Fried Green Zombies at the Gristle Stop Café

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Tupper Ware turned her attention from her phone to her friend Plexi Glass, who was semi-consoling her undead husband, Tinted, as they crouched on opposite sides of the iron bars of a wine cellar/impromptu prison. “I’m on hold right now while they go get Irony Skillet, who has apparently changed her name to The Hexorcist. I guess I should pay more attention to her Facebook feed.”

Plexi smirked. “That sounds like someone who is having a bit of an identity crisis. Are you sure you trust this person?”

Tupper nodded. “Oh, I trust her with my life. Literally. We rented a castle in Granada one summer and I let her dangle me over the side of the guard tower. We did it all the time and she only dropped me once.”

Plexi’s eyes widened. “I think I better understand why you drink incessantly.”

Tupper shook her head. “You don’t know me at all. And stop flirting with Tinted. You had absolutely no sexual interest in him when he was alive, which is what drove him into my tawdry, inebriated arms.”

Plexi’s eyes narrowed. “I am not flirting with him. I’m merely trying to show him a little bit of support in his time of undead need.”

Tupper scoffed. “Oh, please. You’re just all randy now that you’ve seen his enormous tongue.”

“Enormous tongue? Are you talking about Tinted Glass?”

Tupper shifted focus to her phone. “Irony? Is that you, girl?”

Irony: “Of course it is. You called me. But you didn’t answer my question. Is Tinted there? I’ve been feeling a bit tense lately and he knows just how to calm me down.”

Tupper, eyes darting toward the crouched couple: “Um, yeah, he’s here. But that’s why I’m calling. He’s also dead.”

Irony: “Dead? Just what the hell did you do to him with your Venus flytrap?”

Tupper: “Really, it wasn’t me. For a change. And he’s not really dead dead. He’s kind of a zombie and we’re not sure what to do with him.”

Irony: “That sounds rather exciting. Does his tongue still work?”

Tupper’s eyes darted again. “You know, this is probably not the time to talk about that.”

Irony: “I can sense that your eyes are darting. Is someone else in the room besides you and Tinted? Wait, is that wretched wife of his there? What’s her name?”

Tupper: “That would be correct.”

Irony: “Ah, so that explains why you’re being all polite and not saying that you would bang an undead man as well. But she didn’t want anything to do with him when he was-”

Tupper: “And that has been discussed. What we now need to discuss is what we should do with him.”

Irony: “Oh, that’s easy. Kill him.”

Tupper: “That’s already happened. It didn’t take.”

Irony: “Well, then, finish it. Something sharp through the skull, deep enough to hit the brain. It’s not all that hard. I’ve had to do it plenty of times when my staff gets belligerent about being underpaid.”

Tupper: “Okay. Well, that’s not really going to work for us. You see, Plexi seems to have reconnected with her undead husband and she’s rethinking the divorce.”

Irony: “That’s her name. Plexi. What a stupid name.”

Tupper: “Interesting thing for you to say, Irony Skillet. But since we’re on the subject of questionable identities, what’s up with this new ‘Hexorcist’ bit?”

Irony: “Pay no attention. It’s just branding. You know how social media is these days. You have to stand out from the crowd. It’s no longer about cute cat videos and drunken, late-night, self-pity blog posts. I had to find a new identity to keep the revenue stream flowing, especially after I discovered that my third ex-husband was only a millionaire and not a billionaire. A girl has to do what a girl has to do.”

Tupper: “And what does this girl do as the Hexorcist?”

Irony: “Nothing. It’s just a name. Although I did actually try to perform an exorcism just to get some videos for my website. It didn’t really go well. Turns out that some people can’t survive being dropped from a guard tower in Granada like you can. So, I had to scrap the footage and refund the tickets. Especially since my demon-possessed victim, who was actually a cousin that I didn’t really like, managed to take out three members of the audience as he plummeted, while I was screaming ‘the power of Christ compels you!’ at the top of the tower. It wasn’t a good day, as my lawyers continually remind me.”

Tupper: “Uh huh. So, anyway, do you still interpret the cryptic messages of spirits emanating from an undead body?”

Irony: “Oh, sure, I still do that. The Republican Party in America has me on retainer.”

Tupper: “Good, because that’s the real reason I called.”

Irony: “Really? As if the death of my favorite tongue man wasn’t enough.”

Tupper: “You’re not the only who is suffering. I’m going to miss the days when I scratched the ceiling with my toes.”

Irony: “I hear you. And I’ll try to help. I’m going to assume that the undead body is Tinted, since you haven’t mentioned any others, although it wouldn’t surprise me that you know of many more since you live in that wretched, backwoods-conservative state of Texas. Tell me, what did the spirit voice say with Tinted’s toe-curling tongue?”

Tupper, taking a deep breath: “Okay, it’s been a minute, but it had something to do with Plexi and I dying in the bowels of a place called Woodbonny Manor.”

Irony: “Hold up. Is that the right name? Woodbonny?”

Tupper: “Well, I think so. But I’m not sure. There’s been a lot of drinking.”

Irony: “Are you sure it wasn’t Bonnywood Manor?”

Tupper: “Oh. Maybe. It could have been that.”

Irony, professionally stifling a gasp: “I see. I’ll need to put you on hold for just a sec.” There was a small clicking noise and then a Muzak arrangement of “Highway to Hell” began playing.

Tupper took her phone away from her ear and turned to the couple at the wine-cellar gate, just in time to see them both taking their phones away from their ears. “Hey, who are you guys talking to?”

Tinted: “Nobody.”

Plexi: “Just checking my voice mail.”

Tupper: “At a time like this? I don’t believe either of you.”

Plexi, sighing: “Okay, fine. We were both talking to our agents about not getting enough screen time in this episode.

“Tupper, are you there?”

Tupper hoisted her phone back up to her ear. “Ready and waiting. And not drinking enough.”

Irony: “This situation is beyond my expertise.”

Tupper: “I wasn’t aware that you had an expertise. Just ex-husbands.”

Irony: “Do you want my help or not?”

Tupper: “Sorry, I’m going through libation withdrawal. The writer hasn’t let me freshen my drink during this whole episode. And there’s an undead man in front of me that I used to play squat-tag with. Please, share your wisdom.”

Irony: “That’s more like it. Okay, if Tinted really did say ‘Bonnywood Manor’, there is only one person in the world who can fully explain what this omen meant.”

Tupper: “I’m listening. Parched, but listening. Who is this person?”

Irony: “Her name is Granny Mae, and you can find her in Gravy Bucket, Oklahoma.”

Tupper: “I don’t understand anything in that last statement. And I’ve never been to Oklahoma.”

Irony: “Well, you’d best pack a bag. Because if this ancient text I have on my desk has any validity, the only way you can save your souls is to find the granny in the gravy.”


Click here to read the next entry in this sordid story…


14 replies »

    • Road trips are terrific fun. Unless you get that one person in the bunch who doesn’t understand that road trips are all about living in the moment, with their whining and complaining and constant need to point out that they aren’t satisfied. Proper road trips require a careful screening process…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm. You are hinting at a potentially dark and sordid story that I know nothing about. Wait, perhaps I should translate that. You are hinting at a story that I would probably recognize if it wasn’t 3 hours after midnight and I spent most of those 3 hours responding to so many comments that I don’t know whether to fish or cut bait or sign up for yet another colonoscopy just so I can get some sleep when they inject me with another wonder drug.

      Am I oversharing? Probably.


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