The Cave of Sibyl.

“Yes, Zach, also we have evidence that birds flying over the lake have died due to the toxic fumes the cave emits. It is, indeed, a deadly portal.”

I still had nothing to say. Glenn O. was getting a little antsy.

“And also Zach, there have been many ancient Lankvillian kings who have offered condemned prisoners the chance for freedom if they would allow themselves to be lowered into the Cave of Sibyl and report what they saw below. And in every case, the prisoner chose death over the cave!”

“Yeah? Fuck this cave, man.” I was irritable, I admit it. It was uncalled for. Let’s just say I got worn pretty ragged down in the Warm Peninsula Regions.

Glenn O. was shocked. “Oh, Zach, that…don’t say that…” He began praying, making some kind of weird sign with his stubby little hands.

“I’m packing it in, Glenn O. baby,” I said. Later, I wrote him a letter of apology.

So, man, do what you want with these three claims. That’s the takeaway here. This reporter? This reporter isn’t buying any of it. And that’s the investigation– the latest news about hell.

Zach Keebaugh won a trophy for this report.

Are Garden Hoses Safe? A Zach Keebaugh Investigation

August 24, 2015 Leave a comment

Keebaugh Logo

Zach Keebaugh

Zach Keebaugh

Scenario: you’re out watering your backyard garden. The sun starts to beat down. That ribbed, poly/cotton blend tank is starting to feel like an oven, you’re thirsty, irritable, maybe even angry. And right in front of you, man– cool water flowing out of your hose like some sort of heavenly mountain stream. It’s right there for the taking. Why not stoop down and make it yours? Pump that shit into your mouth and quench that insatiable thirst? Yo, why the hell shouldn’t you, man?

Because many experts are now saying that it is unsafe to drink from a garden hose, that’s why. They say that hoses can be made of dangerous chemicals like lead and some weird-ass chlorides that can fuck you up eight ways to Sunday. You could end up sterile, impotent, unable to talk much or even dead.

But is it true? I aimed to find out. I am Zach Keebaugh: Investigative Reporter.

First, I spoke to Lankville Tubing Safety Department official Les Tights.

“Yo, man. I drink from hoses all the time. What’s up?”

Looks nice but what the hell? Is it safe?

Looks nice but what the hell? Is it safe?

“Well, Zach, lead from the hoses can often leach into the water supply, causing all sorts of problems with birth defects, dying, sterility, impotence and general sexual disinterest. And while notice of this is now required on all packaging for commercial hoses, we all know that generally people tear off the packaging quickly, as they, of course, are quite excited about owning a new hose. Our research indicates that most packaging doesn’t even make it home. Most people tear it straight off in their cars, sometimes even immediately after purchasing while they’re still in line at the hardware store. So, basically, the warnings don’t get read.”

“Sure, sure. But let’s get back to the meat here, man. You telling me that a guy drinks from a hose and then, BAM, the next morning he ain’t pitching tent?”

Tights grew confused. I grew skeptical.

So, I visited a couple of hose salesmen. First off, the traditional ol’ green standby at my local Home Dump. Just as Tights mentioned, I saw the tiny warning label on the packaging. I questioned an employee who asked to remain anonymous (we’ll call her Gail Throneberry). Turns out Gail and I hit it off pretty good. She invited me out back of the Home Dump to watch her drink some beers.

“Hey Gail- man, what about these hoses?” I probed.

“Oh, right. Listen baby, these expand, like out to certain distances. I forget. Shit.” She took another pull on the beer. I had a soda that Gail pinched for me from the employee freezer.

“Are they safe?”

“What? Sure, sure. These…we got medium duty and heavy duty, you know, according to expected use. What do you expect to use these for, Zach, baby? You got yourself some seeds baby? Want Mama to water ’em for you?”

Traditional hose salesman Gail Throneberry.

Traditional hose salesman Gail Throneberry.

Throneberry collapsed into some empty cardboard boxes. But I had my answer.

