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February 26, 2024

Dumb Boogers

By Anna Parrish

I muttered a curse, ending it with the horrible word 'aliens,' and took another swig. "Whatzit to ya anyhow, huh? Whatzit to ya, ya dumb boogers?" I demanded of the air and took another gulp. The bottle was empty. Shaking did not produce more alcohol. I know; I tried.

They picked up Clarence the other day. He screamed and fought to get free of THEM but they were stronger. I huddled, shivering in panic, behind a garbage can and watched, too cold, too afraid, to go out and help. I didn't want THEM getting me. Clarence hadn't either but it was too late for him. There was nobody but me now. I sat alone in that alley, drank alone.

Muttering, "Dumb boogers," I flung the bottle against the wall. It shattered, lay spread on the alley ground with the dirt and debris already there. Rats ran from the sound and then came back to nose around the garbage for food. Sitting in the filth and stink, I heaped obscenities on the rainbow aliens. That's what I called THEM anyway. Well, one of the things. They called themselves something unpronounceable. They all had light, different color hair, like cotton candy, and wore light, different color robes. When they stood next to each other, they looked like a rainbow.

I hated THEM. Perfect cow manure that they are. Looking down their noses at me. Think they're better than any of us just cause we're drunks.

Ah! What did they know?


(Obscenity deleted.) . . . (Twice.)

I forced myself to stand. It wasn't easy but I wasn't drunk enough yet; I wanted to block out the world for a while. Hated the world. Didn't have a job, didn't have a home. Didn't have any cash either; my pockets were empty. Guess I'd have to beg for money, and watch out for THEM.

The government should make THEM leave us alone. Wasn't any of their business anyhow. If we wanted to drink ourselves until we were silly, kill our livers and our stomachs, our brains, oh, fart, our bodies, it was no one's business but ours, stupid turds.



So, you stupid government, stand up then and tell THEM that. Make THEM leave us poor sapheads alone. But would they? Obviously not. If I voted, I wouldn't vote for any of them again.

It took me most of the morning to get that money. I growled at one man that said, "I thought they were cleaning you guys up."

Guys? Go jump in the lake. The last time I looked, I was a woman. Name's Caroline, by the way, not Caroline By-The-Way, just Caroline. Just wanted you to know.

The coast seemed clear. Still, I stayed in the alley as much as I could. Noticed one thing about THEM (Expletive deleted) aliens; they hated alleys. Guess they're too dirty for THEM. They should live my life. I giggling as I thought of THEM sitting in the dark, getting dirty, getting drunk, getting hangovers. I loved that vision, THEM sitting in the garbage, holding their heads, moaning, hurling.

Bander's was having a sale. Good. Now I could get two for one. Bander's was my favorite place. He never asked questions. Sometimes we could talk him into a little credit, not often, but sometimes. He looked surprised as I entered. "I thought they grabbed you," he said.

"Who? Me? Nah. Want something to drink." I plunked the money on the counter.

"They're looking for you. They came in this morning and asked for you by name."

I made a rude noise. Like I cared; well, I did but that was none of his business. "Just gimmie the booze and stop yammering."

As he did, he said, "They got Clarence, didn't they?" I glared at him.

My eyes watered; my nose snotted up so I wiped them on my dirty sleeve and had to repeat the process. "Whatzit to ya?"

His cheeks turned pink. "I just wondered; I mean, he hasn't been in," he explained, stammering, embarrassed. He set the booze on the counter. He went to grab a sack, but, sneering, I grabbed the two bottles of gin and hurried out. I wanted the safety of the my alley.

I stopped in the doorway. Five of THEM were at the corner, walking away from me so I went the other way and doubled back.

A woman from the Missionary came that evening with food and a blanket. I took 'em, muttering a thank you as I did. "It's going to be cold tonight," she told me in that prissy voice of hers. I made a rude noise. "You can come and sleep..."

"Ah! They're there, waiting, (Obscenity deleted.), aliens. I ain't no fool, lady." I took a large swig of the gin.

