Shorty & Morty
An Extraordinary Homeless Couple
“Cute kid ya got here. Reminds me of a puppet I de-stringed.”
Zippy – the unofficial self-proclaimed and very blind “mayor” of Hollywood stood on his corner – rattling his large tin cup. He knew everyone in his community for over 40 years – he heard every story and listened as they played out over and over. New kid off the bus – dying to be known in Krazytown – the only place that ate and digested her young so quickly. He lost count of the amount of porn movies that were kept in business because the producers preyed on the angst to be the new celeb hunger of the young. Things were changing again – times were lean and it made most people mean. Violence was up but the numbers reported were down. He took a swig off of his gin bottle with an audible sigh of relief. Nightlife was when he fit in most – he became Stevie Wonder – Ray Charles and Superman – a sightless man with vision.
His ragged knit cap and torn and weathered clothes hung on his frame like a fat clothes hanger. He rattled his cup and barked out to anyone who would listen among the night hustles – “Hey brother – sister – can ya spare a dime and I don’t mean bag… ha ha ha…” his laugh was gravelly from years of smoking and drinking his homemade coffee through strained socks. Zippy’s ears were more in tune from being sightless – his vision was blurred then completely lost as a young teen when his father hit him in the head with a baseball – indoors – detaching both retinas. His father was a drunken merchant seaman and his mother a subservient who did as she was bid.
Zippy had been sent to foster care as a youth and landed on the streets when he was let out at 18 – it was here he learned about mortality and humanity. The daily war of survival on the streets – he loved his town and the action it provided – wasn’t for everyone and many went missing or lived lost while others left – died or lied.
Zippy knew this would be his final resting place – he just didn’t want to go like Roger Dunno who pulled a Hendrix and then froze to death – one particularly cold night. It took the public half the next day to realize Roger wasn’t sleeping on the sidewalk as they stepped over his partially blanketed body. Cops and medics were called when a fellow homeless man – Leon “the JJ” – started screaming bloody murder in an alcohol induced haze. Leon in his shredded clothing screamed – “Jayzus is dead! Jayzus is dead! But he’s coming back this Easter!! He will rise again as Roger Dunno. Touch him – for five bucks you can touch him you will be saved!” The cops swatted him away – as the medics bagged Roger. Another unmarked body would enter the City morgue.
Zippy wanted to die in his sleep for sure – but next to a warm body – any-body – preferably Krazy Kate’s. Zipster adored Katey’s frenetic energy and upbeat attitude – nothing swayed her. Hearing her voice excited him when she accidentally brushed against him while chattering to herself – beelining down the boulevard – it made him feel like he could see and more importantly – feel. In all the years he had boozed only one woman made him pop a chub. Katey smelled good to Zippy – he didn’t care if she was whack – he could pick out her cowboy boots even in the evening crowds’ noise. Yes – he could… and if she would only agree – he would crown her Mrs. Lady Mayor in his unofficial world.
Razor packed his cart after Pikey Pram Pusher and Forearmless Jake paid him a visit. Time to move his digs and the treasure trove of flapjack boxes with Mrs. Butterworth that he stole from Mr. Weldon’s – the Hollywood Census Social Worker – car. He knew that Pikey would hurt whoever stole his DVD girlfriend E.M. Fredric's Early Works and he wanted to be nowhere around that mess. With the Hollywood Census social worker after him – Razor thought about making a huge breakfast in the morning and cooking up all the evidence as he forged ahead deeper into the bowels of Hollywood’s cheapest neighborhoods – where even bodies were hard to locate.
A woman ran screaming by him – “Help me! Someone please help me!” – with her husband followed by an upraised butcher’s knife. “I’ll kill you! You b*tch – you burned my steak! You know how many hours of work that cost me?”
Razor shuddered and yelled out – “Hey man! Watch the cart!” He slurped his rubbing alcohol – replaced the cap and tucked it into his breast pocket – belched and shook his head in dismay as he mumbled – “I never got married – never gettin’ married… waste of good food kills me.”
Hollywood Boulevard night…
Josh was aiming his camera at everything around him on this happening evening. The Spielberg interaction earlier at Dodger Stadium still had him on an idol high. Peter and Babes were continuing dancing down the street as Peter searched for the dwarf and his girlfriend – Shorty & Morty.
