Doctor Pineapple

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story. Little over 2k words. Contains Humour, dark and unrelatable to most I fear.

Submitted: November 25, 2013

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Submitted: November 25, 2013



The Play.

"I don't want to watch this," he says. A computer generated piece of fruit with large white sneakers looks down upon him with an aimed thumbs-up.
"Wait what," she says.
Her face is the most irritating thing he's seen within at least this week and his to her must be something similar for her features are stretched with a mirrored disgust - save for her eyes, which are compressed and cowish. And for a moment, he feels she is trying to wink his way - as if she understands. This should probably disturb him but it doesn't. He says, in a soft rasp,
"He," - he winces- " can't make me watch it."
She observes the ten pound closely, then plucks a long hair from it. 'Ew,' is the word she makes before, with a thin smile, hands him coins he pretends to count.
He looks around himself and at the queue stretching behind that has reached the entrance of the lobby, and tries to understand how long it has been there and how long he has been here. Faces look back at his with little curiousity, no recognition. He looks up. The tiles in the ceiling are spotted, striped and square, and depressing in obvious ways. This tall space has an odor of plastic and popcorn, a smell that rubs at brains; the heady aroma doesn't blend well with a hangover, he thinks, but then not much would, and the ceiling is too dizzying; and he doesn't regret redirecting his eye sight, even if it is to look upon the employee again.
His palms push down into her desk, and he can see his shadow reaching past her stomach, to her chest. It makes him feel enourmous, and when he sees her shrinking from him he frowns and says,
"You aren't listening to me."
"Two tickets for Doctor Pineapple: Liscence to Grill," she says. "Have a nice time," she says with dimples quivering, then slides something toward him.
"Okay then," he replies, as if his compliance is a question.
She nods. But he doesn't leave just yet. He spends the next several seconds still and hunched, moaning spontaneously and grazing paper tickets with his fingertips. To him, the expression of her face seems, now bored, yet with a hint of shock, but he is unable to determine which facial muscles are indicating this.
His son, Jake, is reaching the desk in imitation. They couldn't decide between Doctor Pineapple: Liscence to Grill and 2D Diplodocuses 4 - in 3D!; his father suggested they watch Bravefart: Boob Inspector, while calling his son things like 'mate' and 'pal', as if imaging to himself they were substitutes for the words, 'please' or 'stupid wanker'. Perhaps I should just watch it on my own, the father thinks to himself. Leave my son to his silly movie; leave my son -
He takes one last, long look at the employee's face (which is scared) and he blinks, imagining his eyes are cameras. Click. He blinks again. I'll masturbate to your pretty face during the movie and there's not a thing you can do to stop me, is there, you stupid fuck? Click.
He exchanges glances with a young-ish (thirty-something) man in the queue. It's quiet. He is his height but rounder. He is wearing a blue shirt with some kind of white wave pattern, and below a pair of camo leggings that reach kneecaps. His shins are hairy. Wearing sandals. His face is normal: eyes are brown; brows and lips are undefined, of which are not too thin or thick. The tops of his ears are reddy, and stick out. Hair is brown, short and gelled obviously, but not overly, with neat combed indents leading to a little ski slope atop his hairline. Anything either of them says will lack impact, he has his ticket and begins to follow. The father tears his eyes from him in slow motion, not unlike scenes from his favorite movies.

