The Adventures of Father O'Brannigan

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THE ADVENTURES OF FATHER O'BRANNIGAN

A Somewhat Loopy Narrative Adventure

(Written In Boredom and Meant to Be Read the Same Way)

by Doc Nebula and Jeffrey D. Webb, alternately

 

I was just a sittin' in a pub, eatin' me Lucky Charms and a drinkin' me Irish whiskey, when the maddened herd of ostriches came a runnin' out of the ladies' room.

Instantly, I leapt to me feet. Brandishing me shilleleigh, I waded into the knobby-kneed, ungainly, feathered insurrectionists. They were a feisty lot, but I laid about me with dash and derring do, and pretty soon that public house had a brand new ostrich hide carpet.

Just then, the narrator, sick of writing a stupid Irish accent, switched without warning into the third person.

The middle-aged priest got slowly up from the floor, peering about warily for any signs of the feathered furies' imminent return. It was a damn shame, what the world was coming to, when a decent Catholic gentleman couldn't take a drink in a public house somewhere in Moosejaw, Ontario without being inundated and hurled to the floorboards by a batch of doubtlessly Protestant bloody ostriches.

A beautiful woman came up behind Father O'Brannigan and smashed a bottle of Guinness over his head.

"Now, then," said Father O'Brannigan, turning and striking the woman repeatedly with his massively-headed shilleleigh, "was that necessary, do you truly think?"

"Agh," she replied, collapsing to the ground in a bloody heap.

"She was just tryin' to get your attention, pardner," said a mournful voice from behind Father O'Brannigan.

The bird towered above the good father; a double lightning bolt "SS" gleamed from its stiff collar.

"And who might you be?" asked O'Brannigan.

The starch necked ostrich cocked its head. A stern grin crossed its beak and then disappeared. "It is best, Herr Father, that you listen to me and not ask questions."

It cleared its avian throat, then went on, "You have banished my evil horde singlehandedly, thus foiling my master plan for training the stupid birds of this planet to serve the Fuhrer's grand plan of ridding the world of the wombat menace."

Father O'Brannigan stared at the amazing apparition in shock. It was, quite frankly, uncanny.

"Yer fly is unzipped, ostrich laddy," Father O'Brannigan quipped drolly.

The ostrich looked down and cursed in fluent Swahili. Then, with a flurry of feathers and a fury of zipper sounds, the ostrich shed its skin, revealing -

"Frederick Von Pumpernickel the Arch Fiend of Bloody Death!" Father O'Brannigan cried in shock and dismay. "But you died at the end of the last adventure!"

"Yuh cain't keep a good villain down, pardner," the Arabic antagonist replied. "Now that yuh've penetrated mah clever disguise, Ah can dispense with that phony accent. Or, as the Bard would say, 'Tout allez, mon apprez vous, twill non darquente-aire, poutrez vannous bouyanous'. Don't you agree?"

"I have no bloody idea what you just said," Father O'Brannigan retorted.

"Prob'ly not," the Suomic swine agreed. "Ah don't, neither."

"Well, von Pumpernickel," Father O'Brannigan said in a loud and ringing tone, "I'm goin' to have to be takin' you in. Will ye come peaceably, boyo?"

"Chuckle, chuckle," chuckled von Pumpernickel. "Jest because yew beat mah ostrich enforcement squad doesn't mean Ah gotta take yer shit, O'Brannigan. Yew have yet tah meet Mr. O."

"Turn around, suckah," said a high-pitched voice from behind O'Brannigan.

Turning, O'Brannigan was startled to see the largest ostrich in the world leaning against the bar, rolling up its shirt sleeves. It had a mohawk...

Thinking fast, the good father pulled his rosary beads from his pocket and lassoed the pseudo-ostrich. As he did so, von Pumpernickel hissed petulantly and leapt upon the adventuring priest, dragging him to the floor. Seeing this, the huge ostrich released the Mohawk and spoke to him in a language unknown to this time. The Mohawk pulled from his belt a tomahawk, and charged the arch fiend of disguise.

O'Brannigan exclaimed from the floor, "Mary Mother of God, Trade, but I thought you were dead!"

