Chapter 1: The Beautiful Landscaping Stone From Outer Space
Chapter 2: The Slight Spread of a Small Growth
Chapter 3: The Miracle We All Feared
Chapter 4: Extraordinary Benefits vs. The Carpet
Chapter 5: The Age of Miracles
Chapter 6: 25 Song Music Montage: The Spread Continues
Chapter 7: The Shingles Clean-up Committee
Chapter 8: FS=N
Chapter II: The Slight Spread of a Small Growth
Press play on the image below to hear this selection of songs in this exact order.
"2 A.M." 3:15
2 A.M. Wakeup Call
Los Angeles, CA
It seemed to happen overnight. Throughout the entire world, tiny little patches of shingles sprouted sporadically in random places. Most of them went undetected, and the ones people did notice were disregarded as simply another outside growth. They did not have any particular remarkable characteristics, and in a forest setting, seemed completely ordinary. There were numerous plants and brushes in which they blended in perfectly.
174. Blue States
"One Night On Tulane" 4:16
There were only two places in the entire Earth where the shingles were growing indoors—the office area of the landscaping business and in the backseat of the driver’s car. In both locations, the patches were relatively small, but seemed impossible to exterminate completely. Each time the owners of the two interiors removed them from the premises, they would return the very next day. At that particular point in time, the area in which the shingles had formed was in the exact same spot in which they had been previously eradicated.
173. Grand National
"Drink To Moving On" 3:19
Kicking The National Habit
After a week or so of removing the shingles, the owners gradually lost concern for the growth. It was perceived as an annoyance, but the initial shock value had lost its appeal. In the beginning stages, the affected areas would be decontaminated immediately upon first sighting. But, after having to do this every day, the growth would be ignored until a more convenient time. The shingles did not represent any sort of danger, did not create an odor, and could be cleaned up and disposed of relatively quickly.
"Carpe et Diem" 4:41
Nights on the Town
Melbourne, AU/Berlin, Germany
A small patch of this mysterious growth had formed just beside a tree on a walking trail in a public recreation area. This tiny area in which the shingles had grown was veritably glimpsed by thousands of people. However, not a single one of them took any notice to the shingles whatsoever. In fact, they were stepped on, trampled, a group of college students passed around a bowl standing directly over the patch of shingles, while another person harmlessly sat two inches next to them on the ground and quietly read a book.
171. The Owls
"Baby Boy" 3:47
Our Hopes and Dreams
Not one single person living knew this, but two weeks after the entire rock incident, the largest patch of shingles was on display at the city dump. The owners of the vehicle and landscaping place had disposed of the shingles via vacuum cleaner and the remnants were unknowingly taken to the dump. However, it is a city dump, and nobody inspects these sorts of things at a location in which garbage is stored. As far as descriptors such as gross, disgusting, and raunchy are concerned, the patch of shingles did not even compare with the other grotesque blemishes located around the city dump, and was significantly more beautiful than the shit that the trashy Claiborne family threw in the garbage on a regular basis.
"Cookie Oh Jesus" 2:57
After excessive cleaning of the shingles that seemed to be mysteriously forming on his interior wall of the office, the owner of the landscaping office devised every way imaginable to prevent the growth from returning. The carpet was fine, but that had been replaced. As for the wall, he had tried bleach, Comet, alcohol, and all sorts of other cleaning products—not to mention the guidelines from Martha Stewart. Finally, he hired a professional cleaning company to rid this unwanted growth once and for all.
169. PJ Harvey
"The Life and Death of Mr. Badmouth" 4:50
Uh Huh Her
The cleaning company had never seen this sort of growth pattern prior to being assigned to the landscaping office. However, they had dealt with places infested with cockroaches, mold, Uncle Scott’s bladder infection, and asbestos; therefore they did not regard this odorless growth as anything too drastic. Their primary concern was the fact that the growth kept returning despite the fact that the landscaping office had used such effective cleaning products on the shingle growth, and had even utilized the Martha Stewart guidelines in which this particular cleaning agency revered with such relevance as The 10 Commandments. A few samples were taken back to the main office; mother fuckers insisted that the manager would recognize the species and know the most effective way to extirpate them.
