The Return of Faith +1

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professor_butters1
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:19 am

The Return of Faith +1

Postby professor_butters1 » Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:45 pm

Because someone had to do it, I have now posted the first two chapters of "The Return of Faith +1" on fanfiction.net, and "Some Like it Hotwings" is going up here later today.

Do please read them--you will, at least, not want to spork your eyes out because of the bad grammar and spelling.


~~Professor Butters
professor_butters1
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:19 am

Chapter 1: Lameass field trip

Postby professor_butters1 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:25 am

The Return of Faith +1


Disclaimer: Faith +1 belongs to Eric Cartman, Butters Stotch, and Token Black, who in turn belong to Matt Stone and Trey Parker, along with all the other character from South Park.

Chapter One: Lame-Ass Field Trip

“Aw, crap! This is the lamest field trip ever, dude!”

Stan had to agree with his friend Kyle. This probably was the lamest field trip ever. It was only 8:45 and the entire class already had bruises from being slammed around on the bus, as it bounced over ruts in the road. Still . . .

“You sure?’

“Yeah,” said Kyle, shaking his head so hard that his green hat slipped and revealed some of his bright red Jewfro.

“Worse than the veal ranch?”

“Yeah.”

“Worse than the plane’arium?”

“Mmphm,” commented Kenny, who was sitting in the seat across the aisle, orange parka tied tightly around his face.

“He’s got a point, dude,” Stan said, turning to Kyle and trying not to slam into him as they hit another pothole. “The plane’arium sucked ass.”

A heavy pair of red-jacketed arms leaned over the seat behind them, squishing them further.

“Hehhehhehheh, you got brainwashed at the plane’arium and I didn’t, neneneneneh.”

“Shut up, Cartman!” Kyle turned to yell at their festively plump friend, who had sprayed Cheesy Poof crumbs down the collar of his coat, which were now getting down the back of his neck.

“Serioushleh, Kyle—I don’t know what crawled up your ass and died on such a lovely day. It’s a day out of school, Jew-tard. If it’s crappy, you just go somewhere else. That’s how I made my first break in show business.” Cartman leaned back again smugly.

“Yeah, dressed up like a cheesy poof and on for about a half a second.”

“Whatever, it’s still TV. How can anything be worse than Mrs. Garrison telling us about the love life of Holly Robinson Peete? Teaching everything wrong, shoving small animals up his assistant’s ass. . . . it’s a day out of school.

“That’s another thing I don’t get,” mused Stan. “How come we’re stuck with Mrs. Garrison for another grade? We had him in third, then we had him in fourth, then we had her in fourth, and now we’ve got her again in eighth. I’m about Garrisoned out by now.”

“I don’t care,” Kyle insisted stubbornly. “I still just hate this field trip. Why are we going to the Focus on the American Family Institute? It’s a huge fundamentalist place, and I thought this was a public school.”

A pretty black haired girl sitting just behind Kenny spoke up. “Kyle is right. This goes over the line. I mean, I don’t want to be oversensitive or intolerant . . . “

“Oh, nooooo, we wouldn’t want thaaat, that would never happen,” muttered Cartman, rolling his eyes. Wendy Testaburger sailed right on. She was exceptionally skilled at tuning Cartman out by now.

“. . . but I don’t think a religious site makes a very good field trip for a public school,” she finished.

Kyle sighed. “Well, I just hope my Mom doesn’t find out,” he said. “I don’t think she’d be very happy about it.”

“Ho-HO! What a bitchfest that would be!”

“You shut up about my Mom, Cartman!”

“Bitchapalooza. We could sell tickets, even.”

“Cartman, I’m warning you!” shouted Kyle, who had turned around and was getting red in the face.

Weeeeell, Kyle’s Mom’s a bitch, she’s a big fat witch,
She’s the biggest bitch in the whole wide world
She’s a stupid bitch, if there ever were a bitch,
She’s a bitch to all the boys and girls . . .
“ Cartman sang. Some other kids in the bus had begun clapping their hands.

“Cartman!” This time it was Wendy who was shouting. “Cut it out! I hate that stupid song!” Cartman paused, surprised.

“What? You don’t like polkas?”

“It’s not the tune, you fatstard, it’s the words! You leave Kyle’s mom alone!”

“Yeah, dude, “ Stan said, nodding, “I mean, sure, rip on Kyle if you’ve gotta, but let’s leave Moms out of it for now. I mean, Jesus Christ, dude, your Mom’s a crack whore. . .”

“EY! You leave my Mom out of this, you f*ggy poofball wearer!”

“Whatever,” Stan shrugged, “I’m just saying you’re gonna lose any ‘yo’ Mama’ contest around here, Cartman, and it’s going to be a long day, so you might as well quit it.”

“And you should apologize,” added Wendy.

Everyone turned to look at her incredulously. “Apologize, “ she said firmly, looking Cartman dead in the eye.

Cartman opened his mouth, then closed it, then opened it again. “Kyle. . . I’m sorry your Mom is such a big fat f*cking Jewish bitch queen. Happy now?” he added, eyeballing Wendy right back.

Wendy did not look happy, but Kyle intervened. “Thanks, Wendy, that’s ok. For a racist assh*le like Cartman, that’s really pretty good.” He turned around to see Cartman writing something on the palm of his hand. “What’s that for, fatass?”

“Official. . . count. . . .of people . . .with . . . stuff that crawled up their butt and died . . . two . . .and. . . rising. . . “ he muttered.

“Hmmmmmphhmm.”

“Kenny’s right,” agreed Stan. “You’re forgetting Mr. Slave.”

Cartman looked impatient. “I’m only counting people on the bus.”

Kyle gasped. “That’s what this is all about! That’s why Mrs. Garrison chose this place for our field trip!” He looked around at his friends’ blank faces. “Focus on the American Family Institute! They’re like all behind that anti-gay marriage stuff, dude! Remember, Stan?”

Stan did remember. There had been the infamous eggs-periment, where they had to look after an egg for a week to show their parenting skills. Kyle had been paired up with Wendy, and Stan had been beside himself. Then Kyle had been paired up with Stan, and Stan had still been beside himself for some reason he still didn’t really understand. He didn’t like thinking about it: their friendship had almost gone into tiny little chunks over that. It wasn’t going to happen again, not if Stan could help it.

Meanwhile, Wendy said “Kyle, you’re right! This is all about Mrs. Garrison still being jealous of Mr. Slave and Big Gay Al! She did everything she could to try to make it look like gay marriage isn’t real marriage and that gay people can’t raise kids. She even hired an assassin! She must still be on it—trying to get us all against it; maybe she’s even trying to meet with them while we’re on some kind of tour.”

“She’s got to freakin’ let it go, man,” said Stan.

“Mmm-HHMM!” agreed Kenny.

“Serioushleh. Any woman wanted to come after my ass after I was already done with her and married to someone else, I’d be like, ‘EY, bitch! Quit lusting after my hot body and get the f*ck over it!’ “

“Don’t worry, Cartman,” Kyle assured him, “it’s never gonna happen.”

Cartman didn’t say anything else for the entire hour and a half ride. It was a very nice change of pace.

******
The bus finally stopped in a parking lot near an immense building.

“Whoa, dude,” said Clyde, “look at the size of this place.”

“I must say, it’s rather spiffing,” agreed Pip.

“Spiffing” didn’t begin to describe it. It was an entire campus, with trees and an immaculate lawn, and several beautiful brand new buildings. Stan shrugged.

“What’s the surprise? You know religion can bring in a lot of money. Look at those Scientologists who wanted me to be their leader.”

Mrs. Garrison cleared her throat. “Now, I want you to all line up, children, and we’re going to enter the Welcome building. Eric, there’s nowhere worth wandering off to, so if I catch you at it, I’m going to break your fat freakin’ little fing—oh, hi there!”

Standing behind Mrs. Garrison was a pretty, fresh-scrubbed blond woman. “Well hello! You must be Mrs. Garrison from South Park.”

“Sure am,” agreed Mrs. Garrison, shaking hands.

“And this must be your class! Hello, children! Welcome to Focus on the American Family Institute!” she burbled.

“Weak,” muttered Cartman, and for once the class agreed with him.

“I hope you’ll be learning something today, but I also hope you’ll have fun. We have videos. . .”

“Yeah.”

“And a media center, and a playhouse with a three story slide. . .”

“Wu-wow! Didja hear that, Eric? A su-slide! Whoopee!” Butters jumped up and down, but most of the kids still looked a little dubious, if somewhat shaken.

“And a full-size B-17 bomber. . .”

“B-b-bomber?” Usually it was Butters or Jimmy who stammered, not Cartman. The other boys looked around at each other, thinking the same thing. A bomber? Wow.

And an ice-cream parlor.”

Cartman looked as though he’d died and gone to heaven and was about to ask for his $10,000 cash. The other kids looked similarly excited and happy—who would have thought Mrs. Garrison would take them somewhere cool? Stan noticed that only Wendy and Kyle looked uncomfortable.

“What is it?” whispered Stan, as they all headed for the Welcome building, Cartman and Butters well in front of the pack.

“I dunno, dude. There’s just something about this place that creeps me out.”

“Livin’ a lah,” agreed Timmy, powering up behind them.

******

“I’m gonna get those kids out of the clubhouse. . . if it freakin’. . . kills me,” muttered Mrs. Garrison. It wasn’t going to be easy. Token, Craig, and Clyde were clustered near some interactive computer displays and pushing each other away to click more buttons. Butters had been going down the giant slide for two hours, running back up again, sliding down, pausing to barf, and then running back up. Cartman, Stan, and Kenny had taken over the B-17 bomber and pretended to be flying low over Malibu and blowing up Jennifer Lopez until Cartman had gotten bored and trailed off to the ice-cream parlor. Kyle had gotten over his misgivings and was having as much fun as anyone else. “Come on, you little bastards! It’s time to take a tour of the Administration building, Goddamnit!” Several people stared in shock.

“AW,” the class moaned.

“DO YOU WANT TO HAVE DETENTION FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR???”

“No.”

“Then get over here!”

There was no way “Administration Building” sounded fun, thought Stan, but it wasn’t as though they could do much about it. They walked over to the other building and were greeted by another tour guide, this time a young man.

“Hi there, kids! Are we having fun today?”

“We were,” said Stan honestly, “but we’re not now.” The man just smiled.

“Well, we’ll try hard not to bore you. Come on, let me show you our Media Center.”

The class poured through another area full of screens and speakers. Only Kyle was reading the signs posted on the walls and cases, and he seemed bothered by something.

“Look, dude,” he said, pulling on Stan’s arm. “It says over here that Spongebob Squarepants and the Teletubbies are gay.”

“They are totally gay,” said Cartman, who had overheard them.

“Nuh-uh.”

“Yuh-HUH,” insisted Cartman, “those shows are the gayest thing ever, serioushleh.”

“No, dumbass, they don’t mean gay lame, they mean gay gay, like Big Gay Al kind of gay. And they want them off the air because they think watching them will turn kids gay.”

“Well, that’s fine!”

“No, it’s not,” said Kyle. “Ike loves Spongebob. I think it’s kind of dumb, but he says it makes a nice change from the Newshour with Jim Lehrer.”

Stan tried to pull Kyle away. The last thing they needed was another one of those stupid arguments about what show should be pulled off the air, and he was beginning to feel uncomfortable with the whole “gay” conversation, too.

“They hate Terrance and Philip, too,” Kyle added. Stan paused.

“They do?”

“Yeah, dude. See, over here. Bad language and farting. And there’s some other show—some cartoon that makes fun of religion—they say that oughta be pulled.”

“Told you Family Guy was a piece of crap.”

Kyle shook his head. “It’s not Family Guy.”

The man who had welcomed them cleared his throat.

“Allright, kids, it looks as though you’re enjoying the exhibits, but I’d like to move you along to the broadcasting area. As you can see, the Focus on the American Family Institute produces television, video, CDs, radio shows, books, all to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. We sell them to churches, to bookstores, over the Internet, and to schools. Yes, little girl?” he added, as Wendy put up her hand.

“Excuse me—but can you do that? I mean, you can’t send a video that promotes a specific religion to a public school, can you?”

“Unfortunately, no. We edit those bits out if we’re sending them to schools. But we have plenty of radio shows and videos and books you kids can enjoy at home with your families. Any other questions?” There weren’t any, and the class was free to look around again.

“Looky here, Token,” said Butters. “Says they p-produce millions and millions of CDs a year! Guess wu-we coulda made a lotta money, huh?”

Cartman, who had been sneaking out of the room, froze. Token made a face.

“Yeah, but who wants to? I hated that stupid band. Cartman is such a racist assh*le.”

“I know he said some bad stuff,” said Butters, patting Token’s shoulder, “an-an’ I know he really hurt your feelins’, Token. An-an’ that ain’t right. I know. But he was right about you—playin’ bass, I mean. I thought you were awful good.”

Token smiled. “You weren’t bad yourself, Butters. It’s too bad Cartman had to ruin it.”

“Lunch time!” announced Mrs. Garrison. “C’mon, kids. It’s time to head over to the Chapel-teria.”

“You’re kidding,” Kyle and Stan said together.



Author’s note: The Focus on the American Family Institute really exists, under another name, in Colorado. The giant slide, B-17 bomber, and ice-cream parlor are all real.

Also, as far as I know, there is nothing particularly scandalous about Holly Robinson Peete's love life. It's all in Mrs. Garrison's head, as usual.
Kyle the Skeptic
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Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 10:06 pm

Re: The Return of Faith +1

Postby Kyle the Skeptic » Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:29 am

I read this already on fosff.net. It looks like it's just getting to the good parts, or at least I hope so.
professor_butters1 wrote:Do please read them--you will, at least, not want to spork your eyes out because of the bad grammar and spelling.

Bad grammar and spelling? What are you talking about?
Princesslovelypants
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 1:54 pm

Postby Princesslovelypants » Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:26 am

Very very good... can't wait to read the rest....
CONFORMISTS!
professor_butters1
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:19 am

Chapter Two: Goin' To the Chapel-teria

Postby professor_butters1 » Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:47 am

The Return of Faith +1

Disclaimer: The characters from South Park belong to Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

Chapter Two: Goin’ to the Chapel-teria

Mrs. Garrison was not kidding. The Chapel-teria was a huge room, part cafeteria, part chapel, and part auditorium. A stage stood at one end of the room. Sitting at a table in the back was a friendly-looking man. He had gray hair and he was wearing two-toned shoes. And he was playing the ukulele.

The class lined up to get their food.

“I miss Chef,” Stan thought.

“I miss him too,” said Kyle.

Did I say that out loud?” thought Stan. “Is Kyle reading my thoughts now?”

“I miss Salisbury Steak Day.”

“Mmm hm-mm MMMMM hm hm mum HM-HMMMM,” sang Kenny reminiscently.

“Not here, Kenny,” Stan said, cutting him off, “I don’t think those words are appropriate in this kind of place.”

There wasn’t any Salisbury steak, although the food seemed ok.

“Let’s sit at the back,” said Kyle, “I’ve had about enough of this place and of Mrs. Garrison, too.” They slid in near the ukulele player.

“Excuse me, can we sit here?”

“Sure,” said the gray-haired guy.

“You play ukulele? That’s, like, the goofiest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Cartman, rolling his eyes.

“Well, it’s funny you should mention that,” the man agreed, “because I have been Goofy. On more than one occasion. ‘HU-HEY, KIDS!’” he added.

“Wow,” said Stan. “You sound like Butters on steroids.”

“What?”

“Just forget it.”

“You kids having a nice time?”

Something about the man seemed trustworthy, so Kyle went for it.

“Not really, dude,” he admitted, “it kinda sucks ass.”

“It does, doesn’t it,” the man agreed. “So what are nice people like us doing in a place like this?”

“Our teacher Mrs. Garrison dragged us here.” The man frowned.

“You mean the sort of bald graying guy with a set of tits?”

“That’s the one. What about you?”

The man sighed. “I’m recording a radio show. Normally they record it in Hollywood, but there’s a live special coming up and I’ve got to be here for it.”

“Are you, like, a big Christian or something?” asked Stan.

“No,” said the man. “I draw cartoons.”

Something about that didn’t make sense to Stan, but he let it go. “So how come you do a Christian radio show?”

“It’s kind of a long story. See, years ago, someone said to me, ‘hey, we want to do a radio show, could you be on it,’ and I thought, sure, why not? There are hardly any radio dramas anymore, and there used to be tons, and this was my chance to do something new. So I made a few of them—it didn’t pay much-- then it took off, and we made a few more. And then I came here, and I saw how huge the place was, and then I asked them how many radio stations we were on. I figured on, oh, about ten or something.”

“So how many was it?” Kyle asked, curious.

