REPOST/NTB: An On the Deadbeat Special: Beige Happy Hour!

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at
Wed Aug 1 15:06:26 PDT 2012

<<Warning:  This story will probably give you cancer, rabies, a venereal 
disease, and desire to have Satan's Love Child.  Please consult with the 
Pope before reading this story.  Thank You.>>

Cover:  [Grim Sloth (That's GrimSlut!) and Dr. Deadbeat (That's Dr. 
DeadSlut!) are sitting at a table in a bar.  Dr. Deadbeat looks down at 
the text at the bottom in bold letters that says, 'A Beige Midnight 
Crossover Issue!'.  He takes a drink and says, "You're Fucking Kidding, 
Right?  RIGHT?!']

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

 From Beige Countdown #0:

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

Kirk Dublin flipped the burger on the grill watching it sizzle on the 
hot metal.  Flies hovered around the grill.  Kirk tried to shoo the 
flies away with his spatula.  But one fly didn't seem to want to leave. 
  It kept buzzing and buzzing.  Getting closer to the grill.  And 
finally, the fly flew right into the burning coals.  Stupid fly.  Why 
did it do that?

Kirk looked up and noticed that a stranger was in his yard.  A man that 
wore a black trenchcoat and black fedora carrying a staff made out of 
some strange black material in one hand and a beige trenchcoat and 
briefcase in the other.  Kirk started to become very uneasy.  "Umm -- 
Can I help you with something?"

"Once I may have joined you for slightly charred hamburgers and 
citronella-tinged conversation, but for now I must be the Banquo at your 
banquet, the uninvited guest."  The Stranger gave a slight smile.

"Uhuh.  Look if you want some food or money, I can..."

"No.  I came here to speak to the Deadbeat."

"Deadbeat?  I don't know what you're talking about.  Maybe you should 

"No.  But my time is too precious to fool around with these type of 
games."  The trenchcoated stranger struck his staff on the lawn. 
Everything except for the stranger and Kirk disappeared.

"No!  What have you done?!" Kirk said as he gazed in horror at the blank 
white world.  "Where's my house?  My family?  Bring it back!  Bring it 
all back!"

The stranger shook his head.  "This is the truth that you already know. 
  This was a prison forged by the man named Dr. Molar.  Your family and 
life here are not real.  This is your reality."  The stranger dumped the 
beige trenchcoat onto the blank white ground.  "Pick it up.  Put it on."

"No.  I can't.  Not again.  Please!"

"If you do not put on the trenchcoat, then you turn your back on 
everything.  Everyone.  Worlds and Universes will die.  You will die. 
But put the trenchcoat on and everything might be saved.  And once the 
balance has been restored, I care not what you do with yourself.  I can 
bring you back here so you can wallow away your final years in this 
dream life.  If you want.  But if you don't put on the trenchcoat your 
dream and dream family die here and now."

"Fine."  Kirk Dublin grabbed the trenchcoat reluctantly.  He looked at 
the trenchcoat with the fading logo 'Stolen from Club Med' on it and 
hesitated.  His hands started to shake.  And then he put it on.

As soon as he put the trenchcoat on, a change overtook him.  A wild grin 
came over his face.  His hand quickly reached into one of the pockets 
and pulled out a pack of cigarettes.  He stuffed every one of them in 
his mouth and took out a lighter and lit them all.  After a number of 
very deep inhales and exhales, he took all but one out of his mouth. 
Putting his hand into another pocket, he took out a bottle of pills and 
a bottle of gin.  After he swallowed the bottle of pills and washed them 
down with the bottle of gin, he threw them on the ground.  "Damn.  I 
needed that."  He laughed to himself.  And then he looked at the 
Stranger and gave a wink.  "Well, Dave.  Thanks and all for getting me 
out of that Retard Asylum.  You can drop me off at the nearest orgy or 
whore house if you want.  I'll even pay for gas."

"No.  You're going to Net.ropolis.  You have business there."

"The Hell I do.  Look.  Fine.  You can leave me here if you want.  I'm 
sure I can find my way out of here."  Dr. Deadbeat started to walk 
around the blank world he was in.  "Okay.  Where's the door in this 
place?  Got to be somewhere here.  Hmm."

"As tempting as that sounds.  No.  You're going to Net.ropolis.  And 
here's the reason."  The Dvandom Stranger opened up the briefcase and 
showed the contents to Dr. Deadbeat.  The contents gave a golden glow.