"Missing Message" 3:55
The Incomplete Triangle
Miami, FL/New York, NY
Insects thought nothing of the small patches of shingles. Ants would crawl across them and prevail completely unharmed. Bees landed of them the same way they landed on anything else in the forest, crawl around across the top, venture down inside each of the pinecone-like scales in search of pollen, and then calmly fly away to the next area of potential plants and flowers. In one location, a spider had built a web across the patch, and then sat around awaiting other small insects to come over for lunch.
Serious issues within the government had profoundly angered the population. Several people gathered outside the governor’s office to protest the situation in which the majority of the citizens disagreed; typically, the government passed the bill anyway. During the rally, people carried signs, slanted slogans, and activists gave inspirational speeches as to what resolutions needed executed. This demonstration made headline news, the Communist protestors were regarded as terrorists by the television commentators, and the 3 square inch patch of shingles that had formed in the area in which demonstration was held went completely unnoticed.
166. Snow Patrol
"Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking" 4:37
A woman was walking barefooted through the park with her guy friend. Without paying attention, she accidentally stepped in a patch of shingles. “Ouch,” she blurted out loud, as she clutched her foot and inspected the ground where she had stepped. Her foot was fine, it wasn’t bleeding or anything, as they passively glanced down at the patch of shingles…it was equivalent to stepping on a pinecone. Her guy friend simply laughed at her, “that’s what you get for walking around barefooted you dirty ass hippy.” They chuckled and walked away as if nothing happened.
165. Junior Boys
"High Come Down" 4:30
Hamilton, ON, Canada
The Anderson’s threw a party next to their swimming pool. Of all the nearly 100 people who attended this event, the majority of them were 18-21 year old girls wearing skimpy bikinis. Of all of the girls wearing skimpy bikinis, 24% of them had lost their top while emerging from the water. As a means of joining in on the fun, once one of the girls lost her tops, other girls would cheer, hoot, holler, and flash their breasts. One person was successfully able to snap a photograph of over 50 babes posing for the photo by flashing their breasts. That’s over 50 sets of nice delectable titties in one photograph! If anybody would have seen this picture of over 50 sets of hot ass breasts and noticed the 4th largest patch of shingles that had formed in the background, a mere 8 square inches, this person’s mental stability would have been severely questioned… even if this person were a heterosexual female. Because, let’s face, straight women and gay men enjoy titties as much as anybody else.
164. TV on the Radio
"Wear You Out" 7:23
Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
New York, NY
The owner of the landscaping business sat cross-legged on the floor staring at the wall for hours. He had just concluded another massive cleaning campaign that resulted in even more of a failure than the pornographic version of Jane Eyre hitting the multiplex cinema. This growth kept returning no matter what remedies he tried, and this time he wanted to see exactly how they would form. As he sat there staring, just randomly in the blink of an eye, one had appeared. There was no process to this, no length of formation, it was just suddenly there and he wondered if he had missed anything. Gradually, a few more would just magically sprout out of the wall until the patch was about the same size it was prior to the attempts to abolish the growth with a mixture of peanut butter and ginger ale.
"Pleasure Is All Mine" 3:29
He plucked one of the scales off of the wall and examined it. It did not seem that incredibly unusual. As he studied it in the palm of his hand, there was no indication whatsoever that this was a living object. There was no movement, no sound, and obviously did not contain living organs. It had similar texture as a small particle of tree bark, although it was slightly flexible and could be pinched and bent using the fingertips; it would return to form upon releasing it.
"I Don't Love You" 3:46
Never Bring You Pleasure
Toronto, ON, Canada
The primary reason in which Scott did not like Katrina was that she was an annoying white girl who constantly talked about meaningless bullshit. She was one of those white girls who could always be seen with her head titled to one side, a smile without purpose, and one could suspect mass stupidity from merely hearing her unpleasant bimbo voice. Scott was en route to meet his friends downtown when he noticed Katrina. Upon seeing her, he ducked down an alley, and hid behind the building until she passed; he even made a commitment to God and vowed to attend church this Sunday if she passed him undetected. After she was gone, he emerged from the alley sweating (Scott hiding from Katrina resembled the fear of a horror movie victim hiding from the killer who is walking slowly through the forest with a bloody axe) and hastily walked to the club…he had noticed Katrina but not the patch of shingles that had formed in the potted tree that decorated the city’s sidewalk.
