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Bizarro Field Trip with Eric Hendrixson: Pt I

by Eric Hendrixson

As midnight approached, we were far from the highway, on the kind of country road that starts a third of the horror films made in the ’80s. That’s when the GPS signal dropped out. My wife hadn’t told me where we were going. When we decided to take a trip, I’d hopped into the car like a Labrador who doesn’t know whether he’s going to the park or the vet. We drove through Dodgeville, up a hill, and past a tractor dealership. Near the top of the hill, I saw a Boeing C-97 parked next to the road. We had reached our destination.

Don Q Inn advertises its rooms as Fantasuites. The website claims that these suites will “spice up your stay.” We walked through the heavy wood doors into the lobby, where barber and dentist chairs were arranged around a huge, circular fireplace. On the counter, there was a lending library of VHS tapes and Stephen King books. According to a sign in the lobby, the hotel does not permit children, only consenting adults over 21. That was fine. Apart from a few business trips, I have never rented a hotel room without my consent. When the clerk woke up and came to the desk, we asked her what restaurants might still be open. She yelled the question back to another clerk. “McDonald’s,” she said. “And Walmart.” She gave us keys and directions to our room.

Our room was at the end of the hall, next to an emergency exit that led directly into a cornfield, making it useless in the event of a corn-related emergency. When I opened the door, I saw a spaceman suspended above the room’s only window, which was draped with black curtains. The walls were covered in a wallpaper mural of the moon’s surface and black space, accented with comets, stars, and planets. A Formica moon rover served as a coffee table. There was a rock formation on the left side of the room, from which a moon rock waterfall fed the tile-lined tub in the crater. Above it all was a Gemini space capsule, accessible by a spiral staircase built into the rock. In the space capsule, there was a circular bed, complete with a TV/VCR, a car radio, and switches that controlled the lights and ceiling fan. It was the bedroom I would have wanted when I was five, twenty-five, or thirty-five. It’s the bedroom I will want when I’m ninety-five.

Each of these fantasy suites is its own work of art. The subjects include a ’50s theme with a pink Cadillac, an igloo, a hot air balloon, and a medieval dungeon, complete with shackles. Is it good art? Well, probably not. The rooms are like a plastic Halloween costume of Spider Man that says “Spider Man” on the front. It’s not so much a moon landing as a collection of the signifiers of a moon landing.

As for the business model of catering to sexual fantasies, I’m a believer in Rules 34 and 36. I’m sure there are people out there with a moon landing fetish, but there can’t be that many of them in Wisconsin. They must have all moved to Florida by now. The fantasy aspect is beside the point. As a bizarro, former dinner theater worker, and B movie fan, the diligent, sincere, overdone, and wrong-headed manner in which this fantasy was constructed and presented pleased me immensely.

The hotel has a tunnel between the rooms and the restaurant, decorated like a carnival spookhouse with spiderwebs, portraits that change to skulls as you walk past them, and body parts stuffed into corners. Finding the restaurant closed, we crossed the road toward a roadside bar with a motorcycle and a few pickup trucks parked outside. There, we had local beer, cheese curds (the staple of the Wisconsinite diet), a couple games of pool (free ever since someone broke the sliding coin acceptor), cookies (because someone brought cookies), and conversation with the locals, mostly about how many shots Thor, the designated driver, should get in exchange for driving the others back to town. In the morning, we drove to our real destination: The House on the Rock.


Check back soon for PART TWO  of Eric Hendrixson’s Bizarro Field Trip featuring The House on the Rock with creepy-cool photos! 

 

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Eric Hendrixson was born a military brat overseas. He has lived in England, Texas, Spain, Texas, Iowa, Texas, and Virginia. Attending two kindergartens, two elementary schools, five junior high schools (one twice), two high schools, and two colleges, he learned that most realities are hypothetical and are merely intended as suggestions. His first job, in musical theater, confirmed that lesson.

Flash Fiction Friday: This Page Is Intentionally Left Blank

That’s right. No FFF this week. We here at Bizarro Central are in dire need of content!

If you have a bizarro story, 2000 words or less, attach it as a .doc or .rtf and send it to garthurbrown@hotmail.com. Please include a brief, single paragraph bio.

Here’s a fun gif:

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Halloween Chaos Countdown: A Message from ZBags

Colin Raff, aka ZBags, is a talented, surreal artist who makes the most trippy gifs you will ever see in your life.

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Halloween Chaos Countdown: Elvira’s 2 Big Pumpkins

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The Queen of Halloween just premiered a new music video for her purple vinyl 7″ single. “2 Big Pumpkins” is out today from Third Man Records.

She’s hotter than ever!

