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Author Topic: Pseudopod 145: Infestation  (Read 13434 times)

Bdoomed

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on: June 05, 2009, 06:31:41 PM
Pseudopod 145: Infestation

By Matthew Piskin
Read by Cayenne Chris Conroy

Rachel comes in the through the garage door in the kitchen. She’s carrying a large green ceramic flower pot. Inside the pot is the weirdest flower I have ever seen. Its stem is thick and curvy like a jungle vine. It’s about seven inches tall and has little white bumps, like tiny blisters, all along the stem. The head of the flower is furry and yellow with large red and black petals, wavy and erect, just the way a kid would draw them. There are several layers of petals and their pattern is mesmerizing: black-red-black-red on one layer, then the next would interchange to red-black-red-black, et cetera. As she carries the flower into the house the petals give the illusion of spinning, like little wheels turning inside larger ones.

I say, “What the hell is that thing?”

“I have no idea, but isn’t it cool?”

“I guess…”



Listen to this week's Pseudopod.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Zathras

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Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 08:40:28 PM
Yukkkk.  Great episode that made me uncomfortable.



600south

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Reply #2 on: June 06, 2009, 09:47:15 AM
it was an OK little grossout piece, but my favorite writing was at the start when he talked about his need to beat off and why.



Cerebrilith

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Reply #3 on: June 06, 2009, 10:49:19 AM
I feel like this story should have been disturbing, but it just wasn't. Like the previous poster said the most entertaining bit was the guy's self-abuse.



Bdoomed

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Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 07:08:51 PM
i loved the reading of this story, it did a great job of conveying the urgency of the situation :)

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


petronivs

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Reply #5 on: June 08, 2009, 06:23:54 PM
I liked the story, but I have definitely mixed feelings about the reading style. 

He has a good speaking style in general.  What nearly killed the story for me was the dialogue at the beginning.  Especially in the back and forth, I could barely make out when the husband was speaking versus when his wife was speaking.  It all kind of blurred into one, maybe because there wasn't enough style and tone shift between the two.  Perhaps it would've been easier had the story had more speaking words, like "he said" and "she responded".

Another gripe I had was that the story started out too fast.  Fast speaking isn't too bad, especially once the action/suspense starts to heat up, but this story definitely needed a slower pace at the beginning.  The writing was casual, but the oration was frantic.



Sgarre1

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Reply #6 on: June 08, 2009, 07:25:26 PM
I'd guess it wasn't the oration in the beginning so much as the audio editing.  This story was edited to within an inch of its life.  As someone who has to do close discernment on crappy audio (court recordings) for the better part of my day job, I'm particularly sensitive to little audio cues and I could swear that in a number of instances the next line of dialogue was already fading in as the previous was fading out - this overlap subliminally created a frantic quality to the delivery, a headlong rushing that might have been useful in the wrap up but, yes, made the start seem far more pell-mell than needed.  Human breathing space was needed, and may have been there in the original reading, but the audio editing concisely eliminated it.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 11:26:22 PM by Sgarre1 »



MacArthurBug

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Reply #7 on: June 08, 2009, 11:06:08 PM
Very well read. but Ickkkey! Eeew! yuck! gross!  I totally have to go wash out my ears now. Thanks.

Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.


Zathras

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Reply #8 on: June 08, 2009, 11:21:11 PM
Listened again.  Shudder.

Ok, I have a few issues with this.  While the story telling involved with the masturbation storyline was well done, it seemed it's only purpose in the story was to move Ben upstairs.  Couldn't this have been as easily done by having Rachel yell down for a glass of milk or something?

How many plants were the Girl Scouts selling?

Ben fits the mold of flawed character that deserves something bad to happen to him.  Rachel doesn't seem to be much more than an object with a few lines.



MacArthurBug

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Reply #9 on: June 09, 2009, 01:08:12 PM
How many plants were the Girl Scouts selling?

Ben fits the mold of flawed character that deserves something bad to happen to him.  Rachel doesn't seem to be much more than an object with a few lines.

I was wondering that myself. How did the plants not infest the scouts- or were they some form of alien delivery system disguised as cuties with cookies?

I agree on the second point as well. Rachel dosn't even exist as more then a very thin idea to hang some problems around. I had a hard time caring about her- and that's saying something 'cause usually My "button" is kids in trouble- preggo ladies count in there somewhere.

The gross out factor seemed more important in the story then fact fiding. And though I'm cool with that this one exceeds my level of comfort with the "ick."

Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.


Russell Nash

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Reply #10 on: June 09, 2009, 01:32:36 PM
Good for a grossout story.  There was one laugh line for me.  When he pulls out the magazine to smack the bug, his wife says, "so now you keep that up here!"  Funny because first she knew all about them in the first place.  Second their lives are in serious danger and she's upset about the magazine.



Listener

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Reply #11 on: June 10, 2009, 03:27:28 PM
I too had issues with the editing -- specifically the lack of voice-changes in the quick conversation, and the overlaid breaths under the narrator's speech.

Dude, seriously? Paint rags? When my wife was nesting for our kid, she didn't find ANYTHING I keep under the bed. And you don't have a secret folder on the computer, either? Magazines? Who reads THOSE anymore?

Too much info? Oh well.

Anyway.

I did love that he crushed the first big bug with porn. And the little "we have to childproof this place" bit was cute.