"Is that...?  Christ.  For real?"

The Dvandom Stranger nodded.

"Damn.  Bloody Bastard."  Dr. Deadbeat frowned.  "Fine.  Net.ropolis it 
is.  So.  Who else is going to be there?  Eh?"

"Everyone that I can get."

Dr. Deadbeat laughed.  "That's funny.  You're kidding.  Right?"  The 
Dvandom Stranger didn't answer.  "I mean you're kidding.  Please tell me 

And with a flash the two trenchcoaters disappeared leaving a blank white 
world that seemed to be turning more and more beige as the time passed.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

And now...

                      'Beige Happy Hour!'

In some Nightclub in Scotland...

A bald man hopped off the stage.  Every inch of exposed skin on him 
seemed to have some type of a piercing.  There were earrings, liprings, 
noserings, cheekrings, neckrings, eyelid rings, top of the head rings, 
armpit rings.  Let's just say that there were a lot of rings on him.  He 
grabbed a psychedelic colored towel and used it to wipe the sweat off of 
his forehead.

He walked over to a table where two men in trenchcoats were sitting. 
"So.  What deedya think?  Are wee the next beeg thing?  Did we ruck yure 

"If rock your world means giving me the desire to time travel back 
before your act and gouge both of my past self's eardrums with sharp 
rocks to save him from having to listen to that -- then yes, I guess you 
could say that."  The trenchcoated man blew some smoke into the bald 
man's face.

The bald man waved the smoke away.  "Say.  What record company are you 
from anywee?"

The other trenchcoater shook his head.  "No record company.  We're from 
something better.  Ever heard of the NTB?"

The bald man smirked.  "Oh, the Naughty Teenaged Babes?  Well, of 
course.  I am a musician."

"No.  Not them.  The other NTB."

"What -- you don't mean -- those blokes that run around in trenchcoats, 
smoking cigarettes, and saying the word bastard in all their sentences? 
  But they're not real -- They're a myth!"

"Alas, if only."  The trenchcoater rummaged around one of his trenchcoat 
pockets till he found a rather crumpled cigarette and stuck it in his 
mouth.  "No, they're real.  The name's GrimSloth.  And my loutish 
colleague who doesn't appreciate your wonderful music is called Dr. 
Deadbeat.  We're here on a recruiting mission."

"And you want me to join your NTB?  But why -- unless you've already 
guessed my secret.  Yes -- that must be it.  But which secret?  I have 
so many.  I guess you already know that I'm not really a Brit Pop Rocker 
called The Ring Job and my band the Forgettables aren't really 
musicians.  I guess then you know that we're all part of a secret 
society.  Freedom Fighters fighting in a war that has been going since 
the beginning of time.  A secret war between the two forces that want 
control of mankind.  On one side: the Lameness -- Trying to make 
everyone Lame!  And on the other side:  The Hippness -- Trying to make 
everyone cool and groovy.  I guess you can already tell what side I'm 
on."  The Ring Job gestured towards his black leather jacket, various 
body piercings, tattoos, and shaved head.

"Actually, I am curious.  Which?"  Dr. Deadbeat flicked some ash on the 

"Hah!"  GrimSloth elbowed Dr. Deadbeat with a hard jab.  "My colleague 
is just joking!  Of course we know.  We're on the same side.  The side 
of -- umm -- you know.  Hippness!  See?  We're wearing trenchcoats. 
We're on your side."

"Maybe.  But you didn't let me finish.  Because the whole secret war -- 
that isn't the whole story.  See, I'm not from this Universe.  I'm from 
some place higher.  A higher plane -- a place where all of this is just 
a comic.  And all of you are just characters.  You see -- my name is 
really Chant Doorrison.  I was a writer.  A comic book writer!  I was 
writing this hip comic book called, 'The Forgettables' about this group 
of hep swinging terrorists.  Unfortunately, the sales for the book 
weren't so hot.  I needed to do something to increase them.  I was into 
magick at the time -- Real Magick -- and I decided to do this spell to 
help get my sales up.  So I'm sitting completely naked on this sigil 
trantric style jerking off chanting shit -- and then I pass out.  And 
the next thing I know is that I'm here.  I'm in the comic!  The comic 
that I wrote!  I became the Ring Job -- super powered kung fu terrorist 
whose every ring is some type of weapon!  Freaky, huh?  Don't know if it 
helped sales though."

