Classics 10 (EP 68) - The Wiggly People

Discuss episodes and stories from the Drabblecast Main Feed and from Drabbleclassics
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Chivalrybean
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Post by Chivalrybean » Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:03 am

Egads! I didn't get the story... lemme try resubscribing... *tinker* doesn't work if I do it in iTunes... lemme try subscribing from the site... ok, that seems to have worked. Now I can listen at work tomorrow, yay!

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Post by tastycakes » Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:28 pm

Technology would be awesome if it didn't need to be upgraded constantly and screw everything up when it was. Hhmmph.
One day he will look into what a ‘stigmata’ really is; for now, it is his trump card for getting out of work. He simply says ‘stigmata’ and they say ‘shit, hope you feel better soon.’ End of story.

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Post by Chivalrybean » Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:17 pm

tastycakes wrote:This story was deliciously disturbing. Too bad every street whore doesn't have a mentally handicapped son/daughter to rough up, or eat, their pimps.

The one thing that would have made this story better, in my opinion, is a little more description about how the kid saw the Wiggly People. We got a little bit right before the attack, but they are such a good concept, I guess it left me wanting to know a little bit more about them. Though, perhaps that's just in case I ever encounter one.
Image

Sorry, alls I had was paint.

Dangit, it isn't working, the link will work, but not image, maybe due to BMP? I'll fix it when I am not at work.

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Post by Silly Seraph » Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:00 am

All I can say is yes! Yes! YES! I'm not sure why, but stories with cannibalistic, mentally disturbed, children seem to be my cup of tea. An excellent tale.

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Post by strawman » Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:16 pm

The face-eating impulse is probably present in most people. Thousands of generations of Thou-Shalt-Nots have produced strong inhibitions against its manifestation. (But it can reliably be triggered by the sight of blue flashing lights in your rear view mirror.)
I was going through a very long line in customs in New York a few years back, and thought it curious that there would be a big banner sign on the wall that read: "It is a federal offense to assault a customs officer". Now, why would such a banner be necessary, if not for the face-eating impulse?
Since this is also flash fiction, the interesting part is the speculation and description of how the impulse emerges: in Eugie's case, it's sharp little wiggly imaginary men. In others, it takes the form of Alien pup symbiots , or Hulk, part II.

As Norm has announced an upcoming part II of DC's own super animal death match competition, and because Part II's so often disappoint, my suggestion is that face-eating represents a range of possibilities that was missing in the first generation of super-attributes: Attitude is such an important aspect of Smack Down, don't you agree?
I mean, imagine if Hulk didn't get angry, but just busted out of his clothes and turned green at Sunday school. The movie would have been WAY more like an episode of Super Nanny. (Which, by the way, how did THAT get omitted from the DC TV poll?)
Actually, I suspected, the moment DrabbleNews reported the colossal squid giant sperm sword, that a S.A.D.M.C. part II (or, more classically, "Parte Duh") would be occurring to Norm.
I'd like to see the additional dimension of character and attitude this time, with some backstory. Maybe attributes that derive from DC or related episodes, like the ability to shoot flaming monkeys from one's butt.

Finally, the winner to be announced via bbardle? Sung in an Auzzie accent? At Dragon*Con? WooHoo! :wink:
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

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Goldenrat
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Post by Goldenrat » Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:50 pm

Drabble - meh. OK, I guess.

Eugie's story was creepy cool. Loved it.

Still not showing up on I-tunes even after re-subscribing. I listened via the website.

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Post by normsherman » Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:25 pm

Yes, you have to re-subscribe from the website, not from itunes. I've sent in the new feed to itunes- should be able to subscribe from there also by tomorrow. But for now it seems to work if you subscribe from the site.
Sucks. I'm shooting out a message on the old feed tonight to let people know they have to re-subscribe.
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Post by adam » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:00 am

i hate to get into discussion of the story prematurely, as lots of people are still working out how to actually listen to the story, but i've got a question-

most of the way through the story i thought it was a kid, obviously. then somewhere in the last quarter i started to think it was probably a mentally handicaped grownup. maybe in his 20's or something. which impression did you guys get?
the narrative, though childish, could easily be from a retarded adults’ perspective, and would make the face-eating a lot more believable than a little kid being able to kill an adult pimp. and also- gosh i hate to admit this- ok this is horribly un-p.c., but i've always been slightly terrified of the idea of a huge mentally handicapped man in a primordial, retarded rage. it seems like an unstoppable force- the kind you cant reason with, or hope for mercy from. Please don’t judge me for this, I can’t help my phobias, but it’s like the discussion that came up with Kevin anderson’s The Interview, and with Marbles- there’s something really scary about a little kid who doesn’t know the difference between good or evil, but just acts on desire or impulse. it’s like that but with a big adult’s body so they have the means to actually destroy you sans-telepathy. And with zombie characteristics like immunity to pain etc.
anyways, needless to say I really liked the story either way. The peek into a crazy persons mind was believable and awesome. Very well written. If I could say for sure I thought it was supposed to be a retarded adult instead of a kid, I would have liked Norm to read it in a voice that wasn’t a kids, but as is I have no complaints.

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Post by strawman » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:48 am

The ol' Of Mice and Men trauma.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Post by tastycakes » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:08 am

adam wrote:most of the way through the story i thought it was a kid, obviously. then somewhere in the last quarter i started to think it was probably a mentally handicaped grownup. maybe in his 20's or something. which impression did you guys get?

