Escape Artists

PodCastle => Episode Comments => Topic started by: Heradel on October 26, 2010, 06:07:16 AM

Title: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Heradel on October 26, 2010, 06:07:16 AM
PodCastle 128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
(http://podcastle.org/2010/10/26/podcastle-128-something-wicked-this-way-plumbs/)
by Vylar Kaftan (http://www.vylarkaftan.net/)

Read by Elie Hirschman (http://www.eliehirschman.com/) (Voice Actor for Hire)

Originally published in Shimmer (http://www.shimmerzine.com/). (Read the text here (http://www.vylarkaftan.net/bibliography/2007/something-wicked/)!)

It happened last year.  I’d come into the office early, because I was on deadline–and a month behind on bills.  To make things worse, my girlfriend had the flu, and I’d promised to be there by 5 to take her boys trick-or-treating.  So here I was in the men’s restroom, at 7:30 on Halloween morning.  I shook out a few drops, zipped my pants, and went to the sink.  It’s one of those two-faucet deals with handles on each side and a wide central spigot.  I turned the cold water tap.

Candy streamed out of the faucet like the entrails of a slaughtered piñata.  The sink filled with Skittles, candy corn, and jellybeans.  They rattled against each other as they spilled over the basin’s edge.  Startled, I turned the faucet off.

I hoped someone was playing a Halloween prank, because the alternative was disturbing.  Or maybe I wasn’t awake yet.  I glanced at the mirror.  In dreams you’ve always got weird things about your face, like snakes crawling from your eyeballs.  But I looked normal.  A bit scruffy, and my sleepy eyes were bloodshot.  Neither of these were a problem for a freelance writer–in some circles, they might count as street cred.  I looked at the sink.  Still candy.

I went to my office for a paper bag.

Rated PG: Contains tentacles, and a whole lotta candy
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Void Munashii on October 26, 2010, 10:04:48 AM
  Very cute story, and one that kept me guessing as it went. I really had no idea where it was going until it got there.

  Now I know that I should not nitpick in a story that is this silly, but I was surprised when Dana gave Gary a bologna sandwich. after her little rant about the un-healthiness of candy I would have expected tofu or granola. Also, I kind of expected Krishna to be a little more important to the story than just being used as a doorstop, don't know why though.

  Oh, and candy corn is nasty. I'd rather have the toothbrush ;)
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: woodchuck on October 27, 2010, 07:40:16 AM
I really liked the story. The X-Files were mentioned in the intro, so as I listened to this story, I couldn't help but think of the vampire episode with Luke Wilson and the kid from the Sandlot. I do like the funny horror stories and the way it was introduced as a flashback helps add to the enjoyment because you know the main character is ok (They've survived to tell the tale).  I think everyone works with someone like Dana, the kind of person you really don't mind being around, but at times you wonder what really makes them tick.

Happy Halloween!
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Ocicat on October 27, 2010, 11:54:54 AM
Still wondering... where *did* the candy come from?

...why do I think I don't want to know?
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Wilson Fowlie on October 27, 2010, 01:47:14 PM
This story made me laugh several times.  Nicely done!

Also I liked Elie's interpretations of the characters.

(Speaking of which, Listener hasn't been around lately.  Anyone know where he went?)
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Listener on October 27, 2010, 02:01:38 PM
(Speaking of which, Listener hasn't been around lately.  Anyone know where he went?)

Work plus gym membership plus minimum 2-hour RT commute daily = no time to write, blog, keep up on forums, or sleep enough. My weekdays literally consist of wake, gym, commute, work, commute, dinner, kid time, pack lunches, pack gym bag, and by then I'm so exhausted that I can't spend the rest of my 35 minutes doing anything but reading and going to sleep.

The more you know...
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Wilson Fowlie on October 27, 2010, 03:29:40 PM
Wow, man.  My sympathies.  Thanks for letting us know, though.

At least the long commute gives you enough time to listen to stories and books (I hope).
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: SacredCaramel on October 27, 2010, 08:46:50 PM
I loved this one!  It very reminiscent of one of my favorites, "The Moving Finger" by Stephen King (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moving_Finger_%28short_story%29 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moving_Finger_%28short_story%29)); that one also involved a drain and was quite whimsical, albeit darker as Stephen King usually is.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Unblinking on October 28, 2010, 08:17:16 AM
This one was quite fun, absurd.  I especially liked the revelation that the candy was child-bait--does it reflect badly on me if I admit that was my first guess?  :)

Where did the creepy-crawly get the candy, though? 

Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: ElectricPaladin on October 28, 2010, 08:35:32 AM
This was a totally super charming story. I loved it, from the narrator's initial punchy, up-beat tone, to his characterization of the other characters, to the story's own "screwball buddies against the outer dark" themes. This story had me smiling and laughing half way to work and half way home. In fact, I'd go so far to say that this story was nearly perfect: every word placed exactly where it belonged, every plot point paced in just the right way. Wonderful. I need to look out for more stuff by this author.

And, finally, I enjoyed the Oakland shout-out. I teach middle school in Oakland, I have to admit that I imagined the off-screen boyfriend as one of my boys, all growed up. It was a little thing, but it made me smile.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: SacredCaramel on October 28, 2010, 11:06:52 AM
This one was quite fun, absurd.  I especially liked the revelation that the candy was child-bait--does it reflect badly on me if I admit that was my first guess?  :)

Where did the creepy-crawly get the candy, though? 



Perhaps that's another reason the candy was "slimy"?   ^_-

I don't recall anyone actually eating any of it.  Maybe the beast from beyond could only conjure up the image with its telepathy, so that's what it went with. 
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Unblinking on October 28, 2010, 12:27:06 PM
This one was quite fun, absurd.  I especially liked the revelation that the candy was child-bait--does it reflect badly on me if I admit that was my first guess?  :)

Where did the creepy-crawly get the candy, though? 



Perhaps that's another reason the candy was "slimy"?   ^_-

I don't recall anyone actually eating any of it.  Maybe the beast from beyond could only conjure up the image with its telepathy, so that's what it went with. 

