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Posts tagged “Bradley Sands

Flash Fiction Friday: The Mustache Growing Competition

by Bradley Sands, a deleted scene from Dodgeball High, available ONLY on the Belgian import.

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE

I go in, and Burt Reynolds says, “Hey, there, little fella. Ha ha ha ha!”

This is so not fair! Why isn’t Principal Tug in his office? Principal offices are for principals, not guys who used to be my arch-nemesis before I met Rifkin.

“What are you even doing here, Burt Reynolds? You’re not my arch-nemesis anymore…and this is his office, so you should probably leave.”

Burt Reynolds gets out of the principal’s chair and traces the tip of his thumb across his mustache (which looks really dumb by the way). “Well, your principal called me on this here telephone. And he says, ‘Tiddlydoo, Burt Reynolds. I’ve got myself a problem. Can you pop on down to the school to give a no-good son of a bitch the beating he’s been beggin’ for ever since his momma sneezed him outta her cooch?’ So I says, ‘Ten four, good buddy,’ and beat my fastest time getting here. And then you walk through the door and I says to myself, ‘Well, if it ain’t my arch-nemesis, Justin Lucas!’ Ha ha ha!”

“You’re not my arch-nemesis anymore. You lost that honor when Principal Tug tried to get me to pull down my pants.”

“That really hurts my feelings,” Burt Reynolds says, crying like the biggest fake crier in the history of crying.

“I didn’t think it was possible for your acting to get any worse,” I say, and he stops pretending to be upset and starts being upset for realz. “So where’s Principal Tug?” I ask.

“ATTENTION STUDENTS,” blares out of the loudspeaker of doom.

Aaaaaaah! Not again!

I stick my fingers in my ears to hold back the blood.

“This is Principal Tug with another important announcement: You may have noticed that I’m not in my office. This is because I’m ALL-POWERFUL and have the ability to do my announcements from ANYWHERE in the school. Don’t bother to look for me because you shall NEVER find me. In fact, the entire planet is hearing this. Lungville has the finest loudspeaker technologies in the world. No other sovereign state can compete. And we also have the best assassins. Burt, it’s time for you to nip our country’s problem in the bud.”

Burt Reynolds rolls up his sleeves. “My pleasure, Principal Tug.” Then he tries to psych me out with his ex-arch-nemesis eyes and says, “Your ‘stache is lookin’ purty good today, hoss. Last time I saw it, it couldn’t compete against the fuzz on the side of a peach, but now it’s almost as long as one of my mama’s brussel sprouts. It’s pretty luscious for an eight year old.”

I put up my dukes. “I’m almost eighteen, stupid, and my marvelous mustache is more marvelous than Marv the Marvelous Magician…and that guy is pretty marvelous. And it’s like a trazillion times more marvelous than yours, so why don’t you shut up?”

“Give your fists a rest, son. Let’s do this like men. How about a friendly mustache growing competition?”

“That makes no sense whatsoever,” I say. “How can we grow mustaches when we already have them?”

“Simple as peach pie,” Burt Reynolds says, then he shaves off his mustache with a chainsaw.

“You’ve lost your brain! Mustaches are sacred.”

“Your turn,” he says, passing me the chainsaw.

I smash it on the floor. “I’m not shaving my mustache with a chainsaw. That’s the most retarded thing ever. By the way, your look weird as hell without a mustache.”

“Alright,” he says, “be right back.” He walks behind the principal’s desk, opens a drawer, and plops a Bic razor, shaving cream, a hand mirror, and a mug of water down onto the desk.

“Dude, I’m not shaving my ‘stache. You win the dumbass dork competition. I lost by disqualification, because I’m not a dumbass dork.”

“Huh. Always thought you were the coolest kid on the planet. Guess not.”

“Give me that razor, you motherfucker!”

He hands it to me, and I shave my mustache off. I do it perfectly since I’m great at everything that I do.

(A marvelous mustache is a state of mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s been shaved out of existence. A razor is powerless against greatness.)

“My marvelous mustache will grow back in six minutes flat,” I say.

“Mine will be larger than life and humpin’ your mama in three,” Burt Reynolds says.

We wait in silence for our mustaches to grow while making war faces at each other. After three minutes, Burt Reynold’s mustache is back. Like he never shaved it in the first place.

I feel my upper lip and it’s completely bare.

Stupid! How could I be so stupid? It took me seven years to grow my marvelous mustache. Why did I think I stood a chance against the Mustache King of the South?

Burt Reynolds hands me a samurai sword. “You know what to do.”

“No, I don’t know what to do.”

“Do the honorable thing and commit seppuku.”

“I have no idea whatsoever what you’re talking about.”

“Disembowel yourself with this here sword and save yourself from a lifetime of humiliation.”

