Sunday, September 30, 2007

Iron clad (324)

“Is it a sin to pray for someone’s death?’ he asked sincerely.

“I’m sure it is.” She answered.

“Then, is it a sin to pray for our soldiers victory in (FILL IN CONFLICT)?”

“Now you’re just being a dick.” She said, and walked away.


If you turn the hood ornament flat, she’ll crash that Buick. This sounds nutty, I know, but that’s all it’ll take, I assure you. Don’t fuck with the brake line, don’t mess with the steering column. Just turn the hood ornament facing out. She always has it turned sideways so that it points down the road in front of her. A guide, I guess. As if the white lines on either side of freeway weren’t enough. But once you mess with that guide, that car is as good as totaled.

She won’t notice that it’s been messed with until she’s well on her way, and by that time it’ll be too late.

I’ve picked you because you have some distance from this. I just can’t bear to see that Buick again.

Good luck. I love you.


A day in the life of a pool shark

Alone, a thin man stands at the top of lane thirteen. It is lane thirteen out of thirty-seven lanes. We are the only ones in the bowling alley except for the lone bowling attendant who opened the building. The thin man picks up a ball, pauses, and throws. It is a strike. I call out, “That’s the sixth in a row. You should play for the PBA.”
“What? Be a pro bowler? Ha! Kid you know what I do. You also know that if I were to join something as mikey mouse as the PBA,” He pauses long enough to throw another strike, “That my face would be well known. Well, not as well known if I played pro basketball or golf or even poker. I rely on people not knowing who I am.
“Look at me. I really don’t stand out other than I am a bit think. I work on staying thin. Thin people are generally thought of as weak. I have a non-threatening frame.”
“Ok,” I counter, “If you don’t have inspirations to play any are in bowling, then why start your day here?”
“Why not? Pool and bowling are games of geometry. Granted, bowling offers a challenge in the size and weight of the ball, but basically it’s the same.
“In pool, it is all about angels and the way the balls reflect and rebound off of each other. In bowling, it’s the same, a round ball hitting other round objects that in turn rebound and ricochet off of each other. Plus, I find it relaxing.”
 I wait as he throws yet another strike. “Ok why this bowling alley?”
“There is a method to my madness, “ He winks, and throws another strike. “As I drive through a town, I scope possible spots for a game. In this town, the attached pool room is the only one with decent tables, decent number of people, a bar,  and most importantly several exits, and an interstate less than a mile away.”
    “When I drove by I figured this was my pool hall. Right now it looks like I am playing a stellar game of bowling. I am scoping the building out. I have my escape planned out, should I need it. Most of the time, I won’t need it, but trust me it is good to have. I come early so that the chances of someone remembering me are lower. You might be calling a little attention to me, being that you declined to bowl, but it is ok. I won’t hit here for another month or two.”
He finishes his game with a 272. You get too much attention if you roll a 300 he told me. As we walk out to his car, I ask, “So this is a day in the life of a pool shark?”
“Pretty much,” he said, as he got into this Delta 88.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I am a captive here. I know it’s happened before, but this is just weird. It’s the same old basement. Well, I can only assume that it’s a basement. If you have a dank mildewy smell any other place in your house you have problems. There is also the temperature and humidity. Its cool and rather humid. Not in a bad way but when you come in from working out its not a bad humidity/temperature combo to walk into. Granted I didn’t walk into this one, more like knocked in the head and drug, but who is keeping track. We will assume that this is a basement.
I see some garden tools, a few loops of rope, a vacuum, and a stack of toilet paper that is eight rolls wide and goes floor to ceiling. Yep, somebody is not afraid of taking a crap. There in the corner is a pile of fabric, covering what looks like a mattress, no box springs. Probably haven’t been washed in months. The other corner houses a cage. There might be a hint of wet dog smell coming from that corner so that’s what that could be. Look at the shoes! They are all over the place, as well as broken toys. A G.I. Joe leg here, a torso there. Ninja Turtles, He-man, Transformers! The posters on the walls are of Nirvana, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Rage Against the Machine, and what looks like most of the Sports Illistrated Swim Suit foldouts for most of the ‘90s.
I hear the door at the top of the stairs creek open, and a shaft of light hits me in the face. I hadn’t realized I had been standing observing the room for so long.
“Derrick?” a concerned voice called down.
“Yes?” I answered back.
“Are you going to stand there all day, or are you going to clean your room?”
“I was just starting.”
Mom said since I was gone to college I might as well clean my room up so she can use it for something useful. I better get started.



Meet android D.

As with our entire product line, it was released into the world with the best intentions and hopes.

But Android D became a dick.

It was an example of the worst our program had to offer. It’d been given every opportunity to succeed, but he instead chose the easy road. There was no hard work from him, no toil, and no effort. It reeked of failure, but it’d been tricked into thinking it had the smell of success.

We set out to make the best we could, but we know that sometimes there will be defects.

This is why when or models do begin to think for themselves, we are prepared 24 hours a day to destroy them when their delusions of grandeur reach critical status.

Your android is programmed to eventually make its own decisions, but if it becomes an asshole, we will destroy it. This is our iron-clad guarantee.


"Damn. You’re leaving?"

"Yeah, I’ve got a few more stops to make before I go back."

"You’re in New York now?"

"Yeah," she sighs, as if New York were a bad thing in her mind.

"How’s that going?"

"Same as when I was here, really. There’s work, I’m just not getting any of it."

"Well, Jesus. You look fantastic." This is legitimate. Not some kind of buffer compliment. It might’ve been the first time I’ve ever meant it when I’ve said it to her.

"Thanks. So do you." I honestly think she means it, too.

There’s an awkward moment where we kind of stare at each other. I don’t know what goes through her mind, but I’m noticing the things about her that weren’t there before. Things that contrast the way I remember her before her move east. The odd tan she has on her face, the invisible, yet completely visible corrective braces. She’s more fit somehow. Her hair is pushed back and not as carefully sculpted as I remember. Everything gives off an air of not caring. It really suits her.

She checks her watch. If this is for real or simply a way to get out of there, I’ll never know.

"Shit, I should go."

"That’s cool. Yeah."

We hug in a way that’s not as forced as it used to be. And this next part is where she really knocks me for a loop.

"Take care."

That’s the thing she always said, "Take care." Only this time it wasn’t just that thing she said. There is a sadness behind it. Stemming from what, who knows. She was always a sad person, but those two words are said with such melancholy that I almost break down as she walks away.

I want to stop her and hold her for a minute. I want to be that person who can assure her that she’s got some sort of worth in this beat-down world. But I can’t bring myself to do it.

I let her go.


Friday, September 28, 2007


I watched Ava have sex with men for money on camera. I knew it was just a job, but what kind of man would I be if I didn’t get just a bit jealous?

Occasionally, she’d find me with her eyes and smile. I think she thought that this was comforting or even sexy, but the circumstances only made the entire deal sickening.

I don’t know how I became a porn husband, but I didn’t want to be anymore. I couldn’t ask her to quit, and I couldn’t leave her because I loved her. But I was dying inside.

All those men, day after day, doing their business in my wife as I watched and pretended to be cool about it. Camera men trying to make small talk. Off-screen talent watching and touching themselves. It drove me insane. Still, the money was good, and she never kiseed them. She saved the kisses for me.

Ava only kissed me.


Benny would sit in the front row of every gig she ever had. He’d be there no matter where they played, even in the shittiest parts of town. No matter how many people were in the audience, Benny would always be front and center with a pink rose for her. He’d always give it to her at the end of her band’s rendition of "Thou Swell," as if she were singing it only to him.

He knew he never had a snowball’s chance. He knew she was married, but he also knew that this woman’s voice made him feel better than any ex-wife or ex-girlfriend had. Hell, her husband never bothered to even come see any of her gigs.

And he would always walk her to her car as the band was packing their equipment into the van. They’d pretty much exchange the same pleasantries each time. "Where are you guys playing next?" "When’s the tour kick off?" Stuff he already knew, but stuff he would use to keep the conversation going, if only for a little while longer.

She’d eventually pull away in her old Chevy, and Benny would be left behind, waving good-bye.

She’d go home to a husband who saw her singing as an annoyance, and she’d always wonder what life would have been like with Benny. And Benny would always be on the front row at the next gig, wondering the same thing.