The story was really vivid and good to listen to -- even as I mowed the lawn, kicking up dozens of bugs every minute -- but the whole "giving yourself over to purification by fire" thing was a little over-the-top. You have an unborn child and you're going to give up? I mean, sure, lots of bugs, but... *shrug*

One other thing: this author must HATE the Girl Scouts. I think this story is a gigantic metaphor for the annoying way they sell those overpriced cookies.

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Zathras

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Reply #12 on: June 10, 2009, 03:54:12 PM

One other thing: this author must HATE the Girl Scouts. I think this story is a gigantic metaphor for the annoying way they sell those overpriced cookies.

Wow!  Now I get it!  (And I have two daughters who are Scouts)



Russell Nash

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Reply #13 on: June 10, 2009, 06:14:22 PM

One other thing: this author must HATE the Girl Scouts. I think this story is a gigantic metaphor for the annoying way they sell those overpriced cookies.

Wow!  Now I get it!  (And I have two daughters who are Scouts)
You're part of the problem.



Zathras

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Reply #14 on: June 10, 2009, 06:31:49 PM

One other thing: this author must HATE the Girl Scouts. I think this story is a gigantic metaphor for the annoying way they sell those overpriced cookies.

Wow!  Now I get it!  (And I have two daughters who are Scouts)
You're part of the problem.

But I can't be squished with the anniversary edition of Shaved.




Russell Nash

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Reply #15 on: June 10, 2009, 06:50:10 PM

One other thing: this author must HATE the Girl Scouts. I think this story is a gigantic metaphor for the annoying way they sell those overpriced cookies.

Wow!  Now I get it!  (And I have two daughters who are Scouts)
You're part of the problem.

But I can't be squished with the anniversary edition of Shaved.

You can be bonked with their special hardcover retrospective.



Listener

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Reply #16 on: June 11, 2009, 11:41:03 AM

One other thing: this author must HATE the Girl Scouts. I think this story is a gigantic metaphor for the annoying way they sell those overpriced cookies.

Wow!  Now I get it!  (And I have two daughters who are Scouts)

FWIW, I have no problems with anything the GS do EXCEPT for anything surrounding those cookies -- the overpricedness, the rising cost, the shrinking boxes, the way your (vosotros, not tu) coworkers and family guilt you into buying more (especially if your -- vosotros again -- boss has GS in the family), running the gauntlet of cookie-sellers to go to the grocery store, and my favorite part, how little money the scouts actually get. I personally would rather write a check for $20 to GS than buy five boxes of cookies, especially when, for $20, I can get six packs of Oreos.

End of rant.

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Zathras

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Reply #17 on: June 11, 2009, 12:44:21 PM

One other thing: this author must HATE the Girl Scouts. I think this story is a gigantic metaphor for the annoying way they sell those overpriced cookies.

Wow!  Now I get it!  (And I have two daughters who are Scouts)

FWIW, I have no problems with anything the GS do EXCEPT for anything surrounding those cookies -- the overpricedness, the rising cost, the shrinking boxes, the way your (vosotros, not tu) coworkers and family guilt you into buying more (especially if your -- vosotros again -- boss has GS in the family), running the gauntlet of cookie-sellers to go to the grocery store, and my favorite part, how little money the scouts actually get. I personally would rather write a check for $20 to GS than buy five boxes of cookies, especially when, for $20, I can get six packs of Oreos.

End of rant.

Agreed.  Also, they make GS pledge to buy more cookies every year for the rest of their lives!



DKT

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Reply #18 on: June 11, 2009, 03:55:45 PM
Man, you guys are making me hungry for Girl Scout cookies!

There was one laugh line for me.  When he pulls out the magazine to smack the bug, his wife says, "so now you keep that up here!"  Funny because first she knew all about them in the first place.  Second their lives are in serious danger and she's upset about the magazine.

Third because he compared himself to Charlton Heston holding a stone tablet over his head. That bit cracked me up, too.

I did kind of wonder about the whole "Girl Scouts selling these plants at the grocery store" thing, especially when the incubation period was so fast.

Still a good little grossout story that made for an amusing commute.


Zathras

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Reply #19 on: June 11, 2009, 04:38:14 PM
Oh, I liked the story well enough.  It just had a bunch of gaping holes that I couldn't ignore.  They bugged me so much I had to speak my mind before the thoughts spewed forth from me like a lethal cloud.

 :D



DKT

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Reply #20 on: June 11, 2009, 05:08:33 PM
You have no idea how I hard I worked not to make a pun involving rags.

Sigh. 

:D


Zathras

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Reply #21 on: June 11, 2009, 05:53:08 PM
You have no idea how I hard I worked not to make a pun involving rags.

Sigh. 

:D

I don't know why you feel the need to keep ragging on me. 



Russell Nash

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Reply #22 on: June 11, 2009, 06:14:19 PM
before the thoughts spewed forth from me like a lethal cloud.

Lots of stuff seems to do that.



H. Bergeron

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Reply #23 on: June 12, 2009, 06:36:42 AM

Formerly Ignoranus - now too big for my britches, literally and figuratively.


eytanz

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Reply #24 on: June 12, 2009, 02:08:17 PM
Meh. It's been done before, and done better. One thing I did like was the way that the narrator lapsed into religious metaphor at the end - it was a nice character touch that, when he's pushed to the point of breaking, that was emerging.