That's true!  Or maybe it had a particular talent of shaping and coloring its excrement!  Ewww....  I'm glad no one ate it.  In any case, I'm guessing it probably would have a tranquilizer effect to make the children easier prey.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Ocicat on October 28, 2010, 12:40:22 PM
maybe it had a particular talent of shaping and coloring its excrement!  Ewww....  I'm glad no one ate it.  In any case, I'm guessing it probably would have a tranquilizer effect to make the children easier prey.

I repeat:

Still wondering... where *did* the candy come from?

...why do I think I don't want to know?
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Scattercat on October 28, 2010, 04:49:24 PM
I smiled.  It was cute.  Really, that's all one can say about a light-hearted piece that successfully achieves light-heartedness.

My wife (daikaisho) was deeply unenthused, however.  She wasn't sure if it was the story or the reading.  She's not much for cute, though...
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: jrt14 on October 28, 2010, 11:22:19 PM
I really enjoyed this story. I thought the banter about magic vs. aliens was a nice comic relief. I was glad that at the end, he found a way to save the creature. It is nice to have a happy ending in a Halloween tale.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Max e^{i pi} on October 29, 2010, 05:00:20 AM
I really enjoyed this story.
It was cute, and funny, and witty, and the voices were superbly done.
I'm not too worried about where the candy came from. It was a mass hallucination brought on by the telepathic powers of the creature. We never hear of it traveling too far beyond the bathroom (all the offices seem rather close by). Also, think of the difficulties in getting gummy bears and candy corn to actually travel through pipes bent and kinky, water-logged pipes.

This offers a plausible answer to a problem I've been speculating on for years.
See, I am one of that weird breed of sub-human males that actually read the instruction manual.
And I'd always assumed that they were translated from Chinese to English via Amharic by a Korean. That was the only reason I could think of that explains the terrible spelling and grammar used.
Now I know it's just the random tentacle pounding of a hungry extra-terrestrial.
It seems much more plausible, somehow.

Also, how did he (she? it?) get here? If it dies so quickly out of water...
That's just a side point and does not detract from my enjoyment of the story. Just a little something to ponder afterwards, and perhaps best left to the readers' imaginations.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Unblinking on October 29, 2010, 09:06:36 AM
maybe it had a particular talent of shaping and coloring its excrement!  Ewww....  I'm glad no one ate it.  In any case, I'm guessing it probably would have a tranquilizer effect to make the children easier prey.

I repeat:

Still wondering... where *did* the candy come from?

...why do I think I don't want to know?

Oh, was that a hypothetical question?  I thought I'd hazard a guess at the specifics.  :D
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Unblinking on October 29, 2010, 09:09:19 AM
Also, how did he (she? it?) get here? If it dies so quickly out of water...
That's just a side point and does not detract from my enjoyment of the story. Just a little something to ponder afterwards, and perhaps best left to the readers' imaginations.

If it doesn't require too much water, then it could reside in the P-trap (I think that's what they're called).  It's a bend in the pipe intended to fill with and hold a small amount of liquid at all times.  The purpose is that the liquid keeps stinky gases from rising up from the piping system, but it could help keep a water creature wet--there's not a lot there, so it would probably be like trying to keep a dolphin moist in a kiddie pool, but it might work for a very short stay.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: stePH on October 29, 2010, 03:09:57 PM
Also, how did he (she? it?) get here? If it dies so quickly out of water...
That's just a side point and does not detract from my enjoyment of the story. Just a little something to ponder afterwards, and perhaps best left to the readers' imaginations.

If it doesn't require too much water, then it could reside in the P-trap (I think that's what they're called).  It's a bend in the pipe intended to fill with and hold a small amount of liquid at all times. 

Yep, that's the P-trap. There are also double-bend types, called S-traps.

(I used to work in inventory control for a water heater service company).
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Boggled Coriander on October 29, 2010, 09:18:51 PM
I loved this!  It was a light comedy that did everything a light comedy should do.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Max e^{i pi} on October 30, 2010, 03:29:00 PM
Also, how did he (she? it?) get here? If it dies so quickly out of water...
That's just a side point and does not detract from my enjoyment of the story. Just a little something to ponder afterwards, and perhaps best left to the readers' imaginations.

If it doesn't require too much water, then it could reside in the P-trap (I think that's what they're called).  It's a bend in the pipe intended to fill with and hold a small amount of liquid at all times.  The purpose is that the liquid keeps stinky gases from rising up from the piping system, but it could help keep a water creature wet--there's not a lot there, so it would probably be like trying to keep a dolphin moist in a kiddie pool, but it might work for a very short stay.

I meant, if it came from outer space, did it ride down in the shuttle's toilet? I don't think so, it's an air compressor!
If it has its own space ship, where is it?

Also, where did my post go?
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: ElectricPaladin on October 30, 2010, 03:31:49 PM
Also, how did he (she? it?) get here? If it dies so quickly out of water...
That's just a side point and does not detract from my enjoyment of the story. Just a little something to ponder afterwards, and perhaps best left to the readers' imaginations.

If it doesn't require too much water, then it could reside in the P-trap (I think that's what they're called).  It's a bend in the pipe intended to fill with and hold a small amount of liquid at all times.  The purpose is that the liquid keeps stinky gases from rising up from the piping system, but it could help keep a water creature wet--there's not a lot there, so it would probably be like trying to keep a dolphin moist in a kiddie pool, but it might work for a very short stay.

I meant, if it came from outer space, did it ride down in the shuttle's toilet? I don't think so, it's an air compressor!
If it has its own space ship, where is it?

Also, where did my post go?

Sometimes things are one way and sometimes they're the other. Whee! Why is the side of my head sticky?
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: DantesFire on October 31, 2010, 11:16:04 AM
Also, how did he (she? it?) get here? If it dies so quickly out of water...
That's just a side point and does not detract from my enjoyment of the story. Just a little something to ponder afterwards, and perhaps best left to the readers' imaginations.