“Disembowel?”

Burt Reynolds makes a frustrated face. “Just stick it in your belly and give it a nice wiggle.”

“Uh…okay,” I say, then I take a swing at his throat.

Blood spurts out of his neck, and he gives me a big smile. “You got me, Smokey.” Then his corpse falls onto the principal’s desk, knocking over a bronze eagle, and some sort of elevator-thing opens in the wall.

“PAY NO ATTENTION TO MY PERSONAL ELEVATOR.”

“Aaaaaaah!” I say and drop the sword.

“It just goes to my private bathroom, which I NEVER clean. You REALLY don’t want to go in there. I just had an extremely SMELLY bowel movement. WOOOO! I can smell it from my secret bunker even though it’s NOWHERE near my private bathroom. If you want to go to my secret bunker, you’ll to need to take a different secret elevator, which you will NEVER find because it’s so secret. Dear God, I think my stench is knocking me unconscious. Yes, I’m definitely unconscious. By the way, I talk in my sleep, and when I’m unconscious.”

I pick the sword back up and say, “I’ll see you up there, old man.”

—-

Bradley Sands is the author of Dodgeball High, Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You, Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy, and other books. He edits Eraserhead Press’s New Bizarro Author Series. Visit him at www.bradleysands.com.


A Talking Eyeball Walks into a Bar: An Introduction to Bizarro Fiction

Bradley Sands is teaching an online class on writing bizarro fiction. It’s for a new lit site called Lit Demon.

In this workshop you will learn to write high-concept bizarro while concentrating on the absurd and the surreal. You will discover what “high concept” means and learn what appeals to bizarro readers. We will study the differences between bizarro and traditional fiction, as well as their similarities. We will discuss characters in bizarro (particularly protagonists), settings, and the relationships between characters and settings. You will be taught to use traditional plot structures in untraditional stories. We will speak about conflict and what protagonists do to solve the problems they face. Do they do this differently than protagonists in other genres? If so, how?

By the time you finish the workshop, you will be able to write a bizarro story that will delight and totally weird out your readers.

Bradley Sands is the author of Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You, Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy, TV Snorted My Brain, and others. He edits the New Bizarro Author Series for Eraserhead Press. He also works as a freelance editor. Bradley holds an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University. In the past, he was the editor-in-chief of Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens (A Journal of Absurd and Surreal Fiction), an associate editor for Bombay Gin, and an assistant editor for Weird Tales.

“I would not be published today if it weren’t for Bradley. As a guest teacher in a bizarro workshop, he picked me out and asked for more, and asked for better. He was constantly challenging me to push further and in a short time helped me chisel my writing abilities to a finer point. Bradley was able to not only see gaps in my writings, but was able to push me toward interesting solutions to fill those gaps, not just create bridges. He doesn’t push his own style on you, but helps you realize your own. A fantastic teacher and editor all around.” – Andy de Fonseca, author of The Cheat Code for God Mode


Top 6 Ways to Get Your Stories Rejected

by Bradley Sands

I used to edit a bizarro lit journal called Bust Down the Door and Eat All the Chickens. I’m difficult to impress, so it always took me a long time to find enough stories to fill an issue. Throughout the seven or so years I worked on the journal, I noticed I often rejected submissions over and over again for the same reasons.

6: Stories About a Guy Taking a Shit

I don’t know why this kept happening. Was it only me? Stop. Just stop. It isn’t interesting. It’s stupid. Taking a shit isn’t weird. We all do it. At least I think we all do it. If you don’t, I suggest you see a doctor.

5: Stories About a Guy Who Does a Bunch of Acid and Runs Around Doing Totally Crazy Shit

No one has the least bit of interest in reading this unless they’re already on the acid that you’ve hooked them up with.

4: Submitting Completely Random Shit Unless the Writing is Exquisite

Plot is important to me and the prose is important to me. Give me a story with an engaging plot and incredible writing and I will probably accept it. Give me a story with little to no plot and poor or mediocre writing and I will definitely reject it. Give me a story that’s totally random, freaking hilarious, and incredibly well written and I will definitely accept it. This is my personal taste, so others may not do the same.

3: Submitting a Story That is Too Long or Too Short (and Shit)

The guidelines are there for a reason. Do what they say. If the story is a little long or short, it will probably be fine, but mention it in the submissions email. Otherwise, I may end up assuming you haven’t read the guidelines. You don’t want to make a bad impression on me before I read your story.

2: Submitting Shit Without Reading the Guidelines

Yes, it’s obvious and it’s completely insane when this happens. It takes a minute to read guidelines. It’s there to increase your chances of acceptance and to avoid wasting my time. The problem is that many writers submit to tons of places and don’t care where they are accepted. The only thing that matters is acceptance. I don’t understand this behavior. It’s like flinging your shit against the walls to see where it sticks. Unless people like this change their ways, they’re doomed to either remain unpublished for the rest of their lives or to get published in shitty places where they will never be read.

