Strip Crickets

by Hugh Mungus

If the literature we are reading does not wake us, why then do we read it? A literary work must be an ice-axe to break the sea frozen inside us.

- Franz Kafka

"And the award for 'Most Prolific Male Swinger' goes to...!"

The tension is so thin, it's anorexic. Onstage, monumental statues of gleaming cocks reach toward a ceiling higher than Timothy Leary.

The female MC - clad in a dress made of used condoms - clutches an 18 inch Thuringer sausage, centered between a pair of balls, each the size of a fully-grown human brain. The trophy - drenched in gold - glistens with lube.

Panning over the audience, the camera reveals an empty auditorium, save for a coked-out, toothless Matt Lauer.

As gala an extravaganza as: One Night Only: Live Inside This Barn: It's Joe Piscopo!

The host - a silicone blob hangin' from her gown, and lit Cowboy Killer danglin' from her lips - opens a cum-stained envelope, producing a used dick turban. Devoid of emotion, she discards the spent cock cork, and removes a few squares of toilet paper. Sifting through the mess, she reads what's written on the fibrous scraps.

The camera cuts to a now-full crowd, replete with A-List celebrities Jonathan Frakes and Efrem Zimbalist Jr.'s cryogenically-preserved penis. Both resemble a gray, shriveled Cheese Puff.

The stress is so thick, you can cut it with a cotton ball.

"Th- the...fuck junky?!" the dispassionate woman butchers our hero's name with far less zeal than Dahmer did his victims.

Drenched in sweat, tfj bolts upright, atop a bed. Gasping for breath, he acclimates to his fallout shelter apartment. The thought of an insane society actually recognizing his accomplishments makes him shudder. That would mean he, himself, was insane.

Perhaps if you know you are insane then you are not insane. Or you are becoming sane, finally.

- Philip K. Dick

Opposing this system was an attribute he coveted. Although it filled his path with barbed tape and land mines, if he hoped to foment a paradigm shift, he would constantly be at odds with this order - or lack, thereof.

I wasn't goin' anywhere, and neither was the rest of the world. We were all just hangin' around, waitin' to die, and meanwhile doin' little things to fill the space.

Some of us weren't even doin' little things; we were vegetables.

- Charles Bukowski

All around him, desires and dreams had been forfeited. Had people actually hungered to be bank tellers and insurance salesmen, since they were children, or was lust for the banal instilled within them?

Most kids don't even know what bank tellers and insurance salesmen are. Most bank tellers and insurance salesmen don't know what they are.

"Mailman, you got any mail for me?"

And you felt like screaming, "Lady, how the hell do I know who you are,...or I am, or anybody is?"

- Post Office: A Novel

If you ask a kid what he wants to be when he grows up, you'd be shocked like R.P. McMurphy - in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - if the little prick said, "A CPA."

Kids naturally want to have adventures, and explore. Steadily, those inchoate catalysts are extirpated from the child's makeup, and replaced with the desires of what this system demands people crave; i.e. slavery. This lack of order requires an ignorant populace, ravenous for incarceration.

What were doctors, lawyers, scientists?

They were just men who allowed themselves to be deprived of their freedom to think and act as individuals.

- Henry Chinaski

If the slaves hunger for slavery, they'll enslave themselves.

But how could one get an entire populace to voraciously pursue its own subjugation?

Simple. Brainwash the proletariat to believe in "authority." Once this is accomplished, have "authority" inform the public - over and over - that slavery is actually work. Eventually, the term "slavery" is replaced by "work," and work viewed as necessary. Anybody who doesn't work will be labelled lazy, and ostracized by the larger group.

And the old men sometimes get quite violent about what some of the young guys are doin'. "Hell, I worked hard all my life!"

They think it's a virtue, but it only proves a man's a damned fool.

"These people want everything for nothing, sitting around, wrecking their bodies with dope, hoping to live off the fat of the land." [...]

He's only jealous because he's been tricked; fucked out of his good years. He'd really like to have a ball too, if he could do it over, but he can't. So now he wants them to suffer like he did.

- The Big Pot Game

This modality is taught to the children. Soon, everybody is indoctrinated to believe what would be viewed as bondage - in a logical society - is actually work; imperative to the well-being of all.

Even though slavery is defined as: "severe toil; drudgery" - and that's how almost everyone describes their "job" - we pretend work and slavery aren't synonymous.

We choose to overlook the fact a primary synonym of the word "slavery" is the term "labor."

"Labor board," "labor negotiations," "labor union," "Labor fuckin' Day!" Akin to Oprah's fat ass, and deplorable greed, it's right there for us to see! Slavery and labor are synonymous; just as labor and work are synonyms. Hence, work and slavery mean the same thing.

The fuck junky had known this for decades, and thus worked as little as possible. He stopped pursuing a "career" before he began.

Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.

- Franz Kafka

Fortuitously, tfj never lost that inherent drive for adventure. It's an attribute he cherishes. He still views the environment through the eyes of an inquisitive child.

