Drabblecast 077 - Permanent Detention

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Kevin Anderson
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Drabblecast 077 - Permanent Detention

Postby Kevin Anderson » Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:23 am

Image

Permanent Detention
by Weldon Burge

“But Dad, he scares me....”
“I don’t care if he’s got three eyes and tentacles. He’s your teacher and you need to pass his class. Case closed...”


Music by Victor Stellar! | Bigfoot: Dead or Alive? | Dave Thompson Shoots First

Art by Bo Kaier
"Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion"

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RG
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Postby RG » Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:32 pm

This one didn't really blow me away. It was fun, but there were parts I thought could have been done better.

I didn't really buy that he was a zombie just because of the cockroaches. Even when the cockroach first appeared, I assumed Morrisey was some kind of cockroach creature or something, disguised as a man. That assumption was only made stronger when he slapped his ear and it nearly came off. I thought it was a fake ear, stuck on the side of his head to make him appear human.

Did Morrisey appear completely normal except for the appearance of a few bugs? Shouldn't he have been all pale and decomposing or something? Also, the sudden appearance of more undead came out of nowhere. We went from a single undead teacher to them being seemingly everywhere.

One last thing. Not a complaint, really, but I thought the whole needles thing that started off the story and ended it was unnecessary, and that it would have been better to just start in on the story without it and end the story right after the kid realizes he's going to get a permanent detention. When I heard that line, I smiled a bit, knowing it was the last, ironic line. Then the story kept going on, making me wonder why, until we got to the part about hypodermics and I remembered the whole earlier set-up about needles, which I had forgotten about because it really had nothing to do with the story.

The pen through the eye was nice, as was the sound effect, but it probably would have sufficed to just drop kick Morrisey and run.

It may sound like I didn't like the story too much from all I just wrote, but that's not really the case. Like I said, it was fun.

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Postby StalinSays » Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:34 pm

Another fine Drabblecast. Love that cover image, takes me straight back to my 'tweens. On the same note, dug Norm's exploratory audio work, making this sound like 80's/90's teen fodder. Like episode 76, I feel it elevates the mood and presentation of the story, without encroaching on the narrative flow.

As for the story itself - I enjoyed it. It's a part of the dearth of zombie stories that over-populate short fiction, but not one I reject. It was zombie without being 'too zombie' (perhaps not even zombie at all). Reminded me somewhat of Well Told Tales 29 - 'Night School.'

I wish the real Fox News was as hard hitting as the drabble take. For anyone wondering, the story did end up being a hoax, so big foot is not 'really dead.'

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/08/080820-bigfoot-body.html

So much for mankind's combined effort of willful destruction...

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Postby Mr. Tweedy » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:15 pm

I think this might be a first for me, but I really, really disliked the production. Maybe because I loath the 80s and have no nostalgia for the decade of my birth, but I found the music and the lead-ins to be very annoying. They and the artwork reminded me of an 80s tween show, which is the worst association possible in this universe or any other.

I also thought the story was pretty lame. Aside from being completely non-scary, it was pretty cliche. A school where the teachers are monsters? Wasn't there a movie about that? And a TV show? And some books? And there was that video game... And a Simpson's parody, as I recall. Ditto for the narrator who kills people because they may or may not be monsters. Done to death. I even recall a Steven King story that combined the two and had a teacher killing her students because they may or may not have been monsters.

A yawner story mixed with grating production. :(

The Bigfoot skit, however, was totally hilarious. A classic gag mixed with rediculous news and pulled off perfectly.
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Postby bolddeceiver » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:42 pm

A second week in a row of some very strange production choices. The whole theme-song and intro on this one were a total flop for me, I'm afraid. The story itself was nothing special, but the intro had me listening to the whole thing with a bad taste in my mouth, and I'm not talking cockroach.
...the pagoda-like enclosure, where Japanese sand-badgers disported themselves...

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Postby tbaker2500 » Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:34 pm

I don't listen to much horror, so I am not over-exposed to it. I thought this was a nice, solid episode.
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Postby StalinSays » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:42 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:I even recall a Steven King story that combined the two and had a teacher killing her students because they may or may not have been monsters.


