Monday, September 29, 2014

Paul Rugg Podcasts with Kevinn Gomez

Image: Voodoo Rules
I return from incredible medical adventures: pain, drugs, baffling complications, and a nurse who pronounced "nausea" as "nocha."

As I slowly recover, tuck into this interview with Friends in Hell podcaster Kevinn Gomez chatting with voice-over and animation ace Paul Rugg. Learn more about Freakazette and the voice actors who backed the Guy With Lighting in His Hair.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mystery of The Pilfered Gnome

Dame Medicine holds me in her sterile clutches, so no posts for a few days. Until my return, I present you an excerpt from a young adult mystery series posted a few years back.

Jimmy Lee Caper: Jerkwad Teen Detective by Preston Haggis.)

Volume VI: Mystery of The Pilfered Gnome


Jimmy Lee Caper - rude, selfish, junior detective.

Elmo Montpelier - Jimmy's best friend, an affable, young hunchback.

Professor Lincoln Mancrisp - Stern headmaster of Quillham Academy; addicted to pizza rolls.

Hannah Hooverton - Jimmy's clever, ambitious classmate.

Dr. Thane Blackingham - Eerie, mysterious owner of a tall dark tower.




"I wonder what the old creep wants now?" said Jimmy, rapping sharply on Professor Mancrisp's office door.

"He sounded mad," whispered Elmo."I think this time we're really gonna get it."

"Don't be such a baby, Mount McKinley."

Elmo rubbed his hunchback defensively. "Do you have to call me that?"

"Yeah, I do. There's an alp growing out of your back."

 The door swung open and Professor Mancrisp towered over the boys, a pizza roll stuck in his great red beard. "Enter, young gentlemen. We're going to discuss a missing lawn gnome. I hope for your sakes that you didn't take it.

Exchanging worried glances, Jimmy and Elmo entered the Professor's cluttered office. They sat upon stacks of books while the professor cleared space on his desk, shoving aside a microwave oven and several pepperoni pizza roll boxes. Perching on a desk corner, the professor wiped away the dangling roll from his beard and grasped a long ash cane. "I want answers."

"Or what?" sneered Jimmy.

Professor Mancrisp smacked the cane down on his desk. "Don't cross me, Mr. Caper, or I'll beat you so hard you'll wail like an old Cheyenne squaw at a massacre."

Elmo pondered the professor's complex threat as Jimmy said weakly, "Better not," Jimmy respected brute force and knew from bitter experience the Professor wasn't bluffing. And for that, he'd pay back Professor Mancrisp someday in a coin of woe.

"The Great Gnome of Quillham has gone missing,"said the professor. "It was last seen yesterday evening in its customary place before the administration building. This morning, one of your peers, Miss Hooverton, reported it missing.

"Ha," snorted Jimmy. "Hanna's nose is browner than a turd. She probably swiped it so she could report it missing and win suck-up points with the teachers."

"Hanna wouldn't do that," cried Elmo."She's kind and decent."

"What do you know, mountain back?"

Professor Mancrisp pointed the ash cane at Jimmy. "That sounds like another hunchback insult. Apologize to Mr. Montpelier."

"Oh, Jimmy was just kidding. It doesn't bother me," said Elmo as Jimmy mumbled something vaguely apologetic. Elmo smiled politely,  but in his mind he crafted an image of Jimmy with one foot caught in a storm grate as a fiery iron mallet descended from the sky, smashing Jimmy Caper into flaming, bloody chunks.

The Professor frowned. "Why do you pal around with him, Mr. Montpelier? He insults you, borrows money that he never repays, and often puts a football under the back of his shirt, the better to mock you. Don't you deserve better?"

 Elmo shrugged. "My Auntie says it's a moral test: if I can hang out with Jimmy all through Quillham, there isn't anything I can't do in life. And after graduation, she'll pay for an operation to remove my hump. At least she says she will. Nothings on paper."

"That's the way it goes," sneered Jimmy in a mocking sing-song.

