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.

 

July 22: On this day in 1941, on his twelfth wedding anniversary, Eugene O'Neill presented the just-finished manuscript of Long Day's Journey into Night to his wife, Carlotta.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.