"You know, they can help you," she started. So I cursed her. She became offended and stalked off. Shaking my fist at her retreating back, I drank some more. I was happy just as I was. Thank you very much.

They came for me at dawn. Actually came into my alley. I woke to a can being kicked. It pinked off a dumpster just as I roused to see those rainbow hues coming towards me. Yeeping, I shot backward, trying to get up. My head pounded. Sickness churned in my stomach. They touched me. I kicked at them. A couple of THEM went down in the muck, getting their pristine robes filthy. A part of me was glad but most of me was shot-full of terror. I was vaguely aware of the rats running from the noise and confusion we made. I bit THEM, clawed at THEM, not that it did any good for they didn't let me go. They still got me but they were bleeding and befouled with the excrement and refuse that littered the alley.

"Ah!" I thought in triumph as I lost consciousness.

I came to fastened to a table. I was naked, in front of THEM. I had been bathed. My nose picked up on that right away. My normal aroma had been altered. My head still ached like a sledge hammer was pounding my brain. I was still deathly ill. I tried to get up and couldn't. I cursed THEM, using every word I could think of and a couple I made up on the spot. They put something over my mouth to shut me up. I still tried but it did not good. Garbled sounds aren't as effective as true words. Besides, they didn't care. Looking down at me, they said, "We are helping!"

My mind shouted, "Did I ask ya to?" Course, they couldn't hear that. They injected me with something.

I turned icy cold, stiffened. Panic set in. I couldn't speak, couldn't tell THEM that something was wrong. I was going to die! I could feel my heart churning inside as panic hit and hit hard. My poor head! I could feel the nausea battling to come out. They turned into worms, tall, ashen worms that wore dresses, light green, light blue, yellow and pink. They had no noses. Their eyes were on the ends of stems, great globs of jelly that made me want to puke. I saw THEM wiggling. Their mouths opened and closed. Weird sounds came out of their oral cavities. So did foul odors. That smell sickened me further. I felt like throwing up but with my mouth taped shut, I couldn't. I was going to gag on that crap from my stomach, gag and die and rot in my grave! Sharp teeth gleamed every time they opened their jaws. When they came to me, looked down at me, I began to whimper and renewed my attempt to free myself.

Suddenly, I was in a dark cave. The smell of manure was overwhelming. I hoped it wasn't mine. I was known to fart and dirty my underwear by accident, what little was left of that under-covering. I had often snuck in the bathroom at the gas station to rinse out the poop.

A squealing from the black roof above me caught my attention. The racket of flapping wings came closer to me. Hundreds of bats swirled around me. They weren't black like normal ones; they were dark red and green and blue. They sang, "LET ME TROMP YOU TO DEATH." I hated that blasted song. Clarence used to sing it all the time. Drove me crazy, he did, sitting by the dumpster, serenading me. Like I really wanted that. "Shut up," I would snarl at him. Sometimes I would fling a can or a crumbled piece of masonry at him. Did that make him stop? Nope. He just kept singing it.

The bats flew at me. They used their claws to pull my hair. Yelling in fear and anger, I crouched down, but they just came lower. Picking me up, they flew upwards... and dropped me and I was falling and down below one of THEM waited, his arms held upwards, ready to catch me. I could see his pink hair and white robe.

I was on top of a mountain, freezing cause I was still naked and it was cold. I huddled, not that it did any good but I had to try didn't I? It was snowing, spewing frozen water everywhere, especially on me. I could feel it piling up on my head. Something howled to my right. Twisting my body, I looked up but didn't see anything. The howling shifted to my left. I moved in that direction. Nothing. The sound moved. It now came from my back. I whirled but again, saw absolutely nothing but white. Fear overcame me. Gibbering in terror, I tried to get away from the noise but it shifted once more, and then, a black shape jumped on me. It bit me, tiny bites that hurt and bled. One of THEM appeared. He had long pale green hair and was wearing yellow. He touched me.