Jared postured up and down the street blocks every time he saw a group of pretty girls texting as they passed by – especially Goth Girls – he got insta-wood. A police car screeched by with sirens and flashing lights an ambulance followed suit. “Amateur night – probably another wreckless baby jogger driver – texting. Young ladies!” Jared spoke directly to the Goth Girls – “Remember to look up so you don’t perish. Really – this technotard crap is getting out of hand and removes us from our inner linings – would you care to see a flyer of my band that’s making a HUGE comeback as soon as my drummer is out of Celebrity Rehab?” Jared preened as he stepped in line with the girls forever on his five-year plan – holding the paper up.
They looked at one another after viewing the band’s photo. The leader offered up – “No one in your band is pierced? Tattoos are out – even an old man like you should get that.” Jared – livid but polite offered – “Really? Piercing is for formaldehyde sniffers!” As the girls babbled on in confusion he added – “Beware the trying to fit in girlies – the children of the night here will eat you alive. Not old enough to get it? Tell ‘em the puppetmaster sent you.”
As the group burst forward one girl spat out – “Who you calling children? We’re old enough to do what we want.” Jared smiled maniacally - “You’re playing a dangerous game – you’re no Amy Winehouses or Janis Joplins!” – he thundered – “Taylor Swift*tties move along – you’ve conquered nothing in life!”
“I am the missing link you will never know.” Jared shook his head – then saw the SPOTlights hit in front of the Chinese Theatre – his turn to be out front had come again. He ran and pushed his way through a roped off crowd and hopped center of the light with his head tossed back gleefully as he posed awaiting his autograph seekers.
A crowd knocked Jared aside over – “Oh – Mr. Seagal! Can I please have your autograph?!” The puffy and aging yet handsome martial arts actor still had his fans. Jared brushed himself off – adjusted his wig and approached the star – “Hey Steven – my man… loved that all black jazz band you had.” Seagal interrupted – “Blues band.” As he continued signing. Jared whipped out a flyer – “That’s what I meant. Either way a brilliant move. I would love to have you see my new band.”
Seagal tried to move on when Jared placed a hand on shoulder. Steven spun Jared twisting and pinning his arm behind his back. “Ahhhh! Mr. Seagal please I just wanted to tell you about my own rock band that is going to change the world. Please.” Seagal released him and bowed politely. “Sorry – man but never touch the mojo – I have to go.”
With that he was in his limo and gone as the spotlights popped off. Jared yelled out – “You’re no Bruce Lee! He made real movies NOT direct to video reels! You’re a fake – don’t we all hate fakers folks?!” Jared looked around alerting what was left of a group.
The remaining crowd gasped at his outburst and Jared rubbed his sore arm –“Really people? Smoke and mirrors – I mean the guy isn’t even a legitimate martial artist – just a Bruce Lee and B.B. King wannabe. If he hadn’t caught me by surprise…” Jared was jumping into various poses kicking and striking into the air until he heaved and the crowd dispersed – bored. One toddler in a stroller clapped and laughed – “Daddy! Dat man is phunny – poo-pow!” Jared pounced – “Really little man?” To the father as he sat on his heels eye level to the toddler – “Cute kid ya got here. Smart aleck – reminds me of a puppet I once owned and de-stringed.”
The little boy looked into Jared’s eyes – they turned into saucers while his hands twisted like opening a jar – and started screaming as the father jerked the stroller away. “Leave my little boy alone you homeless waste!”
Jared slowly stood up – “I’ll have you know I’m not homeless and you’ve NO idea who you’re talking to – this is MY street so take a hike daddy pusher – move along before I enlighten your kid about real life!” A flying purse swung upside Jared’s head – “Ouch!” An irate mother – “How dare you talk to my child that way – you narcissistic bully!”
Jared grabbed his head to keep his wig from falling off and backed up. “Excuse me but I have no idea what you’re talking about it was your husband who launched an Apollo 13 on me! So take your dysfunctional family to Disneyland – and ride the really small world. Take heed!”
