Monday, March 17, 2014

Per Your Suggestion: "Pet Rock Meets Count Chocula"

This story, suggested by my friend Angela Mageau, was by far the most challenging "crazy title" that's come to life thus far. In point of fact, a fair bit of research was necessary. The brief, yet ├╝ber-popular "Pet Rock" phenomenon was slightly before my time, and I hadn't seen a Count Chocula TV commercial (or eaten the cereal) in many, many years. So a bit of memory refreshing, as well as some first-time knowledge acquisition, was essential to this story even happening. That being said, it's not actually a "story," per se. More like a dialogue, or perhaps a skit. Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy it, Angela. I hope everyone else does, too.  ~  JH


Therapist's office

Pet Rock (PR):  Think Woody Allen, inanimately speaking
Count Chocula (CC):  One-track mind, speaks in a Transylvanian accent

CC: So, vhat seems to be de problem?

PR:  I don't know exactly. Sometimes I feel like everyone has forgotten about me.

CC: Don't be scared…to tell me more.

PR:  I just feel like I'm being taken for granted.

CC:  Ah, ah, taken for granite! Dat is a super-sweet joke, my friend!

PR: "Granted," not "granite." Sheesh! For someone who's paid to listen to people, you sure don't do a very good job of it.

CC:  My apologies. You are correct. Please continue.

PR:  The thing is, when I was first adopted, back in '75, I thought life as I knew it would forever change. I mean, one minute I was by the creek bed, the next I was in a cardboard box with straw and breathing holes, sitting on a shelf in Woolworth's. And then…

CC:  Yes, go on, please. I am listening.

PR:  It's hard to talk when you're crunching like that.

CC:  Sorry, I vas trying to satisfy de chocolate monster in me, vith a vitamin-charged bowl of double-chocolatey delight, de delicious super-sweet cereal dat I like to call Count Chocula. Named after me, of course. Ah, ah!

PR:  I didn't know these sessions had commercial breaks.

CC:  Dey don't. I am sorry. Please continue.

PR:  As I was saying, then I was adopted by a wonderful little boy whose name was Frank.

CC:  Franken Berry? Dat rascal always tries to find a way to one-up me! Not dis time! Count Chocula vill show him who is de boss!

PR:  Not Franken Berry, you schmuck! Frank. Johnson, if you must know. Now, can I please finish my story?

CC:  I vill not stop you from telling de story. Please, go on.

PR: Well, things were great at first. Frank adopted me, put me right on top of his toy box. Didn't feed me, didn't walk me, didn't bathe me, didn't groom me. Because I didn't need it. I was, as advertised, "the perfect pet."

CC:  Please hold on, just one moment if you vill. I find that I am craving another bowl of delicious chocolate sweeties vith de goblin-good, chocolate-flavored marshmallows. I vill be right back.

PR:  Fine, but I'm deducting this out of your hourly rate.

CC:  Okay, vhere vere we? Oh yes, you…dis Frank kid…perfect pet. Continue, please.

PR:  Anyway, things were going great. He had taught me how to sit, to stay, and even how to roll over – though I had to have a little bit of help with that one. Next he was going to train me to attack, which he said was very much a "team effort." But then one day, about six months after he'd adopted me, Frank just totally lost interest in me.

CC:  Vhat makes you say dat?

PR:  My first clue was when he traded me to his friend, Scooter, for a mood ring and fifty cents.

CC: Ah, de mood rings. I remember dem vell.

PR:  Really? That's all you got out of that?

CC:  I'm sorry. Continue.

PR:  Well, that's about it. Ever since then, I've been traded, sold, stored in an attic – you name it. Last week, I was taken to the landfill and dropped off, after a thrift store couldn't even get rid of me.

CC:  Dat's very sad.

PR:  Tell me about it. What do you think I should do?

CC:  About vhat, exactly?

PR:  If you'd get your face out of your cereal bowl for one second, you might know about "vhat". What am I supposed to do about my feelings of abandonment, about the loneliness that consumes me?

CC:  Do you really vant my honest opinion?

PR:  That's what I'm paying you for, isn't it?

CC:  Presumably, yes.

PR:  Okay, what is your honest opinion? What should I do?

CC:  I think you should kick back…

PR:  Yes…

CC:  Roll up de sleeves…

PR:  Uh-huh…

CC:  And sink your spoon into a monstrously large bowl of de world's super-sweet cereal: Count Chocula!

PR:  Are you kidding me?

CC:  Vhat do you mean, "kidding"? It's a double-chocolatey part of your complete breakfast! How can you go wrong?

PR:  This is hopeless!

CC:  Dere is no hopeless, but dere is chocolate-flavored marshmallows.

PR:  Thank you for your "advice," but I'm going to go jump off a bridge and drown myself now.

CC:  How 'bout a monster for breakfast today?

PR:  No, thank you, I'd rather die.

CC:  But rocks can't die!

PR:  Send me the bill, alright?

CC:  Don't forget, dere's a Mini-Monster toy inside every box. Collect dem all!

PR:  My address is "The Bottom Of The Lake." Goodbye!

CC:  Oh vell, you vin some, you lose some! Now vhere did I put dat box of Count Chocula?

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