The Asses

Finding herself in dire need of hemorrhoid cream, Elaine goes to the drugstore. Feeling embarrassed at the counter, though, she starts making loud excuses to the clerk. “Oh, this?” she shouts, looking toward the other customers in line. “This is just for my dark circles! The dark circles under my eyes.” She clearly possesses no such circles. She gesticulates wildly. “Oh, goodness, this is hemorrhoid cream? For your butt? Oh, mercy me, I thought this was…” she squints. “Homarid cream.” She runs out of the store in disgrace, without the cream she requires.

George proudly unveils his newest invention, the Ass Muffler: Modeled after that of a car, when inserted up the user’s posterior, it allows one to pass wind silently, every time. George believes this will cut down on his awkward social encounters by at least a third, but in reality, he finds himself explaining to complete strangers what the large mechanical protrusion under the seat of his pants is.

Kramer finally achieves what he has spent years working toward: A beard with strands of hair up to 40 feet long. “Now begins the final sequence,” he declares, and solemnly swallows the tip of the beard. Over the next dozen or so hours, the rest of the beard gets pulled into his body by his digestive system until he expels a disgusting rope of hair from his bottom. He ties the rear end of the beard to a hook on the wall, and loops the chin-end of the beard around a hook mounted on the opposite wall, suspending himself as such. “Now,” he declares, fully nude and sweating considerably, “The hammock is on the inside.” George lets loose a nervous, silent fart, and Kramer sways in the resulting breeze.

Jerry is displeased when the best received joke of a set is a fart joke, aimed at a heckler, which he didn’t even write in advance.

The Hiatus

Jerry takes an extended break from comedy to work on other projects. Out of curiosity, he heads to one of his usual venues and is disappointed that nobody seems to have even noticed that he hasn’t been around in a while. It’s hard for him to stay angry, though, as everyone in the club seems to be having a great time regardless.

On the way home, he wonders about his importance to the world. Would things be that much different without him? Does he merely fill the role of an archetype that someone else would have filled in his absence, had he never been born or become interested in comedy? Does the joke itself really matter if people laugh just as hard?

A homeless man breaks into a seizure and collapses to the sidewalk as Jerry nears. Eh, someone else will help him, thinks Jerry, stepping around him and crossing the street.

George sees an old battleship floating out in the ocean just beyond the Statue of Liberty and feels as if he has seen it somewhere before, but can’t quite place where. He shrugs off the sense of deja vu and eats an untouched hot dog out of a nearby garbage can.

Kramer walks around whispering the word “horse” after watching the film trailer for The Horse Whisperer on mute and severely misunderstanding the premise. “I don’t get what the big deal is,” he says to Jerry. “This is easy peasy!”

Elaine dates a man who keeps trying to convince her that her name is a palindrome. It isn’t until their eighth date that she realizes he’s actually illiterate.

The Portraitist

George decides that he doesn’t have to try to improve his poor driving abilities because it means that other drivers are on average far more skilled than he is and thus better able to avoid bad drivers like him. “It’s like herd immunity for driving. I mean, logically speaking, if I get better, then doesn’t that mean there will be more bad drivers on the road by comparison?”

Jerry tries to point out that George’s reckless driving increases the likelihood of accidents regardless of the overall aggregate of skills, but is interrupted by Kramer, who takes issue with the word “reckless”.

"Doesn’t the very word imply there will be less wrecks?" he asks.

"It’s ‘fewer’," replies Jerry.

"That’s what I’m saying!" wails Kramer exasperatedly.

Elaine dates a painter who persuades her to pose nude for him. She is initially flattered, relishing the attention as he paints portrait after portrait of her in various poses. When he finally shows her his completed works, she is horrified to discover that he has not only depicted her with insultingly grotesque sexual characteristics, he has also placed her into ridiculous and embarrassing fantasy scenarios filled with goblins and faeries featuring himself as her nude — and equally preposterously endowed — knightly savior.

George’s carelessness inevitably results in a catastrophic traffic jam. Trapped in the gridlock is a delivery vehicle on its way to bring Elaine’s boyfriend’s paintings to a gallery opening. They never make it in time. Though she doesn’t admit it out loud, she is relieved about the art van delay.