Next, I consulted with organic hose dealer Ray Sunshine, who operated a garden supply center near Pineapple City. He showed me all the different lead-free hose options.

“All of our hoses meet LSF standards, are lead-free, recycled and resist kinking. These are the best hoses you can buy in Lankville, Zach.”

“But are they safe?” I probed.

“Absolutely. We stand behind them.”

“Let me give you a scenario, Ray. I’m watering a bunch of bullshit in the backyard. I start to get hot and sweaty. I take my shirt off but I’m still hot. I’m getting sunburned. I feel like hell. I’m hungry. I’m depressed. Maybe a little bit horny. Feel like a drink of water might help. I’m looking at the water coming out of one of your organic hoses. So, yo, man! Can I drink that water?”

“Absolutely. You can feel 100% safe in drinking water from our hoses.”

I was convinced. Even picked up two hoses despite the fact that I got no backyard and live in a shitbox of an apartment above the knives and puzzles shop.

So, here’s your conclusion readers. Pick up a hose with LDA-approved materials and that are clearly labeled “drink safe”. Make sure you read the label before you buy (I know, I know, everyone gets excited as all shit over a new hose but be patient). Taking that little extra time could ultimately safe your life.

Or, here’s another option. Drink from the god damn sink, yo. Don’t be a baboon.

This has been a Zach Keebaugh Investigative Report

Is it Safe to Change a Tire? A Zach Keebaugh Investigation

August 10, 2015 1 comment
Zachary Keebaugh

Zachary Keebaugh

You don’t need to save somebody’s life to be a hero. Maybe you just save their day.

Consider the inevitable flat tire.

Whether you’re traveling to school, work, or that weird summer camp your Mom sent you to that served nothing but unflavored macaroni and then told your Mom that you were a liar when you spilled the beans, it’s bound to happen eventually. That makes knowing how to change a tire– either your own or one belonging to an attractive female in need– an essential life skill.

But is it safe?

I aimed to find out. I am Zach Keebaugh: Investigative Reporter.

Bot Woolston has been changing tires on the Western Lankville Plains for 30 years. He claims that changing a tire is perfectly safe.

“You just need to make sure you chock the tire that is directly opposite the flat tire by putting some bricks or logs or some heavy object in front of it.”

“Yo, what’s chock mean?” I probed.

There's really no need to put out a fucking triangle like those asshole but you should still use caution when changing a tire.

There’s really no need to put out a fucking triangle like this asshole but you should still use caution when changing a tire.

“It’s mechanic-talk for stabilize. This is the main thing that people forget and is responsible for all those deaths that everyone’s all up in arms about.”

“Man, who the hell carries bricks or logs around in their car? You’re not fooling anybody, old man.”

“Changing a tire is so simple, Zach. There is absolutely no need why anyone, even children, should not know how to do it.”

“Let’s switch gears,” I proffered. “In your opinion, what causes flat tires?”

“Nails and broken glass primarily. Other things include animals, teeth and hard food.”

“Is it safe to change a tire?” I probed.

Woolston sighed and went back into his office.

Amanda Fleckensbrother is President of the C.F.H. (Call for Help) Foundation. “We advocate always calling an expert to have a tire changed,” she said, as we walked slowly near a wooded area. “Too many people have lost their lives trying to pry off a wheel cover or due to improper placement of the jack. The safest thing to do is contact a trained technician.”

“Yeah, but who wants to stand around like an asshole waiting for some fat guy in a grey jumpsuit to show up? Why not do it yourself? Yo, when I was in the Child Scouts we had to jack up this old orange boat they had sitting around and swap out a tire to get a Merit badge. And I crushed that challenge man, I got that badge.”

“At the very least, C.F.H. is an advocate for clearer markings on automobiles showing individuals where they put the jack, where the spare tire is, etc. So far, the automotive industry has ignored us,” Fleckensbrother countered.

“Is it safe to change a tire?” I probed.

Fleckensbrother paused. “No, it isn’t,” she finally said.

I nodded confidently and we moved ever closer to the edge of the dew-draped woods.

