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Who did this five-foot-six cockstrong Vietnamese kid from Australia dressed up like a pre-millennial cyberpimp think he was, man? Prada from head to toe. Expensive glasses. Hair gel. Diamond stud earrings. Eurofag action, man. Serious. I mean, half an hour ago, in the stairwell of the Hostel Ottaviano, it was all good. He and I, and a few Canadians, passed around the hash pipe, letting our travelers' souls mellowesce in the dark and the smoke, man. We were yakking about pickerel and I just assumed it was all Christian symbols, you dig? I mean, who gave a fuck?

Only but now we were smoking cigs at like, three in the morning, in St. Peter’s Square, and this kid is amped up, he’s going ape.


And then he just stops. And he's laughing. And the Canadians are like, Whoa, but that’s nothing compared to me.

Cuz cultivated as I had been in the guilt-rich loam of Roman Catholicism, his utterance stirred in me the most innate of fears, bros: id est the pitiless retribution of my vengeful God. It’d be a few extra weeks in purgatory for that one for sure or, worse, an eternity in Hell just for associating with the guy. Moaning into the abyss, scalding razors mincing my assmeats, the fellating of gorgons. The popping of my eyes by impish claws. The boiling of my flesh. Nightly flensings. Penile bifurcations and testicular Kabangers. The removal of my bones and their refastening to the outside of my skin. Truthfully, it was the bravest thing anyone’d ever said in my company. “Pope-ass FAGGOT!!” I was way, way too fuckin’ high, bro’s.

Across the square, in the gloom, the Carabinieri shifted uneasily. One flicked a cigarette. From here, it looked like a firefly pegged by a whiffle ball bat. Dying embers, dudes.

Time to split!

“Hey, bra…” I said to the Vietnamese kid, “Let me grub some coins for a cab?”

He clucked. "I don’t carry change, bitch.

