Hank George Charles was born.
Five year old Hank received his first comic book.
Issue sixty of "Proton: The Periodic Man".
Ten year old Hank's class went on a field trip to Gardner's Meats, a meat processing plant that made hot dogs.
At the very end, Hank accidentally saw a wagon of quivering entrails being pushed past by a thoughtless and desensitized worker.
This left an impression on him for the rest of his life.
After his mother screamed at him for his bad grades to the point of a red faced fit, and then confiscated and threw away his comic collection, un-phased, and with cold resolve, Hank said (on the inside) "y'know, you're just a crazy bitch".
That night, he gathered his favorite treasures, and ran away from home, never to return.
He was going to search for a life in showbiz.
And not in a circus like so many other dwarves.
Did I mention he was a little person?
Well, there it is.
Hank found it easy to lie about his age, and use fake ID to go to open mic nights, and hone his stand-up act.
One night, while watching rented horror tapes in his apartment (also gotten with lying and fake ID) he realized that the best comedy wasn't being done by Catskills trained hacks, or sweaty neurotic New Yorkers, but by horror authors and directors.
They'd always gotten the most visceral deep gut laughs out of him.
He knew the direction he had to take his act, indeed, comedy itself.
He flashed back to that gut wagon at Gardner's Meats, and decided his new stage persona's name would be "Offal".
In one short year, Hank/Offal had the new act nailed.
It was Gallagher meets Gwar, and the spoken material was a mix of dark poetry, and jaded topical commentary.
It wasn't to everyone's taste, but it quickly found its audience.
Offal was legitimately famous.
There was merchandise, movie offers, TV scripts, the whole deal.
At one show, among many autographs he signed, was a poster for Wayne Vance.
This of course would run afoul of the infamous Ms. Whitesmith.
Offal would have been able to relate.
Offal starred in a semi-autobiographical horror movie where he played a foulmouthed killer doll.
Several terrible sequels would follow.
The horror films spun off, oddly, into a sitcom.
Every episode, Offal would murder someone in the neighborhood, and the white-bread family he lived with would have to dispose of the bodies in increasingly disturbing ways to keep from being implicated as accessories, which they now of course were.
Critics were livid over the involvement of the child actors in these scenes.
It was canceled after one season.
The sitcom cancelled, and the film sequels slowing down, Offal did a late night talk show, still in character as the doll from the films and series.
As expected, it showcased gore, profanity, and remorseless humiliation of the guests.
Usually with horrible pranks, but often with confrontational and outright mean interviews.
It was cancelled after half a season.
The films were gone, the show offers were gone, and Offal was getting banned from clubs.
As part of an effort to rehabilitate his image, he went on Sunflower Seed Lane, an educational children's show with puppets.
Offal got into a drunken profanity laced shouting argument with one of the puppets, and ripped its arms off in front of the child stars, scarring them for the rest of their lives.
He was banned from the network for life.
The tenth year anniversary of Offal's launch to stardom, Offal allowed himself to be interviewed for a biographical special called "The Offal Truth", as part of a desperate attempt at a comeback.
It documented all of the above, plus his dalliances with substances, and his various love affairs.
It was a flop.
No one cared.
Offal continued to float around the outer edges of showbiz.
Doing the occasional commercial, a game-show here, a reality show there.
Sometimes, some cartoon voice work.
Once such job was as the voice of Proton: The Periodic Man.
It was all just enough to financially keep his nose above water.
The generation who grew up on him came into prominence, and he was given a Vegas run of his old act.
He lived high on the hog in those years.
The tour ended, and he pissed away the money.
The usual; gambling, booze, women, and shady investments.
Defeated by showbiz for the last time, Offal came crawling back to his hated hometown.
He drove by the dilapidated house of his now dead mother, and flipped it off.
He drove by Gardner's Meats. Still there.
The logo had changed colors, but they were still churning out the same terrible sweaty heartburn making hot dogs.
He flipped it off.
Offal was now 49, bald with a mullet in the back like Ben Franklin, permanent black circles under his eyes, and still wearing a turquoise leisure suit with flower print shirt.