“1400 in the North American market,” said the man, and then ducked just in time as Cartman sprayed his Dr. Pepper across the table. “I thought it was kind of a lot, too. I had no idea what a big operation the Christian media market is.”

“Wow,” said Stan. “Just—wow.”

“Yeah, there’s not a lot of competition. Churches encourage just watching Christian shows and listening to Christian music, so there’s nothing to compare it to. You can play really crappy music and get away with anything.”

“How about you guys on the radio show?” Kyle asked. The man looked abashed.

“Well, I’m not terribly proud of it,” he admitted, “but we really do try to have a good show within certain limitations. And sometimes we get away with stuff. The suits don’t know it,” he said with an evil glint, “but my character is secretly Jewish. And an atheist.” Kyle smiled back. “Would you boys like to hear a tune?”

“No, “ they said firmly.

The man looked disappointed.

“Oh, OK,” he said. “Then I’ll be heading off now. Toodles.”

“Wow, Cartman,” said Stan, “sound like you really could have made a fortune.”

“Yeah, yeah, don’t remind me, numb-nuts,” Cartman snapped, “Butters already said so. Well, I don’t care anyway, because I wanted to make a platinum album, not a stupid myrrh album.”

“I thought your plan all along was to cross over,” said Kyle innocently. Cartman’s mouth dropped open.

“Too bad you alienated your audience so badly they never even want to hear about Faith +1 again,” Stan said sympathetically.

“Hey, “ Kyle said with a frown, “where’s fat-ass going?”

******

Butters was being dragged unceremoniously up towards the small stage in the front of the room.

“Wu-what’s this about, Eric? Aw, no, I don’t wanna. I don’t wanna. I d-didn’t even f-finish my lunch yet.”

“C’mon, Butters, you know the song.” Cartman grabbed a tambourine off a nearby table, equally useful as instrument and as a weapon.

“No, I don’t, I don’t even know which one you mean,” Butters gabbled, trying to wriggle out of Cartman’s grasp.

“Come on. I’m gonna make, make it right. . . .”

Butters responded reluctantly.

I’m gonna take a little time and set things straight.”

Make, make it right. . . .

The two were singing together now. “I’m payin’ for my sins and it sure feels great.”

People were looking up as they kept singing. “Feels so good to be makin’ up/For all the things I done wrong. . . “ Token slid down in his seat. “Aw, crap,” he muttered.

A couple of men in suits, who were also having lunch, nudged each other.

“Do those kids look familiar to you?”

“They kind of sound familiar.” People started to gather around the stage.

“They do sound familiar.”

“OK, Butters,” Cartman hissed, and tossed him the tambourine. “Keep the beat up. AND—“

He fell to his knees as Butters slammed the tambourine, totally carried away.

The body of Christ! Sleek swimmer’s body, all muscled up and toned!
The body of Christ! Oh, what a body, I wish I could call it my own!


Stan, Kenny, and Kyle watched, horrified and yet unable to look away. It was like watching a snake slowly engulf a lizard on National Geographic. Cartman was waving his hands in the air now and the group around the stage was clapping.

Ooooo, Lord Almighty, I’ve never been so enticed!
Oooo I wish I could have the body of Christ!



“I wish he had the body of Christ, too,” muttered Kyle, “then we wouldn’t have to sit behind his fat ass all the time.” The group around the stage was applauding now as Cartman panted and made little gestures of self-deprecation.

“Oh, no, please, you’re too kind, it’s this place, I just felt so---inspired.”

Stan saw Wendy nudge Bebe. “You know, I keep forgetting about this,” he heard her say, “but Cartman really has a great voice.”

Stan smacked his face into his palm. “Aw, crap no,” he groaned. “Not this again.”

*****

A few minutes later, Butters standing miserably by his side and pockets stuffed with business cards, Cartman was saying goodbye to the last of the group of recording executives who wanted to talk to him.

“Oh, thank you, it’s too much, no really, I mean, come out of retirement? After that terrible, tragic mistake—well, I’m just an ordinary kid, trying to lead an ordinary life. . . well, yes, maybe, I’ll think it over,” he conceded. Most of the rest of the class had already left—Cartman held no fascinations for them. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Wendy Testaburger hovering. “You go ahead, Butters. We’ll talk about this later.” Butters ran out of the Chapel-teria, glad to be going.

“Cartman,” began Wendy, “I wanted to talk to you.”

Cartman’s eyebrows came down and he glared at her, arms crossed.

“Yeah, I’ll just bet you do, bitch. It’s going to be this again, is it? ‘OOooo, Eric’s so funny with those toy animals, Eric’s so gooood in the school play, I think I’ll kiss him and f*ck with his head for a while. Oh, well, his head’s good and f*cked with now, back to Stan!’ Well, not this time,” he said. “I am going to be rich, I am going to be famous, and in six months there will be women all over me applying for the position of Cartman’s Official Ho, and guess what, bitch, you are not going to get the job.”

“Actually,” said Wendy, “that wasn’t what I wanted to talk to you about.”

Cartman looked stunned. “It wasn’t?”

“No,” Wendy said firmly.

“So . . .. what did you want to talk to me about?”

“I wanted to talk you out of doing this. You’re taking advantage of people, people who really believe in all this.”

“And how do you know I don’t?”

She paused. “Well, I don’t think you do,” she said finally. “And some of this is really kind of creepy, too. All the political stuff . . .”

“Oh, Jesus---“

“See, that’s what I mean.”

“You stupid pathetic hippie. It’s just an act, ok? Now butt out. It’s none of your business. Just—just leave me alone.”

“Fine,” snapped Wendy. She turned on her heel and marched out of the Chapel-teria. It took Cartman a good minute and a half to remember what he wanted to yell at her.

“Screw you, bitch! I’m going home!” he screamed, waving a fist.

Well, better hurry, because the bus is leaving!”

“GOD---um, be praised,” Cartman amended as he broke into a run. “God DAMN it,” he thought as he flung himself onto the bus, breathing heavily, “God DAMN it, God damn her.” He sat down as the bus lurched ahead, nearly obliterating Kenny, then smiled.

Ten million dollars, he thought. I bet she changes her tune then.

Author’s note: The Chapel-teria is real, too. The guy with the ukulele is a friend of mine who is going to remain nameless to preserve his privacy, but when he says he’s been Goofy, he isn’t bragging.
professor_butters1
Posts: 75
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Chapter Three: "I wasn't Born Again Yesterday"

Postby professor_butters1 » Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:59 pm

Chapter 3: I Wasn’t Born Again Yesterday

Disclaimer: South Park, and all the characters in it, belong to Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

“Gentlemen,” said Cartman, pacing back and forth in front of the row of chairs in his basement, “I’m glad you could make it to this meeting.”

Stan glanced over at his fellow captive audience members, Butters, Token, Kenny, and of course, Kyle, who looked especially annoyed.

“Just spit it out, ass-master,” Kyle said. “What do you want this time?”

Cartman ignored him. “As you are perhaps aware, Kyle and I have a bet on which of us will make the first platinum album.”

“Holy crap. Aren’t you over that yet?” Stan said impatiently.

“No.”

Everyone, except for Butters, got out of their seats and started heading for the stairs.

“No, wait, Goddamnit, you have to listen to me myah!”

“Why?” Some said it, some only thought it.

“Because if you help me, and this comes out right, we could all make ten million dollars. Apiece. At least. Right, Butters?”

“Wu-well, yeah, Eric, close, about 49 million on the first CD, anyway, but . . . .”

“We just start up Faith +1 again. It’s a revival. Revival, geddit? We get back together again. It’ll be bigger than a Beatles reunion.”

“Uh, um, a-actually, no, Eric, cause two of ‘em are dead and they’d have to come back to life again first, an-an’—well, that would prob’ly be a big ol’. . . “

“Shut up, Butters.”

“Oh. OK.”

“It’ll be big. Bigger than big.” Cartman was moving into major persuasive mode, but Token wasn’t having it. He actually came back down the stairs and marched straight up to Cartman, eyes blazing.

“See, Cartman, this is why I hate you,” Token snapped. “Do you want to know why I hate you? It’s not because you’re a racist assh*le. I already know you’re a racist assh*le and frankly, I don’t give a good goddamn about it. I don’t care what you think about me, and I don’t care whether you think it because I’m black or for some other reason, because basically, I just figure you’re stupid.”

Cartman turned to Kyle. “You see?” he said, gesturing towards Token. “This is how you handle situations like this. You don’t go getting warts up your ass about it, I’ve been trying to tell you that, but you’re so f*cking oversensitive that—“

“Shut up,” Token said, cutting Cartman off. “As I said, I don’t hate you because you’re a racist assh*le. I see it coming a mile away, in more ways than one.”

“EY!”

“But here’s my problem with you, Cartman,” Token went on as though he hadn’t heard. “You get these ideas. And they’re always big ideas, and half the time you want to drag everyone along with you, and half the time you’re going to f*ck everybody over. But you don’t plan. You don’t think things through. You’ve got no impulse control and you have no sense of scale.”

Wow, Stan thought. Token should become a shrink or something when he grew up.

“Tell me,” Token continued, “you’re planning on re-starting this band, right? And ignoring the little problem that I f*cking hate you, it’s going to be a big deal. You’re going to make, excuse me, we’re going to make about 40 or 50 million dollars at least out of this. And you’re doing all this to win a ten-dollar bet? Anything wrong with this picture?”

Cartman thought a minute.

“MMmmm, not really, no.”

Token threw up his hands.

“f*ck this,” he said, “I’m getting out of here.” He started back up the stairs and everyone else began to follow him. Cartman actually ran to stop them.

“No! no, you guys, listen, serioushleh! What if I had a plan to make sure that wouldn’t happen again?

“And just what the hell would that be, fat-ass?”

Cartman smirked. “I’m putting you in charge of the business end, Jew boy.”

“What???” Kyle exclaimed. “Why the hell would you do that?”

“Because you know about money. It’s like Token and playing the bass, your people have natural accountancy rhythm.”

Kyle’s face started to match his hair. “I’m leaving right now,” he stated flatly.

“Oh, and you couldn’t use ten million dollars?” Cartman jeered. “Ike couldn’t use ten million dollars? With tuition what it is? Ike goes straight through medical school and comes out not owing a dime to anybody, you don’t think that’s worth it?”

Stan stared at his friend. No, Kyle, he begged silently. Some stuff is never worth it. Come on, Kyle, put your foot down, give one of your—umm—gay little speeches about how this isn’t. . . .

“Hmmm,” Kyle said. “Hmmm.”

Cartman sat down, one leg almost but not quite flipped over the other in a casual pose.

“I am so for serioushly, you guys. Look,” he said, “you’re right.”

Now they all sat down, except for Butters, who had never gotten up in the first place. Token stared.

“Excuse me?”

“I said, you’re right, Token. I don’t always keep an eye on all the details.” He sighed and gazed up at something on the ceiling. “It’s just the price we visionaries pay.”

Kyle snorted.

“Without support people, it’s true, I wouldn’t be able to do it.” He glared. “And you know, it hurts me to say this, because I really, really, seriously hate you guys. “

That was true enough, Stan thought, and judging from the expressions on everyone else’s faces, they were thinking the same thing.

“But Kyle here,” Cartman continued, “he’ll notice all those gay little details. He’ll pay attention to, I don’t know, taxes, and laws, and payroll and sh*t that I just wouldn’t notice because---“

“—because you’re retarded,” finished Kyle. Cartman merely smiled.

“Very funny, Kyle. Like I said. You’ll pay attention because it’s your money too. You’ll be watching that bottom line and making sure we make money. You’ll actually help me win my bet against you.” He waved his hands in the air. “Oh, yeah.”

Silence.

“What do you think, Butters?” Kyle asked. The question was clearly completely unexpected. Butters almost fell off his chair.

“Hu-huh?”

“Yes,” Token said, “what do you think, Butters?’

Butters looked very uncomfortable. He twisted his hands. “Uh, you, uh, you’re askin’, um, you know, my opinion?” he asked, trying to clarify matters.

“Yes.”

Butters looked down at his hands, at the floor, at anything except for the other boys in Cartman’s basement. “Uh. . . .whatever you fellas think is ok with me.”

Stan smacked his face into his hand. “No, Butters, right now we’re trying to find out what you think. What do you want to do?”

“Uh. . . “ said Butters, “um. . . I just want to do whatever you fellas want to do.”

“Well, that settles it, then,” Cartman said briskly. “Butters is in.”

“Not so fast, fat-ass,” Kyle said. “Butters,” he said more gently, in the kind of voice he used when Ike got worried that he was up for getting his wee-wee chopped off again, “we don’t all want to do the same thing. So it’s really important to know what you want to do.”

Stan looked over at Butters, who was now trying to read everyone’s facial expression in turn.

“Wu-well,” Butters said slowly, “I just like playin’ the drums. An’—an’ bein’ part of somethin’.” He looked a little braver now. “You know, Eric was right about Token bein’ good at the bass, even if it was for a kinda stupid reason—I’m sorry, Eric, but it was—an’ I didn’t think I was any good at my drums. Uncle Bud got ‘em for me for Christmas and I dunno, I just didn’t feel much like playin’ with ‘em. But then Eric told me I had ta be in his band and I guess I got pretty good. So maybe you’d be good at business, Kyle, I mean. . . “ he added, “you wouldn’t know if you don’t give it a try.”

Kyle thought this over for a minute.

“OK, fatass,” he said finally. “The bet’s back on—but first, there’s a new bet.”

“Go ahead, Jewmeister.”

“Nobody is doing anything until you get Faith +1 some credibility. You lost it, you get it back. Got it? That means your whole stupid scheme is on hold until you can prove that anyone is gonna take you seriously.”

“Yeah,” Token agreed. “I am still super pissed at you about losing our audience. If you get it back, I’ll haul the bass back out of the basement.”

Cartman stood up slowly, and smiled. It was an evil smile; a very strange smile for someone who was about to start up a Christian anything.

“Two weeks. Just give me two weeks. Start learning Quickbooks, Shylock,” he added.

The boys started filing out. Stan stopped suddenly.

“Hey, wait a minute,” he said. “I don’t understand. You need Butters on drums and Token on bass. You want Kyle to handle the business part of things. So why’d you ask me and Kenny over here? What do you want us to do?”

“Stan,” Cartman replied, “It’s a very simple task. I want you to watch Kyle for me.”

“What?”

“Yeah. I don’t want him embezzling from the band. And as much as you love Kyle, I don’t think you would cover that up forever, Mr. I-Broke-the-Dam. Sheesh.”

Stan stared back at Cartman. “You really are a total assh*le, Cartman.”

“f*ck you very much too, Stan.”

“Mmmhmphm?” Kenny asked.

“Oh,” Cartman said casually, “you can handle the pyrotechnics.”

Kenny’s eyebrows disappeared into the top of his hood.

*********

“I cannot believe we are missing Terrance and Philip for this,” grumbled Stan, two weeks later. Kyle sat next to him on the sofa at the Marshes’ house. The Broflovskis were possibly the only household in town that was not going to be watching KPOX tonight. As usual, when Cartman was going to be on television, he made sure everybody knew about it.

There was a knock at the door. Stan got up to answer it. “Oh, hey, Kenny,” he said, greeting his friend. “You’re just in time to see Fatass on television.”

“Hmmmphm,” Kenny said. Kyle looked up.

“Hey, Kenny,” he said. “Have some Snacky Smores.”

“Shh,” said Stan. “Here it comes.” They all sat back on the sofa.

“And NOW, it’s time for “Eyes on the Prize” with Fred Robson! Brought to you live from the Church-a-Rama Dome in Colorado Falls! With the musical talents of the Church-a-Rama Choir, Sanctified, and special guest, Eric Cartman from Faith +1!”

Second-rate metal music blared. “Wow, Sanctified,” said Stan, “weren’t they that band that Cartman locked in the janitor’s room at Christfest? Boy, they must really, really hate his guts.”

Kyle looked extra cheerful, but just passed Stan a bag of Cheesy Poofs. The camera swooped in on a gigantic church with theatrical lighting. It was like a theater or a concert hall, and you really wouldn’t have known it was a church if it hadn’t been for the huge cross hanging over the stage. Kyle nudged Kenny.

“That’s one thing,” he said. “I don’t care what Cartman says—if he pulls this off, we are not going to be using that much fake fog.” Fred Robson appeared dramatically out of the smoke. Stan was suddenly possessed with terrific news hair envy.

“PRAISE HIM!” Fred Robson yelled, as Sanctified stopped playing.

“PRAISE HIM!” echoed the crowd.

“This could go on for a while,” mused Kyle.

