Drabblecast 062 - Sizzle

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Mr. Tweedy
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Drabblecast 062 - Sizzle

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:14 pm

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Sizzle by Weldon Burge

"High voices, like Mickey Mouse, but not nice like him. They always tellin' me what to do, and what nasty things they'll do if I don't do like what they say."
"Who do you think they are?"
"I ask 'em, but they don't answer. They just laugh... Maybe they're Democrats. I voted Republican all my dad-burn life. I suppose the Democrats hate that."


Drabble News - Darth Vader assaults Jedi clerics with crutch

Drabble - "Missing You" by Merrill Page

Art by Bo Kaier

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Post by strawman » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:08 pm

Gee, an alien symbiot forcing a man to do what he wants to do...
A very interesting twist on "The devil made me do it". While the language was a bit stronger than usual DC standards, it was an appropriate representation of your average homicidal marital dialogue, although you're left clueless as to why he'd want his wife to stay until he got home. What is her motive for staying? To give him another piece of her mind? A simple hate note would have sufficed, been more convenient, and possibly avoided horrible death. Maybe she needed her tire pressure topped off? Instead, she will get a piece of his mind (the part that sizzles!)

Let this be a lesson to you wives out there, with your honey-do lists.
Just sayin'.

This one was quite fun, except for the one dangling question: Whose idea was it to vote Republican, the redneck or the alien? Forum opinions are solicited...

Re Missing You, I not only liked the concept of Death as incompetent, but wished it were so. Then I wished I could hear the Norm Sherman Drabblenews about the guy who miraculously survived yesterday's fire at the pipe factory dying that night in his sleep. Cause of death: overdose of irony.

Drabblecast... creating alternative reality one notion at a time.

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Post by RG » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:57 pm

So was that the real Darth Vader or just someone trying to frame him?

I enjoyed the splat, as always.

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Post by Goldenrat » Thu May 01, 2008 2:04 am

strawman wrote:
This one was quite fun, except for the one dangling question: Whose idea was it to vote Republican, the redneck or the alien? Forum opinions are solicited...
Since he voted Republican his whole life and the alien was a relatively recent tenant in his bean, I guess the alien just let him keep voting Republican. The alien probably figured s/he would benefit from lower taxes and the economic stimulus money. Plus, health care is the least of the alien's concerns.

Jolly good week. Drabblenews - hilarious. Where the hell was Yoda? Drabble - excellent. Sizzle - excellent. Loved the old mountain man charachter, reminds me of my trips to Wal-Mart. Great disgusting sound effects. Heard a little Drabblecast, got my "W" money today, how can you beat that?

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Post by AynSavoy » Thu May 01, 2008 3:49 am

I had a mixed reaction to Sizzle. On one hand, I thought it was well-written and I liked the character of the infected hill-billy (not that I'd wanted to meet him, but I thought the character was written, and read, well).

On the other hand, the beginning of the story felt so mean. The wife is mean to her husband, he's mean about her, if not too her, and both the nurse and the doctor are very rude about and to the hill-billy. Again, not that I could blame them, I suppose...but it ruined my fantasy of professionalism in medical practice. =/ Or colored the way I felt about the characters. Consequently, I didn't feel sorry for the doctor at all when the parasite took him, and didn't feel that him killing his wife was a real stretch.


I thoroughly enjoyed the drabble.
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Post by Chivalrybean » Thu May 01, 2008 4:04 am

As soon as the hillbilly said his wife had an accident, I guess correctly that the story would end with the Doc having a sizzle in his brain and a voice in his head telling him to go kill his wife.

This got me thinking... is a story 'bad' if you figure it out? My mind was already in this frame because I say a movie the other day and it got you thinking one of three people 'dunit' and then at the end, they showed it was some other guy. There were no clues or hints it was this fourth guy. The movie was a murder mystery, so I think the viewer is entitled to clues so they can try and figure it out, right? Then, if they do figure it out, you liked it, assuming it wasn't too easy, because you feel smart for getting it right. But, in a non-mystery, knowing how the story is going to end... it makes the story less enjoyable, at least for me. A day or so later I saw a serial killer movie and you knew pretty much from the start who did it, there was nothing to figure out, but seeing the characters in the situations and wondering if they will reach the victim before the killer was where the action was at, not trying to figure out whodunit.

In an podcast novel I recently listened too, the private eye realized something that the I as a reader/listener would have had no way of knowing, then he explained to the bad guy how he figured it out. This to me felt kind of weak. Even a few small sentences earlier in the book would have given me a clue, but only if you remembered it, and if you did it early on, it would not be super obvious, this rewarding the reader/listener if they got it, but if not, they could at least go 'oh yeah, I forgot!'

