All Stories, Fantasy, General Fiction

Tippleganger and Dozzle: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical by Leila Allison

Prefatory Remarks

Defining the Tippleganger:

The Spirit half of this little drama

Has a second bottle of wine ever convinced you to cut your own hair? Did that darn vodka make you “overshare” sex fantasies you have about your sister’s husband with a mutual friend who cannot keep a secret? How much Budweiser does it take to get you to call your ex at three a.m.?–in spite of what it says about that sort of thing in the restraining order.

Ah, the “challenging” morning after, equally suffered by both queen and commoner, hero and knave, genius and bonehead. And although it’s still all your fault, there stands a good chance that a lot of your crimes were abetted by a Tippleganger.

Pseudo-scientifically speaking, the mischievous Tippleganger Spirit has been around since the blessed First Fermentation. For untold ages this jester-class ghost has specialized in supplying Big Ideas to living persons who have imbibed past the limits of common sense and decency. Although “Tips” may assume any shape, they usually gather-to in the guise of a person (or a close enough for government work version of such) whom the Target Drunk (TD) respects and is likely to listen to. Nobody knows how Tips figure this out. Let’s just say that, as it goes in life, the hereafter is also shrouded in mystery and pitted with plot holes, and leave it at that.

In the Tippleganger idiom, getting a TD to move on a Big Idea is called a Heeding. Tips are all about Heedings. The more embarrassing a Heeding is for the TD, the better. 

Your average Tippleganger lurks the places where alcohol is served and they size up potential TDs for their entertainment value. They also peer through windows to see who is drinking alone (solitary sots make excellent “clients”). Although most Tip possessions of TD’s are one-offs, and do not usually stick to the TD’s memory, a Long Term Target Drunk (LTTD), such as Yours Truly, often develops a mutually exclusive Tippleganger/LTTD relationship. My Tip, Duke Dick Head, looks, thinks and in all meaningful ways behaves like Mr. Shakespeare’s Richard Plantagenet, Jr. The Duke usually halts in and begins to whisper suggestions after my third brandy Alexander.

Defining the Dozzle: The all too human living person in this feature

Dozzle is a portmanteau of douche and nozzle. Involvement in a portmanteau is as fancy as things get for this distinctly American hillwilliam; for dozzle accurately describes any one of the millions of droopy-drawered, profoundly unemployable, Kid Rock wannabe meatballs you see hanging out in front of 7-11 becausefeckless Natural Selection seldom does anything about its mistakes.

Tippleganger and Dozzle: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical

The Tippleganger was depressed. It had been weeks since his last heeding; insecurity and paranoia were creeping in on his ghostly serenity. He feared he had lost his touch. And, now, his insensitive fellow Tipplegangers were beginning to talk; one insolent son of a bitch even went as far to suggest that he open a rehab center and call it “The 13th Step.” Keep on smiling, mo-fo, keep on smiling…

Yes, the Tip was feeling low. So low that he boarded the ferry departing Seattle for Charleston in search of the easiest prey in all of Tipplegangerdom, the American dozzle. Although such behavior was considered slumming and tantamount to a Ladies’ Man getting his swagger back at a brothel, he figured that he needed a confidence builder, regardless of its provenance.

Charleston, Washington, USA, is the natural breeding ground for the American dozzle. You can spot a dozzle by the conveyance of a startling unoriginality that is so lame that it is a new thing unto itself. In a way, a dozzle can be described as an identity thief. Now, that’s not to claim that a dozzle is bright enough to breach bank records or lift social security numbers on the strength of his wit–Oh, hell no. What they do is mimic the styles of hip hoppers, skater boys, punk rockers, gang-bangers, heavy metallurgists, recently paroled felons and smother it with a Neptunian cloud bank composed of Axe filched off the shelf at WalMart and laid on heavy while no one is looking. Dozzles are also notorious lightweights when it comes to drugs and alcohol; all it takes is half a bowl of state weed (legal in Washington) and maybe six swallows off a forty-ounce Colt .45 to make a heedful dozzle.

