Saturday, February 27, 2010

Billy's Story

I think this is the funniest one yet. I know I laughed my way through writing it in a way that I hadn't done with the previous attempts. I really should stop writing these because I am heading towards certain "You should have quite while you were ahead" land.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, I've started writing occasional historical accounts using a clownish narrative voice that I've adopted from Kurt Vonnegut. When I did it the first time, with Eddy's Story, it was totally spur of the moment. I enjoyed it so much, however, that I wanted to do it again. So I did. That second attempt resulted in Danny's Story.

I wasn't as happy with the result of Danny's Story as I had been with Eddy's Story, so I kind of figured I would stop there. But then my sister said she thought it was good, and encouraged me to keep doing it.

So I have.

I sat down to write this one as a serious historical account. But as I studied the story more and more, and realized just how much information is out there on it, I felt discouraged and overwhelmed. I felt like I had two choices: write a short account that would come off sounding like a dry Wikipedia article, or get really into it and produce a Sprawling Epic that no one on earth would ever read. Neither option sounded very appealing, and I also didn't feel like either option would really add anything to the wealth of information already out there. Not that this is necessarily a motivation for everything I write, but still.

So I more or less gave up and forgot about it for a few days.

Then tonight I came back to it and it suddenly dawned on me that I could perhaps put a twist on all the available information by writing in my Vonnegut-inspired narrative voice again. Make it funny and cynical and outrageous.

So I did. I think it turned out really good. Hope you enjoy.

Oh, and one other thing. For any artists or art-lovers out there, please realize that my incredibly condescending tone of voice toward the World of Art in general is done purely for narrative effect. I doesn't necessarily represent how I personally feel about art.


Look: Billy was an ugly little cuss who shocked his parents by being born with a Van Dyke beard and two little red eyes the color of Satan’s balls.

You see, Satan has red balls. But they’re little. At least that’s what Pat Robertson says. And he’d know, because he ate Satan’s balls about 45 years ago, which is why he’s had diarrhea of the mouth ever since.

Pat Robertson, praying to Satan

Anyway, Billy was born in 1853 in a country called Holland, but the Germans always liked to call it the Netherlands. Germans are the people who live in Germany, which is a country made famous because all of its inhabitants love Internet porn. The Germans always called Holland the Netherlands because back before the days of the Internet, Holland was the place they all visited to engage in their favorite pastimes, like sadomasochism, water sports, fatty sex, and something known as the Dirty Sanchez. They learned that one from the Spaniards, but this isn’t a story about Spain’s homosexual underground.

In reality, Billy wasn’t the Spawn of Satan. Pat Robertson is. And honestly, Billy’s eyes were probably blue.

But I can tell you one thing: Billy was crazier than a shit-house rat.

A snapshot of young Billy. He's not wearing pants in this photo.

His father was a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church, which really explains everything. In fact, there were a lot of ministers in Billy’s family. Everyone who wasn’t a minister in his family was really big on art. Art is an industry where depressed gay people draw pictures for a living, and then pretentious assholes sell these drawings to other pretentious assholes.

Billy thought that was a bunch of shit. Instead, he decided to enter the ministry.

He spent a couple of years studying for his entrance exams into divinity school, but he failed and wasn’t able to get accepted because God only likes people who can score well on standardized tests. Instead, Billy decided to become a missionary.

Turns out, God was right. Billy was a really crappy missionary. He believed in all sorts of batshit crazy ideas like giving up all his possessions and living together with the poor people he was trying to help. For obvious reasons, this made the Religious Authorities uneasy, the way you feel uneasy when your uncle shows you his balls. Religious Authorities are the white men who run religion and who sometimes act like your perverted uncle. You perverted uncle is me.

Your perverted uncle

The Religious Authorities were uncomfortable with Billy’s actions because poor people are sinners. Hence, that’s why they’re poor. There was no question about it: Billy was crazier than a shit house rat.

The Church had no choice: Billy got shitcanned from his missionary job for “undermining the dignity of the priesthood.” I’m sure the Religious Authorities felt really bad about it. One or two of them tried to make it up to him by showing him their balls. Turns out, that didn’t help.

In any case, Billy was pretty depressed. His Mom and Dad were Really Worried and decided to do the only thing that can be done with depressed people: commit them to a lunatic asylum. But they changed their mind at the last minute because Billy started doing something else.

He started to draw.

His pictures were really terrible. They looked like a crazy shit-house rat had drawn them. Either that or an armless 7-year-old.

Okay, they weren’t really that bad, but they weren’t very good and Billy finally went to art school, which is a place where San Francisco Liberals teach you how to draw pictures.

