Archives for posts with tag: Pussygrab Palace

ALL DODGE CITY ACTIVITY THIS PAST MONTH has gone toward prepping for The Second Dodge City Genocide, which the Colonel has made clear on numerous occasions will be known as The First. “The one and only, the best Genocide ever,” as both he and Paul Sweetie have been putting it on all the daytime soaps, in what they openly claim is an effort to create “a kind of week before Xmas free-for-all atmosphere.”

 

Everything’s running smoothly except for the small issue of there being quite a few Torturers left over from The First Dodge City Genocide, some of whom grow piqued at the looming prospect of their life’s work being Denied.

 

And the worst of these Torturers, we soon find out, are in a union: The Dodge City Torturers’ Anti-Defamation League, which starts holding rallies in the Town Square, chanting, “We will not go easily into that good night! We will rage, rage against the Denial of The First Dodge City Genocide!”

 

Many other townsfolk — some of them surely just looking for trouble in whatever form it presents itself in, but still — join the chanting, and soon a series of riots are underway. The human tide swells until it reaches the gate of Pussygrab Palace, at which point the Colonel is forced to take action.

 

The action that the Colonel takes — through his Generals, naturally — is to announce the execution of all the so-called Retired Torturers in the Town Square. After making a speech about how, “As I’ve already told you guys, no Genocide but mine will be recognized in Dodge City from this day forward,” he turns his back as the Generals get to work stringing the numerous Retired Torturers (no one’s quite sure how many, as some of the townsfolk in the crowd squirm in on the action, and some of the Torturers onstage slip away at the last minute) up by their necks, then inviting the lowliest hangers-on in the Pussygrab Regime to whack them with whiffle bats, piñata style, until they’re dead.

 

*****

OR, as we soon learn in an Amazon pay-per-view special (my account’s on auto-play, so I find myself watching it without having chosen to), nearly dead. Their bodies are carted out to Dead Sir, as usual, but before they sink under, the Night Crusher appears and drags their bodies into a clearing in the woods where, along with a small skeleton crew, he proceeds to reanimate them using some sort of Haitian zombie-magic, a ritual that, in Amazon’s presentation, veers between the hokey and the gut-churningly grotesque. “Two parts Nightmare Before Christmas, one part Cannibal Holocaust, as a 3-star review beneath the video window puts it.

 

Suffice it to say that, by dawn, the Torturers of The First Dodge City Genocide are alive and well, or at least certifiably undead. They look on as the Night Crusher (nice to see him working again, I think) begins cobbling together planks from a cluster of abandoned shacks in this part of the woods. By nightfall, he and his skeleton crew have assembled a makeshift Museum.

 

“Someone had to make sure this history wasn’t lost,” he says to the camera, as, in a languid montage, we watch his crew setting up the exhibits, scrawling notes across the lapels of each Torturer that explain his (or her — there are a few Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS-type women in the group as well) role in The First Dodge City Genocide, leaving nothing out. When they’ve finished, they drill coin-slots into each Torturer’s throat, hang a crude wooden OPEN sign across the door, crack a round of Miller High Life’s, and sit back to wait for the children to arrive.

 

*****

AND ARRIVE THEY DO. Over the course of a few sweltering late October weeks (no one knows why it’s so hot, or they do but they won’t say), the Museum becomes the most popular attraction in town.

 

It fills with children like ants on a spilled glass of Hi-C, overwhelming the Night Crusher and his skeleton crew, who lead the Amazon camera-people through the Halls of Undead Torturers while hordes of children feed quarters into the taxidermied slits in their throats and listen to stories of the millions slaughtered in Dodge City during the First Genocide, many of them buried in the Mass Watery Grave (MWG) in the Desert.

 

Others, according to some Torturers, were incinerated, eaten (by sharks, by termites, by crows), dissolved in baths of acid, affixed to papery wings and launched into the sky, and a thousand other means of dispatch, some so purple they beggar belief.