"Yeah, Freaky!  And just so you know -- we have no bias against the 
insane.  In fact most of our members are certifiable -- so just sign 
here and..."  GrimSloth shoved a contract into The Ring Job's view.

"Hmm, I don't know."  The Ring Job ran his finger through the fine 
print.  "What's this here about my first born child?"

"Oh that's just lawyer stuff.  Don't give it any mind.  Oh, you need to 
sign in blood too."

"Is there some kind of fee?"

"Oh, right the fee.  Well there's the yearly fee of 1000 pounds.  But if 
you're smart you'll do the lifetime fee of -- umm -- 5000 pounds -- and 
for 6000 pounds all your band members can become NTB lifetime members too."

"Wow!  For only 6000 pounds?"  The Ring Job looked through his wallet. 
"Hmm.  I seem to only have 4000 pounds at the moment.  Do you take checks?"

Both GrimSloth and Dr. Deadbeat's eyes danced at the sight of the money. 
  "Hmm.  I forgot -- we're having a special today -- and 4000 pounds is 
the exact precise amount."  GrimSloth fingers quickly snatched the wad 
of cash.  "Welcome to the NTB."

"Don't I get a card -- or badge or something?"

"Oh right the badge!"  GrimSloth looked at Dr. Deadbeat.  "Give him his 
badge."  Dr. Deadbeat scrawled something on a cocktail napkin and handed 
it to The Ring Job.

"This -- umm looks like a cocktail napkin with the letters NTB scrawled 
on it?"

"Oh sure.  To the uninitiated un-hep person that's what it looks like, 
but to the with-it hipster it looks like a -- umm, what does it look 
like?" said GrimSloth eyeing Dr. Deadbeat again.

"A metatextual construct of a Cocktail Napkin with the letters NTB 
scrawled on it."  Dr. Deadbeat lit another cigarette for himself.  "All 
the hep kids wear them."

"Wow!  So I'm a member?"

"Yes.  You'll need to buy yourself a trenchcoat.  Start saying the word 
bastard a lot.  Use your friends as cannon fodder.  And start smoking 

"But I'm a vegan.  I can't smoke!"

"Pretty sure cigarettes are a vegetable.  Deadbeat?"

"Yeah, vegetable.  Trust me.  I'm a Doctor."

"Well, if you say so.  So what's my first mission?"

"Glad you asked that.  There's going to be a big gathering of 
Trenchcoaters in Netropolis.  You're going to have to go to this place 
called the LNHHQ.  Heard of it?"

"The spandex superhero place?"

"Yeah.  That one.  Down below are a number of sub-sub basements.  You 
want to go to Sub-Sub Basement #58.5.  That's where the party is going 
to be."

"Party?  Sounds fun."

Dr. Deadbeat laughed.  "Yeah.  Fun.  When you get there, ask for Dave. 
He'll tell you what you're going to do.  Got it?"

"Yeah.  LNHHQ Sub-Sub Basement 58.5.  Got it."

GrimSloth looked at his watch.  "Well.  We've got to go.  See you 
around.  Bye."

"Uh, yeah -- bye."  The Ring Job waved to the two trenchcoaters and 
looked at the cocktail napkin in his hand.  Christ.  What the hell was 
he thinking?

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

"Christ.  That took forever.  Who's next on the list?"  Dr. Deadbeat lit 
up another cigarette.

GrimSloth took out a crumpled list from one of his pockets.  "Some 
trenchcoater in the future by the name of Cockroach Las Vegas.  A Hunter 
S Thompson wannabe.  Supposed be the last bastard in a world where all 
the bastards were killed by some virus."

"You kidding me?  Dave expects us to go there?  Fuck that shit."

"Yeah.  Let's just say we did.  Next on the list.  The Bible Thumper. 
Some redneck hick from Texas searching for God.  Has a bible belt that 
he uses to thump people with."

"There's a keeper.  How many more of these bastards do we have to find 
before we're off the hook?"

GrimSloth ran his finger down the list.  "We have to get 58 and a half."

"A half?  How are we supposed to do that?  Mystical Chainsaw?"

GrimSloth looked over the list.  "Doesn't say."

"So what did Dave have on you?"

"Oh, you know.  The usual.  You?"

"Yeah.  That.  Bastard.  One of these days we're all going to have to 
get together and take care of him once and for all."

GrimSloth snorted to himself.  "Lovely thought.  Too bad we're all just 
a bunch of spineless cowards or psychopaths like Dave."

"Yeah.  Too bad.  Hmm.  Here's a thought.  Why don't we just find some 
sap and con him into doing this for us?

