there hadn't been rains like this ever in the City. they were angry rains, rains full of soapy foamy transgressed spirits and prestressed fabric and difficult decisions, judgment calls when all the arbiters were dirty wading in the cleansing water, trying to scrape off the last of their hairy bumps and unclean bruises and entrails before addressing and centering the ballot box on the coffeetable. these rains formed incoherent patterns of palette palates which swathed across the landscape, tripping over electric wires and pummeling down the down stone streets like a rollercoaster of uncomfortable waves, sloshing and simmering against each crook and edge and cold streetcorner. they were the rains of those who had to make a final cutthroat decision on what was supposed to be a fun good novel new time. on who was supposed to be their friend and brother and family member and castmate-in-arm. and on the worst possible medium, on television, for all to see and transmit bouncing beams across galaxy satellites, a choice which would be ruminated over more than the King James Bible, addressed and regurgitated and overreacted and dissected, wondering if it was the right man, or the left man. a choice of fulsome finality they could never take back or hide away from.
the lights were on in the City but none shone electrons. it was pitch black but you could feel the rain, you felt its heat. not from the precise petrifying pitterpatter of the droplets on the Spanish redtile roof, from knowing these rains were out there, not seeing them through the window panes battered by pelt after woolly pelt. the trees swayed with each howl, and an eerie green glow emanated down to inside the City mouth in vapor mist from an unknown source high in the hills. a weather which matched the moment.
inside the House it was raining of a sort as well. Puck was crying and carrying on, he was crying hard and fast and forevermore, for humanity, for all mankind, for his pain and the pain he felt in others so empathetically everclear. those carpets, those dining-room carpets, had long since been stained with tears and cum and liquids dug into fibers so fine as to be fireflies. in fact all of Puck's aura was crying, the tears streamed from his forehead, wetting his touch, and his wedding band, he was a human shower which nevertheless made him still unclean. for it wasn't about removing his stank, it was a solemn shampoo, a conditioner of conditions, an acknowledgment of the stank that hard-hitting human moments had to come. and come hard and fast. and souls had to be sacrificed.
Bunim: guys, this isn't that big a deal. it's not Shakespeare-in-the-Park stuff. yes, you will permanently remove a member of your cast tonight, but it is just a tv show after all. it's a matter of fame, not famine, tho increasingly you'll wonder if he'll still alive cos if you're not on tv, you're not really real. btdubs this episode has garnered the highest ratings of any tv show since the M*A*S*H finale. and you are denying your banned member the right to culture his brand further.
Pedro: *stroking his bald chin* brand? tell me more of this brand of which you speak. i feel this could be the key to it all.
everyone is squat in a circle sandals up around the indoor campfire but coom-bai-yaw is not the order of the day. or night rather, the tenseness of the announcement is made starker by an empty throne which is not a game.
Pedro: and the Ryan Seacrest delaying of the result. cum boy yay!
a lone waxy candle lights the circle proceedings. Puck starts first, he starts in first. in a hushed tone.
Puck: Pedro, your actions these past last weeks have been nothing short of disruptive. i know you're proud of that but we're not. we gave you the benefit of many doubts, we cut you a whole lot of red string for you to hang but you never did you never hung out with us, you refused to let us be your fam. you were always so cold and hot on the cold case of your cure. we were sympathetic to your cause and gave you many miles of leeway, cut you so much slack we became the epitome of twentysomething '90s slackers in ripped jeans and plaid overcoats on the cover of TIME with the cover THE BURN GENERATION. i'm even pictured on there with a mobile phone stuck to the spoke of my bike. we enabled your bad behavior for too long and it's time to end you.
Pedro: but i'm not a drunk, this is who i really am. hello, my name is Puck Rainey and i am an alcoholic...that's your line, right, cheezo?
Puck: you hurt me, Pedro, not just there but everywhere. but it's not about me. it's about us. even Mo Jesus Rest His Soul. you destroyed all my property, even the FREE PARKING space in my heart. i welcomed you with open emblazoned tat-sleeved arms but you swatted them away and licked the fortune lines on my palms trying to collect samples. you're always trying to get fucking samples from us! we can't tolerate this anymore. haven't you read that tat-covered GrubHub pamphlet i often slide through City urban cabanas when i do my rounds delivering fast food from four-star restaurants?
