Dr. Kilduff or: How The Powerpuff Girls Taught Me to Love a Pun

Dr. K was my high school literature teacher for two years and he always had this thing about not using anything outside of the text in order to analyze it. Thus, a Plath poem entitled “Daddy” could not, ostensibly, have anything to do with her father. Or, rather, if it did, we couldn’t talk about it.

I never liked that and I finally figured out why: upon rewatching the PPGs, I realized that the majority of my sense of humor came from that show.

Puns? Got it.

The novel I’m trying to get published STAR CROSSED OR: THE CONFOUNDING CALAMITIES OF BYRON THE CAD AND MARIETTA THE ZOMBIE is filled to the brim with puns. They say that puns are the highest form of comedy. Even Shakespeare (eyebrow waggle) used them. SHAKESPEARE. And this dude.

One of the chapters has a subtitle about a Flouring Assassin. It’s about a little girl…who’s becoming an assassin…and SHE’S COVERED IN FLOUR. Or another chapter that tells the future with tea leaves. I call it a Pourtent of Tea. Ha! Even gardening puns make it:

“I can’t even tell if that’s a lie or the truth, it’s so disturbing.”

“My honor!” he snapped back.

“Is so neglected that it’s beginning to wilt from a lack of attention. Nothing I say or do is going to make a damn difference. Does it look like I have a watering can?”

“Hidden beneath the folds of your skirt I’ve no doubt you have at least twenty different ways of killing people and I assume that in assassination school they did teach you how to kill someone with a watering can if given the opportunity.”

“Yeah, the class was called Tenderizing the Garden–”

Absurdity? Yep.

There are zombie fleas that eat the insides of your hair follicles until they eventually burrow into your brain. People electrocute zombies back into life a la Victor von Frankenstein (a distant cousin linking the Shelley character and the Marvel villain*) and they go insane remembering the people they ate when they were undead. And even a slang spoken by street-dwelling triplet junior assassins:

“Swiss worm cheese, they told me you was. Dancing with the squirmies and drinking with the lord of the unforgettable yawn. To see you here, though, flesh peddling and boot stomping for wagon bits makes a Spittle use his hard-boiled noggin.”

They’re well educated street urchins.

A slightly unreliable narrator who bursts in inappropriately? Check.

The story is told in two parts. The first from Marietta’s perspective. The second from Byron. TRUST NEITHER. In fact, I don’t even think you can trust me. The narration shifts slightly from a close third on her and a close third on him, but affects the personalities of them while simultaneously telling about their lives.

Even now I have difficulty keeping it straight, and the point of view is something with which I struggle. That just means a little more editing to get it tight.

Catchy theme song? Uh, no. But I’m working on it.

But what this means is that in some parallel universe where my works are analyzed and critiqued, no one may ever dream of relating it to PPGs if they have a teacher like Dr. Kilduff. And that is just a travesty. It is the things that shape and mould us into the writers we are. And while it’s not imperative that one know everything about a particular author’s biography in order to analyze any works by said author, it often sheds light in the most mysterious of ways.

*Victor von Doom and Byron share a thing! They both believe they are horribly disfigured, due to only a small scar on their faces. Source. I mean, c’mon, guy. IT’S NOT THAT BAD.

From the Powerpuff Girls episode “Schoolhouse Rocked.” I’ll just leave this here:

Ms. Keane: Well, girls, I think Mr. Wednesday taught us a valuable lesson here today.

Bubbles: Education is the progressive realization of our ignorance?

Ms. Keane: No. Don’t turn your back in the middle of a dodgeball game!

Narrator: Oh, Ms. Keane! Under your rule, school is cool!

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Dracula is My Co-Pilot

Welcome to my blog! Enter freely and of your own will, and leave some of the happiness you bring (and by happiness, I mean, of course, your soul.)

What if blogs were like the thresholds to a person’s home? And what if vampires couldn’t enter them without being invited first? Well, the internetz would be much more bloodthirsty, more nocturnal, filled with pasty-looking weirdos, but also be filled with horrible puns (a la “Who ordered the stake? Oh, you? Is medium rare all right?”). So, basically, it wouldn’t change at all, but it’s my part here to change it just a little bit.

See, I’m a writer. No, you haven’t heard of me, but you will. I plan on enslaving you all using my Hypno-Ray into thinking that I am the second best writer on the planet. (Where do you think I got the MK from? From that article on wikipedia about MK Ultra, damn straight. Actually, from my parents.) Well, see, I can’t be the first because that belongs to a dead Russian author, but I can be cool with second. Lots of second things are pretty awesome: silver medals — good for melting down for silver bullets to kill werewolves. Uh, being second-string quarterback is pretty glamorous. (Or so I’ve been told because, let’s face it, I watch a man’s sport: curling. I mean, I wish I got paid for sitting around and doing nothing! Which is nothing at all like writing novels. No. Not at all. That’s silly.) And, let’s face it, where would Count von Count be without the number two? One! One bad joke! Ah ha ha. Ha. *sobs*

(I really don’t usually use this many parentheses when I write, but I feel that by exaggerating their application, I’m showing how hip I am in displacing the usual grammatical structure of these things by placing my somewhat irrelevant thoughts in them to show you that this is, indeed, not like your mama’s blog.)

No, I mean you’ll hear of me one day because I’ll become published and swanky and tattooed. *Needle scratch* Hi, mom. And by tattooed, I mean respectable. Like, monocle-wearing respectable. Maybe even a top hat. But not a Lincoln-sized top hat because, I mean, I’m not Lincoln-sized myself. That would just look ridiculous. I’m maybe 3/4 Lincoln-sized. But I do have an Indiana Jones hat that I may or may not wear and hum the theme song to Raiders of the Lost Ark when I’m re-enacting the Nazi-melting scene with my skull, Rochester bored. (I also have a whip. Ladies?)

Achnyway (I have a kid that I work with who always puts an ‘ach’ in front of words like anyway, okay, and hello, so that he sounds very Fiddler on the Roof-esque), this is a blog to introduce you (the reader and sometimes commenter, but hopefully not stalker or raging hater) to me (the writer and sometimes artist, but hopefully not attention-whore or annoying, awkward basement kid) as I finish up the second half of my novel and try to get published. This is sort of a way to get my name out there so I can create a fan base before even getting published! I hope to one day become Queen of the Interwebz. What? Felicia Day already has that title? Well, slap me with some whipped cream and get that ginger over here so’s we can fight for the right to bear that moniker! I mean, read this blog. Because I write it…covered in whipped cream. Okay, not really, but I’m sure there are tons of crumbs in my keyboard to attest that I eat next to my computer all the time, which is practically the same thing.

Mainly, I’ll be posting my thoughts about stuff that I encounter. Most of it will be about writing, but some will, admittedly, be about the stuff that keeps me up at 2AM. Who am I kidding? This might just be the weirdest blog you’ll check every day ending in -day and/or month ending in….er….-ber, but it’ll keep you up at night. Because you’ll be wondering what kind of brain thinks of things like what I’ll be posting. Not because I would ever stare at you while you sleep or anything. Only vampires do that. And remember, you invited me in.