New York, NY
Outside in the smoking area, the atmosphere was getting intense. The bar was packed, and for the most part everybody was enjoying themselves. However, when heavy alcohol consumption gets involved, coupled with the fact that this particular bar was chocked full of bros and other cliché douches who suffer from Journey contamination that causes limited intellectual conversation topics, the he said/she said bullshit takes precedent. Two groups of equally annoying douchebags engaged in that one battle where one person makes a threat, the other declares “come on then” and neither does shit. One of the parties went outside, and were yelling noisily at the one patron who kept insisting that he’s going to fuck this guy up—somebody had accidentally bumped into him while he was taking a pool shot; he sucked at pool. The other guy came outside and confronted him, and next thing anybody knew, they were actually fighting this time. As they wrestled each other to the ground, one of the assailants foot scraped across the ground, scattering the small patch of shingles across the lawn.
160. Leftover Crack
"Clear Channel (Fuck Off!)" 4:15
Fuck World Trade
New York, NY
Many many years ago, the primary reason for living became money. As the need for currency heightened, the negative consequences of this hindrance began to mount. People killed each other for money. There were wars being fought, decent people committing crimes, struggling with hardships, and the media controlled this aspect by constantly depicting the same features, instilling the same fears, and setting the same standards. Due to all the bullshit taking place in the world, aside from the landscaping manager, the driver of the vehicle, and a few select others, nobody even noticed the small patches of shingles that were sprouting more frequently and in more common locations.
159. Paul Westerberg
"Lookin' Up In Heaven" 3:14
Marvin was in a state of melancholy and simply needed to be alone. He walked to the local park and strolled down the nature trail to distance himself from the rest of the population. As he sat there thinking about all of his problems and devising potential solutions, he looked at the ground and plucked a stem of grass and casually twirled it around his fingers while he contemplated numerous possibilities for his future. It is a common procedure for people to fidget with objects on the ground while they are sitting in solitary thinking about things. The solution did not come immediately and there was a completely bare semi-circle where he had been seated. He plucked a shingle off the ground and bounced it up and down in his palm while he gathered his thoughts.
"Come Back to Camden" 4:15
You Are the Quarry
On the other hand, in an entirely different isolated region of the world, many miles from where Marvin was seated, Wes devised a solution for his problems. His problems, sadly, had extended far beyond his grasp. He had not only lost interest in the possible resolutions, but lost touch with the rest of the world as well. Without telling a single soul of his whereabouts, Wes disappeared from the rest of the world without a trace. He ventured out into the middle of a desolate forest with a handgun, placed the gun inside his mouth, and with one pull of the trigger, all of his troubles disappeared the same way he did. After the bullet escaped from the top of his head, splattering blood all over the trees, Wes dropped dead to the ground. His outstretched deceased finger was the very first incident in which a shingle formed on human skin.
157. The Cinch
"Forwards & Backwards" 5:33
Shake If You Got It
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The driver of the vehicle was gradually becoming more irritated with the growth of shingles that kept persistently sprouting in his car. If the ones in the backseat weren’t enough of a burden, the ones that formed on the hood of his car were downright maddening. They would scrape away easily and did not cause any damage, but it was tiring to have to scrape them off so frequently. However, they were easier to remove than bird shit or snow, and that resulted in him not declaring an emergency. It was simply bothersome that they did not blow off in the wind or in the rain. No matter what the weather conditions or how recklessly he drove, they remained on the hood until either he scraped them off by hand or ran over an elderly woman in a manner in which she flipped over the hood in the exact spot in which they had sprouted.
"Lifting the Veil from the Braille" 4:18
The driver did exhibit the shingles to his co-workers. His associates were the first “regular people” to receive exposure to this strange growth and delegate it any attention. Most of them found it comical, cracked jokes, or simply stated a one word assessment: “weird.” One of the associates, however, noticed some shingles that had grown near a tree in his community; this apparently ruled out the notion that these things were otherworldly; or, perhaps an otherworldly substance had caused this relatively common Earthly plant fungus to sprout on his car. They ruled it a fungus, and joked that he was going to have to sell the car now. However, these mother fuckers are neither botanists nor mechanics, and don’t know shit about fungus, plants, cars, and half these mother fuckers can’t even amply perform their jobs.