Kyle wasn’t wrong. There was about five solid minutes of praising and hallelujah-ing before the preacher/showman got down to business. Then it was time for another number from Sanctified before another sermon that seemed to be all about how reading Harry Potter was going to send your kids straight to hell.

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want you to open up your hearts and your spirits extra wide. Because tonight we are welcoming back the last lost lamb to the fold. Yes, you sit there in your pew or at home watching this, and you think, brothers and sisters, ‘I’m a Christian, I’m a good person, I’m not going to fall from grace,’ and let me tell you, you are WRONG. Because our special guest was once the leading light of Christian rock, the darling of Jesus’ eye, and he let himself slide straight into the depths of DE-pravity. But tonight he is back with us to testify how sweet it is to be washed in the blood of the Lamb—ERIC CARTMAN!”

Cartman was suddenly revealed at the back of the stage. The lights appeared to be getting right in his eyes, and he looked a little confused. Evidently, he hadn’t been expected a lead-in quite like this. But he made his way up to the preacher as confidently as though he had.

“PRAISE JESUS!” Robson yelled, shaking Cartman’s hand—hard, it looked like.

“Yes. Praise Jesus.”

“Eric Cartman, you were once an evangelist yourself, and you were the lead singer of a band called Faith +1,” Robson began.

“Yes, Fred, yes, I was.”

“And that band was once at the very top. You were awarded a myrrh album. And yet, the very same day—“

An 80-foot screen in the back of the room was suddenly filled with the image of a somewhat younger Cartman, screaming and jumping up and down.

“f*ck JESUS! I’LL SAY IT AGAIN-- f*ck JESUS!” The congregation gasped. “Now,” the preacher said kindly, “what on earth possessed you to do a thing like that?”

“Umm—I was annoyed?” Cartman asked. “Look, it was a really bad, stupid thing to do, and uh, I’m sorry, Jesus. OK?”

“Yes,” Robson carried on. “But as we found out, it wasn’t the only time you gave way to sin.”

A montage flickered up on the screen. There was Cartman selling fetuses to a seafood restaurant. Cartman in drag yelling,“Whuteva! I do what I waunt!” Cartman licking tears off a sobbing Scott Tenorman’s face: “OOOoo, let me taste your tears, Scott! The tears of ultimate sadness!” The lights came back on. The congregation seemed to be too stunned to react. “Pretty bad, Eric. Wouldn’t you say?”

“Whoa, dude,” said Stan. “This is pretty f*cked up right here.”

Cartman definitely looked uncomfortable now. “You know—all those things you just showed—I mean, they do look pretty bad, but those all happened before I was saved.”

“Did they? Robson cried. “Did they? Did you or did you not build your own church in South Park and preach the gospel before those events we just saw?” He was really bearing down on Cartman now. “But let’s give you the benefit of the doubt.” Robson smiled, and Cartman looked relieved. Then Robson wiped the smile off his face as though he were cleaning a window. “Now let’s see what happened after you were—supposedly—saved.”

Footage of Cartman racing through Casa Bonita, mere feet in front of the police. Footage of Cartman dressed up as Britney Spears and singing, “Would you like to touch my body?” Footage of Cartman leading an anti-Semitic rally. Even footage of Cartman ramming the Beaverton dam and swimming—heavily--away. Stan thought he could read Cartman’s lips mouthing, “How the hell did they get hold of that?”

“Now,” said Robson impressively, waving his hand, “you have just seen the depths to which a child—a mere child—can sink!” He rounded on Cartman. “You, young man, yes, you! You are only thirteen years old, and yet you are old in the ways of evil. How does this come to be?” he asked, leaning down so he was eyeball to eyeball with Cartman.

“You know,” Kyle remarked conversationally, “it’s kind of interesting to see Cartman on the receiving end of this for once.”

Cartman writhed. “Euuugh . . .ueeeegh. . . I don’t really, um, have a father. . . and . . . Mehm—um, Mehm’s, well, a crack whore. . .”

“DAMN,” said Stan, watching, at once both fascinated and repelled. “He must be really desperate. He usually tries to leave his Mehhhm out of this stuff.”

“No,” Robson said, fixing Cartman with his gaze, backing him away.

“No?”

“No. You see,” Robson said, turning to the congregation again, “not society, not parents, not anything can explain DE-pravity such as this. Only one thing can explain it. . . “

He wheeled around and shouted to the rafters.

“This boy is POSSESSED! And so shall ye all be, America, for who among you is so pure as to cast the first stone? I say, this child is POSSESSED!”

“Mmmhmphhmmm!” squeaked Kenny.

“Yeah!” agreed Stan. “I mean, he was, but you came right out his ass again! Who does this guy think he is?”

Robson slammed his hand heavily onto Cartman’s forehead.

“I command you, Satan, to come OUT of this child!”

Satan, of course, couldn’t hear him. He was having too much fun at the luau.

“COME OUT!” Robson yelled, slamming Cartman down onto the stage. “COME OUT, OUT, I SAY!”

“Wow, dude,” said Kyle. “Almost makes me feel like getting your wee-wee snipped is no big deal.”

Cartman’s head was getting pounded into the stage with a sort of thudding sound reminiscent of over-ripe melons. Robson gestured at two large men, who hauled the boy to his feet. Several other men were pushing a kind of tank downstage.

“Hmmmhph!”

“Yeah, I think it is, Kenny,” Stan said.

“I’m sorry,” said Kyle, “but you’re going to have to explain this one to me.”

“Well,” Stan said, “this is that water thing, you know, baptism.”

“Oh, yeah,” Kyle said darkly. He was obviously remembering getting sprayed for hours by Wacky Water Weasel and Cartman’s unpleasant little Christmas story. Stan hurried on. Onstage, Cartman was being dragged backwards up to the tank.

“Only, y’know, Cartman and Kenny and me—we’re all Catholics. So they did it to us ages ago, when we were babies. So we wouldn’t have to think about it later. And anyway, Father Maxi usually just drizzles a little water on your head. But—“

Stan was interrupted by a large SPLOOOSH! as Cartman hit the water. Archimedes’ theory of water displacement was being proven again even as he spoke. Robson hadn’t planned on quite such a large wave. His expensive shoes had gotten soaked and he was clearly annoyed.

“BLUB,” floundered Cartman. Robson hauled him out—with help.

“Ye are washed! Ye are made CLEAN! Ye are SAVED!”

Cartman wheezed, dripping wet, eyes empty.

Robson turned back to the congregation.

“Be sure to look for Eric’s new CD, and the much-awaited return of his band, Faith +1!” The congregation cheered. Stan changed the channel.

“Well,” Kyle said, “I’d think that would establish his credibility, don’t you think? I guess,” he sighed, “we’re in business.”

There was a pounding at the door.

“Stan! Stan! Let me in!”

Wendy?”

“Come on, or I’ll have to break down this door!”

“Sure,” said Stan, running to the door, and wondering why most of the women in his life had such short fuses. Wendy ran past him into the living room.

“Did you see that?” she yelled, gesturing at the television. It was pointless to pretend that they didn’t know what she was talking about. “He’s bringing Faith +1 back! You can’t let this happen!”

Kyle and Stan exchanged puzzled looks. “Why not? What’s the big deal?”

“Stan, don’t you get it? It’s not just the rock band—that’s just Cartman being an assh*le. It’s not even about the religious thing. But this is part of a whole message. If you get involved in this, you’ll be part of something that’ll stop science being taught in schools, that’ll make it just terrible for Jews, Kyle, and for gay people, too—I mean, if anyone should understand just why this is so important . . .”

“Huh?”

Wendy sighed. “Never mind. Look, Token told me all about this. I tried to explain why it’s going to be so bad, but he just wouldn’t listen. He said Cartman would never convince anybody to believe they were really a Christian rock group. But after this!”

“Yeah,” Kyle said, nodding. “I’ve gotta say, the assmaster was pretty convincing up there.”

“Are you sure he was acting? I know Cartman tried running a church of his own before. I know Cartman can be—really charismatic when he wants to, but I think Robson was too much even for him. He’s going to be their tool! What am I saying--he’s going to be a god-damned nuclear warhead! You know how much damage Cartman can do on his own—how much damage do you think a brainwashed Cartman can do?”

Kenny patted Wendy’s back, perhaps a little longer and a little lower than she would have preferred. Stan tried to reassure her.

“Don’t worry, Wendy,” he said. “We won’t be spreading any kind of a message. We’re only in it for the money.”

Wendy did not appear to be consoled. “Just wait,” she said. “This is going to get really ugly. If you boys want to go off and play rock star, fine. But the second things get political, I am going to put a stop to this.”

“How?” Stan asked.

She pulled her beret down tight around her ears and smiled grimly. “Let’s just say that it is not a good idea to f*ck with me. Come on, Kenny, walk me home.” She grabbed Kenny and pulled him along as she left. The door slammed behind her.

Kyle shuddered. “Crap, dude.”

“You said it. She’s really bugged about this whole political thing,” Stan said, shaking his head.

Kyle frowned. “About politics? Or about Cartman?”

“Nah. Why would Wendy worry about Cartman?”

*******

“Kenny,” Wendy said, as they walked the short distance towards her house, “I am really worried about Cartman.”

“Hmmmphmmm?” asked Kenny.

“I can’t talk to you like this, Kenny. Put down your hood and let me look you in the eye.”

Kenny put down his hood. He was a medium blond, and had an exceptionally sweet face, without any of the over-softness that marked Butters’. And he had a lovely smile.

“Better?” he asked.

“A lot better,” Wendy said. “You’re kind of cute, Kenny—why don’t you wear your hood down more?”

Kenny shrugged.

“Anyway, I wanted to talk to you because you’re Cartman’s best friend. As much as he has a best friend.”

“It is sort of a weird job,” Kenny agreed. “Why don’t you ask Butters?”

“Butters definitely could not do this,” Wendy said, shaking her head.

Kenny rolled his eyes. “Oh, God. This isn’t going to be one of those retarded ask-the-best-friend-so-the-best-friend-can-ask-if-he-likes-me kind of things?”

Wendy turned pink. “No! No! What gave you that idea? I hate Cartman!”

“Uh-huh,” Kenny said noncommittally.

“Well, I do,” she frowned. “Anyway, this is nothing like that. I honestly think Cartman might have been brainwashed back there. You saw what they did to him.”

Kenny put his arm around Wendy. “Listen, darlin’. . .” he began.

“Less of the touchies, “ she said.

Kenny dropped his arm. “Like I was saying,” he continued, “I wouldn’t worry about that. There is a core of pure selfish evil to Cartman that simply can’t be touched.”

Wendy sighed. “I sure hope so.”

“Really,” Kenny insisted, “Cartman knows all about this stuff—heck, he’s done it himself. You can’t bullsh*t a bullshitter.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Wendy said. “But I’m worried about what kind of monster a really evangelical Cartman would be. And so that is why,” she added, “I want you to promise me something. If you see any signs—any signs—that Cartman isn’t his usual assholic self, I want you to beat the crap out of him.” Kenny’s eyebrows rose. “I don’t mean it that way—I just mean his brain probably got a shock back there. So please, if he shows any symptoms, just do something—anything—that will knock some sense into his brain.”

Kenny nodded. “I think I know just the thing.” They finished their walk in silence.

A/N: The churches and preachers here are fictionalized composites.

Stay tuned for some brand-new Faith+1 songs in the next chapter.
professor_butters1
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:19 am

Chapter 4: Savior Self

Postby professor_butters1 » Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:50 pm

Disclaimer: South Park and its characters belong to Matt Stone and Trey Parker. See end notes for specific references.



The next day, Cartman wasn’t at the bus stop. He wasn’t in school. Stan passed Kyle a note--

Where is Fatass?

Kyle grabbed the note and unfolded it carefully. He frowned. Stan knew that Kyle had long ago given up on the idea that he would learn anything useful from Mrs. Garrison, but he hadn’t given up on the idea of getting into a good school. Instead, he had taken to bringing books to class and studying while tuning Mrs. Garrison out. He didn’t necessarily read books on the subject the class was covering, either—it wasn’t unusual for him to be reading history during math class or doing algebra as Mrs. Garrison taught English. He didn’t always like to be passed notes in class. It interrupted perfectly good study time. He scrawled a hasty reply and tossed it back to Stan.

Probably working the phone.

And that was another odd thing, too, Stan thought. He had been expecting a triumphant phone call from Cartman as soon as he got home. Something along the lines of “How’s that for credibility, gaywad?” with perhaps a “nehnehnehnehneh-neh, hehhehhehhehheh-heh” thrown in. But there had been no phone call. Kyle hadn’t gotten a phone call, either. Maybe Cartman had called Token.

But when they caught up with Butters and Token at lunch, they hadn’t gotten any phone calls from Cartman either.

“Whoa, boy,” said Butters happily, as he sat down with Kyle, Stan, and Kenny. “Chicken cutlet. My f-favorite.”

Was there anything that didn’t make Butters happy? Stan wondered.

Token came by with Craig, Clyde, and Tweek. “I’ll see you guys later,” he was saying. “I’ve gotta talk to Kyle and Stan.” Clyde nodded and they moved off. Token slid in next to Butters.

“You heard about the TV program last night?’ Stan asked Token.

“Heard about it. Didn’t watch it,” Token said, looking disapprovingly at the chicken cutlet. “I don’t need to watch Thomas the Racist Tank Engine; I figured you’d tell me anything I really needed to know. So how’d he do?”

Kyle and Stan exchanged glances.

“Good—I think,” Stan said finally. “I mean, I think he actually got rid of the credibility problem.”

“Oh, man,” Token sighed. “I guess that means we have to go over to his house for rehearsal this afternoon.”

“We don’t know,” Kyle admitted.

“You don’t know?” Token asked, surprised.

“No. I mean, I haven’t heard from him. Have you, Butters?”

Butters looked worried now. “G-golly, no, fellas, was I supposed to? I’m su-sorry, Mom made me go to bed at eight ‘cause she said the whites aren’t bright enough again, an’-an’ I guess I didn’t separate the colors right, but ho-honest to g-gosh, I used the little stain stick and everythin’, I ju-just don’t know what I’m d-doin’ wrong. . .”

Stan interposed hastily. “That’s nice. OK, you didn’t hear from Cartman, Token didn’t hear from Cartman, Kyle and I didn’t hear from Cartman. . . “

A girl’s hand slapped down on Kenny’s parka’d shoulder. Wendy had slipped up to the table unnoticed.

“Remember my last, Kenny,” she said warningly. Kenny straightened up, but he just nodded.

Token lit up. “Hey, Wendy! Come on and sit with us. Butters was just leaving.”

Butters looked up, his mouth full of tapioca pudding. “I mmff?” he mumbled puzzledly, then swallowed hard. “Oh, yeah,” he said, sadly looking at his almost full pudding dish. “I was.”

“No, don’t get up, Butters,” Wendy said, patting him on the back. Butters blushed. “I’ve got to go talk to Bebe anyway. See you later, Token.”

Token looked disappointed. Stan was mildly surprised to discover that he didn’t care much either way. In fact, he thought, he wasn’t jealous of Token at all, the poor guy.

“Well,” Kyle said, “we’d better get over to his house after school anyway. Knowing him, he probably just expects us to show up; he wouldn’t even bother to let us know unless we didn’t show up, and then he’d be pissed off.”

They all agreed that this made sense.

*******

Mrs. Cartman opened the door right away.

“Is Cartman home, Mrs. Cartman?”

“Oh, yes,” she said, “he’s right upstairs. I’m glad you boys came over. I think my little poopsykins isn’t feeling well. He hasn’t been downstairs all day.”

Kyle laughed. “What,” he said, “he hasn’t even eaten breakfast? Or lunch?”

Mrs. Cartman looked a bit worried. “Actually, no.”

They all looked at each other and raced upstairs, dropping their instruments in the hall and nearly stepping on Fluffy the pig as they ran. “I brought him up some powdered donut pancake surprise,” Mrs. Cartman called after them, “but he wouldn’t touch a bite!”

Stan slammed Cartman’s bedroom door open. “Cartman?” he said, tentatively.

Cartman was lying back on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. He didn’t look as though he had moved for hours. In fact, thought Stan, he looked as though he hadn’t changed his clothes from the previous night. Someone had pulled a white robe on over his good suit. His tie had bled into the robe and into his shirt. He was still damp.

“Cartman?” repeated Kyle.

Cartman blinked, then sat up, then stood very carefully.

“Wow,” Stan heard Kyle whisper, “that preacher dude must have really kicked his fat ass.”

“Greetings, brethren,” said the alien life form that appeared to be inhabiting Cartman’s body. Butters ran over to him.

“G-gosh, Eric,” Butters said worriedly, “ain’t you feelin’ well?