The Mondays

A toddler catches Kramer’s eye while walking through the park one day, her eyes twinkling and a smile from ear to ear. “Truly,” he says to the uncomprehending child, “You are only capable of happiness because you are ignorant of the world. Blessed are the idiots.” He hangs his head low and draws meaningless scratches in the dirt. The toddler eats a beetle.

After a drawn-out fight with his father, George finds himself in the grip of a terrible malaise. He rides the 6 train downtown, and a homeless man approaches him. “Change? Any change?” George looks up at the unfortunate soul. “My own father. Even my own father can’t love me. If my parents can’t even love me, how presumptuous is it for me to ask a stranger to love me?” The homeless man shuffles away, wide-eyed, but George does not notice. He instead shuts down completely, becoming so self-conscious that he fails to recognize the world outside his own head. He rides the 6 downtown and uptown and downtown again, the conductors too scared to ask him to leave.

Jerry spends an entire day before a performance in the green room, wracking his brain and body while suffering a cold sweat. “What if today is the day?” he muses aloud. “What if they finally all find out that I’m not really that funny after all? What if they’re just laughing because they’ve been conditioned to laugh? Maybe I’m just filling some role because society demands comedians.” His pupils dilate. “But even then,” he continues, “is that of any real worth? I’m not curing any diseases. I’m not freeing innocent prisoners. I’m distracting people from their inevitable ends.” His next four hours are spent fixating on said inevitable end, and whether he should bring about his own inevitability prematurely. He’s just about to break down sobbing when he hears the club’s announcer boom, “Here’s Jerry Seinfeld!” He jogs onstage full of life and energy, lighting up the room with humor and laughter for a solid hour. As soon as the lights go down, he collapses, exhausted, thankful that the audience can’t see him in the sudden darkness.

The three meet up with Elaine at Monk’s Restaurant a few days later. Noticing that no one else seems to be making conversation, Elaine tries to lighten the mood: “Ugh, Peterman has been so annoying lately. It’s not like he even does anything useful over there! Honestly, he should just kill himself!”

The other three each look away, hoping no one notices their eyes welling up with tears.

The Bug

George has a cup of coffee so terrible that he starts vomiting and cannot stop. Elaine dates a man because of his distinct odor, then dumps him when she realizes she can just buy his deodorant without having to deal with all his annoying personality traits. Kramer sees the word “anatomy” written down for the first time in a while and finds himself wondering what the human body was like before it lost its natomy. Profoundly bored in the green room of a comedy club, Jerry eats a bug he finds in the couch cushions. It tastes better than anything he ever ate before. He spends the rest of the night feverishly seeking out more of the strange insect, crawling through every inch of the venue on his hands and knees.

The Stink Cloud

Frank angrily attacks Elaine when she doesn’t give thanks for “the work our veterans have done.” “Not all veterans,” Elaine replies. Frank explodes. “Whaddaya mean, you numbskull! It’s Memorial Day! Memories of veterans!” “Only the dead ones,” Elaine insists. “Veteran’s Day is for the living ones.” The two go back and forth until they’re yelling more at themselves than each other, and eventually, each forgets that the other exists.

Kramer uses his toilet, but finds that the flushing mechanism has broken, so his deposit must remain in the bowl until he can repair it. Feeling overly dirty from the experience, he takes a hot shower, but this has an unintended side effect: The combination of the hot steam in the air and the contents of his toilet create a vast cloud of stink. When he attempts to leave the bathroom, he finds that the door is jammed — he is trapped inside. He has no choice but to breathe the putrid air, stifling gags in between horrified gasps for air. The smell eventually makes its way over to Jerry’s apartment; Jerry, assuming the worst, simply calls the coroner’s office.

The Myoclonic Jerk Store calls just as George was about to fall asleep.

The Pick of the Litter

Noticing that Jerry has been a bit lonely and down in the dumps, Kramer convinces him to adopt a puppy, claiming he knows “just the one”. The next day, he shows up with the most lovable little dog Jerry has ever seen. The two bond instantly, and from that day on, Jerry is never seen without his canine companion.

