Double Wide

by Jim Parnell

Bubba Ascendant
A Playe in Five Actes

What can I say of Bubba that would be adequate?  Trailer park philosopher, poet, and madman -- visionary of a warped future, prophet of doggerel, Sitter on the Porcelain Throne.  In the company of aliens, he is a true Redneck Sophisticate of the first water.  Got me this gig, he did. Pays good and nobody expects a return 'til the Final Payoff.  Of course, by then it's a little late for a refund ...
- Father 'Stanky' Denmark (Founder, First Church of the Flying Fisk)
Prologue:  The Poor Sodde
Hello, my name is Charles Bevill Whitley DuBois.  Pity me, for I am a slave.

No, nobody's actually holding a gun to my head forcing me to write this crap.  Hell, if they did I'd probably pull the trigger myself, but it'd be just my luck the damn thing would misfire.  Same kind of luck I had when I ran into Bubba.

I had a fine career as a talking head on the local news and I was well on my way to national and syndication when my personal little Waterloo occurred.  It was pretty droll, actually.  Just one too many martinis and a disastrous game of hide the banana with the wrong chiquita in the broom closet.  Hell, how'd I know she wanted my job and not Mr. Wiggly?  Next thing I knew I was out on my ass on harassment charges and doing the 5:00 am night shifter's wind-down on the local access station, right after the Lawnmower Maintenance Guys.

My scheduled guest was a county commissioner, a dull, blue-haired D.A.R. wannabe, so I was primed for whitebread and tapioca.  She was a no-show, so in desperation my producer snagged some hick as he staggered through the parking lot searching for his truck.

You guessed it.  Bubba: senior (only) member of Putnam County's roadkill SWAT team, A.K.A. the Putco skunk works.  He'd just been canned for selling mystery meat to the Wriggly Piggy and was fast approaching escape velocity at Fast Eddy's Tavern next door.

I might've been able to avert my second personal Waterloo if my producer had told me all this before we went on the air...

Acte I.  Radio Free Bubba
Dee-da-dit-dit-dee-da-dee-dit-dit-da-dit-da-dee-da-dit-dit-dit ...

Announcer: Well, it's been a good run for you hasn't it, Commissioner uh, Bubba (is that right? BUBBA?!!)
Bubba: (surprised) Uh, dang right it's been a good 'un. I've had a HELL of a good time.
Announcer: I understand you've made quite a name for yourself as a subversive voice of the "Little People"
Bubba: What the hell you talkin' about, boy? There ain't no such thing as lepra-, leper-, -hic- leprechauns!
Announcer: No, no, I meant that you spoke for the Common People, not the Powers That Be.
Bubba: You some kinda gat-dagged Commie? Why I'd as soon kick your ass as read your Little Red Book, ya stinkin' pinko.
Announcer: (stiffly) I beg your pardon. I am not a Fifth Columnist.
Bubba: Ri-i-ight. You're just a commentater, Spud. You always talk in capital letters?
Announcer: (miserably) Why do I do this?
Bubba: For the moolah.
Announcer: Oh yeah. Thanks.
Bubba: Not a problem. That'll be $50 bucks please.
Announcer: Zappa reference, right?
Bubba: Who else is worth quoting?
Announcer: Some might say Shakespeare, or Nietzsche, or Camus.
Bubba: Cay-moo? I don't quote livestock.  Rodents, maybe, ruminants never. Which reminds me, I've got a few nuggets of wisdom squirreled away somewhere.  (Pulls a greasy wrinkled sheet of three-ring notebook paper covered in crayon scrawl from his bib overall pocket.)

Ah, here it is.  It's called "50 Ways to Leave Your Office"

Announcer: You're plagiarizing that Paul Simon song, aren't you?
Bubba: Well, I took a few liberties, but they wasn't free. There are a couple of ways to do it, depending on whether you plan on coming back later or not. Here ya go:

The "Gotta Go" Ruse

- Tell your boss Seven of Nine wants to assimilate you. He'll understand.

- Hire a Magic Piper to appear at the office and play intriguingly compelling music, then stagger out as if you're under his spell.

- Snidely inform your boss that your work on this planet is done, and you're needed back at Galactic HQ.

