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Mostly satirical short stories
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Kifffarces (2) - Kiff and the Plumber, part 1

Posted 08-24-18 at 06:57 AM by Luthien
Updated 08-25-18 at 06:59 AM by Luthien

The Colossally Macabre Rock Formation Kiff was touring one day, and in a smallish mid-western town they were booked into a particularly crappy hotel.

The bass player, quite to the disgruntlement of the rest, was in a very playful mood and he stomped, giggling maniacally, from room to room on his plateau boots, opening all the taps he could find just to annoy his colleagues.
It turned out that the plumbing was badly clogged: in all the sinks, the bath-tub and the toilet alike, the water didn’t drain.

This made the Foul Fiends even more disgruntled – but contrary to what one would expect, this was in fact appreciated by his spine-chilling associates (a moment’s rational thought will clarify this: after all, they were all inclined by nature – and legally obliged – to maintain a wretched, spiteful and unnerving disposition. So it is only natural that anything that helped them achieving this was considered to be helpful).

They leered menacingly to one another for several minutes, while water from the overflowing tubs and sinks spread out over the carpet. Eventually, the lead-guitarist – the one with the extended tongue – squish-flap-sopped over to the telephone and rang up the reception desk: “Lhey oo! Uh whainin ih lohhehd! Ehn’ ah hehlelihian uh, hillyah? Hah eh ih ehhi!”

He stood listening to the receiver and frowned, but then the bass player got up and patiently took the phone out of his hand, put it to his ear and said: “Hello? Yes, sorry about that… yes …” he glanced at the guitar player … “I’d say, about a foot long. No, it’s on purpose … yes … well, anyhow, what he was trying to say was: ‘Hey, you! The draining’s clogged! Send an electrician up willya? And make it snappy!’ Oh, hang on a second …” he paused to look at his dire comrades-in-horror, who were frantically waving a notepad with the word PLUMBER written on it – of course using a menacing-looking Gothic font.

“Wait! No, make that a PLUMBER! A snappy plumber, that’s right!”
He put down the receiver and giggled.

A minute past, while they listened to the gurgling and dripping of water.

Then there came a polite knock on the door. GASP!!, the Nightmarish Foursome uttered in unison.

Slowly, the door creaked open to reveal the hulking outline of an space-man dressed in a Moon-suit.

He carried a suitcase.

“Are you the plumber?” the bass player suggested, without much hope.
“[BEEP] No, I’m Alan … I’m actually a space station electrician [BEEP]”
- it sounded muffled from inside the space-suit.
“[BEEP] But that’s not what I’m here for: [BEEP] I flew all the way to this One-Horse Nothing Gulch [BEEP] in my modified LM *CHCHT* [BEEP] copy that, Houston [BEEP] *CHCHCHT* in order to have my Hark Cloggo albums signed by y’all [BEEP].”
He held out the arm holding the suitcase. He put it down and it opened to reveal a couple of vinyl LP records by, indeed, “Hark Cloggo & the Clodboys”.
They were all there: “The Rake’s Progress”, “Diggin’ a Dunkin’ Pond”, “The Clodboys Live a-diggin’ in Butchart Gardens”, “Growing Hedgehogs Upside Down”, “Listless Lawns & Pretty Petunias” – the whole shebang and their uncle.
“[BEEP] ‘The Rake’s Progress’ is my favourite [BEEP]”, he added, “[BEEP] especially that part where you do the ‘Rake Dance’ … [BEEP]”
He assumed a pose as if he was holding a rake, and started to sing:
“[BEEP] Ah well-a-well-a-well you can be diggin’ holes an’ shovellin’ earth [BEEP] but the rakin’s dah best part of all …[BEEP]”
As he sang with the muffled, tinny radio voice emanating from the bulky suit, he moved his arms in rhythm as if he was raking to the song:
“[BEEP] … an’ we’ll rake rake rake yer booties off, we’ll [BEEP] rake rake all night long … [BEEP] Yes! Wow. Or that other one from ‘Knee deep in the mud’ [BEEP] *CHCHT* [BEEP] plodding petunia, plodding petunia, over [BEEP] *CHCHT* [BEEP] hang on, Houston, everything A-OK, will report back ASAP [BEEP] CHCHT [BEEP] plodding petunia, copy that *CHT* [BEEP] sorry guys … ah yes, that song from ‘Knee deep in the mud’ called, er … [BEEP] yes, that cover song you did: ‘you load sixteen tons, and whaddya get…’ [BEEP]”
As he moved, now imitating a person digging and shovelling earth, or, as far as was possible in the EVA suit, the hotel room lights reflected ironically in the glass front of his helmet.
“[BEEP] ‘… Hey, St. Peter don’t you call me cause I cain’t go … [BEEP] owe my soul to da company stoooooore’ [BEEP]”
The Petrifying Double-Duo was watching all this with ever-mounting amazement. Their mouths slowly fell open – they even forgot to gasp.

The space-man stopped dancing and singing, and they couldn’t see his face because of the reflecting helmet. But his posture did reveal a mounting sense of uneasiness:
“[BEEP] Eh, what’s the problem guys – never seen an astronaut having a good time before? [BEEP]”
“Why, yes”, the bass player said after some deep thought, “several times, now you mention it. But surely not while we were expecting a plumber.”
“[BEEP] I see. But I’m sure he’ll turn up soon enough.”
“[BEEP] By the way …. [BEEP]”, he pointed at the still running tap above the copiously overflowing sink, “[BEEP] why don’t you guys close the faucets? [BEEP]”
The Uncannily Unnerving Rock Quadruplet exchanged glances and rolled their eyes.

“Because”, the bass player explained patiently, as if talking to young child, “… because it’s the clogged plumbing that’s the problem … the faucets are OK, as you can see.” He pointed to the expanding water puddles on the soaked carpet.

By the way he didn’t move at all, the space-man managed to project a strong impression of utter bewilderment.

In the ensuing silence, the Barbarous Horrorrockers exchanged some whispered grunts and sibilants among themselves, after which they got up, grabbed their Scary Ballpoint Pens and proceeded to sign the space-man’s albums with the unreadable sharp, pointy barbs that their recording contracts specified.

This released the astronaut from his bewildered state. He straightened his back, and his voice sounded positively pleased as he remarked:
“[BEEP] Hey, thanks! I really appreciate it. By the way, nice new outfits you got there … [BEEP] …. it’s sure quite a change from the dungarees and straw hats that’s ever been yer trademark! [BEEP]”
He took the suitcase with the signed oeuvre from the bass player and hesitated for a few seconds, as if looking for the right words to say to the Four Hamlets of Grimness, who had assumed their traditional theatrical PR-pose, arms akimbo.
“[BEEP] Well, thanks! I suppose this is ‘goodbye’ then … [BEEP]”
But then the door suddenly burst open to produce a voluptuous lady, her hair tied together in a tail that seemed to sprout from the top of her head like a fountain, dressed in leopard-print leggings and a frayed and moth-eaten fur body warmer. She was holding an umbrella in a way that suggested that she was going to use it to bring her point of view across.

“So, what are you clowns try – ” she cut off in mid-sentence as she beheld the Infamously Brain-freezing Megastars. Her mouth fell open, and the umbrella from her grip.

The spaceman, being a gentle and empathic soul, sensed that this was a good moment to leave. He turned around and walked out the door.

(Continued in part 2)
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