Pedro: all your food i throw up to. don't take it personally, pal, i'm sick in general.
Puck: it says that tolerance is an impossibility when taken to its natural logical conclusion. we've taken every opportunity to be nice to you but you've rejected us like young and cheap stage players. you've trashed us in the media. this jihad has to stop.
Bunim raises her finger.
Pedro: i don't need the media to trash you, i tell you to your faces you're all idots all the time. i don't take back anything i've ever said. see you lot don't seem to appreciate the position i'm in, i have AIDS. which means i don't give a fuck. about anything. i'm too important to not run over hurt feelings. i'm in the process of formation of a potion which will save the fucking world. i don't have time to wonder about consequences or condolences.
Pam: what happened to us, Pedro? we started out so well on the foot. i LOVED your hairy chest in that scrapbook photo you showed us. but then it turns out you're a pervert.
Pedro: research ain't pretty, honey. just think, if this works, i'll let you take all the credit and the New England Journal of Medicine and then you can be a real girl. doctor, real girl doctor.
Judd: *punching Puck in the shoulder which hurts him* fraid i'm with my bro here, Pedrocito. but you can be sure i'll pen and ink and color a graphic novel detailing in stirring detail and dark gray lines the wretched anguish and sad strands and strains of our time together.
Cory: sorry, bro, it's time to go. but i'll drink a bottle of high-end fashion-house perfume from Macy's in your honor.
Pedro: you're supposed to pour that over my grave. do it in Paris itself, girl. i'm not dead yet.
Rachel: we had the Cuban Conenction. that's a movie, right? oh well, real life doesn't work the way it does on tv.
Cory: if it's boxed with a tight little Macy's bow it does. besides, if you're not racemixing it's bad for the species.
Mohammed pushes the button on the answering machine and exclaims softly one last time to Pedro by speaking into the tiny microphone square on the corner of the box there, "sorry, dude."
Pedro: i'm right in front of you. i'm still here. and i ain't leavin'.
cast and crew: we're full and we've voted you out, Pedro. goodbye. the House says goodbye to you, can't you see it waving?
Pedro: *exasperated chin and strangely playful eyes* those are Scooby-Doo shutters! i ain't leaving without a restraining order!!!
Puck: no more courts!
Bunim: do we need to get security? cos MTV ain't paying for no security. we wanted to see fights, that was the whole point.
Pedro: *with a dramatic flourish* no NO. i WILL exit with my dignity intact. i am a man. got that? i am a fucking MAN. i got rules inside me, life lessons from the road. i got morals. i got a life. where's Sean? forgot about him.
Sean: i'm not here, sir.
Pedro: *pointing up* with my chin held high, i will trample over this doorsill and walk out of my own accord and on my power. you have made me more powerful than you will ever know or imagine. i won't be tossed into the rain like so much soggy Sizzler trashbags. my shapely ass is too sparkling for that. my revenge will come in torrents, both withering water and downloadable torrents. and with that, i bid all you vinegar vultures a fine adieu.
Pedro keeps his fist in the air as he marches out, shouting like a navyman: "KEYSTER IS THE KEY!!! SAN FRANCISCAN-STYLE FOR FUCKING LIFE!!!"
Bunim: thanks, guys, i know that was hard. i mean it's not really a good look for us to throw an AIDS patient out into the cold, but i've already seen the overnights---since it is morning already, you took a long time struggling with this decision wringing your hands which you sat on with couch cushions, lots of tape---this episode generated so much internal distress and ad revenue it rocked the Stock Market. it's gonna get mondo tubular ratings!!!
speaking of ratings, President Bump is sitting at the plexiglass newsdesk theatre-in-the-round wiping off his chin with his long tie and contemplating what he just did.
Bump: so? what'd you think? it was a disaster.
Nancy Pelosi: the Super Bowl? the Halftime Show? or your State of the Union address?
Bump: low ratings, nothing worse than low ratings. it doesn't have to be good, it just has to grab a number. thanks, Nan, can you imagine me giving that same speech at the Mad Magazine offices? they'd've laugh me right outta there.
