Congratulations, John Bennett! (re-posted in honor of Kurt V.)

The winner is presented his prize in a lavish ceremony at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.

OK, well, as promised, I have written a story in honor of the winner of my “Get Me a Wii” contest.

The problem is, the winner of the contest is none other than my monkey butler, Jody “Pickles” Bennett. Yes, I am as surprised as you are that he came through.

When you wish upon that shooting star, you don’t expect it to fly through your window and embed it’s sizzling hot embers in your anus, but hey, what are you gonna do?

Originally, I was going to fulfill my end of the bargain and craft a new and unique story in his honor, but then I thought, “what has this dickweed ever done for me?” and decided to just paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Six, the sequel to his signature work, Slaughterhouse Five, substituting Pickles’ name for those of all the main characters’.

So please, don’t sue me. I know I am plagiarizing, but I had heart surgery.

That said, I give you the winning entry, which I have titled, “Cross-Country Kangaroo”.

Before I even opened my eyes, I knew my dog, Bob Barker, was dead. He was nearly 13 years old, which is like a hundred in dog years. His once lustrous coat was now mangy. When he was a puppy, I would rub my nose in the fur on the back of his neck, just to breathe in his new dog aroma. Now, as I lay there in my bed with my eyes closed, I breathed in the smell that I knew, instinctually, could mean one thing: death.

But I was wrong. It was just Pickles.

Pickles had been my family’s servant for many years. As I have written before, the Filipkowskis had a tradition of “adopting” poor children from third world nations to be raised alongside their own offspring, for the sole purpose of serving them.

Why use kids as servants? Because it’s really cute to see a 3 year old girl in a maid uniform. Ditto a little boy in a tuxedo, especially if he already looks a lot like a monkey.

Well, eventually that monkey grows up and doesn’t look so cute anymore. As he got older and his hormones began to kick in, Pickles became somewhat of a liability to my family and we had to get rid of him. My parents had tried to have him castrated, to alleviate the problem, but damned if they couldn’t find a single doctor in the country willing to touch his testicles, even for a hundred grand.

So one day, my father drove Pickles out to the woods and set him free. After a few years, he found his way back to the big city where he has been harassing me ever since.

He desperately wants to be my butler again, but I have long since outgrown the need for butlers and servants. I am a man of the people and I can put on my gold-plated penis sock all by myself, thank you very much.

Every few weeks, I would wake up to find Pickles standing over me, eagerly awaiting my vivification, as had been his custom while in the employ of my family.

Normally, these visits were unwelcome. Pickles would simply scale the 16 stories up to my high-rise luxury apartment and climb in through an open window, but today was different.

Pickles and I were going to Disney World.

We were on a mission to confront Pickles’ deepest, darkest fears.

Anyone who knows me, knows of my great love affair with the Disney theme parks. Beyond the sentimental value of reliving my greatest childhood memories, they served a practical purpose: they were the one place on earth I knew Pickles would never follow me.

As a very young child, I had been on one of my sojourns to Florida when my servant came to me with a request. Normally such a brazen flouting of protocol would have landed Pickles a severe beating, but as I was drunk and somewhat more mellow, I allowed him to ask his favor.

He had heard that his favorite professional wrestler, who I learned had the distinction of being the only Semitic athlete in the entire sport, a fellow named “Goldstein”, would be at the park the next day for the grand opening of the German pavilion at Epcot.

Since I would be there anyway, to celebrate the festivities, I figured it wouldn’t be the end of the world if ol’ Pickles got to meet his hero.

Well, I learned a valuable lesson that day: never go soft on the help. Poor Pickles got to meet Goldstein, personally. And by “got to meet”, I mean “got molested by”. It was awful. I heard my servant repeatedly crying for help, but I was enjoying a particularly delicious pretzel and I also had known Pickles to be somewhat dramatic, so I figured there was a small chance he was faking.

Luckily, someone else finally heard his screams over the jaunty tune of the Oompa band and put a stop to all the shenanigans. Of course, I refused to press charges, not wanting the black mark of bad publicity to fall upon my family name, so Goldstein walked away scot free and Pickles resumed carrying my trinkets which I had purchased, as soon as the EMTs released him from their care.