If it doesn't require too much water, then it could reside in the P-trap (I think that's what they're called).  It's a bend in the pipe intended to fill with and hold a small amount of liquid at all times.  The purpose is that the liquid keeps stinky gases from rising up from the piping system, but it could help keep a water creature wet--there's not a lot there, so it would probably be like trying to keep a dolphin moist in a kiddie pool, but it might work for a very short stay.

I meant, if it came from outer space, did it ride down in the shuttle's toilet? I don't think so, it's an air compressor!
If it has its own space ship, where is it?

Also, where did my post go?

Sometimes things are one way and sometimes they're the other. Whee! Why is the side of my head sticky?

Probably like many creatures from out of space do, rode in a meteorite, landed in a lake and it split open when it landed.

Since it was a comedic story I let plenty go but I just can't believe they didn't just lock the toilet and put up an "out of order" sign.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Max e^{i pi} on October 31, 2010, 02:42:46 PM
Also, how did he (she? it?) get here? If it dies so quickly out of water...
That's just a side point and does not detract from my enjoyment of the story. Just a little something to ponder afterwards, and perhaps best left to the readers' imaginations.

If it doesn't require too much water, then it could reside in the P-trap (I think that's what they're called).  It's a bend in the pipe intended to fill with and hold a small amount of liquid at all times.  The purpose is that the liquid keeps stinky gases from rising up from the piping system, but it could help keep a water creature wet--there's not a lot there, so it would probably be like trying to keep a dolphin moist in a kiddie pool, but it might work for a very short stay.

I meant, if it came from outer space, did it ride down in the shuttle's toilet? I don't think so, it's an air compressor!
If it has its own space ship, where is it?

Also, where did my post go?

Sometimes things are one way and sometimes they're the other. Whee! Why is the side of my head sticky?

No, I'm serious.
I put a lot of thought and effort into that post, and I even had something intelligent and complimentary to say.
So mods, where did it go?
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Obleo21 on October 31, 2010, 05:12:25 PM
I enjoyed this story.  Perhaps it was the reading, but the women really sounded like morons.  I think that the dude should have been portrayed a little more moronic as well.  His thought process was a little absurd.  But maybe my thought processes would trend absurd if candy started coming out of the faucet.

I wondered how the creature planned on eating the children.  Did it think it could drag one back up the pipe.  My guess is that it's the first time it tried this.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: DKT on October 31, 2010, 11:45:28 PM


No, I'm serious.
I put a lot of thought and effort into that post, and I even had something intelligent and complimentary to say.
So mods, where did it go?

I really don't think any of the mods deleted your post. If so, they would've left you a note about it.

Some of the forum software has been acting up recently, but this is the first I've heard of a post actually disappearing. Feel free to hit me up with a PM if you want to talk about it more.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Heradel on November 01, 2010, 06:13:07 AM


No, I'm serious.
I put a lot of thought and effort into that post, and I even had something intelligent and complimentary to say.
So mods, where did it go?

I really don't think any of the mods deleted your post. If so, they would've left you a note about it.

Some of the forum software has been acting up recently, but this is the first I've heard of a post actually disappearing. Feel free to hit me up with a PM if you want to talk about it more.

I certainly didn't, and I still see a post of yours on the first page of this thread, you're not referring to that one?
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Max e^{i pi} on November 01, 2010, 06:43:41 AM


No, I'm serious.
I put a lot of thought and effort into that post, and I even had something intelligent and complimentary to say.
So mods, where did it go?

I really don't think any of the mods deleted your post. If so, they would've left you a note about it.

Some of the forum software has been acting up recently, but this is the first I've heard of a post actually disappearing. Feel free to hit me up with a PM if you want to talk about it more.

I certainly didn't, and I still see a post of yours on the first page of this thread, you're not referring to that one?
I am referring to that one, and I can't see it! (see attached screenshot of the topic summary)(Oh, it wouldn't attach.)
Anyway, if we're talking about bugy software forum:
a) Whenever I post it double posts and lets me know about it. I ignore it.
b) Doesn't this deserve its own thread?

(http://imgur.com/bnVFu.png)
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: DKT on November 01, 2010, 08:10:03 AM
Double posting as it's own thread here (http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=3709.0).
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Unblinking on November 01, 2010, 08:36:51 AM
I meant, if it came from outer space, did it ride down in the shuttle's toilet? I don't think so, it's an air compressor!
If it has its own space ship, where is it?

Also, where did my post go?

I figured it wasn't really a space alien, that it was more of a creature of the deep.  The protagonist discounts the possibility of a monster, but only on the logic that monsters can't exist, yet he doesn't wonder why a space alien would be able to exist in our atmosphere, how an alien got into the pipes, how the alien could create candy, how it could rely on such primitive food finding methods when it had master interstellar travel.  It makes sense to me for the protagonist to THINK it's an alien, but I don't think it really was.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Heradel on November 01, 2010, 11:00:22 AM


No, I'm serious.
I put a lot of thought and effort into that post, and I even had something intelligent and complimentary to say.
So mods, where did it go?

I really don't think any of the mods deleted your post. If so, they would've left you a note about it.

Some of the forum software has been acting up recently, but this is the first I've heard of a post actually disappearing. Feel free to hit me up with a PM if you want to talk about it more.

I certainly didn't, and I still see a post of yours on the first page of this thread, you're not referring to that one?
I am referring to that one, and I can't see it! (see attached screenshot of the topic summary)(Oh, it wouldn't attach.)

Re: the screen-capture — I can't see that line where it indicates that you had a post when I look, so I'm not entirely sure what happened. Wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility for the MySQL database to have made an error. Sorry about this.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Max e^{i pi} on November 01, 2010, 01:34:20 PM
I meant, if it came from outer space, did it ride down in the shuttle's toilet? I don't think so, it's an air compressor!
If it has its own space ship, where is it?

Also, where did my post go?

I figured it wasn't really a space alien, that it was more of a creature of the deep.  The protagonist discounts the possibility of a monster, but only on the logic that monsters can't exist, yet he doesn't wonder why a space alien would be able to exist in our atmosphere, how an alien got into the pipes, how the alien could create candy, how it could rely on such primitive food finding methods when it had master interstellar travel.  It makes sense to me for the protagonist to THINK it's an alien, but I don't think it really was.

