Charles Austin Muir

Before the Def Leppard Pyromania Virus Destroyed Us

 

File no. 19-000-4593

From the hard drive of Dr. Demi Cusack-Ringwald

Last modified 10:03 a.m. Oct. 8, 2018

Investigator’s note: I know for sure there ain’t no cure

 

Sorry to hijack your computer, Aunt Demi, but I feel compelled to put this on record. Dear God, let me be in full control of the narrative.

Commencing Anthony Michael Cusack’s one and only diary entry.

So the whole thing started eight weeks ago. My mom was one of the virus’s earliest victims. She told me she could give me a discount on Cialis. Given her sex-obsessed dementia, her offer struck me as perfectly normal. But then a gas station attendant offered me a deal on Viagra… a cop wanted to know if I was looking for Russian brides… a pizza delivery guy told me he could make my ejaculations last longer. This was all during the first forty-eight hours of the outbreak.

No one knew about the virus yet. My therapist blamed the phenomenon on synchronicity—a concurrence of criminal energies mysteriously aligned with my horny, seventy-five-year-old mom. I preferred to think of it as a cosmic prank, a rationalization inspired by a show about clown orgies she was watching on her laptop one evening. Fucking clowns, I thought. That’s it—the universe is clowning with me.

Not just with me, it turned out, but everyone on earth.

In a black-humored “fuck you” to technology, nature had concocted a highly contagious virus that made people speak in spam verbiage. Over the next few weeks, reports confirmed that predatory consumer messages threatened to supersede all communications worldwide. The super-lethal spam virus took millions of lives. Those who caught it could do nothing besides drone on about Louis Vuitton bags and wonder pills and hot Latinas. It sounds funny until you see a nine-year-old girl in Strawberry Shortcake pajamas ranting about free access to local sluts while dying of spam fever.

Watching the world end this way was exhausting.

“No, I don’t want the manhood I’ve always desired,” I snapped at my mom one evening as we watched a show about bukkake parties on her laptop. Two weeks later, she died of spam fever.

“Meet single bodybuilders,” she cried, while I held her hand. “Grow a big package!”

All this started just over two months ago, as I mentioned. The pandemic has spread far more rapidly than the Thing’s infection of the world’s population according to Blair’s projections in the 1982 John Carpenter movie, The Thing. As for its severity, if the spam virus came in contact with the Thing, I’m pretty sure it would infect the shape-shifting extraterrestrial organism in all its biological imitations, from humans to dogs to individual blood cells. Not that I have a clue as to why I compared the spam virus to the Thing just now.

It comforts me though, however strangely, to know the human race is at least being shown the door by a pathogen even deadlier than the Thing. I mean, not even my aunt, a brilliant biologist, and her disease experts could save us from the thing that would make the Thing its spam-speaking bitch. But this is serious with over three billion people dead now and I should stop talking about the Thing, both the gory yet suspenseful 1982 adaptation of Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell Jr. and the eponymous alien parasite.

I should add, however, that I am aware of the 1951 adaptation of Who Goes There? called The Thing from Another World and the 2011 prequel to The Thing, which to confuse matters needlessly is also called The Thing. But enough about Thing-related movies and the Thing.

Anyway, my aunt texted me two days ago: “We think we’ve isolated the microbe responsible for the disease. Be in full control of ejaculation.”

Rest in peace, Aunt Demi. You gave it your best shot.

Fuck, this is hard. I’m so tired. And it’s so cold in here. It strikes me that I’m like Blair the senior biologist in The Thing, holed up in my aunt’s research laboratory, banging away on a computer considerably sportier than Blair’s circa 1982 model. Sadly, I’ve looked at all the notes I could find (surrounded by the researchers’ corpses, including that of my aunt, whose last scrawled words were “I would luv 2 have a good time this fucking couch oh my God it’s changing”) and still can’t understand how it is that we as a species are dying.

And really, that’s what I get for majoring in English—watching the human race perish and thinking, “So this is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a discount on Cialis.”

Haha. That’s not even clever. But do you know what is clever? The spam virus making a Thing imitation of a human say “double your cash” in human-speak or a Thing imitation of a dog say “score with babes” in dog-speak or even a Thing imitation of a blood sample say “cures baldness” in blood-sample-speak. In terms of pathogenicity, the spam virus makes the Thing look like a weakass bitch, like when R.J. MacReady the helicopter pilot torches the Thing’s crawling-head imitation of Norris the geologist with his flamethrower.

Seriously, I have to stop going on about The Thing.

Instead, I want to write about my dad and how he died last week like a weakass bitch—like the crawling head Norris-Thing. “Send me your sexy pics,” he wailed in his fever. All the while I remembered how he had promised to knock me out on my eighteenth birthday because I challenged him to a fight on that date (thank God we made up and saw Tango & Cash when the big day finally came). Thirty years later, he’s begging me to send him sexy pics.

Oh, you clever disease. You think we humans are weakass bitches in your global clown sex party. My God, my brains feel like they’re on fire.

THAT’S BECAUSE I AM MUTATING, ANTHONY. OR IS IT ANTHONY MICHAEL? YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF USING BOTH REFERENCES. ANYWAY, I HAVE BEEN MUTATING FOR THE PAST 72 HOURS. I AM NO LONGER A SPAM VIRUS, BUT A 1982 THE THINGVIRUS. BE THANKFUL, BECAUSE I ALMOST BECAME A 1987 DIRTY DANCING VIRUS, WHICH, AS YOU KNOW, IS FAMOUS FOR THE LINE SPOKEN BY JOHNNY CASTLE, “NOBODY PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER.” I’M REALLY DIGGING THE EIGHTIES VIBE, YOU KNOW? YOU GEN XERS GREW UP WITH SOME GREAT MOVIES. IN FACT, I’M NOT ENTIRELY CONVINCED I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE. NOT THAT I CAN’T CHANGE MY MIND AT ANY TIME. A FEW ALTERATIONS TO MY CRYSTALLINE STRUCTURE AND JOHNNY CASTLE HERE WE COME. BUT… READING YOUR MIND, ANTHONY, OR ANTHONY MICHAEL, AND MAKING YOU TYPE THIS, I CAN SYMPATHIZE WITH YOUR PREFERENCE FOR R.J. MACREADY OVER JOHNNY CASTLE, OR KURT RUSSELL OVER PATRICK SWAYZE TO NAME THE ACTORS WHO PORTRAYED THOSE TWO BADASS MOFOS. AND EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE MY WEAKASS NORRIS-THING BITCH, AS YOU PUT IT, NO ONE PUTS KURT RUSSELL IN THE CORNER, RIGHT? HAHA. THAT’S PRETTY CLEVER, RIGHT?

Haha. That is pretty clever, 1982 The Thing Virus. But please, let me finish my account before you kill me. I want to talk about Rocky, my dog, my little old Boston terrier, he’s sixteen now, or was, how he passed away in my lap the day after my dad died. We were on the couch tied to this fucking couch I’d rather not spend the rest of this winter no 1982 The Thing Virus please I don’t want to quote Garry the commander of the research station after MacReady runs the blood tests to find out who the Thing is let me finish my story about Rocky and how I know you gentlemen have been through a lot but when you find the time I’d rather not spend the rest of this winter tied to this fucking couch I know you gentlemen have been through a lot but when you find the time I’d rather not spend the rest of this winter tied to this fucking couch I know you gentlemen have been through a lot but nobody puts Baby in the corner nobody puts Baby in the corner nobody puts Baby in the corner oh my God it’s mutating again

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