UNDERGROUND VOICES: FICTION - 01/2012
BIG HEAD BOB THE CARP BLUES
Big Head Carp is in his 18921613’th lap in a huge fish tank on the window shelf, next to the dining table. He is a fighter! Nine years ago, Teresa paid 7 USD/kg for him in the fish market.
“What’s that picture, Dad?”
“It’s dead Iraqi.”
“How many did we kill yesterday?
“Death counter says 17.”
Everybody in the household calls the carp “Big Head Bob the Carp.” When Little Mimi wants to be nasty, she addresses him with his Latin name, Hypophthalmichthys Nobilis! When Bob is in the mood, he takes his revenge on Little Mimi with “Fucking Homosapiens!” The morning show on the radio station is dedicated to whales who are hurling themselves on the beach in New Zealand. The next question is so obvious, it is almost boring: “Why do we kill Iraqis?”
“Because we want to conquer their land and fuck their women.”
“Ken, don’t lie to her!” Teresa shouts from the kitchen. “We are not in the Middle Ages anymore.” She brings hot milk and an additional batch of pancakes to the table.
“Why do we kill them, Mommy?”
“Because we want to gain control over Iraqi oil reserves, empty weapon storages, test new weapons, and secure contracts for our multinationals.”
Mark, the eldest son, joins the family in the dining room. “Hi, Big Head!!” Pretending that he is very busy with 18921618’th lap, Bob doesn’t reply. He doesn’t even talk to him since Mark when “home alone” didn’t replace filter cartridges for two weeks, leaving Bob without proper oxygen, which resulted in cerebral haemorrhage. More than half of Bob’s brain is literally dead, he’s blind in his left eye, and his hearing ability is seriously affected.
“Where is Susan?” asks Teresa.
“She’s in the bathroom, shaving her pussy,” says Mark, sitting at the dining table. “Can I take the car today?”
“Ask your father.”
“Ken is not my father.”
“Yes, he is!”
“Not 100%. You said you fooled around with another guy at that time.”
“Here we go again!” yells Teresa. “That was that singer in the bar!”
“It wasn’t even a relationship. He was just my fuck buddy! I was in love with Ken, and there are good chances Ken is your biological father. We both love you, and nothing changes here!”
Mark tops pancakes with peanut butter and honey. “It would change for me if some famous musician was my father instead of Ken, philosophy teacher assistant!”
“No, it wouldn’t,” claims Teresa while Big Head Bob the Carp pushes his 11 kg in 18921623’th lap. Bob notices a stream of honey dripping down from the rear end of Mark’s pancake. Stupid bees! They work all their goddamn life for nothing, and then they get killed in a spoon of water. Not me! Bob is the fighter! He survived 5 movings, 17 cats, 3 dogs, 2 blackouts, 2 deliberate thrashings, and 1 accidental pissing in the aquarium. Big Head can’t swim straight because somebody burned his left pectoral fins with a lighter. Bob was still deep asleep when it happened. He suspected that the crime was the postman’s revenge after Teresa denied him morning blowjobs, but he had no proof.
“Was it Phil Collins?” picked up Mark.
“His real name is Philip David Charles.”
“It doesn’t ring a bell! That fellow wasn’t so famous. I told you it was just a bar singer,” says Teresa while Susan enters the dining room. The radio is still on. New Zealand is still there. Local residents and 23 vacationers are pushing half-dead whales back in the water.
“Even Phil Collins must have started in the bar sometime,” continues Mark. “They all start in the bar. I’m gonna have a DNA paternity test done. Did you guys hear how much his second wife cashed in after the divorce?”
Susan takes her place at the table and starts filling pancakes with ham and cheese. Big Head Bob the Carp stops swimming for a while, observing red meat. Only three months ago, it was part of an almost-happy pig running up and down his 2X2-m cell on the breeding farm, and look at it now! Bob, however, has no sympathy for the recycled pig. It simply didn’t deserve to live. In the still-operating hemisphere of his brain, the word “coward” flashed while he started 18921626’th lap.
“Honey, it is better to depilate your pussy in the evening!” shouted Teresa. It sounded like advice from grandma’s pharmacy. “You irritate the skin this way.”
“I know, Mommy, but I just received a message from two Swedish guys. They say they want to fuck me today, and I was thinking about an emergency Brazilian depilation.”
“They are on an exchange program in our high school.”
“Why don’t you take my tube of Vaseline in this case? They might be up for double penetration.”
Marine biologist Dr. Doubtson is arguing that the whales didn’t commit suicide but must have lost a sense of direction for an unknown reason. Big Head almost laughs when he hears this. Lost sense of direction my ass! Left was always left and always will be! Even in New Zealand.
“I want to kill Swedish,” Little Mimi cuts in.