“I’m feeling blessed, Butters,” Cartman replied. “Blessed.”

“Um, yeah,” Token said tactfully, “you look blessed.”

“Ah, Token,” Cartman said, smiling at him. “Blessings in the name of the Lord.”

Kyle looked very disturbed by this new, and somehow creepier, version of Cartman.

“Uh, Cartman?” he asked. “Over here? Y’know, me? Kyle?”

“And a blessed day it is, Kyle,” Cartman replied.

“What?” Kyle said, thoroughly unnerved now. “No, Cartman. I’m Kyle, you know, Kyle the J-O-O. It’s me!” he said, practically shouting in Cartman’s face. “I, like, am personally responsible for killing Jesus! I started all the wars in the Middle East!”

Cartman held his arms out to Kyle, puzzled but benign.

“But why should I think poorly of you, Kyle?” he asked. “Are we not both God’s children? Are we not People of the Book?”

And that was when Kenny, selflessly and with a complete disregard for his own safety, kicked Cartman square in the nuts.

Cartman dropped like a boulder. “AGGHH!” he screamed. Butters dropped to his knees beside Cartman.

“Wow, Kenny,” Stan heard himself say.

“Agh, agh, agh. . . “

“What’d you do that for, Kenny?” Kyle asked. “Not,” he added fairly, “that I haven’t thought of doing it myself.”

“Mmmffpphhfhh,” Kenny explained.

Hate . . . you . . .guys. . . .” came a muffled voice from the floor.

Wendy told you to do it?” Token said, horrified.

“Mm! Hmmhmhphmhmhm!”

“Knock some sense into his brain? Kenny, Cartman’s brains aren’t down there!” Stan said.

“Although . . . ” Kyle began.

“HATE. . . you guys. . . GODDAMNIT. . . .I’m gonna. . . KILL . . . you—JESUS you—assbangers. . . .”

“Hey fellas?” Butters looked up at Kyle, Stan, Token and Kenny. “I think Cartman’s gonna be OK!”

“JesusfuckingassChristblooddrippingmotherfuckerSusanSarandonasswipes,” Cartman said faintly.

“Yeah,” said Stan, “looks like it.”

“Yay, I think,” said Kyle. Meanwhile, Kenny and Butters were helping Cartman up and over to the bed. Cartman began shredding the white robe from the neck down.

“Before I kill you,” he said, in a frighteningly calm tone—RIP, TEAR—“do you MIND telling me WHY THE f*ck YOU DID THAT?”

There was a pause. Butter broke it.

“Wu-well, Eric,” he began to explain, “you were actin’, uh, awful funny. . . “

“FUNNY? Goddamnit, depriving the future race of MY gene pool is FUNNY?”

“Kenny,” Kyle said softly, “you deserve the thanks of every right-thinking human being for this.”

Stan stepped directly in front of Cartman, who looked up at him furiously. “Cartman,” he asked, “what’s the last thing you remember?”

Cartman frowned. “I was going on that TV show. CRAP!” he exclaimed suddenly. “I missed it!”

“No, you didn’t, Cartman,” said Kyle. “You did go on that show.”

“Hmm,” Cartman said, knitting his brows further. “I must have forgotten to get into my pajamas.”

“An’ you’re all sticky,” Butters added.

“Don’t you remember anything, Cartman?” Stan insisted.

“No,” Cartman admitted, “but I do have a huge bump on the back of my head.”

“Well,” Stan said reluctantly, “you—kinda got saved or something.”

“Mmmmphmmmhmh.”

“Kenny’s right,” Kyle said, unable to keep the glee out of his voice. “That preacher guy really kicked your ass.”

“Oh,” Cartman said. “So. . . .everyone believed I was saved and everything?” he added hopefully.

Kyle and Token looked at each other. “Yeah,” they said, almost at the same moment, and sighed.

“Sweeeet. And who,” Cartman asked suddenly, “is responsible for having me kicked in the goddam balls?”

“Oh, that was Wendy,” Stan said. “She thought you’d been brainwashed, and she told Kenny to do something about it. . . “

“And you’ve got to admit,” Token said, trying not to snicker too loudly,” it worked.”

“Hmm,” Cartman said, looking almost cheerful. “Hmm. Well, remind me to send the bitch an attractive arrangement of cactus and poison sumac. And Kenny, if you ever do that again, I will personally have you delivering Satan 25 pizzas he didn’t order.” He rose, took off his suit jacket and tie, and began to change his wet shirt. They all averted their eyes. Cartman’s head popped up through a fresh T-shirt with Hitler’s Love Child on it.

“Gentleman,” he said, “I believe we have an act to put together.” They followed him back downstairs, heading for the basement and what Stan feared would be an excruciating afternoon. “Mehhmmmm??? I’m gonna need a pie with toffee ice cream down hnyah!”
*****
The first business meeting and rehearsal of Faith +1 was underway in Cartman’s basement.

“OK,” Kyle said, “first, we are not doing anything until I have a chance to draw up some contracts and get them looked over by my father . . .”

“Why, yes, Kyle,” said Cartman mildly, looking up from some lyric sheets, “that seems fair.”

“ . . . who will be reducing his billing per hour by 50 percent because, after all, I’m his son.”

Cartman turned red and opened his mouth as though he were going to say something. Butters hastily handed him a slice of pie.

“Now, I’ve been looking into this, “ Kyle continued, “and there’s some fairly boilerplate language we can use for our contracts and other legal documents. That ought to save us a lot of time, and, of course, money. First, there’s the matter of percentages. Usually a manager would make anywhere between 10 and 15 percent. But since you didn’t mention anything about that, Cartman, and since you seemed to be suggesting that we were all going to be making money on this thing, I’m going to suggest that we merely split the profits six ways, which would make my share approximately 16.66 percent. Naturally, since Stan is my assistant, or maybe just a corporate spy, I’m not sure which.—“

“Hey!” Stan protested.

“No offense, Stan—in any case, if Stan were working for me, usually the band would pay me that 10 or 15 percent and I would pay him, but again, Cartman, since you didn’t specify, I’m going to have to assume that Stan is also in for an equal share. Which means,” Kyle finished up, “that you have already allocated roughly twice what you needed to on legal, financial, and management fees. At least.”

Cartman picked up the dish with the pie on it threateningly.

“I suggest that you don’t throw that pie at me, Cartman, because you’re going to want to eat it later, and because I am making a point,” Kyle said. “You haven’t even started rehearsing yet, and you’re already making financial mistakes. I, however, am not. Which means,” Kyle added, “that where the money is concerned, I strongly recommend that you leave the driving to me.”

Wow, Stan thought. Cartman was right. Or maybe Butters was right. Cartman was a total assh*le and made racist assumptions about everybody, but somehow he also seemed to be able to pick up on talents people didn’t even know they had. Stan certainly didn’t know that Kyle could crunch figures like that. He just looked like the same old kid in the green hat.

“Fine,” Cartman said, after a long pause. “That’s what we’re paying you for.”

“Yes,” Kyle agreed. “Then I’ll get to work on the contracts, and I’ll be figuring in insurance costs, overhead, union fees, cost of electronic equipment, and, of course, protective gear for Kenny here. That’ll all come out of the gross. Before I start, though, I should ask what you want done with your money as it comes in. Token?”

“My parents have a trust fund set up,” Token said, a little reluctantly. “I think you should just hand it over to Dad. He knows where it’s all going.”

“OK,” Kyle said, making a note. “But I will have to check that out against the Jackie Coogan Act. There’s protective legislation so that parents can’t take advantage of their kids if they become rich, famous performers.”

Stan hadn’t known that, either. Kyle looked sort of like a grownup when he talked this way, only not all geeky like Mr. Broflovski. It was, well, cool.

“What do you want done with your money, Butters?”

Butters looked startled. “Oh, uh—I wasn’t thinkin’ about the money, “ he began.

“That’s because last time you let Fatass here spend it all before you ever saw any. That’s not going to happen this time, so assuming that there are profits, what do you want me to do with them—just give them to you?”

Butters’ eyes went wide. “Well, but, Kyle,” he asked, “what would I need money for?”

“Isn’t there anything you want, Butters?”

Butters looked a bit shy. “Wu-well, I did used to send money to kids in third world countries back when AWESOME-O got all those movie ideas.” Cartman rolled his eyes. “I think I’d kinda like to do something like that—only I kinda have an even better idea now. Can I talk to you about it later?”

“Sure, Butters,” Kyle assured him. “So you want most of what you make to go to charity. I think, though,” he said thoughtfully, “that I ought to put some of it in an educational trust fund for you, too.”

“Boring,” Cartman sighed.

“Oh,” Kyle said. “I’m so sorry I’m boring you, Cartman. I’m sure you boys want to get back to the artistic side. Well,” he said, tapping his papers on the desk, “that’s about it. I’ll need to be getting on with the contracts now. Good afternoon, Cartman. Come on, Stan,” he added, “let’s head down to Harbucks for a grandissimo hot chocolate. I’m buying.” He put on a pair of shades and strolled up Cartman’s stairs. Stan followed, fascinated.

*****

“OK, “ Kyle said, in Mr. Broflovski’s office, several days later, “I think we’re done here.”

Stan looked up from the pile of papers Kyle was having him check and smiled. Despite Kyle forcing him to look through figures and read through legal documents, he had been having fun. It was nice not having to listen to Cartman whine. It was nice not having to head Kenny off from eating the “mints.” Except for Mr. Broflovski checking on them once in awhile and telling them when it was time to go home for dinner, they weren’t interrupted at all. Why had it been such a long time since he’d spent time just with Kyle?

“Whew,” Kyle continued, “that took forever. Thank God I’m bar mitzvah now. Otherwise Mom would kill me for spending so much time on this. Poor Ike,” he added cheerfully, “he’s next. He won’t know what hit him.”

“So what now?” Stan asked.

“Like I said, we’re done,” said Kyle, stretching and yawning, “so we really ought to check in and see how the band is coming along. And, of course, have them sign all these papers.” Stan noticed that when Kyle stretched like that, he could see just a tiny peek of the V of Kyle’s undershirt. Man, he must be burned out. “Come on, Stan,” Kyle added, “can’t put it off anymore. We’ve gotta go listen to Faith +1.”

“I left my earmuffs at home,” Stan complained, as they left the office with the contracts and walked over to Cartman’s house.

They went straight down to the basement.

“Finally,” Cartman griped. Stan noticed he was wearing the huge flashy cross he’d worn when he led Faith +1.

“Hello to you too, wide load,” said Kyle. “We’ve got the contracts ready. Got anything worthwhile to show us?”

“Hell yeah!” said Cartman. “What, you think we were just sitting around while you two butt buddies were drawing up f*ggy little contracts? We got a lot done. Have a seat.”

Kyle and Stan sat down. Butters was already seated at the drum set.

“Hiya fellas!” he chirped. “B-boy, we sure m-missed you but we did come up with a whole lotta songs.”

Token snorted. He was holding his bass and Stan noticed that he also had a harmonica around his neck. Cartman followed his glance.

“Oh, yes, Stan,” Cartman said, “We added that. I thought it was a nice touch.”

Token rolled his eyes.

“Well,” Cartman continued, “we’ve had to write some new songs, naturally. And I thought we should start by making this easy on ourselves, so we went through our parents’ music collections.”

Kyle cleared his throat. “I’d like to remind you, Cartman,” he said, “that unless the song you’re recording was written before 1923, and unless your arrangement is original, you are in for deep, deep sh*t. Don’t even bother lying and saying that it was just an accident. George Harrison tried that with ‘My Sweet Lord’ and look how far it got him.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know, Jewy McHebrew,” Cartman said exasperatedly, “so we had to tell Butters that we could not rip off ‘Love Will Keep Us Together.’ Which, as far as I’m concerned, was a big relief.”

“Aw,” said Butters.

“But we did figure we could use some songs for inspiration, especially if they were really old. See, I brought down some stuff of Great-Grandmehm’s.”

Cartman had set up a sound system linked in to Token’s bass, Butters’ drum set, and his own keyboards. Now Stan saw that he had a turntable and a CD player linked up to it too. Cartman flipped on a thick old 45 RPM record. It was really scratchy.

I’ve got nipples on my titties
Big as the end of my thumb,
I’ve got somethin’ ‘tween my legs’ll
Make a dead man. . .


Kenny had stopped checking effects and light charts in the corner and was staring at the turntable with eyes like plates. Cartman pulled the needle off with a rip.

“Goddamnit,” Cartman said, frowning, “wrong one. Oh, well.” He shrugged. “Token’s parents had some good stuff, too.”

“There’s one I want to use,” Token insisted, “and I don’t want to change it at all. Can we do that, Kyle?”

“Well, yeah,” said Kyle, “if you pay the original copyright owner and clear it with him or her, it oughta be fine.”

“Yeah, I hate to piss away the money,” Cartman said, “but Token here is really convinced that it’ll be good, and what the hell—the audience won’t care; they’ll never even know it isn’t ours. You think any of them ever listen to Marvin Gaye?”

They all agreed that most modern Christian rock audiences weren’t all that familiar with Motown.

“And,” added Cartman, “we thought we’d re-record some of the tracks we did on our first album. Just one or two. The concert audience is going to expect us to do some of our old songs anyhow, so we’ll probably play ‘Jesus Baby’ and ‘I Wanna Get Down On My Knees and Start Pleasin’ Jesus.’ Token’s picked up the harmonica and I really like it on this one. You didn’t hear our first album?”

Kyle and Stan shook their heads numbly. Cartman rolled his eyes.

“Wow, you guys are such great friends, I’m really really, impressed with your supportiveness.” He sat down at the keyboards. “OK then. You boys ready?” Token picked up his bass and got his mouth on the harmonica. “This one’s kind of a bluesy number.”

They began to play. Butters and Token began a rhythm-and-blues backup.

Christ again, sang Cartman,

Token played a fa-fa-FWEET on the harmonica.

Oh, do it againnnnn; (fa-fa-fa-FWEET)
Roll me OVAH, honey, (fa-fa-fa-FWEET)
You fisher of men. (fa-fa-fa-FWEET)
Ya know that I’m cravin’, (fa-fa-fa-FWEET)
A little soul-savin’, (fa-fa-fa-FWEET)
I’m sayin’ I need ya, (fa-fa-fa-FWEET)
Lemme Nicene Creed ya, (fa-fa-fa-FWEET)
Your love is streamin’, (fa-fa-FWEET)
An you’ve got me screamin’ (fa-fa-fa-FWEET)
Christ again,(fa-fa-FWEET).
(Oh do it again, Jesus!)


Token began a harmonica solo.

“Oh, my God,” Kyle cried, cutting them off, “that is such crap.”

“Thought you’d like it, Kyle. Here’s another one we did. It’s sort of sweeter, more romantic.”

“Yeah,” enthused Butters, “it’s my favorite.”

Stan and Kyle tried to prepare themselves. This one was a swoopy, ballady number.

A Night With the Lord
Is like no other night in the world.
A Night with the Lord
Is moonlight and magic and ponies;
The clouds part before us,
On our magic carpet ride,
Singing the Hallelujah Chorus,
With Him by my side.
Oh, darlin’ Jesus, with You I’m forever young,
Especially
When You do that thing with Your tongue (whispered) just like that
And no matter how old I get
I never will forget
My mystical, magical, miracle,
Night with the Lord.


Stan felt decidedly queasy. From somewhere that seemed very far away he thought he heard Kyle saying, “You’re telling me you have more like that, Cartman?” and Cartman’s voice replying smugly, “Yep.” Kenny came and sat down next to Stan and encouraged him to put his head between his knees. He was also, Stan noticed vaguely, carrying a bucket.

“OK,” Kyle said, sounding shaken, “I-I think that’s enough for Stan and me to understand where this is going.”

“You don’t have to like it, you know, Kyle,” Cartman said casually.

Kyle turned around and looked at him. “What?”

“You heard what I said,” Cartman repeated. “You do not have to like this. You can think it’s total crap if you want. The question is, will it sell? And it WILL sell, too. So don’t bother faking it in front of me. Just make sure not to act like that in front of a producer or a paying audience.” Kyle thought this over.

“That seems fair enough,” he agreed. “You guys are the ones who’ll have to have the squeaky clean lifestyle anyway. Cartman, you’d better practice cleaning up that potty mouth or I’ll have to ask Mom if she has any extra V-chips lying around.”

“f*ckin’ ungrateful bitch,” Cartman muttered, but he did keep it under his breath.

Mrs. Cartman’s voice floated downstairs.

“Sweetie darling, some mail came for you today,” she sang.

“All right, Mehm, for Christ’s sake.”

“Watch the profanity,” Kyle warned Cartman as he puffed upstairs. Stan could hear choking noises. Kyle began handing out contracts to everyone else.