Even better, read an issue of the journal to familiarize yourself with it before submitting. Editors are aware that you’re probably submitting to lots of places and you may not have the time or money to buy and read an issue from every place that you submit. And that’s okay. This is why there are guidelines for you to read. In the case of my own journal, people didn’t necessarily have to pay money to read an issue because a few of them were available as a free PDF.

1: Submitting a Shitty Story

If the first page or two are bad, I’m not going to give you the benefit of the doubt. I’ll just stop reading.


Now Available: The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction (Issue Seven)

issue7The premier magazine of the bizarro genre.

Issue seven features the novella “Noah’s Arkopolis” by David W Barbee short fiction by David Agranoff, Molly Tanzer, Andrew Wayne Adams, Shane McKenzie and Dustin Reade, comics by Andrew Goldfarb and SCAR, articles by Constance Ann Fitzgerald, Carlton Mellick III, Kirsten Alene Pierce, Garrett Cook and Bradley Sands, a spotlight on author Jordan Krall, reviews, and more!

Click HERE to order The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction (Issue Seven)!


Sons of Anarchy (Season 5, Episode 11: “Highway to Cancellation”)

by Bradley Sands

I’ve been promoting TV Snorted My Brain by doing weekly TV Reviews.  You can find them all here.

Here is a review of this week’s episode of Sons of Anarchy:

Sons of Anarchy is a television show that occurs in an alternate reality that closely resembles the present day where police lack the technology to catch any perpetrators of crimes.

All denizens of this world may travel on motorcycles, but the police do not have such things as fingerprint-nanite powder. Because of this, this episode suffered from a lack of suspense. Although the motorcycle gang, whose members serve as the show’s protagonists, murdered many people, the viewers never worried that they would be apprehended. And since the actors who portray the bikers got first billing during the opening credits, it was obvious they would survive instead of the characters who they shot in the face. Despite its weaknesses, Sons of Anarchy has 1.78 deaths per second, which is equivalent to the world’s current death rate.

I have a message for showrunner, Kurt Sutter, who is obviously reading this:  No one is going to want to watch your show if you make your protagonists freaking invincible. Perhaps the viewers will return to the show during the final scene of the series finale to discover who will be set on fire, but this scenario is the best that you can hope for. Let me give you some advice: Oh man, it would be awesome if suddenly the entire show took place in space and the bikers rode space motorcycles and they shot aliens in the face.

Take this under serious consideration. It is the only way to avoid cancellation.


New Bradley Sands Novel

TV Snorted My Brain was just published by LegumeMan Books.

Artie Pendragon loves anarchy, pee wee soccer games, and midget wrestlers. He really hates high school, but his plan to blow up his school is interrupted when he is declared the king of TV Land. After taking the throne, Artie’s pro-wrestling, non-midget uncle steals it from him and enforces a strict policy of censorship throughout the land. To defend himself against his uncle’s piledrivers and take back what is rightfully his, Artie must go on a quest for the Holy Grail, which is the only thing that will make his Excalibur 3000 remote control work properly.

TV Snorted My Brain is a modern-day retelling of the King Arthur myth that happens inside your television set. Come along with Artie as he journeys through the various channels of TV Land and recruits knights along the way to help him overthrow his uncle and bring anarchy to the land.

“TV Snorted My Brain is (Sands’) best work to date. Call me crazy, but I think this generation has found its own Vonnegut.” – Verbicide

Order a copy from Amazon (also available for Kindle).

Click here to read the first chapter

Go here to listen to a recording of the chapter.


Flash Fiction Friday: The History of Dodgeball

by Bradley Sands
__________

This week I bring you an informational text on the true and actual history of the sport of dodgeball. Feast your eyes on this.
–K.A.

__________

Dodgeball was invented by the Vikings near the end of the eighth century. They would often relieve boredom during voyages by competing against villagers who lived by the sea. Originally, dodgeballs were not thrown by human hands. Instead, they were fired out of cannons. In addition, the earliest dodgeballs were made out of iron rather than rubber. Although the game’s original rules permitted both teams to throw the dodgeballs at competing players, only visiting teams took advantage of this while home teams focused entirely on getting hit in the face.

Two centuries later during the Crusades, the sport was popularized when Christian soldiers challenged Jews and Muslims to a dodgeball tournament with a prize that included an affidavit declaring the winning team’s favored religion as “The One True Religion” and a $25 gift certificate to Pizza Hut. The Christians defeated The Muslims in the final match with four team members still remaining in play. Since history is always rewritten by its victors, the Catholic Church bribed the editors of history books to depict the Crusades as being won through a series of violent battles rather than good sportsmanship. This period is also known for its innovative use of human hearts instead of iron balls, which were safer and more fun to play with.

