The Run Amok Eggplant Man
by John Waterfall, 3.24am July 10th 2021
 

Gadzooks and Godzillas everyone! Welcome back to The Strange Owl Show: the sound of the underground, the din from deep within, the chatter that matters. I’m your main man Barty Muschamp giving you the truth, the whole truth and a little bit of what’s beyond the truth in this little insane asylum we call Socorro, NM. Haven’t been right since the A-bomb amiright? Well whatever true believers, strap on your tinfoil because I’ve got some skinny that’s starving. The Eggplant-Man runs amok! Yes you heard me. Sources say that a large bipedal eggplant, lumpy in a way that a human is lumpy, has been sighted rummaging about at the fringes, knocking over garbage cans and drinking from rain gutters. Sources say it moves like a man in a potato sack. Sources say it howls with the mangled furry of a starving baboon. Sources say that once you get past all that the Eggplant Man is really quite friendly. Well hot crackers! That’s one veggie I’d like to chew the fat with. Now, if anyone out there’s seen this nutty nightshade call in and turn a light on before the men in black get here and—


(Ringing)


—Looks like we’ve got a live one!


(Click)


Caller: Hello?


Barty: Speak up true believer, you’re big and tall on The Strange Owl, Socorro’s one and only source for what they don’t want you to know. Now lay it on me sweet sister, tell me you’ve seen this cruisn’ cryptid.


Caller: Well…uh…well I don’t know about that, but I seen the eggplant man you been talking about. I think. He weren’t really an eggplant though, more like a man
covered with eggplants, you know? Like they were growing from his skin.


Barty: Uh-huh, uh-huh. And when did this rap take place?


Caller: Well I was just getting off-shift at the diner and I was in the parking lot and-


Barty: Sorry to cut in here Miss but you make a great point. Listeners, diners after-hours are often times THE go to place for paranormal encounters with the many, many cryptids that stalk these United States.


Caller: …I guess. Anyway I was in the parking lot counting my tips, because me and Reno, he’s my husband, we’re saving up for an Airstream so we can do a second honeymoon, and I was smoking a cigarette. I’m not supposed to but I’d spilled coffee on my uniform and got burned a little and sometimes you just have to. You know?


Barty: Uh huh, uh huh.


Caller: And then out from the corner of my eye, I seen this bit of darkness moving towards me from the edge of the parking lot, where the desert starts, and you know I get scared.


Barty: That’s understandable. You see cryptids often have a gland, right below their gills, if they have gills that is, and they use that to—


Caller: Well I don’t think it had any gills, but you know I’ve got Reno and he’s got his type-one, and our Georgie’s in veterinarian school so I was thinking of them.


Barty: Sure, sure, sure-sure-sure-sure.


Caller: Yes and well this shadow’s coming towards me from the desert, and it stops all of a sudden and it starts to shake I think, like a dog trying to get dry. It was real dark. And I see this little bit of rainbow glimmer coming off it, you know how like oil shines on the sidewalk, or how a ham slice can sparkle at a certain angle?


Barty: Cool, cool, cool-cool-cool-cool.


Caller: Yes and then it’s all still again and I’m looking at this lumpy shadow, and I can feel it looking at me—


Barty:—Now funny you mention that because cryptids often have sonar protrusions on account of them living in the earth’s center for as long as they have—


Caller:—And then the wind comes in again, coming in from the desert like it does, and the thing makes a coughing sound and the shimmering cloud starts billowing out from its body—

Barty:—And you see what they use it for, it’s a lot like how Sperm Whales shock squid—


Caller:—And this shimmer it’s like an aurora, like how it is with the northern lights, and it’s coming towards me, like a ghost, and I think of Reno again, of how he’s going to have to do his own shots and how he don’t like the needles—


Barty:—And at that point all of your bones don’t really break so much as just smoosh together—


Caller:—And this cloud, this glowing cloud you know, it hits me, and all at once I smell, well it was like cinnamon rolls and steak and Reno’s IPAs and the macaroni I used to cook Georgie when he was little, you know the one from the yellow box that’s almost like butter. Velveta? Velveeta I think it’s called—


Barty:—Then you see what the Cryptid does is, it inserts its tongue like a catheter and that starts the draining process—


Caller:—And you know I talk to God a lot. I don’t like to force him on no-one but I believe what I believe. But it was like this smell, it was like it was something made just for me, like it was heaven because I could see my Georgie so clearly back when he was my little boy in his highchair, just getting that butter cheese all over and that was about as happy as I’d ever—


Barty:—And it’s actually this experience that most people confuse with getting struck by lightening—


Caller:—There was something about this smell, this dust, you know some of it got on my skin, it had this powdery quality to it, like talc—

Barty:—There’s a lot of magenta at this point, and things taste kind of purple which is very hard to explain, it’s almost like eating the feeling of being under tremendous water pressure—


Caller:—Into my lungs and it made me feel like I’d never be sad or feel less than whole again—


Barty:—A pure undiluted tesseract of crystalline inter-dimensional light—


Caller:—And when I looked up, he was gone and my cigarette was burned out.