 

It thus comes as no surprise that the Colonel, when word of the Museum reaches him via his daytime soaps, denounces it as a complete and utter forgery. “Not one iota of what’s in there is real,” he bellows from the press podium in Pussygrab Palace, reading off what looks like a cocktail napkin. “It’s all made-up. The First Dodge City Genocide is still coming folks, just hold your horses. Nothing like this has happened before. But soon — very soon, believe me — it will have. Then you’ll all have me to thank! You’ll all have to tell me what a good boy I’ve been!”

 

He wipes tears from his eyes with the cocktail napkin, smearing ink across the lids — is the Colonel starting to melt down? I wonder — and wanders off stage, his mic still clipped to his collar.

 

*****

AS IT TURNS OUT, the Colonel’s denunciation only makes the Museum more popular. Further hordes now pile in to see what all the fuss is about, delighting in the made-up stories of the Torturers, who are starting to come apart at the seams, their voices reduced to harsh whistles and staticky hisses. After all, I think, the Night Crusher and his skeleton crew did a pretty hasty taxidermy job. It’s no wonder they’re not holding up under so much attention.

 

In due course, other countries hear about the Museum and begin to donate their own Undead Torturers: Indonesia, Turkey, Myanmar, Rwanda, Serbia … the list goes on and on. Each country sends an XL box full of stuffed Torturers with a note to the effect of, “Here are the perpetrators of the worst so-called Genocides from our nation’s past. We thought your Children’s Fake-News Museum would appreciate the gift. Please make it very clear that whatever these windbags say they did is all in good fun, like dressing up as dragons on Halloween.”

 

*****

WHEN THE MUSEUM OF UNDEAD TORTURERS grows so popular that all of Dodge City is seen there at the same time — the vast majority anyway, since I for one am still in my Room, watching this all on Amazon — the Colonel has no choice but to reverse course.

 

He appears in the middle of the crowd with Paul Sweetie in his white wedding dress beside him, and announces (reading off another cocktail napkin), “Beloved citizens, loyalists, toadies, stooges, turncoats, one and all: I was just kidding before when I said this Museum was a sham! Just having a laugh with you all, ha ha. What it really was — what it’s been all along, of course — is a trailer for the Genocide I’m now ready to kick off! A preview of coming attractions, just to wet your whistles! Now, please join me in a round of applause as we get The Real First Dodge City Genocide up and running!”

 

Everyone — mothers, teachers, cripples, kids — applauds, as Pussygrab gives a signal and is spirited out of the room just as the gas begins to spew in.

 

The camera lingers on the inside of the Museum as the crowd gags, bloats, and quickly succumbs, piling up in enormous, balloon-like blobs, crowding the Torturers until it’s impossible to tell who’s taxidermied and who’s freshly dead.

 

*****

CUTTING BACK TO THE WOODS OUTSIDE, the Amazon special ends with Pussygrab, Paul Sweetie, and his newly appointed Torturers cracking a bottle of champagne and toasting to the official start of The First Dodge City Genocide.

 

“Don’t worry, folks,” the Colonel says, looking straight into the camera with champagne running down his lips and onto his shirt, “you’re all going to get your turn!”

 

Just before the end credits roll, I think I catch a glimpse of the Night Crusher and his skeleton crew running into the woods, but when I try to stop and rewind, an error message says my single viewing has been used up, and that the next Movie is starting in 14, 13, 12 seconds.

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THERE’S NO PERCEPTIBLE INTERVAL between the end of one Movie and the start of the next. Now I’m watching what appears to be an architectural walk-thru video in which the Hotelier (played here by a razor-burned egghead in an ill-fitting dress shirt who looks like he’s 20 at most) takes us up and down what he refers to as the “Corridors of Power,” constructed last night by an architect known only as the “American MC Escher.”

 

The architect, or an actor playing him, follows along, staring at his feet like he doesn’t want the Netflix crew to see his face.

 

“The American MC Escher,” explains the Hotelier, all too happy to be photographed, “did a real bang-up job for us. As soon as Col. Pussygrab emerged victorious, and the question arose of where Pussygrab Palace would be located, we knew we had some superimposing to do, and fast. No location save for the Hotel itself would suffice, but, at the same time, the Hotel was far from adequate for accommodating such an august and entitled ruler.