The tradition of picking teams began in thirteenth-century England during the time of the Black Death. Naval captains who had too many gangrenous body parts to look good in their military uniforms were enlisted to lead dodgeball teams consisting of plague victims. The wizard kings of Europe felt an intramural dodgeball league would raise morale amongst the sick and keep them from devouring the brains of the healthy for the few hours each week that they spent running away from human hearts. Unlike the team captains of the modern age, the captains of the Middle Ages did not select players in the sequence of most skilled to the worst. Instead, they chose players based upon their degree of physical grotesqueness, which hurt the feelings of players who were more likely to arouse the opposite sex.

A century later, the Aztecs introduced rubber balls to the game. Their national pastime, Tlachli (English translation: fun blood sacrifice for very hungry caterpillar), is commonly thought to be an early version of Soccer where all the players had their arms and legs cut off prior to each match, but new studies have proved this to be incorrect: Tlachli was a form of dodgeball that was conceived independently from the dodgeball leagues that had come before it. The explanation for this has been a subject of much controversy amongst archaeologists. Physicist, Noriv Stringer, proposed the theory of morphic resonance as the explanation for the phenomenon. Just as it is easier to wake up later in the day rather than earlier in the morning due to energy building up in the Earth’s morphic field due to the collective successes of early risers, Stringer believes the chances that other civilizations would develop dodgeball on their own significantly increased once the Vikings invented it.

In 1520, the Aztecs taught Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés, to play Tlachli. Minutes later, he avenged his humiliating defeat by killing them all. After returning to Spain, he introduced the sport to the nation with much fanfare. Madrid would soon suffer from what is known as The Dodgeball Plague of 1528. It began with a typical game of dodgeball being played in the street. As people drove or walked by, they felt the urge to join one of the teams and abandoned their plans for the day. The game spread throughout the city, and within hours, every person in the city who wasn’t a window-fearing recluse had joined in. The dodgeball plague lasted for twelve days, ending when the French invaded the country and released all of the Spain’s bulls into the crowd. By the time it was over, thousands had died from exhaustion, heart attack, goring, stroke, and getting hit in the head with a ball. To avoid dodgeball-related deaths in the future, King Charles I decreed that anyone who hit a competing player in the head with a ball would be eliminated from the game.

The Mayflower set sail for America in 1620, carrying 102 passengers, 30 crew members, and 42 dodgeballs. Like the Vikings did before them, the Pilgrims passed the time by playing dodgeball on deck. Since the supply of balls was meager and the players kept accidentally throwing them overboard, the Pilgrims instituted a new rule that rewarded players for catching the balls thrown by the opposite team that eliminated the thrower. After three months at sea, the Mayflower landed on Plymouth Rock, bringing dodgeball to the new world.

In 1775, war broke out between the American and Great Britain. This would be known as the Revolutionary War, and it was a war unlike any other. Leaders from both armies signed a treaty in an effort to limit casualties, agreeing to do battle through an enormous dodgeball ball game that involved every one of their soldiers. The game would not end until the entirety of one side had been eliminated, which would determine the outcome of the war. It did not take long for American soldiers to realize that eliminating their opponents by hitting them with bullets was a lot more satisfying than hitting them with rubber balls. Despite the British soldiers’ objections to death, their predisposition for honoring treaties lost them the war.

Prior to the Civil War, The American Dodgeball Association of America added the rule that if a member of a team stepped over a boundary, they would be eliminated. During a scrimmage between The Northern Log Cabins and the Southern Hushpuppies, the referee eliminated Hushpuppy, Braxton Bragg, for stepping over the Virginian border. The Hushpuppies disagreed with the referee’s call and whipped his bare back with thin metal chains until he succumbed to infection. Displeased with this, the Log Cabins called the Hushpuppies “big meanies.” This hurt the Hushpuppies’ feelings, made them cry, and caused them to secede from the United States on the behalf of the South. Because of this, dodgeball players realized game boundaries needed to be better defined. This resulted in the division of North and South Korea, the construction of the Berlin Wall, and Qin Shi Huang traveling back in time to build the Great Wall of China.

Dodgeball did not become part of the physical education curriculum in schools until the nineteen-fifties when school boards decided to teach students the best way to destroy their enemies (with red, rubber balls) and how to separate the weak from the strong. Today, the sport is an important rite of passage that prepares adolescents for futures of prosperity and total domination.

 

__________

Bradley Sands is the author of several books including, Please Do Not Shoot Me in the Face: A Novel, Rico Slade Will Fucking Kill You, and Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy. He’s not a porn writer. He’s a scholar. Find him here.