From an email I received from my aunt:
I had a few mini strokes last night followed by one big stroke. I’m okay now but I wanted to let you know what happened just so you won’t worry too much. I know how you worry.
So, the lunar marriage of my lycanthropy problem and my high blood pressure caused me to have a sudden change into the werewolf, while I was having the big stroke. I can’t give up cheeseburgers like you can.
The result of the stroke was a temporal locked-down syndrome which paralyzed my entire body, except for my eyes. So, any danger that I posed was to those who might faint at the sight of me.
You should have seen Doris!
My body shut down to the point of appearing dead. Right now, I am emotionally exhausted.
This morning, I had to listen to some kids watch some crazy movie for the first time. They were so proud of themselves. I don’t think they even watched the movie.
I hope you can come over this morning. I need a human lap and some sunlight.
Archive for the 'Stories' Category
From an email I received from my aunt:
How many pull-ups can you do?
Who wants to know?
Then, the conversation ended.
My friend, Joey, built a rinky dink ice cream machine out of cardboard and pencils. When he poured the cream into the top hole, the sides would darken and the box would leak. He swore this was the best way, even though he would lose a lot of it in the process. You could always tell when he’d made a batch because the floor was sticky.
Once, he made a batch with broken candy canes and almond paste. He didn’t mop the floor for a whole week because the room smelled that good.
Lately, his cat has been clawing at the machine, so he has held off on making more.
He says his next project is to build an ice cream machine that makes a regular ice cream encased in a ball of astronaut ice cream. He says that in the future, astronauts will enjoy tasting the sweet danger of a potential accident by breaking the candy sphere, as it could spread inside the ship and ruin the controls. Figuring out how to get back to earth in the lunar module with a sugar rush could be part of the culinary experience, he says.
I don’t think Joey’s ever met an astronaut. I hope he gets his meeting because I’m looking forward to watching him talk out loud to the NASA guy and hoping that the NASA guy peppers his reply with the words “fuhhk” and “dammit”.
Jim was working on two projects. The first one was a pipe organ made of robotic mouths. It was based on a toy that he’d seen as a child which was a musical keyboard where each key made a tone and triggered the release of a puppet character ascribed to the sound. Jim’s organ ascribed a series of robotic mouths to respective keys and stops. Each mouth was able to pronounce vowels but not consonants. The mouths were visible to the audience, whose reaction possibly dipped into the uncanny valley, a place usually reserved for androids. Jim worked on a set of 3 songs for his organ’s debut: Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor and the main themes of Star Wars and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. His debut was a success. People loved his organ and his performance. Word got out and he was asked to play his organ on a semi-popular television program. The excitement inspired him to buy a fitted suit. Looking very sharp, he went on the television show, performed the Bach piece and stood in front of the hosts who also happened to be judges. One of the judges was in a couple of popular bands sometime ago and therefore could not be judged on anything.
“How long did it take you to build this?”
“So, you wasted six years of your life?”
Jim promptly put his second project on hold.
Some background information: John Titor is the Paul Bunyan of time travel. Eloi Cole is either the James Frey of time travel or the Billy the Kid of time travel.
John Titor and Eloi Cole are sitting at a bar. John is drinking beer and Eloi is drinking 12-year-old single malt. Both are getting to the point of talking too much.
At one point, John says, “Eloi, what year did you say you came from again?”
Eloi responds, “That depends, John. What year did you come from?”
The Price-is-Right strategy comes into play at this moment. If Eloi says 2016, then John will say 2017. John can say whatever he wants about the year 2017 because Eloi doesn’t know what has happened in 2017. Furthermore, John can ask Eloi who won the World Series in 2016. In addition, John can always use the future civil war to combat the World Series question. Yet, there are too many chess moves for both of them so it’s best that the subject changes.
Eloi says, “What’s the best joke of the day from whence you came?”
John says, “Two eagles walk into a bar full of snakes. The bartender says, ‘Hi, what can I get you?’’”?
Eloi says, “And then what?”
John says, “That’s the joke. When the civil war comes, nothing is funny. Uplifting stories are preferred.”
Eloi can’t think of a move and says, “Bartender, I’ll have another Mountain Dew Code Red.”
He then turns to John and says, “Thank God for time machines.”
Old Josh and Regular Susan had just come back from the Museum of Natural History. Regular Susan had just taken off her shoes and was hoping to take off more.
“So, what do you want to do now?”
“I have the Monster Manual under my bed.”
“We can look through it. Together.”
“That sounds fascinating.”
“You have to be naked to look at it.”
“Well, then. Let me take my clothes off.”
