Wednesday, May 6, 1998

Name That Demon!

Reader's note: This is part of a loosely connected series of sketches and story cycles involving the Jack Getz character -- my alter ego, natch, "Jack Getz" being the name of my pseudonym. The context of this bit: Getz has just run away from his scary adult responsibilities and is hiding out from the big bad world. "Mr. Natural" is, of course, R. Crumb's famous guru/con-artist character. His appearance here is a dead steal.

Cave is jury-rigged with electrical cables, flickering florescent light fixtures hanging between stalactites, computers, TVs, and various other late 20th century crap.
JACK GETZ is hunkered down, watching an old TV set.
 GETZ: Look at all that weird fucked-up shit out there in so-called "society." Good thing I'm down here in my cave. (looks at camera) Oh, howdy neighbor! I'll show you what's happening in my neighborhood.
Audio: Misterogers theme.
GETZ wanders off, giving guided tour. Camera follows.
We see piano man, playing Misterogers theme. His ankle is chained.
PIANO MAN: (whispering) Get me out of here. For the love of God. 
We walk past him. Piano fades.
GETZ: Well, neighbor. I've got my teevee refrigerator...dried food...plenty of firearms and ammunition. Got my computer hooked up so's I can write and send stuff out. Bootleg cable, bootleg power, heh-heh, the fools. Not that I need electricity.
DEMON appears: devilmask face, whiterobed body. Demonic, y'know?
DEMON: You think you can hide?
GETZ: Gaahhhh! It's the devil!
DEMON: You can't run away, Getz!
GETZ: Watch me!
GETZ runs in a dead panic. (Cartoon running noise.) Then suddenly stops. (Cartoon skid.) Hearing familiar laughter behind him, GETZ turns to look. Sees MR NATURAL flat on his back, hooting, hollering, slapping his knees.
MR NATURAL: Ooohhahahaa! "It's the devil!" Devil coming after you! Hahahahaa!
GETZ: There some point to this?
MR NATURAL: (standing up, dusting himself off) Actually there is, my can't run away from your demons.
GETZ: I don't believe in demons.
MR NATURAL: Yeah you do. You ran, dintcha?
GETZ: And don't talk about demons.
MR. NATURAL: You mean in this scary cave?
GETZ: Well...
MR NATURAL: Demons, demons, demons!
Echo: Demons, demons, demons!
GETZ: (hands over ears) Stop it!
MR NATURAL: And I will -- because this is your lucky day, my boy! (opening up portmanteau "Exorcist Kit" traveling case, which expands to a table filled with arcane books, holy water, Bible, etc.) Today's the day we face your demons! It's exorcism time!
GETZ: I didn't agree to this.
MR NATURAL (flashing contract) Yeah, you did.
GETZ: Besides which I hated that movie...
MR NATURAL: It's not a movie, son, not a movie. (walking back to computer) Let's see what you got here...
GETZ: Don't touch that! I mean, please don't touch that...
MR NATURAL ignores him, punching away at the keyboard.
MR NATURAL: Porn ... porn ... more porn ... failed novel ...AHA! See? I found it.
GETZ: (bending down to look) Wha...
GETZ: Sophie? (snorts) Nutty online stalker. Ain't no demon.
MR NATURAL: She's your demon, son -- one of 'em. Step one, you've got to name 'em. (flipping through book) That's what it says in the manual.
GETZ: OK. Step two?
MR NATURAL: Cast out the demon, what else?
GETZ: I'm scared, Mr. Natural.
MR NATURAL: Don't be my boy, don't be. Nothing to be scared of. (mumbling, still flipping thru book.) Just death, dismemberment, disembowelment, eyes gouged out, possible loss of immortal soul (still flipping, then suddenly shouting) AHA!
GETZ: Gahhhhhh!
MR NATURAL: The name of the demon!
GETZ: Oh boy. (sticks nose into book) Who ...
MR NATURAL: Agghh, you made me lose my place!
GETZ: Sorry.