Doctor Pineapple is a pineapple. The more I look at him, the more I disbelieve his existence; the more I find myself disbelieving his existence, the more I doubt my own. I feel as though this pineapple has pointed out to me something I should know, but what that is, I have no idea. I did indeed see the promotional poster earlier but, because the character looked so unreal, so uncreatable, I could not truly fathom him. His presence, his undeniable existence (amplified through the backdrops of real sets and props) is a regular tugging of my sanity. He is a pineapple. He is a fake piece of fruit; he is, as I mentioned earlier, a computer generated pineapple with huge, digital eyeballs, a wide, small-lipped mouth, no nose, large white-gloved hands and large white trainers. His features are unrealistic and, for the most part, unrelatable.
He does not resemble a doctor in any singular respect: he wears no doctor's coat, has no stethoscope, and in terms of plot there is no mention of how he is a doctor of anything or, if it is only a nickname, how he has earned this title, yet every character thus far - newly introduced or no - has addressed him as such without the curiousity to question this (or the fact he is a walking, talking piece of fruit). I am unsure if this is relevant but he has yet to grill a single thing - though, he has microwaved a computer generated fishfinger.
His character is lazy, greedy, moronic, mistrustful, envious, naive, false, facetious, prickly and petty. But he is also loveable, for his faults are borne of ignorance and insecurity - an example being his lack of commitment to his girlfriend, Grendel, played by a real human being, an actress I do not recognise. A dark-haired school teacher with transparent eyes. Sometimes she looks twenty; sometimes she looks sixty. In some lights she looks luminous and beautiful; beneath others she looks deformed. I sometime's mistake her for a computer generated item.
Grendel and Doctor Pineapple are engaged; their religious affiliation is not mentioned. And it is made evident from the beginning that Doctor Pineapple takes Grendel for granted. Throughout, she is nagging the fruit to commit himself further to their relationship, but his responses to her suffocating behaviour, and indeed attempts to not respond, are engaging: they force me to care a lot less about Grendel than I think I should, but still more than she deserves.

