more sundancing
issue no.
  january 15
c o n t e n t s
RED Reviews
'Torque' Runs Out of Gas, Explodes, Cuts to T&A
Opening this Weekend

It's a Wonderful Ken: RED Locates Cool-Lookin' Ken Just in Time for the Holidays

It's a Wonderful Ken  
RED Locates Cool-Lookin’ Ken Just in Time for the Holidays
by Jeremy Mathews  

  At the Deux Moulins Café of “Amelie” fame, Cool-Lookin’ Ken meets a
gnome masquerading as the world-travelling gnome from the same film.


fter months of investigative reports and false leads from notoriously hallucination-prone readers, RED Magazine finally located its legendary mascot, Cool-Lookin’ Ken, in Paris, France, on Dec. 24, 2003, A.D. “Mr. –Lookin’ Ken, I presume?” a triumphant Jamie Gadette said after pulling Ken out of the Seine.

“Can’t a man drown hisself w’out some nosy repor-ser sw-saving me?” Ken sputtered.

“But I’m not just a top-notch investigative journalist,” said Gadette, “I’m your guardian angel.”

“Is that why you’re wearing those fruity wings? Anyway, can’t a man drown hisself w’out some nosy angel saving me?” he asked. Ken had had a rough year. After a failed bid for the presidency of the Associated Students of the University of Utah and the ill reception of his film, “The Brown Spittoon,” at the Cannes Film Festival” (See issue 142, May 29, 2003), America’s hero went on a seven-month drinking binge through France.

The day he was located, he wondered what his life was for as he looked at an automat (a street performer who gets paid to move) in the courtyard of the Pompidou Center.

“Move, you damn tin man mime,” witnesses report Ken said. When Ken grabbed the man’s arm and started making waving motions to tourists who hadn’t put a quarter in the man’s case, the performer stabbed him in the temple with an oil spout twice Ken’s size. “Ouch, that does it,” he said as he ran into a nearby café and made this declaration: “Gimme some freedom fries so I can free myself of this rotten world!”

Ken then ate the fries and ran to jump in the river of romance, where Gadette fished him out. “It’d sure be easier to kill myself if I’d never been born,” said Ken.

Gadette conceded that Ken had triumphed in his effort to make no sense, then at that moment got the idea to rip off “It’s a Wonderful Life.” “So be it,” she said, “so be it.” Then, in a controversial conflict of journalistic and angelistic duties that resulted in Gadette not being allowed to write this story herself, something astounding happened.

“What’s with the light show?” Ken asked as he searched for his flask. “Hey, where’d the oil spout in my temple go?”

“That oil spout never went in your temple, because your temple never existed.”

“Whatever. Maybe I can find another spout. I’ll call [Sarah] Morton and [Dave] Tada over to take a picture of me for the RED story. That spout looked badass.”

Ken called 001-801-581-8780, but instead of the RED office, he heard, “The Event, going strong and exciting.”

“Where are the photographers?”

“There is no RED because you aren’t around to be its mascot. Sarah and Dave aren’t photographers, they’re hair-style specialists,” said Gadette.

“Huh,” said Ken. “Maybe I’ll give [RED art director Dave] Howell a call and ask him to send another photographer.”

“Hello, Darryl Howell speaking,” the voice on the other end of the phone said. “Dave? Why, Dave’s been dead for two years, since he left for that damned Devil-fest in Seattle.”

“Bumbershoot? But I landed that plane!”

“No you didn’t,” Jamie said. “You know, the whole never-existing thing. Everybody on that plane died because you weren’t there to land it. And everyone in the Great RED/Chronicle Fire of 2002 died because Dave wasn’t there to save them.”

“But Tinky Winky—my one true love—was on that plane!”

Ken caught the Concorde—still in existence through a complicated chain of him not existing—and flew directly to Salt Lake International Airport. He hopped a cab to Sandy, which was now called Southern Hansenville. He banged at the door where Winky had reportedly been hiding out.

“Tinky Winky! I need you!”

A greasy, under-clad woman with blood-shot eyes opened the door.

“What’d’ya want, honey?”

“Where’s Tinky Winky?”

“The lisping purple thing who married Barbie?”

“So she really is a fag hag. Wait, Tinky married? NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Ken said calmly.

Then he noticed the bruised woman’s familiar face. “Aren’t you RED Magazine poetess Hayley Heaton?”

“That’s my name, but I don’t know them funny words. Hey, I’ll give you a quickie for a quarter.”


Ken tried to head to Salt Lake City to go get drunk at the Urban Lounge and see Redd Tape, but Gadette again had bad news. “Redd Tape never played RED’s 100th issue party and no longer exists. Same with the Urban Lounge. And everyone on that plane died.” Again with the big, all-caps “no.”

The camera taping all this swung around wildly to create a disorienting feel. Then Ken was back in Paris. He pulled the oil spout out of his temple, smiled, hugged Gadette and ran to a phone. “Is this RED Magazine? All right! It’s Cool-Lookin’ Ken. You guys have got to get down to Paris and help me beat the shit out of this sonofabitch tin man mime!”

Ken was back, and better than ever. And he understood the true meaning of Christmas, too.



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