ON THE OUTSIDE – RONNIE PEACE

Marcus had been known to often cuss at his last name. His last name was Cuss. And it wasn’t just at the correct pronunciation of it.

With his full name being Marcus Hybiss Cuss, you could imagine he had quite a lot of things to cuss about in life.

As the non-willing participant of a lifelong experiment of which he had no choice, the niche he has found himself in in life is the conclusion that names are a branding on life that tend to lead the brandee into a path that the branding had already set. And, for Marcus Cuss, this was no different.


As a child, the kids called him many names, such as ‘Cuss-Cuss’, ‘Hibiscus’, ‘Flowerchild’, ‘Mew’, ‘Custard Arms’ (though, to be fair, that was due to his ridiculously poor cricket skills and just purely coincidental to his name), ‘couscous’, ‘Colonel Cuss-tard’, ‘Droopy’ (due to his striking resemblance to the anthropomorphic cartoon dog) and ‘Dickhead’.


Marcus Hybiss Cuss certainly was a dickhead. No question.

Whether he was formed into being one due to the circumstance that his name bestowed upon him, or whether it was in his genes (albeit, there was a small one in his jeans – a much funnier joke if said, rather than read) remained to be seen. Or read, dependant on how this story pans out.


On this particular occasion, Marcus was cussing to a different beat. Specifically, it was the surprisingly groovy beat of the policeman knocking at his door.


“No thank you”, Marcus answered from behind the closed door, in an attempted stereotypical Spanish accent, that sounded part-Eskimo, part-Klingon.


“This is Detective Sergeant Goodforce, I’m here to speak to Marcus Hybiss Cuss.”


“Are you the Detective, or are there two of you and you are announcing him?” Not only was Marcus a dickhead, but he was also as bright as a black hole.


“Sir, I can promise you if you cooperate and open the door, things won’t be as bad for you as they can be.”


With his index finger entrenched within his left nostril, Marcus pondered the statement with the remaining part of his brain that wasn’t being explored by a crusty covered digit.


“OK, I’ll let you in, just one second…”


And with that, loud, alternating footsteps were heard inside the house leading from the front door towards the back door. Marcus was on the run.


But not for long.


In his rush to escape for freedom Marcus failed to see the massive human standing at the open back door that was (and still is, though I can only assume no longer at the back door by the time you read this, and I would be surprised if he was still there by the time I finish this ridiculously long and unnecessary explanation contained inside this parenthesis) Detective Sergeant Goodforce. He ran into Goodforce’s solid chest with great force and knocked himself clean out.


When Couscous finally came to, he farted. This has no real bearing on the story, but is worth mentioning as it was pretty damned funny at the time, particularly to the pet cat ‘Roger Meescelfscilly IV’ chuckling away to itself nonchalantly in the corner of the room. Though, the Detective was not amused.


“But … you were at the front door… ? How … did you … get to the backdoor so quickly?”


“Oh, the person you heard at the front door was a guy I have that announces all of my arrivals. I pay him $15 per announcement.”


“He’s good.”


One thing Marcus was good at was small talk. Many things made Detective Sergeant Goodforce angry. Small talk was high on that imaginary list.


“Enough! Get up on your feet!” (See. I told you).


Easier said than done. Marcus’ right leg was lying 3 metres away from him in the hallway.

…oh yeah, did I mention Marcus had a fake leg?


Marcus had a fake leg. What made this even more unusual was the fact that he had both of his ‘original’ fully-grown legs still attached. You see, he had found a prosthetic leg on his weekly trip to the rubbish tip one weekend, and had decided to try it out – “waste not, want not”, his mother had always said. And so he did (or, did not?).


The Detective saw Marcus’ dilemma and gave him a leg up. And then, upon discovering Marcus’ two original legs were intact, he hoisted the prosthetic leg out the kitchen window.


