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NaDruWriNi - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
Arright, I got my National Drunk Writing Night story! I was at a loss for a plot, so I decided to improvise a detective story with some vague ideas, none of which were fully implemented, except for the part in which I express a gripe against postmodernism. See, as I was writing, plonq and atara kept coming into the room to read excerpts (or have me read excerpts) of what they were working on, and they're good writers, even when drunk. My characters and plot, on the other hand, handn't even gotten anywhere yet, so I felt incredibly inadequate and rushed to accomplish something as quickly as possible. They didn't know they were having that effect on me.

So I made myself write far too quickly, while drunk, while trying to be absurd at the same time. I used a cop-out at the end with one of the antagonists getting vaporized. Thing is, I'd used this cop-out before, in the other short absurd detective piece I'd written nine years earlier. For this earlier story, I wasn't drunk, and had felt no pressure to write quickly - the only constraint was that the story had to contain specific plot elements. (A musical instrument, a specialist, someone named Betty, and agricultural destruction.) So if you'd like to compare, you can read the earlier work. Hopefully, there's a difference in the absurdity. If not, maybe I should give up that style.

But you know, I'm glad I did this event in the company of such good friends. It was a lot of fun! Also, it would have been less safe to drink alone at home, and as it turned out, I wouldn't have had enough alcohol at home either.

[Addendum: How the heck does one use "bookmarklets" to post to del.icio.us ? They've got a list for this writing thing set up, yet absolutely no decent documentation. I'm very sleepy and very confused.]

Here's my drunk story. It was written after consuming a strawberry marguarita, four bottles of Mike's Hard Lemonade (7% vodka), and while drinking a further four or five shots' worth of Finlandia vodka (40-proof?) mixed with Pepsi and diet lime Coke.

- - - - -

Kurt Violendio focused on an empty space halfway between his head and the ceiling as he took a distracted whiff of his cigar. Not inhaling, of course - it wasn't lit - just smeling it. For a moment he lost himself in the scent, deep burnt leaves and earth from the auburn slopes of Havana. The mment was ruined as the door to his office swung open and his phone rang simultaneously. Sitting up upruptily, the cigar tip jammed up his nose, which he yanked out while flushing a deep red. The dark-haired woman in the marine blue dress stared at him, one manicured eyebrow poised above the other un-manicured eyebrow.

"Hi, er, excuse me a moment," he blurted, grabbing the phone with his left hand and putting his cigar to his ear. "Hel-- oh hell," he said, switching them the right way around.

"Hell to you too, Violendio," said a sharp male voice on the other end of the phone, sounding seriously drunk. "No one wants to talk to me tonight. My wife, my priest, my other wife, my therapist..."

"Counsellor?" Kurt interrupted, trying to keep track of the conversation while he tried to keep the woman's attention before she walked off and he lost a client. He motioned earnestly to the side-table, covered with bric-a-brac as if it was terribly important to bring him something from it. He threw the cigar off to one side.

"...My accountant, my other priest, some guy I dialled at random.." he broke done blubbering.

"Counsellor... look, can I call you back in a fre minutes?"

"There's something big going down, honcho," the counseller growled, "I need some help with this.. not like the other time. This time there's fruit involved."

Damnit, Kurt thought. The woman held up a sequence of magazines., writing utensils and coffee mugs as he shook his head negtively after each. He covered the phone mouthpiece. "I told you to avoid that stuff. Look, I'd like to talk, but I've got a client here."

The counsellor mumbled something dark and incomprehensible before the line went dead.

"Sorry about that," Kurt apologized, hanging up and sitting up tstraight. He pulled his shirt shtraint at belt level and brushed back his hair, putting on a glistening smile, or a reasonable hand-drawn facsimile. The woman offered him one of the side-table mugs and he nodded as if it was exactly what he had been looking for, taking it and pretending to take a sip of the brown slop inside, then casually dropping it into the side-drawer of his desk. "Kurt Violendio, private eye. What can I do for you?"

"Just one eye, Mr. Violendio?" the woman purred, raising her eyebrow again, obviously a well-practiced maneover. "And what do you do with the other eye?"

"My other eye and I aren't exactly on speaking terms at the moment," Kurt said evasively. "But you can trust to it be completely confidential, Miss..?"

"Miss Alderton. You may have heard of me, Miss Alderton's Carpet Roll and Fajita Emporium."

"Of course, of course. I've hard the piano business is very lucrative these days, Miss Alderton."

"We prefer to use the term, 'Shoes in a tub,', Mr. Violendo. Actually I've got a little problam along those lines that I'd like someone to investigate."

"Certainly," the dtective replied. "I've got several people I could recommend to you who specialize in commercial inquiries.."

"I meant yoU", she said, frowning.

