Shut Up, Little Man!

Stories and anecdotes : Shut Up, Little Man!

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The Afterlife with Raymond and Peter —

Peter Haskett passed away in the spring of 1996. God’s judgment was swift, cruel, and really not much of a surprise: eternal damnation in Hell. Subsequently, there was a cosmic sigh of relief, a restoration of a certain metaphysical balance, for finally, that drunken odd couple, Peter and Raymond, would once again be reunited. This time, in the burning bowels of Hell.

After Peter checked in to Hell, he made his way toward. . . where else? The bar. Now, everyone knows that damnation and suffering is the main fare in Hell, and the Infernal bar was no exception:

Peter: "Uh, I’ll take a Vodker on the rocks."
Bartender: "Sorry, pal, the only thing we got here is Diet Wine Coolers."
Peter: "I have never heard anything as silly and ridiculous as that!"
Bartender: "Welcome to Hell!" Peter spied a young man and began to chat him up, snapping his blue broccoli band.
Peter: "I was written up in the Wall Street Journal in 1957, ’59, ’60, ’61, ’63 . . . "

Meanwhile, on the other side of the room. Ray had been drinking wine coolers like mad since he arrived in hell way back in 1992 in a furious effort to tie on a drunk. Ray found himself talking to a rather boastful and agitated individual [Hitler]. [Ray sat at his little table, holding his stuffed bunny].

Hitler: "I caused a vorld var and keeled millions ov people in zee conzentration camps."
Ray: "Well, I was a mean motherfucker in mah time and I still am!"

Hitler: "Of course, dee degenerate lifestyle is why ex-teer-me-nation of zee homosexuals vas necessary."
Ray: "I don’t say you are right, but I do think that the afterworld would be better off if we kill a few."

Ray, excited by all the hateful talk and finally catching a slight buzz after 13,472 consecutive wine coolers, raised his voice in a toxic fury: "I despise all queers! If there is anyone here in hell wants to argue with me on that. Go ahead. Come to me. I want to kill. I want to kill!"

Peter, recognizing that unforgettable little man voice, turned on his barstool. His eyes widened in a combination of wonder and horror. It was then that the Sartrean notion that ’Hell is other people’ dawned on Peter. The thought of being captive with Raymond Huffmann for the rest of Time enraged him, causing him to unleash his first post-mortem: "SHUT UP, LITTLE MAN!"

Peter walked over to Ray’s table.
Peter: "Here goes again, little man. You are trying to be the big man you never were on Earth."
Ray: "Fuck you, Peter Haskett. What did you do when you were on the Earth. You didn’t do nothin’ ’cept be a fuckin’ queer."

Ray lunged at Peter
Peter: "Don’t touch me, sir, you’ll be down if you do."
Ray: "Don’t fuck with me, I don’t wanna hurt you."
Peter: "Don’t you try. "
Ray: "I am perfectly willing to kick the shit out of you."
Devil: "Gentleman, break it up. Break it up."

Devil: "Peter, why don’t you retire to your room. You have had a long hard day. You have the rest of eternity to chat with your old buddy here." Ray [to the devil]: "Go ahead and talk to him, if you want to. He ain’t a human bein.’"
Devil and Peter: "Shut Up Little Man."

Peter retired to his room. He rested on the bed [of nails] and looked around his new quarters. "Hmmm. Hell isn’t so bad. I have spent worse nights in the stony lonesome."

It became evident that he had to share his room with someone else. "Well, it looks like I have a roommate. Maybe it’s that cute guy from the bar."

Later, his roommate arrived. Ray walked into the room a bit tipsy.

Peter: "Well, if it isn’t Sally June Abigail May. Good evening, darling."
Ray: "Don’t call me darling, you punk cocksucker!"
Peter: "Uh, you have drunk the wine coolers. . . and you are drunk."
Ray: "I am not. (He falls down). Sheeeeeeit."

Ray slid up onto his bed across from Peter.
Ray: "I don’t like you Peter Haskett. And, I don’t believe I have to share this room with a dog like you. I despise you!"
Peter: "You already said that ninety times, sweet prince."
Ray: "Good. Then, shut your fuckin mouth!"
Peter: "Shut up, little man!"
Ray: "You shut up!"
Peter: "Then, do it!" and on and on. . .

Some days later:
Peter: "Do not talk. You say the Devil asked why you don’t talk back to me, I will tell you why you don’t talk back to me, because you’re such a little fool."
Ray: "Would you mind shuttin’ your fuckin’ mouth!"

The devil arrived [holding his head in obvious frustration]: "People can hear you clear to the other side of Hell. You have to shut up!" Peter: "He’s the one who is creating the problem."
The devil: "You’re the one with the big mouth."
Peter [to the devil, pointing at his trident pitchfork]: "You wanna stick with me with that fork?"

The devil: "Ray, I need to have a word with you outside." Ray stepped outside.
The devil: "Say, Ray, I’ll get you a bottle of vodka, if you just keep it down for a few days. You guys are giving me a tremendous headache."

Ray returned to the room fifteen minutes later: "You know what that sum bitch said. He said ’If I have to come back, I’ll set your hair on fire.’ I said: ’Fine! I got too much hair anyway. Let’s do it right now.’"
Peter: "Ray, you are a real big sister. Excuse me, little sister, when it comes down to something like this. You mule at the devil, and that’s why I get in trouble, you can’t talk up to anyone."

Months later: The combative voices of Pete and Ray began to seep throughout the catacombs and caverns of the underworld and to fill the heads of every last person in Hell. No one had had a decent nights’ sleep since Peter joined Ray in damnation. Just as it was on Earth, the constant fighting was rattling, unnerving, maddening. Hell had become more insufferable than ever. And, to add insult to injury: together, Pete and Ray even managed to polish off the last of the Diet Wine Coolers at the Infernal Tavern. There was no relief in sight. So, the condemned souls of Hell convened at a conference on how to shut Pete and Ray up.

J. Edgar Hoover: "We have to isolate them."
Al Capone: "I’ll get some of my boys to work them over."
Mao: "We could march them to death!"
J. Edgar Hoover: "Shut up, you Commie punk!"

Helplessly, involuntarily, the residents slowly find themselves repeating the infectious phrases that Pete and Ray always use. Billy the Kid: "I know how to use any fucking gun there is. "
Stalin: "I can kill you from a sitting position. "

Fights and tensions erupt Genghis Khan to Hitler: "I was a killer before you were born. . . "
Nixon: "I am the human race! " Marquis de Sade: "I’ll Show you what a queer is!"

The Devil himself arrived to see what this assembly and all the yelling was about, and even he could not help it.

After a few months everyone in Hell was walking around repeating phrases from Pete and Ray. The hatred between Pete and Ray was so concentrated, so forceful, and so infectious that it threatened to usurp the power and monopoly on evil long held by the prince of darkness.

The devil [insane and furious]: "I can’t take this anymore! Something must be done! "

Out of desparation the devil threw them out of Hell, returning Peter and Raymond to the little hell that they themselves had cultivated at 237 Steiner.
[Peter and Raymond back at the Pepto Bismol Palace:]
Ray: "They kicked you oughta Hell because you wasn’t, well, you weren’t a human bein’. And you’re not a human bein.’ "
Peter: "Shut up, little man. "

The End?