Neptune CEO

Neptune CEO Arick Schlesinger

We then proposed Fleckensbrother’s ideas to Neptune Automotive Corporation CEO Arick Schlesinger.

“Yo, what about these markings and shit?”

“We’ve heard Mrs. Freckenships [sic] ideas and we know all about the C.F.H.,” Schlesinger replied. “But it’s not economically viable for us to implement any of these suggestions. And in terms of the location of jacks and spare tires, that seems like common sense to me, Zach. And even if you don’t know where they are, it is clearly outlined in every owner’s manual for every vehicle Neptune sells.”

“Is it safe to change a tire?” I probed.

“Of course. The only people I know who can’t change a tire are male buffoons and some women.”

Opinion is hopelessly divided. You can listen to Amanda Fleckensbrother and call one of Lankville’s many roadside assistance companies when the dreaded moment comes or, in this reporter’s opinion, you can pull over, consult the internet and learn how to do it yourself. It’s a skill that everyone should have.

Zach Keebaugh won a medal for this report.

Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt: A Zach Keebaugh Investigation

July 29, 2015 Leave a comment
Zachary Keebaugh

Zachary Keebaugh

Few things slam sweltering heat in the ass like a creamy cone on a hot summer day. Should you go for a double scoop of that minty chocolate chip or should you opt for the healthier-sounding “frozen yogurt”? Market research shows that frozen yogurt sales in Lankville have risen considerably every year since 2005 while the number of yogurt shops, kiosks, and boxes have doubled. And if you think frozen yogurt is healthier, you’re not alone– roughly 95% of the girls I interviewed toweling off at the pool believe that the softer shit is better for them than ice cream.

But is frozen yogurt healthier? I aimed to find out. I am Zach Keebaugh, Investigative Reporter.

“A lot of people, when they hear the word “yogurt” think of, you know, the other kind of yogurt,” said Petette Ramsey, a spokesperson for the Lankville Academy of Nutrition, Dietetics and Drinks. “But the freezing process used to make frozen yogurt tends to kill off some of the probiotics and other gut-healthy bacteria and leave your dessert essentially lifeless– just empty calories.”

“Why?” I probed.

“Why what?” Ramsey asked.

“Why do you think that?” I probed again.

Looks good, but is it crap?

Looks good, but is it crap?

“It’s not about what I think, it’s about what’s proven to be the case in laboratory tests. The best thing to do is look for the seal that yogurt shops, kiosks and boxes will display if they add nutrients. It’s a big green shield and it says “Live and Active Cultures.”

“Yo, where’s that shield?” I probed.

“Usually on the door of the establishment or perhaps on the frozen yogurt machines themselves. If it’s not displayed, you can inquire at the counter or at the box.”

“Yo, have you seen the fuck-ups that work at frozen yogurt joints? They’re not gonna’ know jack shit about shields.”

She didn’t know what to say and I had already probed enough so I let off.


Turns out, probiotics alone don’t make fro-yo a health food. “People don’t realize that it often has more sugar than ice cream,” said West Lankville High Hills Area nutritionist Lisa Sand-Dompster as we walked together slowly by a lake.”Each half-cup of frozen yogurt has about 17 grams…”

I cut her off.

“I don’t want to get into complicated numbers here. Let’s stick to the facts.”

“Well, I was going to say that frozen yogurt has 17 grams of sugar while…”

“Let’s keep it simple. If I plop a couple of fist-size scoops of frozen yogurt down in a plastic container that used to contain lunch meat, and go to town on it, what the hell is going to happen?”

“Perhaps nothing for you but for individuals with conditions…”

“I ain’t no spastic,” I pointed out.

We walked around the lake in silence after that.


Whether you love ice cream or you’re all up into that frozen yogurt shit, there’s no wrong choice as long as you keep your serving sizes in check. “Your best bet really is a dessert that will satisfy your taste buds so that you won’t go back for seconds or scrounge around for other snacks later,” noted Sand-Dompster. Experts recommend seeking out products that have real ingredients rather than that crap with the laundry list of preservatives, thickening agents, and old oil.

