LONG LOST KARDASHIAN TWITTER TRAGEDY.
With the freeing of my Twitter archive today and with the prodding of a friend, I give you an oddment from my Twitter career. Over two days in December of 2011, I pursued a 75 tweet narrative. I hadn’t done anything like it before and I haven’t done anything like it since. I do know that I didn’t set out to do it and when it started, I had no idea how long I would go or what would come next. I’m guessing this is exactly the kind of thing Samuel Taylor Coleridge would tell you about the genesis of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Since the timeline has it backward, I’ve line-by-lined it back in order. There are some awkward phrases I deleted outright, some iffy sentences that I fixed, since I’m not beholden to the 140-character limit here and also since that selfsame limit is just what made them awkward in the first place. But they are all tweets, most of them untouched.
Twitter is not a great way to write long-form narrative, and this proves it. I got a lot of praise from my peers for doing this, and a lot of new followers too, for both of which I’m very grateful, but the sad truth is that if I’d only come over here to Tumblr, I could have dashed off something much better. So please bear in mind the herky-jerkiness of Twitter, its choking-off length, the way it makes us find smaller, cheaper phrases when the perfect one just won’t fit. What I’m saying is: please forgive me.
The original premise is an apocalyptic event, never really fleshed out, and the fate of some beloved celebrities in the epicenter. I don’t remember the inspiration, but something about the lyricism of the first tweet, if I do say so myself, must have taken my fancy and pushed me onward. Oh, and there’s a Patrick O’Brian fantasy sequence. Untitled.
A gaggle of Kardashians scrambles from its pure pink hovel, disproportionate bums waggling as they shield their eyes & look to the skies.
A distant hum. They look at each other wildly. The Kardashians clasp each other to their oddly-shaped bosoms, then run inside again.
They squat in their panic room, shivering, buttocks quickly dehydrating, play Words with Friends as the world is rent in twain by explosions outside.
Kim, exhausted, passes her phone to Khloe to comfort her. Khloe scrolls through endless pictures of Kim making a duckface. She is somehow comforted.
They lay on gilded cots and poke each others’ buttocks to test the extent of the dehydration. Kourtney takes a self-pic & begins to weep.
“I can hear the planes,” whispers Kim. “I’ll bet it’s that Jenny Johnson.” From outside comes the thump-thump-thump of the lawns exploding.
They gaze at each other with a wild surmise. “Or Eli Braden! Or Kelly Oxford! Or Rob Delaney!” The smell of burning dog hangs in the air.
“We must drink our own urine to survive,” barks stepfather Bruce Jenner, grimly. “But there’s plenty of water!” they protest. He pushes the water tank over. The last of it gushes down an evil-smelling drain in the center of the room.
“Listen to Bruce. He knows from urine,” says their mother, whose name either does or does not begin with a K. Defeated, they sourly pee into buckets.
Screams. In the night, a rodent of some kind nibbles through Kim’s negligee and makes serious inroads on her left buttock. The teeth marks are enormous.
Can it be morning? There are no windows. Kim energetically downs two glasses of urine. “Rise and shine, famous people!” she chirps, taking a self-pic and burping goutily.
Jenner sits on his cot, winding a bandage around his head. His breath is offensive in the extreme. They all edge away. He takes a self-pic.
From without comes pounding and indistinct voices. Everyone applies make-up except Jenner, who studiously lets out gas. Special care is taken with lipstick.
One insistent voice beyond the door rises above the others. “Don’t open it,” says Jenner, tapping his nose.
“This is a day that will live in famousness, but the bad kind,” says their mother, whose name again either does or does not begin with a K.
“There is no bad kind!” everyone shouts. The mother wearily makes the universal fellatio gesture. They laugh. Jenner absently feels his scaly face.
The outside voices subside. The rage-looters had been repelled by the furniture in the house. “Kim Kardashian Collection, my wrinkly ass,” says Jenner, scratching same.
The afternoon is spent holding their phones over their heads & contorting their bodies to frame their shiny faces & nasty bosoms.
