really sorry about this one. Really, really sorry.
upon a time (back when that lump at the base of my brain was only
about the size of a golf ball - I really gotta see a doctor), there
was an enchanted little kingdom called Autopia. It was a beautiful
place with rolling hills, gorgeous palaces, and these really cool
plastic cars that ran on a little track. The air was clean, the
water was clear, and anyone standing in any spot in the realm could
turn around in a full circle and see nothing but beauty for miles.
lived there hated the dump. Because it was ruled by a mean-spirited,
iron-fisted dictator named Old King Cole. Cole was a paranoid despot
who would throw his subjects in Ass Hall, the forbidding stockade
of the kingdom, for so much as looking at him the wrong way. And
after fifty years of Cole's sadistic rule, the dark and dank reformatory
was overflowing with forgotten souls who had been hurled there at
a flight of the paranoid oppressor's fancy. A walk through the tyrant's
decaying Ass Hall revealed tiny cells packed with Autopians whose
only crime was to cross Cole's path when he was in one of his moods.
After generations of the tyrant's twisted rule, far more people
lived on the inside of Autopia's prison than outside them.
Old King Cole
was a paranoid despot.
It was a scandal
of epic proportions, concealed to the outside world only by a massive
publicity campaign conducted by a big Wall Street firm that Cole
hired, depicting him as a merry old sole who loved his pipe and
bowl. It was a brilliant scam, but after years of Cole's twisted
rule, rumors about his cruelty began slowly surfacing. Cole was
pipe and bowl stuff isn't working!" shrieked the despot at
one of his bi-monthly meetings with his P.R. firm. "I got a
letter from Amnesty International that they're coming to inspect
my prison on Christmas Day! That's only a few months away. What
the hell am I going to do?"
problem, K.C.," wheezed Mr. Sludge, his slick agent. "What
we'll do is announce to the remaining free citizens of Autopia that,
as a show of benevolent Christmas cheer, you have decided to submit
a prisoner to the public on Christmas Day for release. But we'll
make him the most despicable, monstrous felon in captivity, so that
no one will want to let him out. That will make the Amnesty International
guys think that everyone in the prison is that bad, or worse - so
instead of realizing that you're a paranoid tyrant, they'll be conned
into swallowing that you're a forceful statesman who believes in
only one problem with your scheme," said Cole as he peered
slowly around the corner to check for specters. "Everyone in
my prison is a good citizen who I tossed in there because the voices
coming out of my raccoon coat told me that they were out to get
me. Where are we going to find a prisoner who is really repellent
enough to disgust my subjects?"
At about this
time, a young muse named Jonny M. was being deloused within the
prison walls. The muse had just completed a successful run as the
Barber in Man of La Mancha at the Autopia Civic Arts Plaza
and celebrated by getting drunk and throwing up all over the local
magistrate's wife at the closing night party. He was sentenced to
sixteen consecutive life sentences.
The muse felt
refreshed to finally be free of his lice, but he became outraged
at the shabby quality of his mug shots taken by a photographer the
prison hired from an ad in Drama-Logue.
As the guards
threw Jonny into a dank and dirty cell, the noble muse demanded
to speak to the warden.
find no warden here," said a ghoulish voice from a dark corner
of the cell.
The muse looked
around in horror as an appalling old man dressed in a tattered prisoner's
uniform came creeping out of the shadows. The muse's eyes grew wide
with apprehension as the inmate drew close to his face, but settled
as the old man broke into a friendly smile.
worry, son, you've got nothing to fear from me," grinned the
time-worn jailbird as he handled Jonny a bottle of local moonshine.
"But you're in Ass Hall now and have left all hope behind.
And don't bother wasting your breath asking for a warden. There's
only one ruler here, and that's Brown."
worry, son, you've got nothing to fear from me," grinned the
who's Brown?" asked a nervous Jonny as he downed the plastic
bottle of Popov vodka in one gulp. But the old jailbird refused
to answer, nor would any other inmate who Jonny posed the question
to. The muse would have to wait until his second day in the hell-hole,
as he was taking a shower in the prison's overcrowded shower room.
Just as Jonny carelessly dropped his bar of Lava soap on the shower's
foul floor, the muse looked up to see an immense African American
prisoner dressed in nothing but a sable fedora with an ostrich feather
Brown," said the intruder, playfully jabbing a switchblade
at Jonny's throat. "Chocolate Brown. And your sweet white heinie
is working for me now!"
Brown," said the intruder.
muse shot back a look to the old-timer for a reality check, but
the ancient jailbird slipped on his plastic shower slippers and
disappeared wordlessly into the shadows.
fetch a nice price in the marketplace," continued the stylish
blackamoor as he placed a firm grasp on the muse's tensed buttocks.