I've always been slightly terrified of the idea of a huge mentally handicapped man in a primordial, retarded rage. it seems like an unstoppable force- the kind you cant reason with, or hope for mercy from.
I also questioned whether this was a kid or an adult, and compromised on a teenager. I'm pretty sure everyone has known mentally handicapped people that have a lot of brute strength. Kids with down syndrome are often difficult to control in their rages, and have been known to hurt (even kill) their caretakers, siblings, and pets. I also don't think it's irrational or anything to fear that rage; think about classic movies like Halloween and Jason from Friday the 13th. Both of those movies feature psychotic, strong as hell, yet mentally handicapped killers.
One day he will look into what a ‘stigmata’ really is; for now, it is his trump card for getting out of work. He simply says ‘stigmata’ and they say ‘shit, hope you feel better soon.’ End of story.

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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:29 pm

Uh... I don't think slasher films qualify as an educational resource for understanding the mentally handicapped.

It's interesting that you guys all had an image of the narrator being big and strong. I my mind, he was a shrimpy, pale little kid, like Haley J. Osmet in The Sixth Sense, a total pushover. He's somebody you'd have no logical reason to fear, but then the wiggly people show up!!

That's probably because I also pictured the wiggly people actually manifesting, either by transforming the shrimpy kid into a fanged monster or by somehow coming out of him, pouring out of his mouth or something. I don't have any particular reason for that. It just seems like it would be cooler if the WP were really real and not just a childlike person's way of describing his rage.


The face-eating impulse is strong in me, but it is usually restrained because the people who deserve to have their faces eaten are not something I would want in my mouth. Oral hygiene, you know.
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Post by eugiefoster » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:36 pm

Thanks for all the kind words for "The Wiggly People," everyone. Y'all put a grin on my face and a bounce in my step.

As to speculation about my sanity, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: All writers are insane. If we didn't start out that way, the biz turns us into twitching, neurotic wrecks. And if neuroses turn into a face-eating frenzy, well, that happens sometimes...

Adam, tastycakes, and Mr. Tweedy:
I found your discussion as to whether I intended for Donny to be of adult age or a child most interesting. I did indeed envision him to be an adult, but I found your different interpretations/assumptions and the reasons behind them intriguing. Thanks for the thoughtful commentary!

Also, in response to Mr. Tweedy's comment about Hobkin in the commentary for "The Tiger Fortune Princess"; no joke, I really and truly do have a pet skunk :wink:. He even has his own website if folks want to see pictures: www.eugiefoster.com/mustalayday/
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Post by Goldenrat » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:57 pm

Cool website of your pet skunk Eugie! Fun read. :)

I think I would need mental conditioning or counseling before getting a pet skunk. For 43 years I've been taught to fear and stay the hell away from the wild ones I've encounted. Nothing good can come from a close encounter with a wild skunk. Many curious dogs would agree with that.

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Post by eugiefoster » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:42 pm

Thanks, Goldenrat! Your wild skunk conditioning sounds most adaptive and sensible. But actually, it's not quite applicable in Hobkin's case. He's a domesticated skunk, born and bred to be a pet with a traceable "pedigree" and everything, not a skunk taken from the wild. We actually had to drive cross-country to a specialty breeder to get him, and he was de-scented before we picked him up--a necessity for a house skunk, ye verily!
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Post by tastycakes » Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:08 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:Uh... I don't think slasher films qualify as an educational resource for understanding the mentally handicapped.
Well, I don't think I was advocating the study of the mentally handicapped through the use of horror movies. Rather, merely assuring Adam that he clearly is neither the first, nor the only person that has thought a mentally handicapped with some kind of grudge would be terrifying.

As for Eugie, we know that you've got some pull on Dragon*con. There's an entire dedicated line of Norm Sherman fans that would love to see him play! If there's anything you can do to influence Norm or whatever board that has to decide, let's do this!
One day he will look into what a ‘stigmata’ really is; for now, it is his trump card for getting out of work. He simply says ‘stigmata’ and they say ‘shit, hope you feel better soon.’ End of story.

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Post by normsherman » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:35 pm

I totally had Tweedy's interpretation in mind when I read the story. It never even occured to me that Donny could be a handicapped adult. There is some evidence of that now that I think about it, but I think the story also works great if it's a little kid who just goes unexplainably- maybe even supernaturally- berserk when he lets the wiggly people in.
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Post by strawman » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:58 pm

I think evidence would point to a child were it not for the description of touching the wiggly people's hand once before, with the result of the crowds screaming in panic - leaving the listener to imagine what horrible action caused the panic.
But Donny's size isn't so important to me. Even a little kid who's a face-hugger would sure give a nursing mother pause.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Post by cammoblammo » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:59 pm

normsherman wrote:I totally had Tweedy's interpretation in mind when I read the story. It never even occured to me that Donny could be a handicapped adult. There is some evidence of that now that I think about it, but I think the story also works great if it's a little kid who just goes unexplainably- maybe even supernaturally- berserk when he lets the wiggly people in.
It's entirely possible Ms Foster didn't interpret the story correctly. Maybe she needs another listen.

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Feed troubles

Post by tbaker2500 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:00 am

Hey Norm- the old drabblecast itunes feed points to:
itpc://rss.mac.com/normsherman/iWeb/Site/Podcast/rss.xml

Your new itunes rss feed is:

itpc://web.mac.com/normsherman/Site/Podcast/rss.xml

You need to add back in "iWeb" to your site path for all of us to get the new site updates.

Otherwise nobody is getting the new ep via itunes.

Thanks
Tom

P.S. I like the thought of the new donate buttons, but they're hard for me to read. Maybe it's my old eyes. :-)
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Re: Feed troubles

Post by normsherman » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:31 am

tbaker2500 wrote:
You need to add back in "iWeb" to your site path for all of us to get the new site updates.
Oh I know....I know....

:(
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