Date Written: February 16, 2005
Author: Dick Vomit
Average Vote: 3.9091

02/23/2005 Phony Millions (4): Cool scenario! Original, fragmentary little scene. Strong opening line really grabs you - where the fuck will this short go? Did not dissapoint this reader from then on, with its stoner/recovering catholic vernacular. Just short of a five: My appetite was whetted and I wanted some catharsis in the ending, although maybe that wasn't necessary.
02/23/2005 Will Disney: Yes, did you write this Brad?
02/23/2005 Phony Millions: Will, you know this is too...unlabored for me. My shit is always angst ridden and generally fecal.
02/23/2005 Jon Matza (5): Less than meatburg ending was more than compensated for by many veins of rich linguistic loam embedded throughout...flensings, mellowesce. Nutritious, brother. Wholesome.
02/23/2005 Phony Millions: You fancy the use of 'bra,' I take it, frere Matza?
02/23/2005 Dylan Danko (5): Whoa! Nice one. Is the narrator Sinead O'Connor?
02/23/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum (5):
02/23/2005 qualcomm: i didn't really like this one. how about that? writing's evocative and all, dying embers, dudes, but this left me cold.
02/23/2005 Jon Matza: QC: What is it with these recurring complaints lately that this or that short failed to elicit an emotional response from you? We are turning into a nation of Frankenstones, I fear.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: can't relate it to my pedestrian, workaday life. fu, author!
02/23/2005 qualcomm: matza, last response wasn't to you. i don't really understand your question. when you rate a short highly, is it because it had an effect on you or not? i didn't think this short was funny, and i didn't really care about the main dude. so what's the point of the thing?
02/23/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: I like the anti-hasish-induced fantasy. It's a really well-wrought stoner's nightmare. All the details are great, none of them are tossed off: penile bifurcations, razors mincing assmeats. And it definitely seems like the kind paranoid anti-fantasy that a lapsed catholic might spiral into. Plus, the narrator's voice is really good. "Mellowesce" is a nice touch.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: i guess i can't really relate to the stoned paranoia of the kind of douchebag who says 'mellowesce.'
02/23/2005 TheBuyer (4): the fellating of gorgons?
02/23/2005 qualcomm: jimson, mellowesce wasn't in response to you! wow!
02/23/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: Yeah, sure, QC. From now on I think it's safe to assume you're out to get me.
02/23/2005 anonymous: "Aloha" to you too, QC!
02/23/2005 anonymous: Kabangers!!
02/23/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: I don't understand why you can't find his way of speaking amusing and douchebag-like while at the same time relating to the source of his paranoia? I guess if you can't, you can't. I just don't see the two as mutually exclusive.
02/23/2005 Phony Millions: Qualcomm: My ass-esment of you as of late at Acme: You're abrasive and touchy feely all at once. You come down on the authors with your abrasive tone and scalding comments, but then post touchy-feely shit like, "I guess I can't really relate to..." Your abrasive comments loose their substantive punch - if there was any - with these kind of glib, easy various reasons for your disdain at a particular short. Since when do we have to relate to the main character of a given short? QC, I want to see a little more discipline in your responses. Your stock is falling.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: jimson, i think because the short is so much about the narrator's voice. i don't find him amusing, just irritating. 'cockstrong.' 'mellowesce.' 'cuz.' then the bizarre tone shift with, 'Across the square, in the gloom, the Carabinieri shifted uneasily.' suddenly mr. vernacular is cormac mccarthy.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: evans, you're the one overrating garbage, not i. hardly a "market-maker," you.
02/23/2005 Phony Millions: Qualcomm, need I state an obvious point? When you constantly overstate your opinions as a priori givens, e.g., this short is garbage, they loose their thrust - we feel less inclined to pay them heed. They become less like massive, shiny turds, and more like the clay-adobe brick tiny offerings of a constipated opiate user.
02/23/2005 Dylan Danko: QC, you are the most lovable sociopath I know.
02/23/2005 Phony Millions: I know, Danko! I'm just trying to protect the poor bugger from himself. God bless that little guy.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: ah, so when i'm touchy-feely (ie, make qualifications of my opinions), my points lose their thrust. yet when i do the opposite, overstate my points, they also lose their thrust. how could i miss that obvious point? my comments of 11:14 and 10:25 are as intellectually rigorous as your initial review. more so, actually. how dare you call the opening line "strong" as if that were an a priori given? same goes for "original". did you back either of those adjectives up with anything like a defendable argument? so why should i have to when i say something sucks? (not that i didn't -- see 11:14 and 10:25). why is a burden of explanation placed on negative reviews, and not on positive ones?
02/23/2005 Phony Millions: Well, I'm picking you apart a little, Qualcomm, but: When you said that you 'can't really relate' to the 'douchebag' character in your 10:31 post, it just didn't seem all that intellectually rigorous to me, and had that touchy-feely wiff . It's headed in the direction of reader's reviews at Amazon - "I couldn't relate to such-and-such character..." You simply will not personally relate to all the characters in these shorts. Or maybe we're supposed to relate to all the characters in one way or another? Don't know.
02/23/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: I'm not going to tell you you should like this short, but I don't think there's anything unbelievable about the shift in voice. There are plenty of people whose language is both erudite and vernacular. After all there are plenty of snowboarding, euro-trekking, Cormac McCarthy reading, dope smoking collegiate types, no?
02/23/2005 Phony Millions: Also, Q,it's a fair question you ask - "Why is a burden of explanation placed on negative reviews, and not on positive ones?" Take it as a form of flattery. Positive is not as interesting - happy consensus is boring in a way and implies an impasse in the discourse. Negativity, on the other hand, puts a firecracker under the collective ass. I just think you could hone your shit a little.
02/23/2005 TheBuyer: Mr. Evans, in regards to "I can relate", I think qc was referring to/making fun of this:
2/21/2005 4:57:10 PM - scoop: Ya, buyer, it's important that a creative work somehow relate to your mundane workaday experiences for me to like it.
2/21/2005 4:49:38 PM - TheBuyer (): I can relate.

