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Posted by on Jun 11, 2010 in Guest Post | 22 comments

Adrian Phoenix Guest Post

Thanks so much for having me here, Athenna and Stephanie! This month at Paranormal Haven has been a blast! I’ve heard rumors that Von and Lucien will be dropping by for interviews soon. I’m sure they will keep you both very busy. Very, very busy. Ahem.

I thought I do something a little different for this blog. No vampires (sigh), no fallen angels, or hoodoo rootworkers. Just a little chat about . . . humor!

I love humorous stories. Adore dry wit and droll manners. Admire quick quips and snappy comebacks. How many times have I come up with the perfect, the most hysterical comeback . . .only mere hours after it was needed? And delivered it with smoking, devastating style to chirping crickets?


Okay – once in a while I pop one off without even thinking about it, but for the most part, I just stare slack-jawed with admiration as others do the zinging and I madly take notes. (I sometimes accidently bump up against them hoping it’ll rub off on me—oh, excuse me, did you just lose a bit of funny? My bad.)


I think the love of comedy, of regular people dealing in a witty fashion with absurd realities, was learned from my father. He loved to write funny stories for me and my sister, stories that usually had us laughing so hard as we took turns reading them aloud to each other that we could barely choke the words out.


One such story was a parody of Jaws called “Beak” and was about a rogue killer twenty-thousand pound Cornish game hen. And sketched bird beaks formed each letter of the title. Written on yellow legal paper in felt tip pen. I took that story to school and read it to everyone and delighted in their laughter.


One of the things I loved about the TV show Supernatural—aside from the great storyline, the character relationships, and the yummy actors portraying those characters—was the dialogue. Chockful of quips and comebacks and snarky banter. There are way too many great quotes to list, but here’s a few from different episodes as a taste.


Sam: When I told Dad I was afraid of the thing in my closet, he gave me a .45.


Lucifer: Sorry if it’s a bit chilly. Most people think I burn hot. It’s actually quite the opposite.
Dean: Well, I’ll alert the media.


Sam: Huh, when you sacrifice to Holnacar, guess what he gives you in return?
Dean: Lap dances, hopefully.


At a workshop I took a couple of years ago on different genres and their structure, we were assigned random genres and told to mix them and write a short synopsis for a story. I ended up with “Literary” and “Zombie.” Literary is a genre I’ve never dabbled in before, so the idea of a literary zombie story had me wriggling like a happy, albeit demented, puppy. Below is the result.


FALLING APART


Bill stares at his reflection in the slot machine wondering when his nose fell off and what it means. Every machine Bill touches wins and the mini-skirted waitress keeps bringing him drinks. She frowns amid ringing bells and saxophone wail. What does it mean? She follows Bill from table to table.


The waitress brings a pair of guys in mortuary blacks up to the table. They carry a big net. And speak very softly. Bill runs. Betrayed by Beauty one last time. When had he lost his jaw? What does it mean? Every person Bill touches becomes a winner. Mortuary guys and Beauty pursue.


Bill leaves a little piece of himself everywhere he goes. No one notices. Ain’t that the way? Beauty heads him off, a shotgun in her hands. Mortuary guys block him in on the other side. Beauty fires with a cool, graceful gesture.


And hits mortuary dude #1 in the chest with a round of rock salt. Ringing bells. Flashing lights. No one notices. Bill and Beauty run, but he leaves a trail of flesh pieces behind. Invisible man. No one cares. Bill plays a final round of poker with his left foot. And wins. No one cares.


Mortuary dude #2 catches up with Bill and drops the net over him as he tasers the betraying and bewitching Beauty.


Bill falls apart and his eye rolls long the floor until it finally stops. He wonders when he first started to come apart and how. Endless night approaches.

*

Thank you, thank you. I keep expecting a phone call from The New Yorker demanding the right to buy and publish it. Annnnny day now. *crickets*


Here’s a brief excerpt from my story, “The Horror in the Living Room” from the Daw anthology, The Trouble with Heroes, a tale about H.P. Lovecraft, his housekeeper, and an unexpected and tentacled guest.


Augusta strode down the portrait-lined hall, her steps muffled by the thick Persian carpet. The stench from the living room grew worse with each stride. Augusta’s eyes stung and watered. She pulled her handkerchief from her apron pocket, but before she could blot up the tears, she halted at the living room’s mouth and stared. The handkerchief fell from her fingers.


