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 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."