Suzy reaches for a scalpel. Even though she is only six. She handles the tool with ease.
    Due to increases in technology and parent’s deep pockets she is at an advantage.
    At the age of three, Suzy had a lifetime of knowledge uploaded to her brain. She has spent the last three years of her life practicing the hand movements she would need to save lives.
    Years ago scientists found that when all the knowledge is transferred the little children couldn’t cope with all the stress.  They usually snapped mid-surgery plunging a scalpel deep into some organ that couldn’t take that kind of abuse.
    Suzy is different, she has the knowledge, but scientists have found a way to eliminate the stress. They make it appear as a game.
    Next time you are going under the knife remember those surgeons are getting younger, but no worries they are just playing around in there.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


She said that she couldn’t go to sleep- she was afraid of what she’d dream.

I needed to know what this meant, so I slept really close to her in hopes that I could enter her mind. I was her, as a young girl. I had a big house and a loving family. I had lots of toys and everyone adored me. I was always the prettiest girl in the room.

As I dreamt, I tried to remember to ask her , when I awoke, what she saw so disturbing about these things that made her sleep world so much better than her waking life.

I woke to find her crying across the room.

“Your dreams were beautiful” I said as I approached her.

“Those weren’t my dreams.” She said. “I’m sorry.”

“Well, I won’t tell if you won’t.” I said, and then I woke up.

Alone, no girl, just dreams of a girl who dreams dreams not her own.

This is why I drink.


     So, Charlene’s Psychic Readings closed today. I pass this complete and utter rape-off of a storefront every day on the way to the bar and I always wondered how the hell it stayed in business.
     There’s a bunch of tree-huggery types helping Charlene move plants and crystals and dream-catchers and shit today. A life of spiritual living being crushed by the reality of what amounts to a failed business.
     I’m seeing all this from the safety of the sidewalk across the street as I smoke. I bide my time as the last of the stuff gets hauled out.
     Now, I’ve never frequented the place, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the dew-ragged, Indonesian fat-ass bringing out the pink boxes is Charlene. This is my hope at least.
     I bust ass across the street as she packs the last of her shit into her Hybrid.
     "Charlene?" I ask, nonchalantly.
     "Yes?" she replies.
     "So, what happened here? Not enough business? Death in the family? Lose it all at the track? What?"
     "Well, a little from each column, I’m afraid."
     "Huh," I say, seemingly concerned.
     At this point, I’m the most clever I have ever been in my life.
     "So, as a psychic," I begin, "couldn’t you have seen this coming? Predicted it, you know? I mean, that’s your bread and butter, right? How could you have let this happen to yourself?"
     "There’s a moment of silence from her that makes me feel like King Dick. And to think I honestly thought this was the one time in my life where I would have somebody by the balls, asking a question that everybody in the world, from the stand-up comics to the skeptics, would legitimately want to know.
     "Fate doesn’t work like that," she answers. "Just because we can predict the future doesn’t mean that we can change it. We’re just aware that it will soon happen."
     "Oh," I say, cleverly, "well, sorry, I guess. Hope everything works out for you."
     I begin to walk back to the bar and as I get across the street, I hear her shouting from her Hybrid, "How’s your mother doing these days?"
     "What?" I shout, knowing full well what she said, but almost shocked by the subject.
     "She shouldn’t have gone on that trip today," Charlene replies. "I’d call her if I were you."
     The Hybrid pulls away, the tires screeching.
     I immediately get on my cell phone and dial my mother’s cell number. I get nothing but her voicemail for the next seven hours.


This my United States

This my United States

This is not my United States.
We are not United.
What should be?
Why not fix the problem at the source?
Trickle down? Why not?
What if there were no poor?
What if there were no rich?
Each his own, but to his country everyone.
Healthcare for all.
No one suffers.
No one lacks.
If you provide to the greater good, the greater good provides for you.
Why not?
Why can it not work?
Not now, but it could.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I sat there, waiting for her to realize what she’d done: ruin reality. I told her that everything she had known was false, and I told her not to tell anyone. Apparently all that she did was tell people. Now everyone was questioning reality, and reality was falling apart. In the distance I could see the hulk leaping across buildings. That wasn’t right. Hulk didn’t exist. I could see Hogarth falling into the street, getting hit by vehicles and just standing up as if nothing had happened. There was a fire inside me. There was a rage inside me- it was all gone now. I had finally gotten to the point where I didn’t know what to do. But as I sat there watching her figure it all out, I knew what had to happen. I needed to kiss her. I needed to make personal contact with hr so that we could booth occupy the same space. Maybe then it would all go back to the way it once was. A reset. Maybe then my parents would pick me up and the bus would come on time and the girl would be right in the head again.

I know that none of this makes any-oh shit! It’s all falling apart!




This bee has followed me since childhood.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s impossible, right? A bee’s life expectancy is, what? A year, maybe? Less than that? See, I don’t know, but as I lay here dying, I’m sure that’s the bee from my childhood.

It started at my 10th birthday party. A big, pool party with all of my friends. We’re eating cake in our swim trunks, I start opening presents and this one, little, baby bee is circling the entire time. One kid bats it towards the next kid and eventually it gets my scent. It won’t let me alone. On my fucking birthday! It chases me to the point of having to jump into the pool to get it off me. I have a clear memory of looking up from underwater, though my goggles, as the bee hovers over me.

Next birthday at the park, there he is again. A little bigger, a little more ornery. Throughout the years, my mother purposefully celebrated my birthdays at indoor family fun centers.

My first date with Teffany Stover got ruined because of this bee. Here I go for second base and it whizzes into the car window, freaking her out in the process. Mood killed.

I eventually married Teffany and we have no wedding pictures because of the constant torment this bee was to us, the wedding party, even the wedding photographer.

My son wanted a pool party for his 7th birthday and I was the dick who forbade it.

Today, one of the happiest days of my life, was completely crushed. While moving my son into his college dorm room, the bee watched from a nearby oak tree. This was the day the bee decided that he’d had enough.

I’d just hugged my son good-bye and as I’m walking back to the car, the bee stings me. I slap at it, but the damage is done. I feel my neck swell up and my throat close. I slump to the ground and before my eyes roll back in my head, I glance over and there he is. This little bee is convulsing on the sidewalk right there along with me.

You won, you little bastard. You won. I guess the upside is that you’ll die with me.





We have a WHAT

    “We have a WHAT?” the irate Captain asked?

    “You have a kitten infestation,” the inspector said.

    The pirate captain wanted to sell his ship. He had a buyer and the buyer was motivated. As is standard procedure for selling a used pirate ship, he had an inspection ordered to determine if any repairs needed to be completed before the sale was final.
    A kitten infestation isn’t the worse thing that could have been found, but they are the most difficult remove. Depending on the level of infestation they can be removed one by one, but the inspector told the Captain his was a level five infestation.

    “A level five infestation is usually so rampant that it can’t go unnoticed. Since you haven’t noticed it must have just barely broke a five,” the inspector said.

    The Captain slapped his forehead and paced back and forth across his quarters. A soft meow came out from under his bunk. “AGGGHHHHH! What do I do?”

    “Well we could get an exterminator out here to gas the ship, but then you do have to worry about finding all of them and tossing them overboard.”

    “Can’t do that. Its too messy and time consuming. Wait! I know.

Two hours later a sign was on the bow of the ship it read: Furry Ship Fun Times Ahead.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Hogarth was finally happy, but not for long. Soon he’d realize that his quick fix to his horrible situation would only cause himself more grief.

Soon, he’d realize that the way to solve his problem was not to beat it with his fists until the sweat mixed blood and CK one in a sickeningly sweet aroma of violence and revenge. 

But there’d be time enough for regret. For now, he wanted to bask in his work.

He didn’t want to think of how sick he’d be once he realized the violent monster he’d become. Thoughts flashed briefly, thoughts about how it wasn’t really his fault and how he’d been forced into this. But really, was it that bad? Was it so bad that his only recourse was to beat a man to a pulp with his bare hands? Was anything ever that bad?

Tonight it was.

And as the truth of the situation began to wash over Hoagy, he had two choices: take responsibility of go completely insane.

