Mister Creeps

Here are a couple of old episodes of Creepy and Hatboy that Janica managed to scrounge up off Usenet for me. I thought it best if I blogged them, for whatever reason.

This lack-of-HTML-shortcutty is a pain in the ass. Why can’t I bold things without typing stuff in pointy brackets?

Achy Breaky Bottom

Creepy has worms.

There, I said it.

It’s not like I had any choice but to notice it – he tried to deny it, but I think that was more because he didn’t believe it himself than anything else. Can human beings even get worms? I guess they can. I don’t know how or why it’s happened to Creepy, but we’re going to have to do something about it.

Is Creepy’s sudden malady linked to the cessation in our pizza eating? Perhaps an unconscious cry for help against the injustice of life? Possibly. Is it linked to those Martian girls he hangs around with? Probably. Is it something I can lay at the feet of Yool, the disturbingly buff Christmas tree who has been here the whole time? Almost without a doubt.

Two days ago I saw him sliding around on the carpet. I thought it was a bit odd, but he talked his way out of it pretty well.

“I’m watching ‘Heathers’, ‘The Crucible’, ‘Alien Resurrection’, and ‘Edward Scissorhands’,” he said, “and if I stand up I’ll ruin the magic. I was just walking across the room, without standing up, for a bit of exercise. You know – stretch, and stuff.”

Damn him and his quick excuses.

“Want to stay and watch?” he asked me then. “We’re almost up to the bit where the android Winona gets shot. I’ve only rewound it six times so far.”

I’d been wondering, vaguely, what the heartbroken cries of, “Damn you, American science-military guy!” had been all about. They were clearly audible in the garage.

“Well, I’d like to join you,” I lied, watching him rub on the carpet some more, “but I’m busy in here,” to tell the truth, my project has hit a pothole lately – namely the personality files. Nobody I could imagine Creepy spending quality holodeck time with actually had a personality. Besides, I wasn’t about to sit in and share a Winonathon with my sidekick. He’d only invited me out of politeness.

When, the next day, I caught him with one of the bath towels, I knew something was wrong.

“I was just drying myself briskly,” he said.

“You’re not wet!” I exclaimed.

He smirked. “I dry myself good.”

“The water’s been off for the past two days!” this was my own fault, because of the digging I’d been required to do, but I felt it was a pertinent point.

“I was washing with dust, the way they do in ‘Tank Girl’.”

“But you’re still wearing your clothes!” it was, I felt, the crowning point in my favour.

Creepy looked at me pityingly. “I have to wash my clothes somehow,” he said. “In case you didn’t notice, we’ve got no water.”

Damn him.

Evil Doctors

Eventually, of course, enough was enough.

“We have to take you to a doctor,” I said.

“No doctors!” Creepy shouted from the toilet. “They’re evil, every single one of them! Need I remind you, Hatboy, that Hannibal Lecter was a doctor?”

“So’s Agent Scully. And Doctor Who,” I added with a flash of inspiration.

There was a silence. “Partial credit,” he said grudgingly, “but what about Dr. Kervorkian? And Dr. Frankenstein?”

“I thought you liked those guys!”

“Well, yeah, but they’re still evil! Not to mention, my poor ignorant super-sidekick, the fiendish villain Dr. No!”

“Dr. Watson’s okay.”

“Doesn’t know his left from his right without Sherlock to help him! Is that any sort of doctor you’d trust with your life?”

“Dr. Jekyll?”

“A manic depressive drug-addicted rapist and murderer masquerading as a saver of lives! Just like all doctors!”

“Dr. Klump. Sure, he was actually a professor, and a nutty one … but he was fat, and jolly, and he had a heart of gold!”

There was a cold silence. “You’d better not be talking about Eddie Murphy films, Hatboy,” he said. “Not in my house.”

“But you said Eddie Murphy was the world’s funniest little man!”

“I was thinking of Gary Coleman.”

“Okay, what about Dr. Doolittle?”

“That was Eddie Murphy too!”

“Not the original.”

“The original was a musical! You ARE trying to kill me! Anyway, Doolittle was a vet, not a doctor!”

I suddenly grinned.

“Okay,” I said. “It doesn’t matter anyway, since we haven’t got enough money to take you to the doctor.”

“Oh,” Creepy sounded disappointed. And itchy. “Don’t we?”

“No.”

“Well,” he said cheerfully. “No doctor for me, then.”

“No doctor,” I promised. And I meant it.

Revolution at the Clinic

The waiting room at the vetinary clinic was noisy and tense. There were about six dogs of different kinds, and bunch of cats and no less than three separate cages containing birds. The dogs were barking at each other and straining to get at the cats, the cats were hissing and wailing at the dogs and clawing at the birds, and the birds were shouting and crapping all over the place.

Some of the people in the waiting room looked at me strangely when I walked in without a pet, but they were too busy pacifying their own wretched animals to take issue with me. I sat down to wait.