So, after all this, I think for me personally, any story that keeps me guessing I will like more than one I can figure it out, unless it is a mystery and I'm supposed to be able to guess if I put all the clues together.

Did I like this story? It was ok. Norm picks great squishy sounds without fail, so that was a plus. It was certainly better than some of the other fiction podcast stories I've been listening too. Drabblecast tends to be one of the better ones.

The drabble story, I think I enjoyed it more than the main one. It was pretty funny in a bone dry way. *chirp chirp*

The drabble news, now that's comedy. It is about the same amount of ironic as the kid who pepper sprayed a couple game store guys and hijacked copies of the new Grand Theft Auto game...

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Post by AynSavoy » Thu May 01, 2008 4:13 am

You picked up some of what I feel, Chivalrybean (not about this story, but just in general). I think with stories that have twists (like many on the Drabblecast), figuring out the twist early doesn't affect my enjoyment of the story as long as the writing is good. I guessed what was coming at the end of the first story in last week's Trifecta, for example, but it was still fun to listen to, and I appreciated the way the author pulled it off. I guess one way to think about it would be, will the story be as fun to listen to the second time around? If it relies too heavily on a punchline, then probably not. But if the writing is awesome, aside from the punchline, then you're probably going to enjoy it almost as much, if not as much or more, than the first time.

My opinions, of course.
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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Thu May 01, 2008 4:19 am

Good episode.

I liked the story, even though it not at all original. An alien parasite that empowers a pretty bad guy to be really bad? I think there was a Spider Man villain who fit that description. That's one of those ideas that gets recycled time and again as horror movies and episodes of sci-fi TV shows. But that's okay, because it's a really interesting idea, one with lots of philosophy behind it.

Does the Doctor want to kill his wife? Sure! He hates her guts! Why doesn't he? Fear of consequences. He's too afraid of consequences to even go forward with a divorce, much less do what's really in his heart. Then along comes a helpful alien parasite to take away his fear and help him get away with it. To the redneck Republican, this thing was an intolerable burden. To the doctor, it's a blessing.

So, is the Doctor really more evil after the parasite infects him, or is the evil that was already there just more visible?

I love when weirdness has philosophical implications (which it usually does).
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Post by strawman » Thu May 01, 2008 12:53 pm

First, we're going to screw up your courage to do something you want to do anyway, then get you to do stuff we want.
First thought here is that this little demon is something a lot of people would get as elective surgery if the demon hadn't told him about the future against-his-will stuff. Then I realize that this sizzle demon is nothing more than dressed-up alcoholism. It starts off enabling people to eliminate their inhibitions and do what their higher faculties tell them they better not do (screw the consequences). But it is 'cunning, baffling, and powerful', and turns people into the hillbilly, or worse, Girls Gone Wild.

Maybe even convinces you that your brain has been penetrated by a symbiot.

Now, I wonder where the story would take us if the alien had become addicted to moonshine. Having the symbiot seduced by the host's own addictions would be a marvelous storyline, don't you think?

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Post by Goldenrat » Thu May 01, 2008 8:19 pm

strawman wrote: Now, I wonder where the story would take us if the alien had become addicted to moonshine. Having the symbiot seduced by the host's own addictions would be a marvelous storyline, don't you think?
Your post reminded me of something (book? / TV show?) where someone (we'll call him the host) had a persuasive alien life form stuck to him (I think on his neck) and he could make if fall asleep by drinking something. Maybe it was B5. Does anyone remember that?

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Post by Chivalrybean » Fri May 02, 2008 1:55 am

AynSavoy wrote:You picked up some of what I feel, Chivalrybean (not about this story, but just in general). I think with stories that have twists (like many on the Drabblecast), figuring out the twist early doesn't affect my enjoyment of the story as long as the writing is good. I guessed what was coming at the end of the first story in last week's Trifecta, for example, but it was still fun to listen to, and I appreciated the way the author pulled it off. I guess one way to think about it would be, will the story be as fun to listen to the second time around? If it relies too heavily on a punchline, then probably not. But if the writing is awesome, aside from the punchline, then you're probably going to enjoy it almost as much, if not as much or more, than the first time.

My opinions, of course.
That reminds me, the first audiobook I listened too on my life saving iPod (repetitive, boring job have I) was Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Now, by all counts, the plot wasn't really anything special, but the telling of the story was fantastic, and I loved it. I agree, if the story is fun or interesting to listen to, figuring out the twist if there is one wont hurt the story, but if it doesn't engage my mind, guessing the end makes it only worse.

Also, I think the first parasite mentioned in the story was his wife, but he didn't seem like a too great guy either since he was having an affair... No one was very likable in the story, except the squish, and of course, a drunk Darth Vader.

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Post by Kevin Anderson » Fri May 02, 2008 11:45 pm

Great Episode - One of the best this year.