155. Wagon Christ
Sorry I Make You Lush
The subdivision of townhouses had a mulch covered garden featuring bright colorful flowers in front of the sign that read the name of the subdivision—a stupid ass name—Deer Haven, as if nobody had ever come up with that one. Right next to a perfectly healthy, gorgeous purple flower, a patch of shingles had sprouted. At first, the patch of shingles was simply in the surrounding area just left of the flower, and that area covered only 2.47 square inches. Within a couple days, however, the shingles had sprouted closer to the flower—but nobody paid this matter any attention because the shingles blended in perfectly with the mulch. At 11:19 AM, the shingle patch had finally reached the flower, and as it slowly spread, one shingle formed at the bottom of the flower’s stem and branched out sideways. This too was camouflaged in the mulch.
154. Felix da Housecat
"Watching Cars Go By" 5:28
Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever
Detroit, MI/Chicago, IL
If surveyed at the right moment, the sight of the bus approaching brings the greatest pleasure on Earth; the sight of the bus leaving as a person is sprinting towards the bus stop constitutes as a deadly nightmare. Allison stood at the bus stop for a long time waiting for the bus. Luckily for her, it was May and it the weather was pleasant. At this particular bus stop, there was a city-owned landscaping decoration entrenched in a large concrete pot right next to the bench area. While she waited, she rested her hand on the concrete slab while she watched all of the cars pass by anticipating the orgasmic pleasure of viewing the bus nearing. She was an avid people watcher though, and kept herself amused by making jokingly ironic/harsh judgments on the pedestrians who went passed. The bus was perfectly on time, fortunately, because if it had been a minute later, the shingles inside the concrete slab would have spread all the way to Allison’s pinky finger.
"Here in This Place" 6:01
Brugge, Belgium/Melbourne, Australia
Randall was one of those honkeys who thoroughly prized his lawn. He sat outside in the backyard after he had just finished his yard work admiring the beauty of his favorite place on Earth. The grass had been cut perfectly and was free of any weeds or dandelions. His flowers along the edge of his home had started to blossom. Birds, bees, squirrels, and other forms of wildlife appeared happy in the tranquil setting of his yard. This mother fucker even had a bird feeder! As we scanned the entire lawn, hovering just inches above the ground, all seemed perfect. There was, however, a minute patch of shingles nested in a corner where nobody could see them.
152. Future Kings Of Spain
Future Kings Of Spain
Simply out of curiosity, the driver of the vehicle paid a visit to the landscaping office to discuss the growth in his backseat. And sure enough, the two of them were experiencing similar problems. The growth on the wall at the landscaping office replicated the ones growing on the driver’s car. Both reported identical issues, exact same symptoms, no significant damages, and reached the conclusion that the growth was indeed caused by the beautiful stone that was still missing. They agreed that should either develop a solution they would inform the other about the appropriate measures to desist this aberration.
151. The Blackeyed Susans
"Lost Horizon" 4:45
The driver of the car stayed up late surfing the internet for products that were guaranteed to eliminate various nuisances—once again turning to the reliable sources of Google and Wikipedia. One applicable possibility was weed killer; shingles shared some similarities to weeds. However, he found it most peculiar that these shingle things were sprouting on his hood, which was made from metal and provided zero nutrients. He had heard numerous incidents of mold growing on various cloths such as his backseat and in drywall. But, he had never heard of anything growing in metal and questioned how this was even possible. The only possible solution he could think of for his car was rust remover.
The major problem he addressed: If these shingles could sprout on metal, than what limitations would prevent them from sprouting anywhere? There was no answer to this dilemma, other than the fact that they had not sprouted on his hands.
Finally, his mind had become overly consumed with the topic and it was getting late. He shut off his computer, brushed his teeth, and went to bed. After he put on his bed clothes, he pulled the covers back, and froze into a state of terror… A small patch of shingles had formed in his bed.
Cover images; top: http://www.dkimages.com/discover/previews/888/45046001.JPG bottom: http://www.vegetable-garden-guide.com/images/growing-vegetables-in-a-small-space-21381066.jpg