Oh even better.
I'm reading Peter Watts' Starfish now, and I have huge submarine monsters on the brain.
Maybe this creature came from the depths, found its way into a sewage outlet and up into the water system.
Of course, if it came from very var below it would explode in lower pressure, so....

Wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility for the MySQL database to have made an error. Sorry about this.

Do other people see my original post? Is it just me?
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Wilson Fowlie on November 01, 2010, 03:56:14 PM
You mean this post? :

I really enjoyed this story.
It was cute, and funny, and witty, and the voices were superbly done.
I'm not too worried about where the candy came from. It was a mass hallucination brought on by the telepathic powers of the creature. We never hear of it traveling too far beyond the bathroom (all the offices seem rather close by). Also, think of the difficulties in getting gummy bears and candy corn to actually travel through pipes bent and kinky, water-logged pipes.

This offers a plausible answer to a problem I've been speculating on for years.
See, I am one of that weird breed of sub-human males that actually read the instruction manual.
And I'd always assumed that they were translated from Chinese to English via Amharic by a Korean. That was the only reason I could think of that explains the terrible spelling and grammar used.
Now I know it's just the random tentacle pounding of a hungry extra-terrestrial.
It seems much more plausible, somehow.

Also, how did he (she? it?) get here? If it dies so quickly out of water...
That's just a side point and does not detract from my enjoyment of the story. Just a little something to ponder afterwards, and perhaps best left to the readers' imaginations.

I see it.  If you don't, it might be a browser cache issue or something?
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: DKT on November 01, 2010, 04:01:08 PM
Thanks for posting it, Wilson. I was having the same issue Heradel was.

Not sure what's happening (I personally blame aliens or deep sea monsters with telepathy) but we're looking into it.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: eytanz on November 02, 2010, 07:10:26 AM
I found this one amusing. I got a bit confused by the part with the kids - if a kid went into the bathroom and found the tap, then he would have been eaten, no? And if the problem was the candy that had already come out of there, why not just take it out of the bathroom and use it to distract the kids?

Also, how was the pot used to close the door? I don't think I've ever seen an office building with bathroom doors that open out.

But yeah, I'm overthinking what is obviously supposed to be a fluffy piece. And it worked as that :)
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Unblinking on November 02, 2010, 08:37:18 AM
I found this one amusing. I got a bit confused by the part with the kids - if a kid went into the bathroom and found the tap, then he would have been eaten, no? And if the problem was the candy that had already come out of there, why not just take it out of the bathroom and use it to distract the kids?

I think that would be a bad idea.  I'm guessing that wasn't REALLY candy, and that it might even cause paralysis or death.  I would NOT eat that candy or give it to children.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Vylar_Kaftan on November 02, 2010, 09:49:43 AM
Glad you guys liked the story!  Someone mentioned wanting to hear more of my work. Several stories have been podcast on Escape Pod, Podcastle, and Pseudopod.  Also, you can read most of it here:  http://www.vylarkaftan.net/bibliography/

I have some serious work and some lighter work; I like writing both.  Podcastle will do another comic story from me in December.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: DKT on November 02, 2010, 10:36:07 AM
Podcastle will do another comic story from me in December.

I think you mean Escape Pod?  ;)
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Heradel on November 02, 2010, 10:56:05 AM
Podcastle will do another comic story from me in December.

I think you mean Escape Pod?  ;)

Reports of us publishing in December are groundless rumors (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgcxGFmYyPs&feature=related).
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Vylar_Kaftan on November 02, 2010, 11:08:34 AM
I'm sorry, I just got back from World Fantasy and apparently I left my brain there.  I was confusing several things.  My apologies. 

Podcastle did a short comic piece from me earlier at:  http://podcastle.org/2008/12/
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: DKT on November 02, 2010, 11:11:04 AM
I'm sorry, I just got back from World Fantasy and apparently I left my brain there.  I was confusing several things.  My apologies. 

Podcastle did a short comic piece from me earlier at:  http://podcastle.org/2008/12/

No worries! Hope you had fun at WFC :)
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: acpracht on November 02, 2010, 11:29:24 AM
Thank you so much for an episode that explored the fun, playful side of Halloween. It was a great break from all of the other podcasts in October that seemed to be dedicated to scaring the ever-loving crap out of me.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: acpracht on November 02, 2010, 11:33:53 AM
This one was quite fun, absurd.  I especially liked the revelation that the candy was child-bait--does it reflect badly on me if I admit that was my first guess?  :)

Where did the creepy-crawly get the candy, though? 



I particularly liked the moment when the main character coughed, prompting a single gummy bear to go shooting out of the drain and hitting the opposite wall.

It's like the creature thought, "Not sure I heard something there, but what the hell... *Poomp!* Please...?"

I imagined that the creature had some sort of way within himself to secrete or create the candy out of its own body. I'd imagine that if he'd had a taste for the narrator, the drains would have - in fact - been shooting out bologna.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: acpracht on November 02, 2010, 11:38:41 AM
This offers a plausible answer to a problem I've been speculating on for years.
See, I am one of that weird breed of sub-human males that actually read the instruction manual.
And I'd always assumed that they were translated from Chinese to English via Amharic by a Korean. That was the only reason I could think of that explains the terrible spelling and grammar used.
Now I know it's just the random tentacle pounding of a hungry extra-terrestrial.
It seems much more plausible, somehow.


Hahaha... love this.. :)
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Loof on November 02, 2010, 03:49:58 PM
This was great, had me laughing aloud on the bus and drawing all kinds of stares.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: birdless on November 04, 2010, 02:53:10 PM
Work plus gym membership plus minimum 2-hour RT commute daily = no time to write, blog, keep up on forums, or sleep enough. My weekdays literally consist of wake, gym, commute, work, commute, dinner, kid time, pack lunches, pack gym bag, and by then I'm so exhausted that I can't spend the rest of my 35 minutes doing anything but reading and going to sleep.