Barty:—And I dropped to my knees and I wept.


Caller:….


 

Barty:….
 

Caller:….
 

Barty:….


Caller: Did you get all that?


Barty: Sure did thanks for calling.


(click)


Well there you have it folks, a firsthand and definitely fake account of the run- amok eggplant man. Almost had me there for a minute, but never and I do mean NEVER come onto this show talking about God if you want to be taken seriously. I mean c’mon, there’s just no proof. No data. What there is proof of, undeniable indisputable proof, is that the earth is hollow and filled with strange monsters. Some of them very large, some of them very small, some of them with a weight mass distribution not capable of being measured on this plane of—


(ringing)

—Hot damn another caller!


(click)


Barty: Hey now, hey now! You’re big and tall on the Strange Owl, Socorro’s own late night cryptid conversation. Lay it on me big daddy. You’ve seen this eggplant out and about?


Hank: Well no…but…uh…but…I…uh…I was out in the desert, you know, just minding my business and-


Barty: Wait a minute-


Hank: And then out of nowhere there comes this giant saucer ship-


Barty: Hank! Is that you Hank!? I told you to stop calling here!


Hank: No…this ain’t Hank it’s…uh…Henry.


Barty: The hell it is!


Hank: They beamed me up Barty I swear! I wouldn’t lie to you about something like this. They beamed me up once, set me down, and beamed me up again. I went through a whole array of tests.


Barty: You went through a whole array of nothing. Aliens aren’t real. Don’t call me again. This is serious business. I have reason to believe there is a vegetive cryptid at large and I need to keep the airwaves open to reputable sources.


Hank: I am a reputable source. I’m telling you, I was in an alien spacecraft. The seats where leather and the instruments were all light-weight polymers. There was a little Larry Fitzgerald bobble right on the dash. They must really like him on account of his ability to catch the football.


Barty: Hank, I have seen you twelve-putt at mini-golf. You are not reputable.

Hank: Well at least I don’t believe in Bigfeet.


Barty: It’s Bigfoot. Don’t make me call Brenda. I’ll let her know you were out in the desert again. And Sasquatch is the scientific term.


Hank: Fiiiiiiiine.


Barty: Good.


Hank: You want to come bowling? I’m about there.


Barty: I’m working Hank.


Hank: Working on what?


Barty: On the show!


Hank: Oh right.


Barty: Goodbye Hank.


Hank: Wait!


Barty: What is it?


Hank: You going to the Elk’s this Saturday?


Barty: Yeah I’ll be there.


Hank: You know Sebastian? Well he just got back from seeing family in Ecuador and apparently he got about twenty cubans just with the labels switched and-


Barty: I said I’ll be there Hank!


Hank: Alright. Alright.


Barty: And Hank.


Hank: Yeah

.
Barty: Don’t you ever come on this show and disrespect Bigfoot, I mean Sasquatch, like that again.

(Click)


Sorry about that true believers. That’s my brother in-law. Good soul but he grows mushrooms under a basement easy chair. And let me just reiterate this because, you know it’s making me angry. Aliens are not real. God is not real. Daylight savings is especially not real. Weather is debatable. The only things that are real are Cyptids and the black helicopter government agencies that control them. Okay? Moving on.


(Ringing)


(Click)


Barty: Sweet Saint Nessie! You’re big and tall on the Strange Owl, Socorro’s one and only Cryptid News Network, or CNN as I liked to call it before the cease and desist. Now tell me daddyo, you’ve seen this eggplant dude?


Caller: Hey there…Uh…Hey…I just wanted to let you know….Uh that I…Uh…I just saw a Chupacabra.


Barty: Really! For real! Where!? Do you have a topographical position. Do you have a GPS? Check the coordinates.


Caller: Well…Uh….Uh…Shut up!


Caller 2: Tell him it was boning his mom.


Caller: Ssshhh! Shut up!


Barty: What’s that?


Caller: Yeah…Uh…Yeah, I was walking by your house and I looked in the window and uh…


Caller 2: Tell him that—


Caller: —It was doing your mom!

Caller 2: Dude!


Caller: Yeah man. It was doing your mom hard.


Caller 2: From behind!


Caller: Yeah from behind!