The outfit he'd started comedy in during the 70's before creating the Offal persona.
He looked at the laminated and framed copy of "Proton: The Periodic Man", issue #60 beside him in the passenger seat, and sighed forlornly for his lost youth.
It hadn't lasted long at all.
Now, he was headed toward a small local comedy club.
The sort of filthy smelly dump he'd started at.
The Lentilville Comedy Club was dominated by Jacob Cratchit, an unfunny chinless witless bumpkin who played a character of an even unfunnier witless bumpkin to give the city folk the blue collar New England stereotype they wanted.
If you wanted to be a comedian in Lentilville, indeed, northern New England, you pretty much had to kiss his ass to get near the stage, and not outshine him to stay there.
Offal toyed around with if it was worth his while to do so.
Whether it was truly "mature", and "responsible", to play that game.
Then, he flashed back to a pivotal moment in his life.
It was 1972, Hank was seven, and he was doing his cursive letter a's.
The teacher was being a real hag, and telling him they looked like bananas, and made him keep doing them over and over.
Sheet of paper after sheet of paper.
Finally, he got pissed, and drew a line of asses.
Just circles with lines through them.
He mooned her on paper.
Oh, THOSE she recognized.
The woman flipped out like he'd whipped out his dick, and started fucking the class hamster, grabbed the paper off the desk, and called his mother in for an "emergency", meeting.
Ten years later, 1981, he sent that teacher a free ticket to one of his shows, not telling her who he used to be, made sure she was in the audience, and had a row of fat sweaty teamsters march in, drop trough, and re-enact the line of moons.
A couple of them put a period on the sentence with a brisk coffee and cabbage infused fart.
The woman ran out crying.
"Good, fuck her.
How many kids did she reduce to tears over the years?", he thought.
It remained one of his most shining moments.
Greater than any showbiz award, or fat paycheck, or picture on a VHS box.
Offal came back to 2014, smiled, and said "Offal don't take shit from anybody".
He got out of his car, and marched towards the door of the club like an arrogant bad guy wrestler, ready for war.
Meanwhile, the van containing Jade-Shade, Commander Continuum, The Excruciationizer, Sigma-Max, Bog-Gob, Avian Louse, Captain Descrambler, and Vick Vivisection being followed on motorcycle by Xed Of The Undead was heading towards the Den Of Seclusion house, when Commander Continuum saw Offal's poster up in front of the Lentilville Comedy Club.
He shouted "oh, shit!! Pull over! You've got to pull over!!".
They pulled over, and let him out.
Avian Louse, also being a fan, followed after.
They went into the club with Offal already in progress.
Offal was asking the audience to give him a prop to riff off of.
Commander Continuum pulled his plastic sword out of his shirt, and tossed it across the room.
Offal caught it.
He looked it over, and said "oh yeah, I recognize this..".
And so the riff began.
"...this is a Galaxic Gladiator sword from the 1980's. There was a line of action figures, and Galaxic Gladiator had a miniature version of this. There was a comic book adaptation of the toys, and I collected them at the time. The comic had ads for candy and breakfast cereals. One of the cereals was Zam Bonies. They're still around today, and they had 'em when I was a kid. One time, we had really bad ants, and I didn't seal the bag up tight enough, and the ants got all in the Zam Bonies, and I didn't realize until I was eating them. Puked my fucking guts out. All those little cereal coffins and marshmallow skulls hadn't digested at all, and the black dye from the coffins made the puked up milk all black. Some of the ants were still twitching and thrashing, which made me puke even more. Ants, coffins, skulls, it was puke as directed by Tim Burton. You could almost hear the Elfman music. My dad paddled my ass with a wooden spoon for wasting food. Nice guy he was. One other time, different box, same cereal, there was a prize inside, a cheap flimsy plastic starship from "Astro Gallop", a low rent sci-fi show from the 60's. One of the leads from Astro Gallop fell on hard times, and ended up in a lovely little flick called "Nostrilocalypse: Dawn of the Demonic Booger Eaters". Now, back then, I heard the urban legend that you could get hepatitis from eating a fresh booger. And that spells hospital, and that spells waiting rooms.