The more you know...
Wow, i really sympathize with you, there, Listener. I don't have the gym membership, but i do have the 2 hr RT commute and the rest of it. It's AMAZING how much that cuts into time at home.

Oh, and yeah, i enjoyed this story. Some nitpicks, but definitely a worthwhile listen.

Still wondering... where *did* the candy come from?

...why do I think I don't want to know?
Oh wow… i didn't really follow that to it's logical conclusion until now. Especially with the detail that it was a little slimy…

Wimpy post, i know, but mainly i just wanted to sympathize with Listener. =)
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Heradel on November 04, 2010, 03:06:32 PM
Wimpy post, i know, but mainly i just wanted to sympathize with Listener. =)

I think we can let you slide, once.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: That Hirschman Guy on November 04, 2010, 10:45:25 PM
I enjoyed this story.  Perhaps it was the reading, but the women really sounded like morons.  I think that the dude should have been portrayed a little more moronic as well.  His thought process was a little absurd.  But maybe my thought processes would trend absurd if candy started coming out of the faucet.
I didn't mean to make the women sound stupid - the yoga/granola/tofu lady just seemed like she would have that kind of over-enthused voice, and the lines written for her were kinda flaky to begin with. I had to work with what I was given.  She was brave enough to accompany Gary in his trek to the Maintenance closet, and thoughtful enough to bring him something for lunch that *HE* would enjoy (and not force her tofu/granola on him), so voicetones aren't everything to go on when judging. 
for Vivian's voice, she seemed to be a somewhat less emotional, somewhat less passionate character, tho she did care about the kids, so I was just making her sound borderline snooty, given her chain-smoking and teeth-whitening cycle of life.
The girlfriend was sick, cut her some slack. and I don't think the whole piece would've been convincing if it had been narrated by a dumb-sounding guy. This aint Forrest Gump.

The lady on the phone - she of the "sun sign" question - was indeed a moron.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Doctor Thump on November 05, 2010, 01:20:51 PM
Loved the story - it made me laugh out loud several times.  Just one point (maybe picky - maybe not b/c it distracted the heck out of me)...if the alien was in the feed water pipes and was pushing candy out the faucet when the taps were turned on, it was completely useless for the main character to go exploring the p-trap side of the plumbing....  That would have assumed that the alien was in the sewage side of the plumbing and so the candy would have been coming up out of the sink drain instead of through the tap.  It made me shout at the narrator - "it's not doing you any good to look there!!!!"... but then they went to the maintenance closet and looked in the right place (with telepathic promptings from the alien).

This leads to a question - I know this is fantasy, but when the story incorporates pieces of everyday life (like plumbing), shouldn't the story be accurate?

Otherwise, a great story and really amusing...

Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Obleo21 on November 05, 2010, 03:38:47 PM
I enjoyed this story.  Perhaps it was the reading, but the women really sounded like morons.  I think that the dude should have been portrayed a little more moronic as well.  His thought process was a little absurd.  But maybe my thought processes would trend absurd if candy started coming out of the faucet.
I didn't mean to make the women sound stupid - the yoga/granola/tofu lady just seemed like she would have that kind of over-enthused voice, and the lines written for her were kinda flaky to begin with. I had to work with what I was given.  She was brave enough to accompany Gary in his trek to the Maintenance closet, and thoughtful enough to bring him something for lunch that *HE* would enjoy (and not force her tofu/granola on him), so voicetones aren't everything to go on when judging. 
for Vivian's voice, she seemed to be a somewhat less emotional, somewhat less passionate character, tho she did care about the kids, so I was just making her sound borderline snooty, given her chain-smoking and teeth-whitening cycle of life.
The girlfriend was sick, cut her some slack. and I don't think the whole piece would've been convincing if it had been narrated by a dumb-sounding guy. This aint Forrest Gump.

The lady on the phone - she of the "sun sign" question - was indeed a moron.

Mr. Hirschman, please don't read such a harsh critique into my statement (and I did say perhaps...)!  I did enjoy the story, and a bad reading would make a good story unenjoyable.  I'm sure it was quite a challenge to perform a story when all but one character is a woman.  You made it easy to tell which woman was talking.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Listener on November 06, 2010, 11:04:42 AM
When the story began and we learned that the MC was a freelance writer successfully making a decent living and having a decent life... I honestly groaned out loud. Seriously. I gained a little more respect for him when he turned out to be a technical writer -- that stuff's difficult and boring -- but still... I think too many stories have writer protagonists because it's an easy protagonist. Writers know what it's like for writers, they know what they want to happen when they become successful writers, and because the characters are writers it is in character for them to use flowery mental descriptions of things that, say, an electrician might not. (Case in point: it's a lot harder to remain true to the language when your MC is an island princess on an island without more than native technology. Or a child.)

However, once I got past that, I really enjoyed the story... up until the ending, which felt a little rushed. Like, "oh, crap, I'm out of time/hit my word limit and need to end this quickly, so let's just make it a friendly monster." That may not be what happened, but that's how it felt to me. Still, I bet it makes a good pet.

I wonder who the MC was telling the story to. A cleaning person, maybe? Someone who came to pick up his latest manual (or drop off a completed one for galley edits or whatever TWs do)? His girlfriend's kid?

I also really enjoyed the discussion in the forums of where the candy came from.

The reading was good, although Dana's voice grated on me after a while.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Unblinking on November 08, 2010, 09:59:27 AM
When the story began and we learned that the MC was a freelance writer successfully making a decent living and having a decent life... I honestly groaned out loud. Seriously. I gained a little more respect for him when he turned out to be a technical writer -- that stuff's difficult and boring -- but still... I think too many stories have writer protagonists because it's an easy protagonist. Writers know what it's like for writers, they know what they want to happen when they become successful writers, and because the characters are writers it is in character for them to use flowery mental descriptions of things that, say, an electrician might not. (Case in point: it's a lot harder to remain true to the language when your MC is an island princess on an island without more than native technology. Or a child.)