“OK, before you sign these,” he said, “you should read them really, really, carefully. If you want to take it home, show it to your parents first, that’s fine, and call me or my Dad if you’ve got any questions.” Token nodded and slipped his into his backpack.

“That’s OK, Kyle,” said Butters, “I trust ya,” and began to sign.

“No, don’t, Butters,” Kyle said. “You should always read everything before you sign it. And besides, there’s a part in there I think you’ll like—about where you want the money to go. Check it over and tell me if you have any suggestions.”

“Wu-well, OK,” said Butters.

Cartman pounded down the stairs. He was waving a letter over his head and had a large manila envelope in his hand.

“You guys! You guys! Guess what? It’s our old label, Faith Records! They want us to cut the album next week! They’re gonna help line up some concert gigs, they’ve got marketing ideas; it’s totally awesome! They say there’s nothing like a Christian pop star who gets unsaved and then gets saved again. This kicks ass!” Cartman raced around the basement throwing sheet music in the air.

“That’s nice,” said Kyle, “so you can hand over that info and the contract and let me red-line it for you.”

Cartman stopped racing around. He sighed. “Leave it to you to be a total buzz-kill, Kyle.” He tossed Kyle the envelope from Faith Records and noticed the large stack of paper Kyle had put out for him to sign. He glanced at it briefly and began signing and initialing the bottom of every page. Kyle looked through the letter.

“Yeah, Cartman’s right,” Kyle said, “it does say they want you to record next week in Hollywood. And they’ve got a few gigs lined up—and a CD release party.”

“Kick-ASS,” said Cartman, who had finished signing everything. A piece of paper fluttered down from the envelope.

“What’s this?” Stan asked. He leaned down and picked up the paper, which looked as though it had been inserted separately. “Look. It’s a flyer.” He read:

Rally at Focus on the American Family Institute
Dr. Fred Robson
With Special Guests, Faith+1
Come out and show your support
For preserving the American Family
Truth in science teaching
Clean entertainment on the air
Bring a dollar for the box


Kyle read the flyer over his shoulder. “Oh, boy,” he said. “Here we go. “

Stan was confused, and the other boys looked equally confused. “It’s all the stuff we saw before—you know, on the field trip? Like, ‘truth in science teaching’ means you can’t teach anything that looks as though it might contradict the Bible. And ‘preserving the American Family’—I bet that’s about getting the laws changed so gays can’t marry.” Kyle looked very, very uncomfortable. “I don’t know, you guys,” he said, “maybe this isn’t so great after all. Maybe we shouldn’t do this.”

“WHAT?” screamed Cartman. “After all that work? Are you out of your mind? Of course we’re going through with it, Kyle. Ten million dollars! Or a lotta money, anyway!”

Kyle shook his head. “I just don’t know. I have a very bad feeling about this. Maybe this is what Wendy meant when she said it would get political. I’m going home.”

“Yeah, me too,” said Token.

“Oh, wu-wow, fellas, is that the time? Cr-cracker crumbs,” stammered Butters, “I gotta get home before supper or I’ll get grounded for sure.”

They all left the basement, except, of course, for Cartman, and Kenny, who evidently was staying for dinner. As he walked up the stairs, Stan caught a last glimpse of Kenny. He was wearing a pair of earphones and had put on the record that had belonged to Cartman’s Great-Grandmehm. His eyes were closed and he was giggling madly.


Author’s note: “Jewy McHebrew” has been used by David Rakoff; as far as I know, he may have invented it. The song Cartman accidentally puts on is the infamous “Shave ‘Em Dry” (the unexpurgated version) sung by Lucille Bogan in the 1930s; the lyrics only get worse from there, so don’t bother looking it up if you’re easily offended.

If you want to know how the songs sound, “Christ Again” sounds like any old-fashioned blues numbers with a harmonica. “A Night with the Lord” sounds like something between “I Can Show You the World,” and “Swiss Colony Beef Log.”
professor_butters1
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:19 am

Chapter Five: A Really Big Night With The Lord

Postby professor_butters1 » Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:59 pm

Chapter Five: A Really Big Night With The Lord

Disclaimer: South Park and its characters belong to Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

I can’t decide whose fanpic of Butters wearing a Hello Kitty hoodie is cuter—oneirogenic’s or Seaouryou’s—but they most definitely deserve a tribute. You can see ‘em on deviantart.

And “we consider anything without room service to be camping”—that may be an old joke, but I got it from Shloma Rosenberg. Hugs to you and mazel tov, sweetie.

******

Token was looking out the windows of the car. He looked disappointed.

“This is Hollywood? It’s not as glamorous as they show it on TV.”

Kyle looked up from a printout from Mapquest he’d been consulting. “That’s because it isn’t really Hollywood—we’re in the San Fernando Valley. Apparently, that’s where they have a lot of recording studios.”

“Yeah,” agreed Butters, “I went to Hollywood an’ we went to the Chinese Theater and everythin’ but I never been here before.” They drove by another nondescript building and Butters pointed. “Oh, looky, fellas—Man Meat Studios. Ya think they do cookin’ shows or somethin’?”

“Umm, Butters,” Kyle headed off this question before it derailed, “how are Cartman’s lessons coming along?” Butters smiled.

“I think Eric’s makin’ real good progress. Come on, Eric, let’s show ‘em what you can do. Token, couldja just kinda… .”

Token kicked Cartman sharply in the shin.

“OW! Cr. . . istmas,” Cartman finished lamely and started rubbing his shin.

“Dude,” Kyle said, “I am totally impressed. You’re like a human V-chip. How did you do that?”

Butters wriggled on the seat and dug his hands deep into the pockets of his Hello Kitty hoodie. “Well, it. . . it wasn’t much, Kyle, I just gave Eric some, you know, other words he could use. An’ I made him a tape a me talkin’ so he’d know what words ta use when.” Stan briefly flashed on the horror of listening to hours and hours of Butters on tape. “So ya see, Token,” Butters finished up, “you won’t ever hafta worry about Eric here flyin’ off the handle ever again. ‘Cause he knows better and I been trainin’ him.”

The car pulled into a parking lot beside a building with a sign that read “Sooper-Dooper Recording.” The boys hopped out of the car and entered the building, which wasn’t much more impressive-looking than Man Meat Studios. A plump, balding man with a sad little ponytail in back greeted them at the door.

“Hey, guys, you must be Faith +1. Come on back.” They followed him down a grey hallway with nondescript furniture. The only way anyone would have known that it was a recording studio were the pictures of recording artists on the walls and a few plaques.

“We’re in Studio D. Which one of you is Mr. Broflovski?”

“That’s me,” Kyle said.

“OK, we checked over the contract and we looked at the riders. We tried to get everything you asked for; that would be sugar-free soda for you, a supply of Snacky Smores, a break room with a Game Cube setup, and we’ll be asking you guys what you want for lunch around 11:30 every day. We can get you Colonel’s, pizza, City Wok—“

Stan interrupted him. “Dude, you have City Wok here?”

“We’ve got the original City Wok here. It’s a chain; I thought everybody knew that. Just one thing: we did our best, but we couldn’t get any Cheesy Poofs. They don’t sell them in California: something about the toxin levels.”

“Ah, Goddamnit!” exclaimed Cartman. He slammed his hands on his mouth as they all turned to glare at him. The bald guy shrugged.

“Dude, we really don’t care. I don’t care if you’re a Christian band or what. I’m a Buddhist, Larry in there (a man waved from behind the glass booth) is into Kabbalah, Emily does Asatru, and Brandon, the kid who’ll be doing your lunch runs, he just watches a lot of Penn and Teller. Go ahead. Curse all you want to. Knock yourselves out.”

Cartman sighed with relief. “Sweeeet.”

Kyle frowned. “I wouldn’t get too used to it, fat-ass. It’s like a habit. You’ll slip up if you don’t practice.”

“EY, Jew, this would be a lot f*cking easier if you didn’t keep calling me fat-ass, all right?”

Kyle started turning red. “Fat-ass isn’t a curse word, fat-ass; it’s just a descriptor!”

“Well, so is Jew, you---Jew!”

“Cartman’s right.”

Both Cartman and Kyle turned to stare at Stan. Why the hell did I have to say that? he thought. But he went on. “Dude, he does have a point there. I mean, so he has a mouth like a septic tank; it isn’t fair to goad him when he can’t even use it.”

Cartman smirked at Kyle. “Hehhehhehheh, Stan took my side, and you got busted!” he said. “Why don’t you go cry in the bathroom, little Jew boy, your boyfriend doesn’t love you anymore!”

Kyle stared back, first at Cartman, then at Stan. “I hate you so much, Cartman,” he said, and walked slowly back down the hall.

Token shook his head. “Man, Cartman,” he said, “how do you manage to be so offensive without any profanity at all?”

Cartman merely sneered. “Amateurs,” he said coldly, and walked into the studio. Token followed him in. Butters stayed behind.

“Uh, I, uh, I g-gotta go now, Stan—you gonna be all right?”

“Yeah, Butters, no big deal, you go on,” said Stan. Butters disappeared into the recording studio, looking worried. Stan felt an arm around him. “Yeah? What, Kenny?”

Kenny handed him a can of sugar-free soda, turned, and went into the break room. Stan took a deep breath and walked towards the men’s room, soda in hand.

Kyle was leaning his head against the wall. He didn’t wait for Stan to speak. “I hate that assh*le so f*cking much,” he said. Whatever Cartman had said, he certainly didn’t look as though he had been crying, just very, very tired. Stan handed him the soda. “Thanks.”

Stan really felt awkward now. “Umm, Kyle . . .” he began.

“Dude,” said Kyle, and smiled, and Stan knew it was cool again. They walked back down to the break room to play video games with Kenny, who kicked their asses.

*********

“A motel? You got us reservations at a cheap motel? In Hollywood?”

They were standing in front of an admittedly cruddy-looking motel. They had been dropped off at the end of the day with their luggage. They’d left the instruments locked up at the recording studios and it now looked as though that was a good thing.

“Well, as Token said, Hollywood isn’t all that glamorous,” Kyle said smoothly. “Parts of it, anyway.”

Cartman was livid; probably deep in the throes of Cheesy Poof withdrawal, Stan thought. “I thought your people considered anything without room service to be camping!” he fumed.

“Uh huh,” Kyle agreed, “ but as you know, we’re also incredibly cheap. So which is it, Cartman? Which stereotype do you want to go with?”

While Cartman worked this out, Token was also visibly uncomfortable. “The neighborhood seems kinda –unpleasant,” he said, finally.

“I think the neighborhood is neato!” said Butters. “Didja see all those video stores? An’ that place with the Halloween costumes? And there’s all those ladies standin’ around wantin’ to say howdy neighbor—just like in South Park!” He scurried ahead into the check in area.

“Oh, man, it smells like pee,” Cartman complained several minutes later. “This sucks balls.”

“Uh,” said Token. Stan noticed that he was looking at the wall, which seemed to be banging loudly. And yelling.

“Come on, guys,” Kyle said. ”Our rooms are down further this way.” He led them down the hall. “OK,” he said, throwing Butters a key, “you’re in 106 with Token. Stan, you’re with me. Kenny, I hate to do this to you, but you’re with Cartman. We’ve got about 45 minutes to unpack and clean up, and then the studio is sending a car to take us to dinner, so don’t,” he finished, turning to Kenny, “get all caught up in the pay channels.”

It didn’t seem long until they were being picked up again. “So,” said the driver, “where to?”

“Just someplace Hollywood-y.”

“You mean like Musso and Frank’s or something like that?”

“No,” said Kyle. “We’re just kids from out of town. Take us someplace regular where we can have dinner.”

They finally wound up at an Italian restaurant near the Hollywood Freeway. It wasn’t fancy and the people in it didn’t look particularly Hollywood-y, but at least it was reasonably cheap and there wasn’t anything too weird on the menu.

“Hey,” said Stan, “isn’t that guy the one we met in Colorado? The one who said he was Goofy?”

Kyle squinted over at the table next to them. It was pretty dark.

“Yeah, I think so.”

“Let’s wave at him and see what he does.”

But the greyhaired guy was looking at them too and leaned over so he could talk to them. “Are you somebody I’m supposed to know?” he said worriedly.

“Don’t think so, dude,” said Stan. “We only met you once.”

“Oh, hey, right!” he said happily. “I recognize the fat kid—I’d know you anywhere. We met at that place in Colorado, right?”

Cartman glowered at him. “EY! I am NOT FAT, I am BIG-BONED.”

“Yeah, well, I was big-boned too, once, but here’s a tip: if you just order the marinara sauce in a bowl and don’t eat anything else, you quit being so big-boned. Also, I recommend wearing a lot of black. Plus turtleneck sweaters.”

Cartman gave him a look that said, “Get AIDS and die, you aging hippie freak,” but the guy was poking another man sitting at the table with him. “Hey, Desmond,” he was saying, “I met these kids in Colorado. Say hi.”

“Hullo, children.” This new man had a British accent and didn’t seem all that excited about talking to a table full of thirteen year old boys. The lady with them, however, looked as though she was happy to meet anybody.

“Hey there! I’m Victoria, and this is Desmond. You’re pretty young to be in a restaurant all by yourselves. Are you going to be ok?”

Kenny was sort of goggling at her through the opening of his hood. Stan didn’t understand why. She was pretty, with browny-blondy hair, but she had to be really, really old. Fifty, at least. She did have a very nice smile, though. Kenny actually took off his hood, walked over to the other table, and slid in next to her.

“When this guy dies,” he said clearly, “I want to marry you and sit underneath a big Christmas tree with you forever and ever.”

The lady hugged him. “Aren’t you a little cutie,” she said. Kenny pressed up against her flowered print dress and closed his eyes tight. What a perv, thought Stan, and she thinks he’s just a cute, harmless little kid. I hope he doesn’t die from sheer perverted pleasure or because the lady’s husband kills him.

The cheerful guy was talking to them again. “So what are you doing in California? Seeing Disneyland?”

“We’re making a recording, actually,” said Cartman, and went on hogging the garlic bread. This caught the British guy’s attention.

“Making a recording, eh? I’ve done that. I had a hit when I was just a bit older than you lads are. It was called, ‘You Really Send Me.’ Ever hear of it? 1964.”

“Wow, 1964,” said Cartman, “and you’re still alive and they let you out of the home, too. Do you have to wear adult diapers?” This annoyed the British guy.

“Listen, chubby, I went to a British public school. Where I come from we use fat little arseholes as toast racks, so don’t screw with me.” Stan thought he’d better change the subject.

“So what happened? With your hit record, I mean?”

The British guy shrugged. “Oh, well, it was like any other hit. Some of us British Invaders stayed big, some of us didn’t. I saved my money, married Victoria here, bought several ukuleles and accordions and a nice little house, and lived modestly ever after. Not that there wasn’t a lot of exciting sex and rock n’ roll on the way,” he said reminiscently.

Kyle cut in. “You see, guys—this is why it’s a good idea to pay attention to that money. You don’t stay famous forever.”

“Indeed not. Fame can be very difficult to predict.” A very thin lady with black spiky hair wandered by. “Hullo, Mary. Mary writes for some music magazine for young persons . . .oh, bugger bugger bugger, I can never remember what it’s called. Mary, these boys are a new band from –where did you say it was?”

“Colorado.”

“Oh, aren’t you precious? Oh, look, Victoria, aren’t they just precious.” She sat down next to Butters. “Oh, look at the Hello Kitty hoodie. I could just eat you up, sweetie!” she said, hugging Butters until his eyes bugged out.

“Oh, uh, no ma’am, p-please. An’-an p-please don’t make me put on a bear costume, either.”

“And what kind of music do you play?” she went on.

Token finally spoke up. “Christian rock. But we do some other stuff, too,” he added, seeing the lady’s disappointed expression.

“Well, you might make an interesting story. I’ll tell you what—I have to be in Denver next week anyway, so if you don’t live too far away, I’d like to interview you.” She took their contact information from Kyle. The rest of the evening passed uneventfully, except that Kenny had to be dragged away from Victoria.

*******

It was nice and warm, thought Stan sleepily. He hoped it wasn’t time to get up yet. It was nice and warm and comfy, only . . . somewhere far off, there was a slight smell of pee and carpet cleaner. But somewhere much closer there was a nice, familiar smell. Hmmm.

Why was his face scratchy?

Why was he staring directly into a sunset?

A little more consciousness filtered in. That was—Kyle’s hair. He was sleeping cuddled up with Kyle, one arm and one leg thrown over him.

It’s ok, Stan thought. No big deal. Pajamas, we’re wearing pajamas. And he’s still asleep . . .

