The Adventures of Mustard Man – Chapter 3

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So, you want to know the truth?
Fine. I don’t like mustard on my hot dogs. There. I said it. I’m a sauerkraut and relish kind of guy.
Happy now?
On hamburgers, give me ketchup, grilled onions, and maybe those bean sprouts they like in California. Or perhaps some guacamole.
After watching Pulp Fiction, I started dipping my fries in mayo. Before that, I’d drown them in nacho cheese.
The last Mustard Man put mustard on everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything.
However, the three teenagers they arrested him with in Bangkok looked more red than yellow.

The Adventures of Mustard Man – Chapter 2

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I have no idea why anybody would kidnap Dijon Lad. Maybe if his parents were divorced and one of them wanted custody, sure, but the guy who they hired to play Dijon Lad is 23 or 24.
As for the 30 million dollars they want, there’s no way the company will pay. Sure, it’s a huge company that owns Mustard Man Mustard, but they can always hire another actor to play that role. Or they’ll just go with a CGI character mascot.
Maybe they’ll kidnap me too.
I have no illusions. Life is brutal and short.
Care for some mustard?

The Adventures of Mustard Man – Chapter 1

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Let’s go over this one more time.
Mustard Man looks like a superhero, but he’s just a mascot.
There are two key differences between a superhero and a mascot:
Corporate sponsorship
Super powers
So, when you run out of mustard, call Mustard Man. In a real emergency, scream for Superman or use the Batsignal or dial 911.
Yes, Bobby, both can have sidekicks. But Dijon Lad doesn’t have super powers either.
Don’t you feel silly now?
Good.
Now do your pal Mustard Man a favor and get help. This girder is really heavy and I can’t feel my legs.

The Fall Of Europe

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Things are hard all over, but especially in Europe.
In Rome, taxis have been replaced by rickshaws pulled by starving pensioners.
You can’t walk in London without tripping over three people shining your shoes.
Have problems folding a map in Berlin? Not any more – every petrol station features map-folders for hire.
It’s easy to mistake the purse-snatchers of Paris for the porters and bearers.
But of all the fallen, pity Prague the most. The poor are stripped, painted like statuary, tangled in vines and daisies, and displayed in eight hour shifts.
Sad beasts, lining the grand avenues of yesterday.

Note

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Nigel tapped Middle C again.
Still nothing.
He lifted the green piano’s lid and checked the striker and the wire. Everything worked fine.
But he didn’t hear anything when he hit Middle C.
B played. D played. Every other note played.
But not Middle C.
Nigel blew out the candelabra and hit Middle C again.
Of course it wasn’t that, he thought. That would have been silly.
Nigel tried another piano. Middle C worked just fine.
He went back to the green piano, lifted the lid, and plucked Middle C.
Perfectly tuned.
He hit the key again.
Nothing at all.

She’s Got Rust

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She once had legs, but over time she let herself go. Varicose veins, a deep hacking cough, and stints in rehab for a heroin problem finished off her partying days.
The dream guy she hooked with the help of ZZ Top’s gang of gals had long slipped the line and swam back for deeper waters.
Rags filled her closets.
Still, she kept the car in the driveway. The paint faded, the tires rotted, the engine seized up, and rust spread like brown cancer and covered everything.
Sometimes, she’d go out front and snap her nicotine-stained fingers, wave the keys.
Nothing.

648,710

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“When you see the color red, you will experience so much hate that you will kill the Senator. It is your destiny.”
Arthur heard this phrase six hundred and forty-eight thousand, seven hundred and nine times before they stopped the recording and wiped the drool from his chin.
It used to be that you had to loop a recording with a razor and cellophane tape. Now you just hit “REPEAT” on an MP3.
They gave him a gun and a bus ticket. Two days later, he shot four seals at the Boston Zoo.
Hey, nobody said this stuff was perfect.