This Riff is a first for me in many ways. It's the first time I haven't included the complete title of the pasta in the title of the Riff; it's the first time I'm doing a Riff in multiple parts; and the first time I've asked the writer of a story for permission to Riff said story. Now, let me explain why I'm Riffing this story instead of a bad one:
A little while ago, I saw a post linking to a bad review of "Pasta Noir: Dames, Slugs, and the Hatchetman". Out of curiousity, I read it. The writer of the negative review called this story the worst Creepypasta he ever read, and I wondered, "Gee, could it actually be that bad? It was nominated for PoTM." So, I read it. While the story has its flaws, I don't think it's that bad. So, I'm doing this partly as a rebuttal to what that person said. (By the way, the person who did the review ended it with "YOUR STORY SUCKS HOMO", which bothers me. I'm a humor writer of sorts, and have read some of the worst stories ever written, and even I haven't said anything like that. Seriously, when a humor writer whose main thing is making fun of bad stories and writing smartass comments is more mature than you, that's saying something) Also, I realized that there a lot of jokes I could make. So, I did something I never have before: I asked permission to Riff the story.
I usually don't ask to do so because I feel like I'm imposing on the writer. Maybe if they say no, they might think I think they have no sense of humor or something. And besides, most of the stories I Riff are ones the writer probably doesn't want any connection to. However, with this story, I really wanted to Riff it, but I knew the writer, BlackNumber1, is very proud of this story, and I felt asking him would be more polite, since I'm basically going to tear this story apart and make bad jokes. He said yes (he also told me to make it clear that I had his permission so that fans of the story won't come to his defense. So, fans of this story and BlackNumber1, I have his permission, and don't hate him or the story anyway), and I had a Riff.
Now, I'm doing this in parts because this is a long story, divided into multiple chapters. I figured I might as well take a page from my BIONICLE Riffs (which I need to update, but then again no one read it, so why bother?), and do the story in parts.
Now, before I start, I just want to make one thing clear: I don't know much about noir. Not even Spider-Man Noir. So some things might go over my masked head, or I might complain about things that make sense within a noir context.
Alright, now that the long-winded explanation is out of the way, let's get our booze, make everything black and white, and Riff this bitch.
1. Hardboiled Blues
The downtown night air was crisp and cool with the slight aroma of misery. Ah, the sweet smell of misery. You think they make misery scented air fresheners? He never thought that his life would turn out the way it did. “He never thought that he would be the next American Idol.” The wife, the kid, the pride- all lost along the way. They were lost somewhere in the belly of the big, bad city, where they would never again age, remaining forever young FOREVER YOUNG! I JUST WANNA BE, FOREVER YOUNG!, beautiful and full of grace. He still saw them in everything and everyone. Ghost child, get out of people. A Homicide Investigator's life is never something called happily ever after. It’s actually called, “To be continued.” Everyday Detective Chris Priest woke up, looked up and asked why the fuck he was still around to do it all over again. The answer: plot. It was his punishment, you see. His penance was waking up without them, still trying to make a dent of difference in this city on fire. If the city’s on fire, then I feel like the fire department would be of more use than a detective.
Staring out his window, he poured a quarter glass of Jim Beam and asked himself in the famous words of The Clash: Should I stay, or should I Rock the Kasbah? Ugh. You just combined two songs, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” and “Rock the Kasbah” (or, as that one commercial said, “Rock the Catbox”) The familiar metallic taste of the colt 45 made things real at that moment. It was fear that kept him from biting the bullet. Yet, it was also his lack of fear that kept him afloat another day. The suicidal cop thing is from Lethal Weapon. Yeah, the cop played by Mel Gibson (this is before he went nuts) did that whole thing. It kept him doing what he did best, he’s the best he is at what he does, and what he does isn’t very nice. the only thing he cared about anymore. Fear was for the enemy, fear and bullets. “And Donald Trump.”
What little faith he had left hung on like a loose string. After doing these Riffs, I feel the same. One would think Chris would have completely and utterly lost his essence, his humanity “his virginity”… all in a brilliant flash of ‘Fuck You’ dished out by fate. “A brilliant flash of ‘Fuck You’” is a perfect phrase. I have to use it at some point. Much had occurred in his life since he swore in and began serving as a rookie Sheriff’s Deputy in Lytle Texas 17 years ago. “For one thing, his family died.” However, in the midst of all the glory, the coolness and the climbing, Chris had his number 1 with a bullet, Abby. She was firecrackers on the 4th. …what? They drank out of the same bottle That’s very unhygienic , never pulling any punches. They spent their days loving, laughing, living, fucking. Sounds fun.