And for a DIY fix, Sand-Dompster suggests making your own creamy dessert from a bunch of bananas or some shit and a blender and milk.

“What if you don’t have a blender?” I probed.

“You can mash the ingredients up using other kitchen tools,” she offered.

“I’d have to borrow all that fucking shit. I’ll just go out.”


So, the next time you need a creamy dessert, think twice and eat responsibly!

Zach Keebaugh got a little medal for this report.

Is Mall Nut Kiosk Cursed? A Zach Keebaugh Investigation

July 6, 2015 Leave a comment
Zachary Keebaugh

Zachary Keebaugh

If you’re like a lot of people, you probably like to swing by Nuts, Ah!, when you’re hanging around Twin Removed Pines Mall. And why not? With over fifty thousand different varieties of nutmeat in one easy to access location by the fountains, it’s a no-brainer. Question is– is Nuts Ah! cursed? I aimed to find out. I am Zach Keebaugh, Investigative Reporter.

I met up with Marty Barrett, who founded the kiosk in 2007. Barrett was kind enough to bring me a little paper cone full of nuts but I wasn’t gonna’ let that influence me. I pushed the cone aside.

“Yo, people say your nut stand is built on cursed land, man? What’s up with that shit?” I asked.

“It’s untrue Zach. Nothing paranormal has ever occurred here and ever will,” he responded.

“I wouldn’t make that claim. The portals of hell could open up tomorrow and then where would you and your little nut stand be?”

Barrett sighed.

“I personally guarantee that Nuts Ah! is not cursed. The rumors are unfounded.”

Associate Nut Handler Sheila Tallinder has a different story.

Nuts Ah! was the sight of a lot of vomiting and punching last night.

Nuts Ah!  Cursed?

“We’ll just be standing around or helping a customer and the next you know, there are some cryptic tablets. They just appear out of nowhere.”

“What do these tablets say?” I probed.

“They’re in a language that none of us can understand and they have these weird symbols on the back. A professor came by one time. He needed some nuts for his car. Anyway, we showed him and he told us they were something called “The Demonic Triads”.

“Yo, that’s some heavy shit. And this Marty Barrett guy doesn’t do anything about it?”

“Nothing. He takes the tablets out of the kiosk and gets rid of them somewhere.” She began crying and I put my arm around her. Then, I went and got her a big cookie, poor kid. The cookie was really soft and it kind of folded over on itself and fell into the fountain so it didn’t work out. It was kind of tough shit.

The Lankville Daily News then set up a surveillance camera to try to catch Barrett disposing of the demonic tablets. Unfortunately, a strange grey mist appeared when the embattled owner was in the kiosk only to disappear once he left the premises. We began to suspect that Barrett was the cause of the curse.

I probed further.

“Yo, what about that grey mist, man? And the tablets? You chucking them somewhere?”

“There are no tablets, Zach. I’m telling you- it’s just an ordinary nut kiosk.”

“That all you got to say?”

“That’s all.”

We stared each other down for a good fifteen minutes. I chugged the cone of nuts but kept my eye on him. He didn’t blink.

“What kind of necromancy are you practicing here, nut man?”

Barrett ended the interview.

I got my answer though.

Are Oscillating Fans Safe? A Zach Keebaugh Investigation

June 1, 2015 Leave a comment
Zachary Keebaugh

Zachary Keebaugh

It’s getting hot in Lankville and you’re probably thinking about dragging that old oscillating fan down from the attic, setting it up on a chair and letting it go to town. But are they safe? I aimed to find out. I am Zach Keebaugh, Investigative Reporter.

Wunderkind inventor Danny Madison laughed at the idea. “The traditional three-speed oscillating fan with the alleged “safety grill” (here Madison employed the use of ironic air quotes), 90-degree oscillation and adjustable tilt is, more or less, a dinosaur. At Danny Madison Industries, we no longer make them. Let me show your our version of the fan.”

