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The Dumbest Commercial You’ll See All Year

Story Tag: Story 5 Zane The Magnificent – Entry 15


Zane the Magnificent


Zane adjusted the magician’s outfit over his fur. His finale would wow the crowd.
He lifted the tattered top hat from his head with his left paw and held it up high. Zane thrust his right paw into it. He felt fur and pulled, a rabbit’s ear following his arm out.
And then—whack! The top of the rabbit’s head smacked into the interior of the hat. Zane hadn’t considered this. He knew how to pull a rabbit out of his hat—but as a mouse his hat wasn’t scaled to let any more than an ear through!
The rabbit squealed in pain. Zane could hear the rabbit wheeze, it’s entire fluffy body constricted by the confines of his small mouse top hat.
As the rabbit struggled, Zane dropped the hat. The audience laughed as the hat danced around the stage, but Zane knew the bunny would be effing dead soon. The sounds eminating from the hat were not unlike a constipated velociraptor.
Then the hat sparkled, levitated, grew to the size of a human’s top hat. The bunny toppled out of the hat, limping off, pissed as shit.
Who did that? Zane wondered. That was real magic.
Then, Zane started to sparkle.
He felt his fur start to bristle. His cape swayed. His body got lighter and lighter, and soon, he was rising from the stage.
The audience was going effing nuts. Zane had been so preoccupied with this sudden sensation that he had forgotten all about them. He looked down at them, put a huge grin on his face, and threw his arms out wide.
They think I’m the one doing this, and they love it! He thought.
“I am Zane the Adequate! You’ve been a wonderful crowd. Goodnight!” he yelled as he passed the proscenium.
“Great show tonight, Mr. Z!” said Henrietta as Zane walked offstage.
Zane had a policy to find employment for every past assistant. Like most of Zane’s stage crew, Henrietta had been the victim of magic. Ever since The Sawing Incident, Henrietta had worked the curtain at every show. Next to her were Henrietta’s Legs, also technically a stagehand but much less helpful with the curtain. As usual, The Legs were quiet.
“Thanks.” muttered Zane, lost in thought. Where did that come from?
That’s when he noticed the note that The Legs was holding tucked between two toes.
The Legs swung the paper towards Zane. Plucking it from immaculately decorated toenails—as it was far easier for Henrietta to paint them now—he unfolded the message.
Zane’s furry brow furrowed. The sound of his lower teeth tapping the back of his large front teeth caused Henrietta to look up. It was only when Zane was worried that he stretched his jaw like that.
“Is everything alright, Mr. Z?” the halved woman asked.
“I’ll make sure it is,” Zane replied.
Zane the Adequate was worried.
It wasn’t the powerful magic that worried him. It wasn’t even the cryptic note. It was the question mark at the end of that note. A FRIEND?
Why would whoever wrote the note end it like that? How could the writer not know if he/she was a friend?
Zane could think of only two reasons: 1) the writer was being controlled by a magical force he/she didn’t understand, and the question mark was a subtle warning to Zane, or 2) the writer was an idiot who didn’t understand punctuation.
Both options scared Zane.
Magic Mel’s was a popular hangout for rodents in Zane’s line of work. On any given night, you could find a slew of small, furry illusionists there—from legends to hacks.
Zane figured he should arrive early to scope the place out—only a stooge would show up at precisely 11 to meet a shady character. He showed up at 10:45. The usual crowd was in attendance.
There was Sergio the Stupendous, a giant rat who’d lost his tail in a botched guillotine illusion. Kapow! was there—a squirrel who relied more on tired jokes than real tricks.
“I just glided here tonight and boy are the veiny flaps of skin that give my body the illusion of flight tired!” said Kapow! to muted laughter. He was wrapping up; Zane had seen this closer many times. As the flying squirrel told his last barrage of hacky jokes—“boy my wife sure is nuts”—the club began to steadily empty out.
Mercifully, Kapow! eventually left the stage, went out back for a smoke with Sergio. Zane was all alone.
Or was he?
“Didn’t think you’d come” rasped a voice from the dark corner of the bar.
“Fuck you, Mel.”
The joint’s owner, Mel the Mole, scuttled forward from the darkness, a thick claw and tight squint shading his eyes. Even the current dimness, the darkest the customers would tolerate, was brighter than Mel preferred it himself.
“Fuck me? I’m not the one with a tab longer than his tail,” Mel’s words forced their way through the gravel of his aged teeth. A nail poked Zane’s side. “You better be here to pay up.”
“I’ve got business with someone, I didn’t pick the locale,” Zane replied confidently. He knew Mel wouldn’t try anything in the middle of his own place.
“You’ve got business with me.” Mel poked Zane again.
“You don’t understand, I got this letter.” Zane looked around for his mystery man.
“Yeah, that was from me. I said meet me here at eleven. To pay your tab.”
You made me levitate?”
“What? No.”
“What did ‘The next one may please the crowd, but not you’ mean?”
Mel shrugged. “Just sounded tough. Wise guy magician lingo.”
Zane grunted and begrudgingly paid his tab.
Minutes later, Zane stepped out into the dark alley behind Mel’s to head home.
“How’d you like levitating?” Kapow! the Squirrel stepped out of the darkness.
Zane was shocked.
“You made me levitate?”
“What? No.”
“What did ‘How’d you like levitating?’ mean?”
“Oh, I just… just wanted to know.” Kapow! said. “I heard about your show from Steve. You don’t have to be a dick about it.” He shuffled off down the alley, muttering to himself.
Zane sighed. He turned to leave, when he heard another voice.
“Levitating, eh?” the voice was an ominous baritone.
“Oh, what, are you the one who made me levitate?” Zane said, turning around. There was nobody there.
Zane felt a sharp pain in his neck, and everything went black.
Zane awoke in a bedroom he’d never seen before. His head was throbbing and his mouth was dry. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the darkness.
That was when he noticed the walls.
There were hundreds of posters covering the room, showing every stage of his career. Zane the Adequate at every club he’d ever played. There was even a poster from the early days when he was Zane the Two Drink Minimum No Refunds.
Zane realized that tonight wasn’t an isolated incident. Whoever was doing this had done it before: they were helping his career.
“So…” the ominous baritone voice resonated through the room, “It took a question mark to finally look for me?”
“What?” Zane muttered, testing his shaky legs, “How’m I supposed to ‘finally look’ for you if I didn’t know about you until tonight?”
“Well, there were my notes—”
“NOTE,” Zane corrected while standing up, “Just the one I got today.”
“No, I’ve left notes with your stagehand at your last twenty-five shows!” the voice exclaimed.
“Well, maybe next time give it to someone with eyes and thumbs,” Zane muttered.
There was a moment.
“Well, now I feel bad about killing you.”
Zane gulped. “You’re going to kill me?”
“Yes.” The voice said. “Painfully too. But then I’m going to raise you from the dead. And make you famous as crap.”
“Why?” Zane asked.
“Because,” Scott Hicken said in his deep voice, turning on the light and looking down into the shoe box apartment he built for Zane. “I created you.”
Zane looked up at the lanky, goateed, thin-but-oddly-malnourished giant. “Are you…God?”
“Not thee god. But I am the god of this world. I built it so that my model train town would have living inhabitants.”

