It’s not easy coaxing a demented fictional character to write a humorous piece based on a personal experience, but with the help of Dr. Brown’s Flux Capacitor (on loan from Back to the Future) I brought the whole project together with minimum time warping and maximum hilarity. Although Mr. Bates is nutso to the core, he’s kinda entertaining when he puts pen to paper. No one was hurt in the making of Diarya and the only casualty was melancholy. So without further ado I present to you with limited run on sentences:
Diarya – A remembrance by Norman Bates of Psycho fame.
Trust me. This is some good sh*t.
Those posh Dollar Stores with their fancy cocoa mixes and blow up kiddie pools are too classy for me. Instead I shop at Livermore’s finer thrift stores. There’s the Crate and Bottom of the Barrel and then there’s God I Really Hope No One Sees Me Here Especially the Way I’m Dressed Inc. and of course the high value St. Vincent DeMildew’s. Mother says the other thrift stores have mostly silverfish and vases from Good Season’s Italian dressing that can double as salad dressing cruets. Most all this stuff belongs in a landfill but it’s cheaper to redistribute it to Livermorons and have them donate it back every couple of years. Keynesian economists have termed this type of Cyclical Exchange as “Really Stupid.”
When I’m not at the motel, it’s quite an adventure shopping at some of these low rent thrift stores where a Wal*Mart shopper would be considered overdressed. Occasionally you get lucky and find something you’re looking for. Case in point when the other day I visited Crate and Bottom of the Barrel to buy some stuffed animals for this hygienic petting zoo idea I’m developing (I believe there’s a vast untapped market to serve helicopter moms who’d rather their kids pet Scotchgarded®, non-excreting livestock.). After a quick perusal I saw this gangly stuffed Giraffe poking its delta-shaped head over the TV aisle (none of which were flat screens). It only costs 90 cents. The Dollar Store would’ve gouged me a whole dollar for the exact same animal. So I scoop it up just before my probation officer grabs it.
I purchased “Jabba” and drove him home with its head sticking out through the sun roof – at least I hope that was its head. I then began carefully restoring it. As many of you know, I’ve always enjoyed taxidermy. As I was replacing some of the stuffing that had been knocked out of it, lo and behold (when this is actually published I’ll change the phrase “lo and behold” to something from the 21st century – but meanwhile) lo and behold I discovered a diary where Jabba’s stomach should be. I thrilled to the possibilities of its passages as I removed it from the belly of the beast.
I was perplexed. I asked mother what should I do? But as usual she was silent on the matter so I judged the book by its cover. Then I delved more deeply into its musty pages. As I began to read it, I realized it was written in some kind of alphabetic code using an arrangement of letters to signify words and I recognized every one of them, right down to the word perineum, which for some reason seemed to predominate certain passages. I was my own decoder ring. This was crazy. Who, besides everybody, uses this code? It was similar to the one I’m using right now so I had no trouble at all deciphering it. Not to be too anticlimactic, but this was less an “aha” moment than it was an “oh, goody gumdrops” moment (Lo and behold, goody gumdrops – syntax only a mother could love. And I do love my mother).
After setting the giraffe in the corral with the other stuffed animals under the always watchful eye of my long deceased and beautifully desiccated mother who sits so serenely in her rocking chair (I’ll cut that part too when I go to publication, but for now truth is truth), I began earnestly reading the entries. Holy sheep Batman! At first blush (and I was blushing) I wasn’t sure if these tawdry accounts belonged to a 35 year old woman or a 22 year old gay porn star, then I realized I had simply misread a stuffing recipe for Turducken. Soon it became evident the journal belonged to a (I’ll thoughtfully scramble her name so it’s unrecognizable) Mary1 Gallagher1 of Livermore CA. Keeping a diary in the Digital Age is charmingly old school. But that I was lucky enough to find it and broadcast its contents to feed the insatiable demand of a prying public whose prurient interests are legion I…um, uh I kinda lost track of this last sentence sorry (I’ll clean that up too when I go to publication).
