Thanks. My dogs were really barking, maaaan.

This is the point in our journey where I collapse, the weight of this burden I have taken upon myself getting the best of me and bringing me down.  From where I lie, the jagged rocks of this cruelly formed mountain cutting into my back, I look up and see only poisonous darkness, black clouds belched up from the final point of my destination, the place that I meant to finish off in.

But I cannot go on.  My legs won’t take me, my will won’t rouse me.

This is where you, chubby and always filled with hope take me up in your fat, fat arms and carry me the rest of the way because you know, you know that this journey was for a good reason, and the only reason that matters.

The music swells here, and though people may giggle at the overwrought vibe of it all, you could not care less what they think, because without you, without us doing what we’re doing, their smarmy-ass faces would be toast in short enough time.

“Mr. Frodo,” you’ll say, “you’re peeing all over me.  I wouldn’t have picked you up if I had known you were going to pee yourself and all over me.”  I won’t respond, not because I am that tired, but because I had been waiting to piss on you for a long time, having grown sick of you following me around, calling me ‘Mr. Frodo’.

It’s true we’ve only a little distance yet to cover before this journey of mine ends, before I can finally rest, safe and secure in the knowledge that I did my part to restore some semblance of sanity and order to the warped, twisted thing that time has turned INVADER ZIM into.

“But you’ve already done enough good, Mr. Frodo!” you say, “This world is already so much more informed about the truth, about what really went on in the show’s creation!”

“NOT ENOUGH!” I answer, my voice filling the burning valley we found ourselves in, the goblins, orcs and beavers that dwell in these lost places all looking up in fear of the impending end of their rule.

“Somewhere out there…somewhere stupid, there is someone who still thinks I’m an asshole for just not taking the show to YOUTUBE to continue it.  These people need to be educated….or murdered.”, that last bit trailing off as I give in to exhaustion.

You brace yourself for the climb, the dead weight of me making it that much more impossible.  I come to for just a brief moment.

“Stop by a Cuban place on the way, yeah?  I’m feeling like Cuban.”  I pass out again, letting loose with another torrent of pee for luck.

“It’s like battery acid!” you scream, “Oh, god what are you made of on the inside?!”

The fire-beavers laugh at you.


The majestic fire-beaver.

The fire-beavers will always laugh at you.  You’re exactly the kind of clown that gets them going, gets them feeling real glad about their station in life, awful as it is, because you’re just that hilarious.  Hell, I’d be laughing right along, but I’m so tired, weary from these long travels and from the trauma of what this terrible responsibility has done to me.  Instead, all I can manage is to ask you to figure out a way to carry me on your back “like I’m C3Po and you’re Chewie, you son of a bitch” before I drift off into the blackness again.  The last thing I hear is you screaming yourself hoarse at the beavers to “please just shut the fuck up.”

When I come to, the light is different.  I look around, rubbing the sleep from my eyes with my hands, which I have because I am not, in fact, a C3Po blasted to pieces by Stormtroopers, I am a sleepy man with all of his limbs, a few extra limbs at that.  You are, however, so covered in thick, beast-like hair that you’re as close to a Chewbacca as a person can get.  The demonic glow of of the earth’s molten blood lights the interior of the cave we find ourselves in.

We take the final few steps to the precipice that looks over the roiling lake of fire below, pausing to feel the impossible distance we have traveled behind us.

“Now, throw me in.” I tell you.


I chuckle.  “Nah, I’m just fuckin’ with you, man.” I pull out The Ring, the damned thing that gave me the power to make the show as awesome as it was.

Nothing should be that awesome.” I say, the words dripping and heavy with regret.

“You did what you had to.”

“Did I?  Did I?”

“It was a times of darkness, Jhonen.  People were stumbling afraid in the darkness.  They needed to be shown, they needed a light, any light, even if that light was evil.”

“It didn’t have to be evil, you know.”


“It didn’t.  The Ring can pretty much do anything, but I just thought it’d be pretty neat if the light was evil.”

“I…I don’t-”

“Like SUPER fucking evil, you know?”

“All that suffering…”

“To be honest, after I did it, I went back and was all ‘NOT evil enough, Ring, let’s up that shit!'”

“Why, Jhonen?  Why are you telling me this?”

