Pseudopod 042: Full Moon Over 1600

By Christopher Michael Cummings

Read by Rick Stringer

Suddenly someone shoves a baby at him for a photo op; reflexively, the President hauls the chubby little kid into the air, making a funny face at him. The baby’s eyes flash amber in the morning light as he coos, then clamps down on the President’s nose with a mouthful of gums and two tiny front teeth. The President curses inside as he chuckles for the cameras.

Today: The President huddles in the Cabinet Room with his inner circle and a strange sensation crawls down his nose into his throat; his nostrils flare as he tries to fight it off and focus on the conversation in the room.

Sal M
June 15th, 2007 4:03 am

umm, where’s the horror? Too much political commentary, not enough story :(

Bruce P
June 15th, 2007 8:49 am

Too much political commentary, and most of it poor cliches. I think this story was supposed to be funny or cute; it came across as lame.

June 15th, 2007 9:24 pm

You paid for this story? This is awful; this is even less of a horror story than that unbirthing story a few months back–at least that story had an “ick” factor to give it the appearance of horror.

David L.
June 15th, 2007 10:18 pm

I like when you guys mix in offbeat/nonserious material with the darker stuff. This was a nice break from people peeling off their own (or others) skin.

Chuck C
June 16th, 2007 1:11 pm

I guess it was funny, in concept. The whole story was dull and cheesy in a bad way. It needed Bruce Campbell.

Rich A
June 17th, 2007 6:25 am

I loved the part where eating the pedophile puts the president’s approval ratings over the top. The ending could use maybe a little more punch, but overall liked this a lot. (I second the vote for getting Bruce Campbell to do a reading.)

June 17th, 2007 12:24 pm

The worse a script the better Bruce Campbell is in it. what was the title of his autobiography ‘if this chin could talk’? A reading even a intro would be amazing particularly a zombie story. I appreciate more a physiological horror that incites a fear response more than cringe worthy gore fest. Dose any one else feel that horror movies justify there classification by throwing more blood & body parts around?

June 18th, 2007 10:07 am

A lot of the story’s trappings did feel rather heavy-handed, and they appeared to be based on the misconception that the Religious Right, the economic conservatives and the neocons are all one and the same group. (In truth, these groups have very little to do with each other, and are united only in their opposition to the equally fragmented “liberal agenda”. The idea of a Christian Coalition-style leader stumping for a flat tax struck me as more outlandish than the idea of a werewolf in the White House.) That having been said, I did enjoy the black humor and irony that wove through the piece. The image of a werewolf hunting down economists to grill them for ideas is one of the funniest things I’ve heard in weeks. :)

June 18th, 2007 2:29 pm

Hate to go against the general harmony bit I actually really like this one.
I love Rick Stringer’s reading not only due to him reading one of my favoured podio books “failed cities monologues” which is incredible from the get go but also I think he does sly better than any other narrator. I think sly is needed for this story filled as it is with diplomats.

Its not as deep or as dark as some of the other psudopod casts (it could have ventured into some really nasty horror really easily and didn’t) as an entertaining story I love it.

June 19th, 2007 12:49 am

The story broke for me when the president manages to slaughter someone on live television without anyone seeming to notice or care. No questions, no arrest, no legal consequences. Pedophile or not, it was still a murder.

June 20th, 2007 3:34 am

Great satire, cats and kitties !!! Keep on layin’ down wig bubbles like this, and my lobes will be headed straight to the road of Love…

Wow folks, imagine that, Artists and Publishers doing their job for once ??

My only crit was the end announcers comment, it just confused the writers politics??

Dig Infinity !!

Audio Blood
June 20th, 2007 7:59 pm

Sorry to say this but I actualy fell asleep listening to this one. Still don’t know how it ends.

June 20th, 2007 9:03 pm

I thought this was one of the best satire/dark fantasy stories I’ve heard in awhile. i did think it was cheesy, but in a drive-in movie good cheesy way.

June 21st, 2007 12:35 pm

I liked this story, but it seems more of an Escape Pod story than Pseudopod. It’s just too fun for Pseudopod. But something I’ve hated about Pseudopod stories, and horror in general, is that they always seemed to end before they were finished; I thought this one was going to end like that on no less than three separate occasions, and was pleasantly surprised when it didn’t.

June 22nd, 2007 12:25 am

So… to get published here I just have to pander to the editor’s political viewpoint with thinly veiled jabs at the current presidential administration. Lovely. I mean, I’m all for well-thought out intelligent jabs at those guys, but not straw-man absurdities like this. Seriously.

