Pseudopod 057: Tenant’s Rights

By Sean Logan

Read by Alasdair Stuart

Albert climbed onto the shelf in his closet and lifted the hatch to the attic. He scanned his immediate surroundings for terrorists and spiders. Clear. He hoisted himself up and crawled along the stealthway to the lockbox hidden under the insulation in Sector Alpha. He removed a small baggie and a vial of liquid, slid them into a secret pouch in the left arm of his trench coat and returned to his room.

He dumped the contents of the baggie into a silver alchemist’s mixing bowl (they said it was a dog’s water dish at the pawn shop, but that seemed unlikely). He looked closely at the fine flaky powder and thought he could detect movement, which made sense, because at a microscopic level were millions of tiny insects. Itching power, the professional kind, illegal in the United States. Those little bugs crawled under the skin and caused unbearable irritation. And when Lance showed up at dinner tomorrow, itching like a mangy dog, there was no way Sally-Ann’s grandparents would want her living in this vermin-ridden hovel with that disease-carrying hobo.

And just to make sure it was effective, Albert implemented the next phase of his plan.

01
September 28th, 2007 7:46 am

I laughed outloud (frightening my family) while taking all of my underwear back to the washing machine at a precaution. Horror with more than a sprinkling of humor from the silver alchmist’s mixing bowl.

02
Baxter
September 28th, 2007 10:20 am

Fantastic!!!!
Best Pseudopod ever!!!
Really needs to be filmed!!!
Maybe we can talk the guys at Stranger Things into it!

03
Veronica
September 28th, 2007 8:25 pm

I agree this one was great. Seriously funny and totally gross. Loved it!!

04
Zippy Wonderdog
September 29th, 2007 10:23 pm

Sheer comedy, I laughed and laughed.
Yet for all it was a great story it was so funny it pretty much smothered the horror in my opinion.
Maybe you should start another podcast that focuses on comedy, you could call it Compod or something…

05
Nuchtchas
October 1st, 2007 3:42 am

Oh my gosh, this creeped me out, scared me, had me scratching and all of the above. I was screaming in my car, gasping and just squealing in pain. I loved the descriptives of the different characters, Lance and Albert were both so complete, but what the hell, how did Albert have Lance’s part at the end? So confused by that, but I was very glad I was along and no one could watch me spazing out

06
October 1st, 2007 1:25 pm

I feel weird being the voice of dissention, but I didn’t like the story as a whole.
I thought the descriptions were perfectly creepy, and the concept of gigantic crablice (Or similar) is great, if itch-inspiring.

It’s the characters I didn’t like. Albert was myopically crazy, not even sane enough to realize he’s not invited to a dinner. Was Grammy so deaf that she couldn’t hear people tell her to get a hearing aid? Gramp-Gramps was a predictable jerk, but totally oblivious to lance’s skin literally crawling in front of him at the end. The girl was forgettable, but that wasn’t really a flaw in the story.

And Lance. The typical, egocentric, mani-pedi, body-sculpting stereotype. I can stand the hour of primping bad hair. I can stand him talking to himself in the mirror. I can even stand him trying to get through the dinner when all he had was an itch. But when he’s raking his balls with a fork, and enduring random pain and discomfort without calling the whole thing off and going to a Doctor, it’s too much. And then cutting himself like an Emo-boy on a bender, and going all Sigler on his infested Johnson?!?!

I don’t see that his suffering could have pushed him that far that fast, without him at the least calling a doctor before getting the steak knife.

There was a lot to like in the story, but I didn’t like any of the characers in it.

Sorry to be the heavy today.

07
Rob
October 1st, 2007 5:18 pm

Is it just me, or did it seem like Alardair was trying to read this story at mach 5?

08
October 2nd, 2007 2:26 pm

Computerking, I see what you are saying but it didn’t bother me. The ridiculous stereotypes were OK because it was obvious that that were intentional, iykwim.

09
Chris
October 3rd, 2007 11:44 am

I think Alasdair was the perfect reader for this story. I laughed, gross as it was, but it sort of trailed at the end…

10
October 3rd, 2007 2:10 pm

One of my favorite Pseudopods so far. Absolutely hilarious. I am trying to catch up on old episodes and so I listened to this one and “What Dead People Should Do” back to back. My sides are still hurting.

11
October 3rd, 2007 8:36 pm

“ouch”

That’s all I wanted to say.

justaJ0e
Co-Producer – “The Cup Car Update”
http://www.cupcarupdate.com

12
Kimberly
October 4th, 2007 2:33 pm

Still suffering from a major case of the creepy-crawlies…! Albert was insanely hilarious; loved it.