At that point, Old Josh realized that Stormbringer was the only weapon he could use at this point. Yet, although he was all chaotic evil on the outside he was still neutral good on the inside. So, he feigned sickness and told regular Susan she should probably leave on account of his contagion.
“So, yeah, you should probably go.”
“Okay. I get it.”
So, Susan left; and because of a good night’s sleep, she gave an excellent presentation the next day. Meanwhile, Old Josh played video games while thinking about Susan. That’s when he got the idea for a pause button on coin-op video games. His plan would be to wait until Young Josh caught up to the age of Real Time Old Josh before engineering the idea since an Real Time Old Josh would have the proper education for making it happen. However, by that time, Real Time Old Josh realized that not only was it a bad idea but also that no one played coin-ops anymore.
Sadness enveloped Real Time Old Josh, for no one would believe his story in the World of Warcraft.
There was a regent who ate po boys every day. He was really proud of his lunches – so much so that daily he told everyone what kind of po boy he was having.
“Guess what kind of po boy I’m having today?”
“Do I know you?”
Sometimes he would strike up a conversation about his lunch with other po boy aficionados. One of those conversations was with a guy who jumped trains. He had to constantly remind others that he was not the definition of a hobo. He liked to eat smoked oysters on hot dog buns.
That conversation lasted a long time and wasn’t repeated since the train jumper disappeared the following day.
A few weeks later, the regent regaled a story to a stranger about the time he had a regular shrimp sandwich instead of a po boy.
The stranger remarked, “Well, you are what you eat.”
The stranger was being a bit distant because he badly wanted out of the conversation and didn’t give much thought to the anecdote. The regent, however, did give it much thought and began eating rich foods.
The diet he switched to was considered rich food in some circles – cheeseburgers, meatloaf sandwiches, $7 sausages. Because of this diet, his health declined and he succumbed to gout. Because of the gout, his self-esteem grew since it was once considered to be a rich man’s disease and because his self-esteem grew, he no longer ate the rich foods. His gout went away and he looked much better.
His looks changed so much that he quit his regent job and became an actor.
His name was Mark but you know him as Daniel Craig.
Now you know the rest of the story.
Vultures are cool to look at. It’s true. I can easily watch one have dinner on a dead raccoon. But not a human.
In a ditch next to my home I found an old body being eaten away by vultures. I grabbed a rake and ran toward the scene. While shooing the vultures away with my rake I noticed that the body was still breathing. Carelessly, I threw the body over my shoulder like a sack of dog food, as the threat of the vultures seemed greater than the threat of a back injury. My bad.
Inside, I put the body on the couch and called 911 and then retrieved a glass of water. Cradling the body’s head, I served the water to the mouth. The body coughed and color began to come back on the face. Through the blood and hair and grass, I saw a woman. She was pretty.
She said, “Thanks for the water.”
Then, she handed me a subpoena and said, “You’ve been served.”
Instead of being upset, I decided to finally open an old Christmas present. It was a VHS set of the series, “Are You Being Served?” I took the VHS player out of the closet, ordered pizza and a 2-liter of coke and sat on the couch. Good times.
In the superhero scene it’s hard to one-up someone when all you have is the ability to change yourself into a pile of clothes. It’s a defense mechanism, which in the superhero world is viewed as being weak. I’ve always hated my ability because I’m too special to be considered normal and yet, not special enough to be considered super.
Yesterday, that all changed.
Five superheroes and myself were arrested for conspiring to put beer kegs in the nuclear cooler at the local plant. Since they put us in superhero confinement, there was no way for the “real” superheroes to get out since they super-proofed it. At one point in the evening, I changed my appearance to look like The Flash’s clothes and then later into a correctional officer’s clothes and then I fell into a passing laundry cart, changing again into a regular pile of clothes. It was a classic move as the cart was pushed into the back of a laundry truck which was driven to an industrial laundry plant. I walked out of there looking exactly like Matthew Broderick’s pile of clothes in Glory.
Since I wasn’t using it, I lowered my chin-up bar to a point of 12 inches above the floor. I ended up damning myself every time I tripped over it. Instead of fixing the situation properly, I just put a traffic cone in front of the bar and then damned myself when I tripped over the cone and the bar. Instead of fixing the new situation properly, I put a flag pole in the traffic cone and then retrieved an autumn-themed flag for the pole to remind myself that there was a chin-up bar impeder. Wouldn’t you know it, I damned myself again as I looked at the flag and thought about how much I enjoy autumn weather and seeing the leaves change color. I tripped over the chin-up bar again. Instead of fixing the situation properly, I bought a motion sensor that connected to my record player. When I passed by the motion sensor, the sensor triggered the needle on the record player to land on a random part of a John Philip Sousa record, reminding me of the chin-up bar. That seemed to work.