The collection Nightmares and Dreamscapes had that, can't remember the individual chapter name. It didn't make the TV series, which was a let down to me.

Well, if the story is as middle of the road as seems to be the consensus, isn't going funky with the production a potentially viable way of 'saving' it? I listen to a lot of audio short fiction, and I do notice I gravitate to stories with some appropriate background music. I guess there's a line between radio play, and 'flourish,' but I still feel that hasn't been broached by the DC. Guess that boils down to preference, all considered.

I find that the sound effects and music have been a large part of DC 'coming in to its own,' and it is distinguished from the more audibly naked podcast fiction (like Escapepod) in that way. The general humor Norm employs makes the effects more a welcome addittion (personaly). With Variant Frequencies, I often find the noises used annoying and distracting, because its usually more for drama than fun. A key VF example I remember is dubbing in of 'monster noises' in two seperate episodes - it took away from what I imagined of the creatures, and kinda' made it all sound canned.

I still stand by the story having some charm. A 7 not a 10 of course, but there's material to like. It reminded me of an old Goosebumps or Fear Street story, which I dined on in large quantities back in the day. DC is about visiting different 'places' for me, and cheesy 80's teen fiction is but another shadowy corner of 'the drabble zone.'

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Postby Richmazzer » Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:09 pm

Did I miss a theme song?

I thought this was pretty hilarious. Even from the artwork on the episode you can tell it's not taking itself too seriously. This was a great satire of Saved by the Bell era teen horror movies and not a bad story either.

Seemed long for a Drabblecast but definately had me drawn in the entire time and I liked how the end brought it back to the beginning. I'm not a fan of the 80's movies either, maybe that's why I liked this one so much. Somehow it managed to make fun of itself and also be entertaining as a story, kind of like Evil Dead.

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Postby Kevin Anderson » Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:54 pm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With the exception of Reaganomics and PCP laced coke, there isn't anything about the 80's that I don’t remember with an affectionate smile. So its not much of a surprise that I enjoyed the story. Good production, well written, and of course my personnel favorite horror monster - a zombie.

But Mr. Burge, as a Smiths fan I resent your underlining message that Morrissey is DEAD! :) He may not have hit the charts in the last decade, or two, or three, but he is alive. Well he is kind of chalky- faced, but I’ve always assumed that was just his UK tan.

Anyway, good episode – Everyday is like Sunday
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Postby RG » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:02 pm

I never even noticed any theme song (just a little background suspense music) or that the story was set in the 80s. I would have figured the late 90s, since the kid is, I think, 25 at the end of the story.

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Postby weldonburge » Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:57 am

Kevin Anderson wrote:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But Mr. Burge, as a Smiths fan I resent your underlining message that Morrissey is DEAD! He may not have hit the charts in the last decade, or two, or three, but he is alive. Well he is kind of chalky- faced, but I’ve always assumed that was just his UK tan.



Good catch! I always thought Morrissey looked slightly undead, although he did bring back what's left of the New York Dolls for a tour and new album. But, I did sorta have him in mind when I wrote this.

I wrote this mainly to have fun and play around with the teenage angst theme. I also wanted the ending to be ambivalent. Was Morrissey actually a zombie, or was it just in the kid's head? When Bobby said, "I'm obviously not bonkers," it's obvious he actually was.

Norm asked me if I thought the Goonies/Teen Wolf/Corey Feldman/'80s thing would work with this, and I agreed. I think he did a great job with the story and accomplished exactly what I'd hoped. C'mon, how could anyone take this seriously? Norm did it just right!

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Postby Richmazzer » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:07 am

weldonburge wrote:
I wrote this mainly to have fun and play around with the teenage angst theme. I also wanted the ending to be ambivalent. Was Morrissey actually a zombie, or was it just in the kid's head? When Bobby said, "I'm obviously not bonkers," it's obvious he actually was.



yes, I guess that ending idea could be cliche, as some have said, but to me that's one of those themes that arches beyond cliche. all teens feel out of place- it's a fertile ground to explore the question: is he a psychopathic killer or is he actually the only human teen in a world full of zombies. If this idea was told again through a 2008 vessel I would probably have given this a "meh", but through the innocuous self-satire of reminiscent 80's culture I thought it was delivered in a fun and provocative way.