"Oh! Of course. Corry, I'm been doing a lot of consultant referrals lately. I've been busting grape traders to pay the bills. Most of them try to hide behind the '78 raisin amnesty. So, what needs looking into?"

"I recently had to cut my partner, Lou Stark, out of the carpet part of my business. I'm worried he may be providing my competitors with confidential information as to my business practices."

"I'm not realy suited for industrial espionage," Kurt admitted. "It's hard to pass yourself off in a field of expertise in which you know nothing about. Hey, don't get me wrong," he said defensively, holding uyp his hands, "I love carpets and that stuff, "But I couldn't talk my way around that subject with a fireplace."

"I don't know about that," Alderton smirked. "Ever since the university closed down, postmodernist literary critics have flocked to the business like you wouldn't believe. Get yourself a pocket encyclopedia of 19th-century authors and bullshit your way, you won't have a problem - just don't say anything that makes any sense."

"I'm intrigued, Miss Alderton," Kurt smiled. "No time like the present then. Fill out my standard form here--" he said, handing her a coffee-slop-stained pink sheet from his side-drawer, "And I'll see what I can do. It's four hundred a day, plus expenses." After afew minutes she handed back him a scribbled form to him. "Tell me about Stark."

"We went into the business together in '79, but the economy grew faster than his ability and scope. He never could see the big picture, anticipating our competitors and taking advantage of niches. Creating a brand, a desire for carpets and fajitas where people didn't even think they needed any. He wanted to keep it a family business. We had some.. creative disappointments. Er, disagreements. You know." He brushed her hand dismissively off to th side, knocking over a large abstract mobile hanging from the ceiling. "Go to it, tiger."

"I stalked out of my office, forgetting to lock it behind me, Miss Alderton," I tripped aover the hulkingkt ranchcoated form crouching on the other side of my office door. "Staring in amazement."

"...The hell?" I swore. Some guy a foot taller than I was was laid sideways holding a hearing stethosscope, dressed in a tan trenchcoat and listening to my door. "What are you doing?"

"The night had taken yet another turn for the worse, my client's worst fears come true. The Alderton woman was not to be trusted, vindticeness at worst, and now my cover was blown."

"What cover? What kind of idiot listens at someone's door? The hairdessers or the tattoo artists could've seen you, clients going in and out at all hours. Why didn't you just tap my phone like the Maori did?" I stmped away from the nutcase, my head to the ground, but the noise folwed me.

"He stomped down the hall, and slinking through the sahows, I follwed. He moved like an ox on rollerskates. Threatening and comannding sheer presense, yet erratic and prone to disco music."

I hopped into my Plymouth convertible and stared off on the San Ferned highway. He followed me two cars back in the lane, through a loudspeaker. "The night was swift. Qucikly moving to following the detective, we moved down the turnpike in tandem, a rough hose of stars trailing above us in the bitter dusk."

I chwed my steering wheel, wincing as his voice hung over me like a dead crab all the way to Vanhelen. The office billboard of Stark, Winthorpe and Crumbleton swerved into view. Well, techincally I swerved intothe billboard, but who cares, motion is all relative anyway. Once we'd agreed on using the same frame of reference I stumbled out of the smouldering ruins, swearing.because I'd forgotten to ask Miss Alderton why both her eyebrows were over the same eye. You only get the chance to spit out thse savvy detective lines once before the opportunity is lost.

Stark was standing over a fishtank when I marched in, the sharp smell of orange zest floating in the air. "Mr Stark? I'm Julian Figgy. I've got a taco stand I'm thinking of expanding and I heard you were a man to talk to. That is... if you are a man?"

One of the two hulking brutes next to Stark stood up, which was pretty incredible as they were already standing up to begin with."Mr. Stark's a busy man. People say a lot of things."

I smirked. "The concept of the 'other' accentuates the feminitity of Foucault's later writing, to the extent that it contracits karl Popper. You can only have as much string as you hang yourself with, and the semiotic paraphrasing that Chateaubriand so cunningly extends into a hermeneutic exo-context supplies the livid breath, so far as Proust is concerned," I jibed ribaldly. "Pre-materialist."

Stark nodded. "I'm listening."

"Bursting into the woom, the disgruntled ex hammer-facrmer glowered obsessively, wiping the remains of his supelcure off his shirt, stumbling in alas too late to prevent the awesome carnage."

I spun around. "Didn't I lose you back at the billboard? Who the hell are you?"

"Mr. Vociferous is here by my invitation," slurred Mr. Ctark. "Or shoudl I said, Invistation."

"He baulked atthe shape of the detective's fist, as if to say, No, no this isn't real, the socially constructed action of the moment--" he fell to the floor before he could complete his thought.