02/23/2005 anonymous: So I guess Snow wrote this?
02/23/2005 qualcomm: you are dodging/not answering every point i made. what is this inept twisting:

me: my comments of 11:14 and 10:25 are as intellectually rigorous as your initial review

you: When you said that you 'can't really relate' to the 'douchebag' character in your 10:31 post, it just didn't seem all that intellectually rigorous to me.

anyway, what i meant by "can't relate" in that post was basically that a tale told by an idiot isn't amusing, unless that idiot is meant to be simply laughed at, which isn't really the case here. still, though, answer the fucking posts i cited, not the one you choose.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: you're incorrect, jimson. the rest of the short is in a spoken tone, totally oral. nobody would say, 'Across the square, in the gloom, the Carabinieri shifted uneasily.' even if they've read cormac.
02/23/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: What about "cultivated as I had been in the guilt-rich loam of Roman Catholicism, his utterence stirred in me...." Also that "cockstrong" that you pointed out earlier is not in the typical burnout venacular, but, rather, this burnouts vernacular. Even "letting our travelers' souls mellowesce in the dark and the smoke" has the same kind of feeling as "Across the square, in the gloom...." (which is a really small part of the whole narrative, but the way). I don't find that line at all disruptive. You're insane.
02/23/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: Incidentally, I haven't read Cormac, so I'm not arguing the resemblance or lack thereof in this phrase, merely that it is not really a departure from this narrator's voice. No, Ewan didn't right this, so far as I know, jackass.
02/23/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: That's "write" and I was directing this to anon_a, in case that wasn't clear.
02/23/2005 Jon Matza: "A tale told by an idiot isn't amusing": come on! What a load of shit. It might or might not be, depending on multiple factors (e.g., whether there's comedy inherent in the tale/premise itself, whether the type of idiocy being held under the microscope has been identified before, how well-observed the portrayal of the idiot (and his/her language) is, how the idiot's idiocy is being used narratively, and so on.) You have liked many 1st person tales told by idiots. My disappointment in you is like a sack of offal weighing me down, brother.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: matza: yes, a tale told by an idiot can be very amusing, as i already acknowledged, when a/the point of the short is "hey, look at this idiot." i don't think that was the point of this short. feels like the author is totally down with his narrator (based on who i think wrote this, i realize he probably isn't totally down with the narrator, but that's an error in the writing as far as i'm concerned). basically, i have the same problem you had with my valentine's day short: i feel the author sharing the narrator's lame point of view.