Before dinner, Kourtney sits on an upturned bucket and films herself micturating. “There may still be an internet,” she says, shrugging.
They take inventory. There are k-cups, dried kale, antimony, asparagus, and powdered water. Jenner shrugs. “It’s a Steven Wright thing.”
As the night wears on, Kim begins to purr, says “I need a man.” Bruce Jenner gets up and walks away. “You aren’t nearly rich enough,” she snarls.
Mother reads the Bible aloud from her iPad. They hang on her every word. They want to know how much the dresses cost.
Before dawn, the girls take their Uggs to pieces and suck the insides for whatever nutrients they can provide. They begin to drift.
Kim wakes with a severed hand on her crotch. Khloe shrugs: “I had it in my purse. I car-doored a paparazzo.” They nibble it thoughtfully.
They sway on their acrid cots and sing the Party Rock Anthem. Jenner begins to weep and confesses to the killing of Thelma Todd. Sadness.
By the morning, one of Kim’s buttocks has been completely devoured by rodents. Jenner’s stomach appears to be swollen with hunger. “My dowry!” she cries.
The smell is ghastly. Jenner jumps pantslessly off his bucket & crows. “I MADE A POOPIE!” Slow claps.
“What was that?” the K-ful or K-less mother hisses. Kim rises to her feet, her one remaining buttock swaying noiselessly in the fetid air.
They hear a pry bar outside the door. Kourtney wipes her mouth with the back of a now urine-smelling hand & says “I’m swimming for it.”
She dives off her cot, bounces thrice, then flails wildly on the concrete. “Jump for it, shipmates!” she urges her horrified family.
“I’m better than this,” mutters Jenner. “I’m an Olympian.” “‘Deca-’ means ‘ten,’” says mother, with an obscene wink. They all groan.
The scraping continues. Kourtney by now is passed out. “We could always eat her,” says Khloe. “Yes, by God!” says Jenner, enthused at last. He rubs his hands and falls upon her carcass.
He bites a mole off her calf, chewing slowly. “Bit savory,” he says. The others look on in disgust. Kim eats raw asparagus and sniffs.
After eight more stalks, Kim takes her bucket to the corner for a private wee. “Who’s boiling cabbage in here?” mother cries.
“I never thought I’d spend the End of the World with you lot,” moans Jenner, bitterly. “What’s ‘the End of the World?’” asks Khloe, brightly.
“It’s when…oh, skip it,” he says, then takes a self-pic of his disbelieving face. They all take out their own phones and do likewise.
“Now that we’re skinny, no one’ll love us,” says Kim, mourning her missing buttock. “Only white guys,” says Kourtney. “i.e. no one,” says Kim.
“Slut! Harlot! You did this to me!” Kim leaps off her cot & sets about Khloe with her hands. Jenner sprays them both with a bottle of urine.
The two lay panting, eyeing each other savagely, stripes athwart their cheeks. All humankind seems to be at a stand.
“We may be the last ones left. We may have to repopulate the earth,” says Jenner with a knowing leer. They all gag, including mother.
Desperate for sustenance, they lay out rails of Tuna Helper and snort them like young McInerneys, The hits explode in their brains like fireworks.
“I regret not nailing-and-dumping that guy from ‘Burn Notice,’” Kim says, crying. “You dum-dum,” says mother. “He’s white!”
A time portal opens. An 18th century British naval captain strolls through. He wrinkles his nose. Kim, in a fever-dream, asks him if he is an Ethiope.
“This cable tier will have to be pumped out. Bartholomew Fair ain’t in it. Pass the word for the first lieutenant to rig a wind-sail to clear this fug.”
Jenner reaches out to touch the captain who in turn strikes him with the flat of his broadsword. Jenner spasms orgiastically. Smiles.
“Pass the word for the doctor.” A bony man in a bottle green coat and a grizzled wig enters the room. Kourtney takes a picture of him with her phone. He makes a leg.
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph,” he then exclaims. “I declare these people dead by the smell alone.” “They’re all dead. We’re dead,” says the captain exasperatedly.
