spurn \'spurn\

1) v. to reject or to ridicule, usually with caustic and unparalleled wit

2) n. an often hilarious, always mesmerizing collection of one-act plays and surreal vignettes, residing in a world where love is worse than death, childhood is worse than love, and soft drink ads are the cruelest form of torture known to man.

3) n. the collective name given to those who produce and inhabit this world.

It was, as the Englishman said, “the worst of times.” What we the afflicted call “the mid-20s.” We were the morose clichés we said we’d never become, and the working dead we feared we’d be. You saw us serving coffee and tending bar, quietly clearing the puke away from someone else’s charming abandonment. Or maybe we were watching our screen-savers flicker endlessly in the cube farms, in the graveyard-grey, the office cemeteries, sipping coffee as Windows counted the time and we bravely, selflessly, with utmost dedication cleared our 11,000th round of Minesweeper.

The working dead work without fear.

But we were dead, no mistake. And what would the dead do with their time? Write. Drink. Make fun of happy people. Have them smile back at us, blissfully unaware. Make catchy slogans about things we hated. Make jokes about our lives. Write stories about time-traveling ex-girlfriends bitter with rage, or about pizza chain spokesmen, bitter with rage. Maybe even one about the happy man who meets the happy woman and they go and get married, bitter with rage.

We saw a pattern.

We were three ugly men; single and broke, filing away in overcrowded subways, working in overcrowded offices, but always, always sleeping alone. Sure, we took lovers, but the Maxim covers weren’t loving us back. So we kept writing. Working. Nursing the wounds our PlayStations couldn’t. Letting the dead go about their jobs as we tried to live. We had stories. We had $400 (barely). We had actors and writers who worked among the dead as well. There was only so much more we could stand.

Time was running out. No one was going to do the work for us. Comedy Central certainly wouldn’t come and make us famous. The networks weren’t rushing to us wide-eyed and out of breath with big paychecks and nubile teen celebrities, no matter how many times we asked them to. So we crossed our fingers and vowed to make due with what we had.

We are the working dead. The ones with the funny stories. Hilarious. Unbelievable. And instantly familiar.

And this is spurn.

- Ian Hemenway, 2005


secret origin

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