jimson: i agree that "cultivated as I had been in the guilt-rich loam of Roman Catholicism, his utterence stirred in me...." is also an unintentional tone-break. i had a problem with that line, too. i only invoked cormac as an example of literary writing that i dislike, as opposed to the vernacular in most of the rest of the short.
02/23/2005 John Slocum: Qualcomm, would it change your opinion if I told you....that I wrote this and Matza did the punctuation and spacing?!?
02/23/2005 qualcomm: my money is on DV
02/23/2005 John Slocum: guess you saw right through that one.
02/23/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (4): Four. Would have been three, but that Catholic imagery really moved me! TO A BIGGER HOUSE!
02/23/2005 qualcomm: by the way, jimson, i had a problem with those two lines, among others, not just for breaking tone, but also because i don't think they're well written. the "cultivated" line is pompous and unliked in this kevin smith sort of way, and the "carbinieri" line is melodramatic (without, i think, really intending to be).
02/23/2005 qualcomm: *unliked = unlikely*
02/23/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: I think you just read it in a different way then I did. I feel as though I've heard a precedent for this voice. The "cultivated as I was...." I can hear being said in that slow, overblown, stoner/surfer drawl. It seems as though he's trying to sound profound. It's what a person sounds like in high school when he smokes a lot of pot and he thinks it makes him deep. At the same time, you can get hint of where he's coming from with the description of what he thinks hell might be like. I don't think it's impossible to understand this guy and laugh at him as well. I'm not going to argue the point anymore, because I don't want to make it seem overimportant.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: i will also refrain from arguing further, as i've won.
02/23/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs: Guys, and Jimson: the discordant combination of voices was intentional, as I read it. It was decently amusing, too.
02/23/2005 anonymous: What's funny is that the Vietnamese character doesn't carry coins because he thinks it's an un-pimp thing to do.
02/23/2005 The Rid: Yeah. Narrator's annoying, or worse, uninteresting. The stoner stuff...ah, it just doesn't work for me. If they were tripping and one of them tried to fly by jumping off a roof and died, and the narrator said, "Dude, try taking off from the ground next time", that would be interesting. IMHO. But this guys's a dick and I don't like him. Although I admit to laughing at "Pope-ass Faggot. I was way, way too fuckin' high, bro's."
02/23/2005 qualcomm: okay, maybe i'm wrong.
02/23/2005 anonymous: haw. also: haw.
02/23/2005 John Slocum (4):
02/23/2005 Litcube: I’ve already read the comments below, and I’m interested to see that, according to some authors, voting on a short based upon how it stirs an emotional response is somewhat uncalled for. This is what I base most of my voting on, plus or minus for errors, technicalities, etc. I’ve never really understood the finer semantics behind “starring” on Acme, as most of the authors see it, and I’m sure I’m not the only guest who’s also intrigued (due to lack of history, perhaps). As for this short, I have to say, this didn’t elicit an emotional response from me either; and to me, that’s huge. The “time in hell” bit was well done, but the ending (including the last two paragraphs) left me shrugging.
02/23/2005 Will Disney (3): this one did not ring my bell. did not see the ha. 2.5 stars.
02/23/2005 anonymous: The Dis' kneed my nuts!
02/23/2005 qualcomm: litcube, everyone else bases their ratings and comments on pure reason. that's why said ratings and comments are so objective.
02/23/2005 Dick Vomit (4): You're quite the smart alec, qualcomm. Anyway, this ain't so bad.
02/23/2005 Litcube (3): My vote is incorrect.
02/23/2005 The Rid (3): This is the funniest thing on the page: 2/23/2005 3:51:56 PM - qualcomm: litcube, everyone else bases their ratings and comments on pure reason. that's why said ratings and comments are so objective.
02/23/2005 Mr. Pony: Will you guys leave qualcomm alone? He's obviously had a difficult night. And what's this? Do I see a new Alliance forming? And then there's this short--I think there's some opposite of dump-tent stuff in there, but I have a hard time reading this without thinking about what I'd do if I was in the presence of the narrator, and he was all into how interesting he sounded, and he was telling me this very story, without stopping. What would I do? I would stay and listen polite, like my mama taught us. But I would want to leave, or glass the guy. Is that the joke?
02/23/2005 qualcomm: no, it isn't. everyone who rated this 4-5 wants to be friends with the narrator.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: (my night was fine, by the way. i came home, drank a beer, ate 3/4 pint of b&j's new fossil fuel flavor, watched a frontline story on 'the misfits,' a ragtag group of american dogfaces in iraq, masturbated and went to sleep.)
02/23/2005 TheBuyer: Not me, I already am.
02/23/2005 Jon Matza: Re “emotional response": My primary voting standard, as everyone's should be, is how much pleasure I get out of a short. Perhaps this is what you orangutans mean by “emotional response”? If so, I object to phrasing it that way. Granted, it’s nice when a short has visceral impact. But are not intellectual pleasures equally valid, my friends? Is it not possible to achieve pleasure via appreciation of a short’s originality, technique, ingenuity, etc...without having an "emotional reaction" or "relating" to the characters? Of course it is! Frankly, it shocks me qc would indulge in such vulgar/slapdash lines of thinking. If you see him please let him know my disappointment in him is overwhelming.
02/23/2005 Litcube: Isn't pleasure an emotional response?
02/23/2005 Litcube: I'm an orangutan.
02/23/2005 Jon Matza: As per my lurpak comment below, I would argue that some pleasures are cerebral.
02/23/2005 Litcube: Alright, I can see that. I was assuming, when I made my comment, that pleasure in any manifestation was considered emotional. If I laugh (Disney), chortle (TheBuyer), shake my head (Turgid), fart, etc., it’s going to affect my vote just the same as contemplation (scoop), amazement (you, Evans, Snow), etc..