Caller: In out! In out! In out! In—


Barty:—You didn’t see anything did you?


Caller: No you dweeb, Chupacabras aren’t real.


Caller 2: Yeah dweeb. Chupacabras aren’t real.


Barty: Listen here you little shi…I mean jerk. Who is this? Are you one of the Nelson kids? Butch? Brady? Topher? Because I’ll call your mother. I swear.


Maybe Brady: Awwww dude don’t call my mom!


Possibly Topher: Yeah dude, she’s busy boning yours!


Maybe Brady: Dude!


Possibly Topher: Dude!


Maybe Brady: Burn!


Possibly Topher: Sick burn!


Maybe Brady: The sickest!


Barty: That’s it! Mark my words. I am going to send your mom a very strongly worded email. Maybe even the FCC and they’ll—


Maybe Brady: Whatever nerd. Your show sucks. Get bent.


Possibly Topher: Yeah nerd. Get bent.

 

(click)

No you get bent! You get bent! You…They’re gone. Oh well. Sorry about that true believers. You think it stops after high-school and well…(sniff)…whatever, I’m fine. Jerks. And just so you all know, Chupacabras ARE real and the joke’s on them because if one WAS having sex with my mom it would be a ChupacaBRO which is the male variant. Not that it matters because my mom died when I was thirteen…Man this is getting heavy. I’m very sad all of the sudden.


(ringing)


Oh thank God.


(click)


Barty: Hey there, hey there! You’re big and tall on the Strange Owl Show. I hope you’re yeti to give me some scoop on this eggplant duder.

Richard: Hey there Bart. It’s Richard Gooden.
 

Barty: Hey there Dickie.
 

Dickie: It’s Richard, you know that, nobody’s called me Dickie since the third grade.
 

Barty: I can dig it. Now what’s the haps?
 

Richard: Well Hank stopped by the bowling on his way back from the desert just now, and while I was kicking him out he mentioned something about you searching for a guy made of eggplants. And I thought this was Hank just being Hank, big nutter that guy, no offense to you or Brenda but he’s gonna have to start wearing clothes if he wants to throw a frame.


Barty: Yeah we’re working on that.

Richard: I mean, he’s a talent to be sure, that man can do things with a bowling ball you wouldn’t believe, I think it’s on account of his wide-set feet, but rules are rules. I could maybe live with him not wearing shoes as long as he don’t go into the bar area, that’s a health-code thing, but pants and shirts are a must, at least pajamas. Scrubs. Halloween costume. Maybe buy him a radiation suit, I’m sure he’d like that from an abduction perspective.


Barty: Dickie…


Richard Dickie: What’s that?
 

Barty: You were saying?
 

Dickie: Oh yeah! Hank was going on about Eggplant people and here I am giving him the old heave-ho when wouldn’t you know it I look back over to lane fourteen, it’s really lane thirteen but we don’t call it that on account of the evil, and there, sure enough, is a man covered in eggplants standing right by the pins, ruining the wax I just put on.


Barty: Pay dirt.


Dickie: Weird thing is, I know the guy. It’s Carlos Sixto, guy who runs the alternative medicine shop out by US-25, inside that old strip mall where the blockbuster used to be.


Barty: I’m familiar with it.


Dickie: So you know Carlos? I’d say he’s an okay bowler but-


Barty: No with the blockbuster. I worked there in ’89 when it first opened up. Got fired for smoking reefer in the parking lot but I took a copy of Harry and the Hendersons with me.

Dickie: Oh….uh…is that important?


Barty: It is to me.


Dickie: Well anyway Carlos and his husband and daughter come by about once a month to run a frame. Don’t know the husband well, I think he’s from the Philippines, pretty good with a heavy ball. Girl’s just okay, doesn’t have much in the way of arm strength or core mobility but she’s about twelve so maybe it’ll come. I’ve seen her spare once or twice but not much in the way of effort, she’s mostly in it for the arcade-


Barty: Dickie!


Dickie Richard: I told you it’s Richard, nobody’s called me Dickie since-


Barty: The eggplant man!


Richard: Oh right, well first thing I do is go and get the twelve-gauge. Now before you say anything I got it filled up with rock salt so it’s non-lethal, but ever since Gunner Nelson’s grandson hit me over the head for two-twenty in the register I keep it around. And I like Carlos! I got the twelve-gauge before I new it was him.


Barty: Oh my God I don’t care! Just tell me about the eggplants!


Dickie: Jesus fine. I went over there, saw that it was Sixto only covered in eggplants, told him he’d have to get off the wax.


Barty: And what happened then?


Dickie: He got off the wax.


Barty: Details!


