Gruff Muffin: The Guy With The Cupcake Tattoo – The 36th Story in The #HankSaga – By: Dan Leicht (D.e.e.L) (Deeliopunk) (Insert other Deel/Dan/Punk possibility here)
“I used to work at a cupcake factory, and there was nothing sweet about it.” – Gruff Muffin
He walks into Blue Spaghetti’s and takes a seat at the booth closest to the door. The hostess stares at him, she wonders why he didn’t wait to be seated like the sign so clearly states is kind of a mandatory thing, or at least an expected thing when coming into a restaurant to find someone straight in front of you standing behind a counter playing solitaire.
MC Frisbee Rockstar walks up to him, but something comes over him, he turns around and walks away.
“What is it?” Gina asks.
“He looks scary. Rugged. Gritty. Mean. Filled with dark memories and heartfelt emotion, like he’s been through things and has a depressing but inspiring story to tell,” says MC Frisbee Rockstar in a frivolous tone.
“Your tone causes me to think you lack intellectual substance and therefore makes what you’ve said not worth any real serious consideration.”
“I just mean…well look at him.”
They both look at the man sitting at the booth closest to the door and stare into the whimsical tattoo on his left upper arm. His sleeves missing, ripped off in some tormented anger most likely. The tattoo is as rugged as one could possibly be. The colors filled with dexterity and other words not really related to such a description or the context of this story and or paragraph.
“That is quite rugged,” says Gina.
“Don’t say ‘that’, Cinta doesn’t like it.”
“Oh yeah, forgot.”
“What should we do?”
“We? It’s your table.”
“It’s always my table I feel like.”
“It’s a popular table to pick. Closest to the door in case there’s a spaghetti incident.”
“I’m going in.”
MC Frisbee Rockstar walks in ever closer to the table until he can do longer walk any closer and is awkwardly walking with his gut drooped over the table edge as his feet continuing to keep taking steps and making no progress due to the impossibility of the situation.
“Can I help you?” says the mysterious patron.
“That’s my line.”
“Cinta doesn’t like you saying…’that’.”
“I forget sometimes.”
“I’ll have the chicken parm.”
“WHAT’S WITH YOUR TATTOO!?”
“I knew this would come up…it’s…not easy to talk about…”
The entire staff of Blue Spaghetti’s including Pishlemtickens, Eddy, Willy, and Hank for some reason.
“Is Hank mad at Eddy for that time he threw him out of his van?”
“Don’t say ‘that’, Cinta doesn’t like it,” reminds Nina.
With everyone gathered around the stranger goes into his tale of horror and intrigue.
“I used to work at a cupcake factory, and there was nothing sweet about it.”
“Hey, that’s the quote at the beginning…”
“Shhh, and stop saying ‘that’!”
“Anyway,” he continues, “this tattoo you’re all so intrigued about, well, there’s a lot of horror behind its meaning.”
“The narrator mentioned those two things!”
“You can’t put an exclamation point on ‘shhhh’.”
“Well I just did!”
“Stop yelling at me… I’m just trying to help this story grammatically.”
“You all still wanting to hear my story?”
“Yes, yes of course. Don’t mind us, we’re just two voices not given names by the narrator in an attempt to encompass the entire cast of characters standing beside you.”
“Well okay, Nina, Gina, DJ Rae Rae, Stinky, MC Frisbee Rockstar, Dan, Pishlemtickens, Chris, Plaque Monster, Eddy, Willy, Slappy, Cinta, Harmonica playing Unicorn, or anyone else I might be forgetting since I’ve technically never met any of you before. And wasn’t the Plaque Monster eaten? What’s he doing here?”
“Ahhh, right. Well, as I was saying.
“You forgot Hank. He’s here too.”
“Oh yes, and Hank.”
“No problem. Now, my story…it was in 1999, I was working at the cupcake factory making raisins in the peanut butter mixer. Something when wrong with the amount of yeast I put in the microwave, something went…terribly wrong. I had placed what I thought was a doctor recommended amount into the microwave in order to make my pizza, but for some reason the measuring cup was acting funny and I couldn’t stop laughing. So it turns out I had made a phone call the night before to my ex-girlfriend and told her I wanted to get back together and she placed an order for a new television from the plumber who was having a yard sale. To make a long story short, the microwave exploded and all the cupcakes I was making in the bathtub turned into broken dreams and forgotten promises.”