I should also add, because you care, that I’ve never understood a requirement to relate to any piece of work to derive any pleasure out of it, nor do I feel the need to offer praise based on my ability to relate, and didn’t consider this articled on said “emotional response” documentation.
02/23/2005 Mr. Pony: Litcube says things well. I would add to this that implicit in my earlier (much earlier) comment that "Humans are stupid fucking monkeys" comment is the belief that "I am a stupid fucking monkey". Also, "You are a stupid fucking monkey". Cerebral. Pffft. The sooner you realize exactly how poorly designed your brain is, capable of performing only one task over and over (but with the unique ability to call the one task by many different names) the better off you'll be. That's what I say, then!! Aloha!
02/23/2005 Jon Matza: Yes, let the record show qc was responsible for voicing the grotesque "I can't relate" cliche.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: matza, i would argue that the "intellectual pleasure" you get from a given short is the same as emotional impact. pleasure's not intellectual, it's visceral. ask your balls. you're reacting in an extremely stupid way to the idea of "emotion" -- as if a short's putative intellectual impact were somehow more provable than its emotional one. it's not. the fact of the matter is, you haven't offered a coherent defense of THIS short. i, on the other hand, have offered coherent objections to it. stop being a cunt. it smells.
02/23/2005 Jon Matza: Get a hold of yourself, Pony.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: by the way, way to give me a revenge four for my excellent short today. asshole.
02/23/2005 Mr. Pony: Oh, sorry, Matza, I always forget that you're one of those rare individuals that thinks with his brain and not his heart, like the rest of us. By the way, I'm not sure if you heard this, but qualcomm told me this evening that he's pretty tired of the revenge fours you keep giving him, and he like either a perfect five or a dismal one, from now on, on all of his shorts. This goes for all of you, I think. I mean, he was pretty clear.
02/23/2005 Jon Matza: That wasn't a revenge vote, I don't give revenge votes. I just wasn't reading carefully. Re "pleasure's not intellectual"/the impossibility of distinguishing between emotional and intellectual pleasure: are you kidding me? How wildly pretentious. "provable": I don't know what you're talking about. Seriously. You seem to be arguing a point I never made. As for "defending" the short, I already explained why I liked it. But I guess you didn't believe me. It is my belief that you are having a psychotic break.
02/23/2005 Jon Matza: Pony: you are continuing to confuse me...I'm not sure what your actual point of view is. In fact, as long as you fellows keep refusing to express your ideas with clarity I will be unable to evaluate them and render my judgement.
02/23/2005 Mr. Pony: Yeah, see, now I don't understand what you're talking about. What are you trying to say? I'm serious; I'm not sure what's going on.
02/23/2005 Jon Matza: Something has gone wrong.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: basically, what i'm saying is this: i am giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming that the reason you don't like "i can/can't relate to this short" is that it's an unabashedly subjective statement that can't be backed up by any kind of real argument. so i'm wondering where yours is. your argument that is. because i've explained several things i think suck about this short, and you've sat back and pronounced disappointment in me, as if this short's wonderfulness were self-evident. it isn't. (though clearly, it's one star better than my afternoon short, right? asshole?) you seem to be ignoring the many other points i made (other than "i can't relate to the narrator") in order to support your extremely narrow point (that "relate" is a cliche way to say, 'this is how i am reacting to this short and i don't really know why.') i think you might be a experiencing a bit of hindsight regret for overrating this thing. i understand you "never really explained why you like it" -- that's my fucking point! all you assholes are attacking one out of many comments i made on this thing, and all of your positive comments have thus far been completely subjective and useless.
02/23/2005 Dick Vomit: MAtza, these boys are drunk. Just so you know. I saw. I watched. DRUNK
02/23/2005 anonymous: GET OFF MY SHORT, YOU DRUNKS.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: doesn't mean i'm wrong, you thin-skinned cunt.
02/23/2005 anonymous: I'd say this short is better than qc's afternoon short by exactly one star, yes. YES.
02/23/2005 Dick Vomit: Get off his short, you drunks!
02/23/2005 Jon Matza: "i understand you "never really explained why you like it": What? No, I said I did explain why I liked it ("many veins of rich linguistic loam embedded throughout"). Now it may enrage you that I would highly rate a flawed short on mere richness of language, but as I said below, my number one factor when rating is overall pleasure quotient. In short, you are deranged.
02/23/2005 Mr. Pony: And just because he's wrong, doesn't mean I'm drunk, dammitheads! DV, you're my pal! Hi!
02/23/2005 Mr. Pony: I farted.
02/23/2005 qualcomm: oh, that was a drunk misread. but still, your "rich language" praise is pretentious, unfounded crap. one day, when your ear turns from tin to flesh, you will understand that.
02/23/2005 Jon Matza: As I have oft stated, "The excessive consumption of spirits wreaks havoc on the ability to discourse fluently." Let this be a lesson to all!
02/23/2005 qualcomm: your misread of this was more egregious than your misread of my afternoon short. rich language. what a tool. oh, do you "relate" to the rich language on an intellectual level, matza? that's really interesting.
02/23/2005 Dick Vomit: SPOILER!!! DO NOT READ!!! In about a minute you slugs are going to "figure out" I wrote this. HAHAHAHAH HHAHAH fffffff
02/24/2005 cuntry (3): i have not read in full what appears to be a squabble below, but i found the short to be inconsistent in its effect on me. i didn't think much of the subject matter, but there was a feel to it that i liked. maybe euro-travel nostalgia in part. i liked "Carabinieri".
02/24/2005 Litcube: Mr. Pony,