Elaine spots shadowy figures prowling on her fire escape several nights in a row and becomes concerned about security. Kramer overhears her expressing her worries to Jerry and tells her he has just the dog for her. Two days later, he presents her with a young but well-trained German Shepherd. Later that night, when a man forces her bedroom window and tries to creep in, the dog charges at him and scares him away. The prowlers never return.

George watches women fawning over a man in the park with a cute dog. He grumbles about it to Jerry. “This guy could be a total loser and they’d still be all over him!” “Sounds perfect for you, then,” replies Jerry, to George’s chagrin. Jerry looks at his own dog. “I think I know who can help you.” The two head across the hall to Kramer’s apartment and knock on the door, but there’s no answer. After a moment, they hear a terrible, pained groan from somewhere deep within, and break down the door. Inside, they find Kramer giving birth to a litter of seven puppies.

The Grotesquerie

Jerry catches a glimpse through his window of Newman delivering mail outside and is repulsed by the man. Despite his best efforts, he can’t shake the horrible, penetrating chill that results. Almost as if possessing some supernatural sense, Newman turns and glowers up at Jerry.

Kramer comes across Newman in the street and tries to hold a conversation with him, but when Newman begins to reply to Kramer’s inquiry, his teeth sputter out from between his lips and clatter to the sidewalk. Newman seems unfazed by the turn of events and continues trying to speak through his mangled mouth as Kramer backpedals in horror and revulsion.

George collides into Newman on his way into a bodega. “Hey, watch it!” he growls, but yelps when he notices that Newman’s arm has somehow become grotesquely broken by the interaction. “I’m… I’m so sorry,” stammers George as he quickly hurries outside and scampers away.

Jerry gets into the elevator on his way to the lobby, but before the doors can close completely, Newman thrusts his arm inside, stopping the doors, and enters as well. He presses the button for the lobby, despite it already being illuminated. Jerry struggles to withhold commentary but eventually succumbs to his compulsion. “Now, why do people do that?” he asks. “Clearly the button’s already been pressed. Do you think it’s somehow gonna get there faster if you hit it again? If you do, why not just keep pressing it? Maybe you’ll go back in time!”

Newman responds with a wheezing, indifferent grunt that laboriously rattles from within his body.

Between the fifth and fourth floors, the elevator suddenly shudders and rattles to an unexpected halt. Jerry pounds on the door and tries to call for help, but nobody seems to hear. Soon after, the safety mechanisms fail, and the elevator plunges to the basement.

Jerry awakens in the hospital surrounded by his three friends, all wearing grave expressions that brighten when they notice the activity on his face.

"Jerry, you’re okay!" exclaims Elaine. "We were so worried!"

"What happened?" he asks dreamily, his mind fogged both by painkillers and the trauma they were administered to alleviate.

"You were in an accident," explains George. "The elevator in your building fell."

"Newman!" moans Jerry.

The others exchange a look.

"Yeah, he was there too," says George.

"Did he…" starts Jerry. "Did he survive?"

George shakes his head. “No. But the weird part of it is, the coroner says that judging by the state of his body, he’s been dead for over a month.”

Elaine starts loudly eating a candy bar from her purse.

The Hornet Sting

When Jerry begins to feel like he’s been falling out of popularity, he asks Kramer to monitor members of his audience to take note of who laughs and who doesn’t and collect their information. He then contacts the laughers and offers them discounted tickets and other incentives to attend his shows, and tells the box offices to refuse to sell tickets to any of the lesser laughers. After a while, his shows are filled only with people who find him the most hilarious, and he is once again viewed as a top comedian. Bania sourly refers to the tactic as “Jerry-mandering”.

Elaine breaks up with her boyfriend by sending a Chinese food delivery boy to his apartment with the note slipped inside a fortune cookie.

George is stung by a radioactive hornet, but unfortunately only his histamine is granted superpowers.

The Resurrection

Jerry wakes up to find colored eggs in various places throughout his apartment, but can’t figure out where they came from. “I’m not even a Christian!” he exclaims, as over a dozen roll out from his medicine cabinet. George finds an unusually long hair growing out from among the others on his balding scalp and gives it a tug to try to pluck it out. Instead, the rest of his hair unravels into one long thread. Elaine melts during a long walk in the rain. After rising from the dead, Kramer is unable to push the rock out from the opening of his cave, and eventually suffocates and dies a second time.