Steve Grogan is an ongoing contributor to Writer to Writers. He has published several short stories on the site, which can be found on the main page under the heading “Steve Grogan’s Fiction.” He has had several poems and short stories published over the years, some of which are available on Amazon. (See the announcement at the end of this post.)
He is the writer and creator of the ongoing, zombie, post-apocalyptic, Romero-meets-Dungeons-and-Dragons webcomic REDemption. Alternatively, Steve describes the comic by saying, “It is to zombie fiction what KILL BILL was to kung fu movies: everything I love about the genre housed under one roof and mixed with my voice.”
September 30, 2008
I passed the night away by mindlessly flipping through channels. Why? Because I couldn’t think of anything else to do. What tricks fate can play on us sometimes! There I sat, the accidental genius, letting my mind rot from the inside out while watching TV during the insomniac hours.
Actually, it wasn’t all bad. USA played House and Law and Order: SVU so there were a couple of hours where I enjoyed my sleeplessness. However, other than those two shows, it was all infomercials and reality shows.
I flipped to TruTV (formerly known as Court TV) because they usually ran a two-hour block of Forensic Files from 1AM to 3AM. Instead there was a new reality show on called The Principal’s Office. Filming little punks who got called in to be suspended for pulling a gun on their teacher. Meanwhile if a teacher even raises their voice to a student, they get reprimanded or maybe even fired.
Suspension never made any sense to me. You’re telling a delinquent, who doesn’t even want to be in school in the first place, that they’re not allowed to come to school for three days. Wouldn’t the little bastard think of that as three days to party hard? Even in-school suspension would be a treat because then they can avoid their teachers!
Now on to my critique of this show. Do we need a program about something like this? Have we become so desperate for reality show scenarios that this is what we’re stuck with? I thought I despised reality shows when the only one out there was Survivor, but this took my hatred of the genre to a whole new level.
Speaking of reality shows, during my midnight channel cruising I flipped past good old MTV and saw an episode of season 8,742 of The Real World (one of the first reality shows I’d ever heard of). Since there was nothing else on, I decided to linger on the station and see what the show was like these days. It was a real eye-opening experience as to how low our society has sunk.
First, there is nothing “real” about the show anymore. Ever since the first season aired and people realized the math equation “arguments=ratings,” every fight on the show has come off sounding rehearsed and phony. Second, the only thing these people did on the episode I watched was find different ways to hook up. Any way the wind blew, so did they. Men and women, men and men, women and women, threesomes and beyond. And there were no instances of people getting it on because they cared for each other. It was all superficial bullshit.
Season one wasn’t like that at all. You didn’t see the gay guy Norman bringing home a different partner each night. And even thought that unbelievably ripped guy Eric liked Julie the virgin, he was very respectful toward her. You didn’t see him constantly try to get in her pants; the dude was too fond of her to act that way. On top of all that, the fights during season one seemed real.
I guess it’s not entirely the fault of the producers of The Real World. They wanted the show to maintain its hit status, so they knew the fights had to continue. As time went on, they also needed to be more shocking. For that, reference season two when David dragged Tammy down the hall in nothing but her underwear.
Still, it is a sad thing to watch. Doesn’t matter where you place the blame. The demand for this over-the-top factor is what eventually ruins all reality shows. It took The Osbournes only two seasons to succumb to this fate. On season one their behaviors all seemed natural. By season two it was clear they were all conscious about what made them funny. Ozzy acted more and more out of it, going so far as to record a version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” that sounded like it was sung by a paralyzed orangutan. Jack became even more of a train wreck. Kelly sent her annoyance factor through the roof, going completely into overblown mode any time the cameras were on her, which was often since she was the most volatile member of the family. If I’d been the producer of the show, I would have taken her aside and said, “Kelly, dear, this is a fucking reality show. You’re trying too hard.”
And my final problem with all these goddamn reality shows on MTV: does anyone at that station remember the “M” stands for “music?” Every time I go past that channel, it’s got a Real World marathon going on. Sometimes it’s Road Rules. These fuckers even have Real World vs. Road Rules marathons! You never see music videos on there anymore. Or if you do, it’s either rap or R&B. If your only access to music was through MTV, you’d think no one played rock music anymore.
