'"grassroots" promotional campaign' re tao lin's 'shoplifting from american apparel'.

buttercup feels like shit. after three days of drinking alcohol, repeatedly getting into trouble with the police and systematically pissing off everyone for being an intolerable shit-show when blackout, he decides to write a one-thousand five-hundred word story regarding an associate of his named tao lin in order to promote both his and tao lin’s blogs and possibly careers.

buttercup hasn’t eaten anything for the past seventy-two hours except some chips and an ‘atomic fire ball’ jaw breaker, which he actually sucked on and didn’t masticate. buttercup has feelings of not being sure what to write. his eyes slowly focus on the ring on his right middle finger and he thinks ‘fuck’ before laughing inaudibly.

buttercup debates writing a non-fiction story about how he and tao lin met, but can’t write more than a paragraph of that story without thinking ‘this is completely ridiculous. i don’t think i can respect myself as a writer if i write about meeting tao lin without involving a lot of sarcasm or something important happening, or embellishing the details to shit.’ then buttercup thinks ‘i remember the weekend i met tao lin was really fun, but i don’t remember this past weekend very much at all’ and ‘i don’t get much positive feedback regarding my relationship with tao lin as it is, why would i continue to “add more fodder” for potential shit-talkers if i already feel like shit and am conceivably susceptible to feeling shittier?’

buttercup remembers different moments during the weekend he met tao lin and decides to write about them to some extent. for example, when he introduced himself to tao lin at a muumuu house reading in new york and tao lin said ‘i know you from the internet’ or something, and introduced buttercup to his girlfriend, and buttercup introduced tao lin to his friends megan and luke, who tao lin also already knew from the internet.

a little later buttercup was smoking a cigarette or a clove inside the building, which was bad activity according to tao lin’s roommate. tao lin’s roommate changed her mind about this, kind of, and smoking inside became popular for the people who only came to the reading to talk shit about tao lin, as something to do while talking shit about tao lin. buttercup put out his cigarette or clove out of boredom and started walking to get a beer. tao lin ‘hopped’ in front of buttercup and said ‘hey’ and they had a conversation that seemed painfully awkward to the point of being extremely enjoyable, until tao lin saw his girlfriend and said ‘i’m going to go get my girlfriend’ and smiled and ran away kind of and squeezed himself through a very small space between a wall and a pillar instead of walking around things to get to her.

tao lin had said, ‘are you friends with megan?’

buttercup had said, ‘i met her online. i just met her in real life today.’

tao lin had said, ‘damn,’ among other things.

someone opened a beer near tao lin’s face and it exploded and he yelled loudly.

later buttercup, tao lin, luke, megan and sarah, tao lin’s girlfriend, ‘mexican pile-upped’ into megan’s car and she drove fast from manhattan to brooklyn so they could get some food. later buttercup went to an apartment building with tao lin and a lot of other people and drank more beers and read some of tao lin’s writing that was in the first-edition literary magazine the person who lived at the apartment printed. later buttercup went to tao lin’s apartment and hung out with jamie, zachary, miles, chelsea, brandon, megan, luke, sarah and tao lin until luke left to visit his cousin in manhattan and everyone was either very drunk or very tired and wanted to sleep. later buttercup stayed up and read tao lin’s novel, eeeee eee eeee, before falling asleep.

buttercup thinks ‘these stories seem fucked’ regarding the stories of him and tao lin hanging out. buttercup tries to remember the first time he heard of tao lin, and thinks that it was through tao lin’s association with the blog ‘hipster runoff’ maybe. buttercup tries to remember specifically what made him want to be friends with tao lin and thinks ‘people who seem to agree with each other about a lot of things and who are interested in each other’s work and personalities should be friends.’ then buttercup thinks ‘maybe tao lin isn’t interested in my personality’ while maintaining a neutral facial expression.

buttercup expects his copy of ‘shoplifting from american apparel’ to come in the mail tomorrow. he also thinks that the police will probably come to his house at some point this week to arrest him for trying to break the windshield of a police car. buttercup doesn’t remember trying to break the windshield of a police car, but remembers a hispanic police officer pointing a gun in his face and saying ‘what the fuck do you think you’re doing?’ so he assumes that he tried to break the windshield of a police car. the police let him go but stole his phone, identification card and a condom from his wallet.

