About a year ago, I posted a quick parody of the Saw franchise, combining it with recent Pledge Furniture Polish commercials featuring housewives trapped in glass boxes. I thought it was kind of funny, so I whipped it out and moved on. A week later, an old ex-friend contacted me and threatened to go to the police because I had posted a "disturbing story" with his wife's name as the female victim.
Shocked, I went back and read the story again, and found that I had indeed used the same first name, a common name that I had simply picked out of midair while writing the little parody. I immediately changed the name of the character the posts, not because I was afraid of any threats of legal action, as it was a common name, and the briefly presented character bore no resemblance to this idiot's wife. I changed the name because it was an honestly unintentional coincidence, and the name of the character held no importance to me.
But recently, I've had a change of heart. I came across the story again, and found myself annoyed that I actually bowed to the irrational threats of a delusional paranoid. I was so shocked by the absurd accusation that I went out of my way to prove it wasn't true, without considering how I was self-editing and self-censoring my writing to conform to sensibilities of someone I really don't care about, and in response to a complaint with no rational merit.
So, I'm not only going back and changing the character's name back to what it originally was, but I am also reposting the short parody again with the original name intact. I'll name characters in my fictional prose anything I damn well please, thank you very much.
Below, the "controversial" Saw parody in its original entirety.
I don't watch much television these days, mostly because I don't nee the aggravation. But in the past couple of weeks, I have noticed a series of Pledge commercials that feature housewives being locked in a glass cube with dusty furniture.
The more I see these commercials, the more I can see this glass box showing up as a torture test in the next SAW sequel. One scene particular keeps popping into my head:
INT. ABANDONED WAREHOUSE - NIGHT
The warehouse is full of old boxes, discarded machine shop equipment, and random piles of trash. A large glass box sits inside the center of the space. Inside the glass box is a mock setup of a household kitchen, including a breakfast nook, an over sized refrigerator, and a counter-mounted television . The counters, cabinets, and appliances are all coated in filth.
A Young Woman sits unconscious on a kitchen chair inside the glass box. She is dressed in casual clothing, and looks as if she has recently been in a scuffle. A large metal collar is around her neck. A long metal cord attaches the collar to the television.
The Young Woman wakes up. Confused and panicking, she whips her head around. The cord pulls a pin out of the television. The television turns on. Jigsaw's tricycle riding puppet appears on the screen.
Hello, Emily. I want to play a game with you.
The Young Woman, Emily, paces around the mock kitchen, examining the glass walls for openings and looking in random cabinets.
You have been an untidy person your entire life.
Messy, sloppy, and unkempt, you have stumbled
through life allowing others to clean up after you.
You have voluntarily spent your life living in filth,
condemning your few friends and loved ones to
suffer through the mobile rubbish bin you call your
It is now your turn to clean up after others, Emily.
Now is your chance to prove that you are worthy
of the life you have so carelessly filled with clutter
Emily opens a cabinet over the television. In it are a can of Pledge, a roll of paper towels, and a time clock. The time clock turns on and starts counting down from twenty minutes.
This kitchen was once a notorious bachelor
pad, a house in which twelve men lived as you have,
never cleaning, never tidying, never picking up after
themselves. The house was eventually abandoned
with six months of back rent owed.
You have twenty minutes to clean every surface of
this kitchen until it is completely free of all dust, dirt,
grime, mildew, mold, and allergens. If the kitchen has
not been cleaned to showroom quality by the time the
clock runs out, your glass cage will become your tomb.
The walls will compress down to a one foot cube,
which will be picked up by a rubbish collection agency
Emily grabs the paper towels and Pledge. She looks at them. She looks around the room. She looks back at the can of Pledge.
The television turns off. Emily Screams.
The big twist ending could be that, since Jigsaw is dead, these new attacks have been perpetrated by his latest accomplices, the two British cleaning women from How Clean is Your House?