So, ever since then, Pickles had refused to go to Disney World, no matter how many vicious lashings he received.

But it was time for some healing. Pickles needed to step up and look his past straight in the face and realize it wasn’t all his fault. Since I wasn’t going to attend a wrestling match with a bunch of poor people and have him cause a big scene, I figured taking him back to Disney World was the next best thing.

I had sent Pickles to purchase two first-class tickets to Orlando, under the strict assurance that we would not be going to Disney World, but rather to Fun Time Safari, which is a cheesy, drive-thru wild animal attraction that I made up just now.

Well you can imagine my disappointment when I woke to find Pickles standing over me with an envelope full of excuses, instead of the tickets I had demanded.

He blathered on and on about my credit card being declined or some such nonsense. It was only after I had boxed his ears that I remembered I actually may have forgotten to make my last few payments. Oh, I had the money, I just didn’t feel like paying sometimes. I’m rich, they should let it slide.

Anyway, it was no matter, I had a plan. Pickles dressed me and we left for the airport. When we arrived, he retrieved the wheelchair I had stolen from one of my elderly relatives from the trunk of the car and I sat down in it. He wrapped some blankets around me and started pushing me towards the terminal.

As we approached the counter, I tried to look as sickly as possible. It was the same ol’ scam we had pulled a thousand times before and Pickles knew his part well.

He told the woman at the counter that we were on the 2:40 flight to Orlando and gave her the name “Bill Peterson”. As she started to inform him that there was no Bill Peterson on that flight, I began my coughing fit.

Pickles was visibly shaken. He informed the woman that the man from the contest had told us our tickets would be waiting for us at the gate. When she assured him that there were no tickets, he started to cry and asked her why would the man lie about that? Especially after we had given him the two-thousand dollar contest entry tax.

A small crowd had gathered. A middle-aged mother of four asked if she could get a cup of water for me, as my coughing had increased in frequency, as well as volume. Pickles informed her through his tears that I had a severe allergy to water, but thank you very much, that was really thoughtful.

People were sympathetic to the plight of the two simpletons, one of whom was sickly, as they explained their story. Unfortunately, they weren’t sympathetic enough to all chip in and buy us tickets, as I had hoped.

It just wasn’t our lucky day. Pickles wasn’t going to get the chance to confront his demons and I wasn’t going to get my trip to Disney World. Oh sure, with a few simple phone calls to my bank, I could have cleared up the credit card snafu and we would have been on our way, but what’s the fun in that?

As I rose from my wheelchair amidst the cries of, “hey, he doesn’t really have cancer!” I knew it was time for me to stop coddling Pickles. I couldn’t solve all his problems and even if I could, he was a grown man now and he needed to start looking for solutions on his own.

I explained to the crowd that I had been forced to fake an illness so that this man, whom I suspected of being a terrorist, could gain access to an airplane which he clearly intended to crash into the White House.

Well, if this had been pre-9/11, they might have just called the police on him, but instead, one of the men whipped the assembled masses into a patriotic fervor as he uttered those famous words, “let’s roll” and proceeded to tackle Pickles to the ground where he subsequently received 342 kicks (thankfully) to the head.

Well, my friend was in jail and I was a hero. They threw me a parade and I even got to go to Disneyland. It wasn’t as good as Disney World, but I realized that if you listen to your heart, everything will work out in the end, just not always in the way you were expecting.



  1. I stood in line for that?!

    I didn’t even finish it.

    Although I’m sure it’s just as good as a zombie western after page 3.

    Your monkey Butler,

    PS: the intro was good at least!

  2. Sorry, Jody. You will never have back those precious minutes of your life, which you probably would have wasted anyway.

    This wasn’t too inspired — kind of a cross between “In Defense of Child Labor” and “My Broken Heart.”

  3. The Vonnegut/Dangerfield colaberation reminds me also of the Bowie/Crosby duet for the Little Drummer Boy. Painful to look at, but you can’t quite bring yourself to look away….like watching a baby get punched in the face. Horrific? Sure. Oddly compelling? Damn straight!

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