I know that's a common complaint, but writing about writers never bothers me overmuch unless it's one particular writer who keeps doing it over and over again.  I have a particular writer in mind whose name starts with an "S" and ends with an "ephen King"--at least 70% writer stories, and 90% stories that take place in Maine, that's just lazy when taken over hundreds of stories.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: ElectricPaladin on November 08, 2010, 10:04:16 AM
When the story began and we learned that the MC was a freelance writer successfully making a decent living and having a decent life... I honestly groaned out loud. Seriously. I gained a little more respect for him when he turned out to be a technical writer -- that stuff's difficult and boring -- but still... I think too many stories have writer protagonists because it's an easy protagonist. Writers know what it's like for writers, they know what they want to happen when they become successful writers, and because the characters are writers it is in character for them to use flowery mental descriptions of things that, say, an electrician might not. (Case in point: it's a lot harder to remain true to the language when your MC is an island princess on an island without more than native technology. Or a child.)

I know that's a common complaint, but writing about writers never bothers me overmuch unless it's one particular writer who keeps doing it over and over again.  I have a particular writer in mind whose name starts with an "S" and ends with an "ephen King"--at least 70% writer stories, and 90% stories that take place in Maine, that's just lazy when taken over hundreds of stories.

Let's face it, writers are deeply fascinating people (also intelligent, sexy, and well-endowed). Everything should be about us.

Seriously, I actually haven't encountered a preponderance of work about writers. Certainly, they're out there, but I've also read books about musicians and painters and office workers and parents and high school students and chefs and astronauts and dental technicians. Ok, maybe never a book about a dental technician. But the point is that writers exist and they often make cool protagonists. Unless you can think of a reason why it's bad in this story, I am unmoved.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Unblinking on November 08, 2010, 01:33:47 PM
Let's face it, writers are deeply fascinating people (also intelligent, sexy, and well-endowed). Everything should be about us.

Seriously, I actually haven't encountered a preponderance of work about writers. Certainly, they're out there, but I've also read books about musicians and painters and office workers and parents and high school students and chefs and astronauts and dental technicians. Ok, maybe never a book about a dental technician. But the point is that writers exist and they often make cool protagonists. Unless you can think of a reason why it's bad in this story, I am unmoved.

You haven't read much Stephen King then?   :D
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Scattercat on November 08, 2010, 05:05:11 PM
But the point is that writers exist and they often make cool protagonists. Unless you can think of a reason why it's bad in this story, I am unmoved.

It's lazy, and if you read more initial/amateur offerings, you'd see it a LOT more often.  It's like writing a book where the orcs are Tolkien orcs and the elves are Tolkien elves.  Or worse, D&D orcs and elves.  It's not bad or wrong, per se, but it shows a lack of effort or initiative, and tends to lose you points from connoisseurs who've seen it a million times.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Talia on November 08, 2010, 05:11:15 PM
But the point is that writers exist and they often make cool protagonists. Unless you can think of a reason why it's bad in this story, I am unmoved.

It's lazy, and if you read more initial/amateur offerings, you'd see it a LOT more often.  It's like writing a book where the orcs are Tolkien orcs and the elves are Tolkien elves.  Or worse, D&D orcs and elves.  It's not bad or wrong, per se, but it shows a lack of effort or initiative, and tends to lose you points from connoisseurs who've seen it a million times.

I don't know. I think deducting points for using that setting rather than, say, actual story quality, well that doesn't feel right to me. I strongly disagree that its "lazy."  If it feels lazy, I suggest there's something else fundimentally wrong with the way a story is written. Seems to me even reusing the most common of concepts is fine and dandy provided the story it bears forth is interesting and well done enough.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Scattercat on November 08, 2010, 07:43:25 PM
But the point is that writers exist and they often make cool protagonists. Unless you can think of a reason why it's bad in this story, I am unmoved.

It's lazy, and if you read more initial/amateur offerings, you'd see it a LOT more often.  It's like writing a book where the orcs are Tolkien orcs and the elves are Tolkien elves.  Or worse, D&D orcs and elves.  It's not bad or wrong, per se, but it shows a lack of effort or initiative, and tends to lose you points from connoisseurs who've seen it a million times.

I don't know. I think deducting points for using that setting rather than, say, actual story quality, well that doesn't feel right to me. I strongly disagree that its "lazy."  If it feels lazy, I suggest there's something else fundimentally wrong with the way a story is written. Seems to me even reusing the most common of concepts is fine and dandy provided the story it bears forth is interesting and well done enough.

Indeed.  It's all in how well it's handled.  However, in the same way that a good story can be spun from "It was a dark and stormy night," the very commonness of the thing biases the experienced reader against it.

More to the point, it's not that "writer as hero" is a trope per se.  Elves and orcs might be misleading in that sense.  It's more that, when you're a neophyte writer, you sit down and think, "What is my protagonist like?"  You are not very experienced, and so you have not yet gained the practice or confidence necessary to envision the world from the point of view of someone very unlike yourself.  Thus, you think, "I know!  I'll make him/her a writer!  I know what THAT's like, ha ha!"  And thus those of us who see it a lot go, "Oh, great.  A writer protag.  Unless the story revolves around something specific to writing, what we have here is either an inexperienced newbie or a lazy expert."  Neither of those impressions, you understand, lend much hope that one is about to read something world-shatteringly awesome.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Talia on November 08, 2010, 10:45:33 PM
Would you not say that's more an issue on the reader's end than writer's? I guess what I mean is if you write something that YOU'RE happy with and some people are clearly happy to read, doesn't that make it worth it even if you've turned off some segment of your readership?

I guess I'm saying can't make everyone happy, so the author has to do what pleases himself (and entertains others enough to sell, I guess!).
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Scattercat on November 08, 2010, 11:56:52 PM
Er, no.  Laziness or inexperience are problems, and ones that should and can be addressed.  A good writer can write a story about a writer and have it be meaningful and important.  That story is not the problem; it's not an issue with writers writing about writers.  However, when you read a story that centers on a writer for no other reason than the author is a writer, then it's not so good.  I feel the same way about anyone who writes about their day job, really, unless they have something more universally applicable to say. 

