Teti-à-Tête (With Tony) #12

crumble-cult-210

Tati as TATI

crumble-cult-106

Tony as TONY

 

ACT 77 SCENE 549
DUCKIN’ & RENOVATIN’

 

Tati walks into the living room to see Tony standing on the wall, jutting out horizontally. He’s inspecting a mark on the ceiling.

TATI: What is this? A new kind of fortune-telling? Using spider webs and desiccated flies?

TONY: Nope. I just thought I’d try looking at life from a different perspective for a change.

TATI: Uh huh. And how does it look?

TONY: Erm… Very skip trowelly, I guess?

TATI: What? Your life looks like you’re skipping a trolley?

TONY: No! Skip trowel. It’s a type of finish that ceilings can have.

TATI: Tony, I don’t understand. Are you gazing at the ceiling or at your life?

TONY: Can’t it be both? Perhaps this ceiling represents a developmental point that I cannot get past as a human being. Perhaps this is symbolic of my personal limits.

Tati peers up at Tony with a long musing look, then leaves the room. She’s back a few moments later with two large pick axes. She climbs up onto the wall and stands near the ceiling with him. Then she hits the ceiling sharply with one of the pick axes. Tony looks at her, wide eyed and open mouthed, as bits of debris rain down on them.

TONY: What are you doing?!

Tony swallows some ceiling, and begins to cough and splutter.

TONY: Jesus. That can’t be good for my asthma!

TATI: Yes, Tony, you’re not Michelangelo. Where’s your swing?

A bird’s nest and some cockroaches fall onto Tony’s face. He splutters some more, and very quickly flicks them away.

TONY: Well, duh, I’m not Michelangelo! What’s your point?

TATI: My point is this stone. Would you be so kind as to help me with it, Tony?

TONY: What stone?

A huge piece of ceiling stone clocks the side of his face.

TONY: Oh. That one.

Trying not to pass out, he holds it up for Tati to see.

TATI: Hit it! HIT IT!

TONY: The stone?

TATI: No, drop the stone. Hit the ceiling!

Bemused, Tony drops the stone. He takes his pick axe and tentatively swings it at the ceiling. It catches on the edge of the hole Tati’s already made, and more debris comes tumbling down.

TATI: Watch your head! Duck! Duck!

Tony and Tati duck and weave like Neo dodging bullets in ‘The Matrix’.

TONY: Wow! Are we naturals or what?

TATI: Nope, we’re supernaturals!

Tony stumbles and falls over. Tati chuckles and helps him up again.

TATI: Rise up, Neo! Rise up!

And so, they keep swinging their pick axes and hacking a larger hole until finally they’re satisfied. Tati and Tony down their tools, and climb back onto the floor.

TONY: That was fun!

They lay on the floor and gaze back up through the hole in the ceiling, taking in the view of the night sky with its many twinkling stars.

TATI: So, what is your limit, Tony?

TONY: Through that ceiling and beyond!

TATI: That’s it!

They continue to lay there happily, but then…

TONY: Is that…

TATI: Yes. Rain.

TATI & TONY: Dammit!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

BUT IS IT ART? // Man’s Best Pal(indrome)

 

1265542358_ornament

 

TONY: There’s a time when I wouldn’t have dared to draw something like this.

TATI: Uh huh. You usually only dare to draw dildos and boobs.

TONY: Yes, now I can add shit to the list.

TATI: Wow. Now you can be considered a mature artist.

TONY: What does that even mean anyway? How mature is it to draw a dick and balls instead of covering them up with a pair of underpants? No, I just drew these things because I wanted to. Nothing more, nothing less.

TATI: Definitely, the name of Tony Single shall now be featured alongside those of Odd Nerdrum, Pieter Bruegel…

TONY: Who?

TATI: Artists. Who drew shit.

TONY: Oh, what they drew was shit? Or they literally drew with shit? And it was shit? Or brilliant.

TATI: They drew shit. Literally.

TONY: Oh, shit. Really?

TATI: Shrilly.

TONY: Well, aren’t you just in a silly mood today!

TATI: And you’re in a shitty mood.

TONY: Well, I’m trying to have a serious conversation about god being a palindrome of dog—god being a dog’s leavings, if you will. Perhaps god’s not the great almighty being we make him out to be. Perhaps we ought to hold dogs in higher esteem.

TATI: What a weird concept. Was it a car or a cat I saw?

TONY: Huh?!

TATI: Perhaps cars are not the great almighty beings we make them out to be. Perhaps we ought to hold cats in higher esteem.

TONY: But… but… Cats. Cars. They’re not palindromes! You’re completely ruining my whole point!

TATI: But… but… Your ‘shit’ doesn’t spell ‘Tony’ backwards!

TONY: Are you calling me shit?

TATI: No way! I’m honestly trying to follow your shitty logic.

TONY: I’m wondering how many times we can get away with saying the word ‘shit’ in this discussion…

TATI: I suppose we’re going to get beans anyway, but not because of some doo doo balls on your picture, Tony.