The professor sighed, seemed about to comment, but shrugged and said, "In any case, that plaster Gnome with its vacant politician's smile, has stood upon the lawns of Quillham for 113 years. It is part of our rich heritage. Now suddenly it's gone. What do you know, Mr. Caper?"

"Man, I didn't take your stupid Gnome. But I'll bet I could learn who did. I bet I could find out before you."

"Really, Mr. Caper? I admit, you've had some success solving small mysteries around here. A few people think you're a young Sherlock Holmes."

"Who's that?"

"Skip it. But I think you've benefited from blind luck and observant companions."

"That's a load," yelled Jimmy. "I'm the smart one. I'm the one who figures things out. And I'll find that gnome and you'll look as dumb as an old wino eating pizza rolls under a bridge."

With a whistling crack, the professor brought the ash cane down on Jimmy's hand.

"Owww! What was that for?"

"Metaphorical insults count the same as real ones. Very well, Mr. Caper. Locate the gnome and we'll discuss our respective intelligence later."

Jimmy smirked. "What do I get for finding it?"

Professor Mancrisp held up the ash cane. "Think more along the lines of what you won't get."

Outside the faculty building, Jimmy and Elmo walked quickly, pulling Quillham blazers tight around their collars in the crisp autumn air. Jimmy seethed, shaking his sore hand. "Where does that old fart get off hitting me?"

"I don't know," said Elmo, still enjoying the moment, relishing the hours he'd replay it in his mind.

 Jimmy seemed mystified. "Nothing sticks to him. I've ratted the professor out to Child Protective Services for beating me with that stick. I've planted kiddie porn on his computer and called the feds. I've told the cops he was an old fruit who tried to queer me. I swear, the guy is made of Lucite. Stuff that's worked with every teacher, parent, child psychologist, social worker, and counselor just slides off old Mancrisp. What's worse, he's becoming a hero to other adults. I gotta find a way to pull the plug on Professor Pizza Roll."

Elmo struggled to keep up with Jimmy."What about the gnome?"

"How the hell should I know? You got five?"

Elmo handed him a new five-dollar bill. "Thanks, McKinley," said Jimmy as he jogged across the quad, away from the hunchback. "I'm gonna get a burger at the student center. Why don't you ask around, see what we can dig up on the gnome. Are we cool?"

"Hey, no problem," called Elmo to Jimmy's back. For a brief moment, he wished he could mentally kill people like in Firestarter, but the impulse passed and Elmo wearily waddled off toward the administration building.

He saw Hannah and waved. She waved back. Elmo started toward her but was suddenly struck on the head by a water balloon, dropped from a nearby tall mysterious tower.  Drenched, Elmo examined the remains of the balloon.

It was then he found the note.

A moment after he realized the balloon hadn't been filled with water.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Paul Rugg Podcasts TVIT

As mentioned back in July, medical maladies mount up with massive malevolence. Why so coy? Why not name my poison? Why so much stinking alliteration?

Because of commerce.

My health care runs out shortly and medical expenses mount. However my niece has a flair for business and suggested that I Kickstart a light-hearted, yet helpful, book project about my ongoing health issues. Top contributors could receive some heady, if offbeat, premiums.

I'm seriously mulling this over. If I decide, I will make an announcement in two weeks, depending, of course, on my health.

Meanwhile, in the world of podcast improvisation, Paul Rugg and troupe aired their first episode last Wednesday. Many fine laughs were provided free of charge. From a technical stand-point, I found streaming on the blog to be smoother than clicking onto the provided link. But one must factor in that my laptop is so old it runs on pine knots. Nevertheless, Paul and company will return on October 15th with an as-yet-unnamed guest.

A bucket of chuckles awaits.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

TVIT with Eric Bauza

I'm assured that a microphone with rays will be used.

At 8:00 PM Pacific Time, to be exact. Listen as Paul Rugg, Eric Bauza and other comedic improv and voice over actors take suggestions and run with them as if they were in a fine theater. Only they'll be podcasting. Other than that, there's no difference. No real difference. Name one, if you can.

Listen to That Voiceover Improv Thing, oh, listen here.

