Close Encounters of A Preposterous Kind

“Okay, okay…sit down.” As Pumpkinhead sat down at a corner table in the coffee shop, Captain H threw his sandwich on the plastic tray and continued, “How do I communicate with the little green men?”
“Little green men?”
“Hey dude, did Jezebel sell you some of that liquid acid? That’s to be taken in small doses, you know. I hope you didn’t slurp that down.”
“Don’t be coy.”
“Coy?” Pumpkinhead picked at his hash browns. “You sure you mean coy?”
“Yeah I mean coy; you know like a wise-ass.” He took another bite of his sandwich.
“A wise-ass is just a wise-ass. If you’re coy, then you’re a bashful, or a shy wise-ass.”
“But you’re still a wise-ass!”
“Only if you use that particular adjective in there, otherwise you’re just a demure person.”
“Stupid….a stupid person. Like, ‘that guy skipping across the street is acting a bit demurely’.”
“Because he’s demure, he’s stupid?”
“That’s what I’m thinking.”
“Being demure has nothing to do with stupidity. Did we go to school in the same country?”


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(we are) The Road Crew

“This is bullshit, Frank! What the fuck do we need Carl and Floyd for, anyway? Huh? Wanna tell me that?”

“I dunno, I’m just tellin’ you what I heard from Floyd. I guess your brother feels sorry for them and wants to give them some sort of a job by lettin’ them help out with the band.”

“Fuck ‘em! We are the road crew! Not them!”

“I thought you and Floyd were really tight these days.”

“Not when the prick’s cutting in on my action, yo! Christ, neither of them even owns a vehicle.”

“I know.”

“So what’s that gonna do? We got just as much stuff to carry around in the same number of cars, and two more people to find room for!”

“Yep. I know. I think maybe he just feels sorry for them you know, living out on the streets and whatnot.”

“Bullshit, man! Floyd slept at my house last week while my brother slept out on the street with Carl. What the hell’s he talking about?”

Frank took a chug of Budweiser. “I don’t know about that. Floyd says they haven’t seen Mahdakis much this past week.”

“Well, he sure the hell ain’t stayin’ down at Pock’s and Dakota’s.”

“Dakota’s not even staying at Pock’s and Dakota’s. Huh-huh-huh-huh. Hey, ya know…that’s right. We been there every night, and ain’t seen him but for rehearsal.”

Pumpkinhead took a big long drag off a joint. “Haven’t seen him once, dude.”

“Well where is he, then?”

Pumpkinhead exhaled with exaggeration, “I don’t know. He’s into girls, I know that.”

“And what are you into?”

“I am too, asshole! But he likes to play house, if you get my drift!”

“That’s kind a gay. But you know what? You got an attitude problem. What’s with being so hyper all the time?”

“I’m not! I’m just an expressive person!”

“Well, express the fuck down, then.”

Pumpkinhead took another long hit and scrunched his eyebrows together. “Where the fuck is he staying at night, I wonder.”

“Someone said they saw him walking in Old Norford, the other night.”

“Ah no.”

“You think he’s back with Jezebel?”

“It would explain his presence there….Copper Tom lives there too, but I doubt he’d be visiting him.”

“Why does Mahdakis hate him so much?”

“Probably because Copper Tom’s a fuckin’ asshole, that’s why!”

“He wouldn’t be such an asshole if your brother wasn’t always yelling at him.”


“Don’t fuckin’ yell at me. I’ll pick you up by that giraffe neck of yours and fling you into the river.”

“I’ll mess you up, dude!”

“Ha-ha-ha-ha! I’ll squish that pumpkin head of yours until your brains fall out your eye sockets!”

“Yeah, you wish.”

“Huh-huh-huh-huh. That’s it? That’s all you got?”

“For now.”

“For now,” Frank repeated, “oh well, you know what?”


“At least it’s better than sleeping on the streets with Carl and Floyd.”

“What is?”

“Your brother…..with Jezebel, or whoever he’s with.”

“Yeah, I don’t think it’s her, dude. She really pissed him off last time. He was real hurt and shit, but hey, fuck him and Carl and Floyd! What’s up with that? Why the hell don’t they just go home and sleep?”

“Because they’re not allowed to. Huh-huh, Remember?”

“That’s a bunch of shit, dude. My female-birth-giver’s always crying at night because that asshole won’t come home half the time, or call to say where he is. Carl and Floyd, same thing. Ask Kim if you don’t believe me. They just want people to think that they’re on hard times so they have justification to be idiots. All it is, is a way of validating their own laziness and lack of motivation, thereby giving them an excuse to accomplish nothing.”