He slid back from Kyle very, very carefully, so he wouldn’t wake him, and made for the bathroom. And threw up. And flushed the toilet. And began to brush his teeth.

OK, let’s start with what this wasn’t. It wasn’t morning sickness, because he was a boy. It wasn’t super-AIDS. Maybe it was something he ate at the restaurant. Food poisoning. That was it.

He ran a washcloth under the cold tap, wrung it out, and pressed it against the back of his neck, just the way his mother did when she tried to get him to calm down. There was a knock on the door.

“Stan? You ok?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Can I use the bathroom now?”

“Uh, yeah, just a second . . ..” Shower later, he thought, and opened the door. Kyle was standing there in hideous mustard colored pajamas. Kyle’s hair in the morning was the weirdest, most-screwed up looking thing he’d ever seen. He’d seen it before a million times, on sleepovers, on camping trips, and it still was the weirdest thing he’d ever seen, and seeing it made him feel really happy.

“Uh . . .. Good morning, Kyle.”

“Good morning to you too, Stan.” They stood there for a few seconds.

“Stan, I really have gotta pee now. Can you let me in the bathroom?”

“Oh. Sure. Sorry.” He let Kyle into the bathroom and sat down on the bed. There was a knock on the outside door. Butters was standing outside.

“Mornin’, Stan, you an’ Kyle ready for b-breakfast? ‘Cause I’m takin’ a shower right after Token’s done an’ I guess we gu-gotta go to the studio soon.”

Butters was probably the only thirteen year old boy in the United States who wore blue footie pajamas, Stan thought numbly. With a little fluffy cotton tail, yet. Where did his Mom get something like that?

“You like my pajamas?” Butters said. “Mom makes ‘em special. She’s the greatest Mom in the world. Hu-hey, looks like Kyle’s done with the shower. Maybe Token’s done, too. See ya later!” Butters disappeared and Stan turned to find Kyle standing there wearing a towel.

He practically fled into the bathroom.

*******

The rest of the album had been cut without anything remarkable happening, except that Faith +1’s music made Stan throw up. A lot. He tried not to listen, but he kept throwing up just the same. It was a relief to wrap up the album and go home.

They had been getting ready for this concert at the Focus on the American Family Institute for a month now. The CDs were going on sale today, and there would be a lot of them available at the concert. It would be taped and broadcast later over that huge network of radio stations. KPOX was there, with at least three cameras. The lady from Hollywood actually had come out for an afternoon and interviewed Cartman, Token, and Butters—the magazine was going to hit the stands sometime next week.

Stan stood next to Kyle, wearing his coat and hat over his best suit.

“You think anyone is really gonna come? I mean, it’s freezing,” Kyle said incredulously.

It was freezing, but despite that, people were lined up and had been waiting since the previous night. Between Robson’s church in Colorado Falls, the Institute, Faith Records, KPOX, and their own publicists—“Provolone Entertainment—serving YOU up a slice of the Truth every day”—the word had clearly gotten out well. They’d checked on the guys backstage—they seemed ok, and Kenny had looked up from the box of pyrotechnics he was setting up and given them a thumbs-up.

The house was open now, and Stan was still stunned at how big the crowd was. The entire outdoor arena was filled with jostling but polite people. I hope this concert doesn’t suck, Stan thought. Everyone was eagerly waiting for the concert to begin. At last, out came Fred Robson, the evangelist who had “saved” Cartman. His hair was even taller and more impressive than it usually was.

“PRAISE HIM!” Robson yelled. The crowd yelled back. “Now, I know you’re all eager to hear Faith +1—” some people in the crowd whistled and cheered “—but first I want to talk to you about a threat to our faith, a threat to America.”

Stan couldn’t believe it. Robson was taking over!

“I feel moved by the Spirit to take this opportunity—“

No, you don’t, Stan thought angrily, you’re a big ham! You’re jealous of the attention!

“Wow, what a big, fat ham,” whispered Kyle. “I never thought I’d say this, but worse than Cartman.”

Robson started going on and on about Clean Entertainment and Keep Harry Potter Out Of Our Libraries and Getting Farting Canadians Off The Airwaves, but the crowd wasn’t with him. They weren’t being mean, but they were impatient. Robson could sense this and it was obviously pissing him off. The more the crowd blew him off, the more he talked, and the more he talked, the angrier he got. He tried to take it to Cleaning Up What’s Taught in Our Schools, but by then even he could tell that no one was listening to him. He gave up.

“And now,” he said, “the moment you’ve been waiting for—the long awaited return of Faith +1!”

Lights flooded the stage.

“Y’know Jesus,” Stan heard Cartman saying over the music, “I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately, and well, that’s why I decided to write this song.”

I luuuuve you, Jesus,
I want you to walk with me . . ..


Some girl went “EEEEEEEEE!!!” right in Stan’s ear. Kyle pulled him away from her and a bit closer to him.

“Are you OK, Stan?”

I take good care of ya, baby,
Call you my baby, baby.
. .

No, Stan was not OK. Stan felt really nauseated right now, and Kyle seemed to know it. “Dude,” he heard Kyle saying, “whatever you do, don’t barf on a paying audience.”

In order to distract himself, Stan looked at the stage. He couldn’t decide whether he liked the band’s costumes or hated them. Token’s purple jacket, with razor sharp lapels and even a little glitter, looked awesome on him, but the same costume in blue looked downright silly on Butters. As for Cartman, he was sticking to the same kind of suede jacket he’d worn before, but he seemed to have taken the Hollywood guy’s advice about wearing black turtlenecks. Stan could have told him that nothing was going to disguise that massive set of double chins, but why bother?

The band played a few more numbers (“Whenever I see Jesus up on that cross, I can’t help but think that he looks kinda hot,” sang Cartman, to the surreal counterpoint of squeeing girls) and then Robson came out again.

“Brothers and sisters,” he began, “what a terrific band! I want to congratulate them! C’mere, Eric!”

He actually succeeded in pulling Cartman away from his keyboards—Robson must be strong—and from the panicked expression on Cartman’s face, he was feeling it, too. Robson had his arm around his shoulders now, and was shaking him really, really hard.

“This young man was SAVED in my church! SAVED on my show! SAVED!”

And with every “SAVED!” he gave Cartman another hard shake. It almost looked as though he was whapping Cartman upside the head. And maybe he was, because Cartman’s eyes rolled up inside his head and he began to wobble slightly.

“Oh, no,” muttered Kyle. “Not again.”

With his arm around Cartman and Cartman smiling sweetly and stupidly next to him, Robson could now talk as long as he wanted to—and he did. He went right for the main topic, which was dissolving every false marriage in Colorado and in the US and keeping the demonic homosexual agenda out of our kids’ schools. Someone in the crowd near them said, “Jesuth Christh.” Mr. Slave? Mr. Slave was here?

Now Kyle looked as though he wanted to throw up. “Oh, Stan,” he said under his breath, “we really shouldn’t have done this.”

“Not our fault, dude,” said Stan.

“But Stan, “ Kyle said, “this is—“

But Kyle never got to finish what he was going to say, because Robson had talked too long, and the big pyrotechnic effect that was supposed to end the concert went off.

POOOOOOOOOOM! A huge mushroom cloud of smoke, glitter, fire, and stars blew up center stage, and in the middle of it, traveling at about sixty miles per hour, was Kenny McCormick.

The crowd closest to the band was blown back about fifteen feet. Butters dodged behind his drum set; Token leapt to the left. Robson and Cartman were knocked onto their backs. Cartman sat up, shook his head, and glared at Robson.

The sound system was knocked out, and the screaming and wailing made it impossible to hear anything, but Stan knew what Cartman was saying to Robson anyway.

“EY! This is MY show, assh*le!

****



Stan and Kyle ran to look down at the huge hole blown in the stage, and then up at the rafters, 100 feet in the air.

“Oh, my God,” began Stan, “we—“

Didn’t kill Kenny,” finished Kyle, as the beam Kenny was hanging onto somehow was slowly lowered to the stage. “That’s why we spent so much on protective equipment. I say it was worth it. You ok, Kenny?”

“Mmmph,” Kenny mumbled faintly. They pulled the smoking remains of padding and burn-proof material off him and saw, to their astonishment, that he was fine, except for some nasty bruises. They each put an arm around him and supported him backstage.

Backstage was a shambles. Everyone in the band was covered in dust and soot, and there was a lot of coughing. No one in the audience had been badly hurt, thank goodness—that wasn’t the kind of publicity they needed.

No one said anything.

“Wu-well, fellas,” Butters said finally, “that was a heckuva show, huh?”

All at once, seemingly from nowhere, Wendy Testaburger was standing in front of them with Mr. Slave.

“I knew it!’ she was screaming. “I knew this would happen!”

“Look, Wendy,” Kyle began, “accidents happen to Kenny all the –“

“I’m not talking about Kenny! I’m talking about Robson! I told you it would get political! I told you it would get ugly! But you wouldn’t listen to me! Do you have any idea how upset Mr. Slave is?”

“Jesuth Christh,” Mr. Slave sobbed.

“Wendy,” Stan said, “since when is Mr. Slave so important to you?”

Wendy glared. “Mr. Slave is my friend,” she snapped. “He was my friend when no one else would be my friend, and I was at his wedding, and someone’s trying to break up his marriage, and you’re damn right he’s important to me! And so are you and Kyle!”

“Huh?” Stan said.

“You are so stupid,” she fumed. “I’m not even going to start with you. I’m just really surprised at you two, that’s all, and I’m really disappointed.”

“Hey!” said Kyle defensively. “What about Cartman? It’s his band! It’s his idea! Why aren’t you yelling at him?”

“Yeah,” said Cartman, who had been uncharacteristically quiet all this time, “why aren’t you yelling at me?”

Wendy gave him a long, unreadable look. He looked back at her, equally unreadable.

“Because you’re hopeless,” she said finally. “And Butters—well, you do whatever anyone tells you to do. You probably don’t get any of this, do you?”

“I get that you-you’re really upset,” he stammered. “I’m su-sorry, Wendy, whatever I did.”

“That’s what I mean,” she said, and sighed. “But Stan, you and Kyle, and Token, too—I expect more from you. Come on, Mr. Slave,” she said, “let’s go find Al. We’ll make sure everything turns out OK. I mean,” she said firmly, “I will not sleep until everything is OK, if necessary. “ She took him by the hand and they both started to leave, but she suddenly turned back. “Oh, and Token?” she added.

“Yes?”

“Wendy breaks up with you.”
Total_Beefcake
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 10:55 pm

Postby Total_Beefcake » Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:38 am

Lovin' it! This is a great story.


I can see it in an episode, and the characters are really in character. It's fantastic.
[center]ImageImage
Jimmy made corn into crack? THEN HELL YES, I CARE![/center]
professor_butters1
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:19 am

Postby professor_butters1 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:33 am

Total_Beefcake wrote:Lovin' it! This is a great story.


I can see it in an episode, and the characters are really in character. It's fantastic.


Thank you! That's what I shoot for more than anything else. Also keeping things interesting. One of the coolest things about South Park is the way the characters can go anywhere and do just about anything.

Next chapter goin' up!
professor_butters1
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:19 am

Chapter Six: Ain't That Peculiar

Postby professor_butters1 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:46 am

South Park and its characters belong to Matt Stone and Trey Parker. “Ain’t That Peculiar” is by “Smokey” Robinson and originally performed by Marvin Gaye.

Once again, I refer you to Seaouryou and oneirogenic on deviantart for a visual on what Butters looks like here. And a thank you to KyleTheSkeptic, the author of “Unintelligent Design” on FOSFF.net, for a reminder on some things that needed to be included.

See endnotes for specific references.

Chapter Six: Ain’t That Peculiar

Stan was homesick.

It had been almost two weeks since the concert, and the time had passed in an exhausting blur. Every day was almost the same. A long bus drive in the cold. Off the bus, Wichita, Green Bay, Duluth, wherever it was. Sound check. Some kind of food. Concert. Back on the bus, maybe to a cheap motel, or maybe on the bus all night long, depending on where the next concert was. It was only two weeks before the holidays, and he couldn’t wait to go home. But this was the last one, the last one until January at least.

What was worse, he was sick. He had never managed to shake that stomach flu he’d picked up in Hollywood. The bus fumes didn’t help, and more than once he had barfed all over Kyle, who was getting tired of it.

Stan wasn’t the only one who was sick. Token seemed to have a head cold. He could still sing, but he looked tired, his eyes were red-rimmed, and he kept sniffing all the time.

Kenny and Butters were the only ones who didn’t seem to be burning out. Butters was flexible, and Kenny was a survivor, in spite of dying all the time. And while Butters could sometimes get annoying, Kenny seldom did. That was why Stan and Kyle were spending the precious few hours before the concert sitting in the motel room Kenny was sharing with Cartman, flipping through the channels.

The door to the room slammed open.

“GODDAMNIT!”

“Language,” Kyle said automatically, but he wasn’t really paying attention.

“You guys, serioushley! Goddamnit!”

“Mmmphmmm?”

“Yeah, what the f*ck is up with you, Cartman?”

Cartman glared at all three of them. He was in a worse mood than he’d been in for weeks.

This is up,” he snarled, slamming a magazine down on the bed. They got up to look at it.

Baby Band Beat? That’s the magazine you were interviewed for, right? What’s wrong with it?”

Cartman’s response was not so much a word as a sound, the kind of sound a bear makes when you tell him he can’t have your picnic basket.

“It’s an article about the band—isn’t that what you wanted?” asked Kyle. “It looks like they gave you a lot of space—a feature article, even. ‘New Teenage Christian Rock Sensation Reaches All Hearts.’ “

With another inarticulate snarl, Cartman stabbed a pudgy finger down at the beginning of a set of paragraphs. Stan began to read at the spot he had indicated.

Easily the most intriguing member of the band is thirteen year old Leopold Stotch, known as ‘Butters’ to his friends and admirers. We caught up with the shy blond at the small but pleasant home he shares with his parents.

“It’s all about Butters!” Cartman raged. “f*cking Butters! That Hollywood bitch is in f*cking love with Butters! She oughta be arrested.”

Stan continued to read the article that was pushing Cartman to the edge of a stroke.

Modestly disclaiming any extraordinary musical talent—‘I just play because Eric made me do it’—he was eager to show our reporter the back yard and his room, where he keeps all his most prized possessions. Chief among these are his four hamsters: Plague, War, Famine and Death. He explained his choice of names to us: ‘See, War’s the red one—and Plague’s the kinda whitey one—and Death, he’s kinda special, because Mom and Dad got me an albino hamster.’ Obviously, his choice of such biblical names for ordinary pets shows better than words his commitment to his religion.

Stan looked up, confused. “Butters has the Four Hamsters of the Apocalypse?”

“Just read it, dildo,” Cartman growled.

He confided in us his future career plans. ‘I don’t know how long I’ll be playing,’ he said in his delightful trademark stammer, ‘but Kyle Broflovski’s really helping me with something important. You know, my parents are the best parents in the whole world, but every kid isn’t as lucky as me. So Kyle’s helping me put all my money into a special fund, I think it’s called.’ The Stotch Foundation for Abused and Neglected Children will help already-existing programs and also build a multi-million dollar facility in Park County. It will include a shelter, an educational wing for parents to learn better parenting skills, and of course, a playground. ‘I’m hoping they’ll let me use the slide sometimes,’ he added.”

It was a little bit sugary, Stan thought, but if you added in the stammer and the way Butters chopped off words—“’cause,” “playin’,” “hopin’ ”---it did sound like authentic Butters.

“And the pictures—my God, will you just look at the pictures!”

Stan had to agree that Cartman might be legitimately upset there. While there were one or two group pictures of the band, there were several of Butters: Butters showing the reporter his hamster, Death; Butters on the swings; Butters sitting behind his drum set, looking nervous; all of them taken wearing his Hello Kitty hoodie with a light blue shirt underneath. The caption read, “Teen Rock Sensation models for Baby Band Beat his new trendsetting fashion, Baby Chic.”

“What is wrong with those Hollywood hos?” fumed Cartman. “They all want to make Butters into a f*cking housepet!”

“Butters can’t help it that he’s cute,” Kyle said. “They look at him and they see a little baby.”

“EY! I’m f*cking cute!”

There was no really tactful way to respond to this.

“UNbefuckinglievable,” Cartman muttered.

Kyle pulled Stan and Kenny over. “Kenny, you stay here with Cartman—you know how to handle him. Tell him he’s adorable or that you’ll have that reporter iced or whatever you need to do to chill him out. And Stan, you’d better warn Butters that Cartman’s pissed off at him. Tell him to lie low until show time—grab a burger or something and stay in his room with the door locked.” Stan nodded and slipped out the door.