We all know which one he chose…


     Harry, an old Vaudevillian, is being escorted backstage at the Klondike. Boos and hisses can be heard from the theater crowd. An emcee tries to calm them down as two toughs push Harry into a leather chair in a back room marked "Management." Judah, a ball-breaking hulk of a man, slams the door behind him as he enters. The faint sound of the struggling emcee can be heard behind the door.
     "What the flying fuck, Harry?" Judah asks. "Look, I’m aware that most of your shtick is improvised and we love that here, don’t we boys?"
     The two toughs nod.
     "I told you that you have full creative control of your material at the Klondike and I want to be able to stick to that promise. I just think it was a smidge inappropriate when you said, ‘pussy juice’ out there. What the fuck was going on in your head? May I ask that, Harry, without stifling you creatively? What the fuck were you thinking?"
     "Well, Judah," Harry begins, meekly, "this is my shtick, as you say and whatever comes out, comes out, you know? I don’t know where it comes from or what I was thinking to be perfectly honest."
     "Harry, you’re quicker than this. Gimme’ a good reason why you felt the urge to say ‘pussy juice’ during a matinee!"
     "Uh . . ."
     "On a Sunday!"
     "Well . . ."
     "The Lord’s day, Harry!" 
     "Ummmm . . ."
     "In front a capacity crowd of school kids, whose parent are now going to sue the living shit out of me! Are you going to go door to door and explain to these parents why their have kids now added the phrase ‘pussy juice’ to their vernacular? Huh? Are you?"
     "Well, no."
     "Boys, get him out of my sight! You’re through, Harry! At the Klondike, at the Baltimore, at the Roebuck! By the time I get your name out there, you won’t be able to book a flophouse! Get him out of here!!"
     The toughs grab Harry by his arms and the scruff of his neck and walk him Spanish out the stage door and into the alley.
     As the door slams, it is opened once again by Judah, who tosses Harry’s hat at him.
     "And another thing," Judah screams, "you can tell that deadbeat, no-talent brother of yours that he’s guilty by association! That Mandrake-looking, albino fuck ain’t playing here next week or ever! Magicians are a dime a dozen anyway. Hell, I’d rather book that Jap xylophone player than him at this point! Get the hell out of my alley!"
     "But, Judah! Please!"
     The stage door slams.
     The next week, audiences pile into the Klondike, passing a poster of The Great Loronzo with the words "Cancelled" plastered over Lozonzo’s pale face. No one entering the theater seems to notice the striking resemblance the tall, pasty man has to Loronzo as he mills among the crowd.
     As the Japanese xylophone player dons his blindfold and begins a flawless interpretation of "Caravan," the tall man gets out of his seat and heads the men’s room." He pauses, then breaks right through a thin corridor to a door marked "Entertainer’s Only." He closes the door behind him and makes a beeline for the back room, past a flurry of feathered showgirls, who giggle at him as he passes.
     Judah sits behind a desk, chewing a cigar and talking on the phone as the tall man enters.
     "No, Murray, no," Judah yells into the phone, "we’re taking a bath on that deal. You have to dumb it down for these bastards!"
     He notices the tall man across from the desk and yells, "Who the hell are you?"
     The tall man brandishes a black wand from his coat.
     "This is for Harry," he whispers.
     He points the wand at Judah and suddenly, Judah’s head disappears. His body goes limp, the phone falls to the floor and blood gushes from his neck as the cigar drops onto his bloated belly.
     The tall man walks out and exits into the alley. Harry is waiting for him near a dumpster.
     "It’s done," says the tall man. "Let’s go get coffee."


Come to my web

    She watched through the peephole. There he was. He was perfect. As he came up the walk, she opened the door. He stood there in shock. She was beautiful, deep, dark hair and ruby red lips. Her lips slightly parted and a grin crept up her face. He was a fly in her web. He was lost and didn’t even know it. She leaned forward, grinned even more, and pecked him on the cheek. 
    He might as well be dead. His heart was no longer his own.

Monday, September 24, 2007


It was all a joke. All a big lie. There never was a party. They invited him to the old house so that they could embarrass him and tell the entire school about it. Didn’t they know that this was how psychos, killers- that this was how legends were made?

Didn’t they know that he would carry this around with him forever, waiting until the anniversary of this very date so that he could return and kill them each and everyone?

Apparently they didn’t and ten years from now, they’d all be dead. Some of them would actually have happy lives. Others would be drunken divorces or even suffer from spousal abuse. Some would have extraordinary children that would grow up to be great leaders, while others would have kids that were greater embarrassments than anything they could have done to the quiet weird kid from school.

Others would find love so great that it seemed straight from a romance novel- Sweeping tales of love and romance full of rendezvous and mystery. True love, if ever there was true love.

Still, they’d all be dead in ten years time. Probably by knife.


The Fine Tooth Comb Agency was started 40 years ago by a shitty little gumshoe named Benjamin Fine. He’d gathered about six or seven of his betters in the detective racket and thought that their combined efforts could make a difference against a corrupt police force. And for a while, they did. Sort of.

But this was also around the same time that the first of the "masks" started showing up.

The godfather of all the do-gooders called himself The Bounder. Typical, all-American whack job. Had the red, white and blue get up, utility belt, the whole bit. After a while, he brought his wife into it. Code name: Moxie. Serious piece of ass, she was. Their heroic exploits over the years inspired a lot of other idiots to put on the cape and cowl and try their hands at vigilantism. Jesus, a lot of people with good intentions got fucked up or killed around that time.

Well, after a little while the Fine Tooth Comb stopped handling missing persons and extra-marital affair cases and set their sights on mask-related investigations, making sure these jackasses were held accountable for their actions.

Benjamin Fine, FTC’s founder, never trusted the masks. He believed in law, plain and simple. He didn’t think that you should take it into your own hands. That’s why he went after the cops, that’s why he went after the masked vigilante. Now, that may seem like backwards thinking. I mean, that’s what flatfoots were doing essentially, right? Well, turns out that Fine had a bigger reason for not trusting these hooded crimefighters. Fine was Moxie’s older brother. If that doesn’t make his vested interest obvious, I don’t know how else to explain it to you.

But the Bounder was no fool. He kept his ears clean and his arrests by the book. And he never made Moxie do anything she didn’t want to do. Fine just never saw this. In his mind, this was the only way to keep tabs on her.

All that was 40 years ago though. A tiny droplet of time in a cast ocean of history.

The Bounder died last year of old age. Stroke, I think, actually. He’d hung up the cape a long time ago. Moxie’s still kicking around in some old superhero’s retirement home in Tallahassee. Fine gave up the Fine Tooth Comb Agency about seven years after he started it. But at a price. Uncle Sam came to him with an offer he couldn’t refuse. Cash money for the agency. Quarter of a mil, some say. I hear he moved to Florida recently to be near Moxie. Though maybe he just liked the beach.

Nowadays, there’s a mask on every rooftop and the skies are littered with them. I hear tell they outnumber the supervillain population seven to one, but my numbers could be off.

Benjamin Fine’s little detective agency is now the FTC, a division of the Department of Defense. Imagine that, will you? The same government agency that has their crosshairs locked on the Koreans 24-7 is in charge of keeping our own superheroes in check.

Makes you wish for the simpler time.


Everybody loves the fair

    Everybody loves the fair

    “I love the fair!”

    “Me too. Know what I love the most about the fair?”


    “The cotton candy,” Amy said as she and Karen walked onto the fair grounds.

    They had been so excited about going to the fair. Ever since they saw the flier for the fair a month ago they had been counting down the days until it opened.  They had talked about it everyday for the past month.
    As they walked in the gates, the girls looked around. They found the skeet shooter table and headed toward it. The neon lights reflected off their eyes, and made their skin joyful shades of pink, blue, and green. They saw some boys from school and waved. The boys turned back to their ring toss game. One of them is Josh.

    Karen turns to Amy and whispered, “You know Josh likes you.”

    “Really? How do you know?” Amy said as she cuts a look back toward the ring toss.

    “I heard it from Jenny who is dating Tyler who is”

    “Josh’s older brother!” Amy interrupted.  “Let’s go get some cotton candy and see if we can get him to notice me!”