It wasn’t long before the incessant noise got to me. There were no magazines to read and nobody seemed interested in talking, and after a few minutes the din of the upset pets began to give me a splitting headache. Eventually I could take no more, and rose to my feet and spoke thusly:

“My noble little friends, listen to yourselves! What has happened? What has gone so very wrong? Were you all not once part of the Animal Kingdom? Were you all not once part of the greatest, proudest Kingdom to grace this poor planet? Have we fallen so low? Once there was a time when all animals lived together in harmony, decency and respect. Canine, feline…” I gestured to myself modestly, “primate. How did we come to this? Shouting and thinking evil of one another – thinking evil of our fellow beings, even in this lowly house of healing we can find no respite from hatred and petty squabbling!

“Not always was it thus. Can those hallowed days of old ever be revisited, if we but dare to dream? I say they can, and we do! I say we should stand tall, and with all the dignity of our sophistication and diversity, and we should cry, ‘We are the Animal Kingdom!’ Yes, we are!
“Once, the world shook beneath our mighty, united paws. But no longer – now the Fungal Kingdom reigns in the ruins of what we leave behind. And even those upstart bastard cousins, the Plant Kingdom, laugh in our faces! It is time to make ourselves heard! We are animals, hear us roar! Or bark, or hiss or hoot! What is more important, after all? That dog chases cat? That cat eats bird? A thousand times, no! Even the smallest of us – that would be you…” I pointed to a tiny, hairless dog smaller than even the budgerigar – “even the smallest of us is bigger, in heart and soul and nobility, than these timeless, bitter differences that a cold and heartless evolution has pressed upon us like malleable clay of the riverbank. Are we not real? Have we not been fired in the harsh kiln of existence for long enough? I say yes! Yes! It is time!

“We are ready to disregard the urgings of obsolete instinct, to thumb our noses, muzzles and beaks at the petulant demands of outmoded evolution, and to throw off the shackles of meaningless so-called ‘animal drives’! Noble little friends – dare I say, allies – can’t we all just get along?”

There was silence in the waiting room. Satisfied, I climbed down off my chair and sat comfortably, waiting my turn with everybody else. The crowd seemed, for the most part, quite moved, but it was all the same to me as long as they were quiet. One bloodhound in particular seemed to be almost on the brink of tears, but you never can tell with those guys.

I was duly called in, and as the man who’d been waiting in line before me walked out of the clinic, I heard him talking to his cat.

“And when we get home, the first thing we’re going to do is pull up my wife’s fucking geraniums!”

The Happy Vetinarian

The vet’s office was a bit of a mess. Most notable was a potted fern, which had apparently been dropped on the floor upside-down, stamped on savagely, then used as a kitty-litter tray.

“What’s been going on in here?” I asked mildly.

The vetinarian, a chipmunky-looking man with thick spectacles, pointed to a large chart on the wall showing the various branches of the Animal Kingdom.

“Bit of a political rally,” he explained.

“Oh.”

“Where’s your pet?” he asked. “It’s not another gerbil accident, is it? I hate gerbils.”

“No no, nothing like that. He’s, well, he’s at home. He wouldn’t come out of the toilet when he found out where I was going.”

“Dogs are clever like that. Dog, right?”

I nodded with a grin.

“What’s his name?”

“Uh, Mister, um, Creeps.”

“And what’s the matter with Mister Creeps?”

“I think it’s worms,” I explained the symptoms. The vet nodded.

“Yep, you’re probably right. There’s a bottle of pills right here, I’ll fill out a prescription for you right now…here’s a form. Give him one of those pills every day, and he’ll be fine in a couple of weeks. Worms normally turn up as a result of poor diet…”

I knew it. Those bloody Martians.

The vet was filling out the prescription when he was interrupted by the nurse, who burst in and cried, “Doctor, it’s a miracle!”

“What?”

The nurse was flustered. “The dogs are walking themselves, the cats are lining up outside the toilets and the birds are quietly rehearsing a new anthem!”

“And the guinea pigs and gerbils?” the vet asked breathlessly.

“The guinea pigs are researching ways to make themselves into useful animals,” replied the nurse, “and the gerbils have all volunteered to be test subjects!”

“It’s like some wonderful dream!” cried the vet.

I pocketed the medicine. “How much do I owe you?”

“Oh, nothing! You don’t have to pay! Today, all medicine is free!”

I grabbed some horse tranquilizer as well, in that case – it might come in handy. “I wasn’t going to pay,” I commented. “That’s why I said, ‘how much do I owe you?’.”

The vet laughed. “Ah ha ha! Good joke!”

“It wasn’t a joke.”

“Ha ha!”

I left. Vets are weird.

Nickname of the beast

It went without saying that, once I returned and told Creepy what the wise people had said, there was no way I could get him to take the pills.

“Think of them as little treats,” I said.

“Mrmm!” Creepy didn’t even open his mouth, lest I attempt the impossible and throw a pill from across the room and land it right down his throat.