F'r instance, I just read a story about a teacher in a charter school written by a teacher in a charter school, and while the story as a whole was worth reading, there were a few bits that were pretty obviously self-indulgent.  I guessed well before the end what the author had as a day job, and was annoyed to find my cynical prediction correct.  THAT is what I'm talking about.  Ideally, a story should be written well enough from its chosen perspective that I cynically make such a prediction and am proven resoundingly wrong.  In the event I ever encounter such a story, I will perforce applaud the author with tremendous huzzahs.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Talia on November 09, 2010, 12:14:55 AM
Just gonna have to disagree with you on this point, I think. I've read many a story involving  writers and have never, not once, come across what I'd see as an example of what your suggest, so I guess it's just a matter of opinion.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: eytanz on November 09, 2010, 02:54:31 AM
Just gonna have to disagree with you on this point, I think. I've read many a story involving  writers and have never, not once, come across what I'd see as an example of what your suggest, so I guess it's just a matter of opinion.

I sort of agree with both of you.

On the one hand, I think the whole "writing about writers is lazy" is something you really only hear from other writers. I don't think I was ever bothered by it at the least before I came to these forums, started hanging out (virtually) with writers, and heard this said occasionally. I'm still not bothered by it, though I'm aware other people seem to be.

On the other hand, now that I'm a slush reader, I am exposed to a lot more of what Scattercat is talking about. Specifically, a lot of writing that contains features that otherwise mark it as lazy or unskilled tend to be about writers, or about the author's day job. I have never rejected a story because it's about a writer - nor has it even been a consideration - but a lot of the stories I reject for other reasons happen to be about writers.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, if you've never seen a example of what Scattercat is suggesting, then that's because an editor (or slush reader) somewhere is doing a good job, not because it doesn't exist.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Scattercat on November 09, 2010, 05:13:34 PM
Just gonna have to disagree with you on this point, I think. I've read many a story involving  writers and have never, not once, come across what I'd see as an example of what your suggest, so I guess it's just a matter of opinion.

As eytanz said, that is because the stories that do what I'm complaining about are ones written by lazy or unskilled authors, and therefore tend to get weeded out early in the editorial process.  Stephen King is something of an aberration, although you'll notice that he didn't do it nearly so much in his early work, when he had to get by on his merits, whereas now that he can basically belch into a voice-to-text program and sell a million copies, he's gotten a lot less self-vigilant about that kind of thing.

This story, for instance, is not an example of the problem.  While the protagonist being a writer doesn't factor into the story much at all, it's also not distracting or self-indulgent.  It's functionally harmless here, serving only to set off the warning signs in those of us like myself and Listener who have had our radars fine-tuned to notice the Symptoms of Bad Writing.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: FireTurtle on December 03, 2010, 11:07:09 PM
Tuning in late but, hey, better than never. Very much enjoyed this light-hearted romp. As for main-character as author- I don't know. It worked for me. I mean, how else would you proceed to the technical manual ending. Well done.

Only nit pick- although one that made me drum the steering wheel endlessly in mute irritation: Closing the water main DOES NOT drain the water out of the pipes. The water that was there is still there. Everyone would have to flush or turn on the faucets, etc to get the pipes to drain dry. Ok. I feel better now.

See, this is why I am afraid to write about things I don't know. Or only think I know. And by the way, how could you possibly drag around a pot for a ficus that fills a room. My ficus fills a small corner of the bedroom and I would be hard-pressed to drag its pot around by myself. Just sayin'

Just in case anyone besides me actually reads this- I loved the monster and the whole candy-temptation thing. It was a nice little "microcosm" story. I like those when they are done well (like this one) and don't merely seem like the author couldn't think of any other settings for the characters.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: AliceNred on December 09, 2010, 05:17:15 PM
I like candy corn. Not enough to crave outside of the wholiest of seasons, but I still look forward to the happy stripy stuff.

I even like bologna sandwiches.

The story was fun, and where no story is perfect, it did leave me with some questions:

Why did they keep the monster and not turn it over to let's say a college to study or NASA even?

Why would a health nut touch bologna?

How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?


I personally really wanted the tree to some how come more into play, like a love story between  it and monster.

I know, it's just a silly story, and I should really just relax.

Now the guy who read it was great. Sorry, his name alludes me. He sounded like he would do a great job on some detective stories.

Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Unblinking on December 10, 2010, 09:55:10 AM
Why did they keep the monster and not turn it over to let's say a college to study or NASA even?

free labor!

Why did they keep the monster and How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?

That was left up to interpretation, but I suspect that it was able to manufacture something that looked like candy from it's own biological waste, probably with some kind of sedative and/or digestive included.  I'm not sure how it found out what candy looks like, but it didn't necessarily know what candy tasted like--nobody in the story tasted the candy.  I don't think it could make a bologna sandwich because if it's making it from its own bio-waste it couldn't make anything that has nutrition for itself.  It could perhaps make something that looked like a bologna sandwich but would not have any nutrients.

That's just my take though, the story lets you make your own interpretation.  :)
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: DKT on December 10, 2010, 11:46:17 AM
Why did they keep the monster and How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?

That was left up to interpretation, but I suspect that it was able to manufacture something that looked like candy from it's own biological waste, probably with some kind of sedative and/or digestive included.  I'm not sure how it found out what candy looks like, but it didn't necessarily know what candy tasted like--nobody in the story tasted the candy.  I don't think it could make a bologna sandwich because if it's making it from its own bio-waste it couldn't make anything that has nutrition for itself.  It could perhaps make something that looked like a bologna sandwich but would not have any nutrients.

That's just my take though, the story lets you make your own interpretation.  :)

I *really* don't have the words to describe how disappointed I am that I've already recorded the feedback segment for this one. Because - DAMN. That would've been fun to have said out loud into a microphone  ;D
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Max e^{i pi} on December 11, 2010, 11:24:49 AM
Why did they keep the monster and How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?