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Elvira is performing at Knott’s Scary Farm and has a Halloween series on Hulu called “13 Nights of Elvira.”

Cassandra Peterson will be donning her Elvira garb once again to host titles that include Evil Bong, Seed People, Shrunken Heads, and Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. The fun concludes on Halloween night with the classic Night of the Living Dead.

The “13 Nights of Elvira” begins on Hulu October 19th.

No Halloween is complete without those magical pumpkins which never age. I love Elvira!

Halloween Chaos Countdown: Your Guide to Medieval Torture

The Dark Ages were full of amazing things like kings and queens, the plague, and some of the most inventive methods of torture that are still used today.

Here are some of the most inventive methods of old school torture.

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Halloween Chaos Countdown: Your Weekend 6 Halloween Song Playlist With a Bizarro Photoblast Accompaniment!

Behold! A collection of horror songs to help you while doing something spooky and debaucherous during your first weekend of October!

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Do you have any favorite spooky songs? Please share them so I can add them to my ever expanding Halloween youtube mix and future Chaos Countdown posts.

Flash Fiction Friday: Three Shorts from Márió Z. Nemes

by Márió Z. Nemes. Translated by Zoltán Komor

Red Water

In the village of the dwarfs everyone’s about four inches long. They shoot the ones who grow taller, keeping a gun around just for this purpose. The dwarfs call it Mother’s anger, but they also like to use the saw. What a hard-working community this is. They have a queen but they don’t have any women. Her name is Suzy, she lives in the middle of the village in a bile colored house. (The dwarfs lick its door handle every night.) One day, a young traveling student arrived, who was taller than four inches. The dwarfs gathered around him, giving hungry looks at his hands. They were so smooth, and he could imitate animals with them. This really annoyed the dwarfs, because they only liked to collect animal bones. The tricks of the young lad fascinated Suzy, deep sighs escaped from her mouth in the bile colored residence.

“Why don’t we let Mother’s anger free?”, the dwarfs asked, but their queen refused. By choice she would move in to the young student’s body and stay there forever. The dwarfs were roaming the animal cemetery with downcast eyes, not knowing what to tear out in their pain. Finally, they just picked some flowers from the graves.But no use, Suzy now belonged to the boy.

So let this be the day of the anger, the dwarfs decided. If mother is dead, then father will labor the boys. They surprised the young lad in his sleep, and carried away his ripped-apart flesh. The dethroned queen was crying and crying in the bile colored house, but instead of tears red water flowed on the bottom of the night.

Slaggy Afternoon

Peter’s antigravitation factory floats proudly over the hill. Smoke-brushes, like graying nasal hairs sticks out from its chimneys. The restful afternoon is not a matter of laughter, the rabbit tells itself below, swaying its head to the rhythm of the rising smoke. They used to live in a same hole together, when time was only a child. But later, this child got sick, and blood clots begin to multiply on the bottom of the cellar. When they ran out of place, Peter set off to fall in love. The rabbit still gets chills thinking back to that day, still seeing the raving boy who shouted:,”I’m going to cut my head off, and love it forever!”

When Peter completed this task, he watched excitedly, as a red bride grew out from the planted head. She was so beautiful, like nothing he have ever seen in the forest before! Peter taught her how to speak, how to eat, while the animals followed them silently behind the bushes. Soon, the day of the wedding arrived, but then the bride said that as long as she lives, she’s only going to love herself, and with an axe found in the lumberman’s lodge she cut off her head. After this, the only thing Peter wanted is to float. He built up his factory, and moved over the hill.
In the afternoon sunshine, a brown stain dries on the neck of the rabbit, while slag keeps falling onto the field from the factory.

This is the blood of the bride, the animals whisper, so they run to bath in it.

Mummy

The little girl is getting more and more muscular, she pulls her pants down showing off her mummy. This mummy was the youngest son of a king in an ancient world, but once, he tasted poison on a field, and his people had to bury him next to his predecessors with tears in their eyes. Now all of his people are gone, and only a dry head is left of him.

“After you reach ten, you should wear pajamas” voices whisper in the grove, but the girl just laughs at them.She already reached that age, but still she doesn’t wear anything else at night, just a dead little boy.

“We’re gonna grow up together, and become flowers, who devour each other” she tells the mummy, but cough shakes the dry head. He’s not growing anymore. He just wants to drink from the garden tap, before they set the whole woods on fire.After all,children shouldn’t sleep in the dark.

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Bio: Márió Z. Nemes was born in 1982 in Ajka, Hungary. He is a poet and a critic, He started publishing around the turn of the millennium, since then his writings have appeared in all leading Hungarian literary reviews and magazines and he has three poetry collections published. He lives in Budapest.

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