Entry 15: Lally

“If you created this world, and me, does that mean you control my world?” asked Zane.

“Yes,” Scott hissed, wringing his hands.

“Well, couldn’t you have made sure I got all 25 notes?”

“Uh…. Technically….”

“And shouldn’t you have known I wasn’t getting them?”

“Well, I did know, but for the sake of the story…”

“Are you getting confused? Because Mel said he wrote that last note.”

“I made Mel write the note, so I wrote it, really.”

“So you control everything we do and say?!”

“Yes!” Scott said triumphantly.

“So… are you having this conversation with yourself right now?”

Check back Friday for the next entry!

Cube Sleuth Interview – Underground Book Reviews

I have done several interviews with several blogs and publications about my novel Cube Sleuth.

Most of them have asked the same questions.

But Emily McCord didn’t. So this is my favorite interview I’ve done. Click the picture to read it.

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My Contribution to Another Blog: Take 3 Flash Flash Fan Fiction


I wrote some flash fan fiction about the superhero The Flash for my friend Janie as part of a new project she has just launched. My words were voiced and drawn. This is the amazing result.

And check out the rest of this blog, You life is not so great, by the cynically ebullient Janie. If you have your own fan fiction (150 words or less), you can send it to Janie through the site and if you’re lucky it will get voiced and drawn like mine. It can be about any book, comic, cartoon, TV show, movie, etc. Just be sure to make it really silly.

Unsolicited Comedic Advice – Episode 6

This is the last of the first (and possibly only) season of Unsolicited Comedic Mentor Advice Giver. It has been fun:

Unsolicited Comedic Advice – Episode 5

For at least the next few weeks, Tuesdays will offer short clips featuring the lovely Matt Lamson and I in a Myagi-Daniel pairing for the ages.

Here’s episode 5:


I miss True Detective.

I am having a hard time waiting a whole year for it to come back.

So I made this to pass the time.

It asks the important question “What if Rust Cohle were replaced by Barney Fife?”

This is episode one.

TD Fife 2

True Fife 1

TD Fife 3

True Fife 2

True Fife 3

True Fife Open and Shut

True Fife 3

True Fife Case Closed

True Fife 3

True Fife Lunch

True Fife 5

True Fife 6

My Contribution to Another Blog: Take 2

Here’s another collection of snapshots of the things I wrote on a whiteboard to insult my best guy friend at work:

This Guy


And check out the rest of this blog, You life is not so great, by the cynically ebullient Janie.

