You know, the last several days have been interesting.
- Finding out that I’m actually Bill Schmalfeldt…
- Finding out that Bill Schmalfeldt is the true author of this blog…
- Finding out that all the pushback from Bill Schmalfeldt regarding defamation, harassment and all the other bloated bags of horse guts he’s been making pointless noise about was all just made up…
I realize that, as Bill Schmalfeldt, I can re-publish just about any post I like, and expose whole new audiences to my brilliance and cunning.
So…here’s a sizable excerpt of post number one, from April 2014.
Old and crazy, fat and demented, Bill Schmalfeldt sat at his curbside reject card table, wishing he could rub two dimes together and find an old desk at a yard sale. But who would help him haul it home? Gail? She was rarely home anymore. She spent her nights wandering the streets of Elkridge, desperate to get out of the house, out from under his hateful eye. Away from the unrelenting stink of old diapers and sweating feet. She spent the days sleeping off the nights. With the dogs. He stared at a blank page, considering his next post.
“Hhhhhhhhhhhoge,” he murmured, through clenched teeth. From under Gail’s bed, one of the dogs whimpered in fear. He looked to his trophy shelf, to his coveted journalism awards – the five Iowa Hawkeye Newshawk trophies, the sought-after Wisconsin Smell Our Dairy Air award for local news coverage and the Nebraska Farm Bureau Go Shuck Yourself Prize for Outstanding Local News Reporting, North Platte Area.
Bill remembered those happy days, and dropped his face to his hands, sobbing.
“What’s happened to me? God damn it, I’m relevant. Relevant!” He shook a fist at the ceiling, splattering mayonnaise on his monitor.
He absently wiped the stain from his monitor and licked the creamy goo off his finger. He liked creamy, gooey things. For no particular reason, he thought of his lost brother Bob.
Oh, God, Bob, he thought, still sucking his finger clean. I miss you so.
He sat back and closed his eyes, remembering fondly the many years of sharing a bedroom with the Bobber. The playful teasing and wrestling that almost always ended up with grunts and moans, communicating brotherly love in the special language that only identical twins knew.
His bittersweet reverie shattered at the BANG! of the trailer door swinging open. Bill jerked upright, shrinking from the noise. He always shrunk from the noise these days; he knew that soon, Hoge would send one of his demonic lickspittles to dispatch him. Someday, that door would open and he’d see the last face of his life. He wondered whose face it will be.
“Will you ever get away from that GODDAMN COMPUTER?” his wife screeched. She was blitzed. Again. He looked at the clock above the television. It was only 10:30 in the morning. Christ.
He looked at her sideways, avoiding eye contact. She was wearing a long Army surplus winter coat, so he couldn’t tell if she lost another skirt last night. In her right hand she held a nearly empty fifth of bourbon. Always with the bourbon. She had apparently lost her right shoe. The left one, a utilitarian tan orthopedic number, had something wrapped around the ankle, hanging to the floor. Pink granny panties. Sexy.
“Blast you, woman!” he grumbled. “I’ll do the writing. You do the drinking. Understood?”
She responded with a derisive laugh and a healthy, wet fart. He hoped it was a fart, anyway. Sometimes he couldn’t be sure if he was hearing the right orifice. The awards on the trophy shelf rattled and for a moment Bill feared some might fall from the cheap particle-board shelf his son gave him on his fiftieth birthday. Some great milestone day that was. He wonders when the last time Peter even thought about him was.
Gail slammed the door and shambled back to the bedroom like a flatulent zombie. She would probably pass out without getting undressed. He hoped she didn’t piss the bed again and force another costly trip to Goodwill. He desperately wished this shitty little shack had a second bedroom he could move into. But no, they couldn’t afford more than this single-wide on his paltry disability payments and government pension.
He looked at his combined blog output for the past week. Another week with nothing in the PayPal account. I must be deluded, he thought. Nobody listens to my radio station. Nobody but lickspittles and my own pathetic sockpuppets ever comment at Patriot-Ombudsman.