buttercup eats four cookies and smokes a cigarette with gary and paul. he says ‘i am trying to write a short story and failing’ and they say ‘how’ and buttercup says ‘by forgetting too many details and not wanting to make up details.’ paul and gary laugh.

buttercup feels really excited about getting ‘shoplifting from american apparel’ in the mail soon. he sees that tao lin has logged off of gmail chat and feels a little bad for not talking to him when he was online. buttercup looks at tao lin’s facebook wall and tries to find something he thought he had written on it. buttercup finds out he never wrote anything on tao lin’s facebook wall. he writes ‘it’s almost halloween’ on tao lin’s facebook wall.

buttercup rereads the short story he is writing for the fourth time and sees that he has almost one-thousand words written. buttercup feels ‘relatively okay maybe’. buttercup leaves his computer for thirty minutes and eats a lot of food. buttercup remembers going with his friend to see the film ‘paranormal activity’, and not wanting to go, but feeling 'okay' about watching it because there was an american apparel store near the movie theater. when he told his friend he was going to american apparel to look at clothes, she said ‘no you aren’t.’

buttercup decides that his friend seems ‘unchill’.

buttercup thinks, ‘tao lin seems “chill.” it seems funny that people have negative opinions about tao lin because he seems objectively chill to me. if i were going to write a metaphor about tao lin it would be “tao lin is an entire flock of penguins” because of how chill he is. i’m just kidding. “tao lin is the collective mass of shit produced by all penguins that have ever 'summered' in antarctica,” hehe’ and writes this down.

buttercup sees that tao lin is signed on to gmail chat. buttercup says ‘sup bro.’

tao lin says ‘chillin.’

buttercup says ‘sweet. going to submit something to your new gimmick because i want a copy of “bed.”’

tao lin says ‘sweet. write about your trip to a muumuu house launch party, perhaps.’

buttercup says ‘that’s in there. should i just write about that?’

tao lin says ‘no, it should focus on me.’

buttercup says ‘okay, sweet,’ then without really looking says, ‘every paragraph starts with “buttercup...” but i say your name three times more than mine.’

tao lin says ‘good.’

buttercup uses microsoft word’s ‘find’ feature to check how many times ‘tao’ and ‘buttercup’ appear in the story. he sees that his name is included one more time than tao lin’s and says 'damn' to himself.

buttercup sees that he has written more than twelve-hundred words and feels weird. buttercup thinks ‘i feel horny and frustrated and this is bad because i will take out my aggression by being really mean to my dog, which sucks.’ buttercup’s dad sits in buttercup’s bedroom watching ‘monday night football’ and screams at the television every play. buttercup drinks some pepsi. buttercup thinks he probably won’t have sex until winter is over and imagines the concrete idea of a nude sumo wrestler and feels the opposite of horny.

buttercup wonders if tao lin watches football. buttercup vaguely remembers reading about whether or not tao lin watches football in an interview maybe. buttercup is unsure of how tao lin answered. buttercup is sitting on the same futon he was sitting on during the gmail chat with tao lin that he wrote a short story about the week before. buttercup's ass hurts.

‘no! no! no! no! no!’ says buttercup’s dad. ‘pass it! big pass! yeah baby! no!’

buttercup says ‘dad, do you know how to check to see where the books i ordered are? is that possible to check on amazon? i don’t know. when will they get here?’

buttercup’s dad says ‘maybe your mother knows.’

buttercup sees that he is less than sixty words from one-thousand five-hundred words. buttercup reads some of the other conversations and essays in the ‘"shoplifting from american apparel" "grassroots" promotional campaign’ gimmick and thinks ‘these are all way better than mine’ and laughs through his nose a little. buttercup decides to type 'tao lin' one more time and then the washington redskins’ running back is tackled by all eleven players on the defense and is crushed.


DJ Berndt said...

haha, I like the ending. Good job.

Anonymous said...

wow. i mean, do you...no...wow. just wow.

Anonymous said...

This is a joke, right? :-/

Buttercup McGillicuddy said...

what do you mean

this is 'non-fiction'

please elaborate