Slick was conceived as the ninth of the ten second generation Brady Patrick stories. Along with Skulk, this story was one of the few that was written in its true order, being written ninth, in addition to being ninth on the list. When I came up with the ten new ideas, they were all done within a few minutes. It was an improvised list, and because of that, Korin's story idea was written as more of a joke than a serious proposal. I hadn't originally expected to use all ten ideas - in fact, my main reason for coming up with that list was to narrow down one story to write. However, after creating the list, I was really taken by several of the ideas, and figured I could probably coast my way through the others (or change them, as I did with three).
Korin's story was always a more comical idea than the others, and the only explanation I have for this is that his idea came near the end of the list when I was out of ideas for stories. At that point, I just picked a character I liked (in this case, Korin) and tried to come up with an irrelevant story for him. I didn't want to do anything with Korin that had plot-implications. I was fine with Destructivedisk's origin story, and I didn't think there was anything to make him do during the Dragon Ball Z timeline that would be significant. So a cat bed was a rather silly, weightless plot idea that fit well.
As for writing the story, I had always known, since before writing Speedball, that Slick would be second-last. While most stories were chosen to be completed at random, there were three which were not. I knew Speedball would be first, Slick would be ninth, and Sovereign would be tenth. The reasons for the other two stories' placements are explained on their pages, but as for Slick, it simply boiled down to it being a light-hearted story. The Brady Patrick collection features stories which are very dramatic and angsty; but for Slick, this was not the case. So, I felt that it would be nice to have a sort of turn-around near the end of the series that would be a bit of a humorous respite. Of course, since Slick isn't the last story, this wasn't meant as the finisher by any means.
I didn't do much pre-planning for Slick. About the only things I looked up were: which city King Furry ruled in, what color senzu beans were, if planting senzu beans would grow senzu plants, and a conversion from dollars to yen for the price of the cat bed. Aside from that, I completely free-balled the story. I didn't have anything planned at all for the plot, other than somehow Korin was going to try to buy a cat bed. The stuff about the catnip was improvised on the spot, as was the reason for Korin's old bed being destroyed.
The story was never designed to be plot-oriented, or even character-oriented (like most Brady Patrick stories). Instead, Slick is a collection of themes. In order to make it appear as a real experience for Korin, there were numerous fragments of themes present throughout the story; for the opening, Korin seeing how everyone is so focused in their lives that they aren't even aware of their surroundings; for his flashback to Yajirobe, the consequence and short-term memory of strong emotion; for the old lady scene, drawing parallels to racist tendencies in older generations (but more specific to Dragon Ball); for the catnip scene, showing both sides of the drug debate by showing how good it makes Korin feel, but also with the darker tone it sets by the obvious sweat shop the man has in the back; for the purchase of the cat bed, mocking the necessity of owning possessions and being a slave to consumer desire; and, of course, for the end, never forgetting who you are, truly. These were all carefully worked on, but I think the consumerism one and the one about being true to yourself are the most overt and powerful themes in the story.
The writing process itself was unique. I wrote one paragraph of the story, then stopped myself from proceeding. I then worked on the paragraph alone in order to word everything exactly how I wanted. I have had a recent feeling in my fanons that I sometimes write things quickly, and sacrifice the quality of writing for it, so the way I wrote Slick was an attempt to stop that trend. I did this one paragraph at a time, then took at least an hour break before coming back to do the next paragraph. Often, the time was far longer than an hour, however. Up until around where the dialogue started, I continued this trend. However, for the dialogue, I wrote that entire section at once. The two ending paragraphs were once again done with the method of one per hour, with heavy scrutiny and editing. This story was the longest time I had spent writing a Brady Patrick story because of that method. I should also mention, whenever I wrote this story, I put on the song Trailer Trash by Modest Mouse, so I probably listened to that song about 200 times just while writing this story. Sometimes, I'd just play along with my ukelele instead of writing, though.
I remember when I finished the story, I marathoned editing the story in between watching episodes of The Office season nine throughout the night of June 8th, until the late morning of June 9th. It was probably 7 or 8am by the time I had finished writing Slick, and read it over. I posted it on the wiki almost immediately after finishing and then went to bed because it was like 9am.
By a generous guess, it was high noon when Korin had made his way to the intersection. Therein were many people bustling about, rushing off to jobs or appointments at the swiftest of paces; many with coffee in one hand and money for a cab in the other; many more with irritated, frowning faces conveying their deep impatience; all, however, moved around the white cat in a constant, hurried stream of panicked energy. Korin sighed as he pressed forward, using his finely crafted walking stick to poke and prod at particularly overzealous individuals. After being pushed several times (and once having his tail stepped on), he abandoned his courtesy and cracked a few shins to clear some space of the filthy grey sidewalk.