“That story…it really speaks to me,” says Cinta from the crowd.
“Aaaa! You said it!”
“So this tattoo is a constant reminder. Every time I decide to look at my arm at an awkward angle I think to myself ‘use less yeast next time…use less yeast’, and to this day I haven’t set foot in a palates studio. Just in case Ben is still there. I owe him money for finding the lost city of Atlantis back into 2003.”
“You’re a weird guy, ummm, what’s your name?”
“It’s Gruff. Gruff Muffin.”
“And what do you do for a living Gruff Muffin?” asks MC Frisbee Rockstar (obviously).
“Nowadays I’m just a drifter…a lonesome cowboy…an astronaut without his space helmet, drifting through the stars.”
“You’re a zombie?”
“Yup. I also sell followers to various social media outlets on the internet.”
“Sounds like a solid business plan.”
“Sounds like your business plan is made from some substantial material that is quite strong and probably won’t break or even collapse.”
“You got that right, kid.”
“My name is MC Frisbee Rockstar and I’m a man. A grown man.”
“So am I.”
“Not a chance.”
The crowd cheers and everyone decides it best to go back to work. Gruff places his order again and hands his menu back to MC Frisbee Rockstar.
“I’ll be right back, Mr. Gruff.”
“It’s ‘Mr. Muffin’ actually.”
“Well alright then ‘Mr. Muffin’.”
“What’s happening?” asks Mr. Muffin.
“I think you mean ‘what’s about to be happening’,” says MC Frisbee Rockstar.
The entire dining area begins to shake and rattle as well as roll and soon the two main characters of this story along with a couple others you’ll find out the identities of in the upcoming dialogue are transported to the land of gluten and wheat – a deathly healthy and unhealthy world, where cupcakes are a confused delectable treat, and bagels are either delicious or poison loaded wheat monsters waiting to rip you apart bite my bite as you just want something to eat in the morning because it’s just sitting there in a big bag or box every Thursday when you walk into work and everyone is telling you to try one or asking you ‘what happens when you have gluten’ because you just know you’re dying to tell people the effects gluten has on the body if you have celiac since it’s so damn attractive to say out loud in vivid detail.
“What are doing here?” asks Eddy.
“I think we’re here because of Gruff,” replies Hank.
“Why am I here?” asks MC Frisbee Rockstar?”
“Did you not just hear the narrator? He was at least half specific on who would be in this part of the story.”
“Very true,” says Gruff with a nod and a handshake.
“Where’d you learn how to do that handshake?” asks a skeptical Hank.
“From reading last week’s story of course.”
“So uh, if we’re here for Gruff. How do we get out?”
“Gruff? Any suggestions?”
Before Gruff could answer a microwave appeared in front of him with a bag of yeast sitting on top.
“Is the narrator is past tense now?”
“It can’t…” says Gruff as he looks at the microwave and bag of yeast in horror.
“You can do this, Gruff. We believe in you,” says Eddy.
“This narrator is really quick with the dialogue tags all of a sudden. Cinta, is that you?”
“Shhh, Gruff needs to do this.”
He walks up to the microwave instead of running because his ankle hurts from playing basketball last Tuesday and places his hand onto the bag of yeast because he plans on picking it up. He opens the bag and fills the cup, not listening to the jokes and pouring a doctor recommended cup of yeast for his pissa, excuse me, I mean pizza. He places the cup into the microwave and presses four minutes into the keypad.
“Is that really how you make pizza? Seems wrong.”
“There’s more than one way to put skin on a cat, Eddy.”
The timer runs almost as long as this story and eventually beeps, beeps, beeps.
“Is it…did he do it?”
“I don’t know. He’s walking up to see right now.”
“I don’t know if I’m ready for this guys,” says Gruff as he bends his neck to look at his left upper arm.
“You can do this. There’s no bathtub full of cupcakes this time.”
He opens up the microwave to find…a melted cup covered in soot looking yeast.
“Guess I should have read the rest of the recipe…”
“Recipes are for nerds, let’s eat!”
And eat they did.
“Again, what tense is this narrator in?”
By Dan Leicht (D.e.e.L) September 15th 2014
Follow Dan on Twitter @Deeliopunk
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Check out all the Hank Saga stories so far…