 

“So, in short, the American MC Escher, who turned out to have been living a quiet life in one of our Rooms all along, patiently developing a method for superimposing one Hotel upon another” — ‘just as art!’ the American MC Escher interjects, still hiding his face in the background of the screen, ‘just to prove it was possible!’ — “got straight to work superimposing Pussygrab Palace onto the old Hotel, so that Pussygrab and his Inner Circle could move immediately into the most luxurious and elegant residence Dodge City had to offer, bar none.”

 

The Hotelier clears his throat and adds, “To give you a sense of the wealth disparity we have succeeded in creating here, there are 884 guests in the Hotel, and only 8 members of Pussygrab’s Inner Circle, each group occupying the exact same amount of space! This, I think we can all agree, is truly what we as a society ought to be striving for.”

 

He clears his throat, then adds, “And, for the low price of $999,999, you too can purchase a timeshare in the Palace. Leave your email in the Comments section of this video for more info …”

 

Disconnecting from the image-feed as the Hotelier attempts to wipe off the shame in his eyes, I look around, finding myself still in the drafty side room where I ended up after my Conversion Therapy, and I wonder, not for the first time, whether I’m in one room, or two.

 

“Two, clearly,” says the Hotelier, winking at me before returning to the walk-thru, the American MC Escher dawdling behind him. “Here, as you can see, is one of seven Access Portals” — he touches what appears to be a solid section of wall — “a means of traveling, for those at the correct clearance level, between the Hotel and the Palace. A means of stepping, as it were, from the old Dodge City, the one we knew, in which the Rule of Law held sway and we felt as though the train was, so to speak, still on the tracks, and into the new one, the Empire of Pussygrab, the Glorious New Nation he has pledged to usher us — well, some of us — into.”

 

With that, the Hotelier disappears from the screen, presumably out of the Hotel, still visible on Netflix, and into the Palace, which no camera is yet able to record.

 

*****

SO I’M ALONE in the Superimposed Hotel, or alone watching myself in the Superimposed Hotel on Netflix, when the idea comes to me that perhaps, if I try leaving the room I’m in right now, I’ll emerge into the hallway I just saw onscreen and will thus manage to escape through the Access Portal. Perhaps, I think, the purpose of the Movie was to show me the Portal’s location, and to encourage me to find it before it disappears. An instruction video, not a mere entertainment.

 

And if I can just slip through, I go on thinking, perhaps I’ll wake from this nightmare and emerge back into the Real Dodge City, the one where …

 

I’m not so naive as to imagine that the Real Dodge City still exists — it is, in essence, a Pretend City now, a diorama, an ant farm — but I’m not sure this distinction holds any water. So I’m determined to find it anyway.

 

I can’t say exactly what gives me the confidence — perhaps the Conversion Therapy has indeed altered my way of thinking — but once the thought occurs to me, it remains embedded. So I get up, close the laptop, and try the door.

 

Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, if this is all part of a sinister masterplan, or a symptom of reality’s total collapse) it’s unlocked!

 

Now I’m wandering a carpeted hallway I’ve never seen before, in the Hotel or the Palace, like a cardboard cutout on a Chutes & Ladders board, hoping to emerge through one of the Access Portals before it’s too late — though I can’t imagine how things could get any later than they already are.

 

When I find the Portal, I go through, setting off an alarm so loud I start running in terror, through the American MC Escher hallways, up staircases that lead down and along corridors that warp upward, until I make it outside, into the static of the Town Square, past the throngs of goose-stepping swamp things, and into … DaltonLand?

 

*****

I CATCH MY BREATH INSIDE A SCALE MODEL OF YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, under a big sign that reads Welcome to DaltonLand: in SwampWorld, this park no longer exists!

 

Savoring the fresh air (even if it’s artificially flavored), I pass geysers and canyons — all shrunken down to scale and made of cardboard — avoiding the distant signs that read ChaosLand (the near future or the distant past): Keep out! though I don’t doubt that, sooner or later, I’ll find myself among the cave people and giant spiders I can already see massing along the horizon, restrained only by what appears to be a velvet carnival rope.