It was February. “Chris was dreading Valentine’s Day.” The view from Chris’s downtown window was covered in white, a rarity. “The KKK had begun their annual march.” The last time it really snowed in San Antonio was back in 1985 when he was 10 years old. He recalled that day with a warm fuzzy feeling. He and his best friend were pulled out of school together so that they may go home and enjoy playing in the snow, where they would build snowmen and partake in the clichéd snowball fight with their parents. Hey, you said it was cliché, not me. It would be one of the best days of his existence “second only to the day he joined that Cthulu worshipping cult.” He liked to go there often when life chewed him up and spit him out. He wished they were by his side now. “He’d ask if they wanted to build a snowman.” Oh, come on, you knew that was coming. They would all enjoy the day off and play just as he did so long ago. Ok, now I have this mental image of this strong, tough detective running around and acting like a child, and it’s grand.
“Walk it the fuck off!” No! I shall jump it the fuck off! Chris murmured to himself as he closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, opening his eyes as he exhaled. It wasn’t exactly prime conditions for crime fighting in the city today. You’re a detective, not a superhero. Though it would be awesome if you were a superhero. Think about it: Alcohol Man! Wait, Iron Man already exists. However, if he spent another moment alone in that bottle of Jim Beam, he might actually choose to “Rock the Kasbah” this day. I feel like that song will be referenced multiple times throughout this. Lovely. He abandoned his quarter glass of J.B. and thought, “It will still be here when I get back. Let’s get into fucking character.” Wait, so he’s an actor?
Chris locked his apartment door. Not that he had much to steal, but it was better than coming home to an already near-empty apartment. Worst case scenario, some scumbag would find all his booze and clean him out. That would be the icing on the chocolate cake. Is the chocolate supposed to represent feces? Booze kept him alive these days. It saved his soul. Booze cures all ills! Except alcoholism. Then again, if you’re drunk, you don’t care about being an alcoholic. So booze cures all ills! In this city, you can never lose that spark.
As he locked his door, he eyeballed the hallway on the right to see if anyone was coming or going. The air was stagnant and ever ominous. Mrs. Bonner, an old broad wasting away from loneliness You should ask to join her, was slowly walking towards the stairs, taking her morning walk as she did most mornings. Chris imagined her as the kind of woman expecting some special letter from a special someone that never arrived. He knew everybody had a story (and skeletons Not just any skeletons, but spooky scary skeletons.). He imagined her once a young beautiful dame Really trying to make sure we get that it’s noir, eh?, in love with a man and mother to two or three children. He knew he’d walk past her and she’d greet him, friendly as always, and begin the chit-chat. Most of the lost souls here preferred ignoring her. Rude. She reminded them of their own mortality. All the other ghosts of the Camino Real Apartment building were stewing in their own misery and preferred to do so alone. Someday, they will have that void to fill too, the hesitation of the young with so much wasted life. Young with so much wasted life…me in a nutshell. They'd walk right past them like they’re invisible, looking straight ahead, trying to avoid the simplicity of conversation, busy living (or not living So they’re busy being dead?). Too busy for an old ghost. Times sure have changed.
“Good morning Chris. Going out in this mess?” she asked casually.
“Good morning Mrs. Bonner. Bad guys don’t take the day off, neither can I, No, bad guys take tax day off.” he said with a smile. He figured the least he could do was take a minute or three to indulge her. He understood what it was to be all alone in this world and recognized that big emptiness within her. That big emptiness was called Timothy. They were kindred spirits in sorrow. At some point, everybody hurts. You know what else hurts? Gravity. (If you get that joke, I’m proud of you.) Mrs. Bonner visibly brightened up.
“Ha! You’re a comedian. No, that’s me. Well, it hasn’t snowed here in about 30 years! Do you remember that?” she asked Chris.
“Yes, I do. That was a really good day for me. Played in the snow all day with my best friend. And you? What were you doing that day?” He asked with a reminiscing smile. “Sucking dick for coke. A normal day for me.”