When you combine that with an adult desire for sex, amazing exploits - article-worthy, in nature - occur.

Imagine the wondrous dreams and fantastic inventions never made reality, because those who conceptualized them couldn't survive the monetary system. Ratiocinate about the marvelous minds that were snuffed out, simply because they couldn't exist, due to the cutthroat nature of money.

How many of those brains would've helped humanity advance exponentially?

Killing off brilliant people, because they can't save themselves from impoverishment, isn't smart. How does that aid our species?

It doesn't. Since the preponderance of our kind is obsessed with collecting cash, as opposed to addressing our survival - as a race - engaging in such insanity places us in grave peril.

Of course there were a lot of good people sleepin' on the streets. They weren't fools; they just didn't fit into the needed machinery of the moment. [...] It was a grim setup, and if you found yourself sleepin' in your own bed at night, that alone was a precious victory over the forces. [...]

All in all, it was a fairly horrible world, and I felt sad often for most of the people in it.

- Charles Bukowski

It's what was on his mind, when tfj donned Hoffman Lenses, and emerged from his stained sty. Ambling toward the Vegas Strip, this Solar System's colossal fusion reactor blasted his retinas. A homeless woman fried an egg on the sidewalk. Everywhere he looked he saw the lies.

Through the sunglasses: "Achieve total success!" transformed into: "Conform, and be a productive debt slave!"

"Different. Daring. Diverse," became: "Ordinary. Cowardly. Similar," when viewed with the shades.

He averted his eyes from the advertisements - no easy task in Sin City.

It's when he turned the corner off Harmon that he saw 'em!

The biggest goddamned insects ever! The enormous bastards had to rock the scales at 200 pounds! And here they were, in the left ventricle of Las Vegas Boulevard.

"Doesn't anybody else see these gargantuan behemoths?!" the fuck junky pondered. "How can they miss 'em?!?" his testosterone-surging mind frenetically struggled.

Dredged from the sewers, Strip Crickets had infested the street. And in front of him was the largest of 'em all! A hundred pounds bigger than the others, this monster stared him down with unctuous eyes rolled in fried fat and poultry skin.

Tfj couldn't avoid the hulking horror, unless he simply stopped walking. On either side, twin tourists - each immense, themselves - boxed the fuck junky in.

He wasn't about to turn back. He was on his way to a gangbang featuring a chick who was missing a foot! When would he get another opportunity like that?! And so, without faltering, he continued forward.

But it was okay, right? Strip Crickets - although humongous - were harmless. They belched a fuckload of noise, slapping their crisp hooker cards against calloused pinchers - made so by endless hours of masturbation to Latin soap operas. That said, when was the last time he'd read a newspaper article about these mutants eating a sleeping homeless guy's face, on Las Vegas Boulevard?

He hadn't, but that was because he left mainstream media in the dust decades ago.

Still, he'd never uncovered a hooker carcass on the Strip, legs devoured by these monstrous arachnids.

One would surmise if this was a persistent problem, steps would've been taken to exterminate these creatures from the thoroughfare. Yet, such was obviously not the case. The taloned nightmares lumbered from Excalibur to Circus Circus, flipping their greasy cards. After nightfall, sparks flew from the sources of the sound-

And that's when it happened! Just as he thought he'd safely circumvented the giant gargoyle, the beast's back bristled with electricity. Slicing the air around tfj, it lashed out with one of its Ginsu-sharp manus.

Our hero lunged to the left, protecting his hands as best he could. That was their thing. For some reason, these crusty cockroaches went straight for the palms.

The fuck junky knew he was too late. As gigantic as this seething monster was, it seemed equally quick. Reeking of agave fermentation, the oily hive insect gnashed its hemoglobin-stained teeth.

What resulted was a straight-edged laceration across tfj's Kobe beef skin.

Our hero felt the blood gush, as he stared in horror at his hand. Within the pink meat of his palm, a calling card - the signature of the Strip Cricket.

Applying a tourniquet with his fingers, he squeezed his wrist, in hopes he wouldn't bleed out. "Am I gonna be the first casualty of these things?!" the fuck junky's mind skittered across greased ice.

Horrified, he gazed up at the huge hellion.

The brute grinned in Kafkaesque fashion - a combination of Naked Lunch and The Metamorphosis-

But as quickly as the phantasm manifested, it was gone. Vanished was the Strip Cricket, along with the blood. All that was left was the hooker card in tfj's soft palm.

Staring at the vestige of the hallucination, he realized something was amiss here, as well. It took a moment, before he comprehended what it was:

"She'll be at your door in 30 minutes or less! Reasonable rates!" the card announced.

The featured female in the advertisement was not only drop-dead gorgeous, but one he had fucked the evening prior - for free - at a swing club four miles off the Strip.

Strip Crickets:

definition: The annoying folk on Las Vegas Boulevard that hand out cards for strippers/escorts, etc. They flick the cards, making a clicking noise, kinda' like crickets chirping.

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