Groothtown Excerpt

I recall watching Dad behind the counter, shooting the shit with customers aside the affable Marvin Spinelli, the ice cream barkeep. That old store made all the townsfolk happy. Scowls were rare within it’s walls.

Rocko Peterson lived in a shack off Houston Hill Road. He cooked meth, and was completely bat-shit. He never slept, and suffered from delusions of being a famous golfer named Peter Rockerson, a.k.a “The Iron Slugger.” Up until two years ago he was a pretty normal guy, but meth did quick work. Rocko soon grew undeniably dangerous to himself and anyone in his vicinity. Every Wednesday, for eleven months, Rocko sketchily strolled two miles to the local Wal-Mart, buying a different golf club each time.

The Bosca twins, two sweet little elderly black women, owned the Bosca Soup Kitchen (BSK) at the corner of Main Street and Houston Hill. Molly Bosca was celebrated for her jovial jocularity, and Lucy Bosca was notorious for her wondrous wisdom.

The Super Savings Packaging Corporation (SSPC) neighbored the BSK. The head of management, David Kosmo, kept to himself. Over the years he made millions investing in the frozen foods industry. His employers remained a mystery to everyone, and the source of his funds were equally shadowed.

Across the street was The Unfortunate K-9, a night club owned by a young woman named Catrina. Inside, the walls were covered in Day-Glo graffiti with black lights, strobes, and disco balls scattered all throughout, and a giant fish tank in a jet-black bar stretching from front to the back. There were four bouncers who worked in shifts. Their names were Zack Zalinsky, Rosco Schwiggins, Franky Joseph, and Justin Case. When they weren’t working, they were partying. Sleeping didn’t fit on their schedule. Rosco was a drinker of all the drinkers, and the others were into some wild shit. Their latest lust was getting “curious” on a new drug synthesized by a mysterious fellow known only as “The Chemist.”

The Chemist synthesized PL-11, a substance known on the streets as Curiosity. It had only until recently been experimented with in labs, but it started growing in popularity in the music festival scene. It was known to give select users mind-reading abilities, and although vaguely documented, the capability to shift small objects with telekinetic force. These effects were accompanied by intense retrospective dreamlike hallucinations, allowing the aware user to change events as they occurred in the past to better themselves in the future (which was actually their present).

The unaware user, however, had no basis of what was or wasn’t a hallucination. This left them in a loop, thinking they were living a past moment for the first time over and over for eternity, like an expansive never-ending echo of deja’ vu. Users suffering this phenomenon were known to erupt into fits of violent rage, on occasion fierce enough to drive them to suicide, homicide, or both.

Ten thousand heavy doses could fit on the sharp side of a thumbtack, and the effects lasted for days, making it the perfect drug for those who weren’t interested in sleep. The drug (or “supplement” as Franky Joseph called it) opened new areas of subconscious that had not yet been tapped.

A conspiracy was underway. Frozen foods flew off shelves due to encouragement plans.

 

$25 dollar gift card for every $100 spent on frozen foods.

 

Many of the good Shepherds suspected wrongdoing, but the sheep continued to do what they were told, regardless of the Shepherd’s moral value. Shepherds and sheep are morally flawed creatures. Some Shepherds’ motifs are far from genial, and the sheep that follow them are analogously menacing. People were losing control, and the war had already begun.

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Eternal Bank Robbers

My newest song!

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Folsom Prison Cover

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Summer Phish Tour 2011

May 27 – 29 = Bethel Woods, Bethel NY
May 31 & June 1 = PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel NJ
June 3 = DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston MI
June 4 = Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls OH
June 5 = Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati OH
June 7 = Comcast Center, Mansfield MA
June 8 = Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien NY
June 10 = Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden NJ
June 11 and 12 = Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia MD
June 14 and 15 = Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Alpharetta GA
June 17 = Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte NC
June 18 = Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion, Raleigh NC
June 19 = nTelos Pavilion, Portsmouth VA

See you out there!

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Flargenson Slorgenborgen Corn

Part I…

Part II

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Excerpt from Groothtown View: Ben + Jim

This chapter of the book is titled Ben + Jim (tentative). Within the chapter there are sub-chapters. Here is a sampling of sub-chapters 2+3. I’ve been working hard on this story lately, and am hoping to get Book I (it will be a trilogy, at least) published by next year. If anyone knows who I could talk to about getting published, I would really appreciate the help. I hope you like it:

2

Ben Grandsworth thought he had a pretty fortunate life. He lived in a big red house with a wide green yard the size of a football field. In the back, an olympic sized swimming pool complete with a diving board, a bubbling stream, and a water slide.

Ben had all of the cutting edge gaming systems and all of their predecessors in his finished basement, including the original Nintendo, which still worked as long as he blew into the cartridges before inserting them.

It wasn’t out of the ordinary for the gang to spend entire weekends there, as long as their parents allowed it, which they usually did. Mr. and Mrs. Grandsworth were delightfully charming, and over the years they earned the trust of the Groothtown community. This was, of course, with the exception of Mrs. Leary, Jim’s mother.