Madison led me past a series of glass cases where strange products beeped and buzzed. We entered a windowless white room. Lights flicked on instantly at our appearance. “Yo, that’s cool,” I commented. “Like, magic lights and shit.” Madison eyed me up for a minute, then he led me over to a small device on a table.

“This is our version of the fan. Note, we don’t even use the word “fan”. We use the name “Air Augmenter”.”

Madison gave me a few moments to let it sink in.

“The Madison Air Augmenter collects air from one area and transfers it to another area, if you will,” Madison continued. “While this may seem like an obvious extension of vacuum motor science, the Madison Air Augmenter takes that collected air, filters it, and redistributes it as “Breeze Cubes”. Ours is the only product that can achieve this complex transformation.”

“Yo, you mean, the air comes out in big cubes?” I asked.

Fifty years ago called. They want their oscillating fan back.

Fifty years ago called. They want their oscillating fan back.

“In a sense,” Madison replied, as he removed a calculator from his jeans jacket and began to program a series of equations. “We also have successfully marketed an organic non-carcinogenic, non-toxic florescent dye that can be placed in the Air Augmenter. This allows the user to actually view the released breeze cubes with the naked eye. You can literally watch the cubes collect in your room.”

“So, your overheated shitbox of an apartment becomes like a cool wind rustling over the savanna?” I asked. Madison furrowed his brow.

In addition to all these awesome features, the Madison Air Augmenter requires no messy cleanup. No trying to wash out that big dented alien head of a grill in your bathtub while watching some challenge in the alley behind the knives and puzzles shop.

“The Air Augmenter needs no protective cover,” Madison said. He was back to the calculator again– punching a bunch of shit in there. “You don’t even need to wipe it down– it cleans itself. Sprays a fine mist on itself on a daily basis. Another feature that separates us from the so-called “oscillating fan” concerns. Also, the fan can be programmed via your “Reckoner”– another fine Danny Madison product.”

“So, you’re out working at the toy store or waiting for some bozo to finish up a steak sandwich and you can use your little calculator there to fill up your room with those cubes,” I commented. “You come home and BAM, you got yourself a room full of cubes.”

“Essentially,” Madison responded. He was staring at me again.

The Madison Air Augmenter retails for $199.99 and recently received an “A Safety Rating” from the Lankville Bureau of Probes.

Is Rubber Mulch Safe? A Zach Keebaugh Investigation

May 19, 2015 Leave a comment
By Zachary Keebaugh

By Zachary Keebaugh

The public playground in the Central Lankville Showy Suburban Area has everything a kid could want. You got swings, a helicopter, some ropes, a little barn. But it’s got something else too. A surface made of rubber mulch. That’s right– rubber mulch.


Van Griese, a local contractor, laid the rubber mulch himself. “It’s the latest in safety surfacing,” he told me, as we walked slowly together by a lake. “You got shredded rubber from old tires and when the kiddies fall over, it’s more pillowy than say, some mulch or some rocks, god forbid.”

I stopped him.

“Is it safe?” I probed.

“Of course, it’s safe. Why wouldn’t it be?”

“Don’t know, man. I heard there might be some chemicals in there, some shit that gets all whacked when it gets hot. Vapors, man. Volatile substances.”

Griese just stared at me. He was clearly unnerved.


Fun Playground....or HELL?

Fun Playground….or HELL?

Lisa Adiron-Chairs is a mother of two. “I really struggled to keep my daughter from putting the tire crumbs in her mouth. Plus, they would come back from the park just covered in black. Skin, clothes, everything. I just thought, this can’t be healthy.”

“Yo, it’s just cut-up tires. So what if they eat a few tires over the course of a lifetime? You don’t even want to know the shit I’ve eaten,” I remarked.

“But we know they put chemicals in tires. We have to take responsibility as parents to limit the health risks. We need more information.”


The Lankville government, however, is sending parents mixed messages about this rubber mulch junk.

