Critic’s Choice Award
The squeaking sound of rubber gloves danced on the keyboard as he carved word after word into the digital document. A cold dispassion filled both him and his writing as he tried to word disgust with a sense of elegance and chic. The premier had been far too crowded which had already rubbed him up the wrong way and the actual “experience” hadn’t been much better. Frustrated, he pounded the desk and regreted it seconds later. “Cliched and overacted” is what he would have written about this outburst. “Unconvincing” and probably some other adjective that escaped him right now. Shoving adjectives down their greedy throats so they could vomit them out all over their friends and co-workers the next day, drowning them in their reflected opinion, making it stick to them, smelling of “rounded characters”, “poignant soundtrack choices”, and “Oscar-baiting racial casting”. Stop. Not another drop. Poison coated words would be the only drip-feeding this time. Violently chocking on their own sense of art before it could reach their mouths again, burning through the stomach with almost passionate intensity. Now his fingers did not dance, they sliced and stabbed. Blood filled the gloves, making them swell to an obscene size. He might not see a thing, but he knew where to strike. Slashing at the childhood classics, drawing blood, and ripping out viscera with every word. Neatly severing ears from the heads of beloved actors, exposing their gruesome inner mechanics only working with glossy magazine photos of themselves in a kaleidoscopic chamber. And, of course, twisting the legs of child actors – with no justified place there to begin with – 180° to the back. Then another twist. And another round. And another. Round and round we go! Until they simply snap off. Just like that. No ceremony, just a severed leg with the top looking too much like a cheap sausage. All the slicing and dicing climaxing in a final full stop and a bursting of the gloves all over the room.
Never had he felt so alive before. He did not need to proofread this; any change would ruin the masterpiece. The master….piece… No. This wasn’t enough, the sensation was fading. He could not see the blood pouring from their eyes as they read it. Could not see the hair they would rip out with little bits of flash awkwardly dangling at the end. Time to bypass the written medium entirely and get in touch with the audience. Revolver loaded, he ran out into the street, held the first woman up, gun driven into her left nostril. “Favourite film and why!?” he eloquently inquired. The woman stammered, barely bringing words into a coherent order. By the end, she stuck with a movie that had achieved grand critical acclaim. Not her actual choice, he could feel it, smell her mediocre taste seething through every pore. So he did the only reasonable thing and pulled the trigger. Immediately regretting his decision as he had now immortalised her in this pseudo-spontaneous performance art piece. He contemplated urinating on her, but decided this would only add to – and not destroy – the piece. A child got shot straight away for wearing a Frozen t-shirt and having a Frozen backpack. Maybe the Marlon Brando merchandise was running low, but better to be safe than sorry. Nothing but the slippery spinal cord remained of a young man after a veritable blizzard of bullets for having defended the animated movie as a new and interesting art form. Three hours later and ankle deep in blood, only one had gotten away (well, “away”) with a single shot in every joint for stating that “they don’t make’em like they used to.” Not entirely wrong, but the rehashed nature of the phrase made him guilty either way. Come morning, he would line them all up to guillotines, practically labelled with either specific films, specific directors, or specific genres. Critic colleagues would surely help, sharing in his plight and the comic book genre would, of course, be left to him. He would watch their heads fly with orgasmic joy and a never fading addiction. Making them quote “dialogue” before abruptly cutting them off in every sense of the word.
Running out of bullets or breath or both, he found himself in front of an art gallery. Not his usual field of expertise, but how hard could it truly be, they didn’t even move? So he waltzed in, black paint in hand and gave each painting a quick look before swinging the brush like an axe and bringing it crashing down onto the canvas. “Shite! Shite! Shite! Not bad (this one was only slightly irrevocably destroyed). Shite! Aaaaaand shite!” Proud of his work, he shoved the brush down the artist’s throat until the black paint had filled his lungs and he couldn’t help but feel like he had granted the poor artist soul a long-held wish. Outside, the smart folk had put on wellies to wade through all the blood and bits of brain. People with parts of their skull missing came up to him, falling to their knees and thanking him for opening their eyes (an odd choice of words for some that lacked such instruments, but he took their thanks none the less). All of them lined both sides of the streets, worshippingly throwing finger bones his way, showering him with their affection. A huge statue of Jesus Christ ripped his hands loose from the cross leaving most of it behind but still somewhat managing to give him a thumbs-up. This was worth all the hours of work. All the press premiers. All the stiff meet-and-greets. All the mediocrity he had to wade through. All murder threats in the mail. All the divorces. Finally, the world was clean.
Only… What was he to do now?
Praise for Mr teatime’s Critic’s Choice Award:
“A literary colonoscopy.” – Stephen King
“The best thing since language.” – Jacques Derrida
“Teatime is simply Teatime.” – New York Times
“Does for movie reviews what Jaws did for swimming.” – The Guardian
Awarded with the Harris & Klebold Award (2027) for inspiring two school shootings.