Jared skipped off – mumbling “Man-oh-man that woman turned me on. Whatever. Distractions.”
RAZOR, FORARMLESS JAKE, KATE'S DOLL BY DYLAN BOCANEGA
Further down the boulevard…
Peter continued searching for Morty – if he found the dwarf maybe his hero – Jared would let him go see the shrine he had for puppets and dolls or the statue that he prayed to and introduce him to his puppet God. Babe’s patch had been almost surgically placed by Josh’s friend after the thugs at the stadium tossed the boys out and almost killed Peter’s girl. He handled her like she was made of glacier ice – not the air that inflated her entire essence. This young man of the streets knew love was important – even if his beloved was made of rubber.
Camera guy Josh continued to aim his lens hoping when he and Steven Spielberg met again – he would have even more to show him than the photos they had taken together at the Dodger game. His two weeks here had paid off and by week 10 his plan should be in full effect – he would meet and fall in love with one of Spielberg’s daughters and then the keys to Hollywood would be his. He just needed Peter to introduce him Shorty & Morty – this extraordinary homeless couple would be his ticket to directorial – if not creator stardom.
He wasn’t worried – Steven looked at him like they were old pals. It was a meant to be and he knew they came from the same brethren moons. He only needed one eye and he had met his mentor and Yoda in real life. Everything appeared so vibrant and alive – even the hookers looked happy passing the Technicolor yawns of those who blended in as scenery. The homeless who drank and drugged to relive old glory memories or to numb their current and past pain.
Runyon Canyon’s lower hills…
Forearmless Jake was desperately trying to keep up with Pikey Pram Pusher as the coal black giant continued ripping open the doors of the chaotic homes the destitute had built. His mission was simple – someone had stolen his DVD girlfriend and he wanted her back – NOW! He grunted – “I want my. I want my. I want my EMF…” His stench alone kept what residents were home with their mouths covered. Jake rat-a-tatted the questions and they moved on at Pikey’s nod of approval.
Forearmless Jake’s methed out brain kept his tongue going – “Pike… Pikey! We’ll find her – but ya need to slow down man or someone will get the cops after us and we just got you outta jail.” They bounded on through the brush – “Pikey remember when Mara Neely had a crush on you? An’… an’ Charlotte GHorse? Ya had plenty a girls like you – course they’re dead now but! – They liked you before they bit it! EMF isn’t the only girl out there for ya!” Jake crashed into Pikey’s rear as he halted and turned around. Jake immediately put his nose into his armpit with – “I know – I know – I know – it’s your first real love. Let’s go but please slow down my elbows are killing me from fending off the sticks.” Pikey nodded and plodded purposefully on.
Shorty & Morty’s Shack in the hills…
Celine was fussing over Morty having cleaned up his wounds – In her Jersey best “Ya almost look as handsome as before ya went over the canyon wall! You shoulda seen the look on Nesser’s face when you bit him and yours my handsome man when he shot my crutch leg by accident – priceless!” She giggled as Morty started coming around from the trauma. “I thought for sure I was a goner and all I kept thinking about was you and how I couldn’t leave you alone – never will either – toots.” They basked in the feeling only those who reach true intimacy experience. The silence between them was strong enough to carry more than a herd of elephants and richer than the Mukesh Ambani’s billion dollar home – the Antilia – in India. Their gold rested within.
Morty broke the moment with “I’m gonna kick Nesser’s a$$ and in front of as many people as I can – destroying High-Bench and trying to kill me! That guy needs to be taught a lesson – he messed with the wrong dwarf.” Cooed Celine – “That’ll be so much fun to watch but maybe you should rest – it’s been the longest day of my life…”
She was cut off by a loud resounding shaking of the ground beneath their home. “Ahhh not now – I’m not in the mood for an earthquake.” She pouted. Morty jumped to attention – “That’s not an earthquake… whatever it is I want my slingshot and get the bear spray.” The 4’6” dwarf turned out their lights and peered out through what few windows they had only to have the smell dawn on him as the last huge thump stopped outside their door.
