Thursday, May 11, 2006

Let's hear it for the boy!

I finally was able to post a picture on the blog! Thanks to the helpful advice of David Silverman (see Comment #3). I am seriously like a chimp placed in front of a word processer, totally unable to do anything that's not obvious, or already in the toolbar. But there you have it, the sparkling Storytime postcard as created by Lauren Butler, ne Snyder.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


(Note: This is the first part of the April 16,2006 four part story. By Saara Dutton, Pete Olsen, Ari Voukydis and David Silverman. Copyright the Authors. They collaborated on this one story together to see how it would go. The story was composed in the fashion of the child's game Telephone. Writer 1 handed off her story to Writer 2, who handed off their story to Writer 3, who did not see what Writer 1 wrote. Get it? Anyway, I think it turned out very well.--Dave.)

Pt. 1
by Saara Dutton

Speeding down Wanamaker Road to his A/A meeting on a typically windy Topeka day, inhaling his last Lucky Strike cigarette, Frank Wurtsbaugh had exactly three things on his mind:
He hated his job. There were few professional fates worse than being a wedding DJ in Topeka, Kansas. In fact, if he had to play "Dancing Queen" one more time for one more fat assed bridesmaid hopped up on white zinfandel he was going to rip her fucking arms right out of their sockets and beat her with them.
Shelly Jasper had a pussy like no other.
3.) In exactly 24 hours he and three other alcoholics would be robbing the
Wal-mart Super Center he’d just passed.
And while he really should have been focusing his attentions on the third thing, he couldn’t stop thinking about the second. Damn if that pussy wasn’t tasty. Normally he wasn’t too keen on heading downtown, but this pussy was different. Like it had vitamins and nutrients and…you know, other good shit in it. He felt energized afterwards. It was like spinach or something. Well sort of. Except as a kid no one ever told him,
"Frank, eat your pussy or you won’t grow up big and strong."
Still, he wouldn’t have the worry about the third thing on his mind if it wasn’t for the first thing. The salary for a wedding DJ in Topeka, Kansas wasn’t exactly what you would call lucrative. Enduring a work environment that was both sonically stagnant and rife with assholes gave him nothing in return but a malnourished bank account. Which brought him to the second thing. If he wanted to keep a woman like Shelly around, he needed an infusion of cash pretty quickly. A woman like that needed money for pedicures, teeth bleaching, and dance lessons.
Sure right now she was just in the chorus of the Helen Hocker Center for the Performing Arts production of CATS, but soon she’d be on Broadway, like her idol, Chita Rivera. With looks like Shelly’s, it was bound to happen. Not many women could claim to be Queen of the Shawnee County Crazy Days Parade for three years in a row. Which is why tomorrow while she was waving prettily at everyone from the top of a shiny float, he’d be taking care of business at the
Wal-mart Super Center.
Point was, all three things in Frank Wurtsbaugh’s mind were inextricably linked.
He pulled into the parking lot of the Baptist church at the same time Ralph Thigpen came roaring in on his metallic blue Honda CB 750. Frank opened the door to his Bronco, threw down his cigarette and stubbed it out with a satisfying twist of his lizard skin cowboy boot.
The two men acknowledged each other with chin nods, strode into the church and down the stairs to the dismal, industrial carpeted basement, the air smelling of stale Sanka. Frank frowned. It was bad enough when you couldn’t have booze anymore, but why did everyone punish themselves by drinking Sanka instead?
Frank spied Bruce Perkins and Max Westby off in the corner, whispering by a dying ficus plant. Dressed in a turd brown velour track suit that looked stretched to the seams, Bruce was shoving his third doughnut down his gullet. It occurred to Frank that Bruce wasn’t actually an alcoholic at all, and only attended meetings for the doughnuts.
Max on the other hand looked scrawnier than ever, and his black beard had been groomed into a spade shape that started on his cheekbones and ended halfway down his throat. It also occurred to Frank that Max needed to find some other outlet for his creativity besides experimenting with his facial hair. He looked like an idiot. Frank nudged Ralph and they both made their way over to the two men and the ficus plant.
Max took a sip of Sanka and said under his bad breath:
"You all ready for tomorrow?"
"Yeah," said Bruce, brushing crumbs off his belly. "I just don’t know about the costume idea."
"What do you mean?" said Frank, glancing around the room to make sure no one could hear. "It’s perfect. No one will know who we are."
"What if we scare little kids? We’re toying with cherished childhood memories here," Bruce countered.
