As ever, readers who are new to the diary, please scroll down a bit to where you see the Thppgrg tag. Click on it. Yeah, that’s right. Otherwise, if you missed part fourteen, you can just click here. (Art by Chris McFann.)
Best Monday EVER.
I mean, it was still pretty horrible, and full of stress and annoyances and existential malaise and one brief stabbing (not of me, thankfully!) and such-like, but it was without a doubt the very least-worst Monday I’ve ever had.
I could get used to this whole “management” thing.
First and foremost, Neil, the giant-tie-wearing acid-spitting giant spider is actually totally great to work with. Or “above,” I guess. As an underling, he’s prompt, punctual, and just sociopathically sycophantic to the point of making me want to puke; when I let him keep his title of Associate Project Double-Interim Vice Director for the Department of Levels 1 and 2 (adding only two instances of the word “Assistant” to the very front of it), I thought he was going to cry. He had it painted on his door at his own expense, after all . . . and it leaves me something to take away from him later if he crosses me.
Who says I’m not learning the evil-ropes?
Also, he makes a great cup of rat-based coffee, and I’m pretty sure he only spit a very little bit of acid into it.
My three idiot nephews, meanwhile, are as dumb and sass-mouthy as ever before—if not somehow, terrifyingly, more-so; I blame the Internet and skateboarding—but also now exist in a constant state of abject terror at the thought of Neil killing and eating them.
That may be because I have intimated—repeatedly—that Neil is going to kill them and eat them the first chance he gets. And although I suppose it’s true that the idiots are not technically motivated to do their jobs via this system of terror-inducement, they ARE at the very least motivated to stay out of my way.
Which is more than good enough for me.
Most of their day today, helpfully, was spent cleaning up the results of that ever-escalating prank-war with that dwarf-or-possibly-pirate in the haunted woods; he’s getting creative. In addition to the rotten fish guts and poison ivy he rubbed on the door of the dungeon and the green-painted thumbtacks he spread in the yard, the guy must have spent all freaking weekend building and rigging up that hellwasp-filled, Greek-fire-soaked, three-times-scale poop-piñata so that he could burn me in effigy in style. It was really impressive, and—I think—truly captured my signature look of wry, sardonic, put-upon, unamused, cynical, exasperated disappointment with the world before it exploded into flames and fire-proof homicidal bugs.
ALSO: It was really funny watching my idiot nephews soaked in flaming poo and angry hive-minded extra-dimensional apex predators, running around trying to put each other out with stick-whacks to the head and rolling around in the tacks.
Wish I had video-taped it.
That led directly to the brief stabbing, by the way; Pp’grgth, Grg-thpp, and Winslow eventually solved their problem by utilizing a nearby creek, the murder of several local woodland creatures, and some ill-explained applications of what I can only presume were “cartoon physics”—and then immediately fell into the goblin version of the blame-game, which involves sharp knives and kidneys.
I despise my species.
In other good news, I think I might have convinced Larry the he-medusa to let me hire on those three applicants that I really liked as “outside-intern-interim-assistants” or “intern-temp-associate outsiders” or “inter-sales-call outside-analysts” or some other such thing that I made up on the spot. Dan, Kyle, and Mighty Mike the Mighty Mite wouldn’t get paid, technically, but they WOULD get college credit . . . and then they’d be next in line if something happened to any of my nephews.
Here’s hoping (a) that the mysterious map the three idiots found inside that demon-faced monument leads to something lethal, and soon, and (b) that Larry goes for it.
My greatest fear is that if these idiot nephews die, they’ll be replaced with three MORE of my idiot nephews.
Say what you like about my boss, Stonnehyldd the Super-Smart Stone Golem—like that she’s officious, and demanding, and rude, and a huge pain in my butt, for example—but when she wants something, she gets results. And fast.
ANYWAY: apparently rehearsals for Margin of Errors: +/-L.OV[E] begin tomorrow night at the Ridiculously Toxic Posie Coffee-House and Local-Art Co-Op down on Level 3. Stonnehyldd will be directing. Musical accompaniment will be provided by the “Exceptionally Evil Accounting Department Pan-Jazz Double-Quintet” from Level 426; choreography by Kevin the Chuul. And the main female romantic lead will be played by the punk-dwarf barista Abliguritia Thundersmasher-Roth, who might just be the most attractive creature ever put into a campaign setting.
My three nephews will be working set construction. They all tried out for the lead role of the (still unnamed) stuttering vampire astrophysicist, but it was snatched up by a guy named Greg who actually is a vampire, and also has a great singing voice, and who looks a lot like a prettier Orlando Bloom and less like a green sack of turds wearing a sideways baseball cap . . . which is what all three of my nephews look (and sound) like.
So I’m pulling an all-nighter to write the stupid thing.
Or, more accurately, Jimbo and Princess Leafy and Mr. Bliss and General Vladamir VanO’Shaughnessy Blah-blah-blah #3 and I will be pulling an all-nighter, because writing a rock-opera romantic-comedy mistaken-identity musical about a spiked pit-traps-building competition in a single night calls for teamwork.
And maybe a montage. And coffee.