An hour and a half inside the theatre, fourty-five minutes ahead of the adverts, I am wearing the 3D glasses - they're freaking me out!
I am sitting with my eyes half closed, my head tilted back until it hurts my throat, my hands gripping the gum-infested underbelly of my chair's arms. Butterflies flap through my stomach. I am melting; I feel as though I am experiencing a very powerful drug.
Beside me, my son is mute and has an expression of nothingness. I'm convinced he is wearing this expression to appear bored, bold or stoic against the united onslaught of the screen and the volume of the speakers surrounding us, in an attempt to capture my attention. His attempts are succesful. I wish I could say I am indifferent to his fake indifference, but unlike him, I am beyond such pettiness.
"Does your mum take you to the cinema often then, pal?" I say, my eyes nailed to the screen as Doctor Pineapple rides on a skateboard through a supermarket.
"No," he says in a rigid tone, coughs, wipes his mouth and repeats, loud to ensure I hear.
"It's not that me and your mother don't like you anymore," I shout. "We've just grown apart. I think we're both doing really well, now that we're officially divorced. This is what we both wanted. We looked each other in the eye and said, 'you know what? We've tried everything we could. I am better off without the arguments, and so are you, and so is Jack. I am totally at peace. I don't hate you. I don't resent you. I don't hold any grudges.' Then I said, 'go, and good luck with your life.'"
Earlier, Doctor Pineapple visited a salon to wax his chest hair (I know, I know). What Doctor Pineapple didn't know was that the salon, called 'Gretchin's Waximus', was owned by Grendel's sister, Gretchin. The small fruit was laid down in a chair, tensing his spiky pinish chest muscles while a real human in gladiator's garb waxed, what would have been while shooting, thin air. He talked to himself about his low self-esteem, Grendel's reluctance to entrust him with anything and went on to explain her perculiar passions between the sheets, saying, She likes to dress up. Sometimes she likes to dress up like a robot and pretend I am readjusting her mental state. Sometimes she likes to pretend she is not alive. She said she had to perform an abortion on herself by pulling a pineapple out of her pussy with a hanger of coats, (a short flashback, in black and white, followed, displaying a plastic object with a felt tip face, covered in some kind of slime, slowly escaping Grendel's screaming, real vagina - disappointingly, I saw no coat-hanger, though). And after the scene, it was revealed that Gretchin - whom, incidently, looks nothing like Grendel - was at the doorway throughout the duration of Doctor Pineapple's monologue, unseen. Enraged, Gretchin left a frantic message upon her sister's phone, but what she didn't know was that her sister was at work - at school - and that the information regarding Grendel's very intimate relationship went to her answering machine, which, for reasons that escaped me then and are less than unimportant now, was close to a small device that accomplished broadcasting the entire message to the entire school. As her sister's voice bleeted through the school's transmitter and into the classrooms, Grendel's eyes widened, her mouth formed an inviting 'O' shape and the camera panned her shadeless face.
And here, solitary laughter emits from the back of the theatre.
There is a man, a grown man, a few rows behind me, laughing and ruining this cinematic experience. The laughter, so sane - this is the most distressing thing: he is normal, perhaps laughing like he is at a pub with mates after a few too many beers. This makes his behaviour all the more mind-boggling, innapropriate and in my opinion, stupid.
The humour is aimless. Is there a target audience? I cannot understand anything that is happening. Or I can and it's funny but not humorous - certainly not that humorous; certainly nothing that could constitute the laughter of an adult. Is the nature of humour and its subjectivity really an excuse? and if it is, do I care? Is there any humour to find in the murder of your own half-human, half-fruit foetus? I am asking myself this question despite the fact that I am not laughing, so it is of no use to do so for I know my answer, and whatever my answer is to the former question - to whether I care about this man's right to laugh out loud or not - I pretend to say to myself that I do not care, or that it doesn't matter.
From somewhere outside of the theatre, someone calls my name.
"Yeah?" I say.
"Where are you going?" he shouts. My son's face cringes, flinches, scrunches into tiny balls that blink with the colours of the screen and the shadows that they cast.
(Doctor Pineapple mimics performing oral sex on multiple invisible penises in front of his friends, at a public restaurant - unbeknownst to him, Grendel stands behind with arms folded - (More laughter from behind me.))
My chair doesn't flip back the way it should when I stand; it fails to stay upright; I give up without trying more than twice. I'm temporarily speechless, but when I do feel as though I'm going to respond to the child, laughter, pale beneath the thundering of the film but nonetheless a distraction, interrupts me. Darkness is what I see, save for dim yellow lights floating upon the walls and the fake stars stuck in the shallow sky. And then a flashing of the giant screen begins, daring me to look, and when I do I see that Gretchin is crying, is screaming seriously, is using a large, inflatable mallet to destroy an unknown kitchen.
Laughter begins again. Then it halts, and so it seems does the film when its sound falls near to silence - but the flashing continues - actually, it escalates. Back in reality, the thinly occupied rows of red seats flash spasmodically in and out of existence as I wade my way through them, scanning for The Laughing Man. This world's infrequent frames reveal two objects to be fucking at the edge of my row, trapping me. As far as I can tell, they aren't making any noise. I stand for a while, my hands emptily spread apart, as though I have asked something they have chosen not to respond to. I squeeze, pass them. I'm uncaring as to whether I can avoid eye contact, and I laugh through my nose when I see their faces, which are pulled apart with pleasure. They don't stop. In fact I don't believe they realise they've been caught. I don't stop.
In the aisle. I feel like a puddle. Yes, I can do this. And I see him - him, The Man that Followed, The Laughing Man, seated in the uppermost corner of this cave, surrounded in smoke, facing the ceiling, jerking his shoulders and upping his head. I stumble my way up invisible curb-sized steps, my eyes never straying in case he should ... I don't know - disappear? Would that be possible? I'd like it to be possible, I think. But if this is the case, why don't I take my eyes from him?
(The flashing stops; the screen turns black. Grendel, you are upsetting me. I thought we were on the same page. Yes, I know you found her bra in my car. Yes, I know it is considerably larger than all of yours. But do trust me. I want you to please trust me again. We can iron this whole thing out. Just tell me where the thiry-eight-gee-gee bra is.)
I can't recall the first moment he aknowledges me; all I know is that, as I enter his row, The Laughing Man is considering me, and I know this despite the fact I cannot see his face, only his sorcerous silhouette. I catch the scent of cannabis, which (for a reason unknown to me) causes me to turn, not back to the screen, but to Jake. My son has gone.
I sit down next to the stranger. He offers me some of his popcorn and a blunt, which I gratefully accept, and we watch the rest of the movie in peace, and when he laughs I do not mind, for I too am content - when I am not laughing louder.

© Copyright 2019 Geoff T Metcalfe . All rights reserved.

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