MR NATURAL: Sorry, sorry. Anyway. (flips through book) The name of the demon is ... (flips through book) The demon is ... (flips through book) She's ... She's your ex-wife...or ... (flips through book) ... like it says here in the suppressed card deck of the Major Arcana ... (flips through book) ... the demon's name is ... (flips through book -- stops) ..."Exwiffa!"
Cave lights flicker. Distant scream.
GETZ: Step one?
GETZ: Wait ... I thought you said its name was Sophie?
MR NATURAL: No. Sophie's just a vessel, as was your ex-wife. The entity you know of as your "ex-wife," is in fact, the demon.
GETZ: Yeah she was. But they're not the same person.
MR NATURAL: On the Acacian Extroplasmic Karmic Energy Level they are -- "Sophie," your "ex-wife," or hex-wife, heh-heh. Lotsa different masks, same parasitic demon entity. And she's hurt -- she, he, it. She's hurt, you're guilty. That's how she gets her hooks in you!
GETZ: My ex-wife?
MR NATURAL: Pay attention! (whacks Getz on head with book)
MR NATURAL: The demon -- the demon you call your "ex-wife." Remember all that shit she put in your head?
MR NATURAL: (speaking with ex-wife's voice) You hurt me. You hurt my feelings, what's wrong with you?
GETZ: Oh, yeah. That shit.
MR NATURAL: That's the demon! Damn amateur. You did a halfass job. 
GETZ: I did?
MR NATURAL: Yeah. You and your constant online bitching, you thought you got that shit out of you. But it didn't work.
MR NATURAL: No. See, you cast out the demon (pointing) into your computer here ... then it crawled up the Internet and into Sophie, crawled back out, now it's coming backatcha!  It's all very scientific, my boy...sort of a bad shit karmic backflow in serious need of a pataphysical Rotorooter treatment.
GETZ: Jeepers.
MR NATURAL: And now it's trying to get its hooks in again. Just like your ex-wife did!
GETZ: She never got her hooks into...
MR NATURAL: Oh, so I'm wrong, huh? Here I am, I bust my ass for you, I descend into hell for you and it's "Fuck off Mr. Natural Time?" Snotnose punk! You're going to fucking turn on me after all I've done for you -- you're going to use me then shit all over me, huh?
GETZ: Gee, Mr Natural I'm really, really sorry. I was really outta line with that...
MR NATURAL: I'm doing it, see? I act all hurt -- like you're the one attacking me. Then you start apologizing! Guilt summons the demon, stoopid. Remember?
GETZ: Oh, right ... right. So how do I, uh, un-summon the...
MR NATURAL: Testicularity, my boy. Balls! Cojones! Grow a pair! Stand up to the demon! Even me!
GETZ: You!??
MR NATURAL: Yeah! Next time I start shoveling any shit in your noggin, don't take that shit. Stand up to me!
GETZ: How ...
MR NATURAL: Just say, "Fuck off, Mr. Natural. Don't lay that guilt trip on me!" Tell me where to get off.
GETZ: Tell you where to get off?
MR NATURAL: Ab-sitively posolutely my boy...or maybe you think I don't know what I'm talking about?
GETZ: No, you're the -- (catching himself) I...I mean, "Fuck off, Mr. Natural. Don't lay that guilt trip on me!"
MR NATURAL: What'd you say, boy?
GETZ: You heard me.
MR NATURAL: No. You tell me what you said.
GETZ: I said, "Fuck off, Mr. Natural. Don't lay that guilt trip on me!"
MR NATURAL: That's what you said?
GETZ: That's what I said.
MR NATURAL: (roaring with rage) Nobody talks to me like that, fucker. Nobody! You think you can talk like that to ME???
GETZ: F-fuck off, Mr. Natural. Don't lay that guilt trip on me!
MR NATURAL advances, menacing, fists clenched. GETZ backs up.
MR NATURAL: I'm gonna fuckin' kill you!
GETZ: Mr. N-natural?
MR NATURAL: (roaring, laughing with evil intensity) Mr. Natural? Pathetic human! I am not Mr. Natural!
The old guy charges -- head-butting GETZ who spits up blood.
MR UNNATURAL: (roaring) I am Mr. Un-Natural! Ah-ha-ha! And now you shall PAY!
GETZ: Help, Mr. Wizard! Helpp....
MR UNNATURAL: (looks at camera) Why the fuck are you still here?
Charges camera. Jittery footage. Go to black.

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