That was left up to interpretation, but I suspect that it was able to manufacture something that looked like candy from it's own biological waste, probably with some kind of sedative and/or digestive included.  I'm not sure how it found out what candy looks like, but it didn't necessarily know what candy tasted like--nobody in the story tasted the candy.  I don't think it could make a bologna sandwich because if it's making it from its own bio-waste it couldn't make anything that has nutrition for itself.  It could perhaps make something that looked like a bologna sandwich but would not have any nutrients.

That's just my take though, the story lets you make your own interpretation.  :)

I *really* don't have the words to describe how disappointed I am that I've already recorded the feedback segment for this one. Because - DAMN. That would've been fun to have said out loud into a microphone  ;D
You just like talking about doody. :P
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: AliceNred on December 11, 2010, 08:19:59 PM
Why did they keep the monster and not turn it over to let's say a college to study or NASA even?

free labor!

Why did they keep the monster and How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?

That was left up to interpretation, but I suspect that it was able to manufacture something that looked like candy from it's own biological waste, probably with some kind of sedative and/or digestive included.  I'm not sure how it found out what candy looks like, but it didn't necessarily know what candy tasted like--nobody in the story tasted the candy.  I don't think it could make a bologna sandwich because if it's making it from its own bio-waste it couldn't make anything that has nutrition for itself.  It could perhaps make something that looked like a bologna sandwich but would not have any nutrients.

That's just my take though, the story lets you make your own interpretation.  :)

You made some good points.

I do see how somethings should not answered. After it is a short story.

But on occasion, some holes bother me. Maybe I am just hungry?
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Unblinking on December 13, 2010, 11:15:37 AM
Why did they keep the monster and How did it make the candy? Why would it know what it tasted like, or looked like? And if it could make candy, why couldn't make itself a bologna sandwich?

That was left up to interpretation, but I suspect that it was able to manufacture something that looked like candy from it's own biological waste, probably with some kind of sedative and/or digestive included.  I'm not sure how it found out what candy looks like, but it didn't necessarily know what candy tasted like--nobody in the story tasted the candy.  I don't think it could make a bologna sandwich because if it's making it from its own bio-waste it couldn't make anything that has nutrition for itself.  It could perhaps make something that looked like a bologna sandwich but would not have any nutrients.

That's just my take though, the story lets you make your own interpretation.  :)

I *really* don't have the words to describe how disappointed I am that I've already recorded the feedback segment for this one. Because - DAMN. That would've been fun to have said out loud into a microphone  ;D

Damn, I should've said it a bit earlier then.  It's always nice to hear my name in the feedback section, and it would've given you the opportunity to talk about candy-shaped poo.  Oh well...   :D
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: LaShawn on December 20, 2010, 12:40:56 PM
So let's see, I just heard a story about a girl and her blob...now we got a boy and his...er...snot green alien tentacle thing. This one had me grinning all throughout. Love the character voices and the deadpan humor. And I'm so glad he didn't kill the alien. And great shout-out to Vienna sausages! When I was a kid, I used to snarf those up with crackers and cheeze from a can. Mmmm...yummy!

But what I really want to talk about was Dave's intro. I so totally know where he is coming from. Growing up, my mother was the exact same way--Halloween was the devil's holiday, so as a Christian she wouldn't celebrate it. My dad, on the other hand, was just cheap. He didn't buy candy; he gave out stacks of pennies (yeah, imagine all the weird looks he got). He and my mom clashed at times, and oftentimes, really late, he would tell us to get our coats on so we could go trick-or-treating. And because it was last minute, we often had to improvise last minute on costumes. So for most of my childhood, my sisters and I always went as a gypsies because it was the only thing we could think of with our mother's scarves. That is until she started letting us go to the Christian "Harvest" celebrations, where we dressed as Israelite women.

This year, I had the wonderful privilege to go to the American Gods Gathering at the House on the Rock with Neil Gaiman on Halloween weekend. You can find the entire story at my blog (http://tbonecafe.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/musing-on-a-moment-at-the-gathering-of-american-gods-at-the-house-of-the-rock-halloween-weekend-2010/), but let me tell you, that weekend made up for years and years and years of not celebrating Halloween. It was magical and mystical and spooky and wild and thrilling and way too many other adjectives I have no room to mention. It basically represented what Halloween 'ought' to be.

P.S. This year, my son went trick-or-treating as a GPS. That was fun.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: acpracht on January 14, 2011, 03:30:22 PM

Stephen King is something of an aberration, although you'll notice that he didn't do it nearly so much in his early work, when he had to get by on his merits, whereas now that he can basically belch into a voice-to-text program and sell a million copies, he's gotten a lot less self-vigilant about that kind of thing.

Haha... "belch into a voice-to-text program." I'm pretty sure I've read that one.
King went so far as to not only put a writer into the story but also Himself and his own life events and made himself the ultimate source of a universe! (A la Dark Tower). That's the ultimate in navel-gazing, in my opinion.
Also, the master of purple prose. "The grasshoppers jumping in sporatic parabolas" in Salem's Lot. Come on!
And yet, and yet... I keep reading him. Oh, well...  
-Adam




Mod: just edited the link to reflect whose words you were responding to :p
(I knew I hadn't said that.....)
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Listener on March 13, 2011, 08:19:50 AM
Threadomancy: I found this image. It is relevant.

(http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_let3c4i9t21qetfuso1_500.jpg)
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Scattercat on March 13, 2011, 11:18:20 AM
It's all true!  Run!  Save yourselves!!
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Unblinking on March 14, 2011, 08:20:33 AM
Threadomancy: I found this image. It is relevant.

(http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_let3c4i9t21qetfuso1_500.jpg)

Awesome!  I wonder if that was inspired by this story or just completely random?
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Gamercow on March 14, 2011, 10:46:59 AM
It's all true!  Run!  Save yourselves!!

You just want all the gummy bears for yourself.
Title: Re: PC128: Something Wicked This Way Plumbs
Post by: Fenrix on May 20, 2011, 07:23:00 PM
If you're gonna name check Lovecraft, I demand cyclopean and non-euclidean plumbing in the boiler room. I think this is a subversive trick of PodCastle staff to try to make the creature in PseudoPod Towers seem (mostly) harmless. I call shenanigans.