Pippi the Unnatural Woman

A Disjointed Tale Which Probably Breaks Some Copyright Laws

It was the night the cops found where the gangbangers had tied up a bunch of people and used duct tape to shut their mouths and attach them to a chair and slit them open somewhere or something and they died, and there was a chase and the gangbangers shot at the cops and hurt one of them and the cops fired back and killed the lead gang guy and nobody was probably all that upset except maybe the five girls who thought they were his true love.

When it happened Pippi Longstocking, who had grown up to be better known as the Unnatural Woman, was walking down Devon with her friend Vomit Tony. Vomit Tony was some kind of real estate slime by day, but at night he walked on the wild side. He thought both sides were pretty wild, but the Unnatural Woman rolled her eyes at him. Always. Come to think of it, calling Tony her friend was a pretty loose use of the word. He was more like somebody she had known since that unfortunate week when she aged twenty years and began to see the world through eyes that weren’t all full of whatever hallucinogen children naturally secrete.

Anyway. Pippi and Tony saw it all, and Tony guessed correctly that the gang guy was going to die and the cop was going to live. “That’s the way it always goes. The cops train for years how to shoot, and these stupid fuckers on crack think they can win a shoot-out? When they hold their guns sideways and laugh instead of aiming them? No wonder they’re always shooting random fucking grandmothers and kids on the sidewalk. They should be forced to go to a shooting range so they only kill each other.

“Then again, they’d also kill the cops. I dunno. It’s a no-win world. You want to go get a beer? You’re a bitch today. I’ll show you how an Italian mobster aims when I take you home afterward,” he said, pointing at his crotch.

“Get that away from me, you savage,” she growled. “Don’t fuck with me. I’m not drinking. I haven’t been drinking. I need to think. But when I’m not drinking the emotions come back.”

“What emotions? You’re the most emotionally repressed person I’ve ever known.”

“You just think that, you piece of shit, because you live in bars, and that’s the only place you see people. I only get a break from my emotions when I’m in a bar. When I’m not in a bar, you bet I wish I could repress them, but it’s hard to repress something that’s punching you in the face with — I’d say brass knuckles, but it would have to be something heavier than brass. Antimatter knuckles. Punching you in the face with antimatter knuckles, Tony. Shit, you should see me during my period. I spend half of it chewing through the plumbing in my apartment and the other half shooting my illegal rifle through the window at everything that moves and some shit that doesn’t. Why should a snail live when this shit is killing me? I’ve never been in a relationship, because it would mean I’d have to commit murder twelve times a year.”

“Come on, let’s go to the bar.”

She punched him in the nuts.

“Huh,” she said as he rolled on the ground. The police cars were still swarming around, but they had paid no attention to the nut-punch. “Huh. You know, I still don’t feel any better. Sure, let’s go to the bar before I kill someone.”

“I hate you, Unnatural Woman.”

“Oh, you don’t feel anything like that. You don’t feel anything at all, why else would you be such a puke? But if you insist, I’ll buy you the first beer and we’ll call it quits.”

They got a pitcher each and sat at the bar. A hipster with braided facial hair was riding his unicycle up and down the bartop and he spilled Pippi’s first glass of beer. She smiled politely and poured herself another. When he made his next lap, without taking her lips off the glass of beer, the Unnatural Woman pulled a stuffed fish from the barroom wall and deftly slipped it into his spokes. He pitched over the bar and cracked his skull open on a fishtank. The fishtank broke, the floodwaters slipped up stiletto heels, there was a tumult, and during it the Unnatural Woman slipped with her pitcher into the bathroom to steal someone’s package of cocaine and change into her slut disguise.

Some more dull bar things happened, and when she woke up near sundown the next evening there was someone beside her in the bed. Which was not her own, but she had the sense she was still in the neighborhood. She checked to make sure it wasn’t Vomit Tony, then let the body sleep till it woke on its own. She sure didn’t want to hear noises start coming out of its head any sooner than necessary.

But they started coming out inevitably, like death and taxes, a saying which doesn’t make sense because squirrels never pay taxes but you see them dead all over the place. She sighed. The person started comparing her to girls he’d gone to bed with in high school.

“Haaaaang on, buddy. You still talk about high school? Oh, Jesus, how fucking old are you?”

“I’m 20.”

“Shit. I hate Courtney Cox so much. Or Demi something. That old woman who’s fucking the little boy. Bad as a dirty old man. Bad as the pedophiles who buy my goddamn books. I’m in my thirties, OK, I’m not telling you which one, but I’m telling you this much, my address is not in cougartown, OK? Get away from me. Fuck, I told Vomit Tony not to make me drink anymore.” She urinated on the bed and he looked up at her, hurt.

“What, did you think I was going to be honored or something? I know you guys, you’ll fuck a pumpkin.” She threw on her normal clothes, not the slut ones, and ran outside. Sure enough, she was only four blocks from her stinking hovel and her teeming cage of pet rats. But it was long enough for her to see two different flocks of police cars chasing two flocks of whatever-they-were, one going up the north side of the street, the other up the south. They respected each other’s chases, almost like normal traffic.

“Shit,” said the Unnatural Woman. “Am even I going to have to start to stay in after dark?”

Two drunk guys were laughing. “I love the blue lights! It looks like a Christmas tree!”

The Unnatural Woman walked faster. She could almost feel the bullets on her brain. “I should be the one doing the shooting, not some random flock of boots and cocks.”

Suddenly, coming the opposite way, she saw the hipster again, his whole head in a bandage except for his insipid grin, his stupid legs whirling on the unicycle pedals, going right for the scene of the action, as though he didn’t notice anything.

“That does it, I do got to stay in now,” said the Unnatural Woman. “Definitely staying in.”

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