The Drabble is by far my favorite this year. Drabbles are tough, especially getting a beginning, middle and end, in that economy of a hundred words. This one was superb.

I enjoyed Sizzle mostly because its a dialogue piece. I understand how hard they are to write and write well, but also because they work so well in audio / podcasting. And this one was spot on.

I was also surprised at the listener response to this one on the forums. As I listened to Sizzle I remember thinking that the drabblecast audience is gonna hate this one. But I was pleasantly surprised that the response is positive. Drabblecast listeners are more flexible in their tastes than I had given them (you'all) credit. Just one more reason why Drabblecast is hands down my favorite podcast.

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Post by Kevin Anderson » Fri May 02, 2008 11:54 pm

AynSavoy wrote: I suppose...but it ruined my fantasy of professionalism in medical practice.
Having spent the last three weeks on gurneys, in wheelchairs and in and out of doctors offices, I can honestly say that their is not much professionalism in the medical industry. I think the key word here is "industry." Nothing like a hospital stay to make you feel like a piece of meat - got some good story ideas though.

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Post by cammoblammo » Sat May 03, 2008 12:31 am

I'm going to do my best to confirm Kevin's suspicions and give the main story a great big 'meh.' Okay, I didn't hate it, but I'm certainly not going back for seconds.

The premise was good, but it just dragged on too long. The first Act (In Which The Doctor Has A Discussion With His Wife) was okay, but the scene could have been set in half the time. In the second Act (In Which The Doctor Interviews An Interesting Patient) it was fairly obvious what was going to happen, and then it just unfolded exactly the way I thought it would, except longer. Granted, there were some good ideas in there, but sometimes good ideas have to be cut to make a story better.

The idea of the brain sucking parasite giving you what you want at first isn't that new. The Lord of the Rings comes to mind, as does anyone that has an addiction.

On the Drabble, though, that was excellent. Kevin posted in another thread that we need to have a few more categories for the Drabblecast Award. The Drabble was proof that he's right!

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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Sat May 03, 2008 3:12 am

Kevin Anderson wrote:Having spent the last three weeks on gurneys, in wheelchairs and in and out of doctors offices, I can honestly say that their is not much professionalism in the medical industry. I think the key word here is "industry." Nothing like a hospital stay to make you feel like a piece of meat...
Ouch! Now we're all curious. (Unless telling would give away a future story, of course.)
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Post by normsherman » Thu May 08, 2008 2:15 am

yes, I'm certain whatever experience Kev has had recently there will be a Hospital/Restaurant tale from it...
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Post by tbaker2500 » Sun May 11, 2008 5:01 pm

AynSavoy wrote:I had a mixed reaction to Sizzle. On one hand, I thought it was well-written and I liked the character of the infected hill-billy (not that I'd wanted to meet him, but I thought the character was written, and read, well).

On the other hand, the beginning of the story felt so mean. The wife is mean to her husband, he's mean about her, if not too her, and both the nurse and the doctor are very rude about and to the hill-billy. Again, not that I could blame them, I suppose...but it ruined my fantasy of professionalism in medical practice. =/ Or colored the way I felt about the characters. Consequently, I didn't feel sorry for the doctor at all when the parasite took him, and didn't feel that him killing his wife was a real stretch.
I agree that there was much nastiness in the first part. But after suffering through it, I realized that it was necessary in order to create such satisfaction when the doctor got his comeuppance.

My reaction:
Thank god that SOB got what he deserved.
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Post by tbaker2500 » Sun May 11, 2008 5:10 pm

Kevin Anderson wrote: I was also surprised at the listener response to this one on the forums. As I listened to Sizzle I remember thinking that the drabblecast audience is gonna hate this one. But I was pleasantly surprised that the response is positive. Drabblecast listeners are more flexible in their tastes than I had given them (you'all) credit. Just one more reason why Drabblecast is hands down my favorite podcast.
Ummm...
Strange stories by strange authors, to strange listeners, like yourself.

Yet, you try to put a label on us Strange Listeners? :-) I'm deeply stereotyped! :shock:

Now, tell us about the zombies leaving the hospital in wheelchairs.
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Post by strawman » Sun May 11, 2008 5:34 pm

I'm sort of a zombie naif, so help me out here. 1) Do all brains taste the same, or do some taste better than others? (Robo squirrels have me thinking Zombie Ratatouille). 2) Why don't zombies hang out at the morgue (or do they?) Is it like the difference between free-range and farm-bred chicken?
I tried to get answers to this from Ask Jeeves, but no luck.

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Re: Drabblecast 062 - Sizzle

Post by sandrilde » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:32 pm

Like previous commentators, I found this far too predictable. Also, there was no explanation for why the aliens would want him to kill his wife, so it didn't really make sense. On to the next!

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