Working on a new freelance illustration project. :)
BrainWash Cafe has sticky tables, warm beer, and guys who stand on a sad little stage singing sad songs. They always say they're from the Midwest or wherever, as if San Francisco really needs to import lanky, emotional guys with acoustic guitars.
It's awkward. I mean, it's great that they're up there playing their music, putting themselves out there. That takes bravery and confidence I don't have, and some of them are really good. But I just want to get a beer, you know? And I have to walk right up in front of the stage and yell-talk over their emotions to get one, pitifully pretending that, due to some catastrophic malfunction in my frontal lobe, I haven't noticed that they're standing right there blowing poetry-snot out of their tear-clogged noses. Because if I notice them I have to pretend I care.
I just want a beer.
I guess I'm an asshole. I really do appreciate them sharing their art, I just don't want to have to be there when they do it. I much prefer the thought of guys traveling the country playing Johnny Cash covers than the actual experience.
Also, the food isn't very good, the cashiers look like they'd rather pull out their front teeth with live jumper cables than talk to you [update: there's one guy who's pretty cool], and they're always out of something.
I stop by pretty often. It's just one of those places you go. I wonder if anyone knows why.
- Pore cauterizer
- Bag of unwanted hair
- At home pet neutering solution
- A kit for turning foot calluses into papier-mâché
- Spray-on pork
- A piggy bank that’s a butt and it farts when you put a coin in it*
- Cat weave
- Memory foam tampons
*real “As Seen on TV” product
Crap, I guess there's already a Roger Rabbit, isn't there? That's a shame...let's just call him Mr. Hare. I decided to put him on a shirt. For me, really, but you could have one. Spreadshirt is pretty expensive, though. Sorry.
Garfield revealed his claws and clasped Jon’s mug. It was half-empty, sloshing with oily, lukewarm coffee. “Blech,” thought Garfield. “How does Arsebuckle drink this?”
Garfield had been half-awake when Jon hurriedly swiped his coat and shouted from the door about a big date with Liz. The newspaper on the table was open to the film section. “Big date,” thought Garfield.
Jon was at one of those big suburban cineplexes, the kind with a fountain out front for children to wet their filthy fingers in before a showing of Did I Do That? (the Family Matters reunion movie) or whatever animated garbage was playing. Jon would be alone in an aisle seat—in case he needed to “piddle”—watching some pathetic romcom, glancing to the empty seat next to him and smiling at “Liz” during the mushy parts. He’d invented her years ago.
“Every Sunday,” thought Garfield. "It never ends." He turned the paper over to the comics section—the only section worth reading—and scanned the page. The crossword had been started, two conflicting words scrawled in, both wrong. “For Christ’s sake.”
Garfield leaped from the table. His rotund midsection flattened at first, then bounced off his hind quarters and rippled into his chest—a midair spurt of momentum which landed him on the kitchen counter. He pawed open the junk drawer and pierced a cardboard matchbox with his index claw.
Odie, his faithful companion, watched from the beige linoleum floor. He rolled back his tongue and clamped his usually slack, drool bucket of a jaw. “Look Odie,” thought Garfield. Odie tilted his head. “Jon is in a rut.”
“Not just any rut, Odie. He’s at the bottom of a fucking fracking pipe. He’s contaminating our water.”
Garfield struck the match and took a whiff of sulfur smoke. “Smell that, Odie?” Odie tilted his head to the other side. “Smells like change. Smells like fucking life, doesn't it?"
Odie barked as Garfield held the match to an edge of the kitchen's peeling flower wallpaper. “Get out now, Odie.” Odie barked again, louder. “This isn’t just for Jon, old friend.”
Odie leaped to the edge of the counter, paddling at the cabinets with his hind legs. He caught the top of a drawer and pushed his oversized head onto the tiles. Garfield faced the burning wall, hypnotized by the crackling, bubbling wallpaper. “Just go, Odie. Shoo.”
Odie bit down on Garfield’s scruff, but as he yanked at the overweight cat, his paws only slipped and slid over the smooth counter. Garfield sat, immovable, as the flames now licked at the upper cabinets. “Go.”
Then, with all the saliva he could squeeze from his glands, Odie unfurled his tongue.
The impressive pink muscle seared and blistered like a pan steak as Odie ran it up the wall to where it met the sooty cabinets. Black smoke engulfed them.
“Boys!” yelled Jon as he unlocked the front door. “What’s that smell?”
As the smoke rose and glowing particulates dimmed and settled, Garfield turned his head. Odie was sprawled over the counter, twitching and whimpering, his hind legs draped over the lip of the sink. “Oh my God!” said Jon.Garfield turned to his owner. "Good thing I found the fire ex-tongue-guisher!"