"You know me better than that, O'Brannigan," Trade cried jauntily in reply. "Takes more than a Triton sub to put to rest Trade Winds of the Secret Council!"

O'Brannigan rolled clear of the melee as the mad Indian severed the dirty bits from von Pumpernickel.

Mr. O pulled out the O-Luger and thrust it into his beak.

"For God's sake, don't do it, laddie!" shouted O'Brannigan, driven to the brink of insanity by the thought of the giant ostrich committing suicide and being forever condemned to Hell. With an incredible burst of strength, the good father ripped von Pumpernickel's left arm off and hurled it like a boomerang at the self-destructive bird.

Mr. O, startled by the blood-spurting appendage hurtling at his head, screamed in abject terror and leapt for cover, sending the O-Luger clattering to the floor as he did so.

Frederick von Pumpernickel the Arch Fiend of Bloody Death looked down at the gore-spouting stump where his left arm used to be.

"Say," he exclaimed in a small, shocked voice.

"Hah hah," whooped Trade Winds of the Secret Council, "Your dirty bits are mine, foul villain! And your arm is... ah... his, over there. So surrender, before we perform further indignities upon your much deserving carcass, you Papist swine!"

"Hey!" Father O'Brannigan objected. "Watch it, eh?"

"Sorry, kemosabe, it just slipped out," Trade Winds sneered in reply.

Father O'Brannigan pikced up the O-Luger, took careful aim, and shot out both of Trade Winds' kneecaps.

"Ooh oh arg Jesus fuck!" Trade Winds screeched, "what the Christ did you do that for, you crazy white dude? Shit shit shit!"

"I know what 'kemosabe' means, Trade," Father O'Brannigan replied darkly.

"'Kemosabe'?" came Mr. O's quavering voice from beneath a wicker table on the other side of the bar. "It means 'trusted friend and wisest of men' doesn't it?"

"Oh," Father O'Brannigan said, "Gee, I guess I was wrong. Sorry, Trade ol' buddy, ol' pal."

Just then, a portal opened in the air in front of Father O'Brannigan...

Through the portal bounced a thermonuclear bomb!!!!!!!!!!!

Father O'Brannigan stood in mock horror. The bomb rolled around the floor for a few minutes and then stopped.

"Shit," screamed Trade Winds, "the Triton must have followed me!!!"

"Trade," rapped out O'Brannigan forcefully, "get that frigging thing out of here!"

"My knees are broken!"

"I'll handle this!" said Mr. O. As the massive ostrich stood, he banged his head on the wicker table, exposing the wet sogginess of his bird sized brain.

"I don't wanna die!" wailed the very moist von Pumpernickle, as he climbed up the bomb.

"Well, I guess that leaves me!" said O'Brannigan, as he seized the bomb on which the bloody fiend sat. With a grace that denied his massive strength, the good father crossed the room, threw open the shutter and pulled up the sash. The bomb was dropped out, as the maddened von Pumpernickle tried to scramble off.

"So long, o vile villain," intoned O'Brannigan.

There was a blinding flash.

Dazed, the Father and Trade Winds rose from the floor.

"That was a brave thing you did, padre!" said Trade.

Then the blast hit, and as the three were vaporized, O'Brannigan said "Oh, shit, I'm soooooooooo stupid!"

Sick McWeird and his sidekick Darren the Crucified Kid stared at the smoking crater where Dublin used to be.

"That's fucking weird, man," Sick said.

"Aye, me hearty, so 'tis, so 'tis," agreed his buccaneer boots.

"My hands hurt," whined the Crucified Kid, struggling and bleeding as he hung on his cross.

"Bitch, bitch, bitch," Sick said laconically.

"Oh, yeah?" the Crucified Kid screamed, spittle spraying from his lips like candy from a garden hose, "well, you wanna change places, McWeird? You wanna take a shot at spikes through the ol' palms and ankles? You wanna try on this crown of thorns for size, pal?"

"I know I do," lisped Buddy, the homosexual alligator in the tight T-shirt. "I think it would be great."

"Sick!" howled the Crucified Kid, hopping up and down on the pogo stick built into the bottom of his cross. "You're sick, Buddy! You are one fucking sick 'gator!"