Image: Fineart America

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rugg Wrestles Dalai Lama

He could have sat on the sidelines, but no, my friends. Paul Rugg has hurled himself into the whirlwind, joining myself and others in again beseeching His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to review The Little Book of Big Enlightenment. Rugg wished "Mr. Lama" to know:

Nihil Obstat

"JP Mac's The Little Book Big Enlightenment will change your it has mine. I'll give you an example: this morning when I woke up I didn't cry uncontrollably at the thought of facing another day. Instead I turned to page 32 of The Little Book Of Big Enlightenment and used one of its many helpful tips to find inner peace. Then I had coffee. Then I wrote a poem. Then I paid some delinquent bills."

And there's more over at Froynlaven

In the news, the Dalai Lama has just called for an inter-faith conference in India. How long do you think that took? A minute, maybe. ('Why don't we have an inter-faith conference right here in the sub continent? Okay? Make it so.') While waiting for inter-faiths to gather, His Holiness could be reading The Little Book of Big Enlightenment, because it is a very fast read. His wisdom will make a wise, but short, book even wiser. (But no shorter.)

Contact the 14th DL at:


Website Feedback:

Ask him nicely if he'll please review The Little Book of Big Enlightenment. Oh, and His Holiness has a spokesman named Galek Namgyal. That's probably who you'll end up talking to . . .  Galek the Gatekeeper. 

Don't be rude. Don't giggle at his name. However insist that Galek earn his soup by passing on your review request to the DL.

I mindfully thank you. Enjoy some kale.


Website Feedback: - See more at:

Website Feedback: - See more at:

Website Feedback: - See more at:

Hollywood Slush Pile: When Shriners Attack

From two years ago, this is a slightly augmented version of my last—to date—offering from the Slush Pile.
(Here is the third edition of Tales From The Hollywood Slush Pile exploring the quarter million unsolicited screenplays that perish each year, passed over and forgotten along with their authors. This week we examine a work that sought to explore the depths of paranoia, but just didn't.)

“Dawn and a small Oregon town sleeps deeply like a sloppy drunk on New Year’s day. Suddenly the early morning peace is split by the sound of many tiny engines. 

Then they appear. 

A young women out jogging is the first to see them, riding out of the mist. She screams a forlorn scream of terror and despair and a darker emotion too primal to name but sometimes heard in Costco. 

But it is too late. 

They are many. 

They are Shriners. 

And they have come to rule.” 

The above passage was taken from an outline prepared by Lisa Manly-Guam. Author of the screenplay, They Came in Little Cars, (originally titled Mark of the Fez). Manly-Guam was a 24-year-old activist from Salem, Oregon. Other than writing this cryptic photo play, she remains a cipher. All we know for certain is that Lisa believed passionately in odd things.

One of her outrĂ© fears involved a patriarchal coup undertaken by the Shriners, an offshoot of the Masons. Formed as a fraternal order in 1870, the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, or Shriners, are noted for charitable works, wearing silly hats and riding little cars in parades. In Manly-Guam’s opus, they are the hidden hand behind the world’s ills, infiltrating politics and banking; biding their time, tugging strings from the shadows.

And then one day they strike.

 In her 1997 tale, the small town of Pine Head, Oregon is overrun by a Shriner horde. Shocked citizens cannot escape and must endure a reign of enforced fun. Our protagonist is the same jogger from the outline, Jenny Loam. In the wake of invasion, she find herself isolated as her parents and siblings embrace the Shriner ethos of good times and service. Loam stays silent, outwardly complying, even joining a Shriner women’s auxiliary, the Daughters of the Nile.

But inwardly, she vows to throw off the Shriner yoke.

Eventually Loam forms a guerrilla band, obtains automatic weapons and ambushes the Shriners at their weekly parade. Steel-jacked slugs riddle the invaders. Little cars crash, bursting into little flames. The Shriners attempt to fight back, hurling water balloons, but they are cut down like bunch grass. The film ends on a close shot of a bloody fez.

Registered with the Writers Guild of America West, Manley-Guam's screenplay landed at Sun Nova Pictures, a small independent production company. The coverage was puzzled.

