Michael Frissore


Four students sat around the kitchen drinking Cherry Kool-Aid, playing Candyland, and punching each other in the face. They were Mud Boy, Jeep Jeep, Mr. Big and Bishop Wog. They were having another one of their fun evenings, which, as always, lead to some slow-dancing to an old Frankie Avalon record, when a series of sounds erupted from the refrigerator that sent each of them leaping and clawing at the ceiling like a gang of cartoon felines. The racket began with a short honking sound like Harpo Marx's horn, followed by a siren-like whistle, proceeding into a clangor like a dozen carriages moving in a supermarket. This noise continued until Mud Boy swung at the appliance with a baseball bat, which only angered it as, after a brief pause, the noise became even louder.

Mud Boy kept at it, and, when the bat finally broke into pieces, the boys tried other solutions. Their calls to repairmen were met with drunken howls, and attempts to shut off the machine proved futile. The next day the fridge began moving and the door started bleeding, and Jeep Jeep leaped out the window in a frenzy and to his death. That same day, Mud Boy was knitting a sweater for the little man who lived in the dumpster behind Denny's when he suddenly burst into flames. And, as these things always happen in threes, after Bishop Wog, while belly-dancing for some friends, stumbled and fell into the alligator pit, Mr. Big knew that, being the only one left, he must do something. He decided to call Q.Q.

Q.Q. was not so much the local barber as he was a man who cut hair and lived in an old whiskey bottle on the boys' kitchen counter. As Mr. Big rubbed the bottle, out in a cliched puff of smoke came Q.Q., a customer in his chair, and hair all over the floor.

"Hey, what's the idea, summoning me when I'm with a victi-, uh, customer," Q.Q. said after surveying his surroundings. He then saw the fridge. "Heavens to Mergatroid! What the hell is that?"

"That's our refrigerator, Q.Q.," Mr. Big said. "It killed all of my roommates."

"What a tragedy," Q.Q. said. "What am I, your landlord? The Maytag repair man? I'm running a business. I can't be summoned every time one of you freaks gets killed."

"I'll be your best friend," Mr. Big replied.

"Oh, all right," Q.Q. gave in. He shooed his customer away and proceeded toward the refrigerator, grabbing and throwing its miscellaneous items onto the floor, calling out each item as he tossed it. Bottle of ketchup. Tuna sandwich. Thirty-seven packets of hot mustard. A bowl of worms. Three beer bottles filled with chewed tobacco spit. When the fridge was empty, he then climbed inside it, requesting tools from his tool bag, which Mr. Big handed him. Pliers. Hammer. Buzzsaw. Band-Aid. Axe. Q.Q. hacked at the appliance to no avail. "Rifle," he called out, taking several shots at the fridge until the noise finally ceased.

Celebration abounded, as Mr. Big grabbed both of Q.Q.'s hands and they spun around together in a circle with glee until they were both dizzy and Q.Q. vomited on the floor.

"You son of a bitch," Q.Q. said, recovering. "I'm going back in the bottle. Don't call me."

Pet Haircut

Q.Q. reappeared at his shop, where it was just another Saturday morning.  Regulars Crank, Spartacus and Steve sat about, making the place look crowded. Crank was telling a tale of one of his criminal acts. Spartacus was casually stealing Q.Q.'s barber tools. Steve was completely drunk.

"Hey, where do you go when you just disappear like that, Q.Q.?" Crank said. "You know Spartacus has abandonment issues."

"None of your damn business! That's where I go!" Q.Q. shouted. "Now, who's next?" A man sheepishly hopped onto the chair, ready for one of Q.Q.'s haircuts.

"Hey, Q.Q.," Spartacus said, "You got anything I can put in my hair?"

"What?" Q.Q. said. "No, these are all spices. Basil, oregano, cyanide. And that stuff over there is paint thinner. Yes, I have something for your hair. This is a barbershop. What do you want it to do?"

"What do I want what to do?" Spartacus said.

"Haley's Comet," Q.Q. said. "It only comes once every seventy-six years. Your hair, you nitwit."

"I just want to hold it down," Spartacus said.

"How about staples?" Q.Q. said. "You ever try using those?"

"Won't that hurt?" the customer intervened.

"Shut up or I'll shave you bald," Q.Q. said.

"You'll shave my balls?" the customer replied.

"Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you?" Q.Q. said. "Get out of my store, pervert! No trim for you today!"

"But it looks ridiculous," the customer said.

"Oh, my haircuts look ridiculous, do they?" Q.Q. then dug his razor into the back of his customer's neck, causing him to scream and run out of the store.

"Now, who next?" Q.Q. said. He then turned his attention back to Spartacus. "Look, if you're gonna be a baby about it you could try Elmer's glue. There's a stationery store right across the street."

"What about gel?" Spartacus said.

"Gel?" Q.Q. said as her grabbed a jar from a drawer. "Here you go."

"This is a jar of grape jelly," Spartacus said.

"Yeah," Q.Q. said. "Rub it in once or twice, five times a day or hour. Then stick your head in an oven."

"You know, Q.Q.," Steve said. "You should sell all this hair you have on your floor."

"Should I? You drunken, sousy waste of flesh."

"How much you want for it?" Steve asked.

QQ motioned for the next timid customer to hop in the chair, as Mr. Big entered the shop.

"Well," Q.Q. said, "If it isn't my good friend, Charlie, brightest student at whatever the hell third-rate school you go to. How's the syphilis problem?"

"It was crabs, and they've cleared up," Charlie said. "And I told you to call me Mr. Big."

"Whatever. What brings you here? Seems like I just saw you." Q.Q. said.

"I just wanted to finally see where you work. What a mess, hair all over the floor. It's disgusting."

"Well, the hair I'm gonna sell to the drunk over there. He's gonna…well, I don't really want to know what he's gonna do with it."

"Are these the friends you're always talking about?" Mr. Big said.

"In the flesh," Q.Q. said. "Here, let me introduce you. That's Crank, Aztec goddess of the night and member of the Royal Order of Sheep Fuckers. Next to him is Spartacus, Philistine avenging devil of the sea. It was just a couple of weeks ago we had him euthanized. Finally, Steve, Egyptian ram-headed god of life and reproduction. His father was a Chippendale dancer. His mother was a giant squid! The three dimmest bulbs on the tree, but I love 'em like children. I named them myself. My name was stolen from a W.C. Fields film."

Q.Q. looked down to see some movement underneath the sheet he had placed over his customer. It was a slow up and down motion and Q.Q. didn't like it one bit.

Hey!" Q.Q. shouted. "Are you masturbating in my shop, you dirty son of a bitch? What did I tell you people? I'll kill you! Get the hell out of my store!" Q.Q. batted the gentleman about the head with a hairbrush until he leaped out of the chair and ran out the door. As this was happening, there was yet another disturbance outside. Q.Q. looked out to see that Bernie, the troublemaking local who had become the barber's archenemy, was sitting on the front steps of his shop. Q.Q. grabbed a broom and began whacking Bernie swiftly about the head. Bernie produced a broom of his own and they had a sword fight until Bernie lost his weapon and started crying.