“Wow. That’s a concept, right there,” Frank said, staring out at the Brandywine River, “I mean, that’s pretty ingenious.”

“Ingenious? Are you smoking crack?”

“No. I’m the same way as them, but I have no excuse for the way I am…….Wish I had thought of that. Huh.”

“Frank,” Pumpkinhead said cautiously, “I don’t mean to hurt your feelings or anything, but you’re a little……slow….sometimes, brother. You don’t need an excuse.”

Frank turned his head towards Pumpkinhead and the two of them sat on The Rock staring at one another until Frank started laughing uncontrollably. “Ha-ha-ha-ha-! Ha-ha! That’s what I want people to think! Ha-ha-ha-ha!”

“Huh? Are you serious? Why?”

“I guess to validate my uh, lazy…….whatever it is you said. Huh-huh-huh. And to get people to feel sorry for me sometimes. Girls dig it, too.”

“Oh.” Pumpkinhead sat stupefied. “So you’ve no reason to feel envious of them, Frank. You got your own gig going on.”

“That’s right.” Frank lit up a Marlboro and took a long drag. “Now…….let’s talk about this accident that Carl and Floyd are going to have.”


© 2012 Mark Rogers

Crimes Seen Front Cover

 Crimes Seen

(Book II)


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Pumpkinhead’s Theory of Anti-Prosperity

Pumpkinhead spun around at the foot of the bed to face his older brother, Mahdakis, “So here’s how it works; every Friday at the end of the month, you go up to NYU.”
“The one in New York?”
“The same.”
“But what if the last day of the month doesn’t fall on a Friday?”
“It doesn’t matter. Just go on the last Friday of every month!”
“How long are you going to be locked in this asylum?”
“Not much longer so you’ll probably only be doing this one time. But you gotta unload the shit for me.”
“You’ll go to the Rubin dorm or Rubin Hall; something like that. It’s on Fifth Ave. Ask for Black Tom. He knows to look out for you. He’s really cool and mellow.”
“And black?”
“And black. Now, he’s gonna sell you the shit. You’re going to buy a pound of bud. Make sure it’s good bud and not shake. Black Tom won’t jerk you around and he usually gets nice stuff, but just make sure.”
“What if it’s not?”
“Not bud? Then don’t buy.”
“Alright. So far so good.”
“You’ll need about twelve hundred dollars.”
“Say what? Where the fuck am I going to get that kind of money?”
“Jesus Christ! Calm the fuck down, man. Don’t you have a job or something?”
“Yeah, I got a job, but my money’s pretty much tied up.”
“Well un-fuckin’ tie it because you have to understand that while twelve-hundred may sound like a lot, you’ll be selling ounces at two-hundred dollars!”
“So wait…..a pound, right?
“And there’s …uh….sixteen ounces in a pound?”
“Last time I checked.”
“So that’s thirty-two hundred dollars?”
“Yeah man, like a two-thousand dollar profit if you don’t use any yourself. You have the capacity to make even more by selling it in small nickel and dime quantities.”
“You must be rolling in the dough by now.”
“Not really man, I got the car payments and the insurance…”
“That’s it though. You got nothing else. Where’s all your money?”
“It’s rough man because we spend twelve or fifteen hundred on a pound sometimes and then end up selling just about the same amount. We break even more times than not.”
“That doesn’t even make sense. You should be making an extra two thousand or so off each deal.”
“Right. But then we need to set aside twelve more for the next buy.”
“So you should have two thousand in your hand.”
“Black Tom and I smoke a lot of it.”
“You smoke all your profits?”
Mahdakis stood staring at his brother in disbelief, “What’s the matter with you, man? You were always so good with money.”
“I am good with money. I’m just not good with pot.”
“Hey man, stop raggin’ on me dude. It pays for itself and the gas to get to and from places, man.”
“So you and Black Tom smoke a half pound in a month? You smoke half your investment?”
“What if you bought twice as much? Two pounds instead of one?”
“What good would that do?”
“Then you’d be able to have another pound and a half while still having the other half pound for recreation.”
“How do you figure?”
“Because it’s two pounds instead of one.”
“But we smoke up half of it.”
“Half of two pounds is one pound. We’d be smoking an entire pound instead of just half.”
“But you wouldn’t have to!”
“Sure we would!”
“Because we smoke half. That’s how it goes!”
“But don’t smoke half!”
“But that’s what we do! You said so yourself. If we didn’t smoke half then we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. All buying two pounds is gonna do is create more for us to smoke and generate more of a profit loss!”

 © 2013  Mark Rogers

Benevolence & Betrayal (Book III)


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