I fell asleep somewhere around midnight, my head probably filled with the exact same thought I just released over these last few pages. Upon waking up, the first thought that came to my mind was: so this is going to be it from now on, huh? Work, eat, shower, shave, use the toilet, then fall asleep and wake up on the couch. This is all I can expect for the rest of my days?
Bullshit. I might have been condemned to the life of a shut-in, but I’d be damned if I would ever let myself get bored. With the kaleidoscopic variety of entertainment that exists in today’s world, it’s impossible to be bored even if you are stuck home all the time. All I had to do was see what was out there, and then start making some purchases.
I intended to do just that, but something caught my eye when I went to get up from the couch. My penis had changed size again. This time it had gotten smaller. Much smaller. As in it had completely disappeared. I looked like a goddamn Ken doll.
To be honest I was amazed at how well I handled this latest development. I find it ironic that I went more ballistic when I woke up with a bigger cock. Most guys dream of being hung like a python, but I’d been shrieking like a little girl. Now here I was with no dong in sight, and I didn’t feel even the slightest twitch of panic.
That emotion kicked in later, once I felt like I had to take a leak. How exactly was I supposed to pull this one off? The only option available was to go to the bathroom and see what happened.
Since my current crotch design was closer to a female than a male, I decided to try sitting down for this pee session. Crazy thoughts crossed my mind. Would the piss leak out inside me? Did I have a death by PEE POISONING to look forward to here?
Seconds later I heard the old familiar sound of urine hitting the toilet water. One of the most ordinary, common sounds in the world, and it struck me as odd because I had no equipment down there to let the fluid leave my body.
Curiosity got the better of me, and I looked down to find out how my body was performing this function. A tiny opening had appeared in my crotch. Not even a millimeter of my peter has reappeared. Just a hole with urine streaming out. It had to be one of the most disturbing things I’d ever seen in my life, but I couldn’t look away. I was hypnotized, kind of like when people creep along the highway to take in every detail of an automobile accident.
When my bladder was empty, the hole closed. As I got up from the toilet, a new fear seized my mind. Over the past several weeks I’d seen my penis take on all kinds of shapes and sizes. There had always been a point when it went back to normal. But given how unpredictable this situation was, how could I be sure that this “size reboot” would always happen? What if it liked being shorter than usual? Or not there at all?
At this point I did what most people do when they are faced with troublesome news: I filed it away, as far back in my mind as I could get it. That’s the way of the modern world. Just don’t think about your problem and it will go away. Actually, that’s probably how people have always been. It just seems worse these days. Everything and everybody feels so goddamn shallow, weak, superficial. It’s like we have artificial emotions and synthetic souls.
I think I know why. The world moves so fast these days that people can’t help but take in the most superficial details. There’s no time to focus too long on one specific thing. If you waste an hour, it feels like you lost three. We’re in a race, and you have to keep up. You can easily fall behind the rest of the world. Bend down to tie your shoelaces, and by the time you look up, you’re choking on everyone’s dust.
There was only one person I knew of who had managed to sidestep this rat race.
Do you know why I could avoid the mad rush everyone else was caught in?
The size curse.
Due to this bizarre situation of mine, I had been forced out of the craziness of modern society. My world had shrunk down to the dimensions of my apartment. That was something that wouldn’t change no matter what the outside world was like. And within those parameters, things could move as fast or as slow as I wanted. There were no more rules except the ones I created. Even my mother’s wicked ways were shut out of this place. No politicians, no priests, no police officers. No institution of any kind had any power over me here in my one-bedroom kingdom.
Except, of course, the size curse.
I think this is as good of a spot as any to wrap up. More on how I chose to entertain myself tomorrow.
If you like what you have read and would like to purchase this serialized novel as one complete PDF, then please send $3.50 to Steve via PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, don’t forget to check out his other writing at the following links below:
Author: Redemption Comics
Steve Grogan was born in the often-filmed city of Troy, NY. He has written in a variety of formats (novels, short stories, poems, screen and stage plays, blogs/articles) and genres (horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, drama).
Steve is also a father, a boyfriend, a musician, a fitness fanatic, and a martial artist. He has been studying Wing Chun Kung Fu since 1995, and he maintains a blog/YouTube channel that describe his training habits, epiphanies, and advancement. It also candidly discusses his stumbling blocks, such as his struggle with nutrition and mental health issues.
He is no relation to the New England Patriots quarterback from the 1980’s.