A friend of mine recently watched "Sean of the Dead" and called it one of the "lamest zombie movies he had ever seen". I just nodded my head. I guess this story is like that.

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Postby zZzacha » Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:46 pm

weldonburge wrote:C'mon, how could anyone take this seriously? Norm did it just right!


Yeah, you speak in the true Drabblecasty spirit.

Speaking of right, we all have rights.
It is my right to like this story and so I did. Just because IT IS MY RIGHT.
And Norm is always right.

Speaking of Norm, we all have norms.
I may have crossed the norm here, but I thought the Drabble News was hilarious.
And Norm is always right.

To speak in the words of the great Weldon Burge, "C'mon, how could anyone take this seriously?"
And Norm is always right.


[time for my pills now]
I'll be there in 5 minutes. If not, read this again.

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Postby tbaker2500 » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:53 pm

Richmazzer wrote:A friend of mine recently watched "Sean of the Dead" and called it one of the "lamest zombie movies he had ever seen". I just nodded my head. I guess this story is like that.


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Postby normsherman » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:15 pm

zZzacha wrote:And Norm is always right.


hehe, I assure you this is not the case and could reference oodles of DC mispronunciations to support the contrary.

:lol:


Yah, I'm just experimenting with more unified production ideas lately- giving pieces a new setting or context to enhance what I thought were underlying themes. Or in this case, just cuz I thought it'd be fun.

I liked the story- reminded me of one of the first authors I ever got into: [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Teacher_Is_an_Alien[/url]Bruce Coville[/url]. Did anyone else read this stuff when they were younger? My teacher is an alien, My teacher fried my brains, etc
It was like the Hardy Boys for future scifi geeks.
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Postby tastycakes » Sun Aug 24, 2008 4:31 am

normsherman wrote:
I liked the story- reminded me of one of the first authors I ever got into: [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Teacher_Is_an_Alien[/url]Bruce Coville[/url]. Did anyone else read this stuff when they were younger? My teacher is an alien, My teacher fried my brains, etc
It was like the Hardy Boys for future scifi geeks.


Hell yes I read My Teacher is an Alien. Along with any other books that had 'alien' in the title. That and Sideways Stories from Wayside High were some of my favorite pre-pubescent curricula.

Not one of my favorite Drabblecasts, but solid effort nonetheless.
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Postby cammoblammo » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:28 pm

zZzacha wrote:
weldonburge wrote:C'mon, how could anyone take this seriously? Norm did it just right!


Yeah, you speak in the true Drabblecasty spirit.

Speaking of right, we all have rights.
It is my right to like this story and so I did. Just because IT IS MY RIGHT.
And Norm is always right.

Speaking of Norm, we all have norms.
I may have crossed the norm here, but I thought the Drabble News was hilarious.
And Norm is always right.

To speak in the words of the great Weldon Burge, "C'mon, how could anyone take this seriously?"
And Norm is always right.


Damn, Damn, DAMN! I really have to try to listen to the DC earlier in the week. This sums up my thoughts exactly.

In other words, zZzacha is always right, but she gets to post before I do.

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Postby zZzacha » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:46 am

cammoblammo wrote:Damn, Damn, DAMN! I really have to try to listen to the DC earlier in the week. This sums up my thoughts exactly.

In other words, zZzacha is always right, but she gets to post before I do.


cammo, you keep proving yourself to be The Perfect Man :] And thereby, you are always right. As is Norm.

It's getting very busy on the right. Anybody else left?
I'll be there in 5 minutes. If not, read this again.

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Postby Goldenrat » Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:05 am

Meh, I guess the story kind of fell flat for me. I didn't really get what the teacher was supposed to be. I DID like the 80's cassette music flashback.

I love me some Smiths and Morrissey, though. You're the one for me, fatty.
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Re: Drabblecast 077 - Permanent Detention

Postby sandrilde » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:59 pm

I loved the intro and the story may not have wowed me in print, but I loved th production.

Every time I see the title, the "permanent detention" tune gets stuck in my head and I have to lol.


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