I damned myself for impeding my life.
There was this man who worked at a sanctuary for chimpanzees in Florida. He used to be a nightwatchman for a company that made RFID chips for pets. Some veterinarians would put them in but not others. Some vets thought it ridiculous to put a chip inside an animal in order to keep track of it.
One vet said, “I saw Gattaca once. It was nice.” And then he railed on about people treating people and pets as products. “People will be fucking idiots if you let them.”
The former nightwatchman, Larry, remembered a friend who took empty pill cases and filled them with candy but then didn’t go further with the project. It’s good when cleverness sees a red light and stops, thought Larry. But, his drive to make something amazing dimmed that light, so that he could see behind the warning clearly.
What he saw was a way to take prions that allowed a cognitive ability to speak and inject them into the brain.
In the sanctuary there was a chimp who loved to watch television. Her name was Stacey and she watched soaps and infomercials and sometimes talk shows. Her mate had passed away a few years prior and she mainly kept to herself. Larry would sit with her, watching tv from the floor every night while she sat in the comfortable chair.
Larry stirred about every night, trying to figure out a way to inject this chip of prions into her head without much fuss. He didn’t want to hurt her and was afraid his curiosity would end up killing her. Then, a commercial for a flea-and-tick spray came on the television followed by a lightbulb in his head. He would put the chip inside a tick, let it rest upon on her head, let the tick burrow in, and wait until it filled with blood. Then, he would then squeeze the tick, deflating its body like a turkey baster, with the blood and the chip rushing into the chimp’s head to be delivered into the brain.
He was so nervous that night but it worked. Furthermore, he looked like a hero to Stacey for taking off the tick.
He sat and waited to see if anything – if anything at all – would happen.
2 hours later, she turned to him and just stared. Larry started to cry, knowing he’d done wrong and then she said, “I’d really like to watch tv alone if you don’t mind.”
On a blanket on some rocks next to a boulder under a tree among the pine needles lay a tired old prospector. Too tired to cook, the old man used a good sack of beans for a pillow. The faint smell of bear poop kept his danger sense awake but the rest of him collapsed in slumber.
This was his dream:
“Hello, Cracky!” said the barman.
The old prospector looked around the most fantastic saloon he had ever seen. The women who worked there were gorgeous. The whiskey was on tap along with beer. The piano player was a retired president.
The old man was suddenly awakened by the moist nose and warm breath of a bear. Somewhat comforted, most of his body wanted to go back to sleep. But before the internal debate could transpire, the bear bit into his head like an apple. Not a mealy roma but a hard, crisp granny smith.
There was no gold anywhere.
How did you know where to find the IBM 5100?
Yesterday, I used the gravitational machine as a transporter for distance rather than time. It’s almost like walking through a door from your room in NYC to a room in Hot Springs, AR, which is where I went.
Did you set the machine to go there?
I set the machine to find the parts I needed through a plugin I’d installed. It’s like a search engine except that instead of ending at website, I end up in Hot Springs, AR at an antique mall.
Upon arriving in a stall in the lavatory (it gauges the closest and safest destination) I noticed a fellow washing his hands. I think he noticed I’d mysteriously come out of a bathroom I’d never gone into. He began following me without much discretion, looking away when I turned around. He was very bad at it.
My destination was a toy store located in the middle of the mall. I inquired as to where the handheld video games were located and was directed to a display case where I found the needed items: one MB Electronics Merlin, one MB Electronics Microvision, and a Mattel Electronics Baseball.
After my purchase I took these items, with my new friend in tow, to the snack bar. I took each of them apart and arrayed the circuit boards in a triangle. I have a triangular, synthesized crystal that is able to “sense” the data of the boards and record them. I set the crystal on the boards, under the watchful eye of my friend who didn’t order anything from the snack bar. I had ordered a root beer and some onion rings.
With that, I pocketed the crystal, tucked a piece of my shirt into the Merlin’s shell, placed my root beer on top of the Merlin, and proceeded to get up, allowing the root beer to spill all over the circuitry. This would provide a quick distraction to the bystanders and especially to my pursuer who had just punched three times onto his mobile phone.
I doubled over some ketchup packets and exploded them onto the pursuer’s shirt. Vehemently apologizing, I offered to get some wet paper towels while heading to the lavatory. All this was done in a flowing, quick manner that would have made WC Fields proud.
Fortunately, the pursuer was very passive and just stared as I passed him to the lavatory. I went into stall number 2 and made my escape with the gravitational machine, which was now programmed with the crystal, taking me to Rochester, MN, 1975.