TONY: I literally have no idea what you just said.

TATI: I suppose our readers will tell you. I just know I don’t want to get beans.

TONY: What the shit does your ‘get beans’ mean? I’m so confused!

TATI: Wait and see.

TONY: Erm… Okay? How about we just move on from shits and beans and… well, talk about the ‘god’ part of my illustration?

(Tati begins to walk away.)

TONY: Tati? Hey! Wait! TATI?!

(She pays absolutely no attention to him.)

TONY: Well… shit.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

Teti-à-Tête (With Tony) #11

crumble-cult-210

Tati as TATI

crumble-cult-106

Tony as TONY

 

ACT 74 SCENE 1
CENSORSHIP & PROTÉGÉS

 

TATI: Give it back! Give me my drawing back!

Tati jumps around Tony, trying to grab a sheet of paper from his hand. He won’t let her have it, and keeps whipping it out of reach. He’s dodging and giggling while Button sits in the corner with a resentful look.

TONY: Aw, come on. It’s not that bad, and you know it!

TATI: It isn’t perfect! Look at the tail! The hip! That eye! Give it back immediately, you vile muzzle! I need to fix it!

TONY: ‘Vile muzzle’? What does that even mean?

Button sniffs as though offended, and turns away.

TATI: You! You’re this vile muzzle who wants to make a laughing stock of me!

TONY: Tati, if you keep abusing hell out of me, I’ll post not only this cute kitty but also your drawing for our upcoming ABCs book. Your Frau Earwig looks so freaking sexy!

Tati stops jumping. Her mouth is wide open from shock. How could Tony stoop so low? She goes and sits near Button in the corner, but Button gets up and moves away.

TONY: Aw, Tati, don’t be like that! I’m proud of all you’ve accomplished since I started teaching you how to draw!

Tati turns to Button.

TATI: Can you believe how shitty my life can be?

BUTTON: I can’t believe she’s asking me this…

TONY: I don’t get it. Why are you determined to hide your achievements?

Tati’s face suddenly flushes bright red. She appears to be quite shy and embarrassed. Tony and Button look at her with great surprise. They’ve never seen her like this before.

TATI: You’re a perfect artist, Tony. Your works are blameless, flawless. And mine… My cat looks like it was in a bad car accident!

She sniffles loudly.

TONY: Tati, it’s the im-purrr-fections that make your cat… well, purrr-fect!

Tati nervously bites her lower lip, but continues to listen to Tony anyway. Button seems to have forgotten his troubles and looks at Tony and Tati with interest. Tony hands Tati a tissue.

TONY: Would you let me show your cat drawing to the world?

Tati stands there in silence, and fiddles with the tissue in her hands. After a moment, she says with an icy tone…

TATI: Do what you want.

Then she hands the tissue to Button.

TATI: Hey, Button, I think you have snot coming out of your nose.

She turns away and proudly leaves the room with a look like she’s the Queen of England.

TONY: Good lord. If this silly girl would only listen to me. I’d tell her that I fucking worked my arse off for three years to get a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Animation. And that I have featured in fucking art exhibitions and… and… Oh, who am I kidding? She’ll never listen to me. She thinks she can learn and be perfect in just two days?! Oh, women…

Tony looks at Button. He thinks for a moment, then pulls out a sheet of paper.

TONY: Face or profile?

Button beams with joy and puts on his best pose.

BUTTON: Both!

Dear Readers, there’s Tony’s cat. Do you want to see Tati’s interpretation of this? Then click on the image and be welcomed to our Patreon page! There’s no waiting in line, and entry is free for our dear Patrons! Come one, come all, and see what the fuss is about!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

Teti-à-Tête (With Tony) #10

crumble-cult-210

Tati as TATI

crumble-cult-106

Tony as TONY

 

ACT 26 SCENE 11
PAGE FLIPS & FLIP-FLOPS

 

Tati is sitting on a branch high above the ground. She’s almost hidden from view by the tree’s foliage. The only reason Tony can see her at all is because her legs are dangling beneath it in the open air. Tati’s left flip-flop dangles from one big toe, and Tony steps aside so that he doesn’t get a flip-flop slap between the eyes.

TONY: Hi, Tati! What are you doing up there?

TATI: What? What did you say, Tony? I can’t hear you.

TONY: Well, don’t expect me to climb all the way up there, thank you! I don’t wish to slip and break my neck!

TATI: Oh, I’ve always known you were a lazy, old, weak-as-piss arse!

TONY: And I love you too. Sheesh. The question stands. What are you doing?

TATI: Don’t try to muddle me with your loosey-goosey gnomology! Answer me this: How long has it been since we released our last book?

TONY: Erm… October 2016, I think. And what do gnomes have to do with you being up a tree?

TATI: Timber!

Tati slides down the tree trunk like it’s a fireman’s pole.

TONY: How the hell did you do that without getting splinters everywhere?

Tony gingerly touches the tree.