He made his way through intersections until he spied the high, shining buildings he knew so well to be those of inner Central City. Looking up at them, Korin got the sudden urge to throw down his stick, run to them, and climb them. But he held himself – for he was quite old, and doing so would be unseemly, not to mention unnecessary. Instead, he pulled out a small piece of folded paper he had been keeping in his free paw, and opened it until he could read its letters: ‘Just Kitten! – Your leader in quality cat apparel. Get your feline companion the purrfect new present today! Don’t be a pussy, keep us busy!’ And even Korin couldn’t keep himself from purring for a few unchecked seconds after reading that.
Looking lower on the paper, he read an address, and after a quick glance at the nearby street sign, Korin found himself to be where he expected. Glancing ahead, he noticed a squat building painted in faded pink squashed between two more modernly constructed restaurants. Seeing its name in lights – neon, specifically, with an animated and devious-looking cat dancing between the letters – he was thusly satisfied, and moved towards it. Perhaps Central City was most renowned for being the preeminent crossroads of trade and opportunity in the world, not to mention holding the seat of history’s most benevolent ruler, King Furry, but Korin held it in regard for one reason: it had the finest proprietor of cat toys, cat furniture, and cat accessories anywhere around. That was what his monthly magazine, Forever Caturday, had said, anyway.
Upon entering the establishment, Korin was quickly overwhelmed by the fanciful (and often whimsical) items which were stacked upon the walls. And he noticed a rather strong perfume hanging in the air, perhaps clinging to the legion of dust floating about. Finely embroidered collars lined the entirety of the wall to his left, and a slew of large cat towers stood rank on the wall opposite. But he was not looking for any of those; instead, he wanted a new cat bed, for his previous one had been reduced to ruin. Eh, he was a cat with a dream. Well, he wanted to be able to dream again. Sleeping on the cold and dirty floor of his tower would be malapropos for such a mystical deity as him. What if someone was to climb his tower? What would they think if they saw the legendary Master Korin didn’t even have a cat bed to sleep on?
Yajirobe, the slouching samurai who lived with him had ‘accidentally’ dropped his sharp katana on Korin’s bed a few days back. That had been after Yajirobe had complained to Korin about the lack of food in the tower. Of course, Korin had brushed Yajirobe off – if that fat fool wanted something to eat, nothing was stopping him from going out to town to pick some food up. And though their confrontation had almost led to war (of similar nature and consequence of the famed (Space) Cod Wars), the two managed to forget their quarrel when – at the most opportune time – their favorite television show, Whineyface and The Bigman, came on. Thereafter, Korin had forgotten his conversation with Yajirobe until he had tried to sleep that night. He had retired to his quarters only to find his bed sliced apart like an expensive filet. To say this cool cat was not angry would be akin to making an obscure comparison to something which would just leave everyone more confused than if nothing had been said at all. But though he had been quite angry at Yajirobe at the time, Korin was now in a much happier mood. For the destruction of his age-old bed had given him the proper impetus to buy a new, ultra-fancy bed. Its comfort would be maximum.
Around a corner Korin continued in search of the cat beds. He noticed an elderly woman sitting on a stool to his left, her faded, patterned clothes cloaking her alongside a host of cat sweaters hanging from racks around her. Upon spotting old Korin, she beckoned for him to walk over. Begrudgingly, he did so; then he was met with a wrinkled old hand reaching for the back of his ear like a Phoenician handling a rope. After a few awkward seconds of allowing her to pet him, Korin then mumbled some hasty apologies and pulled away. He never much liked humans treating him so much like an animal, but with someone so old, so rooted in her view of the world, it would have been more bother for him to resist.
It was then, as he was briefly lost in his thoughts, that Korin came upon the back wall of the shop. In a glorious moment, he looked up, and realized he was looking at what he had been so long searching for; a stack – nay, a mountain of pristine, flawlessly crafted cat beds. He marveled at the ones he could reach and see at his short level, and noted their fine craftsmanship. Many were covered in a moderate sprinkle of sparkling glitter, soft suede, and even memory foam mattresses. And, as he felt over several different models with his paws, Korin became fully convinced that he needed one of these to be happy.
As he perused possible purchases, a nearby door opened. Out from it stumbled a jittery man in a greasy pin-stripe suit. He wore a hat which read ‘Gone Squatchin’, which gave Korin the impression that his name was Bobo. He seemed rather preoccupied, for he didn’t even notice the cat until looing up from the phone he held in his hand. When he spotted the feline customer, he suddenly composed himself, pocketed his phone, and walked forward with a wide smile. As he grew near, Korin became aware of a distinct aroma coming from the man’s body. At once, a wave of disorientation hit Korin, causing him to drop his walking stick and fall over. He began rolling about as unbridled happiness and joy overcame him. He felt his ears become very warm, his claws and tail start tingling, and his chin become very itchy. Even being who he was, Korin could not stop the chemical reactions in his brain from causing him to flop about on the floor. But he mustn’t have minded it much, since, truthfully, it had been a long time since the Korin had done some catnip, and he’d forgotten how great it was.