“I dunno.  I talk when it’s hot.  Let’s toss this thing and get the hell outta here.  I’m dying for some Ethiopian now.”

We get thrown to the ground, I come unstrapped from your back and roll painfully across the hot rock.

“IT’S MINE!” hisses the wasted, mad horror standing over us.  “GIVE IT TO MEEEEEE!”

You flip yourself over, shocked, beholding the thing that stands between us and redemption.  “Who the hell are you?” you yell over the groaning of the planet.

“You know who it is.” I say.  “Look into its eyes”.

You do, and it only takes you a seconds to understand.  You shit a little.

I get myself up on my feet, standing with my back to the world, facing the awful thing with its back to the end of everything.  “You’ve been following us from the start.” I say.

“How did you know?” the thing rasps, its voice all empty spaces and bitterness.

“I could hear you saying ‘heehee, I’m so sneaky!’ to yourself every time things were quiet enough.”


“And when it wasn’t even quiet you’d raise your voice so you could hear yourself over the noise.”

“It makes me feel cool.”

“I know it does.”

You break in, stating the obvious, that this retched thing before us is the reason all of this ever happened, the reason this month of truths was so important.  This is the Rumor Wraith, the thing with no life that feeds off of the lives of others.  Some say it was never shown love as a child, others say it never played outside and understood that the internet wasn’t the real world.  Still others say that it worked on the show, possibly a janitor or a disgruntled window washer (the show had those) and was a small, angry thing of petty jealousies and creative resentments, that it built an empire of lies and rallied around it the weakest, saddest of souls to help spread them.

“The constant flatulence didn’t help much, either.” I add.

The thing looks off into the distance, pretending not to hear.

“Seriously, dude,” you say, “what the fuck were you eating along the way?  You should see a doctor.  That’s not the sound of a healthy colon.”

The thing strains to look even farther away, pretending even more to not hear any of this.

“I’m not a gastroenterologist, Rumor Wraith, ” I say, “but I am a pet lover, and I’ve heard stuff like that from enough dogs to know that there is some seriously fucked up shit happening inside of you.”

A long silence, and the thing on the edge of burning eternity breathes heavily and looks back to us, about to speak.

“I’m just saying, we didn’t even need to hear you to know you were following the way you’d blast out those smells.”

“Oh my god, right, the smells.  Remember by the swamps with all the souls of the fallen swirling around in the waters?”

“That’s right!” I cry out, half laughing.  “We were trying to eat our magic elf-bread and got so sick and…and remember what you said?!”


We both laugh, remembering the good times before I got sick of your face.  It’s one of those painful laughs where you just can’t breathe, can’t get enough air to keep the laugh going.

“I’m gonna die!  I’M GONNA DIE!” I choke out, and that only gets us laughing more.

The whole time, the creature, the thing with no soul, is standing there, hands on its bony hips, head down to examine the floor or something.  “You finished?” it asks.

I dunno about you, but I’m not finished.  I blow into the meat of my bicep and make the best fartin’ sound of my whole career, and we’re crying, laughing and the pain is intense.  It’s too much.

The creature puts its face in one of its hands, running the other through its hair in frustration.

“I don’t think there’s anything funny about my Crohn’s disease.  I just don’t, but I guess you do.” it says, looking down at us where we have collapsed in our laughter.

We stop laughing, but it takes time, an engine started that can’t shut off easily.  I rub tears from my eyes, tears that evaporate quickly in this furnace.  I straighten myself up as best I can before speaking again.

“No, I don’t.  I’m sorry.  I didn’t know.” I say, dusting off as much ash as I can.

“Forget about it.” the thing says. “Just give me The Ring.  I need to start a new rumor about how the show would still be on the air if you had just done things my way.”

“Would you excuse us a minute?” I ask you before shoving you off over the edge and to your flaming death.

The Wraith takes a step back, horrified.  “What the hell did you do that for?!”

“I wanted to talk to you in private, and that guy was I dunno.”

“That’s fucked up.”

“Tell me about it.  Look, Wraith, I think you should know, I’m…I’m doing this for fun.  This month I’m kinda just screwing around, doing mah thing, having a few laughs.”


“But your creepy earnestness is giving me the willies.  Even the fire-beavers seem to be in on the joke, but I’m getting the feeling that this isn’t at all a joke to you.”