When I arrived, I called my relative and we met at Macho Nacho.
I had nachos.
John Titor’s Real Blog
This old guy from town fashioned a bird out of marzipan for a contest to see who could make the best Ortolan Bunting dining experience without harming a real bird. Inside the marzipan, he packed corn-based sweetened breakfast cereal to mimic thorny bones and used salted jellies to mimic organs.
In a similar contest, there was a real tiger behind the old guy, doing the same thing but with the wax figure of a gentleman. When the old guy turned around, the tiger looked at him and cocked his head like a house cat asking to go outside in its cutest manner. The man nodded in deference, as cats killing birds around the home is congruent to natural selection because they evolved a face that is darling to humans. The tiger was gnawing on a large stick in order to fashion a femur within his paws, then took the finished wood bone in his mouth to the wax figure’s fake leg, nudging it inside the pants with his nose. Behind the tiger was a baby man and the baby man had fangs and the baby man was laughing at the funny papers someone had glued to the ceiling. The comic strip was Howard Huge and Howard, an enormous dog, had eaten a room of marzipanned figures: a tiger, a man, and an Ortolan Bunting. In the comic strip, a frustrated child seated next to Howard said something funny. However, the baby man couldn’t read and the laughing eventually proved the fangs to be rice-pudding spittle.
Hopefully you’ll get this letter. I wrote the first part of it a year ago and just finished the last part today. I couldn’t figure out why I wrote to you but now I do.
I can only tell you part of what I’m doing and then I want you to guess the rest. I’ve been living by the pond near your house, eating tadpoles and minnows and the occasional horse apple (the last one I keep throwing up). I fashioned my semblance to an amphibian, webbing my hands with 2 pairs of rubber gloves and attaching fish fins to my toenails with the aid of Lee Press-On Nails. The gloves are excellent. The toe fins are still in trial stages.
Unfortunately, I managed to bore a hole in my neck on accident due to an attempt to fix a rake I bought from an Amish fellow. I kept pulling on one of the pointy pegs from the rake and it came out with much force and jabbed into my neck. I thought I had finally found my invitation to heaven but the bleeding miraculously stopped, leaving an awkward hole to my esophagus. I was inspired to fashion it into a blow hole with a stopper to prevent water from coming in. I had a couple of mistakes.
After many more tries, the blow hole was a success. I tried to make a gill out of pvc pipe embedded with a device that would filter in H2O, triggering the emission of an equal amount of cariporide (a sodium-hydrogen inhibitor), with the goal of oxygen entry. I had a couple of mistakes.
After more tries, with the success of gills, I attempted to present myself as a plausible frog, swimming in the benthic zones (due to my size) and sitting on larger rocks for great lengths of time. I had no inspiration to coexist with them, merely to study. I earlier mentioned eating the tadpoles for protein.
After a month of sitting naked by the pond and swimming in its murky water, I forgot why I had begun the experiment in the first place and wondered if it even was an experiment. The lack of inspiration led to boredom and want for something else. That something else was a sandwich and soup. I broke into your house because it was the closest one and made myself a peanut butter sandwich with bean and bacon soup. After eating manfood I realized I was naked in a stranger’s house and ran back to the pond, immediately fashioning some short pants out of a plastic bucket I’d found in the old shed. It looked more like a dress, so I drew a line with a pen down the middle in order to resemble shorts.
Here’s the second part:
I want to know if I could use your phone because I think I should check my bank account and see if I have any money to afford a proper apartment lease.
There were these 2 guys who had been pulling tobacco for five hours. A net of yellow weeds covered the patch but came off like Velcro. The pulled weeds accumulated on a pile of red tarps and soon resembled fries on ketchup. Larry, the first guy, hadn’t eaten since the day before. He kept swallowing the juice created by his skoal bandits due to the presence of a bear in his co-worker’s truck, as it kept startling him. His co-worker, Yancy, caught the gentleben when he was a cub and took care of him ever since. No bear is sacred to the best meats and Larry sensed that his skoal smell and skoal spit was akin to oozing gravy to that bear in the truck who was also named Larry.
Larry, the man, wanted to get drive-thru for lunch and Yancy wanted sit-down, “like Denny’s. I’m craving a club house.”
Larry, the bear, couldn’t relay what he wanted, but it seemed obvious to Larry, the man, what he wanted.
They chose sit-down.
Larry, the bear, wasn’t hungry because he’d eaten a baby and was pretending to be pregnant, eating a jar of pickles just to show off.
In the restaurant, Larry, the man, pulled out a cassette tape of 1984, the one he’d borrowed from Yancy a year ago and gave it to Yancy, signaling he was about to disengage their colleagueship.