"Quiet, ye swab," Sick's buccaneer boots snarled. "Buddy tisn't Sick. Sick is Sick. And ye're a ruddy fool, who'll walk the plank if ye don't pipe the fuck down!"

"I can't walk," the Crucified Kid sneered in reply. "I'm stapled to a frigging cross, asshole. What's wrong with your brain, huh?"

Just then, a low groan came from the hundred mile wide crater. The motley cast of weirdos looked down.

"Look," lisped Buddy, "thomebody thruvived that horrible holocaust! Ithn't that jutht peachy?"

"Just frigging impossible is more like it," said Sick in awed disbelief, tossing the end of his ascot scarf back over his shoulder. "In fact, I just don't believe it."

"Well," came a rich Irish voice from the crater," 'tis true regardless, laddie, and here I am to prove it, in the slightly crisped flesh, as 't'were."

The assembled cast of non-vaporized supporting characters looked down in utter disbelief as Father O'Brannigan, leaning heavily on his massive shilleleigh, staggered up the sides of the crater.

"This can't be happening," mumbled the Crucified Kid.

"Not only that, laddie," Father O'Brannigan said with a twinkle in his eye, " but I should be at the center of the crater, not here with ye at the rim. It makes no sense a'tall."

"Well, he ith the hero," Buddy said. "I gueth you really can't kill him off."

"Horseshit!" came a loud chorus of voices from the crater.

Looking down, the motley crew saw the largest ostrich in the world, carrying a Luger, accompanied by a crawling Mohawk and an Arab with no left arm.

"We'll show you how to kill him off," shouted the weirdos in the crater. "Just hold him down..."

The weirdos on the lip of the crater grabbed O'Brannigan and put him in a Bulgarian headlock. "We've got him," they yelled.

"Before ye twist this old grey head off," O'Brannigan whimpered piteously, "may I ask a question of that one armed Arab?"

"Okay," said Sick, "but no tricks!"

"Von Pumpernickle, how did you survive sitting on a nuclear bomb?"

Pumpernickle shook his head. "For some reason, the damn thing didn't go off. In fact, the reason Ah woke up was because of it's billy be damned tickin'."

"That means," Trade howled, "it's been activated!"

"Hey, Sick," yelled the Crucified Kid, "there's a thermonuclear device in this hole!"

"What!?!" cried Sick.

"He thaid, 'Hey, Thick, there'th a thermo-nuclear devithe in thith hole'", Buddy said helpfully.

"Deja vu!!!!!!!" Mr. O screeched as the bomb exploded.

I wonder what caused the crater and the huge explosion and the sensation of us being vaporized before, Father O'Brannigan wondered as he ascended into the afterlife.

"Your ticket, sahr," the Afterlife Express Conductor said nasally.

"Why... I dinna have one, laddie," replied Father O'Brannigan with a start. "Surely a Catholic priest doesna need a ticket to get inta heaven?"

"A Catholic priest!!!" the Conductor howled. "Back! BACK!" The Conductor backpedaled frantically, using his forefingers to make a cross in front of him. Screaming with terror, he ran away into the nothingness all around them.

YOU FRIGHTENED MY CONDUCTOR, ASSHOLE.

"Good Lord!" O'Brannigan cried out in surprise.

THAT'S RIGHT. NOT SO GOOD FOR YOU, THOUGH, JACKOFF.

"But... but, Lord, I have served ye faithfully," Father O'Brannigan stammered. "I am a good Catholic priest..."

AAAAAGGGHHH!!! A CATHOLIC PRIEST! NOT THAT! PLEASE!

A horrible suspicion dawned on Father O'Brannigan.

"Lord," he said tremulously, "Ye're not... Protestant, are ye?"

GASP! WELL! I NEVER!!!

"Really?" the padre asked incredulously. "Well, ye really should, ye know. It's verra relaxing."

OUT! GET OUT, YOU WRETCH! AND TAKE YOUR SILLY FRIENDS WITH YOU!!!

"Er, well," Father O'Brannigan began, "they're not quite my friends..."