Kim lowers her Spanx and asks the doctor if he can fix her buttock. “The hairy one is offering herself to the doctor!” says the captain to unseen persons beyond the portal.
The doctor examines Kim’s buttock. “You will do very well, with the blessing,” he says. “I will fashion a prosthesis from a cannon ball.”
Jenner slowly rises to his feet. “Am I dead, or is this a magical place like Portugal?” He counts to five, and they all take self-pics.
When asked what’s happening outside, the doctor becomes pensive. “Sure it’s the final showdown between Microsoft, Apple & Google, isn’t it?”
“Please to accept this bag of poppy leaves,” says the doctor as he and the captain leave via the closing portal. They all fall on the bag.
After they all stuff quids of the leaves up in their cheeks, Jenner invites them all to approach the mirror and tell what they see.
Kim sees Shaquille O’Neal. Khloe sees Haile Selasse. Kourtney sees the man from the catheter ad and mother sees O. J. Simpson. Jenner sighs.
“Who do you see, darling,” asks mother. Jenner peers uncertainly through the looking glass at the emerging form. “Bethenny Frankel,” he says at last.
The drug takes effect. They all tell what they think, but take no notice of each other. “I crave Goo-Goo Clusters,” says mother dreamily. “The Supreme ones.”
Jenner is even more affected: “If I don’t trim my nose hairs in six hours, I cannot be held responsible for what comes next,” he says. They shudder.
The prying sounds get louder. Finally the panic room door is wedged open and Dr. Jack Shephard enters the room. They stare blankly at him.
“We have to go back to the island,” he says. “St. Barts?” asks the mother. “Catalina?” asks Khloe. “Dr. Moreau?” asks Jenner. “Misfit toys?” asks Kourtney.
A dungareed & shirtless Sawyer pushes Jack further into the room. “Well, lookee here,” he says, ogling those in the room still possessing two buttocks.
“We have to hurry,” says Jack. The ground shakes. The ladies squeal. Jenner moans. “Easy now, Chester,” says Sawyer. Jenner wets his pants.
“She was the kind of brunette that’d make a rabbi kick over a MaxiPad display at Ralph’s,” quotes Sawyer from memory, eyeing Kim at last. “Hard.”
“Who are you?” Kim asks. “Luscious Jackson,” says Sawyer. Kim visibly perks. “You do have to admit, that sounds pretty black,” says Khloe.
“Aughh,” says Jack, slapping his head as a green cloud rises from the drain. “Sorry!” says Jenner, fanning his crotch with his shoe. The stench is unimaginable.
The reek drives them out the door. “I can’t walk,” says Kim. “I lost a back-booby somewhere.” “I cup it with my hand, like so,” says Sawyer who magically propels her forward.
Across the street, at Billy Graham’s, Mark Zuckerberg laughs maniacally and sprays the door with a flamethrower. He takes no notice of them.
They waddle-trot past the burned-out shells of Frederick’s of Hollywood & Neiman Marcus. The girls weep as the enormity of what’s taken place hits. They hop into an idling car.
Jack urges the car faster and faster, cornering dangerously. There is never a soul on the road, on the lawns, anywhere. They race to LAX.
Jack, his face set in a rictus of martyr-like suffering & disgusting self-regard, powers through barricades to a waiting jet on the tarmac.
Once aboard, they strap themselves in. Jack & Sawyer get into the pilot & copilot seats. Sawyer pins a pair of wings to a thatch of chest hair.
“As we take off for the next world, I want us all to say the one thing we’ll miss the most in this world,” says Jack into the intercom.
“Italian people. What do you call them? Paparazzi,” says Kim. “Smoky eyeshadow,” says Kourtney. “Gum,” says Khloe. “Whatever,” says mother. “Poopie,” says Jenner.
“For me, it was the sunrise. Every day,” says Jack. “What about you, Sawyer?” Sawyer thinks. “Dorf on Golf,” he says falling in love with himself all over again. “On VHS.”
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