A sigil or Elder sign or some other damned thing that would require lots of elbow grease and scrubbing to clean had been etched into the carpet with what she suspected was the last of her flour. Candles positioned along the sigil’s edges dribbled wax onto the flour, adding the scent of beeswax to the sulfur stench curling through the room like a ghastly yellow fog.

Lovecraft sat in his over-stuffed easy chair, a notebook in his lap, a pen in his gloved hand. A leather raincoat protected his shirt and trousers from ichor, goggles his eyes. But nothing protected the room. The walls, ceiling, plush velvet sofa, and carpet were spattered with a greenish-black spray of gore. And so, of course, was the easy chair.


“Dear God,” Augusta whispered.


Ichor trickled down Lovecraft’s thin cheeks, dripped from his chin. He pushed the goggles to the top of his head and smiled. “I am fine, Mrs. Howard,” he said. “I managed to transcribe the creature’s story before consigning it to oblivion.”


“I just cleaned in here!”


Lovecraft pushed up from the easy chair and stripped off his gloves. Dropped them onto the carpet. “Is supper nearly ready? I’ve worked up quite an appetite.”


Augusta could only nod.


“Then I shall wash up,” Lovecraft said, combing his fingers through his hair. “I would appreciate it if you could tidy things a bit before the Thing Beyond Description arrives.” His warm smile was so genuine and boyish, Augusta could only nod once again. “Mrs. Howard, you’re a gem!” He peeled off his raincoat and then bounded away towards the bathroom.

Bending, Augusta picked up her handkerchief, then blew out the candles. She straightened and regarded the mess. She had asked Mr. Lovecraft several times to confine his work to a room dedicated to that purpose. He’d nodded, then swept a hand through the air.


“I have,” he said. “My work encompasses my life, so everything in my life is a part of my work.”


Since then, Augusta had decided that Lovecraft’s wife had fled to a sanitarium in order to keep her sanity, not because she had lost it. Sweeping up spare tentacles and the odd eyelid tended to make one’s sanity a tad loose.


Lovecraft’s work was necessary, yes; he was quietly saving mankind from tentacled doom. But, really, how hard was it to pick up after oneself?

Of course, hilarity and madness and (more) tentacles ensue.


I have a humorous story in the works about a female serial killer, a handsome mad scientist and an infatuated pigeon. I’m still expecting a call from The New Yorker any day now eager to nab early rights. *damned crickets*


Thanks for joining me here at Paranormal Haven (home of the droolicious eye candy!) I’d love to hear your fav snappy comebacks, quips, or snarky banter.

About Athenna

22 Comments

  1. “Lovecraft’s work was necessary, yes; he was quietly saving mankind from tentacled doom. But, really, how hard was it to pick up after oneself?”

    Haha, well she does have a point.

  2. Loved the Supernatural shout out. Dean is so funny but I’m a Sam girl all the way. The show really is great and I wish more people would watch it. Some of my favorite quotes are:

    Dean: I’m not gonna die in a hospital where the nurses aren’t even hot.

    Molly: Oh, thank God
    Dean: …Ah, call me Dean

    [Dean falls on top of Sam as they sneak through a half open window]
    Dean: Oh, sorry!
    Sam: OK, be quiet.
    Dean: Me be quiet? You be quiet!

  3. I’m a Sam girl too, Stephanie. Thanks for the quotes. All great!

  4. I just wanted to say I liked your guest post. I don’t watch much TV and have never seen Supernatural.

  5. Thanks, Andrea! You don’t need to watch TV for your fav snappy comebacks. I’ll bet you’ve got a bunch of favorites from all the books you read! ;)

  6. I think even the darkest story can benefit from some humor – just a litte lightness to pierce the gloom is always nice. I enjoyed the post, it was a lot of fun.

  7. hey adrian!! ok, gonna tack onto the whole supernatural theme…one of my favorite interplays from the last season (it’s when bobby gets back the use of his legs from crowley)

    Dean: You didn’t kiss him, did you?
    Bobby: No!
    (Crowley shows photo on iPhone)
    Bobby: Why did you have to take a picture?
    Crowley: Why did you have to use tongue?

    *ROFL* gotta love writers that will actually go there! and you are witty!!

  8. Oh, great quote, Conn! I loved so hard during that scene! And I *do* love the writers who will go there, (and do!) definitely!