The leg took a right angle after breaking through the glass, due to it being set at the exact same angle of an authentic boomerang (not one made in China), and sconed a tall, skinny man with an eye patch and parrot on his shoulder directly on his noggin’, knocking him instantly to the ground. Much to the delight of the parrot.


Having regained consciousness, the man unclasped his wooden peg-leg from his stump and attached the fake (but real boomerang shaped) leg in its place. A smile broke out across the man’s face as he regained his feet (both his human one and the prosthetic one).


He walked away happily, and awkwardly, due to the shape of the leg, and back onto the set of Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Sea Word, where he was employed to stick gaffer tape to things. While it seemed like a menial task, he enjoyed it as he got to watch the film for free as it got filmed scene by scene and, if truth be known, the skills of a retired real-life pirate weren’t much good for anything else.

Though an interesting story in itself (which I very much doubt) it had no bearing at all on our current story.

Unfortunately, during this time, we missed how the Detective and Marcus came to be running down the road in the nude, covered in honey, and being chased by a bear. But they were.

Finally, to the relief of the Detective and Marcus, after much running and screaming and crying, they seemed to have lost the bear. In doing so, they had become lost themselves.

It was then that Marcus remembered the GPS Navigational device he had had inserted into his right forearm in case of such emergencies. Being into the latest gizmos due to his lack of friends, and not a reflection of his intellect, he was eager to try out all the latest technologies at the earliest chance.

He activated his forearm and requested it to find the quickest route back to his house. After the fourth attempt at communicating with his forearm, and resetting it seven times, it picked up the route and was operational. And so the nude men set off from whence they came.

Suddenly, the navigational forearm device said, “At the next intersection, bear left”

And so the men turned right in an attempt to avoid the bear of which they were warned.

Many turns, and many bear avoidances later (there seemed to be one at almost every intersection) they had arrived back at Marcus’ place, sticky and sweaty but, most importantly, uneaten.

They grabbed a beer to celebrate their feets (who had played a large part in outrunning the bear) and their lives, when suddenly, before they could hit the showers to get cleaned up and un-nuded, they heard the front door slam open.

“Marcus, it’s your girlfriend ‘Botrytis’, coming in”, announced a male voice. It was Detective Sergeant Goodforce’s announcer guy again, announcing the arrival of Marcus’ girlfriend.

Marcus was right, this guy was good.

As Botrytis set eyes on the two men – sweaty and sticky, breathing heavy, sharing a beer and laughing – she quickly surmised the situation and put two and two together.

“I knew it! You’ve been out to the shops and you didn’t even think to get me anything, you selfish pig. That’s it, it’s over!”

And with that, Botrytis slapped Marcus across the face and stormed back out of his house, never to be seen again.

Marcus had never seen this woman before in his life. In fact, Marcus had never had a girlfriend in his life.

As he explained this confusing turn of events to Detective Sergeant Goodforce it was like a light went on inside the Detective’s brain. He now remembered why he was at Marcus’ in the first place.

“Marcus, do you remember how I first came to be here?”

“By car, I imagine…”

“Shut up, dickhead. I came here to warn you that there was an electrical outage at the Mental Hospital and you should lock your doors in case one of the escaped patients breaks into your house and accuses you of cheating on them before ending their imaginary relationship with you.
Looks like I was too late…!”

The men laughed to themselves. And to each other.

“Was there also an outage at the zoo next door to the Mental Hospital that would explain why a bear was chasing us?”

“No. Not at all.”

“Oh … well, how do you explain how and why we were naked and covered in honey???”

“Haha, oh Marcus, you simple son of a bitch. I’ve already told you…”

As the detective laughed some more, and threw his sticky and sweaty arm over Marcus’ sticky and sweaty shoulder, there was another announcement from outside his front door.

“Mr Cuss and Mr Goodforce, this is Doctor Kutizahmorff. You’ve had your fun, but now it’s time come back with me to the hospital.”

The men laughed again becoming louder per each chuckle. Marcus reached for another jar of honey.

Ronnie Peace is an Australian writer.

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