“What’s this for?”
“I know its mine. Why are you giving it to me now?”
“Because its yours.”
“I said I know its mine. Why are you giving it to me now?”
“Because its yours.”
Meanwhile, the bear wanted to make a Möbius strip out of paper with this continued parley written on both sides but couldn’t find tape or paper and moreover couldn’t paw together such a task. This quieted his exuberance over such a clever idea to the point of frustration. In the end he just growled to get this repetitive argument to cease.
Every morning, Yancy would sift through Larry the Bear’s poop as part of his daily care to make sure the bear was in good health. It almost seemed demeaning, making Yancy less of a bear owner and more of nursing home nurse, although, I know of no nursing home nurses that do this task, only the mysterious lab work technicians who go through the plastic jar after plastic jar, looking for something wrong with its creator.
Yancy found no remnants of said baby but found broken glass from the pickle jar that scarred Larry the Bear’s innards, creating blood in the stool.
“There ain’t no baby. And you tried to fool me by cutting yourself up on the inside. What the hell is wrong with you Larry?”
“Huh?” said Larry the man.
“Not you, Larry. Larry. The Bear.”
The bear started swaying his head back and forth like a circus elephant. He saw a baby goat and thought about swallowing it whole but couldn’t even muster the gumption to do it. Instead, he knocked over a display of tuna cans.
It was after lunch. In most workplaces, this particular lunch would be considered a drama lunch with much murmuring, cupped hands over mouths relaying what was thought to have happened while eating soup at the respective desks. This would never occur in a tobacco patch. Yancy and Larry, the man, went back to work pulling weeds and pulling adolescent tobacco from the patch, the latter to be replanted in the field for adulthood.
Larry the Bear sat in the bed of the truck replaying lunchtime in his head and how better he could have handled himself and how he shouldn’t have played up such bravado of eating a baby when he didn’t and how he shouldn’t have eaten broken glass which is surely going to mean a trip to the veterinarian who will surely put him under the gas for safety and that means he will have to endure a catheter. Damn, he thought to himself.
Yancy had some vanilla crèmes in his glove box and offered some to Larry, the man. Larry the Bear couldn’t have any due to his scarred innards. Larry, the man, was still dipping skoal bandits and it made the cookies taste like mint vanilla. He forgot that he still had the pouch between his lip and gum and swallowed the cookie with the tobacco product, making him swoon a bit. He lost his balance and recovered himself on Larry the Bear’s paw. Larry the Bear liked being needed and also liked face meat but felt like eating salmon so he jumped out of the truck and ran as fast as he could until he got to Bear River. That took three days. There were no salmon going upstream so he settled for perch and some rotten apples. A bear’s regret is temporary so he went into hibernation and woke up not remembering who Yancy and Larry were. Happy.
I miss the ghosts in my neighborhood. Robert Dillard Ghost used to sit on the stoop 2 doors down always trying to get me to tell him what cold feels like. I couldn’t tell if he was messing with me by showing off of his ability to give me the shivers or if he really wanted to know because it had been so long since he had to wear a large coat outdoors. He can’t tell time anymore because his face goes in and out like a bad fluorescent light and those times that he is present he thinks he’s always been there. He gets excited when I get takeout, forgetting what dinner tastes like.
I’m glad I’m not you, Robert. You’re like a retarded spirit who’s memory is reflected off of five mirrors before you get to see what it was you thought you saw. I’m gonna get you a dog. A live one. Besides, I don’t know where to find a good dead one, except the veterinarian’s dumpster. Dogs see ghosts and real people. If a dog can trust a ghost long enough, the ghost can get inside the dog and see, albeit colorblind. You can tell a ghost dog right away. If you look in its eyes and feel despised then you’ve found a ghost dog.
Robert became a ghost dog and then all the other ghosts on my street became keen on the idea and now they’re gone, trotting along highways, sitting around White Castles and Luby’s Cafeterias, pretending to eat peanut butter.
Don’t hate me because I don’t use a t-bar. I haven’t used it since I dropped 25 lbs. I had the setting on 12 prior to my dramatic weight loss. For you morons that think the 12 on the t-bar (now called sissy bar, sister to the “t” in t-ball) means 12 lbs, you’re sorely mistaken. It stands for 64 lbs that you CANNOT lift. Keep going. Don’t let it get you down. Because someday (and look at my eyes not my pecks when I say this) you will be t-bar free, just like me.
ps. You should drink milk and eat a banana for lunch.