Eye Luggage: okay, i guess, we have the technology now, so here you go, the highlights:
Bump gets up on the pomp dais and is pumped up.
Bump: my fellow Mericans, the state of our union is......wrong.
Nancy Pelosi turns around and delivers Bump a served clapback.
Bump: what was that just now, Nancy? you gave me a weird slanted clap, slanted like your mouth. were you laughing at my joke or is that your idea of a punch?
Nancy: oh i learned that from Ocasio. black clapback, i need to shore up my base for the next election.
AOC in the audience pumps her fist in the air and declares, "yeah, bitch! it's me, bitch sir! i OWN Yahoo now! you see Yahoo News recently? i mean i know another bitch owns Yahoo but really I'M the bitch that owns Yahoo, bitch!
Bump: *clears the dew from his eyes with his flat karate hand* whoa, that Alexandria Cortez is white now? don't cut her. cut her mic.
Bump's mic crunches like autumn leaves.
Bump: and now, i'd like to point out a little scared beta boy who gets bullied all the time and at home at night relentlessly cos his last name is Trump. i don't understand why but my wife said this so here it is. clap for the boy and we'll have all his social-media account handles and numbers displayed on the tv screen in every tv bank. and CNN.
Bump dons on a black beret from Paris. he has trouble fitting it on his hair.
Wolf and the wolf CNN reporters: sir, why are you wearing that beret? are you in solidarity with Roger Stone?
Bump: no, i'm a poet right now. wait till you hear my next verse, it's bars. you are all witnesses. remember, this is blackhead, kay?
at the afterparty in the Residence...
Bump: i am what comes after Parties. did you see me out there? that is sure to finally beat Survivor.
he switches between tvs. Bump catches the Virgina Governor's news conf.
Bump: i like what he's doing here. he looks the part. don't let the media win, they're like cockroaches you have to eat if you want to get famous on tv. cept i WOULD have done the Moonwalk to exit that stage. see i don't have to worry about a wife stopping me cos i don't have a wife. and my supporters would cherish the fact that i did the dance better than Jacko despite my bone spurs in my ankles.
Pence: you wrote Jackoff in your text to me, sir, was that intentional?
Bump: see that? all 3 Virginia Dems on the noose. you know who did that? worked his magic behind the scenes? that was all Roger Stone's work. the man is a genius, you never see him coming. despite his tattooed back. he works in the silent shadows. which is odd considering how loud and lewd he is. which is odd cos i know firsthand from personal experience that Roger LOVES the black gag. that was Rog's last masterstroke before being sent away to the can stone motel. which is canned outrage. who is Roger Stone?, i don't even know his name.
Mike Tyson: it wasn't me!!!
Pence: it's not fair. Roger Stone is way bigger than Oprah, and that's saying something. i mean Bob Mueller is on tv every fucking night! and all he does is shill for that shampoo company, he's just Vanna White-ing all those shampoo bottles on MSNBC the entire hour pointing to his hair and waving at the guests who buy a pack for the hour.
Bump: *smiles* at least we get to see his smile, Bob has a nice smile when he shows it. toothpaste next, Bob. see? i'm all about love, that's why the next Government Shutdown will be on Valentine's Day so everyone can get together with their loved ones and have some free time to love. hey Mooch, cook up all us all-American bloods some of that Cooke Maroney macaroni and cheese.
Gordon Ramsay scowls.
Virginia Governor: oh no, not the beer thing again. look, i had nothing to do with Jussie, okay?
Virginia Governor's wife: dear, take off that coonskin hat you have on. and put away your rifle, THIS is your mic, you got confused again.
Virginia Governor: is it a crime for a white kid from the suburbs to like Michael Jackson? i mean sure i like Shaggy better but still.
Scooby Doo, in the audience, shushes Shaggy---who was about to say something---with his paw.
Mo is praying by the Red Circle table.
Mo: do you still have to pray after you die? i'm happy to report Kristoff St. John has been reunited with his son Julian and both no longer have cloudy minds. they are clear as a Bell---not the boss of their show---,are untroubled and at peace.