"Medical Reasons"

- Make your skin a mass of pustulent sores using cow's blood and rubber cement, then tell your boss your pet monkey bit you and you "just haven't been feeling 100% lately" (Extra points if you can hawk up a really wet-sounding lunger at this point). He'll have the copy boy hold the door for you.

- Show up wearing a tinfoil suit and say you're off to the Delta Quadrant to save the Federation from the Dominion.

- Act like you've got Tourette's Syndrome by shouting, "F---ING A--HOLE!!!" whenever your boss walks into your cube. Vary this using other expletives, especially explicit genital references, and you'll be outta there with a medical disability in no time flat.

Announcer: I say, that's awfully insensitive isn't it? Tourette's is nothing to laugh about.
Bubba: I s'pose so, but it makes kickass copy. Now shut your piehole, you're queering my delivery! Ahem...

"The Disappearing Act"

- Just tell your boss you're "running errands" and never come back. He'll figure it out.

- Call your boss from home and tell him you've been kidnapped by Amazon warrior women from Venus who want to kiss you always. (This doubles as a "Medical Reason")

Announcer: Uh, excuse me, Mr. Bubba, but we seem to have run out of time for these pitiful adolescent fantasies of yours.
Bubba: (sighs) Yeah. All good things must come to an end. But I've gotta tell ya, and you can quote me on this, you ain't heard the last of Bubba.
Announcer: Ri-i-i-ght. SECURITY! "X" this guy!

When I saw him bouncing buns off the asphalt, I thought that was the last of him.  I didn't think he'd have the stones to come back the very next day.

Acte II.  On the Aire Again
Announcer: What the f---?!!
Bubba: Well don't look so damn surprised, I SAID I'd be back, didn't I?
Announcer: B-b-but...
Bubba: Spit it out, son! I say, I say, I don't have all day here! Young feller, you gotta learn how to expresso yourself.
Announcer: But I saw you bounced on your keister in the parking lot! (screeches off camera: HOW DID THIS HICK GET IN HERE?!!) 
Bubba: No use calling 'em, bub. They're over at Eddy's gettin' hammered. So's your camera crew. And the sound guy, and that nice young lady who holds the cue cards so you can sound like you got at least a couple of neurons to rub together.
Announcer: (warily) Then why're YOU here?
Bubba: (smiles) You might ask why THEY aren't, but since I can hear those brain cells scritchin' like a flea-bitten hound, I'll let you off the hook...

(whips off his CAT Diesel Power hat and dons a Che Guevara beret. Pulling an AK-47, he hoses down the studio, sparks and glass fly everywhere!)

Announcer: (sits in the only intact piece of furniture in the studio, quietly pissing himself)
Bubba: (turns to the camera)  Viva la revolucion!

I love a good gratuitous violence scene involving automatic weapons, bodily fluids, and charismatic Cubans that fits the production budget as much as the next guy, but hey, that was pretty embarrassing.  The worst part was the studio said it was all my fault and sued me.  I had to go Chapter 11 and freelance under an assumed name so they couldn't garnishee my wages.

They should've never let Bubba back out on parole.  Now he sends me these stories, ravings actually, and I punch them up and send them here.  I hate being such a whore, but I really need the money.  He says I'll see the light someday, but when I do it'll probably be the train.

Meanwhile he's got plenty of pals.  I keep playing and re-playing the video to try to understand why:

Acte III:  The Man on the Street
Bubba?  Where is that sonovabitch!  MUST -- KILL -- BUBBA!
- Irate husband.

Have you or have you not been in contact with this person (flashes photo).  He's wanted in connection with the disappearance of several hundred thousand dollars worth of classified electronic gear.  Any information you give would be held in strictest confidence (smiles like a shark).

- Unidentified woman in mirror shades and black miniskirt

Bubba?  He helped me do my taxes last year!  (Grins wildly and hurries off)

- Burly man in jeans and oil-spattered cap.

Have you or have you not been in contact with this person (flashes photo).  We want to ask him a few questions regarding the disappearance of several IRS auditors in this area.  All information you do not give will be held against you on April 15th (smiles like a myopic shark).