"Pale geeks like you are popular with Phillipino lepers at
the moment. You're going to be a busy boy, son. You belong to Chocolate
Jonny fell to
his knees in dismay as Brown strutted towards the doorway, chuckling
to being in that position, boy," said the swarthy pimp as he
stopped at the cell door to study the kneeling Jonny. "You're
one of Brown's bucks. Anal eroticism is your entire life, now!"
feel his butt cheek ripping apart already as Brown swept out of
work for Brown here," intoned the old man as he reemerged from
the shadows. "He's the chain gang boss and instead of taking
us to bust rocks, he herds us to the provincial leper colony and
the locals have their way with our posteriors. Your buns get pretty
sore after a while but after enough lepers have had at you the things
start falling off anyway, and you get to retire. It's not that bad."
The muse slept
only sporadically that night and the next day was led in shackles
with the other pale, boyish prisoners to the leper colony by Chocolate
Brown. It was a gloomy place, reeking of disease and despair. After
the other prisoners were distributed to the horrible denizens of
the accursed island, Brown marched Jonny into the tent of the community's
leader. The muse heart skipped when he beheld the mutated face of
thee leper who sat staring at him.
Phil McKrakin," said the pariah, offering Jonny a hand to shake.
"Nice to meet ya!"
I'm Phil McKrakin," said the pariah, offering Jonny a hand
The muse relaxed
a bit and clasped McKrakin's hand, but recoiled when the appendage
came off in his fist.
said the leper. "I hate it when that happens. Oh, well. My
wiener's still connected, so bend over and let's get this over with."
why don't you try this with women?" asked Jonny hopefully as
McKrakin spun him roughly around and began applying K-Y Jelly to
his quivering backside.
face intimacy intimidates me," replied the leper as one of
his eyeballs rolled out and rolled across the clay floor. "Anyway,
it seems so much dirtier this way!"
that he liked the work (it reminded him of when he did The Caine
Mutiny Court Martial at Actors Lab Arizona) and the muse's romantic
banter and limber gluteus muscles endeared him to Brown's clients.
He became fast friends with the lepers, and looked forward to celebrating
the holidays with his new pals. As December approached, Jonny began
decorating the colony's giant spruce tree with decorations made
from the locals' fallen fingers and toes. He couldn't wait for Christmas.
But Brown had
other ideas. Jonny was an invaluable asset to the prison chieftain,
and the savage pimp had plans for the young muse.
it with this pigsty," confided Brown to the muse as Jonny carefully
handed over his earnings, mindful of the massive procurer's brutal
beatings if he held out an a body part to stir in his nightly stew.
"I'm busting out of here tomorrow night and going back to the
hood, where I can live large. And since you're my most profitable
bitch, you're coming with me."
The muse's eyes
glazed over in terror.
tomorrow is Christmas Eve," said the muse. "I promised
some customers that I'd come to the colony tomorrow and sing carols
and bob for noses in the community bathtub!"
don't mean nothing to me, boy!" screamed the vicious Brown
as he pulled out an automatic pistol and thrust it in Jonny's Adam's
apple. "I said we're breaking out tomorrow, and tomorrow it
The muse's heart
sank as he watched the sun set in the Christmas sky. Looking at
the heavily armed guards in the prison towers, Jonny knew that escape
was madness. The noble muse picked up the bottle of gin that he
had been sharing with the lepers that morning, and after digging
out Phil McKrakin's upper plate from the neck, took a sad swig.
But before Jonny could even swallow the cheap hooch, Brown burst
into the cell armed with more automatic weaponry than you would
see in a typical Steven Siegal flick.
go," hissed the vicious pimp.
got up and followed Brown out of the cell. The pair didn't get four
steps into the exercise yard though, before the guards in the tower
opened fire on them.
Christ!" screamed Brown as he tossed the guns to Jonny amidst
the hail of bullets and ran back into Ass Hall. "You're on
your own, kid!"
The muse was
caught in a hail of bullets.
Before the muse
could respond, a battalion of guards swarmed on Jonny and began
beating him to a pulp. Just before the muse lost consciousness,
he heard the captain of the guards give an order:
take him to the king!"
Old King Cole
was sweating bullets as he nervously followed the inspectors from
Amnesty as they scrutinized the squalid prison conditions. The tyrant
had observed the group shaking their heads and making red marks
in their little notebooks as they passed through the torture chamber,
and just about gave up hope for a U.S. grant to improve the kingdom's
inflatable love doll factory now.
the worst prison facility I've ever seen," said the leader
of the watchdog task force. "Unless you impress us with your
people's decision to release a prisoner, I'm putting you on our
black list of countries where Barbra Streisand won't perform in!
Where is he?"
Mr. Carter," stalled the king as sweat poured down his face.