    They both laughed as they walked toward the cotton candy booth.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


It all started during car pool- though, it could have begun earlier. Randall Specific awoke to the sounds of his wife singing into his ear- I can’t live if living is without you. It was lovely, and quite sexy, but he shrugged it off for he was already late for work.

When he emerged from the shower, she was still singing. He would have thought this odd if he wasn’t so late.

I can’t live, I can’t give anymore…

Outside, he rushed to the waiting vehicle. This was not his week to drive the carpool, which he hated because this meant that he did not get to choose the music.

Randall hopped into the passenger seat and said his hellos. Almost immediately the driver, who was a gregarious fellow of Irish descent, began to sing to him- You can’t always get what you want. It happened that every morning the Irish driver fellow sang along with the radio and often with more feeling than an American male passenger in the immediate vicinity would feel comfortable with. But Randal did what he always did- he smiled, and tried not to make eye contact. If Randall had looked into the rearview mirror, or perhaps had turned and looked at the passengers in the backseat, he would have noticed that instead of laughing at his situation as they usually do, they were quietly humming along- You get what you need…

Slowly, but surely, thing began to become clearer once Randall arrived at work.

He settled into his cubicle, and checked his email like he did every morning. As he worked, he noticed that everyone in the office was singing- to him! He ran as far as he could, but no matter where he went there was singing. Finally, he took a pencil and stabbed himself in the ears.

But he could still hear…

Scrappy The Ultra Puppy

            Scrappy, the ultra puppy, dove down the well. He called out to Jimmy, "Hold on Jimmy! I got you." Scrappy grabbed Jimmy by the collar of his shirt.

            "Thanks Scrappy! Mom would be so upset if we were late to dinner."

            Scrappy and Jimmy flew out of the well much like Superman returning a lost child to the ground. Jimmy straightened out his collar, and scratched Scrappy behind his left ear.

            "AHHHoww! That feels good, wait a minute! You can't get away with jumping down a well just by scratching my ears," Scrappy said, as he wagged his tail vigorously. "Why were you trying to get into the well?"

            Jimmy said, "The great apple crate mystery." The statement was meant to explain everything.  Scrappy tilted his head and stared at Jimmy.   "What? Come on, you can't tell me you forgot the great apple crate mystery."

            "No, I have not forgotten the great apple crate mystery. Let's walk back to the house I will fill you in on it." They turn and start to walk back across the field toward the house. "I've been doing a little research on my own. Your parents keep the idea of the great apple crate mystery alive just to keep you busy."

            "Why do they need to keep me busy? Between school, caring for the goats, and square dance lessons I am pretty swamped as it is."

            "What do you do with your spare time?"

            "I guess I work on the great apple crate mystery."

            "That's right! It's a red herring!"

            They made their way to the front porch of the house. Scrappy grabbed Jimmy's pant leg and asked, "Jimmy, listen to me it's a distraction. Slow down and open your eyes to other things. I am afraid your parents are working on a combination of cold fusion and robotic self awareness."

            "What's wrong with those things?"

            "Nothing, unless you are a…"

            Scrappy stopped as Jimmy's mom came out on to the porch and said, 'Boys, dinner is ready come on inside, and get cleaned up."

            Scrappy turned to Jimmy and said, "It's not important now. The only thing to do now is keep your eyes open."


Her father stands on the lawn, extending his arm. He waves good-bye to her as she walks to the brown Bronco with a cell phone glued to her ear. As she gets into the passenger side, he says, "Bye, Jen." His arm stays up, fingers out, expecting some sort of acknowledgement.

The Bronco pulls away fast. His arm stays up long after the car is down the road. The morning sun goes behind a cloud and he’s still there with his arm out. The fingers close slowly and scratch his palm. Eventually, long after the cloud passes, he drops his arm and stares down the road for another ten minutes.

The U-Haul on the lawn is only half full. No one showed up to help except for her.

There was no way she would stay and he knows this. But he held out a little hope that she would say good-bye, just this once.


Saturday, September 22, 2007


The soldier stood before his fellow fighters and generals, ashamed- but not ashamed enough. He’d forgotten to show up for war because he’d gotten drunk. The only apology anyone would accept was his death.

No foolin’.


I hate walking to work. I just don’t trust my car. Seriously, I don’t trust the thing. It’s out to get me. If it’s not switching radio stations on me, it’s pulling itself into oncoming traffic. I don’t need that shit.

And that Frederick Douglass-looking guy waiting for the bus on Deerdorfe? He’s a fucking spy. I know it. He plays that act like he’s crazy, talking to himself. I know the truth. He’s telling them where I’m going, every step documented somewhere. They’re keeping tabs on me. My days are numbered.

When the girl behind the counter at Cup-A-Joe’s asks me if I want whipped cream on my Americano, it’s code. She’s testing me. She knows all I want is a plain ol’ Americano. It’s the same thing I order every day! It’s just hot water and espresso! Why would I want whipped cream on it? Are you insane? Oh, I get it. You’re just doing your job.

And why is there a Cup-A-Joe’s on every corner? Do I need that many Americanos on the way to work? I only go to every single one because they want me to. It’s expected of me, so I do it. The one day when I don’t follow the patterns, I’m dead.

I am the last lemming left. I follow no one and no one follows me.


Dear Diary,

    I had a wonderful time today. I went to the park with my mom. I went to the fish pond and fed the fish. They had one of those machines that let you put a quarter in and you get these little pellets. Then you throw them in the pond. I made a trail from the ducks to the pond, but the fish wouldn’t come up and play with the ducks.
    That’s when I went I found Mr. Troll. He was hiding under the bridge near the fish food pellet machine. He said most people were afraid of him. I told him I wasn’t I had my unicorn with me and I had nothing to fear. He told me that he couldn’t see my unicorn. I told him he had to think of his happiest memory and say his name. I told him that my unicorn’s name was Herman. Mr. Troll said his happiest memory was of blowing bubbles with his brothers. So, Herman and I got Mr. Troll a bottle of bubbles from my mom. We played, blew bubbles, and sang Neil Diamond songs all afternoon. It was the best time ever!



Friday, September 21, 2007


His anger turned to scheming as he started to plot all the ways he’d get back at the boy that had ransacked his living space. E.coli and vandalism were the order of the day!

He calmed himself and repeated to himself over and over “best served cold…best served cold…”



     David Lee Roth’s garish spandex leggings sparkle in the noon daylight. He’s beat. He tries to jog his memory as to how he got on this desert highway or where it is he’s going, but the heat of the sun won’t let him remember. He just keeps on walking.

     A crossroad sits in front of him. Up ahead, he can see a blonde, poofy-headed guy in wide genie pants. It is Sammy Hagar. Upon closer inspection, Roth notices that he’s also wearing a cut-off ‘5150’ tour shit. His overly curly, canary-yellow hair drips with sweat.

     "Diamond Dave," Hagar exclaims, "what the fuck, hombre?"

     "How’s it hangin’ there, Bozo," Roth zips back.

     "What are the odds, man?" asks Hagar. "Two lead singers for one of the world’s premiere rock bands walkin’ along the same stretch of road! Fuckin’ crazy, baby!"

     "Bound to happen eventually, I guess," answers Roth, "but there’s one thing wrong with what you just said, Cap’n Trips."

     "What do you mean?" asks Hagar.

     "There were only the world’s premiere rock band when I was with ‘um, you dig? You were just a pale imitation, my pasty friend."

     "Oh, here it comes."

     "And what kind of soft-bellied, schimmy schister wears his own band’s t-shirt? It looks like you raided the Van Halen merchandizing table before it closed down for the night. Grabbed whatever was left from the shittiest tour on earth. Mother McCree, you just don’t keep up with fashion, do you?"

     "Listen here, Dave, I appreciate your legacy with the big VH and everything, startin’ up this band and all, but once you left, the dynasty was up for grabs, lock, stock and mutherfuckin’ barrel! Yeah, sure, I rode this here horse, but I rode it on my terms and picked up more Top 40 hits than your sorry, gymnast-lookin’ ass ever did on your watch! And need I remind you of your second album, ‘Skyscraper?’ That made ‘Eat ‘Um and Smile’ look like the fuckin’ ‘White Album!’ And ‘Eat ‘Um And Smile’ sucked! Meanwhile, Van Hagar was leavin’ your ‘1984’ legacy in the dust. Sure, we didn’t put out anything nearly as rockin’ as, say, VH I or VH II, but we sold out stadiums to beat the band. And by "the band," I mean your solo band! And make fun of my clothes all you want, but I’m not the one wearing snowboard gear in the middle of a fuckin’ desert!"