Inside Hollywood’s Most Private Club…
An obliterated Hugh E. Nesser yelled across the room – “Candace Horney-berg – you old bagga honey – I miss our little midnight trysts. At every age you were better than Mattci – right Ms. Nature lover?” Mattci Waldschmidt stomped her petit 5’4” trim body over to Nesser and with her 72 years of trim fun in-the-sun – she slapped Nesser across the face. “AHHH! Not my nose again! She hit me for no reason!” “And I’ll do it again Hugh E. if you can’t behave yourself. You’ve always had a filthy mouth and it won’t be tolerated in here.” Mattci exclaimed proudly –as she moved back quickly.
Mattci surprised herself with her courage and she would do it again in a heartbeat.
Nesser’s newly broken nose bled again – spraying the Asian King Sister’s dresses – turning them into true Monica’s as they squealed and turned to run out of the private floor door. But first Lacey King turned and declared – “You’re no DSB – just another rich entitled lush! Give us our money for coming with you!” Nesser started laughing while holding his nose and bowing for his new audience – “I gave you money so get back onto the street you skanky girls.” Berta King lashed out – “You tell us Asian lies!” while sticking her heel in his groin. “You got no monopoly on us you fool and we know that sperm bank closed a long time ago!”
Frank applauded as Candace, Tranny Leah Lexington and the room slowly started to fall into sync with a thunderous round of applause. Nesser was on the floor with his rug flipped forward – too drunk to feel it. A passing fanboy waiter – new to town felt for his TV hero of yesteryear and bent down to help him up when Nesser did the unthinkable: His vomit projectile was so powerful his girdle came unhooked. Screams filled the air as the crowd stepped back watching in horror as Nesser blew and blew and blew what appeared to be a week of stomach contents with very little food mixed in with his booze and pills. The waiter slipped and fell – tray-in-hand – onto the floor next to Nesser. The fanboy tried to help Nesser up as they both swam in Nesser’s booze-bomb.
Frank said to Leah – “Oh my God – this is going to destroy the evening. We have to get an ambulance or nothing will be accomplished tonight.” Leah agreed and pulled out her cell. Captain Argata Arteaga smiled at the fiasco he watched unfold – Nesser had him on his payroll for far too long and he hoped Nesser would die but first – a valiant public effort had to be done.
Shorty & Morty’s Shack in the hills…
“Pikey – don’t you ever take a bath?! I mean seriously that’s some bada$$ stench you got goin’ on there.” As Morty started to open his door – Pikey whipped the door open and the dwarf landed outside. Forearmless Jake was right behind him chattering away – “Morty someone stole Pikey’s girl and we come by to see if you have a clue cause I gotta stop him from destroying tings.”
Celine came out with a handkerchief to her nose and smiled up at Pikey’s saddened eyes. With her Southern voice she soothed – “Pikey would you like something to eat or drink with us? We’ve had a terrible evening with Morty almost getting killed by Hugh E. Nesser and we’ll help you figure things out.” Pikey just shook his head but Forearmless was all over it.
“Nesser tried to kill one of us?!!! That ratba$$tard is always gettin’ away with murder – he even dumps his garbage in his neighbors’ bins – that’s how cheap the guy is and I heard he flattens people’s tires in parking lots if he thinks they’re too close to his holier than thou archaic piece of junk BMW! Whattya gonna do Morty? Huh… huh… huh..?” Before Morty could answer… Pikey started to do something no one ever saw or heard him do. Celine had her hand out to the side of Pikey’s head and Pram started to whimper as a single tear came down his face. She soothed – “We’re the same and you’re family – we’ll find your girl.” Jake was too methed out to be stupefied – “Wow – I never seen him let anyone touch him. Okay – here’s the deal. We help you with Nesser and you help us find EMF’s Early Works!”
Morty and he shook – “Deal.” Jake grinned his gaptooth smile – “I heard from one of the homeless running from his pad uphill that Nesser headed down to Krazytown’s new private club.” They decided to pay a visit but first Celine served Pikey and the boys a hot cup of cider.
Yes – she did.
I love these characters, their Krazytown nieghorhoods they reside in with the other misfits, tourists and has been or wannabe - "bluebloods." This journeys beyond the films or the in-character interviews. I hope they will bring you as much pleasure as I had creating them!