Outhouse, Gummo and the Ring

Knock, knock.Dear Columbia University, below are further examples of Nomaville journalism that might have been overlooked by the Pulitzer Prize committee (yup, we’re still awaiting word on our last dispatch – also, did you get the cannoli?). These stories are, for the most part true-ish, which is to say, I only made up the untrue parts. Enjoy, DH

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A Kenwood teenager is suing his parents after he finally discovered that his room in their wine country home is actually an outhouse. Seventeen-year-old Kenneth Lodger spent the better part of his youth in the so-called “addition,” convinced that the slim structure was merely an example of shabby architecture, not a rustic water closet. He is also no longer confused as to why he had a window that looked into the ground instead of the surrounding scenery. Lodger learned of his parents’ deception when he sneaked a girl home for a make-out session, only to have her deride him for attempting to seduce her in a restroom. When he explained that the terms “bedroom” and “restroom” were synonymous, his date promptly corrected him. Talk about a crappy day.

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Sonoma jewelry appraiser Evan Smeagol claims to have uncovered the one ring to rule them all. The discovery occurred on the popular PBS program, “Antiques Roadshow,” when New Jersey resident Jeff Baggins asked to have the ring appraised. The ring’s inscription intrigued Smeagol, who was told by Baggins that he had always thought the family heirloom was inscribed with a line from a Celtic poem. The jeweler recognized the script as Elvish and translated it as “One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” He then declared it his “precious,” put it on and turned invisible. The ring later showed up on eBay, where it was purchased by a user with the handle Sauron93. Smeagol had shipped the stolen property before authorities could collar him. Now, according to Tolkien scholars, the Fourth Age is totally screwed.

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Gummo Marx, the only Marx Brother said never to have appeared on film, has turned film scholarship on its head this week. Researchers at the Sonoma Cinema Preservation Society discovered a reel of film dating back to 1919, a decade before the Marx Bros. debuted in “Coconuts.” In it, Gummo is depicted as “Le Menton Noir,” French for “the Black Chin,” for his greasepaint goatee. The Black Chin proceeds to murder three of his brothers in a fit of rage over their abuse of his pet duck, Waldo. The resulting carnage, billed at the time as “the most sensational vision of violent gore unleashed on this mortal earth” was censored by French authorities, and Gummo was subsequently remanded to La Verrière, the asylum most noted for imprisoning the Marquis de Sade. Film scholars said it was unlikely that Le Menton Noir would ever be released to the public due to its graphic violence, which one researcher said transcends anything in contemporary cinema for its sheer evil. However, it was leaked on YouTube within 24 hours, where it has enjoyed only mild success.

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Vegetarians beware! Biologists have discovered a man-eating plant on the southernmost shore of Bodega Bay. The carnivorous flower is said to resemble a shark in most ways except, insists biologist Ramsey Cutler, it’s a plant. Cutler is said to have discovered the plant while strolling along the beach with his assistant Ralston Peters, both of whom were eating native mushrooms picked earlier that morning. Peters apparently ran into the sea, exclaiming he wanted to “embrace the great love suckle,” which promptly ate him. Cutler immediately recorded his findings, remarking that the plant’s underwater agility is likely due to its fins and tail. He also noted that the plant has several rows of teeth and seems to be attracted to blood. Cutler named the plant “The Doorstep Lens” in honor of his colleague, who was fond of saying the phrase that day.

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