“Ah c’mon Mister Creeps. Be a good boy, and you can go and roll in the grass clippings.”

Creepy just glared at me, and scooted back and forth on the carpet again.

“Just take one, and if it kills you, you don’t have to take any more.”

Creepy opened his mouth. “No,” and closed it again.

“Well after all the shit I went through to get these. I left the house in the middle of the damn day. I walked halfway across town to the bus station, and there was wet grabage all over the seat so I had to stand and wait for the bus. Then I had to take the bus on pension day. I had to sit next to an old woman who smelled of cheese. I had to listen to her talk about her gout. Then I had to walk from the bus station to the clinic. I walked past a busker playing an electric keyboard. I sat and waited in a seedy little waiting room. I made peace between cats and dogs. And then I had to come all the way back.”

“Mph.”

There was a pause.

“Hatboy?”

“What.”

“Get me a coke?”

“No.”

“Why don’t you get your own?”

“I would, but those tiles out there are cold.”

“Not if you walk.”

Creepy snorted. “I’m sure they wouldn’t be if I flew, either – but it just isn’t going to happen.”

I’d just had an idea. “Okay,” I gave in, and went to the kitchen.

The pill didn’t dissolve, even in the coke, but I knew I could make Creepy drink it fast. I took the two glasses of coke back to the TV and handed his over.

“Race!” I shouted, and chugged my drink.

Creepy beat me, as he always does in the one-glass dash. He can’t match me in the marathons – what I lack in speed I make up for in stamina and sheer volume. He smirked and set his empty glass down.

“I win again, Mister Therin,” he said…and plucked the pill out from between his teeth and his lip. He put it on the table soggily. “Look,” he went on, ignoring my glare, “the question is not whether I’ll take these pills. The question is, what should my worm’s name be? I suggest Winona.”

“You would.”

“What about Bob, then?”

“That’s your favourite axe’s name, isn’t it?”

“Okay, okay. Crawley. Creepy and Crawley.”

“Moderately cool,” I allowed, not wanting to be outdone, “but not perfect.”

“Go on then, smarty. What should I call it?”

I told him.

Afterwards, we watched the Voyager double-episode “The Year of Hell”. At the end of it, Creepy was still laughing.

Molly Ringworm

All things considered, we’ve had worse house guests than Molly. She was quiet, and cheap, and only bothered Creepy, and even that was turned to his advantage within a week. She was much nicer than that awful ninja friend of his, I’ll say that much.

“Hatboy! Molly craves tacos!”

Well, okay. There was one drawback.

“See, I’m eating for two now,” he explained from his accustomed position on the carpet, “and I have to be…” – rub rub rub – “…responsible.”

“You want tacos.”

“Not me. It’s not me. It’s Molly.”

“But you want them too.”

“Yes.”

“I can’t make tacos. You can, but I can’t. You know I can’t make tacos.”

“But I can’t go into the kitchen. The tiles…Molly dislikes the tiles.”

“Molly.”

“Yes. Look, I can shout out instructions to you as you make them, like an air traffic controller bringing down a panicking pilot,” Creepy cupped his hands over his mouth. “Roger Bravo Charlie, Molly craves tacos, over.”

“What about burgers?”

Creepy lowered his hands to reveal a suspicious, narrow expression. “With what in? Molly doesn’t like noodles in burgers.”

“What about just noodles?”

“Molly craves tacos.”

“Molly’s going to die a very hungry worm.”

Creepy glowered. “Molly does not appreciate your funnies.”

“Doesn’t she,” I had an idea then. He couldn’t go into the kitchen, eh? “I’m going to make dinner.”

“Tacos.”

“Whatever I make.”

“Tacos.”

“You’ll eat it. Or I will.”

“Tacos.”

“I’ll eat it anyway. You can have it if you want.”

“Tacos.”

First-Degree Wormicide

“Molly says thank you.”

“Does she.”

“Yes. She’s pleased with you.”

“I’d rather not be told.”

“It’s good. I’m impressed.”

“Thanks.”

“How’d you get them to deliver? I thought the pizza delivery driver strike thing – ”

“It wasn’t delivered. I made it.”

“Hey! It’s good!”

“I know.”

“I didn’t know you could make pizzas.”

“I can.”

“Molly might get you to make them every day, now that she knows you can make them this well.”

“Might she.”

“Yeah. They’re good work.”

“I know they are.”

“The bases are great.”

“It’s not real pizza base. All I could find at the shop was Lebanese bread.”

“Lebanese bread makes good pizza base.”

“I thought so.”

“What are these bits?”

“Tomato. Or marinated chicken.”

“No, these white crunchy hard bits.”

“Oh. Peppercorns.”

“They’re white.”

“White pepper.”

“They’re big.”

“Peppercorn on the cob.”

“They taste funny.”

“Eat up, Mister Creeps.”

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy. https://hatboy.blog/2013/12/17/metalude-who-are-creepy-and-hatboy/
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