He tried knocking on the door of Butters’ and Token’s room, but no one answered. Where was Butters likely to be? Then Stan remembered—the stairwell. Butters loved the stairwell. Sometimes you could find him jumping up and down the stairs, and sometimes he just sat and hummed.

He walked to the stairwell, opened the door, and was just about to walk down it looking for Butters, when he heard:

“Everyone comes an’ talks ta me sooner or later. They just do.”

It sounded like a conversation he shouldn’t be interrupting. He could just make out Butters’ and Token’s backs.

“It really hurts,” said Token bleakly.

“Yep,” said Butters. “I know. It sure does hurt. I’m sorry.”

Wow, thought Stan, Token sounds really heartbroken. He ought to be able to understand this. He vaguely remembered that it did hurt to have your heart broken by Wendy Testaburger, but he couldn’t remember what it felt like. He also thought that maybe he shouldn’t be listening, but he couldn’t figure out how to get out of the stairwell without making a lot of noise.

“I think it was my fault. I should have known she’d be upset by all the political stuff—she told me she would be. “

“Well, I dunno if that’s true, Token. I’m not sayin’ she’s lyin’,” Butters added hastily, “but maybe you didn’t really do anythin’ wrong. She just doesn’t like you back, is all.”

Stan noticed that Butters didn’t seem to be stammering very much. Maybe it was because talking to Token wasn’t making him nervous.

Token sniffed. “Well,” he said, “what can I do? What will make her like me back?”

Pause. “Nothin’. I’m sorry. But there ain’t nothin’ you can do if she don’t like you back.”

“But why doesn’t she like me back?” asked Token.

Stan heard Butters sigh. “I dunno,” he said, “why does anybody like anybody? ‘Cause they just do. There ain’t no reason, and it ain’t your fault. Why are Stan an’ Kyle super best friends? ‘Cause they just are. Token, you’re smart, an’ cool, an’ you’re talented, an’ lotsa girls’ll like that. Only not Wendy. ‘Cause that’s just the way it is.”

Stan couldn’t hear anything for a long while, and all he could see was Butters’ arm looped comfortingly around Token’s back.

Finally, Token said, “I wish I didn’t have to sing that song.”

“It’s a great song.”

“I know, but it hurts to sing it. Why does Cartman always make me sing it?”

“Well, maybe. . . maybe Eric doesn’t like singin’ it either. He only comes in on the chorus. Or maybe it’s just because you’re so much better at it, only he’d never say so. C’mon, Token,” Butters said, “let’s go clean up an’ get somethin’ for dinner.”

Stan slammed the door behind him. “Oh, hey, Butters,” he said, as though he’d just gotten there, “Cartman’s really mad at you about some article, so try to stay out of his way until the show, ok?”

Butters jumped. “Aw, Je-Jesus!” he stuttered. “What’d I d-do?”

“Nothing, he’s just really pissed off, so lie low.”

Stan turned around and walked back to the room he shared with Kyle. Why was Kyle his super best friend? He didn’t know. He just was and always would be. Like Butters said.

Kyle was sitting on the bed and waiting for him. “Kenny’s calming Cartman down,” he said. “Where’s Token?”

“He’s with Butters. So Butters should be ok.”

“I read another article about the band,” Kyle said, waving a clipping from a newspaper. “This one was in the Denver Post. Mom sent it to me. It talked about how the band supports anti-gay marriage legislation, teaching intelligent design in school, getting shows pulled—you name it.”

Stan’s jaw dropped. “But the band’s never said any of that stuff,” he managed finally. “Not even Cartman’s said any of that stuff, except for that Family Guy thing, and that was years ago. He doesn’t care what gets taught in school. It’s not as though he’s going to learn any of it. He’s a Terrance and Philip junkie. He doesn’t agree with Robson on anything.”

“I know, dude,” said Kyle. “But look at where we’ve been playing. Look who introduced us. People are going to assume that unless we say otherwise. They interviewed Wendy: sounds like she went ballistic. Said all the same stuff about how she was surprised and disappointed in us, said Cartman was a mega assh*le—I’m paraphrasing here--and that she’s organizing some political rallies about separation of church and state. And my Mom is helping her. You know how Mom can get,” he added unnecessarily. “But what really sucks balls is that I think they’re right. I’m really beginning to be ashamed of running the band. But I can’t just walk out, either: it’s not fair to Token or Butters or Kenny. I don’t know what to do.”

Stan tried to think of something helpful to say. Kyle, it’s not your fault, dude, it’s not about you, we’re going home tomorrow, it’s all gonna be cool. But all he said was, “You want to get something to eat, just you and me?”

Kyle smiled and put on his jacket. “Sounds good.”


********

This concert seemed like all the other ones, Stan thought numbly. Same kind of people, same songs, same light and sound effects that Kenny always used, though they’d gotten rid of the big boom at the end.

“And now,” the announcer said, “you’ve been waiting for them and here they are—Faith +1!”

Lights up. Music. “Y’know, Jesus . . .” began Cartman, but he was almost drowned out by squealing girls. They were squealing something new now, too. In addition to the “AIEEEEEE!”s, Stan thought he heard. . . .

“EEEEEE! BUTTERS! OMIGOSH BUTTERS! EEEEEEE!”

Onstage, Butters looked confused for a minute, but he must have decided that he’d heard wrong, and continued to play.

Except for what sounded like the occasional random shriek of “BUTTERS! EEEEEEK!” the concert proceeded as usual.

“And now,” Cartman announced, “I’m turning the microphone over to our bass player, Token Black.”

This was one of the songs Token had insisted they add, and now, ironically, it was the song he didn’t want to sing. Stan could easily understand why. It wasn’t a religious song, but Token thought maybe the audience would like it anyway, and so far he’d been right. They loved it. And now he was stuck singing it every night.

Token stepped up to the microphone as Butters did a snappy little backbeat with his foot and started a handclapping rhythm that eventually, infectiously, spread through the audience.

Honey, you do me wrong, but still I'm crazy about you, Token sang,
Stay away too long and I can't do without you:
Every chance you get you seem to hurt me more and more,
But each hurt makes my love stronger than before
.

Cartman joined Token at this point, and they sang together:
?
I know flowers grow through rain, ?But how can love grow through pain??Ain't that peculiar?
A peculiarity?
Ain't that peculiar, baby?
Peculiar as can be.

Stan wasn’t sure why the audience ate this up so much: maybe because it and the few other songs Token had added stood out like emeralds in a toilet.

Token continued, solo:

I cried so much just like a child that’s lost its toy
Maybe baby, you think these tears I cry are tears of joy
A child can cry so much until you do everything they say
But unlike a child, my tears don't help me to get my way.


The entire band joined in.

I know love can last through years,
But how can love last through tears?
Ain't that peculiar?
A peculiarity?
Ain't that peculiar, baby?
Peculiar as can be.


The crowd went nuts, clapping and screaming. The band finished up the concert, and Stan and Kyle went backstage to pick them up.

This time they had to push through a huge line of eleven and twelve year old girls, all clutching copies of Baby Band Beat.

“Good job, guys,” Kyle said.

Kenny was carefully packing up his equipment. It was cold backstage, and he must be exhausted, but he was the only one who didn’t look it. Butters kept rubbing his eyes and yawning. Token looked depressed. Even Cartman looked tired and subdued.

“C’mon,” said Stan. “Let’s get on the bus. Next stop, home. Hanukkah. Christmas.” No one looked enthusiastic. “Presents?” he added. “Pie?”

Cartman picked up the case with his keyboard in it. “Don’t tease me,” he begged. “Unless there’s pie on the bus, I don’t want to hear about it. Let’s just go.”

They all headed for the door and opened it. . . .

“EEEEEEEEE!” The crowd of pre-teen girls surged forward.

“JESUS!” they yelled, as one panicked guy, and slammed the door shut.

“EEEEEEE! BUTTERSSSS! EEEEEEEE!”

Butters turned pale with fear. “Je-Jesus s-son a Mary a-adopted by J-Joseph!” he quavered, completely unnerved.

“Unbefuckinglievable,” said Cartman wearily.

Author’s note: YouTube has footage of Marvin Gaye performing “Ain’t That Peculiar.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFqtg1VEHys I highly recommend it. Chocolate Genius did a slow, sweet cover that probably sounds more like an older, sadder Token, but unluckily, you can only find it on the end credits of the movie American Splendor and the soundtrack. For Butters’ hamsters, see Revelations, Chapter Six.
Kyle the Skeptic
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Postby Kyle the Skeptic » Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:24 pm

I laughed at that scene in chapter 5 when Stan wakes up and realizes he's got his arms wrapped around Kyle. My one suggestion would be that the plot needs a lot more conflict, but I'm assuming that's coming up in the next few chapters.

Were those song lyrics original?
professor_butters1
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:19 am

Postby professor_butters1 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:56 pm

Kyle the Skeptic wrote:I laughed at that scene in chapter 5 when Stan wakes up and realizes he's got his arms wrapped around Kyle. My one suggestion would be that the plot needs a lot more conflict, but I'm assuming that's coming up in the next few chapters.

Were those song lyrics original?


Hmm--well, there will be *some* conflict, anyway. There's three more to go. And remember, Wendy just blew her stack at them. If she isn't going to go out and cause trouble, her name's not Wendy Testaburger. And she just broke up with Token. I don't know if it's "enough," but hopefully there is *more.* Oh, well.

The song lyrics were, admittedly, original. I took two titles from the ones that scroll in the back of the K-Tal album ad and wrote lyrics that might fit. There are, horribly enough, *tunes* to them, too.
[EDIT: oh, yes, for clarity's sake: only the songs *Cartman* wrote for Faith +1--"A Night with The Lord" and "Christ Again" are by me. "Shave "em Dry" is an old one and "Ain't That Peculiar" is by Smokey Robinson, and there is one more song coming up in Chapter Eight that would be a little unusual coming from a Christian band.

~~professor butters
Last edited by professor_butters1 on Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
professor_butters1
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:19 am

Chapter Seven: Popularity and Pitfalls

Postby professor_butters1 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:21 pm

The Return of Faith +1

South Park and its characters belong to Matt Stone and Trey Parker. See endnotes for specific references.

Shuggie (on deviantart) has got a nice picture of Cartman and Wendy in [i:793e1]Phantom of the Opera[/i:793e1] costumes. I thought I’d come up with this idea myself; now I’m not so sure; but as you’ll see, it’s not exactly the same Phantom.

Chapter 7: Popularity and Pitfalls

The holidays were something of a relief. No matter how popular the band got, in South Park they were still just Token, Butters, and Cartman, while Kyle, Stan and Kenny were still nobody special at all.

The album was quietly climbing the charts. A lot of people had probably pre-ordered them through the Institute or bought them after that first concert, but still, it was surprising how well it was selling—it went myrrh before Christmas and was well on its way to double myrrh. Some of it must have had something to do with the article in [i:793e1]Baby Band Beat[/i:793e1] and Butters’ subsequent popularity. The album sales were probably the only positive result of Butters’ sudden and unwanted fame. Otherwise, it was nothing but trouble.

For one thing, Butters was frankly scared of the preteen girls who kept sending him fan mail. His email crashed shortly before he arrived home. The living room was filled with dolls, stuffed animals, pencil cases, backpacks, and other stuff from Sanrio: it looked as though Puff the Magic Dragon had been over and vomited Pepto-Bismol. There were now Butters fansites, Butters fanart; there was even Butters fanfiction. He quit playing the interactive part of Hello Kitty Island Adventure, asked his Dad to unhook his computer from the internet, and finally took to hiding under his bed for most of the day, singing “loo loo loo” under his breath. This was ok as long as the band was home for the holidays, but as January approached, it was going to be necessary to get him to go back on tour, and Butters didn’t want to go.

Kyle and Stan tried to get Mr. and Mrs. Stotch to help, but their attempts didn’t seem to be very, well, helpful. Their first suggestion was to ground Butters, and Kyle had a lot of trouble explaining that it wasn’t any use to ground someone who wouldn’t come out from under the bed. Next, they took Butters to the mental institute, but the very sight of the place made Butters even more panicky, and he refused to get off the chair in the waiting room, saying stubbornly that his butt was fine, thank you very much. They came home with a prescription for Xanax. This calmed Butters down, but it made him fall asleep on top of his drum set, so that was no good. Butters was also wetting the bed, and Token, who usually shared a room with him, strongly objected to this. Cartman came over only once, on Christmas Day, and Stan heard him screaming, “Merry f*cking Christmas, Butters; now quit acting like Tweek, you little f*ggot!”

It was Kenny who finally persuaded Butters to come out from under the bed and go on tour. Stan and Kyle went with him to the Stotches’ and saw him go upstairs. They must have had a long conversation, but neither Kenny nor Butters would discuss what they talked about. When Kenny came back down, Butters followed him, and apologized profusely, scuffing his foot on the floor and staring down at it.

“I-I’m really awful sorry, fellas,” he said. “I d-didn’t mean to be su-such a cryin’ little pussy. I-I oughta behave myself.” He hugged Kenny tightly around the neck. “Aw, thank you, Kenny,” he said fervently, “thank you su-so much. I ain’t never gonna forget this.”

Stan thought he heard Kenny mumble, “No problem, dude.”

In fact, Kenny had a lot of responsibilities. When he wasn’t checking over pyrotechnic charts, Butters wanted to talk over whatever it was he’d promised to do for him. And once, when he was downtown with Stan and Kyle, Wendy grabbed Kenny, talking about something he’d promised to do for [i:793e1]her.[/i:793e1] Kenny was a pretty cool guy, but he was starting to look a little harassed.

Token’s cold improved a lot over the holidays. His parents hadn’t been particularly excited about the band in the first place, but they were proud of his accomplishments. After all, when a track was played or downloaded from the new album, it was almost always Token’s vocals on “Ain’t That Peculiar,” and this seemed to make him feel better. Butters was the fangirls’ idol; Token was the acknowledged musician. And this left out the only member of the band who had really wanted fame in the first place.

Cartman didn’t like the situation, and Stan thought he might really, finally, be losing his marbles. As soon as they had gotten home, he had locked himself into the basement with his Great Grandmehm’s old recordings and done something with them, only he wouldn’t say what. Now he was practicing the keyboards by himself for long stretches at a time, improvising bizarre passages that had absolutely nothing to do with what the band usually played. Sometimes he seemed to be doing a complex, freakish theme and variations on “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” which was ironic, because come to think of it, he actually was. Sometimes he seemed to be practicing something else that sounded fast and angry, but the only words Stan could make out were “Shoot me.” Over and over and over. It was spooky, and reminded Stan of the Phantom of the Opera; not the nice romantic one, either, but the old one with Lon Chaney Sr., where the Phantom was a psychotic mutilated freak scary enough to make you crap your pants.

Mrs. Broflovski and Wendy were everywhere, leafleting, holding rallies, raising Cain. It was impossible to go anywhere without running into one of them or someone they had recruited. There was always someone outside the grocery store, handing out literature, no matter how cold it was. The pamphlets and direct mail materials were in the Broflovski’s basement, and more than once, Stan found Kyle reading some of them and looking unhappy. He wouldn’t say what was bothering him; only that he was having trouble with his principles and felt like a hypocrite. Stan looked through the pamphlets himself, which covered a lot of separation of church and state issues, from gay marriage to education to censorship. He guessed Kyle meant that he felt weird running the business operations for a Christian band that had a right-wing reputation when he himself was Jewish.

Kyle had had to tell Cartman about the negative publicity the band was getting from his Mom and Wendy. This had been a bad idea. Cartman blew his stack. He’d told Kyle to put a goddam muzzle on his bitch of a Jewish mother, and then gone over to Butters’ house and stolen a pile of chocolate covered Oreos that some fangirl had sent. He then went over to the Testaburger’s and started hurling Oreos through the windows and breaking them, screaming, “Take that, you ACLU ho freak! I hope you choke on ‘em! I hope you die!” Wendy had come to the window, screamed back, and returned fire; Officer Barbrady was called; and it all ended in shattered glass, pulverized cookies, and bitter mutual recrimination.

No doubt about it: Cartman was acting even more unbalanced than usual. This could not be good news. All things considered, it was probably a good idea to get back on the road.

****


When they arrived at their first gig in Dubuque, they stopped off at the motel first, and then Kenny, Kyle, and Stan went ahead to the theater to set up. They carried the boxes off the bus one by one and began to place them according to Kenny’s usual plot.

“Say, fellas,” said Kenny, “where does Kenny usually put this one?”

Stan and Kyle turned around. Why was Kenny asking where he put stuff?

Butters untied the hood of Kenny’s parka. “Boy howdy,” he added, “it sure is hot in there. I dunno how Kenny stands it.”