- Unidentified man in leisure suit and horn rimmed glasses.

Huh?  Hey, you're one of THEM aren't you!  (sprints away from the camera)

- Some paranoid dude.

Have you contact with been persona this or no, budzola (flashes photo). We question him want about TV interference from stupid SETI project his. Ruining Beverly Hillbillies reception! (everts eyestalks reassuringly)

- Butt-ugly alien holding blaster.
Acte IV:  Bubba's SETI Project
(You still here?  You must be here for the gear ...)

Well, it's nearly 4:00 am and I've got a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of electronics in a rack by my head.  I'd be a good test case for those electric power transmission line alarmists back in the early nineties.  You remember them don't you?  They're the ones who said your 'nads would fall off or or you'd sufferr brain dimmage from thoose terible nasty wire thingies going over my trailer.  No weigh thet would do any damige to my hed butt what was I talking abowt?  Uhhhhh...

Sorry, had to go get some tinfoil from the Wriggly Piggy.  Now where was I?

Oh yeah, I'm sitting hear next to a bunch of electronic gear looking for aleens and testing the bejeezus out of my new tranzmittrs, and we've got the cuvers off and there's likely all kindz kinds of radiators flying around, little neutrins and elections zippin thruw my head, and they sed itt couldn't happyn hear.  An a little bitty man just stepped insid the treller. He's 3 fete tal and gray an carrin a case a Bud andn were partyin now boyz hey cutt it owt haaaa-ha-ha-ha-haaaa...

Ah crap, just as things were getting interesting, I had to go take a leak.  Hey, where'd all this beer come from???


Acte V:  It'll Never Work!
Uncle Bubba's House of Karma

Hot Psychic Tips
Karmatic Sinks and Sources
Prayer Wheels Greased
Auras Reconditioned
Industrial Strength Mantras


Mantra for the day:
"It'll never work."
Step right up.  I've got a million of 'em.  "It'll never work." How do I know this to be true?  Look around, and you'll see what I mean.  War, pestilence, bad haircuts, ugly yellow toenails - all these confirm it.  Gingivitis, yeast infections, head lice, Christ, even TB's making a comeback (too bad, I hate reruns).  No more recreational sex with 500 partners a year without it fallin' off, or out or whatever, and those cute little monkeys at the zoo turned out to be disease-ridden, feces flingin', hand-bitin', nasty little critters carryin' AIDS, Ebola, and God Knows Whatall to the civilized world.

Downright dangerous out there!

So you'd better have a good mantra.

True, it doesn't have the wishful, insecurity annihilating ring of say, "I am the Earth Mother" or "I tap my Male Power Within", but at least it's something that anybody'd believe.  What the hell is a Earth Mother anyways?

So you've gotta have a believable mantra.

And it's no secret that technology is all smoke and mirrors.  Geez, you can't even fix your goddam car anymore; it's got a goddam computer in it!  If that craps out, bub, you'd better have good shoes, 'cause you're hoofin' it!  All the films out of Hollywood have the same theme: technology never works, it always comes down to the action hero(ine) openin' up a can of kick-ass and greasing the bad guys with a bare-knuckled solution.

So your mantra better kick butt, too!

Which is why I say unto thee,

"It'll never work."

Fifty bucks, please...

Epilogue:  Fair Warning
Congratulations, you've made it all the way.  You're obviously a gamer, and now you've got a good idea of what lies ahead.  If you think you can handle it, you're a better hominid than I.  But it's no shame if your head's hurting after all that drivel.  Just do what I always do -- run, do not walk to the nearest pub and drown the brain cells you used to read this.   That trick almost never works, Bullwinkle, but at least it helps me forget that more Bubbagrams are in the mail, winging my way like holiday gifts from Ted Kaczynski, and it gives me time to plot my revenge, which will be sweet indeed.

That is, when I finally find that bastard Bubba.

Copyright © 1998 by Jim Parnell

Jim Parnell squashes bugs for a living -- like the ones that infest your computer. For fun he writes stuff like what you just read, as well as other stuff. See Ma, that's what happens when you don't send your kids to Harvard. You can e-mail Jim Parnell at

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