      “The Shriner Menace failed to deliver. They came across as goofy but benign.”

     “Didn’t the Shriners build a hospital in Pine Head? Killing them sends a mixed message.”
     “Perhaps the story would make more sense if Jenny’s parents were maimed by a little car.”

Out of the slush pile and into the wastebasket.

No more is know about the subsequent life of Lisa Manly-Guam and her Shrinerphobic epic. She remains anonymous. But that happens. Unknown authors are as common in this town as…well…unknown screenplays.

But now a lost tale has finally been told.

Free Republic

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Little Book Slams New Age

SVP Wiki
There is much to recommend The Little Book of Big Enlightenment. Now there is even more: a cogent description! To the point:

"You don't need to know dharma from doughnuts to enjoy this lighthearted look at New Age practices and direct mail marketing. Because of legal wrangling and a "chakra mishap," a book on rapid spiritual enlightenment has been released with two completely different styles. On the one hand, you have the soothing mindfulness of New Age Master Lompoc Tollhaus, informing you about his discovery of "condensed enlightenment." On the other hand, you have the brash, edgy copy of ghostwriter JP Mac, pushing spirituality with all the finesse of a man selling Ginsu Knives on late night cable.

Guru and ghostwriter snark, snipe, and leak embarrassing personal information as they inform readers about a three-step method for attaining a new consciousness in the time it takes to read the "Little Book." In addition, Tollhaus and Mac both warn against the deceptions practiced by New Age corporate giants, better known as "Big Spirit."

However, in the midst of their squabbles, something subtle and unexpected occurs, forcing Lompoc Tollhaus to decide whether he really believes in his own discovery.

It's Deepak Chopra versus a Viagra salesman in a short, fast "Little Book" that delivers a rainbow of laughs."

This new description is up on Smashwords now and will be on Amazon shortly.  Oddly enough, you may purchase the "Little Book" on such sites as:

1. Amazon

2. Smashwords

3. Barnes and Noble

4. Baker & Taylor Blio

5. Kobo

Friday, September 12, 2014

Paul Rugg Podcast Part 2

Animaniacs Wiki
 Stop by podcast Friends from Hell for twenty-five minutes of Paul Rugg recollections, courtesy of host Kevinn Gomez. Hear how Mr. Director became an Animaniacs character and discover the history of "froynlaven."

Update: If you happen to be in the mood for even more Paul Rugg, mark next Wed. Sept. 17, as Paul and friends launch their first improvised podcast. Check out That Voiceover Improv Thing for more details and the name of a special guest.  

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Freak-a-con Inbound for 2015

 Twenty years ago next year, Freakazoid! went into full-fledged production. And look where it is today! Actually, that's the point. Negotiations so secret that I must shhhhhhhh myself are underway that could lead to a festive weekend of Freakazoid related events and panels and—please don 't be cross if it doesn't happen—a bear riding a motorcycle.

Paul Rugg has this to say about Freak-a-con.

In between 7Ding, Tom Ruegger may add his voice.

UPDATE: Tom has indeed spoken on the subject

But add your voice. If you'd like to attend Freak-a-con
leave a comment and tell us what you'd like to see.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Dalai Lama Ducking Review

Image: Healthy, Happy Green Blog
 His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, promoter of world harmony, spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, all-around Buddhist stud, has been asked by me to provide his thoughts and comments on The Little Book of Big Enlightenment. The Dalai Lama's insights on a short work that could revolutionize the field of spirituality will be invaluable. Despite a busy schedule, I believe His Holiness will approve of the phenomena of "rapid enlightenment," a three-step system guaranteed to bring a high consciousness to the great mass of humanity. I'm not saying the Dalai Lama is ducking the review. This is a man who smiles with compassion at Chinese commie thugs. But he is very busy with initiations, teaching and empowerments and might need a little nudge.

Help me help the Dalai Lama add his two spiritual cents to a groundbreaking, consciousness raising eBook, The Little Book of Big Enlightenment.

