ABSURDIS EXTREME // Case Study #1952 [13/09/1985] by B.A. Loney

This is the story of a portly Italian plumber who had a flair for acrobatics that was as impressive as his moustache. By the way, his name was not Mario for obvious copyright infringement reasons (so please don’t sue us, Nintendo!).

Every day, after a hard shift full of leaking pipes, clogged toilets and unnervingly sentient toadstools, not-Mario would visit the famous not-Bab-omb Bar that isn’t in Dinohattan. And he wasn’t getting drunk before blue snots with his portly moustachioed colleagues who may or may not have been called Luigi, Waluigi and Wario. Not at all. He was proudly taking to the stage to pole dance in front of all the not-Mushroom Kingdom folk, wearing high-heeled lacquered boots and spritely shined bustier, and his moustache powdered in pink and gold.

He was like Freddy Mercury up there, strutting the length of the stage and back again, and even somehow strutting up and down the pole. Even wall jumping where there were no walls with loud wahoos. How could he do this? He was not-Mario, that’s how! And for some bonus gold coins, he’d satisfy some of the kinkier clientele in the audience with dominating butt stomps to their faces. All this while doffing his bright red cap and racking up a bonus number of 1-ups!

The cheering and applause was off the hook. Everyone tried to touch not-Mario’s moustache for good luck and domestic bliss and whatever else they could think of. Some folks in the audience also thought that if they put one of his moustache hairs in their wallet, this would bring them riches beyond imagining. Maybe even protect them from not-at-all copyright infringing pests such as Piranha Pants, Cry Guys and wayward warp pipes. After all, it was a dangerous world out there and they needed all the luck they could get!

Not-Mario tried to retreat backstage as the audience began to swarm over him like a zombie horde, but to no avail. One particularly aggressive not-Koopa groupie swiped his moustache off with a well-aimed swipe and held it above her head like a trophy. Like a woollen jumper being unravelled by a loose thread, not-Mario’s pixels began to come apart. Is this what it was like to die with no continues? Why? The injustice!

He opened his mouth to cry out to the Miyamoto God but nothing came forth—and nothing downloaded from the Cloud to save him. All not-Mario’s pixels just sparked out of existence, and the only thing to indicate that he was ever there was a static-filled ‘Game Over’. His colleagues wailed mightily, tearing their clothes in an unrestrained display of grief. Their pole dancing queen was no more—and the most skilled plumber in the city by the way. Since then, not-Dinohattan sank in grief and shit. Amen.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

100 WORD SKITTLE // Gravity Falls

She was at her favourite author’s book launch. Nay, he was a literary god with a cannon to launch said book into the stratosphere.

Seated in the first row, she tugged at the hem of her miniskirt and adjusted her combat helmet. A notebook was perched on her knees—her readers needed to hear about this!

BOOM!

Off went the cannon. Where was the book? His false teeth were hurtling into the air but… no book. This had become quite the jaw-dropping event!

She hoped she would be lucky enough to finagle an autograph and a sloppy wet kiss afterwards.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

PERFECTION IN ACTION // Operation Vexillology

“Blue is sky and yellow is wheat!”

“Nope! Yellow is sun! Blue is water!”

They glared each other down from opposite ends of the table, ready to fight. Of course, they’d need a running start—the table was so long it crossed three international time zones.

Ready, steady, GO!

Somewhere at the epicentre of that domestic warzone they suddenly noticed something. It was Putin entering the room.

When they finally left said room, they were kicking something around that looked suspiciously like somebody’s very tiny balls. And they were no longer incensed by one another’s stance on the flag debate.

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022