About your mouth:
I garnered a couple of shark’s teeth from the Ripley’s Aquarium in downtown Gatlinburg, soaked them in a jar of Crest glistening gel for a good thirty days, adding electrical pulses every 12 hours from a homemade defibrillator I made from 2 clothing irons, with the hope being that the Crest would replace the OH ion in the hydroxylaptite, thus making it a regenerative whitening tooth to be placed over your two rotting incisors. I used a metal file to shave the points to a human-sized tooth and then swabbed the inside of your cheek in order to plant your own cells in the dentin to resemble pulp gum, thus tricking the tooth and your gum into joining each other (using the defibrillator). I guess you have Tartuffe going on in your mouth or better yet, an online relationship. Excuse my digression. By the end of the operation you will have very good teeth that will hold up during any activity. See you in a month. Ski Gatlinburg.
One time, the Kentucky government decided to encourage its cities to give lumps of coal, gift-wrapped in tobacco leaves, to designated sister cities of other countries. Sister cities were a big thing in the past. For example, Paducah sistered with a German town, Niederdorfelden, and would trade recipes, local art, and calligraphed goodwill documents, and the like.
The tobacco-wrapped coal program lasted for 2 years: 1902-1904. The abrupt ending of the “new tradition” was due to the fact that the people of Niederdorfelden took great offense at the coal. The previous year, St. Nik had given coal to the bad children at Christmas time. In fact, a sizable lot of children had received coal. Subsequently, Paducah received a bag of manure encased in a giant orange made of marzipan.
The confusion led to anger, guilt, anger again and then laughter. “No Hard Feelings” became the motto of the kinship and they stayed true to each other’s goodwill until about 1917.
Sonny has two things going for him. The first is his brilliant way of knowing what kind of dinner to order. Mine is always bad. And I sometimes order from the same places he does. He just seems to know which place is going to be good on the right day. Once, I got mashed potatoes from this place that Sonny always orders from and they were runny and box-tasting and had begun to swiss cheese on the sides. He got General Tso’s chicken from a place that usually gives me a headache. I swear they use MSG. But he said it was the best he’d had in a long time and I believed him. The other thing he has going for him is a cradle big enough to fit him and a lady.
Diary Entry: February 9 (as dictated to the secretary, Charles, who writes very slowly)
14 knocks on my door. I counted each one. Some were in cadences familiar to everyone. Five of those and then nine in a steady manner. I waited for the fifteenth one but it never came. When I got to the door and peeped through the hole, I saw a delivery guy holding a bag. It was my dinner. So, I opened the door and the guy held the bag up. It didn’t say Spice on the bag as it usually does. The guy moved his other hand from his waist to behind the bag. A moment to gasp and then he shot at me through the bag. If it weren’t for my copy of The Green Gable Show I would have passed away immediately, barely missing my 178th birthday dinner. The man had only one bullet and his eyes got big and full of tears as he fired. And he didn’t even have a true food delivery. It was an empty bag! I grabbed his gun. I smacked him across the cheek with my book. I handed him back his revolver. I offered him a second bullet to try again, always keeping one in my pocket like one would keep a lucky rabbit’s foot. He was too shaky (but not from anger as I was) to put it in and kept leaving the key chain on it, so I did it for him and handed it back. He shot me in the face this time and I got madder than hell. He hit my face! I went to my desk, bleeding all over the place (I’d just bought a white shag rug for $200 at a popular store to impress some girl who use to be special) and rummaged for another bullet, finding one more. I put it in the gun myself as I was walking back to the door with my face dripping blood. He was gone. I was angry. I tantrum-stomped and bled all over that stupid rug. Finally, my real dinner came and I fibbed to the real delivery guy and said “You must have the wrong address” because I’d lost my appetite from all the cheek blood that was bleeding inside my mouth. Then, I got hungry again.
Fortune Dave confessed to making placating concessions to his doorman, Undisclosed Steve. Steve eats salads that Dave makes at home and in return Steve acknowledges that Dave has a place to live. Code Red Days are the days that Steve requests a Dagwood salad. Those days, Steve will stand by the door for the duration of the meal. The rest of the day is spent at Steve’s own place where he plays Worlds of Warcraft, all day, sometimes explaining to other warriors at the bar what a Dagwood is. Once, when all the warlocks were listening at a nearby table, they looked up from their ales at Fortune Dave, who then made his confession.
Then, there was Vampire Pokey, who was teeming with dead blood. Where and when he showed up depended on who was in need of a party favor and Pokey loved to give. Other vampires gave him the Dorian Gray look- you know, that vampiric looking down and closing eyes while turning back to the important party.