But it was too late. Even as he spoke, Father O'Brannigan found himself standing on the shores of the big lake they call Gitchiegoonie, surrounded by von Pumpernickle, Mr. O, Trade Winds of the Secret Council, Sick WcWeird, Darren the Crucified Kid, and Buddy the homosexual alligator in the tight t-shirt.

Father O'Brannigan sighed. "Say, Trade," he said, "what is the Secret Council, anyhow?"

"It's a secret," Trade sneered haughtily.

"Oh," said O'Brannigan, inflating Trade through the ass with a bicycle pump, "and why is that?"

"Ya."

"Who are you guys??????" asked the Crucified Kid.

"We are - THE OUTLAWS!" said Pendragon.

"Who cares," said Darren, as he bounced on the stranger's toe.

"I do," said the outlaw Josey Wales, "so put up yer hands and hand over yer wimmen!"

"Not so fast," bellowed Anthro the Cave Boy Who Could Be You, "Give me your rounded breasts!"

"I have no round breasts!" said O'Brannigan.

Suddenly the sun went nova!!!!!!!

Our fabulous fried friends went spinning into space, where they vanished down a black hole. Coming out the other side of the black hole, the portion of the pile of molecular ashes that was Father O'Brannigan thought to itself, This is really fucked up.

The portion of the pile that was Sick McWeird replied, Totally.

Ah, shut up, snarled the Crucified Kid section of the ash heap.

I canna take this any more, howled Father O'Brannigan. I'm a gonna move over two publishers. I need another cast of supporting characters.

Father O'Brannigan awoke early. He rose, showered, and dressed. Looking out his window, he noticed that it was going to be a beautiful day.

There was a loud knock at his door.

"Come in," he called pleasantly.

A young boy who looked somewhat like the largest ostrich in the world burst in, followed by a tall, one armed Arab who was dressed as a moderately successful writer.

"You've got to help us, Father Callahan!" shouted the boy. "The vampire's got Susan!"

"Calm down, Mark," the Arab said calmingly. "We gots tuh explain this'yer situation carefully. Cain't confuse the Father."

I've read this book, Father O'Brannigan thought to himself. If I get involved in this plot, I'm bloodsucker bait. Besides, I don't like their looks a'tall.

"I'm afraid I'm goin' to have t'be movin' over another publisher," O'Brannigan said apologetically.

Reality swirled around him, then firmed up again. He looked around him, to see where he was now.

"What is that?" asked Josey Wales.

"It's a word processor," replied Father O.

"Hey!" screamed Mr. O, "that's too close to my name to be used in this story!"

"This machine is great!" said Kurt, looking up from the terminal. "Dick Giordano's going to love this precis!"

Suddenly the picture flickered on the processor, and Buddy appeared on the screen.

"Oh my God," said Anthro, "he looks like he's in pain!"

Kurt gaped in horror. "You motherfucker, Jeff," he choked out. "I've spent seven hours working on that precis to send to DC."

"Shut your face, Busiek!!!" I said.

"We gotta get Buddy out of there," said Sick.

"What happens if I press this button?" I said, pressing the button.

"NNNNnnnnooooooo!!!!" screamed Kurt.

Kurt and our fabulous friends wavered and blinked out.

All that remained was a blue dot.

BY THE WAY: Way, way back, when the supporting cast was supposedly vaporized but they weren't but there was a big crater anyway, except it was in Dublin instead of Moosejaw, Ontario, well, this is what happened:

The thermonuclear device that came through the portal in that bar was not, in fact, a thermonuclear device but was, in reality, a disguised teleport device that vaporized the entire cast at that time - aside from the beautiful unconscious woman on the floor - and caused them to reappear in Dublin. Unfortunately, Dublin had been the victim of a thermonuclear device - a real one, this time - so they reappeared at the edge of the crater that had previously been Dublin. However, another thermonuclear device was at the bottom of the crater, primed to explode. It did.