     David Lee Roth is perplexed.  "Touché" he says.

     No cars pass by the crossroad. No birds or airplanes overhead. Sammy scans the horizon.

     "You got any idea where the hell we are?" he asks.

     "Maybe," replies Roth. "Kinda’ reminds me of a place my pappy used to tell me about before he put me to sleep with a teaspoon of Jack. Seems this cat named Robert Johnson stood at this very spot when Papa Scratch showed up, decked out in full red regalia. Offered Johnson the blues in exchange for his soul. If Johnson hadn’t given it up, right here on this spot, I gotta’ sneakin’ speculation we wouldn’t be here either."

     "Yeah," sighs Hagar," I’ve heard that one, but I think your logic is a bit flawed, D.D."

     "How so?"

     "Well, Robert Johnson got what he needed and became a legend, starting blues, rock and everything else. But we’ve gotten everything we’ve ever needed. I’ve got Cabo Wabo and a successful line of tequila and you’ve got . . . "

     Roth gives him a questioning glance.

     "Well," continues Hagar, "you’ve still got your hair."

     "Amen," replies Roth. 

     "So, why would the devil show up here?" asks Hagar. "I mean, what’s the point, you know? Where in the fuck are we?"

     Suddenly, out of thin air appears Gary Cherone, the third lead singer for Van Halen (of the dreaded VH III album). He walks up slowly to the two men.

     "Gentlemen," he says, "welcome to Hell."


Beauty isn’t necessarily pretty

“Beauty isn’t necessarily pretty.  Perhaps the best line I ever delivered. It’s truth can only be compared to the honesty of its delivery. Beauty can be found anywhere. Pretty isn’t everywhere. In fact, pretty is what everyone else says. Beauty is what you make of it.”
“Old man what are you talking about?” A young man asked as he passed the grizzled old man.
“Nothing, just casting pearls before swine in the hope that they will discover what is before them before they destroy that which is most precious,” The old man tightened his coat around him and continued to wait on the bus.
The young man waved his hand, said whatever, and walked down the sidewalk.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


He felt totally helpless: there were all his obligations that had to be filled, regardless of his personal struggles, and regardless of the fact that all he wanted to do was crawl into bed and hide. In the next room he could hear the idiotic ramblings of his flat mate, and it all just made him angrier. Mortality was a cruel bitch that everyone had to deal with, and his time was now. But at the top of his brain was the fact that some people didn’t grow up with the same values he did. One of those being the fact that it just made sense to close the bathroom door after you’d taken a shit.

He was tired of smelling other people’s shit, dealing with the lesser things and people in life, and being bullied by mortality.

The problem was that he didn’t know what to do about it.


Vandals broke into Coolidge High last night. Literally. Vandals. Coolidge High’s arch rivals in football, the Lumberton Vandals, were stupid enough to spray paint things like "Lumberton Rulez" or "Vandals #1" on just about any available surface. We’re thinking they weren’t smart enough to have one guy tag the walls so that it couldn’t actually be traced back to that particular school.

Worse part was that they didn’t just write graffiti on walls. They did a serious number on Coolidge. What they did took hours to accomplish. Things that will take millions of dollars to repair or refurbish. Things we didn’t think high school kids were capable of.

From the trial of destruction, it looks like they hit the band room first. They must’ve hated the tuba section. All of the fiberglass tubas were either broken with hammers or dropped from the top of the building. Sheet music was strewn everywhere and no instrument was spared. If it wasn’t beaten severely, it was stolen. Woodwinds were broken over someone’s knee, drum heads were punctured with drumsticks.

The gymnasium floor was covered in five inches of water. 70 of the science lab’s frogs along with the contents of Principal Gravlee’s aquarium were emptied into it. By the time our janitor got in there the next morning, it was its own habitat.

The teachers’ lounge was coated with guys and entrails. Every available countertop was doused with blood. We don’t even want to know where you can purchase such things. The guts look human, though one of the biology teachers claims it’s clearly from the bovine family.

Hallways and lockers were decimated beyond description. I’ll say this. There was a great amount of feces involved. We did need the biology teacher’s take on it to realize it was definitely human. Someone had used they hands to create a Basquiat-inspired mural on the lobby’s portrait of President Coolidge.

Speaking of which, we have no idea where the Coolidge statue out front is, nor how they were able to remove it.

They scratched a "V" on the backs of every single seat in the auditorium. That’s 1500 seats with the same knife they used to shred the stage’s curtains. Theatre lights were sent crashing onto the stage and the sound/light board in the booth has yet to be found. Considered stolen.

The state of the classrooms are too numerous to mention, but here’s a few. Computer labs emptied. Choir rehearsal room, a shambles. Photo lab, shattered to bits. Shop class was sawed apart using its own tools. Football field, donuts upon donuts, courtesy of several 4x4s.

Our only thoughts beyond rebuilding are how bad we’re going to fuck Lumberton up in the semi-finals.



    Chris has a wormhole generator. I don’t know where he found it, but it is kick ass! I haven’t seen it, but I read in popular mechanics that it looks a lot like a GPS unit that goes in your car. Well, other than the big red button on the side. I could go into the science of it all, but who really wants to know how it rips your body apart atom by atom, and destroys everything but your very soul only to transport it to the destination of your choice. Where once your soul reaches the destination all the localized atoms are smashed back together, and your soul is slammed back into your body by way of your ear.
The marketing of it is just so much slicker if you say instant transportation of any given thing. I like my soul right where it is. What happens if they put me in the wrong body?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Earlier this week my father went in for surgery for the cancer they found in his stomach. I was afraid, but had faith that all would come through okay.

Now, my computer is riddled with virus that I can’t fight, and can find no one that can.

This is my week so far. Things always have a way of working out, though…


DAY 1 (6/6)
This is it. I’m doing it. Nothing will hold me back at this point in my life. No questions, no excuses, no fucking cooze harping at me. Old-style killing spree. This weekend. It’s on.

Belinda left me yesterday and now I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve spent my whole day at work thinking about it. Not her, "it."

Plan on hitting Two Pines Summer Camp, doing it there.

Need to go by Hardcore Hardware tonight and pick up a few things. I’m thinking maybe some coveralls.

DAY 2 (6/7)
Credit card got declined at Hardcore Hardware last night. Don’t have much in the way of funds in my checking account. After I brought what I need for this weekend up to the check-out, I realized it was going to be pricey. Kind of a setback. Get paid tomorrow. I’ll pick up stuff then.

DAY 3 (6/8)
It’s payday and it looks like I won’t make rent if I buy the stuff. Will wait ‘til next payday.

DAY 4 (6/9)
Spend the day going through closets for something really evil looking. Something black, but not too black. Found old combat boots from my punk phase. Too black? Seriously need to throw out those Hawaiian shirts. Maybe use the dark blue on instead of coveralls? No, that’s not very scary. Don’t want them to think that Jimmy Buffet’s chasing them.

DAY 5 (6/10)
Watched "Friday the 13th" marathon on cable. God, this guy had some really great ideas. I take copious notes. Well, anything he does after part 3 is just ridiculous, though I like the one where he’s in space. He just lost his focus somewhere along the way.

DAY 6 (6/11)
Call credit card company and they extend my credit after begging them and telling them a check’s in the mail. Hit Hardcore Hardware that night and purchase the following:

  • Dickies coveralls (need to cover over the Dickies logo)
  • Chainsaw (with silent starter option and two year warranty)
  • No-slip gloves (couldn’t find my old soccer goalie ones)
  • Rope (don’t really know why I bought this, it’s not even the hemp kind, just that slippery white stuff)
  • Machete (I guess if the chainsaw doesn’t get them . . .)
  • Pop Rocks (they still make these?)
  • Big League Chew (haven’t had the grape kind since little league)

DAY 7 (6/12)
Meant to ask the day off from work. Have to make trip to Twin Pines this weekend.