Free-for-All Audio Clip: Dear Davey 21 – Baby Bands

Wednesdays offer random audio clips here at Electronic Detective.

Today’s entry is the twenty-first entry in a series called Dear Davey.

Listen and enjoy:

Unsolicited Comedic Advice – Episode 4

For at least the next few weeks, Tuesdays will offer short clips featuring the lovely Matt Lamson and I in a Myagi-Daniel pairing for the ages.

Here’s episode 4:

Unsolicited Comedic Advice – Episode 3

For at least the next few weeks, Tuesdays will offer short clips featuring the lovely Matt Lamson and I in a Myagi-Daniel pairing for the ages.

Here’s episode 3:

My Contribution to Another Blog

Guys, I’m cheating on you with another blog. And I’m doing it out in the open. Are you confident enough in our relationship to handle that?

Are you?


Here’s the deal: I work in a room with eight other people. My friend Jim sits with a white board behind his monitor. One day I decided to draw an arrow on the white board pointing to his head and then write silly, degrading things about him.

One other day, my friend Janie decided to take pictures of the things I wrote about Jim and put them on her blog, You life is not so great.

My contribution to her blog is called This Guy.


And check out Janie’s regular blog posts whenever you need a chuckle mixed with a sad feeling.

Unsolicited Comedic Advice – Episode 2

For at least the next few weeks, Tuesdays will offer short clips featuring the lovely Matt Lamson and I in a Myagi-Daniel pairing for the ages.

Here’s episode 2:

Unsolicited Comedic Advice – Episode 1

For at least the next few weeks, Tuesdays will offer short clips featuring the lovely Matt Lamson and I in a Myagi-Daniel pairing for the ages.

Here’s episode 1:


Electronic Detective is on a one-week hiatus.

Check back Monday for the next entry of Story Tag!

Have a good week. Don’t get into too much trouble while I’m gone.

Friday Freebee

Electronic Detective is taking the day off.

Come back Monday morning to read the first entry of the new Story Tag story! This one starts with a Munchak entry, so throughout Story 2 look for Munchak entries on Mondays and Terruso entries on Fridays.

Enjoy this picture of a young hunky Burt Lancaster for stopping by!!!!


Cube Sleuth is Now on Sale!!!!!

These pictures are actually special “links” that will take you to a store on the information superhighway where you can buy my book!!!!

Don’t believe me? Sounds like magic? Click on them and prove me right!

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Meet the Munch

Blog readers,

Tomorrow I will post the first Story Tag entry by my very funny, very smart blog partner, Dave Munchak.

I wanted to introduce you to him first.

I was going to post a picture of him but he asked me not to because he has had a problem with male stalkers in the past.

In lieu of a picture of him, here’s a picture of a koala bear eating leaves and looking surprised:


Like me, Munchak has a solid beard.

Unlike me, he has a great head of hair.

Like me, he’s pale and hairy.

Unlike me, he’s tall as shit.


I asked him for a bio, and he gave me this:

Dave Munchak resides in Chicago, Illinois and is looking forward to the latest entry of his favorite film series, TR4N$4MER$ 4: TR4N$4M INTO D4RKNE$$.


Between that and the fact that he signed the Story Tag Pact as “Tim Tebow,” you can start to get a picture of the man. He doesn’t take things very seriously, in a good way. In person he has a great deadpan delivery and a subtle cadence.

Dave and I met at La Salle University in 1998. He had a bit part in my then-girlfriend Jaime’s one-act The World’s A Stage. For some reason, Jaime was convinced he had a British accent, and to this day refers to him as “that British guy from my play.” (Jaime and Munch have never actually met outside of the play she wrote.) I actually didn’t hang out with Dave until a year later.

I don’t know anyone who can make me laugh as easily and consistently as he does. I’m very excited that he agreed to do this Story Tag project with me.

He had his own amazing blog called Free Soup With Purchase. Give it  a read, it’s hilarious.

Check back tomorrow and get your first case of The Munchies!

That was weak. I’m sorry. Please check back tomorrow despite how dumb that was.



First Contact

Dear You,


Welcome to my blog, ELECTRONIC DETECTIVE.

My name is Dave Terruso. I’m a writer and a comedian.

I will be posting new original comedy content every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

On Mondays and Fridays, read the latest entry in Dave and Dave’s Story Tag,  a series of tag-team short stories written by Dave Munchak and me, 100 words at a time.

On Wednesdays, listen to funny audio clips, typically under three minutes–unless it’s a special occasion.

You can also see clips of my stand up, old funny things I wrote, and sketch comedy I made with my partner Matt Lally.

If you like my writing style and sense of humor, please consider buying my debut novel, Cube Sleuth, an amateur detective mystery set in a boring corporate office. It’s dark, twisted, dirty, and funny. It will be available for purchase in a few weeks. In the meantime, give the sample chapter a read, it’s only three pages.

Thanks for visiting!