"I want to know what you know about Miss Alderton," I stated to Stark, his rolled-up sleeves pulsing. "I've got a hangar to dry with her and I'm not waiting around for the fire to come home. And why you hired a second-class... something or other.. to trail me."

"Your tacos are nothing," Snark snapped, "You're in over your head, big guy. Alterton's way too strong for whatever you're trying to muscle over me. Drop out of the game before you get hurt."

"What are you talking about? I bet if I look into that fishtank I'll find citrus. That's a crime and a half. Not counting the fish. Two and a half with the fish. And the Arabian cross-stitch over there. Take it or leave it."

"Alderton's after the narrative, a meta-structure that you can't concerive of. The wrestle for control of it will effect both our businesses. That's what this is really about. She's bluffing you. And now you've fallen for her little trap."

"What are you talking about? Cut it out with the narrtive bull, I'm here to get a crutch in on the fajita scheme of things."

"It's no good, Mr. unidentified person. You've been unwillingly adopted into the larger scheme of the structure. Now that you've knocked VOciferous out we're in great peril." The walls had started to grey and the wood floor had lost its texture. My tongue felt like cotton and a dull glaze settled across the windowed landscape, the margins making themselves evident with the oncoming dawn. The posted speed limits only gave us so much time before the inevitable. "You're a part of this now, not beyond it. Go on, try."

I gulped. "The... speckled... tarp, Snark looked up at me quizzically. I gasped for breath. I knew there was more than... uh... more than where I was.. somewhere. Thing happened in bunches. I... crap!"

"You see? You only know as much as you know, but try to apply that knowledge beyond,a nd you hit a wall. We're losing definition."

I grabbed Vociferous by the plastic lapels and shook him violently. "Wake up, damn you!" I slapped him twice. I guess it would have been more effective if I'd gotten anywhere near his face.

"Smrt..." he bumbled, rolling his head side to side. "Rn... buttern..."

Stark, his two goons and I ran for the car, outracing the haze as he poured spirits onto Vociferous, before I remembered the smelling salts in the trunk locker. "Wake up! Where are we?" Violendo screamed,a voidning nothing with a swift turn of the wheel.

"The police office loomed before them, wheels spinning to a halt as..." Vociferous burbled.

"Oh crap," the detective sighed. They stumbled out of the vehicle as they stumbled up the front concrete steps, dragging their contextualizer in front of them, which isn't technically dragging, so forget the whole steps part. As soon as they were through the door, they took a much baited breath. "Okay, I thinked we ditched... no one," Kurt admitted, before the hulking form of the commissioner knocked him over.

"Violendio... I ned a fix, a fix bad," the commissioner sobbed. "Please... a cassaba... a pile of lemons... a fig... little figgy.. please, anything!"

Alderton appeared at the end of the corridor holding a luger. "That's far enough, gentlemen. We're come far enough. Take a seat." We did, but of course the goons had already stood twice, so now they were simply on their feet. "Hand over Vociferous."

"Over my dead body," I snarled. "My other dead body," I quickly corrected. "What's in it for you if we do?"

"Sometmes you need to place the greater text in a conceptual frame work," she smiled. "Once I get control, you'll be out of business for good."

"Hey commissioner," I glibbed, "Have an apricot." It helps to have a bit of the underground on you in case you get into trouble. I flung the sticky at the dame full fource.

"FIGGY!" the rancid politician shouted, almost rolling toward the vague blue figure in front of him.

"Noooo!' she shouted, a shot rining out. Making everyone jump. There was a sharp flash, then carnage, or the absense of such. The smouldering wreckage left nothing but a missing wall ( the gap was perfectly rectangular, which was quite considerate), a faded calendar, and the our antagonist had vanished seemingly nto thin air.. A half-commissionier-shaped crater graced the floor after we removed the commissioner from the scene. Crouching in his own lock-up, he sucked at a bitter lemon, sevoring the irony.

A few hours later I had managed to stumble back to my office, the taste of stale prunes haging on my breatrh. "Well, that's another job well-- crap, no one paid me."

"I gazed at the pink and brown sheet on my desk." Like a lot of good this guy was going to do me.

"I can't even collect on someone that doesn't exist anymore," I said as I slumped down in my chair.

"The light of the dawn sun slipped through the slitted window-shades, breaking my thoughts like the deciduous components of my inner thoughts, a quantum movement beyond conceptualiztion, and--"

There's something to be said for floor-length freshwater fish tanks.

Three weeks later, the clams were delicious.

Current Mood: chipper chipper

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plonq From: plonq Date: November 8th, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
The surrealness of this little anecdote allowed me to conceptualize the blue giraffe. Or as Faust would say, "Braaaaaains..." because he is long dead, and he would be a brain-eating zombie if he said anything at all.
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