She looked away from him for a moment down the hallway. “My husband left me for some hussy that day. That was not a good day for me Chris,” she recalled, looking down at the floor, eyes slightly blue. Sad equals blue eyes. Of course.
“But, the asshole married her and she left him two years later… took him for everything he had!” she admitted with a big smile. Revenge sure is a lovely bitch. Chris laughed and held up his hand for a high five. Mrs. Bonner laughed as she high-fived him back. That is an awesome old lady. I want a story about her now.
“You have a good day Mrs. Bonner!” he called out as he walked away.
“Please, Chris, Mrs. Bonner was my Mother. Your capitalized mother. Call me Delia,” she answered.
“Hm… That’s the name of my favorite Johnny Cash song,” he smiled, looking back. What an important piece of information revealed about his character. With that he made his way downstairs. Delia was beaming up, Scotty. Chris felt that warm, fuzzy feeling again he hadn’t felt in so long. It was good to feel something again, even if for just a brief moment.
Chris opened the door to the ancient apartment building. The cold punched him in the eyes Falcon PUNCH! as he let out a loud “Fuck!!” His cell phone chimed, a text message from Michael Rodriguez, his partner (or his Goddamn babysitter I’M THE GODDAMN BABYSITTER! as he referred to Michael after the Captain partnered them up). Michael was alright though. He just reminded Chris a little too much of his former self. “So of course, Michael had to die.”
Michael: 11651 Alamo Lane, King William District. Already here. Not pretty. “Someone left Batman and Robin playing in the DVD player.”
Chris: Cold enough for you? On my way Sunshine.
He placed his phone back into his pocket. He looked around at the mean streets of this cruel city; she was all covered in white. He better not refer to the city as his lover or mother. That’s just way too cliché. His gaze found his own car parked along the curb, a 1987 Camaro, black paint chipping away- His black sunshine. I WANT THAT CAR. That isn’t a joke or anything. I just want that car. Chris bought the car from his aunt when her son died of a heroin overdose. While his family was still alive, Chris put time and money into her. He hoped his Son Don’t capitalize that. Seriously, it’s not a proper noun, Connor, would one day be proud to drive her around town - driving around the dames, “getting threatened by said dames’ fathers” living the good life of a teenage boy coming into his prime. Connor would help his Dad with minor repairs and modifications on the Camaro from time to time. “Dad, do we really need to add a rocket launcher on the car?” “Yes. It’s very important.” She was their special project. It was the only time they had anymore, usually on the weekends. However, a detective is always on call. He kept Miss Sunshine because she reminded him of the happy times with his Son. Also, it’s an 87 Camaro. That’s reason enough. Connor was only 13 when he departed from this world.
The Camaro was Chris’s only baby now. He walked over and brushed off some of Mother Nature’s blow “Mother Nature’s blow” is also a great phrase. only to find most of the car was covered in ice. Ice see a problem. Sorry, couldn’t resist. He would need to let her warm up for a while. Try setting her on fire. I find that warms up things quickly.
So that's part one of "Pasta Noir" (yeah, I'm just referring to the story like that, instead of by the full, extremely long title), and I have to say that it's not terrible. Sure, Chris Priest is basically Mel Gibson's character from Lethal Weapon (Riggs! That was his name. I just remembered), but with an alright taste in music, and sure, he randomly mentions his favorite Johnny Cash song (the person who wrote the rather mean review of this story said that music reference was random and unnecessary, and I have to agree) out of nowhere (and there's a video of it because...?), but all in all it's not bad. Priest's depression is understandable, and he seems like a likable character as of present that you want to get through this. Mrs. Bonner is a helluva lot of fun, and an enjoyable character. Not much happens in this chapter aside from introducing the main character and some of his backstory, which is done pretty well, and starting the plot. However, words like "Son" and "Dad" are capitalized for some reason. I could get "Dad", but not "Son." But other than that, the spelling and grammar is good (which is more than I can say for a lot of stories I've Riffed) As of present, I have to say so far, so good. But will that continue into chapter 2? Join me next time to find out. Unless you've read the story, in which case you know the answer.
So, what do you think? Is my Riff of this story blasphemy? Is the guy who wrote that angry review actually right? Do you wish I would become a suicidal alcoholic detective? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.