Dickie: Well it was weird. On account of the eggplants. At first I thought he was just holding them to himself under his shirt like he’d just stolen them, which is weird because as far as I know Carlos is a up-and-up kind of fella, but then I see that he’s got some sticking on his arms and a few peaking out around the belly, one sort of lumping out of his neck area. And I try not to look because my wife says she’s heard he’s got plaque psoriasis and maybe these eggplants are for that, I mean what do I know, guy runs a crystal shop. But then I see that he’s got skin puckered and bunched up around the eggplants like they’d grown out through the skin or something. Then I notice that he’s got something, I presume eggplants, growing underneath his skin. He was wearing shorts and let me tell you those gams were just all swollen up with eggplants.


Barty: Wow. And then? Don’t stop talking.


Dickie: Well that’s about it? He started talking a bit, sort of floating in and out of nonsense. Asked me if I needed any crystals or chakra. I said I’d think about it. Then he told me about how he’d been grown organically in California without the use of pesticides and how nobody will ever have to ever be afraid again. I should say that he smelled wonderful, just like these Churros I used to get after my little league games when I was a kid. Like those but also like lobster and also like the stuff I spray into the shoes which, despite the chemical quality, is something I do like.


 

Barty: Wait. Run that last bit back, about nobody having to be afraid.
 

Dickie: Well he didn’t elaborate on that part, and you know I didn’t much feel like prying. I’m still getting my head wrapped around the whole thing.
 

Barty: You didn’t even ask!?
 

Dickie: No Barty, because I have manners.
 

Barty: Well what did you say?
 

Dickie: I asked him how his family was doing?
 

Barty: And?

 

Dickie: They’re doing fine. Only Lucy, that’s the girl’s name I think, he said something about how she was talking to the lettuce I think.
 

Barty: Wild. What then?
 

 

Dickie: What do you mean what then?
 

Barty: Christ Dickie!
 

Dickie Richard: RICHARD!
 

Barty: Okay. Okay. I’m calm. I’m calm. What happened then?
 

Richard: Well seeing as he was there and had clothes on I asked him if he
wanted to bowl.

 

Barty: And?
 

Richard: He said he wanted to bowl.
 

Barty: AND!?
 

Richard: He’s bowling.
 

Barty: WHAT!? He’s there right now?
 

Richard: Of course he is. That’s what I said.
 

Barty: Why didn’t you just lead with that!
 

Richard: Because I have a business to run. I know you’ve got this show about
magical creatures but—

 

Barty: That’s entirely not what my show is…NEVERMIND! Just keep him there. I’m coming. I’ve got my camera and my notebook and…Just keep him there!
 

Richard: I don’t think that’ll be a problem. He’s sort of snapping in and out of it. Sometimes he’ll throw a frame and then go lie down on the floor and stare into the lights. One thing I will say is that these eggplants aren’t doing him any favors bowling-wise. I mean he’s run into a strike, I’ll give him that but he walked halfway down the ally to do it and it was one lane over so it was more accident than anything.


Barty: Sure. Great. Fine. Just make sure he doesn’t leave. I’m on my way.
 

Richard: You might want to get here quick, there’s some sort of rainbow coming off him…well it’s like a cloud I guess-
 

Barty: Oh man this is it! A real live cryptid! If my mother could see me now!
 

Richard: I don’t mean to rain on your parade Barty, but this is Carlos we’re talking about. Eggplants or no I don’t think he qualifies as a, what did you call it? A cryptic?
 

Barty: Save it Dickie!
 

Richard Dickie: For the last time it’s—
 

Barty:—Well there you have it folks. The eggplantman runs amok! I’m off for live on-the-scene-reporting. I’ve got my binoculars and my tweezers and my portable microscope and my vials and I am so, so very excited. Everything I’ve done, all those late nights in the desert searching for the Moth Man where I got stung by four different kinds of scorpions. Four! And who can forget unicorn-gate. But after today no longer will I be the cryptid community’s Geraldo Rivera. I’ll be respected. Like Dan Rather or—


Dickie:—Like I said Barty, I know you’re excited and all, but I really don’t think you can put Carlos in the same category as a dragon or a griffon or a-


(Click)


Alright folks! I’m off. Stay big and tall out there. Oh wait! Dammit! Okay…uh…The Strange Owl Show is brought to you by Atomic Lanes bowling and entertainment complex, where fun has no half-life. Bring the whole family for a radioactive evening at the bowling alley that trip advisor calls, “A place that could only exist in New Mexico.”


Okay I think that does it. Wait. Dammit! The Strange Owl Show is also brought to you by Casper: yadayadayada best mattress ever, comes in a box. Okay I’m off. Wish me luck true believers. And remember, THEY ARE OUT THERE!