The Haywire was (mostly selfishly) established in 1882 by the venerable Mayor Oslo von Queef as a sanctuary for himself when his wife would host yet another impromptu tampon party in their estate. Nowadays, the Haywire has morphed into a safe place in Hellsbelly where the residents convene and congregate, hash out their problems to the friendly ears of their neighbors, get help beating level 65 on Candy Crush or remembering the lyrics to Crash Test Dummies songs.
1. Gregory had $23 left in his bank account. He really wanted to go to the Wet Fish, the strip club at the corner of Labia and Venereal Avenue, but he also needed to get his niece a birthday present. He could already hear his sister’s derisive riot act if he had the audacity to show up at her daughter’s birthday party without a gift, but his addiction to lunch buffets and hip-gyrations were dangerously close to winning out.
2. Areola just happened to have been fired from her stripping position at the Wet Fish for sexually harassing the albino janitor. Overhearing Gregory’s opines, she suggested that he treat himself by strip-clubbing it up, and to collect some of the stray sequins that often come loose from the strippers’ headdresses and nipple tassels being aggressively groped and shaken, which Gregory could then use to fashion a delightful headband for his niece. “Just don’t go to the Wet Fish,” Areola huffed. “The Eager Beaver is much better.”
3. Mauricio hadn’t had sex in 4 years, not since the fire at the Waffle Wigwam had turned his face into a perma-Freddy Kreuger mask. He was just thinking how great even a hand job would be at this point, when his baggie of Smarties fell out of his pocket and rolled across the damp ground. “Great,” he thought, sitting in defeat next to the spilled pill-like candies. “Can’t a melted-mugged motherfucker eat some goddamn candy without humiliation?”
4. Beauregard had just received a large sum of galvanized steel pipes from his grass cutter’s Will, but could not think of a use for it. Hearing of Areola’s occupational distress, he ran home to erect the pipe in his bedroom and then hired her to be the personal pole dancer for his iguana, who was having a terrible time eating without the sound of flesh squeaking against a pole.
5. Bettina had just gotten her hair shorn clear to her scalp, her long flaxen locks sold by her mother to traveling gypsies for a month’s worth of arsenic hastily splashed into a dusty apothecary jar mislabeled as “weight loss potion.” Bettina sat on a wire and cradled her bald head in her lap. “Well,” her friend Bianca joked earlier while shaking a bag of pork rinds into her grinding maw. “It’s a good thing I didn’t get you any headbands for your birthday.” Bettina had watched Bianca steal the pork rinds from her own mother’s purse earlier that day; Bianca was obsessed with achieving a thigh gap, yet couldn’t kick her junk food addiction or perfect the pigeon-toe stance. Bettina secretly wished to the Haywire that Bianca would just die.
6. Phillipe felt like shit. He had forgotten to disable the landmines in his backyard and now his goddamn grass-cutter was dead. But that’s not why he came out to the Haywire that night—he just liked how the wire cupped his ass when he perched on it.
7. Henry was on his way home from a Ted Nugent concert when he was overcome by a hankering for waffles. Unfamiliar with the area, he flagged down a caravan of gypsies, who pointed him in the direction of Hellsbelly. “There’s a place there called the Waffle Wigwam,” said one of the gypsies, who appeared to be wearing a wig of long blond hair that clashed with her ginger eyebrows. “They come with pockets so deep, you need two carafes of syrup. It’s like pores on a giant’s face,” she added, flipping her unnatural hair. But once Henry arrived at Hellsbelly, he found an empty lot where the Waffle Wigwam once stood before a man accidentally burnt it down four years ago when he drove his lawn mower through the kitchen wall and crashed into the gas griddle. And that is how Henry found himself loitering at the Haywire, pondering the pores on a giant’s face and wondering where the fuck in this town he could get a waffle. “It’s not like anyone has a spare in their pocket,” Henry laughed bitterly to himself.
8. Maryanne was tired of giving handjobs to her old majorette’s baton in an effort to get her husband’s OCD iguana to eat his fucking mashed figs. Her hand was perpetually blistered and brush-burned and she just needed a moment’s rest at the Haywire. Unfortunately, she also really wanted some molly, and that is how she ended up giving a handjob on her handjob break to a grotesque man sitting amidst a pile of pills.
9. Connie hated her brother with the passion of 54,000 Westboro Church members picketing a Lady Gaga concert. She’d hated him since middle school, when he would pay her friends money from her own piggy bank to give him what he called “sciatica relief” but were really just awkward lap dances. Her daughter’s birthday party was tomorrow and Connie was so afraid that he was going to pull the “sciatica relief” schtick on her new grown-up friends, so she did what she had to do to get the money for gypsy killing juice, but, where was it? She was sure she put it in the garbage bag she used as a purse.
10. The junior prom was fast-approaching and all of Johan’s friends had secured dates. It’s not that Johan was ugly or reeks of cabbage, but he was allergic to hair. No girl can dance with him without him breaking out into hives and choking on his own swollen tongue the moment her locks come within a foot of his face. He was just about to resign to another Nair-scented night of Redbox rentals and beer nuts when he felt a tear drop kiss his shoulder. He looked up to see the most beautiful poster child for baldness crying on a wire above him, her glabrous pate glistening beneath a flickering streetlight.
11. Frangeline’s daughter was a pick-pocketer. Frangeline kept telling her, “Bianca, one of these days you’re going to stick your hand somewhere it really don’t belong and get yourself a bad, bad surprise.” Like the time Bianca was 7 and snatched Old Lady Humperdinck’s enema kit out of her handbag because she thought it was a balloon inflater, which made the house smell like synthetic farts. And that is how Frangeline knew when she walked in on Bianca, dead and bloated on the bathroom floor, that the empty jar of weight loss serum next to her was likely ill-begotten from some broad’s purse. “Oh Bianca,” Frangeline wailed later on to everyone and no one at the Haywire. “I always knew your obsession with sticking your hand in the cookie jar was going to be the death of you, my thunder-thighed girl.”
12. Unger was really not feeling like himself at all. It had been 71 days since he last killed anyone, probably because he had become so preoccupied with that big-boned stripper at the Wet Fish following him into the janitors closet, trying to see his alabaster cock. Then she got fired for some reason and now Unger was bored when, normally, he couldn’t walk a block away from his house without being struck with homicidal inspiration. However, a few seconds of taking in the mind-melting squawking from eleven of his neighbors at the Haywire was just what he needed. Another couple of seconds more and he was REALLY starting to feel like himself again. He reached into his pocket, past his spare waffle, until his hand grazed his rock hard alabaster Glock.
Hello. This is a painting on 8″x17″ canvas. It will be stuffed into the pore of a messenger giant and dumped at your door. J/K. It will be placed lovingly on the ground. This was my poor attempt at getting back into the whole “short story” portion of my paintings.