“There are no Swedish in Iraq or Afghanistan,” informs Ken.
“Let’s kill Swedish in Sweden.”
“That’s illegal, Honey. Now, have another spoon.”
“No…No…I want to kill Swedish!” insists Little Mimi.
“Maybe we can get a couple of them in some humanitarian mission,” offers Ken.
“Or a journalist. That’s it! We can burn a Swedish journalist with napalm in Afghanistan… We’ll deeply regret the mistake later… One more spoon now…”
18921633’th lap. From time to time, Big Head Bob the Carp would release huge amounts of sperm into the fish tank. He did it not hoping to initiate offspring but just to remind everybody that he is the one with the biggest balls in the house. Luckily for him, no ideas for castration were launched yet.
“Mum, you know what Samantha said to me the other day?” Susan asks, mouth full. “She said I will go to hell because I fuck boys.”
“No, you won’t. Is she a virgin?” inquires Teresa over a frying pancake.
“You bet she is. She is the proud member of the club which organizes Catholic summer camps or something.”
“Just stay away from them, Honey!” shouts Teresa. “Tell Samantha there is no God and no hell! If she won’t let somebody pull down her knickers quickly, she’ll soon be spending more money on shrinks than the foreign debt of all of South America’s countries together.”
“I wanna kill South Americans!” yells Little Mimi, kicking a bowl of milk. Milk spills all over the table.
“That’s not necessary, Baby,” Ken explains. “We can light a fire and they’ll kill each other like rabbits.”
“I want to light a fire.”
“The CIA is paid to do it… Now another spoon…”
Bob makes a few particularly slow laps, pushing himself only with the lazy movements of his anal fin. Spilled milk fires good old sarcasm again. What’s the difference between a stupid cow and a gladiator? I don’t know. They feed goddamn people with milk all of their life, without proper compensation, and when the show is over, they are axed to pieces and served half done on the dining table. Mark calls a new shot: “Was it Mick Jagger!?”
“It wasn’t him, Baby,” patiently replies Teresa.
“His original name was Michael Philip Jagger.”
“Your big mouth looks like Jagger’s, but your forehead seems like Phil’s,” says Susan, dropping almost half of her pancake in the aquarium. “You’ll have to decide, Big Brother.”
“I heard Mick fucked 3,000 women,” says Mark, charging into the kitchen. “Maybe you landed on his dick accidentally somewhere; probably neither of you even remembers it. I’m getting a DNA test done!”
“It’s not necessary, Baby,” says Teresa. “Ken will give you the car keys today. Wouldn’t you, Kenneth?”
Mark grabs the keys and runs out of the house. Climbing in the 11-year-old Chevrolet Impala Cabrio, he shouts, “It wasn’t Barbara Streisand, was it?”
“No, it wasn’t,” confirms Teresa, leaning out the kitchen window. “I experimented with lesbianism in my teens, but not later.”
“I want to kill Bob… I want to buy goldfish,” says Little Mimi, but nobody hears her. Even Big Head doesn’t hear her clearly, but via his old, fat skin he senses a bad vibration in the air and swims the fastest lap in the last couple of years. Susan packs her things and rushes to catch the school bus while no whale survived throwing itself on the rocks in New Zealand.
If Big Head Bob the Carp owned a quality hearing aid, he would have heard the conversation that followed in the kitchen.
Kenneth: Honey, do you think we are sometimes a bit too open…too…straight with…
Teresa: No way, Ken! I told you before! I don’t want to hide anything from my kids. I don’t want them to suppress traumas and then suffer from phobias, panic attacks, depressions, obsessive-compulsive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, dementia…
Kenneth suddenly remembers silence in his father’s house after he was arrested for smoking pot in his teens. Silence which lasted for two and a half months, and then silence when he told his father he wanted to study philosophy. Silence, which lasted for three and a half years. And then silence that started when he moved out with Teresa and lasts to this very day.
Teresa: …sexual dysfunctions, bulimia, alcohol dependence, and pyromania. Christ, Ken! We don’t want a mental institution for our kids! Do we? I don’t want them to consume tons of Prozac, benzodiazepines, valium, and tranquilizers! I don’t want them to be members of support groups, suffer from nightmares, mood swings, schizophrenia… Kenneth: Darling, I’m late. Kiss.
That’s all, folks! If you want to know whether Bob survived Little Mimi’s puberty, you’ll have to subscribe to our newsletter. You will automatically be entered into our lucky draw, and with a little bit of luck, you could win the main prize: an aquatic laughing skull!
Other credentials: Recently his short story, LEFT RIGHT PROJECT, was published in the third issue of Structo magazine and his flash fiction, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT II, in Haggard and Halloo Magazine. And another, TROJAN TURKEY, in The Artillery of Words.
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