Kyle gaped. “Butters?” he said finally.

“Fooled ya!” said Butters happily, lifting his arms in a little cheer. “Kenny was su-sure ya wouldn’t notice. He said one blond looks p-pretty much like another. I wasn’t so sure myself, but if you can’t even tell I’m not Kenny, then I b-bet things’ll be ok! He did make me p-promise not to touch any of the explosives, though.”

“But if you’re here,” said Stan, “where’s Kenny?”

“Oh, he’s gonna get here early,” Butters began, “he needs to—“

He was cut off by screaming from the front of the theater.

“EEEEEEK!”

“Oh, b-boy,” said Butters, looking nervous. “I’ll see you fellas later,” and he hastily pulled up Kenny’s hood.

Stan and Kyle raced for the front of the theater. There was Faith +1, getting out of the bus which had gone back to pick them up. Out came Token, then Cartman, and then. . . .

“BUTTERS! AIEEEEE!” screamed the fangirls.

There was Kenny, wearing Butters’ Hello Kitty hoodie and looking particularly angelic. He signed autographs, posed for pictures, even graciously allowed his fans to hug him and kiss him.

Stan shook his head and went back into the theater with Kyle. They went backstage and found Butters, who peeked anxiously out through the opening in the orange hood. “Is he doin’ a g-good job?” he asked.

They assured him that he was, and Butters seemed relieved.

“Ain’t this nice of Kenny?” he said. “I’m aw-awful grateful to him.”

*****


Kenny’s ruse worked well. The fangirls truly couldn’t tell the difference: Kenny in a blue shirt was Butters, and Butters in an orange parka was some anonymous roadie, and they were both very pleased with the trade-off. The band continued touring less and less frequently, until by the end of February they were at home most of the time. The album had begun to cross over and was selling rapidly. Butters and Token both enjoyed the return to normal life and Butters even began adding on to the hamster trails he had running all over his room.

Cartman, however, did not get time off, because he kept being called in to appear at the Institute and at the Church-A-Rama with Robson, at events where it was very difficult to tell where the religion ended and the politics began. One of these was a large rally in Denver and the entire band was supposed to play. Kyle, Stan and Kenny thought they had better go, too. Kyle’s mom said that he could go. In fact—

“I’d be happy to drive you and your friends, bubbe,” she said, “especially since I was going to go anyway.”

Stan saw Kyle’s jaw drop. “Mom? You were going to a Christian rally?” he said incredulously.

“No, darling, a [i:793e1]political [/i:793e1]rally,” she corrected. “It’s on the statehouse steps, isn’t it? Well, a group of us are going down there with some signs and banners of our own.”

“Wait,” Kyle said, frowning. “So—the band is appearing, and Robson is speaking, and I thought it was some religious thing. And you’re going to be protesting on the other side of—whatever it’s about?”

“That’s right, bubbeleh,” she said firmly.

Kyle looked horrified. “Mom, you can’t do that!” he said. “I’m supposed to be running the band. You’re my [i:793e1]mother[/i:793e1]. How embarrassing is that?”

“Well,” she said, “maybe I’m not the one who ought to be embarrassed. Do you know what this rally is about, Kyle?”

“No,” he admitted.

“You ought to. Never mind. There’s plenty of room in the minivan for all of you. And it will save on gas. We’ll meet up after the rally.”

But when the day for the rally came, only Kenny and Stan were at Kyle’s. They had already climbed in and fastened their seatbelts when Cartman’s mom dropped him off.

“Where’s Butters? Where’s Token?” demanded Cartman as he puffed up to the van.

“Token’s mom called last night,” Stan explained. “They have to go to a cousin’s birthday party out of town. And Butters doesn’t want to go. His parents don’t want him to go, either,” he added hastily, seeing that Cartman was already looking angry. “You know how nervous he was. We don’t want to start all that up again.” Cartman climbed into the van.

“Are we ready to go, Mom?” asked Kyle.

“Just a minute, Kyle. We’ve got one more of your little friends coming. Ah, here she is,” she finished, as Wendy came running down the street with a big stack of posterboard under her arm.

“Sorry I’m late, Mrs. Broflovski,” she said. Everyone else, including Kenny, stared at her.

“Wendy?” said Stan at last, breaking the silence. “What are you doing here?”

“What do you think I’m doing?” retorted Wendy. “I’m going to the rally.”

“Wendy’s been very active in the campaign,” said Mrs. Broflovski, “especially for such a young lady. I’m very impressed.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Broflovski,” said Wendy. She jammed the stack of posterboard in before getting in herself, jabbing Cartman in the leg.

“What the hell is this sh*t?” he snapped.

“They’re signs,” Wendy said. “For the rally.”

“Well, there’s no f*cking room for them. Get them out of here,” he growled.

“Language, young man,” said Mrs. Broflovski, “and it’s my van. I’ll decide what there’s room for, thank you very much.”

Cartman rolled his eyes towards the ceiling. Stan knew he wanted to say a lot more, but even he didn’t dare do it while trapped with Mrs. Broflovski in a small space, especially when she was driving. Instead, he muttered to Wendy, “Fine, bitch, just keep them on the side of the van you’re on—on the [i:793e1]left[/i:793e1].”

“There’d be more room for them if you weren’t taking up your space and spilling out into the aisle, too,” said Wendy.

“I’ve got long [i:793e1]legs[/i:793e1].”

“You have [i:793e1]wide[/i:793e1] legs.”

“I’ll [i:793e1]put[/i:793e1] one of my legs right through those goddamned posters if you don’t keep them on your side and shut up,” Cartman threatened.

Mrs. Broflovski turned around, red beehive quivering. “Don’t make me come back there!” she said.

“What-ever,” said Cartman. The drive to Denver passed in a tense silence.

********

Mrs. Broflovski parked the van in a parking deck near the Capitol.

“Now, Wendy and I are going to meet up with the rest of the group,” she said. “You boys know where you’re going?”

“Yes, Mrs. Broflovski,” they chorused.

“Good,” she said approvingly. “We’ll see you later, then,” and she and Wendy walked off, carrying a pile of banners and signs.

“Well, I can see where the sand in the vagina comes from, Kyle,” said Cartman conversationally. “It’s probably genetic.”

Kyle turned around to face Cartman. “In case you hadn’t noticed, fat-ass,” he snapped, “I am standing right next to you as [i:793e1]your manager[/i:793e1], looking after the band’s interests. I should never have allowed this event to get on our schedule in the first place, but now we’re here and we’re stuck. Don’t ask me to enjoy it, and don’t push me, you big [i:793e1]shaygetz[/i:793e1].”

“OoooOOOOooo, it’s a big Jewish insult,” Cartman said mockingly. “I’m soooo wounded, whatever the hell that meant.”

“Knock it off, you guys,” Stan said uncomfortably. “Besides, Kyle’s right—he’s here. It’s Wendy who’s off with his Mom and that pile of signs.”

“Don’t remind me,” growled Cartman. “That bitch is driving me absolutely f*cking out of my goddamned skull, serioushley.”

“Oh, yes,” Kyle reminded him, as they approached the Capitol. “No profanity. I shouldn’t let you use it at all, but we haven’t got Token here to kick you in the shins and remind you. So just cut it out.”

Stan thought Cartman couldn’t possibly look any more enraged until they turned the corner and saw the crowds in front of the Capitol. The steps and the space in front of them were completely jammed. There was a large sign reading:

SAVE THE FAMILY—REPEAL GAY MARRIAGE

Standing under the banner was. . .

“Mrs. Garrison?” gasped Kyle.

“Oh, for cry—“ Cartman said, and cut himself off.

Stan looked at a smaller crowd near the front of the steps. There were Kyle’s Mom, and Wendy, and Big Gay Al, and Mr. Slave.

SAVE THE FAMILY—PRESERVE GAY MARRIAGE

--read the signs.

Kyle had stopped completely. “I can’t do this,” he was saying. “I am not going to go up there and put myself in the middle.”

“Yank yourself together, you wuss,” said Cartman. “You don’t even have to go onstage. I’m just singing some sh—some stuff about Jesus. I don’t give a rat’s—ah—oh, whatever, it’s an act, you guys, it’s an act.” He moved off towards the stage.

“But Cartman,” Stan yelled after him, “what side is the band on? What side are you on?”

“Right now?” Cartman yelled back. “You’re all really pissing me off.”

*******

Robson had his technique down, Stan noticed as the rally went on. A couple of quick whacks on the back of Cartman’s head, disguised as a friendly hug, and Cartman got that sweet, stupid, I-love-everybody look on his face.

“Jesus is against gay marriage,” Robson stated. “Can I hear an amen? This country is about Jesus. Isn’t that right, Eric?”

“I love Jesus,” Cartman agreed, nodding his head. “I am [i:793e1]so[/i:793e1] in love with Jesus.”

“You see?” Robson said, waving his arms. “Out of the mouths of babes. Of SAVED babes. You love Jesus, don’t you, Eric?”

Cartman nodded again. “Jesus is, like, so incredibly hot.” Robson looked a bit worried.

“Um, yes, but not as hot as the flames of DAMNATION!” he said loudly—and quickly. “God wants us to repeal this evil law because it is not a law at all, it is against God’s law, and a law against God’s law has the law itself against it!”

A lot of people seemed to be having trouble with this. Stan heard someone muttering, “So, a law that’s against a law isn’t a law: so, what’s this law again?”

“Gay marriage,” Robson said firmly. “Gay marriage.”

“Ohhhhh,” said the crowd. “OK.”

“We’re [i:793e1]against[/i:793e1] it,” added Robson.

“You’re gosh darned right we are!” shouted Mrs. Garrison.

“No, we’re not!” shouted Wendy and Mrs. Broflovski.

“Who asked you?” yelled Mrs. Garrison.

“Oh, Jesuth Christh!” yelled Mr. Slave.

“That’s enough!” yelled Robson, louder than everybody because unlike everybody else, he had amplification. “I think it’s about time for a song about the love of Jesus, what do you think?” He handed the mike to Cartman.

Stan thought that perhaps “[i:793e1]I wanna get down on my knees and start pleasin’ Jesus, / I wanna feel his salvation all over my face[/i:793e1]!” didn’t exactly clear things up.


********

It felt like a very long walk back to the van. Neither Cartman nor Kyle seemed altogether there. Kyle had been very quiet during the rally and afterwards one of the recording executives had pulled him to one side. As for Cartman—

“Jesus loves you,” he insisted. “I mean, Jesus really, really loves you, Stan. Did you ever think about that, Kenny? I mean, Jesus really, really, really totally loves you. I am sooo blessed out right now. Blissed out. Blessed out. Whatever. What’s wrong with you, Kyle?” he asked, suddenly stopping them. “Are you burdened? Well, you can lay your burdens at the feet of Jesus and his yoke is easy and his burden is light and,” he put a large meaty arm around Kyle, “he truly really totally loves you, Kyle, right down to the snippy bits on your wee-wee, which is kinda freaksome, but he loves you anyway. Just give those nasty old burdens to Jesus and he’ll—“

“No thanks,” said Kyle bleakly, “I think I prefer hell.”

Wendy and Mrs. Brolovski were already waiting for them. Mrs. Broflovski began to ask politely how things had gone for them, but she was interrupted.

“Why thank you, Mrs. Broflovski,” said Cartman, “I never thanked you for the ride down here. It was a big help to my Mehm.” And he actually hugged her.

“Umm—that’s nice, Eric,” said Mrs. Broflovski dubiously.

He turned to Wendy. “And blessings to you, Wendy; even if you are an unwitting instrument of Satan, I’m sure you must mean well.” He walked slowly over to her.

Wendy looked suspicious. “What the hell are you talking about, Cartman? Are you being an idiot again?”

Cartman was staring at her with huge unfocused eyes. “Thou art beautiful, Wendy, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.”

“What?” said Wendy, confused. “Of course I’ve still got the banners. We’re gonna re-use them.”

“Thy lips, oh Wendy, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.”

“Huh? I smell like Lebanon?”

Cartman leaned in very, very close, his mouth in close proximity to Wendy’s. Stan was sure he didn’t want to see what would happen next, but as it turned out, he was glad he did. Wendy took the banners, which had been rolled up into a thick, hard roll, and without any warning, let Cartman have it on the side of the head.

Cartman blinked and rubbed his head. “EY, bitch,” he snapped, “What the hell was that for?”

“It was for your own good,” she said briefly. “And you, Kenny—I was counting on you.”

“Mmmphmm,” apologized Kenny.

“Just don’t let it happen again,” she added.

“What the hell is everyone talking about?” said Cartman. “Whacking me on the head is good for me? What the f*ck is going on?”

“We—we think you’re kinda brainwashed,” Stan said. “Not totally, but when Robson had you on that talk show, he really whaled the heck out of you. Now he just smacks you upside the head, and—“

“And you start acting like some alien pod person version of Cartman,” added Kyle. “You keep talking about being blessed. You start being nice to me. You start being nice to Token.”

“And,” Wendy said, “you start quoting poetry at me. You tried to kiss me. Ew,” she added.

Cartman scowled. “When was this?”

“Just now,” she explained. “Obviously, there was something wrong. So I hit you.”

“If I was trying to kiss you,” said Cartman, “then clearly I was serioushley out of my gourd. Usually bitches who slap me upside the head get what’s coming to them, but Robson did it first, so he’s the primo bitch on my list. Just don’t get any ideas.” He started to climb into the van.

“Excuse me,” said Wendy, “but I don’t believe I heard a thank you.”

“No,” said Cartman blandly, turning around, “I don’t believe you did.”

“Time to leave, children,” said Mrs. Broflovski, “and I don’t want to hear any fighting in the car. It’s been a long day as it is.” They all took their seats. As they pulled out of the parking deck, Stan could just hear Cartman say, “[i:793e1]Ey. Wendy[/i:793e1]. ‘Ew’ to you too, ho.”

Kyle looked wiped out, Stan thought. “Kyle. You ok, dude?” he whispered.

Kyle sighed. “Yeah,” he said, “but I’m really stressed out.”

“What did that producer want?” Stan whispered.

“Oh, that. He was from Faith Records. The album’s doing well. He thinks it might go platinum.”

“You’re kidding!” Stan exclaimed.

“Shhhh,” said Kyle. “I don’t want Fatass back there to know any sooner than necessary.”

“You’ll owe him ten bucks,” Stan pointed out.

Kyle laughed softly. “That won’t be a problem,” he explained. “You wouldn’t believe how well we’re all doing. There’s just one catch,” and Kyle looked uncomfortable again, “we’re going to have to play the Hollywood Bowl.”

“Wow,” said Stan.

“I know it sounds great,” said Kyle, “but I’m not feeling so great about it right now. I kept looking at Mr. Slave and Big Gay Al, and I know they’re both a little strange, but I felt sorry for them.”

“I think I know what you mean,” said Stan slowly. “Like, what if there were a law so we couldn’t ever be Super Best Friends anymore.”

“Yeah,” said Kyle.

“Lucky for us there isn’t,” said Stan.

“Yeah,” said Kyle. “The whole thing makes me feel tired. I ought to quit, but I don't want to run out on everybody. Maybe after the Bowl concert. I don’t know anymore.”

“Forget about it,” said Stan, patting him on the back. “We’ll get home, you can come over to my place, and we’ll blow up some aliens.”

“Cool,” said Kyle, and fell asleep, his green hat pressed on Stan’s shoulder. Stan left his arm around him. The van was very quiet: Kenny slept, curled into his parka; in the back, Cartman slept, sprawled out in his seat, while Wendy had dropped her signs and was sleeping turned toward the aisle, facing Cartman, her arm around the seat. It was weird how people don’t look angry when they’re asleep, thought Stan; you’d never know they hated each other.

Stan himself didn’t sleep. He was too busy thinking: about the Hollywood Bowl; about how everyone seemed to want to quit but no one had the nerve to do it; about what life would be like if Kyle couldn’t be his Super Best Friend anymore.

Author’s notes: As of this writing, same-sex marriage is not legal in Colorado, but it is on [i:793e1]South Park[/i:793e1].

A “shaygetz” is the male equivalent in Yiddish of “shikse,” a non-Jewish woman. It’s not a nice word; Kyle has essentially called Cartman “you dirty NON-Jew.” Some might feel it’s about time.

Cartman is quoting from the [i:793e1]Song of Songs[/i:793e1], chapters 4 and 6, King James version. It’s pretty racy stuff.
Kyle the Skeptic
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Postby Kyle the Skeptic » Fri Nov 10, 2006 12:17 am

In one of my fics, I just had Kyle use the word "chozzer" to describe Cartman, which seems appropriate if you ask me. Although I've never heard Kyle use Jewish insults on the show.

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