Again, he wondered at his fall to this little hellhole. He used to be somebody. He looked again at his trophy shelf, surrounded by the pictures of himself with celebrity visitors. He was a regional radio GOD once. He had even had an agent. Commercial endorsements. Now it was all gone.
Damn that Hoge! Lousy quantum mechanic. Bill couldn’t even get out of his chair, and Hoge? Hoge had a job! Someone came and begged him to come out of retirement for a real, paying job! Why wasn’t anybody banging down Bill’s door, looking for writers? He knew all there was to know about writing, about journalism, about ethics. He knew how to get sources to give up the goods. He could find people. He could make them talk. There must be somebody out there who needed his skills. Why weren’t the offers pouring in? Why wasn’t he swimming in money and ass-kissing cronies like Hoge?
For no particular reason, he thought of Bobber again. And Brett. And Neal. Brett and Neal. And Bob. Neal and Bob. Neal and Bob…
When he looked up at the clock again, twenty minutes had passed. How had that happened? He pulled his finger out of his mouth again. He couldn’t remember putting it in. Dementia? It was all pruned up. There was no mayonnaise.
He set his mind back to work on the blog. Hoge…lickspittles…that drunk rat-faced Stacy McCain…Ali Akbar…that Twitchy bitch…
But always it came back to Hoge. Hoge and his army of LICKSPITTLES. LICK. SPIT. TLES.
Bill wanted his own army. The Soldiers of Schmalfeldt, he’d call them. The Elkridge Raiders, maybe. Good names, if only he could attract readers like Hoge. But he had nothing.
Hoge had sixteen faithful friends. Probably more in the real world. And a good lawyer. Bill knew that the real world didn’t matter. The real world didn’t matter because it was inflexible. He could not bend it to his will. The real world did not attend his every word the way Mark in MD did, and Obewon. Matthew Lillefelt and Bill Matthews. His Four Horsemen. Hoge’s Apocalypse. So there was that. And they attended his every word, like true disciples.
They would kill if he ordered them to. And it might come to that. He would turn them on Kiernan the felon, or on Palatine Pundit the self-professed sociopath nut case, if it ever came to that. Because in his world, the world of the Soldiers of Schmalfeldt, he was the eternal king, omnipotent and invincible. All else existed to serve at his pleasure, or to be destroyed.
Bill Schmalfeldt knew he had epic prophecy to deliver. He knew he had wisdom to impart. The problem was, his horsemen were incapable of absorbing wisdom. It was like trying to communicate with shadows of himself. He had their love. Their complete devotion and everlasting allegiance. But he knew he also had something even more valuable.
He owned their hate. All he needed do is start a thread about the Evil One Hoge, or any of his Team Lickspittle, and his own shadow ninjas would fall into line and do the work that Bill had neither the patience nor the belly to do for himself.
Not that he didn’t try. Jesus. Bill dropped his harassment hammer 366 times before Carroll County made him stop. And just in time, too. The make-believe world stressed him out and affected his ability to type. Make-believe harassment charges made him sick even in his real world with his Horsemen.
“Will you PLEASE shut the HELL up about your IMAGINARY FRIENDS!! I’m trying to sleep back here!” Gail had stuck her freakishly large head out into the hall. Bill realized he’d been talking to the Horsemen out loud again. It must be the Parkinson’s, because he KNEW he wasn’t crazy. The Horsemen would take care of anyone who said so.
“Shut up, you besotted trollop. And if you leak on my bed again, I swear I’ll–”
“You’ll what? Chase me down in your little rolly chair and beat me up? I’d like to see you try!”
Cackling, Gail slammed the bedroom door. Bill looked with fresh worry at his trophy shelf. What would he do if his legacy were destroyed?
The Schmalfeldt legacy. The proud history of Sippe Schmalfeldt would end soon. Here, now, in a dilapidated Maryland trailer park. His children, Matthew, Peter and Kendra, had disowned him long ago; and Kendra hated Peter almost as much as she hated her father. He knew he would never live to see grandchildren. He sighed, resigned to his ultimate fate. He would die soon. And Gail would sweep his trophies into the garbage before his body cooled.
