The butcher on Third & Vine is a self-proclaimed neo-nazi skinhead who slaughters his cattle with an old rusty blade then collects their ears in a mason jar that is stashed beneath his bed. He stands 6'3" thick neck broad shoulders & has 22 tattoos, each depicting dead farm animals in various degrees of decay. Old Mr. Cohen, stoop shouldered & skinny, shuffles into the shop, painstakingly propelled by his hickory cane. He greets the butcher with a friendly tip of his hat. "I am the Bovine Van Gogh," the butcher brags, smearing blood stained hands across his apron. "What can I get for you today, Mr. Cohen?" Mr. Cohen cracks a nervous grin & gestures at the hard salami. "I'll take a pound of that," he says. The butcher wraps & weighs the meat, pushes it gently across the counter, then wedges a toothpick between his teeth. "That will be a buck & a quarter," he says, gazing lustfully at the old man's enormous set of ears.
Friday night a quarter past twelve found myself huddled on the couch knees drawn to chest washing down a mouthful of diazepam, phenobarbital & several other anticonvulsants with a bottle of prescription strength cough syrup while I watched the sleeves of Uncle John's snake-skin leather jacket slither across the living room floor as it methodically gathered bits of lint & scraps of paper for the nest it was building behind the refrigerator.
The living room is blaring with the clamor of Saturday morning cartoons. I'm hunched on the couch gorging myself with Froot Loops while my brother is in the corner working over grandma's poodle with his latest Ninja Turtle techniques. "I can't believe John Denver is dead," Grandma sobs as she performs her slow-motion rendition of the Mime-Christ, head cocked sideways, palms extended to the sky in mock crucifixion. Grandpa sinks deeper into his armchair & knocks back another shot of vodka as he strains to stay focused on the TV.
Brian Fugett is a member of the slacker, fast food generation that has been branded with an "X". He sits in his pad all day consuming more oxygen than he's worth. He's been doing it for nearly 33 years now & has become quite efficient at it. Eating & voiding are the only things he really knows how to do. Between meals & trips to the shitter, he writes. Rumor has it, Homeland Security claims he's been incarcerated numerous times for publicly milking West Nile Virus from the tits of pregnant mosquitoes. Therefore he was forced to seek refuge in the chilly bowels of Ohio to save his good name.Ask him about it at: firstname.lastname@example.org & he will vehemently deny it. Some day he hopes to be president of the "International Society of Incontinent Gum Swallowers", a support group for people who compulsively swallow gum & piss themselves. Until that day arrives, he occupies his time with cartooning, writing, filmmaking & editing the webzine Zygote in my Coffee.Send us your comments on this article