It's a Hellish World After All

"Epic Mickey, designed for Nintendo's Wii console, is set in a ‘cartoon wasteland’ where Disney's forgotten and retired creations live.... The game, to be released next fall, will show the character's darker side."
—The New York Times
Jesus H.  Another damn alimony reminder from my ex.  I need that like I need another unpaid apprenticeship. I dunno, maybe things could’ve worked out with her.  I suppose our problem was that I’m stubborn, and she’s a castrating shrew with a serious cheese problem.  You know what they say: Does—can’t live with ‘em, can’t take ‘em to your parents’ hole without finding them compulsively at the Jarlsberg at three A.M.

Feel the rain coming today in my knees.  One too many pratfalls, I guess.  No rainbows around the bend either, Jack—only chronic arthritis and my lousy studio HMO that doesn’t cover physical therapy.  You’re very welcome for eighty years of service, jerks.

Did that damn duck finish my smokes again?  Cheap bastard.  Making millions off his bratty nephews and he’s still bumming my Parliaments.  Just as well he never gives the pack back—the second he opens the pack, he splutters all over them.  And he tells me I need to go to a speech therapist.  Put on some underwear, for God's sake.

Phone call—maybe it’s my piece-of-crap agent with a commercial spot that pays an insulting per diem.  No, it’s the dog with the hat, of course, asking if I remember his Gmail password … which is his own dumb name.  Question for shrink: Do I associate with morons because they make me feel better about myself, or because I’m a masochist?

Yes, yes,  Other Dog Who for Some Weird Reason Can't Even  Talk and Whose Name  Is No Longer A Planet--stop yapping, I’ll walk you again.  Though what’s the point, really—I’ll just have to do it again in another four hours, in an endless, meaningless cycle.  It’s like Kafka.  Or Beckett.  I think.  Wait, which one wrote Nearest Exit?

God, I should’ve gone to college.  But, no, I took the quick money to get in those black-and-white shorts, and now I’m an 81-year-old out-of-work rodent with no salable skills and a spotty résumé the past few decades.  Good career planning, Squeaker!

Stop blaming the studio for everything.  Remember what they branded into your pea-sized brain in Goudaholics Anonymous: “I am responsible.”  Do not get caught in that self-destructive mousetrap.

I should give my first boss, that old salt, a buzz.  A real slave-driver on that steamboat, but it’s been a while.  Might have some job leads.  Nah, to hell with him.  Don’t give him the satisfaction.

Hey, it’s a texttwit or whatever you call it--some kids who want to take their picture with me and then probably post it to their FaceTweetSpace!  No, no—of course this isn’t the least bit  degrading to someone who was once the biggest star in animated pictures.  Indeed, let’s say “Cheese!”—never heard that one before!


Teddy Wayne's debut novel, "Kapitoil," will be published by Harper Perennial this April.


April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.