There was a gaggle- no wait- a murder of mummies who were never royalty but just experiments of a long gone indigenous group of people who had heart. Pokey gave them dead blood all the time.
And when Horse Day came-the day when parades provided tired Clydesdales for the chumley vampires- Pokey didn’t hang around for idle chit chat (“Oh, did you see the jockey that Chauntey killed? He said he was like the end of a milkshake.”) Pokey went to the mummies and gave them some dead blood from his wrists and then spent quality time with them, learning about berry picking and shell jewelry and sometimes just burning one of them in order to transfer the spirit to a wildcat. That kind of thing.
The shiner that David got was comparable to the shiner that Sean got that was comparable to the raccoon with nothing going for it except for Monday’s trash. David bought a pair of sunglasses for $5 and wore them all day. At night he felt foolish wearing them yet, he had no choice. Only the day before had he pulled a chain out of his truck to “whoop up on” Steve, who had pulled out a small club from his truck to “give David what for”. David’s chain got caught on Steve’s club and echoes from Lord of the Rings made the fight somewhat of a comfort to Sean. Steve punched David, giving him a shiner, and David sort of just sat down, holding his eye.
Steve said, “I gave you what for. Now you go home.”
And David said, “Man, you punched me in the eye.”
And Steve said, “I know. I’m not blind.”
And David said, “You oughta be.”
And Sean said, “I’m going home to get my mace with the spikes on it. Wait here.”
And thirty minutes later, Sean showed up with his mace. But it was too late. No one was around to see what he had that would make him the go-to guy for a medieval weapons cache. Two minutes later, Sean’s shiner would be self-inflicted from the mace and he wouldn’t have 5 dollars for sunglasses.
Two guys walk into a showroom. One guy has construction helmet on, the other guy has a headpiece on just like Batman’s. The helmeted fellow is eating a twinkie and the batman has a 99c bag of Doritos. The showroom is full of office furniture and they both want a desk. The helmeted guy takes a rubber mallet and starts hammering on one desk. The batman guy takes a ball peen hammer and starts hammering on the other. After 20 seconds of doing so, a salesman walks briskly towards the helmeted guy and says “Stop. Please, sir. Stop.” He walks to the batman and says the same exact thing. The two guys look at each other and continue banging. The salesman walks back into the office and comes out with two other salesman who start yelling at the two bangers to stop. When this doesn’t work, one of the stockers holds a lighter to a fire sprinkler because he feels he has a reason to create disorder. The showroom becomes wet and three fire trucks pull into the parking lot and the stocker man with the lighter goes into the break room and grabs three boxes of pizza because it’s Pizza Friday and disappears into the back where he is picked up by batman and the helmeted guy and they go to the house where batman has a new Xbox, set up with 3 new games and they all eat pizza and laugh and drink Coca Cola. The end.
Epilogue: The batman fellow’s name is Pat and the construction helmet fellow’s name is Mason. The stocker’s name is Phil. They all agree that the new Batman is really good but love Michael Keaton. They also agree that Papa John’s is really good pizza but not as good as the J and J’s. Pat can take any topping he can think of to J and J’s and they will put it on his pizza. He once brought some necco wafers to be put on his pizza and was sure that it would be good but he was wrong. Phil dated a girl who liked anchovies and wanted some but the grocery store didn’t have any and neither did the pizza place so he bought some sardines and marinated them in salt and oil but she didn’t like it, so he stopped trying. It might mean he didn’t really love her and it’s a good thing that they broke up. Now, a month ago, Mason started playing Resident Evil 4 and was amazed at the amount of time that went by during play. He felt like everyone around him aged faster than he did because of how fast time seemed to pass during the game. He was almost right because of his own mass. Meanwhile, the salesman who didn’t know what had happened after the incident lives alone and watches Office Space once a week. Sometimes twice. His name is also Phil but goes by Philip. He doesn’t eat pizza much but enjoys cereal. He has a Reservoir Dogs poster behind his couch and that’s all he has that isn’t functional. He feels the monotony of his life is diverted by going to Walmart instead of Kroger for his groceries. He also lies on the floor for hours not doing anything. He can do 100 situps a day. He can do 100 pushups a day. But, what he doesn’t do is think up stupid ways to annoy other working people by dressing up like an idiot and pounding on office furniture in order to get free pizza. He will be at the apartment complex’s fitness center at 4:00 today in hopes of hooking up. His relation to time is relative to Mason’s.
When the plot to overthrow the makings of a giant windstorm plan failed, Mitchell found a loophole that involved going back to the storeroom and getting the copperwire set aside for making penny yarn and weaving it in and out of the sheet metal thunder clapper. When the art director saw him and began his mother hen line of questioning, Mitchell replied that it was a union thing. Not being in the union, Mitchell knew that this would: a) uphold his denial of sabotage, b) allow him to give the union more overtime in taking the copper wire out at a later date and c) a thank you beer for the overtime.
