Bucket Bros: The Carpenters of Comedy
Life of the Party
Ed was thumbing through an old computer game magazine from 1998. You know half of these games don't even run right on a new version of windows? I guess. Said Paul. Paul was on the internet, looking at cats. He did not care about the slightly moldy magazine.
Mechwarrior 3, I tried to get that running on XP once, and it kept crashing, on a PC ten times the minumum system requirements! Said Ed. Unless those mechs are piloted by adorable kittens with pirate hats, I'm not interested. Replied Paul, Taking a drag off his joint.
Ed flipped to an odd advertisement, one of those video game ads that were made to look like an official review, but clearly weren't.
Don't want to spend your afterlife in a Heaven full of homophobes who don't believe in evolution? Have we got the Relegion for you! Buy the computer game, get a free copy of the book and CD of lectures by the founder, Greg Hopkins!
Oh my God, you won't believe this! Said Ed. Kittens? asked Paul. Yes, and they're pirates. Said Ed. No, it's this advertisement for a crazy cult masked as a computer game ad!
What? said Pail. That's weird. Yeah, there's alot of really buff guys in Boxer shorts and horney girls that look like Betty Boop, it's really weird. Said Ed. I've googled worse, said Paul.
Not my point. Said Ed. Let me see that magazine, said Paul.
The two page glossy paper advertisement was quite clearly aimed more at your recruitment than your purchase, like the ad for a Call of Duty game. Only this call was for a more permenant form of duty, at least according to itself.
So this is just some sort of weird swingers cult for jacked up gay dudes? said Paul. All the men are male models and all the women are black and white cartoon characters out of the 1940's. This strongly suggests there are no real women in the cult, maybe no men either, these could easily be paid models.
Maybe it's like a nude beach, where everyone is good looking in the ad, but then you get there and it's all old fat guys. Said Ed. And the game looks like a proto-MMO. Like some kind of online chat room from the pre-social media era, but with playstation one graphics. Maybe the game was just another way to groom new recruits.
Paul looked at the left corner of the second page, at a big grey box with a very dated screenshot and a paragraph of text underneath.
100 trillion bacteria live in the human body. That's an ecosystem many times larger than earths population of Human Beings. Our tiny peice of Heaven exists inside one human host. An alternate dimension where as many as tens of millions of Human Beings can live eternal, free of ignorance! Half in this world, half in another!
Paul handed the magazine back laughing, and pointing to the grey paragraph. Read that, I'm gonna google this "Church." It's like Innerspace with Dennis Quaid, said Ed. I can't find one reference to this thing, said Paul. Not on a forum, not a homepage, not even on wikipedia. It's like the damn thing never happened.
Was it canceled, maybe? said Ed. Even if it was vaporware, there should be something about the cult. Said paul. I'm surprised they never killed someone or recruited a celebrity. The Mormons did both those things, and it didn't hurt their reputation any, they're still going strong. Hell they have about a fourth of Deseret left, after uncle Sam removed all the gold mines from their state border. Not bad for a "holy kingdom" formed inside a secular nation ruled by a president and congress.
Look at this, said Paul. Someone just auctioned a used copy of the game on Ebay in the last five minutes. What the hell? said Ed.
Ed's smart phone started ringing. Yes? said Ed. We auctioned that copy for you, not alot of our followers are still alive, after all. It's hard to wait around for the next life when you know for sure it's comming, and once it arrives there will be no more pain, no more uglyness, no more hate. Said the voice on the other end.
Ok, I don't know how you found out about our google search, you must have some pretty good hackers, but I for one am not scared of you people. Who is it? asked Paul, as he hid his bag of weed in the bottom drawer of his desk. Ed ignored him.
Oh, we were listening as soon as you set eyes on our ad, Said the man. "Oh my God, you won't believe this! Said Ed. Kittens? asked Paul. Yes, and they're pirates. Said Ed. No, it's this advertisement for a crazy cult masked as a computer game ad!" That really hurt our feelings, Ed.
How the hell did you hear that? said Ed. Let me get to the point of this call, said the voice. If you and your friend want in, then you and your friend are in. No fees neccesary, no questions asked. NO! said Ed, and he hung up.
What is going on? asked Paul. The room went silent. Only the sound of night traffic punctuated the fear and misery. It was highway traffic, also town traffic. The highway went right through fourth street, So trucks carrying Coca Cola and people going home to see their parents for the first time in years all sleepwalked towards the finish line of a bleary eyed journey.
Ring Ring Ring. Hello? asked Paul. Could you tell your friend that this is a limited time offer? Said the man. To be in your weird sex cult? No thanks, stop calling. We will never mention you people again, happy swinging in Hell! Paul hung up.
More silence, Paul quietly turned off the lights and drew the blinds, then sat on the floor. This is crazy, said Ed. Let's call the cops. Whoever is on the other end of the phone is a living breathing human being, not a ghost, angel, or devil, just a man who is not well, not thinking clearly. Are you saying that to convince me, or yourself? asked Paul.
Do you think they're gonna come kill us? asked Ed. I think they're already dead, said Paul. Not funny, said Ed.
Ring Ring Ring.
What? asked Ed. If you don't want to die yet, you can be the life of the party. Said the man. The what? asked Ed. You will be the disco ball if you don't want to dance. Said the Man. Because when you become the next host organism, I can finally see my wife again.
Hey Greg, stop calling me and go back to hacking google searches in your mothers basement, you fat old out of touch lunatic! You wish you were Jesus Christ or Johnny Mnemonic but you're just Jim Jones and I'm not drinking your cool aid! Greg died in the 1960's, said the Man. I'm his grandson. BANG! the sound of a body dropping lifelessly to the floor filled Ed's right ear.
Ten years later. Ed, it's time for your medication. Ed staggered lifelessly to the counter and took his pills, His body moving like a wounded moth being carried back to the anthill for dinner.
In Ed's ear was not the stray disembodied voice of a schizophrenic. It was a ballroom cacophony of clanking wine glasses, Dozens of conversations, a house band playing gentrified soft Jazz. Wild orgies in upstairs bedrooms, new age sermons in a church in the back of the mansion.
Ed WAS the mansion. A great big house filled with several thousand people. He was also a very sick man, who could barely hold the spoon for himself while eating his macaroni and cheese, and drinking his juice.
The Life of the Party.
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