Anyway with further ado I’ll get on with it. Here’s the ado: First off I believe Mary1 needs a shower. Secondly, I’ll share with you some of her entries, but only because on the inside cover of the diary was written: To Whom it May Concern If found please return to Mary1 Gallagher1. That was all it said, but that was enough for me to infer the diarists true preference was to have it broadcast far and wide. OK now so without further ado, here are some of the more notable entries from Mary1 Gallagher1’s diary:
August 4th 2006 AD – Of course it’s AD. Why would anyone assume it was BC? How would I even know Christ was coming? I’m not even sure he was here in the first place. I mean it’s all hearsay. It’s not like he kept a blog or had a Social Security number or anything. (then there are some drawings of crosses and what looks like Jon Bon Jovi wearing only a halo.) I’m so self-conscious. I need to get away from myself without letting me know it. But every time I try to tiptoe away it’s like “Hey get back here. There’s an article in Cosmo about what men really want. Finally we’ll know.” Jesus. I’m so done with me. We are so over, but I stay together for the sake of the children … which I hope to have some day. I could really use therapy.
February 12th 2007 – Lincoln’s birthday today. This happens like every year. I’ll celebrate by freeing my breasts. No bra for me today. (Drawing of a stovepipe hat with really cute breasts) Gosh I’m so tired of dating. After my 3rd date with Brian, y’know the telltale 3rd date where it’s supposed to happen – Well it didn’t happen and I told him I thought we should just remain friends and he says, “OK but that’ll be hard because I’ve never been your friend to begin with.” Then he gets all dejected and says he wants to charge me a 15% restocking fee for his inconvenience. That’s outrageous. I mean it wasn’t like he was shrink-wrapped when I met him.
November 29th 2007 – Very sick today. I think the leftover turkey is well past its shelf life. It shouldn’t move when it’s on the plate. Then as I was sitting on the toilet writing in this diary I had my “aha” moment: They should change the spelling of diarrhea to diarya. Either way it’s the same drivel. Inspiration is where you find it.
July 7th 2008– Went to church today. Thank god it was Tuesday and the doors were locked. Like the Lord says. One door closes another door opens. Cinnabon here I come. Dodged that one.
July 12th 2008 – Went to church today. Meditated all day. Suddenly it’s all in place and nothing requires an explanation or an equivocation. I could get used to this.
Sept 23rd 2008– My stupid date Larry tries to impress me by driving thru an In-N-Out Burger in reverse. Scared the hell out of the people behind us. And true to form they got our order all backwards. Back at Larry’s supposed house, I went to the bathroom and there’s a sign posted above the sink reading “All employees must wash hands.” How does anyone in their right mind call Starbucks their home, but somehow he gets his mail there.
Jan 39th – I mean Feb. 8th 2009. Hate when I use my hair gel as a dessert topping. Must get past self-loathing and into self-love. Oprah said it herself. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is your relationship with yourself. Unfortunately many people just look at that as an opportunity to be narcissistic. And isn’t it funny that on the hottest day of the year with crystal clear skies, people will sometimes use an umbrella.
Feb 12th 2009 – Abe’s birthday again. Didn’t we just do this last year? It’s the 200th anniversary. I celebrated by freeing Daniel Day-Lewis.
June 10th 2009 – Bought this really cool stuffed giraffe at St. Vincent DeMildew’s. Don’t know why exactly. I had no intention of buying it. Just like the giraffe, I was just browsing.
Well that tied it altogether for me. The hidden diary. The Cyclical Exchange. The sheer stupidity. Love it! Near end of her entries was the thunderclap. On May 10th (John Wilkes Booth birthday) her entry read: All I really want is to be made famous by someone discovering and then reprinting my diaries. I hope that someone gets my message in a bottle. Or in this case “diary in the belly of a giraffe.”
So the joke’s on me. The cosmic joke is that after this story Mary1 Gallagher1, or whatever her name is, will no longer be anonymous. She is my muse and I am her museum. Er something like that. Mother and I don’t have this all worked out. All I know is that I’m glad I played my part well. Meanwhile this hygienic petting zoo thing is going to take off and then I want my dear old, dry mom to assist me with my next venture – a Heavy Petting Zoo for adults. I have to go now – mother is calling.
-by Norman Bates
Hardiman’s Note: Mr. Bates was paid 40 Euros and 2 cylinders of Pringle’s for his efforts. And although I disapprove of his character and actions, he is after all only fictional. It was all make believe. I have to go now. I’m off to see Mary Gallagher. I have something of hers I want to return.