“We have done several dozen studies and found no negative health risks,” noted government toxicologist Lando Curry.

“Don’t give me that weak-ass shit,” I countered. “Your studies are limited and insufficient to establish conclusively that rubber mulch surfaces are safe.”

“Look, the Agency for Lankville Woods and Copses acknowledges that more studies need to be made but all of our product safety agencies recommend and promote rubber mulch. And the Lankville Playground Layout Subcommittee wholeheartedly endorses rubber mulch– why, we even have a rubber mulch playground at the Presidential Palace.”

“Sounds like you got a lot of important committees. Be a shame if anything happened to any of them,” I noted, trying to sound as gangster as possible.

“Are you threatening the government?” Curry countered.

I backed down right away. I don’t want to get that god damn rap pinned on me.


This reporter decided to go undercover. I talked my way into an Eastern Lankville rubber manufacturer and snagged an interview with salesman William Head.

“I want to buy a lot of rubber mulch to put on playgrounds,” I said. “I want the cheapest tires you got. Long as they’re safe. Are they safe?”

“They are,” said Head. I kept staring at his little nametag. “William Head”. Christ, I was having a hard time not laughing. Also, I was high.

“So, there’s no carcinogenic chemicals in there, right?”

Finally, Head admitted that there were a couple of poisons in there but they were so minimal as to pose no risk.

“You’ve got some things that cause cancer, but you’re not going to be sleeping every night on these surfaces,” he said.

“How do you know? Maybe that’s what I had in mind,” I countered. He shut up for a bit then.


Rubber mulch or no rubber mulch, it seems that new findings are needed.

“Of course, we will carefully review all new findings,” said Curry. “Our highest priority is protecting the public. However, we do not plan to commission further studies because we do not view rubber mulch as an issue at this time.”

For now, concerned mothers like Lisa Adiron-Chairs will have to take their kids elsewhere.

“They play in a field now,” she noted. “As long as the government isn’t going to be sure about these tires, they’ll just have to play in a field.”

Zach Keebaugh won a trophy for this report.

Area Jackass Has, Like, Fucking Trash in His Front Yard

April 1, 2015 Leave a comment
By Zach Keebaugh

By Zach Keebaugh


CENTRAL LANKVILLE– An area jackass has nothing but, like, fucking trash in his front yard.

The jackass, who has been identified as Mr. Coven Slides, a Tungsten Inert Gas Welder, had little to say about the fucking trash when challenged.

ZK:  What’s with the fucking trash, old man?

CS:  The wood was all part of a shed that was in the backyard. It was in the backyard for years and then it wasn’t. Then, it was in the front yard and it was broken up like that. That’s also when that big cart was there.

Would you just look at the fucking trash that this area jackass has?

Would you just look at the fucking trash that this area jackass has?

ZK:  The Lankville Daily News is not buying that shit explanation, man.

Mr. Slides just shrugged his shoulders and walked away. Later, we saw him inside the big shitty cart.

Calls to the Central Lankville Sanitation Department were answered.

“We know about Mr. Slides,” noted Sanitation Director Rudy Sakata. “His yard does have a lot of trash in it. But in that photo you faxed over, one can clearly see a blue trash can. We took that to mean that Mr. Slides is taking care of the issue.”

“The old man is all, like, acting like he doesn’t know how the trash got there,” I said. “It’s a big mind game if you want my opinion,” I countered.

“Well, there’s that wood cart there. And the cart is full. Clearly, some things are happening,” said Sakata.

My toaster pizzas were done then so, you know, I cut the interview short.

Mr. Keebaugh’s story also suddenly ended. 

Why is this Old Lady Staring at These Stuffed Animals in this Weird Way?

January 6, 2015 Leave a comment
By Zach Keebaugh

By Zach Keebaugh


I’ll admit it. It’s been awhile since I’ve worked. I needed something and fast. So, I took a job in a toy store.

I’m working right now. And there’s this old lady staring at these stuffed animals in this really weird way. It’s freaking me out, man.