Contact the 14th Dalai Lama at:


Website Feedback:

Ask him to please provide his mindful comments on The Little Book of Big Enlightenment

And while I have already sent him a free review copy, let his Holiness know that The Little Book of Big Enlightenment is available at the following venues:

1. Amazon

2. Smashwords

3. Barnes and Noble

4. Baker & Taylor Blio

5. Kobo

Please tell his Holiness that it's a short work and he should be able to zip through the eBook in no time, especially if he skips the "Acknowledgements."

Thank you so much. I will post updates on the progress of the 14th Dalai Lama in reviewing my book on rapid spiritual enlightenment. 

Namaste, man. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Hollywood Slush Pile Features Where's Aida?

Back again by demand that, while not popular, would be if it were heard. 
(Here is the second edition of a series exploring the quarter million unsolicited screenplays that perish each year, passed over and forgotten along with their authors. This week we highlight a strange comedy that came close to seeing the big screen.)

Vaughn Flores worked for a temp agency in Alhambra, giving typing tests, making coffee, and getting everyone to sign office birthday cards. Each night he returned to a small home in La Crescenta where he lived with Grandma Flores. One winter evening in 1994, while smoking pot in his room and watching Matlock, Vaughn decided to write a screenplay. Then he'd have one just like everyone else who worked at the temp agency.

By summer 2002, after numerous distractions and many bags of chili Fritos, his project was ready. He called the script, Where’s Aida? Vaughn’s surrealistic comedy revolved around the Zavala clan, an extended Mexican family and their pet cow Beso de Leche. A headstrong bovine, Beso constantly tries entering the house to watch television, preferring soap operas to soccer and news.

Whenever a crisis arises, the Zavalas call upon bossy-but-lovable daughter Aida to fix things. Never seen throughout the film, Aida is the measuring stick by which other characters resolve their conflicts—what would Aida do? After a big fight and chase, the movie ends with the Zavalas realizing Aida is a real pain-in-the-ass. They move without leaving her a forwarding address

Getting tips from his temp agency pals, Vaughn managed to land the script at 20th Century Fox and Touchstone Pictures. But his work never passed the junior coverage readers. Said one about the screenplay: “More TV than film and bad TV at that, though I liked the cow.” Another wrote that 'Aida' seemed “a cross between Waiting for Godot and The George Lopez Show but with a funny cow.”

And so 'Aida' teetered before the plunge into that Tartarus of discarded visions called the Hollywood Slush Pile.

But in an odd twist, a company called Baja Quality Entertainment learned of the property through the grapevine and optioned it from Vaughn. They shot a screen test of a young actress, Carmen Solano, and a cow chosen to play Beso. 

 Where's Aida? seemed poised to spring from screenplay to produced movie. But the cow wrangler wanted too much cash upfront. Negotiations collapsed. The screenplay achieved the sterile honor of also landing in the Baja slush pile.

Deal deader than cheap gas, Vaughn lapsed into a depression. He had quit his temp job and used the Baja option money to buy a hash pipe and a cravat in anticipation of being a screen writer. Grandma Flores had already invited their family and friends to the Oscar awards. But time dulls all wounds. Vaughn realized that the hard work of writing didn't exactly fog up his bong. There were other things in life. And while he never stopped smoking pot, he eventually found a job where it didn't matter. Today, Vaughn Flores is in charge of Amtrak.

And now a lost tale has finally been told.
 video: lichoo

Monday, September 01, 2014

Appalling Yarns Paints It Black

Stand by for a full ration of hilarious, dark humor. Sharp writing and exquisite detail characterize Dutch Heckman's thirteen short stories that spare no one's feelings. Explore tales such as a town's relationship with a likeable, child-eating ogre, or the ambition that leads a man to sell his soul in exchange for a job as a TV weatherman. Consider this a very modern, post-modern eBook, eclectic in its targets, and relentless in its obsidian vision of life. If you've been feeling exceptionally upbeat about matters in general, don't forget to pick up a copy of Appalling Yarns. You'll be different afterwards.

Currently, Appalling Yarns is featured on Amazon's Hot New Releases.

It also falls in the Top 30 for Dark Comedy.

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