The invisible Tip was alone with his thoughts at the bow of the vessel. It was winter in the Pacific Northwest, and although it made no difference to the ghost, a thirty-knot headwind had insured the Tip’s private misery. The Tippleganger was feeling cheap and miserable. Yet his isolation, and an inner sadness that was getting to be as tiresome and whiny as a Morrissey CD, didn’t last much longer. Whatever little god that looks out for Tipplegangers on the skids must also have on board that same ferry. How else to explain the sudden appearance of an American dozzle already polluted on…

“Buckfast!!!” The Tippleganger silently screamed with glee, and he did a little happy dance when he saw the dozzle and got a load of what the guy had a load of. “This dumb bastard is gacked to the nines on Buck-fucking-fast!”

Tipplegangers have a supernaturally keen sense of smell when it comes to alcohol identification. Even potions that hadn’t been invented yet or were no longer drunk during their lives are immediately known to them once they become Tips. A Tippleganger can tell whether you have mead or sack or twenty-year-old scotch or Bokay apple wine or PBR or cough syrup on your breath by just looking at you. Yet not since the halcyon days of Four Loko (until the prudes at the FDA pulled the plug on it) had he caught whiff of the type of beverage that he heard did most of the heavy lifting for Tips in the UK. Somehow, this dozzle had gotten into some Buckfast even though it wasn’t sold in the US.

No matter. No reason to look a gift dozzle on Buckfast in the mouth.

Ye gods, what a dozzle it was. A regular factory prototype. He was a skinny, short little shaver someplace in his twenties. He was wearing a Kevin Durant jersey, an Oakland Raiders cap from which the type stringy dirty blonde hair you never see on the head of someone who scored high on an SAT, hung listlessly. Naturally, his pants were down to his knees, thus exposing a not entirely fresh pair of Spongebob Squarepants boxers. His sneakers were untied and he was carrying a skateboard slathered with energy drink stickers. Fortunately the headwind had dispersed much of the dozzle’s personal atmosphere of Axe, but you could still tell that he’d recently been to WalMart.

But none of that mattered as much as the wonderful nectar that the dozzle had in his system.

“Buckfast,” the Tip whispered, mystified by his good fortune, but not to the degree that he didn’t quickly act on it.

A pair of wholesome college-aged girls came out on the bow, and laughing and yelping at the wind; they immediately took shelter behind a windowed enclosure, which was open at each end, thus still technically a part of the bow. They were young and pretty and well dressed; girls way the hell out of the dozzle’s reach. For a second that last thought almost caused the Tip to feel pity for the dozzle. But a second look informed him that the dozzle, though a meatball, was not mentally challenged, and that he willingly chose to be the way he was because it required no work on his part. The Tip glanced back at the girls behind the glass and decided that they were the sort of girls neither attracted to laziness nor the embracement of ignorance as a culture.

The Tip gathered-to as Kevin Federline; good old K-Fed came in handy for something at last. Only the dozzle could see or hear “K-Fed.” Although the Buckfast had left the light-weight dozzle in a semi-catatonic state, enough of its syrupy antisocial sweetness was there for the Tip to manipulate.

“Hey bro,” Said K-Fed/Tip; easily heard by the dozzle despite his condition and the wind howling off the sea.

“Brah, whoaahh…dude, I got your CD at my baby mama’s crib. Had to come out for a sec…Some dude…some dude in a band…some dude says he’s in a Scottish band shared…”

Although that intel somehow clarified an item of minor curiosity for the Tip, it wouldn’t have mattered if the dozzle had been fed the Buckfast by a unicorn in a leisure suit. Not now, not on the verge of winning a heeding.


“Bro,” K-Fed/Tip, said, with the badboyish I Don’t Care if You Come Stay Lay or Pray attitude that girls who have zero self esteem and even fewer IQ points find sexy. “Them chickens over there are checking you out.”

“Dude…I know,” lied the dozzle.

“Say,” said K-Fed/Tip, “Why don’t you give them a treat and go all Leo DiCaprio.”

Here the Tippleganger pushed, just a little. He placed that scene from Titanic in the dozzle’s tiny mind, and associated it with sex.

“Oh, dude…yeah,” said the dozzle, already on his way to the very front of the bow.

“You’ll be layin’ more pipe than Exxon,” the Tippleganger laughed and laughed and laughed, exalted after finally ending his heeding losing streak.

Upstairs in the pilot house the first officer sighed. “Captain, we’ve got yet another douche nozzle on the prow screaming he’s King of the World.”

The Amoral: How Much Buckfast Can a Young Buck Suck Fast Before A Tippleganger Plays Him For a Horse’s Ass?