TONY: Nope. It’s not been greased or anything…

TATI: You’re a master of the runaround, Tony! Gnomes and splinters are foreign to my question!

TONY: Well, never mind the fact that you completely ignore mine…

TATI: I ask you, have you put together our new book yet?

TONY: YES! I have, okay? God!

Tati thrusts ‘One Pulse’ under Tony’s nose.

TATI: And where is it? I’ve reread ‘One Pulse’ a dozen times! I remember every line and every poem by heart! Don’t you think it’s time I had something new to read?

TONY: You read your own work all the time? Wow. Talk about narcissistic…

Tati is completely surprised at this.

TATI: Don’t you read our books, Tony? Please, you mustn’t tell me that you’ve failed to buy them!

TONY: Why would I buy the books that I’ve helped to write? That doesn’t make any sense!

TATI: I knew it! You’re a tight bastard! You don’t want to support young, promising poets!

TONY: How will it help us if we buy our own freaking books? We’re not gonna get rich that way!

TATI: No? Strange. I was certain it would be the most sure way.

TONY: No! A thousand times no! We need to sell these books we write to other people. That’s the only way this money-making thing will ever work. Frankly, I’m surprised I have to explain this to an accountant. You are an accountant, right?

TATI: What? What did you say, Tony? I can’t hear you.

Tati becomes transparent, and her voice distant and low.

TONY: I’m standing right beside you, woman.

Tati disappears with a soft hiss, like the bubbles that pop over a glass of lemonade. Tony looks more irritated than surprised about this.

TONY: Is she ever going to listen to me someday?

Tony rolls over to his other side and mutters in his sleep.

TONY: Such a crankypants! The manuscript is ready. The cover is ready, dammit. What more does she want?

He smacks his lips between snores.

TONY: ‘Nothing to read.’ Tsk tsk!

Tony doesn’t suspect that in exactly five minutes he will wake up because of a flip-flop slap between the eyes and a wauling Tati. Poor thing!

Yes, Dear Reader, this is all just Tony’s dream but our new book is not.

 

 

PS: By the way, one half of Unbolt Me celebrates their birthday today. In honour of this, we have prepared a little surprise for you over on our Patreon page. Don’t worry, entry is absolutely free!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018

BUT IS IT ART? // Toast of London

 

1265542358_ornament

 

TATI: “Hup, hup!” I remember this one, Tony!

TONY: You do? I guess that means you like it, huh?

TATI: Yes, I do! I even remember we wrote a little silly poem for this picture. Do you remember it?

TONY: “Three little Soldiers stand in a row,
Two stand straight and the other bends low.
Along comes the Sergeant and what do you think?
Off pops her halter, quick as a wink.

Bless them and their tiny bazooms,
Their strap-on guns and primed vavooms.
Four little Soldiers ready to blow,
To make sweet jiggy and war not sow.”

TATI: Hee hee hee… exactly. Well, now I’m going to be deadly serious. Where are their epaulettes?

TONY: Eppa—what? I’m not sure what you mean.

TATI: And I’m not sure about ‘bazooms’ and ‘vavooms’.

TONY: Well. Erm. Ahem. Why don’t you just google those, Tati?

TATI: So google ‘epaulette’ and don’t ask questions!

TONY: Okay! Okay! Yeesh…

TATI: Have you served in the military?

TONY: I’m relieved to say that I haven’t.

TATI: I won’t blame you for that. Neither have I. What inspired you to draw this image? Why soldiers?

TONY: There’s a British sitcom that I absolutely adore called Toast of London. It has an opening title sequence that features marching girls, and it’s such a striking visual that I wanted to draw my own version of it.

TATI: Do you consider military girls sexy?

TONY: Generally, no. I don’t have a weird fetish for them or anything. I just like these particular military girls. There’s something undeniably sexy about the way they march across the screen in their bearskin hats and brief bikinis. And there’s something oddly compelling about their flat chests too.

TATI: Poor bears! I protest!

TONY: Well, you have a point there. Those hats are made from the skins of real American black bears. It’s a bit cruel to be sure.

TATI: A bit?! It’s outrageously cruel!

TONY: Yes, a poor choice of word on my part…

Tati runs away, leaving a thick dust trail behind her. Tony blinks in confusion.

TONY: I’ll never understand this flighty girl…

Tati rushes back with a piece of paper and shoves it under Tony’s nose. He blinks some more.

TONY: Erm… what is this?

TATI: A petition! Sign it! Now!

TONY: What’s it for? To get more flat chested women on telly?

Tati hits Tony over the head with the petition. He gives her a confused look.

TONY: What?! It’s a worthy cause!

TATI: Will you sign it or not?

TONY: Fine! Razzin’ frazzin’…

Tony begrudgingly signs the petition. Tati then snatches it from his hand and rushes out the door. He calls after her.

TONY: So… can I post my drawing on our blog?

Faintly, Tati’s voice comes from far away.

TATI: Not on your nelly!

Tony smiles to himself.

TONY: Did she say more flat chested women on telly? I think so. Excellent!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2018