out everyone, generic John Smith is loose again! Hide your goodies and
brace your own! There’s no telling where this rip-roaring rampage will
abate. Yes, “abate” my dear friends, for this tale shall never “end.”
Mere abatement is the best we can, and should, hold out for. As if our
lives had a nice, conveniently placed, pause button. No actual definable
End, but not even a “real” “beginning” or “middle,” either. Plain old
chapter stops. Envision the chapter stops as ancient, handwritten
scrolls where each chapter is a different scroll, or envision them as a
new release DVD with scene selections. Either way, you should get the
idea. Close your eyes, point your finger, and hit a random button. It’ll
get you somewhere.
John Smith glances out from his patio, directly at the reader, and
smiles as if nothing is wrong. Of course, he understands that him being
viewed is a complete assault on his definition of reality, but he takes
it in stride. “Just a drug flashback…,” or some such bullshit is how he
defines or justifies this awareness. As quickly as not, he forgets it
and begins thinking about rubber chickens. Kind of a defense program.
When things gets too rough in “reality,” he shuts down most systems and
runs basic cold/heat, pain/pleasure type functions, with a piggy-back
hacker-style surreal thought inducer: The Rubber Chicken.
John Smith approaches a brown-out or black-out situation he has these
functions occur at once. Then, he is thinking about rubber chickens.
time he envisions a complex history of marketing and development.
Beginning with Herman Winslow. Herman, of course, is the inventor of the
plastic vomit spot. (“Fool your friends! Looks like real vomit!”) His
next invention, Crystal Dog Doo, never caught on. His competitor, Albert
Rubinstein, had much better luck with his rubber version. Soon, Rubber
Dog Doo™! and Fake Puke™! were competing for the Guinness Book of World
Records position of best-selling novelty item.
Herman made a terrible mistake. He sank all of his money into a new
novelty product. The Flannel Chicken. He paid an estimated two million dollars
for 5 million Flannel Chickens. His assessment of the public’s buying
prices and habits cost him dearly. The original price of the Flannel
Chicken was $14.95. He sold less than five hundred of the five million
units in the first year. Only two thousand sold the following year for
less than five dollars each. By the third year of release, he had been
completely wiped out. His fatal flaw, as in the case of Crystal Dog Doo,
was in misinterpreting the needs of the buying public. Again, his main
competitor Rubinstein had outdone him with another “Rubber” version. The
Rubber Chicken outsold the Flannel Chicken to a ratio approaching 10,000
to 1. While this ratio gained the Rubber Chicken a place in Novelty
Record history, it also granted a place in Faux Chicken esoterica.
The Flannel Chicken now has an asking price in excess of $10,000
whenever an original one turns up in auction. As there are only 148
Flannel Chickens known to be still in existence, it is also the rarest
known mass-produced Novelty Collectible.
Revenge beyond the grave? Only if it doesn’t come in rubber.
Collect This magazine
Vol XXIII Number V