13
Coco
October 5th, 2007 5:00 am

absolutely one of my favorites, at least in terms of pure entertainment value. not exactly scary, but a wonderful blend of funny and horrifying that kept me fully invested the whole time. follow it up with a couple more this or Toothache, and i can pretend Dead Dog never happened.

oh, and alasdair was brilliant, he needs to read all the time now.

14
Loren
October 6th, 2007 12:48 pm

I found it prety funny, but i couldnt stand the, um, self mutilation, either it was way to descriptive or i have a active imagination, either way it almost made me puke. other then that the story had me laughing out loud, and rewashing my underwear just to be safe.

15
Vee
October 9th, 2007 1:31 am

Amazing… I’ve been a faithful listener of Pseudopod since the very first episode, and until this ep, I was able to say that I’d listened to EVERY SINGLE one.

No more… I couldn’t finish this one, it creeped me out TOOO much. I had to stop it with about 8 minutes remaining.

Still a great story, and very well read. Congrats guys on finally finding one that even I couldn’t listen to. ^_^

16
Sporks
October 19th, 2007 6:21 am

Why did you run this sub-par escapepod comedic fantasy yarn on this horror podcast? Why did you have an Australian read a story set in America? Was it to balance the mispronunciations from that prior story set in Australia read by an American? Depends is read as d?-p?nd’ in American English, not as in the opposite of the shallow end of a backyard swimming pool.

They story itself was weak, and hyper-focused on ultra-stereotypes as the super rigid cardboard against which the characters were projected by a second hand slide projector. Oh, and not scary in the least. I felt no sympathy for the vain boy, so I couldn’t be creeped out when he was suffering, or when the nutjob was putting off the hospital visit for clearance to remain in the apartment. I felt nothing for any of them at all.

17
Pamela Hayes
October 23rd, 2007 8:07 pm

One of my favorites yet – funny, creepy-crawly. I am GLAD I couldn’t identify with the characters too much – it would have lost the comedic horror effect and would have been to horrible to listen to should the characters have been sympathetic. Everyone seems to get what they deserve in this one.

18
thelastsnail
November 19th, 2007 6:14 pm

Sporks, Alasdair is not Australian, the Isle of Man is part of the British Isles.

19
November 26th, 2007 1:41 am

Didn’t really see the humor in it till I started reading the comments. The characters were quite over the top and the James Bondesque roommate was odd.

The idea of creepy crawling things hatching under the skin is just too gross and scary for me. It’s so close to reality that I just don’t like to think about it.

20
December 16th, 2007 12:54 pm

This story was terrible, terrible!

Ok, maybe it wasn’t that bad. It was just too effective in it’s squickyness for me.

It was funny and I kept wanting to laugh, but then the image of vermin painfully running around inside the nads just kept me cringing instead.

Loved the dialog at the end though. Perfect hair, something I think we can all aspire to.

21
GROORIAMYGYPE
October 23rd, 2008 11:52 am

There was this guy see.
He wasn’t very bright and he reached his adult life without ever having learned “the facts”.
Somehow, it gets to be his wedding day.
While he is walking down the isle, his father tugs his sleeve and says,

“Son, when you get to the hotel room…Call me”

Hours later he gets to the hotel room with his beautiful blushing bride and he calls his father,

“Dad, we are the hotel, what do I do?”

“O.K. Son, listen up, take off your clothes and get in the bed, then she should take off her clothes and get in the bed, if not help her. Then either way, ah, call me”

A few moments later…

“Dad we took off our clothes and we are in the bed, what do I do?”

O.K. Son, listen up. Move real close to her and she should move real close to you, and then… Ah, call me.”

A few moments later…

“DAD! WE TOOK OFF OUR CLOTHES, GOT IN THE BED AND MOVED REAL CLOSE, WHAT DO I DO???”

“O.K. Son, Listen up, this is the most important part. Stick the long part of your body into the place where she goes to the bathroom.”

A few moments later…

“Dad, I’ve got my foot in the toilet, what do I do?”

22
Abramovicl
January 12th, 2009 10:16 pm

Hi , i have some questions about you desing
maybe you can give designer contacts?

23
July 25th, 2009 5:35 am

So… after watching the insects eat Lance alive, he decides to go and open the drawer where he seeded them all?

I dunno. I started “skimming” this one about halfway through, jumping ahead a minute or two at a time. I might have been able to finish it if I were reading it, but it just took so long to get through read aloud. The humor is in the obviousness and the stereotypes, and I just didn’t have enough patience to sit through it when I didn’t care at all what happened to anyone in the story.