GrimSloth looked at the list.  "Yeah.  That could work.  Or we could 
just say we did and leave it at that."  GrimSloth crumpled up the list 
and tossed it into the air.

"Works for me.  So where should we head?"  Dr. Deadbeat took out a piece 
of chalk from a pocket.  Using the chalk he created a magical door in 
the air.

"The Naughty Teenaged Babe Altiverse?"  GrimSloth opened the door.

"I like the way you think."  Dr. Deadbeat stepped into the door and 
looked back.  He waved his middle finger and gave a wink.  "Adios, 
Readers!  This series is dead -- dead -- and dead."

The End.

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****

NEXT WEEK: Beige Midnight #5: 'The Bart Age Part I'!

                      **** <<--BM-->> ****


One of the Dvandom Stranger's sentences in Beige Countdown written by 
Dave Van Domelen.

GrimSloth (or is that Slut?) -- Stewart Fyfe
Dr. Deadbeat and The Ring Job -- Arthur Spitzer
Dvandom Stranger -- Dave Van Domelen
The Naughty Teenaged Babes Joke -- Tom Russell

Writer's Notes:

What's it been?  12 years since the last 'On the Deadbeat'?  February 
11, 1997.  I think that was before Tom Russell started posting.  Been a 
long time.

Here's the rest of series in case you're curious.

This is more than likely the last 'On the Deadbeat' and probably the 
last appearance of Dr. Deadbeat.  I did think about having him appear in 
Beige Midnight, but then I figured there's no way in hell he'd be a part 
of that.

I have a part of #4 of this series some where on my hard drive.  Never 
going to finish that obviously.  I was a much different writer back 
then.  Part of why I never finished it was because I was trying to get 
everything perfect.  Now days I just hack and slash prose (see the story 

This isn't a great ending, but it's an ending.

The Ring Job is a parody of the Grant Morrison character King Mob from 
the Invisibles.  It was something that I came up with back when I still 
was thinking about writing 'On the Deadbeat'  Also was going to do a 
parody of the Preacher and Spider Jerusalem.  Never got around to that.

Also this is a bit of a homage to Paul Hardy's much funnier Retcon Hour 
story -- Retcon Happy Hour.

It's kind of shame that no one seems to write NTB stories anymore. 
That's probably because Vertigo isn't quite what it used to be.  It's 
been awhile since I've bought a Vertigo comic.

I'm not completely finished with the NTB.  Various members will show up 
in Beige Midnight -- so keep watch for that.

Oh and how about a letter page...?

Always wanted to do one of those...

What's a good name for one?  Deadbeatings?  Credit Rantings?

Ah well...


Date: Tue, 09 Apr 1996 02:22:52 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Kieran O'Callaghan" <kocallag at>
Subject: Deadbeat.

         Just writing to express my appreciation for the deadbeat series
so far.  The whole bastard Indiana Jones bit from the first issue was
great.  I love the way the "hero" not only leaves the police station
without being arrested, but also pretty much robs the officer on duty.
I'm a little curious about what you meant by saying that the series
doesn't happen in quite the same universe as the LNH.  Did he start out
in the Looniverse and then cross over to another universe at some point,
which would explain why he suddenly aquired a family.  Otherwise I
suppose he could have started out in a non-mainstream looniverse and then
ended up in another non-mainstream one.  Or has he in the same universe
the whole time and simply dealing with some very wierd events?_
         By the way, up until now I've been a pretty evil,
nonparticipatory lurker.  I'm mainly a fan of the LNH stuff, but I read
everything on a.c.lnh and racc.  I've been reading the archives at the
eyrie for a while now in preparation for writing my own LNH stories.  So
far, I've read everything except issues 3-36 of Constellation, the PULP
stuff, the ntb stuff, and the Earth-B legion stuff.  So as soon as I'm
finished with my anal retentive approach to research, I'll be writing
stories myself(I hope).  The point to all this history is that I
realized, because I've noticed the recent lull on racc and seen lots of
old series that seem to have died from lack of interest, that since I
enjoy all of the wonderful writing, I should at least express my
appreciation.  So, this is the first time I've actually written my
opinion to a racc author with story comments.  So keep up the good work.
Oh yeah, if you ever decide to stop writing your series suddenly, please
end the series somehow without leaving it hanging (in reading the
archives, I've seen so many series that ended with the plot just hanging
there, it's a horrible sight.  It's even worse if you consider the fact
that, technichally, Cheesecake-eater Lad is still off amongst the
newsgroups looking for aLLiterative Lass.)  Er, yeah, I'm babbling
again.  Um, excelsior or something.
                   Kieran Michael O'Callaghan


Date: Mon, 07 Oct 1996
From: ej433 at cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Dave Klingbeil)
Subject: Re: On the Deadbeat #2

I don't get the George Hamilton reference.