Liam Neeson: you can blame the environs one is brought up in. The Troubles were not the Irish band which came before U2. on the stage. i paid cash for my cosh.
Bill Cosby: so can i have a seat at the table now? i was responsible for this reunion. whatever Lisa Bonet has been saying about me, all lies!
Aquaman Momoa: she hasn't said anything. i chose her, i chose my wife on the tv screen, falling my little fingers down the screen like a waterfall over her electron face. ripping up all my books to watch tv only. when i watched your show as a kid, you're responsible for many reunions. and you taught me everything i know about women.
Cosby: hush down, little kid, not now with that stuff. you want me to get your mother?
Eye: i'm not like other millennials. but my followers are. sorry, dude, you've been evicted. you seem harmless, like you could be someone's dad. and now the musical portion of my show...
21 Savage: *rappin'* Flint needs water/ how bout using those baby cages for dams?
Bump: so you get a gun salute but still won't not take a knee? yous savage.
Eye: great, Demi Lovato's left the chat. i wanted to talk to her about how to get a tattoo in rehab. within the walls of the clinic facility. like do you send out for it like food? the needles are already there so plenty of no problem there.
at the Magical Fruit coffee klatch, the bros and crones are still discussing candidates. for discussion.
Laertus: *sipping hot* oh, wow. this tastes like blood. is there blood in my coffee?
Doryce: *cackles and is the waitress* sonny! it's my menstrual blood! it's food for a man such as yourself!
Laertus: wow. it'd be rude to spit it out, but...okay, thank you. it's red, gotta go with it. that's one holiday flavor Starbucks hasn't tried yet.
Dirg: hey, you gotta give it to Schultzy, he got Americans to buy coffee for five dollars.
Laertus: ironically it's more expensive in Seattle. just ask Kurt Cobain. shit, now i know why all those Repubs went on for years about the red cups.
Doryce: boys, can we borrow your treehouse lift tonight me and the missus? our dogs are barking and we ain't no bitches.
Dirg: sure! and be sure to bake us bread as payment in the morning! *laughs and punches Laertus*
Eye: animesuperhero? that's what toonzone has become!
Dirg: right? i mean you just google toonzone and get to the link anyway. bring back World Peace.
Laertus: everything's become corporate like Maroon 5. and Korgoth, Tigtone doesn't count. and is more freaky. that character, being autistic and being adventurous are really the same thing. and why has everyone suddenly become obsessed with Mission Hill again?
Dirg: it's the Clone High effect. brandishing a one-season something a masterpiece retroactively after a certain number of years have gone by and you start to miss it. the same thing will happen with Baby Blues, you'll see.
Laertus: it's the San Francisco thing. My So-Called Life is the ultimate example. but can something which is true serve as the example?
the crones are confronting a crisis at the treehouse border.
Doryce: you heard about my noble quest on the hunt for the best French fries in the world, right? i am obsessed. the OreIda microwaveable skinny and krinkle fries sold at The Store for years suddenly stopped being stocked. there are no replacements for this. the fries you have to do in the oven---the greasy 19th century oven we have---won't do, i burn my fingers everytime i try, and i need my fingers to cast nature spells to balance the weather. the only rack i trust is my own.
Gladyce: i could knit you some oven mitts, dear. on my spindly finger.
Doryce: this place doesn't have an oven of course, it's a den of iniquity and hives and millennial teenage pimples. i'd have to put our cats in the other room and lock it before i'd open the oven door, that's scary when all those hot fumes come out, i'm scared our darling pets will jump in, they're so rambunctious and have to lick every faucet. without our cats as familars our entire lineage busts!
Gladyce: they're smarter than us, cos they've lived longer than us, but i see your point.
Doryce: i heard a rumor they sell the microwave fries at Walmart, but that's 30 miles away on broom. this really is quite the sad saga. but i have an idea.
Doryce orders a case of 50 microwave fries direct-ordered from OreIda itself in the heart of the nation with the silver discs, all stacked up to form in the shape of a giant McDonald's Happy Meal. to the treehouse doorsill. the mailman who delivers it is so suspicious of this package he dies from fright.
the crones play outside at night using the used silver discs as Quidditch balls.