“Never mind, never mind,” he grumbled to himself. “Must think, Must think.”
Fifteen minutes of grunting and straining later, it dawned on him, a thousand-watt bulb with no shade, glaring in the dark cavern of his brain.
“What I need to do is incite some death threats against myself.”
Behind him, he heard the bedroom door open. He turned and saw Gail, still in her coat, shuffling quickly into the bathroom. “Bluuuuuh…” His wife hurled eighteen hours worth of bourbon, pork rinds and something else into the big white confessional. The aroma, mixed with the stale urine and feet, nearly drove Bill to retch onto his only remaining link to the outside world – the broken down laptop on the card table. Instead he spun quickly to his left and managed to hit the waste basket with the sick. He looked up and saw his wife on the way back to the bedroom. She looked at him with contempt. She used to be pretty, but the bitterness of being with Bill had turned her hard, like petrified wood.
Grady. He will pay for Hoge’s crimes. I know Grady, the sociopath, knows more about the nefarious evil of Hoge than he lets on. If I squeeze that zit, it will pop. Bill realized, too late, that he just squeezed a zit on his own forehead. He looked at his fingers. Pus clung to his finger and thumb like mayonnaise. Mmmm…mayonnaise. Smooth and creamy and gooey.
For no particular reason, he thought of Bobber. His finger slipped into his mouth again. He barely noticed the taste of pus. He was remembering a pleasantly vile yet familiar smell from his childhood. But why was it mixed with pork rinds and bourbon? And feet?
“A hot dog,” he said. “First a footlong hot dog with mayonnaise. Then the blog.”
All he needed to do was offer a simple, not-particularly-inflammatory blog post about Hoge. It didn’t need to be inflammatory at all, in fact. The lickspittles would head to Twitter to insult and deride and call him crazy. He didn’t care; the Horsemen would take care of that later. Bill would be his jolly, jovial self, and they would hate it so much! Brilliant! Eventually Palatine Pundit would chip in, say something he could twist into a bogus death threat. He always did. Or maybe Kyle the felon would threaten to call himself up and tell himself all about Bill. It was their tweets that were defamatory, not his. It was THEIR comments that were batshit crazy, not his, he gloated. “THEY’RE THE ONES WHO ARE CRAZY, NOT ME!!” he crowed triumphantly as he rolled into the kitchen on the desk chair.
“WILL YOU SHUT YOUR GODDAMN CHOMP HOLE?!?!?” roared the voice of his wife from behind the bedroom door.
“I’m not crazy,” Bill repeated. He opened the refrigerator, reached for the open jar of mayonnaise. The smell nearly knocked him from his chair. He rolled to the curtained off cubby they called a pantry and found no fresh jar.
“WELL, FUUUUUCK ME,” he shrieked. “YOU FORGOT THE MAYONNAISE AGAIN, YOU BLEEDING WITCH!”
“Not tonight,” his wife slurred from the other end of the house.
He glared with baleful contempt in his eyes at the last of only three women he had ever touched, none of whom would ever touch him again.
For no particular reason, he thought about his twin brother once more.
He rolled back to the computer, hungry now for the lost days when he and Bobber would sit on the floor together, sucking down footlongs with mayonnaise. He typed a paragraph about Hoge. The writing was nothing to write home over, but it was relatively benign. He typed a few more words, adding a little spice to the post. Fifteen minutes later, he came up for air having blown seventy-five words into over five hundred words of spit, bile and projectile vomit onto the page. A wave of fresh hate washed over him, and he clenched his whole body to absorb its full power.
He hit the POST button, and felt that old familiar sensation of a job well done.
“DAMN IT STRAIGHT TO JESUS!” he hollered as the fresh, deep, earthy stench hit him, and he realized he would have to wake Gail to change his Depends again.