Look: Like all artists, Billy got steadily more insane as the years went by. His art got better and people started buying it, but Billy of the Van Dyke beard kept adding to the bats in his belfry. He stopped eating. He lived on cigarettes and absinthe. Absinthe was a type of alcohol that was really popular with pretentious assholes in the 19th century. He moved around a lot. He met a lot of famous artists.

In 1888, Billy attacked his roommate with a razor blade. He did this because he was crazier than a shit-house rat. Turns out, Billy wasn’t any better at razor blade fighting than he was at ministering to poor people. His roommate escaped without injury, which is another way of saying he ran screaming down the hall. He didn’t come back.

Billy's roommate, trying to look like a suffering artist. It was probably this picture that drove Billy to try to cut the bastard.

Billy felt really bad. He decided the best way to make things right was to cut off his earlobe and give it to a prostitute. So he did that.

They put Billy in an insane asylum. An insane asylum is a commune where people who are one fry short of a Happy Meal go to live together. It’s sort of like Washington D.C. that way.

A rare look inside an insane asylum

There are nurses there who feed you, bathe you, and clean up your poop. The reason they work there is because they couldn’t get jobs anywhere else and Wal-Mart wasn’t hiring. There are also doctors there who put you in straightjackets when they catch you putting your penis through a hole in the wall so that the man next door can give you fellatio. These are called Glory Holes, and they are considered perverted everywhere except Germany and in Pat Robertson’s church.

Billy got to leave after a few months, but he ended up in several more asylums over the next couple of years. All his family was Really Worried about him again. They spent a lot of time over the years Really Worried. He was still drawing a lot of pictures though, and art critics have been happy about that ever since. An art critic is a pretentious asshole and failed artist who has convinced himself that his life is not a waste.

Look: Billy and his brother Teddy were really close. Like, so close you’d almost think they were gay except that they were brothers and that’s just creepy, even for artsy people. The relationship of Billy and Teddy was made into a movie in the 1980’s called Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which describes the time Billy and Teddy rode in a time machine. Most of it wasn’t true though.

Billy was played by Alex Winter, and Teddy was played by Keanu Reeves. The only historically accurate thing about the movie is that the actors looked exactly like the real Billy and Teddy.

Anyway, since Al Gore hadn’t invented the Internet yet (something German lovers of granny sex were really pissed off about), Billy and Teddy wrote a lot of letters to each other over the years. Teddy wasn’t batshit crazy and had a reasonable amount of money, so he was always supporting Billy’s lazy ass. He felt bad for Billy because Billy was crazier than a shit-house rat and because he thought Billy was a Great Artist. In his turn, Billy pretty much treated Teddy the way you treat a prostitute you’ve woken up to discover in your bed. You light a cigarette and kick the bitch out. That’s how Billy treated Teddy.

It was kind of like a soap opera, only set in the midst of the Post-Impressionist art movement of the late 19th century, and thus way gayer.

Look: Billy and Teddy had a major codependency. Codependency is a fancy word psychologists use to refer to relationships where two people act gay. A psychologist is a person who didn’t have any idea what he wanted to do when he got to college, so he just took psychology classes. Psychologists are famous for knowing why everyone is crazy.

Sigmund Freud says you have penis envy

Anyway, Billy and Teddy were codependent. That’s why Teddy died just a few months after Billy, and both of them were only in their 30’s. I used the word “only” there because I am in my 30’s, and I like feeling like I’m not old. People who are 20 think I’m old. Fuck them. They’re barely out of diapers for chrissakes.

Look: Billy was living near Paris in 1890. There was a doctor there who was famous with all the Post-Impressionist artists, all of whom needed a doctor. He was kind of like Dr. Drew that way. Billy was living there to be near this doctor to the stars. One day, Billy went out into a wheat field and shot himself in the chest. He really liked wheat fields, so it made sense to commit suicide there.

Funnily enough, he only mortally wounded himself and had to suffer for several days with his guts leaking out. His brother Teddy got word of Billy’s condition and came to his bedside. See, I told you they were codependent. Teddy held Billy’s hand as Billy “passed from the land of the living and made that terrifying journey through death’s dark threshold.” That’s a literary way of saying that Billy croaked.

Teddy croaked a few months later. He died of a broken heart. And syphilis.

After he died, Billy became the Most Famous Artist in the History of the World. One of his paintings sold at an auction in 1987 for 53 million dollars. An auction is a place where pretentious assholes spend a lot of money on inanimate objects so that they don’t have to give their money to poor people. Billy has paintings in big art museums around the world. Everyone knows his name.

Look: Have you ever heard of a lunatic named Vincent Willem van Gogh?


Anonymous said...

Love the picture captions, Uncle Pervert. I'll warn Kel.

Can't wait to see what sort of blog hits you get on this one.

Scott said...

To quote Stephen King, I'm really goddamn needy, and imma gonna need something more from you than this.