"The guns aren’t going to be loaded," Frank pointed out. "And little kids are already scared of Ronald McDonald. This will just confirm their suspicions."
"Yeah but Frank, you’re the only one who is going to be dressed like Ronald McDonald. What about the rest of us?"
Frank rolled his eyes. "Look, The Hamburgler is already a criminal…And Mayor McCheese…well…everyone hates politicians."
"What about Grimace?" interjected Ralph. "Everyone loves Grimace. He’s purple, he’s jolly."
"Fuck Grimace. Are we going to do this or not? Last I heard you three jackasses had just as many reasons as me to get extra cash. Or has that suddenly changed and nobody’s kids need tuition money or an extension on the house or a honeymoon trip to Bermuda?"
They all shook their heads and looked at the floor. Frank knew he had them all by the balls, or at least the wallet.
"Okay then. Ralph, you got the getaway motorcycles all ready?"
"Yeah," he said picking a booger and flicking it on the ficus plant. "The belt is giving me trouble on one of them, but I’ll fix it tonight. Won’t be a problem."
"Make sure you do, ‘cause I don’t want any surprises. Alright, so the deal is, we storm the Wal-mart. Ralph and Bruce stand guard."
"What about Carl Boggs?" Ralph interrupted.
"What about him?
"He’s the greeter at the front of the store. You know, the guy who says stuff like, ‘Welcome to Wal-mart! I like your sweatshirt."
"I know what a greeter is, Ralph."
"The thing is, the guy’s a little slow. Like maybe his mom drank one too many cans of Miller Highlife when she was pregnant with him."
"What’s the problem with that? Seems like it helps us."
"Well, he always wants to talk for a long time. And he’s a real nice guy, so it’s tough to get away from him. He always asks how my sister is doing."
Frank glared at Ralph.
"Okay," said Ralph. "Just thought I’d mention it.
"Right, said Frank. "So Max and me hit registers one and two, which are closest to the doors-- "
Max shifted his weight, little as there was of it, from side to side. "I don’t know Frank," he said. "I tried on that giant Mayor McCheese head last night. It’s kinda bulky. I mean, it’s huge. And it seems a little loose. Do I have to wear it? Can’t I just put pantyhose over my head?"
"No fuckin’ way Max," Frank hissed. "What the hell is wrong with you people? Where do you think we’re going to stash all the cash? Why do you think I built in that special compartment? The Mayor McCheese head is vital to this operation."
There was silence as the four of them ruminated over the great importance of the Mayor McCheese head. Bruce burped. "Excuse me," he said softly.
"So," continued Frank. "We stuff the head with the money, run out to the motorcycles and split up in four directions. Just remember to steer clear of downtown to avoid the Shawnee County Crazy Days Parade. Okay?"
Frank took stock of his cohorts as they nodded without enthusiasm: One fatso in a doughnut crumb-covered turd brown tracksuit, one idiot with a spade-shaped beard and one inept nose picker who had managed to pluck a booger out of his left nostril while leaving a choice nugget hanging in the right one. He sighed. There was so much more that he wanted to say. But the basement was now brimming with fellow alcoholics, so Bruce, Max, Ralph and Frank took their seats.
With the Wal-mart Crotch Rocket Getaway plans weighing heavily on their minds, no one could concentrate much on the meeting. It was hard enough just sitting still. However, The Serenity Prayer did take on special meaning to Frank as the four of them recited:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference."

To be continued ...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Next Show: May 21!

Anyway, we have our lineup for the next show and I am psyched. It's going to be: Me, Randi Skaggs playwrite and schoolteacher, Helen Coster, journalist at Forbes, Sara Barron, an excellent comedic writer and host of the Moth Storytelling Series and Coree Spencer, another excellent up and coming writer in New York.

It will be May 21. And the theme is The Day Before Yesterday. Meaning that the show is May 21, and writers will all write about what happened to them two days before the show; i.e. the day before yesterday.

Anyway, please keep your eyes peeled for seriel installments of last month's story, that was read on April 16, starting soon. As the prior post explained it was a four-part story written by Saara Dutton, Pete Olsen, Ari V. and David Silverman, and it was really cool.

I also plan to write about what Storytime means to me, why I started it, what it's been like, who has read, and also to publish some of my own stories that I have written for the show. And maybe some of my other stories as well. Because, you know, I am a writer.

Also, if you have any questions about Storytime, or would like to read please contact me at I can tell you what you need to do to get on, put you on the mailig list, and just fill you in on the full spectrum of the Storytime world.