    And thanks! :)

  9. Connery – That was so funny. Even though he was a demon I liked Crowley. I liked his sense of humor

    This last season was really good but it took a lot out of me because of how dark it was and I never like when my boys aren’t getting along. Plus we got to see a different side of the boys’ acting. They did great and I can’t wait till next season. I don’t know how it would work but I hope Cass will be in it

  10. Great post Adrian! I love humor and Supernatural. It’s one of my favorite tv shows.

    I have the same problem with thinking up a great comeback after it was needed.

  11. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, I think we need a Snappy Comeback Express hotline. LOL.

  12. i just finished rereadind darkest night so my quote is from that.
    ” Thinking about her again caused his body to harden, to ready. Should have taken her when he had the chance. he thought again. Should have penetrated that tight, wet sheath .

    “Uh, I’m happy to sit close to you and everything, but I had no idea you would like it so much”, Paris muttered.

    For the first time in hundreds of years Maddox felt a blush creep into his cheeks. “Its not for you.”

    “Thank the gods,” was his friends reply” – Darkest night , Gena Showalter. Page 231

    hope you like it :)

  13. oh yah im a Dean girl all the way

  14. *is trying not to cry of laughter* OMG! LOL! That zombie story had me CRACKING UP! Maybe it’s because I watched Zombieland today… lol! I totally feel ya with coming up with an AWESOME comeback a few hours later. I hate that! I’m not witty at all in person, but online I’m just like psycho crazy. Yet everyone tells me I’m funny…. Hmmm maybe that says something…Hahaha!

    Loved it! I’m glad you talked about your love of humor Adrian. XD I am possibly the most easily amused person in the world so it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. :P

  15. Awesome quote from Gena’s book, Athenna! I definitely need to read that one!

  16. Hi Ky! Glad you enjoyed the zombie mini-story. I really enjoyed writing it.

    I still want to watch Zombieland! The movie looks hysterically funny.

    You are definitely not alone! ;)

  17. Here’s an exchange from the upcoming Etched in Bone (Book 4 of The Maker’s Song)between Von and another nightkind llygad.

    “Still an egocentric idiot, I see.” Holly’s gaze glided over him in heated blue caress. “But a handsome-as-sin egocentric idiot.”

    “Stop. You’re making me blush.”

  18. I find I can’t put a book done if it is really funny. Grant it, most of the time, my dh doesn’t get it. Though, that is okay. Though we are normally, holding our sides when watching true blood with lafayette’s comedy routine..being from the south..we are actually laughing at ourselves.

    Adrain-tell Von or Lucin whoever of them is out for a flight that the next time they pick my house for a resting perch, to kindly wake. Not that I would be much of conversationist, due to said hour, and my drooling over them like a freakin’ dog in heat, but I’d just like to say I meet or better yet could they tree the trees back a bit..it would greatly help on my to do list.

  19. Oh, I LOVE Lafayette on True Blood!

    And I’ll be sure to pass the word along to Lucien (and Dante) about your very reasonable request. I think requesting they clean the rain gutters too while they’re at it would be a good use of winged time. ;)

  20. Ugh, I just read what I typed. I meant to say trim my verde trees and the other one. Gutters..OMG!! I might have an organism without having sex if they took care of both.

    I meant to say that I would like to just meet. Them…they are so under the m.e.a.n. motto at my house.

    Somebody remind me not to try to type when I am have awake…

  21. I too, am a great fan of Sam and Dean. But when going with snarky humor, I have to fall back on the BTVS world. Buffy and Spike rarely said anything that wasn’t a quick quip. Here are some of my faves:)

    Buffy: Giles, care? I’m putting my life on the line, battling the undead. Look, I broke a nail, ok? I’m wearing a press-on. The least you could do is exhibit some casual interest; you can go hmm.

    Buffy: No. No, those weren’t vampires. Those were just… guys in thunder need of a facial. Or maybe they had rabies? It could’ve been rabies. And that guy turning to dust? Just a trick of light.

    Buffy: Well, that works out great. You won’t tell anyone that I’m the Slayer, and I won’t tell anyone you’re a moron.

    Spike: If every vampire who said he was at the Crucifixion was actually there it would’ve been like Woodstock. I was at Woodstock. I fed off a flower person and I spent six hours watching my hand move.

    Spike: You were my sire, man! You were my… Yoda.

    (In response to being asked to fight a troll)
    Spike: I would, but I’m paralyzed with not caring very much.