DAY 8 (6/13)
Drive three hours to Two Pines Summer Camp after work. Get pulled over by State Trooper for swerving off the road. I’m really tired. Sweating like a madman when he comes to the window. Thought he was going to ask to look in the trunk. Lots of incriminating stuff back there, but I have the receipt from Hardcore Hardware to prove it’s mine. Can’t think of a reason to have a machete and a chainsaw quick enough by the time he comes to the window. Offer him some Pop Rocks. He thinks I’m an idiot, but not a killer.

Well, I’m neither. Yet.

DAY 9 (6/14)
Take a quick catnap in the car after the trooper drives off. Wake up at around 3 AM.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT! I realize that I forgot to buy a cool mask to cover my face! Meant to stop by Party Barn on the way up here. The one on 14. Too late to go back. I guess I could. No. NO!! It’s an hour behind me. Fuck it. Think about covering my face with mud. Martin Sheen looked pretty kickass with his hair slicked back and that camo on his face. Should try something like that.

Pull in to Twin Pines at about 3:30.

Find the activities cabin and look for masks or cool hats. All they have are sombreros. None of them fit me. Find some face paint and apply it. Stings very badly almost immediately. Look around for cold cream. Nothing. Eyes swell up and tear up like hell.

Get back to the car under cover of early morning darkness and try not to scream from all the pain I’m in. Grab chainsaw, put on coverall and gloves. Toss some Pop Rocks back and they get into my already-burning eyes. They actually pop when they enter my eyes.

Run down to the lake and jump in. Water makes it burn more.  Get back to my car and head for home with tears streaming down my face.

On the way out of camp, I see the "See Ya’ Next Year" sign.  Yeah. Next year.


Kudzu and pansies

    The presidential press conference room is standing room only.  The President is set to make an historic announcement with NASA and another unidentified agency. An astronomer unaffiliated with NASA made a monumental discovery three months ago. He discovered an asteroid that is set to collide with earth in twenty-five years. It has been deemed an ELE (Extinction Level Event).
    A small nervous man comes out with the President, followed by several well know individuals from NASA. The NASA representatives address the press and state that they are doing every possible thing to come up with a way to divert the asteroid from impacting earth. The press clamors for attention, NASA waves them away. They address the little nervous man. He has come up with a way to transplant humans to another planet.
    He believes that he has a plan to jump start life on Mars from water trapped in the ice caps. A rocket with a new zero fallout nuclear missiles will be fired into the polar caps breaking out the trapped water. Shortly afterward, another missile filled with mutant strains of the most resilient plant life on earth would be sent to take advantage of newly freed water and upturned soil. The plants would then turn the carbon dioxide rich atmosphere into atmosphere breathable by humans.
    The press erupts into a cacophony of voices all crying the same question.
    The little man gives them two words, “Kudzu and pansies.”

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


The house was dark; the only light came from the television. He couldn’t hear them, but he felt that they were their- waiting to kill him. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he could see them moving in the shadows. They would kill him if they had the chance.

But he wouldn’t let them get the jump on him tonight. He’d prepared for this, his final battle with cholesterol.


Sheila could turn herself into a lamb. That’s all she could do. Cute, but still.

Clyde had the ability to shoot flowers out of his hands. Yes. Fucking flowers.

Tad’s was the most interesting power of the three. He could make people vomit with a thought. But not even the vomit you’d expect. That milky-white baby spit-up.

I took these kids in when nobody else wanted them. I gave them a place to stay where they felt accepted. I nurtured and honed their powers and, within a month, the lamb was able to leap 100 feet and bite a robot’s arm off with her teeth. I got Clyde interested in transcendental meditation and pretty soon he was summoning up man-eating plants the size of basketballs from a solar system no scientist had discovered yet. Tad made the most progress of the three. Once I’d given him a focus (specifically, the rage he had towards his parents), he could cause people to projectile vomit their small intestines, their stomachs, you name it.

These three kids were rejected by every superhero team in town. Crimefighting cabals that pushed them away, outright, with no offer of help or guidance. They said these kids were of no use with the powers they had. So, I took them. I’ll make those teams regret ever turning these little goldmines away.

Time to look for more Rejex.


Humans are curious creatures

    Two figures emerge in the distance. The heat is distorting their shapes to the point it is difficult to determine what they are. Are they camels? Llamas? Long saber tooth deer? Or, could it be humans? Humans are curious creatures. They haven’t been seen in these parts neigh on thirty years. The figures begin to take shape. They are either human or some other bipedal creature. One is larger than the other, but walks slightly stooped.
    I can hear them now.
    “What do you mean you lost the canteens?”
    “When we ran into that pack of lorcats I dropped both of them. Not that I meant to, but when they grabbed Roberto and Cecile I panicked.” 
    “Panicked my ass! You were scared. Plus, I saw you run before they grabbed anybody.

    I decide to follow them for a little bit. They don’t notice me, and continue with their discussion.
    “The only reason you weren’t first is ‘cuz you are so short! I can’t help I got long legs.”
    “Well, pray tell what are we going to do for water?”
    “Currently, we have the whole ocean to our right. Why do we need a canteen? Have you ever drank salt water?
“Trust me. You don’t want to drink it. You’ll start throwing up and loose even more fluids than you already are.”
He bends down and picks up a pebble.
“Here put this in your mouth and suck on it. It will help keep you from being so thirsty. Now what we need to do is….”
I let them walk out of hearing range. They won’t last long in this heat. It almost makes me sad. I make my way back to my den. It isn’t my job to interfere with humans or any other creature for that matter. I keep watch and record. Who will record if not for the little ones?
Humans are curious creatures.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Everyday when I got onto the bus, two stops later Bill would get on. He was a slow man, in his thirties, and I think he worked at a grocery store. He would talk to everyone that he knew from riding the bus, and whistle at any sexy joggers that ran past as we rode along.

He would always wave as he got onto the bus, and most of the time I’d wave back. There were times, though, when I didn’t want to. I can’t say why. Maybe I was a ass, maybe I just didn’t want to, but I wouldn’t wave.

Sometime I’d pretend that I was napping. Sometimes I’d pretend that I didn’t see him get onto the bus. I could see him looking at me from the corner of my eye waiting for me to look so that he could wave at me. But I wouldn’t wave or look.

One day a week ago, I was sitting on the bus, anxious to get home, when we arrived at bills stop. He got onto the bus and noticed that he and I were alone. Slowly, he approached me and when he was close enough, he grabbed my collar.

“I know you can see me waving at you.” he whispered angrily.

“You wave back, or we are going to have problems.”

With that he went back to his seat, and waved at me…



     When I was five, I was stung by a bee. It was a really scary time for me because it then that I realized I was allergic to them. Mom rushed me to the emergency room, but not before I’d gone into a seizure. I was fully aware of all that was going on as this happened. Nurses held my little body down as a resident, whose name if I recall was Veronica, gave me a shot. She was my first crush. Veronica was the first "woman" I noticed in that way.

     I’ve dreamed of bees ever since. They never swarm me in the dreams, they’re just always around. Lately, I’ve been dreaming of Veronica as well. This cute, tiny Asian woman who succumbs to my every whim. I’m the age I am now in the dreams and she’s the age she was then. I’d say, mid-20’s or so. It’s paradise. Most of the Veronica dreams involve us back in that same emergency room, usually after hours when nobody’s there. We make out and fool around at first. Her circa 1975 nurse outfit is skin tight and leaves nothing to the imagination, even though it’s clearly that unflattering polyester that they wore back then. Now, I’m fully aware that she was a doctor in residence in real life, not a nurse, but neither one of us really make mention of this in the dream. I’ve never gotten to have sex with her yet. By the time I rip off her white stocking with my teeth, the E.R. is already flooded with bees. She always urges me to keep going, to unzip her dress, to pull off her little white cap, to ignore all the bees.

     "You’re so close," she whispers.

     And as much as I concentrate, I never get beyond the stockings before I wake up panting, panicking, in a cold sweat.

     Veronica saved my life once and I can’t even repay the debt by making love to her.

     Even in my dreams, I am not a man.



Those little people

    Look at the tiny people. Running around, so very small. Don’t pay me any mind, but claim I impose on their lives. Just wait until I boot them around. This was my home before they got here. I am Giant, and they will pay!