This story lost me in several places. First, the pacing at the beginning was off. It wasn’t clear that the president had been a werewolf for a few weeks. Second, I don’t buy the lack of security evident in someone getting a firearm into a pre-screened ‘town meeting’ press conference where the President is in attendance, especially a scoped rifle, which would have been necessary at the range described. Nonsense. Even the VP couldn’t swing that. Nor would he, honestly. I also don’t buy that anyone, even the president, can get away with killing someone without due process, however good their ‘nose’ is. That’s Impeachment and Conviction right there, even if the bastard who got eaten deserved it. The preachiness throughout was irritating, and I’m even on the ‘Liberal’ side of the fence.

Was the writing good? Reasonably. Not great. I’m sure you passed over superior writing to podcast this story. It had good moments, but it needs work. Looks like you published a story that was a couple drafts shy of really being done, all perhaps because you liked the political message?

Please don’t dilute the quality of Pseudopod like this again. A break from dark, shuddering styles of horror is great. This… didn’t work.

June 23rd, 2007 8:31 am

The audio was too quiet, but the reading itself was excellent.

The story sucked. It was stupid, and poor attempt at political humor, and it wasn’t scary in the least. You do realize that you’re trying to do a horror podcast, don’t you?

Don’t buy garbage like this again, please.

June 23rd, 2007 7:51 pm

Not scary in a blood and guts kind of way, but I enjoyed it. This and the zombie credit card one are the two standouts for me so far this year.

June 25th, 2007 1:38 pm

There are a few mispronunciations which drove me nuts.

June 27th, 2007 3:37 pm

Dischord, Spork — thank you for your candor, seriously. We’re not going to start running heavy-handed political commentary on a regular basis, regardless of its leanings — this one is probably going to be something of an anomaly. I won’t reject one based on views expressed, but this particular piece is admittedly rant-heavy, and I think one of those is enough.

BTW, I feel compelled to point out that I personally don’t agree with a great deal of the viewpoint in this. I won’t go into detail, because (as you point out) this isn’t a political forum.

Thanks for listening, everyone.

Zippy Wonderdog
June 29th, 2007 5:57 am

I’d vote for him :)

June 29th, 2007 11:49 am

Ok, I stand corrected about my presumption of political bias on your part, Ben, and I do apologize for being so… scathing… about it. Still, I couldn’t (and still can’t) think of any other reason this one got through. It could be revised into a good story, but wasn’t. I still stand by my appraisal of the work itself.

July 3rd, 2007 5:00 pm

Eh, I thought it was pretty good m’self.

July 10th, 2007 4:01 pm

Kinda late to the comments thread, but my wife and I loved this one. While I’ll agree that it’s not particularly “scary”, neither are any of the Evil Dead movies.

Yes, it was over the top. Frequently. And we rather thought that was part of what made it fun *instead* of simply being a serious political diatribe.

Or to put it a different way: It’s fiction. If you really think the President is a werewolf… well, perhaps you need to switch podcasts for a little while.

Thanks for bringing this one to us. And I *loved* the end quote – *especially* because it muddied the political views.

Dave (aka Nev the Deranged... or is it the other way around?)
July 29th, 2007 3:11 am

Hee! Fun! I’d totally vote for Werewolf Clint Eastwood for president! (I know the story doesn’t mention his name, but c’mon, listen to the voice!)

I never quite get why people here (and on EP comment threads either, for that matter) are so ranty. You’re getting free stories, FFS. If you don’t like one, just wait until next week! Why do we all have to listen to you whine about it? I’m not saying not to express a negative opinion if you have one, but everyone remember the MST3K theme, ok?

“Just repeat to yourself “It’s just a show,
I should really just relax””

July 29th, 2007 11:14 am

Dave, you try giving out bowls of soup at your nearest soup kitchen with a turd floating in it. See if you don’t get any complaints, and how far your “hey, it’s free, what’re you bitching about” flip retort gets you.

Free ain’t no magic shield against sucking like wind.

December 19th, 2007 7:59 pm

I think the story did have workable humor, but it was killed by the reading.

Mari Mitchell
April 13th, 2008 11:04 pm

It did not do much for me. Oh well, the last one was great and the next might be too.

July 10th, 2009 4:17 am

Wow, I’m amazed at the hatred this story is getting. It’s honestly one of my favorite stories to air on Pseudopod to date. I think many are bothered because they’re taking things a little too seriously. This isn’t political commentary people, this is just an interesting story. I’m not really extreme on either side of the spectrum, but I think that for it to work it had to be with a conservative administration (if it was liberal there would be no conflict, it’d just be equal rights for supernatural creatures, or E.R.S.C. for short).