The worst prisoner he could find was a local football hero who had
brutally murdered his wife, and Cole knew the crown would demand
his release in a heartbeat. "The thing of it is, Jimmy
Before the despot
could finish the sentence, some guards swept into the room carting
the pummeled muse. Giving a sadistic laugh, they threw him at Cole's
this prisoner trying to escape, your Majesty," said the surliest
of the guards. "What should we do with him?"
The king looked
at Jonny and nearly puked. Not only had the guards done a hell of
a job pummeling him, but also Jonny was wearing a necklace of the
lepers' detached body parts they had given the muse as a Christmas
present. The monarch was revolted, but suddenly had an idea. Swallowing
quickly to catch the bile that was coming up at the sight of the
muse, the tyrant turned to the Amnesty International guys and smiled.
had done a hell of a job pummeling Jonny.
said Cole in a satisfied voice that will come as no surprise to
the readers of this stupid card, "after looking far and wide
for a prisoner that I believe the public will have compassion for,
this is the man I have decided on."
The king chuckled
inwardly, knowing full well that the assemblage would take one look
at the hideously battered muse and demand that he be stuck in some
dark corner of the tower, so that his unsightly appearance wouldn't
detract from the kingdom's Christmas parade with Grand Marshall
Dennis Weaver. The members of the task force raised heir eyebrows
as Jonny coughed up his spleen. Undaunted, Cole grabbed the muse
and dragged him out to the balcony where a throng of Autopians had
gathered to decide the fate of the proffered prisoner.
Christmas, good people," began the hollow tyrant as he tried
vainly to keep Jonny standing. "As a demonstration of my kindness
and benevolence, I have decided to submit to you a prisoner from
our great stockade for possible release. This being Christmas day,
the one day of the year when we should show aid and understanding
to our fellow man, I offer you to release, if you so choose
The king grabbed
Jonny by the hair and held him up to be seen by the crowd. The muse's
face was swollen and bloodied from his beatings, and one of the
ears from his necklace had become embedded up his nose. The throng
stared at him in horror.
screamed a young dung scraper.
most hideous thing I've ever seen!" shouted the village aroma
therapist. "Stick him back in prison where he belongs!"
The crowd began
rioting as they shouted curses at the battered muse. King Cole turned
to the Amnesty International task force and shrugged his shoulders.
I guess that's it," said the king. "If the masses feel
that the prisoners belong in jail, I guess that's where they should
The leader of
the task force smiled sadly in agreement and picked up his cardigan
to leave. But before he could take three steps, he was stopped in
his tracks by a cream from Jonny M.
exclaimed the muse with such passion that the entire crowd was silenced.
"You people make me sick! Here it is, Christmas day, a time
representing tolerance and acceptance, and you want me stuck in
a hole forever because my bludgeoned face is repellent to you. Why,
I just came from an island where people may not be your idea of
pretty, but they grasp what the day means enough o make their dismembered
eyes and noses a symbol of love and friendship!"
Jonny held up
his leper necklace as the crowd hung their heads in shame.
continued the muse, turning to the astonished king, "using
Christmas as a P.R. gimmick to try and make the free world swallow
your tyranny! A token gesture on this day of days doesn't mean diddly!
To accept the true meaning of Christmas, you must extend charity
and love all of the days of the year!"
Jonny fell to the floor in a massive seizure. Wiping away a tear,
King Cole gently stuck a pencil in the muse's mouth to keep him
from swallowing his tongue.
is right," said Cole, sweeping aside an imaginary bat. "To
truly celebrate Christmas, I must observe its precepts in my heart
all of the days of the year, no matter what those damned voices
might tell me! Therefore, I order the release of all of the prisoners
in Ass hall immediately. So let it be written! So let it be done!"
smiled broadly as the crowd roared its approval. The members of
Amnesty International task force looked at each other in concordance,
happily threw their notes in the trash, and started the gathering
in a verse of Frosty, the Snow Man.
So all was happiness
is Autopia. King Cole was prescribed lithium and elected attorney
general of California on a "tough on crime" ticket, Phil
McKrakin found fame as the host of the HBO series Tales from the
Crypt. Chocolate Brown made a fortune from a huge racial discrimination
suit against the author of this story. And the kingdom of Autopia
was forevermore regarded as a happy, law-abiding place before being
wiped out by a combination of leprosy and syphilis six years later.
of all was Jonny M. Looking around at the joyful ex-cons who were
reunited with their loved ones, he felt an inner glow in the knowledge
that he had contributed to it. So, with a final, happy salute to
his new friends in Autopia, he made a bee-line back to the leper
colony where he had finally found a lifestyle where he felt he belonged.
And happy holidays
to you, my friend. Whether celebrating Christmas with loved ones,
enjoying Hanukkah with family and friends, or experimenting in alternate
lifestyles with some randy lepers, always remember that you have
a loving friend in Jonny M.
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