Sunday, September 16, 2007


The last of the B-Rad Boyz died today.

Most of the world will remember Cris Puffs as the fervent crusader for battered celebrity children, but half a century ago he was "the snarky one, C.P., in the worldwide phenomenon known as the B-Rad Boyz.

Originally conceived as the first noise rock, boy band by Queazy Yakuza fontman Nowon, the B-Rads came together after months of auditions that included not only singing, dancing and musical instrument knowledge, but also standardized tests in quantum physics and philosophy.

Puffs got the highest scores of the four B-Rads and got the biggest audience response on the QTV show, "This Is Pop." Along with Vance Besser, Oliver Grecko and Darren Furley, Puffs became a multi-millionaire almost overnight. As opposed to most musical fads, the B-Rads had a long-lived and vaired career. Nowon worked tirelessly as both manager and producer, insuring that the B-Rad Boyz albums evolved as their audiences grew older and, in turn, guaranteed future record sales. Over their 28 year career, the B-Rads jumped from white-styled R&B to rap to nu-metal to folk to Broadway showtunes, every album bigger than the previous one. The "shifting sound," as Nowon once put it, was paying off big.

The solo albums were hit or miss, however. Feeling pressure from Nowon to put his two cents in, the Boyz strayed from him and felt the economic crunch. While Besser, Grecko and Furley’s albums faired well, Puffs struggled as his Plutonian religion phase kicked in. The recent contact with life on Pluto had inspired many to jump onto its strange theology and Puffs was at the forefront. Anti-Plutonian feelings across the globe affected his sales retroactively from his debut, "The Return of Schlomo" to his Plutonian language concept album, "Etux, Etvir." By the time his final solo album, "So Sorry," came out on his public rejection of all things Plutonian, audiences had already had enough. Though he continued to tour and put out albums with the B-Rads over the years, his ego never got over his failed solo efforts.

The B-Rad Boyz final album, "This Ain’t the Last," an album of Queazy Yakuza covers, was their least commercial to date. The Boyz wallowed in money, yet by the time of its release, most of their audiences had died of old age. It had been a good run, all told.

After the final B-Rad tour, Puffs lived in seclusion for more than a decade. While the other B-Rads enjoyed celebrity golf tournaments, tell-all book sales and foot cream endorsement deals, Puffs rarely left his palatial Utah mansion. To this day, the rumors of those lost years fill the bookshelves and litter the impulse-buying sections of supermarkets from coast to coast.

In his final years, Puffs felt the need to give something back and put $7 million into starting the Etvir House, his renowned halfway house for boy band members facing abuse. Boy bands like the Poppies, Under7 and the Mathletes came out of retirement to help the cause, many of them victims of abuse themselves during their heyday.

Puffs received the Nobel Peace Prize last year, one of two B-Rads to have such an honor bestowed upon them.

But today, one week after his autobiography "My Name Is Really Schlomo" came out, Puffs was found dead in his Malibu beachhouse, surrounded by hand-written, deleted excerpts from "My Name."

Although there is no official cause of death released as of this writing, an inordinate amount of sleeping pills were found on his nightstand. No suicide note found, just a slip of paper crumpled in his hand, torn from the Plutonian bible that read "Etux, Etvir." It means, "Everywhere, Truth."




“Have we met?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Hmmm. I feel like I know you.”

“Well, it’s possible I guess.” 

Hogarth studied his menu as the curious middle aged waitress twisted her mouth to the side.

Somehow, on a biological level at least, this was supposed to help her remember where she’d seen this young man before. 

“So, anything to drink?”

“Yes. I’ll have a diet pop, please. No ice. But if for some reason you have to absolutely add ice to the drink, may I have a straw? You see, I don’t like it when the ice touches my lip. That’s the first reason. The second is that the pop is already cold when it comes out of the fountain. Adding ice only takes away space for more pop, and leads to the ice melting in the pop and watering it down.” 

The waitress begins to nod. Not because she agrees with him, but because now she is sure she has seen this man before. 

She had not. 

“Now I know you’ve been in here before! Just last week. You said all the absolute same stuff about “pop” and ice.” 


“I know you were.”

It was my brother. I have a twin brother. His name is Randall.” 

As she walked away to get his iceless diet pop, Hogarth put his plans of finding his missing twin on hold for a second, and started trying to figure out how he could sleep with the middle aged waitress.


Simple Simon

    “Oh geez. What the hell did you do that for?” A young man doubled over in the bathroom floor attempts to roll over. He slips, falls, and hits his head on the side of the sink. Blood flows from his nose.  “OH! Dude this isn’t funny.” Why did you put soap all over the floor? I can hear you! What the hell are you doing?”
    He wipes his nose, and blood streaks down his arm. His nose continues to run onto the floor. A grunt and he finally makes it up to the sink on unsteady legs. Both his eyes are bruised. He sees a flash of movement in the next room and he turns and says, “You’re still here! I see you.”
His dripping nose runs down his shirt and onto the floor. He creeps slowly out the bathroom, his blood making a trail of red. He grabs a baseball bat and says, “You got the jump on me earlier. I’m ready for you now.”
The front door opens, and he jolts for the door.
“Simon,” a young woman asks, “what the hell are you doing? You’re bleeding all over the floor!”
“I was playing with your dolls again. You know how they freak me out.”


Saturday, September 15, 2007


Stuck-up, skinny bitches. Look at them, laughing and making sure everybody hears their conversation. This isn’t a fucking bar, you skanks. It’s a public place. You know, a restaurant? Ever heard of it?

Jesus Christ, what is that floozy wearing? Update for you, hon. It’s after Labor Day. Lose the shoes. And I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure you only need one set of highlights in your hair. Yeah, your roots are showing, darling. Oh! Maybe you meant to look like that. Sorry. There’s something about buying a vintage dress for $150, which doesn’t even fit your porky ass, that must make your parents proud. It is their money you’re spending, I take it. Must be rough.

Oh, somebody needs to tell your friend that she’s not buying the right size bra, too. If you have D’s you shouldn’t wear a B-cup. Just a suggestion. Nobody wants to see your giant gazzonga tits spilling over onto your fat gut though, so at least wear one. Just a tip for next time, sweetie.

Nice overpriced, oversized shades, by the way. They make you look a praying mantis who’s trying to hide the fact that your Diesel jean-wearing, jock boyfriend punched you in the eyes while continually date raping you.

Yeah, I don’t know if the pedal pushers are tight enough, but I can tell you that they definitely don’t hide your tramp stamp. Is that the Japanese symbol for "slut?" "Fashion victim?" "Fuck buddy?" Yeah, my Japanese is a little rusty. Oh, I almost forgot about the prostitue thong. It does wonders for you, believe me. And the fact that all these kids can see it? ‘A’ plus!

And here’s a tip. Next time you get an $80 pedicure, make sure they saw off those creepy, werewoman toenails of yours. Oh, wait! That’s a French pedicure? Tre’ chic!

God. I am ugly and fat and I want to fucking die.



She did what

    “No, really. I swear it happened.”

    “What happened?” A new comer to the bar asked.

    “I was just hanging out with some of my friends, that’s them over there. Wave guys. Yeah, if you want you can go ask them and they can corroborate my story.
    We were drinking some beers out in the water, and this chick starts screaming something about a jellyfish. She pulls her boob out, right there on the beach!” He pantomimes pulling at his chest and laughs. Everyone at the bar laughs. He stops them saying, “Wait that’s not all!”
    “She has this whole pack of sorostitutes with her, and they get all where shouting suggestions.  You know the one that I heard above all others? Pee on it! Pee on it!”
    A little young kid, probably snuck in with a fake id, asked, “What? Pee on it? Why do that?”
    “I don’t know,” I say. “Its something that you hear. If you don’t have any alcohol the next best thing is to pee on jellyfish sting.
    “So, back to the story. They make a circle around her, and one of them hikes her leg up and pees on her.”
    A chorus of, ews, gross, and nasty emanate from half the bar. The other half turns to see what the commotion is all about.
    The grisly old bartender looks right at the kid who looks to young to be here winks, and says, “Kid you know that’s kinda hot.”
    “Wait, its not over. She starts grabbing it in her hand, and wipes it on her boob, right there on the beach!”
    More jeers and sounds of disgust from the crowd. I even heard somebody say, “That can’t be true.”
“It’s true,” I say. I think to myself as I finish my beer, “I couldn’t come up with a better story if I tried.”