3

“I just don’t want you going. The Grandsworths let you kids do anything you please with no supervision! One of you boys is going to get hurt, and I’ll be damned if it’s going to be my little baby!” Mrs. Leary shouted.

“But Mom, everyone else is going!” Jim hated being called her ‘little baby.’ It was a shaming degradation, and made him feel like a legless man on a soccer field. Eighth grade was a little old to be referred to as an infant.

“Oh really, Jim? That sounds like a fib if I ever heard one. There’s no way that everyone is going to Ben’s house. Although, their house surely could fit everyone.”

“What am I supposed to do this weekend?” Jim wined. “All my friends are going to be there, all weekend!”

“It looks like you’ll just have to think of something else, won’t you? Why don’t you hang out with Alfie?”

Alfie was the new kid in town, he just moved in next door to the Learys. He was an odder than a purple-spotted rhinoceros, and the last thing Jim wanted was to hang out with him, but it wasn’t up to him. Mom was in control.

“Please, Ma! Please let me go! I’ll do anything if you just let me go!”

Mrs. Leary scratched the tip of her stubbly, pointy chin with her long cherry red nails, clicking her tongue against her dentures, producing a sound similar to an obese baby sucking a bottle filled with mayonnaise. The hideous sucking came to an abrupt halt, meaning one of two things:

1.) Mrs. Leary had arrived at a decision

or

2.) Her dentures had dislodged.

Lucky for Jim, it was the former. “Okay, you can go to Ben’s,” she said. Jim hopped and clapped his hands, then saw she wasn’t finished. Her sneaky glare told him there would be some kind of condition. There was always a damn condition.

If, you let Alfie go with you,” spittle spurted from her fat maroon lips.

“Oh come on, Mom! There’s something wrong with him, and he makes me uncomfortable.”

“Well then,” Mrs. Leary placed her chubby, chapped hands on her plump hippo hips. “You can be nice and comfortable spending the weekend here, without your friends.”

“That’s not fair!”

“Fair? No…I don’t suppose it is very fair, is it?”

Oh boy, Jim thought, here comes the moral lesson.

“But,” Mrs. Leary continued, “how fair do you think it is that you won’t invite Alfie to hang out with you and your friends, just because you think he’s different.”

“He is different!” Jim wined.

He is different!” Mrs. Leary mocked, swaying her squarish pumpkin-head like a rusty pendulum. “Everyone’s different, Jim! If we were all the same -”

Life would be awfully boring,” Jim mocked. “Never heard you say that before.”

“It doesn’t matter how many times I say it, because it’s true. Real as reality itself.”

“I don’t even think reality is real anymore.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

The doorbell rang before Jim had time to explain himself, which was good, because he had no idea what that meant. It had jumped out of his mouth on its own, like it wasn’t his own thought.

“There he is now,” Mrs. Leary said.

“There who is?”

“Alfie. I called his house and told him to come by. I figured you’d put up a fuss about it, and as always, I was right.” Mrs. Leary was always right, because she set herself up in situations where she couldn’t be wrong.

“You can’t tell me who to hang out with!”

“Didn’t I just do precisely that?”

“This isn’t fair!”

“Let’s not talk in loops, dear. Go and get the door, your new friend is waiting.”

“This is such bull-”

“Don’t even think about uttering that word in this house, mister.”

“I wasn’t going to say it.”

“I said not to even think about it. Are you going to lie to me in the face, and tell me that word didn’t cross your mind?”

“Honest, Ma, it didn’t.”

“Great!” Mrs. Leary threw her hands in the air like a tired marathon runner splitting yellow tape. “My boy’s a liar. I’ve spawned the devil’s son.”

“This is ridiculous. I’m out of here.” Jim stormed out.

“Have fun with your new friend, sweetie,” Mrs. Leary hissed and grinned as the door slammed shut, her eyes shifted and began glowing like giant neon green fireflies.

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STREET ROOT VOLUME 4. IT’S HERE. NOW.

Well, it’s definitely been a while since the last one. It’s crazy how fast time can fly. I went through a period of time when I did a lot of thinking about creating the 4th volume, but never actually doing it. I was beginning to wonder if anyone was really interested, and that made me wonder if I was even interested. The more I thought about it, and the more time that went by, the more I felt it slipping away. Then, submissions started rolling in, pretty much all at once, and it breathed new life into the project, and I feel foolish for ever even thinking that I wasn’t interested anymore.

So here it is, STREET ROOT VOLUME 4:

It’s you guys that make this possible, and I am proud to share these pages with all of your beautiful (and slightly deranged) minds. I hope you enjoy it, and as always, submissions are open to EVERYONE for ANYTHING in Street Root Volume 5. Let’s keep this fire going.

Thank you Matt Perkins, Bobby Martin, Brittany Ross, Nick Antonopoulous, Nick Jones, Evan Hatten, Garrett Richardson, and to everyone who has contributed in the past. You guys are awesome, thank you for sharing your minds with me, and thank you to all my friends who have had such kind words about my work. I love you guys 🙂

-Paul

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