She just keeps holding them at different distances from her face with that same demented smile. It’s crazy. Phil, the boss, he came over and asked me to go offer to help her. I was like, “Forget that shit, Phil.” He left and I went back to sorting the stuffed penguins– arranging them in rows by height. But I kept an eye on this crazy old broad.

This is the crazy old lady I was telling you about.

This is the crazy old lady I was telling you about.

I took a closer look. It was a bear and a tiger. What in the hell is the difference between a bear and a tiger? They’re both winners. How can you go wrong? Why the hell would it take, like twenty-five minutes to figure that shit out? It’s a choice of two, yo! Make it and be DONE with it.

So, in the end I bet you can’t even guess what this nutty grandma did. She left them both. Didn’t even buy a single one of them! Christ, I wanted to carom one off her noggin’ as she waddled on out. “Can you believe that fucking shit?” I said to Phil. Phil was all, “C’mon Zach, no cussing on the floor.” Phil’s religious- I always forget about that.

Here's the two stuffed animals that the old lady was pawing at.

Here’s the two stuffed animals that the old lady was pawing at.

So, I had to go see for myself what the hell was up. I picked up the bear and I picked up the tiger and then I put ’em side by side just the way the ol’ gal had ’em. I couldn’t tell any difference. So, I tried putting the same weird look on my face, staring at them in that same weird way. For a minute, I felt something strange, like something supernal, from beyond our world. But it passed quick and then it was, like, nothing.

I put them back on the shelf and now I’m headed to lunch.

Fuck it.

INVESTIGATION: What the Hell is Up at Local Pizza Joint?

December 16, 2014 1 comment
By Zach Keebaugh

By Zach Keebaugh

Paladin Pizza in Central Lankville has been in business since 1972. They operate out of a mean, one-story building nestled in front of a defunct factory. The parking lot is cracked and worn and the sidewalk in front of the door has nearly returned to dirt. The windows are covered by weather-beaten cardboard and the lighted sign has been burned out ever since I started living above the knives and puzzles shop across the street.

Finally, I had had enough. What the hell is up with this place? I aimed to find out.

I am Zach Keebaugh: Investigative Reporter.

I went in at lunchtime. The small, poorly-lit seating area was completely empty. Pieces of newspaper littered the floor. It felt like no heat had been on in the place for ages. There was no counter– merely a ragged chasm in the brown paneling that offered a view into the kitchen. A pulpy middle-aged face suddenly appeared in the breach.

“Let’s have a pie, make it a large and a steak sandwich too,” I called out. The pulpy face nodded very slightly and then disappeared. I took a seat and looked over the ancient laminated placemat. There was a little maze on there– you had to lead the pepperoni through the maze to the pizza on the other side. That was cool, that occupied me for a little while.

It was then that I became aware of complete and total silence. Nothing moved through the chasm. It was the absence of sound that stunned me, it was an absence of life as well. They have killed all their customers it suddenly occurred to me. The ovens are inoperable. There will be no pizza. There will be only the end. This is your denouement Keebaugh, I thought.

“Yo,” I called out. It was desperation, more than anything else. The pulpy, expressionless face returned. “Yo, are you making that pizza, that steak sandwich?” I started backing away towards the door– I could feel the thin strands of sunlight as I drew closer. The pulpy face said nothing. Relax, Keebaugh I thought. I breathed.

And then a bag was pushed through the chasm. The bottom was covered in grease. But there was something inside. It was the sub (and, as I unexpectedly found out later, the pizza too). They had shoved the pizza into a paper bag. It was eldritch, this pizza, made by phantoms.

I threw a twenty at the chasm. Some change somehow appeared.

“Enjoy your meal,” the chasm said. The pulpy figure was gone. I looked at the chasm. It grew suddenly grey outside. Nothing further was coming, I knew it. I thought about approaching, thought about trying to get a glimpse into the kitchen. But there was just no way, man. It was over. I had to accept it. The chasm had accepted it.

The pizza was good though. And so was the sub.

That’s what you should take away from this, man.

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