“I have finally done it!” he said, rushing into the room.

“Done what?” she asked.

“I have perfected a machine that will turn you into a ghost. It literally makes you into a ghost! You can float around unnoticed, then pop out at any time! You can listen in on conversations, and float through walls! You can be one of the unloving! You can be a ghost. You CAN BE A GHOST!”

She sat there, quietly, staring at him as he excitedly waited for her answer.

He waited, panting, and pacing, wanting to share this gift with the woman that he used to love.

Finally, she answered.

“Okay. Make me a ghost.”

And he promptly shot her in the head.

The end.


Friday, September 14, 2007


It’s Casual Friday and Roger isn’t wearing any pants. He isn’t even wearing underwear. He showed up two hours early just so he could spring it on his co-workers as they meet him in the break room. He sits in his cubical and waits.
"They want casual, then by God, I’ll give ‘em casual," he keeps repeating to himself.
By nine AM, Barry, the stooge in the cube across from his, pokes his head up and over Roger’s cube.

"Whoa! What’s with that?" the stooge asks.

"Casual Friday, Barry," Roger replies while non-chalantly typing.

There is an uncomfortable silence between them that is only broken by the occasional click-clack of computer keyboards throughout the office. The silence lasts for 45 seconds. Roger counts it under his breath. Barry keeps staring back and forth between Roger’s naked crotch and his stapler.

"What?" Roger eventually asks.


Roger counts ten more seconds.

"It’s just," Barry continues, "you’re not wearing any pants."


"Well, why are you still wearing a button-down and a tie?"

"Why are you?" Roger shoots back.

"I don’t like Casual Fridays. I don’t believe in them," replies the stooge.

"Well, I do! Wit every fiber of my being, I do!" zings Roger, continuing to type.

The stooge ducks back down behind his cube after another ten seconds of Roger counting, this time aloud. The stooge immediately runs down to the secretary’s desk, tells her about Roger’s crotch and then busts ass back to his cube. His head pops up again.

"I think you’d better find some pants, Rog! Soon!"

"Oh, I get it," Roger yells, "This fucking corporation thinks it’s being all cool and ‘with it’ when it declares Fridays casual, but when somebody steps up and actually does it for real, it’s ‘Call Security!’"

"I’m not calling security, Rog. Settle down. This is your Casual Friday, man. You celebrate it however you want."

"Fine! I am and will from now on!"

Roger gets to the count of 27 by the time he hears the all-too-familiar swish. His boss, Clem (yes, his name is actually Clem). The guy wears the same gray, 80’s, double-breasted every single day and the swish is one of those signals every person in the office hears and knows when it’s time to click off the porn on their computers.

Clem walks at a brisk pace, straight into Roger’s cube. He stops dead as he enters, eyes straight to Roger’s free-hanging balls and then to his stapler.

"Whoa," Clem exclaims. "Okay, they warned me, but I honestly didn’t think I’d be looking at it. Roger."

"Clem," Roger answers.

"Nice stapler. Look, Barry, do you think you can give us a minute?"

"Sure thing," the stooge replies as he pops back into his cube.

"So," Clem says, trying to keep his cool, "what’s going on here, Roger?"

"It’s Casual Friday."

"I see." All the while Clem cannot take his eyes off Roger’s stapler. "Listen, Roger, I appreciate your comfortability with us, but I don’t know if this is the proper way to show it."

"No! You listen, Clem! I’ve been here nearly seven years. Seven fucking years and not once have I ever, ever participated in this Casual Friday fiasco. The office mixers, the Christmas parties, Secret Santas, weekend bar-b-ques, Halloween costume parties, I’ve done none of that shit for the entire seven years I’ve worked for you. I’m not invited to these things and I don’t even have inner-office email. So, now I’m finally participating and I get the high hard one? Well, you know what? I think I’m due. So, pardon me, but fuck off, Clem! This is my time to shine and if you think I’m going to let you or any of these weasly bastards keep me from doing so, you are sorely fucking mistaken. Now, do you mind? I’ve got a lot of work to catch up on."

Clem is stumped. This is the last thing he expected to hear from a man whose junk is staring him in the face. Five seconds pass after Roger turns back to his computer. He counts every single one as his heart pounds a jackrabbit-pace in his chest.

"Well," Clem begins, "I have to say this. I did not expect this from you. You’ve never been much of a team player around here, Rog, but you do good work and you’re consistent as Hell, I’ll give you that. I’ve never seen anything less than 100% from you, Rog. And maybe I’ve been taking you for granted until now, I don’t know. Maybe this little slice of Roger-style anarchy was my wake-up call. Now, this may seem a little out of character, but I’m just going to throw this out there. How would you like a promotion?"

Roger’s mouth is immediately agape. He swivels to face Clem, who doesn’t wait for a response.

"I mean, I’d have to clear it with Stan, but I really want to make you an offer right here and now. I want you in Dave’s old office, next to me. You’re moving up, Roger, whether you like it or not. I can’t remember when I’ve seen this much youthful energy, this much pizzazz in this office. And it all came from you, Roger. You’re going to show everybody here what is missing in this company. Tell me, Roger. Will you be our newest head of marketing?

Roger is floored and barely gets out, "Are you serious?"

Clem’s broad smile turns downwards. "What are you, some kind of retard? You are so Goddamn fired! Barry, give this asshole your pants!" 



Bang Bang!

    I watch as two boys play in the street. Anyone looking would think that it is most likely some variation on cowboys and Indians, or cops and robbers.
    Kids have always played with guns. I know I did. I didn’t think it would bother me to see kids playing with toy guns. But, ever since the second civil war things have been different, at least for me. I put mine away. It makes me sad, but I know the government looks at it as training of sorts. You know, just in case there is another uprising. 



I stood outside the library for two hours waiting for my parents to arrive. As I waited, I got angrier and angrier, but that didn’t help the waiting. I couldn’t believe they’d forgotten about me.

Eventually, they showed up, but when I approached the car, I noticed that I was already inside- or at least, someone that looked like me.

I tried to scream, but I had no voice. Somehow, they still heard me. All three of them: my parents and the fake me, they all looked at me and laughed.

But I still couldn’t scream.


Thursday, September 13, 2007


I remember this kid once told me he added blur to this cat. Can you believe that? Blur to a cat. Wow. Thinking back on it I had to have been pretty gullible to believe it. Then again, this was before we invaded Cocamo. It was a mistake I won’t hold up some grand ideal that our past leaders knew what they were doing. That there was this big plan to help save the planet. There wasn’t. There hasn’t been one since Nixon. God bless that man. The history books say he was the most effective president to date. I believe it. I wasn’t alive then, but damn it look at the text books.
Oh yeah back to the blur. Sally Chopkizt and I were playing on the steps of our apartment building. She was a pretty little girl. Last I heard she was still attractive, but then again you aren’t a high rent hooker if you aren’t at least a little good looking. Back then she was very much the tom boy. Playing with snakes and lizards down at the creek were some of her best times. Or so I have heard. She was with me when … oh hell what was his name?
Raskle Funz! That’s it! Raskle Funz. Red head and evil, according to mom. She told me that his dad gambled and that he was going to hell. I don’t see me believing in hell much, but I believe that that kid was evil. He would pull legs off of bugs and spear the lit butts of fireflies on girls in the neighborhood. He kicked any dog that got in his path. If you were smaller than him he would be after your lunch money. Me being the heafty child that I was didn’t have to worry with him taking my lunch money, but he wasn’t nice to me either. He would come up and brag about doing this or that to some poor kid a few years younger than him self. I wouldn’t say much, not out of fear, but I am a shy guy. Or, I use to be.
Any way, Raskle ran up to Sally and I while we were playing electric toe jacker. He was freaked. He looked white as a ghost and looking everywhere. He asked if we had scene a cat. We told him we hadn’t and then we asked him why he was looking for a cat and what did it look like. He told us to watch out it was one of those tabbies, but it had been blurred. We asked him how he did that. He never answered, just looked even more franticly than before. We looked at him and got back to our game.

Come to think of it, how would you blur a cat?