Leila Allison

Image by Irek Marcinkowski from Pixabay 

15 thoughts on “Tippleganger and Dozzle: A Feeble Fable of the Fantasmagorical by Leila Allison”

  1. Hi Leila,
    I learned a very long time ago, when you are steaming and you think something is a good idea, it’s not!
    When you consider doing something and it being hysterical, it won’t be.
    And if you ask someone – ‘Can I tell you something’ For fuck sake don’t!!!
    I think I may be gang possessed with a keg of Tipplegangers. (Is that an acceptable collective term?)
    I don’t really have an alcohol that makes me do stupid things. I should drink more brandy as all it does is make me very happy and then sleep.
    Absinthe makes me miss drugs.
    And they all make me very depressed…When they are finished.
    This was a lot of fun.
    Brilliant and inventive as always!!
    All my very best to you.


    1. Tipplegangers are everywhere. I have my own personal Tip and you may as well. No matter, it is the responsibility of the “heeder” to ignore the Big Idea or face the consequences for it. Tips merely suggest, and, to be fair, some of their suggestions aren’t half bad.
      Thanks as always,


  2. Fellow Specific North Westerner – Because I frequently opt for stupid, I feel compelled to ask – “Hot enough for you” (for those who have seen no news, record breaking heat dome in OR, WA, ID, BC). We didn’t see anything over 110F south of Portland OR USA…

    We now return to the story. I am so happy those days are thirty or so years behind me. I’m now a brandy fan, rather than calculating oz of alky per $ of price. Excellent descriptions, but some of the specifics may not speak to the Emerald Isles. Are you old enough to remember “green death” ale in a green bottle? Olympia beer with the base count on the label? Status based on how drunk one had become? Those were the days. The bad days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you came out unmelted. It reached 108 at our little airport but a cool 104 here. I thought Oly beer went belly up, but I saw it recently. Dunno if someone just bought the name or if it is still in ummm Tumwater, I think. Dunno green death, but I have met Mickey’s big mouth bottles, still around I think. Take care and let’s hope that this an anomaly. Because it’s only June!


      1. Green death may have been Rainier beer. This was at least 55 years ago so probably not. I fear that climate change will not let up and the only good news for me is that I only have a few years left. After heat dome, historically bad fires, pandemic, freezing rain that cost us electricity for 5.5 days, I see tsunami as an encore. We are well and truly screwed.

        Keep on rocking in the free world (irony intended)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny imaginative tale, I liked the ferry trip, reminded me of one time crossing to Bremerton… I knew that guy wasn’t Kevin Federline. A tippleganger’s a bit like a hypnotist who works out of a nightclub. Wrong decisions come from heeding the tippling call, for sure, but in the end we’ve only ourselves and bad spirits to blame.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Harrison.
      For seven years (until I began working mostly at home), I rode the Seattle Bremerton run five days a week. A cup of crap beer goes for something like eight bucks (I never bought one), and yet there are people who bought it. Rookies. The rest of us simply spent eight bucks on a six pack and sat aft.
      Thanks again.


  4. I’m dazzled by the dozzle. Well not by the dozzle himself but by the description of him and the overall cleverness and inventiveness of the piece. This story has helped make the sweltering afternoon here bearable on a day when our a/c has conked out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you David.
      It’s back to normal weather wise now, but we hit well over a hundred on back to back days. Only three in ten in the northwest own AC. I don’t. But I sprung for one and it will arrive next week. Hope you stay well and hydrated, but not on cheap stuff like Buckfast.


  5. Thank you for solving the mysteries of my life. Here I was blaming myself for decades of bad choices and all along it was a master Tip. The mental image of a unicorn in a leisure suit is one I may never lose (or indeed want to lose). Pure madness told with impeccable method. Loved it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Nick–
      A Unicorn in a leisure suit looks his/her best with matching white shoes and a belt. And gold chains. Plenty of gold chains draped from the horn. Thank you for your kind words. Hope we see you soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ’tis a thing of beauty. As for seeing me soon I thought I’d at least do a spot of reading and commenting – and it seems like I chose a classic LS week as the stories have been first class. It both inspires me to pick up the pen and terrifies me enough to put it down!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Leila, you had me hook-line-and-sinker at “whiny as a Morrissey CD.” Also, I have seen some very, very strange things on the Puget Sound ferry runs, things that beggar description. Great story, thanks!


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