“What is a joke?”

“You are.  Hear that?”

“Hear what?”

“That.”  I gesture toward the mouth of the cave, the raucous cackling of the fire-beavers pouring in.

The thing turns back to me, saying “They’re laughing because you’re such a douchebag for hating your fans so much.”

“I don’t hate my fans.  Looka that guy.” I say, pointing at a dude passing by the cave, classic JTHM tee on, well loved and yet clean.

“I like your work!” the guy calls out as he passes.

“Thanks!” I answer.  “Did you read Jellyfist?!” I yell over the rumble.

“Nope!” He says, and walks out of sight

“He’s awesome.”  I say, I waving goodbye at the guy who is on his way to work or something. “I just hate you.

“DOUCHEBA-” the creature starts up again, but shuts up when I pull out The Ring and hold it up.

“GIVE IT TO MEEEEEEE” the thing screeches.

“Tell you what, I want you to have it.”  I tell it.  “I’m pretty done with it and all it’s done is bring me trouble, anyhow, turned everything to dust and splinters, and even killed my friend who traveled with me all this way.”

You did that.  You kicked him.”

“You’re crazy. Hahhah!  Shut up, crazy.”

The Rumor Wraith’s eyes were locked on The Ring in my hand, the eyes of a junkie being offered a free hit; any hit at all.  “Okay.”


“I said ‘okay‘.”

I explain that as bad as things could get as a result of my terrible creation, I was proud in my own way, incredibly proud to have had a hand in one of the single most important works of art our species would ever know.  Rather than destroy the power that made all that possible, I tell the Wraith that perhaps The Ring could provide it with the soul and purpose that the miserable thing lacked.

Perhaps, upon wearing the thing, the Wraith would forget all about its sorry motivations and do something good for once.

I hold The Ring out to the Wraith’s shaking hands.  It has dreamed of this moment for as long as it could remember, it was clear by the look on its face.

“Normally you wear it on your cock, but don’t do that, okay? I really don’t want to see that, and I’m warning you if that happens I will throw up on you.  Go on, put it on your finger.”

The Wraith holds the thing in its hand, curling its fingers over it, feeling the power of it instantly, shuddering the way only people holding demonic cock rings do.

“You might start seeing some pretty weird shit, so don’t freak out.”

It was seeing weird shit,  could tell.

“What…what…oh, god what?”

“Yeah, happened to me, too.”

“What is it?  What’s happening?”

“I think it’s visions of the deeds or atrocities committed by the ring-bearer before the new one.  You’re the new one. ”

“Why?  WHY?!”

“Man, I know.  You just touch that thing and it’s like BAM!  INSTANT CINEMA!”


“Guy before me was really into beef fried rice, so that wasn’t so bad.  It was like I was him, eating plate after plate of beef fried rice, but he went to this one place that didn’t exactly make it the best way, so I got pretty sick of it after a while.  It was like I was right there with him, eating each and every forkful.  That was the other thing, he used a fork!”


“Oh, yeah.  Heheh.  I shoulda warned you.”


“I know.  Normally you’d think a guy would be cool with that stuff, but based on my just telling people about what I did, it’s apparently not cool some of the stuff I did.”


He screamed and screamed, and I knew it was my only chance.  With a mighty push I sent the ruined husk of a thing toppling over the edge, watching as it flailed and flailed all the way into the flames.

Come to think of it, maybe the ring is more of a doughnut.

Pathetic evil that powerful does not die easily, and so it wailed and writhed, slapping at the liquid rock for impossible purchase, its howling face shifting, revealing the face of every lowly monstrosity it ever assumed the form of until finally, it melted away itself, its elemental horror dissolving back into the sea of fire.

I step out of the cave, waving at all the fire beavers that have congregated there around it.

“Hi, beavers!”  I yell.

“Hi, douchebag!” they yell back in unison before the blast wave of The Ring’s destruction obliterates them to cinders.

Just then the eagles show up to take me home, and I scream at them, wondering why they didn’t just fly me here to begin with.  They take a huge birdshit on me and we all laugh.

Did I sleep through Cuban?  I dunno.  I’ll hit them up on the way back.

–ZIM FACTS. Here’s why—