Did you really fart just then?


02/24/2005 Jon Matza: Why are you mocking "relate"? It wasn't me who embarrassed myself with this junior high formulation, remember? I wasn't trying to be interesting, in fact I repeated myself because you insisted I explain why I liked the short. As I anticipated, it sent you into a frenzy of anger. Acme: qc would like you to know that I am an intellectual pussy, in contrast to himself. His reactions are invariably emotional. He reacts on a primal level, with hot blood pumping through his visceral balls. Got that? No? Maybe you'd care to arm wrestle him then, pussy.
02/24/2005 Jon Matza: p.s. you yourself called the writing "evocative", brother. Was that also "pretentious, unfounded crap"? You spittle-flecked lycanthrope.
02/24/2005 qualcomm: matza, don't complain that i "insisted" you explain why you liked the short. (and don't tell me you weren't complaining, the word insist implies that.) you started this nonsense with your prickly demand that i explain why i talk about emotional response in my comments. emotional response, by the way, includes humor, so i don't know why that should irritate you. the reason i don't just say, "i didn't think this was funny" is to leave the door open for other possible intentions (sentiment, scariness, whatever).

as for your arbitrary dislike of "relate," i simply meant that the short wasn't doing anything for me, intellectually or emotionally, despite all its flailing efforts. what pissed me off about your attack is that you used a word that is arguably just as gay ass: "rich." oh, but you were using that word facetiously, right? in fact, your whole review was made in facetious terms. okay. i'll be sure next time to make all of my comments with a smirk, like you, so that i don't have to stand behind them later. rich. what a dicknut.
02/24/2005 Dick Vomit: shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up
02/24/2005 qualcomm: you stay out of this, author, it doesn't concern you
02/24/2005 Jon Matza: This short exhibits a richness of diction that evokes the smoky robustness of fresh-brewed Folgers.