“Can I help you with anything, Mister Cat?” the man asked Korin upon reaching him.
Korin continued to roll about, purring uncontrollably for a few seconds before speaking up. His voice was breathless as it was forced, “D’ya mind?”
“Oh, of course. Of course. My bad,” the salesman replied, stepping back. He removed his suit (causing many little particles to fall from it), and placed it over a nearby box before returning to Korin. Evidently it was only the man’s suit which had catnip on it, for when he returned a second time, Korin was able to regain control over his actions, and could no longer smell the drug. “Now, were you looking to purchase anything from me, or what?” the man asked.
Korin stood up and reached for a cat bed he had been eyeing and presented it to the man. “Yeah, this one.”
The store owner laughed, and stroked a pathetic, wispy goatee protruding from his wizened chin. “I hope you have a lot of money. That’s a premium bed.”
Korin stood staunch. “Hey, what’s that supposed to mean? You think I can’t afford this, huh? Well, I’ll tell you what…” he asked, raising his voice.
“It’s 60,000 zeni! Show me the money, and then we’ll talk. Otherwise, don’t waste my time. I’ve seen plenty of cats in my store. Most of them can afford only to gawk at my items.”
A small smile played across Korin’s face like a flickering flame. Instead of removing zeni from his non-existent pockets, he instead produced a small pouch out of nowhere (he’s like a wizard or something, I don’t know). Opening it up, he plucked out a small green bean and showed it to the avaricious man. “I’ll give you three of these for the bed. How’s that sound?”
“Three beans? Are you crazy?! What kind of fool do you think I am? That bed is worth more than a million of your beans, cat!”
“It’s not good business to yell at your customers, you know. Besides, these beans are special.” Korin replied, wryly, “Ever heard of a senzu? They aren’t your ordinary beans.”
“Oh yeah? And what exactly makes them so special?”
“Eating one heals any injury. And if you plant one, you can grow your own supply. Consider this an investment for a new business.”
“What kind of new business?” the man replied, slight agitation in his eyes.
“We both know what kind of business you’re already involved in. You sell illegal catnip.” Korin responded instantly. “The cops could catch you at any time, ya know.”
“No cops come around the part of town. But aye, I do sell catnip, and catnip accessories,” said the man, his eyes glinting. He took out a small tube from his pocket, which held a small amount of catnip in it and brandished it in front of the cat. Korin was just glad it was sealed, or he’d be on the floor again.
“I bet that’s a pretty dangerous job! But if you sold these, you’d make a lot more money. It wouldn’t be illegal, either,” Korin said, waving a bean in front of the man.
“If you want me to believe you, then prove those beans work! Come on, do it!”
Before the man had realized exactly what he had said, Korin had leapt forward. Evidently, Korin was quite tired – he wanted a new bed very badly – and still had some of the catnip in his system. So coaxing a semi-high grand master of martial arts to ‘show’ you how magically healing beans actually work is never a good idea. In fact, it’ll likely result in a severe case of being whamboozled.
Before the man could register what was going on, he heard a loud crack, that of his ribcage fracturing from a blunt hit from the head of a walking stick, and then fell over. The white ball of fur landed next to him, gently (on all four feet, no less; it was incredible), and bent down to look at the man who was just beginning to register the pain of breaking so many bones. Before he could scream, Korin opened his mouth, and shoved a bean down his throat. Upon swallowing, the man coughed heavily, but felt no more pain. He looked back down upon his chest, and felt it gingerly. What had, a moment ago been excruciating pain was now gone. He had physically felt his bones break… and now they were healed again. He looked up to Korin with wondrous eyes.
“How are you feelin’, champ?” the cat spoke softly.
“What was that?” the man whispered, his eyes wide in shock.
“That was me giving you your first bean. You get two more in our deal.”
“So that’s it?! I get two beans and whiskers the wondercat gets the most expensive bed we have?!”
“That sounds about right. You should be happy I gave you a senzu in advance. I saved you a lot of pain.”
“No! I want more! Give me one hundred beans or no deal!”
“Eh, that’s not gonna happen.” Korin replied, calmly, “Just get up, and go back to making catnip in the back. I’ve already given you a bean, and you can plant the others to grow more. Maybe you can even end up selling them once you grow some more. ”
“No buts, man.” Korin said firmly, “You’ve already eaten one of my beans, so it’s a done deal. How about you go back to work and stop wasting your time? That’d be good idea, heh heh.”