"A Mecca where running jokes have killed more people than cars."  Funny, 
and probably true.

"You just had to talk the native talk."  *hee hee* The scene with 
lifting the paranoia's wallet sounds like Deadbeat is starting to think 
like a Netropolitan without realizing it. Gamerboy?  I haven't read THAT 
name in quite a while. "So that's the way the cookie crumbles, eh?" 
Deadbeat IS mentally going native. Could Deadbeat's pain have been a 
dimension jump, given the lack of supers?

"He was also a very intelligent man, which made Deadbeat rather uneasy 
around him."  Nice bit of characterization.

"Trenchcoaters avoided the fourth wall like honesty."  *hee hee* 
Definitely a parallel dimension. "The exposition in the room was 
starting to get heavy."  Deadbeat's breaking the fourth wall!  Whatever 
force is behind this must be messing with his mind.

  -- Dave Klingbeil (weaver of dreams & itinerant madman)


From: in5y116 at (Cornelius Goetz von Olenhusen)
Subject: Re: NTB: On the Deadbeat #3 (2/2)
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 19:23:51 +0000 (GMT)

Hello Arthur!

On 11 Feb 1997 21:20:14 -0800, you wrote:

 >First of all, sorry for the delay.  Real Life, Writer's Block, and
 >Laziness were as usual the main culprits.  I actually got some mail last
 >time and a positive review in RACC Reviews by Cornelius Goetz von
 >Olenhusen (hope I spelled that right).  I wasn't able to find
 >Cornelius's e-mail address so I'll thank him here.  Anyways, thanks for
 >the letters and stuff.  Guess I won't whine this time about not getting

Well, thank you for giving me something to review. :) After all, writing a
review (pain in the butt that it can be) doesn't take nearly as much time
or effort as actually writing a story. (I am currently trying to write an
LNH story and can't, for the life of me, come up with an even remotely
original plot. Just made the world a slightly better place by deleting my
last try. Sigh.)

Anyway, liked this issue. It's nice that there's still an NTB title around.
There is just something about those hard-boiled detective/cynical bastard
types that works very well with fantasy/horror elements.

Some criticism though: I think you have a certain tendency to, well, to
ramble a bit too much. Or sometimes a lot too much, like in that
Robot-Invasion issue of Jong. You know what I mean? Those bizarre tangents
on, uh, unpleasant parts of human anatomy, stuff like that. Can be fun for
a while, but still.... Actually this issue wasn't too bad in that respect.
Maybe that whole Prolixdraft/Carlos conversation could have been a little
Hmm. Anything else to complain about? I got the feeling that some of the
dialogue could have used a little more work, but no big deal. Also this
issue was pretty long, wasn't it? I like that personally, but I read Wrath
of the Administrator in one sitting so I'm clearly abnormal. Maybe some
people might be put off by a 1400 lines issue? (Whatever happened to Paul
Hardy anyway?) Oh, and Yesterday Healer is a stupid name.

Stuff I liked: Doc D., as usual; Fun character. The way you include these
obscure bits of LNH history. The parts with Stomper, Cat, and Cheesy.
Spandexers vs Trenchcoaters is always fun because, when you get down to it,
they have equally stupid premises, so they can take turns playing straight
man to each other.

 >As for when the next issue's going to come out.  God knows.  Every time
 >I write something my Writer's Block keeps getting worse.  Hopefully I'll
 >get the next issue out before March comes.

Hmph. You better hurry with the next issue. You don't get paid for lazing
around, you know. (Well, okay, you don't get paid for writing either, but
get to it anyway!)



P.S.: You got my name right. As far as possible anyway. It's actually Gvtz
instead of Goetz, with an umlaut between the 'G' and the 't' which you may
or may not be able to see correctly on your terminal. (Where's the Baron
when you need him?)

P.P.S.: Wondersock?!! You're insane.


I imagine if these people were still reading RACC they'd be very 
disappointed with how this series ended...

Well, that's a wrap!

Arthur "The NTB is Alive!" Spitzer

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