As for where the teleport device came from - well, you see, Dr. Potpourri and the Huge Band of Aesthetically Displeasing Beings were attempting to take over the world. As a demonstration of their power, they destroyed Dublin. In an attempt to change history, the time traveler Victor Hugo caused noted crusader for justice Father O'Brannigan to be teleported to the scene. Unfortunately, he fucked up, and Father O'Brannigan - and his entire supporting cast from previous adventures, whether they were supposed to be dead or not - arrived on the scene several years too late, just as the heroes of an entirely unrelated adventure were standing on the edge of the crater. Victor Hugo then went on to defeat Dr. Potpourri and the Huge Band of Aesthetically Displeasing Beings without Father O'Brannigan's help. However, he did not manage to disarm the second thermonuclear device that Dr. Potpourri had planted on the scene in Dublin as a failsafe, and the arrival of Father O'Brannigan and his courageous (?) band was enough, after several years of exposure to the elements, to set it off. And after that, everything happened just the way you read it. If you want to know how Josey Wales and Anthro the Cave Boy Who Could Be You joined the Outlaws, ask Kurt Busiek - it's his stupid team.

- Mark Gruenwald, 1986

And now, back to our regularly scheduled session of madness.

Busiek looked around him in anger, wonder and fear.

"What the fuck - who the fuck - where the fuck - why the fuck - " he sputtered. "WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?"

"Mellow out, dude," Sick McWeird told him placatingly.

"Yeah, asshole," the Crucified Kid sneered from one side of his mouth.

"Darren!" Busiek cried. "What are you doing on that cross? Geez, doesn't that hurt?"

"It don't tickle, jerkoff," the Crucified Kid replied sarcastically. "Hey, how do you know my name, anyway?"

"Know your name," sputtered Busiek, "why, I've known you for three years, you idiot."

"Oh, really?" asked Buddy, the homosexual alligator in the tight T-shirt. "Carnally? Tell me all the gory details, eh?"

Busiek looked as if he were about to vomit.

Anthro the Cave Boy Who Could Be You bashed a rabbit over the head. Unfortunately, to do so he had to let go of the rope tied around the ankle of the inflated Trade Winds of the Secret Council, who promptly began to drift away.

"Stop him!" shouted Father O'Brannigan.

"Shore 'nuff," said the outlaw Josey Wales, pulling out his six-iron and firing wildly after the rapidly drifting Trade Winds.

"The world of the Outlaws may seem outwardly normal, even placid, but..." said Precis, an animated, moving sheet of computer printout.

"What th'hell is that thing talkin' about," said Frederick von Pumpernickel inquiringly.

"Say," said Josey Wales, "Ah likes yore accent. Even if'n you are a damn A-rab."

"Ah, ye're all witless swabs," snarled Sick's buccaneer boots.

Just then, there was a loud pop as Josey scored a direct hit on the inflated Trade Winds of the Secret Council.

"Ye'll go t'hell for that," Father O'Brannigan said mournfully.

"This is so weird," said Pendragon. "And there are no girls around, either."

Busiek, still angry and confused, started chasing his precis around.

Just then, there was the sound of machine gun fire from over the next hill.

Over the crest of the slope came charging Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandoes, who were promptly gunned down by Sgt. Rock and Easy Company, who were accidentally run over by the Haunted Tank, which suddenly blew up.

Kurt's precis burst into flames from flying fragments of red hot metal just as Kurt caught up with it. Kurt shrieked horribly as the fire licked up over him, causing him to die a lingering, horrible death.

Sick McWeird, shredded by shrapnel, collapsed to the ground, to be dragged away by his screaming buccaneer boots.

Darren the Crucified Kid suddenly realized that his cross was a clever disguise for von Pumpernickle, and that the fiend who had been running around with the party was actually a robotic duplicate, now blown to pieces. Von Pumpernickle and the Crucified Kid expired trying to free themselves of the spikes that held them together.

Buddy and Mr. O, locked in a passionate embrace, died together as Captain Nemo's futuristic submersible fell howling out of the stratosphere at terminal velocity, crushing them into a viscous substance closely resembling feathered raspberry preserves inside a ruined alligator hide suitcase.

Josey, Anthro and Pendragon were suddenly snatched up by dimension travelling aliens with cybernetic gun-hands and taken back to a misty asteroid for mental re-programming.

Father O'Brannigan picked up his shilleleigh and, whistling a cheerful Irish jig, walked off into the sunset.

Too bad the world was flat.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!" screamed Father O' Brannigan as he topped into nothingness.