Reservoir Cats

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 31 Jan 2024

On the FAQ page of my Discography site, I answer 2 of the most common questions I receive.  The first, of course, is "What's your problem, anyway?"  The second is, "Who is Pablo Smog?"

This is Pablo Smog:


Pablo Smog was my pen name when I lived in L.A.  This is Pablo Smog as a Medieval woman:


I wasn't really going for the female peasant aesthetic, so I asked the computer to turn me into a piece of collage art.  At which point it turned my head into the chalk outline of a crime scene, and inserted the face of Charlize Theron where the body of the victim ought to be.


I have never been gay, and I have never worn makeup.  Occasionally, I will use a Sharpie if I accidentally cut any holes in my hair, and need to fill in the empty space.  I haven't had a haircut from another person since 1997.  I cut the back of my hair by touch.  I can't see it, so it doesn't bother me if it looks bad.  I don't usually care if there are holes in the back of my hair, but the sides are another matter.  It's good to have a Sharpie on hand, if you need to color in any bald spots.

But even though I'm not gay and cut my hair in the rearview mirror of a Truckstop washroom with the sharpened, rusty jawbones of my defeated enemies, the computer seems to think my cartoon likeness is a girl.  Here's Pablo looking like a woodland Emily Blunt, a surreal, psychedelic sicaria with an invasive species of alien sideburn, crawling down his face.


Note the hole, cut into the front and center of the hair.  Perhaps Pablo's hand slipped while he was trimming the front, and he inadvertently created a singularity.  A perfectly coiffed, stylish singularity that makes it possible to contain a sky on the forehead of his girlish, feminine face.

It must be the eyes.  The eyes of the original Pablo Smog drawing could be interpreted by a machine as feminine, I suppose.  Whatever the reason, once I told the machine Pablo Smog was the name of an angry, fictional man, it finally gave me something I could work with.  A poster for Reservoir Cats, apparently, an imaginary film which will be released this summer.  Reservoir Cats has no plot or characters to speak of, but it will be screening in any singularities formed by any homeless people anywhere, attempting to cut their hair by touch.

Tickets go on sale tonight in your dreams.


Of course, it isn't strictly true that Reservoir Cats has no characters to speak of.  The plot may be thinner than the layer of Sharpie you apply to the holes you cut in your hair, but the film does in fact have one character that transcends 8, artificially-generated dimensions.  Because the script can only be understood if you fold it into a paper airplane and throw it off the roof of a tall building, it's possible that Reservoir Cats in fact has 8 characters trapped inside a single pane of glass. 

Like the villains in Superman 2.


It's hard to say.  I don't think anybody will know until they actually see the film.  Not even the director.

In any event, before tonight's screening of Reservoir Cats in your dreams, please consider supporting the cast on Redbubble.  They are truly an absurd array of leading men, with only fawnlike female stand-ins.  It's like the scene in Coffee & Cigarettes when Cate Blanchett is playing opposite herself, live in one take.

She had to stand in differentiating, opposable dimensions to shoot the scene.  Like thumbs on a monkey, or an inaccurate recollection of past events.  Do I remember my childhood, my password, my birthday?  Is this a grocery list, or the script of my wedding?  Who wrote this absurd, fantastical drivel?  Are these senseless babblings actually...  my lines? 

This scene is ridiculous.  What is my motive for seeking the approval of these humorless mud-zealots?  Did I miss my cue?  If I didn't...

Can I?

It's like that in real life, too.  One take, no rehearsal, learning our lines while the camera is rolling.  Staring across the stage at our former self in a trans-dimensional cutting room, overseeing the existential dilemma of real-time edits while reading from an invisible script, buried somewhere in our brains.  Cut to the blonde.  The unshaven Johnny Depp version of our nonexistent selves.  Now back to the street urchin.  The director thinks I'm a girl.  Tell Emily Blunt to put down the scissors and get out here.  The crew is waiting.  At a cost of $10,000 an hour.  It's like a speedometer out here, or the cost of light.  We're not the person we used to be.

Or are we?

Whatever the case, support the cast of Reservoir Cats.  They need all the help he can get.

Thank you.


How do you rate this article?


Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket.


Replacing my blog at

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.