Doryce: *flying* and preheat. right? how long do you preheat an oven? it's completely random and arbitrary, different times for different people.
Gladyce: i believe it's about 10 to 15 minutes. i grew up in the old ways.
Doryce: 10 TO 15 MINUTES!!? ain't nobody got time for that!!! oven burning empty for fifteen minutes!!!? that's a fire no spell could ever put out!
at Inverness, Goody Paul is asleep in Maria's vagina snug and dreaming of how the weather is always hot when it rains but cold when it doesn't.
Goody: *sleeping* it's because you need heat to generate rain. brimstone fire. and Maria always has nice breath.
at the side of this, Pedro and Rachel have taken an impromptu joyride gallivant to Inverness to check out some things. Pedro pushes Rachel out of the buggy car and drags her by the hair up the hill to the green spot.
Pedro: now girl, come on!
tears are streaming down Rachel's eyes.
Bunim in the control booth: i will be streaming Rachel's tears later tonight. online-only.
Rachel: this is not the pain of sex. is it? ow!
Puck: *from behind a boulder* LET HER GO!!!
Pedro: enter hero. the antihero is cooler anyhow. well get out here, weenie, show your face.
Puck: can't. fog as pea as soup, and my pee.
Pedro goes to punch Puck in the face but Puck motions away from this with his shivering quivering hands.
Puck: no more, you don't have to hit me, Pedro, i'm already crying on my face, that's not the mist. i feel so bad for what we had to do collectively as a group to you.
Pedro: that's what every industrialized nation says. and btdubs these are not the Sierras in California.
Pedro goes to drag Puck by the hair, too, but it's too short, spiky, and spongy like a marshmallow, no grip.
Pedro: goddammit, boy, regrow your hair! come on, Rachel, here's that gun i told you about on the way over, that was my campfire story inside the car. look at that shining silver blade of a pistol! makes my knees water and my mouth bend. take this gun into your girl hands and shoot the magical reindeer when it flies by. red hole in red nose. i'll collect the antler and place the broken shell in my two Smurfs clear jars with the cork stop that i keep in my butt. do it!!!
Rachel: *crying and red* no i can't! these babies are precious! peace on earth and good will toward ALL creatures great small and nano!!! i am their steward! babies and animals, i choke up. i can't be a Republican anymore!
Puck puts his hands up.
Puck: drop the gun. no more violence. against women. i'll make you a deal, Pedro. i'll collect a sample for you. this magical Inverness mist, it's sure to curate the cure. and dollars.
Puck takes one huge breathe-in with his mighty nostrils and shoots back regurgitates the air-mucus spill rocket capturing the Inverness fog into Pedro's smug Smurf bottles.
Rachel: *on grass-stained knees* thanks, babe.
Rachel and Puck kiss for the fourth time, for the first time this time. they clutch as a couple and speak with one voice.
Puck: what can my babe and i do for you this morning? or evening i can't tell.
Pedro: you must make it up to me. i've lost my standing. i've lost my platform. make me big again.
Puck: i won't suck your dick but how about i send a video message through my phone to Rachel's parents in Arizona? you always wanted to visit her folks, didn't you?
Pedro: video phone? what is this, the future? i wanted to see and know what it would be like to be respectable in society. live in a house that's not burned down. in Arizona. in real America. fine, push the fone button.
Pedro: *fuzzy lines* hello, Mister and Missus Rachel? it's me, Pedro. i have your daughter, can't you hear her screaming? no this is not a ransom-demand vid on a notebook, she just saw a flying reindeer. i married your daughter, we eloped. we're gonna be very happy together, we're going to Cuba so i can single-handedly revolutionize that home country. we're gonna stay in Cuba forever, there is no extradition treaty with the U.S. i will be King of Cuba. bleh, okay, that's enough, her parents are dumb as boulders if they believed that......i really want to be Queen of Cuba...
Puck: my video-phone watch is still on.
Pedro: eh, whatever. just say it was the mulchy mist, they didn't hear a thing.
Bunim: thank you, Pedro. for continuing to participate and contribiute. to the show's ratings. this is MTV, where parents are dumb and kids rule!