On Sunday, the Senate gave audience to the presentation of the Windstorm Finale, designed to be a “Who? Not Us” weapon which was still in the planning stages. Subsequently, when the time came to show the rattling of the sheet metal in order to create fake thunder, the dull bangs of the copperwire were congruous with the dull satisfaction of the Senate. Later that day, Mitchell thought, “Haha. “Everyone is stupid but me,” as he drank his free Miller High Life alone.
John Titor’s machine was gravity based and would allow him to travel back to the time he needed to go. However, one day while “rewinding” (he was trying to watch someone type in a password into the IBM he was about to obtain 10 minutes into the future) a black hole shot an anti- ray right onto his machine (like a reverse disco ball) thus disabling the Gravity Sensor Unit and throwing him sideways onto another timestrip that was a phantom strip but one that kept going, like a fart that never leaves.
Anyhoo, he found himself in the year 1999 and was giggling over the y2k hype, not knowing he was on a phantom timestrip. “The sky will be falling from now on,” he thought and went to an internet café and tried to log onto his email account but kept failing.
Finally, he went to the administrator behind the counter.
“My computer isn’t working.”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“I can’t get any pages to come up.”
So, he walked over with John and asked for the page.
“It’s just yahoo.”
“Don’t know it,” and typed “iii.yahoo.go” and the yahoo page came up.
John then realized he was on the wrong time strip and asked, “What do you guys call the problem about the double-digit numbers turning over to 1900 instead of 2000?”
“What problem? We don’t have a-“
And then everything around him started disappearing like a fog clearing and he knew that the phantom time had finally dissipated. He’d never been in the absence of time and began to take a nap because a physicist had once written, “A true nap can only be perfect when there is no time to be wasted and none to worry.”
And he napped in no time. But it seemed like forever.
Meanwhile, in another time, a physicist had written the word “crap” and then accidentally typed “nap”.
This guy named Cliff? used to work at Taffy’s on Good Latimer? but then gave up on yelling every time he started the pulling machine? so he got fired? But then by mistake? he loaded the machine backwards? and it started brushing against the newspaper stand? so that it took the print off like a piece of silly putty would? but then would stay on? and somehow the print wouldn’t stretch? and so the pieces of taffy afterward had printing on them? and his boss started calling him Gutenberg? but with a Trenton, NJ accent? even though he was already fired? and he worked there for another year? even though he wasn’t supposed to? and then he moved to Waxahachie? but he couldn’t drive to work? so he got a job selling cookies at the Scarborough Fair? and he liked that better?
These guys were doing chores on a farm and the one guy had plastic pants to keep his other pants from getting dirty. The devil himself would see him and would shake his head saying, “At least I’m not that guy.” He wasn’t THE devil but a rockabilly guy who had a devil on his lighter. But the plastic panter was good at making piles. Really good at it. He numbered his piles and marked each one as if it were a garden of piles. He even kept a log of the piles with a vellum paper map attachment. The maps were transparent enough to see the history of the pile placement. Luckily, the owner of the farm enjoyed seeing such documentation and contacted a publisher of almanacs about his employee. The publisher laughed and hung up. It wasn’t until seven years later that the book was found that the pile documenter was properly recognized. During a time transport viewing, the farmer was heard saying, “Reading that logbook’s map was like peeling an onion. It-“ and as he paused the worker looked up from shoveling, smiled, and looked at the devil and said, “See, I told you.”
It was handmade. It could only be started by a lady with Betty Page bangs.
"I saw Blank Check last night."
"It was okay. Not what I thought."
"What you think it was?"
"I dunno. Just a different kind of movie than I thought. It’s over 10 years old now, that movie."
"Yeah. Time flies. I’m gonna get an egg and cheese."
"The kid from Family Ties was in it."
"He’s got some years on him now I guess."
"The kid from the movie?"
"Yeah. You’re hungry, too right?"
They got off at Union Square. The End. Two others get on.
"He’s got the shits. He is the shits."
"You see the new Star Wars? I got it on dvd. Joey has it."
"That guy’s gonna get it. He’s the shits."
"No, but I wanna see that new Star Wars."
They get off at 6th Ave. The End. I get off, too. And then some addled fellow stopped a pretty girl.
"Excuse me does this go to 6th Ave?"
"This is 6th."
"I’m sorry I meant 7th."
Girl keeps walking. "Yes."
The fellow was made out of syrup. The End.