And a waiting room is where I saw my first issue of Galaxic Gladiator.
Buddy of mine was getting an impacted shit pumped out of him at the time, I was there for spiritual support.
Anyway, the comic started at a Gothic castle, and the castle had noisy racist biker neighbors, and then the story followed the bikers to a gas station where they held the place up for meth money, killed the attendant for no reason, then went to the cemetery to do meth, and fuck each other. Rolling around huffing and puffing all over everyone else's aunts, uncles, and grandmas. Really doing their mamas proud. It was a wild fucking comic. So, the meth-heads are violating graves, and gang-banging the one woman in their herd, and the artist drew her as a sweet piece of cheesecake, she was called Penny, and she liked it in the ass, Ass-Penny was her nickname. So, they're gang-banging Ass-Penny, when suddenly, some pissed off zombies start climbing up out of the graves, and start tearing the bikers apart, and eating them.
It was pretty fucking sweet.
So, the zombies chow on the bikers for about four pages straight, eating them clothing and all, starting with the faces, and then time jumps ahead, and the zombies shit out all the metal bits. Chains, rings, pocket change, right down to the pennies. So, Ass-Penny got turned into ass pennies.
I was was roaring and knee slapping by this time, and people looked at me like I was nuts. Fuck 'em. Anyway, the scene pulls back from all this, and the vampire that lives in the Gothic castle from the beginning is looking down on all this with grim satisfaction, because he finally doesn't have to listen to these loud stupid idiots partying all night anymore.
Just then, Galaxic Gladiator runs in and impales the vampire on his sword, causing him to crumble into ash. Then he holds the sword up like this (Offal imitated the stance) shouts some Shakespearean bullshit, calls down the lighting, and fries all the zombies.
Now, this is where it gets fucking crazy. I found out less than a week later, the voice actor for the cartoon of Galaxic Gladiator died of hepatitis. Weirder still...he co-starred in "Nostrilocalypse: Dawn of the Demonic Booger Eaters". And now, all the merchandise from the show is worth a fucking fortune online, so don't be a stupid asshole, and start the bidding at thirty fucking bucks, kids. And don't let 'em pay in zombie ass pennies".
And with that, he tossed the sword back to Continuum.
Then, Offal looked at Jacob Cratchit, and said "and you, you chinless goober. You're unfunny as dogshit, and all the lame wussy wannabes are fucking too scared to tell you so. But I ain't. Your act is shit, you're a hack, a bully, and a coward, and you can go fuck yourself with a sharpened broomstick. And I hope some asshole is recording this on their phone. Go ahead and put it up on PoopTube. I want ya to".
Then he added "and goofus here waters down the drinks too".
With that final straw, Cratchit roared, and rushed the stage, then people from the audience rushed him, and then a brawl chain reacted.
Avian Louse "teleported", through the crowd, and rescued Offal, and got him the hell out of there.
Continuum was holding open the door.
Avain said to Offal as they walked down the sidewalk back to the van "hey, you got a place? We're a superhero team, and maybe we could set you up with something, maybe give you a job. You can even be my sidekick if you like".
Offal said, gesturing back at the club "I'll give it a shot, I sure ain't gonna book anymore gigs at that toilet".
Just then, a Lentilville moron walked up to them, and said "is that your date?".
Offal head-butted the fuckface in the crotch, and screamed "DIIEE!!!".
The moron crumpled, and whimpered like a girl.
Everyone got back into the van, except of course, Xed, and Offal had his own car, and they continued on their way to the big anniversary/team-up party at the Den.
There, Offal re-did his riff on Continuum's sword for everybody.
The MP3 boombox played "the sonic dwarf came swooping in from across the sea!", a novelty song off of one of Offal's comedy albums.
Offal accepted a couple shots of Floongold's from Xed.
Eidolon, Dwindle, and Xed eventually left for their separate adventures.
And in the final waning minutes, Dr. H made Offal an honorary member, and gave him a trumped up title which basically made him an errand boy.
Offal didn't mind.
Superhero errands had to be better than that shitty club.
Also, he had a crowd to play to anytime he wanted, and the pay was better.
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