There I was, sinking in stagnant and vile water. At least, I think it was water. It was all I could see. I battled to stay afloat but I was tired, and I had never learned how to swim so I kept sinking. The ocean was all around me, sloshing, swirling, pounding me. I went down, bobbed up. Water splashed in my mouth. I gagged on the horrible taste. It certainly wasn't booze. It might have been real water. It had been so long since I drank that stuff, I couldn't remember what it tasted like. The only sound was the noise from the movement of the liquid around me. My head popped under the watery expanse again. Trying to claw my way back to the top, I started to whimper. The fear of death was strong and terrifying. One of THEM appeared by my side. That alien held my head up out of the dark liquid that surrounded me.

The desert stretched out around me. All I could see was sand, that was all, no vegetation, no little creatures running back and forth. The sun beat down on me, baking my brain and my body, making me want to gag. My feet began to blister. My head ached, pulsating with the wild beating of my heart. Which way should I go? I saw no mountains, nothing but that gritty crap I was standing on. I started walking. Don't ask me which direction I went cause I couldn't tell north from south; I just walked. My eyesight wavered. Things got all blurry. I grew lightheaded, almost falling twice. Nausea hit hard. Sinking to my knees, I tried to throw up in that wasteland of dirty silica. Nothing came up, but I tried. Holding my throbbing stomach, I knelt there, groaning.

And here one of THEM came, his white hair flopping and his green gown swirling around his legs.

I was on a platform. I could see blue sky, white clouds. I could see the wood beams stretching out over me. A noose gripped my neck with unrelenting constriction. My hands were fastened behind me. "What the hell?" I demanded. No sound came out of my mouth. The noose tightened, just enough to feel it. I felt my eyes grow wide with terror. I was going to die! My mind screamed, "NO!" I was too young to take the long hike! Let me go! Let me go! That fright made my nose run snot. I could feel it rolling down into my mouth. It's salty taste was quite disconcerting. It reminded me of the night Clarence was taken and I wept. I hated weeping. It always made me feel weak.

Hearing footsteps, I moved my eyes downward. I saw one of THEM coming up the stairs. I noticed his pale blue hair.

I woke up in their labs, sweating, cold, exhausted. My head still felt like hammers were whacking me and the nausea was still intense. But... my mouth was once again free and I gave THEM what for.

"You damn boogers! What the Sam hill did you do to me? I'll sue! You just wait and see. I'll get a lawyer and file suit against you (Expletive omitted.)aliens. I'll take you for everything you got!" I struggled to get free. "Let me up! (Swearwords deleted.)" They unfastened my bindings. I sat up.

"We did not know our treatment would affect you in that manner." He had pink hair and a pale blue robe.

I glared at THEM. "(Obscenity deleted)."

"We apologize."

"What good is that? I almost died."

"We are most sincerely sorry."

Yeah, right, and I was born yesterday. "Where are my clothes?" I demanded.

"We destroyed them."

"Ya what?" I cursed THEM again, using every word that came to me. "Whatja do that for? Did I ask you to do it? Huh? Did I?"

"They were dirty."

"So? They were mine. I want them back." I glared at them. How dare they! If the grime offended them, they could have washed 'em. They didn't have to chunk 'em.

"We apologize; we cannot give them back."

He didn't sound sorry. Probably wasn't. "I can't walk around naked like a plucked jaybird! It's against the law and I'll get cold. So what am I gonna wear?" Another alien brought a jumpsuit and handed it to me. "I ain't gonna wear this! It's too tight. I'll pee in it before I can jerk it down."

"It's all we have to offer."

Like they cared, butt-headed aliens going around in dresses. I cursed them, calling them turds and toads and everything else I could think of and ended with, "Stupid aliens taking my clothes." Still, I took the jumpsuit and pulled it on; I couldn't go out in my all together. I may be a drunk but I was raised proper. Putting my hand on my hip, I demanded, "Can I go now?"


Muttering, cursing, I left them and immediately went to Bander's. His eyes grew wide. "Caroline?" He looked at my clothes. "What are you wearing?"

Ignoring that stupid question, I demanded, "Can I have a bottle on credit?"

-the end-

Article © Anna Parrish. All rights reserved.
Published on 2005-10-10
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