The man was simply speechless. As he sat up, he watched the cat pick up the bed, and sling it over his back before walking back down the hall. Korin dodged the old lady this time, feigning the weight of his purchase being too burdensome to stop. As the salesman stood up, he pocketed the two beans, and put his suit back on. He slouched back to the back room, wherein several dozen employees were hard at work bottling small doses of catnip. He felt for the phial he had in his pocket, and noticed it to be missing. He swore to himself, realizing that the cat who had pickpocketed him would be long gone by now. That slick, crafty devil had robbed him twice-over.
Korin returned to the street. Glancing at the nearest sign, he noticed he was at the intersection of Norman and Chad. Taking Norman street, he followed the same route he had taken into the city back out. He couldn’t help but chuckle a bit to himself as he walked out. He had told that pathetic, used-car salesman wannabe that the senzus could simply be planted to grow new ones. That wasn’t true at all. That served the man right for having such a ridiculous asking price on the cat bed. He continued on until he had reached the outskirts of the city. There, he waited for several minutes until Yajirobe was supposed to come and pick him up. And as he waited, Korin took out the phial of illegal catnip that he had swiped earlier.
Perhaps he was over 800 years old, but he was still a kitten at heart. There was a little more fun in him yet. He didn’t want to ever forget that.
- The original description for the Korin story was "9. Slick - a story about how korin tries to sell senzu beans in central city in order to purchase a new cat bed, and has a very hard time"
- This story is named slick because Korin is quite the barterer.
- All the cat puns were ones I made up myself. For example, the Just Kitten store is a pun on the phrase Just Kidding.
- "Seeing its name in lights" is a reference to the Weezer song Represent.
- The Neon light with the cat dancing between the letters is a reference to a store in my hometown, which had a sign just like that. However, the store wasn't cat related at all, so that made the sign rather random in my opinion.
- Forever Caturday is a double reference. For one, it references the popular Caturday (aka Saturday) celebrated on 4chan, where many a cat thread will be posted. Secondly, I mostly modeled it after the store Forever 21, to subtly show that Korin is reading a magazine which is probably aimed at far younger cats than him. This implies that he's clinging onto his youth in one of the only ways he can. I find that a nice, subtle touch.
- "Eh, he was a cat with a dream." is a reference to a famous, recurring quote by legendary Poker commentator Norman Chad. Of course, his version is "Eh, he was a kid with a dream".
- The reference to the Space Cod Wars is referencing a page that Destructivedisk created, which itself was referencing the Cod Wars fought between Iceland and Great Britain, which was probably the most useless and inconsequential war ever.
- Whineyface and The Bigman are two nicknames for people I know in real life. One of them may or may not be a fellow admin on this site.
- "Its comfort would be maximum. " is a reference to the famed newspaper article which had a kid list his favorite superhero as Broly, and saying that Broly's power was maximum.
- The part about the Phoenician handling a rope was a random comparison that came up in my mind. I used it because Phoenicians were great sailors back in the day, so they would often handle ropes pretty roughly.
- The Salesman's hat is a reference to the show "Finding Bigfoot". This is further compounded by Korin's thought that seeing that hat made him think the man's name was Bobo. On Finding Bigfoot, there is a main "investigator" named Bobo, who sometimes wears that hat.
- I like the part where I said it's been a while since Korin's done some catnip, which implies he used to do it back in the day. Probably when he was in college.
- I thought $599 would be a good price for a super expensive cat bed, but I did not look up any prices to see if there were any that cost that much. Obviously, it was then converted to yen, which is synonymous with zeni.
- The use of the word avaricious was the only consciously inserted word, because it was one I had recently read in Oliver Twist.
- When the man calls Korin "Whiskers the wondercat" this is a reference to the Harmony dub, which renamed Korin that.
- The use of the word whamboozled is another reference to a famous phrase by Norman Chad.
- "The white ball of fur landed next to him, gently (on all four feet, no less; it was incredible), " I don't remember which story it was, but in one that Destructivedisk wrote, he had a line that said 'it was incredible'. I think it was a parody, but I don't remember. Regardless, that line was hilarious, and I always wanted to reference it.
- The street names, Norman and Chad, is a super obvious reference to Norman Chad, the Poker commentator.
I really liked writing Slick, and found it to be quite funny throughout. There were numerous times where I had to stop writing because a part I had written had struck me as humorous. Many of the references are personal references, either to people I know, or things I particularly like, so the enjoyment is probably enhanced for me because of that. I still think it would be a funny story to read, especially when imagining Korin on catnip. Come on, who wouldn't want to see a new Dragon Ball series, if only to get a Korin-on-catnip scene? This story continues the strong writing of the previous two Brady Patrick ones, and I don't have any complaints there. I would probably rework some sections of the dialogue if I were to change anything, but I don't think the dialogue is bad by any means. I'd give Slick an S.
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Part 24 ---->